Wednesday, March 30, 2011

It was a red-letter day!

1.  Went to the store and bought myself a Bernina.  It was time.

2.  Took a few more step, further committing myself to the completion of the longed for "ABC" pillow.  It's a major commitment.  One that can only be made if true love is involved.  

3.  The shams made it to their final destination, because they were finally done.  Longest, smallest, quilting project I've ever done!  



Topped it off with a polka dotted bow pillow.  I couldn't help myself.  

Can tomorrow get any better than today?! 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Bitty Booties

Actually Anna Maria Horner calls these Cute As A Button Booties, but they are itty bitty, so I'm calling mine Bitty Booties.

I made these out of one of my favorite boy fabrics.  It's called Heartbreaker, and I've searched long and hard online to find a link for you, but I can not find it.  It was a treasure I found at Happy Quilt in S. Korea.  I have 2 yards, and will use it sparingly.

Like this pictures?  Does it maybe look like the cover of this book?  I'm loving my Handmade Beginnings book. I have two more projects in the works from it, but I'm waiting on fabric to arrive in the mail.  I'm hoping I have 2 new projects from the book to share with you next week.

I really wanted a full outfit to go with the bitty booties, but all I could come up with were pants.  I did a little reverse applique on the knees/shins.  I used the pattern for the Quick Change Trousers, but I didn't make these reversible.  That means it took me like 45 minutes instead of an hour and a half to make them.  Beautiful.

I was going to make a onesie, but after I made the pants, I decided to use the Heartbreaker fabric to make a matching onesie would be a little too much.  Plus I wasn't sure what kind of design to put on the onesie.  I looked through hundreds of onesies on Etsy for an idea, but nothing spoke to me.  Annee suggested an initial, but that would require the Italian and I deciding on what we are naming our baby boy.  No such decisions have been made, so there is no onesie to go with these cute pants and booties.  I'm sure I'll come up with something before my little one's arrival.  I have 3 more months.

Making a onesie isn't going to be hard at all, but choosing a name is turning out to be very difficult!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Spring Wreath

I've had this wreath on my front door since Christmas.  Shameful!  I haven't wanted to take it down because I love having a wreath on my door, but I haven't found a replacement or made one until Saturday.  Friday I went to JoAnn's and bought one wreath, one skein of yarn, and a couple of felt squares.  (All supplies cost less than $10.  My kind of craft!)

Saturday was a rainy indoor day here at MOM West Coast as well as a sick day for both of my kids and my husband.  Therefore I declared to myself that it was a craft day.  The results...

A new Spring Wreath for my front door.  I couldn't be happier.  I wanted my door dressed up with something bright and colorful, and I think I successfully achieved my goal.  I used 5 different felt flower tutorials.  On Saturday morning I googled "felt flower tutorials" and found lots of them.  I chose this one, this one, this one, this one, and this one.  How do you like those links?!  I personally love them.

I used a straw wreath as my base.  The first time I made a yarn covered wreath I used a skinnier, styrofoam wreath form, and I had to use 3 skeins of yarn to get it to be as thick as I wanted it to be.  This time I went for the straw wreath, and it only needed 1 skein of yarn, and it took me under an hour to wrap all the yarn around the wreath form.

All the flowers are attached to the wreath with pins.  Simple enough.  I also got to use some of my fancy buttons that I picked up while at Dongdemoon Market in Seoul last Spring.

I'm so happy Spring is here, and we should hopefully have Spring like weather this week.  It's not suppose to rain all week.  Yea!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I have a baby coming soon...

I feel so much bigger than this picture makes me look.

And I didn't save any baby clothes after George was born.  I wasn't sure I was going to have another baby, and we lack storage in my house, so I just haven't saved clothes.  I'm 27 weeks and counting, and I really do need to get just a couple more things for my baby boy made.  Or I need to go to Target and buy the necessities, but there is no fun in that!!

The Quick Change Trousers are definitely going to be my *go to* pattern for this new little baby.  I love it.  The pants I made last night were made from cutting to final stitch in 1 1/2 hours.  A fast project which is my kind of project. This time I made the Quick Change Trousers out of three knit t-shirts the Italian was giving away.  I kept them out of the giveaway pile when I saved the two dress shirts I turned into pants for George.  Sorry I have no before shots of the t-shirts.

I do have some cute ones of the after product though.

Stripes on one side,

and solid on the other.  

Of course a little airplane onesie was a nice compliment to the mini pants.  What boy doesn't love airplanes?  (Even my big boy husband and his dad love them.)  

With 13 more weeks to go, I have a feeling this is not the last time you are going to see Quick Change Trousers with onesies!

Next up I'm tracing patterns for 3 different projects from Anna Maria Horner's Handmade Beginnings.  I'm off to watch Grey's Anatomy (and maybe Friday Night Lights) while I do some tracing!

Monday, March 21, 2011

In Bloom Pillow

My last and final entry for the Stitched In Color pillow contest!! I call this my In Bloom pillow because Spring is here and things are in bloom (including my big belly).  I wasn't sure I was going to enter Rachel's contest this month, but the prize is 5 yards of Aneela Hoey's Sherbet Pip, so I felt as though I had to enter.  Annee turned me on to this fabric when posted about it with her Girl on a Tree Swing.  Oh to get my hands on this gorgeous line of fabric!!  (I might just give myself my own prize if the pillow contest doesn't work out for me!)

This idea swam around in my head for way too long, and I finally let it come out.  I'm not sure it's exactly what I envisioned in my head, but I was playing with a lot of fabrics here and a new idea, so mostly I'm happy.

I used Aneela Hoey's style of quilting that she used in her Girl on a Tree Swing tutorial.  Then I hand stitched around each color, and stippled my pillow top to some batting and muslin.  This is my third attempt at stippling, so I'm still working on this skill.

It felt like spring here in Northern CA a couple weeks ago, so I wanted a flower blooming to adorn the leather chair where the LOVE pillow sat for the month of February.  I married my needed for a flower with my desire for a Girl on a Tree Swing wall hanging.  I just need a bigger house with more wall space.  I did really enjoy making this pillow and going through my scraps to create my desired color palettes.

On the back I used the last of a Valori Wells print I've had in my stash for quite some time.  I used it originally to reupholster a chair, and  I've always loved the bright, bold colors in the fabric which you can see influenced my fabric choices for my In Bloom Pillow.

Here's to spring and a time for things to bloom!

You can find my pillow and many others at Stitched in Color's Pillow contest.

Blogger's Pillow Party

Thursday, March 17, 2011

All in a day

I've been feeling defeated lately.  As if things might lay around here unfinished forever.  It was time for a mental break and a change of pace.  I cleared Wednesday's schedule, and left nothing on it!  I walked into the sewing garage around 10:30 in the morning with the idea that I would start and finish something, all in a day!  

You can make it in a day.

Sorry about the blurriness.  I'm training up the next generation of photographers.  It's a process.  

The only deviation to the pattern this time around, is that my facing placket is of a contrasting fabric!  A little peek-a-boo surprise should it ever flap open.  It's the little things my friends, the little things that get us sewing girls all whipped up!  I should have flapped it open, but I was busy giving photography tips.

And so it worked.  After finishing my new shirt right around dinner time, I had that old familiar feeling of "I can do anything" return to my soul.  Before I folded my fifth load of laundry later that evening, I had gotten so lucky that I had even crafted up a reverse-applique four leaf clover shirt.  I don't know if you've met 6-year-old girl before?  They are darn persistent!  I'll share a picture of her soon.  

Have a lucky day getting things done at your house!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Bowling Birthday Shirt

Birthdays are a time to

A fabric banner I made for a friend's birthday earlier this week.

Last night I starting thinking about what I could make for a birthday boy who is a lover of bowling and whose mom requested no presents.   His grandma likes to spoil him with toys, but every birthday boy (and girl) needs a special birthday shirt, so I was on a mission last night.  Inspiration hit and at 9:30 p.m. I needed to go to Target to get the important t-shirt to embellish.

Here's my take on a Bowling Birthday Shirt.

Our little friend liked his new shirt, so I'd call this a strike! 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Service Update

I was hoping to post a follow up to my post on Friday, but I had a crazy busy weekend.  Sunday night, however, as soon as I put my kids down, I put myself to work, and made:


2 flannel receiving blankets for Calling All Angels.

I think the mini kimono is so darling, and I really do believe it will be so helpful after heart surgery.  George wasn't able to be picked up under his arm for 6 weeks after surgery, and I was so nervous to even lift his arms to put a onesie on, so a kimono is the perfect solution.  Not to mention I think the kimono look will be totally adorable on baby Josie Mae.  If you are making one, or have made one, please leave a comment with your email address, and I'll email you Josie's mailing address.

Now that my sewing service is done for the time being, I've got to decide what's next on the agenda.  I do have a pillow in the works for the pillow contest, but I've stared at it too long, and I'm starting to question my design.  What to do?!?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Good Monday Morning

I hope you enjoyed a preview of spring wherever you lived, this past weekend.  We sure did.  Not only was the weather gorgeous, we also enjoyed some fun house guests.  My sister-in-law Ie Li came with her three kids.  Her tax CPA husband, my brother, is way too busy doing taxes to be much fun right now.  We were happy to entertain her and her three little ones for a few days.  She's a seamstress as well!  She's even taken the coveted sewing 101 class at BYU.  I had lots of fun sharing the sewing garage with her for a few nights last week.  She got down to work on Simplicity 2825 and went home with a nearly complete Easter dress for one of her girls (sadly no pictures).  I got down to work on the red-thread mini skirt, because I couldn't think of anything else I had to do (wink!).  

When Jane woke up Friday morning, she was thrilled to have a new skirt to wear to school.  She has already told me to make sure and get it washed and back in her closet for "Patrick's Day" next week  (They are 6 now!  When will they be able to remember that it's St. Patrick's day).  She and sister Ruby say they both want four leaf clover shirts to wear on the big day.  I'm not sure that's a worthwhile use of a white t-shirt.  It's an awfully short lived holiday, don't you agree??

Back to the skirt.  Here it is:

Of course I lengthened it.  When in kindergarten, I'm not sure a mini-skirt is necessary.  Not that it's terribly mini, but with all that sitting criss-cross-apple-sauce, and all, I just decided a few extra inches and capri length leggings underneath are more realistic for school day wear.

It's a darling skirt.  I loved making it.  Loved that it was done in under two hours.  Loved how it looked on Jane.  I'll definitely be making more soon.  Thanks for the hot tip Liz.  Another great pattern discovered!

What about the fabric you ask?  Well, that's a little piece of something I picked up when Liz and I were in Seoul together last year.  So happy to have found the perfect project to use with it.  I went back and forth on the pockets.  Didn't know if they should be contrasting or the same.  In the end, I could not resist that yellow stripe.  I *heart* it so.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Sewing Service Projects

My George was a heart baby.  At three weeks old they discovered that he had a congenital heart defect and needed emergency open heart surgery.  Needless to say, it was an extremely scary time in our lives.  We are blessed to live by a hospital with phenomenal doctors, and George's surgery was successful.  He will grow up and live a normal life like all the other boys and girls his age.  He is my miracle child.

Having had a heart baby, I've been on the receiving end of generosity of friends and strangers, and I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for any baby who has to go through heart surgery.  Cherie of Sew and So Quilts sent me a link about a little baby girl, Josie Mae, who is 2 1/2 years old, and will be going in soon for her 3rd open heart surgery.  Cherie is asking for help in making Josie Mae some kimonos to wear post-op.  With all the tubes and bandages on her chest, kimonos are the perfect shirt to wear after surgery.  (I wish I did more sewing when George had his surgery.  Kimonos would have been so helpful!)

If you need a kimono pattern, you can send an email to Amy at Habitual, and she will email you a PDF kimono pattern.  I emailed her and received my pattern in less than 24 hours.  The pattern looks simple and easy to follow.  Making a kimono is definitely on my weekend sewing list.

Cherie hasn't posted a mailing address yet, but I'm sure she will soon, so be sure to check her blog.  I'll post it here on MOM as soon as I get it.

My next weekend sewing project is making some blankets for Calling All Angels.  My friend Cheer at CheeriBABY, posted this video of Neal and Angie Guyman who lost their son two years ago.  Angie went into pre-term labor and their son Jayden passed away.  One of the things they were able to bring home from the hospital was a baby blanket.

When George was in the hospital, he received a blanket every time he switched floors.  While it doesn't seem like much, I can tell you that those blankets made me feel loved and comforted, and I know that any family with a baby in the hospital will feel the same way when they receive a blanket from a loving stranger.

If you would like to help make a blanket or two for Calling All Angels, you can watch this video, and it will give you all the information you need.  The blankets need to be made of new material and placed in a ziploc bag.  They will be delivering the blankets to the hospital on May 30th.  You can mail the blankets to:

Neal and Angie
P.O. Box 5963
Fullerton, CA 92838-5963

Sew, if you didn't have any weekend sewing plans, maybe I've helped you with some ideas!  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Little Mini Skirt

While searching Etsy for who knows what, I stumbled upon the Little Mini Skirt PDF pattern by Red Thread Patterns.  Annee has talked about constructing the perfect waistband, and when I saw this pattern I knew it was a pattern I needed to try.  For many reasons I thought this pattern would be good.

First, I loved that Red Thread Patterns used Anna Maria Horner fabric to make her Little Mini Skirt.  I mean anything in Anna Maria Horner just looks better.  Next, Red Thread Patterns is located in Paris, the fashion capital of the world, which means Red Thread has to know a thing or two about fashion and clothing construction, right?

I was so happy with this pattern.  The price tag was perfect.  The instructions were easy to follow.  There were only 4 pieces to cut out without the pockets, or 6 if you do pockets.

Probably my favorite part of this skirt is that I sewed it in 1 hour and 25 minutes.  That is fast if you ask me.  That doesn't include cutting out the fabric, so start to finish including cutting the fabric this skirt could be sewn in 2 hours.  Beautiful!

I used Alexander Henry Birdseed for the fabric which I've been saving for a special creation, and I'm so glad I used it for this skirt.  I think it's perfect.  The skirt is fully lined, or it could be reversible, and on the inside I used a Riley Blake fabric.

Grace is a pretty standard 5T, but I'm not a fan of short skirts or dresses on little girls.  I know the name of this skirt is Little Mini Skirt, but I chose to make it not so mini, and I used the size 6 pattern.

I see more Little Mini Skirts in Grace's future.  Tootles for now!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Work-In-Progress Wednseday

Have you ever felt like life opened it's big wide mouth and swallowed you whole, such that you were buried inside of it somewhere?!  That's my best description of how I've felt lately.  It doesn't mean however, that I haven't tried to start things here and there.  The problem is, I have only started a whole bunch of things.  For nearly a month now (WHAT?!!!), I haven't really finished anything noteworthy.

That's sad.  That's real sad.  

When talking to Liz last night, she suggested I might feel better to see all of my WIP projects featured here on MOM.  Mostly from our conversation I gathered that I needed to make a new skirt for the ladies.  And of course, when I say "a" new skirt, I mean "two" new skirts.  But somewhere in the night I got a few priorities straight.  Finish a few things that are out, before moving on to more ideas.  It will be therapeutic to see things finished.  Here was just a glimpse of what was sitting out on my sewing table when I walked out to the sewing garage last night:  

Remember the dresses I've been eluding to since January??  After I started making Ruby's dress I decided to give her a little glimpse one afternoon.  That was probably the wrong thing to do.  She told me it was wrong.  I had made many design errors.  She would not love it the way I had made it.  Though I felt slightly like I had created a monster of a daughter, I also decided in order for this to be a positive experience for both of us, I should just make it "right", the way she has pictured it in her mind.  So I did some seam ripping, and now the bodice looks like this:

Enter the "Half-and-Half" bodice.  That's how Ruby pictures it, that's how I'm going to make it.  Problem is (other than I think it's kind of ugly), she wants the skirt to be half-and-half as well.  I didn't have enough blue fabric left for that affect.  She told me to just go back to the fabric store.  So this project has been sitting strung about all around the sewing garage!

Next up, I agreed to sew 16 desk carols for on of my kid's teacher sometime in November.  The count so far?  One done, fifteen more to go.  WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?!  I finished the first one last week.  

And finally, in March of 2010 I started a twin size quilt for my niece, per my sister's request.  In March 2011, I have now started the two matching pillow shams.  That's the most awesome pace I have ever heard of.  Wouldn't you agree?!

And there is always more to do...

And there you have a tiny glimpse into my sewing chaos, as of the last month!  Someday order will return, right?  Sometimes I think it won't until school is out and we are in summer vacation mode.  But hopefully I'm wrong.  

Liz has some big ideas about a regular Wednesday feature all about our collective works-in-progress, and the possibility of linking them all up here on our blog.  That would be a technological wonder in my mind, so we'll all wait to have Liz instruct us on that topic in the near future.  In the mean time, pray with me that something, ANYTHING will get finished.  

Happy Wednesday.  
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