Saturday, October 30, 2010

Blogger's Quilt Festival entry - Angela's quilt

(see button to the side or the following link for info on the Bloggers Quilt Festival)

I'm entering a quilt into the Blogger's Quilt Festival that I made over a year ago. But I didn't blog yet, and it's a quilt that I still feel so happy about.  It was made for the daughter of some dear friends - the whole family was going through something of an ordeal, and especially focused on this beautiful baby girl Angela. So the whole time I was piecing and quilting and binding with handstitching to the back it was a meditation and a prayer for her. For the whole family.

I didn't use a pattern - it is just simple 4 patch blocks alternating with solid blocks. The Heather Ross prints are so happy, and I used my Janome embroidery function to try out a ring of hearts pattern on the solid blocks, and it all came out just as I had pictured in my head. I learned a lot about being more precise in my work, slowing down enough to really focus. As one of my first quilts, I was so pleased with how it came out!

The last blog post I made was about Megan's quilt,  also filled with happy Heather Ross prints and happy thoughts and prayer and tears... I really love the feeling that the final product carries in it with these "prayer quilts".

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Megan was here!

She and her sweet man came over and went to church with our family today. It was so great to see her - and we had brunch at Ole's, so what could be better?

(Thanks for braving the storm and coming across the bay to be with us!!)

Also I had a chance to give her the quilt I've been working on...and that I had to use yesterday to teach myself how to put a binding on without hand stitching. Thanks to some great tutorials out there, I managed it with minor hitches. I basically followed the one over at Red Pepper Quilts - and I would say that pinning is probably a good idea (I didn't), and that I hope my technique will improve over time because it was a lot faster than hand stitching and my results were not as picture perfect as those shown in the tutorial.  Now I have no excuse for not finishing OUR bed quilt! It's raining today, so maybe I will put some time into that.

Anyway, here are some shots of the final piece - Megan's Quilt. I think that between this project and Angela's quilt, I may be completely out of Heather Ross save a few small scraps. I just love these prints!!

The quilting was done by Patty via QuiltFans - the second time I've used her, and I will definitely again in the future.  I asked her to choose something pretty that would complement the piecing and prints, and to stitch in some extra Mojo for Megan's health.  I think she definitely came through (and I'm officially addicted to having someone else quilt anything larger than a small lap quilt!). Isn't the flower stitching great?

Not sure what's up with the lighting...our house feels pretty dark with the weather today.  So we laid it out on the table for a couple last shots - it's all crinkly now after wash and dry yesterday.

and the back...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Swim, Bike, Quilt!: One Year GIVEAWAY!

I am discovering the world of crafty fabric-y giveaways!  This one is for a beautiful assortment of fabric to celebrate a one year blog-aversery and a child's birthday - what could be more fun?

Swim, Bike, Quilt!: One Year GIVEAWAY!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

(No) time for a quickie?

(NOTE: I had to delay this post, beacuse Blogger or my connection or both conspired to force me to go to work rather than post on my blog by not letting me attach more than one photo. boo. Here is the post now with the photos included...)

At 9:01am on a Monday?  Not I've taken too long to get all my (bleep) together for work this morning already. But since some of what I was doing was work, I'm going to justify a really quick post because I had me some fun with kids and Halloween yesterday and things are a bit bleak around here (and not just because of weather, but that certainly adds to the gloomy weightiness of it) viva la craft!

Firstly, we (meaning I) dragged out the box of decorations from years past, and we (meaning I) sorted through it all and put up what I could muster any enthusiasm for. Wild Thing picked out a few things and taped them up too, bless his heart. I think he will be prove to be the most willing participant in my fervor for holiday craziness over the years.  Case in point - Wild Thing helped me to christen the "skull cake" mold that I bought online in a compulsive craft shopping moment weeks ago.

Cool, huh?

I saw this cake pan on Not Martha several weeks ago and became quickly obsessed with finding one and then I did in short order. online. duh.

Here is the mold itself (used and unwashed), and we made the "Carrot Pound Cake" made from the recipe in the box:

While this was baking and cooling, we were meanwhile in the next room with paper, scissors, and glue (and pens and pencils and crayons...)  It was your basic garden-variety craft explosion!

We ended up with some pretty spooky and fun things to put up around the house in support of one of the best holidays of the year!

Get ready for a great Halloween!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

My silver lining is made from Amy Butler cotton prints!

We went to Lake Tahoe over the weekend to attend a party (wedding vow renewal - it was very nice!), and driving home yesterday after a nice little break we ran into all this road construction. It's funny, because we were due to be back in time to sign re-fi paperwork with our mortgage broker and we left early thinking we'd be back before we needed to be. So we are still congratulating ourselves for having the extra time built in, for once in our lives, so that the slow traffic wouldn't be a problem.

Then the wheel on passenger side rear starts making this weird and alarming noise, and when we pull over the tire is going flat before our eyes. Probably some nail or ? from all the road construction. But there's virtually no shoulder, so changing the flat was pretty stressful with all the big rigs speeding by inches from our car. And time consuming, especially since we have to unpack the car in order to get the spare donut tire out of the trunk. So our cushion of time got a lot smaller.

hmmm... now we need to get the tire repaired because the little donut wouldn't make it home since we are still 200 miles away or something like that. First service station has no actual road service besides gas and a minimart. We drive on to Colfax. Again, nothing at the service stations, but they direct us to a tire place.  Well, they can't get to our tire for at least half hour, so we leave it there and follow the signs to the "Historic Downtown" of Colfax. I mean, if we are going to be late getting back we may as well stroll around a quaint historic downtown while we wait for our repair.  Here's the thing - there is a LOT of signage all over the place to direct you to Historic Downtown. I mean big signs over the truckstop, signs next to the strip malls, multiple signs pointing the way.  And I think the buildings and the potential for downtown Colfax to be quite historically fabulous is huge - it just looks like a project that didn't get finished, and now many of the storefronts are run down, and there aren't many shops or people coming to eat lunch or hang out. Except a few outside the bar smoking, and a few homeless, or at least fring-ey, people in the park with all their stuff, and several youth who look like they are up to little good (although I have to confess that it was Columbus day and they didn't have school, and probably I'm just suspicious of teenage boys because I have a teenage girl...)  I just wondered if Colfax used to have a vibrant downtown and this is another symptom of our Great Recession, or what?  It made me feel sad.

Anyway, we get out of the car, and first thing I spot is a quilting store sign on the corner! JOY! Maybe there is hope for this little Historic Downtown after all.

The Whistle Stop Quilt Shop is a lovely little store, and in the back I see the green dot special rack marked 40% off - filled with Amy Butler and other pretty bolts, including a Katie Jump Rope print.

What could I do?

Good thing, too - I was going to need the little boost of finding 40% off goodness to offset the news that our tire was not repairable. So we bought a new one and had to wait again for it to be installed.  Having lost all the extra time and more, we were late to sign our papers and still had to get home to do homework and laundry and get ready for school to be back on today and for me to go off on another business trip tonight.

We were all so exhausted!  It was In-n-Out for dinner (well, yum) and a flurry of activity once we got home. At some point I just sat with a glass of wine, fondled this fabric, and flipped through quilting magazines and books before passing out in bed. it's all good.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Say Cheese!

So, last week I posted about cool new paper crafts and then we did some that afternoon. But I never had a chance to come back and post about them. It has been a crazy week and I am stretched really thin at the moment.
ANYHOW.  From The Toymaker (link over there on the right), I bring to you Doctor Skelly's Magic X-Ray camera!!

Have you lost some weight?  You look great!

via Gordon I got another link for seasonal paper craft not to disappoint here they are!
Really creepy gift box concept, don't you think?

If you are into paper crafts, this Ravensblight website has a huge assortment of scary and extremely intricate free paper toy downloads.  SSPOOOOOKKY!!

And here is my neophyte papercrafter tip of the day: Photo paper can substitute for cardstock if you are desperate and too lazy to run out to the office supply store right that minute.  BUT, your fingers will be covered in ink by the end of your project. I should have taken a photo of mine...but didn't think of it until just now.

Week's end undoing entropy wrap-up:
Not a heavy crafting week since last Friday. In fact the general level of entropy in our household has gone up exponentially in the past couple of weeks.  We did start Wild Thing in Kung Fu class and the extra time I've spent picking him up from school and generally rewarding hard work with attention has really been working. He's starting to at least not protest so much about having to go to school.  So the fact that I haven't had time to exercise or create has been very much worth it. Though I feel tired.

I did a little TV knitting on Teen Wonder's hoodie vest which is coming along slowly. I'll post another photo of that soon.

I did some OCD relief shopping late one night and ordered some craft porn, including the new Wee Wonderfuls book by Hilary Lang.

oooohh, I cannot wait to get this! Her stuff is so adorable!  A couple of Christmases ago I made a couple of Pointy Kitties, and for Wild Thing I made a Space Boy and Robot set.

On the quilting front, I've got nada to report in terms of projects - I did some organization of my fabric stash and a lot of planning for new projects. Christmas quilt, baby quilt, Bento Box anime print quilt for Teen Wonder (I did get some coordinating fabrics when I went to the quilt shop last), a couple of skirts, knit wrap dress (will take much courage for me as I wrote about in my serger series), a door stopper for the hall (for which I already bought 4 pounds of dried split peas on sale...), a couple of new pillows desperately needed in our living room...the list goes on and on...

But first I need to bind the big quilt I finished so we can use it.
And next Saturday I will probably get to pick up Megan's quilt if it is finished by then. I can't wait to see it! I also now have a deadline for binding that one and finishing it - October 24th...

Okay, we are off to Tahoe for a long weekend so I need to whip out some clean laundry presto and pack up!!  HAPPY FRIDAY!

Friday, October 1, 2010

taking a day off...sort of

Back from another business trip Wednesday nite, and today I'm taking a day off. Well, sort of - it's a vacation day from work, but it's always a bad sign when you sort of feel yucky and just want to go to sleep, but your mind is racing with all the things you should do that you never get time to do because of work and kids.

So I'm plotting a compromise: some coffee and internet browsing (oh snap! I can already check that off my list!), some yoga, some unpacking and laundry, maybe a nap, and then I've promised to pick up Wild Thing from school. I worked from home and picked him up yesterday, and it really seems like a good thing to try and do whenever I can right now. First grade is tough for a Wild Thing, and he's working on it really hard!

Anyway, I wanted to point out the new link over on the right, because I was browsing stuff to try out on a grey Friday afternoon with a Wild Thing, and stumbled on this:  The Toymaker !!

Wow! It is chock full of free paper craft toys and lovely little projects to print out and make and share.
There are several Halloween crafts, like these:

I strongly encourage you all to take your inner child over there right away! And if you have external children around of any age, share with them too. Just a little cardstock, scissors, and glue required (plus a printer, duh.)

The Toymaker, aka Marilyn Scot, has a new Christmas book I'm planning to pick up down at Books, Inc. if it's come out yet - looks like a great little present!