Friday, December 31, 2010

Remembering 2010...

As the year comes to an end, I have been remembering all the things I made over the past year. I have definitely kept busy this year! I made 17 baby to adult-sized quilts and 7 mini quilts for a total of 24 quilts. I also have 2 quilt tops to be finished in 2011.

Between my Etsy shop, Craft Hope, gifts for family and friends, and other little projects, I made A LOT! Here are just a few of the things I made: Lots of sock animals, onesies, and other little things.

There was one thing I REALLY wanted to make the entire year. At the end of the year, feeling quite hopeless that it wasn't going to happen, my wish finally came true, and I was able to make...

...obviously with the help of my husband. ;) This will be our second, and I'm so glad my son will have a forever friend! Baby #2 is due sometime in September. Of course, I had to make one last thing this year, to give the news to my mom and family:

My little boy will be a big brother next year! :)

I want to thank all of my followers out there for all your support and comments over the year! You are wonderful, and I wish you all a fantastic New Year! Happy 2011!


Monday, December 20, 2010

Busy, busy, busy...

I've been super busy these last couple of weeks.
Actually, I feel like I've been busy most of the year!

First, let me start by introducing you to my new friend... My amazing husband got me a new sewing machine for our anniversary! The Husqvarna Viking Sapphire 875 Quilt machine to be exact. Please ignore my messy craft/dining room table. My favorite feature so far...? It's got about 4.5 inches of extra room under the arm compared to my little Kenmore! I have only played with it a little bit, so I'll tell you more later. But it has some pretty fancy features that I'm not used to yet... but I LOVE IT! :) I'm thinking this will be my new main quilting machine, and I'll use my other machine for little projects.

So, I've been busy working on last minute projects/gifts for Christmas. I made some oven mitts out of this darling fabric... Metro Kitchen by Robert Kaufman.

I've been making some pajama pants too. Here are some for my mom and my son.

I've also been making lots of mini stockings... be used for this at our family Christmas dinner.

My mom requested some pillows, so I'm working on those too.

Many other projects planned this week.

Of course, I'm waiting till the very last minute to clean my house. :/ Hope everyone is having as much fun as me getting ready for Christmas! Only 5 days left! Yikes!


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wool Anniversary

Monday, my husband and I celebrated our 7th anniversary! The traditional gifts for the 7th anniversary are wool and/or copper. So, I decided to make my husband some wool roses this year. These are made out of wool felt, which is a little harder to find than regular felt (usually made of polyester). I found this wool felt at this Etsy shop, and I used this tutorial to make my roses. I made my own stems using chopsticks and scrap fabric in greens. Here's how:

Get a pack of chopsticks at your local ethnic supermarket, or steal some extra chopsticks next time you order take out at your favorite Chinese restaurant. ;) My husband is Chinese, so we have lots of these cheap wooden chopsticks handy!

Separate the chopsticks.

Apply a dab of hot glue or craft glue to the pointed end of the chopstick. Adhere the end of a piece of green fabric to the chopstick. My scraps were about 1" in width, and various lengths.

Begin wrapping the fabric around, moving up towards the top of the chopstick. If you run short on your green scrap, just add another scrap with some more glue.

When you get to the top of the chopstick, add another dab of glue to secure the end of the fabric to the top. Then, apply hot glue to the bottom of the felt rose.

Secure the rose to the stem... you may have to hold it there a little while as the glue hardens/dries.

Repeat for more rose stems! I made 7 roses in red and white, and glued on some felt leaves. I added a scrap of blue fabric to the bottom of a mason jar for "water". Another good idea that I thought of after I made these roses... for a 7th anniversary, you could glue on some pennies (copper) to the tops of these roses, or just pile them up in the bottom of the jar instead of the blue "water" fabric. :)

I also crocheted a wool scarf for my husband. It's only 20% wool, and 80% acrylic, so it is still more soft than scratchy. He will probably never wear it, as we live in AZ. Maybe we'll have to take a trip to somewhere cold! :)


Friday, December 10, 2010

Botanica Quilt Finish...

I recently finished this quilt for my sister. Her birthday is Christmas Eve, so this will be a birthday/Christmas present. She is studying botany in school, so I thought this fabric collection (Botanica by Lourdes Sanchez) would be a great fit for her. Extra bonus... her favorite colors are purple and green! I did a kind of crazy patchwork style quilt. You can read more this quilt here and here.

I am very happy with the back. I love this grey fabric! It matched perfectly with some of the grey in the Botanica fabric. As a side note... our tree is looking fabulous, don't you think? I love fall! :)

I found a green fabric to match the greens in the leaves and flowers for the binding. This quilt is a throw sized quilt measuring about 54" by 63". I hope she likes it! Otherwise, I might have to steal it from her. ;)


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Tiny Tree Decorations and a Quilt Finish

Because I have nothing better to do (yeah, right)... I made these cute little trees yesterday. Wanna make some of your own? Here's how:

You need a pile of fabric scraps. I chose reds and greens for a more Christmasy theme, but you can make these out of any colors you like. I've also seen them made out of ribbon before, but as I have more fabric scraps than ribbon, I figured it would be a good way to use up some of my scraps. :)

You also need one of these styrofoam cones. They come in different sizes. Mine are approximately 6 inches tall.

Oh, you also need a hot glue gun or other crafty glue. I imagine Tacky Glue would work fine too. Cut your strips into various widths and lengths. I just eyeballed it here. I mean... it's scrappy, so it doesn't really matter. I would estimate they are anywhere between 1 to 1.5 inch width by about 3 or 4 inches in length. Place a dot of glue on the inside of the fabric, then fold over and glue the other end to form a loop.

Make a bunch of these loopy "leaves".

Then start gluing them all around your styrofoam cone in whatever pattern you want. I did green, red, green... etc. I tried to match up the bottom loops as closely as possible. It doesn't matter if the tops are uneven. You will overlap more "leaves" on top of each row to cover up the scrappy tops.

When I got to the top, I just used another scrap piece of fabric to wrap around, then cut a small circle of fabric to cover the top. Because I wanted a star, I added a loop of pipe cleaner... just punch it through the top... then glued on my star button to the pipe cleaner.

My first finished fabric tree.

I made another one with an angel button on top. You can decorate the leaves with more buttons for "ornaments" if you like. Makes a super quick and easy decoration for your home this Christmas! :)

Oh, and I finished the binding on this quilt. My 18th quilt of the year... it is ready to go to its new owner! :)

It will be for a new baby boy, coming soon!

I just love this Hooty Hoot Kangaroo fabric collection! So cute! I used more of the brown dot fabric for the binding. More pics of this other quilt soon! :)


Saturday, December 4, 2010

On the Agenda... Binding

I recently finished quilting these two quilts. So, this weekend will be spent doing my most favorite part of quilt-making... binding! Why is it my favorite? Well, because I can sit on the sofa, watch some movies and relax while hand-sewing the binding on. :)
Pics of the completed quilts coming soon!
Have a great weekend!


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Another Quilt Top Finished... and Other News

Here's another baby quilt top I finished for a friend's shower coming up. She requested blues and browns, and after looking at different fabrics, we came up with this super cute Hooty Hoot Kangaroo fabric collection by Riley Blake. Only using the blue and brown fabrics, I did blocks much like my sister's wedding quilt, but a smaller size. Each block is 8" square. I'm waiting on backing fabric for this so I can baste, bind and quilt before December 4th. Yikes! "I think I can, I think I can..."

I have to say... this is my favorite owl! I love the tie! :)

Speaking of ties, I've added some new tie onesies/shirts to my shop. I love this fabric! It reminds me of the old-school video games we used to play! *Sigh* Gone are the days of Pac Man and Space Invaders... at least now I can reminisce. :)

And I'm a huge fan of argyle, so I had to make some of these ties out of the Pure fabric collection by Sweetwater. I also have my holiday tie onesies/shirts with one new addition to the collection. Check out my shop on Black Friday (11/26) for a 10% discount on all orders! Just use coupon code BLACKFRIDAY10. I also do custom orders!

And, while I wasn't able to go to my cousin's shower, I did find out the sex of the baby. However, they are having a second shower in CA in December, which is also a surprise to their CA friends, and just in case one of their friends reads my blog (yeah, right), I'm not going to announce it here. I'll just say what my aunt recently said, "It's not what I thought it was." ;) My mom tells me they didn't even open their gifts at the shower. So, no pics of them opening my handmade gifts. :( I thought it was weird, but to each his own, right?

Well, till next time! Have a great Monday! :)


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Gifts for a Baby Shower... and my niece's birthday!

So, I'm supposed to be attending my cousin's baby shower today... but, my little boy is sick. :( So, I'm sending my gifts with my mom, and I hope she takes good pics of my cousin and his wife opening their gifts! My cousins and their family are majorly into the "surprise factor" with everything... so it comes as no surprise that they won't tell us the sex of the baby until the day of the shower. I'm gonna have my mom text me "boy" or "girl" today! Hee hee!

While browsing my cousin's baby registry lists, I saw that they were doing a "hippo" theme in greens, yellows, and browns for the baby's crib and room. I saw this fabric (Zoo Menagerie by Eleanor Grosch) and thought it would be similar to what they were registered for, but still different. When I got the fabric in the mail, I realized that the "hippos" were actually rhinos. Oops! Oh, well! It is still super cute fabric! So, I quickly made up a simple patchwork/checkerboard quilt with 5" squares, alternating with white.

I did my usual stipple using a pale yellow thread. It's kinda hard to tell unless you look really close.

I found some lovely Riley Blake dots in yellow and green on a white background for the back, and added a little strip of more squares. Hmm... I believe my strip of squares is actually straight! I can't believe it! :)

I used some Mingle fabric in brown for the binding, and added my tags. Usually, I have a tag that reads, "Handmade with love by Mama Mel", but since my cousin's wife also goes by "Mel", I thought that might be confusing. So, I specified "Cousin" Mel. :)

I also whipped up some quick baby burp cloths using leftover pieces of fabric and some new cloth diapers. ;)

Of course, I had to make a sock hippo. I think he's looking rather "horsey", but I added teeth (post photo shoot). I also put in a onesie of their choice... depending on whether it's a boy or girl. I put a necklace onesie in a pink bag, and a tie onesie in a blue bag. I kinda think they're having a boy, but my husband thinks they're having a girl. I can't wait to find out!

Oh, and here's a pic of the sock giraffe (with a crooked neck... oops) that I made for my niece's birthday. She had her giraffe themed party at the zoo and we got to feed the giraffes! It was very cool!

Hope you're all having a great weekend!