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Little Quilt for Lucky Lola

My dear friend, Trish, from Lucky Lola Studios asked me to make her a little quilt she could use for newborn portraits.  Something pastel and gender neutral.  My local thrift store is the perfect place to pick up bags of scrap fabric for $0.50-$2.  It’s often vintage or good quality quilting remnants from Fabric Depot.  If you’ve got a use for little bits of this and that all the way up to fat-quarter sized pieces, their grab-bags can be a good deal. A while back, I found a bag that was all 5×5 or smaller pieces or strips of Depression-Era reproduction fabric.

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Quick Project – First Aid Kit

A little sewing from the weekend:   There tends to be a seasonality to my craft habits, and summer time is sewing time.  When life gets a little stressful (and I can’t go skate), I can retreat to the sewing machine upstairs, rummage through the scrap pile, and crank out a few quick projects.  And feel a little better. I found this tutorial on Pinterest, and whipped up some little First Aid Kits for gifts.  Bea asked if I’d make her one from scraps of strawberry fabric, so this one is for her. These kits were a great use of scrap

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Yarn Along – Just Barely

Life is so frantic lately, I almost didn’t make Nicole’s KCCO or  Ginny’s Yarn Along this week.  I am having trouble keeping my head above water some days.  It seems to be a constant problem – four kids, busy schedules, deadlines, nowhere to cut back and simplify.  When life gets like this, I’m going to drop a ball somewhere, I just don’t know where yet… This week, I’m re-reading some of of my favorite permaculture books.  I am working on a research project, and while I thought most of my reading would take place late at night (thanks to chronic

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Play Kits to go

Joining Nicole’s KCCO this week with a project I finished before the holidays, but am just now getting around to photographing. The toy baskets were getting out of control.  One of the children would be rummaging through, looking for all the pieces of a playset, and end up dumping over the whole basket in frustration just to find a missing piece. Christmas was coming, and I knew something had to change before the chaos in the living room got worse. My solution:  just before Thanksgiving, I retrieved a  little coat rack from basement storage.  A dear family friend had made

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Christmas Preparations

We’re finally getting the sewing cleared away and readying the dining nook for Christmas dinner. (That big bag of oats will shortly become granola for Christmas gifts. ) And putting out some last-minute decorations… and making our traditional holiday persimmon bundt cake while the boys play with dinosaurs at my feet… and putting out the last few pieces of the children’s new Nativity on my grandma’s marble-top washstand. (As much as I’d love to have a Nativity set like this one or this one, I am really enjoying this budget-friendly set – the children can play with it as much

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KCCO – Christmas skirts

After what seemed like endless gathering and pinning, the Christmas skirts are finished.  Bea and Ruth are happy with how they came out, thank goodness! The girls chose whatever fabric they wanted from a stack of thrifted Christmas prints my sister and I had accumulated over the past few years.  Ruth asked for them to be double layered for warmth and to feel old fashioned (like a petticoat). And she wanted it long – nearly to the floor – with ruffles.  I tacked on some vintage woven ribbon along the hem for good measure. Bea wanted a drop waist and

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Ruffles

Almost done with Christmas skirts… Joining with Amanda today, but will be back for a full post this weekend.

Holiday Sewing

Today is dedicated to finishing up Christmas sewing projects.  A three year accumulation of thrifted holiday fabric was sitting in a box upstairs, and the time had finally come to do something with it all, or donate it back.  So, sewing marathon it is! Some of the fabric is fairly ugly 1980s through mid-90s prints of teddy bears and snowmen, but works just fine for gift bags and such.  More than half the fabric is quite old – 1950s and 1960s cotton prints of holly, ribbons, candles, and I’m pretty excited about sewing with those. We’ve already completed many, many

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Christmas Posey

Our first frost date is October 15, but we have yet to have a hard freeze this year.  Tender plants that are normally wrapped in burlap or provided with wind screens are thriving free in the mild weather. While George was napping, and the big kids were playing quietly inside, I spent a little time working in the yard.  I am grateful for the mild weather, because I hadn’t finished planting garlic (usually completed in October), and the un-frozen ground allowed me to get several rows in and mulched right next to the driveway. Afterward, while picking some Lacinato Kale

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Wool Along

Joining with Nicole for KCCO and Ginny for the Yarn Along.  We’re finishing up some Thanksgiving and autumn-themed books this week before diving in to Advent books next week.  I think we’ve read and re-read Wild Child at least a dozen times in the past few days.  It’s always been a favorite in our home. The children really enjoyed The Life and Times of the Apple. Harold is intensely interested in gardening (go figure) and he was fascinated with the section on fruit grafting. Today there is no knitting or spinning to share, but I have been working on some

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Fabric grab bag

It has been a hard week around here, as we battled two upper respiratory bugs back to back.  Finally, we’re on the mend!   So,  to cheer everyone up after all that time cooped-up indoors,  following homeschool co-op yesterday, we had lunch at our favorite Asian market (where else can you get a fresh, delicious hot lunch for $1.25/kid?  Steamed buns stuffed with Asian pork sausage, hard-boiled egg, shiitakes and onions?  Yum!!). After lunch, we walked across the street to the best thrift store in Portland.  We’re not big on shopping, but a trip to the thrift store tends to

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Forest Quilts

A friend from the coast and my next-door neighbor are both expecting, and we wanted to make them both something special.  The girls and I shopped the remnant section at Fabric Depot, as well as the fabric shelves at our local thrift store, and put together two forest-themed baby quilts. This one is a Rain Forest theme for the next-door neighbor.  We used thrifted flannel sheets (triple layered) for the batting and a thrifted cotton sheet for the backing fabric (thrifted sheets = my favorite frugal quilt backing). This was the first time in years I’ve made a separate bias

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“It’s a Girl Thing” Kits

The kits are finished!! Many, many thanks to the nine ladies and three girls who helped sew, and the ladies who purchased fabric and undies for this project! Together, we have blessed and changed the lives of eleven young ladies in Ethiopia in a simple, but substantial way.  Thank you!

Sewing Service – “It’s a Girl Thing”

I’ve been given permission to put up a section of a recent post from Andrea’s blog, Babe of My Heart: Every month, I have to deal with what most girls deal with…a monthly cycle. Sorry if that’s too personal to say–but it should come as no surprise to you. I take for granted that every month I stock up on the things I need…and I can get them in any size, weight and style I would like. And not only that–I complain about my cramps. I complain that I am a bit inconvenienced and I remind my husband that he

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Party Frock

Look what a $1 thrifted double bed sheet, $0.35 worth of thrifted ribbon and eyelet lace, 2 buttons, and 3 hours of time can produce: A PARTY FROCK! The project is based on Made by Heidi’s Tutorial, although I made a few small changes (fully lined the dress, widened the bodice, used eyelet trim for the shoulders instead of making a ruffle…).  Heidi’s method of making this dress was GREAT – easy for a novice seamstress like me to follow and reproduce – I could just wing-it and still have the dress turn out nicely, which is exactly how I

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Twirly Skirts, revisited

A few more twirly skirts for the girls (yes, I’m addicted to sewing these!) This one, which is a bit shorter (hits just below the knee on Little Hen) is a mix of thrift store fabric and 1/2 yd of clearance fabric, and thrifted ribbon (at the bottom).  Total cost = $2.10! This is my favorite – so bright and cheerful – it’s 1 yd of Kaffe Fassat‘s red cabbage print (on clearance for $3/yd!), some thrifted pink cotton and remnants of orange and yellow batik-print fabric from another project.  Total cost, estimated at $4. This one will be a

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Twirly Skirts

The girls have finally gotten their long-asked-for twirly skirts!  I used 7 Layer Studio’s tutorial and Going Sew Crazy’s as well, and sort of mushed them together, used whatever measurements of scrap fabric I had on hand.  Thankfully, twirly skirts are pretty forgivable and they turned out great! Little Hen’s skirt used some thrift store fabric, including the blue-bird ruffle on the bottom,  an old pale blue polka-dotted crib sheet for the waist panel and strip above the ruffle.   The elastic was also from the thrift store, but the butterfly print fabric was on clearance at the fabric store, so

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Under the Sea

The children went to a Storybook Costume Ball with their cousins last night.   We had a two-day scramble to throw together some costumes, but we pulled it off just in time!    Here’s a little bit on what we made: Little Hen wanted to be Amphitrite, the Queen of the Ocean, wife of Poseiden, in Greek Mythology. Her costume: $0.50 -A blue velvet skirt from the thrift store (with about 12 holes in it that we had to mend) $0.00 – a tank top from her closet with a seahorse on it and a “seaweed” looking scarf from my closet

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Toddler Pants

Tum Tum is a big boy – off the chart for height and weight, and finding pants to fit him is tough (doubly tough to find pants that fit him with a bulky cloth diaper on.) The girls and I have spent the last two days frantically sewing costumes for the kids for a costume party we’re going to tonight (pictures of the outfits tomorrow!!), and since I had the sewing machine out, and the living room was already covered in thread and fabric snippets, I figured I would attempt some toddler pants, using this tutorial for inspiration. I made

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Summer Sewing

The past week, we’ve been tackling some simple sewing projects (and I mean simple, and even then my seams are wonky). Most other times of the year, sewing feels more like an obligation, but it’s really relaxing after dinner in the summer – especially after grubbing around in the dirt in the garden much of the day, it’s nice to sit down with pretty, clean stacks of cotton prints and play, you know? Last week, on the way to the library, we made an impulsive stop at The Fabric Depot (my first visit, ever), where I happened to find bolts

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Princess and the Pea

We’re back in our old stomping ground – on the Central Oregon Coast – this weekend.  Some dear friends are having a cider pressing party, and we wouldn’t miss it for the world.  The weekend trip is also a gift to my dear husband, who celebrates his birthday today!  So, we’re staying in a yurt on Beverly Beach and I have promised the girls roasted marshmallows over the campfire.  (I hope to write a bit about our trip when we return home.) We wanted to bring a little something for our friends who are hosting the party – she was

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Retro Fall Doll Quilt

Little Hen and I finished the  first scrap doll quilt in a while with more of a fall color scheme.  We made it for a friend who’s daughter has a birthday coming up. Actually, there wasn’t much to it -the four main blocks were in the middle of a big bag of  fabric scraps I had been given.  Little Hen picked out the orange fabric “because orange is a good fall color” (from the same bag of scraps). In the scrap bag was also some neutral-yellow cotton fabric in a large enough piece to fold triple thick to serve as

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Totes

Now, my sewing skills are pretty basic, (nothing like the beautiful sewing at Pleasantview Schoolhouse), but this week I tried my hand at making some farmer’s market totes. (A few more tote tutorials can also be found here, but I like how the pattern I used has the lining fabric peeking up above the edge of the bag). The first tote is made out of some vintage (1950’s?) fabric from the thrift store, with plain muslin lining and blue contrast stitching.  For the pocket on the front, I used a little heart I had been holding on to since I

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Pink and Blue Quilt

The other night I stayed up ridiculously late finishing a little scrap quilt, and I really paid for it the next day! Of course, the children decided to wake up almost two hours earlier than normal the next morning!  I needed two cups of coffee just to be able to make toast and eggs for breakfast! The quilt is based around a little stack of 15 pink, blue and raspberry colored blocks that came to us in a large bag of fabric scraps.  At first, I put the blocks in the bottom of my fabric drawer, because my initial reaction

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First Giveaway

Welcome to the first giveaway at An Exaltation of Larks! The girls and I are giving away a handmade scrap doll quilt, some soft, dove-gray Rowan-spun 4-ply 100% new wool yarn (enough to make two pixie hats), some vintage linen napkins, and assorted other goodies, yet to be revealed! This is a comment giveaway – please leave a comment telling me 1) which Category (in my sidebar on the right) is you like best, and 2) what crafty/domestic/culinary/mama activity you enjoy doing the most (feel free to include a link to a related post on your blog so I can

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