{ Matilda’s Summer Garden Party }

This past weekend was my daughter, Matilda Jane’s 1st Birthday Party.  The party was inspired by the fabric I made her birthday outfit from – Heather Bailey’s “Nicey Jane”. We decided to do an intimate party and had 20 of our closest family and friends over to the Cottage Garden to celebrate.

Miss Matilda had a great time at her party and thoroughly enjoyed her cake.  It was her 1st time to have something that delicious so she was in baby heaven!

I used the same fabrics that I designed Matilda’s birthday dress in and made a pennant banner.  I didn’t have a pattern for this, I just sewed two rectangles of fabric (right sides together), turned them right-side out, pressed them and stitched them to coordinating bias tape.  I think these will also be great for Easter decorations in the future.

The flowers were cut from our own garden.  We have several large hydrangea bushes that are in full bloom right now.  So the morning of the party, I went out and cut a big bouquet of flowers.  I placed the flowers in a silver, tall galvanized bucket to match some of the other decorations for the party.  I love being able to use the nature around us – and what’s even better, is the flowers were absolutely free!

I made large, over-sized paper pinwheels from several shades of blue and green.  I spray painted wooden dowel rods green, cut square pieces of scrapbook paper into pinwheel shapes and hammered them into the rods with basic tacks.  I placed these into the same tall, galvanized metal buckets as the flowers.  I placed fiberfill inside the buckets to hold them in place, but florist foam would work even better.

I wrapped each set of silverware in coordinating yellow napkins and tied them with a blue satin ribbon.

I made large paper balls using this great tutorial from Martha Stewart.  These were VERY easy to make (they took like five minutes each) and only cost me $1.00 since I bought the tissue paper from our local dollar store.


Here is little Matilda’s birthday hat.  I simply covered a cardboard birthday hat with coordinating fabric, added a ruffle and some rick-rack to match her dress.

As I have mentioned before, my husband is an award-winning home-brewer.  He makes a beer (for the adults, of course) for each of the girls birthday parties.  Here is Matilda’s 1st birthday beer.  Brett made this sign to put on the keg at the party.  He served four different beers on tap, but “Tilda’s Sweet Cheeks Wheat” was the main attraction.

For the party favors, I gave out summer beach bags.  I took a store-bought tote bag and appliqued each family’s last initial onto the bag in fabric from Matilda’s birthday dress. 

I have so much fun menu planning!  It takes me some time to figure out what I want to serve, but since we did a smaller party this time, I was able to focus more on the food.

I wanted to make something festive to drink, so I pureed a 1/4 of a watermelon, added 1/2 cup sugar and mixed it with some ginger ale.  This made, what I like to call, Watermelon Fizz.

I made a large anti-pasta platter as an appetizer for our guests.  I used red-leaf lettuce as the base for my platter.  I marinated some fresh mozzarella, lightly roasted some tomatoes, and got some other store-bought ingredients to complete the tray.  I served crostini and bread-sticks on the side.

Loaded Potato Salad
Pecan Coleslaw
Zucchini with Red Onion and Feta
Grilled Corn Salad with Roasted Peppers
Fruit Kabobs
Fresh Watermelon
These are the birthday cupcakes on the tiered trays that I made last week (remember this post?).  These are store-bought cupcakes – have I mentioned before that I DO NOT bake?  I simply added large, clear sugar to the top of these little cakes.  
I don’t care for baking and I don’t think I’m very good at it – too much precise measuring and science for me.  I much prefer the creativity of cooking.  Anyway, I made these “1” cupcake toppers using my Cricut Expression machine and glued them to lollipop sticks. 
Big sister Savannah had a great time at the party and was a really big helper.  She thoroughly enjoyed the juicy watermelon.
We truly lucked out with fabulous weather the day of the party – low 80’s, no humidity.  It could not have been more perfect!
It’s very hard for me to believe that my little sweet pea will be one on Thursday.  Matilda Jane has brought so much joy to our lives and as I write this post, I just want to give that little munchkin a squeeze.  

We Love You, Matilda!

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  1. Oh, Lindsay, everything looks so wonderful!! The trays turned out great and Matilda looks so darling eating her cake and wearing her little clothes. The food looks so delicious that I think I need to go rummage through the fridge now. Congratulations! There’s something about these babies turning one that graduates them from infant to little girl. Pulls on the heartstrings a little. Beautiful girl and beautiful party!

  2. Such a BEAUTIFUL setting!!! Excellent job!!! Happy Birthday to little Matilda!

  3. Everything looks so beautiful! Just like that little beauty queen of yours! I love the fabric choices and what a fun unique addition to offer your own brew! Love it!

  4. Happy Birthday, Matilda! She looked like a little doll in the outfit you made her! I love the party scheme & the colors were just beautiful! Wonderful job! 🙂

  5. Happy Birthday to your little sweetie! Her party was beautiful!

  6. Such a cute party…& your house is adorable!

  7. What a precious birthday girl! The time does fly!
    You did a spectacular job with the decor! Love the banner, great job!

  8. Soooo lovely!!!!! You did a gorgeous job Lindsay! My fave flowers too 🙂

  9. My goodness, everything looks so picture perfect! And your baby is edible.

  10. W-ow. What a loved little girl! May I feature a photo and link to your post? This is amazing.

  11. a friend of mine just directed me to ur blog this morning. I love it!!! i love reading crafy blogs–they inspire me! I can’t wait to read past posts you have made and start trying out your yummy recipes!!! THANKS FOR TAKING THE TIME TO SHARE!

  12. Thank you all so much for your amazing comments. Your have seriously made my day!

    Heather Bailey – I would be incredibly honored if you would link and share! I based this entire party around your gorgeous fabric – I have a serious “Nicey Jane” addiction (you should see my stash :-). My 2-year olds room is done entirely from “Freshcut”. Thank you so much for visiting and commenting!!

    Again, thank you all for your kind words – my heart is doing a “happy dance” right now. You guys are the best!!


  13. You did such a lovely job and pay such close attention to detail. everything looks perfect!

  14. beautiful job! I love the fabric choices for the bunting! And that food spread – making me jealous!

    Kim @ http://frostmeblog.blogspot.com
    party inspiration

  15. I have a seven month old that I named Matilda Jane! I came across your website looking for first birthday ideas!
    Your little Matilda is adorable and your party was beautiful!

    Sandra @ http://jskoll.blogspot.com

  16. What a pretty party! I love the colors you picked, Lindsay!

  17. Amazing party! Every detail is so beautiful. I love the favor bags (how awesome would it be to take one of those home?!) and the banner and am so envious of yoru gorgeous hydrangeas!! The food is making me hungry too. I’m relieved to learn you don’t bake! No one can do everything perfectly well!! Keeps you human… 😉

  18. so so pretty! I love the hand in the cupcake 🙂
    Found you through Sara’s Party Perfect..now I’m staying!

  19. Wow that is the prettiest party hat I have ever seen. You did a great job. It is hard to believe how fast they grow. I was trying to hold my 5 year old like a baby this morning but it didnt work out so well:)

  20. What a beautiful party, beautiful little girl & beautiful home! I love all the details! Perfection! Your blog is great, I am your newest follower. Looking forward to reading more!

  21. Wow! What a beautiful party. I love how you used all the Heather Baily fabrics to coordinate your decor. And those hydrangea. Exquisite!

  22. Oh my! The colors! The food! The adorable birthday girl! Looks like you had it all. What a beautiful event.

  23. You have such a beautiful home and what a precious party!

  24. My goodness! What an amazing party. I love the cool colors. They looked so beautiful. And this makes me want to ATTEMPT growing hydrangeas. It’s all so beautiful that it should be in a magazine. Great job.

    Warmly, Michelle

  25. I so wish I had some friends that threw awesome parties like that.

  26. Love your color scheme and the gorgeous Heather Bailey fabric!!! The last picture of your little Matilda in her matching bonnet is so precious! Where did you find the totes you appliqued with the initials? Love the shade of yellow!

    Great job!

  27. Everything is just stunning. What a lucky little girl!

  28. What a lovely party!! I looks like it came out of a magazine! I would be honored if you would stop by next week and share your favor tote bags during my Pretty Packages Party. Pick up a button so you don’t forget!


  29. Wow, its my first time to your blog and I’ve been missing out! 😉 This party is lovely…amazing.

  30. Lindsay,

    I just found your blog and am so glad that I did! Your party was amazing and I love all of the little details. Matilda Jane might be THE CUTEST name I have ever heard…she is just adorable. Her party was beautiful and the fabrics you used were darling:)!


  31. hi good day! nice post for an event .. thanks for the idea. i think that it is also perfect to have a special events on a garden . very impressive! . attraction of the plants and garden accessories such as wind spinners and other garden accessories . very nature theme . anyways thank you i hope to read more post from you . kids gonna love this !

  32. What a beautiful party! I love all the soft colors!

  33. I love those pinwheels! What a sweet party 🙂

  34. I remember seeing this lovely post over the summer. Just came from the CSI project. Love all the little details. The fabric for the pennant -> perfect!

  35. What a pretty party. I LOVE the idea of the monogrammed bags! Visiting from CSI! Good Luck!

  36. I love the colors of this party! So soft and pretty. All your tissue flowers and the banner are just adorable. Perfect!

  37. I loved all of your shades of green and your attention to detail. Beautiful Party!

  38. What an amazing party for your precious little one! It inspired our own first birthday party for our baby girl: http://mallardcovemommy.blogspot.com/2011/04/kates-garden-partybug-themed-first.html

    I linked back to your blog a couple of times. Thank you so much for sharing your amazing ideas!

  39. Anonymous says

    What lovely coordination! I love the shot of the one featuring the hydrangeas (gasp!), bunting and pinwheels…three of my favourite things. And how does that potato salad look yummo. Great job on everything, including photography which means we in blogland can be inspired! Really well done.

    PS. I feel compelled to point out (in case someone hires you to run such a lovely party and you make the invitations) that the savoury Italian platter of meats & olives you served is called ‘antipasti’ (anti = before, pasti = meal/food). ‘Anti-pasta’ would mean ‘against pasta’! LOL

  40. I know this is old but I just love this! I want a garden themed party for my baby boys first birthday and this gave me so many great ideas

  41. Anonymous says

    What a great party!! I love it and many thanks for sharing your ideas. My sister-in-law wants a garden theme for her daughter. I am certainly going to forward this link…. It’s amazing. Thanks

  42. Absolutely loooove this!
    The menu looks terrific too!
    Happy birthday to your sweet babe!