Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Denial Quilt

Usually I name a quilt based on the fabrics in it. Not this time. This time I'm calling it "The Denial Quilt". As in: I am in denial that my house is a disaster and my in-laws are coming in two days, so I'm going to quilt instead of clean.

Yeah, you know, 'cause I'm good that way.
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Snow Day

(Ethan was sledding at a nearby hill with a friend while I was taking pictures, but he was out making a fort in the first few inches we got last night.)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


I love to read. I don't usually say much about it on the blog, but it's true, I have often neglected my dear sweet children just to finish an enthralling book. Have I mentioned before that I can either have a clean house, I can quilt, or I can read. I tend to go in phases.

Jane Austen is my favorite author. I have read all the books she wrote, visited two of her homes, seen all the movie adapted from her books, own quite a few of said movies, and read several "sequels" to her books written by others. I would look at the sentence I just wrote and think I was a little obsessive, if I didn't know that several other people have done the same!

Therefore, my curiosity was piqued when Elliott linked an article about this book into his Google Reader "shared" items.

It is definitely going into my cart! Scrolling down the page, I also came upon a discussion of Jane Austen sequels, and was happy to find more that I haven't heard of. I'm still working my way through Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era. It's a great book, but at 900-something pages and lots of facts, it does take a little longer than the average fluffy novel.

Dear Fluffy Novels,
Don't worry, it won't be long until we are reunited, especially those of you who are based on Ms. Austen's books.
Your devoted reader,

Thursday, January 22, 2009


How could you not love this???

Tonight she came up to me in the kitchen when I was cleaning up after dinner.
"Mommy, thank you for dinner."
No one told her to say that.
She's not even 2 1/2.
So, so, loveable.
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

More sewing

Yesterday I machine quilted a doll quilt, and today I machine quilted a whole-cloth quilt for a baby shower gift. I am having loads of fun practicing! Tonight I am planning to get back to finishing the "bento-box" type quilt I have been working on for a few weeks. I laid out the blocks I have so far and am really happy with how the quilt is turning out. That is always a relief!

Every once in a while I get a crazy idea to make something other than a quilt. When Sophie was born, Elliott gave me a great diaper bag from Pottery Barn Kids. I have loved using it. It is large enough to hold lots of gear, along with numerous magazines and drawing supplies that the kids use at church. The bonus is that it really doesn't look like a diaper bag, more like a sophisticated tote.

With summer coming, and now that Sophie doesn't need much more than a diaper when we go on outings, I'm ready for a change. I wanted something light and summery, but still large enough to hold the diaper, wipes, and assorted papers/pencils/magazines to keep the kiddos occupied during church.

I think Amy Butler's Birdie Sling pattern may be my perfect match. It's supposed to be easy even for beginning stitchers, which is really what I am looking for... a quick and easy pattern that won't cause me undue stress! :-) The only hard part will be deciding what fabrics to use!

Monday, January 19, 2009

quilting progress

Life at our house has been pretty boring as of late, but that is, as Martha would say, a good thing. For one thing, I have been able to get some sewing in. You may recall from several months ago that I had signed up for a year long "birthday block" swap. My month to receive blocks was October, and to say I am disappointed with what I received would be an understatement. Most of the blocks I received were not well made. It was very frustrating! I considered sending all the blocks back and not continuing with the swap, but I didn't want to do that to the hostess, so a couple of weeks ago I forced myself to sit down and make the November and December blocks.

This quilter asked for birdhouse blocks with a white on cream background fabric. I didn't like most of what I was seeing, so I drafted this block myself. I am pretty happy with how it turned out.

The person who is recieving blocks in January also asked for birdhouses, she will probably get the same design.
The quilter for December requested blocks done up in Mardi Gras colors. The yellow was brighter in person. Not really my cup of tea, but hopefully it goes with the rest of her blocks okay.

I decided to set a goal for myself this year to start machine quilting. The whole reason I hinted to Elliott to buy me my Janome for my birthday a couple of years ago is because my old machine couldn't free motion quilt. Now that Sophie is getting older and I have a little more time to devote to my craft of choice, I decided to get serious about learning to free motion.

I realized that my kitchen island is the perfect height and width for pin basting quilts!

Anyway, here is the "sacrifice" quilt I made for my first foray into free motion quilting. It wasn't too large, and was a great start. I did a simple medium sized meander.

It is definitely not perfect, but my goals were to not have puckering, and to get the tension right. I am happy to say there were no puckers! I think I am on the right track with the tension. It could probably be a little looser in the bobbin, but I am going to research that before I mess with the bobbin screw.

While quilting I ran out of the first thread I was using. I'm glad I did. I found a different type of thread in my bin that matched color wise, but was much thinner, and there for didn't show up as much, which I liked better.

This is an example of the first thread, a Mettler 50 weight cotton. See how it really shows on the white fabric?

This sample is the second thread, Masterpiece from Superior Threads. The thread hardly shows up in the white fabric. In fact, if you look at the white square in the bottom left corner, you can see the two threads next to each other.

Anyway, I am excited to be able to do more of my own quilting. I'm not scared anymore! I have a couple more quilts in the works that I will be able to practice on once I get them made.

Friday, January 16, 2009

A conversation

Last night the kids and I were watching The Princess Diaries. It was one of the rare occasions when we aren't watching something on the DVR, so we actually had to sit through commercials. It was brutal! :-)

A commercial for David's Bridal came on, and the commercial was proclaiming how dresses that were normally between $300 and $500 would be on sale for $99.

Andrew: It's just a wedding dress. It shouldn't be $300!

Ethan:Yeah, it should only be $20!

Monday, January 05, 2009

I think I'm in love!

I have been considering various fabrics to make matching quilts for the girls' beds now that Sophie is in a big girl bed. These fabrics by Tanya Whelan really caught my eye... they are so pretty. I find myself lately being a lazy quilter... not wanting to do anything too complicated, and not wanting to choose coordinates myself, so I love all these new lines of fabric that come pre-coordinated. Now to choose a pattern...