Tuesday, February 28, 2012

T-Shirt Quilt Update

There's really nothing to update on the quilt except my sketch of what I want the back to look like.  

The Front.  Twin Sized.  (huge)
Daughter helped me spread it out in the office
The Back
I did a rather poor job of making sure the binding got scanned onto the image.  But you get the idea.  Black on top, Ivy and Rose on the bottom (if I can find ones I want) And a red binding that coordinates with the rose fabric. And the JC applique.

I've only found one ivy fabric I like and it's on a website in England.  (that has fantastically cheap shipping to the US, BTW) but I've put myself on a spending freeze in anticipation of a pretty huge household expense (there's nothing fun about needing a new furnace AND central heat/air unit)

I haven't found any rose fabric I like enough to say, "that's the one."

So, I've just put this on hold for awhile.  But the good news is, I finally have BBWP's shirts and money for interfacing so I can start her quilt.  It'll be much smaller than mine but I'm excited about the ideas I have for making it fabulous with fewer shirts.

Neither projects are deadline driven.  We're just taking our time and waiting and looking.  But  I'm excited about both.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentine's Love Notes in felt envelopes

Yesterday I showed my Husband a little extra love by leaving him 3 short "love notes" around the house in places he would find them before work. And I cooked his favorite meal that I make (Eggplant Parmesan) for dinner.  Nothing big and extravagant, but just a couple of little things to make him feel special.

I found a tutorial to make felt envelopes on Pinterest.  It looked really easy (until I realized the template link was broken.  Making my own adding a little extra time but they are still pretty easy to whip up) so I headed for Hobby Lobby to get 6 sheets of felt and with the help of my 40% off one item coupon, I made the investment in pinking shears. (I actually made 3 envelopes but one was sent to AZ for a wife to surprise her husband with)

Instead of doing the zig zag lines where the address and return address go, I embroidered our initials.  I thought that added a special personalized touch.

I wrote 2 short sweet notes for the envelopes and I left the first envelope in the bathroom by Husband's toothbrush.  The second was left by the coffee pot.  and the third note was funny and envelope-less.  I taped that one to the steering wheel.   

maybe one day the envelopes will get RTS with a note to me in them.  ;-)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Dora Loves Boots and Daughter Loves Son

After seeing how much the kids love story time at the library every Wednesday, I've been making the effort to make sure we're there.  The downside of that is, I have to discuss things like Valentine's Day to my kids because they heard books about it for 3 weeks in a row.  I'm not very big on Valentine's Day but really, in its simplest terms, what I told them about Valentine's Day is really what we should make it - It's just a special day when you make sure the people you love know it.  flowers, candies, jewelry, big romantic gestures that aren't made on any other day of the year aren't really my thing but I do think it's important to make sure the people you love know it and create great memories they can carry with them about the importance of showing love.

Well, because we go to the library each week now, we also get library books each week.  Last week, Daughter picked Dora Loves Boots. It's Valentine's themed.  Dora loves her best friend, Boots, and wants to give him a surprise on Valentine's Day.  So she picks strawberries for him because Boots loves strawberries.  And Boots wants to surprise his best friend, Dora, so he goes to Chocolate Lake and gets some chocolate for her because Dora loves chocolate.  Then, like with any Dora adventure, they arrive at their destination with the help of Backback and Map (while also stopping Swiper from swiping).  At Rainbow Rock they reveal their surprises and decide to dip the strawberries in the chocolate for a super special treat.

The kids love Dora, Boots, chocolate and strawberries.  So after reading the book about 17 times, we went to the store and bought out of season strawberries (Sorry, Barbara Kingsolver but they were delicious - at least they were from Florida and not California) and a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips.
Son decided he wasn't going to combine his strawberries with the chocolate.

Daughter was a good dipper

and after all the strawberries were dipped or eaten, the messy fun began. 

He didn't want to mix his strawberries and chocolate, but he sure enjoyed his fill of both.
And they enjoyed a bubble bath after and enjoyed the chocolate covered strawberries for days.  It was a big hit.  And the kids were both excited that they got to be like Dora and Boots.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Second Saturday Sunday: babies and furry friends.

Saturday JSS mentioned how we've been meeting and sewing together for almost a year.  And I've got lots of great things to show for it.  And rather fittingly, while having this conversation I was working on a baby quilt using the same tutorial that I used on our very first meeting.  And I wasn't the only one working on baby quilts.

JSS finished piecing the top to this AMAZING quilt for a soon to be arriving baby girl.

Marie quilted this quilt for a VERY soon to be arriving niece
 Susan wasn't working on a baby quilt.  no.  She was making dog collars.  Seriously.  And they are really great.  And inexpensive enough that if you'd like your pup to have a special holiday collar or just a collar that doesn't look like every other one in the pet super store and don't want to spend a ridiculous amount of money you can order from her etsy shop and know you've got a great deal and a very special collar.
houndstooth for your hound.

I had super big plans.  I was going to finish THREE baby quilt tops.  silly, silly.  I know.  I planned to, in 3 hours, put together 3 baby quilt tops all while managing my daughter, eating lunch, fielding calls and photos Husband kept sending about how much fun Son was having at an indoor bouncy house place AND catch up on all the latest goings on with the other 3 ladies.  Well, I ended up completely one.  And almost finishing a second. Not too bad.
This one is for a special girl who's initials will be/are ACT.  And thanks to the SBS Applique month, I actually have the courage and knowledge to applique her initials on the back!  The back will be the same green as the border and the binding will be the reddish/pink that's the same as the first block on the left hand side.  I still haven't decided with the letters on the back will be done in.  But something that will POP with the back.
I have the other two to work on and they are for sisters.  Big Sister is almost 2 and Baby Sister will be born in June.  All 3 quilts are surprises.  But I don't think their moms (or dads) read my blog.  So we're mostly safe.

I'm so pleased with this fabric it's on clearance at Connecting Threads which was great for my wallet.  But more importantly, I love it.  I'd actually picked out this collection to use months ago and it just go happens that when I got the funds to buy, it was on clearance!

Also, I haven't forgotten a t-shirt quilt update.  I'll scan my back plan soon.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Another Crayon Adventure

Remember those giant super crayons I made? Well, turns out the kids think those crayons are too big for their tastes.  So, I decided to get a box of those small bathroom cups and do a remelt.  PLUS, we have recently switched from bottle glue to glue sticks in our home.  And I've been saving the empty ones for just this purpose.

Off I went.

This time I melted them in the microwave.  At about 30 seconds a time. Stirring in between.

The key to the cups was to get the crayons in SMALL SMALL pieces so they'd melt faster.  I was using wax lined cups and some of my cups almost melted away before the crayons did!

one of the cups I poured into the glue sticks.  It doesn't take much melted crayon to fill up a glue stick.  the paper cup was perfect for pouring.  Just pinch it a little to form a mini funnel.

Son sat down at his make shift craft table and started to get to work.  He definitely seemed to enjoy the glue stick crayons and the smaller giant crayons.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Attack of the Poochie

 A couple of weeks ago, I was in a sewing mood.  But I was without a project to work on.  Luckily, Tina gladly provided me with the link to the POOCHIE tutorial.

Seriously, it's a cute little bag.  And it can be done with 3 fat quarters.  Catch a deal or have a coupon, you can make this little bag for about $3.  Not too bad.  Even better for me, I had a little stockpile of fat quarters and other scraps large enough to fit the bill. So I got to work and didn't even have to go to the store.

I made 4 in two days.  um, yes, I do have an addictive personality.

my first one.
It took me a little while (and emailing with Tina) to understand the instructions on the first one but I was really happy with the finished product.  I love that little pocket on the front (there's one on the back too).
The only deviations I made from the tutorial was to top stitch the pocket AND the opening of the bag.  I'm so used to doing it on my other bags, I thought they'd look a little naked un-top stitched.

the full collection.
Of course, I had to make one with my beloved yellow/grey/white/black walmart fabric.  (I've actually got plans to make another larger one, because the pattern is a little small for most of my bag needs but I need to go to walmart and get more fabric).

I love the blue fabric on the far right.  Tena H. picked it out at Jo-ann for me to make her (and I) drawstring bags for the cheap yoga mats we'd just scored.  This is the one that I carry around the most.  It's a favorite.

Oh, and POOCHIE has its own flickr group.  It's fun to see all the other interpretations of the bag.  So far, I've only added the first one I made because I didn't take individual pictures of the other 3.

Many thanks to Tina for providing me with something fun and easy to do to quench my sewing thirst.

Friday, February 3, 2012

SBS Blocks: 22, 23, 24

January was the month of CURVES.  A new skill for me and a fun one to learn.  My biggest concern about these blocks are the templates and making sure I make them accurately on the card stock and then trace them out accurately on to the fabric. THEN cut them out with scissors.  See?  Lots of room for error.  I definitely took my time and was extra careful.

22, 23, 24: curves galore

The flowering snowball was pretty easy to make but what I love about it is how it "flowers."  Each block builds on the next making an amazing effect when used for an entire quilt.  Seriously, scroll down to the bottom of this link and see how Molly Flanders fleshes this out.

The Drunkard's Path.  The construction and sewing of this one was pretty easy too .  I like the contrast between the light and dark orange.  Plus, I like the placement of the curves.  If I had to do this one again, I'd make the orange a little bigger and the green center a little smaller.  But overall, I'm satisfied.  This is the first time I actually made my own template, based on Leila's instructions as opposed to just printing an already made one off.  That was an exercise in math and understanding.  But it's a nice skill to have now instead of having to rely on premade templates, I have a better understanding of how to make my own.
Curved 9-Patch.  Or maybe "stretched" would be a better word.  It looks like someone grabbed the four corners and pulled.  This tutorial came from Connectingthreads.com.  I seriously, love them.  JSS introduced me to their great website. And I've never been disappointment in any fabric I've purchased there.  Remember the collection I'm using for all these blocks came from Connecting Threads.  Plus, I just bought fabric for THREE baby girl quilts for expecting friends.

It was a fun month of curves.  I'm ready for what's next.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Three Cheers for Bike Riding

Since the kids got their bikes at Christmas, I've been growing more and more envious nostalgic of my bike adventures.  

In late elementary school and middle school, I rode and rode and rode and rode with LMRP.  All over town.  The only rule my mom gave me when it came to riding (without a helmet) was that I couldn't ride on or across any main streets.  Even with this restriction we were able to go miles and miles and miles.  And more importantly, to a cheap gas station for snacks and to the local Sno Biz.  Fun times.   And later, during my senior year at The Judson, my physical education class was Walking, Jogging and Cycling.  And well, I pretty much only cycled. (again without a helmet).  I didn't stick to the 'stay off main roads' rule of my childhood so  JSS and I were able to go miles and miles.

Now that the kids have bikes and helmets, I want to ride again.  But well, Mommy riding without a helmet when the kids have to wear a helmet didn't seem quite fair.  (or safe now that I think about it) So, Husband aired up my bike tires and I picked out a helmet.  And we were off to the school to ride.
It's fun to watch the kids enjoy their bikes so much.

It's even more fun to get to join in on the fun.

And we're off.

After about an hour of riding, then walking around with the kids while they rode, I decided to ride my bike home.  (here's a little perspective: from our driveway to the very far end of the elementary school parking lot and back is a 5k, so it's not far.  At all. plus, it's all sidewalk until our street)   BUT, WOW. It was tough.  And I realized I need an upgraded, better cushioned bike seat!  Maybe for my birthday.  

My helmet review: It is much more comfortable than I ever thought. $20 well spent.  Now I'm safe AND setting a good example for my kids.