Friday, September 21, 2012

Blue & Green Are So Refreshing!

When Caelyn went to work as a nanny for friends of ours in Alaska in the fall of 2010, she met a lot of really interesting people. One such friend was a newly-wed Army wife who attended the same Bible study as Caelyn. Since then, Katie's husband has left the Army, and the two of them have had several changes, including the birth of their first son!

I was honored when Katie accepted my offer to make a nursing cover for her. I asked if she has any particular color preference, and she mentioned that she likes blue and green. That gave me the perfect excuse to buy this beautiful damask that kept nagging at me on every visit to the fabric store recently.

It's been a while since I've inserted a side pocket in one of these covers. I usually add one to the outside. Either way, it's nice to have a place to stash the nursing pad during a feeding.

My "style consultant", Caelyn, agreed that this butterfly fabric (a favorite of mine, purchased in South Africa) added a perfectly bold contrast for the backing.

Nothing too exciting here. Just a "D" ring that's rather hidden in this photo.

To jazz up the solid blue fabric near the bottom, I added a sheer embroidered ribbon that was given to me years ago by a seamstress friend of my mom's. Sadly, Joy passed away about a decade ago, which makes the sewing items that she shared with me even more dear.

Close-up view of the pocket.
I am so excited about giving this nursing cover to Katie! She and Aaron are so thankful for their little guy! We rejoice with them over the precious gift the Lord has given them.

"Sons are a heritage from the Lord,
    children a reward from him. 
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
    are sons born in one’s youth.
Blessed is the man
    whose quiver is full of them."
Psalm 127:3-5

Table & Chair Rescue

I need to decide what to do with the bird puzzle in the background. We finished it earlier this summer and glued it together. I'd like to make it into a tray or something.

When we lived in Moçambique, I would see vendors - ordinary citizens wishing to make a living - setting up their wares along the road daily. I saw men carrying their fresh catch of the day, and once I saw a father and son selling their freshly-slaughtered chicken at a table outside their home. It made me realize how much red tape we have in America - I mean, we can't even paint someone's finger nails without a license!

With our infatuation with credentials, it's refreshing to find those who still just dive right in and use their skills. One can't argue with results, and Miss Mustard Seed provides oodles for inspiration for those who have the desire yet lack the particular degree. When you click her link, be SURE to read her sidebar note, "Move Mountains in Your Home". Her "credentials" are represented in her actual work. Had she waited for someone else's validation, we might not have her vast array of talent to inspire us.

I'm thinking that I must add Miss Mustard Seed to my "Dream Kibbutz" list. I really could have benefited from having her by my side as I entered into these two projects.

A while back, I started recycling a bunch of old Potterybarn items that I've had lying around for years. I've been slowly chipping away at an old duvet cover for use in several projects.

Here's the best photo I could find of the duvet cover from several years (and four addresses) ago.

(A tiny glimpse of one of the pillows I made from it can be seen here, in the background.)

After updating this chair recently, I was inspired to rescue its injured twin from the garage. In our last move, it lost one of the back slats. I tried and tried to locate the handy tutorial that MMS used to cover a chair back, but I couldn't. So, I did my best to figure it out on my own.

I just love making messes in my sewing room!

Here it is almost finished. I had to scavenge through all of my stashes to find more of the cording I used on the seat. Sometimes, hoarding pays. And I don't regret cutting up that duvet cover one bit.

Once the chair was done, I was ready to tackle the card table slipcover. I bought this card table with two chairs (future project?) at Target several years ago. It has been a school table in my boys' room, a model-plane & -truck table, a scrapbooking table, a puzzle-building table, and most recently, an extra chess table for my son's group that will meet here monthly.

In the meantime, I wanted an extra surface for those rare moments when I actually spend time in my bedroom doing "stuff" that requires a flat surface. You might call it a desk.

Although it bears a striking resemblance to a giant roll of toilet paper, I thought of a solution for managing what seemed like miles of pleat fabric. As my mom would say, I thought it was rather "slick":

I'm a firm believer that cute daughters make better displays. Add a cute puppy, and BINGO!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Number Two

As of last Friday, I hadn't yet made the second apron for my friend, Lisa, and could only post the first one. She told me to just make it up and do whatever I want, and I did! I was all over the map with the fabrics. It was a blast!

I decided to add a lining to this one. I just love the recipe fabric.

Maybe this can be Lisa's breakfast apron. I think it would certainly wake anyone up!

I'm adding this to Amy's Sew & Tell for this week. I just love seeing all of the marvelous projects that she and her friends share. Check it out!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Apron Love

It's shameful how far behind I am on blogging, among other things; but at least I'm making progress with our home school.
For now, that's paramount.
I've also managed to squeeze in a little sewing lately, after our whirlwind summer.

Last week I was a bit bummed that Amy didn't do a Sew & Tell (because I was ready for once), but I was tickled to find that she posted one for this week. 
She deserves a LOT of grace, though. She's been such a wonderful leader of her sewing followers for a few years, and I admire her greatly! Plus, she's a military wife with three small children.
(Been there.)
Need I say more?

A friend from my hometown - whom I haven't seen in YEARS, but who found me on Facebook a while back - asked me to make a couple of aprons for her.
Fortunately, she is a very patient and gracious friend, who hasn't yet shown any perturbation at how long it's taking me to finish.

This week, I finished Lisa's first apron:

I used this apron as a basic guide, but changed some details.

I love my family for so many reasons, one of which is the way they cheer me on. When I brought the finished product downstairs to show everyone, they showered me with affirmation.
The girls were even a bit disappointed to learn that this isn't for one of us.

As pleased as I am with the outcome, and as much as I love the fabric, it feels so good to know that someone else will enjoy wearing this in the kitchen.

Now it's time to get upstairs and start putting together #2.

Hop on over to Amy's Sew & Tell to feast your eyes on all of the fabulous creations there!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Squeezing in a Few

We started school recently after being out of town for a week, so I haven't had much time for blogging. It's a pity, too, because there's plenty to tell -  especially about the dogs, but also about life in general, house guests, and what we've been doing with waffles.

I have quite a sewing task list, and I can't wait to get to it! Most of it is pretty easy stuff that just requires staying in my sewing room long enough to make it happen. Before digging into what is really necessary, I felt that I needed to get myself geared up to start checking off my list. 
(Remember the "Round, round, ready, write!" warm-up from elementary cursive class? It's sort of like that.)

Pictured above is a little gift set I threw together for my dear cousin in Pennsylvania. She recently spent her 60th birthday in the hospital after having a second brain tumor surgery. This little gift seems rather lame in light of that, but she liked it, and I loved making something for her. 
(She's one of those hard-to-buy-for people. You know, the ones who have everything already.)

I actually forgot to take photos of her gifts before mailing them, so she sent me a photo from her phone. Anyway, the long rectangular solid is a rice-filled heating pad. I bought that adorable Paris fabric at Hobby Lobby a couple of months ago, and my mom mentioned that Dee would love to have something made with it. She took a trip to Paris last year, and recently she bought a French Bull Dog and named her Paris.

I couldn't resist using the black Eiffel Tower fabric for a coordinating lavender-scented eye mask. It's a small gift, but I assure you that it was made with love, fervent prayer, and a longing to be by Dee's side through this harrowing time.

On a much, much lighter note, while doing some necessary cleaning/organizing, I unearthed a coffee stamp that I've had for a number of years. I have a vague memory of making either invitations or place cards for an Army wives' get-together (which we called a "coffee") at our house in Ft. Benning, GA, back in 2001. It hasn't been used since then.

As soon as I looked at that stamp, I knew what I wanted to do. 

I had some leftover burlap from our favorite coffee shop in Maputo, Moçambique. All that was needed was a fabric ink pad.
 I've wanted to make a mug rug for my friend, Terri, but these burlap coffee-stamped coasters seemed more fitting for her style.
I love them, and so does she!

Once I had finished the burlap set for Terri, I just had to keep going. I wanted to try a different fabric and make a set without frayed edges. The fabric below is leftover from Craig's Africa wallhanging.

The backing is leftover from a messenger bag.

All of this coaster-making is becoming addictive and has my creative juices flowing. Inspired by a travel cup I bought recently at the science center - and being a nerdy homeschool mom - I dusted off my hand embroidery supplies and transferred the molecular structure of caffeine onto some squares for another set:

I think this is my favorite set.

I'm posting this in hopes that Amy will do a Sew & Tell this weekend for August. If not, that's OK. At least I will have mustered up a blog post! I have a lot of catching up to do.