Boo!

Scared you, didn’t I? Bet you thought I was gone. Sorry yet again about the lack of posts. My blog just hasn’t been calling me lately. Kids, house, TV, books, knitting, sun, mushrooms, and dinner have gotten my full attention lately.

me

I’ve been around though- in the forum, tweeting, and lord help me- facebook.  There’s still been some crafting going on:

- I made this dress for a wedding and I never wore it. Let’s just say that it is NOT flattering for every figure.

- I’ve made more Swing Bags, but really want to try this messenger bag and  maybe even a Phoebe.

- Still plugging away on my hex afghan, but am re-thinking my yarn choice… would love to switch to this, but I think it would break the bank.

- I’m in the middle of costumes- we’ve settled on a fairy, anakin, and a morphed wizard with wings. Crazy, but I heading out to G’s house tomorrow for some sewing. Maybe I’ll catch up.

- Finally listened to Boomerang the other day while heading out the to coast range for some mushrooms. I’m sorry, but I didn’t like it. It’s been getting alot of great press from some bloggers, but I thought it was boring and it put Eddie to sleep.

- We all think Glee is awesome though. It’s the only show that gets me into my bed by 9pm so I don’t miss one second.  (You can watch all the episodes online. Yeah, you HAVE to.)

- I’m already starting the boy’s winter hats for this year. I love making hats and I love Ravelry. I can easily spend hours surfing that site. It’s a knitters dream! So if you’re not already a member, but want to get into or are already an avid knitter, you gotta sign up today.  Really.

Okay kids. That’s it for now. I promise to be back sooner rather than later. In the meantime, sew something. :)

ps- The photo is years old, but thought I had to post one of me so you’d remember who I was and this was the only decent one of me that I was willing to post.  I miss those babies! The one of the right is mine, Ms O, and the one on the left is my neice Amai. Seems so long ago, huh Fini?

IBOL

Please spread the word.

This is so great.  Iraq Bundles of Love.  Easy-peasy way to help here: SMS Bundles or bust your own stash and send some out yourself.

***SMS Bundles are already sold out! Whoo-hoo.  Thank you!  You can still help out by sending out your own bundle of love. You know you have stuff…   ;)

Thank you!

Summer Stops

We had to go slow on our last trip.  Back troubles are keeping us from driving for more than 45 min at a time.  (Did you know that you are not supposed to sit for more than 45 min at a time? Try it on your next roadtrip.)

Exploring

I loved it though.  We stopped places that we wouldn’t otherwise.  This first picture was taken between the two large dams (Detroit and Big Cliff) on the Santiam River.  Chris and I had never seen the water this low.

Afternoon snack

We were looking for one of my favorite childhood lakes here.  The road is now closed so we had to hike around a bit.  We never found it, but think we found another way around. The kids were tired and cold, but still enjoyed the hunt.

Picking Hucks

We were able to stop and pick huckleberries. There are tons this year so another trip to the mountains may be required before summer is over.

Cooling Off

Another stop, but this time at a state park on our way back home. (I think it was the North Santiam State Park.) The area was gorgeous and perfect for the kids to explore on their own without me having to worry about their safety.

First Apples

When we arrived back home, our first crop of apples were ripe and ready for picking.  I don’t know how she got the biggest one, but she ate it all!

Garden Out of Control

This year, we decided to put our garden in the front yard since our lawn is non-existent and this is where we get the only sun.  We had to find out way through the massive tomato and pumpkin vines that seemed to take over while we were gone. I planted everything I need for fresh salsa this year and things are just about there.  I can’t wait.

So that’s it.  Those are our stops during the last week or so.  Just wanted to capture more of the summer before it’s gone.

XL

Summer 09 Skirt

I’m an XL girl.  Always have been.  So when looking at patterns, the models are always smaller.  I get excited and think I can totally sew that and it’s so cute.

Then I make it. Ugh.

Pleats

First of all, I did not read the pattern carefully.  The cherry fabric was to be the main panels of the skirt with the brighter fabric “peeking” through between the pleats.  After sewing the 10 panels together, I realized that I mis-understood the instructions.  Only 2″ of each panel would go into the pleat so my skirt would actually be striped! Yuck- not what I wanted at all.

At midnight, I called my sister in Hawaii for a chat and I started another skirt.  I decided on the circle skirt instead because while trying on the mistake skirt, I realized that adding all the bulky pleats to my body frame was not a good idea.

Summer 09 Skirt

It took me less than 3 hours from start to finish AND I was talking to Fini the entire time.  This is an easy skirt. The fabric is Valorie Wells’ Del Hi collection called Paisley Earth and is just gorgeous. (If you see it, buy as much as you can afford.  The fabric is luscious and high quality. You will never regret it.) I really hesitated cutting up.

I still don’t know if this skirt is something my body should be wearing, but oh well.  I have my Summer 09 skirt.  I’m happy.

It's a Circle!

Details:

- Pattern is 2 pieces: cut 4 of the ¼ circle piece and 2 of the waistband piece.

- All pieces are cut on the bias so it takes alot of fabric, but it hangs so nicely.

- This pattern runs big so start at your usual size or go down one.

The End.

Tiny

Newborns are so tiny!  Without their onesies, sleepers and blankets swaddling them, there’s nothing to them. No fat, very little hair and a teeny voice. So quickly you forget all these things.  Then your 7 year old holds one and you just about loose it right then and there.

Eliana's Quilt

This quilt was made for one such tiny girl who were were so lucky to finally meet today. Welcome Eli!

Back

I don’t know about this quilt.  The colors are too muted, everything blends together and the binding is boring. I did have a ton of fun making it though.

Up Close of Free Motion Quilting

I decided that stippling or meandering is addictive.  I can’t wait to do it again. I feel artistic when I’m doing it.  I feel free and creative.  No lines to follow.  You can go fast or slow- whatever works best for you.

This is my first quilt using the technique of free motion quilting.  I love this video. I do have to warn you- this method uses a ton of thread!  I loaded 4 bobbins for this 45″ square quilt and I used every one of them.  Maybe as I get better with more practice, I may learn to use less.  I am going to get my thread here from now on.  It’s just too expensive otherwise and I can never remember to get it during those dumb “sales”.

Baby Quilt

Moving on. I have another baby quilt to make and of course my skirt so I better get my tush off the Mac and to the sewing table!

Oh, before I forget, here are the specifics:

1.) Quilt is a made of cotton with Warm and White for batting and flannel for the back.

2.) Free Motion Quilting (FMQ) is really a piece of cake once you remember to:

a.) Go at a consistent speed.  Too fast and you’ll skip stitches.  Too slow and you’ll get a knot of thread.

b.) Load tons of bobbins.

c.) Lower feed dogs and use darning foot.  FMQ is not possible without these two!

d.) Use a sharp needle!

3.) I used my Singer 15-91 for the quilting and I loved it.  I tried using my other machines, but Stella was so smooth, fast and her bobbin holds a ton.

4.) I used Amy Butler’s free Lotus Brick Path Quilt Pattern which can be found here.

5.) My rectangles were the same as in the pattern: 4½ x 7 ½.  I have 11 rows and each row had 7 rectangles= 77 total rectangles of 9 different fabrics.

6.) Nine different fabrics weren’t enough.  Should have used 12.  It was too hard to vary the pattern.

7.) Should have used sashing between the rows or a border or something.  Pattern was muted.

8.) Used my ½” bias tape maker for the binding and machine stitched it on- both front and back.  Should have did it by hand and made my binding a little wider.  (2½ inches like she suggests.)

The End!

Summer Stuff

Before Summer flies on by, I wanted to document a little of what we’ve been up to.

First off, the boys climbed Black Butte.  This picture was taken 2 days before a large forest fire destroyed almost 600 acres very close to where these two sat.  Chris plans on taking them back up there next year so they can see the before and after damage of a fire.

Top of Black Butte

It was Eddie’s first time climbing the butte and Augie’s second. Nope, I didn’t go, but I’m thinking about it. (Climbing a mountain is still second to shopping in Sisters.)  They had a great time and I was especially happy that they both came back with zero blisters.  I guess spending a little more dough on real hiking boots pays off.

The boys also got to go sailing on the Willamette.  Although it’s a Superfund Site, eeeeew, they still had a blast jibing and tacking (or whatever the heck it’s called) on the river.  We think Augie will be sailing around the world sometime in his lifetime because he stayed on top the boat in the front the entire time.

Saling on the Willamette

He loved it.  Eddie was still feeling his sea legs at 9pm that night.  Poor kid.

And lastly, we rescued a hawk.

Injured Sharp-Shinned Hawk

I found this sharp-shinned hawk on our deck one morning and noticed he could not fly high enough to clear the deck railing.  He escaped into our backyard by slipping through railing and gliding down into the backyard.

We have a green space off of our backyard so it was easy to “corner” the hawk and catch him with a net.  The kids did great slowly and gently herding him towards Chris so that he didn’t have to chase it down.

Hawks' tailfeathers

We turned the hawk into our Audubon shelter where hopefully he will recover.  We should get a call soon letting us know the diagnosis and if he does recover enough to be released, we can watch them release the hawk back into our green space.  Isn’t that so cool?

Well, that’s my summer.  I’m still working on many little sewing projects, but am too distracted by summer to get it together enough for a blog post.  I am going to get my skirt done for my sew-along!  How is yours going? ;)

Summer Skirt Sew-Along

Summer Skirt Sew-Along

I decided to host my first sew-along. The Summer Skirt Sew-Along is very casual, anyone can join, and all skill levels are welcome. Simply pick out a pattern, some fabric and join in the fun!

Check out my post in SewMamaSew!’s Forum for details.

Happy Sewing!

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