Sunday, February 28, 2010

My Budding Artist of Mayhem

I swear, having a 2 year old is having an eternal cyclone spinning out of control throughout the house. Can't leave them alone for a second, or mass-destruction levels the neighborhood.
Aubrey is definitely a budding artist. She loves to draw on everything from paper, to tables to walls - and most recently, her face. Brilliant. Maybe she is planning to move to New Zealand & join the Maori?

Then, last night, I was in the kitchen when that eerie silence that equals disaster drove me to find my little monkey.

Bathroom. Church shoes. Aftershave.

A normal, logical mind wouldn't immediately place these items together, but oh the lovely mind of a 2 year old is beyond such mundane order. Aubrey was delightedly dumping all of Austin's aftershave into each of her black church shoes. There are moments in parenthood where words fail. This was one of those for me. Only those sweet little repentant eyes kept me from losing my cool as we scooped the lotion back in the bottle, rinsed out the shoes and cleaned up the counter, floor & walls...

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Cloth Lunch Bag Tutorial

As many of you know, I lived in Hawaii for 2 years while going to school at BYU Hawaii, and there made some of the most amazing friends and memories I will ever have. I miss my island home almost constantly and still await the day when I can visit my island Ohana again. A few years ago, a best friend sent me 2 stacks of 4" hawaiian fabric blocks for a Hawaiian quilt I was planning. Well, that quilt still has not been made and I have hundreds of these little squares sitting in my fabric bin. I pulled them out yesterday and decided to make some cloth lunch bags for E's school lunch. I had so much fun, I thought I would share them with you.

These bags fit sandwiches & snacks perfectly, and are completely machine washable. No more wasted money on garbage ziplocs! Plus, how fun to have these in your bag lunch! This pattern is a spin off from a great book called Cut Loose Quilts by Jan Mullen - my FAVORITE quilting book ever!

Materials Needed: 
(8) 4x4" squares of Cotton fabric
(2) 8" squares of Nylon fabric
1/2"x 4" Strip of Hook & Loop Velcro
Sewing Machine
Rotary Cutter/Scissors
Lets Begin!
Step 1. Choose your fabric squares - I used 4 fabrics with 2 squares of each print. STACK all fabrics together into 1 stack.
 Step 2. Place ruler over fabric at any angle and cut all layers of fabric at once.
Step 3. Move ruler to another random angle and cut again. This is what your stack should look like (your angles will obviously be a bit different).
Step 4. Now separate the 3 cuts and lay them out, mixing up the fabric pieces with other colors so you get fun random blocks. Since you cut them all at the same time, they will all intermix perfectly. (The pic shown here only shows half of my blocks). These 4 blocks will make 1 side of the bag.
 Step 5. This part is a bit tricky, but you can do it! Take middle piece (A) and fold it over on top of (B), making sure to line up the edges along the dotted line. It doesn't matter that the rest of the edges are not aligned. Sew along the matched edges marked with the dotted line.

Step 6. Next, do the same thing with the remaining piece - lining up the red-dotted side and sew together.
Your finished piece will look similar to this. The edges will be uneven, but we trim them into a square next.
Step 7. Square up the block by using the ruler to get an even square block.

Step 8.  Repeat steps 4-7 with the remaining 7 blocks.
Step 9. Sew 4 of the blocks together to make a square. This is the front of your bag. Repeat for the back of the bag.

Step 10. Next, take 1 piece of the Nylon. place it against the right side of the fabric & sew along 1 side. Flip right side out.

 Step 11. Place 1 strip (either hook or loop side) of Velcro on the nylon side (notice the seam at the top of the bag). This will be the inside top of the bag. Sew on, making sure the cotton & nylon stay lined up as much as possible. Repeat with other side. You will now have 2 halves of your bag.

Step 12. Line up the 2 pieces, with right sides together. Sew along the 2 sides & bottom - I reinforced the top sides near the velcro, as this is a high stress area. Turn right side out - you are done!!
Here are a few more bags to give you ideas of what you can do! I would love to see pics of your bags - have fun!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

As If I needed another hobby...

But these are SO CUTE!! I found these "Owie" Dolls on a delightful blog I read called ikatbag, and am dying (bad pun) to buy the pattern and make one for my little nurse for Easter. You can read the story about how they were developed here.

Apparently, these little dolls are very accident prone, and need lots of care from loving nurses. I love how the band-aids have velcro, so they stick wherever the doll's owie happens to be. And how can you get better without the cute 2 sided dress/gown and little slippers?  Lier is offering the pattern for sale, and I can't wait to get mine and get to work!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Tea, Toast and Toe Socks

We have been having a little rough patch the last month with lots of sniffles and sneezes around here. It seems like when your kid is in school, he brings home every little communal bug and lovingly (or not so much) shares it with the family. We have had at least one of us sick for the last month. Right now, it is a double whammy with E & I. As such, I haven't touched my sewing in a week. Not only do I not have the energy, but I like to be selfish with my germs. Though I love my customers, I don't want to send them this little treat of a cold with their order.

So, as we camp out on our living room couch, watching endless episodes of the "Pink Panther" - (yes, the vintage 1960s classic) we are snuggled up in our warmest blankies, jammies and of course my zany toe-socks (which were lovingly given to me by Dad for my birthday, thanks Dad!), sipping our mint tea and toast and wishing this misery would end so we can get back to life.