13 December 2010

Christmas projects and mommy brain

I've been so busy, I haven't had the time to write anything!  I have planned on writing many times, but I am madly trying to finish up gifts for nieces and nephews before we take off for the holidays, so I haven't dared to take the time.  But I pulled a stupid today that just needs repeating, so I thought I'd take a minute while the kids eat lunch to share my sewing experience.  This turned out really long, but I think I got everything off my chest.

I am almost done with so many projects, it's painful.  For some reason I just can't quite finish anything.  Okay, I take that back.  I finished these dresses for my niece, but I still have more to finish for her gift.
I suppose you have to know my niece to understand the greatness of getting two plain, peasant style dresses for Christmas.  This girl will wear only dresses, and only certain dresses.  They must be long sleeved and long- usually to her ankles.  In trying to save her Sunday, going to church dresses, we always keep our eyes out for sturdy, play dresses for her to wear.  Last summer we were wandering around a mountain man Rendezvous and she spotted a little peasant style dress and she wanted it badly.  I promised her that I would make her some, so here they are, finally. My daughter is only three months older and was more than thrilled to try them on for me at every stage of making.  She has asked to try them on every day since they were finished also. 

Since these were actually supposed to be a birthday present back in October, I thought I should add a bit to her gift.  I mentioned this doll house a while ago and planned to make one for my daughter, but why make one when you can make two?  Here's her doll house, almost finished.  It just needs some buttons and some felt flowers sewn on.  My daughter thinks it's great, which is good because she's getting one too.  Hers is a bit different though.  I'm making these from my mom's fabric scrap bins, so they are definitely one of a kind. 

My niece loves cats, so I thought the crazy vintage kitty fabric would be a hit.  I even made cats looking out the little windows.  I really had a lot of fun making this.  My almost 6 year old son thinks he needs a barn now as well.  We'll see.  I kind of hoped to not be sewing on Christmas eve this year.

My other huge project has taken a back seat to these other little projects.  The quilt top I've been working on was a much bigger job than I anticipated.  I haven't posted about it for fear that my sister might suddenly stumble into blog land, but I think I'm safe now.  When one of our aunts died, family members picked through her many started quilting projects.  My sister liked this one, but it was way too small to fit her bed.  There wasn't enough extra fabric to make it big enough and she kind of became discouraged with it and put it away.
This is what I started with
I spotted it in her attic while she was giving me some other fabrics and decided that since I have her name for Christmas this year, I would finish it for her.  Most of the hard work was already done, I figured it would be easy to add some borders.  It was much harder than I thought.  Just finding fabric that complemented it took forever.
This is what I have now.
I do like the red, and I know that she wanted to add more red, so hopefully she'll like it.  Now, I just have to quilt it.  HA!  So next Christmas, she'll be getting this...  I'm taking it along with me to visit my husbands family.  Hopefully, I can finish it up there.  Maybe the real gift will be in getting to do it together.  :)

So now that I have almost finished most of my projects, (I won't mention the ones I haven't really started) I got the crazy idea to add yet another!  We also have a nephew that we are gifting.  He's 10.  Not really into doll houses.  I am giving him a few books that I made.  *Finished projects!  I do have some!  If they would every get here in the mail.*  I thought maybe he needs more, but what?
In my blog world wanderings, I stumbled upon this.  A reading pillow.  Does he want one?  I don't know.  My sister didn't know either, but she did tell me that they would like to encourage more reading.  Maybe this will do that?  Maybe this will get an eye roll, I don't know.  I want one for me, I do know that.  Reading books about why my baby doesn't like to sleep at night would be a lot more comfortable for a tired mommy with one of these.

I was still undecided about doing it, but since I had to make a trip to Walmart anyway, I figured I would swing past the fabric department.  If, I told myself, they happen to have a cheap remnant of some heavy duty upholstery fabric, I will do it.  How likely is that, anyway?  Apparently, very likely.  I found some faux leather fabric.  A nice manly look to it too.  So I stood there in the fabric area debating on if this was a good idea or not. 

I should know never to make decisions when I have three grumpy kids in the cart.  I really do know better.  Instead of being smart, and looking at the pillows right there to figure out how much piping I would need, I hurriedly added up all sides of the remnant, which is all rolled up in a tight ball, so my visual brain couldn't inform the math side of my brain that I was making a stupid mistake.  The reasonable part of my brain did not kick in until after check out, when it occured to me that four and a half yards of piping was a ridiculous amount for a lap pillow.  Silly frazzled mommy.  You sew pillows to the pillow size, not to whatever the remnant size is.  Which is , by the way, enough for two, maybe three pillows. 

This is not the first time I have made this type of mistake.  I still have a few yards of flame-print fabric from a blanket I made my then boyfriend, now husband almost a decade ago.  I have used it in anything that I could, but there's just so much you can do with flame fabric.  Because of these types of mistakes, I have learned to take pictures with me, or the project in the making so that the knowledgeable ladies at the quilt shops and fabric departments can inform me that unless I am making baby quilts for triplets, I don't need that much.  Sigh... and then I forgot thread.


  1. Oh dear, you don't have a lot of time to finish so many projects, but maybe you work your best under pressure! Sure hope so! Those little dresses are cute and that quilt is gorgeous - that red set it right off!

    I wish you the best of luck there! Now get back at that machine, Girl, it's nearly Christmas! ;-)

  2. Gosh, is it possible you bit off alot more than you could chew this Christmas? It will all get done somehow -- or not! haha! The dresses are so cute and so is the little fabric house you made. So talented! I haven't sewn in years -- not by machine anyway. Just don't seem to have the patience any more. I'll leave it to you younger folks. :) Try to relax and hope you are having an excellent day!

  3. Nancy, I have always had a problem of biting off more before I swallow the rest... in all areas of my life. I'm feeling pretty smug though. I finished all the "must finish NOW" projects and I will continue to work on the others as we travel. I'm amazingly low-stress now that I'm not trying to finish the quilt by Christmas.