A Showering of Fun

This past Saturday I hosted a baby shower for a good friend, K. I had lots of fun planning the decor for the shower especially since she is having a baby boy- my area of expertise 🙂 . The baby room colors are grey and green which just happen to match my dining and living room colors as well! Perfect for decorating! Another friend is making the baby bedding, and I contacted her to get the details on the fabric she is using so I could buy some to use in the decor.

When I talked to K, she told me that she did not have a specific theme but was thinking of using some elephants as decor and really wanted a tissue pom mobile. I looked up her Pinterest wall to see what she had pinned for the baby’s room and found my perfect inspiration!

Source: imgfave.com via Kimberly on Pinterest

 

I googled felt elephant templates and found the perfect one for my needs. Here is the link for any interested. I enlarged the template two different times in order to have two different sized elephants- one enlargement was about 225% and the other was about 300%. Then I gathered all the materials needed and hosted a fun crafting morning with my fellow shower helpers to get all the decor made. Together we made 5 elephants and 7 tissue poms. Later on, I made a felt circle garland and name bunting.

I am so happy with how all the decor turned out as it was my first time making the tissue poms and I was a bit apprehensive that they wouldn’t look quite right. The best part is that the mama-to-be got to take all the decor home to use in her baby room! Now prepare yourself for a barrage of pictures! I apologize that the brightness from my huge front windows make it difficult to get a good shot of the table decor.

Kimber baby shower

Kimber baby shower-2

Kimber baby shower-3

 

Kimber baby shower-5

 

Kimber baby shower-7

Kimber baby shower-8

This Weekend- and An Announcement of Things to Come

About time for another weekend update around here, isn’t it? I find that I am much more efficient with my weekend time management when I throw my to-do list out for the blogosphere to read. 🙂

Friday night I finished up some baby gifts for a shower this weekend. I have another shower coming up in 2 weeks and will share all my creations then so as not to tip the second shower recipient off to her gifts since I know she does read my blog on occasion. 🙂 I am really happy with how those projects are turning out!

I spent the majority of this Saturday cleaning up my craft room. The crazy storm of PRP had caused a chaotic mess to form in my usually neat and tidy space. Oh who are we kidding here, it never stays neat and tidy for long! I get it all nice and squeaky clean every few weeks and then get into a project and mess it all up again- the nature of the beast, I’m going to assume. With KCWC and PRP both occurring next week, I wanted everything to be super organized and neat to enable me to get lots done.

I have my fabric and patterns set out for KCWC and am hoping for great things! My final list is: Charlie tunic, Green cords, 4 Raglan Tees, and as many appliqued onesies as I can produce- hopefully 10. That leads me to my big announcement- I am in 2 craft fairs the next 2 months! The first is the GCA’s Fall Festival and Holiday Market on November 3rd here in Greenville (only 4 weeks away- yikes!) The second is The Crafty Feast on December 15th in Columbia, SC. While I am super stoked to be trying my hand at these fairs for the first time, I have quite a bit of work to do in order to be ready for them. Thankfully this first one is a smaller affair, so I am viewing it as a practice to see what will sell well for the larger show. I laid my plans this weekend for the merchandise I want to have ready and mapped out a sewing schedule for the next few weeks in order to get it all done. I am determined not to stress about it and just have fun- I will keep you posted on how that goes. 🙂 Hope to see some of you there at the shows!

My goal for the rest of the weekend is to get some fun family time in, organize my creating space a bit more, and maybe even start cutting into the Charlie Tunic. Do you have any fun plans for this weekend? I linked up here for Sew & Tell Saturday…go visit and see what other cool things are linked up!

And since a blog post without pictures is just so boring, I leave you with a picture from our apple orchard adventure last night- a favorite family tradition! Notice the two handmades- a Tova top and the Raglan Tee. 🙂

How to Make a Guestbook Quilt: Part 2

I was so good at accomplishing my weekend to-do list! Got both sewing-related items checked off so now I have a finished quilt top to show you, finally!

Part 2 of the tutorial:

  • Gather all your blocks together.
  • Iron all the written-on blocks to set the ink into the fabric
  • Lay out on design wall or floor to decide on preferred layout. I interspersed the signed squares with blank squares and left a large block in the middle for the monogrammed portion of the quilt
  • Sew the squares into rows and then the rows to each other.
  • Part 3 of the tutorial (finishing steps) here

This quilt is queen size and boy is it huge! I didn’t quite realize how big queen-size would be when I set out to make it. I LOVE the way it turned out…exactly how I had pictured in my head. Good news is that my sis-in-law loves it too! My only concern now is how I am going to quilt it! I wanted to do some straight line quilting, but I am not quite sure how I will fit that humongous quilt under my machine?! Guess I will just jump in, give it a whirl, and see how it goes. However, I kinda doubt I will start on the quilting this week so I won’t quite worry about it yet. My goal this week (regarding this quilt) is to get it basted and all ready for quilting- meaning it’s time to find some fabric for the backing.

It was hard to take good pictures of this quilt because of its size. I needed a big ladder to stand on so I could get a straight-on shot but I only had a chair so you have to see it from a bit of an angle. Maybe I can tape it to the side of the house to get a full-on shot for later. It’s about 75/25 percent between the signed and unsigned blocks. The large, white, center square will be hand-quilted with the initials of the bride and groom as well as the wedding date. Part 1 of this tutorial can be found here.

Open Wide Zippered Pouch- a Tutorial Review

A while back I saw Anna from Noodlehead had posted a tutorial for a zipper pouch with an open mouth. I loved that idea but couldn’t think of a good enough reason for me to make another pouch. Until today, that is. 🙂 I have a sweet cousin turning 13 tomorrow, and I wanted to make her something special for her birthday. She loves to draw, and I had an epiphany last night that an open wide pouch would be perfect to hold some art supplies on the go.

The hardest part of this pouch construction was deciding which fabrics to use. My cousin is not super girly so I didn’t want anything too pink. I love the combo I decided on- artsy and cute, but not over the top. Aren’t those birds great?

My thoughts on this tutorial: It’s very well written with lots of pictures to help explain the directions. The one part I struggled with was on the top-stitching around the zipper pull. I ended up seam ripping and doing that little part over again. I also wasn’t super careful to get my gussets exactly even so there’s a bit of fudging on the lining inside to have everything meet up- totally me rushing it (Little Man woke up early from his nap and I rushed to finish it before getting him out of bed) and nothing to do with her instructions.  Other than that, super easy and fun. Now I really want to try a few of her other patterns/tutorials. Have you seen the gathered clutch, zippy wallet, and the 241 tote to name a few?

Wristlet Zipper Purse: AKA the present that came 3 months late

Got another project crossed off my list this week! My little cousin (who is not so little anymore at 14!) had a birthday back in June and I have been meaning to make her a present all summer. Oops, time just kinda slipped by! I decided that better late than never was a good philosophy to adopt and determined to finish her present this week. Remember this book I talked about when I finished my chevron purse?

Part of the reason I bought this book was that I thought it would be great to have for gift ideas. And I was right! It has tons of different purse/wallet style options. My cousin has a little wristlet purse already so I knew she would like that style, and it seemed an easy pattern. It was, indeed, a fairly quick sew.

My thoughts on this book. I love this book for the pattern ideas and sizing help, but I find the directions a bit confusing or unclear at times. Having made quite a few zippered pouches already, I changed the directions around a bit to do it my own way because their way did not work well for me. However, not having to figure out math in my head when I go to make a project makes this book well worth it for me! I also love the little fun details they provide- like the pleats on this wristlet.

I used a chevron fabric (picked up at Jo-Ann’s a while back) and Kona cotton for the outer fabric. The lining is from Anna Maria Horner’s Innocent Crush line. All materials were from my stash so in my mind this was a “free” project. 🙂 Love it when that happens! I also like the little fun pop the lining gives when you open the bag. I gave the bag to my cousin last night and she was thrilled! Turns out she was needing a new purse.  See, I waited to make it until I knew she needed it. 😉

Now onto the next item on my WIP list: the guestbook quilt for my sister-in-law= from the wedding in May. Hmmn, procrastination problem, anyone?

 

Figure 8 Scarf

Remember that scarf I have on my weekend plans? Well it was finished in plenty of time and turned out to be a very easy project! I knew you would want to see pictures so I have some for you tonight. 🙂

I used Anna Maria Horner’s tutorial as a basis for this scarf with a few changes. She calls for 18×72 inch cuts of fabric. I thought 18 inches would be a little wide for my purposes, so I cut the fabrics 10×72 and am so glad I did! Exactly the result I wanted! I used a Valorie Wells voile and backed it with some shot cotton. The original tutorial used voile backed with velveteen. Since we live in the South where it stays warm into the fall, I wanted to use a lightweight fabric- hence the shot cotton.

Other than those 2 changes, I followed the tutorial and found it very straightforward. I bought some voile yardage a few months back with the purpose of trying out this scarf and plan on whipping up a few more of these to have as my go-to gift. I think I have enough fabric for 3-4 more, so  I hope my friends and family like blue. 🙂 If you need some handmade Christmas gift ideas, this is a great one to have in your inventory. Who doesn’t appreciate a new scarf?

My sister-in-law was very happy with the scarf and wore it the next day so I could get some blog pics! Check out the palm trees in the background. I am sad that we are just far enough north to not have palms growing around town…such a great tree!

This Weekend

Hope everyone is looking forward to a long weekend! We are headed out of town tonight to spend the weekend with my husband’s sister and her family, and I know we are ready for some relaxing family time.

Here’s what on my agenda for the weekend:

  • Figure 8/Infinity Cowl- free pattern from AMH. This is a present for my sister-in-law’s 30th birthday. Hopefully she doesn’t read my blog today! Of course it’s not done yet, and we leave tonight but I am thinking that it should be a quick project. Pictures to come when it’s complete. 🙂
  • Gender Reveal Party tonight for a friend who’s expecting twins!
  • Enjoying a cookout with an entire smoked pig- My SIL has a friend with a smokehouse, and we are excited about bringing home some smoked pork.
  • Hopefully getting some knitting/embroidery WIPs done during the short car drive there and back.

Note for all you local readers: the first official GMQG meeting was a HUGE success, and I am looking forward to many more fun meetings. We have the fall schedule planned out and posted on the blog for anyone who is interested.

And just in case you need some fabric inspiration for the weekend, Pink Castle Fabrics is having a Labor Day Sale- 20% off your total purchase with the coupon code LABOR20.

Do you have any fun plans for this weekend?

This Weekend

Just a little newsy post where I ramble on about all the big plans I have for this weekend. Maybe if I write them down for all to see, I will actually get them done! 🙂

First off a WIP that actually got completed last night. Woot, Woot! This is a little scarf I began back in the winter and never finished. It is my lovely grandma’s 77th birthday tomorrow, and she is a lover of bright, happy things so I quickly finished this up in order to give to her tomorrow at her birthday lunch.

Next up, a custom Etsy order that I need to finish up. Here’s the fabrics that I pulled for it. It’s a collage of 3 hot air balloon hoops and I am pretty excited about how it’s shaping up.

Another item on the old weekend list that I can’t post any pics of is some pattern testing for an upcoming quilt book. I was happy to be picked as a volunteer especially since she is sending up fabric as a thank you- I do just about anything for free fabric. Sorry to be cryptic but one must tease every now and then. 🙂 And I’ll be sure to post all the details once the book is published.

I have pulled out a few knitting WIP’s over the last few weeks as I prepare for fall’s arrival and am hoping to get the one off the needles this weekend so I can start something new. I am most definitely a novice knitter- and super slow at that, but every fall and winter I get the urge to pull out the needles and improve my skills a bit. This is a simple dishcloth using the Chinese Wave stitch. (I know, you’re thinking, why does a dishcloth take you so long?) Next, I want to start on a winter hat for Oliver. Got any good, easy patterns for toddler hats?

Lastly, some family fun time should also take place… who can resist spending time with my two favorite boys? We took Oliver for his first bike ride last weekend and hope to make it a regular occurrence now that it’s not so hot out.

FYI most pictures coming to you compliments of Instagram. Feel free to follow me there @brookecrook if you want to be bombarded with cute pictures of the little man as well as random fabric fun. 🙂

What are your plans for this weekend?

 

New Pillows for Mom, part 2

I have finally finished the pillows for my mom’s living room. Here is a picture of her living room with all 4 new pillows. I really like how well they complement the room.

These brown pillows have a long history. Last year for Mother’s Day my sister-in-law had the fabric monogrammed, and I made pillows out of them. In order to save some money, we used pillow forms from some pillows my mom currently had in her living room. Big mistake! These were not normal pillow forms and I had to re-sew the pillows quite a few times trying to get them tight enough to the pillow. They still ended up being kinda lumpy and I had to put button holes in the back of them to make the envelope closure stay closed. Unfortunately, I made the button holes too big so they just looked kinda tacky. All in all, not a very satisfying project, but I had spent too much time and money on them to change them at the moment (plus i had a brand new baby which meant no time for sewing) so they sat in her living room for a year.  With the advent of the blue pillows a few weeks ago, we decided to redo the brown ones (finally!). My mom bought some much smaller pillow forms, and I seam ripped the pillows and cut them down to size…much better now! I was hoping to not have to seam rip since there were about 4 lines of stitching around the pillows, but I needed to use part of the seam allowance in order for the envelope closure to be wide enough, so I watched some Olympics this week and ripped my little heart out.

The fabric used is a brown micro-suede. For future reference, I would not recommend this fabric for pillows because it shows all dirt and sticks a bit funny to the pillow form- lots of static, but I made it work for this project. I wish I had a picture of the before pillows to show you, but I forgot to take one before I fixed them. Just take my word for it that these look much better than the previous ones!

A quilt for Father’s Day

Last weekend, I was trying to decide on a good gift for my father for Father’s Day. I had a revelation-a quilt! He likes to sit around and read or study so a nice lap size quilt would be a great gift. I didn’t have to think too long about what kind of quilt. My dad is a big Clemson fan and likes to collect Clemson paraphernalia so I knew he would like a Clemson quilt. I quickly looked up some ideas on Pinterest until I found a design that my sister and I liked. (My siblings happily went in with me on the monetary aspect of the quilt-making since I would do all the work for them 🙂 ) Unfortunately, the picture I found does not lead to a website so I couldn’t find any specifics out about that picture, but since it was just a patchwork square quilt, it was pretty easy for me to personalize. I tweaked the design a bit to make it rectangle instead of square and decided on 8.5 inch squares. Thankfully my local Hobby Lobby carries some Kona cotton and I was able to find the colors I needed there- Purple, Clementine, and Bleached White. The backing is a Clemson logo print. I appliqued the tiger paw onto the middle block- purposefully leaving the edges a little raw so they will fray nicely. I made this quilt pretty quickly in any spare time I had this week so I didn’t take the time I should have to make all my patchwork squares line up perfectly but it’s not so bad that most people would notice- although my husband did make a comment about it. :/

The quilting is just straight lines quilted a 1/4 inch from each seam. I bound it in the same Kona cotton purple that I used for the blocks. I used my walking foot for the quilting and binding. This was my first time using the walking foot and I was happy with the help it provided, but it did take a bit of getting used to. I quilted most of the day Saturday and finished the binding Saturday night so I decided to machine stitch the binding in order to be finished by Father’s Day on Sunday. I don’t  think I will make that decision again. While it turned out fine, I prefer the look of the hand-sewn binding.

The other change I would make is to sew the tiger paw onto the block before quilting next time- I wanted the paw outline to be on the back of the quilt, but since haven’t figured out the free motion quilting on my machine yet, it was really difficult to maneuver that part around.

I am happy to report that my dad loves the quilt and I am glad to have it finished so I can catch back up with my quilting class…I’m 3 blocks behind! Hoping to catch up on that this week and show you my progress soon.

I couldn’t resist showing off my cute photographer’s assistant 🙂