Monday, January 31, 2011

Scraps and kids

When we went to NY for the holidays, I took along some leftovers of my 1930's Reproduction prints.  I think my favorite pattern is the log cabin block, and my favorite fabrics are these reproduction prints; so I thought it fitting to put them together.
After making the blocks I tried some different layouts.
This one seemed to work best.  I do have them sewn together, but since my sewing room is so "clean" right now (or something.....) I can't find it to take a photo.
Then with the scraps of the leftovers (I'm not sure what exactly counts as a scrap, but by this point they were definately scraps!), I cut 1.75" squares and sewed them together for a tiny doll quilt.  I used the machine for the piecing, but the quilting was done by hand.
Once again, I was really getting down to the scraps, and the piece I had saved for backing wasn't quite big enough.  So I cut two lines and added some more blocks.  Now all I need is binding and it's finished, measuring about 14" x 17".  Then I think I'm going to hang it on the wall in the sewing room.
I've been saving some of Tyler's shirts that have tears or the collars are too worn, and that are blues and yellows; to make into a quilt.  I found some soft yellow sheets at the second-hand store that are in great condition, so am planning to use the flat for backing, and the fitted & pillow cases for the top if needed.  I was thinking of a disappearing-nine-patch pattern, that way I can just cut a bunch of squares and then see how big it will turn out.  This will be a fun memory-quilt too, most of these shirts were my favorites.  My mom added 2 of my dads (not shown), and I found a pretty one at the second-hand store for $1.  You have to tear them apart and make them into "fabric" before cutting, so it's an involved process but fun for memories!
This is quite off the subject, but while in NY I took a picture of my "dream house".  Isn't it adorable?  Probably old enough to have no insulation, but I love it.  I'm sure Tyler will be excited to come up with plans to built it when we retire.  =)
To be honest, I have not walked every day; but I have walked quite a few, and much more than before!  The problem is that I am often so busy that it's quite a challenge to just get out, but also it's not very much exercise when you have 3 little helpers.  The big kids like to ride bikes, but Levi has a hard time on the hills and is still a bit slow.  In the end they are all ready to come home and I feel like I haven't done much.  This weekend I brought home a double-jogging-stroller from my mom's house that is in pretty rough shape but should do the trick.  Breanna loves to speed along on her bike, so now maybe I can speed along pushing both boys in the stroller.
We've got a little boy in this house that is obsessed..... with tractors.  I seriously don't know any other word to correctly describe him currently.  The word is repeated so many times a day that it almost makes me crazy, and he can sit for huge amounts of time just pouring over auction magazines that have tractor photos.  At Grandma's we found Uncle Jared's toy from a long time ago.... he loved it!
In our backyard...
I had tried to take some photos of the kids in their matching jackets, but he was not at all cooperative.  But when we brought out the tractor (above), he was fine!  This was the best shot; non-traditional, but cute.
These friends, on the other hand, cooperated wonderfully!
I love these cuties!
Here's a fun one taken inside the night before.
One of Levi on Jared's tractor too.
Speaking of obsessions, mine is definately quilting.  (duh).  Anyway, I had the thought awhile ago, that if I was as crazy about exercise as I was about fabric; I wouldn't have a weight problem.  Hmmmm.  But if I was as crazy about cooking, we'd all have quite the weight issues. (I enjoy cooking, but it's definately not up there on the list).  So, I'm trying hard to be less obsessive, is that possible with fabric/quilting books/ideas?  Not sure, but it's worth a try.  In any case, while trying to organize my sewing room at the new house; I've noticed that I really need to work on stash-reduction.  Then today this blog post made me even more excited about such prospects.  I love reading other sewing blogs, let me know if you have found some other great ones!

Friday, January 21, 2011


Looks like you're all winners!  I decided to make hot-pads out of your favorite colors, so if you forgot to note that part let me know!  I'll also need you to email me your mailing address for when they're all complete.

I liked all of your ideas, but ended up choosing Katie's.  When I was admiring the block; I noticed that I hadn't made one of the seams big enough, and I'm affraid it might not hold up as well to constant use as it would to hanging on the wall.  I guess we all make mistakes, and as I said before I don't prefer paper-piecing, but I was still very disappointed.  To help I stitched around each "goose" and now need to add borders and binding and some embelishments.
And Katie gets a pot-holder too:
I started working on some for the rest of you, but ran out of time.  My birthday is Monday, so we came over to my brother's house for the weekend. 

As far as the walking, I had a funny experience on Tuesday.  We were walking down the road and Tyler's boss came driving up in his truck, so he stopped to say hello.  He had a funny look on his face like he thought I was from the looney bin, but politely asked if we were just out getting some fresh air.  When Tyler came home he said he'd come back and said that after he talked to me he googled the temperature in Wasilla (it was -6), and decided that it was actually good weather. (40 or so, I think.)  See, it's all in perspective; we thought it was a nice day to be out walking (no snow!), yet he thought it was too cold to be out.  I am really enjoying this warmer weather!
My walking buddies.
I love (and so does he) these tiny rubber boots!
And this little guy is cheerful on our walks!

By the way, thanks for all your comments, looks like you know more about this than me!  Anyone know where it says there are RSS people, or who they are?  I can usually make a sewing machine do just about anything, but when it comes to computers I'm a little behind!  =)

Monday, January 17, 2011

First day walking.

Today I walked/jogged for 22 minutes.  I have no clue how far I went, but the wind was strong enough to make it feel like I did double the mileage!  It was beautiful and sunny, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.  The path thru the farm-fields was a bit muddy, so I was glad to not have the stroller or little feet tagging along.  I did, however, miss their sweet little voices and chattering.  I also realized after last post that I was a bit incorrect; my height is 6ft and 1inch, and the scale says 222lbs.  I'm tracking my journey, so have to be accurate! 

This is the "worm-snake" the kids came in to tell me they'd found today. It was only a garder snake, but I do strongly dislike snakes.  There were none in Alaska, definately a bonus.

I found a very easy tutorial yesterday on making flying geese blocks, which I have wanted to learn to make forever.  They're simple, but I wasn't sure on calculating them to get the correct finish, and in case you're interested, here it is: Flying Geese Tutorial.  Then I did a search for some interesting blocks using this design, and found something that looked much more exciting.  However........ it involved paper piecing, which I remember now all the reasons I don't like that process.  The block turned out alright, but I think I'll try some according to the tutorial next time.  Here's my block; I quilted it and now need advise in what to make it into.  I was thinking maybe pillow, or purse, any ideas?

Levi said he did this for decoration in the garage.  Made me smile.
These are some Fat Quarters from my sister-in-law Bethaney when we were in NY, she buys things and sells them on Ebay for a profit.  I was very happy to get a good deal that still made her some money, AND not have to pay for shipping!  Our bed is king-size and our biggest quilt is queen-sized, so these and a few more are going to be used for that.  I absolutely love blue & red together.  Very country. These are from the line called "Cottage Romance".
And last but not least, my sewing buddy (photo in Alaska).  Because it let me upload 5 photos!  =)  It actually acted like it was going to do more, I'll have to try more next time.  Thanks to all who had photo-advise!

By the way, I've been noticing something; when I do a blog post, there are usually about 30 or so views that same day.  I have 18 "followers", and usually a few people leave comments, so who are all the others?  I would hesitate to believe that those who leave comments are each checking back 6 times a day.....?
So, I guess I'm going to have to do a give-away to get people to come forward?  I keep running into people that say they check my blog, but I had absolutely no clue!  I thought today when I was working on that circular flying geese block, I could give the finished product away to someone who has a good ideat what to do with it!  So leave a comment if you're intersted, and tell me what you would do with it, and also your favorite color.  I know some are really not into pink, but surely you know someone who would like it as a gift?  If I get enough feedback maybe I could make some others in different colors and pick more than one person!

Edit: I will pick the winner/s on Friday, January 21st.

Changing my mind

After a little break, I've actually been missing this!  I've also been thinking about the fact that it's quite fun to go back and read my old posts, especially the ones from the old blog.  So, I am going to start up again but with the forewarning that it will be on an as-time-permits basis.  I know it's fun to read blogs where there is lots of posting, and at times it may be that way, but bear with me if not. 
Here is a current family photo that was taken while visiting Tyler's family in NewYork, for those of you who could care less about the sewing part.  =)

By the way, I have decided that I am tired of looking and feeling the way I do, and it's time to do something about it.  I know as soon as I say something like that people get all fuzzy & nice and saying things about me being tall and not looking heavy, but I just plain feel yucky.  My midsection, primarily, has not been the same since stretching immensely 3 times to bear my children.  Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't trade them for the world; but it definately left me with some excess baggage, as some refer to it, "a spare tire".  Having to buy 2x clothing is also quite limiting when shopping.  And if you go to any height/weight charts, even at 6ft, 220 pounds is consered obese.  And not the low end of obese.
We had a fun night of playing basketball awhile back, and after one game of "bump" I seriously thought I was going to pass out or have a heart attack after all that running.  For those of you who've played "bump" with about 8 people, there's really not that much running!
Why I'm telling you this, is because I seriously need some motivation.  Walking daily is my goal, and I figure if I let you know then I'll be accountable to you.  Anyone want to join in?  I'm starting out right now since Tyler took the kids to the livestock auction to watch the fun.  Yipee.... walking where I want AND at the speed I want!  Excuse me if only young mothers with multiple children that are too big to ride in the stroller can relate to this happiness.  =)

As far as posting photos, I learned that you just have to load 5 photos and then go back and write between them for best results.  So maybe I'll be having some frequent "5 photo" posts.  =)