It’s in the bag

May 17, 2011 § Leave a comment

The last day of school is next Monday. It’s been a great year for us and I’m sad to be leaving his class. Little Mister had the best teachers this year! I just loved them! As a small token of my appreciation and eternal gratitude I made tote bags for them.

I was sneaky and found their favorite colors. The totes are 15″ wide by 16″ high, have a 4″ base, can fold up nice and small so they are great to pack in your suitcase* and they are machine washable.

I didn’t use a pattern but did get inspiration from a Heather Bailey pattern. Her pattern has a flap on the front so you can fold up the bag into an itty bitty packet. I didn’t do that. I also didn’t put any pockets inside the tote. In retrospect it may have been a good idea but sometimes a tote bag without too much fun is the perfect bag to take on an outing*.

*I just found out yesterday that BOTH teachers are taking amazing trips overseas this summer so a tote like this may be a perfect for their travels! And it’s okay if the bags don’t make the cut, too.

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Quilt Transformation – part two

May 8, 2011 § Leave a comment

What began as a blendy, rainbow type quilt has ended as a red quilt. I have to say that it surprises me a bit because I don’t generally gravitate towards red*. Don’t get me wrong, red is a lovely color, but I think it’s more than fair to say that I wouldn’t make a red quilt just “because”.

I completely forgot to snap a photo of the quilt while I was auditioning the sashing and cornerstones but, oh, well. It took me a while to decide on the borders. This quilt is made entirely of scraps (except a few pieces like the sashing) so it seemed appropriate to have a scrappy border.

To answer what may come to mind** – no, the center blocks are not paper pieced and yes, the edges are all bias. A lot of patience, practice and precision required if you intend to duplicate.  The sashing keeps the quilt from getting wonky and wavy. The edges of the border are all bias as well so I stay-stitched along the edge.

* let it be known that my favorite color is blue and has been since I was about six.

** yes, I should take another photo of the blocks so I don’t have a thread in the middle but, quite frankly, I’m very proud of this quilt and want to share it as quickly as possible. woot, woot!!!

Handmade not Homemade

May 2, 2011 § Leave a comment

Handmade not homemade.

Seems like a silly set of words to compare but there is a difference.  I think most artists would agree. To me handmade implies that an item was made by (usually) a single person and a considerable amount of thought, time and love went into it. Think about a handmade quilt, dress or flowerpot, pottery or jewelry. I’m certain I shouldn’t  but I do get offended if someone refers to anything I make as homemade.*

A neighbor of mine is a Doctor at the CDC. Sapna studies Tuberculosis and travels the world doing amazing things. I’m truly in awe of her. She is getting married at the end of May. Our neighborhood had an engagement party for her the Saturday before Easter. It was a lot of fun.

Sapna is one of the most down to earth, likeable people I know. I decided to clean off this flower pot and use it for her gift. I had all the kids in the neighborhood leave their handprint on the flowerpot. Then I added stems, leaves and grass. My friend Amy painted on “Bloom where you are planted” across the top (she’s an architect and has amazing handwriting). I added some day lilies, zinnias and a draping green plant (the name escapes me) to complete the gift. It was a big hit, and handmade gifts are best.

Another neighbor is having a little girl in three weeks. I made this taggie blanket out of some scraps a friend gave me. Love it!

* homemade isn’t necessarily bad, either. Think of homemade jams, breads, cookies, and other confections. That’s how I want my homemade. Might have to go make something homemade now.

Festival

May 2, 2011 § 1 Comment

This weekend was the 40th anniversary of the Inman Park Festival and Tour of Homes. It’s a big deal and we take it very seriously around here. I was so outrageously excited about the festival this year I woke on Saturday singing Hail Thee Festival Day*. Seriously. Who does that?

This was (sadly) the first year I volunteered and it was a blast! I had SO much fun and worked with a very nice group of people. And the beer captain is a friend of mine so that made volunteering even better! The ability to volunteer for the festival really made me feel differently about my neighborhood – proud, happy, and involved. duh

The festival is a typical festival – yummy food that’ll clog your arteries, artwork, photography, arts, crafts – but as the kids get older and enjoy it more I enjoy it more. This year was the best festival yet!

Little Mister insisted on having his face painted and who am I to argue about that? He was very proud of his fire breathing dragon. It was really cute before getting smudged.

He danced the weekend away with his friends and was the honorary musician while the Squirrelheads played on Sunday.

Q Man and husband hung out under a tree and giggled.

I was happy to hang out with friends and enjoy a beer

I also walked the festival fifteen times, bought the 40th Anniversary t-shirts, cool artwork (this and this) and after wanting it for THREE years I finally bought my pink propane pig!

* I have to admit that it’s one of my favorite hymns.

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