Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Craft Fair Prep

So I've decided to try selling my wares at a craft fair. A smaller event to start with, to see 1) if I enjoy it (selling myself/stuff kind of scares me, especially in person!) and 2) whether I actually sell anything. I am both excited and very nervous. What if there's a poor turn out? What if no on likes my pieces? What if I'm the loser table that doesn't sell anything? I know it's tough to stand out these days, when places like Etsy and craft fairs are just saturated with small business and people like me selling handmades. never know unless you try, right?

I'll be selling both household and baby/child items at the fair. The items found in my shop (pillow covers, quilts, kitchen towels, coasters) as well as crayon rolls, baby blocks, and burp cloths. I have no idea what will sell and what won't, so I'm shooting for a variety and I probably won't have a lot of any one thing. I'm thinking somewhere in the 5-10 range for most items. Like I said, starting out small. And because the fair is just under a month away, I know I will only have two baby quilts to sell. But I will advertise for custom orders, which I kind of prefer anyway.

So for the next few weeks my evenings and Lorelai's nap times will be filled with sewing fun little projects for the craft fair. Not bad, not bad at all!

I leave you with a quick synopsis of the burp cloths I'm making. I ordered a 10 pack of Gerber cloth diapers off of Amazon, and bought a variety of flannel prints. I washed and dried all of these materials to avoid unwanted shrinkage. I think if they are not pre-washed the diapers could shrink a lot more than the flannel and cause some wonky, weird blousing on the finished product. Once laundered, I ironed everything well. I cut strips of flannel to create the center stripe, turned the edges under with the iron, pinned in place and stitched down. Viola! Pretty little customized burp cloths! They make me smile :-)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Plush Baby Block

There have been many birthdays for little ones lately! What a great reason to celebrate, I love little ones. I usually like to include a handmade something in my gifts, and lately I've been making these soft taggie baby blocks.

I used this tutorial to construct the block, but decided to make it a little bigger and personalize it with the first letter of the baby's name. I cut the letter out of felt (so the edges won't fray), fused it to the fabric square, and appliqued it with a blanket stitch by hand. These blocks come together pretty quickly, and it's fun to pick out fabrics and ribbons for them. I like to include a fabric with some texture, so I made one side out of minky. I have to say, I DO NOT enjoy working with minky. It is wonderfully soft but once you start cutting it, the lint is everywhere!

This particular block was made for our good friends with a sweet little girl close to Lorelai's age. She had a big birthday bash this past weekend, it was so fun to see her dig into her cake!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

My favorite baby products

Hello! Today I'm taking a break from sewing things to share my favorite baby products. I'm not talking your staples like burp cloths, receiving blankets, and bibs. I'm talking about newer products that make moms' lives least they are new enough that my mom never heard of them!

Simple Wishes Hands-Free Breast pump Bra. If you've ever had to pump for any reason, you know it can be difficult to balance those two bottles, you pretty much have to sit and hold them in place. This bra frees up your much more convenient! There are other brands out there, but this is the one I bought and love.
NOW Foods Liquid Vitamin D3. As I understand it, when you breastfeed doctors recommend that you give your baby liquid vitamin D3. I first tried the Enfamil brand with my baby. She HATED it. She would spit it back up and cry, and it was this hideous brown color so it stained clothing. My doctor told me about the NOW brand, it is clear and flavorless and you only need 4 drops at a time. Lorelai now actually gets excited to take her vitamins!

HALO Sleepsack Microfleece Swaddle. Like many parents now, we found that swaddling our daughter really comforted her, and helped her sleep well. I never did master the art of swaddling with a regular blanket though. They somehow manage to wiggle out of most blankets and swaddlers. We had the most success with the HALO sleepsack swaddle. We actually didn't even put her arms through the arm holes, just tucked them in with the rest of her body. Our daughter was born in the winter and the microfleece option was nice and warm.

Fisher-Price Rock n' Play Sleeper. This thing is AWESOME. Our daughter slept in this for the first 4 months of her life (I'm not saying you should have your baby sleep in decide for yourself if you feel its an appropriate sleep environment, it worked great for us). It is lightweight so you can easily drag it around the house, and easy to take along for overnight stays away from home. Ours had a vibrate feature, and it was comforting to our daughter.

Baby Food Squeeze Pouches. These are so convenient for on the go!!! You can get fruits or veggies, sometimes even yogurt blends, and they don't need to be refrigerated until they are opened. Our daughter learned how to suck the food out herself pretty quickly, so it is a low-mess, quick way to feed on the go.

D-Link Wi-Fi Baby Camera. I always thought video monitors for babies were unnecessary. I never thought I'd be the parent that needed to watch her baby on camera. I was wrong!! When we decided to move our daughter to her own room I was really nervous and a bit of an emotional wreck for awhile (Lorelai made the transition just fine by the way...I am usually the one between the two of us that takes these things harder!). The only thing that made me feel better was knowing I could watch her on camera. Instead of a baby video monitor with a separate screen, we opted for a camera that broadcasts over wi-fi (password protected of course). That means I can watch her from our computer, or my smart phone. I LOVE IT. If I leave her with a babysitter and just want to check on her sleeping, I can log-in from my phone and feel assured that she is safe and sound.
NoseFrida. This one sounds really gross at first. It is a way to suck the snot out of baby's nose, basically by siphoning it out. There are filters and barriers to prevent any yuck from getting in your mouth though! I was skeptical about this one, but a friend got it for us so I tried it. It works WAY better than the traditional bulb. Plus, it is easier to clean well (how DO you clean those bulbs?). I will say that now that Lorelai is older and stronger, she fights it a lot more and that is difficult...but I would have that problem with the bulb too.

There are others I won't go into detail on-nursing cover, bobby pillow, and bumbo seat. Just thought I'd share a few of the maybe less commonly known products that have impressed me as a new mom.

Have a great day!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Crayon Roll

This past weekend we celebrated my nephew's third birthday. Of course I had to make him something! I give you the crayon roll.

I've seen crayon rolls online for some time now and always wanted to make one, I just never had a child to make one for.

I used this tutorial, but skipped the Ric-rac and used an elastic/button closure instead of ribbon. I figured ribbon may not be too easy for little three-year-old hands to tie.

He loves the movie Cars, so I used Cars fabric for the main body of the roll. I was pleasantly surprised at how much he liked it. For the next day or so he carried it around with him, showing everyone his 'mat'. Not sure where 'mat' came from, but it was so cute!

This was so quick and fun to make, I see many more in my future!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Announcement & News

I opened an Etsy shop! I decided to try selling a few of my handmades on Etsy-quilts, quilted pillow covers and kitchen towels, tote bags, coasters.

I plan to also list some baby items, like bibs and burp cloths once I get the time and materials to make them. We will see what comes of it, but I think it will help me keep my sanity this winter. Something to do while cooped up in the house.

Also, I've added a couple of pages to my blog. At the top under my blog banner, I have links to my Etsy shop and a page that lists my quilts. If you are ever interested in seeing more of my work without clicking through lots of previous posts, this page will be helpful.

That's it-thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Where was I?

Oh yeah, I have a blog. I have been sewing things...just preoccupied with this business of being a stay-at-home mom. Or SAHM as all you acronym-savvy folks out there's a whole different sub-culture I'm finding. And I love it. I'm so blessed to be home taking care of my baby girl, watching her change and grow. She is doing something new all the time! Every week is different. I'm sharing a little about Lorelai's baby quilt. Probably a year or so before I even got pregnant, I decided I had to use Bonnie & Camille fabrics for a baby quilt if I ever had a girl. I LOVE their fabric lines, specifically Ruby, Vintage Modern, and Marmalade. These lines are all a bit old news now, but I love the fresh, cheery colors, the sweet designs, and vintage flair. After considering a few blocks and quilt designs, I settled on 'Mother's Day Bouquet' from the Sweet Celebrations with the Moda Bake Shop Chefs book. I liked the simple flower design and thought the blocks would show off the fabrics nicely. I sized the quilt down from the book to be closer to 50" x 50", a nice baby quilt size.

I actually finished piecing the last block for this quilt just an hour or two before I went into labor. I love that Lorelai's quilt brings back memories of her birth. She's not even a year old and I'm already nostalgic.

With a newborn in the house I just wasn't up to quilting this one. I wanted it finished so I could start using it, so I took it to the local long-arm quilter I've used in the past. She quilted it with an old-fashioned rose pattern and I love how it complements the fabrics.

The back of this quilt is special too. At my baby shower, each guest filled out a fabric square with their signature, a message, or drawing...whatever they chose. These squares are pieced into the back for Lorelai to read and treasure when she is older.

I finished Lorelai's quilt this past winter and we've been using it regularly as a play quilt in our living room. It is already well-loved :-). And I couldn't pass up this opportunity to share these photos of Lorelai on the quilt...I just love when she blows raspberries!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

A Baby Boy Quilt

Last August my best friend had her first child, a sweet baby boy. We were pregnant at the same time, she was just a couple months ahead of me, and it was a blessing to have a friend to go to with the strange parts of pregnancy (moms you know what I'm talking about!). And now she is a blessing to me because I can ask her all kinds of 'first time mom' questions, it's all very fresh for her too!

So naturally I had to make her a baby quilt. Awhile back we both loved and bought fabric from a Connecting Threads line that had robots and circuit boards (don't remember the name now), in case either of us had a boy. My friend began making a sweet baby quilt from her robot fabrics, so instead of going with that theme I picked a boyish color scheme. A quilt that maybe he could grow with. Or at least a quilt that wouldn't look bad on the couch if it came to it ;-).

I really liked the look of patchwork around that time, especially smallish patchwork.
So here it is:

 Love that quilty texture! A local long-arm quilter quilted this one (she did my modern maple quilt too) and she did a beautiful job. I came up with a relatively quick way to make these blocks. By creating strip sets and then cutting them into rows I was able to get two blocks of opposing order from each fabric pairing. Any interest in hearing more about my method? I'm sure it's not new but I could post a tutorial...

 I chose blues, greens, teals, greys and a little white to give it a look of variety while still playing in the little boy blues and greens realm. The dark navy wasn't in my original plan, I was trying to pick 'baby boy' colors, but I ended up adding it to give more contrast and 'pop'. I like that navy in there.

By the way, has anyone noticed the comeback navy blue is making? I'm starting to see it everywhere. And I like it :-).
Isn't this robot print perfect for the back?! Ahh...back when there was lush green grass and above zero temps. Miss those days!