I've done strips and squares and hexagons, already, so here are a few other patterns I'm itching to try.
I'm not one to get overly sentimental, but there's just something about a t-shirt quilt. If it's mine, then wow. I get to thinking about where the shirt came from, why I would wear it, with whom I would wear it...how long we walked through life together. The works. I love a good memory lane snuggle. If it's somebody else's quilt, then there are SO. MANY. QUESTIONS! It's a good conversation starter, and you really get to know things about your friend that may not have come up otherwise. When I'm sewing a quilt for someone, I get caught up in their stories and take my role as a preserver seriously. I mean, you don't offer up your treasured shirt memories to be sliced by just anybody! We walk through the process together, the client and I, so that nothing but warm feelings and happy memories reside. I love doing them so much that my business goal is actually to slowly convert most of my projects to this one outlet. It'll be amazing, this journey I've started.
Need: After a long winter and finally back to pre-pregnancy weight, I did not have a single dress or skirt that wasn't dark and dreary.
Way: What's a girl to do, when tomorrow is Easter Sunday and I tended to everyone else's clothes but my own? Get around to some selfish sewing, that's what. I drafted a pattern from my absolute favorite brown pencil skirt from Banana Republic and used this chambray fabric to get the job done. It took me a little over 3 hours and I went to bed at 1am only to get up at 6, but whatevs. I was riding a creative high all week.
Need: Light summer comforter for my son's bed, and he's been asking for a race track. Do I have room for a race track in this Bay Area house? Hahahahahaha, no. Noooo, way. 900 sq ft can only stretch so far, kiddo.
Way: I gathered up my scraps, bought a race track panel, and made a strip quilt. A three year old boy doesn't need a fancy quilt. Just some color and some love! And hey, this is the first time I've tried binding a quilt the right way! It turned out! And the best part is, the kids used the strips as divisions for neighborhoods! Ha ha. I don't know about you, but that white house next to the dog park just below the center lake all by its lonesome looks pretty amazing to me.
Need: To keep my toddler from escaping his crib
Way: Why is it that store-bought sleep sacks are always made out of fleece? For this NorCal family, that's just way too hot. I stole some shirts from my husband, cut off the sleeves and sewed a slimmer sack-ish shape, and then added a zipper to the bottom. Worked like a charm. And yeah, I'm crushing the rebellion LIKE A BOSS.
Or maybe not. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em!
My daughter has a way of pestering you into going bigger and better and louder and crazier--and then she's so grateful that in the end it all feels worth it. "This is what I've hoped for my whole life!" "You're the best, mom!" "This is exactly what I've always dreamed of!" Okay, sweetie. Whatever you want <3 <3 <3
It only makes sense that she'd choose to have a Trolls themed party. This year, we decided we weren't going to go crazy and we'd just have a pinata at the park with a handful of friends. But then she was worried that certain people at the party would feel alone, so we had to make sure to invite mutual friends...what is this, a wedding?? She wouldn't let it drop until her friends had friends. As time got closer, I had to ask a few favors, and as a thank you invited more. Before I knew it there were 16 kids coming! Queue a bad weather forecast and suddenly we were in a gym instead of at the park. Now I had to provide entertainment in lieu of a playground. Whaaaat. So I set up one corner with a tv playing the trolls movie the whole time, a bubble machine in another corner, borrowed a jump house for the third, and in the last corner we decorated troll cookies and did scrapbooking. Yikes! How did this happen??
I used Illustrator to create the different troll parts as vectors and my friend's silhouette machine to cut them out for me. Um, yeah, I'm OBSESSED and now I know what I'm gifting myself for Christmas!! The flowers are foam stickers from Target though. Perfect for the occasion!
By now she's pretty certain that having a birthday means you get to dress up in a new costume. This was my first successful handmade t-shirt. I found this website particularly helpful for the neckline, but drafted the pattern for the shirt off of some other clothes that fit her well.
And as the cherry on top, hubby came through like he always does and created the PERFECT pinata.
Hubby: How did this happen? We are never going that big again.
Me: I don't know. And don't count on it. Adelle has her ways.
A week later we participate in a No Rules Pinewood Derby Race. I include it because Daddy and daughter made this beauty on the right. Actually this particular photo has all three of our cars. No doubt about it, we use our kids as an excuse to get creative!
Oh, and one more troll project:
In the background, you can see that we kept our valentine's day wall of love up for well over a month. I'm not ashamed about that at all!
Once upon a time, I made big sister a Belle dress. She wore it straight out of the dryer for 2 years until it no longer fit. I've received many requests for this durable and subtle dress-up, and now, for the first time ever, I'm selling them online!
Awww, look how cute she was.
Browse my other cute styles below, and request a custom dress from my etsy shop!
Whew! Time sure doesn't fly when you're pregnant, and when you've got three kids. Unless making a baby counts as a project. Well, when you're not motivated to do something different on your own, enlist your friends or family to increase the fun! My daughter learned about shadow puppet plays in a book and wanted to do one. I'll walk you through our process. Since my kids are four and two, I had them tell me what the characters would be and I drew them out on black paper. If you wanted to be really fast/lazy, you could just print some silhouettes out and cut! Tape them to skewers or sticks and now your shadow puppets are set. For your stage, tape thin paper or a white sheet between two chairs. Put a lamp directly behind it and turn off all the other lights. You can add some cool scenery by applying black trees or buildings directly to your sheet, but we decided to forego. Once again, our kids are four and two, so rather than have them be puppets, mommy and dad put on the show for them. (We really did try to teach them what to do, but ran into complications when they wanted to both watch and hold puppets. Doesn't work like that, kids!) Our oldest told us what the plot would be, and we went for it. I think it turned out pretty well. The whole project took about an hour and a half, but we in fact had cut out the puppets while my husband was at work. Rest assured, the kiddos had a great time after the filming just standing in front of the white screen and hold their puppets behind. Good times, folks. Good times.
The holiday season in our house begins in September, when I start making our Halloween costumes. I like to sew my own, because, as we all know, store-bought costumes tend to be flimsy and scratchy! By now my kids know that they can request the most random costume desire and I can make it happen. I love that I can do that for my kids! I might not excel in other areas of motherhood, but my kids will be randomly awesome every Halloween!
Does anyone in your house play Pokemon Go? They'll recognize big sister's costume right away. She randomly requested Vaporeon. *Nailed it!* Big brother is a little easier to recognize.
You know what else is really fun? Of course you do. Carving pumpkins!!! The one at the top was a scary face my husband carved, that big brother requested. For the other, we had big sister draw a cute face, and he did his best to preserve the integrity of her drawing. Awww. I recommend you try this one yourself. Kids have great imaginations and their drawings are so fresh and sincere.
Out of all the random requests your children/ siblings/friends make of you, which ones are you happy to oblige? This is a good place to look when you are trying to discover a creative outlet.
Whew! At long last, I've figured out how to create a time lapse video. Thank you, Fluttershy, for being a part of my first demonstration! Coloring this page actually took about 40 minutes, and is compressed here down to 4 1/2 minutes. That's about 10x speed! Check out my previous post to learn how to color like this yourself.
Coloring books are everywhere, whether you have kids in your life or not. They can be GREAT FOR EVERYONE as a color exercise! Now I have to admit, I like to go against the grain. I often do things to make a statement and am not afraid to embrace what I love, even if it is weird to other people. So if I'm on break and in front of my peers (aka, normal adults), you better believe I'm busting out my crayons and coloring book with pride. LET ME SHOW YOU SOMETHING DIFFERENT! I say, when people come to investigate.
Here are the steps to my Swirly Method...
Holidays are always a good excuse to set aside some time for a creative project. My husband and I make our homemade cards the focus of our holiday gift-giving, since we don’t always have much money to spend on each other (we just barely finished being grad students). Here is what I made for Rhyan for Father’s Day this year:
It’s not as complicated as some of our others, but I like to think its simplicity adds some class. And you can’t go wrong with Darth Vader!
Check out some of the other cards we’ve gifted over the years. I’m keeping these forever!