Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Lady Bugs and Pumpkins

Since my last blog entry I've been working on getting some of my many craft projects completed. I've also been very busy with seamstress jobs from the college students who attend our church and from some other people. Also doing preschool everyday takes up a lot more time than I thought it would but I'm enjoying every second! Below is a picture I found online that I thought looked just like Katie! Katie was delighted by it and actually thinks the person who drew it, drew it of her! She racks her little brain trying to remember when she was looking at ladybugs on a brick wall! :)

Since i've been in the crafting groove I thought I would share some of my finished projects with everyone! One day while I was working on hemming a pair of pants I let the girls play with my fabric scrap tin. Katie (while happily sorting my scraps) found a quilting magazine that I had been looking at and squealed with delight when she discovered a snowman wall hanging quilt on the first page. She decided that I needed to make it for her and picked out the fabric she wanted to use for it while I continued hemming. When I had finished the pants I checked out the wall hanging in the magazine.

Unfortunately the pattern was not in that issue. It was a picture of a wall hanging a subscriber had made from a pattern in their magazine from three years back. Katie was very disappointed so I decided I would just make one up. I helped her pick out some more fabric and then decided to go with a 'snowball' block of three different sizes. It especially pleased me that the block I was going to use for a snowman was a snowball! Anyway...

I got it put together by bedtime complete with buttons that Katie picked out from my button collection. She had very concrete ideas of how she wanted her snowman to look and supervised me the whole time! The next day I finished up the snowman and got it all top quilted and here is Katie with the finished project!
Here's a cute picture of Abby watching Curious George while I quilted!

And another one! I don't know why but I thought she looked really sweet sitting there with her soccer ball! :)Here's a closeup of the front of the snowman wall hanging. I was very proud of myself for not having to buy anything new for this particular project! I felt very frugal, like I had returned to the roots of quilting when women made quilts purely from scraps leftover from making clothes. It made me happy anyway! You can't really see it in the picture but the white I used along the bottom has little snowflakes scattered across it like the blue background fabric I used. The white fabric I used for the snowman had white swirls all over it that kinda looked like swirling snow! Those kinds of details always satisfy some deep part of me that's crying out for the world to think and be clever and it made Katie very happy too!

Here's a shot of the back. I used blue flannel for the back to make it nice and soft. Katie was delighted that there was a snowman on the back too!

And now I will take a little time to brag about my little daughter! School is going amazingly well. Katie is very smart and is never stumped by the "big idea" or logic projects. I thought she might struggle with the "only color the one that is different" papers or "color the spaces with dots onw color and the ones without dots another color" or "color only the things that you would put in a backpack to take to school" but she didn't even so much as blink! She dived right in and hasn't made a mistake yet! What a smarty! Here she is doing the "color the spaces with dots orange and the spaces without dots blue" picture.Perfect!I think Katie might have artistic leanings. She loves to draw, color, and paint and is so careful about it! That particular day we were learning about the sun and earth so I traced two big circles and let her paint them, one for the sun and one for the earth.She was very concerned about not mixing the colors and painted very carefully! I think she did a pretty good job making her earth resemble the earth! Here she is painting a butterfly sun catcher. This art project is very inexpensive and there is such a variety out there that I thought it would make a good art project. Katie adored it and took to it like a duck to water! May I remind you that she painted this entirely by herself! She chose the colors and had complete control over the paint brush which included rinsing it off. The only thing I did was to fetch fresh water and make sure she didn't put the brush in her mouth which she tends to do with her writing utensil whenever she sits back and thinks about what she's going to do next!Here's a picture of a couple of bookmarks she colored when we learned what month it was. I am just amazed by the detail, especially in the smiley face one!Here's what Abby did while Katie was doing her schoolwork! Both the girls love to sort through my button collection!And here's a sample of Abby's artwork!Unfortunately Abby became so rowdy and distracting during school we had to move school time to when she naps. This gives us at least an hour of quiet and has worked out much better!

And now back to my craft projects! Here is Katie trying out her new ladybug pillowcase I made her! The weather turned cold early this year (Last year it got up to 100 degrees during the first week of Oct!) so she's in her new "sleepy princess" pj's.

Abby, instead of being a nice little girl and getting into her pj's decided she wanted to lay on her pillow (I made that pillowcase awhile ago out of some fabric my mom sent me)and smile for the camera too!

I finally finished Katie's Ladybug quilt! This has been a work-in-progress for 2 years! My dear friend Shanna bought Katie some fabric squares of various colors with ladybugs on them. Since the colors were so varied and the amount not enough to make a quilt top all by themselves I decided to go for the "Postage Stamp" pattern. I cut the blocks up into fours and used a pinky-lavender color in between to offset the busy patterns. After I got the top done I wasn't quite sure what to do with the borders, I really wanted to bring the pink in the quilt out more but as Joel and I discovered they don't make much pink ladybug fabric! So I settled for blue fabric with red ladybugs on it that matched some of the blocks used in the top. I put off finishing it because I just wasn't satisfied with using the same blue for the back. I looked around JoAnn's whenever I could and browsed through the fabric on Ebay. Then finally I found it! On Ebay I came across pink, flannel ladybug fabric! There was 2 yards and it was listed actually cheaper then I could get it in stores even with shipping! I was ecstatic! Here's Katie trying out the finished quilt with matching pillowcase (as already seen above) I made out of the leftover flannel!Abby, of course, wanted her picture taken too! I did make the top sheet she has there for her last year and the small miniature quilt done in purples I made before she was born! Whenever she has an accident and her pillow is in the wash she uses that little quilt as her "pillow". I love the ideas that my girls come up with! :)What a saucy little smile that girl has! :) I love the way her eyes just twinkle at you!Here they are cuddled up on the couch the next day! It was a chilly morning so they decided they needed to snuggle while they watched "Curious George" on the public station.Here are some more little things I've made the girls. The little snowman and hat sachet ornaments came from a school outing we had. Katie was learning about trees and how they make seeds, pine cones, leaves etc., so we went for a walk to collect things that trees make. We found a bunch of fragrant, dried pine needles that the girls thought smelled "sooooo good" and in a moment of inspiration I had the girls gather them up so I could make them each a sachet. Since Christmas is just around the corner (yay!) I decided to make them into Christmas ornaments and let the girls look through my Christmas fabric stash and choose their own fabric. Katie chose snowmen (one of her very most favorite things!) and Abby chose the above santa hat fabric. I lined the fabric with quilt batting so the pine needles wouldn't poke through (this had greatly worried Katie) and trimmed it with pretty trim and buttons. Since I have recently done a lot of babysitting and mending for people I used some of my profits to buy more crafty things! I bought the above ladybug cross stitch kit and stitched it up one afternoon while the girls played outside (I sat on the front porch to stitch it so don't worry, they weren't unsupervised!). The original pattern said "Love Bug" but Katie and I didn't really like that so I changed it to "Lady Bug" which made us both happy!

I purchased the below pillowcase and stitched the pumpkin and vines. I made one for Katie and one for Abby. I like to do seasonal things for everyday house stuff to make everything a little more fun and interesting!On a shopping excursion to JoAnn's I found a lovely bin of fat quarters which contained lots of Christmas fabrics. For those of you who don't know a fat quarter is approx 18"x22" and you can get four of these from one yard of fabric which makes it a quarter yard but its not a regular 1/4 yard (which is 12"x"45) so its called a "fat" quarter. Anyway... they were only a $1.29 a piece so I let the girls pick out one each. Surprisingly, they both picked the same fabric print! I made pillows out of their snowman fabric using fabric I already had for the backs which I again let them choose for themselves.
Here is the back of Abby's! I bought a half yard of that sheep fabric about 4 years ago because it made me giggle but never found a project I wanted to use it in. I was very happy when Abby chose it, it made her giggle too! Katie chose a gingerbread men fabric for her pillow back. Lastly, here is a picture of the girls out on our back porch. The night before we went to the Farmer's Market and had picked up a bunch of pumpkins and gourds for the girls to add to their collection of pumpkins we had gotten at our local grocery store. Katie surprised the vendors at the market by naming all the different varieties of squash correctly which made me glow with motherly pride! She was so charming that she got a little pumpkin for free! Abby beguiled them all by saying "Thank you" so sweetly that it brought tears to their eyes! Katie and Abby love their pumpkins and Katie declared September 30th to be "Pumpkin Day" and I wrote it on the calendar to make it official! The yellow spaghetti squash was a part of last night's supper but Katie and Abby didn't mind (This was actually our second spaghetti squash and we had gone through in school the explanation of how people eat squash and pumpkins) and absolutely love the salted, baked seeds.

So that was our busy month of September full of ladybugs, pumpkins, pillows, and school!


I'm not sure why but the wrong date is on this entry! Today is October 2, not September 16th!

1 comment:

Art Kilmer said...

Oooooo, Katie is SO cute! And Abby's picture of her sitting in front of the tv on the soccer ball is hilarious! I love my nieces!