Scrappy pillow

scrappy pillow  (2 of 1)

On Saturday morning, my mom and I decided to try our hand at making a scrappy pillow.

scrappy pillow  (4 of 1)

I pulled out a bunch of my scraps that I thought went well together, and then weeded some out when we started laying them out next to each other. Next, we started sewing strips and squares of fabrics together. We didn’t measure the strips or squares, but just sewed groups of 3-5 pieces together.  We had a nice system going, one of us pieced scraps together, while the other manned the sewing machine.  We used the sweet little Babylock Sofia for all our scrappy sewing.

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scrappy pillow  (8 of 1)

Then, we cut them into strips that were made up of more than one type of fabric.

scrappy pillow  (9 of 1)

Next, we trimmed the sewn pieces to make the edges straight and mixed and matched our new strips/squares together to create a new block.

scrappy pillow  (10 of 1)

scrappy pillow  (11 of 1)

(A realistic view of my sewing table while I work…  I figure, if it doesn’t look messy, nothing is getting accomplished.)

We continued to sew pieces together until we had one large piece that was about 18 by 17.75 inches.  We trimmed it down to make it exactly 17.75 by 17.75.  (We were going for 19 by 19 inches for an 18 inch pillow, but came up short and went with one slightly smaller.  It ended up fitting a slightly older squashed 18 inch pillow anyways.).

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scrappy pillow  (5 of 1)

It was fun to use up scraps of fabrics that I really liked from previous projects and plan to make another one soon!  It did get a little frustrating towards the end when we were trying to use up the last of our scrappy strips, but having a goofy sewing partner around always helps!  Such a fun mother-daughter sewing day!

Fisherman knitted blanket

fisherman knitted blanket (1 of 1)

I started this blanket a few weeks before Desmond was born.  I was completely over being pregnant and needed something to distract me.  Mostly, I just needed something to keep my hands busy that didn’t require a whole lot of thinking.

fisherman knitted blanket (5 of 1)

fisherman knitted blanket (11 of 1)

I took this blanket everywhere I went and would have taken it with me on all my labor walks if I could have carried it without tripping all over the place.  I should have named it my sanity blanket…

fisherman knitted blanket (8 of 1)

Knitting usually takes me forever, and I end up losing interest because it take so long for me to see progress.  Somehow, I managed to knit almost five out of six skeins of yarn in just a few weeks.  My idea worked!  I managed to keep my hands busy, and my mind somewhat off the fact that little mister still hadn’t arrived.

I finished up the last skein this week, and I love the way it turned out!  It is kind of a weird size, since it is really wide and not very long, but perfect for a lap blanket to cuddle up with at story time.  I used six skeins of yarn total: three of Lion Bran Wool Ease Thick and Quick in Fisherman and three in Barley.  It really does remind me of an old fisherman’s sweater, and for some reason, that makes me really happy!

fisherman knitted blanket (10 of 1)

Here’s a quick how to for this super quick and simple blanket:

Gather as many balls of Wool Ease yarn as you like and US size 13 circular needles (9 mm).  Start with one ball of yarn and cast on about 110-120 stitches. (The more you cast on, the wider it will be.  Mine ended up being about 60 inches wide by 36 inches long.)  Knit until you have 11 rows, switch colors and knit 11 rows with that color.  Repeat until your blanket is as big as you want it to be!

Like I said… Super simple and very little thinking!

fisherman knitted blanket (12 of 1)  fisherman knitted blanket (6 of 1)

Des turns one!

On Sunday, our baby boy turned ONE!  I can hardly believe it has been a whole year!  It just does not seem like that long since we were checking ourselves into the hospital as oblivious as we could be about what was to come.  We love you sweet baby boy!

des month 1 (34 of 1)

We celebrated on Saturday with a little birthday party.  My goal was to keep it as low stress as possible, and for the most part, it was! I know you might be thinking… Okay, so you made all these decorations and cupcakes, how is that low stress?  The trick is to keep it simple.

des turns one (1 of 1)

Remember those felt letters I blogged about here?  So simple, thanks to my Babylock embroidery machine.

Speaking of felt… I was so excited to reuse my felt arrow garland.  Still one of my favorite projects for baby.

Another great way to keep things low stress: Make cupcakes ahead of time and freeze them!  I baked them a week ahead and stuck them in the freezer before they were completely cooled.  It makes them super moist and delicious!  On the morning of the party, we made some cream cheese frosting using this recipe and iced them using my Wilton cupcake decorating set.  I used Wilton lollipop sticks and washi tape to make the flags ahead of time. (Riding in the car for a while?  Take your washi tape and sticks with you!)

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des turns one (5 of 1)

I had originally planned  to make Des his own little mini layer cake, but that flopped.  So, we moved on to Plan B.  In the long run, the little cupcake was the way to go.  I stitched out a felt number one using the Knobby Letters design from A Bit of Stitch and stuck it on his cupcake.  Once again, super simple.

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des turns one (13 of 1)

Des looks a little worried about the fact that everyone is staring at him and singing… He forgot about it pretty quickly though, when he realized what was on his tray…

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des turns one (9 of 1)

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My talented Zachary designed his ONE shirt and screen printed it for him to wear at his party.  He used a similar design for the invitations.

Since the weather decided not to cooperate, we put tables and chairs in the garage for people to enjoy their chili and cornbread (Thanks, Cindy!).  Zachary’s dad even boiled some peanuts for us!  We used leftover burlap from my brother’s wedding reception and decorated with Des’ favorite toys and books.  See… Simple!

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des turns one (16 of 1)

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des turns one (10 of 1)Overall, the day was perfect!  Happy Birthday, Desmond Brennan!


Goodnight moon and the red balloon

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The crafty mom ritual of staying up late to finish putting together Halloween costumes has officially started…  Baby’s first Halloween was so much fun!  I figure, while Des is still a baby, I should dress him as cute and sweet as I want.  Ever since I saw this post and this post by Dana, I have been wanting to try my hand at creating a scene or character from a kid’s book. Des loves to read Goodnight Moon before he goes to sleep and has started helping me find all the different objects and animals in the pictures.  (It is just too cute to see him point things out!) So, of course, I decided to make him a Goodnight Moon bunny costume.  I used this fabric from Michael Miller.  The stripes are not quite as wide as I wanted, but the color was pretty close to the bunny’s in the book.  I used the same shirt pattern as the lumberjack shirt to make the shirt, as well as the pant pattern that came with it.  Thanks to my MIL for helping me rip out and re-sew the shirt, or I would have never finished it!

goodnight moon-1

I made the bunny ears out of white fleece and figured it would be easier to keep the ears on his head if they were attached to a bonnet, but he was still not very happy about having floppy ears on his head.  The red balloon did end up being a good distraction though!  It was a super windy and cold Halloween, so our photo shoot ended up being a lot more quick and simple than planned.  Isn’t he the cutest little bunny in pajamas you’ve ever seen?

goodnight moon-3 goodnight moon-4

Wool felt letters

Desmond is turning ONE! We are having a little party this weekend to celebrate, and I needed some “Happy Birthday” garland.  I looked around on etsy and found a lot of cute birthday banners, but then I realized: Wait. I can do this myself!  I used Evy’s AlphaBlocks designs to stitch the outline of the letters, cut them out and connected them with striped yarn.  They are awesome.  I am so glad I decided to make my own and seriously wanted to keep making more letters out of every color of felt in my sewing room.  They are so much fun to make!


2 felt 5 inch squares

cut away mesh stabilizer (This gives the letters a little more structure.)

coordinating thread (Make sure you use the same thread in the top and in the bobbin.  Do not use bobbin thread, just use general purpose thread for both the top and bottom.)

embroidery machine and hoop


Step 1: Cut your stabilizer to fit inside your hoop with about an inch sticking out over the sides.

Step 2: Cut two pieces of felt into 5 inch squares.

felt letters -1

Step 3: Apply temporary spray adhesive to the center of one of your felt squares in a circular motion.  You do not need to spray the entire piece of felt; just the area in the center.

felt letters -2

Step 4: Stick your felt square to one side of your stabilizer.  Flip it over so your felt is on the bottom and place your stabilizer in the hoop.  You need to make sure that the felt piece is centered in the hoop, not the stabilizer.  It would be helpful to mark the center of the felt and line it up with the arrows on your hoop.  Make sure you secure the stabilizer in the hoop, but do not pull at the stabilizer to adjust it once you tighten the hoop.  If you need to shift the stabilizer in the hoop, loosen it, and then adjust it.

felt letters -3 felt letters -4

Step 5: Once your stabilizer with the felt attached to the back is positioned in your hoop, place the other felt piece on top of the stabilizer.  You should have three layers now: a felt square on top, your stabilizer in the middle, and your second felt square on the back.  You should be able to see through your stabilizer, so make sure you position your top felt square exactly over your bottom felt square.

felt letters -5

Step 6: Now you are ready to start sewing!  Place the hoop in your machine and stitch only the first applique material outline.

felt letters -6

Step 7: After the stitching is complete, remove your fabric from the hoop and cut out your letters.  You want to cut close to the stitches, but not too close or your stitches will come out. (Ask me how I know…)

felt letters -7 felt letters -8And that’s one letter! Now go stitch out the rest of the alphabet!

Here’s a sneak peek at the birthday garland!

felt letters (9 of 1)

Vintage Kindle case

vintage kindle case (11 of 1)

So, I’ve had this awesome floral print sitting in my sewing room for the last three or four years.  I love it.  It’s a vintage upholstery weight fabric that belonged to a sweet lady who was a fantastic seamstress.  It was almost thrown out when we were cleaning, but I couldn’t let it go.  I wanted to sew a little something out of it to see how it would handle under the needle, and I still have more left to play with some other time!

I ended up making a “vintage” kindle case.  Here’s a tutorial, so you can make one too!

vintage kindle case (13 of 1)


2 – 8″ x 9″ pieces of main fabric

2 – 8″ x 9″ pieces of lining fabric

2 – 8″ x 9″ pieces of lightweight fusible interfacing

1 – metal snap and snap setter

coordinating thread

Step 1: Cut out your main fabric, lining fabric and interfacing.

vintage kindle case (1 of 1)

Step 2: Iron your fusible interfacing to the wrong side of each of your lining pieces of fabric.

Step 3: With right sides together, sew the two main pieces of fabric together with a 1/2″ seam allowance. Clip corners and press seams flat. Turn right sides out.

vintage kindle case (2 of 1)vintage kindle case (3 of 1)

Step 4: With right sides together, sew the two lining pieces of fabric together. (You should see the interfacing on the outside while you sew.)

Here’s a trick you will want to know… When you put the case together, the lining fabric can sometimes be bulky on the inside.  If you want to keep that from happening, follow these steps:

At the top of your lining pieces, measure and mark 1/2″ from the left and right sides of the fabric.  At the bottom of your lining pieces, measure and mark 3/4″ from the left and right sides of the fabric.  Using a ruler, draw a line from the top mark to the bottom mark.  Sew along that line.  This way, the seam at the top of the case is the same as the outside fabric, but slowly takes away any extra bulk towards the bottom of the bag.

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Step 5: Place the outside of your case inside the lining pieces with right sides together. Pin them together and sew around the top edge of your case with a 1/2″ seam allowance. Turn the lining pieces right sides out.

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vintage kindle case (7 of 1)

Step 6: Tuck the raw edges of the lining inside about 1/4″ and pin.  Before you sew, tuck the lining inside your case to see if the lining is too long and bulky on the inside.  If it is, you can trim it, tuck in the raw edges and check again.  When the lining is the correct length, and you’ve tucked your raw edges inside for the last time, topstitch about an 1/8″ from the edge to close your opening.

vintage kindle case (8 of 1)

vintage kindle case (9 of 1)

Step 7: Tuck your lining inside the case and iron around the top edge.  Topstitch about 1/8″ from the top edge.  This will keep your lining from sliding out of place at the top.

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Step 8: Attach your snap at the top and put your kindle in its fancy new case!

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{You can also make a more masculine version, like this one!}


Lumberjack shirt

lumberjack shirt (9 of 1)Eeek! I made a lumberjack shirt for Des! I’ve been wanting to make some sort of button down shirt, but it always seemed too intimidating.  Well… thanks to lots of help from my mother-in-law, it wasn’t so intimidating after all!  It was so much fun, and I can’t wait to make another one.  I see a cute chambray shirt in his future!

lumberjack shirt (7 of 1)We started with Simplicity pattern 7994 as a base for the shirt, but altered it to make it fit Desmond better.  The smallest size in the pattern was still too big for him.  Then, we added my favorite detail- a cute little squirrel!  The embroidery design is available from my mother-in-law’s site at A Bit of Stitch.

lumberjack shirt (8 of 1)He looks so adorable, doesn’t he!

Mug warmer tutorial

 mug warmer  (6 of 1)

So, fall is in full swing and like everyone else out there, I’m making my hot coffee and chai tea lattes (okay, buying them) as much as possible.  I found some wool scraps in my sewing room and decided to make a mug warmer to go with all my highly caffeinated drinks.  Here’s a tutorial, so you can make one too!


- 2 pieces of fabric cut to 10.5 inches by 3 inches – one for the front of your warmer and one for the back

- 2 mini hair elastics

- 1 piece of fusible fleece interfacing cut to 10.5 inches by 3 inches

- 2 coordinating buttons

mug warmer  (1 of 1)

Step 1: Cut your fabrics and interfacing to the correct size.  I started with 2 rectangles that were 10.5 inches by 3 inches.

mug warmer  (2 of 1)Step 2: Iron on your fusible interfacing to the WRONG side of the fabric you will use for the front of your mug warmer.

mug warmer  (3 of 1)Step 3: Place your fabrics right sides together with the hair elastics sandwiched between them as shown.  Position the hair elastics about 3/4 inch from the top and bottom edges of the fabric, so they will not get caught in the seam allowance.  To keep the elastics from shifting, you can baste them in place about 1/4 inch from the side of your fabric.  Pin all three layers together around the edges.

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mug warmer  (10 of 1)Step 4: Sew (with right sides together) around all edges with a 3/8 inch seam allowance, but be sure to leave an opening to turn the fabric right side out.  Turn the warmer right side out and press the seam allowances flat at the opening.

mug warmer  (5 of 1)Step 5: Topstitch around all the sides (slightly more than 1/8 inch) to close the opening.

Step 6: Sew your buttons onto the end of the warmer without the elastic.  Be sure to get them close to the edge, so your elastic will not have to stretch very far.

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Now go enjoy a cup a coffee with your fancy new mug warmer!