• 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

Sneak Peak

I *finally* took pictures of the girls for our Christmas cards today.

This is one of our outtakes:
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You might not realize it until I say it, but what you are seeing here is Julia about to take a bite out of Elena’s arm.  Right after this, Elena screamed and cried, and then Julia screamed and cried as she got sent to time-out.  Ahhhhh, sisterly love.  Truly a thing of beauty.

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Cemetery Fun!

“Mommy!  MOMMY!  Can we go to that demetery again!??!”  (Julia can’t say starting “s” sounds of words yet.)

Probably one of the strangest requests you hear daily from a 2/3-year-old, isn’t it? (Julia just turned 3 this week! Happy Birthday baby girl!)) But for the past month, every time we pass by the cemetery by our house — which we pass *every* day taking Elena to school — this is what I hear coming from the back seat.

I know I’ve documented the girls having fun, and torturing Grandma, at a cemetery before.  But Julia’s latest obsession has nothing to do with graves.  Instead, it has everything to do with hot air balloons!

Back in November, the week of Veterans Day, I happened to see a banner at the local cemetery advertising a Veterans Memorial Balloon Glow.   I honestly had no clue what a balloon glow was, and googled it.  The pictures I saw looked beautiful, so when the date came, I packed up the girls and headed to the cemetery.

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Walking in, in awe.

And it was beautiful.  Patriotic music played while the balloons glowed for us all to sit and admire.

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We were able to get close up to the balloons.

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And we also enjoyed seeing them from afar.   (and rolling & running down the hill!)

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There were actually 8 balloons — 2 others are behind these front 6.  You don’t know how many pictures I took to try and get one with most of the balloons glowing!  I suppose if I had a tripod I would have just let the lens stay open to get them all!

So lesson for everyone:   Remember your local cemetery when you’re looking for some family fun events!  😉  HA!
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Why Didn’t I Think of That?

During some of my recent blog-hopping, someone mentioned ironing the binding once you’ve machine-sewed it down on the front of the quilt.  (I didn’t keep track of where I read that tip — sorry!)  And I thought about that statement, did a big Huh? and Hmmmm….

And then I did it.  I attached the binding to the front of the quilt by machine, as I usually do.  Then, as I’ve never done before, I took the quilt with half-sewn binding to the ironing board and ironed out the binding.

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This picture shows the binding hand-sewn down on the back (top layer of quilt shown), and it ironed out on the front (bottom layer of the quilt shown).

Man, it makes a binding *much* easier to hand sew because you’re not fighting it quite so much to turn it over the edge!  Does everybody else already do this???

Another quick tip which I’m sure others do:  use clips to fold it down so you’re not straining your hands quite so much.

And yet another tip which I’ve never done but have considered:  serge the edge of the quilt before attaching the binding.  My edges usually are stay-stitched, but I’ve never serged the edge before.  I *think* serging could be useful, but I’ve never felt like adding that extra step, and since I haven’t had a serger for too long I fear my ability to run it straight the whole way!

Hope these tips help somebody!

OH, and the quilt shown in the picture above isn’t mine, but a friend’s quilt I was binding.  So y’all get just a peak of it, and C!  Come on over and get it — it’s done!

Sick Day Crafty Fun

Elena has already had a couple sick days this year.  How the heck do some kids go through school *never* missing a day from kinder to graduation day??  I remember a couple kids getting those awards and they really must have great immune systems!

Anyway, one of the days I held Elena out she didn’t feel that bad.  She’d had a fever the day before so I kept her home per the rules.  She was BORED at home all day though, so I broke out some sewing for all of us girls to do!  What’s better for a sick day than Strawberry Shortcake panel dolls?!?

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Thanks to a good friend C, I had this panel of Strawberry Shortcake dolls.  I asked my Mom if we had these panel dolls when we were growing up because they were very familiar.  She reminded me that instead she had made a little quilt for my sister out of a big panel of 4 Strawberry Shortcakes.  I was close!

Elena helped me cut them out, and both girls helped me do *some* of the sewing and *some* of the stuffing:

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I did have them sit on my lap for all actual sewing.  I haven’t been brave enough to let the girls have at it herself yet.  Julia actually took this picture of Elena on my lap!

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Julia begs to push the needle-down button every time I sew. (Picture by Elena!)

Soon enough, we  had Strawberry Shortcake with her kitty Custard, the baby Apple Dumpling and finally Huckleberry Pie:

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Let me remind you while you peruse these pictures:  my children dress themselves.  Thank you.

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OH NO!  They fell!  (Julia cracks me up!)  Oh, and one more aside.  Julia is not super-accident prone or anything.  She just loves being BANDAID GIRL.  (Yes, you have to shout BANDAID GIRL when you say it.)

Overall, a great day of crafting fun.  Hopefully all sick days can be this good!

Gems from Kindergarten

Okay, this post was originally drafted in SEPTEMBER.  Sheesh!  I still want to share, so here are some things we heard from Elena the first couple weeks of school.  And Be warned!  Some are not for the squeamish!

2010 11 18_0165_edited-1.jpgJust a random picture of Elena in school on cornhusk doll making day where the Moms were asked to come in and help.

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“There was a girl that threw up ALL over the carpet today!  It looked like there were hot dogs in it.  The janitor came and cleaned it up.  During circle time, I sat on the plastic bags that were covering the wet part of the carpet!”  (I don’t need to say just how horrifying this whole story was in just SO many ways!)

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And then the very next day:

“Something funny happened today!  There was a boy who stood up from his chair and was crying because he PEED in his PANTS!  He was nervous about peeing and that’s why he cried.”  I quickly verified that she did not laugh at the boy (thank goodness!).

At this time, my husband and I also agreed that we never want to be an elementary school janitor, and that Dang, the schools really are just cesspools of germs!

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E: There was a boy today in school who didn’t make good choices.

Me: Oh yeah?  What did he do? (btw, we’ve never used that terminology – pretty funny though!)

E:  He climbed under the table!

Me: Oh, he wasn’t just picking up something he dropped?

E: No!  He was just climbing down there!

Me: So, Elena, what then happened?  (thinking I’d get to hear about their punishment process at school)

E: He threw his shoes at the teacher!

Me: !!?!  Then what happened?

E:  He pulled the teacher’s dress!

Me: !!?!  And then what happened Elena?

E: Another teacher came in from another class and helped hold him down!

Me: !!??!!!?!?!  Then what happened?

E:  He had to spend the rest of the day laying down on the left side of the room!

Next day:

Me: How’d the boy do today who didn’t make good choices?

E: He was good!  He got 3 stickers!

Me: OH!  Good for him!  Did you get any stickers Elena?

E: NOPE!

Me:  ?!?!?!

(As an aside, this boy has continued to be the child that needs the most attention of any child in the classroom from everything I’ve heard and seen. And get this — he’s the kid of another kindergarten teacher at the school!  I’d have thought he’d have been more prepared somehow…)

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“There’s a boy at school that sang the song ‘Head, Shoulders, Knees and BUTT!!!”

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Ahhhh, good quality education we’re getting here…  🙂

Honestly, I’m pretty happy with Kindergarten, but it has been a huge adjustment for us all!  Elena was plain e.x.h.a.u.s.t.e.d. the first month or so.   I did put Elena in a Spanish Immersion program and she really does seem to be picking up quite a bit of the language.  I observed one day for a while after the Thanksgiving feast, and sure enough, the kids would ask the teacher questions in English, she’d respond in Spanish, and the kids seemed to then be doing the proper things.

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And I thought this was interesting — the kids are all at tables. They have these pockets on back of their chairs in which they put all of their papers. Genius organizing technique!

Houston International Quilt Festival 2010

When I’ve had a bit of a blog hiatus, I just don’t know where to start because I have so much to say!  I hope I haven’t lost too many of my readers.  Let’s get back to some quilting!

As you may remember, I was going to the Houston Quilt Festival this year, and I made it.  Sometimes I don’t think I realize how lucky I am to be so close to the event ~ I can’t remember how many times I’ve gone!

This year, though, it just didn’t feel like the best year.  I wasn’t really digging any of the big winners, and everything just felt very been-there, done-that.  Of course, it didn’t help that one of the big displays was for Baltimore Albums.  I know they have a huge fan base, but I’m not part of it.  I think the real blahs with the show, though, was simply because I was sick with a nasty cold and just plain exhausted, and was feeling quite financially constrained this year.

But I had a wonderful partner in crime (Hi MOM!) and still had fun!
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Anyway, I just flipped through my pictures and was very pleasantly surprised!  There are several quilts that I *DID* love ~ I just forgot about them!  So, onto the quilt show!  Here are some of my favorites — hope you enjoy!  As always, to get the artist information click on the thumbnail picture of the info sheet.  (Oh, and to see all the winners in the judges’ eyes, go here!)

First, aren’t these cranes just fantastic! I love that they are dark as opposed to white — it just really drew me in being so unexpected.
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With this detail you can see that everything is raw edged. I keep thinking I should do some raw edge applique, but it scares me!
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And anyone who has been here for any amount of time knows I love Ruth McDowell inspired pieces, and this one is no exception.  (The description doesn’t credit McDowell, but the technique seems unmistakable.  Seriously, anyone want to sponsor me to attend one of Ruth McDowell’s workshops???!  🙂  )
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Just beautiful. I believe this quilt was in the Quilt Canada exhibit.
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And here’s something totally different: Hong Kong!
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Ahhh, stars! Bright Wonky Stars that is! on Black and white! I will make a wonky star quilt some day! (You ever get the feeling that my Bucket List of Quilts to Make is huge? It is…)
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With this quilt I’m not a super fan of the faces sketched in thread, but I really like the color sense….
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and I LOVE the wishing flower (aka dandelion gone to seed)! Another idea for the Bucket List!
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You guys know I can’t go to Quilt Festival without loving on some Japanese quilts:
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What you don’t notice at first (at least I didn’t), is that it is not built on a black background — that’s just the curtain. You might be able to tell here that the trees hold all the pieces together!
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This next quilt is by Caryl Bryer Fallert who won Best of Show last year. I included it because I *much* prefer this quilt to her quilt that won last year. (A girl dancing with rainbow background, etc.)
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I thought this Madonna and Child was extremely delicate and very reminiscent of the Renaissance.
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This quilt looks like a picture! It is just SO realistic!
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And then this quilt. SO hard to see here, but it really was just beautiful. I think I wish she’d left off the words and just had the trees on the quilt, but either way I liked it:
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Hope you enjoyed my little sampling of 10 quilts from the show!