Sunday, June 29, 2008

More Tote Bags and a Caterpillar Update

The other day I overheard this conversation between my 3 year old and some Barbies:

"I'm going to the ball! I'm going to be so pretty! First, I need a pretty dress. Then, I need a tote bag."

Apparently, I have passed on the tote-bag gene.

Here's a bag that I made for a preschool teacher. I had enough fabric left over so I made an one for the girls too. Again, I used the Summery Dish Towel Tote Bag tutorial. Except I ran out of dish towels, and used actual fabric, cut the same size as the dish towels. The fabric is from Joann's, a nice heavy weight cotton. I used the same fabric for both the outside and the lining.

Here's another summery bag. This one is made from 2 Anthropologie dish towels that I got on sale. One thing you find when looking for dish towels, is that sometimes there is a design only on one end. On this one, the pink flowers were only on one side. On a plain towel, that might be a problem, but this towel has the writing all over, so the "plain" side isn't really plain.

Another situation you run into with the towels is that if there is a placed design on the end (as opposed to the design being an all-over print) is that, when you fold it to sew the side seams, the design is going to be facing upside down when you make it into a bag. That was the case with the above bag: the pink flowers were upside down. So I had to cut the towel in half and sew it back together with the design facing the other way so it would be right side up on my bag. No big deal, it's just another little step. The seam is at the center bottom of the bag and doesn't show.
I love the lining and the bag is reversible. With floppy bags like this, it's important to love the lining because you're going to see it. That's the way I feel about quilt backings too. You're going to see them, so do something nice or fun or interesting and don't just use crappy old fabric thinking it won't show. (Maybe the backing of art quilts hanging on a wall won't show, but for sure the bed quilt backing will show at some point--at least it does on my unmade, crumpled beds).
Here's the reversible side, it's as fabulous as the other side:

And now for a caterpillar update!

Here's a photo of the caterpillar condo, with everyone tucked nicely in their chrysalis. (5 of the 6 made chrysalises and one, sadly, didn't make it.)

You can see that 3 attached themselves to the roof of the condo and one is on a stick right below. The other one was near the bottom. You can kind of see how the chrysalises were spikey, just like the caterpillars.
They hatched 11 days later. Two hatched and three did not, (which was sad, but apparently the kids are well adjusted to the circle of life, even if Mom is not).
They hatched during the night and it was exciting to come down in the morning and see the butterflies clinging to the chrysalises, being totally still. They were still for almost a whole day befor they started moving around.
The butterfly is at the bottom of the house, just to the left of the orange slice:
I was concerned about opening the top to let out the butterflies when there was still a chrysalis attached to the ceiling, but we did it very carefully.

I was hoping to have this quilt done, and to have a glorious butterfly release, complete with sunshine, Martha-Stewart-worthy picnic, and photo shoot with beautiful butterflies landing on shoulders and kids smiling in wonderment.
It was nothing of the sort, as the day the butterflies chose was filled with vacation bible school, swimming lessons, and a quickie dinner fit in before 2 baseball games. Nevertheless, it was memorable, in its own ramshackle way. The first butterfly flew off quickly and crazily, zigzagging with his first freedom high into the sky and away.
The second one flew right up to the tree next to us, and stayed basking in the sun for a long time. You can see him in the picture below, about 2 feet above the fork on the left side.
I was desperately trying to get a group photo, but the kids were getting restless, and here is all I could get. But it does have all 4 of them in the photo, at least.

See them all? Here are arrows, the top arrows pointing out the butterfly, and the other arrows for the kids.


Blogger Jan said...

Love the Barbie conversation. My Molly has definitely inherited the tote bag gene from me. :-)
That last shot is so funny!

9:16 AM  
Blogger prairievisiondesign : handmade said...

love the bags - fresh colors - you can NEVER have too many bags!

4:41 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Cool project for the kids!

6:33 PM  

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