Sunday, May 22, 2011

Aviatrix hats

Suddenly everyone I know seems to be pregnant. We know of seven babies that we expect to meet sometime in October, November and December of this year. One of the hats I wished I had had when my babes were small, is the Aviatrix. It is soft and stretchy, warm and has a chin strap to keep it on baby's lolling head.

The button can also be adjusted (I'm supposed to add a second button one inch higher than the first, but haven't yet). Here's the first hat I knit in Malabrigo Merino Worsted Indigo. It is so soft and the picture doesn't do justice to how cute these look wrapped around a pair of chubby cherub cheeks.

One wasn't enough with so many winter babies on the way, so I knit a second one too, in the same yarn but with Emerald colorway. This pattern is easy but not boring and perfect using up scrap yarn since it needs less than a skein and probably less than half a skein of yarn. I plan to make a few more in girly colors and as the new babies join us, I'll bring my stash of baby hats and let the mama pick one.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Big boy bedroom

Big boys need big boy beds. So, I built one for my big boy using the plans for a toddler farmhouse bed from Ana White. I built this bed back in October of 2010, but had so much going on then (as I do now!) that it took me a whole month to sand and stain it. Then, in December when my mom came to visit, she put three clear coats on top of the stain to give it a bit of shine and to smooth out the lumber. Because I wasn't ready to move my big boy to his own bedroom, which would be two flights of stairs away from mine, I decided to renovate our walk-in closet to serve as William's first space of his own. It's close to my bed if he needs me but far enough away that he may as well be in his own bedroom.

William likes to snuggle into his big boy bed with the duvet cover I made for him from recycled materials. It's empowering to think that I made everything for him (bed, sheets, pillows, decorations) except for the mattress.

The paint color in his room is a soft neutral tone, called Sand dollar from Sherwin-Williams in Duration, a low-VOC paint that is easily washable.

The pair of round pillows I made following the tutorial from StarDustShoes. They don't match exactly because I'm trying my hardest to not purchase any new fabric and to sew only from my stash to put a serious dent in it. The only fabric I purchased for William's bedroom was the cotton checkered print I used to make his fitted sheet and pillow case (and I only have a 4" x 6" scrap leftover!) and the airplane fabric for his round floor pillows. He loves airplanes and I wanted him to have an airplane-themed space to call his own. I intended the pillows to be a simple place to sit while we read bedtime stories as well as for decoration.

And of course, there are two airplanes on the wall. William seems to be pretty proud of these because he likes to show people his airplanes, which goes something like this, "Dad-ee, Dad-eee, See! See! Airpla-ane! Two, airpla-ane!" with lots of excited gesturing. I've cleared out two of the walls of the shelves that were there, holding clothing but have a little more to go until the space is truly William's. I'm hoping to build a simple drawer with handles to slide beneath his bed to hold some of his favorite bedtime stories. It would be wide and shallow, but perfect for holding an extra blanket and some books. Use of space is priceless in this house, which is much smaller than out last house.

My hope is that William will see this as his own special safe space and will enjoy napping and sleeping at night in his big boy bed very soon...

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Another quilted bag

I hadn't quilted in such a long while that I joined the Spring Quilted Bag Swap through the Quilting Gallery. I had some reservations about the first bag I made (although it did receive positive feedback on flickr) so I decided to make a second one. The tutorial for the quilted bag is free from Geta's Quilting Studio (thanks Geta!).

This time I reinforced the handles with interfacing and instead of using cotton for hidden inner layer, I used canvas, which makes the bag stand up easily on its own. The print is one of my old favorites from Kaffe Fassett and I think it is reminiscent of spring, which is appropriate for a spring themed swap. I quilted it differently, loose circles in a kind of freestyle pattern that I think I like. I am looking forward to writing a letter to my swap partner, who is overseas, and sending this bag along with a handful of other sewing goodies.

Owl skirt

My daughter is currently in love with Kathryn Lasky's series, the Owls of Ga'Hoole, so owls are frequently on her mind. For Easter I made her an owl skirt. Every year we set out our Easter baskets the night before Easter and after the children go to bed, I tell them I place one or two small mommy-made gifts inside then go to bed so the Easter bunny can fill them up the rest of the way. I like that long after their baskets have been reduced to piles of candy wrappers, the mommy-made things remain.

The fabric is Robert Kaufman's Urban Zoologie, Owls. It's a fun print and in her favorite color of blue. Nearly everywhere she's worn her skirt, she's received compliments on it. There's a spacious side pocket that she's already filled up with pine cones, leaves, and acorns. It's always an adventure sticking my hands in the pockets of her clothes before tossing them into the washing machine; never know what I might find there!

I embroidered an owl on a shirt that matches the skirt, but she has two other coordinating shirts with this print and two coordinating sweaters, which is convenient. It also matches her owl hat. This skirt should fit her for at least two years with the elastic waist band, but if we tire of it, we can always find another use for the fabric and recreate it as something else. For now, we think the owls are super cute!