Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Craft Hope for the Earth

We hosted a "cutting party" today and invited several of our friends from school to join us. Our school requires the kids to do at least one service project during the summer (as well as class projects during the year). I thought Craft Hope's current project, making wash rags that will be donated to several different organizations that are aiding in animal rescue and relief from the oil spill would be a timely project for the kids.

We had ten kids total and everyone brought old t-shirts, towels, sheets and fabric to cut. Many of the Mom's were happy to have an outlet for all the cast-offs that they'd been saving at home. I cut cardboard templates to the requested sizes so that the kids could trace them and then cut out the rags. When we were done cutting, the kids did a little math, sorting the rags into sets of ten.

Sharp scissors made for much easier work, we found, but regardless of the scissors, they kids had a great time working on this. In the end we had 360 rags cut with some families planning to go home and make more. We'll be sending four boxes out this week!

There were more piles on the other table, but we dared not mess up our sorted piles. We're so glad we were able to get a group together (on very short notice - my bad). When the work was done, the kids celebrated with ice cream cones. Honestly, my girls were so excited about this, you would have thought it was their birthday. Something to keep in mind when the birthday's do roll around!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

I'm back, but not yet back in the swing of things. I had a wonderful time in California, did plenty of thrifting (although you can never do too much), picked up lots of treasures, stayed up way too late, drank a lot of local wine and enjoyed seeing my Aunt and Uncle, my cousin and her husband and meeting new people as well. Sadly, I had to leave many of my treasures behind, as my suitcase couldn't hold them all and even with what I had in it, it was way over the weight limit. The fun thing is that I can look forward to bits and pieces arriving from time to time over the course of the year!

Now it's back to trying to keep some restless girls busy on their summer vacation. This week Sarah expressed interest in doing some "paper-gami" - her version of origami. I used this website, and we've made cranes, dogs, cats, butterflies, fish and balloons so far. Some are easy, almost too easy and some, like the crane, they require help with. But it has really held their interest and they are asking to do it daily. Now, I just need to figure out how to store all our creations.

Now I'm looking forward to getting my energy back and spending some time with my sewing machine. I sure would like to finish that summer quilt before summer ends!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Summer at Grandma's

I've been moving right along on my new quilt, and by "my", I really mean that it's going to be mine. Except that it's going to be so soft and light and wonderful that I expect people are going to want me to share. I'm making nine patches out of vintage floral sheets from my stash. The stash I was afraid to cut into for fear no more floral sheets would come my way, but they are still showing up, so I can relax while I cut more squares for this quilt.

And cut more, I must. Because I am not a planner, I just made what seemed like a big pile of 6" square blocks and figured I had enough for a quilt. And I did have enough...for a baby quilt. But for a quilt somewhere in the size of a twin, I am going to need more blocks. I've completed four rows and will probably want it at least 10 or twelve rows long, so I've got some work ahead of me - but really, is it work? Not in the least.

As I piece these blocks I am flooded with memories of summers at my Grandparent's house in Northern Michigan. The prints on the sheets remind me of the sheets on the beds at their house, their cool touch reminds me that there was air conditioning at their house and not ours. I was lucky enough to be able to spend a good bit of my summers with them, with their big back yard, their circular driveway perfect for riding bikes and roller skating in, their big basement that we played in and oh yeah, that lake across the road. I was prepared to share some horribly embarrassing pictures from my summers with you - pictures of excellent 70's fashions, bad hair and general grubbiness from playing outside all day, but I can't find them. Honestly!

My quilt will have to take a respite though, as I'm off on Wednesday to spend a week with my Aunt in California. A whole, responsibility free, obligation free, child free week. Hopefully I will return with a new energy and lots of good thrifted finds! Until then, enjoy your summer!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

In The Garden

My garden is coming along nicely. The zucchini and yellow squash plants are huge an covered in blooms and I've counted no less than five baby zucchini on the plant already. The cucumbers were slow starters, but in the past week they have really grown in size as well. And my new location for the tomatoes seems to have been just what they needed.

Last night while I was watering the tomatoes, I spied some red in there. I checked on them this afternoon and they were perfect for picking.

They never made it in the house. My hand model ate them as soon as I was done taking the pictures. I had to let her eat them, how do you tell a kid that she can't have veggies? And I am so thankful that I have at least one veggie eating girl. I'm still working on the other one.

I've got something else to share as well, but since I go through dry spells at times, I thought I ought to wait a day or so. I'll give you a hint though, it's the beginning of my new quilt and I love it!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

She Can Come Now

I gave her Momma my blessing and told her that her sweet baby girl is welcome to come any day now, as her quilt is finished. Yay! Actually, I have not heard from her Momma in a few days....she may already be here and thinking "Hey, Where's my quilt?!?". Or not.

I went binding shopping for this quilt on Monday. I didn't want to use one of the fabrics that was already in the quilt and didn't have anything else I liked. Plus, you really can't ignore the opportunity to go buy some fabric. I was certain that I would want to bind it in a pink - my hope was for pink polka dots. At my first stop I left with pink paisleys, which would have done just fine, but at my second stop I came across this turquoise polka dot from Amy Butler's new Love line and I did just that, I loved it for this quilt. I also fell for this new print, which surprised me, as I have never been big on navy blue, but lately is keeps popping into my thoughts. Hmm..

And I can't get over how much I love the feeling of a freshly washed quilt, when it starts to get all bumpy, lumpy and quilty. I have a really radical idea and that is, for my next project, I'm going to make something to keep here, for me, that I get to cuddle up with. I told you - radical. I've already started piecing some strips from this project which I started a while ago and I'm quite excited about it. It's going to be light and cool and perfect for summer, if I can finish it before summer is over.

So that's that and now I need to find out if there's a new baby out there waiting for me to home love on her!

P.S. Thank you for not mentioning that I hung this quilt sideways to photograph after taking great care to make sure that all the little trees in the pink fabric were vertical in the quilt. If it weren't dusk out now I'd take more, but it is and I'm not. You know, that's how the cookies crumble and all that good stuff.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

It's a Girl

The top to the baby girl quilt I started is done. This one didn't take care of itself in a week like the last baby quilt did, but I've had fun working on it. While I intended it to be a pink quilt, it really turned out to be a green and pink quilt with blue thrown in for extra measure. Sometimes these things have a life of their own....or your stash dictates what's going to happen.

In the future, if I decide to make another quilt of this style, I will go about it in a more orderly way. On the past two quilts, I have sewn the rows willy nilly with no set pattern or size. That is all nice and fine, but really, if I set about making 12" blocks and just fiddled within the parameter of the block, I think it would go faster, stay more square and probably look just as cute. Perhaps I should try one and find out.

Last night I had some "help" while I worked. I get a lot of help from this little guy. He is either asleep in the pile of fabrics I'm working with (and too cute to disturb), attacking my thread as it runs through my machine (grrrr) or as was the case the night before last, puking all over my chair and the small square of floor space I have to stand in and cut. The latter being my very least favorite form of help. The above I think is pretty darn cute, especially since he tunneled his way in on his own.

With or without help, preferably without, I hope to get this all pinned together tonight and start quilting tomorrow. It's small enough that I could get it done in a day, I think. I'll let you know.