I’m so excited to show you Charlie’s finished quilt! I actually finished it the night before we left Florida two weeks ago on our family trip, and I had no time to take pictures before washing it, drying it and loading it in the car! These pictures were taken here outside the great little cottage where we’re staying right now. You’ll just have to ignore the fact that Charlie has loved this quilt well already, and it could stand another wash and a good ironing! (This is really how it will look from now on anyway!)The front is constructed with the 12” crazy (or wonky) log cabin blocks that I finished last year, along with the 12” blocks that I made with the crazy I-spy mini-blocks that I’ve completed over the last few weeks during the Sew Can She Crazy Quilt Sewalong. (
Don’t forget that you have until 10 p. m. to submit your Crazy Quilt project entries for a chance to win some great prizes!)I mentioned before that this quilt is made similarly to the house-quilts that my other children have. It’s constructed with a pieced top and a minky backing without batting and quilted in the ditch. I’ve machine bound some, but since I was short on time with this one, I just turned and topstitched it. The piece of minky that I had planned to use wasn’t quite big enough, so I added a smaller piece, and I love the look that it gave the finished back! It works perfectly with the craziness of the front.The pieced name turned out just the way I imagined it. Charlie thinks it’s, “So cool!” and so do I!I’m also in the habit of using my embroidery machine to add a quick signature and date to these quilts. (An amusing little side note: this is the first time I’ve used my embroidery machine since we moved from Texas, and I seriously think that every single piece that I needed, from the hoop to the card to the software, was in a different unknown place. I was digging through drawers and boxes and . . . I almost gave up, but I’m so glad I didn’t!)
Traveling with little ones is so much easier when everyone has their own place to keep and carry their things. We’re away from home right now on a trip that includes several different destinations and quite a bit of time in the car. Just before we left, I stocked up on activity books for three-year-old Charlie and six-year-old Jamie and whipped up these quick totebags for each of them to keep everything organized!
I’d been eyeing some of the adorable oxford Kokka boys’ fabrics at Modes4U. I knew that Jamie would love the pirate fabric, and Charlie is all about anything that drives or flies, so the vehicle fabric was perfect for him!My only worry was whether the fabric would get here in time since it ships from Hong Kong. Thankfully, it arrived in plenty of time — about 7 business days! (Their website does say that it can take up to 15 business days, though, so be sure you have a backup plan if, like me, you have to have the fabric really quickly.)The oxford fabric is sort of a lightweight canvas, so it’s perfect for a simple totebag. For Jamie’s bag, I used two different colors of the same fabric and added piping along the front pocket. Charlie’s bag used two fabrics from the same line that were pretty busy-looking when I put them together. I eased that problem by breaking them up a bit with piping and a strip of solid fabric at the top of the pocket. Both bags got zippered back pockets for those little things that tend to need better containment.Inside, I added a couple of colored pencil pockets along with a pocket that is just the right size for the mini-coloring and sticker books that I slipped into their bags. (I love being able to completely customize what I’m sewing for our needs!)The boys are really enjoying their new bags, and so far, they’ve done a really good job of putting their things away when they’re done so we don’t lose track of or leave anything behind on any of our stops.
For those of you who are moms to boys, Modes4U has an enormous selection of boys’ fabrics! I don’t think there’s a single one that I don’t like! I’ll definitely be back for more. This oxford fabric would be great for summer shorts! They also carry a whole list of other things, including bento boxes. I grabbed one of those, too, that you’ll see later. (I think it’s going to be perfect for next week’s sightseeing.)
Things are moving along quite nicely with the crazy I-spy mini-blocks for Charlie’s quilt. (I love that he gets so excited when he finds me in my studio working on it! I really have to get it finished for him before we leave on our trip!)I’m not sure yet whether I’m going to sew 10 or 12 of these mini-blocks. Either way, these are the first five finished blocks. (This week’s Crazy Quilt Sewalong Challenge is to show off at least one finished block.)For each block, I started with a fussy-cut focus piece and worked around it with the other scraps that I have on hand. I’m such a planner. These blocks definitely push me out of my comfort zone because they’re such an exercise in going with the flow. I am having fun choosing fabrics that are very “Charlie”. He was born in Texas thus the block below, and the Michael Miller Dino Dudes above makes me laugh a bit. I worked so much with Dino Dudes between the interlock, the woven and the various colors of jerseys . . . oh, and the PUL! This child wore Dino Dudes at least one day a week for the first couple years of his life!My blocks are incredibly simple compared to some of the amazing blocks showing up on the Crazy Quilt Sewalong Facebook Event Page! If you’re looking for inspiration, you have to go check it out!
I know I said I was going to be working on shirts for my two little guys during this season’s Kids Clothes Week, but I got a little sidetracked. These are at least tops, right? I mentioned before that we are heading out on a family trip soon. We’re off to visit a few places that are normally fairly warm this time of the year, but with highs currently hanging out in the low 60s and high 50s, my Florida babies just might be cold! I’ll admit that I agonized a little over the idea that all of our outdoor sightseeing pictures were going to show jackets instead of the cute handmade shirts that I’ve been working on. Enter the handmade hoodie, and that problem is solved! This light blue stretch french terry has been in my stash for longer than I remember. It’s got a nice weight to it, not too heavy, not too light, and it made the perfect backdrop for some of the jersey knit stripes that I love for my boys!
I used my Charlie Tee & Hoodie pattern for these sized up one size since these will be worn over clothing. I modified the pattern slightly by rounding the pocket openings. I’m really loving pockets with a little bit of a curve mixed in with the sharp right angles. The hoods on both tops are lined with the same stripe as the pocket and the sleeve- and waist-bands are done with scraps of chocolate brown french terry. The brown french terry doesn’t have a stretch to it, so I increased the width of the bands to equal the width of the part I was sewing it to. I also had a blast playing with raw edges again! I am generally a little bit obsessive about the way that my seams look, but the reckless nature of these raw edge finishes makes that totally unnecessary. You really don’t know how the fabric is going to curl along the seam allowance until after it’s washed and dried, so slightly wiggly stitching is no big deal! It just adds more character.On Tuesday and Wednesday, I worked on another project for my kids. One that happens to also include raw edge jersey knit sewing. I’m not quite ready to share the whole thing yet, but I’ll share a little picture of some fun pockets . . . lots of fun pockets.
Farmer Frog and Pilot Frog went for a walk one sunny spring day. They brought along their pet caterpillars to enjoy the fresh air. Their conversation bubbled over with excitement about the mission they’d been assigned, knowing that their new jobs as friends to little ones in foster care would bring smiles to faces and joy to hearts!
Pilot Frog hoped that his trip to Hopeful Threads would lead him to the perfect little boy for him, maybe one who loves helicopters and pretending to fly!Pilot Frog’s green caterpillar would be making the trip with him. This little caterpillar dreamed of finding a new home with a little one who would love to cuddle with him day and night.Farmer Frog was looking forward to a much longer trip all the way to Canada! There, he would settle down in a brand new foster home and wait expectantly with the family for a child in need of their love and his companionship.Traveling with Farmer Frog, of course, was his yellow caterpillar. The yellow caterpillar was filled with anticipation of becoming a special lovey to a wee one who would share playtime laughs and bedtime snuggles.Heehee! I couldn’t resist writing a silly little story to go along with these guys. Aren’t they cute little stuffies? I sewed up the frogs using Bit of Whimsy’s Fritter Frog pattern (the Daddy Frog version). The sweet caterpillars were knit by my 15-year-old, Samantha. (I keep telling her that she needs her own creative teen blog!) She used this pattern Lion Brand Cuddly Caterpillar. Pilot Frog and his green caterpillar are shipping out to Kristy at Hopeful Threads for this month’s Fluff for Foster Care project. In the same spirit, Farmer Frog and his yellow caterpillar will be packed off to my friend, Jamie, in Canada where she and her husband are just beginning the foster family journey.