Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Child's Artist Beret - First Published Tutorial (PDF)!

I have no idea why these things take me so long. I originally made these berets when my daughter was in kindergarten and doing a unit on Master Artists. She's finishing second grade now. Sheesh. Ally is in the front kneeling row all the way to the left with the turquoise top.

I made 25 of these berets in primary colors, so all of her classmates could "feel" like Master Artists as they reproduced various artists' styles. I was told the kids LOVED them and were sad to have to give them back to the teacher at the end of the segment so the next year's class could use them.

I've put the directions into a single page, PDF format, so you can print it out and make berets for your own little artists. Click on the underlined link to print it out. The image below is so you have an idea of what it should look like.

Child's Beret Tutorial

Please, please if you make them, send photos to me and I'll share them here!!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

You Can Do Anything You Put Your Mind To

My Nonni told me that a million times. Of course sometimes I believed her and sometimes I didn't. With yesterday's accomplishment, I know now, that she was right. 100%.

I had always said "I can't run." "I can't get the breathing down." "I've tried so many times and I just can't do it." But I have some pretty amazing women that I am proud to call friends who encouraged me, and helped me conquer the "I can't" demon. They had me download the Couch to 5k app for my phone. And for 10 weeks, I worked up from mostly walking, to mostly running, and going a full 3.1 miles.

I suffered through hurting my knees, and four weeks of physical therapy in between. But I kept going. And yesterday, I ran (and sometimes walked) my first 5k race. It was called the "It's finally spring 5k" in Manchester, CT. The first mile was a horrid. Uphill. But after I got through that, the rest felt no so bad.

Here we are at the end of the race. We look happy to be done, don't we?? (Right to left are Nancy, Kari, Sue, Jen and me)

My fantastic husband took the kids and waited with them about 1/4 mile before the finish to cheer me on. It was fantastic and really pushed me to finish. (I'm blowing them thank you kisses)

It felt so wonderful to work that hard to meet a goal, and to have my friends and family there to support me.

May 2012 be a year of firsts for me. After yesterday, I'm feeling like that's pretty likely.

Friday, March 23, 2012

No sewing last week...for a good cause

I got absolutely nothing sewn last week. But I had a good reason. My husband and I took a 4 day trip to Colorado to stay with friends and ski. Sans children. That's right. Grown-up time. It was a lot of travel for two days of play, but it was worth it and we had an amazing time.

Here we are on our first play day after skiing at Breckenridge. I did blue square trails and was very pleased with myself. Blue squares are not all created equal.

This is us after our second day of skiing. We skied Arapahoe Basin and drove up to the Continental Divide afterwards. We may look cold, but it was a balmy 55 degrees, even up that high!

And I have to share, out of pride and complete amazement...my husband is a really accomplished skier. He loved Arapahoe Basin and skied "The Legend". Our friend took this picture of him, because I sure as heck didn't go up that high. Notice the signs...it basically says it's a cliff covered with jutting out rocks. Go ahead and ski it if you dare.

I'm happy to be back home and looking forward to posting about what I was able to sew this weekend on Sunday!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Do not look if you are prone to seizures - Psychedelic Quilt top!

For the first quilt I made out of this book, I chose the "Strip the Willow" quilt. I was able to finish the top this weekend, it worked out to be a pretty quick project. Maybe a total of 4 hours including the cutting and "fixing". I'm not the fastest strip sewer and I tend to stop and cut and press a lot to keep myself interested.

My only beef about the pattern is that it says you only need 4 WOF strips for each of the two sashings. This would ASS-ume that they are 44" wide. My fabric was only 42". Yeah, so, I had to trim the wider outer sashing by a 1/2" on each side to make it long enough. Other than that the pattern was well written and clear. It was a pretty simple one.

The thing is, the quilt came out CRAZY. I sort of realized this early on, but couldn't make myself stop sewing once I started. I'm always afraid that I'll never use the fabric again, since it's been cut once and I'd have to find just the right project for it.

It's loud, and might push you into a seizure if you stare at it too long, but I think I like it! Have you ever started a quilt, not been thrilled with your color choice or pattern, and just kept sewing??

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Quick Project to Soothe my Ego

After my Cosmo Bag tragedy, I needed a quick, "easy" project to soothe my ego. I've had this book for some time now, and decided to try to use things from my stash to make a quick, smaller sized quilt.

It's interesting, you'd think that if all the quilts were made with strips, they'd all be pretty easy and not have tons of cutting, but that's just not the case. There are a few pretty complicated ones, so I went with this amended sort of rail fence pattern.

Like I mentioned in my last post, I decided to use a "design roll" that I got of Kaffe Fassett fabrics. Thankfully, even though it was just 28 Strips, that was ok, because this book is about getting TWO quilts from one 40 strip jelly roll. PHEW! I tell ya', if I started another project and messed it up right out of the box, there would be some serious, sailor-like cursing going on.

I haven't sewn the rows together yet, but these are the blocks.

It's gonna be LOUD and sort of crazy quilt looking with all of these colors. I can't wait to get the rows done and see how they look.