Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Aaaaaaahhh Diaper Bag!!

I am FINALLY done with my diaper bag. Only three months late. If you remember, I got a late start (Ruffin was nine days early and his mommy is easily distracted by other projects) and I had some issues with my first attempt. Take-two went much more smoothly. I used the "Modern Diaper Bag" pattern from Amy Butler's Little Stitches for Little Ones. Its huge and I love it! I had to cut out a billion pieces for it. Well, okay, just 52, but that's a lot! The directions were pretty simple to follow, as I have found most Amy Butler patterns to be. I did hit a few snags (mostly my fault). One morning I started sewing before I had my coffee and ended up with this:


Now that's better! Starbucks' Gingerbread Biscotti is my absolute favorite coffee accessory. Yummy!!

I had trouble with the pleats on the inside pockets. I found those instructions a little confusing, but luckily I was not the only one (yes, its that big and isn't her fabric is gorgeous?). I ended up kind of pleating as I sewed there, and it worked out alright. Once I got to the instructions for the cell phone pocket, those were much more clear and I realized what she intended for the inside pockets. Oh well, mine worked. I actually ended up not using her instructions for the cell phone pocket and just made a small pocket on my own.

The pattern called for fusible fleece as interfacing. I have used fusible fleece before, but not on such large pieces and not on things that were handled so much. Next time, I will use the more permanent fusing technique (with a damp pressing cloth) instead of the light-weight fusing because my fleece came un-fused in several places, adding wrinkles to my liner. I worked most of them out, and since its the liner and not the outside, I am going to ignore the rest. ;)

The last part was the hardest - finishing the handles. In other bags I've made, I sewed the outside and liner together completely inside out (right sides together), leaving a hole for turning in the liner construction. This pattern did not use that technique - it had me turn through the inside handle opening and then fold the edges under and topstitch. That is always harder for me to get even and, with all the interfacing, was even more difficult on this bag. The inside corners were especially frustrating. I'd say that I would use the turn-through-the-liner technique next time, but I figure my self-taught minimal sewing experience is no match for Amy-freaking-Butler, so she probably had good reasons for using that method. Probably all the interfacing, as well as all of the pockets on the inside, would make it hard to turn through the lining. If I hadn't spent three months trying to finish a diaper bag I might've had a little more patience finishing this one. :)

And here is it - my e-nor-mous diaper bag. After re-reading what I just wrote it seems like I had a lot of trouble, but it really was not too difficult! I love this bag! I will try to get some better pictures, it been raining here the last two days.

Next on the list are Christmas presents (yes, I made a diaper bag for myself first) so I won't be posting those projects until they are handed out. I have already started some, so don't panic. I know Christmas is sneaking up frighteningly fast! I will, however, keep you entertained with pictures of my sweet little Ruffin until I can share the projects with you! Here he is helping me with the laundry. :)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

New address

Hi! If you've tried to visit my blog in the last week or so, you've been dissapointed. Sorry! I moved to a new address - welcome to www.nancymoo.com! I love my blog name - "Voulez-vous crochet avec moi?" even after finding out that Debbie Stoller used it in her book "Stitch-n-bitch Crochet: the Happy Hooker." BUT its a hell of a name to give to people as an url because most people can't spell in French. So please change your bookmark to the new addy, but don't worry if you don't, blogger will redirect you! And for those of you with ambitions of your own url, blogger will send your site to your own domain name and you don't have to pay a hosting fee - score! Here's the link to the how-to.

Here's some Ruffin love to tide you over until I finish my Diaper Bag post - its nearly done - YAY!! I took the pic with my phone, which is why it looks fuzzy. I wish my phone had a better camera on it. Who would've ever thought that sentence could exist a few years ago??

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Quilt Show!

So I took most of these pictures three weeks ago, but didn't get to finish this post then because I hadn't finished my new quilt yet! I got to spend some time with my family, which was so wonderful, but I didn't get any sewing done. Not to mention the whole new baby thing... So the little present that I was supposed to "whip up" took a month instead of a week! Oh well. So these Ruffin pictures are from three weeks ago - he is even bigger and cuter now. :)

A wonderful friend, who knew me when I was this age, made this sweet quilt.

This quilt was made by Michelle at Dreams of Sewing Machines. Check out her etsy shop and blog!

That's right. Its a fire flower. Its super geeky awesomeness!! Did you like being Mario or Luigi? I always wanted to be Luigi.

Lastly, this is the little quilt I made for my friend, Dana, who gave me all the cute clothes from her boys! Her new little girl is 2 weeks younger than my little man.

It has a snuggly minky back and since it is solid, I decided to use some scraps from the front to spice up the binding. I was talking to Michelle about my idea and she says "Oh, a reversible binding! You know how to do that?" and me, thinking I'd been really original, say, "Uh... no, I was just going to make it up." So, thankfully she told me just what to do, and the quilt looks good because of it! Thanks, Michelle!

And, just because I can, here is a gratuitous picture of my sweet little man from today (in a shirt from Dana's boys!).

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Cherished memories

If you've read my blogger profile, you will know that I began my crafting life as a little girl when I learned to crochet from my Grannie. I don't remember how old I was, but I still have the crochet hook she gave me from her collection. The times I spent with her are some of my most cherished memories.

I grew up on the same farm where she and my Grandaddy lived and raised my dad and his siblings. I could walk over to see her any time I wanted and I spent the afternoons, summers and Sundays of my childhood at her house. She was retired by then and we spent the summer mornings in the garden and in the afternoons she would sit and crochet. She would make things for the church bazaars and for our Christmas presents - I don't know how many pair of crocheted slippers I went through as a child! When I became curious she handed me a hook and a skein of yarn. She was so patient with me and would show me the same things over and over when I forgot a stitch.

As I got older, I didn't crochet much until I got to college. When I did get back into it, I picked it up again with a passion. I started simple, with the things she'd taught me - basic stitches, granny squares and hanging dish towels (these are still some of the easiest, most useful gifts to make!). I gradually taught myself more things with books and the (new, amazing) internet. A few years later when I finally had the guts and patience to undertake an afghan, I brought the finished product over to show her and she told me how proud she was of me. At this point, her arthritis made her unable to crochet anymore, and she asked me to make her some hanging dish towels (that she taught me how to make!). I was so flattered! Every time I went over to her house after that, she had my towels hanging in the kitchen where the ones she used to make would hang.

Grannie passed on October 27 at age 91. She was a strong woman who always spoke her mind and loved her family fiercely and unconditionally. She had an enormous influence on my life, not just my crafting one, and I will miss her always.