Monday, March 5, 2012

The Wisdom of Kids

   Last night, I gave the kids a bath in their bathroom.  (We usually do baths in our bathroom, which has a larger tub).  While my 9 year old daughter was still in the bath, I ran downstairs to grab something.  She called down to me saying she was hearing some loud banging noises.  As I went to investigate, I noticed multiple spots dripping from the dining room hallway ceiling.

   I hastily threw down some towels (on the wooden floor) and told my daughter to empty the tub.  The kids rushed down to see our little flood, and instantly wanted to pitch in and help.  My daughter grabbed a variety of vessels to catch the falling water:

    My daughter wanted to hang the containers (and rubber gloves) from the ceiling with Scotch tape.  I initially told her the tape wasn't going to hold on the textured surface of the ceiling (not to mention the wet factor), but she was determined, so I figured it would be a nice little scientific experiment/learning experience.
    Well, my daughter proceeded to prove science, common sense (and me) wrong!!
   Most of the taped up containers held for at least an hour, and two were still hanging this morning!

My son's playful version of "helping".
My very determined daughter hanging containers with Scotch tape.
They actually stick!

The two hangers on that are still up this morning!
   So the next time you have a leak in your house, no need to call the plumber-- just ask the kids!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

A Special Delivery

   Back in January, I signed up for the Mouthy Stitches Swap, hosted by three of my favorite bloggers: Susan, Cindy and Hadley.  The challenge was to create a zippered pouch for an assigned partner, and include one fat-quarter's worth of fabric scraps.  The swap filled up practically overnight to over 90 participants!
   Last week, I mailed out the pouch I made, and this week, I received mine from my "secret" partner.
    My package came from the very lovely Fiona (of Patchwork Delights blog) in Dublin, Ireland.  She packaged it very pretty, and wrote a very sweet note.
   Inside was this wonderful pouch:
    I absolutely love it!!
   In my inspiration mosaic for the swap on Flickr, I had included one of Fiona's creations.  She used the same bird fabric and fussy cut them into the center of the wonky star.
   This pouch is wonderful, in my opinion, for many reasons:  I love the bright colors she used, the wonky star, the linen background fabric and the brightly colored hand embroidered stitches.  And her zipper is spot on!
   Check out the bright interior lining with polka dots and inside pockets!

   My biggest dilemma is now to decide what special use to put this special pouch to!  Right now, I am using it for my hexies.  
   And here is a photo that shows the wonderful fabric scraps that Fiona included (lots of Japanese imports-- love them!):

   Thank you, Fiona!!  I am thrilled with my pouch and will treasure it!  And I am very happy to have made a new friend with this swap, too!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Mouthy Stitches Mega Pouch

   Well, it's been a while since I've posted, due to an unexpected and unforeseen backslide in my postpartum depresssion.  (Although truthfully, at this point, I am probably technically past the "postpartum" period since my youngest is now 4 1/2 years old.  I guess it's time to accept the fact that this is chronic depression.)
   I experienced a short period (c. 6 weeks) of "normalcy" on a new medication I started in December, but my body adjusted to it and with the increased dosage came unwanted negative side effects.  Stay tuned-- we'll see if I can get some kind of relief when I meet with my prescriber later this week.
    But anyway, onto the quilty creation...
   I've been participating in the Mouthy Stitches Swap (see button in my sidebar) Check out the Flickr group here-- there are some truly wonderful makes among the 90+ participants, and lots of inspiration.
   We were all to make a zippered pouch and include a fat-quarters worth of fabric scraps.
side 1
c. 14" x 14" (good for holding a sewing project and a hoop?)
    I can't reveal too much info about my partner because it is a surprise, and she has not received it yet (since I'm mailing it out today).  Based on some of her current favorite fabric lines, these seem to be the colors she's into.
side 2
It's hard to see in this photo but I did some circle quilting to offset all the square shapes.
Lining and zipper ends.
   So without further ado, I shall head out to the post office and mail off my make.
   Hoping to be back to functional again sometime soon!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Welcome, Birdies!!

   At last, there are a few early signs of spring approaching here in New England!!  The red-winged blackbirds have returned from their winter in the south and I've seen some bluebird activity as well.  My daughter even found some frog eggs out in the wet woods behind our house over the weekend.
   But the "Birdies" that I am truly welcoming are of a different kind.  They arrived in this form:
    And they look like this:

   This beautiful quilt is from Cindy, of Fluffy Sheep Quilting (in Galway, Ireland).
   Over the last year, Cindy participated in the Birdie Stitches quiltalong, hosted by Little Miss Shabby.   She enjoyed the first six months of the Birdies, but then grew out-of-love with it.  At the end of January, Cindy posted her finished top here.  I thought it was such a beautiful quilt, and those of you who know me, might know that I am a nature lover (I have a background in environmental education) and have a special place in my heart for birds, especially.  
   So when Cindy posted that she was going to donate the quilt top to Project Linus, I commented that I would gladly give her Birdies a good home where they would be loved and appreciated, and in turn I would create a quilt and donate it to Project Linus.   
   To my sheer joy and utter surpise, Cindy emailed me back to say that we had a deal!!  (Squeals and jumping for joy!!)
   Today, Cindy shared her version about how her Birdies Have Flown the Coop.  Her Birdies are currently displayed lovingly in our home, hanging over the upstairs railing for now-- until I can sandwich and piece the layers together.  My husband and the kids absolutely love the Birdies as well and we are thrilled to have it in our home.  Once its finished, we have decided that it will hang on the large empty wall in or living room (where we spend lots of our time).
   THANK YOU, THANK YOU Cindy!!  I'm so glad that we have been able to give your quilt a good home.  I have a few deadlines looming at the moment, but as soon as those are complete, I will start quilting the top.  Stay tuned!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Mod Conn Quilters

   Yesterday was the all-day-sew gathering for our Modern Connecticut Quilters  (aka "Mod Conn Quilters") group.  Sue Q. arranged for us to rent a conference room (free of charge) at a lovely rustic location called Winding Trails, overlooking a lake.  Thank you, Sue, for organizing for us!
   Everyone was working on wonderful projects, and of course we had Show-and-Tell.
   Jackie (of Canton Village Quiltworks) was working on her Glacier Star quilt (a Judy Niemeyer/Quiltworx pattern).  She has completed the pattern, but is in the process of adding four more borders to make it Queen-sized.
Hey Jackie-- I got a good photo of you this time!!
   Jackie is a big fan of Judy Niemeyer and has made many beautiful quilts in her patterns.  She sells many of them in her on-line shop.  And she will probably be posting about this meeting on her blog as well.  This summer, Jackie will be attending a week-long training in Montana (Judy Niemeyer/Quiltworx home base) to become a certified instructor of her patterns.  I recently took a paper-piecing class with Jackie using Judy Niemeyer's Total Eclipse pattern (see photo further down), and it was a wonderful experience (you can see my progress below).
   Heather was working on piecing a Christmas quilt (I wish I could plan so far ahead!)
And she shared some recent quilts she has been working on:
This is a sampler quilt.
I love her color selections!
   Heather's father has recently been in the hospital, and as a gift to him, she made this lovely quilt with houses.  (Her father designs houses).  I think he will love it and wish him a smooth and speedy recovery.

    Heather has been very busy and quite productive!  She also has been working on these bright and colorful blocks:

   I sat next to Sarah and it was my first time meeting her.  Sarah was working on some adorable bibs for her 11-month old daughter:
   She was also working on some wonky nine-patch blocks.  I love the colors in these blocks and she has decided to go with a white background to really make the colors pop.

   Maddie worked on a lovely pillow with horses on one side and dogs on the other (right up my daughter's alley!)

 And she was also making yo-yo's
   Susan (Maddie's mom) was working on some wonderful placements:
Susan used bias cuts for the curved piecing 
Here's the back side.
   Michele was working on these blocks:
   And she shared one of the many cinched bags she had made for the holidays:

   Sue Q. had made a number of circle blocks using nature-themed fabrics (Sue is an Environmental Educator for the state, and years ago-- when I was in grad school-- she was my supervisor for one of the internships I did at a nature center).

You might be able to see the Rainbow Trout in the top left and lower right quadrants.

   Sue was also working on making fabric vases for her niece's upcoming wedding (which I did not get a picture of).  She has to make thirty of them as centerpieces for the tables!  I believe that Sue is also making her niece's wedding gown.
   I shared a few of the smaller projects I've been working on:
Some of my blocks for the paper pieced Total Eclipse quilt I am working on.
   Most of the fabrics I am using for this were ordered from Jackie's on-line shop (see link above).

This is my handy chart to keep track of my progress on the blocks:
I now have 11 out of 20 KM units and 44 out of 56 H units--
more than halfway there!
These are the sides of my zippy pouch for my partner in the Mouthy Stitches Swap.
I made two fabric-covered notepads for our Brownie troop leaders
using Girl Scout fabrics I ordered on-line.

This is my trial-run zippy pouch for the Mouthy Stitches Swap

   At every meeting, we each bring a pieced block in an assigned color, as well as a coordinating 12 1/2" fabric square.  We laid out all the blocks that have been collected so far.  [They will be pieced together and donated].

   Yesterday's gathering was so inspiring.  It was a lovely group of ladies and we had great fun working on our quilt projects, sharing, eating (thanks, everyone, for all the good food you brought!) and talking.  Can't wait 'til the next meeting!