Thursday, January 20, 2011

simple baby blanket

I put the apron project on hold, because friends of ours became parents of their second daughter last weekend. I wanted to make something small for her and decided to make a flannel blanket. I still had some Folksy Flannel fabric and after some thinking and playing went for the option of using 3 fat quarters in a girly pink colourway. My first idea was to cut the fabric into smaller pieces, but when I had cut the fabric in 25 cm strips I changed my mind. I used three of the strips as they were, so the patterns could really shine and to avoid the design from becoming to busy. I shortened the remaining three strips by 5 cm and then cut them in half horizontally.

I decided on the layout you can see here, with the strongest colourway in the middle and the smaller pieces of the same fabric forming a diagonal line.

The "filling" is simple cotton flannel and the backing a hot pink cotton. When piecing the front I used 1 cm seam allowance, because the flannel is rather thick. The finished blanket measures 71 cm x 76 cm.

After piecing the top, I made the sandwich, turned and ironed and then stitched all around the edges, using my machine's foot as a guide. Then I simply stitched in the ditches of the patchwork pieces.

The blanket is really cheerful and pretty, perfect for a baby girl born in dark and grey January. And it's cozy. This one makes me want my own adult-sized flannel blanket for snuggling up in front of the TV or with a good book. (I'm currently re-reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, for some reason I always feel like reading the series in winter when it's especially gloomy outside.)

This is my favourite detail of the Coloring Garden print. Gooseberries are my favourite berries. Everybody goes crazy over strawberries, but I'd take gooseberries over them anytime. They're sour and sweet and pretty. Their colour is beautiful and they remind me of my childhood summers in rural Germany.

Can you tell I'm done with winter for now?! ;-)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

arranging and re-arranging

I haven't got much craftiness to show for this week, except for the little pile above. (Unless you count ordering quilting books on amazon as craftiness, that is ... No?) I pulled these fabrics out of my stash with making the apron (here's a pretty example) from Patchwork Style in mind. My first inspiration was to use the bold flowery Laura Ashley print on the left with the pale pink linen/cotton-mix fabric on the right. It wasn't very easy to find 6 fabric to go with those out of my existing stash of recent and older fabrics even though only small scraps are needed and I've got quite a good range of fabrics, I think. After some re-arranging and switching I came up with the collection above and am still happy with my choice after sleeping over it. Not too matchy-matchy, also not too wildly different. I'm looking forward to seeing how the project will turn out!

As to what I've otherwise been doing with my spare time ...

... I've cleaned out, re-labeled and re-arranged our spice drawer. I know ... For some reason in January the cleaning and decorating bug gets me. After we put our Christmas decorations in boxes last weekend, I got the urge to re-arrange things in our home and have everything be orderly, cozy and stylish (still a long way to go from that ...). And I started with the spice drawer ... Well, ... Anyway ... I labeled the lids (instead of the sides) of our recycled spice jars with labels from this pretty book. So much more practical if you can see right away what's inside the jar when opening the drawers ... Duh!

I also made this little arrangement.

We got this dancing couple as an engagement present and bought the postcard in the frame on our trip to Paris when we got engaged in 2009. Next to them I put some postcards we received from friends and family in the last couple of weeks telling good news and sending good wishes for the New Year.

It's a good start.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Year - Old Project Obsession

Hello all! I hope you had a good start into this New Year 2011! A new year always makes one think of new beginnings or things one would like to change. This year I've been thinking about things I'd like to carry on into this new year, like my interest in Japanese cooking, trying to make the everyday special with little things like using pretty tableware and blogging regularly here.

Another thing I'm carrying into this year is my infatuation with the Pink Penguin wristlet. They are so fun to make and always turn out so pretty! I made this one with Cosmo Cricket's Tailor Made for a friend's birthday. She's a dressmaker and I thought she'd surely appreciate these sewing-themed fabrics as much as I do. I really love this collection, it's so pretty and whimsical and I love all the sewing-related bits like scissors and thread. My favourite print is the tape-measure one. I ordered a complete collection fat-quarter set (along with some other pretty fabric ... :-)) here. Sometimes (read: more often than sometimes ...) I can't resist all the pretty fabric available in the US!

This lady even looks a bit like my friend! Fabric destiny!

I also ordered some labels for her to sew into her creations. As you can see they have a cute pic of a spool of thread on them and there's also her name and above it it reads "Made by hand" in Finnish. If any Finns are interested, I ordered them here.

This one turned out so super cute! The fabrics of this collection work extremely well together, I think, and look even better when cut up and combined.