Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Finger Puppets: Red's Grandma -- TUTORIAL

My Little Red Riding Hood finger puppets are rather detailed, so I'll be posting them piece by piece. First up is Granny!

There are lots of details -- you certainly don't have to do all of this if you don't want to. But all those details are what I love, so bear with me!!

(Find instructions for Wolfie here, and Red Riding Hood here, and the Woodsman here.)

(not a fantastic photo of her -- sorry! Daylight hours are getting fewer around here, so I only have a short window of time for photos -- and didn't end up with a good one of her!)

Red Riding Hood Finger Puppets


~ fleece for Grandma's skin
~ grey yarn for hair
~ button for granny's bun (see picture in hair tutorial) OR bead
~ paperclip or ornament hanger for glasses
~ grandma-y fabric -- just a scrap!
~ lace trim (optional)
~ elastic thread
~ small amount of fiberfil or cotton balls for stuffing

Start out by making the basic puppet from the "person" pattern. You will also need a wolf! (You can find wolfie here -- and construct Granny's body the same way as the pig in Step One at the same link.)

STEP ONE: Grandma's jammies. Trace the jammies pattern on your scrap of fabric and cut out. Attach lace trim (right side of lace facing right side of fabric) at sleeve ends.

Also attach lace trim around neck of jammies, pulling it straight in front of the foot as you go.

Pull open the lace edge of the sleeves and topstitch in place. (I used elastic thread in the bobbin, lengthening the stitch to about 4, so the sleeves would be tighter around her wrists, and sewed two rows close to each other. You can skip the elastic thread if you like.)

STEP TWO: Sew the side seams. Fold jammies right sides together and sew from the hem of the sleeve to the armpit, then turn and sew down to the hem of the jammies. (Don't forget to change your stitch length back to normal if you used elastic thread for the sleeves!)

STEP THREE: Attach your lace trim to the hem, then sew the lower half of the center back seam and put the jammies on Grandma.

I went ahead and sewed the rest of the back seam after they were on her!

Next up: Glasses! I started with this fancy-schmancy Christmas ornament hanger I've had kicking around in my sewing drawer for a couple years. (Why was it in there? I have no idea!!)

I kept the lowest loop, rearranged the one to the left to make another "lens," and reshaped the rest, clipping off the excess.


I bent the earpieces to accomodate Granny's head.

Now for Granny's hair:

STEP ONE: I cut a rather long piece of yarn, threaded my needle, and tied a knot at the end. I poked my needle up through the bottom of the finger puppet and out the center of the back of her head.

STEP TWO: Attach your button or bead. Mine is a shank button with a hole in the center. No idea where it came from; it was in my button tin! The button will be covered to create her bun! Poke your needle in under the edge of the button, and out just in front of the seam on her head.

Repeat that same stitch over and over, going around and creating her hairline. It should start looking like this.

STEP THREE: Wrap your button or bead in yarn.

A perfect Granny bun!

Now you will create Granny's mob cap:
STEP ONE: Trace a circle on your fabric -- mine was just over 3 1/4".

STEP TWO: Attach your lace trim around the edge of the circle, right sides together.

STEP TWO: Turn the lace outward and topstitch in place.

STEP THREE: With elastic thread in the bobbin, and increasing your stitch to about 4, sew 1/4" from the edge of the fabric -- go around twice, with the second row right beside the first.

Now Wolfie can wear the mob cap and glasses when he's pretending to be Grandma!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Dollar Store Scarf to Baby Legs -- TUTORIAL

"Baby legs" -- super long socks with no feet -- are so popular right now. It seems that there are new versions and twists on this idea fairly often. Well today I will show you my ONE DOLLAR version!!

I found this super-duper soft, extra stretchy scarf at the dollar store and knew immediately what I wanted to do with it! One scarf is all you need!

STEP ONE: Fold your scarf in half, lining up the stripes, and cut it in half right at the center fold.

STEP TWO: Serge along your cut edge, stretching it a little as you go. (You could experiment with finishing the edge by using a zig-zag stitch -- making it as wide as you can, and short. I have not tried this. If you do, let me know what works!)

STEP THREE: The way the ends of the scarf are originally finished does not allow for enough stretch, so you will need to serge the opposite end of your scarf the same way. (I serged off the pink end so my thread would match the stripe I was serging.)

STEP FOUR: Using a zig-zag stitch and starting with your first scarf half, fold it in half lengthwise and sew all the way down the long edge. Don't forget to backstitch! You may need to push it along under your sewing machine foot, but mine fed through pretty easily with just a bit of guidance.

Check to make certain your stripes are matching as you go.

STEP FIVE: Backstitch at the end, and check out how long and skinny it is! Are you worried it will never fit your baby's chubby legs?

Have no fear!

If I can get it on my arm, you can get it on your baby's leg!
(They actually fit my three-year-old just fine, too!)


I can also see these on an older child or tween (or even me!) as arm-warmers, which are also very popular right now. These will keep you quite warm -- perfect for colder weather when it's too warm for a jacket but too cold for going without!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Grandma Quilt Sunday -- MINE!

When we went to visit my husband's grandparents last fall, his grandma gave me this quilt:

Her mother took part in making it in her quilt guild. I absolutely love it! It's another true scrap quilt, and I can sit there for ages just looking at each fabric.

One of my favorite things about this quilt is that bright orange fabric on the far left. There are only a few pieces of it in there, but I love how it really stands out!

I joined another swap...!

I couldn't resist joining this swap! Click on the image if you are interested; the deadline to sign up is tomorrow!!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

I-Spy Squares for the SWAP!

I'm starting to get I-Spy squares in the mail!! Hee hee!!!

Wendy emailed me this picture of what she sent on its way...

I got these from Kori and Marilyn yesterday...

And these from Marie today!

It's so fun to see the fabrics everyone has chosen!!

(By the way, swappy people, here is a button if you'd like to put it on your blog!)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Flashback Friday -- Fall Leaves Quilt

(Please ignore the weeds in the photo!)
This is another early quilt of mine. In fact, when I pulled it out of the closet to take a picture, I noticed it already has that "old" smell to it! I love it!! Anyway, I had seen a picture of the fall leaf block somewhere and wanted to duplicate it, so I figured out how to make it. It's a very fun block to piece!

This is another quilt that I chose "ugly" fabrics for. To this day it is one of my favorites -- but maybe that's partly because fall is my favorite season!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Goldilocks & the 3 Bears Finger Puppets -- TUTORIAL

Whew! After a short break from my finger puppets, here is the next installation:

I just love these guys!!! Once again I just used "stuff" I had on hand -- you can certainly replace items in my supply list with whatever you've got!
Goldilocks and the Three Bears Finger Puppets Pattern


~ Brown fleece
~ Black felt/fleece scrap or beads for bear noses
~ Black seed beads for eyes
~ Fleece for G's skin
~ Yarn for G's hair
~ Large-eyed needle (for yarn)
~ Small amount of fiberfil or cotton balls, for stuffing
~ Printed patterns (on cardstock if possible)

STEP ONE: Fold your brown fleece right sides together, Place pattern on top, and sew around. After turning the bears right side out, and before stuffing their heads, I topstitched around the rims of their ears.

STEP TWO: Noses! Cut a circle of fleece 2" in diameter. Attach your nose to the center of the circle. (I found some tiny "safety" noses I've had for ages and used those.)

Pinch the circle below the nose... this. Sew a few stitches starting at the edge of the circle and head up towards the nose.

You will pinch a little more of the excess above the nose (I didn't do quite as much as I did below the nose) and continue your stitching to the top edge of the snout. Tie a knot here, but don't cut your thread yet.

STEP THREE: Attach your bear's snout, starting at the top, and go all the way around. I added the tiniest bit of fiberfil, but mostly the fleece folds inside the snout did the job. I used the same thread again to attach the seed bead eyes!

I used a scrap of diagonally-striped ribbon for Papa Bear's tie, some pearl beads for Mama Bear's necklace, and a Barbie baby bottle for Baby Bear. I just love how my bears turned out!!

I don't have a full tutorial for Goldilocks, but I did want to show you how I did her hair!

STEP ONE: Sew around Goldilocks the same way you did the bear in Step One. (My Goldilocks is VERY pasty, because all I had was this cream-colored fleece for skin!) Thread your large needle with a fairly long length of yarn, doubling it down to the end. Starting just in front of the seam at the top of her head, poke your needle in as shown.

STEP TWO: Pull your needle through. For me this step required pliers! (Don't use an heirloom needle from your great-great-grandmother for this -- the needle probably won't survive beyond this project!)

Pull your yarn all the way through until the end is just a bit longer than you want her final hair length to be, and cut the other side to match.

STEP THREE: Tie half-knots to secure her hair. (I tied each strand individually.)

Continue in the same manner down the back of her head until you have as much hair as you like. Her "part" is very conducive to braids or pigtails, but I liked it down -- I just gave her a trim! (After I took this photo, of course.) I used a finer yarn, but if you use a heavier one you can separate the twisted strands to make it look more like hair.

Now she just needs a dress and a face, and perhaps a few props, and you're ready to play!
(Try using my pattern for Red Riding Hood's dress, found here.)

I am having LOTS of trouble deciding how to give a face to this girl... At this point I am ready to leave her faceless!! Any ideas??