Baby Monkeys

A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to a baby shower for a friend who was expecting her second child, a boy. I never know what to get when it's a shower for second (or third or fourth or...) babies. Something for the Mom? Clothes? Toys? Diapers? When I look around our home and our basement at the piles of outgrown stuff and clothes we have from our son, I always opt for something different. Maybe not quite a necessity, but certainly something special.

I settled on making her a quilt, which I figured could be the perfect first playmat or tummy time spot for the new baby. I used 2 charm packs (and few more squares) of the flannel Silly Monkeys line I had purchased initially intending to make a toddler quilt for my own little guy. I knew that it would be put to much better use as part of this gift.

I used the Disappearing Nine Patch pattern for the quilt, and it came together very quickly. I used some adorable alphabet flannel for the backing, and used an all over meandering/loops for the quilting. It definitely takes some practice, and I think I'm finally getting the hang of it! I used this neat red star fabric for the binding, and I know I'll be using it again, because I love it (sorry there's no close ups... these photos were taken exactly 90 seconds before I had to get in the car and drive to the shower, and about 3 minutes after the quilt came out of the dryer. Nothing like cutting it close...).

Last minute, I decided to make some burpies and bibs with some sock monkey fabric I had in my stash. I simply traced one of the Monkey's bibs on freezer paper, adding 1/4" seam allowance, and used that as a pattern. I backed both the bibs and burpies with the same flannel I used to back the quilt, to make them absorbent. I really love how they turned out, but I think next time I make these, I'll add a layer of batting or maybe an extra layer of flannel in the middle. You know, to make them even more absorbent.

It's too bad the Monkey now refuses to wear a bib 90% of the time... because wouldn't these be the cutest in truck and car fabric? Too bad I waited til he was nearly 2 to finally try my hand at making these!


So full

These past couple of weeks have been so full for us.

First, as we prepared for our friends' visit, our days were full of preparations: cleaning, grocery shopping, cooking.

Then, once they arrived, our days were full of fun, laughter, reminiscing, and love. And my heart felt like it would burst every time I heard the Monkey tell our friends he loved them. They are such good friends, it was such a wonderful blessing to have them visit.

After our friends left, our days were full of teething issues, sleep problems, and crankiness; full of moments where counting to 10 was necessary and where tempers were tested.

And now it finally seems that we've moved beyond that (for now), and our days are once again full of laughter, play, and lots and lots of singing.

Oh, and lots of preparations for the Monkey's upcoming birthday party, of course! I finally got the invitations made last night, and am so happy with how they turned out. I used Papertrey Ink's Enjoy the Ride stamp set and an older dinosaur from AMuse. When I saw this adorable card by Erin Lincoln, I knew that was the route I'd take for the invitations. The theme is dinosaurs, and I was a bit worried that it didn't come across so well (aside from the pun in the wording, of course). But then the Monkey saw it this morning and he said, "Mami, dino driving car!". Mission accomplished!

I initially wanted to have the dino flying an airplane instead of driving a car, but the stamp set I own (PTI's Fly Away) didn't work with the dinosaur I already owned... and I wasn't about to go out and buy all new stamps for 8 invitations. I really like how they turned out, though, so it worked out for the best... and I'm thinking I might have to use this dino + car combo for something else for the party. Any ideas?

I have a handful of other things I want to make for his birthday, including a quilt for his crib this summer. I'm really keeping my fingers crossed we won't be dealing with sleep issues much longer, so that I can get back in the sewing room a few nights this week and get his quilt finished. I'm so excited!!


May Project: Treasure Bag

Thank you so much for the sweet words regarding my entry for Blogger's Quilt Festival. There were so many wonderful entries, and I haven't had the chance to check them all out yet (or reply to all of your comments). I'm planning on making some time this weekend to sit and enjoy the wonderful entries.

In the meantime, I wanted to post my completed May project: the Treasure Bag from Amanda Soule's Handmade Home. Although I really want to make nearly every project featured in the book, I finally settled on this one for two reasons. First, my little guy LOVES a good bag to tote around his stuff. And secondly, he seems to collect an awful lot of stuff on our walks. So I figured this would be a great addition to his bag collection, one that we could bring with us as we explored outdoors.

I did not use window screening mesh as she did in her book. Instead, I used some black tule fabric that I got from the remant section at JoAnn's. Though it works great, I must confess I did not at all enjoy working with it. It's too slippery and hard to line up, for my taste. I'm glad I made 3 at once, assembly line style, because I don't think I'm in any rush to go back to working with tule.

I was planning on using a fun nature-inspired print for the front decorative panel of the bag, but the Monkey selected this truck fabric instead. I used some double fold bias tape I had left over from another project, and the handles are made of this nice, soft, cotton twill tape that was part of the packaging of some paper flowers I bought a few years back.

It turns out the Monkey is not so interested in using this bag for collecting his nature treasures, and instead wants it to tote around his cars and trucks and books (about cars and trucks, of course). I'm hoping that as the weather warms (and dries!) up around here, and we start spending more time in our garden and by the water, that will change. But even if it doesn't, it's still being used and loved all over town. And since his favorite things in the world right now are his cars and trucks and books (about cars and trucks, of course), I guess the "treasures" label is right on.