Sunday, December 21, 2014

Spiral Snowflake Ornament

Though I made an ornament for my new niece, I wasn't really planning on starting Christmas ornaments for Amanda in May, but when I found this ornament tutorial I figured I might as well get started while I was motivated! The tutorial is in Russian, but the pictures are fairly easy to follow, and the "translate" button in the left column helps. With the exception of attaching the binding to the back and the button, I used my machine for the rest of the sewing. The ornament folds easily on the stitch lines, so instead of lining it with a layer of batting, I used a thin piece of cardboard to better stabilize it. I also added a button in the middle. It's approximately 4.25" in diameter.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Polyhedron Christmas Ornament

This ornament did not turn out as spherically as it should have. It also doesn't look as crisp as the one pictured in the tutorial I used. I have made this design in paper, but not as a Christmas ornament. I used fabric scraps from my hexagon quilt. It is about 3.5" in diameter.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Hungary Postage Stamp Tree


One year in high school I became friends with a foreign exchange student from Hungary. After she went home, we became pen pals. I recently liberated these stamps from their envelopes, and this seemed like a good way to repurpose them. I only had enough for one side of this tree. There isn't a wide range of colors, but at least they all match thematically. While the other two stamp trees are going to Amanda, I am keeping this one for myself.

Finished size: 3.5" x 4"

Saturday, December 13, 2014

US Postage Stamp Tree

After making an ornament with fake stamp stickers, I decided to try decoupaging some real stamps. I didn't have a huge selection of old stamps, so this one isn't as nicely color coordinated, as the focus was mostly on trying to cover the entire tree without leaving gaps. I collected stamps for a while as a kid, and that's where these stamps came from.

Finished size: 3.5" x 4"

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Postage Stamp Tree

After the last postage themed ornament, I was inspired to make another. I applied stickers that look like stamps to a wooden tree. The front is nice and colorful.

The back is more muted, but the colors still coordinate and look nice together.

I don't usually date my ornaments, but it worked out nicely to add the year to the back of this one:

Finished size: 3.5" x 4"

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Postage Ornament

Since we write a lot of letters, each year I try to make a postage themed ornament for Amanda. This one makes use of a postage stamp fabric. I tried to find a postage stamp charm, but to no avail. I think a heart is perfectly appropriate though. I used this tutorial, which I found unexpectedly in May. The ornament is 3.5" square, and 5" across.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Christmas Fish

Amanda and Chris have fish, so I decided to make a Christmas fish ornament. As soon as I finished it, I wondered why I had only made the face white. I should have added white elsewhere.

Dimensions: 5" x 4"

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Felt Snowflake Ornament

It's the start of the Christmas ornament season! This year we're starting off with the last ornament I made for the Ornament Exchange. I love it so much, I was tempted to make one for myself! It is 4" in diameter from tip to tip.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Reindeer Revamp

When I found these 3D reindeer stickers several years ago, I originally glued them to glass ornaments. I decided to redesign them this year, so I popped them off and glued them to these sparkly gold 1" discs instead.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Baby Penguin Ornaments

My newest niece will be seven months old in December, and my mom wanted me to make her some ornaments that would be safe for her to put in her mouth. I've had this penguin fabric for a while now, and it seemed ideal for baby-safe ornaments. Each ornament is like a tiny 2" x 3" quilt, backed with plain red or green fabric. My favorite penguins are the ones wrapped in lights. 

ETA: Here is the finished tree all lit up and penguiny!

2015 Update - Claire (18 mos.) helped decorate the penguin tree this year:

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Rainbow Ornament

This adorable ornament is made from stationery I've had since childhood. I decided to create an ornament out of it by mod podging it to a 3" wooden disc. I was going to paint the disc, but I decided to use the lined stationery to create the background instead, and I am very pleased with that choice! I used a grommet to give the hole a more finished look.

Stationery circa 1985

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Elephant Quilt

I had a 40" x 42" piece of elephant fabric left from the Baby Elephant Quilt I made last year. I could have used it for the back of that quilt, but by that time I knew Julie was planning an elephant themed room for her baby, so I saved it for my new niece.

I used left over fabric from the Airplane Quilt, as well as leftover fabric from the ribbon elephants. The grey chevron and orange swirl fabrics were purchased for these projects, and though I used the grey chevron for a pillow cover for Julie, I didn't end up using them for their intended projects.

Elephant detail

I used the zipper foot to bind this quilt and am still thrilled with how well it turns out using this method. I didn't even press the binding this time because I finished this on Friday night and simply forgot.

Finished size: 40" x 40"

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Hair Bow Elephant

My newest niece has a lot of hair for her age. Julie started using one of the first three elephants for hair bow storage before she hung them over the crib. Once she put them over the crib as intended, she decided she needed another to keep using for hair bows, but we decided on a slightly different design. I used the same size elephant, but we put the elephant at the top. Julie also wanted it to hold head bands, so we added the C at the bottom to hang them.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Halloween Treat Bags

I made these back in July when I was on my doll quilt and bag kick. I got a yard of this ghost fabric on sale for $1.50 so I couldn't pass it up. These are for my nieces, and I made two more plain bags for the little girls my mom babysits.

My mom asked if I was going to make one for my newest niece, and I said no, she's not going to be old enough to use it this Halloween. But then my sister saw the plain ones when we were all home in August and said of course she needed one too. Fortunately I'd already found some rhinestone Cs. 

Finished size: 3" x 4.5" x 6", plus handles

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Bird Pillow Covers

Amanda asked me to make her a pillow cover. I was going to make it to match her quilt, but I wasn't thrilled with my options. When asked for inspiration, she suggested a bird silhouette. This worked out nicely to coordinate thematically, even if I didn't use matching fabric. I like this color combination as well.

I'm not the best at applique, so it's a very basic bird. The applique itself turned out much better than expected. There is only a slight wrinkle near the tail. I used my zipper foot rather than do a blanket stitch because the bird was so curvy. Unfortunately it's not exactly centered. I centered the entire design when it would have looked better to center the body of the bird.

I wasn't sure applique would be comfy on your face, so I decided to make a flannel one with scraps I had left from the flannel bird blanket.

They both have unexciting envelope backs.

Finished sizes: 12" x 12"

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Flannel Bird Blanket

After finishing Amanda's birthday quilt, I had 2.5 yards of bird flannel left. I went and got 2.5 yards of this green flannel so I could make another completely flannel blanket. These are 8" squares without quilt batting in between. I left a half inch seam allowance, snipped a quarter inch to fray.

Finished size: 42" x 56"

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Birthday Birds Quilt

In early September, I finished and wrapped all of Amanda's Christmas ornaments for this year's Ornament Exchange. It then occurred to me that I didn't have any presents planned for her birthday, which at that point was only about six weeks away. It's her 30th, so I needed to do something extra special. Hence, this quilt.

I've had this bird fabric since at least 2011, when it appeared on the blog for the first time, so it's possible I've had it even longer. Even before I'd realized Amanda's birthday was imminent, I'd been planning to use it to make her a quilt, I just hadn't settled on a design. So I finally got my act together and here we are!

Amanda really likes flannel, which I also used in her wedding quilt, so I seized the opportunity to buy this matching bird flannel, which I've also had for years. However, I either just bought whatever was left on the bolt, or I guess I must have been planning a gigantic quilt, because even after backing the quilt, I had 2.5 yards left. I don't really make full-sized quilts any more, so I'm not sure what I was thinking.

Finished size: 40" x 53"

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Pink and Blue Quilt

Finally done! It was difficult to decide how to quilt it since I didn't want to quilt too much pink over blue. I also didn't want to have the quilting looking funny on the back, so I wanted it to be as minimal as possible. It turned out fairly well, despite not all the lines being straight.

Finished size: 41" x 53"

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Zipper Foot Binding

I've been frustrated with machine quilting binding lately, so I decided to try using my zipper foot to more easily get closer to the edge of the binding on the front of the quilt. It worked out beautifully! Does everyone already do this and I just didn't know? The results were so much nicer than usual! It was also considerably easier to smooth out puckers as I sewed.

What the binding looks like using my regular foot:

What the binding looks like using my zipper foot:

Binding on the back:

I also tried a binding tip from Crazy Mom Quilts and pressed the binding.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Pink and Blue Progress Update

This block has come a long way since I last posted about it, but it's been awhile! This will be a quilt top by the end of the day, and hopefully a finished quilt by next weekend...but considering how long it's been in progress, maybe let's say the end of the month?

ETA: And here it is...a front and back all pinned and ready to go!

Of course I didn't have enough pink thread to start quilting, but that's okay, I started another project with an October deadline, so this one can wait a little longer!

ETA: The finished project!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Quilt Update

I went home in March and again this month. Since my parents have a cat, the quilts at their house get washed frequently. It was interesting to see the quilts after so many washings, so on this trip I decided to take some photos.
Jelly Roll from 2010
This one has faded considerably!

Bento Box from 2009

Lily's Quilt from 2009

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Quilting Update

I've had my new machine for over six months now, and my new set up is working out nicely. The airplane quilt was the first quilt I quilted using the new machine and table, and I just had to take a picture. Granted, this is a crib size quilt, but the whole length of it fits on the table!

There have been a few adjustments. One benefit is that the bobbins hold so much thread! I rarely need to wind more and I'm definitely glad I bought extra bobbins. However, I am used to being able to quickly open the bobbin compartment and check how much bobbin thread is left. You can't see the bobbin thread on this one, so it's very helpful that it lasts so long. Overall, winding bobbins is much easier on this machine.

The needle threader is another great feature, but it's kind of hit or miss. Sometimes it works for me on the first try - other times I just give up after a few tries and thread the needle. I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong. 

I've completed four quilts so far this year, but I haven't had many reasons to use the decorative stitches beyond playing with them. I have several more quilts planned, so I'm not sure how soon I'll get around to coming up with projects that need fancy stitches.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Blue Bird Quilt

My friend is expecting a baby girl in September, but he said they were trying to stay away from pink. It's a good thing I asked because, otherwise, there would definitely have been pink in a baby girl quilt.

Finished size: 41" x 51"

Sunday, July 27, 2014

A Solo Doll Quilt

This is the last one. Now I've made one for every little girl I know. It has been a really good stash busting project for both fabric and leftover scraps of quilt batting. This doll quilt is going to the little girl who is Samantha's new owner. I figured she might need a new blanket.

I didn't have enough blue fabric left for the bag. It is lined with pink.

Finished quilt size: 16.5" x 20"

Finished bag size: 3" x 4.5" x 5"

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Almost Twin Doll Quilts

After the first round of twin doll quilts, I decided to make some more, though these are not identical like the first two. That's okay because these are not going to twins. I had intended them to be identical, but I didn't have enough of either the cherry or the green fabric.

I did have just enough fabric left to make two little bags:

Finished size of quilts: 17" x 21"

Finished size of bags: 3.5" x 4" x 6", plus handles
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