Sunday, January 31, 2010

In the Works

I've picked fabric for a new quilt. This one is a big deal - it's for us. All my friends have quilts I've made for their babies, my kids have quilts I've made, but the Mr. and I do not. I want to get this one right. My first thought was just yellow, orange and green. Then I realized that those were the colors in my childhood bed room. Not there is anything wrong with them - I'd be thrilled to come across some of the linens in a thrift store, as one of my college roommates once did, but I feared creating a 1970's flashback that I would not love. So I'm adding some blue and a dash of red.

I am loving this quilt by urban.patchwork and am hoping to make blocks in a similar style, as I think that would suit both our tastes. I've already had a request for no flowers, so I know it can't be feminine. I'm also trying to do something that's not a log cabin, as I feel I've done that a lot as of late. I sure do love them though! This seems like a good direction.

And I'll also be pulling scraps to use in the quilt. Here's my scrap sorting method - kitty litter buckets. Really, they work quite well. With the addition of the kittens, we've been going through it like crazy and I will soon have a bucket for every color (I'm up to 8, but can't show you all of them as this area is a mess). They fit under my sewing table and with the lids on, can actually stack two high. Of course, they aren't the prettiest things to lo0k at and at some point I'd like to make a skirt for my table so that things look a little less junky, but to be honest, it will take a lot more than a table skirt to keep my area from looking junky. Baby steps though.

Friday, January 29, 2010

And then She Was Seven

And just like that, my sweet, tiny baby went from being cradled in my arms to being a seven year old. That number is hard for me to grasp. Like there is no going back. She's going to grow up on me whether I like it or not. She readily welcomed it whole hearted - excited as could be. What she wasn't counting on though, was a surprised snow storm that sent her home from school early and pretty much scratched her birthday party plans. One friend has made it for the sleep over though, we still "rocked out" (her words) to the Beatles and ate pink electric guitar cake.

I had to edit this to add her party invitations. She drew each one with a picture of herself and the friend it was intended for, giving great thought to how the friend really looks and what their "rock star" outfit would look like.

Oh, and we played in the snow, of course.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Baby Gift in a Jiffy

Quick and easy...I can't complain. This quilt would have been done Sunday afternoon if I hadn't gotten sidetracked by the note cards. As it was, I finished binding it yesterday, less than three days after I started it. It measures 40" long by 28" wide, so it's not a wimpy size, which I would have expected of myself if I was going to make a quilt in three days. I imagine that the bigger you go with this type of quilt, the more laborious it may become, as you have to spin it around so often due to the small size of the blocks. This sews up so fast though, and is such a great way to use up all those scraps. Between the note cards and this style of quilt, my qualifications for scraps are pretty liberal now. One day I will show you how I store all my scraps. I'll give you one hint right now....kitty litter - yup, that's your hint.

I love the texture that comes with this quilt. I am imagining (hoping) that this could be loved by little people who often like things with some texture. Perhaps this will come to be a lovey that has little fingers running across it as a sweet girls falls asleep. The backing is flannel for extra cuddly softness. You can find the details on how to make one of these for yourself back on this post.

The Mr. is thinking something like this might be nice for us, but only fill in some areas with squares. I guess then, I could just quilt squares into the top to help hold the layers together. Something to think about. I think he is thinking that I really ought to make us something, and I think it would be ironic if he's dreaming up quilt projects for me while I dream up wood working projects for him. Guess we're meant to be.

Monday, January 18, 2010


Haiti has been near and dear to the hearts of many people that I know for several years now. These photos were taken by my husband in Haiti about five years ago now. It's easy to remember when he went, as I was home pregnant with Sarah. He spent a week there with the Children's Nutrition Program (CNP), which works to fight malnutrition in Haiti. They have an incredible program called Hearth, which you can read more about on their website.

I have another friend who traveled to there a couple of years ago with The Cotting School, (which helps students with physical, learning and communication needs) where he works, to work with their sister schools in Haiti through Hearts with Haiti. And I have yet another friend who traveled there just last January with a church group to help with some building projects.

I have not talked anyone who has returned from a trip to Haiti that has not been moved by the spirit of the people there. In the face of constant adversity they persevere, laugh, love, smile and praise God. The news reports coming out of Haiti have shown this spirit, as even, without a church left standing in Port au Prince, people still gathered to sing, pray and worship.

So what do we do? I love this option from the American Red Cross - just text "Haiti" to 90999 and a $10 donation will be made to the American Red Cross and added to your bill. The organizations I mentioned above all have links and take donations as well. And here's one that makes me excited as well. Craft Hope has set up an etsy shop that is being filled day and night with donations from the crafting community. You can either shop within their store or donate something to be sold. All of the profits are going directly to Doctors Without Borders . I have donated the above set of seven note cards and am hoping to get a few more things made and ready to donate. You can get information on how to donate items via the Craft Hope website. They have already raised over $8,000!

So if you're still contemplating what you can do, hopefully one of the above links will speak to you.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Startin' Somethin'

Yes, I just quoted a Michael Jackson song title. I'm not sure I'm proud of myself, but the fact is, I started something. Since complaining about not having anything of a significant scale going on didn't seem to bring about the results I was looking for, I decided to actually start something. Now I feel much better. I first saw Amanda Jean's (of Crazy Mom Quilts) Ticker Tape quilt when she posted it on Flickr. I was in awe. For one thing I couldn't figure out how she'd made it - it looked near to impossible to make in the ways I contemplated it. So imagine how happy I was when I stumbled upon a tutorial for a doll sized version over on Sew, Mama, Sew! . Suddenly it all made sense, seemed very doable and a great way to use up some scraps. So I've set out to make one for a little girl that is due to arrive in March. This one is larger than the doll sized quilt in the tutorial and size was dictated purely by the size of the piece of flannel I already had for the back. I am almost giddy at the thought of having the gift ready before her birth. That is a true accomplishment for me. My mind is also thinking that if I could have one quilt finished before January ends, and another one started, I may be able to keep the energy flowing and get to work on my New Years Resolution (making more quilts than I did last year).

And speaking of New Years Resolutions, I made one more which I'm already failing at, but it is more important than the quilting one. I want to say "thank you" more. Thank you for stopping by here to read all the irrelevant things I have to say, thank you for your kind comments, thank you for being part of this awesome community.....thank you. I plan to say it a lot more in the coming year as well, but here's a start.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Sewing for Girls

I'm having a bit of a hard time getting started on a new big project. I want so badly to be in the midst of one, because I know how much satisfaction I get from it, but I'm dawdling right now. I've spent a lot of time on flickr and picnik as of late and have decided to give the 365 project a go. I'm enjoying that, so it's not bad dawdling, but nonetheless, I'm not not in the midst of a quilt, which I would like to be. But, I have gotten a thing or two taken care of as well.

These need to get in the mail right away, as there is no point in welcoming a baby when her parents are planning her first birthday party. The two bibs are for a gorgeous new little girl and the doll is for her big sister, who was Sarah's nearest and dearest friend while they were in daycare together. Back in the day, ya' know. The bibs are just one piece of fabric backed with chenille - the dog fabric came from Ikea where, in the children's department, you can buy very large cuts of some of their children's fabrics already wrapped up and ready to go for a really reasonable price (which I can no longer remember). I think sewing for little girls is so much fun and I only wish I was better at garment sewing....or that my girls would wear what I make them (perhaps then I would be more inclined to become better at garment sewing).

Monday, January 4, 2010

The Last of Christmas

The tree has been undecorated and moved to the curb (sad). The undecorating part of Christmas is not a favorite of mine. After all the warmth and glow that the lights and decorations bring, the new year feels sort of bare and cold. Especially cold right now, given the temperatures! I'm currently gathering some of my favorite pieces of artwork from the girls and working on getting them into frames with the grand idea of rearranging all our wall art some time soon. Hopefully that will add some new cheer and warmth back into the house. I'm also slightly fixated on painting some walls white. I feel like it's my tendency to add a smidgen of brown to everything and right now I'm longing for crisper, cleaner colors. We shall see. I've been perusing the galleries on flickr and have lots of decorating itches to scratch right now.

And one last handmade Christmas gift to share with you. Jim was sweet enough to make six of these in the days leading up to Christmas. I had seen these on maya*made and thought they would be great kid gifts. He did a great job of making these out in the garage just as the temperature started to drop. Perhaps it will be my tradition to hit him up with a wood working project every other year, as it was two years ago that we collaborated on these. I think the kids will (one day) appreciate having hand made gifts from the both of us.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy New Year!

Just wanted to pop in and wish you a Happy New Year ( a day late...apparently there is one resolution I am damned to fail at every year). We are off to a good start celebrating with family and friends, sleeping in and just hanging out at home. We're off to a birthday party now and will deliver this bunting, which has the recipient's name on the other side. Lots of crafting planned for the new year with a goal of making at least one quilt more than last year, although I don't currently know what that number would least five or six. I'm already anticipating the arrival of three new babies (not mine!!), so I'll be well on my way. I hope your new year is filled with the things that make you happy as well.