Thursday, June 24, 2010

Table Topper Quilt

I am almost finished with the quilt topper and am making for my Mom's birthday. The quilt has some definite flaws, which you will see soon, however this is only the 3rd quilt I have done so I am really quite pleased. I did, as I mentioned in an earlier post, mess up in the layout. I settled on this layout for it
Overall the quilt top, in my opinion, looks good. The only obvious error is 4 of my points are a little off. You can only tell if you look really close, and still I think it is good for being new to this.

Here it is finished, I just need to blind stitch the binding.
I am making another one for my sister so we shall see how that turns out. I learned some tips from this project that should make the next one easier.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Furniture Updating

I recently decided to update my wicker porch furniture. The one thing that I LOVE is a can of spray paint. I mean really, spray paint just makes everything better. Last year at a garage sale my Mom found a wicker sofa and table for my front porch. They are both beautiful pieces, however the color blue was just not doing it for my front porch. We also have 2 Adirondack chairs that desperately needed painted. So, I headed out to Pat Catan's and stocked up on spray paint. I really wanted to use red and black, however I did not want a bright red. Fortunately RustOleum makes a great American Accents color called Colonial Red.
This project took a ridiculous amount of spray paint, and now that I look at the Adirondack chairs they need more coats. I also need to put some finishing touches on the porch and change the pillows. I am thinking I want to do the cushions in a red and creme and maybe a black pattern on the chairs. Here is what it looks like now:

While rooting around in our garage I found an old step ladder (the previous owners were kind enough to leave their junk behind in the garage) that was calling out for spray paint. I am thinking I will stack flower pots on it.
I am very pleased with the way these turned out. I feel that it ties the porch together and certainly gives it a more finished look. The cushions are the only thing that are left; I just need to find a fabric I like.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day & Quilting Conundrum

We have had a wonderful Father's Day! Matt went golfing yesterday so Eleanor and I stayed in and crafted. While it was sunny out, it was also in the 90's and I was not doing it. So, we decided to work on making gifts for Daddy. Let me first say that Matt and I are not big on gift giving for each other. We dated for 6 years before getting married and struggled to come up with gift ideas for each other. So, after getting married and then having Eleanor, we just decided to stop giving gifts to each other. We both have more than enough and it is just not necessary - in our opinion. In the last year or so, Eleanor has become more aware of holidays and wanting to give gifts. As a result, we make gifts here. We love doing this and Eleanor's enthusiasm to give a gift she has made is unbelievable.
So, a couple of days ago Shannon had a fun post about salt dough. It looked like so much fun and I knew it was perfect for Eleanor. The dough was very easy to make, I just had to add extra flour.
The only hard thing was waiting for them to cook for an hour and then cool.
Then it was time to paint. As you can see, Eleanor was intent on her job. She would NOT look at me for a picture. Also, note she is still in her somewhat tacky nightgown (she picked the fabric out and I will never sew with satin type fabric again) - it was at least 1:30 or so. That was the type of day we had!
Thanks to Shannon, we know have an awesome craft for rainy/snowy/just darn lazy days.

On a sewing note, I have been busy working on a cover for this futon for a friend from my book club. It is a great sofa/futon, however the only cover for it was white. I have been sewing a denim slipcover for her that is almost done. I simply need to get the velcro for it, I will post a picture when it is finished. Needless to say, that project has been taking up a great deal of time. I have had 2 quilting projects I have been dying to jump into. First is the table runner that I mentioned in my earlier post. The second, and more immediate, is a gift for my Mom and Sister for their birthdays. I have started work on the table topper using the Make Life by Sweetwater for Moda fabric that I mentioned in my earlier post. I started work on my Mom's today, however bedtime did not go easy and I was up and down, up and down. So, I messed up. Fortunately, it will not be a hard fix. All of the dark fabrics are supposed to be in a diamond shape in the center with the white fabrics outside like this. Mine looks like this
or this
As you can see in the solid red/blue paisley block and the yellow floral/blue star block I am going to have to have a dark color on the outside. It is really not a big deal, however when I make the same topper for my sister I will make sure to follow the directions closely. I am thinking I am going to go with the second layout, in the first one the red is just too much. I have one week to finish this up!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Expanding a Summer Wardrobe

One of my biggest struggles as a Mom of a little girl, is my desire to dress her in adorable clothing yet not spend a fortune. There are some incredible boutique clothing out there, however I cannot (and will not) justify spending $50+ on an outfit. Another personal desire of mine is that I would like Eleanor to look like the 3 year old that she is, not a miniature teen - I have plenty of years ahead of me to fight with her over how she is dressed.
I have been sewing since college, however at that time I primarily made purses. Once Eleanor was born and I was at home full time, I began sewing more. My main struggle then was the basic patterns you can find at JoAnn Fabrics. These patterns are often at least $10 and once I have cut out the size 1, I am done. If I want to make the outfit when she is bigger, I have to buy it again.
Rewind back 2.5 years ago - I discovered sewing pattern HEAVEN. We have all had those late nights where we cannot sleep and we suddenly spent 4 hours online. It was one of these nights that I discovered These brilliant woman have created what is basically an online craft/sewing/quilting store. Most of the patterns are created by stay at home Moms. They are all sent to you in PDF form - hello instant gratification. The BEST thing about these patterns is you just print it out again when you need the next size up - it does not cost a thing.
My favorite pattern designer from this website is Aimee Poche. You have to check her out. She is a phenomenal mother of 8, yes 8! Where she finds the time to design patterns I do not know. The other thing I love about Aimee is her availability. You can email or tweet her with any questions and she always gets back to you. She is so helpful and I just love being able to support her. Even if you do not sew, you just have to check her out.
As I have begun sewing with more frequency, I have found that I have been better at taking clothes I see in the store and figuring out how I can make them at home. I have also been able to find ways to stretch Eleanor's clothing to last more than one season. Eleanor is a very tall but skinny child - length wise she is a 4T however weight wise she is 24mths. I have started sewing fabric cuffs and ruffles on her jeans, pants and leggings.
These twirl skirts are one of my favorites. They are quite full so do not photograph well (there may also be a quality problem with the photographer) however they are just precious. The cupcake skirt will easily carry into the fall/winter with a pair of brown or pink leggings. They look so cute with any t-shirt and Eleanor just loves anything that twirls.

These skirts are a modification of the Sew Sensible Twirl Skort. I saw them on Aimee's blog around Christmas and she gave me the modifications to make the Twirl Skort into a skirt. It is the easiest skirt to make! I do also love the Twirl Skort, however I usually make that for the fall/winter. The flag tee and the flower tee are both old t-shirts from last year. The flag applique is hiding a VERY large hot fudge sundae stain. I do not throw out stained t-shirts, instead we use them in the backyard for gardening or I applique them a presto - a custom outfit made from scraps! Applique is so much easier than I thought, I learned it from a very easy tutorial found here. It is also a great way to cover a hole.
The bloomers and shorts above are from the Sew Sensible Boutique Bottoms . In the fall and winter I absolutely love them as long pants, in the spring they make great capris. I love them as bloomers and shorts in the summer. They take less than a yard of fabric and I rarely spend more than $5 to make a pair. The baseball top is from the Sew Boutique A-Line Dress and Top. The top/dress can be either lined or reversible. When I choose to line it, I always use the same fabric. That way, if one side gets stained it does not matter, just flip it over! The white top is a new pattern from SisBoom. I have made it in both a dress and top, it is fabulous for hot weather. The white fabric is simple muslin, with my JoAnn Coupon I got 5 yards for $5. I have made a skirt, shorts, bloomers, and a top out of it - I still have some left! Cannot beat that deal.
My all time favorite is the Pillowcase Dress. There are many patterns out there, however this one is by far my favorite. The instructions are so easy to follow. This will serve as a dress this year and a top next year. Eleanor wore many pillowcase tops this last Christmas that were dresses the year before. The width is easily adjustable because it gathers. I have also added borders to tops to get another year out of them.

Well, I hope you stuck with me this long! I finds so many of my tips and tricks off of other blogs. It is amazing how many talented Moms are out there. Do you sew? Do you have any great tips? Please share, if for no other reason I would love to know somebody read this:)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Birthday Runner and More

So here is one of my current projects. I am making this table runner for E's birthday. I got the idea from They had a FREE mystery block runner. I changed it around a bit. I am going to use the polka dot fabric to make her skirt. I also am going to look into making a matching birthday banner. I do not have a Cricut so I am trying to come up with ways to get all the letters cut out. Here is the runner, I just need to bind it and quilt it.

I also recently signed up for the Fresh and Fancy Table Runner of the Month at I have to finish a paying job first, but I cannot wait to start.

I also found a fabulous deal on Make Life. . . . by Sweetwater for Moda at today - 40% off everything! I ordered enough to make 2 table runners from as gifts, all for $21 with shipping - cannot beat that!

Alas, before I jump into any of these projects I must finish a slipcover I was hired to do. I am really going to have some late nights. We so far have spent most days at the pool, which leads to napping in the afternoon, something my 3 year old has not done in a year!

Here It Goes

I have toyed with this blog since January, yes January. For awhile it was going to be an online store for selling my clothing creations. However, in my exploration of other crafty blogs, I have decided to use this to document all of my crafty successes and failures. I am thinking I just might start an Etsy shop instead. Who knows how this will go, it may be that nobody ever reads and it fizzles out. We shall see. . .