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1  Color Block Stripe Quilt in Quilting: Completed Projects by frenchbrandles on: January 14, 2011 05:42:13 PM
This is my fourth quilt. I made this as a gift for my friend Stefanie. Made from one jelly roll and some plain white fabric. The backing is one of the fabrics from the jelly roll. The pattern was modified from one featured in a quilting magazine.

The front:

The back:

The label (for Stefanie Jan. 2011 from Brandy):

This was my first time making and using a quilt label, and I was really excited, before realizing I probably shouldn't have pieced it into the backing but sewn it on after quilting. Ah well, I learn something new with every quilt  Wink
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2  Owl Quilt with a Twist in Quilting: Completed Projects by frenchbrandles on: December 18, 2010 08:41:09 PM
I promised my Aunt I'd make her a quilt this Christmas, and I'm really proud of this one. This is my 3rd completed quilt, and even though there are still plenty of mistakes, there are definitely less than the first two attempts, so I'm learning at least.  Roll Eyes

My aunt likes owls, and she and her husband own a pair of Harleys and ride up and down the East Coast all the time. I wanted to incorporate both interests into her quilt so this is what I came up with:

The backing is the same as the binding:

Detail of the Harley owl:

Detail of one of the normal owls:

I hope she likes it! I'll find out on Thursday when I drive down to visit. Smiley

UPDATE: She loves it! Woo hoo! And I'm so excited my humble little project made the front page!  Grin (happy dance) Thank you!
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3  Thick Foam Dog Bed in Pet-Related Crafts: Completed Projects by frenchbrandles on: December 09, 2010 09:04:07 PM
I've been looking into those fancy orthopedic dog beds for my Lab Sam, because he's a big boy and I'm trying to take it easy on his hips so he won't have problems later in life. (He'll be a year old in January, so he's got awhile.) Unfortunately those beds run from $90-$300 for Sam's X-Large size, so I decided to do it myself.

I went to Wal-Mart and bought a twin-size and a full-size of their cheapest foam mattress pads. I cut the twin in half and the full in quarters, stacked them, and stuffed them in a custom bed cover I sewed with piping and a zipper in the back (my first time using either). Sam's new bed is a hefty 7" thick and not even his 100-lb butt can flatten it  Cheesy

All in all, Sam's new bed cost around $30. That's even cheaper than most X-Large pillow beds that flatten out after a week. Sam certainly seems to like his Christmas present! And by like I mean give me the evil eye so I'll quit taking pictures and let him sleep...

Just for comparison, this was Sam's old Large-size pillow bed; the new one is definitely an improvement!
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4  Tic Tac Toe Play Quilt in Quilting: Completed Projects by frenchbrandles on: November 12, 2010 02:32:55 PM
My second quilt project is complete! An improvement over my first poor quilt, although I still need practice. This play quilt is a Christmas gift for my second cousin, who is four years old. She loves to play tic tac toe--or more accurately, she loves to cheat at tic tac toe so she always wins.  Roll Eyes

The pattern came from one of my mom's old quilt books. The quilt is about 18.5" square. This quilt was also my first attempt at machine applique, which I also need to practice more, but I'm happy with how it turned out. Hopefully Brooke will like it!

The quilt with the markers:

The quilt front:

The quilt back with her name in applique:

The markers, which each have a tiny bag of beads to weigh them down and then were stuffed with polyfil:

Thanks for looking!
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5  Custom Coats for Big Dogs! (Lotsa pictures) in Pet-Related Crafts: Completed Projects by frenchbrandles on: September 20, 2010 08:48:30 PM
I have an 8 month old chocolate Lab named Sam who's currently weighing in at 85+ pounds. He's got at least another six months of growing in him, and considering his parents, he'll probably end up in the 120 pound range. That said, Sam does NOT fit into most premade doggy outfits for sale in petshops or online. The one shirt I was able to buy him was a 4XL. Needless to say, most dog clothes are not made in 4XLs.

So I decided to sew Sam a few simple coats myself! I haven't really sewn in over five years, so it was a (re)learning experience for me. Now that I've gotten some good practice in, I'll be branching out in what I make Sam for the future. I've got a pattern for his Halloween costume, but I'm not going to sew it yet because I'm not sure how much he'll grow between now and then  Undecided

I made the pattern for the coats myself out of newspaper so it's fit to Sam's specific measurements. It's based on some instructions in a beginner sewing book I have, but I modified the pattern to suit my tastes. My trial run was in Jaguars fabric (Jacksonville is our hometown); second coat has a Halloween/pirate pattern of orange and gray skulls and crossbones; third coat was made out of a patchwork-looking dog-themed fabric with a coordinating striped lining. All of the coats are lightweight; Sam's Labrador fur provides him with plenty of warmth so he doesn't need anything too heavy.

The Jags coat was made first and as such has the most fit problems; after that trial and error I improved the neckline fit quite a bit on the other two coats. I used strips of sew-in velcro instead of buttons because Sam is still growing and this way he's got much more leeway in the fit at the neck and tummy. In some of the pictures the end of the tummy belt is hanging loose; I fixed that with an extra piece of velcro after taking the pictures (had to try the coats on first to see where to place the end velcro pieces). And to give you an idea of Sam's size, I can wear his coats as aprons. Seriously. I tried them on.

After I'd finished the coats I had some great scraps left that I didn't want to throw away. The pieces cut out of the neckline especially seemed usable. So I sewed them together and added a channel along the top to slip over Sam's collar, improvising a sort of no-sew kerchief. (There isn't a Jags one because again, it was my first attempt, and the channel ended up being WAY too small for his collar. Again, trial and error!) The kerchiefs do look a bit like bibs, I must admit, but given Sam's table manners, a bib works just fine for him.  Cheesy

(Also Sam was a bit sleepy by the time I finished the kerchiefs; hence his more glazed-over expression than when he had the coats on  Grin)

Thanks for looking! I will be posting Sam's Halloween costume next month once I make it  Smiley

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6  Green Eggs and Ham Bandanna in Needlework: Completed Projects by frenchbrandles on: May 11, 2010 12:17:48 PM
I have a four-month-old chocolate Lab pup named Sam. I decided to make a custom bandanna for him based on the Dr. Seuss story featuring his namesake. After a botched attempt at satin stitching the appliques with my sewing machine, I ended up blanket-stitching their edges by hand instead. And voila! Sam I Am Green Eggs and Ham bandanna. Smiley

And Sam wearing his new bandanna:

Thanks for looking!
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7  The Conscientious Hammerhead in Needlework: Completed Projects by frenchbrandles on: September 01, 2009 07:47:00 PM

One day I found this doodle left on the message board in my room by the DB, Greg. He has a thing for hammerhead sharks, and he especially likes how awkward they seem with their eyes spaced so far apart. Hence the doodle. I took a picture of it and embroidered it exactly as he drew it. It's very simple, yes, but I like it. Smiley

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8  Radiohead-inspired Videotape Embroidery in Needlework: Completed Projects by frenchbrandles on: August 31, 2009 04:58:28 PM
So I've done cross-stitch before, but I always thought any other type of embroidery was beyond my skill level (and probably still is!). But I got into a crafty mood, and I wanted to try my hand at it. I made plenty of mistakes doing this, and if I were to do it over I'd probably make a few changes to make the work easier on myself (like getting my hands on some fusible webbing for the applique part!). The white lettering is atrocious and some of the stitching is a little uneven, but that's part of the fun of being a beginner--you get to learn the hard way!

Even so, I'm proud of it. It's being sent as a gift to my boyfriend Greg, who is currently 2500 miles away in Montana for grad school. He's a big Radiohead fan, so I decided I wanted to make something for him that had a Radiohead theme to it. (And trust me, it's hard to find Radiohead lyrics that are even mildly romantic.) The song "Videotape" is off their latest album, In Rainbows, and has the line "You are my center when I spin away." Technically it isn't a very optimistic song, but I do like its haunting solemnity, and I think that's appropriate given our geographic separation.

I drew out the pattern, sewed on some black, gray, and white fabric for the video's label and film parts, realized too late that I wouldn't be able to see through the black and gray areas to trace the text in, and had to freehand that part, which is why the white text is shaky at best, ha. The white text is the lyric from the song; the black date, June 15 2008, is our anniversary. It took me a little under a week, working off and on. I used satin stitch, split stitch, and backstitch. Even though it's not perfect, I like the texture of it and I think it turned out to be a good first project!

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9  Weight Watchers "Hungry" Monster! in Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects by frenchbrandles on: February 10, 2009 01:52:28 PM
Hello! So my boyfriend Greg and I think the little "Hungry" mascot from the Weight Watchers Momentum program is ridiculously cute, and after searching the web and finding there wasn't a way to buy him officially, I decided to make my own. He's made of orange faux-fur fabric and stuffed with polyfil. I used black and white felt for his eyes and eyebrows.

Because I'm new, I can't post the pictures here yet, but here are links to the pictures I took of him:

I sent him to Greg as a gift (he goes to grad school far away in Montana) and Greg posed him around his apartment and took some much cuter pictures, found here:  http://youregoodpeople.blogspot.com/2009/02/where-will-you-be-when-hunger-strikes.html
Check them out!
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