Thursday, August 25

Teacher's Got a Brand New Bag

Both Lucy's and Henry's teachers have birthdays this week.  I wanted to do a little something for them, but it's hard to know what after only two weeks of school.
I ended up settling on book bags/reusable shopping bags.  That's something everyone can use, right?
I like how this green and gray one turned out.  I used a stiffer interfacing which made it stand up nicely.  It is a pretty big bag, so with out the extra structure, it would be hard to find things that fall to the bottom.
The second bag turned out a little smaller/narrower, but the handles are thicker.
I lined it with a vintage inspired children's print.
I did a stack of appliqued books, inspired by Emily's 12 Squared pick.  They are a little off center.  
Oops and oh well!
Hopefully, these teachers will feel appreciated, even if they are only educating my children for three short weeks.
Fabric:  Green/Gray Bag Outer- JoAnn's Home Dec
Linging- Michael Miller's Who's Hoot and Erin's Stripe
Fabric: Blue Grid Bag Outer- Goodwill remnant
Lining- Alexander Henry Go With Dick and Jane
Pattern: None

Tuesday, August 23

Maxi Boden Rainbow

Couldn't resist, Becca! Just had to see what a rainbow with my scraps would look like!

Thought I would try a version of the Mini Boden Rainbow. Except I forgot the mini part. On what should I applique this 8"X9" rainbow?

Note: It was nearly midnight when I made this and I didn't have any basting spray so I hand basted with large stitches. Nice to know the old techniques still work!

Monday, August 22

Matching Vests

Matching vests for 18 inch doll and a grand daughter.
Vest and shorts - Simplicity 7696
Doll skirt and vest- modified from Simplicity Crafts 2506.

Sunday Skirt

A new skirt for Lucy, similar to her first day of school  skirt from first grade.
This time, I added a pocket.
Fabric: Amy Butler Daisy Chain 
Pattern: none

Sunday, August 21

Another Mini Boden Knock Off

Mini Boden (one of my favorite kids' clothing companies) have their fall/winter lines up and running.  Among the loads of Mini goodies I'd love to have hanging in my kids' fall/winter closet, is this long sleeved rainbow t-shirt.  
Cute, huh?
 But, since I'd have to wait many moons for it to go on sale enough for me to buy, I thought I'd try my hand at making my own.
Here's what I came up with:

I would say this experiment was more successful than my last attempt at re-creating a Mini Boden item.
 If I were to try a rainbow shirt again, here are some things I'd do differently:
Make the ends of the colors uneven (more like Boden's version)
Consider leaving the rainbow open, instead of solid
Outline each color with embroidery floss.  

Things I would do the same:
Adhere the colors with basting spray instead of Wonder Under or Stitch Witchery.  There are a lot of layers of fabric there (the red is actually the size of the entire applique, each color is stacked on top of the last), so it doesn't need the added stiffness of an applique adhesive.

Thursday, August 18

PJs and a Lasso

Pattern: Oliver + S Pajama
Fabric: Amy Coe nursery curtain from Target (to match Lucy's recorder case)
I've had some problems with this Oliver + S pattern.  H's seams keep coming apart around his tush with the other pajama trousers I've made from this pattern.  The boy has curves.
So, I made a few modifications this time...  I cut the entire pant out wider by about a size and a half.  I surged the seams and then top stitched over the entire rise seam.  
Anyway, hopefully, these measures will keep his britches together.

Tuesday, August 16

Homemade School Supplies: Recorder Case

So, I have a third grader this year.  Which means, our home will be filled with the relentless screech of a third grader blaring a school required recorder.  Why can't elementary music programs teach the harmonica or the melodica or even the guitar like in the movies?  Surely there are plenty of other beginner instruments that are less obnoxious than the recorder?
I'm just sayin'.
 Despite my dislike for this particular instrument, in the tradition of last year's homemade pencil pouch, I stitched up a padded recorder case, to protect our priceless investment. 

 Complete with her name on it, just in case someone else has one just like it.
Up next on my to do list... make an ear plug case for myself.

Monday, August 15

What Do You Give the 18 Year Old That Has Everything?

What do you give the birthday boy when he is the last of his friends to turn 18, the youngest of 7 and, (according to his older siblings), has everything he wants?
Ice Cream Cake again? Ho hum.....

I had been noticing a revival in his preoccupation with prehistoric pets as in his primary school days. So I whipped up a couple of pillow cases. Becca -the great gift giver-had serious doubts about this gift for a young adult!
So I was pleasantly surprised when he went out of his way to show his friends what he got for his birthday! Turns out it was the best thing I could have given him. It has taken me 7 kids to get it right!

Rocket Ship Quilts

Fly Me to the Moon!

Rocket Ship Quilts were on the launch pad for a few frantic weeks before the scheduled departure.

We had a successful rendezvous with the appointed astronauts, Alex and Blake, at the Arkansas Half-a-Fam Reunion.

A combination of machine and hand quilting represents my first attempt at something bigger than a baby blanket.

Speaking of baby blanket, I made this for the baby brother they are expecting next week!

times are changing

 You can feel it in the air.
The last couple of weeks have gone by in a frenzied haze around here.  
In anticipation of Billy's upcoming graduation (very soon you can officially call him Master Doctor Billy, Chemist Extraordinaire), we decided to put our house up for sale.  Our hope was to be able to sell it by the time Billy graduated.  So, I spent a very busy week and a half hauling trunk loads of stuff to our newly rented storage unit and Goodwill, patching, painting, sprucing up the yard, deep cleaning and re-organizing furniture.  Before it was even listed our realtor brought a couple through and by the time we had an MLS number, they had made us an offer we couldn't refuse.  
I have been in a small state of shock and denial ever since.  

In just a few short weeks, pending the home inspection and buyers' financing coming through, we will be residents of the Cupboard Under the Stairs at Billy's parents' house.  
Billy has been interviewing and applying for jobs here and there and everywhere.  Now, we just have to wait and see where we end up.  It is exciting and at the same time daunting to be this close to finishing such a long, long process and finally starting "real life".  Right now feels like the blank page between two chapters of a book.

In the midst of this selling the house business and applying for jobs blitzkrieg, the first day of school has come and as I type, almost over.  Lucy is starting 3rd grade which practically sounds like college to me.  Her teacher seems like the nicest grandma you can imagine.  Lucy gets serious and quiet when she is nervous, which she is.  This makes me love her even more.   I think she is especially somber this year because her BFF is not in her class.

Lucy has had her first-day-of-school picture taken in front of this door since her first first day.
If I think about it too much, I might cry.


Alright, now I am crying.
Henry is now a full-time Pre-K'er.  All day.  I'm not ready for this, but I think he is.  He was so excited this morning and couldn't have cared less about a good-bye kiss at the door of his classroom.  It's a good thing I have the task of packing up our entire house and moving our family in three weeks, otherwise I could see myself coming down with a serious case of baby fever, because I am sitting here wondering where my babies went?

All in all, change is good, right?  
Life is good.  
I am proud of my children.  I am proud of Billy.  
And I am very glad we get to do this together.

Tuesday, August 2

Togetherness Makes: 2011 Edition

Over our little mid-summer get together, when not sight seeing or eating, we were busy making stuff!

My brother's niece, Savanah, is starting 8th grade and deserving of some extra-special hand-made back to school supplies.  First up, Mom free-handed a copy of a Forever 21 shirt Savvy bought.  This is how it turned out:
As everyone knows, corduroy backpacks are soo in this year, but the stores haven't caught on yet.  So, we modified the messenger bag pattern from Oliver + S's book into a backpack big enough for junior high.
Everyone pitched in.
I think it turned out pretty cute.  Savanah made the little flowers.  Mom embroidered the hedgehog.  I'm crossing my fingers that it will hold up once there are books in it!

Lucy made this guy.
And, in the grand tradition of family reunions... I made some matching t-shirts to along with our video game playing theme.
Angry Birds!
Mom, can't wait to see what we make together next time!