Transformations: turning discarded tapestry into bags

Some time ago, I bought two pieces of tapestry (the embroidery kind, not the woven kind) at the Guild trading table, where the cast offs of members go to find happy new homes. It’s one of my failings in the acquisition stakes.  There are some things I look at and think–someone dedicated many hours of their life to creating that, and here it is in a thrift store or a garage sale, discarded completely.  Sometimes that is enough, they have to come home with me.  Finally I had an idea, and I acquired enough $2 pairs of jeans to make it happen–because woollen tapestry is heavy stuff! I made denim surrounds for the tapestries, which, judging by their shapes, might have been intended to cover a seat back and perhaps a stool.  Then I worked out some linings, and sewed on patch pockets!2017-10-01 18.34.25

Once I started actually figuring out how to convert them to bags I think I understood how they came to be discarded.  They had biased in some way that meant they could not possibly have worked out in their intended applications.  the rectangular one was a trapezoid.  The one designed for a shaped seat back was not symmetrical.  I can only imagine the heartbreak of having stitched these only to discover they were not going to work.

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It’s a bit odd even in this context–but unquestionably, it can work as a bag.

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In the end I realised I had a third tapestry.  It had been reduced from $5 to 40c in an op shop in Warrnambool (country Victoria).  I bought it thinking the frame could be re-used.  But the badgers?  I am not going to hang them on my wall.  So I deconstructed the frame ready for its new life and here is the new destination of the badgers.  Where will they go next?

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Filed under Sewing

11 responses to “Transformations: turning discarded tapestry into bags

  1. Oh I love this idea,so nice to repurpose something that some one lovingly stitched.


  2. Such an ingenious way to use these discarded tapestries. I have found that such tapestries often distort to the trapezoids you describe – it’s to do with the way the stitches are worked, I think – but with a little tough love (some very hard stretching with the hands) and a very damp iron, it’s usually possible to straighten them to the correct proportions …

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Khendra

    Wow, they are so beautiful!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The badgers look wonderful as a bag, it was lovely to meet you at the Joinery today.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. How funny…I just picked up a piece of needlework at an estate sale, incomplete, still on its frame, for $1 because it’s beautifully done and represents so much careful work. There were more pieces there, but I restrained myself, not being as adept as you at thinking of new lives for these things. It’s more openwork, so I don’t know if a bag would be the right use, but I’m thinking….Your bags are beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Rebecca

    Genius, absolute genius. We are all going to be looking out for tapestries now!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Loooove the Bagders! Now I am wondering what I have done with several tapestries of my own. Much more fun than a ‘Colesworth’ shopping bag!

    Liked by 1 person

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