week6a week6bweek6c

Bedtime snuggles…and I suspect hoping to pass on a love of sci-fi.
My indecision, a strait up rare portrait…or the one that is so her today, surrounded by her stuffed animals. Ah well, and so I post both.

“our family, once a week, every week, in 2013.”



Race Track Play Mat

I have some pretty great neighbors. Sadly they are moving away this week, and by away I mean far far away, out of state away, away all the way to California away…sniff, sniff! You may remember the dad’s appearance on my blog from some time ago here, and the mama recently abducted a finished project I was planning to blog. At any rate, their  youngest just turned 2, and I wanted to do a little something to celebrate his birthday and came up with this simple race track play mat – a rectangle mat with a race track on the inside, and a set of handles along with a pocket on the outside to hold a few cars.

Race Track Mat Tutorial


  • Fabric – main and contrast (I purchased 1/2 yd of each)
  • Scrap of fusible interface for snap backing
  • Metal snap (or other closure system)
  • Felt (I used two pieces of the pre-cut rectangles)
  • Coordinating thread
  • Supplies for the handles (I used webbing, or you could sew one with the remaining fabric)


Cut pieces for the bag:

  • Body: 2 rectangles, one from the main and one from the contrast fabric (mine were 18 x 13 1/2).
  • Pocket: 2 smaller rectangles for the pocket body – needs to fit onto one side of the main body when folded in the carrying mode (mine was 9 1/2 x 6 1/2).
  • Pocket flap – 2 small pieces for the flap. (mine was 9 1/2 x 3 1/2)

Cut felt to make race track. I folded the felt in half length wise, cut one the top half of the figure 8, and then traced it to make the bottom half on the second piece of felt.

Once cut, I pinned the pieces to the contrast fabric for the inside of the play mat and stitched it in place. I stitched around both the outside and inside of the track, and also ran a zigzag down the center where the two pieces meet to secure those edges. With the track firmly in place, I moved to the outside of the bag, creating a car pocket.

Both the pocket body and flap were sewn with the right sides together, leaving a small opening to turn the fabric. Once turned, I pressed the fabric and top-stitched around the top edge on the main body to close the opening. For the pocket flap, top-stitch three of the sides (one long and both short ends).  Determine the placement for the pocket and flap, and then sew each piece to the front of the main fabric of the play mat, stitching down and around the packet body, and across the single long edge of the pocket flap.

In preparation for the final assembly, I attached the fusible interfacing to the backside of the contrast fabric, and ran a little basting stitch to hold webbing handles to the main body of the mat – remember to have all the raw edges lined up.

With the right sides facing together, I sewed around the edges of the bag leaving a small opening for turning. Clip the corners and turn right side out.

Instal the closure per manufacturer’s instructions, leaving enough space for top stitching. Run a top stitch around the edge of the mat to close the opening and create a nice finished look…

…and then, go make a little person happy.

April Sew Along Project: Hot Pad Apron and Placemats

The project for this month’s sew along was a 2 part effort: the hot pad apron from the Fabric-by-Fabric One Yard Wonders book and placemats. I decided to get back on track, having missed last month’s pillows and purchased the supplies for the apron. This was a fun project to sew, and doing the pleats was a new thing for me.  I made one small modification to the pattern, making a skinnier, longer, double sided waist tie for the apron. I like to wrap things around and tie them upfront – makes me feel fancy. The pattern called for quilting weight cotton or home decor fabric. I went with the latter as I liked this print. Its a bit stiff, especially once you factor in the hot pads on the underside. I’m guessing with wear and washing it will soften up. When taking pictures of the apron, my daughter and I decided to try our hand at making raisin bread.

I was going to leave it at that, and just do part of the challenge for this month. However, I got a second wind at the last minute yesterday evening and decided to get the placemats done as well. I searched through the remnants and items in the closet, and pieced together a placemat for each of the kids. The left over fabric from our barnaby bear (February’s sew along project) became a placemat for my daughter, while my son’s is pieced together from the remnants of his messenger bag Christmas gift.

And speaking of my girl, here she is straight out of bed asking for pancakes to go with her new placemat.

Baby Cardigan

Many many years ago we met a wonderful couple and became great friends. They moved, did the school thing, we had a kid, they moved again, we had another kid, they settled down in NC and started a family too…and now its been years since we’ve seen them and our emails and chats have become sporadic at best. Well, they just had another baby and I jumped at the chance to do a little something. I’ve wanted a baby to make stuff for, and I just don’t know anyone around these parts having babies! This cardigan is great in so many ways. The single piece pattern means limited sewing when finished, the lovely seed stitch trim is to die for, its a quick knit with simple, easy to follow directions and lastly its just plain cute. However, this should not come as a surprise as this is a Joelle Hoverson design from her book More Last-Minute Knitted Gifts.

I went with a neutral superwash merino and then added some green buttons for a little pop of fun. The hand knit tag is something I downloaded this winter during the handmade holiday extravaganza from Elisa McLaughlin Designs and think it is a fun touch and a good place to put a spare button.

Even though its on a very small scale, this is my first garment…woot woot! It’s supposed to be a 9 month size, so we shall see if it fits the little guy this fall/winter. Need a gift for a little new person, or someone expecting – this should certainly be a contender!

Holiday Photo Outtakes

With time running out (I’ve been furiously knitting, wrestling with yards upon yards of fabric for the bedroom curtains and stressing about the long list of to dos and want to dos) I knew I needed to get something going on the holiday card front. I grabbed the kids – messy hair, missing teeth, dirty faces and all, and tried to grab some photos. We were inside and I was shooting with a low aperture. I was trying to get the kids in the same plane to get both of them in focus and made the mistake of telling the kids to get eye to eye. Needless to say, silly business ensued…

…i’m glad it did.