Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sewn for a Baby to Be

I've mentioned Riley here before...she is our new niece that should be here any...day...now (tick-tock, tick-tock).  : )  All of us...Maggie, Joe and Mark included,  absolutely can't wait to meet her!  We already talk about her like we've known her forever.  I can't begin to imagine how excited her parents, Mark's brother Scott and his wife Christen are.

Christen asked me a while back to make a pillow for Riley's room and I was so excited.  I was even more excited when she told me she wanted to use this Square Dance panel, from the Little Folks collection, for her cribskirt (which her Mom made - it's beautiful!).  This is my probably my all-time favorite fabric collection and one that I've been collecting since I first started sewing.  I have used it quite a bit, on all kinds of projects, and think it's awesome to work with. 

Christen gave me full reign over the pillow design, so I decided to do a dresden plate.  It has a girlish and vintage appeal to me and I knew that something with these characteristics would fit well in Riley's new space.  I had never sewn a dresden plate before and was surprised by how easy and fun it was!  I just happened to find this little crocheted doily piece to use for the middle.  I picked up a little stack of them at Suzanna's Antiques (one of Christen and Scott's favorite shops).

Dresden Plate Pillow for Riley

The quilting was so fun.  Although it was a smaller project, it was probably the most enjoyable quilting experience I've had thus far.  I just quilted around each plate/petal (whatever they're called) and then echoed it on the background linen (essex linen in sand) a couple of times.  The piping is another detail that I love, as it frames the whole thing and gives it some pop.  

Dresden Pillow closeup

The back was done with a super soft Folksy Flannel print and has an envelope closure with a little scrappy detail.

Dresden Pillow Back 

I'm happy Christen (and Scott) will have a nice comfy cushion for those precious moments rocking and holding baby Riley.  And I remember so well those late winter nights up with my baby Maggie, and covering up with a warm blanket that a neighbor made us.  So, along with the pillow I made a quilt for them (and Riley).  It's just a simple patchwork quilt made with 4" sqaures, again from the Little Folks collection.  I didn't measure it but it must be about 35" x 42".

Little Folks Quilt

I quilted it in a loopy meandering pattern.  I intentionally quilted it densely, thinking that it would make it more sturdy.  It does take away from the softness of the quilt, but not too much.  I used the same Folksy flannel print on the back as used on the pillow.   

Little Folks Quilt Closeup

I bound it in a solid pink voile.  The very day that I finished the quilting and was planning to bind it, Rachel at Stitched in Color posted this clever zig-zag binding tutorial, so I decided to give it a try.  It was super fast and easy and I think it fits this quilt perfectly.  There were a couple of tiny spots where I didn't catch the binding on the back, but I just went back over them. 

Little Folks Quilt - Zigzag Binding

The kids and I took these goodies to Christen one day last week.  She looks amazing!!!  And, Riley's room looks so perfect...so much like them...filled with handmade things from people that love them, vintage pieces, tons of books, cherished toys, and amazing pictures and little details all over the place.  I was so happy to contribute something to this space.  Can't wait to meet you Riley!!!

Quilty Goodies for Riley

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

During Quiet Time

On Wednesday mornings, I have 4 hours all to myself while the kids are at school and "munch bunch".  It is really the only consistent quiet time I have during the week.  I like to spend it doing the things I love the most...Listening to music, sewing, taking time to drink a cup of tea and make a yummy lunch.  I am definitely someone who needs a bit of my own quiet time, but I'm not very good at doing nothing.  Sometimes I have an agenda and sometimes I just fiddle around all morning.  Music really brings it all together for me...like this song this one that were part of the background of this morning.  The rest of it went something like this... 

Sewing Bliss

Lunch

Sidekick

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sunday Reflections

Earlier this week, I took some time to look back through my blog posts from the last couple of years.  So many things came clear to me...but the bottom line is I love blogging.  It is so rewarding to have those bits and pieces of life on record.  I was struck by how different aspects of life play on each other and how seasons shape our lives.  Some of my favorite blog posts were totally random but a good solid frame of reference made them totally significant.  My "Sunday Reflections" posts were often like that, so I decided to try to start getting back into the swing of them.

Today we fell back, ushering in shorter and eventually colder days.  I happen to like this shift, at least for a little while.  I think it slows us down a bit.  But, it definitely makes for a small window of time to get outside with the kids in the afternoons.  So, last week I did my best to get us all out as much as possible.  There was some swinging (and hand-holding) and some park trips.   Maggie made a friend one day and promptly taught her how to gallop around the park (on Bullseye the horse, of course).  Straight-up running is so overrated to her.  ;-)   

DSC00757

The kids and I also went to our favorite museum one afternoon and said Hello to all of our favorite animals.  Joe is getting more and more interested in dinosaurs.  He loves to go up to every sign and ask me the name of each dinosaur.  Then he repeats it, and gives me a look like "if you know what's good for you, don't laugh or even smile at the way I pronounced that word".  He insists a T-rex is just "T-rex"...no tyrannosaurus nothing, Mommy.  And, right now, I don't argue with that kid.  

DSC00783

It was a perfect Fall day, the museum was very quiet, and we enjoyed feeling like we had it all to ourselves! 

Best Friends

Saturday, we met with a bunch of friends (my Mom friends from Maggie's old preschool) at a park for a family field day.  It was soooooo fun!  Potato sack races, tug of war, mummy wraps, bean bag toss, food, friends...  All of the kids had a blast! 

Fall Field Day

We started talking tonight at dinner about thankfulness.  I put a bowl on the table and told the kids we could all write down or draw things we feel thankful for and stick them in the bowl.  It sparked all kinds of interest.  They are decidedly thankful for our cats, Lewis and Clark, although I don't think the feeling is mutual.  : )  I'm thankful for those long, beautiful Fall days we had last week and for the time I spent recalling and writing about them here.