Tuesday, November 27, 2012

HSTs, BOMs and other stuff the cool kids are doing

As I teased recently, I've been participating in Jeni's Half Square Triangle Block of the Month.  Each month on the first, Jeni shares a new block made entirely of half square triangles (HST).

The HST process is simple.  Each starts with a four inch square in the color of your choice and a neutral (Kona Snow in my case).  After cutting the squares, you draw a diagonal line on the neutral.  Next, sew a 1/4 inch seam on either side of the line, cut along the drawn line, press, trim and voila - your first HST.  Now repeat a hundred or so more times and you'll have a lovely quilt in no time.  Ha!

Pictured above are my first 6 months.  I chose to do a Christmas color scheme using mostly fabrics given to me by my lovely MIL (Mother-in-law for those of you who are sick of my acronyms).  Her birthday just recently passed so I was forced to come up with the November and December blocks on my own in order to have the quilt completed in time.  After a little assistance from my little helper...

we got it put together just in time!

So, here it is in all it's glory (with my favorite model).  I did a meandering free motion quilting pattern.  I also went a little crazy and decided to add each family member's name throughout the quilt.  I think it gives the little ones a fun little game to play searching for names.

Simultaneously with this set of blocks, I have also been working on a more modern or non-traditional Christmas color scheme.  Basically, I used lighter shades of green and threw in some aqua blue here and there, and maybe even a hint of pink.  This should hopefully coordinate well with some of my prior year's projects as well as my new Christmas stockings.

Hope to get this one quilted soon.  It's all sandwiched, ready and waiting to be quilted.   This one should be done in time to enjoy this Christmas season.

And in an attempt to actually make something happen, I have set a goal for myself to complete several of my WIPs (Work in Progress) or PIGs (Projects In Grocery bags) before the end of the year.  I figure if I put it in writing, I'll be forced to follow through.  Can't forget that there are also no less than six birthdays and one baby shower between now and New Years.  Busy, busy, busy, busy, there's so much to do...

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Monday, November 12, 2012

42 days...

until Christmas!

Here's a little peek at what I've been working on.

Lily supervises

First off, I've been piecing together some new stockings.  I followed this pattern to make some quilty, patchwork stockings that are much brighter and cheerier than stockings old.  (Although, if I'm being honest, stockings are pretty self explanatory, no pattern needed.  I thought the pattern was too small so I took out my old stockings and traced them for a larger size.) The fabrics are mostly from my stash: a little Amy Butler Full Moon Polka Dot, some Bonnie & Camille Vintage Modern, a dash of Lizzy House Pearl Bracelet, Kate Spain Joy and maybe a bit of some Anthology High Society to name a few.  My hope is that these will be around for a while, so I chose from some of my favorites.

So far, two stockings are completely done - one in a pinwheel pattern, the other a HST zig zag.  I wasn't quite up for hand piecing hexagons like the pattern calls for, so I followed this tutorial for a small hour glass block.

Did you notice in the first photo, on the bed are a few of my completed blocks for Jeni's Half Square Triangle Block of the Month?  More on that to follow another day...

Well I better get back to sewing if I'm going to get all of my projects done in time for Christmas.  I'll share photos of the finished projects soon (I hope.)

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A completed baby quilt

So, I really wanted to call this post "A Stripper in Central Park" but I didn't think anyone would get it.  You see, the main fabric in this quilt is from Kate Spain's line called Central Park.  On top of that, it's what I would call a "strip" quilt since it's made from a jelly roll (aka 2.5 inch strips).  But since probably no one but me would find that funny and because the recipient of this quilt is a sweet innocent newborn baby girl, we'll just call it something like the Purple Central Park quilt (booorrrriiiinnnngggg).

If you've checked out many of my posts over the past year, you've surely seen this fabric line make several appearances.  I think it's an especially happy line of fabric with the trees, animals and flowers.  Sadly, all of the lovely purples had been cast aside, too feminine to make it into my own nursery.  Luckily, we have friends, and they have girls.  (See big sisters' stuff here.)

My inspiration for this quilt pattern was found on Pinterest and there's even a link to a free pattern here.

The quilting was done at home by me, all free motion on my spiffy new machine following a tutorial for loopy flowers found here.  They were fun and easy to make and I think they were the perfect match to the flower prints.  There's something about pulling a quilt out of the dryer for the first time and seeing all of the crinkles.  I love it and hope the little one does too.
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Thursday, October 4, 2012

Halloween home decor

I love autumn.  It may be my favorite time of year.  The slow cooker is working overtime, I've got a yummy dessert fresh from the oven and smelling delicious of pumpkin and cloves, the Giants are in the post season (and the A's)!  Pretty soon all of the lovely trees in my neighborhood will be turning all of the best shades of fall.

This year being the first with a little pitter patter around the house, I realized I'd better start stepping up when it comes to holiday decorations.  I started with a trip to Hobby Lobby, then Beverly's and after a few nap times, I ended up this...

My Halloween sewing wall

I love the cutesy Halloween fabrics (plus I'll use any excuse to pick up more fabrics).  The letters were cut and fused using Steam a Seam.  (Can you tell the "treat" circle is supposed to be like a candy corn?)

Look out for bats!
I followed the tutorial for these bats shared here.  Super simple, just cut out a bunch of shapes from black card stock and stuck them on the wall using some two sided tape.

The decorations make me happy and I can't wait to dress up my little guy in his first Halloween costume.

Now if we could only figure out how to nap longer than 30 minutes...
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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Secret Garden Magic Pillows

A peek at another sewing project completed recently.  I've had this one in the hopper for quite some time and I'm thrilled to cross it off my to-do list.  The pillows look great on the bed (I just hope I don't get the urge to swap them out immediately for something with more fall-ish colors.)  

First I made the small accent pillow with some hand stitching detail.  The back is a simple envelope closure.

Since I only purchased one yard of each of the main fabrics, I ended up with "His" and "Hers" pillowcases.  The fabrics are Secret Garden by Sandi Henderson.  The trim fabric, if you look closely, is Anna Maria Horner Pastry Line cotton voile.

I used this tutorial for a magic - or burrito pillow case.  It came together without any problems and it looks great!  I'm already plotting to make more magic pillowcases for Christmas time.  Stay tuned...
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Monday, September 17, 2012

Granny Square Quilt Completed

Lest you think I gave up on my quilting projects, I'd better post an update on some recently completely projects. 

This first one I am really proud of. The fabric is Make Life...by Sweetwater and you can find the granny square tutorial here.  I guess this project started back in May. One flickr trade, and some DS Quilts backing fabric from Joann later and it's finally finished.

The quilt ended up using two charm packs and I was really happy that I came close to getting the scrappy look I was going for.  I hand quilted around each block in a silvery gray color while on a road trip this summer.  I also took the extra step of adding a binding flange for the first time.  If you look closely, you can see there is a sort of double binding, an interior gray (the flange) and the standard green binding on the outside.  It adds just a bit of detail to finish things off.

Granny takes a field trip
And now, the real reason I haven't posted in a while...

JT and Granny

The big guy is on the move!  He is absolutely obsessed with standing up and loves chasing our little Lily around the house.  (I think he likes the new quilt.)

When we're not side stepping along the side of the couch or facing off in diaper wrestling matches, we're browsing online for fabrics.  Thanks to Purl Soho and their special pre-order status, I was able to get my hands on these lovelies in July - way before all of the American shops [INSERT BIG HAPPY GRIN HERE].

Liberty of London - Bloomsbury Gardens

Liberty of London

Aren't they lovely?

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Thursday, June 21, 2012

My favorite food with a newborn

Being the expert now that I am on raising a newborn :) when we went to visit the newest addition to the family, I knew that muffins were a welcome treat to take along with the other homemade goods and dinner staples.  Muffins are a great one-handed snack to have while holding a newborn.  They don't create any dishes to wash, they're ready when you are and they are healthier (perhaps) than most cupcakes.

Some of the best muffins I've ever had have to come from Mimi's Cafe.  I don't even want to know how many calories or how much butter/oil is involved in the creation of these masterpieces because they are too good to pass up.  I went on a google hunt for a copy cat recipe and came up with this version.

I admit.  There were a few mishaps in the preparation of these muffins.  1. I forgot to add the salt.  2. Something went wrong in about one third of the muffins and the center fell out.  Not that that's a bad thing though for the baker.  I just packaged up the pretty ones for the new parents and kept the "ugly" ones at home.

Perhaps it's the crushed pineapple or the whole cup (eh, hem) of oil, but these muffins are so moist and delicious that you won't even care if you get the one with the fallen center.  I don't even like nuts in my general diet, but the walnuts here are so important to the perfect marriage of the raisins, carrots, and pineapple magic.

After the salt incident of the carrot muffins, I realized a simple strategy to avoid this mistake in the future.  Now when I bake, I place all of the ingredients on one side of the kitchen counter, and as I use each one, I move it to the other side of the kitchen.  By the end of the recipe, everything should be cleared off of the counter or even put away.  It's genius!  Ok, not genius, but it should help a little bit.
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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Give me s'more

With my new stay at home status, I've had time to do some major cleaning and experimental baking.  In one of my decluttering, goodwill donating kitchen afternoons, I stumbled on my candy thermometer - still new and in the box...from my wedding...two and half years ago.  It was a sad, sad shame to see it there in the back of the cupboard, a little dusty, Williams Sonoma sticker still on the outside.  What choice did I have but to put another pinterest recipe put to the test?  

I found this recipe for homemade marshmallows and made a batch or two without sprinkles (I told you we were "cutting back".)

Here they are all packaged up and ready to be gifted.

I used this recipe two different times and got two different results; I'm sure it's no thanks to my rookie status as a candy maker.  Now, I'm not saying these were inedible.  Don't get me wrong, sugary fluffy marshmallows on top of an oreo cookie crust is pretty hard not to like, but I still felt there was room for improvement in the consistency of the marshmallow itself.

The third try at marshmallows was made using this recipe from Smitten Kitchen.

Side note - Smitten Kitchen is one of my go-to food blogs for delicious recipes and eye candy.  It's impossible to click around and not find something you're dying to try.

Back to the marshmallows...

This recipe was similar in ingredients, but the preparation was slightly different.  Case in point: the first ingredients are beaten in a mixer for 10 minutes until tripled in volume.  Then you must beat egg whites  in a separate bowl until stiff peaks are formed.  This can be difficult if you only have one bowl attachment for your mixer.  Dangerous overflow can occur when you remove the fluffy contents from the mixer, whip up the egg whites and then try to add the fluffiness back to the bowl.  I don't recommend this method.

I decided to make these marshmallows a little different - i.e. not on top of an oreo crust.  Instead, I went the s'mores route and covered or dipped the cooled marshmallows in melting chocolate and then sprinkled crushed graham cracker crumbs on them.  Again, I rank this recipe as sweet and tasty (surprisingly better after the graham cracker crumbs softened), but I might dare to call it a bit egg-y.  So, the hunt continues for the perfect marshmallow recipe.  Anyone have a tried and true perfect recipe out there?

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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Pinterest: Bad for the diet, good for the soul

Again I found myself browsing delicious recipes online and found this recipe.  They were called the best, they were called the "pinnacle of perfection".  How could I possibly not bake them?

The recipe was simple enough, but when they say drop 1/4 cup at a time on a baking sheet, they mean it.  This is one BIG cookie.  I started out by only putting four in the oven at first because I couldn't believe the recipe really meant 1/4 cup (that's huge!)  They came out looking and tasting great.

I should have left it alone, but I thought that no one would ever eat such a ginormous cookie when we're all trying to "cut back" (insert laugh here).  The rest of the dough was cooked in normal, spoon full size drops.  That's where something went wrong.  The little ones came out hard and crunchy, and not the good kind of crispy.

If you're paying attention to the photo above you'll notice I didn't just bake cookies.  No, I had to prove to my husband that the ice cream maker in the back of the cupboard was worth holding onto, no matter how much space it took and how few times he's seen it used (never).  I went to the trusty vanilla ice cream recipe that came with the machine.  It would have been delicious.  It should have been everything I remembered it to be.  Instead, one rotation into the mixing, the motor died.  And my sleeping baby woke up.  And my dear hubby was out of the house.  I can now tell you from experience that hand cranking ice cream for half an hour while attempting to sooth a tired, crying baby is not my definition of a good time.

Oh why won't you move to Sacramento Diddy Riese?
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Friday, June 1, 2012

Patchwork Baby

Guess what?  We just welcomed another baby boy to the family!  Can you believe it?  I think we should start a baby boy band or something.  Wouldn't that be something?

This little guy comes from my dad's side of the family so when I went searching for fabric inspiration, I found a baby blue Japanese fat quarter that I'd purchased a while back and knew it was the perfect fit.  With the first fabric chosen, finding coordinates from my stash was a breeze.  I was on a short time table, so I got cutting right away making 5 inch squares for a simple patchwork quilt.  (See Hubby, this is why I need to constantly add to my fabric stash; so I'm ready at a moment's notice to whip together a gift!)

You may recognize some of the fabrics from here, here, here, and here.  Oh yea, and here.

I also love the back of this quilt.  If you didn't know, my hubby is quite the fisherman, so I've been collecting fish themed fabric for quite some time now.  When I dug down deep into my fabric stash and pulled this print, I instantly thought of the new little guy's grandpa who was also a fisherman.  Perfect!

I remembered to add a label to this quilt using the same method I originally used here.

And for a little sneak peek behind the scenes, here's a shot of us getting ready for photos.  Isn't he a cutie?

My little guy - 5 months

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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Ready, Set, Stripes

I told you last time it's been a productive stretch for me lately.  Just prior to Mother's Day was my nephew's third birthday.  This big guy never received a quilt before he was born (bad Aunty) so I finally got on it and made one just for him.

His room has an airplane theme and I found the perfect fabric for him here.  It's called Ready, Set, Go! by Anne Kelle.

You may remember from my first post that I pulled my stack of fabrics based off this fabric with some help from my little guy.  Then, with a little help from this tutorial, we started cutting.  The top came together quickly and I was very happy with the scrappy look I was able to pull together from my stash.

Just like my Granny for Granny quilt, I added his name to this quilt with my favorite Steam a Seam.

The quilt back is the zoo print from Kate Spain's Central Park line.

Other fabrics:
Check plaid in pistachio -  It's a Hoot
Orange floral - Central Park by Kate Spain
Green Circle Dots - Peak Hour by Kellie Wulfsohn
Hop Dot - Nicey Jane
Metro Living circles in chartreuse green and marigold

And in true 3 year old form, here is my nephew "posing" with his birthday present.

Happy birthday buddy!

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Friday, May 25, 2012

A Granny for Granny

It's been a very productive few weeks.  With my new sewing machine, there's nothing I can't do! Well, it feels that way sometimes ;)

This year was my first official Mother's Day.  (I was pregnant last year, but we weren't spilling the beans just yet.)  I woke up to some delicious waffles and spent the day with family.  And speaking of family, about a week before Mother's Day, I asked my own mother what she wanted and she said, "a quilt would be nice."  Yes, a quilt in one week would be very nice, I replied.

Not one to back down from a challenge, I decided to see what I could do.  My mom was already the recipient of this quilt that I completed last year.  It's used at my parent's house for little babies who can't run laps around the couch yet.  The fabric - Nicey Jane - is a soft blue/green color palette that makes me think of my mom.  I had quite a bit of it left, so I got busy.

I'd been working on another project recently featuring the ever-so-popular granny square, inspired by this beautiful quilt.  I love the look of the granny square and it's so simple to make.

A Granny Square

My new affinity for granny squares, combined with my recent obsession with pinterest led me to the idea for my Mother's Day quilt pattern.  I kept seeing quilts on pinterest that looked like one giant quilt block, enlarged to make a quilt of a single block.  (It was only on closer inspection that I realized the quilts were actually mini quilts and my sense of scale was just off.  Oh well. )  

So, here it is....my Granny for Granny!
Giant Granny Square

Granny's quilt
I admit, it's a little tough to see the pattern since there's not a whole lot of contrast in the fabrics, but trust me, it's a giant granny square.  Instead of 2.5 inch squares like the original, the big granny has 9 inch squares.  The finished quilt is what I call "couch size".  It's not too wide, but long enough to cover your toes while you take a nap on the couch.

To finish things off, I decided to personalize the back of this quilt with Granny's actual name - Humma.  A little steam a seam and some applique later, and it was done!  And just in time for Mother's Day!

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Monday, May 14, 2012


Somewhere between feeding, changing diapers and reading Chicka Chicka ABC for the ten thousandth time, inspiration hit me.  I went into my stash and started pulling fabrics.  My nephew's birthday was fast approaching so I decided it was time that he had his own big boy gey-key.  (Brother, you'll have to give me the proper spelling.)

I love how the colors matched my guy's onesie, so I snapped this photo.  Don't you just want to hug him?!?

My little helper
A short while later, we had our quilt pattern selected.  Thanks buddy for all of your hard work and assistance.  I agree, that was exhausting.

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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Tres Leches

Last Saturday I found myself with some free time and extra energy so I decided to have a mini impromptu Cinco de Mayo fiesta.

Not satisfied with the tacos, margaritas, and guacamole alone, I wanted to bake something for dessert.  A short Google search later and I stumbled across this recipe for Tres Leches.  Again, this was a totally new dessert for me - never baked, never tried, but hey, why not?

I didn't have all of the ingredients on hand, but it was definitely worth the trip to the store for the tres leches.  (Tres leches is just 3 milks - evaporated milk, condensed milk and heavy cream.)  The combined milks are poured over the top of the cake once it comes out of the oven.  Mmmm, I'm getting hungry just typing it.

So the recipe called for the pan to be "liberally" coated with spray, but as you can see from the second photo up above that I was not liberal enough.  My cake totally stuck to the pan and I had to sadly break it out in chunks to flip it over.  Luckily, once the tres leches were poured on and the frosting was made, no one would have been the wiser if I didn't share my photo.  (Don't the fresh strawberries look yummy?)

This cake was delicious when it came out of the refrigerator and we had quite a fun little fiesta topped off by a little Cinco de Mayo Pandora station.  I highly recommend giving this dessert a try, even if you just order it from a restaurant, I'm willing to bet it's still a delight.

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Sunday, May 6, 2012

Whoopie pies

Whoopie pies by Federlily
Whoopie pies, a photo by Federlily on Flickr.

So I've started experimenting in the kitchen.

Inspired by all of the scrumptious looking photos on pinterest (did you notice my page link up above?), I've started to actually try out some of the new recipes I've found online.

Earlier this week, I was inspired by this photo of whoopie pies.  I had never baked whoopie pies before, and I'm not quite sure I had ever tried a whoopie pie, but with a name like whoopie, it had to be good.  (How many times I can use whoopie in one sentence?)

The recipe is from this book entirely devoted to whoopie pies and aptly named "Whoopie Pies".   There are dozens of variations to the classic whoopie pie in this book and I'm very tempted to try more.  The recipe that I followed was for the classic chocolate pie and a salty peanut butter filling.  (I love peanut butter treats!)  I can tell you that the pies were absolutely delicious and turned out looking just as great as they did online.  My husband did not allow me to keep the entire batch at our house, so most of them were shipped off to some deserving friends and coworkers - but not before I had my 5 (or 6).

And just in case you do decide to click around on my pinterest page, you may see a board called "Party Ideas".  And just in case you were wondering, yes, I am already brainstorming ideas for my son's birthday party... in December.

Pop quiz movie trivia - In what 1994 movie do we hear this line?
"Hey look, my mom's here"
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Saturday, May 5, 2012

First cousin, once-removed, in-law

Last week we celebrated the arrival of my first cousin, once-removed, in-law.

I'll let that sink in for a second.

Got it?

How about if I call him my son's second cousin?  Or, my husband's cousin's son?  Whatever you call him, he is a precious gift to his family and we are so happy to meet him finally.

This guy's sex was a surprise until he was born, so Mommy went with a modern, gender neutral look for the nursery.  It turned out lovely and it just so happens that she has similar taste in patterns and color, so it was a breeze to pick out fabrics and a design for this quilt.

I gave a peek at this quilt here as I was working on it on my new machine.  This quilt was put together using triangle paper to create half square triangles.  (You may remember I was working on another HST project here.)  The triangle paper method was interesting.  I won't say it was my favorite technique, but I did get accurate results.  I suppose it's a matter of personal preference if you like precision or speed and ease.

Using bits and pieces of fabric leftover from the quilt, I whipped together a hooded towel and some little coordinating wash cloths.  We personally use a lot of these at my house as LO's sensitive tooshie prefers a wet wash cloth over traditional diaper wipe.

I love making these for shower gifts because you get a lot of bang for your buck.  The hooded towel and wash cloths come together from just one towel and some fabric scraps.  First off, I cut a standard size towel to a square.  Then I take the leftover towel piece and cut it down to squares - I think these are about 8 or 9 inch squares.

The fabrics:
Several prints from Robert Kaufman's Metro Living
Two prints from Kate Spain's Central Park
Several prints from Lotta Jansdotter's Echo
The turquoise dot print came from my local Beverly's (love them!)
I wish I could remember the gray solid and the orange/aqua/yellow floral print, but alas, the sources are escaping me at the moment.
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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Mommy Essentials: The List

As a first time mom to my son (now 4 months) I have learned quite a bit in a short time.  I have more than a handful of nieces, nephews and friends with babies, but when I was pregnant, I wasn't quite sure what I would really need to purchase before his arrival.  The registry lists are out there, but they seemed so long and overwhelming.  Besides, would all of that equipment and extra bedding really fit in our two bedroom home?

Now that I've survived the initial newborn stage and the next round of pregnancies and babies are arriving amongst our friends and families, I felt compelled to make my personal list of favorite, couldn't live without, life saver items.

Here we go:

5. Keurig Brewer - I received my Keurig coffee maker a couple of years ago as a Christmas gift and, at the time, thought it was just a cool little kitchen novelty.  Once the little one arrived, it became a morning routine essential.  It was so mindless and quick - no waiting for a kettle to boil water, nothing to measure, in other words, perfection!  I love my K-cups.

4. Breast Pump - I am so grateful that I had my electric breast pump.  I started pumping almost immediately at the hospital and I continued once we were home too.  Not only did it help boost my supply, but on those middle of the night feedings in the first couple of days when I could barely sit up, it was a lifesaver having the option to pass off a feeding to Daddy.  You never realize until you're there just how much difference a 4 hour stretch of sleep feels versus a 2 hour stretch.  After the first few weeks, it was also a huge convenience to be able to pack a bottle if we were heading to a busy restaurant or someplace where nursing wasn't really an option.  And sometimes, your body just needs a break.  Thank goodness for my pump.

3. iPhone - It's a sign of the times, I couldn't survive the first few weeks of motherhood without my iPhone.  Pathetic, right?  Well, I can't really think of how moms did it before the iPhone.  While I was up nursing in the middle of the night, I always made sure to have my iPhone within reach.  What did I use it for?  Well, first off I had several apps.  One was the "What to Expect - Baby" app which I used to keep track of feeding times and on which side baby had last nursed.  The other app that was an all night favorite was "Babycenter".  Each month has a special birth club with members posting messages and comments to a message board covering all of the topics you are too embarrassed to ask your friends about.

2. Carter's Sleep & Play - It's 3 am, you're exhausted, baby just ate for the fourth time that night, you're ready to put him back down to sleep and you hear it.  That sound that should gross you out, but instead makes you giggle like a third grader.  You roll your eyes and look down to see your precious baby gazing up at you and grinning with that "I feel so much better now" look.  You head to the changing table, put on a clean diaper, manage not to get peed on and it's time to put the pajamas back on.  Show me a new parent who can line up all of those snaps of the other sleepers on the first try at 3 am and I'll give them a pat on the back.  As for this household, we appreciate the simplicity of a zipper, thank you very much.

1.  My Brest Friend - Baby's gotta eat, so this is my number one essential.  I started out with another  breastfeeding pillow, but it always seemed like it took two people to use.  I had to sit down with the pillow and get it positioned while my hubby grabbed our son and placed him on me.  Then, a friend of mine loaned me her Brest Friend and I was in heaven!  It buckles into place and stays put so you can snap it on and then grab baby yourself and start feeding.  No gaps for baby to slide in to and it's the perfect height and position for nice relaxed feeding.  I absolutely love it.

This list was tough to narrow down to just 5 items.  Here are my honorable mentions:

Arm's Reach Co-Sleeper - Baby's bed for the first month, plus a portable spot to place him around the house

The Swing - Anything that can buy you a few hours of sleep is worth every penny.  Plus this one plugged in to the wall, no batteries required.

The Nordstrom Blanket - Our guy was born in December, so a cozy, warm blanket was essential.  This one was the perfect size with just the right amount of stretch for the perfect swaddle.

Flannel Burp Cloths - I received a load of these at my baby shower and used every single one.  Make your own by sewing two rectangular pieces of flannel together (20 inches by 8 inches or so).  Super simple, super useful.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012


There's a party going on at Canoe Ridge Creations and it's all about HST - Half Square Triangles.  What is a half square triangle?  Well it's a right triangle that's made by cutting a square in half.

I've recently completed a couple of quilts using half square triangles in two very different ways.  The first was made using two charm packs of Tweet Tweet by Keiki.  I was inspired by this quilt by Faith at Fresh Lemons.  It's simple really.

Each 5 inch square from the charm pack is cut in half diagonally. Then, a 1 inch strip of solid color is sewn along the long diagonal.  Next, sew another half square opposite the first.  Square up the little block using your rotary cutter and ruler, repeat and you're well on your way to a pretty fancy looking quilt.

You can play around with the design, but I love how the diamond pattern came out with such a simple little trick.  Faith used a fat quarter stack in her quilt, but by starting with the charm pack, half of the work was already done for me.

Here is the finished product in another photo taken pre-Cheeze Man.
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Monday, April 16, 2012

Idol Time

No, not American Idol (but you all know how I love me some AI) it's Fat Quarter Idol.  What, you may ask, is Fat Quarter Idol?  Well it's a fun little contest going on over at Sew, Mama, Sew involving choosing your favorite fabrics and creating a board on Pinterest.

Talk about an idea I can get in to.  It's fabric shopping online, Pinterest, fabric blogs and to top it all off, this week's theme is "Sweet Child of Mine".  It would be weird for me not to participate, right?  And if all of that wasn't enough, my own sweet child is sleeping in late today allowing me time to do all of this.  What a sweetie :)

So check out my board on Pinterest and maybe make your own.  It's fun, I promise.

And in case you were wondering, I'm rooting for Phillip Phillips.
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Friday, April 13, 2012

Another Nursery Project - Fabric Drawer Liners

First things first, here is an updated photo of the little Cheeze Man.  He is modeling the first use of the Critter Community fabric on the changing pad that I made for him here.

Well, here is another use of the fabric in what I think is a pretty creative little project.

The Before
We were so lucky to be spoiled with some pretty fancy schmancy furniture for the nursery, but if you look at the photo above, the inside the of the drawers were just too plain.

The After
Rather than use just any old drawer liners, we used the fabulous colorful critters to brighten up the space.  Besides, I'll take any excuse I can get to buy more fabric :)

After a bit of brainstorming, we decided to do this project with just a few simple tools and supplies.  First we measured the drawers and cut a piece of cardboard to size.  Then, the fabric was cut a few inches larger all around and wrapped around the cardboard. It was then glued into place with some tacky glue.  That's it!  The end!  Project completed!  The best thing of all is that we can change out the fabric quite easily when the time comes and the perfect wood inside the dresser remains protected like new.

Now, rather than getting that depressed, time to do laundry feeling when I get to the bottom of the drawer, I can smile and discover a new woodland critter.   Pretty cool, huh?
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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

Hope you all are having a love filled day.

After receiving the best Christmas gift ever, my sweetie followed it up with my best Valentine's gift ever...

It's a Viking Topaz 30 and it's everything you could ask for and more.  So far I've played around with just a few of the wonderfully fun stitches. With the super convenient features, quilting is a dream.  In fact, the quilt you see above was quilted in just 2 mommy days and is now waiting for the binding and a wash for completion.

In addition to this quilt, I was also able to make a little Valentine's theme project from Sew Mama Sew.  It's the LOVE Mini-Quilt that I turned in to a pillow.  The tutorial included a little paper piecing to make the letters.  After much trial and error, the letters came together and I got this little guy done in time for Valentine's Day.  Hooray!

Last but not least, birthday shout out to my big bro today.  We'll see you soon!
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