Thursday, January 19, 2012

DIY: T-Shirt Quilt


After I graduated from college, I made a t-shirt quilt with the t-shirts from my sorority.  I had no idea what I was doing.  I chose my shirts and some quilt fabric that matched to make the border.  I do love the way it turned out, but it was not without challenges.  I had no idea how to sew knit t-shirt material.  Despite what the picture shows (or doesn't!) most of the shirt squares are pulled in the corners.



My second attempt went much better!  I decided to make a quilt for my brother's birthday.  He's transplanted to Denver, and I always like to make him feel homesick nostalgic.  I bought a pattern from Maiden Jane.  I had several questions that she happily answered through e-mail.  Then I was off and sewing.  I completed the quilt with relative ease.  The final product was just what I imagined and I knew my brother would love it!


When I make the next quilt, I may merge the wonderful pattern I used this time with some of my favorite things about the first quilt I made.  I do love the patchwork sashing of the sorority quilt.  And I have big plans to adapt the pattern to make quilts from the All Stars' baby clothes in a few years.



Have you ever tried a t-shirt quilt?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

DIY: Fabric Flowers

Recently we had our family photos taken.  The color combination I chose for our clothes had my girls wearing navy blue, so I wanted to do something to make their outfits more feminine.

My first thought and shopping trips were aimed at making felt flowers, but I just couldn't get the color right.  I came home and researched fabric flowers instead.  Cluck Cluck Sew had exactly what I was looking for.  I made a pin for my older All Star who won't wear anything in hear hair.  All Star 2 got a flower on a headband.

Flower pin method - I cut fabric scraps into circles starting with the smallest first.  I used a nickel as a guide to cut the first one.  Then I used each of those circles to guide cutting a bigger circle until I was satisfied with the overall size of the flower.  I attached a felt circle (cut a bit smaller than the biggest circle) to the bottom of the flower with fabric glue.  Then I picked a coordinating button to sew in the center and secure all the circles together.

I decided to actually just baste stitch the flower onto my daughter's sweater because it was fairly large and I didn't want it flopping over.  Next time I would probably sew each fabric layer together with a couple stitches.

Flower headband method - I drew a rough shape of a petal to use as a pattern.  Next, I cut petals out of the same fabric scraps. I also cut two identical felt circles out of a coordinating color of felt.  I sewed the fabric petals onto one of the felt circles by overlapping them and then moving in a spiral.  When I was done, I sewed the matching button from the flower pin into the middle.  Lastly, I glued the two felt circles together around a pre-fab headband.
I love this smooshy face.
I adore the way the flowers turned out and think they gave just the right feminine touch to our family photographs! (Photo below is © Tamarie Photography - Do no copy w/o permission.)




Sunday, January 1, 2012

DIY: Wedding Invitation Christmas Ornament

My brother was married this summer.  Not long after his wedding, I found this link on Pinterest for a Christmas ornament made from a wedding invitation.  I followed up with my mom who had saved her invitation and promptly claimed it for my project.  I bought a clear plastic bulb ornament, ribbon in colors matching the wedding theme, and a cute charm defining love.  The whole thing cost me less than $3.

Hot pink and apple green for brother and SIL
Supplies:
1 wedding invitation
scissors or rotary w/ cutting mat
a pen with a round barrel (not hexagonal)
1 clear Christmas bulb ornament (I used plastic)
ribbon in colors coordinating to wedding theme
charm (optional)
something to attach the charm (I used several tiny split rings)

Directions:
1. Cut invitation into strips.
~ I used a straight edge and my rotary tool to slice the invite into strips.  I lined up the straight edge to be sure all essential words would be visible and uncut.
2. Wrap the strips around the pen, creating a spiral.
~ You may need to hold each piece in place for a few seconds if the invitation is thick.  I do not recommend spiraling by using the old scissor curling technique.  It could shred your strips.
3. Put spirals into bulb.
~ I found that if I fed the spirals into the bulb, the spirals all became too loose.  But if I coiled them into a small disk before pushing the whole round piece through the hole, they were all too tight.  So, I did half of each and the mix left it feeling more diverse.
4. Replace the hook portion of bulb.
5. Attach charm. (Optional).
6. Attach ribbon for hanging and tie a nice bow.

Sometime after finishing the ornament for my brother and sister-in-law, my mom was cleaning out a box in my old room and found the invitation from my best friend's wedding.  She was married almost ten years ago!  What a great gift that would be! 

Red and gray for BFF.
If you know anyone getting married soon or having any recent invitations laying around, do this!  It was so easy and I know both my recipients loved their ornaments!