I’m a bit afraid of sewing clothes, but when I was pregnant with Pumpkin, I had great dreams of making her cute little A-line dresses and upcycled t-shirt pants. Unfortunately, I’ve never learned to sew stretchy fabric and kids’ neck and arm holes seem so little. But after making the mermaid skirt a couple months ago, I realized how easy it was to make a cotton elastic-waist skirt. That became my second crafty challenge for this month and so far, I’ve made three skirts.
Pumpkin loves color and funky patterns so I tried to pick some fun fabrics that reflected some of her interests. And right now, she’s really into wearing skirts – leggings underneath since we’re in chilly-year-round San Francisco.
These were pretty easy to make with just a quarter-yard of fabric. I liked the look of mixing a solid fabric with a print, so I sewed some together to make it 12 inches long (44 inches across). I then did a quarter-inch seam at the bottom and rolled over an inch for the elastic at the top – add a quarter-inch rolled in for both of those for clean edges. I threaded 1/2-inch elastic through the top and sewed one more seam down the side of the skirt. I also added a zig-zag stitch for all skin-touching seams. Hopefully these pictures will help explain it.
Back side of the fabric before inserting elastic
Smooth skin-touching seam
These were very easy to make and Pumpkin has enjoyed wearing them. If you want to give this a try and have any questions, just let me know. A skirt was able to be completed in one evening.
My first crafty project for this month is a garland. I think they’re so much fun to decorate with and I’ve always wanted to make one. With Valentine’s Day this month, I created a quick one out of felt hearts.
I cut the hearts out while the girls played, and then chain-pieced them with my sewing machine while they napped. It was long enough to split into two and hang in the hallway and next to our kitchen table.
After cutting out all of the hearts, I had a lot of felt scraps left over. I cut them and some other scraps into circles and made a mobile for the girls’ room. Again, I used chain-piecing and it went very quickly. I wrapped a styrofoam ring with torn strips of fabric and used pins to secure them.
I’d love to make more garlands for other holidays – Christmas, Halloween, and birthdays, and with the simple felt shapes, they’re quick and easy. And as a bonus, Pumpkin loves the scraps and has been using them as pretend food and to make designs on her felt board.
Little Bird is keeping me on my toes. She turns one at the end of the month and is eager to test her limits. She learned to walk just after the holidays and now goes where ever she pleases…or at least tries.
If I could just squeeze through this crack…
Once Little Bird was tall enough to reach the kid table, Pumpkin moved her play that she doesn’t want disturbed to the kitchen table. Not sure where she’s going to go now that Little Bird can finally reach up to the edges.
Towers barely out of reach
This piano makes a great stepstool
We’ve started keeping the doors to the non-baby proof rooms closed, but we’re quickly discovering that height is not a barrier. The back porch and top bunk are highly desired destinations.
The sharp plastic circles were the only thing keeping her down.
Almost to the top bunk when Mama caught her.
I feel like we’re running one step behind her, blocking and securing things as she discovers them. Sigh, I remember making a similar post when Pumpkin was a year old too. This Mama gets no breaks. :)
A couple of weeks ago, we had some wonderfully warm weather here in San Francisco. Pumpkin was eager to play on our patio, so I gave her a can of shaving cream and let her go. She had a blast!
She has played with it in the shower, but the patio gave her a lot more space. We have a simple rule for our patio – anything but my plants can be painted, chalked, and now, shaving creamed. A quick hose-down cleans it up. Pumpkin started by covering her balance beam to make an ice skating rink and then moved on to her slide, the table, and finally herself.
She covered her arms and legs, pretending that she was putting on sun screen. She loves to do this with paint and chalk too. Then she took a bucket of the shaving cream and stepped in, squishing it between her toes.
The sliding glass doors became an interesting surface as she discovered that she could draw in the shaving cream with her finger. Little Bird enjoyed watching from inside.
If you noticed the different outfits, this shaving cream play continued over a couple days. On the third day, Pumpkin smeared the shaving cream in her hair, reenacting her recent experience at the hair salon. Once she had the “mousse” worked in, she used clothes pins and binder clips to pin parts of her hair back, and barbecue tongs to “cut” it.
My favorite part was watching her watch the foamy water wash away when she was done. Because of the cream, she noticed the paths it took across the patio and down the drain and stood there watching the patterns until it was all gone.
This was a great activity as long as you don’t mind a little mess. Pumpkin requested it a few days in a row and spent quite a while exploring it by herself. If you want to try, we suggest shaving cream (Barbasol, specifically) over shaving gel. We tried both, and the cream held the poof a little longer.
My original plan for February’s monthly challenge was to complete 4 quilts. I instantly realized my mistake when I saw the comments on Facebook and my blog. People were very impressed at this lofty goal…however, in my mind, the keyword was “complete.” In other words, I would finish 4 of the half-done quilts I had sitting on my craft room shelves, not start from scratch as the commenters seemed to assume.
A week has passed and I haven’t had any desire to work on my quilts – not even pull them out to see where I left off. A long time ago, I realized that quilting is my least favorite part of my quilting hobby. I like picking the fabric, coming up with a pattern, piecing and even binding the quilt, but not the actual quilting. That’s why I have 5 quilts pinned, taped, and ready to be quilted, just sitting there.
So, since I realized my monthly goal was actually just a ToDo list of things I don’t want to do anyway, it’s not really helping my overall goal to rediscover my interests. I’m modifying February’s goal to be: create and complete 4 craft projects. This sounds a lot more exciting to me. There are so many projects I want to do and just haven’t set aside the time. Maybe I’ll also be able to finish one or two of my WIP (Works in Progress) quilts while I’m at it.
I did finally pull out today my quilts that are stuck at the quilting stage, so I figured I’d quickly document them:
I started this quilt last Spring while we were planning our month-long roadtrip of National Parks. I wanted a visual for Pumpkin to see where were going and had been. I don’t even remember now where I got the idea, but I saw someone had used this fabric, a string, and a pin, to help their child follow a route. My plan was to do something similar. I can’t imagine I spent very long on it – it’s just fleece backing (no batting) and flat panel. I pinned it and put it away when I ran out of masking tape. It was long-forgotten when our roadtrip was cancelled due to Thomas’ bike accident.
This quilt is actually the most furthest along, and one I would still really like to complete in this month. I started it when I lived in Belgium and participated in an international quilt group. I sent out the fabric to the different members with the instructions to make a modern-style block. They sent them back and I pieced them together. I decided to hand-tie the quilt and actually am about half-way done. It’s an easy thing to work on while sitting and watching a movie, if the kids are in bed. Got any good Netflix recommendations?
This is my oldest quilt – I started it when I lived in Atlanta. I created it to be a wall hanging for my parent’s guest room. It’s been so long that the guest room is not even blue anymore. I love the pattern on this quilt and have actually finished it…and then picked all apart due to my perfectionism. I just feel like the diagonal pattern I quilted doesn’t look right over the solid blue outlines. At this point, it might just be better to iron and repin it, and send it off to a quilter to quilt it for me. I think it would look great with a fancier quilt pattern done with a long-arm quilting machine.
This quilt was also stalled due to running out of masking tape. I realized after taping it that I would need to shift the tape slightly to avoid stitching in the ditch and lost momentum when I ran out of tape. I was going to just do straight lines, but waves would be cute too. This is a very simple baby quilt and I would really like to still finish it. I think it could done over a couple of evenings.
This is another of my international quilt group exchanges. I designed the tree block and sent them the fabrics. They sent them back, and it’s now ready to be quilted, but I just can’t decide how I want to quilt it. Part of me sees a pattern resembling shattered glass or tangled branches, but I think a simple outline of the trees might be a better choice. Either way, I think it’s just going to sit on the shelf for a while longer.
To be honest, these 5 quilts are not all that I have in progress; they’re just the closest to completion. I have at least 5 others stuck in the piecing stage, and tons of fabric reserved for quilt ideas. But, there are other crafty projects I want to do instead. I feel a little better now about my February challenge with the modifications. Thomas has taken Pumpkin to see some Irish dancers and Little Bird is napping, so let’s see what I can get done!
P.S. Just so you can see that there are crafts I have completed, check out the My Crafts link at the top of my blog.