DIY preggy belly cream

DIY preggy belly rub

I love love LOVE this super easy DIY preggy belly cream!  I wish I’d known about oils when I was pregnant with Hudson so I could have made and used this!  Unfortunately I didn’t but I was able to start using it a few months after he was born and then through this pregnancy too.

This cream is perfect to give the skin on your belly a little extra support that it definitely needs when it’s growing a baby or after delivering a baby.  ‘Cause let’s be honest…they may be cute but having a baby can wreck havoc on your body!

IMG_0648

The beautiful thing about this recipe (and most oily recipes) is that they can easily be adapted depending on what oils you have on hand.  I’ll share my basic “base” recipe as well as some other adaptations you can do.

preggy belly cream recipe

What you need:

  • Coconut oil (I get this big container at Sam’s)
  • Vitamin E (the liquid in a bottle, not the capsules!  Those are a pain to open and squeeze the oil out)
  • Essential oils (Young Living of course!).

easy DIY preggy belly cream ingredients

What you do: Put the coconut oil in a mixer and whip it up (A stand mixer is easiest but if you have a hand mixer you can use that instead.  If you don’t have either you can whip it up with a fork or whisk.)  Add the Vitamin E and essential oils, stir those in, and pour into your container.

When you whip your coconut oil it will turn into a nice lotion-y consistency.  The last time I made this our coconut oil was a little softer than usual and so it didn’t have the lotion consistency but was just more of a thick liquid.  Really the consistency doesn’t matter as long as you’re easily able to stir in your other ingredients.

coconut oil

The recipe:

  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 1 tsp Vitamin E
  • 20 drops lavender
  • 10 drops frankincense
  • 10 drops Gentle Baby

Whip coconut oil, add Vitamin E and essential oils, stir well, and store in a glass container.  Rub on belly like lotion.

basic preggy belly cream recipe

This is my “standard” preggy belly cream recipe but things could definitely be added or subtracted!  I created this recipe using the oils I had that I knew were great for skin. Lavender and frankincense both come in the Young Living Premium Starter Kit so I know many people have at least those two – and if those are the only two oils that you have from this recipe then just increase the amount of frankincense and leave out the Gentle Baby.  Or if you have Joy it is very similar to Gentle Baby and would be a good substitute (they both have rose which is fabulous for skin!)

I also recommend looking up each of the oils you do have in your stash and seeing which ones are recommended for skin, then adding those in.  The last time I mixed up a batch I added geranium and spikenard since they are both mentioned in one of my oil reference books for supporting the skin.  There are lots of other oils that are great for your skin that you could add in – be creative and don’t be afraid to experiment!

Young Living spikenard and geranium essential oils

Tangerine, grapefruit, and cypress would be good additions if you are using your cream after having a baby.  These oils are supposed to be good to help tighten the appearance of skin and I don’t know about you but after having a baby my belly definitely could have used some tightening!  I used some of these in my cream post-Hudson and will certainly be adding them back in after this baby is born too.

grapefruit, Young Living tangerine, and cypress essential oils

Now go forth and make your pregnant belly happy with this luscious cream!

(Not using essential oils yet?  I’d love to help you get started!  Check out this page to find out more.)

DIY diffuser necklaces

how to make DIY diffuser necklaces

Diffuser necklaces are such a great way to use your essential oils on the go.  The way most diffuser jewelry works is you put a drop of EO on a little pad (leather, felt, or paper are popular) inside a locket that has holes in it – it acts like a mini diffuser and you can smell and benefit from your oils all day long.  Diffuser necklaces are super popular among the oily crowd and you can buy them lots of places but if you are a little bit crafty you can also make them fairly inexpensively.  They are very easy!

What you need:

I buy “in bulk” because I make a lot of necklaces at once to have on hand to use as gifts, sign up incentives for new members, giveaways, make ‘n take items for my team, etc.  These are the supplies I use.

DIY diffuser necklace supplies

diffuser locket – I buy the 20 pack but they also sell them in packs as small as just 5, I believe

chain – There are lots of different lengths to choose from, I went with 24 inch chains which are a good length for most adults but would probably be too long for a child.

jump rings – This is what connects the pendant to the chain.

disc for inside the pendant – I put one drop of oil on one of these discs and I can usually smell that oil for at least a week.  I also just reuse the disc and put new oils on it when I want to change; I’ve been using it for months and so far it’s held up well.

charms – I purchase my charms at Hobby Lobby or Michael’s in their jewelry section.  There are all kinds of cute charms that slip right on the chain; I usually use flowers, pearls, or gemstones but there are more personalized options too.  The charm is optional of course but I think it adds a nice touch to the necklace.

jewelry bags – Also optional, but trust me that you want these if you are going to be making a lot of necklaces.  This prevents them from becoming a big tangled mess as you try to keep them separate.  I bought my bags from Hobby Lobby but they are also on Amazon.

DIY diffuser necklaces

If you are not interested in making a bunch of these and just want to make one or two for yourself, Hobby Lobby (and probably other craft stores) has most of these items that you can purchase individually.  I’ve seen at least two different types of metal lockets that have the openings and could be used for the diffuser locket, you can purchase small packs of jump rings and individual (or small packs of) chains.  The only thing they don’t have are the discs (that I’ve found), but you could just use a small piece of leather or felt and cut your own, or buy the pack from Amazon and then have extras.

Note: these are not super high quality materials.  My pendant has held up great but you can definitely tell a difference in the weight and quality of it compared to some of the other, more expensive places you can purchase.  But if money is an issue or you’re wanting to make lots of these, I think this is a great alternative and the quality is good for the price (in my opinion).

Speaking of price, I did the math at one point (based on the prices when I purchased – you know how things on Amazon can change from hour-to-hour) and the necklaces came out to $3-$5 each, depending on which charms you choose to use and where you buy them.

What you do:

Step 1: Open each locket and put a disc inside.

DIY diffuser necklace locket

Step 2: Attach a jump ring to the locket.  This is the only part that requires any real “assembling”.  The jump ring has a break in it and the two ends of the metal are slightly bent away from each other so that there is an opening to put in on the locket.  Once you put the jump ring on the locket then you grab each of the openings and pull them in towards each other – that should then even them out so that they meet in the middle.  Some of the things I read online about how to make jewelry mention using pliers to do this but I have been very easily able to do this without needing any tools.

I tried to take a picture of this step but it was impossible for me to get my camera to focus on that tiny jump ring so hopefully my written explanation was clear!

Step 3: Use the jump ring to slide the locket onto the chain.

Step 4: Add any charms that you want as embellishments.

DIY diffuser necklace charms

That’s all!  Easy peasy!

If you aren’t the DIY type and don’t want to make one at all there are tons of places you can purchase them.  There are lots and lots on Etsy as well as various other companies and shops that make them (I really like Sacred Arrow – they also have bracelets, earrings, and jewelry for men).

What oils do you like to use in your necklace?

Some of my favorites for my necklace are Valor, Joy, White Angelica, and Abundance.

(Not an oiler yet?  Want to be?  Check out my page here about how to sign up and get started using these super fabulous essential oils!)

(some links may be affiliates)

A personalized ABC book

personalized Shutterfly ABC book

Have you ever made a photo book?  I’m a “traditional” scrapbooker and prefer to print off my pictures and create my layouts (although I would like to try to dabble in digital scrapbooking someday).  I have made a few photo books through the years, mostly as gifts for other people, but they were very basic and I’ve never really looked into the templates and options out there.

personalized Shutterfly ABC book A and B

At a playdate recently my friend Amber showed me a photo book that her friend had made for her son’s first birthday and I thought it was the cutest thing ever!  She said that Shutterfly has an ABC photo book template – you just put your pictures in and you can change the wording if you want.  Convenient!

personalized Shutterfly ABC book G and H

Michael and I brainstormed words that would go along with each letter of the alphabet.  Then I started going through our pictures of Hudson from this last year to find some that would work.  It took some time but it was fun!

personalized Shutterfly ABC book I, J, and K

In case you need some inspiration, here’s our list.

A – adorable
B – bath time and bed head
C – church
D – daddy
E – enjoying play
F – feet and fingers
G – giraffe
H – hiking, hats, and Hudson
I – iPhone
J – jack ‘o lantern
K – kisses
L – laughing
M – mommy
N – necklace
O – overalls
P – pianos and pouts
Q – quilt
R – reading
S – swimming and sunglasses
T – teeth and towels
U – unwrapping
V – vest
W – wearing
X – xoxo
Y – yum and yay
Z – zzzzzzzz

(we had to get a little creative with some of them, can you tell?)

personalized Shutterfly ABC book R, S, and T

I had a code for a free 8×8 Shutterfly photo book so I used that (I get them all the time – always check before you pay full price!) and all I had to pay was shipping ($7 or $8 I think).  The pages are regular paper pages (not hard like a board book) but for that price I’m not complaining.

personalized Shutterfly ABC book spine

This was a perfect, easy, inexpensive birthday gift!  Not only is it fun for Hudson to look at and help him learn his ABCs but it also serves as a little scrapbook of his first year.

personalized Shutterfly ABC book back

DIY foaming hand soap

DIY Thieves foaming hand soap

Last night I helped teach a class on DIY (Do It Yourself) products using essential oils.  One of the recipes I shared was my foaming hand soap recipe and since I love it so much I thought I’d share it with you too.

When we first started to move toward a more natural lifestyle I began making my own cleaning supplies, laundry soap, etc.  It just made sense to make my own hand soap too!  I found a recipe online and made a big batch but it was a disaster.  It was difficult – you had to grate a bar of soap and cook it in water basically until is melted.  The consistency was disgusting – it looked and felt like snot.  So gross.  The only thing it had going for it was is smelled good.  We used it for awhile (although if guests were coming over I switched out with a bottle of store bought soap because the homemade stuff was just embarrassing) but eventually just switched back to buying soap.

Then I got into essential oils and I found a recipe for DIY foaming hand soap.  I’ve never liked foaming soap but I figured foaming was better than snotty so I gave it a whirl.  I’ve gotten used to the foam by now and I love making my own!

Supplies needed

  • Castile Soap (I use Dr. Bronner’s – I’ve seen it at Target, Kroger, Whole Foods, and Amazon)
  • Gylcerin (I use the Now brand, purchased from Amazon)
  • Essential Oils (of course I recommend Young Living)
  • A soap dispenser (I bought some cheap Dial soap from Walmart, dumped the soap it came with, and then washed the dispenser to use for my soap; some people use old Bath and Body Works dispensers; and of course you can just buy foaming hand soap dispensers by themselves.  I actually saw some at Kroger the other day for $6, which is way cheaper than what I found online)

This  is the recipe I use:

diy thieves hand soap[source]

  • I do not add the vitamin E oil.  I actually have vitamin E that I use in my homemade body wash as well as my stretch mark cream, but for whatever reason I’ve been leaving it out of the soap.  I need to give that a try next time!
  • I don’t measure (that makes Michael crazy!  I cook that way too).  I would assume that I follow the measurements listed in the graphic pretty closely, but basically I just do a big squirt of soap, a smaller squirt of glycerin, then add a few drops of oil and the water.  It’s so fast, takes me just a minute to refill all the soap dispensers in the house.  I like to do them all at once, assembly-line style.

You can change this and make all kinds of combinations!  Dr. Bronner’s has several scents (lavender, peppermint, orange, almond, and baby mild are the ones I’ve seen in stores; they also have rose, eucalyptus, and tea tree, which I’ve only seen online and haven’t tried yet) and then of course there are tons of essential oil options you could use.  So far I’ve always done peppermint Dr. Bronner’s and Thieves essential oil.  I think it smells great and Christmasy and I feel that Thieves is the best one to add for extra immune support.

Other combos that would be lovely:

  • lavender Dr. B’s plus tea tree EO (proper name: melaleuca alternafolia)
  • lavender Dr. B’s plus lemon EO
  • orange Dr. B’s plus any of the citrus EOs (orange, lime, lemon, Citrus Fresh, bergamot, etc.)
  • baby mild Dr. B’s (unscented) plus any EO of your choice since the only scent would be the EOs

Be creative!  I like to open the bottle of soap and the bottle of oil and hold them both up to my nose so I can smell them at the same time and see if I think I’ll like the combo.

This is a really easy step you can take into switching your household products to something more natural.  I think it would be really fun to get together with a bunch of friends for everyone to make some soap to take home!

Have you made soap before?  Did you like it?

What combinations do you think would smell good?

Oh and if DIY is just not your thing, you can buy foaming hand soap from Young Living; they have Thieves and lavender.   Ask your favorite friendly Young Living distributor (me of course) how to order.

Books of the New Testament envelope book

Wednesday I went to a professional development and attended a session about bookmaking.  We learned about all kinds of fun little books that you can make with your students – some that could be used as graphic organizers and others could be used for students to write stories and “publish” their own books.  I got some great ideas to use next school year…and one to use that very night in the 1st and 2nd grade class I’m teaching at church.  I had to hustle to get everything prepared in time, but I think it still turned out pretty neat.

The topic I’m teaching this quarter is The Epistles.  In this particular lesson I wanted to work on the divisions of the New Testament.  I turns out that most of the kids didn’t know the books of the New Testament yet so we’re going to be working on that too, but this is a fun activity that will help with sorting the books of the New Testament by divisions.  Surely someone else out there will need to teach the divisons of the New Testament at some point, so I thought I’d share what I did in case you might could use this (downloadable templates at the end of the post).

books of the New Testament envelope book suppliesWhat you need: 4 or 5 envelopes, labels, a front and back, and the books of the New Testament (not pictured: scissors, glue, and staples)

books of the New Testament envelope book envelopeCut the flaps off the envelopes

books of the New Testament envelope bookStack the front cover, the envelopes, and the back cover.  Staple.

books of the New Testament envelope book gospels

books of the New Testament envelope book historyCut out the labels (Gospels, History, Epistles, and Prophecy) and glue on the envelopes.  I used five envelopes and only had four labels because I left one envelope for storage.  You could make a label for that one, too, I just didn’t think about it.

books of the New Testament envelope book back coverBack cover – I put the divisions on the back so they can check their answers

books of the New Testament envelope book activityThe extra envelope is for them to store the books, then they can sort them into the appropriate pockets.

assembling the books of the New Testament envelope book

cutting out the books of the New Testament envelope bookThe kids worked hard and seemed to enjoy making their books

Obviously this envelope book can be used for tons of other activities and it’s easy to make – all you really need is some cardstock and envelopes.

Click here to download the templates for this activity: New Testament books

What’s a scrapbooking retreat anyway?

I’ve been scrapbooking since 7th grade but I had never been on a scrapbooking retreat until this past weekend.  I never really saw the appeal – I mean, it’s a lot of work to pack up all your scrapbooking stuff, lug it to the retreat, set it up, and then pack it all back up at the end of the weekend.  Plus, I just couldn’t justify paying money to go scrapbook when I could do that for free in my own home.

Boy was I missing out!  A friend from church invited me to go on her annual scrapbooking retreat, and I finally decided to check it out and see what all the hype was about.  I am so glad I went.  First of all, I had an absolute blast.  And second, I got a ton of scrapbooking done!

I had no idea what to expect since this was my first one.  The retreat actually started Thursday night, but I had to work on Friday so by the time I got there Friday night, everyone else was in full scrapbooking mode.  When I walked in the door I was totally overwhelmed.  It looked like a scrapbook store exploded in there!  There were Cricuts, computers, printers, albums, punches, tools, papers, stickers, tables, chairs, boxes, and bags galore.  It was overwhelming.  I thought I had a lot of stuff, but I’m pretty sure I had the smallest amount of stuff of anyone there (except maybe the girl that was working on a digital scrapbook and only had her computer).

scrapbook retreat 6

scrapbook retreat 4 scrapbook retreat 5We each brought a folding table, chair, and of course, all our stuff.  Mine is the one on the right side of the picture with the pink chair.

Of course most of our time was spent scrapbooking.  The schedule was pretty much eat, sleep, and scrapbook.  We did have some fun activities like contests on who did the most pages each day, a contest for who made the best page using the same paper, a pajama and ice cream party, and a scavenger hunt.  And the food was amazing.  There is a sweet lady who does not scrapbook, but volunteers her time to come to our retreat and cook for us so that none of the participants has to stop scrapbooking to fix food.  The food was amazing – way better than your typical “camp food”, and it was so nice to just grab a plate, eat a quick meal, and then get right back to scrapbooking.

We also got a surprise snow while we were there.  It was the first weekend in March and no one expected snow, especially not this much!  It snowed pretty much all day Saturday and it was absolutely beautiful!

scrapbook retreat 3

It was so fun to stay all cozy inside the mess hall while we scrapbooked, with snow coming down outside all day long.  And then fortunately it was all melted by Sunday when it was time to go home so we didn’t have to deal with slick roads.
scrapbook retreat 2 The snowflakes were unlike any I’d ever seen before.  You could actually see each individual snowflake – they were huge and looked like the ones you cut out of paper.  What an amazing testament to God’s design.  So intricate and beautiful.  I tried so hard to get a picture but my camera just doesn’t have the capabilities to zoom in that close.  scrapbook retreat 1Overall it was a fantastic weekend!  I made new friends, had a blast, and got a ton of scrapbooking done.  It also motivated me to get more done, so I’ve been working this weekend on finally getting my craft area set up in our bonus room.  I hope to have that area semi-organized soon so I can keep on working!

As for the retreat…definitely worth the money!  And I’ll certainly be back next year.  Oh and next year it will be held at our church’s new camp that we are currently building (thought I’d throw in a little plug…) – check out the great article about Big Reedy that was in the paper this week!

 

Wizard of Oz cakes

Nora's first birthday smash cakeThis lil’ cutie turned one last week (hold the phone…how is that even possible?  I’m pretty sure I attended her baby shower just yesterday…but I digress)

Her momma took a major leap of faith and asked me if I would be interested in making her cakes so I could practice using my newly acquired cake decorating skills.  Outside of the cakes I made and decorated in class I’ve only made two other cakes – both which were very simple.  So being asked to make the party cake and the smash cake for Nora’s party made me feel incredibly honored but also quite nervous!

The party had a Wizard of Oz theme (I can’t wait to share more pictures of the rest of the party later…Julie did an AH-MAZING job with all the decor and food!).  Julie found some cake ideas she liked and we bounced around some ideas until we settled on one like this (although this one was absolutely incredible…no way could I recreate that but it was certainly fantastic to look at…go ahead, click over and check it out, you won’t be sorry).

Not only was this my first cake for someone else but it was also my first tiered cake.  As I started looking at cake pans to figure out the size of the cake, I realized that in order to have room on the tiers for the little figurines to stand that I was going to have to have some pretty big layers!  The bottom layer ended up being a 14″ round that took 15 cups of batter and was almost too much for me to remove from the oven myself!  It turned out quite a bit larger than I expected but the overall finished look was totally worth it!

Michael and I were also nervous about transporting a cake of that size and weight but fortunately it arrived unharmed.  We put a bunch of dowels in it for support and that seemed to work really well.

3 tiered Wizard of Oz cakeHere it is – my first tiered cake!  I had a really hard time getting a picture because of the window behind the cake so I’m hoping the photographer got a better one I can use later.

The bottom layer was chocolate, the middle layer was white, and the top layer was white with chocolate filling.  The green icing was buttercream, the yellow brick road was made out of fondant, and the poppies are made with royal icing.  Julie made the Emerald City for the top.  The little ruby slippers were American Girl doll shoes.

I was really pleased with how it turned out!

Wizard of Oz smash cakeI also made Nora’s smash cake – a simple, 1 layer chocolate cake with buttercream icing, buttercream clouds, and a fondant rainbow.

Let’s zoom out and check out that high chair, shall we?
Adorbs.  I love the high chair’s decorations!

I also love this little munchkin and am so glad I got to be a part of her birthday!

DIY super quick Kindle case

e-reader cover tutorial

I recently switched purses from a rather small, structured purse to a large, black hole-type purse.  In my old purse, everything had its own little section and so my Kindle was sort of protected by the soft side of my purse and the soft cloth of my wallet.  However, in my current purse, everything is all tossed in there and jumbled up so I was afraid that my Kindle was going to get scratched up.

What’s a girl to do?  Why, sew a little protective case for it, of course!  And because I’m so nice (wink, wink) I created a tutorial for you so you can make one too.  This is such a fast little project – it takes maybe 30 minutes, probably less if you are an experienced seamstress (which I’m not).

Just a note before we start – this is NOT a padded protective case.  I just wanted a layer of fabric thick enough to keep my Kindle from getting scratched, but it will probably not protect it if you drop your Kindle.  That would require some extra padding that I didn’t use.

Also, I just make things up as I go along – there are probably much better ways to do some of these things but I just do what works for me.  Forgive my novice skills.

Supplies needed: 2 complimentary pieces of fabric (this is a great project for your scraps because you need such a small amount of fabric), a button, some elastic (I used a ponytail holder…it didn’t match but it was free so I didn’t really care)

From each pattern, cut a piece that is 6 inches wide by 14.5 inches tall.  This can easily be adjusted if your Kindle is a different size than mine, or if you are making this for a different type of e-reader.

Place your two pieces with the right sides together.  Stitch the two short ends together, using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

You’ll end up with a large tube.  Once it is stitched, turn the tube inside out so the right sides are facing out and iron the seams.

You can start to see the pocket forming.

Fold the fabric in half opposite of how you want your pocket to look (I wanted the flowered fabric on the outside and the polka dot fabric as my lining, so I sewed it with the polka dot fabric out and the flower fabric inside).

Use your e-reader to estimate where you need to sew the sides.

Sew up each side of the fabric, making a pocket.

It should look something like this.  Flip it inside out and slide your Kindle down into the pocket to make sure it is tight or loose enough.  You can see on the left where I stitched a second time to make the pocket a little smaller.

Trim off the excess fabric on the outsides of each seam, then flip inside out.

It’s like a little sleeping bag for your Kindle :)

In the middle of the side that you’ve decided will be the back, sew your elastic on, about an inch down from the top.

Cut a long, skinny strip of your lining fabric (I think mine was about 2 inches by 15 inches). Set your machine to it’s longest stitch length and sew a long, loose seam up each side of the fabric (aka, baste it).

To turn that into a ruffle, pull on one of the threads from each seam – don’t pull both, just grab one thread and pull.  The fabric will start to ruffle up.  Then move to the other seam and pull once of those threads too.

Now here is where I stopped taking pictures because this next part was a little difficult and required my total concentration.  So bear with me and try to imagine these next few steps.

Once you’ve adjusted your ruffle to the ruffley-ness you desire, wrap it around the case about a half an inch from the top (make sure it will cover the spot where you sewed the elastic to the pouch).  Pin it into place.  Then sew the ruffle onto the pocket, on top of the basting stitches you used to create the ruffle.  My machine has a piece that removes and leaves a skinny place to put a sleeve or other small circular object.  This pocket just barely fit on there and because it was such a tight fit I had some real problems with turning it while I was sewing around the ruffle.  Next time I might see if there is a way to sew the ruffle on before trimming the pocket part down.

Anyway, once you’ve sewn the ruffle on, then sew the button on to the middle of the front of your case (no specific measurement, it just depends on how far down your elastic will come.

A note about the ruffle – I just left the raw edges on the ruffles.  I know they will fray a bit over time and I’m ok with that look.  If you don’t like that, you’ll need to fold the edges over and somehow sew them down before creating your ruffle.

And your Kindle case is done!

I was pretty pleased how it turned out, especially since I had all the things I needed at home and didn’t have to buy anything (although that resulted in an elastic and thread that didn’t quite match, but oh well).

The thread that goes on the ruffle should have matched the purple fabric.  I have a camera case with a similar ruffle on it – the thread holding the ruffle on is a contrasting color and it looks good, so I thought using the white would look ok on mine.  Turns out I was wrong.  It just highlights my crooked stitches and draws attention away from the cute ruffle.  Next time I will use thread that matches the ruffle fabric.

Also, the thread that I used to sew the button on was yet a different color.  It happened to match the goldish tan color of the flowers from the fabric, but it doesn’t look good right next to the white that I used for the ruffle.  Note to self: use the same thread for the ruffle and the button, and make sure the color will blend in.

Now that I know what to do differently, I could whip this up in a jiffy!  Too bad I don’t need another Kindle case.  Maybe someone I know will need one for Christmas…

Oh, and on a semi-related note: hopefully this will be the last sewing project I do where I have to haul out all my sewing stuff and drag it to the kitchen table (the only surface large enough in our apartment) to sew since my next project should be done from the comfort of the permanent sewing table/area/station in my craft area in OUR NEW HOUSE.  Yep, you read that right…after 4 months of searching and 30+ houses visited, we finally found one we loved and we got a contract on it yesterday.  SO EXCITING!

October block of the month

I’ve finished my October blocks of the month…which means I’m finished with all the blocks for my very first quilt!  I’m so proud!  This month we learned how to do paper piecing.  Once I’d done one section and got the hang of it, it turned out to be so easy!  I loved it!  Paper piecing with a template was so much easier for me then trying to cut out precise shapes and then make sure to sew the seam not too narrow and not too wide.  I’m definitely a fan.

Craftsy block of the month October - friendship circle

Craftsy block of the month for October - circle of geeseI just love how crisp and neat each block looks, thanks to the wonders of paper piecing!

Now that I’ve finished all 20 quilt blocks, I laid them all out to get a feel for how they will look once they are put together.  I’ve just had them in a stack and this is the first time I’ve laid them all out side by side…seeing them all at once makes me so excited to finish the quilt!

(Pardon the bad picture – our bed was the only place big enough in our tiny apartment to lay the blocks all out at once…and it’s hard to get up high enough to get a good angle!)

Craftsy block of the month quilt blocks

I laid them out by month for this picture (starting in the upper left hand corner, the first two are January, then the next two are February; on the second row we have March and then April, and so on).  I like the idea of grouping them together by month since this was a Block of the Month quilt, but I don’t think I’m going to end up leaving them in this order because there are clumps of similar colors that need to be spaced out, like the five blocks toward the bottom right that are predominately pink and turquoise.

Next month we will learn bordering and sandwiching, and then in December we finish it off with binding and quilting.  I am a mere two months away from completing my very first quilt!  Hooray!

Wanna make your own quilt?  It’s not too late – the class is free, all the past videos are still available, and they will continue to be available even after the class ends.  Check it out here:

September blocks of the month

Another month, another set of quilt blocks.  This month in my Craftsy Block of the Month class we learned how to do curved piecing using the Drunkard’s Path templates.  When I first started trying to pin and sew these pieces together, I got super frustrated.  In fact, after I botched the first one, I had to just set it aside, go to bed, and try again the next day.  After a little bit of practice the next day, though, I finally got the hang of it.  They weren’t all perfect, and this was definitely more time-consuming than many of the other methods we’ve used, but I’m so proud of myself for conquering my fear of curved pieces.

September Craftsy Block of the Month - Chain Block

I really like this chain block – I thought it turned out really cool.

September Craftsy Block of the Month - Cleopatra's PuzzleThe Cleopatra’s Puzzle block wasn’t my favorite we’ve ever done, but I still liked the end result.

I can’t believe it is already September – that means that I only have one more method and two more quilt blocks to make in October!  Then I’ll have all 20 blocks done and it will be time to learn how to bind and quilt my very first quilt in November and December.  I’m so excited!