27 June, 2008

New Contest

Generally I don't like to get preachy. I work in the environmental field and I am very bad at giving unsolicited advice, bringing on lectures about climate change quite easily. But I came across a really interested contest on Crafting A Green World and I just have to share it.

Climate change is a big deal, a really freakin' big deal. Don't buy the science? Okay, don't, but what if it's true? Isn't it worth trying, just in case it is true? I know that most of you out there have kids or grandkids, do something for them. We all know the spiel about saving energy, driving less, buy local, and on and on. And I think most of us are already making daily changes, big and small. But here is a way to express your craft and get the word out.

Bill McKibben, a prolific author and environmentalist has started a new organization to incite action on climate change. As part of their launch they are hosting a contest with Craftster. Create a project or a t-shirt design to best express the 350 message. That is - the importance of reducing the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere to 350 parts per million. Above this number - we are already well above it - and we increase the impacts and severity of those impacts of climate change. More frequent and more severe weather, loss of habitat, rising sea levels, changes in growing seasons, migration of disease, health care cost increases, and loss of species diversity.

So, get your craft on and enter the contest. It will get you thinking about it, at the very least, while playing with our true loves of fabric, beads, thread, paint, and paper.

22 June, 2008

Bad Timing

Finally, the quilting on E's baby quilt is done! We've been having a crazy couple of weeks. E is sick, or has reflux, or simply feels the need to throw up nearly everything she eats. It makes for a stinky baby and mama, and a heck of a lot of laundry.

We also had the Monster's second birthday, back in Edmonton. It was just family, but that makes for over 20 people. She was so excited - playing with her cousins, chowing down on her worms in dirt cupcakes, or riding her new tricycle. Mama's apron was chopped liver compared to that red tricycle.

Now, on to binding the quilt. I was test driving some options the other day. I don't have exactly what I want and will have to go shopping this afternoon. E enjoyed hanging out while I played with fabric. She also demonstrated why you make baby quilts washable - she puked right after I took this picture.

I forgot to mention that I did take Glenda's advice and changed the size of the needles to a 90/14. What an improvement! The quilting was finished with no more broken threads. I must remember this if I want to use Sulky again. It would also be a good idea if I have a quilt with lots of seams. Her comments led me to this site: a great explanation of needle sizes.

10 June, 2008

Naptime Apron Maker

My Monster turns two on Saturday! I can hardly believe it. It really does seem like yesterday that we were anticipating her arrival, with all the associated anxiety and excitement. Yet I look at E and can't really remember the Monster being that teeny tiny.

I've heard it be described that your babe's birthday is really the anniversary of becoming a mom. We don't think of it that way here. We had a high risk pregnancy and consider the day that we nearly had her at 29 weeks as the day we truly became parents. Over time we've come to see that the decision to even have children is the day you really become parents, but it is hard to see it that way at the time. So while we became parents over two years ago, it is daily that the Monster, and now E, make me a mother.

My little girl loves to "hep" in the kitchen and bake with me. It seemed only fitting that I celebrate this aspect of her development and our relationship by making her an apron for her birthday. I managed to get this together, start to finish, during two of E's naps today. Not bad considering that I didn't have a pattern. I searched around and came up with this site. I found it through an excellent resource for free apron patterns here. The front is a piece of vintage fabric a quilting buddy gave me. The rest is stash. I love the mix of fabrics and see a quilt in them.

While working on the apron I realized that my sewing machine is acting up, so maybe it isn't me. It kept spontanteously changing what stitch I was using. I think I better take it in for some love before I continue on with E's quilt. Damn, and I have two large quilts that I picked up from the long-arm quilter that need binding.

05 June, 2008

Never Again

Argh! I am close to finishing the Baby Quilt and I want to rip out what is left of my hormone ravaged hair. For a quilt that is less than 50 inches square and free motion quilted I should not have this many thread clippings. Remind me to never again use Sulky variegated cotton ever again.

I used to love this thread. I don't know if it is the machine or if the thread has changed, but I have had no luck with this thread on the last 3 quilts I quilted with it. I've played around the tension, different weights of thread, and my speed. The thread continually splits and so I am constantly cutting and rethreading. And then I am left with this mess of threads at the end of the quilt.

On the flip side, if it is my machine... maybe that means I can convince my Hubby that I need a Bernina with a stitch regulator for quilting? Hmm. Well, maybe I should try my next quilt with a different thread first.