Citycraft…I think I’m in love.

After seeing some of my recent quilts, a neighbor mentioned to me that a new fabric store, CityCraft, had opened about a block away. I decided to go check it out today, and man oh man, I think I’m in love!

My favorite fabric designers are Amy Butler and Heather Bailey…I love the modern twist they take on vintage styles. It’s nearly impossible to find their fabrics locally, though, and I was amazed to see entire lines of their fabrics in this store! There were many other fab designers represented as well like Michael Miller and Anna Maria Horner. I couldn’t walk away without dropping a pretty chunk of change… I really couldn’t help myself. *lol*

They have a sewing lounge adjacent to the store (where they teach classes and will have studio time available with wine & snacks.) The classes are full through August…but I’m hoping to attend one in September.

The prices were very reasonable considering the selection of premium prints that were available and the fact that it is a pretty small store (designer prints average $9.25/yard). They had a small wall of notions, interfacing, & thread in case you need essentials and don’t want to drive all the way to your nearest national chain store. They carry the largest selection of oil cloth in the city with really fun prints (think re-usable shopping bags). They also had darling printed ribbons, lots of modern sewing books, an entire wall of Amy butler patterns (yea!), and a beautiful rainbow colored shelf of bamboo felt (I didn’t even know such a thing existed!) The felt is eco-friendly, much softer than wool felt and holds its color over time much better than wool as well. Will definitely be trying this out.

Snapped a few pics with the iPhone to share…

Will snap photos of my purchases & share with you soon…

My first quilt…

A close friend recently had her first baby, and I wanted to make her something extra special for her new lil’ girl. I decided to attempt my first quilt.

Now I have to say that I’ve always been a lil’ intimidated by quilting. All those pieces to cut out, all those exact seam allowances to sew, and need I say….mitered corners?! But since baby quilts are half the size of regular ones, I figured it was worth a shot.

I picked up a kit at my local JoAnns store with gorgeous green & brown fabrics and some soft bamboo batting to use as the filler. The binding wasn’t nearly as difficult as I anticipated once I found this great tutorial by Heather Bailey. If you have any interest in quilting – these are really helpful instructions. (You get some great eye-candy on Heather’s site too.)

green & brown baby quilt

I sent the quilt off and later found out that the colors exactly matched the color scheme of her new nursery. Yea! I think I might have the quilting bug now.

A neighbor commissioned me to make a baby quilt for her sister-in-law, and I decided to make a third quilt just for fun. Stay tuned for those projects later this week…

Cashmere sweater turned hot water bottle cover

I mentioned in my last post that I have a new-found love of upcycling… especially when it comes to pretty, wool sweaters.

For a while, I’ve wanted to design a custom hot water bottle cover for a dear friend who is British. When I came across a beautiful cashmere/merino blend, I knew it would be perfect. After felting it down to half it’s size, I turned it into this…

Want to make one yourself in about an hour?

Just purchase a red hot water bottle from your local pharmacy, and trace around it onto copy paper (four sheets taped together). Leave approximately a one-inch border on all sides. Copy this pattern onto more paper, but this time, extend the bottom down about 6 inches to create the flap that comes around the back of the bottle.

When cutting out the two pattern pieces, place the pattern so that the ribbing at the bottom of the sweater will be at the top of the bottle, adding texture and a nice finished edge to the opening. Turn the flap under and place your pattern pieces right side together. Sew up either side with a 1/2″ seam allowance. Turn right side out to finish. Snip three button holes onto the back flap and sew buttons underneath. Finish with iron-on embellishments. If you’re feeling adventurous – you can embroider your own design before sewing the pieces together. I used pre-made iron-on linen poppies on the front…

…and some iron-on embroidered letters on the back. My friend’s husband travels a lot, so I figured she could still have him keep her warm when he was gone! heehee

Supplies: Rubber hot water bottle from your local pharmacy, large or extra large men’s 100% wool or cashmere blend sweater (it will shrink when felted), thread to match, sewing machine, copy paper, brown satin ribbon, iron-on embroidered letters, iron-on flowers, 3 bronze-colored buttons (from my stash), & scissors.


Sweet on Felt

I love the whole concept of upcycling… taking something old, getting crafty, and giving it a whole new life.

Ever accidentally wash a fav wool sweater and shrink it to half it’s size? Well – I’m actually doing that on purpose these days! My latest obsession is trolling through local thrift stores searching for pretty wool sweaters to felt. *lol*

I’ve been hoarding sweaters like pretty patterned paper. Anybody know that feeling? I finally decided to cut into some of them to create a gift for a friend who loves ice cream cones. The project was designed by Betz White and came from her fab book Warm Fuzzies: 30 Sweet Felted Projects.

Felted ice cream tape measure

Check out what it’s hiding!

Felted Ice cream tape measure

Yup – a sweet surprise. Ice cream cone turned tape measure. Gotta love that.
Check out this darling mushroom tape measure Betz designed as well. Might have to try that one next!

Want to see more felty goodness? Click below to look inside the book…

Warm Fuzzies

Handmade Baby Gift #3: Felt Baby Booties

Here is the final gift I made for my friend…felt baby booties.

Felt Baby Booties

There are quite a few free patterns out there you can download on the internet. I used the Mary Jane pattern found here, by the folks over at Martha Stewart.

Simply print out the template and use it to cut out two pattern pieces from wool felt. Wool is best since it is much more durable than synthetic craft felt. (Look for it at your local fabric store, or you can get a beautiful assortment of colors here at the Magic Cabin).

Sew the shoe together according to the pattern instructions, add a closure, and embellish. I used snap closures on my straps and hid my sewing by punching out and adhering small flowers onto each strap using Fabri-tac glue (yes…another use for those paper punches!). I then added some velvet ric-rac and small satin bows using Fabri-tac as well.

Felt Baby Booties

The box was designed by me using sheets of acetate and some SU! patterned paper. I wanted to be able to display them from the top & sides, hence the acetate. I think this design would work great for displaying candy and other gifts as well. It is approximately 4.5″ square. I may post a tutorial at some point if anyone is interested.

Here’s a view from the top:

Felt Baby Booties

Hope you’re having a great weekend!