Baby Blocks

Baby Blocks complete.

These will be given to a one year old so I was looking for something that easy for them to hold but not going to hurt them if they fell on them or if an older sibling threw it at them.

Baby Blocks

These blocks are made up of 3.5″ x 3.5″ squares. Each block has one plain side that has a hand appliqued letter on it and 5 printed sides. I went through my fabric stash to find the most vibrant fabric that I thought would be stimulating to babies. I was looking for small printed fabric to get the most in a 3.5″ square. They are machined sewed. I didn’t follow the golden rule of over stuffing as my sewing hasn’t been the straightist on them and some sides aren’t square. I thought over stuffing them might make them look more misshapen. I stuffed them until they resembled a cube shaped then slip stitched them closed. I made another set of these last year and at the same time cut all the fabric and did the hand applique for this lot. They have been sitting in a bag for nearly 12 months waiting to be made up.

Other activities for the week included starting a book. However its not what you first think. I’m making 2 fabric books as gifts for a 1 year old later in the year. I’ve been busy raiding my scrap stash looking for fabric.

My Stash

I have a number of craft stashes.

Fabric Stash As with all sewing people I have a large fabric stash that never seems to get a dent in it. I got all mum’s fabric which also included fabric I’d brought over the years. I’ve since added a lot more to it. When I want to make a project I go shopping in my fabric stash first.

Scrap Stash It started as nothing and now consists of at least 2 small tubs. I’ve tried to sort it into plastic zip lock bags such as fleece, felt, strips, squares, pelon, vilesofix, selvages. Then theres just a heap of odd shapes that are big enough to use in something some day. I try and use items from my scrap stash first without having to cut up a new larger piece from my fabric stash. I like making Scrashies which are just items made up my scrap stash (toys, bookmarks, beads) My scrap stash tubs sit on the end of my craft table and I have a habit of just dumping bits in there so every so often I go through and soft them out.

Thread Stash Mum had boxes and boxes of sewing reels and embroidery thread cards and I now have all of them. I can usually find a colour I’m needing amongst it. I’ve only added a handful of threads to it. With the embroidery thread she’d written out the brand and colour on each pieced of cardboard so when it comes to replacing that colour I know exactly what I need to buy.

Button Stash I’m having to keep upsizing what I store my buttons in cause the stash keeps growing. I’m using them a lot more now to embellish items particularly as some of the kids I make stuff for now are older and over that stick everything in their mouth stage.

Clothing Stash As mentioned in I have mum’s pj’s which I’m using in projects. I’ve hand picked them all and bundled the fabric up into plastic zip bags so the fabric is ready to use.

Yarn Stash I have more yarn than I really need. I have all these projects in my head that I want to make. It sort of in 3 categories Wool, Acrylic and Cotton. I in theory don’t need to buy yarn for a very long time but that probably won’t stop me.

Self Covered Button / Hair clip Stash This is my latest stash. I love making self covered buttons and hair clips. I want to make them using a lot of my scrap stash where possible.

Ribbon Stash Again I got alot of ribbons from mum but have also brought a heap of my own. I mostly use ribbons in when making taggies but I do want to start using them more just to embellish items. I’d love to crochet with ribbon at some point cause I think thats something that would look different.

Magazines / Books Stash I have a slight addiction to craft mags and books. As much as I love the internet for sewing ideas and tutorials give me a magazine or book that I can hold in my hand any day. Even though I may never make anything thats in the book I still love to look at the pictures, think of ideas and dream of the possiblities.

So thats my stashes that come to mind but I’m sure I have more that I don’t even realise.

Calico Bags

I decided to use a strip of the calico I dyed to make a couple of drawstring bags for toys I’ve made as gifts. They were really simple to make and only took me about 15 minutes. I haven’t labelled the bags so that they can be used for other purposes in future when the kids get too old for that toy.

Dyed Calico Bags

My other adventure for the weekend was working on some baby blocks for a birthday gift later in the year. I’d already assembled some but got the other 19 complete. Now to just stuff 26 blocks.

Baby Blocks In Progress

Just before Easter I got a new sewing cabinet. This was the first time I’d spent any extended period sewing on it and it was fantastic to work on. Before this I’d been using a 30+ year old card table that was my nan’s before I was even born. As much as I loved sewing on it, it was very old and rickety. With my new table I”m sitting up higher so my back isn’t getting some and my legs aren’t cramped. I spent about 5 hours sewing and didn’t notice. It made machine sewing so much more enjoyable.

Diesel & Detroit

I made these 2 little guys as a birthday gift for a friend recently. As she has unwrapped the gift I can now talk about them. Between us we have come up with the names Detroit the Cat and Diesel the Dog.

Diesel & Detroit

They are from Indygo Junction the dog is by Amy Barickman the cat is by Karen Kottke. Detroit looks very much like the cat in the pattern photo. Diesel I did the nose slightly different. His nose points out more then the pattern’s photo. I did the eyes different to the pattern on both. I hand pieced the heads. I used Clover yo-yo makers to do the puffs. I love using yo-yo makers as you can sit and do them in front of the tv and not worry if your doing them correctly just follow the holes. I’ve made 4 toys from Indygo Junction now and the patterns are really simple to follow. Most of the fabric I already had in my stash. I may of purchased one or two extra fabrics to get a good colour combination.

Dyeing Calico – Pink

I have a roll of calico that I wanted to use in toys. As a plain colour I thought it might be a bit boring so I emailed Dylon Dyes for their advice on how it would turn out if I dyed it. They were very nice and sent me out some free samples to try out.

Pink Calico

I tried out the Flamingo Pink colour. I’ve never dyed fabric before but as can see from another piece that I didn’t dye it has turned out really well. I got about 2 metres from this batch. It wasn’t as messy as I was expecting it to be so it has given me confidence to try out the other 2 colours at some point.

Nanna Sukie’s Tea Set

Recently I attended a lovely weekend at Urban Stitches with the talented designers Rosalie Quinlan (Rosalie Quinlan Designs) Jodie Carleton (Ric Rac) and Melanie McNeice (Melly & Me) I had a great weekend and made some lovely new friends. I purchased Jodie’s pattern “Tea-Set” and knew I had to make it.

Nanna Sukie's Tea Set

Nanna Sukie’s Tea Set is for my 3 year old nieces as a birthday gift made from my mum’s old pyjamas. Mum was known for loving her pj’s and when she died I kept them vowing to make something with them for my nieces.

I didn’t quite follow the pattern to the word. I constructed the teapot and teacups a little different to the instructions and I haven’t put buttons on the teacup handles. I couldn’t get hold of template plastic so I used flexible plastic canvas I had as the bases and as it was a bit thick used interfacing in the cup lining bases instead of the plastic. I used a large yo-yo maker to make the lid toppper and put the plastic in once I stuffed it and then attached a self covered button as the teapot lid. I added an extra 2 teacups and saucers as it was more practical for the kids I’m giving it too. I really enjoyed making it. It gave me a chance to work with interfacing and rigilene for the first time. I’ve noted the things I’ve done different and have put them with the pattern so when I make it next time I can do it the same way. I love this design so much I plan to make another 2 versions of it later this year for other kids.

T – Rex

T- Bella
This was a softie I made last year. Its a Princess Dinosaur. It was made for my niece’s 4th birthday. At the time she was crazy about T-Rex’s and Princesses. After searching everywhere I finally found a T-Rex pattern in a book from the library. I played around with the pattern on my photocopier enlarging until I got a size I was happy with. From memory I machine sewed it. I made the fabric beads from fabric in my scrap stash and threaded them on some hat elastic. The tutu was netting I found in my stash. I attached the limbs with dental floss which allowed them to spin around 360 degrees