Handmade Christmas: Halloween Quilt

We love holidays in my family, and Halloween is one of our favorites! I have been hoarding Halloween fabric for years, and decided I wanted to use some of them this year to make something for my mom. She has downsized her Halloween collection recently, so I wanted something useful and different from what she already has. I made the advent calendar for her last year (that I finished the end of September) and it was a huge hit with the whole family, including my 18 year old brother.

Because I had random fabric, I needed a scrappy pattern. I settled on a traditional Broken Dishes Half Square Triangles pattern, as explained by Any Smart of Diary of a Quilter. I also got some help from a local quilter guru, Flora Gillman. 

Most of my fabric is from yard sales or Joann’s. I had tons of small yardage of Halloween prints, and filled in the plainer colored fabrics with fat quarters. I had to piece the back as well because I bought the whole remaining yardage of this awesome owl fabric, and it was still too small. But, I love the back almost as much as the front. 

I quilted the whole thing by hand using big stitch, or country quilting. It is a running stitch that I did along all of the edges of each triangle. This is my first real quilt, and I am so proud of how It turned out. I might even enter it into a quilt show next summer. Enjoy!


Handmade Christmas: Johnny Cash cross stitch

My younger brother likes to play cowboy and has always loved Johnny Cash. For Christmas this year, I decided to make a cross stitch Johnny Cash for him. 

I located an image on Google that I liked, and made some changes to the background and edges in Photoshop. I then uploaded the image into Stitch Fiddle, a website that allows you to create your own patterns for free. I adjusted it for the size and level of detail that I wanted. The site currently doesn’t allow you to set symbols for different colors, so I couldn’t make a print out. I used the computer and would highlight the color I was working on and change the squares to green as I stitched them. 

It was just over 11,000 stitches in total and about 30 colors. I love how it turned out and that it looks like a photograph from a distance. Enjoy!

We Return with a Halloween Advent Calendar

It’s been over a year since I posted, but I am going to try to post more, even if it’s just simple things.

I just finished my mom’s Christmas present from last year. Its a Monster House Advent Calendar. Pattern by The Sugar House Shop and felt from Benzie Felt. 

I had so much fun making this heirloom, although it was a massive undertaking. The finished piece is 54 inches long and 18 inches wide with 30 handcrafted pieces that attach to the house with magnets.

Will the Birthday Sewing Ever Stop?

This was one of the few outfits that I actually finished in time for Lady Grace’s birthday. It is a two piece vintage style top and pants with rick-rack and button details. I used Simplicity pattern 1813A, which is a resurrected vintage pattern. The fabric is from Joann, and is black with multi-colored hearts, although they are a little difficult to see. This was a simple sew and I will definitely be using the pattern again.

DSCN0319She was eating the bark.


Now she wants to share.

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I swear she was trying to pee like a boy in this picture.

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Superhero shelves

One thing that most people know about us is that we love superheroes, comic books, and other nerdy/geeky things. We got our first set of superhero cups as part of our wedding registry. Although I already had some vintage DC cups long before we were married. We have continued to accumulate more since then, and have more than 20 now.


I knew that I wanted to display them , but was unwilling to spend a lot on shelving that I didn’t particularly love. So, we built our own. We followed this basic tutorial (even though it’s for a doll house). After it was built, we painted the inside white, covered the sides with comic books pictures and Mod Podge, and painted the front edges yellow.


I love the way it turned out. The only real problem is the yellow clashes slightly with our tan walls, but I plan on having a white kitchen one day, so then it won’t matter.


We will need to get some more DC cups so it doesn’t look so lopsided, but for now, we are enjoying what we have.

Paperbag Skirts for Lady Grace

One of my goals for the year is to complete all of the projects that I currently have in process. Although most of these projects are book related, there are a few more personal ones. You will probably see a number of posts related to these projects in the coming weeks.

One of the bigger projects is reducing my fabric stash/sewing clothes for Lady Grace. Since moving back to Utah, I have realized that I have lots of fabric, and it is better in use than in a box. And these skirts are an example.

At Christmas, I made stockings for our family and my brother and sister-in-law. I had some extra fabric and wanted to make some nerdy skirts with it. I also wanted to try making a paper bag skirt.


I used this tutorial from Simple Simon and Co. It was so quick and easy to sew up. The first one probably took about 45 minutes to see and the second one only 30 minutes. Each skirt only needed 1/4 yard of fabric, but I will need more in the future.

Lady Grace is slightly small for her age (read tall and lean), so I loved that I could customize the size to fit her height and weight. There will probably be more of these skirts in the future.




And she seems to like them. Both fabrics are from Joanns.

Sewing: Black Gathered Skirt

I have been looking for some easy projects for making some new Church clothes, so when I stumbled upon this great black and copper fabric, I had an immediately idea. I bought the fabric at a yard sale for 50 cents. I am not sure how much fabric there originally was because I used most of it for the skirt. I believe that it previously had been used from some project because there were traces of gathering at the top, but it had never been finished.

I brought the fabric home, washed and ironed it. It had a tear about 8-10 inches long in from one of the edges, so I trimmed that piece and plan and plan on making something to match from it. I sewed the two sides together, and had one humongous tube. I initially gathered the top of the skirt and found it was much too long. I could not cut off the bottom because of the design panel. I cut off 3-4 off the top and regathered the whole thing (there is quite a bit of gathering). I cut a piece of 3″ elastic to fit around my waist and stitched the ends together. I matched the gathered skirt to the elastic in four places, and basted the elastic in place. I then used my double needle (first time ever and it worked great!) to stitch two lines to hold the elastic to the skirt. I finished the skirt off by using the double needle again to make a 2-3 inch hem along the bottom. The length was a little weird, which is why it had such a large hem.

And Aaron decided that he could only take one picture, so this is it. So far I have loved this skirt. It fits great, came together super easy, and I even had a shirt that matched. And it is something that I can easily wear in summer or winter, and is loose enough that I can also use it when I eventually start having babies. The only thing I might change for next time is the amount of gathering. There is a ton of gather material, which creates some bulk around the waist. Otherwise, its just great. Thanks for reading,

Embroidered Baby Onesies

My cousin is having a baby girl at the end of August. She will be the first grandbaby, and thus is very spoiled. Lots of family was already in town for a cousin’s wedding, so there was lots of fun and tons of presents (people apparently love babies more than newlyweds). I knew that I wanted to do some embroidery for her and something small because they will be moving in the coming months, so I settled on doing several onesies. I used five 0-3 month old onesies and 3 3-6 month ones. The patterns included Mollie of Wild Olive’s Merry MateysLittle Owls, and Curiouser. I used four of the five Little Owls, the Pillaging Pirate from Merry Mateys (I thought he was a peg legged owl), and the Mad Hatter from Curiouser. I also made up two patterns roughly based on Dana’s sprinkle shirts. I did a “K” since my cousin and her husband’s last name is Kelley, and I did a heart. Out of all of them, the heart is definitely the most girly, but hopefully they can use the others for their next children as well.


These were so much fun to make, and made my daily bus right more enjoyable. And I finally successfully completed a french knot. I am super excited to get some additional embroidery done this summer and try some new techniques. Enjoy!

Wild Olive Stitch Swap

It has been years since I last embroidered, but this was the perfect project to get me back into it. I participated in Mollie of Wild Olive Stitch Swap, which turned out to be some much fun.  There were several hundred participants, and I got Leah from Victoria, Canada. She said she loves the colors blue, aqua, purple, orange, and red, as well as birds and nature. I did not have a pattern in mind, but find this super cute one from NeedleCrafter. It was so much fun to make, and I am way excited to start using embroidery in more projects.

Details of the hoop I sent. This is the first time I have done any embroidery since I was like 12, and I could not get french knots to work. So I substituted glass beads instead. I also sent one of my handmade books from this semester as a little extra gift.

This is the package I got from Julie, which I absolutely love. It came with a handmade bag with polka dots, guava candy, a needle holder with 5 needles (which is good since I am always losing them), and my new hoop!

I love this little owl, and my sister will be super jealous of him. I especially love the variety of stitches, including the french knots, which I am still trying to master.

This was such a fun swap, and I can’t wait for the next one. Its a great way to share talents and ideas, and is one of the reasons I love the blog-sphere. I have several projects that I need to share, and hopefully I will get some of them up this week. Its is crazy how fast life flies by, and I only have about 1 month left of the semester. Until next time,