Quite awhile go a friend of mine asked me to make her a bag... the catch? She wanted me to use an old family cross-stitch project as the center of the bag. Eeep.
It took me forever to work up the courage to start on the project- and even throughout, I was terrified of accidentally cutting into the cross-stitch (which is beautifully done, btw!). I even managed to do the whole thing in such a way that if they happen at any point to want to free the cross-stitch from the bag, they could without damaging it. That was important to me, just in case!
It also took me forever to figure out the right way to do the project... I didn't want to simply make a bag and sew the sunflower to the front... so I made a sort of quilt block out of the sunflower piece, and four pieces of fabric framing it. Corduroy, to be specific. I felt like the cross-stitch needed a heavier, more textured fabric for its frame.
I even branched out and used strap buckles for the first time... once I started the whole bag sort of designed itself in my mind, and then went off without a hitch. I am so pleased with the result!!