Sewing: Tarot Bag

IMG_7624I was asked if I’d try making a Tarot deck bag, with some quilting and in blues and purples — “sea colors” was part of the request.

Recently, I went to visit Ann Brauer’s studio, who does brilliant work.  I wanted to try some of her techniques, which include both “quilt as you go” and some pretty elaborate piecing work. I don’t know that I’ll ever do quite what she does, but I wanted to give some of her techniques a try.  This bag seemed like a good opportunity.

Tarot bags are finicky — the front and back panels, and interior pieces, need to be about 6″ wide by 8″ long in order to accommodate a standard-ish-sized Tarot deck.  They’re assembled in a way that’s quite similar to the Fat Quarter Bag, but with an additional space included for the drawstring.

Ideally they should be lined with linen or silk, too, because traditionally those are the materials that block unwanted magical influences — which include other people touching your deck, or their psychic and ethereal garbage and vomit getting all over your deck when they come over to your house to rant for an hour about how their life sucks. On the one hand, treating this sort of thing as a problem for your tools seems dumb and overblown; on the other hand, treating it as a problem that must be solved, usually results in … better results.

Good hand-tool users, of course, properly store their chisels and other tools: in tool rolls or in racks or in cabinetry. So making or buying a really nice tool bag or tool roll for your tools appears to help you treat your tools with more dignity and gracefulness and importance. Right?  Right?

I had some silk noile fabric in a teal color, which matched the client’s desire… and as a result this bag got produced.IMG_7625

There are some problems with the bag.  It’s too long, for one. It’s about 12″ long, with an 8″ deep pocket inside.  My partner thinks I should put a second pocket inside, with a space for crystals or an herb sachet to ride as a protector for whatever deck is stored in the bag.

On the other hand, it’s interesting. It’s not really like anything else I’ve produced as a sewing artist.  I like it for that reason. There’s a lot that I would change about it, I think — it’s too blocky, too strip-y and striped, and a little bit too structured.  On the other hand, it has a dynamic and power to it that I’m not used to seeing in my own work at all.  I like that, too.

Anyone want a Tarot bag made for them? I’m going to have to buy some more silk fabric for the linings… maybe black or white for the next round, though… too many colors don’t go well with teal.

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