Thursday, February 28, 2008

Catching up

I've been quiet lately. There's been a few things I've worked on over the past few weeks so I'll try to bring you up to date.
There was Valentine's day, which involved over 60 cards that needed to be made for the kids to bring to school. I know it's a Hallmark holiday, but I love the crafting potential of Valentines Day. After Halloween, it is my second favorite crafting holiday. We made these fridge magnets to give out with the cards. They are made with 1 1/2" glass floral beads. I cut out little circles of fabric scraps and the kids used Mod Podge to glue the fabric to the back of the bead. Then we stuck magnets to the back. They looked so cute I wanted to eat them.
Mostly I've been working on Maria's quilt. I started this quilt to give to her for comfort during a time when she was feeling very afraid of the dark. I often try to find ways to craft my way out of a problem. She's long gotten over the fear, but it did help me feel like I was "doing" something about it. I got sort of fussy with the back and made these pieced panels to go across the top and bottom. I used every single last triangle scrap I had left over from the front of the quilt. I sewed them all together, and then I sewed them together, and then I sewed them together and then I sewed them to the back fabric. As easy as that. Except that it took forever! (This picture shows the point when I had them sewn together, but before they were sewn together.)

I am just starting to get comfortable with how long certain aspects of sewing really take in order for things to come out looking decent. You have to use pins. You have to iron. Basting is important. I'm a slow worker, so I often try to figure out if I could do something faster to speed things along a little. I'm never as happy with the results or I end up going back and re-doing things which only makes things take longer.

My hands have been very full with little Tess. She's all over the place now and her personality is growing everyday. She is such a charmer! Not so sleepy, but really cute. I'm trying to capture more of her on video than I did with the other kids. I have very little memory of when Betsy or Maria were this age. It is all such a blur. It all happened so fast. I was so eager for them to get just a little older, a little more manageable, that I didn't take the time to commit all these special moments to memory. They are probably there somewhere in the old photo albums. Remember photo albums? I never even get prints made anymore. In college I was a photo major for awhile. I loved the darkroom and black and white photography. I took all the large format classed the University of Illinois had to offer. The whole digital photo thing came on so fast, I think black and white printing is soon to be (if not already) a lost art. Here's a little memory I don't want to forget, because I don't think there is anything cuter than a baby in a sinkbath saying her first words.

Within this post are roughly 7 facts about me. Janet Clare tagged me in a recent post, so I thought I would play along. The catch is that I should tag someone else. What she did not realize when she named me, was that I think I might be the very last person in all of blogland to get the tag. Or am I? Is there someone out there who has not done this AND is reading my blog, well I'd love to hear from you. Consider yourself tagged!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Before my very eyes

Each day at home with four young children can be monotonous and seem the same, but at the same time they change so fast. It is hard to keep up. Look what's happening this week. Patrick and Tess are so much alike. When I look at these two pictures I see so much sweet pride in each of their eyes. They have no idea how proud I am of them.

Friday, February 08, 2008


I mentioned this quilt a while back, and I thought I would post a WIP shot because it is fun to see it come together. Everytime I make a few new blocks I spread it all out to see how it looks. Each block will be 2 1/2 inches square. They are rather fussy, with some taking me 30-40 minutes to complete (yes, I do time myself when I do this stuff). In the end there will be 96 total squares, but not all of them so fussy. Can you tell what it is going to be? I looks very obvious to me.

Monday, February 04, 2008

wool sweater slippers

Would you like a warm pair of felted wool slippers? Let me show you how to make some real fast. Some of the things you will need: felted sweater, old jeans, embroirdery floss, paper backed fusible webing, sewing machine and basic sewing things (like scissors, thread pins).
Start with an old wool sweater. Run it through a hot wash then a hot dryer a couple of times to get it good and felted. Turn sweater inside out and stick your foot into the sleeve with the cuff around your ankle.
Trace the outline of your foot with a pencil, marker, chalk or whatever you have that will show up on wool. I used a chalk pencil. Then pin on both sides of the lines to hold everything in place.
Cut the sleeve off of the body of the sweater and sew along the line you just drew.
Trim close to the sewn line with pinking sheers.
Turn right side out and repeat all these steps with the other foot in the other sleeve.
So now you have two sock/slippers and you could stop right there and get your feet warm. But let's keep going and make these a little more durable. Take a sheet of paper backed fusible web and trace your feet. Cut these out roughly and iron to the wrong side of some old jeans.
Cut out along the lines and peel the paper off very carefully. Put the gluey/webby side of the denim feet against the bottom of the wool socks. Spray with some water and press with a hot iron.
Now, the glue of the fusible web is not going to stick so hard to the wool, so get out some embroidery floss and buttonhole stitch all the way around denim.
Boom! You're done.