Seahorse Pillow- a cross stitch project

I hate that summer is coming to an end and I feel like I haven’t done much… My husband keeps reminding me about the pandemic… But today we just found out that the kiddo got two extra days before school starts!

With that, I have a series of beachy pillows I want to share to make me feel like I’m at the beach instead of ‘Staying Home and Staying Safe!’

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I’m really in love with how this cross stitch pillow turned out! My niece is in love with seahorses. You might even remember the seahorse stuffie I made her from her very own design…  Well, when I got the Summer 2017 issue of Crossstitcher Magazine and there was a seahorse alphabet in there, I knew I had to make it for her!

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I have to say I loved working on this on my trip to the beach last year, but I was sad I wasn’t able to put it lall together before I left the beach. Ha. but sometimes swimming in the Gulf is more important that sewing… sometimes… Ha!

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Typically when I pick cross stitch projects, I’m not a fan of the outlining.  I almost left this one without the outlines, but I’m so glad I switched gears and actually followed the directions! I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t have been as cool. I really love this alphabet.

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Although, I’m just posting this, it is an older project. One I made before my obsession with invisible zippers.

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And how about that seahorse and octopus fabric??? A perfect match. I’ve been hoarding this fabric and it was perfect for this project!

Flamingo Pouch

My mom recently had a flamingo themed birthday party, so when I saw the flamingo pattern by Quiet Play, I knew I had to make her something using the flamingo pattern! And I’m totally in love with these 3D Flamingos! ha! I also used them on her party invites.

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The pattern is for a 12″ paper pieced block, but I reduced it in half to get a 6″ block for the pouch.

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I added a little back pocket to the pouch.

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I had this coral fabric that I bought because my flamingo loving mom is also totally in love with coral. I’ve had it for ages knowing I’d have a good reason to use it for her. And this worked perfect with the pink flamingo on the front. You can also see the outside pocket was lined with this fabric as well.

I also love the pink zipper!

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What else would you use this pattern for?? I love it and want to use it again!

Quilted Music Pouch

This gift coordinates with the elephant pouch I showed in my last post! Both were given as gifts to U of Alabama fans… Hence the color scheme!

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My dad wanted a music pouch for Christmas. He had found one on Amazon, but I decided I can make that! To start I basically made a mini quilt for the outside of the pouch.

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I knew design I wanted to use for the outside and I had an idea of how to construct it, but I wasn’t sure exactly. Then I remembered the Two In One Pouch by s.ot.a.k Handmade. I made a few of these years ago and I still love them. I just quadrupled it! And sized it to fit a note pad in the zipper pockets.

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The one thing about the pattern that I’ve always wondered about is the space between the two pouches. I’ve always felt that there should be pockets or something between the pouches. For this one, I made pockets. Another spot to put your music sheets!

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The funny thing is, I was planning on making this tumbler pattern for the outside for a while. Then the ‘free gift’ with Love Patchwork and Quilting, was a set of tumbler templates! How perfect was that?? The templates did make it easier!

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Now I want to make one for me! We’ll see!

 

 

A Little Elephant Pouch Gift

For the holidays I really enjoyed making handmade gifts for family. I do enjoy a nice quick ‘er’ project than a full quilt every now and then!

This project was a bunch of new! A new pattern, times two, altering a paper pieced pattern, sewing with cork and new quilting pattern.

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The pattern is by Olesya Lebedenko Design and I got it from her etsy shop. She has a lot of cute patterns.  This came in a set of other ‘Jungle Flat Face Animals’. The paper piecing pattern set up is different than I am used to. It’s not set up with the 1/4″ seams shown, so there are more copies required to get the pattern pieces you need. But it still worked. I loved the elephant face, but I didn’t like that the trunk just ended. So I added that on myself. The corners didn’t come together perfectly, but close enough for me. And if you look at at the right angle, you don’t notice it as much! ha!

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Then I had to decide what to do with my little elephant head! This person was already getting pot holders and I’d given them coasters another year… Then I found Sew Sweetness’ Persimmon Dumpling Pouch pattern. And that was that! It’s a free pattern on her blog and even comes with a video tutorial. It’s a really easy make.

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Not too long ago, I was gifted an amazing pouch by a friend in my guild and she had done this awesome quilting on it. (Yes, I still need to share about that!) I was totally inspired by her to do the quilting on this little pouch! The quilting on the back is moreo detailed than in the front. I was planning on doing the back pattern on the front as well, but it seemed like it would be too busy and take away from the elephant.

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The inside uses a contrasting grey fabric. I also love how well this zipper goes. When I saw the zipper I knew I’d be able to use it and this was the perfect project for it!

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And the cork bottom! This wasn’t actually the first time I had used cork. But it is the first time I’ve used it in a pouch and really had to work with it. I’ve ben hoarding my cork fabric for way too long. I finally busted it out and made some wallets and was hooked! Ordered more and have a lot of plans for it now! I love it!

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And that’s my elephant pouch! It’s my Persimmon Dumpling Flat Faced Elephant Pouch!

 

 

We Made Masks

Honestly, I didn’t want to, but we did.

Here’s my quick soap box… I don’t feel like in a country like ours there should be a shortage of any health care PPE. Not in this day and age. Hospitals should not have to worry about getting PPE to protect our healthcare workers. We live in a land of plenty. A land of mass wealth, but we can’t supply our own people with protective gear to us safe from disease. Most of us in the US are very lucky and blessed to be in the situation we are on a typical day in the United States of America. But today we aren’t. States are not getting the supplies they need as a UNITED country. We are being led by a group of people that don’t believe in science and don’t see the need for PPE or clean air, etc. This is why I didn’t want to make masks. It makes me angry.

But here’s the flip side to why I didn’t wallow in my anger and protest the making of masks.

And yes, I’m stubborn and have been known to protest things!  Some funny things, some very personal and political things. Here’s a funny story. Back in the day there was a local drug store in New Orleans that was bought out by another store that didn’t sell Coca Cola products, only Pepsi products. I never went to that store again while I lived in New Orleans. Ha!

Ok, back to why I did make the masks.

Two reasons.

The first is that I’m lucky enough to still have a job, to be home and safe with my kiddo, husband and dog, and I have a stash of fabric and elastic. And the biggest thing is I have the skill and machines to make masks. Not everyone has these things. And I know that and I can’t take that for granted during these times.

The second reason comes from my job. I spend a lot of time in hospitals as an architect. I design rooms around codes that deal with the safety of workers and patients. Where does the PPE go, where do they put on the PPE, where are the hand wash sinks in relation to all the movements of the healthcare workers. And where are the trash cans for all the PPE to go. I see all the one time use, non recyclable products that we use in this country for PPE to protect ourselves. And it’s really depressing to me to see all these one time use products. Not that my masks are going to take the place of the disposable PPE in the hospitals, but my hope is that maybe this mass movement of sew-ers and quilters making masks, just maybe, there could be a shift in thinking from disposable to reusable. It’s hope that kept me moving as I made 47 masks last weekend.

OK, that’s my soap box.

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And these are my masks. I had a small list of friends and family that I wanted to make them for, but as I was cutting, I kept cutting. I didn’t keep count and had no idea how many I was actually making! There are probably a million tutorials out there. Between working 50 hours a week and trying to homeschool the kiddo I didn’t have the bandwidth to do a lot of research. I’ve always liked Dana’s tutorials from Made Everyday, so I just went with her tutorial that you can find here.

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A couple of things I do like about her tutorial is that that fit over the N95 masks if anyone can ever get those again and it has a pocket to put a filter in.

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I added a step from her tutorial. On the bottom of the front and back of each masks I did sew a 1/4″ hem so that when they get washed they won’t fray.

There has been a lot of discussion debating ties or elastic. I went with elastic. If I tried to tie a bow behind my head every time I wanted to put this on, I would never wear one. I’d tie my hair in knots and curse and complain every time! And the thought of constantly tying my sons mask to his head did not interest me in the least. So elastic it was for our family! And therefore, our family and friends, ha!

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There four different sizes in the tutorial. I made the kids and adults.

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And we ended up with 47 masks. Most all of them have found homes. I feel like I may have to make another small batch before I’m done with masks.

Last night at our Seattle Modern Quilt Guild one of our members did a very through presentation of the pros and cons and in and outs of making masks. You can find here presentation here. There’s a ton of information collected to help you make the best decision on which masks are right for you. Be sure to check it out!

Stay safe and healthy everyone!

Winter Friend Pillows

I’m enjoying making other people’s projects these days! Like these Winter Friend Pillows!

I really love these little throw pillows. They were intended to be Christmas presents, but they were a little late. The green ones are staying at our house while the red ones found a new home. I’m calling them winter pillows, not holiday pillows. It’s still winter….

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As you probably know, I love this book! Pretty In Patchwork, Holidays by John Q Adams. I’ve made a few projects from it, like these teachers gifts.

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As much as I love this book, I did find a bit of an editing oversight. The project for these pillows in the book is called Greetings From Antarctica! I just want to clarify… There are no polar bears in the Antarctic. Penguins live in Antarctica, polar bears live in the Arctic. Things like this really bug me! Let’s be smart, people! Don’t dumb us down….

So I’m changing the name of the project to Winter Friends, as in they are all our friends. I don’t think polar bears and penguins would be friends.

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The directions called for applique eyes and button eyeballs. As much as I don’t like applique, I did do the eyes! By putting a white circle over black, the black showed through, so I added some betting to my circles, so you couldn’t see the black through the white. But I didn’t want buttons for eyes. And I didn’t want to applique anything smaller than the eyes. I also have those eyeballs you use for stuffed animals, but I realized they wouldn’t work on the pillow. It was my son who said, ‘I saw you had some other round things in your cabinet.’ He was talking about my box of rivets! Perfect!

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The polar bear actually had applique eyes (or was it buttons), but I added the diamond shaped eyes in the paper piecing pattern. I love how they turned out, but wonder if I had used rivets, would the pillows blend together better??

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I did also change the pattern of the hat to make the white band thinner. Then the poof was to be a button or applique as well. But I hand sewed on a little pompom!

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I did the same thing for the little penguins! just used smaller rivets and a smaller pompom. Also, for these little guys, I just reduced the size of the pattern when I made the copies. Next time, I’d like them a little larger!

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I chose a freehand wavy pattern to work with ‘sprinkles’ of white to look like the sprinkles were snow blowing in the wind. I think it works!

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The backs are BORING! But I’m ok with it, because the fronts are adorable!

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And the invisible zippers rock!

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I love my winter friends pillows! They make a great gift for penguin loving friends!

 

A Couple of Cross Stitch Ornaments

OK, one more Christmas post. Just bear with me! I contemplated saving this until next Christmas, but no! I love these little guys too much!

Over the last couple of years, I’ve really loved getting back into cross stitch. I love walking to the book store at lunch way too often, to see if the new issues have come yet. Since they are all UK magazines, they are always way too late for my liking…

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I’m totally in love with the Retro Christmas designs from Emma Congdon in the December 2017 Issue of Cross Stitch Crazy. I want to make them all!!! Then the other little guy came from Issue 298 (November 2015) of Cross Stitcher magazine.

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I love almost everything about mid century modern design and this group of patterns, is perfect for an easy stitch. I don’t know why I picked this one to start with, but I love how it turned out!

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As you saw with my tree skirt, my Christmas colors are not the traditional red and green, so I kept it up here. The stitching is a light green and hot pinkish color. it almost looks red, but it’s actually a bit more pinky. Then I took a plain 3″ hoop and painted it with a teal blue glitter paint.

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And I love this little reindeer guy! The pattern included a lot more outlining stitches, but I liked it without the other stitches! So I stopped! It definitely gives a slightly different look than the designer, Durene Jones, intended, but I like it! (you should check out her FB page, becuase there a bunch of cute free designs!)

 

I was drawn to it with the outlines, but once I got through with the background, I liked it just the way it was.

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And of course, glitter! It was intended to be a brooch, but I changed that too to make it an ornament. These may not be mid century mod designs, but I’d love to make the rest of these designs too!

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And the backs. I noticed that I don’t see the backs of cross stitch projects online very often! This is the first time I’ve made a project that the back may be seen. I almost wish I had used a teal back on the bigger piece. But I’m learning… Next time will be better.

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I need to get some new projects going now. I hope everyone had a great holiday season. And I’ll admit, my tree is still up…

Doggy Bandana Tutorial- Holiday Edition

Ok, there really isn’t any other edition other than the holiday edition! But you can make these dog bandanas for any occasion you’d like!

They are super simple, reversible and just fit over the collar so that there’s not another thing around the pups neck!

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Oh, and did I mention stinkin’ adorable???

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Here’s the story… I’m kinda obbessed with my dog and follow a lot of big white Great Pyrenees on IG (mine’s a mix, but very much a pyr in her own right!) and I see so many with these cute bandanas. Then the other night, when I was supposed to be making Christmas presents, this whole bandana thing popped in my head as a super easy thing to do. So I made two!

I put the kiddo and pup to bed and took Lulu’s collar. She was soooo not happy about me taking her collar! I don’t know why. And she seemed very happy to have it back the next morning.

I’ll show you how I made mine.

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First step is kinda obvious… You have to cut the pieces out! You can download the pattern here. And cut out two pieces.

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Along the top edge, the squared off edge, sew a French seam. First, sew along the top with a very scant 1/4″ seam, fabrics wrong sides together. Then fold the fabrics over at the seam, now right sides together and sew a 1/4″ seam. Easy peasy, but if you would prefer a more detailed French seam tutorial, they are all over the internet.

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Now you are going to sew a 1/4″ hem along the short, straight side. (the sides perpendicular to the French seam. Sorry, not a great photo for this step.) Fold over a 1/4″, then fold over another 1/4″ to hide the edges and stitch.

Then fold over, right sides together, and stitch along the triangle edges.

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Be sure to trim the edges at the point of the bandana to avoid bulk before turning right side out.

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Turn it right side out through the collar holes. Next I marked my stitching line from corner to corner, about 1 1/2″ from the French seam.

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Then topstitch and you’re ready to insert the collar!

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Look at that model pose!

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They really are super cute and quick! Now this one is sized for about a 65/70 pound dog with a 1″ collar. You can resize for a smaller dog and use the same process.

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I ended up giving the reindeer one to her cousin before she had a chance to model that one. I might just have to make another one! A quick and easy sew for a festive pup! Let me know if you have any questions!

 

A Christmas Hedgehog Pillow

I’m all about the holiday animals! A halloween cat, Rudolph the reindeer, and a now Christmas hedgehog! (and there might be more to come…. )

This is another project I made last year, but haven’t shared yet.

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Do you like paper piecing? If you do, you should probably know Tartankiwi! I love her patterns! I have a few, but this is the only one I’ve made yet. I’ve been eyeballing her patterns for years. Then when I saw her hedgehog pattern in the issue 64 of Love Patchwork Quilting Magazine, I knew I had to make it. So I did!

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It’s a lot of pieces, obviously, but it’s a really quick sew. I needed something for the holiday swap for our SMQG Holiday pattern, so I decided to make this. But I loved it and my family loved it so much that it didn’t quite make it to the swap.

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And look how good it goes with this other pillow that I made years ago! It kinda had to stay here, right? (Back me up here… 🙂 )

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I love this Cotton and Steel Fabric, too. For this one I just made an envelope back. It was before my new obsession with invisible zippers.

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My plan was to post the presents I’m making, but then I realized, those receiving the gifts would see them and that kinda blew my plan… Luckily I had some holiday sewing projects saved from last year! Ha!

 

Be sure to check out Tartankiwi’s blog and you can get the hedgehog pattern on her etsy site or her payhip site.

 

Happy Holiday sewing!

 

 

 

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer! Quilted!

I’m so excited to show you this Christmas quilt! I’ve been waiting all year! I finished it about a week after Christmas last year and decided to wait until this year to show you.

It’s an abstract Rudolph!

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As soon as Sew Kinda Wonderful posted about her upcoming Urbanologie quilt, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it. literally, the moment I first saw it! I only wanted the one block from the quilt, but I bought the whole thing anyway… I couldn’t wait to see if they ever published the patters separately, which they haven’t by the way… Maybe one day I’ll make other pieces of the quilt, but not the whole thing together. It’s not quite my thing.. But the antlers… LOVE!

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Since I had so much white space, I wanted a color for the binding and went with the bright green to make it a little more playful.

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And for the nose, I used the same process I used on my sports quilt I did ages ago… You can find the tutorial here.

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You know me and solids! I rarely use prints, but I wanted to here. And I ordered all the fabrics online. I took a good guess at which ones would work together, and they all do! By sheer luck of the draw!

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And the back. I didn’t do very good at straightening out when I basted, but oh well… A little crooked.

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Token label picture!

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I would say this has enough white space to qualify as a Modern Quilt! ha! Have you made a Christmas quilt this year?? I want to size this down to a pillow as well. Probably not this year though! But an easy matching set, wouldn’t you think?  I’ll be sharing some more Christmas things soon! Between sewing projects!