Hudson’s nursery

Ahh Hudson’s nursery is finally all done!  I’m so excited to show it to you!

big H

First: my goal.  I did not want the nursery to be baby-ish (think pastels, teddy bears, etc.).  I wanted something that could grow with him as a toddler and a little boy.  I also didn/t want to use a theme or any characters, just a color palette.  Later when we discover what he is crazy about (trains, sports, whatever) then we can add those elements into the nursery, but I didn’t want a whole themed nursery to begin with.

green and navy nursery

My inspiration was (don’t laugh) the cover of a Sports Illustrated for Kids magazine.  Back before we even knew we were having a boy I had my girl nursery colors all picked out (I’ve had those for years) but didn’t know what I wanted to do for a boy.  I went to my school mailbox one day and the library’s monthly copy of Sports Illustrated for Kids was there.  I care not one bit about sports and usually never give it a second glance, but this particular month I was struck by the beautiful color scheme.

sports illustratedI snapped a quick picture of it and then after we found out we were having a boy I just couldn’t stop thinking about the beautiful apple green and navy…thus our nursery colors were born.

The next thing to do was to pick fabric and paint.  We decided to paint the walls a very light blue, and then use green and navy accents around the room.  I was afraid a green or navy wall would be too much, and I think the light blue is a great background for the rest of the colors.

nursery fabric

I found most of my fabric at this great little fabric store near Bowling Green called Whittle’s.  They have tons of beautiful fabrics at great prices (they also have an online store if you want to check them out).  I was able to get fabric for the curtains, sheets, and quilt (and I knew I’d have leftover from the quilt to use for smaller things, like pillows).  The fabric for the crib skirt I found at JoAnn’s.  It is a heavier, decorator fabric (I think that’s what it’s called) and I think that helps it hang straight and crisp.

The first thing I made was the quilt.  I know babies don’t even need quilts, but I feel like it’s the anchor point of the nursery, plus it’s a special keepsake that I wanted to make for Hudson.  I looked at tons of baby quilts online but I kept coming back to the same design – just straight pieces of fabric in varying patterns.  It’s such a simple design and almost too easy, but I just love it.  My main inspirations were this quilt and this quilt (plus tutorial).

green and navy nursery crib

After searching quite a bit online for crib sheets and not coming up with anything that I just loved (most ready made ones were pastels and boring, the custom ones were way too expensive), I decided to make them myself (well actually I complained to Mom that I couldn’t find any I liked, she said surely we could make them ourselves, and then proceeded to find a tutorial online for me to use).  I made three sheets using some of the fabric that I got at Whittle’s.  The tutorial that I followed was so very easy and I whipped those suckers up super fast.  I was a little intimidated by the elastic part, but Mom walked me through the first sheet and once I realized how easy it was, I was good to go.  A little tip if you decide to ever make your own sheets…buy your fold over elastic at Hobby Lobby if you can.  I started off ordering from Walmart.com, but then found some later at Hobby Lobby where I didn’t have to pay shipping and could use a 40% off coupon, so I bought the elastic there and returned what I got from Walmart.

green and blue nursery

Let me tell you, making all this stuff for the nursery was a fantastic learning experience.  Not only did I get to learn how to make crib sheets, I also made my first set of curtains.  They were ridiculously easy and I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to make any!  The ironing is a bit tedious, but as long as you can sew in a straight line you are good to go.  I just made a basic floor length panel curtain with a pocket at the top.  I used this tutorial to help me with the main part of the curtain, and then these instructions to see how to make the pocket.

The crib skirt was the easiest of them all.  I made four panels, basically the same way I made the curtains, and then attached them to the crib by tying them to the springs on the bottom.  This is the tutorial I followed.

green and blue nursery changing station

I forwent the traditional changing table and decided to use a dresser so I could have storage plus a changing station on top.  My grandparents had one in their basement that belonged to my mom when she still lived at home that I was able to use.  We took off the original hardware, Mom painted it this beautiful blue color, and then Michael put on new knobs that I found at Hobby Lobby.

changing station dresser

After all the big stuff was done, it was time to decorate!

Michael has been such a trooper – first I requested the stripes that were way more difficult than I ever dreamed, then I decided to make some string art for the nursery.  I saw this awesome name sign for sale on Etsy (via Pinterest of course – Michael is going to ban Pinterest if I keep coming up with more projects!) and decided that I could make it myself.  As always, my “simple” project took way longer than expected.  The wood took multiple days to dry after being stained.  Then, because it was such a hard wood, Michael couldn’t hammer the nails in without them bending, so he had to pre-drill a hole for every single nail, then go back and hammer in the nail.  Then, the nails were longer than the board and stuck out the back, so he had to saw off the ends of each nail that had come through the back.  He worked so hard on it and I love how it turned out.  Then I got the easy part…putting the string on!  I know there has to be some sort of mathematical method to making the letters with the string, but I didn’t care to spend time figuring it out so I just randomly wove the string around.  I’m very happy with it and think it turned out great!

nursery string art

Inspired by some mobiles I’d seen on Pinterest, my brother helped me whip up this super easy mobile – an embroidery hoop painted to match, and circles of scrapbook paper sewn to ribbon.  My father-in-law cut out the big “H” for above the crib.

green and navy nursery mobile

I also wanted something to go above the changing table so I wrapped four 12×12 canvases with leftover fabric and used my Silhouette Cameo to cut out some cute “art”.

nursery canvases

My original plan was navy and apple green with some light blue.  You may have noticed a little red thrown in.  Here’s why.  We have this little bookcase, which was in my brothers’ room when they were little and I’ve used all through college and since as extra storage (you might remember it from our bathroom in the before pics).  I knew I wanted to use it in the nursery so we put it in there until we could get around to painting it.  Well, for one I ended up really liking the red, and also I felt so bad asking Michael to do so much stuff to get ready for Hudson that I just couldn’t bring myself to ask him (or my mom, or my father-in-law) to paint anything else.  But I actually love it, and I just then incorporated a little red into other areas of the room to tie it all together.

red bookcase

I looked for a nightstand for what seemed like forever.  I couldn’t find anything that wasn’t super expensive, until I stumbled upon a great deal on Amazon – this nightstand was on sale for $8.  Eight dollars!  I snapped it up immediately and it works perfectly.  Plus it has extra storage – added bonus!

I also really wanted a red lamp but we looked high and low without finding one (plenty of red lamp shades, no red bases), so finally I just bought a cheap-o from Lowes and painted it red with craft paint.  Don’t look too closely because it’s not the best paint job in the world, but from afar it looks pretty good.

polka dot end table

I love, love, love how everything turned out!  Now we just need a Hudson to complete the space :)

A few more pictures for your viewing pleasure:

Hudson's nurserylooking in to the nursery
Hudson's nursery 2nursery string art 2his closet on the left, attic access on the right

nursery closet

baby books

 

Hudson’s quilt

navy and green baby quilt front

Hudson’s quilt is finished!

This stack of fabric

fabric for Hudson's quilt

has turned in to this beautiful baby quilt.

navy and green baby quilt stripes

Sigh.  I love it so much.

When I first started thinking about Hudson’t quilt I (of course) turned to Pinterest for inspiration.  I looked at tons and tons of baby quilts and just quilts in general, but I kept coming back to this one and this one.  At first I balked a little at how simplistic they were and thought “Shouldn’t I make something more intricate for my baby?”, but since the basic stripes were hands down my favorite design I just decided to go with it.

Over fall break I headed to Whittle’s, a little fabric store about 30 minutes from here (and also online if you’re interested), and found 12 different fabrics to use for the quilt as well as the rest of the nursery.

quilt math

Other than the quilting, this was super quick to put together.  I did all of it (minus the quilting and binding) in one day over fall break.  Figuring out the math was the most time consuming part just because I had to try various combinations of strip widths before I was finally happy.  Just in case you want to make one for yourself, I thought I’d include my measurements for you and save you a step.

The quilt has 12 different fabrics, two strips from each, for a total of 24 strips.  I cut:
four 1.5 inch strips (two from one pattern and two from another)
four 2 inch strips (again, two from one pattern and two from another)
four 2.5 inch strips
four 3 inch strips
four 3.5 inch strips
four 4 inch strips

I placed one from each pattern in an arrangement I liked, sewed them together, and then repeated that pattern once more.

Here’s something I learned: press your seams to one side or the other rather than pressing the open.  At first I was pressing them open because I liked how they laid nice and flat when I did that, but I guess that was stretching the fabric a little because each stripe got more and more curved as I went along.  I switched to just pressing the fabric to one side and that seemed to help.  I’m sure there are other ways to avoid the pieces curving but I have no idea what that might be.

navy and green baby quilt front

My finished quilt is about 38 inches wide and 49 inches long.

I knew I wanted to do something a little bit different to the back (rather than just one plain piece of fabric) but I wasn’t sure what exactly.  The back ended up being born out of necessity since I didn’t have enough of any one fabric for the back so I inserted the green panel to make it big enough.  I really like how the fat green stripe kind of echoes the skinnier stripes from the front.

navy and green baby quilt back

Like I said, in that one day over fall break I got the quilt top designed, measured, cut, and sewn.  I cut and sewed the back, I pieced together my batting (I had some left over from some other quilting projects so I pieced them together to use for this quilt rather than buying more), and basted the whole thing together.

navy and green baby quilt quilting

I hand-quilted it so that part has taken me a while.  I chose to do very simple quilting, just echo quilting next to each seam.  Then this week I was able to sign the quilt and put the binding on.  If you machine quilt I bet you could get this quilt done in less than two days.

navy and green quilt binding

Lots of people make labels for their quilts but so far (on the whole two quilts I’ve ever done), I’ve chosen to embroider my label.  I’m already hand quilting and hand binding, so I don’t mind the time it takes to do hand embroidering.  It’s not the neatest label ever (I haven’t embroidered in probably 15 years so it’s pretty sloppy), but it’s meaningful and that’s what matters to me.

Hudson's signed quiltembroidered quilt labelThe green didn’t show up quite as well against the plaid as I expected so it’s not that easy to read, but it says “to Hudson, Love Mommy, November 2013″.

And here it is in the nursery (plus a little nursery sneak peek – we’re not quite finished but getting so close and I can’t wait to show you the whole thing!)

crib with quiltnursery sneak peekI can’t wait to get a picture of Hudson with his new quilt…less than three more months!!

High Five for Friday

What a big week I’ve had!  Maybe my most exciting week ever :)  What’s happening around here:

1.  We got to see our sweet baby for the first time on Monday!  It pretty early so it still looks more like a seahorse-shaped blog than a baby…but it was still the most precious thing I’ve ever seen!

ultrasound

2.  Then we finally got to spill our big secret to everyone!  That was so fun and exciting!

pregnancy announcement

3.  Last week was my first week of summer, but we had VBS every night and I had to go to a professional development one day, so that doesn’t really count….this week, though, I got to have pretty much the whole week with the exception of one professional development on Wednesday.  I’ve been relaxing lots of course but also working hard to go through all my clothes, pack up the stuff that is already getting too tight or is fall/winter and will definitely be too tight by that point, selling/consigning a bunch of stuff that I’ve been meaning to get rid of, going to yard sales looking for cheap maternity clothes, washing and sorting all those new clothes, and just working on stuff that I never seem to get around to during the school year.

baby high topssweet pair of shoes I just couldn’t pass up at a yard sale this week :)

4.  I finally started on my next quilt!  My goal was to make another quilt in 2013, but after my extreme quilting marathon at the end of 2012 to get my first one done, I needed a break at the beginning of the year.  But I think pregnancy has lit a fire under me and I finally started working on my next quilt this week.  My goal is to get it done by August/September…because that is when we’ll find out if we’re having a boy or a girl and I know once that happens I’m only going to want to sew stuff for the baby :).  So I’m trying to get my stuff done before then.  I think that is a do-able goal – the “pattern” (I don’t really have one, I just made it up on my own) is very simple and it shouldn’t take long to get the top made.  I’m also planning to do very simple quilting, too.

stacked books quilt blockThis is the first block I made.  When the quilt is finished it should look like four tall stacks of books.  Like I said, I’m making it up as I go, but the inspiration came from here.  I hope mine turns out half as cute as hers did!

stacked books quilt[source]

5.  We have a free, no-obligations weekend coming up.  We always seem to end up so busy on the weekends, so it’s nice to have one every once in a while where you can just stay home and work on stuff!

I hope you have a fantastic weekend!

Linking up with Lauren

 photo H54Fbutton-1_zpsa7aaa665.png

my very first quilt

Thanks to the Craftsy Block of the Month class, I learned how to quilt this year.  Thursday night I finished my very first quilt!  I am so very proud of myself!  I’ve always wanted to learn how to quilt like my Mema and now I have.

finished Craftsy block of the month quilt 2

I blogged about each block as I got them done each month.  If you want to read about them individually you can check them out here: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, and October.

labeled Craftsy BOM quilt

I learned how to make each block by watching the videos provided with the online class.  Each block was pieced together on the machine (except the hexagon blocks – I did those by hand); I also used the machine to sew the blocks together with sashing in between and sew the back.

quilted string block

quilted flying geese

I then put the back, batting, and top together and basted the layers together using safety pins.

back of quilt

 

quilted wonky pound sign

The quilting was done by hand and took FOREVER it seemed.  Seriously, people who sell hand quilted quilts should make thousands for the amount of hours spent doing the quilting.  Not to mention the callouses on the fingers, the many pricks of the needles, and the constantly-aching back.  But those are all worth it!  I actually really enjoyed hand quilting once I got the hang of it.  I would have like it more if I hadn’t had myself on a deadline to get it done by the end of the year.  It seemed that every spare moment of November and December was spent working on my quilt.

quilted wonky log cabin

quilted octagon

The binding was sewn on to the back of the quilt with the machine and then hand stitched down on the front.

finsihed Craftsy block of the month quilt 4

quilted hexi stripe

quilted chunky chevron

I finished the quilt off my embroidering my name and the year on the back.  I’d like to also label it so that I remember it was part of the Block of the Month Class and that it was my first quilt, but it was hard for me to embroider what I’ve already done so I may take a break for a while.  It’s been probably 15 years since I’ve embroidered anything so the label on my quilt looks pretty bad, but at least it’s labeled.

embroidered signature

quilted sunny with a chance of hex

I am so very proud of myself and I love my quilt!

finsihed Craftsy block of the month quilt 5

By the way, if you want to learn how to quilt you can still participate in the Craftsy Block of the Month class – it’s free and the videos will be accessible past 2012.  I’ve heard there will also be a class in 2013 if you’re interested in that one.  However, that particular class doesn’t teach hand quilting so I watched a bunch of YouTube videos to teach myself (I didn’t keep the links and I watched so many that I can’t remember which ones I used).

finsihed Craftsy block of the month quilt 3

High Five For Friday

Hi Friends – Happy Friday!  I hope you’ve enjoyed your Christmas holidays and are looking forward to the New Year.  I’ve been alternating between ultra-lazy and productive during my wonderful Christmas break :).  Here are some happies today:

1. My quilt is finished!  I just finished it last night and I couldn’t be more proud.  Here’s a picture of one block in progress, but I’ll be posting pictures of the completed quilt later today or tomorrow.

sunny with a chance of hex

2. I love watching gymnastics but in all the years I’ve watched I’ve never seen anything this amazing – some of the coolest stunts and most flexible people every!  Check these girls out!

Source: youtube.com via Caitlin on Pinterest

 

3. I finally made a homemade apple pie to complete another item on my 2012 bucket list.  I used this recipe and it turned out pretty well – I thought the crust was amazing but I think I should have cut the apples into smaller pieces.

apple pie

4. Once Upon a Time.  Obsessed.  Michael got us a Netflix subscription as an early Christmas present – I’ve been tearing it up over these past few weeks as I’ve quilted for hours a day.  One of the shows I’ve discovered is Once Upon a Time and I love it!  Fairy tales meet current day…sounds wacko but it is so great!

once upon a time

5.  Right before school let out we had a Mary Kay lady come to our school with a ton of clearance items.  I got a bunch of great stuff, including eyeshadow duos for $.50 each, eyeliners and eye shimmers for $2.50 and more.  I also got some new makeup for Christmas.  The few times over the past week that I’ve actually gotten out of my jammies and put on makeup *hangs head in shame*, I’ve been having fun experimenting with some new makeup looks.  I usually do the same thing over and over again so it’s fun to try something different.

And, it’s a little late, but Merry Christmas!

Christmas 2012Linking up with Lauren

Photobucket

 

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!

2012 goals and bucket list update – August

(to see previous updates: JanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMay, June, and July)

2012 goals:

  • read through the entire Bible - New Testament: check.  Old Testament: currently reading Esther (one of my favorite books!)
  • get my healthy lifestyle back, specifically to lose the 20-25 pounds I’ve gained since getting married. - Well, nine months in and I’m finally almost 10 pounds down (plus the 5 extras that got added on later)…now only 10-15 more to go.

2012 bucket list:

  • make an apple pie from scratch
  • take cake decorating classes - I took the Wilton Cake Decorating Course 1 classes in March (see hereherehere, and here) and took Course 2 in April (hereherehere, and here).
  • learn how to make Mom’s homemade Christmas cookies
  • make 72 hour emergency kits for our home and cars
  • make my own laundry detergent - done!
  • bake a loaf of homemade bread - Done!  I’ve now made some Amish friendship bread and whole wheat honey sandwich bread.
  • make a quilt - Working on it!  See JanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMayJuneJuly, and August
  • grow something - Our popper tomato plant is bursting with tomatoes!  They are so sweet and delicious and I love eating them on my salads.
  • can pickles – It was quite possibly one of the stinkiest things I’ve ever experienced, but we now have 7 quarts of sweet lime pickles canned (plus 7 quarts of tomatoes, 11 pints of green beans, 13 pints of tomato sauce, 17 pints of salsa, and 9 pints of pizza sauce)
  • take some sort of vacation - Chicago!
  • get at least one scrapbook done for my in-law’s
  • ???start an Etsy shop???

Other notable things:

  • Our 30 day real food challenge and our 30 day no tv challenge (that has since been extended to 100 days) is going amazing.  We will complete this challenge sometime soon (maybe September 18 or around in there) and I can’t wait to update you!
  • School has been in session for a full month now and it is going quite well.  I love the kids at our school and I’m having so much fun.  I’ve also learned a ton in my short month as the school technology coordinator.
  • Speaking of learning, I decided to finally move my blog from chocolatemoments.wordpress.com to my chocolatemoments.com.  I did the move mostly by myself (the support people at HostGator and WordPress helped me some) and now I’m in the process of creating my own blog design.  This whole process has been a ton of work but I’m having fun and proud of what I’ve learned.
  • On a not-so-exciting note, we still have not found a house yet.  We’ve been looking forever it seems (only about 3 months I guess, but it still seems like a super long time).  I’m just trying to be patient, but boy is apartment living frustrating!

I’m hoping that September brings in some cooler temperatures (and maybe a new house!)

August block of the month

After a weekend full of canning tomatoes, tomato sauce, and green beans, I had a bit of a break yesterday and got to spend my Sunday afternoon working on my quilt.  I completed my August quilt blocks and, as with every month, I’m already wishing I knew what September’s would be so I could get to work on them!  This month we learned how to do two different star blocks.

Ohio Star

not my favorite – pretty plain jane, and I couldn’t get all my corners to match up nicely

Double Star

I was a little skeptical about this one at first, but I ended up really liking it and it wasn’t nearly as hard to do as I expected

I just can’t wait until December when I’ll have my very first quilt completely done!  I’m so excited to see how it turns out!

(in case you’re new around here, I’m taking a free online quilting class: Craftsy Block of the Month…feel free to join at any time if you want to make a quilt, too)

July block of the month

The July blocks were so fun and so easy to do!  I love how they turned out.  This month we learned how to do Dresden blocks and made a traditional block and a modern block (although I think the traditional one looked more modern and the modern one looked more traditional…)

This was pretty fun to make.  I liked using all the different fabrics, although I think if you wanted it to look more like a flower, you could just use one fabric or several prints that were all in the same color scheme.  Michael and I both thought this looked like a bunch of neckties.

I really liked this modern Dresden wheel.  It was very quick and easy to make.  I think if you used an orange/yellow color and made the middle circle a coordinating color (rather than the same as the background) it would look just like a sunshine.  I can totally picture a whole quilt done with bunches of sunshines!

The only thing that I didn’t like about this block was all the layers – there was the background fabric, then two layers for the big circle and two layers for the little circle, so when they were all seen together there were five layers of fabric in the middle of the circle!  My needle did not like trying to sew through all that.  But I love the final product so it was totally worth it.

As always, these blocks are part of Craftsy’s {free!} Block of the Month class that I’m taking this year.  I think we just have three more types of blocks left to learn (August, September, and October).  After that we learn how to put our whole quilt together.  I can’t wait!