Friday, June 26, 2015

table topper top

I finished the top :-)

I'm feeling like 
the large ovals are overpowering the stars.
(I'm guessing it's because it's such a small piece,
because I don't feel that at all when I see Sylvia's.
Or maybe it's the bold stripes.
Which, incidentally was the fabric that sent us to the fabric store last week)

I'm going to think on it a bit,
but I'm leaning towards trimming the ovals to a straight edge on the long sides,
but leaving the roundiness on the short ends.

p.s. turns out,
curves aren't anything to be scared of.

a kid designed dinner date

decorating with Bucky Balls

taking a picture of me, taking a picture of him

Oh, how I love this man!

Following a squabble,
which resulted in a major violation
(interrupting Mom's sunsoaking /quiet time when there was no emergency)
which resulted in a passionate (one-sided) discussion
about selfishness and laziness vs loving and serving others,
the kids decided that they were 'giving' Tyler and I a date.
(Never mind that we would rather just have them
get ready for, and actually go to bed
on time.)

There was dancing.
And fancy clothes.
And many (many) offers for more water/carrots/broccoli.

These pictures are blurry,
but they remind me
that as much as I feel like a failure as a mother
far more often than I feel like I nailed it,
my kids are okay.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

practicing, pattern testing, and paper-piecing

I'm not a big fan of paper piecing.
Foundation paper piecing, that is,

It's just so fiddly,
I think.

I kept forgetting which way faced 'out' and ever so carefully sewed the butterfly and the pearls facing inwards. 

When I was perusing some of the quilts in the Bloggers' Quilt Festival,
I happened upon this beauty
And I thought,
just maybe,
I might give FPP another whirl.

I  obsessively checked kept checking back to see if the pattern was available.

Sylvia sent me a note apologizing that she was a bit behind on releasing the pattern.
There was a little snafu with a pattern tester...

So I offered to be a pattern tester for her
(albeit a completely inexperienced one!)
in place of the one that got away.

But then I didn't hear back from her.

Until I did. 
Last Wednesday afternoon.
And she wondered if I was still interested,
and if I could get back to her with my results in 2-3 weeks.

I told her I couldn't pull off a whole quilt top in that time frame, 
but I could do a mini,
which should be plenty to tell how things work.

I'm happy to report that her pattern is super.
I'm still not a big fan of (foundation) paper piecing though.
(I think part of it, this time around, 
is that I have been so busy that I've only managed to work on it in tiny little chunks of time.
And I sorta feel rushed, because I decided to use an Independence Day theme,
so my deadline is approaching more quickly than hers.
Plus - the papers.
I hate peeling off the paper!
I think I may give this method a go, because I really do love the quilt!)

This will be my first time piecing curves.
So far, I haven't let myself get too nervous about it.
We'll see how I feel when I actually sit down to sew them...


I'd planned on settling on thread
for my commissioned project
(I ordered a couple of choices, and they arrived Saturday :-)
and practicing yesterday,
totally forgetting that we'd be gone a good portion of day  : /

Hopefully, I will be able to get to that today.
But then we'll be gone all day tomorrow,
so I won't be able to make much progress.

Linking up with Lee, paper piecer extraordinaire

Friday, June 19, 2015

girls with needles and thread

Yesterday morning found us at the fabric shop.

I needed 2/3 of a yard 
of a specific print.

(I'd already messaged Linda on FB to find out that she still had some...:-)

I love that Lex still has baby(ish) hands. Another year or so, and they'll be gone. See the above picture...

We left 45 minutes after we arrived
with way more than 2/3 of a yard of fabric.

I had to make the gas money worth it, ya know?

In addition to the bits I bought,
I also let the girls each pick out 2 fabrics and get 1/4 yard of each.

Lily said she'd rather get 1/2 yard of 1 print instead.

Another customer was there and she told the girls how proud she was that they sewed.
Which, of course, made them beam.

As soon as we got home, Lily got out her scissors
and Lexi turned on the iron.
(You know how that girl loves to iron!
She used mine, since it was out, but she has her own.
What 6 year old wants an iron for her birthday?!)

I cut Lexi's fabric for her since she was not at all pleased with her uneven scissor cuts.
(what girl who loves to iron would be?)

I also knotted her thread and got her started with a few stitches.
Beyond that, she did it all herself.

the back of  Lil's.     Girl's got some pretty even stitches!
This picture totally doesn't show it, but the flower centers (that look white) are yellow.

I knotted Lily's thread, too, 
and drew her stitching line,
but she didn't want me starting her stitches.

Lexi wanted to press her seams open, 
"Like you do"
but we'd glue basted her pieces (oh, I did that part too)
and while you can press a seam open that's been glue basted,
I encouraged her to press to the side.

Once I assured her that I sometimes press to the side,
and in fact had on my current quilt,
she was okay with it.

One of these days,
I'll teach them to sew with the machine.

(They've both told me multiple times, sometimes with a hint of a sigh,
that they could get a lot more sewn 
if they could use a sewing machine.)

But for now, 
I think hand-sewing is working just fine.
(plus, it keeps them busy longer...)

note that Baby Bunny is wearing a matching vest. 

Lexi has chosen her back,
so we've got to get her quilt basted and figure out how she'll quilt it.
I'm thinking maybe yarn ties.

Lily has already started on to her next project; a tiny patchwork quilt.
Her starting squares
are roughly an inch.

I love you, my little seamstresses.

linking up with Amanda Jean's FiuF
because even small finishes
are finishes.

Monday, June 15, 2015

miscellaneous Monday musings

Brandon is at camp this week.
He'll be home Friday afternoon, 
and in less than 48 hrs,
he'll leave again.

Who planned this?!

We already miss him like crazy.


I spent the last week or two 
thinking that Father's Day was the 14th.

I took the 3 youngest for a 3 hr shopping trip
 to finish up getting gifts.

When we got home, 
Brandon asked, "Do you think tomorrow is Father's Day?"
"Tomorrow is Father's Day!" I replied.

"Father's Day is the 21st." 

After I checked the calendar and saw that he was right,
I just laughed and laughed.
Lily said, "we're so dumb!"

The good news is,
we're all prepared for the real Father's Day,
and Daddy got to open a few gifts early
(I don't think his fish would have been real happy to wait)
we get two 'Father's Day Dinners'.


I've got some commission quilting lined up.
I think I'll be able to get it done in just a few weeks,
but right now, 
I'm just mulling and praying over 
to do.
And what color thread I want to use...

My client has full confidence in me.
I hope to make her proud.

Speaking of,
I got a sweet note from Rahab's rope the other day,

in use.

I can't tell you how happy (and teary) that made me.

I feel so, so blessed to be able to give this way.
(And it is such a special treat to receive a 'progress report'!)


If you live in the FSM area
and are in need want of a gel manicure,
I highly recommend visiting Christine
at the Style Shop in Stonewood Village.
(tell her I sent you :-)

I went to see her on my friend's recommendation
and had the prettiest nails I've ever had.
I'm scheming ways I can afford to get them done again...


When we went shopping Saturday,
there was a train.
I figured we could either 
take the long way to Fort Smith,
wait 5-10 minutes for the train,
or we could run to Rags (a consignment shop) real quick.

We choose Rags and hit the jackpot.
Lexi got a dress and a tunic and leggins,
Lily got 2 dresses and a flow-y top 
(Kac' - she has your taste in clothes)
and Josiah got a sports shirt and a black Polo for church.

I kinda hated that we didn't have time to look for me;
I feel certain we'd have found some good stuff.


I have to get some labwork done this week;
I've got an appointment with Dr Baker next week.

I'm feeling more 'even' than I've felt in ages,
but my even is at a much lower level than I'd prefer.
Hopefully, he'll have some ideas...

I'm soo much better than I was a few years ago.
and for that I am immensely grateful.


We've got some friends over this morning.
Kids just invaded my space,
so I guess I'm done here...

Friday, June 12, 2015

momma makes dresses

At 8:40 yesterday morning
I pulled out a stack of fabric and told the girls they could each design a dress.
(I'd already made my dress the day before.
And the day before that,
I'd made Lily one with the fabric that was left after cutting mine out
and on old t-shirt.
The evening before I made Lily's first (un-photographed) dress, 
I'd made a pattern for the girls'
from a dress we got at a yard sale last year,
enlarging it slightly.)

Lexi didn't want different fabrics for the bodice and skirt,
so I just combined the two pieces when I cut it out,
and changed the angle of the skirt portion slightly.

I sewed from 9 'til 11:45
and then for another hour and 45 minutes in the afternoon.
Knit sewing is the bomb. 
Wearing sewn knits 
is also the bomb ;-)

I didn't want to take the time to look for a matching (sewing machine) thread for Lexi's neck binding, 
so I grabbed the silk thread I've been using on the quilt, which matched one of the greens perfectly.
In hindsight, 
digging around for thread would have been faster.
I wasn't thinking I'd have to sew the armhole binding
to match the neck...

I could have skipped the binding on Lily's hem, and just turned it under instead,
which would have been faster,
but I really like how it ties everything together
and it makes the skirt flare nicely,
so I'm glad I took the extra time.

I normally am not a fan of the zig-zag stitch,
and rarely use it for topstitching.
I think it screams 'homemade'.
But on this, I thought it was the best option,
and I think it works.

For both of the girls' dresses 
I used the sew the folded in half strip of fabric to the wrong side
and fold it over onto the front method of binding.
In retrospect,
a double folded binding strip sandwiching the dress would have looked a little better.

Even though there are things I'd do differently next time,
I am so so pleased with all of these makes.
They may whisper hand-made with love
but they certainly don't holler homemade.
Momma loves you girls,
and I love sewing things that suit you perfectly!