Tuesday, 23 July 2013

pocket quilt


Another blog I've been loving lately is Idle Needle - it's full of lovely vintage finds, colour, and creative thoughts. When Anikó wrote about the pocket quilt that Hélène of Petite Laine made for her, I immediately knew that I had to make my own version for the boys' room. And here it is (above)!

Here's the one that inspired it (see the original post here). Mine has only four pockets, because I decided I wanted each of the sleeping dollies to represent a member of our family. My 3 year-old likes finding groups of things to represent us and so he loved this. Except that sometimes he decides the dolls representing Papa (top left) and baby (bottom right) ought to be his. 'But I've got hairs like that!' Well, what can I say? The hair isn't strictly realistic!

I didn't quilt this in the end (strictly speaking it's a pocket wall-hanging really) because I didn't have any wadding the right size to hand and thought it would be fine without it. I also haven't completely finished it yet, because our saw is broken and I need to cut the dowelling to the right size. I'll be sure to share photos when it's put up in the new room (which is coming on brilliantly apart from those curtains!)

I also added some giant ric-rac and vintage trims I've been wanting to use. The little pockets are perfect for storing small cars and other bits and bobs. Hopefully it will encourage tiny hands to tidy things away! Thanks so much Anikó and Hélène for inspiring me to make this!

Friday, 19 July 2013

simple & sweet wallpaper cards


You know those times when it just has to be a handmade card? Like your dad's 70th or when it's a super special friend? Well these are my latest solution to making special cards in snatched moments between feeds and nursery pick-ups etc.

All I did was to cut out letters with the message of my choice from scrap pieces of vintage wallpaper. You could use any scrap paper for these, but I especially like the texture and thickness of wallpaper.

I also stamped out some star shapes for the one above. For letters I drew them free-hand in pencil on the back (remember to draw them backwards!) then used the straight edges of the scissors to tidy them up a bit. I think a bit of free-hand wonkiness adds to their charm.

I think what I especially like about these is the combination of the clean, simple white cards and the retro fussiness of the wallpaper cut-outs. They may be quick to make but they are unique - something I hope the recipients enjoy!

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Mezz's scrap paper sticker book


Don't you just love it when you find a blog that resonates with you, where you just feel at home? Well that's how it is for me with Mezz Makes Stuff (see also her sis-in-law - did I get that right? - Taz's blog Butter and Buntings!) I've been getting some great ideas there lately and one of them was this sweet, speedy kid's gift idea: a sticker book made from scrap paper!

Of course I'm a little perverse so when she said, 'you don't even need to sew it', I thought, 'sewing it: what a great idea!' I also added in a little pocket at the front to stash stickers in.

I saved an envelope because it had a map on the inside - how cool (my mum sent it!) My sticker book is intended to be entertain my 3-year-old while we're on the plane to France this Saturday, so I wanted the stickers to be kept securely(ish) inside.

I hope he'll enjoy it. I'm looking forward to seeing what he'll do with it and how he'll react to the different pages - old sheet music, encylopedia pages, Japanese comic and 1960s newspaper. I'll be sure to share on my Instagram feed (@theowlclub)! I love the idea of kids having unusual and handmade things to play with, and I'm sure I'll be following Mezz's suggestion and making more for gifts. See her original post here (and her awesome latest song here!)

Thursday, 11 July 2013

old t-shirts to scarf


Sometimes an idea comes into my head (usually in the night) and no matter how many other projects are on the go, or loads of laundry need doing etc. I just have to test it out to see if the idea will work! This happened with this repurposed t-shirt scarf, made from scraggy old vest tops (and yes scraggy is a real word - Jenny of Another Sunday Girl told me so!)

I've been trying to get organised at home, and as everyone knows this means de-cluttering. And we are super cluttered right now. So I've been selling and giving away clothes, but what do you do with things that just can't be sold in a charity shop?

My vest top drawer had a kind of sediment at the bottom of too-small or mis-shapen tops... that drawer needed to breathe! But you can't really even give away such items and throwing them away would mean filling landfill... yuck! So instead I cut them into wide strips and stitched the strips together. Then I cut the resulting long patchwork strip in half lengthwise (to make it a little more mis-matched and interesting) and sewed those two halves together. Easy peasy! (FYI I used a stretch stitch on my machine & I don't think I'd bother next time - it seems to mean a few visible stitches which I'd prefer not to have).

I had originally intended to add some appliqué to the bottom ends of the scarf, but after some time spent doodling clouds, sailboats and anchors, then changing my mind and getting out my button stash, I finally decided that the stripes were quite enough on their own and needed no further fussiness. What do you think?

It's not too late to change my mind... but I think I'll leave it as it is. And I'm happy with how this summery scarf turned out. It looks so much fresher and brighter than the old vests did! And I still have some strips and scraps left over for other projects too...

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