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

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Dinosaur quilt!

My sister Cali came and visited during the last week of February. We went shopping together to choose the fabric for a quilt for her baby Issac -- and about one month later --  I present you with the finished quilt!  It's a new record! 

I love, love, love how it turned out! I think it's my favorite quilt so far.

The big dino squares are all hand embroidered, and then hand quilted so a) I wouldn't have an awkward tie in the middle of the dinosaur, and b) to give the dinosaur a little more dimension.

Obviously I really love my sister (and baby Isaac)! =)

Dino back!

And, yes, I made yet another matching stuffed animal. Stay tuned for the pattern/tutorial for this huggable t-rex!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Piper's Butterfly Quilt and Pillow

 I'm so excited to finally show off Piper's quilt!  I love how bright and fun it is.  Perfect for my cute five year old niece!

Close up of the butterfly

The quilt I made is 45" wide -- the back fabric was 42" wide. Sigh. So, I bought some pink fabric to make it work, and went a little crazy with the details. I love how it turned out!

Detail of the back
I have made quilt a few quilts with matching stuffed animals or doll quilts (see the matching Robot, owl, bunny, doll quilt, and elephant I've made), and I'm afraid that now it's just expected of me! ;) For Piper's softie, I was inspired by these adorable butterfly pillows.

The front and back of the matching pillow!

Now I'm off to start on a quilt for baby IKE!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Pirate Party!

Okay, okay.  I'm a little slow.  My dear Luz turned 3 in November, and I'm just now posting about it.  Oh, January.  You are so boring that I finally have time to post again!

Let me just say how happy I was that my little girl who was Cinderella for Halloween, wanted to have a pirate party for her birthday!  Yay for little girls who know they can be whatever they want to be! =)

After searching for a cute, not horribly expensive costume, and trying to avoid the awful, awful options they have for girls, I just decided to make her costume.

I modified this pattern to make a reversible red/black pirate vest.
I used this tutorial for the tiered skirt.
I used this tutorial for the red/black striped leggings.

For the sash I just cut a 4"x40" strip -- since it is a knit fabric and won't fray, I didn't worry about hemming it. Super easy. In fact, it was so easy, I made 4 more as party favors for the other kids.

Here are the invites I made.  I printed them out, burned the edges, and rolled them up to look like  pirate maps!

The party itself was a blast! First we had a treasure hunt, which I took absolutely no pictures of. Sigh.

Then we played a "walk the plank" game I found on this website. We had one kid walk the plank, while the other kids pretended to be tickle sharks, and would tickle them as they ran to the safety of the other room. The kids LOVED it. 

Luz walking the plank!

Then we played pin the eye-patch on the pirate. Luz is either super skilled at this game, or could see through the blindfold. =)

Then we all decorated cupcakes.  I got this pirate cupcake kit at Zurchers that had the pirate flags and cupcake wrappers. Super fun.  We used mini reese's peanut butter cups as pirate ships and sour patch kids as the little captain.

Our pirate Luz wanted a castle cake! =) 

Attack the castle!

Happy birthday, my sweet little pirate!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

DIY Halloween Paper Wheels and Bats!

I love Halloween.  When I got out our box of Halloween decorations this year (that is practically the size of a shoe box), I decided we needed more!  However, I have a hard time wanting to spend tons of money just to decorate my house. (is it obvious that we are renters?) ;) 

I saw a couple of things on Pinterest and at my friends houses, and decided to see what I could make from stuff I already have around the house.

First up: Paper bats!

I LOVE how these turned out!  I used the free printable from this website, and printed off one full size, one 4"x6", and one 3"x5" to give me the three different sizes of bats.  I was able to cut all 11 bats out of two 12"x12" pieces of cardstock.  I stuck them to the wall with mounting putty.  It took me about 1 1/2 hours to make all of them.  So cute and easy!

Next: Halloween Paper Wheels

I've seen these a lot for weddings and back drops and such.  I saw some at my friends house in a Halloween garland.  So darling!  I decided I could definitely make these myself.  I think they turned out so cute!  I'm especially partial to the spiders on them!

How do you make them, you ask?

Materials: Colored/patterned paper -- I used normal weight, NOT cardstock.
                  For the black wheel I used three sheets of 8.5"x11" paper
                  For the purple wheel I used two sheets that I trimmed down to 6.5"x11"
                  For the orange wheel I used one sheet of 8.5"x11" paper cut in half
Time:        One long nap (about 1 1/2 hours)

Feel free to change up the size of your paper and see what you like!  Since the smaller ones were longer rectangles, I could get away with only two sheets of paper, but since the blacks ones were more squatty, I need three.  Just mess around with it until you get what you like!

First, fold the paper like a fan.  I have a scorer on my paper cutter, and it was AWESOME!  If you don't have one, no big deal, just try to be as consistent as you can with your folds.

I marked mine every 7/8", but anywhere between 1/2" and 1" would work great.  See what you like!

Fold back and forth until you have folded the entire rectangle.

 I then unfolded my fan and folded it in half lengthwise.  It just makes the next step easier.

Fold your fan in half.

For the two-piece wheels, you need something to keep your folded fan together (the three or more piece ones stay together just fine without this step). You could staple it.  I don't have a stapler long enough, so I just sewed it up with my sewing machine on the longest stitch length.  It was super easy.

 Now tape the long sides together (made sure you tape on the back, so it's not visible!). Then need to glue along your stitches (or staple) to keep those two folds together. 

 Tape up the other two sides. I found it was easiest to tape it a little at a time.

For wheels with three pieces, just tape the sections along the folds and then glue the center together!

Glue on a circle of contrasting color (if desired) and some plastic spiders (I used those cheap spider rings)!

I hung mine up with mounting putty.  It's held really well, and then I don't have to hang anything from the ceiling or make holes in my wall. (Yep, it's obvious we are renters!) 

I feel so much more festive!  Now I just need to go buy some candy! =)