• 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

Frustration

I’ve been worried about my free-motion quilting skills and have been avoiding quilting this quilt for way too long.  The baby is 7 months old and heck, I thought I’d get it to him before he was 6 months and now I have to worry about his 1st birthday!

I definitely didn’t want to start with the space quilt — I like it too much to ruin it.  So, it was time to pull out a charity quilt and start quilting.

2011 07 26_0055.JPG

This quilt has problems, but it really isn’t wavy despite its appearances.  It’s just the grass making it appear that way.

And my goodness, although I seem to have finally conquered my tension and thread-breaking issues, I definitely have a long way to go with my quilting.  My stitch length is extremely erratic and I couldn’t seem to decide where I wanted to go and when.  And then the thread I chose ended up being a bit too dark and shows up SO much instead of disappearing into the quilt as I wanted.  SO. VERY. FRUSTRATING.
2011 07 26_0058.JPG

These blocks are vintage sheets I received from an exchange.  As you can see here, some are pretty thread-bare.

The ladies at my craft get together rolled their eyes at me and my dramatics, but I know I’m not satisfied.  I’ll definitely be doing another practice quilt or two before I start the space quilt.
2011 07 26_0057.JPG

I also need some work on my 100% machine binding.  This one was tons better than my previous attempts.  I’ll definitely be hand-stitching the binding on quilts I really care about, but I know some charities have asked for machine bindings and I thus wanted to practice.

And really, this quilt isn’t crap.  It will be given to charity and I think it will be well-loved and won’t fall apart.  I just need to get better.

Of Friendship and Penguins

This past weekend I hosted a little craft get together for our little core group of crafters — one of our group is about to move away so we *had* to do one last get together before she was gone.

This time we all sewed, and sewed a lot!

One of the group did baby blocks for her little one, another worked on a quilt for her little one, and the other did a wonderful flowing skirt for herself (after announcing that her little one had more than enough stuff at the moment!)  (Sorry, no pictures of any of it!)  And me?  I worked on a little dress.  A dress made of penguin fabric.

2011 07 24_0125_edited-1.jpg

The funny thing about this little dress is that the girl moving away loves penguins and has a newborn daughter.  And she was so intent on her project that she never once noticed that I was using penguin fabric!  And of course thus also never once noticed that I was making a little gift for her!

The dress won’t fit for quite a while — it is a size 1.  But it was terribly fun to make, and even more fun to give!  (And yippee!  I did it all start to finish at the craft night – thank goodness!)

And yes, you’ve seen me do this pattern before.  Probably 5 or 6 times now.  It is New Look 6796.  I adjusted the sleeves in the same manner as I did last time.  Hopefully they’ll be sized right since I was just making up the size of the straps as I went along.

Oh, I also had a tool recommendation: the Fasturn.  If you have to turn a ton of straps inside-out (as seems to be the case with making little girl dresses), this tool is awesome.  Just makes things much easier.  Thanks Mom for giving some to me!

2011 07 24_0134_edited-1.jpg

Happy travels C!  We’ll miss you crafting with us!

10!

I haven’t done one of my bullet point posts lately and I have lots of little things to share, so here we go!

1. Elena has previously lost 5 teeth, and 4 of those times the tooth fairy paid her $1 for the privilege of getting her tooth.  However, when Elena lost tooth a tooth at Disney World this past spring, the tooth fairy paid out a little more: $5.  Elena was not too excited when the tooth fairy went back to paying just $1/tooth.

So when she lost yet another tooth last week, this time Elena left a note.

2011 07 12_0046.JPG

It reads “$5  I love [apparently you, although she forgot to write that]  End  Elena”.  That is her tooth in a little treasure chest on the pillow.  Elena got the treasure chest when she lost one of her teeth at school.

And the tooth fairy, a particularly masculine one who felt the creative note deserved a reward, paid out the requested $5.  Elena proudly showed it off to me, telling me all about “I TOLD YOU it would work Mommy, and you didn’t think it would!”  Hmmm, I think Mommy was overruled.

2. Elena took her newly-earned $5 and spent it at….the rock store!  She’s the proud owner of some crystals and some geodes.
2011 07 16_0007.JPG

Trying to break the geode.

3. The geodes were pretty fun, and the rock store was surprisingly big, busy and interesting, with all sorts of crystals and fossils, etc.
2011 07 16_0010.JPG

4. Elena was at the pool this week telling some girls about her note to the Tooth Fairy, etc., and the girls proceeded to tell her that “We think our parents are the tooth fairy!”  I’m not sure yet whether their comments were damaging to Elena’s beliefs.

5. Julia’s got something funky going on around her mouth.  For no discernible reason, 4 times in the past 6 months it looks like blood vessels have burst all around her mouth.  Neither I nor the doctors can explain it, but it especially freaked me out the 1st time.  Here’s the most recent occurrence, last week:

2011 07 12_0033.JPG

Anyone have any experience with this?  It doesn’t bother her at all and just gradually fades away.  SO ODD.

6. The girls painted some fabric last Friday.  More on this will be shown soon.  Promise.
2011 07 15_0020.JPG

7. We dressed up as cows for free chicken on July 9th.  It was Cow Appreciation Day, you know!
2011 07 08_0002.JPG

2011 07 08_0009.JPG

8. Seriously, $15 worth of free food just for sticking some black felt spots onto some white clothes is AWESOME.
2011 07 08_0024.JPG

9. Why hello drought!

2011 06 24_0095_edited-1.JPG

This is a fishing hole we went to with some friends.  It has obviously seen better days.  It reeked of dead fish, and they could be seen everywhere.  The hose set up in the pond is to get some more oxygen flowing in what water is left.

10. One poor little fish was caught, which all the girls delighted in, and was soon enough returned to the pond to live a nice long life…of probably 2-3 days tops at the rate the pond was disappearing.

2011 06 24_0087.JPG

The fish pond was not a quiet place. Instead, it was full of squealing and laughing girls as they played with worms.
2011 06 24_0079.JPG

And that’s enough for now!
2011 06 24_0065.JPG

What is Black and Tan and Red in Spots?

Why, 2 finished quilt tops!  What else?

2011 07 18_0001.JPG

This certainly took a lot more time than I expected, especially since the blocks were made years ago, but the tops are done!  These tops measure approximately 66” x 85” and will certainly fit a wounded soldier well.  I’ll show them in full when they are complete.  Don’t expect them *too* soon simply because I will hand them off to my Mom to quilt next time I go to Houston, and I’m not sure when that will be.  In the meantime, I’ll go ahead and cut the binding for them and maybe stop procrastinating on some of my other projects…

A View of the Kitchen Table

I still haven’t done the quilting yet of a certain quilt (um, yikes!), but I have been getting some sewing done.

I recently moved one project over to the kitchen table.  I worked on it diligently at night, claiming to my husband that I moved out there so I could watch the same TV shows as him and “be” with him.  That was, in part, true.  But in fact the other reason I moved it over was because my GOODNESS, my sewing room/guest bedroom is a MESS and just look at all the space behind the sewing machine here.  Such easy sewing!
2011 06 27_0060.JPG

My husband called me out and wanted his kitchen table back so my project is back in my sewing room.  At this time, all the individual rows are together except for the setting triangles.  Let me tell you, figuring out the necessary size for those setting triangles made my head hurt!  The sashing seemed to make it so much more confusing.

Hopefully I’ll be done piecing these quilts soon and I’ll ship them off to my Mom.  We will be donating these quilts to Quilts of Valor, certainly a worthy organization.

With Thanks to the Free Table

My quilt guild sets up a Free Table at the start of every meeting.  And when I actually make it to a guild meeting (hello!  I *always* forget since the meetings are the 1st Monday of the month — I never switch the wall calendar in time!), I like to peruse it.   It is full of everything from clothing patterns from the 1980s and quilt patterns from whenever to orphan blocks and to swatches of upholstery fabric and random pieces of other fabric.  I have a bag of stuff to add to the free table myself if I ever remember to bring it.
2011 06 10_0132.JPG

A month or so ago, I picked up this blue-background floral knit fabric.  Immediately I knew it had to be dresses for my girls.  Elena especially *loves* the comfort of knit dresses and will almost always choose them over regular cotton dresses.
2011 06 10_0153.JPG

Elena is *starting* to smile a bit better for the camera — not quite so cheesy.

I patterned these dresses off of some other knit dresses the girls have from Target last summer.  So I sized the dresses up and sewed them together.
2011 06 10_0107 edit.JPG

In the meantime, Julia looks mischievous instead of cheesy when she smiles for the camera.

The hardest part of putting these dresses together was the pink bias I made for the straps.  I used knit fabric I had on hand which is unfortunately a little thin.  It seems to stretch a little much and the dresses start sagging by the end of the day as the straps give way.  Oops.  I don’t really know how to fix this problem except maybe use a bit more substantial knit fabric for the bias.  The dresses I patterned from also have knit straps and don’t have that same problem, so…?

2011 06 10_0141.JPG

The girls wanted to stand *in* the sunflowers.  I was too scared of snakes to let them go any further.

I have a fair amount left of the fabric so I’ll be returning that to the free table.  Maybe someone else will come up with a use for the rest!

2011 06 10_0155.JPG

I always thought sunflowers were a fall flower.  I’d just always see them in fall floral adjustments and not growing out in the wild.  Turns out they are a great summer flower, and luckily I took these pictures when I did because just 2 short days later the owner of this little field mowed them all down.

In  the meantime, I have 2 very successful MATCHING (Oh NO, we have created a monster!) dresses for the lucky price of $0 to me!  Thanks anonymous donor!

Many Hands, One Charity Quilt

One of my Mom’s customers brought her an old quilt top recently.  I believe the customer said she had made it long ago and put it away with no plans.  It was unearthed and was found to be a bit stained and no longer anything she wanted, but she thought it should be finished, and so she brought it to my Mom.

They both worked – successfully! – to get all of the stains out, and then my Mom quilted it up.  The customer really didn’t want it back, so my Mom next handed it to me to bind and I have since given it to my mother-in-law, who has given it to a shelter for recent immigrants that she often supports.  My mother-in-law was thrilled, and the rest of us were happy.

2011 06 09_0157.JPG

It is a nice twin-sized quilt, and I’m sure the shelter is putting it to good use.

It’s a good reminder for all of us that someone will love and appreciate those no-longer-loved half-finished quilts we have sitting about, so it is always a good thing to finish them up.

Yay for quilts on beds!  (Sorry – no better picture!  I only thought to snap this one picture the morning I handed it to my mother-in-law.)