Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sunday Stash and a Monster

I've recently joined the Sunday Stash flickr group. I'm always browsing around on flickr looking for inspiration and drooling over all the lovely fabrics. So I figured why not share some of my stash too? Who knows, maybe someone will end up drooling over something in my stash. I discovered the group browsing around on sewing blogs.

In preparation I've been organizing my stash. Although, my first post was on a Thursday, I'm going to make this into a regimen for me and try to post every Sunday from now on. We'll see how many I can do in a row. This Sunday, the 1st, will be week #1 of the challenge.

Nicey Jane and Amy Butler

A little update since my last post. The new Mommy loved the baby booties so much she's asked if I would make her more! And she adored the fabric since her family used to run a cider mill. I'm heading to Jo Ann's for some more elastic and some fleece this weekend. I'm hoping to get cracking on the booties and Papa Bear's camera bag soon.

This weekend also brings a 1st birthday. Our friends' daughter is turning 1 and she's having a party Saturday. I made her a cuddly monster plushie. The design was my own and I just adore it. She's the perfect size for snuggling. I love her dangly arms and legs which are ideal for carrying her around. When Big Sister Bear saw the little monster she exclaimed, "WOOBY!", and put her arms out for it. Introducing my little monster:

Sunday, July 25, 2010


Things can get pretty crazy around the bear den. With 2 cubs under 2 there can be many distractions each day. Therefore, I do whatever I can to stay organized. I am a list maker. I make lists almost everyday and for almost everything. So in order to stay on course with my sewing projects, true to form, I made a list.

Project List:
  • mini quilt
  • Christmas stockings for all residents of the Bear Den
  • 2 dresses for each of the cubs
  • a Clever Little Cape for my clever little Nephew Bear
  • camera bag for Papa Bear
  • crayon organizer
  • make-up brush holder
  • king size wedding quilt
  • baby shower gift
  • baby booties
  • sewing machine cover
Due to my recent fabric binge I am self imposing a fabric purchasing ban until my list is finished. This is with the exception of purchases for the wedding quilt since it requires a lot more fabric.

This weekend brought a visit from Nana and Grand Paul on Saturday. Nana had some fun dressing Little Sister Bear up as a little biker baby. Then on Sunday we had a visit from Memere and Grand Bill. Memere brought us some delicious sweet corn from the Ocean State and some squash from her garden.

We also did some visiting this weekend. We went to go meet a sweet new baby girl that was born to good friends that met through Papa Bear and I. I sewed up these baby booties for her.

I found this pattern and the tutorial was very easy to follow. They are the perfect size for newborns and they stay on those constantly wiggling little footsies. I also love that they are reversible. I can't wait to up-size the pattern and make some for Little Sister Bear. Papa Bear laughed at me when I told him I wanted to make her a pair for everyday of the week.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Mini Quilt Mishap

The first mini quilt is complete. Being a bit of a perfectionist I wasn't satisfied with a few things about it, but since it is my first one I'm trying not to be too critical. I feel it came out too small to be a play quilt so it now adorns the nursery wall in the cubs room.

Making the quilt was a great learning experience and I can't wait to apply what I've learned to the next one. I am counting this one toward my experiment and the next one will not be pre-shrunk.

I'm taking a break from the quilting for a day of two because I found a darling pattern for some reversible baby booties that I want to make for Little Sister Bear. I also already have everything to make them so I think I'll be making them this weekend.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Mini Quilt Mini Experiment

I have finally started the mini quilts for the bear cubs. I'm making it into a sort of experiment. I've been doing some research about quilting, pre-shrinking fabrics in particular. Half of the quilters always pre-shrink and half don't. So here is my mini experiment: one quilt is going to be made from pre-shrunk fabric and the other won't be washed until completed. Can't wait to see what the difference (if any) is.

Quilt #1 (pre-shrunk) is being made with fabrics from Heather Bailey's Freshcut line and Kona solids. It is intended for Little Sister Bear. Quilt # 2 (not pre-shrunk) is being made from many different fabrics and is going to be a strip quilt. This one is for Big Sister Bear.

My fabric collection has grown significantly over the past week. This rapid growth has been contributed to by many factors:
  1. I am gathering fabric for a king size wedding quilt
  2. some of it was a gift from my Mom
  3. had 2 amazing sales back to back so I took advantage and stocked up (36.5 yards total!)
  4. I needed more Japanese imports to go along with the ones I purchased in NYC
  5. I am obsessed with fabric and sewing

Things have been busy around the Bear Den lately. Summertime passes so quickly. I believe this is partly due to cramming so much into 12 short weeks of beautiful weather. I am longing for Fall. I love the laziness that comes with Fall. Everything sort of slows down. The weather begins to cool, apples and pumpkins ripen, gathering begins and everything has a crispness to it. This Fall also brings the homecoming of the cubs Marine Uncle who has been deployed since January and still has yet to meet Little Sister Bear. Oh I can't wait, apple and pumpkin picking, baking, making soups and stews, vivid colors, a few chilly picnics, brisk weather and many happy memories.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Re-evaluating Goals

As you can see I've been busy making hexagons. I was surprised at how quick they are to make and how much I enjoyed making them. I underestimated how much I would delight in all the hand sewing that is involved. Originally I had set a goal to make 100 hexagons this month. I met that goal very quickly, with 3 weeks to spare in fact. So I set a new goal of 150 for the month considering my other projects I have planned for completion this month. I have now made 166 hexagons!  Therefore, I am setting one last goal regarding these lovable hexagons. I will complete assembling the hexagons I have already made into flowers.

Speaking of hexagon flowers...

...I made my first one! I found these even more amusing to make than the individual hexagons. I love all the different arrangements that they can be put into. Considering how much I adore hexagons reaching my new goal should be a breeze.

I have also set a goal to finish mini quilts for the bear cubs by the end of this month. I need to get cracking on this since the month is almost half over and I still haven't even cut the fabrics for these play quilts. I should really get going on that.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Six States in Five Days

Over this past holiday weekend our family did quite a bit of traveling. First we went on the girls' first camping trip. We stayed in a cabin at Lake Pemaquid Campground in Maine. A couple we are good friends with were kind enough to invite us to share part of their vacation with them. We took the kids to the beach, made smores and had some delicious lobsters. We were home for one night and then headed off to New York City. We only stayed for a night since we were tagging along on one of Papa Bear's business trips. The bear cubs loved Toys R Us in Times Square and we got together with our friends who live in Brooklyn while we were there. I was so proud of how well my girls handled being in the city during a record breaking heatwave.

While in NYC Papa Bear stayed with the cubs at the hotel so I could browse the Garment District for fabric. I was overwhelmed and crunched for time so I only visited three places. USA Fabric Inc. had a very small selection and the clerk gave me wrong directions to another store, but I found a very cute bear printed cotton that I couldn't pass up. Fabric House Inc. on West 39th was very helpful and I found a couple of Michael Miller prints that go along with the Dick and Jane collection. The clerk at Fabric House Inc. also gave me the correct directions I wanted. B and J fabrics blew me away. I could have spent all day in there going through their swatches. Never have I seen so many designer fabrics...amazing. I settled on a couple of Japanese imported cottons I've had my eye on for a while.

All in all, it may have been insane at times but we had a great time exposing our girls to so many new things. Through all our travels ours girls saw six states in five days and had many first time experiences. Can't wait to go back to the Garment District again and do some real damage at Purl.

Big Sister Bear and her rock

Bear Family @ Pemaquid Beach

sandy footsies

Little Sister Bear's first train ride

Big Sister Bear napping on the train

Baby Bears and the Kandy King

fabrics I scored in the Garment District