Posts tagged ‘handmade’

Quick, cute baby gift project

Have you ever had a baby shower to go to and needed a gift really quickly? Or just a little something to add a homemade touch to a baby gift? This is the perfect project for a situation like this. If you craft on a regular basis, you probably have everything you need already. The project takes fewer than 30 minutes, and best of all – babies actually love them.

Cute, easy and practical - can you beat that?

First of all, can we mention how cute the fairytale flannel fabric is??

OK. This is a taggie-style little blanket, perfectly sized for baby’s pincher grasps and small enough to stick into a diaper bag, tuck into a stroller pocket or comfort a baby in a baby carrier. Making these is super easy. Cut out two equal sized squares from flannel fabric. This project had 6X6 inch squares. Cut out a variety of different satin ribbons – about 2.5-3 inches long.

Place flannel fabric squares right sides together. Insert satin ribbon, folded in half, between the two pieces of flannel, with tails of ribbon sticking out. Pin into place. Repeat until you have enough ribbon ‘taggies’. Sew 1/4 inch seam around the entire square, leaving about 1.5 inches unsewn in order to flip the blanket right side out. Flip right side out, sew remaining space closed. Then, sew a second time around the completed blanket on the right side, half an inch in, securing ribbons in place so that ribbons do not detach when baby plays/sucks on the tags. And that’s it, you’re done!


February 17, 2010 at 6:30 am 9 comments

An owl for Luke

I brought in an owl I sewed for my cousin’s first birthday (to be posted this weekend after she has received it) to work today, and my coworker Kim requested one for her son. I realized I didn’t have many boy friendly fabrics. So, I broke my long streak of not buying fabrics happily, and went to the cute sewing store in downtown Maryville to pick out some beautiful woolen, brushed flannels in gender-neutral and boy-friendly prints.

When I finished the owl cut outs as I traditionally do, something seemed missing. I decided to add eyelashes and it made him perfect.

The only downside to this beautifully soft fabric (perfect for a baby boy’s hugs) is that it was much stretchier than the quilting cotton I was used to working with, which meant when it came time to stuff him, the stuffing stretched his shape a bit. However, I think it can be a worthy tradeoff for a snuggly baby toy.

I wish I had a better place to take photos after dark – the colors are terrible in this photo. Look at the eyelashes, though!

And on that note, back to the Westminster Kennel Club dog show. Yes. I don’t know which is better – the adorable dogs or the hysterical commentary.

Also, the Purina shelter ads are making me cry.

February 16, 2010 at 8:44 pm 4 comments

Another gift for Riley

I mentioned my cousin’s upcoming fourth birthday and the first part of his present here. The other half, I completed Sunday night.

Riley is the quintessential boy’s boy – he loves trucks, cars, anything with wheels. And recently, he’s fallen in love with fire trucks.

When trying to decide what to get him to go with the aforementioned monster mittens, I wanted to get something fireman/fire truck related but didn’t want to accidentally get him something he already had/would get for his birthday. So, after much deliberation, I decided to try my hand at creating a fireman puppet.

To the rescue

If I were to do it again, I might make a few changes. The hat isn’t quite right, and I would have sewn a separate jacket and sewed it on top of a puppet base. Nevertheless, I think it turned out pretty cute and I think a 4-year-old’s imagination might overcome my pattern’s shortcomings.

One of our dogs was certainly fascinated with the creation, though:

Mmm ... firefighter puppet ...

February 15, 2010 at 6:21 am Leave a comment

Monster mittens

Ever since I saw this on Martha Stewart’s Web site, I have been dying to make them. I bookmarked them on my computer and waited for the perfect occasion.

Enter my cousin Riley’s 4th birthday party, coming up at the end of the month. This will likely only be part of his gift, but what a fun little homemade trinket to throw in the mix.


This was a super easy project and would take someone who is good at hand sewing about 15 minutes. I found the mittens at KMart – they were actually Superman mittens but had a removable tag. It’s surprisingly difficult to find plain mittens nowadays. I freehand cut spikes for the monsters’ backs out of two pieces of felt, used red embroidery floss to sew on the spikes and button eyes, and make little nostrils. Simple and so cute.

Completing a craft project in our house is not easy with three out of control dogs. To give you an idea of what I was working with, our giant goldendoodle, Rufus, was quite offended to not be the center of my attention.

Can I eat those monsters?

How about if I bark at you?

Oh, hi. Were you trying to sew? How about giving me a haircut?

February 7, 2010 at 3:31 pm 1 comment

Quilting for lazy people

A recurring theme throughout all of my creative endeavors is ease and projects that can be completed in a weekend or less. For hobbies, I have a short attention span. I love to start something on a Saturday and have something to show for it by the end of a weekend. Naturally, this makes quilting a strange fit.

Enter strip quilting. Strip quilting is ideal for beginning quilters and people like me, who enjoy fabric collecting more than the actual sewing. It’s a great way to show off beautiful fabrics, and to have a beautiful blanket finished by Sunday night.

My first strip quilting project was a sweet blanket for my cousin’s 2nd birthday. It was so much fun wandering the aisles of JoAnn’s, picking out adorable pink, green, yellow and brown fabrics for an equally adorable little girl.

Finished quilt

The quilt was a hit

For this quilt, I used 1/2 yards of 12 different fabrics, and 1.5 yards of a large floral fabric for the backing. I first chose the apple and pear Alexander Henry fabric, and chose coordinating colors from it. The 1/2 yards of 12 fabrics were cut into 4 inch by 8 inch strips, sewn with a quarter inch seam allowance. The quilt is 7 lengths of fabric long (about 5o inches long after seam allowances) by 15 strips wide (about 54 inches after seam allowances). The backing is made up of the solid fabric flanked by two extra strips.

If, like me, you are not the world’s most precise cutter, you can stagger your seams. I did this by cutting the first piece of my finished strips (7 4X8 pieces of fabric sewn together) in half, on half of the strips I made. Then, I sewed the cut half onto the last piece in these strips. This way, all strips were still the same length but the seams are staggered throughout.

The great part about strip quilting is you can improvise based on how much you have of each fabric. It is fat quarter friendly, and you can make it any size.

I hand-tied this quilt with thin satin ribbon. All in all, it took about 1 hour of fabric cutting, 3 hours of sewing the front, 1 hour of sewing the back, and 2 hours to back, tie and finish.

More examples of strip quilting to come soon.

January 30, 2010 at 6:13 pm Leave a comment

About me

My name is Mallory Murray and I have a love of all things oldfashioned. I'm a modern day feminist who also adores Martha Stewart. Read on for my sewing, crochet, cooking, gardening, quilting and crafting projects. I am the chief officer of marketing and design at Northwest Missouri State University, so expect the occasional random post about marketing/universities/design. I dream of a hobby farm with baby doll sheep, a sheep dog, a small flock of chickens, and other animals to be announced. I'm also a Pitt State grad, football lover, HGTV addict and obsessed with the color aqua.

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