Archive of ‘gift’ category

Support a Dreamer & an Artist

Support a Dreamer & an Artist

I feel positively bombarded with advertising every day and I think I’ve noticed it more these days because I’m not shopping for clothes for myself.  So, I decided to do some advertising for the dreamers and artists and the whimsical makers in my life. These are products made or dreamt up by my friends and comrades in the world of handmade…and that may make me biased but it also means that I can guarantee a purchase from one of these shops goes directly to a family.  The money spent on these things will go to groceries and haircuts and all those everyday things.  But beyond that it supports dreamers and artists so they can keep dreaming and artist-ing.  If our money is a vote, let’s vote for art, huh?  It’s a bit of a random list of things I really like right now.  Enjoy!  (more…)

this baby of mine :: baby cloud mobile, dreamy swaddle blanket & artist rolls

new baby shower gift! A little over a year ago I was invited to join a community of bloggers, The Creative Mamas. We commune on Facebook; gathering as bakers, writers, designers of small imaginary worlds, sewists, hand-printers, and everything in between. It’s grown to be a group providing great support and inspiration for me.  I rely on those ladies for so much.  Heck, I am not afraid to say it…I love them!  The creative mojo and entrepreneurial smarts they possess is unparalleled!   Today is a special day for this group because we are celebrating a whole new life added to the collective.  Yay! (more…)

wooden quilt blocks

March! I’m positively thrilled you are here.  Winter might end after all!  I’m spending this week catching up on old projects that are more creative in nature… little less predictable and more creative adventuring.   Bit of whimsy here and a bit of “I wonder how this will turn out” there.

Wooden Quilt Blocks  Toys for Grown Up Who Quilt

I’m a true believer that inspiration and creativity require play. I was pondering this while planning gifts for two quilter friends, two people who are especially supportive of my creative exploration. I came across these positively stunning blocks for babies from babee and me, which featured half-square triangles.  I knew right away that blocks like that would be perfect for quilters who are always playing around with half-square triangles!  I got myself some blocks and made these wooden quilt blocks…toys for grown-ups who quilt! (more…)

Sweet Nothings :: Treat Bags for your Valentine {a free printable}

I wasn’t kidding when I said I was going to share Valentine’s Day ideas all week. I really am! What is better than a little sweet nothings treat bag, am I right? Yup, right.

sweet nothings wrappers for sweet treats on Valentines Day | a happy stitch

I love the way packaging can make something ordinary look extra-fun and super special and, as it happens, my kids love M&M’s.  So, in the spirit of this valentines making frenzy I am on, I combined those two loves and made sweet nothings packages for bags of M&M’s!  These sweet treat bags will be in our valentines wraps on Saturday morning.

I really hope my kids know how rad I am because some days…eh, hard to tell.

Just like with the Monster Valentines, I used PicMonkey to make these and it took all of 10 minutes.  I don’t even have the paid version of PicMonkey, just the free version and I love it.  (Nobody is paying me to say that, either.)  Click on any image to get the pdf for yourself. Yay for free printables (now that I know how to make and share them, I’m unstoppable)!  (more…)

How to Wrap a Heart :: Resuable Fabric Wrap for Valentine’s Day

how to wrap a heart  a stamped fabric wrapping for all your valentines day goodness

Valentine’s day is a hand-makers holiday. No doubt.  I always catch the crafting (love) bug and cannot stop. This year is no exception and I’m excited to share Valentine projects all week. (I realize it’s a little late but inspiration strikes when it strikes and I’m running with it!)

I’m starting with this reusable, hand-stamped fabric wrap–basically a burrito for your Valentine treats.  We don’t give each other big gifts at our house but we always have a nice breakfast with pancakes and smoothies. This year I’m adding this sweet little package of chocolate goodness.  These people I Iive with are such very good people and I’m tucking some love into this hand-stamped package of love using only a fat quarter!  So here is how to wrap a heart! (more…)

Baby Girl Memory Quilt

People always say, “every quilt tells a story”.  I’m not the type to lay down quilt “rules” but that saying right there is a knock-down, full-on truth.   Quilts come together slowly and they take attention and care.  Consideration goes into color and placement; size and direction. Quilters find balance while maintaining interest.

Then there are the physical considerations. By the nature of their size, quilts sit in your lap and cascade over your arm.  Basting a large quilt means you are bending over and sitting on and touching and touching and touching. Once you arrive at the quilting stage for a large quilt you are practically wrestling.  It’s a physical and mental engagement on so many levels and for hours and hours.  Certainly, that in and of itself is a story.  Yes, every quilt tells a story.

Yet, even after the story of making the quilt has been told there is the story of the quilt itself.  This story includes the reasons why it is being made and for whom.  Why the colors call your name and what emotion the quilt is expressing…serenity, quiet joy, buzzing activity, expressive happiness, restorative calm, melancholy, thankfulness.  A quilt can tell you all those things.  It’s really amazing how much can be said with nothing but fabric.

Quiet Quilt made for an angel baby |made by a happy stitch

I have a quilt story to tell and I will be honest, I’ve started writing this blog post so many times but haven’t been able to finish it until now.

I’m so happy I was trusted to make this quilt but I really wish I didn’t have this quilt story to tell you. That it just never had been needed. This is a quilt that sat in my lap while I cried, my mute and emotionless sewing machine just waiting for me, its little light shining, completely unaware I need to take a moment and get it all out. I considered not even talking about this at all because I wasn’t sure how to share, I try to use this blog to put inspiration and joy out into the world.

But, it seemed a very important quilt story and maybe even one that touches lots of people. The kind of story we avoid telling but should be talking about.

This quilt honors a baby that didn’t live past her first beautiful hour.

Quiet Quilt for an angel baby | made by a happy stitch

Her name had been chosen, her nursery decorated and a collection of blankets and towels sat waiting with her name…boldly declaring a welcome to the world that she never got to see.  A handful of those blankets and towels came to me and I worked with the family to harmonize a few quiet, solid colors that would work alongside them into this scrappy, memory quilt.

The story of this quilt is one of sadness and grief but also, I hope, a little bit of healing.

Quiet Quilt in memory of the short life of a beautiful baby | made by a happy stitch

The rest of the story with the doctors and the autopsy and the unknowns, it isn’t mine to tell,   I only know about the quilt. I know it’s quietly and softly touching on a difficult moment in a family’s life.  I’m so honored to have been trusted to tell it.

Lua Sleep Sack

Prepare yourself for some serious cuteness.  Honestly, hold onto your ovaries ladies because scrumptious baby cheeks, huge baby eyes and tiny little hands in an adorable sleep sack are about to come barreling straight at you!

The Lua Sleep Sack in Cloud9 Flannel (from a happy stitch)

All of this cuteness is courtesy of Ana from StraightGrain and her amazing new Lua Sleep Sack pattern.

Lua Sleep Sack pattern

I was thrilled when Ana asked me to pattern test for her (me along with 39 other people…this is one well-tested pattern) because two friends of mine had babies recently and I hadn’t really done much for them.  Plus, I love all of the Straight Grain patterns but never have the chance to use them as they are for girl clothing.  Straight Grain does have an adorable (& free!) baby/toddler bean bag pattern that I’ve been eager to try out.

Of course, two babies meant I had to pull together two sleep sacks, which I thought was going to be a big job.  It turned out to be no big deal because the pattern comes together so easily.

Lua Sleep Sack in Fanfare flannel (from a happy stitch)

As luck would have it, one of the babies fell asleep right away.  Those silly unpredictable babies missing out on their modeling opportunities!  So, I had lots of time to get pictures of the sleep sacks on this lovely lady.  Look at how adorably snuggly this sleep sack is (and, yes, the baby too)!

lua sleep sack in flannel (made by melissa q. from a happy stitch)This pattern is fantastic.  It comes with the option to add piping and a contrast color at the top.  I added piping to both sleep sacks because I love piping and think it made the sleep sacks instantly more ’boutique’ looking.   It has a side, invisible zipper and buttons at the top.  I was a bit nervous about the buttons, to be honest, but Ana’s pattern instructions include the most thorough and thoughtful way to securely attach buttons.  In fact, she cautions against using snaps in case they come loose.  I’ve never had a problem with loose snaps but apparently Ana has.  Long story short, these buttons aren’t going anywhere as they are secured three different times in the most secure method I’ve seen!  Most importantly, this sleep sack comes together easily, more easily than I expected and I learned a lot from making it.  I love when that happens.

I made the second sleep sack in this lovely gold and mint chevron from Michael Miller Fabrics.  Aren’t you impressed with how well my chevrons lined up around that piping?! I was pumping my fist in the air after that success, let me tell you.

As you can see, modeling is hard work and my model started to fall asleep.

Going…

lua sleep sack in mint chevron (Made by a happy stitch)Going…

lua sleep sack in mint and gold chevron (made by a happy stitch)

Gone.

lua sleep sack in mint and gold chevron (Made by *a happy stitch*) Yup.  She totally FELL ASLEEP in the SLEEP SACK.  I cannot guarantee that result every time but it was pretty fortuitous, don’t you think?

And, right about the time she nodded off, this guy woke up bright and lively as ever!  Hello little man!  Meet the camera. 🙂

lua sleep sack in cloud9 flannel (made by Melissa Q. of a happy stitch)

The pattern is for sale in Ana’s shop for only $6 but if you use the code: LUALAUNCH you get $1 off.

At $6 this pattern is a bargain but at $5 it’s a steal.  Especially if you have any babies in your world, I plan on making lots of these for baby showers and new baby gifts.  It’s perfect and a faster gift than a baby quilt.

p.s. Yes! I’m back from Sew Down Nashville and I have so much to share with you.  Just haven’t fully gathered all of my thoughts yet.

tester tour button

last-minute gifts & well wishes

peace and joy in 2014From our family to yours, we wish you all the best in 2014!  It’s been an amazing year and we are prepped and ready for an incredible holiday season.  But, it wouldn’t be nearly as wonderful and amazing as it has been without all of you.  I love the connections, heartfelt and full, that have been made through this little blog and thank all of you so much for reading and cheering me on!

In that spirit, I’m sharing my favorite last-minute gifts! First up is this incredible infinity scarf tutorial from imagine gnats:

jersey infinity scarf

 

One of my students turned me on to this tute and I’m so glad. She managed to whip of 6 of them in one morning!  I made these two in a jiffy… they definitely came together easily.

Another favorite of mine is the small wallet.  This $3 pattern from Valori Wells makes a great wallet…an easy and cute way to give cash or a gift card without feeling awkward.  It’s my go-to teacher gift!

tiny wallets

Now, I really hope your gifting is done and you are nestling somewhere enjoying the quiet and ready to relax.  But, just in case, you are wondering what to make and eyeing your machine, I hope these tips come in handy.

I, for one, am about to polish off a bottle of red wine and kick some butt at a game of Scrabble before I play Santa! Happy Holidays all!! You are the best.

 

 

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