1st Birthday Bash

I used to love parties.  I loved to entertain, make fabulous meals, and show people a memorable night regardless of the occasion.  With the addition of 3 kids, party planning certainly isn’t what it used to be! It is still fun to get together with friends and their families, but fancy four course meals have been replaced with pizza, wings, and potluck dinners where everyone pitches in due to lack of time, energy, and wherewithal to come up with new and exciting menus.  So, when my husband uttered the words “What day do you want to have Ben’s 1st birthday party” I cringed, then I cried thinking about our LAST 1st birthday party, our LAST baby…I knew what I had to do.  I went into “crazy crafty mama” overdrive.  I’m sure at least a couple of you out there know what I’m referring to, right? Where it would be easier to buy it, but more thoughtful and cute to make it???? Where thoughts of craftiness come to you in the middle of the night and you must answer the call right away before the thought escapes you??? Where you do things that are, in others eyes, “a waste of your time and energy” but to you, its the “piece de resistance” of the  party???  Yeah, I thought some of you might know what I was talking about!

My Christmas gift from my mother in law was a Cricut machine.  I can’t tell you how much I adore this machine.  Every time I turn that machine on, I’m in awe of the sheer genius of this invention! I’m no scrapbooker, but this thing does so much more! Take a look at what I did with it for the party!

 

I also made this birthday balloon wreath which I found on www.howdoesshe.com

The tutorial on this calls for 144 balloons…I used 233, then had a contest to see who could guess how many balloons I used…we had fun with that! I had a $5 gift card to Starbucks for the adult’s closest guess, and a helium balloon for the closest kid’s guess.

Turns out, after all of this, my little guy wasn’t really into the party…he seemed utterly horrified by the thought of others oohing and awing over him and thought we were all nuts when we all broke out into song with happy birthday.  I was happy with it all though…everything turned out beautifully and we spent the day with those that mean the most to us.  I couldn’t have asked for a better day or a better 1st year with my last baby…sniff, sniff…

 

 

 

Organic Mod Basics Stripe Blanket

A couple of weeks ago I got a TON of new fabrics in for the fabric shop. Over 40 new organic cotton prints from Birch Fabrics had arrived and I was in FABRIC HEAVEN! Even my five year old ‘helper’ was giddy with the prospect of so many mix and match possibilities!

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Understandably, I was eager to get to work right away, but first, I had to find a place to put it all! Once it was stored, photographed and posted for sale in the shop, I had one of those quiet, nocturnal sewing sessions that, when they go well, makes it much easier to tolerate dragging my tired behind through the following day. I had pinned this little ‘lovey’ on Pinterest and now used it as inspiration.

I adjusted the measurements as I was using considerably less then the 12 prints she did and I was making a smaller blanket, as opposed to a quilt. I backed mine with this incredibly soft organic fleece I have in the shop; super buttery soft.

I cut SIX 1.5 inch strips of the organic cotton white. I cut them to the length of the fabric.

I cut SIX 4.5 inch strips of each of the prints I wanted to use. In my case two strips of each Dottie, Abacus and Solid.

I cut ONE 9 inch strip of the Elephants from Ellie Farm.

I put them in the order I liked and started to sew the white strips to the prints.

I pressed as I went, because that’s how I sew, but have heard from many experienced quilters you can skip that part until the end if you prefer. I kept sewing until I had the whole top assembled.

Once complete I folded it in half each way and used my large ruler to make all of the edges even and straight. Once the top was complete I laid the organic bamboo batting on the work table (use the floor if you don’t have a large work surface), laid the fleece (fuzzy side up) on top of it and then placed the top of the blanket face down on top of those. Pin. I did a rough cut with my trusty sewing scissors around the edges. Since you have made the edges of your blanket straight and wonderful (right?) you can use the edge of the blanket top as your guide while stitching.

When I sewed them all together I left an 18 inch opening and sewed around the rest of the blanket. Once the sewing was complete I took my large ruler and cut all of the edges down to 1 inch from the seam and then trimmed the corners. I turned it right side out, using my super high tech….orphan chopstick… as a poker to make the corners square and pressed it firmly all the way around. Once all was pressed I top stitched around the top edges and along the print side of each strip . The end result is a kind of modern, cheater quilt in a fraction of the time of a traditional quilt. As I have mentioned in previous posts, I like faster better. 🙂 The thing I love most about this type of blanket is it can be broken down into smaller increments of time if, like many of us, you are only able to work in half hour sittings. It’s also quick and easy just to pick up where you left off.

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If you need more instruction, or courage, to give this a try there are a gazillion blanket tutorials out there if you Google but here and here are two that generally have the same idea.

Tutorials aren’t really my strong point so if you have questions just ask. 🙂

Happy crafting,

Jodi

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