Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Doing

I've actually had plenty to blog about lately, lots of projects completed and in the works. But with the craft fair preparation I just didn't have time to post something. Now that it's over I'm trying to catch up and get back to some of my 'fun sewing' projects. By the way, the fair was this past Saturday, and it went very well for my first time. More on that later...I'm still pondering what I thought of the whole experience, was it worth it, etc.

Anyway, how about a fun finish? I made these coasters by request for a friend. She asked that they match her living room, which is decorated in blues and brown. Like me she loves green so I had to throw some of that in there ;-). Picking out fabrics for this was really fun. I used the green and blue plaid as a jumping off point. I LOVE how they turned out! Too bad they wouldn't match my living room.



I made these using an old tutorial I have called 'the crisscross coasters'. I only have it in hard copy...it's probably out in cyberspace somewhere. I really like this tutorial though, because you don't have to top-stitch and turning is super easy. You basically layer folded rectangles of fabric and then sew around the perimeter. You turn the coaster right-side-out from the middle since it is open (kind of like a basket weave I guess?).

Switching gears, the holidays are already on my mind! I have so many potential projects in my head, I'm going to start a list in hopes that I finish all (some?) of them. So here goes,

    -Plush baby block for Lorelai's birthday. I've made them for other baby friends so she needs one, right?
    -Birthday bunting for Lorelai's party
    -Lorelai's Christmas stocking (already started!)
    -My Christmas stocking
    -Friendship quilt (post on this one coming soon...)
    -Christmas gifts...need to decide the what and who...
    -Lorelai's Christmas dress
    -Baby quilt to donate

This list is looking pretty ambitious. That's OK, it's something to aspire to!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Long ago in a galaxy far, far away...

 

Da dah! I give you the Lego Princess Leia onesie. Modeled by the cutest baby girl ever (biased much?!). We are a Star Wars family over here at HardcoreQuilts, and it just didn't seem right to not have Star Wars baby clothing. A lot of the options out there are very boy oriented, and I like to make stuff so I thought-why not? This is a quick project and wasn't my first time appliqueing onto a onesie or t-shirt. I've made similar things for friends in the past.

(Let me sing to you mommy, while you take my picture!)

For this project I searched Google images for a silhouette of Lego Princess Leia, and made a couple of modifications. Namely, I made the image bigger, gave her a dress, and separated the hair from the body so that I could use two different fabrics. I used fusible web to attach the fabric pieces to the clothing, and then stitched them down.


I did find that with stretchy clothes like this onesie it is a good idea to use a stretch needle and the stretch stitch on your machine. This allows the stitching to stretch with the garment, preventing the thread from breaking when stretched. I learned that the hard way ;-).

I really like how this onesie turned out, and in my head I've already made a Darth Vader and Yoda version. Can't wait to try those out too!

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. But...you 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 easier...at 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 hands...so 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 this...you 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!