De-Stash Giveaway Winners

I apologize, because I announced the winners in the comments on February 2nd. I’m assuming the winners didn’t see those announcements. Here’s the official call for winners! I need your email addresses so I can find out how to get your fabrics to you. If I don’t hear from you guys by March 15th, I’m choosing new winners from the set of people who left contact info.

The winners of Giveaway #1 are Wendy for fabric #1 and Angie for fabric #2!

The winner of Giveaway #2 is Mariel!

***Update*** I just figured out how to track down some of the emails, and I’m giving the winners until the end of March to reply 🙂 So sorry to keep dragging this out, I just want to give the winners a fair shot!!

Site Update: Patterns and Tutes

Remember all those tutorials and patterns I’ve been promising to update with actual downloadable patterns? Well I’m excited to say I’m actively working toward making that a reality! I’ve been really intimidated by the process, so I’ve been putting it off. But I realize that some of you are discouraged by the prospect of having to draft your own pattern for my tutorials. It’s a daunting task, especially for a newbie! So I can’t wait to be able to share my patterns with you guys!

When I figure out the process and get some of my patterns uploaded, I’ll post a new blog directing you to a master list of tutorials and patterns. Stay tuned!

Work-In-Progress: Crocheted Lion Pillow

One of the things we plan to give Dexter for his 2nd birthday is his very own pillow! This may not be so exciting to some of you, but he loves pillows and we haven’t let him sleep with one yet. I figured we’d just find something at Target when the time came, but then I saw this pillow on Anna Maria Horner’s site and it is perfect for Dexter’s room!

anna maria horner pillow                  A special thanks to Anna Maria Horner for permission to use her photo!

We decorated with the NoJo Jungle Tales set. The colors could not have matched any better, and thankfully I was able to find almost the exact same colors at Hobby Lobby.


I’ll probably try to make my face match the one on Dexter’s comforter, and I’ll probably add a few rows to the mane. I doubt I will add ears, but that’s something I’m not even going to think about until there’s an actual pillow!

I have less than 3 months now, and I also plan to make him a felt playhouse, inspired by Homemade by Jill and a few others. Have I bitten off more than I can chew? Definitely. These may  turn into Christmas presents!

Dexter wasn’t feeling well the day I took these pictures. Kind of makes me wish he already had his pillow 😦


Teaching Colors: Rainbow Bean (or Rice) Bags


We’ve been doing pre-preschool for a few weeks now. I’ve been using the Brightly Beaming Toddler curriculum. It’s a very laid back plan for 1 year olds. There’s no theme (which I actually miss…), you just work small lessons into your daily routine.

This week’s indoor activity is Bean Bag Catch. You have bean bags for the 6 basic colors (Dexter must have nicked my green in the picture above… just noticed I’m one short!) and as you toss a bag, you call out its color.

It’s a great idea to have bean bags available for your preschooler! They are a great teaching tool. These can not only be used to teach colors, they can be used for counting, working on motor skills (tossing into containers), and lots of other fun games for groups (hot potato, bean bag hunt, etc).

So I made some! They’re so easy, I think it took me 45 minutes max! Here’s how to make your own:

What you need:

-Beans or rice for filling (I used plain brown rice)

-Fabric in red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple (I cut my strips to 4.5”x8.5”)


-Thread (I used basic black)

-Needle or sewing machine (machine is going to be waaaay faster)

-Funnel (optional: if you don’t have one, it’s ok, it will just take a little longer to fill the bags)

Step 1: Cut your 4.5”x8.5” strips.


Step 2: Fold the strips, right sides together, and sew about 1/4” from the edge. Make sure you leave an opening to turn the bags! I started sewing about 1.5” away from the end so I wouldn’t forget! When sewing, reinforce the ends so the stitches don’t start coming undone!


Step 3: Your child is going to get bored… entertain him 🙂 Dexter LOVES playing with dry rice. Moving it from container to container is a great way to work on those fine motor skills. Just keep an eye out so none ends up shoved in an ear or a nose! I always give him just a little so that it will be ok if he eats a piece or two. But normally he doesn’t try, I think he figured out pretty fast that dry rice isn’t really yummy.


Step 4: Clip thee threads, then turn the bags through the opening.


Step 5: Fill the bags! Here’s another time for your toddler to help! Dex only got about 4 grains into the bag, but it was great to give him something to do!


It was going to be time consuming to stuff rice into a 1.5” hole, and I was so excited to remember that I had funnels, conveniently in both a mommy and a baby size!



Fill to about 3/4 full. You want the bags to be loose… we’re not making softballs here! You also want to leave enough room so it will be easy for you to sew across the top to close the bag.


Step 6: Fold in the fabric at the opening and sew across, making sure to reinforce the ends.


Dexter was so excited to play with our new rice bags, even more so after he found out that they served a purpose. He’s been trying to tell me colors ever since 🙂


These can be made using scraps around your house, and they’re a great (quick and cheap!!) gift idea for anyone with a preschooler. The only word of caution is to always supervise young children when they’re playing with anything full of choking hazards! Regularly look over your bags to make sure the fabric and seams are holding up well. And remember, it’s always more fun to play together anyway!

Tutorial: Easy Robot Appliqué


This story begins with a Bert and Ernie marathon. My son loves Ernie and talked us into watching probably 30 clips on YouTube before nap. He’s very persuasive 🙂

I started thinking how cool it would be to surprise him with an Ernie shirt, and in my search for Ernie inspiration, I stumbled across an awesome it’s-already-been-done tutorial over at MADE. It’s almost exactly what I was hoping to do! But I realized that I didn’t have all the colors I need, and I’m also hoping to do some textures, especially in the hair. So we’re shelving Ernie for later.

But I still had the crafting itch, and it’s been a while since I’ve made something for our family. I’ve been on a steady diet of car seat ponchos (separating zippers, AAAGH), so I really needed something to cleanse the palate.

Dexter has also been deeply immersed in a robot craze, so it didn’t take long for me to change directions.

Step 1: Sketch an awful picture of a robot that you will quickly scrap.


Step 2: Cut out trapezoids for the head and body, rectangles for the legs and feet, and then shapes for the arms and hands. I used a pincher-type hand, and then I wanted the arms to broaden near the hands. The fabric I used was gray t-shirt scraps.


Step 3: Place and pin the pieces. I liked the way the pieces didn’t quite touch.


Step 4: Sew around the edges of the  pieces. I used a black thread, about 1/8” away from the edge. I didn’t use backing, adhesive, or stabilizer, but it might make it  easier to keep the pieces in place if you’re nervous. I didn’t take pictures of the sewing process, so hopefully that’s pretty simple to figure out. Just remember to not sew through all the layers!! You want your shirt to be wearable 🙂 I know this sounds obvious, but it’s exactly the sort of thing I might do without thinking. My robot is still messy in this picture, but eventually clip the threads.


Step 5: Add features! You can use buttons, fabric, stitching, or paint. Be creative! I took a minimalist approach and I love it! I love that I had a deep red button to sew over the “heart” area 🙂



When Dexter saw the shirt this morning, he cheered, “Robot!!!” and I knew it was worth the work 🙂

My little photographer was pretending to take pictures of me with the lens cap. He kept saying, “Cheese!!”



I also like how keeping the pieces separated allows the robot to have a little movement. It’s funny how he looks slumped over when Dex is sitting 🙂



Dexter is not a fan of photo shoots these days. Even though I don’t force him to do anything, besides stand at least 10 feet away from me, there is something in him that just makes him resist  having pictures taken. It must be the genes he got from his dad!! Here’s where we had to break so he could crawl at me, growling like a monster.



And then he rests…