The Old, Made New

This was one of my favorite projects ever.

Sitting in the closet for five years collecting dust in her closet, my friend decided it was finally time to do something about the unfinished quilts for her daughter and niece, and I came to the rescue. She was turning their old bursery crib sheets, bumpers, baby blankets, etc. into new, grown up quilts! Which I myself think is such a clever idea.

Her daughter’s quilt was about 1/2 way done when I took over. I only had to piece together the back and sew the two sides together. Unfortunately I didn’t get any pictures of that one. Her niece’s quilt, on the other hand, was basically only partly destructed baby fabrics. I had to start from the very beginning; I was up for the challenge.

The first challenge was figuring out how to take the pale, muted colors and bring them to life. This quilt was going to be for a teenager, I needed to grow it up. Secondly, I had to figure out how to take what I had, enough fabric to fit into a crib, and lay it out with new fabric in an appealing way to fit a twin size bed.

It definitely was a challenge, but I absolutely love the finished product. I also really enjoy the fact that these girls get to cuddle up with the same softened cotton that they used to nap the day away with.

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I knew that she wanted more purple and green rather than yellow and pink.

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The squares in the middle are mostly made up of the original fabric. solid colors with fleece appliques of butterflies and flowers. I used bright colors with strong patterns to offset the pastel colors and the nursery theme.

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So cozy! The fabric I used for the backing is adorable all by itself, fun if she decides she wants to turn it over and show off that side for a while on her bed.

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Finally back, finally doing something about it all

I have always felt a pull toward things of the past. My family says I have an “old soul”, older adults tell me that I am “mature for my age”, and my mother always told me that she appreciates that I like what I like and I am not ashamed of it. I like to tell people that I was born in the wrong century. But I am starting to figure out that I was born right when I was supposed to be born. I am part of a generation that is learning that our earth is changing for the worse at an alarming rate, and we have to decide whether or not we are going to do something about it. This is my vow to do something about it.

How am I going to do something about it? I am going to live like I WAS born in a century past. I close my eyes and imagine myself wearing a big dress covered in tiny flowers that I sewed myself, topped with an apron doused in flour from a morning of kneading bread dough, hair neatly pinned in a bun on top of my head. I am working hard in the kitchen of the house that my husband worked tirelessly to build before the winter showed up. Maybe I am just a product of my upbringing. I grew up eating only the beef that my grandpa raised, eating only the peaches and corn that my grandmother and mother canned, and riding a four wheeler around my family’s 40 acres with a dog chasing me down the gravel drive. My best friend in the 6th grade was my sheep, Abigail, who wore diapers in the house and slept in the laundry room until she was strong enough to live outside.

I realize that all of this is far from what most of my generation experienced growing up, and honestly, that upsets me. 200 years ago, the life I imagine is the life that you entered in to. You had no choice- you grew your own food, you raised your own meat, you sewed your own clothes, you made do with what you had. There was no Target down the street taunting you with aesthetically pleasing things to fill every room in your house. And it is exactly all of those aesthetically pleasing things that are ruining our mother earth. The convenience of life these days had caused us to lose touch. Literally, we have stopped touching the earth, stopped getting out hands dirty, and stopped working hard for the simple things.

It’s time to get back to all of that.

I’m not sure what it was about moving 1.200 miles away from my amazing family that already does all of the things that I want to do that has given me this new passion for all of it, besides the fact that we ran out of my Mother-in-law’s homemade raspberry jam so I decided to make it myself… but here is to figuring out much more about living sustainably far away from them all!

P.S. I promise more sewing posts are coming soon!

P.S.S. Don’t be surprised if things around here change to fit my new passion for turning my tiny apartment into as much of a homestead as I can!

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My new home- Breckenridge, Colorado

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Sunset from my front porch

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Double rainbow after a thunderstorm, also from my front porch

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My first attempt at canning– Success!

Watch my video!

Part of my goal in making quilts is to shed some light onto how much fun sewing can be. I feel that younger generations think sewing is for grandmas in rocking chairs that learned how to do it when they were little girls out of necessity, but that just isn’t true. Sewing is relaxing. Its creative. Its transformative. Its beautiful; turning something so simple as cotton into a useful work of art.

We have so much to worry about these days, our lives are busy. But there is something to be said about the way things used to be, when they were simpler. Sewing gives you a connection to that world. Sitting still for a little while, concentrating only on what is in front of you, the hum of the sewing machine, using your hands to make something. Its empowering.

I had this video made in hopes to convey my passion for sewing. To show women that not only is the finished product beautiful, but the process as well. I hope you enjoy it.

Click this link to watch it!

 

Video by  Leanne Miller Media.

Elephant Stripes

I have been looking forward to sharing this quilt with you. I had to be patient so I didn’t give away the surprise for the mother-to-be that I made it for, but the wait is finally over! Here it is:

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Its such a fun and modern take on the chevron stripe with the pop of gray. The fabric has a very tiny polka dot to it, which makes it fun up close.

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The back is an adorable elephant print. Just the right amount of detail without being too busy.

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Super simple make, but sometimes those are the most fun. No fuss about making it, just fun to pick out the fabric and to sew it along with ease.

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All wrapped up and ready to go to its new home!

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2013- What an Adventure!

Wow, 2013. Over and done with. It’s crazy how much we can accomplish in 365 days. Here are some of the things that I did…

-Became an Aunt!

-Graduated from beauty school and got my first job as a hair stylist

-Went on a fantastic vacation to the Yucutan Peninsula in Mexico

-Celebrated my one year wedding anniversary

-Went on a road trip to Colorado

-Started this blog

-Opened an Etsy Shop

and last but not least…..

-Started sewing!

I never would have imagined that I would have a desire to make my own clothes, but it happened. I only made a few pieces and then changed directions, but I am still proud of myself for doing it and actually wearing some of what I made.

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Sewing clothes got me excited about creating with my hands. I also did a little embroidery and knitting, and made a gift for my Mother In Law.

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Then, I got into quilting! I made a quilt as a gift for a friend who was having a baby girl and the rest is history! I fell so in love with quilting that I opened up my Etsy shop, The Arctic Fox Shop. I also decided to use it as an opportunity to get serious about something I have always had a heart for- sustainability. I am only using organic cotton and thrifted material. I also bought myself a compost bin, am planning ways to garden in my tiny back yard, and am eating locally and in season. I am betting that some of that will show up on here *wink*.

This year, I made 7 quilts. Technically I started sewing in July, so I really made 7 quilts in 6 months.

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I have really enjoyed 2013- it was a positive and productive year. Some of my resolutions for next year include getting fit, being more sustainable (as I mentioned), and continuing to work on The Arctic Fox Shop. There is also a big move in my future, but you will have to wait to hear about that!

Thank you so much to all of you that have stuck around and supported me! It means the world to me and I love to share my creations with you. I hope you had an amazing 2013. Have you made any resolutions for yourself? I would love to hear about them!

 

 

Christmas Tree Table Runner

I hope everyone had an amazing holiday! I tried not to tackle too many Christmas related sewing projects this year so that I would succeed in getting them done and it worked. Here is my big project for this year.

I saw this adorable tree design a while back and was dying to make it. I didn’t have any reason to make it for myself, so I started trying to figure out who I could make it for. My Mother-In-Law loves to decorate for every holiday, especially Christmas, and her birthday is two weeks before Christmas so I could give it to her before the holidays and she could decorate with it this year– it was an obvious fit! She loves to decorate using table cloths, so I decided that a table runner would be the thing to make for her.

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It did take me quite a while to make because it is six feet long and I had to make all of the trees individually. I also decided to quilt it, which I hadn’t ever done before, and didn’t realize it was going to take me 4 hours! It was well worth it, though. Its the perfect finishing touch. The only thing I wish was different about it, is that the trees aren’t pointy on the bottom, they got cut off. I’m not entirely sure how it happened since I was following a tutorial, but its not that big of a deal.

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It took me a while to choose a backing fabric but I am really happy with what I picked out. I hadn’t realized it at the time, but my Mother-In-Law pointed out that the gold dots are perfect decoration for New Years!! I maybe should have picked a different color than cream, though… We weren’t allowed to set any food on top of the runner so we wouldn’t stain it! You can see the quilting detail closer in this picture. I went with wonky lines since I knew that I would never be able to get them all straight and perfectly the same distance apart.

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I hope you had fun making things this holiday season. Maybe you made handmade Christmas gifts? Or a Christmas Quilt? Did you get it done in time or is it stuck in the back of the closet until next year?

Heart Quilt

This quilt was inspired by similar quilts that I found on Pinterest. I draw a lot of inspiration from roaming around that sight. I try my hardest not to copy what I find, but to use it as inspiration. I think that this quilt fits the bill.

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If you follow me on instagram, you have already seen this quilt about a bajillion times. I loved every step of making this quilt and it took all of my strength not to grab every person I passed on the street and gush about how happy I was with this quilt and about the process of making it.

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I came across this fabric at a quilting expo I went to. You can read about it here. It came from a shop called Island Quilter, and my LORD do they have a fantastic selection of fabrics. Island Quilter is on Vashon Island in Washington, and it takes about 3 hours and a ferry ride to get there from my house. I am so excited about this shop, though, that I am trying to plan a trip up there with my mom hopefully in the next couple of months. Note to self: start saving every penny starting now!

The quilt was super easy to put together. The front is not very much piecing- I used strips instead of squares to make it go a little faster. It does take a little bit of math- I had to dig through my closet to find left over graph paper from back in the day- but even that added to the fun of it all. Fortunately I bought a big enough cut of the backing that it is one solid piece which makes me happy.

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I borrowed my nephews nursery for the pictures, and I think it is going to become a trend. How adorable is the bird decal on the wall (off of etsy) or this rocking chair. I think a quilt is the perfect accessory for any rocking chair!

This quilt is for sale on etsy: https://www.etsy.com/listing/172789500/handmade-baby-quilt-pink-heart-with-wood

If you love the quilt but don’t love the colors or the backing is a little too crazy for you, I do custom orders!!