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4.12.2019

A Couple Goodwill Scores

The girls and I hit up Goodwill on one of their 50% off days looking for some clothes for Cora (she is growing too fast). When we go, I always do a quick loop in case there is anything I must have (there usually isn't), but we had some luck this time. I'm not sure if we were just luckier than usual or if I needed a little bit of retail therapy (this was days after our water pipe burst), but months later, I still love everything we purchased. Everything I'm sharing below (along with two robes and a mug) cost us $27!

I found this large green vase for $3 which is a steal for the size.
This large Art Bin in great condition (missing one compartment cover) was only $6. I have some smaller versions of this and knew something this large could be close to $30-40 new. I've been working on organizing all our art stuff (its a lot) so this was perfect for us.
When I saw this German Christmas Tower, I quickly googled to find replacement parts to see if this was something worth buying. I found a couple different sites with replacement parts and knew that these Christmas towers can be close to $200 new. My parent's have one very similar that was my grandparents, so I love that we now have a twin Christmas towers.

We were heading towards the checkout and I spotted this fur jacket from a half a mile away. I told Cora to go check it out. I'm pretty sure it's supposed to be a cropped jacked for adults, but it is a perfect fit for her. She loved it and I couldn't say no for the low price tag.
I spotted this beaded chair cover and quickly saw the potential... I could spend $2 and have hundreds of wooden beads for garlands and other projects. I started out by soaking the beads for a couple minutes in vinegar/water and then another couple minutes in dish soap and water. I cut some of the string and the girls and I spend about 30-45 minuted disassembling it. I washed the beads again and then even mixed in a little bit of essential oils to make them smell nice. I can't wait to see what we make with these.






4.10.2019

A Baby Boy Quilt and a Peek at my Quilting Process

It's been about a year since I made a quilt and I was excited to jump back in for a baby quilt for a new babe in the extended family. This is not my best quilt craft-wise (the squares don't all line up), but definitely one of my favorites design-wise. I love the fabric I used for the binding (which I also used for my nephew's quilt) and also love the color combo of the pieces used for the front.
I use mostly the same process for all my triangle quilts. First, I cut out 64 - 6"x6" squares. I had a lot of counting help from Cora... along with lots of chatting about the baby. Next, I match up the squares, pin them, and draw a line down diagonally across the square. I use this line as a reference point and sew lines down both sides of that diagonal line. After sewing both sides, I cut down the drawn line and I have two squares complete. 


After completing all the squares, I lay them out in the chevron/herringbone pattern then stare at the layout for about 15-30 minutes. Depending on what I want for each quilt, I spend a lot of time rearranging the squares. For this quilt, I didn't want any of the same color touching and spent a lot of time making sure each color is balanced and spread out among the quilt front. Once I settle on an arrangement, I give it a little bit of time to make sure my eye isn't getting stuck on one particular place. This is probably my favorite part of the process.

When the layout if finalized, I pin the rows and write a little 1^, 2^, 3^...  on the back of each row so I know where is lines up on the quilt. Then I get to sewing that all together. When the front is finished, I always feel accomplished... until I remember how much more work that I still need to do.

Once the quilt is finished AND IRONED, I will baste the quilt (pinning the front, batting, and back together). My process for this varies, but lately I have been taping down each layer by the corner. I work my way pinning from middle to edges while constantly smoothing out and making sure it's as wrinkle-free as possible... then comes the quilting.

For this quilt pattern, I like to work in vertical stripes and a chevron pattern which looks like herringbone on the back. Because I like the way it looks when I do two lines of stitches, it takes twice as long as it probably should take to quilt the blanket.



I trim off the excess batting and fabric, then start working on the binding. I like a thick binding, so I start with strips of fabric about four inches wide. I fold the two sides in and iron through the entire strip, then fold it in half and iron again. I pin the batting around the edge of the blanket and double stitch it together. 





Once the binding is done, it's time for a quick wash! This part is a little nerve-wracking (I'm always worried the entire thing will just fall apart), but I love the way the quilts come out all wrinkly when they're finished. 



My little model was not happy about holding up the quilt for me.
Throughout the whole process, I spend my time picturing the sweet baby using the blanket and I make sure to send the baby and momma little prayers and good vibes.

3.27.2019

Learning New Skills: Dyeing With Avocado Pits

I've been reading about natural dyeing and decided to try out dyeing with avacado pits. You guys! This is seriously one of the easiest DIYs and it is perfect for a beginner! I was a little intimidated at first, but it couldn't have been easier. I collected pits over a couple of months. I put some in a bag in the freezer and some pits I would wrap in a damp paper towel to try to grow some plants (jury is still out on that process). I had a couple free hours one Saturday morning and started a boiling pot of avocado pits.
1. Boil pot of water and 10ish avocado pits for about 30 minutes... or until water is dark red.




2. Remove avacado pits, reduce heat to a simmer, and put in fabric. 

3. Let fabric sit for about 10 minutes to achieve blush color. I let the second batch of fabric sit a couple minutes longer so it is slightly pinker.



Some tutorials say to wash with specific types of soap. I just rinsed with cold water and hung it to dry.


This was such an easy DIY! I have started collecting avocado pits again and wracking my brain for what else I can dye.

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