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they call me "the bag lady" ...

For a time, I worked at a quilt shop sewing shop samples, teaching classes, designing projects, and writing patterns.  My favourite thing was to make and teach bag classes - especially Japanese designs from books and magazines.  For me, they provide the perfect balance of design and interesting bag construction.  I learned something new from every project and was always eager to start the next one.  It didn't take long for me to earn the nickname "the bag lady".  So many times I'd be introduced to a customer and they'd say, oh YOU'RE the bag lady!  LOL!  It was fun, and I enjoyed it.

Ironically, I don't like carrying a purse.  Never have.  I'm good with just a wallet.  And for evenings out, my husband's suit pockets work great. ;)  I reluctantly carried around a tote of sorts when my girls were babies.  But now?  Not so much.  I've been going to a fitness place 3x/week now for almost 4 months and I carry my sneakers in a plastic shopping bag!  LOL!  I'm totally not kidding you.  My girls make fun of me saying that for someone who makes/owns so many bags, I have no excuse to NOT use a cute bag.  Excuse?  I don't even have an explanation.

I finally replaced the plastic bag with a cloth one last week, but it was a gift with purchase, not even one I made.  I know.  Again, no explanation.

That was my lead-in to this latest project ... a Japanese bag from Akemi Shibata's book, "Quilted Bags & Gifts" that will be available very soon in English!  I had the pleasure of working as a technical editor on the book, and was also asked to make a few bags for quilt market.

This little beauty is called "Two Way Hexagon Bag" - two way because it has both hand handles and a shoulder strap.  Oh how I love this bag!  Among the more obvious and charming features, it has a hidden pocket in the front, a zipper installed by hand, and I love the little finger tab on the end of the zipper.  And then there's the lovely red leather handles and strap!  I used Lecien's Mrs. March scraps from my stash that I've collected (hoarded) over the years. 

To me, this is not a 100% true rendition of a Japanese bag ~ I had to cheat a little with this one because of time.  I made the hexagons slightly larger so I had less EPP hand-stitching, and I wish I had time to hand quilt the hexagons too, but I had to settle for machine.  In fact, ALL the quilting should have been done by hand.  (Sigh.)  I machine-stitched the zipper bindings down rather than hand stitched them.  And the zipper tab was supposed to be two covered buttons, but the store was out of the correct size so I used a technique I'd learned from other patterns and that didn't require anything special.  And in the interest of FULL disclosure, the little loops to hold the D-rings for the shoulder strap also should have been hand-stitched in place.  I just caught them under the top zipper binding.  Ok, those are all of my sins confessed for this project.

I made another bag from Akemi's book that I'll show you soon.  It has a fighting chance of becoming my official "work-out" bag ... when I get it back after Quilt Market. :)

xo k

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Reader Comments (19)

this is an incredible bag! your details are lovely.
May 9, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterEllyn
It's a cute bag!
May 10, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterHildy
What a super cute bag, love the red handle and strap!
May 10, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterHeide
Beautiful, beautiful and I know why you use plastic or 'other' bags instead - yours are just too pretty to use! But just think the advertisement! I've made two bags for our girls and they love and use them a lot. They want me to make more for them, but I find them a struggle. Oh to have your expertise :)!
May 10, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterLittle Quiltsong
How cute is this! And...you even matched the pattern in the fabric - even on the binding. WHAT? Amazing!
May 10, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterLJ
What a stunningly beautiful bag, well done !!!
May 10, 2016 | Unregistered Commentersvetlana
They call me the Bag or Basket lady as well! I do love a basket and bag from time to time... more seasonally to be truthful.
But I must say this one has really caught my eye... the hexi blocks or the red handles..

I may have to make this in the next few months! In time for summer!
May 10, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMindy Fawn
Keep up the beautiful work! Your bags are sooooo beautiful! Thanks for sharing.
May 10, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterCarol
All the details you add are so perfect Kristyne- perfectly executed and perfectly suited to the design!
May 10, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSusan
LOVE this bag!!! Can you share where you purchased your handles and strap? Lots on Etsy, but I don't see the straps.
May 10, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDaisy
Daisy, they will be available through www.zakkaworkshop.com within the next few months. They are the company publishing the book, and they provided me with the handles for this sample. :)

xo k
May 10, 2016 | Registered CommenterKristyne
Bags are my most favorite thing to make. The joy of patchwork combined with fun construction! I get bored easily so it's fun to have zippers, and straps and all the fun things associated with a bag. One day I hope mine are as amazing as yours. This is just lovely!! xoxo
May 11, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterhappy little cottage
So beautiful.
May 12, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterrosa
Would Love to make this bag!! Could you tell me the fabric line you used on the top of the bag??? Seems to go with any and every color. Keep up the good work. Love following everything you make.
May 12, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterGinger
Ginger, it is a new yard-dyed fabric designed by Akemi Shibata for Lecien! It will be available very soon. It is really lovely to work with. :) xo k
May 13, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterKristyne
Sooo gorgeous! Love your honesty and think it's wonderful to share because many people would like to make something "quicker" - like me, but this bag does not look like a beginner project by any means! Thanks for sharing your inspiration and hints. Love all your work!
May 14, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSusan
I always know where to come for a good laugh. You crack me up girl! And this bag is INCREDIBLE!
May 14, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterStacy Olson
It's gorgeous!
Where do we buy nice zipper pulls? Paula in KY
May 15, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterPaula

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