Monday, September 26, 2011

Weekend Update

Hmm, maybe I did more this weekend than I thought. I attempted to baste a quilt at work only to discover my backing was too small. I had dinner with Ami at Good Stuff and we went to Ikea. I bought your stuff and my new post-earthquake bookcase. Saturday I had my eyebrow appointment, ran some errands, and tried to decapitate myself with my car door (fun bruise on my neck just under my jaw). You know about my trip to Goodwill. I wore the dress I bought for myself today. Sunday I went to book club and we discussed Brideshead Revisited. And I made Christmas stockings for your kids. They are almost finished. And I watched Pan Am last night. I think I liked it.
Sunset Friday night
Jane's quilt, ready to be basted.  But whoops, top is bigger than the back and batting.
3 of the 4 stockings.  Waiting for their personalization.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Ominous clouds, roses behind bars, Alice costume, and a future Christmas stocking.

Scary looking clouds on my way home. I like the cooler weather, but not so much the sun going down so early.

Pretty roses in someone's front yard.

Finished pinafore!

Christmas stocking to be.

Hello from my phone

Hi! I'm just testing to see if I can post successfully from my phone. Maybe there will be a picture of the sky last night as I was walking home. Who knows? Last night I watched lots of tv - Glee, The New Girl, Raising Hope, and Parenthood - and I made the pinafore for Shannon's Alice costume. I was going to use the pattern I have, but then realized it was a fake pinafore, so I made it up as I went along. I should take a picture of it - I would have, but it was pretty dark by the time I finished.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Finished Quilts!

So, I haven't really been posting all of the sewing and crafting I've been doing lately. And that's pretty much all I've been doing at home lately, plus a little reading. Such that it is good that I'm not wearing my contacts when I shower so I can't see how much I need to scrub the bathtub. I haven't cooked anything in forever - I've been eating a lot of "assembled" meals, or as mom would say, grazing.

A month or so ago I had created quite a pile of completed quilt tops, some even with the quilt back and binding ready to go. I wish I had a picture of that towering pile! They were all ready for basting, just waiting for me to go buy batting. Then once I bought batting there was the problem of how to spread them out for basting. I moved all my furniture to one side of the living room and was able to baste two baby quilts - Micah's bull's eye quilt and Gabe's houndstooth quilt.
Here they are hanging out on the couch. Bullseye is all done and Houndstooth is getting its binding sewn down. It was almost a week of evening sessions, me, a quilt, and the TV, just sewing the binding.

Here's the Bull's Eye quilt. I followed a tutorial I found on Cluck Cluck Sew here, and the fabric is Arcadia (a honey bun) and Kona Snow. I cut out the pieces last year, I think while Ami and Zeek were on a cruise and I had a sewing marathon. I've been trying to go back and finish some of these half-completed projects. As I put the blocks together, it occurred to me that they really reminded me of Marisa, and when I got a peek of Micah's nursery and realized the colors would coordinate, I knew this quilt was meant for Micah. The backing and binding is Kona cotton, I think leaf or spring green, a very bright lime/chartreuse sort of green, the sort of thing that only Marisa would appreciate. I realized as I was piecing the blocks that I had used Kona snow, which is a white, and the Arcadia used cream. It's not super-noticable, but if I had to do it again I would have used a cream rather than white for the solid. I was definitely not worried enough to go buy cream and re-cut all those pieces!

Kinda blurry picture.

Close up!
Gabe's quilt is the Houndstooth quilt by V & Co. It's all Bella solids, I think, black and bleached white, and the backing is country red, which was the closest I found to Alabama red. I actually emailed the store and had them compare reds for me. As soon as this quilt pattern was published I knew I had to make it for Gabe, since houndstooth is so emblematic of Alabama football, and Chris is a huge Alabama fan (and graduate).

This might be the most complicated quilt I've made (second to yours, which is still only partly finished). I had the quilt top finished by Gabe's first birthday on July 2, but I was worried about how to quilt it without disrupting the pattern. I would have liked to free motion quilt it, but I don't know how. In the end, once it was basted, I didn't think long before deciding to just do diagonal lines through the solid squares and it worked out fine. Maybe it would have been fun to quilt it in red, but I think the white is ok.

I finished them in time to present them to the boys on the day of our pool trip a few weeks ago. Two down and plenty more to go! I really need to find a spot where I can spread these things out. This past week I found myself eyeing the floor in our church hall. Plenty of room to spread out!

Next up: all the dress sewing I've been doing, plus Jane's quilt

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

London: Saturday

I have been putting off writing about our last full day in London. Who knows why, maybe it's hard to believe that something that was in the planning stages for so long is over. This was the "what have we not done that we still want to do" day. I wanted to go to a museum that we hadn't been to, either the V&A or the National Gallery, and since Mom wanted us to all stay together, we decided to walk up to Trafalgar Square and the National Gallery, and then go to the Horseguards Museum. It was an absolutely beautiful day. I could have sat outside and read all day, but since it was beautiful and Saturday it was also really crowded.
Westminster Abbey, on the walk up Whitehall.

Victoria Tower

Outside Horseguards

Nelson's ColumnLion at the base of the column. They say the artist based the lions on dogs, which is why they have their mouths open with their tongues sort of hanging out. They were covered in kids.

National Gallery. We spent around two hours or so here. By this time in the trip, my body and my brain had definite limits on how long they could stand and walk and how much I could take in. We had also learned to choose a meeting time and place beforehand. Daniel and I split off from Mom & Dad, and I admit it didn't take too much before I was art saturated. I did buy a couple of pretty tea towels for my collection. Accidental picture of the dome from inside. Whoops, no photography!

The view of Trafalgar Square from the National Gallery. Much construction fencing had been removed since Patrick and I were there on Tuesday. You can see the Olympic countdown clock in the lower right. The square was crazy crowded, swarming with people around the column climbing on the lions and around the fountains.

Admiralty Building, I think, right next to Horseguards.
This helmet is very heavy.
Daniel in the ceremonial uniform.

Daniel in camouflage. We tried on all the costumes while Daddy finished at the museum.

Big Ben, pretty in the blue sky.
Mom on Westminster Bridge. She posed for this picture. I wanted a normal one, but this is what I got. We walked across Westminster Bridge, down the South Bank and got yummy drinks, and then across Lambeth Bridge and back to our hotel.
Photo taken by Daddy, hence Big Ben is coming out of my head.

On the South Bank. I think Daniel was trying to stay in the shadows.

Mom on the South Bank, Westminster Bridge in the background. Her walking days almost over. Newsflash: we did not have dinner at Pret a Manger. We had the early bird dinner at the hotel. I think it was a giant ravioli.
After dinner, Daddy and I set out again because I wanted to take some pictures of Parliament all lit up at night.
Parliament at sunset.

Lights coming on.

Parliament - if only you could hear the pop music blaring from some party.

Big Ben, all lit up.

Victoria Tower, the last picture I took in London.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Happy Labor Day!

Hope the Hoopers had a great Labor Day weekend! I had a headache for a good bit of it :( but also had some fun. On Saturday, Ami, Marisa, Micah and I joined Valerie and Gabe in Ellicott City and went to the pool. I think it was Micah's first pool experience.

Marisa and Micah. The patriotic swim trucks are a Gaeta contribution.

Cuteness.In the very cold water.
Ami and Gabe

We went back to Valerie's and Marisa shopped in her boxes full of baby clothes.Micah is very attracted to zippers. Notice he's wearing the giraffe onesie.
Gabe observes.

Sunday afternoon Ami and Zeek hosted us for a cookout. This is the only picture I took: Micah playing with a carrot. It was a little crazy down there on the floor with three little kids. In addition to Gabe and Micah, 19-month-old Noah was in attendance.
On the actual rainy Labor Day, I worked on a quilt I've been commissioned by a co-worker. It's going to be all pinwheels in the middle. Here are all the rows. I've got a few of them sewn together so far.
Valerie brought this back for us from Alabama. It's made not far from her parents' home in Huntsville, but they get it at Costco. If you see it, buy it. It's super yummy!

Back to work!