Sunday, August 30, 2009
I finally finished my nine patch quilt from the One a Day Quilt Along. I enjoyed my first quilt along but the one a day aspect of it made it seem to really drag for me. It just feels like this quilt has been sitting around for a long time in various states of completion. I am not sure that I could have completed it any faster though given all the activity around here in the last few months.
I am pleased that:
1. Pulling the backing really taut and taping it to the dining room floor while basting the quilt made for my neatest quilt backing so far.
2. My corners are nice and neat.
3. The tension from my bobbin thread was better than the last quilt.
4. I love the colors and the look of the quilt.
5. It is perfectly crinkly.
I want to work more on:
1. The stippling until I am really happy with it.
2. Cutting the sash pieces even more carefully so that there is no stretching and buckling. I got a little of that this time but was able to smooth most of it out into the binding. It was enough to prevent me from straight line quilting though.
My last regret is that I didn't have enough material for the scrappy border. All in all I like it a lot and am excited to start a quilt to hang in the hall next.
Friday, August 28, 2009
Timothy is joining the cub scouts this year and my husband is going to be the den leader. They went shopping for uniforms today and came home with a pile of patches and a request to have them sewn onto their uniforms. So, here is my newest project! I just might make them wait until I stitch the binding that I am working on but Timothy looks so darn cute in the uniform that I don't want to wait too long.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
I am late to join in on this trend but here is my sewing space. The kids helped me neaten it all up over the weekend so that I could begin some new projects. The dresser contains my material. There are a few storage boxes in the attic too that contain felt, home dec materials, fleece and special occasion fabrics. I would like to make a mini quilt to hang above my machine. I also have a wooden chair that I plan to use at my sewing table once I make a cushion. I am saving selvages and plan to make a cushion using them for that seat. It is a great sewing space for me because it adjoins our dining room where the kids spend a lot of time eating and crafting. And my machine is against the only wall in the room. The rest of the walls are windows, ten in all plus a glass paned door. So I sort of feel like I am sewing out in the yard. I have a nice view of my garden, and of the road where the school bus comes so I can get out to the curb just in time!
And last of all, I managed to make my quilt sandwich last night for my nine patch. I was hoping to do straight line quilting but think that there are too many imperfections in my quilt top. I am worried that quilting it in that way might accentuate them so I am leaning toward stippling.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
My son was invited to a birthday party for a girl this week. I asked him what she might like for a gift. He is so observant that he was able to tell me how she wore her hair in case I wanted to make hair things and also that she brought American Girl dolls to school for show and tell. We decided on a princess ballgown for her doll. He went to JoAnn's with me (along with the other two) and helped select the fabrics. He also found the perfect thread match. It makes me proud! So, here is the ballgown, modelled by Lily's doll. It is based on the McCall's Craft pattern 9671. Now he is ready for the part he will enjoy the most, the bouncy house and cake!
I am not eager to sew on this type of fabric again. I said this once before, last fall, when I made Lily a pink princess dress to wear for her birthday. And I said it again at Christmas when I made her a satiny red dress. I really need to remember and not buy this kind of fabric again. It ravels so badly! With the quarter inch seams used when making dolls clothes, pretty soon you find yourself without any seam allowance! I assume that this is when a serger would come in handy? I used a small overcast stitch and it worked pretty well but it was still messy and painstaking.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Here is Penny's completed Christmas stocking. There were a few twists and turns in the design stage. I had started off thinking Christmas candies and gingerbread men. Then my husband suggested a gingerbread house instead. Pretty soon it became more of a house in the wintry woods. The main fabrics are Wintergraphix II by Jason Yenter for in The Beginning fabrics. The rest I had in the house.
Like the other stockings, I did a little hand sewing. I made french knots along the edge of the toe and heel to coordinate with the dots on the print. I also stitched branches on the evergreen tree, the windows, door, candles, and wreath on the house, etc. I sewed little crystal beads along the roof line to look like icicles. I was fortunate to have some pieces of large lace left over from a dress I made in high school that I cut in half for snow covered evergreens. They are one of my favorite features. And I had exactly enough of the pom pom trim on hand. It seemed meant to be! I think that they look like little snowballs and are very fitting.
It was fun to make and I hope that she likes it. I haven't made the kids' stockings very juvenile because I want them to grow with them. I expect that they will keep these stockings year after year.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Over a week ago, our niece gave us a caterpillar that was about to form its chrysalis. Sure enough, about two days later, we had a beautiful green chrysalis with gold accents. It really was a work of art. We suspected that we would have a butterfly by this morning because last night we could clearly see the details of the wings through the walls of the chrysalis. Sure enough, it greeted us this morning! It was still hanging on the empty chrysalis drying its wings. We brought it outside and placed it on some of the flowers in my garden. A few hours later, it fluttered away.
Monday, August 17, 2009
My most precious recent creation (now nine weeks old)...
and her shoes.
I know. I have to stop making booties! If more than two outfits are in the same color tone and do not include feet, I give myself permission to make a pair. It sounds even crazier when typed out for all to see.
I love this little pair with the flower pots. Honestly, making booties makes me so content and happy. Her feet are going to be growing out of the Stardust shoes soon so I got Amy Butler's Little Stitches for Little Ones out of the library since her booties pattern comes in sizes up to 12 months. I want to make a pair of those in a brown and pink pattern since they will go with lots of her fall outfits but I haven't found a cute print yet. Suggestions anyone?
Saturday, August 15, 2009
I am partial to white on white combinations so my stocking is all white on white patterns with snowflakes. I then hand stitched snowflake designs on the stocking body, and added decorative stitching along the heel and toe and the couple of patches on the body. I also scattered little pearl beads.
When the kids came along, I made their stockings to coordinate. Timothy's is on the left and Lily's is on the right. Timothy's is the only stocking with jingle bells and my husband is very jealous! I made his patchwork like his Daddy's but added red beads on the holly fabric print to appear as berries, and a hand sewn holly applique on the toe/body of the stocking. His stocking also has some decorative hand stitching along the heel and toe, like ours.
Lily has a yo-yo snowman sewn on top of a background meant to look like a snowy sky and pine trees. I sewed buttons from my grandmother's collection onto the stocking because they resemble snowflakes.
I really enjoyed making all of these stockings. I made each one two sided and identical on both sides. I liked combining hand sewing and machine sewing, as well as, applique and embellishments. I am posting these today because I have started on Penelope's stocking. I am having fun with it too! The "theme" of her stocking is Christmas candy/gingerbread.
Friday, August 14, 2009
We spent a few days in NH this week. I am glad to be home! Travelling with an infant isn't all that easy! Plus, I am homebody. The kids had a great time though and got to use the duffel bags that I made them for Christmas last year. I made them with our summer trips in mind. They were very excited to have their own bags to pack and quick to point out that I have another one to make now. I used a McCall's 3693 pattern.
For your amusement, quoteable quotes from the road:
Lily: "Daddy, I'll tell you when we get close to Grampy's because we will see mountains."
Mommy: "Look Lily, there are some mountains!"
Lily: "No, silly, those are trees! See, they are green and pointy!"
Mommy: "Lily, trees grow on mountains."
Lily: "Daddy, look, there are mountains!"
Lily: "Daddy, I'll show you where the pond is."
Daddy: "Lily, do you know where the pond is?"
Lily: "No, ha ha ha!"
Mommy: "Is Penelope asleep?" said quietly
Timothy and Lily: "Yeah!" "Yup!" shouted
Timothy and Lily: "No, she's awake!"
Daddy: "Why would people moor their canoes? Are you going to canoe out to your canoe?"
Mommy: "Perhaps they canoed out to their boats already."
(to think, he's the one who wants a sailboat...)
While at the lake
Lily: "Daddy, I have an idea, tomorrow you can wear just your bathing suit bottoms, no top, so your belly sticks out!"
Sunday, August 9, 2009
At Mass a few weeks ago, the priest told us of a girl in our parish who was diagnosed with cancer and treated. Just when her family thought she was clear, her scans showed that the cancer was back and she was given no hope. My heart breaks for her family. The fact that she is the exact same age as my middle child, makes it all the more heart wrenching. This little three year old seems to be handling things with a lot of strength and good humor. From what I hear, she is a girly, girl who likes to play kitchen and dolls. I decided to make her a little doll quilt. I gave it to the priest to deliver to her today with a note that told her to remember that we were thinking of her and praying for her when she cuddled her dolls. I hope it brings a little happiness to her day.
I used Amanda Jean's tutorial for the ragged square quilt (http://crazymomquilts.blogspot.com/2008/10/how-to-make-ragged-squares-quilt.html) except that I changed the dimensions. I made the squares 5", 3 1/2" and 2". The finished quilt measures 13 1/2" x 17 1/2". It was fun to give this type of quilt a try. I like the look and it is a breeze to put together.I really wanted to hurry up and get it finished because we don't know how much time the little girl has left. Penny wasn't cooperating with my plan and wanted to be held rather than put in her crib to sleep on Friday night. I found that I was able to stitch the binding while she slept on my chest. What do you know! I have more hope for finishing my nine patch now! It was really quite pleasant...
Saturday, August 8, 2009
In other butterfly news, my niece gave the kids a jar with a monarch caterpillar in it. It should be fun to watch.
Friday, August 7, 2009
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Monday, August 3, 2009
I have been wanting to try tie dye with the kids for ages. Today was the day! I was intimidated by the idea of trying the spiral design but it was actually really easy. I found an online video showing someone preparing the shirt for the dye and it clicked for me. It was confusing reading about it but seeing someone do it made it all make sense. Isn't that often the way? I didn't want to waste the dye so I tried to think of something other than tshirts to dye and underwear came to mind. My kids love fun underwear so we dyed some of those too! My nephew's fifth birthday is next week and his favorite color is yellow. The yellow shirt and underwear will be his. And we couldn't leave out his little brother so he will be getting a blue shirt. My son and daughter will keep the others. I bet they will be wearing them tomorrow. They want to put them on right now but they need to dry first! I want to try some more; buying slightly higher quality shirts. These are just undershirts bought at the dollar store. I didn't want to spend a lot while I was still learning. Now that I feel a little more confident, I was thinking of some long sleeve, heavier shirts for fall. By the way, dye and little kids really don't mix. It was a little stressful, especially when the baby woke from nap in the middle of the project!