Tag Archives: sewing

With Great Crafting Comes Great Responsibility

It’s the beginning of July and my oldest is one year older.

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(I haven’t come to terms with it yet, obviously.)

She didn’t want a cake this year, which left the theme of her party to us. And since she’s been on a HUGE Ultimate Spider-Man kick, I knew what it should be.

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Sometimes the cheapest things make for the most fun crafts, you know? All that took was two rolls of streamers, some masking tape, and about 20 minutes. (Oh, and a picture if you’re unsure of the exact shape of a web — like I was.)

Then, because I’m totally crazy, I decided to that I wanted to make her a Miles Morales mini guinea ham. On her birthday. So, I locked myself in the craft room and set to work.

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I had worried that the web would take forever and a day to complete, but once the initial outline was started, it was pretty easy. Cutting out that spider symbol though. 😛

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After doing all the detail work, I just set about and finished the doll like I did with my previous ones. And I was finished with it before lunchtime! She loved it (which thrilled me to bits)!

Of course every time I work on one of these, I want to make a whole bunch of them…Maybe a Tangled collection should be next on my list.

But, for now, I’m back on the Light World and actually making solid progress on it! Whee!

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Ham It Up

Yup, Mollie’s at it again.

OK, technically, she has nothing to do with my burnout, but her clever crafts have kept me crafting even though cross-stitching is not my friend right now.

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The latest project? Mini Guinea Hams.

When she first posted the Star Wars Guinea Hams, I fell in love. When my girls saw it, they too fell in love and then came up with all kinds of ideas — Nintendo characters! Marvel! DC! More Nintendo!

(As you can see, Babe and I are raising our girls right.)

Before I tackled their ideas, I wanted to actually make one that Mollie had made so I could get a feel for how to make this project.

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It was super simple. Er, or maybe I should say, “Super simple, it was.”

Feeling confident, I bought the supplies for the girls’ number one choice of a Guinea Ham — Toon Link. I probably made the project more complicated than I needed to. I wanted to pay homage to his cute, adorable eyes which is why I embroidered them rather than cut out little black circles.

Then, I was just going to make him with his clothes, but when I woke up the next morning after making the little dude, I was like, “He NEEDS HIS SHIELD!!”

Hello, improv stitching, LOL. It’s not perfect, but you know what? I’m ok with that. Having an imperfect shield made him look more Link-y than without it.  And he’s so adorable, I just want to squeeze his little face.

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(OK, not really. It took me a long time to stitch him.)

Next was Baymax (Sorry, Disney, I would have given you my money, but I can’t find the Tsum Tsum anywhere.) and he was SOOO EASY (as you can probably imagine).

I plan on making more in the future — I think the next ones will be Master Chief and/or Flash. Then, I need to make some ladies — maybe Batgirl for Babe? The possibilities are endless. ❤

Call of the Narwhal

Nope, not even I can resist it.

Fortunately for me, Mollie over at Wild Olive created an embroidery pattern that would satisfy the Narwhal Call. (And it’s $2, no less!)

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When I got the pattern, I knew I wanted to make it for my girls and make into a pillow. I made the pattern a little bigger than the original (maybe 125%? I didn’t really look, I just wanted the design to be about 8.5″.) and set off.

Mollie is really great about her color choices, but I did add something to just about everything — except the narwhal itself.

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For the seaweed, I took three strands of 469 and 520. I’m sort of obsessed with the look of blended colors (ahem, like the Arrow cross-stitch), so it was the way to go. Also, with the coral above the seaweed, I used  three strands of 4110 (a pink variegated color) and a single strand of 720. And finally, with the bubbles, I added a strand of metallic aqua thread to the three strands of 504 to give it that magical look.

The embroidery was a breeze. I love Mollie’s patterns because they’re fun and whimsical. Then, it was onto the quilting part.

Now I haven’t quilted in years. It sort of drives me crazy because I want every seam to match perfectly and that doesn’t happen very often. At all.

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My first attempt was ok, but the one side was off by a half inch, so off it went and I fixed it, thinking “This is EXACTLY why I don’t quilt”. The end result is pretty good, but I can see where it doesn’t line up perfectly. (My girls could care less because they have a narwhal pillow.)

Pillow assembly was simple. All I did was take my front piece of fabric, stacked it onto the batting and muslin (ok, lies. I took a scrap piece of fabric that I knew I’d never use instead of the muslin.), then stitched the ditch. When that was done, I got my backing fabric, put pretty to pretty sides together and sewed it all up. (Well, except for the hole so I could flip it inside out.)

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Then came my favorite part (snicker), fighting with the pillow form. I try to keep the opening on the top as small as possible because I don’t like doing the ladder stitch. So, yeah, lots of fighting — I’m sure I looked positively ridiculous, LOL

But I got it to work and then, some ladder stitching, and voila! I was done before I knew it!

So, if you’re looking for a super cute, quick, fun project, I suggest you don’t ignore the call of the narwhal.

Stick a needle in it, this sucker is done!

(I still amuse myself far too much with my blog titles.)

So, as you know, sometimes, believe it or not, I experience it…

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That’s right. Burnout.

I knew I had been fighting it for a while because I couldn’t get focused on the Light World, felt sort of meh with the Amsterdam cross-stitch, and pushed myself to finish something — the Xbox symbol. Still, after I finished the Xbox logo, I can’t find my cross-stitching groove.

So I moved onto a crafting technique that I rarely use: sewing. Like with a machine and everything.

Today’s project: a needlebook with a special guest star, Captain America.

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Handsome fellow, isn’t he?

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I found this nifty little tutorial over here and pretty much followed it exactly. (Except for the 3″ elastic cord. I’m far to cheap and lazy to go to Jo-Ann for that. I just took a ponytail holder –a new one– and cut it at the seam. Voila! A perfect 3″ piece of elastic cord.)

I have had this Marvel comic fabric for the better part of the year. I’m still trying to decide what to do with the rest of it, but I could make do with a little chunk of it missing, LOL

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It didn’t take long at all to make — maybe an hour, probably less. Then it was time to fill it up with goodies!

20150519_194345Look at that fancy ribbon hold my scissors, ROFL.

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And my awesome, incredible needle minders! ❤ ❤ (And yes, there are actual needles up in the front of the book, but I couldn’t make them look interesting, no matter how hard I tried.)

Do you have a needlebook? What sort of goodies do you have in yours? 

Got me in stitches!

I love craft books. There is something magical about seeing these awesome creations that someone has taken the time to create and share with the masses. So, you knew I was so buying my buddy Mollie Johanson’s book: Stitch Love Sweet Creatures Big & Small: Cute Kitties and Cows and Cubs and More…and a Yeti.

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My daughters both grabbed the book when it came in the mail from Barnes and Noble and loved it. The youngest even made a video reviewing the book over at diy.org.

Don’t let her fool you, I made the yeti, but after her 15th take, she was *not* going to record another review. (I told her it was no problem, but the oldest one heckled her a bit, LOL)

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So, yes, I’ve already made the Yeti who is super adorable and really fun and easy to make. The youngest didn’t want it as an ice pack as it was shown in the book, so I just turned in into a plush.

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I have to admit, I was nervous to make it because it had the blanket stitch and I had never tackled that before. I was scared! I find comfort in ALL THINGS CROSS-STITCH!

But, I reached down deep and found bravery. And you know what?

It was horrible.

Just kidding! It was so easy that I was convinced that I was doing it wrong, LOL. But, really, I found a super easy tutorial with pictures and I found myself enjoying it much more than I thought I would.

So, if you are looking for some fun, cute ideas for you (or if you have young ones who know the basics of embroidery), check out Mollie’s book! Super adorable!

DotA Tread on Me…

Recently, I was asked to commission a piece — a DotA logo pillow.

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Now I’ll admit, other than reading a few of random tweets on the subject, I know nothing about the game. Defense of the Ancients? That could quite possibly be the title of the new Stargate movie, for all I knew.

Thankfully, I was provided with a huge, beautiful hi-res image to work with. (We remember what happens when one works with a lo-res image when creating awesomeness, right? If you answered with the “Destiny Cross-stitch of doom,” you are correct.)

A quick trip to the craft store later, I was ready to create awesomeness. I drew out the pattern for the main design and tackled attempt #1. I knew he wanted red cotton (I went with a knit because it’s oh-so-cozy) and black velvet and had been debating whether I wanted the red to lay on top of the black or visa versa.

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So, I went with red on top…I traced the outline and set to cutting it out. (Those edges are something, let me tell you.) When I was done, it looked pretty sweet. (I’m humble, I know.) I knew I was going to have to fray check the edges because the last thing I wanted was for him to get an unraveled mess of DotAness.

That was when trouble started. *cue tears*

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I have used Fray Check enough to know that there is a chance that it can discolor the edges. I really hoped that the fabric wouldn’t do that because, hey, I loved it. I saved it from sitting on a store shelf. It was going to help make something geeky (and, yes, awesome).

…what was that saying about beggars and horses again?

However, it was clear that it was going to have a slight discoloration. I’ll be honest, it could have worked. It might have looked slightly rustic (aka not perfect), but the edges were clean. Still, I couldn’t do that and have it haunt me like the Destiny cross-stitch, so I came up with a plan to try to salvage it (again, the cuts were solid). My great idea? Having Babe go and pick me up some red dye.

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I’ll give you one guess how that worked out. #fail (I promise, that will be the last time I use a hashtag in my blog, LOL.)

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Finally, I conceded defeat and went to attempt #2. Putting the black pieces on top of the red fabric and it worked like a charm. 😀 😀

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Now it’s back to (you guessed it) the Dark World (which, quite possibly, I’ll have done by my birthday which will be *awesome*).

Game time!

So, after months of trying to figure out what I was going to make my little sister for her wedding, I finally figured it out.

A giant pillow that looked like a NES controller.

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Look at those classic colors!

I had attempted to make one years ago, but let’s just say it didn’t work out and leave it at that.

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My very high tech template.

After I picked up the fabric and pillow form, I drew out my “fancy” template on some notebook paper and set to work. My scissors and rotary cutter became my friends as we worked together to creating awesomeness. After that, it was time to whip out the iron. I went ahead and used an iron-on adhesive. (I like the clean look of not seeing any thread.)

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Progress!

Once the main controller part was finished, I went to piecing the sides and ran that sucker through the sewing machine. Then, I stitching the backing to it. I battled bravely with the pillow form. (My husband had to help get the pillow in the last two inches of the case because my arm was too short, LOL). Then, it was slipstitching time.

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The end result? A pretty sweet looking pillow, if I do say so myself!

I posted the progress on Instagram and was tickled by the response of the people there. A couple were interested in (maybe) buying one of their own. (I was surprised by that!) I don’t ever plan to list them on Etsy– except as commission pieces. But, if you want one of your own, you can find out the details (including price and contact info over on my Instagram account.)

All in all, I’m just thrilled that I was able to finish a project with relative success. After the botched Destiny x-stitch that took over half my summer, it’s nice to know I still have some crafting skills still in me. 😀 😀