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A Quilt for Everyday Adventuring

Ever since I started to learn how to sew, I always wanted to make a quilt I could take lots of places and not worry about it getting dirty or worn. I love quilts that look pretty as a wall hanging or laying on a bed, but I wanted to make something that could really get used and washed over and over again.  My first quilt wasn’t going to fulfill that roll because, well, it was my first quilt ever and I want it to stand the test of time. When, I saw Amy Gibson’s “Popped” quilt on the cover of her quilt book For Keeps, I immediately fell in love. imageNot just with the pattern or the colors, but with the idea of being able to stitch much of the quilt together on the go. “How perfect”, I thought, “to be able to stitch some of this memory making quilt together while making memories.” Hexagons are the perfect road trip project, when you aren’t the one driving of course! This quilt is made of hexagons in 6 color families, sewn together in groups of 3 to look like popcorn kernels.imageI began working on this quilt last summer and stitched the hexagons together throughout various trips. I stitched half of the gray hexagons while traveling to and from a family vacation to Big Bear Lake in California back in August. The other half were stitched together during Thanksgiving just after Hank was born. The red and purple hexagons were completed on a road trip to June Mountain and the blue, green and yellow were all finished at home during nap times or quiet evenings after Henry was asleep. I just love how these colors came together. imageI struggled with the thought of what background color to use for this colorful quilt. I love the white because it’s clean and fresh and it is also the background color in the original pattern.  image I also loved the denim because of the way the colors literally popped against it. imageThe more I wrestled with this decision, the more I realized I want this quilt to be durable and to not worry about grubby hands and dirty feet running across it. I want to be able to take it to a 4th of July picnic and not cringe as my child slops ketchup from his hot dog all over it. I want to take it to play dates and have it be able to mask slobber and spit up. I want to lay it down in the grass in the park and sit care free as kids piles up on top of it after climbing around on the play ground. But most of all I want it to be a beautiful backdrop to the memories my family will make in the future, a quilt for everyday adventuring! It just had to be denim.IMG_0265IMG_0267IMG_0268IMG_0273

imageTo make it easy to carry to our destinations, I made this adorable carrying strap (also a pattern from Amy Gibson’s For Keeps).imageWe’ve already taken this quilt on a few adventures and memories have already begun soaking into it’s fabric. Not to mention, Henry loves it and thinks it’s cool just like him. image

Oh Hey! Curry Chicken Corn Soup

Hi,
Remember me? I started this blog with Abby about two years ago. The long lost sister in the sister duo that is Stitchin Aweigh? So apparently having two kids is exhausting. I’m fortunate that both children are in school at the same time a few hours a week but that goes FAST. And every night after I get those kids to bed I pass out on the couch about 20 minutes into a tv show I’m supposed to be watching with my husband. Brb. Someone is crying…

Hey! So lots has happened with the Burns Family in the last year. We sold our house in Baltimore, MD and have relocated to New Market, MD. It’s the cutest little right-out-of-a-Hallmark-movie town in the farmlands of MD with great schools and my husband’s commute is better than it was before! It’s been a crazy year but we are settling in and getting involved in our new community. John teaches Tae Kwon Do. I lead a Girl Scout Troop and will be volunteering with the PTA in the fall. We found an awesome church, too! The friends we’ve made already are the real treasure here.

I’ve been living vicariously through Abby’s crafting. I love it! But at this point have very little time. Something that has to get done every day is cooking and thanks to a pretty understanding and patient husband I experiment often with new dishes, or, try to use up whatever is in the fridge because we are on a tight budget. By new I mean never been seen before never will see again if I don’t write it down. John used to say “Do you like it? Great!  You’ll never see it again!” to our guests. I’ve gotten better at writing down what I did right after the meal so the recipe isn’t lost forever. I’ve got one that uses leftover turkey, like the kind I’m still harboring in my freezer from Christmas. Tonight when I put it in bowls on the table my son came in, took one look at it, and shouted “EEEEWWWW!!”. He was served a bagel with cream cheese. His loss. My daughter tucked in greedily and proclaimed it the best soup ever, followed by “Mmmm” and “so good” after nearly every bite. I think she was really hungry from playing all day but I’ll take the praise. Here’s the recipe for my Curry Turkey Corn Soup in case you have any lurky turkey that needs to be used up. It’s a take on the traditional Pennsylvania Dutch Chicken Corn Soup I grew up eating, but with a twist.

Curry Turkey Corn SoupIMG_4625

1 cup cooked, chopped turkey
1 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 TBSP dried onion
2 TBSP yellow curry powder
1 tsp extra virgin coconut oil
1 TBSP dried cilantro
1 tsp kosher salt
3 cups (or more) chicken broth

Place all the items into your slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4.

Serve to very hungry children for maximum positive feedback. Enjoy!

I love this with Irish soda bread. I’ll have to share that recipe soon.

Day 10 Crafting Challenge: Bow Tie Baby Bib

Today is the last day of my Crafting Challenge! I have to admit, my house is a complete disaster since I’ve been using all of my free time to work on these crafts, but it’s been fun and totally worth it. I know what you’re thinking…”Abby is obsessed with bow ties.” Yes, it’s true. Ever since I saw this tutorial on Make It & Love It, I knew I’d have to make one for Henry. diy-bow-tie-drool-bibs-for-boys-9Now was the perfect time to try it as well because for Lent Paul and I decided to get rid of some clothes. This means Paul had some great button up shirts on his “give away” pile that were perfect for this! I picked my favorite one and got working. The materials I used were a dress shirt, small piece of cotton fabric, free bib pattern by Make It & Love It, and a burp cloth (not pre-folded). In the original tutorial she uses a piece of terry cloth. That probably would be a softer, more absorbent choice, but I didn’t have that on hand. Oh, and Sherlock (our cat) is not required. In fact, I hope you are able to craft without interruptions from your pets. This is not the case at my house.

IMG_0186We’ve been referring to our 2 cats as our toddlers since they have been known to disrupt naps, knock things off counters during breastfeeding sessions and pretty much many other toddler-like things. I digress…Let’s get to it! Please visit the above link for the full instructions on how to create this. The pictures below are just a glimpse at the process. IMG_0187IMG_0188IMG_0189IMG_0190IMG_0191IMG_0192IMG_0193IMG_0194IMG_0195IMG_0196IMG_0197IMG_0198IMG_0199I had to hand-stitch another button onto the bib to make it look more complete. The original button was right where I needed to stitch on the bow tie. I snipped it off and stitched it a little further down. IMG_0201IMG_0202Henry thinks it’s pretty cool to wear one of Daddy’s shirts around his neck.IMG_0211IMG_0204

This officially completes my 10 day Crafting Challenge. I now need to get back to getting my house in order, but I’ve shown myself that getting a small project done each day is not a complete stretch. Thank you all for holding me accountable and I hope you challenged yourself to try something you’ve been putting off for far too long like I had. Until next time…

Day 9 Crafting Challenge: Baby Bow Tie

There’s just something about baby’s in bow ties. IMG_0177I’ve always heard that bow ties are pretty easy to make, but I never had a reason to try to make one until Hank came along! After perusing Pinterest a little bit to get an idea of what to do, I decided to just attempt my own version.  This isn’t a full proof tutorial, but I snapped pictures of my steps as I went along.

  1. Start with a 9″ x 5″ piece of fabricIMG_0149
  2. Fold the ends into the middle hot dog style. IMG_0150IMG_0151
  3. Then, fold one more time hot dog style. IMG_0152
  4. Pin the edges in place.IMG_0153
  5. Stitch 1/4″ seam down the side. IMG_0154IMG_0155
  6. Iron flat so the seam is in the middle. IMG_0157
  7. Stitch the unfinished edges together. IMG_0158IMG_0159
  8. Flip this ring of fabric so the unfinished edge is on the inside of the circle/loop. IMG_0160
  9. Make a very small loop of fabric for the middle. IMG_0166IMG_0167
  10. Now you should have 2 loops of fabric. IMG_0169
  11. Slide the smaller loop over top of the bigger one until you’ve created the creasing that looks best to you. IMG_0170
  12. Add a safety pin or bobby pin to the back. (This is where I would’ve taken more time to make a nice strap with some velcro on the ends, but Hank woke up from his nap before I even had the thought and I don’t have any velcro in my crafting stash). IMG_0172
  13. Find a baby to model for you and you are done!IMG_0179

Day 8 Crafting Challenge: Baby Pacifier Clips

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Okay, I think you are starting to notice a theme with most of my crafts these days. Yes, they almost all have to do with baby items. No surprise there, since my life drastically took a turn in that direction almost 5 months ago. Today, I wanted to work on some baby pacifier clips. Now, pacifiers can be a bit of a controversial topic among parents these days. There are definitely pros and cons to them, which I’m not going to go into today. Just know that Henry loves his pacifier and these clips come in really handy when we are on the go. Car rides…imageplane rides…imageand just hanging out in the backyard. IMG_0139A few weeks ago, I picked out some fabrics and paired them with a color coordinating clip.imageThen, I followed this awesome tutorial to knock a few of them out. Here are some pictures from the process.

IMG_0120IMG_0121IMG_0123IMG_0124IMG_0125IMG_0126IMG_0127IMG_0128IMG_0129Henry thinks the best part about these clips is that they keep paci attached to his body when he goes flying with Daddy.IMG_0143

Day 7 Crafting Challenge: Baby Door Silencer

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As you’ve probably caught on by now, I have a lot of fabric scraps. I just love any project that is quick that can use up some of them. This next project is just that and is perfect for any of your bigger scraps (i.e. 3″ x 4″). It’s a baby door silencer!image

Now, this little gem isn’t a baby “must have”, but it sure is nice to not have to worry about closing the door behind you as you are leaving baby’s room just after putting him/her down for a nap! One of these takes less than 10 minutes to make. I decided to try to knock out 5 of these today. First, I laid out all of my materials,image

pinned the elastic pieces in place,imagepinned the top layer of this door silencer sandwich onto the bottom layer, imagestitched 1/4″ seam all the way around, leaving a small opening like you would for a pillow, imageand flipped the entire thing right side out. imageThen, I stitched 1/8″ all the way around to close up the opening and reinforce all the edges and ensure the elastic remains in place. imageThis little gem is ready for a baby room door. For now, I’ll model it my craft room door. image

Day 6 Crafting Challenge: Half Square Triangles

I have many projects in Ziploc bags. I can’t even remember when I actually cut these triangles, but they’ve been sitting in this bag for a while in my very scary scrap drawer. imageThis bag is full of 94 sets of half square triangles ( a set being one solid triangle paired with one print). imageimageThese little beauties are the very foundation of my baby prism quilts. Unlike yesterday, today I was a sewing machine maniac.  These triangles are so easy to just sit and stitch in one long chain. imageThe pile gathering behind the machine just keeps getting bigger…imageand bigger…imageand bigger…imageuntil you have a nice little chain of them. imageThe chain was actually a lot longer than this but it got really tangled so I had to cut it down to snap a picture. The next step is to cut them all apart so you have a nice big stack of individual triangles. imageimageThen, you iron them so they are finally the beautiful square they were meant to be!imageHalf square triangles are great because you can make many different shapes with them. Here is the very center of what could eventually be a baby prism quilt. imageReverse all of them and you have a completely different look. imageOr flip them another way and you’ve got something completely new!imageI just love geometric shapes, don’t you?image

Day 5 Crafting Challenge: Baby Quilt Binding

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After today, I’m half way done with my crafting challenge! Yay! I have to admit, I’ve wanted to give up a few times but I’m glad I’ve stuck with it so far. Today, I decided to take a little break from the actual sewing machine and stuck with just some simple hand stitching. Something like a baby quilt binding. I love to make baby quilts for 2 reasons. First, they aren’t as big of a commitment as a full or queen size quilt. You can really get one done in a few days. Second, I love to create a beautiful backdrop for fun times with baby!imageHenry really does love his prism quilt. In our house there is a lot of hard floors and the carpets that still remain just really aren’t that soft. I like to lay a quilt down on the floor to give him something soft to lay on. I also like to create these prism quilts for friends expecting their first baby. In fact, I almost completed one the week I was due, but never had a chance to stitch on a binding. imageLast weekend, when I began thinking about this crafting challenge, I prepared some fabric….imageand decided it was finally time to work on sewing the binding of this quilt. imageIt didn’t take very long to stitch the binding to the back of the quilt all the way around. imageAll that was left to do was to iron it over to the front side and hand stitch it down. That’s what I did today!imageYou really could sew this down with your sewing machine, but I love to hand stitch mine because I think it gives it a cleaner look and it’s like adding a frame to a beautiful piece of artwork. I like to savor every minute (while watching a good show of course)! This quilt is now ready for gifting!imageimageI hope the recipient of this quilt loves it as much as Hank loves his!image

Day 4 Crafting Challenge: Fancified Burp Cloths

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There are many different kinds of burp cloths out there. Here’s just a few of the different kinds that we have. image

Let’s be honest. No one is going to be picky about the kind of cloth you use to wipe up baby’s spit up or clean the drool off of their favorite toy Sophie.image

Nope. All that matters is that you’ve got something and I like to make sure all of my new mom friends have that something. I like to buy a package of these plain white burp cloths made by Gerber. imageThey’re really soft and thin (great against baby’s face and skin). Then, I like to stitch a piece of fabric or ribbon onto each one just to make them a little more fancy and add some color to the mundane task of burping baby. imageAfter about 20 minutes of cutting, pinning and stitching…imageimageYou’ve got 2 ready to gift or use fancified burp cloths!imageFor the full tutorial on how to create the fabric burp cloth check out our Burp Cloth Tutorial page.

Day 3 Crafting Challenge: Quilt Block Pillow

It’s day 3 of my crafting challenge and I’m really excited about today’s project. A few years ago, I made a few quilt blocks and sewed them together to make a table runner. imageWell, that project sat and sat and I never quilted it or binded it.  In fact, all I did was basted it with pins to get it ready to quilt. Now, a few years later, I don’t really want it to be a table runner. I really want to make some pillows out of these blocks or at least 1 pillow because let’s be honest, that’s all I have time for today. I took out all of the pins, undid some of the stitching and separated one of the blocks from the set of 3. imageThen, I measured this block and cut a white block the exact same size to act as the back. imagePutting right sides together…imagepinning all the edges…imageI began stitching a 1/4″ seam around the entire block, but left about a 3-4″ opening (big enough to stick my hand inside). imageimageI turned the block right side out and ironed all of the edges down to give it a nice crisp look. image imageNow is when my big old bag of Poly-Fil came in real handy!imageI stuffed the pillow until it felt good and plump. imageThen, I pinned the opening closed. imageNow, is when you could really do one of two things. Either blind stitch the opening closed with a needle and thread or sew a 1/8″ stitch all the way around the pillow to close the opening and give the edges a nice stitched look. I did the latter. imageNow, I have a beautiful quilt block pillow all ready to put on my couch!imageimageimageI’d say that was pretty successful for day 3! Henry thinks so too.image