24 May 2018

Bag Lady

I was crossing the street downtown last week to get to the train to go home when I felt my crochet bag slowly come away from my shoulder. I thought maybe I'd missed one of the straps when I hurriedly stuck my arm through, and I didn't want to miss the walk light because that would cause me to miss my train, so I held the bag more tightly between my arm and my body and continued walking toward the train stop.

A man came up from behind and handed me the compact shopping bag key chain I keep on my bag strap so I don't have to use plastic bags at the grocery store. The little pink key chain apparently had busted free from its handcuffs. I suspected the strap on my purse must have broken. I thanked the man, and I flashed my transportation pass so I could board the train, which was ready to depart.

Seated on the train, I inspected the bag damage. Yuppers, it was a goner. I've known for a while the bag wouldn't last too much longer. Made from corduroy more years ago than I can count but probably around 1996, some of the fabric had begun fraying more than a year ago. I expected the bag to develop holes; I didn't expect a strap to completely break clean.

I tied the broken strap in a knot around the remaining strap just to get home without losing balls of my hand-dyed crochet thread or the tiny little owls I've been making for two weeks. I knew my quick fix would last for only so long; I would need to use a different bag the next day.

Just last week I'd written a blog post about putting pockets in my dresses now because I don't carry a purse anymore. I didn't have time to sew that night, so I had to un-retire an old purse or go without crochet the next day. Going a day without crochet after all the medical time away from the hook last year simply wouldn't do!

The old denim purse did fine, but it wasn't something I wanted to keep carrying around. When I got home, I dug through the stash to find the Spoonflower panels I'd had made back when Spoonflower first came out with Eco-canvas, which could have been as long as two or three years ago. Another non-quilting WIP. (YIKES! Just looked it up! The fabric was announced in July of 2014, nearly four years ago!!!)

I'd printed a favorite photo of my very first dahlia on the new Eco-canvas, mostly to see if the fabric is thick enough for a purse, crochet bag or utility shorts. (Yes, pretty durable and thick stuff once sewn! I would definitely use this again!) However, I'd long since forgotten what I'd planned to do with the dahlia panel, which had enough coordinating solid for straps, but what had I planned for the rest of the fabric???

I committed the quilter's faux pas and performed an emergency surgery with no forethought, stitching up a simple and fast bag just so I'd have something to transport my crochet back and forth. Complete rush job. The bag was done, start to finish, in less than two hours. The most difficult part was turning the narrow straps outside-right after stitching.

Now I have a bit of an idea what I must have been thinking back when I first designed the dahlia panel. Thankfully, I have two more panels with which to practice. I now remember I had planned to line the bag, and I had planned to put a solid piece of flat recycled plastic inside the bottom to give the bag some shape and sturdiness. I may also have planned a zipper for the top; there's enough fabric in the remaining panels to achieve that.

For now, though, my new dahlia bag will work just fine. If I don't wait four more years and forget the plan again, I can be a little fancier on the next version.

Linking up with Busy Hands Quilts, Crazy Mom Quilts and Confessions of a Fabric Addict.


  1. Sure pulled it off with 2 hours of work indeed. 1996 sure means the old one had a good run. Nice of the guy to bring your key chain to you.

    1. Thanks, Pat! Yes, another case of a stranger restoring my faith in humanity! Such a little thing, literally, and he went out of his way to make sure I didn’t lose it!

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you, Brenda! That really was the most beautiful dahlia!

  3. I’m glad your story had a happy ending. When I first started to read, I thought your bag was being stolen. Yikes! So glad I was wrong ! I am amazed you could construct a great bag so quickly. My projects never seem to go like that! I love it!

    1. Oh, I'm not so sure I would have cheerfully blogged about having a bag stolen, Gramma Judy B! I think I'd still be so stressed out, I wouldn't be able to function! I am very thankful I was able to whip up a replacement bag so fast. That means I didn't have to miss a day of crocheting. Ha ha!

  4. Sometimes the quick and simple projects turn out to be the most satisfying. Your new bag is lovely! What a gorgeous photo on that fabric.

    1. Thanks, Sue! I do love fast projects. I don't seem to get enough of the fast projects these days. I should set a goal...

  5. Sure doesn't look like a two hour rush job! Love how bright it turned out.

    1. Wow, what a compliment, Lady Schep! Thank you! I do love carrying it around. I have noticed it gets a few stares and second looks. Ha ha!


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