Thursday, July 29, 2010

Primary Stuff

I've been doing some creating with primary colors lately.
Usually, I stay away from the primaries- leaning more towards the pinks and oranges and aquas.
But there's something almost vintage about sticking with reds and yellows and blues.
I really like it.
I made another patchwork baby quilt using 10x10" squares.
I love how easy and fast these are from start to finish, but I love the beautiful simplicity of them even more.
Yup, that's my favorite.
I loved the whole process of this quilt.
From deciding on fabrics to placement of squares...
From methodically piecing to basting in the early morning with the help of my bedheaded lovebug.
It went something like this:
fasten safety pin, place puzzle piece, fasten safety pin, help her put on her favorite hot pink dress-up boots, fasten safety pin, feed Curious George some 'pizza', fasten safety pin, eat and enjoy my own piece of 'pizza' she made from puzzle pieces, gummies and "chocka"... whatever that is.
Maybe it's a new make believe spice or something. Who knows.
Anyway, it was very strangely peaceful basting this little number.
And after I quilted it with straight lines, I got to choose the binding fabric.
To me, this can make or break a quilt.
There's a lot of pressure, and I usually don't decide until the whole thing is put together and quilted.
I need to see it in its almost-complete-but-not-quite stage to figure out just what it needs to top it all off.
Man, was I happy with my choice for this cutie:
I used a Heather Bailey fabric which matched nicely with the mainly Amy Butler and Anna Maria Horner prints for the front.
The backing was one solid piece of Amy Butler's Full Moon Polka (red)- which I also LOVED.

Here's the finished quilt being held by a very impatient and whiny little brother who just couldn't figure out why I need HIM to hold up my little quilt for all of .02 seconds while I snapped a pic.
Talk about over-exaggerated sighing and whimpering... he had it covered.
The customer wanted a special little hand-stitched label because she was giving the quilt as a gift for her soon to be niece or nephew.
I attached it in one of the corners.
I really like what these hand-stitched labels are adding to the quilts.
Pretty nifty.

And my Lovey just couldn't possibly go on with life if she didn't get to wrap herself up in the quilt for a minute.
And I probably couldn't have gone on with life if I didn't get a snapshot of this moment in which she was perfectly still for about 3 whole minutes.
Not. even. kidding.
That doesn't really happen around here.
It's like she was just out in the yard, enjoying the beautiful day and pondering life's mysteries while wrapped in a quilt.
And then she realized she was acting completely out of character and followed her contemplative break by fake sleeping on the blankey before running - full scream ahead- into the backyard.
It was a happy day.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Quite Nice...

I had a few more dresses to make today and send on their way.
It was kind of last minute... the family photos are Friday and she contacted me on Sunday.
I said sure.
And then I picked out the fabrics, cut them, sewed them together, took a few pictures, wrote a little note, wrapped them all up in a cute little bow and headed to the post office.
It was quite nice :)

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Isa Quilt

I made a quilt for someone to give as a gift for a 2-year-old's birthday party.
I had to make it pretty quickly so it could get to Brooklyn on time for the festivities.

My cousin Katie gave this quilt to the little boy she nannied before she moved away:
(Isn't this the sweetest little gift ever?)
Anyways, another nanny saw it and had to have one for the little girl she nannies.
And that little girl just happens to be the girlfriend of the little boy who has the above quilt.
In my head, that's like a little mini love story.

So I whipped one up super quick for her.
And then I fell in love with it.
And then I had to send it away.
Sad story, I know.
But I think one little girl will be very happy, so it's all good. The customer wanted vibrant pinks, purples and browns.
This is what I came up with:
I really like the quilt itself, but I think my favorite part is how simple and soft it is.
Just some 10 inch squares carefully chosen and particularly placed before being sewn together into a cuddly lovey blanket.

I also really love this part:
I hand-stitched the label in coordinating threads and then hand-stitched it onto a lower corner of the quilt.
But here's my absolutely favorite part of the whole thing:

"The quilt is sooo gorgeous! Isa's mom cried when she saw it. It's the perfect heirloom
for a little girl :) thanks so much again for making such a lovely item and working so fast to get it to us in time. I'm pretty sure you'll be getting more
customers soon based on the reaction the quilt got during the party! Everyone was really impressed."

Annsley, thanks so much! You couldn't have been any sweeter!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Mermaids and Wonderland

Well, sort of.
I've finished this mermaid quilt and sent it off to its new home.
I had a great time making it... just a simple patchwork pattern from a bunch of Heather Ross' Mendocino collection bordered in white and then hot pink with yellow binding.
I love the bits of yellow in there.
I think it really makes the quilt.
And the back is also one of my faves.
I think I like the backs of my quilts as much as I like the fronts.
I think they are like little bonuses you don't expect.
Like this little mermaid chillin' in the sea of hot pink border fabric.
Love her!
I just quilted lines 1/4" from the vertical seams and then around the border fabrics.
I think the measurements are something like... I'm not sure.
I know I wrote them down somewhere.
I think it's slightly smaller than a twin size.

And joining that fun quilt is this little wonder...
And I OBVIOUSLY forgot to take good pictures of it before I sent it away.
Taking pics of quilts outside is my favorite.
Because that's how they look the most realistic and the colors show.
Taking pictures of quilts inside is not my favorite.
Especially at night.
Because that's how the quilts look all weird and dull and dark and not super modern and fun like it is in real life.
Example: the above picture.

I took a yard of Moda Wonderland fabric and cut out several different little 'scenes'.
Then I framed each one in with a solid color found within the Wonderland print.... pinks, purples, aquas, greens, etc.
Then, I cut out the batting of the size I wanted the quilt to be and started positioning all my little 'framed scenes' on the batting until I liked the arrangement.
The next part was the hardest because I then cut each little piece of the "filler inner" fabric (the cream colored solid) individually until the batting was covered, making sure all the pieces could be sewn together into bigger blocks and then sewn into the quilt top.
My favorite part of this quilt is probably the red/cream polka dot binding. (Amy Butler Full Moon Polka).
It makes me smile and added some sort of funkiness to the modern little quilt.
... and it makes me smile.
So, off to Oregon these little quilts go.
Hopefully to be loved on and dragged around and slept with and washed and dried and lost and found and washed and dried and hidden under and laid on and passed down and....

I promise, next time I will take better pictures.
I already have it figured out.
I'm going to have a quilt photo shoot at my mom's house on the lake once a week.
That way someone can hold the quilts for me so I don't have to precariously perch them on my neighbor's fence or jimmy-rig them onto my fireplace mantel by placing the heaviest candlesticks and picture frames I can find on the corners.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Exciting Things

So, there's a lot happening over here in my neck of the woods.
I can't really put my finger on it... strange, I know.
Get used to it.
But there's a lot of good stuff floating around in my zone lately.
I kinda like it.
And, to be honest, I'm slightly overwhelmed.
Well, if I'm supposed to be honest, I'm definitely overwhelmed.
So, to keep myself from grabbing the keys, flying out the door and driving like a crazy woman with my shades on, windows down and music up...
I pulled out this fun color combo.
Cute, huh?
And I will make something out of these prints that isn't already 'dibbed'.
I totally just made that word up- but I really think it's a good one.
You know, like, when someone calls dibs on something, it's been 'dibbed'
For example: all the sewing I've been doing lately.
Don't confuse this with complaining.
It's not. Really.
I'm very happy with my recent sewing extravaganzas.
But, I need something to do that isn't already spoken for.
My inner creative is getting anxious - I can feel it.

So, with that said.
I'm going to bed.

You'd think I'd say, "I'm off to sew" or "Time to get to work on those new fabrics" but, oh no, I tricked you.

I'm freaking tired people.
I've got an almost-two-year old (tear) and a job and a slightly messy hubby and lots of magical multiplying laundry.... (also not complaining)

So I'm going to sleep.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

I Have No Words...

Well, that's not entirely true.
I have lots of words (ask the hubs)... but none that could fully convey to you the awesomeness that was Leesburg.

I know I won't be able to tell you all about the amazing coffee mornings that were so mystical I hurried to grab my mug in the morning so I wouldn't miss a thing.... bedhead, glasses, mascara-eyes and all....
...or the city of air mattresses and makeshift beds that you'd have to see to believe, especially the cheap one we sacrificed for a few mornings of usually-forbidden-trampoline-fun-but-let's-live-it-up-because-it's-not-all-that-often-when-every-cousin-in-the-world-is-here-to-play-with action...
...or about the beautiful music, the harmonies, and the doxology that somehow made me cry and my lips quiver when I tried to sing the 'o's and then I just gave up and tried to mouth the lyrics but my lips still quivered anyways....
...or the newfound cousins that equalled instant playmates...
...or the love, love, and more love.

I knew I couldn't describe the sleepy babies that were having just too much fun for a nap because they had to squeeze every little ounce of fun into the few days we shared...

...or how the boys looked more like long lost twins than cousins and made parachutes out of shopping bags and threw them over anything for hours and hours.

Nothing can describe the beautiful moments like these...
... and these...
... and especially these...
...or the look in Grandpa's eyes when he told a joke and everybody laughed.

I definitely can't explain how amazingly cute this is:
or this:
...or that little baby bump right there and the smile on Graham's face.
Then there's all those moments that weren't caught on film... or memory card is more fitting, I guess.
Like staying up late at night sharing favorite blogs and talking about being moms and wishes and dreams and hopes and fears, and having so much in common that
"wow, what a small world"
might as well be your motto for the night.
Or how Grandma requested a dance party with "no devil music" so she could dance the night away with her grandkids in their pjs, and how Bryce obliged and put together a playlist she approved of and we all danced like crazy.
-It was a blast by the way-
And somehow, nobody was in charge of their own children, but it was ok because you knew that everyone in that house loves your kid like they love their own so they would be just fine.

And somewhere, wrapped up in all that fun, there were 4th of July fireworks.
And I think it's very important for everyone to know that fireworks are on my
'Top 5 List of Best Things of All Time'
... and that my favorite kinds are the big thunder boomers that shake your insides and the ones that look like Willow trees.

But I also love how the total darkness disappears when a firework explodes and you can see the different looks on peoples' faces...
that's pretty cool, too.

Oh, and remember all those pictures I wanted to get? Remember how I went on an on about how adorable little cuties are in their Independence Day dresses with their tans and yadayadayada.
Life happens, and sometimes the only picture we get of our lovey in all her 4th of July cuteness is in the pitch black after you remembered that you made her dress specifically for a photo op so you sit there fiddling with your newfangled camera with 541354324 different buttons trying to get a picture to register without a single ounce of light.
Well..... take a look.
On the upside... I think it has turned out to be one of my faves.

So, because I couldn't even come close to summarizing our amazing-fun-and-love-filled weekend for you, I thought I'd just give you the pictures and let you see for yourself.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

This Should Be Two Posts.

But it's not... so deal with it.
The first half is about stuff.
The second half is about other stuff.
The two stuffs don't really go together.
Actually, the only thing they have in common is that I wanted to write about both things at the same time.
That's it.
I should also warn you that the pictures may have nothing to do with what you are reading. I was raiding the iPhoto library late at night, so that's what you get.
That's what I've been doing for the past couple weeks... see above.
Sewing, sewing, and sewing pretty little red, white and blue dresses.

And then I was shipping, shipping, shipping pretty little dresses all over the globe.
For real.
I'm not kidding.
I went to the post office and had packages to ship to London, South Africa, Thailand, New York City, Fargo, North Dakota (I just love saying that one- not sure why), and Queensland, Australia.

Talk about feeling superimportant.
I felt like a real live business woman, a global manufacturer, if you will.

I find that to be especially interesting since I associate those 3 colors with Independence Day- a holiday for USA, not the rest of the world.
Apparently, our founding fathers (or their wives, I'm assuming) picked a pretty good looking color combo.
I also made some for my family (just the little girls) for our upcoming family reunion (Hubby's side) in Virginia this weekend.
Some of you might be thinking, 'oh, how nice of her'.
I made them for purely selfish reasons.
I love how little girls look all dressed up for 4th of July, and I only have one daughter and I know that there will be more little girls in Virginia.
You get the picture.

I can't wait.

Seriously... can you imagine these cuties and then some all dressed and ready for fireworks?!?
Cousins: Peyton and Willow

I know some people dread family reunions. I, for one, cannot wait for this one.
I love my Hubby's whole-huge-extended-family.
And there's a lot of them.
Sometimes I think if they only knew how much I loved them, they would love me even more.
But that's impossible, because I've never felt so much love, real love, in one place in my whole life.

My brother-and-sister-in law, Graham and Michelle... they're having a BABY!!!!!!

It oozes from the walls.
I honestly think I can feel it warming me up as we pull into whatever subdivision or driveway that leads up to all of them mushed up together- usually in the kitchen.
My hubby's cousins, Christopher and Dahna... best cousins-in-law a girl could want :)

For example: A few months after we got married we went to his aunt and uncle's house in Virginia for Thanksgiving.
My Hubby and his brothers playing a serious game of 500.

It was amazing.
There were beds spread out all over the floor.
Kids running around all over the place.
It smelled like coffee.
My sister-in-law Emily and her hubby John.

People were in their PJs, glasses, and bedhead hair with mugs in their hands all day just sitting and talking and laughing and loving.
One of my favorite pics of us... taken right after I had Willow.

There were movies.
There was lots of food- good food.
The musically gifted were playing their guitars, quietly, confidently.
Grandma told me about how her husband went around selling eggs door-to-door after my mother-in-law and her twin sister were born to make enough money to pay the hospital bill so they could take them home.
My mother-in-law Karen (right), and her twin sister, Kris (left)

I got to look through wedding albums of all my new aunts.
Nothing was tidy.
Everything was perfect.
So perfect that I didn't want to go back home.
I was thisclose to quitting my brand new job so that I could stay longer.
Stupid, I know.
But it was that fun, that special.

But you want to know the craziest part?
Grandma told me I was pregnant.
We didn't know we were.
And I totally was.
That's why I think she's magic...
This was obviously taken several months after Thanksgiving... we knew by this point :)

Grandma hasn't ever met Willow.
I'm really excited for them to meet.
First family photo.