Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Sheet Music Valentine's Garland

Valentine's Day is the anniversary of our engagement (click HERE to read the full story ;)) making it one of the most significant holidays on our calendar. I am head-over-heels with LOVE. It's a state of heart and mind that should, in my opinion, be celebrated as often as possible- especially in the month of February! :)

This year I've decided to tackle a few crafty Valentine's projects for our home (something I wanted to do last year, but never found the time). I attempted the first today. . .

Sheet Music Valentine's Garland inspired by PaperPolaroid.

I took pictures just in case you'd like to attempt this project yourself. I assure you, ANYONE can do it! :)

Step 1: Find sheet music (it helps if your husband is a musician). :) Then cut the sheets in strips. The width of your strips will be determined according to the width you desire for your hearts. The length of your strips will be determined by how large you want your hearts. . .

You will need 4 different lengths of strips.

For this project I cut mine approximately two inches wide and my longest strip was 12 inches.

Each heart I created contained:
2-12 inch strips
2-11 inch strips
2-10 inch strips
1-8 inch strip
(adjust your measurements accordingly)

Step 2:
Sort the various sizes of strips into piles. Then stack the strips in the following order:
1-12 inch
1-11 inch
1-10 inch
1-8 inch
1-10 inch
1-11 inch
1-12 inch
Step 3: On one side, align all strips and staple.
Step 4: Align the end of three uneven strips on one side.
Bend toward the center strip.
Step 5: Repeat on opposite side, staple, and your first heart is complete! :)
Repeat as many times as desired.

For this project, I made 6 paper hearts and 1 red felt heart for the center (using the same technique as above, sewing the pieces together instead of stapling).
Using twine, thread the the hearts together. I used a needle, but you can punch a hole if you'd like.
Step 6: Hire the sexiest handy man you can find to put screws in your mantle! ;)
Step 6: Tie the twine to the screws and you're FINISHED! :)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Quilted Bibs

Things have been so crazy with my Mom's illness lately that I haven't had tons of time to invest in crafting. The list of projects I'm itching to attempt is growing by the day. . . These bibs are near the top. They're absolutely adorable and completely fit my recent obsession with quilting. Click HERE to visit JCasa's bib tutorial.

Speaking of quilting, I had an opportunity to assist my Mom-n-law with a rag quilt today. It was LOTS of fun! I would love to make one for my Mom if I can find the time!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Patchwork Lovie for Eve

I had a great time today learning lots of new sewing techniques from my mom-in-law. She's a wealth of knowledge in all things domestic. . . I wish I had half of her creativity and skill! She fixed the needle on my machine and helped me work on the dress from yesterdays post. I completely redesigned the bodice with a little encouragement from her. Instead of freehanding I actually used a pattern this time, which goes completely against my free-spirited nature, but I have to admit it made things a LOT easier!! She also pulled out her surger, which is one of my FAVORITE things!! :) I wish I had one at home. . . Anyway, after we finished working on the dress, I decided to take some of the scrap samples I've collected at fabric stores recently and make a patchwork lovie for Eve. It was lots of fun with the surger! :) Jonah loves it and requested one. . . literally. Adding that to my list of future projects! :)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Dress for Eve

This dress is a work in progress. . . The only thing remotely complete is the bodice, and I'm planing to redo some of it. My needle broke before I could finish. Quite frustrating! It's the first time that's happened to me. I'm hoping I didn't entirely mess up my machine. I'll post again when it's complete. . . just wanted to give you a glimpse of what I've been working on.
I'm head over heels for the Alexander Henry line by the way. . . Thanks to my mom-in-law for sharing her fabric with me!! It's heavenly! ;) Can't wait to see this on Eve. . .

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Verna Quilt

Ever since our Monteagle-fall-getaway, I've been absolutely obsessed with quilts. The dozens and dozens scattered throughout the historic home we stayed in captured my heart in a unique way. They seemed to beckon me back to simpler days. They whispered of home and family in a way very few things can. Each carried it's own unique history, quietly embodying a labor of heart and soul. As I admired each quilt, I envisioned the hands that crafted them, the time and love and patience poured into each square inch, and I thought to myself, "I want to use MY hands to do this!"

Nani, Allen's grandmother (whom I've adopted as my own), has been doing this for years. She makes quilts for all of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren (and there are many!). . . for every wedding and birth. They're breathtakingly beautiful and such a testament of her love and devotion to our family. They're pieces that will undoubtedly be passed from generation to generation becoming cherished heirlooms.

Today Nani, my mother-n-law, and I shopped for the fabric for Eve's quilt that Allen and I are planning to use as her crib and toddler bedding and as we did I decided it's time to attempt a quilt of my own! I found this tutorial at Moda Bake Shop which uses a jelly roll of Verna fabric (Verna by Kate Spain is one of my favorite collections right now). The tutorial is for an ironing board cover, but I'm going to make it a crib sized quilt. . . something for Eve to play on.

(Nani, let me know if this is a crazy idea. . . if the project I've picked is beyond my skill level. I may be calling you for help!) ;)

I'll post pictures as soon as I finish. . . It may take a while I haven't even ordered the fabric yet! LOL! ;)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Kokeshi Doll

A friend of mine is adopting a baby girl from Kuazakhstan and I wanted to pull together a few gifts from the heart, so I decided to attempt a baby doll. A craft book Allen got me for Christmas was the original inspiration for this project. I then stumbled across a "Kokeshi Doll" on Etsy and thought it would be great for a beginner . . . I later discovered that this particular style of doll is popular in Kuazakhstan, which made it the perfect doll to attempt. I was happily surprised by how smoothly the process went. I didn't have a pattern or instructions, just THIS photo posted by Made by Maisie, so I decided to take step-by-step pics this time to show you how to do it if it's something you'd like to attempt. I apologize in advance for my amateurish instructions. :)

Step 1
Cut two circles for the face (I traced around a bowl), and cut two pieces of fabric the shape you desire for the body.
Step 2:
Hand stitch the facial features. I chose stars for the eyes and a simple curly line for the mouth because I wanted to stick to the traditional style.
Step 3: Cut 2 circles the same size as the ones you cut for the head from the fabric you desire to use for the hair (I used an old sweater, imagine that! ;) ). Then cut one of the circles in the shape you want the doll's hair in front. I freehanded it to printer paper first.
Step 4: Sew the hair to the front of the dolls face (you'll have to hand stitch the hair line). Then, sew the the full circle you cut for the hair and another full circle of the normal fabric together. Lay the two head pieces front to front and sew them together, leaving the neck open.

Step 5: Sew the body together laying the two pieces front to front. . . Leave the top of the body open around the neckline.

Step 6: Stuff the head and body
Step 7: Hand stitch the neck to the body
Step 8: Embellish . . . I put a bow around her neck and a flower in her hair. :)
It's the same concept as a Lovie really, just fully stuffed. Jonah LOVED it! He cried when I took it away. Maybe I'll make him a boy version one day. . . (that is if Daddy approves!) :)

This is a doll anyone can make! It's about a 5 hour project (for a novice) . . . I highly recommend it! ;)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Applique is not my Forte

Kristen, a friend of mine, is due any day with her second baby, and we're having dinner with them tonight, so I thought it would be nice to make a gift for the girls- something for them to wear at the hospital perhaps. My original intent was to applique with thread, but after a few practice runs and failed attempts I decided liquid stitch was my only hope!

Amazing to me how difficult it is to trace letters and shapes with a sewing machine. I mean, really! How could it be that complicated? Thankfully, my mom-in-law warned me ahead of time that it's not an ideal job for a novice to undertake, so I don't feel entirely defeated. :)

I don't recommend this project at home unless you use liquid stitch, but for those of you who want to attempt it, I simply traced letters and shapes onto fabric (using cookie cutters), cut them out, and glued them on. :) If you do it without a sewing machine you can finish a set of these in about 30 minutes.

Some of you may have noticed a fabric trend in my posts. . . as in they're all the same! ;) It's not because I'm entirely head-over-heels for this print (though it IS beautiful), it's simply all I have, and I'm trying to make the best of it. :)

Up next, a doll I made using the exact same fabric! LoL!