On a different note, but still birthday related: Last year I decided that I wanted to get serious and learn how to really play the piano well, so even though I knew the basics, I began taking lessons. I've been carrying my various music books back and forth to my teacher's house each week in a canvas tote, but quilter and bagmaker that I am, I knew I had to have/make something with a little more class.
Then months ago I discovered this paper-pieced piano by Soma Acharya of Whims and Fancies and just fell in love with it. I decided that I would make my own version of the pattern and incorporate it into a tote bag for piano. As time marched on, I knew I needed a deadline to get me moving on this project. So I decided that I would make myself a piano tote bag for my birthday...
I looked the pattern over carefully and realized that I could easily divide it into 4 major sections. In September, I put together one section each week. That actually ended up being a good plan because I think I would have gotten totally burned out on paper piecing if I'd tried doing it more quickly. I also didn't want to get tired and sloppy by doing too much at a time and that part of my plan worked very well--by the end of September I had a completed paper-pieced piano!
The next challenge was to incorporate my block into a bag. I had been collecting various music and piano themed fabrics for a while and I carefully cut some of them up and sewed them as borders to my block. And then the whole thing sat on my design wall for a couple of weeks. Meanwhile, I was scheming and planning how I might make this into a bag and not make a complete flop of it.
Last week, I decided it was time to get busy and started putting things together. I thought the front was pretty good as it was, but I needed to do something for the back of the bag. I decided to continue the top and bottom borders around the bag to the back and then just use plain black fabric between them, since the emphasis was meant to be on the piano on the front. However, I found I had a treble clef stencil, so I quilted a few of those onto the back, along with a few lines.
This weekend Laura and I went to a quilt shop with my mom and discovered some fabric panels printed with clothing patterns for American Girl-sized dolls. Laura has one of those dolls and even though she doesn't actually play with it, she does like to change her clothes occasionally. Needless to say, we left the store with a couple of panels. I was afraid Laura might think she could sew them herself, so I bought a back-up set in case they ended up getting ruined. Fortunately, she let me sew them while she "supervised!"
The little slippers were the most challenging part to make, mostly because they were so small. I goofed on the second one, which Laura wasn't too happy about, but I wasn't about to take it apart and re-sew it!
We have one other set of doll clothes to make, which I've actually hidden from Laura for now. I bought fabric that matches it and I plan to make the doll and Laura matching pajamas for Christmas. She'll be just thrilled!
It's rather late, so there won't be any more done today, but we'll definitely Get More Done...tomorrow!