Sunday, July 31, 2011

My baby turns one

This past Saturday we celebrated the first birthday of our daughter.  In traditional baby style she has completely changed our lives.  Here are some great photos of our wonderful day with her :)

Here she is celebrating her birthday with Daddy (no that isn't a unibrow, it's beets)

What? Gifts?!?!

I love a book! (opening gifts with Daddy)
Posing in the back yard before dinner

what mess? (mmm beets for dinner...)

is that for me?? (all cleaned up)

mmmm... cupcake  

time for bed

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Farmer's Wife Week 9

Well.  Here is my first attempt at paper pieced blocks.  I think there was some user error on my part, because they both were 4.5" square... I think files did not print out large enough.  I will do checking against the templates next time I try and do this.

This was also my first attempt at Y-seams.  Ugh.  I am not good at them.

So 18 down, 93 to go!

I need to keep in mind that I just started to learn to quilt.  When I first started to knit my stuff was TERRIBLE.  It never saw the light of day.  Now my knit stuff is fantastic, if I do say so myself.  So I've been knitting for about nine years... and the last three were when stuff was good enough to wear and looked store bought.  So I need to be patient, continue to work on my technique and have fun :)

Thursday, July 28, 2011


My mother and I have been quilting!  It has been so much fun.  This is my mothers FIRST attempt at patchwork quilting.  FIRST.  I am not exaggerating.   I helped with the cutting, but she picked the Denise Schmidt Picnic's and Fairgrounds and put this together.  The sashing is Kona bone.

She credits her success to the instructions which were crazy good.  If you like this quilt, go get yourself the pattern here, and the fabric here!

I personally think it looks amazing and am ridiculously excited to get it quilted up.  I'm going to do straight line quilting, nothing too fancy because the quilt itself is amazing.  I will be showing my Mom how... and I betcha she'll do a significant portion!!

My husband the helpful quilt stylist!

Wait until you see the back!  Basically it's nice enough to be another top.  My mom just whipped it up..... :)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Little Dress for a Little Girl

That corn cob is from dinner, she appropriated it, and played with it until bedtime.  Yes, she has real toys.  No they aren't as fun as this chewed on corn cob.

I occasionally sew clothes, sometimes for myself, but recently just for Isabella.  Little clothes are enjoyable to make.  They are small and go together quickly.  I can also use crazy print fabric that I probably wouldn't wear myself.
gesturing with corn cob

I made this dress in ONE EVENING!  About 2 hours.  That's right folks, I'm not even that fast it's that easy.  It's a Kwik Sew pattern 3864.  In general I'm all about going to Joann and getting patterns on sale for 99 cents, but I sprung for the $10 Kwik Sew because I had heard good things, and they were all true.  The pattern was in COLOR!  It was on decent paper, the directions were extremely well written and IN COLOR!  I should be able to make this basic dress about 20 times over the next 4 years in a variety of fabrics.  I'm going to try a knit and fleece at some point. 
walking with purpose with corn cob

striding with corn cob

This is a cotton print I purchased at Joann the day after Thanksgiving, and I also got some adorable heart shaped buttons for the back.  I tailored the fit slightly, I made it narrower through the chest and waist, wider in the hips and shorter overall for easier movement.  It's a cinch to fit this thing. 
Demonstrating how easy the dress is for excited running (with corn cob)!

She looks adorable, (hence the ridiculous amount of photos, trust me it's about 1% of what we actually shot of her, she's just so darn cute!) it was super easy, and it's holding up well!

Hooray for successfully finished projects!
Looking at some geese

Friday, July 22, 2011

Summer Sampler Week 2

So far halfway done!
I LOVE FOUNDATION PIECING!!  It is just about the greatest technique ever invented.  (for quilting)

Here are this weeks three blocks. They are definitely the hardest things I've ever done.  No question, but thanks to foundation/paper piecing, they look perfect!  I'll be honest, they took me awhile, two FULL baby naps, which is forever for one block in my world, but they look fantastic.  I'm definitely not ready to do an entire quilt but practice makes perfect!

I did have a few missteps but I learned from both.  First of all, right sides of fabric together, very important, fortunately I only made this mistake once.  Secondly cut your pieces generously!  I thought the instructions were crazy!  i was going to waste all this fabric!  There is no way you need that much!  - Well actually you do :)  In the end they turned out beautifully and i am thrilled.

Gratituous close ups....
This last block was so difficult, but I think it looks absolutely amazing.  I am so freaking proud!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Farmer's Wife Week 8

So I have realized in my sampler endeavors that I am a sloppy cutter.  I do a terrible job making my pieces exact, thereby making the entire project have problems. (think cascading math error)  I realized this as I was being super careful with my Summer Sampler quilt, If i put 3x as much time and effort into cutting out little pieces I was getting WAY better blocks.  As a result, my blocks over there look a heck of alot better than the more difficult blocks in this quilt along.

This is evident.  My first block this week was done before I was being extra careful, the second after.  The difference is amazing!  It could also be that block 16 was a relief from the really hard blocks like 13, 14 and 15.

Block 15
Block 16

This QAL is only a little over 10% done, at least for those of us who want to make a king sized blanket (which I'll admit, I'm going to try).  Unbelievable!  I can't imagine what this is going to look like!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Farmer's Wife Week 7

Well I forgot to post last week here is week 7  (we're technically on week 8 so look for that later this week.)

My squares aren't that square, but that's OK.  This quilt-a-long is a judgement free zone, and I'm a very new quilter.  I'm really enjoying learning new techniques w/o getting obsessed with perfection.    

I wanted to briefly talk about the templates.  They are really overwhelming to deal with, but I had a cool way of doing it.  I printed them out on card stock.  I hope the author redoes them so there is more than one template per page because there was SO much waste.  I then roughly cut them all out. I then used the adhesive laminating pages, you can get them anywhere, I was able to fit at least 10 templates per set of pages (hence my comment that she could seriously cut down the waste), and then cute them out precisely.  The templates were then put in ziploc baggies, labled 1-10, 11-19 etc...  For easy reference later.  This is a great system!  I hope others can put it to good use :)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Summer Sampler QAL!


What is it with me and the quilt-alongs?  They are super fun, and have BUILT IN PACING!  I am not in a hurry, I can make one block a day!  It's all so fun.

week one

This particular QAL make 12" blocks, three a week for the next four weeks.  Totally manageable.  I didn't even need to buy fabric!   I've decided I want it to look like sherbets and ice cream!  Nothing more summery than sherbet colors!

helpful baby.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Farmer's Wife Quilt Along!

I'm hooked!!  - but we'll get to that in a min.. :)

This is what happened.... I haven't posted in awhile, mainly because there was nothing to post!

I visited my folks in upstate NY, and I sucessfully got my Mom interested in quilting!! YAY! We worked on the Swoon quilt, using Picnics and Fairgrounds from Joann and Kona Bone.  It is AMAZING looking.  Together we did six squares in two days!!  (while watching a 10 month old who can walk)  My Mom then finished the final three squares all by herself!! Her first quilting project and she made the most perfect 24.5" squares full of HST's and the like.  She is now working on the back and it looks great!  I am visiting again in July and will take lots of pics and post it up.  My Mom is a retired geometry teacher who knows how to sew quite well, so it's not too surprising she took to quilting like a duck in water.

When I got home, I was officially bored of Swoon blocks and decided to get going on a picnic quilt for the family, made from Hoopla by Moda.  It's super fun colorful fabric.  I got some coordinating solids, and I tried.. I did.  But I got what I now know is a "complex migraine" during the layout of it, basically I felt really crappy and it all culminated with me having what seemed like stroke like symptoms and going to the hospital (in an ambulance)... to be told that I was having a "bad headache", BUT did the right thing... a novice cannot tell the difference...  whatever.  I am totally fine, I have medicine and LOTS of tests ahead of me, but needless to say that specific quilt is on the back burner because it just has bad memories.

So I have this beautiful fabric, some (well alot) of which was purchased while on pain meds :)
Fabric looks SOOOO good when it's put in rainbow order
 I have been following the Farmer's Wife Quilt Along from the beginning, and I was afraid at first.  I am a very very novice quilter, I have only finished a few quilts, and while I have mastered the HST... I am not stellar at accurate cutting or sewing.  But, I decided this would be the perfect opportunity to indulge my short attention span and make a whole bunch of blocks only one time.  (Well, and a few twice if i really go for the gold to make a king sized quilt for my bed)

The are on week 6 now, so the first 12 squares are done.  I figured by NEXT Saturday I could have the 14 done that would get me up to speed.  Little did I know these blocks are RIDICULOUSLY FUN!!

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Week 6

I am all caught up! Hooray!  Flickr here I come!! 

I have to say after Swoon blocks which are enormous, these little tiny things are so cute! Such a blast!  Hopefully the colors will make some sort of sense when i'm done :)  But I am not even 10% finished!! It's WAY too early to tell.