Sunday, December 29, 2013

Christmas Ornament Exchange 2013

This year Amanda sent me two adorable embroidered felt trees! She loves hand-sewing a lot more than I do! She is also a whiz at French knots, which always give me trouble.

The second tree she designed to look like a candy corn, since we eat a lot of them.

Each tree is about 3.5" tall.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Knotted Ribbon Ornament

Amanda likes ribbon, so I like to make ribbon ornaments for her. I saw this ornament on Martha Stewart and decided to make one, but, with plain red ribbon, it was definitely lacking something. Fortunately I had picked up these self-adhesive silver rhinestones at Michael's and they were the perfect touch. I hope they stay attached, because the smallest ones are much too small to glue in place. The ribbon is 5/8" wide and the ornament is about 2.75" at its widest.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Ribbon Wreath

I saw this design on Betz White's blog. She had two versions: ribbon and felt. Definitely check out hers - the photos are much better and you can buy a pattern! I wanted to make a felt version, but I didn't have a piece of felt long enough, so ribbon it was! Using 5/8" wide ribbon, it's about 3.5" in diameter. I think it's a little wreathier than my previous ribbon wreath.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Christmas Minions

Amanda has developed a bit of an obsession with the movie Despicable Me, so I'm surprised it took me as long as it did to come up with the idea of making a Despicable Me-themed ornament. Minions are adorable, and I'm really pleased with the way these turned out, though I'm partial to the one with two eyes. Despite not having any arms or legs, I think they are easily identifiable as minions, though their heads could probably be a bit rounder and less rectangular. I particularly like the hair. The yellow felt is machine stitched together with quilt batting inside. Everything else is hot glued on, because I wasn't feeling like hand stitching. The minions are supposed to be tangled up in the Christmas lights, because that seemed like a miniony thing to do. Merry Christmas!

Finished size: 3" x 4" body + Santa hat

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Little Red Suitcase Ornament

Amanda had a little red suitcase. She brought it when she came to visit me. It was the old-school kind with hard sides. She loved it. Earlier this spring, I had to teach a class for work about hosting craft programs in the library, which required a lot of internet research for upcycled crafts because most libraries don't have a lot of money to work with for staff and books, let alone programming. When I came across the idea of converting Altoid tins into suitcases, I knew I had to make one for Amanda. Not only would it be the perfect ornament, it would also give me a reason to use the colored duct tape sheets I'd seen at Hobby Lobby. I also happened to have a mini Altoid tin in my purse. The execution was remarkable; it turned out exactly how I anticipated it would in my mind, which doesn't always happen. I printed tiny destination images of places Amanda has been on sticker paper, including both our states.

Of course, once I came up with this idea, I executed it right away, even though it was only February. Fast forward to August, when Amanda tells me she's given away her red suitcase to a friend. My first thought was, "But what about my ornament!?" However, it then occurred to me that it would still be a nice memento, perhaps even more so now that it will serve as reminder.

Finished size: 1.5" x 2.5"

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Clip On Snowman Ornament

Is this not the cutest tiny snowman you've ever seen? He's only half an inch tall. My mom likes to send personalized ornaments for Christmas. One year she sent tiny snow globe ornaments with these snowmen inside. Mine, however, did not survive the mail. So now we just have a "ZACK" snow globe, but I saved the little snowman from my broken ornament to recycle.

The problem: how to turn it into a new ornament? You couldn't just hang it. Finally it occurred to me to make a clip. I have a couple of Snoopy ornaments that clip, so I don't know why I didn't think of it sooner! I put a ring of quilt batting around him to look like snow, and I added glitter glue for some sparkle.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Christmas Cards

I didn't plan to make Christmas cards this year, but I needed a few extras, and pretty soon I was on a roll:

An updated version of a similar card from 2004.

These ready-made cards needed a bit of sprucing up before sending, 
so I added a snowflake.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Holly Star Ornament

After making my snowflake star ornament, I realized that with a little alteration, I could make an ornament that was flat on the back and had the three dimensional points on the front. Even with the stand up points, I still added a gold bead to give the center a more attractive focal point. It also definitely looks better hanging from this orientation.

I pulled out some leftover holly fabric. Instead of starting with 14" strips, I started with 15" strips, just so I wouldn't end up short. Then, instead of folding the strips in half equally, I made the bottom of the fold about an inch shorter than the top:

The shorter strip is used to create the flat back, and the longer one is used to create the three dimensional front.

After creating the three dimensional points, I ended up needing to trim a bit before I tucked, so 14" might have been sufficient, but better safe than sorry:

Side view

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Snowflake Star Ornament

I came across a lovely ribbon ornament on the Martha Stewart website. However, with no pictures, it's an absolutely horrid tutorial, especially for a visual person. Fortunately, a quick web search turned up a much better tutorial with extremely clear photo illustrations. It is really easy to follow. This ornament is known by many names: German star, Froebel star, Moravian star.

Unfortunately, my attempt at making a ribbon version did not turn out. After more searching, I also found a tutorial for making a flat fabric star. This is my altered version of it. When I followed the instructions, I ended up with just enough fabric to tuck in on one side of the ornament, and enough on the other side that I would have had to trim some off in order to tuck it in. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough to make the stand up points of a three dimensional version. I wanted to use holiday fabric (leftover from my Cathedral window snowmen), but since I used only one fabric instead of four, I didn't think the flat version had enough visual appeal, so I compromised and made the extra fabric into pinwheel-style points instead of trimming and tucking. I added a snowflake to create a central focal point.  
Side view
It's about 3.5" from point to point.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Ceramic Snowman

It's a googly-eyed snowman themed Christmas! This snowman is made out of a tiny ceramic flower pot. I'm guessing it was leftover from my flower pot pin cushion project. Since I made those 5 years ago, I was determined to turn this last pot into an ornament. The snowman's hat is made out of tiny mitten with the top chopped off. The scarf is felt. It's about 4" high to the top of the hat.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Googly Snowmen

What were you doing on the third day of spring this year? I was making Christmas ornaments. It was snowing and I was inspired, though not because of the snow. But hey, I make Christmas ornaments in the summer too, so March is just a particularly early start.

I was inspired to use up the wooden discs I had left over from my yo-yo pumpkins, and I also had a lot of googly eyes. At first I wasn't sure about the googly eyes, but I really like them! The wood discs are only 1" in diameter, so they are very tiny snowmen.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Thanksgiving Cards

I was pleased to find these shiny metallic leaf stickers for my Thanksgiving cards this year!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Grandpas's Scare Crows

I've previously featured the Christmas ornaments that Zack's grandpa has made for us, so I thought I'd feature these little scarecrows he sent us. They are both made out of jars. You can unscrew the hat on the smaller one. The smaller one is about 6" tall and the larger one is about 10" tall.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Baby Elephant Quilt

This is the most babyish out of all the baby quilts I have made, especially for a boy. I think the dinosaurs and both sharks will age fairly well, but this one, probably not so much. (It's going to the little brother of the boy who received the first shark quilt.) Nonetheless, it's one of my favorite quilts. I like the cute little elephants, I like the color scheme, I like the quilting.

I actually like the quilting so much that now I really want to make a zig zag quilt.

See, aren't the elephants adorable?

New items purchased to complete this quilt: everything except the batting, and the orange fabric which was leftover from shark quilt #2

Finished size: 35" x 49"

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Airplane Baby Blanket

I bought this remnant of airplane flannel a couple years ago, because I knew it would be perfect for when my sister had a baby, and now she is! I was excited to finally get to use it. I ran right out and got some orange flannel for the back. She likes orange, and it will be one of the nursery colors.

Finished size: 31" x 39"

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Spools of Thread

I have a shocking number of tiny spools of thread:

The black spools are leftover from pillow kits my sister and I made when we were in middle school! I kept them on hand for small hand-sewing projects when I needed a variety of colors at my disposal to match to fabrics.

A lot of them are red.

Many are blue or grey.

Did you know Fruit of the Loom made thread? I did not.

Since this year I am attempting to use my fabric instead of continuing to buy it without a project in mind (and making good progress!), I decided to extend that effort to tidying up craft supplies in general and include all the excessive red, blue, and grey thread.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Orange and Green Paisley Quilt

I've had this lovely orange paisley, which originally debuted in a butterfly block for the still uncompleted Quilt Block Project, for quite a few years now. I decided it would be a nice fabric for this year's quilting goal of actually making quilts out of all the random fabric I've purchased without a specific project. Having cut into it for the butterfly block, I had less than a yard to work with, so I needed to pick a design that would both show it off and maximize its usage. If I could have found some more of the blue fabric I used in the butterfly block, I probably would have bought it, but since the other goal this year is to finish projects without buying yet more fabric, it's probably good that I didn't find any. Orange and green seemed like an odd combination at first, but I am really pleased with the way it turned out, and it's a nicely timed color combo for fall.

I debated at length how to finish the back without buying more fabric, but in the end I had to buy the solid orange fabric I used. I auditioned three fabrics I already had, but with only a yard of each, I didn't have enough of any of them, and I just didn't like them enough. The orange backing doesn't match the other orange fabric exactly, but that's okay. That one was too bright to use for the entire back. I would have liked to use green, but trying to find a coordinating green was even more difficult. The quilting is nothing special, just my go-to design, but I think it works well enough with the pattern.

New items purchased to complete this quilt: orange fabric for the back

Finished size: 37" x 49"

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Green Flannel Bears

Several years ago, I made a little bear out of green corduroy. I used the same pattern to make this little trio out of leftover flannel:

They are about 8" high. Of course I hadn't saved the pattern, and it took quite a lot of searching online to find it again. I don't really enjoy stuffing animals, but I was motivated to use up this flannel, the noses and eyes, and scraps of quilt batting. I save way too many batting scraps that are really only useful as stuffing.

The flannel was leftover from this bear, which I made in approximately 2002:


Sunday, August 25, 2013

Bronze Bouquet

This was one of my metals projects in high school. I don't think the flowers were part of the project. I decided to toss the flowers, which were likely an afterthought since they weren't filed very well at all, and keep the little vase, which for now is holding my favorite pen and pencil.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Doll Clothes

Before my mom took Samantha to live with her new owner instead of in the closet of my childhood bedroom, I had her take a picture in the outfit I made for her. The fabric is covered in fruit. I hand stitched the outfit. Later, I made a blanket for her.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Sand Dollars

One summer when I was in high school we went Maine on vacation and I found these sand dollars on the beach. I've had them for about 15 years now, so I decided it was time to find a project for them.

First though, I had to clean them up. They were a little grey, so I soaked them in bleach and water. I forgot to take a "before" picture, so here's a picture after they'd been soaking a few minutes:

Quite an improvement, though they look more uniformly white in the first picture than they actually turned out. They are very small. The smallest is about the size of a dime and the largest is about the size of a quarter. I have yet to come up with a project for them.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Embroidered Animal Pillow Cases

Last Christmas, Zack's grandma sent us these cute little embroidered pillow cases:

A cat for me and a dog for Zack, perfect!

Then, while cleaning out my craft stash, I found this bird pillow case I'd made and I thought I'd feature them all together:

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