For the boy..

I have a new stack of fabric that I am so in love with…

All shot cottons from Kaffe Fassett.  This fabric, plus Dream Wool batting, makes the most squishy, silky soft and cuddly quilt you could ever dream of.  And if a quilt doesn’t make you want to curl up with it, then in my book it’s not a successful quilt.  So.  These are for my darling 10 year old, my only son, who for the most part gets passed by when it comes to handmade things.  Dolly carriers and tiny baby knits are what pop into my head when I want to make something for my kids, and I have to work a little harder to think of just the right something for an older boy.  But he is such a sweetie, so loving, and for god’s sake he puts up with a lot, being here with two much littler sisters day after day.  He really deserves to have something handmade by Mommy.  So with much love I have been planning this project, and waiting and thinking while some other things were finished up, and now I’m ready to begin.

I have a couple of different sketches I’m deciding between, but it’s definitely going to be something improvised and free, just something fun for me to play with for a few weeks.  I’m planning on some medium-dense hand quilting to really play up the lovely feel of the wool batting and make it something he will love to curl up with.

I’m popping these in the wash now as I type, and tomorrow they’ll be ready to cut into.  Maybe I’ll have a quilt top by Christmas?

Cozy Wozy

These are the best kind of days.  It’s wet and windy outside and we are warm and dry inside.  We have gingerbread-chocolate cookies and apple cider and enough apples in the house to make 80 quarts of applesauce.  Avett Brothers and Mumford and Sons concerts streaming in the kitchen.  There’s a pile of basted hexies beckoning me to settle in and stitch them together, some precious new fabric to run through the washer and dryer, and more apples, apples everywhere.  The children have concocted some sort of dinosaurs-at-school game and they even remember to include Eva in the fun.  Just when I began to worry that I was not doing enough for the children with our homeschooling, I heard Gus drilling Violet and the dinosaurs in Latin roots and I was reassured that everything is OK.  Eva desperately wanted to go outside and so all 3 suited up in their rain gear and went out on an adventure.  Everything is different in the rain.  I watched through the window with hot spiced cider.  I’m sitting now in my room looking out at the treetops and I love how the rain makes the bark on the Sycamore look even prettier.

I want to make some pretty stitched things to hang above the mantle.  Just simple embroideries.  Probably some English Paper Piecing, too.

Bringing Home Dolly Sewing Pattern

I did it!  I finally filled in all the info and published my dolly carrier pattern on Craftsy!  I had this huge mental block about re-typing all the fabric requirements and such.  Took me two months to suck it up and get it done 🙂 But here it is, the project that I dreamed up to go along with my Jasmine Tea fabric-

Because I had all things baby on my mind when I was designing Jasmine Tea-I designed it during that little “honeymoon” period with a newborn when they are so sweet and squishy and cuddly and all you want to do is hold them and carry them around all day- so it only seemed fitting to design a doll carrier so big sister could carry her baby around too!

The pattern has two sizes, to fit dolls up to 14″ or 18″.  The dolly quilt features sweet little butterflies which you can make from tiny scraps.  And I even included instructions to make a matching child’s quilt!

I’m so happy to finally make this pattern available – my 4 year old uses the samples I made every single day to put her babies to bed, and I’m sure the children in your life will love it as well!

If you use the pattern please send me pics, I would love to see them!

In other news…

I started quilting this orange-peel thing.  I’m calling it a coral reef, or maybe seaweed, and so I thought some seaweed-like tangled curves would look cool.  I wasn’t sure after I drew it up, I’m still not really sure- but  I’m just gonna go with it.   What’s the worst that could happen, right? 

In other news, it’s finally green outside-

My knees are dirty every day from the garden

My kids are dirty every day from who-knows-what- and I love it all

I’m working on pretty duvets for the girls beds, delving into my thrift-store treasures as well as the stash

Gus has his final homeschool review of the year (he made me so proud!) and now I’m dreaming big for 5th grade- and Kindergarten!  Yup, this fall Violet will officially start homeschooling and I’m so excited to be planning kindergarten projects for her!

If you ask Evelyn if she wants to put her flowers in a vase, this is what you’ll get.  Makes sense when you are Almost-Two.

Emerging

For the first time in what feels like months, no one in my household is sick.  We had one final checkup this morning for miss Evelyn Bea, who got the all clear from our now-beloved pediatrician.  No one has been seriously ill, and for that I am always thankful, but it’s been a series of small sicknesses, robbing us of productivity, robbing us of sleep, seemingly since Christmas.

Hard as it has been, isn’t there something about a sweet little bundle of baby who needs you?  One morning a few weeks ago, Garrett came down to find that I had spent the entire night sitting up on the couch with poor Bea nursing an ear infection, and all I could say to him was “more!”  I do hope that more kids are in the cards for us.  I love mothering and I always hoped for a big, boisterous family.  We’ll see 🙂

I feel like this whole winter has been a fog, from which we are only now emerging.  People are sleeping through the night again, so if I need to I can stay up and get things done at night.  The day light is coming back, we’re making plans for fun outdoor projects.  We are looking forward to spring!

Back in the morning with a pale and pretty palette.

Jessie

Palette Parade- Candy Hearts

In general I like to pull my color palettes from nature, but these were just too tempting!

chalky pastels

touch of red

sweet shapes

1.Robert Kaufman Kona Cotton Lemon 2.Robert Kaufman Spot On Medium Dot Pink 3.Lizzy House Pearl Bracelet Sandbox 4.Michael Miller Fabrics Cotton Couture Bubblegum 5.dear Stella Cleo Bargello Sand 6.Robert Kaufman Kona Cotton Petunia 7.Free Spirit Designer Solids Chamois 8.Moda Bella Solids Cheddar 9.Michael Miller Fabrics Cotton Couture Spring 10.Alexander Henry Mecca For Moderns Mercer Dot Red 11.Michael Miller Fabrics Cotton Couture Soft White 12.Denyse Schmidt Shelburne Falls Fine Stripe Willow

It’s all half-square triangles.  I love half-square triangles!  I would bind it with the red dot.  Would you throw in a few red pinwheels, too, just to break up all the sweetness?

I guess the photo shoot ends here 🙂

Chain-Piecing Ad Infinitum

My new fabric line, Jasmine Tea, is due out in stores next month!  So exciting.  I should have my preview yardage in hand any day now.  Tonight I’m finishing a pattern to go with the line.  Sewing up the test version in solids and I kinda like it this way.

Ad Infinitum

Ad Infinitum.

Back of Bringing home Dolly

I always love the backs of quilt tops.  Sometimes I love them more than the fronts. It’s like a puzzle.  Can you tell what the pattern is from the back?

Did I mention Gus and I are learning Latin together this year?  Homeschooling is cool like that.  My Latin name is Paula.  Pronounced Pow-La.  Kind of like a superhero name.  My girls already have superhero names.  Evil-Lyn and Ultra Violet.  So it’s high time I got one.  Lots of Girl Power in this household.  Lots.  Bringing Home Dolly Quilt top

Pretty Umbrella Girls Charity Quilt

Just wanted to put out some quick pics of the charity quilt I worked on at today’s DC Modern Quilt Guild sew-in.  I bought the focus fabric because I wanted to use the red-pink-orange trees in some pillows for Violet and Evelyn’s room, and I didn’t have any plans for the little umbrella girls, but they are so cute and cheery so it seemed perfect for some charity sewing.  I picked a bunch of bright fabrics from my stash for the strips-

It’s an interesting balance finding fabric for a charity quilt, right?  They have to be fabrics that I’m willing to “give up” but I still want the finished project to look like it was made with care.  I want whoever receives the quilt to feel special.  So several of the fabrics are new and haven’t even made it into their intended projects yet, but I included them anyway just to make it extra-pretty.

Don’t mind my crummy cell-phone pictures.  It’s late and I have to get to bed so I can get up and drive to Philadelphia for a quilt show.

Umbrella Girl Blocks

I made some progress today but I would have made more if there weren’t so many interesting people to get to know at the meeting!  Life is rough, right?

I’m thinking of a young adolescent girl as I make this, so I probably won’t send it to the pregnancy center that the Guild selected this year.  Maybe I will send it to the Hershey Medical Center with the other quilt that my Mom and Aunt and I put together over the summer.

And because Elle made me aware that Evelyn Bea has grown quite a bit since I last posted pictures, here she is doing big girl things:

Big Girl Bea

Lest you should think that I am still sewing with a baby sleeping peacefully at my feet.  Not quite.

Goodbye House

SunriseWe are moving again.

Exchanging a 100 year old house full of character and charm for one where water doesn’t drip from the ceilings at random intervals.  Giving up twelve glorious acres, but giving Garrett back two of the hours he spends commuting every day.  And packing up my studio, which had a wall of windows overlooking the creek (but practically no heat), for a corner of  the basement.

Magnolia

MagnoliaMagnolia

If I sound melancholy I suppose I am; I really wanted this place to work out and even had little fantasies about buying it someday, even if my practical self knew that it was a terrible idea.  In the end our landlord made the decision for us, by dragging his feet so long on the necessary repairs that we felt like we couldn’t continue to raise our family here.

Teamwork

Violet and Friend

Misty Color Palette

Dead Maple

But if we can ignore its mechanical failures, this place has a presence, a patina, that only time can create.  There is an air of fading grandeur which I quite enjoy.  The old landscaping is overgrown and mysterious.  Perfect for hide and seek.  Perfect for prowling about with my camera.  Luckily I took thousands of pictures here, enough artistic inspiration for the next decade is cached away on my hard drive.

Light Through the Maples

Creek View

Our new home is in a charming little town.  It is brand-spanking new, so what it lacks in patina, it should make up for in functionality.  We’ll be minutes from coffee shops, restaurants, and the quilt shop that has supported my creativity for the past 4 years.  It’s going to be awesome.  And as soon as we get there I intend to begin enjoying all those perks.

But for now, for our last days here, let me dwell a bit in the beauty and grace of this lovely old place.  We’ve made a lot of memories in our short time here.

Early Morning

Bea in my belly

Meeting Bea

Fall is Coming

Early Fall

Raking Leaves

New Sister

Evelyn Bea

Fall Sky

Mossy Stump

Fall Colors

Christmas

The Christmas Molecule

Great Blue Heron

Snowy Morning

Snowy Morning

Snowy Canoes

The Artist

Spring by the Creek

New Dogwood

Dogwood

Dogwood

Spring Maples

Summer Leaves

Barred Owl

Wildflowers

Sunlit Maple

So I offer up some of my favorite photos from this place, closing the book on this little chapter of our family’s history.  Goodbye, house!  I won’t forget you!

Sunset

I posted more of my favorite photos from this place here.