I have a large plastic storage box full of yarns in all shades from orange through red and burgundy as well as some variegated multi-coloured ones.
I started to think about patterns I could weave using these colours and thought of my granddaughter Kirsty and her amazing red hair.
I've drawn and painted her many times since she was born 23 years ago so it wasn't hard to find some suitable examples to use as inspiration.
This is the latest drawing which I used for her embroidered portrait for my centenary quilt wall hanging.
I worked out the design using a selection of the yarns and you can see the test sample at the top of this picture then I started to weave the two pieces I needed to make a bag.
I made a page in my weaving notebook with the design of the bag, a swatch of the chosen colours and the fake suede I planned to use for the base, sides and shoulder strap of the bag.
I used the different yarns randomly, mixing thick with thin, shiny with bobbly and adding a tiny bit of bright orange to make everything pop.
When the weaving was finished, I had two pieces, one measuring 16 x 22 cms and the other 35 x 22, both of which I reinforced with iron-on interfacing and then facing out with shiny red satin. I kept the fringe free on the top end of the larger piece so that it could be the edge of the front. I also added a pocket on the inside just the right size for a mobile phone. I found a large bead to use for the fastening on a necklace bought in in Egypt many years ago and hardly ever worn.
I cut the suede into a long piece 8 x 150 cms which I joined with a flat seam then stitched to each piece of the bag so that the larger piece of weaving formed the flap. I turned in the sides so make the strap narrower over the shoulder.
The bag will be a birthday gift for Kirsty in May so please don't tell her if you know her!