Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Lots of Birdies

Just a quick post about a few bags I have made recently.  Amy Butler's Birdie Sling is one of my favorite bag patterns, I've made it several times for myself and as gifts.  I've also printed a copy of the pattern at 75% of its normal size since the pattern size is really more of a giant tote.

Note: Excuse the horrible pictures.  Staging things when it's hard to get on and off the floor at 9 months pregnant isn't the easiest thing!  Also, I might have snapped the gift ones at the last minute :)

For the last few months, I've been carrying around this version that I made for myself out of Ruby fabrics.  This bag has been a great catch-all for random things I've needed for work and when trekking around with the family.  In fact, it's stuffed with junk right now, which is why it's hanging funny.

Well, I've gotten a lot of compliments on it, which has been lovely.  My son's teachers for his 2-3 year old room, who have been a Godsend during this whole restricted-pregnancy mess, both told me how much they liked it.  Then when they found out I made it (LOVE people's reaction when you get to tell them that), they asked for some as well.  Since the school year was ending, and I had been trying to figure out what to get them as thank-you gifts, this was perfect.

First up is the one for his main teacher, who said she liked black and white and just a touch of yellow.  Luckily I found these matching fabrics at JoAnn's - one of which was a home dec weight which meant I got to skip the interfacing on the outside - yippee!

The lining is a butterfly print, which looks really cute with the other fabrics.

Her reaction was great and made the whole thing worth it.  She kept hugging it and showing it to everyone!

Next up was his assistant teacher, who basically wanted a clone of mine.  Well, I couldn't find all of the fabrics I used at the local quilt shops, but I did find a pretty print from Vintage Modern for the outside.  It's paired with a Moda Bella solid for the handles (no other red would match!) and another Bonnie & Camille print for the inside.  She was also very excited.

I was really happy to give the teachers such personalized gifts to say Thank You after how great they have been with my son.  Now I just hope we'll love his new teachers just as much!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Squeeeee!!! (or, lots of new things)

Oooh I am feeling very spoiled.  Very spoiled indeed.  Lots of goodies for me recently, some gifts, some purchases, and a win.

First up, I won this cute fat quarter bundle of Erin McMorris fabric during the Quilting Gallery blog hop from Cat Patches.  I have no idea what I'll do with it, but it's very sweet fabric.  Maybe a quilt for SCAN (our guild's charity) once I get back into the swing of sewing & quilting.

Next up, for my birthday I got an Amazon gift card from my mom, which I used to get a couple of quilting books that I've had my eye on for quite a while.  Both books are great inspiration for using scraps, something I'll probably be doing a lot of once were paying for 2 kids in day care and my fabric budget gets slashed :)

I also splurged a bit and got the full fat quarter bundle of Madrona Road from The Intrepid Thread, which I got for a great deal with a coupon.  I have to tell you, Julie at that shop provides amazing service.  I ordered the bundle on Friday afternoon and it was waiting in my mailbox on Monday when I got home from work, and I only paid the standard shipping.  I've got a few ideas of what I want to do with this, but since I probably won't get to it before the baby's born, I will probably just admire the pretty bundle for a few months!

Finally, the jackpot of presents, or "my husband wins some major brownie points."  First, for my birthday last month he got me an iPad.  Yes we share a bank account, but I've been wanting one for a while and never would have taken the plunge if it wasn't a gift.  But even my beloved iPad pales in comparison to....

My new sewing machine, a Janome Horizon 7700!!  I am SO excited about this one, even though I probably won't get to use it to its full potential for a few months.  This was definitely an impulse buy.  We took my machine, a perfectly good Brother NX-450Q in for services, and somehow left with this.  We did get a really good deal with the trade and also because this was the floor model.  I paid about $1200 LESS than MSRP, which is pretty good!

I will plan on doing a full review once I have a little more experience with it, but I will say once I got home with it, it was not love at first sew.  My Brother was much more user-friendly, and it felt like going from a Honda Civic to an army tank.  But after sewing on it for over a week now (still no FMQ yet, can't WAIT to try that), I am getting used to it and am really starting to love it.

Well that's enough of my bragging.  I have to say though, after a rough summer it's nice to be spoiled!  Although now that I think about it, maybe hubby is just building up to refusing to do diapers or something...nah! ;)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

WIP Wednesday - The Nursery Edition

Well, it's been an eventful and stressful 3 months since I last posted.  If you're just here for the pics, please feel free to scroll down :)

After my last post, I was told by my doctor that I would need to be on bed rest for nearly the remainder of my pregnancy.  So after 2 weeks of only being allowed up for bathroom trips, a short shower every day, and to grab a quick snack, I went back and was told by a different doc at the practice that I was fine and should never have been placed on any restrictions.  Then, I ended up getting a phone call to yes, be on part time bed rest.  This saga of being on and off bed rest, with conflicting opinions of the doctors, went on for a couple of months.  I finally followed everyone's advice and switched practices.  Best decision ever.  I was monitored closely under increasing levels of activity, and it was eventually decided that I should be on limited restrictions for the next several weeks.  Even the limited restrictions have been difficult (although at this point I'm as big as a house and can't do much anyway!), but SO much better than bed rest.  Overall, the last few months have been physically, emotionally, and financially draining.  I'm very happy that the end of my pregnancy is less filled with worry and stress, but I'm ginormously a little bitter at my old physician group for the strain they placed on my family, including the precious FMLA/maternity leave that unnecessary bed rest took up, and the huge amount of $$$ we still owe them.  However, the end goal of everyone is a happy, healthy baby and it looks like we are well on our way to getting that!

Now, back to the bloggy stuff.  Our biggest to-do is getting the nursery (formerly our office/craft room) completed.  Right now it's a dumping ground that would send most neat freaks - my husband included - into a tizzy.  As much as we have left to do, I have been able to start sewing again, and have been able to make several things for the nursery, which has saved us some money!

First up is a crib sheet, made from Alexander Henry's 2D Zoo print.  I've actually had this for a couple of years, I bought it when my son was little since I thought it was so cute (I had tried and failed to convince myself it's gender neutral, pink animals and all!).

Eek - ignore the washed out look!

I used the fabulous tutorial found here.  I used my serger, never had to press, and it took me all of 30 minutes to put together.  Plus I already had the elastically on hand, so technically the sheet is free!

Continuing with the serger madness, I made a couple of receiving blankets.  The first is an Ann Kelle flannel that is soooo soft.  It was meant to be a crib sheet, but it when I got it home I learned it's only 41-42" wide, which with the way flannel shrinks would never work for the crib sheet.  It does make a cute blanket though!  The other is a random yellow flannel from my stash.  These are just 36" squares with the edges serged.

Again in the practical-but-not-exciting department, I used this easy tutorial to make a changing pad cover from leftover minky.  Easy peasy!

...and a fleece baby bunting from a Simplicity pattern.

Finally, I used the Sophie Car Seat Quilt tutorial at Moda Bake Shop to make a quick quilt to cover baby in the car seat.  As part of a guild challenge, it's all leftovers, even the batting.  The fabric is Tula Pink Prince Charming and Kona Bone.

There are still a ton more projects to do for the nursery, not the least of which involves figuring out what to do with all my craft stuff (babies don't really need a closet, right?).  I am so excited to be able to make things for my baby girl, especially since hardly anything she is getting handed down from her big brother is gender neutral.  Although my aching back says otherwise, here's hoping she waits long enough for us to get everything done!