Friday, January 29, 2010

Reason for a happy dance!!

When we completely stripped the house out (it had been smoked in for 25+ years), we took out the ugly stair-rail and it's never been replaced.  This is what we've looked at for almost a year.
And though it meant Daddy gone many evenings using a borrowed shop to do this, we now get to look at this!!  I'm thinking photo-ops for quilts and aprons and such, and also a place to connect the safety-gate for when Andy begins crawling! There's a little cosmetic work to finish, but it's very sturdy.
Levi's happy to show any visitors the new addition that he 'helped' Daddy install.  I think it's beautiful!
Today was once again not a sewing day, we invited 'Grandma' Jeanie over for lunch and the afternoon and it was wonderful.  The kids got creative with the Lincoln Logs, though....... they made a fire to roast marshmallows!!  Ha ha!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Creativity struck again...

Yesterday I realized that the apron pattern I made up, uses one 1/2 yard piece for the main part, and that's what I had of the yellow!  I set to work and this is what I came up with..... an apron for me!  Breanna loves the way it turned out and said she wants one too, more on that further down....

For the neck band I made a tie, so its' adjustable- and I like the look.  Ric-rac also "seams" to add a lot.

For the ties I used wide, pink bias tape.

I was excited thinking it was done and ready to wear, when I realized I forgot the pockets!  So I made some quick, but tried using the cut-in-half charm square for the top band..... and realized I couldn't fit my hand into those pockets.  So since Breanna decided she wants one too, I think I'll use them for hers and make me some more.

Thanks for your compliments on the star block, and since I only have one finished- I'm going to use it for her apron too!  This is a fun little apron grandma Jill bought her a few years ago that she absolutely loves, so I'm going to try something similar. She uses it for playing "cook", and it's getting pretty small.

On a funny note; yesterday when I was working on my apron, Breanna came and asked me (regarding a blog I read), "Mom, does she really quilt in her pajamas?" I said I thought so, she seemed ok with it, and I figured it was done.  However, less than a minute later she came back wearing her "cooking" apron and said "Mom, I'm going to be the girl that sews in my apron!"  I haven't laughed so hard in a long time.  =) 

I was hesitant to make her an apron with these fabrics since she seems to stain her aprons at mealtime, but Tyler mentioned maybe we could sew in our matching aprons! She has been sewing up a storm, so this could be fun.  Then when I'm done I'm not covered in threads and strings!

She has been sewing up a storm.... mostly on her own!  I have tried a few projects with her, but found it frustrating because though she has all the enthusiasm possible- she is still barely 5 and needs a bit more coordination to make clothes.  She kept begging me to let her sew, so I finally said sure- but use your machine.  I'd given her some scraps and let her have at it- and you should see what she's coming up with!  She's getting great practice at using the machine, and even wound her own bobbins while I was making dinner!  When the machine jams up she just stops and uses a needle and thread till I can come help.  She's having a blast and I can sew at the same time....

There's quite a bit of the fabric left, so I'm thinking a doll quilt and maybe a small purse.  Back to the machine, maybe tomorrow.  Today has been one of those "taking care of three little ones is about all I get done" days.  But I love them, they won't last forever. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Here's why I don't always appreciate the expensive quilt shop fabric; I am affraid to ruin it and don't want to cut it!  A couple years ago I bought this charm pack from Moda called "Spring Meadow", and 1/2 yard of one of the prints (yellow).  I spent hours deliberating what to do with it, Sewed them together with white squares like a checkerboard, then tore that apart.. 

I made some 4-patch units to end up in this "star" pattern I came up with, then after finishing one star decided it was too much work and not that cute, so there it stands.

Ironically, on one of Marlene's visits, she brought me Fat Quarters of the same fabrics, that she had in her stash and said she wouldn't use!!  But..... I still can't seem to come up with a plan. 

I'm not planning on any more children (Breanna wants a sister, but there's no guarantee 4 kids means two of each.... =D ), so a baby quilt seems silly.... and I absolutely LOVE these fabrics/colors!  Any suggestions or ideas?

I've also got a bad case of the "blah's" today, and I have no idea why.  My birthday was last weekend and I'm 32 now, but I really don't feel any older- so that must not be it.  My friend Ellen definately isn't old, and she turned 65 the next day, so 1/2 her age can't be old either, right??

The card on the left is one I made for her, and the one on the right is for another friend with a similar birthday.  I'm feeling so goofy today I don't even feel like making more of these cards..... Any ideas for motivation?  Not to be totally whiney, but I can't even enjoy a cup of coffee because it upsets the baby's tummy!  And I'm not into chocolate.....

Aha, I just realized that I may know what's contributing.  I spent an hour on the phone today with my sister who was on her way to Jo-Ann's to get some scraps for making these cards..... but she's about 4000 miles away...... I WANT TO GO WITH HER, we haven't spent time together in ages!!! Ok, so I guess I can't do much about it.  Miss you Anna!!

Working on a WIP

I pulled out an old project I stopped for some reason (I think it was last January when we were packing to move), in the hopes of finishing it.  Here's what I'd done before storing it: 

I sewed the strips together with sashing, and added some borders.  Even though I don't like the process of aplique, I love the finished result; and decided this would be nice with some flowers and vines apliqued around the larger border. Any advice or better ideas??

Then I'm thinking of scalloped edges.... they always look so nice and are worth the effort.  Right now, tho, it's ready for quilting and then hand-applique to the top later.

I seem to be good at making quilts and then keeping too many of them, hence quilts that aren't getting used.  So, this one I decided would be great hanging in the living room or dining room, as it matches the colors nicely. Always nice to finish up something that's been sitting around!  I've been busy on lots of things, actually, but this is what I have photos of.  How many WIPs do you have? I'm very excited about my goal this year of not spending.... it's encouraging me to finish things up!  I can't seem to find anything that will be suitable for binding, tho, so it may get to that step and have to wait till next January.  This was a scrap quilt, measuring about 48" square, I'm guessing.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

More fun with cards

**Note: I had a hard time with lighting for the photos, since I was trying to do it at night and there were also camera shadows.  Sorry!

Today I tried some more cards, these aren't quite finished. I cut a piece of computer paper into quarters, then sew the fabric scraps onto that with a zig-zag stitch. I tried some with a straight stitch and overlapping seams, but like the look of this better.  Once this is done, you glue this with a glue-stick to a piece of cardstock that will be what you write in. I plan to embelish with buttons, ribbons, ric-rac, and such; but this is what I have so far.

A kite!  This was the kids' favorite, and mine too!

This was my first try at it, but I like the yellow/red better.

Cupcake Birthday card.

And another.

In pink.

Cars and Trucks for the boys.

More stripes.

Some brights, not sure about this one.


Some Cherries.  It's obvious now I should have used red thread for this one!  =)

These all look distorted because the edges are curled a bit, the glue-stick should help that.  If you've ever tried paper-pieced quilts, this reminded me of that but without the seams.  You just lay the scraps next to each other and sew. You should at least try one- they are so fun- but now I'm thinking I'll never be able to throw ANYTHING away!!!

Since there's only one leap-pad in the house, the kids have to share.  I found them making this joint effort today.  Nice how they already inclue Andy!  =D

Monday, January 18, 2010

Pink and Purple for Anelise is Complete!

Wow, I actually got it done before the day it was needed.... that's new for me!  =D  Here it is on the quilting table.

Draped over the edge, after the binding was finished.

And the back, not too exciting, but it coordinates with the front, and the binding contrasts it well.

All folded up for a closer view.

A pretty variegated thread.

And after a washing for that wonderful crinkly texture.

BTW, this one really shrunk in washing, good thing I made it a little big!  The biginning measurements were 67.5in. x 95in., but after washing it was down to 63in. x 89.5in.!!

And, of course, one of the kids. Whenever I try to take a picture of Andy, there are two others that instantly appear!  =D  I'm so glad they are such good friends.

Happy 6th Birthday, Anelise!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Almost ready for Monday.....

I've just about finished the top for the pink and purple scrap quilt, and I pieced together a backing from two purples and one pink in yardage from my stash.  My goal on Friday is to get it onto the machine and quilted, so I can bind it when I get a chance.  The birthday party for my daughter's friend is on Monday, so I don't have very long to finish!

In case you're wondering why such a huge gift for a friend; her mother has given me both girl & boy hand-me-down clothes for years now, for my kids. I've been planning on doing this as a thank you for some time, and it's also clearing out some of my scrap buckets!  =)

I'm liking how it's turning out, much brighter than the photos show, and there are a lot of memories in those leftover pieces from other projects! I was reminded, though, that scrap quilts sure take a lot more time.

For the past few days the baby has been sucking on his lip, drooling almost constantly, and somewhat fussy/won't sleep well, etc.  Tonight I felt in his mouth, and there are two teeth coming in on the bottom!  They haven't broken the skin yet, but this explains what's been going on.  He's been pretty happy in spite of it, though!

Yesterday when I made the kids PBJ's for lunch, they were elated at how I cut them into triangles. What caught me funny, though, was that they referred to them as "Trusses", since their daddy spends all day designing trusses at work!  =D

Monday, January 11, 2010

The little things

Since my friend Amy showed me the cards she'd been making with tiny leftover scraps of fabric, I've been anxious to try! So when I had a couple spare minutes I whipped these out.... and let me tell you.... they are a blast! 

I used to think card-making was kindof boring..... but not this way!

I told my husband I want to cut a 1/2 inch strip off every piece of fabric I own just to make more.... would that be crazy?  =D  Originally I'd saved lots of "stringy" scraps to crochet into tiny rugs such as this one on our table that's been well-loved.....

Or this one that's never been finished....

But I really do prefer these cards.  When finished, they'll be glued onto card-stock. Can you tell what my favorite color is?  Actually I had pink scraps out from two recent quilts, so they were handy to use.

And the sweetest little thing around here.....

...will be 5mos. this week! Oh how the time flies.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

New Year, New Direction

This week when I went to pay our credit card bill, I just about hit the roof. Between renovating our home, paying off the quilting machine, and living expenses; we've gone into what I consider rediculous debt and it has to stop. So we've come up with a bare-bones-only spending goal, which means absolutely no extras.
I've been amazed at how good it feels to buy nothing except the bare necessities, and we're taking charge of our debt so we can get rid of it!  I am usually quite frugal, but I definately have a large enough stash from the last 10yrs. or so that I should be able to finish quite a few projects at no cost.  I also bought a 40yd. roll of batting on extreme sale a week ago, and I have quite a bit of quilting thread, so I should be set. 
My goal this year, is to finish up projects and make new projects; without spending a penny.  I went through my photos of quilts and found quite a few that were made from scraps or leftovers, and think it will be a very fun challenge; and very possible.  Here are some of them:

This fun & bright quilt is baby size and went to Leilyn when she was born.

This queen-sized spiderweb quilt in blues and yellows won third place at the state fair.

This table-runner with cherries went to my friend Trisha.

This cheerful lap-size quilt went to my friend Katie.

This sweet quilt was baby-size and went to Samantha when she was born.

This Americana quilt with Teddy Bears is still here, and is very-large lap size; I'm planning on hanging it in the kids room.

This doll-size quilt with dolls on it, went to Isabella for her birthday.

This quilt of reds is still here also, it is lap size.

This doll quilt went to my niece, Orianna, on her first birthday.

A couple of the recent quilts I've blogged about are from scraps also, and I'm excited to see what the new year brings. I need to take inventory on my WIP's, they are usually very fun because they don't need much to be finished!