Sunday, February 24, 2008

Getting Old

Because this is my birthday weekend, I've been able to do some sewing. Of course, most of it has been on a quilt for one of my daughter's aftercare teachers, who was injured in a car wreck--but it's still sewing! The teacher is very bumped and bruised but not permanently hurt. Though, my experience is that bumps and bruises hurt plenty all on their own. The teacher is a huge fan of a very specific college sports team, which you might be able to suss out from the picture of the quilt below:

I took the picture rather quickly, so it's a little blurry, I think. The binding is pieced because I made one too many strip sets and wanted to use it up somehow; it still needs to be sewn down. All of this fabric is from my stash. My daughter picked out the colors and matched the strips--and pushed the pedal every once in a while.

I've been listening to the Monsters of Templeton while working on this project and the Civil War blocks that will show up below. It's really a great book--surprisingly so: Imagine a very dissolute Stars Hollow with a more rancorous Rory and Lorelai. One thing I realized during listening though is that I am OLD. I am almost as old as the narrator's mom . . . and I used to be the narrator. It's freakily hard to make that perceptual shift when engaging in a narrative. Sigh.

Luckily, I will be 60 before my children graduate college--and people keep telling me that they will keep me young. By which, I am assuming, they mean in debt and constantly working so that I cannot possibly retire. Woo-hoo!

As the new button on the side bar denotes, I've joined the Civil War block madness that's sweeping the blogosphere. If you've paged through either of the books by Rosemary Youngs that have inspired the recent craze, you'll recognize that I grabbed some low-hanging fruit with my first four blocks (from the upper left): Abomination of Desolation (possibly the best quilt block name ever!), Special Blessings, Soldier's Box, and Yankee Papers .

And, I've lost 19 pounds so far! And, it's Oscar night--fantastic whip-stitching viewing. Happy Oscars! Happy Birthday, to all!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

My Very Own Domino Challenge

I'm a charter subscriber to Domino. I'm not sure why; maybe because it first began publishing when we moved into our no-longer-new house a few years ago. Maybe because I simply love getting magazines--especially those that are really just catalogs in disguise. Anyway . . . every once in a while, Domino runs an editorial spread in which its decorator du jour (read, some intern) tries to turn an outfit into a room. (Clarification: The goal is to create a room that captures the essence of the outfit.) It's a wacky idea that somehow always works.

So, this weekend, I've decided to engage in my very own Domino challenge: make these pajamas into a quilt!

My husband, who knows my heart spookily well, got me a kicky Pajamagram for Valentine's Day. Here are my jammies:

In case you're wondering, they're covered with little chicks engaging in me-like activities, all labeled "Cool Chick." After thinking about this project for a while, I grabbed a long-on-the-shelf stack of Amy Butler prints and went in search of a pattern. Believe it or not, this is the one I chose:

I've had this pattern forever but never made it. The flash blurred the pattern designer's name, it's by The Cranberry Cupboard. Now, you're likely looking at this pattern and seeing little to no link to the jammies. It's so country. But wait . . .

The pattern needed 20 FQs, so I added some Westminster/Rowan/Fassetts from the shelf to my Amy Butler stack. So far, so good. But, it also needed over a yard of background. Well, one of my parameters for the challenge was that I needed to use ONLY my stash--because I started it on Friday and wanted it done this weekend. So, I auditioned several tone-on-tone, neutral prints, none of which really seemed to capture the spirit of my endeavor. Then, one decidedly non-neutral print caught my eye, and with the bravado that comes from a middle age wasted on Domino, Lucky, and Cookie, I decided to take a leap of faith and go for it. I have to confess that I completely felt like Kay Thompson in Funny Face as I cut into my background, though rather than "Think Pink" I thought orange.

And, here is the almost finished project in wall paste up form:

I had some serious moments of doubt last night while sewing and even cut up some more neutral triangles to try out over the orange paisley print. But, I decided to sleep on it. When I looked at it again this morning in the clear light of day, I simply loved it!

And, I think I really managed to turn my new favorite jammies (which I'm wearing even now) into a quilt:

What do you think?

This project was so much fun and really pushed me way, way out of my comfort zone. So, I encourage everyone to take the Domino challenge!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

Yes, this is an entire kitchen's worth of Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing.

Can you feel the calories?

Happy Valentine's Day!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Baby Quilt

One of my daughter's kindergarten teachers is pregnant, so she drafted me to make a quilt. I felt in the sewing mood, so I whipped out the top this weekend. My daughter actually helped me "sew" a bit and got a lesson in assembly line cutting and piecing that I'm sure will change her life :) I started from a pattern (Cobblestone something) in a baby quilt book I've had for a while. But, I changed the colors and added a more complex set of borders, including the checkerboard. I used a lot of my 1930s stash fabrics and tried to make it suitable for either a boy or a girl. This era of fabrics seems to cry out "baby"!

I'm going to get all the kids to print their names on the label. It should be cute!

I listened to another several hours of Jeffrey Eugenide's Middlesex while working on the quilt. I think the whole book is about 18 hours long. The story is more engrossing than I might have thought, and my parents lived in Grosse Pointe for a while in the late 80s and early 90s, so a lot of it seems very familiar to me (and makes me long for Detroit-proper Coney Island hot dogs!). Now, off to prepare for Hannah Montana in 3D!!