Easter Projects 2017

I had to start the Easter projects of this year as early as February because of an Easter market where these beauties presented were. This Easter market took place three weeks ago at the Hungarian Club in Aachen and this was the first time we organized it. The four of us shared a very long table where we all presented our creations but beside that visitors had the opportunity to try various Easter egg decorating technique.

I have never had a table before at an Easter market, so I had to come up with new ideas what to create and sell. My first idea was to sew little bags with some festive applique on front because every child needs a good bag for Easter egg hunt, right?

Last year as I attended my Christmas craft fair I watched the lady at the table next to mine: she created very unique post cards and some of the cards were made to give money. She sold lots of those because novadays almost all grandparents give money as Christmas presents to the grandchildren. This gave me the idea to sew egg shaped pockets: You can just slide some money into it and it is a lovely present, way better then just handing the money over.

I also found a great idea in the sewingmagazine I received from Ali in the stitching Santa parcel: Bunny loveys! They turned out so cute! I had to give one of them to my brother’s five month old daughter! She grabbed it and hugged it right away!

The last thing I sewed especially for this occasion were a couple of notebook covers and one binder cover.

I made a few crazy patch just to have fun in the process and tried a new technique while sewing the leaf shape. I’ve never made curved seams before but this project turned out just fine and I was really proud of my work.

I also added pockets to all the notbeook covers and treid to use as much Hungarian blue print fabric as possible. Have you noticed it?

This was my craftcollection at this tiny market. We had lots of fun preparing for it and doing it. Friends came by, kids and even adults decorated eggs, it was simply joyful.

Sorry for not posting about it earlier but finally we are visitingfamily right now and after waiting for this for soo long (8months!) I had little time to post, instead I try to make the most of this short visit with the kids. I’ll be back with more next week, until then: Have a good one!

Binder in Frog Cover

When my sewing machine broke down before Christmas, I was working on a project for my son’s kindergarten teachers: a binder cover. It was supposed to be a Christmas present but then I wasn’t able to finish it before the holidays. I got back my sewing machine about a week ago and I had to finish this project right away, so I could give this late present to the teachers asap.

The truth is that I bought the fabric maybe a year ago: when I saw the frog themed pattern on it I thought of my son’s group right away because it’s called the frog group! I bought a smaller piece from the fabric and then waited for the inspiration which came shortly before Christmas.

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I needed:

  • a back piece: white fabric
  • the front piece: the fabric with the frogs and a blue stripe in the middle
  • two white and two blue piece for the ears of the binder cover
  • two blue and two frog patterned fabric for the pockets

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When the project was done the binder cover and the binder looked like this:

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Not a complicated project but has it’s own tricks: for example how to hide the seams. If you are interested in the step-by-step tutorial check out my previous binder cover here!

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I gave it to the kindergarten teachers last week and they liked it very much. One of them came to me today and said that they will use it in the group as a photo album for the kids. They were looking for an album with a sturdy cover so the kids can use it and hopefully it won’t be ruined as quickly.

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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Personalized wedding presents

As I promised in a previous post I finished two wedding presents and I am about to show you them. I already gave one of them to my friend but unfortunately the other one is still waiting for the chance to be delivered. Since it probably won’t happen before spring, I decided to post the pictures anyway.

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The idea was to make something very personal and also quilted if it possible. This is how I came up with the idea of a recipe book: the covers were quilted and I wrote a couple of my favorite recipes into the book for starters.

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As a personal touch I added the names of my friends on the front which I cross-stitched.

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The covers are washable: you can slip the books out of them and simply wash them. I thought this is absolutely necessary because it is a recipe book and of course it will get dirty and stains over all over the years.

IMGP0799Well, what are your thoughts on this project? Would you be happy if you received a recipe book like this?

 

Toys for boys…

Last year, just a few weeks before Christmas I had a booth at a local craft fair which was an amazing experience for me and I learned a lot about this business. Of course I took a look at the competition and I realized something: when crafters sew for kids they usually have more stuff for the girls. It is understandable because it’s much easier to make cute clothes and accessories for girls. But I decided to look at this as a challenge and try to come up with ideas for boys. Well, it’s not easy, let me tell you this but not impossible.

The first thing was for me to buy a great boat-themed printed fabric and then I made a few things using this very nice fabric. I already presented once before the playing mat but my collection has more members, such as a portable changing mat…

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a toy storage…

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… a car seat organizer with a cup/bottle holder…

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and a notebook cover (for the book of medical records that every child has in Germany)

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Besides this boat themed collection I also made two fort kit. No, it wasn’t my idea, I saw it somewhere and thought it would be a great present for a bigger boy!

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The fort kit contains a blanket, a flashlight, clothes pins, carabiners, wooden rings, kitchen towel clips, and clothes line in a great bag.

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The third idea came from this website and I had one of those typical moments: “Why did I not think of this before?” Pirate eye patch!

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The next idea came when I was making head bands for girls: Why not make feather head bands for boys? For the feathers I used my scrap-felt fabrics. I am officially out of felt now… I hand stitched the feathers first, made the bands and then attached the feathers by hand-stitching.

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Unfortunately my son didn’t like them, so I had to ask our teddy bear to be my model again.

The next idea is kind of old. Do you remember when I made car-garage that you can hang? In case if you don’t remember here is a picture from one of them:

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So when I made these last year I thought I should make some kind of portable car-storage or bag for boys and here is what I finally came up with:

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This car-bag has seven pockets: four smaller and three bigger. Also has a road and you can fold it and roll it up and it’s ready to go!

Finally I made a truck-themed drawing set, as well.

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So far these are my “toys for boys” ideas. How do you like them?

TUTORIAL: Scout Binder Cover

Not many people know about me that as a teenager I was scouting in Hungary, in a great group named after St. Joseph Calasant. It was an amazing period of my life and I miss it a lot. This year my group celebrates the 25th anniversary which is something to be proud of! Unfortunately I was informed a bit too late about the ball that the group organized to celebrate this occasion and I didn’t get an airplane ticket to fly back home but I decided to send them something that I created as a thank you for those memorable years. First I wanted to send something for a ruffle game but there was none. They prepared other games, so finally I decided to make a scout themed binder cover and I checked with one of the ball-organizers and she said it would be a great present for the leader of the group. All right, then let’s get started!

My inspiration was the invitation for the ball:

412meghivoCan you see the knot on the bottom? It does appear on my binder cover as well. Here are the steps:

1. MEASURE THE BINDER YOU HAVE! Mine was: 31x27x6cm

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Cut out the fabrics accordingly: add 1cm on each side to the size of your binder. I needed these:

– 2x  33x62cm (one orange, one beige)

-2x   20x33cm (both orange)

-1x   20x62cm (green)

-2x  8x15cm (green) for the binding part

-1x  11x15cm (green) for the phone pocket

-2x  8x11cm (one beige, one green) for the phone pocket upper part

-1x  9x15cm (green) for the pen holder/pocket

-1x scout lily cut out on vliesofix (interfacing)

– 1m tvine

– a group number if you have one

– 2x   2,5cm velcro

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2. As the second step IRON every piece and fold back 1cm on the 20x62cm green fabric lengthwise and press-iron it.

IMGP92843. Put this green piece on the biggest orange fabric. Position it in the middle then sew it lengthwise on both sides. Not it should look like this:

IMGP92874. PREPARE THE SCOUT LILY! I searched one on the internet, printed it out and used it as my pattern. Iron interfacing onto a beige fabric. Then put the pattern and the fabric onto each other and hold them up to your window and trace the lines. Then cut out the lily, iron it onto the green fabric and sew it onto! Position it in the middle of the front side.

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IMGP9290First I sewed the lines/seams in the middle of the lily, then on the edges.

Also with interfacing iron and sew the group-number in the middle of the whole orange/green fabrics. It helps if you press-iron where the edges of the binder will be, see picture bellow:

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5. Make the knot and sew the twine onto the big orange fabric parallel with the edge of the green fabric.

6. SEW HEMS on both 20x33cm orange fabric on one side lengthwise:

IMGP92937. As the next step you have to make the PHONE POCKET! Sew a hem on the 11x15cm green fabric on the shorter side. Then take the 8x11cm fabrics (beige and green) and sew them tegether on three sides facing the right sides together and leaving a longer side open. Then turn it out, iron the edge and sew one side of the velcro onto it. Sew the other side of the velcro onto the the green fabric with the hem. Now it should look like the two pieces in the middle of  the picture below:

IMGP92928. HEM the shorter side of the 9x15cm green fabric. This will be the PEN POCKET!

9. Facing the right sides, sew together the two 8x15cm green fabrics on three sides leaving one short side open, turn it inside out and iron the edges. Sew one side of the other velcro onto it. See on the left side on the picture above!

10. Fold 1cm from the edges of the phone pocket and pen holder back and sew them onto the 20x33cm orange pieces. You should fold inside 1cm from the open end of the upper part of the phone pocket and then sew a seam through it. Now it is easier to sew it onto the orange fabric. Pay attention: position the upper side of the phone pocket so the velcro meets with it other side!

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Now all the parts are ready to go and the should look like this:

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11.  Here comes the trickiest but the best part: ASSEMBLING EVERYTHING together.

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a.) Put the big orange fabric (with the green fabric and the lily) down first. It should be facing up!

b.) Now put the green binder with the velcro on the right side (in the middle) facing the velcro upside!

c.) Now put the two orange pieces on the sides facing down! In my case the one with the phone pocket came to the right side, and the one with the pen holder came to the left side. The hem of the orange fabric should be facing the middle, that’s the most important thing!

d.) Finally put the big green fabric to cover all the others! Pin it all around! Sew along the sides, 1cm from the edges BUT leave about 10cm opened because that’s where you will turn the whole thing inside out!

12. Sew and then turn the whole thing inside out!

IMGP9307How about that?

IMGP930813. The final step is to iron it and hand stitch that 10 cm gap. Hopefully it fits perfectly to the binder and it is good to go!

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The greatest thing about this technique that by learning it you will be able to make any kind of notebook or book cover! There is no limit to the possibilities! I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and if you make something using this, please send me a picture and share your thoughts on it!

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 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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Lately

Lately I have been working on couple of things but nothing really new.

I made an other felt-picture but this time I put it in a real frame and it looks much better this way.

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Then I sewn two new notebook covers (U-Heft Hülle). It is very amazing that on a simple product how many changes can be made! Use a different fabric, or just change one color, maybe put onto it a ribbon…really there is no limit!

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Well, there is a new thing that I created: a small apron for my son. I know it’s a very girly thing but I tried to use darker colors and I put the letter “B” on it, as well. (You know because his name starts with B.) Unfortunately I don’t have a picture of him wearing the apron but hopefully soon! What do you think?

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And finally two baby blankets. The first took me a while to finish it because the stars in it are so complicated but it’s finally done! It’s really not perfect if you look closely but for now I think I did a good job. I made mistakes and I learned a lot, so next time it will be better.

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For the other blanket I really just wanted to use my scrap-fabric because it had been piling up and we do not have a space for that. It was a simple project: I cut out the same size squares from the left over fabrics: as many as possible, then I laid them out on the floor and played with the pattern until I thought it’s gonna be nice.

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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!