• Finished Quilts in 2010

    Click pictures for full details! Julia's Field of Blessings See Mom, I *Can* Make Snowmen in Texas! All Shook Up Pansies & Primroses Vintage Spring Vintage Baby A Bad Copy
  • Finished Quilts in 2009

    Click pictures for full details! Sunshine & Swimming Pools Loving Hands Boy Woogies Carina's Quilt Front Charity Quilt 1 Charity Quilt 2
  • Finished Quilts: Previous Years

    My sister's quilt Elena's Signature Quilt Cosmic Spiral Simona's Flower Garden ...And Everything Nice The Wool Quilt The Original Woogie
  • Finished Craft Projects

    Traveling Car Playmat Brown Bear Matching Cards
  • Finished Girls’ Dresses & Costumes

  • Quilt To Do List

    *Julia's "Baby" Quilt
    *Bethlehem Quilt
    *Kaffe Fassett String Quilt
    *Star Happy Batik Quilt
    *Red & Tan Single Wedding Ring Quilt (blocks made)
    *Batik Charm Square Quilt
    *Lingerie Quilt
    *Purple & Gold Mystery Quilt (just needs quilting!)
    *Eagle paper-pieced Quilt (@ half pieced)
  • Other Craft Project To Do List

    *Alphabet Matching Card Game
    *Apple/Pear Dress for Elena
    *Pillow Case Dress for Julia
    *Knit Dress for Elena (need to do post!)
    *Knit Shorts for Me

Spring to Finish: 3 Done!

I *really* needed a push to finish up some quilts, and Tallgrass Prairie Studio’s Spring to Finish seemed like the perfect incentive.

So, in early May, I put my goal out there for 4 quilts, knowing 1 HAD to be done before the end of the month.  The 3 others only needed binding, so I thought they maybe, might, could be doable.  possibly?

Well, here we are with less than 24 hours left and I’ve definitely made progress!

Of course, the one that had to be finished is done and delivered:

2009-05-25-14

I have also finished 2 charity quilts that were started a couple years ago:

2009-05-30-022009-05-30-04

These are the simplest of patterns – with 1 yard each of 3 separate fabrics you end up with 3 little quilts.  (I gave the 3rd away as simply a top to a friend for her guild’s charity.)   The finished size is just smaller than a yard of fabric.

I’ll be giving one of these quilts to my guild for their Baby Bundles project, and one to my Church for Project Gabriel.

The quilting on these was done by That Quilter.  One has hearts throughout the quilting, and the other has these great flowers that match the floral fabric really well.

Heart quiltingFlower quilting

I must admit that one of the reasons these quilts were so fast to bind is because I did them completely by machine instead of handstitching the back down.  I’ve never done that method before and wanted to try it out.  It was definitely fast, but the results were messier than I’m used to.  Don’t know if I will do it again, and definitely not for anything heirloom, but perhaps practice will improve.

2009-05-30-08

Now I have 1 more quilt on my list I would LOVE to get done, but we’ll see.  The binding is all machine-stitched down so now I just need a chance to do the hand-stitching.  It’s a small quilt, so hopefully I can get it done tonight while watching TV with my husband and be able to report 4 done Monday morning.  Wish me luck!

Advertisements

Three by Three: Set One Complete!

As you may remember, I decided to join my 1st Internet block exchange recently: Twiddletail’s nine-patch swap.

 

The first set of 16 blocks needed to be postmarked by the 31st, and I finally managed to get mine in the mail this morning:

My nine-patches

WooHoo!  Now the next set is due June 30th.  I’ll try to get those blocks out before the very last day of the deadline!

Jon’s Loving Hands Project

2009-05-25-05

I first talked about this quilt here.   It is finally finished, and I delivered it to the surprised recipient today.  He is undergoing surgery for cancer on Wednesday (and of course would appreciate any prayers you can send his way), and my hope is that this quilt can comfort him as he recovers from surgery and for when he undergoes chemo again.

As stated on the label:

“Hands of love, warmth & encouragement from just a few of the people cheering Jon on during his winning fight against cancer.”

2009-05-25-12

It really was special being a part of this project.  By reading the handwritten notes from Jon’s family and friends I felt like I got to know both Jon and his loved ones and it was an honor to be a part of this great group of people.  Their love and support of Jon shone through their words and their hands.

2009-05-25-14

You might be able to tell from the pictures, but I think it is better understood by holding the quilt in person:  I think the tactile experience of the quilt truly adds to the messages.  (Nothing like extolling the virtues of my craft!)  Being able to read the letters of support in the writer’s own handwriting, and being able to place one’s hand on the writer’s hand, is just so…overwhelming/emotional/special.

2009-05-25-09

And of course, I say all of this after also making one of these hand quilts for my sister after she suffered from her stroke, and seeing my family members hands, measuring mine against theirs, and being touched.  (Can be seen here.)

Anyway, *whew*, enough emotions!  I was a nervous wreck giving the quilt.  Jon had *no* clue what I was doing giving him a gift, but MC insisted on putting me on the spot!  I am much better bragging and showing off online than in person!  (and nope, I don’t have any pictures of him receiving it.  Didn’t manage to grab my camera.)

And kudos to MC for dealing with my bajillion questions during the making, even up to my question last night on whether anyone was allergic to cats in her family since, um, yes, I have cats.  Unluckily, Jon’s allergic.  So immediately into the washer the quilt went after being vacuumed and lint-rollered.  I try to keep the cats away from my fabric and supplies, but the weather is getting warm and those darn cats shed!

2009-05-25-19

The quilt is particularly cozy, having a soft flannel backing.  Julia approves its comfort factor:

2009-05-25-33

Finally, a few notes on the making for the quilters in the house (and because I called my sister a dozen different times to get her to take measurements of the quilt I made her.  Just in case I am ever moved to make a similar quilt again, thought I better record the measurements here!):

*The quilt blocks are 9″ finished squares.  I sent 8.5″ blue squares to the family & friends so I knew that whatever they happened to draw would fit on the finished block.

*The sashings are 1.5″ finished width.

*The inner border is 1″ finished width.

*The outer border is 4″ finished width.  Apparently on my sister’s it was 4.5″ finished width.

Lo and behold, final size would be 62.5″ x 73″.  Except the darn thing shrunk a bit in the wash.

* I am very proud of my border quilting:

2009-05-25-07

I quickly figured out that I couldn’t free-hand hands, and I couldn’t use a pantograph on my little machine, so I ended up creating my own little template – out of an old cereal box – to quilt around:

2009-05-25-36

Took forever, but I really liked the outcome!

My Girls’ Rehearsal Dresses

2009-05-19-05 cropped

Despite being in the midst of a dozen different projects, I decided I needed to make the girls coordinating (NOT matching!) dresses to wear to my brother’s rehearsal dinner.  OK, really I just wanted to show off both my girls and my sewing! 

Of course, I didn’t make them until the night before we left town to go to the wedding, but I did finish them!  (btw, thanks! to one friend for hosting a crafting night, and another friend for letting me try out her serger to finish the edges.)

I didn’t get any good pictures at the rehearsal, so dressed the girls up again and took them to a local turtle pond.  The girls LOVE the turtle pond!

Watching the turtles

On a non-sewing aside, I find it hilarious that Elena always points out the “Big  Sister” animal.  At the zoo in Houston on Friday, she showed me the Big Sister giraffes, and at the turtle pond all mid-sized turtles were Big Sister Turtles.  Cracks. me. up.

Going back to the dresses, I used a slightly too small Old Navy dress as a pattern for Julia’s dress.  I added an inch or so to every seam, added a little more flare to the skirt, and did a lot of play with the neckline.  Okay, really I just screwed up the neckline.  It was too wide at first and the straps were falling off so I folded them in and tacked them down on the front.  The bottom of the armholes need some work, but they worked for my quick project and can’t really be seen.  Overall, I really like how this came out!

Front of Julia's dress

Elena’s dress is McCall’s 5088.  The best part of this dress was that it took less than a yard of fabric, which is becoming exceedingly rare for the dresses I make her.  It could stand to be a little longer, and the elastic on the back a bit tighter, but overall very happy.  I can see myself making this pattern – with modifications – again.

Front of Elena's Dress standing

The fabrics in both dresses are part of Martha Negley’s Variegated Garden line with Rowan.  I am totally loving these fabrics, and just bought another half-yard from this collection today.

And, as another non-sewing aside, I am SO HAPPY I finally got a picture of Julia’s Kissy Face!  It is HILARIOUS!  Look for yourself:

Kissy Face!

I mean, she looks like she’s about to punch you out or something, but she’s really just ready to give out some loving.  Awwwww…..

2009-05-19-65

And my gosh, does Elena have the best eyelashes or what?

My Beautiful (& Blurry) Flowergirls

The last of my siblings got married this weekend and my girls had the honor of being his flowergirls!  It was a great weekend.  We spent lots of time seeing family that hasn’t been seen in a long time, and my girls were THRILLED to see their very favorite older cousin Sarah who now lives too far away.

I was *SO* proud of Elena and Julia as they walked down the aisle – we could have used some more smiles from Elena, but smiling and walking was too much to remember!

2009-05-16-03 closer crop

The above picture is the only picture I got of them walking down the aisle — I needed to be ready to ‘catch’ Julia before she made it to the steps.  There was no way she was going to make it through the whole ceremony standing at the front!  Can’t wait to see the photographer’s non-blurry photos!

Elena did a great job standing with the Maid of Honor, although it was funny to watch her inspect said Maid of Honor’s nail polish, pick up dropped jewels from the floor (jewelry on the bride’s bouquet broke off), etc.  Luckily she didn’t distract *too much* (I hope!).

2009-05-16-102009-05-16-14 rotated2009-05-16-05 rotated

Julia, meanwhile, ate Puffs (our normal keep-quiet-in-Church routine) and generally squirmed:

2009-05-16-12

2009-05-16-13

And my brother got married.  (our parents looking on)  Awwww….

2009-05-16-09 rotated

Unfortunately, despite her good walking-down-the-aisle performance, Julia was not interested in pictures at all.  She’d cry and run as soon as I put her down with the bride.  But we did try!

2009-05-16-402009-05-16-42

Who me? Cry?  I’m a happy girl!

2009-05-16-26 rotated

And now to finish the hand quilt — I started quilting it last night after we got back in town and only have one week to finish it!  Must. Get. To. Work.

OH, and Happy 6th Anniversary to my husband and I: we acknowledged it yesterday but hope to go out and actually celebrate it this next weekend!

Bluebonnets, Part 2: Sisters

I *know* I’ve done the bluebonnet thing already, but I previously promised more pictures of the girls taken in the bluebonnets on a shady day.  And here they are!

I LOVE how the girls are looking at each other in this series:

2009-03-30-0142009-03-30-0152009-03-30-0172009-03-30-018

I know it won’t continue forever, and there is much sibling rivalry to look forward to, but my girls are so in love with each other right now.  Elena protects her baby sister and Julia looks up to her big sister.  They play together and miss each other if one is gone.

They look at flowers together:

2009-03-30-030

2009-03-30-1002009-03-30-093

And check out a ladybug together:

2009-03-30-0412009-03-30-054

And sometimes they are just near each other:

2009-03-30-065

2009-03-30-094

I hope that despite the squabbles to come, they always know they are there for each other.

And I personally will continue to enjoy seeing their relationship develop.

Happy Mother’s Day

Happy belated Mother’s Day to all the moms!

My Mother’s Day was just about as good as it gets — it was as if my girls couldn’t get enough of me yesterday! Of course, that totally depends on my attitude whether that’s a good thing or not, but I enjoyed all the hugs and snuggles yesterday.

We started at church, which was PACKED. Who knew so many children treat their mom on Mother’s Day by going to mass with them?

Then we all went to lunch at a deli, where Julia ate not.a.single.bite. Someone needs to have a better talk with that girl about eating habits. I don’t seem to be getting through to her!
Mother's Day Lunch

Excuse my hair in that picture, but I went to get my hair done in the afternoon so I didn’t really fix it in the morning. My Welcome picture on the side is last Mother’s Day, so look how we’ve grown!

And, my husband treated me to a grilled steak and lobster dinner and I finished the night with some sewing! Look – borders are on and the back is pieced! Tonight I hope to baste the quilt so I can start quilting!
Borders added

Now, the only problem with the day was that we’re fighting Ant Invasion 2009. We keep thinking they’re gone, but they keep popping back up. A pest control inspector is coming this morning.