Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Exciting Hooded Towel

I am super excited! I am making a couple of hooded towels for an acquaintence who has 2 daughters and is always sending the CUTEST clothes Gabi's way when they outgrow them. It is quite funny actually since the youngest is one day older than Gabi, yet 2-3 sizes bigger (depending on the cut, of course!). ANyhow, as an act of gratitude I told her I wanted to make the girls something special and then asked for their favorite colors.

I found THE cutest towel today. I WANT TO KEEP IT HAHA! Anyhow, the print couldnt be more perfect for this princess of a gal.

ALSO, I am beaming to myself because I have morphed my prototype into something more fashionable, as of late. I am cropping the end of the hood so that it lays on the head nicer...leaving the pixie/monk look behind (hopefully).

A look at the towel:

I LOVE how it is reversible and I will finish it so she will be able to use it either way!

I will post more as it comes...I just had to share my find with someone. And I still need to find a cute towel with blues/greens/mermaid inspired for the littlest one. AH, the search continues...

Monday, September 22, 2008

Amish Wallhanging I Made

I made a wallhanging for my cool neighbor Loretta. SHe has lent us her beautiful wrought-iron patio furniture on many occasions, she has let me borrow baking powder or oil, and is always spoiling my kids with hugs and gummy bears!

I go to the Del Mar Craft Festival every year with my mom as a tradition. I saw this pattern for a wall hanging and decided to buy it with Loretta in mind. I will explain: Loretta grew up very near Amish country in Pennsylvania. She has odds and ends in her home that are amish inspired and brings home things made my the Amish women when she visits PA.

The pattern suggested use of calico fabrics in florals, to suggest two young girls or women folding a quilt. It totally reminded me of my Holly Hobby doll from my childhood! ANyhow, I wanted to use traditional Amish colors so went and bought solid cotton fabrics in red, green and purple. This quilted hanging was using a method called paper-piecing. I hadn't done this ever so it was my first experience. And when I sew for someone, I ALWAYS think of the happiness they bring me and my family...I knew that Loretta would like this project. I couldnt wait to finish it.

I wanted each of the two girls to have different apron prints so I bought "etchings" fabric and got the same shade of white but 2 different prints! The aprons are raised off the hanging in that they are sewn at the front and top but not the outter side so it gives a 3-D effect. The sleeves are done in a similiar way to making yo-yos, then tacked on the top to give a 3-dimensional effect. I added the bows at the end. I tacked the smaller quilt down on top of the larger one so it is a little raised too.

I am not usually up for sewing tiny pieces of fabric. I remember my mom making my Barbie clothes when I was little. I never in a million years thought in my adult life I would sew such tiny pieces together. Although I have sewn tiny pieces in the past, this was a challenge coupled with the fact that I hadn't done paper-piecing before! I quilted and binded it at the end and I am quite proud of how this turned out:
The infamous "grass" backdrop:

The finished product and me to show the scale of the hanging:

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Cherry Summer Quilted Tote

Okay, okay!! I know I have been on a quilted bag kick...but aren't they just too cute??!!! Leah Lowe turned 5 on September 7th and I had her fabrics thought out weeks in advance...

*Black double cherry
*Fresh green grassy
*Frolicky yellow bumble bee
*Crisp red with shooting stars

I was excited to try something new and went with "reversible" straps. I really wanted the black to end up on the bottom of the bag which would help the bag not get dingy on the bottom with use. This left the tips being black as well. I didn't want to line the bag with black since it was a whimsical bag for a little girl...I much rathered the fresh green fabric for the job. Instead of choosing one or the other and having the strap ends seen "ending" at the bag, I did the green under and the black on top so it looks seamless. I was quite pleased, indeed.

This is the same miniature size as the little quilt tote I made for Daniella a few weeks back. The finished bag stands 8 1/2" tall without straps and 5-5 1/2" wide. This charming tote is 14" from top of straps down if you are holding it. Each dainty quilt block measures 1.5" X 1.5".

I listed this bag on my Etsy store online: http://www.IceCreamDream.etsy.com/ . It would be nice to start listing these and making them to order...I will whip it up this weekend if I haven't sold it by then and just have it done and ready to ship. Worst case scenario, I will gift it for the holidays :)

Finished bag picture, thanks to my brother-in-law's studio:

Monday, August 25, 2008

Mini Quilt Tote--Daniella Castillo's 4th Birthday!

Daniella Castillo had a 4th birthday party last weekend. Daniella is the daughter of one of ELi's cousins, Art. We see the Castillo's probably the most of Eli's extended family and definitly the most out of all of his cousins! Julian and Gabi are very familiar with Daniella and her little sister, Annalisse, who is 3 days older than my Gabriella.

I wanted to make her something special and practical and something that she would use for years to come. I know that she likes pink and is a little princess...I used that info as inspiration for this bag. Being that I was a bit of a tomboy as a girl, I had to infuse a little blue into the mix. It is hard to find any calico that is uber-boy so I knew I wouldnt detract from the girliness of this bag by using two blue fabrics and two pink.

I wanted to use this lighter pink fabric that I had because it had lots of fun other colors in it and there was probably EXACTLY enough for this little purse. I also LOVED this fabric I picked up maybe a decade ago when I worked at the fabric store that had lots of little strawberries on it. What little girl doesn't love strawberries??? The light blue fabric I chose just fit the bill perfectly and the darker pink was well suited, but there is a little story behind that choice...

I picked that fabric because it went well. I had combined all of my calico stash and was sorting through it to organize it. I had two fabrics that I had in mind for Gabi's room. One my mom gave me for that purpose and the other I got with Aunt Pam when we were shopping for fabric for Gabi's room before she was born. I was unclear at one point which fabric was which, until I cut and then it was too late. In retrospect, the lighter of the fabrics would have just a little too light and I made a great choice...the bummer is that I used fabric that was earmarked for Gabi's room.

The blocks ended up 1 1/2" X 1 1/2" each...how dainty!! I made the straps a little long at 12 1/2" before attaching them. The finished bag stands 8 1/2" tall without straps and 14" from top of straps down if you are holding it.

I wanted a nice picture of the bag and my usual take on "professional" looking is to set it on the grass and snap away. My brother-in-law has a mini studio in his room and I asked if this time I couls snap a quick pic setting my bag on his setup. He offered to do it right for me with his camera and hooked me up with a real nice pic, don't you think??


P.S. I almost forgot! I have a pic of her with the bag after opening it....I put a few play rings in it, bead necklaces and a sash that says "princess".

Friday, August 15, 2008

Tropical Quilt - Singletary Wedding Gift

Goodness me, my friend Laura (then surname Hooper) is married! I had no doubt in my mind that I would be making her a quilt for her wedding...I was, however, originally going to make it for her bridal shower gift. Time got away from me and the shower date was upon me! I hadn't even cut the fabric yet...oops, I think I may have had swatches but actually hadnt even purchased the fabric. HM, well I dusted off my breeches and decided I needed to get to work!

I knew all along that I would do a rail fence design and that I wanted oranges and greens involved, as Laura just reminds me of orange colors (I think she wears the color well too) and, well, green goes well with orange, doesn't it??! I also knew that I wanted to incorporate some sort of tropical theme since she loves the beach and tropical vibes! A perfect pallette...

I found several Keepsake Calico prints at Joann's that worked for this quilt. I settled comfortably with one orange leafy pattern, one green reed/leaf, and one creamy khaki fern pattern. Next: WASH, PRESS, CUT!!!

It was hot inside during the days that I was making this quilt. We had a couple of buffet tables still outside from our family dinner we had on a previous weekend (we all went frisbee golfing than came back for salad feast around a square table!)...I got to thinking, how perfect! I could lay out all of my fabric and cut it and even sew it OUTSIDE!

This quilt was being made to a "lap blanket" size. I cut 10 strips at 2 3/4" wide for each of the three fabrics. I ended up with leftover fabric, but my mind went reeling as I put this quilt together and it is all locked up in plans now :)

While sewing on this quilt, I found myself thinking about Laura and how we have known each other for, goodness, 23 years! I think she would qualify as my oldest friend for sure! I met her when we moved to Spring Valley and started at Kempton Elementary in 6th grade. I would have to say that we had a bit of a hot/cold relationship, but we always ended up back at best friends. Up until 11th grade we were tight. She left for Mount Miguel High School and their superior band program, I remember, and a trademark tiff left us out of contact for a few years...

One day I was working at the Disney Store. I had to be around 19 at the time. Anyhow, I was working (on my birthday, what a trooper!) and she came in with friends. I remember we hadn't spoken in or seen each other for about 2 years at the time. ANyhow, she walked by me...smiled...and mouthed "happy birthday" to me! I smiled back and mouthed "thank you". I think things were right after that. We kept in contact, and a couple years later she moved up to Long Beach. We always kept in contact since.

The quilt went togehter pretty quickly. I had the top of the quilt done in half a day. Mom helped me sandwich the top and the backing with the batting and we pinned it in preparation for quilting. I started quilting it, and thats when I really started to smile. It was turing out great! Its amazing how much I can get done with a companion like my mom just sitting there and chatting with me as I sew :)

Binding is always where I do my mess-ups...darn frustrating at times! SO I followed suit with a couple of friends mom has...she said that they cut their binding 2 1/2" wide. WOO HOO! Then those little spots that don't catch are a goner! I am notorious for "finish-line" mishaps and it is TOO frustrating! This time I told myself that, no, I am not a well-seasoned quilter as of yet and I shouldn't knock myself around for having to use the "jumbo crayons" once and a while to get it right. HAhaha...so the binding went on without a hitch, and that was good.

Okay, so I was pretty much done with the quilt. All I needed was a tag for it. I have made detailed tags using templates etc but decided that this time, I would hand script their names, the date of the wedding and "lovingly made by me" sort of thing. I forgot how to slip stitch for a minute...then voila! It came back to me. And I cannot say it was my best hand stitching, but I can guarantee that tag won't come off in its first wash...and after the first wash it is considered their fault, right??

Finished Quilt:

Fabric detail:

Set on a netural background (as if in a catalog haha):

I do want to thank my mom, who always has more faith in me and my abilities than I do. I wouldn't dare half of the things I do without her giving me that nudge in my back! I know this isn't the world's end in quilts, but it is a little out of my comfort level being that I can create bags, clothes, home dec without guidance...but quilting is pretty close to the most precise sewing I have had to do! When I first start any quilt, mom sits there and just talks to me...and then like helping a kid ride a bike, she lets go of the seat and lets me be...and I can do it on my own, I find. Thanks MOM!