Sew Fun Birthday


Is anyone else addicted to Pinterest? I swear, I go back and forth between cursing and praising that site. On one hand, it’s such a time suck. On the other…well, I’ve definitely been inspired.



Pinterest played a key part in Miss L’s seventh birthday party, which started with this blog post. I instantly fell in love and just knew my bunny would love to celebrate her 7th with a sewing party.


I did a little appliqué and embroidery on linen for the party invites, scanned them in and added the rest of the details in Photoshop.


On Saturday, our guests were met at the door with a fun “wreath” made for the occasion.


We started out with some fun crafts with each girl making a little embroidered piece to take home and a funky felt floral headband.



A lunch of heart-shaped grilled cheese sandwiches, baby carrots with ranch dip, caramel drizzled apple slices, yogurt with fresh berries and sewing themed sugar cookies was served.






A cute-as-a-button cake and raspberry lemonade completed the meal.


We played a laugh-filled game of “put the spool on the sewing machine” and trotted out the props in a photo booth session.


The day ended with a piñata, also themed for the occasion (a giant spool of thread)!


Our birthday girl thanked each guest for coming with a handmade goodie bag and chocolate button lollipop.

The little miss deemed it “the best birthday ever,” which made it worth all the work.


Candy button molds, sewing cookie cutters, polka dot paper straws: Bake It Pretty

Flower Frill Clover template, party hats and crown pattern by The Quilted Fish, Michael Miller fabrics (polka dots from Children at Play, ginghams from Mini Mikes): Intown Quilters

Fabric pinwheels: tutorial by Sandi Henderson (modified)

Ruffled chair garlands: tutorial by Hank + Hunt

Cake: me and Publix (story to come)

Sugar cookies: Recipe from Cake Central, royal icing by CK from Cake Art Party Store, decorating tutorial (my first time decorating cookies like this!) by Sweetopia.

Drink bottles: Starbucks single-serving Frappuccino, saved for me by my son’s super sweet girlfriend (thanks again, Laura!)

Birthday banner: tutorial coming!

Spool piñata: tutorial coming!

Goodie bags: tutorial coming!

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

I’ve had these London Fog boots for at least 15 years, maybe longer. They’re not worn often but certainly useful on those occasions that warrant pulling them from the recesses of my closet. Like this little snowstorm we’re “enjoying.” Five inches of snow at my house with a delightfully fun crust of ice. It sure was nice to look at, though:

We’ve been holed up in the house, watching way too much TV and eating too much junk food, with maybe a little bit of time playing outside.

Miss L keeps insisting it’s Christmas, because of course it only snows on Christmas. She enjoyed hurling snow at us while we shoveled the driveway yesterday (one of those things I never thought a good Southern girl would be doing in the South) and laughed nervously while sledding across the ice-coated snow. The dogs have been far less enamored of the snow and seem quite content to spend the day on their bed. I think they might be on to something…

‘Tis the Season

This year’s family Christmas card was inspired by a photo I took in August of Miss L with her cousins. It was such a fun shot and seemed well-suited for our card.

Of course, actually taking the photo was more of a challenge. The oldest was home for the blink of an eye over Thanksgiving, spending most of the visit with his friends. I quickly set up this shot and fired off the camera maybe 15 times before he bolted out the door, back to school. Harrumph.

Lucky for me that I ended up with several contenders for our card. Honey and I picked this one and I set off on making it into a card. That turned out to be the biggest challenge. Everything was too…something. Too busy. Too sweet. Too wrong. I played around with it on and off for about a week before I stripped out all the elements and started fresh, just the black-and-white photo. Added a wide border of white. The scalloped circle in red. And I knew: This was our card.

Sometimes, simpler is better.

Don’t miss the blog tour stops that have already been posted (Lisa, Susan and Jessica) and be sure to comment for you chance to win a copy of Little Girls, Big Style!


Miss L’s sixth birthday fell on a Saturday this year. Between Halloween, Quilt Market and bad weather, I didn’t get around to taking her birthday portraits until last week. Exactly one month after her birthday, to be precise.

It’s amazing how much she’s changed in only one year. Two new teeth. Less of that baby face. Reading. (Reading!) And much better at taking direction during these little photo shoots of ours, which has made them far more fun for the two of us.

The weather was a little on the cool side and a wee bit drizzly, but it also made for some nice light conditions so I’m not going to complain. The skirt is made with the Dr. Seuss fabric line from Robert Kaufman; the pattern is my On-the-Border Skirt, sans the ruffle. Basic Target white tee paired with a too-small denim jacket from Gap that L refuses to give up. Dr. Seuss Converse that I bought in anticipation of putting them with something I made from the fabric (oh, like you wouldn’t have done the same thing).

I’ve already printed about two dozen of our photos from that day and have plans to blow up a couple for the house and give some to grandparents as Christmas gifts. And loved on that model a whole bunch, since I know how fleeting these moments are.

Lovely Belle

A certain someone insisted on being Belle for Halloween this year. I tried my best to talk her into something else but she was adamant: “I want to be Belle.” So, Belle it is.

I have been a bit pressed for time, given my preparations for Quilt Market, so I turned to the Big 3 to find a pattern to start with. Had I made more time and followed my own advice, I would have started with a muslin and made alterations from there. Instead, I whipped up the dress while Miss L was at school and found it about six inches too wide in the bodice. Oh well.

I don’t think she’s even noticed. Her first reaction when she saw it was “Oh. My. Goodness!” Yep, love at first sigh. She loved it even more the next day when I added the flower at the neckline and the gold ribbons on the overskirt.

If I’m being totally honest, she’s mostly in love with the Belle shoes, purchased at the Disney Store, with the light-up heels. No lie. It’s a shame they’re not more visible; that skirt is pretty darned long!

I will miss trick or treating with her this year but I’m glad she’ll be wearing something made with lots of love.

The Kindergartener

A year from now, our nest was going to be empty. No more parent-teacher conferences. No more report cards. No more proms.

Now, our nest won’t be empty for another 12 years.

I couldn’t be happier.

Miss L, Class of 2023, on the first day of school in an outfit made by Mom, and all the love and good wishes we could send with her.


We noticed some time ago that Miss L had a couple of loose teeth on the bottom. Our dentist said there was no set timeline for their eventual departure, so we waited. And waited. And waited.

One day, I stumbled upon a cute Tooth Fairy Pillow Kit at Joann and decided it would be a great summer project for my bunny. She could not have been more excited! Even though the kit would have been better with yarn rather than embroidery floss (the pre-punched holes are too big for the floss), she still worked diligently to stitch it together by hand, the plastic pink needle moving up and down at a steady pace.

Liesl propped the pillow on her dresser once it was done, waiting impatiently for the evening it would finally be used.

Last night was the night.

Her tooth has been disgustingly wiggly. I mean, just gross. (I might be terrifically squeamish, BTW.) I’ve tried to get her to pluck it right out but every attempt to bring it up was met with shrieks and panic. (Um, drama much?) Fortunately, big brother came to the rescue shortly before her swimming lesson. After pointing out that she might lose her tooth in the pool — and thus have nothing to leave for the Tooth Fairy — he suggested she give it a twist.

And out it came.

When I picked them up from the pool, L could not wait to show off her new smile — and my heart just squeezed tightly. Suddenly, she looked older, no longer the baby girl I kissed and tickled awake that morning. Her smile hints broadly at the big girl she is becoming every day and the milestone is bittersweet.

The Tooth Fairy stuck with five $1 coins instead of the $50 Miss L thought was appropriate for losing her first tooth. The Tooth Fairy may be sentimental, but she’s no sucker.

Tween Fashionistas

My first of two weeks of summer camp ended today. Five days with six ‘tweens in the classroom of a quilt shop. Maybe not how you’d choose to spend your summer but I thought it was a pretty great way to kick off the season.

The two sweet girls who took my first camp last year came back for another week of torture fun, along with four new students. Yes, six girls aged 11-13. They were pretty understanding about my classroom rules (no food at your sewing machine, no sandals or bare feet, clean up your work station every day and absolutely no J*stin Bi*ber or Mil*y Cyr*s music allowed), and only made fun of my musical choices once.

The rest of the time? They sewed. A lot.

Over the course of the week they made a quilted purse, a Little Prairie Girl/Prairie Girl top, Amy Butler Mini Dress, shirred pool cover up or skirt and screen printed and bleach printed T-shirts. They picked out all the fabrics they used and added a bunch of skills to their repertoire. A few of them even decided to embellish their minis and made coordinating belts — without any help from me.

Throughout the week, people would visit the classroom and comment on the girls’ work ethic (just amazing) as well as the quantity and quality of their work. Everyone was just so impressed with them and their projects — and I am, too! I had so much fun with them and seeing all their work today absolutely made me smile.

I love my job!