A piece of my soul

Saturday, February 26, 2011 10 Comments »
Alma Eleanora Ojeda, born Saturday February 26th, at 8:26am to parents Kate and Paul Ojeda.  8lbs, 6oz, and 21" long, with a full head of dark hair.   

Mother and Baby doing very well; grandparents ecstatic. 

Alma, means "soul" in Spanish, and Eleanora honors Kate's maternal grandmother Eleanor.  Truly a beautiful name for a new little soul. 

Wouldn't it be great....

Wednesday, February 23, 2011 3 Comments »
...if first babies came with those pop-up timers that let you know exactly when they were done?  Apparently Baby O, who was due today, just isn't ready to come out of that nice, warm, cozy baby oven yet.  Sigh. 

Mom-to-be Kate is uncomfortable (and a bit crabby), Daddy Paul is anxious, and everyone else is going crazy calling and texting:  "Did Kate have her baby yet?" 

As anxious as we all are, Baby O will appear when he/she is darned good and ready.  Stubborn little critter!  I can't begin to imagine where Baby O gets that particular trait (grin).

What's in a name?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011 5 Comments »
Ian is my almost-4-year-old grandson.  He's a pistol.  Sandwiched betweeen two practically perfect sisters, he is all boy, and tends to march to his own drum.  Lets just say that, with respect to his dad (my son Andy), the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. 

Ian came home from pre-school on Monday a little out of sorts.  While the family was sitting around the table having a snack, he said huffily:  "The teacher doesn't know my name!  She calls me Urfa Ian!"  Say what?  "She calls me Urfa Ian.  My name is IAN!" 

Jamie, my wonderful DIL, has her master's degree in early childhood education, so she started probing in a way only a gentle pro would probe.  After a lot of prodding about the times when the teacher made this terrible mistake, it finally became clear.  Ian does not always listen when directions are given, and is often the last to acknowledge that the rest of the class has put their crayons away, or gone back to their seats after story time.  This prompts the teacher to try to get his attention by saying --- are you ready? -- "Earth to Ian! Earth to Ian! " .

Urfa Ian.  Yep, that apple sure didn't fall far from the tree.   

Go! for it!

Monday, February 14, 2011 4 Comments »
I'll admit that I am a gadget person.  And last Fall, when the blogisphere was filled with chat about the AccuQuilt Go!, I succumbed to temptation and purchased one.  Then I let it sit.  I don't know why -- maybe I was a little intimidated, maybe I was afraid that if I tried it I would find out that it wasn't worth it.  For whatever reason, it's been sitting in my sewing room, nagging at me for months.

My semi-annual quilting retreat is coming up, so I thought I'd throw the idea out there to my quilting sisters that we could test this baby out together in March.  All agreed that it would be fun, but warned of what might happen if we consumed our usual quantity of wine then played with it.   Maybe it would be a good idea to test it out first?

Here's my first effort, a little doll quilt for my granddaughter's Bitty Baby, Abby.  I used the small tumbler die, which makes 3.5" (finished) tumbler blocks.  Holy cow, is this thing cool!! 

The little blocks were cut in the blink of an eye. I could easily cut enough for a twin or full-sized top in less than half an hour. Because of the notched corners, they go together perfectly. I am already planning a larger quilt using alternating white and random bright prints, with a border strip of tumblers.

IMHO many of the dies are not worth purchasing, though.  Unless you have real physical problems managing a rotary cutter, a regular ruler or one of those June Taylor Shape Cut devices are just as effective, and much cheaper.   The same thing goes for squares.  But the odd-shaped blocks, especially this tumbler and the curved drunkard's path?  No question that the Go! is a huge time/effort saver.  And if you are into applique, they keep coming out with more and more nifty shapes that would otherwise be a real PIA to cut by hand.  The big tumbler die, which makes a 7" finished block, would allow you to pop out a bed-sized quilt in a weekend.   You'd need to think about the scale of that block, however,  in relation to the size of your quilt-- that big tumber, or the big drunkard's path, could look overwhelming on a smaller top. 

I'd like to see Accuquilt come out with some even smaller dies, like a 2" tumbler, perhaps.  Stay tuned in March for the results of the Great Go! experiment at our retreat.  

By the way, if any of you are interested, Alex Anderson has a video turorial for her Bountiful Baskets

Her die for the Go! is based on her pattern for the popular postage stamp basket quilt.  The tutorial was done 'way before the die came out for the Go!, so it shows her cutting the pieces out with a rotary cutter.  The part that you want to pay attenton to is the part about the handle of the basket. The handle has given other bloggers fits, but the tutorial makes it ever so much easier. 


Sunday, February 13, 2011 4 Comments »
Eleven (11!!) days, and counting.  Of course with a first baby you just never know.  I think Momma Kate looks pretty darned good.  The nursery is done, she's wrapping up loose ends at work, her bag is packed. and big "sister", Lily the Great Dane, has been briefed on what's expected of her.  She's even got some meals stashed in the freezer.  I should be so organized!

Here are some pictures of the nursery.  Kate wanted non-gender specific fabrics, with modern design.  No pastel duckies or primary colors for her.  She picked Kate Spain's Fandango line of fabrics because she fell in love with the colors and because the designs resonated a bit with her husband's Mexican heritage.  The only thing that's left to do is the crib skirt.
The bumpers are made from 6 different color strips and bound in a coral.

We made 3 sets of sheets that coordinate with the bumpers

The quilt was made with big HSTs from the entire fabric line. 

I just love the colors and the clean, crisp look.  The back of the quilt is made with very broad cross-wise strips of various fabrics, something Kate asked for specifically.  You can catch a glimpse of it in the top picture. 

This week's project will be the crib skirt!

Rough Udders?

Wednesday, February 09, 2011 0 Comments »
Do your udders need smoothing?  Actually, my udders are fine, but my hands sure could use help.  My daughter bought me some of this stuff at the dollar store.  I'd seen it in various other stores (CVS, WalMart, Walgreen's), but just never gave it a second thought.  BIG MISTAKE.   I'm a convert.   

Seriously, it's the best hand cream I've ever used.  It's rather thick, not thin and watery at all, but it does not leave your hands feeling greasy.  I will be buying multiple tubes so that I can have one in every key location:  purse, desk at work, kitchen sink, and (most importantly) in my sewing room.  And you better believe that I'm bringing some for all of my quilting retreat buddies in March. 

Here's a link to the Udderly SMOOth website.  Go smooth those udders!


Tuesday, February 01, 2011 7 Comments »
What would you suggest as the very best fabric for a design wall?  Flannel?  Some sort of batting?  I am fortunate to have a big ol' wall onto which I can fasten it directly. 

My initial thought is to get a piece of the 108" wide flannel now available for quilt backs.  On the other hand, some of those poly battings have the grab-ablity factor needed to keep blocks in place.