February 27, 2014

Muslin Quilt Tutorial

 Alright, I apologize that its taken so long, but here it is! The tutorial on making the muslin quilt! I also apologize for the mediocre photos. Some were taken with my iPhone and some were taken with my big girl camera, but in HORRIBLE lighting, so just pretend all these pictures are really pretty, k? Thanks! :)

This is seriously the EASIEST quilt you could ever make. It's all straight lines and you can make the binding as easy or as difficult as you want it to be.

Materials Needed (for a quilt that measures approx 3 ft by 4 ft):

-1.25 yards white muslin (I get the 44 in width and it is usually $2.99/yd at Joann)
-1.5 yards fabric for the back side of the quilt. You can use cotton for a very thin quilt, or flannel, minky, fleece, etc for a heavier quilt.
-.25 yards of 6-8 coordinating fabrics

Optional- if you want another fabric for the binding. 
-.5 yards coordinating fabric

Cut your 6-8  1/4 yard fabrics into 2.5 in squares. (If you want to do larger or smaller squares, you certainly can! I've done 3.5 in squares before and the most recent quilt I made actually had 5 in squares. I like them all!) Once you have them cut, lay your fabric for the back side of your quilt right side facing down. Lay your muslin on top of your backing and trim it so that you have about 3-4 inches of the back fabric extra around all sides. (Refer to picture below) Once that is laid out and cut, you can start laying your squares down in the desired pattern. I honestly never make a real pattern, I just try to make sure that similar colors or patterns are not always next to each other. If you want though, you can make a pattern. I've seen both done and I think they both look great!

All the squares are laid out, but not yet pinned down.
Once you have all your squares laid out, make sure they are lined up pretty straight looking from both directions. I always try and get them straight, but sometimes they just don't end up that way. It's not the end of the world, you just have to adjust your lines as you sew.

Next, start pinning the squares. I usually do 2 pins per square, one on top and one on bottom and that's plenty, especially if it is just a 2.5 in square. Make sure you are pinning the squares to both the muslin and the backing. You want it all attached. Once they are all pinned, you can start sewing! I start on one end and work toward the middle. Sew on one side of the square, removing the pins as you go. If you are doing a larger square, like a 5 in square, you might want to keep the pins in to help keep everything in place. I start sewing at the top where the muslin meets the backing and then go to the bottom, where the muslin once again meets the backing.

All the squares are pinned, and as you can see, the squares on the right are already sewn down both sides. Just work your way right to left!

Once you have sewn one side of the square, move over to the other side and sew that down, continuing until you have sewn all the squares on two sides.

All the squares are now sewn on two sides.

After they are sewn on the two sides, turn the quilt and sew the other two sides down. This does take quite a bit of thread, so be sure to have lots of thread on hand! I usually have to refill my bobbin with thread at least once, sometimes twice, while I am doing this. Once all the squares are sewn on all 4 sides, it's time to start on the binding.

All 4 sides are now sewn down! (Don't mind the imperfections!) :)

Now, I am no expert on binding, so if you feel like you have a better way to do it, by all means, do it your way! :) This is the easiest way I have found to do it, personally. The binding I do for my quilts just uses the backing material as the binding. If you feel so inclined, get another coordinating fabric for the binding and do it that way. If that is the case, you want your muslin and your back fabric to be about the same size, instead of having the extra 3-4 inches of your backing fabric.

So, for the binding, what I do is fold down my backing fabric about 1.5 inches and I iron it down.

Then, I fold it down again 1.5-2 inches and iron that down.

I do this on all 4 sides and then start sewing again.

I sew as close to the edge of where the binding and the muslin meet as I can and sew from one end to the other.

I do this on all four sides until all the binding is sewn down. Now, this is optional, but on each corner, there is a part of the fabric that is exposed and not sewn down on the outer edge and you can sew that down or leave it open. I usually just sew it down for added security and because I think it looks nicer. Now you are almost done!

Throw your quilt into the wash and dry it. I usually just throw mine in with a load of whites or sometimes I will just wash it on its own. If you are nervous about colors bleeding, throw in a color catcher sheet and wash on cold. I've never had colors bleed, so it usually gets washed on a warm cycle. When you take it out of the dryer, you will notice the edges of your squares are fraying. That is what is supposed to happen, so don't worry! Your muslin will also look a little wrinkled as well. In my opinion, those things are part of the charm of the quilt.

Now you are all done! Enjoy your sweet new quilt!

If you have any questions, just ask in the comments section, email me or Facebook message me!

February 15, 2014

LDS Youth Theme 2014

My sister, who is the Young Women's president in her ward, asked me to make a printable that she could hand out to all the youth (young men included!) with the entire scripture that is this years theme. We both looked on Pinterest and there were none that had the entire scripture, so here is my rendition. If you belong to the Young Mens or Young Womens organization in the LDS church, then here you go! Hope you enjoy them! They are 5x7 in size. Right click on picture, save image and then print at your favorite print shop!

For personal use only. Do not sell or claim as your own work. 

February 10, 2014

Motherhood is hard.

I feel like I have been in a rut lately. A big, fat rut that is trying its darndest to make sure I stay there. We've all been sick off and on for the past 4-5 months and it has taken its toll physically as well as emotionally. I'm exhausted every day. I swear my energy just never totally came back after the first trimester with this one (probably due to the sickness that has been hanging over our home like a thick fog!) And each day, I find myself struggling with this whole motherhood thing.

I've said it before on this blog before and I'll say it again right now- being a mother has ALWAYS been the end goal for me. A career never held any appeal whatsoever for me. It was always becoming a mother that tickled my fancy. That being said, it's been really hard lately. My days are consumed with coaxing my 3 year old to let herself go poop (yes, she holds it in as long as she possibly can for reasons unknown to us) trying to force yet another meal down her throat so that she doesn't get any skinnier (I wish I had that problem) trying to communicate to my 1 year old not to scream at the top of his lungs when his food isn't in front of him INSTANTLY, keeping him away from the trash can, as it is his favorite place to find new "toys" and keeping the peace between the two. This is basically my day, all day. There is the occasional book reading, coloring book session, puzzle putting together or outing to the park, but really, my days are consumed by these two little humans, and I. am. exhausted.

I knew being a mother was going to mean having hard moments, but I didn't know it would be like this. I didn't realize the monotony of a day and the overwhelming frustration I would feel with my children and myself (especially myself). I didn't realize my life would be centered around things like bowel movements and teething and nutrition, or lack thereof.

And so, the other morning, I had myself an awesomely huge pity party. I looked at the mound of dishes in front of me that I had let accumulate for way too long and I just cried. I cried tears of frustration and anger and sadness and loneliness. I felt totally and utterly alone. And as I let all those hot tears course down my cheeks, I plead to my Heavenly Father for comfort. I've read the scripture in Matthew about letting the Savior take our burdens away and carrying them for us, but I just didn't know how it was accomplished. Was it really so simple as to say, "take this away from me, it's too hard for me to carry"? Could I really just let it all go and share that load with my Savior? I decided to have a little faith and test it out. I prayed for all my inadequacies as a mother, all my frustrations, all my grievances, all my worries to be taken away.

I cried a little longer, wiped my eyes, tackled that pile of dishes and something miraculous happened. I felt light. I felt happy. I felt peace. It really was as easy as asking for my burdens to be taken away. How that works, I can't tell you. All I can say is that it does work. My testimony of prayer was strengthened that day. My testimony of my Heavenly Father and Savior being so aware of me was strengthened that day.

It's still hard to be a mother some days. I still have moments of frustration and guilt. But I know now with a certainty, that I can always turn to my Savior and ask that he helps me out in bearing my burdens, and he'll do just that. He'll give me the strength I need and I will be able to continue forward with peace and hope and joy.

And that makes this motherhood thing a whole lot easier.

One of my all time favorite pictures of my two greatest blessing. January 2013