Saturday, February 19, 2011

Baby Boy Bits

A friend of mine had a baby boy recently, I put together this little set to send her. Blue is one of my favorite colors and I find myself drawn to blues a lot. Included in the set were a couple of bibs, a diaper clutch and a little basket. Of course, a fair share of mistakes were included as well, but they were fun to make. I have been testing out an automatic snap presser to put snaps on some things, and after going through 2-1/2 packages of snaps, I finally figured it out! Phew!

I made a small pouch for the mother as well, just a little girlie thing for holding little girlie things :)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Blame my Mom!

(Mom and my little girl)

The first time I picked up a needle I loved sewing, the fabric, the colors, making things. My first memory of completing a project was age 7 in France. My Mom taught me to crochet and I made a small baby blanket, which I successfully lost a few days later on a walk to the park. Around 12 I picked up cross-stitch and have continued with it ever since. Knitting came into my life for awhile, but I haven't been as passionate about it as the smaller needle arts.

I never considered quilting a hobby for me, especially in Japan as the patterns are all in, well, Japanese, and the measurements are all metric, and the Japanese method is all by hand. It would take me the rest of my life to finish off one quilt. But once my Mom forced a bunch of quilting stuff on me including some kits, fabric, patterns, needles, rulers, rotary cutters and cutting boards, including a few short lessons on machine quilting and strip quilting and tips on how to make the whole thing go quicker, I was hooked. She even gave me her Bernina as she was replacing it with a newer model, and I lugged it over the ocean with me, paying an extra $100 on overweight to get it here. You could say I have my Mom to love or to blame for this newest hobby!

Our house was obviously shrinking on us as I suddenly had no space to spread out my craft, driving me into depression over the thought of all that lovely fabric waiting to be used, and nowhere to work with it. My only space was the dining room and so the kids ate many dinners on the tiny pull out table by the TV as I couldn't bear the thought of spending an hour to clean up my stuff. So, we moved! I used the excuse of having 6 people, 2 cats, 1 dog and 3 hamsters in our small house as a reason for moving, but truth be told, I wanted my own room! And, lucky me, I got it!! A whole room just for me. Of course, I have to share it with English students who make an occasional trip to my house for lessons, but most of the time, it's all mine (oh, and the cat's, and Jordan's when he decides he'd rather play with me!)

I find that more than quilts though, I enjoy making bags of every type, working with new patterns and fastenings, zippers, snaps, closures, learning how to put in pockets and handles. And bags make such perfect presents, as much as I say I want to start making them for profit, there is someone's birthday and that bag has transformed into a present.

And so, blame it all on my Mom who must have known I'd love the new hobby! Love you Mom!

For a Girlie Girl!

My little friend Renee turned 1 last month, so I worked on making her this girlie tote for her toys. Suzy Zoo fabric along with Japanese polka-dot linen makes up the most of the bag, and some flowery pink for accent on the edges. Jordan's best friend Yoshi is modeling the bag for us!

I didn't follow a pattern for this bag, but sort of pulled it out of my own head this time. Now that I have the basics of a simple tote bag down, I can whip one up in a few hours. Without any distractions it'll go quicker!

Used a plain hot pink for the inside. Being a little kid tote, I didn't put any pockets.

Two blocks are made with the cute Suzy Zoo characters.

The other two have appliqued hexagons. I originally planned to make them into flowers, but as it was going on midnight and the party was the next day, I simplified the plan.

I have to say, the bag turned out pretty cute and overall I think I did a good job on it. The handles were reinforced with interfacing to give them strength and shape, and I think the balance of plain linens with bright pinks worked together well.