Nursery in the Woods

When I first found out that I was pregnant, I immediately started clearing out our guest bedroom to make it into the baby’s nursery. The closet in there was a combination linen closet/catch-all, and I had been storing my fabric stash under the guest bed. I couldn’t wait to start designing the nursery, but I needed to wait until I found out the sex of the baby before I could make any final decisions.

Finally, we got word from our doctor and ultrasound tech that we were expecting a boy. I knew I didn’t want to go overly cutesy with the design for a few reasons. One, I wanted him to be able to enjoy the room for at least 3 or 4 years. Secondly, since I would be spending a lot of time in the room myself, along with my husband, I didn’t want to get sick of some cutesy baby design. Lastly, I wanted it to fit in with the current aesthetic we have in our home. I didn’t want walking into the baby’s room to feel like you were walking into a different universe. I still wanted it to feel like a baby’s room, though.

I was having a hard time deciding what I wanted to do. I’ve had good luck in the past drawing inspiration from designer fabric collections, so I hit up some of my favorite quilt fabric online retailers and started looking at their new releases. That’s when I saw it!

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I fell in love with the Hello, Bear by Bonnie Christine for Art Gallery Fabrics line. I immediately saw a nursery that fit in with our home: greys, greens and golds along with warm, rustic brown wood tones.

We painted the room a green color, Flora by Behr. My in-laws were kind enough to help us out with that and they also replaced the baseboards, since we had some left over from another project. I would have liked to replace the carpeting, right now it’s a renter’s grade beige (since our home was a rental property before we bought it). But it’s in decent shape for now so that’s a project that will wait for another time (if ever).

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The first piece I bought for the nursery was this dresser. It will double as his changing table for now. I found it at a local antique shop. The changing pad cover is Adventure Springs HBR-4438 (as mentioned in this post). The artwork above the changing table was made using a stencil designed by Bonnie Christine. I had intended to stencil a whole wall with it, but being a stencil newbie I couldn’t get the hang of the process. I panted some old canvas white and stenciled it instead and it turned out great. The hamper on the right is this OXO Tot Flip-In Flex Lid Hamper in Gray/Green and the cart on the right is the IKEA RÅSKOG cart in turquoise that I am using to store all his diaper changing supplies. When he’s out of diapers it will be perfect to store toys, books, etc.

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Here is a better look at the IKEA RÅSKOG cart. The bag hanging off of the dresser is a Planet Wise Hanging Wet/Dry Bag in Gray Chevron I will be using for cloth diapering. As you can see, my relatives and friends couldn’t resist giving me some disposable diapers anyway, so we’ll use those when we’re traveling. The floor lamp is this Threshold™ Mosaic Wood Look Floor Lamp with Square Linen Shade from Target, and the grey basket with the toys were all gifts so I’m not sure where they’re from, sorry 🙂

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The second big piece for the nursery is, of course, the crib. I had a tough time finding exactly the right brown I wanted for the crib (not too cherry, not to blonde, not too chocolatey…) and I finally landed on this (reasonably priced) crib, Stork Craft Tuscany 4-in-1 Convertible Crib in Dove Brown. I had originally envisioned using a Jenny Lind DaVinci, but the chunkier lines on this one felt better to me. The sheet I made myself using Oh, Hello Fog HBR-4430. The pillow isn’t going to live in the crib permanently, it is usually on the glider but daddy was using it. I made the artwork above the crib using a tutorial from the Young House Love book (I was a HUGE fan of their blog). I’m leaving some room on the walls to add some pictures, either of the baby or of family.

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The last big piece I needed for the nursery was a rocker/glider. Here is Daddy modeling it for me. I knew I didn’t want the standard wooden spindly one (you know the one I’m talking about) and I had the perfect one picked out on Amazon when it suddenly went out of stock. I scrambled to find an acceptable replacement (grey ones are so hard to find!) and ended up with the babyletto Madison Swivel Glider in Slate. For the ottoman we are using a grey floor pouf purchased from Amazon, the side table is a simple IKEA Lack end table we’ve had forever, and the lamp is one I got from Homegoods that used to live in the living room. The “Be Brave” artwork is a reclaimed wood piece I found at an antique shop.

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Another piece I created for the room was this little wooden bookshelf. I had the wood in the garage (left by previous tenant) so all I had to buy was the stain and the brackets I used to hang it. The brackets were silver but I spray painted them gold to match the rest of the room. All his books fit perfectly. The grey crate was a gift and it holds Mike’s lamb from when he was a little guy. The frames on the wall were another antique shop find and I used gold paint pen along with the Bonnie Christine stencil to paint the trees on the wall.

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I love the curtains and the curtain rod I created for the room, but what a project they were! I’ve had good luck with curtains from Urban Outfitters in the past and they came through for me again. I found these adorable Assembly Home Birch Trees Curtains. They do not block light at all so we left the blinds on the window as they are still in good shape. The arrow finials are also from Urban Outfitters (specifically, Magical Thinking Arrow Finial Set), but buyer beware! They are ONLY designed to fit into UO curtain rods. Unfortunately, the window I was covering was too wide for their curtain rods. I was able to jerry-rig the finials into the existing rod I had for the window, but I ended up spray painting the rod & finials so they would all be the same gold color. Also, the finials had a green enamel detailing in the centers that isn’t pictured online.

Here are a couple more pictures of the nursery:



I hope you enjoyed this look at my Nursery in the Woods! I can’t wait for baby to come home and enjoy it!

Baby Shower #2

Since Mike’s family is so large and we had quite a few friends RSVP to my mom’s shower, my mother-in-law decided to throw a shower for her side of the family. They decided to make this shower a co-ed shower, which was great since Mike hadn’t seen some of his family in a few months due to chemotherapy treatment.

Mike wore his first Daddy T-shirt some friends gave him for Father’s Day. Here’s some pictures of him being silly before cutting the cake.

One of Mike’s aunties made this fruit baby as part of the lunch display:
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Michael had a good time trying on the baby’s onesies:
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Thanks to Mike’s parents for hosting such a lovely shower!
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2014 Quilt Finishes

What a crazy year 2014 was. I’m surprised with all that was going on in my life — cancer, selling our business, recovery and ultimately cancer again — I’m surprised I was able to get any quilting done. But it was a nice distraction away from taking care of Mike. I can’t control his health, but I CAN control how this quilt comes together!!

First up, A Quilt for my niece, Juliette, finished in May 2014:

Another baby quilt finished in July 2014 with Granny Squares:

Yet another baby quilt for a newcomer to the family, Elizabeth was finished in August 2014:

And lastly, a baby quilt for my friends the Studderts who just had their first child, another girl. This was finished in September 2014:

I need to stop being friends with so many people having babies!! 🙂

Leaves & Berries Quilt

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I saw this quilt in the Nov/Dec 2011 issue of Fons & Porter’s For the Love of Quilting and it immediately reminded me of the living room at my aunt and uncle’s house, so I decided to go ahead and make it for them. I couldn’t find one fabric collection that met my needs, so I mixed and matched a couple of different designers. They ended up going together pretty well. (There was a second green fabric I can’t find a picture of online)

The quilt finished at just about 63″x63″. By far the most challenging aspect of this quilt was all of the applique required. There were 52 berries and 52 leaves to cut and affix to the front of the quilt. I ended up using the leftover fabric for the backing (of which there was a lot, even though I ordered according to the fabric guidelines).

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As for the quilting, I used a template for the centers of the starburst looking blocks and stitched in the ditch/FMQ most of the rest of it. There were a few mistakes on the quilt, to be expected since this is the most ambitious one I’ve ever attempted, but I am mostly happy with how it turned out.

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My aunt and uncle were very happy to receive it. Thanks for reading!

Linking up with Amanda for Finish it Up Friday, Sarah’s Giveaway and Angie’s linky.

Baby Studdert Quilt

Another baby quilt finish! This quilt was created for some friends expecting their first baby. The pattern is called “Baby Bliss” and was featured in the December 2012 issue of Quilter’s World magazine. I used Kona Snow for the white fabric and various pinks, greens and browns from my stash for the bowtie blocks. I also used some fabrics from my stash for the binding and the backing fabrics. It finished at 47.5″x36″.

I quilted a kind of pinwheel pattern I made up in the areas between the bowties. On the bowties and the borders I did FMQ loop-de-loops.

Close up of the quilting.

Close up of the quilting.

The front of the quilt.

The front of the quilt.

You can see on the front of the quilt I placed one of the bowtie blocks the wrong way. Oops!! Oh well, guess that’s how you know it’s handmade. 😉

The back of the quilt.

The back of the quilt.

I was also able to deliver the quilt in person to the new mom and dad, they loved it! Thanks for reading!

Baby Lee Quilt

Another quilt finish for 2014! This is a quilt for my cousin who is having her first child later this year. The baby is going to be a girl. I love working on girl quilts with lots of pink fabrics! I wanted to use some high quality fabrics for this one, so I ordered a fat quarter bundle of Butterfly Dance fabrics by Cinderberry Stitches for Riley Blake:

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I used the pattern “Oh Buoy!” by Elizabeth Tisinger Beese featured in a supplement to American Patchwork & Quilting magazine, August 2014 issue. It was a pretty easy pattern to follow, perfect for me since I had just a couple of weeks to start and finish the quilt. I was very happy with how it turned out! I used almost the entire bundle on this quilt, using any fat quarters I didn’t cut into for the front, on the back. I also cut into the fat quarters for the binding. I think there are a couple more green fat quarters in my stash that didn’t fit in this one, and I bought way too much of the white fabric, but it will be a nice addition to my stash.

The front of the quilt.

The front of the quilt.

The back of the quilt.

The back of the quilt.

Closeup of the quilting.

Closeup of the quilting.

This was my first time doing free motion quilting on a quilt of this scale and I was very happy with how it turned out. I used a lot more thread than I usually do, and I hit a few snags, but overall I felt that the quilting process moved much more quickly using FMQ. I did some loop-de-loops in the main pattern area and did a simple stipple pattern on the border. I forgot to measure the finished product, but it was just about the size of a crib quilt batting, 46.76″x58.5″ was the finish size on the pattern.

I was so happy to be able to travel to Long Island and deliver this baby quilt in person!

Future Mommy & me!

Future Mommy & me!

I really enjoyed this quilt and I’m LOVING FMQ! Hope you like it!

Baby Granny Squares Quilt

Another finished quilt for me, hooray! I made this quilt for a friend who just had her first baby, a girl. This was another scraps and stash buster, no new materials bought for this project. I did run out of Kona Snow for the sashing and had to buy more, and found the binding material in the remnants bin while I was at the store. I really like the scrappy border around the outside of the squares. Mommy is not too fond of pink so I tried to restrain myself, which is so hard… I love making pink quilts for girls! Hopefully Mommy and baby both enjoy this one.

The front of the quilt.

The front of the quilt.

The back of the quilt

The back of the quilt

The quilt finishes at 49″x36″. I used straight line stitching on this one.

Juliette’s Quilt

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I started this quilt back in October 2012 with no real purpose in mind other than reducing my rapidly accumulating scraps stash. Then we moved in November 2012 and I got side tracked. I worked on it now and then, here and there without making a ton of progress.

Finally, towards the end of 2013, my sister announced that she was having another baby, this time a girl! I decided to get my butt in gear and finish this quilt for her and the baby, and this past week I finally did. It’s been so long since I finished a quilt (the last was Granny Squares back in 2012, no finishes in 2013!) that I forgot to measure it or anything. I can tell you I did a machine binding with white fabric, and a simple diamond pattern quilting with white thread.

Here’s another view of the front:
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And the back, these are all flannel remnants from the bin at Joann’s:
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Feels good to be quilting again 🙂

Scrapbooking Retreat

A couple of weeks ago my mom and I went to a small bed and breakfast out in the desert for a scrapbooking retreat. We stayed at the Roughley Manor in Twentynine Palms, CA:

Twentynine Palms, CA… it’s really in the middle of nowhere!

It’s in the middle of nothing in the desert, can’t imagine why anyone would want to live there. Apparently the original owner suffered from the effects of mustard gassing from World War I and doctors thought the dry desert air would help his lungs, so I guess that’s why!

We stayed in the original house, and here’s a picture of our bed. Isn’t that crocheted canopy just gorgeous?

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Love it!

I was able to finish my wedding album (I was pathetically close to finishing the last time I worked on it, only 5 or so pages left). My mom reminded me that I had started working on an album of pictures from my senior year of high school, so I tackled that again. It feels appropriate since 2013 will mark ten years since I graduated high school. Can’t believe it’s been that long! :blush: I was able to get 30 or so pages done. Here are a couple of them:

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Layout featuring my husband and I

This is a layout of pictures from my senior year’s winter formal dance. This was the first date my husband and I went on. A couple of days later (after I broke up with the guy I was currently seeing, long story!) we became an ‘exclusive’ couple and have been together ever since.

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Marching Band Layout

In high school I participated in marching band, this set of pictures is from the last competition of our senior year. I loved scrapbooking these pictures, it brought back so many good memories.

I’m trying to make an effort to actually finish this scrapbook in a decent amount of time, unlike my wedding albums which took 2+ years. Wish me luck!

Granny Squares Quilt: Finished!

I finally finished the Granny Squares quilt for my friend! I used the Blue Elephant Stitches tutorial.

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My husband helped me get pictures of it 🙂 The backing was from the huge stash of fabric I got from my mom last year. I still have a ton of this fabric! I machine bound the quilt in white. I really like the idea of using the same color binding as the background.

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My friend loves cupcakes so I used a cupcake print for it 🙂 I used variegated thread for the quilting. I quilted around the granny squares and then around the outside border.

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She was married in July but I only finished it yesterday 🙁 Better late than never I suppose! Isn’t finishing quilts inspiring! I kind of want to make another one now. If only I had the time 🙁

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