Wednesday, 18 January 2012

More Elephants

Keeping with the elephant theme after making many a George the Elephant Kings / Queens (!) I crafted an applique elephant baby top for a friend who is awaiting her little boy's arrival.  I bought a large piece of elephant print stretch material on sale last year with the idea it could become a summer sleeping bag for a little one, or a great stretchy swaddle.  I loved stretchy swaddles when wrapping up Little Imp - so much harder for her to escape from her mummified state in stretch fabric!

After making the elephant softie for my friend I decided an elephant swaddle and matching applique top would make a perfect gift bundle.

Swaddle material in the background & copied elephant ready to applique
Basic 'How To'
I used fabric pens to copy the elephant design onto plain cotton fabric which I then roughly cut out & framed with strips of matching printed fabric scraps.  After using 'Heat & Bond' to iron the whole piece to the top I used a smallish sized blanket stitch around the outside edge to fix the fabric to the top & stop the edges fraying with wear and tear.  A straight stitch on the plain fabric to frame the elephant finished it off.

And then I made another one, and another.... The more girly ones also had a free motion embroidered flower embellishment added for fun.

I labeled these tops using the alphabet embroidery card on my sewing machine to stitch 'OneLittleImp' on felt,  & then sewed this label on the back neck line. Much neater than the handwritten labels I've made in the past.

Sunday, 15 January 2012


Too hot to do anything much last week I gathered my paper supplies and decided to be on the forefoot for card giving celebrations like engagements & babies that are likely this year.

Definitely not the best pictures, but I wasn't opening blinds to let in more light given the sweltering heat outside!

Tuesday, 3 January 2012


I enjoyed making my first quilt (Little Imp's Eye spy quilt), especially the playing with colour combinations and patterns.  Having done a bit more reading on quilt making since then I understand a bit more of the theory behind what I was just doing by feel when I made that quilt - not just playing with colours to get something that is enjoyable to look at, but also factors such as arranging shades of lights and darks & patterns of big and small to keep the visual interest.  The part I didn't enjoy quite so much was the precision cutting of the fabrics and thinking this was essential in quilting I wasn't convinced I would try making another quilt in any hurry.

That was until I came across the idea of improvisational piecing quilting on a blog - Handmade by Alissa.  The idea essentially being to piece together fabrics in more of a haphazard way rather than measuring and cutting with precision.  I like.  The idea of piecing together loads of little bits of skew-whiff fabrics in this way to make up a quilt sounds like fun!

With doctor's instructions to keep off my feet as much as possible for the next few months with the confirmation of stress fractures (the MRI report came back with 'bone oedema' as a result of the fractures, I never knew until now that bones could become oedematous!), and a husband home all of last week to help care for Little Imp, I have managed to spend some quality time in the Room of  Requirement (aka my craft room).  Finally I have had a chance to play around with ideas and techniques, including some improvisational piecing.  I am loving this 'watch-and-see-what-you-can-create' process; cutting little pieces of fabrics and adding them to each other as I go with only a sense of what I am headed for as the end product.

Here are some of my initial have-a-go skew whiff blocks using some pre-joined fabric strips (that were precision cut) I was very kindly given.  They haven't turned out too skew as not every edge was cut free hand, so there is more experimenting to be done.  I do like the outcome of cutting one of the 4x3 square blocks into quarters though and I've been planning to use these to make a table runner & matching mats. 

The Softie Elephant King

It was a little busy in the lead up to heading to Tasmania last year, but I did get some time in the evenings to have a go making another critter from the Softies book I was given a while back.  'George the Elephant King' was my pick.  I do like making things on a small scale, so I decided not to enlarge the pattern, essentially making George half the recommended size (about 20cm high).

This was my favourite Softie in the book and I was more than happy with how the elephants turned out.  However, regardless of whether my elephants were made with green swirls & spots, or out-and-out floral fabric, it seems that I  instead created Georgina the Elephant Queen...
...or could that be George the Elephant King Queen (!)

I've made a whole herd now, if 7 elephants constitute a herd that is.  Some even with bells in their belly for jingle shaking kiddie fun.  Birthday gifts for little ones in 2012 me thinks.