Wednesday, May 21, 2014

in the works, part 2

So, I mentioned yesterday recently
my projects varying in how long they'll take
and even what tools are needed.

My next project is my long term (very long term) hand-sewing project for travelling, movie watching, etc.
It will be 110 English Paper Pieced (EPP) stars formed from joining six 60 degree diamonds
which will then be made into hexagons, by adding another six diamonds around the stars.
It will be sewn entirely by hand.

A friend cut my diamond papers (exactly the size I wanted!) using her cricut machine.
(thank you so, so much, Shannon!!)
Just the sight of all those diamonds makes me happy;
imagine my delight when they are covered in fabric :-)

I will not be purchasing any fabric for this quilt, 
with the exception of stripes - I have given myself permission to purchase 1/8 yard cuts of any stripes I deem suitable.

When I cut fabric for my red & white quilt, 
I went ahead and cut a 2 1/2" strip (which is perfect for cutting my fabric diamonds with a 3/8" seam allowance)
of most of the white fabrics 
and set some aside for fussy cutting.
I'm a little concerned that I'm going to end up heavy on the reds, so I'll have to watch that.

My only other criteria for the quilt is no purples,
although I may change that,
seeing as I do have some purple scraps...
I'm hoping it doesn't end up looking like a rainbow threw up.

If I can find the perfect thread, I do believe this could be my most enjoyable project ever,
so long as I continue to remind myself
that it is a long term project.


Swim suits for the girls, Lily especially, have moved to the very top of the project list,
though these won't take long at all.

(If you want to see other suits I've made, just go here, here,  and here.


I've also got a couple of little gifts in the works, which I can't show ;-)


I reorganized my fabric cabinet recently and was reminded of all the great clothes I've bought 
to remake into something even greater :-)
so I have decided to dedicate any Friday sewing that I am able to squeeze in, to refashioning.


I guess that's really not so many projects after all.
I suppose it feels like I have more in the works, because there are more rolling around in my head.
I'm mulling over fabric choices.
Do I want to buy an entire line of fabric that grabs me?
Or should I use scraps?
Scraps seem to be a fitting choice, being a farmer's wife and all, but I'm just not sure.
And quilt honestly, I'm a little intimidated at the thought of all those little pieces.
I'm hoping that my HST quilt will hone my piecing skills....

I ordered belts the other day for my vacuum.
They were an add-on item, so I just went through my Amazon wish list and found the item that would bring my total closest to $25,
which ended up being the One Block Wonder book.
Those quilts have just fascinated me since I saw one of Bruce Seed's on pinterest a year or so ago.
Now that I have read the book,
I can't wait to give it a whirl.
So, while I am not technically working on it at this point, it is occupying a great deal of my minimal brain space.
And I have been searching for suitable fabric....

So. That's what's in the works in the sewing department around here.

linking up with Lee's Work in Progress Wednesdays

our Marine!

Lance Corporal Tony L. graduated today.
At the top of his class!
And even received a letter of commendation
for "consistently performing his duties in an exemplary and highly professional manner
not commonly found in Marines of his rank and level of experience.
He earned the respect of senior officers and subordinates alike,
through his extensive self-study and commitment to excellence.
His attitude, diligence, and dedication
reflected credit upon himself
and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Marine Corps"

We're all pretty proud of him :-)
but gosh,
I miss him!!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

tkd additions

the girls have joined their brothers in TKD.

Less obvious to the uninitiated, perhaps, is the addition of the blue ribbon to Brandon's uniform.
Brandon has long been a huge help in class, and exhibits tremendous patience with the lower ranks
(well, with everyone...)
so what he's doing isn't new, but he has an official title (and a ribbon...) to accompany his actions:
Instructor in Training.

Love all of my TaeKwonDo people!

Monday, May 19, 2014

in the works

I've got multiple sewing projects in the works.
A few more than I'm comfortable with, actually,
but they vary tremendously in degrees of difficulty and time commitment, and tools required,
so I think I'm going to be okay.
My progress has been slower than I anticipated,
but then, 
what's new, huh?

(that needs a better name!)

I began with a bunch of prep work.
starching and ironing fabric (4 hrs, over the course of 3 days)
cutting my 56 reds and 22 whites into 232 7" squares (3.5 hrs in 2 cutting sessions)
which I then marked for sewing (1 hr)
and paired up and sewed 1/4 " on each side of both diagonally marked lines (4.5 hrs, divided (very unevenly) among 7 sewing sessions).
The sewn squares then got starched and pressed because they got all 'warbly', (1.5 hrs over 2 days)
stacked neatly,
and placed in a drawer.

Now that the prep work is out of the way
I'm choosing 2 of the sewn pairs from the drawer
and cutting them apart between the stitching lines, and also in half both horizontally and vertically.

Then I press the seams all open, and I have a pile of 16  HSTs

which I then trim into 2 1/2 inch squares

veeery carefully, so the corners are perfect.

After that, I grab my 'pattern',

decide which block I want to make,
and arrange the 16 HSTs on my little design board.

I take the design board over to the machine and chain piece pairs from left to right and top to bottom, 
(being careful to keep everything in order!) until I can't sew any more without pressing seams.
Then, I head to the iron and press all the seams open.

Racing the iron (it automatically shuts off - darn safety feature!)
I go back to the machine
and sew rows 1 and 2, and 3 and 4 together, pinning at all intersections,
then sew the final middle seam,
and head back to the iron (it usually wins, but I'm not giving up) and press those seams open,
give it one final shot of starch,
and one block is finished :-)

I've got 8 blocks finished so far, out of 56,

and each one (after all of the original prep work) takes about an hour.
Some have taken a smidge longer. My record to date is 50 minutes.
Since I've been timing myself every step of the way, I've noticed that I work most efficiently in very late morning or early afternoon. 
Just an interesting little observation...

This one is my favorite so far;  

That fabric was why I had to add some grey to the quilt.
(And I suppose, if you really want to be technical, black.)

This next block, though, I don't really care for.

I don't know if it was a poor fabric choice for the block, or if the stripes were just a poor fabric choice, period.
It doesn't help any that I didn't give any thought to matching up the stripes when I trimmed the blocks : /
I'm hoping it grows on me,
but if it doesn't,
and I suspect that is likely,
I will have to replace it with something less yuck.

This has gotten ridiculously long. 
I'll have to follow up with a part 2

I hate to end a post with ugly, so here is another block I am fond of. :-)

Linking up with the lovely Lee at FreshlyPieced

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Thursday, May 15, 2014

kid speak

Lexi told me this morning that she'd cleaned the toilet.
(And decorated it.)
She'd also wiped off the mirrors and the counter.

"I hope you cleaned the toilet last?" I said it as a question.
The look on her face answered for her loud and clear,
but she quickly recovered with,
"I didn't know I needed to. But I used soap!"

So we had a little lesson.
And I praised her efforts and initiative (before I re-cleaned the mirror and the counter)

(she didn't clean IN the toilet. just to clarify.)


Lily was bit by something several days ago.
Her shoulder/arm swelled up horribly and has been quite painful.
We've been putting a 'drawing paste' on it several times a day to help draw out the poison/venom/whatever you want to call it
and it's doing much better.
Brandon asked her this morning, "On a scale of 1-10 (with 1 being only hurts a little bit)
how does your shoulder feel?"
(we've asked this a lot the past few days.)
She answered, "Zero point 8."
"So long as that is less than 1."


Jeremiah got into some trouble and Momma was dealing very sternly with him.
(It was one of those infractions that we have absolute no tolerance for.)

Tyler's brother was coming to FSM
and we assumed he'd come to the house at some point,
but since I wasn't positive that he would, I didn't want the kids disappointed if he didn't,
so said, 
"It's possible he might not even be coming here."
When somebody asked what time Uncle Mitch would arrive.

Lexi immediately got concerned.
 "Coming where?" she asked.
"Here. Our house." Brandon told her.

Then she really got upset.

She thought I was talking about Jeremiah, not Uncle Mitch.

She thought it was possible that Jeremiah wouldn't be living here with us any more.


Lily took a pretend picture of me with her tiny lego camera.
"Don't worry, Mom; I didn't get your double chin in it."


(To be fair, she also tells me she can really tell all that working out is working.)


Lexi said she likes sleeping in my bed, because it 'smells like momma'.
"It smells nice?" I asked.
It smells like you."

(She said if very affectionately though ;-)

Saturday, May 10, 2014

baby chicks for mother's day


this time,
we didn't get them from Atwoods.

This is ever so much more exciting!!

Friday, May 9, 2014

wardrobe update needed?

I have worn my Old Navy stretchy pants
pretty much every day
since Novemberish - just like I told you I would.

My topside has varied from tank-tops to multiple long sleeved shirts,
depending on the weather, or how recently I exercised,
but the bottom half has pretty consistently been
black stretchy bottoms
(not that my actual bottom is stretchy... or black...
Oh never mind.)

when I woke up, 
I pulled on a skirt.
Not a nice skirt, mind you, a blue skirt I whipped up in about 20 minutes and it is so crappy,
(and not flattering!) that I never mentioned it here.
(I'm not sure if I've ever even worn it)

On my top half was a jammie top.
Not to be confused with my tank top - long sleeve shirt I often sleep in,
an actual purchased-in-the-pajama-department-from-target-before-we-went-on-vacation-two-years-ago
black and white jammie shirt. 

When Lexi saw me she said,
"Mom! You look so cute! Where are you going?"

I'm thinking that perhaps my wardrobe needs a little work.