For my interview, Amy at Inspire Co. asked me about an early crafting memory and it was certainly this. In the 60's, my mother had a home-based business making custom wicker purses for ladies in town. They would come over with a new dress or snazzy bermuda shorts and order a handbag to match. My clever, crafty mom lined the inside of the open bag with a sunny quilted calico, wove a matching grosgrain ribbon through the top, cross-stitched the initials and decorated the front with felt flowers. They were a huge hit and our dining room was transformed into an ongoing basket workshop. I helped her after school, cutting the flowers out, choosing contrasting centers and making little tabletop gardens of custom blooms. I can still see those brilliant stacks of flowers stretching across the table. Pretty sure that's where I developed my color sense along with my fondness for flower shapes too. A true child of the decade, I still love them and the jewel tones of vintage felt.
You could make one too. My mom reminded me that summer is just about over. Not much time left in the season for an open basket purse, but maybe you have a new summer dress just waiting for that extra bit of snaz. If so, here's the super simple how-to. I used a small rectangle of burlap (any gridded fabric will do) for the cross-stitch initials, drawn on and stitched with pearl cotton. After stitching, I frayed the edges and with a little tacky glue, then attached the burlap, a few trim strips and wool felt flowers and leaves to the front of the basket.
Finding a good basket is the hardest part, but Alicia recently found a cute straw bag at Marshall's that came with a liner fabric. I found this one at Pier One years ago. Probably a few summer clearance sales out there now- and come to think of it, this would work just fine on a felted sweater bag too. xoC