Friday, February 28, 2014

What a Talented Crafter You Are, Grandmother(s)

My daughter is very lucky to have two crafty grannies!

Her Grandma Dee sent her a fun little book bag for her birthday...
So fun!  I can't wait to have her fill it with books at the library this summer.

I am always impressed when anyone takes the time to hand tack ric-rac.  I am very lazy and just sew it with the machine, but look at this:
And a pretty flower!

It was also personalized:
Good stuff!!   Thank you!

A generous reader of this blog donated some skeins (is that what they are called?) of yarn to my crafting stash and Grammie Merrie borrowed some to crochet little doll blankets.  She incorporated some of her own stash for some fun designs:
These can most often be found wrapping up a baby (or a tiger or a fox) to be fed (or snuggled or pushed in a stroller):
Cuteness!  Many thanks!  

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Matchy Matchy

In November I had to go buy snowpants for the kiddo and I went to one of those Once Upon a Child locations for them.  While there, I came across an eight dollar wooden doll cradle.  Score!  I lugged it home, set it on the ground, and someone promptly confiscated it.
And so I repossessed it and stuck it in my craft room, where it sat untouched until last week.  

With the baby coming, I thought this would help her transition to having a little sister.  You know, with her own baby doll and whatnot.  So I saved up this project for a birthday gift, but with all this cold weather, I just could not muster enough energy to drag it outside.  I had no desire to spend time sanding this thing in the polar vortex.

But last week we had a solar vortex!  Hah!  I think it hit 40 degrees for two days straight, so I took advantage of that heatwave.  Sorry, I have no pictures of the sanded cradle.  It was not that interesting.  This past weekend I used paint leftover from her room and gave this thing a facelift.  The thing is, I had some serious doubts about painting it and stenciling it to match her room.

In case you've forgotten, here is her room:
And here is the finished cradle:
Is it too much?  I can't decide.  I considered painting over the stencils and doing a cherry blossom motif, but I couldn't find that stencil.  So I'm leaving it for now.
I made the cradle a little mattress, a pillow, and a blanket.  

For the mattress and the pillow, I took apart a stained pillow.  Do you want to see that?  I think you do, because I took a picture of it.
Gross, right?  So here's the thing about this pillow.  It seems that this is leftover from an old boyfriend.  I don't know why I have it still, probably because I don't think I can donate pillows to the goodwill and I don't like to throw things away that just get in landfills, so I've been hanging onto it. Blah.  As for the boyfriend, well he was greasy (obviously).  He thought it was funny that he oozed.  He had inherited it from his dad.  He said that his mom had to put towels on the recliner behind his dad's head to save the furniture from oil stains.  I thought he was joking, but she had actually done that.  Anyway, I always tell my husband that he saved me from a lifetime of greasy pillows.   But why do I have this biohazard?  I thought I left all grossness with the ex, but I think that he secretly planted this in my moving boxes.  That would not be unheard of. When I packed up my things after we broke up, I found out later that he had taken all of the expired things from the medicine chest and shoved them in one of my boxes.  Weird, right?

Anyway, it actually wasn't that gross after I took off the cover, but I was already committed to its destruction.  I wanted the stuffing for the cradle mattress.  I don't have any process photos, but it was pretty easy, because it was not a down pillow or anything.  I just tore off a piece of the stuffing and made a mattress cover.  Did the same thing with the pillow, but added decorative lace to the edges.
And then I made a little quilt from some leftover mattress fabric, some leftover batting from some quilting project, some swiss dots (dotted swiss, whatever) for the back, and leftover fabric from the ironing board.  I added lace to the seams and zigzag stitched around the edges.  It was the quickest project in the history of projects.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Hungry Caterpillar

To celebrate Z's two year birthday, we got tickets to The Children's Theatre to see Eric Carle's Hungry Caterpillar.  It was done with puppets under blacklights and it was really fun!  She loved it and actually managed to sit through the hour-long production.  Good stuff.

And with that, I found a reason to use up a yard of some Hungry Caterpillar fabric that was given to me as a gift a year ago.  Simplicity 4437, which seems to now be out of print, was the pattern of choice.
 And this is my version of the jumper:
Obviously, I lapped the left over the right chest piece instead of the right over the left.  It didn't impact very much, but the skirt overlap is on the wrong side.  I suppose I should've switched that overlap.  I wasn't thinking.  I skipped the ribbons that went along the neckline.

The other problem I had with this dress was the grain of the print.
Had I cut out the pattern following the grainline, the print would have turned out vertically.  I figured that the dress is small enough that it may not make a difference.

And the back:
 The zip is not the prettiest, but it will do.

And here's something about that pattern that I found kind of nutty.  So, some of the directions wanted me to serge the seams for a clean finish, but the gathered edges at the waist were left untended.  I thought that was pretty nuts.  Unless I missed it, the directions did not suggest that I stick the gathered edges up between the bodice front and lining.  I took some peach bias binding and finished the waistband on my own:
Oh, and I suppose it's pretty obvious that I did not take time to match the lines.  Bah.

And here she is at the theatre:

It's a little big, but that's better than being too small, right?

Friday, February 21, 2014

I Spy = Done!

It's finally finished....finally!  When did I first cut those squares?  Um, that would be around Christmas of 2012.  Yup.  But now it's together, quilted, and bound.  Yay!
I saved a bunch of unique squares that didn't overlap with my first batch of I Spy quilts. I saved ninjas, sushi, whales, foxes, glasses, and roller skates.  
I also had a very, very small piece of paper doll fabric and I managed to get two 5x5 squares out of it. 

Speaking of 5x5, some of my squares were not cut to the right size.  I don't know how that happened, but it's extremely obvious in that first row with the witches.  Ugh.

As for the backing, I have this great watermelon fabric.  The only thing I could ever imagine making out of it was a half apron with a green ruffle to represent the rind. Lame, right?  It's much better on the back of the quilt.  In hindsight, I should have used a different color bobbin thread.

And what did Little Miss Z think of this?
And it was finished just in time for us to transition her to a toddler bed.  Yikes!  This makes me really nervous, because she will no longer be contained and will be able to amble about in the middle of the night.  However, it makes me even more nervous when I think about her climbing out of the crib, which, if mad enough, she might just do.  She's already figured out that throwing a leg over the crib rails is the first step toward freedom.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Working on the Baby Book

For the first child, of course, because that needs to be mostly done before the next one comes along in three (3!) months.  I stalled after my last spurt of scrapbooking (must've been last June) due to the summer and the Christmas crafting and whatnot.  I dug everything out again and it has taken over the table in my craft room, which really sucks, because I need to quilt something and there's no space.  I need to move the sewing machine to the dining room for a night to get the quilting done.  Anyhoo, so this is what I've accomplished recently.

Also, before we proceed, please be aware that I am not a professional scrapbooker. I have never been on a retreat and I can't for the life of me figure out how to use my second-hand cricut.  Seriously, I've tried and I suck at it.  I think there's a machine malfunction, but maybe it's user error. So, I'm probably what you would consider a sloppy scrapbooker and will not inspire you in any way, shape, or form.  Keep this in mind while you look at my pages.

Well, I guess I did manage to squeeze out a few leaves on the cricut, but that's about all I've managed. No letters, which is why I really want to use it.  My blade drags across everything.  It sucks.
The background was found in a scrapping kit from the Goodwill, which probably came from Target, because they send their overstock to the Goodwill.  The letters are glitter stickers, obviously.

The next page is part of a set, but I left the second page off, because there's a non-family member in one of the photos and I didn't feel like giving her some identity protection (and by that I mean one of those black stripes across the eyes).
I cut out the letters (sloppily) by hand from a letter stencil template that I've had before cricut was even invented, I bet.  The background is from an Asian stack.

I really like to use the art that is sent home from daycare as much as I can.  I have a bunch of those ghost footprints with googly eyes that I want to stick on a Halloween page.  For this one, I took a gingerbread man that they sent home:
I suppose there's space in the middle there for journaling, but I'm not good at that, so...

And here's another example of stuff sent home from daycare:
They made her a crown for her first birthday, so I cut off the name portion and just used that as a big fat border on the page.

And here's the most recent page:

Monday, February 17, 2014

Pinspiration: Scarf

I pinned this sweater-scarf the other morning and the next thing I knew, I was digging around in my closet for my husband's old sweater vest and some coordinating fabric.

The sweater vest was a vintage store find and he loved it, but the waistband was shot after a few wearings.  I took it off his hands and told him that I'd find it a new life.  That was over a year ago.  
It's an acrylic sweater, so felting was out of the picture, but why not try a scarf?

I followed the directions on the pattern, except I happened to make my scarf a tad longer to incorporate the black band and the bottom:
After sewing the two scarf pieces together, the sliver of white is gone.  I also top stitched the seam open to help remove some bulkiness.

As for the lining, I went with some blue that has been in my stash for ages.  I am pretty sure my mom contributed this piece.  I think that's about the size of a fat quarter or so and I have never really found a way to use it due to that larger print toward the middle of the fabric.  I have a piece of orange and a piece of brown that both seem to be from the same line as the blue, but have also never found a way to use them.  (I really need to start making little bags or pouches to use up all these oddities.)
And here is my finished scarf:
Not bad, yeah?  The directions never suggested attaching that little loop to the scarf itself, which I found to be rather asinine.  I mean, how soon would that little thing get lost?  So I made it a permanent part of the scarf.

Now, what do you think of wearing it with the lining out?
That may be a possibility.  I'll have to let you know how it all works out after I get this baby out of me.  I tried this on and it just looked ridiculous, because my boobs and all my organs have been pushed into my neck like one big goiter, so I need to wait until all that settles back into place before I can probably wear this scarf with any sort of confidence.

Otherwise, the sweater is so soft and it feels really cozy.  Plus, I have enough sweater to make another one of these.  I also have enough of that blue left.  

Friday, February 14, 2014


At the start of February, I was informed by my kid's daycare that Thursdays would be Cape Day for the entire month.  Ugh.  Another project to delay other ongoing projects.  I didn't get around to making one last week.  She was capeless.  I'm sure that this will provide her with something to tell a therapist in years to come.  You know, how her mother neglected her and made her an outcast among the other toddlers by not providing a cape in a timely manner.  

Yup, that's how it will go down.

On Sunday I chose some hideous pique fabric that has been part of my stash for maybe six years.  The pattern inspiration came from here, but the pdf wouldn't load on my phone and I was too lazy (read: pregnant) to go get the computer, so I self drafted an imitation.
So that's the back.  It's not a bad length, but that fabric!  Ugh!  I still have some of it left.  Bah.

I wanted a velcro neck closure to avoid a choking hazard, but the neck is just a tad too big.  When I picked her up from daycare, the teacher suggested that I attach the neck pieces to the cape lining and make armholes for safety reasons.  I'll probably modify it this weekend.
At least she's cute.

My stitches were wonky:
I adjusted the tension and it seems okay for now, but jeez...  What a mess!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Mending for Mudder

My mother wanted me to mend a hole in a pair of her jeans when she was here for Christmas, but I never got around to it until the other day.  I really don't know how to mend jeans.  Well, except for adding a fun patch to the outside and she did not want that.  Ugh.

So I took some blue fabric and used some of that double sided fusible stuff.  I fused it to the inside of the jeans and then  went bonkers with some zigzag stitches on the outside to take down all the stringy hole parts, like so:
And this is what it looked like on the inside:
Mom, you'll have to let me know how this holds up and I'm sorry if this is not what you had in mind.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Ironing Board...After

So here is the before...
And here is the after:
I was going to use this fabric:
It's a lovely little piece of vintage fabric.  I found it at a yard sale in Santa Cruz, but have never found a reason to use it.  I changed my mind at the last minute, because I convinced myself that I have enough for a small clutch.

And so I chose this:
And that's the little iron I found online.  Cute, right?

I just put this fabric over the old fabric.
And then I added some ribbon or hemming tape to prettify the edges:
My staples did not go in all the way, so I hammered them down.  They had twill tape on the old cover, which I should have used, because the hemming tape is bound to tear.  

And then I gave it my little girl.  

 She liked it well enough, but she was more interested in pushing it around the house.  Ugh.  When will she grow out of the pushing stage?