Wednesday, December 7, 2011

More Dresses and a Kimono

Hello again! I must be in holiday crafthorse mode because I can't stop making dresses! I made this little dress (above) for Gigi because she saw me making all the baby dresses and got jealous. I laid out 12 fabrics for her to pick from, and she chose Good Folks by Anna Maria Horner. Great taste!!! One of my all time favorite fabrics. You'd have to see it in person, it just GLOWS. I even remembered I had the pink and red version of the same pattern, but she stuck with her green/red choice. I think this one is the most favorite dress I've ever made.

I also made Gigi this little kimono from a free pattern by Habitual, using a print from the Sherbet Pips collection by Aneela Hoey. She loves it!

Lastly, I made one more 12 month old baby dress.
So now we have Strawberry, Lemonade and Orange Dreamsicle :)
Strawberry and Orange are Amy Butler fabrics, and again, the pattern was the free Oliver+S pattern.

Friday, December 2, 2011

I'm Back! With a Trio of Dresses

I've been making some little dresses lately for a friend of mine who wants them for her 1 year old. Click here for previous versions and a link to the free pattern of the dress from Oliver+S.

I made a strawberry dress....

And a lemonade dress!

Then for Gigi I made a size 4 version of the dress.
I made about every mistake on this dress that a person could ever make. I failed to realize my printer was printing the pattern at 3/4 size. Then when I realized it, I cut the back piece the right length and was going to add to the front, but in measuring them together I cut both the shorter length. Doh! Then I got them both the right length with the stripe, but sewed them together wrong side out. After taking that out and sewing them correctly, I tried to put it on her and realized it was doll sized through the chest. Because (duh) if it's too small one way, guess what? it's too short the other way. Sigh. So I took it all apart and added panels in the sides. And voila, a pretty dress. LOL.

So here you have it...strawberry lemonade dresses and a crazy mistake dress that's still pretty cute.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Lime Sherbet Baby Quilt

Updated 9/6/11: photo of Braelynn on the quilt!

I made this little sherbet baby quilt to take to a shower for my friend Cari. She wanted pastel yellows and greens and also forest animals. Well there are lots of forest animals, plus some other fun stuff, like cupcakes! Yum. I used my favorite piecing method: fussy cut the inside square and then add enough fabric around to make the right size. Oh, all hand piecing and quilting as usual, of course.

I happened to have the perfect backing fabric in my stash, this chandelier print by Tina Givens. It is just the right color of yellow-green. I used yellow satin for the binding and it's perfect too.

Here's a boy for scale.

And a closeup of one of my favorite blocks, some dancing frogs by Heather Ross via Kokka Japan. That's Cari, Clay and the baby in the meadow. I previously used the rabbit family from the same fabric in this modern baby quilt for another friend, Sarah.

These colors don't really match each other but I wanted to put the owls in some trees :)

And of course some old Heather Ross prints on top, because I love them, and a cute big doggie.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

News Flash: I Finally Used a Sewing Machine! (and I hated it)

As all of you loyal followers know, I don't own a sewing machine and have never learned to use one. Every quilt on this site, for the last 13 years, has been made entirely by hand. Well, a few weeks ago I made this little purple dress for Gigi and was frustrated with the way the middle joined. The free directions were extremely vague so I improvised, but the seam kept coming apart in the middle gathers and I resewed it like five times. I was getting mad so my husband suggested that I dig out the beginner sewing machine my mom had given my oldest daughter 8 years ago that no one had ever used. I thought maybe he was right and it would hold that seam better so I agreed.

Well I took one look at the directions and my brain froze! So I made Mr. Babyquilts stop painting the kitchen to set it up for me. He'd taken home ec in highschool and claimed to remember how to thread the beast. I found a spool of machine thread I'd bought by accident long ago and we were off. I wasn't very good at it but I challenged myself to make an entire new dress with only the machine.

Here's the little dress I made, a copy of the purple one. Summary? I hated every second of using the machine and kept wanting to throw it out the window and go back to hand. It kept unthreading itself every ten seconds and I really didn't know what I was doing. Plus, to add insult to injury, I couldn't get it to sew over the gathers in the middle and ended up sewing it by hand again anyway!!!! Grrrr..... So guess what, this one comes apart in the middle every time I wash it too. I realize it's probably not the machine's fault, but I genuinely disliked the entire experience and am extremely unlikely to repeat it. You ladies can keep the machines!

At any rate, Gigi loves it and that's what matters. If I have to sew the middle a hundred more times, it will be worth it. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go sew it again, it just came out of the wash. (I only wish I was saying that to be funny!)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Best New York Strip Steak Ever

To commemorate the start of grilling season, today I give you the best dry rub recipe for thick cut New York Strip Steak. Try it!

Set a stainless steel grill pan (with ridges on the bottom) on medium high heat for at least 15 minutes. Let the steaks sit out at room temperature for an hour - an even meat temperature will make for more even cooking. Make the dry rub: 2T kosher salt, 1/2 c. brown sugar, 2T black pepper, 1 clove garlic, minced. When pan or grill has heated for at least the 15 minutes, rub the steaks with oil, then the dry rub, and put in the preheated pan immediately. Do not spray the pan or grill with oil, just rub on the steaks. The pan will smoke as the sugar caramelizes, so have the fan ready, or better yet grill them outside! Grill 4 minutes per side and they will be perfectly caramelized and medium rare.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Proud of Myself!

I'm very proud of myself today! I have been making the same easy little sack dress over and over for my three year old, and I decided I MUST try something new. The little dress and some newborn pants were the only clothes I've ever made so I was a little afraid to try a harder dress.

Well, it wasn't smooth sailing the whole time, but voila! I made this super cute dress! It only took me two days here in all-by-hand land. I got the pattern free from Made By Rae. If you want to make one too, you have to print out the pattern for the three year old, but the instructions for the itty bitty one. The instructions weren't overly elaborate, but I just filled in the gaps with my general sewing knowledge. I lined the bodice with lavender solid and accented the middle and bottom edge with fabric from the same line.

That line was Tula Pink's Parisville. I love it! It's soooo much prettier in person though. The lilacs and dark purples really pop. Do you see the cute mice hidden in the design? I love all the delicate details, you notice more every time you look at it.

Well ladies, it turned out super amazing, if I do say so myself! Gigi loves it. It feels more like a real dress dress than the sack-type ones I was making before.

She feels like a princess in it!

Even the cat had to come check it out. Well, enjoy looking and now go make one for your little girl!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Modern Baby Quilt Finished!

It's done!
Click here to see the beginnings of it and the directions on how to make the applique circles. I'm very proud of this quilt, because it's the first time I've made the quilting part of the design. I used to dislike the quilting, but I'm liking it more with every quilt. As an all-by-hand quilt maker I am usually in a hurry to finish. But not anymore!

Wolf is enjoying it for now, until it goes to my dear friend Sarah.

Here are closeups of the four quadrants of the quilt. I love how the quilting on some of them "breaks the plane" of the square it belongs to and draws the eye away from the block divisions.

I didn't mark any of the quilting. The circles naturally turned out at 1/4" intervals, I think because I'm used to "eyeing" quarter inch seams. For the straight lines I just took a plastic quilting ruler and ran it back and forth on the fabric, pressing down, so I could see the line.

Frog prince!

The owl and the pussycat!

Dandelion moon!

Hope you enjoyed seeing it as much as I enjoyed making it. Cheers!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Modern Baby Quilt Top

Edited to say: click here to see the finished quilt!

The baby quilt top is done! Click photos to see them better. It was fun and easy to do. See the quilt it's based on and my applique circle notes here.

I love this Heather Ross Far Far Away II owl and pussycat circle. I only used three novelty prints, but I made sure they read as solids from far away.

Here's three bunnies dancing in the mushrooms from some Japanese fabric I had. It's Sarah, Matt and the baby, Lilly D. I like how it echoes the Japanese folklore of a rabbit in the moon.

Do you guys like it?

Monday, January 31, 2011

Modern Baby Quilt Beginning

I started a new baby quilt for a dear friend Sarah who will soon be bringing home a sweet baby girl. Sarah chose this design, Sun and Moon from Squareonestudios from my inspiration file. It's all modern square blocks with appliqued circles.

I used the super circles tutorial from Anna Maria Horner's blog, and the tinfoil method worked perfectly! Give it a try.

I edited the photos to show just the blocks, so consider the white of this blog the design wall, and the blocks are thrown up here. Sarah wanted mostly solids, but I made three novelty circles and used a little patterned fabric.

Above is the enchanted frog from Heather Ross' Far Far Away double gauze collection.

Here are some solid and patterny blocks.

The blocks do look like the sun and moon, don't they?

The most fun part is how they change when you put them together in rows. The neighboring blocks give them a different look than they had on their own. I will show the whole top in a few days so you can see what I mean. Click on the below photo to see it better. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Starry Heather Ross Quilt Finish!

I really like how this turned out! The cold, rainy weather here is not cooperating for photos, but trust me, it's gorgeous. My sister gave me her whole stash of Heather Ross to make it, and I used almost every scrap. It's a copy of this quilt I made for a baby, I just figured out different measurements. I was pretty proud of myself, considering all I had was a photo to start with!

I quilted every six inches, outlining each star and circling little motifs like I did in this Heather Ross quilt.

I included three selvages too, for fun. Here's my favorite one above.

There are even a few stars using the coveted seagull fabric, that you really can't even buy anymore. I just did a quick search and couldn't find ANY for sale on the internet.


Here's a cute weiner dog outline. He needs a sweater here in Texas today.

For the back, my sister sent a soft flannel twin size sheet that worked perfectly to bring to the front as binding. Also shown above is my second favorite selvage, including the color dots.

And here's Ty enjoying his quilt. Have a good weekend!