buriedinscraps

Decide what to be and go be it.

Archive for the tag “MiniQuilter”

Summertime…

…and the livin’ is easy. Or hectic. My summer has been hectic. Lots of fun…but hectic. Each year my “summers off” have become shorter and shorter. And I try to cram as much into my summer off as I can manage!

We went here:

more_presidents

and here:
crazy horse

and here…where we saw little peeks of snow on the ground in July:

deadwood

Then we went here:

GC1

and here:

rocks

We came and took MiniStitcher and MarioFan here:

Unknown

We were home for a few days and went here:

Progressive-Field-Home-of-the-Cleveland-Indians

and here:

roh

where we saw this:

couch

and this:

cub_scout

Two thoughts on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame–I loved seeing all of the “stuff”. But, I wonder, do we really need to see Jimi Hendrix’s family couch? Nothing better to display?

And even though I’m assuming that Jim Morrison wasn’t always the Lizard King, I could not wrap my brain around him being a Cub Scout.

I’m guessing you can see why the blog posts have been slim pickins lately. Not much sewing, quilting or stitching going on. But back to work now. I think I need a vacation from my vacation.

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Hippie

peaceEvery once in a while you have to step outside of your comfort zone.  Not saying you have to take a giant leap…but every once in a while you have to tip-toe away from what’s comfortable.  So, I walked away from my reproduction prints for a project.

Mickey Depre (of Pieced Hexie fame!) was at our guild meeting.  She shared some of her bright, fun quilts.  I thought…Hey! I could do that.  Yeah…but did I want to.  The next day at work, I kept doodling this little wall hanging idea.  Hmmm….it needed brights.  Civil War prints are anything but bright.  My considerable stash wasn’t going to be very helpful.  So I knew I had to beg, borrow and steal from my sister and MiniQuilter.  I knew if I asked MQ she’d let me shop in her stash.  But if she said no, I guess I’d just steal when  she wasn’t looking. 😉  Even though it wasn’t really my style, I drew up the design and started to cut shapes.  Here’s what I came up with:

hippieCan you tell I channelled my inner hippie with this one?  Definitely not my usual stuff.  Bright colors and applique no less!

Got it all pieced together and started to cut away some of the background and guess what!

hippie2I cut away a little bit too much!!  Enlarge the photo and see what I mean.

I laid the quilt on the floor to take these photos and something just doesn’t look right. Like a bolt out of the blue I see it!  The darn “a” is backwards.  My husband says “Change it.”  I say “Peace out, man.  It’s just doin’ it’s own thing.”

hippie3

I’m thinking about maybe adding some crystals in the upper left.

Now, here’s my question….do you think it needs another small border?  Maybe something a little less busy?

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!  Yes, it’s that time again; where we look back and reflect on the good times as well as play woulda, coulda, shoulda.  Then we make our resolutions only to have them become a far away memory by February.  I don’t know about you but I’ve long since given up on New Year’s resolutions.  Who needs the pressure! 🙂 By the end of January I was beating myself up because I hadn’t done enough to change the world.  So I haven’t made one for many years.

But there’s something about this year that’s making me want to make a “strong suggestion” to myself this year.  You get to that point where you realize you have a whole lot more years behind you than you have in front of you.  And I want to spend those years healthier than I am now.  I have no real health issues and I want to keep it that way!  This is the year that I hope to lose those crummy 15 pounds I’ve been playing with the past few years, eat a healthier diet (bye-bye processed food…except wine :-)) and maybe actually exercise!   OMG…I said the “E” word!  I’m also looking into yoga.  Not promising anything.  Not “resolving” anything.  Just strongly suggesting to myself that this is the year I  take control of me.  Those in my house can come along for the ride if they dare!

We saw the movie “Lincoln” last night (short review–great movie..go see it!) and at one point toward the end, Abe turns to his wife and says “We need to try to be happier.”  And that will be my mantra this year…I need to try to be happier.  I’m not terribly unhappy, but I could be happier.  And it’s my goal to do just that!  Fortunately, quilting makes me happy!

I’ve been working on a quilt for MiniQuilter for over two years.  Took me forever because it was hand-embroidered.  The top is finally put together and it’s awaiting quilting.

basket_blockShe loves the 30s fabrics and this quilt pattern was perfect for them.  I was originally going to send the quilt out to be quilted, but I think Grandma should quilt it.  So that is my goal.  And I DO resolve to finish this quilt!

basket_quiltI can’t give her this quilt until I make one for her brother.  (Good thing I only have two grandchildren!)  I’ve been looking for a pattern for a quilt for MarioFan without much luck.  I was in the grocery store with my husband and thumbed through McCall’s American Loves Scrap Quilts and there it was! Paper Chain!

paper_chainI think it’s a perfect pattern for a boy’s quilt.  The picture of the finished quilt is a page from the magazine and the block is my test block.  It went together really well and pretty quickly.  I’m thinking I want to make it basically in blues and browns with a little bit of green and/or red.  I’m kind of excited!  The new year needs a new project!  And I resolve to finish this one also!

chain_blockWhat are your quilting resolutions….or “strong suggestions”?

Funny….

Funny how life always gets in the way of the best laid plans!

When last you saw me, I was going into the sewing palace to make Barbie clothes and wasn’t coming out until they were finished…or until tempted with a bottle of wine.  Neither happened.  OK…well maybe I gave in to the siren song of a bottle glass of Merlot.  Barbie’s wardrobe was just as frustrating as I feared…little seams and little stitches.   Forget the little snaps.  It was velcro all the way! (I think I could have sewn a wardrobe for myself faster and easier.)  Anyone who thinks making “little” things should be quick and easy because they’re little has never obviously made little things.  I used the Barbie that lives at my house for a model.  For a skinny chick I sure had trouble getting her jeans over her hips…just like some of us not-so-skinny chicks!  Apparently she has a rubbery and the fabric stuck to it.  (Insert joke here.)  And to make it worse, she has a funky arm.  This particular Barbie is a baker and her arm is designed to fit around a mixing bowl.  Grandma didn’t check that out when she bought Barbie.  Of course, Grandma is from the era when Barbie was just Barbie–not astronaut Barbie or baker Barbie or deep-sea diver Barbie.  Needless to say, MiniQuiter is getting a different Barbie for Christmas….one with normal arms.  I remember making Barbie clothes in the past that fit much better.  Someone has changed the patterns!  I mean, seriously, these patterns are made to fit one “person”…Barbie.  It’s not like you need to make adjustments for  different figures.  Seriously McCall’s and Simplicity…she has one figure.  And a not so realistic one at that, but we won’t even go there!

barbieSo, most of the sewing is done.  (I’m hoping to finish one more dress for Ms. Barbie.) Most of the gifts are wrapped, cookies are baked, cards are sent.  One thing left to do….wish all of my blogging buddies a merry Christmas and best wishes for the upcoming year.  May we finish our current UFOs and replace them new ones.  And may we find the time to do just that.  (Darn Barbara Brackman is planning a block of the month for the upcoming year.)

ornament2

Merry Christmas!

See you in 2013!

How time flies…

…when you’re having fun.  Or supposed to be!

After getting through Thanksgiving with little or no drama–no dropped pies or turkeys that didn’t cook–decorating for Christmas should be  a piece of cake.

It’s a tradition (or a curse–not sure which) to decorate the weekend of Thanksgiving.  Since this was Mr. Christmas’ (aka my husband) first post-retirement Christmas, decorating should be a snap this year!  Or not…   It’s well documented that when we decorate, the rest of the family scatters to the four winds.  No one wants to be around when the battles begin.  Getting  a pre-lit tree has helped tremendously in curtailing the not so festive words that would fly around the tree trying to get the lights wrapped around the branches just right.  And, yeah, those nuggets came from me.  Mr. C was always too busy having a holly, jolly Christmas.  No holly, jolly for me until the decorating is done.

This year we were getting an early start–a whole day early.  Maybe this wouldn’t be a lost weekend after all!  Step One…assemble the tree.  You know, as they say, it’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt….or the tree falls over.  Yep, our tree decided to keel over.  The “trunk” bent and we watched it fall like a giant redwood in our living room.  Mr. C decided to just bend the trunk back the other way and it should be good to go for one more year.  Oh yeah…that worked…for about 60 seconds.  Tim-ber!!  It came down again.  Two choices…tie it to the window locks or buy a new one.  We had a tree that had to be tied up back in the day.  Even though we tried to make it look festive by tying it with red ribbon, the bottom line was it just looked tacky.  So, off to the store we went.  By this time Mr. C was no longer holly, jolly and since I wasn’t to begin with, you can imagine the mood in the car.  Add to that a little thing we call “Black Friday” and I think you know where this went!

The store was not very crowded–grateful for that.  They were also not very cheap.  If I need to buy a new tree I’m the day after Christmas bargain hunter, so I was stunned by the prices.  Narrowed it down to two and couldn’t decide–should I go cheap or go pretty?  Mr. C reminded me that we weren’t buying a house …just a Christmas tree.  PICK ONE!!  OK…so I went with pretty.

Later on that evening, MiniQuilter and MarioFan came by to “help” decorate the tree.  I’ll admit to being a little bit tyrannical particular with ornament placement.  It comes naturally—my grandmother was the queen of the ornament placers!  I had to keep reminding myself that in a couple of years they won’t want to help decorate and I”ll be sad.  But WHY do kids find the butt-ugly ornaments–the ones you just can’t bring  yourself to toss out for whatever reason–and put them right in the front of the tree?

Right in the front where i have to look at it every time I pass by!  Is it a kid thing?

But when it was all said and done the tree was pretty and it was finished in one day.  Sitting on the couch with a glass of wine and Mr. Christmas with a beer, it looked pretty and festive.

Which gave me all day Sunday to sew.  I had made a baby quilt for the granddaughter of a good friend.  It’s an I Spy quilt.  Picked up the kit for $7–all cut out and ready to go.  Pieced it quickly and it looked cute.  I decided that since I had a poly batt, I’d use that.  After I started to stitch-in-the-ditch, I remembered why I don’t use poly.  I like flat quilts and this had too  much loft  for me.  Too late to change horses now.  So I plugged along.  I did some nice swirlies in the border–several times.  I had to “unsew” and resew because the backing folded over and was caught in the stitching.  I don’t know how many times I have to do this before I learn.  Apparently…several!

My favorite part not) of quiltmaking was up next…the binding.  It actually went on pretty well for a change.  But I have lots of trouble with mitered corners.  Mine do not look nice.

Maybe it’s practice..maybe it’s me.  I just know I’m not happy with the results.  So I walked away from it and came back to it later.  It didn’t look so bad.  The baby won’t my mistakes.  And I don’t think his mom will either!

Still gearing up for Barbie…   🙂

And they’re off…

I finally got my Sandy blocks in the mail to My Patchwork Life.  I had a ball making the blocks.  The Disappearing Nine Patch is easy and fun.  MiniQuilter wanted to take a shot at making a block.  The light blue block on the left is hers.  Not bad for an eight year old. 😉  She had been hiding from her sewing machine lately but she’s taken an interest once again.  I’m happy to see that!

Now for one of my What in the Hallelujah Was I Thinking moments.  I decided it would be fun to make MiniQuilter some Barbie clothes for Christmas.  I made her American Girl doll clothes last year.  They were fun to make.  They were also big!  After I got home with patterns and teeny weeny snaps and miniscule elastic I thought to myself…what have you done?!!

 Barbie is pretty small and my eyes aren’t what they once were!  But here I am looking at sparkly red foo-foo fabric and tiny little red ribbon roses.  I believe I’ll devote one day to it.  Close myself up away from the world and make those little buggers.   And when I’m finished, I’ll emerge from my sewing palace and head straight to the royal kitchen for a glass or four of the fruit of the vine!  What we won’t do for our grandchildren!!  Cheers!

Road Trip!

I was able to spend a little time with the grandkids this weekend.  Saturday, we took a road trip to Springfield, Illinois.  MiniQuilter’s brother, MarioFan, has a fascination with Abraham Lincoln so we promised him a day trip to some of the Lincoln sites.  MiniQuilter is not really into history, but she went along for the party.  We had a beautiful day–beautiful hot warm sunshine.

 Our first stop was Lincoln’s Tomb.  It’s pretty impressive.  The design is symbolic in many ways and it has a very nice collection of Lincoln sculpture.  It was a very interesting visit.  You can take a virtual visit here.

After a quick stop to buy a stovepipe hat and beard for MarioFan, we were off to Lincoln’s home.  A slight problem when MarioFan bumped into a stacked display of Lincoln Logs—the tins rolled through the gift shop as my husband slinked out the door, leaving me with a cute little red-faced boy!  When we went outside to wait for the tour to begin, MarioFan announced his disappointment that the home was not a log cabin.  (This later led me to do a Google search for an Abraham Lincoln log cabin–another trip for another day.)  Once inside, I was very disappointed—not one quilt!  Not even in the servant’s room.  Lots of woven coverlets…no quilts.  I mean, seriously Mary Todd Lincoln…not one quilt?  MiniQuilter and I enjoyed the tour of the home…the furniture and all the “pretties”.  MarioFan on the other hand, was most impressed by the “little house out back”.  He had a hard time wrapping his head around that one.  Ah….eight year olds!

A pleasant surprise!  There was a Civil War encampment on the grounds of the Old State Capitol.  It was basically a medical encampment and there were displays of medical kits and such.  There was a surgical “demo” that the kids surprisingly enjoyed.  I’m just happy that medicine has come a long way, baby!  We walked past a tent that housed both Grant and Lee.  (Nice to see the boys getting along!)  These two men looked so much like the generals that it was uncanny!  These  re-enactors take this very seriously and stay in character at all times.  Throughout the entire camp, I only saw one quilt!  It was not an antique, but very pretty.

Inside the Old State Capitol building, ladies and gents in period costumes were dancing.  I always find these events fascinating.  I love to see the men in their uniforms and the women in the big dresses.  Although at 90 plus degrees, I was glad that it was them and not me in a wool jacket or a hoop skirt!

And, as always, with two eight year olds, I made several trips to the “necessary room”.  (Good thing for MarioFan that these were inside and flushed!) So, if you’ll ever be in Springfield,  give me a ring—I can tell you where all the bathrooms are!

I’ll leave you with a short slide show of our day.

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