• 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

Stressing

My local quilt guild (Austin Area Quilt Guild) will be having their show in September (details here – Sept. 17-19), and I fully intend on entering some quilts, but totally stressed out about which ones!

I would like to enter 3 simply because I can, but I don’t think I have 3 to enter. boo.

Anyway, first quilt: I will definitely borrow one of my hands quilts back from its owner for the show — I think both are worthy but definitely don’t need to do both since they are so similar.  Need to ask permission so I can complete the entry form appropriately.

Second quilt: I am working on getting Julia’s baptism signature quilt done. But it is still in just block stage, as you can see here:

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ACK!

By the way, TOTALLY going to post about this quilt soon! I’ve been taking pictures and pestering my mom for advice for a couple weeks now.  I’m totally loving how it’s coming out so far!

Third quilt? I guess none. It seems a shame not to enter my max amount, but my output these past 2 years have been fairly ordinary. I have *so* many extraordinary quilts I’ve made in my mind, but somehow they aren’t in my hands.

And why am I stressing now when the show isn’t until September??? Because I have to enter the quilts by July 5th! They don’t have to be done by July 5th, but I have to promise on July 5th that they will be done! Decisions need to be made soon!

So PUSH me to finish at least Julia’s baptism signature quilt. I MUST finish it! And I guess 2 quilts will have to be good enough.

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Father’s Day dresses

Back when I had just one little girl, I styled Elena in one of her Daddy’s shirts and ties and his shoes and went to get her picture taken for Father’s Day.  To this day, it is one of my all-time-fave pics of Elena:

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Yes, Elena had straight hair until she was 2!

Since that year I have wanted to do more Father’s Day-themed pictures of my girls but haven’t.  Going to the picture studio is a chore at best and it seems I could never get us there – and properly styled – the last couple years.  But this year, we did it!

And I have a new all-time fave pic of both my little girls:
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As luck would have it, you can’t even see my fantastic styling all that well!  Ha!

But the fantastic styling is there. I made the girls dresses out of old men’s dress shirts!
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I have to admit they are not my husband’s old dress shirts, which of course would have been ideal, but from Goodwill. My husband pretty much gets rid of clothes he doesn’t want immediately, so there was nothing to be had from his closet.

Julia’s dress is patterned completely off of Made’s shirt dress tutorial.  I really didn’t think I’d add the sashing at the waist, but the dress looked like a nightgown without it.  Knowing my Julia, I gave her some pockets with some white trim and a little bow at top.

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Julia loving the pockets, Elena loving Julia.  Don’t worry though!  Julia did some loving on Elena too!

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The collar is wide enough it could be worn off-the-shoulder…
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…but Julia’s not really a fan of that styling!

She is a fan of running though!
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“Mommy, I run SUPERBAST!” (Yes, I meant to write superBast.  F’s are apparently hard to say for this 2-year-old.)

Elena’s dress was a bit more work. I really wanted to copy Made’s shirred shirt dress tutorial, but didn’t have any elastic thread and didn’t want to go to the store or spend any more money.  But I did have some of Superior Thread’s Texture Magic thanks to my Mom!

This was my first time to use this product and I don’t think it will be my last — it is definitely interesting!  You sew it on to the wrong side of your fabric — the more you stitch, the more texture you get according to the instructions.  After it is all sewn down, you steam it with your iron.  It puckers all up and then lays flat again to create a new smaller, but textured, piece of fabric!

I wanted my texture to look like shirring so I sewed straight horizontal lines along the top of the shirt/dress.  Here are 2 pictures of the process:  In the first, you can see the fabric in the process of steaming.  It is all buckled up.  When the process is complete, the fabric will lie flat again.  In the second, you can see the difference between half of the dress already steamed & shrunk and the other half of the dress that had the texture magic sewn on but not yet steamed.  It really does shrink 30% in size!
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Once the fabric has been shrunk, it will not stretch back out!  You must sew with it as if it is a new piece of regular fabric.  That was the main difference between my dress and Made’s shirred dress:  her dress could stretch out over the kid’s head so you didn’t have to worry about sizing much, but I did have to worry about the sizing!

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The only real issue I had with the Texture Magic is that you will have to line it to use it in any clothing.  Before use, it was incredibly smooth and would feel fine on the skin.  However, with steaming/texturing, the back got incredibly rough.  I knew my daughters would not stand for that to be against their skin.  Luckily, I had enough fabric from the men’s shirt sleeves to line the inside, and once lined it was fine.
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For shaping the bodice I used a pattern piece from New Look 6613 – a dress I’ve made previously.  (Seen here.)  I’m so not a fan of winging it! I decided to just make this into a regular sundress and not bother with the sleeves.  After lining the bodice, I didn’t really have enough fabric for sleeves in the first place, AND I admittedly ended up with slightly over-puffy sleeves on Julia’s dress.  Oh, the pocket on Elena’s dress was the original shirt pocket — I just moved it!

Note:  These dresses were part of my Personal Challenge to finish 10 projects by August 1st.  YAY!  I think that calls for a carousel ride!
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My Personal Challenge

NOTE: I started this blog post 2 weeks ago and wasn’t going to put it up until I had pictures of my waiting-to-be-done projects.  BUT, I haven’t gotten around to taking & uploading pictures, AND I’ve already finished 2 items off the list, so thought I better post it now!

I really did well for myself with the latest Spring to Finish challenge.  I think it really helped to have a firm To Do list when I went into the sewing room so I wouldn’t just sit in there.  Staring.  And Thinking about ALL the things I could possibly be doing.

Seriously, I have been known to stare at my fabric for HOURS.  It is beautiful!

And I know I have tons of To Do lists laying about.  I have several on the left-hand side of this blog that have been largely ignored, and I have several hanging throughout my sewing room.  Heck, I just found one list in a stack of papers labeled “Sewing To Do Fall 2008.”  I was proud that most of it was done (yippee!) but of course not all (boo!).

So, here is my personal challenge.  Finish this list of projects by August 1, 2010:

1.  Framed hairbow holders for my own girls.  (Yep, I was struck by giveaway-itis with the last one I made, and never made cute ones for my own girls!)

2.  Father’s Day dresses for the girls.  I have old dress shirts I’m going to make them dresses out of and take pictures of them.  I like giving their Daddy cute pics of them for Father’s Day gifts.  Obviously this needs to be done BEFORE August 1st, but still on the list!

3.  Firefly dress for Julia.

4.  Black/white/red dress for Elena.

5.  Julia’s baptism signature quilt.  This is in process form on my design wall currently.

6.  Julia’s baby quilt.  This project is a HUGE stretch.  Doubt I’ll get it done in time, but I really need to do it since my baby is, um, almost 2 1/2 years old now.

7.  GO IRISH Notre Dame T-shirt quilt.

8.  Julia’s bloomers.

9.  Floral vintage sheet quilt.  Top already done.  Will be a charity quilt.

10.  Ice cream cone pretend food/pincushions.

And because I find it difficult to post without a picture, here’s one already on the computer of my girls in some drummond phlox, bluebonnets and other wildflowers back in April I think I neglected to share:

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A Bad Copy

That’s what my husband calls this quilt.  A bad bad copy.

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He doesn’t like it because he thinks it is too much like his Woogie, but not as good!  It is, after all, made with his woogie’s leftovers.  But it isn’t a ragged-edge quilt like his.

Instead of a ragged edge quilt, I made a typical top and back out of my flannel scraps.  The quilting was easy on this quilt because I didn’t fool myself into trying to free-motion-quilt it.  I just stitched in every ditch and got it done. I think that’s the perfect treatment for this quilt though.

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I tell him that it is still wonderful and soft and fluffy and will be loved by its recipient, whomever that may be.

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For now, it will stay all folded up and waiting.  Waiting for some new baby boy that deserves a wonderful and soft and fluffy new woogie of his own.

The quilt is 40″ x 48″ and made completely up of leftover flannels just sitting and waiting in my sewing room.  I made the top as part of a challenge, and then finally finished it completely as part of yet another challenge.

 

Edited to add:  Since this is pretty much my quilt journal, I wanted to add that this quilt was given to a little boy Callahan – the newborn son of one of my husband’s coworkers.

Just what is a Woogie anyway?

I have had forever written on this blog that “woogies” are quilts. And they are! At least in this household!

But more specifically, we have The Woogie:
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It is my husband’s woogie. He so named it the woogie after the kid’s blanket in the movie Mr. Mom, although upon watching we determined that the blanket in the movie is something slightly different.  He only begrudgingly lets anyone else use it.

He will share it with the girls though.

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The Woogie was my first ever Christmas gift to my husband back in 2000.  I must admit I somewhat feared giving him the woogie.  If he hadn’t liked it, then that might have been the end of our relationship! I don’t think I could have taken the rejection of something I made for him!  But he loves it and cuddles with it nightly, and insists it is the best gift I have ever given him.  And he doesn’t want any other woogies or blankets — they are all cheap seconds to his woogie.

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By the way, doesn’t my husband look ODD in this photo of him with his woogie???  This scanned photo is from our first Christmas.  Just a few months after we met, he came and spent the holiday with my family.  And so he decided he needed to shave his goatee before meeting them so he’d be nice and clean-cut.  I swear I didn’t recognize the man I brought over!

That’s been the only time he’s been clean-shaven since I met him.  Although, 2.5 years later, he did say he was going to shave it for our wedding!  Luckily he voiced that idea and I quickly nixed it — I needed to recognize the guy at the end of the aisle!

Oh, and as I’ve done in the past, I made a baby quilt out of the scraps back in 2001.  It was given to one of my husband’s friends to welcome their new little boy:

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HisssssssssSNAKES!!!

This weekend, we had some slithery invaders into our yard…
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into our house…
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and into my daughters’ arms!

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On a slow Sunday afternoon, I decided to pull up this tutorial and have the girls help me out with making themselves some snakes.  They had a blast choosing the fabrics and sitting on my lap while we sewed them up.  And we’ve all had fun playing with them since.

Great project to do with your little ones, and definitely fast.  And I had ALL the supplies on hand!  That was the best news of all!

The only difference with my snakes from the tutorial was that I used animal eyes I had around instead of buttons or embroidery.

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Snakes in a tree!  Do you hear me??!  We have SNAKES IN A TREE!!!

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The snakes are going to get you!

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And then when the snakes get you, you can just stick their tongues up your nose. Because, apparently, that’s what one does with snakes.

Of Memorial Day and Cemeteries

We went to the Memorial Day ceremony at the Texas State Cemetery on Monday.  I have to admit that I think it is the first time *I* have ever been to a Memorial Day ceremony of any sort.  I think the girls now understand a bit about what the day is about, and know that my Grandpa – their Great Grandpa – was a soldier and fought for us.  But they also enjoyed looking at all the different statues.

The visit to the cemetery reminded me of a trip we took a couple weeks ago.  We were in the small town my husband’s father is buried in, so we stopped by that cemetery with my mother-in-law in tow.  (He died when my husband was just 9 years old.)  The girls LOVE that cemetery:  many of the gravesites are covered in plastic flowers and several have pinwheels or little statues or toys, etc.  They enjoy running from spot to spot admiring it all.

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This is a picture taken 2 years ago during a previous visit to the same cemetery. I was in the car feeding Julia and couldn’t help but take a picture. Obviously not a great picture, but gives you an idea why the girls like the place.

We of course showed the girls where their Grandpa is buried and the picture of him on his headstone and Grandma’s name.  Elena started jumping up and down and exclaiming: “GRANDMA!  Grandma!  Some day we are going to bury YOU here TOO!”  Stinker.

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Grandma at the grounds of her future burial with the girls and I 2 years ago. Just a little windy.  And is it just me, or does Julia look like Mr. Magoo here?

And just because, one of my fave pictures ever of my husband and Elena, also taken 2 years ago, at the old church tower next to the cemetery.

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