Monday, July 14, 2014

Summer Sale

I'm having a summer sale in my Etsy shop. This week only save 20% off all items. If you know anyone having a baby or a child having a special birthday, now would be a great time to buy them an heirloom quilt.

You must use coupon code SUMMER 20 at checkout to receive the discount. Sale ends Sunday, July 20th.

Visit the shop:
Freshly Handmade [the shop]

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Patriotic Tie Dye Party

It's been a busy summer thus far and I'm barely making a dent in my long project list. So why not throw one more item on that list, right? I'm officially crazy (ask my husband). I've had this idea to have a kid's summer tie dye party for a couple years, but never actually put it together. My family thought it would be fun so off I went to plan the party. The timing worked out perfectly for us to have a patriotic theme since it was going to happen right before Independence Day. I crossed my fingers that Mother Nature would be good to us since the forecast was for rain, but we completely lucked out. We were blessed with a very sunny (and hot) day.

This was my first time tie dying so I did a little experimenting the day before. Yes, the day before...dumb idea to wait until the last minute, but so it goes. I was only going to have red and blue colors to make things more simple. I tried out both the Rit and Tulip brand soaking dyes, but found the Tulip One Step Tie Dye to be the best and easiest dye to use. I bought several refill packets of the red and turquoise colors (the blue seemed too dark), which mixes quickly with water in a plastic bottle, gave them a good shake and we were good to go.
I set up a few stations for the dyeing process. First, I had everyone write their name on their garment tag, as well as on a zip-close bag. Next, I filled up a plastic bin with water where each person could soak and ring out their garment. From there, they'd move to the rubber band table, where they could tie up their shirt. A separate dyeing table was set up in attempt to keep things more clean. Even though I had covered the table with plastic, I found it helpful to use aluminum foil sort of like a shallow tray to contain the dye from one person to the next. A piece of paper towel on top of the aluminum foil and underneath the garment helped to soak up excess dye. Both the aluminum foil and paper towel are disposable, so each person had their own dyeing station of sorts.


After dyeing, each person would put their garment in their  labeled zip-close bag and hang it on a clothes line. We had 30 projects all together!
In addition to tie dyeing, we had several other things for the kids to do. First, what is a party without snacks and refreshments? We offered refreshing blue punch, freshly popped popcorn and the original bomb pop popsicles. We kept it light since the party was right before lunchtime.
Kids could make stylish bracelets from star beads and elastic cord.
I also designed a patriotic paper airplane template the kids could color and then construct into an airplane.
We had a a friendly plane flying competition for a fun grand prize.
We also set up a photo booth using a tie dyed sheet as a backdrop and provided lots of fun and patriotic dress up props. This was one of my favorite parts of the party. I was able to snap a picture of each family and then some. Here are a few shots that I captured.

After the party was done, I let the tie dye projects sit overnight to absorb as much dye as possible. The next day, I rinsed out each garment with the garden hose until  the water ran clear.
It was a lot of fun to remove all the rubber bands and reveal the results.
I washed and dried all the garments for our party guests. Here is just a sampling of what was made. I was very impressed at the  creativity.
Look at how great these turned out. And that onsie is just too cute!
My kids and I made our special deliveries to each of the families yesterday just in time for the Fourth of July. I hope they have fun wearing their new tie dyed shirts.

We really had a blast and I even though this party was not necessarily on my summer project list, I am so glad I took the time to make this happen. Great memories were made that will last forever.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Summer Spruce Up: Girl's Room Redo

In case you were wondering whether I fell off the face of the earth or not, have no fear, I am still here. This is one of the craziest times of the year for me and my family. The end of the school year has us running non-stop between school, sporting events, prepping for summer vacation and much more. And, now that we finally have nice weather, I struggle to find a balance between sewing projects and home improvement projects. I only get a few months to open the windows so I usually put everything aside to paint rooms and freshen up the house.
Last summer I had a series of Summer Spruce Up posts on this blog where I featured the transformations of both our home's exterior and our master bedroom. I also included a number of step-by-step DIY and decorating tutorials. You can find all those posts in the Project Gallery and Tutorials section.
This summer, I plan to tackle a couple smaller projects like repainting and decorating my kid's rooms and if I get a chance I'd like to do some projects in my kitchen/dining/living room. The latter is a much larger project so we'll see if I get that far. It was on my list last summer, but it was clearly an over commitment. I am going to take a more relaxed approached this year and work on them as I can, while enjoying my last summer before both my kids are in school full-time. I also still have many sewing and quilting projects I'd like to continue to work on so we'll just see how this all pans out.

I started working on my daughter's room about a week ago. I just woke up one day and said, "I'm just going to start today", and by mid-morning I already had everything out of the room. I didn't even bother to take before pictures, duh. Since buying our house, I've been painting the woodwork white as I redo each room. The orangey-colored stained oak in this house is just not working for me. Like all the other rooms, my goal for my daughter's room was to brighten and clean things up, as well as finish decorating. Here is where things started - yellowish-cream walls, stained woodwork and matching wood blinds, which apparently I had already taken down when I took these (rather crummy) photos with my phone.
I bought the paint for her room last summer, so I was crossing my fingers that I would still like it. I chose a lighter, off-white color to brighten the room up and spent several days prepping and painting the wood trim, doors and windows. I have a tutorial on how I do that here.
And, I even let my little helper assist me since this is her room.

I love to transform a room and paint can do so much to make a room look better. I had barely put down my paint brush before I started pulling off the tape to reveal the new walls and trim. I couldn't do it fast enough.
I am definitely happy with the room thus far, however, I am really excited to start decorating it with all things sweet like my little girl. I'm hoping to make some special projects for the room which I'll share as I go. Like I said, it's a busy time of year right now, so if you don't hear from me as often as you had been, I'm probably working behind the scenes or just enjoying a summer picnic at the park with my kids.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Layer Cake Patchwork Quilt: Getting Started

I don't know if it's my less than stellar organization skills right now or just my lack of will power, but I find myself too easily starting projects that are not on my immediate to do list. It usually happens when an idea comes to me. I find so much enjoyment in designing and once I have an idea in my head and the details worked out on paper (or computer), my natural instincts tell me to forge ahead and make it. I usually find some way to justify pushing other things aside in order to do so. Generally, I think that because I'm a project finisher, it's ok to start it even if I should have started a different one. I'm not going to beat myself up too much about it. A perfect example -- the other day it was my birthday, I didn't want to spend my day cleaning and I had the logistics of a quilt design all laid out and ready to start -- so I did -- because it was my day. See, justification.

The design is simple and the top should come together fairly quick. It all starts with yardage of solid charcoal gray and this layer cake of the April Showers collection by Bonnie and Camille.
I cut each of the 42 layer cake squares into (4) - 4" squares which left me with a little bit of a scrap pile to use on a later project.
I also cut a boat load of 4" charcoal gray squares as well.
The end result will be a nice sized throw quilt with a fun patchwork design. More to come...

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Black and White Triangle Pillows

If you follow this blog on a regular basis, you've probably seen the black an white triangle quilt I just recently made. (See the final post here). I had some leftover triangles and decided to put them to good use by making a couple pillow covers.
The centers are made from the leftover black, white and blue triangles. The outer edge border, as well as the back, is a charcoal gray and black polka dot print.
The pillow fronts are sandwiched with batting and quilted with straight lines along the diagonal and horizontal seams. There is a zipper enclosure along the bottom seam to make it easy to insert or remove the pillow insert. These decorative pillows would make a great addition to a bed or living room sofa.

Both pillow covers are available for sale in the Freshly Handmade Etsy shop.
Follow the links below for the listings.
Black & White Triangle Pillow Cover #1
Black & White Triangle Pillow Cover #2
Freshly Handmade [the shop]

Linked To:
Blossom Heart Quilts for Sew Cute Tuesday
Quilt Story for Fabric Tuesday

Monday, May 5, 2014

Adventures in Fabric Shopping at S.R. Harris

It was an image similar to the one below that I found in my friend Ann's Instagram account that made me say, "WHOA! Where is that place?" She told me it was a fabric outlet in Minneapolis called S.R. Harris and asked if I wanted to go. My response, "Uh, YES!!", and so we did this past weekend.
Not only was I excited to spend the day with my friend, but experience what looked like a little bit of heaven with maybe some crazy town mixed in. There really was no preparing myself for what I was about to see. Aisles and aisles of fabric -- bolts and rolls, as well as buttons, zippers, trims, pillows and more. It was a lot to take in.
I tried to stay focused and not get overwhelmed. I mostly stuck to the quilting cottons and only took the fabrics I really liked. I already have enough stashed fabric to last me until well past the age of 100, so I certainly did not need more. I'm pretty proud of my restraint and happy with what I brought home. I was really just there for the experience of it all.
While in Minneapolis, we stopped at a neat fabric and yarn shop called Crafty Planet. There, I treated myself to these two Le Creme Basics rolie polies. I couldn't say no to the coordinating dots and the rainbow of colors. In fact, I've already busted them open and started a little something. I'm not sure how far I'll get since I really should be working on other projects, but they were just too darn irresistible.
I hope you had a nice weekend and have a happy Monday!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Black and White Triangle Quilt: Finished

It was a week of marathon sewing and quilting to complete this black and white triangle quilt before I left for my Easter travels. When I first started, I didn't know how I was going to feel about all that black and white so I decided to add in some blue. You can read my previous post about this quilt here. I am so thrilled with the results and for a person who is so much about color, I think this is one of my favorite quilts to date. I was hoping that I would not have to photograph anymore quilts in the snow this season, but that ended up not to be the case. Fortunately, I can report that the snow is now all gone.
I used 15 different white prints, 15 different black prints and 8 different blue solids and prints to make up this quilt. Each triangle measures 4" and the overall size of the quilt is 60" x 72". I quilted it with straight lines on both sides of the horizontal and diagonal seams.
For the back, I used a black and white houndstooth flannel which gave the quilt a nice weight and softness. I love that I was able to find a black and blue binding to coordinate with the touch of blue in the top.
I have a ton of clean up to do after last week, plus I am still trying to kick my sickness so I may be needing a tiny break to get things in order again.

Relavent Links:
Black and White Triangle Quilt: Getting Started
Purple and Turquoise Triangle Quilt: Finished...and a Free Pattern

Linked To:
Blossom Heart Quilts for Sew Cute Tuesday
Quilt Story for Fabric Tuesday
My Quilt Infatuation for Needle and Thread Thursday
Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish It Up Friday