You Are My Sunshine Quilt (pinwheel blocks and hand embroidery)

I thought I had written about this quilt here, but it was over on craftster. (where I haven’t visited much lately…) I started this quilt in the spring when we were selling our house. Most of my other sewing things were packed up and it was my only project to focus on.

You are my sunshine quilt-pieced top complete!

Here is the progress on this quilt for my son. One of “our” songs is “You are my sunshine”-we sing it every night as part of his bedtime routine. I thought -why not make a quilt with all of the words?? So the little guy and I headed off to the quilt shop and picked out some fabrics-yellow, since that is the color of the sun (according to the 3 year old!) and I wanted shades of blue with it since his room is blue. The fabrics are not all part of the same line- I found the tiny yellow and blue polka dots first for the background, then the big yellow polka dots, and grabbed some fat quarters for the blue parts. Then we looked again in the yellow fabrics and found one with circles all over that looked like suns, and that will be for the back and binding.

I did not follow a pattern for this quilt, I just let the idea of it tumble around in my head for a while. I knew the middle was going to have the words embroidered on it, so I needed some blocks that would make a good border for the middle panel. I tried to find a quilt block that looked like a sun, but didn’t find much that I liked. Finally I settled on pinwheel blocks. So that is where I started.  These 2 pages from Quilter’s Cache are what I used as basic instructions for making the pinwheel blocks. (Pinwheels Border and Speed Piecing Half Squares).  I made up enough blocks to form a border and then sewed them around the solid middle panel.

You are my Sunshine Quilt-pinwheel blocks progress  You are my sunshine quilt-middle panel with border

Then came the embroidery-This took some planning! I typed up the words on the computer and spaced them out on the middle panel. Then I traced the words onto some pattern tracing material cut to the size of the panel. Then I hung that in the window and traced the words onto the middle panel.  It took me about a week and 4 skiens of embroidery floss! Once that was done, I added the outside border and made up the corner squares from scraps.

You are my sunshine quilt-words layout You are my sunshine quilt-top section of words You are my sunshine quilt-corner closeup

Now, it needs to be quilted….I’m just not sure what to do with that middle section where the words are! The poor thing sits on the shelf waiting for me to pick it up again.


Maternity modifications/alterations

Regular jeans to maternity jeans (could also be used with any other pants or skirts that are too tight) : paisley princess

Full Tummy Adjustment: Rostitchery

Easy Pattern Adaptations for Sewing Maternity Wear: Jan Andrea-Baby Crafts

Modifying shirt/dress patterns for nursing

I tried a few nursing shirts with my first baby and they were so overwhelming that I just gave up and resorted to either pulling up or unbuttoning a shirt wearing a nursing tank underneath.  The ones I tried were full two layer in front with various openings on the under layer and none of them worked right for me.   First I am petite, so they were huge to begin with.  Second I am very small breasted so it was a challenge to find the opening and get it to stay where I needed it while nursing.   BUT I have discovered a nursing style that I am in love with-and it will be easy to convert many of my current shirt and dress patterns for.  The empire nursing opening (sometimes called crop style).  This is made basically by having two layers over the bust area.  The top layer ends under the bust where an empire style would be-but it is not connected in the middle-just at the side seams.  The top layer overlaps the bottom half of the shirt and to nurse all you do is pull up the top layer and pull down the bottom layer.  You no longer have to have the whole length of your shirt bunched up over your breast-plus you are exposing very little of the breast as you are nursing.  The first brand I saw with this style was BOOB.  Then as I have been looking around recently I have found some empire nursing styles in Japanese Weekend (during and after nursing), and Motherwear.

There are some wonderful ladies who have already figured out how to alter patterns to sew your own top with this nursing style.

Rostitchery: Overlap Nursing Top -includes line drawn pattern pictures

Rostichery: Two Piece Nursing Top

Rostitchery: Twist Top with Nursing Access -a bit more challenging than the overlap, but very trendy

Emma’s Sewing: Overlap Style Nursing Clothing -Look on the right side under categories and click on nursing or overlap and you will find the post where she alters a pattern for nursing

Purses from summer

 I made these 2 purses over the summer.  They were both made with free patterns and I think they turned out well.  I usually get compliments on them and that is always nice!  They don’t hold much, but I only use a purse when I go out on my own or I am carrying a purse with the diaper bag.

Bias Tape Purse: tutorial by belle epoque

I added the little ruffle to the front and pockets to the inside.  The fabrics are natural cotton canvas and Heather Bailey’s Freshcut (mums).  (click picture to see inside pics)

Bias Tape Purse-freshcut

Kwik Sew Clutch: free pattern from Kwik Sew 

I quilted the outside fabric, added pockets and a strap. The fabrics are Amy Butler’s Ginger Bliss (cinnamon red deco bouquet) and natural muslin lining. (click picture to see inside pics)

Kwik Sew Clutch-ginger bliss

Mary Engelbreit Quilt-Fabrics

Mary Engelbreit Fabrics-tea, teal and black Mary Engelbreit Fabrics-cherries Mary Engelbreit Fabrics-flowers-reds-bloom where you are planted

I have been looking for fabrics for this quilt for a while now.  It seems that I can find a yard here and there but never a lot of what I had in mind all in one place …until I found Jane’s Fabrics on eBay.  I got a set of 30 fat quarters for $35-thats less than $1.50 each!  I would have paid so much more if I ordered these from all over (especially paying shipping at each place too!)  And her shipping was super fast- I ordered Sunday night and got them Wednesday!  They are all washed up and ready to go.  I’m not going to use all of them in this quilt, but most of them.  There are quite a few of the novelty themed prints that just won’t go for what I want but I’ll find some other use for them.

Oooohh- I really have to settle on a design now….I’ll save that for another day!   

Sewing for the house

I haven’t done much sewing since we moved to this house.   I did manage to sew a few curtains before my new sewing/craft room got out of control!  (I am making good progress on the room though-I got a file cabinet yesterday so I now have a place to put my paper stacks and magazines and the computer area is now clutter free-hopefully I’ll be putting pictures of the room up soon)  Anyway, here is the curtain I put in the laundry room.  It has a door leading outside with a window on the top half of the door.  The towel we had hanging over it when we moved in was just not pretty, so with a little Denyse Schmidt fabric, it looks much better! 

Laundry room curtain

All of the windows in the house have plantation blinds on them, so I haven’t been in a rush to put curtains up everywhere yet, but the only place without blinds was the sliding glass door in our dining room turned office.  This window needed covering badly.  I tried to make these curtains neutral since this room will mostly be used by my husband.  I used extra wide linen from and topped it with a decorator fabric so it wouldnt be completly boring!  I just used clip on rings for the top-so easy too. 

Curtains for Sliding Glass Door