Baby Elaine’s Arrow Quilt

I have three half finished blog entries in draft form that I might never finish.  So, in lieu of whatever random thoughts have been on my mind for the past few months, here is Baby Elaine’s quilt.  Her momma is my best friend and gave me full creative control – dangerous!  This quilt is my favorite so far – I love mint, coral, navy and gold.  Finally an excuse to use the fabulous gold binding I found at JoAnn’s!  After I made this I briefly considered redoing Lucy’s room in the same colors.  But since I redid her room two months ago, I decided that probably wasn’t the best idea.  Also, now that Lucy is 4 – and a half – she is pretty free with expressing her own opinions.  Since there is no pink in this quilt, it wouldn’t have passed.

I used the Pow Wow quilt pattern from Cluck Cluck Sew.

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And a beautiful photo of Baby Elaine in her beautiful nursery, taken by the talented Carolyn Ann Photography.

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Caroline Makes a Quilt

Actually, that should be Caroline Made a Quilt.  Last winter, after successfully making a baby quilt for my best friend, I decided that Lulu needed a quilt.  But not a baby quilt, because Lulu isn’t a baby, she is a big girl.  Twin size quilt it was.

So in February, I found the perfect fabric – Country Girls by Tasha Noel for Riley Blake.   It’s now pretty hard to find this fabric.  Glad I bought enough.

Even harder to find was a pattern.  I liked this a lot, so I copied modified it:  Herringbone Quilt by Craftiness is Not Optional.

Here is my “pattern.”

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I was pumped and ready to go.  I cut out the pieces.

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380 or so of them.  And I layed out all the pieces in the “order” I wanted them (more like planned chaos).

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And I starting sewing.

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And sewing.

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And sewing.

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And then I lost my mind and put it away for a few months.  Right before school started this fall I realized I HAD to finish this thing.  So I started sewing.  Again.

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Notice the wrinkles on the right hand side of that picture?  Yeah, that’s what happens when you aren’t super careful about your seam allowance.  So after sewing and sewing, I got to unpick and unpick and resew and resew.  And at last the top was done.  Another long break happened.

And finally, I pieced together the back (no exciting pictures of that process, try to hold your disappointment in) and made some binding.

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I didn’t make the binding as wide as I wanted, which was probably a blessing in disguise since I barely had enough fabric to make it 2 inches wide.  I don’t hand sew, so I had to decide what to do about the binding.  I know machine stitched binding isn’t going to be perfect but I wanted to control the imperfection as much as possible.  So I bought some invisible thread.  Threading a needle with invisible thread is all sorts of not easy.  Also, since it is microscopic plastic, essentially, it breaks super easy.  But once I got past those things, it worked amazingly.  It really decreased how much stitching showed on the backside.  Pinning the binding was all sorts of stupid.  I’m sure I made it a lot harder than I needed to.

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And… done (450 pieces later).

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So Caroline made a quilt, and hopefully it doesn’t fall apart the first time I wash it.  Caroline Makes a Baby Girl Quilt is up next.  I will never make a quilt larger than baby sized ever again.

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Coming to Terms

I’ve been struggling this summer trying to come to terms with the new “normal” my life will be taking on August 25th.  As excited as I am to start the Being a Student Round 2 chapter of my life, I’m already mourning the loss of the things that I love.  Right now my life consists of: Lulu, Husband, Family & Friends, Sewing, Other Hobbies… when classes start the “Sewing, Other Hobbies” portion of that list will change to “Reading, Writing, Studying, Writing, Reading…”.  Will there be time for sewing?  Reading novels?  Crafty stuff?  Party planning?  Movies?  Sitting on my butt in front of the TV playing Two Dots on my phone? 

Probably not.  And I need to just accept that.  

I will miss sewing so much.  I have a mental list of dozens and dozens of things I want to make.  I have an impressive collection of sewing patterns I’ve yet to try along with a stack of fabric miles high just waiting to be turned into something beautiful.  I have a basement sewing room that is still not complete.  And the patterns will probably have to wait, the stack of fabric will have to sit, and the basement will have to remain unfinished for quite some time.  

I hope I can find some sort of balance in my life with the addition of school.

There are a couple of things I MUST do before I put my beloved Singer away, though:

  • Finish Lulu’s quilt
  • Make Lulu’s Christmas dress
  • Make a gift that I cannot disclose at this time for someone I love very much
  • Read The Buccaneers (well, this one doesn’t actually involve the Singer)

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I will conquer you, quilt.

Nerding Out, Stationery Style

Ever since I can remember, I have been obsessed with paper.  When my mom would take me to the grocery store with her I would stay in the stationery aisle and just stare at the notepads and letterhead and envelopes and pens until she was done.  (In my defense, it is really boring to go to the grocery store.)

I still love paper.  I love notepads, post-it notes, journals, planners, calendars.  I’ve made wedding invitations, baby shower invitations, birthday party invites, baby announcements.  I have boxes of scrapbook paper, colored paper, punches, cutters.  I made a house binder to keep track of menus, dinners, cleaning schedules.  I’ve never used it, but making it was so much fun.  I. Just. Love. It.

{Side note:  I hate scrapbooking strangely enough.  It’s boring.  I would rather make a photo book online.}

With this whole grad school thing starting soon, I decided that I needed a really amazing planner to keep track of my assignments and appointments.  After scouring Pinterest for ideas (when I should have been working) I thought I had enough inspiration to make my own.  I have a graphic design certificate and have a decent grasp on CS6.  I figured I would have no problem making pretty calendars and decorative sheets.  I was just about committed to the idea when I ran across a website that changed all that.

ErinCondren.com

I nerded out big time.  I found the Life Planner and it was as if my life suddenly made sense.  I am living a life.  I need to plan.  I need a Life Planner!  It is rather expensive and at first I hesitated because of that.  I bought the April-December calendar because it was on sale – $50 is a big commitment to a binder of paper, even for a nerd like me.  $30 seemed easier to swallow just now.

I picked out my cover design.  Managed to forego the fun add-ons, no matter how tempting they were.  I even snagged a $10 off coupon (which basically covered the shipping costs).  Entered my credit card number and DONE – I had ordered a beautiful planner.

And a few days later it came.  It was like Christmas.  It came in a lovely box and it was wrapped in tissue paper held together by a cute sticker.  Inside was my lovely binder filled with lovely pages of life planning fun.  It even came with some free personalized gift tags.  Opening it was an experience in and of itself.

Even Lulu was jealous.  I let her have the pretty business card.  She was excited about that.

But no one is more excited than I am for this: