It’s a Red Letter Day!

Hey, thanks for all the quilt love! You guys are so good at affirming my craftiness!

Wanted to share two more projects made with the Red Letter Day left over from the quilt. I can’t get enough of these cute ducks. Here’s a Lickety Split Bag:

and a pair of 6-12 month baby pants, need to make a matching onesie or something yet:

We had a couple of nice sunny days this week despite the coooooold weather. I took a few shots of my cozy sewing room which also doubles as a guest room. Here’s a vintage dresser from my parents with some of my craft/sewing/knitting books:

Oh hey now let’s go in just a little closer, shall we??

Hmm, what is THAT handsome book sitting there on the top of the stack?

It’s One Yard Wonders, the completely awesome new sewing book which also happens to have two of my patterns in it! Yaaaaaaaay *does Kermit arms*!

Which two patterns, you ask?

The Summer Nighty (which many of you have been sweet enough to email me about already…so nice to hear so many of you like it!)…

and a big* hanging laundry bag which also made the back cover (woohoo!):

*although this picture makes it look pretty small for some reason…I’ve been trying to figure out why and I think that the large shirt hanging to the left makes it look smaller than it actually is (the finished dimensions are 21×31″)

I’m so excited about so many of the other fantastic projects in here; it’s such a cool collaboration from a ton of great bloggers. And I’m kindof wishing there was an online list of all the blogs that contributed. Does anyone know of this? There’s also a sweepstakes to win free fabric for a year! (Can contributors enter???)

Off to work on my kids’ Christmas outfits…

Bowtie Baby Quilt

Clementine’s quilt is finished…got the last of the binding put on the other day, by machine of course and then handstitching all the places I missed. I am such a campy quilter it’s not even funny. Having never had any formal training in the quilting dept, I cheat in every way imaginable. Although I found a very helpful tutorial on applying binding in a recent issue of Sew Hip, which I purchased at JoAnn (of all places) a couple of weeks ago. When I got home I sat for a good half hour reading it going, “Oh…oh!” as I discovered how Real Quilters apply binding. Enlightening. Which brings me to question number one: what other sewing magazines do you guys like?

The blocks for this quilt are unbelievably easy…there’s a trick to doing them quickly so you don’t have to cut any triangles. Which I don’t have time to show you right now. I will say though that I started with 42 seven inch squares, half of which are white, and made two blocks at a time. The final size of each square is 6″ so you can use a yard of fabric to back it. The finished size is 36″x42.”

The bow-tie design happened accidentally; I was trying to do a pinwheel quilt but got confused and ended up with bow-ties. Then I thought I was being pretty original until I saw this cute pattern from Sometimes Crafter and realized (duh) that there’s really nothing new here. I still like it.

Fabrics I used: Lizzy House’s Red Letter Day, Anna Griffin’s Riley Bunnies, and Alexander Henry mushrooms and numbers.

I used a triple row of stitching along the vertical and horizontal lines mainly so I could use my presser foot to quilt it but maybe also so they would cover up those seams which may not have landed exactly where they were supposed to…*ahem*.

This quilt has alot of WHITE. Perhaps the reason this is now so clear to me is that I accidentally got chocolate on it. In more than one place. Hmm. I’m pretty sure this is a Quilting No-No, and I do not recommend. In my defense, immediately prior to the commencement of quilting I took a trip to the Holland Peanut Store (was visiting West MI for T-day) to procure seafoam, which apparently does not exist on my side of the state. Enough said. So that brings me to question number two: are there other places where seafoam can be purchased besides Holland, Michigan? And if not, has anyone ever made it successfully?

Here’s Sporty Spice With The Hair taking it out for a spin:

Now I need to go throw it in the wash.

Posted in quilting

Stripey Felt Christmas Stocking

Not much Christmas crafting going on around here this year yet (honestly, I am just happy I got the tree up), but I hadn’t found a felt stocking for Clementine as of last week, so I pulled this number together over the weekend:

I’m feeling pretty clever here. The beauty of this one is that it was made completely of small (9×12″) sheets of wool felt, eight to be exact (plus a few scraps of acrylic I used for the holly adornment). I always have a tough time finding felt by-the-yard that is also cute, but this felt from Heather Bailey was really adorable and just had to be bought. I’m also hoping to add a letter “C” yet or embroider her name on it yet, but we’ll see what we have time for…

Posted in holidays

Gnomey Hat…DONE!

Look what I finished over Thanksgiving weekend:

Pattern: Gnomey Hat by Hello Yarn
Yarn: Deborah Norville’s (I know…right?) Serenity Chunky
Needles: Size 10 DPNs
Accidental modifications: not knowing the difference between garter stitch and reverse stockinette (I know…right?), the section that is supposed to be garter curls pretty severely. Having already pulled the whole thing out a couple of times by the time it was pointed out to me by a more experienced knitter, I opted to just let it go. Deep breaths. Luckily Clementine hasn’t complained (noticed?) yet.

Here it is, prior to end-weaving, on its (I think obviously pleased) recipient. Pretty happy grandpa too, eh?

Posted in knitting

Am back from Mexico! Am missing coconut ice cream!

After the last post I had an epiphany. You don’t really read my blog for the sewing, although that’s maybe how it started. Now you’re here for the baby pictures. You’re a bunch of Baby Junkies, am I right? Well here’s your fix for the day:

We’re back from Cancun, where I slathered SPF 70 lotion on myself and Elliot all last week and kept Clementine out of the sun completely. So we don’t look like we went to Mexico, but boy did we have fun. And wonderful, warm humid weather.

I had a crisis a couple weeks ago when I realized I really had no nice dressy things for dinners out (due to my post-partum body redistribution and slight weight gain…ack!), so I threw this dress together in a day or so. The cut is very simple, really just a couple of shaped rectangles. I pleated the waistband and then shirred it with elastic thread ala Heather Ross‘ Weekend Sewing shirring technique (BTW I just went to her blog to get the link, started reading, and oh my dear goodness is that woman ever funny. Do yourself a favor and subscribe if you haven’t already).

I was going for an empire waist, which is not quite what I got, but oh well. This is superduper comfortable, even if it isn’t high fashion. It’s about knee-length, which you can sort-of see in the picture below.

The fabric is from IKEA, which looked vaguely familiar; then I got home and looked at the Itty Bitty Dress Pool and realized that this baby dress is the same fabric. I have to say I love the orange and pink combination. And the pockets. The main drawback is that I can’t nurse in it without pulling the whole thing up. Gah.

All in all though am v. pleased with results and plan to make another one, slightly more fitted with a drawstring waist. And I need input here so what do you think: should the waist go up or down? It seems to be too high, or too low? I can’t decide…

Also just wanted to report I am making progress on this as well:

Clementine Likes Yarn

Took a quick break from the swimsuits and sundresses yesterday to start this Gnomey Hat by Hello Yarn (spotted recently at SouleMama as well). You know, the sort of project that makes perfect sense when you’re about to leave for Mexico [end sarcasm].

Except somebody started eating my yarn during the fitting…

Posted in knitting

Fairy Tale Quilt

Too many things to blog about, too little time. That really sums up how I feel right now as time with two hands free is so hard to come by. I’ve got a purse pattern in the works (ack, why can’t I do that faster??), a new dress for Mexico I want to show you, a baby quilt that’s almost finished, and then the other day in a moment of inspiration/insanity at Fields in Holland (Michigan), I bought swim material. For a swimsuit. For me. Yes friends I have completely lost it.

And I wish so badly that these pictures weren’t so grainy, but I’m just going to barrel ahead with this post anyway and not obsess about it. HURRAH HURRAH I am finally finally finished with Elliot’s fairy tale quilt!!!

I figure I have about six more months before he decides he’d rather have Star Wars sheets (overheard during book reading: “Wuke faw in Jabba’s twap!”) than his mama’s choice in bedspreads, so I’m glad I got this finished now. Not to mention how excited I am to have the real estate free in my sewing closet. Boy howdy.

He loves the fairy tale pictures (Gingerbread Man, Wizard of Oz, and Jack and the Beanstalk) and has been pointing to the various figures and animals and talking about them.

It was started last year (I posted a preview pic here, those Rocket PJ’s still fit him by the way) with Superbuzzy fabric that was ordered maybe a year before that, so unfortunately as far as I know you really can’t get any of this fabric anymore. The checks are Moda and the stripes are old IKEA fabric.

The pattern for this came from Amy Karol’s Bend the Rules Sewing, which my dear friend Giedra also used to make a quilt for her toddler as well. I totally stole the idea from her, so now we both have BTRS quilts for our toddlers. You can see a preview of hers here, it’s so cute with owls and turquoise…and we were just talking about these the other day, which is what motivated me to finally finish. So thanks, G!

Mine’s slightly different than the book pattern in that I added 12″ of chenille to the edges. This really explains in a nutshell why it sat in my closet for so long. The chenille was kindof a nightmare to work with, compounded by the fact that all of the fairy tale fabrics are mid-weight canvas (that’s why you’ve seen them here and here before), making this a puckery disaster. I salvaged it…but NEVER AGAIN I TELL YOU. Just learn from my mistakes, will you? Use quilting cotton for quilts. And nothing else.

Oh and I also wanted to show off a closeup of the vintage Irmi lamp that I refurbed (cleaned up, retouched paint, rewired) and now lives in E’s room:

The ferris wheel winds up and plays “Somewhere over the Rainbow.” I love it.

Posted in quilting

For the lower half

A few toddler boy bottoms for you today…

My mother-in-law came to stay with us a couple of weeks ago and potty-trained Elliot over the course of a week. What a saint. It’s been so great. My diaper laundry went to half overnight. We are a little short on undies so I made these cute little helicopter ones with Bonnie’s pattern for undies, adding a little PUL in the middle to help with accidents:

Bonnie’s blog is worth checking out; she does all sorts of great sewing with knits. I “met” Bonnie during Spring Top Week last year. And looking up her blog address I just discovered that she has a new newborn layette pattern out too–so awesome!

Elliot loves them because they have helicopters. I love them because (unlike his Thomas-the-train ones) he can actually pull them up and down by himself. One of those little problems you never think about when purchasing store-bought undies.

Now for the suits…we’re going to Mexico with Mr Rae’s family next month, and of course it didn’t occur to me at the end of the summer to look for a suit that would fit E (hrrm, you’d think I was busy or something). This pattern was in the Ottobre Summer 3/2009 issue (click on 3/2009 issue, page 18), so I thought I’d give it a try.

I won’t lie, this one wasn’t easy. I would never recommend trying this pattern without a serger, and I still wish I had an overlock machine for the leg seams. But overall I’m pleased with the result, and they look SO european on him it’s just adorable, so I made a second one (see top pic). This picture really emphasizes the flaws but it looks better in real life. The two colors also contrast more in real life; the navy is darker and the turquoise is brighter.

Other things I’m working on:

  • I’ve been reading Getting Things Done by David Allen (any GTD folks out there? this is a personal organization system that has developed a cult following for it’s effectiveness/simplicity) and so this past week I finally got my email inbox under 1000. Yes you read that right, it’s insane. I know that there are hundreds of people still waiting for answers from me to requests and inquiries, so hang in there…right now I’m still catching up on stuff from the summer…
  • Got the Olive and Archie PDF pattern set from Elli for my birthday…so cute! It just screams Christmas to me, so I’m putting that one on the list.
  • This morning I’m going to kick it into High Gear on the Bonsai Bag pattern so that those who wanted it can get it soon. For those wondering, it will have recessed zipper instructions included.

Oh and I must be completely insane, because I started this last week too: