Friday, May 28, 2010

Hack, Hack, Sneeze

We are sick. Again. Lawson just got over a snotty nose that lasted for a month. Nalley now has a hacking cough, sore throat, fever and a BAD case of the grumps.

That makes 2 of us, I also have a bad case of the grumps, due to a RAW and very red throat, a massive headache and the fact that I can't just pull the covers up over my head and sleep all day. Two resident grumps need my attention, and if they don't get it THIS SECOND, they cry and whine. So I thought I'd cry and whine for a second too.

That's okay. I don't think there will ever come a time that I don't want my Mom to comfort me and take care of me while I'm sick. I'm sure my kids feel the same way.

If only I could get Nalley to cover her mouth every time she coughs, it's hit or miss. I so hope that Lawson doesn't get sick again.

And I really need to feel better, tomorrow is my LONG AWAITED free motion at Carellan Sewing Centre...I am so looking forward to it, but don't think it will be the same if my head feels like it is going to explode!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I *heart* those Schmooshie Lips

This LO has long been on my list of "to-do's"...honestly, schmooshie baby lips are one of my favorite things. I LOVE kissing my babies little lips and feeling them schmoosh. It's one of those precious things about motherhood, I think. I even love just looking at the schmoosh-able little lips of babies that aren't mine, they are just too cute!

I really don't think that I could have captured Lawson's schmooshes better, and the quilt pictures pair perfectly with the Giggle Box Collection that I featured today on the The Shabby Princess's blog in the Product Spotlight.

As with every product featured on the Product Spotlight, Giggle Box is on sale this week only at the Shabby Shoppe. Go on over and pick it up, then post your LO in the Blog Inspired gallery.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Bloggers Quilt Festival

I am so excited to participate in Amy's Quilt Festival again. I am probably the least skilled quilter that participates, but I think it is so much fun join along with such a FABULOUS community of quilters. I have seen first hand how amazingly generous and kind-hearted all of you blogging quilters (and quilters in general) are with all of the participants who have and continue to freely and generously donate to my Quilting for Babes Project.

My quilt entry is not anything new, in fact, you're probably sick of seeing it...LOL! However, it is special to me because it has sort of come to personify the QFB project in my heart. While it was still just a quilt top, it was photographed for the write up in the Winnipeg Free Press. It was also my first attempt at pinwheels, which are so much fun by the way.

It isn't a technical quilt, but none of mine are. It isn't a large quilt, it didn't take me much time, the quilting is just straight lines, following the seams. So, really, it would never "win" anything in a quilt show, but it has won a large place in my heart. I hope that it will find it's home with a very special baby that will love it and cherish it, and someday read this post and know how special it has become to me.

I am so looking forward to spending some time this long weekend to look at all the beautiful entries, and read the stories of what makes them special to their creator. There are always so many, it takes forever, but it is SO worth it. So, if you've never participated in Amy's Quilt Festival, go on over there and check it out. It is so much fun!
ETA: Please don't think I am knocking my quilts, my quilting, or myself...I don't quilt for other people...I quilt for myself, and try hard not to compare myself to others. In fact, I love simple. I think that simple doesn't mean easy, it doesn't mean plain. Simple is beautiful and I think this quilt is beautiful, for lots of reasons. In the 10 years since I made my very first quilt, I have never done elaborate, or fancy, it's just not my style...that's all.

Hybrid/Altered Recipe Box

YAY! It has been all I could do NOT to share these pics with you for about 2 WEEKS now! I am just over the top excited about how this hybrid project worked out. It is my feature project today on the Shabby Princess's blog. Can I just tell you how much fun it is to be on her Creative Team?

Anyway, a friend of the family is getting married next month, and she loves to cook. I knew I wanted to do something special for her shower, which the girls' and I attended last weekend. I couldn't be more thrilled with how it all turned out, I just love when that happens...don't y'all?

It was a labor of love in that it took me quite a while to make all of the embellishments (and move them around 1000 times before I got the placement just right, and finally committed to gluing them, but there was nothing hard about it at all.

I am giving away this super cute recipe card for my Apple Muffins as a free download on SP's blog. Head on over here to check out the post and download the card...
Me and the kiddos are heading over to a friends to splash in the pool this morning. The weather has been FABULOUS this week, I don't want to be inside!

BUT, I need some you all probably well know...I love to sew, but clothes scare the bejesus out of me! I can do cute and simple little dresses and ruffle pants for Nalley, no problem. But I need to alter a PATTERN size...and I have NO CLUE how to do that. The pattern is a vintage pattern, on that flimsy tissue paper...I HATE THOSE PATTERNS! But, it's vintage, I didn't have a choice if I wanted to make this cute little toddler outfit. It is a size 2, but I would like to make it in a size 3 for Nalley, for now, and size it up further for next year. I would also like to make it in a baby size, for a a friend who just had a sweet baby girl.
I KNOW that somebody out there will know just what to PLEASE...can you help me? I was thinking of scanning it in to the computer and resizing it in photoshop. Would that work, would I just enlarge the whole thing in a percentage, or do you have to size the length up seperately from the width....just thinkin' out loud hopin' somebody's going to have an answer. Thanks!!!! Enjoy the weekend

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Happiness for My Head

Oh my goodness...these pillowcases make me happy! They were so quick and easy to make and that is something I need a little more of in my life! I followed this tutorial over at Little Birdie Secrets. She has a ton of cute projects and they are all right up my alley! I haven't had a ton of time on my hands lately to catch up on my blog reading, etc...but when I have a spare moment, I'll be going back!

I knew I had to make these pillowcases JUST so that I could put this EXTRA CUTE little crocheted edging on them! They are to die for. Mmmm. I have seen these pillowcases on several sites, and gathered a couple of useful tidbits for execution. Actually, the only thing I really took from any tutorial was the length of yarn to cut for my blanket stitch foundation. I did my own thing after that, and created a "Kathy-style wing it" picot edge, cause I'm like that, and all! If you're NOT looking to wing it, You Go Girl has a whole series of tutorials from pillowcase construction to finishing edge...

I wish I had taken some pictures so that I could have done a tutorial on my method, but if you want the details, here they are. I followed this tutorial for construction of the pillowcases (I would make them a tad smaller in both length and width next time, but that's just personal preference). Next I put my wing needle in my sewing maching unthreaded, and set the machine to the longest stitch length (which on my machine is approximately 1/4") with a 1/4" allowance. The wing needle punches small holes all the way around the perimeter of the pillowcase, to make your blanket stitch even and neat. Then, I cut about 10 times the circumference of the pillowcase (multiply the width x2) of a lightweight mercerized cotton yarn (I used Grace by Patons). Thread a doll makers or darning needle with yarn and work a blanket stitch all the way around. Since these stitches are going to be a foundation for a crocheted edge, you do not want them to be loose at all. Lastly, work the crochet edge around. This was the pattern I created for these pillowcases. Insert hook in blanket stitch at seam, attach with a slip stitch (sl) , single crochet (sc) in each blanket stitch around. Row 2: Join with slip stitch (sl), chain 2 (ch 2), double crochet (dc) in each (sc) around, join with slip stitch (sl). Row 3: *Slip stitch (sl) in first (dc), chain four (ch 4), slip stitch (sl) in same stitch {this makes the picot}, single crochet (sc) in next two (dc)**, repeat from * around, join with slip stitch (sl) and tie off.

The most time consuming part of it all was the blanket stitch around the edge, after that, I cranked out the edging in 1/2 hour.

Make some pillowcases, they'll make your head happy!

Oh and BTW...I made these to match the quilt I am making for our bed. It is a KING size bed, so I have been putting it off, but these were to kick my butt into gear. It's not like I have anything else to do.........................

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Up to Date

I have been criticized lately for taking on too many projects. It is in my nature to have LOTS going on in my life. I am a TRUE TYPE A personality, I thrive on the challenge of teaching myself a new skill or hobby. I get completely jazzed when I actually figure it out and perfect it. It is what keeps me sane....honestly. I am sure that MANY of you reading this can totally relate.

Yes, sometimes I do TOO much. Sometimes I am completely worn out and really do need to slow down. But telling me not to have some sort of crafty sewing/paper/digital project or party to plan, or cake to bake is like telling the sun not to shine. In fact, my projects are the sun in my life. PLEASE don't get me wrong. My kids and my husband are my life. They are the greatest gifts that God could ever have given me. Period. But I also believe that God gave me a talent in my creative expression, a way to make things that are of value to others. A way for me to contribute financially to our family, and I believe He is pleased with my work, my art.

I am always seeking to find a balance in my life. It is a very hard job to be a stay at home, let alone a work at home MOM. I am a MOM first, and my outlet for all the long hours and whiny little ones, are my projects. End of story.

Funny thing about it all, is that the project that I was criticized about is Quilting for Babes. Funny how some people can take a good thing that people are doing, NOT FOR THEMSELVES, but for others, and be nasty about it. Good thing is folks, I have never really cared what other people think about me. It just doesn't matter to me. So all you crafty people of the world, craft on...helping other people, and don't give the criticism another thought.

And here are some of the things I've been doing this week. A lovey blankie for my cousin's new baby girl.

My first taste of embroidery. Not perfect, but nice, and I feel like it will be something to work on in the future.

Me and my kiddos on Mother's Day. The girls spent Saturday night with my in-laws and Maybel had to go on to her mom's that morning, so I didn't get any pics with her. My first Mother's Day with Lawson, he has made it all complete for me.

A dress I made for Nalley on own version of the knot front dress. I got such satisfaction from this dress. Completely winging it and it came out great. That doesn't often happen when I wing it. First time was a charm, no stitch is good.

I finished up the quilting and binding on my two baby quilts. With everything else that I have been working on for QFB, I hadn't had a chance to finish my own quilts. Glad they are done. Now I've got to work on some other WIPS and start whiddling down the list of unfinished I can start some new ones...LOL!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

We Have a Winner...

well actually, we have TWO! Amber was so sweet to calculate all of the entries for the Quilting for Babes giveaways and use a random number generator to select the winners. goes!

The first was #73, Jeanette and the second #232, Mel. You both should have gotten an e-mail already, Amber and I are both excited to get busy on the winnings!

I'm sure that all of you that read my blog know how grateful I am to everyone that has participated in this project. I have said it over and over again. But I'll say it again, THANK YOU so much for your generosity, the kind words you have said and written, the prayers and well wishes you have extended on our behalf. Amber and I both could not be more appreciative to you all.

My family and a few friends and participants are going to be going to the hospital to deliver the quilts, sleepers and some goodies for the staff on Lawson's birthday, July 16. However, this project will not be ending. It will be an ongoing project here in Winnipeg, and I have also decided to "pass the torch" along to another person, in another city who would like to get something similar started. If this interest you, please leave me a comment or send me an e-mail. I would love to chat with you about how to go about it!

Congrats to our winners...

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Fun at the Shabby Shoppe

There is lots of new activity at the Shabby Shoppe. The Shabby Princess just launched her new blog this week, and we have been busy on the team, in preparation for all the festivities.

This was my LO for Nicole's first Template Challenge. I had to scrap about QFB, of course!

Yesterday was MY very first post for SP's new blog. I featured a Hybrid Hairbow Holder, made with the Blossom Collection. It was a fun project and doubled as a birthday gift for one of my best friend's little girls.

Go on over and check it out...there are lots of fun things going on at the new blog, I still can't believe I am on her Creative

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Giveaway Deadline

The official deadline for the Quilting for Babes giveaways was May 1, but since Canada Post doesn't run on Saturday, I left it open until today (I know, I'm Amber has posted her list and here is mine:

Christina: 6 blocks
Debbie: 2 completed quilts
Jocey: 3 completed quilts + 4 blocks
Mel: 1 completed quilt
Laura: 1 completed quilt
Carly: 3 quilt tops + 2 blocks
Janet: 1 completed quilt
K.W. (from Emo, ON???): 12 blocks
Fran: 3 completed quilts
Gail: 2 completed quilts
Monika: 4 blocks

Amber and I are working out the details of assigning #'s for entries...we will post the winners soon!

Additionally, here are a few heartwarming stories that I have to share about the outpouring of love and generosity that has come forth in response to this project.

I have received countless e-mails from women from all over Manitoba who belong to small quilting groups that are working on multiple quilts for the babies. At least 4 of those groups have half a dozen to a dozen quilts each that they will be donating. I got an e-mail from one lady last night to tell me about how excited her group is about QFB. One of the members of her group has started making towels to hang on the fridge to sell to the residence of their 55+ community so that she can collect money for sleepers in addition to all of the quilts they are making. They have invited me to their Spring Tea where they will display the quilts and donate them to QFB...I was a puddle of tears after reading that e-mail...

I got an e-mail last week from 2 girls from the Grade 11 & 12 Sewing Class at Churchill H.S. (Churchill, Manitoba is where all the polar bears are). The girls said that their teacher read the article from the paper to them in class and they are all going to be making quilts for this project. The e-mail said some of them already know how to quilt, and others are excited to learn. I got a follow up e-mail from their teacher telling me how excited they are to participate.

A sweet woman named Margaret, who is turning 90 next week, sent her son to deliver some fabric to me today. A friend of hers e-mailed me last week to tell me about Margaret, and to let me know that she was touched by the QFB project. Margaret has been quilting for most of her life, and made around 100 quilts a year for the babies at the Children's Hospital here in Winnipeg. Her eye sight is failing and can no longer quilt, so when she read about my project, she wanted me to have her carry on in her place. Ms. Margaret, I am honored to follow in your footsteps, those are some mighty big shoes to fill...

Like Margaret, several sweet, sweet ladies have given me fabric that they can no longer use. I am so grateful to have it, and I promise to put it to good use, there are lots of babies that need a quilt.

I got another e-mail this week from a lady who had purchased a few sleepers herself, and had some gently used ones she was going to donate. She e-mailed me back tonight to tell me that she had collected quite a few more from "some of the fabulous people" she works with.

There are countless more stories to share, each person that has given, no doubt has their own reasons of doing so. I am thankful that this project resonates with so many.

It is not too late, if you would like to contribute, send me an e-mail or comment on this post...