The Plaid Post

Birthday Doll Quilt, Part One

Tuesday, 2 September 2008 20:09 by sara

The fabric colors for the criss cross coasters were so fun I decided to make a doll quilt from them.


This is my first attempt at a pieced quilt, but so far I'm feeling good.  I haven't even completed one block, but feeling good nonetheless.


I'm trying the Disappearing 9 Patch, using this tutorial. So far, things are moving along quite nicely. Like I said, I sewed the first nine patches together, I've cut them up and rearranged. Now I just need to sew the rearranged patches together and I'll have one block completed. 

I'm not completely sure how many blocks it takes to make a doll quilt, or how long the actual quilting process will take, or how to really do the binding, but I'm still feeling pretty optimistic. If nothing else, I'm just happy to be back in the crafting groove.

Categories:   My Projects | Sewing
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A return to normalcy

Monday, 1 September 2008 20:15 by sara

Things are happening around here again.  Domestic things...


Homemade Granola! Why didn't anyone tell me how delicious homemade granola tastes? I decided to whip some up primarily as a cost saving measure (I haven't run the numbers to determine whether this was less expensive). But this stuff was delicious.  After a bit of research, I decided granola was pretty versatile, so I went with the recipe from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day (you're wondering why there's a granola recipe in a bread book, aren't you? It's to use when making the Granola Bread, a variation I haven't yet tried).  It took me five minutes to throw together, and it only took that long because I had to search high and low for my coconut. Easy peasy.


I used sliced almonds, coconut, regular oats and some raisins. I also doubled the amount of vanilla it called for, because I love vanilla granola. It's crazy good. Mr. Plaid and I were snacking on it throughout the evening.  We finally had to call it quits so there'd be some left over for breakfast.  The recipe makes about six cups...

Also in the kitchen this weekend were some delicious cupcakes using a recipe from Scholastic's Parent and Child magazine. It's a Sandra Lee recipe (find it here), so it starts with a cake mix. I didn't have all the things on hand, so I improvised. Here's what I used:

  • Yellow cake mix
  • Box of white chocolate sugar free pudding (I don't usually do sugar free, but this was left over from a Weight Watchers faze I went through)
  • 1 cup Whole Foods Cherry Vanilla soda
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 egg
  • about 1 cup white chocolate chips, or however many were left in the bag...

The cupcakes were great. They ended up very moist, and had such a good flavor that they didn't need frosting. You can't always say that about cakes from a mix, but these were tasty. pictures, because they were gone quickly.

Categories:   Food | My Projects
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Christmas Kick-Off: Handmade Gift List

Sunday, 31 August 2008 16:04 by sara

The Christmas preparations start today! At a minimum, it's time to get some ideas flowing.

Definitely on my list this year is the Fabric Dollhouse, by Lil'D a UK Lass in US.  Her blog is fantastic, and it's a great place to learn all sorts of crafty things, as well as English (UK) expressions that are fun to work into every day conversation.  Cream crackered is right now my favorite.  

This gratitude wrap from Amanda (tutorial here) is also on my gift list. I'm thinking this would be a great gift for anyone who enjoys letter writing, including a younger child who is just learning the art of thank you notes.  It is a neat little wrap that holds letter-writing supplies, including stamps, in one little place. The idea is that you can keep it with you and write notes to loved ones as they come to mind. At least, that's what I'm thinking I would use it for. 

And these...I'm thinking a great gift for the grandparents! Who wouldn't want little hands memorialized on their walls? You could do a whole family of hands. This idea is from Just a Girl, a great blog that I discovered via Today's Creative Blog.

Categories:   General | Other Fun Stuff | Sewing
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Win-It Wednesday: Stripe-y Patchwork Cat

Wednesday, 27 August 2008 22:19 by sara

This would be the start of the Stripe-y Patchwork Cat.  He has a tail!  The tutorial didn't say to stuff the tail, so I didn't. I played around with it a little bit and decided the stuffing in the tail looked a little weird. Maybe that's why the tutorial didn't tell me to stuff it.


The cat doesn't yet have a face, but it will soon. This tutorial was super easy! And you know I've become a bit obsessed with the patchwork projects lately. This was fun! I bought this fabric (the three flowered fabrics, anyway) from Joann's last winter. I used them to make a fabric bunting for my sister's baby shower.  You'll notice that I tend to buy yards and yards of a fabric that I like.  You wouldn't believe how much of this fabric I had left over from the bunting.  I probably bought two yards each...a little bit of overkill.  I thought I'd make more accessories and things for the baby, but I haven't exactly gotten around to it yet.  Maybe for Christmas?!!


Here's the full shot of the unfinished cat sitting in Mr. Plaid's chair (Mr. Plaid is allergic to cats, and also gets annoyed when I leave my sewing projects strewn about his work area).   The cat's not yet stuffed...that's the interfacing keeping him standing.  I think he'll be quite charming when finished. And probably not a "he" at all, given his feminine colors.

I loved this tutorial because it came together so quickly (well, so far, anyway. I'm not looking forward to hand stitching the bottom).  I'm thinking of adding these to my Christmas list. I'm sure I know at least a couple of children who would love a Stipe-y Patchwork Cat. Don't you?!

This guy could be yours! Or yours to give as a holiday gift to your favorite child/cat lover.  All you need to do is leave a comment on this post before next Wednesday and you'll be entered into a random drawing to win this cat. I'll even finish him first.

Categories:   Sewing | Win-It Wednesday
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It's Time...

Tuesday, 26 August 2008 19:18 by sara

Yes, September is nearly upon us, and the stores have begun the transformation...time to start thinking about Christmas.  Before I was a crafty person, I rejected the notion that we had to think about Christmas before fall even arrived.  I groaned as the stores moved in Christmas decorations earlier and earlier each year. I was appalled at the idea of Christmas music in November (yes, even November was too early for me).

But now, I get it.  This is a crazy holiday, friends.  Last year, I waited until December to start working on my handmade holiday gifts. Frankly, I just wasn't in the Christmas mood during November. I hosted Thanksgiving, and I was busy!  By the time I was in the Christmas mood, I didn't want to engaged in a frantic sewing marathon.  I wanted to enjoy the softer, traditional Christmas activities.

I wanted to see the Way of Lights, ride the camels, drink hot cocoa and eat kettle corn. 

I wanted to hunt for the perfect Christmas tree,  


Haul out the decorations (you thought I was going to say holly), light up the house.


I wanted to stroll around the mall and window shop. I wanted to watch Christmas movies. I wanted to bake cookies and decorate gingerbread houses.


I wanted to sew, too, but in a leisurely way. I didn't enjoy the stress to "just get it done."  I wanted to mosey, while watching Christmas memories unfold outside my window.


In order to make time for such things, I am beginning the Christmas crafting early this year. Do it with me!

I won't pretend I've thought of this on my own.  A few days ago, I stumbled upon Organized Christmas.  It's an amazing site, with all sorts of tips to walk you through getting ready for the holidays.  You can find some great tools--I've only just started exploring the site, but have already downloaded the "Gifts to Make" planning sheet and the "What's in the Gift Closet" list. 

Over the next few weeks, I'll share my Christmas ideas and reveal the things on my list.  I'm hoping there will even be some sneak peeks as things get finished (fingers crossed that things get finished).  I might have to be a bit secretive, because some of the recipients might occassionally read my blog (*cough* mom, dad *cough*).  

Of course, I won't be handcrafting it all myself.  The wonderful world of Etsy will most certainly supply a gift or two.  

Categories:   Family | General | Shopping
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It's Back! Throwback Thursday--Patchwork Cat

Thursday, 21 August 2008 20:31 by sara

Yes, I said patchwork cat.  As in, the Stipe-y Patchwork Cat tutorial from Green Kitchen.

Perhaps you saw this cute little cat on last year's Handmade Holidays over at Sew, Mama, Sew.  I did, and I wanted to make it last year. But, as usually happens around Christmas, I ran out of time (and energy).

Which, of course, is the purpose of Throwback Thursday! Now we can work on this cute little cat before all of the new holiday tutorials start hitting Blogland (and we all know it's going to happen...soon!)  Seriously, it's not too early to start thinking about Christmas presents, especially if you're planning to give handmade ones.  These things take time.

Find the tutorial here.  

If you're not interested in making your own, I'm a little partial to this cute little pet family from Tiddlywinks

Or this sweet Opal the Kitten from Bit of Whimsy.

Otherwise, you can keep your fingers crossed and enter to win the Patchwork Cat next week on Win-It Wednesday. 

Categories:   Throwback Thursday
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School Uniforms Have Sucked Me Dry

Thursday, 21 August 2008 13:02 by sara

As I mentioned, the Kindergartener started a new school this year.  It's a good school, where she has many friends and wonderful teachers.  However, we hesitated for a very, very long time before deciding to enroll her, and the number one reason for our hesitation was the "uniform dress" policy.


For the past three years (since she was about two), we've allowed our daughter to express her own creativity through her clothing.  She takes great pride in choosing her clothes (right down to the socks) and dressing herself.  She's worn Halloween socks at Easter, Christmas socks in the middle of summer, and dress shoes with shorts.


I know there are moms who would rather gnaw off their own fingers than have their children seen like this in public. I am clearly not one of those moms. 

Nonetheless, we're now attending the uniform dress school.  Granted, it's a little more flexible than a true uniform, because the kids can choose any solid-colored collared shirt, and they can choose from three colors of pants/shorts/skirts/dresses.  But I've spent the last couple of weeks explaining what a "solid color" is.   ("Yes, honey, pink is a solid color.")  To a girl who regularly mixes stripes and plaids with polka dots, it's a tricky concept. 


But the point of this whole post is this: I can no longer get excited about sewing. I'm having a horrible time looking at fabric and appreciating it. I can't even invision the wonderful things that could be made from it. Because right now, I can only think about solid colors. It's killing me. The navy, khaki and black are literally sucking me dry.

Even when I think about sewing, all I can think about it how to make a fun dress that won't get my daughter kicked out of Kindergarten.

Categories:   Clothing | Family
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