Now my Juki is fully dressed...

I'm happy to report that my Juki is now fully dressed, and fully dust-proof! I finally turned my three 6" Lucky Stars blocks into a cover for my Juki yesterday, using some Architextures crosshatch in black for my background fabric, with a few pops from Sweetwater's Noteworthy on the side pockets. I'm really happy with how this little cover came together, and it fits my machine perfectly, so I'm a happy camper.

IMG_3292rt

I adapted a tutorial I found here to fit my machine and made a few small cosmetic changes to it, like adding three Lucky Stars blocks (L-R: February, March, and Practice blocks), but it's a great tutorial, I highly recommend it if you're wanting to make a machine cover that fully covers your machine like this one.

IMG_3293rt

Speaking of Lucky Stars, today is the first of March, so emails are heading out left and right to all of you Lucky Stars BOM subscribers, with the March Ninja Star block pattern. If you do not receive it this morning, please first check your Spam or Junk folder, as it may be hiding out there. If you don't see it there, by all means, send me a quick email so I can help you get the pattern in hand.

March Lucky Star block - the Ninja Star

Have a wonderful Friday and a fabulous weekend!

A little bit of fabric-related indecision...

I think it's official - I am in love with this Juki machine! I feel slightly unfaithful to my Husqvarna Viking Sapphire, but I think I have enough room in my heart (and sewing room) for both of the machines. They both have their strengths, so I have a feeling I'll be using both pretty often.

My Juki, however, is in need of a cover, both to make it pretty and to keep it relatively dust-free. I've sketched out a couple of ideas, and now I'm working on picking out some fabrics, but I'm having a really tough time deciding. Maybe you could help a girl out. Tell me which one of these fabric stacks below is your favorite. I'm all ears (or eyes, as the case may be!)!

Stack #1:
Collections from top to bottom: Luxe in Bloom, Luxe in Bloom, Salt Water, Constellations, Salt Water, Architextures



Stack #2:
Collections from top to bottom: Architextures, Simpatico, Simpatico, Simpatico



Stack #3:
Collections from top to bottom: Madrona Road, Type, Mama Said Sew, Type



Find these collections in stock at:
Architextures - Intrepid ThreadPink Castle Fabrics, and Stash Modern Fabrics
Constellations - I Don't Do Dishes, Intrepid Thread, Pink Castle Fabrics, and Stash Modern Fabrics
Luxe in Bloom - Intrepid Thread and Stash Modern Fabrics
Madrona Road - Intrepid ThreadI Don't Do DishesPink Castle Fabrics, and Stash Modern Fabrics
Mama Said Sew - Intrepid ThreadPink Castle Fabrics and Stash Modern Fabrics
Salt Water - I Don't Do DishesPink Castle Fabrics, and Stash Modern Fabrics
Simpatico - Stash Modern Fabrics
Type - I Don't Do Dishes, Intrepid Thread, and Pink Castle Fabrics

And I'm planning to pair whatever I pick with some super gorgeous yarn-dyed Essex linen in either black or flax. You can find yarn-dyed Essex linen at Intrepid Thread, Pink Castle Fabrics, and Stash Modern Fabrics. So, what do you think? Which combination is your favorite??? I just can't decide!!!

Pretty {little} Pouch - sent!

I wrapped up my pouch for my PIP swap partner yesterday, and I have to say, my fear of zippers is definitely out the window at this point.  Me - 5.  Zippers - 0.  :)

Pretty {little} Pouch - finished! #1


I was planning to do a linen and patchwork combo for my partner, and at first, I had intended to use up some Echino scraps.  I may wind up doing that ultimately.  Then, after cruising my partner's favorites on Flickr for a bit, it seemed that she was more into bright, colorful patchwork, so I went that route instead.

Pretty {little} Pouch - finished! #4


Bright, colorful patchwork made of teeny, tiny, 1" squares, to be exact.  My math on how many squares I needed actually was kind of fouled up, so the bottom of the pouch doesn't have any patchwork on it, but I figure no one will ever see the bottom of the pouch, so I'm still happy with it.

Pretty {little} Pouch - finished! #2


I used this same box pouch pattern last week, with super simple quilting cottons.  The pattern was just as easy to follow with the linen and patchwork, and I really like how it looks with this.  I might just have to make another one for me, I like it so much!  Here's hoping my partner will like it just as much!

Pretty {little} Pouch - finished! #3

My first (and second) box pouches

I think my fear of zippers has officially passed.  I've used four in the last week!  I cannot thank Kelly enough for her amazingly simple zipper pouch tute, which I will now always refer people to if they're afraid of zippers.

I tackled some box pouches yesterday afternoon for Mother's Day, and to practice for the Pretty {little} Pouch swap.  I was thinking about maybe a boxy pouch for my partner, using some linen and either Echino or some other brightly colored patchwork.

Pretty {little} Pouch possibilities...

I used Kaelin's awesome box pouch tute to whip up these little beauties for my mother and my mother-in-law for Mother's Day.  Given that I've made a bunch of bags over the last year, I've done boxed corners before, but I still think this is a pouch a beginner could put together very easily.  

DSCN2483

I only had one minor hiccup when making this bag, and it was when I managed to sew through a pin.  Literally.

One minor casualty

Whoops!  I kind of forgot the pin was there, it was holding the twill tape in place and was kind of hidden.  When I sewed over it, I had no idea that it was a pin - I just thought my machine was acting up for some strange reason.  I found the pin when I was pulling the finished pouch through the hole in the lining - ouch!

I'm super pleased with how these little guys turned out, and looking forward to getting started on my official swap pouch soon.  

A soft book for the boy who loves to bend books

First off - have you noticed today's date?  1/11/11?  Make a wish or something, a date like this doesn't come around very often.  It's not like I'm some kind of numerologist or anything, it just seems kind of cool that today's date is made up solely of the number 1.  I think I've officially geeked out enough for one post, so let's move on to some fabric goodness...


My nephew Matthew is notorious for bending back the spines of his board books, so for his first birthday, I thought it was only appropriate that I make him a soft book that he can bend a million times without breaking.  I started doodling this last week while half-heartedly watching an episode of "Super Why" with the munchkin, and he was keenly interested in my sketching.  I suspect he may ask for his own soft book, even though he's way too big for one now, but I suspect I'll cave in and make him one anyway.



Somehow, when I got the wonderful idea to make this book, I kind of forgot that I'm not an artist.  I can't draw a straight line, I'm not very good at drawing...see where I'm going with this?  Some of the pages came out really nicely, and I'm really proud of them, but the boy and girl?  Not so much...




I embroidered his name on the front, and I found a new favorite way to trace embroidery - at least small embroidery designs.  I held my fabric on my laptop monitor and traced with my disappearing ink pen.   It was awesome!


All in all, this was a pretty quick project to put together, which made me happy, because I've still got my niece Katie's birthday present to make too.  She'll be getting a doll from the Wee Wonderfuls book, though I haven't decided on which one just yet.  They're all so darn cute!  She's really big on dolls at the moment, so I want to make her one while she still enjoys them.  Off to see all of the other wonderful goodies at Fabric Tuesday this week...



UPDATE: Sounds like some of you would really like a tute, so I suppose the munchkin will be getting a soft book of his own after all.  I will try to work up a tute this weekend for you all :)

Some traditional placemats with a splash of modern design

My mother is admittedly not a fan of modern fabrics.  She's been fabric shopping with me a few times, and she always points out the things she doesn't like, rather than the things she does like, so it's always tough to figure out what she actually does like.  If you ask her what she likes, her response is always something to the effect of, "Oh, you know, I've shown you a thousand times."  Sure, Mom.

Well, I pegged her pretty well at Christmas when I made her a second mug rug, using the fabrics from A Breath of Avignon by American Jane.  She loved it.  I still have quite the stockpile of fabric from that line, so when she asked for placemats, I figured that would be a good choice.


I got a really awesome sewing book for Christmas, from my mother actually - Dare to Be Square Quilting by Boo Davis.   There's a ton of fun patterns, one of which is for charm bracelet style placemats.  I decided to switch it up a little bit and practice some of my patchwork skills rather than use a simple solid center fabric for the charms, and I really like how that part turned out.  I'm not a huge fan of my choice of binding, but I used what was in my stash.  I really wish I had just used the red.  My mom's plates are blue, though, and I know she's a big fan of this print, so here's hoping she likes them!


And I'm linking up with Megan's new Monday linky, check it out!

{Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations

I {heart} pillows

Are you looking for my giveaway day post?  It's right over here...

It's official.  After the Pillow Talk {Swap}, I now love making pillows.  I haven't received my pillow in the swap yet, though I have a few guesses as to which might be for me, so I was itching to have a new pillow on my couch this weekend.  Somehow, I found myself making a trio of holiday pillows.  I just couldn't stop!  I suspect I'll be making them all the time now.  I am already planning to make one for my mother's birthday in February - a dresden plate in yellows, because she loves sun faces, and I think this will remind her of a sun face.  So rather than hand stitching the binding to my Urban Lattice quilt along and That Girl quilt along quilts, so I did pillows instead - perfect for way faster gratification!


Speaking of dresdens, I made my first one in this trio of holiday pillows.  It's miles from perfect, but I learned a lot while doing this.  I used a couple of different tutorials, but the one that was most helpful was Elizabeth Hartman's from Sew Mama Sew.  I wish I'd done a solid for the center, but all in all, I really enjoyed making a dresden.  It's a great way to use up scraps or charm packs!  It sounds like we might be doing one next month in my bee, with Amy Butler's new collection, to boot.  I can't wait!



And I also made a scrappy Christmas tree pillow, thanks to Kati's super awesome tute.  I adore this pillow.  I'm so glad I got over my fear of paper piecing, because I am really loving the things I'm assembling that way. Thank you, Kati, for sharing the details on your pillow, it's been one of my favorites from the Pillow Talk {Swap}!


For my final pillow, I went super duper simple.  I absolutely adore this Alexander Henry print that I found at my LQS.   It's quite possibly the best Christmas fabric I've seen.  It's from a small collection called Merry Moderns, and I just love the old time-y feel it has.  Feels like a vintage newspaper ad.  This is quite possibly my favorite holiday pillow of all, even though the others required far more work and such, I just love this fabric so very much.  Fortunately, I've got plenty more to use next year.  I'm strongly considering busting out my Christmas stash in July and doing some holiday sewing then.  Maybe I'll even do a linky party...hmm....



And speaking of linkies, don't forget...I'm going to be hosting a linky next Monday, December 20th.  I'm going to be sharing my ideas for sewing and quilting next year, and I'd love to see you guys do the same and join in the fun!   Share concepts, inspiration, stacks of fabric, lists, whatever you like.  I adore lists, they make me happy, so I can't wait to see what you all are planning for next year.  :)

A few things that will make the munchkin very happy

Looking for my Giveaway Day post?  Check here!

And ta-da, the Super Why cape for my son is complete!  Hopefully, PBS won't come after me for daring to copy their show's logo into fabric.  I think it's just darling, I really love how this came together.


I used the same pattern I used for the Superman cape earlier this year from The Long Thread.  This time I followed the pattern...except for the neckline.  I decided to make a little bias tape and use that for the neck instead of velcro, so that the cape will not only last for him a little longer, but it will also allow Mommy and Daddy to join in the fun when the munchkin (inevitably) demands that we wear the cape.

It's hard putting this one in a box right now, I'd love to just hand it right over to him because I know how much he'll enjoy it.  Better wrap it now before I cave in!

Another gift I better hurry up and wrap is the Kermit the Frog shirt I made.  When I started sewing and spending more time at my desk, my munchkin happened to notice that I had a Kermit the Frog finger puppet.  He would play with it on occasion, and one day at the library, he spotted The Muppet Movie.  The rest?  Kind of history.  He's seen all of the Muppet movies, and loves them.  He plays regularly with my Kermit the Frog finger puppet.  All he needed was a shirt, but they are shockingly hard to come by in boys' toddler sizes (darn you Old Navy for making one for girls this year) so I decided to make him one for Christmas.




I found an awesome Muppet quilting book at the library, and that's where I found the applique pattern.  If you're into Muppets and want to make a Muppet quilt, this book is amazing.  It's called Quilting with the Muppets, and though it's apparently out of print, you can still find it on Amazon.




And one last piece of adorable applique - the munchkin asked for a new zoo shirt the other day, so I whipped him up a baby and mommy elephant shirt.  I am apparently on one heck of an applique roll!



I also whipped up a few holiday shirts for my munchkin, a Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and a simple Christmas tree.  I must say, the holidays this year have been a lot of fun so far with the munchkin.  He's totally into the holidays this year, even more than last year.  He's learning Christmas carols and loves listening to the all-holiday music radio station, and his favorite so far is "Jingle Bell Rock."  He also really loves "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" and of course "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer."  I can tell this is going to be a very memorable holiday season.


And...I'm going to be hosting a linky next Monday, December 20th.  I'm going to be sharing my ideas for sewing and quilting next year, and I'd love to see you guys do the same and join in the fun!   Share concepts, inspiration, stacks of fabric, lists, whatever you like.  I adore lists, they make me happy, so I can't wait to see what you all are planning for next year.  :)

Baltimore Windows table runner

My father-in-law's best friend, Ric, has been a big part of my husband's life, and he has the honorary title of uncle within the family.  He's a perennial bachelor, and has recently moved to Florida, after spending his entire life in the Baltimore/DC area.  When I first saw the Clermont Farms fabric collection from Moda, my first through was of Baltimore and Ric.  I still can't quite articulate how it makes me think of Baltimore, but it just does.


This pattern, City Windows, comes from Moda Bake Shop, and uses just a charm pack and 1/2 yard of another fabric for sashing and binding - talk about a breeze to put together!  I will definitely make this pattern again.  If you look at the pattern, though, you'll see that mine is slightly different, and that was entirely by accident.  I was apparently on a serious caffeine high when I added the sashing to the top, as I put it in the wrong place.  I think it works, the way it is, but I would definitely like to try this pattern again and do it the right way.  I've got several charm packs in my stash, so I'm sure I'll try it again.



I outline quilted this runner, and I really love the effect it gave on the back, which is just the remaining charm squares sewn together.  I'm really digging outline quilting, I just wish it came to me as easily as the meandering stipple.  It takes a lot more concentration and tends to lead to a boatload more frustration, at least on bigger things like quilts.  


The mystery birthday gift revealed!

Remember the mystery birthday gift that's been on my project list for a bit?  Well, her birthday has finally come so I can share with you...  What did I finally make my dear friend for her birthday?

A purse!  She and I have both said that if we had the creativity, we'd love to design purses for a living, so I thought a purse would make a great gift for her.


I used the Phoebe bag pattern from Artsy Crafty Babe, and just like the Poppy Pleated Tote I made before it, it was a breeze to make.   In fact, I will definitely be making another one of these with some Anna Maria Horner fabrics that have been waiting in my stash for a good project.

I like this pattern because it calls for a snap closure.  Since sewing zippers frightens me, a snap closure is ideal for my skills.  I think this purse came together really nicely and was a great gift for a very good friend.  I hope she puts it to good use :)

Somehow I kept my apron clean on Thanksgiving...

My aunt used to make aprons, lots of them.  In fact, aprons have always been kind of a "thing" in my family.  The women all seem to collect them.  My uncle Gary used to have a restaurant and I still have one of his aprons from the restaurant in my kitchen - it's the one I use the most, actually.  That could be because it's brown and it's really hard to make it look dirty.

One of the first sewing patterns I ever bought was for an apron, though I still haven't made that pattern.  I fell in love with this pattern a few months ago online, and knew I had to have it - it's by Sew Liberated and called the Emmeline apron.


I really wanted to make the exact apron in the picture, but alas, it's difficult to find a lot of AMH's Chocolate Lollipop collection these days.  I wound up finding some adorable fabrics from Cosmo Cricket's Early Bird collection and I knew they'd be perfect for an apron.


My mother visited while I was still at work on this apron and overheard me telling a friend that garment sewing was just something I'm not any good at, and my mother tells me that if I could manage to make this apron that I could certainly try my hand at garment sewing.  I think that's what I loved so much about this pattern - it feels like a retro dress in a lot of ways.  Maybe one day I'll try sewing a dress...




Naturally, when the apron was actually on me and in use, no one snapped a picture.  Not that I'm surprised, but if I don't take the picture in my family, no one else will.  I did tell my husband to take a picture of the turkey coming out of the oven, and you can see a little bit of my apron there.




All in all, I really love this apron, though I worry that I will seriously cry when it (inevitably) gets dirty.  Oh well, then I can make another one.  :)




And in case you're curious about how Thanksgiving went, the main event of Thanksgiving wound up not being the turkey, at least not for my munchkin.  From the moment I started making it, the flourless chocolate  was all he could talk about.  He kept talking about smelling it the day before Thanksgiving and as soon as we all sat down to dinner, that's all he could talk about.  He ate every last crumb of it and declared it the best part of Thanksgiving.


*UPDATE * And because curious minds want to know...here's the recipe for my flourless chocolate cake...

Easy Flourless Chocolate Cake

4 oz bittersweet chocolate (I use the brown label Ghiradelli, 60% bittersweet)
1 stick salted butter
3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs at room temperature
1/2 c cocoa powder

1. Preheat oven to 375.  Prepare an 8" round cake pan by greasing it, lining it with parchment, and greasing the parchment lining.
2. Melt your chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, and stir until smooth.  Or, wait until it's really melty, then stir, making sure it's good and smooth.
3. Remove bowl and whisk sugar into chocolate, making sure it gets fully incorporated.  Add your eggs and whisk well.  (Yes, I know the chocolate is still hot, don't worry about your eggs.)
4. Sift 1/2 cup cocoa powder over your batter, and whisk until just combined, then pour batter into prepared pan. 
5. Bake in the middle of the oven for 25 minutes, until the top has formed a slightly crackled top.  Cool cake in pan on a rack for 10 minutes, then invert onto a serving plate.

You can serve with powdered sugar, sifted over the top of the cake, whipped cream or ice cream.  Or best of all, all of the above!  This cake keeps quite well, at least a week, if kept in an airtight container.

Pillow Talk {Swap} Round 4

Are you still recovering from Thanksgiving?  I know I am, that's why I retreated to do some sewing last night after all the festivities died down and the dishes were done.  I'm happy to say that I'm done with my pillow for the Pillow Talk {Swap}!

Have you heard about the Pillow Talk Swap?  I feel so lucky to be involved in this one, and I have to say, this swap has been a lot of fun to participate in.  There was an insane amount of talent in this group!  Check out some of my personal favorites...



1. Riverbend, 2. Pillow option #2, 3. PTS4 trial 2, 4. PTS4 pillow front, 5. pillow talk swap 4 - finished!, 6. pillow talk swap practice, 7. Sneak Peak of Front, 8. A Practice Pillow, 9. charity pillow, 10. of Earth and Sky, 11. Pillow talk swap progress, 12. PTS4 trial block 3


My partner's inspiration mosaic was pretty clear - she loves blues - and fortunately for me, I'm a fan, too, so I had some super ripe selections in my stash.  It seemed my partner was really into geometric designs, so I my first thought was triangles.  I'd been dying to try out some HSTs, so I thought a pillow would be a good, small scale way to give them a try.  The verdict?  I think I love them!




When I finished off this pillow and slipped it on my pillow form, I felt compelled to make my very own HST pillow.  Alas, I've still got a boatload of holiday sewing to do, so it'll have to wait for now.  Here's hoping the mailman brings me a beautiful pillow cover of my own real soon!

Mug Rug Addicts Anonymous - MRAA

Hi, everyone. My name is Elizabeth and I think I'm addicted to making mug rugs. Someone stop me!

But they're so fun. They're really just mini quilts and the idea that you can make a little quilt with beautiful scraps and finish it off in a naptime or two is just fantastic.

Have you made one yet? What are you waiting for?! Need some inspiration? Check out what this fantastic group has been up to...




1. mug rug alone in all it's glory :), 2. Modern Meadow Patchwork Mug Rug, 3. eiffel tower mug rug closeup, 4. Tiny Squares Mug Rug {Front}, 5. Vintage City Scene, 6. Mug Rug--Complete!, 7. Christmas Tree, 8. Holiday Mug Rug, 9. Selvage Mug Rug - In Progress, 10. snowman mug rug, 11. Mug rug done!, 12. Mug Rug - nearly there!


I finished up the mug rug for my partner in the Scrappy Mug Rug Swap, phew!  I'm excited to get it off in the mail today, along with some extra goodies for my secret partner.

Finished front!


Finished back - I love the way the outline quilting makes the back look really cool

After I finished this one off, I had some other ideas for mug rugs, and decided I would make a pair for both my brother and sister for the holidays, so I scrounged around in my scrap bins for some fabric that I thought they would like.

I used linen for the first time on these mug rugs, which was interesting to work with.  I really like the texture that it gave to the mug rugs.  It makes them feel like they're truly meant to be used.  I will definitely use linen again, especially for this kind of thing.  I love the crosshatch pattern that the linen has, it's so beautiful.


A pair for my brother, using Moda Origins and some Robert Kaufman Quilter's Linen

Some wonky lines on the Origins mug rugs

I was explaining the project to my mother on the phone, and she suggested I write a little note with each set to explain what a mug rug is.  When I finished these up and realized how much they resemble potholders, I figured she was right.


A pair for my sister, using lots of random blue, gray, and white scraps and some Robert Kaufman Quilter's Linen


Teeny meandering quilting on the blue scrap mug rugs


So here's what I was thinking...

What am I?  I'm a mug rug!  What's a mug rug, you ask?  A mug rug is a mini quilt, perfect for holding a mug of your favorite beverage and a snack, too.  So, what are you waiting for?  Use me!


P.S. - Things might be a little quiet over here on the blog this week, with all the prep for Thanksgiving going on at my house.  I'm hoping to finish at least one more project this week before Thanksgiving, so stay tuned and have a wonderful holiday week!

Dinosaurs on the prowl

Making softies is a lot of fun.  I've made a couple over the last year, and I always find myself smiling while making them.  They're just so cute you can't help but smile!

I was originally planning on making a growth chart for my nephew, but as I started the project, I decided that I wanted something to make something that a 9-month-old would actually love.  I found a pattern for a dinosaur in One Yard Wonders, one of my favorite other-sewing-projects books, and knew it would be a big hit.

I made the mistake of cutting out the pattern pieces in front of my own munchkin, who quickly deduced that I was making a dinosaur.  He promptly asked...or demanded while still saying please...that I make one for him as well.  I let him pick out the fabrics for both his dinosaur and my nephew's, and I must say, I was quite impressed with his selection, he did a great job.




This pattern was super easy to follow, though I opted not to make a rolling dinosaur, as suggested in the pattern, if nothing but because the idea of working with wood frightens me and without my husband around to do the woodworking, I figured it would be smart to skip that step.

Now I must wrap them ASAP before my toddler wakes up and finds them!

P.S. - Want a fun softie to start with?  How about a mermaid?  Check out Kate's blog to find out about her recent mermaid party and to find a free Wee Wonderfuls mermaid pattern.

Who needs another handbag? Um....me!

It's no secret that I love bags.  Having been a mom for the last two and half years, I've sported probably eight different diaper bags, and rotate heavily between three or four of them, as each has its own function.  As I finished up my in-laws quilt, 301 Park Avenue, and geared up to finish my sister-in-law's quilt, still to be officially named (not to mention finished), I decided I needed a quilt break.  And Amy Butler's Birdie Sling pattern has been sitting on my desk, unused, for far too long.  It was calling me.




I came across a quilt Monday morning at the Bloggers' Quilt Festival that used some beautiful Echino double-gauze fabric.  Lesly made a gorgeous quilt using some of Echino's Love Birds.  I just love how her quilt turned out.  When I spotted it, I remembered that I had some Echino of my own in my stash, just itching to be used!

Some people think Amy Butler's patterns are wordy.  I can't disagree, but I think the wordiness kind of helps me.  Bag making doesn't come as easily to me as the simplicity of quilt making - curved seams are not my friends.  But, despite a few bumps in the road, I'm really pleased with how this bag turned out.  It's huge, and is going to make an awesome day trip bag.  Plenty of room for diapers and sippy cups and the like.

Now off to my sketchbook to work on some scrappy mug rug designs for the upcoming scrappy mug rug swap!  (Did you notice how I'm avoiding that quilt WIP?  All I have left to finish the top is the final border, and I always dread putting those on, because they never seem to be straight!)

Happy sewing and make sure to check out Amylouwho's Sew & Tell linky party!

Getting ready for a boatload of quilting

My sewing desk is, once again, a mess, but this time in a good way.  I did a lot of prep work on several projects today and I'm hoping to finish several of them in the next few days.

I worked on my first pair of shorts, for my munchkin's Halloween costume.  It's shocking how difficult it is to find a simple pair of black knit shorts for a toddler.  Hence, the sewing of them.  I've never really sewn any garments to speak of, other than my first skirt recently.  I think garment sewing is a whole different ballgame than quilting, one I don't know all the rules to yet, so I feel a little hesitant on wrapping this project up.  I want to re-read the pattern one more time before I make the elastic casing and sew the hems on the shorts, just to make sure I'm doing it at least 80% right.

Haven't tried these on the munchkin yet, but boy, they sure seem big!

After wrapping up my Boss's Day gifts yesterday, I felt compelled to make more mug rugs, this time to grace my own house.  No one warned me that these things are addictive.  I'm starting to wonder if I'm going to find myself making sippy cup rugs for my son's Christmas stocking or something equally strange.  These are cute, though, and used real scraps, so I can't wait to see how they turn out after I finish them up.

 I just adore this colorway of Amy Butler's Lotus line!

Real leftovers from the Boss's Day mug rugs - must be a record for the quickest turnaround for scraps!

The doll quilt for my niece has been glaring at me the last few days.   I've neglected it, I know.  It's been ready to baste and quilt for weeks and I've put it off and off and off again, so today, I busted out my basting pins and basted that little bad boy together once and for all.  Then, I proceeded to waffle for a full twenty-one minutes as to how I wanted to quilt it.  Yes, twenty-one minutes.  I think I'm going to go with an all-over stipple, but I'm not 100%.   Feel free to try to sway me another way in the comments!

Straight lines?  Stipple?  Straight lines?  Stipple?  Maybe I'll toss a coin...

And that, my dear bloggy friends, is all for today.  Thanks to all of my new followers out there, new followers always brighten my day.  And tell your friends - when I hit 50 followers (which could quite possibly be years from now), I'm planning on a pretty awesome giveaway!  :)

Why is there not an official parenting handbook?

Argh, toddlers are tough.  Potty training is such a pain...well...in the rear, for lack of any better reference.  We're knee deep in attempting to introduce the potty at the moment, and it's going over like trying to offer chocolate covered brussel sprouts to a child.  It's not pretty.  Naptime is a serious sanctuary at the moment, the only time of day where I don't feel like a nag, where I feel like an adult.  Sometimes I truly wish there was an official parenting handbook, something to tell me exactly how to deal with every facet of parenting.  Flying by the seat of my pants has never been my specialty.

I've been pretty haphazard with my time in the sewing room the last week or so, despite the amount of time I've been spending there.  I keep starting projects, and stopping midway.  I've got a lot of balls in the air at once at the moment.  I took a few moments today to jot down what exactly is in progress and what's in the pipeline or on my sewing desk.  I'm making a boatload of gifts these next few months for various holidays and occasions.

Today, I was focused on Boss's Day, since it's the soonest.  My husband has three bosses, so that means three gifts.  In past years, I've just baked for them, but it seems everyone is dieting so baking is not an option.  The next logical option?  Mug rugs!

This is my personal favorite so far, still to be bound!

A more manly mug rug...working on binding now

So, I took some random scraps from other projects and put these little bad boys together.  I really liked being creative and not following a set pattern.  I haven't done that much in the ten months in which I've been sewing.  I'd forgotten how much fun being creative can be.  I'm really digging these.  I am definitely making some more, I want one for me!

The first finished product?

Mental note: always make sure to use my walking foot for binding.  The first side I stitched on, I forgot about that cardinal rule and cursed myself for it, but fortunately, there's no way you could tell.  I really love how this one turned out!

Ooooh, pretty.  Must.  Give.  As.  Gift.  Must.  Not.  Keep.  Mental note: make another one for me!

And I've got another project on my sewing desk, too, that's starting to come together: patchwork napkins.  I'm just making some random scraps into some nice napkins, since I'm going to be hosting our family Thanksgiving festivities this year.

I've even worked in some of my current favorite fabric, Moda's Bliss!


I'm linking up with Fabric Tuesday over at QuiltStory - make sure to check them out, I find some great inspiration there!

Fabric Tuesday: Blissful

Oh, how I love Moda's new Bliss collection. I just love the aqua and red together, it's so trendy right now in quilt design, and I'm probably late to the aqua and red party, but boy oh boy, I love those two colors together.

 Last week, I decided to put some Bliss to good use to create a good sewing notebook, where I can keep track of my fabric stash and projects and such. And voila! I just love it. I love it so much that I haven't written a thing in it, for fear that whatever I write won't live up to the loveliness of this notebook!

Have a recent fabric craft project to share? Visit Quilt Story, they've got a great linky every Tuesday!