Friday, October 29, 2010

Unexpected Kindnesses

unexpected kindnesses

Yesterday (Thursday) I got a package unexpectedly.

I hadn't ordered anything, or been in any swaps recently, and the package was larger than a fabric packet from a bee member.

When I opened it, I found this.

unexpected kindnesses

A couple of months ago a fellow bee ran into some life changing problems.  I offered to step in as the admin on a couple of groups.  I didn't think anything of it, really.  I even wrote off the fabric I had sent, assuming it was gone.  Given what was going on in their life, I was totally okay with that.

The package also included my finished bee blocks. 

This could not have been a more touching Thank You gift for me. 

It doesn't seem like much, does it?

I shall explain.
We're not poor - we have high-speed internet, we always have food, and gas for the van.
We're happy.

I stay home with the kids, the Mr and I both work in an industry that we love, is seasonal by natural, and not always a sure thing.

Making ends meet at the end of the month is hard.

I am completely happy with the choices we've made.

In order to be happy, we've given up extras.  The Mr and I haven't exchanged Christmas gifts in years, he doesn't golf, and I don't have a fabric budget.

The money for my fabric purchases comes from collected change, bottle returns, and any random cash that ends up at home. 

If it's price tag is more than $10, it's not gonna happen.
If I want it just because it is pretty, it's not gonna happen.

I drool over the moda precuts.
I adore the designer fabric lines.
I love working with them when they get sent out in a bee.

I wouldn't ever buy one for myself.
I would talk myself out of it, buying yardage on clearance, grab bags, or fabric I need for gifts.
I have a hard time spending money on me.

To receive a sampler box filled with 480 2-1/2" charms from 12 different fabric lines, is just beyond anything I would do for myself.

unexpected kindnesses

I will be admiring the box and it's contents for a long time.

Thank you. 
My thoughts are with you and your family.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thankful Thursday

A friend of mine always does a Thankful Thursday post. 
Today I am thankful, so I thought I'd do one as well.

On Thursday mornings I am thankful that I get to spend the day with my 10 month old twin nieces. 
I adore babies.
I had three and probably would have had more had my body not said "enough." 

They crawl now.

My youngest is almost 5.  Translate to mean - my house isn't baby-proofed anymore.

I McGyver a makeshift barrier using whatever is near....

Sewing machine case, ironing board, like I said anything handy.

At Noon on Thursdays I am thankful my sister only works until 3.

At 3, she brings home my older two from school and takes her urchins babies home.

At 5:00 on Thursdays I am thankful that it is pizza and a movie night. 
Mr. Chaos brings home a take-n-bake and a family-friendly movie.

Thursday nights I am thankful it's over and tomorrow will be Friday.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Gift Giving


Yesterday was my mom's birthday. Way back in April I had this grand plan to make her a table runner for each of the holidays and give it to her for her birthday. I did this one, for Easter. Two days ago my sister called to remind me that it was her birthday. So, yesterday I whipped up this nifty Halloween runner.

I couldn't find the power cord for my Brother, so I opted to try quilting it on my Singer

I am in love. 

halloween runner detail

It quilted up beautifully. The tensions are all correct without to much fiddling, and the machine runs smoothly, which helps me keep everything even.



even the back looks good.

You have no idea how proud I am of this little runner.  It's the first time my quilting looks as good as my piecing.

The Singer is now my official quilting machine.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Costumes, Costumes and More Costumes

Cinderella - done?
No, not really.  Feels like it though.  We have two more venues to visit this weekend and then I'll be able to clean and store the costumes. 

With a small break this week I had thought to get caught up on my bee's but instead I did fittings for Nutcracker.

Anyway, here are a couple of pictures of the costumes (with dancers) that I've been playing with for the last month.  I apologize for their quality, I was snapping the pictures backstage as I had time.
EBC Cinderella Ball Lady pink, Ball Man 4

These beautiful ballgowns were by far the most work for me.  They are silk and beaded and 15 years old, so they are constantly needing repairs.

EBC CInderella Ball ladies red, yellow and ball man 2

EBC CInderella prince act 3

This is one of Prince Charming's costumes.  He tore the sleeves under the arm and since they are silk and 15 years old, I opted to remove them, he now wears a billowy cream shirt under it.  It actually looks better!

EBC CInderella dragonfly

A dragonfly - before you insist there are no dragonflies in Cinderella - the ballet is different than the movie.  Cinderella meets four fairies of the seasons and they gift her with her gown, shoes and pretties for the ball.  The dragonflies are part of Spring.
EBC CInderella fairy winter

My favorite of the fairy costumes.  Its new, I didn't build it but it is glittery and sparkly on stage.  The winter variation is my favorite of the fairy dances.

So these (and many more) are the costumes that have occupied every moment I had for the last month.

I can't wait to be able to spend time sewing something cotton that doesn't need to fit anyone!

Friday, October 01, 2010

Aren't Grandmas Great?

A million years ago when I was a kid, my great-grandma made me this:

She actually made two, one for me and one for my sister.
Exactly the same, except mine has yellow binding, hers has purple.

(cause when you're eleven, purple is no longer cool)

Hand quilted. 

Itty bitty stitches.

Anyhoo, fast forward to a couple of months ago when I decided I wanted to make a quilt like it.  I didn't want to purchase a pattern and the only ones I could find online were paper-pieced, and had more of a wedge look to the rings, mine has square-ish bits.
I was stuck.

My grandma found out I was looking for the pattern, emailed her quilty friend that she had given all the quilting books to, and 6 weeks later I have the pattern. 

Aren't grandmas great?

The pattern is from "Country Quilts in a Weekend" by Fran Roen.  It was published in 1991.
With a title like that I would have NEVER found it on my own.  EVER.

I looked it up, Amazon doesn't even have it.

Upon reading the pattern, I was shocked to find out it was strip pieced.
using 2 1/2" wide strips.
super simple.

I'm working on a tree skirt using the pattern's templates and construction method.
tree skirt WIP (2)

I've got all the arches cut and I wanted to see what it was going to look like and get a sense of how big it will end up being.  about 45" square.

tree skirt WIP

I love things that look difficult but really aren't.

Don't you?