Nov 25, 2010

Giving Thanks and Holiday Preparations

My babies, fresh out of bed and snuggling together - these are the moments that I'm most thankful for!

'Things I'm Thankful For' list toppers: Hearing Evie call me Mommy (pronounced more like 'Mah-MEE'), a husband who works hard for his family, Lilly's incredibly quick wit, an awesome new job and equally great boss, finding an amazingly therapeutic new hobby, parents who go WAY out of their way for us, and the love and support of a handful of truly great friends. I'm a very blessed girl!
And on another note :) .....
In exchange for a few weeks of free babysitting, I've been helping one of my best friends create some handmade gifts for her 4 (that's right, I said FOUR!) boys for Christmas.  She's not a sewist... well, at least she wasn't when she asked me to make these. An early Christmas gift to me - I think I've converted her! So, TOGETHER we created these 4 amazing works of fiber-filled art!
 She calls them "bed partners" - I call them creative body pillows. Whatever you call them, they're a great gift for kids. We used some out of print Simplicity pattern (whose number I cannot currently remember) that had 2 other patterns - a cat and an elephant - that we didn't use. She chose a fleece fabric that she thought suited each boy's personality and that's what we used for the bodies. A nice touch, don't you think?  We started off with the panda. I cut this one and did 95% of the sewing - leaving just the long, straight seams for her since she's a complete newbie.
Boy #1's Panda

She cut this one out completely and sewed everything after the head was completed. That muzzle was a bear! (no pun intended... okay, a little pun intended. *grin*)
Boy #4's Bear

Feeling much more confident, aside from the nose seam, this puppy was 100% her! *sniff* I was so proud! :)
Boy #2's Puppy

 Now, this one I completed after she cut. (God bless her... I've offered her a job being my permanent 'Cutting Assistant' - sadly, she's not interested.) We kept it for last since it was so involved. Not quite sure what it is, exactly. I've been calling it a dragon, she calls it a dinosaur. We have no idea, but it suits Boy #3 perfectly. It took me over 2 hours to do the face, alone. Not even the back of head... just the FACE! It didn't help that my machine kept jamming every 2 or 3 minutes from the ridiculously thick thread. Got it done in one evening, though, so I can't complain too much. By far the most tedious, but also the cutest, don't you think?
Boy #3's Dragon-saur

A close up of the face

And just so you can get an idea of the gigantic scale of these bad boys, Mr. Bear decided to do a little sewing of his own. 

All in all, it was a fun adventure. And the best part of it? I get a new sewing buddy out of the deal! Hooray! Any of you ever 'convert' one of your friends to sewing? I have to say, it's a ton more fun sewing with a friend (especially one who will do the cutting!) even if she doesn't want to sew any garments. Yeah, it's true - she's strictly a craft sewist. Well, until I convert her on that, too. ;)

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Nov 12, 2010

Another Kind of Stitching

In my very first post, I mentioned the cross stitch that I did for my daughter that took 8 years to complete. Well, folks, this is the one! I began the project in 2000 as a gift for my best friend in college for her 21st birthday. She had a deep and undying love for anything having to do with angels. So, I chose this one. 

Now, I was getting ready to finish up my senior year and move on to grad school at the time. I guess I'd underestimated the amount of free time I'd have to work on it before the 'big day'. I think I got about 1/3 of the purple overskirt finished before said 'big day' arrived. I promised my friend she would have her gift as soon as it was finished. I would not, however, give her any clue as to what it was. Every year or so, she'd ask me about it, and we'd laugh over the silliness of a gift that took increasingly more time to make. We both finished college and grad school, got married, moved away and had a few babies between us. And I never did finish the gift.

Before my first daughter was born, my husband and I moved into an apartment. During the move, I rediscovered the project in the bottom of an old trunk. Knowing we were having a girl, I'd already decided her nursery colors would be lavender and green. In my mind this was THE PERFECT piece of art to have on her walls. I was working on it all through my third trimester and, after she was born, whenever she was sleeping. I laughed to myself a bit about how long it had been since I'd started it, but I was determined to have in finished before we moved into our new house, which we did when she was 10 months old.

I called my friend to tell her that her gift was finally finished! That was the first time I'd even told her what it was! And then we had a great laugh when I asked her if it was alright that I kept it for Lilly since it had taken me 8 years to finish. She, most graciously, agreed that all my hard work merited keeping it. :)

Here are some of the fine details (and what took so darn long to finish!)

And see how beautifully it matches her room decor?

The whole project was actually inspired by this beautiful work of art my maternal grandmother have me for Christmas more than 15 years ago.

Do any of you have projects that took you an exorbitantly long time to complete?
Do you have any lying around now that have been pushed to the side? I'd love to hear your stories of drawn out projects, too!

Thank you, Followers!

 I just wanted to take a moment to thank those of you who deem me interesting enough to read on a regular basis. Some of you have even been sweet enough to include me on your blogroll - quite an honor to me, I assure you! I never expected it, really, since there are so many other blogs out there far better than mine. But since I now have twelve followers -- count them, a whole dozen! -- I wanted to send a bit of gratitude your way. Thanks for the comments and compliments, they really do help me work out my issues and gain confidence, and thanks for making me feel like what I'm doing is more than just a silly hobby.

Happy sewing, ladies! (or scrapbooking, or crafting, or whatever the heck it is that you like to do!)

--- Ginnie

Nov 10, 2010

The Hungry Sewing Machine

Don't tell my machine, but I'm thinking about breaking up. It's not going to be pretty, I'm sure. We have a long history together. Lots of good memories. But, we seem to be fighting more and more these days and I think I see where it's going. I don't care how starved for attention it is, lately -- if it eats one more knit fabric, we're through. On the spot.
  My first project back in the sewing realm following "Princess Madness" and it was a less than sweet experience. I've been hanging on to this Butterick 5497 for a month or two, since the last sale anyway. It's definitely not my normal style, but I thought I'd go out on a limb and try something new.  I found a nice, thick, black and white polka dot matte jersey (also a bit outside my comfort zone - the dots, not the jersey. I love knits. A lot.) and decided to give it a go.

I suppose I shouldn't be too surprised that the results of this less than "me" pattern and fabric yielded a slightly less than "me" look. The more I look at it, though, the more it grows on me. Only time will tell if it will actually leave the closet and go with me to work. Although I liked the sleeveless, boatneck version better, I went with the 3/4 sleeves since I don't like freezing my bum off in the cold winters. The sleeves are too long at the moment (they're bunched up in the photos - which, to be honest, is probably what will happen to them anyway) so I may shorten them a bit.

I don't know. What do you think, guys?

I'm not sure how I feel about the elasticated shoulders on this one. I really liked it on the dress I did with the same treatment. Maybe it's the sleeves that make it different. I feel a little linebacker-ish. Could also be the aforementioned less than me-ness. *shrugs* One thing is for sure - it feels good to get in a little selfish self-benefiting sewing done before the Christmas sewing begins. Hopefully, I can squeeze in a few more!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...