Friday, March 21, 2008

Diaper Tote

No more bunched up diapers in the bottom of your diaper bag with these handy diaper totes.  Aren't they so cute?  Adrianne, wife of Scott's brother, gave me the idea from something she saw online.  They are very easy to sew and they make great gifts for baby showers.  The very left one is what I am currently using, and I made the other three this morning for some friends. 


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

As comfortable as a Mu'umu'u

I have been fighting the urge to start another quilt ever since I saw this one.  I love the Bento Box pattern and Kathy's fabric choices.   

I finally made a dress for Asha with pattern h from Girly Style Wardrobe.  The flow and easiness reminds me of the Mu'umu'u my Mom made for me when I was Asha's age.  (Do you still have that picture, Mom?  The one with Yu-kun in the stroller.  I would love to have a copy! )  This dress is going to be nice at the reunion.  Perfect for lounging around in after swimming. She will also get a lot of use when she wants to stay cool this summer.  

I also added a picture of the headband so you can see it close up.  I used the "kid-size" pattern.  
*Asha is 115 cm (46 in) tall, and I used size 120 pattern.  The fabric is from Denyse Schmidt's flea market fancy collection.  Her fabric is thinner than the typical quilting fabric and has more drape.    


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Just right

The shorts fit Kai perfectly!

Monday, March 17, 2008


Do you want some cute headbands for spring and summer?  Try Heather Bailey's Hooray for Headbands.  I made several for Asha from my fabric stash last month, and they are CUTE! Convenient, too, on busy mornings when I don't have time to give her nice pig tails.  They keep her hair off her face.  Our elementary school starts at 7:40, way too early for me.  I am just not a morning person.  The only thing I did differently from the tutorial was the top-stitching for durability.   
I sewed up another pair of shorts for Kai.  It was much quicker the second time around.  I couldn't line up the pattern on the fabric because I didn't have enough fabric to work with, but I am still happy with the outcome.  I took total two inches off the sides, so we will see how they fit when he wakes up tomorrow morning.  Now I am finally ready for Asha's little dress... if there are no more distractions.      

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Lots of Campbell Bread

Last week I finally gave into Asha's persistent request for Campbell bread, the bread Scott grew up with.  It used to be our staple, but since we have Costco 10 minutes away where you can get two huge loaves of wheat bread for $3.50, we had gotten out of the habit of baking it.  I found our 10 quart mixer on the storage shelf in the the garage.  Scott and his Dad made it for me back when we lived in Pullman.  It is funny that getting the heavy mixer into the kitchen is the only hard part of this whole thing, and the rest is just fun.  We had 10 beautiful loaves in no time, and made ten more while we were at it.  The aroma in the house and the taste of hot bread with honey butter was heavenly.  We will see how long the 18 loaves in the freezer will last since that is all the kids have been wanting to eat.    
Here is Kai in the shorts.  I made them in size 100 which is about how tall he is, but I am afraid that they are too big.  I am happy to keep the length so he can wear them into fall, but I am going to have to adjust the width when I sew the other ones.             

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Shorts for our lean guy

Here is a pair of shorts for Kai I finished today.  The pattern is from Muki Kurai's Everyday Bottoms (pictured).  I used Scott's chinos from Japan that he never wore much (Thank you for the idea, Alison!), and they turned out really cute. I am happy that Kai will finally have shorts that stay on and are long enough.  At almost three, he can still fit into his 18-24 months shorts, but, off course, they are way too short.  I will try and post a picture of Kai with the shorts on later.  He is taking  a nice long nap, a rare thing now days.  Now that I have made a pair, I am ready to make a few more with contrasting colored thread like the book picture shows.  I am thinking thin denim, thin fine wale corduroy, and even a linen blend.               

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Little Bits Quilt

Here is the Little Bits Quilt, finished and washed to it's wrinkly goodness.  It is amazing how quickly you can finish a quilt when you have a deadline.  And thank goodness for that, because I was getting really sick of looking at this monotonous project of brown, brown, and more brown.  But now that it is finished, I love the simple design with it's unique detail.  I just wish I was more skilled at photographing quilts.  The colors are much darker and richer in person.  Now I am going to whip up a few summer dresses for Asha to wear at the Ohki reunion, which is coming up in ten days.  I am dying for some colorful projects before I go color blind.        

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Zakka Baby Quilt

Here is a small baby quilt my mom made for Quinn while she was here.  She used a pattern from the Zakka book.  I love her fabric choices, which she came up with from my stash.  She is such an artist.  I also like how small it is.  At 60cm x 80cm, it is just the right size for car seats and diaper changes.  It also folds up and fits nicely in my diaper bag.     

You can see the overall design in the first picture, and the true colors in the second.  Quinn makes this blanket look smaller than it is, but you have to remember that he is in the 95th percentile in height and weight, and at 4 months he weighs almost 20lbs.  

Thursday, March 6, 2008

W.I.P.- Little Bits Quilt

Last night after putting the kids to bed, I finished piecing the rest of the quilt top and the bottom.  I should have called it a night right there, but I thought I could baste it while I was at it.  I followed the tutorial in Amanda Jean's Crazy Mom Quilts (I love her quilting energy!) by... 

1)taping the back down on the floor
2)spreading the batting over it
3)taping the top down 
4)putting safety pins in all over to hold the quilt sandwich together  

But then, I realized that I should mark the quilt lines while the quilt was nice and flat.  I got Asha's white color pencil and went to work.  By the time I marked 85 lines that ran from the top to the bottom of the quilt, I was deep into zombie zone.  
I have started machine quilting it today.         

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Cape Towel and Really Big Tote

Today I made some new "cape towels".  They are very easy to make as you can see, and are the perfect things for your kids at the pool/beach. After being frustrated with my kids dragging their wet towels on the ground/sand, it dawned on me that what we needed were some "cape towels", something my mom used to make for my brothers and me.  The towels stay on, the kids  still have both hands free, and they are kind of cool.  
I also made a HUGE tote.  I used light weight canvas I had bought long ago from a random fabric market in downtown Pittsburgh.  It holds all the towels, water bottles, diapers, change of clothes, and food, and I have free hands for Quinn and Kai. It is a  great improvement from the cumbersome laundry basket I used last year.  

*I used the dimensions from Lotta Jansdotter Handmade Project for the tote.  The book is not sold in the US, but you would be able to make this one easily if you have made any kind of tote before.  It measures 59 cm tall x 62 cm wide.  

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

W.I.P.- Little Bits Quilt

Now that I finished Amy's baby quilt over the weekend, I am back working on the Little Bits Quilt.  I had been looking for some inspiration for a quilt that would suite a boy's bed and a guest bed at once.  Since we no longer have a spare bedroom, Jerome's queen bed would have to serve as a guest bed when we have company.  Or more like, Jerome is now sleeping in the guest bed.  I found just what I was looking for in the book Scott gave me for Christmas called Last-Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts
I finished the "Little Bits" last week, which was a lot of fun.  Next is assembling the rest of the quilt top.                   

Lotus Brick Path Quilt

Amy Butler, a fabric designer and pattern maker from Ohio, is one of the reasons I got into quilting.  Her vibrant colors and perfect mix of vintage and contemporary designs will pull you right into her world of Midwestern Modern.  Here is a quilt and some pillows I made last year with her fabric from the Lotus collection.  Again, I copied what she suggested in her website. 

I also made a twirly skirt for Asha with the fabric from her Ginger Bliss line.   

*The skirt pattern is called "Redondo Sprial Flounce Skirt" from  I trimmed the bottom straight instead of leaving it scalloped.  I didn't put the frill pieces on either.         

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Advent Calendar

Here is our advent calendar I finally made a week into last December. It only took me ten years to get to it. Scott's sisters had copied the one they grew up with, made several sets of little felt things to go into all the pockets, and gave us our set back when we got married. His family had green burlap for the actual calendar and pockets, but I used quilting fabric instead. I had some left over green tonal utopia fabric (Moda-Shangrila collection) that I had used for the back of another quilt. I quilted it with low-loft cotton batting for stiffness and weight, and then finished it with bias binding using polkadot fabric from Moda-Building Block collection. The colors matched well with the red fabrics I used to appliquae the numbers, and gave it a contemporary look I was after.

The pink quilt

When I saw this quilt (scroll down to the October 21, 2007 post) Manda made for her daughter over at Tree Fall Design, it reminded me of the quilt my mom made for me when I was little. Mine was made with lighter pink fabrics and lots of frills, but the over the top girlyness was just the same. With Christmas around the corner, I decided to make one for Asha. I pretty much copied everything Amanda did, except I didn't have quite the variety of liberty fabrics (at $35/yard, it is a little hard). My mom helped me piece the top when she was here for Quinn's birth. She also paid for the long-arm quilting as a Christmas gift to me. I finished the binding with little time to spare before Christmas.
Asha loves the quilt. She has thanked me many, many times. I see the same twinkle in her eyes as I had in mine thirty years ago when I was wrapped in pink.

Fabric used:
Anna griffin-Evelyn collection-Pink Paisley (right-bottom corner in the first pic)
Moda Uptown-Daisy Days, Red/Cream (orange fabric used for the back)
Amy Butler-Lotus Collection- Full Moon Dot, Cherry (binding)
Free Spirit-Follow Your Imagination-Big Starburst, Pink/Melon (orange circles and pink sunbursts)
Liberty of London-Tana Lawn collection-Kinnear, Pink (shown next to Asha's right arm)
Heather Ross-West Hill collection, Flower Stripe White (shown next to Asha's right shoulder)
Amy Butler-Belle collection-Coriander, Pink (shown on the bottom right corner of the last pic)
Moda-Seaside Rose-woven pink (pale pink gingham)
Robin Pandolph-Wild Rose Farm collection-pink paisley (paisley with roses)

Saturday, March 1, 2008

In love, again

It was back when I spent the summer in Evanston, IL that my friend Alison told me to get my sewing machine serviced.  She told me it would perform better and last longer.  Since there was nothing wrong with my machine at the time, I didn't do anything... until last month when Kai got creative and inserted a few pins through the openings.  I found a dealer and took it in.  They didn't find any pins, but they sure did their thing.  The machine sounds, runs, and feels very different.  It is quieter, faster, and smoother now, and I am deeply in love with it again.

So pictured is what I finished this week, a baby blanket and a matching doll blanket.  It is a gift for Amy, my friend in Pittsburgh.  She had her fourth girl last October.  I am a little late on this one since I was busy having my own baby.  I tried free motion quilting with my darning foot for the first time.  It was a blast!  You can tell that the quilting on the doll blanket is on the rough side since I quilted that first.  I got the hang of it and the stipple on the baby blanket is looking better.  Most of the fabric used are of Robin Pandolph's.  I like her romantic designs and soft color palette.