Monday, December 31, 2012

Wedding Tree Quilt

A couple at my church recently tied the knot and of course, I wanted to sew a quilt for them. Being an avid pinner, I saw some really neat quilts that were made to look like carved initials on a tree. Here is my inspiration:

Neat right? I've never seen anything like it before. The hardest part was picking out the backing fabric. The wedding colors were purple and silver, which is a hard combination to find in fabric at the moment, but their invitations were silver and yellow. Perfect! That color combo is everywhere. So I waited until the right fabric came along and snatched it up along with a purple fat quarter and a grey/white polka dot for the binding.

There wasn't any tutorials or instructions out there, but to be honest you don't need any. It's a very organic and flowing stitch pattern. I just sketched it out directly on the fabric with a water soluble pencil after I appliqued the hearts.

Yep, I said hearts. :) I did something different from the inspiration quilts, I had 2 hearts. I did their initials and wedding date on the front and then added a Scripture verse on the back using the purple fabric. For the front heart I simply stitched a bunch of lines around the perimeter of the heart, leaving the edges raw. I was going for that rugged/hand carved look and after a few washes the edges should fray beautifully to achieve it. For the back heart I did a traditional zig zag stitch to applique it. A bit more of a polished look befitting the Scripture verse.

After a little wiggling to get everything lined up it came together beautifully. Only downside was that my 'good' machine (ie the one with all the tools for quilting) busted so I ended up pulling an all nighter on my other machine to get it done. I literally started it after 9pm and finished at 8:30am - the day of the wedding! But it was sooo worth it, they loved it and that's the most important part of any handmade gift.  I just wish I remembered the take a photo of the quilt prior to giving it to them. :)

The front
The back & the newlyweds :)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Fall Wreath 2012: Work In Progress

I wanted to show you this year's version of my fall wreath. You all remember last year's version, right?

2011 wreath Tutorial found here
Here is this year's version...
Fall Wreath 2012
It's a work in progress, as you can see there's no banner and it's looking rather bare. I was going to make the banner the same way I did it last year but my printer conked out on me. So now I have to think of another way.

I'm also hoping to make two banners and change them out. One will say 'Happy Harvest' and the other 'Give Thanks'. Once it's finished I will show you the finished product. :)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Crib Bedding Set

In addition to patching up my husband's jeans and making my son big boy undies, I have been working on a labor of love.
One of the Bible teachers at our church is due in September with a little girl. I originally was going to make her a quilt, but when I found out she didn't have bedding I decided to add a sheet and dust ruffle to the mix.

Finished quilt size is about 36.5 inches by 38.5 inches

Backed the quilt in pink minky and added an embroidered tag.

I love these fabrics together. So sweet for a little girl

The blue fabric is my favorite

I did pleats on the two longest side and left the short sides plain

I ended up doing a double pleat because I miscalculated and had too much fabric

The sheet is made with the same green fabric in the quilt

I found a pink minky that closely matched the bumper, it's only a shade darker

The one and only time you'll see pink in my son's room

All bundled up for her baby shower

 The only thing I did not make was the bumper, I actually found that at a thrift store. I originally went in looking for one to recover but the Lord provided and gave me this pink one. I was/am so thankful for Him! :)

I hope she likes it. Her surprise baby shower is this upcoming Sunday. :)

Here's the list of tutorials I used to create this set:
Quilt: Momfetti
Crib Sheet: Dana from 'Made' guest post on luvinthemommyhood
Dust Ruffle/Crib Skirt: Hibler House (she has directions for 3 different variations)

Linking up here:
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Big Boy Underwear

My son is two and half, and he's getting to that age where people start to ask if he's potty trained. And it certainly doesn't help that he has the build of a 4 year old (thanks to some tall genes from both Mama AND Daddy!).

I decided long ago that our next baby would be in cloth diapers and that whenever Alex was ready to potty train, he'd be in cloth trainers. I absolutely refuse to buy Pull-ups or any other related 'generic' brand of this glorified diaper. I honestly can't justify spending that much money on it, I'd rather do more laundry (which wouldn't cost me much anyways since I make my own laundry soap).

But I digress, so when looking for cloth trainers I wanted something that was padded. Didn't have to be super duper padded, but enough extra layers to hold a little accident.

I came across this tutorial on Pinterest:
For full tutorial click here
And I thought to myself that this option could work for my son. Now Heather from It's a Long Story has used cloth diapers with her daughter, so she has a one up on us. From what I understand this a pretty good advantage when transitioning to potty training, hence why we're doing this next baby. But I figured it was worth a shot and I'm hoping that Alex will learn pretty quick.

Anyways, I went to Joanns and bought my fabrics. You only need 1/4 yard of the PUL which is roughly $3.75 (a full yard is $14.99) and then I found two remnants of 100% cotton flannel, and if you shop at Joann's then you know that all their remnants are 50% off. So in the end the fabric didn't cost me much.

I found the training pants at Walmart and Target, and they both had the same price. I think $7.69 for 3 pairs of the white, and they come in 2T and 3T. I ended up buying 6 pairs so my overall cost jumped up a bit but I wanted to make sure to have several pairs ready to go in case of emergency changes. If these work out I plan to buy more, I have plenty of PUL and flannel leftover to make at least 6 more pairs if not more.

So anyways, without further ado here's my boy version of Heather's DIY training pants:

I think they came out pretty cute. But don't look too too close at the stitching, it didn't exactly line up in several pairs. Oops. Oh well, not like it matters it's underwear after all.

Heather used white flannel but I found this solid green and a green stripe in the remnant bin so that's what I used. Personally, I think it matches the dinosaur PUL perfectly. So cute! :)

Now here's hoping that my son will learn to use the potty by age 3! :)

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Friday, August 3, 2012

Quick Blanket and a Happy Accident

My poor little boy was sick most of this week. In an effort to make him more comfortable I fished this remnant from my stash and finished the edges.

This remnant is actually a full yard and I found it in the remnant bins at Joann's. It's the 'cuddle' version (aka the super duper soft stuff!) of my favorite dog print that I've found at Joann's to date.
The cuddle version: Buy it here
The cotton version: Buy it here
Anyways, I was originally was going to hem the edges but that would've taken too long. So I did a quick zig zag around the edges to prevent fraying. In the process I accidentally created a lettuce trim on the two longest edges which made it just that much cuter.
See the waves? That's called a lettuce trim
A happy and cute accident!
Like I said, I didn't originally intend to create a lettuce trim but months ago I did find a tutorial for it on Pinterest. If you have a serger click here to learn how to do it and if you don't have a serger then click here. For the record, I don't have a serger (although I'd love one) and it was super simple to do on a regular machine with a zig zag stitch.

The two shortest sides (the selvage ends) didn't get the lettuce treatment for some reason, I probably didn't stretch it like I did on the longer sides. I may end up going back and redoing those sides later, we'll see. For now I can't tear this blanket away from my son, and it's so soft I like snuggling in it too. :)

Linking up here:
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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Maxi Dress -- Nearly Done

After a year plus of just plain procrastinating my maxi dress that I mentioned way back here is nearly done! To be honest, this project has taken so long because it was really intimidating.

My first hurdle was the bodice. I got the top portion done no problem but when it came time to attach the band I could not get it to lay right. So I stopped and put it away, thinking I would come back to it with fresh eyes a little later. Yeah, a year and some change is still qualified as later right?

Well this past spring I pulled it out again, hoping I could get it done in time for summer but that didn't happen. But the good news, I got over the first hurdle! :) But after that was another set back and it wasn't until just recently that I pulled it out again to fix my mistakes and get it to the point it's at now.

Take a look. :)

The dress nearly complete - just need to hem the bottom and add the zipper

See that little pointy part on the band? That was the first hurdle

I did french seams on both the outer and lining fabric - no raw edges!

French seams just look so much prettier - it's my new favorite way to finish seams

Didn't want raw edges so made my own bias tape for the seam where the bodice attaches to the skirt

All that is left is the zipper -- my next hurdle!
I think I figured out how to get the zipper in there but it's being a big pain. The original pattern didn't call for a lining for the skirt (only the bodice) but because the outer fabric is slightly see-through for me I added a lining in a cream, unbleached muslin. Only downside is that it's another piece of fabric I gotta sew to the zipper and it makes the dress overall a bit heavier than I envisioned. But I'm hoping that when I hem up the lining to above the knee it won't be as heavy as it is now. Also, when I started this dress last year I was 15 pounds heavier. So now I have to take in the bodice to fit me again. But that's another hurdle that's intimidating me so I may just give up and let someone else do that part. haha We'll see, my mom has a seamstress friend that may be able to help me navigate alterations. I'll keep you posted with the final result!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Whipping up a 2nd birthday

My son turned 2 this past Sunday and I was busy the entire week prior whipping up some birthday goodness just for his special day.

I made him a shirt just for the day. I couldn't find any cute train shirts that had a number 2 on them so what's a crafty mama to do? Make one herself of course! lol The train is actually a clipart from Microsoft Word and I just used a font that sorta looked good with it for the 2. The clouds I free-handed and the stitching was hand done. My machine couldn't get into those curves and it was too late at night to even attempt it. lol

I also made the cupcakes and some cute little cupcake flags from train scrapbook paper. I wrote some cute little train phrases along with the typical 'happy birthday' on them with a fine point Sharpie. The cupcakes were healthy, made from a yellow cake mix along with pumpkin puree and organic banana yogurt. The recipe came from the Deceptively Delicious cookbook and it tasted awesome!

But my biggest accomplishment was the present I made Alex. I was working all week on this cute little kitty just for him on his special day. The face was hand embroidered and I embroidered a special message on its collar, "For Alex on your 2nd birthday. Love, Mom". Truly a labor of love and I love that he loves it too! :)
For those interested, the kitty pattern came from this link:
It only gives you the pattern for body and the head, the rest is pretty simple. For the arms and legs I cut out rectangles that were 1.5 inches wide by 4 inches long (2 for each leg) and then shortened them where necessary. The ears are simple triangles except I cut one side longer than the other so it would stand up more like a cat's ear. Also to made the kitty stand up, I simply cut 2 more ovals from the base pattern out of muslin and filled with a bean filler (it's in the stuffing aisle in craft stores). Put that at the bottom and then stuff with Poly-fil on top of it.

If you're interested, I'll scan my pattern pieces for the legs, ears and belly for you to use. And I'll show you exactly how where I inserted the arms and ears (the bottom legs and tail were simply sewn into the seam).

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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Valentine's Day Love Notes Tutorial

Did you run out and get that mailbox? I hope so! :) When I saw them at Target for just $1.00 I couldn't resist putting this project into action. I've been seeing these images floating around the web:

And I've been wanting to do something similar for my son for Valentine's Day, but in reality these little love notes can be made for any occasion throughout the year.

If you're like me and you made a rather big boo boo with calculations then you should have a ton of leftover white felt. If not you can find 9x12 inch pieces of felt in any craft store, and even in the craft section of Walmart. They are really cheap (I think it cost me $0.39 a piece at Joann's) and they come in a rainbow of colors, so pick your favorites and let's get to work. :)

What you'll need:
  • felt, any color
  • fabric paint
  • scissors and/or pinking shears
  • needle, thread and/or sewing machine
  • embroidery thread and needle (optional)
  • glitter, ribbon, any other decorating elements
  • fabric glue (optional, if you don't want to stitch)
  • lots and lots of love ♥♥

I'll show you a couple different ways to make these little love notes. Keep in mind, I'll be keeping it simple for the tutorial but feel free to jazz up your love notes with glitter, ribbon, etc.

Note: If you're not using the same $1 Target mailbox as me, measure the interior of your mailbox to figure out the size your love notes need to be. For the Target mailbox a 3.5x5 inch love note is the perfect size, but you can always go smaller. For the sake of this tutorial I'll be using the 3.5x5 inch size, but substitute your preferred size if necessary.

The Postcard:
Measure and cut out two 3.5x5 inch rectangles in the felt color of choice.
On one of the rectangles put your postcard design, it can be whatever you want.
On the other rectangle draw a line down the middle (or glue a ribbon or whatever). On the left side write your message and on the right side put the mailing information along with a 'stamp' on the upper right corner.
Sew or glue the two rectangles wrong sides together.
And voila! Felt postcard :) I didn't give myself a good seam allowance on the postcard but if you do, then use pinking shears to decorate the edges.

The Letter
Cut out your two rectangles again. On one of the rectangles write your message. My embroidery is not the greatest but I think it looks like a child wrote it. At least that's one way of saying I can't write straight, haha! :) On the other rectangle write your address info and put a stamp. I used some fabric scraps, wrote the To/From with a Sharpie and then used fabric paint to draw the heart.
Sew/glue your two rectangles wrong sides together, trim with pinking shears (optional) and you got yourself a letter! I love the look of the fabric scrap for the address info, doesn't it look like a little label you'd put on a real letter? :)

The Envelope
I also wanted to include an envelope so you can put whatever you wanted in it. Just double your length to get one long rectangle (so now it's a 7x5 inch instead of 3.5x5 inch). I simply drew my template right next to each other twice on my felt, see the line down the middle?
On one side of the rectangle add a stamp and some address info. Then fold wrong side together and sew/glue each side. Trim with pinking shears if you want for a fun detail.
Now you can add a letter or a treat to the envelope for any occasion. I put the green fabric scrap in so you can get a visual. Just a reminder, if you choose to add a letter to the envelope make sure it's smaller than the original dimensions so it will fit.

And there you have it. A cute, easy and quick craft to use for Valentine's Day or any other day of the year. I plan on adding a few non-valentine notes throughout the year so keep a watch. :)

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