Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Because I can't resist.

The effects of older brothers on a small girl.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Scrap 9 Patch Quilt Along

The quilt I've been making for my sister Carrie was inspired by a quilt I saw (and drooled over) on Flickr. Now my very favorite quilting blogger has decided to use that very same quilt as the inspiration for her Quilt Along! Check out to see her intro.

I have begun the sashing on the quilt and surprised myself by choosing a light green print rather than a white or cream solid for the sashing. Here is a picture of part of the first sashed row:

Here is a picture of the quilt backing (pink paisley) and the green sashing together:

Sorry the light isn't quite right. I think it will look good when it all comes together. Right now it's looking a little weird. Here is a pic of the blocks arranged on my design wall (minus the bottom row which is sashed already):

So I am thrilled to have company during this process to help me move it along. I especially need some guidance when it comes time to choose the quilting pattern. I'm not sure if I want to go with the straight gridded pattern the original quilt has. You can see that quilt here.

If anyone wants to join us in the process of creating a great scrappy nine-patch quilt, visit Crazy Mom and chime in to her comment section! I will say that I have used the strip-piecing short-cut method on my nine-patch blocks whereas the Quilt Along will be using the method of sewing all nine cut squares together. My way makes many blocks that use the same two fabrics whereas her method is for a true scrap quilt. My method is quicker and easier but her method is authentic and creates more varied colors/patterns in the nine-patches. If you want help learning the shortcut just let me know!

Thanks Crazy Mom!

Monday, April 20, 2009


I am writing with the full knowledge that my MIL is reading this. I have been blessed by the In-Law Fairy. It is hard to believe that I lucked into such wonderful, smart, funny, involved and loving in-laws. They are better than I could have ever imagined. My MIL and I have a very close relationship and my in-laws come over about once a week to play games or share a meal.

Having said that, my mother-in-law is also prone to giving me some doozie stereotypical in-law comments. Every once in a while she'll make a comment that just begs to be shared with someone in a story that begins "You'll never believe what my mother-in-law said to me..." Here is one such story that I'm still laughing about today.

Last night they came over for dinner and cards. Upon arrival my MIL looked right at me and said "I really don't like your hair." It may have even been the first thing she said to me. I was speechless, which is a rare thing. Knowing that she loves me despite my hair, I laughed. And, really, she's right. It's awful hair. But still, how great is it to be able to tell people that my mother-in-law looked right at me and, out of the blue, just said "That's really bad hair."

She also took a look around our house and commented on how clean it was. A great compliment to a family that usually lives just shy of squalor in the dirt and mess department. Just as I was feeling a swell of pride that she'd noticed the effort we'd put into it, she said "You must have gotten your house cleaners back!" Because surely, you two couldn't have pulled this off yourselves... And for the record, no we haven't gotten our housecleaners back. Andrew was laid off and while we can be stupid with money, we're not THAT stupid!

I am grateful to her for being outspoken. I love to laugh at her comments but I also love to laugh with her. If she weren't so outspoken and truthful, we wouldn't have such a close relationship. I'm sure I've given her many "You'll never believe what my daughter-in-law said" stories as well.

In addition to the material she gives to me as my mother-in-law, she has also contributed a great many hilarious stories to her family history. The "Get Away From That Wall Of Death!" story and the spraypaint on the bedroom walls stories are my two favorites ;-)

When my husband was growing up, she was a big force in his life and had a big part in creating the person he is today. The stories he tells about growing up in their house are so rich with detail that I almost feel like I was there too.

He had a very stereotypical American upbringing. His dad went to work every day for 40 years to the same company with the same bologna sandwich in his lunch box. They lived in the same house from the time he was a newborn until a few years ago. His mom stayed at home and made meatloaf, "dry chicken", and frozen pizzas. Their harvest gold Maytag washer and dryer set had replaced the pink ones that they had gotten as hand-me-downs before that. They had a parade of stray pets through their house and they shot hoops in the driveway. In hearing about it, I get the benefit of this nice, steady experience even though my own included divorce, back and forth parent visits, 8 homes over 18 years, etc. Don't get me wrong, I loved my childhood and wouldn't change it. But I love hearing about an experience different than mine.

Despite the traditional childhood they gave my husband, my in-laws are anything but traditional. They travel the world in search of adventure. They study world religion, relationships, and spirituality. They reach for new knowledge, new people and new experiences. They moved into a neighborhood so full of activity that we have to fit our visits into their busy schedules now. They are loving their lives and filling them to the brim.

I have learned so much from my in-laws since meeting them ten years ago. I am thankful for their influence on my children, my husband and myself. Their personalities and life experience compliment my own parents' in a way that makes me feel like I have the best of both worlds. If ever I need advice, a shoulder to cry on, or just great company, I have so many wonderful parents to choose from. Each offering me something different but something very much needed and treasured.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Side-Seam or Seam-Free Bloomers?

I would like to make some bloomers to embroider or applique things on the backside but don't like the Butterick bloomer pattern I've been using. As you can see from the pic in my previous post, there is a nice big seam up the wazoo. Any suggestions on patterns that avoid this?

Also, I'm looking for simple shorts patterns for all three kids (2T girl, 4 boy, 6 boy). Any suggestions?

Spring is finally springing here in Georgia and in between torrential downpours we can see glimpses of nicer weather beginning. On that note, I am not able to hide behind my Jacques Penne' sweatsuits any longer (JC Penny for you domestic folk). I am going to have to reveal the white dough-girl beneath now that the 70 degree days will be here to stay. Argh. So begins the new diet regime. I am using to track my calories and exercise. Anyone else have experience or feedback about Sparkpeople? Share what you're doing to take off the holiday damage after the old Halloween-Thanksgiving-Christmas-New Years-Valentines-Easter indulgences!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Wee Play Hexagon Quilt

I consider this to be my fifty buck copy of a quilting magazine. It is the October 2008 issue of American Patchwork & Quilting. In an effort to sell me a massive subscription commitment a sales rep at the quilt show offered this back issue to me as a free gift. I took one look at that cover quilt and had to have it. The minimum subscription was $50 which got me two full years of two different quilting magazines plus all kinds of freebies. It was worth every penny (in fact, I was thrilled to see my first issue actually show up today!).

Now, once I caught sight of this cover quilt I had to go out and immediately buy up the fabric before it disappeared from shops FOREVER! Two jelly rolls and some yardage later, I am officially in love with the "Wee Play" fabric line. I had been trying to find this particular fabric for a while and it turns out to be a part of this line:

I have seen it everywhere and am in love with it!

I sewed all the jelly strips together a few weeks ago, pressed them yesterday and made my first block last night. Viola:

I know, I know, don't faint from the glare of perfection my friends. Some fabrics are just meant to be drooled on. They ought to come with a wax coating.
Now, for those of you experienced quilters (and please, could you come out of hiding just for me?) how in the heck do I manage that crazy zig-zag binding? The pattern doesn't specify other than bias binding. How do you make those turns? Any ideas?

Bloomers and Skunks

I just finished the bloomers that go with that kittycat dress.

Since they will be under the dress I didn't spend much time on them making sure patterns matched up etc. They'll do the job.

For those of you who make clothes for your kids, do you do the whole "eyeball how big they are" thing? When it comes time to cut the elastic for the leg openings and waist, I kind of wing it. I'm a slacker shortcutter by nature but didn't know if this was a usual practice among other moms or not. Anyway, I'd have The Princess model them but we all know how that would go...

In other kid news, Ryan was an adorable skunk in the school play and can be found on YouTube. It will be available for public viewing until I get the skeevie vibes or read a news story about online kid predators. In the mean time, enjoy the black and white furry kindergartner cuteness!

Finally, an updated pic of my design wall and Carrie's Scrap 9 Patch quilt progress. It's slow-going since I keep stopping to do other things but here it is. I just need to buy a better sashing color before I can move on to the next step. The color I got is too light.

So what's next? Oh, only my own favorite quilt project just for me! I am making (Carrie, block your ears, what I mean to say is I'm working tirelessly on Just.Your.Quilt.) a wonderful "Wee Play" quilt from the cover of American Patchwork and Quilting magazine. I'll do a seperate post about that tomorrow as I'm off to finish the tacos for dinner...