Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas Angel

Phew! Christmas is done! What a fun, exciting holiday, but I have to say the day after was the most enjoyably relaxing for me. Waking up and thinking that there was nothing that I "had" to do was a pretty good feeling. With all these kids, the holidays start about 3 weeks before Halloween and don't stop until now. I love it, don't get me wrong. There were so many things I wanted to do, but just didn't get to. Maybe next year, or some other year. You don't have to do every holiday "tradition" every year, some traditions will have to be rotated.
I didn't make a lot of Christmas presents this year, but I knocked myself out on the few that I did make. For my parents I made this angel. Dolls are so much fun. When I started getting close to finishing her I realized that I would have to put her in the mail and send her away. How sad! She might get cold, or worse, lost! So I prolonged my stay with her for as long as possible by making her a little doll quilt to keep her warm. All the material I used for her I had on hand from other projects.

I used white linen for her dress that was left over from a dress I made for the girls this last summer. I did a quick little embroidery around the hem with a herringbone stitch and some french knots. It looked so pretty that I wanted to keep doing more embroidery on the dress, but sometimes less is more. The buttons are actually beads sewn down to conceal snaps.

I considered some different face ideas, but I decided to go with an embroidered face like I used on these dolls. Those dolls have become such familiar part of our everyday life, that I thought it would be nice for my mom and dad to have a doll so similar. The hair is done with yarn sewn down to the head. I must say, I think I do a really good job with hair. I don't know how other people do it, so I've figured out a way on my own and it looks great. If anyone is interested I could do a step by step explanation sometime. Let me know.

The wings were made from silk left over from a Halloween costume. I have made wings so many times, but I always spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to do them. For these, I wanted them to have a feathery look, but real feathers weren't right. I used some funky, furry, feathery-like yarn and crocheted a long strip. I made a sandwich that went silk-feather strip-silk-batting. I sewed them together, leaving a small opening, and then turned batting to the inside. Again, less is more, and I decided to not try and quilt feather patterns on the wings.

The quilt is made from more of the white linen and some vintage fabric that might be feedsack, but I'm not sure. I embroidered a small heart in each white square to quilt it. It looks super cute all together with the doll. Sort of Christmasy, but hopefully not so much that she can't be enjoyed at other times of the year.

I worked on another Christmas gift all month, but it is still not done. A quilt for Jim. It still needs to be quilted. I need to go in and clean up the living room with all it's wrapping paper, boxes and presents everywhere and turn the room back into my sewing room.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

I'm an idiot

My only excuse is that I've been really, really tired. That is still totally lame and this is something that will keep coming back and bothering me. I left Maria's name off of our Christmas cards. How stupid is that? Very! And embarrassing too. As if Maria could ever be forgotten. I was so impressed with myself for even getting the cards done. Thinking I had everything under control. I suppose it comes as little surprise to anyone who reads this blog that I have very poor proofreading skills. But really now it's like I've just sent out this card to everyone I know making it perfectly clear that I'm an idiot. So I'm hiding the cards from Maria because I can't bear to think of how she might feel if she sees one without her name on it. It could make a five-year-old girl feel pretty bad I think. If anyone would like to share an embarrassing story, I would love the company.

I've got some really great crafty things to put up soon, but they're not ready yet. I'm also thinking of doing a little recap of the year from a family perspective sometime after Christmas. I think this blog, over time, will make a nice record of some of the things that go on in our lives. I really want to do a better job of keeping up to date with the posts. As I look back over them I see some holes that I would like to fill in. So I think a recap might be nice. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

It's not always easy.

I've been struggling with my crafting lately. Probably why I haven't been inspired to post much. First it was this quilt I'm working on for Maria. I need to learn that if I am not going to follow patterns, then I need to deal when I'm not happy with the outcome. So far the pattern, or lack of, is looking bad. We have 16 windows in our house that look like this. They are beautiful old wavy glass windows and I love the "on point" diamond. So unique. I thought it would be great to make a quilt that kinda reflects that design. I like that it would add a layer of meaning to the pattern choice. All I see when I look at it, though, are Y seams that would be hard to sew on my sewing machine. Then I thought I could break up that middle diamond into 4 triangles sewn to the corner of 4 squares. I think the general idea is maybe ok, but the fabrics don't pull it off. Solids would work much better, maybe. So, I'm a little stuck and am trying to sew my way out.

I needed a quick project. I decided my big headed baby girl needed a new hat because it is getting cold. I wanted to knit. Could I crochet a hat very quickly? Yes, but I wanted a knit hat. Could I find free patterns online for knit hats? Yes, but I wanted to create my own idea. So I stormed ahead without a clue what I was doing. I pulled out many attempts for many reasons. Here is one try where I thought that this shape would make a bonnet if I sewed those seams together. Well it didn't.
Finally I got my head around how to do the back. Decreases. Duh! It still didn't fit because her head is so big, so I add more around the bottom and made the I-cord for a tie under her chin.
Finally it fits!
I know it may sound like I'm complaining as I work through my thought process. I usually don't tackle my projects because they are easy. I want and enjoy the challenge of trying to do things my own way.

Tess is not feeling well right now and we are not getting any sleep. I feel so tired all the time. It makes it hard to stay focused on what I need to be doing to get ready for Christmas. I feel all guilty that so many people are making so many of their gifts. I just can't do it. I can't even think of gifts I want to buy. My brain is mush.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Fall Quilt

Wa-hoo! I've been working and not working on this quilt since the end of summer. I came across the Martha Negley fabrics at Reprodepot and I loved them. They looked like the colors of the end of summer. They looked like fall, but not in the regular fall colors. I loved the oak leaves with the blue background. It reminded me so much of looking up through the scrub oaks in Cape Cod. Most of the fabric is Martha Negley, but there is also some Joel Dewberry fabric, a little Fresh Cut fabric from my last quilt, and maybe a few others. The solid color is a natural colored linen/cotton blend.

It's a wonky flying geese design. I was inspired by this quilt that I saw on Flickr from a quilt show in Japan I think. I mean that quilt is crazy beautiful. Way beyond. I've always liked flying geese and so I thought I'd give it a go in my own way. I drew the designs on foundation paper and pieced the quilt that way. I don't know if this is any faster or what, but it worked for me and it is what I'm comfortable with. I became very familiar with foundation paper when I did this quilt so I often come back to this technique when I want to try something new. I had made a pieced border to go all around it, but I didn't like the way it looked. I almost put it on because it was always in my plan, and I felt like I was wimping out by not using it. It really didn't work though. Made it look too hippy and that is not what I was going for. I still have the border and have a whole new quilt idea for it which I think is going to be cool.

Speaking of wimping out, the quilting. I really just wanted the quilt done. The weather is getting cold and I want a blanket to put over me at night on the couch. Simple machine outline inside the triangles and inside the long blank panels. I don't know if this minimal quilting will come back to haunt me later on down the road. I hope it all stays together. The way I figured was that if quilts can stay together with ties, then mine should be fine. I also thought I could finish it now and then add more quilting later if I wanted. Again, I don't know if this is a good idea or not.

I'm really tired right now. Tess is not sleeping too great at night and so I don't feel like proofreading this post at all.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Don't throw away the PB catalog that is coming in your mail today.

I saw this wonderful idea for a dollhouse here the other day, and I couldn't wait to try it with my girls. We do a lot of magazine cutting and glue sticking, so I knew this would be a fun and do-able project for us. I was so tempted to go way over the crafty top with this idea, but the beauty of the project is in it's ease. We made two small houses, one for each girl. We cut 4 strips of cardboard about 18"x 11". Then we cut a slit from the center of the long edge to the middle of each board and then slid them together like a cross. I gave each girl some catalogs and let them start cutting for about a half hour. We had the best luck with the Pottery Barn and PB Kids catalogs for images. Then we started gluing. If you have ever wanted to decorate a home like Pottery Barn, this is a strangely satisfying without the price tag. This was a "do together" activity with my four-year-old. It would have been a nice "do alone" for my five-year-old, if I weren't so over-bearing and wanting to "help". I should have just made one for myself. Very fun! Thank you Elsie Marley.

And now for some thoughts on the baby. She's rolling. She has been able to do it for awhile now, but it is much more frequent now. I pretty much find her on her belly every time I lay her on the floor. When I watch her do it, though, it is hard to tell if she wants to roll over. It kinda seems like her muscles start contracting and arms flailing and the next thing she knows, she's on her belly. And then she usually starts crying, but not always. See :)

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Halloween is fun.

Here's my enthusiastic Halloween fans. What a fun holiday for the kids. It was just all fun, games, parades, candy, parties and more all day long. All four of the kids held up great and had a great time. Jim is the one in the big red "star trooper" outfit. We didn't really know what to call him, but it was a lot fun for the kids and adults alike. Yesterday Tess went with the flow for all the festivities, but she is not dealing well today. I need to go tend to her. The glass in the house might shatter if she cries any louder.

This is just a short cliip of the flower fairies in action. It was very hard to keep up with them.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Craft Blog Gal

I made a new doll today. A friends daughter is turning four in a couple of weeks and I've been wanting to make a doll. Not wanting to reinvent the wheel, I looked here and here and here for some inspiration. There are so many things that I like about the dolls that these women make.
Hillary of Wee Wonderfuls always manages the best facial expressions. I think my doll is looking a little sleepy, not exactly what I was going for. Lori Marie of Pretty Little Things has such a way with unexpected details. I gave my girl some ruffle bloomers and flowers in her hair.
The striped legs totally remind me of the many girls of Emily of Black Apple. So what I have on my hands here is a craft-blog-fusion of a doll.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Geranium Fairy

Another day, another costume knocked out, hence, another post. This is my interpretation of this illustration of a Geranium Flower Fairy by Mary Cicely Barker. I used the Simplicity 3588 for the basic style of the dress. Obviously this was just a starting point because I added a lot to it. For the skirt I cut out to the pattern some shiny tulle-like fabric and the layered five large quilted petals over it. In the drawing she had little buds going around the waistline. I made about ten of these and stuffed little bells inside. I thought I would be able to find an easy way to do these buds, but they ended up being kinda tricky and involved a bit of hand sewing. By the time I was done with the buds and the petal details I really wanted to wrap this costume up. I almost didn't do the collar or the leaves on the shoulders. I took a break from it and did a little work on a quilt I have going. When I came back to the dress over the weekend, my enthusiasm for it was renewed. I'm really happy with the way the collar and sleeves look. I think they make it more "costumey". Like she really could be some little fairy walking out of the woods.

Again the wings were a concern for me on this costume. In the drawing, the wings are kinda greenish/pinkish/brown. I didn't know how I would capture that look easily with fabric. It was such a stroke of luck that I was browsing (very generous word) the silk dupioni at Joann's and they had this green/pink combo. I don't know what you call it when two colors are cross-woven like that, giving it a different color depending on how the light hits it. Best yet, it was on sale for 3.99 a yard. Perfect.

Really the best is that this is for such a special little girl. Maria is my biggest fan. She really loves the things I make and I think feels proud when she is wearing them. She is at my side for every stitch and decision I make. She loves to create and is always working in tandem with me on some project or another everyday. She is so fairy-like in her ways. She is not easy. She is far too interested in everything to be easy. She wants to know and do and talk about everything all day long. She is my shadow, but she is not like me. Or I don't think I was like her as a child. Because of that, she is so surprising to me. I love her to bits. I have a quilt that I will be starting soon and it is going to be for her. Oh, I'm getting ahead of myself. That's all I have for now.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

One down...three to go...

I'm trying to stay focused here and get these Halloween outfits done. Strawberry Flower Fairy is done. For this costume I used Simplicity 3854. This is an infant pattern for a bubble outfit. Betsy is pretty small so I gambled that she would fit an 18 month size. I think I might have used a different bodice from something else, but I don't remember now. Anyway, it is made from some red corduroy that I had left over from some back-to-school dresses. The seeds are this soft velvet that I sewed down with a green/yellow variegated thread.

After some trail and error I figured out how to make a collar that kinda looks like little leaves. I learned that a collar is not a straight piece of fabric wrapped around the neck. Instead, it needs to be cut out round, as if you are looking down from above. I know this may be "duh" to anyone who knows how to sew or has taken some classes, but I get kinda excited when I figure out how to do something new. The wings are quilted with two layers of batting for some stability and then buttoned onto the back. The wings took me some time decide how I wanted to do them. There are a lot of wing ideas out there involving heavy gauge wire, pantyhose and glitter glue. I was just a little nervous about moving out of my crafting comfort zone for some reason. In the end I like the consistency that the quilted wings have with the rest of the costume. I know that the work I'm putting into these is way over the top, and that the girls would be perfectly happy with many other costume options available in stores or even homemade. Nonetheless, I just like doing it. It makes me happy to cut fabric and see how it looks when I sew it back together. I like adding details like homemade bias tape to the inside waistline. Nobody will see that. But I like it. I like picking it up and thinking that it would look as pretty worn inside out as it does right side out.

The Geranium Fairy costume is very close to being done, but I have no photos yet. Patrick opted for a store bought skeleton despite my urging that I could do a really cool reverse applique homemade version for him. Actually, it is great that he didn't listen to me. I never would have gotten it done. And for the baby? I could not even care a speck if she is wearing a costume.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Let's talk October

Thinking of October brings to mind cool days and Halloween costumes. I've been working on costumes for about a week now and I'm very pleased with how things are going. Not done yet. Not by a long shot. I love doing costumes because It is an opportunity to try new things, venture away from patterns and instructions without too much worry about how well the finished project is executed. It's a kids costume, who cares if it goes a little wonky here or there. I know some people might contend that this is a holiday for the children, and that they should be allowed to create the costumes themselves. Yeah, well what fun is that for me? Just kidding. I'm sure we will get to that some day. The first year I made costumes for the girls was 2005. Quilted butterfly wings. Made with a black shimmery velvet and silky dots machine sewn on. They came out real cute. I've always wanted to find a way to hang these in their room, like over their beds or something.

Last year I did these. The dress was good in that it was one of the first times I have sewn clothing from a pattern. I also learned that I don't enjoy working with a lot of synthetic materials.

This year the girls and I were talking about costumes like princess, ballerina, fairies and such. I was trying to talk them into flowers, but they weren't biting. Then I started saying how about Flower Fairies. They became a little more interested and asked what these might look like. I had no idea. Only minutes later I sit down at my computer to surf some of my favorite craft blogs and hop onto Wee Wonderfuls. She had just put up this post of a flower fairy by Cicely Mary Barker. What a great inspiration she always is. I ordered a this book and now I'm working from some of the illustrations to design the Halloween costumes. Betsy is going to be Strawberry Fairy and Maria is going to be Geranium Fairy. Here is a sneak peek.

And a final thought about October. If it is supposed to be a month of cooler temperatures, why were we doing this today?

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

flower fabric

Betsy came home from preschool with a great project the other day. She had smashed flowers onto a small piece of fabric. The colors in the leaves and flowers left great designs on the fabric. Maria and I were very eager to try this craft for ourselves. The supplies were simple and readily available. Scraps of white fabric, flowers and leaves gathered from the yard and vases, and an assortment of hammers.

Cut a scrap of fabric and spread out on a hard surface like a pick nick table or cutting board. Lay flowers and leaves on fabric in a single layer.Cover leaves and flowers with another piece of fabric and start hitting with hammer. This is the spot where careful attention needs to be paid. If you have safety glasses for your kids, it would probably be a good idea to use them. In any case, you don't need to hit the flowers hard, just a lot. (I swear Betsy was having more fun than it looks like in this picture. She is just very tired when she gets home from school.) The juices come out and stain the fabric both above and below the flowers. Some flowers work better than other, I guess it just takes some trial and error. But really, even the errors look pretty cool. This was a great use for the last straggling flowers around the yard, but the cut flowers from the store also were great because they were real juicy.Once we were done pounding, we carefully pulled off all the flower pulp and let them dry in the sun. I'm not so sure how colorfast this is, but I guess probably about as much as a grass stain. I think it would wear off if put through the wash a couple of times. I ironed them with a hot dry iron thinking that might set the colors a bit. I want to make these into a quilted table runner. I think that would be pretty and special for the girls.

I'm working on some pretty major Halloween costumes. I will certainly be able to share some pictures soon.

O.K that's all for crafty. Now for cutie.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Sidetracked Again

I am crafting. Getting good photos of my work, though, has not been happening. Here's what I've got so far. In the foreground, piles of wonky flying geese for a throw quilt. This is moving along nicely, if a little slow, but I think it is going to be really pretty. I love all the fabric that I'm working with. In the background, hanging over the chair, is an attempt at a color wheel quilt. I saw this quilt and became completely sidetracked. I thought it was brilliant and that I, in all of my brilliance, knew exactly how to do it. I ordered the book, of course, but got started cutting and sewing right away. Well, let me say that people who design quilts and write books about it for a living totally know what they are doing. They are brilliant, not I.

Wow. I'm sitting here writing this post with the TV on. NBC interrupts the Today show with their "Breaking News" music. It totally freaked me out. I almost started to cry before they even said what the "Breaking News" was. Well, it is only the President (sob worthy as he his), but I think I will forever associate that music with terrible disaster since 9-11. Other than being on RT. 3 in NJ to see the dust and smoke engulf lower Manhattan, I have no personal connection to the tragedy of that day. Kinda strange that it had that effect on me.

Anyway, back to the color wheel quilt. I ended up with a color oval. It is lumpy and doesn't line up in the middle or the outside at all. I like it anyway, but I can't wait to get the book so I can make a good one. So, that's what I've been doing. I've also been trying to not start a knitting project, but I would really like to have something to do at night when I feel like relaxing on the couch. We'll see what happens.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

What you can do if you're three months old

You're in the club. You've gotta love a four-year-old who can entertain an infant for a solid hour with "clubhouse". Yes , that is the "cutieful quilt". After all the work I put into it, I swore it was going to be hung on the wall and only admired from afar. Well, now it's a clubhouse.

You can suck your thumb and look really cute doing it, if you are 3 months old. I hope this video option works well, it could be a very cool feature.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

The last thing I knew, all I was thinking about were the quilts I'm planning to make. Somehow, the first thing to land under my sewing machine was this elephant. She was a gift for Betsy, who had her fourth this weekend. She is just the cutest thing, I can't believe she is 4! Her birthday came up on me kinda fast. One day last week I realized that there would be no point over the next few days that I would be able to get out of the house, without Betsy, and get her a gift. I made the pattern for the elephant myself which is always fun and challenging. I used two thrifted wool skirts for the fabric. I put poly-fill beads in her feet so she might be able to stand, but she is still top heavy. I think I just needed to crank out a fast project before diving into these quilts. Most of the cutting is already done for one of them, so I should be able to start sewing real soon.

O.K, I really want to do this post, but it has taken me about three days to get this far. I feel very scatter-brained right now and I'm having a hard time staying with one thing for too long. The addition of this little beauty has made for a very busy life around here. Thank God she is absolutely the best baby. She smiles like other babies cry. She is so enjoyable to be with and so lovable it breaks my heart. But she is a baby. Babies are a lot of hands-on work. I just feel pretty spread thin at times trying to stay on top of what each of the kids need and all that's needed to make the house run smoothly. I don't think I'm really dropping the ball on anything, but I guess I'm just struggling to find a rhythm. Now that school has started I feel like things might come together. I hope.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

I've got some big ideas

I've been in a big planning/inspiration stage for the past month. I have many great ideas that I can't wait to jump into once the kids go back to school. That still leaves me with one baby still at home, but she's easy. Ha! I know I am probably being too ambitious with these plans, but I'm gonna give it my best shot. I'm going to make a throw quilt for the family room out of the fabric pile on the far left. It is mostly inspired by Martha Negley fabric and the colors of late summer and early autumn. When leaves are bright green against a cloudless blue sky and the flowers deepen to jewel tones. Rather than using a quilting cotton for the background, I'm going to try using a linen/cotton blend in a natural color. I hope it works out OK.

The other piles are for quilts for my two older girls. I've gone crazy trying out various novelty prints combined with florals. I don't have the perfect combo yet, but I'm getting very close. I want to get started on these quickly for my girl Maria. She is going through a fearful stage and I'm hoping a little more nighttime security will help her. Oh, I feel so bad for her. Bugs, bees, snakes, water, dark! What is a defenseless 5 year old to do? Anyway, it has been fun looking at and choosing fabric. I don't think there is any category of fabric that I can't fall in love with given the right opportunity.

Most of the month we have been visiting my parents and enjoying good times like this:

and views like this:

Monday, July 30, 2007


The neverending quilt has come to an end. I made a big push last week and dedicated every free minute to getting this quilt done. While working on the quilt I had a million things running through my head that I would like to mention about this quilt here on my blog. Right now all I really want to say about it is "Done". But, if I don't go into it now, I never will.

First I want to talk about the inspirations for this quilt. Back about 5 months ago I fell in love with the Freshcut line by Heather Baily. So pretty. Pretty colors. Pretty designs mixed together with cool designs and I just really wanted to make something with this fabric. Lucky for me, I was pregnant with a little girl. What better reason to make a quilt? I couldn't decide (because I had pregnancy brain) which colorway to order, so I got the whole line in fat quarters.

This meant I needed a quilt that would be sort of scrappy. I perused many quilt books, magazines, web sites trying to decide on a pattern. Let's just say now that pregnancy brain held up the flow of this quilt at many points. Finally, I choose Marquee from The Modern Quilt Workshop. I have no memory of why this seemed like the right pattern to go with.
When I had it all pieced, I felt like all those empty white squares needed to be filled with stuff. So, started trying to come up with some applique designs. I did okay on my own for a few of them, and then I came across the amazing Geninne's Art Blog, which inspired several of the designs as well. At the time that I did this I didn't think one way or the other about it. I looked at her drawings and made them into applique designs. Since then I have read on other peoples blogs about how protective they are about people replicating their work. I feel like my end results are quite removed from her work. Nonetheless, I hope I did not cross the line.

Once I decided on all the applique designs, I traced them onto fusible web, adhered them to fabric, ironed them all down to the quilt top and started to stitch around the edges. Nope. I didn't like the way that was coming out at all. I pulled them all off and re-did everything as freezer paper applique. This way all the applique is sewn on by hand and I like the result much better.

I wanted to include her name or initials on the quilt, so I did one square with embroidery. No worries that I don't know how to embroider at all. The name came out all crooked, so I added a flower motif to balance things out a little.
So far, so good. Then it was time to quilt this quilt. I did not have the patience to hand quilt like I think would have been best. Instead, I stuck it under my machine and plowed forward. The quilting is probably my least favorite part of the quilt. I did all the quilting with my free motion foot. This was very hard to do. Don't ever be fooled by people who make free motion quilting look easy, or say things like "it's just like drawing with my sewing machine". It is hard and frustrating. Of course, practice makes perfect (or at least better in my case). The quilting right in the middle, and most obvious, is terrible, while the quilting as I moved toward the sides is much better. Oh well.

At one point while I was working on this quilt Betsy looked at it and gasped "oh! That's so cutieful Mama". In the end, I will agree with her that it is "cutieful". It has a lot of special meaning to me and hopefully to Tess someday. I think it will look nice as a wall hanging over her crib if you stand back and blur your eyes at it a little bit so the mistakes aren't too glaring.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Crafts are taking over the house

With the encouragement of my reader (thanks Janet), I will do a post without even having a completed project to show. In an effort to contain all the crafts around the house I'm trying to make our living room the primary area where I craft. Mostly now I have stuff all over the place. When I get going on a project, I basically destroy all order in the house. I can make the biggest messes in about one naptime. Now, I don't want everything in my living room, but I would like to keep the fabric, notions and machine in there. One of the key things needed for the room to be more crafty was a good size table big enough to spread out fabric, paper, patterns or whatever. Not to fancy that I would worry about marking it up, but not so ugly that I wouldn't want it in such a highly visible spot. Up until now I have been working with this. Nice table, but too small and the top is uneven so I couldn't use it for cutting.
As great luck would have it, my next door neighbors had a garage sale this weekend and were selling a dining table. I told them I was interested and when it hadn't sold by the end of the weekend, they said I could have it for $60. So, that's what I'm showing in the picture above. I'm so happy with it. It doesn't look crumy at all. I think it is a very pretty table. And it works great! Nice and flat for cutting. Big and roomy for spreading out unfinished projects.

Currently the table is sporting the neverending quilt, which is now a quilt sandwich waiting to be quilted. EEEKK! By machine? By hand? Both? I'm doing a little practice on the machine before I touch the quilt.

In other news, Tess is a jumbo size baby! At her two month checkup she is in the 95th% for her height and 85th% for weight (10.8 lbs). So funny to have such a big baby. Betsy is so tiny she has never made it on to a growth chart, Patrick has hugged the 3% curve for years and Maria has always been around 25th% for everything.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Back to school dresses

I don't really know where I'm going with this blog. I would like to be able to keep up with it more frequently, but I don't make the time. I do some sort of crafting almost everyday, but right now it might just be sewing a few seams, making a few embroidery stitches, or at the least thinking up some ideas for future projects. I usually have nothing terribly interesting or complete to post about. I also feel like posts without a picture are just boring. So should I take photos of incomplete projects? I've already posted so many photots of the quilt I'm working on that I can't keep doing that. It's really the completed photo and post that is the motivation to get the project done.

Nonetheless, I have finished two dresses this week. The green jumper (Butterick # 4718) has a super cute lightweight canvas from Superbuzzy with a Wizard of Oz print for the bodice. The skirt is green corduroy. I first made the skirt out of a light blue cord, but that didn't work at all. The green looks better, but it is kinda stiff. I hope it will soften up more as it is washed. I think it will look really cute with a red turtleneck and tights for back to school. If you don't wear a dress like this in Kindergarten, when will you ever.

The white dress is a repeat of a dress (Butterick 4176) I made for Betsy in the spring. I had some of this white linen left over, and used scraps (left over from the neverending quilt) for binding. It is crazy cute. I love it.

This has been a good summer so far. I've been getting the kids to the pool all the time. Betsy has totally learned how to swim and she is not even four. Maria and Pat are doing great in their lessons too. Tess loves to sleep while we are at the pool, she must love the sound of the water. She really is a great baby. I've booked flights to the Cape for August. I can't wait to be at the beach. I hope I can manage another post before I leave.

Monday, July 02, 2007


I have not been able to make much time for crafting over the past month. I added some embroidery to the quilt top that I am working on. I did it pretty much freehand. I was really stuck on how to do this. I don't have any software at all on my computer, so I couldn't type it out and trace. I didn't want to buy any more crafting books that might show some nice ways to do letters. So, I just made it all up myself. And it looks like it. Oh well. Sometimes road blocks in a project can be maneuvered with grace and finesse, and some just need to be plowed through. I hope I can get back some of the enthusiasm I once had for this quilt so I can get it done soon. I don't like starting new things when one is still lingering near completion.

I can't believe Tess will be six weeks old in two days. With a new baby in the house, time has taken on new meanings to everyone. I swear it seams like Tess was born last week but it was over a month ago. The kids think waiting just one year for her to walk will take so long. My mom remembers the cicadas of 17 years ago only being around for about 24 hours. Yep, we are in a weird baby induced time-warp. I'm hoping we will be out of it soon, so when she takes a 2 hour nap it feels like more than 10 minutes.