Thursday, November 7, 2013


Well, except for tearing out the Bs in the corner, as the boy this was originally for is now big and our cousin just found out she's having a boy!  But in general quilted and bound. Used thread to match the top, so the back looks fun.  Real non cellphone camera photos coming once I get them off the camera!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Quilt Festival!

Last year the preview night for the quilt festival was Halloween, in downtown Houston, so I skipped it, just going in a frenzied pace the following day.  

This year, I went on preview night - SO MUCH FUN!  

(One of my favorite quilts from last year - couldn't take a straight-on photo.)

Just hit up the vendor room last night, but going back tomorrow - and seeing if a class I'm interested in is open.  So excited!

This was my favorite quilt last year - love the background, love the variety, love the triangles (I like triangles), love the whole thing.  It's been my phone lock screen wallpaper for a year.

Vendors last night, quilt displays tomorrow - so excited!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Sleep sack

My monkey sleep-crawls, so blankets are a ways off still, but she's outgrown her sleep sack.  Easy enough to make a new one, though.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Wise men

Well, progress on one at least!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Fabric books

I love making the fabric books from panels.  I recently made these four (holidays from Joann, Pooh from Etsy) for my little nephew.  Drool? Washing machine!  My kidlet still loves the Rudolph and Night Before Christmas ones I made her.  And there is something new on the market:
Book with matching soft toy!  Have to try that out soon.

Thursday, September 5, 2013


I don't know how all these people churn out cross stitch projects so quickly.  Think I can get a half dozen of these by Christmas?

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Simple skirt tutorial

Greetings!  Recently I was rushing to make some skirts for the kidlet and her "twin cousin" (born eight hours later), during the last naptime before going to visit them.  It struck me that I could make a skirt the same way a pillowcase can be made, so I took a few photos to share the process:

Step 1 (not pictured) - get some fabric (remnants work for a toddler skirt - width of fabric x the length you want the skirt); get some knit for the waistband (about six inches wide x the circumference of the baby's belly when not really stretched (this leaves room for a seam as well as some growing)).

Step 2: take up a few pleats in the skirt to make it as wide as the waistband fabric when the waistband is stretched out.  Pin them and then tack across the top on your regular sewing machine.

Step 3: oddly, no clear picture of the pinning - likely because it was a bear to do - but it's the same method shown for the basic sausage pillowcase here - roll up the skirt, pinning the waistband around the skirt-sausage; to be safe, I recommend pinning the skirt down away from the edge of the waistband, as shown here.  Then serge along the seam:

 Step 4: remove pins and tug the skirt out of the waistband, turning it right-side out.

Step 5: ta-da!  A very wrinkled skirt!  Serge up the back seam and finish the hem.

Step 6: I used a rolled hem, added rick-rack, and added lace.  (On one of the two I serged the seam first, on the other I added the trim first.  Personal preference.)

Hooray, a very very fast (except for nasty pinning) stretch-waisted skirt!

(Sorry, no ironing - had to get it into the suitcase!
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Monday, July 15, 2013


Pork fajitas with apple avocado salsa from cooking light - pretty and tasty!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Saturday, July 6, 2013


Today I: put snaps on the last homemade diaper (sorry, no photos -it's functional, not cute!), made my sister an adorable Jon-Jon and forgot to take photos before putting it in a box, and made two bonnets (and snapped photos on my phone while fending off a kid).  Productive nap time!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Wooden sorting toys

Made these toys yesterday, following the idea at Verdant Bents here.

Drying out

Six little men, six little cups, a six-color non-toxic paint pot set.

Of course accompanied by my (now rather beat up) canteen.

The kidlet immediately knew what to do with them, sorted them by color nicely.  She's not big enough to play with them unaccompanied (small men and toddler mouths...), but this was easy and fun!

A note on heirloom dress sizes

Baby clothes sizes are unpredictable.  Simplicity patterns for babies are sized by weight, which seems pretty accurate.  My monkey's at the smaller end of things, so in the "month" sizes of basic storebought clothes (Gap, Carter's, etc.) she's generally one size back (seventeen months now, and mostly wearing 12mo sizes, though she's starting to be too tall for the footed ones).

In Indian clothes, she's right on the mark.  Our lovely pediatrician, of Vietnamese heritage, understands genetic differences and didn't say a thing when the baby showed up at the 5th percentile for weight - when her "twin cousin" (eight hours younger, also "windy") was called underweight at over a pound heavier by a doctor unfamiliar with the concept of naturally-skinny Asian babies.  And the beautifully-fitted off-the-rack clothes we get from India bear that out (in beautiful silks and soft cottons I can't buy here... and so poorly sewn!).

The clothes from Creations by Michié must also run skinny (and looking at how nicely they fit on her non-chubby granddaughter, that may well be the case).  Because I made the Sailor Dress #106 in the 18 months size and it's a perfect fit:

Sailor Dress upside-down

Creations by Michie Sailor Dress #106
Sailor Dress backwards and flipped up
Creations by Michie Sailor Dress #106
Sailor Dress in motion
Well, you can't really tell, because she's reached the stage of constant motion.  

The fagoting on the collar was a challenge (never done embroidery or much free handwork), but it really makes the dress.  

I have another cut out, same size, in a lovely blue plaid.  I like her patterns - easy to make (for heirloom), very clear instructions, and an excellent finished product.  Of the three I've tried (Chery Williams, Creations by Michié, and Ginger Snaps), I like these the best.

This dress, however, Chery Williams' baby square yoke, in the six month size, still fits just fine at seventeen months.  Heirloom patterns in general run large, I've heard (perhaps so slow seamstresses don't find the kid's outgrown it before it's finished, or so it can be worn longer - I do like the four inch hems - the extra tuck I added in this dress still hasn't been taken out), so Michie may be the exception.

(And it's also a lovely pattern that I'll use several times - and already have used three times - but it's perhaps *too* well made - a fabulous lined bodice isn't necessary in Houston's heat!  I'll just finish my seams and call it a day with only one layer of thin cotton!)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Old notions

Borrowed from my mother: bias tape she's had as long as I've been alive.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Giveaway day? Oops!

To anyone clicking over from a comment... I'm a month behind in my blog feed reader, and either they didn't announce the giveaway day far enough in advance or I missed it!  So, no giveaways this time around.  Sorry, and come back next time!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


I believe a yellow duck is necessary, don't you?

Chew guard

The baby turned into a badger and started chewing on her crib when she got teeth. It's a mini crib, and the rail in question is thick and round, so the plastic protector things wouldn't work.  On a friend's suggestion, I simply took a length of fleece, about eight inches wide (from my mother's sewing room trash can, actually - left over from making a sleep sack for my upcoming Boston nephew), snipped it all along, and tied it around the rail. Cute!

(And yes, that is a sleeping baby in the photo - took a big risk snapping that picture!)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Young Gadabout Baby Set

I finally took some better pictures of the Young Gadabout Baby Set

I made the hat as well, which I didn't see in other people's project photos.  It's hilarious, pointy, and the baby doesn't try to take it off (she normally hates hats, but this one doesn't bother her).

Doesn't keep her from exploring, though.

Or posing.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Completed Stars

Stars quilt complete

I never typed this up (or got the photos off of my actual, lovely, non-telephone camera) - I finished the Stars quilt!  Not quite in time for Christmas - I pulled out the pins and trimmed the batting on the way to my parents' house for Christmas morning, and put it in the box with the binding half-attached - but I did finally finish it.

Stars close up

The stars were each echo quilted, and then I stitched in the ditch around all the squares.

Stars quilt
Backed with an entertaining Victorian-style flag print from the holidays section at JoAnn's.

I think my mother likes it - and she's put it on the baby whenever she's been napping over there.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Nearly there

Only the black backstitching left!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Something new

Too much crochet lately for my poor wrists - time to try something new for non-sewing tv time!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

A question about embroidery patterns

I'm confused about cross stitch and embroidery patterns people sell online.  As far as I can tell, someone puts up a lovely, high-res image (well, line drawing) on Etsy, looking perhaps like this cheerful clock from Shutterstock, and you're on your honor to pay them to send you a digital copy of the image rather than just printing out the image from their shop yourself for free.  Is it really all on the honor system?  (Kits I understand. I buy kits. But digital image files?)

Cross stitch is similar - it's a bit harder to back-form a chart and pick out your own thread colors, but (especially with one-color designs) it's still basically "here's a grid with the squares in the picture filled in with red thread - you can see it easily in the photo, but please pay me to send it to you rather than just doing it yourself."  Indeed, for out-of-print kits, it's fairly common to find an old photo online and work it out yourself, since you can't get the kit anymore (the old small pictures of English Heritage sites are good examples here).  So is buying the digital pattern just done because it's the right thing to do and you want to support the artist?  (Not that there's anything wrong with that.). Or is there something I'm missing?

(Embroidery patterns count as art for copyright purposes, I believe; so would a cross-stitch image, most likely.  Knitting does not - I mean, the words of the pattern are copyright as written material, but the technique is not copyrightable and the finished object would likely be a useful good rather than art, legally speaking.  That's why you're not going to have much luck suing someone who looked at a photo of your baby sweater and worked out the pattern on their own.  It's also a lot more work to do that than to right-click and download a photo instead of paying someone to email it to you.  Just like with quilt patterns, generally a combination of public domain patterns (if they're even copyrightable in the first place), but you pay for them to keep from having to work out all the math yourself.)

Friday, February 15, 2013

Music Class blouse done!

The hardest part was sewing on the buttons.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Free Motion Quilting

It's remarkably easy! Trying out the quilting foot on my new-to-me Bernina. The unmarked spiral was only a bit hard to see, so drew feathers and a star; only glitch was that I didn't lower the feed dogs and so took larger stitches on one leg of the star.

I'd been avoiding it, hearing everyone talk about how hard it is, and especially as I am no good at embroidery, but it's really not hard at all!

Now just to baste the windy days quilt and get started!

Thursday, February 7, 2013


I made this baby sweater years ago, but messed up the edge - rolled hem one side, garter stitch the other - so kept it, and now I have a baby who can wear it!

(Eh, giving up on rotating the photos, time to get this out of my drafts folder! Turn your head and it looks fine!)

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Young Gadabout Baby Coatdress

This was originally my Ravellennic Games project, but I did the back first, the needles were too small, and I had to tear it out, so I lost steam.  I finally finished it a week or two ago.  It's remarkably hard to get good shots of a baby with a cell phone camera... and I have to find time to get the pictures off of the good camera if I want to show you those! 
Ravelry link here.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Skirt done!

And, in about an hour, with a kid crawling around, I managed to sew (but not iron!) the Oliver + S Music Class skirt - it's very fast! Just need a bit of elastic. (And a better photo... Soon!)