Hi! Over the weekend, my friend Sara shared the mini I made her for the B&C Mini Swap – a quilt swap that Christine and I hosted on instagram for lovers of Bonnie & Camille fabric. And who doesn’t love Bonnie & Camille?! (Links are for both ladies’s IG feeds – they are amazing women with amazing talent!) Since so many people were interested, I thought I would share some of the details about my mini here!
I’ve been a bit curious about english paper piecing hexagons but had never tried it, and the idea of hand sewing a ton of tiny hexagons together by hand seemed slow and daunting to me. Then I came across the Modern Handcraft blog and discovered Nicole’s Modern Hexies projects, and I was in. And I knew that a project like this would be perfect for busting through some of the scraps I’ve been hoarding in ziplock bags all over my sewing room. And no tedious hand sewing hexes together!
I knew I wanted my mini quilt to really showcase the range of Bonnie & Camille and to show off as many of the lines as I could, and I love the idea of a cascading rainbow of fabric. After going through my stash and being gifted scraps of my some of my IG friends, I was able to include a bit of Ruby, Vintage Modern, Marmalade, Happy-Go-Lucky, Scrumptious, April Showers, and Miss Kate! Actually Sara was one of the girls to pass some of her scraps on to me, before she knew the mini was for her! It was so neat to be able to give them back to her like this.
I printed off and cut my hexagon templates (find it from Modern Handcraft in this post), cut my scraps into 2.5″ squares and gathered my supplies – a small sewing scissors, needle and thread, and a fabric glue stick. (I personally like to use a tiny bit of glue between my fabric and paper to keep things extra tight!) I packed it all into a travel pouch and slowly churned out hexagons all across a road trip from Wisconsin to Iowa, South Dakota, and Minnesota. When I had a healthy stack of hexagons, it was time to turn them into a quilt!
For the full tutorial by Modern Handcraft, click HERE. It walks you through everything you need and exactly how to make this quilt work! The secret – Aleene’s Fabric Fusion glue! Also, for a little extra help making sure all my hexagons were equally spaced, I drew out my lines using Pilot Frixion pens. I love these pens and use them all the time! They erase like magic with the heat of an iron and are a must have staple in my sewing room! For those interested in a fabric glue stick, I use Dritz 401 Fabric Glue Stick. I love this glue stick and have used it for paper piecing and for basting complicated seams while quilting. (affiliate links)
Since I love Sara, I decided to give up some of my precious cuts of Ruby for the backing. I paired it with simple black on white dots binding, to kind of bring all the colors on the front of the quilt together. These days I tend to do a lot of machine sewing for my binding, but I decided to go back to hand sewing, since it was a small enough project. I forgot how much I love a good hand sewn binding! I also added one of my “quilt labels” – a custom wooden button with Heartmade Life engraved on it. I have quite a button collection, so having my own custom buttons is a huge happy for me.
I loved making this mini for Sara and being a part of such a fun swap! And thank you all so much for your kind words on my quilt – each one means so much to me! Have fun making your own Modern Hexies! To see more projects using Modern Handcrafts tutorial, check out the #modernhexies tag on instagram or the Modern Handcraft Flickr group.
You might remember in the spring when I tested the Lulu Dress and Top by Jessica of Craftiness Is Not Optional. (If not, here’s the post on it.) Megan loved hers and had been asking me to make her and her sister, Allison, matching shirts and even went rummaging through my fabric closet “shopping” for just the right fabric. When she pulled out my Briar Rose Strawberry Knit by Heather Ross, I knew I couldn’t deny her.
Full disclosure – I started these tops before we moved in May, and they were the first thing project to be finished in my new sewing room just a week later. So yes, it’s taken me MONTHS to get them photographed and on the blog. Oops.
Megan has gotten so good at modeling for me. She has the “smile slightly and look away wistfully” pose down pat.
For both tops, I went with cap sleeves and faux button plackets and they look so sweet. I let both girls pick out their buttons, and while one chose flowers and the other chose hearts, I think it’s sweet that they chose together and went with the same color. And they decided to match their pants all on their own. These two are peas in a pod.
I paired the Briar Rose knit with Essex Yarn Dyed Linen in Chambray and I love how light and polished they came out. You really cannot go wrong with this pattern! You can find it HERE.
Shameless plug alert! See that little wooden toy camera? My husband Mike and I are taking the next step in our interests in woodworking and creative toys for kids, and we’ve opened up shop – Little Oxley! If you visit us on etsy, you can read more about our story and check out our listings. And if you check us out on instagram, (@littleoxley), there might be a discount code for you. 😉
The start of our first full homeschool year is less than 2 weeks away, so I’m hustling to get organized – and not just in our school room. I’ve learned a ton since we started our homeschool adventure (and I’m still learning), and one of the biggest lessons was that I’m not as organized as I thought. Of course we need to sort our supplies and plan our curriculum and schedule our school hours – but what about the rest of it? You know – the laundry we keep ignoring, the family we’re supposed to feed, and the house that won’t clean itself no matter how many times we command that broom to start carrying those water buckets. (Fantasia anyone?)
I like to think I thrive under pressure, but managing it all was hard. So now I’m getting prepared, starting with our dinner plan. We usually stick to a weekly dinner plan and shop for that week’s groceries the weekend before – only buying what we need for our planned meals. It’s been a great time and money saver for us, but I needed to up my game. I usually just scratch out our menu and grocery list on a scratch piece of paper, choosing our meals by randomly picking my memory, but that wasn’t going to cut it come school time. Enter our Recipe Binder.
There are tons of really great menu planning printables out there, for free and for purchase. But since I wanted something to suit my own personal style, I opted to make my own and thought it’d be fun to share them with you! You’ll find my Binder Cover page, a weekly “Eat Sheet”, and recipes pages to jot down your family favorites – in 4 colors, plus a grey for B&W printing. (Links at end of post.) Here’s a peek inside our Recipe Binder!
Inside the first pocket, I keep our weekly Eat Sheets and a Master Grocery List. Each week that Eat Sheet will go up on the fridge, so that no one will ever need to ask me what’s for dinner for the bajillionth time ever again. (Okay, they’ll probably still ask, but a girl can dream.) That Master Grocery List is AWESOME. It’s a free download from The Elli Blog – which is just an insanely gorgeous blog. Check our her amazing paper flower printables and thank me later. In this post by Elli, you’ll find a fully editable grocery list, which is so, so great because you can change the menu items to include the things that your family normally shops for. There’s also a tutorial on how to turn the file into a padded list – which I may do down the line. I plan to put the list up on the fridge too, so that throughout the week we can easily keep track of what we run out of, and I can just quickly run down the checklist on planning/shopping day. It’s ridiculous how excited I am about this!
One of my all time favorite places for recipes is Budget Bytes. We’ve tried dozens of these recipes and have never been disappointed; and I love that Beth breaks down everything by cost to make things even easier. Our family favorites are the Pesto Stuffed Shells and Broccoli Shells N’ Cheese and wee’ve been known to have one (or both) at least once a week. I keep my printed recipes in Sheet Protectors (I got 50 for $4.97 at Walmart) and sort them with page dividers by meal type – Breakfast, Side Dishes, Soups, Meat, Pasta, and Baked Goods. I also make a note on recipes that are great for slow cookers or freezing, for when our schedules are extra hectic!
We all have recipes stored in our heads, like our basic spaghetti or our beloved chicken pot pie. Instead of relying on my memory, I wanted to include pages for those recipes in my binder, so that I can physically see all my options when it’s menu planning time. And for favorite recipes in my cookbook stash, I’ll write down the name of the recipe and the ingredients, and then note the book and page number in the Directions space. That way I can still see all our choices and I don’t have to tear out or copy pages from my cookbooks.
I hope this inspires you to revamp your menu planning in a way that works for you! As promised, here are your FREE printables! Enjoy.
recipe binder cover
the eat sheet weekly planner
aqua recipe page
pink recipe page
green recipe page
yellow recipe page
grey recipe page
Right before our move last month, right before I packed up every yard, fat quarter, and 2 inch scrap of fabric and every skein and sloppy ball of yarn, right before we loaded the moving truck and drove to our new (much bigger) home, I was itching for one last sewing hurrah. And I got my wish when Jessica of Craftiness Is Not Optional allowed me to test her newest pattern – the Lulu Dress and Top! Jessica is such an incredibly talented lady with a beautiful style, and if you haven’t yet you NEED to check out her CINO dollhouse feed on instagram (#cinomakesadollhouse). It’s so, so good.
Because of the move I didn’t get a chance to blog about the Lulu I made for Megan, so since Rae and Liesl have declared June Made For Kids Month (and here too), I thought this would be an appropriate time to share!
I LOVE this pattern. Dress or top, sleeves or sleeveless, bow or buttons – this pattern has so many variations that you could literally make this pattern a dozen times and they’d all look totally different. Like Jess said – a girl’s gotta have options! And it’s such a QUICK sew! I made Megan a sleeveless top with a twill tie bow, with simple white knit on top and some bright Golden Sand Dunes by Leah Duncun on the bottom. It’s so cheery and light – perfect for summer and Megan’s bouncy personality! I’m obsessed with this pattern right now and have two more in the works for our girls. I can’t wait to finish them!
Oh, and did I mention that this pattern is only $10? Seriously. Go get it. (Find this pattern and others by Jess HERE or HERE.) And if you want to see more pics from the other awesome Lulu Patterns Testers, visit this post! This was such an awesome group to work with and there are so many fun variations to admire.
When Amanda from Material Girl Quilts asked me to crochet her a granny stripe blanket – I was all over it. She picked her colors, we decided on a size, gave it its own hashtag (#materialgirlafghan), and I started work on it that night. Over many episodes of Parenthood (every. single. episode. makes me cry), a dozen or so nights of Frozen, and an entire season of Orange is the New Black, I carefully worked on her. She came with me on long car rides, to a MOPS meeting, to the coffee shop, and she sat with me over many school lessons with the kids. One afternoon, our little Allison sat to the left of me while I crocheted, with one end of the afghan snuggled up all around her. When I would near the end of the row and need to take it from her, she would get so upset with me! Then I’d flip it and give her the other end, and she’d smile all content, and squish her fingers through the stitches. It was adorable.
I hooked this afghan with “I Love This Yarn” from Hobby Lobby – one of my favorite yarns to work with. We went with “snuggle on the couch size” and it’s a generous 48″ by 60″, before the sweet scalloped border. I love the look of randomly placed stripes rather than working them in a pattern, and she turned out so soft, big, warm, and squishy! Perfect for these chilly, snowy nights we’re still having this spring!
If you’re hankering for a colorful, custom afghan of your own, please think of me and send me an email or get in touch with me through instagram. I’d love to make another! I hope you love it Amanda!