Friday, 29 March 2013

A Giraffe and Pocket Warmers

 I bought a small embroidery hoop a little while ago and I wanted to try my hand at a little embroidered animal.

I asked my partner to give me the name of an animal, and a giraffe was suggested. So I stitched a giraffe! I'm pretty proud of this because this was completely from my head, no pattern or picture. I did a running stitch outline of a giraffe in yellow and then went over it again to make a solid line (less tedious than backstitch) and then filled him in with satin stitch, although I'm pretty sure with satin stitch you're supposed to pick an angle for your stitches to slant at, and keep at that angle, which I didn't do. I added a black eye (could have practised my french knots here but chose not to) and then a week or so later, finally got around to doing the brown; and it was a lot easier than I thought.
I think he's very handsome and I'm glad that I stitched him!

I also made little Pocket Warmers:

They're for the Box of Sunshine too. The yellow fabric is the same as the fabric for my mum's little zippy pouch. They are lined with fleece to keep the warms in longer and the idea came from this pin. I think they're really sweet and I might make up a set for me, or even a longer one for a heat pack for my lower back.

I've also cut out 12cm squares of my plain white cotton and all of my quilting-weight fabrics. I have 9 white squares and 9 coloured squares, each out of a different fabric. I plan on making a blanket like this one with all those squares. Before I start stitching them up I plan on getting some fleece to stitch in the middle, as padding for extra warmth. I might even have a go 'quilting' some of the squares, that would be fun.
I want this to be an ongoing project, sort of like a visual fabric 'library' that I can look at and see all the fabrics I've had in the past. I'm excited about it - it'll be fun to look back at it and see all the memories and things I've made with those fabrics.

Little Zipper Pouches and a Bunny

I've been busy recently. I made a whole lot of things!
I made little zippy pouches:

This was the prototype, using the white cotton I have for just such things. However I didn't think that would be pretty enough, so I sewed parallel lines in rainbow colours diagonally across the whole rectangle of fabric. It came out really pretty, I think! I'll give this one to my best friend when I visit NZ again.

This was my second one, and my favourite. Some improvements were made to this one - I used felt with the fabric (which is a gorgeous print that I tea-dyed to match the proposed decor of my craft room perfectly) to give it shape and stability, and added two little tabs to help with the pulling of the zip, both things that the prototype could really have done with. I also used a split ring for the zipper pull because the hole in the zip-thingy is was annoyingly small to attach a pull to, which I found out in the prototype.
This one is my one, I use it to keep my change in.

This one is for a Box of Sunshine for somebody who needs a little cheering up in her life at the moment. I added a keyring to the loop and accidentally forgot the loop on the other side, which was annoying. I used felt to help stabilise this one too, which turned out to be a mistake because it is now not washable - and somehow there turned out to be a mark on the fabric, so it can't be washed. Ugh.

I think I perfected the materials with these three, though the method could use a little adjusting. I used fleece to help stabilise and give body and structure to them this time, which makes them washable, yay! They have keyrings in one of the loops (and I didn't forget the one on the other side this time) and utilise jump rings to help with the zipper pulls (although they won't be as strong as split rings, the split rings I bought for this purpose wouldn't open and were much too small, ugh. So split rings would be the way to go if I made these again).

I made the pink, then the purple, then the yellow (to give myself a sufficient break in between sewing with the two yellows - too repetitive and my brain switches off). The pink is gorgeous, for my sister. It has a bunch of commemorative coins in it that I'll be giving to her because she collects them. The purple isn't really purple enough, I fear... The purple zip helps, but I'm not sure it perfectly solves it, which bothers me. Its for my younger sister. The yellow is for my mum.

The fabrics were cut the exact same size, and the pink and yellow zips were the exact same size (the purple zip was accidentally longer) but all three pouches have different dimensions. Due to the nature of the construction (funky folds, then sewing) they're difficult to get exactly right. The yellow one is almost square, while the pink is definitely a rectangle and the purple, even more so. So what I learned from this is not to expect perfection, because they are fiddly. Also, the tabs were very difficult to get in the right place - I think if I did this again, I would baste the tabs to the fabric first because placing it in the seam and trying to keep it straight just doesn't work as well as it should.

I got the idea from this pin on Pinterest. I really liked the little square one at the bottom of the picture, so I wanted to make them more like that and less like the pencil case.

I also made a gorgeous little crocheted amigurumi bunny.

 She is from the Petunia the Purple Bunny Ballerina pattern. I did a post about her on my Ravelry which has notes and more pictures. She's also for the Box of Sunshine for someone special - I really hope it brightens her day.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Breaking the Fourth Wall

 Today is the 9th of March. Today I bought Aida, zips, lace, bobbins, elastic, two fat quarters, felt, and a fleecy fabric remnant from Lincraft. I'm excited about the Aida - I can finally do that inspirational cross-stitch I've been planning in my head for a long time.

I've been thinking about this for a while, and I've decided that I want to be accountable for the tasks that I set myself. I want to actually make my way through the things on my seemingly never-ending to-do list. I also want to document that progress for myself, so that I can look back over these posts and be able to say "Oh, yes, I did that, and I did that then."

I don't have a very good memory, and I've never known why. It bothers me, so I want to do something about it. I've already made a really good start this year - I've written an entry into my diary every single night. Its important for me to record what happened that day so that I keep those experiences, instead of them disappearing into the ether.
I'm hoping this blog will expand on my diary. What I want, is a way to show myself, in a clean and organised manner, what I've managed to accomplish. Big things, small things. I want a timeline.

I'm excited about this. I think it will really help to tie my goals to something visual.

 Also, I made biscuits the other day. I iced them with milk chocolate and dark chocolate. They were delicious.