Her Valentine Dress

Our 4 year old daughter is very strong willed. Very. About two years ago she stopped wanting to wear dresses, leggings, bows, or anything at all made by your’s truly. It’s ok. I let her (within reason) wear what she wants and she goes to school most days with jeans and a long sleeved cotton shirt. She’s still beautiful without any frills and I love her individualism.

However, this Patty Young fabric seemed to catch her eye when I got it in the mail and I offered to make her a Valentine’s Day dress. Low and behold – she agreed! And had input – “a HUGE heart on the chest and pockets and hearts on the pockets”.

I only got one little cell phone picture of her wearing it (not from lack of trying to get more!) but here it is and a couple of the dress by itself.

I love her smirk. She's not too psyched about wearing this...but knows she agreed to it. 🙂

Little pockets on each side - WITH hearts. 🙂

Linking up to here this week:


 

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My vintage quilt

My sewing, antiquing and crafting gene didn’t just come out of nowhere. Both sides of my family have artistic tendencies. What I used to take for granted as a way of life, I’ve come to appreciate as I get older – I didn’t realize that not everyone could (or would want to) create a beautiful quilt. Or that all parents and grandparents don’t actually display artwork in galleries. I was always confused by people who said things like, “I am just NOT creative”… really? Why not? It was a way of life for me. If I wanted new doll clothes, we made them. New curtains? We sewed them. In fact, my love of creating led me to my Bachelor’s degree in education. How fun to create all those classroom decorations and bulletin boards (unfortunately I found out you have to also enjoy hanging out with kids all day – ahem). That’s a whole different story. 😉

Now, as my appreciation for the “creativity” or “crafty” gene has grown – my love for this one particular quilt my grandmother gave me years ago also has grown. When she gave it to me, I’m sure I said ‘thank you’ and even meant it…but now when I snuggle with it – I think about it so much more. It is sewn out of tiny pieces of dresses my mom wore as a child. How sweet is that? Here are a few snapshots of the blocks that showcase the beauty.

It’s now one of my favorite things and I use it all the time. I can’t imagine the patience it took to do this all by hand, I’ve never done a quilt by hand – and only small ones by machine. But I do look at this quilt for inspiration. I’m not inspired to hand-sew a quilt (come on now), but the colors and patterns inspire me to keep creating and make me happy when I think of the history. I also always think of my grandma, who is now 95 years old. So – if I am lucky enough to have not only inherited her crafty gene but her longevity one? I have a lot more sewing and creating ahead of me!
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The Great Sew Mama Sew Pillow Contest

I’m entering my new series of pillows in The Great Sew Mama Sew Pillow Contest. I’m loving their pillows of the day that they’re sending out and can’t wait to see more! Pillows are one of those thing that are quick, easy yet can pack a big punch to a room’s decor.

I’m excited to introduce my Apropos Applique Pillows…

For that special day in February - or any other day!

These 12 x 12 pillows are made out of a soft part-wool felt and stuffed with a pre-made poly-fill pillow form. The appliques are unique, designed by me and – with just a small strip of velcro on the back – are changeable! I got the idea as I see many home blogs with people switching pillows out at each season. This set of three pillows is made to last all year-long with a quick change of appliques depending on the season, the holiday – or just your mood.

The appliques are also a blended felt with interfacing between the layers and decorative stitching. They are sturdy and by nature of felt, stick right onto the soft pillow with just velcro on the applique – none is required on the pillow – making it possible to leave the pillows plain  at times.

The Valentines Day series is most suitable for this month – and below is also a sneak peek at a spring series.

Bunnies and flowers and birds - oh my!

Subscribers to my blog will see some more cute applique designs coming up for these pillows.

I’m also excited to have joined up with an awesome blog designer who will be doing some work here and helping me to get my online shop going! I can’t wait. Stay tuned!

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Quick and easy Valentine Decor

My weekend was spent caring for my two kids who have the flu and strep. By yesterday we needed something a little more stimulating than watching Disney XD. This project was one I thought the kids could help with by stuffing the little hearts with poly-fill. In reality, they both lost interest pretty  quickly but had fun with the finished project playing “toss the hearts in the vase”. Ah well.

 

Scrap of fabric - red and white striped

Cut a heart from card stock and traced on double layers of fabric - about 8 of them.

Cut out, sewed, and stuffed... the little red tie was going to make them possible to hang - but the kids didn't want them. We proceeded without.

Filled a vase with them and topped it off with a red band and heart.

So there you have it. Quick, cheap, simple and a game for the kids. 🙂 I may do a few other themes for this same vase…think – little Christmas Trees – or pumpkins – or stars. Fun!

 

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Reupholstering – lessons learned – and a CUTE result!

I embarked on my first real re-upholstering project with pretty small expectations. I found this chair for FREE. So – it was a good one to experiment with. I figured that no matter what – it would probably look better than it did before – and it would be great experience for me.

I’m very pleased with the results!

A few things I learned:

  • MAN – people use a lot of staples when upholstering things. My hand aches from the removal process.
  • As always – using the right tools is key. Thank goodness I found my needle nose pliers part way through.
  • I should have used some spay adhesive first on certain parts of the chair to make the fabric lay smoother.
  • Error on the side of cutting the fabric too big. Duh.
  • I like re-upholstering. But I can see why people charge a lot to do it.

The "BEFORE"

Drumroll please….

The "AFTER"

Back of chair...

What do you think? It’s not perfect. But it is cute and looks nice in our little living room. whoohoo.

I’m linking up for Metamorphis Monday over at “Between Naps on the Porch”. Be sure to visit for tons of cool projects!

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Personalized Grocery Tote

I based this bag off of the Daisy Janie Fabric Produce Bag tutorial. However, I made the following additions/changes:
  • The front fabric square is an original piece of artwork that my 7-year-old did at school. As a fundraiser we could order the art on coffee mugs, t-shirts, etc. AND they had an option for a fabric square – which I bought! He did a self-portrait and it makes me smile.
  • Instead of using one solid piece, I pieced together the front of the bag using some fabric scraps I had that I love and didn’t want to waste. The back is one solid piece. The bag would obviously go much faster with one solid fat quarter like she suggests – but this one is super cute and personalized.
  • Finally – I lined the bag with a vinyl tablecloth material. I also used this for the long strap.

I love the way it turned out. It’s going to my mother as a gift.

I should call it the "Griffin" produce bag.

Back of bag

A peak inside at the lining.

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Handmade Stick Horses for kids

My son flatters me by asking to make him things that most kids would assume need to be bought.

Sometimes I have to disappoint due to time (or skill) restraints. But – a lot of the time I just go for it and it turns into a fun adventure for the two of us. And when I say “the two of us” I mean mostly me. And the he enjoys the end product. 😉

So, earlier this week he decided that he wanted a hobby or stick horse like his younger sister’s – you know – so they could race and joust and stuff.

Projects like this are do-able when you have a model that you’re working from. Here is our model:

Store bought. 🙂

The first thing I did was to draw on paper each piece that the original has. After cutting them out – we had the beginnings of our horse.

  • Remember to label each piece as you draw. Once you cut – it is sometimes hard to remember where they go.
  • Keep as symmetrical with your double-pieces as possible. A little bit off and your horse turns out pretty wonky.
  • Remember to plan for color changes on your horse appropriately. This first one we made stayed brown throughout – but notice the white nose on the original…you would need to cut that out in white fabric, right? 🙂

Horse pieces.

I don’t have pictures of the assembly because that’s where things start to get hairy. But – I ended up making three of these, and like any project, it got easier as I did the subsequent ones.

We attached the head to the dowel by sticking the dowel well up into the stuffing and then lining the ring around the bottom of the head with hot glue. We then hot glued a piece of twine to the horse head opening and tied it tight, securing it to the dowel. If I were doing a real tutorial – I’d show that here. 😉

Side view. We used a dowel from Home Depot. Probably 28" or so?

"Wing's" proud new owner.

Top view of our new horse, "Wing".

My lovely niece with "Lazy". Lazy was made after Wing so that my niece would have one too.

Giddy up! If you look very closely - there is a tiny toddler in the back. He even got his own mini-stick horse. He was not in the mood for pictures.

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