Welcome, Baby Nora!

It feels like just yesterday I was writing the blog post titled “Welcome, Baby Finn!” And now I’m writing part two – Welcome, Baby Nora!

Baby Finn is not such a baby anymore, and now he’s a big brother to sweet Nora Elizabeth – my beautiful niece, who is just six weeks old. I had the honor of meeting Nora and spending lots of snuggle time with her last week. A few years ago, I didn’t have any nieces or nephews – and now I have two! I feel so lucky to be an Auntie times two.

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I had a tough time deciding what kind of quilt to make for Nora. I really liked the airplane quilt I made for Finn, and initially felt like I should make a similar one for Nora – just swapping out the color scheme and the airplane shape for something new.

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But I eventually decided to do something completely different and one-of-a-kind, made just with Nora in mind. I was sorting through the patterns I’ve had in my collection for a few years, and I found Simplicity 2935 – a butterfly rag quilt. I did some Googling to see what other people’s finished quilts looked like, and I was completely sold after seeing a photo of a baby laying on a finished quilt. It looked like the baby had butterfly wings!

Here’s a photo of Nora with her finished quilt. I love, love, love how it turned out. Look at this sweet baby butterfly!

Simplicity 2935 Rag Quilt - Pattern Review

I spent a lot of time shopping around online for fabric. The reason I started online versus in the store is because I wanted to find a collection that was designed to go together. When I saw this fabric from Riley Blake, I knew I had to have it!

Riley Blake Fabric - Just Sayin' by My Mind's Eye, Confetti Cottons Songbird

The floral and pink fabrics are from a collection called Just Sayin’ by My Mind’s Eye (White Floral and Pink Dot) and the mint fabric is the Confetti Cottons Songbird Solid, also from Riley Blake. This was the first time I’ve worked with a designer fabric like Riley Blake, and – wow! I could really feel the difference in quality from the type of fabric I’d typically get from a big box store.

Because I’m a perfectionist when it comes to my projects, especially a project as important as a quilt for my very first niece, I first used Photoshop to mock up what the butterfly pattern would look like with the fabrics I wanted to use. I had to decide which fabric I’d use for each section so I could figure out how much of each fabric to order.

Simplicity 2935 Rag Quilt - Pattern Review

Side note… I eventually decided to leave the eyes off completely. They’re kind of creepy.

There were an overwhelming number of fabric combinations and possibilities, especially since I first toyed with the idea of using a lot more fabrics – the pattern called for NINE different fabrics. Yikes! I tried some mock-ups with nine fabrics, but I didn’t like any of them, so I eventually narrowed it down to just three.

The fabric math was a little complex since I switched up the fabric numbers from what the pattern called for, and I’ll admit it stressed me out a bit as I tried to figure it out. Luckily, it all worked out and I didn’t have to order any extra once I got started.

Riley Blake Fabric - Just Sayin' by My Mind's Eye, Confetti Cottons Songbird

If you’d like to replicate the butterfly layout above, I got 5 yards of the white floral, and 2 yards each of the pink dot and mint. I JUST made it with the white floral – I had a bit leftover of the other two.

And of course, I had a helper in the sewing room – Winnie! Whenever I lay fabric pieces on the floor, she just can’t help but immediately lay down right in the middle of my workspace. I admittedly spend a lot of time pushing her out of the way (with love, of course), but it’s nice to have company all the same… especially during those late-night sewing sessions.

Simplicity 2935 Rag Quilt - Pattern Review

Here are a few progress pics with my little helper!

Overall, I definitely recommend this quilt pattern. Joining the curved pieces can get little tricky, but the pieces did fit together perfectly like a puzzle and I adore the finished product.

Simplicity 2935 Rag Quilt - Pattern Review

The butterfly quilt not only made for a picture-perfect backdrop for Nora, but also lent to some sweet moments between Nora and Finn as we spent some time outside together last week! Look at this cuteness.

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I can’t wait to see Nora grow with her special quilt!

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Mother’s Day: I passed with flying colors

My mom knows the drill: Mother’s Day is the “homemade” holiday, and therefore, Mother’s Day gifts come from my craft room (whereas her birthday, one month later, is the “Amazon” holiday… LOL). Previous Mother’s Day gifts included a jewelry roll and a nail polish tote.

How do you thank the woman who taught you the invaluable life skill of using a photo booth?

This past year, my mom has really embraced the “adult coloring” craze – aka, the trend where adults get high-quality coloring books with really intricate designs, using colored pencils or gel pens to meticulously fill the page with color. Her coloring book collection has grown exponentially throughout the year and I’ve had fun sitting at her kitchen table coloring with her whenever I visit my parents. My mom even started a coloring group where a bunch of ladies get together and color and talk about life a few times a month.

But I’ve got to hand it to my mom – her coloring skills are top-notch, and she has much more patience for the intricate designs that I do (I usually abandon my coloring page a quarter of the way into it). Even though my mom claims not to be creative, crafty or artsy – she’s always been a rock star when it comes to coloring. Whether it was a school project or a children’s menu in a restaurant, I remember watching her and thinking, “WOW. Moms are so good at coloring.” Turns out, it’s not all moms that are good at coloring. Just my mom!

Here are a few of her finished works of art…

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Given my mom’s love of coloring, this year’s Mother’s Day gift was a tote bag (possibly for toting her coloring books!) made with coloring-book-esque fabric… and of course, paired with fabric markers so the bag can be COLORED!

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The “coloring book” fabric is My Little Garden by Olivia Henry on Spoonflower (fun fact, this fabric is also available as WALLPAPER you guys – how rad is that!?) and the tote bag pattern is the Outta Time Tote by Dog Under My Desk. I have written about Dog Under My Desk patterns many times in the past and I really can’t gush about them enough. They’re the best bag patterns I’ve ever worked with and worth every penny.

I used black zippers (which killed me, because you know how much I love bright-colored zippers – but it was the right decision) and lined the bag with a generic black and white leafy print.

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I anticipated my mom would open the gift and immediately say, “I can’t color this bag! It’s too nice! I’ll ruin it!” Therefore, I also made this zipper pouch with leftover fabric so she could “test” the fabric markers and her coloring skills.

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Turns out, my mom’s reaction went exactly as planned, so the add-on was a good call. Plus, she really loves having the extra zipper pouch for carrying her colored pencils to her coloring group.

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Another Mother’s Day, aka Homemade Holiday, on the books! Till next year…

LindsaySignatureP.S. – For other completed Dog Under My Desk projects, check out my previous posts:

 

 

 

Simplicity 2685 (aka, the six-year-project)

Let’s take a moment and go back in time, to the beginning of my sewing journey back in 2010.

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When I first decided to start this sewing adventure, I was enthralled with the idea of choosing my first pattern. I scoured all the patterns available from the “Big Four” (Simplicity, Vogue, Butterick, McCalls) trying to decide which pattern would make the cut.

It’s important to note that this was before I learned how many freebies and tutorials the internet had to offer – nowadays, my advice to beginners is always DON’T USE COMMERCIAL PATTERNS when you’re a complete newbie – but alas, I chose a Big Four pattern because I just didn’t know any better.

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After much deliberation, Simplicity 2685 won me over – an accessories pattern that included four different purses. I had seen the pattern listed on a review web site, described as, “easy for beginners.” Awesome! Continue reading

I made a hat

I know the title of this blog post gives away the grand reveal, but… hey guys. I made a hat. A hunting cap, to be more specific.

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I’m not into selfies, so let’s just take advantage of this Snapchat…

Why? Just because. I had a pattern and wanted to try it. Also, making a hat or some sort of headwear was a bucket list item on my list of 100 No Pressure Projects.

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Chris’s (Mega) Birthday

Here’s the thing about birthdays: they happen every year.

In the words of Michelle Tanner… DUH.

Michelle Tanner Duh

But for me, that means that someone I’m sewing for this year may have already received something crafty from me last year… so I need to mix things up!

Remember my friend Chris? Last year, he had a birthday… this year, he had another birthday.

Chris. You’re so stressful.

A non-birthday celebration with Chris... drinking from mason jars in Disneyland.

A non-birthday celebration with Chris… mason jar twins at Disneyland.

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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

Lindsay’s (not-for-knitting) Bag

Remember when I made my roommate Katie this whimsical knitting bag for Christmas?

On the Sew Lindsay Sew blog: Amanda's knitting bag pattern review

I recently decided I wanted a bag of my own! I was keeping skeins of yarn in one of my favorite reusable grocery store “green bags,” and to be honest, I just wanted the bag back in my collection for grocery purposes.

The only thing is — I don’t knit. So this is really more of a crochet bag, because I crochet. But the pattern is technically called Amanda’s Knitting Bag by the Sometimes Crafter, so it feels blasphemous to call it a “Crochet Bag.” So I affectionately call this Lindsay’s (not-for-knitting) Bag. 🙂

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Sophia’s Quilt

NOTE: I’ve gotten a lot of inquiries about where to find/purchase this pattern. The pattern is out of print (I had to purchase my copy from etsy). If you’re in search of this pattern:

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This is a long overdue post to talk about a project that wrapped up a loooooong time ago! Based on my blog posts alone, you may think the mustaches and elephants quilt was my very first rag quilt. But … it wasn’t. My very first rag quilt was completed months and months prior to that when I tackled the now out-of-print Simplicity 4993. I’d had this pattern on my radar for a long time so when I discovered it was recently retired, I jumped on etsy and grabbed a brand new copy.

On the Sew Lindsay Sew blog: Simplicity 4993 Teddy Bear Quilt Continue reading

Katie’s Knitting Bag

I’ve lived with my roommate Katie for almost five years. She’s neat for lots of reasons. But one major common thread that brings us together is that she loves crafty things as much as I do! Okay, she’s not nearly as ridiculous as I am, but she has an appreciation for it all the same.

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Just before Christmas, I taught Katie the basics of crochet. She was out of town for the holidays so I didn’t need to have her Christmas gift ready until she returned in January. The plan was to get Katie some of her own crochet supplies and a sew a neat little crochet hook holder while she was gone. Continue reading