Sunday, August 31, 2008

Red Speckled Baseball Leather Shoes for the Little Guy

Today I finished my first pair of leather shoes for the little guy. He loves baseball, basketball, football, beach balls and practically anything that resembles a ball. I had some plain white leather that I stitched onto the red speckled leather to decorate the shoes with baseballs. I used a heavy duty thread and leather machine sewing needles. I ended up breaking all three needles in the pack and hand stitched the last pieces together. I actually found that it was much easier to hand stitch the leather than to sew it on the machine. (I had special leather needles for hand sewing too.) I added 1/4 inch to the design I used for the toddler slippers. I haven't had a chance to try them on the little guy yet - he is napping now. One tip I would like to share - when machine sewing leather, hand crank the wheel to go in reverse when starting out and also hand crank if you have areas that you are going through more than 2 layers. I would like to experiment with different threads and the leather to see what combination I prefer. I know that the heavy duty thread will hold well, but it was not the easiest to work with due to its thickness.

I love the piece of speckled red leather I found at Martin's House of Cloth. I also found several other great pieces - silver, peachy pink and a white splattered with blue and yellow. I am excited to try new projects with this new material. I'll post my latest creations here for you to check out!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Toddler Slippers for My Little Guy!

So my little guy's feet are getting bigger and he is now cruising all over the place. It is time for some new shoes. Usually I have just bought him Robeez in the past. This fall we bought him so soft soled sneakers at Stride Rite. Instead of buying more Robeez, I decided to buy some leather at a local fabric shop and make him some leather shoes myself. Since leather is a bit more expensive than cotton, I decided to make him a pair of flannel slippers first. He loves cars and trucks, so I thought that he would enjoy this fabric. The shoes are lined with striped flannel fabric that I had leftover from a quilt I just finished for one of my nephews. I fused all fabric to the liner and then sewed them together. I used no-slip fabric, like the kind on the bottom of sleepers, for the tread. I found this at JoAnn Fabrics. You have to ask for it at the cutting table. I think that they turned out cute for my first attempt at making shoes. They fit him perfectly. I think that I will add 1/4 inch to the design for the leather shoes so that there is a little room to grow. I hope to make the leather shoes soon - I found some very cute leather fabrics!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Upside Down Tomato Plants - My Dad is so Clever

I recently went to visit my parents in Maine, where I grew up. As I walked around the porch I saw something interesting. Ever since I can remember, my mom has had hanging flowers on the porch. Well, this year, there were tomato plants growing out of the bottom of the hangers. My mom said that they were my Dad's tomato plants. Hence, my dad is so clever. They received a ton of rain this year, which wiped out many of the tomatoes in their garden. However, these upside down tomato plants seemed to weather the storm just fine! I told my parents to expect a blog post about this, because I thought it was very interesting and wanted to share it with my readers.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

No Sew Fabric Crib Rail Guard Tutorial - Now Availble!

One of my friends on Etsy, BareBottomsBoutique, used my quilted crib rail guard tutorial to make a crib rail guard for her son’s nursery. She modified the pattern to fit with the supplies she had on hand. She used fleece instead of quilting batting between two layers of cotton or flannel. She also used snaps, since she did not have buttons on hand. After chatting with her about using fleece, I was inspired to write another tutorial that did not involve sewing. This is an easy project that anyone could complete, even if you have no sewing experience. You only need fleece, basting safety pins, scissors, a measuring tape and about an hour of time. If you make more than one, it will take a bit longer. Pick out your own fabric to match the bedding in your nursery, or a fabric that your babe would love – ducks, bears, frogs, trucks, pink polka dots, etc. This pattern is available in My Etsy Shop.

Please do not copy any part of this post or photos without prior written permission.

Thank you!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

School's A Hoot Memory Game

Just in time for Back to School! This fun game is educational as it builds deductive reasoning and logic forming skills. There are 14 quilted game pieces, 2 of each picture, and an Owl-School themed Drawstring Bag. Rules for the game are included,but not shown in the photo. Visit my Etsy shop if you would like to purchase this game or see others that are available.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Twin Size Quilts for my nephews

I am going back to teaching in a week after spending a year home with my baby boy. One of my goals this summer was to make my older sister's boys twin size quilts, since they just got bunk beds. I found fabric that would appeal to each nephew and used this as the base of each quilt. Each quilt has a simple top and backing. I took a rectangular piece of fabric, 65x44 square inches in dimension and added an 11 inch rectangular borders for a finshed twin bed size of 84"x64". I machine quilted around the construction vehicles for my younger nephew and machine quilted straight lines for the aviation quilt. The photos below show each quilt on a full size bed.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Rag Rug - Getting Started

I received a 28 pound box of fabric from a friend on Etsy to make her a rag rug. There is a total of 18 different fabric - not all the same material. I have cotton, polyesters, knit cotton, velor, and one I am not even sure what it is! I have managed to prepare 9 of the 18 fabrics. One is missing from the photo. I fold the fabric and cut it into 1 1/2 inch strips. I am using scissors and eyeballing the measurement, so the width does vary a little. At the ends of each strip, I cut a small slit about 1/2 an inch long. Then, I connect the strips by looping the next strip through itself attached to the ball of "fabric yarn" that I have started. Please visit LauraJane's YouTube Video to see how the "slit" method works for joining the strips of fabric. I have also read about this method in a rag rug pamphlet. If I remember, I will look to see what the pamphlet is called. I still have a bit of work to do and am excited to start the rug. I may make a few hot pads before I begin the room size rug to get a little more practice in. Stay tuned to watch my progress on this project. I will share hints and tips that I discover along the way. For instance, I first joined all the fabric strips and then rolled it into a ball of yarn. For me, I have found it easier to add one strip at a time and roll the ball of yarn as I proceed. The only problem is my son wants to play with the "ball."