Hero's Houndstooth!

This blanket has been about a year and a half in the making. I bought the Houndstooth pattern from V and Co in October 2011 (on a side note, V and Co has a bunch of new patterns and they are all awesome!!). The original plan was to make him the quilt for that Christmas, and it didn't happen.

Then I talked about when I bought the fabric, wanting to make it for Hero's birthday in this pre-baby to do list post (April 2012). That didn't happen either...

I finally cut the fabric when Dragon was a few months old, then worked on it stage by stage, whenever I had time. Well, here we are (March 2013), and it's done!!

I was going to do the top in both the blue and orange, but decided it would look too intense and dark. I changed it so that Hero's would be blue and white, with orange binding; then Dragon's would be the opposite.

I machine quilted on the white only with white thread (an idea I picked up here).

I especially love the look that quilting created on the grey backing!

And thanks to my husband for holding it up for me to photograph.

This was my first free motion quilting experience. It was so much fun! I looked up a bunch of how-to videos on YouTube, but don't have a specific one I'd recommend. I just watched some, then decided it was time to dive in! After a small practice scrap piece, I just went for it! Sink or Swim!!!

There is a quick learning curve and while the first few rows have larger uneven stitches, and tiny uneven stitches, I was getting pretty good at the end! It took me a week to quilt it, and that was taking my time, working on it only a row at a time when the kids were sleeping. 

If you are hesitating on trying machine quilting, DON'T! It's not as hard as it seams, and it's SO FUN!!

I had some help getting the binding prepped, and spent a week hand stitching the binding into place.

At every stage of the sewing process, I would ask Hero if he was excited for a new blanket or if he liked it. He would tell me that it was nice and looked good, but that he didn't want it. "I have a blanket," he would say. But now that it's done and on his bed, he has accepted it and told me it was awesome.

I already have Dragon's and Pretty's Houndstooth quilt fabrics cut, it's just a matter of sewing them... maybe in the next few years, I'll get them all done!


Baby Sock Monkey Costume

For Halloween last year, Hero wanted to be a Power Ranger. I borrowed that costume from my mom's old stash. Easy!

Pretty didn't have a strong opinion, so I just asked my sister what she had in Pretty's size and borrowed that. Pretty was excited about getting to wear "red sparkle shoes" as Dorothy. Easy #2!

The only thing I didn't have was a good costume for Dragon. At first I was going to add some diamonds and cuffs to a sleeper and make him a Power Ranger, too. But then I saw this idea for a sock monkey costume. I loved it and thought, I can do that! So I did.

Kathleen at Grosgrain didn't give any sort of tutorial, other than to say that she used thrifted sweaters and a pajama pattern to make up her costume. So I had a lot of wiggle room.

I also used thrifted sweaters. I had these baby pants pinned FOR-E-VER, and thought they would be perfect! I only made a little change to the way I sewed them, to make it easier. I never could figure out the stuff-one-leg-into-the-other way of sewing pants...

I extended the length and rounded the bottom of the legs, so they would look like a sock monkey. Then I made the back panel the way the tutorial on Sew a Straight Line describes, putting the red in the place of a design on the bum. The changes I made was to sew the "J" shape on the front panel.

You'll have the front and back panel like this:

Now, just lay one on top of the other, right sides facing and sew all the way around! Since I was making a closed bottom for the sock monkey, this could be done in one continuous seam. But if you were making real pants, with openings for the feet, you would just sew the side seams first, then do the inseam (inside/crotch seam).

Finish it up with an elastic waistband, and you have pants!

For the shirt, I used a pattern for a knit shirt from my mom. But if you want a tutorial, Dana's 90 Minute Shirt would be super cute! But I wanted the option of tucking Dragon's little fingers inside. Halloween can include snow some years in Utah...

To add a pocket that I could tuck over, I cut out a rectangle, hemmed one side, and placed it on the edge of the sleeve. I sewed around the three sides shown in the picture.

Then hem the sleeve and finish sewing the shirt. Attach the sleeve to the shirt,

and sew under the sleeve and down the side seam in one long line.

Now you have a sleeve where you can fold over the hands to keep them warm.

To make the hat, I used this Upcycled Boy Hats tutorial from I Am Momma - Hear Me Roar. I lined it with an old white t-shirt and added little monkey ears on the side, the same way I would for an actual sock monkey. Last, but not least, I made a tail, stuffed it and sewed it into place. Voila! Sock Monkey Baby!!

Hands out:

Hands in:

Cute monkey bum!

I may be biased, but I think he's the cutest sock monkey I've ever made...and I've made a lot of sock monkeys!


Ombre Chevron Crochet Baby Blanket

Wow, I know I keep promising that I will get back to blogging, but can I just say that I am not one of those awesome women who can balance everything! 

Adding little Dragon to my family has been incredible, but difficult. I'm figuring out how to be the mother of a stubborn kindergartener, independant "I'll do it by MYSELF" toddler, and a (I'll be honest) ridiculously easy-going baby. He may be easy going, but he is still a baby that demands a lot of time and effort.

With the 3 kids, I've been a bit overwhelmed and while I love blogging, it has taken the back seat for a while. I still make no promises about any regular blogging, but I will pop in to share something as the mood strikes.

The mood has struck! I made this adorable crochet baby blanket for my sister-in-law who is having her first baby in a few months. She's having a girl, but with it being her first, she and her husband requested something gender neutral.

I love the ombre effect that is so popular right now, so to give the gender neutral a bit of style I wandered around the yarn isles in JoAnn with my best friend for far too long, looking for just the right shades.

In case you want to replicate, here are the yarns we found, starting with the darkest yellow:

1: Vanna's Choice Baby in Duckie
2: Lion Brand Baby Soft in Lemonade ( This is a true baby yarn, and I had to double it, holding two strands together. But there is enough yarn in this skein that you still only need one. I spent the time at the beginning to wind a center pull ball starting with both ends.)
3: Bernat Satin in Banana
4: Vanna's Choice Baby in Lamb
5: Vanna's Choice in White
(Not pictured: I used some heather grey from my stash for the single crochet edging.)

I used this free pattern from Lion Brand Yarns. (The reviews are mixed, but I found it easy and liked the texture it created.) I read the pattern and figured that with my 5 skeins, I needed 9 rows of each color. Oddly enough, the three Vanna's were supposed to be the same amount/length/size skein, but I was a few stitches short with Color 1, more than a few stitches short with Color 4, but had plenty of Color 5. Weirdness. But what's awesome about the ombre fade is I was able to just start the next color to finish up the last row and keep going. If you look carefully at the pictures above, you can see close to the front where Color 2 starts in the last several stitches of the first color, but you only notice if you are really inspecting the blanket.

The mommy-to-be loves it, and I can't wait to meet my new little niece and see her wrapped in this yummy blanket.



This is my shameless attempt to get an awesome makeover! Before I moved into my first house almost a year ago, I spent the week between closing on the house and moving in at the new house super late every night. I was cleaning, shampooing carpets, and most importantly, painting! Sadly, I only took the time to paint the two kids' rooms. They look great (check them out here and here), but I didn't have time to do my room. I figured I'd tackle it soon...

But then I was sick with my pregnancy and the meds wiped me out. Too tired to do any of that, I still haven't done anything to make my room awesome. It would be SA-WEET to have Mandi and Hailee come to my house and make this room EPIC! I'm officially entering the contest to win a new room!!

My room is awesome, but it needs color! And style! Let me walk you through it (um, sorry in advance about the bathroom over-share...)

To make sure you caught it all, check out these still photos. And since I know someone will wonder, I've got awesome family to help me with the kids if I were lucky enough to win!

possibly included master bath?

Please vote for me! I would really love this space to be awesome, and I know this makeover would be just the thing!


My little Dragon

Wow. Am I the meanest blogger ever? I tell you a week ago that I will be having my baby the next day and then nothing....

Well, sorry to make you wait, but meet my newest little guy, Dragon. His "code name" for the blog is the English translation of his Chinese middle name, just like the other kids.

Look at all that hair!! All of my kids have come out with hair, but his is by far the thickest.

This little guy came into the world fast! The time line went something like this:

11:30 am: check into the hospital for induction.

12:00 pm: IV placed after 3 tries, resulting in some of the prettiest bruising I've ever had.

12:30 pm: Doctor tells me he will check my progress and break my water. I ask for an epidural before he breaks the water, because I know I go fast once that happens (Hero was just under 3 hours, Pretty was just under 2). He doesn't think I'll progress fast enough to miss getting one, and before I know it, he's broken the water and started a slow drip of Pitocin. (see where this is going?)

12:45 pm: Intense contractions with major pain in my lower back making me scream. Beg for the epidural. All anesthesiologists are occupied in surgeries.

12:55 pm: Nurse says, "You're a 9" and runs to get a doctor, since mine was currently involved in a surgery next door. I look at Jake and tell him in a panic, "He's coming! He's coming without an epidural! I can do this. I can do this." (I was totally trying to convince myself of this...)

1:07 pm: Amid the deepest, throatiest, manliest screams I've ever made, my baby is here in two pushes. BAM. and OUCH!

Good thing he's cute, eh?


To Do List Update!

 Ok everyone. I have been busy growing and growing. These pictures were taken one week ago by my good friend. Since I am scheduled for an induction tomorrow, I figured I should hurry up and post about all the stuff I've been making for this little guy.

I'll do the list in the same number order, and check them off as we go!

1. Make new baby bedding: CHECK!
2. Finish crochet blanket and hat: CHECK! (but no pictures yet because they are packed away in my hospital bag in the back of my van in the garage, and I'm too lazy to go get them. This means the first time you will get to see them is wrapped around my sweet new baby!)
3. Unpack and rewash baby clothes: CHECK! Pinterest comes through again! This washing trick (pin here) got out quite a bit and I will be using it with every size he moves in to.

4. Make a Straight Jacket Swaddler, and maybe a few burp cloths: CHECK! and CHECK! I love these monsters I found for the straight jacket.

And a "few" burp cloths turned into 20! I decided to make a whole new set, so I raided my stash of flannel from when I stocked up last Black Friday. My loving sister did all the cutting out for me, since she felt bad for the amount of groaning I did cutting out other stuff!

5. Make a sock monkey: um, not yet. I'll get it done before the 1 month picture, I promise.
6. Sew Pretty's curtains: CHECK!
7. Sew a new quilt for Hero: HA! I knew that one wasn't going to happen. Christmas? :)

That was the end of my official list. 5 out of 7 isn't too bad! Especially because I added two more to the list without telling you.

First, I decided that I really wanted to make a faux chenille blanket from Dana's tutorial. It was a lot of tedious work, but turned out so great! I love it with crazy amounts of love! I used a 100% cotton that was in the wrong place at JoAnns, so I didn't realize it was supposed to be next to the outdoor canvas stuff... It's heavy and perfect. I'm glad I ran across it accidentally! The colors of flannel are yellow, grey and green. I also spent the extra time to bind the blanket the right way, with hand stitching. LOVE!!

And finally, I needed to make a new changing pad. I used the tutorial from Homemade by Jill to make one just after Pretty came along. It was girly with flowers, but I planned to use it for my boy anyway. Then I thought I would wash it, and the stuff I laminated on pulled of and ripped apart! I learned later that you only hand wash or delicate wash that stuff. Oops.

So a new one was needed. Yes, that is a Cheese patch. And yes, I love him.

The "laminated" side is the PUL stuff that you would buy if you were making cloth diapers. I was pointed to it when I asked where laminated fabric was at JoAnn's and told the woman what I was planning for it. I don't do cloth diapers, but I figured that would keep it protected enough! The only thing I worry about is whether it will wipe clean easily or stain, especially with it being white. But at very least, it should be able to go into the washing machine. (Oh, and hey, it looks like it's on sale right now at joann.com.) And if you plan on using this stuff, know that it stretches... a lot! I used my walking foot to keep it from going everywhere!

 Well, that's it! I have packed the bags for these two cuties to go to their grandparents for the night (Hero is thrilled about his sleep-over!) I can't wait to see if the new baby has the darker or lighter coloring... or if he will come up with his own unique combo!

I'm about to have 3 kids! They will outnumber us!! Wish me luck. :)