Friday, December 30, 2011

Melted Crayon Art

It's not the most original project - since it is all over Pinterest. With all those colors I just had to give it a try!

I had big plans for a grey, yellow and blue canvas - but the cr ayon box only has a few yellows and I started to get worried it would be too dark. I quickly decided a rainbow with more of my color palate included would be a better plan.

I also wanted to put some sort of print in the middle using painters tape. I had a cute airplane all taped on but as I started to use the hair dryer to melt the crayons the airplane peeled on the sides and I finally ended up pulling it off.

Also the hair dryer blows the wax all over the place - in directions you can't even fathom. I found holding it directly above the crayons was my best bet. Even better than the hair dryer was my heat embosser - it produced a centered stream of air that melted the crayons in a direction I could control.

Anyway, I love the outcome - here it is hanging on a random wall. I just had to decide now which way to hang it!

Lavender Sachets

Just before Christmas I was in need of a few sticking stuffers for my mom and sister. I had a few charm squares left over from various projects and had picked up some dried lavender from a farm on the coast so I figured I would make some sachets.

It could not have been easier. I sewed the charm squares together right sides facing each other. I left a small gap for turning and filling. As I was sewing the edges I placed a small piece of ribbon I'm the hem to create a small tag. I used the same ribbon to designate the set of three.

I turned all the squares, pushing out the corners with a chopstick. I filled each with a tablespoon of dried lavender and then a bit of fiber fill to round out the pillows. Each little sachet needs to be closed by hand. (Thats the annoying part I'm still getting a handle on.)

Each set of three will take you less than 30min so it's an easy project for those left over charm squares. There would make perfect housewarming or hostess gifts.

Easy Stylish Burp Cloths

Since I saw these on Petite Lemon Blog I wanted to give them a try. I'm always hesitant to try something new for a baby gift so, of course, I made a set for myself.

As usual I made a few alterations. I used scrap fabric instead of new fat quarters - you need about 6" x 18" for each cloth. I also used the ribbon to line the top and bottom of the cloth instead of down the side as the pattern called for. This allowed me to include a little ribbon loop so that I can attach the cloth to something if I want.

This is a really easy project. I used the cloth diapers I could find at the BX and I think next time I will look for a thicker diaper. They washed really nicely and are in the drawer ready to go. Now to make a few more for my pregnant friends!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Animal Pillows

I wanted to do the nursery in grey and yellow since I found out I was pregnant. It's been hard to find exactly what I want in those colors making things seems to be my best option.

I had two Ikea pillows that have traveled with us since my college days. The covers were gross but the pillows were in great shape so they have been transformed with new covers. I used this easy tutorial to make an envelope pillow cover - there are many out there if you don't particularly like this one. Instead of using just one piece of fabric I used a different fabric on the back.

I appliquéd animals to the front echoing the pattern on the back - the back is the animal print from Kate Spain's Central Park that I used for the car seat cover. I drew the animals out on a piece of paper and traced it backwards on to interfacing which I ironed on to the fabric and cut it out. (Again many tutorials on applique are available) I used a simple envelope closure on the back of the pillow since they will mostly be decorative and don't need a zipper.

I'm always impressed by how challenging appliqué looks and yet how simple it really is. I don't want to go overboard with the animal theme but it does help bring a childish theme to the room.

And just because I can here is one more photo of the little grey elephant!

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Monday, December 19, 2011

Car Seat Canopy

The car seat cover turned out to be a quick project. I had looked at a few of these online but couldn't find exactly what I wanted. Ah, the beauity fo making it yourself. I had been holding on to this Central Park yardage for just such a project - it just screems little boy to me.

After scouring the blogosphere for pattern options, I found one I liked from Make it Do. With a few modifications for my sewing style and Carseat model I had a cute cover in just a few hours. (I was also making Chex Mix so I was a bit distracted.)

The only modificaiton worth mentioning is the measurements for where to place the straps on the cover in the pattern. We have Britax Chaperone and the handle appears to be more forward then the handle the pattern is intended for. I just pinned the straps and adjusted as need be before sewing everything in place.

Here is a picture of the cover laid out on the table with the straps pinned on .

A big thanks to B who came through with velcro when I discovered I did not have any!

I'm so pleased with the outcome!

Update: Thanks to Pinterest I've found a few great tutorials for these in addition to the one I used. The Ribbon Retreat has this adorable tutorial complete with girly bows. Craftiness Is Not Optional also has this great car seat cover.

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Building Blocks

Since we will only be in this house a few months with the new baby I'm limited in the amount of "nesting" I can do. Instead of painting and things like that I've taken to crafting things for our little one.

There is a tutorial for Quilted Log Cabin Blocks on Moda Bake Shop that I wanted to try. Instead of quilting the blocks i figured i would just use some left over charm squares. When I was looking through my fabric stash I noticed lots of yellow layer cakes left over from various projects. I thought some large blocks might be fun.

Each block requires 6 layer cakes and allot of fiberfill. I sewed the blocks together as directed to in the Moda Bakeshop tutorial. It looks a bit confusing when you read the directions but I found it really intuitive once I got started.

The blocks maintain their shape very well but are quite squishy. You could easily quilt them or add interfacing if you wanted something a bit stiffer. I love these though and may be making some little ones when I find some more yellow or grey fabric.

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Better than Receiving

Lately it feels like I'm always packing up my quilts to send across the country as gifts - which I love - but I don't get to be there when they are opened. There is something about seeing your hard work find its home that is so satisfying.

When I finished the Eat, Play, Sleep, Repeat quilt for M.E. I actually got to take it down the street to her baby shower and watch her open it.

It truly does feel better to give then to receive.

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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Rocket Man and Baby.

Least year, before I went to Texas, B gave me the book One Yard Wonders. Flipping through the book I found several little projects I wanted to try. One that caught my eye though was for a Rocket Pillow. Since Jeff is a big fan of space travel and I work at NASA I thought it would be the prefect toy if we ever had a little boy. Almost a year later, with the house already a mess from all my Thanksgiving long weekend crafting I figured it was the perfect time to knock out a rocket pillow. I already had the perfect fabric, which I purchased from Whipstitch in Atlanta to back the Airplane quilt.

Its hard to get a good picture of the three dimensional rocket - but here it is in the lap of our large Christmas bear. The yellow ribbon is the top of a pocket that runs the length of the rocket on one side. It seems perfect for whatever treasurers our little one discovers.

I added some beans to weigh down the bottom of the rocket so it stands upright. This was a simple modification done by making a little bean bag and sewing it to the inside of the base before attaching it to the rest of the rocket.
If your looking for some motivation for your own Rocket Pillow, Google Images and Flicker both have some great variations. This is an easy afternoon project.

Sugar, Spice & Everything Nice

My dear friend M.E. is expecting a baby girl in February (just six weeks before we will hopefully welcome our little boy). It has been so nice to have someone on base to be pregnant with. We are often out on a slow walk together or comparing notes on maternity clothing. Anyway, several of the girls and I have been planning her shower for months. I've additionally been planning to make a little baby quilt. I had the fabric and the pattern all picked out but just couldn't quite get motivated to get it done. With the shower fast approaching I got to work over the holiday weekend.

The fabric is a combination of scraps and randomly ordered girly fabric. I machine quilted it myself using the lovely painters tape trick to mark out the quilting pattern. I also used basing spray - which for some reason I previously missed the memo on. The basing spray sure made the job allot easier and avoided all those nasty snags that I used to wrestle with. Once I had the top done the rest of the project was finished by the time Santa made his appearance at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade.

Mini-Log Cabin Quilt

When I finished up the quilt for our little baby boy I had another quilt using the same fabric line (Moda's Hideaway) that also needed binding. I'm thinking I will also use this one in the baby's room since it matches.. but I may change my mind still. This one used a modified log cabin pattern that I made up using the scrap fabric from the other quilt. Its nice and red!

We walked to the park to take some pictures but it was so windy we couldn't get the quilt to hold still!

Giving Thanks

I celebrated my one year sewing anniversary over Thanksgiving. Last year my husband gave me a sewing machine as an early Christmas present. Although my first official project was the apron B taught me how to make - the first project I did on my own were Thanksgiving placements. I finished them last year just in time to host Thanksgiving dinner with my family and our Edwards family. Unfortunately, I never got any pictures before we put them away. While we were in Texas we had some mice move into our garage and the pilgrim hat and mayflower designs were eaten - the others survived the attack and I was happy to see these beauties again this year. (I only took pictures of the two letters and a turkey - there are a few more in the collection.)

We didn't host Thanksgiving this year and instead got to focus on just making our favorite dishes. I made the same Pecan Pie (which we pronounce pee-can in Georgia) I made last year - only because I remember it being amazing - but it all being gone by the end of the night. This year was no different but I did sneak an extra piece!

Jeff focused on baking bread. His bread baking skills just get better every year. I can only imagine what the bread will look like once we have an oven that properly heats. (The cheap ovens in base housing don't maintain their temperature very well making bread baking a big difficult.) The bread was one of the highlights of the evening. Here are a few pictures of the deliciousness that came our of our kitchen for Thanksgiving.

The Fabric Picks the Project

I was in JoAnn's on Wednesday and found this amazing whale fabric in fleece.

My sister loves whales - she is always teasing that my baby needs more whale stuff. When I saw the fabric I knew I needed to make her some PJ pants. It's a quick project and they just came out of the wash and I snapped a picture while they were line drying.

I think they are actually going to be a bit shorter then she typically wears them.. but they are adorable. Plus they are made with love and isn't that what counts.

I have some leftover fabric that I'm going to back a little baby quilt with...when I get to it.

Happy Crafting!

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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Quilting for Our Baby Boy

It has been a long time since I have finished a project!

I have plenty that are in various stages but between traveling and being pregnant I have made little to no progress. This week, as the cold rolled in, it finally felt like time to get back to work. I finished this little guy up just as we found out that we would be welcoming a baby boy in early April. The quilt is in Hideaway, which incorporates some of my favorite colors so I've already set it aside for our little one. I have a few more projects to finish in the next few weeks but sometimes it just takes getting over the hump to finish a bunch of things.

Hopefully I'll get a few more done over the long weekend! Happy Crafting and Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Birthdays, Baking and Binding

Last weekend was B's birthday so a group of us headed down to San Diego for some beach camping. She asked for a carrot cake and I was happy to oblige. I used a recipe from the Complete Americas Test Kitchen TV Shop Cookbook. This cookbook has never let me down - I cooked most of Thanksgiving dinner from it in November to rave reviews. The cake turned out perfectly - the book even suggested cooking it in a square pan for easy transport. This kept the cake nice and most even on the beach. I still have some work to do on my cake decorating skills.. luckily by the time we served the cake it was dark (and the car with all the flashlights had not arrived yet!) and no one was able to see my writing anyway. So Happy Birthday B! Thanks for letting us share your big day.

Meanwhile, Jeff's baking has gone from hit and miss to excellent. I've been the lucky recipient of Cherry Danish's, pasta, pizza crust, and, just this weekend, soft pretzels. I can't find any pictures of his creations - although I'm sure I took some - so when I find them I will post them. Anyway...

When I got back from camping I had the newest complete quilt waiting for its binding. I love to get a quilt bound - it just doesn't feel complete until its all finished. I had some trouble getting motivated but finally put on some old movies and just sat down and pushed through - I did the finishing stitches in between turns at game night.

The pattern is Random Reflections and the fabric is Central Park. I should have made two of these - because for some reason it screams "put me on a twin bed in a little girls room." haha. Maybe its just me.

This afternoon, with the finished quilt in hand we went on a little adventure to the park. I had fun taking pictures on the jungle gym and later relaxing on the new quilt in the shade - I even tied it to the back of my bike, all rolled up, to ride home.

So.. in the words of John Stewart "Here's Your Moment of Zen."

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Millions of Pieces

I did a lot of piecing these last two weeks. I was super motivated by all my friends recent pregnancy announcements. Time to get my current projects finished so I can start on baby quilts!

In other exciting news, a group of ladies here on base have been tossing around the idea of a quilting group. I'm very excited about the prospects!

Enough of my rambling. These all still need to get quilted, but I made so much progress this week I wanted to post pictures. (More details to come on these when they are finally done.)

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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Back to Quilting

Its been a while since I've finished a project! I spent most of May away from home for work, and most of June away from home celebrating at one of my best friends' wedding and then at my sisters' graduation. In summation, June was not a very productive quilt month either. This week I was granted a little extra downtime which meant I was able to finish a quilt, get one completely pieced and another will be pieced at the end of the weekend.

The quilt I finished is another Moda Bakeshop Pattern: Tiffany Diamonds. The pattern is really easy and comes together so quickly. In fact, I decided to do a Christmas Quilt in the same pattern because it was so simple and fun. Plus, its always nice to have that one project that will come together quickly. The pattern has you tie the quilt - but I decided to quilt it instead. I also added an inner and outer border. The fabric is Moda's Lovely.

Here are some pictures for you to enjoy: