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Monday, December 17, 2012

The Joy of a Walking Foot

I have been wanting to buy a walking foot for my machine for several years, but given the expense, continued to postponed the purchase.  A walking foot is a foot that has two "feeder" feet that push the fabric evenly under the foot as the feed dogs push the fabric from underneath.  What you get is perfectly matched upper and lower fabrics sewn together, no puckering, no half an inch of extra top fabric at the end of your seam.  The walking foot is the greatest invention next to the microwave, in my opinion.  What makes this investment even better, is that Bernina was having a sale on walking feet when I went to buy one, so I was even happier with my purchase!!  Since my acquisition, I have been sewing up voile quilts like there is no tomorrow.  My arms hurt, but the discomfort is worth it when I see the beautiful finished product.  Now I spend my days dreaming up more variations and deciding that the kids (at least the girls) could all use another blanket....  If you are sitting on the fence about making the investment, I can tell you that it is totally worth it and it will become your favorite foot attachment!  Enjoy!

These quilts will be up on my website in the next few days.  The perfect throw blanket for the cold winter months!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Little Girl's Organic Skirt and Hand Knit Vest

I just love this little vest.  It's soft.  It's fuzzy.  It's hairy.  It's Fun!  This sweet little vest looks great with the beautiful organic cotton twirl skirt, or equally with a pair of jeans or colorful corduroys.  The skirt is fully lined (100% cotton voile) with attached polka dot ruffle and the over-skirt is 100% organic cotton.  Hours of twirling promised, all with a smile.  The vest is cropped, has an i-cord binding and cute pom poms at the bottom of the twisted cord tie.  I like it so much, I've ordered more yarn to make it in additional sizes.  I hope you like it as much as I do.  What FUN!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Grab an Insulated Lunch Bag!

Come Pick One Today!

I had fun putting this collage of lunch bags together, an explosion of color.  There are several more colors and patterns on the website, something for everyone, boy or girl (or Mom!)  Insulated lunch bags are a necessity these days to keep perishables from perishing!  I throw an ice pack in my kids lunch bags and drinks, yogurt, fruit sandwiches, etc. all stay cold until lunch time (and often until they come home!).  The wipeable oilcloth bags are a cinch to clean and last year after year.  Come pick one today!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

A New Ad in Babekins Magazine, Issue 10!

This is my second digital ad in Babiekins Magazine.  It's a really cute magazine, with a European feel.  Up to now it's been strictly digital, but starting next month, they will be in print!  I have a full page ad in that issue, due out in October at Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million.  Here's a link to the current issue, No. 10:

Monday, September 3, 2012

A Triple Play!

The elusive triple play.  One of the hardest stats to earn in baseball.  Only three triple plays have occurred thus far in MLB this year.  With baseball quickly coming to its season end and the heat giving way to cooler evenings, our "Triple Play" is the perfect choice for a night out at the ball park.  Or, if football is your favored sport, a great layer to wear to a fall game.  The soft merino wool sweaters are relatively light weight but add a comfortable layer of warmth when there is a chill in the air.  If sports are not your thing, these sweaters can also be dressed up for any special occasion, even one that requires a tie!  These hand knit sweaters range in size from a 1-2T to a 5-6T.  Visit my on-line store and snag one for your little sports enthusiast.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

An Essential Part of Every Meal...

Kids grow up fast these days.  Sometimes too fast.  At Barb Sweder Barrington, we can help with that.  We offer bibs for every stage of their eating development.  Our Infant Bib is perfect to cover their little chests when feeding them for the first time.  The wipeable oil cloth bibs tie in back and are great for new eaters.  When they get older and are more involved in the feeding process, in marches the Toddler Bib, just in time!  With a crumb catcher (or anything else for that matter) pocket, it's perfect to make sure that most of the food will either end up in their mouths, or in the pocket, and not on the floor (or in their laps)!  Just when they've figured out how to release the Velcro closure on the Toddler Bib, in races the Spaghetti Bib to save the day (and their clothes).  Our largest bib, it was designed to provide full coverage for those ambitious kids who want to feed themselves.  The bib ties in the back, so no Houdini acts at the table with a quick escape from the bib.  Like it's younger sibling, it has a larger crumb catcher pocket and provides full coverage of your ever growing child.  All bibs come in a variety of colors and can easily be cleaned with the swipe of a wet cloth.  They can even be thrown in the washer (no dryer, please).  Which ever bib you choose, it will be an essential part of every meal.  Bon app├ętit!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Patriotic Red, White and Blue!

The Fourth of July is always such a festive holiday and brings back fond memories of picnics with friends of my parents and their kids.  We didn't see them very often, apart from the 4th of July get togethers and other random visits.  There was always good food, a lot of outdoor fun and bugs--flying everywhere!  I can't remember what these flying creatures were, but there would be thousands of them, clinging to trees (or flying around your head!).  My sister and I would love to tempt fate and fling our sandals into the trees from our perfect launch-- swinging on the swing set! It would always send them flying!! To celebrate such fond memories, I wanted to do a patriotic post filled with lots of red, white and blue! Happy 4th of July everyone! Enjoy your fireworks, picnics and great times with family and friends, bugs included.

Check out these spirited selections!


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Golden Fall Colors

OK, so I know it's just the beginning of summer, but I'm already starting to think and work on some fall items.  Historically, I've not been much for golds and greens, but I've seen some really rich, beautiful colorful prints and deeply hued yarns, that I couldn't resist!  This little sweater (I'll have to remeasure, but likely an 18mo-2T size) has a delicate picot edge to offset it's bold gold color.  I plan on teaming it up with either the Liberty of London print shown behind it (skirt), or some cute graphic fabric that I just ordered, reminiscent of the old Oilily tops and skirts--boy do I miss those great outfits!  The sweater isn't quite done, as it needs just the right buttons, but should be soon and definitely in time for fall!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Little Red Wren

OK, so it's not a Little Red Hen, and the Wren isn't even red, rather shades of pinks and oranges.  But, it is a cute mini collection of sweetly singing birds (if you listen closely enough...).  These prints reminded me of my youngest daughter in the hospital, just a few hours after she was born.  She was cute as a button (of course) and the nurse said, "she's cooing to you-- how sweet!"  How sweet indeed.  Consider these cute blankets and bib for your little love bird.   Matching burp cloths will also be posted on the web site.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Double Decker Bus

I've been making lots of new products lately given the weather (Tropical Storm Beryl).  Really pleased with this shot.  I used removable wall decals that I purchased through Gilt (love it!) for the London background, plus a little Photoshop.  Good idea for a promotional postcard?  What do you think??  Please feel free to leave your comments!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Gift Idea for Father's Day

If you're anything like me, it can be hard to come up with an original idea every year for Father's Day.  Thinking back on what we use to give my dad, it always seemed to be a pair of pajamas, yet he always seemed to wear the "old pair" every night.  When he passed away, he had multiple pairs of new pajamas still sitting on the shelf in his closet.  My husband always seems to give his dad a new golf shirt for almost every gift giving occasion.  I'm sure he has a hundred.

Well, a few years ago I decided to put together a collection of photos of the kids, from birth to present day.  It took quite a few edits and effort to follow my narrowly defined theme:  only pictures of the kids during "family" activities.  No school pictures, pictures of friends, etc.  I wanted to be able to give my husband a gift of "just family".  I sorted through 10 years of pictures on the computer and ended up with a nice, concise book for Father's Day.  I made it small (about 8x8), so that it would be easy to take with him when he travels.  He still looks at it frequently, as do I and the kids.  Here are a few samples from our book:

Book Cover

Title Page

Random pages of Kindness

I thought I'd post this well in advance of Father's Day (which is June 17th this year)  so that it would give a few weeks to "make" your photo book.  There are several online publishing companies that can provide this service, including Blurb, Shutterfly, Lulu, mypublisher, etc.  I believe you can even buy packages at Target.  I personally used Blurb and was very happy with my results.  Each company should be able to give you a lead time on when you should receive your finished product.  It truly is a unique, wonderful gift that will be cherished for a lifetime.  Enjoy making your own memories!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Roll Call


Here's a line up of a few selected favorite toys that I would be delighted to receive if I had a new infant.  Some of them are chosen for their "cuteness" factor, others for entertainment and others yet, for their healthy composition.  Any of these toys would make great baby shower gifts.  I like to create a theme for my baby gifts (e.g. color themes, animals, wood, etc.)  and any of these toys could be your catalyst, or inspiration.  So, without further delay, let me introduce my favorites:

1.  BlaBla toys.  Comes in so many cute shapes and animals.  Knit in Peru with all natural fibers, these toys are wonderfully soft and oh so cuddly.
2.  JellyCat plush.  From small to extra large, these plush toys are extraordinary!  Super soft and always looking for a hug, pick from bunnies, teddy bears, giraffes, etc.  They even have a line called JellyKittens designed for 6 months to 4 years old--perfect for babies!
3.  Ugly Dolls.  Plush "unique and different" dolls, in all shapes, sizes and my favorite, color!
4.  anne-claire petit bunny rattle.  Hand crocheted by women in Asia, these adorable toys are well-made and beyond cute!
5.  Sophie la girafe, by Vulli.  One of the most popular baby teething toys on the market, it's made from 100% natural rubber and food paint.  It also has a squeaker!  Lots of moms (and dads) say it's their baby's favorite toy.
6.  Maileg - brother and sister bunnies.  I love this company's line of toys.  Super cute, adorable clothing and accessories, they look like old fashioned toys.  Really appealing and long play life!
7.  Plan Toys-  waving goodbye at the end of the line with it's movable arms and legs, Plan Toys promote gross and fine motor skills and are made from rubberwood.

I hope my "roll call" of favorite toys will spur some new ideas when it comes to that next baby gift!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Sweet as Apple Pie

I wanted to post a few pictures of my cut little model wearing the dress and sweater that I had posted in the last month.  While I think they look cute on the hanger, nothing can beat having a sweet little girl wearing your creations!  She was a trooper! 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Cream and Sugar, Please!

I wanted to make a "go-with-everything" sweater for the summer; something that would be light and airy, yet also work for play or a dressier occasion.  I typically make cardigans with a full row of buttons, but if your child is anything like yours truly, she will likely only use the top button or two.  Which is why I decided to just go with two on this sweet cream and sugar sweater.  It has full length sleeves, and  a slightly cropped length, nice for fuller dresses.  The color is just off-white, like a bridal white, or coffee cream, if you will, and 100% cotton.  It looks really nice with the Apple Tree dress from my prior post and is also a 2T!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Earth Day Organics

In honor of Earth Day 2012, I thought I would post a new ruffled blouse in 100% organic cotton poplin (like a voile or lawn fabric with a bit more body), complete with Peter Pan collar and heart shaped pink buttons (size 5).   The fabric was printed in the USA using phtlate and plastic free inks on certified organic fabric.  This lovely print is call "Poppies".   Really sweet for a little girl!

It hasn't been until recently (the last few years) that the larger manufacturers of fabric began a small offering of organic fabrics.  They were hard to find, not a lot of color choices and even fewer if you wanted a print.  Now there are quite a few choices and more and more companies coming to market with adorable prints.

So, if you're in to organic fabrics, keep a look out because there are more beautiful designs to come! 

Enjoy your Earth Day and spend some time outdoors!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Easter Family Photo

Well, if your house was anything like ours, there was great anticipation for the celebration of the Easter weekend.  We decided to go to a later mass, to enjoy a slow morning of cheesy scrambled eggs, bacon, etc. and to dive into Easter baskets.  This year, my girls were overjoyed to see that the Easter bunny had brought their little bunnies parents!  These big bunnies are so cuddly and soft, I'm wondering if maybe next year EB will bring the grandparents for my husband and me!  Hope your Easter weekend was a lovely as ours!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

One Done, One to Go!- Follow up to March 5 Post

Well, I've finished the top half of what I hope will be a beautiful outfit for some little girl.  This sweater has been transformed from two skeins of Skein Yarn, in Fig.  It's a beautiful, soft and fluid yarn, made from merino wool and cashmere.  I can't say enough about this yarn.  It was such a pleasure to knit with and I will definitely be making more sweaters in the future using this yarn.  The edging on the ruffled collar is from Handmaiden, a silk and seacell yarn--nice sheen and draws out the subtle golden tones in the main sweater.  It's likely a size 6-8 (little girls) and has dyed shell buttons.  Now, just to make the perfect skirt or dress to match!  (Hint:  it will have a border of gold at the hemline to match the sweater- Perfect!)  Stay tuned!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Cotton Dresses for Little Girls!!

I've been dreaming about making dresses for little girls for a LONGGGGG time, but finally bit the bullet and put shears to fabric.  This is my apple tree dress, perfect for spring and summer play time, little girls birthday parties, or for picking apples!  I don't plan on mass merchandising these dresses, rather making only a few, or maybe even just one!  This dress is a 2-3T and not on the website yet, as I'm getting ready to have it modeled by a really cute 2 year old!  Photos to follow, and hopefully many new dress styles!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Spring Garden Sweater

I've had this sweater finished for a while now, but have never been happy with the various photos that I've taken.  With the warm weather in full force, the flowers have been blooming early and I jumped to take advantage of the subtle color-- complete with butterfly!  It's sized for an 18-24 month old and is made out of a super soft merino wool and cashmere blend.  So sweet!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Here Comes the Gator, Baby!

When I was taking pictures of my latest double gauze receiving blanket and looking at the alligators, the title for my post came flying into my head-- Here comes the 'gator, baby!  It's a line from a movie that stars Dennis Quaid and Ellen Barkin, but I can't think of the movie title.  Anyway, this receiving blanket is incredibly soft, extra large and great for swaddling, even in the warm weather we've been having lately.  Again, stuffed animal courtesy of my children, this time Kate, who knew exactly where it was hiding!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Rich Colors for Fall

OK, I know it's just showing signs of Spring outside, but I just received these from my favorite postal carrier-- aren't they luscious and rich?  I just had to share them!  The fabric is a cotton voile from Tina Givens and the yarn is a merino/cashmere blend.  I have to say I was sweet on the fabric first, then spotted the yarn and thought it would be a perfect match. 

I don't know how you all manage your computer, but I have so many tabs open on mine, each holding something that has caught my eye.  My husband thinks I'm crazy to have so many tabs open, but it helps in my creative process.  See, look what has come together!  Now, just to dream up that special fall outfit befitting such beautiful fibers!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Hoist the Flags and Set Sail!

Just got finished making this really cute bib and burp cloth set for a seafaring newborn!  Though it's somewhat hard to tell, the trim on the burp cloth follows the line of the flags -- makes it more authentic, I think!  It's nice that my son's room was originally done in a sail boat theme so that I could borrow his "accessories" for my photo!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Completed Project- New Blankets!

To follow up on a post that I did at the beginning of the month, and with the help of yesterday's rain, I have managed to finish some new blankets!  These blankets will be a new product extension of my newborn baby line.  These beautiful blankets are made from 100%, double layered, cotton gauze fabric.  The fabric comes from Japan and is just so soft and lovely.  Each blanket is edged in a cotton voile.  Though sizes vary somewhat, they are approximately 35" x 43".  For those of you moms who want a lighter weight blanket for a newborn, this is a perfect choice.  Really cute prints, too!  Hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed making them!  More colors to come! 
P.S.  Thanks Samantha for letting me borrow your bunny!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Rainy Day Blues

Well, the weather app indicates that it's likely to rain pretty much all day, but that doesn't mean that I'm blue.   Quite the opposite, because that means a whole day of sewing and knitting - yeah!!! (and maybe a few chores around the house).  Hopefully I will get a few things completed and post my finished products at the end of the day!  Hope your weather is a bit more cheery wherever you are!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

New BSB Magazine Ad!

Our first full page ad was published in Babiekins, a digital on-line magazine for stylish kids.  The magazine has a European feel to it, has great photography, and really unique content for both parent and kid alike.  Follow the link to their latest issue, #8.

Check out their other issues as well.  They will be going to print this coming fall!  How exciting!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Exciting and New!

I've just gotten a box of wonderful fabric that I am going to use for a new product!  It will be an expansion of an existing product, but made with a different weave of fabric.  I've made two already and they are incredibly soft, super cute, high quality and all around just wonderful!  Once I've made up the rest of the fabric, I'll do another post with the finished product.  Stay tuned!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Bugs, Bugs and more Bugs!!

I search the internet for the best fabric available and I order from a plethora of places.  About a year and a half ago, I found a place called Spoonflower which prints your designs (using ink jet printers) on a variety of fabric choices.  They also hold contests, I think bi-monthly.  Well, a while back, one of the contest winners was the designer of the bug fabric collection that I just made a new nursery set from.  To date, I have only made lunch bags (covered in plastic--see photo)


from fabric that I have purchased from Spoonflower, as I am uncertain as to the longevity of the the fabric if washed frequently, like baby items would need.  Was I delighted when the bug fabric was picked up by Michael Miller and voila!, great, washable baby fabric!  I am particularly partial to the colorway pictured in the outdoor photo above, but I'm also going to make it up in the green colorway.  What a great collection of fabric for boys!!

P. S.  The lunch bag fabric is by Heather Dutton and can be found on Spoonflower!  I love her designs and fabric!