Friday, May 29, 2009

are they planning a coup?

I think they may be trying to takeover some of my jobs.
It seemed so innocent.
"How about you teach me how to hand sew the bindings?"
Brandon asked.
"But I like to do the bindings!"
I protested.
"But I have a lot more time than you
so I could do it for you."
He has a point.
we started with a pot holder

cut, quilted and bound
by Brandon!
(I helped just a bit by machine sewing the binding on the first side)
Of course
it would never do to have both sides the same.
Jeremiah began telling me how easy it was to sew.
He'd watched me at naptime.
"All you do is move the needle in and out."
Um - there's a heck of a lot more to it than that...

He whipped out a make-up bag
as a graduation gift for someone special
so she can use it when she goes on vacation.
I drew a line on both sides of the fabric to show
where the needle should go.
I never thought to do this when the others
were learning to sew
but it sure was helpful!
We also made up a little ditty to help them remember
to not go around the fabric.
Up down up down
do not go a-round
up down up down
keep it on the line
(sad - I know..)
Not one to miss out on anything,
decided to make a little wallet
because his stuff sack doesn't have any pockets.
That boy can sew pretty quickly!
Brandon helped him with the snaps.
We do love our snap press!
There's a whole counter full sitting here....

I guess they aren't going to take over entirely

Thursday, May 28, 2009

rare gift

Our little Lexi is a night owl.
bedtime is around midnight
give or take an hour
but it wasn't long ago
that it was 2 am.
For about 3 weeks straight.
during that 3 week stretch
we visited with some friends who had just met Lexi.
We'd mentioned her keeping late hours....
One of my friends asked me, "Are you enjoying her?"
to which I, of course, responded, "Yep!" and smooched her neck
(Lexi's - not my friend's - gross)
and she added,
"Except at 2 in the morning..."
even at 2 in the morning
I have thoroughly enjoyed you!
Sometimes, especially at 2 in the morning.
I was laying on my bed just enjoying my girl this evening
and remembering a night
not terribly long ago
that Lana and I had talked until the wee hours of the morning
and then fell asleep holding hands
(Papa was in sleeping with the boys)
when I realized
what a truly rare gift I had been given.
Not many mommas have given away a daughter
and then birthed another.
Everyone says it, "They grow up so fast."
I have lived it.
I know.
Thank you, Lord
for all the hours I get to spend with this precious girl
all the hours I got to spend with her big sis.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

basted and ready to go

After multiple trips to both Hobby Lobby
and Hancock
and redesigning Jeremiah's quilt
it's ready for the quilting.
He wants straight lines
so I'm just going to do a simple 'X' on each block.
Should go pretty quickly.
(colors aren't right at all in this picture)
I still don't have a good method for basting.
the method is fine
I just don't have a good spot for it.
I can't make anything bigger than a throw size
while living here
'cause there is no floor space big enough to lay it out.
Tonight I tried the living room; I had to move the rocking recliner
but I had a bit more space than when I've used the kitchen.
it's barely big enough to get around to pin it.
I only caught the carpet 7 times.
Definitely better than having to mop the kitchen :-)
I have to decide
will I be good and go to bed?
or will I pull out the machine???

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

stuff sacks

Lots of creatin'
going on around here today.
We decorated the 'stuff sacks'
we bought a week or so ago when they were on sale for 1/2 off
Josiah was thrilled to find scraps leftover from his quilt to use.
Besides helping me with the little ones' bags,
Brandon did his
by himself!
(Ton' did his all by his-self, too :-)

Now we're ready for library days
and anything else we might need a bag for
I also made the first of Lana's four maternity shirts
that we bought fabric for.
When she plopped down all the fabric bolts,
I'd asked her,
"Are you sure you're going to want this many shirts
in the same style?"
She looked at me as if I'd lost my mind.
"Well, Momma. You are the one who taught me
when you find a shirt that fits right
you get one in every color that looks good on you."
so I did.
now we're making four shirts
and a dress
and she and Algie will look just lovely
in all of them!

Friday, May 22, 2009

I had to chuckle

when I went to grab the diapers off the line
and found this

that's my Brandon!

2 great giveaways

There are two giveaways going on
(that probably won't end up with a kajillion entries
so there's an actual chance of winning...)
I don't often enter giveaways
'cause I never win.
that's not entirely true.
One time I won.
It was in Germany;
the PX was giving away some Crayola art supplies.
Or maybe it was in Fayetteville and Wal-mart was giving away the goods
I got a call!
I had won a Crayola Carousel!
I was so excited
cause - you remember - I never win.
I rushed right over
to pick up my huge prize.
I was picturing the deluxe jobbie
with tons of markers, paints, and crayons.
Oh, the kids and I would have such fun!
I got a dinky red plastic round 'crayon holder'
and a box of 24 crayons.
wasn't even worth the gas to drive over and pick it up
The King's Missus is giving away a DVD of Dave Ramsey's
Town Hall for Hope meeting.
Smockity Frocks
is giving away a cute little purse.
I promise I won't be mad if I don't win.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

pooh love

Lily loves Pooh
(Tigger & Piglet, too)
and Momma loves Lily
(and playing with 'frabric')

music to my ears

"Hey Mom, thanks for the job!"
(Jeremiah, after he put clothes in the dryer)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Monday, May 18, 2009

are they all yours?

I actually don't get that question as often as you might think,
but when I do
I have a standard answer.
"Yes, they are all my
but they aren't all of mine."
(I've never gotten that question when we're all out together)
We were out today
buying Lexi a seat
(I would have gone with pink, but we didn't think
Lana would enjoy putting boys in a pink seat, so we stayed neutral...)
some fabric for Jeremiah;
he needs a quilt now, too.
not once
not twice
but three times today
we got the question.
And all three times
the 'askers' responded so sweetly!
They said how nice it was that we had so many children
and how well-behaved all the kids were.
Two of the ladies
made it a point to talk to each of the kids
which I found quite thoughtful.
thanks, kiddos
for being so good!
and in a fabric store - at that
I love you.
of you!

Friday, May 15, 2009

possible problem?

We may have a little problem on our hands;
she looks so innocent
but every day
we hear,
"I need to want a little bit of chocolate."
she drags out the first syllable "chaaaacklit"

and this one
looks like she's already had her chocolate


love my girls!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

my first, and probably only, tute

Remember the dress?
not that one

I've finally made time to put together a tutorial for it
especially for Mrs. Jo
For each wear-any-way dress you'll need:

2 fabrics 1/2 - 1 yd depending on length desired
(both fabrics will need to match or at least coordinate with the FOE)
2/3 -1 yd Fold Over Elastic aka FOE
1/4 - 1/2 yd other elastic - 1/2" is good
I've broken this down into tiny steps
you may be able to skip some of them...
you should be able to click on any photo to enlarge it

record measurements

you'll want length from about 2" above chest to knee,
or however long you want the dress

across the chest - where you want the shoulder straps to hit

and around the shoulder / underarm

using the length measurement, cut your fabric nice & straight.
Be sure to add a seam allowance.
I use 1/4" seams for everything; use what you like.

Lily's dress (minus shoulder straps) needs to be 17"
so I cut it at 17 1/2", because there is a top and bottom seam.

Making sure that both pieces of fabric are the exact same width
trim off the selvedge edge

Lay one fabric on top of the other
and fold the folded sides over towards the selvedges
Your fold should be 1/4" (or whatever seam allowance you choose)
away from the selvedge.
The selvedge will be your one side seam,
the fold will be the other side - no seam

Cut a backwards 'J'
(these will be the bottom half of the arm holes)
going in 3-4" on the side and 3 1/2 - 5" from the top
(this will be determined by your shoulder/u.arm measurement)

for Lily's I went down & in 3 1/2"

it's much harder to write instructions that it is to sew the dress;
I hope this is making sense!

This is what it will look like all unfolded.

makes more sense now, huh?

Sew the two front/back sections - right sides together

Realize that you should not be trying to sew and create a tutorial
at 4:20 when you should be cleaning the house & fixing dinner
because you will mess up in your rush.

Tear out seam & re-sew

not perfect, but good enough

Sew the bottom.
It should be pretty well lined up already.

Thank your sweet baby for being such an angel.

Iron your seams open.
Or is it 'press' your seams?
Using your iron, press open the seams. How's that?

Turn dress right side out
and run the iron over the seams again for good measure

my underarm doesn't look quite deep enough.
Better take it down another 1/2"

Top stitch both front/back sections.
Your stitching should be 1/4" or so from the seam.

Dig through your elastic & find a piece that looks like it'll do.

Cut 2 pieces of elastic based on chest measurement;
don't forget to add seam allowance.
Always stretch elastic a bit before measuring and cutting.

Sew another seam, parallel to the first one.

You are creating the casing for your elastic
so the width of your elastic
will determine how far apart these 2 rows of stitching are.

This part is just a tad tricky.
Not really tricky, just a tad.

You do it just like you would a side seam on a lined bodice.
Find the 2 bottom corners

(see - not so bad...)

and pin the side together at the bottom seam - right sides together.
You'll be sewing the 'tube' closed;

inside fabric gets sewn to inside fabric & outside gets sewn to outside
(as if there were an inside or outside to this dress!)

Starting at the top 'inside', sew down to the bottom
Agh -watch the pin!
continue sewing through the bottom & back up to the top of the 'outside'.

Reach down in there & get that seam pressed open.
Ironed open.

Turn it right side out.
Or wrong side out, if you want.
all seams should be inside the dress
surely you know what I mean.

It's almost looking like a dress, now, huh?!

Begin threading elastic through the casing.
Don't pull it all the way through;
stop when the back end is lined up with the edge of the casing

Admire the frog your 5 yr old is so proud of.

sew back and forth a few times
1/8" or so from the edge,
securing that elastic - you don't want it going anywhere!
Pull elastic all the way through and secure.
Do the same to the other front/back.
it's really taking shape ~ good job!
Cut your FOE, using your shoulder/underarm measurement
again, remembering seam allowances.
With right sides together, sew, then trim off corners

Fold your sewn FOE in half, then in half again
and mark the 'quarter' points.
In the above picture, the left side will be your shoulder
the pins will line up with the tops of the dress
and the seam - on the right of picture - will be the underarm.
You might want to do a quick zigzag along the underarm seam
to keep both layers of fabric together
and keep if from fraying as you apply the FOE.
Oh, that sweet babe is just being so good!
Stop and enjoy her for a few minutes.
Folding the FOE, so that it encloses the fabric,
pin it on, lining it up as described above.

Begin sewing at the top of dress.
Make sure that your needle is going through both sides of FOE.
(see here for a great tutorial on applying FOE)
a zig zag is best for sewing this part;
you can switch to a straight stitch if you want to
when you get back around to the strap section.
you'll probably really need to s t r e t c h that FOE!

almost done.
If your machine sews a stretch stitch
you might want to use it on the strap section.

She can't wait to try it on!

so pretty!
okay, let's turn it around and try the other side

and she's off

oh, she's back.
Now she'll see how the other side fits.

and she will do it by her self!


One more little tip:
You might want to ascertain if there is an 'up' to your fabric
before you cut & sew.
Unless you like butterflies
flying upside down.
just a note about the FOE:
The plush (wider) FOE is preferrable for this project
to the 'shiny' (skinnier) FOE.
You could also use double fold bias tape instead of the FOE;
just gather your dress at the underarm before sewing on the tape.
The shoulder strap won't be nealy as soft
and, obviously, it won't stretch any,
but if you don't have any FOE, bias tape will work just fine.

I probably managed to make it seem difficult,
but this dress really is easy to make.
I made this one in an hour and twenty minutes
including taking pictures as I went
(believe it or not - I deleted a ton!)
and tearing out that one seam
and I am not a speedy seamstress!
Please send me a link to a picture if you make this
I'd love to see your creations!