A rag quilt for Baby B

I love experimenting with different patterns and projects, which means I rarely make the same thing twice. But recently, I’ve repeated some projects-from-the-past and learned the benefits of creating something familiar and dependable.

Remember the Mustaches & Elephants quilt I made for my friend Amanda? It doesn’t seem that long ago, but Amanda’s little guy, Liam, is now over a year old – it’s crazy how time flies! And Liam will soon have a buddy to hang out with on weekends, because mine and Amanda’s mutual friend Beth is now pregnant with a little boy too.

So naturally, I decided Beth’s baby boy needed to have the same quilt as Liam. Only, instead of mustaches and elephants, I went with “sports” to match the theme of the shower and the baby’s nursery. Puppies playing sports, to be more specific. Who doesn’t love puppies??? Playing sports??? Continue reading

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#SewMyStash2015: Bag Challenge

In the spirit of #SewMyStash2015 (the latest challenge is to sew a bag consisting of 75% stash fabrics) — here’s my latest, magical addition!

I made a second rendition of the Zip and Go bag I made for my mom using the wonderful pattern from Dog Under My Desk – only, this time, I went the “selfish sewing” route and made it for myself. With all the time I spend perusing Disney parks, I was determined to make a a Zip and Go theme park bag for myself.

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My new bag’s Disney theme park debut!

Where did that magical fabric come from, you ask? Um. Well. It used to be a pair of boxer shorts! How’s that for upcycling?

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Starring Winnie!

The night before my roommate Katie‘s birthday, she heard me rustling through my craft supplies and asked what I was doing. I told her I was making her a birthday coupon. She thought I was kidding, but I wasn’t.

FYI, a "cug" (according to Katie's niece) is a combination cuddle/hug. Also, Winnie hates balloons - hence the PSA.

FYI, a “CUG” (according to Katie’s niece) is a cuddle/hug combo. Also, Winnie hates balloons – hence the PSA.

The idea of a “coupon gift” seems a little silly in adulthood, but I really wanted Katie to make the decision about what I should make… using this INCREDIBLE WINNIE FABRIC.

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Yes, that is Katie’s dog, Winnie. I designed this custom fabric using real photos of Winnie and printed a yard of it at Spoonflower.com.

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In defense of making doll clothes…

As a baby of the eighties, my most defining childhood moments took place in the 1990’s – so just add me to the long list of millennials who get a misty, nostalgic look when reminiscing about American Girl dolls. Yes, American Girl dolls are still around and have continued to exponentially grow in popularity… but there’s something special about those early years when there were only three historical dolls and purchases only followed hours and hours of pouring over the snail mail catalog.

For anyone who has ever had an American Girl doll, there’s something sort of defining about declaring who “your” doll was – your first doll, or your doll of choice, that is. For me, that was Molly, the character representing the World War II era. I received the book Meet Molly as a gift in 1990, and the rest is history. I quickly plowed through all the books in the series and the Molly doll was at the top of my Christmas list for Santa that year.

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Over the years, I received a few additional outfits and accessories for Molly from the beloved, dog-eared American Girl catalog that arrived in the mail every few months. Then I received a gift for my First Holy Communion from a family friend — a First Communion dress for Molly that even included a clip-on veil. Whaaaaaaat??? My eight-year-old mind was blown. There were doll clothes out there that weren’t in the catalog. There were people out there who could make anything I wanted for Molly. This was all news to me.

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DONUT underestimate the power of paper piecing

This post is about donuts. And paper piecing.

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens…
Bright frosted DONUTS that haven’t been bitten…
Quilty techniques on the gifts Santa brings… 
These are a few of my favorite things.

I looooooooooooooove donuts.

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Donuts complete me.

So does my roommate Katie. When one of us says, “I want donuts,” the other roommate says, “NOM” and then we’re in the car en route to our local donut provider in a matter of minutes. We have donut ornaments on our Christmas tree. And the dog has donut toys.

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I’ve already told you about how Katie is crafty (or rather, “Krafty”) so this year’s Christmas present for Katie was a combination of our mutual love for both donuts and crafts.

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The skinny on alterations

I’m short. I’ve always been short. I didn’t like it when I was younger, but now I’ve grown accustomed to it and even appreciate it being one of my more defining traits.

Wait for me I have little legs

In my world, there’s always an excuse for a Full House reference.

But one of the biggest downsides to being short is that my pants are usually too long. Sometimes I take them to the dry cleaner for hemming,  but I really don’t enjoy doing that. It’s an extra errand, it costs money and I always have a fear that strangers are going to lose or damage my clothes (maybe I should just stop reading Yelp reviews for dry cleaners). Most of the time, I just try to find pants that “work,” which means they’re still a smidge too long and drag on the ground just enough to be annoying.

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I Heart Valentine’s Day (and #SewMyStash2015 Challenge 1)

I LOVE Valentine’s Day. I know I’m in the minority, but I just do. I really don’t think you need to have a significant other in your life to enjoy candy heart bliss and bountiful boxes of $1.99 Valentines! Sometimes I get a little defensive about it — loving a holiday that so many others despise can be a little exasperating. I always make an effort to give Valentine’s Day the attention it deserves!

I recently completed the LOVE paper piecing pattern by Diane at From Blank Pages, available here on Craftsy. Diane, along with Sandi at Crafty Planner, was offering the letters L-O-V-E for free so I could try out the pattern before committing to the entire alphabet. I created this little quilted swatch using scraps, but haven’t yet decided what to do with it. I think it may become a zipper pouch or just a little Valentine’s Day wall hanging. Ideas and suggestions are welcome!

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By completing the pattern and linking it to the designated hashtag on Instagram, I was entering for a chance win the entire alphabet pattern (including numbers and punctuation) and I WON! Waking up to the message that I had won this morning was so magical. I am really, really, really excited to put the alphabet pattern to good use in the future and make lots of personalized, paper-pieced goodness!

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Throwback Thursday, sewing edition: Casserole Carrier

I recently scrolled back in my blog draft archives to look at some entries I started and never finished. I had completely forgotten about some of these unfinished drafts (oops) so thought I’d take advantage of the #ThrowbackThursday trend to highlight some oldies-but-goodies!

Today I’m throwing it all the way back to Christmas… of 2013! Yikes! I’m over a year overdue on this one. Insert “embarrassed” emojii here…

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This is my creepy, personalized “Bitmoji”

 

Anyway.

Last year for Christmas, I made my mom a simple casserole carrier, knowing that my parents are often attending parties in their new retirement community. It’s lined with Insul-Bright, which is a heat resistant insulating material that can be used for making things like oven mitts. The Insul-Bright will ensure the dish stays hot and my mom doesn’t burn her hands when handling the carrier. Safety first! Continue reading

It’s your birthday, baby!

Meet my friend Laura — we have known each other since we were in kindergarten and she is still one of my dearest friends.

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Eighth grade volleyball, dorky haircuts… and proof that we turned out alright in adulthood despite the dweeby photos.

Laura is pregnant with her first child and due this month! When your childhood BFF is pregnant, and you’re a fan of handmade gifts — the pressure is high! When I first heard Laura was pregnant, I knew I wanted to make her something really special, but I wasn’t sure what it should be. Although I adore the rag quilts I made for baby Liam and baby Sophia last year, I wanted the project for Laura to be one-of-a-kind — not a repeat of one of my previous projects. Laura also sews (Reason #923498723 why I love her) and has made a number of items for her baby’s nursery, so making another quilt didn’t feel very earth-shattering since she had already conquered rag quilts herself.  I was also looking for a project that would stand the test of time. Continue reading

Mom’s Zip and Go

Tis the season for sewing gifts (“Let it sew, let it sew, let it sew”) and this year, the most adventurous pattern I tackled was the Zip and Go bag from Dog Under My Desk. I’d previously written about one of the free tutorials offered from the pattern maker, Erin, on the same site (see my post about earbuds zipper pouches) but I’ve always wanted to try one of her paid patterns. The pattern was worth every penny – loved it!

(I apologize in advance for the lame lighting in these photos – I was antsy to wrap this and put it under the tree as soon as I finished, so I rushed through the photos on a cloudy day…)

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I decided my mom needed the Zip and Go for her new lifestyle in a Florida retirement community. She’s not retired, but she’s got one foot in the retired lifestyle and attends lots of craft fairs, farmers markets — that sort of thing. I liked the Zip and Go because it looked light and compact, but big enough for day trip essentials like a phone and keys. Continue reading