Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Getting back on the saddle

I wanted to sew. I have been wanting to sew. Of course, my dream project is something new and fresh and devising my own version of a pattern I fell in love with in a catalog, but in reality, had I went shopping for fabric, came home, ironed, calculated and then cut I would have not sewn a single seam. So I decided to attack the Amy Butler basket quilt I have been working on for a year.

I cut the white fabric for eight blocks, thinking that was a perfectly manageable amount for me to complete in a weekend (the Amy Butler is all cut and in a box, I just have to sew until it's gone). Well, it's Wednesday and I still have three more pieces to attach to each of my eight blocks. I had optimistically figured that if I could complete eight blocks per weekend that I would be able to finish the top in four weeks (allowing one weekend to sew all 60-ish blocks together). I think I'm going to have to dial back the optimism..a lot.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Monday Moments

I don't think I have mentioned yet, the Lego explosion that has gone on in my house. Over the summer I had a neighbor take Gabe in when I had some of the more intrusive doctor's appointments for the pregnancy. This neighbor has a boy with a huge Lego collection. And Gabe came home obsessed. Before I knew it, he was waking me up at 8:00AM saying, "Let's go to the neighbor's and play Legos."

Obviously, I talked to my son about why you can't just invite yourself into someone's house to play with their toys, but after months of dealing with the Lego problem, I bought him some. They were at the top of his birthday wish list, the top of his Christmas wish list and they are the first thing he grabs every morning.

I took this picture for him. Mainly because I find myself describing my favorite childhood toys and ending up on Google to show the kids. (Most recently The Wuzzles. I dare you to try describing a half lion, half bumblebee to your kids without Google, and Wuzzle Colorforms no's like I'm speaking another language.) I think he'll appreciate this later, and his changing taste in toys is a fun way to see how much he's growing up.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Monday Moments: Scrapbook Edition

Gabe and I built his first snowman this weekend. It was smaller than both of us wanted it to be, but the snow was less than perfect for it, and it was much harder than I remember it being as a kid. Probably because my mom did the bulk of it for me, just like I did for my son.

The snowman was made extra special by two things. One, we have only had snow since late Thursday, which was a terribly long wait for the kids, and two, Gabe and I have not had much one on one time since Caroline was born. This was a chance to play, just the two of us.

These were going to be my Monday Moments photos anyway, but then I saw that the My Memories Blog was having a "Chilly Challenge" this week and decided to make them into a layout. If you're unfamiliar with the blog, they host a challenge there every Wednesday for prizes (usually credits to their digital scrapbook store) and sometimes, the challenge is based on a downloadable kit or font, so you can get freebies even if you don't win! And as always, if you don't have their software and want to purchase it, my code for $10 off plus a $10 credit to the My Memories Store never expires. Just enter STMMMS79028 when you purchase!

Majority of the papers and embellishments used from A Frosty Surprise kit, which I just discovered is $1.00 right now! Jealous!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Blogger's Choice Bundle Contest

I said that I was going to post fabric photos maybe twice a month, but then I heard about Quokka Quilts contest to design your own fat quarter bundle! I definitely wanted to post mine with a few days left for you to enter, too.

The rules? Pick 12 prints and 3 solids, then assemble the photos into a collage. So simple! And if you win, you get a half yard cut of each of your 15 fabrics! Awesome!

I knew I wanted some tangerines, it is the color of the year, after all, and tried to think of colors I liked with oranges. It was originally a much different palette, but I put them all into the collage maker and removed what didn't mesh. I like it. I think if I were to win I'd put them together just like this, in 16 patches alternating with large squares. Though, they might make interesting star blocks. Oh, how I long to sew after staring down all that fabric!

My picks:
Impressions Orange Dahlia
Crazy Daisy Red Rythm
Heirloom Amethyst Empire Weave
Michael Miller Orchid Cotton Couture Solids
Bright Owl Red Star Doodles
Bella Solids Baby Blue
Primativa Plum and Lavender Wavy Reed Stripes
Bespoken Orchid Jacquard
Outfoxed Purple Triangle Toss
Domestic Bliss Eggplant Out of Doors
Floral Folio Dark Orange Wavy Stripe
Taza Blue Cynthian
Michael Miller Violet Cotton Couture Solids
Dazzle Sky Blue Basket Weave
Floral Folio Dark Orange Allover Leaves

Monday, January 9, 2012

Monday Moments: Retro Edition

When I was pregnant with Gabriel, my mom brought me several photos my grandma had taken of me as a baby. They are such a wonderful gift, with my late grandmother's handwriting at the bottoms. I truly treasure them.

And, being an October baby myself, it means that Caroline and I are nearly the same age in these photos. My aunt said that she was a "little Melinda", but I wasn't seeing much resemblance beyond the hair color. I see it here.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Get inspired!

Today is the first installment of a weekly (or maybe twice monthly) feature here on my blog. I'm going to be posting some coordinating fabrics that I love, and a project idea to go along with them. I'm always really inspired, even when I'm lacking the time. So if you are ever in a rut, this could be a great place to come! And it's a great way for me to keep track of all those ideas!

I fell in love with this bunny fabric and picked out several coordinating prints that could make a really cute small quilt or tote bag for a child, depending on her age.

An aqua bunny made from this pattern, embroidered and embellished to match the bunny on the cotton print would be the perfect thing to pop in your tote bag or wrap up with your quilt! How cute would this be if you could find just the right carrot print for the belly? I'm so in love with this idea for a birthday or new baby gift!

Friday, January 6, 2012

The obligatory resolutions post, and pics

Well, it's 2012, and for the second year, I get to look back at the goals I made for myself and see how I did at accomplishing them. Last year it was super fun, because I did everything. This year...well, see for yourself.

1. Potty train Gabe. Success, though not before his fourth birthday, ironically, everything seemed to click for him after he had an embarrassing accident in front of his cousins at the party.

2. Make a quilt for myself. Success here too. I have managed to hang on to the Deb Strain quilt I made. I thought about giving it away several times, but I'm glad I never did. I really love it. Plus, Deb loved it too, and the blog post she made about it was a really fun moment for me last year.

3. Make something larger than a lap quilt. Not yet. I made the top for my daughter's toddler bed quilt, but I have yet to actually finish the thing, and some people still consider that size a lap quilt. What are typical lap quilt dimensions? I should probably know that kind of thing before setting goals like this.

4. Make 144 blog posts. Miserable failure. Not only did I not blog more at all, I blogged even less than I did my first year! Awful! Though, in my defense, I made that resolution a full month before I got pregnant and morning sickness, coupled with a newborn does not make for a lot of blogging time.

So, what do you hopefully have to look forward to in 2012?

1. Blog more. I am hesitant to post that 144 number again, plus, I'm already behind on that being almost a week into the year and posting once, but I really would like to be crafting substantially again. I miss it.

2. Finish the top to my basket quilt. I seriously love those blocks, and I have all of the Amy Butler fabrics cut for it, but for some reason I am dreading cutting all of the white and have been at a stalemate for awhile with it. I'm not going to say I want to completely finish the quilt, as paying the long-armer is going to be costly, but I do want the top done so I have the option.

3. Buy less fabric. It would seem that this would be contradictory to the blog/craft more goal above, but there is a lot of fabric in my basement that should be tended to, or sold if I'm not going to do anything other than hoard it. A real lot.

4. Try new things. Now, I'm not going to go as far as say...crochet (though I would love to learn, I just do not need another hobby), but paper piecing, scalloped edges on a quilt, needle-turn applique...I see beautiful projects made with these things and have the instructions right in front of me without ever trying them out. I'm challenging myself to actually do that this year.

And if you've held out this long, I give you a photo. The first ever real smile of Caroline's actually caught on camera. Actually, I'll give you the first, "it's probably just gas" smile too, since I have yet to post her professional hospital photos on here.

Wow, look at how much she's grown!