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.