Saturday, March 29, 2014

All Stuffed with Fluff

I've been making little projects here and there lately including some soft friends.  The first was a lamb made from this free Abby Glassenberg pattern I found at Sew, Mama, Sew!  I could not resist the sweet sheep and so I started stitching right away.

Afterward, I brought the newly dubbed, Duchess Lambette to show-and-tell at the March meeting of the Minneapolis Modern Quilt Guild.  I'm glad I did as when I mentioned that this was my first time sewing with Minky fabric, Kristin L. handed me a little green remnant from the free table to take home.

On St. Patrick's Day, that little green scrap turned into this.  Meet Shamrock.  This was my own design although I feel a little silly mentioning that as it was very easy to draw a silhouette, make a face, and then stitch along the line.  Cut.  Stuff. Presto! A plush pal is born.

Sewing softies with Minky is not too difficult as long as you are careful with all the loose fibers released when cutting.  I recommend keeping a vaccuum handy or even cutting and shaking outdoors.

The break in actual quilting came about since I've been seriously considering the purchase of an easy feed (sometimes called "walking foot") for my sewing machine.  I became a little frustrated while stitching a somewhat-heavy, quilted design wall (more about that in a future post!)

Until then, Ta Ta for now!


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Add Panache to Your Printables

Wandering around the blogosphere, I've fallen for a few fancy free Valentines this year from two of my favorite artists.  The first is a set of four postcards from Emily Winfield Martin of The Black Apple.  I love everything about them: the whimsy, the classic mottos, and the playfully weird vibe.  I happen to have a thing for not only banner tattoos, but also bears and Humpty Dumpty.  (If you are likewise inclined, may I recommend: this William H. Beard painting and this Jasper Fforde novel.)

Another Valentine I could not resist was this free offering from Stacie Bloomfield of Gingiber.   I love, love, love her animal prints and pillow renderings...especially their stitchy texture fur.  As a fan, I feel lucky that these artists are so generous with their work.

A great way to find cards like these (as well as paper dolls, fold toys, gift tags and more) is to search Instagram, Pinterest, etc. with the word "printable."  And it should go without saying but please obey their rules, these are both clearly marked for personal use only.

I printed them out onto some cream Canson paper - from my stash - which really subdued some of the pastel colors but still looks lovely (did I mention it was free?)  To spice it up, I added some easy machine stitching around the main design.

But I didn't have any envelopes the right size so I made one up...and then I thought, maybe somebody else would like to do this too.  So I'm going to call this a tutorial although really it's just a quick tip.

To make a simple envelope: 



Take a full-sized sheet of paper fold in the sides to the with of your card.  Then fold up the bottom third and fold down the top (making sure there is room for your card inside.)  I used my hera marker and ruler to score the paper first so that my folds would lie nice and flat.

For finishing, you could use a sticker but to get real fancy you can make a string tie closure.

Just sew two buttons from your stash (I used a doubled piece of strong, hand quilting thread.)

On one of the buttons, either leave a long tail of the thread you used to sew them on with or tie on a short piece of pretty string.

To close, just make a figure 8 (for infinite love!) over the two buttons and you're all done!

Sign & Seal

That's it.  You're done! Let me know if you find this idea useful and of course,

have a Happy Valentine's Day!



Friday, February 7, 2014

Doll Quilt Swap

Finished up another terrific Flickr swap, the Doll Quilt Swap round #14.  The dresden is from a great free tutorial at Snips Snippets.  I recommend it!

I made a little house-shaped quilt inspired by this photo of the vaulted ceiling in my partners' awesome little sewing room.  She's Samantha, she's from British Columbia in Canada, and her blog is called Making Life Prettier.  The little cross-stitch on the label is on honor of the awesome quilt she made for the swap.

She's a pretty talented quilter; Fantastic Mr. Fox here stole a ton of hearts.  Boy was I surprised to find out those sneaky swap mama's of the DQS partnered us to each other.  This little fella (and some coveted extras: a zipper pouch and a fat quarter of Violet Craft) arrived in my mailbox last week.  It is my new, favorite-est thing.

It's totally the year of the fox at my house with this quilt, my Pillow Talk Swap pillow made by Kristine Holland, and the Monaluna Meadow fabric challenge for the Minneapolis Modern Quilt Guild.  (More about that in March when we do the BIG REVEAL!)

The only bad news is that I'm still waiting for the package I mailed out December 2nd to arrive at its destination in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  I know, I know...that's a long time!  I've never actually lost something forever in the post though so I hold out hope but that line is stretching thiiiiinnnnn.

Whelp.  That's about it, folks.

Until next time.  Keep stitchin'!


Sunday, January 5, 2014

Go Team! Broncos Pillow

We've been straying from big gift-giving for several years, especially at Christmas.  My family abolished gift exchange a couple of years ago and rather than disappointing anyone, it's really cut down on holiday stress.  Now, we just have a select few on my husbands' side that we still wrap things up for in December.  Jer's grandpa is a big Denver Broncos football fan (so is Jeremy and so am I) so I made -- ahem, skirting the license laws here -- a Denver Broncos throw pillow.  Here it is in all its glory:

The front has a simple grid of quilting in Aurifil thread.  The mane did not turn out how I envisioned but after cutting the blue appliqué, I realized my original plan would be too complicated and might stretch the fabric so I improvised with the zig-zag stitch in orange.  The lettering did turn out legible though and I feel like it gets its point across.

The back is my favorite part.  I made a cathedral window block but it's BIG.  I mean, it's twenty inches big.

That means, I cut four twenty-inch squares and folded them down into ten-inchers and then sewed those four together to make the foundation.  I picked some favorite blues and oranges from the stash and used a glue stick to keep them attached while I sewed.  I can't say it enough, cathedral windows are fun!  I did end up covering the intersections with buttons but they didn't look bad before.

There's a zipper at the bottom and a twenty-inch down pillow insert inside.  Jer's grandpa had to move into an assisted living situation recently and although his little apartment is accessible and clean, it doesn't have as many touches of home as he was used to.  We didn't make it to Montana to see Grandpa unwrap but I heard he gave it a long hug and that makes me feel really good to think about.

Did I tell you all Happy New Year?  I think I just did!

Keep stitchin'.


Friday, December 20, 2013

A Christmas Post

I saw a free embroidery pattern yesterday on the Wild Olive blog and immediately got down to stitching one up.

It's part of Mollie's "25 Crafts of Christmas." Adorable!  And it stitches up quick because it's so teeny.

(Find the pattern in this post.)

I don't know if any of you watch any Cartoon Network at your houses but I just love Adventure Time and this little, swaddled Christ-child kind of reminds me of Finn when he sleeps.

Speaking of Adventure Time, that reminds me of this quote by Cake the cat!

"Sweet babies!"

I'm a sucker for nativity sets.  More specifically, I can't resist rescuing orphaned saviors when I find them lost and alone among an incomplete crèche.  And while I don't want you to read too much into this, I do want to share my collection of baby Jesus figurines with you today.

Wait! Where are you going??

I'm amazed at the variety of little messiah repre-sentations out there...

Don't forget cookie cutter Jesus!

I'm not crazy.  Really.  They all live in an old Coca-Cola crate hanging on my wall.  But I am working my way up to one of those blow mold light-up ones someday...

Now I'm working on another project from Wild Olive (find the pattern post here.)

I cannot help myself.  They bring me joy!  And joy is what I wish for you this holiday season.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


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