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Showing posts from March, 2010

A Trip to the Zoo

We had a great day yesterday. We took a day off yesterday and headed to the zoo with Brendan's sister and her daughter. It's something I really really wanted to do before I got any bigger. We loved it so much that we went ahead and bought a membership so we can go back whenever we want. And, as an added plus, it gets us into the three closest zoos to Grandparents, as well. On to the pictures!

Both girls absolutely loved the baby elephant. It was pretty much adorable.

Ellery waved to all the animals. She loved everything about the zoo- the animals, riding around in her wagon, the chance to run around like crazy. Everything, that is, except the carousel and the train ride. Freaked out on both of those.

Yep, hard to imagine that belly getting much bigger- but there's still something like four weeks to go.

And just for fun comparison purposes- a picture from our last trip to the zoo- almost two years ago to the day.

Foundation Pieced Improvisational Log Cabin Block Tutorial

I thought I would share how I made the blocks for the second of the quilts I showed yesterday. I kind of made it up as I went along on an earlier project- used a little of this technique and a little of that until I had a process I really liked. So, here it is- my tutorial on how I make Foundation pieced Improvisational Log Cabin blocks. Yeah, I really need a shorter, snazzier name for them. It is by no means the supreme tutorial- its just how I made the blocks. Adapt it as you will.
Alright. I start each block with a foundation. It's not entirely necessary but I like having a visual guideline. It helps me to know exactly how much bigger the block needs to be, what percentage of the block that big chunk of fabric would take up- things like that. I use white fabric- nothing fancy. In fact, I use the very cheapest white I can find. The $3 a yard stuff that you can see right through works great. I like white because I don't have to worry about it showing through the other fabrics…

Two Finished Quilts

The closer I am to finishing a project, the more obsessive I tend to get. I rearrange my schedule to spend ever minute possible. I think about it nonstop. I dream about it. This week has been consumed with these two quilts-

No specific deadline. No specific recipient. I just wanted to see them finished.

Both quilts use the same basic fabric set- blues and greens featuring every bird and tree related print I could find. They're approximately the same size (something like 42 by 56 inches). I even backed and bound them with the same material. Two very different styles. The first is a scrappy yet very traditional Irish Chain- precisely cut and pieced.

I'm considering turning around and starting another one just like it. This time twin size for Anna's first big girl bed. I just love how this one turned out.

The second is a very different, very modern, improvisational log cabin.

Very few straight lines here- only the sashing. Every block is different. Every block is its own little …

How I spent my Saturday

So I finally have a Saturday off in what feels like forever (reality: four weeks) and how do I choose to spend it?

Crawling around my kitchen floor on my hands and knees basting quilts. Big pregnant belly in the way the whole time. Probably the most uncomfortable activity ever. In my defense, Brendan was off grading papers so my choices were limited to what could be done at home with two little girls.

There's no particular deadline for these quilts. No particular recipient. No particular reason to spend hours Saturday working on them. No reason other than my own excitement to see them finished.

I was so excited that I spent Saturday evening quilting one of them and pretty much all my free time yesterday quilting the other. If this excitement keeps up, I may have two finished quilts to show you by this weekend.

The Downfall of the Fancy Schmancy Design Wall

That's Crayola Washable Marker added by Ellery. I guess I need to find someplace other than the living room wall to hang up my quilts in progress. Oh well, now we get to see just how washable those washable markers are.

In the good news department, I went a little crafty crazy on Sunday and now have a finished quilt.

It is 42 by 56 inches. A simple pattern all my own.

Fantastic animal fabric from IKEA.

Black and bright color stripey binding. I thought it was going to be a bit too much but I really love it now.

Solid blue backing.

Pretty simple straight line quilting.

I have a second quilt all cut out and ready to start sewing. The plan is to take pictures as I sew it and then post a tutorial/pattern here. Should be interesting. I've never really written a quilt pattern before. Good thing I'm starting with a really simple one.