Archive | January, 2015

The Worst Minky Blanket Ever

18 Jan

About two months ago, I bought my very first sewing machine. I always said I would get one of my own when I had kids. My mom sewed, so I always imagined myself making tons of adorable little things for my kids. As it turns out, I only know how to sew basic straight lines. Guess I should have taken a bit more interest during my mom’s sewing lessons.

Anyway, one thing that only requires straight lines and is super fun to buy fabric for is baby blankets. A friend of mine made me a self-binding flannel blanket for my baby shower and I love it. I always get compliments and people asking where I got it whenever I go out. I found a tutorial by the Missouri Star Quilt Company on Youtube and tried my hand at making one when I found this Star Trek flannel fabric at Hancock Fabrics.

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The blanket turned out pretty cute. Although I’m not gonna lie, I kinda butchered the corners and had to do some creative stitching to fix them. I think any seamstress would have cringed watching me do it. Hint: Double check your corners before you cut them.

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Anyway, Titus is outgrowing the newborn receiving blankets that we use as floor blankets. His fat little legs hang off the edges. That seemed like a good enough excuse to buy more flannel during the Christmas sales. I bought this fun zoo animal print, but alas, they were out of the corresponding print for the back, and since I ordered it online, I was kinda out of luck.

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I couldn’t find a print I liked, then I had this great terrible to do a Minky Self-Binding blanket. Then I got an even better worse idea to quilt the back instead of just using a single cut of fabric. So I went out and got a few different colors of the textured microfiber aka Minky material and started cutting squares.

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So here’s a few things you should know before attempting anything with this material.

1) There will be tiny little Minky fuzzballs all over your house. This material “sheds” when you cut it. It’s no problem once the edges are sewn, but it makes a pretty big mess when you’re cutting your pieces. I’ve been sweeping those suckers up for days.

2) Not all Minky fabrics are created equal. I bought three colors at Hobby Lobby on sale, but regularly $12.99 a yard. I bought one color on Amazon.com for $5.00 + $3.99 shipping. There is an obvious difference in quality. The Hobby Lobby fabrics are thicker, softer, and slightly less “shedding”.

Anyway, I cut out 81 squares, laid them out, left them for like two weeks, then stitched them together to make the back piece of fabric.

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Then I made the blanket according to the tutorial. I stitched around the top and set it out to take a look at. It was terrible! Lumpy, lopsided, and overall pretty crooked. So I took the stitching out and tried again. I laid it out and pinned the flannel in place first this time, then went around again. Guess what! Still terrible.

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As it turns out, babies don’t care too much about bunched up fabric and uneven stitches though. My sweet husband watched me work on it for weeks (and is probably secretly relieved that it’s no longer spread out all over the floor), and immediately incorporated it into playtime. It seems that they both like the soft fabric, and I like the fact that the tiny fuzzballs are starting to decrease in number every time I sweep.

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Needless to say, the awkward bulkiness of the blanket is not ideal. If I were going to do this again, I would just stitch one piece of Minky to one piece of flannel; no fancy smancy folding or cutting. So there you have it, the worst idea for a Minky blanket ever. I highly recommend that you do NOT do this, but if you do, I hope you manage to do it better than me.

Headband-o-rama

15 Jan

Right after I had Titus, I learned something about motherhood…you don’t really get much time to do your hair. It never failed that I would just barely manage to get a shower in before he woke up from his morning nap. Forget about hair and make-up; those ships had sailed. Now at 3 months old, Titus is only marginally more patient, so needless to say, my beauty routine has to be short and sweet.

My hair is long, thick, and naturally curly, so while in general, it’s pretty low maintenance, some days it needs a little help. This applies even more so now that the little guy has learned to grab things, so these days my hairstyle of choice is the messy bun. A couple months ago, I went to the fabric store and picked out some knit fabrics to make headbands to “mix things up/make it look like I made an effort”. Yesterday, I finally got around to making them. Since I had a couple different prints, I decided to try a couple different styles and see which one I liked the best. I also added one that I had made awhile back.

The nice thing about these was that you only need 1/4 yard of fabric. I can’t remember exactly, but I believe each of these cuts were $2-3.

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The first headband I tried was a turban-style involving two strips of fabric that are crossed and sewn. I found the tutorial on Kraftie Katie’s blog from February of last year. Very quick and very easy. It probably would have only taken me about 10 minutes, except Titus decided he needed a “mommy and me” day, therefore it took me about 6 hours. Here’s my finished product

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The next headband is also a turban-style, but it only involves one strip of fabric and a bit of simple hand-stitching. I found this tutorial on Delia Creates. I love her blog; she’s got a lot of fun stuff on there. Jeremy was home when I made this one, so it really did only take me 10 minutes or so. I actually prefer this one to the first one because I don’t have to line up the sides before I put it on. I also like the way it fits. Plus, with a 1/4 yard of fabric, you can actually make two…one for you and one for a friend. Here’s my finished product

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The last headband is actually one that I made awhile back when I made my maxi skirts. Basically, it’s just a strip of fabric that is sewn into a tube. I cut it off the bottom of the skirt while I was hemming it. I usually wear it as a head wrap, but I have used it as a belt before too. I’m always trying to save my scraps and make them useful. Here’s what it looks like on.

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So that wraps up my Headband-o-rama.

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If anyone out there has more ideas about what to do with long hair during the breastfeeding/grabbing hair stages of having a little one, I’d love to hear them.

The Toilet-Scrubbing Diaries

7 Jan

Ever so often (in a perfect world – weekly), the glamorous life of rocking my baby and eating bonbons must come to a halt in order to do one gruesome chore…clean the bathrooms. In our last two apartments, we only had one bathroom, so a quick spruce up took all of about five minutes and a full on clean took about ten or fifteen. Now, we have two and a half bathrooms, so I get to spend nearly an hour marching around with my cleaning supplies scrubbing toilets. Don’t get me wrong, I honestly don’t mind housework. The dishes don’t bother me one bit, and I down-right enjoy doing laundry, but cleaning bathrooms is my housewife kryptonite.

Anyway, I’d gotten a little lazy with my bathroom cleaning schedule with the holidays and running into some sort of cold/flu illness. Needless to say, it had been a little while (cough cough – a month, yikes!). Trust me, my mother taught me better than that. So this week, I begrudgingly gathered my cleaning supplies and set off while Titus took a nap. As I was cleaning, I had a variety of thoughts and I decided to jot them down in a stream of consciousness sort of manner, which I have fondly dubbed The Toilet-Scrubbing Diaries. (It was going to be just The Toilet Diaries, but I didn’t want it to sound like I wrote them while actually using the toilet…but I digress.) I guess I should take this time to note that Jeremy uses the second full bathroom to get ready in the mornings so he doesn’t wake up Titus and I. It’s basically just “his” bathroom.

Ugh, I wonder if everybody hates cleaning bathrooms as much as I do.
Where does all this dust come from?
I don’t know why Jeremy bought that one-ply toilet paper, but he can use it himself.
I wonder if I never cleaned Jeremy’s bathroom if he would ever notice.
Why doesn’t he throw away the empty mouthwash bottle?
How many diapers did we get in that trash can? New record, I think.
I wonder why Jeremy doesn’t throw away his razor caps.
Why does he have four razor caps and only one razor?
There’s no toothbrush holder in this bathroom, how does Jeremy live like this?
Should I clean the shower that no one uses? Nah.
Do guys ever actually hit the water when they pee?
Dang, I forgot the glass cleaner for the mirrors. I’ll just come back. Nah.
Man, we have a lot of hair care products and body washes in the shower. (There’s 9)
Finally done! Victory! Now I want to be the first one to use the clean shower. 

2014 in a Nutshell

6 Jan

Well, more than a year after my most recent post, I’m back. This past year has been a doozy, so I’ll do a turbo recap of 2014 to get myself back on track.

January:

Jeremy and I packed up our second apartment and geared up for a deployment, which for me, meant moving home for a while and resuming a job I had left when we got married. In the midst of that, we found out we were pregnant…surprise!

February – April:

Don’t really remember much besides painfully dragging my morning sick and ever-growing butt to work, then coming home and laying on my parents couch. Pretty sure I wore the same sweat pants for this entire time frame.

May – September:

The morning sickness finally faded, and I continued to grow a baby. We found out it was a boy. Jeremy managed to return from overseas just in time to witness my inability to get out of bed without push. We celebrated our second anniversary (yay!).

October:

Titus was born! He’s adorable. I’ve blocked out most of this month because I hope to actually want to have more children in the future. It seems imperative to forget the delivery and those first six weeks if one wants to have more children.

November – December:

Jeremy, Titus and I moved back to Tennessee. We celebrated our first Christmas together by ourselves. Rang in the New Year new-parent style by drinking some sparkling cider and falling asleep before midnight.

Well, there’s 2014 in a nutshell. I’ll probably circle back at some point and talk about some of that in more detail and with photos. But at least, I’ve brought myself up to current day. I find that having a conversation with my 3-month-old baby doesn’t have quite the therapeutic effect that talking to human adults does, so I think it will benefit my sanity to write a little more frequently than last year. Unfortunately, nap time is upon us, so my 2014 recap is finished.