Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Dec Goal Complete {ALYOF}

My December goal was to finish the binding on this baby quilt. I started working on this goal yesterday during E's nap, and then finished it after she went to bed. Yay for quick goals during busy, busy months!

Number 49 on the ALYOF Goal Linky

I think the favorite part of the quilting process for E is when I'm done and it's through the wash and it's time for me to clip threads. She then decides that the quilt becomes the perfect dance floor! 

Twirl, Twirl, Twirl.

This quilt is set for donating... along with two other scrappy baby quilts and some school supplies I picked up this fall. School supplies bought in the fall rarely last throughout the school year - especially pencils! So, I hope these help some students start the new year off with the right foot! The quilts will arrive in perfect time for a few more months of cold-cold-cold winter weather... brrr!

Monday, December 29, 2014

A Window Project

While my photography of this project is not as good as I would like it to be, I've decided to share the project anyways! 

I'll chat about the whole window process a little next, but since you can see it the best in this picture, I'll just talk about the saying here... I used my same go-to method of charcoal transfer before using a black paint marker. The lyrics are from one of my favorite hymns :)

Dan saved this window for me from a building they were tearing down on the farm. Isn't he thoughtful?! He even helped me by caulking the panes to the frame, as they were quite loose. 
(Look how little E used to be?!) At one time, we thought to paint it, but we decided to keep the rustic finish on it instead - one less step... yes, please!

I added burlap to the back and used upholstery nails to attach it to the back. Also, a few sawtooth hangers to help hang it up on the wall. Of course, I had to add the 8x10" photos prior to adding the burlap (the three pictures are from my photo collection... two are of Montana scenes while the sunrise is from my parents' lake cabin). 

The first way I tried to attach the pictures was to use double stick tape between the pictures and the burlap. This worked for awhile but they eventually started to sag. Then I bought some clear photo corners (from Walmart) to use to attach the photos to the glass. If you look close enough, you can see these, but at least they won't be sagging anytime soon!

Ignore the few totes/boxes that I still need to organize, but otherwise the photo window looks quite nice in our bedroom!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! 
May your day be filled with blessings... good food, good laughs, good memories. 

Like I've said in previous posts, I'm really enjoying taking pictures of Ev lately... just has just cooperated so well! I'm sure it won't last much longer, but at least I was able to get these cute Christmas pictures before she goes all "no-no-no" to pictures :)

Also... I wasn't able to get one project done as soon as I would have liked, but at least I have until next Christmas before it's really needed!  Ev is getting promoted to a big sister this coming Spring, so little "Gus-Gus" will need a Christmas stocking next year!  (At least I have the first round of the 12 granny squares that make up one stocking done! Three more rounds to go, plus assembly and the cuff!)

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

WIPs and One Finish

It's about time that I do an updated WIP (Works in Progress) post!

But first, a finish! This was my quickest batch of burp cloths in recent history! A few days ago I realized that I'd be seeing 3-4 friends who are expecting this coming Spring. Well, their baby quilts are definitely not done yet, so I figured I could at least whip up a few burp cloths for a small Christmas present :) 

Here is a WIP that has been a long time coming. I've had the fabric for ages (Dear Mr. Claus), and I finally figured out what to do with them. The lap quilt has been basted and is currently in the "to-quilt" pile. 

Evelyn was in a cuddly mood after her nap, while I was trying to baste this baby quilt (School Days by Moda). This quilt was recently upgraded from the "to-quilt" pile to the "to-bind" pile. That pile resides out by the TV in hopes that one of these nights, I'll actually get ambitious and do some hand-sewing while I'm watching a Christmas movie (especially since my December goal has not left that pile... I should get going on that!).

She seemed to also like the backing to another baby quilt. I did eventually get her to move so I could baste it! She then got out one of her favorite "toys" at my parents' house... an old trike that I refinished in my 4-H days. It spent many-a year in an outbuilding at my grandmother's farm. Mom talked me into refinishing it for her (stripping paint, lots of steel wool sanding, and spray paint). It now is the throne for my American Girl Kirsten doll :)


So, let's do a list... 
(a list that does not include projects that have fabric pulled but haven't been cut into yet!)

2 baby quilts needing binding
2 baby quilts needing quilting then binding
1 lap quilt needing quilting then binding
2 (or is it 3?!) knit dresses for E that have been cut but need some sewing done(!)
2 baby bags that are in various stages of completion

The best part of having a list like this? 
Knowing that it means that I'm using at least a little of my stash! Little by little!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

A Frozen-Inspired Jumper

I'm a little late to the party, but since E can't even tell this is Frozen-inspired, I don't feel too bad :)

I'm just lucky that she is in a photo-loving phase! She is great about sitting or standing where I ask her to, and I'm learning what can help bring out that true smile of hers (and not her forced-smile-grimmace-thing!).  This is an "itsy-bitsy-spider" smile :)

Of course, she recently learned about the fun of viewing the pictures of the camera, so she came running to see how the pictures were turning out every few photos that I took. I'll take it though, as long as she keeps cooperating!

I used the Joleen A-Line Dress pattern by Viola Lee that I found on Etsy by searching for toddler jumper patterns. There are other patterns that I could have used to get the jumper-feel that I love about Elsa and Anna's toddler dresses, but this one worked (for the most part) with the yardage that I had on hand. I would have loved to do a color-block modification to the pattern, but I settled with just using the second color as the facing. 

The fabric and ribbon is from Pink Chalk Fabrics (they no longer sell fabric). I purchased the goods this fall after I won a gift certificate to their site. The fabric is Andover Chambray (Turquoise and Raspberry) and the ribbon is Sue Spargo Folkloric in Lilac Grey.  

Ok, so she mostly cooperates. I asked her to put down the snowmen (I wanted a picture of the front of the jumper), but she obviously didn't want to do that!

Don't worry, I just asked her how big she was and... here you go, the front! Ha! It's a little big and I wish I would have raised the button holes - the pattern said to place them an inch below the top of the strap, but I think they should be just a little higher. At least she has room to grow in this outfit!

Here's a better picture of the buttons/button holes. I still need to work on my button holes. I use the attachment that came with my machine, but it seems like every time I go to sue my seem ripper to open up the hole, I break a few threads on the side so I have to resort to using some liquid stitch to keep the button hole from unraveling! Frustrating! But, since the jumper is so big, I don't have to unbutton the bad side, and I hope that that helps keep the button hold in tact for awhile. 

(The buttons were from my stash. E and I had a lot of fun playing with the buttons until I found ones that would work).

All in all... I'm happy for a finish! One less project on my list :)

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Bindings and Pop-Eye

This is my last of three donation baby quilts made with some of my scrap fabrics. My ALYOF December goal is to finish hand-sew the binding to the back. 

I hope to get them mailed in the New Year with some school supplies... kids don't just need school supplies in the fall! As a former teacher, I remember my students always needing new pencils and borrowing paper from their peers (or me!).

 I showed you this Popeye Skater Dress for E in a previous post, but I figured it would be too big for her to try on. Well, it's not! It fits just right over a black turtleneck. Don't mind her zebra leggings... her black ones were in the dirty clothes basket. She gets so excited when I pull down a dress and ask her if she wants to wear it that day. She loves dressing up!

As you can see our Christmas tree is up... E loves naming the different ornaments ("ball" and "star") and jingling the bells. She should be quite entertaining around all the decorations and presents this year!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

E's Popeye Dress {ALYOF}

I finished it! 
 In a previous post, I showed you a Popeye Skater Dress that I made for a friend's little girl who recently arrived... I figured that I might as well make Evelyn one at the same time. 

Evelyn's dress is a little different. This is my first sleeveless Skater and I didn't have enough of the Popeye fabric for the skirt. The skirt is a thin, black knit instead... and because it was so thin, I decided not to hem it. I haven't tried it on Ev yet, as I made it a little big so she can grow into it for the summer. When summer does arrive in 6 months or so, we'll see if we have to shorten the skirt any.  If she grows into it sooner, we have a black turtleneck that can go underneath :)

She likes dresses... and soft things... so she liked carrying her new outfit around until I hung it up in her closet.

Happy Girl!

Pattern: Skater Dress by Kitschy-Coo
Top Fabric: Popeye The Sailor Man and a red ribbed knit (both from a Craigslist purchase)
Bottom Fabric: Thin, stretchy black knit from a chain store

November ALYOF Goal is Complete!
Goal Post: Here
Entry Number on Goal Linky: 25

Monday, November 3, 2014

Popeye Skater Dress {Plus November's ALYOF Goal}

Remember good-ol' Popeye? And his beloved Olive Oil and little Sweet Pea? 
Ok, I admit, I don't remember watching the cartoon that often... but I certainly remember his love of spinach :)

I found this knit fabric (selvedge says it was made in 1987 for Peter Pan Fabrics, Inc.) while buying a bundle of fabric from a lady on Craigslist back when we were still in Montana. I always knew it would make some really cute clothes!

Here is a Skater Dress (pattern by Kitschy-Coo) made for a sweet baby girl recently born to my first best friend (her husband was also a classmate of ours). I made the 6-12 month size (free add-on to the pattern), and I'm crossing my fingers that it will fit this coming summer.

I hope to finish Evelyn's version soon. I started them at the same time, but then some travel plans came up and I needed to finish this gift quickly. E's dress has a few differences, so I'll be sure to post it when I finish it! Actually, let's make finishing that dress my November goal. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Something Wicked This Way Crosses {Blog Hop}

Wendy from Why Knot Quilt?  and Mdm Samm from Sew We Quilt have continued a wicked tradition with hosting a wickedly fun blog hop for the fourth year in a row. I and the rest of today's wicked sewists plan on showing you lots of wonderfully wicked projects! 

Enjoy your Black Cat Crossing Blog Hoppers on the Eve of All-Hallows-Eve!


Thursday, October 30
On the Banks of Frog Creek (You Are Here!)


Now, here are my two wicked projects... I was not able to purchase the very fun Black Cat Crossing fabrics, but I was able to dig through my stash and finally use some of the Halloween fabrics that I've bought over the years.

I have this family treasure in my kitchen that enjoys being dressed up for the holidays. I already have Christmas and Valentine's Day runners for it, so I was happy to have a wicked-good reason to sew up a Halloween one for it!

I googled "cat sillouettes" and searched and searched until I found this one that fit the runner perfectly. I then measured, cut and sewed and then sewed, measured and cut until the runner fit the antique kitchen cabinet. I quilted it with crazy lines to enhance the feeling of Halloween being a holiday of crazy surprises! 

 I had just enough of this fun fabric for the backing.

With all that cutting and measuring I did for the runner, I had some extras strips and scraps to use up. I figured a quick pillow was just the thing!

 The quilting was my favorite part of this!

My walking foot has been giving me some wicked tension issues, so all I could use was my regular foot. Straight lines can still make a great spider's web! Even E had fun following the lines :)

More stash fabrics for the pillow backing.

Thanks for stopping by! Now, go say "boo!" to those other bloggers listed at the top of this post... I hope you all have a HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

PS: Finishing these projects in time for the blog hop was also my ALYOF Goal finish for October. I was number #19 on the goal setting link party. Here is a link to my goal post.

Monday, October 13, 2014

More Shirts for E

Delia recently posted printables for making diy graphic shirts. That gave me the itch! The crafty itch! 
It was time to make some shirts using freezer paper stencils for my daughter!! :) 

Shirts: Walmart
Paint: Walmart

PLAY: Delia printout here
JACKS: A logo from my college athletics
SNOWFLAKE: Google Clipart Search

Thursday, October 9, 2014

A Young One's Wall Art {E's Room}

I decided that Evelyn needed more on her walls, so I browsed Pinterest for some wall art ideas. Ever since I learned how to create my own using this tutorial, I have felt more confident in making more (here was my first project).

There are a lot of great ideas on Pinterest, so I kind of picked and choosed before I went to Photoshop and created a print-out that was the exact same size as the wood board I found out in the wood pile that came with our house. 

The piece had been done for several weeks (and annoying my husband for just lying on our kitchen island), before we put up the mirror. I couldn't hang the art before I knew how tall the mirror would be. But now, the mirror is up, the art is up and my husband doesn't have to be annoyed by my projects lying all over the kitchen... well, until I come up with another crafty project :)

Monday, October 6, 2014

Quilt on the Wall {E's Room}

 Evelyn's room is the only room that we have truly made our own... paint and all. 

Eventually you'll get all the details, but for now, I'll show you how I hung a quilt that doesn't have a quilt sleeve.

 This is the quilt that my mother-in-law made for Evelyn when she was born. After we painted her room in our new house, I realized how well the quilt matches the color scheme! However, there was the slight problem. This quilt wasn't intended to go on the wall, so Kari didn't sew on a quilt sleeve. I wasn't about to possibly ruin her beautiful work by added a sleeve after the fact, so I came up with a plan.

 I spent a long time searching home improvement stores for fancy nails (because really, what kind of mom wants to go traipsing around mutliple stores with a young toddler searching for something that might not be in stock?!). I finally found these on the Lowes website. When they arrived, I realized they weren't exactly what I had in mind, but they do work perfectly! 

I put two regular nails into the wall and tied on a double thickness of a thin twine I had on hand. After attaching the quilt with regular clothespins and seeing that my vision was in fact going to work, I finally nailed in the huge, decorative nails with a rubber mallet.

Doesn't it look so great about Evelyn's future bed?? I may eventually paint the clothespins or at least decorate with washi tape, but for now, I'm in love :)

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Sneaky Peak and October Goal {ALYOF}

I missed out on September's goal setting. At the beginning of September, I wasn't sure if I'd get anything done, so I was pleasantly surprised when I actually did get some work done.

So, here I am getting back on the goal-posting-track. My October goal is to have this Halloween project finished for the Black Cat Crossing Blog Hop. Come back on October 30th to see the finish!

(The hop starts on the 20th... don't miss any of the fantastic projects!)

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Quickest. Finish. Ever.

About two weeks ago... well, maybe 2 and a half weeks... I received an invitation to my cousin's baby shower. I had always intended on sewing her a baby quilt, but in reality, nothing was planned - I mean, she wasn't due until November; I had plenty of time!

Well, that invite was the kick start I needed! That same day, I went to my charm "scraps" and picked out a mix of charms... 48 charms of colors, texts, patterns and other i-spy items. I even dug in my stash to see if I had anything suitable for the border, backing and binding. All in the same day. That's a lot of planning, ha ;)

No need to run to the store with an over-energetic toddler when you have everything on hand! Score!

Quick quilting of diagonal lines...

... and a pieced backing of tractors and monkeys.

I still can't believe I got it finished in time. Most of it was actually sewn the week before... because 2.5 weeks just isn't exciting enough... why not wait to just have one week?! 
Yeah, I don't understand myself all the time either :)

Happy last few weeks, cousin!