Monday, April 14, 2014

Birthday quilt and Bear Carrier

I finished Stella's birthday quilt about a week ago.  It is one of the easiest and least creative quilts that I have made but one of my favorites for sure.  I saw a sample of this quilt made in local quilt shop (Kathie's - a beautiful shop-click on the link and see how pretty it is) a couple years ago.  It was love at first sight and I knew I wanted to make one for when Stella is in a big girl bed.  The fabrics are from Cabbages and Rose Athill range and the pattern is Turning Twenty again.  It is such an easy and fast pattern.  Nothing has to match up and it really shows off the beautiful fabrics.  It is the biggest quilt that I have machine quilted so I just stippled to keep it simple. 

Stella is still in her crib so I threw this on our bed to take a picture.  I would have tried to take some better pictures and make our bed look nicer.  But I had to lock the door so Stella wouldn't see it and the kids were pounding on the door because they know when ever I lock a door and immediately decide they have to be in the room with me.  At some point I decided this would be one of her birthday presents since she does love quilts and blankets and things I make for her.  I can't wait to see what this quilt ( bigger than a twin but less than a full - I can't find the pattern to tell you the dimensions and I can't get it out right now to measure) will look like on Stella's bed when we get it.  I would love for her to have a bed like this (but in cream or antique white).

I usually don't make labels.  I have seen so many on Instagram lately that I was inspired to do one especially since the quilt is  for my best girl.  I am pretty sure that  I will continue making labels.  It makes the quilt more special I think. 

I also finished the bear carrier (which will likely be a baby doll carrier) from Little Things to Sew.  I loved the pattern.  It was quick and easy and I love how it came out.  It doesn't use much fabric so I used a small piece of Liberty Lawn I had with a solid from my stash.  It is for Stella's birthday but I had to have her try it on to make sure I put the Velcro in the right place.  I felt bad misleading her but I led her to believe that the carrier is not for her because I want her to be surprised on her birthday.  She did seem to like trying it on and I did get one blurry shot with my phone. 

Next post will have some matching tea party dresses in it and if I have time, a little lamb (more birthday presents) .  I am really excited for more birthday sewing and for Spring and Summer sewing too.  There is a lot to look forward to!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


Well the odds were really good for the 6 people who commented on my last post.  I figured I would know all the people who commented through their blogs and other online places so I decided to wait to pick a prize out until I picked a winner.  That way I can pick a prize that I think the winner would really like.  Well my son just picked the name out of a hat.  And the winner is .....

Yayyy!  Cindy  - I'll be emailing you soon! I can't wait to pick out your prize.   Congratulations! 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Birthday Tutu

I am very happy to have finished another birthday present for Stella this morning.  I started Monday morning cutting the tulle for the tutu from Little Things to Sew.  This morning I was able to start sewing it and finished it very quickly.  I am very happy because I am usually very slow to finish anything.  

It is very purple.  I would have loved to tried to make one like the example in the book  I love the colors in the book and am starting to get a little sick of purple.  But it is the girl's favorite color and I did think she should love her present.

The tulle I bought from Joann's was all around 60 -70 inches wide not over 100 like the book said most tulle was.  I didn't look at the other colors.  I just bought all the purple.  And I should have bought one more yard.  I didn't realize that until I started cutting.  So I think if I bought more tulle and wider tulle it would be a little more full.  But Stella is a little peanut so I think this will work.

I think I'll do the baby carrier from Little Things to sew next.  I'm going to make as many things I can for her birthday from the book for the cover to cover challenge.  There are only 5 months left and I just became motivated to try make everything in it.  I want to make her a birthday dress too.  Maybe I should do the tea party dress so she can have a matching baby dress?  Her birthday is one month away so I better get going. 

*edited to add 2 seconds later: Wow! I just realized this was my 100th post!  I think I'd like to send a little surprise (I don't know what it is yet but it will be sewing related) to someone who comments on this post.  We will pick names out of a hat.  Make sure you leave your email if you are a no-reply blogger so I can find out where to send the prize to. edited again hours later - I'll pick a winner next Wednesday April 2.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Jump Rope Dress and Toe Up Socks

I had some unplanned time away from my sewing machine due to us removing some gates in our home.  It felt unsafe having the iron and my sewing machine out at times.  But I've gotten use to it and am now sewing again.  It feels so good.  I think about how lucky I am to have so many hobbies that make me so happy.  I got a real rush finishing up this dress yesterday.  I really finished it this morning but I had a good idea what it looked like yesterday.

It is the Jump Rope Dress pattern from Oliver + S.  I made view B and love it even more than I thought I would.  I wish I could make one for me.  I used a thin denim from Joann's and some Liberty Lawn for the placket, covered buttons, and pocket bias.  I totally confused myself reading directions about transferring markings but other than that it went well.  Except maybe I didn't do the cuffs right but I just kept going.  I lose some patience towards the end of a project.  And I know the hem looks crooked in the picture but I don't think it really is.

I made my second pair of socks ever and my first pair of  toe-up socks. I took a great class at Knit Wit in Portland, Maine.   I put them on Ravelry but I don't know what yarn I used and the pattern is from taking the class so I have no details..  The toe-up way seemed so much easier.  I had an awful time picking up stitches with my first pair of socks.  These are kind of plain but I love them and will wear them.  I'm looking forward to making more but I have a long list of stuff I want to make for the little cuties first.  Maybe I can try to always have a pair I am working on, on the side.  I just worry that I won't finish.


Stella's birthday is coming up and I am making a lot of presents so I expect to have lots of posts this month and lots of happy sewing time. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Happy Stitching

I am enjoying making things so much right now.  For the past two weeks I have been taking an unplanned break from sewing clothes for my cuties.  I did a little work on a quilt but the most enjoyable crafting for me lately is making these ornaments and knitting.

The above is made from a kit by Alicia Paulson which I am sure everyone recognizes.  I still have the house to make for the complete set and then I have four other kits I want to make too.  They are so fun to make and I love how they came out.   It is also easier for me to work on these in little bits of time instead of lugging out my sewing machine to the kitchen table. 

These mittens are probably the most favorite thing I have knit (other than baby sweaters for my babies and those are partly my favorite for sentimental reasons).  They are lined and so warm.  And I learned a lot making them such as the i cord cast on and stranded knitting.  Details on the mittens are here on Ravelry  For a few years I was mostly knitting for the kids. This year I am really enjoying making stuff for me and wearing it too.  I love these mittens and my cabled hat and scarf so much  that  I dreamed about them last night.  In my dream large birds were trying to steal them and had them in their beaks.  I told my husband about it this morning and he said "Who makes your dreams, Beatrix Potter?"    Well we do read a lot of her here.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Grandma Joie

I have wanted to write this post for a long time.  I put it off because I thought writing it would make me sad since my Grandma passed away in August of 2012.  But she was such a beautiful person and made beautiful things I feel compelled to share pictures of the things she has made.  This week I happen to be on vacation and  don't have anything finished to show so I think now is a good time to tell you about my Grandma Joie.

Here is a picture of her.  She always looked that beautiful and put together.  Even in her 80's she was beautifully dressed, always had her hair done, and had lovely jewelry.  My Grandma lived in Missouri.  She grew up in a convent where she learned to do embroidery.  Granmda Joie told me the nuns insisted on perfection.  They would sell the embroidery.

My grandma also made quilts, did some sewing, crocheted, and knitted.  When she left the convent she went to live with a German woman who she helped clean.  She had taught my Grandma to knit.  The last time I saw my Grandma she tried to teach me continental knitting but I couldn't get the hang of it.

I have lived most of my life in New England and didn't get to see my Grandma that often.  Sometimes I wouldn't see her for many years.  But she has always been very special to me even though we didn't get to spend much time together.  Visits with my grandma occurred a little more when I became an adult and she was retired.  And our phone contact increased a great deal.  When I became a mom and started being home more I spoke to her on the phone almost weekly.  In addition to talking about my kids,  we discussed cooking, baking and crafts.  It was wonderful to be able to connect with my Grandma about those things we loved.  My Grandma really loved to cook and I have many of her favorite recipes. 

Growing up we had beautiful Christmas items in our home that my Grandma made.  I had shared a little bit about it here and here.  I thought it was magical how my Grandma could make such beautiful things.

Here are pictures of the quilt my Granmda made me for our wedding.  I was engaged at the end of October 2005 and had a shower in May 2006.  My Grandma did all this beautiful cross-stitch in time for my shower.  She brought it to the convent and the nuns quilted it by hand.  When I opened the present at the shower I cried.

You know the question, "if your home was on fire and your family was safe, what would you grab?"  This is it. 

We don't keep it on our bed because of the little people and we don't have things in our bedroom just right.  But someday I will proudly and very carefully keep it on our bed.  We have a Hitchcock headboard that is actually hard to find bed coverings that look just right with it but this quilt does.

The first quilt my Grandma gave me was the beautiful blue gingham one that has chicken scratch embroidery.  I was in high school when she gave it to me.  I guess it is about 25 years old.  It was on my bed all through high school and then later as an adult even though it had yellowed some and some of the embroidery had come undone ( I wish I had been more careful with it when I was younger).   When I had my son I decided it would be best to take it off the bed.  I would like to see sometime if I can do something about the undone embroidery and yellowing. 

I love everything about this quilt.  The prairie points are beautiful.   I was such a lucky girl to have my grandma make this for me.

When I visited Grandma Joie in 2008 I admired her pillows that she had made.  She told me to take them.  I said I couldn't, and she insisted.  So I picked this beauty out.

And then she gave me these other three beautiful pillows.

Even though I never was able to spend as much time with my Grandma as I wanted, I miss her all the time.  It means the world to me that I have so many beautiful reminders of her in our home. 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Slow and Steady

Crafting lately has felt very slow but has been extra enjoyable.  I cut out this pattern (Liberty Jane Oxford Square Coat) and fabric right after I finished Stella's coat.  I found some small toggle buttons on Etsy and ordered them.  Then I waited for the buttons to arrive from Japan before starting.  The pattern was not for a toggle coat and was for an 18 inch doll (Bitty is 15 inches).  I just figured I would add the toggles like I did with Stella's and I figured that since it was for an 18 inch doll that the coat would just be a little big.  Well 18inch American Girl Dolls may be taller but I think they are leaner too.  This little coat is tight.  Doing the side seams was one of the last steps so it would have been difficult for me to figure a way to make it wider at that point.  Still it was very fun to make a little coat.  And even more fun is watching Stella play with Bitty in her matching coat.  She doesn't care if the coat is too tight.  

And here is Miss Maggie.  I'm sure everyone recognizes the beautiful rabbit from Posie Gets Cozy.  I bought the kit back in October.  If I had known how much fun it would be making her, I never would have waited so many months.  I will be giving her to Stella for her birthday at the end of April.  I hate putting her away until then.  

I've also been working on some cross stitch and some mittens.  I have a long list of things I want to make and/or finish for Stella's birthday plus I want to make her an Easter dress and a birthday dress.  One of the dresses will be smocked I hope.  I am taking a smocking class on the 15th.  I have so many things I am looking forward to doing.  

I am feeling a little guilt over not making as much for Luke.  I didn't make him any of his birthday presents last year.  I do have a sweater vest that I am working on for him.  I try to alternate Luke knitting projects with Stella knitting projects.  And Luke is always hot so it is really unlikely that he will get much use out of what I knit for him.  If anyone has any suggestions of fun things to sew for a boy please let me know or let me know what you tell you yourself so you don't feel so bad.