Sunday, February 26, 2012

Owl Purses

I've been in the midst of half-finished projects for the past week, so I am pretty happy to finally have something to show for my efforts.  My somewhat newfound addiction to Pinterest hasn't helped matters.  Except that it led me to this cute tutorial on Mama G's Big Crafty Blog.

My version of her little owl purse

I know, I know, I said I was done with owls after I made my twin nieces these hats, but my sister (who is also on the Pinterest bandwagon now and even has a to-do board for me) has a whole board of owls pinned, and they are just so cute.  I'm not even into owls and I want to make them!   It sounded like a quick project so I decided to make the girls some to match their hats.

I added 2 extra rounds to the bodies--these are
still fairly small, but just the right size for a toddler

There was no occasion that called for gifts, which I think is the best time to give :)

I was almost out of pink & purple, so I
made the backs a solid black

I think they're really cute and am so grateful for the free pattern--isn't it amazing how many generous people there are online?  I should also mention that I tried a few of the photo tips from this post by Disney at ~Ruffles and Stuff~ .  I think I still like my wood floor background, and it's a lot easier to squeeze a photoshoot in when I can do it at night, inside my house, no matter what the weather & with the kids asleep.  But it was fun to try to something new.

This is with a 3T shirt, to give you an idea of scale
(remember, I added 2 extra rounds, which is about
2 inches of width with the yarn/hook I used)

I have to admit, taking photos is not my strength and it was what held me back from starting a blog for so long.  So I've been just focusing on taking clear photos without background junk & trying to make them look somewhat interesting composition-wise considering I have NO eye for that sort of thing.  Since I no longer have aspirations of becoming a world-famous blogger, I think I will mostly stick to what makes me comfortable and gives me more time with my family.  I hope you still enjoy spending time here :)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Burps for Mom Friends

I just wanted to share--rather quickly--the burps I made for some friends in my MOPS group.  I love the way the fonts turned out on these!

For baby Harper, I used the Itty Bitty font with a pink & grey fabric combination.

This font is so cute for both boy and girls

And for baby Natalie, I used the font Sweet Tarts with my Purple Dots theme.

I think the "N" is especially pretty!

Nothing groundbreaking, but I wanted to share anyways. :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

For My Valentine

I made my sweetie (my husband) a surprise for Valentine's Day.  Can you guess what it is?

If you guessed a beer hat you are wrong, but you think like my husband when he's trying to figure out what the oddly-shaped mass of fabric I handed him might be.  If you guessed slipcover for his plastic beer-making keg, you are correct!

He was totally stumped until I put it on!

When I was buying the sock monkey fabric I just had to have, I got suckered into buying extra fabric so I could have free shipping. I know, it makes no sense to spend more to save a little, but I was weak.  I bought this fabric along with two prints to make decor for my honey's garage, should he ever finish cleaning/organizing it.  My husband keeps his plastic beer keg on our counter for a few weeks at a time while it's brewing--or whatever it does--and I thought the beer themed print (complete with "be a man" bottlecaps) would be perfect, especially since the colors coordinated with our kitchen.

Sorry Mr. Beer, I don't want to see you in my kitchen

My quickie project ended up including 4 panels, a bound circle cutout and a spigot slit, so I found myself sewing until my husband pulled into the driveway yesterday (literally).  I wanted the images to be right side up, so I had to split the main body into two pieces.  I wanted it to have a more fitted shape, so I cut panels out for the side pieces.  I didn't notice that I needed room for the spigot until I was almost done, so I cut a slit and folded the fabric back to make it work.  I am mostly pleased with the results.  I knew the elastic would snug up the bottom some, but I'd like to add another 1/2" or so to the length when I make another one.  That's right, I have two plastic kegs to contend with.

Here's a closeup of the binding on the cutout:

I was going to cover the lid up, but found out that
it contains a way for the keg to vent

I used a similar method to what patterns have called for when I've made sleeveless dresses for Danielle:  I stitched bias tape (actually, some twill tape) to the edge, right sides together, folded it to the underside and then topstitched, catching the bias in place.  It was less fussy than I thought it would be.  Apparently plastic beer keg tops are significantly bigger than my child's arm.  In case you were wondering.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Frog Pillowcase

Whoo hoo!  I finally made something!  I finished up a pillowcase for my daughter, which brings me to a whopping total of 3 projects for the year (the other two were burpcloth sets for some friends at MOPS).  The best part of the project--besides how excited Danielle will be when she sees it--is that my sewing mojo is back.  Now maybe I can knock out a bunch of projects on my to do list.

In case you don't remember from this post, I merged two designs from Designs By Juju together and added some words using the font Puppy Love.  I stitched the design in a 5x7 hoop, then pieced a border out of squares that ended up being 3.5" x 3.5" once they were sewn.  I used fabrics from my stash to match the colors in Danielle's bedding & curtains.

Frog pillowcase & butterfly sheets?  Works for me :)

She uses a travel sized pillow so the finished dimensions were 20.5" x 14".  The pillow was just a smidge longer than that, but I didn't want to make the math more complicated and pillows squish anyways.

See, nice and snug

The placement of the squares took forever, ugh.  I wanted a different color in each corner, at least 3 or 4 squares between color repeats, and I didn't want a pink or brown to be in the center bottom (the brown would be overwhelming, and the pink would be too much with the pink lilypad above it).  Yeah, I nuked the placement out, but I am pleased with the visual weight of the colors.  For the back I made an envelope-style that overlaps. 

It doesn't lay as flat as it should, because of the snug size,
but there's plenty of overlap so the pillow doesn't show.

As for the design--the end result stitched out nicely even with the manipulations, so I am ready to sew it on some shirts for my nieces now.  I almost forgot to add an extra piece of stabilizer (to prevent puckering), but I stuck one on in time for the words, whew!

Closeup of the froggie

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Goal #5

I forgot to mention my 5th goal for this year in my previous post:  Quilting!  I was a very avid non-quilting quilter while I was in the military.  I read books about it, gathered supplies and dreamed about it, but never really had time to actually do more than start my first quilt. (That's one of my UFOs to finish, which was goal #4).  Then I got out of the service, got married, started having babies, and quilting just kind of fell by the wayside.

I did manage to complete one quilting project in 4 years:

What a sad, sad little pillow this is

I made this little pillow as a joke. I worked with a bunch of guys and am pretty short so I came up with the girliest thing I could think of to sit on during watch.  I used pink & purple & yellow & a multicolor floral to make a border around an appliqued pink flower.  As you can see, I didn't know much about applique and I just stitched around the flower, which is now hanging loose on one petal and frayed around all the others.The backing is an obnoxious fabric--cotton candy pink with swirls of glitter and roses.  I love it! 

Ooh, and it has sparkles!

Somehow it ended up as my daughter's pillow when she moved into a big girl bed.  She produces a ton of heat at night and gets sweaty sometimes, so this pillow got washed a LOT.  It fell apart one day in the dryer (did you see the big hole in one of the purple patches?), and I found fiberfill all over.  I am currently in the process of quilting her a pillowcase that will fit the travel-sized pillow she currently uses. 

Besides that, and the two bathroom wall-hangings I have planned, I'd like to quilt a table runner for Thanksgiving.  I'd also like to do a series of mini-quilts to use as wall hangings.  And finally, I'd like to quilt a bedspread for our master bedroom, though I think that will have to wait until next year :)

Monday, February 6, 2012

In the Works...

I don't have anything new to share, but that's because I've been busy doing the legwork for a lot of projects.  What are they, you ask? (actually, you didn't, but I'm going to pretend you did...)

I owe my sister some pajama tops for her daughters, to go with the frog print pants I finished in time for Christmas.  I did a little Embird manipulation on these two designs from the "Leapin' Lilypads" set from Designs by Juju.

The design set didn't have a frog on a lilypad, which would
match the fabric, so I put two designs together to make my own

And this is the end result:

Font used is "Puppy Love" from 8 Claws

I removed the flower, then rotated the frog to fill in the gap in satin stitch that was left.  I added the phrase "Hop to Bed" because, well, it's for pajamas.  I really like the result and just need to stitch it out (twice) now.

I also found some graphics to use as inspiration for a bird on a branch silhouette I plan to make for my downstairs bathroom.

I like the bird on the left

I really like the shape of these branches and leaves, so I pared
it down to just have a single, branching limb

The little birdie on the right is going to make an appearance (sort of) as well

A little photo editing and sketching and I was able to put the different elements I liked together to come up with a pattern piece to cut out.  Now I just need to cut it out. And sew it.  And bind it.  And I think that should about do it :)

Finally, I did a little more Embird magic for the other wall-hanging I have planned.  I fell in love with several spring designs that Planet Applique released last year and bought them with the idea of making a quilt.  Long story short, only one design fits the vision I have, and that's the topiary.  Since I need designs for two panels, I modified the single ball topiary to make a double ball one.  Make sense?  Didn't think so.  Here are some pictures:

Here is the original design (with some color changes)

And here's what I derived for a second panel

I got two balls by shrinking the ball from the 5x7 design and pairing it with the ball from the 4x4 design.  I split the flowers out and put the 3 smaller ones up top and the 3 bigger on the bottoms.  I cropped the stem into two pieces, and moved the bow (which I shrank a little as well).  I am pleased with how the two-ball topiary turned out and think the designs will look perfect together.  Now I just need to do all the cutting, embroidery, sewing and quilting!

Beyond all that, I have fabric coming in for a shopping cart cover for Samuel because I was short on the fabrics I chose.  I also have some vinyl coming to make some decorative bins out of wipes boxes (thanks Pinterest, for coming up with more projects for my to-do list!). Whew!  I'm tired just thinking about all the sewing I need to do!  What about you?  Do you have big plans in the works?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Sewing for my bathroom

I've been bad.  Less than a week after I posted that I wanted to only use my stash, I went and bought more fabric...  *shameface*  It was for a good cause--a surprise for my sweetie for Valentine's Day.  But, the whole point was that I was supposed to be more creative with using the materials I already have on hand.

I think I've been redeeming myself though!  I did two quick projects during naptime on Tuesday and ended up with some new bathroom decor.

My new soap cover and vase decoration thingy

I've been really motivated recently to try to get the rest of my home decorating done.  I got about 80% of the way there after we moved in, then stopped, somewhere around the time we decided I would stay home with the kids.  Now, with the possibility of returning to work looming (to ease the transition when my husband changes careers later this year), I find myself motivated again.  I don't know why.  Anyhow, I am not the best at decorating, but I do like things to look pretty, so I gave it a shot in my downstairs bath.

I hate messing with flower arrangements,
so I decided to decorate inside the vase

The vase is one I had leftover from fresh flowers.  I added a candle I had (it's used, obviously), threw a ribbon around it, then added a bunch of paper as filler.  I thought rocks would look nice, but we didn't have any pretty store-bought ones, and I was trying to use stuff on hand.  So I folded some cardstock accordion-style and snipped it to make little zig-zaggy bits.  I like the effect.

I goofed around with what to do with our chintzy soap dispenser.  I know there are probably nice enough looking ones at the Dollar Store, but I didn't want to spend money.  Since I definitely have plenty of fabric on hand, I decided to make a little slipcover. I added the ribbon because it needed a little something.

I need to change soaps--the yellow isn't working :)

It was pretty easy to make, but I'm not sure how I feel about the overall results.  (There's a reason I came up almost completely empty in my search for soap dispenser covers, I'm sure).  I'm going to do a few other things in the bathroom and then see how I feel when it's all done. My plans include two wall hangings (again, I don't have canvases for art, but I do have fabric) and some monogrammed hand towels.
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