Friday, July 19, 2013

Rainbow HSTs

The finished quilt. It's pram sized, so wasn't too onerous to sew.

It's been five months since I updated this blog. I'd love to say I've been sewing, but sadly, my machine has been gathering dust while I deal with a back injury that means I can barely walk some days, let alone sew.

I've done a few little things though - all presents for new babies. Making something special for a new arrival is my favourite kind of sewing.

This little pram quilt is for a beautiful baby boy who was born last month. I knew he was a boy before he was born, but really didn't want to use typical 'boy' colours. Then I saw this quilt on Pinterest and knew I wanted to make something similar.

Hand quilting detail. I used DMC thread. My 5 year old loved matching the fabrics to the threads.

I bought a charm pack of Kona Brights and a pack of Kona Snow. I've only ever bought fabric by the yard before, so it was lovely not having to cut it all up.

The half-square triangles came together in one evening, and I pieced the quilt the next night. The hand-quilting didn't take as long as I imagined, maybe 4 nights while watching tv?

The back. I'm so disappointed in my fabric choice. I had imagined a charcoal grey, but settled for this.

I was terrified the fabric, thread or binding would run, so I crossed my fingers and gave it a test wash with a couple of colour catchers. Nothing ran, thank goodness, and I now feel comfortable that my friend can chuck it in the wash without having to worry about colour runs.

Pretty happy with the finished quilt :)

I really hope to be back to sewing and blogging regularly soon. I miss it!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A big milestone and a cloth book

Enjoying her book
This week, Baby A will reach another milestone. She will clock up one whole year since she got her hearing aids. It's been such a huge year for our family, with countless appointments (audiology, ENT, hearing tests) and hours upon hours upon hours of auditory-verbal therapy, where she learns to listen and speak with her hearing aids.

I've spent heaps of time over the last year trying to find resources to help Baby A learn to listen and speak.  Most parents of deaf and hearing impaired children will be familiar with the Ling Sounds, which are seven sounds across the main speech frequencies that you can use to check that your child is hearing (even small babies respond to these sounds).

We practice the Ling Sounds most days. From a practical point of view Baby A's responses let us know whether her hearing aids are working, and it's also been really lovely to watch her move from detecting to identifying and now imitating those sounds.
A's Ling Sounds book. The cover illustration is based on her.

I decided to make Baby A some cards with the Ling Sounds and a picture to represent each sound, to keep her interested in them. Before too long that idea had merged with my love of all things crafty and morphed into creating a cloth book.

I'm very lucky to have an extremely talented sister-in-law, who is an illustrator. She managed to turn my ideas into the most beautiful, colourful illustrations. I used spoonflower to print the fabric, then sewed it up into a book.

I'm thrilled with the result, and so is Baby A. She never seems to tire of it.

I made a couple of prototypes, but settled on this oversized version. It uses a whole yard of fabric, but is great for little hands.
Flipping through the pages
Baby A is doing so well - I wish I had a crystal ball a year ago. Her 'listening age' is 12 months - which means she has had access to sound for 12 months. This puts her behind other children her age, who have had 17 months of access to sound, plus a good few months in utero.

The average (non hearing impaired) 17 month old has around 15 words. Baby A has a vocab of nearly 70 words. I'm so proud of her. She has come such a long way in such a short time and her hearing impairment hasn't held her back at all.
My favourite page

My sister-in-law included so many beautiful details in the illustrations, including this A for baby A on the plane's tail.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Two new rompers and more Spoonflower

The photos in this post are appaling - forgive me!

I've recently finished a couple of little rompers - one for my darling baby A and one for my cousin's new(ish) baby.

I've made this pattern before (here and here), it's KwikSew 3776, and as I've said before, the pattern is great but the instructions are a bit flaky.

I used a fabric I designed myself for Baby A. It's inspired by a printed shopping bag I got a few months ago and fell in love with. It's nothing really special, but it's special to me because I know it makes Baby A's romper truly a one-off. It's trimmed in white cotton lace.

The other romper is made using a pretty double gauze I picked up on sale a few years ago, and trimmed with cream cotton lace.

This project has made me a bit sad, it'll be the last time I make a romper for any of my kids. With Baby A now 16 months she will have well and truly outgrown this pattern by next Summer.

Baby A's romper. Horrible photo!
Close up of the fabric, designed by me and printed using Spoonflower

Lace trim detail

The two rompers. Check out the difference in size. Baby A was in the small size last year - wah :(

Delicate lace trim on the tiny romper.
It looks so pretty on my darling girl.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Christmas sewing (and not much else)

Hello! It's been a while hasn't it? I've been dealing with a really bad back and haven't been able to sew (or sit, or walk) much at all.

But Christmas is my favourite time of year, and one I associate with sewing and baking. I wasn't up to any large projects this year, but I was able to make a couple of handmade Christmas gifts.

The first is for my parents and father-in-law. We made them a set of personalised tea towels. They were super simple - the kids painted with watercolour onto regular paper, which I then scanned and uploaded to Spoonflower.

I had them printed onto a cotton-linen blend, which was kind of pricey, but worthwhile in terms of durability. I fit four images onto a yard of fabric, and when it arrived I cut and hemmed. Voila! So simple and very popular on Christmas morning.
Three tea-towels from three budding little artists. Even the baby got in on the act!

I also created a few silhouette tea-towels. I've been wanting to make silhouettes of the kids for ages, and it was much simpler than I thought it would be. The silhouettes below were created in photoshop (using the pen tool) but I've also seen some great tutorials for making them with paper.

These were also printed by Spoonflower onto cotton-linen blend. I have made a lot of fabric with Spoonflower lately, and will post about it very soon. I'm especially excited about one of the projects in particular.

I just adore the finished product, and have kept a couple of these for myself. Baby A is growing so fast (she's nearly 16 months) and I really wanted to capture the last of her sweet baby shape.

The silhouettes seem to capture their personalities perfectly.

Next up is a gift for my eldest's preschool teacher. I have to admit I wasn't too sure about the teacher when I first met her, but she has been fabulous. We were sad to say goodbye on the last day of preschool.

Miss E drew a card for her teacher, which I then copied and embroidered onto some linen, and then stitched into a journal cover. 

The colours are kind of hard to see, E used metallic ink and it reflected the light.


Miss E and her teacher, holding hands under a rainbow. Yep... it's good to be 4 and have such a rosey view of the world.