Monday, November 24, 2014

Happy Autumn!

Just a little autumn mantle dressing to keep you in fall a bit longer.  Christmas is everywhere, and while I am excited for it, I just want to hold on to the season!  We didn't get enough Fall here!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Bucket List

The Bucket List Quilt

I found this pattern and knew it would be a beautiful quilt no matter which fabrics I used.  The combination of stars and squares are such a classic.  Plus, it came together so quickly.  What a fun one!  The pattern is by By Sherri McConnell of Quilting Life Designs (

This was destined for my mom for her birthday.  I used V and Co.'s Simply Style fabrics because 1.  I love them and 2. they go really well with the colors in my mom's living room.  I backed it with a fabric from V and Co.'s Color Me Happy line, which I totally fell in love with and bought a jelly roll of it to make my sister a quilt for her birthday.  (See this post.)

How lucky was I to find a perfectly perfect bale of hay to photograph this on?!  Ahhh, I love the country...

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, August 16, 2014


This summer, my summer of quilting, I made Camille Roskelley's Swell Quilt, from her book, Simply Retro with Camille Roskelley: Fresh Quilts from Classic Blocks.  There are so many beautiful patterns (not to mention beautiful pictures that are just fun to look at).  I chose V & Co for the fabric - I combined the Color Me Happy and Simply Style lines.

This quilt is destined for my sister in Denver.  A (somewhat late) birthday gift.  The kids gave it lots of hugs so that when she curls up in it, we will all be giving her hugs!

Thanks for reading!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Barn Dance

This has been the summer of quilting!  My poor husband thinks I have gone over to the dark side, since I have been furiously quilting at every spare moment, taking over the dining area with my sewing machine, and hanging half-made quilts all over the place.  But it's worth it!

I loved making this Barn Dance quilt.  The pattern is from V & Co and can be found here.  I made it with Kate Spain fabrics and just love each one.  She has such a great eye.  My only regret is that I didn't make it bigger.  I tend to get overwhelmed before I start a quilt and think I'll just make the smaller version.  But I am adding the bigger size to my mental to-do list for the future.  An opportunity to collect more Kate Spain fabrics!!

Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

I'm Quilting!

My mother gifted me a Craftsy class for my birthday, and I bought Camille Roskelley's Precut Piecing Made Simple.  I am totally hooked!  And this is actually my second quilt!  My first is being quilted - it was really huge and I wanted a long arm quilt template that I couldn't do on my machine - but this one is 100% mine!

I cannot say enough good things about the class.  And I am not affiliated with Craftsy or Camille in any way.  It was easy to follow, beautifully filmed, and she has a very calm, serene manner of teaching that made it a relaxing, fun class.

This quilt is actually her Fresh pattern.  After watching her class, I immediately bought her books: Simplify and Simply Retro.  This pattern is from the Simply Retro book.

I highly encourage the classes and the books.  Quilting is so satisfying on so many levels.  And I also feel like it is a bit of the holy grail of sewing, no?  It is such a big body of work!

I guess it's a success since Zoe, the cat, settled right in.  And she hates everything!

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Kid Apron

Big Sis and I had been wanting to make her an apron, and after her birthday party we had some fabric left over that was just screaming to be made into something!  I found it at Beverly's and it is the Hello Tokyo collection from Robert Kaufman.

So, I traced out a pattern on lined interfacing, giving myself about 1/4" - 1/2" seam allowance.  Here are the basic measurements (I say basic because I forgot to measure until after I had finished the apron, so had to go back and estimate based on the finished product!):

I made sure to give myself plenty of room at the top to make a pretty thick hem.  Tracing the pattern in half makes all the difference in creating patterns, because it ensures that the final product is an exact mirror image on both sides.

Once I had the pattern the way I liked it, I folded over my chosen fabric and cut out the design.  Then I went around the fabric and ironed about 1/4" over on every side - even the curved edges, then another 1/4" on every side to create the hems..  At the top, I ironed up 1/4" then a good 1.5" to create a thick hem at the neckline.

Then I sewed the ironed hems with about a 1/4" seam allowance.

 Next I cut a rectangle of fabric to create the front pocket.  This one was about 6" x 9." 

Once again I ironed 1/4" all around, then a 1/4" again.

First I sewed the hem down on just the side that was going to become the top of the pocket.  Then I flipped it over and placed the rectangle on the front of my apron.  I used the fold line to make sure it was centered, then sewed around the remaining three sides.

Then I created the ruffle.  The general guideline for ruffles is to cut a length of fabric about 2x the length that the ruffle will be sewn onto.  I didn't quite have double the length of the fabric, so I just went with the longest piece wide I could get.  I made it 3" high so that I could fold it in half and get a 1.5" ruffle.  I sewed a basting stitch (using the longest stitch on my machine) on the folded piece, then  pulled the ends to gather up the material.  Then I fitted it to the bottom of the apron and sewed it on.

 Then for the tie that goes around the neck: I took a long piece of fabric (about 23") and folded it in half so that it was about 2" high.  Then I took a long, clear quilting ruler and made an asymmetrical line from one end (at about 1" high) to the other (at about 2" high).  I cut that out and sewed up the long end.  

Then I flipped the piece inside out, ironed and stitched down the side.  To do the ends, I stopped sewing a bit before the end and flipped the wrong side in 1/4", then 1/4" again, ironed and pinned, then stitched those down, turning the corner as I sewed to match up the sewing on the side.  I pinned the narrow end to one side of the neck and sewed it down making a little rectangle.  

Then I had Big sis try it on for size and I judged where the other end should be, cutting off the excess and resewing the hem.  In the end, the necktie ended up being 19" including hems.  (I really could have measured better the first time around!)  

I found these totally adorable personalized buttons at Pick Your Plum and was so excited to be able to use them!  So I sewed a button hole right where I wanted it, and sewed on the button.

The side ties were pretty simple: I cut two ties, about 26" x 2", ironed them in half, then ironed a 1/4" hem for each side.  I just tucked those ironed hems inside, pinned and sewed around the three sides.  I sewed them in place with a zig zag stitch for strength.

Ta da!  

Thanks for letting me share!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Kokeshi Birthday Party

Big Sister turned 8!

She and I decided to throw a Japanese Kokeshi doll themed party with her closest friends.  My husband and I took a trip to Japan in November to celebrate our 15th Anniversary, and I came home with so much inspiration!

The girls came in and sat for their first craft: painting their own Kokeshi dolls.  Kokeshi dolls are traditional Japanese dolls - they remind me of Russian matrioshka dolls because they are made of wood, do not have arms, and are totally adorable.

I created little "blank" dolls for them by hot gluing wooden beads to little wooden doll forms.  Immediately they all decided to create little pandas.  Such a cute idea!

Then it was time for snacks:

Rice krispie sushi!  I made it with swedish fish and green apple fruit strips.

Then we moved on to washi tape frames:

I got this fab idea from  (We took the picture during tea time and printed it out so that they could take it home.)

Then the girls decided it was time for cake.  So we moved over to our "tea room."

I found the adorable fabric at Beverly's.  It was actually a group of fabrics called, "Hello Tokyo."  I made a tablecloth & double-sided napkins and made napkin rings out of matching ribbon from the collection.

The girls tried Sinbei rice crackers, green tea mochi, Japanese candy and rooibos (herbal) tea.

Then, of course, cake!

I took a class on to learn to make the gum paste flowers.  Have you ever tried a Craftsy class?  They are so fun, reasonably priced, and you do it in your own time.  Big Sis chose the cat for the top at World Market.

I sent the girls home with Blue take-out boxes (from Kara's Party Ideas) filled with personalized notebooks, stationery and stickers, and puzzle erasers.

I made the stationery with my Silhouette using the following files:
and a dingbat font.  (My inspiration was found at - she has such great ideas and easy-to-follow tutorials for paper products!)

Happy Birthday, my little 8-year old!  

Thank you for sharing!