Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Mother of a Quilt-Along GIVEAWAY!

For those of you in the quilting blogsphere who don't know that this is a massive giveaway week, WAKE UP! There are unbelievable goodies being given away by the most generous bloggers out there. Check out the blogs on my list in the right-hand corner or go to the master list at Sew Mama Sew. What a great way to learn about the different bloggers out there!

While racing around and shamelessly participating in my favorite bloggers' giveaways, I came across a fabulous Quilt-Along that also includes amazing giveaways each week. Check out Old Red Barn Co. The quilt design is both gorgeous and do-able for beginners. If you are a newbie (ahem, my little beginner quiltlings... I'm talking to you!), this is a great way to jump in and get a new project underway. I'm going to do it because it looks quick, easy and fun!

So please visit as many bloggers as you can in the next few days to find out what is out there and who knows, you may just come away a winner!

Although I was too chicken to participate this year as I am a new, baby blogger, I am working on my first giveaway and will announce it as soon as the item is ready.

Happy blog-hopping!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

It's in the BAG!

Massive pats on the back to myself for tackling a new skill. I finished my tote as you can see here:

Here is a close-up of the quilting and the red pindot lining fabric:Biggest lesson learned: Pay close attention to measurements of lining vs. measurements of bag... I ended up with about four yards (or so it seems) of extra fabric in the liner. It's all baggy and wrinkley but goodness, it's mine! Unfortunately what was meant to be a beach bag has turned very quickly into a diaper bag-looking thing. Oh well. I think I'll hang it from a knob in my sewing room to add color. Afterall, it is a historic part of my quilt-making as it is both my first bag and my first attempts at free-motion quilting.

On to bigger and better bags! While at the big Sewing and Quilting Expo in Atlanta a couple of months ago, I purchased a bag pattern that caught my eye. This is another Melly & Me pattern. You may recall the adorable plush elephant Ellie that I made for a friend's new baby. That was made from a Melly & Me pattern. There must be something about their designs that draw me in! Here is their Meadow bag pattern and I could not be more thrilled with how easy it was:

You may have noticed that it is lacking the handles. I ran out of fusible fleece so I have to wait until I can get more tomorrow. As it is 11:30pm here, it's not happening today. The only question I have for you more experienced bag makers is this: the fusible fleece has gotten a bit wrinkley on the main bottom fabric of the bag. Is there a fix for this?
And you'll be happy to note that I have learned from my lining mistake and the liner on this looks much better:

So there we are. Well, only 3 more days of school for my big boy kindergartner. In the meantime his siblings are loving their summer fun without him:

Monday, May 25, 2009

Up, Up and Away!

Well, I am here to announce some news on the quilting front! I have FINALLY ATTEMPTED FREEMOTION QUILTING! Yahoo! I have some adorable kite fabric in my stash that is begging to come out of my closet for summer. When I ran across Amandajean's Bag Tutorial at Moda Bake Shop I couldn't resist how easy she made it look.

Amandajean has always been one of the most inspirational quilt bloggers for me, especially in regards to her free motion quilting. She is a whiz at stippling and makes it look way, way easy. In honor of her inspiration, I am using her bag tutorial as my experimental project. Just look how well it's turned out so far!

Ok, so you can't see the detail very well but I chose a loop-de-loop quilting pattern to add to the whimsy of the fabric. In addition, I am also outline quilting each kite to make it appear puffed out in the air. I have selected a red pindot fabric for the inside liner but I'm open to suggestions if that's too crazy. Any ideas are always welcomed here!

I will post pics when I get it finished. Now I'm off to put the rascals to bed...

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Trekkie By Marriage

Yes, we will continue our non-quiting posts for another day. I am contemplating participating in Sew Mama Sew's big Giveaway Day May 27, what do you think? Ready for my first giveaway?

Last night Andrew and I had a babysitter so we could go see the new Star Trek movie. It was amazing! I loved every minute of it. I have seen enough bits and pieces of Star Trek episodes on TV as well as some full length S.T. movies since meeting my husband that the movie was appreciated on a deeper level than a non-Star Trek person would appreciate it. That is not to say you wouldn't like it if you had no S.T. history. You would. It's a good movie in its own right.

However, having seen Star Trek episodes, especially the early ones, you can apprciate so many more details! This story would be considered Star Trek Zero. It happens before the original TV series starts (in Star Trek time). So you get to see some of what came first. Early Spock and how Captain Kirk becomes Captain. Have a beaming problem? Meet a young Scotsman with an attitude. Every scene is a combination of knitting the new, young Star Trek team in with your memory of the older, original one. I truly loved it. Chris Pine who plays Captain Kirk is easy on the eyes despite the fact that I spent the entire movie thinking he was the new "bad" member of The Unit on tv. He's not, by the way.

So there is your movie review for the day. Star Trek is fabulous, action-packed, comedic at times, and so very babysitter-worthy.

In non-Trekkie news, my sister has announced the news on her blog that her novel, The Forest of Hands and Teeth, is being MADE INTO A MOVIE! WAHOOOOO!!!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

A Woman Sandwich

Today I am in heaven. My mother is here this weekend to celebrate Mother's Day. My daughter, who is extremely mommy-addicted, is even more "Nana" addicted. She flings herself at my mother upon arrival even before she has a chance to exit the car in the driveway and doesn't give her up until we scrape her off of my mom at the end of the visit. Does she see the same thing in my mom that I do? Even though I am 35 years old I still sometimes wish I could fling myself at my mom upon arrival and not let her go until my husband drags me away from her at the end of the visit!

What a gift to have both my mother and my own daughter surrounding me today. I feel like the middle of a generational sandwich of women. I never really imagined a day when I could hang out with my mom and my own daughter together. Amazing. For those of you who don't already know this, I have always wanted a daughter. I have two sisters. My mom has three sisters and one brother. We are a family who knows sisters. I always assumed I would give birth to girls and watch my daughters experience sisters. Then I had a boy. And another boy. What? Then I spent two years studying how to have a girl and finally got my girl. After a few years as a Mother Of Boys it was strange to actually give birth to a daughter. Audrey is almost two now and it's still strange. Being with my mom and Audrey today makes me daydream about one day being with my mom, my daughter and her daughter. There is something special about mothers and daughters.

Having said that, there is something VERY special about mothers and sons. I woke up this morning to my 6 year old son and the sweet persona that he trots out a few times a year for special occasions. He has been all sweetness and light today, offering me breakfast in bed, a trip to the bookstore, and whatever else my heart desires ("we can play whatever you want to play today mom!").

Yesterday the three kids were on the swingset and Ryan (6) mentioned that for mother's day Audrey was going to keep me company. I asked where he was going to be on mother's day since it sounded like he wasn't going to hang out with me too. He said "For Mother's Day, I'm going to give you Five Minute's Peace!" Out of the mouths of babes.

So I came downstairs to open (I mean, let them open) their school-made gifts to me and discovered that Ryan had drawn the most wonderful picture of me pushing all three kids on our swingset, something we have done alot of lately. He also wrote about how much he liked my pink shirt and how good I was at helping him find websites. Then Jamie (4) gave me a standard pre-school handprint picture. I flashed forward to his future huge man hands and thought about the day when these handprints will look tiny. The time goes so fast.

After opening my gifts, I settled on the sofa to prolong my pajama time and Audrey came over with one of the boys' Nerf guns. She pulled back the slide, pointed it at me and with her chubby baby fingers, pulled the trigger. Ahhh, my princess. The result of the best of both worlds. The unexpected gift of two bright, funny, loving sons and the much anticipated but different-than-I-imagined gift of a daughter. A family full of loud, messy, chaotic love. The best gift on Mother's Day.

Friday, May 1, 2009

The Brothers

I keep posting about The Princess on here because she is with me all day everyday while the boys are in school. More opportunities to get pics and witness her antics. However, just to prove that she does indeed have two older brothers, voila:

I guess Jamie is trying to be some kind of fierce Superman as opposed to a friendly, easy going one which is the type of Super Hero he would actually be in real life. Ryan on the other hand is looking all sweet and innocent when in reality he has had any number of privileges revoked already today after using his sassy mouth against his parents (ahem) and his kindgertarten fists against his brother. Hence the need for the padded costume on Jamie's part...

And here is an example of why I have so few pictures of all three of my children TOGETHER:

On a quilting note, I have been working on sashing more blocks for the nine patch quilt. BORING. Does anyone else lose interest in quilting when the weather gets nice?