Monday, March 31, 2014

Baby Bloomers -- Oh what fun!

One of the teachers at my school is having her first baby and it is a girl.  I love making baby gifts for little girls.  There are sooooo many to select from.  Boys are a little harder and not near as much fun.

I wanted to make her something special yet very practical.  I decided to make her some baby bloomers.  I found on the Internet a pattern several years ago.  (I could not find the link but if you do a search you can find many different patterns)  The bloomers are sizes 0 - 6 months and 6 -12 months.  I decided to make mine in white since that would give her the most variety for outfits.

The bees are 0-6 months and the flowers are 6-12 months

I used the bee applique because that is our school mascot.

Here is a close up of the applique.  The bee antennas are drawn on with a fine point sharpie.

The flowers will work well for spring and summer outfits.

I stitched the appliques on before I put the bloomers together. For any type of applique I use Wonder Under to attach the shape. Then I stitch around the shape with coordinating thread.  Next time I would lower the position of them so they were more centered on the baby's bottom.  But for a first time run they turned out really cute. 

So the next time you need something fun and cute for a baby girl try making bloomers.


Saturday, March 29, 2014

Fort Worth Bead Market

Sorry for the long break from posting.  I took Spring Break (and the following week) off to play with some other areas of my creative endeavors.  (So I would have something to post)  The first weekend of the break I went to the Fort Worth Bead Market with my husband and daughter.  I had not been to any kind of bead show in the past so I wasn't sure what to expect.

The show was fabulous -- thanks to my friend Karol for telling me about the show.  It wasn't a big show but there was more than enough to wet your appetite.  I found it best to walk around and look at all the vendors before making a purchase.  Several booths had the same beads at different prices.  Here are some of the items I found.  I was excited to find some unique beads in my price range that are not readily available at the craft stores.

My favorite are the bright colored flower and cross stone beads.
I have been to many quilt and craft shows and one of my favorite parts of the show is getting great ideas.  The vendors had some beautiful pieces they had created.  One booth had a multitude of antique beads, keys, door plates etc.  I would have spent all my money in that one booth but I decided that I could find some of these items at garage sales for less.
Attending a show of any kind is a great way to inspire your creativity.  I spent the rest of the week making jewelry using some of my new purchases and digging around in my abundant stash of beads. I will post about some of those newly related pieces soon.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

St. Patrick's Day Decorations

Last year being the first year I had my own computer classroom I survived doing just the basics of getting the room cleaned, set up and functional. So I was not able to do a lot of decorating for the different holidays of the year. This year I decided to do some simple handmade decorations for the holidays and use them on the bottom half of my hallway door leading into my classroom.

The door is a large beautiful wooden door with windows in the top. It is divided into sections with recessed areas allowing for a natural dividing line. Using those recessed areas I can easily use the “theme” decorations on the bottom half and leave the rest of my door the same.

For St. Patrick’s Day I found this great banner on this website All Crafts . She did hers in felt but since I wanted to laminate mine and keep it I used construction paper. The original site has a nice pattern to use for tracing the shamrocks, sections and letters.

Simple yet fun seasonal decorations.
A closer look.

What makes this banner cute is the detail of the stitching. In the original felt version the stitching gives the sections a nice outline. In my paper version the drawn on stitching gives the sections that little extra detail and dimension. I used colored pencils instead of markers to create my stitches. I felt the colored pencils gave it a softer more natural feel.

The bunting above the banner is made from cream colored construction paper and shamrocks with the same drawn on stitching detail. I had two sections left from the bunting so I clipped them on some clear plastic bins just inside my classroom door.

These were left over from the banner.  These bins are just inside my classroom door and I have not found a good use for them yet.

I think the door turned out simple yet very festive . By using paper and lamination I can use these for many years. Remember you can add a festive touch to your surroundings with some paper and glue.


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Pretty packaging a must!

To wrap the baby quilt I made for my husband's niece I used a gift bag I decorated.  I feel that the packaging should be as beautiful as the gift.  A nice presentation can make even a simple gift feel special.  At the shower the sister handed the future Mom the bag and said "I bet this one is from Aunt Danna."  She was right - no card needed.  But I did add one just in case someone else made a beautiful bag for their gift.

Here is the gift bag and quilt.
The bag was a solid blue bag when purchased.  I added some dotted blue scrapbooking paper to create a center panel.  I used stud sets in each corner.  Instead of seeing the side where you would insert the stud I turned them over and used the back.
The paper flower is made from several book pages cut into flower shapes of varying sizes.  I inked the edges and used a pencil to curl the petals and then stacked them from large to small.
Book page flowers inked and curled with a pencil.

The center blue piece was an old earring.  The metal piece at the bottom says "Cherish", which is something you should do with a baby.  Cherish each moment.  It was from a scrapbooking set, it was open on each end to allow ribbon to slide through.  I finished off the bag with a simple ribbon attached to the handle that matched the ribbon on the metal piece.
I enjoy decorating gift bags to give them that extra "Wow" factor.  Check out this link Wrap it Up for more ideas.

Monday, March 3, 2014

A Quilt for Baby Emily

This weekend I went to a shower for my husband's niece.  She is expecting her first baby in April.  For the special occasion I made her a quilt.  I used the same pattern that I did on the No Scraps Left Behind! The Gift. 

Here is the expectant Mom.  Isn't she beautiful!

I have made this keyhole pattern many times in the last two years and it amazes me how just by using different fabrics each quilt looks unique. 

I used the pattern with the panel in one row so I could applique the baby's name on the quilt.

The fabric was from a jelly roll.  I loved the mix of soft colors.

I quilted straight stitches down each row of keyhole blocks.  On the applique panel I did a free motion rambling stitch.  This adds on more element to the quilt.

The rambling stitch was done around the applique letters and flowers.  The appliques were left loose which makes them stand up slightly.

I used one of the left over strips to break up the back of the quilt.  It turned out really cute with the straight stitching and then the free motion.

The fabrics in the jelly roll were soft but with fun designs.  Perfect for a baby girl.

This pattern always goes together quickly since you are using a jelly roll.  Here are the links to some of the other keyhole block quilts I have made.  Scotty Dog Quilt and New Baby Quilts,  Notice how on the Scotty Dog quilt just by turning the blocks to a horizontal direction it changes the feel of the quilt.  You could also make this pattern using up scraps instead of a jelly roll.

The next time you need a quick quilt for a baby remember the keyhole block.