Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sam and Emma Kate's First Day

Sam and Emma Kate had a wonderful day of preschool! No tears, no fear, no clinging. In fact, they forgot to even say good bye to me, which is fine. They have AMAZING teachers who not only make class fun, they LOVE what they do...and it shows. I am so proud of these two and so excited to see what this year holds in store for them!

no, really, he DID have a good day!

honest he did...

you've come a long way babies!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

My Favorite Things: August

I LOVE cardigans. Last summer I bought a open cardigan that could tie in the front and I wore it out. I have just discovered that Jockey Person to Person makes a line of clothing and one of the items is the convertible cardigan. I was sent one to review and fell in love! It is made of THE softest jersey kit fabric, the color is vibrant (I have the fuschia), and it is the most comfortable piece of clothing I own. It is the perfect item to dress up a pair of pants and tank top and is the ideal piece to grab when temperatures change (I have worn mine to the movies, out to dinner, to church, and over a dress to a school function). It is a piece that I want in every color and with as much use as I've gotten from it, I think this is justifiable! They have an extensive line of beautiful clothing and I have several pieces earmarked for Christmas.

Teenage skin caught up with me after having children. As a teenager I rarely had an issue with blemishes, but after kids I have had a lot of problems. While my skin is dry, it is also fair, thin, and sensitive. Add acne on to that and I was at a total loss as how to treat my skin. When I found Elizabeth's products, I was at my wit's end. Her shea butter cream and serum have DRAMATICALLY changed my skin's tone, clarity, and dryness. I am amazed at what three little weeks have done in using these products. The smell great and feel great. The shea butter has natural antibiotic properties and is gentle; I've used it on some of Emma Kate's eczema and it soothes the inflamation. The serum gives your skin a glowy, dewy look and instantly refreshes tired looking skin. The bottles and labels are beautiful and she also has a sweet little make-up bag which would make her line the perfect gift ( blemishes or clear skin, it matters not). I could go on and on, but I think it would be better for you to try her out yourself! If you are a follower of this little 'ol blog, leave me a comment telling me that you want this shea cream and she will gift one lucky winner one!
Quilting and sewing are my new obessions...look at this lovely quilt! Katy walked me through it and assured me I could do it...and guess what? I did! I am almost done (more extensive blog post on that later!). She even helped me with some math so I could make it to fit a twin or queen size bed. I am thrilled to have found Katy and her pattern!
{this is Katy's lovely quilt and picture...mine isn't photo ready}

Step into my dining room sewing room and you will see evidence that I am a wee bit bitten by the fabric bug. I am not ashamed to say that I have become a full-fledged fabric hoarder. My favorites right now are jelly rolls! There is so much that you can do with them! One great place to get a great price on jelly rolls and fabric in general is Quilting Whimsy. She has great prices, a great selection, and is the nicest of nice! She even made a coupon code for readers of this blog...
enter { THREEINTHENEST20} to receive 20% off your purchase...don't you love that?! I love coupons, but one with my blog name?! LOVE IT!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Quilted Table Runner

Fresh out of the dryer, this is the quilted table runner I just finished. I am more than a little excited because it actually turned out and I have never before quilted, used bias tape, made bias tape, or washed something and it stay together! I think I am hooked now...quilting is addicting (does that make me sound like I am 80? I don't care!). 
you start with this, a jelly roll, which is a set of 40 strips cut into 2.5 inch wide 44 inch long pieces
they come precut and already pinked (zig zag cut)
I then cut them so that I they were 22 inches long, but that made my table runner too wide, a table runner should be about 17-18 inches wide, so next time I will cut them as such.
I am excited that a jelly roll can make two to three of these though...(leftover edges of quilted strips are destined to be placemat edges, just you wait).
match them up and pin them right sides together

 I liked laying mine out so that warm and cool colors were equally mixed and that the prints were well dispersed (not two paisleys or two florals as neighbors)
when you are done matching up your strips, you are ready to sew using a 1/4 seam allowance
(using the term "seam allowance" almost makes me feel like a real seamstress!)

I press the seams open

once pressed open, the are waiting to be sewn together again

once they are all sewn together, iron it out nice and flat and make sure the seams are open, which also helps to minimize bulk

lay your backing fabric face down on a smooth surface, add your batting (I used flannel), and to with your quilt top. make sure your batting and quilt bottom are a bit bigger than your top. pin down in place and quilt that baby right up!

at this stage, I just sew right on top of the top of the quilt front. I use the edge of my sewing foot as my guide and just make straight lines. It is very easy  and you can see my lines in one of the close ups below. Make as many or as few lines as you want.. This is such a great beginner's project!!!

I don't have a picture of it, but at this stage, trim it all up so your edges are all the same length
make your self some bias tape...there are a millioin tutorials out there that helped me greatly
I used this one and it clicked for me...
lay out your runner somewhere nice and flat (the floor is perfect) and pin down your tape to the edge

like this
sew with a 1/4 inch seam allowance 

flip it over
look at those mitered corners! you can point this out to your husband, who is watching football, but trust me, he really isn't that interested

pin it down again and hand sew (I know, I know...yuck) the bias
wash and dry
and LOOK 
and it is reversible (if you did your hand sewing a little neater than mine that is)!

a few lessons learned in this project (skip if you know what you are doing):
1. if your machine starts making a noise from the bobbin nether region, don't ignore it. it won't go away and you will have to become best buddies with your seam ripper.

2. rotary cutters are more than just for cutting fabric, they also are wonderful at cutting skin. you've been forewarned.

3. check your bobbin and thread before you begin. nothing is worse that getting ready to sew and having to stop to wind them up (well, a finger cut with a rotary cutter is worse, but you know what I mean)

4. the dials on your machine aren't just to look neat, they have functions. learn how to adjust tension, stitch length, etc. it makes a BIG difference.

5. don't promise a project to someone else until you finish it. you might end up wanting to keep it and your mom will guilt it out of you.

Fabric Source:
I live in a pretty good sized city but there are only 2 fabric stores (and a few little shops that are pretty pricy) and they are both over 15 miles away. They also don't carry "good" fabric so I have turned to finding neat shops online. This one of the coolest shops that I have found. The prices are great, the selection is amazing, and you can order in any increment you like. The jelly roll (Joel Dewberry "Heirloom") and the backing fabric (Kaffe Fasset White Line Dance) as well as the fabric used to make the bias all came from The Fat Quarter Shop. It arrived only three days after I ordered and was beautifully packaged. I will definitely order from them again (and again and again)...

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Guest Blogger: Caroline the Kindergartener

My name is Caroline.
 I am going to Kindergarten.
This is my school uniform.
I am five.
This is my new backpack and lunchbox.
This is me and my Mommy.
 This is me with my Daddy.
I cried for just a couple of minutes at drop off today because I was scared, but only for a teensy second. I was too busy to miss my family. I LOVE KINDERGARTEN and my teachers and new friends.
School is a really happy place.
Bunny waits for me in the car and I get to see her and my family after getting picked up at carpool. It was a great day!
*note from Mommy: Tears were shed, just a few, and surprisingly, they were only Caroline's, not mine. I think she was nervous and not sure about the routine but she is excited to go back and had talked a mile a minute about school for the last two hours now! Yay Kindergarten!!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Back to School

Matthew, Caroline, and I got a sneak peek into the classroom this week. We saw the class, looked at the in-room bathroom, found her cubby, spotted her coat/book back peg, located the supplies, read the notes on the bulletin board, and enjoyed talking with her sweet teachers-to-be. My stomach was nervous on the way there, but she kept saying how excited she was. Again, before bed last night, she told me how excited she was. This morning, she told me she was excited. While I still expect a few tears or some apprehension (at least on my part if not on hers) I love this enthusiasm she is showing! Tomorrow is the first day of school and I think my girl is ready!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Sophie Tunic

I have been drooling over Sis Boom patterns for awhile now and through Jennifer Paganelli, I met Carla Crim (The Scientific Seamstress), the pattern maker. She designs all of Jennifer's patterns and is not only extremely concise with directions, sizing, and measurements, but her patterns give picture step-by-step instructions...I love them! I'll show this pattern more in depth when I make it next week with authentic Sis Boom fabric! This is the Sophie Tunic and I can see making them in every color...I made these in an evening! 
So cute, right? 

{and the kids aren't bad either}

{Sam said that Emma Kate looked like a beautiful butterfly in this that guy!}