Tag Archives: fabric baskets

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!

Red Fabric Baskets


These are coiled fabric baskets or bowls which I have sewn using strips of recycled women’s clothing over a jute rope core.

sewing red basket

Each can be used as a beautiful home decor piece for storing just about anything (other than liquids!).

But I have particularly designed these baskets to be purchased as Menses Rite of Passage Gift containers or First Blood Ritual Gifts.

Menarche rite of passage or first menses ceremony is when a girl gets her first period.  As an artist I want to support the empowering and honouring of women by creating coming of age ritual gifts (stay tuned for menopause baskets). Using a ceremonial rite-of-passage empowes a girl’s sense of feminine self-esteem, as well as provides a context for her family and friends to offer wisdom, support and intentional blessing. This can be done one-on-one with mother and daughter or any type of gathering designed particularly with that girl in mind.

Here are some books for finding menarche celebrations:
Becoming Peers: Mentoring Girls into Womanhood by DeAnna Lam
I Am A Woman By Rite by Nancy Brady Cunningham
Life Cycle Celebrations for Women by Marge Sears
Bringing Home the Light: A Jewish Woman’s Handbook of Rituals by E.N. Broner

And some websites supporting menses rituals:
Red Moon
Red Tents In Every Neighborhood

This On-The-Rag basket is a play on words of course. I think that a vessel made from recycled women’s garments, in particular, is a strong link to the matriarchal line, the blood line. A handmade vessel like this would make a lovely handmade gift all on its own and can be used in the home for so many purposes. Or use it as a gift container for any occasion. It’s got soft sides but holds its shape and is very textural. Each is one-of-a-kind.IMG_7067

For a First Blood/Menarche/Coming of Age ritual gift fill one of my baskets with items such as:

Book A Diva’s Guide to Getting Your Period  by DeAnna Lam
Cloth Pads https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/127514073/cloth-pads-bamboo-organic-cotton-10
Red sarong https://www.etsy.com/listing/112644277/red-silk-scarf
Wine Glass https://www.etsy.com/listing/43314857/hand-painted-wine-glasses-poppies
Red Candle https://www.etsy.com/listing/113801427/red-soy-pillar-bloom-unscented-natural
Bath Bubbles https://www.etsy.com/listing/58984791/lemon-lavender-dead-sea-bath-salts
Massage Lotion https://www.etsy.com/listing/85679450/soothing-moon-massage-and-body-oil1-oz
Monthly Cycle Tea https://www.etsy.com/listing/122712246/historical-monthly-cycles-tea-for-ones
Goddess Figurine https://www.etsy.com/listing/113249826/ceramic-goddess-figurine-spiral-leaf
Jewelry https://www.etsy.com/listing/81795873/beaded-art-doll-purple-spirit-goddess
Journal https://www.etsy.com/listing/99908384/red-blank-leather-journal-or-sketchbook

And add a bottle of good red wine, red rose, fresh strawberries or add anything you think would make a young woman feel fabulous. You may purchase my baskets here.


How did you mark your coming of age?