Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas Stocking

Well, I finished Gregory's stocking and I am really happy with how it turned out. I did my own design and pattern- using techniques I had previously learned. I found that my experience making purses was especially helpful. The front is a combination of polka dot cotton prints sewed together and then fused and quilted onto fusible fleece. I loved the ease of not having to measure all the strips and purposely make it crooked. I used a red gelly roll pen to transfer his name from graphed tracing paper onto the white fabric of the cuff (the picture makes his name look crooked, but it's really not.) I then emboridered over the letters, easily the most time consuming aspect of this project (maybe I should have named him "Gus" or "Dan" or an abbreviation- like B.J.) I made the back of his stocking twice because I stupidly did not flip the stocking pattern the first time. Blame it on "baby brain." I wanted the back to be simple because the front is so busy on the front, so I think this worked out pretty well.
He's too young to appreciate Christmas this year, and won't get the concept of Santa or presents next year (but probably will be very adept at yanking off the tree ornaments next year); but perhaps in 2012, we will have a lot of fun with the little guy at this time of year.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Red and Green

Recently I have been plugging away at making a Christmas stocking for my son. I have scoured my stash for red and green fabrics with polka dots. I love fabrics with dots- so luckily I had quite a few. I am doing my own design, using the technique I showed in an earlier post with the Christmas tree quilt square. Hopefully I will have it done soon.
I am not really a "crafty" person- because I consider being crafty to be more of a person who uses glue a lot- you know, buys all the knick knacks at Joann's or Michael's that you can paint or put glitter on. I actually think there are a lot of cute crafts to do out there, I just have so much I want to sew, I really don't have the time to add another hobby. (Let's be honest, I also don't have the space either). So anyway- last year I did see a tutorial on how to make a wreath out of Christmas ornaments and a wire hanger. So I ended up buying 8 $1 boxes of red and green ornaments in the after-Christmas sale at Joann's, and here's what I made:
It really only took 1 hour to make- I just had to hot glue the little ornament "caps" onto the bulb and then strung it onto the wire hanger (which I had made circular). The only thing that stinks about it, is it can break pretty easy I think. Gregory loves to stare at it.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Maybe I should take up knitting..........

So my wonderful friend has made some adorable gifts for the kiddo...... It honestly makes me want to knit when I see what cute things she has made:

Look at those hexagons! Gregory better be careful, his mom might claim this little turtle for her own (only because the pumpkin hat won't fit her.....) Just kidding.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Box Exchange 2009

A little while ago I posted the quilt block I was submitting to my quilt guild. Here is the first block I made for someone: Of course, I procrastinated this project and on the evening it was due to be submitted, I started making it 1.5 hours before the meeting started! It was also right at the time my baby started stirring and crying after a long nap. I had thought the meeting was a week later than it really was. I blame it on the fact that usually the guild meets on the 5th Monday of every month and they switched it up for some reason as well as "baby brain."

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The baby with the most blankets wins

I haven't been able to do much sewing since my son was born, but he is easing into a schedule and occasionally I have been able to do a few things.

I had made the blanket on the right before he was born- it's just a very simple receiving blanket- a sandwich of flannel. As Nick and I have been taking care of Gregory, we noticed that it was the perfect size to swaddle him in- about 45" by 54". I decided to makes some more, hence the muppets one and the little cars one. Joann's is having all of their flannel on sale for 1.50 per yard on Black Friday- I can't wait!
My little guy has SO many blankets thanks to my sewing and generous gifts of friends and family.

I am also working on a large adult sized quilt out of black, white, and yellow fabrics. I am in the tedious stage of doing all of the cutting- a task I hate. I will show the progress once I begin actually sewing.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Introducing Gregory Ryan born Oct 9 at 9.5 lbs, 22.5" long. I thought I would miss sewing when this little one came along, but I am too busy to miss it and I am loving being a mom. I am not abandoning my hobby by any means, but it definitely has a backseat to other demands right now. Stay tuned though, I will be posting more soon enough.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Manhattan Bag...

When my SIL sees this, she might be confused. I made this exact bag for her last Christmas and recently decided to make one for myself with the exact same fabrics. I did this all in one day on Oct 6- trying to keep busy waiting for this baby to come. It's my last pre-baby project- I promise!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

New Quilt

Here's the last sewing project I did (at least as of this writing) while waiting for the baby to come. I also had this quilt long-armed and managed to make the binding as well as machine and hand sew the binding onto the quilt when I received it on Oct 1. I have to say that I am really happy with how it came out and I am mesmerized by all the colors. When I first finished the top, I was actually not really in love with it- way too busy. But the quilting, border, and even the binding and backing made it into a nice ensemble. But next time I make a big quilt like this for the bedroom, I am going to opt for something a little more subdued and less rainbow.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Baby Quilt

Well, this child, will not be cold this winter with all the blankets it has waiting for him or her. I forgot to take a picture of a really simple receiving blanket I made last week- just two pieces of flannel sewed together..... But anyway, here's the baby blanket that barely got quilted by the long-arm quilter. I know it might be pathetic for all you machine quilters out there to think that I paid to have this little thing long-armed, but it was so worth the $20 to not have the hassle, especially considering I have never quilted anything on my machine yet....

So I made this blanket because I wanted to have something smaller to use with the baby considering the other quilts I have made are quite large. The fabrics are all from the Sock monkey series and perfectly gender neutral in my opinion. (Which reminds me, I cannot tell you how many people were/are shocked and appalled that we chose not to find out the gender of our baby- will my child really be okay if it's room is not painted pink or blue? I think it will be just fine.) I sewed the binding on in record time, telling myself the baby cannot come until this is completed!

This pattern was EXTREMELY easy bytheway, I probably did the whole top in less than 2 hours. You can find how I did it here.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Just Kidding

Well, the baby is late and my last day of work was Sept 30, so I have had some time and suprisingly, some extra energy to be able to do some last minute sewing projects. So I guess I was wrong when I said that I wouldn't be posting much more..... I will schedule 2 more posts after this to show what I have been up to while I wait for this baby to come!

Last Monday was the first Chelmsford quilt guild meeting of the year and they are doing the box exchange. I really want to participate again, so I hurried and gathered this collection of fabrics from my stash to include in my swap. I am really pleased with what I put together- especially considering that I tend to rely on a certain "line" or "collection" from a particular designer rather than pick and choose in combining prints.

So this is my "sample block"- a double nine patch. Pretty easy, comes out to be 13 1/2 square. I am just asking those that receive my box to make more with the different fabrics I have included. I don't think I will make it to the October meeting but I have a friend who kindly offered to bring my box as well as retrieve the box/block I will be working on.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Last post for a while.....

Hello everyone,
I figured I ought to get in one last post before the baby comes. I just attempted making one of these and failed miserably. Believe it or not, I am tired of making baby stuff, so if I have any energy available between now and when the baby comes- I think I am going to return to making purses and adult-size quilts for a while. I have no idea what to expect, but I am pretty much planning on taking a major sewing break once the baby comes but I am also optimistic that stopping work full time might afford me a little more time (eventually) to be creative- there's always nap time, right?

I finally finished all the burp cloths- 34 to be exact. I don't plan on using them all for myself (meaning for my baby of course :) - I kind of went a little overboard in making so many but I did so to use up the flannel and scrap pieces of batting I had as well as it is a good project for when I feel tired and like not taking on a big project.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Birdie Sling

Here's a purse that's been months in the making. It's actually a pretty easy pattern (Amy Butler Birdie Sling) but it took a while because I was making it with a friend of mine and it was hard to get together often. The fabrics are Alexander Henry fabrics I scored at Joann's a while ago. It's going to a good friend of mine as a belated wedding present.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Nursery Revealed

So I have been absent from this blog for a while because I have been too busy sewing. Good excuse, right? Well, the nursery is nearly done. I say "nearly" because I made the mistake of looking at others' nursery sets online and got the idea that I need to make a pillow to put on the glider rocker..... We'll see. But anyway, this last week I made two curtains from a great book
my only complaint was that the pattern claimed the curtain should only take 2 hours. Yeah right! It takes that long to just sew the sides- which required hand sewing. Anyway, I am really pleased with how they came out.

On this curtain, I originally had two different colors of ribbon going down the seams - chocolate brown and apple green but ended up sewing brown on top of the green because the brown looked so much better. It really beat having to seam-rip it all out.

I wish I could take better pictures- I tried all sorts of different lighting with little luck. I need photography lessons!
Here are the bumpers setup in the crib that I made a while ago.

Another project that has kept me busy was getting the binding on the quilts after receiving them from the long-arm quilter. A kind friend helped me put the binding on one side and then I spent many hours hand sewing the other side. I actually got a blister from all the hand sewing, but it was the perfect relaxing kind of project for me as I am nearly 9 months pregnant!

Finally, here's the whole room put together. One for a baby boy, another for a baby girl. I know it's seriously lacking some wall decorations- but don't worry, I am not going to make some cheesy quilt-y wall hanging type of thing..... I am tossing around a few ideas and other ideas

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Nursing Cover

I made this nursing cover in a couple hours one night a few weeks ago. I was surprised at how quickly it came together. I love this fabric- gender neutral and tasteful! Here's a sneak peek at the backing fabric I chose for a small baby quilt I recently finished. I just went to the long arm quilter today and dopped off the big "Yellow Brick Road" quilt and the one below. She is going to have them done in a few weeks- I am going to make myself have the binding ready so that I can hurry and finish them before the baby comes!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Baby Stuff

Here's the portable changing pad that also has a pocket to hold wipes and diapers. I found the free tutorial here
It was REALLY easy and took me less than an hour to make. It's lined with Chenille, made out of one of Michael Miller's Tada Dot prints.
When I was dealing with a mid-summer cold several days ago, I got so bored of dumb movies- I went ahead and cut out a lot of burp cloths. I love making these- they are so cheap, easy, they use up otherwise useless pieces of batting, you don't have to worry about making them look perfect (hello! they are going to be spit up on!), and they make easy/fun gifts. I still have a lot of flannel from the Joann's day after Thanksgiving sale when it was 1.50 per yard. I will be making a lot of these hopefully.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Birthday Presents

I received some really pretty Heather Ross Mendocino prints about a month ago for my b-day: (I asked for these because Ross is stopping her design of fabrics indefinitely and I also wanted to challenge myself by working with a different kind of color scheme than I usually gravitate to. This fabrics is SO soft!) Nick also generously gave me a mix of prints I asked for as well as some patterns. I also received my first jelly roll.
It's funny how within the last year- all's I want to shop for, buy, or receive as a gift is FABRIC. There was a time in my life when I was all about clothes, shoes, books, etc.- or even times when I couldn't think of anything I really wanted. Now it's all about fabric... and I don't see that changing anytime soon. BUT- I have made a resolution to stop buying it now and then- as I often have been prone to do. So far, I have stuck to my resolution for about 3 weeks- so we'll see how it goes.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Queen Sized Quilt

A couple weeks ago I finished the 99 blocks for this quilt- and averaged doing 2 rows a week. But this past Saturday, I tackled it and got it all finished. Now I just need to add borders (which will require me to find the pattern in my really messy craft room. The fabrics include every print in the Erin McMorris Park Slope line- it's super bright and cheery. This is the first quilt I have made for myself in years- so I am excited! I will share this again with better pictures when it is completed.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

What I have Been Up To

Nick and I found out about an awesome sale at a grocery store. We bought 87 boxes of cereal- each box cost 10 cents a piece- a few varieties were 50 cents each. A sale like this seems to come around about every 6-12 months- so we take advantage of it when it comes around! We eat a ton of cereal, and I am not about to pay $4 a pop for something that lasts us both about 3 days..... We also got 48 bags of specialty Chex mix bags for about 25 cents a piece. We always brown bag our lunch, so it's nice to have a fun snack to tuck in with all the fruits and veggies we pack.

So things like this tend to take up my crafting time after work- I have also been dealing with the fatigue of pregnancy- it's all I can do to get through the work day most times at this point. I shocked myself this past Monday when I actually sewed for 4 hours- that was the pace I was going at pre-prego-ness. I managed to sew up 12 burp cloths, complete a portable changing pad/diaper case, and nearly complete the Birdie Sling I have been working on for a while. Pictures of those things are coming soon..... But meanwhile, I wanted to share some adorable handmade baby gifts I have recently received.

These sweet sweaters were knitted by a friend of mine. The picture doesn't capture the "apple green" of the first sweater. I love them! For my birthday, my sister-in-law sent me these CUTE bibs she made from the pattern found in Amy Karol's Bend the Rules. My fave is the third one on the second row- I am a sucker for fruit-themed patterns for some reason.

Finally, Missy also made this adorable Ruby Doll. You can find the free pattern here. I absolutely love her- hopefully I have a boy, then I won't have to share her.
More posts coming soon!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Latest project and awesome yard sale find

Hello everyone! Sorry it's been a while since I posted last. Things have gotten busier with having Nick back in town. I am not sewing as much because it still feels like a novelty to have him around and we have been having fun playing board games, going on dates, going to yard sales, and keeping up with our "side business" of selling books, music, and movies online. I think I am also sewing less because I have entered the fatigue zone of the third trimester where it's not comfortable to sit or stand too long and a full day at work zaps most of my energy, thus I am less productive in the evenings. But I have a zillion things I want to do! They include:

  • Using up a lot of my batting/stuffing that I have loads of from yard sales (Nick forbids me to buy anymore but I can't resist, plus it's funny to see the look on his face when I show him yet another bag of polyester stuffing). I really want to make lots of burp cloths and pillows. I really need to get going on this because of the need to clean out the craft room soon!

  • I started another Amy Butler Birdie Sling with a friend of mine. All the pieces are cut, I just need to attach the interfacing before I go to her house tomorrow to hopefully finish it up.

  • I have a few purses that need the hole in the lining sewed up, or magnetic snap closures inserted (something I couldn't do without Nick's help because those suckers are not easy to install).

  • I really want to finish the quilt that I showed started from the previous post because I am itching to have something new for the bed.

  • I want to make more baby stuff for myself: burp cloths, bibs, a portable changing pad, nursing cover, etc. I am even debating a simple curtain to go with the boy/girl sets I have made.

  • I need to put binding on the boy/girl quilts I recently received back from the longarm quilter- I am thrilled with her work and can't wait to make the blankets complete!

I could probably make a very long list of the free online tutorials I want to do, but researching that out is a project in and of itself.

We had our last sewing group before the summer recently and it was a huge success. A friend of mine did an awesome job organizing everything and we had the highest attendance yet. We made breakfast themed felt food and it is adorable, easy, and very affordable. Here's the set I came home with:

I came home with at least 30 unfinished strawberries, just because there was a lot extra. I find it relaxing to make them while I am watching a movie or something (each one takes about 5 mins of hand sewing). This activity was such a hit, I think it would be fun to do "lunch" and "dinner" themed felt food in the future.

Finally, here's probably the best crafty yard sale find I have found yet:

Isn't it gorgeous? I know the picture is not great, but it will do. I am thrilled! The fabrics look like they are from the 1940's - it's in impeccable shape, no stains, tears. It's ready to go. I am going to get some backing for it on my next Marden's trip and just get it done. The most shocking thing about it is that when I found it, I told Nick- hey, I don't care if this is $20-$30 (which would be a steal in and of itself, but it is a lot to spend in a yard sale when we mostly spend a dollar here and there) and then the lady sold it to me for $1.50!!!!! I couldn't get my money out fast enough!

I hope to be posting more soon....

Friday, June 12, 2009

Working on.....

I recently returned to a "UFO" project- a queen sized quilt made up of Erin McMorris' Park Slope line. Years ago quilting was the only sewing I did and it feels nice to get back to it for a little while. I started this right before I found out I was pregnant, so I dropped it to start making the baby stuff. Now- I have the perspective that I not only need to make lots of the baby stuff, but do as many projects as I can, given the time constraints I will soon face with a newborn.....

Thursday, June 11, 2009


I finally finished the project I've been procrastinating: Bumpers for the boy-themed nursery. The fabrics I chose aren't strictly masculine- but it's really cute in my humble opinion. Making this set was much easier than the first set I did, I guess it helps when you know what you're doing. I will model the nursery stuff once I set up the crib- which I am delaying as long as possible (craft room is soon to be baby room - which presents the problem of not knowing what to do with all my fabric, batting, etc.)

Tuesday, June 09, 2009