Monday, April 27, 2009

Little Girls

My daughter has a birthday to go to tomorrow. We had gotten her a small gift certificate to Build a Bear because what kid doesn't want to go there? But, I felt it was a bit cheap. So, I made this little girl to go with it. Build a Bear gives little boxes with the gift certificate like you get when you make a bear so I thought it would look cute if she held it. I got the pattern here. She has some other patterns too. Peter Puppy in an earlier post is from her as well.

We spent most of our weekend outside in our backyard. Here are some pictures of the dog with her wagging tongue and and the kid enjoying the sun and attempting to figure out the hoola hoop. Ignore the mess in the background. We are still working on our winter cleaning of the yard. The dog destroys it and we neglect it. I wanted to be inside working on her dog quilt but that was a no go. I have it about 50% done. I hope my dog lover loves it. Hope you are getting some sun too! OUrs will be gone tomorrow. Boohoohoo.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

bag for a working grandma

My friend Daysha asked me to make her mom a lunch bag for her birthday last year. I, of course, obliged. So, I picked out this red country rose fabric and a red lining for the bag. I didn't use a purchased pattern. Just a random one from my head. (If you are interested let me know and I can write it up for you.) It is a pretty simple pattern. I did put a large flap on it to better hold the items in and well, to make it cuter. I used this awesome wood button. I wish I got a better picture. I have since used the other one on some sort of project or bag. The interfacing is a insulation like you would use for potholders. I, in fact have made pot holders with it but I double layered it to give it more stability and protection from the heat. I just picked up the insulation at Joann's, nothing spectacular. The only reason I don't like it though is because it is quite crinkly so until it gets used a bit it is a bit noisy.
I have also made this bag as a diaper bag. I figure it is great for snacks and bottles and anything else you can cram in there. I made a huge one for myself when I was traveling from Germany to Seattle and I made the strap really long so that it would fit under my backpack and still be comfortable. Worked awesome. My brother thought I was crazy though when he took the bag and it was almost to his knees. Worked great for me. If only it helped keep a six month old comfortable for over 14 hours. Someone asked me why I wasn't traveling during her nap time. Uhh, I did, several naps.
Here's a random story. I was laying in bed hitting the snooze and I swear I heard a cat meow like it was right next to me. Could a cat have gotten in the house? Our neighbors cat has snuck in before when all the doors were open but it was 6:30 am. No, it couldn't be a cat, my dog is laying at the end of the bed. She wouldn't allow that. So, I went back to sleep. I heard it again! Of course, there was no cat. I was dreaming it. Its so weird when a dream is so real. I hear my phone ring occasionally when I am awake and I am just imagining it. Weird. Is it just me?

Monday, April 20, 2009

A Busy Weekend

This weekend was so productive and busy. Friday, M and I drove down to the Children's Museum in Burlington. We love it. Its a 45 minute drive but it is so worth it! Plus my friend drives an hour there from another town so we can hang out. She has a four year old and a one year old so its a nice break for the both of us because the girls can run crazy and they are never out of our eye sight. We were worried the girls wouldn't get a long this time but they ended up okay. We had lunch first and J sat at a different table then us pouting. I don't know why. Four year olds are difficult to figure out. By the end of the day they were best friends.

Then that evening we went to my Brother in Laws house. They live like a mile from our house and we never see them unless one of us needs to borrow something or needs help with something. So, my sister in law and I decided we needed game night. We decided to play the CLUE DVD game that my hubby got like four years ago for Christmas but you needed three to play so we never had the opportunity. We think our DVD was broken. We could not get it to work so that failed miserably. We played Apples to Apples instead. Fun game. Totally recommend it.

Saturday, our friend called us and she had extra tickets to the Seattle Children's Theater to see and adaptation of "Good Night Moon." We were curious at how they could make a little children's book into an hour play for kids. It was so good. The girls had a great time. They were laughing so hard people were looking at them. So if you are in the area you should check them out. The Seattle Center had a Japanese Festival going also so the girls got to see Japanese drummers which was pretty cool. Then they got hot dogs and cotton candy and a pressed penny souvenir. They had a blast. It was a great surprise day out.

Sunday was quite relaxed. Didn't do anything but crafts and annoy my child. First, I worked on a landscape picture for the Six o'clock Swap and then I worked on M's dog quilt. I am making paper pieced dogs right now. Other than that I don't know what I am doing to the quilt. It is going to be a totally ugly quilt with dog buttons and every dog fabric we spot. But it will be so loved by a little girl with a dog obsession. I'll show it as I get more complete. Maybe when I finish the four dogs. I have two adn a half done.

Here is one other thing I did. When we got dressed Sunday morning, I noticed a stain on M's shirt so I made her this flower pin to cover it up. She loved it so much she made me wash the outfit so she could wear it today. If you want a tutorial, Grace Violet has a good one. Mine, is just a bunch of circles cut with a zigzag rotary cutter held together with a funky button and a safety pin in sewn on the back. Its nice because it uses scraps and it took me like 5 minutes to make. Sorry, its not a better picture of the pin. M is requesting a pink one and a purple one.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

April Quilt Blocks Complete- check

I am trying to work through my list of things to get done which will of course never happen but I have finished the quilt blocks for the two quilting bees that I am part of. Here is the blocks for PTQB. Erin wanted squares and rectangles. I hope I did it to her liking. It was fun to make plus
I love that it is so colorful. It would definitely brighten any room. I had to throw in a tulip as it fit so well. Stephenie wanted a log cabin. Again, love the fabric. This is more what I would pick out for colors. I love brown. Plus, I love the little swirly snails in the middle. Anyone know who made it?

Then, I made Chen's for AQB2. I made two for Chen. She wanted us to do whatever we wanted so I wanted to make one really fancy (fancy for me- I am still a beginner) and one more simple as I figured I would run out of fabric with the fancy one. You have to check some of the other blocks made. Man, there are some really talented people in our group. The fancy block is called moose tracks. You should have seen it when I was making it. It didn't look at all like it was supposed to until I ironed it really well and trimmed off the crazy looking parts of it. Oddly enough after I trimmed the crazy parts, it was the right size. Don't you love when that happens. I should have taken pictures of how crazy it looked. You would have laughed. My other block for Chen was more of a log cabin. I really was searching and hoping the left over fabric would fit. I had to add a couple of my own so I hope they fit to her "shabby chic" theme. I realized when I was searching in my stash for fabric that would work that I do not own a lot of pastel or pinks or anything shabby chicish. It was a weird revelation. Maybe an excuse to get some. :)

As a weird side note, I was driving down the freeway yesterday after dropping off my munchkin at day care and I had an odd thought. Not really odd for me, however. I was thinking about what it would be like to be driving 70mph on the freeway during an earth quake. I am in earth quake country - it could happen. Anyway, this morning my office mate tells me there was a little earth quake in the town I was driving away from yesterday. So weird. That ever happen to you?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Warm Your Heart by Quilting for Others

I know that our love of quilting, well, adds up. We have so many quilts in our houses that we don't know what to do with them. Here are a couple of programs that would love your help.
My mom forwarded me an email for the Quilts of Valor program that tries to give a mentally or physically wounded soldier a warm and cozy quilt. You can check out the program here Quilts of Valor. They also can help with setting you up with someone who longarms if you don't have time to quilt it yourself. My husband spent a year in Iraq and thankfully he returned in good health but I can tell you the little bit of appreciation he received while he was there was a big boost to his morale. He still talks about a pillow case that a kid sent to him with lots of drawings all over it. These soldiers have returned and not so well. They need the moral boost the most.
Project Linus has been around for a while and I am always thinking about making something for them. This program is for making quilts for children in hospitals. There are several local chapters and you generally don't have to mail the quilt anywhere just drop it off at your local quilt shop. Heck, you are there already. Just think about how your kids love when you make things for them even if we think it looks awful. Kids love the love. The website can give you details on local chapters.
If you need to warm your heart, check them out, you may have something already made you can give. It makes more room for more projects and helps others.

On a side note, I just discovered this website called Wiggio. It allows you to set up groups so that you can have all your shared documents in one location, send out email/text reminders and more. Plus it is free!! This is awesome for my job since I work with three different schools plus many clinics and hospitals. I house everything on my computer but if someone wants something they have to get it from me. Now they can get it themselves. Awesome! Just imagine what you could do with your sewing bees and quilting friends. Just like flicker but a bit different. I just set up my first group but I can't wait to fully try all the functions. Plus, it is just fun to say Wiggio.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Wow- Weekend Surprises and my ADD

This weekend was not at all what I planned or would have liked (most of it) but you go with the flow. Thursday morning, I received a phone call from my Uncle. My grandma is not feeling well so he was taking her to the hospital. She did recover after a few day stay in the hospital. The difficult part for me, besides my grandma being sick, was that she was supposed to host Easter which fell to me. 14 people in my tiny house which was a total mess. So in between visits to the hospital, I cleaned and shopped. That wouldn't have been so bad if I had help but my husband was out of town at a Bachelor party and didn't return until Easter around 2PM! Everything of course turned out. My mom stayed with my Grandma for the night until my uncle returned from his conference and fought with her the whole time. My 90 year old Grandma, after just being released was going out the get fire wood and when she was asked why I couldn't go get it she told my mom I wasn't strong enough to bring in fire wood. I just shook my head and got the wood. My mom also made our family's Easter tradition of Egg Nests. My grandma said she did okay for the first time trying. She is a feisty old broad.

So these Egg Nests are yummy. It is just a hard boiled egg, colored of course, wrapped in a sweet bread and baked. Then iced with just a powdered sugar and water icing and topped with colored sprinkles. Totally cheesy but I look forward to it.
I have also determined that I have Crafting ADD. I have like 6 projects going and 4 I want to do and I got a new book today that I want to do like all right now! This book is cool. I have always wanted to do Landscape Quilting but really didn't know where to start. So far this book looks very simple with a few beginners patterns to start and shows you how to make your own patterns. I can't wait! You can get the book here at Amazon. Nancy's Notion's also has it but it was like 15 cents cheaper on Amazon and eligible for the free shipping so I got mine there. I will let you know how it goes with the project once I find time to do it. Maybe I should start now. :)
Oh, M loves the dumb looking dog I made her. I'm glad kids aren't too picky.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Finally finished with the dog!

So I never did find that Joann's bag so I had to go back and re buy what I needed. At least I can use it later if I do find it. How frustrating.

I finished up this stuffed dog for my daughter's Easter basket. I think it is a bit dumb looking but M won't care. It is a dog. I think if I used different fabric is would have been better. The pattern is here. I did make a minor change on it. I didn't like that you hand sewed the tail on after and I didn't like that the opening to stuff it was where the legs were so I took the back pattern piece and folded it in half and then cut two with a seam allowance. Then I was able to sew the tail into the seam and I left a bit open in the back to stuff it so that the hand sewing closure was on the back and not at the legs. Did that make sense? That was a long sentence. I might make another one with different fabric. The pattern's dogs are way cuter so I know I can make a cute one!

I also made this doll. I think it turned out so cute! It is for my friend's daughter's first birthday. I totally forgot about it and it was nice because I did the whole thing during M's nap time. The pattern is here. I didn't change anything. It was super simple and I even put myself to the test to hand embroider! I think it turned out pretty good for the first time. I even think I am going to try these. I bought the Bavarian one and the Italian one. M was born in Germany and my family is Italian so I thought I would start with those. If I like them I might make all of them! I know big dreams with all the other projects I have. Tonight I am working on the PTQB blocks and AQB2 block. I know what I want to do- now I have to do it!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Busy Weekend

This weekend was quite busy. Saturday my mom drove up and we went to my Great Uncle's 90th Birthday. I hadn't been to a "family" function in a while so it was quite odd walking into a large room and knowing 90% of these people are relatives but not knowing who they were. My Grandpa was one of 8 brothers so I got a lot of "how are you related? Oh, Lester. Nice to meet you." There were some really nice people. My daughter had a blast chasing boys around. A girl of my own heart. :) So, this portion of my family are potato farmers. They are really well known in this town and the surrounding towns. When I went to a family reunion like 20 years ago all they talked about was potatoes. I don't know anything about potatoes. So at this function they had these little mini potato sacks full of jelly beans. How adorable! Then they had Mr. Potatoheads at every table. Mr. Potatohead cookie jar being used as a vase, potato bowls, stuffed potato people and more. It was funny and so darn cute at the same time. Great Uncle Gord seemed to really enjoy himself.

Afterwords we stopped at two quilt shops. I thought this town only had one but they have three! Its only like 20 minutes from my house so I am pretty excited. I picked up one vintage fabric with dogs on it for a summer dress for M and then I bought a "fake" porcelain doll. It is from, oh darn, I can't remember, Oh, Daisy Kingdom. Very cute with a 20's hairstyle. It is currently in M's room in its undies. I was too cheap to pay $17 for a doll dress when I could make one out of scraps.

Then after dropping off my grandma, my mom and I went home and played with M and watched The Music Man. This is a picture of her with all her dogs. Note she has dog ears on as well. When she went to bed she threw some dogs off her bed. I guess some of the dogs are not worthy enough to sleep on the bed and they were the ones that I picked up off the floor so I know she is very specific about this. So weird. She is proudly showing off her new outfit here. Dogs of course. Plus it has pockets that she can put a stuffed dog in. How perfect. I let her wear it two days in a row but after she got it dirty by sitting on the wet grass I washed it.

The next day we went and bothered my grandma and uncle for breakfast and came back home, my mom left and M and I played in the front yard with bubbles and chalk. I also weeded while she tried to plant some of the dandelions I pulled up. It has been a long time since we saw the sun so we took full advantage of it.

I did complete a one project and 99% of another (I can't find the bag with the buttons to finish the other one). This is a list taker I made to donate as a door prize for one of the nursing programs I work for. The color didn't turn out too well. It is navy on the inside with red bias trim and I used a red thread to sew it all together. I think it is the best one I have made so far.
You can find the pattern here. I made a ton of these at x-mas. Its a great little gift for someone that you don't know what to get them. Do we really need any more lotion or candles? I made my mom one that was miniature for her purse. I just made the pattern for that one. She lost it last weekend so I have to make her a new one. I'll show it then. I'll also show my other project after I finish it. If I ever find that bag! It had Easter basket stuff in it so I hid it and I don't know where!!! I made a little puppy for her basket so I have to find it before then.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Sara's block

Finally, I finished. I've decided I am too much of a perfectionist. I fixed the two colors touching but then when I was looking at it the fabrics in the middle didn't line up so I took it apart again!
I have done some other projects which I will show you pictures this weekend. I am making stuff for my daughter's Easter basket. I am making her a little puppy and a little doll. So I actually have to finish those before next weekend! Plus I donated a list taker to the nursing program I work for so I have to make that before Thursday. Eeks. I have to get motivated!
Have a great weekend! I guess I will be busy!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Swaps, Giveaway

So I finally finished my March quilt squares for the two swaps I am a part of; Another Quilting Bee 2 and Pieced Together Quilting Bee. Above is the spiderweb block for Stephanie at Dancydoodle It was my first attempt at paper piecing. I learned quickly the tips that were already given to me but I forgot. I forgot to trim as I was going and then as I was ripping the paper off - I learned to make you stitch length small so that it one, stays together better and two, the paper comes off easier. I hope Stephanie likes it or rather her husband. I also finished the same type of square for Sara at Just One More. I don't have a photo yet because as I relaxing watching some Mentalist on the DVR (I can't get enough Simon Baker - so charming) it was laying next to me and two large matching pieces were next to each other staring at me, taunting me with "look at me, you messed up." Little pieces next to each other wouldn't bother me but these did so I took the triangles apart to flip them. Very difficult with those small stitches but I got it. I will sew it back together tonight and take a picture of it. So, Sara and Stephanie - yours will be in the mail tomorrow! Only 2 days late.
I also wanted to thank you for your kind words. I feel like such a girl being all emotional but she was like a sister and I don't think how she acted when I expressed myself that it could ever go back. What can you do right? It happens. On a high note, Kat, at Ripping Out Seams is having a Giveaway for 4 Fat Quarters of Heather Bailey's Freshcut Fabrics! How awesome. Go check it out! I was just thinking. I don't think I own any Heather Bailey nor do I think I have seen any at the quilt shops around my house. Hmmm...maybe I should win. Hint, hint. :)
Have a wonderful day everyone! We are getting snow mixed with rain. Isn't it spring yet?