Monday, July 27, 2015

weird much?


I don't go around thinking about how weird we are;
we're just 'us'.

But every once in a while,
I catch a little glimpse....

Yesterday 
we made playdough.
Which
I don't really think is weird at all.
But the fact that my girls were intrigued by the flour packaging,
(because they don't recall ever seeing it before)
now that was weird.

And then,
when we were scenting the playdough
(okay, that may be just a little weird...)
Lexi asked if she could use Eucalyptus
 instead of any of the essential oil options already on the table.
When I told her to go grab it from the bathroom,
she hopped down from her chair
and fist-bumped the air, "Yes!"

Because all 6 yr olds love eucalyptus.
Right?!


Friday, July 24, 2015

simply luscious



I love this quilt.


I love everything about
this quilt.


It is truly
simply
 luscious!


It all started back in January when Melissa 


I visited Quilt Home
where I found Anna Maria Horner's Little Folks voile in citron 
on sale
for $5.96 a yard.
Seeing that it's normally around $15 a yard,
I snapped it right up.


I don't normally start a quilt with the backing first,
but - $5.96/yard AMH voile...


roughly a year ago,
and knew it would be the perfect pattern to go with my lovely backing.


I wanted bigger than a baby quilt,
so went with a 5x6 layout
(of 12" blocks)
so,
before quilting, washing,
and a tumble in the dryer,
the quilt measured 60x72.


Just perfect for a throw!


I chose 60 delicious fabrics that coordinated with the colors in the voile,
then paired them up


and decided if the pair would become a 16 patch block
or a wonky star.


the blocks were so much fun to make!


I layed out all the pieces (17) to a star block
and sewed and trimmed and pressed
until I had a completed block.


The 16 patch (strip pieced) blocks were mostly sewn up
as leaders and enders,
and went together super fast.


Because the quilt top was so luscious,
and the back was heavenly,
I decided to use wool batting.


I was hesitant to use the wool, because it felt like I was 'wasting' 
its luxuriousness
because I wasn't going to hand quilt it.


But then,
I remembered
the whole quilt was being created simply for the pleasure of it.
(I was originally going to name it 'Pure Pleasure'
but thought that sounded maybe a little too erotic for a quilt,
so when my friend, Nancy, referred to it as luscious  
well, I stole that as the name.)


And since the whole making of it was pure pleasure,
I decided it would be foolish of me
to not do at least some hand-quilting.


I pulled out my perle cottons and my silk threads,
and settled on the (silk) one that went best with my chosen binding,
(love netorious for bindings!)


I hand quilted diagonally across all 16 patches
and the corners of the star blocks
then free motion machine quilted  one huge flower in each of the remaining hexagons.
(the top and sides of each star block, with the hand quilting across the corners = a hexagon shape)


The 2,250 inches of hand-quilting took about 56 hours,
and the machine quilting took a little less than 2.


I attached the binding by machine,
and pressed and glue basted to the back last Friday
then spent time here and there over the next 6 days
hand stitching it down to the back.


I finished the binding yesterday morning,
then made a label (complete with a tiny 2" wonky star block :-) real quick,
sewed it on,
and tossed it in the wash.



Two hours later,
I pulled it from the dryer.
Heaven in a quilt ~ Simply Luscious.


No surprise ~ I'm joining the finishers over at Amanda Jeans :-)





Wednesday, July 22, 2015

productive progress



I've had a really productive couple of weeks.

Last week, 
the very same day
that I finished the machine quilting on my commission project.


Then I added binding to both
by machine
and pressed
and
glue basted the binding to the back in preparation for hand sewing it down.

With that,
my commission work was done,
YAY!!!

I immediately started on my One Block Wonder quilt,
which I cut out one day
when I just wanted to work on something different
(so, technically, not a new project ;-)

I panicked because I'd cut my triangles with a blunt tip,
and worried for days that I'd wasted all that fabric.


so I asked her about it,
and she sweetly responded and told me I'd be just fine.
Whew!


These blocks are so much fun to make!
I set up my little ironing table right by my machine
and got into a good rhythm with the sewing and pressing
and really
never wanted to stop when it was time to.


Being my first OBW,
I didn't want to confuse myself with turning the triangles and deciding on the 'best' configuration,
so I just went with the blunted tip at center.

'scuse the extra crappy night-time phone pics

I got all 576 triangles sewn into 192 hexagon halves in 7 hours
over the course of 3 days,
then spent 3 hours sewing them into rows.

I've spent about a half hour pressing those,
and still have probably an hour to go.
Then I'll sew the rows together\and figure the rest out the quilt top from there.


Yesterday morning
I did the machine quilting on my stars and squares,
just a simple huge FMQ flower in each star block.


When I quilted my commission quilt,
I really had to fight with it to move it around,
not because of the size or weight,
but it just did.not.slide.
Every quilting session was such a workout.

I didn't want to fork over almost $50 for a Supreme Slider,
so I put on my thinking cap.
Well, 
actually,
 I just searched 'teflon' on Amazon to see what I might come up with.

I found some teflon pressing cloth things that might have worked,
but none of the reviews mentioned quilting.
Then I found teflon oven liners,
and a couple of the reviewers used them for FMQ.
so then I googled to see if I could find anyone else using oven liners for 
quilting slip and slides,
and lo and behold I found someone
(I forget who, sorry)
who had used a SS, but wore it out, and tried the liner 
and found it to be just as helpful.
I figured for $8.55 I'd give it a whirl.




People.
I can no longer consider my FMQ my workout.

I just cut out a little hole for my needle 
and cut a little curve for the side of my machine
and used a few pieces of masking tape to keep it in place
and I had myself a little ice-skating rink
for my quilt.


My arms are sore today,
but it's from an actual workout - with weights,
not fabric.



p.s. I have less than 1/2 of the binding to sew down,
so I may very well have a  delicious quilty finish to share on Friday :-)

Monday, July 20, 2015

preacher-man


My man preached yesterday.

I guess this isn't big news,
because he preaches with his life all the time,
but this was 'official'
speaking-in-front-of-the-congregation teaching/preaching.


He did a super job!
If you want to take a listen,
here it is.


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

halfway to Hadley


yep.
That's right.
Our little granddaughter, Hadley Blaire,
is half-way here.

:-)



Monday, July 13, 2015

yeah, I'm a slow learner


A few weeks ago, we made another dairy run.
(meaning - we drive 2+ hours one way to Clairemore, OK 
to buy delicious raw milk, cream and cheeses)

Cream is only available 2 days a week (Mondays and Thursdays).
They begin selling it at 10am, and it "sells out quickly".
Because I think raw cream from grass fed cows
turns my morning coffee into a delicious super food,
I want to be sure to get the cream.
It'd suck to get there and have them tell me "No cream"
so I like to leave well before 8
to allow for potty stops and such,
and still arrive with plenty of time to spare.
I usually buy the milk and start loading it in the coolers
and leave a kid in line to buy the cream.
Yes. 
There is a cream line
We raw milk people are serious about our cream :-)

This particular Monday,
I had failed to have everyone lay out clothes and shoes the night before.

The shoe choice matters, 
because we also include a trip to the Pryor park 
when the weather is cooperative.

Lexi couldn't find both tennis shoes.
She thought maybe she could wear her fur-lined boots.
Umm. 90ish degreees. No boots.
Sandals were out too;
all of her sandals are high heeled.

I sent kids in to help locate the missing shoe.

No luck.

We went through the 'where did you find the other one? look there. It should be near by.'
"It's gotta be somewhere..." ;-)

Still no shoe.

I was getting very aggravated.
We needed to be leaving!
So I went in to look for the shoe.

And I unearthed a ridiculously huge pile of clothes, toys, and blankets
from under the bed.
(but no shoe)
Can I just confess?
It did not go well.
I ranted.
I hollered.
I was
not
happy,
Parr!

We ended up leaving at 8:10
(she wore the boots)
and I was mad.

I hate leaving on a trip
- of any size -
when I'm angry.

And of course, I hated that I even was so angry.
And that I had behaved badly.
again.
: /

I apologized to the kids
(again)
and I prayed.

Honestly,
it was one of those days that I just wanted to quit.
Sometimes I get really tired of failing at this whole parenting gig.

I turned on the radio
(I switch back and forth between Klove and AirOne when they're in range)
and told God I really needed some songs that would calm my heart.

(Incidentally, with the exception of Sarah McT, nobody but Francesca can do justice to that song!)

I softened a little
but I was still really ticked.
With myself,
and with my irresponsible children.

A song came on that I wan't crazy about, so I switched stations.
Within minutes,
"Holy Spirit" came on again.

and then again
about a half hour later.

~

I've been working my way chronologically through the Old Testament 
this summer.
I tend to hang out in the books I love (James, Ephesians, Colossians...)
and not spend much time in the others.
Last summer, with the exception of Revelations, which I'd read recently
(but wouldn't claim to have any real understanding of)
I read / listened to the entire New Testament
(I must admit, and hope it isn't sacrilegious to say,
I got really tired of Paul for awhile.)

We sang that song in church yesterday,
and I looked up at Tyler and said,
"When God's presence filled the Tabernacle, the Israelites couldn't go in."
Ever since reading it, I was having a hard time reconciling how we could
ask God to fill the atmosphere with Himself
when The People had to leave when God came around.
(I know - dumb. But there you have it....)
He smiled and leaned over,
"Good thing you are the tabernacle."

ahhhh. yes!
A very good thing, indeed.
Thanks, Love, for reminding me.

~

I did finally calm down fully
the 3rd time "Holy Spirit: came on the radio.

And I hope 
to one day
 be so full of God and His presence,
that I don't get angry over stupid things like (horrendously) messy rooms.

Oh, 
and we got the cream.


Thursday, July 9, 2015

the big bandaid


You may remember that I kinda wore myself out
by biting off a little more than I could easily chew.

I persevered,
fought with my supposed-to-be-perfect blocks
(that weren't at all perfect)


But I also ended up not liking paper piecing at all.

it called to me,
pleading with me me to give FPP another try.

celestial_orbs_full
source

So I basically begged Sylvia to let me pattern test it ;-)


Things started off well enough.


Sylvia's pattern is very well written.
(she has a real gift for getting the point across succinctly.
I
do not possess this gift)
She used just enough illustrations to clarify,
and everything fit together perfectly.
(everything did not fit together perfectly on my previous FPP adventure. 
I may have mentioned... ;-)


Even the curves,
which are 'supposed' to be scary,
weren't scary at all!
In fact, I didn't even need to pin them as much as she recommended.

I did, however, find that I needed to put a pin on each side of my center pin,
otherwise the fabric shifted a smidge.


Okay.
So the paper piecing part went well.
And the putting them together with the melons part went well.


But then, 
I sorta ruined it.

Well, I didn't ruin it entirely;
it's a perfectly functional
patriotic table runner/topper,
but I did ruin the wow factor
and managed to turn it into 
- what my kids say - 
looks like a band-aid.


And let's face it, they're right.
I took a perfectly stunning piece
and made

giant bandaid.

{{ face-palm }}


Even so, 
I'm proud of myself.


I revisited hard for me things
- foundation paper piecing -

I tried new things
 - curves, pattern testing
(which is tougher than it sounds, for a girl who has a hard time following patterns)
and bias binding -
(I also made continuous bias binding for the first time)
I even tried a new FMQ design
which served as excellent practice for the commissioned quilting I started on last week.

(and really ~ after distancing myself from it for a week,
I've decided that it still is a very fine table runner.
It's just not quite as fine as it could have been...)

binding sewn down on the back by machine. 

I'm still not a huge fan of FPP,
but I am a big, big fan of this pattern.
but I hope to revisit the pattern at some point
and make a whole quilt
that really shines.


I think this pattern would be a  great way to dip your toes into FPP,
as the stars are not very complex.
(plus, combined with the curved piecing
they really pack a punch!)


So
tell me,
are you a paper piecer?

Linking up with 'happie' Amanda Jean :-)