Category Archives: Quilting
Unfortunately, this summer has been really, really long!
No, it hasn’t been that bad. It certainly hasn’t been our best summer (remember when I did summer school that one time?) but it could be worse (remember last summer when I didn’t have a car or the internet?) I guess you could sum it up neatly by saying this is your run-of-the-mill, average summer. Four kids sure take a lot of time and all of your energy.
Here’s a little update on what I’ve been up to, since I obviously haven’t been blogging about it.
- Keeping the house cleanish. Really! The kids and I did an intense panic clean (for a home inspection) and we’ve done a moderate job at keeping it up. Kind of a miracle. I’m slowly seeing the piles start, well, piling up again. Sigh.
- Quilting. I made a quilt! It’s the kind of quilt that really deserves its own post, but here’s a sneak peek:
- Feeding four kids. This deserves its own spot on the list because hello, that’s hard work. Especially when you take into consideration that grocery shopping often involves four children.
- Homeschool obsessing. I’m gearing up for the new year, and I’m hoping this next year will be far more successful than last. I should really do a “wrap up” post on the previous year. We’ll see.
- Homeschool shopping. Online shopping mostly because a) I like to buy used when I can, b) I don’t have any homeschool stores here and c) retail shopping involves four children.
- Quilt obsessing. I’m constantly designing quilts in my head, though most days I don’t even break out the sewing machine. Most days, my dining room table isn’t clean enough to break out the sewing machine, let alone put fabric on it. I have high hopes for a sewing room one day.
- Fabric shopping. Or at least a lot of fabric window shopping online.
- There seems to be a strong “shopping” theme in this list, did you notice?
- House shopping. (Yes, more shopping! I get bored, okay?) And yes, I said house shopping. Nothing official yet, but we’re hoping to move soon, and it is looking like that might actually happen.
- Raised caterpillars and released butterflies! (We used this awesome kit!–affiliate link)
- Going to Seven Peaks, parks, a splash pad, and other kid-fun type activities. Not too much of that, I wouldn’t want my kids expecting fun on a regular basis!
What have you been up to this summer? Has your summer flown by, or is it dragging just a leeeetle bit now that it’s August?
Psst… it’s almost my birthday! Come back soon for a freebie!
Would you do me just a quick little favor? Would you mind just filling out this quick little form? I’m contemplating some changes in the future for this little blog of mine, and I’d love your input.
Since my blog “niche” is just a wee bit scattered (uh, ADHD anyone??), I want to know why you are here reading this blog. Are you skipping every few posts, just waiting for the posts you’re most interested in? Or are you loving every single word I write? (Ha ha.)
Filling this out should take you two minutes, max. Unless your kids interrupt you every twenty seven seconds while reading it, then I can’t guarantee anything!
This post contains very little slacker mom content, and it contains a lot of pictures. Just fair warning!
Early this month, my little baby celebrated her third birthday. Three! What’s up with that? Anyway, my February-due-but-born-in-March-thank-you-very-much born at home baby was the recipient of one of my very first quilts, so it seemed time to update her with a big girl quilt. This is a tutorial “of sorts” because while I won’t be giving you step by step photos or instructions, I will tell you what I did so if you have any sort of quilt experience, you can easily replicate it on your own. You’re welcome. ;)
The fabric in the Sweet Sunshine Quilt comes from the “Hello Sunshine” line by Lori Whitlock (for Riley Blake). It’s a pretty simple sixteen patch quilt using a strip-piecing method. The sixteen patches might look hard, but were seriously the easiest part of this quilt. This quilt used 2 Hello Sunshine rolie polies (aka half jelly rolls), and I used a total of 47 2.5″ strips in this quilt. It yielded exactly enough blocks with one leftover.
Here’s a sixteen patch tutorial using the strip piecing method that I used. (Note that her strips were 2×7, I used 2.5″ jellyroll strips and sewed the strips together by the width of the whole strip. I also cut my rows of four into 2.5″ rows, leave a comment if I just confused you!)
One of the things that absolutely boggled my mind on this quilt was how to put the quilt on point, which means setting the squares on the diagonal. It’s actually really easy, but figuring out the finished size of the quilt beforehand was pretty much impossible for me. I’m not mathematically inclined, however. :)
The quilt was going to feature plain white sashing, (I used a white Moda jelly roll and had tons of excess) but the mathematically disinclined did something really stupid (um, don’t cut all your white fabric into 8.5″ strips if you want to use white sashing for your entire quilt). I decided on pink cornerstones, so I cut some yardage (approx. 1/4 yard of this pink fabric) into 2.5×2.5 squares.
I then decided to do something really crazy, and planned a bit of applique with some pretty intense embroidery. I enjoyed the process, but I fretted about every step. Clearly, it’s not perfect, but it’s good enough for me. I used a high tech process of enlarging the bird fabric image on my tablet, laying the tracing paper on top of my tablet, and gently tracing.
I used the “starch and cereal box” method described here, except I used a Ritz Cracker box. ;) I found the Faultless starch at Walmart for $.98. I’ve done a bit of embroidery though obviously, I’m no professional, but I found this website helpful for various techniques. The stitches I used were a stem stitch, back stitch, satin stitch, and the french knot. (These are all very basic stitches so don’t be intimidated.) I hope the real embroiderers in the world won’t judge me too much on my less than perfect attempt!
For the binding, I used a machine binding tutorial because I was super short on time–as in, staying up till 2 or 3 a.m. several nights in a row before her birthday. I used this one and unfortunately, it didn’t work well for me at all. Like, at all. But being short on time as I was, it is what it is. (I should have tried it on a simpler project first!) I have since used this machine binding tutorial on another quilt and it worked much, much, much better. It might be my new binding method!
During one of my late night sew sessions, it entered into my sleep deprived brain that I should embroider a tag for the back. Of course! Why not! This was the last thing I finished, and I finished it on her birthday, at 2 pm, which unfortunately meant a lot of her birthday was spent with her siblings while I called “I’m almost done!” from the other room.
I started this quilt about a month in advance but obsessed over every step. I spent a good week designing the quilt, then redesigned and reconfigured pretty much every step of the way. Attempting to figure out what the finished size would be put me in tears and reminded me of 8th grade math–it wasn’t pretty. The embroidery took about one million hours longer than I thought and I was so frustrated it didn’t work out perfectly. In the end, I haven’t been that fuzzy brain tired since I had a newborn and a toddler!
Was it worth it? Absolutely. I spent way too much time dithering around indecisively but my fun, bright, spunky, hilarious, darling little three year old drags around this quilt and calls it “my Favorite Quilt.” Which is perfect, because she is my favorite three year old!
You know those little things in life that shouldn’t be special, but are? For example: clean sheet day. This is an unofficial holiday my husband and I celebrate rather infrequently. Don’t judge me, but rather than a weekly clean sheet day, we rejoice during my *ahem* bimonthly changing of sheets.
An even bigger holiday? Clean quilt day. As I’ve been on a quilting kick, I decided it was time to soak our bedroom quilt in Oxiclean and restore it to it’s beautiful white, blue, and green condition. The dingy gray, blue and green combo just wasn’t doing it for me anymore.
Oxiclean in the tub full of warm water for a few hours yield one nasty tub full of nasty nasty water.
Several hours later, all my bedding was dry, the bed was made, and my room smells lovely. Clean Quilt Day: a very special occasion indeed!
Quilting, quilting, quilting, feed kids, quilting, quilting, homeschool?, quilting, quilting, quilting, quilting, kids, quilting…
and so on. This is hardly blog worthy, unless you happen to write a quilting blog. Now I’d like to announce the name change of my blog:
CONFESSIONS OF A QUILTING MOM.
Just kidding. Mostly. ;)
Expect a full fledged quilty post as I brag about my soon-to-be completed quilt for my daughter’s third birthday. Her birthday is on March 1st, so I plan on finishing it up on…
March 1st. Naturally!