Yaaay, Stephanie’s emailed to say she received my back-tack and she’s posted a great post too, thanks!
Once I got over the performance anxiety I had a great time putting this together for Stephanie.
The main fabric used for the bags are tea towels (for you Aussies, purchased at Spotlight, also affectionately known as "Scablight"). I found a 3 pack that was perfect (I needed two packs). The large polka dot bag is linen and I used a heavy weight iron-on interfacing. Learning curve with the interfacing, it’s probably a little too unforgiving, I’d use a medium weight next time. This bag pattern is so great it’s from a Cotton Paint magazine (issue 18 I think). This bag is lined with a cream and white patterned fabric and the bag closes with a magnetic snap. I had intended on making my own binding for the handles but due to time ended up buying premade binding which encases some grosgrain ribbon to make it more substantial. I made the buttons from the polka dot tea towel and embroidered them. The elephant ribbon is also from Spotlight. I didn’t have a plan in my head "ok, you’ll feature elephants", I found the elephant ribbon and it led from there to elephant buttons and shrinky pins.
The basket bag I made following Al’s instructions. This too is made with a tea towel and the lining is 100% cream linen. I’m not 100% convinced by the elephant button on this bag, I think it’s a little large! However I am happy with the embroidery. I made my "own" colour thread by mixing together a blue varigated and a chocolate brown thread. It’s worked quite well. In the bottom of the basket bag is a little patchwork cushion to stop anything delicate that might be thrown in the bag from being damaged. I’m hooked on basket bags! I plan to make another two…hopefully soon, before I move house, that’s a whole other story.
There’s a little pouch (or a child’s oven mitt if you’re Miles!) and matching pincushion and needlebook. Stephanie wanted to learn to crochet so I ordered her a copy of the Erica Knight "Simple Crochet", gorgeous book, and sent along some crochet hooks. She also mentioned sock knitting so I got her some Patons Patonyle sock yarn. There were other small items like chocolate, a notebook, book mark, some origami paper, ribbon, fabric, embroidery thread and some spices for cooking. I also included a Moleskin notebook for Jack.
I made Mia and Miles a pouch each and put some goodies in it for them. I stumbled across some punch balloons, these are my favourite, they’re hard to come by, I hope Mia and Miles enjoy them. For the gift tags I used the alphabet stamps that Hilary had sent with Paige.
One of my favourite things is probably the tape measure. I used a button that my button phobic boss bought back from Indonesia.
I was sneaky and included a kitty for Stephanie, she was wrapped and hiding in a pocket of the bag! I’m glad it took Stephanie a while to find her! Hmm now Al and I just need to think up a new incarnation for BTIII in April 2006.