Monday, March 24, 2014

A Baby Quilt

I have been making quilted creations for a while now, and finally took the plunge and made an actual quilt this week. (a baby/toddler size...but still!)

I decided on a 'Plus' quilt pattern (I used this pattern for the instructions, but scaled it down slightly so my quilt measures 36" x 36"), and this sweet bundle from Art Gallery Fabrics called "Tule".

For the quilt top, I picked these four prints. I used a fat quarter of each print (roughly 21"x18" of each print). It took a bit of creative calculations and math to get just the right number of cuts. I managed to do it with only 2 spare squares of fabric and a few 1" strips of scraps left over! 

Here's the quilt top, laid out. You can see my sketch of the layout next to the fabrics

Once I was happy with the overall look of the top, I pieced it together, row by row; added a layer of Warm and Natural batting, and quilted it in straight lines.

For the backing, I decided to use a soft brushed cotton. I went with the Lattice Print in the Storybook collection from Warp & Weft.

For the binding, I decided on a solid Indigo KONA. I think it really makes the whole quilt *pop*. I normally hand bind all my mug rugs and mini quilts, but decided to try machine binding with this quilt.  I think I quite like it for bigger projects - for the speed as well as the accuracy. I also think it looks much neater over all!

I *really* love how well this little quilt turned out. My toddler loves it already, and has broken it in by using it as a play mat.

(there she bombing in the corner, demanding I put down *her* quilt!)

Hubby is not much into quilts generally, but even he really liked this one. He has already requested that I now make a girly one for our daughter, since this one is on the boyish side (I think its gender neutral!). 

I suppose I better get started on that! 

Do you like quilts? What patterns/color combos are your favourite?

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Today's sewing...

I finally got in some sewing time today, and was able to complete this project that's been an idea for a few days now.

I like carrying small bags/purses over a large one. Often this means carrying a wristlet with just some basics,  but I do like organization - a spot for everything. I really really dislike he way everything gets all tumbled and mixed up in a regular wristlet. Also the thing about wristlets .... I like having my hands free, so I prefer crossbody straps on all my bags.

I came up with this idea of an "Organizer Wristlet". I wanted it to be the size of a large clutch/wristlet, with slots for credit cards, bills, a zippered pocket inside for coins or other small items, a hook for keeping my keys in place, and enough room to house my iPhone, and any other essentials I might want to carry. Ofcourse it had to also have a crossbody  strap.

I picked these prints from my GLIMMA bundle from Warp & Weft

...and whipped up this set of "Organizer Wristlet" + mini zippy. Perfect for Spring or Summer :)
(Available for $70.00 plus shipping)

A zippered pocket to hold small items securely, with a roomy slip pocket behind it; and a swivel hook to hold your keys in place.

6 Credit Card slots, that will easily hold 6-12 cards. There's also a cash pocket behind those slots.

 The inside of the mini zippy :) Perfect for a quick grab-and-go.

This set is available for $70.00 plus shipping. Or if you would like a set *just like it* but in different prints, I can custom make you one :)

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Try something new...

Most of my sewing orders are done 'custom'. Not just previously made items re-made in your fabric choices. I love a challenge, so if you can think of it and describe it to me, I will try to make it for you :)

A couple of weeks ago, a customer approached me with a request for a Tissue Box Cover and a Passport Wallet. I had never made either of those items before, but I have seen them around on different sites. So after a bit of browsing, pattern-drawing, measurements and math, I was ready to get started.

I love this cute fabric from Timeless Treasures. 

It turned out quite well! Fits a regular Kleenex box (200-ct) perfectly! I added a wide elastic band across the bottom to keep the cover securely in place, as this is going to be used in a car :)

For the passport wallet, she specified that she needed a secure zipper pocket that could hold 2 passports, some slots for holding credit cards, travel documentation, airline tickets, etc. 
This is the design I came up with. 

Quilted with cotton batting inside to protect the contents...and a strong (but not too strong) magnetic closure.

Nice and roomy...holds 2 passports side by side in the lined zippered pocket, a small tablet (that is a Google Nexus 7), 2-4 credit cards, earplugs, a pen/pencil, travel documentation/tickets.

I love coming up with my own version of certain items ... as much as I love buying and following patterns, this gives me so much more flexibility to custom make items in any size/style/dimensions.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

One down...a few more to go

I'm making a small dent in my WIPs pile...slowly but surely!

I finished up these cute little longies this morning (its a 6month size!) Tried out a new finish for the hem called the "butterfly stitch". It turned out so cute! I wish I had done some ruffles on the hem just before the 'butterflies'...maybe next time.

The yarn is Shasta Daisy Knits' "Fall Rainbow" colorway, on MCN DK. Its the same yarn I used to make my toddler's Flax sweater last month.

I have a new favourite hem! You will be seeing this in a *lot* more projects to come  =)

I'm still working away on that table topper, slowly quilting it. Right now it is sitting as a rolled up 'quilt sandwich' (or would that be a quilt wrap? quilt roll?) next to my sewing machine.

I also started on a couple of items for a custom order tonight. For now, I've just cut up all the fabric for the patchwork. I'll put together the blocks, and finish sewing them up over the next couple of days. So watch this space for more WIP updates!

Just a bunch of triangles, squares and rectangles at the moment. Any guesses as to what these will be? :D

My Time.

When I was planning my maternity leave, I had some lofty aspirations. Really lofty. I was finally going to have so much time on my hands to do all those things I wanted to do, but never could, because I was always working full time. I would sew, and learn to knit, and cook everyday. keep the house spotless, take lots of cute photos of my baby, take him/her out to play groups, meet lots of other new moms and make a ton of new friends.

After all, a newborn just fed and slept. Right?

Fast forward to the first few days after baby's arrival and I found myself adjusting to this new person in my life. My amazingly supportive husband did what he could to help in that one week he had off of work. The following week, it was just my baby girl and I. I loved being home with her, having her all to myself, soaking in her newness, her every little movement. I couldn't believe this little person had developed inside of me and was now here. And so real. 

Soon my days were a blur. A never-ending cycle of breastfeeding, changing diapers, laundry, rocking her to sleep, taking her in and out of the wrap, trying to keep her asleep. All while still trying to function as a human being - remembering to drink enough water, eat on time. Had I brushed my teeth that morning? How many hours has that tea been sitting in the microwave? 

I looked forward to 6pm when my hubby would walk through the door and immediately take over the baby, without question. So I could go shower... eat...sleep...whatever I needed or wanted to do. I needed to do everything, and nothing all at once. I felt overwhelmed by my need to meet my own expectations while struggling to accept the reality that my pre-baby plans for my maternity leave were not going to happen. Not anytime soon.  What was wrong with me? Why couldn't I do this? I was an organized, efficient person! A lot of days, the only time I actually changed my pj's was when my baby spit up all over me. And most days my biggest accomplishment was rocking or wearing my baby to sleep. I felt like I was failing! 

My husband never once wondered why there were dirty dishes on the counter, or why I was still in my pj's from 2 nights ago, or why the bathtub hadn't been scrubbed in over a week. He only cared if I had eaten. If I had napped when baby napped. According to him, my only job was to take care of our little girl. And myself. 

It did get easier. Eventually. We all found a rhythm that worked for us. We got into a routine. I let go trying to do it all during nap times, trying to be my idea of the 'perfect mom and wife'. I stopped trying so hard to do what I thought I *should* be doing, and focused instead on what I was doing - being there for my baby. 

I DID learn to knit --- when she was about 16 months old. I DID get around to sewing --- trainers for her since she was potty learning around that same time (16-17months). I cooked every few days, cleaned the house when I could. It was never spotless, but it was safe for my baby and comfortable. I DID take a ton of photos of my little girl ... memories I am so grateful to have been around for. I DID NOT ever get to take her to play groups or meet other new moms. At least not in real life. I did, however, meet a few new moms online in 'mommy groups' on Facebook. I am still friends with these amazing women. 

In terms of living, we made lots of changes that have helped us achieve a happy balance. We live with my inlaws now, so we have lots of help with the little one. Hubby switched careers, so he is actually home a lot more. I am blessed to have a wonderful family that supports my creativity and my passion of knitting and sewing (allowing me to actually start up a home business doing so).

I still catch myself struggling to find the time to do all the things I want to do. But I no longer sweat it. I no longer look back at my day or week or month, and look for a tangible accomplishment. I get anywhere between 0-5 hours a week to work on my projects - personal or business. I know this. I am ok with this. That is my only "me" time.   

My little girl is almost 3 years old now. She is a smart, independent, confident, loving, witty, funny, passionate, opinionated, compassionate, gentle, thoughtful, amazing little girl! *That* right there. That is my accomplishment for the last 3 years of love, laughter, tears, joy, frustration, highs, lows and everything in between.

My little girl is growing up fast. And won't always need me as much as she does right now. She may not remember me struggling to keep the house in order, or churning out so many handmade items a week. She *will* remember that her mama was always there for her.  

Because really... I have finally understood this. That at the end of the day, there is no "my" time. My time, my dear child, is yours :).  

Monday, February 24, 2014

Monday Madness

I'm working on a few projects this week. I've got so many ideas and patterns bookmarked, and I'd really like to start actually making them! 

First up, is a table topper. I picked out some neutral scraps to use for this one. Its going to have some red and teal applique on it, so the neutral background squares will work well.
(This table topper will be available for purchase once its finished)

This project really had me perfecting my corners. I'm actually quite pleased with how crisp they turned out.

Next up, I made a grey and blue patchwork mug rug, with a cute little Owl in the middle. I'm loving owls these days.  
(Available for purchase: $15 shipped within Canada and the U.S)

 I also paired up some scraps to make this cute little zippy. It measures 7.5" x 6". Fully quilted with cotton batting to protect your belongings. I added a sweet little zipper charm (from Tonic & Lime Designs) to the zippy. Here's the front and back of the pouch:

(Available for purchase: $25 shipped within Canada and to the US)

Finally, a rainbow mug rug. I will be hand binding this tonight. I love love love rainbows. Don't you? This mug rug would brighten up a snow day like today. Add a nice warm beverage, a yummy snack, and you're good to go!

(Will be available for purchase once its complete) 

How has your Monday been so far?

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Some baby things...

Good Morning|! I've been quiet here lately. Mostly from working at my part time day job, and spending all free time working on personal projects and a few custom orders :)

My sister-in-law had a baby shower to attend recently and wanted to gift something special. I offered to make up a little baby set of a burp cloth and a bib. Since we don't know the gender of the baby, I went with a Dr.Seuss theme. Its pretty gender neutral I think (and who doesn't like Dr.Seuss!?).

The bib is between an infant and toddler size, so hopefully gets some good use.

The Burp cloth I made a 8"x8" so its a nice size. Big enough to be useful, but small enough for even a little one to carry around. 

I backed both with soft squishy terry cloth. Easy to use, easy to wash and super absorbent. 

I really enjoyed making will be adding them to my list of items :)