Tag Archives: embroidery

Giftables

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tara-bag1tara-bag2I’ve been into zippered pouches lately. It all started with the purchase of a colorful zipper assortment from an Amazon.com seller, and then kind of took off. I’ve made medium-sized bags for my mother and mother-in-law, cute little boyish belt packs for a couple of Worth’s friends, a beach coin purse for myself, and this little zippered purse for a friend’s one-year-old. Somehow I only managed to snap a photo of this one. It’s fully lined with the same fabrics as the exterior and should be just right for stashing all her toddler sundries. Babies love bags, and zippers too.

notebookI made another composition book cover like the ones I did as favors for Worth’s birthday party, this time covered in exterior decorator fabric and embellished with the recipient’s name. I like this as a gift idea because most anyone of any age could use a pretty composition book cover, whether they are headed to third grade or to a meeting.

gift-bagI also got a little crafty with the idea of reusable gift bags. I saw these hefty vinyl bags at the Dollar Tree. They are the size of small gift bags, but made out of the same stuff as the reusable shopping bags. I laminated a gift tag and tied it to the bag with ribbon, then wrote the appropriate names in dry-erase marker on the tag. I’m hoping it can be regifted many times.

paintingpotFor Mother’s Day we used this Pinterest idea and decorated pots for the grandmothers. The big kids painted the sky and clouds, then Daphne lent her wee little footprints as the butterfly wings. I thought these turned out to be quite charming gifts and I liked that they involved all three kids.

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Olympics shirts

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olympics-shirts olympics-shirts2 olympics-shirts3My blog is not among the things foremost in my mind lately, in this season of snow and ice and ballet lessons and diapers and learning phonics and fixing hot meals and gluing Valentines and getting babies baptised and preparing for birthday parties and reading novels late at night and watching my daughter sew and…you get the point. But I’ve carved out a little moment in this coffee-fueled afternoon to prove to myself that I have something to show for my labors, besides the usual (and priceless) web of love and connection that I’m always working on but can never photograph.

We aren’t big television watchers at my house, but do enjoy keeping up with the Olympics. Through some combination of moments of prime-time viewing on our rarely-used antennae-powered basement tv, online video streaming, the newspaper, and a homeschool unit I designed on the history of the Olympics with a bit of Russian history thrown in, we’re enjoying the Sochi Games. (Aside: what it is with me and run on sentences today?) It feels a little sketchy that we enjoy watching great feats of strength, grace and athleticism while sitting on our own bums eating pretzels, but it does provide some inspiration anyway, right? It’s like the Pinterest of sports. We’re just browsing, but it reminds us of the grace and strength our bodies (or at least some people’s bodies!) are capable of. Dorothy and Worth have enjoyed the spectacle of the opening ceremonies and have each “adopted” an athlete to follow. They’re becoming aware of sports they don’t ever see here in Kentucky, and of the rush of competition. I saw an online advertisement for Team USA t-shirts and was inspired to provide my little Olympian-wannabes with some home-team shirts of their own to support their patriotic spirit. These are just store-bought shirts that I’ve embellished with scrap fabric and my embroidery machine, but they were fun to design and create. Daphne also got little red and white bloomer-style pants, based on a pattern in Making Baby’s Clothes.

Baby bibs

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bibs1A friend of mine recently asked if I’d like to contribute baby bibs to a fundraiser she was hosting for a charity in Africa. I was glad to, especially since bibs are easy to do assembly-line style and I could use the opportunity to get all the baby bibs done I had in mind for my new one at the same time. I chose some global-looking batiks (all are reversible) for her fundraiser bibs and embroidered the cheeky message “Give peas a chance” on the top one. I hope they sell well!

For my own girl, I made a set of five bibs in the bright little birdie fabrics I have used for her crib bedding and quilt, then I made five more in novelty prints (ok, mostly travel trailers!) to round out her collection. These are all just basic cotton bibs that fasten at the top with snaps. I don’t remember exactly where I got the pattern, but you could cut around your own favorite baby bibs just as easily as using a pattern. The only trick to them is to clip the seam inside in plenty of places so it presses out smooth around all the curves. These are all similar to the bibs I made for Worth a few years back, but are cut a tad longer to catch more spills. These are so much softer than plastic bibs, and they hold up well to normal messes. If they get super gross  I just give them a quick rinse and hang them to dry over our kitchen laundry bin before tossing them in. Otherwise I just add them in with our rags and towels as-is. They also fold up small so it’s easy to keep one in my purse once the baby’s big enough to be eating meals out and about. I won’t use any of these until she starts solid foods, but I’m glad to have them done and ready now.

bibs3 bibs2bib8 bib7 bib6 bib5 bib4

Gardening at Night

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dress-frontI made this dress from the “Pretty as a Picture” pattern in Anna Maria Horner’s book Handmade Beginnings. I made the 6-9 month size. I used an old blue sheet to provide the fabric for the “picture” panel, then embroidered flowers and the REM song reference, because of course my baby will be such an REM fan, right?

dress-backThis is the dress from the back; I left the panel empty. I liked this pattern; it was simple to follow and the front panel idea is fun and holds lots of possibilities. I was thinking it would be a cute way to showcase older sibling art made for the baby, either scanned in and printed on printable fabric, or done in permanent marker on a light fabric. I didn’t do the French seams called for inside the skirt because I was serging the skirt seams anyway, but otherwise I followed the pattern faithfully. I’m not sure what season it will be when my little one wears this size, but I felt like this dress could be worn as a layer in chilly weather or on it’s own in spring or summer.

tote-bagThis project was the only one I managed to photograph of a whole stack of tote bags I made a couple months ago. I bought several yards of a lightweight canvas and used the dimensions of a purchased tote bag that was hanging around here to guide me. I made totes for all the employees who work for my husband at his law firm, embroidering the firm logo on one side (thank you to Hanni at the Sweet as Lemon and Honey shop on Etsy for making the embroidery file!) and the employee’s name on the other. Then I made a couple child birthday gifts, one of which is shown, by doing the same tote bag but adding a child-appropriate embroidery bit and the birthday girl’s name. These were such nice, quick thank-you and birthday gifts that I’m sure I’m going to be reusing this idea again. The totes go together quickly and are always useful, no matter the recipient’s age.

 

Baby girl frenzy!

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name-onesieThe crafty floodgates have now opened on new girl baby things! I’ve been experimenting with making appliques using my embroidery machine. This is for Baby #3 to wear in the hospital, announcing her name. (Novema is my grandmother’s name.)

witch-onesieAnd because none of the store-bought Baby’s First Halloween stuff involves identifying the small person as a witch. 🙂

kentucky-onesieTaken from the states and capitols fabric of the bag I recently made.

glamping-onesieA store-bought skirt paired with a t-shirt made from Moda Glamping Tents And Trailers Honey Bee fabric, which will be also featured in some upcoming girly projects I’ve got in mind.

baby-dress-and-shoesAnd a little dress/jumper with matching shoes. Since she’ll be an October baby this dress will be worn in the winter over a layer of warm knits. I used McCall’s M4421 for the dress and the Cameron baby sneakers pattern from I Think Sew for the booties.

Some new kitchen goodies

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I’ve been playing around some more with my embroidery machine. I don’t have much to say about these projects–they are what they seem. Some fun, personalized, new items for the kitchen. Dishtowels and potholders get grimy and old and it’s been fun to use these new ones. The print fabrics are all scraps I saved from when I re-did my kitchen and from the adjoining living room, done in the same fabrics.

kitchen1 kitchen2 kitchen3 kitchen4] kitchen5

Experimenting with embroidery

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table-runnerI did some more playing around this weekend with my new embroidery machine. None of my projects are perfect yet; if you look with a practiced eye you can see that I’m still learning about which stabilizers to use in which situations, etc., but I’m still pleased with my beginner results. I made this table topper for my dining room table. It is hard to find tablecloths (or little table runners, which I prefer for everyday use since we frequently use our dining table in the evening) to match the vibrant colors in my vintage-fabric dining room curtains.  I was able to choose embroidery thread colors for this design that match my curtains very well.

table-runner-embroideryHere is a close up of one of the corner designs on the table topper. This was a design pre-loaded on my machine, though I changed around the colors. I did the embroidery on a piece cut from a white thrift-store sheet, then sewed it to the back once the design was done.

trailer-onesieAnd I finally made the first project for my new baby! A terrific Etsy seller, Sweet as Lemon and Honey, created an embroidery file for me based on my graphic and a photograph of my Yellowstone travel trailer. The file looks just beautiful, and I’ll make other projects with it to show it off better–I didn’t use the right stabilizers or maybe the best method for getting the front of the onesie situated on the hoop and it crinkled up a bit, but it’s my fault, not hers. Her file is non-crinkly and perfect. Still, I love love love this onesie! Even wrinkled up the trailer design is totally adorable, and this was such a fun first project to finish for the baby. It feels like now s/he is really ours, branded by our family trailer insignia. I’m a total hormonal fool, carrying this little shirt around with me so I can keep looking at how tiny and cute it is, trying to imagine the wee little person that will fit into it this fall!