12.31.2010

A Quilt for the New Year

I'm not going to lie.  This quilt has some issues.

Please ignore the crap on our bedside tables...

But for today's purposes, I'm going to focus on the positive.


One of the things that I love about quilts (especially scrappy ones) is that you can incorporate leftover fabrics from other projects into the quilt, allowing you to have a quilt comprised of so many positive memories.


The yellow polka dot fabric is left over from a little skirt that I made for my niece for her third birthday.


The blue apple fabric is from the Oliver and S playsuit that I made for Baby O.


But most special of all, the blue and purple patterned fabric is left over from the birthday dress that I made for Baby O for her first birthday.  Long after she outgrows that dress and it's packed away in a box, never to be seen again, I'll be able to look at this quilt and remember when Baby O looked like this.


I'm hoping that all the positive memories from the fabrics in this quilt erase all the negative memories from the actual making of this quilt.  Ughh!


The quilting of this quilt on my little home machine was a less than enjoyable experience.


There were times that I thought I was going to pull a muscle as I tried to get to those inner blocks!

Despite the lover's quarrels that this quilt and I had at times, I think that we've arrived at a good place in our relationship and we're excited to be entering 2011 together.

Happy New Year to you all!  May 2011 bring you much joy and happiness!

12.28.2010

Today I Took The Day Off Of Work

Things I should have done:
- Picked up all the crap that Baby O throws on the floor
- Washed and folded the laundry
- Cooked meals for the week
- Painted the kitchen

What I did instead:
- Went to the zoo


What I learned today
- Going to the zoo on a weekday in the winter is so much better than going to the zoo on a weekend in the summer

It was like our own private zoo and, needless to say, Baby O had a great time.









(Knitted hat made from the Pixie Hat pattern from Crystal Palace Yarns - please ignore the creepy baby in the photo on the pattern)

I also had a great time because when it comes to zoos, I am like a five year old.  I'm the only adult who wants to feed the goats at the petting zoo.  I'm the only adult tapping on the aquarium glass.  I'm the only adult shrieking when they see baby tigers.  But can you blame me?  They're baby tigers!


I'm pretty sure you're dead inside if you don't shriek when you see a baby tiger.

12.27.2010

Keeping It Real


I may or may not have pinned eighty percent of a queen size quilt only to realize that the entire last row was sewn on upside down.

I may or may not have been so inpatient when I was removing the last row that I poked a hole in my fabric with a seam ripper and put a small hole in it.

There may or may not be a minute amount of Fray Check over that hole.

There may or may not be several puckers in the back of the quilt from where I tried to baste the quilt again after sewing the last row on right side up.

Due to all the aforementioned problems, there may or may not have been a massive amount of cussing during the quilting.

12.26.2010

The Objects of My Affection

Several weeks ago we stopped by Seattle's Urban Craft Uprising and amidst the crowds of people I fell in love.

Meet the new objects of my affection.


Salt and pepper shakers (made by Kniffin Pottery) that are the perfect combination of creepy and cute.


I'm in love.

Oh, and have I mentioned that I also love my Christmas present to myself.


A new camera.

Tickle me pink.  I am one happy girl.

12.21.2010

The Kindness of Strangers

This past weekend was filled with Christmas celebrations and Christmas parties.  I'm officially tuckered-out and Christmas is still a week away!  That can't be good.

While I was stuffing myself with way too many cookies this weekend, Baby O was given the most beautiful gift.  A friend of my mother-in-law knit her the most gorgeous sweater and I'm so touched by the fact that this woman (who I have never met) spent so many hours creating something so lovely for a child that she has never met.


And the sweater is so freaking cute!  It has little owls all over it.  Enough said. 


And anybody who knows me knows that I have issues with the over-abundance of pink in girl's clothing sections, so the fact that this sweater is forest green makes my heart go pitter-patter. 


And have I mentioned that it fits perfectly?  I foresee many owl-sweater-wearing days in our future.

12.19.2010

Flash Back (Finished Pre-Blog)

(Otherwise known as the moment I discovered my love for Moda Charm Packs)

First of all, how freaking cute are charm packs?  And jelly rolls?  And honey buns?

So cute, right?

It's no wonder that I succumbed to the temptation of buying a charm pack full of super-cute kid-friendly fabrics.  What's fabulous about charm packs though is that in addition to being so freaking cute, they  are also extremely useful and cut down on the amount of cutting that I have to (which I always appreciate).  I was able to play around with the colors and patterns in the charm pack and come up with this basic quilt design. 



I love the red sashing and border.  It's not a color that I am typically drawn to in quilting (or in life) but somehow knowing that this quilt was going to be for a child allowed to me work outside of my comfort zone and to use colors that I typically would shy away from.

Fortunately, Baby O agrees with my color choice (she even matched her diaper to the quilt to demonstrate her approval).









As for the binding, when I was trying to decide on a color I kept going back to a yellow binding but my husband told me that the quilt wouild end up looking too "McDonald-ish" with the red and yellow combination (and as a dietician, that's the worst insult he can give).  Fortunately, I made the very wise decision to ignore him in this case and I'm glad that I did.  I really like the bright and cheerful combination and apparently so does Baby O.


12.14.2010

Progress Report

To the parents of Carolyn,

As the semester is now half way over, I'd like to touch base with you to let you know how Carolyn is doing.

To start on a positive note, Carolyn has almost completed the quilt top for her string quilt.  Just a couple more blocks to go and then she'll have to decide on the lay out and sew the blocks together.  Way to go, Carolyn!

On a more concerning note, I've noticed that Carolyn appears to only work when she has short bursts of interest and motivation in the quilt.  In between the short bursts are often long periods that she does not work on the quilt - at times because she has no motivation to do anything and at other times because she is easily distracted by other projects.  I would suggest that you work on follow-through with tasks at home and we will be sure to work on this at school as well.

Carolyn is expected to complete her string quilt by the end of the semester and we are all excited to see how it turns out.  Please let me know if you have any questions about Carolyn's progress.

Sincerely,

Carolyn's teacher

12.12.2010

Picture Perfect

A couple of weeks ago I got a bee in my bonnet that I wanted to have professional pictures taken of Baby O (with a couple family photos thrown in for good measure).  Some people (who will remain nameless) told me that I was being extravagant and that if I really wanted pictures taken a family member could take some with their point-and-shoot camera in the backyard.

Umm, I'm pretty sure that's not the same.

I'm glad I didn't listen to the people-who-shall-remain-nameless because yesterday we got the proofs of our photos back and they are beautiful (if I do say so myself).













I look back now and wish we had professional photos taken of Baby O when she was an actual baby, but I'm so glad that we have these gorgeous pictures to remember this time in her life (and in ours).

An extra special thanks goes to Chara Michele of Chara Michele Photography for these pictures.  She obviously did a fabulous job of a taking beautiful photos, but she also kept checking in with us during the shoot to make sure that we were getting everything that we wanted (and she didn't even bat an eye when I kept pulling out different outfits for Baby O to wear).  She also dealt beautifully with the fact that Baby O had a major meltdown during the shoot (and she hasn't reported us to CPS for bribing our child with chocolate chips and apple juice throughout the whole session).  Thanks so much, Chara!

12.11.2010

My Little Black (Well, Blue) Dress

Do you have that little black dress?

You know, the one that you can dress down for everyday wear or dress up for a special occasion.

The one you can wear with flip-flops or with heels.

The one you end up going back to time and time (and time) again.

Pixie Purl's Country Kiddie pattern is my little black dress.

I've made it as the pattern is written (3 times).

I've made it with long sleeves and ruffles (2 times).

And now I've made it into a dress.



(And I've coerced my child into a photo shoot)

Work it, Baby O!  Work it!

Look up.

Look back.

That's right.  Make love to the camera.

Let's get one thing straight - I am no knitting genius.  

I just kept on knitting and knitting, adding some increases on the sides to make it more of a a-line shape.  And then rather than binding off the arm stitches I put them on waste yarn and picked them up later so I could knit down the sleeves to make them longer.  I wasn't sure how it was all going to come together (and truth be told, the dress is probably a wee bit big for her) but I love it.


Like, I really love it.

It's adorable and it makes Baby O look even more adorable (as if that were possible).

Pixie Purls, I bow down to you.

12.09.2010

The Day I Found Out I Was Old



Yesterday we watched a neighbor's son and as I sat on the couch knitting he asked me what I was doing.  I love when kids show an interest in crafting so I excitedly told him that I was knitting.  He then made a hand movement as if he was moving needles and I asked him if he knew anybody who knit.

His response?

"Yeah.  Old people."

Great.  I'm old.

(although to be fair, I'm pretty sure that anybody over the age of 15 is old to a 4 year old)

12.05.2010

A Riddle

Question: What do control-top pantyhose and all over free-motion quilting have in common?

Answer: They both hide a multitude of sins.



(I was contemplating doing some straight line quilting on this blanket until I realized that my last row did not quite match up with the rest of them.  What's a girl to do?  Rip it out?  Nah.)



With a little time off over the last couple of days I was finally able to finish my pinwheel quilt which is ultimately going to be a Christmas present for my husband's grandparents (is it just me, or are grandparents impossible to shop for??).


His grandparents truely are amazing.

They are kind.

They are hilarious.

They are from one of the original DIY generations.

They catch their own salmon, dig their own geoducks, and chop the wood for their wood burning stove.

They are intelligent.

They are thoughtful.

And they are so full of love for their family and for each other. 




For all their love, we give all of ours.

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