Saturday, August 23, 2014

Durham Bulls

Before summer came to a halt and the school year was in full swing, we took the kiddos to a Durham Bulls game. We met some friends and had a BLAST! 
The weather was perfectly cool. The kids had friends there. Sam got a foul ball. 
They had Reds Apple Ale in cans.  

A little bit of trivia...
After the game, the kids each got a few coins to toss into the fountain/lazy river that flows past the ball park. We thought it would be fun for the kids and let the traffic die down out of the stadium.
One of these kids got a little more than we bargained for. 
One of these kids got a little "wet".
One of these kids might've tip toed in, accidentally.
Can you guess?

Monday, August 18, 2014

Jelly Roll Jam 2 Quilt

Do you know what jelly rolls are?
If you think that these are jelly rolls, then you have exactly as much quilting knowledge as is needed to make a quilt from a jelly roll. 
If you can sew some basic straight lines, you can sew up an adorable lap quilt from a fabric jelly rolls, which incidentally, look like this:
{Click the jellyroll to be transported to the jelly roll haven over at the Fat Quarter Shop}

This quilt is a very quick sew and is is perfect for a beginner or someone who wants an instant gratification project (me? I fit both categories). 
The pattern is FREE and color coded, but if you get stuck or want to see anything in more detail, there is an instructional video, which is also FREE!

Here was my quilt front before it became a quilt sandwich.
After batting, backing, and binding, here is the finished quilt. 
I am very much still a beginner and there is some room for improvement, but the colors are beautiful and the design really highlights the fun mix of fabrics. 
This is a great weekend project and the kids are already arguing about who gets to use it first, which is a true ego boost. 

Friday, August 8, 2014

Busch Gardens

 We took our first family vacation. Ever. As in, traveled somewhere together, just the core five of us. It was beyond fabulous. It was an amazing weekend. There was no fighting, begging, whining, complaining, or moaning. Giggles, laughter, handholding, snacking, and playing was had by all. What a blast!
We started off in the Elmo Land, which is full of kid-friendly rides. Other than the state fair, our kids really haven't ridden very many rides. This area is right near the entrance of the park and is a great way to tip-toe into what an amusement park is all about. Emma Kate presented herself as the dare devil right from the beginning. Sam and Matt stayed behind while the girls rode the Grover roller coaster. Caroline wasn't so sure, but EK LOVED it! 

Sam wanted to ride something low-key and un-scary, so this ride seemed his speed. 
He chose it.
After he got off, he said, "that was silly. why did I pick that?!".
He was now ready for something with a little more umph.
Our next stop was the flying machine. The kids seems excited but as we all loaded on, Matt and I were both nervous. Would they like it? It was pretty high. 
Would is scare them? It was pretty fast.
THEY LOVED IT (we rode is about 8 times over the weekend).
Of course, you have to ride the carousel! 
By the way, it is HARD to take pictures of someone riding a carousel.
We rode the sky line bucket ride. The kids were intimidated but loved it!

That yellow bucket?
That bucket hold both of my guys. 
That yellow roller coaster track? 
That's the Loch Ness Monster. 
Matt rode it, Caroline was the only kiddo tall enough.
She didn't.

This red ride was the kid's favorite. We made many trips over to France to ride this. 

 Sam did get his nerve up to ride the Grover roller coaster. 
He loved it, though before it started, he wasn't so sure.
 While Matt rode some scary rides, the kids and I went to some animal shows and toured the aviary.
Yes, I am a good sport.
(or is it that I don't care for scary rides?)

The kiddie rides were still a hit.

as was the dragon climbing area.

 Caroline wanted to take "selfies".
A little rain, mist, and drizzle didn't stop us!
We rode this ride as a family. 
Caroline chose not to ride again the second time but the twins talked Matt into it again a few times.
The third row of people are mine. 
Emma Kate and Matt.
Can you see them better now?

The highland Cattle were my favorites...gotta love my Scottish Cows.
 And we are back to the red ride (the catapult). Did I mention we rode this A LOT?!
And another selfie. 
Did I mention she loves these?
The kids all picked stuffed animals for a souviner, but this one is mine.
It was the happiest two days and I am so thankful for these four people.
Here is to year one of our annual Busch Gardens getaway!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

One Thimble Ezine

You all know I LOVE to sew. Did you know that I am also a magazine junkie? How about a collector of sewing patterns (as in, buy every cute one I see without any real intention of making them)? Well, I am and I have found something that combines my love of all three things! One Thimble is an on-line magazine, or ezine, that has pages and pages of helpful hints, ideas, beautiful photos, great resources for fabric and notions, and multiple pdf sewing patterns! Take a peek:

All of these patterns came in the last issue! 
I am in the process of making the dress in the middle...isn't it cute?!
Here is the dress closer up...I just love it. The instructions are a breeze to understand and the step-by-step is perfect for a novice.

Here are a few of the covers...

Everything is explained exceptionally well and they are great with responding to email if you have a many magazines can you say that about?! If you purchase an issue and want patterns from other back issues, you can also purchase patterns separately.

Go visit One will LOVE them!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Madras Zippered Pouch Tutorial

I am about to show you how to make on of my best selling items; a madras zippered pouch. To me, madras is preppy, bright, and southern. Though usually seen in squares of plaid, my madras is made from strips of brightly colored florals and stripes. It is a way to use up the last little bit of your favorite fabrics and make something beautiful. 

Let's do this! You need lots of bits and pieces of any sort of fabric. You will end up cutting these into 2"x"8 strips and you will need 14 of these strips for the front and back. You will also need two lining pieces (these can be cut from any yardage you like or you can madras the insides as well to really use up your leftovers.

It was storming something awful the day I was photographing this and my pictures are lackluster. I promise you won't even mind a bit once you make up your own pouch.
How happy are these fabrics? DO NOT OVERTHINK THIS...don't fret about your fabric placements. Just keep it random. 
I am making up a slew of these for my shop, so I cut a few thousand of these and grouped them in piles of seven (each front or back is made from 7 strips).
Once you are well organized and caffeinated, you are ready to assemble your madras.
see what I mean about overthinking it? You would never pair these three up, but trust me, the more random, the better!
Get some colorful zippers. Don't get these at your craft store if you can help it...go to etsy and pay 1/5 of the price!
Sew your strips together seven across. It looks like a mess, doesn't it?! 

For seam allowance, use the edge of your foot.
this is what a pile of fronts and backs looks like
Now, we are going to make these less messy and give your madras a quilted look.
See the seams? Lay them to the side (pick a side. any side) and topstitch the seam.
Pinch it to keep it to the side and sew, baby!
Topstitching while watching The Office reruns on Netflix. If you are making up 20-30 of these bags at a time like I am, there are a lot of lines to stitch. 
Can you see the difference between the rows laying neatly on the right and the rows on the left that are still cadywompus? This is why that topstitching is so important.
Here is a picture to show how nicely they lay when they are all stitched. The left piece hasn't been "quilted" yet. 
Let's get the linings done now. Cut out a piece of fabric that is 8"x10". 
Now, to give your bag some oomph,  iron on some fusible stabilizer. I use the lightweight Pellon that they sell by the yard at the fabric store. Your fusible interfacing should be cut to 7"x9". By cutting it a little smaller around each side so that you are not left with bulky seams. 

From here on out, nothing new is happening and you can refer to my last zippered pouch tutorial for more in depth instructions. 
Iron down your front and back by 1/4".
Pin your zipper to the top of your lining, and pin the front or back to the other side of this, making a zippered sandwich. This allows you to attach both the lining and the top to the zipper while topstitching all in one step.
Genius, right?!
Can you see my needle? It is in the far right position. I do this versus using my zipper foot. 
I'm breaking all the sewing rules.
I am a wild thang.

Flip it and do it to the other side.
Do you watch The Office?
What would Michael say here?
This is what a stack of madras bags looks like in mid-progress.
Join your linings and front and back together with right sides facing each other and sew.
WAIT. Open your zipper first. THEN, join these puppies up.
Sew all around the edge of the bag, leaving a three inch gap unsewn for turning right side out.
Like this...
Be amazed.
Look what you made!
If you want to kick it up a notch and instead of a zippered pouch, make a clutch bag, continue below:
Let's make a handle. Cut a strip of fabric that is 2"x12"
Fold in each side to the middle and iron.
Fold that in half and iron again.
Whose old lady hands are those? Yikes.
Double stitch on either side. 
It's just prettier that way.
With your zipper attached to both sides, fold your strap in half and pin to the side of your madras piece. When you join the bag at the lining and front to back with the right sides together, the strap will be sewn into place. You can also baste it into place if you prefer. 

You can also use one of these fancy~dancy tools to make your strap. Essentially, what you are making is biased tape.
Did you make a pretty bag? 
A wristlet or pouch?
I made up a few. If you want one, order one!
If you sew, make one!

I sewed labels on mine for a little extra personality. You can order these on etsy.
 I think they are presh.
Visit our little shop on Facebook to order one or leave your email address here to nab one.
If you make one, please email me, as I sure would LOVE to see it and high-five you!