16 April 2008

yesterday and today

Guess what we did yesterday...

Went to the Wiggles concert! Yes we took a 2 year old to a concert. And yes Brad and I both went to a children's concert. But you have to understand, Wiggles have come right up to tie for first place with Blue's Clues. The kid just LOVES them. So when the Wiggles came to Lethbridge how could we not go. For about half the concert he just sat in awe - totally shocked that the Wiggles were there. He would just point and stare. So funny!

But we got lots of smiles too. Especailly when Wags or Dorothy or Captain came out. And I am too stupid to know how to put up a video - and too lazy to learn. So you will just have to take my word for it that there was some crazy dancing going on as well! Ended off with one of Ro's favs, Hot Potato! And man oh man did he dance his heart out!

Here is the cheese face with his feather sword. I know I know, but at least it's not a hat or t-shirt. It kept him very entertained until the concert started and all the way home. So worth it.
I was thinking to myself on the way home, how do you know you are a parent? You know you are a parent when you are more excited to take your kid to the Wiggles concert than you were to see Pearl Jam in Las Vegas! Lots of fun had by our little family.

Kitchen table + fitted sheet = best fort ever!
The fitted sheet works so much better than anything else, stays in place so good. A great lunch was had by all in our fort. Lots of crumbs on the ground and a smashed strawberry on the sheet were so worth it for all the smiles and laughing I got.

11 April 2008

I need help.

Current pregnancy cravings:
Ice cold water, I drink 12-14 glasses a day at least. Peanut butter and pretzels. Cheese. Popcorn. And sewing. ???
I seriously need help. I have become the crazy pregnant craft lady. It may be worse than a crazy cat lady. I have no idea what has come over me - I crave crafting. Especially sewing.
I have a few projects on the go right now. But today I just felt like starting another one. Saw this in one of those crazy expensive baby boutiques. Thought how stupid it was that is cost like $50. So I made it myself. So here you go, the latest in my crazy craft kick. The diaper clutch. Don't worry, there will be many crafts to follow. I know because I have a list. Someone stop me before it gets out of control!
This is what else we did today. Played outside. I came up from putting a load of laundry in to find Roman waiting at the door with his "ruff ruff" boots (they have little dogs on them) on over the footed pajamas. I added the coat and we had a great time out in the yard even though we looked a little funny. I finally convinced him to put real clothes on and we played at the park too. By afternoon we went on a walk with no jackets.
Such a nice change in weather from the snow storm I was in in Calgary yesterday! Light snow in the morning, okay for me cause I only had to drive a few minutes from Rhonda's to the Children's Hospital (went to a very good nursing conference). Other people said the roads were awful. And a serious storm on the way home during rush hour traffic. Loads of wet globs of snow coming down faster than my wipers could work. And then when I got out of the city by the Okotoks turn off bright and sunny and dry. Crazy Alberta weather. Sunday is supposed to be something like 25!

07 April 2008

what we are up to

I have been on a major sewing kick. Feeling so much better with way more motivation and energy in my second trimester. So glad, because I was so much sicker with this pregnancy. I finally bought the Amy Butler Nappy Bag pattern. I tired it out with scrap material I had sitting around. Made a few changes, and will make a few more when I buy some Amy Butler fabric to make another one. Gunna use this bag for a church bad in the meantime.
Had to make the cell phone pocket on the outside way bigger for my fat flip phone. I also changed the position of the bottle pocket, put it on top of another pocket so I could have two for the price of one. I love lots of pockets! I also added a pocket for my stuff - keys, chapstick, whatever. And I put snaps and buttons on lots of the pockets instead of leaving them all open. Here is the inside.

Roman is sleeping better now. The time change was a lifesaver! He usually sleeps to 7:45 or 8:00 now. So much better than the 6 or 6:30 we had going for a few months! (Love Brad so much for getting up with him every morning when he did that, major nausea and sleepiness part of pregnancy!) Anyway, he moves around so much when he sleeps so I don't like leaving toys in the crib for him to play with when he wakes up. He is pretty good about staying in the crib for a little while before he calls us to get him out. So I made these little toy bags that velcro to his crib. Now I can go in before I go to bed and add toys and books for him to find when he wakes up, and I get and extra 15-20 minutes of sleep! Got the idea here, but changed them a bit. Made them oval shaped instead of round - fits the books better.
Roman wanted in on the pictures.
While I have been on a sewing kick Romes has been on a building kick. Just getting in on all the house renos going on around here I guess. Wears the tool belt around all day. Pounds on everything with his hammer. Sticks his screwdriver in every hole he can find. And cuts everything with his saws. I love little boys! And yes, we stay in our pajamas as long as we possibly can everyday!
And finally, here is parenting at it's best! Portable DVD player and headphones. I wish I could say it was for something important like General Conference - which was great by the way! But no, it was for some stupid tv show - that I can't even remember - that Brad and I wanted to watch. In our defense he was crazy full of energy and mad we had the tv on for us and not him, and we were both sooo tiered from long crazy busy days at work. Oh well. We went to the park this weekend as a family if that makes up for it!

02 April 2008

circle quilt tutorial

This post is for Steph. I don't know when we will ever get together with both our crazy lives - so instead of teaching you how to make it I made a step by step tutorial for you to follow.

- this is a very long post and will be very boring if you don't like to quilt!

This tutorial is for a quilt that I made for my sister in law Rhonda and baby Lucy, and my best friend Stephanie and baby Finley. I made the quilt for Rhonda almost three years ago and had enough material left over to make Steph one this last fall. Both of them get compliments on it all the time, which is funny to me because it is sooo easy to make. Here is a picture of Steph's quilt. (You can click on all the pics to get a huge look at them if you want!)

First a little disclaimer. This is my first attempt at writing a tutorial for anything, so sorry if I forgot something or ramble on too much.
I enjoy quilting, but I am more into get it done and enjoy it instead of do it perfect. Especially with this quilt. I like it when it puckers, or the circles don't match up just right. Also, I don't like to prewash cotton. I like it to pull a bit after it is done and washed. Makes the quilt look older. So with that said, here we go.

I haveo nly used cotton for this quilt. Use whatever you want, but I like the way cotton frays just a tiny bit. For the quilt I am going to show you I used scraps that someone had given me. Not sure how the all green and only 3 different fabrics will turn out, but at least you will be able to get the general idea. For Rhonda and Steph's quilts I used 6 different patterned materials for the circles, and a striped material for the sashing.
I 'm not sure how much material to tell you to buy, not good at figuring that out. Sorry. For this quilt I used six fat quarters for the circles (two of each of the three patterns). And I used nine 12x12 white or light colored squares. My squares are all the same fabric, but my mom has made this quilt with squares all the same tones but different patterns/fabrics. Do whatever you want. Then you will need fabric for the binding and sashing. You could also add three more sets of circles and three squares to make it rectangle instead of square. Wow I am talking A LOT already. Sorry.
Okay, so get a cereal box or card stock and draw 3 circles - a 10 inch, 7 inch, and 4 inch. I went back to junior high math days and used a protractor to draw my circles.
Then trace the circles onto your fabric with a washable sewing pencil or marker. Cut out 9 of each size circle. I like to cut my smallest circles from the the inside of my biggest ones, saves fabric. Also cut out nine 12x12 inch squares. I highly recommend a cutting mat and rotary cutter for this if you have it! Here are some of my circles.
Now the fun part. Put a big circle on the square and sew it on around he outer edge of the circle. I don't measure, just eye ball it. Again, I like it when each circle is off a bit and not all the same. But measure if you want to. I use about a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Gives it enough to flip up and fray a bit. I usually just follow around with my presser foot on the circle edge, but I'm not too exact.
Then do the same with a different color/pattern of the 7 inch circle on top of the 9 inch circle. Mix it up anyway you want. I pretty much just go random with this.
And then the 4 inch circle, again totally random color choice. (easier to be random on the other ones I made because I had more to choose from. Not to much option with only 3 material choices!)
When you have sew all the circles onto all the squares cut each square in to even quarters (will end up with 4 6x6 inch squares). I pile mine together in sets so I know what I have to pick from for the next step.
Go random or with a pattern and set it all out how the quilt will be. I like to leave mine near my sewing machine, usually on the floor beside it. Obviously Roman is no where near it, learned that the hard way. I like to then pick up each square and sew it together, then lay it back down. A bit more time consuming, going back and forth to the sewing machine, but it keeps me from messing up the pattern. Learned that the hard way too.
So pick up the 4 small squares that will make 1 big square. Sew two together and then the other two together. (1/4 inch seam allowance for everything from here on out) Then press the seams. I never use pins here. I am very anti pins. Too impatient.
Then sew those two rectangles together to make your big square and press the seams. Keep going until they are all done. I don't pin here either. I'm lazy. I just match up the center seams instead of the edges and then sew. My edges never seem to be even, but I really don't care! The quilt turns out just fine.
Then sew three of the big squares together to make a strip. You will have 3 strips of 3 squares. Again, I just match the seams instead of pinning.

Now it's time to sew the strip together. At this point I give in and break out the pins. I match all the seams, on the top and then the middle on each side. Then I pin to keep it in place and sew and press. Then do the same for the last strip.
And there you have it, the quilt top! Now you can add sashing to make it as big as you want. Then the binding, and then quilt it, and had sew on the binding, and you got yourself a quilt! I usually leave the circles alone and quilt in the white area or in the ditch over the entire quilt. I like to wash it too once I am done, gives a better effect of what it will look like, especially if you are giving it for a gift.

Here is my quilt top. I used a small white sashing, only 3 inches. It was a bit bigger on the other quilts - it's really just to get the quilt to the finished size you want. And then I sewed together different sizes of green strips at random to make my binding. I like a 3 inch binding. I think a lot of people sew their binding on after quilting, but I learned to do it first. So do it how you want to. Unfortunately I don't have any batting right now! So the quilt will have to stay as is until I find a use for it and get some batting. (finding out in a few weeks if this little belly has a boy or a girl in it - maybe that will be the motivation I need!)

I usually just lay out my binding around the sides of the quilt to see how much I need. But you can figure it out by measuring the quilt, adding length and the height, and multiplying by 2. So if I had a quilt that was 8 inches x 10 inches, that equals 18. 18 x 2 = 36. Then add 12 inches for mitering corners, seam allowance etc. So I need a binding strip that is 48 inches long.

And here are a few tutorials I have found about how to bind a quilt. This one has real pictures of each step. This one is great simply because it is Heather Baily! And this one is my favorite method for finishing off the binding - a bit different method that the other two.

And just in case you need it, here is a little tutorial on the quilt sandwich - basting front, batting, and back together so you can quilt. I like how she pins the backing to the carpet to keep it flat. I have also heard of using masking tape to do the same thing.

So happy circle quilting! I would love to see any pictures of any finished quilts!