Thursday, December 27, 2012

Bert Corthell Butler

We are all home safe and sound, hunkered down and enjoying a snowstorm. 

Bertie came on his own at 2:10 am Christmas morning: 9 lbs, 9.9 oz.

Best Christmas present ever.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Sitting & Knitting

I still have the head cold...

 and I still don't have a baby, but I am doing my best to wait patiently.

In the meantime I am very comfortable (except in the nasal region) and all is well with Baby Boy Butler (guess he is comfortable, too!).

I have started my maternity leave a bit early so I can stay home and get some rest.


This is where you'll find me... sitting and knitting.

Except when Ollie takes me out to Moody's for a piece of pie and a drive to look at pretty Christmas lights, which we did last night.

He said I needed to get out of the house and he was right.

I will keep you all posted: hopefully there will be some happy news soon.



PS A huge shout out to my friends Chris and Bernie... thanks for the chicken noodle soup!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Around the house: pre-baby edition

Perhaps my last post before the baby comes?

He is due to arrive tomorrow: 12/12/12, which would be kinda cool, I have to admit.


We have had a talk and I told him to come and say hi whenever HE is ready.

In the meantime, the light was gorgeous today so I snapped some photos of the house to share with you all...

The couch and my yoga pants are calling my name.

Maybe I will be back here again soon... maybe not ;-)



Friday, December 7, 2012

Still here...

No, no baby yet... just my usual procrastination keeping me from posting on the blog ;-) 

Well, that and...

About a week ago I caught a head cold and I took a few days off from work to rest and convalesce and just "check out" in general.

Reuben and I have become champions at sleeping on the couch and watching daytime TV and knitting and drinking copious amounts of tea and iced tea.

Honestly, I am a much better knitter and tea drinker than Reuben will ever be, but he tries his best.

I have been keeping the Puffs Plus tissue people and the Vicks Vapo-Rub people in business. 

If it were possible, I think I would have blown the baby out of my nose by now and given birth that way.

I am in love with my vaporizer and it follows me throughout the house wherever I go.

But, don't cry for me Argentina...

I woke up this morning feeling like I had possibly made peace with my nose, so I think I am on the mend.

Still, I think I will stay home one more day and then head back to work tomorrow.

I am recuperating for two, you know!



Sunday, November 25, 2012

A little Christmas Ensemble

My business associate (Mom) and I went Christmas shopping the other day and I thought I would poke around and see if I could find a cute Christmas-y outfit for the baby.

Turns out that my idea of "cute" and Target/Old Navy's idea of cute are very different.

While looking at all these outfits that were not quite my style for this baby, it occurred to me that I possessed a certain set of skills and if I couldn't find something cute for the baby to wear at Christmastime, I could certainly make something!


I took a scrap of fabric from my stash and appliqued it to one of the baby's onesies.  Super easy.

If you know how to do a blind-hem stitch (the same stitch you use to tack down a quilt's binding by hand), then you know how to applique... it's the same thing!

And I went back to my favorite Quick Change Trousers pattern to make these little Christmas pants.

Voila!  I did all the cutting one night and all the sewing the next night: (almost) instant Christmas ensemble, and just what I wanted.

Happy early Christmas present, Baby Boy Butler!

Your Mom and Dad and the rest of the family can't wait to meet you...

 And I especially can't wait to see you in these little Christmas clothes !



Monday, November 19, 2012

Christmas Houses

We had another Craft Swap at the shop last Friday night...

As usual it was a lot of fun and everyone came away with something delightful.

I made up a trio of  "Haus Sweet Haus" from the Wee Wonderfuls book by Hillary Lang...

*Love* that book and all the projects in it.

I chose red, white and pink fabrics to make up the houses: mostly stuff from my stash.

I love red, white and pink for Christmas because they are Christmas-y without being too "in-yo-face..." Christmas-y.

And I thought these would look lovely placed side by side on a shelf or windowsill for the coming months.

There was LOTS of great stuff at the Craft Swap...

 Sleepy owls and wide-awake owls made from a re-purposed sweater...

One of Dawn's signature zig-zag totes...

Donna made this wool-applique wall-hanging of her own design: it reminds me very much of something Sue Spargo would do...

A necklace and matching earrings...

And a Craft Swap baby!!!

This little dear belongs to my friend Chase, but at the next Craft Swap I thoroughly intend to bring my own little Craft Swap baby...

There was lots more to show from the Craft Swap... too much to fit into one post, but we really did have a wonderful time.

Thanks to everyone who came out to play!



Thursday, November 15, 2012

New in the shop!

2 new arrivals in the shop that I think you should know about...

The Washi Dress pattern by my close, personal friend Rae Hoekstra of the popular blog MadebyRae has been nothing short of a phenomenon.

Truly every body looks great in this dress and it looks so stylish and comfy... I wants one!

You'd best get your hands on this pattern while you can as it's a limited edition printing... once these nice paper copies are gone they are gone for good.

And I forgot to let you all know that the 2012 issue of Stitch Gifts has arrived at the shop, too!

The magazine has all kinds of new patterns and some favorite ideas to inspire you: 51 projects total, including my very beloved Matryoshka doll pattern that I made up for my little sister last year by local author and general all-around fabulous person Heidi Boyd.

In baby news I have less than a  month to go and there is still so much I want to blog to you about:
my Early Empire Cinch belts I have made and the dresser that Ollie refinished for the baby's room and pictures of some of the handmade goodies I got at my shower last weekend... and, and, and...

Hopefully I'll fit them all in...





Thursday, November 8, 2012

Gray things on a gray day

This is what it looks like outside our back window here at the shop today:

It's the kind of day that doesn't exactly motivate, but makes you a bit sleepy.

A good day to share some knitting I recently finished (as in, last night by the fire).

It's the "Full of Fluff" baby shell and you can find a link and some more info about the pattern here.

I love the neckline.

When it comes to knitting I am still very much a beginner, but I do love knitting an awful lot.

I made lots of mistakes with this sweater, but I had a great time making it and can't wait to make another (this time in a larger size and decreasing the sleeves every OTHER row instead of every row... details, details!).

I used this yarn.

I am a bit heartbroken on this gray day because I found out the Amy Butler Belle organic yarn has been discontinued by Rowan and we can't get anymore.

If you like this yarn (like I do), then you'll want to stock up while it's still available... some colors are sold out but we still have quite a few to choose from.

We'll get something else from the Rowan line equally as fabulous but I can't pretend to not be disappointed: I loved how this yarn knit up and loved the colors and loved that it was organic.

The cotton/wool blend was the best of both worlds: super soft and easy to knit with, with a fabulous memory and weight... especially for babies.

Ah well.

Last but not least I noticed Pam is almost done with her Penguin Family she has been stitching up, which will be a sample for here at the shop.

I thought they matched so nicely with the sweater they were the perfect "gray" indulgence on a gray day like today, so I snuck them in the photo, too.

The Penguin family is even a pattern by "BasicGrey", a team who design scrapbooking papers and also fabrics for Moda, so how do you like that?

I think they're awfully cute, even if the baby penguin doesn't have his eyes open yet.

Babies come into the world with their eyes closed, you know!

Enjoy this gray, gray, day...

See you again soon!



Monday, November 5, 2012


• For friends and family who threw me the sweetest baby shower yesterday afternoon •

• For this community I live and work in: such a wonderful place to raise a child •

• For a husband who helps me snip tags and fold tissue paper after the shower, paying each gift special attention and pointing out his favorites among the loot, until everything is put away and organized and in its new special place •

• For the BeBand I bought at Target a week ago... how did I ever live without one of these things? •

• For every little kick and flutter and hiccup coming from my belly, and the feeling that I already have such a special bond with this baby because of his constant reminders he is in there, growing all the time, getting stronger and bigger until he is ready to come out •

• For an extra hour yesterday and some much needed sleeping-in time •

•  For an amazing local hospital, a midwife I really connect with, and the chance to ask a jillion questions at baby class every Monday night •

• For the interactions here on this blog with my readers: thank you from the bottom of my heart for checking in with me... sometimes we talk about fabric and my shop, sometimes we'll talk about babies and other personal stuff.  Such a great place to share and make new realtionships! •



Thursday, November 1, 2012

Late-Riser's Sale this Saturday for locals!

What's that you say???

The Late Riser's Sale (for local cutomers) is this Saturday, November 3rd from 9 to 5???

With 20% off all regularly priced merchandise???

Donuts and hot cider will be served???

And it's also the first day of the annual food drive and I should bring a non-perishable item to donate to the local food pantry and I'll receive a free gift???

I will be there FOR SURE!!!



PS: On-line customers will have their very own Late-Riser's Sale next weekend: read all about it here, darlings!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Felt and flannel for the baby

Are you sick of baby projects and posts yet?

Sorry if the answer is yes, but bear with me!

I made my first baby projects that were NOT from the Handmade Beginnings book this past week and weekend.  

These are both free patterns that you can find on the Purl Bee and I just thought they were so cute and would work so well with materials we had here at the shop that I couldn't resist taking some time away from cleaning and bill-paying to stitch them up.

First up we have the felt baby shoes: pattern found here

Wee little shoes are just so high on the adorable scale, don't you think?

We recently received over 30 colors of Heather Bailey's wool blend felt in the shop.  I can't think of any other way to describe it than to say it is simply delicious.  I'm not a "felt" person per se, but these colors are so gorgeous and the felt is so soft it makes me NEED (vs. want) to do something with it.

The baby booties were the perfect project to squelch my felt obsession.

I made one magenta pair with chartreuse stitching for the neighbors across the street who just had their baby girl on Sunday.

I have no photo to share with you of that first pair, as I immediately ran next door with my gift when I saw they were home in the hopes of exchanging the little shoes for a few moments snuggling their baby.  That's how we roll in the Mills: all up in your business, but in the best possible way.

Anyhow, it worked: they have a gorgeous baby girl who got some snuggles in with me and will by no means have cold feet this winter.

This pair is not for my baby but for another set of friends who had a little girl in August.

It's nice to make things for little baby girls, too.


I tend to have little bits and bobs of ribbon lying around and I added a little pull-tab to the back of the booties because I think it will help get the booties on and off but also I love a good excuse to use ribbon: especially an excuse that uses up small leftover bits.

Now I definitely need to make a pair for my baby, too.

Good news: Heather Bailey's felt is available at the shop to local customers in over 30 different colors.

Bad news: we haven't quite figured out how to put the Heather Bailey felt onto the internet shop yet, so they may not be available to internet customers for a while, though you could always special request them from us.  It's a bit of a logistical nightmare to keep track of how many are in stock and to tell one color from another as they are not individually labeled, but one of these days we will figure it out and get it online.  This stuff is just too amazing not to share with the world!


 Before the booties came the felted (or in this case flannel) baby jacket: pattern found here.

I loved this project the minute I saw it, but I believe if you do the calculations and use the Purl Bee's recommended materials you'll be spending upwards of $60 to make one baby jacket.

There's a time and a place for a $60 baby jacket and I am sure the felted wool is AMAZING, but what I immediately thought of for this project was the new flannel we had just received at the shop.

Everyone loves these more "adult" flannels and they have been flying off the shelves: the colors are so subtle and lovely and the flannel itself is so soft you just want to curl up and suck your thumb.

It was the kind of product that once it arrived at the shop and I saw in person how gorgeous and soft it was I immediately smacked myself on the forehead and said: "WHY didn't I order MORE of this???"

Well, there is more flannel on order, I have remedied that situation, but in the meantime we still have quite a bit to choose from.

I used this flannel for my baby's jacket and this fabric for the lining (had been looking for a good excuse to use that fabric, too...)

I loved the project so much I asked Shawna to make up one more jacket as a shop sample, this time in this flannel and this cotton for the lining.

Oh, and I forgot the best part: this jacket costs just $10 to make and I think it is equally as lovely as the $60 version.

As with the shoes where I added my own little ribbon detail, I changed up the Purl Bee's pattern a bit and added a pearl snap to this jacket.

I think the pearl snaps are so classy and neutral enough to go with almost anything, plus the scale was perfect for this project and you set the snap with a hammer, so no hand-sewing was involved.

All in all, these projects were so fun and simple and I think I will reach for them again and again.

I have to hand it to the Purl Bee: it is truly a fabulous resource.

Talk to you all again soon!



Friday, October 19, 2012

Here We Go Bag

The "Here We Go" diaper bag, pattern by Anna Maria Horner.

Here we go, indeed!  

All of a sudden this pregnancy is feeling very "real" to me... 3 babies have been born to friends in the past 8 weeks (there was a bit of a baby boom in the Mills this year, I guess you could say) and I am at 33 weeks myself, with a shower and a due date fast approaching.

I've been told that anytime after month 7 you should have your hospital bag packed, so I guess it's a good thing I've finished the "Here We Go" bag by Anna Maria Horner.

The interior has a divider to keep things nice and neat, plus a little loop to hold a changing pad.
 It's yet another project from her excellent book  Handmade Beginnings.  

I feel a bit like "Julie & Julia," except instead of cooking my way through all the recipes in a Julia Child cookbook I am sewing my way through all of the projects in an Anna Maria Horner book.

And you won't find my normal "novel" that I like to write for a pattern review because I am happy to report there is nothing to report!

Elastic pockets... perfect for mama bottles and baby bottles, too!

I followed all of AMH's instructions and used all of her recommended interfacings and I just couldn't be more pleased with how it turned out.

I used home-dec weight prints for the exterior and the handles of the bag, but you certainly don't have to.  The bag works just as well in quilting weight cotton.  

The lining stripe is a mystery print from my stash: I truly have no idea where it came from, but I love it.

I can't wait to tote this bag around town AND of course tote the baby that goes with it.

Have a great weekend and I will be back soon!



Monday, October 15, 2012


Has it really been two weeks since I last posted?

I suck.

I won't bore you with stories about how frickin' busy I am, or of how being pregnant has made me uber-forgetful and not quite my usual, semi-organized self.

But let me try to make it up to you, mkay?

There's a giveaway this weekend on Soulemama for the brand new "Poison Apple" fat quarter set.

Then there will be a 10% discount for those of you in the know.

Also I reeeaaalllyyy want to share with you some of the sewing I have finished lately.

I have finished a lot, for me, anyways.

And, as God is my witness, I will share it all with you.

 The irony of doing all this sewing and finishing is that I have made the time to "make," but haven't made the time to blog about it.

You still love me, though, correct?



Monday, October 1, 2012

Guess I'm going through my "Blue Phase"

Sooo in love with this new fat quarter set I put together: the "Requiem" Turning Twenty.

I wanted to do something a bit more edgy than the usual and I was inspired by the "aggressive" Queen Anne's Lace fabric in Anna Maria Horner's "Field Study" collection... I believe it's called "Specimen."

Not sure I want to make a Turning Twenty with this one: maybe something a bit more daring, with smaller, less predictabel pieces.

What do you think?



Thursday, September 27, 2012

What do you think?

Pro or con?

What's your position on the "hand-in-shape-of-a-heart-over-belly" pose... ( I kinda like it...)

With goldenrod and hint of Early Empire Cinch Belt.

Yes, I have made yet another project from Handmade Beginnings.

Ollie and I had a great photo shoot with my very talented friend Megan the other afternoon.

Ollie will never be a "photo shoot" kinda guy, but he took one for the team.

I've got a post brewing about the different Early Empire Cinch Belts I've made, but I was excited to share a couple of these photos with you today.

Thanks, Megan, for an awesome photo shoot and for documenting the pregnancy.

Thanks, Mark and Deb, for letting us use your backyard.

Thanks, Natasha, for the photo shoot hair.

Thanks, Ollie for being a trooper... love ya, babe!