Friday, April 30, 2010

Almost made it!

I really wanted to have this completely finished by tonight, but the binding just wasn't happening for me. But I am proud of what I have accomplished so far. I was inspired by the figgy pudding quilt in design, but I wanted it a different size, so I just kind of made it up as I went along. This was definitely on the edge of my sewing capability! I used the basting technique from crazy mom quilts (she's blogging again! yippee!) did the straight line quilting from tallgrass prairie studio. The material is Riley Blake's Wheels collection and I bought it from The Dizzy Daizy. She shipped it super fast and it was all in perfect order.

After buying some totally over priced thread at my quilt shop, I looked online and bought way more of the same type of thread for way less at ConnectingThread. I took the other stuff back. I'm happy with the thread. It's even cheaper than the Coats and Clark you'd buy at Walmart if you buy in bulk (to offset shipping).

I thought that I would do the cross quilting, but I tell you what, I'm pleased with how it looks right now, and I don't want to spend any more time sewing straight lines! It wasn't hard, but it was way more time consuming than I expected. This quilt also took more fabric than I expected. (4 yards of the green, 2 yards of the blue cars, and 1/2 yard of the roadway, and less than 1/8 yard of the others.)

I used a 80/20 cotton heirloom batting from Hobby Lobby. I like the feel of it and it was easy to quilt. I bought a queen size and I'll be able to use it for both quilts (I'm making one very similar but with brown car backing for Walter. Eventually.).

The final size is 49 X 78. Larger than toddler size (~45X60), smaller than a twin comforter(~65X88). I'm hoping he'll be able to use it on a twin bed eventually, though.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Easter Dresses

So I have been reading this blog and all of a sudden I realized I've been enjoying seeing your efforts for a while without sharing my own.  I haven't had the sewing bug for a bit, maybe these dresses did me in.  I think I've been focusing on doing Spring Cleaning and I"m sure I can think of lots of other excuses, but I can feel the crafting bug coming back in the near future.

I'll post picts of the girls wearing them on my private blog for my month in review, so you'll just have to keep waiting b/c they are super cute.  My oldest got chocolate on hers the first time wearing it and I thus learned that the flowers fall apart in the washing machine.  So now I need something else to put in that spot.  Suggestions?

I also did a nursing cover but already gave it away.  I will be doing a few more since three of my friends will be having babies this summer and one of them is having twins.  Any suggestions on twin modifications for a nursing cover?  All I can think of is make it extra wide.

Woman's shirt to girl's nightgown... sewing buttons, and a headband

Ruth needed some more nightgowns for the warmer weather and I had this shirt that I decided to re-purpose. I just took in the seams above the shoulders and under the arms to make it more comfortable for her. I have one more still to do.

I was mending Rex's sunday shirt, sewing some buttons that were about to fall off and Ruth got interested in helping. After we were done she wanted to do more, so she sewed these 3 buttons on Rex's apron. So I went through all my mending and found more work for her.
This isnt quite refashioning, but its one of the projects I'm pleased with. I just added the lace at the bottom of the skirt since I have a tall girl and some skirts are not long enough for her. I also added the lace across the bodice because I had it passed on to me and it matched so cute I thought.
This is actually a headband my sister sent me, but it is one I had been wanting to make. I had seen some at a store that were handmade and thought, this looks like nylon material! I experimented with cutting a ring off of old black nylons, but it was a little too thin. This one is a section of leg from baby tights sewn in a loop. Easy and comfy. It has a loop at the top to clip barrettes to, so its interchangeable. I like this idea.
I thought you'd appreciate this last one - my couch when I was crafting :) See the sewing machine in the background? I love crafting, but I love a clean house, too. So off I go to continue life! Love you, ladies :)
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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Refashion: Boy Shorts to Little Girl Skirt

Sorry...I feel like I am hogging. I am finally getting some time to catch up.

I pulled these shorts out of Buddy's drawers a couple of weeks ago. I LOVE these shorts. They are so cute. However, I was sad to see that they were a size 2 and no longer fit my 4 year old boy. So I tried them on my 2 year old. They fit her perfectly. I also love these shorts because they have those nifty adjustable elastic waistbands like gap pants. Anyways, the shorts looked cute on my little girl, but they were rather tomboyish looking so I figured I could make them into a skirt. And that is what I did. Here is the end result. And of course I had to add a ruffle -just for good girly meausre.


Refashion: Woman's Skirt to Little Girl's Dress

I bought this skirt when I was pregnant. I loved the wide thick elastic waistband. However, I realized after I had Lou that the skirt was just at that length. Long enough to cover what it needed to but short enough that I always worried that it was slouching up and I needed to keep readjusting. I figured it wasn't worth my worrying about. When I am at church the last thing I want to worry about is my skirt. So I decided to make it into a dress for Bella. She loves it and calls it her "pretty dress". Awe, that makes me feel so good.

My only suggestion for this kind of refashion with an elastic waistband is to sew your main seam first and then cut off the excess. That way you can try it on your little model after you sew it to make sure it fits and if it doesn't you can just adjust without worrying about not having enough material. Also it keeps all that elastic stuff together so you don't have to worry about it as you sew. Hope that makes sense. Anyways, the leftover material was used to make the flower and sleeves.

Super easy. Super cute.


Maren's Headbands

So I am finally posting my headbands from last month. I hadn't posted them yet because I still am in search for the perfect headband and I want to try a few different styles. However, I am not sure when I will get to it so for now here is what I have done.

The white/blue/brown/green one was made using this quick 10 minute headband tutorial.

The other two reversible ones were made from this tutorial. The black/red one is the narrow version and the pastel one is the wide version.

I had really wanted to wear them on days when I wear a ponytail, but I find that they tend to work better with my hair down (or in pigtails). I still have to bobby pin them behind my ear to help hold them in place. But still really cute and I like them. I am going to try doing some with jersy knit and leave long tails so I can tie them. I think those would fit really well. Can't wait to find some time to experiment more with that.

Anyways...Since it was headband month I decided it was time to make Lou some more headbands. So I whipped up a few. I know some people are morally opposed to HUGE floral headbands, but I love them. Every time I have Lou in one I get stopped in my tracks so people can ooh and awe and perfect strangers tell me how cute Lou looks in the headband. It has happened so many times that Hubby who is usually oblivious to anything crafty that I do has actually taken note - hey my wife made something cool! Maybe we can make some money off of this. ha ha! Anyways, I also love them because when I have Lou Lou in one of these headbands I don't have people calling her a "he" or asking me if she is a boy or girl (even when she is wearing pink!).

These are the big ones. The white one is my fav.

These are a bit smaller.

And I made one for Bella, but I think the headband is too small so I am going to take the flower off and put it on an aligator clip.


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Montessori Apron Modified

I had always intended on making Bella a full apron but when I saw this tutorial I couldn't pass up. That is the apron I posted here. Anyways, so I thought I would delay making her a full apron. However, one evening before Easter when I was working in the kitchen I told the kids to go grab their aprons so they could help me. Bella so badly wanted to wear Buddy's apron. She loves being able to put it around her neck. She cried and cried when I told her that it was for Buddy. I promised that I would make one for her as well and we pulled out my fabric stash and chose some fabric.

The week before Easter I tried to sneakily work on the girl's Ruby Lou dolls but if Bella caught me at the sewing machine she would say "Are you working on my apron?" I would say "yes". I know, I totally lied. So after Easter I knew I had to whip that baby up. I knew I wanted a full apron and I knew I wanted it girly with ruffles and cute pockets but I kept coming back to the Montessori pattern. I love it! So I adjusted it a little to make it more girly. I rounded the edges, added a ruffle kind of like in the half apron I used before, and added two cute pockets. I have had my eye on this market skirt pattern for quite awhile because I LOVE the pockets on it. So I tried to make some pockets similar to the ones in the skirt pattern. I love the two buttons and the green ric rack ribbon on the pockets. And like I said before, my kids need pockets. I also love how vintagey this apron feels with the red and white gingham and the yellow floral.

Needless to say Bella loves it and wears it all the time. And I am getting even more help in the kitchen!


Wooden Fridge

This is one of those projects that took me longer than I would have liked - only becaue I kept messing up. It has been done for awhile and the kids have been enjoying it.

What I learned - I am not that great of a painter. I am by no means a perfectionist and this project shows that. I got the cupboard at Michaels and painted it all white. Then I used painters tape to outline where I wanted the chalkboard to go, but after I sprayed the chalkboard paint and removed the tape, the tape had pulled off some of the white paint. So I decided to do the green outline around the chalkboard. Then because I was so excited to test out the chalkboard I let the kids use some sidewalk chalk. Pink sidewalk chalk. And despite my telling them to draw only on the chalkboard, there was pink chalk everywhere. I thought it would be easy to clean up. Wrong. It very easily came off the chalkboard but my nice white paint was tinted pink. So I did another coat of white and did some touchups. I wanted to add more detail, but at that point I was just ready to be done with the project.

So it is not perfect. Not even close. But, it serves the purpose and I saved beaucoup bucks. It is the perfect size and it goes very nicely with the rest of the Pottery Barn kitchen. And I have to say, I love the chalkboard feature. I went out and found some white chalk. Much better. I really would love to just do a whole wall in chalkboard paint. Just kidding. well, only partly;)

Now if I can just get Bella to keep her food inside the fridge and not scattered all over the floor!


Saturday, April 10, 2010

Ruby Lou Dolls

I was so excited to make these dolls for my girls this year for Easter. You can find the pattern here.

My sister in law Abby wrote this pattern and, although I have to admit I am a little biased, this has been my favorite doll pattern. I have used a couple of different patterns but I will tell you a few reasons why this one is my favorite - besides the fact that it is just so dang cute! The first reason - I love the hair. I love that it is long and doable (I have both of their hair braided here). The hair makes the doll look like a little girl and not like a little woman. I love the collar (I added a button). I love the reversible skirt. And I love the shoes! I love that they are sewn on so that they aren't always falling off.

And my girls love them too!


Saturday, April 3, 2010

April Challenges

Seasonal Crafts: Mother's Day

This blog is all about homemade bath products and is a great place for ideas. She has a cool tutorial for whipped shea butter and a new post on lip gloss. She also lists places you can buy things like essential oil and all that stuff.

This is a cool site for the the advantages of handmade lipbalms with some recipes. It is a project that is easy enough to do with kids

Vanilla lip balm, hand/feet scrub, facial mask

Bath salts

A few more fun bath recipes

Self (and possibly child) Craft: Refashioning
and Publish Something

Here are almost 30 posts on the Make it and Love it blog on repurposing. She has dresses, skirts, shirts, leggings, pants and stuffed animals for boys and girls

The ever popular men's shirt-to-little-girl-dress
button up the back with ruffle (seriously cute!)
Made did two versions here and here
Two super cute jumpers, love the first one especially here and here

This girls shirt is so darling and it is made from an old men's t-shirt

I can't wait to make this cute ruffle skirt from an old tee.

And for the boys a sweater vest and boxer shorts!

Sorry, most of these are for kids! There are lot of ideas online for refashioning or embelishing clothes and blogs that are dedicated to refashioning alone. If you want to make clothes last longer, tweak them to your liking etc etc, give refashioning a try. It really is pretty fun and the possibilities are endless. I have started looking at our wardrobes in a new light. I think twice before I throw anything out or give it away.

Blurb books and are great places to self publish. They produce high quality books of all sorts (photos, cookbooks, family history, journals, you think it up and you can print it up!) for a reasonable price. I've done two books through blurb so far and am in the middle of my third!

Child Craft: Quilts

I love myself some Crazy Mom Quilts.
She no longer blogs (so sad!), but her blog is still up and she has some wonderful ideas and tutorials for modern quilts. If you need ideas for the actual quilt, head to her site.

Straight line quilting tutorial

Free motion quilting tutorial video

Binding tutorial

Doll quilt tutorial

Grid quilting tutorial

Recipe Recommendations:
Resurrection Rolls (Easy Easter cooking with Kids)

These are delicious. I also made them with sweet potatoes, and I almost think I liked the sweet potatoes better (though the red were quite delicious too!). Oh, and I used crushed dried rosemary because I didn't have fresh handy. To make sweet potatoes I just peeled them, chunked them into big pieces (about the size of the red potatoes, maybe a little larger since the tend to cook faster than regular potatoes) and boiled them with the red potatoes till they were fork tender. Then I followed her directions after that. YUM! It was a nice, new way to have potatoes.

Friday, April 2, 2010

General Conference ideas for kids

I just thought I'd post this link in case you didn't already know about it. They always have great ideas for any aspect of LDS culture and I remembered that I want to print out some activity sheets to help all of us pay a little more attention to conference this weekend.  There are a lot of ideas there, my two favorites are coloring a matching tie to the corresponding Prophet/Apostle, and the bingo sheets (this is mostly for my hubby and me, but Carolyn is getting old enough to do it too :), also we like just having a candy jar and offering a treat after each talk if they can say something the talk was about.  Being Easter weekend too, having candy around won't be hard :)  Oh, and one last idea we did a few conferences back that we'll probably do again is to tape the middle insert of the last conference ensign up and have them match the speaker to their picture on the insert.

What do you guys do for conference to try to get the most out of it?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

A few preschool ideas

I was going to write this in a comment, but thought people might want to refer back to it.

All 5 of my siblings with kids used Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy lessons. 17 out of 18 of my school age nieces and nephews were able to read chapter books by the time they started Kindergarten (two or three read all the Harry Potter books by the time they were out of kindergarten!). I will get that book sometime in the next year for Dean.

One friend who ran a tuition based preschool gave me some good sites:
Learning Page
Kid Zone

I have another friend who runs a preschool out of her home and she has a blog where she says what they did that day. Great ideas from her. Most of her themes are around letters of the day.

When I start getting specific games made, I'll let you know where I got them.