The birds are chirping the flowers are blooming, and spring is finally here (I think). Last week we had a blast of winter weather and we are supposed to be in the 30’s tonight. But after that, it is supposed to be consistently in the 60’s and 70’s for spring!
Here’s a cute spring project – a nest of Easter Peeps! The original pattern from Liberty Rose was a much larger chick that could be used for a pincushion. I downsized it and stitched it up in some yummy spring colors! You could also make some cute Easter Rabbits and use brown floss to add in the distinctive Rabbit Peep face – 2 small dots for the eyes and one for the nose (note: writing this on my to do list).
This spring pillows were also inspired by Liberty Rose! These are really easy to stitch up and are great accents for your spring decorating. Pick out a few vintage images (we used postcards) and then transfer them to fabric. You can buy the photo transfer fabric at Jo-Ann’s (bring your coupon). Cut out, sew on a backing, and stuff – viola! The neat thing about this is that you can use any image – there are lots of goods ones the internet, just do a search for “vintage ____ images”.
Here is my first attempt at making a primitive doll – Miss Emily. I made her in cottage style fabrics, so she doesn’t really look prim – but I like the general effect. I might end up staining her with a walnut crystals as she looks too clean :).
I can’t remember who made the pattern, but it was easy to follow. Dollmaking is a little bit different than I thought it would be (actually easier). For one thing, you don’t cut out the pattern pieces and then sew them together. Instead, you trace the pattern onto the fabric, and then place the fabric right sides together, and sew around the line you traced. This eliminates the problem of the cut pattern pieces sliding around as you are trying to sew around curves.
She is a basic cylinder with arms and legs sewed on separately. The arms and legs are filled partially with sand so you can pose her easily (she looks great sitting on top of the fireplace). Her hair is made from doll hair (you can get this at the craft store). I decided to give her bangs since she has such a high forehead, but may end up redoing her hair with thin yard instead.
The dress is simple to construct. The shirt is “flat construction”, meaning you cut out the front and back of the shirt and sew it together. The neckline and the sleeves are finished by simply turning the raw edges to the inside. The skirt is a long rectangle that is gathered at the waist. The apron is a rectangle hemmed on 3 sides, with a small waistband. Overall, her outfit turned out really cute!
My friend wanted to make some little peace doves to give as gifts this year, and asked me to help her since she knows I love to sew! She emailed me a few pictures of some stuff birds she liked, and I was able to find a great FREE pattern at Spool Sewing for these birds (the free pattern is available for download in the right hand sidebar).
I stitched together a quick prototype on my sewing machine so we had a better idea of the finished product. It took no time at all and you could easily create a dozen of these in an evening. You can embroider little eyes using french knots, or you can attach a beads (be sure to do all these embellishments before stitching and stuffing it). Another idea is to embroider designs on the body, or create little wings in a contrasting color and sewing them on.
I don’t have a picture of my friend’s, but she used white felt for all her pieces, and then hand sewed them together with a blanket stitch (in white). It would have also been cute to sew around in contrasting color like red or blue. I plan to make some of these as well, but wanted to get this posted in so you can get the pattern and start making some yourself.
We used the pattern as is, and then used copper jewelry wire to make little feet. I pocked a hole in the bird body with a little awl, stuck in a dab of hot glue, then pushed the feet inside. Since the birds are pretty light, they stand up pretty well on the feet. You can adjust the feet after you get them glued in.
Introducing the Snowman Family! Here are some snowmen and women I’ve been working on for the past few weeks. I had an idea in my head about how to create some snowmen, but wasn’t quite sure what the end result would be. I didn’t want something too primitive – instead I was looking for something more retro and nostalgic. Vintage postcards provided the inspiration for the faces, which were painted on.
I started by created a ball out of canvas, which was then painted off-white. I played around with some ideas for faces and created two different looks – the “sweetly sleeping” and “happy jolly”. The “sleeping” look was more feminine looking, which is why it was used for snow women.
The first set was a snowman and wife. The top hat was made out of muslin and then painted black. The ears muffs were created from wool yo-yos and a strip of wool. After the headgear was glued on, they were painted with a coffee wash to lend an antique look.
Frosty was fun to make! He has the same top hat as the other guy, but also earmuffs (so he is double warm). Muslin was sewn together in a small cone to create the nose and then wrapped with string to give it a carrot texture. The face was painted on (eyes and mouth) and then the nose was stitched one. Next came his earmuffs and hat, then he was also brushed with coffee.
This last one is my favorite one since it looks so different from the other ones. I knew I didn’t her to have an antique look – I wanted to keep this one more retro. I thought about adding the Santa hat when trying to think of another type of hat that wasn’t as involved as a top hat or bonnet. When the hat was placed on her head, she reminded me of a candy cane! This inspired me to paint her candlestick a cheery red and white. I just need to figure out a better way to paint on the white lines so they don’t look as wobbly. Any suggestions are welcome!
This is the wool applique table runner I started working on last year. This is from one of the Need’l Love books that features fall patterns. I added acorns and oak leaves for that extra touch.
This guy wanted to have his picture on the blog too! He is the cousin to the other owl I made. My son has named this owl “Fancy” and the other owl is called “Sooder” (not sure how he came up with that one!).
First, a big thank you to Sharon of Liberty Rose for hosting the first annual Fall Porch sale at her house. I can’t even tell you how much work Sharon and Evette did to get everything arranged and set-up for Saturday. Everything was perfect, down to the last detail!! I am very honored that Sharon asked me to be a part of this show and I look forward to doing it again next year (yes, we are already planning another one!).
This is what Sharon’s back porch looked like before the sale. All the tables are loaded down with goodies and the tree is full of ornaments. By the end of the day, everything was bare (I wish I had some after pictures).
Ladies started lining up well before 10am, eager to look at all the beautiful items that were for sale. This display features a wool Hootie owl I made and some pot holders and candle mats made by Laura.
Here is the main corner where my wares were displayed. The stand is my grandmother’s spool tree – it’s perfect for hanging purses and other small things. The doll was made by Jennifer :).
Here is the Halloween corner. You can see Bartleby the Pumpkin with his sly grin, hanging out with the other witches and ghosts. Evette had some beautiful wool Halloween ornaments, Jennifer made some witches boots, and Sharon had a cute little embroidered witch.
Thank you to all the ladies (and gentlemen – I saw at least two) who came to the sale. It was wonderful meeting everyone and I look forward to seeing you all again next year!
Here is another Fall item (started two years ago) that is finally finished. Last week it was plucked out of the UFO pile and given the finishing touches. This was another project from Create and Decorate that was a lot of fun to make. The feathers are cut out of wool, the veins are stitched on, and then they are treated with fabric stiffener (I used “Stiffy” – insert joke here 🙂 ). Once the feathers are dry, the directions called for you to glue them together and then glue onto the body. However, I had much better luck stitching everything with black perle cotten – it was much sturdier and you know it won’t come apart.
The whole thing is brushed with coffee to give it that “prim” luck. My husband keeps smelling coffee in the house although neither one of us drinks it (the coffee smell fades away after a few days). The original directions made one that was about 12 inches high (suitable for a table centerpiece). My is about half that size, since I thought a smaller one would be more versatile.