I’m still here, I swear.

Real life has been crazy over the past few months, I won’t bore you with the details. I am hoping life will be getting back to normal soon.

I have managed to sew a bit. Wanna see? (I think I will spread my projects over a couple of posts.)

Recently I was invited to a baby shower for a friend. I wasn’t able to attend but I did send a little something for Mama to open at her surprise party.

I’ve decided to make this my first post after my long absence after some interest on Facebook. It seems Moms think this is a good idea.

I have seen little pouches (just lame sacks really) for carrying diapers which lead me to create a diaper clutch. Not being a mom or having any clue whatsoever about what one needs to properly care for a child, I like to make things that are pretty for mom. There are enough cutesy things for babies but in my opinion, not enough cool stuff for mom.

I started the muslin pattern for the diaper clutch over the summer but only after getting the invite for this shower did I actually finish it and work up a sample. Which I promptly mailed off to my friend. Friends and family always have the bad fortune of receiving my test subjects.

I am still working out some kinks in the pattern. I haven’t decided if I will sell the pattern or not. I may be swayed by peer pressure.

Looks just like a regular ol’ clutch doesn’t it? Maybe a little bigger than usual.

There’s a section for diapers, one for a travel pack of wipes and a third section for Mom’s stuff, even a pocket for her phone. You could even stash a little changing mat in Mom’s section if you wanted.

I sent along a tiny onesie with Munki Munki ice cream trucks applique, perfect for a June baby.

Also a cozy, soft receiving blankie. I used AMH’s tute, AMH voile (so lovely!) and white flannel.

I used embroidery floss to hand stitch the binding & decided to keep going because it looked so pretty. It was a super fast project and the hand stitching kept me busy while waiting for Gram at her PT appointments.

I am working on a diaper clutch for the shop…a little Amy Butler. I’d be happy to make you one in a fabric of your choice!

I broke my MacBook so I’m using BF’s Windows laptop. *Gasp* I don’t know what I’m doing on this thing & I certainly don’t know how to edit photos on it. So my crap photos will be worse than usual.


Notes From Home Advent Calendar

(You can see Gram’s tie-dyed cast.)

I’ve probably told you before, BF’s mom is currently in the Peace Corps and it’s that time of year again when it’s time to send presents.

In addition to a few DVD’s to keep her occupied during the cold winter nights in Eastern Europe I decided to make her an advent calendar.

Last year after the holidays I bought a few yards of Sherri Berry Christmas fabric on sale. I planned (plan?) on making myself a cute new tree skirt with them. I was a little torn because I had plans for that fabric in my head but to be honest, I knew that project wouldn’t come to fruition for a long time.

I asked my Twitter friends for tutorial suggestions which some how turned into me writing my own tutorial. I drew up the pattern and attempted to write down step-by-step what I did. I’m not sure I will post the tute, I haven’t quite worked out a way to get my point across clearly & succinctly.

I have asked BF’s brothers, sisters, aunt, uncles, nieces and nephews to write a quick note to BF’s mom. I printed the notes and stuffed them in each pocket. So everyday from Dec 1 to Dec 25 BF’s mom will read a note from her loved ones at home.

I’m still with Gram 24/7 taking care of her and her two broken legs so I don’t have all of my sewing supplies handy. I didn’t have any thread to match the house fabric or the tree fabrics and I didn’t want to have ivory thread all over so I left all of that mostly un-quilted. I did a little stitch in the ditch quilting around the house square and the tree. I figure it’s a wall-hanging that won’t need to be washed much so it would be alright if I didn’t totally quilt it up.

I machine appliqued the star and used a back stitch with red embroidery floss to add the numbers to the pockets.

I am horrible at making hanging sleeves so I decided to sew four tabs into the binding for hanging.

I think it’s pretty cool that my quilt is traveling thousands of miles. (Labeling a quilt is one of my least favorite things & they are usually an afterthought, if they make it on at all.)

I’m very excited to get away for a week. We are going to the Jersey Shore. *fist pumps* It’s just far enough away to feel like we are going away. We will freeze to death walking on the beach, win millions at the casino, eat lots of turkey, and celebrate BF’s big 30th birthday. It should be fun!

After I get back I will be teaching an 8 year-old girl to quilt. She wants to make quilts for her American Doll. Spread the craftiness!!

One day my photos will be amazing. I keep telling myself that. Santa, if you’re reading, I wouldn’t be sad to receive a dslr. Oh, and some daylight. HA!

Fabrics: Kona Ivory, Lemon & Grass Green. Sherri Berry. A random Christmas FQ. Kaffe shot cotton.

BQF Fall 2010 – Always With A Book Quilt

Can you believe it is already time for Bloggers’ Quilt Festival again? I really love this virtual quilt show. Thanks Amy for all of your hard work!

A while back I mentioned a super secret quilt I had started. As it seems all of my projects go these days, it was started, then shoved into my WIP drawer for months. It was a housewarming gift that I didn’t want to ship because I knew eventually we would visit the actual house it would live in.

After months in the WIP drawer I whipped it out, we were visiting it’s future home soon!

BF’s sister and brother-in-law bought a new house and we were finally going to visit. BF’s sister is a prolific reader. If you are ever looking for a good book recommendation visit her blog, Always With a Book, she reviews everything she reads. It’s a really great blog.

I had seen bookshelf quilts around and thought that would be a perfect pattern. I cut strips of varying height and width then laid them out on the design board then added the white background. If you are in a super hurry you could machine applique the books onto the background fabric & could easily have the top finished in a few hours.

I had three rows of books pieced and I knew I wanted it bigger but I couldn’t decide if I should add another row of books then boarders or just make bigger boarders. Yet again, I turned to twitter for help. (Seriously, I am way more interesting over there.) Jenny was still up with me and gave me the permission I was secretly hoping for to go the easy route, big borders. I am so happy with that decision, they look great and it took a heck of a lot less time to do!

I put myself in a bit of a time crunch, (I see a pattern emerging), so I stippled. I like beautiful, imaginative quilting but I don’t see anything wrong with a little all-over stippling every now & then. I love the crinkly-ness after the quilt is washed, nothing compares to stippling & it’s crinkles.

I finally finished the binding on the last day of our visit. The recipients kept asking questions while I sat in their house binding this quilt but I gave noncommittal answers.

When BF’s sister unfolded the quilt and finally saw the design she exclaimed,’ it looks like books!’ Yup, it does.

I used one of my favorite Ikea fabrics for the backing. I didn’t even have to piece it! (Time saved.) I think the backing is perfect for a housewarming gift. What do you think?

BF & I stopped by Ikea on the way home to pick up more of that fabric but they were out. If anyone spots some at their Ikea, let me know, I’d love someone to pick some up for me!

Oh, by the way, I used some of my Essex linen for the first time & I love it!

If you are new here, thanks for stopping by! If you have yet to check out the Bloggers’ Quilt Festival, check it out, there are hundreds of awesome quilts linked up.