Crochet Ruffle Diaper Cover

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Teehee!!!  I LOVE how this diaper cover turned out.  FINALLY, a pattern that works.  I’ve purchased a few patterns from Etsy and this one is my favourite because the author provided information regarding what type of yarn to use as well as measurements to look out for while you’re crocheting to make sure you are on track to a correct fit.  I purchased the pattern from crochetbyjennifer on Etsy and you can purchase her pattern here.

I used BERNAT handicrafter yarn in “Camomile.”  It was a great yarn to use but I have an issue with the fact that this particular colour is a scented yarn!  (I didn’t realize there was such a thing as scented yarn when I bought it.)  I wasn’t a fan of getting whiffs of artificial camomile fragrance as I made this but at least the scent is light so it won’t bother the new baby.  If you purchase this brand of yarn be sure to buy 2 bundles in the same dye lot as you’ll need more than one bundle to complete the diaper cover.

For the flower on the headband I found this great FREE pattern on Ravelry here.  I loved how all the layers came together so nicely.  The pattern calls for 6 petals but I only did 5.

The headband is a newborn headband from Carters.  I just cut off the bow that it came with and hand stitched my crocheted flower on to the band.  Easy peasy.

I really enjoyed making this pattern and can’t wait to meet the little girl who it’s for.  Her due date is today!  Come on baby girl!

Happy Crochet’ing

-AFriendLikeBen-

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Crochet Hockey Skate Booties

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After numerous FAILED attempts at baby booties, (first attempt being over a year ago) I finally completed a pair of presentable baby booties and I’m so happy!

I bought the patten from OnePaisleyPig on Etsy.  Although it is tricky to crochet with black yarn (because it makes stitches hard to see), her pattern was pretty easy to follow.  The author also included some photos to help you understand how to join the sole and the tongue to the bootie.

I always go to YouTube for helpful tips because there are so many people out there posting videos.  I searched “crochet baby sole” and found a lot of videos that helped explain what to do for that part.  You can find a video example here.

Another tip is to make sure that all of the black yarn you’re using is from the same dye lot!  Since I used the end of an old black yarn for one boot and started a new skein of yarn (same brand) for the second boot, one came out a little shiny and the other one was matte.  Since I didn’t notice the difference until AFTER I crocheted the bootie, I had to cut off the black part of bootie #1 and start again so they would match…tragic!

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But even with all the trial and error, I can finally say that I know how to complete a baby bootie and I’m so pumped!

I’ve completed 2 pairs so far to use as toppers on diaper cakes for my friends – they were a hit!

Until next time, happy crochet’ing!

-AFriendLikeBen-

 

Amigurumi Carrot

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Continuing on with my fruit and veggie amigurumi trend that I’ve got going, I made a cheerful carrot!

I’m enjoying making fruits and veggies at the moment because they’re usually only one piece and I’m finding them easy to complete while also learning the ropes of being a new mom.  The best part is that my little one can safely play with them when I’m done.

I got this pattern for FREE from Kristi Tullus’ blog.  You can find it here. THANKYOU KRISTI!  She kindly included all different sizes to make and a great PDF file to refer to.  The pattern was clean looking, easy to follow and included nice photos of the details.  I used the small size pattern but it looks so big because I’m using chunky Boston Sun yarn in neon orange and a 4.5mm hook.  The bumps and texture of each crochet stitch makes it perfect for a teething baby to chew on.

I sewed on the face with black yarn.  You can find great tips on sewing faces from Planet June’s blog here.

I encourage you to check out all the tutorials on both blogs mentioned as I feel they’ve really helped my amigurumi skills.

Don’t forget to follow me on instagram @afriendlikeben – you can see my current photos on the left side bar of this blog.

Next up, some fruit!

Happy crochet’ing

-AFriendLikeBen-

 

Two Peas In a Pod Amigurumi

 

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TWIN GIRLS!  Yay, my friend recently had 2 beautiful twin girls and they’re sooo cute!  As a congratulatory gift, I made these 2 peas in a pod for her.  She really liked it!

I got the pattern for FREE here.  You can also find it on the Lion Brand website if you’re a member.

Lately, I’ve been enjoying crocheting with a larger 4.5mm hook opposed to my regular 3.5mm hook.  I used “myboshi” No 1 yarn.  I’m currently in Germany and purchased it at Müeller.

To make the bows (if you’re familiar with crochet terms) I chained 4, did 3 rows of 3sc then wrapped yarn around the centre a few times before sewing it to the pea.

I think I’ll continue with this Amigurumi food trend that I’ve started.

Until next time, Happy Crochet’ing!

-AFriendLikeBen-

 

 

 

“Whatcha Got?” pouches

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Alas, a  moment to blog again!  It’s been a bit of a whirlwind having a baby and moving to a new country – but we’re settled in, the baby is napping and I feel like I’m back!

I made these little pouches during my last week of pregnancy.  I was 40 weeks pregnant and reallllllly antsy!  I needed something quick and easy to make to keep my mind off the upcoming labour but also something I could realistically finish in time.

I LOVE these pouches and use them every day.  The small size is great for travel diaper items.  The larger size is great for packing an extra onsie or hat, etc.

I purchased the pattern from my local quilt shop.  It’s by “This and That.” The pattern was really easy to follow and it was fun to learn how to sew with clear vinyl.  It actually wasn’t too hard!  My only advice is to use a larger stitch length when sewing through the vinyl.  I’ve heard that if it’s humid in the room, the vinyl can stick to the sewing machine and make things difficult but I didn’t run into any problems.

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For the smaller pouch, I altered the instructions slightly and didn’t sew together small squares for the front of the pouch.  By doing it this way I could make it even faster!

Let me know if you give it a try,

Happy Sewing!

-AFriendLikeBen-

Easy Owl Pillow Tutorial

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Our good friends from out of town were coming over for a visit and they have an adorable little girl!  I wanted to give her little something so I whipped up this cute owl pillow in no time.  I used fabric I already had and used this great FREE pattern from “We All Sew.”  (Thankyou!)

As per usual, I didn’t follow the pattern exactly!  I didn’t include a centre strip (because I didn’t have much time!) and I dislike “raw edges” in appliqué, so I used an “appliqué without raw edges” technique that involves sewing two appliqué pieces right sides together and turning them right side out.  If you’d like to learn more, keep scrolling!

First, download and cut out the pattern pieces.  You can find the pattern pieces here.

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Pin the pieces to your chosen fabrics and cut out.

With my “appliqué without raw edges” technique, I had to cut out double of the eye, beak and wing pieces with an extra 1/4″ seam allowance.   So in total…I have 2 main body pieces, 1 bodice piece, 4 feet pieces, 4 wing pieces, 4 large eye circles, 4 small circles and 2 beak pieces.

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Using one of the large eye circles as an example, I have demonstrated the “appliqué without raw edges” technique I used below!

Sew 2 large circles, right sides together all the way around.  Do not leave an opening.

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Trim the seam allowance to be a scant 1/4″ and cut little slits around the edge being careful not to cut through the stitches.  (This helps the fabric lay flat when turning the piece right side out.)

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Choose which side of the piece will be the back and cut a slit in the centre (again, being careful not to cut too close to the stitching.)

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Turn the piece right side out through the slit you just cut and press with a hot iron.  Although not a perfect circle, the edges are nice and clean and it’s ready to be sewn to the owl!

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Continue this technique with the other eye circles, beak and wings.  (*note: for the wings, I only sewed the inside edge, right sides together.)

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When all the pieces are prepped, you’re ready to assemble the owl.

Start by folding under the top edge of the bodice piece and sew into place.

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Place the wings on top.  Pin in place and sew the inside edge of the wing with 1/4″ seam allowance. (I like using my 1/4″ seam foot for a clean line.)

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Now, add on the face.

First, place the beak on the owl face.  Because the piece is small, I used a tiny dab of school glue to hold it instead of pins.

So….Dab the glue…

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press in place with a hot iron…

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Sew it to the owl with a 1/4″ seam.

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The white part of the eye was big enough to use a pin for placement.  For the black part, I used the glue technique again.

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Once the face is applied, add the feet!

Sew the feet, right sides together, turn and pin the raw edge of the feet to the raw edge of the owl’s body.  (I was running out of time so I didn’t stuff the feet but they’d look cute stuffed too!)

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Place the back piece of the owl body over top and pin the layers together.  (I used “wonder clips” – they are so great to use when you’re trying to pin layers of fabric together quickly.)  Sew with 1/2″ seam allowance leaving a 3″ opening for turning.

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Turn project right side out and press.  Stuff owl to desired puffiness through the opening you left.

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Hand stitch the opening closed using a ladder stitch and you’re done!

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Voila!  A quick and easy, one-of-a-kind owl!  Let me know if you give it a try or have any tips or tricks.

Happy Sewing!

-AFriendLikeBen-

How To Make A Chevron Quilt – Full Tutorial

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Chevron is in!  It’s a simple zig-zag pattern that’s everywhere.  In quilting, there are a lot of different ways to make a chevron quilt but I chose to to use half square triangles (HST) because it was the most popular option I saw when researching how to do it.

To learn how to create HST’s and/or create HST’s with directional fabric, see my detailed tutorial about it here.

This post is about how I sewed the half square triangles together and made the entire quilt.  Literally, every little step from start to finish I tried to include!

Here’s how you get started: First, decide how you’re going to lay your pattern down.  I found this helpful template for FREE on Craftsy.  With it, I was able to create a concrete image of the quilt I was going for.  I brought this piece of paper with me to the fabric store and it helped me so much because I knew what colour palette I was looking for and roughly how much fabric I would need.  My finished quilt changed slightly as I went along but this template was a great starting point.

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After I made my HST’s, I completed the following steps.

This is how I sewed the squares together: Step 1:  Lay out your HST’s so that colours touch colours and white touches white in a chevron pattern (zig-zag pattern.)

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Step 2:  Sew the half square triangles into horizontal rows with a 1/4 seam allowance. Press the seams with a hot iron.  This row has all of the vertical seams pressed to the right.

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The row below has all of the vertical seams pressed to the left.

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Continue sewing the rows and pressing the vertical seams all to the right followed by a row with seams all to the left.

Step 3:  Attach 2 rows together with a 1/4 seam.  To do this, align the raw edges and pin together.  Since one vertical seam goes to the right and the other goes to the left, they create a little ridge that allows them to nest up together like so. photo 3

Once sewn together, press the seam you just made.  I chose to press these seams towards the top of the quilt.  I like to spray my seams with “best press.”  It really helps to make crisp, neat seams when you iron over it.

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Continue sewing 2 rows together at a time and before you know it, you have a fleet of chevron zig zags.

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Step 4:  Sew the rows you just made together like you did in step 3 until all of the rows are attached and you have a quilt top!

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But….At this point, I decided I wanted 8 squares across instead of only 7, so I added them on.  I also decided I wanted to add a white border.  Typical me.  I can never just stick to the plan.

This is how I added the border: Step 1:  Cut 4 (2.5″ x width of fabric) strips and sew them together like you would a binding strip.

Here’s the fastest tutorial on how to do make a binding strip:

A)  Lay ends of 2 strips, right sides together, like a plus sign.

B)  Attach strips together sewing across corner to corner.

C)  Trim with a 1/4″ seam allowance.

D)  Press open.

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Step 2:  Sew a strip on the top of the quilt and the bottom of the quilt with a 1/4″ seam allowance.  Trim excess.

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Sew strips on the sides of the quilt in the same fashion (picture not available.) Now you’re ready to make your “quilt sandwich” which is the quilt top, batting in the middle and a quilt bottom sewn together…like a sandwich.

This is how I made the quilt sandwich:

Step 1: Lay down your backing fabric wrong side up.

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Step 2:  Lay your batting on top.  Smooooooth it out!  (This batting is way too big but the smaller package available was just was just a little too small.)

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Step 3: Lay your quilt top on top and smooooooth it out some more.

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As you can see, there is too much batting so I trimmed it.  They say to have at least 2″ extra of backing and batting outside of your quilt top before you sew it together.  I had about 4″ because I was afraid I’d screw it up!

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Step 4:  Baste your quilt sandwich (meaning, attach all the layers you just laid down together.)  There are a few different methods of doing this.  I used quilting safety pins.  I only pinned through the coloured fabrics because I didn’t want the pin holes to show after I took them out of the white fabric.

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Now you’re actually ready to quilt!

This is how I quilted my quilt: There are endless possibilities with how you quilt your blanket together. Firstly, I “stitched in the ditch.”  All this means is that you sew along an already existing seam so you can’t see the stitch on the front of the quilt (but you can see it on the back of the quilt.)

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After, I stitched lines about 1/4′ above the coloured chevron zig-zags and 1/4″ below the coloured zig-zags.  These lines are visible from the front and back of the quilt.

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Look!  It’s really coming together now:

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Before long…wait, who am I kidding, these quilts take some time…but after you’re done that, you’re ready to trim off the excess and attach the binding!

This is how I trimmed the excess:

Easy!  Use a ruler and a rotary cutter and trim.

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So fresh and so clean, clean!

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Last step, and it’s an important one, the binding!  The binding is a strip of fabric that enclosed the edges of your quilt sandwich.

This is how I made and assembled the binding:

*I am choosing to do my binding strips in white which might make some steps difficult to see…but I’ll explain so hopefully you get the idea!

Step 1:  Cut strips that are 2.5″ x the width of fabric.  (Strips of a different width can be made – it’s personal preference.)  How do you know when you have enough strips?  Measure the perimeter of your quilt and add approx 12-18″ of extra length to be sure you have enough.  I cut 5 strips.

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Step 2:  Sew your binding strips together and press the same way as you sewed them together for the border.  Here’s the picture again for good measure.

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Step 3: Press your long binding strip in half, wrong sides together.

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Step 4:  Prepare the end of your binding strip for closure.  Cut end of strip at a 45 degree angle.  Fold over 1/4″ and press

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Step 5:  Pin your binding along one of the edges of the front of your quilt.  (I used binding clips – they make it so easy!)  Start with pinning the binding end you just cut with the 45 degree angle.  The raw edges of the binding should meet the raw edge of the quilt top.

Step 6:  Begin sewing your binding to the quilt top with a 1/4″ seam.  I’m using a 1/4″ foot on my sewing machine. Start here….

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Stop here…

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Start here again (about 2 inches away from where you just stopped) and sew until you’re approx 1/4″ away from the corner with a 1/4″ seam.

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So stop about there…you’re almost at the corner.  About 1/4″ away.

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Step 7:  Turn your quilt 90 degrees and sew right off the edge!

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Step 8:  Now you’re ready for the corner.  Fold the binding strip back on itself.  Press seam down with your fingers (or an iron if you’re fancy.)

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Step 9: Fold the binding back again to create a 45 degree line (mitred corner) and continue pinning along the raw edge of the quilt. Continue this process (stitching to almost the corner, turning 90 degrees and sewing off, folding the corner) all the way around your quilt, stopping when you’re about 4″ away from where you initially started.

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See, I stopped about 4″ away form where I started…

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Step 7:  Trim your tail so it’s about 2″ longer than where the binding starts.  (There might be a better way to do this part!  I just went with what made sense to me.)

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Step 8:  Snuggle the end underneath the 45 degree opening you made.  Make sure everything looks flat.

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Step 9:  Sew across.  Everything is attached now but you’re not done yet!

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Step 10:  Press binding open/away from the front of the quilt and fold it around to the back.  With the front of the quilt still facing you, clip or pin he binding into place making sure the binding is covering the 1/4″ stitch line you just made.

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See how it wraps around to the back here?

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Make sure the corners are folded nicely too!

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Look, all clipped!

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Step 11: With the top of the quilt facing up, “stitch in the ditch” all the way around making sure you are piercing through the binding that’s folded around the back of your quilt.  Go all the way around the quilt.

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Step 12:  Repeat.  Just kidding..You’re done!!!

Can you believe it? And that my friends, is how you make a quilt, particularly, a chevron quilt! I really hope you find this useful and give it a try.  Please feel free to send feedback or comment.

I hope baby girl likes it!  xo

Happy Quilting,

-AFriendLikeBen-