Thursday, July 30, 2009

What to do?

While the parents were in town, mom and I hit up an estate sale. It was wonderful, but I was crying way too much. Not like sobbing or anything (not at the sale, anyway), but I kept getting way too emotional and had to wipe my eyes a few times as to avoid the raccoon look. When I see old & loved things at these types of sales, I start wondering who these people were/are, what their lives were like, what kind of parents they were, etc. I got this very old Bible which was tied with twine to keep it together.

And then when I got home, I opened it up to find...

1892?! Wow, I was really surprised. Then the tears came... Just thinking of how this Bible may have been used in several generations of souls. Was this a family of Christians, did they use this Bible to teach their children the Good News of Christ? You can see how it is broken into three sections above, the pages are very fragile and the cover is on the verge of completely disintegrating.
Anyway, I don't know what to do. I really am not the person to keep things for investments, increasing value, yadda yadda yadda. (Hoarding fabric for several years for a special project that may or may not reveal itself to me is a whole other story!) Should I get it bound so that it is usable? (Maybe it's way too fragile for that anyway?) Should I just put it away, even though that kind of drives me nuts? Any other ideas? Anything?

fabric hoarding!

So I feel like a real quilter now! I finally acquired my first Heather Ross. It was not easy... or cheap! :) They are so sweet. Not sure if I can make two quilts, one for each of my girls, or a big one for us all to share. Actually I just hope I can use them. This hoarding thing is beginning to creep in.
Speaking of hoarding...
I'm secretly hoping you have already moved on to another blog so I have less competition...
In the event you are still here, I guess I'll send you rachel's way. This is a killer giveaway. Good luck... I guess....

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Quilt top done!

Yay! The quilt top is done. Sorry for the bad lighting. A very rainy and dark day here, not much natural light. I still have some white shirting left, so there may be some sort of border, but the major part of the top is done. I hope the recipient is liking the progress! Now onto designing a back with the remainder of the garments left. Usually I can whip out a quilt in no time, but I really feel nervous in between these major steps.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Mad Housewife

My parents were in town this weekend. Usually a tornado of activity, nothing is left untouched. My dad, who never ever drinks, bought this wine for me just because of the label. Hilarious! The back was funny too. The wine was actually very good. It was gone rather quickly. Yay for dads who buy funny wine labels!
He didn't know it, but boy, did I need it. The seam ripper has been very busy. Very.

Seriously?! I have been sewing for over 20 years and I can't put right sides together any more? It was one of those days where I thought I was on a roll, getting all my sashings done. Then when I stepped back to admire my hard work and pat myself on the back.... oh brother...

At least it was sunny out and I could rip seams whilst enjoying a summer day.

Isabella and I made some crayons from the scraps that were in the bottom of the basket. This was actually a great project for us. She was very happy to take off the papers and break them into little bits and fill up the cupcake trays. Bake 'em at 275 for 7-9 minutes and you have some pretty cool new crayons! I didn't have much luck using those flower molds for cupcakes and similar results with crayons - broken petals. Time to put 'em in the garage sale this weekend!
Guess we'll try the mini muffin tins next time.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


I just read SouleMama's post. Actually it was Papa's turn today. It was so beautiful. I've been inspired to pull out the journal and get writing. When I was dating hubby many years ago, full of love and goo, I would write poem on top of poem about him, love, people, you know.... And now I'm afraid that I've grown up into a normal grown up. House work, groceries, cleaning, normal adult things that are killing my creativity! I know these things are necessary and I just have to work harder at maintaining balance. I hear a little 3-year old asking me to play with her several times a day to which I usually reply "Just a minute", "As soon as I'm done with this", or "Please wait patiently". One of these days she might not ask me since she's getting rejected so much.
So I continue the daily struggle of priorizing a mama's duties. I'm praying that I can really improve on this. Dinner, dishes, and floors can wait. Little girls who like blueberries and tutus should come in ahead of the Swiffer. One day, Lord willing, my hands are going to be like this:
...and hopefully there will be a few marker stains or beaded bracelets to adorn them.

Friday, July 10, 2009


Isn't this just darling? The temperature actually got above 70 a few days ago, so we hit the pool. Well, actually it's a sandbox 90% of the time, but for a few gloriously warm days, we have a pool.

And I also accomplished a layout. Well, a first round anyway. There's a lot for the eye to take in, so I know this will be moved around quite a bit. Actually while the pictures were uploading (my least favorite part about blogging), I rearranged most of the squares. And if the recipient (you know who you are!) or anyone else for that matter has any suggestions, I am certainly open to them.

I think this one is my favorite. There are many favorites, but this one and I bonded very late one night. The center squares are from many pieces of a tie. Three of them were big enough to work with, but then I was left with eleventy million tiny pieces and a whole lotta willpower. The fourth square has at least 12 seams in it. And it only measures 1 1/2 inches. Every quilt has a story and I think this one could have a mini series!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The monkey and the table

Remember my little sock monkey experience? Well, the baby has been born (Hooray!) and here is her prize for being so darn cute.

And here's the back:

It's flannel and so soft! I was quite nervous about free motion quilting the flannel, but it was great. No problems at all. I decided to include a picture of the baby with her "stats" and satin stitch it to look like she fit in with the other monkeys. Clever, I know!! :) And the patch with ric-rak that you see just folds/flops on top of the picture. That way little cutie-pie can play peek-a-boo with herself.

And after many years, hubby and I finally broke down and bought our first table! (Double hooray!) I shant go into the horrific times of the other ugly table, getting cut and worry about tetanus and all. It was the table his uncle from Sicily made with his bare hands and they all grew up around this table, blah blah blah. Great story, but bad table.

Hellooooo, Norden! Anywho, new table means table runner. Quilters, rejoice! A quick, useful, beautiful project able to be done in a day!

I had a charm pack and fat quarter set purchased long ago just begging to be part of my everyday life. Now I don't have to worry about hoarding this beloved fabric since it greets me every morning. By the way, it is House by Annette Tatum. It's so beautiful and I love it, so of course it's probably discontinued or something tragic.

By the way, I did the binding by machine because I was so excited to get this baby together. But I really know deep down that it's only a matter of days before I'm picking it out and doing it by hand.

Monday, July 6, 2009

My First Quilt

Well, I just read Camille's post about looking back at our first quilts and thought it was such a great idea! Here is mine:

I took my first quilting class in 2002. I was newly married and had my first job as a recreation therapist in an assisted living facility. I really wanted to get the "little old ladies" there in a quilting group or something, but I had no skills. My mama taught me to sew at eight years old, but I had never done anything like a quilt. So I signed up for the sampler quilt class and a few months later, here it was.

Pretty sure it's not supposed to look like this! That top left rectangle should probably be a square. I have definetly learned to slow down and do each part of the process correctly - measuring, cutting, sewing 1/4", etc. Notice I did not say 'perfectly', just correctly. There's a big difference. Back then I was just doing it to get through each block, be done with it, and get to the next one. I have really learned to slow down and enjoy the long process that it can be.

So like yeah... Most seams aren't matching up on this block because I was hasty in my ways. Don't I sound like a 90-year-old? ;) But seriously, I was pretty much slapping squares together faster than I should have, especially for a newbie.

I believe this was the last block in the class sequence and I must say that it doesn't look too horrible. Those were some tiny squares going on there. I never got around to backing, binding, and quilting it. Actually those key things weren't discussed in my class, so I just kinda folded it up and put it on a shelf. It is now on the ever increasing list of things to do... finish the first quilt.

One of the most obvious things I have learned was fabric selection. The value and color make all the difference. I knew I liked the color blue, and I was supposed to select a certain amount of fabrics, but never took into consideration the scale of the print, the value of the hues, and how they coordinated. I pretty much went to Joann one night and bought the first 7 blue fabrics I saw. Now fabric choices consume my life, but that's another story!

And my latest quilt:

I'm still all about blue, but taking my time and being more thoughtful and purposeful about things as well. And I also made a couple kids to put on the quilts which make them look even better!