Monday, June 18, 2012

Hamster Birthday Cake!!

Another birthday for my daughter Quin!?? Amazing that time flies so quickly! 

This year, for her cake, she made the odd request for a hamster cake. Seriously? I am not sure why, or what she was thinking, but who am I to tell her to choose something normal, or maybe easy, or just SOMETHING else! SO, I set to work and made it!

My original goal was to do a hamster in a wheel, or maybe sitting in front of it's wheel. Seemed like an easy option...round cake a hamster made out of a cupcake! I baked, then cooled, then tried with all my might to make the wheel stand up, but it just wasn't happening. And, seeing how I waited until the Saturday morning of the party to decorate the cake, I moved on to plan two. Flat wheel, dimensional hamster!

I think, that it turned out great!! What do you think?? It's a nice little teddy bear hamster yes? Complete with chocolate bar feet, tail and ears, all smiling and ready to celebrate!

However, the second that I brought it out, Quin and all of her friends yelled SWEETUMS!! lol I suppose that there might be a bit of a resemblance between Sweetums and the hamster?! 

I'll let YOU be the judge!! 


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Thread Catcher

 I have been working diligently on a hexagon quilt! Has anyone ever done one? It is pretty much 100% hand stitching, but I am loving it cause I stitch at night while watching TV and feel like I am accomplishing something.

I have about one month in, and the one down side is that I have little bits of thread EVERYWHERE! So, I decided that I would make a thread catcher! Basically, this is just a pretty little bag that hangs out with me and I stuff all the dead thread into. :)

After searching around online a bit, I saw a few bags that I liked, but nothing perfect, and nothing that I was actually willing to pay for a pattern of. So, easy peasy, I will make my own! Here's what I did!!

Step One:  Stop and admire another quilt project that is in the works. I have three going at once... I am so focused!


Step Two: Step over the pile of cuttings from the quilt project, and decide that they are perfect to make a little colored border around my thread catcher! To make my border, I sewed two scraps wrong side together, pressed them open and then cut a 2" square. 4 squares make up each side of my border, and so I needed a total of 8 squares.

Step Three:  Gather other stuff that will look cute together on the bag. Odds, ends, scraps and whatever else didn't get put away after the last project!

Step Four: Make a plan. Like, with actual measurements. ugg. I did actually cut out a piece of paper towel as a pattern and it seemed rather useless. I ended up cutting a long strip of linen that was 3" + double the height of my finished bag. This can be customized of course. My strip was 14" tall x 6" Wide.

Step Five: Stop and have a little face time with princess baby cakes!! You could read more about her if her Mother (aka my daughter) ever blogged like she promised she would! However, she has fewer posts than I do, so what can I say.... apple doesn't fall far from the tree! lol 

Step Six: Sew your decorative border in place on the front of the bag. Once this piece is in place, sew the second strip onto the back. Next, sew your ribbons and trims on. Make sure that when the bag is folded in half everything lines up fairly well. Of course I don't expect perfection and neither should you!

Step Seven:  Fold the bag in half, with right sides together and sew up both sides. Trim your yuck away if you must!

Step Eight: Flatten out the bag so that your seam runs down the center of each side. Like the picture... then measure your corners and draw a guide line for you to stitch. By folding it this way, you will create a nice little box corner. Measuring is sadly important if you want your corners and bag base to be even. Sew both box corners and then turn your bag right side out!

Step Nine: Cut & Sew a liner for your bag. I used the same measurements as for the outer bag, and then added on a 'cuff' so that I could fold over a rolled edge. Make box corners on your liner, same as you did for the outer bag.

Step Ten: Stuff your liner into the bag, wrong sides together and then roll and fold your cuff down. I stitched mine in place by hand.

Step Eleven: Add a little decorative stitch with some embroidery thread and your done!!

Step Twelve:  After using my thread catcher for a few days, I decided to create a little loop to hang my scissors inside the bag! I just made a little tube and hand stitched it in. Now.... back to those three quilts!!


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

In a Quilting Frame of Mind!

I recently added a long arm, or should I say medium arm quilter to my 'tools' collection! I have quilted for several years, but always finished everything by hand, so this is going to be a fun addition which will likely increase my fabric purchases by about a 120%! 


 First on the frame was some scrap fabric. Don't get me wrong, I really had no desire to actually PRACTICE before I tackled a project, but in the spirit of not completely ruining a quilt, I figured I had better run a few stitches through the machine to make sure I actually had it threaded right!

The whole quilting *thing* is catching right now... Miss Quin also has the sewing bug and is busy making a rag quilt. Exactly how can ANYONE sit on the floor and SEW? Both my daughters do this and it truly makes me cramp up just watching them!

I've warned Quin that sewing a rag quilt is the easy part of the project. The true endurance test comes when it is time to snip all the seams!

Back to my project! I did a simple free hand stipple all over my quilt...

...with flowers sewn into each of the circles.

Here's a nice shot of the colors... the majority of the material was from moda layer cakes. I think I had a new layer cake of Lollipop and then I scavenged the rest. The original pattern and inspiration for this project came from this Raw Edge Circle Quilt Tutorial!

I was very excited to do this first project and excited by how FAST it was to complete, once it was on the long arm it was maybe 3 hours!!

That's it, that's all! Want to read another blog? My daughter Alix is just starting one and would love you to drop by! nowthativecaughtmybreath


Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Fireplace Project

My office is in my basement. It's a lovely walk out basement with a very inviting view, but baby it's COLD inside!! And so, having a husband who is very handy and really NEEDS to keep busy, I developed a little project for him to do... upgrading my office fireplace so it actually generates heat.
Follow this link to see the fireplace before we started! 

This unfortunately turned into a year long project for him that I feared would never end... thank goodness that it is now done and in fact, I have enjoyed warmth all winter long!! As reward for completion, I will one day make him cheesecake brownies... they will probably take me a year to get to! haha

Once the huge gaping hole in the wall was gone, filled with a new and improved fireplace, (yes we did have it inspected), the rest was sort of easy... My husband gave everything a fresh coat of paint and then I started planning on the decorations!

I wanted to create a wall of pictures (very popular these days) and so I went on a frame buying spree and laid them all out on my floor to determine where each of them would go.

 I am pretty happy with the results! Not all of the frames are filled yet, but I will work on putting 'special' pictures into them as time progresses...

Pretty much every single frame has a favorite picture in it OR a letter from one of my children! It is pretty fun to see their thought process and handwriting, 15 years or so after they wrote these. <3

Now all I need is a new project for my husband! shh! Don't tell him I am plotting! lol


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

anybody home??! Our Pink Lamb Baby Shower!

I have been officially reprimanded for not posting on my blog... by several people in fact!! In an effort to placate those that care, I thought that I would post a picture or two, or three! You see, it's not that I have stopped crafting, it's more that I'd rather be creating that writing about creating!

The good news is that I have LOTS of fun projects to share with you... if you are truly wanting directions, let me know, otherwise our future together will be me providing you with some good eye candy!!

First up.... some of the decorations I did for my grand baby's baby shower. Cupcakes, made with Cricut cake!  These beautiful pink cupcakes even included an edible gem!I also did a lamb diaper cake and some pink tissue flowers,,,

Here are some of the results of my Google search that lead to the cupcake's creation:


Curiouser Desserts


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Cricut + Baby = a LOT of projects!!

 I am loving the pink everything that is taking over my house, not to mention to the whole new agenda of inspiration that is leading my crafting projects along! All this pink and all that I can say is that my grandbaby's parents better be ready to visit often!!

My most recently completed project is a quilt for the baby's room. Knowing that it is a girl made this easy, as did my daughters request for a 'Lamby' quilt. She has chosen several really cute Lambs to adorn the baby's space :)

First step on my quilt was to go shopping!! Hooray! Fabric really is almost as much fun as paper!! Here's my photo journey of the quilt....

Step 1: Pick fabrics. We decided on soft yellows and browns with pink as a highlight. I loved including some fun textured materials in the design!

Step 2: Sew the quilt base. This was a simple but funky border with an area for a central scene.

Step 3: Design the scene out of paper. I learned this lesson after wasting mis-cut fabric on one of my very first quilt projects! I cut flowers & grass using Cricut, then drew my own lamb and hills.

Step 4: I used cricut to cut Heat n' Bond ultra flowers. Then, I gently ironed the Heat n' Bond onto my fleece material, which of course isn't cuttable by Cricut. Then, using scissors I trimmed around each flower, leaving a 1/4" border which I folded/ironed under the pattern before sewing each flower in place on the quilt.

Step 5: Next, I ironed Heat n' Bond ultra directly onto the back of my green fabric and cut out the grass for my central scene. With the hills in place, I used a decorative stitch to sew the grass in place. It took a long, long, long time!! I think I get some sort of special Grandma privilege just for sewing the grass!! lol

This was the quilt with everything cut out, and before I started sewing. It really did help enormously to have planned the pattern in paper first. It made cutting up my stash of material a lot easier! 

Step 6: Lamby was the last element to be sewn into place. It was definitely the hardest part of the project with all of that fuzz floating around!!! I used a similar technique with the Heat n' Bond, drawing my pattern onto Heat n Bond and then cutting it out.  

Step 7: Ok, maybe this was the hardest part! I used my sewing machine to stitch the quilt front to the backing material, which is the same fuzzy material used on the lamb! Of course there is also a healthy layer of batting in there too. It was thick, but I only stitched around the yellow sections of the border and the pink inner border that frames the center scene. 

Step 8: My final and finishing step was sewing on the ruffle! I used my sewing machine and stitched it to the top side of the quilt and then hand stitched the back edge for a perfect finish!

This is the finished quilt, ready and waiting for the arrival of it's new owner!