Friday, January 27, 2012

Felt Flower Clips

After seeing similar felt flowers all over the Internet and helping a friend make a few it was time to tackle making some of these for the girls. There are so many great tutorials out there but after reading through a few I just went for it and didn't follow any one specifically. The neutral colored flowers were made to match specific dresses the girls were wearing.

Basically we cut and glued using a hot glue gun to create the flowers. Then we choose some old clips from the bottom of the girls bathroom drawer and I stitched the flowers onto them. This way we were able to use supplies we already had on hand. My biggest tip would be using the hot glue gun. These clips have been thrown around, played with, worn numerous times, and tumbled around the bottom of backpacks and purses yet they are still going strong. When we were rolling the felt to create the flower I had Sydney put a dab of glue about every inch.

They are a big hit and I have requests from Sydney for specific colors. She is my fashionista who loves accessories and I think I can make some to her liking. Did you know there is felt with glitter in it? Sydney already discovered it. The other great thing about these is she was able to help with quite a bit of it. She really wants to participate more in my crafting and sewing adventures. One of my goals is to take the time to teach her more sewing this year so I think we will find an afternoon to make more together. Do you have any favorite color schemes we should try?

If you are interested in making some here are a few great tutorials I found helpful.

Rosette Felt Flower found via iCandy Homemade.

Mum Inspired Felt Flowers from this Autumn Bloom Belt Tutorial.

Adorable sewn Felt Flower.

And finally this intricate and detailed Felt Dahlia Brooch.

I'm inspired to go make more. Happy creating.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Apple Cranberry Jam

Back in late October I was able to get a great deal on some apples and cranberries at our local market. I have had this recipe tagged ever since she posted it so I gave it a try. I peeled and chopped up all the apples and then added everything into the pot. I also added some cinnamon and a little dash of nutmeg. The whole house smelled so yummy all afternoon; it was delightful.

In the end, the jam turned out delicious but more like a chunky chutney because I did not cut the fruit up enough. I will definitely make this again next year but cut the apples up much smaller to start with. I was expecting them to cook down more than they did. I guess that is just part of the learning process.

So now we have all these jars of delicious jam that is a bit too chunky to spread on toast. Instead we have been learning new ways to use it. We have added it to plain oatmeal for a warm holiday-flavored breakfast. I have also made whole grain pancakes with a spoonful of the jam in the middle, inspired by this post. They were super yummy and we will be doing that again. Both of my girls love yogurt so I think our next experiment will be added a spoonful of Apple Cinnamon Jam to plain or vanilla yogurt. Have any of you ever tried added fruit preserves to yogurt before? Any other ideas for ways to use our fruit chutney?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Flower Applique Pin Cushion

A friend received her first sewing machine for her birthday so I wanted to make her a little something for her new sewing adventures. I had a pin cushion in mind for her when I saw these adorable coasters over at Twin Fibers. I thought I could do something similar for her pin cushion. After breaking out the scraps and playing around with them I got to work on practicing my hand appliquing. I was more confident this time than the first time. Although, it would have turned out better if I had made the image a little smaller. The flower takes up almost the whole top of the pin cushion so it got a little lost once I stuffed it.

After finishing up the hand applique, I just sewed the two pieces together right-sides together, leaving a small opening for turning. Then I stuffed it and included a little bit of lavender. To finish it off I did a top stitch around the whole square and added a few pins. I am still learning and need more practice with this technique. You can see that my curves are not perfect but I do like a little bit of the handmade look. I did learn that little hand sewing projects are perfect for me right now, mostly because I can do them while holding my sleeping babe.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Appliqued Heart Shirt

I have wanted to try more hand applique techniques and improve my sewing skills. In the past I have only done machine appliqued projects and various cross-stitching. Recently a friend was turning one so I thought a little appliqued heart would be fun plus give me the opportunity to try hand turned applique. Instead of using a pattern I just free-handed a heart shape out of some of my favorite fabric. Then I pinned it directly to the shirt and started stitching it on. Some of the tutorials I looked at suggested using a heat n bond to hold the project in place while stitching. I did not use any this time and didn't have too many problems. I think if I did anything larger then this I would definitely use it to prevent any bunching or pulling of the fabric.

Overall, I like how it turned out. And as a bonus it looks super cute on the recepient. I would love to do more of this in the future. I think with more practice my stitches will become more uniform and less noticeable. I have a couple other little projects in mind that I might be able to do while holding an adorable baby in the evenings. So hopefully there will be more applique practice in my near future.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Baby Luke

I didn't intend to be gone quite that long but I did need to focus in on family and our home for a bit. In the absence there has been a lot going on. I was still cooking, sewing, and celebrating so I'll share those projects with you soon. But most importantly we welcomed a new addition to our family. Luke is our first son and it feels like he completes our family perfectly. He is just over a month old. I still can not decide who he looks like but he is beautiful in my eyes. He has a very calm personality so far and has completely stolen the hearts of his sisters (and his parents).