15 Apr 2010

Quiet book - page 2: Pond

I wanted page 2 to have something to do with page 1 so I decided to do a fish pond with ducks.

I found some pictures of fish and ducks on the internet and printed them out the right size. I cut out 4 fish from orange felt and 3 fish from yellow felt but I wanted to reinforce them a bit. The fish would be attached with domes so I also cut out 4 fish from a stiff white cotton and ironed a bit of facing to it as well. The domes got sewn onto the cotton and ten all of that got sewn onto the felt using blanket stitch.

The water is a scrap piece of fleece which I sewed the other half of the domes to and then attached it to the page. With each page I want a piece of batting in between so I sewed the 'pond' through the page and the batting together. This is where my fabulous new machine came in great with its quilting 'walking' foot. I sewed a few wavy lines through the pond too to make it easier to pull the fish off the domes.

The ducks would be attached by velcro so, again, I reinforced them with cotton before sewing the velcro on. I learnt quickly that felt doesn't do well with heat and I have one smaller duck where I tried to iron on some facing. I guess you have to make these mistakes with materials you don't often work with to figure it out.

I decided the whole thing needed something more so I got some green brick-a-brack to be some pond reeds. These also serve as fish savers - they are attached to the fish so they don't get lost.

Finally, I used fabric paint to put a cloud and sun at the top - done!
To finish the whole page off I sewed some black bias tape around the edge. I plan to put some button holes in the sides eventually so all the pages can be joined with a metal ring. This way the pages can be separated and shared between kids.

Quilted blankie

My first attempts at embroidery with my new machine produced a few disney creations, namely Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore and Tigger. I decided to piece these together in a little blanket for Chloe or some other baby of my choosing. I found some plain fabrics to match them up with - blue, yellow and green and spent a night painstakingly cutting them out.

I was able to use my new quilting foot to help me sew them up with lovely straight lines a perfect 1/4" from the edge, and then I ironed out all the seams to make them sit nice and flat.

I wanted to use satin on the back and, somewhat foolishly, decided to use the satin for a border on the front as well. After some fun making sure that the strips I cut were straight I got those sewn on as well and even got the corners looking pretty good (if I do say so myself).

Now a true quilt has binding around the edges to make it all look good, but I didn't have any binding and really couldn't be bothered making any so I went for the easy option. I cut out a piece of satin for the back and a piece of batting the same size and sewed them all together around the edges, right sides together, and turned it right sides out.

Then came the fun part, and I swear I was seeing double after this. I got out my walking foot and quilted all the seams, including a line 1/8" from the edge on the border.

It isn't perfect, but for a blankie that I just wanted to use up my embroidery pieces on, I think it's kinda cool.

5 Apr 2010

New Sewing Machine!!

I am so excited. I have just spent the last few days playing with my fancy new sewing machine. My old one (a Brother Pacesetter) was a present from my parents years ago and it has done me well with the bits and pieces of sewing that I have done in that time. I finally decided that, as I am doing more sewing crafts, and would like to make more clothes for Chloe, I needed a new machine.

My darling husband came with me the first time to look at new machines. He couldn't contain his giggles as I stared wide eyed at these fancy new machines that threaded their own needles, did their own reinforcement stitches and even cut the thread themselves. I knew I was in trouble when he pointed out the fancy new Brother Innov-is 1250D. It did all the new fangled sewing stuff I had just fallen in love with as well as embroidery, and not just that it had some Disney embroidery designs.

I had a look at more machines to do my due diligence but I kept coming back to the 1250D so hubby eventually said - just go and get it. That was thursday last week and today (monday) I have felt it was the right thing to do.

So the last few days were spent making tag cloths and cubes to get used to the way it works. I even made another stethoscope cover which involves a long thin piece of material and an open ended zip - a fiddly thing at the best of times and the last one was cause for a lot of frustration and unpicking, but this one was almost too easy.

Here is my first attempt at the embroidery side. I don't think I did too bad, especially as I have never done it before. The machine pretty much does it all anyway :-)

I'm gonna have fun playing with this.....

Quiet book - page 1: Barn

I have had this in the pipeline for quite a while. I have been looking at other blogs for ideas and sketching my own in my craft book, but this is the first one I have actually done.

Firstly, I am using good old calico for the pages (I got a big piece from the scrap bin at the local David's Emporium that was from the end of a roll). I have cut them out in rectangles big enough for 2 pages and I have zigzagged the edges.

This first page comes directly from someone else's book. I promise that I have come up with a couple of my own, but this one was so cute that I had to try it first. So thanks to Jill for this one, and also the awesome templates.

I have made the barn from an old bandana; the doors, finger puppets and the bit they sit in are all felt; and obviously the trim is ribbon. I can't wait to do more now. Chloe is already having fun with this one.