Friday, September 30, 2011

Happy Birthday Miss V


People never believe me when I say you have been smiling since you were 2 weeks old.  
But here it is, the proof.

I was afraid of so many things before you were born...
that I wouldn't have enough love for you and your sister
that the stress of my job while you were in utero was going to taint you in some way
that I wasn't going to know what to do with two
that it would be oh so hard like it was the first time
that I had forgotten how to survive the endless sleepless nights
that I would fail you both...and Daddy too...

This last year has been full of surprises and with every step you have shown me the way.
My permanent smiles baby.
My happy happy always happy squish.
A giggler as she gets into something she knows she shouldn't.
The most cuddly and affectionate of children who rubs her face against you as she hugs.  
The devious one, the child that will definitely be cleverly getting into and out of trouble...constantly.
My destructo-bunny.  Not clumsy, not bull in a China shop, just methodical and precise demolition.
A worshiper of her older sister who purposely yells and bangs to wake her up at nap time to play.
My biggest most bright eyed with the longest eyelashes you could ever dream of baby girl.
My open mouthed I'm going to eat your cheeks Mommy kisser.

It is hard to believe that we ever survived without you.

I love you.

Happy Birthday

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Trash or Treasure Thursday Think Tank [September 29, 2011]


Thursday Think Tank
I sat down to a late dinner this evening and thought hmm, when the girls go to bed I shall write my Thursday Think Tank post.  Then, a split second later, I remembered...  Groan, oh no it is Trash or Treasure Thursday Think Tank.  How does one go about trashing the treasures you were so in love with just a few weeks before?   More importantly for your purposes, how does one go about making it visually interesting and not just one long list?

Ha.  Well...let's see if I can figure it out...

Thursday Think Tank - A Trash or Treasure Edition

First a brief explanation.  Come on, bear with me.  For as long as I can remember I always carry a journal everywhere I go, I draw, write, rip paper out, add paper in and basically store all the things I need to do or brainstorm about all day long.  Right now I carry two journals; one is a visual journal the other a written one (which is totally silly because I use them interchangeably so I am breaking my own idiotic rules).  In short, I am a list-aholic.  But, being the visual person that I am I don't just cross off things on my list I also rank and prioritize my lists with a series of doodles and decorations.  
  • Straight cross-off means it is accomplished.  Yay!  (Yes, sometimes I include ! as a pat on the back)
  • Asterisks means the item is urgent and I better get my you know what in gear.  
  • Question marks indicate that more information is needed to get the item finished.  (I know, dork.)
  • Arrows & dates in little drawn boxes demonstrate priority and deadlines
  • And then there are the squiggled items.  Items that have squiggles through them are items that no longer apply.  Yup, I don't just cross them off.   Instead I like to see that it was never finished or forgotten it is simply that I no longer have a need for it.  

I'm an artist/lawyer and the daughter of two engineers.  Of course I have a crazy OCD system.  Oh, and my habit of making lists with numbering/bullets drives my BFF absolutely bonkers so that is a small bonus.  Heh heh...

Why this (no so brief) explanation?  When I am *trashing* my Think Tank items I am either crossing them off because they are completed or I am drawing a squiggly line because for whatever reason the idea no longer appeals to me.  I mean no disrespect to the idea or its original creator and am not judging the idea on whether it is good or bad.  Happy Shiny People, people, Happy Shiny People.  {As always original sources are linked via title so further investigation is completely encouraged!}

Trash
::First Day of School::Scrappy Journals: My Christmas Gift recipients are all under 5 this year. So I am replacing this idea with Crayon Rolls...  Thanks again to Stitched in Color for both wonderful ideas!  I'll be at the journal point in a few years time.Jewelry Display Boards: As I wrote in this post I have already created some jewelry boards.  I have also earmarked how they will hang in my bedroom around my vintage vanity (love!)...I just need to get the Mr., a hammer, and some nails together to finish it off.  So this is a Cross OffSewn Lunchbag: Okay...I really like this idea and perhaps when I return to work (sniff, sniff, and miss my poor babes) I can make one for myself.  But the original intention on the Think Tank List was for the Mr. and he is just not going to carry around a cute bag like this.  Let's face it - he is a tupperware man.Autumn TunicShirred Dress as seen on Fussy Cut: Summer is over.  I've started making an Autumn Tunic instead for Miss E.  This Think Tank has been replaced for this one...  DSC_0058Swaddling Blankets: Man, I can't start thinking about whether I'll ever have another baby so it is best to get this idea out of my head now.  Regardless, this was on the list because of a new baby coming into the family and it has been substituted with these...  The Bee Cross Stitch: Oh, Bee how I love thee.  But Anna Maria Horner just came out with cross stitch too...and we all know my obsession for AMH.  Plus I have you in fabric form anyway so we are all good.  I'm just going to squiggle you off...


Jane Market Bag as seen on Twin Fibers: Oh, just looking at this photo makes me want one!  But, here is a little bit you most likely didn't know about me unless you know me in real life.  I have quite a collection (okay some might say obsession) with designer handbags.  Yup.  Loads, of 'em.  So...unless I was given one of these in a swap (yay!) I really have no business making another bag even one as cute as this!  xoxo Jane Market Bag!Chalkboard Door: We rent our home so no actual door for us.  But the Mr. and I got motivated one weekend and very friendly with the peeps at Home Depot and created this Chalkboard Board from scratch.  The top is for our my lists and the bottom is for Ms. E.  Ms. V simply watches her sister or rubs off all the chalk she can reach!  Fun for everyone...

Treasure



    

      





Middle Row Left to Right: Mug Rugs, DIY Haircomb, Bouncing Bubbles

Bottom Row Left to Right: I Spy Placemat, Pillows, Plastic Bag Holder

Whew.  Wow.  That really took some serious thought and fighting with Blogger to get all of that on here and formatted.  Loud exhalation (literally).  On the other hand, it was totally worth the effort to see my list pared down to what I am still interested in creating.  Excellent!  Good work Rebecca Lynne!

Do you have anything on your list you can cross off or are ready to draw a squiggly line through?  And, while I am asking questions...  What do you guys think?  Is this kind of layout for Trash or Treasure cool or would you rather something different...




As always...

Feel free to rattle off anything that has been brewing in your creative heads.  It can be anything, quilting, home improvement, fashion, crafting, DIY gifts, cooking...whatever you have recently thought "hmmm, you know what I should create" is perfectly appropriate for the Think Tank.  Have a blog?  Grab the Thursday Think Tank button displayed on the right.  

Please leave a link to your T.T.T. on your blog in the linky party below or leave a comment with your Thursday Think Tank ideas!  

Feel free to submit Think Tank Links Until Next Thursday's Think Tank!

- rebecca lynne

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wishlist: Echo by Lotta Jansdotter


D-R-O-O-L...  I for one cannot get over this collection by Lotta Jansdotter.  The Echo collection will be available come November and I really really hope someone is paying attention so I can get my mits on this.  I don't think there is a pattern in this collection that I wouldn't love.  Yum!

In fact, I'll be adding a Wishlist Page soon just so that Santa doesn't get overwhelmed.  I want my desires to be very clear.  ;)

- rebecca lynne

This, that, and the other... [WIP Wednesday]

It is time for This, That, and The Other...  Or my explanation as to why some things get done, others stall, and new things are started...

Across the Sea Quilt
Alrighty, well I've been working on this and I do have bits of the back completed...but I have decided that while it would be nice to make the October 3rd deadline and be included in a potential prize draw I'd rather quilt the finished top and backing in a rather specific way which is going to take time.  Because this quilt is going in my blue room bedroom I want it to be exactly right and it is not worth rushing it!

Challenge Tumbling Blocks
Meanwhile, as promised, I've been working on these.  Oh yes, the infamous TBs.  As you can see I have started to sew them together and what a headache that has been.  Good thing it is still September because I am going to need all the time I can get to finish them!

Tumbling Blocks OOPS

And I already started making mistakes...see these two bits are not sewn together correctly!  So I have been taking breaks to keep myself from going mad over tumbling blocks...

Pretty {little} Pouch Swap
and began working on my Partner's Pouch for the Pretty {little} Pouch Swap.  But, I am waiting for supplies so can go no further...sigh...  What do you think?  Frill or no Frill?

Frame Pouch Preparations

Un-named For Now
Being stalled on the pouch, but enticed by so much gorgeous Japanese pretty print-i-ness is what led me to the this...  
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love these flowers...love!

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Sorry to be such a tease about my reveal but the overall idea will be shown in full soon!  All I can say is that this latest project is making my heart go pitter pat in a way I haven't felt in a long time. As they would say in the enchanted forest - I am twitterpated.  I am not anxious about my progress, I am not worried about the results, I am just completely enamored with the whole development of this latest project! 


And lastly, the other, A FINISHED QUILT!  What the W-H-A-T?  Just when you were starting to think I would never finish anything.  Here we go!  Meet the XOXO Quilt made for the 100 Quilts for Kids Drive.  You can learn more about this gorgy charity quilt, and see more glam finished quilt photos, in its solo post here.

XOXO Quilt Chillin' Closeup
XOXO Quilt Finished!

Before I leave you to go check out the linky party over at Freshly Pieced a bit of housekeeping.  Have you noticed I now have 47 Followers?  I know, right?  I am as shocked as you, probably more so because I know myself better...wink!  That completely rocks.  So...if (I should be positive and say *when*) I reach 50 Followers I will do a Giveaway.  What would you, the faithful 47, be interested in?  A pretty little pouch made by moi, destash, FQs?  I think I know the answer to this...but I thought I'd be nice and ask...  Personally, I'd love to make a pouch...but I have a feeling the FQs might win you over.  I'll have to see what I can find to donate to the worthy celebratory cause.  In the meantime, leave me a comment and tell me what you think!


- rebecca lynne

p.s.  have you voted on your favorite color poll over on the right?  go ahead...it'll take two seconds...

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

XOXO Quilt - 100 Quilts for Kids

Finally.  A Finish.  It feels really great to have finished something and even better knowing that it is for a good cause too!

Meet the XOXO Quilt.  So named for the obvious X's and the little "O's" in the white blocks between them.
XOXO Quilt Front


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I kept the back simple and really love how the quilting shows off so well on the back.  I have been fascinated by broadcloth quilting recently and after I finished my quilting I turned this over and thought it has a modern broadcloth look to it.  How cool!

XOXO Quilt Front

Front Closeup

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Back Quilting Detail

XOXO Quilt FMQ detail


For the wide border I decided to practice my FMQ and just did a few wavy lines and loops.  I think it adds some fun to the otherwise linear quilting and I had a lot of fun playing around with it.

XOXO Quilt Chillin' Closeup

Love this shot of the XOXO Chillin.


quilt stats [<-- I've wanted to do that since I started blogging!!!]
size = 46" x 46"
fabric = Soul Blossom by Amy Butler, Nicey Jane by Heather Bailey, Garden Party by Anna Maria Horner

pattern = x layout inspired by Tula Pink's Kiss Kiss, I saw one image of it and then improv'd the rest
binding = fold-over, a first for me!, if I do it again will fold from front to back as opposed to back to front as I did this time
quilting = by yours truly an off the top of my head design


100 Quilts for Kids Donation
Having just recently moved here from Brooklyn I had no idea where I was going to donate this quilt.  As a former juvenile delinquency prosecutor in NYC I know of a ton of charities where this quilt would be happily received in Brooklyn...but in some  my new home is in even more need of charitable TLC because there is so much less attention focused on the less fortunate in these back woods areas.  So, I was really hoping to find someone to help me locate a family to give the quilt to.


Fortunately, last weekend I was at the annual Apple Festival in neighboring Busti, NY where I noticed a stall with a handwritten sign stating that all proceeds would go to the Children in our County.  Being the big mouth that I am I walked right up and asked if they would be interested in a quilt donation and be able to find a local home that would need a quilt for a child.  They were so thrilled in my interest in their dedication to local children that they asked me to come to a meeting and speak about the quilt donation!  It was only later when I looked up the group online, Kiwanis International, that I learned that it is an international organization that works on behalf of children...what luck is that?!  I feel a bit silly being a "guest speaker" but it could be an amazing opportunity to find other people who might want to contribute to the quilt drive in the coming year!


Swim, Bike, Quilt


Linking up to Swim, Bike, Quilt!  If you have a quilt you are contributing to 100 Quilts for Kids don't forget to link up between Sept 28-30 to be considered for the special prizes!  Go check it out...




- rebecca lynne

Custom Burp Cloths: A Tutorial

Welcome to this Tuesday's Tutorial - Custom Burp Cloths.  This should really be called the Dummy's Guide to Custom Burp Cloths because this is a no frills method to creating custom burp cloths.  This straightforward approach is purposely geared towards people who feel less than comfortable around a sewing machine but are determined to give a beautiful handmade gift at a baby shower.  If that is you, I commend you and I will happily walk you through this as best as I can.  I decided to write this tutorial after a close friend, who abhors sewing machines and rotary cutters (even though she did a rather good job with her first quilt without me standing by her to see it through, admittedly it did require many phone calls and text messaging...ha!) asked me to show her how to make these burp cloths.  

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For those of you with sewing skills this is a really simple gift idea that is useful, easy to whip up, and impressive for the lovers of handmade baby items in your life.  This is perfect to use those extra baby quilt scraps you may have leftover - every recipient of a Rebecca Lynne baby quilt has received matching burp cloths and the mothers go gaga that it is all matchy matchy.  Plus, you will enjoy getting really creative with this method and beautifying your burp cloths with intricate patchwork and quilting.  Feel free to go as detailed if you like with this although I would recommend keeping your recipient in mind.  I chose a blue, gray, green, and yellow color palette with minimal patchwork as that is what this particular Mommy to Be prefers...very modern and streamlined.

Skill Level: Easy Peasy intended for those haters of all things involving sewing machines


Materials:
  • Cloth Diapers
  • Fabric - easily done with fat quarters (FQ) or whatever scraps you have around
  • Sewing Machine (haha, unless you want to do it by hand in which case be my guest)
  • Coordinating Thread
  • Ruler
  • Iron (& board)
  • Scissors (Rotary Cutter if you have but not required)

1. Choosing your Cloth Diapers
You can buy cloth diapers from a variety of online sources such as here and here.  If you are wondering why I use cloth diapers over other possible fabrics I will tell you that as a mother of two projectile spit-up drool fest children I have tried almost every type of material as a burp cloth and the cloth diaper is hands down the most absorbent & least smelliest plus easiest to clean alternative.  I mean, come on, think about what they are intended to soak up anyway...so yeah, spit up?  They're all over it.  Plus, once your child has outgrown the burp cloth phase these now beautified cloth diapers make wonderful dust rags!

There are a variety of cloth diapers out there.  Multiple sizes, multiple thicknesses, and natural versus bleached white.  If you have a particular color palette in mind you should go with whatever shade will go with your fabric best.  For this tutorial I will be using white XL prefolds.
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White
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Natural
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Varying Thicknesses


2. Measure your cloth diapers to determine fabric size


Once you have your diapers chosen you will measure how long they are.  You will also decide how wide you would like your fabric to be across the diaper.  For this tutorial I chose a width of 6" and my diapers measured 17" long.    

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3. Cut your fabric
You will cut your fabric to allow for a 1" seam all around.  This generous seam allowance will prevent fraying and also give you plenty of room to press your fabric's edges.  In my example I cut the fabric 19"x8" to provide a 1" seam.

Experienced sewers, you can obviously piece your fabric rather than have on solid piece and you may shorten your seam allowance to the standard 1/4" if you prefer.

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4. Press your long edges
After cutting your fabric you will place the fabric face down and fold over each edge 1" and press that portion down with your iron.  Do this for the longest edges of your fabric.
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You will want to have your ruler handy to make sure your 1" is consistent otherwise your fabric piece may turn out wonky and stretched.
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Once you are done pressing the longest sides it should look like this.
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5. Pressing the shorter edges
You will press your shorter edges using the ruler as a guide to make sure your corners are squared.  This pressing is not as important as you may need to alter it a bit when it comes to sewing.  Don't worry...it isn't hard to alter later...but if you press now then you will have a guide as to the appropriate "edge" of the fabric.
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Once your short edges are pressed you will want to snip the corner so that the corners do not get in the way when sewn.
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Sometimes these bits do not want to stay so to save yourself from later headaches you may choose to pin them down.
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6. Aligning your fabric with the cloth diaper
Now that your fabric is the size you require for your particular design you will lay it along the diaper.  Once you have placed it in the way you'd like it to lay you will pin it to the diaper.  The pinning doesn't need to be beautiful, but pinning is important as the diaper is thick with multiple layers and things can get shifted when placed  under the sewing machine presser foot.  Be sure to pin your short edges all the way across the edge of the diaper.


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7. Sewing ONE short edge onto the diaper
You will attach your first short edge onto the diaper using a zig zag stitch.  If your diapers are like mine this will blend in naturally with the serged stitching that is already keeping the folds of the cloth diaper together. For a secure zig zag you will want to keep your fabric in the center of the presser foot so that the zig zag goes all the way around the side of the fabric.  You may want to widen the width of your zig zag to match the serged edges.  I also go over my zig zag in reverse to reinforce and match the density of the threading on the cloth diapers serged edges (if you aren't comfortable reversing then take the piece off and simply go over it again moving forward).
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Center your fabric for the zig zag stitch
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8. Sewing your long edges
You will now take the piece off the sewing machine, cut your threads, and you will begin sewing the long edges along the length of the diaper.  Change your machine from the zig zag to a regular stitch.  To prevent your fabric from sticking up and out you will want to sew as closely to the edge of the fabric as possible.  I used a walking foot, but a regular presser foot works just as well.  (If you don't know what I am talking about, just disregard.)

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Close to the edge as possible

Repeat this with the second long side.  And it should look like this...
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No I have not forgotten about the last short edge...it should still be unsewn and look like this...
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 9. Last short edge
You will want to pin your last edge to make sure it meets the end of the cloth diaper.  The reason why we leave this edge open to the last is because of all those slippery layers.  Leaving this side open allows you to readjust, pull, refold your last edge to fit the length of the diaper.  Cloth diapers are not a perfect rectangle and often have curvy edges so leaving this last bit to adjust allows you to compensate for that irregularity.  Just trying to make your life easier - wink. (excuse fuzzy photo)

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After pinning all you will do is repeat Step 7 by zig zagging this last edge to the cloth diaper.  

10. Cut your threads and Voila!  Done!
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Finished Basic Custom Burp Cloth


11. For The Advanced or Adventurous Sewers
There is no need to go any further so if you are relieved to be able to walk away from the sewing machine Congrats you are done!  If you'd like to do a bit more then press on.  The thickness of the material is a great opportunity to practice your free motion quilting skills or do some cool patchwork piecing to make your burp cloths even more unique.  As you can see here I decided to do a bit of FMQ experimentation.

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Also, I would be remiss if I failed to point out that instead of having the fabric running along the length of the diapers you can also choose to simply bind your cloth diapers along the serged edges.  This saves fabric and is a very beautiful alternative to the method shown here.  The majority of the cloth diapers I received as a gift are completed in this manner and are extremely simple and beautiful with just a binding of pretty fabric running along the short edges of the diaper cloth.

If you decide to make any custom burp cloths of your own please let me know!  I'd love to see and share them in a post!

- rebecca lynne