Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Baby Girl Dresses

This is the beginning of what (I have a sneaking suspicion) will be many, MANY posts about baby girl dresses I have made.  Caveat: I had three boys first, so I am teensy weensy bit excited about sewing girl clothes!  All the boys ever wanted was Batman pants...not as motivating (for me), happiness for them.

The dress pattern I just made is the "Pretty as a Picture" dress from Anna Maria Horner's book "Handmade Beginnings".

One of my all-time favorite sewing books, the patterns in Anna Maria's book are not only easy to make and well-written, but her fabric is to-die-for!  When I saw the yellow version  of this cotton voile for sale online I was ready---and got enough for a skirt for me too!! (More on that soon) Note: Don't worry about the slight difference in the yellows because the flower centerpiece gets trimmed down.

Cotton voile is a softer and finer cotton than regular quilting cotton.  It is great for apparel and linings---it feels just yummy.  Voile is also slightly sheer, so you will want to line it.  

The pattern was a dream to make, 9 simple pieces---so cutting was a cinch.  And, get this---the inside is as beautiful as the outside.  Made with French seams (ooh la la) inside, all the raw edges are hidden (Yay! says me, the sewer without a serger). One night.  I am not kidding.  It's THAT easy! I might make 10.  Love you, Anna Maria!!

The perfect thing to wear to her cousin's First Communion party!

Photo by Mary Ogorzaly

Photo by Mary Ogorzaly
Photo by Mary Ogorzaly

And enough for a pocket square for the dapper Uncle Kris.

Photo by Mary Ogorzaly
Photo by Mary Ogorzaly

Love this girl.  Love this dress. LOVE my sister's pictures!

Photo by Mary Ogorzaly

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Mail order fun!

To mark the end of school and a tough week, I treated myself to a couple of sale (I am a sale sucker, I recognize this) charm packs from Crafsty featuring one of my (and lots of other people's, that's why it's been reissued) fabric lines: Denyse Schmidt's "Flea Market Fancy". The package's arrival just made my day (I love good mail...and parentheses):

Then, I opened it up and BONANZA:

These colors are totally inspiring me lately. I love the mellow grays and punchy yellows.  The bright pinks against the cool blues.  A "Flea Market Fancy" fabric was one of the first fabrics I fell in love with so much that I bought yardage instead of just a fat quarter.  I didn't even know who Denyse Schmidt was at the time. All week I have been thinking about what to do with these beauties...a baby quilt for a new baby boy in the family?  The primary blues, reds and yellows might just be perfect.  A blog give-away...

Since the time I first learned about these fabrics, I have educated myself a whole lot more.  NOW, I am cognizant of the fact that Denyse Schmidt is Modern Quilting's GODESS.  She is an amazing quilter, artist, designer and from the looks of her latest book, historian!

I was so excited when I opened the sort of boring-looking brown paper envelope my husband handed me on Christmas morning to discover that he was sending me to a quilt workshop with none other than Denyse---at her Bridgeport, CT studio!!  Oh yes, he is a GOOD man (unlike another husband who gave his wife the gift, but the wrong date---OH NO!!!!).

From start to finish, it was an amazing and inspiring day.  I will write another post all about that day, but for now...

Have you ever been to a great quilting workshop?  Tell me about it!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A few of my favorite things...

Flowers, fresh fruit and honey from our hives.  Does it get any better?

My friend Breida (with a B), over here, turned me on to this fun link party organized by Laura of Ironstone Nest.  Since I am new to blogging and have four kids, I don't always get done (craft-wise) what I hope to in any given week (but in general, my children are fed, clean and clothed and often having fun, that's something)...but here is something I can do: a list of my favorite things. Here goes!

I love quilting.  That is the purpose of this talk about my love of quilting past, present and future and show some things I make.  I have wanted to make a red and white quilt ever since I went to this show last year. Lately, to get ready for my first Hudson Valley Modern Quilt Guild meeting, I have been working on some blocks led by Amy of Stitchery Dickory Dock through Craftsy (DEFINITELY A FAVE!!).  Using up my red & white stash...
These are the first four.  I have six more to catch up!!

Another favorite thing of mine is when my wildflower garden does what it is supposed to.

My flowers are often home to my bees.  I love bees, beekeeping and their product. 

Yup.  That's me.

The honey pirates!

This basket from the Pennsylvania Basket Company I got at the Rhinebeck Craft Fair a couple of years ago is so amazing---the craftsmanship astounds me.  I love to look at it even when it's empty...

But I love it even more when it is full of produce from my garden!!!

And little people help.

In the soap wars, Breida, I come down on the side of Peppermint Dr. Bronners! Minty fresh!  And cannot get through the day without my wicked wax.

I cherish that my boys love for me to read to them and are always bringing me their books.

Finally, I love handmade, natural wooden toys.  I save up for special occasions, usually Christmas.  And then I head over to Nova Natural for some things I love as much as my kids! And, handmade gift bags!  Saves paper and make great collecting bags later on!

Thanks for reading!  What are your favorite things?  Stop on by the Ironstone Nest and leave your list!!