Wednesday, July 26, 2006

New PJ's





















Along with outgrowing shoes, Little Boy is also outgrowing his clothes! I made him this pair of winter (flannel) PJ's this week. He picked out the fabric - actually he wanted 2 different prints and I told him we could go back to the store to get the 2nd print after I finished the first pair. Because he is in constant motion these days it was a bit hard to get a photo that isn't totally blurry- the fabric has rockets and planets on it.

The pattern is Simplicity 8493. Personally, I don't think Simplicity patterns have a nice fit, and are sometimes clunky, but since PJ's are fairly easy - I went ahead and bought the pattern. And sure enough - The pant legs and sleeves both had this weird flange thing going on - so I chopped that off - who needs that? And, the waist came up under Little Boy's armpit - even though he is within the height range for the pattern! The pant leg itself is just about right - next time I will add extra take up room. The sleeves are too long (which is fine - just tuck the extra up inside and then you have room to let it out later - and I don't use elastic at the bottom of the sleeve like the pattern does). I use 1/2" elastic on the waist band instead of the called for 1/4" - that just seemed way too narrow to me. And, the bottom of the shirt is like a huge A-frame tent and maybe a bit on the longish side. Hummm - got to take that in next time around. The pattern calls for 3 buttons up the front, but I don't use buttons - I use 2 velcro dots - so much easier! I will say though - the top is a neat and easy design - just a pull over and then you lap one side over the other, so I would still recommend the pattern for that alone!

All I can say is that I am happy that I know how to sew clothes - a beginner might be frustrated with these things! If you don't sew alot, Very Easy, Very Vogue is my favorite line - very easy to understand, great instructions, good fit, etc. etc. Oh - and a tip - when I start to cut out a pattern I put the cut pieces into a good sized freezer bag (the zip lock kind). Freezer bags are excellent for patterns!

Anyway, for 2 yards of fabric Little Boy has new PJ's and there is even a bit of fabric left over to go toward quilting! So, now that I know the pattern and know the adjustments to make - we are going to go back to the store and get another print so I can make up another pair. In my free time, ha, ha, ha!










Saturday, July 22, 2006

Just a Rainy Day






















Rainy days with a busy 3 year old keeps this Momma on her toes trying to think up fun things to do. Here is one of our projects from yesterday while it was raining.

And - we HAD to make a trip to Wal-Mart. The day before yesterday when we were out running our errands Little Boy was complaining about his foot and insisted that I carry him. Hummm - new shoes? Yup - he has grown 2 sizes since May when I bought him a pair of sneakers and summer shoes. 2 sizes - no wonder his feet were hurting! I had the shoe person measure his foot just to be sure. So, new sneakers and socks, plus summer shoes were bought. He NEEDS sneakers and socks because we do lots and lots of hikes and I like to make sure he has good support for those growing feet!

And, like all good trips to Wal-Mart - you always come home with more than what you went for originally - lookie what I got! This book was marked down to $20 Canadian from $30 - almost the price of a magzine! And, it is full of great patterns - at least 5-6 that I would consider making, so that is a good deal. I've had a chance to look through it and I am now thinking about cutting down some of my fabric yardage into fat quarters... when - I have no idea - but it is a thought I am playing with. It just might make some of that fabric a bit more usable - or in my case - portable!

And today is a bit cooler and not raining - so I'm off to pack our cooler (we never leave home without it!). We are off to discover a new walk - he has lots of pent of energy to run off after yesterday and some fresh air will do my nerves good! After yeserdays downpour - the inside of my car (yes, the one with the fixed leaking windshield) is now soaking wet. A call to the repair shop - possibly a seam underneath split open when the big tree squished the car over the winter... sigh.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

A flower bed

















This flower bed was planted just last summer and is starting to take hold. You can see my much loved hens & chicks taking off like crazy in the forefront, but there is also lillies, a butterfly bush, creeping flox, hostas in the back, impatiens, begonias, and maybe a few other plants. Things might have to be re-arranged in another year or so - right now I am just watching and seeing how the plants like where they are. A good garden is usually a 3 year plan and then some! The hens & chicks, flox and butterfly bush are thriving, but I am thinking the lilles need a bit more sun - so I'll probably be moving them and putting bleeding hearts there instead.  Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

On to the Borders!

















One seam at a time, I am making progress on my green Ocean Waves. I think that it was 3 nights ago that I pinned the final 2 seams. Last night I got around to sewing those 2 seams. Setting the blocks together is my least favorite part of the process, so I am happy to have this part done! On to the borders. Maybe, just maybe I might cut out the 1st set of borders tonight. If I can do just 1 little thing at a time - well, it adds up over time! And right now, it is so hot that 1 little thing is all that I have the energy to do at days end! Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

1 Year of Progress
















Here is a photo of my poor little "weed patch" - last year. This is an enclosed area which, years ago, was a swimming pool. Since this photo last year we have replaced the broken rick-rack on the side, painted the wall, built an enclosed rubbish bin (it is now in the top left corner), replaced the gate with a swinging gate that the tractor could fit through, built the flower planters... and took care of any and all weeding problems permantly...



















Ta-Da! We put concrete over the entire thing!!! We had the metal rim removed for a cleaner finish. Just out of sight - off to the left bottom is the kitchen door, so it is only sensible that this "garden" is now an herb garden. The planters are all planted with basil, rosemary, st. johns wart, chives, thyme, etc. Still to come is some sort of small evergreen shrub in the empty part of the planter on the bottom. We kept the grand-daddy rhubarb plant intact (bottom left). Next up will be removing those shallow planters you see in the forefront - I didn't bother to plant them this year because the plants get cooked - the boxes are too shallow and sit on that heat absorbing concrete... My plan is to continue lattice work to provide a "screen" and then put pots of climbing plants underneath. We will build a "housing" for the hose, put up some sort of picnic pagoda for shade and move table, chairs and gas grill out into this area. Also, I've got to do something about the curtains in the laundry area... slowly but surely. We've been at this property for 3 years now and we are starting to see progress! All in all, I am pleased with the progress we've made out here - because it is a bit low priority compared to some other things!

On the sewing front - I PINNED 2 seams yesterday. Maybe I will get around to sewing them sometime today... Slowly, but surely!!!

Monday, July 17, 2006

My "flycatcher"

















Just a goofy little post about my "flycatcher". Works like a charm to suck up flys that are flying around the windows and as an added bonus - you don't have to clean up squished bugs! Can you see the flys in there? (Yes, it is a cordless/battery charged hand-held vacume - a very handy item for any Momma to own!) Posted by Picasa

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Haiku's



One thing I like to do is to make up Haiku's during the day. It is a little game I like to play in my head... but, I never write them down, so I guess I should make a start - meaning - slow down and write it down! I take time to stop and take photos of nature, so a Haiku to go with the photo would be nice. There are some "rules" to Haiku's but the basics are 5 sylabols, 7 sylabols and 5 sylabols - in 3 lines, and you need something to define the "season". Haiku's are usually about nature. And, you should have some sort of a pause somewhere at the end of one of the lines. Anyway, those are the rules I go by, I am sure there are more or less depending upon how far you want to go with it.

So, here is a photo of a Maine vista... I love driving along the rolling hills of the Northeast - you never know what you will see over the next hill. I've driven by this particular view several times, but I was either driving something too big to pull over or Little Boy was sleeping and one thing you never want to do - wake up a sleeping toddler during a road trip! But, on my last trip - lucky me, I was in my car, he was awake and I had my camera up front (not buried somewhere in the trunk). So, I pulled over and snapped this picture. And here are a few Haiku's to go along with...

A gray Summer's dusk

Thunderclouds are gathering

Where is the bugspray?

Beautiful vista

Oh, peace and tranquility

Summer night descends

Big tree longing for

Green mountains in the distance

Silver stream divides

Well, for some reason, Blogger is double spacing all my lines - oh well - you get the idea. Gosh, I could go on and on forever with different variations, so I will stop there. But, I will make an effort, at least once in awhile, to write a Haiku to go with some of my photos.

Come play with me! Making up Haiku's is fun!

On the sewing front - I pinned and sewed some more sections together for my Country Wife stars - next time I sit at the machine I will finish up 2 more stars. Slowly, but surely! Really not that much sewing going on... the weather is just wonderful and I love spending any and all of my "free" time outside with Little Boy! He is so full of fun, so excited about everything (and into everything for that matter), and busy, busy, busy. By the time he goes to bed I am just about tuckered out myself! Did I mention that he is a busy boy? Yesterday we had a little disagreement over whether the computer was hungry - he opened the disk drive and was trying to feed (sharing) the computer crackers - yikes! And how did he grow into this very busy boy so quickly anyway? I was just looking at some of his baby photos... he has grown so fast! I have to stop and hug him and smell him and try to remember him this way forever because tomorrow he will be different. Not to worry - I will love him to pieces tomorrow too, I just want to be sure to savour every moment along the way.

Seasons come and go

Little Boys grow into men

The pathways of life

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Happy Boy!





















Here's my happy boy with his new train quilt - all finished, including his name and year written on the back with a pigma pen!

The blue fuzzy fabric was hard to sew, but I managed with my walking foot and a bigger seam allowance. And - it made things a bit crooked... It won't win any "awards", but it sure wins a special spot in Little Boy's heart, which is really all that matters anyway! I stitched in the ditch along the outside of the novelty panel - just enough stitching to hold it together straight for washing.

Even though I didn't like the blue fabric (except it is ever so soft) - it was worth the effort - he loves it! Look at that smile!!!


More info: The final border is maybe a velour? Not sure! The backing is flannel. Posted by Picasa

A Discovery!






























Well, surprise! I do have an antique Singer sewing machine afterall! On June 21st Jeanne over at Spiral was sharing her wonderful antique Singer. At that time I commented that I thought I had a sewing machine in my hall, but I wasn't exactly positive because - believe it or not - in 3 years, I have never stopped to look to see if there was a machine in the cabinet! Does that give you any kind of idea of how ridiculously BUSY I usually am? The house in Canada was purchased partly furnished and this is something that came with so maybe that helps explain it all, but still - you would think that I would have looked sooner!

Anyway, I am always running off to do something when I go by this cabinet and truth be told, I probably would not have gotten around to looking further this year (or next for that matter) except that Jeanne got my curiosity up enough to s-l-o-w down today for a second and take a look. And, this is what I found...

For those of you who are curious, the serial # is G8841317. I know I could track down the year, model, etc., etc. - but that will have to wait until I have time. Time, what is time? Well, maybe some day I will have the time to investigate this little discovery a bit further - it isn't like it is going anywhere!

Speaking of s-l-o-w-ing down, last night was a wonderful warm evening. After Little Boy was in bed for the night and the days agenda complete, DH and I had a chance to sit out on our porch, enjoy each others company a little and just relax. It felt good!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Quilty Projects of the Day...






















Of course, the very same day I figure out how to get a No New Projects list over on my sidebar (a bit jumbled, but there) - I start a new project! But, I have a good reason and it WILL be done by tomorrow anyway, so this is just a little scenic detour in my UFO/WIP good intentions. You see, everytime I go fabric shopping, Little Boy also picks out some fabric for himself. And, this little quilt kit was his latest acquistion... except I thought it was a fat quarter bundle, not a little quilt kit (the finished quilt measures 30X36 - that center panel is 13X19 and surrounded by a series of 3.5" borders).

So, anyway, today I get around to washing and drying my purchases (backgrounds, borders and backings - all from my list... oh, and maybe a little fat quarter or two and a few 1/4 yard cuts of geometrics for my octagon flowers - but all fabric to go toward current projects. And, won't you know - Little Boy is able to sort through everything and pull out ALL the fabrics in this quilt kit. "Momma, make MY train qluilt, pleeeaasseee". I start to press the fabric for him and then realize - hey, this is not fat quarters - it is all different sizes. Off to the laundry room trash to take a 2nd look and sure enough, directions for a Cuddly Quilt (the final border is a very soft plushy dark blue and the backing is light blue and white stripped flannel). Oh, and - I find the price tag is $20 for this little bundle so I guess I better get busy and get the thing together before he outgrows it, right? He has FINE taste in fabrics, alright!

And - the photo shows exactly how far I did get on the project before he went to bed. He refused to go to bed without it, so I can't work anymore on it tonight, but tomorrow I will add the final border, sew the front to the back ( the fastest method I know - right sides together , and then turn right side out - cringe!) and stitch in the ditch around the borders. It WILL be done. No binding at least and no batting - it is hot anyway, so I don't think batting is necessary. Actually, I don't really think ANOTHER quilt for Little Boy is necessary - his bed is already piled sky high with beds, but what is a Momma to do? And, look how cute it is! AND, Little Boy loves it! How could I not drop all other projects and whip this together for my little, adoring "qluilt" fan?






















And here is a photo of the Overall Sam block that my Nana made for me ages ago! I am so happy that I found it so I can include it in my sampler. The top block is a block that I made several years ago as part of a block swap. We were to swap 12 of these blocks in civil war repros and after I made my 1st test block - I decided not to join in the swap. The block was complicated to make and I was happy with my just one, so I stopped there! So, these 2 blocks are going to be added to my sampler.







This is a photo of the last quilt "kit" I cut out for my winter sewing. 20 yellows - all from stash. I bought the co-ordinating 3 fabrics over to the right to go with. I try to cut a little bit each week and am happy that this one is now the 4th "kit" that I've got ready to go now... so tempting to start sewing on them NOW, but no, no - this is for my winter sewing! Did you read that right? FOUR kits - I really am STASH BUSTING!

I know that looks like lots of sewing, but really, I only added 2 borders to a novelty panel, found 2 blocks and finished cutting a "kit" that I've been working on getting cut out in bits and pieces. In other words - not much sewing going on here! Little Boy prefers to be outside "helping" Momma with the flowers... I will have to post some photos of those projects another day.

Oh, but before I go - Thank You for all the kind offers to keep me company with my UFO/WIP Country Wife challenge. It may be a funny thing, but it really is going to help me keep going at it knowing that some of you are going to keep me company!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Country Wife - a challenge


















Little Boy loves the "roads" on this top - I had to work fast to snap this photo before my blocks got all out of order! This Country Wife top is one of my UFO's that I have been picking away on over the past month. I started it last summer and left it in Canada over the winter while I was in Austria - so it isn't too old, but I am anxious to get it done! The connector blocks are scrappy blues and went together very easily. 1/2 connector blocks go along the outside edge and 1/4 connector blocks go in the corners - this will give the outside edge of the quilt a dark blue "border". I have all the connector blocks done!

It doesn't show too well in the photo, but the star centers are scrappy pastel 4 patches. The star points are all the same dark purple fabric. I know I will run out of that purple fabric so I recently bought some more purple fabric (not a match, but hey, at least it is the same color!). All the fabrics came from my stash except the new purple.

But - the stars are giving me fits. You see, for the life of me I just can't remember which way to sew them together. For each and every star I have to lay the cut pieces out on top of a finished star and then pin. And I even have to refer to a finished star for which way to press the seams! Ugh! I don't know why this star is such a struggle for me because the pattern itself is simple enough... does this ever happen to you? Altogether I need 20 stars and I now have 10 complete, plus 2 are 1/2 done. Every time I sit down to sew on my Ocean Waves quilt I force myself to work on a star at the same time.

I would dearly love to just start a new project. But, no, no, no - I am going to stick it out and finish my Ocean Waves and Country Wife tops. It is taking will power though and I keep having to remind myself that it takes less time to finish a UFO than to start something new. Plus, it feels so good to finish something. AND, my big reward to myself for finishing them is shipping them off to be long arm quilted! I like this quilt top so much I just might have to keep this one for myself too!

But, I sure could use some company to get me through this one... so, if you have a UFO in the back of your closet that gives you fits too, please get it out and keep me company! I need company!

 Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

A garden grows and my new blog!
















My camp garden bed as of yesterday... I am pretty pleased with it, but next year the climbing vine has got to go! It is breaking apart the lattice a bit. And, I think I will fill in some bare spots with bleeding hearts and maybe a few other goodies (like some more color!)...















And this is a photo of the same flower bed in early May! I know - I've got to put flowers in that little planter you see in the foreground, but it makes a handy spot to stow the garbage... Next year I will put some sort of sweet potatoe vine arrangement there.

Other breaking news for the day... I have created a new blog where I will post what I've been cooking. It is at www.starfishyskitchen.blogspot.com - I also put a link over on my sidebar.

Come check it out! I am not a super cook, but I can and do cook. My style is a combination of fresh and home-made mixed with time-saving boxed mixes and I like to try to have a complete meal done in about 30 minutes or less.

OK - I'm off to browse through my NEW Quilt Sampler magazine that DH just brought home from the store for me! Aw, what a sweetie!!!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

A sampler...






















When I first started to quilt a bit seriously, I signed up for a few block swaps on Prodigy (about 1989 or 1990). Remember when computers had gray screens and orange letters? So, I've been moving these blocks around for awhile - it is time to set them together!

The bottom block, 3rd over (square in a square with corner stone sashing) was the block I used as a trade for almost all of these blocks). As a new quilter, I was in awe of some of the blocks I received... like that pineapple and some of the stars, the Virginia Reel - also known as Snail's Trail, etc., etc. I really got some GREAT blocks (and I also got some blocks that were so pitiful that I can't use them!).

Altogether, I made 6 of the blocks (the most recent being the Christmas-y flower in the bottom right). My Nana made me the Sunbonnet Sue so that is a very special block to me. I haven't sewn the blocks together yet because I have been searching high and low for the Overall Sam block Nana made for me to add - and guess, what? I found it! So, I will take out the Christmas flower and add Sam. And, I probably will shuffle the blocks around once more, maybe even swap a few for different ones... In anycase, it is time to make the blocks all the same size and sew them together and send it off to be quilted. This one is not going to have a sashing, probably no border either. I like it just like this!
 Posted by Picasa

Monday, July 10, 2006

Welcome Home
















No matter where I travel, when I see this view, I know that I am almost home (Canadian home). Do you have a "landmark" that marks your return home?

Little Boy and I have been off on a BIG adventure. And even though we had a good time (plus took care of some stuff that had to be taken care of), I am happy and relieved to be back home. And I am very tired. So, I'm going to bed now! Zzzzz (that means snoring for those of you who know English as a 2nd language and might not be familiar with Zzzz!).
 Posted by Picasa