8.25.2014

Memories In Flight

The Oldest FO in History is in its new home. Don't Jama and Abby look great all wrapped up in pelican memories?
 
It took me longer than planned to finish the binding - mainly because both my sewing machines needed a trip to the repair shop that same week. 

  Finished size: 47 x 65"

I sewed the front binding on with Leia's new-to-us machine, worrying the whole time that I would burn out the motor. But it worked - that little Janome is a champ.
A student at my fav quilt shop suggested the binding color. Gold was nowhere on my radar before that - I was looking at browns and dark greens, but they made the rest of the quilt look soooo dull. The gold picks up the yellows in the pelican faces and makes the two border strips sparkle.
 
I named the quilt "Memories in Flight" in honor of Mom. And I told Jama that this is a "use it" not "keep it for special" gift. Judging by that first picture, I think this little quilt's going to get - and give - a lot of love. 
   

8.12.2014

New Resident

Look what followed me home today . . . 
 
I found it at my local repair shop when I took my machine in for a tune-up, and thought it would be perfect for Miss Leia. 
 
She's been using a very nice mechanical Janome but gets frustrated when it doesn't do what she wants - plus it doesn't have a speed regulator, which makes me a tad nervous. This baby is a few years old but nicely maintained. And since it is pre-owned, it was very reasonably priced and the shop guarantees it for a full year.
 
I think Leia likes it. She spent the afternoon making scarves for Leanne and me, and can't wait to come back tomorrow to sew more things. Win-win all the way around!

8.11.2014

Bodie Tooterphants

I've had this pattern in my Ravelry queue for almost 3 years. 
 
Finally bought the pattern, ordered the discontinued yarn from England (boooo for high shipping rates) and got to work.
 
Part of Tooter's charm is the way the yarn patterns along his body and trunk. Now that I've made one and seen how the pieces fit together, I'm planning to experiment with different, thicker, self-striping yarns.
Bodie* Tooterphants loves belly rubs.

The well-written pattern is available on Ravelry and Etsy for under $5 US. The only changes I'm planning are smaller ears (these are too floppy for my tastes) and sewing the legs at the center of the belly rather than toward the sides. 
 
I definitely see more of these in my future. Christmas presents anyone?
  
*Addy and Leia call all elephants "Bodie" after their favorite pachyderm at the Denver Zoo.

8.09.2014

Happy (almost) Birthday

Leia's actual birthday is later this week, but since it's easier to get everyone together on the weekend, we celebrated a few days early. Leia didn't object; something about opening presents early being a-okay with her?
 Leia and Leanne

Getting to dress up in princess-mode and be the center of attention was also okay with her. 
 "Grandma, Grandma, take a picture of my earrings! I can wear these now that I'm all grown up."
 Princess pin-braids.

It was Leia's idea to have a skating party. Mary has been teaching her to roller skate and Leia loves it. 
 
She's still more comfortable holding on to the 'maid' (great invention!)
 
but she can skate by herself when she wants - and no one is looking.
 
Leanne was excited about skating . . . 
 
until about the 5th time she fell. 
 
Then she was definitely done, even with Leia encouraging her to keep going. She had fun off the skates, watching the big kids and checking out the video games, so it was all good.
Spotlight on the two (unrelated) birthday girls - who just happened to be wearing identical knee socks. Too cute. 

Leia's big present was a bike.
  
Mary thought it was too plain, 
 
so she glitzed it up a bit. 
 
It is amazing - can you tell Leia loves it?
 
Skating turned out to be the perfect party venue - everyone had a great time,  from the big (usually rowdy) boys to teenage Naia

and all the little girls.
 
Happy (almost) birthday, my grown up Leia!

8.07.2014

Hello Kitty

I finished another little amigurumi, this time for Leanne.
 
Please meet Polly Kitty.
 
Can you tell Leanne loves her?
 
Leanne was a bit perturbed that Polly doesn't have a mouth,
  
so I may have to add one when Polly comes back to visit next week. And maybe whiskers?
  
Think I'll wait and see if Leanne even remembers before I go planning changes to Miss Polly. 
  
Polly is from the same book as Sun Crocodile. I'm pretty pleased with how she turned out, although when I was sewing the legs and tail on last night, I thought the finished product was going to be a disaster. I definitely need more practice at assembly - and maybe a really good, stitch-by-stitch tutorial.
 
Polly Kitty ended up having personality to spare and Leanne adores her from the tip of her bright pink tail to the top of cute little ears. And also?
 
Kitty butt! (That just never gets old . . . . )

8.06.2014

Orange Man Quilt

What's black and white and orange all over? Matt's birthday quilt!

 
I found this inspiration months ago on Pinterest,
  
but it linked only to a picture, not a pattern.
Love this! Can't believe I timed it just right to see Naia's jumping-jack-head above the quilt.

I collected the black and white fat quarters during the 2014 Quilt Run, amassing over 30 different prints (and spending waaaaaay more than my $100 Run budget.) 
 
I cut one 6" x WOF strip from each piece (2 strips from a couple when I ran short towards the end), then sewed four strips together, alternating mostly black with mostly white. 
 
Once I had a layout I liked, I cut a 4" piece off the first or last black panel in each row so the seams would be offset across the quilt.

Since black, white and red is so cliched (in my opinion, anyway), I cut 2" strips of a nice, deep, non-Halloweeny orange to sew between each column. 
Auditioning quilting thread colors

The back is the same orange, with a line of 4x6" black prints (from the "ends" I cut above) alternating with a 2x4" white print. I was making up the stripe as I went along - so relieved happy it turned out well!
 
The finished quilt is 62x82" - it completely covers the top of my queen-sized bed - and is my biggest project to date. This was a fun, surprisingly quick project and I love it right down to the hand-sewn binding, all 280+ inches of it.
 
Hopefully, Matt loves it too, and will get years of enjoyment from his present. Happy birthday, son!  

8.05.2014

County Fair

We haven't been to the county fair in several years, so Monday we bundled Leia into the car and headed to Ventura. 
 
Leia wanted to go on every! ride!! (not happening) 
 
but settled for checking out the 4-H animals,
riding a pony,
 
petting a wallaby 
 
and a deer, 
 
brushing a llama, 
 
eating a corn dog and ice cream, getting her face painted,
 
"winning" the tricycle maze derby,
 
and checking out the exhibits in the Ag Building, which proved a surprisingly big hit 
 
with its photo op farm animals,
 
planting pea seeds to take home, and coloring pages galore.
 
Leia was a good sport about visiting the horticulture exhibits (one of Pop's favorites) and Home Arts (my fav).
 
Not being a rookie in the grand-parenting game, I made her wait for her ice cream until after we'd visited those two venues. No whining = chocolaty treat. Seemed perfectly Fair to me!