This has taken me so long. I think I bought the fabric last summer when we moved Harriet into a big bed. Then I started sewing in October. Then I finished the quilt top in the winter. Then I quilted it in the spring. I finally got about to binding this past weekend and Harriet was so happy and excited. I am too.
I used the same pattern as I did with Alma’s big quilt. But, again I had to modify it. I wanted to try the color gradation, but that was only designed for queen sized quilts. I had to put on my thinking hat, do some math, and hope for the best. It actually worked out just right and I really love the finished effect.
I used the same color scheme as I did with Alma’s quilt, but it is mostly different fabrics. I love these scrappy quilts because it’s fun to use fabrics with sentimental value and find cute little quirky fabrics – I like the idea of the quilts being like eye-spy books with hidden things. Harriet’s favorites are the pink mermaid tails scattered throughout the quilt.
Here’s a photo of the front of the quilt:
And the back. I love making quilt backs more interesting than just a big expanse of fabric:
This Green Faced Witch and this Queen Elsa (who’s really Harriet) would like you wish you a very Happy Halloween!
Here’s that Green Faced Witch looking extra spooky with a mean face and a real, decorative broom. I made her dress using a pattern for the Wizard of Oz wicked witch. I really wanted her to have an old-fashioned looking dress, and this pattern was perfect! The spider web fabric makes it extra spooky and extra fun!
But she doesn’t want you to be too scared. She’ll rip off her hat and say, “It’s me! It’s Alma!” in case you look too spooked by her green face.
There was no question that Harriet wanted to be Queen Elsa for Halloween. She’s pretty obsessed, and this hand-me-down from my cousin’s daughter was perfect! She’s quick to point out that she’s ‘Just Harriet” if you call her Queen Elsa. She doesn’t want there to be any confusion.
Here she is freezing everything, but not really since she’s not really Queen Elsa, she’s just Harriet:
Now let’s just hope for a dry evening so we can get some good trick or treating in!
I’m basically a self-taught sewist. My first few quilts were just thrown together squares and strips and triangles. I have used tutorials and videos and my own intuition. I took a class to make Harriet’s “Hoo-Hoo Coat” (it has owls and is still her favorite), and really learned a lot. Having actual instruction was really helpful and beneficial to my sewing.
When I made Alma’s big twin quilt, I bought a pattern, and mostly followed it. I had to change it a bit to make the colors flow the way I wanted.
I’ve been working on a new quilt, a Tula 100 block sampler. Actually, I worked on it a lot a while ago, and it’s been sitting around all winter. I bought Tula Pink’s City Sampler book after seeing some amazing blocks on Instagram.
I love the blocks I’ve made, and I’ve also learned a lot more about the art of quiltmaking. I’ve learned better ways to make triangles. I’ve learned more about piecing and fussy cutting.
I’ve learned that triangles look cool, but are a pain in the butt.
I love these squares because they are so little. The finished size will be 6×6, so all the little pieces are tiny. I’ve been able to use many of the fabrics I’ve had leftover from other projects, and haven’t had to buy much. I’ve bought a few fat quarters of plain colored fabrics because I’ve realized that my tastes tend to be a bit busy and having some solids help balance that little bit.
I love going through the blocks I’ve made. I’ve made 62 so far, so I’ve over halfway there. Working on my Tula 100 quilt is on my Winter To Do List, and I’m really excited to get back into it.
I’m not sure what the finished product will be, but I’m leaning towards using it on our bed. It will be bright and cheerful, and I love that sort of thing.
I still have so much fabric left over from the weekly photos I took of the girls during their first year. Alma and Harriet are outgrowing the dresses I made them last Winter. Valentine’s Day is coming up. So… I made some new dresses for the girls.
I have to admit that I never thought I would be the kind of mom who would dress her daughters in matching dresses. Turns out I am that kind of mom. I am totally that kind of mom. I’ve done it more than I expected, and I love it every single time. So be it. Can you blame me?
I mean, seriously. They are just the two cutest sisters that ever were. Especially when they make the same absurd random expression. Don’t even ask, I have no idea.
The end of October brings two things: Halloween and November. First things first, let’s get to Halloween. It was Alma and Harriet’s first time carving pumpkins this year. I have to admit it went much better than I expected! The promise of cinnamon rolls probably helped.
This year my girls are Little Red Riding Hood and The Big Bad Wolf. I made Alma’s dress using the same Shwin and Shwin pattern I’ve used before (here and here and here) for my base, but really altered it. I made a circle skirt and added a petticoat layer. The dress is so fun and twirly. I also did snaps instead of buttons or a zipper. Snaps are my jam these days.
For the cape and hood, I used Oliver + S’s pattern from their Little Things to Sew book. I used a cozy flannel for both the dress and the lining of the cape. The outside of the cape is red velvet because it doesn’t get more Little Red Riding Hood than red velvet.
Harriet’s costume is a little more thrown together. I made the hat with wolf ears (that sort of looks like Yoda ears) using a pattern from the same Oliver+S book. It’s made out of flannel, with a plaid flannel lining. The vest is borrowed from Harriet’s friend Elsa. The makeup is by me and my eyeliner pencil. The tail is just a bunch of yarn I combed and pinned to her pants. She loves growling these days, so a wolf is kind of perfect. Today they got to wear their costumes to school. Hopefully they come home with all the parts and pieces.
So, next up is November! My favorite because we get to anticipate the anticipatory season on Advent, which is my favorite! It’s kind of like how Thursday is fun because you know Friday is coming up.
I’ve been doing the #30daysofgratitude project on Instagram for at least 3 years. I love being mindfully grateful (as evidenced by 2014 and my 365 days of gratitude). During my year of gratitude, I would write down one thing each day – one word only. This November project is more fun because it can be a full sentence, a story, or a word – in addition to the photo.
The thing about these hashtag projects is that they are much more fun when friends play along (thanks for joining me with my #93summerdays, Meredith!), so please join me this year! I know I’ll be joined with hundreds or thousands of strangers, but it’s fun to have friends and readers play along, too. I’ll be using the tried and true #30daysofgratitude hashtag, but I think I’ll add #30daysofgratitudeATT (for And Then They), just to keep things separate.
If you want to practice gratitude next month, please use both #30daysofgratitude and #30daysofgratitudeATT, so I’m sure to see your posts. Also, share your Instagram name in the comments, or comment on my posts so I can follow you! (Mine is carolynfwilliams)
Happy Halloween, and thanks for reading! I’m grateful for YOU!
I really loved sewing the Beatrix Top, so I decided to make another one. I figured I should jump on the flannel bandwagon and make my new shirt out of two different flannel plaid materials.
Rae designed this top with a couple different variations. I used a different one than the first Beatrix top I made. This one has contrasting fabric for the button placket, and a different hem that uses the same contrasting fabric. I added little cuffs on the short sleeves to tie it all together (and because I saw a top like this at Banana Republic).
I thought about doing the longer sleeves, but I figured that might get too hot. When I’m teaching, I tend to get pretty hot, so short sleeves are helpful. I love this shirt for teaching because it has the higher neckline, and it’s nice and long.
For the buttons, I used bright pink snaps. I love using snaps on clothing because they are so much easier to get right. And they are just plain easier to use and install than button holes.
This girl is starting school next week. Like for real, three mornings a week, with teachers and friends, school. It’s the same class Alma was in last year, with the same teachers. I love the school and am so excited for Harriet to go along with Alma this year.
Of course, even though they said she won’t need one, I made Harriet her very own backpack.
I used the same Oliver + S pattern I used for Alma’s backpack and I loved it (I always love Oliver + S patterns). I made it even more simple and didn’t do any of the pockets or anything. I even machine sewed the lining to the zipper instead of doing a blind stitch, mostly because I’m lazy.
The backpack came together all in a day, after having the pieces cut out on my sewing table for over a week. That’s pretty much how I roll.
I gave it to Harriet when she woke up from her nap and she was smitten. She loves backpacks more than anything. She wore it around the whole afternoon. I am so happy that she gets to take a little mama-made backpack with her to school. I can’t wait until she starts filling it up with some Harriet-made creations.
It was really fun and easy to sew. I picked up some fabric and just got started. The directions were great, and I really appreciated Rae’s extra tips on the sew-along.
I always get compliments when I wear this top, and the best part is that it’s crazy comfortable. I want to make more, I just need to get some fabric that would work.
It’s so weird to model for the camera. I obviously took advantage of being at the art museum to model in the lovely courtyard. I do wish I had a good photo of the back of the shirt. I love the buttons that go down the back.
So…. Guess what! I made new summer dresses for the girls for no reason other than the fact that I love doing it, and they are adorable.
And it was a reason to buy this fabric I have been coveting for months and years and decades. I absolutely love Sarah Jane Studios and we have a couple of her prints in the girls’ rooms. I also used some of her fabric in Alma’s quilt.
This is a ‘pattern’ that I made up last summer for Alma’s lion dress. It’s a really fun, simple dress to make. I’ve even helped a couple friends make them for their daughters this summer. I’m toying with a few ideas about how I could get this pattern out to a broader audience. Maybe a workshop for local sewists, or trying to figure out how to get a pdf pattern put together for download.
Anyhow, I used two different lines of fabric for the dresses. I made Harriet’s using fabric in the same design of a print in her bedroom. The kids on parade are so sweet, and Harriet loves, loves, loves balloons.
We spent the afternoon at the University of Oregon art museum, and I took advantage of the backdrops and lighting to get some photos of the girls in their dresses.
This was post-naptime, so Harriet’s dress is a little wrinkled. But that’s life when you’re always on a parade, right? The museum has an amazing program where the kids can pick up backpacks full of activities for the kids. They are mostly above our kids’ heads, but it’s fun to go through them and see what we can talk about.
Each backpack has colored pencils and paper, so aspiring artists can copy the art, or draw what they see. It’s sweet to see what other museum goers have drawn in the past. They also each have magnifying glasses which are always a hit.
The backpacks have themes to them. Alma picked one up and the Asian art they have at the museum. She found some little figurines and coins in a bottle.
We love going to the museum anyway, but the backpacks make our visits even more fun. I hope they keep these backpacks so we can watch how our kids grow and change during our museum visits!
Another one of my 35 before 35 items was to list a new product each month on Etsy. I get to check this month off early! I made Alma a Belle dress and want to sell them to lots of other little girls. This post will be photo heavy, but I couldn’t help myself. Alma just loves to play in these new dresses I’ve been making for her.
If you’d like to check out the listing in my shop, please follow this link. To see my whole shop, please follow this link.
Of course I had her pose with a book, because Belle. Of course the threw it, because Alma. What a goof. Seriously. A goof.I can’t wait to see what this summer sunshine is going to do to these sweet freckles, and how it will lighten her pretty hair.