Sunday, September 27, 2009

Flower Garden

Despite the lack of posting on the blog, I've been slowly working lately. I have a number of things cut out, although this past week I was greatly slowed down by the two unexpected days off school due to flooding. But I'm working on winter clothes for the girls. I've even done some hand sewing. I don't usually, because it makes my wrists hurt after a while, but sometimes you have to hand sew to complete the vision! ;)

Anyway, I ran into a bit of difficulty with clear elastic, but I finally finished the first two winter dresses, and I'm quite happy with them. M picked out the pink fabric for her dress in the clearance section of the "pretty fabric store", and I got A the blue and green version of the same fabric, since those are her favorite colors. And this way they can coordinate without directly matching. (I'm not sure if that'll count in their eyes, but I'm hoping it does.)


M's is more of a bouquet, and A's is more of a garden, but I like them both. No action shots as yet, since it hasn't actually gotten cold yet. Although it might be cool enough to wear them one day this week, so maybe soon.

I have 4 more similar dresses cut out and ready to make, plus some other stuff in process. I had a disaster with a skirt for myself - I got it almost entirely cut out, only to realize I didn't have quite enough fabric. Which I bought at Joann's sometime last spring, and they no longer have. Grr. (It's just denim, but none of the current denim *quite* matches, so it'd look weird in a panel skirt.) So I got more today to start over. Hopefully there won't be any more unexpected "inclement weather" days, and I'll get more done this week!

Sunday, September 13, 2009


My model wouldn't smile, but look how cute this turned out!

I saw this tutorial for a baker's hat the other day, and thought it was very cute. I was inspired to make a baker set for a birthday gift for a little girl we know. M is modeling for me since she's closest in size (although the hat's about to fall off. I hope it fits the birthday girl!) I'm very pleased with how it came out! I only had a fat quarter of the pink to do the binding etc, and I just barely managed to squeak out enough. I had some issues with the hat but I like it well enough. (My first try went into our own dress-ups. It has some problems, but the girls will play with it.) And the apron is basically like the ones I made a while back, except I used velcro for the back fastener rather than ties. I think the little oven mitt is my favorite part, though - it's quilted and everything! I traced one from our play kitchen to get the right size. I ran out of batting, though, so I have to buy more before I can make another mitt. Or I might make a potholder instead. I haven't decided yet. Today, though, I have my first official soccer game in the league I just joined, so I'm going to be a little busy! :)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The second day of school

didn't go as well as the first day, unfortunately. Apparently my poor baby was exhausted (and hungry, I think), and so she was laying on the floor half-asleep during free play time. :( They were worried that she was sick, so I went and picked her up. She came home, downed her lunch, and took a two hour nap. I'd say she was tired! This is a child who stopped napping when she was 2. And she's never ASKED to nap in her entire life! The whole "sharing a room" thing is really not my favorite in terms of the children actually getting enough sleep..... However, changing it would be very difficult at this point, so I'm just going to have to come up with a new sleep plan or something.

However, since she had naptime and then was cheerful, I actually managed to do some more sewing. I finished the new dolly quilt, and I'm really quite pleased.

I appliqued the star shape on top of the dots. Then when I quilted it, I stitched around the star and then did some lines. I don't think you can see them in the picture, but they look kind of neat, if I do say so myself.

The backing is the same letter fabric I used in the other dolly quilt:
It's not a spectacular match to the front, but it looks nice with the binding. I used my last little bits (I think) of my Park Slope birdies - I only had a tiny bit, so I had to do a really narrow binding. I machine stitched it. I realize that's not the official way to do it, but honestly, hand stitching is just too hard on my wrists - it's not going to happen on anything bigger than a doll quilt, so I might as well practice my machine binding now!

All in all, it went a lot better than the first one - although Mistakes Were (probably) Made, they're way less obvious than in the first, so that's progress. :) And M told me that it was a very pretty quilt (for A), so it's got at least one child stamp of approval. Now onto my next project... just have to pick one of the many!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

1st day of Pre-K

Today was the first day of pre-k, so both girls are back to school now. Despite the pictures below, M was very happy to go back to school. She just won't smile for the camera anymore, so you have to trick her to get anything remotely like her actual face. Here she is with her giant backpack:
(And that was the smaller one!)

Here's a better shot of her first day of school dress (although possibly the most ridiculous face):
I spent a few hours yesterday whipping up a "puffy sleeve" dress for the first day. For some reason, both girls are very fond of puffy sleeves. Well, particularly A, actually, but M was expecting it for this dress. The fabric was the one she picked out a month or so ago. It's SO not my taste, but she looks cute in it. I didn't really do anything exciting with my time - but I exercised and went to Barnes and Noble with no one complaining! Come to think of it, that actually is pretty exciting, lol!

I made more progress on my next attempt at a star since my last post:

I'm actually quite pleased with it - the center is still a little funky, but it's a lot better than the first try. (I found a good tip about making the seam allowance a little more than 1/4 at the center points so they wouldn't be bumpy.) I think I'm going to applique this onto something for a dolly blanket. I'm feeling too lazy to figure out the angles on the outer triangles. ;)

So in theory I should have lots of sewing time now that both girls are in school. Let's see if it actually works out that way!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Playing Catch Up

I've written a ton of blog posts in my head in the last few weeks, but somehow none of them actually made it onto the computer. So, this is going to be a catch up kind of post.

First (and most important):

My baby is 4! (Okay, she's been 4 for a couple of weeks now. Like I said, catch up! ;) )

The birthday girl and the birthday doll in their birthday dresses:
She's such a big girl now - four seems to be the age where they really just don't seem to be babies anymore. She's funny and smart and goofy as all get out. She's often a little parrot of her sister, but she certainly knows her own mind, too. If A wants to do something that M doesn't, she definitely won't do it! She's starting to read, which kind of blows my mind - I always joked that she was going to teach herself to read, but I didn't really think she actually would. (The Leappad helped with the letter sounds, I think, and A sometimes likes to play teacher, but she's doing a surprising amount of it on her own.) She's a total ham - if something makes you laugh once, depend on hearing it again! ;) She's also very sweet - she loves kisses and rubbing noses. (And squishing her dad's face, but I'm not sure I'd call that sweet.) She likes to color (fascinating shapes and color combos) and can play ponies forever. She's my lovely, wonderful girl, and she's growing up so fast.

Let's see. Oh, A has settled into first grade now, thankfully, and she seems to be enjoying it. She gets very upset when she has no homework, which cracks me up. (Especially since she really only has papers to do a couple of times a week.) But I'm glad she likes her class, and I think she's going to learn a lot.

In more crafty news, I've definitely been bitten by the quilting bug. I'm having some trouble with my wonderland quilt for the guest room - my intended layout is just not working for me. I've cut up approximately a million charm squares (give or take ;) ), but I'm not getting anywhere with it. So for the time being, I'm working on other stuff. I made a dresden plate dolly quilt. There are so many flaws in it that I can't even list them all, but luckily my children won't care, and it's pretty cute:
With the backing:

I learned that the blades on the Dresden plates are quite easy to make, but the center circles are kind of a pain. I haven't quite worked out a way that they really look nice. I also learned that satin stitching didn't work AT ALL, because the blades were way too thick for my machine to be neat. So, I still suspect that I'll do a big Dresden plate quilt at some point - I really do love them - but first I have to figure out the circles. There may be more dolly quilts!

In the meantime, I started working on an eight pointed star. Love the look of those! But not so much the look of *mine*:
The outer points actually aren't so bad, especially for a first try, but the center is completely cracked out. I don't know if you can tell in the picture, but it looks terrible. This is partly because I wasn't careful enough when sewing the diamonds together, and partly the fabric I used. (Yes, I realize strips would probably be easier, but I didn't actually have enough of the blue for that.) I was just using stash fabric, but this one is just not very good quality, and it stretched and warped a lot. Ah well, live and learn. I may still put this on a dolly quilt (since again, my children really don't care), but I may just toss it and try again. We shall see. M is going back to school on Tuesday, so I should have lots and lots of sewing time pretty soon. Maybe I'll actually complete some of the many, many projects in my head..... (Although I need to make a back to school dress before then - gotta get moving on that!)