Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Spring Flowers

I think these flowers are a great way to celebrate the beginning of spring. You can use them to decorate or glue a pinback on the back to create a bright accessory. Pick out your most colorful fun scraps and get sewing! 1) Cut five 5" squares and one 3” in diameter circle (or two if you want to make your flower double sided). Press. 2) Overlap the five triangles and run a strong thread along the bottom raw edges. Form a ring and end thread. 3) Fold over edges on circle and do a running stitch along folded edge. Pull gathering thread and stuff. This is the same technique as making a yo yo. 4) Stitch stuffed circle to flower, hiding the raw edges of both. Tie off to secure. 5) There are a few ways to finish the back of the flower. If you want a double sided flower, make another stuffed circle and stitch on to hide all raw edges. If not, finish the under side off by gluing or stitching a piece of felt on the back or use a piece of self and stitch down like I did. If you want to turn this into a pin or hairpiece, just glue your hardware to the back. Sorry the pictures aren't that great. But trust me, these are super cute and very versatile!

Granny Chic Pillows

There's nothing quite like finishing up a handmade project and having your manfriend say "that's awesome, it would look great on my grandmother's couch."

But after such a project, you'd kind of have to accept that. And understand that it's a typical reaction to the re-emergence of granny chic. I am a lover of the process of crochet, but less a lover of the look. I would never wear something I crocheted (I did make a sweater back in college- total fail) and I don't like the look of granny square vests/skirts/etc. But for the home, I think there is something so cozy about the look of crochet work, particularly granny squares (I'd be embarrassed to admit how many granny afghans I actually own)

I could crochet grannies all day and night, but I was looking for something a little different. And I was looking to use some circular pillow inserts I've had laying around.

Enter Sarah London. While she may not agree with me about granny fashion, we certainly see eye to eye in color and home dec. Her blog inspires me to pick up the hook every day, and that is where I found the delightful pattern for these crocheted pillows which now adorn the children's beds. Aptly named Mabel, this project makes quick work of the yarn scraps you have laying around. This is a perfect chance to go wild with the color combinations - in fact the wilder the better I think! And of course the kids love them! And really, what's not to love.

Friday, March 25, 2011

felt board for babies

Like Joel from Made by Joel (if you haven't seen this blog, definitely check it out--he's a crafty dad who makes lots of fun things for kids), I also had a felt board as a kid and unless this is all a figment of my imagination, it was big and green and had a whole farm scene--barn, animals, etc. made out of felt that you could move around the board. I definitely want to make one for e when she gets a little bit older.

For now, I found Made by Joel's Felt Board for Babies and knew I had to make one right away. I still have lots of felt scraps from the Alphabet Quilt I made in December and I happened to get a box with a book in it this week that folded into a perfect triangle shape for the felt board project. Super easy--I glued felt to the cardboard and let it dry overnight.

Then I cut up a shoebox and cut out some shapes and glued felt to them. I picked high contrast colors that babies seem to like. So far, e seems somewhat interested in it, but she's still a bit young to move the shapes by herself.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Mug Rug Madness with Two More Seconds

There are a few people who I have never met in person but often daydream of hanging out with, sitting side by side, coffee (or wine) in our hands, doing crafts and watching our brood of children play in a sprawling backyard.

Erin of Two More Seconds is one of those women who makes it into my daydreams. A hip and crafty mom, with two awesomely adorable young children, Erin has been an inspiration to me as she somehow finds the time to make beautiful quilts and blog about what she's up to on a regular basis. I love following along with her crafty pursuits and draw inspiration from her brilliant selections of color and patterns that she adds to her quilts. Her home looks just as adorable as her children; it is clear she is a woman of style and taste.

In addition to all of that (where does she find the time?) Erin is now planning a Sewing Summit in October - a three day sewing event with classes, vendors, and lots of awe inspiring people. The Summit has also provided the backdrop for some of my daydreams lately...

But even if you can't make it to Utah, Erin is launching a 10 day blogging adventure full of quilting tutorials, tips, and giveaways called Mug Rug Madness. Don't know what a Mug Rug is? Click on the link to view her adorable mini quilts and learn more about the week long event. I will be following along and am hoping to dive right into to making my first Mug Rug - a great way of trying out new quilting techniques and using up bits of things you have around the house. Why not come along for the journey?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Sweet Treats

I know it's a little late for this post but better late than never right? I made these delicious treats for my red velvet loving boyfriend on Valentine's Day. I followed the recipe and technique found on Annie's Eats. I made my heart templates on the parchment paper, piped out the shapes just like she said and ended up some some scary heart blobs. Luckily the blobs were big enough that my heart shaped cookie cutter fit perfectly.

I cut each blob into a real heart shape using my cookie cutters, spread the yummy cream cheese frosting and rolled in these cute little heart sprinkles. Unfortunately some of the pies got indents from my wire cooling racks. Fortunately men don't notice things like that when served their favorite desserts.

Next time I swear I'll try to make my red velvet with beet puree like Coconut and Lime did instead of artificial red food coloring. Next time.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


We have a thing for collecting wooden signs with sayings in my house. We just enjoy words in general. I had been coveting lots of such signs from around the web lately:

via http://www.myprimitiveboutique.com/

via http://oh-whatfun.blogspot.com/
via http://www.lushlee.com/
via http://nothingbutbonfires.com

Valentines Day seemed like the perfect time to try my hand at this. Using a giant frame I had found on the side of the road, a piece of board my dad had in his shed, and some paint I bought for $1/each at Micheals, I spent three evenings hand painting a sign to go above my bed. It was extremely satisfying to make, and extremely sweet to fall asleep beneath.

Monday, March 7, 2011

A Bed of One's Own

To me, a bed has always been a sanctuary. A place to go and rest, to relax, to cuddle and read. A place to rest your head at the end of a long day, and to wake up full of promise early each morning.

After hunting far and wide for affordable toddler beds we came to one conclusion: we had to build them ourselves. And in a family of creative, constructive and artsy types, this wasn't a problem. Made for around $80 worth of wood and paint, these beds were built using simple instructions yielded in a quick Google Search for Free Toddler Bed Plans with slight modifications, because of course we can't do anything without modifications.

But what are beds without bedding?
So I quickly set to work, finishing two toddler quilts in time for Christmas, and then two matching afghans in time for Valentines Day.

I'm so jealous of the cuteness that I almost want to crawl in these beds at night. Maybe it's time to work on a sanctuary of my own!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Placemats for Play

The knitting triangle often uses Google Reader as a way to share craft ideas, recipes and fashion tips. A while back Kristen shared a link from Ohdeedoh with a note that her kids would love to have these placemats (made by me of course). So I promptly got to work.

I traced a plate, cup, fork and spoon on HeatNBond to make stencils. I ironed on the stencils to some bright kid friendly fabrics and cut out my shapes. I ironed them on to a piece of solid fabric. I don't remember the dimensions but let's say was 10" x 15". I used the blanket decorative stitch to go around each place setting (with the help of my amazingly crafty co-worker and her super sewing machine). But since HeatNBond keeps the fabrics from fraying you could leave this out if desired. I then placed the finished piece right side to right side with another piece of fabric of the same dimensions. Behind that a piece of batting of the same dimensions so the placemats were 3 layers total. I stitched around the edges leaving an opening for turning.

Turn the placemats right sides out and edgestitch around to close the opening. They ended up being the cutest things. Here they are in use at E and O's fabulous play kitchen.

**I found my original pattern and I did cut the pieces 10" x15" so the finished mats were 9 1/2" x 14 1/2" since I stitched with 1/4" seams.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Rag Wreath

This wreath is a piece of cake to make and can most likely be made with stuff you have around the house. All you need are scraps of fabric and a wire hanger. We chose all greens because we needed a wreath at work for St. Patrick's Day (there's a lot of wreath making at my job it seems).

Start by ripping your scraps. We cut 6" long pieces and then snipped at 1" intervals. Rip at each snip for your pieces are approximately 1" x 6" long. We eyeballed it and did a few at 6 1/2" and 7" long.

Bend your hanger into a circle and just tie on your strips. You could group a bunch of the same fabric together for a striped effect or just randomly place them like we did. It's super easy and was completed during our lunch break.