Sunday, February 23, 2014

yes, another doll quilt and pillow

More stash busting, this time for a girlie girl we love named Jocelyn, who just turned seven. I'm told her American Girl doll needs a cozy place to sleep so this set will be put to good use right away. The charm pack du jour is Hoopla by Moda. I have really loved putting these quilts together. They make a special and useful handmade gift but are not a huge investment in time or materials. You probably have what you need on hand to make a set at any given time given a couple of evenings notice.

The blue on white swiss dot fabric just keeps on giving. What a great thrift store find that's been. I used it here for the backing and also for the pillow. And I still have a few more yards.

I think that's all the doll quilts for now. I have another top pieced together from the Magical Endless Box of Charm Squares, but no end user in mind for it yet. And I have acquired much quilting knowledge. I have now installed and used my walking foot (thanks to this helpful tutorial) and am comfortable with square corner binding. Baby steps.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

doll quilt and pillow for Darcy

I started this doll quilt for my 2 year old great niece the same night I started these. (I have a LOT of unused charm squares so this will not be the last doll quilt you see.) This is a pastel set of Amy Butler squares I bought an age ago. I decided to add another row to make it a square quilt this time. Aaaand this time I broke down and did actual machine quilting and binding. So I guess you could say this is my very first completed actual For Reals bonafide quilt. Yay!


It's really squared up quite nicely despite the wonky look of the photo. After this I figured out there is a presser foot designed for perfect 1/4 inch seams (I'm a novice quilter OK? haha). I ordered that baby right away on Ebay and it's en route. That should make piecing more accurate. 

All fabrics were pulled unearthed from my stash. That's a coordinating Amy Butler print for the backing and pillow. (My mom is here visiting and she's trying to organize my fabric shelves, bless her.)

Thought I'd give it a test run with an actual doll! I hope Darcy will enjoy it. Happy birthday, sweet girl.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

doll quilts and bookmarks

These lovey bookmarks and mini quilts were last minute brainstorms for my girls' handmade Valentine treat. It's a good thing too because my raspberry Jell-o cookies were kind of a fail. I thought chocolate chips would be good to add. Raspberry and chocolate. Great combo, right?

Mmmm not so much. My bad. And the recipe I followed for the jell-o cookie part seems to have too much salt and too little sugar? Or maybe I just messed up along the way somewhere. That seems more likely. I tried to rectify the situation by making a powdered sugar glaze to drizzle over them. They are OK. Edible. A pretty color. Just. Not yummy.

So, the bookmarks. I took my own advice and used my Love You bookmarks tutorial to make these, this time with gray paper. Easy, quick and makes a nice, sturdy (and pretty) bookmark. I wrote a sweet Valentiney message on the backs, since these also functioned as the gift tags.

My girls are still very attached to their stuffed animals and dolls. I noticed they were using all my wash cloths and hand towels as doll blankets, so I clued in that they might enjoy a couple of doll quilts. Shoulda done this years ago.

I started the quilts Thursday night because yes I'm a crazy person. They were technically finished on Valentines Day, but kinda late in the day (that seems to be turning into a bad Valentine tradition).

Goodness knows I have enough charm squares to spare, so I spent some time digging in the box and came up with these two combos and also two more that I'm going to sew together as gifts. I guess you'll be seeing those in due time. These are sewn almost exactly like the binky is sewn in my Baby Binky Bunny pattern, except this time I added some 1/8" batting inside. Don't look too closely. I can't seem to piece even the simplest things accurately. How do people do a queen sized quilt with tiny pieces and it still comes out matched up? I bow to you.

I still managed to avoid 1) Quilting 2) Binding. Win Win. Instead of binding I sewed/turned. And instead of quilting I used old-fashioned ties to hold the layers together.  The backs are two different colors of Kaufman Essex.

And now my hand towels and wash cloths can serve their true purpose. Stinky and Mushmellow will never miss them.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

last minute valentines

Six last-minute ideas for you. Three quickie printables for your Valentine or your UnValentine...

Or if you have a few minutes to make something, three quickie ideas to DIY.

Happy Valentines Day! Crossing my fingers that my Valentine will take me out for some sushi.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

shoebox valentine exchange

I remember elementary school valentine parties fondly. We all had homemade decorated shoeboxes on our desks. The teacher marshalled us in a line and we filed past all the desks with our bags of cards and candy, giggling and dropping crumpled valentines in the boxes as we went. Then of course we all sat down, looked through our hoard, giggled more, and had milk and sweets at our desks. Good times, good times.

We got to participate in a shoebox valentine exchange with our church friends yesterday. We were all gathering at my MIL's house anyway to sing hymns and have a potluck, so a bunch of kids brought their boxes and we had fun dropping our hearts and candy inside each one.

Of course I mentioned buying the valentines at the store but both the girls opted for homemade ones. (Nice try, Mommy.) The valentines you see above are all variations of different ones I've seen online. I spent some time looking around for simple DIY ideas and pinned a few of my favorites for inspiration. We took the ideas we liked the best and went into production:
  • Dynamite seemed like a great idea for the boys. Danger involved! Possible explosions! They are Rolo® Candy covered in red paper with double sided tape to secure, with a string fuse glued to one end. Then each stick of dynamite was glued to a paper heart. I took the expression on them for granted, having grown up in the 70s watching Good Times, but my oldest said, "I think you're dynamite? Mom...what does that mean?" (Can't you just hear skinny J.J. saying it? Picture the hand motions too.)
  • I'm glad WEAVE become friends/Friends BAND Together punny valentines were a great excuse for my girls to get their WonderLoom thingy in action and make some bracelets. Let me tell you, some Deep Thought went into each color combination.
  • The girly (and non-explosive) butterflies are Rolo® Candy covered in patterned paper with double sided tape and glued to heart shaped wings with pipe cleaner antennae.

After you finish all the valentines to give away then of course you have to make a box to receive all your valentines in! We had two shoeboxes handy (someone around here sure likes to buy shoes *loud throat clearing that sounds like the word "Larissa"*).

I cut rectangles out of the lids first then covered the outside with construction paper. Then the girls went to town on the decorations with paper punches, felt, pipe cleaners, pom poms and of course, googly eyes. Any excuse to use googly eyes. It was fun!