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Flannel

Rainbow Unicorn Goodness

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I’m going to let you all in on a little secret… I grew up with the real life Mary Poppins. It’s true! And yes, she’s just as wonderous and fantastical as you might think — I’m so fortunate to count her and her husband among my nearest and dearest friends.

So, you can imagine my excitement when I learned that they were expecting their first child. I cried happy tears, and then I got to work because this child needed the most amazing of quilts. Requirements included whimsy and rainbows. All the rainbows.

I plotted. I toiled. I stressed. I had a whole secret pinterest board dedicated to ideas. Seven months went by, but none of my designs really stuck with me. And then! It finally hit me — rainbow unicorn! BECAUSE OF COURSE RAINBOW UNICORN. Luckily for me, Kristy at QuietPlay had the perfect pattern.

In the flurry of sewing that followed, I choose a dark charcoal gray for the body, and the brightest of rainbows for the mane and tail. I also pulled two metallic fabrics for maximum sparkle: The background print is Whisper Stars from LizzyHouse (swoon!), and a silver Cotton + Steel for the hooves and horn.

I knew I needed to expand the 25″ unicorn block, but I was afraid to mess with its awesomeness.  I don’t like traditional quilt borders, and floating a 25″ square in a crib sized quilt created a vast expanse of negative space.  It stared me down from the design wall for at least two more weeks while I obsessed over a solution. In the end, I decided to offset the square with a few flying geese and a square in a square block. I added the extra flourish on just two corners, and I’m pretty pleased with the effect.

In the negative space, I quilted some wavy shapes that are somewhat similar to a topographical map. The unicorn’s fur is FMQ stippling, and the flying geese are hand-quilted in matching floss. The quilt is backed in a soft squishy flannel, and bound in dark charcoal.

I’m happy to report that the quilt has been put to work. Tummy time and childhood memories, here we come! 🙂

Linking up with CrazyMomQuilts, happy sewing!

 

A Round of Fabulous Custom Orders

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Do my customers have good taste, or what? These were so fun to bring to life. I’m so grateful for your support, thank you!

Custom Unicorn, by Stitchified Custom cloth doll, by Stitchified Custom elephant, by Stitchfied

 

Custom Plaid Hippo

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plaid hippo, by StitchifiedOne of the scariest things about opening an Etsy store is being asked to do custom orders. It is challenging to interpret someone else’s creative vision. And then there’s the whole timing thing — my creations are time intensive, and I’m terrified of getting in over my head. If there is such a thing as high-risk softie-making, custom orders are it for me. Which brings me to the story of a certain plaid hippo.

This little guy has left his mark on me. The little girl’s mom selected a beautiful large scale flannel plaid for a custom hippo. Mammoth flannel is wonderfully thick and heavy, and once it arrived I knew this was going to make an amazing softie… BUT OMG THE PLAID. The plaid freaked me out, guys. It’s beautiful, but it’s busy. So busy! I balanced it out by using creamy white accents, but then there was the issue of pattern matching.

I considered (and even got the mom’s generous okay!) not to match the plaid. I mean, the pattern is large scale, and the repeats are far apart… and we’re talking about matching plaid from the nose to tail. Curved seams! Perfect mirror images! It seemed like an impossible challenge. But the longer I stared at it, the more hesitant I became. It sat on my WIP bench for a week and my indecision tormented me. I turned a lot ideas over in my head, and decided to give pattern matching a shot.

I didn’t think my plan was going to work, so I didn’t take photos to demonstrate my technique. Figures, right? But in the end, I was more or less able to match the plaid across all the seams — and I’m so in love with him. He was totally worth the extra effort, and I think the challenge pushed me to do some of my best work to date. I’ll let the photos do the rest of the talking…

plaid hippo, by Stitchified

Those eyes! The little secondary design along his back!

Custom plaid hippo, by StitchifiedAnd if only you could hold him! The combination of mammoth flannel and wool stuffing is the very definition of comfort object. He is waiting to be presented on his little girl’s birthday, but I know that they are going to be the very best of friends!
plaid hippo, by StitchifiedMoral of today’s story: High risk, high reward!  … and an obligatory butt shot! 🙂

Happy sewing!

Linking up with CrazyMomQuilts and TGIFF over at http://www.arabesque-scissors.com/.

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I talked a little bit before about how I was making new clothes for a waldorf doll. Well, dresses are fun, but as any self-respecting toddler will tell you, everyone needs a set of good pajamas. I still think it’s a ploy to extend the bedtime routine — because we certainly can’t go to sleep until Faye is properly dressed.

Handmade Waldorf Pajamas, made from a revised AG doll patternNow I’m not a garment maker, but these came pretty close and they were easy! As before, I had to slightly modify a pattern meant for American Girl dolls. I used this adorable pattern from “Little Abbee” on Etsy. I actually ended up having to ask the author a question (a completely stupid question because I can’t read at 2AM ), and she was just about the nicest person ever. I highly recommend her and her shop.

The pattern was super easy, and I’m really pleased with the results. It reminds me of the flannel PJ sets I wore as a kid (yes, I was always fashionable… not).  I’ve since been asked to make a PJ set for everyone in our family — like I need more sewing projects. Even so, I might agree to make them in exchange for sewing while they go to the park or something. I just can’t get into garment sewing! I’m always so afraid it will come out the wrong size! Any tips?

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Up until two weeks ago, my house was a doll free zone. I don’t have anything against dolls, the idea just never occurred to me. I had no interest in dolls when I was a child, and it never even dawned on me that Baby Bee might feel differently. Imagine my surprise when her notes from school started containing messages like “she had so much fun feeding the baby dolls today!” Whoops. Minor parental oversight there.

So, we decided that it was time for a doll at home, but really wanted something handmade. Enter Waldorf dolls – adorable handmade dolls made of cotton and wool (with bonus points for being low on the creepy doll meter). There was a minute where I thought about making the doll myself, but it really seemed like something left to the experts. And let me tell you, the workmanship on this doll is incredible. I am so glad I decided to go the purchase route.
“Faye” as she has been named was meant to be a birthday present, but my curious child stumbled upon her in my closet… six months early. So her new wardrobe has been a little bit rushed, but it’s coming together piece by piece. There aren’t any established patterns out there that fit this doll, so I’ve had to tinker with some American Girl Doll patterns. Faye is a 14″ Waldorf (for those curious, she is a “Jewelwing” from Dragonfly’s Hollow), but she’s similar in girth to the 18″ American Girl Dolls. The two trouble spots are definitely the arms and legs – I’ve had to expand the arm holes and leg holes to accommodate her chunkier hands and feet. It’s been good practice at pattern making and a garment sewing.
The yellow dress is a  modified version of  Liberty Jane’s Kimono Dress, available here. The pattern is well written, with lots of pictures. I heart a pattern with an abundance of pictures, especially because I’m completely clueless about garment sewing. Minus a few slip ups that were completely my fault, the dress was a pleasure to sew up. It has a lot of beautiful little details that make for a really nice finish. Like the decorative stitching on the waistband — Baby Bee is thrilled that her dress has “hugging cat(s)” on it.

After I finished the dress Baby Bee asked that I make Faye some matching pants  (she insists on wearing pants 100% of the time herself, no idea why), so I whipped these up in less than an hour. They are seriously that easy. They are cozy flannel PJ pants, adapted from this pattern by Little Abbee on etsy. I’m still trying to figure out if my pattern printed funny, or if there was an error, but either way, it was a quick and easy project. I just love the little bow on the front!
I’m hoping to make the full PJ set one of these days, but I really really need to stop procrastinating and start my sister’s wedding quilt. Yikes!

Hipster Baby Quilt

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This baby quilt was the perfect re-entry into quilting.  I had a lot of fun planning it, though I’ll admit to obsessing over the fabric selections. I wanted something whimsical with a nod to music, but not too girly. After spending hours on etsy I found a few great Japanese linens… shipping from China. I was nervous about the wait time, but they got here just in time. I scattered the little vignettes through out the quilt, and used geometric prints in black, creams and red to balance out the rest.

There are a lot of stash builders in here too, including: Sweetwater’s Mama Said Sew, several prints from Zen Chic’s Comma, Chicken Wire from Oink A Doodle Moo, Timeless Treasure’s Sketch, and American Jane’s Pezzy Prints. I’m happy to say that I have leftovers of most 🙂

I also tried out a scrappy binding for the first time. I really love how it keeps your eye moving around the quilt, and it is extra cute all rolled up:

This one is straight line quilted, and backed in flannel. And it is crib size, 36″ x 54″.  I gave the parents-to-be the quilt this morning at their baby shower, and they were so appreciative. I wasn’t expecting it to be such a hit, but it really made my day!