Maud Humphrey

Maud Humphrey

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas Projects and Pictures

And the worst Blogger of the Year award goes to...Me!  I humbly accept.  Well, maybe I'm not the worst, but it's been almost six months since my last post.  Really?  I don't have any excuses.  I am guilty as charged.  Okay, now that I've got that confession out of the way, here I am again, ready to tackle blogging on a more consistent basis.  But I'm not making any promises!  Now, onto some Christmas projects:
Look at this darling, cardboard suitcase I found at Michael's:
Here's another view.  I bought it for the sole purpose of containing my son's fiancée's childhood Addy doll, and her clothing.
Unfortunately, it was about an inch too short, so Addy had to lay diagonally inside.  But I couldn't find anything bigger, so this had to do.  I do really love the Paris graphics on the outside, and the handle and buckles.
This is my future daughter-in-law's Addy:
She and her sister saved up and pooled their money in order to purchase her when they were children.  Addy was well loved and had seen better days, at least in the hair department!  When my daughter-in-law-to-be showed her to me, her hair was a huge rat's nest.  But that wasn't the worst part...oh, no...she and her sister had decided that Addy needed corn row braids, so there were about 30 teeny, tiny braids scattered throughout her hair.  I offered to clean her up and fix her hair...little did I know that it would take me over THREE hours just to unpick all those corn rows with the help of a sewing needle!  But I did it, followed by a hair wash and a gentle comb out of all the snarls and tangles.    I use Dr. Bronner's Lavender Liquid Castille soap to wash my dolls' hair.  I used to do a "Downy Dunk" on doll's hair that was severely dry and damaged, but not anymore.  I didn't feel like it was really helping.  So now I just wash, comb, add braid spray, and then use a hair straightener on the lowest setting.  Here is the braid spray I use:
I picked this up at my local Sally's Beauty supply store.  It was about $3.50, if I remember correctly.  I heard about this from another doll blog, and how it worked wonders on dolls' hair, so I gave it a shot.  This, along with the straightener, gives new life to damaged doll hair.  Here's a previous post where I restored the hair of a Gotz doll with a straightener:
So, after I fixed her hair, I figured that Addy was deserving of a brand new dress.  I used this pattern and did a combination of the brown and blue dresses in the top row:
I used the bodice from the blue dress, and the sleeves and collar from the brown dress.  I completely lined the bodice (rather than using a neck facing), and added an overskirt with lace edging to the underskirt.  Other than that, I followed the pattern and it turned out beautifully.  I didn't have to make any adjustments for fit, so I am very pleased about that.  The dress closes in back with snaps.
Here is a good view of Addy's hair, all combed out and conditioned with braid spray:
I also made her a pair of pantaloons, edged with tucks and lace:
I really wanted to make her the coat and bonnet, too, but I ran out of time.  So I promised my daughter-in-law-to-be that a set would be coming shortly.  I had ordered Addy's hairstyling set from the American Girl site when it was on sale a couple of weeks ago, so I included this in the gift.  The set includes a pretty hair clip, snood, and a braided head band.  I placed Addy, her new clothing, and the hairstyling set in the suitcase, along with a note to her "mother".  I think my daughter-in-law-to-be was very pleased with her gift.  I am just so happy that I was able to work on something doll related for one of my daughter-in-laws!
I also made a quilt for each of my other daughter-in-laws.  I copied a pattern from a quilt that my oldest daughter had made for herself a couple of years ago.  It came from a library book, so I can't quote the name of the pattern or the author.  Sorry!  It was simple pattern, but it seemed to take longer than normal because of all the ironing that had to be done after each new piece was added.  Here is one of the quilts, done up in purples, blues, and greens:
It is approximately 52"x72"
All the fabrics, except for the white sashing and flannel backing, came from my stash!
The cozy, flannel back
Wouldn't you know it?  I forgot to take a picture of the other quilt before giving it away!  But it is identical to the one above, only the colors are pinks, yellows, and greens, with a yellow flannel backing.  Both my daughter-in-laws seemed to love them. 
Here is quilt that technically was not a Christmas gift, but it was completed in November for my son's 23rd birthday back in July, so I am including it here.  He had been wanting a new quilt for quite some time, so when we spotted the Dr. Seuss Cat in the Hat fabric on a trip to the fabric store, he and I both decided that it would be perfect!
The pattern is my own design of simple 8" blocks.
My son is color blind, so he has always gravitated to bold, bright, contrasts and shapes.  That is why I stuck with a black/white color theme, with a little color thrown in for contrast.
Again, cozy flannel for the back.  I also double batted this quilt so it is extremely warm and heavy!
And last, but not least, is this quilt I started for son #3.  I say "started" but not "completed" because right when I began quilting the layers together, my sewing machine made a HORRIBLE noise and quit working.  Just like that.  I was horrified.  I tried everything I could think of to try to get it up and running, but nothing would budge the hand wheel to move.  So here is a picture of the quilt front pinned to the batting and backing, minus the quilting:
10" blocks...another pattern I made up
Close up
The gray, flannel backing
I gave my son the quilt at Christmas, with the promise that I would finish it when I get my sewing machine back from the repair shop.  (Not for at least 4-6 weeks!)  How in the world am I supposed to survive that long without my beloved machine?  Luckily, I have a back-up machine that used to belong to my mother.  It can't do as much and doesn't have a walking foot, so I am limited with what I can do with it.  Plus, it needs a tune up also--try as I might, I just can't get the thread tension to behave.  'Sigh'.  It's going to be a long, 4-6 weeks.
Next up on my sewing agenda:  a new quilt made with a Cicely Mary Barker Fairy Panel for my youngest daughter, and the coat and bonnet set from the above mentioned Simplicity pattern.  We'll see how my substitute machine behaves.
And now, for some random family pictures:
My kids, on Christmas Eve
Adding in the daughters-in-law, the fiancée, and the grandchild:
Our entire family on Christmas Day, including a set of grandparents:
My youngest was able to wear her Christmas dress from last year.  Yay!
Adorable Grandson
Every house needs a small child at Christmas.  It just makes the holiday so much better!

His daddy got the bright idea of placing his son in an American Girl doll box...we all had a good laugh over that one!
My daughter-in-law-to-be with her Addy doll, and my youngest with the Kit doll she received!  Kit was bought second hand from a doll club friend, and she also came with her typewriter, waffle maker, lunch box, and stationary set.  So cute!  I will share photos in another post soon.
Hope your Christmas was wonderful!


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