Sunday, December 07, 2008

100th Post

Ari was in need of hats, so I made him this cool Vintage Racing Helmet from one of the Sublime books.
It looks pretty awesome on him!
It is knit using Filatura di Crosa Zara in Navy and Ivory, and matching booties are underway!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

A Trip Around the World

A year ago this week, I was leaving on a trip around the world to Germany, The Netherlands and China. When I came home, we found out I was pregnant. So it seems fitting that right before Ari was born, I finished a Trip Around the World quilt.
I'm still working on piecing the back of the quilt using the scraps from the quilt-top. Think we'll be sending this out for quilting and then it'll be off to our goddaughter Lucy!


Every nursery needs the baby's name on the wall. My theory is that it helps them learn to spell their name, and it definitely reminds people whose room it is (like we'd forget?).

These letters were easy to make. I used kraft letters, paper & stickers from Paper Source and used methyl-cellulose to adhere the paper to the letters. I applied some sewing techniques ensure the letters were covered cleanly. First, I traced the letters on the paper and cut an additional 1/4" around. Then, clipped in the corners to make sure the edges would fold nicely. Then, I wrapped the sides in 1" wide paper and randomly stuck stickers all around. They look great on his green wall and go so well with his bedding.

Ari Milo

It turns out that being a new mom means that you don't have a lot of time to blog. Here is my latest project

Ari Milo Lewis was born on August 13th, weighing in at 6 lbs 14 oz. He is the light of our lives!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

patience is a virtue

The thing about false alarms when you're getting ready to have a baby is that once you have one, you're ready for the real thing. At least, I am. On Thursday night we went to the hospital for what seemed like it could be the real deal. If I had listened a bit more to Christina, our fantastic Doula, perhaps I would have stayed home, which is were we returned by 12:30am. The good news is that we now know how to find Labor & Delivery at Lankenau after hours, and learned first hand that the nurses are great (and got to see some super cute newborns while walking the halls of the antepartum area), and we have time to finish our redo of the living room.
So now it is a waiting game - any day now, or in three weeks. In the mean time, Scott is busy finishing up the paint job downstairs, which looks fantastic (thank you Beth!), and I'm trying to make some curtains for his office and our guest room. The first set for the office is done and up in his workspace. Scott describes the fabric as 70s French Haute Couture Home Dec. The second and third sets require a bit of finesse in terms of lining up patterns, and are thus still in progress. One thing that I'm sure I'll finish is the quit top of the Trip Around The World quilt - only 3 more strips to sew together! Unless, of course, the baby decides this afternoon is a good time to come into the world...

Saturday, July 12, 2008


Less than one month until my due date, and people keep asking me "are you ready?" This is often followed or preceded by "are you sure its a full month until your due date?" or a sympathetic "this heat must be really uncomfortable." (By the way, the answer to both of these questions is yes).
Asking if you're ready to have a baby is a pretty loaded question - is this a reference to the material sense of having all the baby "stuff", am I packed for the hospital, are we mentally prepared to be parents, do I have a birth plan, did we pick a pediatrician, do we have names picked out, is everything at work wrapped up and under control or any of the other numerous items that one can do to be "ready". While most of the aforementioned is done, it was only a few days ago that I realized that mentally, I'm ready to have the baby. Not that the Bean should come out undercooked by a month, but if the baby came today, I'd be confident in my ability to be a good mother. Of course, I was pretty confident about this when we decided we were ready to give this try, but nine months of pregnancy can lead to second guessing, and a bit of trepidation when things move from theoretical to impending...
I know what kind of parent I want to be and while I don't know all the ins and outs of what "to do", its seems pretty clear that either I'll figure it out, or ask friends and family. Of course, there is still some anxiety about all the newness, and being responsible for the well being of another human (none of which my husband seems to have) but I'm ready for the little one to be on the outside.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Diaper Bag

With my new found following patterns confidence, I embarked on a new project over the fourth of July weekend, which I actually finished by Sunday evening. Behold the Nappy Bag:

and the accompanying changing pad and case!

The project wasn't difficult as much as it was labor intensive. The bag is fully lined with cotton duck canvas, and is fully lined, with pockets that are fully lined, with additional pockets layered in there, and there is even a little exterior cell phone pocket detail (which was hard to photography - probably should have asked a professional like my husband for help!). So I probably spent an hour and half cutting everything out. And then there were a lot of steps. But it came together great. I'm planning to use it as one of my two bags to bring to the hospital for baby delivery...
Don't you love the fabric? Scott thought it looked like "a grandma's couch on acid, in a good way".
My knitting has been really neglected lately. Maybe I can just finish the striped blanket that has been in progress for a while and sew the seams on the Baby Surprise Sweater. Its not that much work, but the fabric has been drawing me in....
Now I'm off to another quilt class, this one for the Trip Around the World quilt. No. More. New. Projects. really...

Monday, June 30, 2008

The cutest thing ever

In a few weeks, check back on what I'm refering to as the the cutest thing ever. But until The Bean arrives, this little dress for Ally is topping the list.

I was itching to make this pattern by Oliver+S, and picked up the pattern and some super cute fabric from Johanna at Cloth and Bobbin about a month ago. Then I got a little nervous about making something from a pattern, since I hadn't done that before. Fortunately, Johanna decided to teach a class on the dress which wrapped up on Wednesday, and I just put the finishing touches on everything yesterday.
What I love about this pattern are all the little details such as the hem lining, the topstiching on the bodice, the contrasting bodice lining.

I have a new appreciation for making clothes. Wow - so much harder than cutting out and sewing together squares and triangles!!! I'm going to make this again when the Bean comes, or the matching little boy playsuit, depending...

So now this dress is off in the mail to Ally, who can wear it when she comes to visit her new cousin in about 7 weeks.

In the rules for the project diet, I mentioned that anything for a class didn't count as a new project. Which is why it was totally ok to get all of this fabric for a Trip Around The World Quilt and sign up for the class. The last session is 11 days before my due date - this might be somewhat ambitious. Guess only time will tell.

Oh, and I just couldn't resist starting Amy Butler's Nappy Bag. Technically, that wasn't in progress, but I had all the fabric and the pattern, so it was close to being in progress. Is that cheating? I dunno. I made the changing pad last night, and am close to finishing its little carrying case. Pictures soon...

Friday, June 06, 2008

Project Diet Progress

The project diet is actually working. Two projects down so far, and haven't started anything new (buying fabric for a planned project doesn't count...). A week or two ago the baby hat and booties made it to completion, and last night I finished up the Easy Baby Quilt for my cousin's little girl Sarah.
The hat and booties have had multiple intended recipients, but I never really thought through the idea of giving such warm things to babies in Dallas, where they are undoubtably not needed. So these are moving into the "gifts for people who are having babies" pile.

This little quilt is on its way to baby Sarah, who was named for my grandmother Sylvia. The pattern comes from Last Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts. It wasn't as "super quick and easy" as billed, possible because it was one of my first sewing projects. but it turned out well. Sarah is about six months old, and it was about time this was finished.

Next on the list is the Rail Fence Baby quilt, which is moving along. Tonight I'm working on the quilt top and maybe will even make the quilt sandwich. As long as the airconditioning stays on, it should be fine. Because its miserably $#@%n' hot outside.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

A comment on testing

There appear to be varying schools of thought on all the tests during pregnancy. Some women choose not to do a lot of the tests like sequential screens or ultrasounds because of false-positive rates, or misdiagnoses. Some women prefer to do all the recommended tests. As one of the latter, I'm not sure if the women who forgo the tests also pass up other tests like the 1 hour glucose screen and I'm curious to find out. I did the one hour test two weeks ago, and after borderline results, tomorrow get to go back for the three hour test. Apparently, 75% of women who are referred for the 3 hour test do not have gestational diabetes, but its the only way to make sure. I'm hoping I'm in that 75%, but its an interesting insight into why women choose not to take certain tests. Personally, I prefer to have as much info as possible, and I'd rather live with uncertainty for a period of time while further tests are done and have the full picture rather than be surprised by something potentially major. But I see how other women see the high false positive rates as something that causes unnecessary stress and worry. My biggest concern is that I may need to give up sweets for the next ten weeks. That would suck. So I'm enjoying an early dinner of lemon pasta, in anticipation of not eating until 10:30am tomorrow. That's a long time without food for me, and a super long time without food for a pregnant me!

Friday, May 30, 2008

A comment on the footstool

A commenter, who has identified herself at "Mums" noted some dispair that the needlepoint footstool is towards the end of my list of projects, as listed on the project diet. It's an important distinction to note that its not dead last on the list, but second to last, with the Horsey Needlepoint Belt as the final project. Why is it so low on the list? Well, really because all that is left is really boring. I did the whole pattern (like 4 years ago) and now I just need to fill in the the background in black. I try to work on it every once in a while, but there is little that motivates me on this one, other than having a nice gift for my mother when its done! So to appease mums, perhaps I will edit the rules of the diet, and add the stipulation that this needs to be finished as well, before I start other projects. Now, if only I'd made a bit more progress on other projects over the past week....

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Project Diet

Earlier this week I updated my "on the needles" and "in the sewing pile" list, and it looks like I have some ADD going on. Clearly there is limited discipline when it comes to starting new projects, and starting a new project is in no way related to finishing another. Don't get me wrong - I've completed a ton of crafty projects. But lately, its taking longer because so many things are vying for my attention.
So my new plan is NO NEW PROJECTS until I finish the ones in progress. I'm wondering how long this will take - can I get it all done before The Bean's arrival? or how about before the end of maternity leave? Another good question - is this really feasible, or will I be tempted by something that I just HAVE to make, or start making?
Here are the rules of my diet:

  1. I will only knit projects that are currently OTK
  2. I will only sew projects that are currently in the sewing pile, with the exception of that cute Oliver + S dress that I got fabric for yesterday and the nappy bag, which is a just a practical thing I'll actually need (although I have already bought a diaper bag, so need is a relative term).
  3. Taking a class in something does not count as a new project, even if the class has homework (for example, the tab curtain class that I'm thinking about)
  4. There are a few needlepoint projects on my "in progress" list that frankly may never be completed. Maybe the footstool These are last on the list.
  5. Project Diet does not mean stash diet. I'm only human.
Wish me luck!!!!

Friday, May 23, 2008


Around the holidays, I got a sewing maching, mostly inspired by Cloth and Bobbin, because I loved looking at all the fabrics. I'm not so fond of my machine - it might be a lemon - and in the next few weeks its either going to be fixed or replaced.
So, before the machine went on the fritz, I made a few things. First there was this quick little bag from which came from the PurlBee
Its a little wonky, but for my first project, I'm ok with it. Still haven't figured out how to get all the chalk lines off - maybe they'll fade with time. Right now its a project bag...

Then I took a little class called "getting to know your sewing machine" and made a cute pillow for my niece Ally. But forgot to take a picture before I sent it... Hillary, send a picture!

Then I took another class where we made a little quilt that was supposed to be a wall hanging. Once I finished the quilt top, I learned how to machine quilt, and taught myself how to bind the quilt from a book (maybe not the best idea, but it seemed to work). Since the pillow was so cute, I made the wall hanging to match. Scott took a picture, but I can't seem to find it right now.

Recently, I've been working on a baby quilt for the Bean, which I started in yet another class. The only thing that remains to be done on this is the "piano key" border. Easier said than done, but its on its way...

There are a few other projects in the works, including a really simple baby quilt that is almost done. Not quite as simple as promised, because it would haven't taken so many attempts to get it done if it was. And then there is this other quilt which I've spent what seems like tons and tons of hours cutting and piecing squares, which is becoming a bit of a pain to figure out how to put together.

But why finish these when I start yet ANOTHER project? Today I picked up an adorable pattern from Oliver + S, as well as some fabric for a cute little sundress and bloomers, maybe for Ally, maybe for my goddaughter Lucy. We'll see how this one goes.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Radio Silence

What ever happened to Crafty Caroline, you might be wondering... or might not because my blog has pretty limited readership...
Anyway, the blog went on vacation for six months during my first trimester (when I felt too crappy to do anything other than sit on the couch and moan, when I wasn't busy getting sick) and my second trimester (when I was so full of pep and energy that I didn't have time to blog). Now we're settling into trimester 3, getting ready for the arrival of "the bean" and i'm going to give this a blog thing a shot again. In the past six months, I've taken up quilting, done a bit of knitting and tried a little handspinning. Photos to follow soon!