Upcycled Altered Fabric "Crazy Quiltish" Messenger Bag

I love doing bead embroidery. This upcycled messenger bag was inspired by the cobweb bead embroidery I started last year…and finally restarted and finished last month.

Did you know that cobwebs in crazy quilts were added for good luck? I just learned this. :slight_smile: :grinning:

This bag was a challenge. I have an extremely hard time reading patterns…in fact, “read” isn’t really what I do as it makes my eyes glaze over. Instead, I look at the pictures and try to figure it out. I’ve made this simple messenger bag loads of times before but it’s been a long time. I finally asked my Mom for help figuring out what I was doing wrong with the construction. (I needed to keep the bag’s flap inside when I was putting in the lining–duh.)

Anyway, the most fun part was creating the flap. I started with a fabric collage, using lots and lots of zigzag stitching in metallic and cotton threads. Then I added the spiderweb. (Note: I will NEVER tear the muslin after the project is complete again–I nearly ruined the entire spiderweb as I got too close to the beads and they were loosening! Adding an extra strip of muslin there and some fabric glue before re-sewing helped stabilize everything thankfully).

I’m pretty happy with the end result. Am bringing it to a local gift shop and hope someone else finds it lovely too!

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I like all the stitches. That green thread manages to stand out without stealing the show. What a great use for your beaded cobweb!

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This looks like such a cool upcycle! Any chance you’d share a photo of the whole piece?

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Thanks so much, @AudiobookLover and @TheMistressT – I appreciate your kind words. :slight_smile: :grinning:

And yes, I’ll happily take/post a photo of the whole bag soon. Now I have more incentive to do that!

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Love all the mixed textures, very pretty work

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That’s lovely!

Don’t know if it would help any, but I usually try to have a non-woven backing layer on bead embroidery (usually interfacing or felt) so that even if the fabric gets damaged the beads stay secure.

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Gorgeous! That beaded cobweb is a stunner.

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Sexy! Makes me want to try something like that.

It’s supposed to be good luck to have a spider on a Christmas tree. I wonder if the two beliefs are related.

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Thank you, @bethntim that’s so sweet of you. :grinning:

I love the idea of using a backing layer under my bead embroidery projects, @thanate thanks for that tip! I hadn’t heard it yet and it will come in helpful for sure. I’m really paranoid the beads coming off of projects and make sure I do a lot of backstitching (I think it’s called?) and tying off/restarting my thread to try and prevent a disaster but will try this tip soon.

Thank you very much, @Abbeeroad you’re so kind. :grinning:

I hope you will try something similar @steiconi and share the results. I never heard that about a Christmas tree spider but I bet it’s related. I think this was a Victorian belief…and I believe Christmas trees (for “common use”) became popular under Queen Victoria. It’s interesting for sure.

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Here are a couple more photos–thanks for the request @TheMistressT :grinning:


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Oo, thanks! That looks great! And a nice size, too.

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Beautiful textures and colours, just lovely.

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Thanks very much–good fall colors I think. :grinning:

Congrats! Your messenger bag is one of this week’s featured projects! You rock

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This is gorgeous! The “crazy” of it makes me so happy!

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Thanks for the shot of the whole bag. It really sets off the work you did. It’s lovely and I love how eclectic and unique it is.

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Wow, thanks, @Kwality570 I’m glad it makes you happy! :grinning: And @gozer you’re very welcome for the whole bag shot. I appreciate your kind words. Eclectic just about sums me up so it makes sense the bag looks that way too!

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How cool, thanks very much! This made my day. :grinning:

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Just saw the bag—so cool! I’m sure someone will snag it when they see it.

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Aww, thanks very much! It did sell–I was shocked actually how fast because I charged more than the store owner thought it would sell for. So happy! :grinning:

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