Birdsnest Bag part 2

Welcome to part 2 of a 3 part series on hooking and finishing Birdsnest Bag. Look for the free pattern in part 1.

After completing the top part with my flower, I then think about what colors to hook the hit or miss part of the design. I have so much pre-cut wool leftovers from other projects, that I made myself not cut anything for this design.

I wanted to carry through the soft contrasts and gentle colorations that I have already hooked, so I will definitely feature more kinds of brown colors and neutrals in the hit-or-miss. But what is crucial about hit-or-miss is contrast. If there not contrast from one line to another, the lines of hooking blend together and are not readable as lines. So placement is not abitrary. No, I don’t let my hand pick whatever it will from the pile of wool strips.

I begin picking wools, adding colors like maple, pumpkin, gold, and olive green. I pick what will be my lightest light colors: camel, tan, grays and khaki. I like to line them up to get a preview of the effect. My goal is a richness of color without being so eye-catching as to steal the show from the flower.

I also make a point to add some busy plaid or texture. I love how different those lines of hooking look. When I finish hooking, I always step back and evaluate the work. If there is something I don’t like, it is easy to pull it out and re-do it. I am happy with how it came together, with that soft, faded look.

Now it is time to press the piece. Steam press the design from the back, then turn it over and iron the wool edging strip flat and away from the hooking. You may take a little snip cut with your scissors at the two top corners to make the strip lie flatter.

I then serged (or use a wide zigzag stitch on your sewing machine) the edges, leaving about 3/4″ seam allowance beyone the hooking. Be sure not to cut your sewn edge strip.

Take some time to pick your wools for the lining. Think about what colors would set off your design. Choose 3 pieces of wool: one to line the back of the hooking, and 2 to be sewn together for the back of the bag. You can have all 3 different if you like. Using the finished serged hooked piece as you pattern, cut all 3 pieces the same size.

Choose a piece of wool for the handle that is 2” x 50” – or longer if you desire a longer bag strap. If you need to, you can get creative and piece your wool on the sewing machine to get a long enough piece. No need to turn the edges under if you are using wool fabrics. I love that as it makes things so much simpler.

Our last part on Monday will be completing the bag.

Hope you are enjoying this project, Karen

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