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..And One Makes Two

Quick housekeeping…it apeeeears as though I missed out on some comments that were left for me on the last 2 posts.  Granted, the second to the last post was over a year ago, but I have a bunch of comments on there I never saw.  So I apologize for ignoring you, I didn’t know! ;)

Okay, so not to leave out Benjamin on my quest to make ever-lasting Easter baskets, my hubby eyed this wooden boat at an antique mall, and on home it came with us.

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I think this is the ‘before’ picture.  I was tempted to leave it in it’s distressed glory, but I saw a picture of a real painted boat that I loved, so I used that for inspiration.  Plus, once I sanded it, most of the white paint came off anyway.  So, it got sanded, painted, and I found a wooden anchor at Joann’s that I painted and glued on as well.

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Then, for a little personalization, I painted his name on the back.  I won’t tell you how many times I sanded it off and repainted it.  And guess what, it looked exactly the same every time I painted it back.

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At least it’s spelled right.  And now it’s all ready for tomorrow morning.  He’s only 4 months old, so he won’t have any appreciation for it.  But he will someday, right?  Right?

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Basket Busyness

So Easter is right around the corner, can you believe it?  In some ways this year has gone incredibly fast, and in some ways it seems like January 1 was a lifetime ago.  It’s also been a whole year since I last posted.  A whole year!  Crazy.  It’s definitely been an eventful year for me.  Eventful last 4 months, really.  We moved cross country, and I had another baby!  But those are all stories for another time.

So back to the point, Easter is right around the corner.  I’ve been wanting to make an Easter basket for my daughter.  Last year, when she was one, I broke down and just bought a little wire one to make do.  I have scoured and scoured the internet and pinterest, but couldn’t come up with anything I loved.  Anything that seemed to fit.  I was wanting to make a basket that she could use every year.  Not for egg hunting, but to wake up to Easter morning filled with goodies.  I wanted to make a basket for her that would be a memory.

I remember when I was little, I had an Easter basket that had a stuffed bunny head on it.  A little gruesome when you write it out actually, but it was cute.  I still have that basket.  I don’t actually remember ever using it, but I’ve seen it in pictures when I was little, so I know it was loved.  So that’s what I wanted for Avery.  Except I want her to remember it.  I have these images of her waking up every Easter morning to the same basket, filled with goodies.  All the way until she leaves for college.  Then when she’s gone, I’ll cry over her basket every Easter morning, sad that she’s away.  Then when she gets older, she’ll appreciate the nostalgia of that basket, and want to use it for her own daughter….Okay, so maybe I get a little carried away.  She’ll probably not even notice the basket, just grab the stuff, and it’ll get tossed aside.  Then in a few years we probably won’t even do Easter baskets anymore, she won’t remember it, and it’ll get left in the attic somewhere.  But, I can dream, right?  So, as you can see, I put a lot of pressure on myself for this ‘Easter basket for a lifetime’.  Ha, I don’t know why I do this to myself.  Anyway, now that I have baby boy, I’ve got to do this times 2.

I wasn’t worried about it being a traditional basket so much, just wanted to find something cool and unique, so I set off for the antique store.  This is what I came up with for Avery.

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It was an old metal ‘flower basket’.  A little worse for wear.  Not sure what it looked like originally, but it had been painted a green color, and it was terribly rusted.  But, it had potential.  Pretty shape, and it was big enough to hold goodies, but not so big it would be hard to fill.  I started by sanding all the loose rust I could, then primed it with a spray paint Rustoleum primer.

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After it was primed, it already looked much better.  Avery’s favorite color is currently purple, and she picked out the color she wanted her basket to be.

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I had some pretty blue leftover from a different project, so I sprayed the inside blue, for a little contrast.

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At this point, all that was left was to give it a little personalization, so I made a bunting banner with her name.  But of course it had to be a double-sided banner.  Why?  Because I like to complicate things.  And because then I can be less decisive.  If I can’t decide between 2 different banner fabrics, why not do them both, right?  So, after all is said and done, this is what I came up with, all ready for Easter morning.

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I’m pleased with how it turned out.  It may not last until my children’s children’s children, but maybe the next couple of years.  :)  So now it’s on to Benjamin’s…

Sister-in-law Quilts

I’m a big fan of Gone With the Wind.  Most people who know me, know that.  So a few years back when I was invited to join a quilt swap of Civil War Reproduction 9 patches, entitled ‘A Quilt for Melanie Wilkes’, I jumped in on it without hesitation.

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And I LOVE the quilt I ended up with.  It’s huge, about king size, and it’s got such a great assortment of fabrics, so many more than I could collect on my own.  I sent it to Randi Allen in TX to quilt it, and she did a great job with it, an all over swirly star pattern, perfect for the patriotic theme of the fabric.

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Anyway, I’m so pleased with this quilt.  It’s really a workhorse quilt.  I often have a hard time using quilts that I’ve made because I’m so afraid they’re going to get torn up, or stained.  And after all the time and money that went into them, I want them to stay nice.  But this quilt is different.  It’s quite pretty to look at it, but understated.  It’s not flashy or showy, but the beauty is in the details; when you notice the quilting, or pick up on a really unique print in it.  It’s been used quite a bit. It’s super warm in the winter, and huge, so the perfect quilt to huddle under with my family to spend time together watching a movie. It’s the perfect quilt to haul to my husband’s ball games.  It’s big enough that all my girlfriends and their kids can sit on it and chitchat.  And it’s such a great blend of colors, no one would ever notice if something got spilled on it or stained.  It really encourages fellowship and friendship.  It’s very soft and a perfect amount of worn-in feeling.

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And I think that’s what Melly would have wanted.

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Several years ago there was a line of Gone With the Wind fabric that came out, and I snatched up a bunch of it.  I didn’t get around to actually making a quilt top out of it until a couple of weeks ago.  I used this great pattern by Violet Craft, that I modified just a bit to accomodate some of my larger prints.  In contrast, I call this my ‘Quilt for Scarlett O’Hara’.

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Different from my Melanie Quilt, this quilt will not see a lot of hard work.  This one prefers to just be admired and look pretty.  I think I’m going to have it custom quilted, it needs that special touch.  I want the quilting to be showy, dramatic, definitely something to be noticed.  This quilt will just be draped around the house somewhere, a life of luxury.

And I think that’s what Scarlett would have wanted.

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So, PS…I need a long-arm quilter.  Someone preferably who loves Gone With the Wind so they can help me capture the essence of Scarlett in the quilting.  I’m thinking perhaps some of her phrases in the sashing?  Know anyone?  Send them my way!

Au Revoir

I’m a ‘list girl’.  At any given moment, I have a fairly extensive to-do list.  I’m also OCD about getting every item marked off that list.  I get great pleasure from lining through all the things I’ve done, and I get great stress from leaving things undone on the list.  Lately, the latter is where my blogging has been falling.  I’ve been just awful at blogging lately, even though it’s always on my list of things to get done.  I used to love blogging.  It used to be easier.  Now it’s just become stressful because it’s this thing I know I should get done, but I just never get to it. 

I think one reason I haven’t been blogging is because the blog is having an identity crisis.  When it started, it was a quilting blog.  It fit in that nice little box.  But in the last year or so, I have done very little quilting.  Like, maybe one quilt in the last year.  So I really have nothing quilty to talk about.  Now I have baby on the brain all the time.  I could maybe write lots about my baby.  But one, that would be very boring to everyone else.  And two, it seems odd to write about babies on a quilting blog.  So perhaps this blog will evolve into a mommy blog someday.  But now, I just don’t have the time or energy to put into it.  I’m just starting to figure out how to be a full-time mommy/housekeeper.  Then I have a part-time sewing job (which incidentally makes it much harder to sew for fun), and I’m about to start another part-job back at the doctor’s office I worked out before I got pregnant.  So blogging just isn’t there right now. 

So this isn’t a goodbye forever.  It’s just a ‘see ya later’.  This isn’t the end of the blog, it’s just a closing of this chapter in my life.  The blog is going up on the shelf for a while.  And who knows, if I find a way to get back into quilting, maybe this will come back better than ever as a quilting blog.  If I find the desire to blog about other things, maybe this will morph into something else.  Maybe I’ll pop in to blog updates every now and then…

I want to thank all my readers I’ve had over the years, and I’m so thankful for all the friends I’ve made through this little adventure.  It’s truly been a joy to meet so many absolutely cool people.  Hope to see ya soon!!

Whew

What a month.  I had such great aspirations to have a really productive quilting month.  And then we moved.  And then I took a part-time job.  And then I accepted another part-time job to start in the next couple of weeks.  And then I remembered OPAM.  And then I got overwhelmed. 

But, I did manage to finish a quilt this month, but that’s only because it needed binding and tying off some quilting threads.  It’s my quilt from the ’12 Days of Christmas’ line from Moda, I LOVE that fabric!  One of my favorites.  A week before Christmas of 2010, I said, ‘I think I’ll whip up a festive quilt real quick’.  HA!  2 years later I’m just getting it finished.  But, I’ll say, I’m really pleased with it.  It’s hard to make a bad quilt when the fabric is this cute.

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So, I now have to figure out how to be a full-time mom, work 2 part-time jobs, spend time with my husband, and still get some sewing in for myself.  I’ve barely figured out how to do the first one and still get a shower in… 

Happy Leap Day!

I know Leap Day comes around every 4 years, but I honestly don’t ever remember having a leap day before.  Weird.

I finished my husband’s T-shirt quilt top.  Thanks to everyone that has commented on the last couple of posts.  I promise I read them all, but I didn’t quite get to the email thank you reply.  One thing I really liked was how Kat tucked some of the shirt tags into her binding.  I saved a couple and am going to do the same thing, neat idea Kat!

I’m really pleased with how it turned out.  This is the second t-shirt quilt I’ve done.  The first one I did for me, and it was much different.  I cut all the shirts the same size squares, and I used much stiffer interfacing.  The thicker stuff made it not so cuddly, and this one already has better drape.  Not sure if I’ll add borders or not, I’ll let hubby decide.  I like the puzzle piece arrangement.  It was a bit like a puzzle trying to figure out how to sew it all together, but a fun challenge.  Something I haven’t done before.

So I now have 3 tops ready to be quilted, and 1 quilt that needs finishing touches.  I’m moving in a couple weeks, so hopefully I can stay on track to get at least one quilt done each month.  And, once I move, I’ll get to start on my new sewing room redo, Yay!

Moving On

I’ve finished another quilt top, but think I’ll wait a bit to quilt it.  I quilt on my mom’s machine, and I think we’re going to have it set up for some embroidery for a while.  We got this great ambitious idea to each make an embroidered Sunbonnet Sue quilt, and so we each have about 1000 hours of embroidery coming up.

So I’m starting on my next top.  My next challenge is to turn this stack of t-shirts…

…into a quilt for my husband.  I showed him several examples on the internet for him to choose between.  He liked the more puzzle pieced looking ones, rather than cutting everything the same size and being uniform squares.  So I’m thinking it’s going to look something like this…

There’s already been a few more edits to this as I’ve cut one shirt wrong (so far that I know about), and then wanted to spread out the colors some more.  But it’s turning that huge stack of shirts into something more manageable and useful.  He loves all those shirts, and now he’ll be able to see them more often, rather then them being stuck back in a box in the closet.

This will be my second t-shirt quilt.  I’m using much more lightweight stabilizer this time, as the first one was pretty stiff.  But I’m always stumped on how to quilt these things.  I want it to be enough quilting, but I don’t think I want to quilt over the design on the shirts.  Any suggestions?

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