Have I ever told you guys how much I love Harry Potter?  A lot.  But I do have a friend who's a little more Potterific than I.  Her name is Mel.  And Mel is going to have a baby soon!!  

Months ago, I stumbled across Julie's Blog and her post: Harry Potter and the Quiet Book.  I immediately thought of a newly pregnant Mel and how much she would love it, so I posted it to her Facebook wall as a little teaser.  I didn't think at that time that I would actually make it.  I didn't realize that I could!  When I found that the pattern is available for purchase on Etsy, I resolved to make it for her and give it to her at her baby shower.  Since I figured I would have plenty of time and the shower hadn't even been announced yet, I put it in the back of my mind.

Then the date for the shower was set.  I had a month and a half.  Plenty of time. (yeah right)  With tons more on my plate, I decided to procrastinate on the HP Quiet Book and not start it until the Monday before the shower.  That's right...I gave myself 5 ½ days.  Well let me tell you, if anyone who is reading this plans to make this book as a present and has a deadline, give yourself more than 5 ½ days!!! 

I have to say that after making this book, I am in awe of this Julie person.  Not only is this book extremely creative and well done, the time she put into every single detail is astounding.  It must have taken her FOREVER to make hers!!  Me? Well, I cut a few corners.  Hand embroidering an outline on each character's face, hair, suit, etc. didn't appeal to me.  There were a few steps that I deemed unnecessary for my version and stuck to my gun (my glue gun that is) in my resolve.  I used my sewing machine as often as I could and only hand embroidered where I thought it would take away from the look otherwise.  Where Julie suggested doubling up on the felt pieces, I would sometimes follow suit, and sometimes not.  I constructed before work, on my lunch hour, after work till 3 am and then again and again, all the while cutting some time-saving corners.  I laughed, I cried, and after approximately 40 hours of fast-paced crafting, I completed Mel's gift a mere 1 hour before the start of her baby shower!

Without further ado, I present to you all my version of Harry Potter and the Quiet Book:

I have about 8,936 sets of straight knitting needles.  They're all over the house and it's really hard sometimes to find the right size, despite how many I have. 

Here is a quick tutorial on how to make yourself a handy case to hold all (or almost all) of your straight knitting needles.  Depending on how many you hoard!  This case isn't designed to hold the HUGE needles since they take up so much room and you can't really misplace those...I put up to size 6.5mm (US10½) in my case, but you can fit a few sized bigger than that if you like :) 

Cushions make great accent pieces and kids just love them, especially if they are soft, cuddly, colourful and have a cute character on the front.   It's a shame though that many cushions need to be thrown in the wash as a whole when they get dirty.  And kids make things dirty.  Really dirty.  Throwing the entire cushion in the wash really adds wear to it and changes the way the stuffing feels.  A lot of the time it's just the cushion cover that needs washing anyway.

Cushions with zipper closures can look very nice.  But the zipper can scratch certain surfaces like your furniture, or your kids, let me show you how to make an envelope cushion cover that can be easily removed when it needs to be washed and that won't assault your children in any way.  

In Part 1 of this post, I showed you some of the child & toddler sized aprons that I will be selling at this year's Northern Lights Festival Boréal.  Here is one of the three styles of adult sized aprons that I will have available.  The design for these is the same as the child & toddler sized aprons and a lot of the materials match with them, making them a great combination gift.

Knitting needles can be difficult to keep organized once you start accumulating them.  There are different types and all different sizes.  It can be quite frustrating to start a project only to realize that you do not have the size/type of needle required.  That's when the collection starts.

Double-pointed (or dp) knitting needles have two points, not just one.  You can knit from either end of a dp needle.  They are used for smaller projects in-the-round such as socks, children's and infant's hats, mittens, parts of children's and infant's sweaters like the sleeves, the top part of adult hats, etc.  They typically come in sets of 5 so that you can have up to four needles holding your working stitches and a 5th needle to work them.  Nowadays, it seems that the most common lengths for dp needles are the 5" and 7" sets. 

I have a 5" set and I love them.  But they didn't come with a case, and without one to keep them organized, it can be frustrating to sort through them to find all 5 of the same size.  A lot of sets come in a plastic case, but these cases can wear and tear with use, and are often bulky.  So I will show you how to sew a cute fabric case to keep all of you dp needles perfectly organized!

As promised in my post about the Northern Lights Festival Boréal, here is an overview of some of the aprons that I will have at my booth.

I created the pattern for these myself at during the holidays last year when I made an adult version for my sister-in-law, with a matching one for my 2yr-old niece.  I've since made up the template and will have, in this design, 25 toddler size (2-5yrs), 25 child size (6-10yrs) and 25 adult size aprons available at the festival.  I will have more adult size aprons in other designs available as well but, more on that later.

I made all of these myself, with the exception of my mom helping out by sewing on some buttons one night while we were sipping margaritas.  Thanks mom!

Here are some of the Toddler size aprons:

I have a bunch of terry cloth leftover from a project a few years back.  This stuff is thick and takes up a lot of space.  To use it up, I've decided to make child & toddler sized bath mitts.  Anyone who has ever tried to put a glove on a kid's hand, or even just tried to get a kids thumb into the thumb of a mitt knows how hard it can be.   It sucks.  That's why I've decided to make these mitts finger/thumbless.  If you don't happen to have a giant pile of terry cloth sitting around, you can use old towels or washcloths to make these.  Use your judgment on the condition of the material. 

Materials required:
Terry cloth
Sewing Machine
Strong Elastic (about 1/2" in width)
Optional: Trim/material to border wrist

To get started, you need to determine the size of hand you are making a bath mitt for.  If you happen to have the kid you're making it for hanging around, use their hand as your guide.  Make sure they'll have enough room for their hand in the mitt without it being too tight, plus an extra 1/4" - 1/2" border for you to sew around.  Make sure the wrist section at the bottom is wide enough to get their hand through (don't worry if it too loose, you're going to add an elastic to it), and long enough so that it sits below the wrist.