Word of the Day!

Word of the Day

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Why Kids Crack Me Up

Brandon yawns.

Amanda(to Miss M): Look, Daddy needs a nap.

Miss M. says solemnly: Daddy needs a nap?

Amanda: No, that was a joke. Do you know what a joke is?

Miss M.: Yes. (she points) Daddy.

The whole Daddy/Mommy thing was a source of some inner debate for us. I introduced myself to Miss M. as Amanda, and my husband as Brandon, but she started referring to him as Daddy by day two, and after a week or so, decided that I was Mommy. I think it made her feel better to have a Mommy and Daddy, as opposed to a Daddy and some lady that lived in the house and bossed her around. As for Little D., any grownup lady is Mama if he has boo-boo that needs kissed. I think in general (and other foster parents have told me) that kids this age see "Mommy" and "Daddy" more as job titles than as descriptive of a relationship.

So my sewing has been confined to short bursts during nap times or when Brandon can watch the kids for a few minutes, and I've been doing a lot of kid sewing, mostly things I've done before as gifts for baby showers: the patchwork ball, the baby bib.

I also made a bucket hat for Miss M. to wear outside. I had bought a couple, but the one intended for Little D. was too small for him, so he wears the one intended for Miss M., which was too small for her.
While I was in a hat-making mood, I made one for my nephew, complete with chin straps, though I have no idea if it fit right or not, since he ripped it off of his head the second we put it on him. I didn't get a pic of that one before it left home. It was pretty plain, just the blue fabric of the bib with an orange lining (that orange is an awful polyester fabric someone gave me that somewhat resembles an outdoor upholstery fabric, but lighter and not waterproof, and I thought I would never find a use for it)

The hat pattern was free from McCall's. I think I had to sign up for their e-mail list to get access to the free projects.

My review of the pattern is this: it's super easy and quick. Great for a quick gift or in the middle of summer when anyone going out really needs a hat and you don't have any that fit.

Changes I made: It is a lot quicker if you pin the crown lining in place with the seam allowance turned up and then topstitch it from the other side instead of slipstitching by hand. I did not interface the crown and top of the hat as instructed, only the brim, and it worked fine. I think interfacing the whole thing would make for a very stiff hat.

My one complaint: The picture shows the chin strap coming right up below the little boy's chin, and it is way, way longer than that. You'd have to cut off six or more inches of the strap as given to get it that length.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Getting Caught Up

I finished this quilt and gave it to my mom a week ago, but since two foster children arrived the day after our birthday, I haven't blogged about it, or anything else. I love the way it turned out, though. The quilting took longer than expected, though. After trying to use the quilting bar on my machine, and then using a white marking pencil, I found the best way to mark the lines for this design was masking tape.

Whew, life in our household has changed a lot. There is a little girl, three, and her little brother, 20 months. I haven't been so concerned with "going potty" since I was toilet trained myself (and I don't remember that).

They are really sweet and well-behaved children, though. Most of the issues we are having are normal toddler/preschooler things, and things that are only to be expected when you have two little kids learning a new set of house rules and boundries.

I have only manged to get sewing done during nap times, and it's been all kid stuff - another stuffed ball and two bucket hats (one for my nephew, and one for the little girl). I will post them later.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Works in Progress

My car fabric shirtdress is still unfinished. I was going to finish it to wear to my brother's graduation from college this weekend, but came to a grinding halt when it came to putting the facing onto the front. Such a grinding halt that for a little while, I thought I wouldn't be able to finish the dress. But now I think that if I hand-sew the facing to the dress front, it may work. I hate to hand sew. But it's that or chuck the whole thing in the trash. Okay, I would salvage the skirt part to make a skirt, and use the rest for quilts. But I don't have the heart to mess with it right now, so I'll wait a couple of days before attempting the hand-sewing.

The other thing I'm working on is a quilt for my mom, for a Mother's Day/birthday present. Obviously, I missed the boat for having it ready for Mother's Day, but I should have it finished easily by her birthday, which is a couple of weeks away. The top is done, all I have to do is quilt it. I followed the tutorial here to make this quilt, and it worked wonderfully. It is about 45" by 45", but the great thing about the tutorial is that it gives a chart to figure out the measurements for any size of star.

I liked this quilt because it used all scraps, long skinny "string" scraps that were mostly hard to use anyway. I gathered up all my string scraps in a basket, gleefully anticipating how depleted it would be after I was done.I was a little disappointed, but it proves my theory that scraps multiply when left in mixed company in the dark.

I like using scraps, but it seems like I never run out, I just end up with a larger and larger supply of smaller and smaller pieces. Some of these, I would definitely like to run out of, so I can buy more fabric that I like better.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Sampler Blocks

Here are a few more blocks I've finished lately. I am just learning to do set-in seams, which are used a lot in the block with the orange and black (The name of the block is Her Sparkling Jewels, and I found it in 500 Full Size Patchwork Patterns by Maggie Malone, which I borrowed from the library). The miniature cake plate block (an adaptation of a block I found in a book that belongs to my mother-in-law) and the "Amish" Trip Around the World block are nearly miniature quilts in and of themselves. I am surprised to find I like doing blocks with lots of little details, but they sure do take a long time. :) The other block with the curves is four 6" snake trail blocks. I found that pattern in a book I own, Encyclopedia of Classic Quilt Patterns. I have in mind to make a slight variation on that in different colors, eventually.
This is Brandon's block. not that he made it, it's just one that represents him, since he likes to play guitar, and as a farmer, he likes the colors green and brown (the colors of growing things). It is an Ohio Star.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Finally, some pictures

I would flaggelate myself for how I haven't posted in a month, but really, this blog is an entirely optional part of my life. If I have to make myself post, it isn't fun anymore and there's really no point to it.Long ago, when my sewing machine was on it's trip around the world, I started some bibs for Brandon's cousin Holly, who was expecting a baby. I figured I could do the handwork while my sewing machine was in the shop, and finish them on the machine when it came back. So I hand-appliqued the little Sunbonnet Sue and embroidered the elephant (cutest. elephant. ever.), and lost them somewhere in my sewing shack. If you have seen my sewing shack, you know how that could happen.

When the baby was born, I realized I really needed to finish the bibs, so I turned the sewing shack upside down until I found them. I backed them with polar fleece, and lo, there was cuteness.

We finally got to see the baby a couple of weeks ago, and she is so adorable, with her little scrunched up face and crazy hair.

I've been working on some other stuff, too, some cool blocks for my quilt and a small quilt for my mom, but the pictures are in the camera, and there are no charged AA batteries in this house, so that will have to wait for another day.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Unfortunately Amanda

I found a funny meme - you google your name after the word "unfortunately" and see what comes up. Here's (some of) what I found:

Unfortunately, Amanda is not Elizabeth and it all goes horribly wrong.

Unfortunately, Amanda's wild ways are just too much for the Headmistress

Unfortunately Amanda's life isn't as glamorous as it used to be.

Unfortunately, Amanda walks in during this tender moment and comes to the wrong conclusion.

Unfortunately, Amanda catches them and storms out. (It seems Amanda is a common name in soap-opera type plots)

Unfortunately, Amanda's brain doesn't always behave like she would want to behave (I second that!)

Unfortunately Amanda's book is not available in France yet

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Mad Hatter

I have been wanting to make a hat for awhile. There aren't many patterns online, but after perusing what there was (I downloaded the Wild Things software from Wild Ginger, but decided that none of the hats I could find made from it online looked like what I wanted at all, so I uninstalled it) I chose this one from Curiously Crafty.

It was quite simple and went quickly, but it's HUGE on me. It fits Brandon well, since his head is very large, but it doesn't fit me. The only way it even halfway fits is if I pile all my hair up under it, as in the picture. So I don't foresee using this hat often. I thought about shrinking the pattern and trying again, but I'm not sure the style is really for me, after all. It looked so cute on the girl on the tutorial page!