Little Shoes for Little Feet

Whew, its been a busy month!  I suppose it always will be with the 1,2,3,4…now 5 (!) family birthdays to celebrate in March!  Yes, we have a new baby for ya!  I am the proud Auntie of a baby girl, Corinne Marie Maupin, born March 28th, to proud mama Erin.

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Ain’t she a beauty?  While Erin and her family take some time to snuggle up to Corinne and nibble on her baby feet, I will try to hold it down over here at “The Gunge”.  Let’s stay on the topic of baby feet, shall we?

While I have knitted several styles of baby booties in the past, I have only ever sewn one style of baby shoe.  And I will never sew another.  Because this is the best baby shoe pattern-tutorial EVER!  Oh, and because sewing teeny tiny shoes (inside, outside, and inside out) can make you insane, a la Miss Hannigan when she sings, “Little Girls“.  More likely to occur if you drink while you sew.  Oh c’mon, you do it too.

Image‘…someday I’ll step on their freckles…

Image…someday I’ll straighten their curls.”

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Just kiddin.  What makes it all worth it is that these baby shoes STAY ON!  Probably because the pattern seems to be based on Robeeze style of baby shoe.  They are a great way to use up that very last scrap of favorite fabric that you just can’t part with.

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The heavyweight cotton I used for both of these is from Japan, and I purchased it years ago.  Sorry I don’t have a link for you.  I whipped up a quick onesie-applique to go with the shoes, a sweet gift for my friend Alissa’s baby, Jax.

ImageI highly reccommend using leather for the sole.  It just gives them duriblity and the look of a real shoe.  This leather is upcycled of course, from an old, but never worn leather jacket I was given.  A purse from Goodwill would do it, right?

Here is baby Jax, kickin it (literally) in his new kicks.

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“Little, LITTLE, little, little…  LITTLE, little, little, little…”

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LITTLE SHOES!

~Caroline

And…. she’s done!

 

Awwww yeah….my first quilt is finished! 

Took me a while, but man… it felt good to wash it up and lay it on my girl’s bed.  I took my sweet time with this project- I probably worked on it once a week for about 6 weeks.  I chose a fairly easy design and I can honestly say that it came out almost exactly as I had envisioned.  I knew I wanted a lot of white- just to keep it nice and clean looking (though my friend Heather said, “good luck keeping that clean!” She’s right.  So no chocolate milk on your bed, Ellery!!!  Got it??  That goes for your little friend Grant too!).  

I kept the quilting to a minimum, and sewed 1/4″ along side of each seam, which is pleasing to my eyes- I tend to get a little double vision when I see a lot of stitching all over a quilt.  My favorite thing about it is that all of the patches of fabric are remnants from something I’ve made- mostly things for Ell- her 2nd birthday dress, some baby bibs, bed pillows, her skirts, a shirt, pj’s, etc…

Here she is getting to know it a little bit better:

I must say this quilt was not made without some tears.  When I had it all spread out ready to baste, Ellery woke up (way too early) from a nap, walked up to it and just burst into tears…”Why is there blue on my quilt?  I don’t like blue… give my quilt to another little girl!!”  Yup.  So, we had a nice little talk and she agreed to let me leave the blue- as long as there would be pink on the edges.  deal! 

Here she is pretending to be asleep.  Did I mention we sleep sitting up at our house?

After some consulting (thanks Mom, Lindsay, and Aunt Joan! p.s. joan, you need a blog!) I decided to use natural muslin to back the quilt.  Who knew I was hoarding about 9 yards of the stuff?  Anyway, I made sure there weren’t too many strings to show through since muslin is thin.  But, once it was on there and all washed up I knew I made the right decision.  It is so so soft.  Love! 

I also used a pink muslin for the binding- it’s kind of the perfect pink- not too pink to annoy me!  Not too pink to annoy Grant either I guess… he likes to snuggle up in it too.

And so she knows it’s hers and only hers, I hand-embroidered her name at the bottom. 

May she never forget who she is.

I hope this quilt will become as special to her as it was for me to make it.  And I take back anything bad I ever said about quilting!  This wasn’t boring!  It was such a satisfying project to complete.  I even enjoyed hand-binding it- which took me a few hours over a few days to finish, gave me multiple hand cramps, and even a couple of broken needles… 

This was a true labor of love.  You’re the best girl, Ellery….hope it always keeps you warm! 

Now… Onto having this baby sometime soon!

-Erin

Feature: The Beaded Ladies

Warning: photo heavy post!  For a while now I’ve wanted to show off my mother-in-law, Arlene’s beautiful beading work.  Last visit out there, I remembered to snap some photos, but regretted that I’d left my nice camera back in Virginia.  Anyhow, these are (a few of) “The Beaded Ladies”…

For years these women, and others, have been meeting in the park daily (seven mornings a week!) for slow-tai-chi exercises.  On Mondays a group of them gathers afterwards in the Santa Anita Mall food-court for beading and socializing.  We see them every time we visit, and they are the cutest ladies EVER. Often, one of them has returned from Taiwan with orders of Swarovski beads fulfilled for her friends.  It’s all cheaper in Taiwan!

When I first met my husband, 7+ years ago, his mother and her friends were mainly beading little figurines and simple jewelry.  Now they are focused on jewelry.  New patterns arrive from Taiwan every year.   The ladies have the inventory for a mean Etsy shop.   But no, they do not sell any of it!  As we crafters know, it is almost impossible to put a price tag on our hard work and time spent.  Arlene’s work is either on display in her dedicated beading room, or gifted (most often to me!).   Here are some of my faves:

First, the old stuff:

And the newer products:

Oscar night anyone? If I had fancier places to go, these would all get much more wear!  They really are statement pieces, aren’t they?  I love the new beaded cuff-style bracelets.  Avery loves to play with the less fragile pieces.  She says , “pees-cay-pay-yith-yo-jewry-box-m0m?” as if it were one really long word.  During our last visit, she spent hours with “Nai Nai” in her beading room.  All those colors! I can totally see her rockin’ this bling to elementary school in the future!

An oldie but a goodie.

Thank you Arlene, we love you, and cherish your gifts!

~Caroline