Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A Quilt from Mary

You just know that anything created by Mary Dugan (from Molly Flanders Makerie) is going to be one-of-a-kind and amazing. She surprised me last week by bringing over a present filled with gifts for my kids, and a special quilt she made for our baby boy due this June. I am just in awe over all the detail and love she put into making this quilt.

Here's a close up... aren't the triangles so fun? Her perfectly matched points, and combination of machine quilting with her signature touch of hand-quilting is just amazing. Mary has more details about the fabrics here, and construction of the quilt here.

Perhaps my favorite part is the stork quilt label she hand embroidered. Can't you just feel the love that went into every stitch? It's the cutest thing I've ever seen!

Here's one last glance... even the back in all its crinkly goodness is amazing! It perfectly showcases the machine and hand quilting. I just love the sweet gingham and all the colors Mary chose for this quilt.

I feel so blessed to have met Mary. Kindness just radiates from within her. You just can't help but be happy when you're around Mary. She is gracious and giving in every way. When I first met her, it was so fun to discover all the many things we have in common. She's an amazing teacher, seamstress, and quilter. (Seriously, you HAVE to check out her blog).

Mary inspires me in SO many ways. Here are some of my recent sewing projects that have been inspired by Mary's work and tutorials. 
darling bunny fabric that Mary gave to my daughters ~ reverse applique deer

Monday, April 28, 2014

A Quilt from Ashley

I was recently given a baby quilt for my baby boy, due this June. I love my quilt so much, and I just had to blog about it and it's maker. My dear friend, Ashley from Mommy by Day, Crafter by Night made this darling quilt.

I love the fabrics Ashley used- she has such a great eye for pairing fabrics. She mainly used Fort Firefly by Teagan White, then paired it with a darling brown mouse print from Catnap by Lizzy House, one of my favorite neutral animal prints from Indian Summer by Sarah Watson, and a few others.

I just love how perfectly pieced it is, and how she quilted it with grid-like straight lines. She's so talented! She totally embraced what sewing is all about. She made me feel so special with this amazing handmade gift.

Ashley's quilt looks spectacular paired next to another special quilt I recently received as a gift for the baby... details coming soon! (Seriously, I've got some amazing and talented quilty friends. I feel very lucky to have been given both these special quilts, which will be treasured family heirlooms forever)!

Ashley has been one of my dearest friends since we met 4 years ago. We had both just moved to the same city, and hit it off right away. Our kids and husbands also got along great, and I instantly knew that their family would become lifelong friends. Ashley and I discovered that we had a lot of the same interests, including sewing and crafting. We started our blogs right around the same time. It's been so fun to have playdates with her while our kids play and we sit around working on handstitching projects and talking about fabric and blogging (among other things)!

I LOVE this girl!! She is caring, loving, and thoughtful. She is bursting with great ideas, is incredibly organized, and such a great mother. She is a wonderful person to aspire to be like. I am so grateful to have her as a friend. My heart is breaking just a little that in two weeks she is moving to a new state. I'm so excited for her family's next adventure, and have no doubt that we'll forever stay in close touch. I just love this girl so much. Be sure to check out her blog and become a fan, just like I am!!!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Easter Lily: He is Risen {Lesson, Printable + Kid Craft}

I recently did a little lesson with my kids about the symbolism of the Easter Lily. In this blog post, I am focusing on the lily, and how it relates to the phrase, "He is Risen." We love Easter; its such a wonderful time to learn about our Savior's life.


Lilies are Easter flowers because they teach and remind us of Christ in 3 ways.

1. Consider the Lilies of the Field- Faith in Christ
While Jesus lived on the earth, he taught, through the imagery of lilies, about having faith in Him: “And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they 
grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: …Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the 
field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe 
you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? Or, What 
shall we drink? Or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? …for your Heavenly Father that that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his 
righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” Matthew 6:28, 30-33. 

When we see the lilies, we can remember that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ know us, and they know our needs. When we have faith in Jesus Christ, He will provide for us in all that we need. 

2. Bulbs to Blooms- Burial to Resurrection
Lilies are flowers that grow from bulbs. Bulbs stay buried in the ground all winter, and in 
spring blossom forth with beautiful life. Jesus was buried in a tomb for three days, and then came forth in a perfect form, having immortal life. Lilies remind us of this miracle and 
symbolize the hope we have of everlasting life through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.” Jesus Christ rose from the dead, and provided a way for all of us to rise again after we die. 

3. Trumpet Ushers in the Second Coming of Christ 
(as relating to the LDS faith)
Lilies are shaped like what instrument? (trumpets) “In the scriptures, trumpets are used to sound warnings, proclaim news, and herald visitors. Moroni holds a horn to his lips with his right hand, symbolizing both the spreading of the gospel throughout the world and the long-anticipated Second Coming of the Savior, which will be announced by trumpet-blowing angels” (“Looking Up to Moroni” by Wendy Kenney, November 2009 New Era). 

The trumpet shape of the lily reminds us that trumpets will herald (announce) the second coming of Christ.

Matthew 24:31 “And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” 

Joel 2:1 “Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand.” 

(Content compiled by the wonderful Jen Lund)

Visual Aids- 
a bouquet of Easter lilies or picture of lilies in a field
lily bulbs
picture of resurrected Christ
picture of Moroni with trumpet

listen to "Consider the Lilies" sung by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir

I made this 8x10 printable to add to my Easter decorations. Please feel free to use it too! 
Download here.

Make handprint lilies. 
Supplies needed: paper, markers, glitter, yellow and green pipe cleaners, tape, scissors.
Directions: Trace hands on white paper. Allow children to color and decorate as desired. Cut out as many as you want for the lily blooms. Roll the handprint vertically to form a funnel shape. Secure the side with clear tape. Roll each finger down to form the curls of each bloom. Cut yellow pipe cleaner ~3” (1 for each bloom). Loosely curve the yellow piece to form a U shape. Wrap the top of a green pipe cleaner at the bottom of the U. Curl the ends of the yellow cleaner to form the center of the bloom. Insert the completed green stem into the center of the bloom and pull through. Display the 
lilies in a vase or wrap with a ribbon.

I hope you find this useful, perhaps as a family lesson, or a kid's lesson in church. May you have a happy Easter!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Easter Week: A Christ Centered Celebration + Printables

Easter is a special time in our home, and this year I am making a concentrated effort to help my children understand why it is that we truly celebrate Easter. It is such a neat time to learn about the last week of Christ's life spent ministering on Earth. There is so much symbolism to be found... 
Spring (newness of life),
the Sun (Jesus is the light of the world),
Easter Grass (mortality doesn't last forever, it withers like the grass, Christ offers Eternal Life),
Easter Eggs (newness of life, resurrection),
Lambs (Lamb of God, Good Shepherd),
Flowers (many important events happened in gardens- the Fall in the Garden of Eden, the Atonement in the Garden of Gethsemane, the Resurrection in the Garden of the Empty Tomb).

To further help us have a "Christ Centered Celebration," I purchased the book called A Christ Centered Easter by Janet and Joe Hales. This is written by an LDS couple, but is full of historical and biblical events that could be used by anyone wanting to incorporate the life of Christ into their Easter celebration. There are plenty of ideas to keep a family busy for several years. This year, I picked certain activities from the book that I'd like to try with my family, and I created daily printables to use during our week of celebration.

This blog post is not meant to lay out every detail of our celebration, but its really to share the printables that I created to go along with our week in conjunction with the book. These are for my family's personal use, but I'd love to share with anyone who would enjoy them in their home. The book will be your main guide, and these are just a pretty companion to go along with it. (PS- no one asked me to write about this book... I just felt compelled to share and write my personal thoughts about it)!

Here's a quick breakdown of what's included in the printables... (I noticed a few minor typos in my printables, and sadly I saved the documents permanently so I can't go back and fix them. I'll probably revamp these again for next year).

Begin the week before Easter, on Palm Sunday...
-Each Day describes what Christ was likely doing leading up to Easter Sunday (with the exception of The Last Supper, it is supposed that happened on Thursday, but since Wednesday was recorded as a day of rest, I moved it to that day to have more time to focus on Thursday's lesson).
-The Symbols are numbered, with a total of 21, and I plan to gather the small symbolic items to place in individual Easter eggs, and use to introduce the lesson each day.
The Lesson section briefly describes what our family will do. I'm not going into detail on this blog post, due to copyright of the book where the main content and messages can be found.
-The Activity is something we'll do to enhance the Lesson, and ideas are also found in the book.
-The Songs are taken from the LDS Children's Songbook (labeled CS) and Hymnal, and can be listened to online for free at
-The Scriptures are either from the King James version of the Bible, or additional books of scripture including the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants.
-The Pictures are free downloads from the LDS Gospel Art Kit (labeled GAK).

I truly hope that you will find these references helpful, and enjoy learning about the Savior and His life with your family at this special time of year!









Friday, April 4, 2014

Scalloped Bunting Tutorial

My husband and I recently went on a trip to Paris to celebrate our 10th Anniversary. I told him that the only souvenirs I just had to bring home were chocolate and fabric. We went to two fabric shops, and it was a fun experience to order fabric in French, and metres nonetheless! When I got home, I went through my stash and combined my new French fabrics with a few other favorite prints, which include polka dots of course. I also got a few extra notions in France, including some cute polka dot ribbon.

I made a scallop bunting with my French fabric treasures, to hang up in my sewing room! There are several great scallop bunting tutorials around the web, and after being inspired by them, I came up with a different spin, which makes the most sense to me, with the fewest steps I could think of. (For example- tracing, then sewing, before cutting saves a lot of time).

I wanted an exact half circle shape... not a scallop that was too long or too short. I also decided to back each scallop with muslin to save as much of my precious French fabric as possible. So here are the few easy steps to create this scallop bunting.

1. Find a circle template the size you'd like to make your bunting. I used the lid of a jar, and my circles measure 4 inches across.
2. Cut several squares of your fabric. Your squares don't need to be cut to exact measurements, but should be slightly larger than your circle template. Trace the circle to just one layer of your fabric. (I traced mine to the muslin).
3. Place right sides together and sew along the circle that you just traced. Be sure you're sewing through two layers.
4. Now cut your circle from the square. You'll be cutting about 1/4" away from the curve you just sewed on.
5. Cut your circle directly in half, and clip your seam allowances in a few places, without cutting through your seam.
6. Turn your circle right side out. Use a point turner to help the seams lay flat, and press.

7. At this point, decide what you'll be using to sew your scallops to. You can use bias tape (it hangs the best with a bias cut double fold tape), or you could use a simple ribbon like I did for this tutorial. I would recommend finishing off the raw edges if they won't be encased in a double fold tape. Now space your scallops and pin or clip to your bias tape or ribbon.

8. Sew close to the bottom edge of the bias tape or ribbon. Finish off the beginning and end with backstitches, and voila!

I hope you have a great time creating your own scallop bunting!