Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Handmade Christmas 2014

Hello!  It's been a long long time since we have had a good chat.  I hope you are all well and enjoying the last week of the year.  I hope you are snuggled in at home with your family/pets/friends, lazying around, eating too much and sewing to your heart's content.  

Although the blog has been quiet, I have been sewing quite a bit lately.  There is a lot to tell you, but I am sure I will miss out on smaller projects like bee blocks, etc.  If you want to see it ALL, pop over to Instagram (@fluffysheepquilting) and page through my photos for the latest news.  

Where to start?  How about those super top secret Christmas gifts I was making but could not tell you about?  For now we will stick to the success stories - I will tell you about the total failure later.  

At the Modern Quilting Guild of Ireland meetup last September, we had a craft book swap.  I picked up a book on knitting animal hats.  I know  I am a bit too old/distinguished for this kind of get up, but I thought it might work well for my (nearly) 2 year old niece, Nieve.  

I choose a kitten pattern primarily because it's the only one that I could understand.

I am not the best knitter, but I am persistent.  This was in no way easy for me - I had to re-stitch the hat portion at least 4 times, had a hard time finding a semi-appropriate yarn and kind of made up a good bit on my own.  In the end, though, I had a kitten hat that any 2 year old might be proud (?!?!?) to wear...

The ears are slightly out of proportion and the cheeks a little mal-aligned.  It can be/was also mistaken for a rabbit.  But it fits Nieve and she seems to like wearing it.  We'll call it a success.  I will just need to become a much better knitter as she grows older....hiding my mistakes will become more difficult with time!

Nieve has also become interested in one of my most favorite pastimes: coloring.  While we were together over Thanksgiving, we spent a lot of time drawing, coloring and stickering our creations.

For Christmas, then, I wanted to make her a little tote and portable crayon wallet to bring her crayons and notebooks anywhere she goes.  I started with a little tote tutorial by Jennie of Clover and Violet that is the PERFECT size for this young lady.  It was a very well written tutorial that stitched up in no time.  I used Fancy Free fabrics from the shop as they're girly, but not overwhelmingly pink AND they have bicycles...which Nieve loves.

On the front there's a little ruffle detail on two of the rows...

and on the back an extra large piece of bicycle fabric for her enjoyment.

Sticking with Fancy Free fabric, I made a coordinating crayon wallet for this budding artist.  I choose a tutorial by Modest Maven as it was specifically crated to hold scrap fabric and not a store bought pad of paper.  The little crayon pockets also can hold the fatty crayons or the skinny crayons, so it will grow along with Nieve's skills.  

There's more bicycle fabric on the exterior WITH my very first snap.  I have to say, putting in a snap twisted my brain a bit.  I got there in the end.  

Fully stocked....

Or without paper so you can see the lining fabric.  How cute!

In a completely surprising stroke of luck, it turns out that the crayon wallet fits PERFECTLY into a pocket I installed on the inside of the tote.  Don't I look like a forward thinker?  Ha!

Thank you for brilliant tutes, Modest Maven and Clover & Violet.  You made my Christmas stitching easy as pie!  

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