Mar 31, 2011

Game Bag Tutorial

Want to know how to make this cute game bag with the window? 
Head over to A Girl in Paradise where I'm guest blogging today!

Mar 26, 2011

Picture Frame Pillow

I'm excited about my newest pillow!
I was inspired to try my hand at ticker tape quilting after reading about Rachel's Bottled Rainbows at Stitched in Color
This link above shows an amazing block that I loved when I first saw, but gained an even greater admiration for, after working on my pillow.
Since I'm new to quilting and not quite ready to do a quilt with this method, I thought I'd start small with a pillow!

I used only the scraps that I had tucked away in my fabric scrap stash and each piece holds a certain memory for me. I see past projects on this pillow and a few that are a part of some works-in-progress.

I tried to present a parade of blues down to oranges and reds. And I used red as the border to highlight the end of the little color parade.

I did a deep envelop closure with a red binding to tie in with the front frame.

Right now, this pillow is sitting on an armchair in my living room. I'm not sure if I'll give it away or keep it. But this evening, my son has already cried, "Let's play 'dance with the pillow!'" Um, ok.

I used Kona cotton for the gray background and red border. It was my first time finishing a project with Kona fabric, and I have to say, I love the results! Everybody was right!!
Oh, and I had fun taking my pillow outside for part of this photo shoot!

I'm entering my pillow in the Blogger's Pillow Party! There are so many beautiful and inspiring pillows entered this month.
Fingers crossed for this newbie! :)
Blogger's Pillow Party
I'm linking up at amylouwho also!

Mar 25, 2011

Striped Organic Cotton Hat with Apple Applique

And another hat unearthed from the winter bins. This hat is made from organic cotton and I realized after I made it that it's...not very warm. So it's not often worn. 
But then I sewed a puffy apple on the side and my son wore it a lot (back in the fall). I started to think, Maybe he didn't wear it because it wasn't warm. Maybe he just didn't like it. Well, since adding the apple, he has liked it much more.
My son later requested a full-fledged apple hat which I knitted earlier this winter. You can see it here.
I was happy to see him wearing this hat again today. (And he never complained about being cold.) :)
This pattern came from the book, Easy Baby Knits: Clothes and Accessories for 0-3 Year-olds, by Claire Montgomerie.
I'm linking up at My Creative Space today!

Mar 24, 2011

Simple Knit Rectangle Hat with Pom Poms

Here in Boston, we are waiting (and waiting) for spring to arrive. Today, we had snow flurries! So, alas, it was time to bundle up (yet again) before heading out. I came across a hat we hadn't seen all winter... THIS ONE!

I made this hat back when my son was a toddler, but my daughter came across it today and I realized I hadn't posted anything about it.
It's a very simple hat to make!

I bought some multi-colored yarn to give the hat some interest and set to work with a garter stitch. I knitted a big, long rectangle, then folded it over and sewed up the seam. Then I knitted two very (very) long I-cords and sewed them on. Lastly, I made 4 pom-poms. Very easy!

Here's my daughter sportin' the hat today. I like how it droops on her head. :)

And here's my son who wanted to wear it out. It's obviously tighter on him now as I made it for him to wear when he was my daughter's age. But I still think it looks cute.
 He had fun swinging the pom-poms!

Mar 21, 2011

Easy-Peasy Memory Board Tutorial

I'm all about quick and easy, especially with limited free time and two small children usually running around. Sometimes I don't have all the materials for some projects and that frustrates me. So I tend to just do what I can and hope it turns out good enough. I think I succeeded here!
Let me take you through the steps. First, gather your materials:

1. Cardboard of the size you'd like your memory board to be. (I used the bottom of a box that had just come in the mail. I reinforced it with packaging tape.
2. Fabric you love and won't mind looking at every day. (I used the same fabric that I've used in other projects already posted here and here.)
3. Batting (the thicker the better).
4. Glue gun (a better choice might be a staple gun, but, alas, I didn't have one of those.
5. Ribbons (I used various widths and colors that matched the fabric.)
6. Spray adhesive (optional)
7. Newspaper (optional)
 Step 1: Lay out the newspaper and the cardboard. Spray the cardboard with spray adhesive (optional) and attach batting.
 Step 2: Cut fabric to size and place across batting. Arrange ribbons to see what you like.
 Steps 3-5: Flip over the fabric and place the cardboard and batting face down. Glue with your glue gun the fabric to the cardboard. Pull taut as you do the gluing.
 Step 6: Turn the project over and see how you did.
 Step 7: Start gluing the ribbons to the board, one end at a time. Remember to pull the ribbon so it's nice and taut.
 Step 8: Once all the ribbons are glued on, this is how it might look. You can add a ribbon loop (mine's red) in the center to hang your board on the wall. (It doesn't look pretty, or particularly neat on this side, but who cares? No one's going to see it!)
 Step 9: Sew on a button (optional) if you have a few extra minutes.
 Step 10: Hang your memory board and step back to admire your work!*

Not bad, eh?
**If you make one of these, please be sure to link up your pics in my FLICKR Group! Thanks!**

*Note: If I were to do this again, I'd do a better job of folding the edges at the corners before gluing them to the back of the cardboard because I had to make some minor tweaks with the glue gun at the end so that the foldover bits didn't peak out on the sides. 

Get Your Craft On Tuesday

Mar 16, 2011

Birds of a Feather Quilt Top

I have begun Real Quilt #2, since I had so much fun with my first Real quilt. I am loosely basing this pattern on the "Spring" design by Connie Kauffman in Patchwork Comforters, Throws & Quilts. If you look up the pattern, you'll see that I am omitting the square-in-a-square technique that makes this an "intermediate" quilt. (I need "easier than that.") So this is my version below.

I had fun picking the charms and colors. I have one more border to piece around this quilt top and then I'll be done with this first step and on to basting. (Yippee! I bought pins and am ready to do it the "Real" way!)

As I've been working on this quilt top, I've realized that it's not as precise as I'd like it to be (or as some of the other amazing quilters out there make theirs) and I think it might be due to a.) my lack of patience b.) my lack of the right materials -- what's a darning foot?! and c.) my lack of space to spread out at a sewing table and, later, on the floor. As a result, my squares are not perfectly aligned and there's some puckering. I can sort of deal with the misalignment, but I really dislike the puckering. And I *think* that is due to my inability to sew a straight line for the reasons stated above. Hmm. But I *am* pressing my seams these days and am really learning to love my iron and its results. My son even asked for a toy iron the other day, so I see that as encouragement to keep quilting (and pressing)!

Anyway, I need to wrap up this post because I want to link up with Freshly Pieced before the linky closes tonight. So here goes! Until tomorrow (or the next day)...
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Mar 14, 2011

Pretty Place to Store Stuff!

I was inspired to make this bag after seeing Lee's pretty pair on Freshly Pieced. She found the pattern here at Pink Penguin and that's what I used (with some minor changes).
I like it and might try to make another one with some different fabric. (I'm not so sure I like the corduroy on the bottom of this one, but it sure does make it sturdy!).

But I do like the inside. Fabric leftovers from the quilt. :)
I'm linking up with Canoe Ridge Creations today for Sew Modern Monday!
{Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations

Mar 12, 2011

Fabric Storage Bags

I love storage. 
And I don't have enough of it. As I continue on this sewing and crafting journey, I keep acquiring more things. And I have nowhere to put them. So, if I'm going to make pretty things for the kids (and, ok, for myself), I need somewhere to store what I have, right? I thought two little bags for my sewing desk might be good to have. I followed the same basic directions for attaching the liner that I did here. But I tried binding the way I did my quilt when I tried to machine stitch it.
I thought I could put knitting needles in one bag, or maybe spools of threads. And perhaps charm packs or fat quarters in the bigger one.
I stuck these bags on my desk after I finished them and later in the day, heard my son shout, "Wheee! These bags are for me!" followed by a blur of little boy, arms, and fabric. Not long after, I found both my kids filling their "goodie bags" (my son's term) with blocks.
I'm linking up with Quilt Story for Tuesday!

Fresh Poppy Design

Mar 10, 2011

Stylish Blogger Award!

Wow! I feel so honored to receive a Stylish Blogger Award from Mary at Bugglebee Handmade! If you haven't checked out Mary's blog, you should do so RIGHT. NOW. She has some great tutorials and does some really awesome work (like this gorgeous pillow and these cute appliqued onesies)! Thanks Mary!

This award is a great idea because you get to pass it on and help promote other blogs that are new to you or just darn inspiring.
So onto the rules for accepting the award:
1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you the award.
2. Share seven things about yourself.
3. Award 6 recently discovered great bloggers.
4. Contact the bloggers and tell them about the award.

All right. Rules are covered. Now for seven things about me (argh. I didn't really want to do this part! But here goes.)
1. I grew up playing the violin.
2. From my home, I can walk to Starbucks in about seven minutes. Yeeesssss!
3. I taught high school English before having kids and taught for one year in Alaska.
4. In sixth grade, I ran into a wall and broke my wrist.
5. In high school, I worked at a Blockbuster Video and now that store in my hometown is closing.
6. I was a Navy wife for six months before my husband got out of the military.
7. A knee injury my soph year of college ended my volleyball career (and Olympic dreams. Ha.).
Whew. OK, that wasn't so bad.

Now on to the next step. The six blogs I'd like to nominate for this award in no particular order are...

K*D Quilts   

Fairy Face Designs

Camp Follower Bags and Quilts

The Crafter's Apprentice

A Girl in Paradise

Made on Maple

There are so many more blogs that I love, but I'm capping the list at 6. (I have some sewing to do, hello!) Now go check out these fun blogs!

Mar 9, 2011

Taggie Pillow

When I first started sewing about two years ago, I didn't have a sewing machine. But I really wanted to....make some things. 
For my son.

And since he was little, I thought taggies might be fun. And because I thought a blanket might be a little too ordinary, I made a pillow.

I got some great fish fabric at this discount fabric store in Cambridge. And then hunted around my house for some ribbons. I had some stuffing for some reason, so I was all set there. And at some point, I bought these labels and ironed one on. Because I was so proud.
What I like most about this pillow is that it's really plump! I didn't intend this, but this little pillow has become the perfect lower-back support pillow in the house. And...I think my son played with it a bit. :)

I'm linking up with Tea Rose Home's linky party!

Mar 7, 2011

The Quilt is Finished!

It feels so good to finally be done with my first real quilt. Sat-is-FACT-ion!
It really feels good to have completed a project like this. I ended up doing a few different methods of binding (whipstitch, ladder stitch, and machine stitching) and decided that the ladder stitch looked the best (on the first attempt). The ladder stitch took some time, but I think the results were worth it. I just didn't do well with the machine stitching and the whipstitch looked messy. I didn't pull any of them out, however. So I have a very unique binding!
I was so proud of my finished product that I took it outside for a photo shoot.
Ooooo, nice. Work it. Work it.
Yes, this quilt was a challenge and diversion for myself, but my kids have, throughout the process, claimed it for themselves. And, of course, that's who it was really for to begin with.
One more time, Wah-hoo!!!
And I'm so excited to finally be linking up with Canoe Ridge Creations for Sew Modern Monday! 
{Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations