Happy (belated) Halloween

I meant to post this on Halloween – but then life happened. So instead it’s a happy belated Halloween! I hope you had fun with your loved ones. This year was a record for me – all of the kids’ costumes done more than an entire day before Halloween. I tend to be a last minute deadline sewer – up til all hours of the night the night before. I was pretty excited to be done a whole day in advance. Who knows how early I’ll be done next year, an entire week? Just imagine the free time…

The kids are somehow obsessed with Star Wars even though they’ve never seen it. Paul really wanted to be Darth Vader, until he found out that he was a bad guy, at which point he said he only wanted to be someone nice. I had an idea of how to put together an easy Ewok costume and that was a pretty easy sell for both him and Edith. Cute and fuzzy? Check! Amelia of course wanted to be stubborn and choose something else, she was all about the Yoda costume and that was pretty easy to throw together as well. I’m not sure we’ll be able to talk everyone into coordinating costumes again next year but I figure making it to five years old is pretty good, right?

Homemade Star Wars costumes - Permanent Riot blog

Despite his face in the first shot, Paul was actually super excited to be an Ewok….

Homemade Star Wars halloween costumes - Permanent Riot blog

Happy Halloween!

Happy (belated) Halloween

A quilt for baby S.D.

One of my best friends from college is expecting her very first baby in just a few months. She also happens to be a quilter and made a quilt for Paul and Amelia when they were babies. She had a baby shower just last week and if that doesn’t scream “occasion to make a quilt” then I don’t know what does!

I wanted to make (yet another) scrap quilt because no matter how many of these I make I always seem to have enough left in my stash for at least one more. Is that a sign that I have a fabric problem? The mystifying thing is that I don’t just go out and buy fabric willy-nilly. Somehow over the years it’s just built up. I think I was in denial about just how much of it there was. In any case, I really like the process of sifting through the fabrics and finding ones that sort of work together as a color scheme – I sometimes drive myself crazy adjusting the final layout, attempting to make a random pattern that’s not actually random is strangely satisfying – like a giant game of Sudoku. I only bought one fabric for this quilt, which was the flannel on the backing. Every time I make a new quilt I promise myself that this will be the time I just use a whole cloth backing, but then I put it up against the quilt top and I start to feel sorry for the poor old plain back… so off I go to piece together yet another backing. I really need to just factor in the time it takes to do that step into every quilt making process. I just love the look too much to go without.

I haven’t been able to label this quilt yet because baby’s name is top secret (hence the initials) but that just gives me an excuse to go and see her once she makes her entrance. Baby girl I cannot wait to meet you! Enjoy your new quilt!

A quilt for baby S.D. - quilting projects on Permanent RiotA quilt for baby S.D. - quilting projects on Permanent Riot

A quilt for baby S.D.

A quilt for Cataleia

I am getting SO close to being caught up on all of the quilts on my “to sew” list! I made my very first quilt ever for my niece Charlotte, who is now almost 4. She was my first niece and I was SO excited for Paul and Amelia to have a cousin. And when you set that kind gift precedent I feel like you should really follow through. Charlotte’s quilt was done by her baby shower (how I was so on top of things back when Paul and Amelia were a year old is kind of a mystery to me) but subsequent quilts haven’t been quite as timely. Cataleia is almost 6 months old now, so let’s just call this her half birthday gift? I still owe Raylan a quilt too, but once I finish that (oh, well, and Edith’s baby clothes quilt as well) I will be caught up. At least until I have another new niece or nephew.

Cataleia’s quilt might be my favorite strip quilt to date. I decided to finally start using some of my infinite scrap pile instead of buying all new fabrics, and I’m excited about how well some of them went together, even though I might not have chosen them if I were standing in the store. Ben likes to make fun of me for going out to buy big long yards of fabric only to cut them up and reconfigure them again… so here you go. An honest to goodness QUILT in the spirit of original quiliting – using up all the scraps to make something larger and more beautiful. I also couldn’t bear to leave the back as a whole cloth so I decided to add a bit of scrap in the middle and a blank strip so I could test out my newest idea – a painted label. I am much more confident at painting than I am at embroidery, so I figured I might as well give it a shot. I’m happy with how it turned out! This is also my second attempt at a pillowcase finish. I love quilting but I do not love making bias binding. I also really, really don’t like store bought binding. Pillowcase finishing is letting me skip my least favorite step and as a bonus I think it’s actually an attractive and more modern finish (at least I tell myself it’s that and not just laziness, what do you think? Yay or nay on pillowcase finishing?)

So without further ado – a quilt for Cataleia! Fresh from the dryer and so cozy! You really can’t beat a brand new quilt…

A quilt for Cataleia - quilting projects on Permanent Riot

I realized as I was typing this up that I never shared Abe or Natalie’s quilts either… time to dig those up from the archive for more quilt sharing!

A quilt for Cataleia

Easter dresses and bowtie {sewing projects}

Easter was in April – which was about 6 months ago. Yikes. I meant to post these quite a while ago – sewing the kids matching outfits was #25 on my 30 by 30 list. I turned 30 in August and actually checked off quite a few more of the list items, I just haven’t gotten around to writing about them… I really want to do a recap also.

In any case I did manage to get this one done on time and I even had big dreams of making a post about how I sewed these dresses – I whipped them up in about a day without a pattern and (aside from the miscalculation on the length of Edith’s dress… it’s a bit short) was pretty pleased with myself about how well they came out. I want to make them more dresses like this (maybe with a few tweaks or alterations to the technique) and if I do I am hoping I’ll get it together enough to document the process for a tutorial.

Here are a few pictures of the outfits in action –


The dresses had a simple split back lined bodice – Amelia’s closes with little adorable yellow round buttons and Edith’s closes with pearl snaps (hard to get a baby to hold still long enough for buttons). The skirt is just a basic gathered skirt and the sash is sewed on the sides and ties with a bow in back. I actually used leftover fabric from their second birthday party – the same stuff that I made Amelia and Paul’s Easter outfits from the year before out of. The chick/egg design is a repeat as well – that’s what happens when you ask a 3 1/2 year old what they want on the dress – they say they want just what they had last time. Oh well. I still think it’s adorable. Paul’s bowtie was made using this tutorial from say yes to hoboken… super quick and easy!

One more item crossed off the list. Phew!

Easter dresses and bowtie {sewing projects}

paul’s baby clothes quilt {sewing projects}

I was digging through my folder of crafty project photos today and realized I never blogged the finished quilt I made for Paul from his old baby clothes. This has been finished for quite a while (almost a year now) but I just never got around to posting it. It’s essentially exactly the same as Amelia’s baby clothes quilt but made of Paul’s clothes (duh).

Paul's baby clothes quilt - quilting projects on Permanent Riot

Paul's baby clothes quilt - quilting projects on Permanent Riot

When I finished it he climbed all over it, inspecting it and pointing out all the squares he liked best. He also told me which of the clothes he remembers
Paul's baby clothes quilt - quilting projects on Permanent Riot

He seems to love his just as much as his sister loves hers

Paul's baby clothes quilt - quilting projects on Permanent Riot

Paul's baby clothes quilt - quilting projects on Permanent Riot

Both of their quilts are made from the clothes they wore during their first year… I can’t believe it’s already almost time to make Edie a quilt (yikes!) time is certainly flying! If you happened to miss Amelia’s quilt post and are wondering how to make one of your very own go and check it out – there are tons of links/explanations on how I made it and all of the tutorials I used. Hooray for baby clothes quilts!

paul’s baby clothes quilt {sewing projects}

Stuffed fabric turtles {sewing projects}

I was reading through my google reader the other afternoon and the kids were playing near my computer. When they looked up and saw these stuffed turtles from make it and love it they went totally nutso for them. They especially loved the photos of the turtles out in the grass and they REALLY wanted to have a turtle of their own to take out to the grass. Lucky for them I had lots of fabric scraps sitting around and even some spare stuffing (from all this winter’s amigurumi animals) so I was able to whip these up quickly in one afternoon.


Amelia actually sat around and watched a lot of the sewing process but Paul quickly lost interest when he realized it was going to take more than 5 minutes for his turtle to appear.


After the first turtle was finished the kids took him outside to test him out in the grass while I sewed the second one. They approved of the turtle 🙂 A very quick and easy project for a lazy afternoon… and pretty cute too!

Stuffed fabric turtles {sewing projects}

Easter dress and overalls {sewing projects}

Sewing… wow… it’s been a while!

I’m pretty sure the last big project that I sewed was the kids’ Halloween costumes (did I never blog those either? Oops! They were adorable, I should really post those.) Then my machines got set to the side for a while while I went on a crochet and knit spree for the holidays. After that I took a break from all crafting in general while I was horrifically ill (thanks a lot morning sickness) Now that I’m in the glorious second trimester and feeling great I’m back to crafting again and sewing has been my medium of choice.

I decided to make Paul and Amelia outfits for Easter this year, although I kind of waited to the last minute to put them together. I decided that since we were going to be moving soon (actually the move has now already happened, I’m that behind on blogging) that I didn’t want to buy any new fabric that would just end up as scraps in my stash needing to be moved. Instead I used some of the leftover fabric from Paul and Amelia’s birthday party in September – it was originally going to be a pair of overalls for each of them to go with the train theme (and it was also used to make their hats) but I never got around to it and I’ve had a few extra yards lying around for ages now.

For Amelia’s outfit I decided to make a snappy toddler dress from prudent baby. I loved how simple and yet adorable the dress is. I just used the striped fabric for the main body of the dress, a solid blue I also had in my stash as the collar and some scraps of yellow for the little chick applique. That was Amelia’s addition – I asked her which springtime animal she wanted on her dress and she picked a chick!


It was pretty straightforward with the only tricky spot being the attachment of the collar. It was sewed with right sides together and flipped to be pressed, but part of the collar that stays open (to insert the body of the dress) is curved and I found it a bit challenging to press it on a curve when there wasn’t anything holding it in that shape. In the end I think it turned out fine… as with most of my projects the imperfections were jumping out at me when I first sewed it but it is harder and harder to see them as time goes by.

Paul finally got that pair of engineer overalls that I had been hoping to make him. One of the reasons I never made them back in September was that I couldn’t find a good pattern. I scoured the internet as well as my local fabric shop (I was willing to pay for a pattern but never found one!) but couldn’t find a good pattern for simple toddler overalls. Lucky for me a pattern had been posted between September and the time that I set out to sew the Easter outfits. This shortall pattern from ikatbag was perfect – I just lengthened the legs to make it into pants and voila!


I have to say that of all the patterns I have tried from the internet this one is in the running for most thorough and clearly explained! It was so easy to follow each of her directions and all of the detailed info on finishing and pockets really made this a durable (and adorable!) project.

The kids LOVED their Easter outfits and I had fun taking a few photos of them in the yard both the day before Easter and the day of when they went on their egg hunts. Is there anything cuter than matching toddlers who are super excited?! I think not!





So there you have it – proof that I have indeed been sewing (and that I’m alive for that matter!)

Even more exciting I have another post coming in just a day or two… you’ll never believe it… Paul’s quilt is almost done!! Remember when I posted Amelia’s quilt (yes, that was almost an entire year ago!) and said Paul’s was coming soon? Well the finished top traveled with us to Boston last summer and almost came back in exactly the same state that it left in. I had a surge of inspiration (or maybe it was shame at letting a project go so long untouched?) right as we were moving out and got the whole thing basted and quilted and all of the binding attached by machine to the front of the quilt. The only part that isn’t yet completed is the hand tacking of binding onto the back. Hopefully that will be done in the next day or two. Stay tuned!

Easter dress and overalls {sewing projects}