7.25.2009

taking a break...

Hello All!
We're just hanging out here at home- lots of naps and snacks and laying about enjoying Claude. I'm taking a break from daily blogging and sewing for now, but I will be back to more consistent posting in a few weeks... until then, enjoy your summer all! ~JM

7.21.2009

It's finally warm again...

and my handmade bloomers are in full effect.

Hanging Beauty

I've been spending a lot of time in Claude's room this last week, and I wanted to share the beautiful tapestry that mesmerizes him to no end-

While in Mexico earlier this year with my Mama and Sister, I found this beautiful cotton bedspread decorated with animals in silk thread. I had been pining over it and was more than a little disappointed when I went back to the shop for a second look... Those sneaky ladies had snatched it up for me as a gift for the little ones room, and I'm so pleased they did. It creates a magical and bold design in the small room which I love. (more images of the baby's room to come)

After doing a little research I found it was made by the Otomi Indians who live in the mountains of the Sierra Madre in central Mexico. Craft production plays a large role in may of the Otomi communities, and these particular embroidered pieces range in size from small napkins to the bedspreads like mine... Each large piece can take up to three months to complete and is totally unique.

I found two websites where you can see more of these beautiful pieces:
Jacaranda
Mexican Textiles Ebay Store

7.18.2009

We're home!

It's been a really amazing four days.
Thank you all for the well wishes and kind notes- It's been a pleasure to read all of your comments and feel the outpouring of love.

7.15.2009

it's a boy!

Hello Claude Winter!
Our little one arrived late last night a 11:39- 07/14
He's is 7lbs 9oz and all wonder and joy... (and currently asleep on my chest -mmmmm) We couldn't be happier.

7.13.2009

Look who's in here...


One of my little cake toppers was part of a wedding recently featured in Martha Stewart Weddings! Laura Normandin and Ben Tyszka's beautiful wedding in Brooklyn's Prospect Park looks fun filled - with dancing, a barbecue lunch, and a bicycle-riding. Pick up the magazine or check it out more photos on the website for all the details from the day...

I am so happy I was able to work on this Bride and Groom for Laura and Ben... The little wool pom pom Wrens stand atop the vintage fabric box covered in vintage flowers and little floating butterflies. The details is what makes this piece so special.

To see more of my cake toppers visit my etsy shop and my website.

7.10.2009

Polka Dot Quilt Tutorial

I posted about the baby quilt I made some time ago and had so many people interested in how I made this polka dot quilt, I decided to share my pattern with you all. There are so many ways you could ad-lib with this basic pattern... I'm excited for you all to make your own. It's a little time consuming(those curves)but for those who aren't too fussy about it being perfect, it's an enjoyable quilt to work on. Each Square/Circle feels like a little accomplishment and before you know it, you have enough for a a whole quilt. Enjoy!

Below you'll find all the directions...
*please note... this is the way I made it and I'm no pro quilter- so if you can think of a better way to make your quilt, do so! I don't doubt there are countless ways this could be made "better"... but I'm just smitten with my version!



My 36" x 44" Quilt
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Background color approximately 1 yard
31 6"x6" scraps of different fabrics
Backing Fabric 1.5 yard
Binding 1/3 yard

Click on the image above to pull up the full sized file, then just drag it to your desktop and print it at 100% on a piece on card stock.

For each circle/square you'll need four of each piece: "background" and "circle". I wanted a fairly simple quilt which would be calming but visually dynamic, so I choose the same "background" for all the pieces of my quilt.


When cutting, depending on the size of the fabric I'm using, I'll either draw out the pattern directly on the fabric (making sure to cut off most all the marks) or I just pin the pattern on layered fabric and cut around. This second method is obviously much faster but creates more wasted fabric and doesn't work if you only have a little bit to work with.



Once you have all 8 pieces for one circle/square cut, iron or finger press each piece in half.

To sew the pieces together, I find it easier to pin the "background" piece on top:
  1. Begin by lining up the press lines, and pin.
  2. line up edges and pin each side
  3. work the pieces together pinning until it seems to lay nicely
  4. sew with about 1/4" seam allowance (I use the width of my presser foot as my guide)

Iron flat with the "background" folding towards the "circle" piece.


I'm not much of a perfectionist as you can see, so my pieces aren't perfect squares nor are they free from puckering... This might drive some people absolutely crazy. If you'd be one of those people, you might want to work on the pattern a little to get it just right, or cut down each square to be perfectly "square" before you move onto the next step.


Pin the seams together first. I don't worry too much if one end is longer then the other. If it is slightly to big on one side, I just cut it down once it's stitched. The most important thing is to line up the arching seams so you have a nice continuous circle once all the pieces are sewn together- fudge the rest.


Press both of the pieces in the same direction. Once you put right sides together the seams will lay in opposite directions.


Sew the last two pieces together and press... Viola, you have your first circle! Now, only a few more to go.


My finished Quilt had 31 circles.
7 rows-
4 rows of 4 circles
3 rows of 5 circles
I finished the edges with about 4-5" of the background fabric... I choose another polka dot for the backing fabric and used a organic cotton batting. Once the 3 layers were pinned together, I tied the quilt in the middle of each of the circle and quilted a few by hand for good measure. I liked the combo of the little yard balls and hand quilting for a baby- I remember loving those little yarn balls as a kid.

Best of Luck on your project...
Fin

7.09.2009

no news yet

Still nesting.

We're just waiting around here for the little one to arrive. I'm now officially at 40 weeks and looking forward to meeting the little egg that's been kicking around these last nine months.

7.06.2009

for a little Boy

Hello Sweet Boy!



I'm just sending this little bear off for a little boy who should be arriving any day. (Is it just me or is everyone expecting? I think there may be a new baby boom currently underway!)

7.04.2009

enjoy your holiday weekend!

Wishing for small pleasures, boat rides, sparklers, and hours spent doing very little and loving every minute.
Happy 4th of July!

7.02.2009

Hello Beauties!

I've been busy processing all the orders from the update, and it's been a hectic few days of emailing and packing... In all the shuffle, I noticed I still have a few pieces without homes! Here's a bunch of photographs of the little bits currently in the studio.







the end