February 24, 2013

Two quilt blocks completed this weekend

I completed two quilt block this weekend. Both are the second to another block already completed.

The first is a Victorian themed block. This is for a 3- or 4-block mini wall-hanging, but I keep visualizing a larger one, because I'm having so much fun with the free-form log cabin style and the fun prints that I don't want to stop making these anytime soon.

The second is part of the Sugar Block Club - block of the month (BOM) I'm participating in lead by Amy Gibson at www.stitcherydictorydoc.com. I am learning a ton about technique, new types of blocks, using solids, and sewing in general being part of this BOM.

You can see it's not perfect, but I learned a ton doing it. And I don't know what I was thinking using stripped fabric, as if learning paper piecing with this block wasn't enough, I had to spend a ton of extra time trying to make the stripes line up. Oh well, I'm not one for easy.

Like I mentioned, this block used paper piecing--a technique where you actually sew the fabrics together by following lines on a piece of paper, and then you rip the paper away. That was a simplistic explanation, but if you've ever seen more intricate quilted fabrics, very detailed stars or even objects like boats or animals, it was probably done using paper piecing, which is remarkably fun. I can't wait to do something even more complicated some day soon. And now I know how it's done!

Below is a close up of my first 4-point star. I was so excited that I didn't even wait to trim this baby before taking a picture, but you can see the point in the middle looks pretty good.

It makes me so happy to make pretty things. I'm calling this weekend on a success on the quilt block front...now the sleeping front is another story.

February 17, 2013

My first dresden

I didn't complete this on time for my mom's birthday but showed it to her on her special day, so that she knew I was working on something. And since she already knows about it, I don't have to keep it a secret! My first dresden block.

This is suppose to be a mini-quilt placemat for the center of my mom's pretty, round, wooden table in her kitchen, but now that I sewed the quilt back, I think it might need to be two pieces or made into something larger. We'll see. That's how projects get much bigger and out of control, so I might just stick with the original plan. I'm giving it a few days to decide!

Daisy-chaining the petals - what a fun block!

February 15, 2013

Literally scrappy boutineer

After sewing 15 quilted Valentine's this year, I looked at the pile of beautiful little scraps and thought there has to be something more fun and useful to do with them than just throw them away. So I wadded them and put them under my sewing machine needle, and this is what was created...

Then I pulled a few fabric roses I had out of another miscellaneous basket of craft remnants and attached them, and the creation got even better...

How adorable is this!

All from making these...

February 11, 2013

On 18-month-olds & language acquisition

I read an article that I think really explains the path our guy is taking with language acquisition. It states some more cautious and reserved 18-month-olds tend to wait until they understand a great deal of what they hear before actually speaking.

As long as they are pointing to things they want, to pictures in books, if they seem to understand what you're saying, use gestures and facial expressions to communicate, and grunt (yep, grunting is a sign of language development--must be part of our cave man heritage, lol), your kid should be on track.

Reading books, talking about what you see, encouraging pointing, labeling, sounded out words, etc., are all things parents can do to help develop language. Comparing to others can act as a flag to check in on research out there, but usually there is nothing wrong. The key is, with almost all milestones, that development is happening. That's what I've been learning lately.

If you feel there could be a major problem, talk with a pediatrician who may refer you to to a language development specialist, which would be covered under most insurance companies.

Here's a link to the article on Baby Center referenced above.

February 5, 2013

My second quilt block ever - this isn't just your grandma's craft anymore

Here's the second quilt block I've ever sewed in my life! Even though I am more into free-form quilting, it amazes me all of the different ways that the same block can be composed. Playing with beautiful colors, prints, and patterns, figuring out the best composition, and seeing it all come together as you sew has been one of the most fun creative processes I've indulged in for a whileand you get to work on your sewing skills along the way.

I did this block as part of the Sugar Block Club being hosted by Amy Gibson at StitcheryDictoryDock.com. She invents monthly patterns and sends them out with delicious recipes. There is a flickr group where everyone shares their blocks. She also hosts a monthly get-together at Fancy Tiger crafts to work on the blocks in person. I've been learning a ton being part of the group.

And I know, I know...quilting sounds like an old lady thing (nothing against old ladies, but it is a very traditional craft)...until you get to know the modern quilting movement (a term I don't know really exists but puts a good name to a culture of young creative types who love to sew and compose art with fabric). I think there should be an updated name for modern quilters, like textilers or something, because it's not your grandma's craft anymore.

This nifty population consists of artists, illustrators, and designers who create fabric; and writers, publishers, and typesetters who create tutorials and books; and of course passionate crafters who put it all together in the most creative ways and share everything online. It’s like the perfect way for a busy person to stay in touch with their creative side and be part of a artistic community. I'm so into it! Can you tell?!