Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Field Study Pillow

The number of bright patchwork pieces seems to be multiplying in quilts and pillows around my house.  It's like spontaneous combustion.  I just keep layering them on top of one another and I love it.  It is not a decor I ever would have thought I'd create in our living space, but I have come to love the character all these pieces add to our home.

Field Study Pillow

Just today, I added this festive pillow to our couch.  It uses fabrics from Anna Maria Horner's Field Study collection.  The patchwork is a tumbler design, which I cut using this dresden plate template.  I used my walking foot to quilt a number of large circles over the top of the pillow.  Enough to add some interest, but not distract from the beautiful prints.  The back is another Anna Maria Horner print - from her Loulouthi collection - with a simple envelope closure.

Field Study Pillow Quilting

Field Study Pillow Back

I love how a pillow changes a room.  Quick and easy to make too! 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Hello Darling

Our Baby.  Four months old.  Say it isn't so!  Tonight as I was rocking her to sleep, I leaned in and kissed her head and whispered "I love you, Lyla".  She opened her eyes wide and gave me a giant, sparkly smile, and then she babbled and cooed to me for a few minutes before turning her head to fall asleep.  She spends so much of her days watching us all whirl around her up above.  I imagine she is storing up all the things she wants to tell us one day, but for now she just smiles as big as she can over and over again.  It's safe to say she likes it here, with us.

I sewed this little jumper for her recently.  It was something I had in my head for a while - a simple jumper worn over a onesie in the winter and all by itself in the summer.  I found a similar jumper in her closet and used it to get the top and straps sized, and then just added a gathered skirt.  I'm calling this the Hello Darling jumper for lots of reasons...it's darling, she's darling, I've always had a soft spot for that old Conway Twitty song, and my Dad always called me "darling" when I was little (and I'm sure my sisters too).  I just love that word - "darling".  So, there you go. 


Hello Darling

The fabric is from Ellen Luckett Baker's Stamped collection.  It is a cotton/linen blend - somewhat heavier than the blends I'm used to, but still perfectly suitable for this little dress.   I made the straps longer so I can move the buttons down, hoping that it'll fit her longer that way.  She has already had some fun chewing the straps.    

Jumper

The waistband has elastic on the back and the straps criss-cross in the back.  But you're not getting any of that, because you're too busy admiring her bald spot, yes?

Jumper Back

One thing I'd like to do this year - another resolution, I suppose - is to sew more clothes for my kids, mainly Lyla...because she's fair game. : )  There are patterns I've always wanted to try and some more of my own ideas I would like to bring to life.  And now, finally, I have the perfect little guinea pig.   So, of course, I've already pulled some more fabrics to make Lyla another Hello Darling dress.

Darling Feet

Now, I will return to watching those sweet little feet grow little by little...*sniff, sniff*.   

 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Innocent Path Quilt Finished

Innocent Path Quilt

Innocent Path - Closeup

Floppy Love

Flannel Backing

This is the last of quilts I made last year before Lyla was born.  I shared the details about the quilt top back in August and just finished sewing the binding on last week.  It is more like a big floppy throw than a quilt to me, as I omitted batting and backed it in flannel.

I quilted it with simple diagonal lines about 1/4" on both sides of the seams.  It is backed in a super soft Loulouthi flannel by Anna Maria Horner and bound with  Maybe in tangerine from Innocent Crush.  It measures about 40" x 60" - the perfect lap quilt.   

This was a fun, creative pursuit for me and I'm so happy with how it turned out.  I would love to make another one using completely different fabrics.  Anyone care to join me?        

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Lately

So, Mark has been away since Sunday morning on a business trip...in China!  A long way from here, that's for sure.  When he travels, I usually fret about how I'll manage everything while he's gone.  But, these past few days, I've realized the hard part isn't managing but just how much we all really miss him.  It is so nice to have someone come home to you everyday and I just really miss that!

Anyway, I thought I'd just pop in and share some snapshots of our week.  It has been a nice, quiet week...just the kids and I taking it easy and enjoying each other.  Joe has been going to sleep on the floor, again. He says it's less "scary".

 
Thinks sleeping on the floor is less "scary". Sweet boy...

I bought tickets yesterday for my sister and I to see the Avett Brothers in Georgia in May!  She moved there with her family last summer and I've yet to visit.  I'm so, so, so excited.  We have both seen them before and have been messaging back and forth our favorite youtube videos. 

Waiting patiently for 12 pm to arrive so I can get my tickets!  Alpharetta, GA with my sis - can't wait!!!!!!!!!

After a bit of a break, I got my sewing machine out and made this cute wallet!  I saw it the other day on Amanda's blog, and knew right away I wanted to make one.  I think my old wallet was at least 10 years old and was starting to fall apart.  The pattern I used is called the Have It All wallet pattern by Straight Stitch Society.  It was fun and quick - just worked on it a little each day for a few days.  That is the way sewing goes for me these days.

Sewed myself a new wallet.

I used an Echino print for the main part, and two prints from Field Study and Hope Valley for the inner pockets and zipper pouch.  It really does hold everything! 

Inside: holds everything!

With Mark out of town, I've been doing all of my favorite easy meals for dinner.  Breakfast for dinner is always a favorite in our house.  And, this meal from Trader Joe's is one of my favorites.  I just saute some onion, sliced chicken sausage (the spicy jalepeno is the best, but I do the sweet apple for the kiddos), and this bag of shaved brussels sprouts all together in a skillet.  Quick and delicious.  The biscuits were a hit too.

One of my fave easy TJ meals. The biscuits are a special treat tonight! :)

Lyla is thinking about rolling over, but mostly just hanging out like this with about 3/4 of her body rolled over.  I hope she waits for Daddy to get home!  She is still smiling up a storm - such a happy girl!

This is for you, @mkrynock - so close to rolling over!

I finished reading The Round House and really loved it, although the subject was so dark and sad at times.  I want to read more books this year!  I know it was on my list last year, but this year I mean it.  Next up, I'm starting The Tiger's Wife.

That's about it for life these days.  Mark gets back in a couple days, and I'll be so happy to have us all together again! : )    

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Lyla's Quilt

Lyla's Quilt 2

In the weeks before Lyla was born, I started to feel guilty that I hadn't completed a quilt for her.  My plan was to give her the Hexy quilt I was working on last year, but that proved to be a slow going project for me (which I'm still working on).  So, at the last minute, and on a total whim, I put this little quilt together.  Out of all the quilts I've made, this one came together so quickly, so easily, and so happily.  I loved every bit of making it and finished it literally the night before she was born. 

It is a simple design made up of 4 log-cabin blocks, with a solid white sashing and borders.  I used fabrics from Violet Craft's Madrona Road line, perhaps my most favorite collection last year.  The blocks so appropriately frame large cuts of the farmstead and memoir (text) prints (read the story here).  I paired these prints with various shades of neutral solids and a pretty, popping, aqua blue.  The idea to use different shades of neutral - namely white, cream, beige, and grey - was largely inspired by this quilt by Blue Elephant Stitches - just beautiful!

Lyla's Quilt

For the quilting, I did a basic free-motion pattern in a beautiful pale pink thread.  It is impossible to see in photos but such a lovely detail in person.

Quilting Closeup


For the backing, I chose this light grey and white gingham fabric from Ikea.  It's a heavier weight cotton which I think is a great choice for this quilt, as it is essentially a play mat for her.  I chose this aqua dot print by Denyse Schmidt for the binding.

Backing

My favorite little detail is this embroidery, that I added in the corner. 

Her Name

So many memories already have been caught with Lyla on this sweet quilt.  When I see it I think especially of the anticipation of those last few weeks before she was born, and the joy of those early weeks and now months I've spent with her....all of us crowding around and gazing down at her and feeling so happy she's a part of our family.     

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Resolve: To Celebrate

Resolve

Card

Banner

Cake

There is nothing more worthwhile than moments like this.  These days - when little things like not managing to get my husband the birthday gift I intended (and I think he deserved), because my day (or days) just didn't go as planned - I find myself more frustrated than I should be.  Now looking back on these images, I remember that all we needed was each other, a few fun party hats, some expressions of love, and cake, or course.  Cake always makes things better!  So this year, I resolve to celebrate no matter the circumstances.  And, to make more cakes. 

Friday, January 4, 2013

Sweet Stitches

After a long week of late nights up with babies and big kids and getting back into the grind that is carpool...I enjoyed a nice quiet morning today.  A sweet baby sleeping on my lap - the only place she'll nap these days. 

Sweet

Stitching slowly away on this sweet, sweet embroidery sampler by Charlotte Lyons.  Something new to me...something that I plan to put in her room and always remind me of this special time with her.   

Stitching

If only I could do this everyday. : )

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Joe's Quilt

One thing I've been trying to do over the past month is play catchup.  Like so many, I have a pile of unfinished projects - sewing, knitting, etc.  One by one, I've been crossing things off my list, and it's felt so great!  Along with unfinished projects, I have a number of things I've made and never blogged about.

Joe's Puzzle Box Quilt

The first of those is Joe's quilt.  I had a really hard time deciding on a quilt design for him, and then one day I stumbled across this quilt on pinterest.  The quilting is soooo fantastic and perfect, is it not?  After following the pin, I found the Puzzle Box quilt along  hosted by Brigette of Farbstoff.  It looked like a fairly straightforward pattern, so I decided to use Brigette's instructions for Joe's quilt.

Close Up

For this quilt I chose to use solids from Michael Miller's Cotton Couture collection - such soft fabrics with a lovely bright sheen.  I really don't buy many solid fabrics, but I love having some of these in my fabric stash.  I find them a tiny bit more challenging to work with because they are so lightweight.  Once I assembled all the Puzzle Box blocks, I needed to add borders to the front to make it twin size, so I paired the solids with a few fabulous prints from Jessica Hogarth's VeloCity line.  I thought the scooters on the front and the urban scene on the back were so unique and supercool for my little guy.

Back

I have to admit that when I envisioned this quilt, I had dreams of quilting it something like my original inspiration (quilted on a longarm by Brigette).  But, I quickly realized that sort of design was waaaaay beyond my quilting skills, and not to mention, I was running out of time.  So I kept the quilting really simple, just doing some line work on the individual blocks and then some straight-line quilting around the borders.  It turned out really crinkly and soft which is perfect for him.

Patchwork Borders

This quilt definitely grew on me as I made it.  I don't often work with solids, so it was a different challenge for me (a challenge that spawned the making of this clutch).  This quilt is also decidedly modern, which is also a little out of my realm.  One of my favorite parts are these patchwork sections I added along the borders.

So does he love it?  Weeeelll....kind of...he's a boy, so who knows, really?  I do know it made him feel good to be given a quilt along with Maggie with whom he shares his room.  And it made me feel good to make it for him!