Thursday, April 26, 2012

On the last day you are 6....

I finally finished your Hungry Caterpillar quilt...

that I intended to give you for your 5th birthday. (I'm sorry it took me so long!)

I know that The Very Hungry Caterpillar isn't your favorite book anymore, but I hope you will always remember how much fun it was to read it together.

Needle and thREAD

needle and thREAD

Little T's newest Lazy Days Skirt completed just this morning! I started it last week, but got side-tracked with hand-sewing the binding on Sam's quilt.

A new stack of fat quarters. This is Salt Air by Moda fabrics...oh, the possibilities. Right now, I'm just enjoying this pretty little stack of fabric.


As for reading, I'm always reading more than two books at a time, but I'm listening to this one! This is the 5th in a series chronicling the adventures of Cammie Morgan at an elite girls' prep school for spy training. Covert ops? Yup. Spy gear? You got it. It's total fun and indulges my inner CIA girl.

Don't forget to head on over to Elizabeth's for more needles, fabric, thread and books!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Needle and Thread

needle and thREAD

The thing about sewing quilts is that it takes a long time (at least for me). I usually break up the quilting process in stages. First, I spend a good deal of time looking at fabric and dreaming of the possibilities. Then, once I have the fabric home, the lovely little stacks of coordinating fabrics sit for a while. I love looking at them all neatly folded and it takes a great jolt of energy to begin the cutting process. After I've cut the fabric, I usually put it all away until I'm ready for stage two: piecing. I love to piece the quilts, but once this is done, I usually put the whole project away again for a while until I call the quilter. I have a wonderfully talented quilter who transforms and elevates my simple quilts. When I get the quilt back, the next stage is to sew on the binding. My quilt is nearly completed and the binding is the last hurdle. I've said it before and I'll say it again. The quilting process isn't always fun, but it is enormously satisfying and I guess that's why I love to sew quilts.
I'm nearly done with Sammy's Hungry Caterpillar quilt. I stayed up until 1 AM last night determined to finish hand-sewing the binding, but I only managed two sides. I set the quilt aside curious about when I started this project. So, I hopped on the computer to look at my blog archive. I knew that I had posted a picture of the quilt when I finished the piecing and I wanted to see how long this project lingered unfinished. Well, it's been two years. I determined that I had bought the fabric sometime in 2009, but I was saddened that I had hoped to give this quilt to Sammy for his 5th birthday. He will be 7 next week! I had hoped that I would have given him this quilt when The Very Hungry Caterpillar was his favorite book. I realized that I had been side-lined with pregnancy and the birth of the twins in 2010. Happily, Sam is still excited about finally getting his quilt and today is the day!
You can see that only half the binding is complete, but another hour or so and it will be done! I'll post a pic of Sam and his quilt a little later. I think this quilt will look better with a little boy in the picture too!

I've actually managed quite a bit of sewing this week. In my determination to learn how to sew something other than a quilt, I am working on another Lazy Days Skirt for Tess. I bought a half-yard of some owl fabric and some matching ribbon at Jo-Ann. Each skirt gets a little easier, but Tess can't have a wardrobe filled with these skirts, can she? I'm just about done. All this skirt needs is the elastic! It took less than an hour!

I also managed to iron all the fabric I purchased for a Bargello quilt from this book. I've never done anything like this before. I don't think it will be very difficult and I love the Sea theme I've chosen for this simple quilt. All the fabric is from  Here's an example of a Bargello quilt from the book Instant Bargello. I actually am going to use this pattern below.
These are my nautical fabrics for the Bargello quilt.

I also managed to finish the topper for my Between the Lines quilt too! Okay, I neglected a lot of housework to devote to sewing, but it was SO worth it!

Those two solid vertical pieces on the right make me crazy. I realized when I sewed it that no matter how I flipped those vertical strips, two of the same fabrics would always be touching. I should have ripped it out, but I just didn't feel like it. Now, it looks like a glaring error. Ugh.
 I still have to cut the fabric for the backing and binding. I guess that's another stage of the quilting process! I usually only cut the fabric for the topper first. I know it's less efficient to not cut everything all at once, but I'm usually so anxious to begin piecing that I only cut what I need to get the topper done. I think of the topper and backing as separate phases of the quilt process. I'm thinking that I may try and quilt this one myself because I really want to learn how to do a meandering quilting stitch.

As for reading, the stack by my bed is very big right now, but I'll just highlight the new book I just bought that is about sewing. I just ordered an embroidery hoop and I'm ready to embark on a new needle art! Do I have time for this? Absolutely not! Am I excited? Absolutely!
That's it for this week's sewing adventures! Be sure to check out Needle and Thread at Elizabeth's today! Happy Sewing!

Friday, April 13, 2012

18 Months!

Liam and James
My little guys are a year and a half today. James officially started walking on February 20th (and I wasn't there to see it) and Liam is still crawling. Developmentally, Liam usually follows James by about two weeks. So naturally, I expected to see Liam walking two weeks after James. He didn't. The other day Liam stood, balanced himself, and took seven tentative steps. He's so close, but yet, I savor these crawling days because I know  they're numbered. I'm also realist. I know what will happen when both boys are walking. They'll be heading in different directions all the time and there's only one me! It's not going to get easier with them being so mobile.

Today, I dressed the boys alike because I knew I wanted to photograph them at 18 months. Several times today I actually got them mixed up (something rare), but then James would walk and I'd know. Our time with the twins has gone so quickly. I'm not sure how that happened because this whole twin adventure hasn't been easy. It still isn't easy. I struggle every day hoping that I can meet all of my children's needs and I feel like a failure every day.  As a family, We've definitely experienced some growing pains, but I know that life is much richer with these beautiful little boys in our lives.

Look at that double sweetness! It's hard to resist!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Easter is almost here!

                             Have a blessed Easter my Friends!

Easter Sewing

Although I grew up with a mom who sewed me and my sister lovely dresses and dolls all the time, I didn't learn to sew until my early thirties. I remember spending a lot of time at the fabric store with my mom when I was younger, but the desire to sew didn't come although I really liked looking at fabric. When I started to sew, my mom gave me her Bernina 1080 sewing machine. I jumped into quilting and I had no desire to sew clothes. Clothing patterns are still a mystery to me. However, I've seen what Elizabeth has learned to do in the last year and I thought that maybe, just maybe,  I could learn to sew something other than a quilt too. So, I went over to the Oliver + S website and printed off the pattern to the Lazy Days Skirt.  Elizabeth whipped out three of these skirts for her girls and they're darling. Click and go see her skirts!

Okay, it's not really a pattern. It's more of a tutorial. It turns out that I lack the most basic of sewing skills needed to make clothes. I struggled a little on this skirt, but ultimately made four of these skirts in a week. I'm much more confident from sewing that simple skirt that I could even tackle perhaps a sundress next? I  just love the ribbon hem on this simple skirt.
I just got a new-to-me Janome 10000 Memory Craft sewing machine and I about to dive into learning machine embroidery too and well, there will be big learning curve there too, but think of boundless creativity I will certainly have.
As I get older, I am convinced that having creative hobbies sustains me in ways that is vital to my overall happiness.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Good Friday

       So they took Jesus and carrying the cross himself, he went out to what is called the Place of the Skull, in Hebrew, Golgotha. There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, with Jesus in the middle."
                                                              John 19:17-18

Thoughts for Good Friday here.

Almost Tangled

I've been knitting Easter Eggs (using worsted weight) all day. I left my yarn on the coffee table for only a few minutes, but seriously, how could he resist all that colorful yarn? I'll share my handknit Easter eggs a little later. I'm hoping to knit a dozen by Easter. I've only knit five so far.

A new hope

The twins discovered the lightsabers.