Thursday, December 31, 2009

Gifted: Diaper bag, etc.

Hallie gifts 2

One of my very best friends from college is very pregnant right now, due in February (with a boy!), so for Christmas I decided to go all out and shower her with handmade goodness. I had given her a list of suggestions of handmade baby things that I could make, including mobiles, bibs, totes, stuffed animals, and a diaper bag. Of course, she chose the diaper bag. I showed her some photos of patterns in books that I had and she really liked the Amy Butler one from Little Stitches for Little Ones. Of course. The most ginormous diaper bag in existence! The one with 23 steps explained over five pages... of course!

diaper bag 3

Per usual, I made some modifications to the pattern. For one, this bag is HUGE, and my friend is tiny (when not pregnant). So I scaled it down just a bit, removing a total of 2" from the width of the bottom and the front and back panels. I also re-graded the outer front and back panels so they wouldn't angle out so far. And, because I'm afraid of magnetic snaps and the damage they can do, I adapted the outer panel to use a giant vintage button instead.

diaper bag 6

Though there was much swearing, and begging, and at least a few desperate shouts of, "Amy Butler is trying to kill my Brother!!", I survived. And so did the bag. And you know what? Though I probably wouldn't make another one for less than $400 (and that's if I'm feeling generous), I kinda love it. I love how very Hallie it is, with that awesome bamboo-blend cotton on the outside. I love how cool and stylish it is. I love how the bottle pockets turned out inside, and the adorable little cell pocket on the outside. And I love the giant vintage button, which I just want to put in my mouth. No, seriously, I want to bite it. But I can't, because now it's in Minnesota with a very adorable and hugely pregnant amazing friend of mine. And you know what else? That is truly awesome.

changing mat 2

I also made the matching roll-up changing mat from the same pattern. It, too, involved some swearing and shouting about my machine being murdered, but we all emerged unscathed. The mat is one layer of cotton/bamboo blend, two layers of batting, and one layer of terry cloth, all quilted together and topstitched. You can imagine why my machine hated me for a while. But for a super-cute matchy-matchy modern diaper bag set, it's pretty great.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Gifts for coworkers

coworker gifts 1

I work for a company of about 30 people, but my department is only 6 people and on a separate floor. I don't make gifts for everyone, but I do for my little department because I like them and because there aren't that many of them. I made all of them lined tissue cozies, and also made lined zippy bags for the two ladies. (I got some of these for the four boys).

tissue pouches 1

Once I figured out the right size to make these tissue pouches, they came together really quickly. Same with the zippy bags, although those didn't turn out as well as I'd hoped (I had some trouble with the covered ends, etc. and would've redone them if it hadn't been really late the night before the gift exchange.)

More pictures on my Flickr page, as always. Now that everyone has opened their gifts, I have a lot more catching up to do with my photo and blog posts! Stay tuned...

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Gifted: Hunter's Star Christmas quilts

Hunter's star Xmas quilts 8

I made two of these Hunter's Star quilts, one for my mom and one for my grandmother. I used white for all the star points to kind of give the effect of snowflakes. I still think that it's a little fussy to piece these, but I do like how they look. It's one of those designs that just comes across as impressive.

Hunter's star Xmas quilts 5

For the quilting, I tried some metallic silver thread. I didn't have any issues with it, just one break (and I didn't use it in the bobbin). I gave these to my mom and grandmother to open early, since they are able to be used now but not so much next week. The finished size of each quilt is around 32" square. I added hanging tabs to the backs, but thought they could also be used as table-toppers.

Hunter's star Xmas quilts 1

More pictures on my Flickr page, of course. I hope all 2 of you readers are having a very Merry Christmas! We will be opening our presents tonight, after we make some very fancy pizzas (squash, sage, and goat cheese for one).

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Getting in the spirit...

I'm back! I really didn't mean to take such a long bloggy break, but, well, life... I finally was able to download the nearly 200 photos on my camera last night (Rob is not so good with the laptop sharing). Of course, I can't post many of them yet, but in a few days they'll ALL be post-able. It will definitely take me some time to catch up on my gift blogging.

Iris stocking 1
This is something I completed a number of weeks ago. Poor Iris had a stocking, but it wasn't very cute (pastel pink?? unlined??), so I made her this one. The fabrics are leftovers from a holiday quilting project (photos of that TK soon!) and I just traced her existing stocking and went from there.

Iris stocking embroidery
It is fully lined, and the cuff has her name embroidered. I did it really quickly, just using a simple backstitch (is that what it's called?) and some leftover metallic quilting thread, also from the secret project to be posted soon. I used two or three strands, I can't remember, and made letters about 1.5" high. She deserved something nice, for being such a fantastic kitty!

(that photo at the top makes me incredibly happy)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Phoebe bag

Phoebe bag front
It hasn't been all Christmas crafting for others around here. A couple of weeks ago I took an evening to make myself the Phoebe Bag after I was reminded of it by Sew, Mama, Sew a few weeks ago. The pattern is a freebie from Rebeka Lambert (Artsy-Crafty Babe) and is pretty easy to make.

Phoebe bag inside
I whipped this up in about 4 hours after work one night. I just used fabrics I had on hand that were already pre-washed, since I like to make my bags washable like my clothes (I don't pre-wash for quilting, but try to for most other things). The outer fabric is an Anna Maria Horner Drawing Room print I'd had forever, and the lining is some Kaffe Fassett shot cotton left over from this shirt. I used fusible fleece on the outer fabric but just regular interfacing on the lining. I wanted this bag to have some body on its own.

Phoebe bag strap detail
(Don't you just love that little face on the strap?) I omitted the magnetic snap (I do not like those things) and also the closure flap, though I kind of wish I hadn't. I'm a little worried about things falling out of this bag or people being able to reach in while I'm commuting. I think, overall, this bag is just a leeettle bit too small for me. Alas.... It's a good weekend bag, for when I don't need to bring my iPod and library book with me everywhere I go.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Thanksgiving weekend crafting

trimmings 1
See, now is the time of year that's really difficult for me. I'm in crafty overdrive, but I can't show you anything because everything I'm making is a gift! So I'm only allowed to give little peeks (like the one above) until everything has been received and I can reveal the gifts. It's maddening, I tell you!

trimming up
This is how I spent my Thanksgiving weekend: trimming. And trimming and trimming and trimming! And quilting, and there may have been some binding, too...

trimmings 2
Trust me, you will love what was on the other side of that cutting blade!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

STUD November received

STUD Nov rec'd front
Here it is! The STUD November "anything goes" mini-quilt that I received from Andrea (Quiltedoma). I just LOVE it! I adore 30s prints--I don't understand how anyone could NOT like them! They're so bright, and the patterns are so adorable.

STUD Nov rec'd detail
And if that weren't enough, she stitched a little heart button inside each block! Such a great touch. I asked her about the piecing, and she opted to do it without paper piecing! I cannot believe how precise it is!

STUD Nov rec'd
I also received these fabulous extras! Fabric, pincushion, and chocolates, mints, and a pin from the UN, where she works! Talk about spoiled... Thanks, Andrea!