Saturday, November 26, 2011

Fall Memories Photo Quilt

I love Fall! Love the cooler temps, cozy sweaters, and changing colors. It also has many of my favorite family fun activities like visiting the pumpkin patch and dressing up for Halloween.

Fall Memories Quilt 1

I've wanted to make a quilt using family photos for quite a while and decided that "Fall" would be a good theme for such a quilt. I have so many great photos from all our various fall activities that I had a hard time choosing just one from each year!

Fall Memories Quilt 7

I embroidered the year on each of the photos. I don't like to freehand letters/numbers for embroidery because I'm too much of a perfectionist, so I usually like to work something up on the computer and print it out. Here's my super simple way to transfer lettering/numbers from a printout:

Start with a printout. I wasn't sure how large I wanted the numbers, so I made several different sizes on the same sheet.

Fall Memories Quilt 2

Flip the printout over and use a pencil to color over the letters/numbers.

Fall Memories Quilt 3

Place the printout face up over your fabric and trace the numbers with your pencil. Go over each number several times and lift up a corner to check your transfer before moving the printout.

Fall Memories Quilt 4

And ta-da! You have your numbers transferred to your work surface!

Fall Memories Quilt 5

It's a subtle addition to each photo (maybe a little too subtle on a couple of photos!), but a nice way to help save the memory.

Fall Memories Quilt 6

I used EQ Printables printable fabric for my photos.

Fall Memories Quilt 8

Now to find the perfect place to hang this new quilt!


And just in time, I've finished this quilt to link up to Celebrate Color!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Christmas Jammies

For YEARS I have wanted to have matching family pajamas for Christmas morning. I know it's totally cheesy, but cheesy family moments make the best memories. The last two years I've been able to find reasonably priced matching Christmas pajamas for the kids, but now with A in the honest-to-goodness BOYS section I don't think I'll be able to that again this year.

There are plenty of store-bought options out there. But have you ever priced matching family pajamas? I just can't justify spending $150+ on jammies. I mean, I'm serious about embarrassing my children later with the photos, but not $150 serious.

So I'm finally thinking about it early enough this year that I'm going to make the jammies! Well, probably just pajama pants for everyone. I'm planning on solid color t-shirts for the tops. I may appliqué a little something on the shirts if I get the time (and we all know how easy it is to find extra time during the holidays). I've started with K's pants, because they're the smallest and therefore the quickest to finish!

xmas jammies 4

I did the ol' make-a-pattern-from-an-existing-pair-of-pants thing. There's been discussion among the Oliver + S sew along peeps about using freezer paper for pattern pieces in order to avoid pinning. I've used freezer paper for my last couple of sewing projects and, oh my gosh, why didn't I start doing this earlier?

xmas jammies 1

I added an inch and a half at the top for the waistband casing and another inch and a half at the bottom for hemming. I thought I was giving myself an extra wide hem. But when I tried them on her to check the length, I didn't end up having as much extra fabric as I was expecting. She hasn't worn those purple pants in a month or so and she must have had a growth spurt!

xmas jammies 2

I'd like all these matching pants to last a few Christmases, so my plan was to make an extra wide hem that I could let down each year as needed. I also didn't completely sew the elastic casing closed. I don't think leaving this little opening makes a big difference, and this way it will be easier to adjust the waist in coming years.

xmas jammies 5

Don't mind the too small shirt. As I mentioned before- growth spurt! She's also in a hurry to get them back off because this was right before bath, and she'd much rather be playing in the bath than posing for photos.

xmas jammies 3

One pair down, three to go!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

From the Library

My son brought this book home from school the other day:

quilt book

I'm rubbing off on him! ;)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Hooty Hooterson

Remember this pumpkin, that was supposed to be an owl? Well I made the pattern again and it actually resulted in an owl this time!

purple owl

Pattern from Just Crafty Enough. Love the little flippy wings!

Friday, November 11, 2011

In Observance of Corduroy Day

How are you celebrating Corduroy Day?

What's that? You've never heard of Corduroy Day? Corduroy Day is celebrated on dates that look most like the vertical lines of corduroy. And today, 11|11|11, is the date that most resembles corduroy EVER. And it just so happens to be my birthday too. I hope everyone has planned accordingly.

What better way to honor the day than to sew something from the fabric?

brown cord dress 1

The pattern is Simplicity-Little Lisette 2063. Little Lisette is a division of Oliver + S. I just can't get enough of those patterns!

The corduroy was a clearance fabric I picked up at Joann's a couple months ago. For the piping detail, I pictured using a subtle tone on tone blue that matched the polka dots. But when I started looking I found this plaid and decided it would be fun and I love the way it turned out! That's one of the benefits of sewing clothes yourself, right? You get to make something a little unexpected, or choose combinations that you wouldn't normally find in a store.

brown cord dress 2

The pattern called for single-fold bias binding on the armholes, but I like the plaid fabric so much, I decided to use it there too. Plus, when I used bias binding on the armholes of this dress I had all kinds of problems, so I thought this would be the easier way to go.

brown cord dress 3

Of course this project didn't come without its problems. That yellow flower button—purely decorative. After fussing with the buttonhole settings on my sewing machine for close to an hour, and making about 15 practice holes on scrap fabric, I put the dress under the needle and it screwed up the stitches halfway through. After much grumbling and seam ripping I tried it again and it jammed up for a second time. At that point, the fabric was chewed up enough that I don't want to try it again for fear that it will be ruined altogether. In the end, my solution was to sew little snaps to the strap and use the button on the outside to hide the chewed up fabric underneath. For what could have been a complete disaster, I feel like it worked out pretty well in the end.

brown cord dress 4

And here are a couple of attempts to take a photo on the little recipient. Two year old models.... *sigh*.

brown cord dress 5

brown cord dress 6


I'm going to link this up over at Stitched in Color's Celebrate Color. Go check out all the beautiful projects!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Family - In Cross Stitch Form

cross stitch family portrait 1

Or maybe pixelated 80s video game form. That's what these little cross stitched people remind me of. I found the patterns on Martha Stewart's site. There are a lot of different options for customizing your family- so fun to pick and choose! And luckily I have a ton of embroidery floss, so I had plenty of colors on hand to choose from.

cross stitch family portrait 2

Although my husband asked why he was wearing gold pants. They're khaki! Sheesh... The kids love it though- "That's me!" Who knew seeing a little cross stitched version of yourself could be so exciting?

I even finished it nicely on the back, which I rarely bother to do with these things.

cross stitch family portrait 3

This was way easier than our last actual portrait sitting. A was 2.5 when we tried to have a nice family photo taken. It was a disaster. A very expensive disaster. I was so traumatized by the event that A is almost 6 now and I haven't had another professional picture taken since then.