Saturday, November 30, 2013

November Goal... Squeaking By!

I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving! 

...but now, it's on to the next Holiday...

Merry Early Christmas 
(Advent starts tomorrow!)

 My November goal was to get this pieced - it's the beginnings of a Christmas tree skirt for a wedding gift. The wedding is July 5th!

 I keep experimenting with the old-faithful pattern that my mom has used for tree skirts since the 80s. This time I went down from a 7" block to a 6.5" and added a few 4-patches to spice it up. I also went with a planned-scrappy layout, instead of diagonal lines. I've had the Believe fabric for years, waiting for this friend to get married. The others are all leftovers from past tree skirts, both ones that I made and ones that Mom made.

 I brought it up to my parents' house on Thanksgiving, so Mom can bring it to the lady who always does Mom's long-arm machine quilting. This will also be a new change. In the past, this project would have been tied with yarn. Then we upgraded to embroidery floss. The last skirt I finished, I quilted it along the seams with my home machine. Now, it's time to have someone else do some FMQ on it! (Mom, thanks for having the nativity set up already to help set the mood for these pictures, ha!).

 I also need this tree skirt quilted. I've had this top done for over a year, just waiting for the right wedding announcement. I have another friend's wedding on May 31st! (Evelyn thought she needed to be a part of the photo shoot!)

 You can see the old-way layout of diagonal lines. Four of these fabrics were from Connecting Threads while two are from JoAnns.

While we're on the topic of Christmas projects. Mom's making one of these for all her girls (my two sister-in-laws and me). I found her the pattern in a thrift store - it matched a wreath wall-hanging also made out of log cabin blocks that she made years ago.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Wish List

You know what my favorite part of writing Christmas Lists is? 

The fact that they don't have to be practical!

I keep an ongoing Christmas list on my computer that I can easily update and keep track of my dream items throughout the year. 

It's true... I work on my list year round :) 

It is so much fun to dream about items that I would never splurge on myself... that's how Christmas lists should be... full of fun items that you don't need and could never break down to buy for yourself!

Now remember, *fun* is a subjective adjective!! Not every item on my list is desired by the masses. For instance: a double boiler. Not exactly the most exciting new kitchen gadget! However, it is something that I would enjoy using yet not something I need to survive :)

To participate in a giveaway, I recently enjoyed browsing Connecting Thread's website and creating a wishlist with my favorite finds. The total is already over $300! Do I need any of the items on my list? Nope. Is it fun to dream anyway?! Yup!

Maybe that is part of the allure of writing wishlists... there is an excitement to the dreaming - dreaming of the items or projects and dreaming of the time to create those projects. (Also a major part of why I love Pinterest so much!) 

**I hope this post hasn't made me sound greedy. I promise you, I am perfectly content right now. I don't need anything. I have my family and friends, a roof over my head, food on the table and a Savior who loves me.

But being content doesn't mean you have to stop dreaming :)

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing you a fun and safe Thanksgiving! 
May you be surrounded by loved ones on this happy day!

(This was the 115th postcard I scanned. I have scanned a total of 168 so far, with quite a few left to go. I love these postcards!)

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Formal 7 Month Post

 I'll get a comparison collage posted one of these months. But, she's growing up... and since there were no shots this month to make her cranky, I could actually try to get a little photo shoot done. 

(Side note: I would love to hire a baby photographer, and I am jealous of all the cute newborn/6month/1year baby pictures I see on Facebook and Pinterest... but sometimes I am just too cheap  -  actually it's the same feeling I get when I want to buy clothes for myself... but that's a post for another day - so, we make due with a home photo shoot). 

Evelyn went through three dress changes, I had to rearrange my mother-in-law's sitting room to try to get the best lighting, and the Canon Rebel took about 100 pictures. I think I liked maybe 10 of them - and they're all of the same dress, but that's 10 more pictures than I had before the shoot :)

The Digital Baby Book Portion...

  • She's becoming a very fast crawler.
  • She has 6 teeth now.
  • Her hair is coming in nicely! 
  • She's pulling herself up on to her knees and staying steady... she's a bit wobbly when she gets onto her feet, but she can do it.
  • Her favorite things to pull herself up on are the changing table, a small rocking chair, the first step on the stairs, low drawer handles, a bookshelf our legs (when she's tired of crawling and wants to be held... again).
  • She loves to be held in the standing position... and she loves it even more when we walk her around while just holding her hands. Her grin is priceless! 
  • She was loving her foods - avocado and squash were favorites. Carrots, peas, applesauce and oatmeal were not favorites. She loved bananas in her oatmeal, but the next day she had a body rash, so we haven't tried bananas since. We'll try again soon and watch for the rash. The last week or so, however, she has not been eating solids as well... I think it's because of her cold. Hopefully she'll start liking them again soon!
  • She has learned to love splashing around in the tub.
  • She's a babbler most of the time, but sometimes she can be content in her high chair and just sit there quietly.
  • Peek-a-boo is a favorite game.
  • She is starting to like stuffed animals... and not just for chew toys! When I tickle her nose and cheek with their fuzziness, she giggles and then wants to play with them herself.
  • She is becoming quite the adventurer. No need for Mommy to be with her, she'll just go crawling away into other rooms. Baby gates and closed doors are becoming necessary. She's been eying the stairs, too, so I suppose that might be next.
  • Cloth diapers are going really well! Disposables still at night. I'm going to need to replace the elastic in a few of my pocket diapers' leg holes. This is a common action with them and something I worried about before I bought the BumGenius pockets used. But I figured, I would still save money from having to buy them new! They are still working fine, but we do get a bit more moisture onto onesies/pants when she wears the diapers that have stretched-out leg holes.
  • Listening to kids' music is still away to cheer her up.
  • She still loves looking at other kiddos... this can be cute in the right setting, but can be quite embarrassing at church when all of a sudden a little boy turns around to look at her and she squeals in delight during a reading!
  • She's a kicker. When we hold her and carry her around, she just kicks away - always, always moving. She'll kick when she's happy, but she also kicks when we're walking... like she's trying to urge us to go faster or something. We just say that she's going to be a runner someday... kick, kick, kick, kick.
  • Let's not talk about her sleep habits, OK? It's exhausting just thinking about it. 
Ok, that's all for now. I need to get some sleep before she wakes up!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

7 month Ramblings...

Last week, Evelyn passed her 7th month mark... here's what she's been up to!

  • Up, up and up! If she can pull herself up on something, she'll find it. This bookshelf is around and behind a couch, but she found it! And now, it's one of her favorite places to be. I like to think it's because she loves book, but really, she just wants to feel like a big girl and pull herself up. 
  • The first place she ever starting moving upwards was on her changing table in the bathroom. Even weeks later, it's still cheap entertainment for when Mommy needs to do her -ahem- business. 
  • You can see in the top picture that she's up on her feetsies... you'd think it would be easier just to stay on her knees while playing with her bouncy chair, but nope... that's not good enough. Little E needs to be on her feet.
Smiles. AND TEETH! This past month she gained 4 pearly whites on the top. This brings the total to 6. Three of them poked through during the same week... let's just say that she earned a new nickname (lil' monster). She is also earning those monstery stripes this past week... we're both fighting colds (and the time change is still affecting us), so she has not been sleeping well...

  • We spent one weekend up with my parents - look at us being all helpful in the garden with Grandpa! Ok, really, she is just enjoying some more crunchy leaves. But I'd like to think we were helpful in the same way that being entertaining is helpful :)
  • I made her a bow to match a dress for family pictures (you'll see those pictures around Christmas time).
  • We had a shopping day with one of my college friends/teammates. E had her first experience strapped in the kid's seat of the Target shopping cart. I can't decide if I want to make/buy a shopping seat cover. Do you think it's necessary?
  • Ev's second cousin came over for a play date. He's about 8 months older that she is, so she had someone to push her around in the walker!
  • We said "see-you-later" to Evelyn's aunt and uncle this past month... they're off to New Zealand for two years. But before they left, E got one last piano lesson with Auntie Amy :) 

Her formal monthly pictures will be posted soon, too! Sorry there hasn't been many project posts lately. I'm squeezing in some sewing here and there, but limited time (lil monster!) and limited quality light in my sewing area hasn't really motivated me to blog about my two current projects! Hopefully soonish...

Friday, November 8, 2013

Corn Harvest 2013

 Corn harvest is almost done! There was sooo much corn out in the fields, and it took us several weeks, but we are finally down to the last 60 acres!

 But before we could get those 60 acres out, snow happened. We only got a few inches, so we are thankful for that. The snow came in half a day, and a few days later, it's almost all melted away already.
Wednesday morning was so beautiful, with the snow glistening with the rising sun, that I just had to run outside and snap a few shots.

 Pretty soon all of the fields will be empty and the machinery will be stowed away.

Snow will be a regular occurrence and this girl will enjoy more bundle up walks in the snow!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Church Quilting on a Saturday

One of the churches that my in-laws attend had a quilting day one Saturday. They only have these maybe twice a year, but it was a fun time. There were even a few first-timers there! We did a disappearing 9-patch pattern, and one of the ladies will quilt it on her long-arm machine. (I can't remember where the quilt will be donated, sorry!). 

 One of the sewing tables...

Isn't she a beauty?

Cutting, cutting, cutting!

 Where'd the 9-patch go? :)

 I was mainly sewing strips together. You can see Evelyn's play area near my chair.

Although, as usual, she didn't last long playing by herself. Here's Grandma showing her multitasking skills!

Well, the quilt might not have turned out exactly how the organizers had planned, but you can't expect perfection when you have ladies ironing, cutting and sewing who might not have a lot of experience (or any experience!). I think the main problem was that we weren't squaring up the blocks, which caused a lot of grief when we were sewing the blocks into rows and then the rows into the top. But it was certainly a fun morning of fellowship! And the quilt will be loved regardless of its imperfections :)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Baby Sewing!

This picture heavy post will highlight a few baby projects I sewed up last month. 

I didn't waste any time cutting into the Lizzy House fabrics I ordered with a giveaway prize gift certificate from Pink Chalk Fabrics. I pretty much whipped this skirt up one afternoon before heading to a volleyball game in town (Evelyn wasn't too happy that I was scrambling to finish the skirt while she was stuck playing by herself on the floor). Dan's happy since the colors are also of his precious Vikings (I'm a Packers fan... but I try to be fair to Dan!). The lining is a chevron flannel from JoAnns. I promise to get a picture up of Evelyn actually wearing it soon!

I was able to meet up with a college friend a few weeks ago. She is due with a baby boy in January! I just happened to find my plain cloth diapers that I use for burp cloths the night before our shopping date, so it's a good thing these are quick projects! I plan to make a few more things for this special baby boy soon :)

A cousin and a high school friend both gave birth to sweet little girls earlier this summer/fall, so it was about time I sent them their gifts (leggings, burp cloths and bibs)! I had two extra leggings that I had bought still in their packaging and then I sewed two more sets with knee-high socks I found on clearance at JcPenny's. The burp cloths are just flannel and terry cloth (obviously I made these before I found those cloth diapers I mentioned above!). This was the first time making burp cloths like this, and it wasn't too scary. I still prefer my cloth diapers, but in a pinch, this pattern will also work.

Finally, I experimented with some bib making with my leftover scrappy hexies from making Evelyn her skirt for the Hexi-Blog Hop this summer. I made two different types... one where I used the burping method (I just picked up on this vocabulary from Moneik!) and then one where I quilted and used store-bought binding. One bib has velcro, while the other three have snaps.

 This was actually the first time I used a snap that I didn't have to sew it on. Why haven't I tried these sooner! So much quicker!!! Oh, and I couldn't resist saving one of the bibs for my own little girl :)

 Here's a bit of a close up of the hexies and the vintage binding I finally got to use :)

 Cute, right!? 
(She's on the verge of reaching for my camera strap or my phone or whatever was on the floor at this time. She's always on the go, go go!)

Ok, sorry for the lengthy post. I wish I could blog about the projects sooner - like as soon as I finish them - but living out of boxes and dealing with a teething-almost-7-month old and having my sewing area in the basement without good picture-lighting leaves me blogging lengthy catch-up posts. Thanks for reading anyways!

Monday, November 4, 2013

November Goal

My November goal is to get a Christmas tree skirt pieced for a friend's wedding this summer. I'll baste, quilt and bind it another month (there's a good chance that we will be switching houses sometime this month, so my goal is to simply piece!)

I decided to switch up my normal Christmas tree skirt pattern by going with scrappy 6.5" blocks instead of a diagonal pattern with 7" blocks of only 5-7 fabrics. I also made 10-ish 4-patch blocks to add to the scrappiness. This friend has always loved the word "Believe," so I have been saving this fabric for this exact purpose :)

Friday, November 1, 2013

A Post Long Overdue

Over the past year, I've won some lovely prizes... some I posted about right away, and some, sadly, have taken me too long to post about. 


Remember when we took a trip to Seattle last winter? Well, I recieved a happy email from Made-by-Rae during that trip... an email exclaiming that I won a $50 gift certificate to Fashionable Fabrics! At first I was speachless... and then I hurriedly bragged to my mother that I got to pick out $50(!) worth of fabric :)
 Knowing that we were moving and knowing that I had enough fabric to last me until the move, I actually had it shipped to my mom... which is why you are just now hearing about it. I chose some dots (3 charm packs and a yard) from Riley Blake, a charm and a yard of School Days (Moda), and my favorite... a yard of a cute Little Golden Books themed fabric (from the order confirmation email: Little Golden Books The Fuzzy Duckling Barnyard Scenic on Yellow by Quilting Treasures)

 I only recently (since July? I guess that isn't so recent anymore!) started participating and following along on blog hops. Since then, I won two lovely giveaways. I received the fat quarter of a festive stripe from Patricia at Quilting Lines and the sewing goodie stockpile from Shelia at Quilting in South Carolina! I've been trying to gather some Halloween fabrics lately so I can eventually make a throw or a pillow, and I've definitely been needing some quilt labels - can't wait to use them! Such fun!

 Pink Chalk Fabrics had a summer series where they highlighted sewing studios of bloggers and fabric designers. Each time you commented on a post, you were entered to win one of 50(!) $20 gift certificates to their online store. The posts were very inspiring - I can't wait until I can have a sewing "studio" of my own to decorate and organize! Anyways, these goodies (all have plans on becoming Evelyn clothes) just arrived last week: Riley Blake red solid and chevron knits, a piece of Robert Kaufman Classic Threads, and two shades of Lizzy House's Pearl Bracelets. Can't wait to sew up some outfits!

Last, but not least, I won a $25 gift certificate to Fabric Fly through Clover and Violet's Season By Hand summer series. I also had this sent to Mom for safe keeping while we transitioned from MT to SD. I picked out October Afternoon's Sasparilla line for Riley Blake... a layer cake and two half-yard cuts. This will be saved for a quilt just in case Evelyn ever happens to have a sibling :)

I have certainly been lucky over the past year, and I am so thankful for such generous giveaways! These prizes will certainly be put to good use... well, Evelyn just has to learn to nap longer first, so I can have more sewing time :)