Busy day today! I am getting ready to head out to my national behavior analysis conference. I have about a thousand things to do today. Tomorrow, I will collapse in the car and sleep, right?
This conference is always a busy one for me. And this year, it is exceptionally busy. To give you a feel: there are social events (cocktail party with all my Iowa [where I went to grad school] friends, wedding shower for a friend who's getting married, dinner with my mentor and close colleagues, my current university's alumni reception that we host); presentations (I am giving an invited talk and sitting on two panels, I have students giving about 5 different presentations); recruiting new students (hosting our Expo poster to recruit new grad students, individual meetings with potential grad students); business meetings (I'm on some editorial boards, and we have those meetings); networking meetings (I have meetings with colleagues with whom I'm writing papers or doing research); attending other people's research presentations; a dinner with my students in my lab; and so on! It goes on and on....nonstop from Friday through Tuesday, from about 7 am to midnight. I will be utterly exhausted by Tusday and will need about two days just to sleep after that. It is wonderful and dreaded all at the same time! So, you won't be seeing any blog posts for a little while! Wish me luck on surviving it! LOL.
My conference is in downtown Minneapolis. Any of you have any good suggestions for awesome fabric/quilt/yarn or other fun shops I should visit while I'm there? Thanks!
You know those baby shoes I showed you yesterday? Well, here's my plan. I'm going to put them in this divided basket I made from a pattern from Noodlehead. I have seen this basket on the Internet and loved it. I ordered the pattern and made one as part of the baby gift I'm putting together. A couple of weeks ago, Fabricworm had a sale on linen and home dec fabric. So, I orderd some of this Echino fabric to make some baskets. My colleague wanted "gender neutral" stuff, so I thought this was pretty....still kind of "girly" for the baby girl, but gender neutral. I also wanted to make my colleague something she could use when the baby is no longer a baby.
The inside is lined with this green Echino that I like very much. I found some solid fabric that looked nice to line the handles with. I'll put some baby diapers on one side, a bib, a burp cloth from my friend Brooke (I'll show those later, when I put the basket together), and the baby shoes I made in the other side. I may need to put some other little goodies in that other side, too, to fill it up.
But here is a disappointment. I was being so careful to align the grainline correctly on the fabric, and I was matching up that stripe on either side of the bag....and then I cut the back piece upside down! ARGH! I was so mad. And I didn't have enough fabric to cut another. So, it went on upside down. Maybe she won't notice. This is the back side, right? I don't know. I'm still trying to decide if I'll keep this one and make a different one for her. What a bummer, huh? What would you do?
As far as a pattern review: This pattern is pretty fun to make and is not very difficult. The product is really nice and, as Amy says, it makes a great "go-to" gift project. (Amy has made quite a few of these, and hers are gorgeous.) I think it took me longer to cut out all the pieces than to sew the basket up. I quite like it. I would put this at an advanced beginner or early intermediate project, just because of a couple of slightly tricky steps. The following are not criticisms of the pattern (which is very clear and easy to follow), but are just things to consider:
- The fabric requirements listed do not include fabric for the optional pocket. So, if you want the pocket, make sure you purchase additional fabric. (EDIT: I may be wrong here. I think maybe the fat quarter is supposed to be used for this, and I messed up. I have been in an allergy-related fog this past week or two, so take this with a grain of salt.) I didn't do this and so had to make this pocket-less. And you have just enough fabric for the exterior with the listed fabric requirements. In the future, I will buy extra so it's not quite so close cut.
- When installing the divider, you have to pivot at the bottom of the divider to turn the corner. That's a little bit fussy. You have to fiddle with the fabric a little to get this to happen easily. Here's a tip I found helped me a lot. Put a pin in the spot where you are going to pivot. Make a little clip in the lining fabric near the pivot point. This will make it so much easier to bend the fabric around when you make this turn. (The instructions tell you to clip here anyway after you've assembled the lining. So, why not make the clip now? It helped me anyway.)
- I wish mine was a little more sturdy. Next time, I will use a more stiff interfacing. I think I used Pellon SF101 for this. It's a nice interfacing, but I'd like something a little stiffer. I also wondered about using Soft and Stable by Annie instead of the fusible fleece. I may try that on a future basket.
All in all, I really enjoyed this pattern a lot. I'm already working on a second basket and have the fabric for a third. You'll be seeing those in the not-too-distant future, but not right away. LOL.
This has nothing to do with the basket. We had our local guild meeting last night, and my friend Jackie was there with her hand dyed fabrics. She had this little bundle there, and I couldn't resist it. I have no idea what I'll do with it, but isn't it beautiful? Have some suggestions for what I should do with it? Please discuss.
As I was walking out the door to go to the guild meeting, I was checking ot make sure I had checks in my checkbook. Papa Pea said, "If you are going to your guild meeting, why are you checking to see if you have your checkbook?" (He said this very suspiciously.) I answered, "In case Jackie has some awesome fabrics I can't resist!" Good thing I had my checkbook.
Well, take care everyone! I'll talk to you soon, though I don't know when. Don't be surprised if there is a week or 10 days with no posts. It's going to be a whirlwind for a bit.
Until next time,