Everyday Bag

I just pressed the “SEND” key on an submission email to a juried contemporary fibre art show which celebrates the tradition and history of textile arts. This show will be part of an exhibit at Dufferin County Museum and Archives called Stitches Across Time.  It calls Canadian fibre artists to produce work that is inspired by one of six artifacts specially selected from the museum collection in Rosemont, Ontario (northwest of Toronto). These are rarely seen textile pieces.

Of the six possible inspirational pieces I chose a vessel, this dainty, century-old evening bag.

Evening Bag open
ca. 1920. Embroidered in oriental-style flowers in shades of blue, turquoise, green, pink and coral on ecru silk in satin and Pekinese stitches, this bag is a vibrant and charming piece of work. The bag is lined in textured coral silk, complete with a small interior pocket. A metal filigree frame with hinges at both ends and in the centre of both sides facilitates access. The handle is a metal chain and the entire piece is finished with a turquoise stone mounted on the centre front of the frame. The finished size is 13 cm across the top, widening to 18 cm at the bottom, with an overall depth of 14 cm.

I love to make vessels, especially coiled baskets from scraps. Essentially they are stitched versions of the old-fashioned rag basket.

My entry is called “Everyday Bag”.


“Evening Bag” inspired me as a women’s vessel, a purse, and also because of its colour scheme.

Evening Bag

2014_EDWR_Stitches1c finished edge

My entry is also a ‘purse’ stitched from pieces of deconstucted clothing, a 100 year old Chinese silk scarf, dress lining, dupioni silk, a hand dyed flour sack, and quilting cotton. The metallic thread which I employed in the top coils mimic the metal filigree frame. Due to the nature of wrapping thin strips of cloth over a fibre rope core it has a ragged everyday appearance. It has miles of thread and about 20 hours of construction.

IMG_2602 IMG_2598


A sturdy, but classy market basket replete with turquoise stone.

2014_EDWR_Stitches1d back
“Everyday Bag” back

The exhibition, Stitches Across Time, opens on September 12, 2014 at 7 pm and will continue to November 9, 2014.

I hope my bag is chosen.

Last year a piece of mine, But Will it Hold Water, was accepted into Threadworks and is touring Ontario for 3 years.

UPDATE JUNE 2014: Everyday Bag has been accepted by the jury into the show!  Opening Night Sept 12, 2014.

Screen Shot 2014-06-04 at 5.10.15 PMScreen Shot 2014-06-04 at 5.11.21 PM

UPDATE Sept 13 – My piece has won a Juror’s Award!

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