Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Block of the Month Quilt

Back in 2012, when I was just starting to get a little more adventurous with my quilting, I signed up for a free Craftsy Block of the Month class (and I think  you can still enroll -- so if you are interested, check it out!). It's taught by the very talented Amy Gibson. Although it took me a bit longer than the one year it was supposed to, it was a great experience, and I learned tons of sewing techniques that have helped me a lot on my other quilts (half square triangles, paper piecing, curved piecing, and quilting!)

So without further ado, here is my finished quilt!

I'm so so happy with how it turned out. Plus, it's the first quilt that I've made that I get to use for myself! :)

This was also the first quilt that I quilted myself! It was fun trying out the different techniques Amy showed in the class, and to think about quilting as part of the art of the quilt. It was definitely a learning experience! Although many of the blocks I did were very simple, here are a few blocks to show off some of my more intense quilting. :)

 And in case you are curious, here is the print I chose for the back!

 I'm so happy to have finally finished -- only three plus years in the making! :)

Monday, May 18, 2015

Baby girl pirate quilt!

Once upon a time I bought some amazing Sarah Jane "Out to Sea" fabric to make a baby quilt for baby girl #3. After debating which pattern to use, I finally decided on the adorable By Sea or By Land quilt pattern. After painstakingly cutting out all the curved pieces, I was finally ready to start sewing! Then, my worst nightmare happened: little Chi found my fabric scissors and shredded all the fabric. Worst. Day. Ever. She cut every single piece. I had to completely start over. :(

The pink narwhal fabric looked like a snowflake.

So, after buying more fabric, having Sarah Jane herself mail me more fabric (so amazing!!!!), re-cutting all the fabric, having to re-imagine the back since I now had so many scraps, I was finally able to sew, quilt, and bind it! And all with 5 weeks to spare before baby is born! Woot!

So without further ado, here is the finished quilt!

The front!

Close up of the appliqued ship

I ended up doing a much different quilt back then I originally intended since I had so many random pieces of fabric left over. I did some paper piecing to make a nautical star with my smallest scraps, and patchworked the rest. I think it turned out pretty cute!

The back!

Close up of the nautical star

I'm so happy with how it all turned out. Hopefully baby will be here to enjoy it soon! :)

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Baby gifts!

I've been pretty bad at posting my random projects lately, so here are a bunch of the baby gifts I've made in the past 6 months. Hopefully this will help inspire YOU to give a handmade baby gift!

A fabric doll to match the baby quilt I helped my friend make. I was inspired by these amazing dolls. They are so cute, and pretty affordable. Frankly, after making one and seeing all the effort it took, I may just buy one next time. I especially love the pirate one. Oh my goodness.

Luz holding the doll so you can see the scale.

I made a reversible skirt to show off more the matching fabric from the quilt.

A denim whale for my cousin's baby boy (tutorial found here). I am so happy with how it turned out. I may have to make another one soon!

Chi was sad to give it away!

 My sister came to town late last summer as she was moving to Portland, so I whipped up a new little toy for her baby with some scraps I had on hand! The middle is a soft fleece with crinkley stuff inside. I made it with bright colors and different textures for him to play with/chew on, and made the arms long enough so they would be easy for his cute little hands to grasp.

He gave his seal of approval!

Finally I made a couple of little drool bibs and matching headbands for a new baby in our neighborhood (modeled by Chi). I made these bibs with an absorbent cotton jersey fabric, and backed them with fleece, so they (hopefully) won't leak onto the shirt below. I've never used them on my own kids, so I hope they work! :)

I just found out I'm having another baby girl -- due the end of June! So stay tuned for some more girly crafts/quilts in the near future! :)

Friday, January 9, 2015

Rapunzel Dress!

As I was talking to my girls about Christmas, they both told me that they wanted a princess dress! I knew I wanted to get an Elsa dress for Chi, and Luz told me she wanted a Rapunzel dress. After looking at Target and Amazon, I decided on this dress for Chi (I do not regret it -- it's great!). But Rapunzel. *Sigh* NONE of the dresses I found (not even the expensive ones!) looked ANYTHING like the dress in the movie. So, I decided to make her one. 

I based my dress off of this tutorial from Make it and Love it, this tutorial from Homemade Toast, and the look of this Simplicity pattern. Bascially, I like the look of the pattern (but am too cheap to pay $15 for a pattern), the details in the Make it and Love it tutorial, and the comfort of the Homemade Toast dress (more on that later). Here is what I came up with:  =)

 Here is the comfort part. Most dresses have a zipper (which I am secretly afraid of sewing anyway...) but the Homemade Toast dress used shirring. Have you ever tried it? Basically you sew with regular thread on top, and elastic thread in the bobbin. Then you sew row after row until you have a nice stretchy swatch of fabric! Easy, and comfy. Just like little girl dresses should be.

I am so happy with it!  And Luz loves to twirl in it!

Since Luz knew all about the dress (I made her try it on many times to check fit), I wanted her to have a little surprise on Christmas morning, so I made a matching dress for her doll. Nothing fancy. I shirred a little swatch of fabric for the bodice, and a little tube for the skirt. For the sleeves, I just used some pink elastic I had as little straps, and tied a little bow at the neck to match Luz's lacing. Easy. And who doesn't love being matchy-matchy with their doll?

I love this little Rapunzel!!!

Part princess, part goof ball!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Monster Birthday Party!

Lucy decided that she wanted a monster party this year! We started off by making some monster invitations (kudos to my Mom for always making incredible party invitations -- I now feel like a party is not complete without them!).

Inspired by this pin

About 1 minute before the party started, I realized I had zero decorations, so I quickly cut out monster eyes and teeth for our door.  I think it turned out pretty cute!

To start off the party, we decorated monster party hats. I hot glued the eyes on the night before. No one likes it when their googly eyes fall off!

We also gave out little monster bracelets. Most of the kids had never seen a slap bracelet before, and they got a huge kick out of the monster grabbing onto their arm. =) I scored the bracelets at the dollar store for half off after Halloween, and then added the googly eyes. We also lucked out with some awesome monster candy on clearance at the dollar store too. There are advantages to throwing a monster party the week after Halloween.

After all the guest had arrived and decorated a hat, we went Monster School! We taught the kids how to ROAR and how to hide and then jump out to scare someone. We had a tunnel obstacle course, and then we all RAN as fast as monsters! We didn't get many pictures. It turns out that with 10 kids, Logan and I had our hands full! =)

Next was the pinata! Lucy found about pinatas about 6 months ago, and has been talking about having one ever since. Logan (the best husband ever!) made the pinata and added the yellow "fur." Lucy and I decorated it. It was only three layers of paper mache, so it was easy enough for 4 year olds to break it. Everyone got three turns to hit it before it broke. It was perfect.

Then presents and decorating monster cupcakes. One kid told me, "This is the best party of my entire life!" I think it was a success!


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Trying out Embroidery

A few months ago I stumbled upon this darling embroidery pattern by September House. Although I have only ever dabbled in embroidery, I knew I had to make this for my Aunt, who is a librarian! I love the bright colors, and isn't the braided rug SO cute?

So I bought the pattern and tried it out! The pattern wasn't super detailed, and just said to use "different fill stitches" for the stack of books and the headband. So here are my tips: I used a simple satin stitch for the pink book, a Van Dyke stitch for the blue book, and a woven stitch for the green book. For the headband I used the herringbone stitch. I also used this tutorial to help with the chain stitch. So go try it out! Buy the pattern and stitch it up for your favorite librarian! =)

After I made the librarian embroidery, I got on an embroidery kick! I found another adorable pattern by Polka & Bloom that I needed to make for my sister! I love the whimsical sketch of the Eiffel Tower with the heart. The entire thing is stitched with a back-stitch, so it's a perfect way to practice!

Tune in next time for more of my embroidery kick! =)

Sunday, April 27, 2014

T-rex Dinosaur Softie Tutorial and Pattern!

Remember how I'm way too nice and always sew a matching something-something for the quilts I make? (See the Robot, owl, bunny, doll quilt elephant, and butterfly for a refresher! =D) Well, when I made the dinosaur quilt for my new nephew Issac, I knew that I would get to make a cute little dino softie to match! 

After searching the internet extensively, I couldn't find a single pattern/tutorial of a dino that I like well enough to use. So I decided to make my own! And since I had to make up a pattern for me to use, I decided to share it with all of you!

Materials: About 1/4 yard of printed fabric
                  8"x8" scrap of minky (for the belly and bottoms of the feet)
                  18" coordinating 1/2" rick rack

Time:        Two evenings, one long nap

***Seam allowance is 1/4" unless noted otherwise.***

Print out pattern with page margins set to zero.

Cut out all of the pattern pieces. I raw edge appliqued the little red polka-dots to the body to make it match the quilt a little bit better -- they are definitely optional!

2. Pin two of the leg pieces right sides together and sew along both long edges to make a tube. Then  pin the round foot piece to the bottom tube of the leg and carefully sew around the circle. Repeat with other leg. Honestly this is the very hardest part -- the rest is smooth sailing! =)

3. Pin two of the arm pieces right sides together and sew all around the long sides and the bottom. Flip both the arms and the legs right side out and stuff. I used a few stuffing pellet bead thingys in the bottom of the hands and feet to add weight so they would hang down better, but this is totally optional.

4. Sew the inside "V" of the body closed with right sides together. This creates a rounder shape for the body.

5. Pin the belly to the sides/tail of the dino and sew together. 

6. Sew the side of the head to the long strip.

7. Pin and sew the other side of the head to the long strip. Cut off any extra length of the strip.

8. Pin each leg to the minky belly so the edge of the leg is about 1" from the side seam. Sorry this is hard to see -- the legs are hidden inside!

9. Pin the bottom circle to the body/belly of the dino (sandwiching the legs) and pin the tail together. Sew about 1" of the tail that is closest to the bottom to complete the circle opening of the body before attaching the bottom. Does that make sense? Leave the rest of the tail open for now. Sew the bottom circle to the body.

10. Pin each arm to the body (about 1/4" from the edge of the minky belly). Pin the front of the head to the belly right sandwiching the arms in place. Sew the front of the head to the belly, leaving the sides open.

11. Sew a piece of rick-rack along the right side of the fabric down the center of the rick-rack a scant 1/4" away from the edge of the fabric (that way when you sew the seam together with a 1/4" seam these stitches won't be visible).

This is how it will look on the outside!
12. Pin and sew the entire tail together leaving a 2" gap on the bottom of the tail so you have room to flip right side out, and stuff! The inside will now look like this:

13. With right sides together (completely inside out) carefully pin and sew the back of the head onto the back.

14. Flip right side out and stuff. Like the arms and legs, I also put a handful of the stuffing beads in the bottom to help the dino sit upright, but that is optional. Hand sew the gap in the tail closed.

15. You are done! Enjoy your cute and huggable little t-rex!

Make It and Love It