Crafting Progress 2016

Well this post has been a looooooong time coming. So long that it’s likely I’ve forgotten a few finishes but here’s a roundup of what I’ve been up to over the past year or so crafting wise. I LOVE to craft – quilting, making, creating – it feeds my soul. Thankfully Norah (and now Julia!) for the most part have grown up with me doing this so on certain days I can make for 30-45 minutes at a time while they play independently (less for Julia at this point obviously). I talk about work with Norah and she does “work” at her desk while I do my crafting work. She also loves helping me – cutting my chain piecing apart, choosing which fabric to go next if I’m not following a precise pattern, and just generally playing with fabric. Just as I love to read hoping that Norah will take to it I love creating next to and with her hoping she’ll also develop a love of sewing and crafting. So….onto the projects!

By the way I have been trying to be better about photographing projects and posting them on Instagram so have created a hashtag so I can keep all the crafting goodness in one place :: CHECK IT OUT HERE

I created this gumdrop pillow as a test for making a larger gumdrop quilt to see if it was worth it (of course at that point I had already cut at least 500 gumdrops out so it wasn’t really a question). Well – I loved it so continued on to the larger quilt!

This quilt has since been finished and bound by the wonderful Kathy but I forgot to take a picture of it before giving it to a friend – oops!

A quilt of scraps – the pattern is disappearing nine patch

Another disappearing nine patch with scraps!

Finally finished my stocking. I’m about 15% done with Norah’s and then will start on Julia’s – oy!

I made this quilt from scraps (lots of scraps!) from an Outhouse quilt I made for Jeff’s parents which I realized I never blogged. See – already missing one!

A mini doll quilt for Norah

A quilt to be donated to the Junior League’s Festival of Wreaths

Norah’s baprons were quite ratty so I made these new ones for Julia to use once she starts eating

A tree skirt for my Dad and Annie

A Rainbow Run quilt

And a second rainbow run quilt since I am TERRIBLE at math and cut lots of extra squares – oy!

2 rice packs for warming in the microwave and warming cold winter toes!

A little Apron for Norah that is already too small…..I need to make another one!

Doll sleeping bags for Norah for Christmas using this pattern


I was hoping to make this to hold all my quilting patterns but it’s too floppy so instead will store all my thread!

Here it is the famous gum drop quilt in all its glory – it’s a little bigger than twin size and I LOVE it!!

I had Kathy quilt “To Norah Love Mamma December 2016” on the bottom – an heirloom I hope!

A Jelly Roll Jam quilt using Kate Spain’s beautiful fabric

And finally I needed a way to organize my scraps so I made some rainbow buckets from the book Sunday Morning Quilts – I don’t have space for a neutral basket (or event better to further separate black/white/brown/gray) but need one! Maybe in lady cave 2.0 I’ll find enough room for all the colors!

A close up – I tried to use all my favorite scraps on the outside

Crafting Progress May 2015

With my lady cave in place by late fall when my wedding season was winding down I had high hopes for the many hours of sewing I’d do this winter. Typically when the weather warms up and my business life gets busy I just stop crafting full stop and don’t pick it up again until the late fall. It’s something that brings me SO much pleasure and now that I have a space set up I find I am creating a lot more as I can do 5-10 minutes at a time without hauling everything out each time. Norah tends to be very happy when I am ironing and cutting but usually wants to climb up on my lap when I sit to sew so I tend to wait until naptime/bedtime to do that!

I read many sewing blogs and follow many other crafty types via Instagram so I had a boatload of inspiration. I combed my various Pinterest boards to come up with ideas for projects I’d do this winter. As I finished them I moved them over to the created board – I am nothing if not Type A and love checking things off a list. Looking at the board there are still a few projects I want to get done before the end of my sewing season and who knows – maybe this year will be different and I’ll continue to craft and create through the summer – time will tell. Anyway – below is a little tour back through the projects I’ve done this year. It’s fun to see them all in one place!

For Christmas I made my Dad & Annie placemats. I chose the fabrics at my beloved old Connecticut quilt shop Sew Inspired in Simsbury with my crafty friend Megan which was SO much fun. I love choosing fabrics and imagining what to do with them!
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This little rainbow book had been sitting in my WIP (works in progress) bin for a year or two so I really wanted to finish it up – I added some rainbow flannel to the front and hand stitched it together since it was so bulky. Cute!
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I got on a bit of a zippered pouch kick after I learned how to sew a zipper – they made great presents for my friend Wendy, my Mother in Law, and Norah’s two teachers for Christmas! Then one or two went into my presents bin for future gifting! These were all fabrics in my stash – that’s been one of my favorite parts of having all my fabric displayed – I can easily choose it for projects!
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I finally finished knitting this sweater for Norah though I confess I don’t love how it fits – I added a few stitches to the sleeves and they are too long compared to the body. Sigh. That will teach me to not follow a pattern!
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My friend Wendy’s old apron was falling apart so she enlisted my help in making her a new one. I have to say this took some brainpower to figure out which fabrics went with the fabulous print “How to keep your Husband” that I’ve had in my stash for years. Ashley from Film in the Fridge provided some design advice one day when we were crafting and I am thrilled with how it came out. The pocket is sewn halfway down so it’s not too deep and Wendy says she loves it – success!
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I’ve had these two quilt tops done for YEARS sitting in my WIP bin so I finally quilted and bound them – that felt good!
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I made a yoga skirt for Fia last fall that was COMICALLY large (Heidi gave me measurements in centimeters and I thought it was inches) so when I was crafting with Sarah at the lake in early March she finally helped me fix it. It really is now too small for her (darn!) but she is wearing it anyway.
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I needed a basket for my lady cave to corral all my sewing tools and this Noodlehead Divided Basket was perfect
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I knit a ball for Norah! Lots of practice increasing and decreasing but I was happy with how it turned out.
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This beauty is off at the quilters and I can’t wait to get it back and maybe hang it in my space. It’s a Carolyn Friedlander design (SO love all of her stuff) and I fell in love with it.
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I’ve had these book panels in my stash forever but needed Sarah’s help figuring out how to turn them into a book as they really weren’t designed that well. And I made two because why make one when you can make two??!!
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These City Gym Shorts from the Purl Bee are so FREAKING CUTE I can barely stand it. I have a size 3 cut just to see if that would fit Norah better – the size 2s are really wee so I’ll definitely be making more of these in the next few weeks.
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COME ON. THE CUTEST.
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I made some pennant flags for Fia’s room and she helped me pick out the fabric – I don’t have too much experience fussy cutting but it worked well to center the horses.
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Norah loves putting things in bags right now so I followed this tutorial and made her one….she won’t put it down. I also made one for her friend Esme as a birthday present but forgot to take a photo – oops!
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This one isn’t really a finish as the blocks still haven’t been sewn together – I can’t decide how to lay it out! I’m hoping to finish it in the next few weeks and send it off to be quilted – I’ve been working on this for awhile. This photo shows one possible layout – time will tell what I finally decide!
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Pajama pants for Norah’s cousin Maggie
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And pajama pants for Norah – I LOVE this print.
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I love my wheat pack which I heat up in the microwave and put at my feet when I get in bed. I burned mine this winter so made this one as a replacement – it has arborio rice in it and so far so good!
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Three geranium tops for this summer for Norah
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I don’t love these but whipped them up as an Easter present for Norah, Fia, and Holden – I sewed them a bit close to the edge so the stuffing peeks out in places – not my finest work but they were quick!
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I knit this cowl for myself and am working on knitting a second for my friend Wendy with the leftover yarn. It doesn’t photograph that well but it’s super cozy. Thankfully I don’t need it now with this beautiful weather!
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Norah uses her Baprons at every meal but is getting a bit too big for the smaller size so I sewed up four more – 3 in her size and one to go into the gifting bin! I LOVE this pattern – super easy and provides great coverage for eaters learning to be tidy!
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Norah has way too many clothes in general but one thing she was missing was bloomers to go under summer dresses so I made these using Whitney Deal’s bloomer pattern….and because I’m me two extra of a smaller size to be gifted!
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Voila – that’s what I’ve been doing all winter!! Can’t wait to create more!

THE LADY CAVE

Back in July when Sarah and Emily were visiting Sarah put the bug in my ear about turning my upstairs office nook into more of a finished space / space for me. I am a lover of fabric and quilting and it was all in bins under the bed in the guest room making it hard to remember what I had and hard to plan for projects. At that point my sewing space was downstairs on the dining room table and with Norah starting to crawl I knew I needed to move all that stuff to a safer spot so she didn’t get into it…..not to mention the inconvenience of constantly packing everything up when I was in the middle of a project so we could actually eat at the table!!

I have to say I was very resistant to the idea for some reason but she kept nudging me and eventually I came around – taking a trip to Ikea with Norah in August to buy the bookcase, and then getting a carpenter in to build a huge worktable in the fall. I finally feel fully settled into my space and it is WONDERFUL. This time of year is high crafting time for me with my work load considerably lighter than during the summer and it makes me so happy to walk into the space and see all the color!

I’m a little embarrassed by my enormous fabric stash but I tell Jeff it’s better/cheaper/healthier than drugs!! I don’t know what it is about fabric but I just love it and on these cold winter days the burst of color energizes me. It’s been great to get ideas for projects and be able to shop my stash and use some of it! Enjoy the photos and happy crafting!!

I forgot to take a proper before (bad photographer!!) but this is pretty close….from last winter when we were doing our taxes and Norah wouldn’t go to sleep….she finally fell asleep on the floor!
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Behold the glory! The awesome rug is Dash & Albert – it’s probably meant for a child but I love it!!
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The huge tabletop is split into thirds – my sewing machine, my computer, and my cutting mat all have their own (permanent!!) places. My printer, hard drives, and other computer cords are tucked away mostly out of site behind my enormous monitor.
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The height of the desk was dictated by the height of the file cabinet which I knew I wanted to fit under. As a result it’s a bit higher than a normal desk but it’s convenient when I’m cutting so I don’t have to bend over as much.
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FABRIC…..yes a lot of it!
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This is officially my happy place – thank you Sarah for (almost!) always knowing what is best for me!

Crafting Finish

Well since the quiet season is almost over I figured I’d share the progress I made crafting this winter. Before Norah arrived I was worried I wouldn’t have time to craft and was determined to MAKE time to craft. I’m happy to say that my determination has paid off and I’ve done quite a bit of sewing this winter. Right after Christmas I blogged all my works in progress (WIPs in crafting speak) and I’m happy to say that I’ve completed a good bit of them! Of course I’m in the middle of a few more projects so hopefully I’ll have some other finishes to share soon but in the meantime here’s a good roundup!……

I cut these (Quick Change Trousers) pants out way back last July when I was in Rhode Island for a crafting weekend (and wedding weekend of our friend Blair!) with my friend Sarah. I did a combination of newborn and 6 month sizes and in retrospect I wish I had cut them bigger as I think these will fit more comfortably when kids are walking. Alas – 20/20 hindsight so in the meantime Norah will wear some of these and I’ll put others away for future gifts!
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I started cutting this quilt back when we lived in Connecticut I think about three years ago – a long term work in progress! I got the idea I think from Amanda Jean of Crazy Mom Quilts but I can’t quite remember. Basically you cut your scraps up into segments of 2, 3, and 4 inch strips and sew them all together end to end. Then you cut them into segments (I did 10 inch) and make blocks out of them. At first I was going to sew them without the gray sashing but then I decided that I liked how it set it off. I’m calling this done because the way the light comes through this quilt is simply amazing and I’d lose that look if I quilted it. So who knows – maybe in some future house I’ll find a window to hang it in and can enjoy the blues in all their glory!
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Kathleen and I came across this pattern for a Bapron and I figured since Norah will start eating solid foods soon I better get on it. I was a bit intimidated by the pattern for no good reason – it was really quite easy and I decided to do three instead of one (classic Amanda approach)
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Bonus – I found a cute baby to model it on!
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Yes. More memory squares. I just can’t help myself I love this project soooo much and it is such a great use of scraps. And yes I do have about 10 sets (50 pieces each) stockpiled in the basement for future gifts. I don’t think I’ll ever stop making these!!
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A little cross stitch tooth fairy pillow for Fia. It had been awhile since I had done cross stitch so it was fun to get back to.
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Some fabric books
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I made this quilt top (from Scandinavian Stitches) before Norah was born thinking I might hang it in her nursery. It was the one project I finished during my infamous January trip to Providence where Norah essentially never slept and we were both feeling a little loony. I love the tones in this quilt and it has provided the perfect place for her to hang out (she learned to roll on this quilt!) and be photographed by me!!
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I found the fabrics for this quilt as a set at my beloved local store Stitched and knew it would be perfect for our friends Giles & Cathy when they eventually had a baby. Cathy is a science teacher and loves space. I actually sewed the top over Labor Day last fall knowing that Cathy was pregnant and not knowing whether I’d have time once Norah arrived. Right before Norah was born I sent it off to be professionally quilted (I still much prefer piecing than quilting) and I was so thrilled to get it back.
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This was the first time I’d experimented with a pieced back which was made up of extra fabrics from the front – I think it’s a cool look. The black and white fabric at the top says “blast off” – a fun tie in.
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The quilting is stars – I love how it turned out.
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Funny because when I got it back I thought it might be a bit too masculine for the girl that Giles & Cathy were expecting but also knew that they wouldn’t really mind because they aren’t into super girly things anyway. Well lucky for me two weeks before Cathy’s due date they discovered that they were actually having a boy and welcomed Ezra shortly thereafter!
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I had been meaning to make these coasters for my friend Wendy for maybe 2 years….at least two years. I finally got on it and found the perfect variegated thread for the outside. Of course once I got going I finished them in an afternoon – a good lesson in just do it!
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Crafting brings me SO much happiness – I do a little happy dance whenever I think about it! Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Crafting To Dos!

To say my crafting stash is a little large would be an understatement but somehow searching and buying fabric brings me so much pleasure – I love the colors and imagining what things will be. That being said as I prepared for baby to arrive I was motivated to tame the enormous and growing pile in our living room of crafting items and organize them in some way. I ended up putting everything away other than in progress projects which stay upstairs in our guest room until I’m ready to work on them. The goal is that our dining room table won’t be constantly overtaken by crafting….we’ll see if it works! I’m happy to say that since I took photos of these projects some have been completed – hooray! My goal is to try and not really start anything new until these are done – we’ll see if I can resist the siren call of a new project!
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I love piecing quilt tops but really don’t enjoy the actual quilting and binding (i.e. turning it into a finished piece!) so here are three quilt tops that are waiting to be put together. I find it tough to spread out at my house because of all the dog hair so maybe I’ll bring these to crafting weekend and see if I can get ’em done!
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Some extra netting for produce bags for the grocery store, a cute knitted Thanksgiving turkey (missed that holiday again this year!), a holiday gift bag that needs mending, and a fabric book I want to rip out and do over with some batting in it this time
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A scrap quilt of blues (much further along now) and the NINE pairs of pants that I cut out this summer while crafting with Sarah – also happy to say those are further along too!
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Some coasters I promised a friend waaaaaay too long ago, Fia’s Tooth Fairy Pillow (FINISHED!!!), some fabric books, and a “bapron” pattern that Kathleen and I were going to do together…..last summer!
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Maybe while we’re at the lake this week with Grandparents to hold the baby I’ll tackle some of these – time will tell!

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