25 January 2010

Christmas Quilt #2

Does anyone remember that old Saturday Night Live skit set during the '96 election where Steve Forbes writes a book similar to Primary Colors and names one of the characters 'Lamar Alexander 2'? Any time anything is the second of something I can't help but think of that skit and laugh.

This quilt was a gift for my stepmom. This was a project that Nikki started a long time ago and never finished. She hand pieced all the blocks on it and then it sat. Trying to unload some UFO's from her work room she sold the pieces to me and I finished putting it together and quilted it.


This quilt is not my normal styling, but I figure with Christmas you can throw normal style sensibilities aside and do just about anything you want :)



To quilt it I ended up doing a sort of wonky free form grid. My good sewing machine is still patiently waiting for it's new motherboard so that limited my quilting abilities, however, I'm still happy with how it turned out.


The backing is coordinating kelly green and white polka dot (or snowball, perhaps) with a few scraps of fabric from the top.


My stepmom professed her love with it so all in all I think it was a success.

P.S. I'm also aware that now I've reference SNL twice when referring to my sewing. Who knew they'd have so much in common?!

Vegetables with Mustaches

I think a handlebar mustache makes just about everything better. Case in point, this felt broccoli ornament I made as a Christmas present for my friend Nikki.


I love those old 50's and 60's ornaments with all the sequins and beads. This guy is made from wool felt and is stuffed with some wool batting. He's bigger than you might think, about five inches tall. Nikki seemed sufficiently pleased with him, either that or she's a very good friend and waited until I left to ask "WTF is this?!"


24 January 2010

The Meryl Sisters

It's still January so that totally seems to fall in the acceptable range of discussing all that Christmas crafting I did (nevermind the fact that I had uploaded all the images ahead of time with the intention of writing blog posts as I was visiting family over the holidays).

First and foremost, I fixed that doll I thought looked a little off. The mom who purchased them for her daughters liked one more than the other and I couldn't blame her. I took a few tools on the road with me and showed up at her door to fix the doll.

Remember that she started out looking like this:
(she's the one on the right)

And to be honest she reminded me forceably of Kristin Wiig's SNL character, one of the Meryl Sisters.


Not exactly cute for a little girls first, best doll.

So I added a little hair to her front, restyled it into a pony tail, added some recycled silk yarn as a headband and a bow.


Much better.

21 December 2009

Fabulous Fabric Gift Tags

Brooke over at Inchmark posted a lovely tutorial for gift tags made with fabric scraps. Being as I realized a little too late that I needed to give C's teachers gifts, I thought these would be perfect.

I did find that the project was a little trickier than I was expecting. I'm not the best paper crafter so I think that slowed me up. That combined with not being able to find quite the right adhesive (Tombow permanent adhesive ended up working best, but I used 2 rolls and still ran out. Spray adhesive was too messy and glue stick, well I didn't have any) and I spent about 3 hours making 60. Good thing they turned out cute.


the two unnamed girls

A friend contacted me and asked me to make dolls for her twin girls. She had asked that they have little houses/nests/sleeping bags of sorts to rest in; a banana for one and a pea pod for the other.


They turned out rather cute. Their little cocoons are pretty basic, but when the dolls are nestled in them they look pretty cozy.


The dolls themselves are made from a recycled wool sweater with pretty fabric to make the dress/body. The hair on both of them is wool, but they're stuffed with fiberfill. I sort of feel like the hairline on the black haired girl is off and she looks a little funny, but when I tried giving her bangs it was a bit of a disaster so she stayed like that. In retrospect, maybe she needed a side part and a ponytail instead of pig tails.


What's funny though is that I name almost all my toys. They usually have a little tag with their name and a short back story like "I love to jumprope and I think bugs are gross." or the like, but this time I just plain forgot to name them. Hopefully these two girlies don't stay unnamed for very long.

The Christmas Quilt Finally Finished...Almost

I think I might have too many responsibilities in my life to keep up a crafty blog. Between my personal journal, our family blog that we post for OOT family members, reading everyone else's crafty blogs, catching up on message forums and facebook and actually crafting (not to mention those pesky things like children and housework, lol) I just don't know if I'll ever be able to post regularly.

At any rate, it's been busy, busy here as I prepare for Christmas. Some years I only do handmade gifts and other years (like last year) I get awesome deals on cool stuff through co-ops and get to take a break. This is year is a crafty year and I'll be sharing those pictures after people receive their gifts (not that any of those people actually read this blog).

Most importantly, the Christmas quilt is finally almost done. The saddest part is that I don't love it.


I didn't realize I didn't love the direction it was taking until the blocks were pieced and I was trying to arrange them. Once I got to that point I realized something wasn't working for me. I love all of the pieces separately, but someone the whole is less than it's parts.


What I do love about the quilt is:

A: The back. I think it turned out much more pleasing to the eye than the front.


B: The free motion quilting I did along the border to spell out Ho, ho, ho, Merry Christmas.


I used my friends frame and quilting machine for it and I must say that it was amazing and I am coveting one now. I suppose first on the list is getting the motherboard for my machine fixed before I start planning on how to spend thousands on another machine.

What's left to do is adding little french knots to dot the "I's" and using a few beads to decorate the little tree I quilted into the corner to take up the space where the words didn't quite meet.

All the fabric I used in this was from Michael Miller's Christmas collection last year, with some Ta-dot mixed in. I have plenty left over though and am thinking some matching pillows and a table runner might be in order. Maybe in time for Christmas next year.

28 August 2009

I'm not dead.

Okay, I read lots of crafty momma blogs and and I just don't get how they craft, blog and parent during the summer. We've been almost reclusive by normal summer standards (did you see how much Soule Mama has gotten out this summer?!) and I still haven't updated any of my blogs in two months.

So you'd think that, given how longs it's been, I'd have something fabulous to show you, right? WRONG! All I have the the best blog post on color theory that I've ever read.

I'm new to Oh, Fransson! but I'm really enjoying peeking around and seeing what she has to offer. Even if you think you understand color theory her post is full of pretty quilt examples and fabrics so go read it. I promise I'll have something good soon.

19 June 2009

The Christmas Quilt


Wait, what? A Christmas quilt in June?

Yes, a Christmas quilt in June, but I'm actually behind, not ahead of the game.

I bought some Michael Miller Christmas fabric from a coop last summer. I thought the fabric was fabulous and bought a lot and than realized there was nothing I normally made that would necessitate 11 yards of Christmas fabric. Cue quilting music. So I spent an afternoon at a friends house looking through her quilting magazines until I found something. I had intended to make it for last Christmas, but it didn't get done in time (obviously) so I finally started on it last week. I got all the blocks pieced together and I laid them out and I'm just not happy with it. It's hard to look at and something is off. I've decided that the border fabric isn't right so I've sent off for some more evergreen ta dot in hopes that a darker border fabric will make the difference. Stay tuned for the finished results.

17 June 2009

crafty kids

Carter has been asking me to sew for ages. He watches me sew all the time and knows the ins and outs of my sewing machine (Have I mentioned my new machine? I bought it from a friend and it's leaps and bounds better than my old machine. I'm very much in love with it.) He knows what the pedal does, how to put down the presser foot and lift it up. He'll stand on the back side of my machine and lift it up and down for me. If I get up he hops in my chair and tries to take the bobbin in and out and messes with the thread to rethread the machine, twirls knobs and all sorts of cute and horribly annoying things.

Some time ago we went to the fabric store and chose some fabric for him to make a pillow. We were finally able to sit down today while Oz was napping and sew. He sat in my chair and I raised the pedal up so he could reach it. He sewed the entire pillow, stuffed it and then worked with me to close up the opening by hand. He was so proud of himself.



Watch the video, it's super adorable.

The finished product.

14 June 2009

sometimes handy is crafty

One of the biggest reason's for my absence from blogging these past few weeks (besides spending four days reading all four Twilight books while ignoring all manner of household chore, barely meeting the basic needs of the kids and eschewing sleep) was that we half finish our basement. It's still in it's raw stages and is certainly the least saucy room in the house, but it's serving it's purpose until I can do more.

My dad, who is the king of all trades and home improvement projects, came down to help me. I prepped the basement by reorganizing the bad side (what we affectionately call the side where the workshop and washer and dryer are) and moving all the good side furniture over, painting the walls and buying the supplies.

Once he was here we hung the drop ceiling, which I had never done before, but I proved to be somewhat useful. We had to make a million runs to the store and work around the kids, but we ended up turning this:

okay, i'm going to have to search for old pictures, but trust me, it was ugly

into this:



I have grand plans to use some Joel Dewberry Ginseng home decor weight fabric to recover the couch and chairs, plus there are curtains to make for the windows, art to hang and pretty baskets to buy for the shelves, but overall, I'm feeling pretty craftyhandy!

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