Sunday, January 31, 2010

Glitter

BLANKET

I've allowed the glitter in and it's here to stay.

p.s. This is the last day to enter the
Robeez/Bobux giveaway.
A winner will be chosen tonight. Good luck!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

showing him the ropes

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By the way, I've made a ton of changes to the sidebar on my blog to make it easier to find things. If you are in Google Reader, pop on over to take a look and let me know what you think.

I hope you are all having a blessed week-end.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Ribbon Baby Blanket {Tutorial}


Want to make a Ribbon Baby Blanket?

Then, let's get started with my free tutorial!

Baby Blanket

This blanket measures 14"x14" (excluding ribbon trim, which extends 1.5"). It's the perfect size for baby's hands or quick games of peek-a-boo at the changing table. Of course you can choose any number of squares in any size to make the blanket just the way you like. This is just how I make mine for gift giving.

*All seams will be sewn with a 1/2" seam allowance.

You'll need:
  1. (4) 8"x8" squares of coordinating cotton fabrics. Please prewash all fabrics as they are manufactured with harmful chemicals and sizing to prevent fading in the commercial environment. I've read that fabrics are actually treated with formaldehyde. Yuck! Definitely keep that stuff away from little ones.
  2. (4) 8"x8" squares of minky dot chenille or regular striped chenille. I buy my minky dot from Chenille Magic. It's so much softer than what you can buy at JoAnn, it's worth it.
  3. 4" strips of a variety of coordinating ribbons and ric rac in different widths (I used 64 pieces). Stay away from ribbons with a printed pattern on them like polka dots. They are just painted on and the paint can come off in baby's mouth. That's why I like to use stripe ribbon, ric rac and layer for more interest Striped ribbons are woven and not painted on.
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Step 1 {Cutting your pieces}

Lay your minky face down. I find it's easier to see the dot pattern from the backside.

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When cutting the fabric squares, pay attention to whether you want the directional pattern to be on the diagonal or if you want it centered just so on the square. Cut with an eye toward what the finished product will look like. I used a combo of random and diagonal in mine. Please also note that there is a direction in the minky. You'll just want to keep it running consistent throughout the blanket.

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Using your rotary cutter, mat and guide, cut 8"x8" squares from your fabric and minky.

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Go ahead and cut your ribbon and ric rac strips to 4". You won't need them for a bit, buy you might as well get everything ready now. I use my rotary cutter for these too, it works pretty slick. I started by cutting 4 each of the 6 different types of ribbon and 2 ric racs I used. I later cut more as needed.

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Step 2 {Sewing your squares}

Arrange your squares in a pattern that's pleasing to you. I like to have the minky squares opposite each other when the piece is finished, so no one section is thicker than another. So when you see minky on the top, the underside of that square will be fabric, and vice versa.

Pin two adjacent squares, right sides together. And sew with a 1/2" seam allowance. Repeat with the other three pairings. Whenever possible, I like to have the fabric pinned underneath the minky. Just so there will be less stretching of the minky as you sew it. Eventually you will have no choice to have it on the bottom, but you can just use extra pins to keep it in place at that point.

*Just read on this blog that you should ave the minky on the bottom and use a walking foot and a longer stitch length. I've had no problem doing it my way, but you may want to try this instead.

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Lay out two of the four sets you have just sewn together and place them right sides together to sew the center seam.

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Being careful to match up the centers with seams laying open. Be sure to pin the seam allowances down so they don't get wonky when sewed into the new seam.

Flat seam = nice
Wonky seam = not so nice

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After it's sewn, flip it over and double check that the center forms a nice tight intersection. Now would be your chance to remove the seam and try again if it's off.

I'd feel really bad if that happened to you.

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But I wouldn't be able to relate to that. Nope, not me. ;)

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Next, iron seams open flat.

*I've had no problem ironing my minky, but since it's made out of polyester you'll want to use a cooler setting on your iron.

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Then top-stitch close to the seam to keep them laying flat.

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Repeat for the second side of the blanket.

Step 3 {Embellish}

Now is the time to add any applique details you like. See my separate tutorial on how to applique.

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Or add coordinating fabric yo-yo's. You can find yo-yo making tools at your local quit shop or craft store. Or you can just follow Heather's tutorial here.

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Before you are ready to add the ribbons, you'll want to make sure all the edges are squared up. There is bound to be some stretching of the minky, so don't be alarmed if there is a little bit to trim off.

Baby Blanket

Step 4 {Add Ribbon Tabs}

Start by playing around with the 4" lengths of ribbon and ric rac you've already cut out. Cut more as needed. I like to have the ribbon pattern repeat on every side, but you can certainly make yours random.

Baby Blanket

First pin the outside edges. Since you will be sewing with a 1/2" seam allowance, I like to place my outside pieces at 5/8" from the edge. This makes it less likely that the ribbons will be caught in the adjacent seam when sewing the top and bottom blanket pieces together.

Baby Blanket

Next pin the ribbon in the middle. Whittle away that distance by continuing to pin in the center of the next opening so they are all equally apart.

Do this along all four sides of one layer. I like to flip one side under so I can see what the finished product will look like, to make sure I like the placement of colors.

Baby Blanket

As needed, you can hold your ribbons down with two pins instead of one. But I like to have as few pin marks through the ribbons as possible to minimize the chance of snags or runs.

Sometimes they will want to lay crooked when there is only one pin in place. Just be sure to hold them down straight as you are sewing. If they get sewn on crooked now, that's how they will be on the finished blanket.

Now sew all around the edges to secure the ribbons, with a 3/8" seam. This is just so you can remove the pins before sewing the blanket top and bottom together. Remove all pins.

Baby Blanket

Step 5 {Sewing the blanket together}

Lay the other blanket square on top of the one you have sewn the ribbons to. Flip it over so the one with the ribbons, is now on top. I like to be able to see that 3/8" line I just sewed, on top as a guide.

Baby Blanket

Sew along all four sides with a 1/2" seam allowance. Make sure to leave about a 3" wide opening to be able to turn it right side out.

After the top and bottom are sewn together, clip the corners so there will be less bulk when you turn it inside out. You can see the opening I left, in this photo.

Baby Blanket

Turn the blanket right side out. Pull on the tabs in the corner to pop the corners out. Hopefully none of the ribbons have gotten caught in an adjacent seem.

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Oops! One got caught.

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No big deal. Locate the stitches that are holding on to that run-away ribbon and use your
best friendseam ripper to cut it loose. If it's really bad (been there, done that), turn it inside out again and remove the whole seam, re-pin and start again.

No...that will not be fun.

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There, that's better. Don't worry about the little hole you just created. The final top-stitching will take care of it.

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Now top-stitch the entire blanket along the ribbon edge and make some little stitches in the center to secure the top and bottom layers together. Then go find a baby to play peek-a-boo with.

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Ribbon Love

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Pair it with a coordinating big brother or sister crayon roll or with these adorable Diaper Cakes.
 
Seriously cute!
 
My faves are the Hungry Caterpillar, Goodnight Moon and Peter Rabbit.

Now you've got the perfect baby gift.

Baby Blanket

That's a wrap!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Incorrigible

Our attempts to stop him from pushing buttons is futile. Even baskets can't stop him. They work to keep him from opening the bathroom door, but I guess the thrill of pushing buttons knows no bounds. He will stop at nothing.

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Now to think of something else. Or we could just close the armoire. Yep, I think we should just close her up. We watch too much TV anyway. Great idea Sam!

p.s. Don't forget to enter to win a free pair of Robeez or Bobux baby shoes. It ends this Sunday.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

In Print

Who needs a scrapbook, when your wedding has been featured in a magazine?

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My cousin Gretchen and her husband Jeremiah have the honor of their wedding being featured in the Spring/Summer edition of Mpls.St.Paul Magazine Weddings.

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I think their photographer did a great job of capturing the unique location of their wedding.

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It was fun to be a part of their big day.

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Monday, January 25, 2010

It's Giveaway Day!

The kind folks at csnstores.com offered to let me pick out an item for one of my lucky blog readers to win. I had fun perusing all they have to offer, including mailboxes, stylish kitchenware, outdoor home accents and shoes. I ended up choosing their Bobux/Robeez shoes for infants and toddlers.

I adore these little leather slip-on shoes for babies. Sam has had several pairs. I should probably get him another pair now since he is obsessed with shoes. He runs to get his when he sees we are getting ready to leave.

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Wanna win a pair for your little one? They would also make a great gift for a new mom or a little ones birthday.

All you need to do is hop over to ShoesGotSole, take a look at the Robeez and Bobux brand baby shoes they sell, come back here and leave a comment about which pair you would choose.

Tweet it, blog it, or become a public follower of my blog for extra entries. Be sure to come back and leave separate comments for each additional entry you do (with a link to your tweet/blog if you do that and be sure to follow publicly as that's the only way I can confirm it).

I'll let the random number generator pick a winner Sunday night.

Good Luck and Happy Monday!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Gottcha day {Haiti Adoption Update}

John and Jennifer are trying to get on the last flight out tonight to meet their children. I would imagine that the kids will be sleeping by the time they get in late tonight. So tomorrow will be their "Gottcha Day!" I'm so excited for them.

Please pray for safe travels, for their transition ahead, adjustment, attachment and bonding of the family.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

A must read...

...about how amazing, how BIG, our God is! You can't make this stuff up people.

Please read the story here by local reporter Trish Van Pilsum.

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I don't believe in coincidences either. Do you?

Quilt-Along {Week Four}

I've finished week four! I'm only about 7 months behind, but who's counting? Thanks Amy for helping me figure out the final placement. Getting that random look was harder than you'd think.

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The top is sewn together. Just need to order the backing fabrics, purchase the cotton batting and send it off to be quilted

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I waffled back and forth, and back and forth about whether to make this throw size or a Queen. What I've decided, is that I'm just not good at making permanent decisions. But I did ultimately decide that it needs to be a Queen. I'll swap out our new bedding for this in the summer and use it as a cozy blanket in the family room, in the winter. The best of both worlds!

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After I got it all together I realized that there is a ton of yellow. So much so that maybe I should have painted our walls light aqua (there's that inability to make decisions creeping up again. Shhh...go away!). And that red is super orangey. I'm not really an orange kind of gal. If I had it to do all over again I would have chosen differently. But that's all part of my learning curve I guess.

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I'm looking forward to binding it in a couple of months. My pal Amy and I have decided to bind our quilts together while watching old movies. She's got a few that just needed binding, and her blind hem stitch is phenomenal and I'm hoping to learn a thing or two. Seriously, the best I have EVER seen! I'm voting we watch Charade, That Touch of Mink or To Catch a Thief (or all three!). I love, love, love me a good Cary Grant movie.

Do you like old movies? What are your favorites?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Room Re-do: Part IV {Hello Gorgeous}

From this...

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To this...


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(I still need to swap out the air return cover for a new white one.)

David loves that he can see all of his 6'1" in the mirror.
No more ducking is a good thing. And I am thrilled that the intercom is gone.

Thanks Mom and Dad for the perfect Christmas gift!

*I'll admit that I've been hiding from the news channels/web-sites lately, especially when my children are awake (we haven't told them about it). I can't bare to see any more photos or hear more stories about the devastation in Haiti. The shear numbers are just unfathomable. And now another earthquake. I often feel paralyzed with fear and anxious for all involved.

So forgive me if my posting about light and happy things seems out of place. I need to focus on the good news out there while still praying that God would be in control of the helpless. I'm trying to keep my own mind off of things so I can sleep at night and be able to function and care for my family during the day.

My hope is that maybe you too need a mental break too and this will be a place to find it.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Saraphina & Olivier {Haiti Adoption Update}

It looks like little Saraphina and Olivier will be coming home soon.

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Yep, you heard me right. Our government has been working to get all the children out of Haiti that already have homes to go to and their US paperwork filed. That includes Jennifer's family!

This sweet family will very soon be a family of five.

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Jennifer wrote yesterday "The US will be granting Humanitarian Parole wavers to everyone that is in process with an adoption in Haiti. So it will definitely happen we are just waiting to find out when our kids get their papers and when they will be able to get here. It could happen very quickly so we are working feverishly to prepare as best we can. Would love to type more but have a lot to do! Please be in continued prayer that our kids get their papers quickly and for their continued safety. Thank you!"

I just met a friend of Jennifer's while I was picking up the girls from pre-k this morning. Kim's son is in their class. She had just talked to Jennifer and she says that the kids will be moved to a military base probably in FL, very soon. They are making arrangements to get there as soon as they are told they can, to pick up their babies. Gosh, just typing that makes me cry. Pray especially for the kids to not be afraid. I'm sure it will be intimidating for them to be transported by the military, away from the only home they've known instead of their parents coming to pick them up. Saraphina is 3 years old, so she will be able comprehend more than her brother.

They weren't expecting to bring their babies home until next summer, so there are a lot of details to figure out FAST. Jennifer is a highly organized and detailed person so all the unknown factors I'm sure are driving her crazy. I've asked her what I can do to help. Do they need clothes? Target, Old Navy gift cards maybe? She says they will figure out clothes when they get the kids back here and can see what sizes they really need. I can imagine that they will be in need of everything and to have so little time to prepare and slowly gather things over time, money will be very tight.

If you feel led to help their family in any way, feel free to contact me at tadacreations@gmail.com. It's great to donate to larger organizations as so many people have been doing already, but it's also nice to help a family directly who has been affected by the tragedy in Haiti.

Please keep them in your prayers.

Here is a piece that Diane sawyer did with Lisa Buxman of Heartline Minsitries, the very orphanage that Saraphina and Olivier are at. I can't tell by watching if they are in the video, but you get to see the living conditions and the workers. Haiti's Orphans in the Crisis