Pot or Casserole Carrier

This sewing project was made for my Grandma’s 80th birthday a couple of weeks ago and as I promised, here I am with the details and pictures of it. My uncle lives with my Grandma and he gave me the diameters of the plastic box which my Grandma uses to carry cakes and other sweets to parties. This box has no handles on it and this is why I thought a carrier for it should be a good present to her birthday. And with my uncle’s help it could even be a surprise for my Grandma.

But this also meant that I did not have the box while making the carrier, so I used a similar sized cardboard box in the process as my template. The inspiration was this beautiful green casserole carrier with wooden spoon handles but of course I had to make my own pattern after the measurements I received.

DSC_2116First I sprayed together the layers for quilting. I was only able to sew strait lines because my sewing machine can’t have free motion quilting foot (it’s a basic household model). Very unfortunate… Anyway, I managed to quilt it like this:

DSC_2128I left out the middle panel because after sewing together the two pieces I wanted to quilt them together. They became later the bottom of the cake box carrier. But before that I added a blue bias tape to the edges. Did you notice that the fabric patterns are the same but in two different color?

DSC_2133Then I realized that the hole thing was brighter then my wooden spoons, so I had to get the seam ripper and make some adjustments.

DSC_2136Finally it looked ok and the size was right.

DSC_2138I had to hand-stitch the loops because my poor sewing machine couldn’t handle so many layers but they look fine even from the inside:DSC_2245I finished the loops for the wooden spoons, then quilted the two pieces together as I mentioned before.

DSC_2238This is how it turned out from both sides:

DSC_2243Take a look at it from the right side:

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The finishing step was to add the velcro and voila!

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Please, note that the box on the pictures is slightly bigger that the actual plastic box and the carrier in reality fits just perfectly! (Sorry, no pictures though…)

DSC_2240What are your thoughts on this cake/pot carrier?

DSC_2239I liked this project because it wasn’t too difficult, it looks lovely with its cheerful colors and not at last, it is practical. I hate things with no purpose but this one will hopefully help my Grandma for many more years to carry her delicious cakes!

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Birthday Present for Great-Grandma

Before we visited our relatives in March again, I was thinking about getting lovely personalpresents for both great grandmother in our families since they were celebrating their birthdays in a few weeks apart. My Grandma was turning 80 and I made a cake box holder for her which I will present to you very soon in an other post but first check out what we made for my Husband’s Grandmother! She turned 86 and she is still a fit and amazing woman!

DSC_2424This is a small tray made out of bamboo and we added my son’s family drawing by burning it onto the try. My son is 4,5 years old now and he made this beautiful picture short after the carnival, this is why dad (left) is dressed as an Indian, next to him you can check out me as a princess with a crown, then he drew himself and finally the little brother in the brand new stroller. As a mother I absolutely adore this picture because this was the first time he drew all four of us! I love it!

I traced the drawing from paper onto the wood with the help of a carbon paper:

DSC_2312Then I started to burn the bamboo tray along the lines:

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Grandma loved this present and I wish her many more years to come!

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The great thing about this technique is that you can transport any kind of picture or text onto wood and the possibilities to make a personal present are this way really endless! And buying a wood burner does not cost more then a couple of bucks and it is worth it!

 

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.

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

owl ornamentSee you next year!

Once again: Hungarian Blue Print

You might remember a post that I wrote about a year ago, it was about the Hungarian blue print fabric and a couple of sewing projects made of blue print. I love this fabric. I love it because it is absolutely high quality and great to work with. I love the look of it. I love its colors: the white and blue but in many variations. I love it because it always reminds me of Hungary and my cultural background and heritage. I love it because I remember that my great-grandmother used to wear clothes made out of this fabric. Very traditional looking clothes. Actually I still have one of her outfits which is at least sixty years old if not more and for some reason I try to preserve it as long as I can. And I inherited old blue print fabric from her, as well and I used it to make a lovely skirt out of and I still wear it occasionally.
But I think sometimes this fabric is underrated. If you’ve ever been to Hungary, you might have seen this blue print in souvenirs shops. They would probably offer you some horrible looking apron, maybe a table cloth, a pillow or a girl’s skirt. I mean those are adorable but come on people, use your fantasy! We can do even better!

This is why I often wonder why don’t people use it for other, much more up-to-date projects? I have a long-term project in mind: I would like to make a huge quilt from blue print for our bed but I didn’t have the time to start yet. Hopefully I can report back on that in couple of months. Until then here are a few sewing ideas that I made for our up-coming craft fair in Aachen.
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My first project was this notebook cover. I sewed a couple of small pieces of different blue print together, then attached the white stripes, then I continued to make the cover as described in a previous post of mine. I love how it turned out.

Then I made lots of fabric angels for the craft fair just like last year. After all, it’s going to be a Christmas fair and last year people loved it.

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Here are a few with red fabric:

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A couple made with floral prints:

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A few more including my favorite with the yellow fabric:

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Aren’t they just cute?

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I saved the best for last: wine tote bags. I will post the tutorial and more in an other post but for now just enjoy how great they look in the blue print fabric!

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Using the yellow fabric and a plain blue print I created a bright, fun and modern wine tote. Even though I added a traditional flower mostly used in embroidery, it still looks very fresh and hip to me. Don’t you agree?

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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!

 

Elephant Baby Quilt

Last week I worked on an other baby quilt. I wanted to use my newest elephant-print fabric that I found in Hungary on our last trip. I find it very cute and perfect for baby/kids projects, so I decided to make an other blanket. After a long consideration I choose a geometrical quilt pattern and I am happy with the results.

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It wasn’t a difficult project but with my very simple home sewing machine I am not able to make advanced quilts. Anyway, my elephant baby blanket is soft and cozy and kids will love it. I can’t wait until my next craft fair where I will be selling this one, too.

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The binding is hand-stitched which takes a bit longer time but considering that this blanket is only 1x1m, it wasn’t that bad. I really like the fact, that even the backside looks very neat.

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Who wouldn’t want a blanket for his kid like this?

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Monthly Give Away: April-May

Our monthly give away game is finally here! You might have noticed that this game is actually for April and May and there is a reason for that. I was out of town for couple of weeks and couldn’t take care of the game (and the blog in general). Also, there was only one person who signed up last month and she can participate in the game now.

The rules didn’t change but here is reminder:

Everyone who signs up to follow this blog automatically participates in this game! You don’t have to do anything else: you don’t have to share this post (only if you would like to) or like it etc. At the end of May I will make a list of those who signed up, throw all the names into a hat (that’s right, old fashioned way!) and draw one. Then I will publish the name here and contact the lucky winner by email.

Oh, I almost forgot the most important thing: the prize!

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Yesterday I came across this great tutorial and tried it out right away: an envelope clutch! I absolutely loved this project because it is not complicated at all and the result looks awesome!

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I changed one thing though: instead of a ribbon I used a magnetic button. I also added a circle on front to make the fabric even stronger around the magnetic button but I think it makes the whole clutch look better.

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Summer and vacation time is around the corner and I would use this small clutch for the passport and other important documents while traveling.

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Or afterwards keeping the pictures in it until you have time to put them into the photo-album. Or anything else, really…

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Note: the tutorial above is in German. If you want to make a clutch like this and have difficulties with reading the tutorial, just let me know and I will try to help. So this small clutch will be the prize of the monthly give away. Fingers crossed!

Craft Fair in Aachen

A couple of weeks ago I was accepted to a local craft fair which will take place in Aachen on the 14th of June. I was really happy and now that we got back home from Hungary, I can focus on the work and the products I will bring to that craft fair. In this spirit I made twelve more luggage tags and two small, but really soft and cozy baby blankets.

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Is anyone interested in a tutorial on the luggage tags? They are a little bit complicated but it’s a great project and worth making them because they are very fun gift ideas for people that love travelling.

IMGP0160Unfortunately I couldn’t take better pictures of this owl-themed blanket. Sorry. It is made using fleece and cotton fabrics. Very easy project and looks fun!

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Finally a car-themed blanket, my favorite. It is really soft and small-sized, so it fits perfectly to the trolley or into the car-seat.

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I also decided to make more car-seat organizer for the bigger kids. Especially in the summer-time, when families are traveling more, it’s a very useful thing to have in the car. So, probably you will see more of those in the near future but I have also new ideas! Let’s get back to work!

 

Easter Bunny Treat Bags

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I was thinking about the upcoming Holiday and our son as he was seeking in the church’s garden for Easter eggs last year (here in Germany): his face and eyes were so joyful! It made me come to the decision to recreate this event even though it is not a tradition in our Hungarian culture. Why not give the little ones a fun and exciting moment during this otherwise very serious Holiday? One thing led to the other and I found a great sewing project for Easter: bunny-shaped treat bags and I made a few one.

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It is really not a complicated sewing project, so if you want to give it a try, just follow the tutorial on the link above and check out the sample I created:

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You need to cut out the bag shape twice from your main fabric, and twice for the inner but for that fold it where it is indicated with dashed line because it should be a bit smaller then the actual bag. Also cut out four pieces for the ears. You might want to use some other color for the front side of the ears, it makes them more fun and better looking. The tutorial is lacking though one information: how to attach the ears to the bag. So for a little more help on this I took this photo:

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As I folded the fabric on the edge, I slipped the inner fabric and the ears under it. Careful, it was very thick (8 layers of fabric!) so use a strong needle for this stitch! But other then this little detail the above mentioned tutorial is really good, just follow all the steps! Or if you are not a very crafty person, you can order them from my new web-shop in a couple of days!

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Stuff the bags with delicious sweets and hide them in the garden for the kids! They will love it, guarantied!

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Becoming a fan of bags

Last week I was writing about a beautiful bag that I made and as soon as I finished it, I was already thinking about the next one. So I made more bags, to be exact two of them. I used fabrics that I had on hand and tried to play with the colors a little bit, this is how a yellow bow ended up on one of the bags. Very vibrant color. What do you think?

Varras+Blog51This time I wanted to add magnetic buttons to the bag because I think it is very important to have some kind of closer on it. The only problem was that we were ill again and I just couldn’t get to the store to buy them until a couple of days ago! And finally I was able to finish the bags. Actually this time it took me about six hours to sew both bags which is way better then the very first bag (it took me five hours).

Varras+Blog50The other news is that I am currently working on a new web-shop. Yes, I left DaWanda and according to my plans next week I will be able to open my own online shop where both of these bags will be available beside many other things.

My very first bag

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It’s all started months ago when I had a thought, that I should somehow involve my Hungarian heritage into my work. I already wrote about it once and mentioned that I will buy real hand dyed Hungarian (blue and white) fabric. And I did last summer when we were visiting relatives. Since then these fabrics sit on my shelf and I was waiting for some inspiration because I didn’t want just waist them on any project. Then I remembered that I promised my friend to make her a bag, similar to what we saw together at the biggest Festival of Folk Arts in Hungary (http://mestersegekunnepe.hu/) which takes place every August in Budapest at the Palace. The best craft fair in Hungary where really everybody gets inspired, well worth a trip!

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All I remembered about the bag that it had a big bow on front and I started to search for a tutorial because I am totally new to making bags and I had almost no experience doing it. The last bag I made was about ten years ago and it wasn’t the best one… And my friend’s request was to use blue and white Hungarian fabric. This was the beginning of a beautiful friendship between bags and me because I enjoyed the bag-making so much that I might try it again.

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So I found this great and detailed tutorial and I followed every step of it. Well, I did make some adjustments to it but only in choosing different fabrics or making a different pocket inside, nothing major. You can even download and print out the pattern of the pieces that needed to be cut out.

IMGP9660The whole project took about five hours from start to finish but I think for the second time it will go faster.

I feel like combining an old fashioned, hand dyed fabric with new designs is a great way to keep our cultural heritage alive. The bag has after all a modern style, it’s very fresh, practical but also reminding me of my great grandmother’s skirt that was made from a very similar fabric. She passed away many years ago but I still remember her wearing those traditional (folk) outfits. I think we can not move forward to the future without taking some traditions with us and keeping them alive. Our roots are as much important as our plans, that’s what makes us human.

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I am really interested on your thoughts on this subject, so please, don’t hesitate to share them!

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And I already have an other idea on how to use these beautiful blue and white fabrics in our modern word. So hopefully more is coming next week!

 

Nikolausmarkt

I am getting very nervous and excited about the up-coming “Nikolausmarkt” here in Aachen, where I will be selling my little creations for the very first time! This is going to be a double test for me: test of my German knowledge and of course test of my products. As I mentioned before, from January I plan to open an online shop and this market will definately help me to decide which products are sellable and which aren’t.

Please, let me show you a couple of things that I made for this market:

1. The newest pictures sewed from fabric and felt:

Varras+Blog182. Mug and mug sleeve made from felt:

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3. Hand stitched pictures made by my Mom (framed by me):

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4. A recycled throwpillow with air plane theme:

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5. Folders with covers:

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6. And finally my monster: a cover blanket for double bed. I worked on this for weeks and learned a lot doing so.

Varras+Blog17 The Nikolausmarkt (crafters market) will take place in Aachen, Marienhospital (in Burtscheid) between the 6th and 8th of December. Friday 4:00-8:00pm, on Saturday and Sunday 10:00am-8:00pm. There will be good food, drinks, concerts and of course the crafters! Come and have a great time!

 

A colourful babyblanket

A tried something new again: a babyblanket made out of stipes and let me tell you, I loved this project! I loved it because it was very easy to make, quickly done and it contains so many colours! It’s like a rainbow but even better because the colorful stripes can come in any order. I can only recomand this project to beginners and for those, who need a quick present for the next babyshower.

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And I am already working on the next, similar babyblanket that I will spice up with a couple of elephants! Are you curious? Well, it’s not done yet but here is a sneak peak:

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Mill game

I have been thinking about this project for a while now and finally I was able to make one, as I imagined it. As a child I used to play Mill and card games with my Mom and I cherish these memories ever since. Now I barely get the time to play any kind of games, or I just play with my two-year-old son, but clearly it is not the same. But I do hope, he will remember me one day as a mom who sat down with him and took the time to teach him play Mill (and other games of course)!

So here is what I created using applique technique, sewing and also woodburning.

IMGP8643The most difficult part was to sew onto the board the little circles. There are 24 of them! You can guess how many hours it took me to finish it. But at the end I was very proud of what I created.

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Then I made a matching little bag to hold all the pices of the game.

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IMGP8639Once it was done, I still needed the little wooden “bottons” (18+1 extra), which I decorated with my wood burning iron while I was whatching TV.

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IMGP8664To tell the truth, I made this set to sell at the fair I am going to in a couple of weeks but I will definately make one for us, too. But because it takes so much time, I won’t make probably any more to sell, unless someone orders it and is willing to pay for it a lot. I think it would make a great present to a Mill game fan or a game collector.

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IMGP8670And because the bag is so nice, you wouldn’t even have to wrap it! Well, what do you think?

A couple little things

In the last few weeks I wasn’t able to work on my projects and write on the blog as I would usually do because my son had to stay home for two weks. He is starting at the Kindergarten which will take him a few more weeks to get use to it and of course it means that I don’t have the time to work on my projects as I would like to. But after that hopefully I will have more time then I did before, so it’ll be worth it!

In the meantime I do try to sew stuff, even when I just have a half an hour or my son is climbing up on my back while I work on the sewing machine. True story. I couldn’t have done many projects but here are the few that I actually did:

A few more Christmas ornaments for the “Nikolausmarkt” in December:

 

 

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Bookmarks made from scrapfabric.

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And finally a folder decorated with a beautiful piece of traditional Hungarian lace:

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An other babyblanket

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This babyblanket was an other step for me learning new techniques in patchwork. Assembling triangles was new for me and I really thought through every little step of it, I was careful and watched some tutorial videos on youtube. Take a look at this picture below, it shows you the steps how I created this pattern. Yes, it does take time but at the and it will be worth it.

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Now I am proud of the final product.

IMGP8333It’s a 1x1m blanket with thicker batting, so it’s even better for those little crowling babies. I hope a little one will enjoy this blanket for a long time!

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I will be seeling this blanket with all the others at a three-day long maket in Aachen in December. (12. 06-08. Nikolausmarkt in Marienhospital)

Organizing matchboxes

I read somewhere an article about being a boy’s mother. It listed twenty things that you did not expect when your son was born. For example that toy cars, trains, boats and plains will be everywhere! It is so true…
So here is my solution to this problem: a “parking lot” for all those toy cars.

IMGP7831“Parkhaus” in German means parking lot or garage. It can store 12 cars, you can hang it in the wardrobe, and if it gets dirty, you can take out the hanger and wash it. Well, what do you think?
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This will be also soon available in my online shop.

 

Plans

As I mentioned in my previous post, recently I sewed two baby-blankets using new techniques. I didn’t have pictures of the second blanket but I do now and I would like to share them with you. Unfortunately I did not take picture during the sewing process, therefore I can’t give you a step by step tutorial. But if you look very closely, you’ll see that this blanket is actually a visual illusion because I sewed only squares together. Each square has four little triangles on its side using the other color.

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Put two squares next to each other that are “negatives” or “opposite colors” and the pattern will turn out very neatly!

IMGP6954I feel like all the math-classes in school were after all worth it because finally I can use that knowledge! Yeay!

This blanket it approximately 70x140cm, so it would perfectly fit to a same sized baby bed to cover it when it’s play time and not sleep-time. For the back I used the darker, deep-red fabric.

And it’ll be for sale soon on a website, called dawanda. It’s very similar to etsy.com or meska.hu in Hungary. Anybody with a payPal account can use it. And yes, I am planning on starting a small business. This is the reason why I don’t have so much time now to write: I am busy planning and researching but hopefully soon I will be able to introduce my own online business. Fingers crossed!

What a lovely present!

As I mentioned in the previous post, a few weeks ago we traveled back to Hungary to visit our relatives, including my older brother and his family. My sister-in-law is a very creative person and she also likes to sew. Why am I telling you about her? Because she made a very cool toy for our son and today I would like to share her idea with you. Which also means that I don’t have step-by-step pictures but you can easily figure it out. So here it is:

Macko-kollazsThis board is a bit bigger then a normal A/4 paper and it’s completely hand-sewn. It has two layers as a base; and the grass, tree, bear, strawberry, cloud and the sun is cut out of felt. The cool thing about it is, that it has four pairs of magnets sewn inside it: one for the cloud on the left side, one pair for the sun, one pair for a strawberry and one pair for the bear. This way my son can take those off, place them back or somewhere else (for ex. the fridge) and practice motoric skills. Isn’t it a wonderful gift? Thanks again for my sister-in-law!

Indoor play area

IMGP6576My dear readers, first I must say sorry for not posting for more then two weeks! I had a little vacation with my son in Hungary where we visited our relatives and also had time to think of new ideas! But now I’d like to share this big project with you, that I have been working on for a long time.

Our son does not spend much time in his room, mostly because he is too young to play alone. He still needs to learn how to do that but in the meantime, he is where we are: mostly in the kitchen or in the living room. In the kitchen he is allowed to play with anything that is made of plastic or will probably not brake easily. But in the living room he only had several books and he brought out toys from his room anyway. Then we decided with my husband that we would like to make a play corner for him in the living room. We don’t have guests very often and we don’t really mind having kids stuff in the living area. At least not yet.

In this corner of the living room we had a small chest of dawers previously but we moved it to the bedroom and it’s now my night table beside the bed. And I like it that way because it’s bigger and more stable then the previous one was. This problem solved!

Second was our dark-colored coffee-table. We got rid of that, too. We disassembled it and now rests in the basement. The reason why we did this, because we bought a toy-storage from IKEA. It’s called “TROFAST” (60 Euro). Just the cabinet itself, the drawers you can choose: which sizes and colors you prefer. We got the small green rug also from IKEA, it’s called “HAMPEN” and it’s 80x80cm (10Euro), the two red pillows called “EIVOR FRAGEL” (4 Euro) and material for the other two blue pillows. In a previous post I described how did I make those.

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And there are the two wall-covers for protection and because I put several pockets onto them, also for fun! On the pockets you see blue stripes: I used the same fabric as for the pillows below.

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Two more things that I would like to mention: one is that the toy-storage cabinet is quiet light and easy to pick it up, which is practical because when we actually have guests coming over, we move it to the middle of the room and it also serves as a coffee-table. We already played board games on it and it’s totally works! The other thing is, that the little one got the lowest shelf on the book shelf and he loves to just sit in his reading corner with us, brings us books and we read them together. Yes, that’s right, we also use the play/reading area with him, and we like it, too!

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Finally let me thank my beloved husband, who got us a drilling machine (so we don’t have to borrow one each time, when we would like to drill a new hole into the wall) and put the wall-covers up! Thank you again!

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Notebook cover

In Germany every child has a notebook which contains medical information from birth until they turn 18. In German it’s called “U-Heft” which is short for “Untersuchungs-Heft” and that means “examination notebook”. I don’t know if in other countries there is something similar, probably yes. At least for keeping records of the child’s vaccinations.

Having a baby sower and getting tons of presents is very common also in Germany (I think). So why not make a nice and practical cover for the “U-Heft” what the parents will receive right in the hospital? There is no limit, the variations are endless: you can put an image onto the front, decorate it with ribbons, sew the baby’s name onto it, use different shades of one color, etc.

One of my friends organized a baby shower and she asked me to sew a cover for her friend’s “U-Heft”. Well, take a look at my version below!

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As you can see, I used two fabrics and one ribbon for the cover and one neutral linen fabric for the inside because the yellow fabric was too thin and transparent.

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IMGP6220The front may seem a bit “empty” for some but it’s because once the baby is born I will sew her name onto it. I hope you like it. And the great thing is that you can make this simple covers for any kind of notebook! Get creative!

Photo-box

This year at Christmas (I mean last year, 2012) we wanted to send pictures to my husband’s grandmother of her great-grandson but I thought sending a pack of pictures or sanding a photo-album is very boring. And then I found this playful idea on this great blog (where you will find the tutorial as well). It’s actually a mini-birthday-album version what I created but I think it works both ways. And I made it one step easier because instead of covering a box, I bought a ready-to-go, Christmas-themed gift-box.

Please, take a look at the final photo-box:

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Pillow cover for rounded pillow

As part of my next and bigger project I needed to sew pillow covers for two rounded pillows. We choose a fun fabric because they will be used by my son and probably other kids. At least according to my plan. It is quiet easy to sew this kind of a pillow cover, let me show you in a few step how it works:
1. Measure the length and the diameter of your pillow, and also the length of the circle which you can also count (diameter x 3,14). My pillow was 80X63 cm with a diameter of 20 cm. I cut out three pieces:

a.) 83×66 cm for the “body” of the pillow

b.) 66×12,5 cm for one end of the pillow and

c.) a circle with a diameter of 23 cm

IMGP61672. Put the piece “b.” on piece “a.” facing the right sides and sew them together on the side leaving a 1,5 cm wide hem. See the picture below:

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3. When it’s done, fold the small piece out so it’ll become one big piece of fabric and fold into half lengthwise. Now it’s time to sew it together along the long side leaving a 1,5 cm wide hem again.

IMGP61694. Make a 1 cm wide hem on the left side (see picture below) where the 12,5×66 cm piece is.

IMGP6172When you are finishing this pillow-case you’ll have to cut a very little hole into this hem from the inside and pull a string or twine into it with a help of a safety pin.

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5. Now take the circle that you previously cut out and pin it to the other end of the fabric. Again: right side to the right side. This step is very important because this way you can make sure it’ll be even everywhere and sewing will be easier.

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If you sewed it together you are basically done! See, it wasn’t so difficult, was it? The only thing left is to turn the pillow-case inside out and stuff your pillow into it.

I needed two pillows, so I repeated the whole thing one more time and here are the final products:

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Hedgehog on a pillow

When I started to make felt-pictures I got a little bit carried away and had the idea to make pillows (and many other things…) using the same technique but the tree that I used before did not fit onto the pillow I had. So I figured out a different pattern but I wanted to stay in the “animals/forest-theme” and this is how I came up with the idea of the hedgehog. And also they are cute and kids like them. Check out my new pillow:

IMGP5702First step: planing your pattern to the size of the pillow (or smaller, this way you can make a frame to the picture later as you will see below). When everything is in the desired spot then sew down the pieces.

IMGP5705Make a frame as seen on the picture. Use the same fabric what you will use for the back of the pillow-case!

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IMGP5783Do not forget the label (if you have one) as I did… 🙂

IMGP5779And voila, the pillow-case is done!

Cup sleeve

Have you ever had the feeling that by the time when your cup has cooled down enough so you can hold it, your tee is not as hot as you like it? I know, it’s not the biggest problem on Earth but there is a solution. I admit it’s not my own idea because I saw it in many places but I made it mine.

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So I bought a mug and it had to be green because for the cup-sleeve I used some left-over sweater-fabric which was also green. I simply cut a piece from the sleeve of the sweater: as long as tall my mug was. Both top and bottom turned up about 1cm and sewed a hem. Then cut out a hole for the holder and sewed a button on one side and a loop on the other side. The next step was to cut out a 2,5×3,5cm square from white felt and hand stitch the word “HOT” onto it. Finally I attached this little tee-label on front of the cup-sleeve.

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If you know how to knit then you can make the cup-sleeve from scratch. Unfortunately I don’t know how to knit but at least I was able to recicle some scrap-fabric. IMGP6049

Paper hands

I started this project a year ago and according to my plan it’ll go on for 15-20 years. How is that possible? Last year around Christmas time our son was about three months old and I made an ornament that shows how small his hand was. My plan is to make the same kind of tree ornament for Christmas every year until he gets so big that he will refuse. But I hope in twenty years we will have a Christmas tree covered with these paper-hands especially if we will have more kids.

I used scrapbook-paper: put his hand on it and drew around it with a pencil, then I cut it out, made a hole, put a ribbon on it and finally wrote the name and the year in the middle. Very simple and look how big his hand has grown in one year!

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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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Personalized napkin rings

A couple of years ago I had the pleasure to meet a very lovely family back in Detroit and they helped me in many ways. As a thank you I made these napkins and napkin-rings with the initials of their names.

For the napkins I just cut out squares and sewed the hem all the way around. Sorry but I don’t have more picture of this project, so you will have to use more your imagination! For the rings cut out 10x16cm squares and hem the longer sides! Then it’s time to get really crafty and hand-stitch the letters one-by-one! Cut 16cm long pieces of lace and sew them along the long sides. When it’s done fold the squares into half, the front side should be inside and the wrong side out. Now sew 1cm far from the edge along the short side, turn it out and there you have a napkin ring! It’s not complicated at all but it takes a little bit of time to hand-stitch the initials. It might be a good present-idea for Christmas for your family or other relatives, even for friends.

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?

 

Felt picture and mobile for the nursery

A little more then one year ago we were building together the new furniture for the nursery and of course I was thinking about the decor. We just moved into the apartment which was newly renovated and all the walls were painted white. I didn’t want to paint over because it was so fresh although I would had preferred a little more color, but again we just moved in and the baby was going to born any minute. So we left the white walls.

We already chose a fun fabric for the curtain from IKEA with trees on it and I had leftovers. I really liked the trees on it and wanted to make some pictures for the wall, this is how I came up with the idea of this: I cut out one tree and sewed it onto a plain beige fabric.

Then I cut out some birds, flowers, apples, mushrooms and clouds of felt and arranged them on the tree. I sewed them on and then made a frame for it also out of leftover fabric. Finally I glued the whole fabric-picture onto a piece of cardboard and there you have it: a sweet picture for the nursery!

Actually I ended up making two because the wall was still empty and I also made matching felt-birds for the mobile. And I can tell you, my son was looking at the pictures all the time during feeding and he still loves those birds over his bed.

I’d like to add a couple more picture of the new creations that I made using the same technique. Here they are:

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Birthday bib

My son turned one years old in September and I thought that I should make him something fun besides the gifts he got. We didn’t have a party for him for two reasons: 1. I don’t see the point for a one year old to have a party and 2. he and also my husband caught cold. (Don’t get me wrong, I love organizing parties!) And then the idea came to me to sew a birthday bib with a matching hat for him.

I used and other bib to make a sample out of paper. I cut the shape out twice, one out of an eggshell colored fabric and an other out of a brawn fabric. I also cut out a circle and the number “one”. See the picture below.

First I sewed the number onto the blue circle, this was a bit tricky on the edges but with a little patience you’ll succeed! Then I attached the circle onto the brown fabric.

Next I sewed together the two bib-shaped fabrics with a blue ribbon on the edge and finally I attached small velcro on top. It’s really not a complicated project and it requires only an hour, a bit of patience and some leftover fabrics. For the hat I just used paper for the base and I glued onto it the blue and white fabrics. As I thought my son didn’t really like the idea of the hat, that’s why I didn’t make it more permanent.

Look at the results, how cute is that?

 

 

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.

Pillowcases

One of my very best friends is also expecting a baby. It’s gonna be a baby girl. Hopefully… (As I mentioned in our case it turned out to be a boy after 7 months…) This Friday we are traveling back to Hungary for a nice vacation and we’re also going to visit these friends, so I thought that I will create something for this little  baby girl. A few weeks back I made a funny-looking pillowcase for ourselves with a bird on it.

I really enjoyed drawing a sample, cutting out all the pieces then sewing them together, so all the detail-work! So I thought that I will use the same technique for the next pillowcase as well. As I said, it’s gonna be for a baby girl, named Anna. I needed something girly. Finally I decided on a flower, frills on the side and putting her name on it, which is risky because the baby still can turn out to be a boy… Anyway.

Here it is: the final product:

When you want to make something similar, you must plan all the layers and steps of sewing it together very carefully. I cut out first the front of the pillowcase. Then cut out the blue layer and sewed the curly lines on it. After that I designed the flower on a paper, then cut it out from a yellow material and sewed on the blue layer. The final step in making the flower was to sew on the dark-blue circle in the middle. When the whole flower was done, then I sewed it on the front of the pillowcase.

The next step was cutting out and sewing on the letters:

Because the letters are so small, I had to sew them very slowly and carefully.

Then I made the frills on the side and the back of the pillowcase. Actually this was the hardest part: sewing together the frills with the two side of the pillowcase because you need to sew it inside out and the frills were always in the way somehow. But after the third try I could finish it.

I think it looks very lovely and all the hard work was worthy.

The backside of the pillowcase:

Postcards

When we lived in Detroit, our church had its own festival where people were selling Hungarian food, special sweets and desserts, some souvenirs etc. There was also good music and dancing going on. I think it was a pretty good festival. I decided to help our church as I can, so I made some postcards and traditional Hungarian gingerbread. I got a table and I was selling my products for the very first time. I was very proud of myself. Especially at the end of the day when I counted the total income: 84 dollars! Of course I had to spend money first for the supplies but I was still doing very good. And it made me feel very good that I could help my church.

I just cut out the postcards from colored carton-paper and drew on them.  Before I started I bought the envelopes first and I matched the size of the postcards to them. It is not complicated but you have to have some ideas what to draw and some skills.

The finished postcards

And some more:

I’m going to show the ginger-breads in an other post. I promise.

Susy doll and her rooster

When last year my niece celebrated her very first birthday, I decided to sew something girly for her. Back then I didn’t have a sewing machine so what I made were completely hand-made.  And of course my first idea was a doll.

First I made the head of the doll, then sewed on her body, finally the arms and legs. But it didn’t look very nice because of the stitches all over her body. So I made a good looking cover for her. Then I sewed the hair on the head: piece by piece from some knitting yarn. It was pretty exhausting. To tell the truth, I wouldn’t do this part again but I didn’t have a better idea for the hair. If you do, please let me know! After the hair I made the face: eyes and mouth from cross-stitching yarn. The rest was the easiest part: to sew some underwear and a dress for the doll.

Meanwhile I became to know that my little niece loves the birds and her parents (my brother and his wife) started to have some chicken in the garden. Which is not very unusual if you live in the Hungarian country-side. And an other idea came: let’s make a rooster! So I made a rooster from the leftover material and stuffed it with cotton wool. I think it looks very funny: