NICU Smock Drive

Thank you for helping the Music City Modern Quilt Guild donate 1,082 NICU smocks to Vanderbilt and area Nashville children's hospitals in 2015! Read the story in the Tennessean here. For info on next year's charity drive, join our Facebook group and download the free pattern here.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Sock Monkey Shorts: Doll Days Book Review + Giveaway!

Welcome to my stop on the Doll Days blog tour! My friend Erin Hentzel, the blogger behind Avery Lane Designs, has just released her second book with C+T Publishing, and today I'm sharing a project I made from the book.

Doll Days Shorts

Let's talk about doll clothes for a moment. I have to admit that I never played with dolls much growing up. And being a mom to a little boy, we don't have any traditional 18" dolls laying around the house.

But Elliot LOVES his blue monkey, and sleeps with it every night. I thought this would be the perfect chance to dress him up, just for fun.

The fabric is from Ann Kelle's Urban Zoologie Minis collection for Robert Kaufman. Isn't it cute? I'm tempted to make Elliot some matching shorts!

 Doll Days camp shorts

When I opened up Erin's book, Doll Days! Sew and Everyday Wardrobe for 18" Dolls (affiliate link), I found the perfect little shorts pattern! Here is the Modern Camp Shorts pattern.

The difficulty level of this project is advanced beginner. I printed the patterns from my ebook right on my computer, and resized them to about 90% of the actual size, since I knew my monkey was a little smaller than a traditional 18" doll.

Doll Days Shorts

Here is my version! I'm so proud of myself for making this, because I was definitely intimidated by the idea of sewing clothing that is so small. In case you can't tell, this pattern has REAL, WORKING POCKETS. Whoa. Those things are tiny!

What's the different between sewing regular-sized clothes and doll clothes? For me, the main challenge was the number of starts and stops. I did a lot more trimming of threads while I worked. I also used pinking shears to finish the seams instead of sewing raw edges on a serger.

 Doll Days Shorts

If you are new to sewing clothing, this is actually a great way to get started. Erin's step-by-step directions include photos, so you'll know exactly how to assemble your pieces. Make any modifications you'd like. On my version of the Modern Camp Shorts, I extended the elastic all the way around instead of just in the back, to fit the monkey's tiny waist.

You can learn some garment construction techniques on a small piece of clothing that you can later apply to your own sewing. I've never sewn pockets into a garment before, but after sewing these little shorts, I now understand how they work.

Doll Days Shorts

If you are sewing for a monkey, make sure to keep your seam ripper handy, because you might need to make a hole for the tail.

Doll Days book cover


Want to win a copy of Erin's book, Doll Days? Leave a comment on this post telling me the smallest thing you've ever sewn for your chance to win. I'll choose one random winner on 6/27!

Winners living outside the US will receive an eBook version, and winners in the U.S. will receive a paper copy.

Follow the rest of the blog tour!

June 13 Erin on C&T blog
June 14 Amanda on Jedi Craft Girl 
June 15 Erin on Dear Stella
June 16 Karen on Karen Mom of Three
June 17 Erin on Sew Mama Sew

June 20 Lindsay on Lindsay Sews
June 21 Jane on Janie Carroll Designs
June 22 Bonnie on Fishsticks Designs
June 23 Tracy on Generation Q Magazine
June 24  Rachael on RJR Blog 

June 27 Cherry on Cherry Blossoms Quilting
June 28 Erin on Avery Lane Sewing

Friday, June 17, 2016

My Totally Awesome Trip to Common Threads

Common Threads 2016

Last week, I had the privilege of attending Baby Lock's Common Threads 2016 event in St. Louis at Tacony Headquarters. I went last year, and it was tons of fun, so I couldn't wait to go back and touch base with my sewing friends and meet some new ones!

I arrived in St. Louis by plane this year, and I was so exciting about my nap. I went for a jog in the hotel, and ran into some friends who invited me to lunch. Okay, the nap can wait!

Common Threads 2016

That's the thing about Common Threads. It's over too fast, so you want to maximize every minute of sewing and catching up with friends! Here are some new sewing peeps I met this year: Jessica Ziebarth of Sew News magazine and Amy Barickman.

During our open sewing time Thursday night, everyone was jaw-dropped and in love with this draped dress Truly Alvarenga was working on. She brought the mannequin back to her hotel to work on it that night!

Common Threads 2016

While on site, we sewed on the Baby Lock Destiny, an epic computerized sewing, embroidery and quilting machine! This purse was a fun project taught by Evy Hawkins of A Bit of Stitch. I can't believe I made it!

Common Threads 2016

In addition to sending us home with a swag bag with a little something from the attendees, Baby Lock set us loose on this wall of notions filled with Madeira thread, scissors, snips, rulers, candy(!) and more. The sign said, "Grab a Bag, Take Some Swag!" so we did.

 Common Threads 2016

One of my favorite parts of the conference was hearing from the other attendees about their passions, and how they see themselves within the sewing industry. This Influence Panel with Vanessa Vargas Wilson (Crafty Gemini), Kristi Loeffelholz (F+W Media) and Dana Willard (Made Everyday) touched on sewing trends in America, partnerships within the industry and Instagram. I learned a lot from these women!

Common Threads 2016

Another project we all sewed was a pillowcase dress with an embroidered flower and bird. These dresses will be donated to Little Dresses for Africa, and amazing organization that has delivered more than 5 million dresses to girls in need! Lindsay Wilkes of The Cottage Mama talked us through this project, and Riley Blake donated all of our fabrics for the weekend.

Common Threads 2016

Just look at the finished dresses!

I am so grateful to Baby Lock and the wonderful team there for inviting me to such a fun and welcoming event. Being on site for the second time, I was really struck by how much the staff there just LOVE their jobs. Because many of them are sewists, too, they are right with us in our love of fabric and sewing, and they did everything possible to make us feel right at home.

Thank you to Baby Lock Common Threads for the awesome time! Starting 6/24, visit this link to enter to win a Common Threads swag bag of goodies from the event. :)

Monday, June 6, 2016

Choosing Hope Quilt and Charity Raffle

Choosing Hope Quilt

Two years ago, my charity bee and I sewed this happy quilt top with a pattern from my book Modern Bee.

... I'm a little embarrassed to say it has taken me this long to finish it!

But I had an idea and couldn't wait to run with it...

You see, this quilt could be YOURS if you'd like to enter to win it!

Choosing Hope Quilt

Donate just $5 and you'll receive an entry to win this quilt, with all proceeds to benefit my good friend Danielle (@choosing_hope) and her family!

Danielle and I used to be neighbors and attended the same church. A couple years ago, she was diagnosed with her first chronic condition (POTS), which made it necessary to step back from her job as a social worker. She also has Lyme Disease, and a third chronic illness--her body's inability to get rid of mold--which means she and her family will need to move this summer and replace most of their furniture and personal belongings. In her own words:

Danielle Choosing Hope auction

So not only will Danielle and her family have moving expenses, but they will also need to replace most of their furniture and personal belongings. Because of high medical bills for her other chronic conditions (Lyme and POTS), this is especially burdensome.

Choosing Hope Quilt

Click here to see more photos of the quilt!

One thing I learn more and more as I get older is that we all need help at times, and it takes a very brave person to ask for help. It was a complete joy to be able to finally finish this quilt in honor of my friend's fight against chronic illness, and I hope it will bring a lot of joy to its new lucky owner! The quilt is 52" x 41.5" (large baby quilt size) and was free-motion quilted on my Baby Lock Tiara. It's made of quality fabrics and thread and is machine bound for durability. You can follow Danielle's blog, Choosing Hope, and learn more about her T-shirt fundraiser!

Donate Here!

Each $5 donation equals one entry to win this quilt and all money will go directly to Danielle's PayPal to assist her family with moving expenses.

No donation is too small. The winner of the quilt raffle will be chosen randomly from all $5 donations received by Friday, June 17, 2016. (If you donate $20, you'll get 4 entries, and so on.) If you have any questions, let me know and I'm happy to answer them here. Thank you for your generous support!

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