Tuesday, April 30, 2013

:: Learning to sew

My 6-year-old daughter loves being creative just about as much as I do.  When she was 4, she began doing a bit of hand embroidery.  But she loved to sit in my lap at the sewing machine and place her chubby little hands on top of mine as I sewed.  When she turned 5, she did even more hand embroidery.  Making multiple "pillows" for herself, and for friends. 
However, she still begged to be able to sew on the sewing machine.  So I bought my first charm pack (Bliss), and she made her first quilt.  She piece all of the blocks together herself, sitting on my lap at the machine.
This fall when she turned 6, I began official sewing lessons with her and her cousin.  The other day we cut out 5" squares to make a quilt for her to enter in our local county fair this summer.
She is so precise.  Going slow and steady.  After sewing a seam, she said, "Mom, I need to rip this one out - it's not quite straight."  Obviously she's seen me do it a time or two.  =)

(Sewing is even better when you dress up.)
Her very first 9-patch, and she is both thrilled and proud.  Her mama is even more.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

:: Farmer's Wife set 5

I decided to make my Farmer's Wife quilt a twin-size, which means now I ONLY have to make 83 blocks instead of the 100+.  =)   I can't decide if we will use it for snuggling under while sitting on the couch.  We do that alot, on those cold winter mornings when the wood-stove hasn't had time to spread it's warmth.  Or, if I will let it be one of the three quilts I am making for my girls' beds.  Guess I'll finish it and decide then.  But for now, here's the next 10 blocks.  =)

Block 43: Garden Path
Block 24: Country Path
Block 23: Country Farm
Block 33: Farmer's Puzzle
Block 60: Noon & Light
Block 107: Windblown Square
Block 82: Spider Legs
Block 53: Jackknife
Block 77: Seasons
Block 41: Friendship Star
I do have to say, the more of these blocks I make, the more I am enjoying the color-choosing process.  It was very intimidating to me at first, as silly as that sounds.  And I'm still no pro, but as with anything, the more you do it, the more comfortable you get.  How about you?  What intimidates you in the quilt-making process?

Thursday, April 18, 2013

:: 5 today

This girl of ours is 5 today.  It seems like less than 2 years ago, late in the night, I was yelling at my husband that he better be able to get me from the bathtub, to his truck, before the next contraction hit.  I admit, I dislike pain. =)
But she was worth every bit.  Audrey is a vital part of our family.  She always knows where her things are, she puts her laundry away in her drawers in neat piles, she remembers to bring her shoes inside so the dog doesn't chew them up.  Her laugh is infectious, and she insists on doing things herself. (quite a blessing when you're the 3rd)  Her hair and clothes have to be a particular way, she loves tying ribbons around her waist, she loves wearing dresses and skirts, and she especially loves her blankie (deedee) and her finger.
We love you girl.  Even more this year.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

:: More Farmer's Wife, set 4

Yes, I've been doing more farming. That is - making more of those cute 6" Farmer's Wife blocks. And this mess of cheerful looking fabrics is the pile I pull from, when picking fabrics for each block. I keep telling the husband that someday the top of my dresser will always will not be covered in heaps of fabric. =)
I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but this has become quite a relaxing evening activity for me. After the house is quiet, I love putting on my slippers and pj's, gathering all my cutting supplies, and finding a spot beside the husband. Then no matter what he is doing, I'm with him, yet staying busy.  Picking which fabrics to use and then cutting them out is the most time-consuming part for me.  I was especially slow at first because I tend to over-think fabric combinations. (thank God I learned to cut them out with a rotary cutter from Camille, which really helps.) Sewing them together is the fast part.

Block 29: Economy
Block 63: Ozark Maple Leaf   (I switched this one up a little)
Block 52: Hovering Hawks
Block 58: Mother's Dream
Block 30: End of Day
Block 49: Honeycomb
Block 50: Honey's Choice
Block 31: Evening Star
Block 44: Gentleman's Fancy
Block 69: Practical Orchard
I really should be working on my quilts for the girls, but sometimes it's just nice to sew for no specific reason at all.

Monday, April 15, 2013

:: Sewing with little girls

In the fall, my Mom and I began giving group sewing lessons to my oldest daughter (Ellie-6) and my niece (Alaina-8).  My niece is in her first competitive year of 4-H, and decided she wants to do sewing.  So I began teaching her sewing, and my sister (who double-majored in music - need I say more?!) is teaching my oldest son piano lessons.  We laugh at what a great trade it is!
Before we began, I checked out about 10 books from the library - not sure exactly where to start when teaching little girls to sew. These 2 books were the ones I loved most. Both a combination of hand sewing, and machine sewing.

We have been alternating hand-sewing and machine sewing, so they have a firm foundation in both.  I've been amazed at how quickly they absorb what's being taught.  After just a few times of showing them how to thread their machines, they can both do it completely on their own.

As a parent/aunt, it thrills my heart as I watch them begin to love something I also love.  Now I see why parents passed down their "skills/trades" to the next generation.  Not only is the first-hand experience a huge advantage, but the satisfaction gained in the process is priceless.  No, I won't force or expect any of my 3 girls to love sewing the way I do.  But I cherish it when they do.

Modern Pearls Quilt Along - Week Four (the finish!)

Good Morning, friends!  It's the fourth (and final) week of our Modern Pearls Quilt Along, and this is where all those 9 patches start t...