in defense of amassing a fabric stash

This is the post in which I explain to you why I think it is a good thing to have a relatively sizeable stash of fabric that you love. And I’m not even joking. Not even a tiny bit.

It is really nice to own a healthy stash of fabric for several reasons:

:: You rarely ever have to plan a trip to the store when the inherent need to make something hits. This is really important for me. I don’t have a lot of spare time to sew, therefore, it really helps to have all the materials on hand. It’s a huge timesaver.

::Don’t laugh after you read this one, but if you do it right, and you actually use the fabric that you buy, you can end up saving money.  The only place I ever pay full price for fabric is my local fabric store.  I love to give them my business and they deserve to charge what they have to in order to maintain a bricks and mortar shop. Otherwise, when I shop online, I wait for deals. I almost never buy a line of fabric that is newly released.

:: The most important reason, for me, is that I feel like it enhances the overall creative experience. Being able to enjoy the full creative process of mixing and matching color and print from several lines of fabric in the comfort of your own home is crucial. It allows you to make piles and leave them out in natural light to see if they really work together. You can take your time envisioning your end product before you actually cut the cloth. The pieces that you create,  I’d like to argue, become more uniquely “you.” This baby quilt could not have been created without stashing. The fabrics in the quilt were purchased from at least seven different sources over the span of almost four years.

:: It’s pretty! If you organize your stash in nicely folded piles and display it in a corner in your home, it just plain looks nice. {I will try to get a good photo of mine and post it here soon.}

Having said all that, you should really be selective when you make your purchases. Don’t buy anything you don’t truly love.  Even if its on super sale.  It doesn’t make sense to have more than you can store and access easily. Clutter is not your friend. OK. That’s all I have to say on that topic.  {Please don’t blame future fabric shopping binges on me!}

I also wanted to mention that I have wanted to make a quilt like this one for a very long time. And I am glad I finally did.  It was gifted to the sweetest, most adorable, little baby girl this past weekend.  I was so glad to be able to meet her and hold her and to see her mom {one of my best friends from college} as a new mother.  It really is such a beautiful thing to witness.



Last weekend, we had a small birthday party for our little guy with family and a handful of his wee pals at our home.

It was a simple affair. Chicken pot pie for dinner and chocolate cake with ice cream for dessert. We did a little crafting–the kids decorated shrinky dinks, which are still waiting to be shrunk. Mostly though, they just played and danced and batted balloons around the dining room, laughing all the while.

Originally I had planned to bake some sugar cookies and let the kids frost and sprinkle them. But then I considered the mess, and decided that shrinky dinks would be more manageable. For the goodie bags, I kept with the cookie baking theme. I made little aprons and stuffed them in a bag with some cookie cutters and sprinkles. The aprons were based on this pattern.  The ticking fabric was supposed to become a tree skirt, but I just couldn’t get those little red and white striped aprons out of my head.  Our tree goes naked for one more year. Such is life.

This weekend, our little family of three will celebrate the “real” birthday with lunch and Italian pastry in Boston’s North End. It will be a nice, quiet way to celebrate the fantastic first two years of the life of our sweet little boy.

hi mom!

This sweet little girl’s mom had a tough week. So she thought she’d pop in to say hi because she knows that her adorable little face always makes her mother smile. Hi Mom! We love you!

play dates and previews

We had a quick little play date with my BFF and her sweet little girl before they head back to Florida. It was the first truly spring-like day around here. The kids had fun tossing rocks and golf balls on BFF’s parents’ manicured lawn. And the moms had fun chatting about whatever, just like we did in high school. I’ve mentioned before that my BFF is expecting her second baby in June. Well, she has nine weeks to go and looks great.

I have a quilt in the works for the baby-to-be. The colors of the nursery are sage green, pale yellow and light blue so I was thrilled when I found some beautiful fabric in that color scheme at my favorite fabric shop. There is something about this fabric that I love so much, so I bought some extra yardage for myself.   I still haven’t worked out the final design of the baby’s quilt, but I think it will mark a departure from others I have made recently. I know I want to showcase the fabric this time, so I don’t think I will be cutting into it too much. I’ve purchased some super soft chenille that coordinates nicely, so that will come into play.

Below is a preview of the fabric I am using to make Adventure Auntie’s belated birthday gift. Since I am more than a week late on this one (I blame my sister’s new baby, of course), I figure the least I can do is give her a peek at her present. Once the project is finished, I will show it off and will also tell you all about how Adventure Auntie earned her nickname. It’s a good story and the accompanying photos are A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.

Happy Friday and have a great weekend!

shades and stunts

On my recent trip to Park City to visit my sister, her husband and their new baby, I had forgotten to bring a pair of sunglasses. Alpine Auntie kindly lent me a pair and then told me that I could keep them because I looked so spiffy in them. The little guy has taken a liking to them and grabs them off my face any chance he gets. He looks pretty spiffy himself, don’t you think?

Last night I caught my munchkin walking backwards in the kitchen. What’s up with that? I was away for four days of his life and he figures out how to moonwalk? That little bugger. This latest stunt made me feel like I missed out on A LOT while I was gone.


These photos are of some bibs that I made for Alpine Baby. The “pattern” is based on a favorite bib that we use here. The light blue/cream colored fabric is oilcloth, so food can be wiped away easily. I can’t remember the name of the maker of that fabric but I really like it.


I used the remainder of my Freshcut stash on the reverse side of one bib and a Joel Dewberry print on the other one. I decided to go with snap closures rather than velcro because I don’t like how velcro snags other articles of clothing in the laundry.

I had a really nice time last night with my BFF who is in town with her kiddo for April vacation. In addition to a belated birthday gift for Adventure Auntie, I am working on a quilt for my BFF’s baby-to-be who is due in June. I love the fabric I am using and will probably post a photo of it before the blanket is finished.

I have been meaning to note that while I was away on my trip, my freezer paper photo stencil tutorial was mentioned on a popular sewing blog called Sew, Mama, Sew. Thanks to Beth at SMS for the shout out! Visit their blog if you have a chance. It is an excellent resource.

OK–That’s all from here for now.

g is for girlfriends

***ADVANCE NOTICE: This post contains more sap than a maple tree in Vermont during sugaring season. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.***

This past weekend we had a special play-date with a great little guy whose goes by the nickname Goose. His mom is a good friend of mine from high school. They live a few hours drive away from here and, lucky for us, come home to visit family fairly often. It was such a nice visit but it reminded me of how much I miss having all of my sisters and girlfriends around. I live in my hometown and am surrounded by family, but I really do miss those relationships. You know. The kind in which you know what the other person is going to say before they say it. But you wait for them to finish because it feels so good to hear that they can totally relate to how you are feeling. Thank goodness for Redhead Auntie who is always around for a good dose of sister-love, and laughs, when I need it. And my runner-friend Roxy. I’d die without them.

My two best girlfriends from high school and I all have kids that are within a year of each other. My sister who is a couple of years younger than me just had her first baby, and another sister is months away from having a baby girl. I dream of the day when EVERYONE moves back home so that we can be together. My vision has us all living in the same neighborhood, within hollering distance from each other. In this make-believe place, we all meet up after dinner for walks, glasses of wine/beer in hand, while the guys are watching baseball and the kids are tucked in bed. It is such a pleasant daydream. I know this sounds kind of lame, but I really do cherish this little wish of mine. (I say lame because I hate the word cherish. But there it is–cherish, cherish, cherish.) Just thinking about it makes me happy.

Besides, if you were me, wouldn’t you want your kid to be playing side-by-side everyday with this sweet little man? Just saying.



So, my sisters (actual and figurative), MOVE HOME ALREADY! Then we can get together and make cute, goofy things like this:


easter in review


This was my contribution to the meal. Baaaaa. (Thanks to Mrs. Eckler in Munich for the idea. And thanks American-Girl-in-Berlin for doing trial runs with me when we both lived in Germany. I miss you!)


These beauties decorated Grandmama’s table.


This kiddo had himself an egg TOSS…



…while these cuties had themselves an egg HUNT.


Good food + good people+300 plastic eggs+ decent weather = GREAT EASTER

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a new niece to visit in a week or so and need to go say hello to my sewing machine.

march of the elephants

OK, so, this fabric is pretty great, right? And it’s perfect for two people who *one* are having a baby, *two* love animals, and *three* happen to be vets, yeah?


And it looks pretty darn wonderful draped on this sweet, unknowing one-year-old… ¿sí?


Well, here’s the kicker. I am finding it a tad challenging to match up all those crazy colors to make your usual, sweet little baby quilt. So Upstate Vets, here is your warning. This quilt will not be typical, but I think this is a good thing, because you are a singular pair. (If a pair can be singular, that is. Hmmm.) I take comfort in the fact that Upstate Vet Mama is the kinda gal who knows her way around a seam-ripper. She is also the type that never throws out a perfectly good earring just because she has lost one of a set. She simply wears ’em mismatched. It’s art in action–you should see it. Her Hawaiian Hubby isn’t what you’d call cookie-cutter either, so I believe a not-so-babyish baby quilt will suit them just fine. Congrats you guys–can’t wait for that little girl to arrive!

Oh, and Grandpa’s birthday present has evolved into the coolest darn beer/jaw-harp holder you have ever seen. Probably because you have never seen one before. Seriously though, it is super cute, so I will show that after Grandpa gets his loot. HAPPY BIRTHDAY G.P.D! We love you, your Saturday morning visits, your choice words during playoff season and everything else!!!!!

faster than a speeding bullet

My Best Friend had her first baby over a year and a half ago and I missed the boat on a handmade gift at the time of the birth. Now that Best Friend is expecting her second kiddo, I decided that I really wanted to make something for Number One before Number Two arrives on the scene. What better way to prepare Number One for the coming of a little brother or sister than by outfitting her with a Super-Big-Sis Cape! Every Big-Sis needs one. The cape I made has magical powers, is reversible with a scalloped hem, and is modeled below on the brown teddy bear.

The precious white teddy, by the way, was made especially for our little guy by Adventure Auntie. Isn’t he amazing?


Here’s the Big-Sis-to-Be. And yes, she IS faster than a speeding bullet.