Saturday, February 27, 2010


I want to show you a sneak peek of some crafty things I've been meaning to blog: Valentines, flowers, a dress from a vintage pattern... There's more, too! I'm a little bit busy right now, but I'll get back to blogging in a week or two. See you then!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Cowboy Quilt in the Works

Let me introduce you to an unfinished project that's been hanging around my house for almost a year. It's a cowboy quilt that my oldest son and I have been making. It has large squares embroidered with my his cowboy drawings (that he did last year) that will be sprinkled amongst the smaller squares. I do love all the various cowboy fabric.

Here's Monkey One laying out the triangle pieces that will eventually go around the edge of the diamonds.

The embroidered muslin squares are my favorite part of the quilt. I love the drawings my little artist made. (I still need to clean and iron these, in case you were wondering)

I did most of the embroidery, but as you can see I had some help! The areas he did are so sweet and special to me. I'm glad his stitches are not as uniform as mine because they will always be recognizable as his.

Here are the embroidery portraits of my little cowboys. There will be another one of my husband and me, but it's still in the embroidery hoop right now.

I originally intended the quilt to be queen size, but I'm considering splitting it into two smaller quilts. That way there will be one for each of my boys and I won't have to try to quilt such a large area. How on earth do people quilt a queen size blanket, anyway?
(Scroll down or click here for CELEBRATE THE BOY collar tutorial)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Xmas Gifts 7: Felt Pizza

Ahhhh... pizza. Our family loves homemade pizza. Monkey One loves playing "imaginary pizza party" where we send out invitations to our imaginary friends, make pizza together, play games while the pizza is baking, then eat the pizza. I thought I'd make my kids a felt food pizza set to make these pizza parties even better. I actually had been planning on it for quite some time, but I had a difficult time deciding exactly how to do it until this Christmas. I didn't want a ready-made pizza for play eating only. Most of the fun is in putting on the toppings! But if the pizza is whole — better for the making aspect of the pizza — then I sacrifice some of the eating aspect of the pizza, which would be better with slices. I finally decided to compromise on whole mini pan pizzas. They're small enough to just eat, or they can be pretend sliced. I think of it as encouraging imaginative play.

The play pizza is a huge hit pizza! But which is real and which is pretend? Both can be rolled...

Both have sauce, sliced fresh mozzarella and a variety of yummy toppings...

Both are so much fun to make that even a kid can do it...

Well... maybe this kid should only make the play pizza...

And now both are ready for the oven, decked out in our favorite toppings!

(Why is Monkey Two sad? I stopped giving him olives and pineapples to snack on. I almost cut him out of the picture entirely, but he was too cute, even when he was crying.)

One thing is for sure. Your real pizza doesn't keep well. The pretend pizza keeps very well in this handy drawstring bag with individual pockets for every topping you could want and more.

Future additions to our play pizza set:
  • Whole green olives (they are cut out, just not sewn)
  • A 1"-ish wood dowel rolling pin and a pizza slicer made from the dowel and a wood 2-3" disk
  • Canadian bacon with some felt I purchased after Christmas
  • Maybe new pineapple pieces from the lighter yellow felt I also found after Christmas
  • Perhaps some felt pizza party invitations?

Everything was made from wool-blend felt (all except the black olives, for which I only had acrylic craft felt and the white bag, which I didn't want to spend that much money on). I realized a few weeks later when slicing real bell peppers for dinner that the red ones have three sections, but the green ones have four. Shhhhh, don't tell my kids!

P.S. This finishes off my 2009 Christmas Gift posts.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Celebrate The Boy Collar Tutorial

Hello! I'd like to shout a special welcome out to those of you who are clicking over from MADE to Celebrate the Boy. I'm so honored that Dana asked me to be a guest blogger.

As you can tell, I love my boys and I love them wearing these button-up shirts. Likewise, I'm excited to share this tutorial with you today.

Click here to enter the Boy's Collar Tutorial

Monday, February 1, 2010

Boys' Dress Pants

February is Celebrate the Boy month over at MADE and Made by Rae! And I have a little surprise... You just might see me hanging around at MADE in a few days... Something involving a little tutorial I'm doing. In the meantime I thought I'd blog this pair of pants I made last month. They fit with the Boy theme, don't you think?

I call this kid Monkey, but I think he might be part giraffe. Monkey One recently went through another growth spurt. I had been meaning to sew him a new pair of dress pants for quite some time, as the hem of his old pants was creeping higher and higher up his ankles. I was making him wear his cowboy boots to church every week to hide the problem. One Saturday night I decided I couldn't take him to church one more time in those high-water pants. So at 9:45pm I dug into my fabric stash and started cutting. A few hours later I had these.

To keep things simple I left off the pockets. For the waistband I wanted a smooth front and an elastic back. But, as I always do, I started to complicate things: "Oh, it won't be too hard to add some pleats in the front" "I should just stitch around the front here to make it look like it has a fly" "I'll add this button on real quick just for looks" and so on. But in the end I was glad I added those complications and left off the pockets. The waistband took me longer than I thought it would. One of these days I'll keep that in mind while I'm budgeting my time.

As a pattern I used an old pair of dress pants I had made him for a wedding almost two years ago. Was it really that long ago? I can't remember what pants I used as a pattern for those. Since Monkey One only grows up and not out I kept the width almost the same, but made them six inches longer. Yes, you read that right. Six inches. (Please note that he has had other dress pants since that wedding. One pair he'd already outgrown. Another pair had been ruined in an incident with his female cousin involving pink nail polish, but he would have outgrown those, regardless. His other pair, which were almost too casual to wear to church in the first place--and were also seemingly shrinking--were in the laundry.)

The pants are just a tad too long. Can you see him stepping on the hem as he knocks on the door? But don't worry. I won't be surprised if he grows more and I have to let the hem down by July!
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