Monday, September 21, 2009

Live and Learn....and Learn Again

When I was making my last quilt, I messed up. I think I mentioned it, but if I didn't, somewhere along the way, I let the backing fabric fold over onto itself and I quilted through it. I had to rip out about 4 feet of quilting. It was not fun. So, after that experience I told myself that I will be more thorough with my pinning and will pay more attention to what's going on underneath the quilt while I'm quilting so as not to have that nasty surprise again. And that's exactly what I thought I was doing as I finished up quilting Rachel's quilt top from last summer (ah hem). So my alternate title for this post was "I am an Idiot", as the same exact thing happened yet again. Thankfully this is a smaller quilt, the area needing to be torn out was smaller, etc., but still - I was not thrilled with myself.

In the end it turned out alright though, as she is happy with it. This was a summer project from last year. All incoming kindergartners had to had to have read (or have read to them) a book and done a project to share with the class relating to the book. Rachel and I read The Quilt Story by Tony Johnston and then she got to work making the nine blocks for this quilt. The quilt was actually inspired by this quilt, which I had seen on flickr, which was made by a six year old boy. So while I wouldn't let Rachel use the rotary cutter or the iron, she did pick all her fabrics, tell me what width and length to cut them and assembled them all on her own. I added the red sashing, did the quilting, put her name on it, and bound it. Some of the steps I was responsible for only happened in the past two weeks. (See previous post mentioning procrastination).

I think my biggest hang up about finishing this was that the quilt in the story has a little girl's name on it, and I just didn't know how to add her name, which was something she wanted on hers as well. I finally went with satin stitching the letters on and then a bit of quilting through them. She seems quilt pleased with the end result and it was a fun project to work on together. Sarah will have the same assignment this summer, so perhaps we'll read the same book and take the time to start her quilt, as she really seems quite interested in sewing. Then again, perhaps I ought to let her blaze her own trial, as she so often does anyway.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Why Procrastination Can Be A Bad Thing

I was waiting to pick her up in the auditorium this afternoon. She walked in and from across the room, all I could see was a huge smile and a little black spot. Yesterday's loose tooth is under her pillow tonight. She is so excited while I can't help but think, that was a baby tooth! There goes my tiny baby, bit by bit, day by day. Sniff.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Growing Up

Miss Sickie is feeling better. The fever broke last night and was replaced by ants in the pants. The girl needs to go back to school tomorrow! With so much sickness (on her part and others), I am worried about her new fixation, which isn't really clear in this photo. The bottom left tooth is loose. Quite loose now and she's working it constantly. I cannot count how many times today I have told her that when she goes back to school, she's got to stop wiggling it with her finger. I shudder at the thought of all the germs she'll be putting out there for others, as well has sticking back in her mouth. Ack. I'm sure she'll remember my words, along with "don't overdo it on the playground at recess". Yeah, sure Mom. She'll be fine though - she always is. In the meantime, I'm going to enjoy this picture and the priceless look of excitement on her face as she awaits the loss of this tooth - she's been waiting so long!

Monday, September 14, 2009


There is so much sickness going around in this neck of the woods. I wonder if it is like this all over the country, or if the South is just infirm. My sweet girl was a rock wall climbing, birthday party going, two pieces of cake eating gal yesterday afternoon and by 4 AM today she said it hurt to breathe. She is so rarely sick and always full of life and energy, so when something isn't right, I don't mess around. I say a "thank you" that our copay is low and take her to the doctor. The flu is already in her school, and that's what I was thinking, so I was surprised when the doctor looked at me and told me she had Pneumonia. Bless her heart! (Yep, we're in the South!) The antibiotics have begun, the school work has been picked up, now let the recovery begin!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

On the Move

That pile of squares from a week or so ago is now a third smaller. I finished this earlier today. It is now, officially, the largest quilt I have quilted, which still isn't very big. I went just shy of a twin, with the idea of it being a throw. It's actually wide enough for a twin bed though, and just a tidge shy of being long enough. That's where my "rough math" comes into play. The above pictures is before it got tossed into the wash - still all nice and crisp.

Here it is after it's been washed and all nice and crinkly. This is the one I did with several different white fabrics surrounding the blocks, in no particular rhyme or reason. It works for me. As a whole, you don't really notice it, which I think I like and up close it's not distracting, so hooray for laziness, frugality, impatience what have you. At least it worked!! I also went a different route for the backing. I was all set to buy about five yards of white fabric and piece it together when I got to thinking about just buying a flat sheet. Since I was lacking in patience that day, and couldn't find just a flat sheet, but I bought a full sheet set and figured I now have a second piece of backing and two spare pillow cases. Plus, the set was only a few dollars more than what five yards of mediocre fabric would have been and it was wonderfully soft organic cotton, so definitely an improvement.

Jim asked who this quilt was for. Alas, another one to give away. This one will be taking quite a long airplane ride and will hopefully surprise the recipient. The next few are staying with us though. I'll be on to twin quilts for the girls that will look just like these and then on to a throw for our living room and hopefully a table runner as well. I'm actually sketching ideas and kind of glad that I am. Imagine that, a little planning might actually prove beneficial! Oh, and before that, I'm going to finish this quilt. It's been over a year. Bad Momma!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Branching Out

This isn't the branching out's another quilt like this one, only larger. This will be my largest machine quilted top thus far. Wish me luck. It's pinned and ready to be tackled. Maybe tonight...if I'm feeling like a good upper body workout around 9 PM. I did buy a pair of quilting gloves, which are tacky on the palms, which I think might make the quilting process a bit easier, as long as my hands don't get too hot. I've come to my senses and am now pinning quilts on my dining room floor which is large and wood. Previously, I was using the floor around my sewing machine, which is carpeted and sort of acted like a flannel wall and didn't allow for much smoothing out of the bumps. Hardwood is much better for the task.

But hey, check this out....a new baby gift that's not a quilt and can be whipped up in an evening. Actually multiple bibs can be whipped up in an evening. The first one took a bit longer, as I made the pattern based on one of the girl's old bibs, but now they're easy peasy. I backed these with white chenille, and am now wondering if perhaps I ought to have put a layer of batting inside. Too late for the prototypes. These are going to Rachel's kindergarten teacher from last year. Actually, they're for her new baby granddaughter. The teacher knows how to sew, so hopefully the fact that these are the first two I've ever made will not be glaringly obvious to her.

And hey, what are these? My new shoes! I'm loving them!! They've made me feel spiffy all day, and worth the deal that they were!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


The other day, after it rained, Sarah and I went for a stroll in our neighborhood. I love our little neighborhood, which is really just one very hilly street. Every house is different, they're different architectural styles, different colors, the houses are on different degrees of hilliness, the yards are all different with different trees, plants, flowers, etc. I love that it's an old neighborhood and has so much character.

Neighbor's garage with carriage doors.

Different neighbor's decoration along his driveway.

Just down from the birdhouses. I gave away this red bench. On certain days, I kind of wonder why. Possibly because it wasn't secured to anything and kids kept tipping it over on themselves.

These are Four O'clocks. I only know this because I was told so. Needless to say, our yard is not featured in these photos. Maybe one day, after we quit ripping the insides of our house apart, we'll move outside and start spiffing it up. Maybe.