Monday, March 22, 2010


I wasn't going to make the girls Easter dresses this year. Things are busy and Easter has snuck up on me. And frankly, I had no idea what type of dress I would make. I wasn't feeling inspired and I didn't want to make a trip to the fabric store without an idea in mind. So I was just going to pass on Easter dresses.
Then, last week, I ran into Wal-Mart to get some photo sleeves. I walked right passed the fabric and next thing I knew I was miraculously standing in front of the bargain shelves. I saw this yellow fabric and LOVED the color. I have always loved mustard yellow, but most of the time, the yellow I see is not exactly the right color yellow. This was perfect, and for $1.50 a yard, I hurry and got 3 yards cut. I knew immediately I wanted gray to go with it, since that is my favorite combination with yellow these days, and wouldn't you know it, I found the gray buried under a few other bolts for $1.50 as well. 2 yards later, I had Easter dresses on the brain.
I love the blog Katie Did and the Easter dresses she made last year for her girls. So I searched through her archives (because I don't have the patience for adorable little roses on a collar...and I know my girls pretty well. They would have refused something so cute!) and saw a dress she did a few years ago and that's what I did for Gwen. Pretty much copied her idea straight off her blog. What's not to love about a simple dress with a huge ruffle right down the middle. Simple enough for me. Thanks Katie. You're a genius.
Being the smart mom that I am, I showed Little Miss Picky the dress I was planning on making and she told me she didn't want it like that with the big ruffle. So, I asked if she's like a skirt with big ruffles instead. Lucky for me, she said yes. I improvised and made Gabs skirt based on a skirt Gwen had just gotten from her Grandma that has been a huge hit.
Now, both girls are happy with their own Easter outfits. Mom's happy she doesn't have to feel guilty for not making something. And it only cost dad $7.50.
Now I just have to figure out what to do for Henry.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Scrap Swaddle Blanket

That's scrap. Not crap (although some may think otherwise). I had limited time to get a baby shower gift put together, so I didn't have time to go to the fabric store. Plus, I'm trying to get through the fabric I already own before I buy more. I started with my bag of endless scraps. I realized as I started pulling pink fabric out that most were about 4 inches wide. I didn't have a ton of time to sew a baby blanket full of 4 inch squares, so I decided to just leave the scraps the size they were but cut them into 4 inch strips. Some strips are as short as 2 inches, some as long as 18 inches.
I wanted the blanket to be lightweight, since it's a Spring baby. But also because I find with a lot of baby blankets, they're just too bulky to swaddle a baby in. A little newborn can get lost in all that puffy fabric. And there's nothing newborns and momma's like more than a nice tight swaddle to cuddle with.
Instead of batting (which I didn't have anyway and sometimes adds too much loft), I added two layers of muslin to give the blanket a little weight and structure. I know there are fantastic quilters out there, but sometimes I think blankets can get over quilted. I personally, don't like a lot of crazy designs going all through my blankets. I like straight, simple, clean lines. So instead of quilting, I skipped that part all together and decided to tie the blanket. I lined the back with nice, soft white flannel, and tied it with yellow embroidery thread at the corners of each scrap.
I know it looks like a million other things I do, but when you have scrap fabric, things tend to start looking the same. Thankfully, I like the fabric combination and I think it suits a Spring newborn girl rather well. My favorite part are the Small World looking pieces from Alexander Henry's Good Earth line that I used for our game bag. So cute for babies.
The blanket is about 35 inches square. It's the perfect size and weight for swaddling a newborn this Spring. I hope she likes it.
And remember, before you throw your scraps away, think about how they can be made into something nice, easy, and cute. And free.

And yes, I could have asked my daughter to smile and done her hair for the picture-thanks for noticing.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Block Challenge

Oh my blog. Where have I been? The projects are getting completed and the sewing is still continuing, but I am the WORST about posting pictures and keeping this blog updated. I apologize for my lack in motivation when it comes to posting pictures of the things I am working on. Too many other things are filling my plate at the moment. I have a slew of ideas and sewing on the brain. I can not wait to get my hands on all the fabric I have been spying for our new home. I have ideas filling folders and notes and sketches on papers scattered throughout our house. Once we get to Kansas and settle on a house, I'll finally be able to sew all the things I have been saving for years for "when we get a bigger house" and have more room. It's one of the most exciting parts about moving-decorating!
But since I posted a picture of my "work room" and a few mentioned my fabrics, I thought I'd share what I was up too. I wasn't going to mention this unless I won, but here goes anyway.
I went to my favorite fabric quilt shop a few weeks ago and they were throwing their first ever block challenge. Basically they were handing out a packet with a 5x7 image from Elizabeth's Studio's "Face the Music" collection. The fabric has a Mardi Gras and Bourbon Street flair. The packets were only being handed out from February 1st through Fat Tuesday (February 16). I showed up on February 15 without knowing they were doing this challenge. The lady explained what they were doing and asked if I wanted to take a packet home. Sure. So I took it home wondering if I would ever do anything with the fabric.
The rules were that you had to use the entire 5x7 piece of fabric and make a 15.5x15.5 quilting square with whatever other fabric you'd like. There are three prizes all worth $50.00. The owners pick, the staff's choice and a drawing with anyone who completed the challenge. The choice awards will go to the blocks that demonstrate the best craftsmanship and creativity. For $50, I'd give it a whirl.
I came home and opened the packet and saw the piece. Not my style at all. So, I decided, I'd think outside the box a little and cut the piece into strips and go more the abstract route. I liked it better that way. I had seen a tutorial for a string quilt and had been wanting to try it so what better chance than for a contest? I shuffled through my scrap fabrics and pulled out pieces I liked and went to work. I really like the way it turned out. I LOVE the idea of this quilt and am glad I at least did the challenge, so now I know I would love a baby's quilt or twin bed quilt with this design.
I am filled with self doubt. So, even though, I like it, I'm convinced it will be laughed and pointed at when it gets among all the other quilters pieces. I surely won't win for best craftsmanship, but maybe for creativity. Who knows. No matter what though, they will be using all the blocks to make a quilt to send to Haiti and that makes me happy. I'm taking it down to the fabric store tomorrow (last day to turn things in is on Sunday) and the winners will be announced March 15. Wish me luck!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

A Tie For My Little Guy

It's been killing me that I haven't made Henry anything to wear. I sew tons of girl clothes, but for a boy, I didn't know where to start. The options for cute boy wear are a little more limited in my opinion. But when I saw a pattern for ties at my favorite fabric store, I knew I would become hooked. Nothing says "heart melter" like a little guy in a tie. I'm a sucker for little boys looking like grown ups.
I picked up the adorable seahorse fabric for Henry's nursery, but I decided to wait until we move to decorate a room for him. It's SO hard for me to find boy fabric I like. It has to be the right colors, masculine, not too gimmicky, not too baby, but still cute. Anyway, I loved this fabric right away and bought a bunch. It's been taunting me for months to do something with it. I thought a tie would be perfect.
And yes, I know, this is probably nothing new or exciting to most of you, but to me, a new mother to a boy, this is both new and exciting. I made it in no time and want to make dozens more. I'm actually thinking about taking orders (Is that illegal? I looked on the pattern but I don't see anything about selling products made from the pattern.) Hmm, I wonder how much I could charge?