Monday, September 26, 2016

Hapde burfday grant! 4

My dearest ginty,

Today you are four! 

We made it through my very last trip through the terrorist threes. Woohoo!

At this point you are:
Exactly the same size as Sammi
Going to preschool two half days
In love with cake. You had your first friend party this weekend (and I took zero pictures) and all you cared about was eating that cake!
Funny. You have a real sense of humor already that is more grown up than three
OBSESSED with lawn mowers. And weed eaters. We have to watch all the neighbors mow their grass and you spend hours every day pushing your toy mower.
Also pretty obsessed with trains
Starting to color very nicely, count past twenty, recognize letters
Able to remember the craziest things, identify signs and places after only seeing them once, etc
Wildly entertained by Elmo
Finally dressing yourself, as promised, as soon as you turned four, but not a single minute before 
A talker. By the end of the day I'm pretty sure I cannot answer one.more.question without dying
Stubborn as hell
Missing Sammi since she is now gone all day
Often found eating all day. Mom, I need three breakfasts.
A freaking mosquito magnet!
A very good helper - cooking, cleaning, fixing - you are happy to help eith everything 
My baby! I will confess there is a little bit of coddling the baby going on around here. 

I love you so much kiddo and I'm so happy we get to spend so much time together this school year.  Here's to year four, may it bring fewer tantrums, more growth and many happy days.


Monday, September 19, 2016

Cargo duffle bag sewing

Jack has started playing soccer this season and after one game it was clear we needed a bag we could just grab on the run with stuff for the smaller kids. Snacks, drinks, crayons, a blanket to lie on.

After some internet surfing I landed on the free cargo duffle pattern at Robert Kaufman by noodlehead. (Sorry no link, still can't do that on the iPad.)

It was a super fun sew. 

I was massively intimidated by the zipper and pockets, but it turns out maybe my sewing skill level is a bit higher than I give myself credit for.
I think I'd like to make another just because! 

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Flea market Sunday

Man, my health has gone from bad to worse. Now I am covered in an itchy, blistering rash which has landed me on a course of steroids. The fun never stops coming!

This week's flea finds:

Oh, I've loved these for so long and finally one I could afford! Into the bathroom it went stat.
Haven't found a place for this one yet, still thinking.
This is an odd something... I think I will alter it a little and make a doll quilt for grant. He's been asking for a crib for his doll in his room.
With original box!

This pumpkin lights up.
And a quilt of course.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016


Grants preschool self portrait, complete with crazy red hair and glasses.
Sammi's kindy paper from yesterday. I love how she has all the letters but in no particular order.

And super quick Halloween ornaments for my big tree. (Part of a target dollar spot banner kit plus Dennison seals.)

A new Halloween pillow. I finished it with chenille and a zipper (! Gasp!). The center is a dish towel from tjmaxx. 

***a few people have inquired about a Halloween swap. There is no swap this year. I think I am done with the heart to heart swap also. I have enjoyed them, but a decade of swap wrangling feels like enough I think. There are loads of Instagram swaps if you still want to do that, go have a look. :)  xoxoxo

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The wheel of fortune quilt - adventures in foundation piecing

Oh this quilt. It tried to kill me. It definitely broke my quilting spirit. It started on a whim - a quilt to make while working on a huge hand sewing project (hexagons). 

This is a fairly old pattern usually cSlled wheel of fortune or road to fortune. It's foundation pieced. Now, I've dabbled in paper piecing on a small scale - doll quilts and pillows with no troubles really.

I quickly discovered each of these blocks, with their 32 pieces per 8 inch block, were taking me up to 45 minutes to piece. And I had planned on using 64 of them because they are small. 
The piecing took months, but I pushed through. 
Then I ran out of fabric in the prints and I was ONE block shy of a finish. I tried ordering more, but it's an old line and hard to find. I did find more but when it arrived she had sent the wrong layer cake, so....back to the drawing board. I decided the only thing to do was switch up one block and have solids in the center. I was able to piece together strips of the prints by taking apart some hexies from the other project and *just* make it work. 

But by then I was already calling this quilt the road to misfortune. 
Then came the task of ripping off all the papers. I honestly had not foreseen the problem this was going to be. We all spent two weeks trying to do this - even Dave and the kids. I had purchased newsprint off amazon to use for foundations after doing much research. While sewing it seemed like a good choice. While ripping not so much. 
Ripping ripping ripping - but it was never coming out of those seam allowances. (I have since read a tip to just trim it off the seam allowance but not the entire block but to be honest I am still not sure what the right thing to do here is. There are just so many Seams coming together here. I was going to do the open them up and iron them into pinwheels thing to reduce bulk after I had the papers off but the mess just got wirse from here.)

So after weeks of this I gave up and threw this in a very gentle wash cycle to dissolve the papers that remained. 

This worked but what came out was a shredded torn mess. I knew it wouldn't go well. I have a thousand vintage quilts and I never, ever advise anyone to wash an unquilted top. But still, it was heartbreak. By now I had invested tons of time and money into this beast. 

So I spent another week trying to put it back together. Remember though - NO SPARE FABRIC!

I just did the best I could.
Basted it and started quilting. 
It's done now. There are still problems all over the place. For every split seam I fixed I missed at least one. (And I fixed hundreds.) 
To be honest I cannot even with this quilt. 
I've folded it up and put it in the closet for now. 
Part of me thinks it actually looks okay, not perfect, but functional and attractive. 
Part of me would like to set it on fire. 

So, there you have it, the quilt that broke me. Lol

Monday, September 12, 2016

Painting, decorating, fluffing

Once the kids went back to school I started on a list of things that really need some clearing out after that long summer. (Which, btw, is now embedded in my brain as some sort of worst season ever of survivor, lol.)

I realized this pillow never made it on the blog. Tutorial is at flamingo toes. 
Here's our school themed mantle. That black chalkboard on the left was just stuck there after I cleaned out my sewing area. 
We have a perpetual ceiling problem in this house. When we remodeled the entire house was sprayed with  kilz, including the ceilings. Within two years our ceilings started cracking and paint started coming down all over the house. WE have already repaired them twice, but it just keeps happening. We got a new roof at the beginning of August and I am REALLY hoping it helps stop that, but it's a waiting game. This bathroom has always been the worst bc of the kids and the shower. We tweaked the fan but I had been bugging Dave to address the ceiling bc it was really, really awful. He said there was no way to scrape it and paint it again - it was too far gone. His solution? Beadboard. At first I said no way, but I started getting desperate as birthday parties and holidays are looming and our bathroom was worse than a gas station! In the end I love it, and so far the super mega outdoor paint I used to paint the boards is holding up just fine to the kids. 
Once he had the ceiling done I had to repaint the room, so white it is. (Last summer I painted nearly everything in the house and most everything went white.) new shower curtain and rug from target, new chair height toilet for me (thanks RA), and a new light fixture too. I really want a different vanity in there too, but I'm over working on that room. (When we did the remodel seven years ago ! I wanted to repurpose a dresser for a vanity in there, but couldn't find one. The $100 vanity was always meant to be temporary. Seven years later, cough. Lol)
My sewing area has been changed a lot to suit my changing needs, but the stuff on this wall just stayed put - often getting hidden by piles of things. It was fine when there was just a settee on that wall (before I started sewing in there four plus years ago!) but now it was a crowded junky mess.
Took it down. Polled Instagram. Stewed for  few hours. Sold a serger on Craigslist. Tried a few things on the wall there. 

Then I remembered that a long time ago I had framed this quilt piece and it was in the garage with no home. It fit perfectly. I still had a huge space to the left and I was pretty stuck on the pegboard idea from a long time friend on ig. My rulers had been in a totally nonfunctional basket in the before. I really love how much more functional this is. I still have a few tiny things to do - cover those blue baskets on my shelf and find a better container for my 505 sprays. But this a total win. 

Tomorrow I should be back with a finished quilt. It's the quilt that tried to kill me. 

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Flea market Sunday

Today was a flea market that I usually really look forward to as its one of the few times I can fill up my cart and spend all my money. 

Sadly I got sick this week and it's kicking my ass. I overslept this morning! You really do have to be the early bird around here. I think my RA meds are why I cannot kick this cold. I can barely move from the couch and I was really struggling with hiking in and out today. 

I did snag a few things.
I did an apple themed mantle for August and September this year and these old school cut outs will look great next year. I really need to try and post a pic of that tomorrow.

A few Halloween goodies. These were all that was left in a big box, I'm sure I missed some good stuff in that box.
Currently an apron, but this adorable fabric is in my reuse bin now.
A huge amount of spun cotton angels with a few other Christmas goodies. The ziploc bag is stuffed full of angels. 
a butterfly quilt top. She's started penciling her quilting pattern on part of it.
A yellow tied quilt. 
She ran out of her original fabric and was making do here. Jack started soccer this week and I'm thinking this is headed to the van as the soccer quilt. It was a little chilly in the shade last night.

And a very nice appliqué kit quilt.
This really is lovely. It's destined for resale.

If I live that long I guess. Right now I'm still just lying here exhausted, hacking and letting the kids play All the video games.

Saturday, September 03, 2016

61 miles of yard sales

61 mikes of yard sales was much needed yesterday. And I managed to buy some things. Nothing this year that made you run to the car, but, not a bad year.
Yardage. I will end up getting rid of the berries I think, but ticking is always useful.
A not old rice sack.
Tablecloth, likely destined to be sold
These are huge rolls of a good quality vintage satin. I love these for tying around sold quilts.
Not super old ornaments, but stripes!
No clue what these slightly worse for the wear ducks are for?
Also not super old, but empire ghost.
Really lovely ornaments. They are tiny and the stencils are glittered.
I think the small ornaments would be better with all the paint rubbed off at this point. Indents broken on the tree toppers, but meh.
A huge German figurine. Like 8 inches.
This is actually green. 
I have no clue why they painted Joseph to look like a dog here, but the kids will like the spinning at Christmas. I still want to find a fabulous one of these.
My Best Buy was an entire built-rite ho train building set. I love them, they've gone right into the living room cabinets.
The graphics are adorable?
16 buildings in all.

And they were my first buy of the day.

Plus stuff for the kids. 

Now we get the joy of home repairs the rest of the weekend, fun!