Biggest Bags

I bought this in Japan at an artist studio. He had a tiny shop and this shouted out to me. When he said the price, I gasped because it was just a tote bag, right?  But he said it’s a work of my art and I immediately understood. I’m so glad I decided to get it. The size is: 17 ½ “x 11 ½”.


This is the other side of the bag above. The artist explained the concept. In Japan, and X means no. But in the US and X means yes. Also, an O in Japan means yes and in the US an O means no. He taught at a US university in the northwest I think. I’ve hung this on my outside door and enjoy it as an art piece. Because it’s white, I’m afraid to use it. At first I thought it might get stollen, it’s so attractive. Then I realized my hall mates were appreciative of my displays and the staff, too.

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This huge plastic bag caught my eye in a fancy hotel’s gift shop we visited in southern India in February. (Boy am I glad we got home before the pandemic on February 4!) It measures 21 ½  x 14 “. The straps are 15” higher than the bag. I love hanging it on my shoulder—and being dramatic! When full it does get heavy. It’ 7” deep! 


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This one came from Morocco. The leather is like a baby’s bottom. I saw a fantastically soft red jacket for a reasonable price but decided I’d never wear it so gave it up. That made me vulnerable when this bag showed up. I’ve carried my binoculars to the opera in it when we could do that.


This really doesn’t belong with totes for me, but it was used as one in the countryside in Japan. It is a draw string bag. It was in the window of an antique textile dealer’s shop and pulled me right in. Stuffed like this the diameter is 16”. I was told it would be thrown over one’s shoulder to carry stuff.


This isn’t big, but I just like it and it might give someone an idea. It’s only 8” tall. I have some wicker on the backs of my chairs that is starting to break. Here might be an idea for cutting up some broken wicker and making something.

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Look what’s on the cover of the new Handwoven magazine!


6 thoughts on “Biggest Bags”

  1. Hi Peggy, That wicker and material bag is really nice. You are correct it is worth some experimenting. Here sheets of woven material are available at the open air market for sleeping pads…..making into a bag would be cool. Pasiking (woven rattan backpack) was used as a symbol by student activists during the time of martial law by Marcos. Makes me wonder…..a combination Pasiking with waxed canvas and a draw string top and a stiff bottom…..gotta give it a try. Maybe assembly with “heavy hitter” machines is the best option as we have these in abundance. Studied your picture closely and the construction looks to be straight forward. How to sew and avoid splitting the rattan is what I’m not sure how it’s done. As always appreciate your devotion to the craft, mentoring others, and just being a “cool” lady. Kind regards, Mike

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  2. I have been following your bags and am wow-ed by the variety and number. Love knowing where you got them and what you do with them.

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  3. I have so enjoyed your posts on bags. I love bags and am always so tempted to purchase one more! Wonderful ideas to work with. I especially like the use of plastic bags to make bags!

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