Monday, August 30, 2010

Sewing Frenzy

I've been spending quite a lot of time sewing and as the weeks go on, there should continue to be a lot of time for it. We don't start schooling here until the day after Labor Day and both Jonathan and Lucas can work pretty independently. This year I'm adding Ruthie, so some time will be spent working one on one with her. As the cooler, Autumn temperatures set in, there will be more time and inclination for soups and stews and other hearty meals, so I'll be spending more time on that as well. I haven't taken the time to make pizza for a while, everyone here loves it, so that was one of Saturday's "jobs." Here is one before going into the oven. And a picture of a different one coming out. I used to dread pizza making, but now that I've done it so many times, it's not as daunting a process.

The Carpenter's Wheel blocks are going together pretty quickly now. I found that once all the pieces are ready (I sew them on triangle paper) and pressed, that laying the block out next to my machine is the most efficient way to get them sewn together. I've been sewing one block at a time on this one and that's still working for me so I'll continue to do that. It breaks up the steps nicely.
Here is the light and medium blue block.

The light and medium green block.

And the red block.

Last night, when the house was quiet, I pulled fabric for the rest of the blocks for the first Carpenter's Wheel quilt. The only one I haven't found the right fabrics for is the yellow block, but I thought of another spot I might find a few pieces that might fit the bill.

Today I'll pin all those pulled fabrics to triangle paper and I'll start working my way through them.

The more pressing project was Rebekah's wedding fabric quilt. I had a lot of flying geese to make, so looked for my "Angler" to save the step of drawing the line on the squares. I couldn't find it, but found these. Bought years ago and never used, this package of grids made the size geese I needed so I gave it a try.

After meticulously following the slightly daunting directions for a process that was a bit confusing at first, I ended up with this. I flipped the paper over and cut on the lines as directed, but you can see from this side that cut apart they didn't quite end up perfect size. There shouldn't have been any gaps between the rows.

Thankfully, they weren't too "off" to use and I had only done this one page of them. I switched to my usual method for the rest of the geese.

Putting this top together gave me FITS. I did more ripping on this one top than I've done over the last few years. I was thinking of appliqueing in the "filler" spaces, but have decided it would be too busy. I'm going to quilt some nice feathered motif in red thread in those spaces instead.

I have another of these tops in the works for me, and will get back to it after a few Carpenter's Wheel blocks. Hopefully I've learned from all the ripping on the first top and don't make those same mistakes again!

This picture of Ruthie was taken on Lucas' birthday. We roasted giant marshmallows to make s'mores and she had a good time. I don't think she ate much of that marshmallow, but she had fun trying!
I love this next picture. While she has her crabby moments, this is more often how she is. Quietly busy and quick to smile, though she is becoming more of a chatterbox!

It's going to be a pretty quiet day here. My husband works this morning, will be home for lunch, a shower, and a quick nap (he worked a LOT of hours this weekend) before leaving for his second shift job this afternoon. Jonathan is leaving to go camping for a few days with Rachel's boyfriend and his Dad, Rachel has school all day and then work (she's taking a few classes at the local community college), and Joshua works all day, too.

That means another good sewing day for me and I plan to take advantage of it!
Happy Quilting!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


The Ruthie picture is up top this time because I forgot to put it at the bottom! When I'm using the "large" and "center" options to load pictures, I can't move them around within the post, which means I have to plan ahead and load them last one first.

Ah well. This one was supposed to be in the last post, but I accidentally erased it while backspacing. I love this picture and am considering enlarging this one and framing it.
Last week didn't end up nearly as unscheduled and relaxing as planned. I considered it an extension of the wedding since a lot of what I had left to do was finding places for the no longer needed wedding paraphernalia. There were also more errands and other odds and ends to do than I'd planned.

This week, however, has been my "off" week. While I'm back to having to cook with the wedding leftovers all finished, other than my errands today I have little on my schedule.

The wedding tablecloths were all washed and there weren't any stains to be found on them. That left me with about 21 yards of red fabric and 6 yards of white fabric for making quilt tops. After some playing around on graph paper, I came up with a top that I liked. I'll be showing the blocks as I go and the end result will be a surprise.

I'm making two of these quilts, one for Rebekah and one for me. I'm using the white head table fabric for hers, but just some plain white that I had here for mine. The reds all came from the table cloths.

These are split nine patch blocks. There are a dozen of these 9 inch blocks for each quilt.
These are Anvil blocks. There is also a dozen of these 12 inch blocks for each quilt. Next up will be some flying geese.
Along with the red and white quilts, I've been working on Carpenter's Wheel blocks. Years ago I made one giant one for a lap quilt for my brother in law. I love this block, and am making 16 of them, each different colors, for a nice sized lap quilt. Here is the pink one.
And the purple block.
I pulled fabric for a few more and will pin it to triangle paper. Here is a dark blue and medium blue.
The fabric for a medium blue and light blue block.
I pulled greens, too, the light and medium will be one block and the medium and dark, another. I'm having so much fun with these that I have another top in mind for the Carpenter's Wheel block. It will have darker colors and more predominant prints, I think.
Not all the thoughts are on quilting. I got a $10 off coupon in the mail for Penney's. I love these coupons, there is no minimum to spend so I head to the clearance racks to find one or two items that total $11-15. I found this blouse and had to have it, $14.40, which means I spent under $5 to get it. I have quite a few things in my wardrobe that would go with this blouse. With the basic pieces covered (neutral skirts, slacks, and jackets) I'm having great fun adding some color to my wardrobe when I get these really good coupons to use. With the wedding over, I'm hoping to hit the clearance racks once or twice a month to slowly add to my closet. I usually only buy one piece at a time, but it's starting to look like a wardrobe!
My really nice coffee pot died a few weeks ago. I pulled an old one out of the closet to use for a while. Unfortunately, that one started leaking badly. I make a pot of coffee and it lasts two to three mornings. I drank the last of it this morning and was hoping we could swing a new, inexpensive pot this week. This is now gracing my counter, the first pot made and ready for morning (I don't drink my coffee hot except on rare occasions, so usually make it the night before.)
The quilting/sewing is well under way and I'm enjoying it immensely. I don't have anything but church Sunday morning that will take me out of the house, and then I have errands and music work to do on Tuesday. That means most of the next week can be spent working on quilt tops. I'm hoping for a break in the heat and humidity so I can hand quilt some, too, but for now, watching these blocks come together is giving me a thrill!
Happy quilting!

Monday, August 16, 2010

I'm Officially a Mother-in-Law

What a day it was. This is long, a pictorial recap of our wonderful day. I think we all actually slept well the night before. I was concerned about Rebekah being too tired since she didn't sleep well Friday night. I woke up in the night to find her packing her suitcase and some of her clothes that were still left, to the light of the TV so she wouldn't wake her sister. Perhaps that ended up being a good thing, she was well rested and all smiles for her big day.

I forgot to bring my camera to the rehearsal, though the photographer was there and I should be able to get some pictures from her. We also have 5 disposable cameras full so if I find some good pictures on them I may just do an additional wedding post.

After the rehearsal, we came back here for a pizza party, our house was quite full with 30 people in it, but we sure had fun. I heard one of Rebekah's friends tell someone that she didn't think anything could wipe the smile off her face, and that was true for the entire day. I think that morning she woke up knowing that rehearsal day was the beginning of her whirlwind weekend.

We woke up around 7am on Sunday, Rebekah started doing the girls' hair, I packed up many boxes and bags to bring to the reception hall. After a couple of trips, and a lot of running around, it was time for me to come home and get ready. When I came out with my dress on, Ruthie's eyes lit up and she exclaimed "Ruthie dress!" Yes, it was finally time. Here she is admiring herself in the mirror.
She was all smiles and didn't hide out in her room in spite of the bridesmaids and photographer all around the house.

Once ready, it was picture time. Here are the girls having some fun while taking pictures. The photographer was trying to get a picture of them jumping and catch it with them all in the air. She succeeded after a few tries. My camera didn't respond quickly enough, I got a cute "in progress" picture.

Time to settle down for some serious pictures. I was trying to stay out of the way, so some of mine weren't as close as I'd like, I'm looking forward to seeing the photographers pictures. She was doing a marvelous job.

Here is Mike with Rebekah. He looked so good in his tux!

I hate pictures of me, I almost didn't include one. Here we are with our beautiful daughter, so ready to be married and starting her new life.

Here's one of Rebekah and Rachel. Rachel was maid of honor and a lot of help to her sister. They've shared a room almost their whole lives, there were tearful hugs near the end of the reception. Though Rachel is looking forward to having her own room, and, of course, Rebekah is thrilled to be finally marrying her love, I know they will have fond memories of the late night conversations and giggles long into the night in the little room they shared for so long.

I love this next picture, I might have to enlarge and frame this one.

After a few hours of running around, the plans we spent so many hours on were coming to fruition. Here is the hall, decorated and ready for the reception. The head table has a white tablecloth, the rest are red tone on tone type fabrics. These will be washed and made into a quilt for Rebekah for her birthday next January. With how much fabric I needed for tablecloths, I should have enough left for a wedding memory quilt for me, too!

After a final check of the hall, we headed out to the beach. They were determined to have a beach wedding, in spite of the odds of a horribly hot and humid day in mid-August. When the 15th first showed up on the 10 day forecast, there was a 60% chance of rain and 87 muggy degrees. That changed as the days went on and what we got was about 84 degrees, low humidity and a nice breeze (almost too strong) right off of the lake. We arrived about 45 minutes before the wedding time, to be here to greet the guests as they were shuttled over from a nearby church parking lot. Ruthie was checking it all out. The arch in the background was made by Jonathan and framed the lake nicely for the ceremony.

Here is a picture of the girls in their places. Rebekah did all of their hair, including her own!

And another of the guys. Why are they facing the lake??

Because the preacher had just told us all to rise and prepare for the nautical entrance of the bride. There they are just having come around the bend.

Here they are, a little closer, I'm sure the photographer got better pictures. The pontoon boat went past us and docked just past where the violinist was playing.

Here they are, Rebekah, Mike, and Rachel, who is holding her dress so it didn't drag along the cement boat launch ramp.

I didn't realize until later that I'd not taken any pictures during the ceremony. I was taking it all in and didn't want to miss a thing. Here are some from after the ceremony.
Brian, with the bridesmaids.

Rebekah, and the groomsmen. Someone yelled out "are you going to wear shades?" The guys all had them in their pockets, one of the groomsmen's wives lent Rebekah a pair.

Rebekah and her new husband...and her new inlaws.

There was quite a bit of picture taking and we were the last group to leave the beach. We had asked Rachel's boyfriend's parents if they would go on ahead and open up, fix the punch and put out appetizers so that the guests weren't stuck waiting around while the shuttles returned guests to their cars.

We arrived to this scene, our guests clearly cared for and visiting among themselves. Brian and Rebekah saved their entrance until we had arrived.

A view of the head table. Brian is talking to his friend, who drove 8 hours on Saturday, making it just in time for the rehearsal. After the wedding, he and his wife left to drive home again as he had a meeting he couldn't miss on Monday morning. That's a GOOD friend!

We moved the arch from the beach to the hall, it found it's place behind the bride and groom.

Here they are cutting their cake. It was a giant cupcake (I hope the photographer took one, I think I forgot though am hoping there is one on the disposable camera), with red icing for the "cupcake paper" and white icing on top. It had a linking heart topper and Rebekah loved it.
Here they are feeding it to each other. I'm so glad they didn't smash it, I hate when people do that!
Rebekah made her bouquet and an adorable little version of it to toss. Rachel caught the bouquet.
Next came the garter toss, look at that group of young men! Somehow our oldest son managed to get the garter. I thought I had a picture of Rachel and Joshua together with their prizes, maybe it's on the disposable as well. There's another I'll be looking for among the photographer prints.
At 8:00, this showed up outside the hall. It would be taking them to Milwaukee, where they had a morning flight out. Now that's going in style!

Here is the happy couple, on their way out. She hated to change out of her dress, but didn't want to smash it in a suitcase. The veil folds small, so it made the trip. There were many happy tears and shortly after the other guests began to leave as well.
There was still a lot to do once it was all over. Marshall's mom and another friend took over the kitchen during the reception and wouldn't let me work, and there was much help when it was over as well. Some fun music went in the CD player, and Rachel worked on getting Ruthie to dance. She did pretty good at mimicking Rachel's moves.

Lucas danced with her a bit, too, but I was too slow to get a picture. This one is almost as good.

There was still much to do when we arrived home, the cars had to be unloaded, the leftover food put away, and flatware and serving bowls to be washed. I took my time, and enjoyed a mental recap of the day.

Today was a pretty lazy day. I planned for doing as little work as possible for the week. I started reading a book, I plan to do some sewing, but mostly I'll enjoy the lack of scheduling for a while.

After a day full of posed pictures, Ruthie planned this one. I was taking her picture and she pulled Lucas over, showed him where to stand and pulled his arm around her.
These balloons were left at the hall from a party the night before, so Mike brought them home for Ruthie after he did the last of the cleaning there. She loves these, we put long ribbons on them so she can reach them even if she lets them float up into the cathedral ceiling. She's quite thrilled with her "bwoons."

Tomorrow is errand day, but I'm hoping to make quick work of them so I can do something enjoyable for the afternoon.

Quilting/sewing will be big on my list once I get rested and recouped. I haven't had much time for it lately, other than finishing their wedding quilt, so I'm looking forward to getting back to some set aside projects....and a couple of new ones!