Flying geese for a six year old.

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My six year old sanguine and bubbly middle child has been anxiously waiting for me to finish her quilt. She watched me make one for her little brother and quickly put in her own order. You see her little feet poke out of the last blanket I made her so “It doesn’t fit anymore.” I have a bunch of baby quilts around the house made by three generations of quilters, but she is no baby.

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I picked out the colors with her and her older sister in mind (her sister put in an order too, of course). They are much more bright and girly than I would choose for myself (but ones I still love), but that is who they are for. I chose a Amy Butler print as the starting point for the colors and prints. There is also a lot of Anna Maria Horner, a Kaffe Fassett and random stash fabrics.

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I chose gray as the background color to help neutralize the brightness and busyness of the prints.  Noelle has swooned at every step of me making this quilt. When when the geese were all made I let her help me arrange them. She loved this and took it very seriously.

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This was my first flying geese quilt and my first quilt not using a pattern (well, that needed exact measurements anyway). It was the first time I tried machine quilting. I learned A LOT on this quilt. I made mistakes but I learned so much from each one. I learned I don’t like machine quilting a full-sized quilt. I started that way and then decided to create a pattern of machine quilting some rows (for time sake) and hand quilting the others.

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I find hand quilting so much more enjoyable. It’s more time consuming but I like the final look more. I find it relaxing, cathartic and mindless. It’s a skill tha has been handed down to me from my grandma and mother and there is something very nostalgic and meaningful in that. There is a strong connection to my heritage, women in my life and past, and it is woven into every piece I’ve made.

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The back was made from different grays. I always love the way the stitching comes through on the back.

2015-05-30 09.07.49She squealed when I said it was done and she could have it. These pictures are from that moment. How sweet is that?! That little finger in the picture above reminds me of hours of tracing my grandma’s hand stitches, wondering at lines and patterns and prints as I fell asleep.

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I think she likes it.

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Sunny Day Quilt

IMG_2581 This green and gray colored quilt I made using the Sunny Day Quilt pattern found here. The project took three or four years as I started for my son while I was still pregnant, put it aside, and didn’t pick it up until years later. He is four. So that makes it five years, but who’s counting? It’s a good thing I made it twin size because by the time I finished he is almost ready out of his toddler bed. IMG_2349 I loved the print of this fabric that was a duvet cover from IKEA. I took it apart and conviently had a whole cloth piece for the back and tons of leftover fabric from the front. It is entirely handquilted. I love hand quilting. I have hand quilted since I was a girl. I remember during some long winter nights my mom clearing off the kitchen table after dinner and spreading a big quilt out over it. I would sit around it with her and my grandmother while we all worked on it together. It is easy, mindless, cathartic work. I much prefer the look of the finished product. It is time consuming though. As I get started I always wonder, what was I thinking? IMG_2353 Both girls informed me that their baby quilts are now too small and could I please make them one this size? They put their orders in and now I a list of quilts to work on. IMG_2612 Jude loves it. He would check in “Are done with my blankie yet?” It is so gratifying to wrap your baby up in something made with your hands! IMG_2605

Green gray knitted baby sweater.

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I don’t knit much anymore. But when a dear friend becomes pregnant with a long awaited miracle baby, the knitting needles get anxiously and happily pulled out. I made this little ‘professor-chic’ sweater for my own son years ago. I love this sweater. My oldest daughter saw me making this and begged for one exactly like it, in her size. I want one in my size! The pattern is the Rufus Textured Cardigan from Vintage Baby Knits.

Child dress in dark chambray.

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I was walking through a store swooning over the girls’ clothing. I exerted a large amount of restraint and self discipline and told myself to dig through my fabric stash and sew them something myself. While it is more time consuming and less convenient, the unused fabric feels like money just wasting away on shelf. It is so satisfying to make something so utilitarian for your family with your own two hands.

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I have less and less influence over what the girls wear these days. This is absolutely fine. I like seeing what they mix and match and come up with. Colors are getting more pink and purple, patterns more bold and bright. I was concerned that this wouldn’t be colorful enough for them and that it would spend all its days in the closet. When Elise saw it hanging completed her eyes got big and she exclaimed with a slow smile and quiet wonder “It’s beauuutiful!” She wanted to wear it immediately and didn’t want to take it off. (I did insist, after day two.) I am so grateful that they love wearing things I have sewn myself. I am very aware that might not last.

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The pattern is Simplicity 2677  size 8. I try to aim a little large in the sizing so there is room for growth and it will last more than one season. They sprout so fast, those wee ones. I love any sleeveless dress that can be worn alone or layered for the colder  months.

Little duds in blue.

 

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I made some baby clothes for a dear friend. She has a classy and unique, simple and refined style. These were outfits that she pinned to a board and I found some patterns to recreate. I love the cool neutrality of the tones.

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The main fabric is Julianna Horner and the lining is found vintage fabric.

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These little duds got me inspired to make a few frocks for my own little ones. The fabric sitting stored away for years should really be put to better use!

 

Blue Frock

It took me about a year to complete this dress. I had started it when I was pregnant with my third and my brain was really foggy so set it aside in frustration. Then I finished it but set it aside again until I could get around to putting some embroidery on it. That is my favorite touch to handmade children’s clothes. It is such a special little detail.

Hmmm, I think she is getting annoyed with picture taking. Ha.

I love a sleeveless frock for the girls. It can be worn alone in the summer, or layered in the winter. So practical.

Details

 I embroidered the front flower and added running stitches all around the front piece and the hem.