Feb 27, 2011

Knitted Apple Hat...upon request

A couple MONTHS ago, my son requested, ever so kindly, a knitted apple hat. Well, I finally got around to selecting the yarn and knitting it up. 
Now this is only my second hat that I've knit in the round. And the double-pointed needle part at the end REALLY tortured me. Lots of mistakes. Fortunately, the inserting-of-the-stem-and-leaves bit helped conceal some of the mistakes. 
This hat is based on a pattern by Susan B. Anderson, which I think I found in her cool book Itty Bitty Hats. (But I didn't use the recommended yarn and I also went off pattern at the end during the double-pointed needle part.) The small leaf was a part of Susan's pattern, but I made a larger one as well because I thought the hat needed it. I think it looks better this way too. :)
And here are my two kids going in different directions. My daughter is wearing a hat I knit for her last winter and now it finally fits!
I'm linking up to Tea Rose Home!
Great inspiration on this lovely blog!

Feb 25, 2011

Kid Art

Is it art only a mother could love? I'm not sure, but I DO love my three-year-old son's FIRST stick drawings! Literally, first ones! Yesterday, he was drawing cars, and a few days before that he'd "mastered" balloons (ie., a circle and a wavy stick). So today, I thought, why not use some fabric markers on linen and make this art a little more permanent? I thought, balloons would be perfect.
But he decided people would be better. Astronauts, in fact. (He's been majorly into all things space for about three months now.) So he made stick astronauts.
Then had me cut them out so he could play with them in his home-made rocket (argh. I did not want to do this.).
I did manage to spare one set of astronauts from the scissors and these, dear boy, will be mine.
 I do, indeed, love this kid art. (sigh) 

Feb 23, 2011

Charm Pack Quilted Bag!

Oh, I am so proud of this bag! I have to say, it is one of the sewn projects I've made that I'm most proud. It's success is due to a) an awesome tutorial at Camp Follower Bags and b) pressing my seams at each step. Really, I never knew.

So here it is. My Charm Pack Quilted Bag!
I found this charm pack and all the supplies at my local Joann's. But the crochet flowers are special. My mom made those (she's actually relatively new to crocheting and I think she did a fabulous job). She gave these to me a few weeks ago and the colors just happen to match this bag perfectly.

Here's the inside. I really like this fabric too.
The twill handles and binding really pull the bag together. I've never used twill before, but I really liked working with it.

I meant to take some more in-progress pics, but these were all I got. You can see that I used high-loft batting on the inside. I think it worked perfectly (even though it was super cheap) because it helps the bag keep its shape.

And now I just have to figure out how I'll use this bag. For blankets? Maybe for my kids' toys? But right now, I'm happy just admiring it. It feels good to finally make something that looks good (and not stare at it and analyze all my mistakes)!

I'm linking up this bag with Tea Rose Home's Link Party. There are lots of great projects already listed on this blog and it's fun to get ideas from other participants. Check it out!

Feb 22, 2011

Applique Flower

I've seen cute flowers like this around the craft blogosphere and decided to try it out myself. I had some fabric scraps from the quilt-in-progress, and some felt. So I gave this a try.

Now I have to decide what to do with it. Scrapbook embellishment? Bag addition? Hair clip? To see some really cute flower appliques and where I got my original inspiration to give this a try, go here to see Shelly's work at Lemon Tree Studio. Truly great stuff!

Feb 21, 2011

Quilt Work In Progress

I've been dying to work on my "gypsy quilt" ever since my mom got me the kit for Christmas. But it's been so hard to find time to do it with two little kids running around, one of which doesn't like to nap! So I have ended up doing little by (very) little in the evenings after they go to bed. 

It took a while to iron all the fat quarters that came in the kit, then cut them up into many (many) different pieces (this was my least favorite part of all), and then sew the pieces and iron the seams.

Finally, when things started to come together, I got really excited!

Here are three (of the nine) the big blocks that would make the quilt top. It's coming along!
Finally, finally, finally, I got the whole quilt top sewn up and I was so  proud of myself for sewing the seams at every step! (Something I actually have never done before.)
Close up.
My next task is to go buy some batting and fabric for the back (the kit didn't come with these. Darn.). I will then quilt the top. (Right now I'm thinking I will do straight lines about 3" apart down the quilt, but am not positive yet!) Then I have to work on the binding. I'm NOT looking forward to that. Then I'll be done! Yay!

I'm linking up with W.I.P. Wednesday at Freshly  Pieced. Check out all the other great works in progress on this inspiring blog!
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Feb 13, 2011

Newborn Baby Hat for Baby in Need

A handmade cap can save a life!

My friend, Alison, told me about this organization called Save the Children and the project they were doing called Caps for Good.
From their website:

Baby caps are a simple and effective tool that can keep babies warm and ultimately contribute to reducing newborn deaths in the developing world.

I was intrigued! As a mom with two little ones who likes to knit, how could I not contribute to this worthy cause? How could I not want to help? 

The site provides a simple knitting pattern (as well as a crochet pattern for you crocheters) and then explains what to do with the cap when it's done.

I'm excited to think my cap will help save a life! I really hope that it will keep a baby warm this spring.

Below is the full link to the project. I had trouble inserting it above.

Feb 11, 2011

Patchwork Pillow with Ruffled Back

I've been pretty inspired by all the fabulous pillows out there in the craftosphere lately, and decided I needed to try something different. My goal was a patchwork pillow for my daughter. This is what I came up with for the front.
And then I decided to get some soft chenille-type fabric for the back. Thinking I wanted to jazz things up a tad more, I decided to try my hand at adding a little ruffled ribbon to the spot where the envelope part of the pillowcase opens. I think it looks good! And very sweet for my little girl! I also have to mention that, as I was working on this pillow, my daughter found the top half of this pillow back (with the ruffle already attached) and carried it around for a day in this really adorable, loving way, holding up to her face and such. I was so glad she liked it!
On the front, I made two labels, including this one:
It's a verse from Matthew that I had hanging in my room as a teenager and it helped me get through a lot of teenagery things (like the dream to be a Division I volleyball player. And if I were 6" taller, I really could've done it! Ha!). Anyway, I like this line a lot, and in light of all my daughter's newly discovered food allergies, I thought it was appropriate to place on her pillow. 
I'm also entering this pillow in the Words to Live By Great Sew Mama Sew Pillow Contest for February!

Feb 9, 2011

A Knitted Scarf...

...for me!
This is the first wearable thing that I've made for myself (I'm not including baby hats that turned out too big and that I now, occasionally, wear). I set out to make this scarf for me and guess what? I wear it proudly.

 I found this pattern in More Last Minute Knitted Gifts, by Joelle Hoverson. I used big needles (I think they were 15s) and super bulky yarn (I chose Lion Brand's Hometown USA in denim).
 It was really fun to do! I liked following a more "complicated" pattern than just knit, turn and purl. You know. It was different. And I was very fond of the lace look throughout the process. This scarf looks like nothing I've ever knit before.
 I started on a Thursday evening and finished by Sunday evening. I really only knitted at night after the kids went to bed (maybe I put in 1 hour during the day on Saturday. Can't remember for sure.). By the time I was finished, my back was really sore, particularly on the left side. Does anyone else ever have knitting soreness or injuries?!?! I blame it on the large needles and super bulky yarn.
But I found the end result was so worth it!
I stumbled across this awesome blog called Get Your Craft On and so I'm participating in it here. How fun!

Feb 7, 2011

Ah -The Much Anticipated

So here is the fruit of nap time.
I pulled apart the flowers above, took out the stems, and glued the layers back together. Then I glued on some gems and put them on some alligator clips that I lined with ribbon.
 The yellow crochet flower above is so sweet! My mom crocheted the two flowers and I sewed them together, along with the button. I may put this on a hair clip or maybe make it into a button. Or maybe put it elsewhere, like on a pillow???
I love these appliques. Can you guess which ones I bought and which I did myself?!? Oh, but I very skillfully glued them all to my homemade ribbon-lined alligator clips.
 These are simple and pretty. Yes, we're Wildcat fans here.
 Again, the heart that is so clearly homemade. And the purchased applique (available on Etsy).
 Some of the first hair clips -- I made them around Christmas time. These were all done by yours truly (except for the wooden dude on the end, which of course, I did not cut or paint, but purchased).

And there you have it. Another way to widdle away nap time!

Feb 5, 2011

Hair Clip Holder

And this is the much-needed hair clip holder, necessary to hold the multitude of hair clips that were waiting around the house for a place to live. 
 Don't look too closely (this should really be a disclaimer on this blog) because I did this holder on the fly while both kids were in their rooms making lots of noise (daughter - crying, son - playing), and so I was distracted and didn't do the best job sewing (or cutting the square for that matter). Anyway, it's not like I'm going to sell it. It's hanging in the bathroom at a height that is only accessible to the over five-feet-tall category. So basically, it's not my daughter's hair clip holder. It's mine. Yes, my fairy hair-clip holder.
Ooooo. Should I be worried?

Oodles and Oodles of Hair Clips

I've gone a little clippie crazy. Here's just a sampling of what I've been doing in my precious minutes of free time.
Yes, I'm having loads of fun with my hot glue gun and creating more hair clips than my daughter will ever need (or tolerate).
 I have also done some with big floppy flowers and little cute felt "critters" as, I believe, my mom called them. So I'll try to take pictures of those this weekend. I'm sure the suspense is killing you.

 Oh, and here's my son modeling ALL of these hairclips. (His choice, I swear.) He has had more fun than you could imagine with these hair clips. When he's not wearing them (which, by the way, he only did for the picture), he treats them like Matchbox cars, driving them around the floors. It's really quite funny.

Feb 4, 2011

Upholstered Chair - I did it!

Look! I upholstered this chair! But don't look too closely. From a distance, it looks pretty good (wait, can somebody please turn on the lights? No?). 
 I went about it the wrong way. I removed all the nails, cut a piece of fabric that was too small (then had to sew two pieces together), and then RE-USED the same bent nails. Yeah. Didn't realize until I was knee-deep in bent nails that they were not intended to be reused. Next time, I will do a little research ahead of time. But this is what you get when your husband takes your 3-year-old out for the afternoon and your baby is sleeping. A spur-of-the-moment unplanned project.
But, it's done. And no, we still don't have our Christmas tree up. This project was completed a month ago!

Feb 3, 2011

Ladybug Hat

I really don't think my camera (or my, eh-hem, photography skills) do this hat justice. It's a ladybug hat! And it's my new favorite.
 My daughter was a ladybug for Halloween and so the ladybug theme has just carried over. Once again, I saw something like this on Etsy and thought, I can DO that! So I did some knit 1, purl 1 ribbing at the bottom and then switched over to stockinette stitch and then sewed up the seam. I sewed on felt circles for the spots and, quite frankly, it's one of my better hats. 
And I was so thrilled the other day when when my daughter reached into the hat basket by the door and chose this one on the way out of the house! Here she is modeling the hat. Notice she's carrying her brother's Thomas the Train lunchbox. I don't quite understand what her fascination is with this thing, but every time she gets the chance, she snatches it up and walks away. Funny girl.

Feb 2, 2011

Lovebirds and Hearts

Ack. I really have to get better at photographing my stuff. Really, this looks much better in person (is that what they all say?) 
Anyway, I was inspired by this Valentine's lovebird collage in the most recent issue of Better Homes and Gardens. So I spent the good part of the afternoon working on this thing while my son made Valentine's cards (and I assisted with, namely, the cutting). I like my collage -- its decor. Not sure how long it'll stick around or where it'll eventually end up. (All available wall space is currently dedicated to photographs of the kids.) But right now it's perched (ha ha) on my kitchen counter. I do like looking at it. I'm proud of my cutting skills.
And when my husband came home from work, my son said, "Look, Daddy! Mama's bird picture!" Hehe, what a good PR man.

Feb 1, 2011

Sweater Pillow

I had this really pretty cable-knit sweater that just didn't fit me right. I had only worn it a couple times, so it was in great shape.  I didn't want to give it away, but what could I do with it? I just wanted it to go to good use...somehow. So I decided to make it into a pillow! 
 I used the bottom half of the sweater and then sewed the line that I cut. I put the pillow inside and then sewed on these three wooden buttons from my stash (I think they came from some old clothes that may have belonged to my grandmother many years ago). The pillow now lives on my couch with another pillow I made about a year ago and I think it fits well into our color scheme. I love looking at it because I remember how warm and cozy the sweater felt when I had it on (and I forget about the part about it not looking so good on me because it looks so good on my couch!).
Blogger's Pillow Party
Voila! Easy and quick!