27 January 2010

this guy

Calls himself Wukie (sometimes we change it to wookie). But we don't really call him Lukie, just Luke.

Sang me Happy Birthday today (though it is not my birthday, it was recently).

Likes to suck on the little round cap that covers the screws that keep the toilet secured to the floor (gross).

Is almost finished with naps (sigh).

Is very polite and usually says thank you when you do something nice for him.

Makes so many messes I cannot keep up.

Loves his dad.

Asks for his sherperman (superman cape) as soon as he wakes up, even talks about it sometimes in his sleep.

Sings Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (sort of).

plumbing and other projects

For the last few weeks I've been feeling kind of blah. I DO NOT want to clean, and so my house is messy. It got cleaned up by Dan and the boys last night, so that was nice (I even helped by cleaning the kitchen, how nice of me).

I've been a little overwhelmed by my list of projects. Which means that I've been sitting here trying to decide what to start on. Which means I haven't been doing much. But I did shorten my current list a bit to just 4 projects (bed quilt, Luke's quilt, bike quilt, and church bag). Then when I'm wandering around trying to figure out something to work on, I'll pick from that list.)

While I was sitting here trying to decide what to do, I read a few books. If you want to see what I've been reading go here. I would also recommend The Hunger Games to everyone. Very good. I'll be reading the second one shortly.

I did sew on the borders to my bed quilt (queen sized). When I figure out how to take a photo of the whole thing, I will. Also - I need to figure out what to do about quilting it. I don't really want to hand quilt the whole thing. I don't really want to machine quilt the whole thing. I also don't want to take it to a quilter. Not really any other options so I'll have to pick one of those.

I just wrote a whole long thing about fixing the shower/tub. And then deleted because I realized that you probably don't want to hear all the boring details. Just know that I have put in lots of time and effort into fixing them and I am sick of it. But I still have 1 more thing to fix (because it is old and it broke while I was fixing the rest of it). Ugh. Sometimes I really hate fixing up this house.

Today I made some pillows. I've been wanting some new pillows since the last time I made some out of quilt weight fabric. It's just not sturdy enough for living room pillows in my house. So these were made from canvas (thrifted even). I LOVE this pillow and I was thinking of making an owl pillow (by copying this owl). I did it using freezer paper stencils and after I made the first ampersand, I realized I had the negative and wouldn't it be great to just have 2 opposites. I think I'll save the owl for something else. I like them (and Charlie says he does too.)

I also started working on Luke's bed quilt last week. It is turning out really cute! Which is a relief because sometimes I don't realize my ideas look like crap until I've already finished them.

Okay - one last thing. I have a lovely mantle. But I never know what to put on it. Actually - during the fall I love to put white pumpkins on it. And during Christmas I can always come up with something. It's January through September that I'm not sure what to do with it. Do any of you lovely decorating ladies have any ideas? I don't really want to make it too cluttery. I'm looking for something simple and clean. If you have any good references, please share. Even design blog ideas would be welcome, since I don't really read those.

22 January 2010

another quilt

Are you guys getting sick of seeing my projects? I hope not. Because I am really on a roll! I'm not going to show you what I've been working on yet, but I will show you a Christmas present that finally got to it's new owner.

I made this for my parents-in-law, who have a dachshund named Libby. My mother-in-law is also a quilter but I don't think she receives many quilts. She's always giving the ones she makes away. It was a really fun quilt to make (and fast, because it's not too large.)

14 January 2010

Henrietta's new cousin

A few months ago when I saw this pattern I knew I HAD to have it. I don't usually make stuffed animals, but is this turtle the cutest thing you've ever seen? (The turtle on the front is named Henrietta and her friends are Edna, Harriet, Penelope, Eloise, and Gladys.)

So I got the pattern for Christmas (thanks Anabel) and made a little friend yesterday. Her name is Hildegaard (Hildie for short). I think she turned out so cute (even though I did not include the little flower corsage). And the instructions were excellent. Now all the boys want one too. Here she is with Luke's chubby finger to show you her size.

p.s. that fabric in the background came from JoAnn! What a shocker. It also came in a lovely green color. So I bought a bunch. Because what I need is more fabric.

13 January 2010

The first 2 crossed off my list!

Wow - I was feeling pretty gung ho about the list in the last week. So I finished the table runner (didn't take a photo - sorry) and the pink quilt for a friend.

This quilt was made up of all scraps. About a third of the blocks are pieced with smaller scraps (even some of the white ones). Then I quilted it with straight lines on the diagonal. It was my best quilting so far! I think because it was on the bias and there's a little easing to be done. I think I may do a lot more quilting on the diagonal. I only had 2 mini tucks! I tried to save on the binding by using the back. I DO NOT like how that turned out, so I will not do it again.

p.s. I also attemted etching the glass on my light fixture for the hallway. But it came out all streaky. Do any of you have any tips on etching glass? Ginny, Marianne, anyone?

08 January 2010

Oh yeah, I almost forgot

For Christmas I made these. One for each boy. All the fabric was from my stash (yes, it's large). I used batting pieces I had from previous quilts and pieced them. I also tried out some new quilting techniques. Jack's has pebble quilting and it DOES take a lot of thread and a long time like everyone says. But it looks so cool and it's hard to mess up. I should have made the C and the J with darker fabric for more of a contrast, but whatever, it was a learning curve. Other than that I like how they turned out. And they all loved them on Christmas morning.

bag inspiration

So I want to make a church bag. I also recently figured out how to make mosaics - so I thought I'd make myself one to figure out how to make my bag. I like some element of each of these bags. Mine will be made of some denim (because I already have it and because I want something dark that won't show too much dirt). Mine will also have to be large enough to hold all the church stuff (much larger than some of these). Which ones do you like?

All bags were found on etsy. From top left to bottom right: 1. The chotto tote /messenger in dark olive 2. MULTI COLOR LARGE PLEATED BAG 3. Meredith in grey with adjustable strap 4. Modular Messenger in Grey --with adjustable strap-- 5. New colletion - Juliet tote - sahara brown with genuien leather strap 6. Kattie in Heather Bailey 7. The Letter Bag - in rosewood 8. MIMOSA Chic Diaper bag.....Grey Leaves in Yellow - w/Adjustable Strap...READY TO SHIP 9. Red Pleated Shoulder Bag with Black Buttons

p.s. I made my mosaic here.

07 January 2010

A look at 2009 and on to 2010

Lots of the blogs I read had posts about what people did in 2009. While I thought it would look really cool to do a mosaic (1 photo from each month) and a mosaic of all my projects completed, it seemed like too much work. So I skimmed through the last year of the blog and was amazed at all I completed. Many more sewing projects than I remembered. And if I actually kept track of the house projects I would also feel pretty great! I got a lot done in 2009!

So - we'll look at the old goal list and see how I did. In this post I listed things I didn't get done in 2008 and more things I wanted to get done in 2009. (You can click on it to see what I got done.) And with that - here are the new lists:

House stuff:

1. organize basement
2. paint hallway
3. paint stairs
4. paint stairwell walls
5. paint my closet door
6. clean door hardware
7. install my closet door
8. paint basement started
9. light fixture in stairwell (etch and install)

Quilts already started:

1. My bed quilt (borders, quilt, bind)
2. Wildwood coin quilt (top, quilt, bind)
3. wonky star bike quilt (quilt, bind)
4. pink squares (quilt, bind)
5. table runner (quilt, bind)
6. purple/yellow 9 patch (borders, quilt, bind)
7. Katie Jump Rope 9 patch (top, quilt, bind)

Other quilts I'd like to make:

1. HR dogs for Luke (sashing, back, quilt, bind)
2. Jack stripes
3. Hello Betty started
4. Pinwheel like this
5. Yellow/orange string quilt (or zig zag quilt)
6. munki quilt
7. Flea Market Fancy quilt
8. church bag (not really a quilt, but I didn't want to start another list.)

The Family Goal:

This year Dan and I decided that we're not always that nice. Sometimes we're just a couple of jerks. So we thought maybe we could help ourselves out with the yearly theme BE NICE. The theme morphed into BE A LITTLE NICER. I'm going to make a nice looking sign for it and hang it on the door for all to remember. This is the first time we've had a theme for the year.

We also made a goal to sit down and eat dinner together every night. It is difficult in our house because our kitchen is too small for the whole family. The kids usually sit in there and then Dan and I eat wherever. Dan usually eats in front of the TV. I usually eat in front of the computer. Not so much of a bonding experience. Eating together every night means that the dining table (which usually looks worse than this) needs to be cleared off every night! Should be good for everyone. Last night was our first night and it went pretty well!

I need to set some spiritual goals for myself too. But I'm not going to blog about them.

And if you read this entire post - here's a photo as a reward. Thanks!

(Dreaming of warmer, greener, more flowery days.)

06 January 2010

First finished project of 2010

So I was working on this quilt for a new little guy due in February. I figured I had plenty of time to finish it up. But then he was born on Christmas Eve (or the 23rd?) I had the quilt top already finished so I just quilted and bound it. Finished it up on January 1st! Just in time for the baby shower. I LOVE how it turned out. I may have to make our for our house. It was all made with scraps (except for the fish in the centers.) I LOVE blue and orange.


Well, I'm finally back. It was a lovely break we had. Dan was home for about 2 weeks, so were the kids, Dan's parents and sister came for a few days, we ate LOTS of good food, and fun was had by all.

I meant to give you guys a Christmas present before Christmas, but I'll give it to you now since it was just too crazy then.

This is my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. It is from my cousin Lindsey.

1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter, softened
3 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp baking soda in 1 Tbsp water
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 1/2 cups flour
chocolate chips (1-2 cups)

Cream butter and sugar. Mix in eggs and vanilla until smooth. Dissolve baking soda in water and add to mixture. Mix in salt. Add flour gradually. Add chocolate chips. Bake at 375 for 7 - 10 minutes.