christmas hand embroidery

Christmas gifts 2013: Ahsoka Tano reading pillow

Ahsoka Tano reading pillow

Ahsoka Tano reading pillow - back

Ahsoka Tano reading pillow - applique

My cousin’s oldest kid is a big reader and loves Star Wars. I asked what her favorite character was, and it’s Ahsoka Tano from the Clone Wars. When it comes to gifts, I’m a lot less scrupulous than in my normal stuff-making, so I just looked at pictures of her on the internet and redrew one to use as an appliqué template.

I followed the On the Go Reading Pillow tutorial from Polka Dot Chair via the Sew Mama Sew. The black is a hand-dye from my stash and the Clone Wars fabric is from the licensed character shelf at Jo-Ann. (This is where I learned I don’t own a piping foot and ended up getting one for Christmas!)

christmas i made it

Christmas gifts 2013: Iron Man headband

Iron Man emblem headband

Followed pattern and general instructions for the headband from Alabama Stitch Book by Natalie Chanin.

I looked up some different versions of Iron Man’s chest emblem and chose this one for my design. It’s appliqué and reverse appliqué all in one.

christmas i made it

Christmas gifts 2013: Rag boa

purple and pink rag boa

Sewn following the general instructions from Alabama Stitch Book by Natalie Chanin. Upcycled a bunch of my own shirts into this, things that don’t fit well anymore after having a baby. I didn’t exactly follow the pattern because none of the shirts were large enough to cut the pieces to the right length. I had to cut wayyyy more pieces than called for, but it just led to a greater variety of color mixing!

baby christmas i made it toys

A simple blue kitty

I made this kitty as a Christmas gift for my cousin’s baby.

Blue kitty

baby christmas i made it toys

Alice’s butterfly

Since Alice was only going to be 5 months old at Christmas, and we have excited relatives, we decided not to really get her too many presents. My husband bought her a shirt, and I decided to sew a toy for her. She *loves* a little butterfly guy that’s on her bouncer, so I thought I should make her a bigger, huggable version.


50/52 christmas i made it

50/52: Crayons (#40)

I wanted to get my cousin’s kids that Crayola crayon maker for Christmas. You put crayon bits in it and it melts them into new swirly crayons. When I was younger, Crayola used to make all kinds of totally awesome crayons – metallics, glitter, swirly ones – but they don’t really do that anymore.

Then I read some reviews of the crayon maker, and it seemed like it was a hassle to use. So I decided I’d just make my own. I bought a box of 64 and a bunch of Wilton candy molds. I broke the crayons up and melted them in silicone baking cups and poured the melted wax into the molds. They came out pretty neat!


christmas felt i made it

50/52: Ham ornaments (#35)

Every year I sell a few felt ham ornaments on Etsy. This year there were only two, but that’s OK.


christmas i made it machine embroidery

A commission?!

Someone from the internets asked if I would be able to make something for him to give his girlfriend for Christmas. He said she was into jellyfish and fiber art, and we sussed out some details and I ended up making this-

The bell is sewing machine lace.. I sewed on water soluble plastic, washed away most of the plastic, and then set the resulting piece of lace in a mold to dry. There are two layers – the lavender outer layer, and then a darker purple layer that is attached to the bottom edge of the lavender part.

There’s a lot of metallic thread in the lavender part – it’s much less pink in person.

The tentacles are some vintage lace trim I had in my ribbon box, ruffled up.
The lace looks pretty neat with the light coming through it.

I hope she liked it!

baking christmas i made it


Over the holidays I baked a lot of stuff!
50ish chocolate chip cookies
50ish peanut butter cup cookies.
36 miniature pecan pies in muffin tins.
Full size pecan pie, apple pie, and cran-blueberry pie.
Two loaves of pumpkin chocolate chip bread.
Eight pans of cinnamon rolls with maple cream cheese frosting.
..and lots of gingerbread, which I cut up with the fantastic conjoined twin cookie cutter I got from the Mütter Museum!

christmas i made it

Intro and Christmas gift roundup

I promised on LJ that my next post would be a roundup of all the things I made for Christmas gifts. Then I decided that I should throw a blog onto my regular site, so I could post exclusively about the stuff I made, and not include so much whining about other things in my life. I guess this decision could backfire a bit – I show up on LJ friends lists, so I theoretically have an audience there, and no promise of an audience here. Whatever. Blah blah.
So, hi. This post will be long and image filled.

Here’s the stuff I made for people for Christmas. I made approximately 80% of the gifts we gave. I tried to make thoughtful, personal things, but definitely had some panic moments and threw in some generic Christmassy stuff.

I made ornament sets for all of my aunts and uncles, and my older cousins. I did some drawing/embroidery with my sewing machine and some felting.

On my mom’s side, everyone got one of these:

The front is an image from 1950(?) of my grandfather in a motorcycle race in the Pine Barrens of NJ. The photo was printed on thin inkjet fabric, then fused it to another thin cotton, and put it over some poly batting with a cotton duck back. I sewed along some lines in the photo, and then cut a piece from his beloved hideous fleshtone polyester shirt (ubiquitous in family photos) for the backing. Overlocked the edges and added ribbon for hanging. I need to make a few more of these.

The sets:


Aunt and uncle

(the pinball machine is my favorite, I think)

Aunt and uncle

Aunt and uncle

Uncle & his girlfriend

Cousin & her husband

Cousin & his wife

Cousin’s two toddlers each got a six-page coloring book I had made (just Kinko’s) from my drawings, and a crayon roll with her name embroidered on it.

18 year old cousin

13 year old cousin

both bags made from belle epoque’s bias tape tote tutorial

16 year old cousin

from a knitting needle roll tutorial whose provenance I cannot remember

11 year old cousin

from Super Cool Wallet tutorial
We wrote out definitions from the board game Balderdash, and I laminated them and put them in the card slots, because my cousin thinks they’re the funniest thing in the world.

Boyfriend’s parents:

Same method as the ornaments of my grandfather, just with pictures of their dogs instead.

NP: Small wallhangings of my brother and his girlfriend and my boyfriend and I for my dad’s mom.