Thursday, May 26, 2011

Teacher Gifts

Yesterday was preschool graduation for Owen. It was adorable and all the kiddos were so cute.

We feel really lucky to be part of a cooperative preschool and over the past two years we've really gotten to know each of the kids and their families really well. And both Owen and Bailey ADORE Teacher Amy. Don't even get me started about how over the moon excited Bailey is to start preschool in the fall!

Owen wanted to do something special for Teacher Amy to say thanks for all the fun of the past two years so I made a little something.

A couple of potholders (in a little fabric basket with some herbs and spices from Penzy's).

These were fun to make and I love the color combinations.

This apple print is one of my favorites.

The colors are so bright and cheery.

And who doesn't love a polka dot binding?

I just have to say that being part of a cooperative preschool has been such a wonderful experience. The class size is small and parents have the privilege of regularly helping out in the classroom. Teacher Amy has reserves of patience that I can only dream about and she is genuinely devoted to the kiddos and her work. We feel so so lucky to be a part of our preschool family! And I'm thrilled we have another two years to look forward to with Miss Bailey!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Birthday Boy

We all think that our kids are the best. And this morning, I got my proof.

You see, today is Owen's birthday. He's FIVE - a fact I can hardly believe!

This morning I went into his room to wake him up for preschool and I snuggled next to him and sang Happy Birthday. All warm and cozy from sleep, he rolled over and put his arms around me and said, "Mommy, today I'm celebrating you because it's the day you turned into a Mommy."

Seriously. He is the BEST!

I love my little fella and can't wait to see what surprises this year will bring.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Solids challenge

Last month at Portland Modern Quilt Guild, we swapped quilt blocks made using all solid fabrics. This is the one I received from Anne.

I love the bold colors and the graphic quality of all the black outlines.

Our challenge was to make either a pillow cover or mini-quilt using only additional solid fabrics. After chatting with Anne, she seemed to have a preference for a mini-quilt.

Well, this block is lovely, but it is definitely a departure from my usual style so I really had to let this one simmer for awhile before I came up with anything I felt really worked with the original block. Most of my initial ideas were over-complicated and I'm glad I waited until I came up with something I really felt works with Anne's block.

I hope she likes it!

It seems so simple, but I like that it all really looks like one project and not like I forced my own particular style onto the block. The curved shape at the top was fun too and I will definitely experiment more with curved bindings.

I must say, after seeing the other blocks brought to the swap, I am constantly impressed by the variety that can be produced using only solids. In fact, I'm planning an entire quilt using just solids so that I can experiment more. Plus it gives me a great excuse to go all crazy in the kona section of my local fabric store!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Finally finished Bailey's BabyBot!

There were definitely some issues with this little bot....

You can see that the body didn't end up exactly square and the legs/feet turned out larger then they were supposed to.

But I still think it's pretty cute! And tiny.

It's been a lot of fun to learn more about amigurumi, though I think it takes a bit more patience than I generally have!

For anyone else wanting to try this type of crochet project I would suggest picking up a good book or searching for beginner tutorials on the web. I would also recommend not worrying too much about size and making them a little larger at first (by using a larger size crochet hook). The smaller they are the more difficult they are to make. This one was made with a size C2 crochet hook and it was definitely a challenge!

Thankfully, my three year old doesn't care at all about perfection. She just wants a little bot to love, and I'm more than happy to oblige.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day Gifts

Made a couple of little fabric baskets to give my mom for Mother's Day.

She loves owls and once I saw these beautiful linen/cotton Japanese prints I knew I had to get them and make something for her.

These were made using the tutorial over on Pink Penguin. I love how they turned out and am especially glad that my mom loves them too!

Here's hoping all the wonderful mamas I know had a fantastic weekend with their families!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Introducing: BigBot

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Awhile back I purchased this book (image from

After thumbing through and carefully inspecting each and every project, Owen asked for a BigBot.

Well, his birthday is coming up. And I want to encourage his love of all things crafty and handmade. So he'll be getting this:

The colors are different from the version in the book but I absolutely love this little bot! In the interest of truth, however, I must say that these small crochet projects take a long time to complete. Well, for me anyway.

It will all be worth it when he sees it for the first time!

Of course, now Bailey has put in her request for a BabyBot. I guess I better not put the yarn away just yet.

Thursday, May 5, 2011


The kiddos, Grams, and I all headed to the Oregon Coast for a few days to have some fun.

We visited the Hatfield Science Center, which was full of all kinds of amazing displays and this was pretty much my view for most of the afternoon:

There were some great touch pools so that the kiddos could check out the sea stars, anemone, and sea urchins up close.

Of course, the pool at the hotel was a big hit. I loved watching my little water babies waddle down the hallway with all their pool gear.

Of course, they had to see what they would look like as sea divers.

We found this great whale statue while waiting to get into the Oregon Coast Aquarium.

Bailey loved the windows in the floor of the big glass tunnels at the aquarium where she could see the sharks swimming right underneath us. I love that she was so entranced that she felt no self-consciousness about getting right down on the floor to check it all out.

And Owen loved being eye to eye with all of the fish and sharks. He really loved the sting rays, too.

And this is probably my favorite picture from the whole trip!

Or maybe this one. Jellyfish are so amazing!

If you make it to Newport, Oregon, I highly recommend both the Hatfield Science Center (free!) and the Oregon Coast Aquarium. Good times!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Done Deal

This was pretty much my view for the past several evenings.

Let me just say that straight(ish) line quilting a bed size quilt on a home machine is not the easiest thing in the world to do.

I was sweating and using questionable language at certain points in the process. It was a workout!

And there are more puckers than I care to admit. But I will - to show you one of my favorite things about imperfect quilting.

And that thing is: there are an astonishing number of imperfections that wash out! By that I mean, many (if not most) of the mistakes/imperfections/screw-ups-that-I-don't-bother-to-remove all but disappear once the quilt has been washed and dried. There is nothing better than a new quilt fresh from the dryer in all it's crinkly goodness.

Here's one of the worst sections of puckers in my quilting before washing:

I mean, the fabric was so loose that I actually had to fold it over in spots. It's practically pleated! And of course it happened on a geometric print so it's totally obvious.

Note to self: be a little more generous with your basting spray and a lot more diligent about getting the creases out of the batting.

Here's the same section of the quilt after being washed and dried:

It's not like the puckers completely disappeared but they sure aren't as noticeable as they were before.

This was a very challenging project for me and I'm very happy with the results, even if every little thing isn't "perfect."

Bailey loves her "big girl" quilt. And yes, I know I'm insane for giving my 3 year old a quilt with so much white.

Here it is in all it's crinkly glory - good thing my hubs is so tall!

And this is by far my favorite quilt back that I've ever done. I may even like it more than the front.

And you want to know something?

There are quite a few puckers on the back as well!

My lesson learned is to not be overly critical of my sewing or quilting. I'm having fun and learning and creating. If I let myself get bogged down in seeking perfection it will make me too intimidated to try new things or ever get anything finished. For now, I'm thrilled to be getting projects DONE and into the hands of people who will love them.

And I can't wait to see what's next!