Nativity Applique Pictures

The last couple of weeks were really busy for us because we had to figure out which school our kid should go to next year. If you’ve been there then you know it is not an easy process, to me the emotional part is the most difficult. Anyway, we visited the schools nearby and made our decision. Now we wait until May when they let us know if he got in. Until then it’s time for me to get back to sewing and blogging! Yeay!
I wanted to try out a new project for Christmas and since I was hoping to get into a local Christmas market, I started as early as July. But the answer came and I didn’t get in and for weeks I stopped working on my nativity pictures. But a couple of weeks ago I thought I would finish them anyway and maybe give them as presents for Christmas and share the work-process with you because it was awesome!

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So I came up with the idea of sewing nativity themed pictures for Christmas using applique methods. I tried out a few design, some were printed from the internet, but for the most part I drew the designs myself. The first pieces aren’t as fabulous as the last ones but I still find them lovely.

falikepek1-003I bought lots of picture frames on flea markets, traced the picture size onto an other piece of paper, drew the design, cut it into little puzzle pieces and used those sometimes tiny pieces as my template for the applique.

falikepek1Then I ironed those applique puzzle pieces onto a background fabric and started sewing them with a zigzag stitch. When a picture was done, I pressed it again and taped onto a piece of white paper (cut to the size of the picture frame). And voila!

falikepek1-001When I made these three pictures I wanted to create a design that could be duplicated, so for the next four frame I used the same template:

falikepek1-002I wanted to have a stained glass effect on these, so I used only black thread to sew them. I think I was successful in this attempt. If you want to make a picture like mine, you can download my template here. Print it in size A/4 and you get yourself a template for a picture frame of size 18x24cm! (7×9,5 in)
Print the template twice: cut one up and use the little pieces to trace your applique! The other one will be used as a template that you should put underneath the backdrop fabric: it will help you place the little pieces when you iron them onto the backdrop fabric:

dsc_4142I cheated a little when i cut out the puzzle pieces because I rather cut bigger ones where it was possible and then added an extra seam to make it look like more pieces:

dsc_4144And the same trick already marked on the other fabric:

dsc_4284This is how it should look before starting to sew:

dsc_4145When you are sewing along the puzzle edges, make sure to cover both fabrics with your zigzag stitch! The sewing itself actually didn’t take longer then an hour, the preparing part was probably an other hour or maybe a little more. It shouldn’t take longer since you can just download the pattern and you don’t need to design it!
I think my family members will be very happy when they open these presents (and no, my parents and granny doesn’t read my blog, so I am not ruining the surprise)!
And if you make a picture like this using my template, please, let me know in a comment below! I’m looking forward seeing your creations!

Merry Christmas!

Hello Everyone!
I would like to wish you all a very happy Christmas and a blessed new year!
In the holiday spirit I would also like to share my last three projects with you. As you know, my sewing machine is not working right now but I still had three projects to finish before Christmas arrived.

One of them was a nativity scene picture made out of scrap book papers:

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The other one was a very simple felt ornament for my Grandma. I used a smaller version from last year as a template which I made for my son for the advent’s calendar.

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The third project was pine cone owl ornaments made from felt. I found the instructions here but instead of the feet I added a bow on top of each, so I can hang them on the Christmas tree.

owl ornament

Aren’t they cute? Here is one more picture of them:

owl ornamentSee you next year!

Have a blessed Advent!

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Do you remember my posts about the advent calendar from last year? If not, you can check them out here. I created that calendar for my three years old son who is now one year older of course. Last year he decorated the tree at once, maybe played with the ornaments a couple of times but I think he is appreciating it even more this year because he puts up the ornaments one by one, each morning just one. He is at the age where he tries to understand the meaning of “yesterday”, “tomorrow”, “next week” and “at Christmas” and probably this is why he gets it more.  And he didn’t recognize it from last year which is also great.

The other thing that I made as a present last year was a nativity themed applique:

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If you are looking for a similar project, you can find my tutorial right here. I might make an other but bigger one this year with the three wise man, animals, angel etc. At least that’s the plan…

Have a blessed Advent!

 

After Christmas…

Well, here we go: the holidays are kind of over now and I still owe you, my dear Readers a post about the Advent Calendar and other Christmas stuff. There is no excuse, I am terribly lazy with writing these days but keep in mind: there is always a next advent and Christmas when you can actually use some of these ideas!

As I wrote it in a previous post, I decided to finish the small ornaments for the advent calendar as we go and so I did. But to be honest, I was a bit disappointed because my three-years-old son lost interest in decorating his tree after about two weeks. He might enjoy it more next year. At least I hope he does.

Here are the ornaments: all 24 of them! As you can see 22 of them is hand-stitched felt. The first one is also self-made but I used air-dry clay. The last one was a present from a friend who makes the most amazing Christmas ornaments from stuff that she finds in nature (and with the help of a hot glue gun).

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My favorites are the little house, the snowman and the holy family. The drum and the penguin was kind of made for my husband who for some reason always wanted to have a penguin ornament and plays the drum.

The base with the tree looked like this:
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I attached the curtain robe to the door with tape and added wasi tape on the edges around. It was necessary to keep it from falling off but also looked much nicer with the red frame on the white door.

And finally the tree with all the ornaments:
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Do you like the it? If you want to make something similar for next Christmas keep in mind: it takes a lot of time but looks so beautiful at the end!

 

Our other holiday project was to make a fake fireplace. I am not kidding. My husband and I both love fireplaces but unfortunately don’t have one. However we did have a pallet in the garden that we no longer used and I had the idea to make a fake fireplace out of it. My husband wasn’t a big fan of this idea but he helped me anyway because he knew it was important to me. (Best husband, ever!) We used other pieces of wood, not just the ones from the pallet and a left-over fabric for the back. Wood and lights were also already on hand in the household, so the total investment wasn’t more then 6-7€ and a couple of evenings working together.

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I’m really happy how it turned out: made our tiny living room very cozy and we also had place for those Christmas-cards. We set up our tree next to it and even my husband loved it at the end.

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And our little son was playing camp-fire in it: he was grilling toy food on the fake fire… Is it really cute or just weird?

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Anyway, it’s all packed up in our basement since yesterday and we are getting ready our apartment and ourselves for the new baby’s arrival now.

Advent Calendar Part 3.

As I mentioned in the last post, I still try to catch up with many things in my life including the advent calendar for my son. I decided to continue making the small ornaments from felt and fill the pockets up as soon as I can. I know it’s very lame but I do have an advantage this year: my son can only count up to five and so far he did not notice that a few pocket is actually empty…

When Advent started about a week ago I managed to get done 17 ornaments. I took these pictures on the first day:

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Since then I was able to make a couple more and now only four is missing. The good thing is that my days seem to be calmer and now I have a bit more time. So hopefully the whole project will be done in a few days and I can share the details with you!
Until then check out “sewchat’s” calendar on this link who was able to finish her beautiful calendar just in time for Advent and kept my spirit up by sending me supporting messages! Thanks again!

Christmas tree ornament

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This tree ornament is made out of felt and is pretty easy to make and it looks very nice! Something different for sure. I would say one piece took me about 15 minutes to make. If you want to try this, use a thicker kind of felt, mine was about 3mm thick.

I cut out a 10×10 cm square and cut into it on both sides as shown on the picture below:

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Then I folded the two “wings” inside, sewed them together and added a beat.

Then I did the same thing with the other wings:

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When all the “wings” were done, I added one more bead to the bottom and a string to the top:

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And that’s it. Simple, right?

DSC_0307You can also make bigger ones and hang them on a string as room/door decoration.

 

Advent Calendar Part 1.

I will present this project in two (or maybe three) parts because it takes a long time to finish and I do hope, that someone will try to make it and finish it on time with me! I started to make an Advent calendar for my three-year-old son but my biggest concern was that he should not get chocolate every day in Advent. I hate the idea and because he does not get chocolate usually more then once a week, I had to figure out something else for him. I found many tree-decorating-kind Advent calendar on the internet but using only velcro and felt seemd a bit easy for me. Yes, for me, he might love playing with that but we will never know. So my idea was to make the 24 little pockets and fill them with even smaller tree-ornaments which he can hang on the felt-tree.

1. First I chose the basic fabric, hemed the edges and added a little loop on top for the curtain robe. The size of the finished basic is ca. 68x100cm.

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2. Then I cut out a tree form accordingly. It’s about 58cm tall and 53cm wide on the bottom. Pinned onto the baige fabric and sewed it. I also added a little pice of brown felt on the bottom for the tree trunk: I slipped it under the green felt.

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3. For the next step I hand-sewed 24 small buttons onto the tree. We will hang the ornaments on those. I think this is a great idea because the tree doesn’t look so naked at the beginning.

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4. After attaching the buttons, I also added a star to the top of the tree. For that I cut out a sample first: it was important not to cross the seam for the curtain robe. This is why the star looks a bit strange.

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First I pinned and sewed the yellow layer of felt, then the orange.

DSC_0341Then the tree was done and looked like this:

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5. Then I cut out 24 small pockets from felt again. Their size is 6,5×5,5cm. Now I am hand-stitching the numbers onto them. This step is not finished yet but take a look anyway!

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When I am finished with the pockets, I will start working on the small ornaments (to hide in the pockets and later) to hang on the tree. I will make samples for those and upload them for you! Of course, you can hide sweets in the pockets, as well. Just decide what is best for your family and get started in time!

 

Betlehem applique

After the Nikolausmarkt last weekend I decided to make a present for a very nice couple who helped me a lot on the market. But they are a bit older, so giving them something from what I already made just wasn’t an option. They don’t need kids stuff. But they did appreciate my sewing skills and my fabric pictures, so the idea of making them a nativity themed applique picture seemed right.

First, I made a sketch how the thing should look like and also how big it should be, so that it will fit to the frame I had.

Top.bmpThis is an A/4 sized paper (you can download and print it, if you want to make a picture like this!)

Next step was to decide on the fabrics, colors and cut them out fitting to this sketch. For that I went to the window, held up my sketch and put the little piece of fabric on top of that (with vliesofix on the back side), and just traced the lines from the sketch to the fabric. Once all the pieces were cut out, I had to decide what pieces sew first, and what next. I planed the layers like this:

IMGP89341. First I sewed the star onto the base fabric in the middle and a few rays toward the edges. 

IMGP89352. Next came the “bodies” of Mary and Joseph, his crosier and baby Jesus’ outer halo. Oh, and of course the heads.

When I was cutting out the pieces, I cut out a bit bigger where I knew that the layers will overlap each other. This way the thread in the seams doesn’t bulk up.

IMGP89373. Third came Joseph’s vest, baby Jesus’ inner halo and Mary’s arm and hand. See, now you probably understand better what I meant on planning the layers. It is the key to this project!

IMGP89384. Then came Joseph’s arm and hand, bird, baby Jesus’ body and Mary’s veil.

IMGP89395. Next were baby Jesus’ head and Joseph’s headscarf, then finally the crib. At each step I ironed the fabric and of course all little piece had vliesofix on the back, so first I ironed those to the base fabric, sewed them, and then iron again. Repeat each step, until you are done. At the end I also ironed the edge-lines to fold them back.

6. Hand stitch the eyes, mouths and hair. I forgot to stitch the band on Joseph’s headscarf. Don’t do that. If it is necessary, make a list of all the steps before you start!

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IMGP8940Already shaping up, right?

7. Turn the whole thing over and hand-stitch the corners. First stitch two corners on one side, then slip the plastic (or glass) from the frame inside the fabric, then stitch the two other corners on the other side. First I stitched all four corners but then it was impossible to slip the plastic inside and I had to rip the seams.

IMGP89448. It’s done. Put the picture into the frame, cover up with the paper back and tadaa!

IMGP8946Put it on the mantel, in the window, or up to the wall, anywhere. I really like what I achieved in this project because I was afraid, it won’t work because of it’s small size. I am not saying it is an easy project but it can be done in 3-5 hours. Maybe a little more if you decide to do it by hand. Don’t forget to change the thread with each piece of fabric! I might make an other, bigger one for us: with shepherds, sheep, donkey, angel, camel and the three wise men etc. Probably it will take more then 3-5 hours but anyway, Rome wasn’t built in one day and it is amazing. So will be my next picture!

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Advent

I know that Advent started last Sunday and I am late with these ideas but I will share them anyway, you can use them for next year if you like.

First take a look at our Advent’s calendar! I made it last year and it is not too complicated but it takes a little bit of time.

IMGP3925This was originally a no-sew project, I used my hot-glue-gun but only because I did not have the time to sew it. I plan to sew all the lines over and make it stronger and nicer once I have the time. Chose whatever is more comfortable to you. For each pocket I cut out a trapeze out of felt. I also used felt for the numbers and let me tell you this part will take some time! For decorating the pockets I applied two different kinds of lace preferably glue or sew the lace and the numbers onto the pockets before applying the pockets onto the board! I filled each pocket with a tea-bag, a piece of chocolate and a quotation (from the Bible, Christmas songs, novels and poems).

My other project was quiet last minute, I made our advent wreaths the very last night before advent began. I am not going to describe step by step how I made it but I will give you one tip. Our advent wreaths had to be kid-friendly because our son is now almost 15 months old and he absolutely has to take apart everything. This is why I figured instead of candles we will use led-lights. And it works!

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Yes, it does not look the same and it certainly does not smell the same but I think it’s better to have this then nothing.

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Pillowcase for Christmas season

I sewed this pillowcase in an hour, it was fest and fun and it certainly looks great on the couch in the Christmas season.

First I cut out the shapes (heart, pine-tree, star): I used my cookie cutters for pattern. From the red fabric I cut out a little smaller shapes, from the white felt I cut out a little bigger ones. Then I measured the green squares: they should be a bit bigger then the heart/tree/star but not wider then your pillowcase!

Next I pinned down the shapes onto the green squares and sewed them, after that I pinned the squares onto the pillow case fabric (only front) and sewed them.

 

Finally I made the pillow case itself and also put a little label on the side and a button on the back. What do you think?

 

Re-re-purposed…

In my babyfood-jar collection I had a few brown jars and I had a good idea how to use them a long time ago. So I thought. I painted the letters ‘N-O-E-L’ on the jars using a white permanent marker and I was going to use the four jars as candle holders in the window during the holidays.

Well, let’s face it, my idea failed. At least I think it did, I did not like what I saw but then I got thinking and finally came up with a better solution for the jars: I am going to use them as small vases. And probably they will even look better with white flowers. After all, it’s not so bad.

 

Autumn decorations

I know, it’s already November but I thought I would share this idea of mine. We don’t celebrate Halloween in our culture but I still wanted to decorate our home a little bit for the fall, so I made these paper-pumpkins or paper-globes. I used scrapbook paper which is great because it has pattern usually on both sides and for this project it is awesome. For the orange “pumpkin” I cut out 8 strips: about 1,2 cm wild and 28 cm long. I made a little hole in the middle and 0,5 cm far from both ends with the help of a pin. In the inside of the “pumpkin” runs a thin wire: I put beads on the wire at the bottom of the “pumpkin”, inside and the top, so the beads keep the globe form in shape. Starting from the bottom with two or three beads, then go through all the paper stripes in the middle with the wire, beads again, close up the paper strips on top and a few more beads. And finally make a tiny loop out of the wire. Tie a nice ribbon onto the loop and it’s done.

For the globe on the right side I used only 4 stripes. It’s a very flexible project: you can make smaller, bigger paper globes, or using different colors. Hang them on windows, doors, lamps, use them as center pieces for Thanksgiving…

Last year I created a couple of Christmas tree ornaments using the same technique but of course I measured everything to be a bit smaller and I think the result speaks for itself:

 

More felt ornaments

Well, I think I’m in love with felt. They are colorful and easy to work with. So here are a couple more ornaments for the Christmas tree.

For these harts I used my cookie cutter as a sample. Cut out two harts. For sewing and decorating use stitching yarn. First you have to decorate one side and start to sew both sides together just afterwards! Tie the stitching yarn with a loop: this will be the hanger on top. Start to sew on top so your hanger will be right where it should be. When you’re almost done (about 2cm before finishing) fill the hart with a little stuffing material and then finish sewing all the way!

For the snow flakes you have to use the same technique as for the harts.

 For the windmill I cut out two squares. The bigger one is 10x10cm. This will be on the backside. The smaller one is 8,5×8,5cm and it will be on the front side. And I also cut out a little circle for the middle. Cut both squares diagonally starting from the corners towards the middle but don’t cut it through all the way, stop about 2cm far from the center. Now put the two layers on each other and fold the edges inside. You can eider glue or stitch the four corners down. Then using hot glue gun apply the circle onto the middle of the windmill. Done. Now you just need to sew a piece of yarn on one edge so you can hand the windmill on the Christmas tree or wherever you would like to.