Happy Pink Woodlands Baby Quilt

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What I love doing is in my free time is making baby quilts with adorable fabric. As a beginner, it’s fun and rewarding. It’s a great opportunity to practice piecing fabric, utilizing my walking foot, and binding the finished quilt.

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I was determined to finish. I had a few mistakes here and there, but I wasn’t going to allow it to discourage me. It’s always about the journey for me. Each project you learn and your grow. Problem solving becomes the exciting part of the project.  With each finished project, I feel that I’m getting closer to starting my own baby line.
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Starting my own baby quilt business  is a goal of mine. Quality work is also a goal, I want  to reach. I will continue to explore this idea. Maybe someday, I’ll get so great at making baby quilts that I will write a book. For now, I just want to keep learning and growing through my craft. There’s no rush. I’ll know when I’m ready to move forward.
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-Stephanie
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Stitching a Colorful Life

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Fearless is going after what you want in life even though you might fall short at times. As a budding maker, I’ve experienced a lot of failures through projects. Sometimes, I didn’t have the best material or I didn’t follow the instructions carefully. However, my goal is to live a colorful and creative life. Living creatively means brushing off fear.

Have you ever woke up one morning and asked yourself “why am I not going after the things that matter to me in life.” Why am I not following my dreams? It doesn’t have to be anything as challenging as finding a new career or traveling across the globe.  It could be cooking out of your dream kitchen, building a new wardrobe, and hosting a fabulous dinner party. Maybe you always wanted to be more social or meet new friends. There are these quiet dreams inside of us that we wish we could explore, but life’s lows can get in the way.

I looked at myself one day, and I was tired of the boring clothes I was wearing to work. I would go to the same tops that were easy to pull over while I dragged myself to work each day. I sure you can relate. You stop putting effort into your day. You quit making lunch. The small wins don’t mean anything. You stop participating in activities that make you feel good about yourself. Eventually, you find yourself stuck in a rut with several developed bad habits.

Dragging to work with the same clothes on each day was irritating me. I found it a challenge to stay motivated. I told myself that I would work on taking care of my appearance. I wanted a creative life, so why not style myself in my own unique way.  I love being creative with my hands. So, learning how to crochet seemed like the perfect creative opportunity to help me work on my appearance. I didn’t necessarily wanted to go out and purchase a finished product, but I wanted to create more looks out of styles I envisioned.

I also had a desire to get back into learning how to crochet. The crochet patterns attracted me. However, the last time I tried to attempt to crochet was  during the summer of 2016. My skills were very rusty. Honestly, I wasn’t very great at crochet.  But, I decided to give it another shot. I took the yarn that was going to waste  in my craft box, and I started practicing single crochet stitches. I would crochet for a while and then I would simply rip the stitches out.

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I wasn’t focusing on failing, but learning and relaxing my mind. I did my best to count my stitches as I carried on. I ripped out the stitches again and started thinking about developing a small project. I had my heart set on a colorful scarf. With a lot of help from YouTube tutorials, I learned how to add a ball of yarn to a crochet project, weave ends, and single crochet the seams of both ends of the project making an infinity scarf.

I know some will find my idea shallow, but for me I felt as if I was taking back a small piece of my life. I wasn’t simply dragging through the day. I was making myself happy. I wanted to live a more colorful life, and instead of dreaming about it, I started thinking of ways I could achieve it.

After completing my first crochet project, I decided that I would continue on with new projects. I want to take simple steps each week to live a more colorful life. I waste enough time just dragging through the day, complaining about work, or wishing I was in in someone else’s shoes. You only get one life.

Do you have a desire to thrive? Tired of being in a rut? Where do you start?

Making Woodland Animal Throw Pillows

During the last blog post,  I wrote about how I committed to sewing more with my fabric stash. I’m keeping my promise. What do you make when you are a sewing novice? My answer would have to be throw pillows. It’s a practical sewing project that you can use to decorate a particular area in your home.  If you are a beginner, the it teaches you skills such as sewing in straight lines and pivoting corners. As a sewing novice,  it’s instant gratification for me because it doesn’t take me a whole day to complete throw pillows.

I have plenty of novelty fabric stored in a bin. I also had a large bag of polyfill. I hate to admit it, but the bag of polyfill had been in my room for at least 9 months. I told myself, it was time to sit down and start working on a project. My throw pillow sewing project included fabric from Michael Miller’s Norwegian Woods line.  The fabric was perfect for the look I was trying to accomplish. I have an obsession with woodland animals. It reminded me of fall, yet bright enough to uplift someone’s mood. I think it’s a great fabric line for nursery items and quilts as well.

animalsReturning to the basics wasn’t a bad idea. I haven’t sewed any throw pillows in over 10 months. I remember hating my very first throw pillows because they weren’t firm enough. I did some research and started looking for popular sizes of throw pillows. I came by one tutorial, Sew Comfortable: How to Sew Perfectly Plump Throw Pillow Covers by Beth Galvin from Craftsy. The tutorial was very helpful for me  because I needed the correct seam allowance for sewing throw pillows. Although I lacked having a pillow form, I decided to  continue following the pattern by cutting  17 x 17 inch fabric squares for my pillow. I only had enough polyfill for two pillows at the time, so I decided to keep the purple shaded fabric for a later project.

I sewed around the fabric squares right sides together with a 1/2 inch seam allowance and left an opening at the bottom of the pillow for turning and stuffing. After sewing, I pressed my seams and trimmed the corners so that they wouldn’t be so bulky at the ends.

IMG_20170611_221733_675I also used a wooden stick to help place an even amount of polyfill on both sides of the pillow. Once I was happy with the firmness of the pillow, I pressed the opening at the bottom edge of the pillow tucking the raw edges inside. Finally, I machine stitched the bottom opening close.

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Now, I had two bright woodland animal throw pillows that would be great in my bedroom or my next apartment space. I’m one for going against fashion rules. Yes, I’m 30 years old and I still like adorable baby print fabric. I don’t think I’ll ever stop being a kid at heart. If you have any kids or have a baby on the way, then I would highly recommend it for a new nursery or baby gift making project.

Happy pillow making!

-Stephanie

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