Is there such a thing as too many handbags, pocketbooks, tote bags, and purses? Of course not. Naturally, my favorite handbags are made from handwoven fabric. Linings made from remnants, handwoven bands used for shoulder straps, hidden zippers, and, of course pockets–these are the details that other people will seldom notice. Yet these are the details that make me smile every time I use one of these bags.
…You know that box of handwoven bits and pieces? Those weavings from the end of the warp, and the “scraps” from various projects? Hmm… looks like I might need to make another handbag or two.
Here is my collection of handwoven handbags, divided into a few categories. Plus, a short video just for the fun of it!
This is how a weaver enjoys a long haul flight. I keep my hands busy. A direct flight from Houston to Tokyo takes about fourteen hours. And then five more hours to Manila. Add layover time, and you have almost a full day of travel. I have been wanting to try the exercises in Kathe Todd-Hooker‘s Tapestry 101. So that is how I spent my travel time to and from The Philippines on our recent visit there. I followed advice I received from Teresa Loveless when I was at Weaving Southwest in New Mexico, to warp my little tapestry loom at a sett of 8 epi, using rug wool for weft. The coarse sett made the weaving easy to see and work with, even in the dim lighting of the airplane. (This is in contrast to last year’s travel tapestry using embroidery floss.) I kept the samplers small, so I could finish by the end of the trip. I ended up with two mini samplers.
– Travel-size tapestry loom (with tensioning device, and counter sunk rare earth magnets for holding tapestry needle)
– Warp thread (12/6 cotton seine twine), wound on a couple five-inch quills
– Wool rug yarn assortment (Jason Collingwood Rug Wool, and Borgs 25/1 Mattgarn), wound on five-inch quills
– Blunt tapestry needles (have extras in case you drop one in the dark)
– Travel snips (make sure they meet TSA regulations) on a neck strap (hand woven, of course)
– Clip-on book light (with paper napkin or thin cloth to diffuse the light, and extra batteries)
– Tape measure
– Small clips (you never know when you might need one, like to clip a napkin over the book light)
– Sewing thread and sewing needle (for stitching slits, which I did not do)
– Tapestry resource book (like Tapestry 101, by Kathe Todd-Hooker)
– Bag to hold everything (and a couple small pouches within to keep things organized)
Steve and I returned this week from travels to The Philippines. We had a wonderful time celebrating Thanksgiving there with our son’s family in Makati. During our eleven-day visit, I encountered many examples of beautiful handwoven articles and other fascinating textile goods. It probably won’t surprise you that I tucked a few textile treasures in my suitcase to bring home with me. (Remember last year? Quiet Friday: Philippine Textiles)
May you find textile treasures in your travels.
PS Two more new rag rugs from my latest run of rugs are now in the Etsy shop, if you are interested. These two may be my favorite yet!
You may remember that I recently returned from a visit to The Philippines. It may not surprise you that I am always on the lookout for interesting textiles, and especially handwoven fabrics. I don’t mean to do that; it just happens… Well, when I met sweet Beth at the Sunday market, I felt like I hit the jackpot! Beth and I had a common language – Handweaving!(She speaks fine English, too, of course; but you know what I mean.)
I tried to gather a few pictures of textiles that you would enjoy seeing.
If you don’t have time to look at all the textile pictures today, at least scroll down and see my little granddaughter carrying her big umbrella on the way to the market. Umbrellas are always in season in Metropolitan Manila. For the rain in the rainy season (our visit), and for shielding your skin from the sun all the rest of the time. (You can always come back later and finish looking at the rest of the pictures. Smile.)