Friday, April 26, 2013

"CARbage" Bag

LOL! I was trying to say "car garbage bag" out loud, and it came out "carbage bag" which is more descriptive, anyways :-) So, "carbage bag" it is!

Adam's girlfriend, Lisa, asked me to make a couple of organizers for her SUV - she and Adam are taking a little trip to Zion National Park in Utah next month. Not knowing exactly what she wanted, I compiled a list of ten car organizer items, including over-the-seat bags, divided floor box organizers, visor clip-ons, etc. She picked a box-style organizer, and this trash bag. The tutorial is from
I used the dimensions and general instructions, although I beefed it up with Pellon 950F ShirTailor and Pellon TP971F Fusible Thermolam Plus Fusible Fleece, the fleece fused atop the ShirTailor. This makes a nice, hefty sandwich that stands up nicely.

It calls for laminate fabric inside, so it's wipe-clean. I had several half-yard cuts of laminate, and I chose one for which I had the matching quilting cotton. This is Central Park by Kate Spain for Moda. I had used a bit of it for something (?) a year or so ago, but had lots left, so I thought this was a good choice and I'll be able to make the box organizer as well, since I had a Jelly Roll, four FQs, two different laminate cuts, and some half-yard and yard cuts. Just waiting for the pattern to arrive in the mail: and here's a pic of the pattern, from their Website. They mailed the pattern the same day I purchased it, so it should be here soon, so I'll be posting the finished organizer soon!


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A "Girlie" Basket Request

The kids asked me to make another fabric divided basket (pattern: Noodlehead), this time in a "girlie" theme, since Baby Cummings turned out to be a girl. She looks fabulous in lavendar, so I chose Michael Miller Castles in the Sky, Once Upon A Time, Kiss Dot, Mini Cupcakes, and two matching solids from my LQS.

Since they told me I could "girlie" it up, I added a sweet little lavendar ruffle across the front pocket.
Ben also requested a design change, and he is right! He said "Mom, when you become a parent, you lose the use of one arm." LOL! Yep, you sure do! He showed me how it was difficult to pick up the basket (with its handles on opposite short ends) while holding little Aubrey. I said "No problem!" So I lengthened the handles by about 2 1/2" and relocated them to the long sides, angling them a bit, rather than setting them in at a right angle.
I love the "Once Upon A Time" lining fabric! I also beefed up the center divider panel by using the fusible interfacing and fusible fleece on BOTH sides.
I used the cupcake fabric for the exterior.
I just love these baskets! I'm sure I'll be making more in the future! Now I need to whip up some matching burp cloths and washcloths - I'll start on those today :-)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Aubrey Reese Cummings - Welcome to The World!

My precious new grandaughter was born yesterday to my son, Ben and his wife, Autumn! 7 pounds, 8 ounces and 20" long, with HAIR! Everyone is doing just fine, and this grandma is WAY excited to have a grandaughter! I had convinced myself it was going to be a boy so I was stunned when a girl popped out :-)

A girl! Ruffles! Pink! Cute! Oh I going to have fun sewing for this little cutie pie :-)

Daddy and Baby Girl.....Can I hear an "Awwwwwwww"?????

This is Aubrey's cousin, Nessa - Junior Babysitter in the making!

I didn't get a picture of mom because she was tired and not quite "properly attired" for prime time, so I'll have to post a pic of her later :-)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Divided Fabric Basket (Noodlehead)

I whipped out this divided fabric basket for Baby Cummings (WHO IS BEING BORN TODAY!!!!!) a couple days ago. I used this pattern by Noodlehead:

I love this basket! I did do a few things differently (don't we all?). Because I had the Pellon ShirTailor left from the diaper bag posted below, I used that, plus the fusible fleece, for the main basket pieces - I really like the heft and stiffness of that combo. I also interfaced pretty much every other pattern piece. I really wanted this basket to stand up under the rigors of baby-changing :-)

I did have a bit of confusion over the instructions for inserting the divider (probably my fault), so I just did my own thing and it turned out perfect! I used Bungle Jungle by Tim and Beck for Moda Fabrics. Actually, my DIL, Autumn, has a thing for elephants, so I have been "collecting" elephant fabrics for months. I let her choose from  my elephant collection and she picked these. I think they are perfect for Baby Cummings :-)

I used the larger scale print for the pocket, against a multi-dot, and a yellow jelly roll strip for contrast.


The back. I used the plaid for the handles.


She chose the blue-on-white elephants for the interior.

Now all we need is Baby Cummings!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Pattern Review - Lola Bea Diaper Bag

We (and by "we" I mean son Ben and DIL Autumn, who live with us) are expecting a wee one any day now. They are on track for being induced on Tuesday, April 9 although she's been having contractions for weeks, so we'll see. We just refer to the little one as "Baby Cummings" because we don't know the sex - they wanted it to be a surprise. I really don't care - I'm just excited to have a baby in the house :-)

They have been getting ready, refurbishing a bedroom, carpeting, painting, etc. New drapes, and of course crib, changing table, and dresser. We bought them a rocker & ottoman for Christmas, so we'll all be able rock Baby Cummings. They've got their approved car seat and I ordered a base from Toys R Us, although it's still in the box in the trunk of my car.

They wanted a particular diaper bag and it has all the bells and whistles...BUT it's BLACK! Ben said that way he wouldn't feel intimidated carrying it around. Ok, that makes sense. But...but...but BLACK?

So Grandma decided she needed her own diaper bag! No, Grandma doesn't need diapers (at least not yet!), but Grandma will be packing the kid around eventually, and I couldn't see myself packing him or her into the LQSs around here with a BLACK diaper bag in tow...could you? I decided to make a "pretty" bag and looked around at patterns. I settled on the Lola Bea Diaper Bag Pattern, available for purchase here: For some reason, Blogger isn't letting me add a link so you'll have to copy-and-paste into your browser, sorry.

This is a pdf pattern, meaning "instant gratificatication" :-) It's 46 pages (23 pages instructions and 23 pages pattern pieces). You can elect not to print most of the pattern pieces and cut using the measurements, but I went ahead and printed all the pieces. It took me only a few minutes to decide it was well worth printing. It made it so much easier to keep track of the pieces as I worked through the cutting and sewing.

Despite the 23 pages of instructions, this went together very smoothly and quickly. The cutting took me three days, but the sewing took only two. Yes, on the second day, I was still in my jammies at 3:00 in the afternoon, but it was finished!

I made only a couple, small changes to the pattern. I added two tabs with D-rings on either side, to clip my keys and maybe a binky to. And instead of cutting the pocket elastics to the sizes stated, I cut them two inches longer and marked the actual size on the elastic with a pencil - this makes it so much easier when inserting the elastic - the excess hangs out of either end so you don't have to worry about the ends disappearing inside the casing. And I hand-tacked them to the fleece/interfacing which made it easier than ever to press those seams flat! 

Here's my finished bag:

For some weird reason, I've noticed my picture (as well as others I've seen on Flickr and blogs) look rather short and squatty - I assure you, it's much taller than it looks!
You can customize the inside elastic pockets to provide either 4 or 5 pockets.
Exterior elastic pockets on both sides - I added tabbed D-rings as well.
I used Pellon 950F ShirTailor and Pellon TP971F Fusible Thermolam Plus Fusible Fleece. The instructions tell you to cut all the required pieces from exterior fabric, lining, interfacing, and fleece and then cut 1/2" off each side of each piece of the interfacing and fleece. I found it much easier to cut 1" off two sides of all the pieces except for the curved handle and flap. And being a hoarder extraordinaire, I saved those 1" strips for other projects :-) Hint: the more exact you are in trimming the interfacing and fleece pieces, the easier the final construction goes together. (Haha...I typed "contraction" first - I guess baby-birthing is on my mind and I'm glad it's not ME doing the birthing!)
The instructions were great, and it really was easier than it looks. Probably the most diffucult part were the last few steps where you are inserting the lining into the exterior bag - mostly because the zippered insert makes things a little wonky. And turning was no picnic, but still easier than I thought.
The bag stands up well on its own, and I'm sure it will be even better when it's loaded with all of the supplies that Baby Cummings needs. I would recommend this pattern to anyone, even those with limited experience, because it really does go together fairly easily!