Archive for November, 2012

Slowing Down to Make

November 25, 2012

My kids will likely never know the days when stores are closed all day and night on Thanksgiving but we managed to keep the shopping frenzy at bay for the most part during this long holiday break beginning with participating in the Bonfield Express Thursday morning, playing games and catching a movie. (The Bonfield is a 5k named in memory of Jim Bonfield a favorite teacher, coach, and counselor; it has become a Thanksgiving tradition for many in our community with the proceeds funding college scholarships for area seniors.)

Feeling totally inspired from meeting with my quilting group on Saturday morning, today, my daughter and I set aside some time to make a new pair of fleece pajama pants. We used a pattern we had used before from Heather Ross’ book, Weekend Sewing: More Than 40 Projects and Ideas for Inspired Stitching, but added a few inches here and there to accommodate her growing frame. Altogether, we probably spent about one hour on the project. I also made a silent promise to her that in the coming weeks when life can get quite busy with shopping lists, parties, work deadlines, homework, etc., we are going to carve out some time each weekend throughout December to make something.

Making the pattern a bit bigger.

Pieces are cut and ready to sew.

Adding a ribbon loop to hang the pants from on the door hook.

Ready to wear!

Next on the list: a fleece t-shirt for Audrey, our Rhodesian Ridgeback mix. For fun, my daughter put a t-shirt onto Audrey this weekend and she actually really likes it; in fact, she seems a bit sad when it comes time to take it off! We think that she believes that if she wears clothes like ours we will soon invite her to pull up a chair to the dinner table. Stay tuned – if it turns out well, I will post the how-to here next week.

Happy making with your friends and family this holiday season!

Creativity Gets its Groove on at Downers Grove North High School

November 14, 2012

This  great video, produced by the Fine Arts Department at Downers Grove North High School (in the town where I live), will have you singing along and maybe even dancing!

Enjoy!

Falling Felt Leaves

November 5, 2012

Despite concerns that the fall color show might be compromised by the drought, the colors here in the Chicagoland area were magnificent this fall. The leaves seemed to cling to the trees longer than usual, but with a few rains and windy days, most trees are bare and the show is now over. I’m not quite ready to be done with the fall colors, however, so I decided to bring the color scheme inside with leaves made out of felt scraps.

Here’s how to make the leaves . . .

1. Collect felt scraps in fall colors – oranges, reds, browns, yellows, greens.

2. Download leaf coloring pages from the Internet. If you are feeling a bit too constrained by these, design your own leaf shapes from trees real or imagined.

3. For each leaf, cut out two sizes; the larger one should be about 1/4 inch bigger all around than the smaller one. I played with color here; some leaves are high contrast like shown here, while others are two shades of the same color.

4.  Stitch the two pieces together emphasizing what you want to in the leaf – for example, stitching around the edges to highlight the overall shape or stitching the vein pattern. I changed it up based on the individual leaves. You also have many options here for stitching – hand stitching using a variety of embroidery stitches or just a running stitch; machine stitching that takes advantage of your machine’s capabilities or a simple straight stitch. The bottom line is to make it fun and spend as much time as you want to or have.

Use … enjoy … rearrange often!

P.S. If you have a little person that wants to participate in the fun, they could glue the leaves together and then “make stitches” with a Sharpie.  Or, if old enough, he/she could use a big needle and big stitches to hand sew the leaves together.

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