Pine Belt Holiday Expo & Christmas Market

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This past weekend I participated in a Christmas market downtown Hattiesburg at the train depot. I had the BEST time. Goodness it was a lot of work but it was so fun to see other people walking around and getting to chat with different folks. Not to mention that we were at the train depot and the trains kept coming by so that was super exciting! 

I made hats and headbands with a little bit of fair isle added on. I've been experimenting with a couple of different styles and I really love the look of these hats with a huge pom pom on the top! For the hats I've done earlier in the fall, I was still kind of learning how to make the poms and lately I've been making some giant loose ones and they're just fantastic! I had a small bowl that I kept some extra poms corralled in and most everybody that passed by couldn't help themselves from giving them a little squeeze. 

I also love those headbands, the solid colors with the white accents look like little snowflakes. I just can't decide what color I like the best! I wore a red hat most of the day and I've made a charcoal black hat, too, that's super pretty. 

Now that the market is over, I'm taking a little break to rest. But now I have some Christmas presents I want to make so I'll be starting on those this week. I expected to be done with crafting for a little while after the market, but I feel the opposite. I'm ready to do even more and I really can't wait to get started.

Quilts and Quilting

I’ve been in the process of making things lately.  Mainly right now I have been working on a trio of memory quilts for a friend. I’m using shirts that belonged to her grandfather that her grandmother saved.  She lives on the coast so she mailed the shirts to me.  When I opened the boxes, I just sat there holding these shirts that had so much meaning to her.  For the first one, I made it the largest since it would be the one she is giving to her grandmother.  There was enough fabric left over to make two additional smaller ones that will go to her and her mother!

IMG_8041 IMG_8043 IMG_8317 IMG_8327The first quilt I made was out of baby clothes and it was so difficult!  Having no experience sewing with jersey fabric definitely made for a learning experience.  From now on, I will always use a stabilizing material on this kind of stretchy fabric.  Luckily I have an aunt who has a lot of experience so she was able to give me some pointers.

Monday I went with my grandmother to JoAnn’s which just opened up in Hattiesburg.  We had such a good time!  She was able to pick out some fabric for a receiving blanket that was so pretty!  It’s for a baby girl and has these cute little alphabet blocks on it. In August I sewed a quilt top that I thought I would make for Finley and have been waiting for a chance to get some fabric for the back of it.  I picked out some pretty blue minky fabric and also some nice striped fabric for a t-shirt quilt I’m making for myself out of my shirts from high school.  I am looking forward to finishing both of these quilts hopefully soon!


I totally have an addiction I think.

Fabric Bunting

Fabric Bunting | Ironing the fabricFabric Bunting | Using the rotary cutter Fabric Bunting | cut triangles Fabric Bunting | pinning the triangles Fabric Bunting | bunting hanging up
I have always liked the idea of decorating with a fabric bunting but could never quite figure out how I could use it to fit my style.  I kinda feel like it’s one of those things you just have to go for, but I didn’t really have a spot to hang one up so I just never did.  So when I found out I was pregnant, one of my first thoughts for decorating the baby’s room was a fabric bunting.  I didn’t have anything planned out already, but I did know that I wanted one.

At that time, I had not touched my sewing machine in like, four years so I had no idea if I would even have one or make one myself or what.  Like many other things that I come up with, I expected it to be just a design wish that I never followed through with.  But when I started sewing again, I knew that this was a project I would do.  I still didn’t have a clear plan for the colors or fabric or anything until I got to looking around and saw this painting:

Fabric Bunting | it's a boy watercolor

Those colors were perfect!  I had even intended to hang this in the baby’s room and to follow this color scheme.  I don’t plan to have a specific theme for his room, I just want it to be “little boy.”

When my mother and I went to the fabric store, I remember feeling frustrated to begin with because I couldn’t find what I was looking for.  Everything was too floral or girly or just the wrong colors.  Walking into the store, I was against using solids.  I wanted patterns, like stripes or anchors, or something.  After a while and from looking but not finding anything, I began sticking solid colored fabrics into the buggy.  It took like 5 minutes and everything matched perfectly!

I could not wait to get home and begin cutting the fabric, but I knew I needed to wash, dry, and iron it first.  That seemed to take forever when all I wanted to do was attack it with my rotary cutter, but I wanted to start out doing everything the right way.  I knew if I was going to continue doing these sorts of projects, then I needed to have good techniques and habits from the start.  I was really excited to begin cutting with my rotary cutter.  I had read a tutorial with some really good steps and tips on how to cut fabric.  I didn’t know these things when I did quilt no. 2 and cutting those squares was such a nightmare! But I think that was something I needed to go through in order to learn what the best is for me.

Fabric Bunting | Finished triangles

I finally finished ironing the fabric and was ready to start cutting.  At first I was a little timid, unsure of myself but the more I cut, the more confident I grew.  Cutting the fabric is totally one of my favorite parts of sewing!  Once I had everything cut, it was time to sew the triangles together.  I feel like I did pretty well with keeping my lines straight and didn’t even need to pin anything for the triangles.  My intension was to sew the triangles and then flip them inside out to make the seams on the inside.  But then, Kevin remarked how he liked the seam on the outside.  At first I didn’t really want to leave it unfinished like that, but the more I looked at it, the more I liked it that way.  With the fabric being solid, it added another touch to it to make it stand out more.  Plus, not having to flip them all inside out really cut down a lot of work so I was all for it.

Fabric Bunting | sewn triangles

I sat down to sew the triangles to the ribbon that would be what I used to hang them up.  I turned on the iron to heat up in case I needed it, but I was able to just fold the ribbon in half and make a crease using my fingernail.  I was pinning the ribbon and the triangles together so this worked just fine.  In the tutorial I was following, she placed the pins parallel to the way the ribbon ran so that’s what I did too.  I have always just pinned them perpendicular to the way I would be sewing so this was different for me.  I tried pinning both ways and discovered that the way in the tutorial was a lot easier than the way I have been doing it.

I pinned and sewed the triangles until I ran out of ribbon and just decided to finish it there:

Fabric Bunting | Finished Bunting

I feel like it turned out great.  I only used half the triangles so I will probably make another one.  I don’t know for sure where I will hang it, maybe on the wall above the baby’s bed.  For right now, I have it just hanging on the mantel.

Rag Quilting!

A few years ago when I was still in college, I took one of those fun little classes at a local fabric store where you basically buy a package class and it comes with fabric and instructions and everything.  I had recently inherited my grandmother’s sewing machine and I had grown up with family who always sewed things and did other forms of needlework.

Well….for some reason I never finished that quilt.  And once I got married, I carried all the pieces with me to my new house and then when I lost my job four months later, for some reason I didn’t pick it back up again. Until now.  I am five and a half months pregnant, working almost full time, with a lot of projects going on and I decide to finish that quilt.  I have a few reasons for my choice to pick it up, mainly a new outlook on doing things that I’ve always wanted to do: just start doing it.  It is easy to get caught up in the idea of waiting for the ideal time to bake some cheese things for somebody or to learn the organ, or start a knitting project, or finish a blanket that has been waiting for almost five years. 

Another important reason is that I have had this idea of when I am grown and have children, I would make things like my grandmother and aunts and mother.  Some perceptions and ideas that you have of your future self can get thrown out the window once you get to that stage because a lot of it you can’t control.  To me, this is something that I can control and I need to take control of. 

Finally, I just really like to make things with my hands.  I love needlework and knitting and I really really like sewing.  The problem is that I’m waiting.  Waiting for what, I have no idea.  I guess waiting for me to be ready.  I kind of feel like this almost ties into finishing circles but maybe in a less obvious way.

So anyways.  I began this quilt like five years ago and just now picked it up.  Going into this project, I had already accepted that it wouldn’t be perfect.  It can be easy to compare myself to other people but they have different experiences and in my case, most people have more experience when it comes to just sewing a straight line.  But we all have to start somewhere and I decided that the only way to get to my perfect line is to start practicing them.  There’s a reason we begin musical practices or playing sports at a young age and we are classified as “beginners.”  My goal for this quilt is to just get it done and work my best at it.

The quilt consists of squares of fabric sandwiched together to make blocks, then sewn together in a row, then all these rows sewn together.  When I picked this quilt back up, all of the squares had been sewn together in their blocks and two rows had been sewn then sewn together.  With the help of my dogs, I got the sewing machine set up on my dining table (that we hardly ever eat on) and then the machine figured back out, I’m a beginner remember? After this was done, I set about the task of sewing the rest of the blocks together to form the rows. 

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After about an hour, I completed all the rows and I took a break for supper and went outside for a walk with the dogs.  When I returned to my project, I realized that I wasn’t sure of my next step so I made a quick phone call to my aunt who I knew could help me! I ended up pinning the rows together to guide my lines and set about to sewing all my rows together to complete sewing the quilt together.  Or so I thought, because at one point I was stretching and I looked to my right and saw that I had forgotten the last stack of blocks to be sewn into a row! Devastating, right?  I decided to finish the remaining rows and then take care of that last row the next morning.

I finally got it all sewn together and then set about to snipping the inseams that would be the part that frays.  This was quite possibly the most time-consuming part of the whole project.  After two days of snipping (only part days, not two whole days!) I was done and it was in the wash then the dryer to get it frayed.

Rag Quilting! | Elizabeth's Quilt
I am so happy with how it turned out!  I can’t decide if I want to leave it at church as a blanket there or keep it here for me to use all the time.  I really, really like it.  But maybe I also just want some new fabrics around here.  So far I have made two quilts, one for me and another is for a dear friend.  Hers is really special and very pretty to me.

Rag Quilting! | Elizabeth's Quilt

Rag Quilting! | Elizabeth's Quilt Rag Quilting! | Mandy's Quilt Rag Quilting! | Mandy's Quilt Rag Quilting! | Mandy's Quilt Rag Quilting! | Mandy's Quilt Rag Quilting! | Elizabeth's Quilt

Sunday Crafternoon

A year's worth of pictures printed | Sunday Crafternoon
So this past week I printed out probably 300 pictures to put in a photo album.  I haven't printed pictures out in like, a year, so yeah, I had a lot to do! I've always had this idea in my head of a list of things I've wanted done, or to do, or to be doing as a mother that I have not been doing.  Well, I am about to be a mother in 5 1/2 short months so now seems like as good a time as any to get started on my list!  Although I have always admired scrapbooks and loved the idea of having scrapbooks, scrapbooking has never been something that I wanted to do.  I don't get enjoyment from planning my layouts and putting everything together.  But I do like the look of them, so when I heard about this sort of scrapbooking called Project Life, I knew it was something that I wanted to do.  There are colorful albums that are like 3-ring binders that you buy plastic sleeves that have different sized slots to put in your pictures and also the kit cards that you get.  I haven't had the passion to keep an album up-to-date but with my birthday on Sunday, I was tired of another year past by that I still had not completed an album.  

After I printed all the pictures, I sat down on my couch to begin writing the names of everyone in each picture along with the dates of the picture.  It was really tedious and took a long time, around 5 or 6 hours but also with interruptions.  I kept having to remind myself of the importance of why I was doing this.  If anybody finds these pictures and they may be out of the album or something and I want whoever finds it can know who the picture is and when it was.

Autumn's first "Post-It" Quilt | Sunday Crafternoon

On Sunday afternoon, Autumn came over and we crafted a little while and that was a lot of fun.  With the pictures all named and dated, my next step was to put them in all the sleeves for the album.  I got all the way from October of last year to the beginning of February of this year which I think is a good accomplishment!  Once I finish with all of the pictures, I plan to go back and insert all the cards and stuff into the sleeves.   While I was doing that, Autumn  was working on her first quilt!  We are calling it a "post-it" quilt because that's what she used as a pattern for cutting out her squares.  Clever, right?  I thought so :).  It is fun watching it come together and watching it grow.  I think she might use it as a baby quilt or something.  I'm planning to work on my pictures again after work and it will probably be just me, but I am looking forward to having another "crafternoon" sometime!