Monday, September 7, 2015

Sun hats for the fam

It's taken a few years, but I've finally gotten around to making a Betz White Reversible Bucket Hat for me! Not only that, but I even made one for my husband and a new one for Little Bear.

Reversible bucket hats, small, large, x-large

After measuring our noggins, I made a Small for Little Bear, Large for me, and X-Large for my husband. The sizing in this pattern is spot-on. Each of us got a great fit.

Reversible bucket hats, view of lining

Motivation for hat-making came in the form of a family kayaking adventure. We signed up for a tour and in the instructions, it suggested that participants have hats to protect from the sun in the open water. Since Big Bear was the only one with a hat that fit, I got to work on hats for the rest of us.

All four of us wearing our hats

And now the whole fam is rockin' the bucket hat!

Hubby and I wearing our hats

We got a lot of use out of these hats this summer after our kayaking tour. They came in handy for trips to the beach, visits to the zoo, and on many hikes. The unstructured nature of this design makes it perfect for shoving in a bag or backpack. Now I'm thinking I may need to get some water-repellent fabric so I can make some rain hats!

Friday, September 4, 2015

"Playtime" for baby!

After being completed for a couple months, I was finally able to put the finishing touch (label!) on this quilt and gift it a couple of weeks ago.

Playtime, front

I call it "Playtime" because the prints and colors are so dang happy and cute! That, and the pattern it is from is called "Playful" and I couldn't very well call mine the same thing. :) The design is from Cluck, Cluck Sew and it is an awesome, fun quilt to put together. The instructions are fabulous.

The print fabrics are from the Windham Fabrics "Little Menagerie" collection by Melanie Hurlston. I bought a fat quarter back of them back in 2010. So this project also gets cheers for stash-busting!

Playtime, back view

Pieced backs are a bit more work, but they are so fun. And I love being able to put the remaining scraps from the front to use!

Playtime, binding detail

I even snuck a bit of stripe into the binding.

Playtime, back view showing quilting texture

I kept the quilting simple on this one with an all-over meander using Aurifil Mako 50/2 thread in 2130 ("Medium Butter"). It is soft and snuggly.

Playtime, label

And, to finish it off, the label.

Playtime, another front view

The quilt was happily received by mama and baby. Yay!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Controlling the chaos: jewelry

Lately, I've been feeling overwhelmed by the amount of clutter and general chaos that surrounds me in my home. I am determined to improve my situation! As a first step, I decided to tackle the top of my dresser:

the top of my very messy dresser

The bulk of the above mess is my pile of jewelry. The pile is not only messy, but it is difficult to find, extract, and untangle pieces (particularly from the bottom of the pile!). I have been eyeing jewelry storage racks for a couple of years now and then stumbled across a tutorial from Home Depot: "DIY Jewelry Organizer Made from a Salvaged Drawer." I didn't have any drawers laying about, but I was able to find a base:

The wood base

I found this one at Jo-Ann's (and I was able to use a 50% coupon for it-- yay!). Then I pretty much followed the tutorial.

after one coat of off-white paint

I started by sanding and then painted the piece with an off-white acrylic craft paint.

after one coat of navy blue paint

Then I sanded again and painted with a navy blue.

after sanding the navy blue paint

Then I sanded again to give it that distressed look with the white base peeking through.

mapping out where the hardware should go

Next I mapped out where to put the hardware. I chose a mix of knobs and a couple of pulls and then lined the bottom edge with hooks. I gotta say-- the hardware was not cheap. I think I spent about $28 on the pulls and knobs, purchased from Home Depot and another local hardware store. I am sure I could have been thriftier about it, but I decided the convenience was worth it. Fortunately, the wood was inexpensive and I already had the other supplies. So the project was not a budget-breaker. And it was still a lot less than the jewelry racks I was looking at on etsy!

using a paper template to mark hardware positioning

Using a paper template taped it to the front of the rack, I marked where each piece of hardware was to go. When I went to make the holes, I drilled through the template-- that way I didn't have to mark up the front of the jewelry rack. It worked really well. And I successfully used a drill for the first time and I survived to tell the tale. Yay!

Completed jewelry rack, back side

In the above picture, you can see the back after all of the hardware was installed. Just above the rack, you can see the paper template I used (with all of the holes).

And here is the completed front view:

Completed jewelry rack, front side

Finally, I got it hung on the wall and loaded it up:

Completed jewelry rack, in situ

Check out that tidy dresser top! And now I can actually see and easily find all of my jewelry. Success!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Borders on!

Last week, I had four blocks done and a few in progress. Today, I added the final borders:

completed quilt top

I feel like I have had a productive week! Even better, I am totally loving how it has turned out. Yay!

Backing is next on the agenda. I have the fabric-- I even have enough that I *should* be able to piece the full back with just the one print. There is so much piecing on the front, I really want to avoid a ton of seams on the back. Here's hopin'!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Starry sky

I've been hanging onto that desire to create and have made some good progress on my new project:

After one week of work on my Galaxy quilt, 4 blocks are complete and 3 are ready to go.

The four blocks on the bottom left are all sewn, and the three on the right are in progress. It is a twelve block quilt, so I feel as if I'm already more than halfway. Yay!

I'm really enjoying putting this one together so far. Rainbows are totally fun. :)

Monday, July 20, 2015

Starting fresh

My mom passed away this weekend. She had been struggling for a number of years, so in many ways, it was a blessing. But I can't help but feel sad and a bit bewildered. A world without my mom... it is a strange thing.

I find myself really feeling a need to make and create right now. So I have been taking some time in my quilt cave to figure out how to channel this energy. I found my project:

Galaxy quilt from McCall's Quilting, May/June 2014

My plan is to use this pattern, from the May/June 2014 issue of McCall's Quilting but make it ROY G BIV style.

pile of pretty fabrics

Last fall I purchased a beautifully curated color wheel-inspired set of fat quarters from Pile o' Fabric. So I used that as a base and have supplemented with some additional prints and solids. Just looking at the stack makes me happy. What's not to love about rainbows?

For the background, I'll be using a deep blue solid, Kona Nautical. I'm toying with the idea of mixing up the background a bit though as well. We'll see.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Birthday gifts

We've celebrated a couple of birthdays lately-- meaning more Personalized Name Pillows pattern from Kimberbell Designs!

Flynn's favorite color is green:

Flynn's pillow, front view

I used a green dimple dot on the back. So soft!

Flynn's pillow, top view

Max's favorite color is white.

Max's pillow, front view

I couldn't bring myself to make a white pillow for a 5 year old, so I went with blue (a second favorite) and silver (which is kind of white-ish, right?).

Max's pillow, detail view

I used a cool textured silver lame for the star accents.

Max's pillow, top view

The back has a silver-grey minkee stripe. Super cozy!

As ever, the pillows were fun to make and were received with great cheer. Truly, this pattern is fabulous!!!