Sunday, February 15, 2009

Some more bags are finished

Many of you are new readers visiting my blog to catch up on the Bushfire Quilt Project. Well, I welcome you! Good to have you here. I also make bags. I am trying to get my last group finished up and on their way to their lovely mamas before all your wonky Star blocks come to town.

Being an Army wife and former Army Nurse the military uniform has a special place in my heart. My husband has been away from me more often than he has been with me during our 11 year marriage. That means 2 pregnancies pretty much by myself (he was there for the important part) more Christmases than I remember without him....not to mention birthday parties, anniversaries, first days of school...long lonely nights...bla bla bla...same thing so very many other military wives go through, right? For sure, and I am no different. I liked to sew after tucking the kids in bed. It began with quilts, but quickly shifted focus to making "Camp Follower Bags" when I saw that there was an interest.

Ladies send me their husbands uniforms (each bag I have made is custom made for ONE woman from Her husbands uniform) fill out a long answer/order form where they select their fabric and tell me a bit about themselves. Then I sew for them. I look at each order as a piece of commissioned art. I want each bag to reflect both the man and the woman in the relationship. Each bag is handmade and extensively quilted. They are washable and wear incredibly well. I am still using my first bag I made almost 5 years ago! It is ugly, so I have it holding toys in the boys room...but it is strong and very serviceable. My bags have gotten much better over the years....let me point out a few details on this latest set I made for a fine lady on the East coast...

OK, here are 2 of the 4 inside pockets of the largest bag I make the "Stu Tote". Violets, Roses and Sunflowers are important to this couple, so I made a little flower picture on one of the pockets and "wrote" their 3 children's names on the other pocket. In all my heaps of fabric I have nothing with a usable size Sunflower, so I had to get creative and I made my own. I used raw edge applique to give it both texture and personality.

This is one of my newest is a wallet, more a pouch, but very handy what ever you want to call it.

I want each "Stu Tote" to look as much like the uniform top as possible so unit patches normally go on the sides and the patches that go on the front of the top remain where they are. I quilt it all up creating a durable and lovely tote bag. These bags are reversible as well. So if you feel like turning your bag inside out it is as lovely on the inside as it is on the out.

This is a date night clutch. Every lady needs that tiny little bag she can feel completely frivolous about. This bag holds only the essentials with a special mad money wallet. I am especially fond of the shaping on this one.

So here they all are...the whole set all ready to mail out. This is a lousy picture due to the time of day, but the bags are lovely. I love August Fields by Amy Butler and I think it looks fantastic with the starched BDU.

Carry them in Health and Happiness!


Dragon's Dolphin said...

I think it is a GREAT picture and I absolutely love the idea of making it personal not only with the old BDU but also with things that are important to the woman, couple, or family. They look AWESOME. If DH had not gotten rid of his uniforms when he retired, I'd loved to have had you make mine. Of course, navy doesn't (or didn't then anyway) have the typical BDU that the other services have. ~Shelly~

Jennifer Bowen said...

Your custom bags are beautiful, Tia! I love the intricate designs. When will you be taking new orders again? Let me know, ok? :)

Anonymous said...

The bags are a fabulous idea! I love what you've done with them.

If you e-mail me an address for the wonky stars blocks, I'll be happy to send at least a couple.

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