now what do i do with it?

oneprettythingAs seen on CraftGossip.comUpdate: I still don’t know what I’m going to do with this little bit of love, but it’s featured in the Valentine’s Day Roundup on One Pretty Thing.

Still looking for a Valentine’s Day craft? How ’bout some cross stitch action.

love cross stitch
love

I stitched this up on 22 count Aida, so it’s tiny – about two inches square. The design is based on the Robert Indiana sculpture in Philadelphia’s John F. Kennedy Plaza and created on KG-Chart. Time is tight these days, so please forgive the cell phone pics of the finished work. The stitching is done, so now what do I do with it?

love cross stitch
in a 4" diameter hoop

Here’s the pdf – love cross stitch. Enjoy!

sing it with me

liam and kellan
we wish you a merry christmas.
liam and kellan
we wish you a merry christmas.
kellan robert
we wish you a merry christmas,
liam gregor
and a happy...
liam gregor
new...
liam gregor
year!

Surprisingly, I did get a few passable shots for the cards and therefore did not cancel Christmas. But it was a close call.

Fashion Notes

  • Liam’s hat is the Santa Hat from Handknit Holidays by Melanie Falick. It’s made with Knit Picks Gloss HW in wine and Cascade Magnum in ecru. The child’s size used about 1/2 ball of each on US 8 and 15, respectively. The bobble band ended up too big after washing, so I frogged back to remove the last bobble and crocheted a slip stitch on the inside at the join of the band to the crown to tighten it up.
  • Kellan’s elf hat is a simple hat knit with Adrienne Vittadini Mia in soft olive  on US 10.5 (ribbing) and 11s. I’ll try to write up the pattern and post a pdf.
  • Liam’s sweater is vintage (ha!). It is the first sweater that I ever knit and was originally made for my godson Aydan 12 or so years ago. It thrills me to no end that it’s still around and being worn.

birthday crown, etc.

So, I made Liam a crown for his big day. Finished it about 15 minutes before the party was supposed to start. It looks cute in the photos and he wore it for a little while, so overall I was pleased. Basically, it’s a simple pieced front and solid back with low loft cotton batting between and a 1″ bit of elastic in the back encased in the lower binding. The fabric is 100% cotton fat quarters from WalMart, $1 each and just too cute. I may need to make a quilt or something with the leftovers. 

Anyway, back to the crown. First, I pieced the front by sewing the pieces together through the batting like this. Next I attached the “1”, sewing a narrow zig-zag with a short stitch length through the fabric and batting, then attached the backing fabric, leaving the bottom open. I trimmed the seam allowance very close and turned the crown right side out, then quilted around each section of the front of the crown. I totally screwed up the elastic casing. Not really sure what I was thinking, but I first attached the elastic to the crown, then sewed the binding to the back of the crown, folded it to front and zig-zagged it with the same narrow zig-zag and a longer stitch length, and finally tried (failed, but tried) to seam the binding around the elastic. Ugly, but it stayed together for the party. 

crown front crown side  crown back

You can only imagine how long and hard I thought about my baby’s first birthday cake. I lamented having already done the very hungry caterpillar, considered something Sesame Street (in honor of their 40th birthday), and finally settled on a rainbow. It was months of agonizing and eye twitching – Seriously, I have a recurring eye twitch now. That’s hot! – mental gymnastics. Here’s the result. 

rainbow cake
crappy photo, but we were in the moment

 The six layer cake is made with a double recipe of Cook’s Illustrated’s Basic White Cake. The batter was very, very scarily thin, but the cakes turned out pretty good. I used the same old baking powder that I thought was crappy last May. So, surprise! The cake seemed dense to me. The frosting is a basic buttercream, and lots of it. Like 10 lbs of powdered sugar’s worth. 

Back to the method, each batch of batter was divided into thirds and dyed a different color with gel food coloring.  A bit was poured into a cupcake pan and the rest was then baked in a disposable 8″ diameter pan. So, there were six individually colored cupcakes and cake layers. The cupcakes were trimmed flat and cut in half to make smash cakes for Liam and Grandpa, who turned 70 in November. 

You can see some of the smash cake layers in the photos below. And, yes, Liam did wind up with both cakes. And Grandpa’s slice of cake too, if you’re keeping track. 

smash cake layers smash cake liam gregor

And finally, the moment you’ve all been waiting for. The jello rainbow. 

jello rainbow
and it only took 8 hours to make!

 In the bowl, it wasn’t bad, but turned out, this nasty thing looked like a flaccid, multicolored breast implant. I’ll spare you the gory details and leave you with this tip. Do it this way or this way

sweets
what a feast of sweets...

mama’s new baby

Singer Curvy 8780
Singer Curvy 8780

Mummy got a new sewing machine for her birthday. It is amazing. I love it. It’s the Singer Curvy 8780 and it has 225 stitches (including a block alphabet) and the Costco set came with every foot you can imagine. Seriously, I’m giddy with presser feet. The only one that didn’t come in the box is the circular stitch foot that I must have, if only for the sake of a complete set and my own greed. Currently, Curvy lives on our dining room table, though she’ll be relocated to the craft room after Halloween. Here’s my review of the machine on patternreview.com.

As mentioned in yesterday’s post, I made a quilt for Regan’s birthday. Like Liam’s Circles and Stripes, it’s another pattern free, wonky quilt that measures about 30″ x 40″. The quilt front is composed of four wonky log cabin blocks made from two adorable fat quarter packs I found at Wal-Mart and the back is half fat quarters with two strips of stash fabric. I used the built in serpentine stitch in rows spaced 1.5-inches apart (sort of, my straight lines aren’t really straight). The fabric is 100% cotton (pre-washed) and it’s sandwiched with low-loft cotton batting. I didn’t pre-wash the batting, only the fabric, so once the finished quilt was washed it got extra crinkly. I hand embroidered “Regan” in split stitch in the lower right corner using pearl cotton.

regan_front.NEF  regan_back.NEF  regan.NEF

There were some scraps left over from Regan’s quilt so I put together a single wonky log cabin block to make a mini-quilt for Penny, Regan’s lovey. This marks my first attempt at free-motion quilting. Not great, but not as terrible as I feared either.

penny_front.NEF  penny_back.NEF  p.NEF

The photos could definitely be better, but with so many “helpers” you do what you can.

i'll help you mommy
i’ll help you mommy
i'll hold it down
no, let me.
is this better?
is this better?

not all ladybugs are ladies…

This is Frank.

Frank the pincushion
Frank the pincushion
pincushion bracelet
flower pincushion bracelet

He’s the followup to Cealinn’s flower pincushion bracelet and my entry in the Sew, Mama, Sew! scrap buster contest. Frank is a quick and fun sewing project that can easily be entirely hand sewn. There are a few little seams that you can zip up on a machine, but it’s a super tiny project. Enjoy!

Here’s the pdf.

Here it is on pattern review.

scrapbuster

Welcome to the fold

dressing for success
dressing for success

I think we have a future crafter on our hands. Every visit I introduce some new technique to Cealinn. This trip it was sewing. She took to it like a fish to water (as did Aydan, might I add).

Cealinn, Colm, and Reese made many yo-yos, using the fabulous Clover Yo-Yo Maker and Cealinn, Aydan, and Colm made adorable sarubobo dolls following mairuru’s instructions. Cealinn made hers yellow for luck with money and added a blue “shirt” for an added boost of school good fortune. Quite the thinker, eh?

Aydan made a blue sarubobo, but I neglected to get a photo of it. Shameful, right? Maybe he can take a picture for me to share. Please, Aydan!

pincushion bracelet
pincushion bracelet

This leads us to the project hinted at in last week’s post. Hopefully, Cealinn’s new pincushion will get plenty of use.

Here’s the pattern for anyone who’d like one of his/her very own. It’s a quick and easy project that uses fabric scraps, a small amount of felt, a plastic bottle cap, and a bit of elastic. I may even make one for myself!

Here it is on PatternReview.com.

More to post about our fantastic visit to PA, but you’ll have to wait…

shhh!

what could it be?
what could it be?

Don’t tell anyone. I think I’m starting to like this hand sewing business. More on this project next week. It’s a giftee for my girl Cealinn and I don’t want to spoil the surprise.