Jedi Party

We had a very successful birthday party last weekend. Here are some photo highlights.

Invites made in MS Word using a free star wars font and bootlegged star wars lego images found all over internet.
invite

For the goody bags – medals and silly straws from party city with star wars stickers (avery labels printed on my printer, circles punched with a paper punch):

party favors

party favors

Homemade light saber cupcakes:
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Pool noodle light sabers for everyone:
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Best of all: LOTS of friends! I hope everyone else had as much fun as we did!
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Deer Quilt Complete

This quilt was for my dad’s neighbor who helped build the screened-in porch. When I started it (about 5 months ago) I didn’t realize how Christmasy it was! Now I wish I had made the deer’s nose red. I hope he liked it!

It’s made from a pattern in Dare to Be Square Quilting by Boo Davis. The fabrics are mostly Kona solids with some random blue prints (Lizzy House, Jay McCarrol) and some random plaids. I also got a yard of the brown plaid print for the back from Joanns.

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quilts are sew deer to me!

My parents’ super nice neighbor is helping them screen in their second floor porch. My dad has been ‘building that porch’ for about six year. And now, thanks to his neighbor, the porch is almost done after one week of work! So I’m making the neighbor a quilt for his trouble. Him and his wife are marathoners, but I couldn’t think of a good quilt idea that had to do with running. But then my dad told me he’s a hunter! And then I was looking through Boo Davis’s awesome book Dare to be Square Quilting, and found this awesome pattern.

So I picked out my fabric – a mix of kona solids, some of the new yellow print from the DS Quilts line at Joanne’s, and some random blue prints and a brown woven.

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My favorite part of Boo’s quilt is the bits of red and yellow, and they’re not included in the cutting instructions – so I went through her pattern and wrote them in just like she has in the photo and subtracted out the blue pieces they would replace.

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It only took about 3.5 hrs to do all the cutting – super easy pattern!

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And then in an hour, I knocked out 4 blocks – the top row of the quilt. But it was so late at night, the color of this photo stinks.

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More (better) pictures to come! I can’t wait to finish it up. I highly recommend this book.

Let’s glide like pterosaurs!

My kid is dino crazy. They had a special Dinosaur Train deal at the Houston Zoo a few weeks back, and if you wore a costume, you got a prize. Well, we only have superhero costumes around here, so I whipped up some pterodactyl wings real quick.

For inspiration, we used this shirt…now a little too small, but it worked for one more day.

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First I sketched out what I was aiming for – just the webbing that hangs down from their arms.

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I started with a rectangle folded over to give me the double sided wing that I was aiming for:

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Then I used some fancy stitches that kind of look like fangs to make casings for my bendy straws – these are the ‘veins’ in the glider wing, so they hold their shape. After sliding the straws in, I cut away some arches in the bottom and then sewed the bottom closed with some top-stiching. I sewed right over the straws so they wouldn’t fall out.

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After making two ‘wings’, I connected them with some binding with a backpack clip in the middle (because pterodactyls grow so quickly!). On each end of the binding, I sewed a smaller double fold bias strip with a little snap, so I could attach the wings to his wrists.

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And to keep the glider up in the center of his shoulders, I just safety-pinned it to his shirt.

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Ta Daaaa!

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And some action shots:

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with claws:
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Only 3 months to go!

Is it sad for me to celebrate the fact that I’m only 3 months behind on my virtual bee? I finished up two blocks this weekend, so now, I only have Jan, Feb and March to finish! Here are Oct and Nov’s blocks…those girls were so patient! (Thanks, Rosanna and Natalie!)

For Nov, Rosanna had us do a big Single Girl block. I’ve owned this pattern since Denyse published it, but as soon as I opened it up, I knew I would never make it. Denyse uses templates in a lot of her patterns where I don’t feel like templates are so necessary. Look at me – questioning the methods of Denyse Schmidt! But really, I love her quilts so much, I’m just too lazy to put the effort into them that the patterns call for. I guess that’s why they sell for so much money!

So anywhoo…Rosanna cut ALL THE PIECES! She sent us these nice little packages of all the little shapes that make one ring. I can’t imagine the time she  spent preparing those packages. All I know is that I got to do the fairly simple sewing on this awesome block without doing any of the mundane or tedious pattern tracing and cutting. So thanks, Rosanna! Taking this pattern out for a spin showed me that it’s not the big, awful pain I thought it would be. And if I cut multiple pieces (stacked fabric, cut four or five at a time), I could almost see making a quilt with it. The finished block was huge, so six would make a great baby quilt.

Rosanna's Single Girl block-2

And then for Nov., Natalie wanted porthole blocks. This was a fun new technique for me. Although, I never could get my seams as smooth as I wanted. We used Ric Rac’s tutorial – which is super easy. I’m sure I’ll use this technique again – and really, you could do any shape.

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In other sewing news, I finished up the Here We Go bag for my aunt Jamie. Using the pattern in Anna Maria Horner’s book Handmade Beginnings – Jamie picked her own fabrics, and I put together this GIANT diaper bag. Pretty easy pattern, and the technique used for closing up the top and sewing the inside and outside together was suprisingly easy. I normally make bags using the ‘birthing’ method – where you flip the whole bag right-side-out through a small hole in the bottom. This bag uses a bias strip sewn around the whole top like quilt binding. I ended up hand-stitching it down, just like I would do a quilt. Not bad at all.

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The bag has a center divider with pockets on both sides and pockets around the inside lining. There’s also a little elastic loop that holds the changing pad.

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And I found a great laminated herringbone fabric on fabric.com – perfect for the changing pad. Although, I really need to get one of those slippery feet for sewing on vinyl and stuff…what a pain in the neck!

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what’s the word?

It’s the last month of my virtual bee, Bee Happy. Well, the last month for me, anyway. I’m still 4 months behind in my sewing! Talk about guilt! So I’m opting out of next year’s festivities. Kind of a bummer. But who knew I’d go full time at my job, move across the country, buy a house, etc. When we started our bee, it was all local LA Modern Quilt Guild members. Then HALF of us moved to different states, so everyone ended up having to ship their blocks, fabric, etc. each month. Even though that’s how most of the virtual bees operate, that’s not really what everyone signed up for. Anyway, once I get these last few blocks done, I’ll feel a big weight lifted off my shoulders.

Still – the bee has been awesome. Make sure to check out our work. Lots of fun ideas! I’m especially in love with Libby’s urban city block idea and her use of the grey herringbone print to be LA’s smoggy skyline.

In other sewing news, I’m making my way through a diaper bag. I using Anna Maria Horner’s pattern for the Here We Go Bag from her Handmade Beginnings book. Super cute. So far so easy – pictures coming soon. My sweet aunt and her hubby adopted a perfect little baby boy, and I’m putting together a little package for them: diaper bag, burp cloths, onsies, one of those cute little ribbon tag blankies. I’m saving the quilt for his 1st birthday – I just want to get this package in the mail! One more thing off my plate.

I joined a local crafter meet up. It’s been fun getting to know a few new girls in the neighborhood. We’ve all go different skills – knitting, sewing, alterations, repurposing, crochet…very fun mix. We all have different tastes too. It’s a nice mix of fun personalities. I especially like the group leader – she’s a laugh a minute. I’m working on getting a little bit of a life in our new town. Here’s to new friends!

In TV news – are you watching American Idol? When Stefano did his sing-off to get into the final 13, I cried. I thought it was just awesome. I am so glad they picked him. I just love this whole season so far. Seriously. Here it is in case you missed it.

Stefano Langone, I Need You Now Wild Card Performance

It makes me want to go to church!

TGIF!

I think Friday is my favorite day of the week. The feeling of joy I get at about 6 pm on a Friday is unmatched by anything else these days.

That was a little bleak.

So anyway, it’s blood donor month. Did you know that? One donation can help up to 3 people! I’ve got my appointment tomorrow morning at 9:45 am. I love having a donor center right around the corner!

I got two new sewing books burning a hole in my metaphorical sewing pocket. Did I blog about these already? My blogging has been so intermittent…anyway, I’m super excited about them. First off is Elizabeth Hartman’s Practical Guild to Patchwork. Of course, there’s already a big Oh

Fransson group on Flickr – check out some of the projects! Besides the great quilts in her book, I also want to give mod mosaic a try. How cute is that? And everyone posting their pictures say it’s really easy.

My other new book is Dare to Be Square by Boo Davis. Super cute projects – especially the robot. And the weiner dog. Her patterns are totally unique. I love straight lines – she’s got such a fun mix of quilts in this book. AND, she’s a totally awesome illustrator. Check it.

So that’s what I’ll be working on in the near future. That and my outstanding bee blocks and some sweet baby gifts for my new cousin Jackson due in Feb.

Oh! And I almost forgot! I’m going to do Project Modern Challenge #2. I’ve been doing some sketches, but I’m not quite to the sharing stage. Thanks to the awesome Modern Quilt Guild for setting it up! Look at all the super awesome entries from Project Modern: Challenge #1!

Have a great weekend!