Friday, May 08, 2009

An Old Sew and Sew

Aunt Rita's birthday made me actually break out the sewing machine. She's recently started using a walker. It's made her more confident in her balance and speeded her up amazingly. She'd been getting slower and slower walking anywhere; with the walker she's back to her usual energizer-bunny speed. Of course this means she does not have a free hand to carry her things around. This is an important issue because she's settling in at the nursing home and we've been encouraging her to get out of her room to meet people and get outside when the weather is fine. Like everyone else she feels better with a little exercise. Obviously she needed a tote bag for her walker. I looked around online to get an idea of how they were made, and set out to make one for her that would suit her taste and give her something original.

With some upholstery fabric I already had in my stash and a few fat quarters from the quilt shop around the corner I was ready to go. It took me most of the afternoon, but I ended up with a bag I think she'll love and that will hold the things she wants to take along with her. I double stitched the seams and generally made it as tough as I could because Rita has an amazing capacity to tear things up. The bag is lines with two different prints, with two smaller interior pockets. The exterior pockets are embellished with borders cut from the interior fabrics, embroidery with gold thread and beads. For some reason this detail is not showing up in the pictures. The rosettes on the front are made with both fabrics from the exterior pockets and centered with a knot from one of the interior fabrics. The straps are lined with the fabrics from the exterior pockets. Lots of detail, and it really came out the way I had hoped. The best thing about sewing projects is the instant gratification I get. Four hours of knitting would not have resulted in a finished item.

I learned a couple of things from this project. For one, I now understand why quilters have such big fabric stashes. The Savage Quilter just around the corner from me has so many beautiful fabrics that if I had not gone in with a pretty specific idea of what kind of additional colors and prints I wanted I would never have been able to decide. The ladies in the shop were so friendly and helpful that I will surely be dropping in again. The other revelation was that The Mighty Rowenta I pressured Shana into buying for me when our last cheapie iron gave out was worth every penny. The giant bursts of steam it gives out make the pressing involved in any sewing project so much more effective.

And even better - Shana is slipping over to the crafty side! She created a heat transfer on the computer to make Aunt Rita a T shirt for her birthday gift. I can hardly wait to see what her next project turns out to be.

No comments: