Curtain Progress and Christmas Break!

First of all, a big thank you to those of you who gave me tips and links to help with my curtains!  I have one set done and we like them a lot!  Very hard to take pictures of though with the light coming in right there but you can get an idea of how they look.

I put the rod a bit too far outside the doors for the width of the curtain but this way when they're open we can still go out onto the deck easily (not now though as you can see!!)  I don't think the orange is a great fit but we bought the fabric because we liked it.  The wall colour is much cheaper to change.

The two older kids are home for Christmas break...yesterday was there last day of school!  I love holidays and we plan to do lots of fun things like painting:

And hopefully some sledding, skating, baking, playing games, other crafts...  You get the idea :)

I wish you all a blessed Christmas season as we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Saviour!

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6



Here in the Fraser Valley it's been raining. Alot. Other parts of Canada and the USA are being dumped on with snow but we are still in the rain.

My life has felt a bit rainy lately too. Two weeks ago on this blog I announced that our family was expecting a new life. Last week, at just over 15 weeks pregnancy we found out that our baby no longer had a heartbeat. So, our baby is in heaven with his/her Lord and Maker. We had a difficult week, but we are not without hope or comfort. We know where our baby is and we have the blessing of 5 other children to raise. I get hugs and kisses whenever I need them too and that so helps. Even the big open-mouthed ones from Zachary. :-)

During the last few months and especially this past week I've grown to realize (more) that I am not my own but belong to my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. I may have plans for my life and think I can control things, but really, I can't.

I am looking forward to having my kids around for Christmas Holidays. Sleeping in, not rushing to get them to bed on time, but savouring the time with them. No homework, no songs to learn and no tests to study for. Maybe some crafting, game playing, baking, visiting, turkey eating and hopefully some snow to play in somewhere in there.

Here's a few photos for those who know me in 'real' life and want to see my children. I noticed that I don't take near enough photos of Benjamin. I will have to remedy that.

Watching Daddy make breakfast.

On Remembrance Day we went to the ranch and the girls got to 'ride' a horse for the first time. They loved it!

I also got to 'ride' the horse and Melissa documented this with about 50 photos! Not one of them looks very good (and many of them don't have either me or the horse on the photo!)


Curtain Making Help...please!!

I'm hoping to glean from anyone who's made their own curtains before.  I'm scared to start!  I have the fabric, lining, header tape, grommets but would love some tips.  Especially about doing the lining.  I'm planning to make flat curtains with grommets so they can be easily opened and closed for privacy and warmth.

This is the fabric I'm using.  The brown is for the bottom 16" or so.

Here are some questions:

Do I hem the top(4") and bottom(6") first and then the sides(1") or the sides first?

How do I attach the lining?  Slip it under the header so the grommets go through it as well and hem the sides in with the curtain leaving the bottom hem separate?

The main fabrics aren't machine washable (I sure hope I don't regret that later!) but the lining is cotton.  Should I prewash that part?

Do I need to serge the edges of the floral/brown seam?

Any more tips before I start?  A good tutorial or website?

Thanks so much!!


Nightgowns for the girls!

It's been a while since I posted anything but I have been sewing a bit - it's just been a bit secretive.  I made all three of our girls nightgowns for Sinterklaas!   

Check out wikipedia if you're curious who Sinterklaas is :)  It's basically the tradition where Santa Claus comes from except that St. Nicholas Day is on Dec. 5th or 6th. 

I bought the fabric for these last year already but didn't get around to making them then.  I used the Miss Madeline pattern for Anneke and Tessa and the Sweet Little Dress pattern for Sophie.  I made them all into long sleeves and lengthed the skirts and left off the waistband for the older two.  If I can scrounge up enough of the left over pieces I'd like to make Sophie some pants to go with hers.

Silly picture but it's the best I could do.  Sophie wanted nothing to do with it but loves to be on the window sill :).


Six, or Why I've Been M.I.A.

By now some of our readers may be wondering what happened to the other sister that used to post on this blog. By the title of the post you can probably guess. Our family is expanding once again! We are, the Lord willing, having another little baby at the end of May 2011. And that will make Gord and I the parents of six (yes, 6!) children.

I thought it would be fun to post a few links of other creative moms that also have six children. If only to assure myself that I will still have some time to sew.

Many of you will know the name Anna Maria Horner. Artist, fabric designer and mother of six. Visit her blog if you want serious inspiration.

I recently discovered Canela, a wife and mom of six and jewelry artist. Her jewelry is beautiful!

I've been following Kerri's blog for quite some time. She has a unique sense of style and colour. She too has six children and even finds time to operate an online fabric store.

I love Bonnie's blog Fishsticks and Fries! She too is a mom of six. She's written quite a few patterns and sews with knits. Her blog has valuable information for those wanting to improve their sewing skills.

This is all I know of for now.

Do you have a large family? Let me know. Do you know of any crafty mamas of six (or five or seven, whatever?) Let me know. Just for fun!


PJ's for Ben

My poor boy has been going to bed with a t-shirt and swim trunks for the past couple of months. Yes, swim trunks. He claims they are the most comfortable thing to wear. He's needed pj pants for a long time but this mama has been too tired to do much sewing lately. Yesterday I took the plunge and had these whipped up in an hour. It felt so good to get behind my machine again!

I used a t-shirt that he already had and appliqued a paw print onto it. He really likes that part.

He isn't really into dogs but this is what I had on the shelf. He has requested that I make a pair for Zachary to match. How cute would that be? :-) I'd better do that while he still wants to match his little brother.


Frenchy Bag

It's been a year since we started Secret Sisters with the women in our church and I wanted to make my last gift when I reveal myself.  Throughout the year I didn't want to make anything to obvious that it was me so now is my opportunity.  I picked up Amy Butler's Frenchy Bag pattern hoping to make it for myself sometime too.
 My secret sister's favorite colour is yellow so I chose fabrics accordingly.  I had a tough time picking fabrics as I'm not usually drawn to yellow but I really love the result.
I put in a zipper pocket on the one side instead of another divider pocket.  I also used canvas as the interfacing and I love how it feels!  Very "bag like" without it being stiff.
My cheesy model :)

I'm linking up today with


My Emmeline Apron!

Way back in the summer when I was in BC with my family my sisters and a sister-in-law started making Emmeline Aprons for ourselves.  It was blogged about here.  Alisa finished hers shortly after and mine sat on my table for months!  Finally a couple of weeks ago I picked it up again and finished it!  Now I just need to get in the habit of using it :)

Here's one side:
 And the other:

The only thing I changed is that instead of making the neck as two ties I just looped it so I can just pop it over my head.


Thrify Threads # 16 - Book Character Day

October was reading month for our school kids and at the end of the month they had Book Character Day.  Anneke wanted to be Laura Ingalls (along with at least 5 other girls at school) and Lukas chose Asterix :)
Excuse the bad indoor pictures but the weather was too cold for good clear ones outside.

For Anneke's costume I used fabric I got handed down to me for the bonnet and apron and the dress is made out of an old sheet.  The pattern is McCalls 9424 that my Oma once gave me when she was cleaning out her sewing room.  So this one cost me nothing but a few evenings of time!

For Lukas we found a pair of red pants and black t-shirt the thrift store for a couple dollars.  Then I made a belt from fabric I had.  The hat is made from an old sun hat with the brim cut off and then duck taped (gotta love that stuff).  The feathers are made from two layers of felt with wooden skewers in to hold them up.  The sword is cardboard, more duck tape, a paint stir stick and paint.
So a few dollars later and I had two very happy kids. Lots of fun!


My entry for the Quilt Festival...

...is my variation on Oh Fransson`s paintbox quilt.  I made it for my son who is 6 and hope it will last him for many, many years! 
The back is made from an old sheet and a bit of piecing to make it exciting and the binding is made from strips of the leftover fabric.
It definitely pulled me out of my comfort zone - using batiks and the black - but I love the finished product and my son loves it too!
Thanks to Amy for once again organizing!  Lots of beautiful work to enjoy and be inspired by!

Amy's Creative Side - Blogger's Quilt Festival

Perfect Fit Bibs

I was so excited when Marian emailed me these photos of the bibs she made using my pattern! Yeah, the pattern works! She did an excellent job.

She made a total of eight. The photos are of the front and the back.

Marian, thanks for sending me the photos, you made my day. :-)

For those of you who would like to make a Perfect Fit Bib yourself you can find the pattern here.


Blogger's Quilt Festival

I made this quilt about 3 years ago. Carolin was a baby and I only had snippets of time to work on it. But it was such a joy to be able to sneak away to my sewing room a little bit each day and work on it.

I even had fun with the quilting. Because it wasn't overly big I thought I'd try something fun.

I actually sold this quilt on consignment at a local gift shop. As much as it's hard to part with a quilt, I was very happy to spend the money on more fabric!

Thank you Amy for hosting the Blogger's Quilt Festival once again!


Another baby gift...

This time for my brother and his wife who had there first baby!  I used the Sweet Little Dress pattern (once again!) but this time inspired by Leisl from Brown Paper Packages when she did a pattern makeover month this past spring.  I copied this one.  It was a lot of fun to make and I love the finished product!  I made it a twelve month size but should be able to be worn around 9 months as a dress and up to 2 years as a shirt.
 I tried to get my almost 2 year old to model it but she was not at all happy about it!!


Anneke's first sewing experience

Over Thanksgiving (Canadian) weekend our kids had a whole week off and I had promised Anneke I'd let her sew on my machine.  A while back Alisa had made drawstring bags with her kids so I thought that would probably be a good first project for Anneke as well.  She did very well (just had trouble waiting to finish it for a few days while we had company).  I forgot to take any pictures of her behind the sewing machine but she did do it all herself except for the ironing.

And, just for fun, a couple of pictures of the kids in the leaves...that are all gone now :(


Welcome gift!

Last week a friend and I got together to make an apron for our new pastor to go with a BBQ they received as a welcome gift from the congregation.  While we were at it we made two little ones for his younger daughters :)

We used an old apron to copy - very basic.  It turned out great and fit him too!


Kids Crafts

This is a project that my two older kids have been working on off and on over the past half a year or so.  Anneke is finished hers but Lukas is still working on his.

It started with a container of triangle scraps left over from my bright quilt.  They laid them out how they wanted on some fusible web and I ironed them onto a scrap of fabric.  They had a lot of fun picking fabrics and both enjoy the stitching but it does definitely go in spurts of enthusiasm! 

Here's Lukas working on his:
 And here's Anneke's finished "pillow":
I don't know how long it'll stay together but it was fun and their first time using a real needle :)


Something Small

It's been a while since I've posted anything.  I have been doing little bits of sewing here and there, one thing being a gift that I can't post about until it's received by the newest baby in our (extended) family :)

I did make this recently for a new little one in our church but forgot to take a picture of it so the mom nicely did that and sent me a picture.  It's about a 12 month size...just a basic skirt and appliqued onsie to match.
It's made from scraps of this shirt made in May of '08 for Anneke when she was just 5!


Mrs. K's Quilt

A few weeks ago, I alluded to the fact that I was working on a really special quilt. More special than any other quilt I have worked on.

I have known Mrs. K for many years. She and my mom have been friends since I was a toddler and have stayed friends for almost 30 years. That's a pretty long time.

For the past 9 years I have also been a member of the same congregation as Mrs. K. (Not my mom though.) I am pleased to call some of her daughters my friends. This past summer, Mrs. K was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had a lumpectomy (is that spelled right?) and now is undergoing pretty harsh chemotherapy treatment.

When I found out that she would need this treatment I knew that she needed a quilt. A very special quilt. Something to keep her warm and keep her spirits up on the terrible days.

Mrs. K is a very blessed woman. She has a husband and 6 children who love her and care for her as well as numerous other family members and church family. She is so thankful for that support. Last Monday a few of us surprised her with a little morning 'party' and presented the quilt to her. She loved it. It was so worth it.

Wednesday I will post a little bit about how we organized the making of this message quilt. Just in case anyone else out there would like to bless someone in their lives with such a gift.

Have a good week!

Thanks to Heather for letting me steal her photos for this post.


Kids Clothes Week - The rest of the week

I did manage to finish one other this last week but didn't have the time to blog about it. It's the "Kaisa" shirt from Ottobre 1/2009. My very first project from Ottobre and the first time I sewed with knits!

Here it is...crooked pants and all :)

My thoughts on the project...

• I made one change to the pattern, just lengthened the arms so they wouldn't look "just too short" like in pattern.

• Somehow I ended up with the front about 1" longer than the back. I think it was a combination of not sewing with as much seam allowance as I added on when cutting it out and I think I may have added a seam allowance on the hem on the front which I didn't need to to. That was an easy fix.

• I didn't have any clear elastic in the house so I first tried to do the bodice with reg. 1/4" elastic but it was too stiff and didn't look right so I ended up just gathering it - Thanks Cindy for that tip!

• I had trouble with the neck line as you can see. I was going to put binding on like the sleeves but using a straight stitch ended up in snapped threads (I figured that would happen) so I tried the other option from the pattern - stitching elastic to the neck edge and just folding it over and top stitching down. I don't know if clear elastic would make that much difference but the regular stuff I used doesn't sit right at all and the neck is too wide.

On the whole though I think it's pretty cute and it was a great learning experience!


Kids Clothes Week - Day 3

My update for today:

I finished the PJ pants.  That's all :)  It still took me an hour though.  The rest of my day and evening will be busy with other things so this is brief.

One small picture...I love my serger!!