Tag Archives: living diy style

Secret Anniversary Quilt

Let me start off by saying that for the past week and half I have been sneaking around, trying to hide the fact that I’m working on a quilt for my husband’s anniversary gift.   It has not been easy, since my husband and I both work from home.  Finally, yesterday he had to go out of town for the day, which gave me a few hours to sew all of my blocks together!  It felt soooo good to get this done.  Now I know I will be able to finish it!  This quilt is not for our bed, it’s just a snuggle on couch kind of quilt just for him.Gather Round Bonjour Quilts

I have more quilting pictures to show you, but before I do, let me share with you a little about our marriage and the man that I’m married to.    The picture below was taken in New York 19 years ago on May 17,1997.  I grew up in Long Island, NY.  He grew up in the state of Washington.  It was an east meets west kind of wedding.  A colliding of worlds really.  On one side of the reception hall we had hippies and cowboys and on the other side were many bedazzled women standing beside men with strong smelling cologne.  Reflecting on that dynamic of our wedding still makes me laugh.

wedding picture

My husband (Todd) has been and continues to be a loyal and supportive husband for all these years, but best of all he’s been my best friend through it all.   Being married to your best friend still takes work, but somehow after 19 years, even their imperfections feel like home.

Not to brag, but I married a very talented man.   I remember back in 2002 we bought some property in WA and he said “I want to build our house.”  And I remember laughing.  Why would I laugh, you ask?  Well because he never built a house before.   It just didn’t seem reasonable to attempt to build a house when you have zero experience at it.  Well, four months later, look what he built us!

Log cabin

With this view day after day.

Washington state mountains

We no longer live in this home, but when I look back I still can’t believe what he did.  He has such a creative mind, and whatever he puts his mind to, he does it with all of his might.  That’s just how he is.  Fast forward to year 2010, he said “I want to become a sculptor”.  Now he is selling beautiful bronze sculptures in Scottsdale, AZ and Santa Fe, NM in high end galleries!

  J. Todd Paxton sculpting

For this anniversary I wanted to make something special just for him.  He is always making things for me.  Just this spring he built me an amazing little green house out of recycled windows he had been collecting.  Needless to say, I was once again beside myself at not only how capable he is, but how loving and kind he is towards me.

green houseSome guys give their wives flowers, which is so beautiful.  My husband rarely if ever buys me flowers, but he makes and does whatever I ask him to do.  Quite honestly it took me a few years to figure this out, but that’s how he expresses his love for me.  It is equivalent to a bouquet of flowers, except I keep enjoying his gifts year after year!

navajo quilt block


Let’s talk about the quilt now!  I thought about designing my own quilt, but time was of the essence, so I thought it would be best to go with something that has already been figured out.  I decided I wanted a quilt that would be no smaller than 60″x 80″, quick, and interesting to look at in the end.  I searched Pinterest night after night, looking for just the right pattern.  Then along came the Gather ‘Round quilt pattern by Bonjour Quilts.  As soon as I saw it, I knew it was the one!

assembling the chevron quilt block

The instructions for cutting and assembly were very clear.  I had to read it and study it well to ensure that I would not screw up the quilt, and it paid off.  The whole quilt came together like magic!   I would highly recommend Bonjour quilts to anyone.

Chevron quilt block

While I definitely enjoy designing patterns, sometimes it’s such a treat to just have someone else tell me what to do!   Following someone else’s pattern is like being on vacation for me.


So at this point, I only have the quilt top sewn together.  Over the next week I will get it finished up.   I will post finished pictures of the quilt on Instagram and possible in my newsletter as soon as I can.


Have ever made an anniversary quilt?  Tell me about it in the comments below!


How to Sew Knits Without a Serger

So you want to sew stretchy fabrics, but you don’t have serger.  Is it possible to sew knits without a serger?   Absolutely!   And today I’m going to share a video with you to show you a side by side comparison of different stitches that can be used to sew stretchy fabric.  This video will help you figure out which stitches hold up the best under stress, and which seams will look the best on a garment. If you do an internet search about how to sew knits, you will find a variety of testimonies saying that this stitch or that stitch is the best for sewing knits, but I think you will find that there are a variety of factors that effect the final outcome.  The stitch is important, but there are other things to consider.  Please watch the video below to learn more.


Print the free pdf below and keep it your sewing room as a reference.

5 tips for sewing with knits

Free Funky Fox Ears Sewing Pattern by Living DIY Style!

Time for a free pattern!  My first free pattern ever I might add.  I have a long list of free patterns I want to release over the next year, but this one kept begging to be first, so I gave in.  And I’m happy I did, I think you guys and your kids are going to love this super cute quick pattern!  You will find the Free Fox Ears Pattern at the bottom of this post.


Did I mention this pattern is not just for kids?  Yup, it comes in adult sizes too!  For some reason I just couldn’t get myself motivated to put on my Fox Ears and have the kids take pictures of me.  Sorry guys!  Maybe next time:)


Learn how to sew fox ears for free!



I love that these Funky Fox Ears will keep her ears nice and warm when it’s cold outside!

Free fox ears patterns

Hey, and check this out!  Remember the Animal Hoodie Pattern I sell with the Bear Ears?  Well now you can swap out the bear ears for fox ears!  Just use the fox ears in place of the bear ears when you get to that part of the tutorial.  I just added a section to the Animal Hoodie tutorial entitled “How to Add Fox Ears”.  It shows you how to sew up the fox ears and how to sew them in.  How cool is that?!


Combine Free Fox Ears Pattern with Bear Hoodie to make a Fox Hoodie

I have a little story for you guys today.  Did you know that before I started designing sewing patterns I used to crochet like a mad woman?  Yes, it’s true!  When my oldest daughter was about two years old I started designing and crocheting lots of animal hats for her to wear.  She absolutely loved them.  I felt a deep sense of satisfaction as I saw how much these little animal hats were helping her to use her imagination.  Then when other kids came over she would get the hats out and they would all start jumping around and having a great time in their imaginary worlds.  Precious times without a doubt.


Animal Hoodie by Living DIY Style

Inevitably she kept growing, but sadly the hats did not.  However, her desire to still play with them was still going strong!   I had to chuckle as I watched her trying to cram and squeeze her head into these little toddler hats I had made so long ago.  That’s when I decided it was time to put my hand to designing and come up with a kid friendly animal hat/hoodie.  It’s been two years since then and they’ve gotten plenty of use out of them.  But better yet, the pretend play lives on!


Animal Hoodie Sewing Pattern and Free Fox Ears Sewing Pattern

Now when their friends come over,  all the fox ears come out!  Whenever I start working with a pattern, I make a ton of them before I make my final piece for pictures.  So needless to say, they’ve got LOTS of Fox Ears to play with now.  I think they’re happy about it!


Fleece Animal Hoodie Sewing Pattern by Living DIY Style Free Fox Ears Pattern

So I would love to hear your thoughts on this new free pattern.  What do you think?  Do you like it?  Let me know how they turn out for you in the comments below!

Download Free Funky Fox Ears





New and Improved Reversible Crib Shoe Sewing Pattern is Here!

Baby crib shoe sewing pattern     As many of you already know, there is nothing more satisfying than watching a baby kick or crawl around with a pair of handmade baby shoes that you made for them.  The first pair of baby shoes I made for my first daughter were a pair of crib shoes.  I can still remember the giddy feeling I had while I watched her crawl around the house in those cute little shoes.  At the time she was challenging herself, and trying to grab hold of anything she possibly could to assist her as she bravely tried to stand up.  However, my heart kept breaking as she would constantly slip on our hardwood floors.  This gave me motivation to tackle my first pair of grippy bottomed crib shoes!   I didn’t start with an easy fabric, oh no, that would be too simple.  I started with deerskin leather.  My sewing machine at the time kicked and screamed at my demand, but some how my determination was stronger than my machine’s rebellious attitude!  In the end, once I slipped those cute little crib shoes on her feet, I realized it was worth the battle.   I knew this was just the beginning of something fun and wonderful.  They stayed on wonderfully, they looked adorable, and kept her feet extra toasty warm on cold nights, what more could I ask for?

Leather soft soled shoe pattern

Back in 2010 I finally decided it was time to work out the details and put together a tutorial and sewing pattern for the crib shoe to sell.  The Reversible Crib Shoe sewing pattern was a huge success.  Everyone seemed to love the idea of a reversible, seamless crib shoe.

Recently I’ve had quite a few friends give birth to new babies.  My friends automatically know what to expect from me when a new baby is born- handmade baby shoes of course!   As I was excitedly choosing my fabrics for the baby shoes I planned on making, I started coming up with new fun details to add to Reversible Crib Shoe pattern.  It was too good to keep all to myself, so I decided to update the pattern with three additional styles.  While I was at it, I kept thinking about all the requests I’ve had over the last five years for bigger sizes.  So in addition to the extra sizes, I decided to add three new sizes- Newborn, 24 months, and 36 months.


Baby mocassin sewing pattern

All in all I’m very pleased with the new designs and sizes.  I also completely revamped the old tutorial.  The new tutorial reflects the experience I have gained in writing and designing tutorials over the past few years.  There are tons of well thought out pictures and easy to follow directions for each design.  I’m certain there will be little to no confusion when you make these.  Baby girl shoe sewing patternLook at these adorable baby feet in his new crib shoes!  Oh those little rollie-pollie ankles, love them. Baby shoe sewing patternThe best part is, it’s available now!

Have you ever made Crib shoes before?  What do you think about the new designs I’ve added?  Let me know in the comments below:)

Buy Crib Shoes Now


Hoodie Infinity Scarf Sewing Pattern is in the WORKS!

This is a big day for me, because this is officially my first blog post. I’m finally biting the bullet and taking the plunge into the blogosphere. I’m not much of a talker, so this may prove to be a bit challenging for me. I guess we’ll find out. Or should I say- I need to find out.  Why?  Well, because I honestly want to see what it’s like to try to start up a community from scratch.   I have no idea if this blog will sink or swim, but one thing I learned a few years back, is that if you want to see change you need to make the decision to do something different- and then do it!   So here I am at the beginning of a new year, doing something different.

Let’s get started!  Here’s what I’ve been working on.

hoodie picture 5

Hoodie Infinity Scarf by Living DIY Style

It’s an all in one, one size fits all, hoodie infinity scarf sewing pattern for women.   I have worn this hoodie just about everyday since I made it.  I love the contrasting colors, the fact that it’s reversible, and of course- THE BUTTON.  I am such a sucker when it comes to over sized buttons!   It has been cold lately, but no joke, this hoodie has been keeping me warm and cozy each and everyday.

Here’s another hoodie I made with black fleece and black/green houndstooth lining.  This cozy hoodie was given to a good friend of mine.

Hoodie picture 6

Women’s Hoodie Infinity Scarf sewing pattern

What do you think of it?  Leave a comment and let me know.