for the love of roses

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March has been a difficult month for me, as I’ve been sick for most of it. But little by little, I’ve been feeling better and have gotten back to my old routines. After this very long winter, I am really looking forward to spring, and am anxious to get started on Easter sewing projects, spring cleaning, and new goals.

My mom recently had a birthday. I was sad I couldn’t do more to prepare, but I did make a few things for the rose theme she chose for her party.

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As it was a milestone birthday for my mom, my brother and I were able to carry on a little tradition of giving our mom her age in roses. It really makes the house smell heavenly!

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I made this paper-pieced rose mini-quilt as a gift. I don’t know why I attempted paper-piecing for the first time when I wasn’t feeling well… I was happy to have finished it, but I definitely need more practice. The pattern was very clear and helpful, though. It came from this etsy shop.

 

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A little rose banner to decorate the gift table.

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I found myself staying up late to make paper flowers and rosettes to decorate the photo collage. It was a soothing little project.

That’s all for now. Hope to be back soon with more signs of spring!

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happy halloween

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Halloween has come and is almost gone! I was able to do a few little projects, but I still have things that will have to wait for next year. Oh well.

Here’s what I made:

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Some little softies, because why not?

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A scrappy mini fall quilt.

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Costumes! I felt really compelled to have bear versions of my costume this year. I bought Duffy’s costume and made Shellie May’s Alice ensemble. I adapted McCalls M6233 to accommodate her extra fluff.

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My boyfriend and I were also the Mad Hatter and Alice, but the only sewing I ended up doing for our costumes was my apron. My sewing machine is in dire need of a tune-up, and isn’t really up to the task of Β apparel sewing. Once I get it repaired though, I’d like to make more ruffly aprons!

We had a bit of a rainy Halloween. Only two trick-or-treaters made it to my house 😦 But it was a cozy and quiet evening, and those are my favorite.

Happy Halloween!

return to coziness

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Although it is quite hot and humid now, I have already begun to quietly prepare for autumn. I try not to rush the seasons too much, but I love the fall, and always look forward to cozy times.

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A few days ago I purchased a couple of Cabbages and Roses charm packs, and knew that I wanted to make a small and simple quilt for my den. I have never used charm packs before, and I must say, compared to the usual tedium of cutting all those squares, it was like taking a vacation! The quilt came together so quickly and everything was smooth and accurate. I just added a border of some linen, and found some suitable backing material at the fabric shop. I had envisioned backing this little quilt in flannel, but I couldn’t find just what I was looking for, so I settled for a calico. I used this pattern as a guide.

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I took my inspiration from the Cabbages and Roses online lookbook, and spent a long time gazing at pictures of the windswept English seaside. Clean simplicity is truly a hallmark of the brand. The images have a pure and tranquil beauty that is quite unique. And how lovely to be ensconced in all those airy florals!

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The shops look lovely too, like this one in Tokyo. Perhaps you caught C&R’s recent collaboration with UNIQLO? I picked up a few soft scarves, and am hoping for another such collection.

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So now I am patiently waiting for the first rainy day in a long time, and the temperatures to drop. I’ll be ready with my favorite slippers, to snuggle under my new quilt.

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second attempt

I didn’t want to let too much time go by before trying another quilt, for fear of forgetting all I’d learned in the process, so I decided to round up some scraps, use the same template, and make a cozy little quilt just for me. As is often the case in my experience, my second try was a bit bumpier than my first. Perhaps I was less careful this time. I tried not to stress the mistakes too much though, since I knew this quilt wasn’t a gift. And even though it’s riddled with errors, I’m pretty happy with it. I like the windowpane effect of the negative space, and love the overall crinkliness it acquired after its first wash. My hopes of not having to buy any fabric for this quilt almost came true –I had to go to the shop for just the backing and the batting, but I am tryingΒ to keep costs down.Β  In any case, Β I do believe I’ve got the quilting bug, and am looking forward to choosing my next pattern soon.

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better late than never

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I have a habit in life of wanting to wait until conditions are perfect to start something. I try to put a lot of care and thought into projects, but more often than not, my habit is simply an excuse to put things off.

A good example of this would be the case of some fabric I purchased several (ahem) years ago. It was a charming and whimsical print featuring a knight, a boy, and his friendly dragon. I especially liked the scenes of them reading books and letters together. The fabric reminded me of my older brother, and I thought it would make a nice quilt if he were to have kids of his own some day.

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Well, fast forward a few years and I had nephew. I really wanted to use the fabric for a baby quilt, but that never happened. In my defense, it was hard to find a pattern suited to the size of the print, and I was fairly busy in school. And then I moved away to college and lived in a tiny apartment with no sewing machine, etc, etc, etc.

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In truth I guess I was really waiting until I felt I was competent enough in my sewing to be worthy of the fabric. (I have this feeling a lot). But after getting back into sewing this year, I suddenly didn’t want to wait anymore. And even though I made zero full sized quilts in the years since I purchased the fabric, I decided to forge ahead and do my best to finally make this quilt for nephew’s eighth (eek!) birthday.

It is not perfect. Not at all. But I did get it done in time for his birthday (give or take eight years). I must say, it feels quite nice to have made something, anything, out of this fabric I’d kept forever, neatly folded in the back of a closet.IMG_6134

I realize that my sewing machine is not quite up to the task of machine quilting, and I didn’t have the time to hand quilt it. Still, I am pretty excited about doing another quilt now. Probably a more girly, pastel one for myself. It will be good practice, because I still have a lot to learn!

*Here is a link to the tutorial I used.