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Since I updated our playroom, I wanted to make something that the girls could use so I decided to make a checkerboard quilt using this flower fabric from IKEA and some striped fabric that I had on hand. I quickly realized that a checkerboard has 64 squares! I cut 3″ squares and made the top. I then decided to make things more difficult by making the reverse side a tic-tac-toe game board. This was a little tricky, so I decided to just use one piece of fabric and delineate the squares with the stitching. There is a lot of math in quilting. Argh.

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But I am enjoying my first attempts at quilting. I love to come up with a design and piece it together. I’m having a little trouble putting it together and finishing the edges. You can see on this project I finished with the fabric from the reverse side. I can see why this is not the recommended quilting method because you would be much less likely to get puckering with a separate piece of fabric.  But I was too lazy to cut binding.

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We went to the craft store and bought some unpainted wooden chips for the checkerboard pieces, which we painted green and blue. We couldn’t find Xs and Os, so we went with hearts and stars instead and painted those as well. I think it would be nice to make a pouch for the game pieces and ties to roll up the board and take it with you.

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We’re all about fairies, princesses and now, after our trip to Hawaii and a television program starring a large-headed Spanish-speaking character, mermaids too. Since I’ve started sewing, the kids are asking me to make things (often unrealistic, elaborate things, by the way).

My younger daughter wanted a fairy crown yesterday so her sweet sister made her the one pictured above and fitted it properly with no assistance from me; just the stapler. Are you tired of me showing my child’s drawings? If you’re my mother, you’re not. Today the little one once again requested a mermaid crown, so I obliged with this fabric, some leftover shells from our beach trip last year and a glue gun.

My daughter came to me with an urgent request that I make a quilted blanket for her doll bed as the one she had was LOST! I knew we would find it, but I embrace any opportunity to make a project with her. So she selected her fabric and drew the picture below (of course I somehow managed to spill water on the corner there). She was very specific that the blanket be the exact size of her doll bed and that it have ties at the bottom so it wouldn’t get lost. Wouldn’t that be a good idea for adult beds so you wouldn’t have all those problems with covers wiggling around?

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So anyway, I made this for her and I had so much fun with it that I then made some quilted chair covers and am working on another quilted project that I’ll post later this week. I can see how quilting is so addictive, but I don’t think I’ll ever try anything that takes longer than a week to make. Goodness.

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Both of my children were born in December.  Poor planning.  After going through the year of pictures for our 2007 photo album, I realized with sadness and a sense of pride that our older daughter grew up this year.  She just turned five and is asking questions like “Does Santa have a job?” and too frequently dismisses things as “just pretend”.  She is coming up with her own (and surprisingly funny) jokes and has started wearing blue jeans and a ponytail.  

We read Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland over the last few months and decided to have a birthday party with a Wonderland theme. I’ve been looking at the Alice birthday party pictures posted over at Design Mom and thinking what a lovely theme it would be. I’m posting pictures and download-able invitations, party hats and garland.

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Of course the girls wanted to dress up as the characters from the book, so I made Alice and Queen of Hearts dresses. I made these giant tissue roses to hang from a chandelier using this method. But I stacked two or more groups of folded tissue paper in an “X” shape before wrapping with the chenille stems, which created fullness for such a large flower. Also, I find that it helps reduce tearing if you fluff the tissue before you wrap it with the stem.

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I made this mobile with fabric created by iron-on transfer paper. I just cut out the designs and sewed together with an Alice in Wonderland patterned fabric. I then sewed on ribbon and tied each one to an arm of the chandelier. The mushrooms were made with felt, burlap, stuffing and thread spools. I embroidered the dots by machine, made a basting stitch to gather them, stuffed the inside, and hot glued the tops to the base. This was a very last minute project, but one of my favorites.

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I made two garlands; one with playing cards (jumbo-sized cards would have been better) and one with print-outs of the characters. Here are the images for the cut-out garland: wonderland-cut-out-garland.pdf.

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The children sat at a small table and drank tea. I made this runner with fabric that I bought from sonatine over at Etsy. I don’t see it there anymore, but Reprodepot has some great Alice in Wonderland fabric here. For the ribbon flower, I used the pattern at Martha Stewart that you can find here. I served scones and tea sandwiches with cream cheese and orange marmalade cut in the shape of hearts. We used red roses for the centerpiece and made cakes from this rose-shaped pan (in all the frenzy, I neglected to get a photo of the cakes). I decorated the cakes with icing flowers at the base and icing in the rose petals, but it would be lovely with powdered sugar and a rose in the center. Kids do like icing.

We played “Pin the Tail on the Cheshire Cat” with a nice poster board drawing created by my husband (no photo). We sent the kids home with this “Drink Me” hot chocolate mix, shown below. I wanted to do something with “Eat Me”, but the fourteen-year-old in me just couldn’t do it.

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I did not get around to making party hats for the party, but I made some samples and am posting the templates below. You can put them together with glue dots or staples (be sure sharp part is on the outside). You can find thin elastic at the fabric store and staple or securely tape it to the inside.

Here are the party hat templates:

alice-party-hat1.pdf

queen-of-hearts-party-hat1.pdf

white-rabbit-party-hat1.pdf

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Our invitations were a bit different, but I am posting the basic design as a fill-in invitation (.pdf file below). We printed ours on scallop edged paper, size 4.5″x6.25″(A6 envelopes).

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And I have also posted a page of characters that you could print on sticker paper, which we used in the pinata. We tried a homemade pinata and it seems that my engineering skills need some work. All of the strings pulled at once! The kids didn’t really mind; they just wanted the candy. So if you want to dress up a store bought pinata (or cover up the princess design), you could glue some tissue flowers on it. Another case of me trying to make something that costs $8.99 to buy.