Monday, August 31, 2009

Calm Before the Storm

With all the upcoming kid birthday celebrations, company coming into town, and general hoopla soon to be coming our way, we did the only practical thing last weekend.

We decided to ignore the reality that we have plenty of preparations to do, and take a family vacation at the beach. The little surfers above are my sweet boys.

We visited an awesome seahorse exhibit at the aquarium and even saw a pretty insane marine mammal quilt that is shown just outside of their cafe. Really cool that they have their own quilt featured. I found a picture of it on flickr here - sorry I forgot to snap a shot of it myself this time.

Flotsam is now our new favorite book. I think we'll be reading it at storybook time on a nightly basis for a while.

I've been working on a special surprise gift for kids coming to the birthday party. Stay tuned for the big reveal - assuming I finish it! (sweating beads here)

Have you seen this post by Lucy at Quilting with the Past? Her little windmill doll quilt is simple adorable.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Decorative Kid Party Invitation Envelopes

We are having a puppet themed birthday party this year.

In my usual micro-detailed fashion, I wanted to make the party invites super cute.

I ordered them from Tiny Prints - these guys really have an awesome selection for just about every occasion. It's the 2nd time I've used them, and I'm still really impressed.

Instead of just writing all the addresses on there, I wrote them with some funky hand writing and had my almost-4-yr-old color in all the 'holes' of the letters with pretty colored pencils.

Cute, right? Fun way to involve your kids in addressing the invites when they are too young to actually write all the addresses.

In other news, last night I went to a lecture at my quilt guilt (SCVQA). Lecture by Melinda Bula was entertaining, and her quilts were very beautiful.

I think she uses a fusable technique to make these giant floral quilts. Very Georgia O'Keefe looking. Bright colors. I had seen the quilts all before when I attend the quilting in the garden quilt show in Livermore last year.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Quilt Appraisal: More study time for me!

As I mentioned before, I'm a huge fan of antique quilts and quilt appraisal in general.

My hope is to someday become an AQS certified quilt appraiser. So far, I have been getting some practice, but it has been a bit more slow going since the baby arrived. I'm getting back in the swing of things - starting now.

Pacific International Quilt Festival (PIQF) - a huge and really nice quilt show - is coming to my home town in October.

At the show, Cindy Brick (AQS Certified quilt appraiser) will be there to appraise quilts. She is taking me under her wing as her scribe, so I'll be volunteering to assist her the day during the show.

Really looking forward to learning more about how somebody else does appraisals.

Cindy's web site is an insane wealth of information. She has all these articles published here.

Ones I really loved were on best way to store a quilt, washing and caring for your quilt, and what to do with an old worn quilt.

Oh, and yes I really did cut into my Liberty fabric collection. The above block is the 1st birthday signature block for my darling niece.

I will confess that cutting into Liberty fabric is like taking a small slice into heaven itself.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Birthday Signature Quilt: 4 yrs old

I whipped up this number 4 block so folks at my son's birthday party can sign it and write a message on it for him.

You can see the 1 block that is done already with signatures, an early version of the 2 block, and the blank 3 block featured in previous posts.

I'm starting two new quilts just like this. One for our baby who is turning 1 year old this year, and one for my favorite baby girl on earth - my niece. She'll be 1 as well.

For the girl quilt I'm going to use my collection of Liberty fabrics. Yes, sports fans...I'm going to actually CUT them. I think I deserve a drum roll or something here.

Anyhow, I applique the numbers down on 8 inch sized blocks, and ask all the party goers to sign their names with a little message for the birthday person of honor. In total there will be 16 blocks. Hopefully it doesn't become too embarrassing before that age. Do you think we'll make it that far?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Win some, lose some

Win some:

I seriously never win anything. I seriously am never expecting to either. However, that amazing feat did take place, and I won a bunch of lovely fat quarters from the blog giveaway that I mentioned Chara Michele was holding.
Thank you so much Chara! Her photos always have the perfect light and her creations are beautiful. Please visit her blog for some inspiration if you have the time.

Lose some:

I quilted a bunch of feathers in the above block, but because the fabric had TINY dot thingies on it you cannot see them at all. Hm...think I wasted some time here. Oh well...on to the next block.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

1 Year Old Birthday Prep

My sister and I are in full planning swing to play for the one year old birthday parties of our babies. Her girl will be 1 in about a month and my boy will be 1 a few days later.

We both have big parties planned.

Her party is a cupcake party, and I have the pleasure of dressing my niece in the the worlds cutest ever skirt for her big day.

Our theme is a puppet party, so we'll be having a professional puppet show. Should be a really huge blast.

My own birthday is quickly coming up and I'm thinking that the perfect gift for me from our sons would be this little fawn mommy necklace (hint hint). Is it not the cutest thing ever?

Oh yes, and I finished quilting another of the feather blocks.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Quilted Feathers

This little quilt I'm working on is turning out to have a couple of firsts for me.

I have practiced a lot of feathers just for fun, but never ended up adding them to a real quilt top. Perhaps this is out of fear of getting myself in over my head or not having the dedication to getting them perfect.

Well, I'm going out on a limb here, and throwing caution to the wind. Feathers, here we come.

I'm also using some self-designed fabric on the back - photo of it here on an older post. I love to design fabric with my calligraphy but it's hard to cut into it.

Solution: Put it on the back of the quilt! No cutting required.

And for those of you (my sister) who were wondering what book I want for my upcoming birthday, Album Quilts of Ohio's Miami Valley by Sue Cummings is on my short list.