Circle (Unisex) Baby Quilt

Circle Baby Quilt

It has been quite a while since I used my sewing machine. It’s really sad. I tend to only sew when I either need to hem pants or make a baby quilt. I use to be SO into random crafting, but lately..I’ve been a bit uninspired. Womp wah…

When I started making baby quilts a few years ago, I promised my best friend that when she was pregnant, I would absolutely make a quilt for her baby. Since this is my best friend, I felt like I needed to try a more challenging pattern than my usual charm pack or strip quilts. I’ve had this pattern from Bijou Lovely bookmarked for a couple of years now (here is her updated pattern that I used), so I figured now was the time to give it a shot!

Since I wasn’t in the mood to cut out perfect circles, I purchased a Go Baby circle die (which is a cartridge for the Go Baby fabric cutter). I swear, that machine makes quilting so much easier. I really don’t like cutting lol!

Circle Baby Quilt

For the quilt, I used 7 different fabrics for the circles. My friend is team green, so I stuck to a palette of blues/greens/yellows/oranges. I tried to make everything have hints of her nursery decor in there, from the green gingham binding (which matched her basket liners in the nursery) to the ABC fabric (which was similar to her nursery bedding). I’m always a bit worried when it comes to ordering fabric online, but the colors worked so well together!

I also loved using this Essex Putty fabric for the background. I really think this fabric makes colors on a quilt pop! It’s so great…I’m actually kind of bummed that I waited so long to finally use this fabric, actually. :-)

Circle Baby Quilt

I will say that this pattern is definitely worth making again. I loved making this quilt, and I feel like the pattern wasn’t bad at all (I’d like to think I’m an advanced beginner at quilting, just to give you an idea…). However, I did use a die cutter for the circles, so that part was a breeze.

Here’s the finished quilt. I ended up cutting it a bit in size (not using the full circles), because I stupidly ran out of quilt backing fabric. I still think it looks great, though! :-)

Circle Baby Quilt

And here’s the back of the quilt, where I really highlighted the ABC fabric. :-)
Circle Baby Quilt

I think it’s SO adorable! :-) Also, you can see it a lot better on the back side of the quilt, but all I did for the quilting was “stitch in the ditch”. The actual quilting really didn’t take much time at all, since I did it this way. :-)

And…I had to include this picture. The mom-to-be has a dog herself, and didn’t mind that Millie snuggled up to this blanket before it was done. :-) She’s such a good helper haha! Thank goodness for lint rollers. ;-)

Circle Quilt

Random Crafts

The holidays were a little over two months ago, and I realized while looking through photos, that I never shared some of the handmade gifts that I made! This year wasn’t very heavy on crafts. I had quite a bit of ambition, but I never get through my full list.

The gifts that I made were fabric rosette necklaces and a lace scarf. I really could have made more, but the holidays are just so darn busy! I feel like I need to start earlier and earlier in the year to get through the list that I have. :-) Maybe I should start now for 2014′s gifts? LOL!

image

These were the rosette necklaces that I made. I have been so inspired by statement necklaces lately, and saw this tutorial for fabric rosettes (which I bookmarked ages ago, because they were just so darn cute).

Then, on Pinterest I came across the idea to make the rosettes into a bib necklace, and the idea hit me. Why not make them in my favorite team colors and give them as gifts? I gave the LSU ones to one of my sisters & my cousin, since they both go there. I also made one for me. :-)

Randoms

The other ones were, of course, for Saints fans. I gave one of those to my other sister and my future sister in law. :-) I won’t lie…it really takes some time to make the little rosettes and a good bit of tacky & hot glue. However, I love the results! I can’t wait to wear mine during football season next year!

Randoms

The fabric was Kona cotton, and since that’s normally a fairly pricey fabric (in comparison to other solid cotton fabrics), I just waited for it to go on sale. :-) I packaged the necklaces, using the same comic book boards that I used to re-organize my fabric collection a couple of years ago. I just cut them into smaller rectangles, and added in two slits on top of the board for the chains to stay put in. :-)

The other gift that I made was a lace scarf for my Memaw. Yes, I call my grandma, Memaw, and I love that Sheldon on Big Bang Theory has a Memaw, too. :-) She LOVES the color aqua, and since I had some aqua sock yarn in my stash, I decided to knit this scarf up for her. :-)

image

I just love it. :-) It also was a fairly simple lace pattern, so if you’re a beginner with knitting and you’re looking to get into a lace-making pattern, this one is worth a try, in my opinion. It still takes some time, but most lace patterns do.

Did any of y’all make gifts for the holiday season? Or heck…now that we’re well out of the holiday season, are you planning to make any birthday gifts?

Peppermint Swirl Sugar Scrub & A Giveaway!

handmadeholidays

**NOTE: This gift is NOT edible. This sugar scrub is NOT for consumption…it’s a bath/body product.**

I just thought I’d get that out of the way, since all of the other gifts in this blog series are food related….this one is not, due to the use of essential oils.

I love this time of the year, but one of the biggest issues I face is how drying the winter is, especially on my hands. I use so much lotion throughout the winter, and sadly, with all of the cooking/baking that I do, the constant hand washing doesn’t make things any better. It’s probably because the winter sucks the humidity out of Louisiana, but I’m always prepared with shea butter hand lotion and some sort of moisturizing scrub. I know a scrub sounds counter-intuitive, but a sugar scrub exfoliates with the sugar and also moisturizes your skin using the oil. It always leaves my hands feeling nice and soft. I thought that it would be a great gift idea to make these for the other women in my family, since we all go through the same thing this time of the year!

When I saw this idea for a Peppermint Swirl scrub on Dixie Crystals’ website, I knew that this was going to be a winner. I just love minty scents around this time of the year, and since I’m making it myself, I’m able to control the scent (which is great, because some mint scents can smell too overpowering).

sugar2

[Read more...]

Another baby quilt

One of the main reasons I don’t think that I could ever craft for an income is that my desire to make things comes in random spurts. One month, I’m all gung-ho about it, constantly thinking “MUST MAKE ALL THE THINGS!!” Then, the next…eh.

I will admit that the itch to craft always hits around the holidays. ALWAYS. I must make cute Christmas-y things and gifts! Afterwards, I’m so pooped from the holidays in general, my craft room becomes a lonely place for a while. Then, the weather warms up, and I put the yarn away. I’m in no mood to knit when it warms up. I tend to grab for the fabrics this time of the year, and it’s perfect timing, since our neighbors just had a baby boy!

I’m not a very good quilter. I’m in awe of quilting blogs, because I just don’t have the skills to make elaborate quilts. I tend to stick to simpler patterns. Lately, strip quilts are where it’s at. :-P

I ended up going through my fabric stash, and found myself going super bold for this quilt. Most of my fabrics feature simple shapes, so I knew I had to buy some fabric to be the feature theme for the quilt. Without asking my neighbors for a theme, I took a stab in the dark, matched up most of the fabric colors I had in mind for this quilt, and bought 2D Zoo (in chocolate). SO SO cute!

Another baby quilt

It took me a good week to finish this quilt, since I prefer machine binding over hand binding, and I couldn’t be happier with the results. I placed strips of 2D Zoo throughout the front with the other fabrics, and made the back completely 2D Zoo.

Another baby quilt

Another baby quilt

I didn’t even know it, but the baby’s nursery is a jungle/safari theme anyway, so it worked out perfectly!! :-)

It was good to dust off the machine and sew again. I don’t really do it often enough, and I know I should.

I’m sure I’ll be fairly crafty in the near future, since I know about 3 more babies coming into the world soon. It’s a nice little baby boom, that’s for sure.

Handmade Christmas Stockings

I remember taking a knitting class in college, and learning how to make something simple like a scarf or a washcloth. My instructor always showed us the possibilities of knitting, but I honestly never thought I could ever grasp the idea of the more advanced projects (like sweaters and socks). However, one day while browsing Ravelry, I came across a stocking pattern. It had 5 or 6 colors involved, and the novice knitter in me thought…man, there must be a TON of knots all over the back of the stocking. I had no idea how to weave in colors then, so I thought everything was knots, of course.

Then, the crafting bug hit me when I was on the stocking aisle one year. We bought these simple stockings for our mantel, but I just wasn’t happy with it. I wanted something much more personal with more meaning. I figured there had to be an approachable way to make those stockings that I saw on Ravelry, so I did my research. It really didn’t seem that bad, so I bought some red/green/ivory yarn and took the plunge. I started working on these around Halloween, and didn’t finish until early December. I saved the extra yarn specifically for more stockings in the future, whether it be more furbabies or possible human babies. A gal needs to be prepared. :-P

Stocking Progress

Some knitting notes: For my and my husband’s stocking, I used charts that were included in the pattern. For Millie’s stocking, I googled dog fair isle charts for the paw, bone & fire hydrants. To make the rows fit, I drew my own charts based off of some shapes that I found. I used the duplicate stitch to add our names and ornaments to the trees on my husband’s stocking. I also took notes from Ravelry members, and decreased stitches EVERY round for the toe and heel, instead of every other round.

I’m so happy with how these came out. I had to refer to YouTube quite a few times, but it eventually worked out. I haven’t been able to line them yet, but that will be my project for next year. :-)

Finished Stockings

Wonky LSU Quilt

It’s been a while since I sat behind a sewing machine. Even when I would, I’d work on some smaller projects to avoid this project. For some reason, I just wasn’t in the mood to really finish this quilt, even though I really wanted to gift this quilt.  All that was left was to bind this quilt, which isn’t usually a big deal–time wise (since I machine bind). In fact, I’d tell myself every week that a goal was to finish this quilt, but then each night, I’d have an excuse to not deal with it. I notice for a lot of people who quilt, they love the binding process, but for me, I’m always worried about it. I feel like that’s where I make the most mistakes, and after all of the work I put into making a quilt, the last thing I want to do is mess up. Yet, I always do.

I’m sure it’s something that I would only notice, but mistakes just bum me out. They aren’t even huge mistakes…the quilt itself looks great, but the binding (mainly the corners) have a few mistakes.

I ended up making this quilt for my little sister, and originally, it was meant to be a high school graduation gift, but now it’s a VERY belated high school gift (or I could be optimistic and say ridiculously early college graduation gift?).

LSU Quilt

I had trouble finding the perfect LSU purple and gold mix of fabrics, but I think it came out pretty well (besides the corners of the binding…ugh…one day I’ll learn).

Of course, I couldn’t just give my sister a quilt. I had an excuse to make a pretty package for her. I happen to have a few leftover gable boxes from the wedding planning days, and had some fun with washi tape. I thought it came out pretty darn cute, but I’m biased. :-)

LSU Quilt Packaging

I hope my sister enjoys this quilt through her college life and beyond. :-)

The craft bug strikes…

As you can tell from this blog, my crafting happens in spurts. I’m not a consistent crafter/sew-er (I hate typing sewer…makes me think of Mutant Ninja Turtles or something lol), but when the craft bug strikes, it strikes hard! I don’t like to force myself to get behind the sewing machine or to grab a pair of needles, so when inspiration strikes, I just go in the craft room and simply make things. I once tried make a business out of my love for crafting/sewing, but I found that I started to see that as a job, rather than a hobby. :( So, whenever people ask me why I don’t sell the things that I make, this is exactly why. I just don’t need extra stress in my life, especially for something I consider a stress relief!

It all started with my dining table. I thought it needed a cute vase to have as a good centerpiece, and well, I remembered this yarn wrapped wine bottle that I saw on Pinterest. I’ve had an empty wine bottle sitting for a while in our kitchen, and I used some leftover yarn from making these scarves. It took me about 30 minutes to wrap/glue the yarn, and I just stuck a fake hydrangea in it. It couldn’t have been easier (I swear), and it was FREE! I love using craft leftovers!

Then, my husband’s coworker became a grandfather, so of course, I had to sew a quick taggie for him to give to his granddaughter. These are always a quick, but very cute project for me to make. Although I always shake my fists at the minky fabric a few times, (because it just stretches like crazy on me) in the end, it’s worth it to gift something as cute as this!

And most recently, I took on the challenge of making my first purse. I’ve always been intimidated by lining, interfacing, darts, pleats, etc., and now that I made the purse, I really have no idea why! All of these things were no big deal, but then again, I used a very thorough pattern made by Beki of Artsy Crafty Babe. By the way, if you love craft blogs and you aren’t following Beki’s blog, definitely give it a read. She uses the most amazing fabric combinations in her sewing, and I kind of want to have her craft studio. :-P

Back to the bag–Currently, this pattern isn’t in her Etsy shop yet (I was SUPER lucky to be chosen as a pattern tester for this bag!), but keep your eyes peeled; I’m sure it will be on there fairly soon! If you’re a beginner at bags (like me), you should definitely check out her patterns. They’re nothing like the patterns that you buy at a craft store (don’t you just HATE how poorly those patterns are written??!) They’re actually written to where you can completely understand how to make the bag step-by-step. She has a few free ones on her blog, too. :-) Y’all know how I feel about free stuff!

Purse Exterior

And, here’s how the bag looks on the inside. Don’t you just love these colors?

Purse Interior

I decided to make this bag with my favorite print…I should totally buy a bolt of this, because the color combination and print is just so awesome! I combined it with this print for the lining and this print for the accents.

I didn’t waste any time at all to switch purses, by the way. I didn’t even want to iron out the wrinkles…I just wanted to carry this bag around! :-) It’s such a fun bag!

I don’t see the craft bug bites going away anytime soon either. I have so much inspiration in my head right now, and I’m pretty sure I’m going to have a good chunk of free time to work on things in the next few months, too. So excited!

 

Baby Boy Quilt

A while ago, I was told that my friend’s sister was having a baby! I was super stoked for my friend and her sister, so I decided to throw together a quilt for the baby. This was going to be a unisex quilt, but since I took my darn time (ha!), I found out the sex of the baby since he was born, well a couple of months ago! (oof, crafter fail!)

The craft bug has been really biting lately, so I took this past weekend to finish this quilt. Whew!

I decided to go with a simple strip quilt, because I really wanted the fabrics to shine here. The main fabric was Giraffe Garden by Michael Miller, and I just purchased some fabrics using the colors in that particular print.

Baby Boy Quilt

This was my first strip quilt, and I have to say, it comes together rather quickly. It only took me a while to finish this quilt, because we had the big house move, had to unpack everything, the holidays happened, etc. Now that things are slowing down, I can safely say I’m going to be busy in my craft room. :-)

Baby Boy Quilt

Here’s another view of the fabrics I used. I just love how colorful and bright this quilt is! I hope the baby loves this quilt!

Baby Boy Quilt

 

A different kind of needle…

I have an interesting attention span with crafts. When I find myself tired of one craft, I just move on to another. I never want to hate crafts, so it’s good to just jump around when one of them becomes boring or tedious. Sewing sort of became that for me. I don’t sew everyday, but I was just getting bored with it and wanted to do something different. Since the weather was cooling down, I forked out the knitting needles.

I haven’t knit in a while, so I had to refer back to my books and some Youtube videos, but it was completely like riding a bike. I was knitting like a mad woman in no time flat.

I told my husband that if he needed any gifts, I could knit some scarves up. He told me he would need 5, so I knew exactly what pattern I needed since I had about three weeks to make these. I bookmarked this pattern 2 years ago, because the design looks great and since you’re using BIG needles, it knits up fairly quickly.

Luckily, the next day Michael’s was having a major sale on Lion’s Brand Thick & Quick yarn, so I stocked up and got started.

Knitting Progress

As you can see, even the dog helped out (not really), but she was a cute cuddle buddy.

Instead of making these into a cowl, I just knit using double the length of yarn (since these skeins were more than double the length the pattern calls for) into a long, thick scarf.

Since I was in a bit of a time crunch, I would knit every day during my lunch breaks, in the afternoon and before bed. I’m pretty sure I knit one purl one in my sleep at some points. :-P It was worth it in the end, though. Look at how beautiful they came out.

Christmas Scarves

I absolutely loved seeing the reactions of my husbands aunts and grandmothers as they opened these. You could tell at first that they appreciated the scarves, but when I sort of hinted that I made them, their appreciation grew so much more. I love it when people appreciate handmade gifts. It was all worth it! :-)

Did you go handmade with some of your gifts this Christmas?

Fabric Organizing

It’s hard to believe that I’ve only been sewing for 2 years. I remember when I got my first machine in Christmas of 2008. It was sitting pretty in a box for a while, until my Mom majorly helped me out with the machine on Thanksgiving of 2009. I learned how to thread the sucker and practiced some stitches on an old dish cloth. (Thanks Mom!)

Since then, I’ve been slowly purchasing fabrics. Pretty fabrics. I would end up buying fabric, because it was cute with no project in mind. So of course, I started to see a small stash grow. I had a decent sized IKEA basket where I was storing the fabrics, but unfortunately, that wasn’t enough space. Not nearly enough. It just never looked organized, so I had to do something different. :-)

So, I looked on the Internet to see what others were doing with their fabric, because I know people have MUCH more fabric than I do. That’s where I stumbled on this idea where you wrap fabric around comic book boards. Genius!

Fabric Organize

How simple is that? When it’s stacked side-by-side, it sort of looks like a little fabric library. I love it!

For the 1/2 yard cuts, I ended up cutting a board in half, to give the fabric something better to wrap around. Then, I ended up placing them in a smaller basket to keep them all together since the shelves on my bookcase are too deep for the 1/2 yard cuts.

Fabric Organize

I just love that I can easily see all of the fabric that I have and just as easily pull only what I need now!

How do you organize your fabrics?