Friday, January 29, 2010

Hmmm...

Looking at my pile of quilt pieces, I'm starting to wonder if I'll have enough for the last eight blocks.

I'm crossing my fingers.

This could end in one of two ways:

Scenario A: Congratulations to me! I had just enough fabric for the quilt, "Gee, I'm just so smart!"
Scenario B: Uh, oh. This is bad. Very, very bad. I'm just shy of having enough fabric for the quilt and am out of fabric, "Stupid. Stupid. Stupid!"

I can't wait to see how it all ends. Hopefully, in a blaze of glory... rather than a puddle of quilting misery.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Etsy Baby Shower Gift #1

I'm one of about 30 Etsy mamas chosen for the Winter 2010 Etsy Baby Shower. Each of us have been matched up with five wonderful Etsians, who are showering us with something wonderful from their shop.

Today, I received my first gift, a sweet little custom Valentine photo card (addressed to Daddy) from thedynasmiles. This awesome shop is run by a very talented graphic designer and illustrator. Drop on by her shop for baby shower invitations, announcements, birthday invitations or art prints.

And if you want a sweet little Valantine's Day photo cards featuring you wee one's photo, she still has them listed in her shop!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Eagerness

I'm almost there. Just a few more blocks to go.

So far, I think I have about 55 out of 63 blocks finished. Hopefully, I'll stitch up the last few before we leave for Disneyland on Sunday.

After that... well, there's still a lot to do. I need to lay out the blocks, stitch the top together plan the quilt back and find a long arm service.

Then I can breathe...

Okay, I'm lying. I know I'm just going to get started on something else, like the fitted diapers I'm planning to make for Master W. and completing J.'s cloth wipe stash.

I love the feelings I get when I look at a completed project: satisfaction, pride, eagerness.

Eagerness?

Didn't you know that perhaps the best part about finishing a project is that you get to start a new one?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tucked Away

My mom recently discovered this soft vintage flannel fabric when cleaning out her cedar chest. It must be at almost 30 years old now, having been purchased in the late '70s or early '80s as the backing fabric for our family's Christmas tree skirt.

I never let a year go by without a peek at those cute little vintage Santas. I'm touched that my mom thought to give me the last of this precious fabric.

There are 11 months left until Christmas. That leaves me with plenty of time to dream up a way to incorporate it into something new. Something to bring out with a smile each December then tuck away a few weeks later, along with a few new Christmas memories.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Monkeys

I just love how these little monkey faces seem to be peeking out from various corners of my quilt blocks. I wonder what they're thinking...

Friday, January 22, 2010

"I wore it."

I've really gotten a kick out of showing Miss C. each of the new quilt blocks I've made, and have been explaining to her where some of the fabrics came from. Recently, I pointed out the blocks that contain pieces of her dresses and told her that they came from her birthday dresses.

Me: You used to wear dresses made of this fabric.
C: I wore it! *Points to the pieces*
Me: That's right, sweetie.
C: I wore it. I wore it. I wore it. *Points enthusiastically to every piece on the block*
Me: You wore those too?
C: Yes!

You've got to love a toddler's creative memory. She was just beside herself with excitement that suddenly everything in the block came from a dress she had worn.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Staying Focused

I'm in love with my quilt project, but for some reason I still sometimes have trouble staying focused. I promised myself that I wouldn't start any new projects until I'd finished with this one.

Tonight I made a small stack of wipes for my sister-in-law's cloth diaper stash.* So much for promises.

But I'm back on my quilt blocks again, so I guess I'm not completely distracted. Here are my latest creations. If you look closely, you can spot Miss C. perched at the edge of my craft table (along with her cup of raisins) in one of the photos, anxiously awaiting her quilt:

*J. is expecting her first wee one in July and I'm making a big stack of soft flannel wipes for her to use when diapering the babe. We can't wait to meet our new baby cousin!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Hidden Memories

When it came time to selecting fabric for Miss C.'s scrap quilt, my first thought was my stash. After a thorough ransacking, I realized that I still needed more fabric so I starting thinking of other sources.

It came to me when I was organizing Miss C.'s closet one afternoon. I had spotted the dresses she wore for her first and second birthday parties and couldn't help myself. The cherries print came from her first birthday dress and the ladybugs print from her second birthday dress.

I thought I had found everything I needed. Then, when I was putting some of Master W.'s clothes into storage, I spotted a tiny outfit that Miss C.'s godmother had given to her when she was a wee babe. And I just couldn't resist those adorable little Italian scooters.

I like the idea of stitching memories into a quilt. Scattered throughout the quilt, she'll discover something from many of the women in her family: fabric given to me by my mother, fabric I've used for various projects for Miss C. and my Etsy shop, fabric from her sweet little birthday dresses, and fabric from a delightful little outfit given to her by her godmother.

Friday, January 15, 2010

I Dream of Heirlooms

It's Friday night and I'm ready to work on Miss C's "puzzle pieces". Here are the last of the finished blocks. It looks like I'm just over a third of the way finished. I'm really pleased with the results so far. I think it's going to be a really sweet quilt.

I know it's easy to please a 2-year-old, but I still want her to love it. More than that, I want it to be one of those memory-makers, like the beautiful handmade dresses, costumes and books my mom made for me. Something she'll tuck under her comforter in college or snuggle in when watching a movie on the couch.

I want it to become an heirloom.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Mini Mailbox

Miss C. has recently become interested in mail. She loves opening up junk mail and examining the contents. Cards and photos from friends are even more exciting. Then she discovered that she could help lick envelopes and stick stamps on letters. Now she's obsessed!

I had a light bulb moment today when she was rummaging through my bag of random envelopes* – wouldn't it be fun to make a tiny mailbox for her to play with? I floated the idea to "the boss" and she couldn't wait to get started.

We assembled our supplies: leftover wrapping paper, a small box with lid that easily opens, packing tape, ribbon and scissors. I took the box apart and lined the outside with the paper, then with the help of my assistant sealed all the edges with packing tape. We reassembled the box, added a ribbon handle and printed out a cute little label with "C's Mail" written on it.

The results? Pure cuteness.

* My grandma used to have a bag of random greeting cards and envelopes that she'd draw from whenever she needed to send someone a note or birthday card. Sometimes she couldn't find one for the right occasion, so she'd simply add or cross out a word and - voilĂ ! - instant birthday card. She gave them to me after she went blind a few years ago, and think of her every time I reach for a card or envelope. Thanks, Grandma. I miss you.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

New Blocks

I finished three blocks last night. Woot! I'll post those tomorrow. In the meantime, here are a few that I made a few days ago:

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Longing

I've been gazing at my sewing machine with longing these past few days, with no free time to indulge my quilt craving. Miss C. and Master W. have been busy little bees, leaving me with little to no time to do anything but breathe. Still, I have some blocks to post from earlier efforts:

Monday, January 11, 2010

Blockhead

Remember the Blockheads from Gumby?

Those little red clay guys have nothing to do with this post... I'm not a troublemaker aiming to thwart a cute little bendy guy and his pony pal, but I've got quilt blocks on the brain and the Blockheads sprang to mind as I was writing this post.

Here are some of my more recent block efforts: