October 27, 2016

Sticks and Stones - A Quilt of my Own Design

I am REALLY proud of this quilt, and I am really excited to share it with you!  I spent a long time designing, cutting, sewing, quilting and binding this beauty, and I am so happy with the way it turned out!!

Quilting has been really fun for me over the last few of years.  Made even more fun by the fact that my mom has a long-arm quilting machine!  
After finishing up several antique quilt tops into quilts, I decided that I wanted to make a quilt, from the beginning, all myself!  

I really love many of the scrap quilts I've seen, and I needed to pare down my scrap pile, so I decided to create myself a pattern, and put together my own HST (half square triangle) scrap quilt!

Using triangle shapes in a powerpoint document, I started to arrange them, and came up with several different designs that I liked.  Below is the design I settled on.

Using this wonderful tutorial for making HSTs in bulk, I started the long process of sewing and trimming the hundreds of HSTs that I needed.  
I had quite a few blue and green scraps of fabric, so I arranged them according to those colors.

Then, I started laying out my quilt.

After I had my layout just the way I wanted it, I stacked the squares in each row, from left to right, and pinned them all together - including a piece of paper with the number of the row.  
That way, I was able to get it up off the floor, and keep it in order.

I sewed each square in the row together, as you see below.  It took a long time :)  I made sure to re-attach the number to the row once it was sewn together, so that I could remember the order.

You can see below I would check to make sure I had sewn things together correctly by laying each row side by side to look at the pattern again.  Once all the squares in each row were sewn together, I sewed the rows together.

I also used some HSTs to create a pattern for the backing.

Then, the fun (but stressful) part.  I agonized over what designs to quilt using the long-arm quilting machine.  I wanted the quilting to reflect the time I had taken to make it, so I was careful quilting it myself, and I spent a long time on it!  It was worth it!

I did swirls on the outer edge, pebbles in the squares, sunburst things in the pinwheels.  I did scallops between the zig zag border. 

Then I bound it with a bright color to complement the zig zag border.  I really LOVE how it turned out.  I'm willing to use most of the quilts I finish, but this one I've decided will just be for looking at, no for using :)

What do you think?  Are you a quilter?  Have you made your own pattern before?
It's a lot of work - but a ton of fun!

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February 4, 2016

Disney t-shirts for baby

So, my older girls got their handmade Disney t-shirts, but for my baby, I tried a few different ideas.
It was really fun to outfit my sweet little 7 month old with some hand made Disney outfits.  It was quite cold while we were there in Florida, so some of her outfits were covered by jackets, but I have a few darling pictures of her sporting her one of a kind clothes.

I bought a pack of white onesies in her size, and for this one, I made a little Snow White inspired, apron-like fabric front.  I cut and zig-zag stitched on a blue front.  Then, made little U shaped pieces of fabric by sewing 2 pieces, right sides together and turning them right side out.  I sewed them along the waist - and let them hang over her pants like a skirt.  Then, I sewed ribbon around the middle, over the yellow fabric, so I could tie it in the back.  I didn't sew all the way around, because the fabric and ribbon wasn't as stretchy as the onesie, and would have been hard to get on her otherwise.

I used hot glue and ribbon to make a bow with Snow White colors - and hot glued an alligator clip on the back to secure it to a stretchy headband.  I found that bows were a really easy way to make the baby look festive!

We love Tsum Tsums around our house - do you?
This onesie was inspired by those dolls - and was made with regular acrylic craft paint.
Minnie on the front, and Pooh on the back ;)

I traced the shape onto the shirt ...

Painted it with acrylic paint using small paint brushes.

And then I created a stencil for the words.  Easy and cute!

This Peter Pan inspired shirt was probably my favorite.  My girls and I carved a pumpkin this year that looked a lot like the Tinker Bell image above.  I simply made a stencil for Tink, and painted it onto the t-shirt with black acrylic paint.  I used the end of a painbrush for the dots.
Tinker Bell went on the back, and Peter, Wendy, Michael and John on the front...

I made another bow - yellow, like Tinker Bell's hair - and she looked awesome in this one!  I never did take a great picture, but you get the idea :)

With my last white onesie, I couldn't resist these Frozen quotes.
They seemed too perfect for baby.  

I made a stencil with my Silhouette for these too - one for the front, and one for the back.

And she even got to meet Anna herself while wearing it!

I have to say, I'm really pleased with the way these turned out.  Simple, but they each added a fun and festive element to our trip.  

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February 3, 2016

Disney T-Shirts - Do it Yourself!

We recently returned from a fabulous trip to Disney World!  With daughters ages 3, 6 and 9 - it was so fun to live through their eyes.  It is such an exciting place to be a kid :)

Before we left, I did a lot of planning, and gathering, and I made a bunch of Disney goodies for them to have ready to go at the parks.
Some of those things were t-shirts and hair bows - and I wanted to share all my fun creations!

Back when we planned the trip (knowing we would go with cousins and grandparents), my sister, mom and I did a t-shirt project together - so all of the cousins could have a matching shirt.  This Sharpie tie dye look was easy to achieve, and fun because each one was different, but matching in the style.  My mom had done these before, so she explained the process, and it's really simple.  Here are a few pictures to give you the idea:

With plastic cups (could be yogurt containers or anything like that), we used a rubber band to secure a portion of the t-shirt over the opening of the cup. 

Using any color sharpies we wanted, we drew little patterns, dots and squiggles inside the circle shape - really anything goes.  

Then, using a medicine dropper, we dripped rubbing alcohol right in the middle of the circle, and watched as it slowly spread from the center outward.  As it passed over the Sharpie drawings, it spread the ink to create this tie dye effect.  It was like magic!

We used bigger plastic containers for the head, and smaller for the ears - and the result was a funky Mickey head.  
Tip: We did not wash these before they were worn at Disney.  Since being home, they've been washed, and they do fade quite a bit.  

Because white t-shirts are so inexpensive (I got mine at Walmart for only a couple of dollars), I felt like I could experiment with different ideas, and not worry too much if they didn't turn out.
This idea ended up being really cute though!

I love to keep my children's artwork.  I scan into my computer all sorts of cute pictures - and from a few years ago, I had these pictures done by my older girls.
On the left you can see what they drew.  I put a white piece of paper over them, and traced the main lines, darkened my tracing, and then put it inside the front of the t-shirt.
I traced those lines again onto the t-shirt in pencil, and then using a paintbrush, I painted over the lines, to match their drawings.

They turned out so cute!  I wrote their names underneath, with the age they drew the picture, and it was another fun shirt for them to wear at the parks.

We took princess dresses, and other cute shirts I had purchased in advance - but one other set of hand made shirts were these silhouette shirts my mom made for all the grandkids.  Each has a different Disney character - and the bright colors were easy to keep track of ;)
She used her Silhouette Cameo - aren't they fun?

Stay tuned for other DIY outfits I made for my baby!
How about you - have you decorated your own t-shirts before?

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December 16, 2015

Mini Stocking Advent Calendar

The Christmas season is such a lovely time of year.  I truly enjoy teaching my children about Christ's birth, and the joy of giving.  As my girls get older, it is great to involve them in gifting, service, and learning during Christmas.  

One of the ways I enjoy doing this, is through an advent calendar!  We do have an advent calendar with cubbies, but I wanted to do just a 12 days of Christmas advent calendar this year.  Plus, we had this perfect spot on the mantel, just begging for a cute strand of mini stockings!

These little stockings hold a small piece of chocolate candy for each of the girls, and a little card that gives an activity that we'll do that day.  We have things like make cookies and deliver them to neighbors, visit relatives, attend our church Christmas party, act out the nativity, watch a Christmas movie, make gifts for siblings, and things like that.  So far, it has been really fun.  

So here's a quick how-to:

For each stocking, I cut 2 pieces of lining fabric, and 2 pieces of outer fabric.  The shape of the stocking can be found here.

For the outer fabric, put right sides together and sew around the stocking with 1/4" seam allowance (leaving the top of the stocking unsewn, like a regular sock).
For the lining fabric put right sides together and sew around the stocking with 1/4" seam allowance, but leave a 1" gap at the bottom of the stocking for turning.  Leave the top of the stocking unsewn, like a regular sock.

Turn the outside of the stocking right side out.  Then stuff it inside the lining fabric (which you have left inside out).  See above.  Line up the top opening of the stocking.  Then, sew around that top edge with 1/4" seam allowance.  

Pull the whole thing right side out through that hole you left in the lining fabric.  It will look like the middle stocking above when you have pulled it out.
Below, you can see that I then sewed the hole in the lining closed.
Then, push the lining fabric inside the outer fabric, and fold the top down a bit.  It will look like the stocking on the right in the photo above.

Here are a bunch of them made and folded over.

To add the numbers I found numbers that I liked on the computer, made them the right size, and printed them out.
Next, I ironed heat n' bond on the back of a piece of dark fabric, and traced the numbers onto it.
If you are tracing numbers onto the back of heat n' bond, make sure you trace them upside down.  That way when, you cut out the number, and iron it down to the stocking, it will be the correct direction.  This is a good time to iron your whole stocking nice and flat.

Finally, I sewed a little loop of twine into the top side of each stocking for hanging.  Then, I strung them on a longer piece of twine.

I love the way they look and the girls are so excited to open them find their candy and activity each day.  

Do you do an advent calendar in your home?  What kinds of things do you put inside?

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