Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Christmas Ornaments from Shiny Happy World

Last fall I saw in Shiny Happy World's newsletter that they were offering patterns for Christmas tree ornaments.  I love making my own ornaments, so I paid the (reasonable) fee to begin receiving the patterns.  Every week a new pattern came in my email box.  I also bought her kit of felt sheets, as I didn't have very many myself.  


I thought maybe I could keep up with one small pattern each week!


I really don't remember in what order the patterns came.  I thought this little birdie was quite pretty.  Look at the lovely embroidery.


This cute little present is actually open in at the top, so it could be used to hold a gift card.  The instructions said to do a running stitch around the edges for all the ornaments, but sometimes I used a blanket stitch instead.


When Wendy (the owner of Shiny Happy World) sent me the snowman pattern, I decided to make a snow woman to keep him company.  It was easy to just alter the pattern a little bit.




There were a few non-Christmasy ornaments, as well!  I think the dinosaur is cute, and an interesting change of pace.


There has to be a Santa, doesn't there.  I should have made a Mrs. Claus for him.  That will be one to make for next year!


Here are a couple of the non-traditional ornaments.  I bought some black felt and customized this ornament to reflect my own black cats.




This cute little matryoshka doll ornament was quite a bit more work, but she is worth it, I think.


I can definitely see myself making more of these next year--for my tree and for others' trees, too.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Hexies Are Everywhere!

Hexies (as in English Paper Piecing) are becoming more and more popular.  I keep seeing articles about EPP in magazines, photos on the internet, and it seems more and more people are using this method of piecing.


I recently saw a very nice hexagon pattern in an unlikely place.  At a LuluLemon store opening in a mall near me!


Hexagons really are popping up everywhere!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Dog/Cat Beds for Humane Society

Last February at our guild's annual retreat, I suggested a project to the group of 30 women.  I've read several places about quilters making dog or cat beds from their fabric scraps.  Now, I really don't want to save scraps in my studio for as long as it would take to fill a pet bed.  So I suggested we all save the scraps we created while at retreat.  I had a large grocery bag that I set near my table, and people kept coming over and depositing scraps in it.  But it didn't completely fill up the bag, and I knew I needed more stuffing material.

Then a woman in our guild was cleaning out some of her fabric and found a lot of scraps she gave to me.  I actually received three big white garbage bags full!  Now I'm in business!



For the first, the largest bed, I pieced together a "pillowcase" from some of the larger scraps I found. I happened to be at a "big fabric store" one day and bought some clearance sale upholstery fabric, which I used for the rest of the beds.



I ended up with six beds in total!  They were all different sizes, as I used the upholstery pieces just as they were.  Then I had the job of sitting on the floor stuffing fabric scraps into the beds. There were threads flying everywhere!  A few times I got slowed down as I'd find an especially pretty scrap in the pile.  But I was good and didn't "snitch" any of the scraps for myself!  That wasn't the purpose of this project.


I've laid a yardstick down in these last two photos so you can see approximately how big the beds are.  I think there is a size for everyone.


The woman at the Redwood Coast Humane Society was very pleased when I brought the beds in to the office one day.  I told her they could give them away to new adopters if they wanted to, or keep them for the pets staying with the Humane Society.

Now maybe I should make my own cats a bed.  I wonder if they would like it, or just sniff and walk away!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Tiny Scissors

I recently received a package from SisterStitches.  This is always a very fun day, because whether she is sending me my Bear Patch Bits, or something else, it's always a treat.


This time she sent me the world's tiniest scissors!  I can't believe how small it is.


It has its own little cover attached to it, to protect the blade.  (And to protect me from the blade!)  These are actually a very good scissors, and have already come in handy several times.  I love this little thing!  Thanks, SisterStitches!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Some Aprons

Margaret at Two Fish Bakery needed some more aprons, so I made her two new ones.  These aprons are so easy to make, I don't know why I don't make more of them!  I use a regular apron pattern, but instead of finishing the edges with bias tape, as the pattern says, I make two aprons and sew them together, pillow case style.  That way the apron has a lot more heft to it and it feels more sturdy.


The first one has a yellow dot on one side and green/yellow/blue/magenta floral on the other side.




The second apron is in purples, with a stripe on one side and a large floral print on the other side.



OK, Margaret, let's get going on those morning buns and sticky rolls!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Halloween Costume

Our GranddaughterStitches was a cougar for Halloween this year.  I made this costume from McCalls pattern #MP375.


I was a little apprehensive sewing the costume because I was worried about the fit, not having GranddaughterStitches here to fit it on her.  I had taken pretty detailed measurements of her in August when she visited us.  Given those measurements, I cut it a little longer in a few places.

It turned out to fit her very well.  I think the pattern was great--pretty easy to sew.  It has a zipper up the front of the "jumpsuit."  The hood with cat ears is a separate piece, as are the little mitts, and the spats to cover up her tennis shoes.


With some whiskers and a blackened nose (at least until it got rubbed off!), she was a perfect big cat.  I think she liked the tail the most.


I was fortunate to get to visit GranddaughterStitches at Halloween this year.  I went to school with her and DaughterStitches (aka 2nd grade teacher).  I helped out in DaughterStitches's class most of the day, on the day of the Halloween party.  I also visited GranddaughterStitches's classroom, and ate lunch with her.  It was really fun to see all the kids and teachers in their costumes.  DaughterStitches lent me her witch's cape and large hat so I had a costume to wear, too.

We all went out for trick-or-treating together, along with some other neighbors/friends.  It was a very fun night, even if it was sprinkling a little.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Christmas Ornaments (One of Probably Many)

I've been sewing some Christmas ornaments recently which were a lot of fun to make.  Isn't this small Christmas tree cute!?!  It's only about 4 1/2 inches tall.


These are from a company called Lumenaris, made in America, which is always good.  I found the kit in my local quilt store, The Loft.



It was great, because the little box included absolutely everything I needed to complete the three ornaments.  The pre-cut pieces of felt--all of them, the trees, the stars, the circle ornaments, and the pre-cut batting for filling.  Also included were the necessary embroidery floss and even a needle.  The only thing I needed to add was a thread snips.  And the thread snips, by the way, even fit into the small box!