Month: September 2013

#7 I Heart Fabric Boxes

Going along with the theme of ‘boxes’ I wanted to share another wonderful kind of box with you- the FABRIC BOX! I love fabric boxes because they are really easy to sew together and you can make them look really pretty by using any patterned and coloured fabric of your choice. You can use up your scraps, add buttons or add trims and embellishments to your heart’s desire. They make the most beautiful gifts or can be kept all for yourself to store your crafty bits and bobs in (or indeed anything from stationery supplies to sweeties). I think they look gorgeous on your desk or stacked on your shelves. I’ve seen a lot of varieties on the internet, each one unique to the maker’s taste. So I’m going to share with you a few of the ones that stood out and give you links to the tutorials I found the most useful.

1. Design*Sponge

I love Design*Sponge, they’ve always got a fabulous craft project you can work on. They are no less than an essential resource for me and their fabric box tutorial is saved to my Favourites!

The tutorial itself is pretty straight-forward and there is ample opportunity to tweak it just a little bit here and there so you can use the materials you have to hand. The final result is pretty impressive. Its a must-have for any crafters desk!

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Design*Sponge Fabric Boxes

(http://www.designsponge.com/2012/06/sewing-101-fabric-boxes.html)

2. Make it & Love it

This is a blog run by the talented Ashley, she’s a mum to 3 and based in the US. The blog is a lot of fun and her personality is evident in her tutorials! Her version of the fabric boxes is tempting all over again, these are complete with label windows for the front of the boxes. Do check it out!

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Make it & Love it Fabric boxes

http://www.makeit-loveit.com/2011/09/fabric-storage-boxes-per-your-request.html

3. Jillian in Italy

This blog is run by Canadian-born ‘Gee-lee-aan’, married to a Belgian scientist and residing in Italy – phew.

Her take on the Fabric boxes was simply adorable with photos to match.

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Jillian in Italy Fabric Boxes

http://jillianinitaly.com/2012/02/12/tutorial-small-fabric-basket/

4. Seaside Stitches

Ok, here’s one I actually tried and loved with capital L!! The box took only about an hour to put together; its a grea t project for when little miss is asleep!

I won’t say too much more but encourage you to check this tutorial (and blog) out. Tina Craig is the brains behind this idea and she is an expert quilter and has therefore added a quilting twist to the box.

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Seaside Stiches fabric box

http://www.seaside-stitches.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/fabric-box-tutorial.html

Here is my own take on the Seaside Stitch fabric box:

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I added a cute button detail at the sides to give it more crafty character.

Other inspiration………..

Pinterest has tons of inspiration if you are looking for box ideas.. of virtually any shape, size and purpose!

Check out the pinterest pages of the Evans Twins (sisters) of the Roonie Ranching blog. Their pinterest pages (each sister has their own page) are just the most colourful, vibrant archives of ideas and projects. Inspiration just oozing off the pages. Don’t take my word for it, do take a look.

http://www.pinterest.com/emalahowski/

http://www.pinterest.com/nikistringer/

That brings me to the end of my post. I hope it inspires you to try one for yourself, do share if it does!

Until next time, take care xxx

Sabeena

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#6 My Flickr and Facebook Links…..

Just a quick post to inform you of my Facebook page promoting the BlanketsnBabies blog. You can find the page following this link!

I do hope you will join the page; its another way to keep up to date with what the blog has to offer, details of other similar blogs/profiles as well all the photographs I can’t add on here!

Also, I now have a Flickr account under the Blankets Babies name, it can be found by following the link (or by clicking on the link below). I have just added all the photographs from my wonderful Scottish trip in early September, so I really hope you will check those out.

Here are the links again:

https://www.facebook.com/blanketsnbabies

http://www.flickr.com/photos/101572700@N03/

Thanks everybody xxx

#5 Hello…I’m a Boxoholic

As far as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by boxes!

The earliest box I can remember owning was a pillar box red lunch box at age 6 years… and my dad still has it!

Not only do I have a crafty family I have to admit we are quite a ‘hoarding’ bunch. From my dad and grandfather collecting wood, planks and all things of a DIY, building nature… to my mum’s fabulous sewing/crochet/knitting stash!It seems the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree either…..I’d like to indulge you in some of my own hoarding…..and my boxophilia (just a made-up word lol).

I guess it stems from a want/need to organise, categorise and methodise everything (well that’s my argument anyway), but boxes whether they be for gift-wrapping, storing or displaying your possessions are a big business these days.  They can hold practical or sentimental value. And whether we like to admit or not, we have quite a variety of these around the house!

I have a few favourite boxes which I’d like to share with you my top 5! The ones I have selected a special meaning, and hold sentimental value for me. They have special memories associated with them. They are a symbol and amongst my most valued possessions.

1. My Lunch Box

How many 30-something year olds can admit to still owning a lunch-box from when they were 6??? Not many I’m guessing. Actually it’s not something I have kept, but something I found lying around in my dad’s back-garden shed. He’s a serious hoarder but I’m kinda glad he kept this one.

It reminds me of a carefree childhood. The red colour is a beautiful, happy colour too. It reminds me that my mum would’ve prepared something (lovingly) rushedly/purposefully for me to eat at school. It went on a journey with me between school and home everyday and it was probably the only thing I carried….whilst holding mum’s hand I suppose.

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2. My Wooden Box

I love wooden boxes, the more natural the better. I have one which I have never actually stored anything in, because I could never find anything that looked like it would be fittingly stored in this thing. Its quite funny that I should be so particular about it but that’s how it is.

There’s nothing that especially stands out about the box but I just like that its the perfect shape, size and has the coolest slide-in lid. I’m sure I’ll find something to store in it soon……or my little one will anyway 😉

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3. An Inherited Trinket Box

This was one of mum’s jewellery boxes. I just remember it vividly from my childhood; she would store beaded pearl necklaces and bracelets in it. I used to think that it was probably really valuable to her and it probably was. I inherited it just after she passed away and although it has a different meaning to me now, it is still just as valuable…maybe more so.

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4. The Fabulous Box of Buttons

Amongst mum’s crafty stash she used to keep a little blue case with fabulous buttons of all shape/size/sparkle. I actually have this box now and love looking through it. I have used some of these buttons on a few projects which I will share with you soon. I’m sure you will agree it rocks as far as button-boxes go!!

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5. My Crafty Box

My 5th selection is this rather wonderful ‘Rainbow’ box. Its filled with colourful pencils, crayons and envelopes! This box makes me really happy and its something I can’t wait to share with my daughter when she gets a little older! (Actually I think she’ll probably find it when I’m not looking)

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That’s the end of my (rather lengthy) post. I hope you found it as fun to look through as I found to write it. I will try to keep my posts a bit shorter from now on but I couldn’t help it on this occasion. I hope to post about boxes you can craft with fabric and various other things as well as provide some links to some great blogs/tutorials and suppliers of gorgeous boxes! Until then, take care xxx

Sabeena

#4 Crafts I made: Sewn for Purpose

Hi and welcome to my 4th post! The blog has a new look which I hope you’ll like. I’m feeling more at home now especially with the lovely logo me and my little helpers put together last night.

I should finally share with you some of the crafts I have (attempted) to make over the last year or so as well as provide you with some links to the blogs/tutorials/web pages that have inspired me along the way. I’ve got lots of little things I want to share with you but will break them up into little groups so it all appears to make sense.

Starting with my sewing projects stitched for a specific purpose….

1. Yellow Wall-Hanging

I think it was when baby was about 3 months old that I decided to make a Wall-Hanging to have all her bits & bobs to hand. I didn’t follow any tutorials so to speak; I just had a mental image of what I wanted it to look like. I used some fabric in a baby-friendly colour (from my mum’s fabric stash) and stuffing from an old pillow. Now, I wasn’t familiar with the phenomenon that is ‘quilting’ back then (would do things so differently now!). I pretty much just stuffed and sewed!!!!! 😀

So here it is my extremely useful wall-hanging (complete with a handy metal rod found in our back garden lol). It has actually served many purposes; from storing little new-born clothes to nappies/wipes/cotton balls/flannels)… Its raw and unrefined but its my first ever sewing project so I do love it.

wall hanging edited

The closest thing I found to it is this piece on another blog called ‘Craftlog’ by a lady called Maitreya. Her blog has some other great posts and crafty ideas so do check it out when you get a chance:

http://craftlog.org/craftlog/?p=2330

2. Over-sized Boho Baby-Bag

This is perhaps the project I’m most proud of! All those beautiful fabric scraps I had lying around were about to be used in this project in a panelling effect. I love my BIG bags; the bigger the better. And a baby bag is one example of where this is a necessity for me as a mum on the go!

I saw lots of bags I liked, but they were missing the over-size factor, something had to be done. I was a little more experienced on the sewing machine this time but again I had no real plan/pattern thought out; just an image of what it had to look like. I made it huge and I hope you’ll agree, the end product is pretty impressive on a GRAND scale:

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(sorry the photos aren’t very clear, I hope to take better pictures for the purpose of future posts)

I couldn’t find a tutorial on making a box bag exactly like mine, but if you visit the blog of http://craftygemini.blogspot.co.uk/, there is a tutorial on making a sewing machine dust cover that will do the trick just as well (just add a top panel and handles). I am a MEGA fan of the CraftyGemini aka Vanessa, her blog is great and I’m always inspired by her.

The sewing machine dust cover tutorial can be found by following this link http://craftygemini.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/sewing-machine-dust-cover.html

3. Zipper pouches for travelling

Beyond the over-sized bag, you cannot underestimate the power of zipper pouches for a well-organised suitcase, especially when travelling with a young child.  I simply hate when things get lost in suitcases; I need to know where things are so I can find them…Fast. I followed a great video tutorial on sewing Zipper-pouches (will give you the link below) because sewing zippers on is no easy task, but its a fundamental skill to learn and opens up loads of sewing project possibilities.

Not going into too much detail of how (because the video tutorial will show you all that), I present my travel-friendly zipper pouches. There is a large-sized one and a medium one. I quilted them but you could quite easily just interface them as the video shows you.

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Here is a super simple video-tutorial for making zippered pouches,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4eMLVrfdXY

The lady posting it is called Melanie Ham and she has the most fabulous Facebook page and blog under the name of

I Heart Stitching: Melanie Ham Designs

You must take a look!

Ok, I’m going to end this post here or I will get carried away. I hope I have inspired you with or reminded you of similar projects you have undertaken; would love to hear your views either way. Do check out the links recommended, I have lots more to share in the next post. Until then, take care xxx

Sabeena

#2 A Family Affair…..

Hi and welcome back to any returning readers and hello if you’re new!

This is my second post and I’m going to write about the various ‘characters’ in my family that have influenced/incited my passion for all crafty things.

Now I hope you will understand what I mean when I say that craftiness must run in the blood; I’m quite sure there are genes for it! I’ve come across so many people influenced by their crafting mums or grans and aunts; watching them in childhood and growing to emulate them in adulthood. For me it was a similar story.

My lovely Mum…..

We are four sibs that grew up watching a very passionately crafty mum with a gift for creating anything and everything within a press of a foot pedal. She had a super powerful sewing machine and I remember we were strictly told not to touch or go near it! It was bought for her by her in-laws shortly after she had married, and it kept her satisfyingly busy for over 25 years after that.

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The machine was a beautiful Japanese Willcox Gibbs model (very old and unique) and required a certain amount of prowess to operate! (Let us say it is not for the faint hearted lol). She rolled off pretty dresses, gowns, bed-sheets, duvet covers and curtains as though it were no work at all!

She had also built-up quite an impressive knitting collection; Needles in every size and wool in every colour. Quite a magnificent collection. Again, jumpers, cardigans of all shapes (and fashions), blankets, tank-tops and all-things baby related just seemed to roll off her needles! Crochet? yes, same again.

In addition to this, she seemed to enjoy decorating and embellishing her sewn/knitted products. I’m talking buttons, gems, laces, ribbons, trims, borders, sequins, the list goes on!!

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Sadly, my mother passed away (rather untimely) about 20 months ago. And I found myself a sort of successor to her valuable treasures. At this point I must tell you I’d never attempted anything more than replacing a lost button and never seriously learnt anything off mum, so I was a little bit hopeless.

Four months pregnant with my first (and therefore overcome with hormones and emotions), I decided justice had to be done with all these remarkable things. I simply had to learn to Sew, to Knit, to Crochet…… A daunting task for a ‘day-dreamer’ such as me. I mean, where to start???

My grandmother…

A light at the end of the tunnel came in the form of my grand-mother; if ever there was an expert of all things crafty in the family it was her. She simply lived to Cook and Knit! And actually if she’s not doing one, she’s doing the other.

Granny’s stories of how mum started out and the projects she was involved in have kept me incredibly motivated. Since the birth of my daughter (now 15months old), my gran has provided a wealth of ideas, inspirations and motivation for all my tiny attempts. I think she was also the first to shed a tear when I first operated mums (smaller) sewing machine lol.

My Aunties…

I have three that have particularly inspired me with their crafty skill.

At the beginning a young Aunty S (who wishes to remain anonymous) showed me basic sewing techniques and embellishment ideas. She taught me basic stitches and pretty baby dress ideas!

Aunty Bobby, who was very close in age to my own mother, is the ultimate crochet queen and my ocean of crochet knowledge. Any pattern, anytime! She was actually bursting with joy when I told her I wanted to learn, and recounted stories of friendly competitions she and mum had to finish similar projects. She told me of fabulous magazines that they both would spend hours pouring over (these are now available online apparently).

Aunty N, was like my finishing touches fairy godmother; when I got a little stuck, she would be there to save my sewing projects from being left unfinished!

And not forgetting the Mum-in-law….

A special mention of my mum-in-law. She lives in Lahore and I met her for the first time in Feb 2013, when I was at my eager-most to learn to sew. She taught me some key pieces to make, that I now cannot live without! It was when I saw her ‘stash’ of remnant fabrics that I became the most inspired and determined. (I secretly took a snap). I have to say my own stash is now equally as impressive 😉 😉

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The hubby….

Last, but not least, being married to a proficient photographer also has its advantages. I hope to share things from hubby in a separate post.

So I’ve now introduced all the key players in my personal craftosphere; you will no doubt see/read much more about them in other posts as they are all an integral part of my crafty life as well as real life.

I would LOVE to hear what/whom has inspired you and how things came about. I hope you will share your experiences. For now, thanks for reading, until the next Post, take care xxx

Sabeena