Monday, December 30, 2013

Quiet Books for Kids

So this what my giant undertaking for Christmas. I decided to make quiet books for my niece (age 5) and my nephew (age 2). I love giving quiet entertain-yourself gifts to kids, and of all the ideas, this one seemed the best for travel also. I don't have kids, so I did a lot of guessing and research to figure out what would be best for the kiddos, and I learned alot.

All of the books are grommetted and then joined with those metal embroidery loops, so that pages can be added, removed, or exchanged as the kid grow in and out of things, or as pages need repair.

For the 5-year old, some things detach from the book, but have a storage space in one of the pages. For the 2 year old, everything is tied down.

Ok before we get into the pictures - Things that I learned:

#1 - Grommets only go through 2-3 layers of felt. I should have done the decorating on MOST of the page, but left a border for the binding only.

#2 - Sew EVERYTHING on. I glued a bunch of things to save time and energy, and those were the first things that got ripped out of the book. Oops. Live and learn I guess. Most of them were decorative elements more than anything, but if I could do it all over, I would just reduce the number of pages and sew every last thing.

#3 - Page size consistency! I bought packs of felt as well as individual sheets. I also cut  some from larger sheets of plastic and/or felt. Even though all of them were *supposed* to be 9"x13" - the only ones that were actually sized right were the ones I cut out. A template that was 8.5"x11" (with a 1" margin for binding) would have saved me SO much trouble in the end. But I didn't find out until I went to bind the books, and by then it was too late.

Ok, so here are the books!

Sophia's Cover Page!
The books velcro shut.

I-Spy Page
Made of plastic scraps I had and filled with beads, buttons and glitter.
I took a photo of everything and included a "find me checklist" in the book.
Inspiration Book

Everybody needs practice tying their shoes!

Clock Page & Telling the time!

Garden Pages

Flower Garden
The petals are individually button-holed and she can mix and match them.
Inspiration Image

Veggie Garden Page
The carrots are tethered in with ribbon but they can be harvested!
Inspiration Page
Dress Up Page
Pattern Here

Kitchen Page 1
The Grocery Bag holds all the food cut-outs.
Pattern page

Kitchen Page 1
to show the frying pan and eggs!

Kitchen Page 2
The plate, napkin, and silverware are sewn/glued down.
Pattern Page

Sandcastle Page 1
The pieces are stored in the bucket.
Pattern Page

Sandcastle Page 2
Pattern Page

Luke's Cover Page
Lion Page
I really didn't get this, but I saw it in a number of places.
As it turns out, Luke was captivated by this page!
Inspiration, Another Inspiration
Bead Page
I double stitched each end of each strand, plus the border!

Buttons Page
"Touch and Feel" Page
This page started out with a spare piece of trim, and I added the pom-poms to bring it together.

Shapes Page Inspiration

Zipper Page
Inspiration, Inspiration, and more Inspiration

Froggy Page
The flies are made of the fluffy part of velcro.
The loops/tough part is on the other side of the frog's tongue.
Inspiration Page

Matching the Socks Page
I don't remember where I got the idea for this one, but the socks are
tied down inside the basket.

Airport Page
The kids know that Uncle works at the airport, so Luke got this page.
I used the pattern provided on this site, and added the person too.
Because this is the baby's book, everything is attached.
Roads Page
I saw roads pages in other places, like here but I didn't like them.
I added this one at the end. I got the cars and tied the ribbon onto the underside.
Then I glued velcro to the car and to parking spots on the page.
I don't know if you can see, but I sewed the roads down with yellow lines down the middle.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Crochet Origami Bag

So, I stumbled across this pattern on Pinterest, and I loved the concept. I'm not a big fan of crochet bags, mainly because I hate having to line them. This pattern, however, is the perfect solution. The body of the bag is worked flat - it is seriously just a rectangle. You can make is as big or as small as you want, just keep in mind that you need a specific height/width ratio to get the bag to fold up correctly. Then you can line it by sewing a flat rectangle onto your flat crochet piece! Too easy.

Once you've got your lining sewn in, you fold up the bag and seam all of 2 seams. Then you can add whatever strap you want!

I think the striping really makes this bag pop, so I did the same thing, but I also added a simple shell stitch border (skip 2 sts, 6dc, sc into next st) around the whole thing. The strap was just a single row of dc's with the same shell stitch border along both edges.

Pattern: The Masa Bag
Hook: 6.5mm
Yarn: Caron Simply Soft in Passion, Dark Chocolate, and Autumn Maize (less than 1 skein of each)
Lining: Plain cotton fabric from the quilting dept at Joann's (I bought 2 quilters quarters because the line for the cutting counters was hellacious...)

Folding Instructions Here

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Settlers of Catan Quilt

This was my first adventure into quilting, and I have to say, I am pretty proud of myself for this one! Lucky for me there are quite a few quilters in my family, so I had plenty of places to turn to for help.

If you've never played Catan, you really should check it out. Here's the game board I was working with:

I could have crochetted this project, and probably quickly too, but I loved the idea of capturing the pattern and picture of each hex. I got fabrics that really helped to accentuate the meadows, fields, and forests just like the tiles on the real game.

I did a lot of online searching for other projects, and there are quite a few other people who have done variations on this theme, but none that I fell in love with. I decided to try doing my own thing.

Each hex was 6" from side to side, with a 1/4" seam allowance on all sides. The finished quilt was 36" from side to side and 42" from corner to corner. I ended up putting little triangles around the edges so that I had flat sides to deal with when it came to adding the edging. I machine stitched the top pieces together, and then I hand-quilted it. I was planning to hand-quilt the edging on, but I was worried about it holding up to frequent washing, so in the end I machined the edging.

Ok! Here are the pictures!

Picked out the fabrics for the center!

Cut all the pieces and started assembling the top.

Top assembled, pinned out with batting and backing.

Quilting done, pinned on the edging.


Thursday, December 5, 2013

Granny Infinity Fringe Scarf

I love infinity scarves, and I love fringe - so here is a quick and easy pattern that combines the two!

Hook: 6.5mm
Yarn: Worsted [4] Caron Simply Soft in Pagoda (teal), Passion (fuscia), and Autumn Maize (tan)

Chain 92, slip stitch in first chain st to join.
Round 1: Chain 3, dc in each of the next 2 sts, *Ch 1 and skip the next ch, dc in each of the next 3 sts*. Repeat from * to * until you reach where you started.

Here’s how it becomes an infinity pattern – instead of joining, swap to the underside or back side of the granny row you just made. If you’re not familiar with making an infinity pattern, you’re going to flatten your work as if you were going to join, but add ONE HALF twist in order to reach the back of your work. Normally when you join, this is the thing you’re trying to avoid, but today, go ahead and embrace it.

You’re basically making a moebius strip, and if you never made one of those in school, check out this video for the basics.

Ch1 and then 3 dc in the first ch1 gap (made when you skipped one ch st in the first half of this row) continue to *ch 1 then 3 dc in the next ch 1 gap* until you’re all the way back around at the first ch 3 you made at the beginning of the round. Sl st in the top of that ch 3 to join.

From here on, it is pretty simple.

Future Rounds:  Ch 3, 2dc in that ch 1 space. *Ch , 3dc in next ch 1 space* all the war around until you’re back where you started. Ch 1 and sl st into the top of the turning chain to join.
Stripes can be interesting, because they will always add onto the outside of the work. I did 4 complete rounds of teal, and then 1 round of my accent color.

I also added a fringe to mine. I cut pieces of yarn that were approx. 14” long, and then knotted them onto HALF of the edge (it actually goes all around the circle on one edge….though of course a moebius strip only really has one edge, so just keep adding fringe until you feel like you’ve got enough).