Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Personalized Christmas Stocking

40 weeks is a long time.... I have been crafting to help pass the time and keep my mind busy. My friend Robin offered up a Christmas stocking sewing challenge which I eagerly jumped on. I have to say that it came together really quickly. Here is the finished product! 

Christmas Stocking Tutorial

1/2 Yard Main Stocking Fabric 
1/2 Yard Quilted Fabric for Stocking Lining
1/4 Yard Stocking Rim Fabric
Assorted Ribbon for Stocking Closure (optional)
Coordinating Thread
Cutting Mat/Scissors/Rotary Cutter
Freezer Paper

Note: Embroidery machine used to create personalization. If you do not have an embroidery machine, there are several options for creating personalized items, such as iron-on letters, hand stitching, fabric paints/pens, etc.

Creating Patterns: 

Step 1: Create Stocking Pattern - Using your freezer paper, start by drawing out your stocking shape. Be sure to include a 1/4 seam allowance on all sides. My finished stocking for example measured approx. 14'' long from top to toe and was approx. 8'' wide across the top. 

Step 2: Create Rim Pattern - Your rim should be approximately 1/4 the size of your stocking. Be sure to include a 1/4 seam allowance on all sides. My finished rim measured approx. 3.5'' tall and 8'' wide. 

Cutting out Pieces:

Step 3: With pretty sides facing each other, fold your main stocking fabric in half and pin together in various places. Now iron on your freezer paper stocking pattern and cut along the pattern. Peel off freezer paper pattern and store for future use. You will now have two pieces which will be the front and back of your stocking. 

Step 4: Follow Step 3 above with the quilted fabric being used for your lining.

Step 5: Taking your Rim fabric, fold it pretty sides together once, and then again (in the same direction) then pin together in various places. Now iron on your freezer paper rim pattern, with the long edge along the fold. Cut around the sides and top edge, but not along the folded edge. Remove pattern and store for future use. You will now have one large piece of fabric, fold once in half and cut along the folded edge to create two equal size pieces. 

Optional Step: If using an embroidery machine, this is when you should personalize your rim.

Assembling Stocking, Liner and Rim:

Step 6: Using your two pieces of main stocking fabric with the pretty sides facing each other, align the edges and pin together. Using a 1/4 seam, sew along the edge of your main fabric. Do not sew across the stocking opening at the top. Turn right side out and press seams with a warm iron. This will now be referred to as the Stocking.

Step 7: Using your two pieces of quilted lining fabric with the pretty sides facing each other, align the edges and pin together. Using a 1/4 seam, starting on the outside edge of your lining, sew approx. 2 inches and lock stitches. Leave a 2-3 inch area along your edge unsewn. Resume sewing immediately below your 2-3 unsewn edge and complete stitching around remainder of lining. Do not sew across the stocking opening at the top. Do not turn right side out. This will now be referred to as the Stocking Lining.

Step 8: Take your stocking, with pretty sides facing out, stuff into stocking lining. Align raw edges along the top and side seams. Pin and using a 1/4 seam, sew along the top edge completely.

Step 9: Locate your 2-3 inch unsewn area on the stocking lining. Now pull the entire stocking through this hole, lining included.

Step 10: Before stuffing your stocking lining into the stocking, press the edges of the stocking lining with a warm iron. Locate the 2-3 inch unsewn area and turn edges inward approx. 1/4 inch on each side and using your sewing machine sew closely along the unsewn edge (you can also hand stitch using a hidden stitch). Once complete, stuff stocking lining into stocking and press with warm iron.  

Step 11: Using your two rim pieces, align with the pretty sides facing each other and pin. Using a 1/4 seam, sew along the right and left edges. Turn fabric right-side out halfway to create a folded edge, align raw edges and press with a warm iron. 

Step 12: Stuff rim inside stocking, rim side down and align the raw edges of the rim with the top edge of the stocking. Pin in place. 

Step 13: Create a Hanging Loop - Using a 4 inch long piece of sturdy ribbon, create a loop and stuff loop side down between the rim and stocking on the outside edge. Align ribbon raw edges with the edges of the rim and stocking. Pin in place.

Optional Step: Add pieces of coordinating ribbon on each side of the stocking, between the rim and stocking layers. Pin in place. This will give you the ribbon stocking closures shown above. I left mine a bit long in case the recipient wanted to tie bows instead.

Step 14: Using a 1/4 seam, sew along the top edge.

Step 15: Turn rim right side out and press using a warm iron.

Step 16: Hang and fill with gifts! 

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Friday, December 7, 2012

Holiday Card Announcement

The Holidays are here! By far my favorite time of year! We thought our Christmas card was the perfect way to share our exciting baby news with family and friends. Of course, our 1st baby Sophie (the snuggle monster  below) had to be prominently displayed.  With the help of my sister-in-law Sarah, her boyfriend Tyson (aka the dog whisperer), a bag of dog treats and a whole lot of patience, we were able to take the photo below.

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Saturday, December 1, 2012

Announcing Little Blip...

Keith and I are so excited to announce that we are expecting our first child. One night Keith was making the ever-so-frequent trip to Chipotle for tacos. Yum!!! On a whim I decided to take a pregnancy test. After I waited the recommended 3 minutes, I picked up the stick to find a dark pink line and a faint pink line... What the hell does that mean? A few days earlier, I had taken a test and received the same result - so I figured the tests were duds. In that moment I wished we had sprung the extra two bucks for the tests that spelled out "Pregnant" or "Not Pregnant". Before going to the store and purchasing a different brand of tests, I decided to read the instructions on the insert (you know the ones they recommend you read before taking the test in the first place). Well low and behold, a secondary faint pink line is common and it means PREGNANT! If only I had read that insert a few days ago I would have known sooner. 

Alone at home, I screamed for my dog Sophie to come up stairs and we danced around the bedroom together. I didn't want to tell Keith over the phone, so I decided to wait till he got home and tell him in a more personal way. I needed to think of the prefect way to tell him, and it needed to take less than 5 minutes to prepare because he was en route home. I'm not to proud to admit that I asked my dog for advice (which I do often). Per usual, she offered very little in the way of advice and just looked at me dumbfounded. Then it dawned on me, Sophie should tell him. 

Anyone who knows us, can vouch that Sophie is the center of our universe. It seemed only fitting that our four-legged baby share the news. Even though Sophie can talk (again - anyone who knows us can vouch) I thought it would be better to write it out for her, plus it made for a pretty cute picture. I grabbed the first piece of scrapbook paper I could find and printed "I'm going to be a big sister! Mommy's Pregnant!" and tied it around her neck with some twine rope. I then waited on the landing of our second floor till I heard Keith come home. Sophie of course went down to greet him. Then I hear "Sophie what do you have around your neck?".

We hope that you will continue to read this blog. We plan to share our thoughts and pictures along the way, until we can all meet little blip.
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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Baby Life Quilt

When our friends Robin and DJ welcomed their sweet and beautiful daughter Anabelle Marie into the world, I jumped on the chance to make her a blanket. I found the pattern for the blanket below on the Moda Bake Shop website. The quilt itself was very straight forward, but the applique lettering was labor intensive (no baby pun intended).

You can find the free pattern here.

My only suggestion would be to use an iron on interfacing behind light colored or low thread count fabrics used for the letters. Especially if you used a patterned background fabric like I did. Look at the word "eat" for example. You can see the background fabric pattern coming through the letters. A medium weight iron on interfacing would have eliminated this problem.

I would recommend using a flannel fabric for the back because it is durable and soft on baby's skin.

Don't mind the poor cell phone picture quality. Pin It

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

T-Shirt Quilts

I've been creating traditional quilts since High School. When it comes to quilting, I am a novice at BEST, but it is something that I enjoy doing in my free time. In the past few years, I have taken an interest in more modern and contemporary quilts, specifically memory quilts. My interest got further sparked when I saw my husband Keith take scissors to the sleeves of his college fraternity t-shirts and start shredding them up to wear to the gym. THOSE ARE MEMORIES! Granted some of those memories didn't involve me (ahem) but that is okay. I wanted to find a way to preserve his t-shirts and this is what led me to investigate t-shirt quilts.

I started by looking for ideas online. There are a lot of different types of t-shirt quilts, but many follow a basic and uniform square/box pattern and have a lot of what I call "space filler material". Not to mention, you often can't use t-shirt images because they are too large for the allotted square/box size used in the t-shirt quilt pattern. I wasn't looking for a one-size-fits-all quilt pattern, I wanted something that would be more about the t-shirts then a specific pattern.

Too Cool T-Shirt Quilts was my saving grace! Owner, Andrea Funk developed a very unique approach to t-shirt quilts. Andrea created a book (available on her website) which walks you step-by-step through the quilt making process. Or for the non-quilter, Andrea offers her services and will create the t-shirt quilt for you.

I have since created a second t-shirt quilt for my sister in law, Sarah (below). We started working on the quilt together, then she totally bailed on me (boo). So I decided to finish it for her as a birthday present. 

Happy Quilting! Pin It