Thursday, May 27, 2010

Wee Robot

wee robot 5
Yet another May birthday gift! I made this Wee Robot for my friend Robert using the pattern in the Softies book. Robert really likes robots, and I'd been itching to make this guy since I got this book, so it was a win-win!

wee robot 3
I really enjoyed making this guy. I did have to enlarge the base, as the one in the pattern was too small and I wouldn't have been able to attach the body without gathering it at the bottom. I did like all of the hand-stitching, and the final effect is really cool. I had a lot of trouble with the arms, though. It took me probably two hours just to get the wire through the body and then get it wrapped with yarn. I love that the arms are movable, but wish I'd had a better needle or some other way of getting that yarn inside the body.

wee robot 2
I was in and out of the hardware store so fast when I got the wire that I forgot to look for other hardware for the antennae, so I ended up hand-twisting some (inspired by this robot). I really like the final look. Happy birthday, Bobby!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Birthday cat

cat 1
Here is another birthday softie, this time using a pattern from Softies Only a Mother Could Love. I made this for my friend, Ginny, who is a big cat lover. I was originally thinking of making her the Wee Wonderfuls Pointy Kitty, but then thought some more and decided that she would probably like this simple, stylized kitty better.

cat head
I think I made the right choice. The fabric is from the Denyse Schmidt Hope Valley line. This pattern was really easy to make; the hardest part may have been turning out those skinny ears! I love how much personality is in this very basic shape. That little bit of head tilt was unintentional, but is such a great touch.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Patchwork horse love

patchwork horse 1
As you can probably see, I've been in softie mode with my crafting lately. Of all the softies I've made this year (and I have two more to show you, once they've reached their recipients), this one might be my favorite. The pattern is Patchwork Horse from More Softies Only a Mother Could Love, and it was created by Abby Glassenberg (who has a book coming out! yay!). I'm not sure what it is about this pattern that I love so much: The patchwork body, the articulated button legs, the torn-fabric mane... Everything about it is just so...sophisticated.

patchwork horse 3
I followed the pattern pretty much exactly. I put some flax seed in the bottom of the feet to help the horse balance. I used Kona cotton in Bone for the solid, and I like how the flax shows through at the bottom of the legs. It kind of looks like hooves to me. I think I may have gotten a little overzealous with the fabric tearing, resulting in a tail and mane that are a little too thick. Chalk that up to the learning curve...

patchwork horse head
I made this little guy for a coworker of mine who needed a little extra TLC at the time. Also, secretly, I was hoping she'd keep him at the office because I loved him so much. Alas, something about him reminded her of a similar stuffed horse she had as a kid, so I had to say goodbye to the horsie so she could take him home to her own bed. I am a little sad that I don't get to see him every day, but also happy that he's being so so loved. I guess I'll just have to make another one...!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Beetle Bug

Beetle bug
This is the first of four (four!) May birthday gifts I've made. My friend Katie had a birthday at the beginning of the month, but I didn't know what to make her. I knew I wanted to make a softie, but wasn't sure what. That is, until her husband reminded me that she loves bees. Of course! So I adapted the Beetle Bug pattern from Softies Only a Mother Could Love to have a striped body, and that was that. The pattern was quick, easy to follow, and turned out really cute. Katie loved it.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Mother's Day mini-quilts

Mother's Day minis
I am still so far behind in my blogging of craftiness! It's this day job, I tell ya... Anyway, these two mini-quilts were made for my mom and my quilty gramma for Mother's Day. I used a Hope Valley charm pack and some Kona bone solid to make both of these. There were a lot of little pieces, but I really like the way these turned out!

Mother's Day mini 1
The minis are entirely made of half-square triangles, and the layout was inspired by this awesome quilt I saw on Flickr a while back. I cut the charm squares into quarters, and these minis finish around 15" square, so each half-square triangle block finishes around 1.5".

Mother's Day mini detail 1
Some of my points aren't perfect, but the overall effect is still pretty nice. I didn't want to complicate things, so I just echo-quilted in the white areas and called it done. My mom and gramma were quite pleased, so I think that's a success!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Crafty swap! (part 2)

Hippo swap 8

As I mentioned previously, I did a private swap with the amazing Rita. Here is the hippo that I traded her for the pea pod! It's made following my usual pattern and uses all Anna Maria Horner Good Folks fabrics. Actually, they were pre-washed and are leftovers from when I made this dress.

Hippo swap 3

I fussy-cut the fabrics for this one so that the legs/underbelly and snout/head gusset would be a little different than the sides. I really like the effect of this. Part of why it works is the amazingness of the AMH fabrics. I can't help it--I adore her stuff!

Hippo swap 4

I was actually really nervous to make this hippo! I made it specifically for Rita, and I hadn't made any in a while, so I did my best to be very very careful and make it really well. I still messed up some stuff, but I think overall it turned out really cute! Thanks, Rita, for giving her such a good home! I'm so happy she's there.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Crafty swap!

Pea pods swap
I have long been a fan of Rita--through her blog, her Flickr page, her Etsy shop, and now on Facebook. A while ago I was commenting (yet again) on how adorable her plushies are when she asked if I'd like to do a swap. I jumped at the chance! I'd been eyeing her pea pods for a while, so we agreed to swap one of her pea pods for one of my hippos.

Pea pods swap 1
As you can see, Rita went above and beyond the pea pod! I also got the adorable bunny case, some buttons, a sweet note, some fabric, and some Mochi Studios business cards! Wow! I am blown away. The craftsmanship of the pea pod is even beyond what I had imagined--Rita does amazing work! It is super soft, too. I am SO lucky! Thank you so much, Rita, for a fantastic swap. I hope you like your hippo!!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Tethered Threads: March (part 5)

Jessica blocks
Two more blocks, this time from Jessica! Jessica sent a very sweet note along with the blocks stating that she was terrified to start on them but had a really great time making them. I felt the same way about making my two, which surprised me a little, since I was the one doing the asking. I have really enjoyed getting all these blocks in and seeing how differently everyone interpreted the "assignment." I've got four more to receive, plus at least one more to make, and then I will start working on the layout, which is going to be a lot of work in itself! Still, I'm getting excited to see all of my blocks together; I haven't laid them all out yet!