I am so thankful for my community. We are among five families with children around the same age, with new babies coming every so often (our turn is next!) The fun part for me is making gifts for all the littles. Summer means boy birthdays, but this spring we celebrated a little lady. Here’s what I made.


In the spirit of reducing, reusing, and recycling, I rescued one of my husband’s button-downs for a pint-sized apron! I used just a scrap of coordinating floral print to keep it fun, and the Velcro closure ought to make playtime easier.


What’s a princess without a crown? Spring flowers and bright buttons suit this little lady’s declarative personality.

I have my plans for four summer boys, and I am excited to get those going! It’s so fun to put my heart into these little people I love so much!

In a fit of inspiration (which I’ve learned to follow and ride like a surfer), I decided to update my maternity wardrobe with some hand-me-down yardage received from a friend. Chambray, denim, and polycotton are not my go-tos for quilting, so this was a lovely way to use what otherwise would go into the Goodwill-textile waste cycle. Bonus:  I am certain that these garments were produced without child slavery, etc. Extra bonus:  I love them!


Happy little tunic, perfect for popping over a tank top and shorts…


Chambray and lace top modified from an old Simplicity pattern, making the most of some crocheted trim leftover from my wedding dress…


And finally, denim, pleats and vintage ribbon from the same modified pattern!

My rodeo-riding cousin has her wedding on the ranch pretty soon. Now to decide which of these to wear!

I feel like I need to apologize for letting this blog slide. I do have every intention of maintaining it, but as I am realizing, the season of life I am in (i.e. babies and toddlers) leaves only so much headspace for documenting my makes. Instagram, with its immediate feedback and format, is my go-to these days. Nevertheless, I want to capture these bits and pieces of my handwork for posterity! Ha!

This year I found myself in the weeks before Easter in bed sick. Bummer! But I attempted to make the most of it by working on projects I’d pinned (I’ll find the links that inspired me if requested, but I modified everything I made.) The Squish got a knit bunny and crocheted carrot.


My board game-loving, fantasy-genre-reading husband got a crocheted dragon egg “dice bag” which was later stuffed with (American-version) Cadbury eggs. 

And for me – an interchangeable seasonal yarn wreath for the door – just so! A lovely Easter for all – hoping yours was similarly sweet!

In a sad turn of events, I was not able to attend my cousin’s baby shower this weekend, but I had so much fun making presents! These days, given enough time, I scroll through a registry to get a sense of a family’s style and start sewing accordingly. This sweet family favored greys and neutrals, some of my favorites!


I’ve become something of a bib connoisseur since my first child cut a tooth at 4 months. These bibs are based on my favorites, quilted, batted, and backed in soft jersey and including a little loop for a fancy paci clip! Snaps will give them longer life than Velcro, and they reflect the muslin bibs on the registry.

I also made a pair of teething pads to snap onto a carrier, something we couldn’t do without and which were also on the registry. They were simple, though, and I forgot to take a photo!


But this was just for fun. Every little girl needs a bit of frippery, so I went to town on a modified old PurlBee pattern. My grandmother gave me a few handkerchief cotton blouses with the express purpose to cut them up, and I did! Pintucks and lace were repurposed, and my only addition was the satin ribbon trim.

Truth be told, motherhood is hard. I’m hoping that my gifts reflect love and care and that I can continue to encourage my cousin as she enters into this life-changing, lifelong adventure!

It’s simple.


Every baby needs a quilt.


Some babies never grow very big, so their quilts are little.


But they are important, and mommies and daddies will never forget them.


So the mommies and daddies can hold onto the quilts, and love, and remember.

I hate Hate HATE miscarriage. Another sweet friend of mine lost a wanted child. This is the quilt I made for her, just about 18 inches square. (My toddler “helped” with the pictures!)

I want to make more of these. I have many friends who have struggled with losing their babies, and I have seen how powerful it is to validate and acknowledge those little lives – these children are real; they lived; they were loved; they matter; they are missed. There is no expiration date on grief, but the only thing I know to do is say, “I have not gone through what you are experiencing, but I am here with you, and I am hurting with you, too.”

Quilts heal.

Every year I make Christmas gifts for the family, usually on a theme. This year, I wanted to make a small difference in the amount of textile waste that accumulates in our nation. Rather than buying new fabric, I found some large men’s shirts at a thrift shop and used those as my source material. A few extra scraps were added in (like the red linen and Star Wars print), but the rest of the cotton and linen were repurposed.


Couples and families got tea towels made from the fronts and backs of the shirts. I played around with little Dresden plates to evoke snowflakes or poinsettias! The blue one went to my brother and comes from my late Grandfather. The linen shirt was first used in a quilt made for my son. I felt my brother would appreciate the sentiment and style. The other blue rosette went to my parents for a similar reason – and the contrasting “petal” was a scrap from my son’s outfit he wore home from the hospital!


I have a few unmarried brothers-in-law who I didn’t think would appreciate holiday towels. Instead, I turned a fine cotton shirt into bow ties for them! I almost couldn’t bear to cut into the shirt. The pattern matching and detail were exquisite! But I am glad I did – the bow ties turned out so nicely! My brother got one of these as well, and as he is such a sharp dresser, I also made a hand-rolled matching handkerchief (or pocket square). The brother-in-law who received the Star Wars bow tie had instructions to open it before going to see Rogue One. If we lived closer, I know we would have enjoyed seeing it together.

Being apart at the holidays isn’t our favorite, but I hope it’s made a little sweeter with lovingly made and thought-through gifts!

Hoping you feel loved and cherished this holiday season!

I have not been blogging my sewing as I prepare for the holidays because I’m not sure who would peek! But there are a few things I’ve sewn and sent to friends in England, and as they’ve arrived already, I am free to tell the interwebs!


I actually cannibalized an unfinished quilt that just wasn’t working for me. These two quarter dresdens were salvageable and perfect for the personalities of two friends in Sunderland. I turned them into quilted cushion covers! My friends live in the same flat, so if these go in a sofa, they coordinate!


The other gift is actually a collaborative project for friends getting married this week! My accomplice across the pond made six large star blocks with a grey background using greens and blues. I sent along a little navy floral print for binding along with the batting, so once the two sets of stars come together, they will make a lovely little wedding throw! I think it’s appropriate that this quilt is being made on two continents as the couple are also international. I can’t wait to see it all done!

Hoping everyone likes their gifts and that they feel love from the sunny south!

I’d like to think I’ll make a Jayne hat every year for my child until he’s old enough to question it.


He remains less than thrilled about keeping it on his head, but I’m happy with it! This time I used a knitting loom for the main hat and crocheted the ear flaps. How does it sit? Pretty cunning, doncha think?

This is a short story, a sad story and a happy one.

Several years ago I became friends with a family of four. Eventually, my then-boyfriend met them, too. Their children were part of our wedding. We started meeting at their house a few times a month with other young couples.

Then babies started happening. There was one due in June, one in July, one in August (ours!), one in September, and one in October – one per family, all in a row!


It was wonderful being pregnant with friends. We shared joys and tears, ate whatever we wanted while we could keep it down, and we dreamed together about our children.

Then we got the news:  October Baby didn’t make it out of the first trimester. It was our friends’ baby, the one whose siblings were in our wedding.

We mourned, we wept, we supported.


Months passed, and the babies started coming. Finally, my child arrived. When our friends came to visit at the hospital, they had news:  they were pregnant again!

I wish I could say this baby went full term, but she did not. Again, we mourned, we cried, we believed this was not the end of the story.


When I learned Esther was on her way, I determined to do something special. I came up with a design using forty sawtooth stars in 3 sizes. Every week, I made a star and prayed for Esther in her mother’s womb.


I was finishing the binding when she arrived, perfect and full term and beautiful. Her presence does not make up for the pain of her lost siblings, but we are all so thankful she is here, and we love her so very much!

For the full story, including some very real and powerful vulnerability on the part of Esther’s mama, see the blog at shaileyratliff.com

This is a sad story.


It’s a story of a little one who was loved and hoped-for…


…All the days of his life.

His mama was overjoyed to learn he was there. She cried when she told me. I cried, too. J’s sister hadn’t made it out of the first trimester. I didn’t know her, but I began praying for him. Each week I made a pinwheel block. I planned to vary the sizes. 

But then I got word. At eleven weeks, they couldn’t find his heartbeat. He only measured seven weeks. We were heartbroken!

His mama started going for long hikes while his father was away on tour. I finished his quilt – so much smaller than we hoped for!


I can’t write this without tears in my eyes. My one-year-old naps beside me, but instead I think of his would-be friend. I think of my dear friend, mother of two but unable to hold either. There are no words, no ways to make it better. But I’m still here, sad and grieving, too. And J still has a quilt, because he matters, he is loved, and he is missed.