New Inventory and Finished Projects

Happy March!

My past month has been productive, I’ve gotten more books read than I did all of last year (I’ve been trying to read more and watch less). I’ve also finished a lot of quilting projects! Still on my to-do list is building a website, which I’ll be trying to work on regularly here soon. I haven’t had much computer time up to this point (my toddler doesn’t cooperate well for me to be on the computer).

I’ve added quite a few listings to my Etsy Shop – so go check it out! Here are some pics of the items I have added:

Other projects I have finished include this baby quilt:



I’m in love with this quilt, and for that reason could not bring myself to sell it. I’ve been working on it a long time but finally got around to finishing it (I wasn’t in a rush because I love it for myself). If this next baby is a girl, I’ll be keeping it for her. If not, I will have to find a close friend or family member having a girl to give it to. I could not part with this one to a stranger as I am too attached.

I also finished a Valentine’s Day gift for my husband. I followed this pattern over at Clover & Violet LLC to make an ereader cover for my husband’s kobo mini. Unfortunately, I was not very happy with this tutorial. It is free, so no complaints there. However, I would NOT recommend it for beginners. Some of the steps are incredibly vague and require you to make some guesses and improvise. I also am not a huge fan of how the inside turned out. It seems messy and not very cleanly finished. Overall, I was happy with the finished product but I won’t be using this tutorial to make more covers. I have another pattern I am planning on trying out for my own ereader cover.

Last but not least, I finished a project for myself! Although you could argue it is more for my toddler…

I made myself a high quality, involved car organizer! I am so happy with how it turned out. I need to sew a stitch line that I somehow missed and only realized once I put items in it, but beyond that it turned out perfectly. I followed the Simplicity 2916 Pattern (following B and skipping the CD pockets). I believe I purchased it when JoAnn’s was having the patterns on sale for $1.99 each. I would say it is intermediate sewing level and have a few tips for it: You will need a large (denim) needle. There are points where you are going through 5+ layers and your sewing machine will hate you. The pattern calls for 2 packages of bias tape. Buy 3! I ran out 20 inches short of finishing and had to run out and get another package. Any part of the pattern that you cut out that says “CD Pocket” I’d skip unless you actually store CDs in the backseat of your car. I used flamingo fabric I’ve had for a few years and it turned out so fantastic!



Etsy Shop & Large Quilt

I haven’t posted a new blog post in FOREVER. I’ve actually finished a lot of projects since then. Between the projects, opening an Etsy shop online, fostering (and keeping one) adorable kittens for a local shelter, being pregnant with baby #2, going through at least 3 illnesses in the past two months along with my toddler, and taking online classes, things have been a little crazy. I’m excited that I’ve been commissioned already for a website even though I haven’t finished my Web Design Certificate! I’ll be working on that here soon. I’m excited to start building my portfolio.

I do not have much listed as of yet on my Etsy site. I am slowly building an inventory and then may do some craft fairs. I think that my items will sell better in person where people can see and touch the quality of the products etc. They also wouldn’t have to pay shipping. I’ve thought of becoming a vendor at a local baby shop that sells handmade local goods. I’d have to build up a significantly bigger inventory to do so, though. I’m not sure I’d be able to do that and manage it by the time we will likely be moving. Maybe I’ll be ready to sell in person at craft fairs sooner and then find a permanent location at our next base.

I recently finished a belated Wedding/Christmas present for my sister-in-law and her husband. They got married last August. At that time I had already collected the fabric, but hadn’t actually started working on the quilt. She is going to be a veterinarian so I stuck with an animal theme. The quilt is almost entirely cats and dogs, but there are a few bunnies mixed in as well. It was originally going to be a scrap quilt, but I ran out of scraps and had to purchase more of the fabric. Some of it was also graciously given to me by my Aunt from her extensive fabric stash. I think she liked seeing it get used.

Here are some photos of the finished quilt! I can’t remember what the final dimensions were, but I made it as a large lap quilt/couch quilt. I think it ended up around 70 x 80 inches. The pattern it is based off of is called “Jelly On the Fence.” I did not follow the pattern exactly (I rarely do). But you can find it at Stitchin’ Tree Quilts.


I did hand-quilt it, doing random patterns on every other row. I also pieced the back, because a solid back is pretty boring. I even hid my sister-in-law’s and her husband’s names in the quilting. I’m not sure they have spotted it yet!

I also sent a few handmade Christmas presents, but so far they appear to be lost in the mail. It is extremely upsetting. I did report them to the post office and hopefully they will be found and arrive to my brother-in-law and his wife. I had a ton of shipping issues with UPS prior to Christmas, so I stuck with USPS for shipping these. I shipped six packages that day and TWO of them haven’t arrived at their destinations. They were supposed to arrive by January 23rd, but have been “in-transit” since the 20th.

I have three current quilts that are in progress. One just needs a binding, one needs quilted and the other I’m still piecing.

Here is an incomplete collection of projects I’ve done since my last blog post in March 2017:


Newest Baby Quilt

I completed this quilt a couple months ago, but am just now getting around to posting photos of it. This is a very basic quilt, as well as very small. Theodore thinks it is the perfect size! I had the quilt top assembled before my mom came to stay with me for a while, but she brought the PERFECT fabric for the backing. A super soft minky (since the back is minky, this quilt has no batting and the only quilting on it was done by machine along the sides of inner border). I even bound this one by machine, which I almost never do. But, my mom had her sewing machine with her and I took advantage of all of it’s awesome stitches while she was here. I already miss her machine, even though I’ve only sewn a couple items since she has left.

Here are the photos (Theodore is modeling):


I am currently working on an Easter basket for him. I found the tutorial here, so far I am NOT a fan of the tutorial itself. The directions are confusing, and I’ve mostly had to interpret from the photos. So, at least the visuals are there. There is also one direction so far that is completely wrong (and disagrees with what the creator did). So it may have been a typo/done quickly. I chose this pattern because I like the drawstring for the top-especially great for toddlers. It’s a cute idea, but I think I may “re-write” the directions for myself if I want to make another with any changes. I always follow the directions of patterns the first time, then make changes for the following. So far there’s a couple things I’d actually put in measurements for instead of just lining up and cutting the same and I probably wouldn’t make the next one insulated (though I would use batting and interfacing still). I’ll make sure to post photos of it at Theodore’s first Easter egg hunt in Theodore, Alabama.

I am also in the process of setting up an Etsy shop. I wish I could finish setting it up without listings, but that is a requirement. I would like to build up an inventory before I start selling. I also will be selling my mom’s bags on there once she gets me photos and pricing. Comment below on what you would be most interested in buying. I’ll likely be making small baby items (like burp cloths, etc), a few big ticket items like diaper bags and quilts, and then other items. I’ll be focusing on the small stuff first to build up inventory and have plenty of listings. There is one quilt I am working on right now that would sell well, but I love it so much I probably will keep it myself. It’s very girly and I started making it while pregnant as a baby quilt. But, no girl so far!

I’ve also begun sewing clothing from patterns. I’ve done two “tests” and the sizing for patterns is absolutely terrible. I went by the measurements on the package and ended up with a pair of shorts that were probably four sizes too big. Then I went down a couple sizes, still too big. I’m normally a 4/6 but looks like I’m an 8 in McCall’s. According to their package I was a size 12 or 14. Do NOT trust those measurements to be accurate. My mom said McCall’s is typically a size up. So she was right on that one. I wish the patterns were accurate, since once you cut them they are done. At least I only buy them when they are one or two bucks. How on Earth are you supposed to figure out what size to cut out when they are all over the place? Now that I know what size I am in McCall’s, I can create a few things! Then, I’ll have to figure out my sizing for Butterick, Simplicity, etc.

I currently have two more personal projects going on besides the Easter basket. I’ve started putting together a quilt for my mother-in-law (I’m a slacker and haven’t made her one yet), and I’ve begun collecting fabric for a wedding gift for my sister-in-law.

Unfortunately, I do not have much time to sew because we are still settling into a routine with TJ back from deployment, and when Theodore is napping I am focusing on my web design classes.

The Husker Diaper Bag + Updates

Mitch and Brittani called yesterday to let me know they got their diaper bag and I am so thrilled that they love it!

This was my first diaper bag and one of the most extensive patterns I have ever read or used. Who knew when I bought the pattern that it would be 18 pages long?!? This is the pattern that I used

I would NOT recommend this pattern to a beginner sewer. I have no idea why it recommends this bag to beginners. I’d say intermediate to advanced because some of the instructions even confused my mom. She did learn a new way to do a zipper pocket that she will be using on her own bags in the future, though. This is a complicated pattern. Make sure you are familiar with sewing terms, zippers, bag hardware and elastic before attempting this bag. Also buy some heavy-duty needles. You will be (by the end of the bag) sewing through a LOT of layers. I broke four needles on this bag. Oops. I found the pattern here.

I was not a fan of the bottle part since different people prefer different baby bottles and they definitely weren’t one size-fits-all, so I did not bother making them. On another note, I used elastic much shorter than recommended by the pattern because on the first pocket I followed the instructions and did not like how “loose” it was. I prefer tight elastic pockets that hold things in well. Another thing I changed was adding batting to the zipper pockets. They felt too flimsy with just a layer of fabric as the entire pocket. The first one I sewed as instructed and the other three I added batting to. This was my first time making an adjustable strap – it was easier than I thought. The instructions for that were great.

On to the bag! I chose Husker fabric because the Laski’s are casual Husker fans. And by casual, I mean the complete opposite. I also wanted a gender-neutral bag. Diaper bags are for parents, not babies. My diaper bag is yellow and flowery. TJ’s diaper bag is solid black. I wanted a bag they would both like carrying around!



This is the changing pad I made, I lined the back with PUL.


Assembled with plenty of space and pockets!

I loved making this bag and once I have time plan on making it again in the future. However, I am NOT taking requests for ANYTHING right now. I cannot dedicate the time or make any guarantees. Plus, take a number….I have SO many projects already on my list!

In other news….

I’m currently working on getting a certificate in web design and also learning to sew clothes. I want to make Theodore cute baby clothes and things so I’ve been learning to read patterns. I also would like to make more of my own clothes so I’ve built a little stash of patterns and fabric even though I haven’t had the time to finish any projects (nor the space since the sewing room has been taken over.) My mom is currently using it, but the few times I have used it I have felt spoiled. I am going to be very sad when she takes her amazing sewing machine back with her.

My current goal is first to finish my certificate in a timely fashion. It is a six-month program but I can complete it at my own pace two courses at a time. I am using the MyCAA program and going through Sessions for it. After that, I already have a few websites I plan on designing to build up a basic portfolio. A business page for myself for sewing, a business page for my mom for her sewing, possibly business pages for my sisters if they are interested (one for her sewing and jewelry, the other for her papercrafts), and a genealogy site for my family where I would post neat stories on our ancestors and relatives that I have found through my research (one of my biggest hobbies-I am addicted). I also plan on using the certificate to make items like banners, logos etc for websites.

My second goal is then to begin building an inventory and “portfolio” for sewing.

Combining the two will hopefully give me a reasonable income and a more portable job, though I do not see it turning into a career nor a bread-winning job. Web design can make good money, but that is after a lot of time. I also have not given up on my passion of conservation and environmental education. It just is not in the cards as a career at the moment.

On a side note, in a sewing business this diaper bag would definitely be one of the pricier items. I did not mind making one at all for the Laski’s, they are great friends and I honestly have no idea how long I have known them. I have known Brittani since elementary school and Mitch since at least middle school. When it comes to sewing, I would price everything up at least 30% what it cost me in supplies. 50%-100% if it was very time-consuming and took away from other projects. I would not sell this particular bag for less than $100-$150 in a business setting.

The reason I am telling you the price is not because I want you to buy a bag from me, but to provide an explanation as to why you should never complain to a artist about their prices. It devalues their work and time. It is unrealistic to pay less. Yes, artists enjoy crafting but they do not enjoy it so much they can afford to do it for free. You are paying for a unique handmade item. You are paying for a person’s skills and time. Artists and craftspeople almost always charge less than minimum wage for their time. Before you say something like “I can buy this in a store for less,” keep in mind you actually cannot, and if you think that these items are equivalent to what you find at Walmart then go to Walmart, you clearly do not want something personal or homemade. I hear it at craft fairs all the time to other artists and it is offensive. I have not sold in one myself, but I know it is insulting and you are doing nothing but devaluing.  My sister Renee deals with this a LOT with her jewelry and it gets very frustrating, that is why I am posting this note on this blog. If you want something unique and of high quality, keep in mind that you get what you pay for.

Plenty of Projects

I’ve made quite a few projects recently, but have not had time to post about them! Oh, no! I’m such a slacker 😉

One of the more recent ones was the (finally) finished baby quilt. I actually have two more quilt tops put together….some day I will get to finishing the quilts themselves. Someday…

Although very basic, I love the contrast and colors for a baby quilt, not to mention the foxes! The back is a light blue snuggly flannel. This is a very small quilt. Barely lap size – perfect for a baby!

I made these two projects as souvenirs/gifts. The top was a pillowcase for my Aunt Jenny. This particular fabric was not wide enough, so I had to add a couple strips. It would have been wide enough if it weren’t directional fabric. I honestly hate directional fabric, it can be so limiting. Plus, you have to be extra careful in cutting and placement for more complicated projects.

The tote bag I made for my mother-in-law who uses tote bags for work.

The third bag is a large purse/tote that I thought would be perfect for my sister-in-law who is working and in school. She’s going to be a vet one day! It was my first time doing box pleats. My sewing machine did not approve of that many layers, but I won the battle. I found the pattern for the bag here.

You can view other small projects  on my public Instagram, where I post things periodically. On there are some cloth books (still more in the works, and some completed that I forgot to take photos of….), small snack pouches I have made, and some cute burp cloths I made from a kit I bought in Missouri!

Bobbin the Robin’s Continued Adventures

Due to my mom visiting me, my sewing room has been stolen. I haven’t had much time to sew, anyways. Between being a mom, working, re-training my dogs, and schoolwork my hobbies have taken a back seat. That being said, I have been able to make a few things since my last blog post and a new one is much overdue. I did share a couple photos to Instagram of some of the finished projects, but would like to post them here as well.

First things first, I left off with Bobbin the Robin! His adventures (though not fully documented with photos) did continue, in fact we even picked up another row kit in Mobile last week!! They had some leftover, and they were a sister-store to one in Pensacola. We visited Susan’s Heirloom & Quilters Fabrics in Theodore, Alabama. TJ and I will need to return and find some sort of souvenir with Theodore’s name on it. They have some botanical gardens there that I am dying to check out in the Spring! Susan’s had a row kit that we purchased for my Aunt Jenny. We also purchased another soft book panel, a decorative panel, flamingo fabric and my mom got some other boring stuff like empty bobbins…From there we went to All About Sewing in Mobile, AL. There, I somehow locked the keys in my front seat (not supposed to be able to happen) while loading the stroller into the back of the car. So I had to remove the dog barrier and climb through my car. That was fun, good thing all the ladies that work in quilt shops love babies! Even though we got there right before they closed we purchased some cute fox corduroy and some patriotic fat quarters and as they were leaving they entertained Theodore a bit while I was crawling through my car.

Back when my sister-in-law and mother-in-law were in town we went on an adventure to some quilt shops. It was a crazy trip! We saw the world’s smallest city block in Dothan, AL. It was actually disappointing, hilarious, and somewhat annoying. But we also saw a monument to the boll weevil in Enterprise, Alabama and that made up for it because it blew our minds. Near the monument was an ice cream shop called Milky Moo’s with some of the best ice cream I have ever had. The quilt shops we stopped at were Enterprise Sewing Center, where I snagged one of their last rows and found some awesome deployment fabric, and Quilted Creations which had their 2016 and 2015 rows and some cute patterns made by a local pattern designer.

Visit my public instagram if you want to keep up on my crafts and adventures in a visual format 🙂 There are also some previous Bobbin the Robin photos from last year on there from the local area!

Bobbin the Robin will likely be retiring before the 2017 Row by Row season, so stay tuned for our new little friend who loves travelling! He is currently overseas right now.

Row by Row Experience and the Adventures of Bobbin the Robin

Last year, I helped my aunt out in Arizona with collecting some local row by row kits from Florida. She also had collected some from across the country when she visited my mom in Nebraska. So she had quite the collection. Last year’s theme was H2O, so the ones from Florida were especially appropriate.

This year, even more shops are participating and the row by row experience has grown exponentially! We happened to be on our return trip home during the start of it this year. That meant I got to pick up some throughout the midwest and south for her on my way home.

If you are not familiar with the Row by Row experience, I highly recommend checking out the official website. The basic idea is each quilt shop provides their own row, made custom for their shop, as well as collectible license plates. You can buy the kits for the rows (complete with pre-cut fabrics). These typically run between fifteen and twenty dollars each. You also have the option of picking up just the row pattern for free. There are rules, however, that make this a bit of a challenge. You must visit the shop in person (so there are a lot of trades, etc for rows people may want across the country), which encourages you to adventure out and check out new quilt shops. You are limited to one per person, and can only purchase them during a specific time frame. Unfortunately my aunt will be driving here after the “season” is over. I do have nine more quilt shops in a two hour radius from my home to collect them from over the next couple months.

This year I am not participating in the row by row for a few reasons:

  1. I do not have the time. I can’t believe my aunt has already put together five of the rows!
  2. I have not done any applique as of yet and most of the rows do require it.
  3. I’m not a big fan of the theme this year. Home Sweet Home is the theme and many of the rows are more traditional quilting styles. I’m not a huge fan of the typical colors or the patterns this year. I wish I had participated last year, but I would not have had the time then either.
  4. It is expensive! The patterns are free, so if you want to spend the time to cut out all of the pieces you can make them more customized but it is much more time consuming and you still will need to purchase fabrics for it. I’m not sure I’ve saved any money by not participating since I have been visiting new shops and purchasing “souvenirs.” I believe next year I will either try to participate on a small scale or at least collect license plates. This year I have only purchased one row kit for myself to use as a wall hanging and one pin.

Coming along with me, though missing a shop here and there since he is still a bit camera shy, is my Bobbin the robin. I am not a fan of the color red, so he is a blue robin instead. Bobbin (the red robin) is featured in the official logos and fabrics for the Row by Row experience. Somehow, many of the participating quilt shops and quilters do not know about him! I hope they advertise him more next year, because it is such a fun idea. We have already gone to eight quilt shops since June 21st together, but he forgot to take as selfie at a couple of them. We visited these six on our road trip home:

Quilts & Quilts The Fabric Shoppe, Branson, MO


We spent our first night on our trip home in Branson, so this was our first quilt shop on the trip (we could not do any on the 20th since the row by row event hadn’t started yet). This was the most overwhelming and large quilt shop I have ever been in. They had rooms and rooms of fabrics, it was like a maze of quilting supplies. I was so excited that they had an entire section of baby soft book panels. They are SO hard to find and I want to make a bunch of them. Too bad I was on a budget! I picked up two of them, and avoided the ones I have seen as board or regular books (like Dr. Seuss and Eric Carle). I also purchased one of their row kits for myself to create a wall hanging since I love it so much. They had two versions, which is how I got away with purchasing two. You can order their collection of license plates online, but you must visit the store for the row itself. They do have their 2014 and 2015 kits available online (you can purchase them after the contest is over each year – but many shops run out well before then because they stop making them).


The Stitchin Post, Little Rock, AR


Their row is so much fun! Apparently this home is actually based on a real one. I picked up a couple fabrics at this shop, then hit the road. ____________________________________________________________________

Sew Much More, Sherwood, AR

We stopped at Sew Much More before dinner on our second leg of the trip. Unfortunately their kit was not ready and I had to place an order for it. I can’t wait to get it in the mail! I’m glad they didn’t charge me shipping since I went in to buy it.

Bobbin decided he was too camera shy to pose for me at Sew Much More. He was probably too focused on getting some dinner.


The Cotton Blossom Fabric Shoppe, Madison, MS




I found a wonderful flamingo fabric here. I’m only slightly obsessed and only have slightly too many flamingo fabrics already. I did love their row with the cotton field!


Bernina Sewing Etc, Ridgeland, MS


This was a large, popular shop with a full parking lot! They must have had some classes going on. I saw their classrooms when I went in, it looked like a great place. Unfortunately we were in a hurry due to the amount of stops on our last leg of the trip combined with our desire to get home. So, I didn’t buy much or spend time looking around.


The Stitchin Post LLC, Hattiesburg, MS



This shop was very difficult to find, if you are looking for it look at the google satellite image. The direction we came on the road prevented us from seeing the banner for the store behind some trees and we spent quite a bit of time looking for it. They do not have a large sign or marking on the building indicating the shop is even there. Again, I was in a hurry but they did have an entire section on row by row. I even picked up an “official” Bobbin the robin pattern. I’ll be making a new one for next year! I loved their unique row featuring chicken coops!


Bobbin the Robin’s adventures are to be continued in another blog after I collect some rows in my local area!