Back at it

Thank you guys so much for your kind words of encouragement the other day. I guess we probably all have days of self doubt. The important thing is to just keep going. I started sewing because I thought it would be fun and rewarding to make something with my own hands. I kept sewing because I fell in love with this beautiful skill set, and it quickly became my passion. One day of self doubt, one little pity party, isn’t going to put out that flame.

I worked all weekend on three different garments which I’m excited to show you starting tomorrow, but I thought today I would give you a little peak at what I’m working on this very moment.

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A client of mine requested a custom quilt for her daughter using Liberty’s Queue for the Zoo as the main fabric. Again with this quilt, I got control of the design, and I’ve already gotten started. We worked together on the fabric choices, and I’m so thrilled with what we were able to come up with!

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Tracking down a cut of this fabric was no small feat given its insane popularity, but praise the Lord, I was able to find enough to make this quilt! Queue for the Zoo is one of my all time favorite Liberty prints, and I’m just tickled to be able to work with it again!

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I can’t wait to show you the finished quilt! Pop back in tomorrow to see one of the dresses I made this weekend.

-Meredith

Portrait of my day

I’m so happy to be able to have a day to fit in a little bit of selfish sewing. I thought I was going to lose my sewing mojo after yesterdays Crafters for Courage auction. My quilt went for $250 which after the cost of materials put my hourly rate at a whopping $2. That hurt. Like a lot. I didn’t care that I wasn’t actually making anything. After all, I donated for a reason. But I went big thinking the girls would get a big return from it.

Determined to do something to get my mind off of my feeling of worthlessness, I woke up this morning ready to accomplish something. Because the truth is, most of the world has zero clue what goes into anything that’s handmade. Most of the time when I sell something I don’t make what I could doing a minimum wage job. That’s why I don’t sell many ready made things. I much prefer to do custom work where I get sought out because, presumably, that means whoever it is that wants a handmade item already knows that they like my style and the quality of the work I do.

Anyway, that was a giant rabbit trail, but I’m getting back into what I love today for the purest of reasons: because I love sewing, and I love the result, and I appreciate my own work. That sounds incredibly selfish, but who better to understand the work than the person doing it? I’m finishing up the tunic for Layla that I cut yesterday, and I’m starting on new dresses for me and Emilee.

Emilee’s is a brand new dress style I’m trying out in this gloriously soft Cotton + Steel lawn from Jones and Vandermeer.

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Mine will be made with these favorite prints from Juliana Horner. Mine will be similar to this Liberty dress I made a few weeks back.

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What are your thoughts on buying and selling handmade? Do you sell? Do you actually charge for the amount of work you’re doing, or do you tend to sell yourself short? I’d really love to know. I’m struggling to understand how anyone that is willing to undercut themselves can feel good about the work they’re doing. No judgment here. Just want to understand your perspective!

Have an amazing and fulfilling weekend!

-Meredith

Catching up and a great cause

I haven’t been able to get good pictures all week because we’ve had nothing but heavy grey skies. I’ve still been hard at work however. I received a custom order from a good customer for a blanket. She chose the main fabric, and I had total freedom on what to do from there. The quilt front is flannel, the back in Shannon cuddle, and the binding is a Free Spirit solid voile – so basically its the softest thing I’ve ever made. Its been such a fun project, and I’m thrilled to be sending it off all the way to Bahrain today!

This morning I cut into some Liberty + Alison Glass Handcrafted to make a little something for Market. I cannot wait to show it off!

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I also wanted to give you a heads up about a really great auction going on right now. It was a short one, and it will be ending soon, so there’s not much time. Crafters for Courage on Instagram (@craftersforcourage) is putting on an auction to raise funds for Courage House, a safe haven for young girls who have been rescued out of the slavery of sex trafficking. I’ll be the first to tell you I cringe even thinking about it, and my first reaction is to just want to pretend it doesn’t exist. But sadly it does, and there is this wonderful organization who is looking to raise money so they don’t have to keep turning away girls for lack of room.

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There are over 170 items up for grabs including pouches signed by Anna Maria and Heather Ross, Cotton + Steel key fobs and pincushions, an Opposites Attract Quilt, a geranium dress, lots of jewelry, Heather Ross and Liberty jelly rolls, hoop art, and tons of other great items.

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I’ve donated this hand quilted Soul Blossoms quilt which has over 50 hours of labor into it.

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I’d love to see some of these higher value items bring in good money for this organization which has done and will continue to do so much for women in need of real help. Won’t you head over to their Instagram feed and bid? Bidding ends at 2pm EST/11am PST. @craftersforcourage

-Meredith

Lady Killer

Wallace shall hereafter be referred to as the Lady Killer.

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I’m just going to go ahead and warn you: this is a picture filled post. I hope you don’t mind too much.

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I have no clue what’s on Layla’s teeth, but I think Papa gave her candy.

He is a drooly little man, but now that he’s teething, its only gotten significantly worse. I’m swapping out bibs three times a day because he’s soaking through them so quickly. I knew I didn’t have enough here to last the few days we were out of town, so before we left, I whipped up several of these bandana bibs which do an amazing job of soaking up drool and spit up.

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This black and white bib is made with Alison Glass’s Sunprint Feathers in black and Chambray Union Slubby Dot20140913-DSC_0067

This one is made with Chambray Union Slubby Dot and Muddy Works Stars double gauze. 20140913-DSC_0092 20140913-DSC_0080

How dapper does he look?

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om nom nom. Look at those legs! 

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I’m partial to this Liberty print and Chambray Dot bib. Its definitely my favorite of the bunch! Next in line has the be the one in the picture below. I can’t resist those Bostons on lawn!

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These are absolutely perfect for my little man. They do the job, and they’re so darn cute! I can’t wait to make more for him. I love the Liberty one so much, I’m not going to hold back this time. He’s getting a whole bunch in Liberty!

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A giant thank-you to Emilee for the pictures! You did an amazing job with this squirmy little four month old!

See you back here next week!

-Meredith

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I really enjoyed reading your comments about spending time with your children. They’re the most important parts of our lives, and taking that purposeful time to just do something with them is so crucial- and rewarding.

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This week we’ve taken a little time off from the normal schedule to go away for a few days with family. Its not been the most relaxing trip by a long shot, but its been as relaxing as taking a vacation with a four month old who won’t go to anyone but me can be.

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We’ve spent the last couple of days floating in the lazy river, and Layla has stolen her papa away to swing her until he feels like his arm is going to fall off. The rest of the time I’ve spent trying to coax Wallace to go down for a nap. Poor little man is frustrated that he can’t just get up and run around with Layla, and he gets so overstimulated that we need to get those naps in to refresh him. I keep telling him that’s its alright for him to be a baby, but I don’t think he’s buying it.

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Its been nice to get away from our normal scenery, but I am eager to get home to the husband and be in my own bed. And by the way, Layla would be in more pictures with me if she loved me as much as her grandpa. :) She loves me a smidge more, I think, but no one else exists when Papa is around.

Stop back by tomorrow to see the studliest little fellow modeling his new bandana bibs.

-Meredith

Opposites Attract : Handcrafted and Chambray

Drum roll, everybody! Today’s the day you get to get your hands on Opposites Attract! I thought we’d celebrate its debut with a brand new version of the quilt.

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What do you think of it in Alison Glass‘s upcoming line, Handcrafted? I’m kind of obsessed with it. This fabric is utterly delicious, and you must have it when it comes out!

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I wanted to make a version to show you the color versatility of Opposites Atttact, and how beautifully the pattern looks with an in-color-order color scheme.

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I’ve included lots of color inspiration in the pattern so you have lots of color arrangement possibilities. But in case you like to dream up combinations of your own, I’ve included a blank pattern coloring page that I hope you go absolutely crazy with. Its a great tool for planning the perfect quilt in any of the five sizes (or mix it up and make whatever size you want!).

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Currently, Opposites Attract is available in my Etsy shop. After checkout you will be automatically sent a PDF file which includes 18 pages of step by step instructions with photos, quilts, and color inspiration. If you’d like to read more about my inspiration behind this pattern and see my original version, click here.

What are you waiting for? Go get a copy and start making your very own Opposites Attract Quilt! Be sure to add it to the Olivia Jane Handcrafted Flickr group and use #OppositesAttractQuilt on Instagram!

Happy crafting!

-Meredith

Winner!

And the winner of a brand new Liberty iPhone case is, docksjo!

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Congratulations! I will be emailing you shortly with details.

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Be sure to check out Flowery in Hand on Etsy if you haven’t already. She offers a wide array of gorgeous Liberty print iPhone cases. I bet you’ll have trouble narrowing down your selection once you start looking!

See you back here Monday with the release of Opposites Attract!

-Meredith

Planning, Planning

I have a whirlwind of a week happening here. Between trying to finish up two quilts (hand quilting one, machine quilting another), and preparing to head out of town for a few days, I’m feeling a little swamped. Excited, though, not overwhelmed.

Today I’m thinking about a twin size Opposite Attract quilt. I wanted it to be done by now, but other things keep jumping to the top of my To Do list. I’m sure you know how that is.

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I’m trying to be realistic about completing things so I’m not let down when they aren’t finished right away. I have this quilt drawn up, and I think its going to be a stunner with all this Cotton + Steel goodness, so its worth waiting a little longer. Also, I want to enjoy the process, and if I have too many things going at a single time, it tends to spiral toward chaos and seem much less like a thing I enjoy. And I love my sewing time. I don’t want to compromise it!

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Speaking of Opposites Attract, the planned release date is MONDAY!!! Are you ready for it? I have one more version to show you before then, and if you love it half as much as I do, it will leave you gushing!

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Back to the topic of planning… this book came out like a year ago in the UK. Turns out you can’t just hop onto Amazon and order a book that’s released in another country. They changed up the cover, and finally made it available on this continent. Its called The Liberty Book of Simple Sewing, and its just that. Its filled with easy sewing projects for around the house such as a lampshade, a doll, placemats, and quilts. Of course all the projects are done in Liberty, so if nothing else, its a book full of fabric eye candy. :) I’m planning on making the Libby doll with Layla as a special just-the-two-of-us project. We don’t do enough of that these days.

I’d love to know, from those of you who have children, what do you do for “special time” with your little ones? How do you purposefully set aside time for that? I find that I do have to be very intentional about that time with Layla or it just doesn’t happen. Because there’s always sewing to do. I always have dishes and laundry piling up. Things just come up, so I have to just ignore all those things (and let’s admit it, the housework is easy to ignore), and spend time with my girl. What are your thoughts?

-Meredith

Full disclosure: Links to Amazon are affiliate links. If you purchase, I will get a few cents toward the purchase of a book. 

Oliver + S Baby Carrier

Remember that embroidery I showed you last week? Well this is what we’re turning those bits of stitching into.

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Layla and I haven’t quite finished our project, but I wanted to show you her baby carrier. This was intended to hold Pup, her beloved stuffed dog, but she bought a little horse that she wanted to show off instead. The horse is cleaner than Pup, so that’s just fine with me. :) Pup fits better, however. I’ll have to get him to model the next batch of carriers so you get a better sense of the shape.

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This pattern is from Little Things to Sew, a very favorite children’s sewing book. Its full of very practical and cute projects for kids. And its written by Liesl Gibson who I think is the bees knees.

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We used some Chambray Union and Anna Maria Horner velveteen to make this fancy little carrier.

Layla loves her carrier, and I think its adorable. I carry Wallace around in the Moby wrap sometimes, and she told me she wanted one too. And while this isn’t a Moby, it is certainly functional and far more practical for a child than a mile long piece of knit fabric wrapped and tied all around. I can’t wait to show you the rest of them!

-Meredith

Liberty iPhone Case Giveaway

I love Instagram. I love being able to communicate with crafty friends instantly and see updates on sewing projects throughout the day. Its like Facebook, only I’m interested in looking! I stumbled across Flowery in Hand (@yyifl) a few months ago, and had to follow because her profile was filled with these amazing Liberty print iPhone cases. I wanted all of them one, but I knew we’d be getting new phones in a few months, so I held off. Christmas came a little early (actually Verizon was just giving away free 5Cs), so I got the chance to order one! It took an entire week to narrow my selection, but after consulting with multiple people, I finally decided on this one in Edenham.

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Before I even got the case, I was impressed with Flowery in Hand. Her prices are fantastic (as are her shipping rates), and her turnaround is very fast. I had my case in a week all the way from England!

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The case is just what I expected- its ridiculously cute! It is textured, which I initially thought was weird because I had gotten used to the smoothness of the phone. But seeing how I had already dropped the phone a few times because it slipped right out of my hand, I quickly learned how beneficial it is to have a little texture (it helps with grip). I really do appreciate that!

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Flowery in Hand is a new Etsy shop and I think she does a fantastic job. I know I’ll be ordering again (I really need this one in pink and this one in blue). I let her know how much I loved my case, and Mrs. Lynch was kind enough to offer up a case for me to give away to one of you lucky ducks! So here’s what you need to do to enter to win the case of your choice:

1. Go like Flowery in Hand on Facebook or follow on Instagram (@yyifl)

2. Go take a look at her shop, and tell me which case you like best!

You may leave a comment for each of those giving you two chances to win one of these awesome cases! And do consider supporting her new and awesome shop anyway- you’ll have the cutest phone around. I’ll choose a winner on Friday.

Good luck!

-Meredith