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Monday, March 30, 2009

Bread Crafts

The Fiber Content Experiment has to wait until Friday. All of us will be home that day -- the more, the merrier.

Now to share my photos from St. Joseph's Day at the Italian-American Center. I didn't post these earlier for a few reasons. One, I was not sure who to give credit to. Someone made these, but I don't know who. Two, these are on public display, but I didn't realize that until just now. So now I have no problems in my heart and mind with sharing photos of things that I didn't make. They were made for the world to see. Three, my photos do not come close to showing the grandeur displayed at the altar we visited (same location) a few years back. This year did not have the fancy work that impressed us as much the first time.

Many websites about Italian devotion to St. Joseph abound. You can look here for one example.


Friday, March 27, 2009

Fabric content

In my blog ramblings, I found the following homeschool and craft experiment for the weekend at We Wilsons. Sounds fun!


Monday, March 23, 2009

bias tape

I made my first bias tape last week. My Fiskars ruler and rotary cutter rock my world.


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Crazy Quilt Done

The front. The back. I quilted a grid around the blocks with the walking foot from Cathy. The kids then tied a piece of white yarn in the center of each block. Since the batting package recommended a maximum spacing of 5", I also made little night time images in the outer corners. (It's a moon.)

You can see that I used a flat sheet for a backing -- soft cotton. I had to reckon with finishing. I decided to forego binding the quilt, looked to a quilt I had received for high school graduation for guidance, and ended up using the backing to finish.
Here is a little star.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Happiness is today! It is St. Patrick's Day. We used our two shamrock cookie cutters for the first time ever after years of ownership. (Sara, Mom gave us one in that huge box of cutters for Christmas.)

Happiness as a crafter -- I have been able to use my friend's newer sewing machine with a walking foot to finish Caleb's quilt. I had to run to the fabric store tonight to get a vanishing ink pen, which I found. I also found fat quarters for $0.25!!!! Perfect for the Christmas gifts that I determined last month. I also got more suiting than I could want for $0.86 and a muslin remnant that I would buy anyway for $1.40.

Yes, I already know what I am giving people for Christmas, due to Sew, Mama Sew's Fat Quarter February. I think I will end up making my own bias tape for the first time in my life to get spiffy results. I am all about spiffy and being non-conventionally conventional, which is what my bias tape will be. At least in my head. In reality, we'll see.

I keep hoping that I'll find a fat quarter cute enough to make a Buttercup Bag with. I think I'm shopping at the wrong store. I actually know where to find that cute fabric, but the designer $9/yard price tag scares me! But comparing the cost of a cute handbag at Target to the price of materials for Buttercup may not show a downside to $9/yard.


Sunday, March 15, 2009

Small Things

Since the crazy quilt top was done, I've been going a little stir crazy looking for things to occupy myself with, especially after dinner. I want to maintain the brain cell count. Little things have taken my time, including this prayer shawl and the beginning of a potholder.

Well, maybe it is now a coaster. Originally found here at a semi-worthwhile blog, which is an ad to buy their products, I made one basic block of it. The proposed project has you make 16 blocks. Note that I definitely made a mistake while working it up. The stitched on the diagonal line don't lay right for the entire length. If I have to concentrate so much that I cannot listen to the TV, then I call it quits. I even used my row counter -- one digit for the row number and one for the number of knit stitches before the diagonal line decrease. I really wanted to just make a new dishcloth, but you know, the brain cell thing. The prayer shawl certainly is not going to help the brain cell count stay at its current level.

I also made a small pillow with two new fabric remnants that I bought. I started with the intent to have a cute pin cushion, but it is so huge that it has to be a doll pillow. Anyone have a dolly in need of a cute two-tone four-patch pillow?

I've come to reckon with the remnants left from the crazy quilt. It's all flannels, appropriate only for newborns. I might ask Blank Hospital if I can make something for them with it. They were great when our youngest was there with croup four or five years ago.


Thursday, March 12, 2009

quilt top done

finished. the younger half of GAIN and I bought a beautifully soft Ralph Lauren flat sheet for $5 at Marshall's. it is solid blue to allow the quilting stitches to show. Partner cathy and I need to schedule time next week for using her walking foot. hopefully we won't break it or the machine. i decided that the binding will be the sheet.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Getting closer

I have one row of blocks left to go! I hope to shop for a backing cloth tomorrow. My gut tells me that I'll have to make 'sides' for the quilt top, but I think that work will pass quickly.

Looking back, I have learned that I can tolerate a certain amount of precision. The 'frames' around my blocks are an example of that. In the past, precision has been a deterrent for me. Now that I've had some success, I see perfection/precision as a non-issue. And it looks cool.

I also learned that a foundation may have been a good idea. I read about the foundation layer in the book that inspired me, but I didn't understand the idea king with a couple blocks in particular. There is really only one fabric that gave me trouble, making me wish I had used muslin behind it. In my next project, perhaps a string quilt, I will use foundation. Especially because I have a 40% off all muslin coupon :-) Anyway, I don't remember "A" of GAIN telling me to sew my pieces on a foundation layer, and she was my main mentor.
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Monday, March 9, 2009

Upcoming project

OK, this may be next. Cooler than a regular strippy quilt, eh?

I did not get a picture, but meant to say that two weekends ago, I gifted a knitted crown and matching ring a la Zakka Life for Mr. GAIN's niece. I thought it might ease her into hats, which she hates. She didn't want to wear the crown. I still have hope for the ring.


Quick Pincushion

I have to read the blog for Sew, Mama, Sew! daily. February was their Fat Quarter month, in which projects made from fat quarters could be found, often with tutorials. I love that -- quick and small is my speed! I thought a pin cushion would be nice. My mom had a strawberry and tomato pin cushion. The strawberry was attached to the tomato by a green floss "vine" and supposed to be filled with something to keep the needles sharp. Pins went in the big tomato filled with regular stuffing, like kapok. Think old school life jackets.

You really cannot see the colors great in these photos. The top is recent purchase -- a lovely calico from the clearance bin. The bottom is a heavy tie-dye flannel for a non-slip surface. Buttons and floss I already had. The top looks quite Oriental in its color combo -- teal fabric, orange floss, fuschia button. I went to this tutorial for instructions. Using the pin cushion is much quicker than using the box my pins were stored in, even with the curved interior.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Five Alive

Found this on Karen's blog and thought it sounded like fun! She found it on Mama P's blog. Both are friendly home school moms, dedicated to a higher standard of sustainable living than I am.

The first five people to respond to this post will get something made by me >gasp of fear, excitement, curiosity, etc!<

The restrictions and limitations:

*I will make no guarantees that you will like what I make.
*What I create will be just for you. It may be crafty, it may be edible, you never know.
*You will have no clue what it will be.
*The catch is that you have to post this as well, if you expect me to do something for you.
*I have to be able to afford the postage, if you live out of country. :)

Please link to your blog, if I don't know you, in case we are new friends.


Crazy Quilt

Thought I would show you that my iron and board live in my living room until I am done. Fortunately, we do not "live" in the living room, so it's not in the way. This arrangement is much easier than endlessly walking between the laundry area in the kitchen and my sewing desk. I still need to decide how to finish this work. My current thought is it to use the last of my scraps to make more crazy blocks until I have enough half-height blocks to make strips along the long edges. My older two kids' quilts were finished in a similar fashion. And I need to buy a walking foot from the quilt store.


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Crazy Quilting

This photo is from a couple days ago. It's probably half done now, so the length is half of a twin bed. I have no photo of it, but "I" of GAIN has finished her first nine patch quilt block. She is into Felicity, the American Girl, so sewing by hand has been her passion. You may rememer the pin cushion she made. She wants tomorrow to be as if we were in the year 1774. But maybe not the food.

Since I have identified a recipient, I am sincerely working every day on the quilt. I am also composing a letter in my mind to accompany the quilt. Here is the beginning:

Dear Caleb,

I am giving you this quilt because I want to pass happiness, fun, and warmth to you. I had a lot of leftover fabric from happy things. I wanted to keep all the leftovers for the happy memories they gave me. But what good would it be to keep them in a drawer where no one can see them?

Your quilt has a lot of happiness in it -- pieces of past Halloween costumes, pajamas, hot pad holders and placemats (food makes me happy), pillow cases to brighten my family room, table runners for decorating around St. Valentine's and St. Patrick's Days and Thanksgiving and Christmas, sofa and chair slip covers, and other quilts -- for my children and for your brother. You'll recognize the pieces that match Noah's quilt. Some of the pieces in this quilt I bought just for fun.


Monday, March 2, 2009


Found a remnant with more than enough frame fabric -- $1.54 All pieces are cut. I have stitched the first row of blocks with their frames. No idea if frame is the correct quilting term. I have also determined the recipient -- one year old Caleb. His big brother has a quilt -- we contributed a block to it. Caleb has no quilt. Now he will.

Have not been able to edit hail storm video. The format needs conversion. Low priority to date.

Bought scrapbook adhesive and got 3 free 12" x 12" paper at the big box scrapping store. Ordered one more print for my crop schedule on Sat.