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Amy's Recipe for a Garden Maze Bag

Be sure to see our Shop Feature this month where we highlight Amy's store ­
Amy's Golden Strand in Memphis, Tennessee

Tools you will need:

    • Stretcher bars to fit the canvas
    • #24, #22, & #20 Tapestry Needles


    • 10" x 8" piece of #18 mesh Victorian Green cotton needlepoint canvas
    • 5 cards ­ A44 Rachelette (deep green)
    • 5 skeins ­ Emerald Wildflowers #065
    • 1 skein ­ Impressions #5121
    • 1 ­ 2 yards of ecru sewing thread for basting lines


    • 1 skein ­ Emerald Watercolours # 065(for twisted cord edge and shoulder strap)



Baste the outline of the bag first with 1 strand of ecru sewing thread. The bag design is 7" wide by 5" tall. At the lower 2 corners baste a diagonal line from the 13th canvas thread up the side to the 13th canvas thread across the bottom (see diagram). Work one row of Continental Stitch with 2 strands of Emerald Wildflowers all the way around the bag outline and then pull out the basting thread.

The bag design represents a corner section of a garden maze and is worked in rows of stitches and threads that represent the path (Impressions), the sides of the path Rachelette, and the hedges that make the maze (Wildflowers). The design connection to a garden maze is obscure so it would also be attractive in different colors, such as purples, blues, or reds, whatever you need to match your wardrobe.

RACHELETTE ROWS ­ Start your first row across the top of the bag across the first 6 canvas threads sharing a hole with your Continental stitches. Continue your first row down the left side of the bag, again over 6 canvas threads sharing a hole with the Continental stitches. Use one strand of A44 Rachelette in Straight Gobelin over 6 canvas threads along the top of the bag and Slanted Gobelin across 6 canvas intersections down the left-hand side. You may wish to use a size 20 Tapestry needle, this thread is very heavy and the size 20 needle will spread the hole of the canvas making is easier to pull the thread through. The corners are not a 45 angle so where your stitches meet along this corner they will look ragged. Place one long diagonal stitch with Rachelette across this junction to disguise the ragged edge (see diagram). Continue making rows of Straight and Slanted Gobelin with 1 strand of Rachelette leaving rows of 6 canvas threads unstitched between the Gobelin rows.

IMPRESSIONS ROWS ­ Start the first Impressions row not in the first open row of six canvas threads from the top but the second. The first open row of six canvas threads will be a hedge not a path. Use 1 strand of Impressions #5121 in a size 24 Tapestry needle and fill the entire row across the top and down the side with Staggered Cross Stitch (see diagram). You will want to fill the fourth and sixth open rows on your bag with your Impressions yarn in the Staggered Cross Stitch.

WILDFLOWERS ROWS ­ Work all of the remaining open rows of six canvas threads (1st, 3rd, 5th, & 7th) with 3 strands of Emerald Wildflowers in a size 22 Tapestry needle work Jump Through The Loop Turkey Work (see diagram). You will work 3 rows of the Turkey across the top with the canvas upright. Then turn the canvas _ turn on its side and work 3 rows of Turkey Work down the side.

Make all of your loops approximately 1/3 of an inch long. Don't obsess on the length of the loops because they will adjust to agree with the other loops if they are at least close in length. The junction of the Turkey Work stitches at the corner will never show because the stitches are way too thick so no extra effort is needed at the corners to blend the stitches or disguise the junction.

FINISHING IDEAS ­ I had my bag finished as a knife edged pocket with a heavy twisted cord around the sides and bottom then up for a long loop for a shoulder strap. The back and lining of the bag are made from a piece of matching green Moiré. I will use mine primarily as a dressy evening bag. It is not so fancy that you could not use this as an every day bag. I would suggest a zipper across the top of the bag with an ornament of Malachite beads or a disc attached to the tongue of the zipper. If you need to have a little more space in your bag (maybe you're lucky and still get to take your glasses off occasionally) you might consider putting a flat or gathered gusset around the sides with a double cord to go around both seams. Remember to get a second skein of Emerald Watercolours for the second cord. If you just can't use another small purse stitch the design in a square instead of a rectangle and have it inset into a floral fabric for a garden maze pillow. If you make your square a 5" x 5" you will have enough thread, but if you go for the 7" x 7" or larger you will need to purchase additional skeins of the 3 base threads.

© 1998 Amy's Keeping Me in Stitches ­ Garden Maze Bag


Kit cost is $40.00 plus postage and handling.

Kit includes:

  • #18 mesh Zweigart Victorian Green Cotton canvas
  • All threads needed to stitch the bag
  • Thread needed to make the twisted cording
  • Complete stitch guide with a color photograph included.

To order contact:

Amy's Golden Strand
Amy H. Bunger
3808 Summer Avenue
Memphis, TN 38122 (USA)
(901) 458-6109
FAX (901) 323-4701
EMAIL amytalks@mphs.com

© 1999 The Caron Collection / oice: (203) 381-9999, Fax: 203 381-9003

CARON email: mail@caron-net.com