Christmas 2013

Quick post this morning, mainly to hold myself accountable. Growing up, each year my mom made one of my Christmas gifts. One year, she made the most amazing doll house ever, another year it was a ballerina wall hanging for my room. I’m not sure if I fully appreciated the gifts until starting the same tradition for my little guy.

I’m a fabric hoarder, and often buy fabrics without a planned purpose. Over the summer I purchased a flannel fabric with trucks and cars. Zac is always pulling that fabric out of my stash and carries it around, pointing and saying “tuk, car, tuk, car…” I knew months ago that it would be part of his homemade gift this year. What I didn’t know (till yesterday) was WHAT that gift would be.

After searching Pinterest for recipes, I came across this- a quilt pattern. While I make t-shirt quilts all the time, I’ve never attempted something like this before. I’m anxious, excited, and petrified I won’t finish in time, but ready or not, here I go! I purchased this pattern, and ordered my fabric last night. I will check in periodically and update as I go. (The fabric pictured top right is what I already have.)

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A Mother’s Quilt

This is a busy time if year for everybody, myself included. Christmas and graduation are the most popular times for t-shirt quilts. Last week, I finished 2 quilts, I have 5 to do before Christmas, and then 2 more after that. Because many of these are gifts, I won’t share them on the blog till after Christmas, but this blanket was for a friend.

Jenica and I taught at the same elementary school and have been friends ever since. She has two daughters, her youngest is just a few weeks older then my son. She asked me a long time ago about compiling her daughters’ outfits into an adult sized blanket for her. After making the December Darlings quilt over the summer, I had a pattern and was ready to create Jenica’s keepsake.

This blanket uses 32 outfits and 32 flannel squares, each cut 7″ square. I tried my best to keep the dresses intact with ruffles, and am pleased with how that turned out. The blanket has a double flannel border and is backed with anti-pill fleece. Finished, this blanket measures approximately 70″ square. What makes this blanket so sentimental is that many of the outfits were worn by both sisters, and then there are several where the girls have matching personalized shirts. I did my best to keep the coordinating shirts beside one another.

Many friends have expressed interest in the baby blankets made with newborn onesies, but their kids are older and they didn’t save enough. This blanket has 7 years worth of outfits. It’s never too late to start saving clothing, and really, a quilt is a much better way to preserve these childhood memories than storing them in the attic.

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Construction Birthday!

It’s hard to believe, but over the weekend my little boy turned 2. It seems like yesterday and a lifetime ago that he was born. It comes as no surprise that I’m a do-it-yourselfer. My motto is why buy it when I can make it. Now that I have the embroidery machine, I decided to make his birthday shirt. My son is obsessed with trucks, and especially loves construction trucks. His favorite book is Goodnight Goodnight Construction Site. If you have a son, this book is a must have.

I was nervous making the shirt because I failed miserably while trying to embroider a baby onesie a few weeks ago. Thankfully, this project was a success and not a disaster, mainly because toddler clothes are easier to maneuver on the machine than newborn stuff. I wanted his name on the shirt, but wasn’t happy with the first attempt, so I ended up buying a second shirt and redoing it. I like the second one better, plus it’s long sleeved and he can wear it through the winter.

Prepare for a photo bomb. Included below are pictures of the shirt, but I’m also including some of the party decor and the birthday boy himself. My very talented husband made the construction barrier. Enjoy!

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Baby Onesie Quilts

I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again- baby onesie quilts are my FAVORITE thing to sew. They are the perfect way to preserve your child’s baby clothes. I know I’m not the only one who has trouble giving away my son’s cloths. There are so many shirts or pajamas that have sentimental value, like the outfit he wore when he came home from the hospital, or my favorite sleeper that had the monkey on the butt… So many people save these precious memories, but they’re idea of saving them are boxing them up and throwing them in the attic. This quilt is something we use constantly. It allows me to keep my favorite things, without my husband calling me a hoarder.

This post is combining 2 different projects. Well, to be technical, 3 projects. The first were onesie quilts for a set of twin boys. Their mom got my name from a friend. (PS referrals are how I get business). She was so meticulous about what outfits she selected for their blankets. We chose coordinating fabric, an aqua and a navy gingham fabric. These quilts are slightly different from ones I’ve done in the past. They mimic how I do adult t-shirt quilts, and not the checkerboard pattern I’ve done in the past. The squares are still 6″, but there are 25 outfits instead of the 18. They still measure 42″ complete, and are backed with fleece as opposed to flannel.

The second (or third) project was a onesie quilt for my best friend’s daughter. She is exactly 10 weeks older than my son, and while these are outfits she wore her first year, it was a present for her second birthday. Belle loves owls, so her mommy selected this fabric, for her blanket. The back is a coordinating flannel print, in a bright and festive pink. This blanket measures 42″ square, and uses 18 outfits, each measuring 6″ square.

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Toddler Towels

In my quest to find things to embroider, I came across a tutorial to make hooded towels for kids. My son is about to turn 2, and we were still using towels he received as a newborn. Bless his heart, I needed two to get him completely covered and dried off after a bath. I decided it was time for an upgrade. Like my previous experiences with the embroidery machine, there was some trial and error involved. Making the hooded towels myself makes it loads easier than embroidering on an existing hooded towel, because I can lay the top flat inside the embroidery hoop.

Hooded towels are one of the new items I plan to offer in my etsy shop starting in January. I purchased some basic designs for kids, a butterfly, owl, sailboat, whale… and then came across the mother-load of Yo Gabba Gabba designs. To help build my portfolio, I offered to make some of these for friends if they provided the materials. I’m still waiting on some, and I’ll add those photos once they’re complete.

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Toddler Blanket & Pillow Sets

So, I’m pretty much the worst blogger ever. I am going to try to do better. I’ve said it before and haven’t followed through, but this time I mean it. 😉 Lots is going on, and I want to update. My goal is to blog every day this week in an effort to catch up. My biggest news… I bought an embroidery machine! It’s something I thought about this time last year, so while it seemed impulsive, it really wasn’t. Big thanks goes out to Amazon Prime. I ordered the machine on a Monday night and it was here Wednesday afternoon. I’ll blog more about my love/hate relationship and my uphill battle on the learning curve tomorrow.

The first projects completed were personalized blanket & pillow sets. I made a Cars set for my son a few months ago. He loves it. It’s the perfect size for a crib, or (for him) just lounging around, and we use the blanket to help bundle him in the stroller. I bought Finding Nemo fabric for a set for Evie, a little girl from my Facebook moms group. You may not know,but Nemo is the mascot for the Lucky Fin Project, a group celebrating children with limb differences. Next, I completed two sets for birthday gifts. Whenever possible, I like to give handmade presents. It’s a way for me to try out new things, and I know that there won’t be another one like it at the party.

These blankets measure approximately 42″ square, and are backed with either fleece ($50) or minky dot fabric ($60). All sets come personalized and include a pillowcase that fits a travel sized pillow. They are available for special order now, and will be up in my etsy shop in the new year.

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Shiver me timbers!

A friend saw my superhero capes and came to me with an idea. Her son loves pirates, and he loves capes, so what about a cape with pirate fabric… I loved it. She picked out pirate fabric, and I helped her choose a coordinating print for the back and letter. When I was putting it together, I thought it would look better with a border around the outside. I can’t wait to hear what he thinks. Creating custom pieces is often the inspiration behind what I make and sell in my etsy shop. After seeing the pirate cape, another friend had an idea for a Yo Gabba Gabba cape for her little girl. Can you believe, they actually make a Yo Gabba Gabba superhero fabric?!?! We’re both super excited about it.

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Superhero Capes come to etsy!

Let me begin this post by saying I love being a “boy mom”. My son is my world. I absolutely love this new world of planes, trains, trucks, and cars. Anybody who’s ever gone shopping though, knows there is a gap in the market when it comes to handmade and personalized items for little boys. I am hoping that these capes are the first of many things I can create for my son and other little men out there.

When I was searching through mustache monograms (mustache cape), I came across a superhero alphabet monogram. My friend who does all monogramming for Sew Sassy, was kind enough to purchase and download it for me. I am so super excited with the results. These capes are made from two solid colors of jersey knit fabric, and use sewn-in velcro strips to close the cape around the neck. I found a great superhero fabric to use for the letters. The monogrammed initial is backed and framed with felt, and sewn onto the cape.

Timing on this project was perfect. My friend Susan Crutchfield took my son’s 18 month pictures, and we did some shots with his new cape. I am so excited with how these turned out, so please excuse my photo bomb.

Capes are available for order through etsy. Use the promo-code SuperBlog for a 15% discount off your superhero cape order.

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Here he comes to save the daaaayyyy…

Mustaches are a fad, and a big trend with baby boy things. When I was pregnant, my friends threw me a mustached themed baby shower (a picture is attached for your enjoyment), so when Girl Charlee came out with a jersey knit mustache fabric, I had to have it. I quite often buy fabric with no real purpose or plans. Raise your hand if you’re guilty of this… This mustache fabric has sat with stash for a few months.

I’ve mentioned before that I’m a member of a group of moms that have babies the same age as my son. For holidays, we sometimes do gift exchanges, and recently we’ve started doing exchanges with homemade gifts. These are my favorite! It gives me the excuse to try something new. Well, when I drew a little boy’s name for the Mother’s Day exchange, I knew it was finally time to create something with the mustache fabric. With the help of my friend Jenna that embroiders, this is what I came up with. And, of course I had to make a matching cape for my buddy too.

I feel like there is a hole in the market for dress up accessories for little boys. Once things slow down, I plan to add this, and a different style superhero cape (one without mustaches) to my etsy shop.
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