Patriotic bunting with chevron fabric…

We are relaxing(or at least trying to) this Memorial Day weekend!!  We are lucky to have family visiting to help keep us calm as we still rough through some of Justin’s tantrums. 
I love my country and all the men and women who have served to help protect our freedoms.  I made a patriotic bunting last year in more rustic colors, you can see it here, and updated this year in bright colors and of course—chevron fabric!!
I love it just as much as I loved last year’s…which one do you like better??
I can’t decide…maybe one for inside the house, and one for outside??  Oh, the possibilities are endless!!
Don’t forgot to see my original post for the easy tutorial on how to make one yourself!!

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PB James and Anna Tote Bag patterns…

We have had a ROUGH two months with Justin.  The poor kid has had two partial bowel obstructions, and a sinus infection.  So what do I do when I am stressed?!?!  Sew, sew, and sew…and get two patterns finished!!
The Anna Tote Bag pattern is a perfect beginning pattern.  It is what I use for my beginner sewing students.  The pattern itself includes color pictures for each step of the tutorial making this pattern easy to follow!!
My PB James pattern is a mini version of my PB Inspired Quilt for Little Miss.  I have had several people request that I make quilts to sell in my Etsy shop—and I have 2 of these PB James quilts almost finished!!  It is a great beginner quilt and is also very easy to follow.
You can find these two patterns, along with others, for sale in my Etsy shop.

Sew and Show Saturday #20—Quilt for Autism…

This is another beautiful quilt made by my mom, and this one is truly all about the heart.  My mom is donating this quilt through a silent auction with the proceeds going to Autism.
Here are some close ups of some of the button, ribbon, and applique details…
The heart machine quilting detail on the border is one of my favorite parts about this quilt…
So appropriate that my mom is giving away her heart quilt—thanks mom for giving your heart to my kids, and especially to Justin!!

Sewing frenzy…

March flew by this year, only because it was full of craziness!!  We had a medical emergency with Justin, since resolved, but of course it happened while my husband was out of town—that just adds to the heightened stress level around here!!  I was so emotionally exhausted afterwards, and still enduring my annual winter blues, that my parents took pity on me and flew me out to visit for a long weekend!!  I am feeling SO much better now—and I stocked up on fabric while I was with my mom.  So now I am in a sewing frenzy!!
We are on a debt diet this year, and with all our saving money tactics we kept the Easter gifts to a bare minimum.  I made a tote bag (pattern coming soon!!), headband, and two boys’ neckties for the kids and ended up only spending $10 total for all four kids—SWEET!!
Here’s how they turned out…
Cheesy matchy-ness at its finest—I love it!!
The best part about Easter this year was meeting a family who also has a son with Autism.  About six months ago, I received an email from someone who had come across my blog.  She emailed me to ask some questions about Autism because her son was recently diagnosed.  We sent lots of emails back and forth to each other and found out she lived over 2000 miles away!!  We had never met, but quickly became friends through shared emails.  I got an email from her about 2 months ago saying they were moving and would be living an hour and a half away!!  What are the chances!!  We invited them over for Easter dinner and met this sweet, sweet family.  It was like having family to share Easter with—so great!!  I am so grateful for all the many friends we have made through sharing our joys and challenges with Autism.
Besides all my Easter sewing, I am now teaching sewing lessons as part of our debt diet plan—and I absolutely love it!!  I have 6 students now and was shocked to find out they don’t teach sewing in schools anymore—WHAT?!?  I’m determined to bring sewing back—one student at a time!!

St. Patrick’s Day Stockings…

Okay, if you are a bothered by someone who celebrates a lot of holidays (including St. Patrick’s Day), please discontinue reading!!  I have read some interesting posts lately about how too many mom’s are going “over-the-top” with celebrating holidays.  St. Patrick’s Day was the focus of one of these posts.
I have oodles to say about the subject, but I will condense it to say just this:
If you choose to do nothing for any holiday, I still love you and think you are a fabulous mother—truly.  If you choose to celebrate every day like a holiday and hire a professional band and fireworks, I still love you and think you are a fabulous mother—truly.  If you do some kind of celebration in between those two, I still love you and think you are a fabulous mother—truly.  How do I know you are a fabulous mother??  Because I think every mother is, just for trying and getting up in the morning—truly.
So here are my St. Patrick’s Day stockings…
My mom found a really cute pattern for Halloween stockings and made me one last year.  We were talking on the phone about how awful this winter has been with sickness and depression and she had the stroke of genius to make a St. Patrick’s Day stocking out of the Halloween stocking.  I adapted the pattern and made my own Leprechaun, chunky shoe pattern and I love how whimsical they turned out!!
Because of all the ridiculous illnesses, a health emergency, and my husband being out of the country—again—we actually missed St. Patrick’s Day altogether!!  HA HA!!  My intentions were to just put a note in the stocking every year that tells my child why I feel so “lucky” to have them in our family.  They got a nice green sticky note on their doors instead!!  Perfect!!
But these beauties did make me smile, hanging from my fireplace!!

Sew and Show Saturday—#15. Apple quilt…

The weather was so hot this week, it’s hard to remember it is Fall!!  I want apple crisp, crockpot meals, and sweaters—where’s my cool weather?!?!  Hopefully this week will be cooler!!
Here’s another one of my mom’s quilts that brings back sweet memories for me.  This was displayed in my mom’s family room for a long time.  It was such a cozy room with a fireplace, large windows, beautiful blue walls, and an oversized plaid loveseat that matched the colors of the quilt!!


Such a great fall quilt!!

Sew and Show Saturday—#14. Modern black and white beauty quilt…

Quilting has been a tradition in my family that goes back for generations.  Having that said, I have gained such an appreciation for all styles of quilts—traditional, and modern.  There are so many modern styled quilt patterns being produced now, and I love them!!  So what makes a quilt modern??
  • The first thing that makes a quilt modern for me, is the color choices.  When you limit your color selection to two or three colors (black and white, or black and white with a pop of red, or red and white for example) your quilt is going to have a more modern look to it and feel more up to date than a traditional quilt.  The tone of the fabric is a huge factor also being that bright colors will produce a higher level of contrast than pastels.
  • The second thing that affects the style is your choice of patterned fabric.  Solid fabrics will always appear more modern, and will also allow you to choose more color variations without looking traditional(for example a quilt of 6+ different color solids will still look modern even though you have broadened the color selection to more than 2 or 3) Within the limits of your color selections, your choice of print can make your quilt feel more modern.  Geometric prints, high contrast prints, and larger sized prints can all help update a traditional pattern to look more modern. 
  • The third component of a modern quilt is the actual quilt pattern itself.  There are some quilt patterns that read modern just because of the simplicity of pattern (more geometric lines).  But here’s my favorite thing!!  I think any pattern, even the very traditional quilting patterns that go back for generations, can be updated to look modern.  That is the fun of quilting!!  I love finding one of my favorite traditional quilt patterns and then update it using modern color choices and fabric patterns.
This is why I love this black and white beauty quilt that my mom made…
Again, I think it is the high contrast on this one that makes it more modern than traditional.  Check out the quilting on the white fabrics!!
What would your favorite color choices be for a modern twist on a traditional quilt pattern??

Sew and Show Saturday—#13. Cheery Cherries…

I have always loved cherry designs—all that Mary Englebreit stuff!!  My mom loves cherries too and made this adorable quilt.
I love the high contrast between the black, white, and read.  My mom machine appliqued around the cherries and stems.
Can you see an entire room based on this quilt??  It would be so cheery!!

Sew and Show Saturday—#12. Pocket Full of Posies…

This quilt of my mom’s is one that is very memorable to me.  It was the one that was always on the end of my mom’s bed when I would come to visit during the first year of Justin’s life.  It became the backdrop for several of his baby pictures!! Now when I visit my mom and see it, it brings back a flood of sweet baby memories of him!!
I have to say I always love a good nine-patch quilt and the applique flowers in-between are a great way to break up the pattern and add more interest.
My mom hand quilted this one with dark colored thread and it contrasts the white background so nicely!


It is such a striking quilt, I love it!!

Apple onesie and chevron tutu for my baby girl’s first birthday…

I’ve had this idea for a few months now of what to make for my baby girl to wear for her first birthday, and with the deadline of our road trip quickly approaching—I finally got it done!!  It turned out to be easier than I thought!!
I bought a white onesie from Hobby Lobby and some red chiffon rose trim.  I also found red tulle and red and white polka dot elastic for the tutu. 
I already had red and white chevron fabric and some dark red striped fabric so I cut them into strips with pinking shears.  Then I cut the same size of tulle and pinned around the elastic.  I just straight stitched it onto the elastic and it was done!!  Soooo easy:)
For the apple onesie, I put a thick piece of white felt on the inside of the onesie and then started pinning the chiffon rose trim to the front—laying it out in the shape of an apple.  I did the outside border of the apple and then just wrapped it around the inside until there was no white left showing.  I pinned the chiffon trim to the onesie and felt so when I went to sew it, it would sew through the felt underneath.  I envisioned hand sewing this to make sure it looked alright—but I ended up just carefully sewing on the netting of the chiffon trim with invisible thread and it turned out great!!  I added a lime green fabric rectangle for the stem and cut the edge with pinking shears.
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For my baby girl’s headband, I wanted a shabby chic kind of look so I mixed two chiffon roses I had left over with a chevron, red and white fabric wrapped rose that I hand stitched.  I also hand stitched a lime green leaf accent and the diamond accent to the headband with a piece of felt underneath to keep it soft next to  her head.
I am so happy with the way it turned out, and it was perfect for my sweet apple baby’s first birthday pictures!!
Happy Birthday sweet girl!!
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