Feeling the Hex

November 24, 2010 § 1 Comment

Hex. As in hexagons. No witchcraft or covens around here.

I’m still (slowly) but surely making my hexagons. I have a gallon ziplock bag full of them and I’m loving the colors, especially since I’m giving my bedroom a makeover, but more on that later. The finished quilt will look great  – eventually. I’m currently deciding if I want to make it larger or, quite possibly, I’ll make three small quilts, all close in color – a little variation would be nice –  frame each quilt and hang the tryptic.

Here’s what I have so far.

 

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Parts is Parts

November 21, 2010 § Leave a comment

I’m a room mother for Little Mister. One of our responsibilities this year is to make the auction project ( oh, sigh….I hate it when people ask me to get involved in fun, creative projects with children. hehe). Several different ideas were going through my head.

  1. A mandala. I could paint a canvas with a neutral background and in the center paint a series of rings (like Saturn has). Then I’d have each child in the class put a handprint on the circle with their fingers pointed out like the sun.
  2. A puzzle. Have a piece of wood cut into eleven puzzle pieces and have each child in the class paint a piece.
  3. Make a mandala puzzle

After chatting with a friend of mine I scrapped all those ideas and (unilaterally) decided to make a Christmas tree skirt. Who doesn’t need a cute one? Besides, Little Mister is in a Presbyterian pre-school so I don’t have to worry about offending anyone’s religious preferences.

My plan is to piece a 45″ square piece of fabric. Strips, stars, log cabins and the like will be in the malay of the red background. I will have pops of gold and green, too, but mostly it’ll be red.  Here are the fabrics I have thus far

Once I have the base of the tree skirt assembled I need to get green handprints. I plan to have each child “stamp” his or her hand on a white piece of fabric. I’ll cut out a tree trunk and applique each hand print and trunk on the background – fingers facing out so they look like tree branches. I’ll have each child stamp a star of his or her choice, too, and put that on top of the tree. I might have them decorate their “trees”, too, but I’m not entirely certain about that. I’m hopeful that I’ll get started this week. Little Mister is with his grandparents this week so I’ll have (just a little) more time during the day. Well, when I stop my home reorganization project, but that’s another post.

 

 

Tree

November 16, 2010 § Leave a comment

I gave birth to Q Man 6 weeks before my friend gave birth to her daughter, Miss A. Of course, I made a quilt for Miss A. Well, technically I’m still making it. I gave it to my friend at her shower. In February.  I took the unfinished top back from my friend the other day (Indian giver!) so I could attempt to get it finished before her daughter goes to college. Seriously. It’s taking forever but time is an extremely limited commodity right now.

Little Mister quickly grabbed the quilt from the bag. He ran around with it like he was wearing a cape. It was pretty darn cute.

Then he got bored

And I snapped a few detail shots while the gettin’ was good!

Not the greatest photo, but you get the idea – wrinkled corners and all.

Since I have been trying to talk about the process here’s where it all started. My friend has some wallie art in her daughter’s room. It was the inspiration for the baby quilt. Here it is*:

So the wall art was the starting point. Once I decided to make a tree I needed it on a background. I didn’t want to put the tree on a solid piece of fabric. I wanted more depth. I have a friend that (I think) makes some really cool quilts. I love how she pieces her backgrounds and they were the inspiration for the background of Miss A’s quilt. I drew the tree (several iterations, really) and all the other parts** on newsprint before copying and pasting them onto the background.

Yellow seemed like the obvious choice to me.  Miss A’s room is brightly colored and I wanted the reds, pinks, greens and blues to show up against the background. No pink overload.  I used Steam a Seam Lite to fuse everything. I just love how you can get all your parts to stick to the background and move them a little, too, before deciding on the final placement and ironing them down. I’m pretty pleased with how the quilt looks so far. Just need to add a few things – like the bottom border!

* yes, I took the photo from the website. Going into baby A’s room to snap a photo of a tree decal while juggling four or five schedules is a feat nearly impossible

** thank you Pottery Barn for having such great and easy modern forms in your repertoire that I could use for inspiration for the butterfly and owl. The wren, well, that was all me.

Someone’s in the Kitchen with Dinah

November 16, 2010 § Leave a comment

You can find inspiration in the darndest places. I was making a Moroccan-Rubbed Grilled Steak for dinner last week and the combination of colors really appealed to me – and not just because I knew I’d be eating them soon.

I could have made half the amount of sweet potatoes, but man, were they every good!

Last night was Taco Soup. The simplest recipe, courtesy of my Mom

1 pound of ground beef or ground turkey – browned

2 cans each of kidney beans, white beans, black beans, pinto beans

1 large can hominy (or corn)

1 large can of tomato sauce

1 tomato sauce can of water

1 package of Hidden Valley Ranch dressing (powder form)

1 package of taco seasoning (powder form)

Dump all the ingredients into a pot and simmer. If you want it more soup like, add more water. Cut the ingredients in half if you want to simmer in your crock pot.

This recipe makes a lot of soup. You can also cut it in half if you have less than a small army to feed.

Happy Saturday

November 13, 2010 § Leave a comment

Autumn is my favorite season and the weather has been absolutely beautiful lately.  Bright, clear, blue skies, a crisp breeze, falling leaves. I wanted to get some six month photos of Quinn, and a photo of both boys for our Christmas card, so I took them outside one afternoon and managed to get a few shots.  I’m pretty pleased.

I Took the Pledge

November 12, 2010 § Leave a comment

Several months ago my friend Michelle asked me about my design process. She wanted to know how I came up with colors for my quilts, patterns, design – all that jazz. I didn’t have much of an answer. I just sort of “did”. It’s intuitive to me. I know what works, though I’m not alway certain how or why.

It’s times like those that I occasionally wish I’d opted to take Color Theory in college instead of Textile Dyeing. Dyeing was a really tough, yet enjoyable, class and for a good long while I was proud of my ability to draw out the chemistry of a cotton molecule plus water plus dye plus salt plus mordant plus whatever…..to get a dyed fabric. Sadly that knowledge is long gone but did draw on it when we were in DC and used the word “diazo” in a Scrabble game with KK.  Indeed. That was a jaw dropper and helped me win the game! Go me!

After thinking about my conversation with Michelle for a bit I decided that I needed to explore my process and try to document it. I haven’t written much about my design process but I have been very conscientiously tracking it.

Michelle sent me the link to a very cool blog the other day. I’ve been reading this blog and thoroughly enjoying it. And, I suppose,  jealous that I don’t have more time to sew and write blog posts. I have posts going through my head all. the. time. But when it’s time to make that happen, well, often it doesn’t. I know “they” say you can sleep when you are dead but “they” obviously don’t have small children. But, I digress. So I’m reading Amanda’s blog and ran across another very cool blog – you know, these things often work this way.

I think if I met Rossie she and I would be fast friends.  Anyhow, she has a pretty cool post on her site.  It’s all about Taking the Pledge, which, ironically, I did several months ago.  And, dang it! If I’d been smarter I would have come up with this idea. Oh, well. Here it is:

I, ________________, pledge to talk more about my processes, even when I can’t quite put them in the in words or be sure I’m being totally clear.   I’m going to put my thinking and my gut feelings out there.

I think it’s pretty cool. I am glad that I’m not alone and that other quilters are talking more about how they get from inception to finished project. The trip really is rather amazing.

And often requires one to purchase more fabric.

Happy Halloween

November 5, 2010 § Leave a comment

Without a doubt there are a million things I do that are WAY more fun with the kiddos. Halloween proved to be no exception. Now, don’t get me wrong, I enjoy adult time, too, but I can’t remember the last time Halloween was such fun for me. Okay, except for maybe a Halloween ten or so years ago when my friends and I dressed as reindeer and Mrs. Clause.

We had a few fun events leading up to the big day. There was a Halloween celebration in Little Mister’s class. I made ghost shaped cupcakes for small group of very excited three year olds.

We had to bring a dessert item to the Halloween Potluck and made cupcakes. Notice the trend here, but hey, the batter was made.

We had a pumpkin carving in our neighborhood. It was cold and rainy but that didn’t stop us! Everyone had fun – we ordered pizza and drank a few cold ones.

Little Mister was very eager to get started.

Our pumpkin looked like Elmo.

There was a Halloween Potluck supper at Little Mister’s school. He was happy to don his Buzz costume and run around with his friends for a while.

And then – THE BIG DAY!!!

We started off taking some photos of the kids before heading out.

We had princesses and dragons. Q Man went as himself.

 

Look where Q Man “innocently” puts his hand! Little sneak!

Everyone had a blast! Little Mister was at the head of the pack, racing up to every door. He almost kissed a witch at one house! Ironically it was the same house he ignored the Grim Reaper and that gave all of us a good laugh!

We had a great time trick-or-treating and when we got home the kids were exhausted but in high spirits.

And there was a lot of candy.

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