Thursday, February 27, 2014


001 (3)

That's all it feels like we're doing at the moment, waiting.

Waiting for our home refinance to finally close.
Waiting for books to be released.
Waiting for colds and runny noses to leave.
Waiting for daddy to come home.

And most especially waiting for Spring.

Take heart, no Winter is forever.

Green is poking up everywhere in my flower beds as a thankful reminder that no Winter is forever.  Still with a new winter storm forecast to hit late Sunday night, it feels like all of the Northern hemisphere is waiting with baited breath for warmth.

Here's to Winter's last hurrah!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Those Pesky Triangles

RicRac Pattern

As I am wont to do with quilt patterns these days, I ended up modifying this Ric Rac pattern by Ms. Rosie's Quilt Co. to become a table runner. I'd like to say I did it because that's what I wanted to do in the first place, but that would be lying.
No, the sad and silly truth is it was simply too many triangles.  Triangles are my personal quilting nemesis.

I'm sure you have one.  Everyone in the sewing world does.
There is something that either intimidates the crap out of you or some technique that you just can't get right.

Triangles are like that for me (so are french knots, but that's another story).
Even the word sounds devilish.  Triangles *shudder*
 Still, I torture myself by doing patterns that involve them.  Sure there are tools and paper piecing methods to help you get perfectly pointy points, but I guess I'm stubborn.  I did this pattern the "hard way" and cut them first.  
I've since learned my lesson with that.  Don't cut triangles if you don't have to.
There are TONS of methods of how to do them, what's fastest, easiest, smoothest, less finicky.....just google: how to sew quilting triangles
Alot of triangles

Ugh triangles for days..........

Truth of the matter is that only one method is going to click with you, maybe two if you're savvy, but the one that you pick up the fastest will become your preference and the only way to find out what you prefer is to get out there and make mistakes.
Lots of tricksy triangle mistakes.
I'm not going to tell you which one I prefer but it's one that works for me in most situations :)

In the meantime, enjoy some pretty quilting with MORE triangles and diamonds.

Quilting Diamonds

Monday, February 17, 2014

On The Table

In the studio

Getting my first pattern ready!
It's alot more work than I thought it would be, not so much the writing down of how to make it, more like the refining of the directions, the picture taking, the messing around with getting pattern templates scanned and edited, you get the idea.  Pattern writing, it turns out, it so much more than just "writing" out a recipe for crafty success.  It's alot of fiddly bits that, in the end, have to make complete sense.

Pattern writing equates to turning chaos into order.
Well organized order.

The hubby said something encouraging last night though. 
When I finally came out of the studio for dinner he said, it'll get easier, the first one will be the hardest.

Needless to say, his kind words were well placed.
I'm nearly done with this pattern and it's ready to be tested!

I will say that finding the motivation to get out and try something a bit outside my "norm" is hard, but I feel like learning the whole process will, in the end, make me a better crafter.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

What I'm Reading: All Joy and No Fun, The Paradox of Modern Parenting

I heard an interview on Fresh Air a few weeks back by the author for this book, Jennifer Senior, who is a journalist and mom herself.
It was truly fascinating, depressing, and very insightful.

It's not a book about how to be a better parent or helpful tips and tricks on how to survive the "terrible twos" or angst-ridden teenagers.  It's more a book making sense of thousands of studies done on children and how they effect their parents.

I've never been one to find research books entertaining or enlightening but the way the material is presented along with witty and sometimes sad stories from real life families, it makes for one engaging read.  I'm about half-way thru this book and I find myself wanting to cry and laugh at the same time because, as a parent now, I can totally relate to every single thing that's been discussed so far.

I'd recommend this to anyone who wants to a well thought out book on how drastically children reshape their parents lives.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Cool Tools: Safety Pin Grips

I've been needing these for "eons" it seems.  
A colorful pile of what I'm calling quilting m & m's, well not really, but they are pretty to look at! These are safety pin grips.  Their soul purpose in the sewing room is to give a little bit of extra gripping area to safety pin backs.


I have been using them every chance I get and they are saving me from sore fingers already!
I bought them mainly to help with hand fatigue when basting large quilt tops down, but they work great for large and small quilts too.


Look at all that space to hold on too!

It's fabulous, no really it is!  Otherwise, I'd be holding onto that tiny little wire backing...ouch!


They'll work on both regular and curved safety pins.  My only complaint is they require a bit of time to put on, a pair of pliers and some patience because it will take a few tries before you get the plastic grips to "snap" snugly into the safety pin's back.

You can find these at most sewing stores and online.  They're by Quilter's Delight and come 200 pieces to a pack.  That's MORE than enough to cover all your safety pins, unless you're like me and actually have 200 safety pins :)

Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Things We Do

This past Fall Chris and I decided that no matter what we'd complete our Renaissance Festival costumes in time to actually wear them out properly.

Ren Faire 2013

I did not make my bodice (the orange and tan vest) or my chemise, but I did make all of Fiona's costume! I had to modify it somewhat since most children's costume patterns for medieval dresses don't come in her size.  Hopefully when we go this coming Fall I'll have better luck and I'll start sooner!

Chris even made his costume, the whole thing, minus his shoes.  Yes, my husband sews! And he sews very well.

Ren Faire 2013

I worked at this RenFaire for about 6 years when I was in my early 20's and got fairly burnt out on the whole Renaissance novelty.  But now it's fun to go back every few years to make merry, especially now that we have Fi.

We also met King Arthur and Co.
These fellows have been coming to RenFaire dressed in their respective Monty Python characters for a very long time and it was fun to see them trudging about still.

Ren Faire 2013
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