Friday, December 21, 2018

Holiday Sewing

Still no quilting going on here--it's been about 2 months now. Definitely a dry period. I was hoping to finish up two small quilts to donate, but I'm realizing now that I'll enjoy the quilting more if I wait until the new year. The quilting "studio" has been used from time to time this fall as a guest room, and now I don't want to mess it up only to have to clean up again in a few days. We've also been out of town a few times this month for family-related needs and gatherings. I wasn't going to do a blog post, but hey, I have done a little sewing, and even though it's not quilting, there were layers of fabric involved, so I can share them. They are surprises, but for little folk, so if their mothers happen to glance at this, I'm sure they will keep the secrets safe.

First up, a few weeks ago I suddenly realized that our littlest grandson needs a Christmas stocking. So I scrambled through the fabric bins to find fabric that coordinated with the stockings I've made over the years for his cousins and brother. These projects are always made on the spur of the moment with less than stellar sewing techniques--super homemade-y, but fun. I managed to find some bits of the dark green I used for his brother's stocking (I had to piece three scraps to get the size I needed) and found most of the fabrics (or close enough) I had used in the other stockings for the light bulbs. I only had to buy a little twill tape for the "string." Here it is waiting to be filled. I've rubbed out most of his name for privacy.

I also made a little soft book for A. It's from a panel by Shelly Comiskey for Henry Glass. 

This page cracks me up. Unicorns are real, people!

Each year, I make ornaments for each of my grandkiddies based on their Halloween costumes. I don't know why I started doing that, but by now it's a tradition. Sometimes I quilt them, but I also like to make them from felt. This year, L was the Princess in Black, based on a book about a princess (dressed in frothy pink) who turns into a super hero (dressed in black) to thwart monsters who are going after the country's goats. (Really.) The princess's logo is a magnolia blossom, so L is getting her own magnolia ornament this year. Through the magic of technology, I can show you the front and back at the same time.

C was Thomas the Tank Engine for the second year. Since I gave him a Thomas ornament last year, I had to come up with something else this year: the windmill from the Island of Sodor (where Thomas lives). I used a brad to fasten the windmill blades so he can turn them.

Little A didn't really wear a costume, but he did wear his little bear fleece, complete with ears, to make the rounds for Trick-or-Treating. So, of course, he needed a little bear. I found  this one as a coloring page online. Now I can't find it, argh! But there are lots of similar ones.

I was stumped when it came time to make E's ornament. He had chosen the Bumblebee transformer costume this year (never mind that he had no idea who Bumblebee was). I had no idea how to make the character in felt. Finally, I found this pixel coloring page math worksheet, and made it in counted cross stitch. What fun. I hadn't done cross stitch in quite a long time. In this version, Bumblebee transforms into a Camero, I think. In the new movie, I think it's a VW. Kind of abstract, but it does relate to the costume of choice this year. I used 18-thread cross stitch fabric and made the X's over three threads, except the date, which is over one thread. 

I thought that might be the extent of my sewing this season, but the other day, my daughter-in-law asked if I could do a tiny project. E had been asking for a super hero cape. She sent me the links to these two tutorials: Pennies into Pearls and The Bears Four. I mashed the two patterns using the neckline from the first and the width and logo of the second to make a cape worthy of a super hero. And, why make one cape when you can make four? Here's E's cape (modeled by Mr. Bear):

And here they are all together:
 Little A's is really a bib, but definitely not a drool-catchy one. I figure he can wear it as a cape during tummy time. It will give him super power to endure it. I made these all out of two layers of satin, with the shiny side out on the top layer and the matte side facing out on the lining. I'm hoping that will make them a little less slippery against clothing. It also made it a snap to sew without slippage. (I can't guarantee there won't be static, though!) I don't have a zig-zag sewing machine, so the shields and letters were a little fiddly. I used freezer paper for patterns for the shields and some stabilizer behind the letters, which I turned under and appliqued with a straight stitch. Except A's. His letter was so small that I did raw edge applique with the stabilizer (yes, I know fusible web would have worked, but I had the stabilizer on-hand) and put some fray inhibiter on the edges. The logos are cotton fabric instead of the recommended felt because I wanted the capes to be machine washable. (That also reduced my fabric scraps somewhat.) Well, that was a fun project. Not as tiny a project as my DIL envisioned, but now we can have a whole houseful of superheros. As opposed to squirrels, as these capes certainly were for me.

But I wasn't done yet. I decided that A needed some fresh bibs for his stocking, so I kept sewing. The bigger bib is based on one similar to this one (I don't know where I got the original), but I modified the shape to fasten it on the side. The other style is this bandana bib. These are so much fun to make--kinda like eating potato chips. You can't stop at one. Just keep going until you run out of fabric.

They're reversible.
I had to put that baseball print on in honor of my husband's and son's favorite baseball player of all time getting voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame last week. Go Harold Baines!

So there they are, not quilts, but layered sewing projects. I guess I did more sewing than I thought during the last few weeks (mostly the last couple of days). 

I may try to do a planning post (yes, me, planning--or maybe I should say "planning") as well as a year end wrap-up if I can in the next few days. We don't start hardcore celebrating until after Christmas, so there may be time. 

Meanwhile, here's my view from my chair: our Charlie Brown tree. Since we were out of town, we waited to get our tree until the 17th. There were only 5 left of the kind we like at the tree lot we go to. This was the best. And hey, when you get a tree that late, it's 50% off. (Not going to be a tradition, though.) Actually, the tree is okay. Lots of stiff branches and spaces for hanging ornaments. I just really get a kick out of those random poky branches sticking every which way. It looks a little bare under there. I'd better get wrapping.

Oh, and how about some comfort food? My daughter shared this Skinny Crockpot Loaded  Potato Soup link with me from The Chunky Chef. We added the optional carrots and celery as well as some leftover chicken. YUM YUM! (And good eats for a sewing day).
I'm linking up with Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I Get a Whoop Whoop, with Wendy at Wendy's Quilts and More for Peacock Party, and if there is a DrEAMi party at Sandra's mmm! quilts at the end of the month (I'm not sure of the holiday schedule), I'll link up there, too, because there were definitely some squirrels this month.

I hope you are enjoying your holiday season this year. I'm going to try to be back in a more regular way next year. I have lots of pent-up quilting energy, so there may be more quilts to share. 

Together, let's enjoy the new year the way quilters always do, changing the world for the better, one quilt at a time.


PaulaB quilts said...

You have been so busy and made some delightful gifts. The ornaments are so unique and will be a lasting part of their Christmas every year. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Louise said...

So many great gifties! I hope you have a wonderful Christmas watching the kids open all their fun things. Lovingly handmade by Grandma, doesn't get any better than that :)

And you know I'll be right with you next year, making those quilts one at a time for a better world. Merry Christmas, my friend!

Linda said...

Wow you've been busy! I love those felt ornaments. I love that you fit the ornaments to their costumes. Are they gifts, or do they go on your tree?
Sometimes my daughter will ask me to do a project (like the one your DIL requested), and she will think "it's easy for Mom", but it never is simple! I used to do nothing but sewing projects until quilting came along, and now I only want to quilt. But I always enjoy those projects she dreams up. :)
I've gotten back into cross stitch the last few months, as well as crochet, and I enjoy something I can do in front of the TV (with a blazing bright light by my side - lol!)
I LOVE your tree! When I was growing up we always bought our tree at "Beene's Grocery Store, and they were very skinny trees, but we thought they were beautiful. We've given up having a tree (3 cats and no enough room is my excuse), but I miss those trees from my childhood.
Merry Christmas Janine!

Wendy @ Wendysquiltsandmore said...

You have been busy! My sewing room is out of action due to visitors too, but you still seem to have managed to made a few gifts for your family. I"m sure they will be thrilled. Thank you for linking up to my Peacock Party.

LIttle Penguin Quilts said...

I love all the little things you've been making! They look like a lot of fun!

Sandra Walker said...

'Changing the world for the better, one quilt at a time' how I love that! Such a wonderful post, sorry it's taken me so long to get around to all the DrEAMi links. WOW did you ever chase squirrels! I may have to come back to get that bibs post; my daughter wants me to get a table this Fall at the Etsy show in Windsor, and those would be good items to sew up I think. Also going to check out the link for the potato soup - just saw on our local news that tomorrow's the end of the mild weather so it will be soup time methinks! Lovely tree, lovely warm, cozy, comfy vibes in that photo; it's like I'm sitting beside you! Thank you for linking up all these lovely projects. Those ornaments are just the very BEST!!!! Wow, I am in awe. So meaningful, so creative,and as usual so well-executed. Happy 2019 my friend!