Wednesday, October 31, 2012

City Aviation Quilt - half of the blocks done

After a slight digression, on with the quilt.  I managed to find fabric in the yellow and brown tones requested by my aunt, though I would have wished for more variation. 

Oddly the fabric at 3:00 in the picture came out looking more peach than the actual pale yellow. And the ecru is looking rather snowy as well. Hmmm... As an after-thought, I snuck in a green to spice it up a bit (green, spicy? Hmmm again...). Hopefully my aunt will not mind.

All has been cut and now it is piecing time. I did the simpler blocks first to get them out of the way.

Log cabin and four-patch blocks completed. Now on to the more intimidating 3D flying geese and pinwheels.

Have a fearless Hallowe'en!


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A pillow for the fourth niece

So, November is around the corner and the fourth and final niece is having her birthday. Just to jog your memory, the three other nieces got pillows to match the qults I made for them last year.

This particular niece got the quilt shown below. It was made before I entered the world of free-motion quilting. At the time I felt it unfortunate that I could not quilt swirls on it to reflect the whimsical tails of the birds. Oh well. Perhaps I can give swirls a go on her new pillow?

And here's the pillow.

My first attempt at swirly quilting; a little wobbly at first but then it went fine. Incredibly enough I still had some of the original fabrics from the quilt. 

Same light blue as the background on the quilt went to the backing

A little lop-sided pillow for a lop-sided pic.

Here's a close-up of the embroidery and quilting. I did the bird from memory, because the original picture of the quilt was so hard to decipher. Close enough, I think. I did the embroidery after the quilting, as I thought this a neater and easier approach.

The pillow measures 12" (31.5 cm) squared.

Have a whimsical day!


Monday, October 29, 2012

A pillow for a nephew

I had just cut up all the fabric for the City Aviation Quilt for one of my aunts, when I managed to get either food poisoning or a virus. In any case I was out of commission for a week, and then one of my kids was sick which added another week keeping me from the said project. Needless to say, I crept over to the sewing machine to do a small project just to keep the creative juices flowing.

I had made birthday pillows for three of my nieces (blogged here), and was about to make one for the fourth niece, but I felt I needed some more time to figure the last one out. Despite this need to reflect on one project, it did not hinder me from making a pillow for her brother. I had not planned to make one for him, since he is only two and would probably not need or appreciate it. However, I have been wanting to sample the random HST motifs that have been all over blog land of late, and thought it would match the quilt I made for him previously.

Here is the quilt I made for him last year, from which I took inspiration for the pillow. (Boy, I would surely have quilted this much differently if I had the skills and the machine I have now!)

And here is the pillow quilted with simple straight lines.

I know it is not very fun for a little boy, but I think his mother will like it! There will surely be another opportunity to make a more suitable pillow for him in the future, if so requested. So, that is one Christmas present sorted!

Pillow measures just under 12" (31 cm) squared.

Have a spontaneous day!


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

City Aviation Quilt for an aunt

After having made quilts for four nieces and one nephew, it is about time to start on the aunts. This particular aunt has requested yellow and brown tones. Since I have been perusing my electronic version of Cherri House's "City Quilts", I suggested her City Aviation Quilt. Not because Cherri House used the tones my aunt wanted, but because I thought it suitable to my aunt's taste and I have been wanting to try the flying geese block for some time now. Actually, the geese etc are in 3D, so we'll see how that turns out.

Though I try to keep a balanced stash, it is rather weak when it comes to yellows and browns. What then? Off to the fabric store I go, of course. Perhaps Sue wants to join me? I have not seen her in ages. It would be nice to catch-up.

Have an amiable day!


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Birthday project completed

I just thought to show you all the elements of the infamous baby doll birthday project together, to give you a better impression.

A very girly collection

Packed and ready to go!


For the individual projects, click on the relevant links:

Doll diapers and changing set
Doll hooded blanket
Doll carrier
Doll bibs
Doll diaper bag

Have a fun day!


Monday, October 8, 2012

Baby doll diaper bag

Now on to the last element in this baby doll accessory collection.  I have done a few bags now and I think I am getting the hang of making them. However, when I came across this lovely blog while perusing the internet, I thought it ideal for my project: Twelve Crafts Till Christmas tutorial for a baby doll diaper bag. If you want to see an adult version I made previously, kindly see here.

Here is the front, with a cute little pocket for a baby bottle, for example.

Here is the front with the flap up. I did not add any closing system for now, as I think it is best without at my daughter's age. It is just easier for her without. You may notice the horizontal quilting lines to keep the three layers together nicely.

The inside screams pink!

Two little pockets on the inside for bibs or whatever else my little girl can think of.

Here is the back. The strap was top-stitched (like many items in this project - phew!) to strengthen it somewhat.  The final product measured 11,5" (29 cm) x 8" (20 cm) x 4"(10 cm). The strap was 22,5" (57 cm).

Here is Miss J all ready to go!

Have a rewarding day!


Sunday, October 7, 2012

Baby doll bibs tutorial

Of course my daughter's dolly needs a couple of bibs to keep her from getting messy. Bibs are easy to make - just make a paper template by putting a piece of paper on the doll and estimating the size. In this case one bib measured 5,5" (14 cm) x 8" (20 cm).

Like the diapers, the backing was an unused floor rag, though fleece would also be good. Velcro was sewn onto the ends for fastening. The decorative add-ons were cut from remaining fabric, glued on with a normal glue stick and then zig-zagged around.

In retrospect, the opening could have been a bit smaller, but I am sure this is not the last time I will be making this particular item, so I will get that right the next time around. Also, this baby is not going to eat real food, so not real worries there if it is not perfect.

If you like, you can view an older post of mine where I made bibs for my kids.

My next entry in this project will be the diaper bag.

Have a delightful day!


Saturday, October 6, 2012

Baby doll carrier tutorial

While looking for a baby doll carrier tutorial, I came across a couple of rather interesting ones and deconstructed some actual baby carriers. What follows is my own simplified version, which did not have too many buckles, ties and fiddly things for my two year old to deal with. Though it is not rocket science, I thought I would make a more explicit tutorial.

Warning: this is not to be used for a real baby, but for toys only!

Here is the template as pdf. From the printout, cut on the outer edge of the pattern. Once you have cut out your template, add an extra 1/4 inch all around when you cut the fabric. Sew with a 1/4 inch seam.

Materials needed:
This of course depends on the size of the doll and the size of the child. Adapt accordingly when drawing your template, so that you can have a better idea as to how much fabric you will need.
In this instance the doll is 12" (30 cm) from top to toe and is 4" (10 cm) around the belly. The child is an average two year old.

  • 2 pieces of cotton fabric 10" (25 cm) x 13" (33 cm) for body 
  • 1 piece of cotton batting also 10"(25 cm) x 13" (33 cm) for body
  • 2 strips of cotton fabric 27" (69 cm) long and 4" (10 cm) wide for straps
  • 4 buttons


Here is the template I drew up inspired by a well known baby carrier and others out there. You can see the proportion compared with the dolly. In this instance, the template measures 8,5" (22 cm) across at its largest and 3,5" (9 cm) at the bottom of the tail. The length is 11" (28 cm).

There are three layers here starting from the top: the exterior decorative and the interior prints right sides facing each other and finally the cotton batting. Polyester batting would probably work just as well or even some denim - anything to stiffen it up a bit. Sew around, but leave openings for the straps that will be added in the next step. There are three openings. If you think of this template as a fish, then you would not sew the bottom part of the "eyes" and the end of the "tail".

If you will notice the pins on the bottom of the carrier and almost on the top - this is where I left openings to insert the straps.

You will need two straps, which in this case measure 27" (69 cm) long and around 1,5" (4 cm) - 2" (5 cm) wide finished. Simply cut a long strip with the appropriate length,  but 4" (10 cm) wide and fold it lengthwise with the print facing in. Sew down all the way, pull it right side out and top-stitch up and down to strengthen a bit. Since my daughter is still rather small, I inserted the straps so that there is still some length of strap to pull out when she grows bigger. 

Here you can see how there is a flap on the top that is to be the optional head support for the doll. Kindly note that this section is not to be attached to the straps in any way.

On the back, the straps are criss-crossing. Please make sure that the straps are not twisted before pinning and sewing.

After top-stitching all around, including the strap openings, I made two button holes in the head flap and sewed four buttons so that the flap can be kept down ...

... or up. The button holes should fall nicely on both the straps and the bodice, so that they will catch both pairs of buttons. Check this before making the button holes.

The carrier is put on over the head, which does require some assistance for the little one. But once on, it is all hands free carrying. 

Here is the carrier with the flap down

And here it is with the flap up to support the doll's head. 

Big brother got a bit jealous because he thought his sister got a pretty nifty toy. Perhaps another one needs to be made for my son and his trusty pal Paddington.

Next item in this project - bibs.

Have a nifty day!

PS: Feed-back on this tute are very welcome. Thanks in advance.

PPS: Pics of readers' projects using this tutorial can be found here.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Baby doll hooded blanket

Though we presently live in a rather warm climate, baby dolls still need blankets to keep them snug. I came across this hooded blanket tutorial, which was easy to follow, though I think the hood was a bit on the small side. I would make it bigger if I tried it again. I did not bother with ribbon, but simply sewed around the edges and reversed it to finally top stitch it. This could be the reason why it became a bit small.

I used some left-over purple fleece from another project, keeping true to the pinky-purple girly colors. 

I omitted the velcro, which was suggested in the tutorial, in order to keep it simple for my little girl. She carries it around just fine without it. The finished product measured 14" squared. 

On to the next accessory - a baby doll carrier. 

Have a beautiful day!


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Baby doll diapers and changing pad set tutorial

With my daughter's second birthday coming up, I felt it was about time to provide some accessories for her baby doll. For the next five days I will provide some details as to what my little girl got for her big day.

Let's start off with a diaper changing set: changing pad, diapers  and a little pouch to keep these in.

I decided to keep the changing pad a simple rectangle with a fleece lining. Velcro or an elastic closing system like I the one I used in this post are easy to add. Again, I just wanted to keep it simple for my little one.

With regards to size, I just made it big enough so that the baby doll could lie comfortably. The two rectangles were sewn together with the fabric pieces facing right side in. A little opening should be left at one end, in order to reverse it all. To finish it off, top-stitch around the edges. 

Isn't this fabric darling? So colorful and bright. This is the fabric upon which this project is based.

Diapers are easy enough to make, especially if you have real ones in the house. If you need a template, 2 Little Hooligans has a pretty good one or you can try to make do with my pdf template. For my pattern, be sure to add an extra 1/4 inch all around.

Since my fleece stash consisted only of very bold colors, I resorted to an unused floor cleaning rag to get that white diaper effect. I may regret this decision, but then it is so easy to make new ones if need be.

Using the template I drew, I cut out an outer decorative fabric along with the insulating one, sewed around the edges leaving a little opening to turn it right side out. After reversing it, I top-stitched it and sewed on some velcro.

A second one made in pink.

I must admit that the diapers are just adorable. I think they will be a hit.
I thought I would try another type of diaper pouch. I always liked the smart one made by Noodlehead. I winged this one based on the picture, though her tutorial is recommended.

I made two equal rectangles, sewed them together individually, followed by sewing in the corners by 3/4" (2 cm). Once done, the inner pouch was inserted into the outer pouch, then adding the strap, before top-stitching. Velcro was added to help keep it closed. Slightly different from the Noodlehead tute, but you get pretty much the same result, I think.  

Here you can see there is room for two diapers and a rolled up changing pad - ready for use.

Measurements in approximations:

  • changing pad: 9" (23 cm) x 15" (38 cm)
  • diaper: 8.5" (22 cm) at its widest on top, 5.5" (14 cm) at its widest at the bottom and 8.5"(22 cm) long
  • diaper pouch: 5" (13 cm) x 7.5" (19 cm) x 1.75" (4.5 cm)   

Next item on the agenda: a hooded blanket.

Have a constructive day!


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

My friend Sophie's new blog

Remember my friend Sophie Walbeoffe who has an art studio in Jerusalem's Old City? Well, she has just started a blog where she will tell about her paintings, her progress and where they are being sold. She is new to blogging, but I am sure she will get the hang of it quickly. Her paintings are so full of energy, so I would highly recommend that you visit her blog to behold her lovely works for art.

Have an artistic day!


PS - a painting from her first blog post to entice you a bit

Roof top view of Jerusalem oil on canvas

Monday, October 1, 2012

A birthday coming up...

My little girl is turning two in the next few days and I recently realized that all the shops are closed the whole week due to the present Jewish holidays. The planned trip to our favorite toy store was therefore no longer on the calendar, at least not before my daughter's big day. Once again I turned to the internet for ideas as to what to make from my stash of fabric. She has been quite taken with dolls lately, but they are in desperate need of accessories. After a couple of hours of being constantly interrupted while internet surfing, I had come up with a plan. Stay tuned!

Have a creative day!


PS - Happy holidays to my Jewish friends out there

View of the Western Wall and the Temple Mount with Dome on the Rock at sunset