Thursday, August 28, 2008

Nani Iro fabrics

Looks like the waiting game continues here for me, and our little could-come-anytime-soon bundle of joy, with this being basically the -10 day mark.

Our first son was a whole week late, so I'm not expecting any amazing early arrivals, although in this heat, I certainly would not mind a slightly early or on time delivery!

Please think a happy 'be born soon' thought for both me and my sister's little ones, if you have a spare moment.

I have fallen head over heels in love with Nani Iro's fabric designs and plan on using the pink fabric shown above on the baby quilt for my sister's little girl, as border.

I'm not the only one with Nani Iro on the brain...check out Moving Hands for more pictures/ideas. Mari used the pattern book to whip some dresses together that have also been on my mind for a while. I'm still too chicken to make garments, but these creations are pushing me to the brink of trying my hand at it.

Sunday, August 24, 2008


Does 35 sound old to you?

Well, it does a bit to me, but I suppose I've earned it.

My family is gingerly helping me enter the 2nd half of my 30's by spoiling me in all sorts of ways. My little sister will turn 30 tomorrow, (our birthdays are only 1 day apart) and because we are both pregnant it turns out that we couldn't travel in order to be together this year. I do miss her.

Hopefully all you hip youngster bloggers won't give up on reading my little blog here now that I'm too old to qualify for the AQS Young Quilt Designer's award. And to the rest of you who have already made it past your 35th birthday, I'm right there with ya!

I came up with the cable above for use in the star portion of the baby quilts. I don't think I'll be using trapunto, since the quilts will be used by babies after all, but I'm tempted to do a little bit of it.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Let loose at the book store

I went a bit nuts in the magazine section last night at the book store.

I basically bought whatever magazines that were calling out to me, in order to gain some cheap thrills while I have some extra reading time on my hands.

The latest copy of Milk Magazine (fashion and style for kids) with English text included - who knew they offered this version?! - was calling out to me, so of course I took it home with me.

Artful Blogging Magazine also found its way home with me. Having this magazine in my hot little hands feels like a yearbook of sorts for all the lovely blogs I read on a regular basis. Represented here are pieces by Amanda from Soule Mama, Jude of Spirit Cloth, and many many others.

Ready Made was the last magazine to jump into my basket. I am going to subscribe to this one right away. So many DIY projects, ideas, and inspirational photos here. Current issue for Aug/Sept 08 has an antique sewing machine on the cover.

And for the pleasure of you uber-quilting-smartie-pants-nerds out there (like you, Amy) here's what I did after I washed the paper off of the baby quilt top:

1) Took the above photo since the light through the wet quilt made it look like stained glass
2) Hung it up to dry a bit since it was SOAKING WET...waited about 4 hours...
3) Put it on my ironing board and 'pressed it' (did NOT 'iron' it by running iron all over it, just pressed the iron down on each of the blocks)
4) Held it up, and said, gee, that's still pretty square - cool! I'll end up blocking it after it's quilted if it needs it.
5) Basted it by hand with batting and backing
6) Put in in my hoop and started to hand quilt it 'by the piece' which means you quilt lines just inside every seam where each piece is sewn to another piece.
7) FYI, looking good so far!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Going for the Gold

Visiting uncharted territory here, with embedded video. Did it work? For a self-admitted-techno-geek, I'm not sure why I'm scared to try this.

It's a clip of me washing away the paper from the back of the quilt. Oh so much faster/easier than picking off the non-wash away type.

One thing I did discover this time around - if you use it while working with very dark fabrics (see border!) you can end up with a hefty amount of lint afterwards on the darks, so wash well!

Couple of cute Olympic stories from our almost 3 yr old:

When he was watching swimming for the first time (which he LOVES) he was asking us why the swimmers didn't have their daddies in the pool!

Last night at swim lessons he decided to push off the wall backwards into the pool, just like the backstroke racers do. It was adorable, I cannot believe he came up with that all on his own.

By the way, do you have this stamp set by Yellow Owl yet? I really want both of them. That would so fall under the category of naughty/greedy shopping for self. Ah, temptation....

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Maryann's Peace tomato

A friend from work gave me a Maryann's Peace tomato plant several months ago, and this is the first fruit to come off that plant. I cannot wait to eat it, I doubt it will last another couple of hours. Salt, pepper, basil, balsamic vinegar...mmmmmm!

I was just reading a copy of AQS Blanket Statements (recycled from my mom's quilting friend) and noticed a couple of very cool things.

First, there is a new International Quilt Study Center that just opened in Lincoln, Nebraska. I would love to visit there, and would be scared of the amount of time I could spend in their library.

Next, there was the mention of a very interesting book that I haven't yet run into along the way: Childhood Treasures, Doll Quilts By and For Children. No idea if any of the doll quilt swappers have based their patterns on the quilts from this book, but it looks incredible.

An on a totally different topic, I bumped into this Etsy shop called Tinctory. This necklace is so awesome. I have not played around with smocking, but would certainly love to take a class someday. Until then, I will drool over the Tinctory creations.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Happy Birthday Dad!

Today is my dear Dad's birthday. This is an old picture of him with his beloved Jag. I think he had to marry my mother because it was so unreliable he needed her to rescue him all the time.

Hope your day is great Dad, so sorry that I'm not there with you to celebrate in person. Maybe next year, when I'm less pregnant and more travel-friendly!!

I love you!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Olympaholics anonymous

Oh how I wish somebody would help me to exercise a bit of restraint these days. I'm a completely loose cannon.

Instead of going to bed on time, like a nice little 36 week pregnant woman should, I'm up until all hours glued to my couch cheering on our Olympic gymnastics team, swimmers, and divers.

When I caught myself watching Vietnam play badminton, I realized that some sort of addiction had set in.

I'm writing it off to final stages of pregnancy insanity. My recent purchase of 2 very large New York steaks for dinner will also fall into this category.

My last post had shown strips cut out, and they went into a little pencil holder project that I made for some friends of our son. The pattern came out of Last Minute Patchwork & Quilted Gifts. This book is of course a must have. If you don't have a copy already, HELLO! You need one. Author is owner of Purl, of course you knew that already, but pattern maker of this pencil roll is actually owner of Pink Chalk.

The fabric that I used for the lower part of the outside of the roll (I didn't follow the pattern exactly actually, I made the outside from 2 pieces of material) is my recent order from Pink Chalk. (Highly recommend ordering from them, very professional!)

Thank God my mom was visiting, and SERIOUSLY helped me finish these. I made a little boy version as well.

Monday, August 11, 2008

School's out!

Last week was my final week of working before maternity leave, so it was a busy one.

I have mixed emotions as working was helping me avoid all the new baby prep work that I'm starting today. So much for that lovely state of procrastination!

With 1 month to go before the arrival of our little one, so many things to do and also I have the incredible pleasure of spending more time with our almost 3 yr old. I think we'll head off to the pool sometime this week to cool off and goof around.

So can you guess what I'm doing with all those lovely little rectangles of Japanese fabric?

(Oh, I should also add that I'll be back to work again after the baby is a bit bigger, but for now I may actually have a little time to pretend I'm a stay at home mom!)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

When quilters try to knit (AKA scary scary)

There are many brave souls out there reading the book called Last Minute Knitted Gifts and making the "more than 8 hour gift" called the chevron scarf.

For me (a slacker? a very slow knitter...and in order of priority, a quilter to be sure) this "more than 8 hour gift" is a bit closer to an "almost 8 month project".

I think I'm finally almost done with my beloved scarf. This was probably due to the twice/week swimming lessons, and my husband getting into the pool with our son instead of me (oh the things you get away with when you're pregnant!).

And speaking of lack of self control - I've had Pink Chalk on the mind, and ended up with a minor slip up of buying a yard of this. Oh so very pretty. Cannot wait for it to arrive in the mail.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Making progress, little by little

Making progress on the baby boy quilt this weekend. Tonight I just got the borders attached, so time to soak off the paper backing next, and then off to baste it.

My in-laws are visiting this weekend, so having a never-ending source of entertainment for our 3 yr old is probably the only reason I got anything done on it at all.

I was also supposed to teach my friend Katie how to crochet, but I think I was so bad as an instructor (even with book in hand!!) that she's going to revert to knitting. Yikes, that is so very pathetic. I really should stay away from yarn.

We did discover that the local knit shop now offers some beads in their back room, so that's sweet. I will return there to pick up a few things for attaching my world's tiniest pin cushions to the ribbons for hanging off scissors.

Have you already (like the rest of the world, apparently) shredded your toll house cookie recipe for this 'new and improved' BEST chocolate chip cookie recipe? I'm actually getting tempted to try it. Is this for real or just another internet myth?