Saturday, May 29, 2010

3rd Blanket - complete!!

#3 blanket for DS#1 is complete!!! I can't believe that I have three done so far! Each color looks just a good as the last and these are all so soft and cuddly!
Started: 3/27/2010
Finished: 5/17/2010
Needles: US 13
Yarn: Lion Brand Homespun
Color: #309 Deco (cream)
#373 Black
70 3/4 inches by 53 1/2 inches
Of course the kids see me knitting these.

But I've been able to convince them that we just need more blanket to snuggle with on the couch during family movie night. Only the oldest has wondered why they are not actually on the couch. I have told her that they are not "completely" complete. This is techinically true.......none of them have my labels on them yet :o)
Not such a great picture, but this is the praying matis egg case hatching. The babies are wriggling out of the bottom of the egg case. It was quite exciting to watch.
A little better shot of the baby mantis. They are actually quite cute!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Quilting....Love It!

The first attempt at quilting was very disappointing. I found out how hard it really is to "stitch-in-the ditch" - really hard. I am so greatful to Vicki of Field Trips in Fiber. She commented on my last post and let me know that it would be ok. That encouragement kept me going. After a few days of letting this quilt "rest", I put it back on the sewing maching.

This is how I decided to quilt the border - in diagonal lines 1.5 inches apart. Gotta love the stitch guide that is included with the new walking foot I purchased for my machine. Notice all the loose threads in the picture above - Each row of stitching had 4 of these - they had to be woven in. It really didn't take all that long. Just one show on TV and we were done.
Here is how the quilt looks with all the quilting done. I did not go back and rip out the stitch-in-the ditch quilting in the body of the quilt. I did as told, stood a few feet away and decided that it looked just fine.
A picture of the back. If you look too closely at the rows of stitching, you will notice that some of them are slightly curved and the last two are not equidistant from eachother, but again, as I stood back from it I thought it was ok.
Another shot of the back diagonal rows where they meet up with the main body quilting - not too bad for a first timer :o)

This is the thread I used for quilting it. I just kind of fell in love with it after a fellow classmate showed it to me. It has all the colors of the quilt in it - I realize now that if I had chosen a more neutral color my wobbly stitching wouldn't have shown up quite as much, but I don't think I would change anything. The bright color on the back is really kind of nice. Thanks so much Vicki for encouraging me to continue! This was so much fun I have already picked out and cut fabric for my next quilt!! I feel another obsession coming on!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

No straight lines for me.....

I went to class on Thursday night in very high spirits-I was so excited to learn how to put my quilt together and then to quilt it. I had purchased a walking foot for my sewing machine and was completely ready. And then I learned a terrible truth about myself.......I cannot sew a straight line............ I went V. E. R. Y. slowly and really tried to aim for the ditch, but it was not happening. Sure, it happened some of the time, but not with any regularity.
These are just two of my quilting lines. They are not even examples of the worst stitching that is on my quilt.
I was also dismayed to learn that we still have to weave in our ends at the beginning and end of each of our stitching rows. Somehow I thought it would be like regular sewing - just backstitch and cut - nope. I still love the class, our teacher is extraordinary, and the ladies couldn't be a nicer bunch, but I am feeling a little discouraged. Since Thursday, I have woven in the ends and am ready to continue "quilting"; however, I just don't feel like it.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Quilt Update

My first quilt now has borders!! I am so happy with this! There are some mistakes, but nothing I can't live with and I am thrilled that I am finally, finally quilting - "for real".
This is a close up of the fabrics for the borders. You can see that the seam is a little wonky here and there, but overall a pretty good piece :o)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

New Foster Kitties!!

Isn't this little guy cute?? He has two brothers and one sister. They are approximately 6 weeks old and were rescued from a place that was hoarding cats. These are the lucky ones. My oldest daughter fosters kittens for volunteer hours - way more than she needs for school - she does this because she loves helping the kittens to find good, forever homes. I am quite proud of her!

He is as soft as he looks and loves to play with his siblings.
Here they all are together.
Look at those little faces!!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

First Quilt started

I finally bit the bullet and am taking a quilting class. There is a quilting store not too far from me, Eddie's Quilting Bee, that is fabulous. I have been in there before to drool over fabric, but have never taken a class.
These are the fabrics that I have chosen. When I say chosen, I mean that I went into the shop, signed up for the class and told one of the ladies who works there, Stacie, that I was taking a class and needed some help choosing fabric because their selection of fabrics is so immense that I was overwhelmed. She asked me some questions, showed me fabrics, pulled some off the wall and placed them together so I could get a feel for how they would look, and then I chose the ones above. I love them!
This is what my square looks like. First we cut 2 1/2 inch strips - learning to do that is key. Then we sewed the strips together and were supposed to get 6 1/2 inch wide combination strips. I couldn't get mine to reach that dimension, mine were 6 1/4 inches - I decided that my squares would just have to be 6 1/4 inches by 6 1/4 inches. I will need to work on getting my seams and dimensions more accurate to be successful at a more complicated quilt, but for the first try, this is not bad :o)
Here are all the squares laid out waiting to be sewn.
Here they are sewn. Our teacher, Diana, showed us how to "assembly line" sew them together and it was brilliant!! This made putting the top together so much quicker than the way I would have done it without her instruction. Our teacher is very good - she has a lot of knowledge and is very, very patient! I would take another class from her in a heartbeat.
Some of my seams/corners lined up and....
more lined up......
but some of them did not! I am happy just the same! I can't wait for my next class!!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Photo cubes

Photo cubes finished just in the nick of time. All those layers of sealant, mod podge, and clear glaze took some time to dry, but they are done now :o) I am lucky - there are 6 sides to these cubes - 1 side for each child and the last side for a group photo!! Pretty easy, peasy!
Puppy update - Kate is just over a year now and is so much calmer than when she was younger. Here she is with DD#2's guinea pigs, "Precious" and "Sweetie Pie". Amazingly enough she absolutely loves these guinea pigs. She will lick them and nuzzle them - they are equally comfortable with her. My daughter is very thrilled with this as the guinea pigs reside in her room and now the dog is in there all the time as well. She reads out loud to them frequently - I wonder if they are listening??

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Mother's Day Gifts

Mother's Day is fast approaching and I want to make gifts for the moms in my life. My mom, my mother-in-law and my sister - they will come over on Sunday for an early dinner. I can't wait to see them!
These came from a 4 X 4 block of wood that was 6 feet long. The guy at Home Depot looked at me askance when I asked him to cut the long 6 foot post into 4" blocks. Maybe it was just a look of disbelief.
Once I told him what they were for, he laughed out loud and proceeded to cut the wood - he didn't even charge me for the cuts.

The edges looked like this, but I used some sandpaper and sanded them smooth. I thought it was going to take a really long time, but it only took a few minutes per block. Pretty sweet!
Then I sealed each block and painted it black. More pictures when I'm done :o)

Saturday, May 1, 2010


DD#2 turned 12 a bit ago. Almost a teenager. Still sweet, cute and caring.
The cake for the family. Just chocolate with chocolate frosting.
The gift from mom & dad. Inexpensive frame from Walmart & some plastic canvas.
Glass and other "stuff" were removed from the frame. The plastic canvas was cut to size and hot glue is keeping it there.
Frame decorated with paint.
The other side
Completed earring tree!!
I made these cute little earrings just with charms and earring wires.
Best part: DD loves them!