Showing posts with label plushies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label plushies. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Baby Gift One: Done!

One baby blanket for my daughter's expected new baby granddaughter,
  
 and one Baby Binky Bunny with a matching baby blanket for the two-year old big sister.
I'm thinking that having a new sister will be quite a transition for big sister Angelica who has been the only grandchild getting ALL the attention for the last two years!
Hopefully having her own new baby with a blanket that matches the new sister's will give Angelica something to do when her mom is busy with all that new baby stuff....yeah, I'm dreaming here, right?  We all remember how well two-year-old kids share their stuff, let alone their parents!


Friday, June 14, 2013

Another Binky Bunny and Some Hand Embroidery

Life keeps getting in the way of my sewing.  It's so annoying.  I have accomplished a few thing, though. 

Another Baby Binky Bunny from the pattern I mentioned in the last post.  Love this one. I prefer the eyes hand sewn in place.  I loved his embroidered nose until my son wanted to know why I embroidered a rose there.  Now I'm feeling insecure about it.  By #3 I should have this stuff all straightened out.

I've also been doing some hand embroidery while watching television and when in the car (as a passenger--no need to worry for your life).
From the Lecien website
I found this design on the Lecien website among the free quilt patterns.  I've made some very minor tweaks in the design and changed the colors completely to match the fabric I'm going to be using.  The Lecien quilt is also quite colorful.  I just don't have that fabric or those threads in the stash.  I really, really must start using up the stash.

Off to enjoy the sun before it's gone.  We have had SO  much rain lately that I hate being inside when I finally see some sun.  Hope y'all are having a nice weather day, too!

Monday, June 3, 2013

First Try at the Baby Binky Bunny Pattern

When I first got this pattern a few years ago, I COULD NOT cut out even circles of felt for the eyes  to save myself.  I seriously thought of buying one of those expensive cutting machines.

I finally bought cut felt online so I could make some bunnies.  Did I look up the exact size I needed for this pattern? No. Instead I bought $25 worth of felt and not one is the right size.  Who does that?  Me.  Yup, I was back where I started when I bought the pattern, cutting my own circles. 

After embroidering two sets of eyes on my not-so-perfect felt circles, I found a blog post from Make It Cozee about using wax paper to cut better felt circles.  Next time...

 Reviews online for this pattern abound, but they are short and sweet lacking details on the nitty gritty--what worked really well and what could have worked better.  The rest of this post is a wordy but hopefully helpful list for someone else who wants to try the pattern.
  •  The pattern is well-written with clear and easy directions.  It is, however, on the expensive side at $11.95.  There is an additional pattern for a bib, booties, and carrot that will bring the cost up to a whopping $17.00.
  • The directions have you stuff the limbs after sewing them on.  I've done enough stuffies to know how to work around stuffed limbs.  If you are new at this, go with the directions and stuff the limbs after turning the bunny right side out.
  • Get some nice felt for the eyes or use a flannel or fleece with iron-on interfacing for stability. My felt was too thin.  I ended up using a double thickness on the second one I've started.  Also, use fabric glue or spray adhesive on the felt pieces to hold them in place for easy sewing.
  •  The next two photos show some of the issues I had with the eyes--all my own fault.
    •  My first set of circles were too big because I just cut the edges off a scalloped circle.  Use the size in the pattern!  The first picture below shows the wrong size and the second shows the right size.
    •  I tried a fancy stitch to sew on the eyes in the first photo.  I find small circles difficult to sew to begin with and should have stuck with the straight stitch.  The second photo below shows the double thickness of my thin felt hand-stitched in place.  I like this  much better, but I should have gone with a matching thread so as to not highlight the fact that my embroidery was not centered well.
Close-up of poor bunny #1
Beginnings of bunny #2
  • The felt nose, which was my idea, might have worked if I had embroidered it in place.  (I have $25 worth of felt to use up!) However, embroidering the nose entirely as in the second bunny close-up is easy and looks great.  
  • I  used fleece for the diaper which turned out to be too thick for the tabs.  The working snaps I put on get around the fact that I could not top stitch the tabs in place.  Looks okay, though.
  •  I like the snap as a substitute for the button or embroidered dots on the diaper. You only need to put on the snap top because the tab is top-stitched in place.
There you have it!  Got to finish up this second one for the July baby that's threatening to make an appearance soon.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

What's That New Quilt Gonna Look Like?

As promised and on time!  So unlike me.  Okay maybe I promised more than one block when I posted yesterday.  Procrastinating is what I do best in life, so getting one done when I said I would is amazing progress.  If I had a therapist, s/he would be so pleased with me.

What do you think?  I added some of the stash to the Shades of Black charm pack I won from Quilt Taffy.  I cannot wait to get this one together.


Saturday, April 13, 2013

Winning, Recycling, and a Free Online Tutorial all Rolled into One Post

First-- look what I won from Quilt Taffy!
 Lovely little squares of Moda's Shades of Black that will soon turn into a baby quilt with a splash of red.  (Thank you, Quilt Taffy, not just for the fabric but also the regular introduction to so many good sewing ideas.)

So the first thing you do when making a baby quilt is sew up the matching stuffie, right?  Is it just me?
This cute little black bunny was made using Betz White's cashmere bunny tutorial found here and an old lamb's wool sweater I felted.  After reading Pam's (of Threading My Way) post on felting old wool items, I finally got brave enough to actually cut into the sweaters I had felted.  It worked!  The sweater material didn't unravel. 
Tonight I am putting together the first blocks for the quilt.  Shall post them in the morning!  This is so much more fun than the housework I'm supposed to be getting done.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

I Made Fish But Not For Dinner

These lovely batik fish are from a pattern Shaz of Odd Sox sent me along with a Christmas order after I told her I loved, loved, loved, her fish stuffies but couldn't afford them because I had so very many ideas for using the finished products.  You can see here what I mean.   (Sadly for rest of you, she's not selling the pattern in her Folksy shop.  Maybe with some encouragement...)

Red Fish

Purple Fish
Schools of Fish!
 And I'm just getting started here.  The red ones are in a basket for my dining room.


 The purple set below will be hanging from a picture frame by fishing line that will have this quote printed on a lovely piece of card stock:
Give a man a fish
and he has food for a day;
teach him how to fish
and you can get rid of him
for the entire weekend.
                                                                                                 from Zenna Shaffer
Can't you just picture these hanging from the frame with the quote above?

 I also want to make a mobile for my sun room from some bright multicolor prints--polka dots and stripes.  Those are going to be flat--using thin batting in the center so that they will float in the breeze.  Then there is the baby mobile in black and white prints.

New idea:  Forgot to mention the idea of using these for one of those magnetic fishing games for kids. Yet another use for those large long-handled paint brushes that I used to make the sewing room button and needle plaque.    My husband will be thrilled to find that he now needs to drill holes into small magnets so I can attach them to the "fishing poles" with a line AND holes in the small end of the wood handle.  I think a set of these would be a great gift idea. 

Can you see why I really needed a pattern?  If you don't have my obsession  need for an excessive amount  many of these amazing little creatures, you can contact Shaz to get some.  If you are lucky enough to live in her area of Britain, her blog will let you know where her craft booth will be set up next.  Lucky you.  Should I ever get a chance to visit Britain, I'll be working that trip around those craft shows.

Linking to:

More the Merrier Monday

Monday, September 10, 2012

Tilly and One-Eye at Virginia Beach

They tried to relax on the beach.  They really did.  First the wave hit.

 Stuffies do not like getting wet.

Then the wind pick up--picked them up!
 Still, they were holding out for that day on the beach.  Don't they look like a sweet couple.  Odd, but sweet.
Unfortunately this guy below started moving in quickly.  Tilly does look a bit like one of those giant marshmallows they're selling, and One-Eye could easily be mistaken for some sea creature.  Honestly, this bird was not cowed by my chaperoning a bit.  He was going for one of these little beasts.  I was NOT gonna be chasing a bird down the beach screaming for him to drop the stuffed animal.

Tilly and one Eye will be seeing Virginia from the balcony.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Dragon Has Arrived - Review of DIY Fluffies Yoki the Dragon Pattern

I'm naming him Skye Blue (Yes, I am name stealing from Beyonce)
My very first dragon and likely my last.  This was from a pattern, DIY Fluffies Yoki the Dragon.  I paid $9 to find out that I would need to draw in the one centimeter seam allowance on most of the pieces.  What an absolute pain that was!   Some pieces such as the arms and wings could just be traced onto the fabric with that being the sewing line.  Most of the larger body pieces, though, are sewn to other curvy pieces.  The seam allowance is not only essential, but needs to be exact.  Why create a pattern with sewing lines rather than seam allowance lines???  I also needed to figure out placement of the wings, arms, eyes and nostrils--no nice little dots marked on the pattern pieces.  Also no nice little dots to match one pattern piece to another.

After making about 40 stuffed creatures last year, I felt I would easily be up to this, but I found the pattern to be confusing or vague in several essential places.  I finally blew the pattern up to twice the size (if I'm going to do this work, I want a good size beast to show for it),  ignored half the directions, and improvised.  Some of the changes were to make it more kid friendly.  The original seems more like a "I'm going to sit on the shelf stuffie" rather than a "I'm going to get dragged around by the ear" one.  I started to write up the changes and take pics, but this would have been one very long post.  Should you decide to make one and have questions, I'd be happy to share.

This is the third time in the past few years that I've gotten a pattern from a small company only to find that I am going to be doing a lot of work to actually have usable pattern pieces.  Too bad we can't see what's inside before purchasing them.


Friday, December 16, 2011

The Stuffed Animal Tree Skirt


Wondering what to do with all those stuffed animals and dolls that the kids have outgrown?  You might want to pack them away.  They make a great tree skirt.  I packed away the stuffies and dolls that my kids especially loved and, at some point, started putting them under the tree at Christmas. There is nothing better during the holidays than listening to my kids reminisce about them.

Keegan's beloved Jeremy Fisher frog,

Kiefer's Bunny and Julia for whom I had to make up countless stories for bedtime,

And Kyle's cowbunnies that I made during his cowboy phase are all part of the collection.  The cowbunnie hats didn't survive but they still have their bandit scarves.  These were bad cowbunnies complete with black hats.

Who remembers Lamb Chop? There is a well-worn puppet version and one from Macy's (obviously with the name right on the hat!) under our tree.

There are couples under there:
Families:

And this menage a trois that resulted from a misunderstanding about who was buying what.  Now that I have seen Sister Wives, I refer to this set as Brother Husbands.

As the collection grew, I realized the tree skirt was wasted--you couldn't see it at all.  The toys became the tree skirt.    They all squash down nicely in a plastic box for storage taking up surprisingly little space, too.  Besides, the original tree skirt while nice,  never stirred up fond memories and got everyone talking.

What are all those holiday tins under the tree?  I started using the too-cute-to-discard holiday tins to store delicate ornaments before packing them into the big boxes.  The ornaments get unpacked and hung,  the tins are scattered in with the stuffies, and they are right under the tree when it's time to put ornaments away.   I know I could refill them with home-made treats to give others.  However, I love baking about as much as I love cleaning toilets.  No, I'd rather clean toilets really.  Holiday baking just ain't happenin' in my house.  Now that I've said that I am reminded that I promised to make another gingerbread house this year.  Why do I do these things?  Must get back to work.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

They are Finished! 30 Sock Creatures and One More For Good Measure

Here they are.  I guess I was in a striped sock mood.



The monkey, who my lovely husband named Mango, is made from a pair of socks I got at the sock outlet store.  Some of the socks from there were good, but some "run" when you poke holes for eyes or a nose. That's not good.  The hole grows and grows.  If you are lucky, the eye and backing snap together quickly enough to stem the run.  It's a pain trying to do it though.  I couldn't get the nose for this on  quickly enough and ended up needing to use a felt nose in order to repair it.  

The snakes are from socks purchased at Joann's.  They're not really heavy, but are solidly construction and easy to work with.  I think I just need to avoid the really cheap socks.   BTW, the snakes are names Echidna and Cecrops in honor of the mythological Greek creatures that were also kind of snaky.

So that finishes the challenge!  It's late, but I did it!  Here's a group shot of all the little monsters.  What a rag-tag looking bunch!  Lessons learned:  make sure the sock material is worth all the work and make the challenges much, much smaller in the future.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

# 28 of the 30 Sock Creatures has Arrived!

So here he is, number 28, Ezcar Goe.  What a time doing this one!  It was not supposed to look like this at all.  The first few attempts were not working for me.  His head was originally his butt.  Then, I folded down the legs and had a giant head, but no body.  Adding various appendages that were originally to be arms resulted in a rather obscene looking creature--fun, but not something I'd be able to put on the blog. 


I had an even worse time getting pictures of this guy.  It's hard to show the face well and also show definition in the rolled back piece.  In addition, The black rolled back piece didn't show well on light OR dark surfaces.  This picture shows the back a little bit better, very little.


You'll just have to take my word for it!  Escar Goe is quite lovely in person.  Or should I say in snail? 

Lessons learned:  1.  It's hard for me to get good photographs when working with black socks.  2.  I really need to get a book on photography.   Any suggestions on that?

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Two new sock creatures are finished at last...

I've been having pretty good luck with my sock creatures, but these last two nearly did me in.  I haven't posted in a while because I just could not get them to be even remotely the way I wanted them.  I have worked, reworked, and reworked them again.  I have tried multiple ways of doing the mouths, ears, and limbs. I tried some new eyes.   And still, they are not what I wanted.

I worked with the baby socks that I used for the cute brown bunny in my last post on sock creatures.  These, though turned out just blah.  How can such cute little socks turn into such boring little creatures?  (I'm feeling intensely guilty saying this.  It's as though I'm a mother saying my kids are ugly.  Is this normal?)  So here they are.

They look sad, don't they?  Even they know they look bad.  I must admit, too, that the picture flatters them.

I tried doing the yarn straight across for a mouth like they do for the original sock monkey design.  It is my own ineptitude that caused the one with the red mouth to look as though it is frowning.  However, that piece of yarn pulled straight across just doesn't seem like a good idea for a kid's toy anyway.  There is nothing holding it firmly in place.  I tried to rectify that on the other one by tacking it down with yarn which is why there is a big black blob in the middle of the upper lip.

I wasted sooooo much time on these two that I just wanted them done!  Lessons learned:  If I do use the yarn mouth again, I will probably try doing really light tacking with matching thread to hold it in place.  Also, working with tiny socks is a royal pain in the butt!

So to name the little beasts--Sadlee and Dullci. These are numbers 26 and 27 of the 30.  I'm really, really almost there!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Sock creatures 24 and 25 of the 30 are here!

I will apologize now for the quality of the pictures.  I am having the worst time with the new Cybershot camera.  I keep accidentally moving the top piece that changes the picture mode. (Does anyone want to buy a slightly used camera?)

In any case--here are the newest sock creatures.  This first one was to have been a smaller version of the pig I did the last time.  Being cheap, I was trying to save a small piece from the top of a sock.  Lessons learned:  1.  You can't change the length without changing the width if you want the shape to remain the same.  2.  You can work with your "accidents" by moving in another direction altogether. This one is, as the painting teacher used to say on the PBS channel, "a happy little accident."  My pig turned into a very nice head.

I like the simple X for the mouth.  Another happy accident was that I forgot to round off  what would have been the back of the pig.  The straight line left what I turned into ears.  (You can just see one on the side in the picture.)  The monkey would be hanging upside down on a vine on the socks, but it works this way, too, for a sweater.  She's also a gymnast--see that awesome split below.  A very small,  pig-headed gymnast had to be named  Petunia Retton. (Y'all do remember Porky's girlfriend was Petunia, right?)


The next creature came from the socks the size of the tiny striped ones here.


Who knew they made tiny, brown-striped, old man socks?  No wonder they were on sale at the sock outlet.
I had the carrot button left over from some long-ago project.  I don't know what I was thinking going with the traditional pink/red bunny eyes on a completely nontraditional striped bunny.  Things I make late in the day seldom make sense, though.  The mouth is kind of lost in the picture, but it is just an orange inverted V.  I had the WORST time getting it even. In any case, this is Fiver, named after the little rabbit in Watership Down.   If you've not read the book, you really, really should.  It is one of my all-time favorites.  Just thinking about it now makes me wish I had a little person to read it to. 

Five more to go!  I will get there yet.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Two New Sock Animals


These are sock animals rather than creatures.  I got both of them from Daniel's Stray Sock Sewing Book--the first one, not Stray Sock Sewing, Too. Here is the lovely white rabbit. 


I love the way the head came out and the frilly neck.  The body, though, is lacking something.  It's just misshapen and I cannot figure out what to do about it.  Next time, I'm going to cut it at the point where the legs go on and sew legs in separately.  Still, he has a beautiful face!  He gets to stay.  

I tried to find out the White Rabbit's name from Alice's Wonderland.  Apparently, it was White Rabbit.  That just won't do.  Someone thought it was Herald, but that, according to someone else, was his job not his name.  The spelling makes that kind of obvious.  I'm going to use it for my white rabbit's name anyway. I like the name and the spelling so this guy is Herald. 

This little pig was done almost exactly as Daniel's version.


I gave mine a curly tail.  I can't imagine why Daniel didn't.  A pig just has to have a curly tail!

Isn't that a great face!  You create a ball with the end of one sock and pull the top of another sock over.  (As I'm looking at the picture right now, I'm thinking those ears would make great horns.)    The idea of putting in balls of stuffing for the legs and sewing them in place was interesting.  It worked well, but I think I might try stacking circles of felt or fleece the next time.  It will be easier to create uniform shapes that way.

These are numbers 22 and 23 of the 30 I should have completed long ago!  I really want to try a few more of these pigs.  There are a variety of ways to do them in the book. There is also a fish made in much the same manner.  I want to try that too.  Now if I could just create a few extra hours in each day! It's nice to get a few things finished, though.

The new job is just sucking up my time.  Without a dedicated desk/phone/computer, I still have to do a lot of the work at home.  I'm not good at setting boundaries, though.  I tend to keep working way longer than I should.  Good news is that it is a year-long grant!  I'll be finished on June 10th!!!  (Lesson learned here is to be sure the place of employment actually has room and equipment for you before taking on the job.) 

Monday, August 2, 2010

Sock Creatures #18, 19,20, and 21 have arrived

I've been playing around with new ways of sewing the limbs on and some pointy ears with this bunch.  Daniel's book, Stray Sock Sewing:  Making One of a Kind Creatures from Socks has a technique for rounding the head I wanted to try.  I am trying to eliminate the no-neck look on some of my creatures.  Daniel's method of gathering and sewing the head into a ball seemed like it might work, and it was better. Al Bino shown below does have a nicely rounded head and some definition in the neck.


His legs just didn't look right so I sewed them into what looks like a kneeling position.  He does look kind of cute that way.

Here was the next try:


I do like this one named Phee Lexa after Felix the Cat whom she does look a bit like.  I am fond of the pointed ears and the cutesy sweater.  I ordered a bunch of different eyes from CR's Crafts online that I used on this batch.  I found this company when surfing the net looking for different kinds of eyes for my creatures.  These were the owl eyes.  The have lovely swirling lines through the gold-colored area.


I'm doing a bit of hand embroidery as well as hand sewing some of the head and limbs on this batch.

My next one was a royal pain.  I HATED IT!  Because I was putting a growler in it, (the thing that makes a mooing noise when you turn it upside down and then back),  I thought the torso needed to be longer. It ended up looking just plain misshapen.   I just could not leave it like that so I took scissors to it cutting out an inch or so in the mid-section and sewing it back together.  She's wearing a tutu to cover the scar.


She's actually much more attractive in person.  She's  Anna Catlova.

For the last one,  I sewed crescent shapes into each side of the head in addition to using Daniel's gathering method for closing.

I think this one was the most successful in getting some curve from head to neck..  Since she's got sculls and crossbones on her arms and chest, she is Lydia the Tattooed Baby named  from the song, Lydia the Tattooed Lady.

Nine more to go!  Then I can do some in other fabrics.  Do go take a look at CR's Crafts.  There are so many fun things.  In addition to a bunch of different eyes and a couple of growlers, I got a doll's wig  and some of the nerdiest little glasses.  Now I've got to figure out how to sew on ears and a nose to hold the glasses up.