Free Pattern: Birdsnest Bag part 1

I have created a new free rug hooking pattern for you today called Birdsnest Bag.

CLICK HERE for the PDF, and print out a full sized copy to use. Directions are included for putting the bag together. I will also be sharing my process of creating the bag here on my blog in this 3 part series.

This design would also be wonderful as a wool appliqued bag, however I will not be giving instructions on that process. If you are interested in wool applique, take a look online for tutorials.

Today I will show you the first steps in hooking the bag. There is one crucial step to complete before beginning to hook.

Machine sew a 5/8” strip of wool along the outer edge-line of the bag pattern. You can tear a long strip instead of hand cutting. You may use a bit wider of a strip if you prefer. If the strip is too wide, it becomes cumbersome to hook near the curves and the corners. Center the strip on top of the outer edge-line and sew in place; over lap the ends of the strip when you finish. If your piece is not long enough, simply overlap more pieces until you cover the perimeter. As you hook, hook right up to this wool outlining strip. This will make it easier to sew the bag together.

As you sew, it doesn’t matter if you catch the strip in the very center.

Since the main motif is the flower, here is where I begin hooking. I make my two most important decisions first: 1) What color will my flower be, and 2) What color for the background.

This is where the color play happens, so I want to get this right. This is also where the contrast has to happen, or else object will not stand out against background. I chose one of my favorite combinations, pink and brown. I love the way these two colors look in antique quilts. And I know that the bag will look good with the colors that I like to wear. Pink is a light value, so it will stand out against the deep value of brown.

Hooking this little area doesn’t take very long, which is exciting since that means I might be able to complete the bag in one day. I love that! Notice that I use many different browns for the background. And not only solid colors, but also textures and plaids.

The flower also get several pinks, along with some other colors in the center. I decide not to go with green for the stem and leaves, but stay with other medium to light neutral colors.

Next post on Wednesday, I will talk about hooking the hit-or-miss part, and maybe get to some of the sewing. I hope that this will give you some time to catch up with me.

Enjoy hooking, Karen


16 thoughts on “Free Pattern: Birdsnest Bag part 1

  1. What is your favorite material to hook on?? I am a beginner and burlap is in my budget, but am always wondering what “pros” like yourself prefer.
    Your work is truly an inspiration to me….thanks!!


    • my favorite is primitive linen as it is easy to hook through. you can’t beat it for longevity as linen is rot resistant. for a bag, good quality burlap would be suitable as it is not going to be given the “rug treatment”.


  2. Thanks, Karen!
    What a fun bag–I have already drawn the design on some burlap (thinking that for a purse, that’s an OK backing). Used my small scale light box–now gathering woolens to use, May change my mind but I’m thinking a yellow/gold flower with blue background, Will see what the worm basket has!
    (Finished the needle punch designs I ordered. Quick and easy!) Thanks!


  3. Hi Karen – what a lovely bag! I am all inspired now… I was wondering what to tackle next after I finished my first rug project. This is just lovely – and thank you so much.


  4. Love this little bag!! Can’t wait to get it started!! Thank you so much for sharing all your talents with us !!! You are so inspiring!!! Diane


  5. Karen, thank you for developing this and showing us your lovely methods of creation. I will be very busy over the next 3-4 days for our guild’s hook-in & rug show in Petaluma CA but plan on working on several of these for holiday gifts using up some of those reproducing worms starting next week!


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