Monday, 18 May 2015

Weighted Sensory Blanket : :

 My friends boy has some sort of sensory deficit disorder. To help him sleep at night the OT (Occupational therapist) lent her a small (about 1mt by 1mt) weighted blanket to sleep under. She found the extra weight really helped him get a better sleep.

However to buy one, they sell them for $400!! I told her I could make one for less. She wanted a bigger one, so we decided to make it the size of a king single mattress (or there abouts).

I found some really cool Marvel fabric at fabric.com. It also has a patch style print, which really helped me sew it into patches.



Le me just say that after sewing this beast I now know why they charge $400! I sewed up columns on the fabric, joining the back and the front. Then using weighted beads put a 1/3 cup in each column then sewed a horizontal line to sew them into their individual patches. (does that even make sense? I don't know how to explain it any easier).

 


Theoretically it sounded easy...boy was I wrong!! With 5kgs of beads in this blanket, it was soooo heavy. It kept slipping of my sewing table, and the weight of it would pull the whole thing off.
Also trying to move the beads out of the way so I didn't sew over them, and trying to keep them all in the right spot quickly turned this 'easy' blanket into something of a nightmare. 



The back is Kona cotton in Ocean. It came in a wide 66inch piece, which was handy as I didn't have to join any pieces together like I did for the front (not that you can really tell because I was extra careful in matching up the pattern and it looks pretty good if I do say so myself!)

Well its done now thankful I don't have any other friends with children that need one of these because I really don't fancy making another for a loooong time (if ever!)

Hears to a good night sleep! Nothing worse than tired kids!

Jessica

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

A Very Belated Baby Owl Quilt : :

Want to know how slack I am sometimes?? Like REALLY REALLY slack?

 Ok, confession time! My good friend had a baby girl, and while she was pregnant I started making her a quilt. Ok, so far so good your saying.....here's the doozy, I only just finished a few weeks ago, and that unborn baby is now almost 18months old ....*shameful*!

My friend Kate is really into owls (well she was when I started this quilt), so I found a nice owl quilt pattern and decided to make it for her. The quilt came together quickly enough...but when I came to the applique I just lost all motivation!!

I LOATH appliqué!!  Its not that I don't like the look of it, I actually find it really pretty most times, its just I am absolutely no good at it and hence avoid it at all costs.

But for some unknown reason I thought it would be a good idea to give it another shot. Like in the two or so years since my last pathetic attempt I have some how become good at it. ..um...NO! If anything I have become worse *surprise surprise*.

So I had to forced myself to finish it (with some selfish-sewing bribery). I must confess I didn't enjoy a single moment of quilting this quilt. I just wanted to give it to her and never see it again.

Good news is she loved it and the baby (ermm...toddler) is still in a cot so she will get some use out of it now the weather is getting cold.

Before she took it home I asked if I could just take a quick picture of it.


I used the applique stitch on my machine for everything except the tail of the owl. I don't know why, but I did the tail by hand, and there is a very good reason why I didn't take a close up of that!

Well you cant love everything you make...can you?

Just for reference the fabric I used was a mix of a 'posy' charm pack and 'children at play'. The pattern was from "Acorn Quilt & Gift Company", called Remember whooo loves you.


I'm sooo glad I've finished that one....next time I feel like appliqueing (if there ever is a next time), I'm going to re-read this just to remind myself how much I don't like it!!

Jessica

Monday, 20 April 2015

Nappy (Diaper) Bag : :

When I was pregnant with Little Miss S (she's 7 weeks old now), I was on the hunt for that perfect nappy bag. One that would be big enough to carry everything I needed, be happy to carry around for the next year or so AND that didn't cost the earth. Asking much? Apparently I was!!

I couldn't find one anywhere that I liked, except for a couple of really cute leather ones that were way too expensive. (Seriously, for a $700 nappy bay I could pay someone else to carry the nappies!)

My friend had a few bag books that I borrowed and I found the perfect nappy bag pattern in this book...




This book has some really cute bag patterns, but to be honest, the only ones I would be tempted to make would be the nappy bag pattern (the one I made) and perhaps that cute bike bag on the front page. But that's probably more of a refection on me, who doesn't need or even want a bag for every occasion, than the book.
 Ha Ha, just give me one big bag that I can use for everything and Ill be fine!

Like this one....



Let me just say that I.LOVE.THIS.BAG!!! Really love it. The pattern called for laminated cotton, but after searching high and low for a print that I liked (and not finding one), I decided to make it out of canvas and linen.

Believe it or not but I had the grey linen and blue canvas hidden away in my cupboard, and I'd completely forgotten about them! Both were purchased from a craft show several years ago. The canvas (by birch) was going to be used for a pillow, and the linen, a quilt.

The only two things I had to purchase was a little bit of fabric for the lining and the metal O-rings.
I'm really loving not buying fabric...did I just say that? Shopping in my stash is really satisfying!!

I was going to make the strap from fabric as well (as the pattern says to) but I found this awesome leather strap that I'd saved from a bag (that's long dead).I found that in the depths of my wardrobe during some spring autumn (?) cleaning, and it was a perfect match for my bag!

The thing I love most about this bag (apart from its superior good looks and *ahem* quality sewing) is all the pockets!!



Seriously, this baby has a space for everything!! If I need to carry it...there's a pocket for it!



Of course that doesn't mean that I don't just throw everything in when I'm in a rush in the mornings.....but if I *wanted* to be organised, I could be. That's what important right? Right!



My favourite pockets on the bag is the two on the front with the valcro flaps. It makes finding my keys, wallet and phone sooo much easier because I just keep all three in one of those. The other one I use for a small packet of baby wipes, mostly for my 2 year old son, and cleaning faces as the twins get out of the car for school in the morning (honestly, some mornings they have everything from toothpaste around their mouths to Milo on their foreheads).

I honestly will never buy another nappy bag again. When this one wears out, I will just make another. Its that good!!
(Did I mention that I love it?)

Jessica



Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Another Baby Quilt : :

This is a project that I completed last year before sewing became un-enjoyable (for some reason it felt like such a chore while pregnant!!).
My brother and sister-in-law had a lovely little girl so I decided to make her a quilt!! (Like I do every time someone has a baby!)

Here is my labour of love (aka the quilt)...




Ha ha this photo makes me laugh! I had my 6'3'' husband hold up this quilt and told him to crouch down. Poor guy was so uncomfortable trying to keep his head out of the picture! The whole time he kept asking me to hurry up and take the photo. What I put that poor man through! Love him!

This pattern was from one of Camille Roskelly's books I have previously mentioned here, here and here (and probably half a dozen other places that I cant be bothered linking to right now!)

 I used the Riley Blake fabric line 'The simple life', which is pretty old now but I've been hoarding it for baby girl quilts!
I also threw in some Kona solid fabric for the boarders, background and binding, and backed it with some Tilda fabric I got from my local craft store. 
 I used my machine to attempten a loopy-type stitch using the BSR. Not too bad for a first go hey?
Of course the BSR helps immensely!




 I've really got to work on my free motion quilting...but practice makes perfect I guess. Overall, I'm pretty happy with it (although I know its a far cry from perfect!).




I've also started being 'good' and labelling my quilts!! I think this is the first quilt I have actually labelled! I know some people like to include information about the quilt and what-not on the label..but hey at least its a start!! 




I liked this pattern so much I started making a boy version. Its still sitting unfinished in my cupboard (of course), but I know as soon as someone has a boy, that will be the kick up the bum I need to whip it out and finish that one too!!


Jessica

Thursday, 9 April 2015

New Baby and Baby Mobile : :

To see my balloons in the 'parade', click here http://craftschmaft.com/2015/04/09/the-balloonalong-parade/

Well after a crazy 9 months I'm back!!
Little Miss S made her entry to the world on Feb 24th 2015 (10 days overdue!!). She weighed just over 4 kgs (or 9lbs in old money).

She is now 6 weeks old and everyone loves her to bits. She's a really good baby, and after a little scare during the first week she is home and settling into the family routine (if you can call it that!)

One of my favourite things is when all 4 of them are happy and getting along with each other. I love watching the others sing to and play with their little sister!!  When Little Miss S starts crying, Little miss I is usually straight there singing her a song and talking to her. So cute!

So....onto what I've made! One of the first things I have made for Little Miss S is a baby mobile! This pattern is from Craft Schmaft (love that name) and you can get your own copy here.

I have wanted to make this pattern for a VERY long time but as we didn't know whether bubs was a pink or blue one I held out so everything she owned wouldn't be gender neutral.

Here it is... (please excuse my open wardrobe!!)



 

This pattern was so fun to make!! I loved everything from choosing the fabric to sewing those cute little baskets and clouds together. 

It was also a really quick make, which is important at the moment as my sewing time is limited to teeny-tiny snatches here and there, especially with Little Miss E and I on school holidays at the moment (yes they started school this year..where has the last 5 years gone? *sob*)



The fabric I used was pulled from my still-very-large stash!! (Still overflowing even though I haven't added to it since beginning my stash diet a loooong time ago...) Its really satisfying making things from my stash.....I really do have a lot of nice fabric in there...it just takes the time to dig it out and match it up.


I have to admit I love everything about this mobile, and it seems Little Miss S does too. Its really handy when I have a shower or go to the loo as it will give me 5-10 mins to myself *bliss!*

Nothing worse than a screaming child when your on the toilet...and yes I have been known to take her with me...and I'm sure I'm not the first mother to do it either!! (well I'd better not be!)

In keeping with my spend-no-money (or as least as possible) moto (which I'm carrying on into this year by the way), I found some sticks from my garden and spent the afternoon sanding them back until they were lovely and smooth instead of buying some dowel. I used them to hang the balloons from and I admit I love the look of it. I have decided to incorporate as much 'natural' material as possible into my kids rooms. Just adds that little bit of texture and nature!


Well I'm off. I have a kitchen to clean that I neglected last night (woops)!

Jessica