Thursday, January 31, 2013

I had the opportunity to test a new pattern from HeidiandFinn this week. I have several of their patterns and absolutely love every one I've used. They are simple to follow, include tons of helpful pictures, and come together quickly. But, better yet, they are special. Each one has it's own little touch of flair that makes it stand out from the basic, boring patterns of the world.

The new pattern is the Ballet Shrug. When it comes out in the next few weeks it will be available in two size ranges...12mos-5T and 6-10 years. Another perk...patterns that come larger than 5T. In all honesty, I never really thought we'd get to that point. But, here we in the big girls department and having to modify our old patterns to add an inch or two to the hems.

For once, Bee was the immediate beneficiary of my sewing projects. It seems I always sew for Belle knowing that it will make its way down to Bee eventually, and then we'll get more wear out of it. But sometimes the kid just needs something of her very own...or I start to get the pirate face:)

The pattern comes with directions to add ties around the waist band, but Bee is in gymnastics (not ballet) and I thought long strings and flipping over bars were probably not the best combo.

Here's one general sewing tip...fabric quality matters. Sometimes a little, sometimes a lot! I didn't want to make the drive over to the fabric store to get a knit for this project. So, I picked up a nightshirt from the local big box discount store. It had a cute print and matched her leotard. I thought it was a good idea....WRONG!

This fabric was a nightmare! If I so much as put a pin through it, it got a hole. And forget ripping out a seam if you accidentally made a pucker...shreds! GRRR!!!

But if I had to fight with the fabric, at least I knew I wouldn't have to fight with the pattern. It comes together like a dream. And then, when you've made something just for Bee, you get dreamy eyes too...buh-bye pirate!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A Quilt for Bee

Just so you didn't think I had forgotten her...I started piecing Bee's quilt a couple of weeks ago. It won't be nearly as time-intensive as Belle's, but I think its going to be pretty gorgeous.
There will be 30 blocks like this one...each in a different fabric. All green, aqua, lavender, plum, and navy. Her walls are a deep saphire blue and her favorite color is purple...we're trying to mesh the two so that we don't have to paint her room. I think it's going to be spectacular...eventually:)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Clowning Around

We're just a smidge late with our Halloween post...or maybe we're really early for Halloween 2013.
Anyway...we had two silly little clowns this year, Wiggles and Giggles. So...just some eye candy, because they're cute...and they've grown a bit since you last saw them.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Where am I heading in 2013?

No resolutions here...but as a new year begins, I am considering where my path is headed...besides to our mountain retreat (yep - that's the actual road to our camping cabin!).

So, where am I headed? 

1. Into the scary world of free motion quilting. I trudged through my first mini-quilt today...definitely need more practice, but at least I now know how to attach the foot:) Pics coming...
2. Sewing space spruce needs it. I actually share our former nursery with a trampoline...and yes, the trampoline is staying!
3. Wrap up Belle's room (before starting Bee's). Some hand-quilting, a few more accessories, and we should be good to go.

Where are you headed this year?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Well, What do you know...

My emerald mosaic is a finalist over at Stitched in Color! I really just entered because it gave me an excuse to browse fabrics and dream. But, it's kind of fun to make the short list. Pop on over and check out the beautiful fabric selections and vote for someone. And maybe get some ideas for your next stashing:)

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

There have been lots of little (and not quite so little) projects going on in Belle's room in the last few months. I'll try to get you caught up as best I can...
I made this rainbow for her using a collection of buttons that I gathered from friends, family, and various Etsy stores.
Yeah, it might look cute...and you might be thinking, "Oh, that would be easy." Cause in theory, it is easy. But here's the thing...each one of those bad boys is stitched on individually, to the tune of about a gazillion hours of sewing buttons. So...whatever you're thinking right now, don't do it...just don't. Trust me!
But, it is cute...and she does love I guess it was worth it.

Monday, January 14, 2013

I'm playing along with the Emerald Mosaic Challenge at Stitched in Color this month. The goal was to create a 3x3 mosaic of 9 fabrics that represent your idea of EMERALD.  Here are my entries...and they're making me realize that I might have neglected emerald when I was stash building. I just have so much fern and lime green that the basket is too full to justify buying more greens...oh well!

Friday, January 11, 2013

A Very Yellow Chair

Belle is still in the process of getting a completed room...I know, years in the making. She started kindergarten this summer, so one thing that she definitely needed was a quiet space to do homework. This antique vanity was already a member of the family, but we didn't have a chair that really fit the bill.
I picked up this chair at a local thrift store. A coat of white primer, a couple of coats of very yellow spray paint, some new foam, and a splashy red home dec fabric and the $3 chair fits right into her rainbow of a room.
She looks way too grown-up when she sits at her desk though, so I'm trying to keep her from using it too much:)

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


My stash has taken a serious hit after all the work on Belle's quilt. I was almost completely out of orange and yellow fabric, and my basic red prints were pretty depleted as well. And I have a couple of new projects that are just itching for some basic black prints...a fabric choice that was totally non-existent around here.
So January is the month of stash rebuilding around here.
I started with a complete set of Pearl Bracelet by Lizzy House for Andover. It's just a great basic print that now comes in lots of colors and shades. I added Notting Hill by Joel Dewberry and The Birds and the Bees by Tula Pink. I'm fairly certain that Tula Pink has taken over as my favorite designer right now...there's just something about the way she cleverly includes squirrels or people or boats in very sophisticated prints. I guess it combines my love of adorable novelties with my desire for fresh modern patterns. Anyway...the complete set is getting pretty hard to find, so I was happy to have snapped up this bundle. A half-yard bundle of Timber & Leaf in Coral and Yellow added some gravity to things. The muted palette is feeling really fresh to me right now...I guess it's backlash from the rainbow riot I've been working on for ages:) I threw in a few prints from Type...I mean, how can you resist those type-writers??? I snatched up some text prints to mix in with my black and white stash. Not pictured here...I gathered a collection of fat quarters in just about every neutral Kona is offering and a few Bella too....lots of pale grays and putty-ish colors. And finally, I grabbed some basics in black/white, red, orange, and pink.
The stash is now fully rehabbed and I'm pretty sure it's time for a diet! Nothing like the holidays to make your jeans and your fabric stash a little fuller than before:)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Pinwheel, Pinwheel...

With all the Block of the Month work going on around I here, I was really itching to tackle something that could actually be completed in... oh, less than a year maybe. When the mailman delivered this Lark by Amy Butler design roll, it lasted about an hour before it went under the needle.
The top measures 36" square, so perfect for a baby quilt, wall hanging, doll quilt etc. I used a combo of strip and paper piecing to put her together. It's funny how a very new skill can quickly become part of your every day bag of tricks.


I had planned to list this in the shop when it was finished, but my sewing space has very bare, yellow walls that are sort of calling to the, we'll see.

Oddly, I am completely out of quilt batting, so I'll need to make a run to get some in the morning. Then it's on to quilting. I think I've worked out a machine quilting design and am now contemplating what hand stitching fun I might add to the riot. Hmmm....

Friday, January 4, 2013

Oh where, oh where...

have I been????
Let's just say that a laid-back, long-napping, easy-going, baby bee grew into an active, inquistive MISCHIEVIOUS toddler bee. All those long hours of editing photos with a snuggly baby in the crook of my arm or peacefully sleeping upstairs have flown right out the window! The good news is...I'm back! Kinda, sorta... Bee started preschool this fall and after a couple months of catching up on life, I'm finding myself with tiny bits of time to actually weed through a year's worth of photos, and maybe, just maybe, share a few here.
But as I mentioned in the last long ago post...the crafting hasn't stopped. Just the photo-editing and posting. So, I'll try to catch you up on some of the highlights over the next couple of months.
So for now...what's on my table today?
I'm feeling the quilting bug, so lots and lots of fabric, blocks, quilts in progress, patterns etc.
First...Craftsy Block of the Month 2013. I have absolutely no idea where this quilt is going...wandering aimlessly through my stash, I suppose. This BOM class is FREE from Craftsy and I highly recommend it if you are looking to broaden your quilting horizons. Y-seams, applique etc. And video tutorials that are AWESOME! I joined this BOM for two reasons...1. to sharpen my quilting skills and get some extra practice with things that I don't do very often. 2. to use up that stash. I wanted several new lines of fabric, but the fabric bins were pretty full. I'm hoping to clear some space with this quilt.
Here is my January "block" or in this case set of blocks. An offset log cabin block. The video tutorial teaches you about chain piecing and shows you a nifty little way to standardize your scant 1/4" seam allowance. I have no idea what I never thought of that before!

Next up, the Lucky Stars BOM with Don't Call Me Betsy. I tried and tried and tried to resist this one. I did...really! And I was doing great until everyone started posting the pics of their first blocks. As long as I couldn't SEE the blocks then I could tell them, "NO!" As soon as those blocks started popping up on Flickr, though, I was done for. You can get this one on Craftsy too, but it's $10. Which I think is crazy reasonable for this pattern or set of patterns. Each month features a different star and a paper-pieced pattern. So why did I join this one? You mean, besides the fact that those block pictures were calling to me in my sleep? 1. I've never paper-pieced anything...see that down's my very first paper pieced block. (I didn't take a pic of the unit whose seam allowances got sliced off:) So, I really wanted to give paper-piecing a shot. 2. That stash really is out of control! plan for this one. Each month, I'm just gonna raid the stash and hope by the end it all works together. And if not, I'll use the blocks in pillows, bags, etc.
The pattern set actually comes with a practice block and a paper-piecing survival guide. This is my practice block. I haven't gotten around to the January block yet, but I'm hoping to get it done this weekend.

And, who could resist a BOM of the month that comes with a dessert recipe??? Sugar Block 2013 with StitcheryDickoryDock! Now this BOM has a plan! I signed up for this one pretty far in advance and spent quite some time picking just the right combination of fabrics. I ordered a collection of Kona solids from various Etsy shops with the hope of making a quilt for our camping cabin in the mountains (it has an official name now - The Roost, after the flock of turkeys with whom we share the land). We just built queen-size bunk beds up there, and now I need to come up with two quilts that will work with the all white palette we've settled on for the furnishings. I wanted to pop some color into the place:) And believe it or not, I had finished the first block before I went to bed on January 1...just hours after receiving the pattern!

So far, so good...I love the color combo. This block features tomato, eggplant, corn yellow, white, and medium gray. I didn't even realize the vegetable theme until people starting commenting on it via Flickr:)

I'm planning a wonky plus sign quilt using a white layer cake and the remnants of the solids from this quilt for the other to order that layer cake!

And last, but definitely not least, Belle's quilt! Remember eons ago, when I posted the first blocks of this bad boy??? Well, "bad boy" is quite the understatement! I was seriously insane when I decided this was a good idea! But 64 blocks later, I'm in the quilting stage...FINALLY! And just to add insult to injury...I'm hand-quilting this puppy! Yep...NUTS! I'm doing a pretty simple design of concentric squares (can you say, "concentric" when talking about squares???). But, then I'm adding some faux mending stitches just to give it some character. What's a faux mending stitch? Well...I might have made that term up. There's probably a real term for it out there. Picture a really old quilt in a log cabin some where. Now picture all the little stitches that grandma made over the years to patch up rips, tears, holes, etc. CHARACTER! So, I'm adding little rows of lines or asterisks or other things in tiny places on the quilt. You don't notice them at all until you actually lie down on the quilt and start to see the intricacies. Oh...and quilting with perle cotton as always. It's my new thing:) I might have ordered 50 spools of size 5 from Paraguay...that shipping label got a few funny looks around here!

There are lots of other things going on around here too...more quilts, decorating projects, clothes, doll clothes, etc. I'll be back soon!