I hope to inspire and entertain you with a lot of sewing and a little of everything else!

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Katie's Kindle Kase

I kouldn't resist that title! My 13 year old Katie loves her Kindle, so I knew that a zippered case would be a great gift to make for her. I used the same in-the-hoop design that I made mine from: eReader Case from Five Star Fonts. This time I did an extra hooping to make the optional quilted back and it is really nice. The case has a pocket inside so that you can separate your Kindle and your charger. It is the perfect size and goes together so easily. I highly recommend this design! 
The fabric I used was from my Guild auction, so this was another nearly free creation. Katie loves it and it will protect her Kindle for many years of enjoyable reading.
I am making the PDF files for the clothespin bag pattern, which should be ready tomorrow. Thanks for the encouragement from all of you who requested it!!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Under the Sea Baby Blanket

My friend Shayna's sister is having her first baby in January. They chose an Under the Sea theme for his nursery and I volunteered to help Shayna make an embroidered blanket for the little guy. Unfortunately, we are both busy and haven't had a chance to get together. The baby shower is in a few days, so I decided to go ahead and stitch it out when I had some free time the other night. 
The fabric is a pale aqua cotton flannel. The designs are from Britt, but I can't find this set on her website anymore. I combined the separate sea creatures in Embird and reduced them by 50% so that the whole thing would stitch in my 6x10 hoop. The placement is diagonally on the corner of the 40x40 blanket. I still have to hem the edges. I am hoping to use a cute little snail from the set on a long-sleeved onesie to match. I think they will love this soft blankie!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Happy Christmas Angry Bird Hat

We had a wonderful Christmas! Two days of celebrating: Christmas day at home and the day after with my parents. Both days were filled with fun, celebration, too much food, thoughtful gifts, and not enough sleep!! I got some wonderful pictures and today I am cleaning up the aftermath!

This is the gift I made for 7 year old Davy. He loves playing Angry Birds, so I thought a cozy Angry Birds hat would be nice for the winter. His warm jacket is red and black and the red angry bird seems to be the most popular, so I chose red yarn. I bought the pattern online, but in the spirit of "if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all" I'm not posting the link.

The pattern came with crocheted eyes, brows, and beak, but I decided to try making them on my embroidery machine instead. This idea was inspired by my friend Shane. She was inspired to make a sock monkey hat after I made mine, but she digitized the face herself and I really liked her idea. I guess we have inspired each other full circle! I found an outline of the angry bird face online and I made a redwork outline of it. I made each component in one hooping, directly hooping two layers of felt so that I wouldn't have any stabilizer inside. It stitched very quickly, then I trimmed it and stitched it to the hat by hand.
Davy said he likes it for 2 reasons: "because it's warm and because it's angry birds."

That's good enough for me.

Clothespin Bag Pattern Coming...

Hi Friends,

Sheila, I am sorry that I just saw your comment. I don't know why it didn't come through sooner. To everyone who would like the pattern, I will work on getting it into a PDF during this vacation. I was flat out before Christmas, but now I have a whole week of fun time. My Mom loved hers and I will be glad to share this with all of you!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The New Math...Dad to the 5th

Yesterday I finished the last of my presents for my family. I have several more to show you, but some may wait till after Christmas. This one is for my Hubby. He is an engineer and very geeky and into math and science. I think he will like this design I made for him, Dad to the 5th power. I don't think my husband or anyone in his extended family ever thought he would be a Dad to 5 kids. They are a clan of 2-children families. In fact, Hubby figured out that we have more children than all his cousins combined, and he has 8 cousins!!
I used Planet Applique's Varsity Feltie Alphabet for the D-A-D and I added the 5. I wish I had centered it better, but with only 3 days until Christmas, I am going to leave well enough alone. I have a lot of wrapping left to do, but otherwise I'm in good shape. The kids have one more day of school, then we are on VACATION. Yeah!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

I Knit this Bunting...Sort of...

I was so excited to find this bunting on etsy. The story behind it goes back many a few years to the summer I was 16. I attended an all girls Catholic school for high school and that summer I worked there as a receptionist/secretary. At the time, the nuns who taught there also lived in the convent in the big, old building. The first three stories were the school and the fourth floor was the convent. I always wanted to sneak up there for a peek, but I never had the nerve!
Anyway, my brother lived in Texas with his wife and they were expecting a baby (my first niece) in December. Living in New England, I thought that even a Texas baby needed something warm in December. I had seen this gorgeous Aran bunting on the baby I baby-sat for and his Mom copied the pattern for me. I was never afraid to take on a big project, so that summer, I decided to knit the bunting for my niece. I bought some soft creamy wool and brought the project to work every day. Between phone calls and stuffing envelopes, I would knit in my free time. 
Let me put in an aside here and say, the nuns loved me. They didn't have a lot of 16 year old girls who were into knitting baby things. One of them, Sister Margaret, liked to knit too and gifted me a little knitting booklet owned by an older nun. (I still have it!) My English teacher, upon hearing that I hoped to have several children, told me that she was disappointed, because she always hoped I might "have a vocation" (become a nun). I was horrified!
Okay, back to the bunting. I knit that whole summer and finally finished it. It was gorgeous, but looked a little, well, big. I was knitting to gauge, but the yarn I used must have been stretchy or something. I was so excited to give it to my brother and sister in law.
This story doesn't have such a happy ending, though. Sister in law didn't appreciate it and it was too big, so it was apparently given away or yard saled. WAAAHHH. When I had children of my own, I asked if I could borrow it, but it was already gone. I still have the old black and white copy of the pattern and fully intended to make another one for my children. Five children later, I never did find time to make it again. I recently dug out the pattern and tried to find which book it came from. It says "Bernat Handicrafter" on the pattern and if any of you know which book it's from, I'd love to know! Then I found this one on etsy and I had to buy it! I'd like to think that it's the one I made so many years ago. Now, I'll put it in my hope chest for my grandchildren. Maybe I can squeeze Andy into the top for a picture?
I hope you enjoyed this memory and seeing this lovely bunting. I've been very busy stitching gifts, but I'm afraid to post photos since my girls and my Mom do read my blog once in awhile! Thank you to my new followers. I'm happy you joined! Back soon!!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Red Baby Boy Sweater and Pixie Hat...Finished!

All 5 kids have a cold and they shared it with me. My Mom came by yesterday to play with the baby and I took the chance to watch a Christmas movie and finish my knitting. This is the 7 Hour Boy's Toddler Sweater pattern that I made before in blue. This red one is for Andy for Christmas. I changed it a little by making the borders in ribbing instead of garter stitch. The Pixie Hat is my own design and is really cute on. It has a jingle bell at the peak. Both still need buttons, so the chin strap is loose in the photo. I have 3 more gifts to finish making for my kids. I'm hoping to work on Pete's today.
I have the little blue coat almost finished. I just need to add buttons and lining, so hopefully I'll be sharing it soon. Hope your Christmas preparations are coming along, too!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Clothespin Bag for Christmas

This clothespin bag will be a Christmas gift for my Mom. She is really hard to shop for, because she has everything she needs. However, she loves the things I make her and I can usually come up with something that she couldn't buy herself. I got this idea in July when we were at my parents' vacation house. My Mom has a pulley clothesline to hang laundry and beach towels. I noticed that my Mom was storing her clothespins in a plastic grocery bag. Somehow I remembered that idea all this time!
This bag was made from so-called "stash" items. The fabric was purchased for about 50 cents at my Quilt Guild auction. I love the colonial houses and they look very much like the ones near my Mom's house! The wooden hanger was one of several in a grab bag from Michael's for $2. I had in mind the shape I wanted from some clothespin aprons I had seen. I drafted the pattern myself and the whole thing only took about 30 minutes to make. I'm really excited to give this to her, because I think she'll really like it! Would you like the pattern as a free download? Comment to let me know and maybe I'll post it!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Still Here...and Busy!

I haven't posted in a week, but it's not because I haven't been productive! I've been very busy working on Christmas presents. We got our Christmas tree, I sent out 80 Christmas cards, we attended a Christmas party, and had fun visiting local craft fairs! In more mundane news, I registered, inspected, rotated, fixed, and vacuumed my old car! I also had my Christmas party/Yankee swap at my Quilt Guild. As usual, I over-thought what to make for the swap. We are encouraged to make something quilting-related. For the past 2 swaps, I made a Santa Candy Jar and vintage bluebird embroidered pillowcases. This year, I finally decided to embroider a sweatshirt with our quilt guild's initials in a Varsity Feltie font.
The sweatshirt was a hit and was swapped many times before getting to its new owner! I got a good number in the swap (for the first time) and was thrilled to get this wonderful wall-hanging made by a talented friend of mine who works quilting magic with panels!
It is already on my kitchen wall making the area look very festive!
I also cut out Andy's little blue dress coat and have made a lot of progress on his red sweater:
The yoke and sleeves are done and I'm now working down the body. Another 3 hours and that should be done!
I'll be back (much sooner than a week this time) to show you some of the Christmas presents I have been working on! I hope you are enjoying getting ready for Christmas and getting lots of projects done!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Embroidered Kitchen Towels...(Mom, Don't Read This Post!)

I found several plain kitchen towels while organizing my fabrics. I left them out so that when I had a little time, I could stitch a design. They will make good hostess or swap gifts.
This first one is a rooster from EmbLibrary that I chose because it was stitched in one color and I wanted to see how it would look in variegated thread (Sulky Rayon).
This snowman towel was done on Thanksgiving with my best friend (since I was 1yr old) Karen, who joined us this year. She was interested in how the ME worked, so she picked the design and colors and we stitched it. 

 Next up is a Rosemary Herb design. This will be a stocking stuffer for my MOM, who is awesome! I chose Rosemary because when I got married, she wrote me a personal cookbook of all her recipes that she used when I was a child. She wrote a little story with each one, saying where she got it or whose favorite it was. She also added graces, sayings about food, and clipart. She made copies for everyone at my bridal shower and it was named "Rosemary for Remembrance" and wrapped with a wooden spoon as a favor. 

Last up, is this silly reindeer towel. I bought these color line designs from Britt and took the names off and combined 4 in a row. I used 2 different browns and the darker one looks black in the pix, but not in real life. I have had fun making these and can now justify ordering more "blanks"! I'm hoping to work on Andy's coat this weekend, but we are going yo a bunch of craft fairs, 2 Christmas parties, and maybe getting our tree, so we'll see.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Baby Blue Winter Coat

I decided to make Andy a little dress coat before Christmas. He will need it, since his Christmas outfit is a smocked john john with a short sleeved shirt. I browsed ebay and there are some adorable little dress coats, but they are fairly expensive and they are usually wool, which is not my favorite fabric. It always makes me itch (I think I'm allergic) and I don't like to dry clean anything. So, I decided to make one. I bought some very soft fleece at JoAnn's black Friday sale. I got 2 yards for $4. I also bought a gray satin lining.
The pattern is from 1962. I like it because of the raglan sleeves, which I think will fit a small boy well. I also thought single-breasted would be less fussy on him, even though I love the double-breasted look. I can't resist that cute cap, either, though I am considering knitting a little hat to match. I might even make the leggings, for a total snuggly outfit.

I said I would share pictures of my Great Aunt Flo's china, which my Mom gave me recently and I used for Thanksgiving. Here is my table from our Thanksgiving with my parents.
 I have been embroidering my small stash of nice kitchen towels to have on hand as Christmas presents. I'll take pictures and share them soon. I have also been doing a lot of knitting and crochet, including these 2 works in progress:
The pixie hat is a pattern I am designing myself. The sweater is another of the 9 hour Toddler Sweaters, like the blue one I already finished. I am altering it to have ribbing and buttons instead of the garter stitch border.  I have lots to share with you, just not enough time to do it!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

M-E-R-R-Y Christmas Photo Shirts

Andy refused to wear the hat!!
Today we had our Christmas pictures taken. The kids had group and individual shots taken in their formal Christmas outfits, but then we did this fun picture, too. I made these MERRY shirts on my embroidery machine. The letters are the Santa Font from Planet Applique. 
Closeup of Andy's letter Y
 I used red fur and black satin and I love the way they turned out. Thank goodness I only have 5 kids- with hooping and interfacing and trimming, etc. each shirt took about 40 minutes of my rare free time!! I love this picture and will be using it on some of my Christmas cards. Back soon with some Thanksgiving pictures, but I was just so excited to share these shirts.
Happy Thanksgiving and many Blessings to You!!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Turkey Nugget Holders for Thanksgiving

I made a batch of these turkey Hershey Nugget holders for Thanksgiving. I plan to add a cardstock circle with each person's name for our table settings. These are from Embroidery Garden and are quick and easy to stitch. I made 5 at a time in my 6x19 hoop. I also made some Pumpkin Nugget holders.
I think these will be so cute on our Thanksgiving table. We are celebrating with my parents on Sunday, so I'm trying to get everything ready. I'll be back soon to show you my Great-Aunt's dishes that I'll be using.
Here's a view of the basket of turkeys and pumpkins, ready to go!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Hey Diddle Diddle...Baby Gift

 This week I made a baby gift for a friend whose daughter is having a little boy in December. I over-thought this one a lot. I found the nice moon and stars flannel, but couldn't decide what to put on it. Finally I saw this cute design at EmbLibrary and I thought it was perfect.
The blanket is 40" square with plain hemmed edges. I thought about crocheting an edge, but I wasn't sure if the Mom would like that for a boy. I did something new on the back of the blanket. I ironed fusible baby interfacing from Farmhouse Fabrics over the embroidery. It makes it soft and looks so nice. I'll definitely be doing it this way from now on.
The back of the embroidery
The burp cloth also has a special treatment on the back. I stitched a strip of flannel to make the burp cloth into a tube, then added the border at one end. It makes it a nice size, seals in the back of the embroidery, and makes both sides pretty, too.
The little hat is crocheted with a soft yarn. It's a self-striping blue and white and this one happened to be mostly white with blue at the scalloped edge. This baby lives in a warm climate, so I'm not sure if the hat is necessary, but I always liked my newborns to have a soft, cuddly hat.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Cozy Baby Quilts

Robot Snowball Blocks (4 meet at diamonds)
 I volunteered to co-ordinate the Comfort Quilt Committee for my Quilt Guild this year. I have not done as much as I hoped to (yet). We are trying to make a large batch of baby quilts to donate to a local lady who provides Welcome Bundles to newborns in need. I made 2 kits in September for our Quilt Retreat. Both were made up of pre-cut pieces for snowball blocks: one with a robot focus fabric and one with pastel animals. I also cut the same yellow, blue, orange, and green squares for each kit. The ladies who went on Retreat said they were easy to do and I think they turned out great!
The complete Robot Quilt
The baby animals blocks

Completed baby animals quilt
This quilt is a bonus made up of the leftover corners from the snowball blocks. One of the ladies made them into pinwheels and then into a nice baby quilt. I think the recipients will love these sweet little quilts!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

My 9 1/2 Hour Toddler Sweater

I think the snowstorm we had last week put me in the mood for some knitting and crocheting. After I made the Sock Monkey Hat, I found a free pattern for an easy Toddler Sweater. It's called the 7 Hour Toddler Sweater. Obviously, from my title, you can see that it took me a bit longer! This pattern is a variation of the popular 5 Hour Baby Sweater. The direcctions were great! I used one skein of Red Heart Fiesta yarn, which cost $4.50, so this is a really inexpensive sweater.

I love the denim blue with the flecks of brown, white, and red. I often have a hard time knitting to gauge, so I am very excited that this sweater is proportional and fits Andy beautifully! It just happens to look good with the puppy outfit Katie bought him last week. 

For my next projects, I am going to embellish some kitchen towels for Christmas gifts and crochet a longtail cap for Andy.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Adorable Sock Monkey Hat!

I am not a big fan of sock monkey toys. I think they are a nice vintage thing, but I don't own any and have never desired to make one. But when I saw the pattern for this hat on Etsy, it just looked so cute to me! I bought it and a bluebird hat pattern by the same seller. Let me say that this was the best-written pattern I've ever bought. The directions were complete, accurate, easy-to-follow, and even had photos. The seller even offers to help you by email, but you won't need it! 
I bought the Vanna's Choice acrylic yarn at Michael's and I liked it very much. It's soft and washable. I still need to add the pompom, but I haven't been able to find the Clover pompom maker yet. My hat was supposed to be for Andy, but my crochet was a bit loose (and my kids have compact heads) so it fits Davy perfectly. I might make another smaller one for Andy. I think it would look cute with a red shirt and brown pants.
It took me about a week of occasional crocheting to make this. I was working on the ears while my kids had lunch at Pizza Hut one day. Our waitress was so enchanted with the hat, she was telling everyone she worked with to come see it. I gave her the link for the pattern. It is a fun hat that makes people smile. I definitely recommend patterns by sock monkey kook on etsy!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

We Survived Snowtober!!

The view driving down the main road.
We had a record-breaking snowstorm here last weekend. It started snowing Saturday afternoon and was very heavy all night. We lost power Saturday afternoon and got it back yesterday. Our DSL and cable came back last night. This is the third storm with heavy damage we've had since building this house 9 years ago. We lost power for 8 days in December of 2008 and for 3 days last spring. The difference this time is that we bought a generator! I feel so stupid for not doing it sooner. It was wonderful. Despite the power being out, we had heat, water, fridge, lights, even TV. I really wasn't expecting the power to come back for a week. My kids have been out of school all week. They have already called it off tomorrow (Thursday), but they will return on Friday. Most of the towns around here even had to postpone Halloween! We will be trick-or-treating on Saturday. I think we've already had our trick for this year!
This WAS a huge tree by our town hall.
These are trees along our driveway.

I'll be back tomorrow to show you a cute sock monkey hat I crocheted!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Snow Fall

Yes, that's Fall as in Autumn. It is snowing here in Northern New England!! Ughh. I am not ready for snow before Halloween. I am sure it will melt by tomorrow morning, but REALLY!!
I digitized another vintage image and I finished crocheting a hat, so I'll be back soon with photos.
To my several friends who are reading from Florida, I may be hopping on a plane to come visit if this keeps up!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

...and the Little White Dress

This is one of the little dresses that I bought at the flea market along with the romper in the previous post.
It is a beautiful, fine batiste and washed well, but for 2 brown spots on the yoke. The construction techniques are interesting, too.

 The yoke detail shows you that it is constructed with regular seams. There is no entredeux used at the seams and they are not French seams. I'd say this dress is a size 2 or 3.
Look at the gorgeous feather stitching! I also like the polka dot Swiss trim. This dress has a really nice mix of laces and embroideries and a very balanced design. I ironed it and put it on my little dress form for these pictures, but it looks so nice in my entryway that I've left it there for now.

I hope you've enjoyed these 2 flea market finds. This is my post for White Wednesday at Faded Charm.