Tuesday, June 30, 2009

back from vacation

We just got back from our annual Utah pilgrimage on Sunday evening. We were gone a little over a week. The drive out and back is sooo long but over all the kids did ok. We packed a lot in to our time there, doing things like visiting BYU bookstore, swimming, barbecueing with family, eating Gandolfo's sandwiches, and working on my sister's new roof. I got to go to a fun quilt shop while we were there, Corn Wagon Quilt Co. I bought some (more) Figgy Pudding Christmas fabric, some Snippets oranges for my daughter's baby quilt, and some fabrics for 4th of July skirts and dresses for my baby and her cousins. I made a 4-tiered skirt for my niece, and Mom and Tami and I started on peasant dresses for our two baby girls. Our oldest niece came too and had her first experience using a sewing machine. She was a little intimidated at first but she did great! I helped her make a... scrunchy. It was all her idea. She's 11 and apparently scrunchies are coming back. I finished my baby's dress yesterday and will post a photo soon. I will have my sis email a picture of her daughter's skirt too, so I can show you that.

A while back, I listened to a good episode of the Quilting Stash podcast. It was an interview with Diana McClun and Laura Nownes, the authors of Quilts, Quilts, Quilts. This is the first quilting book I bought, probably in 1997 or 98, and it's still one of the best ones out there for learning quilting basics. It was really interesting to hear the authors' voices and learn the story of how Quilts, Quilts, Quilts came about.

Monday, June 15, 2009

last week's projects

Last week I made shorts for J, finished up a pay it forward gift for my friend Jan, and made the flag for Cub Scout day camp.

The shorts pattern is from Ottobre Design 3/2007 and they run really large. I made them in size 92 and they fit J, who's almost 5, with plenty of growing room. 92 is supposed to be somewhere around a size 3, by the way. Anyway I really like them and since they are made from lightweight twill, my poor wimpy machine was able to sew them just fine. I added elastic in the waistband, just thought that would make sense.

Here's a little kitchen towel all spruced up with some Moda Snippets charm pack goodness. And coasters, front and back. Also made from the Snippets charms. This was my first finished gift for a little pay it forward swap I signed up for on Facebook a while back. Four more to go!

And here's the pack flag for day camp. This was fun to make. I couldn't find my fusible stuff so I just pinned and it went together ok anyway. Then I figured doing the fusing would have taken a lot longer with all the added steps. The background fabric is black denim. You can see the back of the flag if you click through to my flickr page.

I took some pictures for a little quilt block tutorialtoday. I will be working on getting that ready to share in the next day or two. And I'm thinking about hand sewing projects for our vacation. I'm not sure what to do yet, any suggestions?

Saturday, June 06, 2009

quilt binding and vintage sheets


Vintage sheet fat quarters from the Chaletgirl swap. Lots of possibilities here. I'm thinking maybe cute tiered baby peasant dresses to start.
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The first three (I think) totally finished Project Improv quilts (I did the binding). I really enjoyed being able to have the time to really get a close look at these quilts. They are so amazing. I can't wait to do more of them.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009


My dharma trading order came today and I dyed "robin's egg blue" and "deep orange". I might need to do another blue batch, lighter. I tried some different fabrics in each batch, interesting how the linen looks different than cotton. I wonder how they'll look dry. I think they will both look good in the strip quilt I am planning.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

new cool things I'm interested in

I have some pictures I've been meaning to take, of quilt bindings and vintage bedlinen fat quarters, and I've been busy. So, maybe pictures tomorrow.

I just opened up one of my BurdaStyle emails and found out about the Alabama Stitch Book. I have an Amazon GC that's starting to burn a hole in my pocket... but first I checked my library website and found out my library does have it, so I put it on my hold list and hopefully will be able to get it soon. I love the library! I've been looking up various people's blog entries and photos of projects from this book and they are sooo cool. I can't wait to make myself a shirt, and a skirt, and who knows what else, after I get the book.

Another thing. I looked at a LOT of blogs last week with the Blog Giveaway thing and found this. A princess pavilion tent that goes over a table. How is it that I never knew something like this even existed? We had a teepee when I was a kid, and I remember it being very, very cool. My mom made it. I had been thinking about making one, off and on. But this seems easier, although still quite a large project. I don't have a round table, and won't be making a princess tent, but I have a kitchen table, and another table in the garage that we've brought in from time to time for the kids to make forts with... so another project I'll be wanting to make, let's say sometime this year, is a cool table tent.

Finally, then I have to go to bed, is this family summer planning station from Future Craft Collective. (This is the thing I kept telling you I would email you about, Lorilee. Sorry. But here it is now.) We went to Hobby Lobby in search of stamps and paint today, and found cute foam stamps for $2.79, woohoo. I decided to get the "dimensional" fabric paint (what, is it too '80s to call it puffy paint now?) and we squirted it out onto an old container lid and then painted it onto the stamps with a paintbrush. I had help from 4 kids, two in my family, and we got two months stamped out on the calendar part of our banner. It was a good rainy day for that. We'll work on it some more tomorrow.

I also decided I need to start thinking about handmade Christmas gifts. The online quilt shops are getting cute Christmas fabric in.... I'm not sure how much I'll try to do handmade but I want to give some things that I've made this year.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Reading... DailyLit and Obama: The Historic Journey

I got in on another MotherTalk blog tour, this time for Obama: The Historic Journey. This is a young reader's edition and I'd hoped to get my 9 year old to take a look at it but it's been kind of crazy busy with the end of school so I'm hoping to stick it in his pile of library books or look at it with him in the next couple weeks.

I did get a chance to read this book and I really liked it. The book has lots of great photos and tells clearly and concisely about President Obama's life growing up, people that influenced his life, and the campaign story ending with his inauguration. There's also an interesting section that talks about the New York Times' preparation for the newspaper the day after the election.

I really liked the recap of election night, and the inauguration photos. The inauguration photos show those amazing crowds; I've never seen anything like that before and it's cool how the photos in the book capture the enormity of the audience that day. And election night... well, that was the last night we slept over at the hospital with our baby girl before she came home after being born prematurely. I remember watching the election coverage on TV and being so amazed that it was over so quickly. I remember being impressed with McCain's concession speech and thinking that's how he ought to have run his campaign. I remember parts of Obama's speech and all the teary, excited people shown on TV. All this in between and amongst taking care of our tiny, under 5 pound, sweet baby girl who was almost ready to come home.

Anyway, to sum it up, this book is a great young reader biography of President Obama and it's also a keepsake of the historic campaign and election. Check it out!

In further reading news, I found out about DailyLit a few weeks ago and just finished reading my first book through their site. They have a whole bunch of old books that you can read for free, or you can pay to read some newer selections if you're interested. All you do is sign up and they send you installments of your book(s) every day until you're done. I started reading Walden, The Lost Princess of Oz, and Little Women. I finished The Lost Princess of Oz last night; it was fun to read it this way but I found I missed the pictures. I've read about 5 of the Oz books with my 9 year old and they are all wonderfully illustrated. The author has so many fanciful creatures that it seems to help see an artist's interpretation of them.

I'm continuing with reading Little Women; I haven't read it as an adult and I'm really enjoying it. I decided to put Walden on a break for now; it's some heavy reading. I will get back to it though. Now that I finished my first book with them, I'll probably go back to the DailyLit site and pick out something else to read.