Dec 31, 2012

Patchwork Chenille Baby Quilt

Oh, Chenille Quilt, I am glad you are done!
Not in time for Christmas, mind you, but I did get it done a few days afterwards.
I started this little quilt by sewing the top and then assembling the quilt layers over the summer.
 Then, only recently, I spent hours and hours quilting this sucker and then cutting the strips.
Let me back up and say I followed this lovely tutorial at Aesthetic Nest, a blog I truly enjoy reading for all its beautiful sewing work and photography. I thought about going out and buying some nice matching fabric for this project, but decided to go with what was in my stash and see how the chenille turned out.
Everything turned out well and I'm quite happy with how the chenille looks and feels! I love the rounded corners (which I'd never done before). And I love my pink binding which I attached entirely with my machine.
However. This little 25"x22" quilt was a bear.
The biggest problem for me was that I made it more difficult than it should've been. Mine is more of a quilt than a blanket (as the tutorial calls for). Meaning, I made this patchwork top with all these little seams going this way and that. And I never even considered how very difficult cutting up those bottom three layers would be with my scissors getting caught over and over on those darn seams. So if you do this project, DON'T make my mistake and do a pieced top. I have an extremely sore and bruised hand/thumb from all my scissoring. And, I'll also share, that the last two fingers on my cutting hand went numb for a couple DAYS after cutting up the majority of the underside. Ouch!
So this leads to my other suggestion: get one of those Olfa Chenille Cutter's that Aesthetic Nest recommends if you are serious about doing chenille blankets. :)
Anyway. It's done. It's lovely. And it's going in my daughter's newly re-vamped doll cradle (which I'll post about later on this week. Hopefully.). I can now cross Chenille Baby Blanket/Quilt off my list!
Have a great week!

Dec 17, 2012

A Stick Horse for Christmas

Christmas gift #1 is done. [BIG SIGH]
I'm only making two gifts this year, one for my daughter and one for my son. And this stick horse is for my little girl. I really hope she likes it!
I followed THIS really awesome tutorial from ikatbag. Pattern pieces and step-by-step directions really helped me through the process (I was actually rather nervous to start.) I have never done a dart before (warning: this pattern contains a dart! Would you have guessed?). But I can now say that I've done one. Yay for learning new things! I know I made a few mistakes, but hopefully, you won't catch them. 
I seriously could not BELIEVE that when I turned the finished horse head right-side-out that it looked pretty close to what it was supposed to. Hurray!
Here's the view my daughter will have riding the horse:
All fall, she would find branches behind our building and ride them around like a horse. I may be chancing things by giving her an "inside" stick, but I think she'll have fun with it. And we have a long hallway on our floor.
The other reason why I made her a stick horse for Christmas was because my grandma made me one for Christmas when I was little. I was too young to appreciate her sewing skills, but I sure do now. Though my grandma is no longer with us, it was kind of nice to reminisce, and think about her a bit as I sewed up this horse. Oh, and by the way, I grew up calling it a "mop horse." Did anybody else, or was that just our family??

Seven days left... happy crafting and sewing!

PS: I took these pics with my phone, in a rather dark and gloomy bedroom (go away rain!) because, of course, I didn't want my kids to see this horse...and have I mentioned that neither one of them nap anymore? Right on. So I had to be stealthy...

Dec 11, 2012

Hair Bows

It's been busy, but I managed to squeeze in a little project over the last 24 hours. Hair bows!
I've been dying to try this tutorial for korker hair bows for a long time (I mean, I bought the dowels a couple years ago. Yeah.) I realized quickly after I got started how super EASY they are to do! I'm never going to buy another korker hair bow again. 
(Though I do really love the ones at Crazy 8, and they always go on
For this flower clip, I bought a Gerber daisy at AC Moore (again, about 2 years ago), separated each layer, pulling out the stem and the center bits. Then I hot-glued the layers together, adding a felt flower and a jewel for the center. Easy.
Another corker bow, 
this one a little bigger. For Christmas, of course.
And then, once the korker bows were done, I tried something else...
Knitted hair bows.
They were quick, seriously. I knitted them last night during about a 45 min TV show. I followed this excellent tutorial that's been on my Little Girlie Hair Clips Pinterest board for a while. Then I attached them to clips with hot glue. So cute. 
I wish I had better pictures. It's sad to say that I haven't taken my fancy-schmancy camera off Auto yet... I'll get there. I know, pathetic, right? But I am reading the books to learn how to take better pics and that's a start.
 I bought the plastic barrettes here on etsy. creative cravings are satisfied for a little bit. BUT I really need to get to work on the Christmas presents. More on that hopefully soon! What do YOU make for a quick fix?

Dec 3, 2012

The Santa Dress

Boy, it's here! December! Can you believe it??

And it's zipping right along. I have a million things I want to make and sew and, honestly, if I get one homemade gift made for my son and my daughter, I'll be happy. The days just do not slow down at all and I'm already up to my elbows in school, dance classes, playgroups, etc. Oh, and did I mention my daughter has dropped her nap?!? That was her 3rd birthday present to me. Thanks, kid.
Last year, I finished up my second of two quilts on Christmas Eve (!), literally cutting it to the last minute. I really don't want to be doing that again... But last month, I did manage to eke out a Christmas play dress during a recent visit from my in-laws. After a couple weeks of not sewing anything, I was given an entire morning to myself to hit the machine. This pattern for an apron knot dress by Romeo & Mae had been sitting on my desk for weeks, waiting to be made.
For this dress, I used leftover fabric from those Christmas quilts. The only "new" fabrics were the big skirt piece and the bottom trim (stars, and Santa on his sleigh - lovely), both of which came to me a couple months ago through Freecycle. So do you want to know the (quick) story how I came to purchasing this lovely pattern?
Here it is: I've been reading and renewing and renewing and renewing this book here for weeks. 
Mamarazzi: Every Mom's Guide to Photographing Kids 
And I sort of fell in love with the baby on the front cover (so cute!) along with her dress. Perhaps that's what frequent exposure does to a person. I started looking closer at that baby's dress and thinking...I want to make that. So with a quick search online, I found it. Isn't it a cute dress?? I think it has a sort of country cutie look to it. Or Little House on the Prairie feel. I don't know. It's like the opposite of those gorgeous satin dresses that are popping up out there (which I wouldn't mind making as well!).
Anyway, I got all the pieces cut out during my free morning and also sewed up the bodice. The rest I fit in here and there over the next couple days. We call it The Santa Dress.
I think my daughter just spotted him... it's fun to believe! 
So before I go ahead and start making my homemade gifts for the kids, I was wondering -- Do your kids appreciate YOUR homemade gifts (clothes, quilts, toys, etc.) for them??
Happy sewing!