Anne of Green Gables quilt

DIY Anne of Green Gables quilt {Heather's Handmade Life}

I’ve always loved Anne of Green Gables, so when Penny Rose Fabrics released an entire collection dedicated to P.E.I.’s whimsical redhead, I knew I had to make an Anne quilt. A “quilt of shining colours,” as Anne might call it.

I pawed through the bolts and narrowed it down to my eight favourites: two greens, three blues and three pinks. Most were printed with flowers (my favourite), but one had teacups (another favourite) and another was printed with delicately scripted quotes from the books.

DIY Anne of Green Gables quilt {Heather's Handmade Life}
Eight different fabrics: 1/2 metre of each!

Now, I’m often asked how to figure out how much fabric to buy when you’re making a quilt. Luckily, I’ve developed a system that’s been working well.

People who sew use a term called a “fat quarter,” which refers to a quarter-metre of fabric if you cut it into squares instead of strips. Fabric stores even sell pre-cut “fat quarters” because they’re handy for making small projects. If you were to buy a quarter-metre off a bolt, it would be a long skinny strip instead of one fat square. Make sense?

Since I was making the quilt for our guest room, which has a double bed, I knew I could get by with half a metre of each fabric — four metres of fabric, total. Since I’d cut each piece of fabric in half, it was like I was buying 16 fat quarters.

DIY Anne of Green Gables quilt {Heather's Handmade Life}
16 squares cut from eight fabrics (two squares per fabric)

So if you want an easy formula for making a quilt that fits a double bed, either buy 16 fat quarters or eight half-metres of different fabrics. (If you only want to use four fabrics, just buy one metre of each.)

Once I’d washed and dried the fabric — always important if you’re making something that will be washed and dried in the future — I roughly cut each piece of fabric down the middle, giving me 16 fat quarters …

Continue reading in my weekly DIY column, My Handmade Home — it includes a video tutorial!

DIY Anne of Green Gables quilt {Heather's Handmade Life}
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Bodysuits are back (and easy to sew)

Bodysuits are back (and easy to sew) How to sew kids' bodysuits for dance, gymnastics, or fashion {Heather's Handmade Life}

Fellow 30-somethings, remember the bodysuits of the ’90s with snap crotches?! And if you stretched or arched your back or breathed wrong, you’d pop one of the snaps open? And if they all came unsnapped, your bodysuit would start to hitch upwards until you had weird circle cut-outs peeking above your jeans? Ah, memories.

I only wish I’d looked like this at 11 or 12. Picture this bodysuit on an awkward tween with braces and zero boobs.

I had one in dark green crushed velvet that I LOVED, and another that was made from ribbed cream-coloured fabric (not as pretty). And now in 2019? My daughter’s wearing bodysuits!*

(*I, of course, am not. The rule is that if you wore a trend the first time around, you’re too old to wear it when it reappears. Following that logic, I will no longer be allowed to wear jelly shoes, overalls or carpenter-style jeans.)

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Letting kids stay home alone

Letting kids stay home alone: What do they need to know? Heather's Handmade Life}

It started out of desperation, when my son was unexpectedly home sick from school. My husband had to take our dog to a vet appointment, while I was already out at a client meeting that was running late. Through a few frantic texts, we decided we only had one solution that made sense.

We left our eight-year-old son home alone.

Even though I was only a few streets away and was going to be home within 20 minutes or so, it felt strange knowing he was completely by himself. Were we horrible parents for making that decision? Should my husband have dragged him along to the vet?

Were we horrible parents for making that decision? Should my husband have dragged him along to the vet?

I thought I’d be more nervous, wondering anxiously if the kitchen might be bursting into flames spontaneously or a daring robber might be attempting a mid-morning heist. But I was oddly calm.

I finished my meeting, drove home and unlocked the front door to find our son lying on the couch watching TV, exactly as he’d been when my husband left.

Since that uneventful Home Alone experience, we’ve left him on his own quite a few times — mostly when one of us has to zoom down the hill to the farmers market to pick up a pre-ordered meal.

But … there are rules. A lot of them!

Continue reading in my weekly parenting column, The Mom Scene …