Twirls for Girls.

Last week at Laura’s Sewing School there was a sew-in for “Twirls for Girls”. I was working late so I wasn’t able to make it, but I absolutely LOVE the idea: women (could be men too) coming together to sew outfits for dolls to give away at christmas.

Twirls for Girls is teamed up with the Marines and Toys for Tots. They will match the clothes you make with 18 inch dolls (think American Girl size) to give to girls at the holidays.  There is an entry form on their website that you can download and print out to include with the outfits you make.

I want to make the simple shirt and wrap skirt. Yay! Let me know if you’re interested in sewing as well (doubles as a great way to use up those scraps!).


(Here’s the website to download the patterns and submission form)

Perfectly Pleated Clutch.

…. or “too many pleats” clutch. I made this clutch out of Amy Butler’s book Style Stitches. The book is absolutely beautiful. It’s one of those books that I like to just look through over and over, oohing and ahhing at all the beautiful pictures.

The pattern pieces in this book are all halved (not sure if she does it to save on paper) but I found it easier to photocopy the pattern piece and then tape it together to make a whole pattern piece. This way I could see where the piece was going to be centered on the material. It gets complicated when you’re folding the material too much.

I didn’t read the instructions on how to pleat this clutch very carefully and so I made my pleats really small. It made the design of the material completely disappear/change. It’s not how it was originally intended, but I actually think it turned out pretty nice.

Since it was thicker (due to the crazy amount of pleats), it got a little rippley at the bottom. Although, I bet, if i didn’t tell you all that, you would have never noticed.

I just need to hand sew the lining hole that I used to turn the clutch right side out and then it’s all finished. I have lots of friends with July birthdays- someone might be getting this as a gift!


Welcome Finn!

Jake and I were lucky to see baby Finn on his 4 week birthday in Los Angeles. He is the adorable son of Autumn and Jesse. I had immediately fallen in love with the prince charming prints from Tula Pink when they came out (so thanks Jesse and Autumn for having a boy!) and couldn’t wait to make them into a quilt.

I used the “frames” pattern by Elizabeth Hartman. I love her simple quilts. Instead of using all the prints, I decided to accent a few prints of the prince charming line with chartreuse (a kona solid). I was originally going to use teal, but Jake talked me into using chartreuse, and I think it was a great choice! (So great having a designer as a husband!).

I took a long time cutting out all the pieces because I wanted them to be directional (ie- I didn’t want the raindrops falling sideways). Here’s my first try at planning out a quilt on paper…

Then I laid out all the pieces on the floor before sewing them together.

I decided to quilt the sandwich using straight lines on each side of the seams- with blue thread on the back and chartreuse on the front, happy!

Here’s the final quilt (I think I need to figure out a better way to take photos of the finished quilt):

We’re so excited to watch you grow big, Finn!

– erica


Too Much Deliberation.

I’m finishing up another baby quilt (post coming soon) and starting yet another baby quilt. (I already mentioned that all of my friends are having babies right?) Well, I bought some fabric awhile ago from the urban hullaboo collection and when I got it, I didn’t love it. It just doesn’t seem to look that great together. I had already bought a pattern to use the fabrics, but the more I stared at it, the less I liked that as well (see below):

So, I went hunting again and found a simpler design that I liked. I could have probably figured out how to do this myself without downloading a pattern, but I decided to be lazy.

I am changing the dimensions of the pattern, so it will be baby size and will use the 6 prints above with white as the background. I have really been wanting to try to finish a quilt with “pebbling” but I’m not sure this quilt will look good that way. Shoot, will have to find another design to do with “pebbling”.

So, finally, off to cut up the material!


Lettuce Eat.

We were away for the weekend and our earthboxes EXPLODED.  When I saw them I couldn’t stop laughing. I’ve never seen plants grow so big, so quickly. It seems like it must be a joke. They definitely look like they are on steroids (but they’re not).

So those of you who aren’t familiar with earthboxes let me explain: they are magical boxes that allow your plants to grow super fast and super big.  They are set up so that the dirt is elevated about 2 inches from the bottom of the container which holds water. The dirt then wicks the water up from the bottom. You never water from the top, instead you put the water in a pipe that goes to the bottom of the container. This allows the dirt to never dry up (every time the dirt dries up the plant’s growth is stunted) and also prevents all the nutrients from being washed away (if the water were to drain out).

We made a considerable investment in buying 8 earthboxes this year, but hoping that if we use them year after year we will get our money back 🙂  If not, we’ve had a ton of fun….


Zucchini (it’s hard to convey how big they really are).



Color! Color! Color!

When I went to the Boston Modern Quilt Guild meeting I learned all kinds of great stuff, but one of my favorite tidbits was how to match colors from the comfort of your house and internet. The local fabric shop is only open during the day (when I’m working) so I was trying to figure out how to buy coordinating fabric without actually going to the store.

Rebecca showed me her kona fabric card she had gotten at Pink Chalk Fabrics. I loved it, and immediately had to have my own.

But then I thought, why stop with fabric colors? I don’t want to drive to the store to buy thread either! So I bought this Gutermann thread card which shows over 700 different colors.

So, now I can match my fabric to my thread and go to Atlanta Thread & Supply Co. to buy a spool of thread online (And it’s a pretty good deal – 1100 yards for only $2.95).

YAY! I’m able to do everything from home!


Urban Gardening with Earthboxes.

It’s gardening time! And they’re growing so fast this year I can literally watch them grow!

Last spring we planted a “container garden” with 13 different pots. We got 4 zucchini and maybe 10 roma tomatoes. The rabbits got our beans. We were pretty proud of our garden until we saw Jake’s sister’s garden of EARTHBOXES. Her jalapeno plants were as tall as I am (and that’s pretty tall). Earthboxes are special because they water plants from the bottom up, so the nutrients don’t get washed away. The plants also don’t get stunted growth from drying out because they are always hydrated.

So, we made a nice large financial investment and someday hope we will break even (we have a lot of pots from last year, if anyone needs pots). This year, we decided to skip the beans, since the rabbits ate them, and grow: zucchini, squash, roma tomatoes, jellybean tomatoes, cucumbers, jalapenos, green and red peppers and lettuce.

We started our seeds (too early) with the jiffy peat pots and a heating mat.

After outgrowing the jiffy pots they graduated to burpee pots under the grow light in our upstairs bathroom. The burpee pots are stinky, so we kept the door closed. There is a skylight in this bathroom and the grow light shone out the window (our neighbors might be wondering what we were up to).

On a warm weekend in April we thought we could move our plants outside so we transferred the squash, zucchini and cucumbers to their earthboxes. But then it got TOO COLD, so we had to build a giant PCV structure with shop lights in our hallway so they could come back inside…

This week it finally got warm in Boston and now we have 8 HAPPY earthboxes lining our driveway. They are growing super fast. We just ordered some calcium nitrate which they recommend putting in the water to prevent bloom end rot (BER).

Our cucumbers.

Our zucchini.

Our squash.

– erica

NYC Subway Quilt.

We’re sitting on the Megabus coming back from NYC to Boston. I just got wordpress on my iphone which should allow me to publish posts on the go from my phone. So, I’m trying it out.

I noticed this tiling in the subway at Penn station that I thought would make a great quilt.

Happy Birthday Kaitlin!

It’s my sister-in-law’s birthday today! Happy Birthday Kaitlin!

She recently moved to San Francisco and is working in design (way cool!). I am in love with little pouches and so I thought I’d try making her one with this cool fabric  found. It just says “Kaitlin” to me.

Last weekend I bought the fabric and supplies so I could make it during my sewing class on monday night. On Monday, over lunch, I was at home studying the directions (getting ready to be the star student in class) and I realized I had the wrong zipper (only had a 7 inch zipper instead of a 12 inch zipper) and had forgotten to buy the interfacing. There were only 5 items on the list and I’d managed to mess up 2 of them!

We only have one car now and Jake had it with him at work, so I was going to try and rent a Zipcar to go to the fabric store before class. But the fabric store closes at 5:30PM and I had a full afternoon of patients. Luckily for me, I called Laura (at Laura’s Sewing School) and she went to the fabric corner and bought what I needed. THANKS!

So last Monday night I was able to finish the box pouch. I love how it turned out!

It’s even lined on the inside! I found the box pouch tutorial on The Plaid Scottie.

Love you Kaitlin! Happy Birthday!