Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Vintage kitty appliqué pillow


The first weekend in May I bought this:
This week, I turned it into this :
Pillows are oddly hard to photograph, lumpy things. I ended up doing a zig zag over a raw edge appliqué, because no way could I do that cat shape with needle turn. I wanted edging, but not piping  so I used ric rac. I've never used it that way before and next time I won't try it without some zipper tape to hold it in place. It's backed with a super fluffy chenille.
The white ric rac is an emergency fix. It turns out that original blue fabric was not strong enough to withstand stuffing (eek! ), so I needed a bit of a cover up. 

Despite a few hiccups, I'm happy it's not sitting around as a Ufo for another 70 years! I'm sure Sammi will enjoy her on her bed. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Apples and rainbows

We have apples on our apple trees! How exciting. 
And chalk everywhere else.
Welcome summer vacation.
Let's be friends.

Not enemies. Like yesterday. Ahem.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Quilts for comfort


Thus quilt was a super quick job. I bought the parts for the top on Instagram - they were someone else's Ufo. Whacked them together, bated and quilted it.

It is currently on its way to a family in need of some comfort.
I really like the idea of using Ufos this way - quick to finish and easily gifted.

I'm still trying hard to be a make one to keep, make one to give quilter. The majority of made by me quilts go to other homes. Which is good since my vintage quilt collection is nutso at the moment.

Top - paper pieced by Norma
Back - cotton couture 
Quilted by me - may 2016 for the brown family 

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Apples for teacher

 I made last minute teacher gifts using this pattern. They are a bit time consuming, but so cute! I still need to make two more and I want a few more to fill the dough bowl on our kitchen table.


Sammi is DYING to snatch them all for herself!

Cute!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Friday finds

This is actually the junk from last weekend. It was my birthday and I tried SO HARD to find some good junking. It was a bust though. I stumbled on one good garage sale, which yielded all of this.


Isn't this wool rug gorgeous? I'm a little afraid to let the kids tromp all over it.

I have a hair brained idea that I might fill the "hall of frames" with samplers. I can't decide if I love the idea or hate it, but I have a bit of a collection started it seems. (Hey, 50 cents!)




I have no more room for mirrors. I am powerless over mirrors. 

I've had so much to blog this week, eek. I still have more and more too. Keep up the momentum sarah!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Last day of sixth grade


Woohoo! We've made it through the first year of middle school with all of our limbs intact. There have been some bumps and a million phone calls. We are all learning to negotiate the road to independence together. Jack had straight As all year. He also earned a math excellence award and a star student award. Last week on yet another phone call to school I asked them to find him a harder math class. He took a placement test and tested into eighth grade math easily, so we are going to skip seventh grade math next year. (Both he and I are more than ready for high school - he needs to start being able to work more to his ability level instead of being held at his "social" level all the darn time.) 

He isn't making many blog appearances these days as I am acutely aware that all his classmates are all over the Internet, but I am super proud of him for holding on and navigating the hard stuff this year. (And there has been hard stuff!) way to go Jack! 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

What are you going to be...

A bit of the kids on a Wednesday : 

Grant and sammi make "potions" all day long in the yard. 
After his most recent haircut (which involves a VERY chatty hairdresser who went on and on about grant looking like Ed Sheeran) , grant realized he could be anything he wants to be when he grows up. Current goal? "Rock star!" I bought him a guitar ("kittar") and he sings long black train while strumming.  He's also into the Star Wars theme, which he sings while verrrrry slowly lifting the toilet seat. 
I turned 41 this past weekend. Sometimes it's fast, sometimes it's slow, but I imagine it all works out in the end. (My hair needs a cut in the worst way though.)  I had something happen last week that was like a teeny peek into a life I didn't choose long ago. One of those things where you can go left or right but you must  choose right then. I'm happy I chose the road I did, that's for damn sure. That brief glimpse into the other road haunted me for a few dAys and left me saying "I just want to raise the kids and make pretty things." It definitely left me with a long lasting case of the proverbial #blessed (which is so over used, lol). Anyway, just looking at us altogether like that is a daily reminder of what a miracle they all are!
The little two are thick as thieves these days. I'm super hesitant to send Sammi to kindy and ruin that. I hadn't enrolled her yet, for a number of reasons (mostly she do not seem ready at all way back in Jan). But now she has made great progress on her skills with more learning time with me and she has started talking about kindy every day. I  still am waffling a teeny bit.
Our yard is bursting with wildlife. Skinks abd baby rabbits and hummingbirds and bees and butterflies. Grant was lucky enough to get very close (he didn't touch it!) to our baby one day. We learn a lot of science out back! 

They have also started putting on shows for me. I can't remember what this one was, but they are praying about how much they love each other. The preschool has done an amazing job with their religious education so far and I'm trying to figure out how to continue that as Sammi moves on to public school. (I wish we could afford their kindergarten!) 






Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Monday, May 16, 2016

16 patch "in the garden" quilt


I saw an Instagram photo of a big collection of floral prints with white backgrounds that immediately screamed my name. I checked my stash - nothing. Joann - nothing. The nearly empty Hancock - nothing. I happened to have some PayPal cash from getting rid of some of my quilts, so I bought about 20 half yards of light or white prints. Then I chopped them into five inch strips and strip pieced 16 patches. There are two block versions - an a and a b, and they alternate in an attempt to be "random" with no thinking.
As I was working I started thinking of this quilt as in the garden. It's all flowers, raindrops, bugs, animals like bunnies, toadstools and a few other fun gardeny things. (Pinwheels!)
It's backed with a king sized shabby chic from target flat sheet and bound with a tiny strawberry print.
It is huge.
And I am hoping that my intensely picky sleeping self with be able to sleep under it this summer. (Right now I need to wash it like ten more times to soften the drape more I think.)


After washing. 

Overall a super fun quilt to make on a whim! 

Fabrics - fat quarter shop
Batting - bamboo
Backing - shabby chic flat sheet 
Name - in the garden 
Finished - may 2016
Destination - our bed 

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Quilting resources

I've mentioned some of these on Instagram, but a few blog comments made me think they are worth mentioning here too. 

As my quilt collection and quilt making have reached epic proportions, I've found myself buying books. Here are a few that I use a lot.

I should  also say I cAnnot say too many times how much I love the Instagram quilting community. It gives me access to a world of knowledge and a wealth of inspiration. You really should try it out. If you don't have, or use, a smart phone you can access it on the iPad (and probAbly other tables too.)

All of these books have come to me used via Amazon or the thrift except fat quarter style.

This book has a ton of designs, but you are going to need to draft the pattern yourself. I do do that sometimes, on graph paper. BUT, it will also give you a name that you can google and often hit the right pattern that way even if googling was not working for you. I just tried googling the airplane quilt with zero success, but using the name from this book led me right to a pattern.
This is, by far, the best resource for trying to find pattern names for old quilts. And used its pretty cheap - in the $5 range. It gets used at least once a week around here, either looking up an interesting quit I saw on Instagram or trying to name one in my collection.
The book above has replaced this one for the most part, but this is still a nice collection of Mckim patterns.
I do not use this book for the patterns, but it has a very thorough picture tutorial on how to use a binding tool. I use it for every single quilt (as I can't seem to remember which way to flip the tool!) and finally have a tidy binding join every time.

I wish this was more comprehensive, but it's what exists for fabric dating, so I do use it.
Even if you never want to piece letters this book is just full of revelations about improvisational piecing. There is another book I get from the library too along the same lines for when I just need to think outside the quilt block. :) 

Maybe that will help get you started! I have quite the library (and tool box too) these days.