|I have been a collector of "things" for years and frequent flea markets and antique shops in my quest -- you name it and I probably have a collection going. Fabric has always been one of my passions along with buttons and trims. My mother taught me to sew when I was young and more importantly, how to rip. Sewing has always provided me with a sense of accomplishment and pleasure in combining fabrics of varying colors, prints and textures to create something new and different.
|After sewing garments for years I decided to try handbags to use up some of my special finds. Handbags require no "fittings" and they are functional - your artwork is taken out on a daily display and serves a purpose. Handbags are also a good medium for experimenting with fiber techniques and ideas you might not want to try on a large scale. I also enjoy the challenge of finding and repurposing fabrics or garments into handbags. One of my first bags was made out of a vintage oriental barkcloth print, formerly a chair cushion in my grandparents' house. I have also worked with placemats, curtains, neckties, slipcovers and vinyl game boards, turning them into unique one-of-a-kind handbags. The more unusual the textile the more challenging and interesting it can be to work with.
|I've always loved oriental style items
and decided to use chopsticks as handles on one of my bags. This
led to the discovery of the many different ways that chopsticks could be
used on bags, not only as handles but also for support and in decoration.
I'm also intrigued with using unusual items to decorate my purses - such
as fringe made from keys, subway tokens or fishing bobbers. Vintage
felt pennants, game pieces, silverware and jewelry have also made it on
to my bags. I love to go into my sewing room and create, not quite
knowing how things will turn out until the end. Choosing the button
and trim to compliment the bag is a fun process as I get to sift through
my collections again. A good day in one where I am still in my pajamas
at 5 pm, sewing away, unable to stop until my creation has come to life.
The East Side of Madison where I live is a fun, interesting, eclectic side of town. I decided to name my company East Side Bags to reflect where I live and also my fascination with all things from the Far East.
Ruth Knight Sybers
Monticello, WI 53570
www.209main.com - Textiles - current and past exhibits at The Dining Room at 209 Main
firstname.lastname@example.org - to join e-mail list for announcements of new exhibits at The Dining Room at 209 Main
- to order patterns, books, Vivian Hoxbro kits, yarn, etc.
David Braunschweig who assists in "hanging" each exhibit.
Photos by Lori Manning
Copyright © 2010.
The Dining Room at 209 Main
Looping - featuring Donna Kallner and Sue Koleczek
TEN YEARS OF KNITTING WORKSHOPS IN MONTICELLO, WI
Green County Barn Quilts and the Courthaus Quilt Guild
RareWear - Fiber Artist Laurie Boyer
Mary Kay McDermott
The Story of the Textiles from Guatemala
NANCY L. DAVIS & JOANNE SCHILLING - TEXTILE ARTISTS
MARY JO SCANDIN - Fiber and contemporary painting
FULLING AND FELTING
Nostalgia - Apron Collection by Jean Adler
TEN YEARS OF TEXTILE EXHIBITS - Ruth Knight Sybers
SILVER THREADS -- Lee Ann Kleeman
Point of View: thread-work by Beth Blahut
Hooked Rugs by Ellie Beck
JOYCE MARQUESS CAREY
First Knitting Invitational
Weaving and the Structo Loom
Valentina Devine Creates
JAPANESE TEXTILES -- OLD AND NEW
Men Who Knit
Quilts by the Thursday Friends
WEAVING WITH SEWING THREAD
HISTORIC MONTICELLO WOOLEN MILL
Katherine Pence Inspired by Everything
WHY DO I SPIN?
THE EARLY KNITTED WORKS OF JOYCE WILLIAMS
EMBROIDERY - the late Ellen Scheidler
QUILTS OF MONTICELLO
23 HATS BY ESTHER AND OLGA
FROM GRANDMA'S TRUNK
JEAN NORDLUND - Ewe Hues
NAVAJO RUGS Weavings - Fran Potter
FIRST SHOW: Knitting - Ruth Sybers, Wall hanging - Kathy LaBeil