Wednesday, June 29, 2011

WIP Wednesday {6.29.11}

Happy Wednesday! It was a really productive week here. I accomplished everything on my list that I had planned and had to make a second list to start on. There is only one more thing on that one, but it's not going to get done before the long weekend starts. Ah well. In any case...


SBS Block #2

I don't like this block as much as the first one, but they look nice next to each other. I think my two brown colors are too different, too much contrast, but it's okay.

Merrylegs Pillow
I love this pillow. A lot. Hopefully the birthday girl will love it too!

Ipod Case
Came out well. I can't wait to give it a test run!

Travel Highchair

A brilliant last minute project. I saw the idea on Homemade by Jill and put it together in a naptime. I can't wait to use it this weekend. Full details to come Friday.

Still Going:

Christmas Pinwheels

I am happy to report that all the HSTs are sewn and trimmed! I honestly did not think I was going to get that far, but I'm so glad I did. Next week maybe I'll get to lay it out and see how it looks....and see if I am really going to stick with pinwheels. I can't wait to get this finished. It has been sitting around since the fall.

I can't wait to see what block 3 is. This is so much fun, but the wait every week kills me :)



I realized I haven't put my biggest ongoing project on here...or posted about it recently. I honestly don't work on it much, mostly when we travel which is, of course, why I even thought of it. It may take forever, but it will be done some day.

Tote bag

Really the only new thing I have actually started is a tote bag to match the merrylegs pillow. It is the only thing on my immediate list that I didn't get a chance to make. I had a lot of squares leftover (I may or may not have cut waaaay too many) so I want to make a little tote bag. I will just give it to the birthday girl a bit late, that's all.

And really that's it. I know I am coming back with a stack of fabric to make my parents a quilt for their bed though so I can add that on next week, and I have a couple other quilts to start, but I want to get the Christmas one done first.

starting count: 5
completed: 4
new: 1
total: 4

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

ipod case

I've spent some time making some travel items recently, in preparation for our little trip this weekend. One of the things I made was a case for my ipod to travel in without getting scratched up. I had been cooking up a design for a while and settled on a simple pouch, open at the top with an elastic/button closure and a pocket in front for either my headphones or charging cable.

I used leftover Ikea fabric from the laptop case I made my sister, and even fussy cut a flower for the back. I settled on some green polkadot fabric I had for the lining. I really just used two roughly 4"X6" rectangles for the body (I just set my ipod down centered over top of the flower I wanted to use and measured out on each side and cut it and used that to cut the rest of the pieces). For the pocket I had it go out 3/4" on either side so it would hold more, and then folded the lining over to make a casing for elastic. I love the way it worked out.

I am pretty sure the big pink button really makes it :) And the pocket in front fits my charger cord perfectly! I am so excited I don't have to worry about sticking it in my bag and it getting damaged anymore.

I guess I better start getting organized for this trip. Traveling with a 1 year old is no joke! An infant was hard, but I have to entertain her now and with that little attention span, she gets bored quick. Oh, and did I mention she is not a big fan of the car to begin with?!?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Merrylegs --the pillow!

So the other day I went crazy and made the entire pillow in a naptime. It was crazy and awesome. I love making small things like this, it just goes so quick. This is one of those things that I designed in my head and then just couldn't wait to make.

Anyway, the fabric is a combination of the leftovers from the doll and some scraps from a quilt that a friend made her and she graciously gave me. They blend well together even though the doll has blue and the quilt has aqua. Each square is 2.5 inches and the circle is 6". I put the patchwork together and then sandwiched it and did a couple of quilting lines and then sewed the circle on. I decided for the circle to sew it to another piece of white all the way around and then cut a slit and pull it through. I thought that made the raw edge issue much easier to deal with.

The back is a pillow case from the set I bought for my little ones curtains. That way the edges were finished, although I did add some binding to the outside edge because it was pretty and I'm glad I did, I like it a lot. The bravest thing I did was add piping, and as annoying and imperfect as it is, it really makes the pillow. It was actually leftover piping from when I ripped the seams out of the ikea pillow case I used to make the birthday dress and it was pretty uneven, but the color was so perfect I decided not to care. Consequently, the piping is sewn in really close in some places and not in others and the white basting stitches that hold the piping part in are pretty obvious in a lot of spots. I actually ended up basting the piping in place before I put the pillow together so I didn't have to worry about it moving and it worked well.

I love it and I hope my little friend does too. Now I want to make pretty quilted pillows for my house....I suppose I do need to cover one more couch pillow....haha I guess I'll add it to the list.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Things for the little one

I decided instead of doing a separate post for each of the babes birthday/4th of July items, I am just going to group them here. I will post pictures of everything in action after it happens too, so no worries, there will certainly be pictures of the dresses being worn and the decorations decorating :)

First up, her 4th of July dress. I used the same pattern as the yellow one, and just tweaked it a bit so it fits better. I love the polka dots and the skinny red border. I think the best decision was putting the bias tape around the bottom (thanks Hubby for convincing me to do it!). I think it is understatedly patriotic and she will be {hopefully} wearing her little headband with the big red flower, although it actually staying on seems doubtful. She is not good with keeping things on her head.
For her birthday, I made a bunch of things. The fabric garland will have to wait since I can't get a good picture until it is hung up and it is currently wrapped up safely for travel so as not to tangle. I used this tutorial though and used a cotton twine type string and made the "flowers" bigger, although I just traced a measuring cup so I don't know exactly what size. I think it's going to look awesome hanging above the food table.

The dress I made is the same as this one. I made it bigger, but she grew so not as much as I thought I was. The front neck part isn't great, the stitching kinda sucks and I had a heck of a time getting around the snaps with the topstitching, but the biggest improvement was that I topstitched the armholes after adding the bias tape and it made it much nicer I thought. I used a pillow case from Ikea for the fabric, so I might have made it longer but didn't have the fabric to do it (it was a $3 as is pillowcase so I just went with it).

I also made the happy birthday banner using all scrap fabric I had lying around and leftover bias tape from the 4th of July dress. The triangles are 5.5" at the top and then 6.5" long at the center. I cut the letters out of heat n bond using my silhouette cutter and then ironed them on black felt I had. Cut, Iron, Stitch. It is similar to what I made for her room, but I left the edges of the triangles raw and just sewed down the sides. It can also be reversed to the other side with no message just for decoration. It was quick, easy, free and it looks amazing. I love it so much and can't wait to use it for all of our birthdays around here. I kinda wish I had better pictures where you could see the different fabrics more, but I'll try and get some later.

Knit shorts were important to go under both of the dresses. They are the same as the others I made and hopefully will get her through the summer. I only made the red ones for the 4th, and they are a bit too long in the rise since I forgot to cut them down, and two black pairs, one of which I forgot to use the stretchy stitch around the legs to it is a bit tighter. That's okay though, they will work and they'll be under other prettier things anyway.

I also made a little flower clip to go on her headband for her birthday. Super easy and cute using this tutorial. I did circles instead of flower shapes because, well to be honest I couldn't freehand draw the flowers and didn't feel like turning on the printer but I had a circle to trace nearby. It is about 2.5" across, and I put some little leaves and a button on. I hot glued it onto a clip that just clips onto the headband. She probably won't keep it on, but that's okay. It is really stinking cute. I kind of want to make a zillion more in every color...but I'd have to convince her to wear them first.

And that is all. That was a lot for a post. Sorry for the overload, I just didn't feel like dragging all this out and they don't really need their own posts, since most of it I have made before, or at least variations. I actually went a bit crazy and the pillow is done (I love it!!!) so I am almost done everything I need done before leaving for some family time the end of next week. It's good to feel productive :)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

WIP Wednesday {6.22.11}

Here we are again. I am happy to report there has been quite a bit of progress since last week.


Urban Lattice Quilt

I am happy to say this is bound washed and wrapped. More on that in a couple weeks after it is given.

4th of July Dress

Yep, died of cuteness. Even though I had to fight with it because I got single fold instead of double fold bias tape. Oops. It's okay, skinny bias tape is classy.

Birthday Dress

It is finished! I don't love it, there are some....problems, but she'll look awfully cute in it. I'm glad it's done anyway, now I just have to make some shorts to go under it.

Birthday Garland

I love it! I can't wait to see it all hung up with everything else when my baby girl turns 1!!

Happy Birthday Banner

I decided to make this in the past week and I love it! It is so festive and I think I am going to hang it up for everyone's birthday! Seriously, I kinda can't wait til my birthday now haha.

SBS Block #1

I decided to go with the courthouse steps block instead of the traditional log cabin and I love it! I can't wait to see more come together. I think I am just going to do one actual progress post per month since one per week seems a lot, but I'll post them here as I go. I need to feel accomplished :)

Still going:

Christmas Pinwheels

Hopefully this week I will finish the initial cutting and start sewing some HSTs. We'll see. I'd be happy with just getting the cutting done I think and who knows if it will happen.


Which category does this go in? I have a block to make each week, so it is really always still going, but I also (hopefully) complete one each week. For now it goes in both places.


Merrylegs pillow

The embroidery is done, now to make the pillow! I am super excited about this!

More Knit baby shorts

Same pattern I used here. I have 4 pairs cut out waiting to be sewn, hopefully during naptime today. They should go quick, I just have to sit down and knock them out.

Ipod case

I need an ipod case for traveling next week. I am designing it in my head right now. That counts right??

Starting count: 6
Completed: 6
New: 3
Total: 5

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, June 20, 2011


I finally took the plunge and tried my hand at embroidery. I love it!! It is really like coloring with thread. I had been wanting to learn and even got Doodle Stitching for christmas and had been waiting to have time to try it out. Well the hubs has been gone all weekend so I decided to give it a go after the little one went to bed. It went pretty well for a first attempt. Some of my french knots could use a little help (they are a bit loopy), but other than that, I impressed myself.

This is the merrylegs design that came with the pattern in the Fat Quarterly Holiday 2010 issue, and I wanted to make it for one of the girls I gave the doll to. She loves her doll and takes it everywhere so I thought it would be nice. I tried to have it coordinate with the doll, using the same colors and whatnot. It's pretty close and I'm quite proud. I am planning on making this into a pillow and I am super excited. Hopefully I can get it done this week (since her birthday is in 2 weeks) but we'll see since I am in the midst of a lot of birthday prep for my little one. I am just about done her 4th of July dress so now it's on to the birthday dress and the rest of the decorations! So much to be done!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Knit Market Tote

I have been really into doing some little knitting projects recently. I really like to knit and work with yarn, it just seems so much slower and I also like playing with fabric and instant gratification so that usually wins. I saw a bunch of knit market totes pinned on pinterest and really wanted to make one. In fact I think I started one the next day. I mostly followed this pattern, I just used the size needles I had (8 and 13 I think) and did a 2 row pattern of K1, YO instead of offsetting them. It came out awesome and it was so simple. It's huge! I can't even imagine how much it would hold. Of course it was a gift and has already been given because if there is one thing I do not need right now, it is more bags in the house :) I used some Lily cotton self-striping yarn and I like the effect. The only thing I might change next time is to make the handles a bit longer. The hardest part really was getting it on and then off the circular needles for the first round, going up in needle size so much.

For the one picture I stuffed it with some batting just to give you an idea of how much this bad boy stretches and how huge it is. It could still go further.

I want to make another one for me in a cream cotton that I have, but I keep telling myself I really don't need it. Oh, and that cream is impractical. Maybe one of these days. For now I have some knit things that if I start now, I might have done for winter.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

WIP Wednesday

I thought it was about time to start keeping track of all the projects I have going on. While my big white board helps, it is pretty full of ideas, not many of which I am actually working on. So, I am linking up with Lee over at Freshly Pieced, and maybe this will help keep me a little more organized (ha!).


Urban Lattice Quilt

I used the quilt along posted by Cara at Me? A Mom? I changed the proportions a bit, but I'll post more on that when it is finished and I can reveal it after it goes to its new home in July. I am working on binding this one. Another 2-3 movies and I should be good to go. It was a beast to quilt but I am really proud of it and I can't wait to show it off and give it to the new owners :)

Christmas Pinwheels

I am not even sure what I am doing with this quilt or who it is for at this point, but I have had it cut out for months. You know, since it was originally going to be a christmas gift. Oops. But I am determined it will be the next quilt I complete. I need one more piece of fabric which I will hopefully pick up this week and then I will cut the rest of the squares and start making some HSTs.

Skill Builder Sampler

This is being hosted by Leila at Sewn and I couldn't help but join up. It will be my first quilt along in real time. I can't wait to get started this weekend. I have all the fabric picked and washed and ready to go. I still can't comprehend taking a year to make a quilt, but that's okay, it will be fun!

Other things

Fabric Birthday Garland

I started by making a test fabric flower/pompom/whatever and I really like it. I am excited and hope to cut out all the circles this week and start putting it together.

4th of July Dress for the wee one

Fabric pieces cut and ready to go, I just need to get some bias tape and maybe fabric to make some little shorts/bloomers for underneath. It's going to be so cute I can't stand it :)

Birthday Dress for the wee one

I am messing with the pattern now to try and get it to fit a little better.

I think that is pretty much it for now. I am going to just limit myself to things actually started or that I have the fabric ready for instead of including the gazillions of ideas in my head since, let's face it, that would be very overwhelming. So my starting count:

total projects: 6

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, June 13, 2011


This week I am working to finish up a quilt which has taken a lot of time so I have some different things to post, this paper craft (aka a scrapbook page) and a knit project later in the week with the hope I'll have a nice complete pretty quilt by next week.

We (my little family here) are in a bit of a weird place right now. A transitional period I suppose, in waiting. We don't really have any idea what is next for our family-- where we will end up in the next year or two or how permanent it will be. It's kinda hard, but we make the best of it and make a point to enjoy what we have and where we are at the moment. We are pretty open when it comes to the husband looking for a job and where we are willing to move and we are looking forward to the next stage in our adventure, but it is still hard sometimes to think about packing up and leaving here and relocating the life we've built so far. This is the place we lived when we got married, where we brought our baby girl home, a place we have grown to love and are comfortable with. We know where things are and how to get places and the thought of starting that over is overwhelming, especially for two people who lived in the same town up until they went to college.

But we are up to it. And I wanted to give the husband something to remind him that what is important is that we are all together and that a physical place has little to do with it. Wherever he gets a job and wherever we move, I think we will be happy, at least I hope so. I had been seeing prints all over pinterest that inspired me, namely this one and this one. I wanted to make something similar so I pretty much blended the two. Keep in mind, my artistic skills are limited when it comes to drawing or painting or anything like that. Still, I can generally handle more basic things. So I decided on a scrapbook page and this is where it ended up.

I used my silhouette machine to cut out the wording and I drew the houses with markers and then filled them in with watercolor pencils. I made each one on a separate piece of paper just in case I made a mistake and had to redo it. I am actually really really proud of this. It came together really nicely and I love how my little houses came out.

I don't know where we are going or when it will happen. But having this framed in the office will hopefully help us both deal with the stress that will inevitably accompany it and remember what is important: each other.

Friday, June 10, 2011

shower wrap

Alright, this project might be a bit of a fail. It just didn't quite go as planned and I kinda wish I'd gone with my instincts and not used a pattern and just made it up as I went along. But, I didn't. And while I suppose it is functional, it's not great.

See, it started the end of last summer when my cheap summer terry cloth shower wrap from target started to die. I was going to go looking for another one but decided it couldn't possibly be hard to make one. So it's been on my list for many months. And I finally bought a pretty towel and got to work. I was planning on just using the one I had as a guide and winging it but then I realized that I had a pattern for this exact thing as part of the burda pattern 7674 that I got to make this bag. I knew I wasn't using 7 snaps for a shower wrap so I replaced that with velcro (circles of course!). I also lined the top with a really soft jersey knit that I've had for quite a while but I don't have much of it so I was just waiting for the right small project. Really it started because the towel wasn't big enough for me to cut the lining pieces, but whatever, it worked out better this way.

Honestly, it doesn't fit very well in the chest and in order to keep it up I had to cut off an extra 7" of elastic in the back so it is tight enough. I also am not sure whether it will survive very long since a seam ripped and had to be resewed already. On the plus side, it was way easier using a towel that already has finished edges and it is way bright and fun :) We'll see. While it is not my favorite project, it should serve it's purpose.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

another cute practice dress

Well as I said, I was making another dress for the little one. This time it is another practice dress, but for a 4th of July dress this time. I had another pattern I had been planning on using but I wasn't totally happy with it. The dress I wanted to buy was a.) too expensive and b.)not available in the size I needed anyway, so I figured I would just make one infinitely cuter. A week or two ago I was wandering online as I am apt to do, and on pinterest I stumbled upon this tutorial. I was hesitant at first because I would have to make my own pattern, but I loved it so much I decided to give it a try.

Boy am I glad I did! It came out so stinking cute and I just can't wait to make the next! It fits pretty much perfectly, there are just a few minor adjustments, such as making the arm holes a bit bigger and maybe scoop the neck a bit more. I used a yellow gingham which I had laying around having been given it by my husbands grandmother when she cleaned out her stuff. I had no idea what to do with it anyway. And the bias tape that is around the neck and sleeves is leftover quilt binding. Perfect and free. And it came together really quickly which is always a plus.

The 4th of July version will involved polka dots and red accents. I can't wait! But before I can make that and the birthday dress, I have a quilt to quilt and a few other small things to get out of the way, all of which needs to be done pretty much by the end of the month. I better get busy!

Monday, June 6, 2011

A quilt for Relay for Life

A about a month and a half ago I was asked by a girl at work to make a quilt to be raffled off to help raise money for our relay for life team. I have been ridiculously excited, mainly because I don't often get to make something just because I think it's pretty, usually I have a recipient in mind. I had two charm packs sitting around, both Tanya Whelan collections --Delilah and French Hatbox. I knew when I got them that I wanted to pair them with white and make a bunch of half square triangles, and this gave me just the occasion I was looking for. I made them by putting the two squares together, one white and one printed, and sewing 1/4" on either side of the center line and then cutting down the center. It saved me from actually having to deal with triangles which was great. I ended up with 4" finished squares. My 1/4" foot saved my life again and made all my triangles have nice points! It was lovely.

I tried a number of different layouts, the possibilities with half square triangles are really endless, and finally landed on the one I wanted to use. It is one I saw on Red Pepper Quilts and it is just perfect. It is a small quilt since I only had 104 squares to work with and this design used up 99 of them. Since it was so small I added two borders and it ended up 40 1/2" x 49 1/2" after washing. The skinny border is just red with small polkadots and the bigger is from the DS Quilts line at Joann's. The binding is also from that line.

The back was its own ordeal since I ran out of time to order it and had to settle for what I could find locally, in this case at Joann's. I didn't like anything and finally decided I would get a solid color back so that I could get a 108" fabric and not have to worry about cutting or seaming or anything. It really allows the quilting to stand out, so thankfully it came out pretty much perfectly. Part of me wishes I had done the pieced backing I wanted to, but this was so much easier and I was in a time crunch and in the end, it looks really good.

I did echo quilting roughly 1/2" in on each side of the white squares. I say roughly because I just used the edge of my walking foot as a guide and I am pretty sure that is not an exact distance. It is even though and that is what counts. I really really love this. It is so bright and cheerful and I hope it finds a good home!

Friday, June 3, 2011

I hate ironing

Seriously, I must be nuts. I've gone back and forth on the prewash/don't prewash debate since I started quilting. I don't generally have a preference, and really if my quilts shrink an couple inches it's no big deal. But now that I am making so many smaller things, including clothes and other things that I would like to be washable and not shrink, not to mention I have a child who will put anything and everything in her mouth, prewashing the fabric has become the better option.

Consequently, I just spend what felt like forever (but in reality was 2-3 hours...oh wait, that's pretty much forever) ironing and folding all my freshly washed fabrics. I finally cleaned out the closet and washed pretty much everything that could be washed and hadn't been. Something like 59 pieces of fabric I think, mostly 1/2 yards. I have a few things left; I like to keep an unwashed white sheet for sashing things that can't be prewashed (like all those precuts) and there are a few pieces that I just didn't see because they were smushed between other things that I'll just have to get on laundry day, but other than that, everything is ready to go!

It feels kinda nice actually, it all smells clean and is just ready to be used whenever I get around to it. I think I have piles for 3-4 quilts that are planned out in my head, so maybe I'll get to work on that this summer.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

shorts for the little one

Why is it so hard to find little girl shorts that aren't a bright weird color or ridiculously expensive?? I mean seriously, I just want some plain old shorts for my daughter! Once I made that little practice dress, she needed something to wear under it since it is a bit short. I thought perhaps pants would be a bit much in the almost 90 degree weather so I set about making a pair of shorts.

I knew what I wanted them to look like, she had a pair last summer/fall that are obviously too small that I loved. And for fabric I decided to cut up and old pair of gauchos that I was getting rid of anyway. I decided the easiest thing to do was find a pattern for basic shorts in a bigger size, make them as per the directions, and then just add my own waist band and leg bands in the right size which should create just the puffy little look I was going for. I am happy to report it worked perfectly! I used this pattern although there are plenty of options out there. The only thing that need to be changed is the waist band needs to be a bit tighter since I may have underestimated the stretch in the fabric, but they still fit and she looks super cute. I figured the waistband the same way as the knit yoga skirt actually and just didn't make it a fold-over, and did it similarly for the leg bands, but kept them at just the size of the legs because I didn't really want those too tight but maybe on the next ones I will make it a big more snug. The came out pretty well for a first attempt, I am even getting pretty good at gathering! I am glad I have been braving knits a bit more.

I tried to get a good action shot of the shorts, but someone was just not cooperating so this weird side view will have to do. I'll have to try again another day.

I think I'll make another pair of brown ones and two pair of black out of the other pair of gauchos I am getting rid of. It only used about a pant leg of fabric for one pair and I think 4 pairs of nice neutral shorts should work perfectly for summer. Cuter than what I've seen in the stores and certainly cheaper :) I like this game!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Practice Birthday dress

Just about a month until the little monster's birthday! I've decided I can make her a cute simple little dress to wear for her party, so I've been searching for a good pattern/tutorial. It has to be simple, I just am not very good at clothing and patterns and whatnot. In my searching, I came across this snappy toddler dress tutorial which is wonderful, simple, downloadable, and free :) I fell in love with it immediately and I think it will just be perfect for a birthday dress for July. However, I would be stupid to just go ahead and make it with the birthday fabric a month beforehand (who knows when the next growth spurt is coming) without trying it to make sure I can do it and it fits. And I am certainly glad I did!

It is a really great pattern, and was not difficult at all. The pattern pieces are for 12-18 months which is exactly the size she needs, but for some reason, it came out pretty small. I have a hard time getting it over her head, my own fault really because I messed up a button hole (I have a snap thing now so we are saved for the birthday version!) so one side is sewn together which makes it more difficult, but really it is just too tight around the arms once it is on. I doubt it will fit for long. I can take out the seams a bit in the body since I did a french seam instead of zig-zagging so that should add a bit, but I think I am going to have to enlarge the pattern pieces for the neck part. No big deal. It came out really well and she got to wear it to the park yesterday and someone actually asked me where I got it! The fabric is from Ikea, they had it on sale for $1.99/yd so that pretty much makes this a $1 dress, tops since I'm not even sure I used 1/2 yd, so it's okay if it doesn't fit for long. It is also a bit short, pretty much a shirt really, but I knew that was coming. I have limited birthday dress fabric and I wanted to know how far it would go, so for that one I will probably add a band of fabric at the bottom to lengthen it and once the straps are longer, it will fall down further anyway.

The red buttons on this really make it I think

And of course an action shot! She didn't seem to mind it being tight around the arms so I guess it's not too bad.

Oh that girl kills me with cute! I also made the shorts so that post is coming up next. I am having a good time learning to make some simple kids clothes. I am making another dress right now too, hopefully done sometime this week. It is my first attempt at making a pattern using existing clothes so hopefully it works! There will be some really cute clothes on a really cute little girl coming up around here in the future. It helps me have quick projects in between my quilts so I can keep up the motivation :) Oh and it keeps my little girl clothed!