Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Oliver's Quilt

I have been gone for a long time.  Not because I haven't been doing crafty things but I find getting the posts up so tedious that I gave up.  But his quilt for my cousin's first baby made me want to share.  I love this quilt.  It was adapted from a quilt in a magazine (McCall's Quick Quilts, October/November 2011) The sock monkey is an obsession.  I decided that I needed to make a bunch, as in 16!  So far I have make about 10.  The ribbon ball was made using scraps from the quilt.  The book is our favorite.  We first read it on our honeymoon is Seattle WA and I have Scott a copy for our first anniversary and he got me the bunnies!  We still have them on the shelf with our books 13 years later. The bib is a pattern taken from one of our old bibs. I made a template out of craft paper and one out of freezer paper.  I like the freezer paper because I can iron it directly to the fabric and I don't have to pin to cut it out!

Another reason I quit was photos. I am stunned by the staging and photos some people take.  But, I'm not them and I'm just happy to document the creations that are made in the house and are usually given away.  And, I have been seriously distracted by Pinterest. I mean how could I not get lost in all those amazing ideas in one place!  The monkeys are actually from a pin.  So I am making some of the things I find!

The label on the back is solid grey and it's kind of a fun shape for a label.  I think I would make it smaller next time. The backing/binding fabric is from Hobby Lobby. I think it is a Brother Sister design.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Blogger’s Quilt Festival: Spring 2011

Welcome to my entry in the Blogger's Quilt Festival!  I can't believe it is already here again. I really don't know where the time goes.  I have no skills in getting buttons in the post but it is on the side bar!

We have dear friends that have been waiting for eight years to have a baby and this past March they were blessed to adopt a beautiful baby girl. Her colors for the nursery were eggplant and lime green! So awesome! I have had a piece of purple paisley sitting in my stash for a few years just waiting for the perfect project. The fabric was given to me by my mom who passed away in December 2009 from cancer. I thought what better place to use this than to welcome a long awaited baby into a loving family. I know she (Mom) would have adored this quilt.

I had all of the fabric in stash with the exception of one. The light green lattice was a new purchase just for this. Just a little extra pop.

The quilting was inspired by Film in the Fridge diamond quilting. While I strayed far and left some a little farther than I planned I love the way it turned out. I love how quickly it came together. I haven't made a quilt in two days in a very long time. AND I didn't have to stay all night to do it!!

I wasn't able to go the baby shower (actually a big party) because of family commitments at home. She loved the quilt and I am thrilled. In spite of all the imperfections it will be used and loved and washed and dragged around and that is perfect.

Part of the process of this quilt was drawing out the quilting in the order to quilt the lines. It changed after I started and I added more to fill in a bit. While straight line quilting is fast it doesn't mean that all the lines will actually be straight! Getting in a hurry to get this in the mail I would occasionally blink or get distracted by one of the kids. Imperfection makes a handmade gift individual and I've learned over the years that I'm okay with imperfections. If I wasn't I would never make another gift or meal or anything else for that matter! I had to mentally go through the process several times before I was ready to put the needle down. I really love it. Because the proportions of the quilt were a little different than the drawing I had to adjust as I went along. A good learning experience. Thank you Film in the Fridge for the inspiration to keep it simple!  At first I didn't understand why she had drawn the lines in different colors.  But it became clear very quickly that it was necessary to know which lines went where!

And just a couple more pictures of the quilting.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Project: Simplify Hot Spot #5: Choose Your Own Adventure

I decided to tackle the linen closet and the bathroom drawers and cabinets.  I could have picked anything on the list of suggestions as they all need to be done.  This was an easy place to start.

So to begin:  the linen closet.  The in between of seasons is challenging.  All winter we have pulled things out and shoved them back in.  Too hot one night and cold the next.  ugh.

 All emptied out.  So nice!

Stuff that may not belong:
Next was trying to tackle the drawers and the medicine cabinets.  Being able to find things in the mess is not the best way to organize.  Now, they are organized and we can't lay our hands on the right thing!

Before in the hall (kids) bathroom:
Notice one empty drawer!  I wonder how long before daughter notices all the empty wrappers and garbage are gone :)  This room didn't take too long but ours...

Master Bathroom drawers before:

Drawers after:

Medicine cabinet before:
The pink bucket usually has the cloth diapers but I spared you and just washed them!  I didn't think it was too bad but there was SO much stuff in there.  I tossed three grocery bags of junk (expired or never used or garbage) out between here and under the sink.

Are you ready?  Under the sink is scary.  It was organized at one time but....

I put a lot of the extra things (a whole shoe box full) down with the rest of the food storage. 

On another note not bathroom related I did finally get some of the things put into the household binder.  I have 11 categories. Is that too many? What did I forget?  Goals, schedule/calendars, birthdays, Christmas, Food Inventory (including menus, grocery list etc), Home maintenance, Garden/Yard, Home ideas, and budget/finances.
And one final finish for this week, I recovered the umbrella stroller we have had for 10 years.  I could have just bought a new one but I had everything to redo it at home.  Besides, we love the height of this one.  Tall enough for both of us to push.  I may be brave and post more process pictures.  Any tutorials I found said "simply take it apart (the cover) and use it as a pattern, then reuse the piping and belts" Voila!  More or less true but I would have loved a tutorial.  I'm a visual learner.  I ended up with 4 extra screws.  Hmm. 

Sunday, April 3, 2011

tickertape quilts

We had a double party to go to last month and it coincided with the ORBC of Ticker Tape quilts. We had another snow day so it was the perfect chance to play. I dragged out the scrap bins and gave the two oldest kids the chance to design their own quilts to give.  They laid out the designs and I did the quilting. William made one two but I literally haven't made anything since we did these in February.
By Liz, age 9.  She wanted it to be a scene.  She she did the cutting and layout.  I love the frog in the pond and a butterfly too.
Here is the back of the quilt.

The backing.  He wanted something cheerful and fun.

Made by my 7 year old son. Love that he wanted every last inch filled up!

Posted by Picasa

Friday, April 1, 2011

Project: Simplify Hot Spot #4: Pantry and Fridge

I had to start with this photo because it is a huge job finally done!  So much unnecessary paper in boxes.  There will be more to do but that was an 1 1/2 hours of shredding.  Poor machine.  Now on to the Hot Spot of the week.

Simple Mom is awesome and had us do the pantry and fridge this week. The challenge was working around the kids this week during spring break.  It took longer than it should have but I wrote down everything we have that is food related.  Not sure when I'll catalog it all but its a start and I found things that we need to re-stock.  I made notes on most of the photos so click to read them if you wish.
Fridge Before.

After.  Cleaned and re-organized. AH.
In the basement we have the beginnings of long term food storage.  I love the space but it can get unruly too.  Before.
After.  Rounded up the vitamins to one box, the cleaning supplies to one area, and generally re-grouped all of the items we have.  It's time to get some more cereal and a few other staples.
Noticed more food on my way back upstairs.  The canning we did last year and the canning supplies.
I forgot the before picture here but it was a mess.  Everything is nicely contained now and labeled in the spice cupboard.
The beast...The pantry before:

After!!  I want a new shelf on the top right to house some more items.
My newly freed beans all beautifully labeled.  I had all of the jars in another cupboard.  Don't know why I was hoarding but they finally came in handy!!
Love how it all turned out.  So much work! Now to just enter all of the food items and make a food inventory that will work for us will be the really challenging part!  Maybe by this summer.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Project: Simplify Hot Spot #3 Kids Clothes

This project wasn't too bad just time consuming because it involved the kids trying clothes and getting rid of some of them that don't fit or they never wore anyway.  SimpleMom is awesome!
This is #3 sons dresser who is 2 1/2.  On the right is all of things for fall.  On the left are the things he can wear now and through the summer.

#2 Sons dresser.  He is 5.  A collector of things, actually they all are!  We sorted and tried on and we even got the bottom drawer to be empty with all of the organizing.  The top drawer is still his "stuff" drawer.

#1 Son dresser.  The top drawer is a mess of stuff still but the clothes are all organized!!  The bottom drawer has the things for fall.

These are the Sunday clothes.  I culled these down to one suit each and two white shirts.  Their other button up shirts are now folded in the drawers with the rest of the shirts.
Daughter's dresses an the school spirit shirts.  We actually cleaned out her things a while back.  Still a lot of dresses but it is more manageable now and she actually wears the things hanging her.
Consignment pile!!  Not sure if it is worth the time but we'll see.

Thrift pile.
Pile made by said 2 year old while I had to attend to something else.  Grr.

Processing the 8 under bed boxes.  One for each kid, one shoe box and three--3!--with baby clothes.  Two of which are mostly girl clothes.  Did I mention that she is now 10!  So, they are culled a bit better and a large box is filled to send to our newest niece.

Coats.  Coats and hats, scarves and mittens galore.  We both come from cold/wet places and we have amassed a pile of coats.  They are now confined to the one big box with hats etc. in the top box.  I may have zipped these a little early.  Spring came but we keep having some chilly days with north wind.

Kids cubbies.  Current shoes and spot for their book bags.  I really need a 4th cubby but this was free and does work wonders with containing school things.

The coats all nicely washed and ready for spring.  This was a jumbled mess.  In between seasons is challenging at best.  They now have a wind breaker and a fleece hanging here.