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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

How they're holding up.

Since I am without my sewing machine right now and don't want to keep leaving my blog to fend for itself I thought I could update you all about how some of the things I've made are holding up.

I'll start with the diaper changing pad (mini tutorial here):

This definitely came in handy at highway rest areas when we made the 885 mile trip from NC to NH. Rest area bathrooms are sometimes pretty gross... It's been washed quite a few times due to a) the trip and b) quite a few diaper blow-outs, but it's holding up just fine. I use it and love it.

The diaper bag (which is actually a tote and posted about here):

This gets a ton of use. First as a diaper bag, then while we were traveling it was a "stuff whatever else I can fit into it" bag, and it's now a diaper bag again. It is holding up quite well, and while I said I thought the side pockets were too large for my liking when I made it, they are actually perfect. I tend to stuff my sunglasses, keys and hand lotion in one side, and the baby's bottle in the other side (even though there are bottle pockets inside, the side pockets are faster and easier access, which is great when your baby is screaming and you're getting flustered). 

The only thing I'm not happy with are the straps. I should have made them wider and padded. Sometimes the bag is heavy and uncomfortable on my shoulder.

The drawstring bag I made for myself as a project bag has gotten washed and I've been using it to store my breast pump. I'm sure it'll be a project bag again someday, or maybe toy storage... who knows? But for now it's happy helping me in this new unexpected way.

I'm sure there are more things I've made and could write updates about but this is all I can think of for now.

How have your projects held up over time and with constant use? I'm pleasantly surprised how well mine have held up (especially the diaper bag).

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Back in New Hampshire.

The movers came to our house on October 21 and we were back in New Hampshire by October 24.

The movers were very nice about my requests for the way I wanted my art quilts packed, which was a huge relief. I'm still a little worried about whether they will arrive in a good condition though. I have no idea when that will be though because we are still looking for a permanent place to live. Currently we are with my father-in-law in Conway. The only thing we do know right now is we are staying in Conway.

We stopped in Mass. on the way and spent the night at my cousin's house, where my baby brother insisted we take a "selfie" with his phone even though I had been in a car for two days and looked completely like crap. My daughter, on the other hand, totally rocks the "two days in a car" look... Haha
I love it here. It's so beautiful. Our second day here we went up to Cathedral Ledge with the kids. I remember watching fireworks from there seven or eight years ago when we lived up here before the Army moved us. 

I strapped Nomes (not her name, but that's what I like to call her haha) around me in the carrier and she was all smiles despite the cold. Well... She's not smiling in this particular photo, but she really was all smiles, I swear!! And I'm still carrying a large chunk of the baby weight... haha

The other kids loved it, of course.

Matthew actually went with Grampa before us, and came with us later when we went. 
Monday we had to go to Littleton for new birth certificates for the older two kids because they were adopted by my husband last year. We went thru Bethlehem and saw these amazing sculptures made from old auto parts. My pictures taken from the car do not do them justice at all.

Later I Googled it and they were actually made in Thailand and sell for $5,000. I guess the man who has them is opening a shop to sell items from artists around the world or something like that. 

On the way back we had to stop and get pictures of Mount Washington.

And the elephant rock at the entrance to Crawford Notch...
Being away for six years I forgot how beautiful and truly amazing it is up here. I didn't realize how much I missed it until we got back here.

Now we just need to find our own home and get our household goods delivered so I can decorate and get back to sewing!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


We are moving soon! Going home. We are so excited but I won't be sewing anything for even longer now :/

I am nervous about my Juki being broken during a move and my art quilts getting ruined.

I'm not really sure how to even pack an art quilt... I definitely can't fold it, maybe I can roll it loosely. I really have no clue!! I think I'm going to have to Google it unless any of you have any experience with this that you can share with me.

I didn't really realize how attached I am to a lot of the quilts I made until now, when it's time to move them and I'm having anxiety that they might get lost or ruined during the move. I cannot possibly be the only quilter who feels this way!! Lol

Monday, August 18, 2014

Oh Baby!!

If you follow me on Instagram then you know we've welcomed our newest addition to the family! She is absolutely gorgeous! And so very tiny. Of all my children she is the smallest and I was really surprised by that. I thought for sure she would be the largest.

Anyway, it's only been a couple days and we are enjoying our time together as a family of six before school starts. We all just love her so much already.

So it will be a while before I'm able to sit and complete any sewing projects. Just wanted to give a quick update while I had a few minutes.

I can't wait until I have some time to sew... I see tons of little dresses and other outfits in my sewing future :)

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Ditty Bag & Boxy Pouch.

The other day I made this ditty bag. I'd been meaning to make myself a new make-up bag. I had won $10 to MichellePatterns and used it to purchase the pattern. This is size medium. It's cute but I decided I'm going to give it to my teenager daughter for her own make-up.. or nail polish, or something.

Then yesterday I decided to make a boxy bag for myself. I'm always looking for ways to use my scraps and this ended up being the perfect project for that. I pieced a bunch of scraps together and then free-motion quilted the panels and used those quilted panels as my exterior fabric pieces.

I really love how this came out!

Close up of the quilting.

I loved the bag so much I decided I'm just going to make a bunch of them out of scraps. Maybe to sell or maybe for Christmas gifts. I don't know. We'll see. But here are two more scrap quilted panels ready to be turned into a boxy bag :)

Sewing is really difficult lately. My big belly gets in the way and my back hurts. Only 16 days until my due date but it doesn't seem like the baby has any intentions of coming on time. Two of my three kids went past their due dates and one was born right on her due date so I feel like this one will be late too. I am hoping she decides to come a little early since the week of my due date and the week after we are sooooo busy with school starting and all the open houses and orientations for the kids. I don't want to be in the hospital and have to miss any of that. My husband will go, of course, but I don't want to miss it myself.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Finished Art Quilt: Smile

Here is the finished wall/art quilt I made for a friend. You can read more about the process in this post.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Car Organizer.

I was browsing on Pinterest looking for car organizer ideas and came across one that I liked. After some research I found out it's a Simplicity pattern but the pattern is out of print. So I sketched it out on paper and figured out the measurements.

I made a few mistakes... the biggest being that the whole thing was supposed to be put together with exposed binding on the outer seams... but for the life of me I could not figure out how to do the binding on my machine that way. So I ended up just putting it together with exposed seams on the inside which I went over with a zig zag stitch to prevent fraying... it sure would be nice to have a serger for things like this but honestly if I had a serger I doubt I would use it very often so I can't justify spending the money on one.

It has two slip pockets in the front, one on each side and then of course the big pocket. I made the strap with D-rings so it's adjustable, mostly I was too lazy to go out to the car and measure to see how long the straps needed to be. Ha.

Hannah is really excited because it's "hers"... I have enough of this fabric left that I can make a few more things for organizing the car. Right now this is in the third row seating for Hannah's stuff, she's pretty much the only one of my kids who brings stuff in the car, but it would be nice to have something in the second row of seats too, just in case.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Art Quilt Progress Shots

I finished the art quilt I was working on for a friend of mine! I can't show the completed quilt because she's on vacation right now and hasn't seen it yet, but I can post the progress shots.

Whenever I make art quilts like this I am always amazed that somehow a sketch with all these marks on freezer paper will turn into a quilt to hang on the wall.

I like the cutting, ironing and gluing part. It's kind of relaxing...

It just all comes together nicely.

And here it is with all the freezer paper removed, waiting for Decor Bond, applique stitching, (omgomg I am so pregnant that I can't even think of the name of the stuff... you know, the fluff stuff that goes in a quilt sandwich!!!)...and quilting, rod pocket, label and binding.

I know you're probably thinking this doesn't look like much... (and it really is kind of plain and boring without the details and quilting) but I have finished the quilt and I love it!!! I am so happy with the way it came out and I can't wait to give it to Meghan and I can't wait to share pictures here.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Back to Sewing?

My husband had been gone for a month and then he came home and was out of work for a week so we spent that whole week doing fun family things, which hasn't left much time for sewing.

Now that he is back at work and I think I have most of the house organized and cleaned the way I want it, I can finally get back to sewing during the day.

I started an art quilt... well... I don't know if you can really call it "started" since all that I have done so far is sketch the quilt on a piece of freezer paper :/ Anyway... I saw an art quilt on Believe Magic (love love love her quilts) and decided it was perfect for a friend of mine. So I sat and sketched it out on some freezer paper referencing the photo as I went along.

I have tweaked it a little bit since taking that photo. Anyway I am working on this for a friend who has helped us out immensely in the last few months. I want to give her something and quilts are something I'm kinda good at (some of the time) and she loves taking photos so I am going with this.

I'll also be making her a table runner if I can find the right fabrics.

We have just over 6 weeks until the new baby is supposed to arrive (unless she's like two of her siblings and decides to come late which I'm hoping not because I'm miserable), so I really want to get as much done as I possibly can before that.

I also need to make a seat organizer for the new car (SUV, van? I don't know what to call it, it's an SUV but I feel weird saying SUV haha).

Friday, June 6, 2014

M is for Matthew. A mini quilt.

This is the letter M from the Spell it with Moda series. (See my letter D mini quilt here). I made this for my son because I rarely make him anything. I do plan to make one for each of my two girls, plus the new baby girl coming.

He seemed really excited about it and likes the fabric so that's good. I was worried. I've only ever made him one other thing and I feel soooo bad about that!!! I make stuff for the girls all the time. Does anyone else have trouble making things for their little guys? 

The quilting on the M is a quilt design from Leah Day's Craftsy Class "Free Motion Fillers Vol. 1". (affiliate link). I  love Leah Day!!! I'm enrolled in all her classes...

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Quilted Pillow Covers

I've wanted pillows in my living room ever since we bought our living room set but pillows are so ridiculously expensive. I finally bought some pillow forms so I could make my own pillows.

The small pillow is just scraps and stippled. It wasn't supposed to be that small!! I bought 16" pillow forms but when I was making the pillow cover I glanced over at the bag and somehow read "41cm x 41cm" as 14 inches... so I made the pillow cover 14" square... OOPS. I didn't want to trash it so I made my own pillow form with some scrap fabric and stuffing.

The bigger pillow cover I actually made the right size. It is just framed wonky crosses using leftover fabric from another project. I quilted the center with wandering clover and did large pebbles (pearls I guess) in the white border and then just wavy lines in the outer border. I am pretty happy with it I think.

Forgive my crappy cell phone photos!!!

I have another pillow form and might work on another pillow cover later this week. I realize my pillows don't match but nothing in my house really matches anyway and I love the colors against the huge chocolate couches! 

I'm finding sewing and quilting difficult lately, my big baby belly gets in the way and makes it awkward and usually after just a couple hours my back is killing me and I have to go lay down or sit and read. Only ten weeks to go before we welcome baby though.

I managed to read two books in May. I don't read much in the winter for some reason, most of my reading is done during the summer months. I finished "Doctor Sleep" by Stephen King and "NOS4A2" by his son. Both decent sized books and both pretty good. Love Stephen King, his son writes like him too, this is the first I've read by him, but I'll read his other books I think. Not too bad. This morning I started another book by an author I've never heard of. I keep track of the books I've read on GoodReads. Are you on there?? Add me!!!!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Stephen King: The Dark Tower Series Art Quilt

My husband really loves the Dark Tower Series books by Stephen King. So much so, that he was going to get a tattoo of the K in a circle which I guess is like a language in the books or something... I'm not sure because I still haven't read the books!

Anyway, with a new baby coming and the car accident and rental car and new vehicle we just don't have extra money for a tattoo right now, so I decided to make his this art quilt.

Because I have never read the books I had to Google KA (the K in a circle) and then I looked at some of the book covers to get an idea of what to do.

I rough sketched the tower, the rose is a clipart from the internet.

I am a little nervous... my husband is very supportive of this sewing/quilting hobby of mine but I've never really made anything for him other than a solid black & red NOOK cover. Nothing fancy. I really hope he likes this!!! I'm sure he will though.

If you're wondering where I learned to make quilts like this, I took a Craftsy course called "Pictorial Techniques", taught by Wendy Butler Berns. (<-- This is an affiliate link. I will earn a small commission if you purchase anything from Craftsy using this link.) I do highly recommend her class. It is not for everybody though. It was her class and her teaching that helped me make my Getting Along quilt (as seen in the sidebar) which won the 2013 Army Arts & Crafts contest!!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

SMS Giveaway Day Winner!

First I want to apologize for being a little late in posting the winner of the giveaway.

This weekend has been busy and hectic around here. My husband left this morning and we've been preparing for that. I am so proud of him for his decision and making this choice for our family. It won't be easy for any of us (the kids especially), but we will be stronger and better for it when all is said and done. We have been through a lot in our eight years together, especially in the last seven months or so, and we always come out the other side. We have come such a long way in such a short amount of time and we just have this last hurdle to get over. I have never loved him more than I do today and I have never been more proud of him than I am in this moment. He is the most amazing person I know and I cannot wait until he is back home with us.

He will only be gone for a month and I intend to sew a lot to help pass the time... well... when the kids allow it anyway!


I used Rafflecopter for the giveaway entries and according to Rafflecopter the winner is...


I have sent Linda an email with the patterns. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Mini Swoon Quilted Wall Hanging

I finally finished the mini swoon quilt for my cousin! By the time I was finished I kinda wanted to keep it for myself. I love the swoon blocks, even though these mini blocks were a little time consuming (it took a lot longer than I thought it would).

I used the same fabric I used for her other birthday gifts.

I just free motioned quilted some stippling/meandering. This was my first time stippling/meandering and I really feel like the wandering clover is easier for me than this stippling. It went really quick though, it was quilted in no time and the Juki makes free motion quilting much easier than my old machine did.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day!

It is GIVEAWAY day over at Sew Mama Sew! Make sure you stop by there to enter other giveaways!!

Enter to win ALL SEVEN of my sewing patterns! These come in PDF format and will be emailed to the winner. Giveaway ends May 16th.

Winner will receive PDF patterns via email for the following:

Gillian Goes 'Round Mini Quilt

Tri-Fold Purse

Library Bookshelf Mug Rug

Fat Quarter Grocery Bag

Fish Purse

Double Zip Wristlet

Dolphin in the Ocean Wall Quilt

Use Rafflecopter below to enter. Thanks for visiting and good luck!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, May 9, 2014

Birthday Gifts Received.

My cousin's birthday is coming up so I sent her a couple things.

A zip pocket wallet, a coffee cup cozy, a key fob, a chapstick holder keychain, and I bought her a sunflower keychain off Etsy.

I'm also working on one more thing but it's taking forever to finish! At the rate I'm going she'll get it for Christmas... haha.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Teacher Appreciation Gifts

 (this post contains affiliate links, which means I will be compensated if you purchase after clicking these links)

It is teacher appreciation week and I went ahead and made a few a things for my kids teachers.

The tote pattern is a free one from a FREE Craftsy Class called "Bag Making Basics - Reversible Tote".
 I also made a coffee cozy and a notepad holder (pattern from a magazine, but I can't remember which magazine, sorry!).

The tags on the totes read "You're a Tote-ally Terrific Teacher". They were a free download I found here.

 Each tote also has some chocolate, cookies and M&M's. The labels for the cookies are here, and the labels for the M&M's are here.

For my daughter who is in kindergarten I also had her do the teacher appreciation poem found here.
 It's also a great way to practice hand writing.

I also gave the teacher assistant a small bag but with a mug rug instead of the matching items. I gave the librarian a mug rug as well.

I hope everyone likes their gifts :)