• Finished Quilts in 2010

    Click pictures for full details! Julia's Field of Blessings See Mom, I *Can* Make Snowmen in Texas! All Shook Up Pansies & Primroses Vintage Spring Vintage Baby A Bad Copy
  • Finished Quilts in 2009

    Click pictures for full details! Sunshine & Swimming Pools Loving Hands Boy Woogies Carina's Quilt Front Charity Quilt 1 Charity Quilt 2
  • Finished Quilts: Previous Years

    My sister's quilt Elena's Signature Quilt Cosmic Spiral Simona's Flower Garden ...And Everything Nice The Wool Quilt The Original Woogie
  • Finished Craft Projects

    Traveling Car Playmat Brown Bear Matching Cards
  • Finished Girls’ Dresses & Costumes

  • Quilt To Do List

    *Julia's "Baby" Quilt
    *Bethlehem Quilt
    *Kaffe Fassett String Quilt
    *Star Happy Batik Quilt
    *Red & Tan Single Wedding Ring Quilt (blocks made)
    *Batik Charm Square Quilt
    *Lingerie Quilt
    *Purple & Gold Mystery Quilt (just needs quilting!)
    *Eagle paper-pieced Quilt (@ half pieced)
  • Other Craft Project To Do List

    *Alphabet Matching Card Game
    *Apple/Pear Dress for Elena
    *Pillow Case Dress for Julia
    *Knit Dress for Elena (need to do post!)
    *Knit Shorts for Me

*Oink! Oink!*

Piggies may seem to be an odd choice for a little girl’s dress.
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Julia at the rodeo, ecstatic to be holding a pig.

But if you ask Julia, it’s a perfect subject for a little girl’s dress!

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Awww, sweet piggie!

Julia is very proud of her ability to oink/snort.  Very proud.  And so it seemed quite natural to make her a dress full of little piggies.  And although I’ve had this fabric for months, it wasn’t until I knew I was going to have an opportunity to take pictures of Julia with a real live pig that I got off my bottom and whipped up a pig dress for her!

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Yup, I had to shell out $5 for Julia to hold the pig.  I also received a Polaroid.  Just look at my tiny girl!

The only reason that it seems an odd choice for Julia is that the silly girl barely eats.  Unless it is a peanut-butter sandwich, pizza or cheese.

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Better shot of the front of the dress.

This dress pattern is Simplicity 2270 – one I haven’t done before!  I altered it, but it is barely noticeable.  The dress has pockets, and in the pattern they are interior pockets but the front of the dress forms one side of the pockets.  I’m having trouble explaining this, but, in other words, the pockets were sewn to the inside front of the dress, and therefore would have had visible sewing lines.  I made them invisible pockets instead with 2 independent layers.  Blah.  Not only is it hard for me to figure out how to tell you about this, it took me a while to figure out how to do them, too.  Not sure if I did them in the most efficient manner, but it worked and Julia of course likes her pockets.  But from looking at it here you could never tell there were pockets!

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Back of dress, with well-hidden zipper.  I’m starting to get confident with them!

I did like this pattern and can see myself doing more dresses in this style.

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Julia posing with another pig.

And one last picture.  Finally!  Unfortunately Elena had to wear her school shirt to her field trip to the rodeo.  Otherwise, I would have snapped her picture in the sheep dress in front of this or other sheep at the petting zoo:

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Ahhh, lost picture opportunity…. 

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She May Be Big, But She’s Still My Little Girl

A few months ago my Mom and I were shopping at a quilt store together.  We didn’t *need* anything, but you know, sometimes it is just necessary to see what the quilt stores have.  Well, we didn’t need anything until we saw this great sheep border fabric, and suddenly we *needed* to make Julia a new dress.

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I got the fabric home and washed it, as usual.  While folding it, Elena came over and insisted that she needed a dress made out of that sheep fabric!  Hmmm.  I called my Mom and we hemmed and hawed over that, thinking about how Elena is growing up and perhaps this fabric would just be too babyish for her.  No final decision was made as it was still winter and I wasn’t making the dress anytime soon.

But you know what, when I brought out the fabric a couple weeks ago to make a dress for one of my girls, I finally came to the realization that my 6-year-old might seem really big, but she is still a little girl, and if she wants a dress made out of little sheep, then by gosh she’s going to get a dress with little sheep!  My Mom whole-heartedly agreed.  And the dress was made.

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Elena just seems so big and grown up already, especially compared to her little sister.  But seeing the dress on her, it is perfect and it is perfectly her.  No matter how tall she is, she still needs lots of hugs, kisses, encouragement, and maybe even some cartoon sheep.

This pattern is one I’ve used many, many times before: New Look 6613 (some of my previous version can be seen here and here.)  I altered the pattern slightly — mainly because I couldn’t cut the bottom of the skirt in a curve as drawn as it would cut the sheep border off, and also because I wanted the skirt to twirl some more.

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There’s 2-yards’ length in that skirt!

So I used the entire length that we bought, gathered it and attached it to the bodice.  I made the dress a size or two too big because I’ve gotten caught on Elena growing out of things way too fast.  I now sort of wish I made it a bit truer to size, but it is still cute and will last for a while hopefully!

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I put the straps close to the middle in the back of the dress hoping it would prevent them from falling down so much, but they still fall down some.  I think maybe if I’d stuck with her size this would have worked better.

And on a side note, isn’t Grammy and Papa’s backyard great?!?  The girls spend forever out there exploring.  In this next picture, it is hard to tell but Elena is playing with a spider web, trying to see which strings are sticky and seeing if the spider will move:

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Go Team!

Some good friends of ours recently found out that they are expecting a little boy in a few months.  Of course this means I’m going to make a quilt, but in the meantime I thought it’d be fun to mail them a couple onesies to help celebrate.

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I admittedly got the idea to make these sports-themed onesies from someone else.  You can buy some great sports-ball onesies for yourself, instead of crafting them, at Bambino Balls.   I’ve heard from a friend that they are great quality.  However, if you have some onesies and some felt, they are also pretty easy to make.  I picked up my plain onesies from Hobby Lobby (yes, they carry plain brown!) and used some felt and Steam-a-Seam I had around.  I then just ironed on the felt and stitched around it.  Et Voila!  2 new onesies!

I am a huge fan of the football onesie and would have loved to dress my girls in one and carry them around all over in the football carry.  Tons of fun for sleep-deprived parents!  ha!  My baseball onesie is just okay in my mind.  My husband actually couldn’t figure out what it was supposed to be even though he got the football one immediately.  Looking at the ones from Bambino Balls perhaps I should have chevronned the short lines…

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And I include this seemingly nearly-identical picture to remind everyone to PREWASH!  The onesies I picked up are incredibly soft and thick.  And apparently shrink the heck all up in the wash.  I had pre-washed the brown onesie before I started to make sure the brown wouldn’t bleed.  I totally forgot about the white onesie because, hello, there wouldn’t be any bleeding issues, totally forgetting about shrinkage.

The picture at the top of this post shows both onesies, both sized 6 months.  The brown one has been washed but the white one has not.  The white onesie looks HUGE!  Yet they both started at the same size!

The picture at the bottom of this post shows both onesies again, now both washed.  (I washed because I now was worried that the red would bleed and wanted to be sure the gift wasn’t going to be ruined with it’s first use.)  But look, now the white one seems smaller than the brown!  Again, they started at the same size!  And of course, by not pre-washing my felt got a bit funky.  Ahh well.  Still good enough to send for sure, but a good reminder to pre-wash, and perhaps also a pointer to not buy the smallest onesies at Hobby Lobby because they might shrink to nothing!

These will hopefully go in the mail tomorrow, and then I’ll continue quilt discussions with my husband for this new baby.  He has definite opinions.

Design-Your-Own-Fabric Dresses

All the rage everywhere in sewing land is designing your own fabric.  And for good reason — it is fun to have complete control over the design process and get *exactly* what you are looking for.  Most of the time people are talking about designing their fabric with the likes of Spoonflower, but I decided to go old school with the girls this summer.  I busted out some watered-down fabric paints (to make the painting easier) and about 2 yards of solid white fabric and let the girls have at it.  (You might remember that I briefly mentioned this when we did it in July.)

They started out with a bunch of sprinkling:
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And then moved on to painting some spots:
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And finished with a great piece of fabric:
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I’ll admit I had trouble giving up control on this fabric, and wished at times that I didn’t put the green or purple fabric paints out, or that I made them only paint instead of sprinkling, or that I made them only sprinkle instead of painting, or or or.  Ultimately I was happy enough with the finished product.

In August I tried to make them dresses out of the fabric, but my machine did *not* like working with elastic thread and died on me.  After being repaired, I finally brought the dresses back out and finished them in October.

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I used Izzy and Ivy’s Ava Tie Top pattern.

For Julia’s, I thought it looked good without a bow and therefore didn’t add the tie loops or make a bow.  I also cut off some of the length and didn’t do the pintucks on the bottom of the dress.  The dress fit well and I really liked it.  For Julia.

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Julia was really into posing that night…

As for Elena’s, it didn’t turn out as well.  It ended up being too narrow/thin for her frame and I decided to go forward with the tie loops and the bow to hopefully hide the fact that the dress is too narrow.  Instead, the bow pretty much takes over the dress.  (FYI: The bow was this size on the pattern I got.  The newest cover of this pattern appears to have a smaller tie/bow.)  I cut the length and didn’t do the bottom pintucks on this one either. Since this outing, I don’t think Elena has taken this dress out even once to wear.

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At least she had fun painting! And eating her candy necklace!
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And I’ll definitely consider having them paint fabric again.  It really was a lot of fun!

Not My Usual Tools

Hammer and a hole punch?  And some strange metal pieces?  Yup, definitely not my usual sewing tools.

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Don’t mind me, I’m just busily sewing putting together my daughters’ Halloween costumes.

Seriously, though, those eyelets kicked my behind until I finally went out to the kitchen and brought out the small holepunch to punch holes in the fabric instead of cutting out the teeny-tiny holes.  And of course I hammered some of them too much and needed to replace many of my suddenly mis-shapened  eyelets.  Methinks it would have been much easier to buy the plier set to put them in, but that would have meant spending $26 instead of just $3.50.

And,  now back to the sewing room to keep working on these Rapunzel costumes.  Doing 2 of them is more difficult than I imagined.

Of Friendship and Penguins

This past weekend I hosted a little craft get together for our little core group of crafters — one of our group is about to move away so we *had* to do one last get together before she was gone.

This time we all sewed, and sewed a lot!

One of the group did baby blocks for her little one, another worked on a quilt for her little one, and the other did a wonderful flowing skirt for herself (after announcing that her little one had more than enough stuff at the moment!)  (Sorry, no pictures of any of it!)  And me?  I worked on a little dress.  A dress made of penguin fabric.

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The funny thing about this little dress is that the girl moving away loves penguins and has a newborn daughter.  And she was so intent on her project that she never once noticed that I was using penguin fabric!  And of course thus also never once noticed that I was making a little gift for her!

The dress won’t fit for quite a while — it is a size 1.  But it was terribly fun to make, and even more fun to give!  (And yippee!  I did it all start to finish at the craft night – thank goodness!)

And yes, you’ve seen me do this pattern before.  Probably 5 or 6 times now.  It is New Look 6796.  I adjusted the sleeves in the same manner as I did last time.  Hopefully they’ll be sized right since I was just making up the size of the straps as I went along.

Oh, I also had a tool recommendation: the Fasturn.  If you have to turn a ton of straps inside-out (as seems to be the case with making little girl dresses), this tool is awesome.  Just makes things much easier.  Thanks Mom for giving some to me!

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Happy travels C!  We’ll miss you crafting with us!

With Thanks to the Free Table

My quilt guild sets up a Free Table at the start of every meeting.  And when I actually make it to a guild meeting (hello!  I *always* forget since the meetings are the 1st Monday of the month — I never switch the wall calendar in time!), I like to peruse it.   It is full of everything from clothing patterns from the 1980s and quilt patterns from whenever to orphan blocks and to swatches of upholstery fabric and random pieces of other fabric.  I have a bag of stuff to add to the free table myself if I ever remember to bring it.
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A month or so ago, I picked up this blue-background floral knit fabric.  Immediately I knew it had to be dresses for my girls.  Elena especially *loves* the comfort of knit dresses and will almost always choose them over regular cotton dresses.
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Elena is *starting* to smile a bit better for the camera — not quite so cheesy.

I patterned these dresses off of some other knit dresses the girls have from Target last summer.  So I sized the dresses up and sewed them together.
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In the meantime, Julia looks mischievous instead of cheesy when she smiles for the camera.

The hardest part of putting these dresses together was the pink bias I made for the straps.  I used knit fabric I had on hand which is unfortunately a little thin.  It seems to stretch a little much and the dresses start sagging by the end of the day as the straps give way.  Oops.  I don’t really know how to fix this problem except maybe use a bit more substantial knit fabric for the bias.  The dresses I patterned from also have knit straps and don’t have that same problem, so…?

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The girls wanted to stand *in* the sunflowers.  I was too scared of snakes to let them go any further.

I have a fair amount left of the fabric so I’ll be returning that to the free table.  Maybe someone else will come up with a use for the rest!

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I always thought sunflowers were a fall flower.  I’d just always see them in fall floral adjustments and not growing out in the wild.  Turns out they are a great summer flower, and luckily I took these pictures when I did because just 2 short days later the owner of this little field mowed them all down.

In  the meantime, I have 2 very successful MATCHING (Oh NO, we have created a monster!) dresses for the lucky price of $0 to me!  Thanks anonymous donor!