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!

Friday, January 31, 2014

The lost quilt

Remember these blocks? They were born from a color palette I was interested in exploring. I blogged about them here and here. I loved the color combination, but was having trouble with the to turn the blocks into a finished quilt top. It didn't seem sufficient to just smash the blocks together...I wanted something more interesting.

After quite a bit of playing around, and adding another block, I finally came up with something I like. Here's the finished quilt:

I really like the chunks of solid color...I think the original blocks had too much off-white negative space for me on their own. I like color.

I quilted this one with soft wavy lines. I really like the effect, and plan to use this quilting pattern again in the future.

 I even hand-embroidered a label on the back. I used Pearl cotton thread. It took way too long! And my embroidery skills are sub-par. So I either have to get much faster or invest in some printed labels :-).

I made this quilt 'just for fun' so it doesn't have a home yet. I'm sure the right opportunity will present itself, and in the mean time, I don't mind have extra quilts in the closet!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Mother's Day/Father's Day Quilt

Last winter I decided to make my parents a quilt and give it to them for Mother's and Father's Day. Now that it has long been gifted, I can share it on here!

My parents love the fall (like me) and have their house decorated in beautiful fall colors. So of course I had to make a modern maples quilt and my palette became burnt oranges and reds, tarnished golds and deep, rich forest greens. Here's the stack I started with:

I wanted a mix of off-white neutrals for the background rather than just one solid color. The effect I was going for was a kind of shimmery, subtly variegated background. The backing would be the colorful leaf print sitting on top.

I made the leaf blocks at a weekend quilt retreat so it seemed like they came together in a snap. We did have Downton Abbey to keep us going too :-). I decided to place the leaves haphazardly throughout the quilt to make it look like they just fell that way. Please forgive the photo quality below-I was sewing on the binding on the way to my parents house to gift it so no time for lots of photos!

My mom snapped this picture, I'm holding it up with my lovely sister. I'm about 3 months preggo here :-).

I think my parents really liked this quilt, it sits on their couch now. I found myself craving a throw like this...maybe some day.