Friday, June 01, 2007

Mother's Day Piano Bag

As you know, I had an extra two weeks to finish my mother's day gift for my mom, as I was able to hand it to her in person when she came to visit (Yay!). One highlight of my mom and brother's visit: We stumbled upon a yarn store in Santa Barbara staffed by the nicest lady ever. While my brother took a nap on the sofa, my mom and I looked through all the yarn. Eventually I decided to make her a So-Called Scarf, because she loved the store version so much. She picked out a skien of manos (although my mom's is much lighter than those colors), and I decided to grab a skien of variagated purples for myself. If I don't tire of the pattern, I might make one for myself as well. If not, there are plenty of scarf patterns.

Now, onto the mother's day gift! This was loosely inspired by a pattern on as you can see, the only thing I stole was the piano note motif. Despite my meager sewing ability, I decided to sew the tote bag (note: this was primarily due to lack of time) out of a heavy almost-canvas fabric I bought at Joanns. I used a cheap Patons wool and knit a long, wide rectangle which I then hand felted in the sink. Should I mention that due to my procrastination and frequent mind-changes this ocurred at 1:30 in the morning? No? Ok.

Then came the fun part! I grabbed some great black New Zealand wool I bought off ebay way back when and began the fun process of needle felting it to the felted (fulled, technically) wool. I think in the end all my lines ended up straight, but I had some moments of doubt along the way! I really enjoyed the process of creating the notes and the C clef, because I realized how you can use needle felting artistically - to slightly thicken a section here, or round a curve there. The most miraculous part? No bleeding. I needle-felted, often after midnight while watching tv, and sustained no serious finger injuries. Whew.

Sorry this picture's sideways. I realized, too late, that I can't rotate images on blogger, or the computer I use at work. Hopefully this gives an idea as to the construction: One long folded piece forms the front and back, and another long thin piece (folded in half length-wise to make it extra sturdy) was wrapped all the way around the bag, including the bottom. This gave the bag depth and a strange, almost supernatural ability to stand up on it's own. Since my earlier vision of used fulled fabric instead of regular fabric fell through, my goal was to make the construction as sturdy as possible.

My mom used it for the first time at choir practice and told me it worked perfectly - when filled with her music it's just the right shape and size. Yay!