Sunday, 30 January 2011

Space Invaders Sampler - A Joint Project

After years of watching me cross stitch my way through life (I carry a cross stitch with me in my handbag, and will quite happily stitch almost anywhere!) my hubby finally decided last year that actually it looked quite simple and that he could have a go.  But he didn't fancy doing any from my stash of kits. I could understand this, most of my stash is mainly Popcorn or stuff for the kids.  
  Luckily out on the internet, there are some very clever people who have combined crafts of all sorts to fit with their own interests.  Cue my hubby finding Spritestich, a games themed craft blog and a brilliant pattern that has eventually turned into this piece of stitchery.
H.G.Wells and some Space Invaders
 The hubby stitched 3/4 of the border himself last summer, but got to the bottom right hand corner and made a mistake, which meant unpicking, put it down and the poor thing hasn't been seen since.

I was supposed to be studying today, so naturally I found this and finished it for him.

I just need to run an iron over it and find a frame and it is going to go pride of place...above the computer!

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Beanbag Buddies

Bean Bag Buddies is a brilliant little book that shows how to make an assortment of cute "beanbag" toys. It has step by step instructions throughout (I am a great lover of step by step instructions, especially when there are decent photos accompanying them). The patterns are all included and they are simple and easy to follow. I enjoy making things and trying my hand at new stuff and my kids enjoy having handmade goodies so it is a win-win when I find something that I can make for them. There is even a dragon in there that I am going to have to make for The Hubbie when I have time.
So far I have made two of the designs:
For my son
This little guy is a bean bag, with character. Stitched by hand, mainly due to how small most of the pieces are, he took me an afternoon to make from start to finish. He is a little unusual, but then so is my son, so it kinda works. By far the hardest part of BeanBagBoy was getting the head attached to the body, but it is securely attached which is important since little hands don't think about the stitching. However I'm pleased with the finished product.

For my daughter
The Bear

The Bear was all hand sewn as well. The Bear was quite fiddly but again relatively easy. If I do another I think I would stuff it a bit more as he looks quite limp, but it does give him a bit of a cute dopey look. I used velvet for The Bear as this was what was suggested, but honestly the stuff is ghastly to work with. I had purple fluff everywhere and it is tough to sew.  It works in the end because it has added texture, but next time I think I will probably use a soft fleece or something similar.

All in all, I enjoyed making them and I think they are quite cute, will definitely be making some more in times to come.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

The Very Hungry Caterpillar and some very dodgy stitching!

My little girl turned four this month. All she wanted for her birthday was some bubbles and a handmade Hungry Caterpillar cushion. She was very specific on the handmade bit. Much to my appreciation I found that there is some lovely Hungry Caterpillar fabric out there and that it is stocked at Fabric8, my local habidashery. I bought a panel that had three nice size pictures on. One of the big fat caterpillar, one of the little caterpillar on a leave, and one of the butterfly.
The cushion was simple and used two of the pictures. 

Back View

Front View

Bless her heart she was over the moon with it, which is surprising because she has a plethora of cushions that I have made for her in the past 12 months.  This is because in the past 12 months I have started to try to learn how to sew. Cushions, I found are easy, inexpensive and a very good way to incorporate a load of cross stitches I had done, but never got framed.  Also this is a very good way of practicing using the sewing machine.  (I have been attempting to do a shirt for The Hubby, but that is still on a hanger awaiting hemming.)

At the same time that I got the panel, I bought some nice fleece material in pink and blue.  So I decided to try some different stitches on the sewing machine with varying degrees of success.  

The Blanket

I had been trying to figure out how to finish the edges of the fleece for a while.  I know there are several no-stitch ways, where you cut the edge and make knots, but I personally don't like that effect. I could have hand blanket-stitched it, but really wanted to use the sewing machine for something.
At a distance it looks fine but up close you can see the wobbly stitching.
Wobbly Stitches
I have never had to stitch close to the edge before and found it quite difficult. 

After stitching the edge and sewing on the panel I decided it was missing something, so cut out letters from the dotty fabric and machine stitched them on.  Again I could have done this by hand, but I thought it would be good practice.
More Dodgy Stitching!

I must admit that I am quite pleased with the results. I know that I am no seamstress, but it is a start, I got some practice and my daughter got a blanket which she is delighted with.  

Companion Cube

This is something that I made for the hubby for our wedding anniversary back in November and thought it would make a good first blog item just because it is so random!  For those of you who aren't quite as geeky as me, the companion cube is device used in a game called 'Portal '. Somehow the cube itself got quite a following, including my hubby.  Although it is completely geeky, it has got a pink heart on each side of the cube, and when thinking of something to do for his anniversary gift i stumbled upon bellastitch, who has put up a step by step guide to making this little beauty! I knew that I wanted to do something with the companion cube but hadn't decided what to do with it.  After a quick google search I realised that a lot of people had done the companion cube in one form or another.  People have made cakes, costumes, embroideries and knitted companion cubes!  I must admit that I was surprised at the sheer volume of creativity on the web!

I pretty much followed the directions from bellastitch, which were brilliant, with photos at each stage.  I weighted my companion cube with decoration sand, so it has quite a nice weight to it.  Although the cross stitch itself was simple, it requires a lot of patience, due to the fact that it needs to be repeated so many times.  After sewing each of the individual cube faces, I attached fusible interfacing to make sure that it held it's cube shape.  The most difficult bit by far was trying to sew it all together and keep it somewhat cube shaped.  Unfortunately my stitching left a lot to be desired so I headed off to my local habidashery the day before our wedding anniversary and got some silver ribbon and fabric glue and finished it off just in time.

I have subsequently been called the geekiest wive alife, but it went down very well with the hubby so all's well that end's well.

First Impressions

Welcome to my little blog, I have never done anything like this before but recently realised that I make and do a fair few things and thought that I could share with the world and hopefully get encouragement and/or advice from people who actually know what they are doing, so I will be putting up a few posts originally to show you all the kind of thing that I do.