Saturday, October 29, 2011

Gifts for Allie

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Brenda asked me to make a couple items for her little friend Allie who is turning two. First, a hooded towel:
I used the Elle alphabet from 8 Paws and a Claw to stitch her name. To coordinate with the ribbon, I swapped out the dot on the eye for a little flower (which I lifted from an Embroidery Library Design that I have).
Brenda has a Golden Retriever that Allie adores, so I also embellished this hoodie (didn't realize the photo was so terrible until after I shipped it!)
The puppy is from Planet Applique, and I used fleece for the applique - soft and fuzzy! Both of my kids (at separate times) grabbed it with delight and said, "Awwwwwww....!" I hope Allie enjoys it just as much!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Donated Quilt

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Several weeks back Annaliese came home from school all excited about an upcoming field trip/service project to the local animal shelter. Amidst her rambling I heard something about making a blanket for kitties but couldn't get many more details out of her, so I emailed her teacher to let her know I am an (out of practice) quilter and could lend a hand if need be. She took me up on that offer :) and put me in contact with another teacher who gave me all the specifics.  Once the kids had drawn pictures of owls on fabric squares, she passed them on to me to put together into a small quilt. Yesterday the class visited the animal shelter, and along with lots of other donations of needed supplies, the class donated this quilt:
Here are closeup pictures of the students' artwork:

I picked blue, brown and tan fabrics from my stash to coordinate with the marker colors the children used. Simple patchwork with 4.5" squares, quilting lines across the diagonals of the blocks.
Before passing it off to the employees of the shelter, I did take a class picture:
The quilt was VERY well received. The kids were thanked a couple different times, which was pretty special. This lady was especially grateful and complimentary:
As we toured the animal shelter, we got to see several kitty quilts in use. Each cat that is up for adoption has a small quilt in it's crate. The purpose is to provide comfort and a sense of homeyness (plus maybe it makes the cat look more adoptable??). Some of the quilts were really pretty! Pardon my poor photography, I was in a hurry and the camera focused more on the bars than the quilt inside. But you get the gist...
Here are some other lovely quilts waiting to be used (I know nothing of their origins):
While I've done many rag quilts, I haven't made a traditional quilt in several years. It was nice to "practice" again on this project, especially since the recipients wouldn't judge my not-so-straight quilting lines and non-mitered binding. ;) Now maybe I can get my rear in gear to finish Dashiell's baby quilt... before his third birthday???

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Sweet and simple baby designs

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Below are a couple new baby applique designs I tested for 8 Claws and a Paw a while back. I sampled them on bibs (which are still available if anyone is interested :) ).
Applique Baby Bodysuit:
This would be cute with a monogram inside. (And don't you love the stripe??)
Applique Baby Rattle:
I think this would be cute with a monogram inside, too, if you deleted the text.
Some other baby applique designs from 8CP to check out: baby bottle, diaper pin, and cute chick.  These are all simple one-piece appliques that stitch out very quickly!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Ladybug Hair Clips

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This past Sunday our Homebuilders group at church participated in a service project -- filling wrapped shoe boxes with gifts for children to donate to Operation Christmas Child. We did it potluck style: everyone brought mulitples of the items they purchased (toys, games, books, crafts, candy, hygiene items, etc) and then we filled the boxes with various combinations.
I still had several crayon rolls left from when I mass produced them four years ago that we took. We also made these!
The Ladybug Felt Stitchies design is from GG Designs. Her little hair clip designs are so cute! I picked the ladybugs because they weren't seasonal and could be worn by the girls year round. I used tiny black ricrac for the antenna.
Mass producing these is quicker than doing a pair at a time. In Embird I put 20 leaf clips in my 6x10 hoop, color sorted, and deleted all the tackdown stitches. All I had to do was lay down one big piece of felt, do the detail stitching for all 20, then put a big piece of felt on the back and stitch the barrette outline for all 20. I was able to get 20 small ladybugs in my 5x7 hoop. What I didn't factor in to my production plan was:
20 ladybugs x 8 dots each = 160 jump stitches = 320 scissor snips. :)
Annaliese was very helpful on this project -- she pulled off all the tearaway stabilizer while I trimmed the pieces out. We enjoyed our time together, and I liked being able to donate homemade items.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Simply adding a name?

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This weekend was little Dawson's first birthday party. Nicole found an adorable outfit at Gymboree for him, but wanted his name added. I was happy to oblige, and thought I'd show you how I did it.
First I found a football design I already owned and resized it in Embird to be the exact measurements of the football already on the Gymboree bodysuit. That helped me determine the size and placement of the font (and provide Nicole with a reasonable estimation of what it might look like). This is especially helpful if you are curving text around a preexisting design (like I did on Katelyn's birthday dress made by her grandmother).
I printed the template, trimmed it out and laid it on top of the bodysuit, lining up the footballs:
Then I used my blue marking pen to mark the axes:
Hooped the bodysuit, lined up the center of the design with the center mark in the middle of the football, skipped over the football part of the embroidery design and simply stitched his name! Voila!
I used the College Block Small alphabet from 8 Claws and a Paw to add "Dawson". I am really enjoying this font!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Football Themed Baby Gift Set

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Renee requested a baby boy gift set and sent me a link to the bedding set the mommy-to-be had registered for (Pottery Barn Junior Varsity). Here's what I came up with:
Pretty cute right? I used the quilt from the set as my inspiration for fabric/ribbon choices. Daddy is a football coach, so I focused on that.
 
The Football Applique is from Lynnie Pinnie. I LOVE it. And this Sports Life Brown Texture fabric by Robert Kaufman is PERFECT. I used my favorite boy font Whoa Nelly from 8 Claws and a Paw to add his name. And I used my favorite ribbon for boys. All around awesome burp cloth, right?? :)
The ribbon blanket has a light blue cotton stripe fabric on the front and football fleece on the back. I was very excited to find all of the supplies for this already in my stash.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Go Noles!

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Last night my daughter and I attended a Women's Volleyball game. Since Annaliese has outgrown her FSU bandana dress, she needed some new Nole wear, and I whipped this out before going. Literally - I hit start on my machine at 5pm, we had to eat dinner and leave by 6:30. I'm never pushing it quite that close. :) But it turned out so cute!
The Spear applique design is from Applique Market:
Annaliese loves her shirt, and enjoyed cheering on the ladies to win!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Bridal accessory set

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A couple years ago I made a ring bearer pillow and embellished a couple flower girl baskets. Since sharing those on my blog I have received several inquiries via email about making custom bridal accessories. Today I share a new set... but only to say "look what I made" and not "look what I make". There is a subtle difference...more on that in a second. :)

Kerri contacted me with all her info and requests, then mailed me swatches of her wedding colors (LOVELY!). I went ribbon shopping and here's the final set:
First, the ring bearer pillow. I made this from scratch, the final size is about a 9" square. I used Embird Alphabet #38 for the monogram/text.
The flower girl basket was purchased from Jo-Ann. I removed the white bows that it came with and substituted them with monogrammed bows in Kerri's colors. Check out their awesome wedding date!! (Oops, just noticed some jump stitches I still need to trim. Glad I haven't packaged it up yet!)
And I made these garters! This was a first for me, and I completely winged it. :) Basically I stitched two layers of satin ribbon together, forming a casing for elastic. Threaded the elastic through, joined the ends and added a bow. The "toss" garter has 7/8" ribbon as it's base, and the "keep" garter uses 1.5" ribbon (I also stitched a tiny 3-letter monogram on the front and date on the back!)
It all turned out lovely, in reality it wasn't that complicated, and I'm very pleased with the results. But here's the deal -- I'm not that great at tying bows, and sewing with satin fabric/ribbon requires extra care, so constructing all of this took longer than I'd like. This isn't a market I want to get into, I prefer baby and children's items. So please don't be offended if you ask for a bridal accessory set and I say no. :)

Kerri, I pray that your wedding day is absolutely beautiful. May God grant you two a long and happy life together!

Whimsical Fabrics coupon code and giveaway!

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I've shared this month's coupon code on Facebook, but I don't think I have shared it here on my blog. If you make a purchase at http://www.whimsicaldesignsclothing.com/ please use the coupon code JANAY1011 at checkout to save an additional 5% off your entire purchase! It can be stacked on top of sale prices, one-time use code, good through 10/31/11.

Also, Whimsical Fabrics is having a huge giveaway on their new blog. Go check it out!
But really, I'd rather you not enter, because that reduces my chances for winning. Thanks. ;)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

I ❤ 8 Claws and a Paw Embroidery

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I want to take a moment to give a quick shout-out to some very dear people, Joe and Julie of 8 Claws and a Paw Embroidery.
I still remember when "flipflopsindecember" gave away the Chunky Tinker Toy applique font on Sew Forum the summer of 2008, and it was at that point I was introduced to 8CP. They launched the amazing Claws and Paws Font Club where you could subscribe for 1 month, 3 months, 6 months or a whole year, and during that time period you could download any of the fonts already on their site, as well as the future fonts released every MWF. As time goes on, this becomes an unbelievable bargain because now they have over 547 fonts digitized!!
By submitting pictures for their project showcase, I won a month subscription to the club in 2009, and started downloading like crazy. :) And if you've followed my blog for any length of time, you know I use their fonts on almost every project that includes text. I love the quality and variety.

Last summer I received the honor of become a design tester for 8CP as they were really expanding their embroidery design library beyond fonts to include applique and fill-stitched designs of all sorts. I have truly enjoyed working with Julie in this capacity (even though it hasn't been at the volume I wish I could do).

It's such a joy to find God-honoring people doing excellent business, and it's been a pleasure to learn just how God-honoring Joe and Julie are with their entire lives. They responded to the call of international adoption, and launched their digitizing business in early 2008 to cover the costs of adoption. Did you know that?? I wonder if all of us embroiderers would have the blessing of 8CP fonts if they had ignored God's prompting to adopt...

As things progressed in the adoption process, they stopped offering 1-year subscription offer. They take seriously their business commitment, and didn't want to promise a new font every MWF for a whole year, not knowing what the future would hold. I admired their forethought and openness with their customers. They have been faithful to offer a new font every MWF, even through travels back and forth to Ethiopia to meet and later bring home their girls.

Now that their family has expanded, their business is changing a bit, as announced in a newsletter earlier this week. The Claws and Paws Club will be ending in January. While this may be disappointing to some, I am impressed by their decision to honor their commitment to God by putting their family first. And hey, they aren't quitting immediately -- they are carrying out their commitment to customers who had purchased subscriptions that run through January 9, 2012.

What does this mean?? TOMORROW, Sunday October 9 is the last day you can purchase the 3-month subscription to the font club. They will still offer the 1-month subscription through December 9. So if you have considered a club membership, NOW IS THE TIME!! I promise, it is a purchase you will NOT regret.

Thank you Julie and Joe for blessing the embroidery community with your amazing fonts -- probably 575 different varieties by January! I for one am looking forward seeing what new things you create in your "free time" now that the burden of 3 fonts a week is lifted. APPLIQUE!! ;)

Friday, October 7, 2011

Pumpkin Shirt

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The danger of doing custom embroidery for friends is that when my daughter sees a new project (like Audrey's pumpkin shirt) she immediately wants something similar! Of course it would be too easy if she wanted the exact same pumpkin and font... so the only similarity to Audrey's shirt is the Ta Dot fabric. :)
 We sat down together with my computer and looked at all the pumpkin designs I had, plus additional designs online. She selected Applique Market's Plump Pumpkin (of course one I didn't own yet). She wasn't a fan of the way her name looked in the Butterball font, so we scrolled through 8CP's font list and she picked Another Dot Alphabet.
She loves it, and insisted on wearing it to school this morning even though today's high is 88 degrees.
And notice that someone else got a new pumpkin shirt...
For Anna, I took one of Dashiell's old 0-3month Gerber onesies, chopped it off and appliqued the pumpkin/name on it. It's a little big, but that's ok, it's for a doll. ;) I may take it in a bit on both sides, but really, I doubt it. I used the 4x4 size and shrunk it down, probably to about 70%? Same with the font. And they both stitched remarkably well!
 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Monogrammed Bloomers

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I recently monogrammed a couple pair of bloomers. They are so sweet, it's just not something I do often... not sure why! Mem supplied these and picked two different monograms. This one is the Empire font from Embroidery Arts:
And this one is KK Mongram from 8 Claws and a Paw:
Before stitching these I did a quick Google image search on monogrammed bloomers to get an idea for design placement (I didn't want to stitch the monogram too low or too high). Here's the ironic thing... one particular image jumped out at me as being really pretty, and when I looked closer, it was my picture! HA! At that point I decided I should just do my own thing and not worry so much. :)  Even though it happens all the time, it is still weird to see my own project images pop up on Google searches. And I love finding stuff from my blog being pinned on Pinterest. I find so much inspiration online, and it's an honor to know that I can sometimes return the favor.

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