A Surprise from Kayla

When Kayla was last home we were chatting about linens.  Kayla and I both have a deep love for stitched linens…DEEP.  There is something just heartwarming to me when I see stitched linens.  I don’t really know why.  Maybe it’s because I know how happy I am when I stitch and assume the person that stitched the linen likely felt the same way when they were stitching.  Whatever it is, I LOVE linens.

The problem, linens aren’t used as they used to be.  Yes, I know I could use linens…but my house just isn’t that style.

Then when I was watching Brenda and the Serial Starter I saw that they had ordered project bags from Deborah Harry.  She takes linens and turns them into project bags.  Hmm.  Now I was on the regular debate I do…is it better to keep the linens in a trunk for no one to see and appreciate or is it better to cut them and use them.  I decided to go with the cut them and use them theory.  I know, I know…there are good arguments on each side of the debate.

So…I started to collect some linens when I was at the thrift store thinking I would make some project bags.

Kayla was home.  We were chatting about linens.  I was telling her how I thought I would use the linens and make some project bags.  She thought it was a really cute idea.  She had linens and she thought about making some with me.

That was last summer.  Fast forward to a bit ago when Kayla was home.  I had some linens on the dining room table.  I had been to the thrift store and bought a few more.  She asked me if I had gotten around to making any project bags.  I said no…I still really wanted to.  I said I was still collecting linens (HA!!) but no bags were made.  I told her I should probably quit collecting linens because it looked like I wasn’t going to make any bags.  I showed Kayla my favorite linen of the bunch.  It was floral.  The work done on it was awesome.  I told her that I really wanted a bag using that one but would probably start with a different linen piece because I knew I wouldn’t be really good at making bags at first…but who was I kidding.  I likely wouldn’t get any bags made.

Kayla left…no project bags were made.  They were still just a dream I hadn’t brought to reality again.

Then maybe two weeks later a package came in the mail.  I looked at the outside.  It said it was from Deborah Harry.  At the moment all I could think of was the lead singer from the 80s singing group, Blonde.  Her name was Deborah Harry.

I opened the package…


Oh, my word…What a pretty package.  So cute and vintagey.  Wait, that lady that makes the project bags was Deborah Harry.  WHAT??

I quickly opened the package.  It was a project bag.  I didn’t order these.  Wait.  That was just like the linen piece that I showed Kayla that I wanted to make a project bag with.  Hmm.  Did Kayla snitch my linen and order these???


All the colors look so great together.  I love the rick rack.  Oh, cuteness!!


Check out the backing fabric…so cute.


There was another bag in the mix…Oh my word!  This was cute too!!  This linen I didn’t recognize.

I ended up calling Kayla on the phone.  I asked if she had a bag made for me.  She laughed and said yes!!  How sweet is that?  Kayla got two bags for me.  I just loved them.  The quality of workmanship was beyond amazing.  They are TOP NOTCH when it comes to workmanship.  I was so impressed.

I thanked Kayla, admired the two bags, and knew I’d likely never make a bag myself after seeing these.  Seriously, the workmanship is so good and I’d feel so crappy after making a bag myself as mine would never hold a candle to these.  WOW.  I LOVE THEM.

I admonished Kayla for spending too much money.  The bags aren’t cheap…and she got these for me.  I thanked her again and hung up the phone.

I went to get a cross-stitch project to put in the new bag. The phone rang.  It was one of the other kids.  I got sidetracked.  Karl came.  I went to show him the bags and told the story of how Kayla got the bags for me.

I picked up the bags to show them to Karl and under those bags was one more bag.  I think in my excitement of the first two bags, I didn’t notice this one.  AHH.  I love it.  Check this one out.


This one uses more of the linen that was mine.  SO CUTE!!  My linen was a big table runner that had stitching on each end and a smaller stitching on the sides.  This one is made with a side-stitched area.

Oh my.  I love it…LOTS.  Check out the added cute piece on the zipper pull.  WOW.  Each bag is completely unique. I love the print she used with the dragonflies.  OH MY.  What a perfect gift!!


Look how perfectly and pretty the inside is.  I LOVE it.


All the raw edges of the seams are hidden, clean, and very nice.

To say I am impressed is an understatement.  I am WOWED!!  How fun is it that my linen got snitched and made into a bag?  What a perfect gift!!

So…Let me tell you a little more about Deborah Harry the bag maker.  She does make bags like these.  Kayla couldn’t decide so she got me bags of different styles.

Because I know some of you will want to know I’m including the maker’s information here.  Deborah Harry has a Facebook Group.  You can find it HERE.  She makes bags for a few weeks, then she announces when her sale will be…then puts them on Etsy and opens her shop.  It’s a bit of a free for all and you have to act quickly to get a bag once her Etsy shop is open.  The bags are in high demand and I can see why when they are so cute and the workmanship is top notch.

Each bag has its own features that I like so I can’t really say which I recommend.  If you are a Q-snap user, I think you’d need a large bag.  The medium box bottom bag would not be the best for a larger flat paged chart.  You would need a chart that folds in half to fit into that bag.

WHOOT! WHOOT!  I was doing the happy dance.  The only problem now…I usually have about four projects going at once and I only have three nice project bags.  Hmm.  Do you suppose if I leave a pile of linens out the next time Kayla comes that she might snitch another linen??  Probably not.  I’ll have to keep my eyes open for the next sale.  At least now if I buy one, I know it’s high quality…and I know I’ll love it!

29 thoughts on “A Surprise from Kayla

  1. Diana in Des Moines

    My Oh My! I have an obsession with antique linens that started with my hubby’s grandmother. When she gave up her house, I helped her go through things. MANY linens and doilies were put on the discard pile. Well, that pile came home with me. And I have many that I have picked up here and there. I think I will have to dig some out and make bags for my small group of quilting friends and some other friends who would appreciate them.
    You have a gem in Kayla!
    So glad to hear you are on the upswing of things, and I’m sure these bags helped you feel just a little better.

    Reply
  2. Kate

    Such a very thoughtful daughter!! The bags are beautiful too! It is such a great idea for a way to use the linens. Thank you for sharing

    Reply
  3. Susan from Michigan

    Very beautiful and special. Kayla knew you would love them. So did Kayla send the linen to Deborah Harry, and she made the bags specifically for you?

    Reply
  4. Beth Culbertson

    Search our Kelly Kline and “quilting Vintage”
    on Facebook. She is fearless when it comes
    to Using vintage linens in unique creative ways.

    Reply
  5. Toni W.

    Oh, these are fantastic! I’m so jealous! I’ve previously bookmarked Deborah Harry (the bag maker, not the singer ) and also have a Pinterest board on things to do with vintage linens because I have MANY embroidered linens that my grandma made. Like you mentioned, mine are all in a storage box and I’ve been hesitant to make anything with them myself. I need to give this some serious thought.

    Reply
  6. Susan V

    I was laughing as I was reading and realizing that Kayla pulled one over on you. They really are beautiful bags.

    Reply
  7. Betty Woodlee

    Your bags are beautiful and such a great use of your linens. I’m sure you will smile and think how lucky you to have beautiful project bags. Kayla like all your kids is special!

    Reply
  8. NJ

    Bags are lovely, Jo.
    I cut around a stitched design on an old linen (leaving a margin). I describe the shape I made as a cloud, not straight lines. I used “wonder under” to affix this to the corner of a new white dish towel then used decorative machine stitch to cover the raw edge. I tell the recipients to use & enjoy. When they wear out, they’re gone and that’s ok.

    Reply
  9. Gail L Piper

    Those are absolutely wonderful! What a great daughter you have!
    Now I’m inspired to get out some of those old linens I have been hanging onto… I’ll bet I know some family members that would love them! (And me too, of course!)

    Reply
  10. Carla

    Those bags are lovely. Kayla was so thoughtful but, You could totally make good bags. Your plan to practice making some was a good one. I’m going to hope you give it a try.

    Reply
  11. Kris in WI

    Oh, oh. I made the mistake of exploring Deborah Harry’s website. She is so talented in finding ways to rescue vintage stitchery. The bags from the dresser scarf Kayla snitched are lovely. What a treat from your loving daughter. You do have the most delightful family! (And thank you for the quilt show earlier! You are pretty talented yourself!) Prayers for healing continue.

    Reply
  12. Cindy F

    What a wonderful gift! I’ve admired Deborah Harry’s bags for awhile and have been tempted to buy one but I kept telling myself I can make them myself…ha! I do have some old linens and handkerchiefs from my mother and would like to use the damaged ones in this manner. I’m thinking they will make perfect gifts for my sisters.

    Reply
  13. Elle

    Beautiful bags. What a sweet treat from Kayla. That girl knows how to listen and gift :-)

    May I suggest you offer Deborah all your linens in exchange for 2 bags? (since it sounds like you’ve resolved this will not be your art?)

    Enjoy those gorgeous bags!

    Reply
  14. Dianne R

    Those bags are gorgeous. That was so thoughtful of Kayla. I wonder what fabric line the dragon fly and flower garden fabric are from. I would like to buy some of it.

    Reply
  15. Judith Fairchild

    I think those bags are fabulous. Your children are so very good to momma..zI’ll be checking Debra Harry out for myself. My sister had vintage doiles and linens when she passed last year my niece has them this would be a good way to use and remember her. Thanks Jo and Kayla.

    Reply
  16. Lisa B

    How thoughtful of Kayla to order these adorable bags for you. What a wonderful idea of a way to use all of our safety stored linens! I’ve seen some beautiful linens used in beautiful quilts but this is the first time I’ve seen them as part of a bag. Terrific idea!

    Reply
  17. sewhappy

    A great gift. Thanks for the idea. I have some of my mom’s that I can turn into bags. They will not be prefect like yours but close and useable.

    Reply
  18. Lucia Hopple

    I found myself looking at a quilt that I thought was just beautiful.And I heard myself saying,”I could never make that….” But then I heard myself say, “If you always do what you”ve always done, then you’ll always get what you’ve always got…” Time to take on the challenge and order the pattern and make the quilt…or at least try your best! So I did and it was hard and full of things I was not skilled at yet and it took a long time….but I did it. I feel proud and fresh! It is beautiful!
    I am just suggesting that fourth project bag may have your name all over it….

    Reply
  19. Linnea

    Oh my goodness these bags are darling! I love the zipper pull fabric. Your daughter is so sweet to do that for you. I clicked the Like button on Deborah’s FB Page.

    Reply
  20. Marlene Clausen

    I have been wondering how to use a large collection of stitched linens I have acquired. None have sentimental value; but, all have gorgeous workwomanship. I’ve never seen project bags. I have a couple lingerie bags and have flirted with that idea. I like these much better! Will have to pull out the boxes and get to work.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.