Saturday, January 31, 2009

Cupcakes from Betz White's "Warm Fuzzies"

The book that started me off and running on this whole craze of cutting up felted sweaters to craft with came from purchasing a book called "Warm Fuzzies" by Betz White.  Her signature item is a cupcake pincushion, and I made one for myself and one for a friend.

They were really actually not that difficult to make. One of the reason I love Betz' book so much is that there are great, step-by-step picture instructions.  You can see how she puts things together, in addition to reading about it.

Her website is  She's got an amazing blog, too.

Harder than it looks!

Because I got so many positive comments on the owl, I decided to try another one.  This time I made a cat, also for another baby turning one.  So I stuck with the cashmere, and no buttons, only embroidery for the decorations.  What I came up with is this kitty.  She's made of mostly grey cashmere, with a few pieces of white and black.  

There's also a felted heart on her back.

 I had really wanted her to come out more round, than oval, but this making your own patterns thing is tough. 

Monday, January 19, 2009

Oh, the beauty of a Monday off...

So back again, to this idea of people having babies all over the place where I work.  I was talking with someone last Friday and realized there are at least three people I know who are expecting.  I joke  all the time that there is no way I will EVER drink the water at kids are getting a bit bigger and I'm thrilled about it!

However, what it does is give me lots of folks to think up super baby gifts for.  I've recently found some fantastic, bright wool sweaters that I was dying to find a use for.  The colors all look so great together and would be ideal solid colors for baby things...

Today's "day off" result was a stuffed cube.  It came out much more stiff than Square Meal.  I put some light fusible web inside before stuffing it.  I only had two thicknesses at home, so I tried both.  The super sturdy was too much...this worked well, but I think I'm going to get some medium stiffness stuff for the next one.  

It's super simple, just six 5" x 5" squares sewn together and stuffed.  The hardest part was trying to figure out how to get the last seam shut without it looking totally different than the other seams.  So I just went around the top and bottom again.  If anyone out there knows a trick for that last seam issue, I'd love to hear about it.

I had also thought about putting letters on each face, or numbers....something for more contrast.  My only concern is that for little babies, it would have to be on super tight.  All that chewing and drooling...wouldn't want anything to come off and get swallowed up.

I'm already thinking of what to try next.  I'm working on a pattern for a reusable lunch bag...back to the vintage raincoats.  I got one of the great ones with whales on it right before Christmas.  It might even make me want to bring my lunch into work!   And I'd be sure to bring my own drink.  None of that baby-water for me!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A friendly owl seems that the holidays got the best of me.  I made all kinds of things, some at the very last minute, and didn't have the time or foresight to post any of them!  But now that it's January, and things are starting to settle down, I'm back to moving just a little more slowly.  

For some reason I have been thinking about owls a lot lately...seeing them in advertisements, on TV, and most importantly at a birthday party my daughter went to at the kids Science museum.   I love how slowly they move and how majestic they look.  Their eyes are very telling though, almost like they know something you don't.

With that in mind, and our neighbor Anna's first birthday in mind, I made this for her.  It's made of two formerly cashmere sweaters, a pink one and a cream one.  The eyes are sewn on circles with smaller felted circles in the center and some yarn stitches (meant to look like eyelashes, but didn't really come out that way.  Same for the beak, some felted wool, a piece of yarn around the outside and a tiny piece of maroon wool in the center.  There are diamonds of the maroon wool on the ears, too.  I was trying to get that great feathery-owl-ear look...

My favorite part though are the wings.  They are pieces of the cream cashmere blanket stitched to the sides.   The result was a great contrast of color, but still soft looking.  I had initially wanted buttons for eyes, but was afraid they might get eaten off..

The whole thing took around 2 1/2 hours to make...I'm sure once I had a design I knew better and had made a few times I could cut that significantly.  

Maybe next time I'll try a blue and green?  Or should I go for a straight up owl browns?  I'd love ideas or comments on what colors would look the best.