Friday, March 29, 2013

Minnie and Mickey Outfits

 When we went to visit family in Florida earlier this month we were planning to go to Disney. Unfortunately the tickets were blacked out for the main park so we only got to go to Animal Kingdom. So we didn't get to see the characters but we still had a blast. Thanks Jeremy for getting us in!

So for our anticipated trip I made our older 3 Minnie and Mickey outfits. It's so much more fun as a kid when you feel like you're part of the magic and people ooh and aww as you walk past. These were pretty simple. I made the pattern for the shorts and then added little white ovals to the front and back. The skirts I did as circle skirts with straps. However the straps kept falling down because I made them just a bit to long. If you decide to copy these designs then I would recommend adding a bar across the back to connect the two straps or making them so that the cross over in the back.

The plain white and black shirts we just bought. I didn't see a reason to try and make those on the limited time I was working on to get this done. :-)

Monday, March 25, 2013

Easy Quilting for Crazy People

Warning this is a picture heavy post. It is a full tutorial that shows you how to do a mitered edge that is one sold piece with your back.

I think this is best described as quilting for crazy people. I have no idea if this is actually an accepted method of quilting among anyone. If it is please let me know the proper term for it and I'll relabel it. This is something I figured out on my own though so for right now that is what I'm calling it. Considering I've never quilted before this is an easy beginner method for a small quilt. However I doubt it would work to well on a larger one.

First start by laying your unquilted top over your batting and cutting your batting around 2" larger on each side.

Next you need to cut your quilt backing to be about 2 1/2" bigger on each side then what your batting is. Now lay your quilt backing right over the top of your quilt top with right sides facing each other and the batting in the back.
It should be a quilt sandwich right now with the smallest piece in the center. This part is going to seem strange but stay with me here. It will work like magic in a few minutes. 

On the two longer sides match up the edges of your quilt back with the edges of your quilt top. You will have over hang on either side so try to center this as best as possible. A yard stick will help. 

Now pin this side down. In the picture below you can see the over hang I have on the right. Just try to make sure you have an equal amount on the left. You will have batting hanging out below and that is good. DO NOT CUT IT and DO NOT LINE UP THE BATTING. 

Now do the same to the other side. It's best to lay this out on a flat clean surface and not try to do it on a couch like I did. That made it a lot harder then it should have been. You really do need to pin both sides like this in order to make sure you fabric doesn't shift and end up wonky. You will end up with a big fold in the middle that looks like extra fabric. Do not panic that is how it should be. In fact making a nice clean fold of that in the center will make it easier to line up your other side and pin it. Then sew along your pinned sides. Only sew from the beginning of the top quilt piece to the bottom of the quilt top piece and then stop. Remember your quilt top piece is in the middle and smaller then your other pieces. This may sound tricky but if you have them lined up then it's pretty easy to see where your quilt top starts and ends. You can probably even tell in my pic where mine begin and end.

Now you will have big fabric tube. Just reach between the quilt top and quilt bottom pieces and pull inside out and TA-DAH! WOW! Nifty, right? Flatten and smooth it out like I did in the picture below.

 Now your fabric will already turn up on two sides. Just take the corners and fold them down like a triangle.

Then fold the side down in half and adjust your triangle however you need to line it up for a clean mitered edge. Iron this so you know how you want it to fold. Also take note of how much overlap you need to fold down to tuck in your raw edge. 

Now unfold and iron the raw edges over the length you need them to be. 

Now pin everything down and sew. I sew right up into the corners and back down again and continue going around from there. 
To quilt it I simply stitched in the ditch along every other outer square. You could do any sort of quilting though. That part just needs to be done AFTER you've flipped your quilt tube. 

Now you've finished your quilt and have nice mitered edges.
Have you used this method before? Will you try it now? Let me know. :-)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Tips for traveling with small children

Ok so we just went on a long road trip to visit family and friends nearly 1,000 miles away. With 4 small children this is no small feat. People are always amazing that we can pull this off. Here are some tips we use to make it less difficult. Some of them are just good tips even if you don't have kids.

1.) Before you begin your trip make stock up on snacks you and your kids enjoy that are good for the car. Things like goldfish, dried fruit, pretzels, jerky, nuts, ect. It's better to buy these from a grocery store instead of a gas station for several reasons. This will save you money and time but it's also a good way to avoid eating something that you'll later regret or that has been sitting on the shelf for far to long.
2.) Before you leave make a check list of everything you need. As you load your car simply check each item on the list. 3.) Perhaps my most important tip is to make frequent stops. once every 2 hours works well for us.
4.) When you stop EVERYONE must go potty and/or be changed. This is also the time to feed a nursing or bottle feeding infant. 
5.) Depending on your child's age and bladder control consider using overnight undies. We have two that are potty trained already (5yr and 3yr) but they still wear pullups in the car on a major trip like this because you just never know. It once took us 5-6hrs to move 1 mile where there was a major accident. I was prego at the time and kind of wishing I had a pullup.
 6.) When you stop for something to eat get something for everyone even if they aren't hungry. They will be later. 
 7.) Make sure everyone knows to speak up at the first feelings of needing to go to the bathroom. 
 8.) Bring a road map. Yes, I hear you asking why. I know you have a GPS and smart phone. What reason on earth could you possibly need for bringing a road map. Trust me it's just wise to have a backup. Things can happen. Besides it's fun finding all of the oddly named towns. Every state has them.
 9.) Stop at traveler information centers for good clean bathrooms and to learn more about cool attractions off the beaten path.
10.) Listen to the radio as much as you can. I know your music is better because you can select what you want to hear but if you listen to the radio then you maybe able to avoid a long delay that you otherwise would have driven right into.
11.) Bring at least one extra change of clothes for adults and at least 2 for children. For infants I recommend more. There are the normal things that can happen like someone gets sick or leaks through a diaper and then there are the strange things you can't account for like being pooped on by a squirrel or sitting in chocolate.

I hope you find some of this useful. Do you have any good travel tips? What about traveling with kids? What works for you?

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

I won fabric!

Wow, I'm excited. I entered a photo contest on one of my favorite sites to buy supplies from. The site was and currently still is running a contest where if your photo is chosen to be featured on their site then your entered into a drawing for a $30 credit to their store. The picture has to have show something you made using supplies from their site. I entered this picture of Nova in the birthday dress I made for her last year. 

You can view her picture on their site here

I of course showed her the picture on their site and told her mommy won fabric because of her picture. She cared more about seeing a picture of herself then anything else. She loves seeing herself. No self esteem issues there.

So what would the smart thing be to do with my $30 credit? Save it for my next order of things I decide I need, right? So what did I do with it? I spent all day picking out fabrics that I would never normally buy because although I LOVE them they are just to pricey. Yep you can laugh at me now. I know it was silly but I couldn't help myself. Man I wish it was a $100 gift card so I could have gotten full yards instead of just half yards and fat quarters. I still managed to get 1 or 2 full yards though. I can't wait to see it all when it gets here. It's going to be like Christmas. I tried to make sure I got some fabrics to make some things for Fox too. He tends to not get as many handmade things since he is a boy. I did make him two pair of really cute shorts for our visit with family next week though. That's a whole other post though. ;-)