Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Pocket and Petal Pillow Pattern- My test run and a chance to win a copy of this pattern for yourself!

Okay, I made something to keep at our house and I think I am in love. It even made me come out of blog hiding! It is made from this awesome new pattern, available here.
Pocket and Petal Pillow Pattern, say that three times fast . . .
I love flickr and all the wonderful online friends I have made in the past four plus years through online swaps and bees. One of my favorite parts of swaps are getting to know people you have been partnered with. The little bit of stalking to determine their likes and personality often brings you close. I have been super lucky to have been partnered with some amazing people. I have even been partnered with a Modern Quilting Rock Star or two . . .
I had the opportunity to make some Urban Home Goods items for one said Amazing Quilting Godess and Star, Nova. Over the last two years we have shown each other lots of flickr love and have had fun getting to know each other. Her first Pocket Pillow for the Pillow Talk Swap really tickled my fancy. In the pocket she made a little boy and girl. I crushed hard on that pillow and in my mind decided it was made for me! I have three wonderful children, including a toddler boy and girl, who at the time were three. The fact that a little boy and girl lived in the pillow made it mine. You can imagine my surprise when someone else received it!
So when Nova asked me to be a pattern tester for her new pattern, based on one of my all time favorite pillows, I said YES!!!! I am by no means a expert seamstress and with two toddlers, a 9 year old and a ton of commitments, I don't sew as much as I would like to. Really the perfect person to test her pattern. The pattern is great. Tons of photos, great explanations and lots of room to change things up or make exactly as shown. Nova has found her calling, she has a knack for making things simple and straightforward. I give this pattern a big thumbs up and plan to make some more!
Check out Amber's, Kerry's and Kelly's test runs, they are fabulous and really show how fun and versitale this pattern is. Here is one Nova made that I also went crazy for.
I have a couple in the works for holiday gifts, but here is my first finished pillow. We love a good holiday pillow and one with a pocket has the kids over the top excited!
Here is a close-up on my favorite parts of this one!
A few details on my pillow. I used lots of my holiday favorites and my all time favorite red striped fabric, cut straight for the pocket and back trim and on the bias for a candy cane effect on the binding. Cut into my all time favorite Spoonflower home dec fabric by Mummy Sam (who I hope to meet, she lives a half hour away). I paired it on the pillow back with some wool felt yardage I just bought for another holiday project. I quickly ran some stitching over it and love the look, texture and feel! Finally a little of my very favorite red and white check gingham ribbon!
My little kids have been showing the pillow lots of love, but at a 20 inch square size it is hard to see Ellie behind it! I love a big pillow and this one is sure to please!
Nova was very generous and is allowing me to giveaway a copy of this awesome pattern. Just leave me a comment on your favorite holiday tradition or just say hi! I am gearing up for our favorite tradition, making and decorating gingerbread houses. Each kid (and if I have success when baking the houses- the adults) decorate their own house on Christmas Eve. For the past two years we have been making our own,
details on my friend Stacy's blog, who helped me transition from the kits to making our own!
I will keep the giveaway open until mid-night eastern time on Saturday.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Frogs, Pillows, Photo Shoots and a Lazy Sunday - Keeping my promise to play with kids for at least 2 hours each day

Am going to try and blog a bit more often . . .
Have gotten up early with Ellie the last few days and we have been busy. She helped me take some photos of the pillows I finished last night. They are both for swaps. The first one is paper pieced and has lots of curves. Not something I would try without a bit of a push. When I saw my partner's mosaic, I ordered Alex Anderson's book right away and set to give it a try. I was surprised at how I got the hang of it, once I actually started to sew.
Got a bit carried away with the hand stitching. One of those things that once you start you just can't stop. She asked for colors of the sea, I think these are perfect! I will ship it to it's new home soon!
I am having a big love affair with Japanese test fabrics from Suzeko Koseki. Paired with the scrappy Japanese X&+ blocks I am in total love. I started this pillow before the swap partner names were handed out. It doesn't fit any of the requirements my partner mentioned or does it resemble anything in the mosaic she did, which will teach me to jump the gun! But it is really a happy accident, because I worked on them both in stages and will have to do that will all pillow making from now on. Making a second, really doesn't take double the time. You are in the zone and a pillow is the perfect project. Piece one or add an hour and piece another. Quilt one or quilt two, you have the machine out and ready! Make one back panel with a zipper, why not do a second. It was really a time saver!
Red, black, aqua, grey and cream . . . a favorite combo for me for sure! I love binding pillows and the touch of red and white stripe makes it perfect to me.
Since Leah had on a matching dress, I couldn't resist getting a shot of her.
While I was taking photos of pillows, Ellie set up her dolls and busted out the Hello Kitty camera. I have been making a point of sitting down with her and playing dolls, games, etc each day. We had a blast dressing dolls, taking photos and giggling all morning.
We got this wonderful outfit, Devout Dolls, and had to put it on Casper. She is such a cute Brownie and now is ready for Halloween.
Sam woke up and it started frog fest. The two of them started small, by catching one and it lead to 12 captured and relocated frogs. They took their work seriously and soon climbed into the window well to rescue the frogs stuck between the window and screen.
Hope you are having a great day. We are enjoying this fall weather and having lots of fun!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Bl♥ved - Stars and Stripes 34/365

Have a wonderful 4th of July!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Pillow Talk Swap 5 . . . aka "the quickie"

Here is the mosaic for round five. I also thought it might be helpful for you to see my thoughts around this swap since the beginning. I still love all the pillows in old mosaics, but those fav'd photos are hidden in my crazy amount of things I favorite right now!
Here are some old related posts:

Mosaics made for rounds 1-4
Can you believe all the great pillows that have been sent and received in this swap? Every time I look at the flickr pool, I just am in awe. I find myself looking at the four I have received and holding them close . . . way to much to be normal! This is such a great swap and I want to thank Kelly and her sister for taking on the organizing this round. Also for all the angel pillows they have made . . . THANKS!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Spring Kids Clothing Week Challenge

Okay, I started out strong . . . the first four days I was able to make something! My free time doesn't seem to happen anymore around here until at least 8 pm and each day it got later. The fourth night I started my project at 10:30 and finished around 1 am. I was just too tired by Friday to keep going and I figured I got four things done!
Meg on her blog, Elsie Marley, started a challenge last spring. Spend one hour each day for a week and see what you could get accomplished sewing clothes for kids. Now the group is over 400 members strong with lots of kids outfits under our collective belts. The flickr group is a great place to go for inspiration if you have any kids sewing to do.
This year I decided to play late Sunday night, so I didn't have the luxury of thinking through the projects, getting the patterns and fabric ready, etc. I just decided to wing it. Also I concentrated on clothes for Ellie only. Let's face it, the boy stuff I made last year was kind of ugly and they didn't wear the items much, where Ellie wore her skirts and dresses so much they are really worn out. Girls stuff is also a lot more fun to sew. I know my two boys feel a bit left out, but I pulled out a ton of old dino shirts of Max's for Sam and he was thrilled and Max got a couple new Under Armour shorts and tops and he thinks he is the stud of all 8 year old boys. So it is all good.
Day One - Started after 10 pm, so went with the Simple Skirt in Sherbet Pips for Moda! Love Aneela's line for both quilts and kids clothes! Used a great tutorial,
Day 2 - Still needs elastic in the sleeves and the neck elastic secured, but needed to wait until she woke up to measure and try on. Sorry for the bad photo, this one is still not done and I have forgotten the pattern I used. Will post about it later. Looks cuter than the photo!
Day 3 - Used Scraps from making her big girl bed quilt to make this fun sun dress.
Day 4 -

Pattern from Whole Grain Baby, Little Mod dress. Used a fun Kokka Cotton Canvas print. The heavyweight of the main fabric, adds to the look of the dress I think. The pattern recommended a home dec weight. Love how this one came out, but a bit hard to attach the yoke to the dress.

As I write this post, I am thinking I might attempt either an Ice Cream Social Shirt from Oliver & S or perhaps a quick shirred sundress. We will see! Either way it has been a great week and Ellie has some new outfits to show for it!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Potholder Pass 7

Instead of dwelling on the fact that I have taken a break . . . I decided to just get back into it! I have become a bit obsessed with Blythe Dolls, started and finished my sons elementary school yearbook and am focused on trying to get in shape. So before I sew, blog or even look at crafty stuff, I have to work out.
Love the Potholder Pass Round 7 which included making a re-usable grocery bag and also two non-round potholders. I just sent my package off today. When I posted the photo to flickr quickly, I posted the wrong one, showing the extra's I sent. I am sure my partner figured out it was for her when she saw two pieces of HTF and OOP fabric from her very short ISO list. Oh well, she lives really close, so I am guessing the box will arrive in the am! Here is what I sent:
A Jane Market Bag sewn with Echino Oilcloth on both the inside and outside. I made one for us and my husband loves it, he can wipe it down quickly and then keep it in his car. Not to mention I used a more manly Echino print. I hope she likes it.
Then you can see the round pot holder, which is from this book. A little dishtowel with a fun large hexie patch sewn on, some handmade fancy pins and then some fabrics. You can't see the long potholder that is hidden under the rest of the loot. Here it is.
Of course as I was looking up her address to print the label this am, I noticed I had read the colors she wanted and left one off. She asked for grey, orange and aqua. Oops, forgot the aqua, but I am hoping she will forgive me, this fabric combo in my view is awesome!
On the topic of forgiveness . . . I must admit I sent a bit of my very small remaining piece of grey flea market fancy seeds and split my remaining HY of AMH Cathedrals in dusk, as a sort of bribe for my sloppy stitches and quilting. If I had the time, I would have re-made this stretched out potholder, but time ran out. I figured a potholder gets trashed after one messy meal, so it was probably all good!
Today I was thrilled when I pulled these two babies out of the padded mailer! For some reason I thought it was some fabric I just ordered from a Canadian ETSY fabric seller, so it came as a big, happy surprise! My partner Val made the perfect bag for me. I LOVE it!
It is from Penny, Sew Take a Hike's pattern. You can find it here. I purchased this pattern and can't wait to give it a go!
Here is the non-round potholder Val made. It is the perfect colors for me, natural linen, brown, cream and red. Love the fun prints. Isn't it fab!
Okay so I promise I won't be gone so long . . .
Here are a few other little things I have worked on in the last week or so.
Pillow top in Pepper's favorite colors for a friend.
A miniature sized Bento Box pillow in the fun new DS Quilts fabric.
A miniature house pillow made for the Modern Blythe Swap and a wonderful hat made just for my partner by Maidensuit. I am finishing up items for that swap and hope to have it on its way soon.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Third Grade Writing Assignment too funny not to capture

The teacher asked the kids to write a persuasive letter that asked for something outrageous. Here is what Max came up with. He is 8 and a half right now. (mom, click on the letter to enlarge it)
Here was our response to the request.
Thank you for your letter asking for a mansion. Unfortunately, we are not able to provide such a grand home because of the expense. Instead we plan to save our money to allow you to go to college and one day buy your own mansion!
We're happy to address your need for more privacy in our current home as well as becoming better organized so you can have enough storage space. Also, we LOVE your suggestion of cleaning up after play dates. A large mansion is not a requirement for such an act, however.
Lastly, we love spending all our time with you. If we lived in a mansion so you can "stay out of our way", we'd never see you! Have a great day in school and we LOVE you!
With Love-
Mom and Dad
We thought we were pretty clever with our response. He came home and said he had to read it aloud in the class and everyone thought it was funny . . . but him! His response, "nice try on the cleaning up after myself front". And yes the apple doesn't fall far from the tree . . .

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

What happened to February? Oops forgot to blog!

I am really not sure what I have been doing . . . I think I will blame it on the LONG, COLD and very SNOWY winter we are having. Then I always have the two three year old excuse, they have both been a bit on the needy side lately. I have also gone a bit mad for Blythe dolls and have been making clothes for them, buying little miniature items, little photo shoots and the most fun part, playing on the floor with Ellie and Sam and using our imagination with the girls. Ellie's enthusiasm has only spurred me on, and lets face it, it really didn't take much.
This is Ellie with Trixie, she brought her to pre-school for her show and tell letter D day.
I finished and shipped my items for the Urban Home Goods Swap. This round has amazing and it is really a swap not to be missed. Make sure to check out the items so far on flickr. I loved my partner's mosaic, isn't it wonderful with all the natural linen and mustard tones.
I ordered a bunch of mustard solids and some worked together and some not so much. In the end I used one solid and then all the mustard prints in my stash, which is sadly a colorway I am lacking. Here is the pillow I made. It was based on this one, a tutorial Heather made for Sew Mama Sew.
Pillow front
pillow back and yes, it is sporting a zipper!
I am nothing if not predictable and made a Jane Market Bag. I really love this pattern and must make a few for us soon. My local quilt shop, KC Custom Fabrics is carrying a few rolls Echino Laminate and it is awesome. The market tote really has a great feel with the laminate.
I also spent a day at KC taking a workshop by Amy Bradley. I learned lots of fun tips on machine applique and the new workshop space at KC is amazing. The best place to take a class. A huge space, with tons of table space, light and a great lunch room. With all the fabric downstairs and also the sewing machine store under one roof is great if you need anything! I finished three blocks and turned one into a pillow for Ellie's room.
Pillow front from Hoots Pattern Pillow back with zipper!
Although I have been eyeing the Blythe posts for a couple years (and had one in the 70's as a young girl), having a daughter to play with pushed me to the edge. The Modern Blythe Lovers group and its first swap pushed me over. Here are some of the items I made for my partner. I ended up sending a lot of small items I purchased because little is just plain fun! I didn't take a photo of the package before sending it . . . oops.
I received a great swap package from Jessie, Yarntini, but will save it for a post in the next couple of days. It is so special it deserves its own post. Thanks again Jessie!
Finally I will leave you with a few shots of our girls, aren't they lovely? I have done a lot of knitting for them and it is fun to get the needles out again. I love sewing for the kids, since it is quick and easy . . . miniature sewing for Blythe will take some practice, but it is almost instant gratification!
The lovely Rory . . . I really adore this girl!
Miss Trixie has stole our heart and her pink hair makes her officially Ellie's doll. Everything pink in our house is automatically claimed.
Our cool chick, Crickette
Cristina, natural beauty
Sam, our first girl, and oh so sweet. She will go to the spa sometime soon. She is lovely.

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