• 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

Craft Your Own Christmas Cards

(Since I’ve skipped blogging for so long, my posts might be skipping all over the place too!)

My personal philosophy with Christmas cards is that I like to send something with a religious message because, well, I am celebrating a religious holiday and wishing people all the good and promise that that religious holiday entails.  So, to this point, I’ve always bought Christmas cards – generally Hallmark – and enclose within a picture of my girls.  Two birds with one stone!  It would certainly be easier to make a simple picture card, and I’ve definitely considered doing just that, but have still done my store-bought cards to this point.
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The picture of my girls enclosed in the cards this year — obviously I cut it in 2!

This year, though, it had reached mid-December and I had yet to buy the Christmas cards, and the store cards I really loved tended to be on the pricier side.  And while I’m not a paper-crafter at all, paper-crafting came to the rescue!

My girls were already off school for Christmas break, so I set them down at the kitchen table with a bunch of paper and crayons and instructed them to draw something Christmasy!  The results were…not blog-worthy.

I regrouped and instead pulled out a bunch of construction paper, scissors, markers and glue and this time instructed them to make Nativity scenes.  I had to exert some control!  And my goodness, the results could not have been better.

Elena went after this project with no instruction from me at all.  Well, I did mention to her that Mary often wore a head-covering.  But that was it!  I LOVE what she did:

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Elena is especially proud of her manger made with the hole in the middle.  I think it must be a new trick she just learned.

Julia also did fabulous work although she needed a little more help.  I gave her pieces of construction paper in the general size that she needed and she’d finish cutting them into shape.  She also looked to her sister’s artwork for guidance.  I also LOVE hers:

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Now, there’s no way were were sending Christmas cards out the size of construction paper, nor were we going to craft up 70 of these!  So, we then took their Nativity scenes to the copy store, shrunk them, and printed 2-to-a-page.  I had intended on printing them at the proper location on cardstock so I’d just have to fold them, sign them and mail them, but the copy-worker and I were having some communication issues.  At any rate, we then headed to a friend’s house and used her paper cutters and tape rollers and fashioned up our cards.  They were in the mail a few days later in time for Christmas!

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The finished cards — the color copies were awesome!

I must admit here that at least one of our recipients didn’t quite understand Julia’s picture and what I thought was a nice religious Christmas card.  He brought it with him to visit us and was asking Julia all about the kitty she made and pointing to the kitty’s eyes and mouth?  I don’t quite see it, but art is in the eye of the beholder?

Those on our Christmas card list can definitely expect to see more hand-crafted cards like this in the future.  I mean, doesn’t everybody want my childrens’ artwork for eternity?  I know *I’m* holding onto it forever!

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!

10!

I haven’t done one of my bullet point posts lately and I have lots of little things to share, so here we go!

1. Elena has previously lost 5 teeth, and 4 of those times the tooth fairy paid her $1 for the privilege of getting her tooth.  However, when Elena lost tooth a tooth at Disney World this past spring, the tooth fairy paid out a little more: $5.  Elena was not too excited when the tooth fairy went back to paying just $1/tooth.

So when she lost yet another tooth last week, this time Elena left a note.

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It reads “$5  I love [apparently you, although she forgot to write that]  End  Elena”.  That is her tooth in a little treasure chest on the pillow.  Elena got the treasure chest when she lost one of her teeth at school.

And the tooth fairy, a particularly masculine one who felt the creative note deserved a reward, paid out the requested $5.  Elena proudly showed it off to me, telling me all about “I TOLD YOU it would work Mommy, and you didn’t think it would!”  Hmmm, I think Mommy was overruled.

2. Elena took her newly-earned $5 and spent it at….the rock store!  She’s the proud owner of some crystals and some geodes.
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Trying to break the geode.

3. The geodes were pretty fun, and the rock store was surprisingly big, busy and interesting, with all sorts of crystals and fossils, etc.
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4. Elena was at the pool this week telling some girls about her note to the Tooth Fairy, etc., and the girls proceeded to tell her that “We think our parents are the tooth fairy!”  I’m not sure yet whether their comments were damaging to Elena’s beliefs.

5. Julia’s got something funky going on around her mouth.  For no discernible reason, 4 times in the past 6 months it looks like blood vessels have burst all around her mouth.  Neither I nor the doctors can explain it, but it especially freaked me out the 1st time.  Here’s the most recent occurrence, last week:

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Anyone have any experience with this?  It doesn’t bother her at all and just gradually fades away.  SO ODD.

6. The girls painted some fabric last Friday.  More on this will be shown soon.  Promise.
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7. We dressed up as cows for free chicken on July 9th.  It was Cow Appreciation Day, you know!
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8. Seriously, $15 worth of free food just for sticking some black felt spots onto some white clothes is AWESOME.
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9. Why hello drought!

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This is a fishing hole we went to with some friends.  It has obviously seen better days.  It reeked of dead fish, and they could be seen everywhere.  The hose set up in the pond is to get some more oxygen flowing in what water is left.

10. One poor little fish was caught, which all the girls delighted in, and was soon enough returned to the pond to live a nice long life…of probably 2-3 days tops at the rate the pond was disappearing.

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The fish pond was not a quiet place. Instead, it was full of squealing and laughing girls as they played with worms.
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And that’s enough for now!
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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!

Dresses from Grammy

Time to update my success from the Kids Clothes Week  Challenge!


I admittedly didn’t finish *anything* during the actual challenge.  I just didn’t have the time every night, and I seem to be slower than I would like at this whole sewing thing.  BUT, the challenge did get me working, and both my girls got to sport new dresses for church yesterday!

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They were adorable in their matching dresses!  Would you believe I think this is the first time ever my girls have worn true matching dresses??  They’ve certainly worn coordinating outfits before, but not dresses made with the same fabrics!  (Well, except for costumes I suppose.  I’ve done 2 matching costumes for the girls….  And their matching flower girl dresses….  Um, perhaps I need to rethink my statement.)  No matter, I think you might see some more matching dresses for the girls — we’ve created a monster!

We saw a family friend in the grocery store who, upon spying the girls, asked me if I sewed.  I never know if it’s good or bad that somebody thinks an outfit is handmade, but she at least indicated she thought so since they were the same fabric.
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Looking at a bug.

I call these dresses from Grammy because she so kindly sent me the main fabric just so I could make dresses for the girls.  She actually thought I’d only have enough fabric for Elena’s dress, but surprise, I had enough for both with a little left over!  (Do you want the leftovers back for your stash Mom?  I know you like the fabric.)  And just a year later (hee), TADA!

I’ve made both these patterns before but did have to go up in size for both this time around.

Elena’s dress is New Look 6613 — a previous version can be seen here.  The only problem Elena seems to be having with the dress right now is that the straps are a tad too long — she keeps having to pick them back up.  I suppose I ought to fix that problem…
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Elena already wore the dress to school once last week.  On a day she insisted on having her hair straight.  This took LOTS of brushing and a curling iron.  I told her not to expect to do this often.  She LOVED having straight hair.  Her father and I were not nearly as big of fans.

Julia’s dress is New Look 6796, which I made previously into her Day of the Dead dress here and later into her Pocahontas costume here and also into her cupcake birthday dress here.

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As I’ve said before, obviously that pattern is easy and I’m a big fan.  I did a couple things different this time around though.  First, I did a different view — this one with pockets and a plain band on the bottom instead of a ruffle.  It seemed to go with Elena’s dress better that way.
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Ruby-red sparkly shoes for everyone!

Second, I changed the ties into elastic straps.  These straps make me *so* much happier with the dress!  I was never happy with having to retie the straps on her other dresses and the straps always looked messy.  By working elastic into the straps, I was able to sew them in, making the dress look neater, and not have to worry about it fitting over her head.  WIN.

Thanks Grammy!  If you send any more fabric for dresses, I promise to get them done faster!  😉

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And just a final picture to show that Elena can have an honest real smile. I’m really not a fan of her expression when you ask her to smile for pictures, but this one looks happy!

My Mooshy Belly Bunnies

I’m apparently a slower worker than many of you I’m reading — not much seems to happen in just 1-hour-a-day of sewing!  I’m working on a dress for the Kids Clothes Week Challenge, but I need a different color thread for some top-stitching so I am stalled out for a moment.


Hopefully, a better update soon!

But, in other news, I made my girls more bunnies for Easter this year!  (My 1st real blog post was also about Easter bunnies I made the girls!)  Please meet my Mooshy Belly Bunnies:
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Hee, both girls have the same fly-away hair!

Now, these bunnies are a little sad — they still don’t have tails.  Oops.  Maybe when I go out and buy some thread for the dress I’ll also buy some pompoms for their tails.

They were a little scary for me because I don’t do embroidery.  Luckily it wasn’t as bad as I feared, and just maybe I’ll now do some of the dolls I’ve been pining after but fearing because of their embroidered faces.

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You can make your own too — it’s a free tutorial/pattern found here.  The only complaint I’ve heard about the pattern is that the bunnies are really small.  I personally, though, love their size — so easy to carry along!

And the girls enjoyed the bunnies thoroughly on Easter Sunday.  They’ve gotten a little lost since then, but I was thrilled with all the hugs and cuddles they got that one day while they carried the bunnies with them everywhere.

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Oh, and the pink & white striped fabric is from some pajamas the girls wore as babies.  So fun to see it in use again!  I have a great picture of Elena in these pajamas, but it’s on the other computer.  Maybe I’ll dig it up for ya soon.

And a couple more Easter snapshots:

The girls with their baskets, having their picture taken while having their picture taken by Daddy!
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Some fun with confetti eggs:
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I in particular like how Daddy stood still to be egged:
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A happier picture of swinging out in the country:
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A good reason to have 2 kids: the older one can push the little one around, in a good way:

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Kids Clothes Week Challenge

I am participating in the Kids Clothes Week Challenge – YAY!



This is simply a week where you challenge yourself to sew kid clothes for 1 hour a day for 7 days.  It’s the power of peer pressure at work!  And I totally have a backlog of fabric I’ve bought for making dresses for my girls, and it’s time to make those dresses before they decide they don’t want to wear them anymore.

However, I have nothing to show you of what I accomplished the first night since that was simply some ironing and some cutting.  Boo.  And the second night I fell into bed EARLY after spending the day steam-cleaning all of our carpet.  That calls for an even bigger BOO.  Tonight, though!  Tonight I will sew!

Despite my failure at the challenge so far, I still have some show & tell:  a dress for Elena made just a month ago from a vintage sheet!  She already enjoyed wearing it on a strawberry picking adventure:

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Elena proudly showing her first strawberry, and wearing pearls.  I have to point out the pearls because…it isn’t really a necklace.  It’s a headband.  Both girls wear those pearl headbands as necklaces and it cracks me up!

The fabric for this dress is a sheet picked up from Goodwill!  I *finally* got a good find from there, and the border worked great for the bottom of a dress!
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The pattern is Simplicity 2469.  Funny thing is, I *knew* when I bought the pattern that I thought the top was a little too short and a bit too revealing for my liking.  (Look at the pattern cover pictures to see what I mean.)  Yet, I never bothered to alter it!  So, it still looks a little short and revealing on top to me, but not too bad.  Next time I make the pattern I will add a 1/2″ to the top of the bodice.

The other problem were the sleeves.  The instructions called for you to use basting stitches, pull up to gather and then tie the ends.  Unfortunately, both sleeves’ gathering fell apart the first time Elena wore the dress.  You can kind of see the one un-gathered sleeve here:
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I fixed that just by sewing down the gather all the way across and not worrying about any silly knots.  Maybe not the most professional finish, but it did the job.

As for the rosettes across the top on the pattern, I didn’t do them initially.  I pinned some on in the corner when she wore the dress for Easter, but can’t decide if its a keeper like that or not.  Any preferences?
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I know, what a sour-puss, but this is the best picture I have where you can see the roses I added.

And now, on to some more strawberry-picking picture fun, especially shown here for my Mom who couldn’t make it with us:

I also love Julia’s dress — it’s an Old Navy one I bought 2nd-hand several years ago.  It has great embroidery on the bottom edge, but I don’t think you get a good shot of it in any of these pictures.

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What does it mean that some of my fave pictures from this adventure were ones where you can’t see my daughters’ faces??!?  I love the 2 pictures below!

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Awww, kisses!

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The girls’ cousin joined in on the strawberry fun!

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Yay for Aunt J who told us all about this great farm!  It was great fun, even if REALLY HOT!

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The great Strawberry family:

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And what do you do after a long hour in the heat picking strawberries? Why, hit the splash park of course!
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