Crib Update + Baby’s Arrival

Our first child, P, was born on Wednesday, January 8th, 2014 at 4:15pm.  I was incredibly blessed to have B’s presence by my side through the whole labor and to now have a baby girl to cherish daily.  Each new day I am reminded of how good God is by her presence and of how much I need His strength and love to raise her.

Due to my new responsibilities, my posts are likely to become shorter and less frequent, but I hope to keep you, dear readers, updated as best I can!  Below are some pictures that I promised I would post of the finished crib!  They include the easy peasy blanket, the first quilt I ever made, the bird mobile, and P’s stuffed toys (Lexington the Lion and the Tres Peas).

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The Last Baby Picture (with baby inside)

Today is Christmas and it also marks the 38th week of my pregnancy.  B and I have been getting ready for baby and look forward to having her with us outside of my belly.  I really cannot recall what it feels like to not have a baby inside and I am hoping that I am not doing too much damage to either her or myself with all these holiday treats I have been scarfing down!

After week 36, to do our fruit and veggie pictures we would have had to find a winter melon, a pumpkin, and a watermelon.  Since I am not so partial to winter melon and pumpkin and watermelon are not in season, we decided that week 36 would be our last pose-with-produce-photo.  Therefore, we found a big honeydew at the nearby H-mart on sale for $1.99!  What good fortune ^__^.

CantaloupeBaby

I also made a few more dresses for baby as I said I would from my earlier post: Red Apple Baby Dress.  B has asked me to pause my sewing for a while to do more drawing.  I think I will oblige because I (and baby) probably need some time away from our clanking machine.

Bow-Tied Top Dress

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Reversible Geranium Dress with Flutter Sleeves

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Wishing You a Merry Christmas

Dear readers, I’ve missed you!  My absence from blogging lately has been due to being highly preoccupied with: finishing DIY Christmas presents, making food and hosting guests, wrapping up my last few days of school, and having to go to doctor appointments more frequently as I near the end of my pregnancy (2 more weeks!).  How have you been spending your holiday season?  I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year with all your loved ones!!!

Here is a collection of the shenanigans I have been up to:

holidaybibs

Holiday Bibs

(you can find the pattern here: Reversible Bib)

ChristmasLightOrnaments

Christmas Light Ornaments

(you can find the tutorial here: Ornaments)

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This project is a wonderful way to use up all those fabric scraps that you have!

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Deck your tree!

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OR package them up all pretty and give them away to friends and family!

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Quilted Table Runner

(You can find a tutorial here: Table Runner)

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I made it reversible to match my parents’ newly renovated and furnished dining room (good job Daddy!).

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Christmas Cookies!

(Okay, they aren’t all red and green but they sure were yummy!  I would know given that I ate half of them -__-)

A Snack Mat Yummy Enough to Eat

readytouse

While I made this snack mat in November, I couldn’t post this project until after Christmas because it would spoil the surprise for my sister.  I put this snack mat together using scrap fabrics that I had of yarn, felt, cotton, and heavier weighted home fabrics.  The items on her snack mat were inspired by some of her favorite foods (chocolate, fruit, Walker biscuits, and green tea).  As I assembled the project, I felt myself drooling at the thought of these foods.  Especially with being pregnant, my imagination and appetite are on par with one another.

I first began by assembling the food pieces one by one and used embroidery to add details to each food.placemantpieces

Afterwards, I sewed the chocolate, strawberries, and cookies onto the plate.  Then I sewed the plate and tea (+ tea tag) onto the taupe fabric.  Next, I embroidered the thread for the tea bag.

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The taupe fabric was layered on top of this cute chicken fabric that I found irresistibly cute.  The last step was binding the entire mat with the red fabric.

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I hope that my sister is not afraid to use this snack mat frequently as a way to decorate her meals.

Oh what fun it is to eat when you have a snack mat covered in treats!  ^__^

Easy Peasy Baby Blanket

Winter is here and my baby bunting to come needed a warm fuzzy blanket to cuddle in and to be wrapped in.  Here is a quick tutorial of how to make your own baby blanket for your loved ones.  This project will yield a rectangular blanket with rounded edges.  If you would rather have a square blanket, cut it down to size.  If you would rather not have rounded edges, skip that step below.

Materials you need:

  • 1 yard cotton fabric
  • 1 yard chenille (or another fuzzy cozy fabric)
  • thread, scissors, sewing machine, pins (the usual stuff)

Make sure that the fabric is washed and dried to avoid shrinking and bunched up edges once you do wash the blanket.  The best way I have found to wash fabric is to put the raw cut fabric into a mesh laundry bag used for delicates to avoid tons of frayed tangled edges.  You can find these mesh bags at Wal-Mart, Target, the Container Store, etc.

Alright, here we go!

Step 1: Take your ironed cotton fabric and trim the edges.  I folded the fabric to cut the edges more quickly.  B has been so good as to get me a set of rotary cutters and accompanying mat, which helps me cut down the time for prep work and to cut straight lines.

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Step 2: Make rounded edges.  I traced along the bottom of my recycling wastebasket (don’t worry, I will wash the blanket again)

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Step 3: Layer the cotton fabric on top of the chenille, the cut around the edges of the chenille.  My chenille fabric was actually longer than a yard, which is why you see so much excess fabric.

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Step 4: Pin the cotton fabric and the chenille right sides facing each other.  Make sure to get the edges as well as safety pinning the fabrics in the middle to avoid shifting during sewing.

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Step 5: Sew the fabric together 1/2 inch away from the edge.  BE SURE TO LEAVE AN OPENING about 3 inches in length to turn the blanket inside out.

 sewallaround

At this point, you might notice some of the chenille’s fuzziness has dropped into your lap.  Lint rollers are handy to have nearby ^^

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Step 6: Trim the edges and make sure to cut triangles into the rounded corners so that they look smooth.  Turn the fabrics inside out through the opening.

   sniproundedcorners     turnrightsideout 

Step 7: Iron the blanket so that the edges are flattened and smoothed.  I then stitched the opening of the blanket together using the invisible stitch (sometimes known as the blind stitch).  Then sew around the edge of the blanket that is now right side out.  I used about a 1/2 inch margin once again but you can adjust that according to your preference.

sewallaroundagain      completed

Step 8: This step is optional.  Since I felt that the two fabrics might shift during use and washes, I decided to disperse a few quilt knots to secure the two pieces of the blanket together.  Thread through and tie using a surgeon’s knot.

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Step 9:  Sit back and enjoy your new blanket!

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Red Apple Baby Dress

Hello readers!  I’d like to share with you the very first dress I’ve made (that’s actually wearable).  I’d like to thank Ms. RAE at Made by RAE for offering her Geranium Dress Pattern and tutorial for free to let me experiment with.  Click on the link if you’d like access to this pretty little piece.  

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TA-DA!

I made my dress using a red with teeny tiny white polka dotted cotton and apple printed flannel.  I made it so that baby could wear it during her first few months of life during the cold winter.  I want her to be as warm as a freshly baked apple pie – no bun in the oven here >_^.  The only modification I made to the dress pattern was to line the bottom half of the dress as well as the bodice.  I plan on several more of these dresses in different patterns and with slight modifications so stay posted!

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The Back

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The Front

Why do birds suddenly appear…

…every time, I look up.

That’s what baby girl will be thinking when she sees her mobile.  Yesterday, I completed one of the longest baby projects I have worked on thus far.  This project evolved over the hours and days that I spent on it and I am truly pleased with how it turned out.  I will be sure to post a more flattering picture of the final product when we have the crib bed and linen in place.

THE (evolving) STEPS:

The mobile began with felt birds.  I found a pattern on Pinterest that led me to an image that I enlarged to the size that suited this project.  I cut out neutral browns and creams for the different parts of the body.  Following the directions, I first attached wings and stitched in eyes.  I used thick embroidery thread so that the different stitches I placed on the wings would be more visible.  Then began the long arduous process of hand stitching each bird together inside out, turning it right-side out, stuffing it with fluff, sealing up the tail, and stitching on a beak.  The original pattern said to attach a small triangular orange piece of felt for the beaks, but I wanted to use up some orange embroidery thread.   birdiescutout  pilesofbirdpatterns

I made six birds in total, three that are lighter in color and three that are darker brown with white striped heads (I call them the skunk birds).  The day I finished all six, I made B hold them in his sweater when he got home.  When he asked why six, I explained that the number symbolized how many children we would have (plus us).  He would prefer to stick with two kiddos whereas I am open to whatever God wants to give us (at least for now – we’ll see after I give birth to the first one).

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After exploring the Pinterest and Etsy world a little more to gain inspiration, I also made three clouds.  Two of which are visible in this picture against the sky blue of B’s pajama pants.

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Now I originally intended to use a grapevine wreath for the ring that I attach the birds too.  However, after thinking about safety measures, B and I both decided that it would be rather unsafe if the mobile ever fell and all the twisty spiky vines landed on baby.  We went to Joann’s and looked at our options.  We thought about getting foam rings typically used for floral arrangements, but we decided to go with a thinner option.  The embroidery hoop (9″ diameter) we found was the answer for us and all I had to do was find a way to cover the metal screw…

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That led to the next evolution in my design, which was to crochet flowers (to cover up the metal screw) and leaves that would be wound to the hoop with yarn.  While I am a true beginner when it comes to crocheting, Youtube searches for “crochet flowers” and “crochet leaves” were extremely helpful.  I just watched the videos intently with my crochet hook in one hand and yarn in the other.  These tutorials are so much easier to follow than guides I find in how-to-crochet books.

On a not-too-busy Saturday, B and I went to Pottery Barn Kids to look at mobile arms.  We found that the espresso one would match the crib nicely but the store was out of stock!  Thankfully, we were able to order it from the store online with waived shipping (yay!) and to  use our 15% of “recent” mover’s coupon on top of that (double yay!).

Once I was able to determine about how far the mobile would need to dangle above baby to be safe, I stitched strings to the birdies and clouds and hung those first from the hoop so that the strings would be covered by the yarn later.  Then I wrapped yarn around the entire hoop and attached the flowers and leaves in sets of three.

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insidemobileringTA-DA!  Here is the mobile in a fuzzy picture that as promised earlier would be updated with a better one at a future point in time.

finishedmobile

From the initial inspiration, through the obstacles / time consuming work in between, and to the concluding touches, I found myself so immersed and entangled in the creative process I once used to enjoy on a daily basis.  Returning to that state of mind was refreshing and I look forward to more of it.  I am so thankful for a husband who encourages me throughout my work as well.  His input and feedback made the work even more worthwhile.

When I reflected upon the design, I thought of the Bible verses about the birds of the air and the flowers of the field:

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?  Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.”

Matthew 6:25-29

God is good and I hope that I get to impart that beautiful understanding to baby.