Category Archives: Crafts

Be Mine, Valentine

I finished my other two Valentine’s Day pillows!


These guys are felt letters hand-appliqued to shot cotton pillow fronts.  The shot-cotton is bordered in sparkly red strips because I didn’t have enough of the shot-cotton to fill the front.  I’m nothing if not resourceful, dudes!  The backs are the same faux-tweed envelope enclosures I used on these guys.

Obviously I was heavily inspired by this pillow I showcased earlier and found on etsy. I used a font called Abbeyline that I downloaded for free HERE.

Yay for finally introducing some color into my living room!

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Bloggers Pillow Party: January

Here are three of my five Valentine’s Day Pillows:

I’m sorry these pictures look a little funky. You can zoom-in by clicking on the images.  I’m trying to take better photos of my work, but it’s just not happening what with my incredibly dark den of a house, limited opportunities as I’m on toddler-time, and the general ineptitude of myself and my camera.

These pillows show a patchworked strip of red scraps attached to a faux-linen front and faux-tweed envelop enclosures for the pillow-backs.  The faux-tweed was purchased 100 years ago at a store-closing blow-out sale.  The faux-linen was an interesting adventure.  I went to Jo-Ann’s intending to buy real linen, only to find it priced at approx. $12 a yard.  Then I went over to the burlaps and found these homespun unbleached cottons hiding on the bottom shelf.  They looked incredibly similar to the linens, only they cost $3.50 a yard!  So that was an easy shopping decision, especially considering I want to make about 50 pillow covers for my house :  )  My mom says the unbleached cotton will also be easier to care for than linen would have been, so there’s another little victory.

Although they are rather simple, I cannot help but go ahead and enter them in the Bloggers Pillow Party over at Stitched in Color. There are many wonderful pillows being showcased over there, my favorite being this one. Flickr Pool is over here. Check ’em out!


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Seeing Red

Hello there!  My Valentine’s pillows are almost done (pictures upon completion).  They are taking up more fabric than originally predicted but that’s because I want them lined and sturdy.

Perhaps it’s my work on these pillows, or maybe it’s the abundance of red in my fabric stash, or maybe it’s the new red curtains we hung in the sewing room/office that make it look like an opium den but I am living and breathing red red red.    Maybe I can wax poetic and say it’s due to the fact that I am very pregnant and red is the color of life, fertility, and uteral goo.

So I’m going to make an all red art quilt for the Modern Quilt Guild’s Project Modern 2: Monochromatic Challenge. Wahoo!  This will be my first artsy art quilt.  There’s a 30% chance I’m going to hate it, but let’s be optimistic.  I’ve cut out all the pieces for my top and am hoping to get a good go on it this weekend while hubby works on the upstairs bathroom remodeling project and son #1 is playing at Grandma’s.   I can tell you that it will be called “Whirlwind Romance” (I think) and is utilizing the liberated quilt technique of inserting strips.

Also – Fat Quarterly’s new color theme is “Rich Reds”.  Flickr group HERE.  Red red red!

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Valentine’s Day Pillows

My living room is a study in beige.  My carpet is beige, the couches are beige, the curtains are beige, and the walls are beige.  Also – our two main pieces of art are paper quilts made mostly out of neutrally neutral colors (more on those some other time).  I am sort of afraid of colors, I’ll admit it.   However, another piece of reasoning behind my ode-to-beige house was the hope that I would make fabulous quilts and pillow covers that would transform the house with every season/holiday.  So far that’s been a bit of a bust.

But not this Valentine’s Day!  I’m making pillow covers.   Here are my pieces of inspiration:


Yellow Love Pillow

Yellow Love Pillow by HoneyPieDesign. Available on Etsy for $38. Click image for link.

Love Amour Burlap Pillow

Love Amour Burlap Pillow by YellowBugBoutique. <br>Available on Etsy for $37. Click image for link.

Burlap Love Pillow Cover

Burlap Love Pillow Cover by Wrapitupllc. <br> Available for purchase on Etsy for $18. Click image for link.

I’m going to make two applique pillows inspired by the above, and then three pillows inspired by this beauty.

I joked with my husband that i should really be focusing on my Martin Luther King Day pillows.  Was I really kidding? Hmm….


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Christmas Stockings

Although Christmas has passed, I am still a little bit stuck in the season.   There are a couple of holidays crafts I want to finish-up so that I can enjoy them next year.  The most important thing to get done was to make a stocking for future baby boy, due March 31ish (or April Fool’s Day, perhaps?) 2011.  Who knows how much time I’ll have for sewing when I have two little boys in need of mothering!

This one below is mine.   With the boys’ stockings I did free-motion quilting (very broadly) in shiny ribbon threads, but for mine I did hand sewn detailing in gold thread around the stars and snow-flakes in the fabric pattern.  Lots of french knots, which are fun.  It was a little gift to myself to do this special detailing as, let’s be honest, I’m the only one who really cares about that sort of thing ; P

These stockings are not “perfect” – they have raw edges exposed on the inside from the two “quilt sandwiches” of front fabric, bating, and lining sewn together to assemble the sock.   The hanging loop is a little wonky, too.  However, they look pretty cute if I do say so myself.  The letters are each of our initials cut out of felt and hand appliqued.   I love hand-appliqueing felt (see my advent calendar’s numbers) because it doesn’t fray and looks nice and neat.

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Sweater Sleeve Wine Bags

There’s nothing like gifting a nice bottle of wine!  For this past Christmas I made a couple of wine-bottle gift bags from sweater sleeves.  I’ve seen wine-bottle sweaters in a slew of catalogues, and it’s such an easy and cute craft project!

Here is a very simple pictorial tutorial. The only thing I would add is that sometimes I had to slim down my sweater sleeves, but that was mostly because I was using very large men’s cable-knit sweaters.  Also – for the first bag I basted the felt circle base by hand-sewing, and then machine sewed it in place.  This was mostly just because I’m not very used to sewing tight circles and there’s a lot of bulk.  However, I didn’t feel the need to hand-baste again after making my first.

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Advent Calendar

Because I am a silly head, I decided that this year was THE year I needed to make an advent calendar.  So I set aside the major projects I have to complete for Christmas gifts and settled into making this guy:

It’s not the best picture, but here’s another couple of looks:

Each of the numbers are hand appliqued onto a pocket.  I used a high quality felt so that I didn’t have to use any interfacing or machine stitching for the applique, and I wouldn’t have to worry about fraying.  I also attached gold rick-rack weighted with gold beads to each pocket to use as a marker to check-off the days ’till Christmas. Someday I’ll fill the pockets with treats and maybe even nice notes directing the the recipient to perform a task in the spirit of the season, but my son’s a bit young for that now.  It’s quilted with gold thread and the back has pockets to hold a dowel so that the calendar is able to hang.

The pocket design, number templates, and the idea for the dowel-holding pockets on the back came from this tutorial from Sew Mama Sew.   At first I had tried to make simple rectangles that I would sew directly onto the backing (like this other adorable advent calendar) but it was a disaster.  My “squares” were amorphous blobs with no sharp corners or parallel lines.

Anyway, I have to admit I’m really proud of this project!  Once again I rolled the backing fabric over to the front for the binding – my new favorite trick!  This meant that I had to applique my triangular dowel holders onto the back, rather than have them sewn inside the binding.  Definitely worth it, as I currently hate bias tape.

Now back to my gifts!

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Kindle Cover

We went on a long-weekend vacation a couple of days ago.   As I was packing I looked at the kindle case I had made a year or so ago.  It was really lame, and my sewing has come along so much since then.  It was too tight, made out of a weird flannel, and had some truly bizarre bias-tape detail.  I wanted to make something better!

So I did a quick blog search and came across THIS POST from “The Sometime’s Crafter” from all the way back in September 2009.

I didn’t have time to make a patchwork case.  I did attempt one, but it was a disaster.  Considering I was working all of this out in the last possible minute before we left, I opted for one piece of fabric, but added a spider-web type quilting design.

Here are some pictures:

And here’s a rough sketch of the quilting design I used:


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