Sunday, October 31, 2010

Home Sweet Home Quilt

Home Sweet Home Quilt


As I hand stitched the binding onto this quilt, I couldn't help but think of the exciting new chapter our family is about to begin.  This afternoon we're closing on our very first house!

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The whole house buying process has been so much more arduous, stressful, emotional, and exciting than I ever thought it would be, but in the end we are ending up with a home that we absolutely love.  It's not the biggest, newest, or flashiest house that we looked at, but it's definitely the one that's the most "us".

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The majority of the quilt is made up of 5 inch squares using a mix of fabrics by Amy Butler, Alexander Henry, Denise Schmidt, Joel Dewberry, Heather Ross, and some miscellaneous pieces from my stash.  It measures 45x60 inches.

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The pieced house is 10x10 inches and I totally made it up as I went along.  I had so much fun making this block and I have a feeling that I might be adding a specialty block to a lot of my quilts in the future.

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This quilt is a thank you gift for our realtor, who was absolutely amazing and helped us out so much during this process.

Even though we close today, we won't be taking possession until the end of the month - which is a bummer - but I'll be keeping very busy with lots and lots of packing.  Hopefully I'll still be able to fit some crafting in there somewhere!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Heather Ross Studio Sale

I usually don't post twice in one day, but I just had to share my loot from the Heather Ross studio sale, which just came in the mail today!

Heather Ross Studio Sale

So I think I've mentioned a few times how incredibly in love I am with Heather Ross.  I was lucky enough to get to participate in her studio sale this year, where you basically set a spending limit and she packs up a box full of unknown goodies for you.  I gave her a limit of $50 and asked for fabric and artwork, and she sent me this treasure trove of loveliness.  On the top left is one yard of Munki Munki beach scene in jersey and to the left are two 14"x14" home dec weight prints from her newest line Macaroni Love Story, which is available from Spoonflower.

Heather Ross Studio Sale

I am so in love with these signed and numbered prints that will look so wonderful in Phoebe's room.

Heather Ross Studio Sale

I am especially excited about these three scraps, which measure about 5" tall by about 5-10" long.  These are also from her new Spoonflower line, but they are in colorways that didn't end up making the cut!

Heather Ross Studio Sale

And finally, one more signed print that I think might have to stay up all year long.


Past Project Friday

Every Friday I will be posting some sort of crafty project that I have completed in the past.  It could be anything from baking, to sewing, needlecrafts, art, decorating, etc.


Owl and Spider Embroidery



I pretty much had to feature a past Halloween project today, right? 




Fall Quilt


This was one of the very first quilts I made about 5 years ago, so please don't look too closely at the seams, quilting, embroidery, photo quality, etc.

Pumpkin Embroidery

At first I thought it was kind of silly to spend all of this time on a quilt that would only be out for one month a year....

Squirrel Embroidery

.....but now it's apparent its short lived appearance on our couch makes it all the more special.


Bat Embroidery


Even my husband always makes a comment that "Oh, I know it's that time of year again when the Halloween quilt comes out of storage".

Bird Embroidery


This year it has become even more special since Phoebe loves pointing out all of the kitties and pumpkins in all of the different squares.


Pumpkin Embroidery

Wondering about the abundance of cat hair in the photos?

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Here's the culprit.




Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sneak Peeks...

Some projects currently in progress....

little yellow house
 
sun filtered squares

vintage sheets

 What are you working on?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pumpkin Pop Tarts

Not only are we talking about pumpkin pop tarts - but Homemade pumpkin pop tarts.

 

I had half a recipe of pie dough left after making the first (and only) apple pie of the season.  I absolutely love love love baking, but our main problem is that when I bake, there tends to be baked goods sitting around the house - and I have absolutely no willpower when it comes to baked goods.  But since I couldn't let good, homemade pie dough go to waste (I'll save my rant about the horrors of store-bought pie crust for a later post), I decided that I might as well put it to good use.


I read about making pumpkin pop tarts from a blog post somewhere, but could not find it for the life of me when I went back through my google reader.  So after a quick google search, I weeded out all of the posts regarding Kellogg's crappy, seasonal pop tarts and found one from Joy the Baker that looked pretty delicious.

I used my own crust and glaze recipe, but followed her filling recipe pretty closely and just changed up some of the spices a bit.


Even though my husband claims that they were more the size of pumpkin ravioli rather than pumpkin pop tarts, they turned out pretty darn awesome.  They didn't stick around for very long either.



Monday, October 25, 2010

Chihuly Love


 This past weekend Phoebe and I embarked on a trip to the west side of the state for a couple of days to visit my parents.  While we were there, we took a little side trip up to the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids.

Where's Phoebe?
 The Meijer Gardens are truly an amazing place; with sculpture and nature coexisting and complementing each other.  Their current exhibit features the work of world-renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly, who I became completely enamoured with in college.


 
We were lucky enough to go on one of the most beautiful of fall days.  With the intense blue skies and golden fall leaves intermixed with Chihuly's outdoor installations, I really think I might have been visiting my own personal heaven.

 
  And what kid doesn't love a giant horsie?


Friday, October 22, 2010

Past Project Friday


Every Friday I will be posting some sort of crafty project that I have completed in the past.  It could be anything from baking, to sewing, needlecrafts, art, decorating, etc.

This patchwork kitchen rug was made shortly after moving into our apartment in June of 2009.  The kitchen is my favorite place in the home and where I spend most of my time. Since we are renting, I can't do anything about the cabinets, flooring, or appliances, so I try to add some personal character wherever I can. 

Much to my husband's chagrin, I feel the need to paint every single room before we move into a place.  I just don't like living with white walls and I seriously spend hours comparing paint chips before I finally decide on the winners.  I find it incredibly thrilling. 

We orginally painted the kitchen a much lighter shade of green that I decided was entirely too neon-esque, so one day while my husband was at work I repainted the entire thing in it's current color (which is appearing a bit darker in the photo than it actually is).  I think that the memory of being seven months pregnant and standing on the stove to paint the space above the cabinets will be a memory that will always stick with me.   

 I made the rug shortly after, pulling out fabrics in shades of green, tan, and grey that I had on-hand.  I even surprised myself by using some of my most coveted fabric - the olive green Heather Ross field of flowers print - because I knew that this rug was going to get filthy, stained, and worn out.  It definitely is all of those three things now, but I'd rather be able to see my favorite fabrics being used throughout my home than just sitting on a shelf.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Simple dress x 3


 Lotta Jansdotter wasn't kidding when she titled this pattern "Simple Dress".  It is simple in design so it's great for showing off a really fantastic piece of fabric, or would look really lovely done up in some linen with some simple embroidery around the hem and neckline.

It's also incredibly simple to construct, with only one pattern piece in addition to a pocket and some bias trim for the neck and armholes.  After making it three times, it now only takes me about a half an hour to throw together. 


The first dress I made out of a vintage bedsheet.  I don't like to use my "nice" fabric the first time I use a pattern in case I totally screw everything up.  I first have to learn all of the pattern's quirks.  Luckily, this one is very straightforward and easy to understand.


My only complaint is that the pattern only comes in one size, which is pretty close to a 12 month.  It fit Phoebe perfectly this summer, but she grew out of it pretty quick.  I'm not a pro at sizing patterns, but I've learned the ins and outs of adjusting them a little bit here and there.  So with this one, I added a lot of length, and widened the neck and armholes a little bit.

I found this twill print at Joann's, of all places.  They are definitely starting to carry a better selection of modern prints made by their own house designer, which is great; however I really wish that they would up the quality of their fabric.


I think one of my favorite details is the wooden button that I found in the button-box that used to be my great-grandma's.


I'm simply amazed when I look at the picture of Phoebe in the first version of this dress taken this summer, and the current one that I just finished today.  She looks so grown up!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Starting a Sewing Revolution!

 

Crafting is very contagious.  It only takes a couple of minutes in the presence of a crafter to start putting creative ideas into your head.  I am proud to say that many of my friends have caught the sewing bug - I really should have some sort of deal with a sewing machine company, because I have convinced many a person to buy their first machine throughout the years.


Shortly after having Phoebe, I joined a mom's group so I could try to keep a bit of my sanity.  It has been a ton of fun and I have made so many wonderful friends.  We recently started a holding a monthly craft night to get a jump start on some handmade holiday gifts.  We started out with a wide range of projects, but as it went on it was quite apparent that the sewing projects were the clear winner. 
 

Last night we had 5 machines going, 2 cutting stations, and one long line for the iron.  Pajama pants were the hot project, but we also had ladies making aprons, placemats, purses, and belts.  


 I think that many people feel very apprehensive towards sewing machines - and let's face it, they do look incredibly complicated with all of their buttons, stitch diagrams, threading systems, and other mechanics.  However, if they have someone to sit down with and guide them through a simple project, they realize that sewing isn't very scary at all.  And the pride and feeling of accomplishment in that first project is just amazing.  


The phrase I kept hearing the most last night was "Well, if so-and-so can make that, I know I definitely can!"



And if seeing just how adorable your child looks in something that YOU made him doesn't keep you sewing, I don't know what will.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Past Project Friday

 Every Friday I will be posting some sort of crafty project that I have completed in the past.  It could be anything from baking, to sewing, needlecrafts, art, decorating, etc.



This project came to mind after one of the blogs that I frequent, Little Dear Tracks, asked all of their readers the question "What is your favorite embroidery project?".  It wasn't hard for me to choose.

 My husband and I had a very difficult journey to become parents.  After a year and a half of trying, we found out that it would be pretty much impossible to get pregnant on our own.  Thankfully we have some amazing family and doctors, and we thank god, modern medicine, and Robert Edwards everyday.  So after a very stressful and miraculous round of IVF, we found ourselves expecting our first baby!   
 

The entire time that we were trying to conceive and going through IVF, I refused to craft or even think about making anything for a future baby.  I think it was a defense mechanism for me by not wanting to get my hopes up.  Well, once I was pregnant and past the first trimester, I let myself start to get excited and this was the first thing that I made for Phoebe's nursery.  

The design is a free patten from Follow the White Bunny, surrounded by a quilted patchwork of the colors that were to be incorporated in the nursery.


Each time I look at this, I remember the feelings of pure joy and excitement I felt as we waited for our first baby.

 

 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Clean Craft Room - Sort of

In addition to sewing Phoebe's Halloween dress during my two day vacation from daily life last week, I made an incredibly horrific shirt for myself that makes me look like I'm 80 years old - which will never be seen here.  But more importantly, I did manage to instill some sort of organization into the craft room.


I didn't go crazy because we are currently in the process of buying a house *fingers crossed*, so there were a lot of areas that I just straightened up a bit as opposed to a complete reorganization.  


As I'm staring at this picture, I am cringing at the disarray of some of the cubbies in my Expedit, but hopefully they'll be packed up soon and moved to a new home with a bigger craft area.


But I was able to package up my patterns, clear away general clutter, and iron and fold two giant laundry baskets of fabric that have been sitting in there for who knows how long.


It's important to capture my craft room in this state - because it is very rare that it ever looks like this.  I've already got fabric scraps creeping back in and Phoebe's new found love for my jar of oversize buttons has speckled the floor. 


And in case you were wondering, my design wall (a large piece of flannel that I throw over my cork boards) and my Far Far Away II quilt blocks came down as well.  The seams are all picked out and ready for a fresh start