Here are some final shots of the nursery. Not the greatest lighting, but it will give you an idea of what the room looks like. The adorable valances and the crib sheets (which you can't see in any of these shots - boo!) were made by my sister.
We made a mobile! I had loved this bird mobile from the first time I saw it (which was a while back!). I was a bit intimidated to try it (sewing curves is not my strong suit yet), but decided to give it a try. I used small bits and pieces of fabric from my stash and made 8 birds. They came together very quickly, but it took almost a year before hubby helped with the assembly and hanging of the branches.
I sewed the birds onto the branches, and then we used fishing line to tie the branches together and hang them from the ceiling. One bird is upside down because I bumped it right before I took this picture, and knew I might not have another chance to take another picture anytime soon, so upside down it stays. It needs to be resewn on.
And those are all the projects I made for the nursery! Check back tomorrow to see the final tour of the nursery!
I loved stitching up the embroidery and cross stitch projects for the nursery, but I knew I wanted to sew some things as well. These were some of the last projects I did, but I really love them in the room.
I was flipping through my sewing books, and saw the cute stuffed bears from One-Yard Wonders. I had some corduroy in my stash, and thought two little brown bears would be so cute. I used some green and blue scraps for Ben's bear's ears, and pink for Ellie's. Both have pink felt noses. I really enjoyed this pattern and I think the bears are adorable!
I had purchased some of the Wee Woodland line when I was pregnant, and ended up not loving all of it, but I did use some of it to make a cute pillow for the glider. I really like these prints and colors.
This last project has been on my 'someday' list for a long time. I loved the look of the little forest. When I decided on the woodland theme for the nursery, I knew I had to make this for the wall. This was the first 'complicated' quilt project I undertook. I knew I wanted each tree to be different, so I purchased some green fat quarters and dug through the stash. It took me a bit to understand why I didn't have a complete tree from the way I was cutting (the mystery of triangles!), but I did finally 'get' it. I used big pieces of leftover green for the backing and bound it with brown. I added some loops to hang it on the wall.
I really like these small additions to the nursery!
I enjoy dabbling in embroidery from time to time. I knew I wanted some 'art' for the walls of the nursery, so I dug out some of my patterns, and chose some cute animals that went along with the woodland theme.
These guys are from Doodle Stitching. I thought they looked cute together, and that the owl needed to be in a tree. :)
More Doodle Stitching, with falling leaves!
A little 'ensemble' from Doodle Stitching. Wish the tree was a bit bigger than the deer!
A a little gnome home completes the set. I love these guys!
These hang on the wall above their bookcase. It's a short wall (entry hall on one side and bathroom door on the other), so they just fit very nicely!
I used the first Doodle Stitching book to stitch up this little raccoon and owl. I really liked the way they turned out! I moved the Christmas trees back to this shelf to make a little forest. :)
And I stitched up these guys as well. (Blogged here) They hang near the changing table.
I love that I was able to add some personality with stitching! I enjoy handwork, but don't do it very often because I'm so often knitting instead. I need to make more time for it!
When we found out we were having twins (gosh, almost two years ago now! Wow!), I was so excited to create handmade things for their nursery. We didn't do much for Samantha's nursery, so I really wanted to do this one up! Also, we were adding on to the house, so they were taking the former master bedroom. I started by choosing a theme (I love a good theme!) - forest animals. Of course, I was about a year ahead of the trend, since there are so many cute woodland themed fabrics out now! I made their quilts first, as I knew I would probably be uncomfortable sitting on the floor basting quilts when I was further along. I had picked up two cute fat quarter bundles in Austin at Stitch Lab previously that year. They happened to coordinate, so I decided to use them together in a "plus" design quilt for Ellie.
I love this one - it is small and has such cute prints (gnomes! mushrooms!).
For Ben's quilt I wanted to use the Hooty Hoot line of fabric - Owls and Kangaroos! Crazy! I had picked up a panel of the fabric, and wanted to use it as well. I used the Road Trip Quilt pattern from Cluck Cluck Sew. I made it a bit larger than the pattern, as I had plenty of fabric.
I used the panel and some leftover rectangles from the front for the backing. It is cute and reversible!
Of course, making them quilts wasn't enough for my crazy tendencies, I had to knit them blankets as well.
For Ben's blanket I used the Four Corners Baby Blanket, and five colors of Cotton Ease. Each corner is knit alone, then seamed and the border added. It was a nice, easy but interesting knit.
For Ellie's blanket I usedthe Patchwork Blanket pattern from an older Nashua booklet. It was also easy, but seaming garter stitch is not my favorite! I do like the colors a lot in this one - also Cotton Ease.
Stop by each day this week to see more of the handmade items in their nursery!
I'm hijacking WIP Wednesday this week to show off what I'm knitting. I haven't got much going in the sewing department - a quilt that needs quilting, one that I'm in the midst of cutting and piecing (not very photogenic yet!), and some sewing projects I just cut last night for new dresses/tops for Samantha.
But I'm in the midst of several knitting projects (nothing new there!), and I haven't shared what I'm actually working on here on the blog in far too long. Y'all must think these knitting projects spring up completed like magic! :)
First up is Kindling, from last fall's Knitty. I'm knitting it for Samantha, in the 4T size in Knitpicks Stroll Sport. I think it's funny that the pattern in the picture is purple, and I'm knitting purple, because I'm trying to get away from using the modeled color. But she's had three pink sweaters in three years, so it was time for something different. I'm thinking about a grey sweater for next year. This was actually started last fall, but put aside when my wrist was injured, and then sat because the opposite cables were too much for my brain when the babies were still not sleeping through the night. But I pulled it out about a week ago, and I only have three cable rows left (on the front, still a few on the sleeves)! Then it's just back and forth for a while. I'm glad to get this to where I can work on it without looking at a chart - just in time for the craziness of school and all of our other activities starting!
This bundle of cable goodness is on it's way to becoming the Heirloom Aran Baby Sweater (rav link). I've loved this sweater since I started knitting (it was in one of the first knitting magazines I ever bought!). I started this last summer in Knitpicks Palette, but again, it was put aside. I restarted it in Rowan Yorkshire Tweed that I had bought many many years ago. I'm so glad I switched the yarn! The cables look SO much better in the Rowan yarn, because it is more tightly spun. I still have a lot to do on this project to have it done in time for winter, so I'm hoping this can become my nighttime TV knitting. It does seem to go quickly when I work on it, even though it is tiny yarn and needles.
This is the Archie Vest (rav link) from Vintage Baby Knits. I'm using Knitpicks Comfy Fingering. Yum! I love this yarn, and the pattern is moving along pretty quickly. I started it this spring, and then it got put aside (I'm not sure why! I think I just forgot about it!). I modified it to knit in the round, so I don't have to knit colorwork back and forth. I have several inches done, so hopefully this will be done for the fall. This is my project to work on while the kids play outside - with cooler temperatures hopefully on the way, we will be spending more time outside and that means more knitting time for me!
And this tiny project is the very beginning of the Neighborly Vest for Samantha in some lovely turquoise Cascade 220. I did the button band/neck band a long time ago, and just haven't gotten around to picking up stitches. I'm hoping to do that this week so I can really get started on this (most of it is just stockinette stitch in the round so it should go super fast), and it can be my soccer practice/ballet project.
And finally this is my Tangled Yoke sweater. I started this sweater years ago, and I don't know why it is taking me so long to finish! I stopped at the yoke because of the cable when I was pregnant last year, but picked it up again a few months ago. The somewhat complicated cable, and the weight of the entire sweater really aggravate my wrist, but I want this to be finished! I'm gong to try to work on this a row at a time this fall. It probably is now too small in the bust post-baby, but maybe it will fit again someday! It is too pretty to give up on!
My grandmother passed away a few years ago. In the process of cleaning out her house, my mom has found some real treasures (handquilted quilts, great photographs, her old sewing machines), and some treasures only our family can appreciate (like the magnets from her fridge, and all of her sewing notions and buttons). One thing that my mom brought me was her old clothespin bag. It had seen better days when I received it, so it was no wonder that after a year and a half of daily use, it began to fall apart.
I have no idea what the original material was - it didn't feel heavy enough to be a home-dec weight fabric, and it felt synthetic. I had never seen a clothespin bag like this before, however, some searching finds that they are not that uncommon. I particularly like this style because it is so easy to get the pins in and out with the large opening.
I decided that it couldn't be that difficult to make a new bag for the frame, so I dug into my stash of home dec weight fabrics, and found this cute polka dot print (that I have made several tote bags out of as well). I measured the existing bag, and added a few inches to the bottom (I think I made it two inches longer). I also added an inch at the top to make it nice and wide for the opening of the metal circle. I measured the existing bag and added an inch for a seam allowance to the width of the bag. My bag measured 12" wide by
My bag frame is one circle, so I had to plan how to sew the bag onto the frame. First I sewed up the sides of the bag with right sides facing (I cut my bag in one large rectangle so I didn't have a bottom seam, but if you cut two pieces you will need to sew the bottom of the bag together in this step as well).
Then you'll fold down the top for the casing. I didn't worry about ironing or folding the edge under twice. It may fray a little, but this part of the bag is going to take much abuse. I folded my edge down one inch. I knew it would be tough to sew around that metal frame, so I wanted a wide hem.
I then placed the circle part of the frame inside the hem of the bag. I pinned down the hem, with the frame inside. Going very slowly, I stitched close to the bottom of the hem, being sure to keep the frame parts out of the way of the machine. You may want to use your zipper foot for this step, but I found that my hem was deep enough to keep the frame out of the way. I sewed each side separately, as the part of the frame that hangs on the line attaches to the circle part of the frame at each side. Clear as mud? :)
And voila! A new bag! I love my new bag - it is just a little bit bigger which is great for the number of pins I use when hanging little kids clothes (and the socks, oh the socks!). And an aside - I love hanging laundry on the line. I love the way it smells (like sunshine!), I love the few moments of silence I get when I go outside, and I love the feeling that I'm getting something for free by not using my dryer!
Last spring I asked my sister and brother-in-law to choose a sweater for me to knit for my nephew. They chose the Cable Sweater from Debbie Bliss' Simply Baby book. It is a lovely, classic, cabled sweater. I used Knitpicks Stroll Sport - I had used some Stroll for another project and really liked it - it was soft, and not too splitty. I think it will hold up well to wear.
Unfortunately, since I hurt my wrist last fall I wasn't able to finish it in time for him to wear it last winter. But it was plenty big, so I saved it for this year. Of course, I ran out of yarn 20 rows before the bind off on the second sleeve. But a sweet Raveler saved the day with some leftovers she had, and the sweater is complete! It is still a bit big, so it should fit though the fall and winter. Such a great color on him too! He was very excited to put it on and willingly modeled for me, a sure way to win more handknit sweaters from his auntie!
For our last Back to School week post, I have my husband's new lunchbox to share with you! He's been asking for one for a while, and after I made Samantha one, he had to have a new one too. He searched all over for fabric that he liked, and settled on these rocketships and numbers. We chose Heather Bailey's Jack and JIll lunch bag pattern. He wanted it to be insulated, so I used insulbrite instead of regular interfacing, and his fabric was not laminated cotton.
In the end, I don't love this project. The handle doesn't line up at the top of the lunchbag no matter how I fold down the top, and I put it exactly where the pattern specified. I also feel like there is too much top to the bag - it doesn't need to roll down that much! But he's OK with it, and hopefully it will serve it's purpose. I'm sad though that I probably won't use this pattern again - it's hard to buy something I'll only use once! Maybe I'll try it again with laminated cotton sometime.
I knew I had to make Samantha a first day of school outfit. After all, I made her this one last year.
I had purchased this fabric a few years ago, and had been hoarding it (as I tend to do), for the perfect project. I didn't want to spend any more money this month, so I was glad I remembered that I had this in the stash.
Samantha insisted that Ellie have a matching dress, but I didn't make her model hers. I still need to make her matching bloomers too (we like to rip our diaper off if we can!).
I used this free pattern, which was fine. Since most of the dress is rectangles (you do cut a curve for the armhole), it was pretty straightforward. The only tricky part was the ruffle. I hadn't sewn a ruffle before, but I had read about it. The problem I had was that I followed their directions, which have you sew one long basting line around the ruffle fabric. Everything else I have read about ruffles says to sew two rows. I should have listened to my gut, as my thread broke, and I had to resew it, and while I was resewing my basting line, I ran out of bobbin! Grrr! But I sewed two lines on each side of the ruffle, and it was SO much easier. Ellie's ruffle came together very quickly, since I learned from Samantha's!
I'll use this pattern again - I think it would be cute with contrasting sleeves and ruffles!