Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Making a Quiver

 Heads up folks, this is going to be a long one. :o)

At the beginning of the summer, The Boyfriend and I started going to this fantastic little semi-local archery practice. I had shot a handful of times (most of them three years ago) and came with my dinky little fiberglass bow and my loaner arrows. But everyone there made me feel comfortable and welcome. It's a great practice, and I should write more about shooting at some point.

Anyway, The Boyfriend decided that I needed a quiver. Since his quiver is handmade, and we wanted mine to match, we went online to start pricing out leather. It turns out though, that leather is expensive unless you're buying in bulk. And since we didn't really need 100+ yards of leather, we decided to ask around at the archery practice, to see if anyone had any resources for buying smaller chunks of dried out cow skin.

The Forrester who runs the practice (and owns the range) told us that he happened to have some leather sitting around. Turns out that he's the kind of guy who has a little bit (or a lot) of everything laying around, ready to be shared or given away. It was a nice big piece of leather that probably cost about $50 or so, so The Boyfriend and I settled on a trade. We would get the leather, and in turn we would make a quiver for the Forrester. Deal.

So we took the piece of leather to The Boyfriend's house and got to work. This is what we started with:

The next step was to look at the leather we had, and try to envision a quiver. Since The Boyfriend had made a few quivers before (and taught a class on it) he knew what we had to do. He had me get out some paper and start the design work.

You can see some of our design work in this picture. We dug out the box of leather scraps to see if we would be inspired. In the end we decided to make a simple black leather quiver with a tan stripe down the middle where the lacing would go. Next we got some newspaper and started cutting out pattern pieces. It's always important to measure twice and cut once, and doubly so when you're working with an expensive (and tough) material like leather.

We laid the pattern pieces on the leather and carefully cut everything out. We measured the pieces against each other to see how the finished product to see how it was going to look.

Not too shabby, huh? The Boyfriend had the tan leather laying around, and since it looked so nice we decided to add another stripe across the top of the quiver. The next step was to sit and use a leather-punch to punch holes up and down the sides of the pieces so that they could be sewn together.
My hand did not like that particular activity...

After all of that punching it was time to start the very tedious job of lacing all the different pieces together. First the sides:

Then the bottom piece:

  Then the decorative stripe across the top and the strap that would allow someone to wear the quiver over their back:

Don't I look cute? And finally, it wouldn't be one of The Boyfriend's projects without a power-tool involved, so he got out the drill to add some final holes to the top of the quiver.

And that's how you make a quiver! Or, at least, that's how we make a quiver. Here's the finished product from the back, and being modeled by my FFIL (Future Father In Law):

The quiver was a ton of fun to make, and I really think that The Forrester was impressed with it when we presented it to him. He said that he definitely got his money's worth in terms of our little trade. Eventually, we'll use the considerable amount of leather that we have left over to make my quiver. Which, if you'll remember, was the entire point of getting the leather... Oh well, I'm sure we'll get to it eventually...

We worked on a few other projects throughout the summer (we built a back-top for The Boyfriend's archery target), and I hope to be able to post about them some time soon. But for now, I hope this little post will hold you guys over.

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