Scrap bag

When making my Dear Jane blocks, I ended up with lots of tiny scraps, but I never threw them away as nothing is too small to use in a Dear Jane quilt.

Almost two years ago, when my Dear Jane blocks were just about finished, I started turning the scraps into ½-inch hexagons, intending to  make a bag. If a scrap was too small to make a tiny hexagon, I threw it in the bin. We have to draw a line somewhere, right?

And now that bag is finished!

French General hexagon handbag (purse)

This is truly a scrap bag.

French General hexagon handbag (purse)

I tried to sew the hexagons together randomly, at least in a way that scattered the dark brown ones and very light ones about sort of evenly.

While my dad was ill, these little hexagons became my travel project, and I sewed many of them while sitting in oncologists’ and radiologists’ waiting rooms with Dad. After Dad died, I put them away for a while.

In June, I needed something to take along to my Thursday-night craft sessions at the nursing home where my grandmother now lives. I volunteered to start an evening craft group as the staff were seeking help organising activities after dinner.

On the first evening, I took these little hexies and my knitting. I had planned to knit, but I soon realised that I had lost track of where I was up to and needed to quietly count stitches and do some thinking to work it out. So, I started to sew the hexies. Each week, I have taken them along and added a few more. This week, I will show the group my finished bag! Hurrah!

Hanging out with the ladies (and gents) at the nursing home has been great fun. We laugh a lot, and I am learning a lot about life in Australia almost a century ago. A few of the residents do not have long to wait before they can receive their celebratory 100th birthday telegram from the Queen. In most cases, I am less than half their age, but I am having a ball spending time with them. Our projects do not progress very quickly as we chat, but I always drive home in a good mood.

The finished bag now has a mixture of sad memories and happy memories associated with it.

I was inspired to make the bag by Susan’s similar French General hexagon bag. I used a purse frame, handle and pattern bought from Studio Mio. I varied the pattern slightly by making the outside of the bag as one large panel. My bag is also about half an inch deeper than the pattern, and I did not stiffen it with vinyl, instead using interfacing and fusible fleece. The last step was sewing the frame in, and I used some of my Aurifil 12 weight for that.

French General hexagon handbag (purse)

I used a dark brown Aurifil 12 weight thread to sew the frame in. You cannot even see it from here!

French General hexagon handbag (purse)

I ran out of largish pieces of French General fabric, so I used a 3 Sisters print I had in my stash for the lining.

Now that this is finished, I suppose I ought to have a proper look at my knitting and figure out where I was up to.

Or I could procrastinate and make a pincushion with the leftover hexies instead.


23 thoughts on “Scrap bag

    • It is surprisingly easy, Debbierose: just a simple back stitch. I have had problems in the past with broken needles because of purse frames that do not have enough clearance for sewing through the holes, but not with these frames.

  1. Absolutely stunning. I adore my bag, and it makes me happy every time I see it. I’m sure this one will have the same effect on you. Maybe your bag needs a little matching purse from the leftover hexies……..

  2. So, so pretty. I’m glad you finished it, and hope it will remind you in a good way of time spent with your dad. I can’t get a good sense of how big the finished bag is. Could you use the last of the hexies to make a tiny coin purse to go inside it instead of a pincushion, or perhaps decorate some other item to go with the purse? Your crafty/social evenings sound heaps of fun, too…

    • The frame is about 20 cm high and the bag is 16 cm deep. At its widest part, the bottom of the bag is almost 30 cm across. It is a generous clutch or evening bag size. Does that help with scale?

      I could use the hexies for a purse. It might depend on how many I have left. I have been trying to remember whether I saved any other scraps in a safe place or if the few leftover hexies are all that remains of my French General scraps.

      • So, a pretty good size, lovely! It would be nice if a little coin purse could be all French General, but if you’re prepared to expand into other ranges, I think it’s a safe bet to say you’ll find some suitable reds in your scrap stash…

  3. Yay! you finished it! I’m glad you have some happy memories to put in the mix … kind of like the mix of dark and light fabrics used for the hexies … life really is a mixed bag sometimes xx PS I vote for the pin cushion 🙂

  4. That’s a great use of your DJ scraps, like you did then I’m now saving every tiny piece when I make my blocks. I hope you enjoy using your bag and I’m glad you have good memories of making it to offset the sad ones.

  5. This is such a beautiful finish and a wonderful memory jolter. I hope it brings you lots of joy as you continue to bring joy to others

  6. What a gorgeous little purse! And so full of love and life and hope. I know it is has bittersweet memories for you now, but maybe someday the bitter part will fade and it will be a memento of the time you were able to sit with you father. Sending you a virtual hug!

  7. What a delightful way to use those hexagons! And so small! I bet some of those ladies in the nursing home are eying it off! Hold on tight to it! It holds some bittersweet memories for you…

  8. That bag is awesome, every time I see hexies I think I need to do that, then I remember I hate hand sewing. Maybe some day when I have lots of time on my hands I will gvie them a try.

  9. I was luck enough to see the real thing on Wednesday. And it is absolutely beautiful and made to perfection ( as always), but the feel of it added to its beauty. Inspirational.

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