Saturday, May 31, 2008

Star Quilt-along Week 5

Here we are at the fifth star.  It took me awhile to get the courage to start because of all the little pieces, but it wasn't any harder than the other ones.  

I got a new Rowenta iron!  I can't tell you enough what a difference a good iron can make.  It is going to take some getting used to.  I still jump when I hear it shoot out it's powerful burst of steam. Bye-bye to the old iron that served us for 12 years.  

Scott and I perfected the artisan bread!

This guy is the reason I haven't been sewing much lately.  Teething (upper front teeth) and separation anxiety.  I now have serious biceps from logging the 22 pound chub around.  Hard to resist this smile, though.   

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Star Quilt-along Week 4

I am getting used to the triangles enough to actually enjoy making them.  Check out the stars other people have made.     

Monday, May 19, 2008

A Tote for Kai, the birthday boy

Our little Kai turned three yesterday.  We had a little party on Saturday, and I think we did a good job at making it a special day for him.  

And then there is a picture of Quinn who rolls over everywhere.  He always starts on the quilt, but then surprises us by how far he gets.  

Asha got this cute tote for her first birthday from my friend Alison.  Asha has carried numerous little items in it around the house, to errands, and to church.  Now she takes snack to Kindergarten in it.  I love that Alison monogramed Asha's name on it. 

Kai had been wanting his own tote "just like Asha's", so this is what I came up with.  I still want to applique his name on it, but I want to show you how far I got.  I tried to make it boyish so it didn't look like a purse.  I got lots of inspiration for small totes from this Flickr group and can't wait to make more.  

When we went to pick up the fabric for it a while ago, Kai choose a bright blue Thomas the Tank Engine fabric.  I should have known better than to let a two year old choose fabric, but I thought it was a cute idea at the time.  I bought half a yard of it and came home.  Although I am a big fan of those cute engines, I just couldn't think of a way to make the fabric into a cute tote.  The colors are very bright primary colors, and I am just not used to the palate.  Let me know if you have any ideas.  Until I know what to do, it will stay in the fabric bin out if sight from my boy.         

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Strawberry Freezer Jam

The strawberries are in season.  Some of my friends have taken their children to a you-pick farm in Carlsbad, but I haven't had the courage to pull it off.  Instead, Scott and I take our children to the farmer's market on Saturdays.  The strawberries are so sweet and full of flavor that we finish a flat before we get home.  

Adrianne and I had another project day today.  You guessed it.  We made strawberry freezer jam.  LOTS and LOTS of it.  We bought six 4 pound cases of strawberries from Costco, which made 36 cups of crushed strawberries.  Adrianne used Certo Premium Liquid Fruit Pectin, which called for 1/2 cup water, 1 pouch pectin, 4 cups sugar, 2 Tbs. lemon juice, and 2 cups crushed strawberries.  She made 8 batches.  Asha and Kai like to eat their freezer jam in a bowl with a spoon, so I tried the low sugar recipe for us.  I used 1 box of Ball No Sugar Needed Fruit Pectin with 1 cup of water, 3 cups of sugar, 2 Tbs. of lemon juice, and 4 cups of crushed strawberries.  I made 5 batches and ended up with 10 quarts.  We under estimated how much jam we would end up with and ran out of containers.  We emptied out my container cupboard, and even used a zip-top bag to finish the last batch.  

Adrianne made an amazing baguette bread from scratch with my new red cast iron pot.  Oh, it was beautiful and authentic.  There is nothing like a baguette fresh from the oven for dinner.  I could have eaten the whole loaf.  Wow.

Some fabric love.  I have some projects longing to come to life, if only I could get on with the cutting, not my favorite part of sewing.

Finally, a picture of our great babies that smile and coo as long as they are fed.  The older ones enjoyed water play in the back yard.     


Monday, May 12, 2008

Star Quilt-Along Week 3

I had a memorable Mother's day.  I got spoiled with a gourmet breakfast in bed, complete with spare rib omelet, home made biscuit with honey butter, grape fruit, strawberries, and fresh squeezed orange juice.  Jerome and Asha gave me cards and vases they had made.  At church the Primary sang a beautiful piece that warmed my heart.  Then I was one of the secret moms for sharing time in Primary.  We got to answer some questions and bare our testimonies into the microphone that was pulled out to the hall.  The children tried to guess who we were.  Asha and Jerome knew right away, although I thought I did a pretty good job at disguising my voice.  One of the questions was our favorite primary song, so the primary sang each of our songs when we went into the room.  Mine was "Did Jesus Really Live Again?".  It tuned out to be a very special time for me.  Scott made seafood ravioli from scratch for dinner using his new pasta maker.  It was delicious.  I love being the mom of our four cute kids, and I sure don't know how I deserved such a wonderful husband.

Here is my Week 3 star from the quilt-along.  I used a tutorial found here for the triangles instead of what Amandajean shows to keeping the diagonal seams from stretching.  I ironed it with sizing at the end.  I had read somewhere that you are only supposed to use dry iron for quilting.  But after seeing the "quilters only cotton" fabric (the background) look wrinkled in the last two blocks, I decided I don't care.  It looks much better now.                     

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

More diaper totes and bibs

While Kai was at his friend's house and Quinn took a morning nap, I had a solid hour of uninterrupted sewing time.  It was heavenly.  

*I will note the fabric used just in case you are interested.  
light blue paisley - Freshcut, Heather Bailey
inside white stripe - Stu's old shirt (Don't laugh, Adrianne!)
blue with red and white stripe - Moda Roman Holiday, woven (very pretty)
inside red floral - Joann's
two prints on the bibs - Alexander Henry, bird seed and 2D zoo  

Please ignore the rating thing at the end.  It just popped up today, and I don't know how to erase it.   

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Star Quilt-Along

I joined Amandajean's "star quilt-along".  I found her blog last year when she was working on her first quilt-along, and watched how fun everybody was having.  When she announced her second one two weeks ago, I got very excited.  Amandajean is going to walk us through thirteen stars (one a week), and then help us finish them into a 85" square quilt.  Here are the week one and two blocks I made this morning.  They are not perfect, the triangles took a few tries to match the corners, but I had a lot of fun making them.            

Monday, May 5, 2008

Denim Picnic Blanket

Another long time project out of the way!  This one took 6 years from start to finish with a LONG break in the middle.  It started when I made one for my brother for his birthday.  He chose the border fabric from Wal-Mart in Hawaii.  I had denim collected from yard sales and consignment stores.  Once it was finished and mailed out to him, I missed it so much that I made another one to keep.  Then it sat in our closet for 6 years because I couldn't decide how to tie it.  I didn't want to use the yarn any more because I hurt my back trying to get the needle through the thick denim, but I couldn't come up with a good alternative solution.  Fast forward to this year, I saw somebody in the blog world finish hers by going over each corner with a sewing machine.  She started at one of the corners and went about 8 stitches to the kitty corner and then back and forth.  The stitches are pretty much invisible, which I like for this blanket.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Knit Peasant Shirt

My first ever knit sewing.  I had always avoided it because it seemed too hard to do it right, but thanks to the well written instructions in this book, I had a great time making this simple peasant shirt (view 8 in the book).  The side seams did get a little stretched, so I may use the white tape the book suggests you use.  I don't know what it is called in English though.     

I got the floral cotton knit from an online shop, The Fabric Fairy, and the solid cotton lycra from another shop, SewZanne's Fabric.  Check out all the Baby Lulu knits at The Fabric Fairy.  So pretty!  I had known Baby Lulu clothing, but I didn't know you could get their fabric.  Asha is border line too old for the clothes they offer, but I am wondering if I could still use their fabric and make it look more mature.  Their bright floral prints make me happy.