Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Craft Derailment .... Puppy Station

Not so much time for crafts lately - since we just got a new puppy.

But I am trying to put together a set of place mats, I picked out the fabrics, and just need to find the time to sew. I'm going with the pattern in Bend-the-Rules Sewing - and using flannel as the interior, right sides together.

One other thing I found this week is the kolo blog. I have long been a fan of the kolo album, and was sad when their flagship store closed in Hartford, but I'm pleased to see the new Essex Travel Book, which looks so convenient and handy as a journal. I also really liked the blog entry about using a little embroidery square in the photo window on the album cover. What a great idea! Here is something I embroidered a couple months ago, when I first learned how to embroider. I never know what to do with these little pieces...

Saturday, March 21, 2009

I love my OWLS

A couple weeks ago I joined an owl stuffie swap on Swap-Bot.com. My partners have already received their owls, so I can show off my pictures now. I made my owls from a felted thrift store sweater, an old pair of very soft corduroy pants and some wool felt. I stuffed them with leftover cut up cotton batting from a quilt that I made, and I thought that was a good alternative to buying the poly-fil stuffing. I had 2 swap partners, but I made three owls so I could keep one too. The owl fabric I sewed to to the front is by Alexander Henry and is so cute and features bunches of unique owls and endless inspiration. I think I just might have to make a couple more....

Friday, March 20, 2009

The week does fly by

And since I am on cooking strike, I have lots of time for sewing. I made a couple very cute wine totes from this pattern on SewingRepublic.com. They have some good video tutorials as well. Great thing about having a wine shop ... lots of bottles to put in wine totes. I have to say that it was a little challenging to top sew the top seam, as you have to flatten it out and manage the handles and still run it straight on the sewing machine, but i made it thru. Only needs 2 fat quarters and the insul-brite batting. The fabrics are all from Joann's.

Next is a little caddy I put together today - no pattern necessary. Used my extensive (haha) quilting skills to make a small quilt with binding, then i folded it and whip stitched it. Turned out the tricky part was the grommets. I thought they were like eyelets - 1 piece, so I got out my hammer and tried to attach them ... like 5 times. Where are those directions??? OHHHH.. they are 2 pieces that interlock. Then you hammer with the setter. Much better! I hung it up on the side of my craft bookcase for a little extra storage. The fabrics are Amy Butler's Daisy Chain and the pattern lent itself quite nicely to diagonal quilting. The best part was that I was able to zig zag some batting scraps together to make a piece that was big enough (10" x 17") for the inside.

Last, but not least, I went to see the Flower Show at Elizabeth Park this morning. It was the last day, of course. Lovely!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Sneak Peek

I'm making a couple baby quilts as gifts, so I can't do the big reveal yet, but here is a sneak preview. The owl print is so cute, and this was actually my first finished quilt - with a binding and everything! I learned A LOT and I have to admit to being quite proud of myself, although I'm not sure I could handle a bigger size just yet. Oh ... one thing I learned is that 100 meters of thread is NOT enough for a baby quilt. Small Gutterman spool = not enough thread! And also I really enjoyed using the Fairfield 50% Bamboo 50% Cotton batting. I think the emergence of bamboo is great - from floors to kitchen items to to yarn, it really seems to be a super-plant. Apparently, the batting is also "naturally antibacterial" for what that's worth. Must be good for the kiddies.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Small bunny

Bunny is an example that every project does not need to be complex. I made this small bunny from thrifted, felted sweaters. I drew the shape on cardstock, cut out two pieces of the sweater, and used the blanket stitch to sew them together. The eyes are buttons, the nose embroidered, and the carrot is cut from felt and glued. Softies can be as complex or simple as you want them to be!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

They make great pets

One of my first sewing projects, a year+ ago, was a few of these birds. Great to use up some scraps and you can make them as big or as small as you want. The pattern was nicely provided by Spool Sewing. They make me wish I was still in Philly, because they seem to have some really nice classes. It was my first 3D sewing project back then, but I am glad to report that when i made one the other day, I realized my sewing skills have increased Phenomenally (hello .... stitch tension!). Regardless .... the original birds are nicely housed in a cage that was a gift from my friend Susan. The cage sat empty for many years, but I love how the birds look in there. It's up on my office desk and I look at it every day. See more birds here.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Out with the old ....

and in with the new .... potholders, that is! i threw away my ratty old falling apart set and whipped up a new batch with some quilt scraps. I was very proud of myself. The oven mitt pattern is here, but i didn't love the template, so i traced my old mitt instead (plus 1/2 inch seam allowance). I backed the pot holders with a recycled, felted sweater and fused them with Heat n Bond Ultra. I had to hand sew the binding on the pot holders, since you are not supposed to sew thru the Heat n Bond Ultra, and i probably wouldn't go that way next time. For the oven mitts, I did my first "professional" binding based on Heather Bailey's binding tutorial.

These are my new fat quarters from the Fat Quarter swap at Sew, Mama, Sew. Thanks to all my swap buddies - what to make, what to make .... ? i hadn't swapped in while so this was a good way to get back into it, since it all it required was cutting and putting in an envelope!

oh, one last thing ... i found these super cute softie patterns by Melly & Me. They seem to Australia based, but you can get the patterns here in the US too.

Happy Monday!

Friday, March 06, 2009

Felt Wall hanging

i love working with the wool felt ... but why is it so darn expensive??? i got mine at Magic Cabin - the jewel color mix pack. Fusing the felt to fabric with the heat n bond makes this a very simple project. I just cut and glued most of the pieces down and added decorative embroidery stitches and a little beading all around. And, indeed, everything always looks better framed with ric rac! I wish I could make a dozen of these to sell ... but the hand stitching just takes too long. The middle pinwheel was an idea from the Warm Fuzzies book. Until I find a more permanent space, it looks nice in my hallway.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Not exactly a herd

Here are a couple elephants I have been working on, based on a pattern I found here. The underbelly is thrift store felted sweaters that seem to pile up in the craft room, the tops are some fatty quarters I had. I had some trouble with getting the legs to stay upright, i ended up sewing them together a bit from the underside after it was stuffed, but if anyone has better ideas, I would be glad to hear them! Regardless, they turned out very cute.

And here, 8 inches of snow outside but a little bit of spring in my dining room. I thought it was a nice juxtaposition of nature and technology :)

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

ALL these months later

and where have i been?

working, store owning, house buying, drinking, decorating, cooking, cleaning, organizing, making, yelling, crafting ...

it's finally all coming along, falling into place, so i'm trying to get back to the posting the things i make.

here's a little something i made for a friend that had a baby. A little Knitty doll dress plus a dash of Black Apple Doll head + body/legs cut to fit the dress and I had created my own little angel, in my favorite colors (in case you couldn't tell). I used a very nice Classic Elite bamboo yarn for the dress, very soft but split a bit.

tomorrow ... a herd of elephants.