The flap over bag is the last story I collected and so technically the newest in design and production. It has been a slow process so far as stitching the handles has taken a good few weeks down to being not so well and also the pain hand stitching leather exerts on your fingers. Its like learning to play the guitar…until your fingers have got used to it it blooming hurts!
Today I set aside to get something of everything done. I didn’t have a plan as such but things just happened as they usually do. I glued the hinge on the bottle piece so whilst the room was smelly I thought I may as well glue the base of the bag into place. Then once i’d glued it and left it all to dry I thought I might as well punch in the stitch holes. A nice rhythmical job. Then because I’d done that I wanted to check if the needle would go through the different layers so started stitching. I sat with my legs either side of my tall lump of wood I used for stitch hammering and had the bag draped over. The needle glided through as I’d waxed the cotton well before stitching and although I sat in silence I started tapping my foot as I was stitching, then I realised I was singing San Quentin by Johnny Cash! Thank goodness it was only me in the house! I thought about it and I think it was me getting lost in the work. It reminded me of the women in the mills weaving or stitching. I would like to look up work songs or something. I re-found Illuminations as well so I’m going to have another read of it.
The other thoughts were of the mother who the story was about. Her make do and mend culture and how she cut a bed sheet in half and sewed the outside edges in when they wore out in the middle. It made me think about this as I’d opted to do all the stitching by hand rather than using machine which also gives me more attachment to the piece as I feel I am investing time and thought in it.