Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Red, White and Blue

I love the fourth of July. While I don't consider myself overtly patriotic, I love all things about the fourth - fireworks, parades, grilling, swimming, sparklers, avoiding politicians and their crazy volunteer sticker-giver-outers, marching bands, pontoon rides, candy bags... sigh. Love it all. It is the essence of "summer" to me, and I can't wait for this year's events! We'll be at the lake again this year. I've been crafting a bit to get in the mood for the festivities. Remember the cute t-shirts we made last year? They were from a tutorial at Family Fun and involved stamping with pasta - which the kids loved. We'll be making more shirts -hopefully just as fun and creative (maybe one of these? or these flags on a shirt?)- with the kidlets this weekend... but for now I whipped up Rowan a quick skirt. Wish it were in my size...

This is made from a vintage curtain from Brooke and some scrap thrifted fabric. Rowan actually claims to love it- so we'll see if it really worn or not to the parade.
You can see it here laying on my partially finished hutch. I've yet to do the "antiquing" (or "dirtying", as I call it), but it is assembled and inside the house now.... as step up from in pieces on the garage floor!

A close up of the pocket and button.

What to do with all the assorted scraps I had in red, white and blue? Well, make banners, of course.

I plan to hang these from the porch at the lake. While the insides of our cabin are not yet done (and seem to be delayed a few more days -making for a cranky husband and some cancelled invitations - arg), the outside can still look festive.

I did not back the triangles of fabric with anything - thinking that they would "wave" more in the wind if they were not too sturdy. We'll see just how well they hold up, as I'd love to hang them out year after year!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

t-shirt quilt

My sister in law Jeanine asked me a few months back if I had ever made a t-shirt quilt. Her daughter Ali graduates from high school this year, and she said she saw them everywhere a few years back when her son graduated. She was hoping to surprise her daughter with one. I have seen these on various blogs and craft sites - but had been intimidated by the stretchiness of the knit t-shirts and the daunting thought of quilting. Seriously, it seemed crazy to me to take on both of these in one shot. After talking with a friend at work, who convinced me of the beauty of interfacing, I gave it a go (with promised to Jeanine that I would sure try, but could not guarantee the quality of my work). Now, I read all over the Internet that many people don't love interfacing for these quilts, but I used feather light stuff and it worked perfect for me. The finished product is still soft and "t-shirty". Best of all, the final quilt is relatively squared up and even. Without the interfacing, it would have been a wonky mess.

Jeanine snuck me a about 15 of Ali's t-shirts. Some had interesting front and backs, so I used them both. Her t-shirts were very bright and fun... and I got a little queasy when I first cut into them thinking that I'd ruin her high school memories if I wrecked this quilt. Then I thought about how many high school t-shirts I still wear or own -exactly zero - and felt a little better. I used some borrowed quilting blocks (same friend at work...thankfully, as these were golden) to measure 16.5" squares for most of the t's. For a few t-shirts that were smaller, I ended up using 12.5" blocks. To make life easier for me, I sewed all these smaller ones together and then added a border of the t-shirt scraps to make them "fit" within all the 16.5" blocks. I had to get creative with math for a few minutes, but it worked fine in the end.

Because Ali was in show choir in high school, I used some fun music note batik fabric I found on fabric.com for the backing. I ended up cutting the back 2" larger than the front, and then just folded the backing on to the front to bind the quilt. After all the time on my knees cutting, I did not have it in me to hand stitch the binding. The actual quilting was just me stitching in the ditch - clear thread on top, and black in my bobbin. The quilting was tedious with such a large quilt- it is bigger than a twin, smaller than a queen.... maybe a tween??. I had some trouble getting the bulk of rolled up quilt to fit under my sewing machine's arm.... but with minimal swears, we are done. Hooray!

I plan to give it to Ali today, so the pics are just Miss Rowan and myself trying our damnedest to get the whole bugger in a shot. Did not work perfect, but you'll get the idea. Here is the finished product.

Another of the whole quilt.... catching some of the blocks we missed above.

Here is a close up of the smaller "framed in" blocks.

This got a little blurry, but I wanted to show the batik binding.

I made another t-shirt quilt this year for my little sister who also graduated. I forgot to take pics of hers before I gave it to her, but hopefully she'll send a few so I can share.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

still here....

Between changing shifts at work, working on the cabin, and having guests in town for my littlest sister's graduation, we've been busy little beavers over here. The cabin is nearing completion... next week and weekend will be the hard part for us - after the contractors leave and we have to paint wall and ceilings, lay the floor, put in the toilet, paint and install the trim, install lights, and (the fun stuff) decorate and organize. Hooray! Can't wait!

I have been crafting a bit - I made 2 t-shirt quilts for graduating seniors. I have the back to add to one, and then need to find pics to post of both. I was thrilled with how easy they turned out to be!

While my aunt and brother were in town we did some painting - one living room wall as well as my bathroom vanity and walls. We also painted my grandma's old dining room hutch. None of these projects are fully complete either - so pics will have to wait for another day for these too.

So what, you may be thinking, have I actually completed? Not a whole heck of a lot. Lot's of irons in the fire... but nothing 100% done. We've got another "work in progress" around here too, but I'll share that one on another day as well :)

On that note, and with nothing concrete to share, I'll give you cute kid pics.

Griffin lost his first tooth last weekend. It was accompanied by a few tears and then a serious conversation about how much a first tooth is worth.

Griffin also enjoyed some ice cream. Very thoroughly, as you can see.

Rowan kicked back to enjoy some ice cream too. Lucky for us Auntie Lauren works for Coldstone :)

Hope you are enjoying your summer!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Cabin Work

The title does not sound right.... cabin and work? Turns out we have much to do before we get to enjoy our new cabin this year. Ahem.... new to us, obviously... our cabin is many moons old, and has a few "aches and pains" associated with it's long life. We have to put in a bathroom right away - per the county (and me... not much of an outhouse girl). That means we have to add a holding tank. Since the digger was going to be out, Dave opted for a new patio too, to keep the water from pooling by the cabin. While this outside work is going on, we also have some carpenters tearing down walls, floors and ceilings and leveling things out. Our kitchen and master bedroom were thankfully already redone by my mother and step-dad a few years back, so we've just got 2 bedrooms and a living room in disrepair. My mom (who lives full time next door to the cabin) has been "Gladys Kravitz" for us during the week. She'll run over and chat with the workers, snap pictures and make design suggestions. Here are some shots she took for us.

(Photo credits to Gladys, er, Kim.)

This is the outside from the back. I'm calling this the "before", even though it is after the yard was dug up.

Here is our new patio... hooray! Dave has to do the retaining wall around it this weekend, but by the time we get up on Friday, we should be able to do some al fresco dining!

The inside shots are crazy - this is after all the walls and ceilings were torn out. We are going to get rid of the rickety ceiling beams beams and make the guest room have a vaulted ceiling! We were thrilled when we found this was an option.

We are also discovering old windows behind the walls - where the old cabin was added on to. This is soon to be 1/2 bathroom, 1/2 storage closet. Hooray for a toilet!

So what to do while the inside is in disrepair? Enjoy the outside! Here are some pictures from the past few weekends at the lake.

Griffin and his cousin Oliver got 4 wheelers to zoom around on. Obviously they love them.

Lots of lake swimming going on.

Gotta love the slip and slide :)

A few more weeks of chaos to come and then we'll be able to enjoy things up there even more!