It has been a full weekend here at Chez Bitchy. Number One Daughter turned five, and we used what funds we might have spent on a more elaborate celebration on a violin instead. Her daddy was a cellist, back in the day - when I was a young, impressionable, recent college graduate and he was a young, horny, recent grad school graduate. I always tell people that he convinced me to marry him by playing me the Bach cello suites, but that's not actually what he convinced me to do (if you get my drift). I guess he's feeling a bit deprived lately, because he got out the cello for the first time in a few years and the kids were quite impressed. N.O.D. decided that her instrument would be the violin, and from that moment on, we heard nothing else, talked about nothing else but violin, violin, violin. So yesterday we made a pilgrimage to the music store to rent a 1/8 size student violin. She loves it so much she asked to sleep with it that night.
Then the next day I arranged a movie date with her "best" friend, a 9-year-old who tolerates N.O.D.'s worship of her with uncommon grace. We saw Wall-E, had lunch, and came back here for ice cream, cake, and more presents. And even after all this, she threw a hissy fit later because it just wasn't as "exciting" as she wanted her birthday to be. I reminded her that on MY birthday, a mere 3 weeks ago, NO ONE did ANYTHING. No cards, no cake, no "let's take mommy to dinner." Nothing. And when I pointed out to the girls' father that he had dropped the ball, can you guess what he tried to do to make up for it? NOTHING. I didn't hear anymore about her sucky birthday after that.
And as for me, as soon as I finished that ugly quilt top, I started in on the six-pocket bag. Thank god for all the half-assed sewing I've done so far - it has all prepared me for THIS:
That's not to say it wasn't fraught with difficulty. My seam on the bottom edge looks like I was having seizures while I was making it, the pockets don't line up on one edge, and I couldn't understand the instructions on how to box the bottom, so I just didn't do it. And I was certain that my machine would die upon being asked to sew through as many as 10 layers of fabric (the straps are folded 3 times) and two layers of batting, sending needle fragments flying and blinding the children. (It didn't!) But even as frustrating as it was, I made it all in one day, and it was insanely fun. It was so much more satisfying to have made something I could immediately use, than a quilt top that still needs to be quilted and bound (and lord know when that will get done).
I felt rather proud of myself. And so, drunk with power, I made this the next day:
I had purchased that fabric the day I discovered my hidden-gem quilt shop, thinking that it might work as a backing for my first quilt top (it didn't. Once I finished the bag in 3 fabrics, I thought I'd give it a whirl in only one - and I quite like the result. AND - I found this fabulous tutorial on how to box the bottom, which now makes me want to go back and fix the first bag.
Until I made these, I had forgotten that part of my original inspiration to try this sewing thing was this bag I bought from Etsy:
I love this little bag so much, and when I got it, it really hit me that someone made it, probably at home, with her sewing machine - and maybe I could learn to do the same thing. And now, just a couple months later, I'm two quilt tops and two handbags closer to my goal.
I think that deserves a doughnut, no?