Monday, June 29, 2009

Birthday Girl

The most incredible girl in the world is turning 2 today! I can't believe it's been two years since she made her entrance into the world (6 weeks early). It has been such an amazing time and I feel so incredibly blessed to be her mom.

Happy Birthday Vivian!

Vivian at her daycare celebration for her birthday. If you couldn't guess by watching, she likes frosting!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

An Open Letter to a Helicopter

To the Helicopter that Buzzed My Apartment 5 Times at 1:30 a.m. This Morning,

I don't normally address letters to modes of transportation, but today I feel compelled. I'm sure you have a busy job, what with the taking off, circling in the air and landing. However, was it absolutely necessary to fly low and long over my apartment multiple times at 1:30 a.m.?

I had been asleep for about two hours, and I really needed it. But the loud hovering not only woke me up, but it also woke up and scared my daughter. My lovely husband then got up and brought her into our bed in an effort to calm her down. However, by this time, she was wide awake and proceeded to roll around for 1 1/2 hours. By the time she finally fell asleep around 3 a.m., I was wide awake. I think I was finally able to get back to sleep around 3:30.

I really hope you were following a violent criminal and making sure he/she didn't get away to terrorize more people. If you were just following Lindsay Lohan on her latest coke-fueled jaunt around Los Angeles, I would be really mad.

Thank you for your attention. You can now return to monitoring gridlock over the 405.


Friday, June 12, 2009

Vintage Photo Friday -- The Knitting Lesson

From the George Eastman House Collection
McCall's Magazine, 1940

I wonder whether Vivian will inherit any of my crafty inclinations. Many of my friends who had moms who sewed/knitted/etc. had no desire to learn themselves. They didn't have to—if they wanted something made for them, their mom did it. I hope she is crafty, as I would love for us to have a common interest as she gets older. I also find think there are so many benefits: a creative outlet, a calming influence, a social activity.

She does try to play with my yarn when I'm knitting or crocheting. And she likes to watch me sew, and sometimes picks out a fabric she likes from my stash and running around the apartment with it (her current fav is a cat print that I bought to make her an outfit, but haven't got around to it yet).

Maybe there is hope for her yet.

More of Vintage Photo Friday at Paper Dolls for Boys.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Live Piecefully - June

Sometimes I am too ambitious. Sometimes I have grand ideas that will never translate to reality. Sometimes, I just bite off more than I can chew.

But sometimes, sometimes it actually works.

When I joined the Live Piecefully virtual quilting bee a few months ago, my goal was to push my sewing and quilting skills and creativity further. Instead of having to sew and piece and entire quilt of squares at once (and in the same fabric, over and over), the bee gives me the freedom to experiment with new techniques and designs (and fabrics), a little bit at a time.

June is the first month of the bee, and Kat, the bee's organizer, was the first "queen bee" who sent out her chosen fabric to us "worker bees." She chose Tina Given's Treetop Fancy line in a raspberry colorway. It is beautiful fabric, but I was worried that, given the large scale of the print, it would be difficult to piece in an aesthetically pleasing way. I was also worried by the fact that there were no solids to contrast with the beautiful prints.

Kat's choice for her quilt fabric

When I received the fabric, I started playing around with the design. I had volunteered to make two blocks, so had a bit more fabric to play with. I sketched out eight different designs before I picked two that I wanted to focus on.

When I quilt, I really don't work from patterns. I just seem to work best in an improvisational way. But given that this wasn't MY fabric, and there was a finite amount, I really had to be careful! So for my first design -- a modified sunburst-esque look -- I actually sketched my designs out in muslin and cut out the pieces and numbered them so that all the different strips would actually fit together and in the right order.

When it came to finally cutting out my fabric, I was convinced that I had done it wrong and was just making a huge mess. I've never quilted curves, and of course, I had a cut-out circle making up one of the corners. Gah!

But like I stated at the top, sometimes it all just works out.

I'm really happy with how everything turned out. They aren't perfect (the solid pink border on the sunburst square was added because after trimming wonky edges, the quilt square was 3/4" too small), but I think they really show off the beauty of the fabric. The squares are each 12.5" and will eventually be pieced together by Kat with squares made by the other members of the bee. I can't wait to see the finished project!

I now just need to send these blocks off to Kat and wait until the July "queen bee," Shorty, sends off our next fabric. I think I'm hooked.

To see more of the Live Piecefully quilt blocks made so far, visit our Flickr page.