Preschool…

My little guy started preschool this week. I had great intentions of writing this post when I got home from dropping him off on Tuesday, but I spent the first hour pacing the floors, and when I got over myself and decided to get some work done, I received a phone call that he never stopped crying and it may be best for me to come pick him up. Thankfully, he had a much better day on Thursday and, to everyone’s surprise, he made it the whole day. He woke up today asking to go back. Let’s hope he’s this excited next week!!

I’m not sure how it is in other parts of the country, but here preschool registration starts in January. Yep, I said January. School starts in September… As a first time mom, I completely missed the boat on that one, and the preschool across the street from our house was full. I had a moment of panic where I actually cried, thinking this would somehow affect where he went to college, before I put on my big girl panties and started talking with friends and calling other schools in the area. They say that everything happens for a reason, and I truly love the school where Zac ended up. They have 8 students with 2 teachers in their 2-year-old classes. I don’t know anywhere else that has that ratio. Additionally, he has music and spanish classes once a week. So, we signed him up, paid our registration, and then somebody pressed the fast-forward button on life, because in the blink of an eye, this week arrived.

Me being me, I made sure that Zac was ready with all the personalized school gear that one embroidery machine could create. I made him a shirt and matching shorts for his first day of school, I embroidered his name on the fire engine lunchbox he picked out, and then I embroidered an appliquéd patch and his name on his book bag. Let me talk a minute about this backpack- I posted a picture of this on Facebook and immediately had friends requesting them too. They’re now listed on Etsy and quickly became my top seller. They are so easy to do, so I need to remember this for next year. Last, but certainly not least, I need to introduce my newest baby- the Silhouette Cameo. This machine really needs her own post, but I’ll work on that for next week. It was a complete impulse buy, but I used it to slap Zac’s name on his water cup for school, as well as make a little welcome gift for his teachers too.

If you have questions about any of the items pictured below, please leave me a comment. I need additional practice with the Silhouette, but I hope to create some things to list on Etsy for the holidays. Till next time, friends!!

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Jersey Knit Pajama Pants, tutorial

Earlier this spring, I purchased a serger. I justified this purchase by telling my husband I could start making clothing items for Zac and to list on Etsy. Easier said than done… Well, last month I ordered him a pair of jersey knit lounge pants from another Etsy shop and I made a shirt to match.20140806-072315-26595662.jpg

After looking at the pants and others we have here, I realized that I needed to bite the bullet. There are lots of sellers that make embroidered and appliquéd shirts, sellers that make pants, but few that do both.

I searched and searched for a pattern to make the pants and came up empty handed. So, I decided to make my own. I cut up an old pair of Christmas pajama pants and saw that this wouldn’t be as difficult as I thought.

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Looking at a pair of existing pants was incredibly helpful. I serged the legs of each piece of fabric, and then (carefully) pieced the two together and stitched the front/back/crotch together. Word to the wise: the serger will cut through straight pins, so remove them as you sew (lesson learned the hard way).

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Next up was the waste and leg cuffs. I cut 7 inches of the polkadot fabric, folded it over and serged the seam. I measured the waistband of another pair of Zac’s pants and serged one to match. I did the same with the leg cuffs.

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I was so anxious to finish at this point that my last pictures were taken after the fact. I lined up the waste (seam in the back) and serged that on, pulling it tight as I went. I repeated that with the legs, making sure the seam lined up with the inside seam of the pants.

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I designed the shirt to match and used some of the polkadot fabric from the pants too. I am in love with this set and I can’t wait to make more!! I am working on making a downloadable pattern for the blog, so check back soon. Until then, don’t be afraid to cut up a pair of pants and make your own!! For those who don’t sew, this set will be listed on Etsy soon.

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My model was less than cooperative…

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Going back to school in style

I don’t want to believe it, but my little guy starts preschool in just a few short weeks. I am mixed with emotions over this, but decided to channel my energy for good. I started looking at backpacks that I could embroider with his name. After all, what good is an embroidery machine without using it myself? I found this backpack at Walmart and my son fell in love. He carried it around the store naming all the trucks. Because the pattern is so busy, I knew I’d need an appliqué frame to help the name stand out. I was scared to hoop this bag and embroider directly on it, but the front zipper came down far enough that it was fairly easy. So easy in fact that I went back to Walmart to stock up and picked up a girl bag too. These are for sale in the etsy shop, and don’t forget about the code SUPERBLOG for 15% off!

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I swish my cape at you!

I am the mom of a 2-and-a-half year old boy. My house is filled with planes, trains, and automobiles. We are also a lover of the Disney movies Cars and Planes. I’m not ashamed to admit that I often bribe my son on shopping trips, “if you sit nice, we’ll walk past the toy aisle on our way out…” Well, on a recent trip to Walmart, they had all the new figurines for the Planes 2 Fire & Rescue movie. I think the folks at our local Walmart took this as an opportunity to clean out their storage room because they also had figurines from the first planes movie too. Let me introduce you to El Chupacabra.20140730-122442-44682694.jpg

Next to Dusty Crophopper, El Chu is my son’s favorite character from the movie. I have been looking for the El Chu toy for awhile and with the release of the new movie, haven’t been able to find the toys from the old movie. Needless to say, we haaaaad to buy him.

Zac and El Chu were inseparable for a few days. Everywhere we went, he came with us. During this time, I was working on a superhero cape for an Etsy order and showed it to Zac. His face lit up and he said “Cape!!! I, I swish my cape at you” (a line from the Planes movie). I made two capes for Zac last summer and he had no interest in them whatsoever, until now. Now he wants to wear a cape because it makes him like El Chu.

He’s worn this cape multiple places over the past few weeks. It’s been worn to a birthday party, grocery shopping, on evening walks, and today he wore it to his Gymboree class. Zac’s latest “trick” is running circles around the house and making his cape fly. Secretly, I love it!!

Shameless plug- the red superhero capes are available for order in my Etsy shop. Today I also added a superhero onesie. I think these would make an adorable combination for a big brother/little brother photo session. Use the code SUPERBLOG for 15% off any order.

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Let the Wild Rumpus Start

It’s no secret that I seriously love the book, Where the Wild Things Are, so I was over the moon excited when an etsy customer asked me to create a custom quilt for her newborn’s nursery. Working together we chose 10 coordinating fabrics, and here it is!

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The quilt measures approximately 42″ by 48″. It’s backed with navy blue flannel and I used 100% cotton batting between the layers.

Inside all of us is a Wild Thing

I have always loved the children’s book, Where the a wild things Are. I remember hearing the story read aloud when I was on school, and as a teacher myself, I found any excuse possible to read the story to my students. When I found out the book was being made into a movie, words cannot describe my excitement. My husband and I went opening night and watched in awe as the story was brought to life on the big screen. I seriously wanted to name my son Max in honor of the book. At one time my husband felt the same, but when it came time to name our son he changed his mind because we have a Zac not a Max, but that’s a whole other story…

I love having a boy. I love the world of trucks, dinosaurs, and monsters. My son loves books and that’s a great thing considering we have hundreds from my days as a kindergarten teacher. I remember the first time I read, Where the Wild Things Are aloud to him. He made me read it again and again and again. My heart was so happy.

I had the opportunity to go fabric shopping alone this past weekend- a rare occasion. While browsing the aisles at Jo Ann’s I came across this-

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I had to have it. At the time, I had no idea what I’d make, but I was not leaving without it. My child has more blankets than he knows what to do with. He has lots of pillows too, but that’s what I decided to make. I sketched this out in my mind, then hit the internet searching for the perfect embroidery fonts and appliqué designs.

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This morning I skipped grocery shopping to go to Hobby Lobby for fabric for the appliqués, and at naptime I got to work. I am so super excited about this project. The pillowcase fits an 18″ pillow. For kid stuff, I prefer pillowcases because, let’s face it, kids are messy and cases can be removed for washing. I used a 7.5″ quilting square for the individual squares and a 2″ border. I plan on listing these in my etsy shop this week.

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Pinterest Inspired Bathroom Makeover

I love Pinterest. I feel like I need to write Pinterest projects into my budget, because I am notorious for looking at pictures online and then recreating them in my own house. A few months ago, I pinned this picture an an inspiration for my son’s bathroom-Image

I love this nautical theme because it is fitting for a little boy, but still looks sophisticated for guests who will also use the space. I also like it because my son won’t outgrow this like he would if it was decorated in the Lightning McQueen theme I was previously pondering.

When I get an idea, I usually run with it. That was the case here. I showed my husband this picture and he said, “looks nice.” I took that as his permission to order fabric. I quickly ran upstairs, measured our existing shower curtain, and ordered 4.5 yards of madras fabric online that very night. I don’t think I would have been able to make my own shower curtain had the fabric not been a true madras. Because the fabric was actually patched together, you cannot see the seam. I used navy fabric that I had from a previous project as my strip across the top. I actually laid that navy piece of fabric under my old shower curtain to use as a pattern for where the holes needed to be for the shower curtain hooks, and sewed button holes there.

Once the curtain was finished, I got to work on the towels. I used scrap pieces of the madras on the bottoms and embroidered appliqué crabs on the hand towels- it is a child’s bathroom after all. Next up was artwork. I searched pinterest and etsy for inspiration and decided that I wanted an anchor and a wheel. A good friend is a graphic artist and she was kind enough to turn my inspiration into a reality and even took my barter of an infinity scarf over payment.

My very talented husband is a talented woodworker. If you’re interested, check out his blog! He made the stool for the bathroom, and I painted it. The final touches were a new trashcan and bathmat. I love how this space turned out and hope you do too! Image

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Binding the quilt

Because of an impromptu trip to
Ikea to have lunch with my sister and parents, I didn’t finish the quilt today. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel though, and hopefully I can curl up on the couch with a beer after Zac goes to bed and knock this out.

This morning, I sewed the binding onto the front of the quilt, and I’ve begun hand stitching it to the back. Definitely more tedious that is anticipated.

Here are pictures of today’s progress.

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The truck quilt… Almost DONE

I am amazed at how quickly this quilt came together. I am forever indebted to my friend Emily who helped coach me through text and Facebook. She sent me pictures of her work and YouTube videos explaining the quilting process. I could not have done this without her.

This morning I ran to Hobby Lobby and picked up batting for the quilt and as soon as Zac went down to nap, got to work. I laid the back of the quilt down in my entryway and taped it down. Then, I used spray adhesive to baste the batting and again for the front of the quilt. I used safety pins around the border for added security.
I was most nervous about the next step, petrified my machine would crap out or I’d get a lot of puckering. I didn’t think things through completely as to how I’d stitch the borders. I stitched down the center of the grey sashing strips as opposed to around each individual block. Oh well, I’m pleased with how it turned out.

No sooner did I finish trimming the excess fabric did Zac wake up. Not really though. His new thing is to come downstairs and snooze on me. I’ll allow it. I hope to finish this quilt tomorrow, so stay tuned!! 20131218-144722.jpg20131218-144733.jpg20131218-144742.jpg20131218-144750.jpg20131218-144756.jpg20131218-144804.jpg20131218-144815.jpg20131218-144900.jpg20131218-144907.jpg20131218-144915.jpg20131218-144921.jpg

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Christmas Craziness

Since Thanksgiving, my sewing room has felt like Santa’s workshop. In the past week, I’ve sewn 5 quilts, 2 toddler pillow & blanket sets, and over 30 scarves. Many of the quilts I’ve completed are Christmas gifts, so I won’t post pictures until after the holidays, but I trust that these kids don’t have internet access, so I can post pics of their presents. Now that I’m caught up on work for others, I was able to start on Zac’s truck quilt so here are some pictures of that too.

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