February 29, 2012

String Blocks for Heroes Charity Quilt

Last fall one of my fellow bloggers and members of the Indy Modern Quilt Guild put out a call for help making string blocks for a quilt she wanted to donate to an auction benefiting the Heroes Foundation, which funds the development of cancer outreach programs promoting survivorship and supports the cancer community.  I saw Val's message at PinkPlease! and knew I could help out (and make my first string block, which I'd been wanting to do anyway!).  I also thought it would be a great beginner project for me to help a friend break in her new/used sewing machine.

Here are our blocks -- mine is on the top, my friend's is on the bottom:

Heroes string blocks

Yes, they look a little scrappy and crazy on their own, but Val combined our two little masterpieces with blocks from 45 other women, and check out the final quilt (photos from Val):

As if this beautiful quilt weren't enough, the Heroes Foundation auction was held last weekend and the quilt sold for an impressive $1000.00!!!  It's pretty amazing what can happen when people come together for a great cause.  Thanks Val!

February 27, 2012

More DIY Applique Onesies

Since I first made a few applique onesies for a friend's twin girls last spring, I've found myself making more and more of these inexpensive, easy, personalized baby gifts.  There was this set for Benjamin late last year:

Applique onesies, set

Then I stuck with the monogram idea and made this set for Hannah:

Applique onesies for Hannah

And in what felt like a grand finale (although it's not technically a finale, as I'll be making more of these in the future, I'm sure), I knocked out a set of 10 (in 2 sizes) for a first grandbaby on his/her way:

Applique onesies

Applique onesies

The challenge of putting appliques on 10 onesies for the same recipient was coming up with not only 10 baby-friendly fabrics but also 10 different applique shapes.

February 26, 2012

Love: 12 Months of Ornaments

My February ornament is proof that sometimes crafts don't turn out as planned.  For my "love" ornament, I imagined a shabby chic rolled flower with some sparkly beads to catch the light.  Technically that's what I ended up with, but it's a little less shabby (or more shabby?) than I hoped for.  Still, if the intention is to create soft ornaments for a kid-friendly tree, then at least I succeeded at that.

February ornament: Love

Lucky for me (hint, hint), March is fast approaching, and that means a fresh start and a new ornament challenge.

February 22, 2012

Craftsy Block of the Month Project: And So It Begins

At the end of last year I helped my friend Amanda make her first quilt - a simple 36 x 36 patchwork masterpiece destined for donation to Project Linus.  In the midst of our weekly quilting/sewing lessons, another friend, Caitie, decided she wanted to do the same, so I guided her through her own beginner patchwork quilt.

These starter projects inspired Amanda and Caitie to keep quilting and sewing (surely it wasn't my instruction), so when I found out about the free Block of the Month series offered by Craftsy starting in January, I thought it could be the perfect project for the three of us to take on.  Hosted by Craftsy with blogger Amy Gibson of Stitchery Dickory Dock as instructor, the series combines video tutorials from Amy with written instructions for creating two quilt blocks each month.  The blocks feature different piecing techniques each month, and at the end of the year, you put all your blocks together in a nice size quilt.

Craftsy Block of the Month

The girls and I met for our first BOM (that's "block of the month" for those in the know) night last week and assembled the first block of the series, an asterisk.  We each made some progress with the second block for January and decided to finish that one up on our own, so a photo will be forthcoming after we meet again next week.  February's blocks feature half-square triangles (aka HSTs -- quilters just love their shorthand).

Easter Projects

Since Valentine's Day is past us that means we should all be crafting for Easter by now, right? I've found a few cute projects that I would love to attempt for Easter. You'll notice they are ideas for little girls who are probably going to be dressed up for church and hunting for eggs and Easter baskets (sorry teenagers). I've also tried to stick to projects under $10 that could be made in a weekend. Please add to the comments below if you've found any others worth sharing!

A) Baby Jane Sun Bonnet from Avery Jane Designs (pattern $5 at Etsy)

B) Pillowcase Dress from Prudent Baby (cost of materials, free pattern)

C) Spring Fever Dress from You Sew Crazy (cost of materials, free pattern)

D) Fabric Easter Basket from Nana Company (cost of material, free tutorial)

E) Tulip Petal Hat from Riley Blake Designs (cost of material, free tutorial)

February 14, 2012

Valentine's Mini Quilt

Valentine's Mini Quilt

It may be a little late in the day, but it's still Valentine's Day.  In the last week or so I've been working on this little mini quilt -- in part because it's cute and I wanted to work on something small and in part because I wanted to submit something to Pink Chalk's I Heart February contest.

Valentine's Mini Quilt

The finished size is approximately 9x15 inches.  For the heart, I used this foundation piecing pattern; I paired it with a wonky star for a little more interest.  The fabric is all from my stash (I like to buy pinks).  I also made my first attempt at machine binding, using a decorative stitch on my machine.  I need more practice, but I'm happy with how it turned out.

Pink Chalk Studio

February 10, 2012

More Crochet Cuteness

Emily crochets

It's been a while since I posted about our sister Emily's crochet creations.  She's been busy expanding her menagerie, taking orders for baby gifts, and sending pictures of each one she finishes.  With a couple more pattern books to draw from, she's made quite a collection -- with each one even cuter than the one before.

Which one is your favorite? I'm torn between these two...at least for now.

ballerina bunnyelephant

February 9, 2012

Big Finish: Dog Cabins Quilt

Dog Cabins baby quilt

A new little person is joining our family soon, and for various reasons we were initially expecting it to be a little boy.  So the nursery was decorated with handmade things featuring puppies, baseballs, and various shades of brown, tan, and red.  I was given a bundle of leftover fabric from crib sheets and various other fabric handmades, and I started in on a quilt for the little one.

Dog Cabins baby quilt

I fussy cut the puppies to feature them in the centers of log cabin blocks, which is how this quilt came to be "Dog Cabins."  (I also considered "Dogs in Log Cabins," but that just isn't as catchy.)  Using strips from an old jelly roll that coordinated so perfectly I couldn't have planned it, I added logs to the center blocks and constructed 16 log cabin blocks for a 4x4 layout with sashing and borders.

Dog Cabins baby quilt

By the time the quilt top was complete, we found out that the little "he" was going to be a little "she."  Thrilled but stumped about what to do with my decidedly masculine baby quilt, I decided to continue on with it, finishing it as a Christmas gift for Little Girl's mom and dad.  Tweaks have been made to soften the nursery and make it a bit more girly, but the colors and puppies remain, so the quilt still coordinates with the decor.  And I'm already planning a fun and much more feminine quilt for Little Girl down the line.  For now, she can cozy up to the pups in the dog cabins as she settles into her loving home and family.

February 6, 2012

Nursery Design Plan : Red and Brown Nursery for a girl

I'm not a big fan of girlie girl nurseries. I figure as soon as our little one hits age 5 we'll be redecorating everything with pink and purple so why not do something that goes with our home's decor until sparkles and Dora dolls become top priority.

So, take a look at the design board I've put together for a baby girl.

  • The lamp consists of the Red Greta Candle Accent Lamp Base and the Red Stripes and Pom Pom lamp shade from World Market.  I really disliked the black pom pom trim that was on the shade when I bought it, and luckily for me, the glue used on it allowed me to peel it right off.  The trim is now in my trim basket awaiting another life.
  • The Family Rules poster came from Etsy, which I frequent just to get good ideas. The gentleman that makes these posters will make them with custom background colors for a small additional charge.
  • I loved the Davinci Emily 4-in-1 Convertible Crib, and lucky for me it scored high on Consumer Reports, so win-win. It's available online and at local boutique stores in my area (sorry, I couldn't find it at the chain stores).
  • I found the red cotton India Rug online at Rosenberry Rooms.  I wanted something that could easily be washed. I'm not a fan of sick kids and loose pile carpet.
  • Everything else in this nursery I found around and about. Fabrics all came from JoAnn's and a local drapery store. Paint colors from Home Depot. And for a personal touch I spelled out the little one's name on the wall above her crib using creme-colored capital letters from Pottery Barn Kids, hung with red ribbons.
Any ideas or suggestions?

February 2, 2012

10,000 Page Views!

Okay, well it may not seem like a big deal to you (particularly if you're a blogger with a large following), but I just have to take a minute to celebrate Inspire Me Grey's latest milestone -- 10,000 page views!  Our first post went up on Jan 9, 2011, and Jen and I have had a lot of fun since then sharing projects and favorite things with our readers.  (This little blog has the added benefit of getting us on the phone together more often, which I'm particularly thankful for.)  Our readership is growing beyond our circle of family and friends, and with 10,000 page views it's nice to know that someone out there is taking a minute to see what's happening here at Inspire Me Grey.

Coin Quilt front

We're also now on Pinterest, so if you're one of the masses who frequently falls into the Pinterest Time Warp (akin to the Target Time Warp -- you know what I'm talking about), you can check out our board here.  Jen admits she's "gone a little nutsy" with Pinterest.

Labyrinth Wall Quilt

A little update on the February Ornament project -- Jen's heart ornament is participating in Pink Chalk Fabrics' I Heart February series/event.  You can find a daily dose of crafty Valentine's goodness from Pink Chalk, and here's hoping Jen's heart wins the contest for Valentine's Day-inspired projects!

Pink Chalk Studio


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