Baby Shower Gift, Trey’s Hooded Towel, and Some New Projects

Last weekend, I attended a baby shower for one of my best friends and her husband.  It was the baby shower that I had been waiting for since they got married…I am so happy for them!  I wanted to get them and baby a special gift, so I decided to make a minky rag quilt with matching burp cloths and a diaper clutch.  Here they are…

I enjoyed making these gifts for my friends, and I wanted to make something special and from the heart for them and their little one.  They’re expecting a baby girl in May, so I thought that the colors in the rag quilt were just right for the season. For this quilt, I used 6-inch squares and backed them with green minky fabric.   My baby girl, Lauren, has a blanket just like it.  I am super excited that they’re having a girl.  I’m hoping that our daughters become great friends when they get older. They’ll have matching blankies!

Lauren, the day after she was born.

I didn’t use a tutorial for the burp cloths, but I did find a great tutorial for it at ChickPea Sewing Studio.  For these burp cloths, I used a 3-ply diaper cloth and top-stitched a 6″ wide strip of fabric on it.  The 3-ply diaper cloth is super absorbent and has a thick pad sewed into it.  When I first made burp cloths, I used a thinner diaper cloth, which was ok,  but the spit-ups would either roll off the fabric or seep right through the diaper cloth and on to my shoulder (yuck!).  When you plan on making burp cloths, definitely use a 3-ply diaper cloth or a 6-ply cloth for your projects.

A diaper clutch comes in very handy when you need just a few diapers and wipes to carry in your purse.  I found a great tutorial for the diaper clutch at Diary of a Quilter.  I think I’ll be making a bunch of them not just for diapers, but other things I carry in my purse for my kids (clothes, toys, snacks).  

Trey’s Hooded Towel

So before Lauren was born…seriously, like HOURS before she was born, I completed a hooded towel for Trey.

I had been making so many new things for Lauren, that I felt the need to make something for Trey.  A hooded towel was the perfect thing for him.  He was outgrowing his baby towels, and he needed a towel that covered him from head to toe.  This towel was also great for evening visits at my parents’ home.  It gets pretty windy at their house, so whenever we head into the car, we always try to get him covered up with this towel.  I got the idea for this hooded towel from searching Pinterest (OMG..I love Pinterest!).  Here’s the tutorial for the hooded towel.

For Trey’s towel, I embellished it with fabric from Robert Kaufman’s Urban Zoologie Collection using the Whales print, and matched it with green rick-rack.  I actually started working on the hooded towel a few days before Lauren was born, but Trey’s name on the back of the towel was sewn in just the night before. =)

 New Projects

I’m slowly taking on new projects when I find the time between naps and feedings.  After completing the Echo Charm Pack and Jelly Roll quilt, I was really satisfied with the result and wanted to make something similar for my parents.  This time however, I decided to make a Disappearing Nine-Patch quilt using the following fabric:

I also got the following fabric at Wal-Mart a few weeks ago:

Of all places, Wal-Mart had these prints.  I’ve decided to use them with some linen fabric to create projects from Rashida Coleman Hale’s book, Zakka Style.  There’s a sew along that started during the first week of April, and although I’m a little late in getting started, I do plan on finishing the first project, a linen tote bag, and work on a couple more projects from the book!  Till then, my projects lay quietly on my sewing table, waiting to be picked up…

quilting, Sewing

A Celebration of Quilts – 3rd Annual Quilt Show on Maui

In my last post, I mentioned that the anesthesiologist on call during my C-Section had told me about a quilt show happening in town. I had to find out where it was taking place, so I looked it up on Google and discovered that it was being held at the Bailey House Museum in Wailuku!

Herman, the kids (who napped the entire time we were there), and I headed over to the museum yesterday and saw all of these beautiful quilts!

I’m glad that it was nice and sunny day. The weather was perfect for having the quilts displayed out in the garden!

There was a great mix of quilts of different colors, prints, and patterns.

There were a number of Hawaiian quilts, including this mini silversword quilt. There were also a few historical quilts displayed inside the museum. One was dated back to 1870. I love the look of Hawaiian quilts and appreciate the time and effort spent in hand-quilting the work. I’ll need to try it someday!

This particular quilt (pictured above) caught my eye. I love all of the different pink prints used in it!

Must thank the Maui Historical Society, the Bailey House Museum, and the members of the Maui Quilt Guild for this beautiful showing of quilts!

parenting, toddlers

Meet the newest addition to our family!

She’s finally here!  Meet the newest addition to our family, Lauren!

Lauren with her minky blanket.

Lauren arrived a day before my scheduled C-Section.  Trey woke me up in the middle of the night for something to drink, and when I got up, my water broke.  Yikes!  I alerted my hubby, got changed out of my PJs, got my hospital bag together (which included the blanket, onesies, and the boppy pillow and cover I made for the baby), and called my parents to let them know that we were bringing Trey over to their house.

Things moved pretty quickly after  I checked into the hospital.  I was hooked up to a fetal monitor, consulted with the OB and the anesthesiologist on call, and got prepped for surgery.  This C-Section experience was completely different from the one I had with my son.  I wasn’t as nervous, and I made the best of it by talking with the nurses and with the anesthesiologist who was close by, monitoring my vital signs.  Talking with the staff and letting them know how you’re feeling helps them understand your needs.  I was cold (the OR was about 65 Degrees!), and they put a bair hugger on me to keep me warm.  I started to feel itchy (from all the narcotics), and the anesthesiologist was able to give me something for it after the procedure.  We also talked about things I had been doing to prep for the baby, and before you knew it, we were talking about sewing and quilting and future quilt shows at the arts and cultural center, and at the county fair.  How fun was that!!!

After some time, my daughter’s pediatrician came in, followed by my husband.  The procedure progressed quickly, and before we knew it, the doctor brought Lauren over the partition for hubby and me to see.

Hospital volunteers crochet baby beanies for all newborns.

I must say, the OB staff at Maui Memorial Medical Center, the OB (Dr. McCartin) and anesthesiologist (Dr. Yeskett) on call were all excellent.   They were all so patient and kind.  They answered all of my questions and were always available if I needed something.  There’s also a new program where the hospital offers a special dinner (steak or chicken) for the mommies and their partners when the mommies are ready for regular food.  I was lucky to be one of the first recipients of this new dinner.  I think it adds a nice touch to the stay at the hospital, and I hope that they’re able to keep this special program going.

Dinner comes along with a table cloth and a cute lantern!

Herman had the steak and I had chicken.

The picture doesn’t do much justice to the meal, but believe me, it was great!  Dessert included tiramisu and red velvet cupcakes!

I must also add something about Lauren’s pediatrician, Dr. Hirayama who was also wonderful. I am however, a little biased since I’ve known him from when I was a little girl.  He also lived next door to my family’s home and would make house calls whenever my brother or I got sick.  He’s always been great and caring.  In fact, all of the pediatricians at Maui Medical Group are terrific!

My stay at the hospital was pretty short, just two nights.  I felt better on my second day at the hospital and felt ready to go.  Although I was ready to go home, I actually liked being at the hospital…I didn’t have to worry about anything!  This reminds me to make an advertisement for the Maui Memorial Medical Center Foundation. Please consider making a donation to the foundation.  The foundation works with the staff at the hospital to provide funding for state-of-the-art medical purchases and to support patient care and healthcare outreach in our community.

The transition to having one child to two has been quite a challenge.  It takes a little longer to get ready, there are more diapers to change (although we’re getting Trey toilet trained), when one child is sick, we try to keep the two apart (which we’re experiencing now as Trey is getting over a cold), and overall making sure each child’s needs are fulfilled.

Trey is trying really hard to be a great big brother.  He loves his little sister, but I can tell that he feels a little left out at times, especially when I’m holding Lauren or feeding her.  I think he’s starting to understand that he has to share mommy and daddy.  Herman and I make it a point to let him know that he’s special to us and that he’s a wonderful little boy.

Brother and sister! Lauren is wearing a applique onesie that I made a few months ago.

One of my favorite pics of the two. I’m soooo in love with my kiddos!

Notice the quilt they’re sleeping on?  It was in one of my previous posts!

Herman and I are adjusting well with having two kids and making sure that we spend a good amount of quality time with them and with each other.  Parenthood is an amazing experience!

DIY, parenting, Pregnancy, quilting, Sewing, toddlers

Echo Quilt Progress, Heart Pillows for Mastectomy Patients, Final Weeks of Trimester 3

Before I begin my report on my progress, I have to extend a big “mahalo” or thank you to my husband for getting me a new sewing machine. He bought it for me a few weeks ago, but I never got a chance to thank him on my blog. Thank you sweetie!

Buying a new machine was completely his idea. In fact, I think it was meant more for him. =) Here it is…a Brother SE-400.

It’s a much quieter machine than my Singer, and it has all of the fun stuff to make sewing more efficient (automatic threader, thread cutter, drop in bobbin). I was ok with my old Singer machine, but my husband thought it would be a good idea to get a sewing machine that also did some embroidery. I have yet to try the embroidery functions (he’s already tried it out and loves it!), but what I love is that this machine allows me to do free motion quilting! This leads to the next topic…

Echo Quilt Progress

I’ve been making slow progress on my Echo print quilt, but I finally took some time yesterday to piece the backing together, add the batting, and run it through my machine using my new quilting foot (yay!). Here’s what I have so far:

This was the first “large” quilt that I have ever put together, measuring about 76″x76″. Since January, I’ve made two small baby quilts (patchwork and a rag quilt), each at about 36″x36″, a super easy “quilt as you go” quilt for my son, and a yellow/black quilt that he uses when he takes a nap in the afternoon.

One thing different about this quilt from the others that I’ve completed is that I used a free motion quilting foot for the first time and attempted to “stipple” this quilt. Each quilt that I’ve made so far have been all “stitch in the ditch” quilts. If you’re like me, and completely new to free motion quilting, my advice to you is to practice, practice, and practice…and also to learn the different quilting functions on your machine. I practiced a lot using leftover scraps of batting and broadcloth, but my biggest mistake was not knowing which quilting functions worked best for the stitching that I was aiming for.

I had completed the outside (white) border with what I thought was the stippling stitch, when the “light bulb” went off in my head, prompting me to try a different stitch. I think you can see the stitching in the next photo which shows the back of the quilt.

There were a great many number of errors, but the optimistic side of me believes that this was a great learning experience! I thought of giving this quilt to my parents or to my brother and his family, but I’ve gotten so attached to it that I might keep it for myself. I know…pretty selfish, but it’s just that this was the first “big” quilt that I put together. Besides, I had so many mistakes on it…maybe it’s best to keep it for myself for now. =) I promise to post pictures of the completed quilt with the binding. I hope to get that done in the next few days!

Heart Pillows (For Mastectomy Patients)

I had some other projects that I had been working on since my last blog, but I think the most important ones were the pillows that I made for someone dear to me who will be undergoing a mastectomy in a few days. I’ll blog more about my thoughts on breast cancer and how it has affected my family and circle of friends in an upcoming blog post, but I did want to share what these pillows looked like and how they bring comfort to patients who have undergone a mastectomy.

My mother had a mastectomy in 1999, and during her recovery, she received a small, rectangular shaped pillow from the volunteers at the American Cancer Society (ACS). She was encouraged to use the pillow under her arm so that it could relieve any pressure on the stitches from the surgery. Recovering from a mastectomy can be a very painful experience. From what I understand from my mother, the pillow made a difference in helping ease her pain and making her recovery a little more comfortable.

I think it’s so wonderful that there are volunteers at ACS who took the time to create these pillows for patients recovering from a mastectomy or a lumpectomy. When I found out that a “special” person in my life would be undergoing a mastectomy, I decided to create a pillow that would help ease some of her pain.

I searched the web to find a unique pillow pattern and came across a website called Heart Pillow Project. The instructions are simple and so easy, and the stories shared on the website are wonderful. I’m inspired to make more of these for other patients!

One variation that I made with these pillows is that I added ribbons at the top and tied them together so that the pillow would hang on the patient’s shoulder. I also added a little tag that reads “Made with Love”, just to give it a personal touch.

If you’d like to join me in making these pillows and giving them away to patients or to your local hospital or American Cancer Society office, let me know by sending me a comment or an e-mail. Also, post pictures of your completed work on my Flickr group, Heart Pillow Project 808.

I think this is a great way to make a difference in someone’s life. It lets a patient know that they’re not alone in their recovery, and that someone is thinking of them.

Final Weeks of Trimester 3

I’m about to enter the last stretch of my pregnancy (38 1/2 weeks and counting) and about to “go” any day now! This last phase of pregnancy involves a lot more back aches and difficulty getting up from bed or from a chair. Argh….But I’m so excited to be able to meet my little girl! She’s been very active in these past few weeks, sometimes putting on a show for her dad, her grandparents and for her cousins. My nieces and nephew think it’s so weird when my belly jumps and rolls. Trey’s also been a little more aware of the things that will belong to his little sister and pointing them out to us; her car seat, clothes, diapers, the crib that once belonged to him…=) What’s helped is this book called “The Baby Sister” by Tomie DePaola.

Tomie is one of my favorite children’s book authors, and he’s starting to become one of Trey’s favorite authors as well! Every night, before going to bed, Trey will ask me to read this story to him. After reading the story, I’ll put his hand on my tummy, and we’ll talk about him having a baby sister. It’s been a great way to get him ready for bed and for the big change coming up in our lives!

That’s it for now! Maternity leave starts this week, and I’ll be using this time to get odds and ends squared away and to get some rest. Yay!

DIY, quilting, Sewing, toddlers, Uncategorized

A New Diaper Bag! (With Link to Tutorial)

These past few weeks, I’ve been admiring a number of Vera Bradley tote bags at a store in our local mall.  Each time my husband and I would pass by the storefront, I’d often stop and tell him how much I like the vibrant colors and patterns, and the design of the bags.  They’re beautiful!  But I just couldn’t see myself buying one knowing that I could probably make it myself.  And so began my next challenge…a new diaper bag!

I made a diaper bag a few weeks ago using a tutorial from Moda Bakeshop. It had blues and greens in it, perfect for my son!  This time however, I decided to use fabrics in pink and yellow, and to use a tutorial from Andrea’s Originals.  It’s a more “boxier” style than my first diaper bag, but what I like about it are the pockets and that it’s much bigger.  I modified the size a bit to make a wider bag.  My finished bag measures 16″x12″x5″.

I started with these fabrics from Robert Kaufman’s “Free to Grow” collection by Nancy Mimms.

I already had the yellow fabric in my stash, but needed the others for the front and back pockets and the handles.  These fabrics were from Sew Special, one of our local fabric stores on Maui.  The girls there were great in helping me find what I needed!  What I don’t have pictured here is a hot pink gingham print that I used for my lining.

When I pieced the bag together, I decided to sew all the panels first, rather than sew them on to the bottom of the bag.

After sewing the panels, I pinned the bottom section to the panels and sewed around all four sides, starting with the long sides first and finishing off with the shorter sides.

A couple nights ago, I showed my husband my new diaper bag and asked him what he thought.  He asked where I had bought it from.  I found that to be the most perfect compliment!

The cost of the materials added with the time I spent on this bag probably amounted to the same as the cost of those Vera Bradley bags that I saw at the mall, but it was worth the effort and time.  It was sure worth knowing that it was something that I could make for myself!

DIY, quilting, Sewing, Uncategorized

New Fabrics!

Robert Kaufmann Fabric!!!

This collection is Robert Kaufmann’s, Pick A Bunch collection, by Nancy Mimms. I believe the yellow print is also from Robert Kaufmann, but in a different collection.

I ordered a layer cake and a jelly roll from Missouri Star Quilt Company a few weeks ago, and it arrived within days! They’re so awesome! The yellow print was from Sew Special, a fabric store here on Maui.

The collection features different prints in shades of blue, green, red, yellow, mauve, and purple.




I wasn’t sure what I would do with the fabric when I bought it. Call me an impulse buyer, but I loved what I saw and knew I could make something out of it. I love bright colors and retro prints. This collection was too cute to pass up. I’ll more than likely create another quilt, but my first objective is to create another diaper bag using the yellow print (in the first picture at the very top) as a the main part of the bag.

Here’s a canvas fabric that I bought over the weekend at Fabric Mart in Kahului….


Cute huh? Not sure what I’ll want to do with this, but I loved the colors and the design! If you’re ever on Maui, check out Fabric Mart on Dairy Road in Kahului. They have a large collection of Hawaiian and Asian prints at great prices.

That’s it for now! I think I’ll get started on my second diaper bag in a little while…Till next time…=)

DIY, Pregnancy, Sewing, toddlers, Uncategorized

Weekend Projects: Boppy Pillow Cover, Rocket Applique T-Shirt, Echo Pillow Cover

I woke up on Saturday morning at about 5:00 a.m. wanting to make a couple things.  Both Trey and Herman were still asleep, so I quietly walked into the craft room to get started.

First thing I started on was a Boppy pillow cover.  Boppy pillows are a great thing to have when you’re nursing or if you need extra support while holding baby in your arms.  My first pregnancy was a C-section, so having a Boppy pillow made nursing a little more comfortable.  When Trey was born, my husband bought me a Boppy pillow with a boyish cover; a blue print with cute green alligators.  Since we’re having a girl in a few weeks, I decided to use some existing “girly” fabric that I had in my stash.  This time, I used a grey and pink asian inspired print for the front, and a coordinating pink print for the back. Here are a few pictures:

I found the tutorial and pattern for this cover on a blog called Vanilla Joy.  The pattern was simple enough to piece together and easy to understand.  The pattern however, called for an invisible zipper.  I had never sewed zippers before, and was pretty fearful of what the end result would look like, but it came out well!  Here are a few more pictures:

It’s not quite an “invisible” zipper, but it does the job.  Best part?  I didn’t break a needle while sewing it on to my fabric!

And finally, here’s what the two prints look like next to each other.  I believe I used a 1/4 inch seam allowance when I sewed the front and back pieces together.  The cover fits the pillow perfectly!

Next project was a no-sew applique project.  My son has been talking about rockets and using words such as, “mission control” or “blast off to space”, so I thought it would be cute to make him a t-shirt with a rocket applique.

Here’s what it looks like and the fabrics I used…

I found a few pictures of rocket appliques from several websites to use as examples, and drew a rocket on to a piece of paper to create a template.  After creating the template pieces, I transferred them on to a piece of Heat n Bond paper, making sure to reverse the template pieces and tracing them on to the bumpy or adhesive side of the Heat n Bond paper.  The next step was to iron the pieces on to the fabric, cut them out, lay them on to Trey’s shirt, and iron.  That easy!

I had just finished the t-shirt when Trey woke up and walked into my craft room.  After wishing him a good morning, I showed him the shirt, and his words were, “Oooh, Mommy…it’s a rocket ship!”  At that moment, he tugged at his pajama shirt as if to take it off so that he could wear his new rocket ship shirt.  I’m so happy that he liked it!

Some things I’d want to do the next time I work on an applique project:

First, use a more thicker shirt.  For this shirt, I used a Hanes shirt that I think is more of an undershirt. We had a couple of these that we bought for his Halloween costume and for wearing under a Barong.   You can’t tell from the picture, but these kinds of shirts look a bit transparent…I really didn’t like that.

Next, although this was meant to be a quick and easy project with no sewing involved, I think I’d want to try an embroidery stitch and outline the design.  I’ve seen other designs where the image was outlined.  It just looks more tailored.  But like I said earlier, this was a fun, quick and easy project that anyone can do!  Here’s a great applique tutorial from Missouri Star Quilt Company:

Okay, last project…I didn’t quite complete this on Saturday morning, but on Friday night.

I had some leftover jelly roll pieces from my Echo quilt, and I decided to use them for a cover for my 12″x16″ pillow.

Yup…another quick and easy project!  I’ll probably make a few more slip covers using the rest of the left over jelly roll strips in the next few weeks!

That’s it for now.  Hope you all had a great weekend!