Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Sibling Capes

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Friends of ours recently had their third baby.  To celebrate their newest addition I made the baby girl a bodysuit with built-in cape and skirt.  The bodysuit has a personalized super hero symbol.  

I made Big Brother and Big Sister matching capes with their own personalized symbol.  The capes were made using my Every Hero Cape Pattern.  

I scaled down the 'C' symbol available in the pattern to get the baby size.  


The bodysuit is similar the my Wonder Woman bodysuit.  Some day I hope to digitize my bodysuit pattern to sell.  Digitizing is slow work for me so don't hold your breath.  

I used the same star fabric in the baby's skirt as Big Sister's cape collar.  Big Brother got rockets on his collar.  I love the rockets.  

I hope Big Brother and Big Sister enjoy their new sibling!


Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Captain America

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Back in May my sister-in-law requested a Captain America costume for my nephew.  I forgot about it until recently when I realized his birthday is coming up next month.  I thought it would be appropriate for a 4th of July costume, so we will be giving it to him early.  

It's not really a true costume (there are no pants), but I think it is a little more practical.  Especially for the summer in the event that Nephew insists on wearing it 24/7 as little boys tend to do.

I made the t-shirt using my own pattern (which will be released for sale some day).  The star is appliqued.  I cut the shirt front on the waistline and (after adding seam allowance) cut the top part from blue and the bottom from white.  I appliqued the red stripes onto the white then sewed the white bottom to the blue top to get a full front piece.  The back is full blue.  

I used red ribbing on the neck and sleeves. 

I used this free pattern by Cutesy Crafts to make the mask.  I love how it looks.  There are six other free patterns for superhero masks, be sure to check them out!

I used this tutorial from An Art School Dropout's Life to create the shield using a Frisbee.  The Frisbee is covered in felt that I hot-glued in place.  I sewed the white ring and star onto the top piece before gluing.  I also sewed an elastic handle onto the back before gluing the back in place.  I really dislike hot-glue, but it seemed like the best medium for the job.  

I used ribbon to hide the seam where the front and back piece meet.  It looks a bit messy.  I don't love how the back looks, but overall it is a cool shield and fun toy.    

The boys will be together for the 4th of July so I made Mini Man and Little Man matching shirts to match Nephew.  

Team America.

It wasn't until after I made the shirts, but they remind me more of Ethan "Bubblegum" Tate from Futurama than of Captain America.  

File:Ethan Bubblegum Tate.jpg
What do you think?


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Brown Bear, Brown Bear

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My husband's brother and his wife are expecting baby number 2 later this summer.  Their first child is Cousin B.  He is a few months younger than Mini Man.  Cousin B's baby quilt was the Very Hungry Caterpillar quilt.  I was very excited to learn that Cousin B's little brother will have a nursery decorated with Brown Bear, Brown Bear, another classic Eric Carle book.  I adore Eric Carle's artwork.  


I knew I wanted to create some kind of bear block and was fortunate to find a paper-pieced bear pattern by Bubble Stitch on Craftsy.    The block is available in three sizes, 8", 10", or 12."  I made four 10" blocks with different background colors.  You can see the blocks I made here.  

After I made the blocks and squared them I added a border to get the block to 12".  I could have made 12" bear blocks, but wanted more color with a border.  When I was squaring the first finished block I made an error and didn't center the bear.  Instead of ripping the border off and adding another, I decided to off-center all the bears.  Unfortunately, they aren't off-centered enough to look purposeful.  It just looks a little sloppy.  It's my only regret of the quilt.  

I knew I wanted the quilt to have the same feel as the caterpillar quilt.  I wanted the bears to be in a line on one side of the quilt and the rest of the quilt to be controlled chaos.  I used a disappearing 9-patch pattern for the blocks on the left side.  When I cut the 9-patch block into four blocks I didn't keep all of them together.  I switched the quarter blocks around to spread more color through the quilt.  I used solids from several Eric Carle fabric lines by Andover as well as plain solids for all of the disappearing 9-patch blocks.  

I added a half border (the stripes) to the top and side of the quilt to add interest.  

For the back I pieced a large cut of Brown Bear animals with stripes of more Eric Carle solids.  Simple, but effective.  I quilted with straight lines on the diagonal in two directions.  

I handed the quilt off last week when we visited.  We are excited to meet the new babe!


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Fifty Stars for Fifty Years

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Last year I participated in Don't Call Me Betsy's Lucky Stars Block of the Month 2013 Club.  Each month I received a new paper-piece star pattern available in two sizes (six inches or twelve inches).  You can see my individual blocks here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and  here.

This is my block from December.  I never got around to a separate post for it.  I think it is my favorite block.   

I knew when I joined the club I was going to use the stars to make a quilt for my mother-in-law.  She turned 50 in January and I wanted to make a quilt with 50 stars.  I made two or three of each block each month and ended up with 29 blocks from the Block of the Month (BOM) club.  I found a six-inch block in my orphan blocks which made 30 big blocks.  

To get to 50 total stars I made 20 three-inch saw-tooth star blocks from scraps.  I arranged the biggest blocks in the middle with the medium blocks on the outside with the smallest in the borders.  None of the blocks were the same size so I had a heck of a time with the sashing around each block.   I added a black border around some of the center blocks for visual interest as well as to help with the dissimilar sizes.

I also had a hard time spacing the six-inch blocks out.  There are eight on one side and seven on the other.  Apparently my brain wasn't working when I calculated the spacing, because I had to rip and sew about 3 times.  

I added the pink border on the top and bottom to add height and I really like how it looks. 

For the back I tried to use tropical prints that tied-in with the front.  I was going for a tropical feel with the whole thing.  My mother-in-law loves the beach and has a dream to retire to Hawaii.  I included flamingos, palm trees, and mermaids on the back.  

Technically, this is not my best quilt.  There are countless points that don't match, the borders aren't super-straight, and the whole quilt is about 1/2" longer on one side.  I do, however, love the design and colors.  I really like the aqua sashing and pink border.  I used black for the binding and LOVE how that turned out.  It looks like a picture frame.  

Can you spot the baby?

The quilting is nothing special.  I quilted lines (in two directions) on the diagonal 2" apart.  The quilting needed to be simple since the piecing had so much going on.  Also, by the time I get to quilting a quilt I'm usually ready to be done so I usually go with the simplest option.  

My mother-in-law's birthday was at the beginning of January.  I wanted to give the finished quilt to her when we saw the fam over New Year's.  Unfortunately, the stomach flu visited our family the week of Christmas so I was unable to finish it in time.  I was able to finish the quilt shortly after we got back and I gave her the quilt last month when we saw her again.  I told her she is 50 for the whole year, so I'm not really that late.  :-)  

She was pleased none-the-less, so I guess that's what matters.  


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Last Minute Pirates

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A couple weeks ago the boys were invited to a Princesses and Pirates birthday party.  The kids were to come dressed.  We don't have much princess stuff around the house so we went with pirates.  It was a busy weekend for us so I threw these costumes together about 20 minutes before the party. 


We had two 2T vests both from the Summer of Weddings when Little Man was a ring bearer twice.  The first wedding he wore an outfit sewn by me.  The second was a tux that was purchased.  Both ring bearer outfits had vests.  Fortunately Little Man is skinny as a rail so he was still able to fit into both vests.  Mini Man is the same age that Little Man was at the time of the weddings (how is that possible?) so he also fit into both vests.  

We had one eye-patch in our dress-up box and I quickly made another one by tracing the first onto black felt.  I sewed around the ends of the traced pieced and sandwiched elastic between the two layers.  Easy-peasy.  

For the skull caps I found some Halloween fabric in my stash that had skulls on it.  Both pieces were 1/2 yard cuts and worked perfectly.  I tied them in back like a bandanna.  


They both happened to be wearing sea creature t-shirts that day so that worked out.  We went with sweats for the pants because that is what they had on.  We added some swords (two of the many in our house) from toy box to complete the costumes.  

Not bad for a 20 minute costume, eh?


Monday, May 19, 2014

Bear Hunt

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We're going on a bear hunt.  

We're going to catch a big one.  

What a beautiful day. 

We're not scared!

Pattern found here.

Finished quilt photos coming soon!