Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Cute New Things

Well my oldest daughter celebrated her 10th birthday last week.  Holy cow, I have a 10 year old!  It makes me feel kind of old because I remember turning 10 and thinking I was really big!  Ha, what did I know.  I thought about making her a quilt but with only a week to the big day I knew I wouldn't get that accomplished.  So I made a few things for her bed.  She has this big body pillow that sits on her bed, she loves it but it is ugly!  

So I quickly made a pillowcase out of broadcloth and decorated it with circles out of some funky fabric.  I think in was Terrain by Kate Spain.  It turned out really cute.  At least cuter than the before picture.  

I just cut out circles and then sewed through each one.  Really easy!  Hopefully it will hold up.  

I also found this really cute pattern/kit by Sue Spargo at the Cornwagon Quilt Shop in Springville. It just looked like my daughter so I made it for her birthday too.  

It turned out adorable!  When she opened it her little sister looked at me and said, "mom I want an owl pillow for my birthday too!  

This project is a mix of cotton and wool.  I have never made anything with wool before and it was really fun.  If you look close you can see where I messed up.  I forgot to reverse the branch pattern so it ended up facing the wrong way.  Oh well, it turned out well and she loves it.  Maybe she will get a quilt at another time!  

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Last Minute Summer Activity

A few weeks ago our family needed to get out of the house.  We traveled a bit to Cove Fort.  Cove Fort is a little fort built when Utah was first being settled.  They actually have a celebration called "Cove Fort Days."  It was great, free hot dogs, chips and drinks and lots to learn and discover.  There were lots of booths set up where we could walk around and learn about doctors in the 1800's, food, and life in general.  

They had a chicken tied up at one of the booths.  The big girls thought it was very cute.  

Little A had fun trying to make the wooden man jump.  

Big L tried weaving a rug.  I remember my grandmother had a loom just like this one only a little bigger. When she passed away my uncle inherited the loom and made rugs for many of the grandkids.  It is the best rug in my house.  

We went on a wagon ride, which was awesome!  

The sweet lady that was sitting by my girls thought K was going to fall out so halfway through the ride she held onto her shirt, just in case!

We also played "pioneer" games like "fling the wire ring with two sticks," and "try to keep a heavy iron ring rolling with one big stick."  Yup, those are the official names in my book.  I'm sure the correct names are much cooler than mine.   

We even tried to walk on stilts.  My kids really want a set now!  

We had a great time and my kids were grateful to get out of the house!  See you soon, I promise not to be away for as long.  

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Soapbox Message

I'm back!  I can't believe it has been so long since I have posted anything, I guess life just gets away from me.  We have been busy getting ready for school to start (next week ahh!)  Since I have been bact at work this was pushed to the back burner for a bit.  
I am happy to say that I am ready for school to start.  I know there are people out there that say being a teacher would be such an easy job because you only have to work 9 months out of the year.  In theory that is true, but many of us go into work during the summer (no pay, go to training (sometimes with no pay) and spend money we will not get reimbursed for.  I know many of my colleagues find summer jobs just to make ends meet.  
But I have to say I have the best job in the world!  What other job can you have where you are greeted by 20 kids that absolutely love you for just being you?  It doesn't matter that I can't draw a turkey because when I tell them it is a turkey they think it is the best.  I can have the worst hair day and someone will whisper to me "teacher, you look pretty today."  Where else can I touch so many lives and help so many children as in a school.  I know there are many people out there who don't believe teaching in an honorable profession.  To those people please think back to your younger years and try to remember someone that touched your life, most likely you will find at least one teacher.  If any of you know a teacher, please take a few seconds and thank them.  We don't hear it enough.  All right, I will step off my soapbox now, thanks for listening!  (And I really love my job!)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Hello!  Yes I am still here in case you were wondering.  I have been enjoying my last few days of summer vacation and starting to think about getting back to work.  I have been hard at work on "Pieceful Garden" for the past week.  The paper piecing portion was about halfway finished when a few of my fingers swelled to the size of sausages.  I don't know why I just woke up one morning and couldn't make a fist, let alone sew very well.  My fabric just sat in piles on my kitchen table for a few days.  I'm almost back to normal and I can even hold a needle now, wahoo!!  I wanted to show you the applique portion I have ready and I have a tutorial on how I made the 1/8" bias stems.  I remember seeing this on a blog somewhere a long time ago and I can't remember where.  If this is your method please let me know so I can give you credit.  

I started with a strip of bias fabric 1/2" wide.

 I ran each piece through my 1/4" Clover Bias Tape Maker.  This is an awesome tool!  You just thread the fabric through one end and iron it as it come out the other, perfect stems with each raw edge turned into the middle!  (I starch the entire piece of fabric before I start.)

Here is what it looked like when I had all the stems made.
I almost didn't post this picture because then you would know how gross my ironing board is.  I should really get a new one.   

Next I take it to the couch!  Yea I do a lot of my applique stuff sitting down, you might say I'm lazy but I say I'm resourceful!  Using my mini iron I ironed the 1/4" stems in half again.    

Tada!!  1/8" stems. 

 When I glued everything onto the block it was really hard to get the stems to lay flat so I glued one side down figuring I would be able to sew the other side down when I actually did the hand work.  You can see in this picture the stem on the left has been sewn on and the others are just glued.

This is what the whole block looks like.  I'm so glad I decided to go with the super skinny stems and it wasn't much more work that what I had to do anyway.  This block is ready for the hand work, don't worry the little dog ears on the ends of the leaves and petals will go away when I get around to sewing them on  

This was my first attempt at skinny stems if you have any suggestions please let me know!  I'm always looking for new ideas.
Have a great day!