Making Owls

Our house has been over taken by OWLS! Some are pretty owls…

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And some are kind of crazy owls… We joke that they are actually Honey Badgers. We are so immature, we just can’t quit watching this YouTube video of the Honey Badger.

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The owls have been sent around the country as Xmas gifts, these 2 went to my niece and nephew in Seattle. Isabella requested one made by me with very specific colors, BJ just wanted Dan to make his.

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and they’ve been added to a Xmas quilt… I made this quilt for my mom.

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Thomas contributed this owl to his G-ma’s quilt

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Hmm I wonder who made this “owl”

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Even Daniel got into the fun of making owls. Actually a few people that came by our house in Dec. made an owl. My friend Michele, our neighbor Victoria and of course; Daniel, Thomas, Dan and me.

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Daniel made his owl tall, skinny and goofy just like him. He also packed it with lots of rice so he could throw it at his girl-friend, watch out Megan!

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Dan and I spent every evening for a few weeks working on owls. It was our stress de-compressor through the holidays. It also prevented us from getting anything done on the renovation!IMG_5267IMG_5269IMG_5273IMG_5288

This was my favorite owl, it lasted for 1 whole day before it was given by Beth as a last minute Xmas gift.

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Felted Wool Quilt #2

I finished this quilt awhile ago but never got around to blogging about it. This one I kept for myself since it has all my favorite colors.

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I especially love the round embellishments

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and I super- duper LOVE this metallic thread. It is so fun!!

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I backed this quilt with some super soft fleece that was purchased at JoAnne’s back in Dec. I sewed along all the edges of each square to give it the quilted effect. That gets to be pretty difficult with how thick and bulky these quilts are.

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Ta-Da the finished quiltIMG_7695IMG_7700

I also got to use my new serger for the edging. Look at those lovely serged edges.

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Ta-Da the quilt is complete

Yesterday’s snow day was the perfect day to spend sewing. Plus I had received the fleece blanket in the mail that I was planning on using for the back of the quilt. Kohl’s was having a sale (go figure) I got the fleece blanket with shipping for $3, that’s cheaper than buying material so I figured I’d give it a shot.

I laid out the quilt, batting, and fleece blanket, then used large safety pins to hold it all together. I then attempted to sew around the edge. That was a little tricky since the sweaters kept stretching. Things moved around a little bit, but it all came together in the end.IMG_6795

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I did have to cut off some of the sweater layer since the fleece wasn’t quite the same size. I saved the scraps and will reuse them in other projects.

Instead of using flannel to do the edging, like I had planned, I decided to use a zig-zag stitch and just sew the perimeter a couple times. It would have been handy to have a serger but I don’t. I liked the way it stretched the edge giving it a scalloped look. I thought it fit better with the design than doing a solid border.

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I think the super soft fleece was a nice compliment to the wool sweaters. For the actual quilting I used my sewing machine and just did a crosshatching at the corners of the blocks. (Man that sounded technical, I have no idea if that is the right way to phrase that.) I had planned on hand sewing using colorful embroidery floss, but in the end decided that the sewing machine would do a better job.

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Voila a completed project, and I think it turned out awesome!

The making of an upcycled wool quilt

I LOVE reusing wool sweaters! I buy them up at the thrift store for $1-$2 each, then bring them home, wash them in hot water with detergent and put them in the dryer. Most the time they shrink (felt) into a miniature much thicker replica of the sweater they started as. Sometimes they don’t shrink very much or even at all. It must have to do with how much wool is in the sweater but I haven’t worked out which ones shrink up the best yet. Beth and I go through the pile, keep some to wear and use the rest.

My initial plan was to make arm warmers (fingerless gloves) and hats. I love how they turned out but when my BFF saw them she wasn’t impressed. And when I mentioned I was making them for Xmas gifts she said she didn’t want one. Hmm well to heck with her. The arm warmers only used the sleeves of the sweaters so I still had all the guts to use.

I decided to make a wool quilt with some of the remains. I picked out colors that complimented each other than sat and pondered how I was going to do this. Finally I decided to just start cutting and see what would happen. My dilemma’s were: should all the squares be the same size or should I try to ago all willy-nilly? Also should I use the ribbed bottom of the sweaters or cut it off. Too much indecision leads to nothing being accomplished so I just started cutting. I prefer for things not to be perfect since my finished product never is. So I cut squares that made sense for the sweater. I tried to get as many pieces from each sweater as I could. I decided to cut off the ribbed bottoms, but then ended up using those pieces to fill in when a row was short.

I did want to make the squares a little more decorative so I added some whimsical touches by layering smaller squares on to the bigger pieces.IMG_6654IMG_6655IMG_6656

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Then I tried to lay it out somewhat cohesively, or at least so no two of the same color were touching. Somehow in the final sewing I did end up with some overlap. Sweaters (especially ones that don’t shrink up as much) are still stretchy so I did have some play on the lengths. But that also caused things to not match up exactly.

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I just finished the fun part, getting all the squares sewed together. Now comes the work: adding the batting, backing and edging.

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Here is Thomas trying it out while doing his schoolwork. Beth also tried to lay claim to it, but no, I have this planned for a Xmas present for someone special. Not the BFF who is unimpressed with my creations!

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