I hope to inspire and entertain you with a lot of sewing and a little of everything else!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Shrimp on the Baby!

Don't you love that title? It came to me while I was sewing!
Yes, finally some sewing. This end-of-school-year has been especially busy. Maybe it's because I've been working 2 (very) part-time jobs or is it the 5 kids having field trips, concerts, field days, recitals, writer's festivals, book fairs, science fair, and even a 6th grade graduation! Never mind that yesterday I had 27 quilting friends here for our Guild Potluck! Add in a generous dollop of dentist and doctor visits and you can see we've been busy! It all ends on the 20th though- the last day of school for my kiddos. I am totally sleeping late on the 21st!!
But back to the "shrimp on the baby" outfit. I had to say it again- so clever!
This top was a free pattern over at Grammie's Dolls Facebook Group. Theresa ran a sew-along and gave us all the free smocked peasant top in sizes from NB-ladies! It was a quick, fun sew and I love the result!
This picture shows the color a bit better- it is a pretty turquoise background. The fabric is called "Bento Box" and I found it on clearance at one of my favorite quilt shops- I think it was $3/yd. Now that I have used some, I will have to buy more, of course!
The top has a bit of smocking on the front and I added piping under the little bias binding. The rest of the neckline is elastic, so no need for buttons or plackets! Easy peasy!
I made the "top" length rather than "dress" length, as I felt the shrimp fabric was very summery. So, I made these very quick shorties to go underneath. The top and shorties have a ruffle of red poly/cotton broadcloth. I love 100% cotton, but I don't like ironing ruffles, so the broadcloth is a nice compromise.
We are finally getting some hot weather here, after weeks of 50s and 60s. It will be in the 90s for the next few days. Sounds like time to visit the lake! Enjoy!!

Monday, May 29, 2017

New Chicks at our House!

We were out of commission for a little while with the sickies, but I'm back to sewing and doing lots of stuff! 
On May the Fourth (be with you) aka Star Wars Day around here, we got 5 sweet little chicks. Isn't the wing detail on this photo beautiful?

Meet: Princess Layer
 Qui Gon Hen
 and Hen Solo
 aren't they cute? They are all girls and will join our 3 mature hens later this summer. 2 are brown egg layers, one white, and 2 will be blue/green. We will have a rainbow of eggs this Fall!

Friday, April 28, 2017

"Charming" Animal Baby Quilt

I have been participating in a charm square swap. I send charms (5" squares) to 10 people and they send them to me. I have accumulated quite a pile in several months. While on retreat, I was sorting through and thought I had enough juvenile animal charms for a baby quilt.
My friend Barbara was working on a version of "Disappearing 9 Patch" on retreat and I decided to do this version for the quilt. It is simple: just make 9 patch blocks and cut them in half vertically and horizontally. Re-arrange and sew into new, more interesting blocks.
Here is a single block. The yellow made up 4 of the squares and the animal prints the other 5 of the 9-patch. I originally cut black Kona cotton, but then I decided black might not be great for babies and used the cheerful yellow.
This will be donated to my Guild's "Comfort Closet" to give a newborn a cozy start.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Tiny Baby Grow!

I am always looking for new patterns for preemies, to donate to Wee Care. I sometimes wonder if parents of boys/modern moms would like a knit option as opposed to the lovely smocked gowns. I know in New England, smocking isn't common even on girls, nevermind boys. I found this free pattern for a knit sleeper. I think in England these are called a "baby grow". I think that's a great name for a preemie outfit, since growing is their primary job! Anyways, this is an easy and  quick little pattern due to the lack of gussets or shaped feet. I need to try it on a doll, but it looks like it is nicely proportioned.
Here it is next to my iphone 5- not as big as the iphone 6 or 7! It is probably about 12" long total, so maybe it would fit a 3-4 lb baby? I want to try it again in a boyish knit.
It fastens with just 2 little Kam snaps. It is true what everyone says- the Kam snaps are easy to apply and I like the plastic for casual baby wear, since there is no danger of metal prongs if they come undone.
What do you think? Would  a preemie parent like this option?

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Pretty Smocked Baby Gown

I smocked this little baby gown for Wee Care. It has been a work in progress for awhile. Like so many of my projects, it just needs a hem and fastenings.
It is white Imperial batiste. I had always wanted to try this embroidery design, from Vermillion. They have the loveliest cross-stitch designs I have ever seen for machine embroidery. In fact, they also offer charts for hand cross-stitch- but that would take me too long.
The white shadow is the stabilizer I need to wash out. This design is actually 1/2 of the original, which is a square of ribbons. Possibly because I cut it in half, it stitched with many jumps and traveling stitches, but I love it anyway!!
I smocked a few simple rows to match the colors in the embroidery and bound the neck and sleeves with bits of yellow cotton gingham left-overs from another dress.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Chicken T-shirt

If you have been reading this blog for awhile, you know I have pet chickens. So, when I saw this soft cute chicken knit, I knew I had to make myself a shirt!
The fabri is Birch Organics cotton knit and it is such nice quality. Very soft and thick. It was a quick project to make a raglan T for myself.
My next post will show you the project I made with this gorgeous cross-stitch embroidery!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Adorable New Embroideries Just Listed!

Here is the adorable ART BUNNY! All the designs come in 4x4 and 5x7. These look like old-fashioned hand-stitched embroidery, but in a fraction of the time! These designs are perfect for Easter and beyond. Check them out!! MY ETSY SHOP





Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Comforting Pillowcases

On Friday, I hosted a "Pillowcase Workshop" at my house. We are in the middle of strep throat, so it has been a bit busy here.
About 14 ladies from my Quilt Guild came and sewed. We made pillowcases for our Comfort Quilt Closet. These are destined to be used as wrappers for quilts presented to people.  Besides making a nice presentation, the pillowcases are useful, too.
We made them using the "Sausage" method wherein the cuff encases the seam, so it's nice and neat. Most of them have an accent strip, too. We had some fun novelty prints to work with. They are so  quick to make, I think I should make some for my own family! We actually will end up with more than 20, because people brought some home to work on, too.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Comfy Joggers for Andy!

I made joggers for Andy this week! They are a very soft cotton French Terry from JoAnn's. The cuffs are cotton ribbing with dinosaurs. The pattern is Boxwood Joggers by Sew Like My Mom. 
The side view shows the triangular insert. There is also an option to have a pocket over the insert, so plenty of options.
Elastic is hidden in the waistband to keep them up.

Andy loves wearing these around the house! Katie has asked for some in ladies size, so I'll be off to try that pattern next!!

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Row Robin Begins...

You might remember these little vintage blocks I shared a few weeks ago. I stitched them to make the first row for a Row Robin project I am participating in with my Quilt Guild. We have groups of 6 people. Everyone makes a row for their own quilt, then it gets passed each month to someone else in the group. By June, we will each get our rows back with 6 total rows made by 6 different people.

I struggled with a theme, but finally decided to do something for my "business:" Mommy's Apron Strings. I did the embroidery row, because I don't think my quilting friends do machine embroidery.
I put a lot of fabric into the bag- mostly 30s prints, pretty florals, ginghams, etc. I am hoping someone will do a row of little aprons!

I made pinwheel blocks to go between the embroidered motifs.
The banner with "Mommy's Apron Strings" was done in 3 6x10 hoopings. I did not attach the rows together, because I have to see what I get back first.
The embroideries are stitched in DMC 50wt cotton thread, with an 80wt Madeira cotona in the bobbin. I like to use cotton thread for my heirloom projects. However, I have very few colors, which helped dictate which designs I could choose (and that's why we have a blue lamb!)

I will be working on my friend's row tomorrow- it is a challenging one with a cat/home sweet home theme. Still not sure what to do, but it's due next week so I need to get busy!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Valentine Quilted Table Topper

I got a new kitchen set, which I will share soon. Since then, I've wanted to make a table topper to make it festive. I didn't have time for Christmas, but I found a quick idea for Valentine's Day.
This table topper is easily made by sewing strips together in a long piece, then cutting 60 degree triangles from it and flipping every other one so they form a hexagon. I didn't take pictures of the process. I like how both pink rows matched up with themselves to form rings.
It makes the kitchen look very festive! I was afraid the pink and red would look funny, since those colors aren't in the kitchen, but it looks great!
I didn't have any batting on hand, so I used a piece of white flannel instead and I like it. It has body without being fluffy, which is good if you are going to put dishes on it. I have not done the binding yet, because I only bought a little of each fabric and I don't have enough.
Here's a closer look at the fabrics and my free-motion meander quilting. It is great to practice on a small item like this. I'm not great at it, but I am pleased with the result. I had to use straight pins to baste it and I would just undo a small area, quilt it, then move to another area.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Fidget Quilts are Fun

Someone in my quilt Guild suggested we make "Fidget Quilts" for Alzheimers patients. They are little lap size activity quilts with different activities to "fidget" with. I thought this was a great idea and it was actually quite fun to work on too!
I run the morning programs at our Guild, so I felt I had to bring a sample. Katie offered to make one, too. So off we went to the hardware and dollar stores for some good fidgety gadgets.
The hardware store was a small local one and they were wonderful. They have me a whole bag of keys and a large piece of fiberglass screen for free. I also purchased some doo-dads.
Above is Katie's quilt. She made one for a woman and incorporated a baby sock filled with marbles, a clip bracelet, beads on shoelaces, and a soft doll with a swaddling blanket and a little brush. There is a mirror-like piece of silver sequin fabric. Oh, yes, also some rattly measuring spoons! Hers is on flannel with a fleece backing.
I made mine geared towards a man. It has the front of kids jeans with buttons, zipper, and pockets. There is a cottony mop head, a plumbing pipe that can be screwed together, keys on a string, a dog collar buckle, and marbles sealed in screen.
Inside the jeans is a soft monkey and a brush to comb his fur. I used a remnant of auto canvas and it is backed with flannel.
We had a lot of fun making these and I hope they will help someone pass some time.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Vintage Embroideries for a Project

I am getting ready for a special project later this week, so I had to stitch 5 of my vintage embroideries today. I used DMC cotton 50 wt thread because these will be part of a quilt and I didn't want to use rayon or poly thread.
Baby Bear has a navy blue spoon because I didn't have gray. I only have about 15 colors in the cotton thread.
This doggy is always a favorite! The only good "animal" color I had was the brown, so I had to get creative...
Blue lambs are a thing, right?
I know baby ducks are yellow! I just love this one. It always makes me smile.
My first time doing my "bead doll" in pastels. I like it! This one is not a big seller, but I don't know why because to me it is very "mid century" and cute!
Tomorrow I have to work on the project with these because I need it for Friday, so back soon...