Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Matthew was working with Caroline on typing her name and other seeing them together!

Saturday, September 24, 2011


Meet Gill. He was a member of our family for about three weeks and was named for a character on Bubble Guppies. Sam caught him outside and wanted to keep him (and was the one who named him). It was a great science project for us. We got online and researched what type of frog he was (grey tree frog), what he eats (crickets), what his life was like (nocturnal, hides in foliage during the day) and how to prepare a home for him (we made a habitat box). We had a blast getting crickets at the pet store and feeding him, watching him swim, and croak at his reflection in the mirror. 

Sam was especially fond of him.

After a few weeks, Gill wasn't eating as much, so we decided to release him. I had to snap a few pictures of Sam saying his good byes...this was the first time I let the kids handle him as we learned that frogs have sensitive skin and hate to be touched (we read this factoid online, not from firsthand experience, thank-you-very-much).

I carried a bug-box with me as a kid (even prissy girls can like critters) so this little biology experiment was a blast for me too! I love the nurturing side it brought out in the kids and how they instantly wanted to know everything about him and do some research.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Joyful Soul Quilt

I've gotten some emails about my quilt front. I was planning on waiting to tell you about it when I had batted, binded, and finished it...but I have such an exciting giveaway planned that I have to tell you all about it now!

I found the pattern for this quilt a few months ago when I was still barely able to thread my machine by myself. I contacted a quilting friend of my Mom's (Hi, Holly!) and she said the tutorial was well written and the pattern easy to understand (Hi, Katy!). The next step would be getting the comes the exciting part!

I found Joy of a Joyful Soul Fabrics (don't you LOVE that name?!) and told her that I was planning on making and blogging this quilt, did she have the fat quarters for you know what she said? Joy not only had them, she gave a set to me AND sent a second set for YOU! She wanted me to have them as well as give a set away! You see, the fabrics in this quilt are from none other than Jennifer Paganelli and she is a big fan of Jennifer's too! 

the quilt is very, very easy...I found it easiest to make it assembly line style.
I cut all of my squares out (the big and small) and matched them up

 lots of beautiful scraps...fabric ribbon to be made!

squres ready to be pieced together in sets of four

playing with the layout

a finished square

I had enough to make a full size quilt and intended on making this for my bed, but the girls fell in love with it. We are planning on getting twin beds for them and letting them share a room this fall, so I went a little rogue with the pattern...I divided up my quilt, added an extra row (I already had some additional fabric from this line) and a border to make two twin size quilt fronts.

Joy carries beautiful fabrics and LOTS and LOTS of Jennifer Paganelli! Her prices are wonderful and she has a ton of quilting kits to choose from. A talented quilter herself, Joy knows what quilters and seamstresses want and need. You can find her on Facebook, which lets you get a peek into her latest project and an exclusive view into her shop's latest deals. 
Joy is giving you a HUGE entire set of fat quarters to make the quilt I made (also seen here) and we are throwing in the fabric for the back and binding. The giveaway is open to all blog followers and all you have to do is visit her on Facebook and tell me what your favorite quilt kit or project is...believe me, there are a LOT to choose from! Even if you are not a "quilter" you can make this! 
I will pick a winner on Oct 3 and post the winner here! Fingers crossed for you!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Anna Tunic

Ruth from Sew Love Fabrics just emailed me and told me that the code, THREEINTHENEST will be good for 15% off your total! She also has a Christmas shop, SewLove Christmas, so you can really rack up the savings!!!

I fell in love with sewing and after a few easy projects, I got brave. Brave enough to try this pattern. I read every review on every blog I could find about people who sewed this, what they thought about it, and if a beginner could attempt it. They all seemed to say a beginner could. I am so glad they were right!
Amy Butler patterns are FANTASTIC for beginners because they are sewing lessons. For example, this pattern involves under stitching and when it comes time to use the technique in the pattern, she gives you a very easy lesson on exactly how to do it. More advanced seamstresses can glide right over the parts they already know. Her patterns are very precise, worded very well, and easy! I might also add QUICK! I made two of these in two days (one tunic length and one dress!). The pattern comes complete with sizes XS-XXL as well as several lengths. You can wear it belted, unbelted, with the flower, or without. It is really a very easy and customizable piece. Because it is lined with muslin, it lays nicely and is a nice pattern for fall and winter as I can add a jacket or cardigan when it gets cool.

blurry, but not bad for a five year old photographer 

It should come as no surprise that the fabric I chose is a Jennifer Paganelli (actually, Caroline picked this fabric out for a tunic for her but let me use it if I promised to order some more for her!). This particular fabric is from her new West Indies line and is the Marie in pink. It is the softest, smoothest, and nicest to work with fabric. Sew Love Fabrics carries the entire West Indies line for only $8.75 a yard. Ruth carries all of the big names (Joel Dewberry, Amy Butler, Jennifer Paganelli) and the most recent lines they create. She also makes matched bundles which really helps if you are making something that uses two complementary fabrics but don't know which ones pair up well. Any one of her bundles would make a great set of placemats, quilt, or matching shirts for your little ones. I like her site because it is organized by designer and her prices are so low! I also appreciate how quickly she gets the fabric in the mail!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Pillow Shams

I've told you before that I am attempting to make a quilt using this pattern from Katy. I actually made it bigger, adding an extra row on the side and bottom, then divided it in two, added a border, and now have two twin quilt fronts for the girl's beds (they will be sharing a room soon!). I wanted to make matching pillow shams but couldn't find exactly what I was looking I made it up as I went. Here  is what I ended up with...

ruffles? check!
bows? check?
favorite fabric (dana from the honey child line)? check!

these were SO easy (would you kill me if I said, "sew easy"?)! I just measured a pillow case I already had, subtracted the "cuff" and sewed around the three sides. I then added coordinating ties and a quick ruffle. The pair took about an hour!

SkyeReve fabrics carries some of my favorite fabric designers...her selection is amazing and it is organized so you can easily find what you are looking for. She also has a huge sale section with some great fabric selections at very low prices. I got my material for the pillow shams from SkyeReve and it came wrapped so beautifully, it was like getting a present (and it arrived just three days after ordering). She carries Jennifer Paganelli fabrics at great prices (the above is from the Honey Child collection and is my favorite!!!). While shopping, check out her new collections:

Secret Garden by Sandi Henderson
Storyboek by Birch Fabrics
Sophie by Chez Moi

Like her on Facebook for exclusive offers and notifications on sales!

Monday, September 12, 2011

tired monkey

what do you get when you add in preschool and take away a nap time? 
one tired little monkey
she was top banana (the class "star" for the day)!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

set the table

I ordered this grey and white fabric from Fashionable Fabrics over a month ago...I loved it, but the scale was larger than I expected and too big a pattern to make the tunic I had planned to make. I was stumped as to what to do with the three yards I had...until I got this fabric from Bippity Alice. The Oz fabric went perfectly with the Taza and I knew I wanted to make placemats and napkins.
these are really more of a process than a "pattern" and like everything I sew, if I can do this, you better believe that you can! I am self taught and know very little!
I began by getting a placemat I already had and measuring it. I then cut out two pieces of this for each placemat. My dimensions were 17.5 x 12.5

to incorporate the floral fabric I cut a 4.5 inch strip and eyed where I wanted it
from the edge, I marked the 7 inch mark and cut a straight line
I then removed 4 inches of fabric from the placemat front  to allow for the 4.5 inch strip of floral fabric (and a 1/4 inch seam on either side of the strip)

 pin the floral strip, right sides together, on your with a 1/4 inch seam allowance (which for me is the edge of my foot)
do with both sides of the fabric 
press open your seems
then, right sides together, sew the top of the placemat to the bottom, leaving a 3 inch section un-sewn for turning inside out. press...neatly hand stitch the hole open and topstitch with a contrasting thread (I used hot pink!)
for the napkins, I did the same basic treatment
I measured a small cloth napkin I already had
cut a horizontal line 2.5 inches down from the top
added a 1 inch strip of the Taza fabric and replaced the top

sew top to bottom, right sides together, turn inside out (clip your corners first), press, topstitch (hot pink)
set the table

when I use nicer placemats and napkins, it makes dinner feel a little more special and the behavior from the little ones a little bit better...

Bippity Alice is one of my favorite etsy resources for fabric and I loved this Oz print! I have saved the last few scraps from this project and will combine them with the unused yellow print I still have for a table runner. Her prices are amazing and she gets your fabric in the mail quickly! She also makes cloth books, aprons, and bags in case you don't sew! I am thrilled to have found her!