Sunday, June 22, 2014

A Girly Quilt and Grandparents Visit!

If you know me, you know that birthday cards are usually the last thing on my mind and they are always late, if they make it at all.  It is just not something that stays in the front of my mind and I forget.  It always has been this way and may be a permanent piece of my personality.  This quilt, however, might be the start of a positive trend (or just a fluke), but I finished this birthday gift before the birthday!  :)

This cute little girl quilt is for my niece, Jade, who is turning 2 shortly and has moved into a twin bed in anticipation of her baby brother coming into the world soon.  It was so much fun to work on something really girly and then quilt it with giant mums.  :)  The size is 60" x 90" and the fabric line is called Wee Wander if you are interested in that sort of thing.

Here is the back...

and some closeups...

My parents were also in town this week and the only day I pulled the camera out was when they were working in the yard with us.  :)  We had a wonderful visit with them and just hung around the house and in relaxing and Timothy loved the play time and the awesome bug cage that my dad built him.  We added a small butterfly net to the cause and he was a happy camper.  However, the cabbage moths were making their annual appearance and with last year's crop being totally eaten by their caterpillars, we took some preventative measures.  A little boy with a net and bug cage is a pretty cute and environmentally safe method of pest intervention, but not necessarily very effective.   Bird netting and some stakes will hopefully keep the brassicaceae family happy and free of holes.

Everything seems to be coming along well and we have almost the entire garden covered with newspapers and grass clippings.  So far, we have eaten broccoli, radishes, lettuce, green onions, and herbs.

The raspberry bush got a haircut earlier this spring and is loaded with berries!

Timothy got his first staple gun lesson.

And here is the only pictorial proof that my mom was here.  :)  Check out our not so little trees!  We actually have useable shade!  We totally fit 4 lawn chairs and the water table under those trees one afternoon!

Lots of fun in the water table...

and a popcorn party to boot!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Happy Father's Day!

We love you daddy!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Honky Tonk

Let me start this post by showing off my new quilting gloves!  

For those of you who may not quilt often, these have rubber tipped fingers, helping you grip your quilt while quilting.  They make a HUGE difference (at least for me).  I might have also caught the finger tip of my last pair under the needle and accidentally stitched it to my last quilt.  :)  Luckily, my finger wasn't all the way in the tip of the glove, so no blood was involved, but the glove was quickly unraveling at the hole I made while cutting the glove off of the quilt and I had worn most of the rubber tips off anyway.  Quilting lesson of the day is over now.  :)

This is a quilt that I just finished up:

I bought this jelly roll off of a friend who had second thoughts after buying it. I had seen it earlier in an ad and was thoroughly amused with the  play of florals, plaid, sheet music, guitars, and mustaches.  :)  The name of the fabric line is Honky Tonk, hence the name of the post.

Jelly rolls (bundles of 2.5" strips from the same fabric line) are a lot of fun to work with and let you dive right into the sewing step of making a quilt.  I find that the cutting of all of the little pieces is the most tedious part of the process and for this quilt, all I had to cut was borders and the binding.  Some quilters would prefer to select each fabric and look down on precut sets of fabric, but sometimes that roll just catches your eye and it is fun to grab the roll and just start quilting!  They are also great if you need a gift fast!  After putting on the borders, this quilt is in the 60" x 72" range.

Here is a closeup of the mustaches.  :)

The really significant part of this quilt for me is the back.  This is my first quilt that I have quilted with minky on the back.  And it turned out great!  I pin basted it like I usually do and I had no problems with it shifting around, puckering, or rolling over on itself.  Success!

I did find that the weight of the quilt itself was MUCH heavier, so I had to make sure that I supported it well and get up and take breaks to let my shoulders rest a bit.  (With that said, it only took me a little over 2 hours to quilt it in a meandering loop pattern)  So I am happy with another viable option in my skills bag and Jared and Timothy are happy to have yet another "really soft" blanket on the couch.

Speaking of Timothy, here was the "space outfit" he came up with last night.  He then spent the next 20 minutes counting down, yelling, "Blast off!" and running through the house.


Monday, June 9, 2014

Early Summer Garden 2014

Garden: First Week of June 

(aka how many times can Timothy get in front of the camera)  


The peony is about to explode in all of its glory.

The garden and the accompanying weeds are growing well.  We have harvested broccoli and lettuce so far and Jared built a trellis for the cucumbers.  The weeding is getting done between the rain showers and the garden is slowly being covered in newspaper and grass clippings as the lawn gets mowed.

Apparently Timothy thought he needed two mowers to get the lawn done.

And then promptly ditched one because he could hardly push the one!  We keep the lawn mowed, but it is difficult to keep it short with all of the rain we have had.  A blessing for our area for sure!

Corn on the cob...yay!

Jared finished a picture!  One of my favorite memories from our trip last fall - a wonderful afternoon on the shores of Lake Huron - done in pencil.  I love that I get to decorate our walls with art from the artist in residence.  :)

Saturday, June 7, 2014

A Little Trip

We ducked out of town over Memorial Day weekend and headed out to Spearfish to visit Papa and Nana Nies and have some cousin time.  It was a nice distraction from Evelyn's anniversary and we couldn't have asked for nicer weather.

Of course, we checked in with the fish at the hatchery (after wisely remembering to stuff our pockets with quarters and grabbing a bucket for the fish food) and then threw some rocks into the creek.  This kid has quite an arm!

And being a typical kid, the ice cold, spring fed stream water was not an obstacle when looking for the perfect rock.

We also met up with Eli and headed to Storybook Island in Rapid for some playtime.  Eli taught Timothy how to go in and out of all of the little houses.

And Nana was holding the boys so they could peek through the holes and got in the photo herself.  :)

Timothy loved this little horse and was yelling, "Giddyup!" :)  We went back to the house and found a picture of Jared in one of the albums on the same horse!

The highlight was riding all of the different trains on the merry-go-round (we also found a picture of Jared riding it too!) and then playing at Great Grandfather and Grandmother's house before heading home.