Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Patchwork Messenger Bag

When I find a sewing pattern that I really love, I tend to make it over and over. That is totally the case with the Oliver + S Messenger Bag pattern.
You can find the pattern in the darling book Oliver + S Little Things to Sew. I initially bought the book solely for this pattern, but after looking through the book I have plans to make a few things from it. It's a great book. When it comes to sewing patterns, I am only interested in patterns that are well thought out, easy to follow, and have a clean finish. I have never been disappointed with anything Oliver+S! Love it all. 
Call me crazy, but I have made this pattern 9 times. Yes... I just said NINE. 

Last summer I was on a quest to make all of my nieces and nephews "handmade birthday gifts" and this pattern was something I new would work across the board for everyone. 
I haven't posted all 9 bags yet, but you can find the ones I have posted here:
I thought I would mix things up a little with this version of the bag and used a Posy mini charm pack I had on hand to make a patchwork flap for the bag. It turned out really great and was fun to do something a little different as far as the pattern is concerned. 
There are 3 more versions of the messenger bag that I have made and still need to blog about. It's fun to see how using diverse types and patterns of fabric can make the bag look completely different.  Stay tuned!

Happy Sewing!
xoxo, Ashley

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Fat Quarter Shop Giveaway

Have y'all heard of the Fat Quarter Shop?
It happens to be one of my favorite online shops to order from- plus they are one of my fantastic sponsors and have been with me from the beginning! I just love them!

The reason I love ordering from them so much is:
1- They have an awesome selection of fabric to choose from.
2- Every time I have ever placed an order with them, my order ships that very day and it's on my doorstep 2 days later. (And if you are a fabric fanatic like I am, speedy shipping is necessary! ;) 
3- Their customer service is great!

I'm excited because today they are doing an amazing giveaway for my readers! 
A $50 gift certificate!
Aren't they great?!?!?

If I had $50 to spend at the Fat Quarter Shop, I would snatch up a bundle of the new Cotton+Steel line faster than you can say "Fat Quarter Shop Giveaway!" :)

All you need to do to enter the giveaway is:

1. Swing by the Fat Quarter Shop and have a look around. Then come back here and leave a comment with what you would get if you won the giveaway! 
*** You must leave an email address so I can contact you if you are the winner ***

Easy right?

You can have additional entries if you would like by doing the following: 
(Just leave a comment for each of the additional things you did)

2. Follow the Fat Quarter Shop on social media:

3. Follow Mommy By Day... Crafter By Night on social media:

One winner will be chosen at random and announced on my blog next Tuesday Sept. 2.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Little House Hexie Pouch

Whew!!! This summer has been a whirlwind! After traveling cross country and visiting 8 states over the summer we are FINALLY moved into our new home, the hubby started work today, and the oldest started kindergarten today. Lots of changes going on around our house! 

We are all unpacked but I am still in the organizing period of moving- but I thought I would take a minute from the craziness and come say hi! 

So "HI!" :)

I am super excited to start sewing again and share some fun projects I have in the works! The biggest project I am working on right now is organizing my sewing loft. I still can't believe that after sewing at my kitchen table for the past 4 years, I finally have a space to call "my studio"! Stay tuned for the progress! :) 

Alright... Before I went on our 85 day summer road trip adventure, I was trying to think of a project that I could work on while I was away from my sewing machine and on the road. Of course, I decided to continue to work on my ongoing WIP "Grandmother's Garden/ hexie quilt". I made a lot of progress on the quilt during the trip! I can not wait to finish it and put it on my daughters bed!

While working on the quilt this summer, I realized that I never got around to sharing a sweet little hexie pouch that I made a while back...
It was inspired by my Little House Needlebook and Little House Zipper Pouch. I just love a cute little patchwork house project. 
I used scraps I had laying around the scrap bin and created a pouch with pockets for hexies, a built-in needlebook, and a spot to keep a pair of scissors. 
Although it is a darling little pouch, it's not super practical... There are some things I would change if I made another. Since the pouch folds in half with no zipper around the edge, my stuff seems to fall out easily. I need to attach a ribbon to the scissor cover to tie the handle in place so those don't fall out as well. It also needs a string or ribbon to thread the spools onto to keep them in place. 
Ehh... gotta love it when a project doesn't quite work like you had imagined... But it couldn't be any cuter- so it just may find a home on display in my new sewing loft! ;)
Well the organizing is calling my name.. I had better get back to it, but now that I am home I will be getting back into my regular blogging routine! Hope to see y'all around! 

Happy sewing!!
xoxo, Ashley

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Fort Firefly Baby Quilt

Leaving our home in Ohio was hard on many levels... But one of the hardest parts was leaving my friends. Especially since two of my very best friends were pregnant with babies due just weeks after we pulled out of town! It was so heartbreaking to know that I wasn't going to be there to meet their babies or help them afterwards! 

So during the month before I left, I was frantically sewing some gifts for the babes amidst trying to get our house together and ready for the move. Crazy times, but it was so nice to have a project that I could work on and take a break from the craziness.

The first gift that I made was a quilt for my friend Rachel and her darling baby boy. I used some of my leftover scraps from the Fort Firefly Quilt I made for my daughter. I used most of the fabrics from the line, minus the prints with the little girls on them and added a few other prints I had lying around in my stash. I really love the colors of the quilt. It different than just the average baby boy quilt- which I love.
 I am so thankful for technology when it comes to living far away from family and friends! Thanks to Instagram, I was able to see pictures of Rachel's darling little boy hours after she had him. It was ALMOST like I was there... Ok... Not quite, but the next best thing! He's a cutie!

Hope you are all having a wonderful summer! I'm only days away from leaving Utah on a new adventure- trekking across the US again to our new home... This time to states I've never been to before! I can't wait! Wish me luck! 

xoxo, Ashley

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Ruby Star Shining Skirt

I stumbled across this darling skirt on the Lucky Lucille blog a little over a year ago and I fell in love with it. The fabric is so charming and Rochelle did such a good job with creating a skirt that showed off the fabric just right- she definitely has an eye for vintage-y fabrics and clothing! Her style is so fun and fits her so well! 

I immediately started looking for some fabric just like it...  I did a little research and found a couple yards (it's called Ruby Star Rising Starlet in Aspic by Melody Miller) and put it away in my stash for about a year. I was kinda nervous to make a skirt for myself since all I had been making lately were quilts, bags, and whatnot... A skirt seemed tricky! Plus, I am always nervous to cut into a piece of fabric that I really love!

After looking at the fabric sit on my shelf for about a year, I took it down determined to make a skirt. I considered drafting my own pattern but decided to go with a store bought pattern... less headache! I used the New Look 6872 pattern and overall I feel like it turned out pretty good. It's similar to Rochelle's skirt (although, I definitely don't pull off the vintage look as well as she does!) but I really like the sash/belt option of the pattern I followed.  

Hope you are all having a wonderful summer! I've been all over the place since we left Ohio... Kansas to Utah and out to California back to Utah then to Texas and finally back to Utah for a few more weeks until we trek across the US again to the East coast and settle into our home there. It's been a fun, busy summer so far... but I'm looking forward to unpacking our things and start sewing again! I've been working on my hexie quilt all summer, since it's an easy take along project for road trips and is all hand pieced- but I am getting the itch to put the pedal to the metal on my sewing machine again!
xoxo, Ashley

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Buckeye Quilt

My husband has always really liked the Buckeyes, but attending The Ohio State University sealed the deal. He is a Buckeye fan through and through!

With his graduation approaching, I was wracking my brain to come up with the perfect graduation present for him. I really wanted to give him something that would remind him of his time at OSU and that he would use for years to come. So, I decided to make a Buckeye Quilt. (of course)
I've only made my husband one thing that was arts and craftsy- but I've never made him anything that involved sewing. Mostly just because I think my sort of sewing lends itself to making cutesy sorts of things, but I was determined to make something that he could deem "manly" and "cool".

I saw this darling kaleidoscope quilt by Rita of Red Pepper Quilts and I started imagining it in Scarlet and Gray colors and thought "this could be really cool!". So I printed out the free pattern and started putting together my blocks.

Can I just take a moment and tell you how much I hate sewing with fabrics that I am not in love with (ie: bright, cutesy, girly fabrics)... Annnnnd- Scarlet and Gray actually happens to be one of my least favorite color combinations. Pluuuuus- a kaleidoscope quilt is not for the faint of heart- it takes a really long time to put each block together (at least it did for me) and I had the worst attitude while I was making them... at least if I had been using darling fabrics like Rita did, the work would have been pleasurable, but nope- scarlet and gray was not cutting it for me. So I put my blocks aside for almost an entire year. Poor little buckeye quilt.

Then about a month before my husbands graduation, the panic set in. Holy Cow- I didn't have anything to give him and there was no way that I was gonna have time to finish the buckeye quilt at the rate I was going.

So onto plan B. 

My husband had a week rotation away from home... perfect time to finish his quilt without him seeing it! 
I have always been inspired by this gingham quilt by craftyblossom. So, I decided to do a bigger more "buffalo plaid" version of it, with a block O for the front. I cut 10" squares for the patchwork... super easy to piece since they were so large! I used Kona Charcoal for the dark gray in the plaid, Yarn Dyed Essex in black for the lighter gray in the plaid (which really added some texture since it is a linen blend, and since it is a black and white woven fabric it really made the plaid look legit!), and then just a white cotton I had on hand for the white in the plaid. I used a "Block O" Ohio State fabric that I found at Joann to make the "O" on the front of the quilt. (I would have just used plain red if this was a quilt for myself, but I knew my husband would appreciate the Ohio State fabric). 

I was so happy with the way it turned out! I think it looks masculine, school spirity, and I love the Buffalo Plaid!

Then I picked up a full sized sheet flat sheet from Target for the backing... Only one problem. The sheet was a few inches short of being wide enough for the back... Bingo- My kaleidoscope blocks!! They were the exact width that I needed to make the backing the right size. Hallelujah! I cut the sheet and pieced these puppies in there... PERFECTION! And- I felt a lot less horrible about all the time I put into those blocks! Love it when things work out that way!!

For the quilting, I used my walking foot and did some straight line quilting. I quilted the "O" with horizontal lines close together. And did herringbone-ish quilting for the rest of the quilt. (Being on the short timeline I had, I opted for really simple quilting. :)

The quilt is roughly 70"x90"... the perfect lap sized/picnic blanket!

I gave it to him a couple days before he graduated and he was so surprised. He had no idea I had made anything for him... My girls were so good at helping keep the secret! He loves it and thinks it is so "COOL"! Job accomplished! :)

As for me... I have happily returned to sewing with my cutesy, girly, darling fabrics! YAY!! ;)

Have a great week!
xoxo, Ashley

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Ode to Ohio

Four years ago, my little family moved across the country to Columbus, Ohio so my husband could attend The Ohio State University. Being a Utah girl, having never lived more than 5 minutes away from my family, it was quite a change for me. I tried my very best to acclimate to the new home, town, people, etc, but it was a struggle at first.

Over time, little by little, Ohio started to feel like home to me. I experienced new things, took up some new hobbies (blogging and sewing), and met new people.

Looking back over these last 4 years, I can't believe how much the time in Ohio changed me. I grew stronger as a person, a mother, and a wife. I realized just how important my faith is to me. I met people that have changed my life forever and that I now count as some of my very best friends. I could not have asked for a better experience, than I had in Ohio... Columbus is a great place!

As our time in Ohio was coming to an end, I found myself trying to soak in every last minute in Columbus. Savor every last bite of Graeter's and Jeni's Ice Cream. ;) 

Wishing time could stop, or that somehow I could bring every last person that I have come to love like family, with me, to my next adventure. 

So as we packed the moving truck, and pulled out of town, I couldn't help but feel like I was leaving behind a piece of my heart. Such is life, I guess. 
Right now, I am out in Utah visiting family for the summer, before we move across the country again, while my husband does some training for his new job. It's good to be back in this beautiful state... I love being able to look out over my parents backyard and seeing the gorgeous mountains I grew up looking at, the smell of summer in the garden, and watching my two beautiful children run around in the backyard- so carefree and happy to be with family for the summer.

Here's to wishing you all a beautiful summer!! 
xoxo, Ashley

PS:  Columbus is such a fun area! If you are ever in the Columbus area- You have to visit some of my very favorite places...
It was so hard leaving this darling brick and mortar fabric shoppe. I love the staff, the fabric selections they offer, and that I was constantly inspired every time I walked in. I even taught my very first sewing class here and had such an amazing experience. 
I will definitely miss being able to visit Sew to Speak whenever my heart desired- which was sometimes more than once in a week!! ha ha
So if you are ever passing through Columbus, (or get lucky enough to move there) be sure to swing by and say hi for me! ;)

#2: The ice cream in Columbus is unreal...
Graeters and Jeni's are both so amazing!  I love the Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip at Graeters. The Brown Butter Almond Brittle and and Dark Chocolate at Jeni's (pictured above) is probably the best thing I have ever eaten. Lucky for me- I can actually buy both out here in Utah so I am slowly easing off my ice cream addiction- (Graeters available at Smith's and Jeni's at Harmons and Whole foods). But really- there is nothing like visiting either place! Definitely recommend it!

Last but not least, 
#3: Amish Country
I love the Amish people. They are so sweet and it is so interesting to see how they live. Our family loved going to Amish Country! We went probably 6 times in the 4 years we lived there. Our favorite place was Hershberger Farm in Millersberg, OH. It is a farm that has a free petting zoo, they sell furniture, do buggy and wagon rides (in the fall you can ride the wagon out to the pumpkin field and pick your own pumpkins), and they have a bakery- my husband is addicted to their peach fry pies (kinda like a krispy creme donut filled with fruit filling)- and I am addicted to their fresh kettle corn that they make over an open fire with a kettle (of course). It is definitely one of my kids favorite places to go and is worth the drive (just under 2 hours from C-BUS- but one of the prettiest drives I have ever been on). And if you are in the area, Heini's Cheese Chalet is a great place to sample amish made cheese and see how they make it! So fun!

Go visit Ohio!!