Tuesday, February 26, 2008

From a Sketch to a Bunny Bear

I had a lovely e-mail from Catherine of Bumpkin Bears (she designs and makes the most adorable bears). Catherine asked me if I have ever thought about making my bunnies out of furry material ..... I haven't ...... but it got me thinking.

I love anything fluffy but unfortunately I'm still on my "buy no material" crusade .... and I don't have any furry material in my large bin of material delights ... but while I was in a cleaning mood I came across two very dusty coats that I had bought back in 1999 and I hadn't worn them since I moved to New York 4 1/2 years ago! 100% wool ... they were prime recycling material.
So I ripped them apart, washed them in a very hot wash, tumble dried the material to felt the wool as much as possible ... drew a picture in a taxi ...
... made a little paper template to work out my seams ...
.... and then made my wool bunny bear ......
There are certain things I like about him. The wool is lovely to the touch and his seams make him look quite tailored ... but I think he looks more like a kangaroo than a rabbit (his feet/legs don't sit flat on the floor) ... and I think he has a little bit too much back muscle (cue the adorable tail shot)...
... but he is quite sweet ...
... and for the first sewing pattern that I have ever made from scratch - he could look a lot worse!!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Martha Stewart Show - Homemade Knitwear Day

Yesterday I packed two bunnies in a big bag and took them to see the Martha Stewart Show to be filmed. It was a special edition of the show where the guests where invited to bring in their favorite knitted item and bring the project that they were currently working on.

We all queued outside (freezing) and then we went into a room where we were asked to take out our goods and the producer walked around spotting items that might be featured in the show ..... my little rabbits were very excited and really wanted to be spotted .... alas they did not make the cut. But Anna Hrachovec was picked out for her wonderful knitted toys. My favorite was her carrot patch (what a bunny surprise!)

Anna's work is so inventive and witty - she definitely fully deserved her Martha moment.

Here are pictures of my bunnies in the studio waiting for the show to start.
Throughout the whole show everyone was knitting their latest project ..... I wonder if any of us looked up once from our little projects to see what Martha was doing! Martha showed us how to a make a bunny from a pair of gloves, how to knit with marzipan, cook chicken and make bangles from left over yarn. Check out the show on Monday 25th February on WNBC at 1pm ... you might be able to spot my bunnies in the audience! Once the show was over everyone was given a copy of Sock and Glove ... which luckily for me ... as now I can make a bunny from a pair of gloves too!

The show was the first time that I have taken my bunnies out in public (I was feeling very shy about them on Tuesday evening) and everyone was very sweet about them - so thank you to everyone who said kind words to me - and it taught me something - I am very proud of my rabbits. I was sad today as I posted the boy bunny off to Maryland (he is going to keep a new born baby boy company) - we rather bonded yesterday and I felt that perhaps you sometimes need to keep the odd treasured creation .... just because .......

Thursday, February 14, 2008

And the lucky Green Bunny Bag winner is .....

..... Marisa and her name was picked by the random number picker (which saved me from my original time consuming vision of writing everyone's name on a piece of paper and picking the name out of a hat!)
Because it is Valentine's Day and I'm in the mood for love ... I'm sending a little bunny gift along with the Green Bunny Bag too.
Congratulations Marisa! and HAPPY VALENTINES DAY to everyone!

Kecia from Lemoncholy's flight of fancy suggested making a "Say No To Plastic Bags" button that can be put on your website or blog to encourage us all to find an alternative to the evil plastic bag! I really want to thank Kecia for this wonderful idea - spread the word and put the button on your blog or website.

Friday, February 8, 2008

If I had a baby .....

..... which I don't ... but if I did .... they would have a baby quilt like this.
Made from recycled blue cotton shirts, the white material was from left over projects and each bunny is cut from a fake pashmina that was an emergency purchase in Hong Kong for $5! The bunnies are SO soft I can't tell you ... just like real bunnies?
I love baby quilts - just because they can be used for so much - as a baby quilt, as a play mat, as a snuggle blanket for toddlers ..... and don't forget they can be recycled into quilted bags as well!
Oh no - I think these two naughty little rabbits have decided that they like the quilt too!

Stay posted for the next recycled shirt whose bunnies are cut from Nana's recycled wool trousers!!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Bikinis, Bags and Bunnies

I am very lucky and I have just been sailing in the sun for a week - and while I was really excited about getting away - I hate bikinis ... they fill me with terror ... that photo of you on holiday, in the bikini, with hot pink sunscreen greasy skin ... that bikini photo doesn't remind you of the lovely week away but only reminds you that you need to stop eating those cookies! So I feel safe now - back in my snow gear ..... (not really get me back into that sunshine!!)

Some time ago last year I made some baby patchwork quilts ... there were actually supposed to be 3 in the set - but the third went really horribly wrong. After my sewing lesson with Bernie at the sewing machine shop where the instructor said "I never quilt with a straight stitch - I always use a decorative stitch" ... I felt confident that I was going to produce something wonderful. Little did I know that the decorative stitches do not always look perfect when using a walking foot ..... in fact they don't look very decorative at all. So I was left with a baby quilt which looked rather deformed due to the strange decorative stitch that I had plastered all over it. The stitch was so tight that there was no hope in removing it ........

So never to be defeated (don't believe a word of that because I was in full whimper mode yesterday evening) ... and never to be one to waste material .... I set about transforming the rather ugly quilt into a quilted bag. Da da .... here it is .... and to my surprise it really is a bag! (i.e. it looks like a bag and functions like a bag!) It measures 18.5" long and it is 11" wide.
I've also been waiting for a delivery of cotton batting to finish some baby quilts. I'm making four! One is brown and gold and the other three are blue ... but they are all "on a theme" (yes it is a bunny theme). The blue quilts are made from recycled cotton blue shirts (its amazing how much material is in a shirt!) ..... so stay posted for those baby quilt results ..... but while I was waiting for the batting - I sewed together some scraps of material left over from the brown/gold baby quilt - grabbed a bit of left over batting from another project and made a quilted tote! I can not tell you how easy this tote was to make. And again - to my surprise - it really is a bag!
I'll try to write down these patterns and have them up on my website soon.