My poor little boy has had a 102 fever and stomach issues for the past two days. I feel so badly for him as he can’t even play but just lays on the couch or sleeps in his bed. He’s so sick. And this evening I’m feeling pretty tired out. So after putting him down to bed I ventured out into our yard in search of some hints of spring in the midst of this cool weather. I found these, and they brightened my evening. I’m hoping Caleb will get better soon because he is indeed pitiful. Pray for my poor little guy.
In more brightening-my-day-news, I got my business cards today! I ordered some for things that I plan to list on etsy. I thought it’d be fun and they are free! I find myself telling people a lot about my potential shop, since that’s what I’m working on these days. So why not pass out cards too? Though I’ll wait to pass them out until I get at least a few things listed.
I’ve been working on my first projects to put up on Etsy. Tutus with fairy wands, and a possible fairy crown with hair barretts too. We’ll see. Its all still in the planning and making stages. I’m having so much fun! And just couldn’t resist sharing this picture of one of my tutus that I’ll have for sale soon. Plus, I’ve found a couple of fairy princesses who have just been dying for their own tutu fairy skirt and wand! Phew, I guess I’ve made these just in time!
It looks like fairy princess Alice has turned M’s little gnome to stone. Fairy princess M doesn’t seem phased and is just happy Alice didn’t turn her and her wand into stone!
A couple of weekends ago Bob and I built something that I’ve been scheming about for a while now. In her Quilts book, Denyse Schmidt suggests hanging flanel on the wall to help plan and lay out your quilt. She says that most fabric will just stick up there without pins. She also suggests that attaching flanel to foam board might make it easier. So I took that idea and ran with it.
I’ve wanted to have a large work and ironing surface for a long time. I have a small sewing room, which is my laundry room as well. I’m definitely thankful to have my own spot to create, but there is not enough room for a big cutting table. So I got a piece of 1/4 inch plywood cut in half from my Ace Hardware. I covered it in two layers of high loft batting using my friend’s staple gun. Man that gun was fun! I might have to get one of those someday. I covered the batting with white flanel and voila!, my very own large ironing surface. I also use it, because its such a large work surface, to cut quilt pieces. I of course place my cutting mat on top of the flanel board before cutting, and I’m very careful not to let my rotary cutter roll off the edge and cut into the flanel beneath. Bob built me a small but sturdy shelf to hold this amazing board and I just love it! (see the shelf in the pictures below)
When making Annie’s quilt I had the entire quilt layed out on the wall behind me as I was sewing. All I had to do was reach back for the next piece or next row as I pieced the quilt top together. There was no confusion over which edge to sew or what piece goes next, because it was all layed out so nicely. This was also helpful when deciding what fabrics to choose in the quilt. I’d tried another squirrel fabric mixed in as well, but once I had it up on the wall, it just didn’t look as nice.
Here’s pictures of planning out Annie’s quilt. My board wasn’t made yet, but you can see how helpful it is to try different layouts for the quilt. Its easy to get a feel for what it will look like when pieced together.
I prop the board up on my washer, dryer, and ironing board, with the 4th corner resting on the little shelf Bob built for me. In the first picture below you can see my rulers and cutting mat propped up on the shelf. It turns out that shelf is a great place to store my mat and rulers too!
I didn’t expect the board to be a good place to take pictures of my finished creations, but it works great! This is Annie’s quilt pictured and its staying up there on its own, no pins!
When sewing on the binding to a quilt there are several ways of doing it. Mind you, I’m just learning about these ways, so I usually follow the directions found in my two favorite quilting books: Denyse Schmidt Quilts by Denyse Schmidt and Last Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson. These books have helped me tons during my recent binge of sewing baby quilts. They both actually give the same instructions for attaching the binding, but the pictures that go along with Denyse Schmidt’s instructions are what have helped me the most. Here’s similar instructions to the ones I follow in my books.
Anyway, the binding went a lot faster and was a lot less painful this time because of these. I actually got mine at this local quilt shop, but I bet you can find them in any sewing/quilting store. Joelle Hoverson suggests getting these in her book so I took her up on her suggestion. I’m so glad I did! I know they look like hair barrettes, and in fact, I suppose they are. But using binding clips saved my fingers from the tons of tiny pricks I’ve received in the past when sewing on the binding. Annie’s quilt was the first binding I used them on and I’m never going back to straight pins! I think I’ll be using these little guys a lot in the years to come.
You could say I’ve been a quilt machine lately. But with all of these wonderful friends having babies what else could I do but make cute quilts for them!? So here’s my sweet friend Annie’s quilt. I used all baby flannel with white cotten batting. The quilt measures about 40 inches square. I based it on this quilt. I just went by the general instructions on her site, but forgot to account for seam allowances. Big oops. It ended up working out after doing some ripping out and resewing. Its amazing how much I learn with each new quilt I make. Fun, fun. I really like having the pieced back. It gives a little surprise that you don’t expect!
Ok not really, but the Sew, Mama, Sew site did link to my blog when I emailed them my idea of using receiving blankets a friend registered for to make her a baby quilt. I don’t usually pay too much attention to blog stats, but I had a comment from someone I didn’t know so I went and checked where it came from. Then I saw that in two days I had 1,000 visitors to my site all from the Sew, Mama, Sew blog. All came to see baby Willem’s cute quilt. Crazy! So, if you want traffic to your site, email an idea to that blog when they ask for them and they’ll come looking! Fun, huh?
We had a great time visiting family down in Georgia this week. Grampy, my grandfather, moved there this past November and I took the kids to see him, Uncle Sam and Aunt Barbara. They live on a farm in this amazing old house with 12 foot ceilings (maybe taller?) and huge rooms. Its such a wonderful and beautiful place to be. The kids loved feeding the donkey, riding on the golf cart, and playing with Grampy. The warm weather kept beckoning us outside and it was fun to watch the kids just run all over with lots of space to play and be. I had lots of fun talking sewing and quilting with Aunt Barbara, she’s incredibly gifted at both and teaches sewing classes to young girls. I’d brought a quilt I’m working on (which I will post pictures of soon, once its done) and we got to work on it together. What fun. Uncle Sam also told me all about his business selling books on Amazon. He’s at least got me interested enough to think about doing it myself. This could be another stab at making money to pay off those huge student loans. We’ll see if it works out. I think I could have stayed much longer just having a good time together. It was restful and a great place to be while daddy was gone for the week. He comes home tonight and I can’t wait to see him! It feels like he’s been gone three weeks, though its only been one.
We’ve gotta keep daddy updated this week. So here’s more photos of the kids from today.