Tiny squares and triangles

Last night I went out for supper with my dear friend Suzie. And as it was her birthday not too long ago, I had made a little zippered pouch for her earlier this week. It was one of those nice little projects that keep you busy for two evenings or so. Not that I have too many unfinished items lying around, but I still really enjoy making things in one go.

It was by far my smallest patchwork project so far. The raw squares that I cut were two inches big, which seemed like a fairly manageable size. But after trimming one corner of each square in order to exchange the little triangles and then sewing them all back together, they were only just over one inch “big”. It really feels different to iron such an assembly when all you can see from the back is seams and more seams! 😛 But it all worked out and after quilting (do you like the contrasting green thread?) they stayed nice and flat. And I was glad that my friend liked the color scheme! I knew I’d better stay away from any kind of pink and chose some grey, teal and lime green instead.

Thanks again for the great evening, Suzie, I really enjoyed it!

Into the wood went the Gruffalo’s Child…

The little monster was born so close to Halloween last year that we were too busy to dress up… But this year, we were more than ready!

The Gruffalo being one of our favorite books, it was easy to choose the kids’ costumes: the Little Brown Mouse for the little monster, the Gruffalo’s Child for the big monster. So, the kids book in hand as a reference, I went to the fabric store and got some fleece in the required colors. Then, using the hood of one of Timo’s jackets as a template, I started by drafting the characters’ heads with paper and Scotch tape.

After sewing the ears I cut the pieces for the hood and appliqued the eyes on, then assembled everything. Despite my great paper templates, the mouse hood turned out way too big for the little monster’s head though and I ended up going through a number of alterations until it finally fit. But I learned my lesson, cut the pieces of the Gruffalo hood a bit smaller and after sewing the pieces together, it actually fit perfectly on the first attempt.

As the next step I made the tails – a long pink one for the mouse and a much shorter one with a brown tuft for the Gruffalo. The two bodies are almost identical. The Gruffalo’s is just a bit bigger of course and it has purple prickles all over his back. A very important detail though if you know the book! 😉 Then, nothing left but sewing those three components together. That evening I may have stayed up a bit longer than planned, but I just couldn’t go to bed before seeing the final results!

And then that great moment the next morning, when I put the costumes on the kids for the first time! Mommy’s heart was melting only a bit when I saw my cute little monsters running through the living room! 💛

It didn’t take long though and they both wanted to take them off – no real surprise I guess… Fortunately, there were still a few days left until Halloween. So trying to get them really excited about the characters and thus hopefully increase the chances that they’d keep their hoods on on Tuesday, we have been reading the books and watching the movies a number of times over the last few days. 😉 And it worked! Or maybe it was seeing the other kids in their costumes, but both monsters seemed to really enjoy being dressed up when we went to our play group in the morning.

And even in the evening, when all the little trick-or-treaters came to our door they proudly wore their costumes again! By that point, Timo’s tail was not very pink anymore but rather grey from all the dirt he’d been collecting over the day… 😉

I really enjoyed using fleece for the costumes. To me, it is just the perfect material: it’s soft and cozy, easy to work with as it doesn’t fray, you can get it in a broad variety of different colors and it’s relatively inexpensive. I am already looking forward to next year when the monsters will come up with their own ideas about how to dress up – hopefully nothing too complicated though! 😛

Elf party!

We had a themed party for the little monster’s first birthday: we all transformed into elves! 🙂

After finishing their Halloween costumes (which I’ll show you very soon…) I went through my growing pile of fleece leftovers and found six different colors that looked really nice together – four hats for the four of us, plus two for Oma and Opa who are currently visiting. The guys got little leaves to decorate their hats, the ladies got flowers – just like in “Ben and Holly’s little kingdom”, the kids show which served as inspiration for the party. My mom was a really great help making them!

But no party without a cake! The big monster and I baked a nice pink (and very manly!) ladybug.

The birthday boy was still a bit sleepy from his nap when he first saw the result, but he liked the chocolate crumbs and the raspberry-whipped cream.

And aren’t these hats quite becoming?! Everybody seemed to enjoy wearing them…

To my surprise, even the kids kept them on after tea time and continued their play wearing their special birthday headgear… 😉