sewing is great


A few days ago I made a lovely little stack of diaper keepers.  I really wasn't going to blog about it because I've made some before and of course I also made my own version with my diaper pouch tutorial a couple times, too:

But when as I was making them it made me realize that I can take a few scraps of fabric, sew them together, and make something that will be useful to 5 mothers (and possibly the dads too) for a long time to come.  Isn't that great to think of sewing that way?

Before the fabric was just sitting on my shelf and now it's a stack of diaper keepers that are so handy for anyone's diaper bag.  Quick, easy, and fun project, oh and for these I used Diary of a Quilter's tutorial here.  Love them!  See?  Sewing doesn't have to be fancy or artsy or whatever, it can be what you want it to be.  And these are a mom's necessity in my world.

Fabrics: Amy Butler Lotus, Cloud 9 My Happy Nursery and Cut Out & Keep, Alexander Henry Farmdale
Little wood toy cars blogged here.

the inside scoop - my quilt


Okay, I had a few requests for more information on my quilt that I made for my own bed.  It's a pretty awesome use of fabric - there's virtually no remaining scraps and you've got yourself a queen sized quilt when you're finished.  It's actually just a few inches shy of a standard size queen quilt (which is 86" x 93"), but I just layer my quilt on top of our existing duvet, so for me it doesn't have to be exact.

The quilt measures 85" wide by 87" tall.  You'll need the following cuts of fabric to make the quilt top:
2.5 yard cut for center panel - labeled #1
1/2 yard cut for small borders (blue fabric in my quilt) - labeled #2
2 yards for large outside border (yellow fabric in my quilt) - labeled #3


  • For the center panel simply trim off the selvage edges.
  • Cut 4 small border print pieces 4.5" wide by width of fabric (about 44"), depending how your fabric shop cuts fabric, you may or may not have enough, so either adjust it to 4" wide or get 5/8 yard
  • Cut 4 large outside border cut 18" wide by width of fabric

I should note that you probably won't want to use fabric that has a directional print (that is a specific upward facing pattern) for the borders just because of the way they're cut (your print would be facing sideways if you did).
Sew border strips together using 1/4" seam, then sew the borders to the center panel.  That's all!  And sorry if this is insulting to all the fabulous quilters out there.  I just hope this might encourage those who wanted to give a large quilt a try!

Here's a little roundup of some great quilting tutorials*, and mostly how I learned what I know about quilting:

So thank you ladies for sharing your wealth of knowledge with us, I truly appreciate it!
*oh, and definitely feel free to share any other quilting tutorials/tips in the comments.

Have a great weekend everyone!

a charlie dress?


I really should stop doing this, but every time I make something I just have to make two for the girls.  Plus, the second time around is always that much more fun.

And although my girls don't need anymore clothes, it's just too much fun to see them wearing things I make.  I know that all too soon, they won't want me to make them clothes anymore.

So anyway, I went with Rae's Charlie tunic again and made it into a dress this time.  I also added the puff sleeves and rounded placket again, similar to Natalie's tunic.

My favorite part is the little bit of hand stitching.  I used to have a pic up on my inspiration board of a top that had a ton of hand stitching around the neck - it was beautiful.  Maybe I'll have to make just one more, maybe in my size this time...

apple tunic


Here's Natalie in her 'girlified' Charlie Tunic.  I just love Rae's patterns, they're always so professional and well put together.  Don't get me wrong, there are so many talented pattern designers out there, but this one was really awesome and well thought out.  There honestly wasn't a detail left uncovered, and the pieces went together like a breeze. And don't even get me started on all the lovely the options on this pattern, you know I love options!!

For her tunic I added a center pleat to the front and gathers to the sleeve.  I also rounded the front placket, hoping that these little extra details would make it a little softer and girlie looking.  It's fun to make this version, but I definitely can't wait to make one for my nephew.

Natalie's not crazy about the shirt, so we'll see if she'll wear it much.  I'm kind of disappointed she doesn't like it more, but at least the fabric isn't languishing in the fabric stash any longer.   Although she did kind of warm up to it today, so that's a good thing.

[Popeye the sailor girl, she'll probably hate me for posting this pic when she's older, ha]

I've started on a similar one for Emily, and I can't wait to finish it up to show you! Oh, and I had a few requests for more detailed information on my quilt, so I'll be posting some info on that this week as well hopefully.  Thanks for stopping by!

vintage inspired skirt tutorial - skirt week


I'm really pumped that Susan and Adrienne are putting their trust in me today to show you my first ever clothing tutorial for the fabulous Skirt Week going on over at their blog Crafterhours.  Eeek!  Lookie Mom, can you believe it?!  

I've really been finding great style inspiration with some pretty classic vintage pieces.  I've fallen in love with danish modern furniture and all the great vintage housewares out there.  My yellow skirt was inspired by vintage Cathrineholm enamelware:

                                                                                Source: via Anna on Pinterest

Such an amazing design and I thought it would look amazing on a skirt!

side seam pockets to store all your goodies

And of course this skirt would be just as beautiful with any printed fabric you like as well.

If you're ready for the full tutorial, hop on over to Crafterhours today!

on the bias tank


Oooo, yes, it feels so good again to just do something.  Just make something that I just sketched out and not care if it really turned out or not. As an extra bonus I figured I could add it to my work attire (ha, it's quite lacking for summer).  I made this tank similar to one I already have and love.

I used a Free Spirit Solids Voile (although I can't find the name of the color - it's a deep navy blue) that I had gotten from Pink Chalk a long time back.  I wasn't entirely sure what I would make with it, but this seems as good as any!  I might even have enough left over to make a cute little skirt for one of the girls.

I traced my pattern from the existing tank, and cut it on the bias.  I used some precious pieces from my Liberty of London splurge as bias tape facing around the neck and arm holes.  I like how it's still minimal and streamlined looking to the average viewer, but I know there's that cute little floral in there - just for me.

Now before I let you go thinking like I'm cool, like Rae who can pump out an amazing top in no time flat, I did manage to forget to add a seam allowance for the side seams.  Oops.  It actually fits like a glove (miraculously), but I'm usually used to layering tanks under my tanks, weird habit? Ah well.  This doesn't need it and with a little lightweight cardigan I can wear it at the office.

And don't worry, I'll definitely be trying this same style in knit, oh yeah!

shopping with rossie


I first want to say thank you for all your very kind comments on my quilt for my bed.  It's been really lovely to sleep under.

Yesterday I had the wonderful opportunity of going shopping at my local quilt shop with my friend Rossie.  If you've never stopped by her blog you should, oh and she's the creator of the most awesome flickr quilt group: Fresh Modern Quilts.  If you're into quilting at all, just stopping by that group makes you want to jump right in and quilt some more.

 [looks like I need a little more practice taking pics with my iphone]

It's funny how small the blogging world really is, Rossie and I both grew up in the same hometown - although she lives in Michigan now, so it's definitely fun to know someone who is so knowledgeable about quilting.

I got to get a sneak peek at her mostly finished quilt for her cousin, which was just so beautiful and made me want to jump right back in and make another quilt.

It was pretty funny, when we were setting up a time to meet I had to warn her about my crazy kiddos and how they go bonkers at the quilt shop.  Do your kids do that while you're trying to buy fabric?  I hope mine aren't the only ones.

[thanks Rossie for snapping a pic of Natalie]

Anyway, Rossie, who is fabulously creative came up with the idea of a fabric bingo game, totally awesome!  I think Natalie would have loved it even more if she didn't have her little sister to keep egging her on to run laps around the store instead.

Hope you have a great weekend!

a quilt for me


If you read my interview with Krista the other day, she asked a really great question: "What's one skill or thing you've been wanting to make but haven't?"  It kind of stuck a chord with me, so I decided it was time to make a quilt for my own bed, a queen size quilt.

Why did I wait for so long?  I guess I was scared of trying to quilt a queen size quilt on my machine.  I hadn't made a quilt that large before so the thought of going to all the work to make the quilt top and backing and then messing up the quilting just terrified me.

So I decided I was making the quilt just for me, meaning I wasn't going to be concerned about what anyone else might think.  I didn't care if someone thought it was too simple.  I didn't care if someone wouldn't like it.  I made it for me and that makes me extremely happy knowing I accomplished something I thought I couldn't do and had been too scared to try.

So I guess I'd like to challenge everyone out there 
that's reading this post:  
Try something new.  

Go out of your comfort zone.  Learn a new technique, try using a zipper, make that quilt you've always wanted to make.  You'll be surprised how much you'll learn even if it doesn't turn out just as you'd imagined.  Go for it and don't let anyone stop you.

The fine print:  Anna Maria Horner's LouLouThi in tart as center strip (2.5 yards), blue border is also LouLouThi in Ocean (1/2 yard), Empire Yellow border (2 yards), backing, and binding is Pure Elements by Patricia Bravo.  I used Fresh Water, Festival Fuschia, Cherry Lipgloss and Linen White.  Measures 85" x 87", quilted on my machine with a hand stitched binding.

monday, monday


Just felt like popping in today and showing you what I've been up to these past few days...

finally started working on a project just for me that I've been wanting to do for a long time, I'm loving it

peonies are blossoming in the back yard

and my One Line a Day journal arrived, I'm hoping this will be great for all those times I say "I should really write that down!"  [first spotted this cool journal here and then here]

Hope you had a great weekend. What've you been up to lately?

to Ayumi with love



This month's installment of Ringo Pie is brought to you by all things "mail and packaging" for my good friend Ayumi of Pink Penguin.  I really had gotten myself stuck in a little rut lately of slacking off.  Thus May's block will arrive at Ayumi's house about a week late.  I guess I just felt kind of stuck.  But, as soon as I was nearly finished with this block, the biggest smile crept across my face.  So, thank you Ringo Pie and Ayumi.

I think this is by far the most difficult block I've made for this quilting bee (and believe me, the other members blocks are all so amazing and more difficult!).  You can see my other blocks here, here, herehere, and here.  And by far the one that involved the most seam ripping.  In the end, it's just perfect for her (I hope).

I incorporated as many precious fabric scraps as I could, knowing she'd appreciate them as much as me.  It's really no fun to let your favorite fabrics sit in a bin in a closet is it?  Some of the scraps are from other bee members, Amy of Badskirt and Kerry of verykerryberry.

Just to a quick count and this block is made up of 29 different pieces, whew, no wonder it took me almost 3 hours to complete.  Little beads of sweat were rolling off my forehead.  So worth it though.

I added a bit of hand stitching around the top heart to make it pop a little.  And below is a little sneaky of the seams in the back:

I can't wait to see what your quilt will look like Ayumi.
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