Tuesday, May 20, 2014


My Beautiful Nana passed away Tuesday May 13, 2014.
She was 94 years old.
She was an amazingly smart and beautiful woman. 
I would like to honor her by sharing some photos of her and her life.
 This was the photo from the last time I saw Nana at my cousins wedding June 1st 2014
 One of the many sleep overs I had with Nana, we painted our nails and took bubble baths and watched Dick Van Dyke, Golden Girls and Bewitched, she always made apple slices before bed. 1988?
This is us at our lake house. She loved being out side. 1990?

 Nana's College graduation as a public health nurse from Mercy College in Ann Arbor MI 1944. 
 This is the spray of flowers my mother sent for the funeral. She loved spring and loved flowers. 
May 16th 2014
Her casket with the flowers laid by the family. May 16th 2014

 Dorthy "Nana" Gove was the youngest of 3 children born in Clinton, MI January 5th, 1921
 She and her siblings at the age of 3 1923
 She and her sister Mary Eleanor 1945
 Such a beauty 1946
 She became and a Navy Nurse stationed in Chicago and met my Grandfather Clarence Glover at the officers club. He quickly married her  and whisked her away from the mid-west and took her to his home of Orangeburg South Carolina. 1946
 She, in black, and my Grandfathers sisters in South Carolina 1948
 They loved the beach and getting tan. 1949
 She raised her three children in Georgia. That is my father holding my aunt's hand. 1957
 Nana is in the black dress bending down in the front of my grandfather's 7 sisters. 1970?
 This is her and her beautiful home in Charlotte, NC where her children spent most of their lives. 1960?
 She loved holidays and having the family together to make sure they were getting enough to eat. 1981
 Christmas 1979
She also loved her grandchildren and spoiled us so. These are my cousins Carson and baby John 1984

Monday, May 5, 2014

Awesome Handmade Baby Gifts

I know a handful of new mamas having boys this summer. I am always looking for a new quick gift to give my friends and family.
Here is what I came up with for a dear friend and his new babe.
Baby bandana bibs are just too damn cute and  way too easy not to make. Using my favorite go-to Pinterest, I found a few I liked with links to actual patterns. I sized them up and decided to cut my own from the newly purchased Swedish Tracing Paper. Simple 11" right triangle, then folded on the center I cut 1inch down then over to the 11" edge. Thus creating a small removal of fabric, so it fits better around the neck. 
I choose one flannel side paired with a cotton quilting weight fabric. These are all reversible. I used Velcro on the opposite sides and opposite corners so the would match up. I had every single item in my stash. So I was happy I didn't have to run out and purchase anything.
Of course I sent a copy of Where the Wild Things Are. I think I give it to every mama.
I also made this super changing mat from things in my stash. 
This was a challenge for me but I think it is cool 
It gets folded rather small. 
Then, Ta- Da!! 
Oh, I had to make the matching hand ball with links and threw in a wipes case. Plastic lining makes for easy cleanup and pocket for diapers.

Here it is all wrapped up ready for it's trip across the country. 
Now what mama wouldn't love those cool handmade goodies. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Find me on Instagram

Did you know I am on Instagram. I enjoy taking shots with my iphone and can quickly post them. I have to spend quite a bit time more creating a blog post and usually have to be at home to get it done.
I think this is just a change in the way we share and communicate. The blog is a great journal for me to share my process. The images for Instagram don't have much explanation or planning but can get the image to many more friends.
I love both, but find myself using Instagram to share my daily ComfortCircle due to its ease.
I hope my viewers will follow me on both as I try to keep up with the ever evolving life.

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Real Washi Dress

Here it is! The real Washi Dress, not from muslin this time. Though I do love the muslin one. This beautiful dress has the feel of a super casual dress but looks like a million bucks! This one will work for a wedding, interview, or just everyday. I loved this fabric when I walked into Bolt, it just lended itself to a dress and to be a true any occasion dress. The vertical vines just pull the eye down the dress
I spent a lot of time testing out the pattern on my "muslin" and was able to get the fit just right before chopping up my good fabric. I was so glad I spent all that time and waited for the tracing paper.
The fit of the original pattern Washi Dress from Made by Rae was very good. I just added in lower bust darts and moved the pleats out so it hung straighter down the front. I hope to try more of her patterns.
So glad it finally looks and feels like spring here in the Pacific Northwest. I've had enough of the grey rain for now.
Those sweet tiny sleeves and bit of shirring are the best details of the dress!
Kuma approved of those pockets in hopes I will fill them with her treats!
Such a cute little keyhole neck, I loved the simple ease of creating this detail and the yoke behind it so it will stay smooth and crisp.
I am now thinking this pattern would make a fabulous skirt with some altering. Well, now that I have successfully made my first clothing item from pattern after following every instruction, its only fitting that I would want to make it my own! Oh well. I loved the techniques this pattern forced me to learn. I stepped out of my comfort circle and I love it! Even if I make this exact dress again it will always be different fabrics and handmade by me!

Washi "Muslin"

 I decided recently I wanted to make a dress from a legit pattern. I was in Portland a few weekends ago, and found myself in Bolt fabric store on Alberta.

I flipped through patterns of all kinds. In my heart this is the pattern I've always wanted wanted to make. Simple dress with nice details that fits well. I sold formal dresses for years and know what looks good on my body. Empire waist. Lower neckline. Darted short bodice. Loose skirt, but not too full.
The Washi Dress Pattern is from Made by Rae. Before seeing it in Bolt, I had seen many originals and improvised Washi dresses in blog-land and knew that the pattern was well-made and had some options open to adding in my personal style. After being treated so warmly in Bolt, and getting beautiful black with vines fabric, I was giddy on my ride home. 
I read the pattern the next day. I have never made a quilt or clothing item from a pattern, as you know I am a "do-it-my-own-damn-self" kinda gal. I set out to cut out my size and then decided to read some reviews and tips. I set off starting with her website. Then, I ventured into the world of the internet. It is amazing to me how much crafty folks like to share their experiences.
One tip suggested not cutting the pattern, or any pattern ever, for that matter. Instead it instructed to use Swedish tracing paper so you have a sturdy pattern that can be altered. All the while, the original pattern stays intact for making different sizes later. Against my normal tendencies, I ordered the special tracing paper and decided to wait. Waiting is hard for me and has been the downfall creative nature of quite a few projects. I knew I wanted to make the pattern more than once. I wanted to do it right. Not just fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants like I normally do. 
I waited a whole week while bursting at the seam, no pun intended, wanting to slice up my fabric and pattern and get to the sewing already!

When the tracing paper came, I carefully measured myself and fell between two sizes.  So I traced the bigger size carefully and cut out my pattern from the waist line up only. Focusing on making a muslin of the parts where I needed it to fit the best in the bust area instead of the whole dress, is a must! Another great suggestion. Then, I traced again and made a "muslin" out of super sale blue scrap fabric in the bigger size. The muslin was way to big everywhere, even with my awesome push-up bra on, so I ripped out my basting stitches. I lined up my patterns again and then traced and cut my tracing paper down to the next size and re-sewed the muslin. Still a bit big but under the bust, so I decided to deviate a bit and add in darts in the waist up to the bust. Another rip apart, tracing of a pattern and trimming and re-sewing.
Again, I was glad I reviews suggesting darts under the bust apex. I put on the muslin again and it looked pretty good without the shirring, that would eventually make it fit well.
Then I grabbed the pretty flower vines on black and I cut all the pieces and went to bed. 
The next morning the blue muslin was put on the table when I cleaned up my sewing area. I realized I really really liked it, I only had bit of the blue cotton I got on super sale. So all of it was used to make the top "muslin" of the dress.  It worked well with my Kaffe stripes, this was this by far the best choice. I loved the pairing and knew this would be a great go-to casual tunic dress
Quickly, I found myself making two Washi Dresses.   I put the black one aside and decided to test out all the fittings on the "muslin". 
All in all. 
I love this pattern. I intend on making many more. It fits very well with out a need for major adjustments. Super glad I read the comments and reviews on her website. I hope to buy the expansion pack soon. Lesson of the day: It pays off to make a muslin and if you do it out of super sale fabric you get two dresses!
Woah watch out...its me who you never see!
I was initially daunted by even trying a pattern and then attempting shirring.
The shirring is an easy way to make an elastic area that doesn't need to be encased. It also enticed me to dream up many more items so that I can do more shirring. It makes it the dress comfortable and easy to get on without zippers or buttons. 
I chose to only do every other shirring line so it would be more loose on this casual tunic.

A little stripe binding on the sleeve to make it sleeveless and give it more detail.
Of course this pattern has pockets which was a major selling point. 
Stay tuned for the other one. It's a beauty. 

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Kaffe Scrappy Log Cabin Top

I've been fighting a nasty bug for a few days. I would have much rather been behind my sewing machine than on the couch.  I have have felt a bit bad passing this beauty hanging on the curtains. Today the sunshine came out and backlit my beautiful Kaffe top. I felt inspired to get up and get sewing. I first had hubby take it outside so I could get a proper photo.
He loves crazy socks and can't wait to play in his now super muddy garden.

It needed a bit of yellow. So border went on with mitered corners.
I think I need a bit more energy to tackle the batting, backing and binding. I am exhausted just thinking about it. Thanks for coming out sunshine, its been along while.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Snow Makes Me Want to Crochet

Over the last 4 days the PNW got about 6-9 inches of snow and  1-3 inches of ice, all depending on where you live, of course. I love the snow, however, I HATE ice. I have been seriously injured in the ice. Therefore, I choose not to leave the house when there is even a threat of ice. For two days I didn't leave the house and instead choose to be crafty.
Kuma, my precious one, loves the snow. She, like her non-furry mom, also hates ice. This is her on the second day of beautiful fluffiness. All she wants to do is play. She did not understand the picture taking. She just wanted me to find her bone for her that was buried in the snow and play with her. 
Snow doesn't really make me want to play anymore, maybe I am too old or jaded, instead it makes me want to pull out beautiful bright colors and be super crafty.

When the freezing rain started, I settled on the couch to make something pretty. Kuma followed suit, napping under my feet.
 I ve got a large bag of clothing donations next to the door and tub of yarn next to the couch, so the rug seemed natural. I have recently drooled over handmade t-shirt crochet rugs I have seen on Pintrest. I cut up a few t-shirts from the donations bag into long strips. Then started sorting through the HUGE stash of bamboo yarn I have hoarded for years. Most had been used for an awesome crochet granny square blanket. I have long since decided I don't want to make another crochet blanket and need to use up the left over yarn somehow.  So the crocheting began. I love the mindlessness of crocheting, especially the single stitch. I watched a movie and a few hours of Olympics and determined that the scrappy looking rug is exactly what my colorless dining room needed.
Obviously, Kuma thought otherwise.
I worked on this rug all morning and left it on the floor while I made lunch. I came back and Queen Kuma had claimed it as hers. Out of all the space in my huge house to lay on, she picked this rug, seemed very very intentional. I might have to give into that sweet face. The rug still has a long long way to go, but I love love it!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Kaffe Log Cabin

I have started a quilt. I have many unfinished quilts. I feel conflicted about starting a new one. I was totally inspired by the new Kaffe fabric I purchase and how it fit into my current stash of Kaffe. The colors are so consistent. I have been purchasing 1/2 yards for going on 5 years now. I have a nice collection. I really wanted to use up some of the scraps left over from the Kaffe Quilt and Scrappy Embroidered pouches.
I started with the mulberry shot cotton scrap. I cut 24 random smaller squares in varying sizes anywhere from 2''-4 inches.
Then I spent the majority of my time organizing my scraps. I wanted 4 color sets, so I could create a stair step pattern. I ended up with orange/burgandy, blue/green , then lights and darks.
Kaffes colors makes this process easy. After sorting my scraps into colors, I then sorted them into sizes: tiny, medium and large. I was looking for strips over 1 inch wide. I knew I could always cut the bigger pieces down as needed. I ended up surveying my scrap selection and then cutting strips off my 1/2 yard stash to fill up my piles. I have a nice selection of patterns; large florals, stripes, small organic patterns and other geometrics. I didn't get too caught up in cutting certain sizes since I really wanted a scrappy look. Setting up the scraps made the piecing part rather mindless. I just tried not to put the same fabrics next together.
I set up the stacks of scraps by size to work through to build the block. This quilt is a scrap buster and I wanted to have all the small pieces available to use when starting the block so. I didn't want to cut off the big long scraps to start off.
I also wanted to make this quilt to come together quickly. I utilized my chain piecing skills, I lined up my blocks to sew at one sitting. 

Everytime I chained pieced I would cut them off the sewing line and keep them sorted by color. Since, of course I wasn't using a pattern per usual, I had to keep myself organized in someway.
The orange/burgandy and green/blues got paired in blocks and then the darks and lights. I don't use pins when sewing much. I just paid a lot of attention to the colors, and laid all my blocks the same direction to make sure I was sewing the correct sides together.

Here's a nice stack of 10" squares. I am trying to decide if I want them bigger than this.
Stay tuned to find out.