May 30, 2011

Free Motion Practice

With some leftover fabric and double-folded bias tape, I put together a mini quilt. 
Ok, it looks more like a placemat! So that's what it has ended up being. And my son thinks it's pretty cool to eat his dinner on it. Fine with me. Because this was quilting practice.
 I finally bought a darning foot and did some "stippling" across the top, along with some circles, hearts, and loops. (Oh, and some weird maneuvers here and there.) Free-motion quilting was a lot more physical than I thought it'd be. When I finished this top (one-plus bobbins later), I was beat. My arms were actually tired. I couldn't believe it. I started to wonder if I was doing it right. Were my stipples close enough together? On a full-sized quilt, should I space them out more?...Or not? (If not, I need to buy a lot more thread.)
 Doing the appliques was the most fun. I switched to black thread and got to do some "drawing" with my needle. 
I really liked this part.
 Overall, it was definitely a good thing that I practiced on some scraps before quilting a large quilt. I had fun learning as I went and I think I definitely got better (and more confident) with the darning needle by the time I finished up.
Ok, now please pass the spaghetti.

May 25, 2011

The Fifty States ~ Two Pillows

When I decide what to make, I'm definitely inspired by my kids. It's fun surprising them with something that they know was made especially for them.
Lately, my son has been into the fifty states. And this book, by Laurie Keller, is what started it all.
Now we have a floor puzzle and, no joke, my son can identify all the states and put them together! And he's 3! I'm shocked because even I have trouble with certain regions of the country (I won't embarrass myself and tell you any more than that.). 
Anyway, my son has wanted to carry around his favorite states from the puzzle--Kentucky and Oregon--and take them places (like to the store or playground, etc.). But I don't want him to lose the pieces and therefore, ruin the puzzle. So I decided to make pillow-toys of Kentucky and Oregon that he can take with him wherever he wants.

Here's my inspiration for Oregon.
And my rendering:
Here's what I used for Kentucky:
And the final product:
Here are the little guys hanging out before being introduced for the first time to my son.
And here's my son opening Kentucky.
You might be wondering why Kentucky and Oregon are his favorite states? Because his favorite colors are red and green (really)! No, he's never been to either place...but he really wants to now. :)
I'm linking up with Tea Rose Home today!

May 24, 2011

My First Dolly

Yay, I finished her! Right now, I'm referring to her as Little Pink Girl and it might just stay that way until my daughter gives her a better name.

I got the body pattern and nightie pattern from Jane Bull's book, Made By Me. I referred to Alicia Paulson's doll in her book, Stitched in Time, when I did the hair.

Here's a picture of my dolly before and after hair! Much improved, yes?
I also sewed a satiny ribbon into the back of the dolly for my daughter to play with (because this is what she does with her regular doll).
I gave Little Pink Girl to my daughter this weekend and 
she liked her. I was so glad.
Off to play!

Since this was my first attempt at sewing a doll, there were, of course, mistakes. Next time, I'll try to have more patience doing the hair (I used yarn and it was a little tricky with the needle I had). Also, I will try to bury the embroidery floss on the mouth next time. (It's supposed to be out and look like eyelashes on the eyes. I'm not sure if it does!) ;-)

Oh, by the way, I used Kona cotton for the body, and some fabric from an old bedsheet (that has appeared in other things) for the nightie. I added the details on the bottom of the nightie just for fun!
I'm looking forward to making another doll soon.

I'm linking up at Quilt Story today for 
Fabric Tuesday.
Fresh Poppy Design

May 20, 2011

Knit Baby Hat with Embroidery

My friend in Ohio had a baby earlier this week and I had this little green hat knitted up and ready to embellish once the baby's gender was announced. 
Well, it's a girl!
 Nora Jane was born Monday afternoon, so I got right to work embroidering a tiny label for the hat.
Yay! So glad Nora is finally here!
Linking up here!

May 19, 2011

Gypsy Quilt

Recognize this quilt? I'm posting again about my Gypsy Quilt at Amy's Creative Side because I'm joining the Blogger's Quilt Festival which is going on now! (I'm so glad I saw Inspired by Felix's post, which gave me the motivation to join along too.)
The Gypsy Quilt below is the first "real" quilt I've made. I finished it in March and I'm definitely proud of it, imperfections and all.
 My mom bought me the fabrics in a kit for Christmas and I learned, rather slowly, how to press, cut, sew, quilt and bind them together. Each step of the way was exciting, as I got closer to the end. But the moment I pulled the quilt out of the dryer was the best moment of all. (That moment, along with draping it around myself for the first time. Ahhh.)
 Making this quilt was definitely a learning experience and it taught me a lot. I got lots of help from tutorials online and that definitely made the process go smoother. 
 The quilt stays on our bed at home and, really, I love looking at it each evening after the kids have gone to bed when I can cuddle up beneath it. 
I had a lot of fun making this quilt. Finishing it made me feel like I really accomplished something. And it really made me want to make another (which I did the following month!). I hope to make a third quilt this summer. But this first one is the most special because it reminds me of my mom (and her choice in fabrics) and it reminds me of those winter nights that I stayed up working, sweating, and piecing it. Good times. 

~ A Tooth Fairy Pillow ~

My little boy has to have a damaged front tooth extracted, so I needed to get to work on a Tooth Fairy Pillow. This is what I came up with. 
Mr. Happy Tooth.
 I am just getting into embroidery and I had fun with it here. I think it makes the tooth look a little vintage-y.

On the back, I put a little pocket for my son's tooth. I asked him to pick the fabric and he wanted dots (from my Gypsy quilt). And then, when I asked him what shape he wanted the pocket to be, he said "a circle." Great, a challenge!
At the last minute, I went back and embroidered the year ('11) on the back of Mr. Tooth's "foot."
 I was very happy with my son's reaction. He loved Mr. Tooth and slept with it last night. Awww.

I'm linking up here with the other creative folks at Our Creative Spaces today.

May 18, 2011

Some Pincushion Practice

I decided I needed a little "travel" pincushion that I could take from room to room when I wanted to hand-sew something. So I thought a cute little pillow to contain my pins would be a good idea.
My first attempt at this pincushion didn't go as well as I'd hoped. The topstitch was a disaster with skipped stitches and bunching.
After perusing the internet, looking for other examples, I decided that forgoing the topstitch was the right thing to do. Plus, I learned from this tutorial, that I should use buttons on both sides of the pillow along with some embroidery floss to pull the buttons together. I love learning new things!
 Here's a view of the backsides of both pincushions. Ahh, that tricky hand-stitched closing needs work...
 Well, it was fun practice. And it least they'll be useful. Mom, if you want one of these, you know you can have one!
I'm happy to be linking up here today:

May 16, 2011

Second Quilted Charm Pack Bag

Having a charm pack to use up was a great excuse to make another one of these bags. My first one went so well after following this great tutorial from Camp Follower Bags, that I jumped right into another one.
 It went quicker the second time. I didn't make as many mistakes. And the mistakes I did make, I quickly covered up with some pretty felt flowers. Hehe.
 I put one of my handmade labels on it this time. I think it looks cool.
 Here's a view of the inside.
 And it's ready to be put to use!
As a sidenote, I have, indeed been using my first quilted charm pack bag. For quite a while, it sat next to my fabric stash and housed batting and a small blanket. Then my son and I played store with it one day and it played the role of "grocery bag." I like it in that role. I was proud of it. :)

I'm linking up with Canoe Ridge Creations today.

May 13, 2011

My Creative Space...A Needed Facelift

I had this mirror that I didn't know what to do with. I liked the idea of another mirror in the house, especially one with useful hooks. However, I didn't like the cheap, wooden finish and one of the useful hooks was broken.
Enter: Neptune Blue paint and a screwdriver.

Problem solved. Now I need to figure out where to put it.

I'm linking up here.

May 11, 2011

Glimpse into Motherhood...

...Or maybe this should be a Glimpse into Fatherhood! No, really, it was such a sweet moment and I'm glad I had my camera handy. My daughter adores her daddy and she tries to squeeze in hugs with him whenever she can. (And yes, I do believe he's cooking in this picture. Good man.)

I'm participating in Project 52 at Simply Modern Mom. So happy to be able to link up again with this inspiring blog.

Project 52: Glimpse Into Motherhood 
Here's Daddy's Girl