30 July, 2008

Teaching a Girl

What a treat I had yesterday. Hubby's cousin was staying with us for a few days at the end of of her solo vacation. At 11 she was into shopping and babysitting. Thankfully she got her shopping out of the way with the other cousins. So while my girls were napping yesterday we decided to make her a pillowcase to take home. She knew how to sew, in general terms. I knew how to make a pillowcase, in general terms.

I did have a pillow pattern to start from. First she scavanged my stash for her favourites. She definitely has a good eye. She picked the floral and the stripe separately and they aren't even from the same line. When there wasn't enough of the floral according to the pattern, we adapted, with happy results.

Only once before have I sewn with someone with little sewing experience. You really forget how many of the terms you take for granted. Simple things like pressure foot or needle down. But once we got that sorted out, she did a great job - sewing the whole thing by herself.

And now I have some experience with pillowcases so I can get one together for the Monster.

23 July, 2008

Quilter's Pride

The Monster loves her 'naps', as she calls her blankets. Yes, I have a blankie kid. Unfortunately for me, a quilter, her 'naps' are either crocheted or woven. She has 3 quilts and has never shown any interest in them. But her Eye Spy that I made for her 1st birthday has been hanging over the back of the couch for a few weeks now. Hubby has been using it late at night while he watches TV. Well, the other day she took notice and now she loves to snuggle under it while we read stories. I nearly cried. I pointed out that it was her quilt and she now likes to tell us that fact, repeatedly. It's the first time the toddler cry of, "MINE!" doesn't bother me.

The quilt is also fulfilling its purpose of playing Eye Spy With My Little Eye. She will point out the strawberries, the dolphins, and the bumblee-bees all the time. Such sweet fun.

My apologies for the break. Both E and I are fighting another cold. I'm exhausted. And of course I'm not resting. Rather, Hubby and I have been trying to get some stuff done around the house, I've been shopping for a dreaded family portrait (2 months post-partum and I have to record that for posterity - ouch), and we've had visitors. I'm hoping that next week I can get back to some more sewing. And some more sleep.

In the meantime, I decided to add a new feature to the blog. Colour studies will appear on the side-bar. I'm starting with green. Just photos of some fun green things. Enjoy.

10 July, 2008

Solar Soleil

The last stitches went in the quilt during a repeat of "Queer Eye" this afternoon. I am so excited to finally finish this. E doesn't have a room so this is the first thing that is just hers. And I have to say, I think it might be my favourite of all my circle quilts.

I decided to go with a simple, yet bold background so the circles would pop. And, because I expected to finish before the baby was born, I wanted to use black and white. Do you know that babies can't see colour early on? The contrast of black on white is best for them. At the last minute I decided to take the circles beyond the edge of the quilt. Those ones are hand appliqued on, while the rest are done by machine.

The whole thing is quilted as a sun. I have some wavy concentric circles in the center, surrounded by rays/flames. You can see some detail here.

I've said it before, but I firmly believe the back of a quilt should be beautiful too. Inspired by that grey floral by Denyse Schmidt, I pieced this back. Funny story. That fabric was my favourite and my initial plan for the baby quilt was going to be inspired by that fabric. But I was convinced I was having a boy and thought that fabric was too feminine. When I showed Hubby the back he said that was his favourite fabric too.

The lighting on this shot is pretty bad, forgive me. I wanted to show you the label though. I think it ties the front to the back. I always put the name of the quilt and some comments or words on it. Then I always put my name on the label, state the content (pretty much always 100% cotton) and whether it was a pattern, an original design, or if someone else worked on the quilt. The label will be a reflection of the history of the quilt.

The name? Hubby said it reminded him of a solar system and I had already thought of the Soleil. E's name means bright one or shining light. It all just fit together.

Finally, I thought I should share a picture of the recipient enjoying her gift. Okay, so I doubt she can actually enjoy it just yet. But she sure looks good on it!

04 July, 2008

Happy Days

But busy days. It was Canada Day this week so Hubby took Monday and Tuesday off. I would like to say we did fun things, but unless you count cleaning the house and the Great Hat Shopping Adventure not much great fun was had. There was, however, domestic fun of dinners with friends, a trip to the zoo, and a swim or two in the heat.

I've been plugging away on the binding for E's quilt. It's been too hot to sit with a quilt on my lap and handstitch. Yesterday I designed the label. I came down to print it off and found out I am out of printable fabric. A trip to the store will be necessary tonight.

Happy belated Canada Day and Happy 4th of July!