Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sewing with kids

My relationship with my oldest is quite special. I credit her with my life, meaning, that after her twin died, she was really my reason for continuing, for getting out of bed every day.  She is Aleah's identical twin, so I can look at her and imagine Aleah.  Last week I glanced in my rear view mirror while Ada was singing loudly, and off-key.  It was easy to picture her doppelganger seated next to her, smiling just as broadly.

I try to make her birthdays special.  Willa and Micah have birthdays just weeks after Christmas (Jan 11 and 24), so I'm afraid to say that, yes, they receive the short end of the proverbial stick when it comes to birthdays. Ada has been asking for a sewing machine for- well- months.  I suggested it would be a good birthday present for a 6 year old.  She has not forgotten.   I asked her Nini to purchase the Janome 11706 3/4 Size Hello Kitty Sewing Machine.   I can quilt straight lines.  That's about it.  I am no sewist I'm going to have to learn to sew.  But our first project will be to make quilts for these super cute adorable bunkbeds!

Originally submitted at Laurent DollIncludes two each cotton covered mattresses and pillows Measures 12" x 24.5" x 24.5" Weighs 12.5 lbs
Bunk bed for my children's childrenBy Manda from Montgomery, AL on 4/29/2012
Pros: Heirloom quality, BEAUTIFUL, Easy to assemble
Cons: Very chemical smell
This doll bed will be a birthday gift to my daughter in a couple of weeks. I put the boxed product in our linen closet after we received it last week, and I smelled it each time we open the door. The smell is strong even through the packaging. I took it out of the packaging 2 weeks in advance to assemble it and hide it in outdoor place in hopes the smell will subside. I still gave the product a top rating, but wanted to mention this to those who have sensitivity to smells.
Other than that issue, it is a very cute and very durable bed. I expect that this will be treasured and loved for decades to come.
I got her a fabric bundle from Fabricworm.  Confession:  it has been so hard for me not to slice into these babies!  Oh my goodness they are cute!  I can't wait to share my love of quilting with Ada!  We'll do a simple patchwork top with a border.  As a librarian, I like to do things by the book.  I'm trying to decide which of the limited titles on quilting with kids I should buy, if any.  I did get My First Sewing Machine Book: Learn To Sew: Kids, which is pretty good.

I've been scouring the internet looking for blogs that focus on kids and sewing.  Remember, that I'll be learning right along with her.  Here are a couple of my favorites:

ikat bag
Sewing School Blog
Polka Dot Chair

If you have a blog post on sewing with kids, or a book suggestion, or any advice, please share and help this anxious mama!
5out of 5

Saturday, April 28, 2012


Craigsblock by stayathomelibrarian

Craigsblock, a photo by stayathomelibrarian on Flickr.
Unfortunately, there is no modern quilt guild near me, but I do have hopes that one day I may be able to be a member of one!  I'd love to be able to go to Texas to Quiltcon, but honestly, if I had the spare cash to spend on quilting, it would be for a new machine (I'm wishing for the more affordable Janome Horizon opposed to a Bernina), and not a trip. Keeping it real, yo!  However, I am happy to participate, even if just a little way, in Quiltcon by submitting this block for the Quilt Block Challenge.

Having had read about the Quiltcon Block Challenge, I never expected to be sending in an entry until the other day when I was surfing around on Craigslist (you know you do it too) and came across this couch. I said to myself,  "Self, that would make a cool quilt block".  So, here I am, translating this retro couch into my version of a modern quilt block. The colors chosen for the challenge really did most of the work. I call this block "Craigsblock".

I have no expectations that it'll be well liked, or even in the running to be included in the final quilt, but I'm proud of it regardless. I even got out my camera and took it on a little photo shoot! If you know me over at Flickr, or read this blog-ever- I'm pretty famous for my poor quality iPad photos.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Drunk Love for Mackenzie

D-Love for Mackenzie by stayathomelibrarian

I left 4 blank spots for blocks that didn't get uploaded to FLICKR, but that I have been told have been mailed. I *think* we'll have at least 25 blocks to make this quilt. I never imagined such come-togetherness on this project. Of course, I'm not surprised.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Drunk Love Charity Quilt

Firstly, I finished both the top and back for Ada's plus quilt! No pictures though, I've been busy working on another project.  I believe I've mentioned before that I'm a quilter for the heal circle of do.good.stitches.  I've also mentioned before that one of my twins died 5 years ago at 9 months old.  She spent a lot of time in the NICU and PICU, and during that time, I received a few quilts which I used to decorate her crib, and that I still treasure today.  When I started to quilt, one of my goals was to be able to "pay back" some of that comfort and kindness in quilts that I'd made.

My mother has a beautiful Goddaughter named Mackenzie.  She is 6 years old and recently went into hospice. My mother sent me an email link to an article about Mackenzie and her gift from Make a Wish.  It only just occurred to me then that Mackenzie needed a quilt! The heal circle was made specifically to benefit hospice patients and their families.  I sent an email to the groups admin, and we quickly, and without much thought, settled on this Drunk Love block by Denyse Schmidt.  I asked for I-spy middles. While I'm not a huge fan of the name, I do like the methodical madness to the wonky of this block.  If I were to rename the block, I'd call it "Method to this Madness".  Doesn't make sense?  Make a couple, you'll get it.

I really want to get this quilt made and sent to Mackenzie and her tripets as soon as possible, so I gave my bee mates just a little over a week to get their blocks made and to me.  I am amazed and humbled by their response.  Given more time, I know I'd get more blocks. I also asked the ladies over at Be a {Modern} Swapper (BA{m}S) to participate, as well as a call to the general do.good stitches group.  I can't wait to start getting these blocks in the mail.

If you can get a 12.5 block made and in the mail to me on/before Saturday (4/28/12), I'd like to officially invite YOU to participate. Comment below, and I'll send you my snail mail address.

Here are (poor quality) photos of the blocks I've made:

Drunk Love

Drunk Love 2 for Mackenzie

Drunk Love 3 for Mackenzie

Drunk Love 4 for Mackenzie

Drunk love 5 for Mackenzie

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Willa's Doll Quilt

I finally finished the back to Willa's doll quilt. I pulled the hopscotch board in one of the fabrics out of the fabric and put it into a strip down the back.  I used the cream doll print that is featured in the blocks.

I've never posted a picture of the completed top, and I hesitate to post this one.  See that little hand in the above picture.  With his "help" I managed to not get a decent un-blurred picture.  That'll teach me to get out the real camera.  I coulda got a better pic with my Ipad.  But this'll give you an idea.  

It's already packed away in its box, ready to be shipped to Angela tomorrow, and I'm not going to wake it up to get a new picture.  When it comes back, I'll have plenty of pics to post!

Ada's quilt top is done.  Her birthday is May 11th, and last birthday of my year.  I'm hoping to have at least 1 done on time.  Especially since her appliqued birthday shirt coordinates!  The back is going to be Aqua Balloons.  I'm going to quilt this myself.  Not quite sure yet.  I'd like to quilt 1/4 inch along the seams, but I might try some diagonal lines.  WWYD?

I also finished my blocks for the 4x5 modern quilt bee!

Semi-Completed Project:
  1. Sarah Jane Cross Quilt top
  2. Willa's Doll Quilt top 
New Projects:
  • Wacky Bentos (yet to be started)
Projects in the Workbox:
  1. Houndstooth Tubes 
  2. Love You to the Moon Word Quilt (worked on this one since I last posted.  I need some advice on that one- later)
  3. Shot Cottons Wonky Log Cabin 
  4. Spiderweb
  5. Rainbow Diamond (I completed 4 blocks)
  6. (and 7) Sarah Jane Family Panels (Waiting on the embroidery fairy)
-Sew Bee Wonky- finished March and April blocks stitches- Ribbon star

Ribbon stars for April 2012

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced