Friday, December 7, 2012

Merry "Yarn"-mas?!

This Christmas season I decided I would hunker down and make some gifts! Not that I don't always do that, but it is kind of hard to want to bring out the yarn and crochet hook when it is still almost 80 degrees outside... But none the less I decided it was time to start "hooking" and I wasn't going to let a little warm weather get me down! As I write this it is overcast and chilly outside! I can hear the big black birds in the distance and I am finally getting the feeling that Winter might actually be just around the corner!

I am a HUGE fan of Lion Brand Homespun yarns. They are a chunky weight yarn and I took the hook recommendation on the skein and went up one hook size. 
The great thing about the homespun yarn is the variations of color and the imperfections in the yarn. I am allergic to wool and to try crocheting a blanket, well I couldn't! So I have to use acrylic yarns, and this one is by far one of my favorites!
This color was "Herb Garden." It had greens, purples, reds, and even some yellow and gold tones in it. I have found that in front of the TV at night I can make about a 1/4 of a lap size blanket. So time wise this is a great gift to make! It was just a large Granny Square design, but with this yarn it makes it look so much more intricate than it really is! Don't get me wrong, it is still a great talent to crochet, but with time constraints this turns out looking more beautiful than I could have imagined!

 This shows a picture of it folded... see all the variation of color?! I think I might even see a hint of teal! This blanket is made with just 7 skeins of yarn. Joann's had a sale on Homespun yarn right before Thanksgiving... I made this for a 1/4 of the normal cost! 
 Now you saw this little pink and brown square above... I love making blankets for new babies! It all started when I received one for our daughter before she was born. Something about some one's hands making this beautiful item makes it mean that much more.

I am a Christian lady and when I make blankets for people... even orders I like to pray for the little baby that will use it. I ask that they be healthy and happy. That they be blessed all the days of their life ... that they learn to sleep through the night quickly! (Ha, ha)

 Now unfortunately I am not great with math and didn't order enough of the Pink and Brown yarn. It is Vanna's Colors from Lion Brand. It was on Clearance on the website so unfortunately I can't just run to the store to get it... grr... It is a chunky yarn as well. This one is a bit more substantial than the Homespun but I have a feeling that after that first washing it is going to be just perfect for a little one! I have it halfway completed... This was 6 skeins of yarn and I have 8 more on the way! They come in 3oz. skeins so they aren't that big... but somehow I didn't get my numbers right... What else is new?! I plan on making a couple little roses to attach to this as well... Will post updated photos upon completion!

There is something to be said about receiving a handmade gift. My mother is not a very crafty person... and she doesn't like too many crafts, but this blanket I know she is going to love! Finally a gift I could make that was not jewelry... She is the biggest fan of my jewelry and has the largest collection of it! It helped when she bought a lot of the materials in the beginning! 

I hope you all are trying to find a way to stay warm or in my case cool this holiday season! I posted some photos of these on Facebook and got such a good response that I might have to make some for my Etsy shop. I am also thinking about having a Crochet 101 workshop this winter ... just in case you wanted to learn!


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thanksgiving Turkey Fun!

Mommy & Me
Turkey Day Shirts

Well, I have found multiple websites that have their own Turkey themed shirts that you could make.... And well I thought I would make my own! So I opened up Paintbrush on my Mac and took a stab at making my own Turkey Day template. And as I printed it I knew I wanted to share it! So it here it is in all it's glory!

 Here's what you'll need to get started:

  • 6 Charm Squares (5"in.), this will be enough to make "feathers" for 2 Turkeys.
  • Scrap of brown fabric large enough for the body
  • Scraps of felt for beak and eyes (optional) you could always embroider them on...
  • Heat-n-Bond, Steam-a-Seam, or WonderUnder... your choice...
Template found here

First I transfer the images to the paper side of the fusible webbing. 

Simply attach the fusible to the wrong side of the fabric as shown on the right.

I have done two here. One was for my shirt and one for my little daughter's shirt.

 So you need two of each feather and either just one for the top or two...

These are the pieces....

Peel off the paper backing and place how you would like on the shirt. For my shirt I put it on the bottom corner... Abby's shirt I put it in the middle.

Once I got them the way I wanted them I ironed them down.

  Then I placed my bird body in the center. I totally forgot, but I actually used the fusible webbing on the beak and eyes with scraps of felt and attached them to the body before attaching the body to the shirt. 

You could embroider a face on or even leave it blank, but what Turkey doesn't deserve a face of some kind? Ha ha! 

Lastly, I just simply stitched around the body and then the wing feathers.

And there you have a wonderful Turkey shirt! (or whatever you put him on!)

Ok... now just in case you wanted to be real adventurous, after I adhered the beak and eyes to the body I peeled off the paper from the back of the body and used matching thread to stitch the beak and eyes. I wanted them to appear to have been sewn on. Then when I ironed the body on the threads were sandwiched in between the body and the shirt.... Just a thought!

Also... on Abby's shirt I didn't stitch down the Turkey because well I was feeling a little lazy : ) and secondly, this shirt won't fit next year and the fusible interfacing will last a gentle cycle wash ... that is if I can get the left over dinner off of it.... even though she wears a bib, she still manages to get stuff on her clothes... ha ha!

I know there are many tutorials with these out there and I am so very happy you chose mine! You can always add extra wing feathers or less... you can change it up however! I would love to see yours!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Simply Bow-tastic!

Well Bows have been on my brain lately!!! I just can't stop finding different kinds of ribbon to try new things with! This past weekend we went out of town and I made Abby a different bow to wear with each outfit!  I realized I got a great response and decided when I got home I would share my bows with others for the holidays and have made some bows which you can now find in my Etsy shop!!!

Here is a variation of a bow I made for this weekend. I had enough of the ribbon left over to make an additional bow. I have to say it is one of my favorites, becuase it is simple yet has just enough flare to liven up an outfit.

I think abother thing I have found so great about bow making is that ANYTHING goes! I love that about most crafts I do!

Something about just being able to go with it and not have to follow a certain pattern or color scheme. Plus people notice these little bows!

 Well right now you are thinking what does a fish have to do with anything? Well I thought I would introduce you to the newest member of our family, "Fish."
It turns out we had boarded our dog over the weekend and when we picked him up Abby wanted to look at the fish and to get her to leave I guess I somehow promised her a fish! Only my 2 year old would remember that and for the last few days she has kept asking me about her fish.... So today I broke down and got a beta. He nows lives high up on our media center because she would really like to "pet" him! (Something I did as a child... with my mother's cleaning gloves on... yes that did result in his early demise...)

Well I know we have all been busy, but I just wanted to show off my new "thing"! I really need to get back to work now! Not enough hours to prepare all the Christmas presents I need to be working on!

Cheers! Enjoy!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Christmas Bows!

Well, I am now starting to feel that Christmas spirit! I thought I better get on top of my holiday planning and gift making. I have some special gifts I am making for some friends ... post to come... and thought I would make some fun bows I found a tutorial for on pinterest!

These bows are actually really simple! It is three layers all glued together and I added a fun sparkly button to the top!

I know I am holding it up like a hair bow, which it was it's original intention was, but I am going to use them on packages as a bow.

Pretty fancy packages if I say so myself! I am thinking of making one for Abby for Christmas and well every holiday!!!

The tutorial can be found here!

Like I said they are SUPER easy! And you can use any size or type of ribbon!

Well, I don't have too much more to say.... check out the tutorial! And I hope you enjoyed my venture into bow making... so many possibilities! And my first project for the holiday season!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Welcome Fall... Welcome Colds

Well in the last two weeks everyone in my family has gotten this nasty little virus that seems to be going around. It started with Abby our little girl's fever rising so high so fast (104!) that she had a seizure. She is alright and some kids get them when their temp climbs to quickly. Then within a few days after coming back from that I got sick... luckily Adam was out of town on business that we thought he was safe ... Ha ha! He got it within a few days of being home as well. We are now going on 2 weeks with a sick household. It's like a bad cold that just won't leave us!

My husband joked that whoever coined the term, "sick as a dog" must not have owned a dog, because the only one not sick is our dog!

But while going through all of this I had a consigned baby blanket to make. Which is in the washer now getting cleaned before I mail it out!

It was actually a perfect time to make a crocheted blanket. It kept me warm as I would sit up at night watching TV waiting for my cold medicine to kick in! Ha ha! And now that it's all clean it is just beautiful! Luckily we are all on the mend now, but boy was it a rough few weeks. Everyone just gets off schedule!

Here is a not so great shot just after I completed it! I love the simple Granny Square blankets! Then at the end I put about 4 rows of just straight single crochet. Since this was made for a boy I didn't want to put on a border that to me would be too girly, so single crochets were what worked best for me!

There is something about the welcoming of fall that just makes it time to crochet. Unfortunately here in San Diego we are in the midst of a heat wave, but I can't help but want to crochet as soon at the pumpkin patches start popping up!

 Here is the completed project!!! I have it all washed and dried! I like to use a mild Eco friendly detergent and and tiny bit of softener!

Then you put it in the dryer on low for only a bit, because it never takes the full cycle to dry and take it out.... it feels as if it would melt in your arms!!!
 This bow I made from a tutorial I found on Pinterest.... (here)

I found this puppy dog button in my button bucket!!! I think that is one of my favorite buckets (as compared to the cleaning bucket ; ))

And above is the detail of the four rows of single crochet border.

This was a fun project to make. As I was making it Abby became a little jealous of the time I spent on it, but my husband reminded me that I've never made one for our family.... might just have to be one of my next fall projects!

As always, Enjoy!

Monday, September 10, 2012

The ORIGINAL Circus Quilt!!!. . . Finally

This Art Quilt is Titled: The Side Show Marquee
Size: 16" x 24"
Made of Cotton, Wool Felt, Tulle (Behind Tattooed Lady)

To call this a Labor of Love would be an understatement! This Mini Art Quilt was made with my blood, sweat, and tears! I know that people who quilted were special and that what they created was magic, but it wasn't until I made this that I really felt it.

If you didn't read up on my other Circus themed quilt, then here is the cliff notes version. For awhile I was big into Craftster, and had signed up for a Mini Art Quilt Swap. My partner had very much darker themes than my own liking and had Side Show Circus acts as an option. I started researching and came up with the quilt top featured above. I took it uncompleted to my Quilt Guild meeting and women there said I needed to enter in the San Diego Quilt Show and not send it! And thank God they said that, because I went home and made the other quilt and mailed it, but never received anything back from my partner! Not even word she had received mine (The second one of course....). I was so thankful I kept this quilt because I literally cried, sweat, and bled making it!

Today is the day I have to turn it in for the Quilt Show this weekend.... So if you find yourself in San Diego this Friday or Saturday please come check it out! I'm entry #119! 

This is what it looked like up until about 10:30pm last night! Yes, I love to procrastinate! It's really a very bad habit! But the idea of figuring out how to make a three-dimensional circus tent was scaring me.

I knew what I wanted it to look like in my head, but getting it out and onto that quilt was another story!

So I actually made the base of the tent first. I cut the middle red rectangle down the center to make the flaps and attached a piece of black felt to the back. So that was made on Friday.... Then I let pretty much 2 days go by before I started work on the top... the most important part!

So last night as were heading out to take the puppy for a walk I cut and used interfacing to keep the top triangles together...

But of course, just interfacing alone would have been too easy of a fix... so I then whip stitched the triangles together... There is black felt behind it all and I made the top and bottom separate pieces so I left a small opening to stuff and well this is what came...

It's not just as I imagined but hey THAT came out of my head with NO pattern! I was just pretty proud of that alone!

Now it's about 2am... And I didn't like all the black on the sides so I hop on the computer, find a font and am cutting felt by 2:30am!!!

I finally forced myself to go to bed around 3am this morning, and figured at least I'd get a good 3 hours in before our daughter came walking in our room, but no... today she came in at about 5am.... And that is how my day started!

I finished it completely around 10:30am and have gone over it with my lint roller and gotten it ready to walk out the door. I signed up to have it judged, but honestly, I don't care what they think! I know how much time and effort went into this. This was truly the first quilt I ever made (over the size of a mug rug) and I am so very proud of it!

Although, it didn't start as something I would have ever made, after those lovely women all telling me I couldn't send it away, and then not even getting anything from my supposed partner, I am so happy I made this, Circus theme and all! I learned so much about the side show acts and incorporated them into my quilt! I thank that woman now for pushing me further and only hope that she enjoys what I sent to her.

These are the two "real" side show acts. I printed out their images on fabric and embellished them with floss, beads, and colored pencil.

I had never worked with printing on fabric before and it turned out so well... Just can't get it wet!

Here is the detail to the felt characters. I stuffed them in areas to accent her bust and hair and his muscles.

Here they are full sized in all their glory! I have plans to try a little hand quilting around them. It's hard to get a photo showing there is a tulle spotlight behind the Tattooed Lady. It is a very faint yellow in the picture...
I close with the label I made for the back. I dipped the fabric in coffee before embroidering it to give it a bit of a rustic feel! After the Quilt show I will add that information to the top. (Such as the entry number, and the judging information)

Thank you so being so patient as I took literally months to complete this... always saying I was "almost done." Well now I am!!! I am so proud of the time and effort and hope that what I make in the future will be just as wonderful as an idea, but maybe a little more quality quilting as this piece! 

I am off to load us up in the car and head out to drop it off with my head held high and a smile on my face! I hope I brought one to yours!


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Hello Chef!!! (Updated!)

Well, After making my first Little Chef apron for my niece, Sadie... I got to thinking ... My poor husband yet again had to experience another one of my brainstorms and this one included yet another trip to the fabric store! (Well, OK 2... But he ONLY had to go to 1!)

And although I didn't buy enough duck cloth the first time around, I was sure to get enough the second!

So, I found the 3 brown and pink floral prints and I had this grand idea of embroidering some amazing scenes on the natural tan and then lining the back with plain cotton and binding it, so essentially making it reversible. But to be honest my 2 year old wouldn't understand the hours of time the embroidery had taken and to be honest the duck cloth is similar to canvas and well a second layer would have made it that much heavier...

So I started making all the binding out of 2.5"x5"inch strips of the prints and got all of the binding set before I really had a decisive idea for the front....

Now, we have to fast forward a few hours... I've cut the fabric for the apron and a pocket and made all the binding ... it was hot out and the middle of the afternoon and well we decided to go get yogurt land!!! And every summer they have Hello Kitty bowls and spoons....

So once we got home I google imaged some shots of various Sanrio characters and Hello Kitty and Badtz Maru made the cut!

As you can see from the photo on the left Abby "helped" color the printout!
I didn't really know what to do for the whiskers or face so I just used some freezer paper stencils to make them. It was a quick solution but next time I might try something a little different...

Badtz Maru was definitely the easier of the two to make, but I now wish I would have used black thread to outline him than the white, but it was the first time around!

I hope you have thought about going to Sew Much Ado's website and creating your own little apron.... you can find it here!

I have a little more to show on it, but that will have to wait until next time.... I have a little girl sticking monster stickers ALL over my office wall and calling it a "circus"! ... My poor husband is going to come home and think I don't watch her now... ha ha!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Where did I put my Checks?!

Checkbooks Anyone?!

  Well, I decided I needed to brush up on my top-stitching and straight-stitching, plus I found this wonderful tutorial for checkbook covers... Well the first 6 I did according to the instructions, which I'm only not posting because well I found it to be not my favorite tutorial only because I feel the measuring was a little off.... but I fixed that with the remaining 4 covers I made yesterday... and I must say they look much better!

These are the first batch.... The nesting doll fabric was rows which made it really easy to use different sections to customize the covers! And the linen was great to work with as well. In these I placed interfacing on the patch-worked piece...

This was the second batch and with it I cut the fabric a little wider and used medium weight interfacing to make up for the lack of weight the linen had and I must say, I think I would use medium weight all the time now.

And here they are all tied up together! I realize no one really writes checks anymore, but at least mine will look real nice while they sit in the drawer! Plus as my MIL reminded me, some people still use registers and they could keep that in here! 

I haven't said anything but I have some special friends I will be gifting these too! I hope they enjoy! As much as you enjoyed looking! I am thinking about adding some to my Etsy shop.... keep your eyes open! They would make great hostess gifts or for a small Christmas gift you could place a gift card in it first with a nice handwritten letter?! 

Speaking of getting ready for the winter I got Abby this cute little outfit...
I guess she's not so little anymore! My baby is getting all grown up! Today she got her first big girl birthday invitation!!! On to creating a gift!