November 2, 2014

Mom's Quilt

. Mom taught me sewing along with my grandmother, starting when I was 8 or 9. My grandmother began teaching me how to piece for quilt blocks and always said I made tiny stitches hand sewing.  Mom was more interested in teaching me how to do clothing and how to read patterns and how to use the sewing machine. I was more than happy to do it, since it was one way to get new clothes. As the third girl, I had my share of hand-me-downs. I remember helping my grandmother make six dresses for me in grade 6, all from cloth left over from the dresses my grandmother made for herself. Girls were not allowed to wear slacks to school until I was in grade 9. From then on I made lots of my pants and tops  and never wore a dress unless it was absolutely expected. Throughout high school and college and even my first years of teaching in Yuma, I made clothes. Then when my daughter was born, I had fun sewing for a little girl. Now it has evolved - I do quilts and other "house" projects and far fewer clothes.
     I had never made anything significant for my mother. I helped her sew anything she asked me to do, but Mom was very good at her own making and mending. Mom nursed Dad for several years before he died and she didn't have much time to sew, let alone enjoy it.So I finally decided  for my mother's birthday in 2013, I was going to make Mom a quilt. Dad was very ill and I wanted to make it cheerful.

My father was always partial to blue and Mom didn't want everything blue, but the right shade was what would offset the pieced blocks. I thought pale blue would be more feminine and I put a lot of bright pink in it with flowers. Mom is partial to flowers.

First Snow

It was bound to happen sometime. I do remember years when the first snow came on Halloween, so we did better than that by two days this year. So, here we are.
I have been working on learning the software that I bought  shortly after I bought a new Designer Diamond DeLuxe sewing machine. It is fairly complicated for anyone who is new to digitizing, so I signed up for classes. I attend once a month and do homework in between. I am almost done, but there are still tons of things to learn. I will be working closely with the reference and guide books for 6D software from VSM. I have had fun doing all kinds of little projects and learn something new with each. Here are a few things I have made.

I didn't take photos of several items I have given away, but there are two bigger items for this year that I think turned out fairly well and I did really want photos so I could remember them. The first was a quilt for a special nephew's wedding gift. I embroidered center squares and used colors around that square that I found out were colors they wanted in their home. (Gift registries are handy for that kind of thing- what colors do they like? ) 

The second item is a throw I made for the brother of a friend. He had collected a number of Crown Royal bags and wanted this made for his brother's birthday. I checked online many made by crafters and decided  on a diamond pattern. I used the gold to highlight the Crown Royal name and used black to frame it and for the back.

I was happy with how it turned out and hope the recipient has it for many years.

March 20, 2014

More Quilts

     The quilts in the last post were done well over a year ago. The summer of 2013 saw three new quilts for more grandchildren of my sister. The ages of the children were 6,4 and 2.
This is the quilt for the six year-old girl (she is now seven). I love the light colored print. It has sayings like "sugar and spice, Mother's helper, thank heaven for little girls" and more. It also says Six over and over in the pinwheel pieces.
The pinks and greens are good colors for this little lady.
I pieced the back of the quilt so it is not too horrible and includes fabric from the front.

The next quilt is for a very active four year-old boy. 
 Tools for building and construction stuff, a helicopter and train are some of the items appliqued on the quilt.
 I thought the bright colors and bold prints would be right for this little boy.

An easy going two year-old gets the bears gone fishing quilt. Like the others, I did not heavily quilt  it, because I find that the quilts are softer and less stiff if I do not do too much. Especially for a child's quilt, I want it to be comfortable to cuddle. 

 The back of this quilt was easier to plan with strips of the front fabric.

February 11, 2014

That's a lot of Piecing

It has been a while since I have posted and a lot has happened. I will start in the sewing sphere. I have made quite a few quilts for the grandchildren of my sisters and brother. Seven quilts I think. Let's see... Savanna's was done after Nicholas' quilt.

And I made one for Kaity.
It was nice to see her open it. Kids have to me, a surprising reaction to getting a quilt. Usual things that kids like, like electronics and gifts of games or music cards are always a hit, but a quilt is different. They like it, but are more appreciative when they get to take it home and try it on their bed.
Then I did a couple for the sweeties in Minnesota.

I tried something different with this baby's quilt, doing outline of critters for quilting. I haven't been brave enough to do free motion quilting because I haven't the patience to practice, but some day I am going to have to force myself to try.
This was a new concept for me. I tried using patriotic colors, red and  blue for the US, with gold for the Spanish flag  included. I had a pattern as arranged above, but when sewing strips together managed to confuse myself and put it together wrong. I didn't switch it back because I realized after too much work to rip it out. Learning experience for me, as each quilt is when I try something new.
It's still bright and interesting and will keep a little boy warm.

April 5, 2011

Winter is almost over!

We've had a bunch of big storms and more snow days off from school than we have ever had in recent years. It was one heck of a winter. No sign of it inside though (unless you look at the boots and gloves) because we were never without the pellot stove. The pellets Dick bought this year were called Okanagan - burned better with less ash than others he has tried.
Outside it was a different story.
My deck is under here somewhere -- really it is.

November 13, 2010

Fall Visits

Amber is my cousin's daughter. She has visited Maine twice this fall with her children, Alexander and Sophia. They are adorable kids and my mother loves to have them visit. The funny part of this last visit was how much the kids liked Dick. He was a kid magnet!

Uncle Donald came with Amber on the last visit also. Mom was very happy to see her brother.
Amber has a big event coming up in December - in fact it's a big event for the whole family!

November 9, 2010

Birds and Other Critters

Last March, Rocky (or Rocketta) visited. Repeatedly. Night after night. We knew birds could not eat as much as was disappearing - at night. A friend loaned us his wildlife camera. This is what we found out - said racoon visited often. Three times a night. Breakfast, lunch and dinner racoon style. We removed the seed at night. A couple months later a huge racoon became road kill.

In June, this lady was hit around 3 am and for the rest of the night, the police and the local critter remover were busy. This was the same night the local teen graduation-party-in-the-pit occurred. The truck on the back of the flatbead going by in the background has one of the trucks that was hauled off when the police raided the teen's "campsight." They hauled the vehicles off at $200.00 per - if the kid handed over the keys. $200.00 more if they didn't.

We saw all kinds of color this summer. Bluebirds, finches of all kinds.