Monday, October 31, 2011

"It was a blue jacket with brass buttons, quite new."

I hate to admit it, but Miss C. is 4 years old and this is actually the first time I've made her and Master W. a Halloween costume. Of course, this is also the first year that she had a specific costume idea in mind... and it was something I definitely couldn't buy in a store.

You see, Miss C. loves Beatrix Potter's stories. Our storybook collection is well worn and loved, having been read over and over again. And not just by me! Miss C. has them all memorized and can read them aloud word for word, often narrating the stories with her paper bag puppets (there is one for every character).

This year, my little trick-or-treaters went dressed as Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny. They didn't Miss C. loves Beatrix Potter's stories, so I wasn't at all surprised when she looked to her favorite storybook characters for costume inspiration.

Here's how I put them together:

  • Bunny bodies were made from gray t-shirts and sweat pants. Master W.'s t-shirt was originally a onesie that I altered by cutting off the bottom. I added a white fleece tummy to each shirt using a simple zig zag stitch.
  • Bunny tails were constructed from cotton batting. These were actually pretty easy to make: simply cut a circle of batting, baste around the edge, fill the center with cotton stuffing, then cinch up the basted threads to make a ball. Hand stitch a piece of white felt over the cinched edges, then use a safety pin to attach to the back of the pants.
  • Miss C.'s jacket was made using blue fleece and a $1 McCall's pattern. I added four "brass" buttons and skipped the button holes since I was pressed for time. Master W.'s jacket is actually his own little corduroy jacket. I simply added a few rustic patches to cover the existing truck patches on the jacket.
  • The hats were made using a free pattern that I found online and altered to include bunny ears. Master W.'s hat fit splendidly and the ears actually stood up. I'm not sure what happened with Miss C.'s hat... the ears never wanted to stand up! Oh well. 

Thankfully, Miss C. (who is a stickler for details!) loved the costumes. The kids had a great time trick-or-treating and happily fell fast asleep in their new bunny pajamas as soon as we got home.

You can find me linked up at:

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Try New Things Thursday: I Spy Charm Quilt

This week Melissa over at Happy Quilting introduced a new weekly link-up, called Try New Things (T.N.T.) Thursday. Here's my story:

I think I may have lost my mind last week. Not only did I push myself to finish a baby quilt for the 100 Quilts for Kids charity event, I also had a baby quilt to finish for a baby shower being hosted for my cousin's wife this past weekend.

I finally finished hand sewing on the binding around 10 p.m. Friday night. The shower was scheduled for the following afternoon. I was a little worried, but somehow I managed to get it all done in time!

This is my first attempt at making a quilt with sashing and my first time making a charm quilt. Overall, I'm really pleased with the results. I won most of the charm squares in a contest hosted by The Girl Who Quilts a while back (actually, I won two identical charm packs, filled with adorable charms) and had pieced the top together not too long afterward. I then added a single charm cut from my own stash to each row.

Then it sat. And sat. And sat. Waiting for a backing fabric and quilting. A few weeks ago, I received an invitation to my cousin's shower and I knew the quilt had finally found a home. So I dug through my stash and found some coordinating backing and binding fabrics. Of course, now that I'm writing this I realize that I never too a photo of the back... oh well!

Overall, I'm really pleased with how this little quilt turned out. This is the second quilt I've quilted using organic line quilting and I'm really loving the results. The only thing I might have done differently would have been to choose a binding fabric that offered a little more contrast to the white sashing. Still, I'm happy with the end result. And my cousin's lovely wife loved it too, which is all that matters to me.

You can find me linked up at:

Friday, October 14, 2011

Finished: Quilt for 100 Quilts for Kids

I finally finished one of my quilts for the second annual 100 Quilts for Kids charity event, sponsored by the DC Modern Quilt Guild. Quilt bloggers and Modern Quilt Guilds were invited to join in on this year's quilt drive, which took place from September 15 - October 15.

My initial goal was to finish up two UFO baby quilts that had been languishing on my sewing table. I was incredibly to take part in this year's event that I got started right away on a brightly colored baby quilt. Then disaster struck... three times. First, I had trouble with my quilting design (let's just say I'm not good a free motion quilting). Then, after I'd figured out a better quilting design I was plagued with bunching fabric on the back. I was nearly in tears the second (yes, second) time I ripped out the quilting. Oh, and my machine died right around this time, too. 

I was ready to give up. Then I decided to hand quilt it with large stitches all around each block. That was great, only it's taken me a very long time to hand quilt it. The result? Well, since you don't see a photo here you can safely assume that I haven't finished it yet. I'm still working on it, though, and it will eventually be donated.

With the deadline approaching (and my brand-new Janome on my sewing table) I figured it was time to finish the other UFO quilt. My new machine made quilting this green dinosaur quilt a breeze. I decided on organic line quilting, and I love everything about it – from its improvised blocks to the monochromatic color palette. 

This little dinosaur quilt is on its way to the Mother Teresa Maternity Home in Placerville, CA. This maternity home is a temporary residence for pregnant women in need and is near my hometown. They've been in need of items for boys lately, so I thought this quilt would be a good fit for one of their expectant mothers.

I've linked up here: