Friday, March 31, 2017

baby TOMs, sort of

While the guys went kayaking on the Buffalo
at the tail end of Spring Break
(which I hope to post about soon)
the girls and I went to stay with Marin and Milo.

I knew I'd have lots of time to sit and hand quilt
while Marin was busy with the baby)

While there,
Marin mentioned that Milo's feet were disproportionately large
(he is a rather petite little guy)
and none of his shoes fit his long narrow feet.

So while his mama was otherwise occupied,
Lily grabbed some paper and a pen
and I quickly traced one of his feet.
Then she hid the evidence in her purse,
so Aunt Marin wouldn't know we were up to anything.

You see,
Saturday is Milo's 1st birthday!
And I hadn't yet come up with a good gift idea,
but she handed me one on a silver platter;

I could make shoes!

In trying to find the pattern I've used in the past to make shoes,
and they were just too cute not to try.

Too cheap thrifty to buy the 'sized' pattern,
I opted to enlarge the free baby pattern
(although I could have just as easily shrunk the toddler one)

I used Essex linen in steel for the outer,
a charcoal stripe that I'd used in Milo's quilt for the lining
and some red suede for the soles.

The tags were made with twill tape, 
a blue fabric marker,
and a super fine felt tip pen.

It seemed like my uppers were going to be too tall,
so I took off 1/8 in height all the way around before sewing
them to the soles.
(resizing shoes isn't as simple as just enlarging the pattern)

I think they turned out super cute,
and the girls and I have squealed over them many times.

As adorable as they are,
they took waay too long to make, 
so I don't foresee making these for just anybody
though I will definitely have to make a pair for Hadley,
'cause both her mama and daddy wear TOMs

I decided to make a little drawstring bag
to wrap them in,
and I like it almost as much as the shoes ;-)

Happy Trails, Milo!
We all love you so much!! XOXO

Thursday, March 30, 2017

let her go, but not

Brandon made this parody of Let Her Go
during Spring Break.

If you aren't terribly math-y (um - me!)
you'll want to watch it with the captions on....

I may be a little bit biased, but I think he did a pretty good job ;-)

Thursday, March 23, 2017

flowering snowball finished top!

I told you the other day
that whenever I had a moment, I sewed.

And ya'll probably thought I was finishing up Jordan's quilt.

But I wasn't.

I was making a new one!

I really wanted a 'palette cleanser'
after that quilt.

Don't get me wrong,
I loved making it,
but as I've said before,
it's a little stressful to sew to other people's specifications.

I don't want to mess up their vision for their quilt.

I've had a few small projects sprinkled in here and there,
(Like Milo's and Hadley's quilts, oh, and Brycen's quilt
among other things)
but I started Faith and Freedom last January,
which was a pretty intensive quilt,
and as soon as I finished it,
I turned my attention to On the Wild Side,
and as soon as that was finished,
I immediately got going on Stars for a Star.

So you see,
 I was really ready for a fun project that didn't require a ton of thought.

I've wanted to make a flowering snowball quilt
ever since I saw Mary's over 2 years ago.

It was time.

I cut all of the white fabrics 
I needed 2 weeks ago, 
after I'd run out of thread
6 hours away from finishing the quilting on (swoony) Stars for a Star.

But then
I didn't get going on the colored fabrics,
because I sorta panicked.

A flowering snowball is nothing but curves.
And the only curves I've sewn,
beside in garment sewing
(which I don't do a ton of
and half of what I do sew - is sleeveless)

The other thing that held me back was
the fabric mess.

I knew I wanted to use a ton of different fabrics,
and that was going to create quite a mess.

I decided to sew a test block,
just to see just how hard it was going to be.
And you know what? It wasn't hard at all!

And I suddenly wanted to start on my quilt immediately!
(by then, Jordan's quilt was finished
except for hand-sewing the binding down)

But I still had 224 pieces of fabric to cut.

Thursday morning,
after coffee,
I started going through fabric.

I went through one drawer, or  bag, or a basket at a time,
and cut 1 piece
from every fabric that I chose,
then immediately folded it back up.
Once all fabrics were cut from each drawer, bag, or basket
(my fabric is stored all over the place!)
I returned all of the folded pieces.

It took the entire day,
between school
and chores
and cleaning up after myself,
but by bedtime,
I had all of my fabric cut
and put away!

This is getting too long.

The Reader's Digest version of the rest is -
I made a quilt top in less than a week.

1 set of templates
504 pieces
279 different fabrics
4 hrs of seam ripping (it. was. ridiculous.)
1 - 63"x72" quilt top
6 days.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

exciting news!

I have been staying quite busy lately.
I have a few things to blog about,
but whenever I've had the time to sit and type something up,
I've chosen to spend it sewing.

But -
I had to pop in here real quick
with Brandon's exciting news.

He was notified yesterday
that he was selected
as the Mechanical Engineering Freshman of the Year!!

I am so very happy for him!
He has been so disciplined
and diligent and dedicated
and I'm thrilled that he is being recognized for it!

Truth be told, 
I'm also a bit tickled
as y'all know,
he wasn't awarded the Engineering scholarship,
and he really should have been,
so it feels rather validating.
And it's highly likely
that the jerk gentleman 
who turned him down for the scholarship,
will be the one honoring him at the awards ceremony,
and I am just human enough
to take great pleasure in the idea of him eating crow.

But mostly,
I am super super proud of my boy!!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Lily's blocks

As you know,
and they are sewing along with Amy's girls (sorta)

As with Lexi,
the first block Lily made was the log cabin.
(she has a fabulous 1/4 in seam!)

It was quickly joined 
by a block of our own design,
Calico Dress.

I simply drew a dress 
and enlarged it,
then traced it onto the back of fabric that we'd 
adhered lightweight interfacing too.

After cutting out the dress,
we glue basted it onto Lily's background fabric of choice,
and she sewed it on with invisible thread.
Then she added some stitching,
to define the waistband,
and give the appearance of gathers and folds in the skirt.

That was when she learned about pulling your top thread
to the bottom
for knotting,
instead of locking stitches with the sewing machine.

Black Susan was a super fun block to make,
and in making it,
Lily learned (one way) to make half square triangles.

When cutting the fabric, 
I realized I could eliminate 2 seams,
which made it even easier to put together.

The girls wanted a black fabric that wasn't entirely solid,
and when we couldn't find anything locally that was suitable,
I ordered  'black dress' Basic Grey Grunge
because we all agreed it was perfect.

Lil' started working on her next block,
(another one that we've added)
by sewing it as leaders/enders,
and she's already pieced a good chunk of it.

Lexi's sewed her dress block also,
and most of Black Susan.
We'll share them when she's finished.

We're having a great time 
reading and sewing
and I admit to considering
more than once,
catching up with them,
and making a Little House quilt
right along with them.

A sweet friend gave us a hard cover copy of 
On the Banks of Plum Creek,
and we've decided we'd like to own matching hardbacks
of all of the Little House books,
so if you happen to have some that you no longer want,
we'd be happy to take them off your hands :-)

Little House in the Big Woods, first 3 blocks

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

tidbits on a Tuesday

I'm getting close to finishing Jordan's quilt.
The quilt I've been working on since October...

I was sewing merrily along tonight,
and bam!
I ran out of thread.
Not bobbin thread, mind you;
my whole entire 1,000 meter thread spool.


This is especially maddening,
because Brandon has 242 on Tuesday nights,
and gets home 11ish.

Tyler usually uses the opportunity to head to bed early,
while I usually use it
to stay up late
so I can visit with him after he gets home.

Needless to say,
I won't be sewing while I'm waiting up for him



(I'm having a hard time letting that go)


I put out an SOS on FB,
asking for some tried and true ideas
 on what to do with leftover dark meat.

I usually roast 2 hens a couple of times a month.
One gets eaten for dinner and a lunch for Tyler and Brandon,
and the other one is usually made into chicken salad (the white meat)
and soup (the dark meat).

The problem with this is,
Lily does not like soup.

She never complains; she just barely eats.
She'll thank me.
and say it was pretty good,
and that she wasn't very hungry.
But really - she just doesn't like soup.
and most especially,
she doesn't like chicken in soup.

I got several suggestions on my FB request.
what I failed to add,
which you all know,
we don't eat breads and pasta as a rule.
Which is what most of the suggested meals included.
not counting things that have, say, velveeta,
or spaghetti noodles,
or bread or toast,
what do y'all like to do with your leftover dark meat??


The girls worked a bit on their quilt blocks today.
They are really making me want to make a Little House quilt, too!

Or maybe it's just that I want to piece something
instead of quilt it...

(I've not been thrilled with my quilting...)


Brandon made a catapult recently for his engineering class.
They could only use PVC and glue.

He's pretty practiced in making things out of PVC,
so it was just a matter of figuring out the best design.

He'd work on it (and leave it) out in the house, 
since all the tools are out there.

Our HVAC guy told us he'd look at these creations,
and wonder what the heck kind of plumbing we were doing.

Brandon's catapult tied with another for first place,
blowing the previous record by 50 ft!!

He didn't get to hold the record for long, though,
because  a student in the next class
totally blew his record out of the water.


My elbow is ever so slowly improving.
I can hold my coffee cup and drink from it with my left hand.

For the most part, I still have to 'T-Rex' it, though,
and keep my elbow pretty close to my body.

I admit I'm getting rather impatient for total recovery;
I really need my strength 
and full range of motion
for working on the house!
I have been a total slacker in that department,
but now that it's not freezing out there,
I need to get back at it!