May 26, 2011

trying new things

Since March 2010, I've completed many quilting projects. I've lost track of the exact count, but it is well over 30. I love the process of it and it definitely satisfies both sides of my brain. But, over the course of the past month, I've started branching out a bit. I think it's good for the creative process to dabble.
I have always loved the look of pillowcase dresses and I've been wanting to make some for several years. Last week, I stumbled across some fabric I purchased a few years ago along with the intention of making some sweet baby outfits for my niece, Josie. Seeing as how the dozen or so patterns I purchased are no longer suitable for her soon-to-be-five body, I scoured the internet for tips on making a pillowcase dress.

The result is four sweet little dresses. I enjoyed the simple construction, learned a few lessons, gave my embroidery machine a workout and had fun with ribbon and ric-rac. What's not to love about that? These should keep her cool during the hot Nashville Summer.

I just adored this print. The little roses are so sweet.

Jumbo ric-rac and polka dots were perfect for this dress!

Another sweet dress with a tiny floral print.

Can't forget the monograms!!

Pleating this ribbon by hand took quite a while, but I'm so glad I did it, it really added so much to the finished look of this dress.

As soon as her bloomers come in, I'll get those monogrammed (of course) and these pretty little dresses will be off to Miss Josie. Now that the dresses are done, I've got a bit more dabbling to do. Tomorrow, I'll be helping Royce make some baby hats and I just might make a few more pouches out of some great fabrics, I picked up yesterday.

Edited to add: I'm going to attempt to provide links to the sites I visited to get tips on making these simple dresses. Please note that I ultimately created my own method for making these, but I did use these sites as a guideline for sizing, etc.

Naptime Crafts - I liked that she included sizing for smaller tots.
Nancy's Notions - This downloadable PDF has instructions for making the dresses and a basic template for cutting the arm holes. This also offers larger size ranges.

May 20, 2011

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Verna's Coins

When I decided I wanted to participate in the Blogger's Quilt Festival, I knew immediately which quilt I wanted to feature. I have been quilting for about 14 months and in that time, I have completed 30+ projects.

This has been my favorite so far. The pattern was modified from a Moda Bakeshop recipe. I wanted a larger quilt and only had one jelly roll to work with. I had been hoarding this Verna JR for about a year. My original plan was to keep this for myself, but for financial reasons I've decided to sell it instead. Don't feel too bad for me, though - I scored a Bliss JR last month in Paducah and I plan to make this quilt again in Bliss (which makes me swoon!).

What I love most about this quilt, is that it's the first piece I made for myself. Everything else I had made to that point had been a gift or something seasonal for the house. With that in mind, I took lots of time designing the pieced back and making sure everything was just so. It is a great representation of my design sensibility and color preferences.
Hope you've enjoyed this peek at my quilt. Be sure to head on over to the Blogger's Quilt Festival to see the hundreds of other gorgeous quilts being displayed.

May 19, 2011


The swapping has been completed. Yesterday I had a wonderful surprise waiting in my mailbox. I requested a pouch big enough to hold all my essential quilting notions. This generously sized pouch holds everything I need and makes me wonder why it took me so long to upgrade from the ziploc baggie. My faith in swaps has been restored! She even included some lovely extras. Lookie, lookie!

May 16, 2011

pretty {little} pouch swap

To swap or not to swap, that is the question.

About six weeks ago, I did something that shocked a few of my friends. I signed up for a swap. Before I get into the details of the swap, I should probably explain why my friends were shocked. I have been an avid paper crafter for a long time. About five years ago, I started doing quite a few card swaps. I loved the concept and I would spend hours designing a card and then making the required number of copies. For those of you who are not familiar with card swaps, typically everyone in the swap gets a card from everyone else who is participating. So, for some swaps, I was making close to 30 cards.

Unfortunately, I had obligated myself for several swaps before I had ever received any swaps back. So, by they time I got my first batch of swaps back, it was too late to back out. I was not prepared for what I found in the first package. I was so disappointed. It was as if everyone else used the swap as a means to use up all their unwanted supplies. I did donate the cards to charity, so at least someone will be able to use them, but I kind of swore off swaps in general.

When I learned about the pretty {little} pouch swap from my customer, Kelly, I was intrigued. I loved that we had the chance to provide suggestions of what we wanted and liked. I would much rather give something I know they like than to take a guess. So, I signed up and a few days later, got all the info on my secret partner. Today, I popped this little beauty in the mail and I can't wait for mine to arrive this week. This has been fun and hopefully there will be more swaps in my future.