Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I left my heart in San Francisco

Finally, some pictures of our recent trip! We were more into experiencing the trip than photographing it, so not many pictures. But here are a few:

Kelly & Leith at Union Square

Kelly & Leith at Union Square

Leith was fascinated with the flowers being sold on the street corners. We let her buy a daisy one day...the next day she insisted on stopping at another flower vendor. He was so sweet and generous. He offered her the pretty yellow rose and refused payment.

Early Sunday afternoon we went out for dim sum, then we stopped by the Museum of Modern Art. Literally stopped by it....went in to the gift shop, then popped across the street to check out the fountains at Yerba Buena Park.

SF Museum of Modern Art

The taller building is not part of the SFMMA, but sure makes an interesting photo!

The fountains were a big hit. It was *hot* that day!

Sunny Day in San Francisco

Leith, Daddy & Fountains

Our flight was in the afternoon on Monday, so that morning we went to Chinatown for some red bean cakes and a little window shopping.

Little Redhead in SF Chinatown

All in all, we had a blast. Plenty of good food, lots of things to see and some fun memories. We can hardly wait to go back!


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Heart Melter

I love sewing for Leith. She's rather easy to please, and it's fun to make pretty dresses and things for her. The other day I made a peasant-style dress out of knit fabrics (it's a pattern for wovens). I should have made a size smaller, because the dress is too big -- but I know she'll grow into it!

knit fabric Miss Madeline

Anyway, I took it downstairs to show John, and lament about it being the wrong size.

Me (holding up dress): "So, what do you think?"

John: "Pretty. Is she really that big?"

Leith: (hugs the dress) "Mommy! Is that for me!?! Oh Mommy, I love it!! Thank you so much for making it!! Can I wear it to church tomorrow?"

She was so excited and sounded so happy!

Unfortunately, it is way too big so she didn't get to wear it. Still. That conversation is one of the main reasons I like to sew!


Monday, May 11, 2009

Postcard from the Edge....

We're in Berkeley! John's attending a conference here, so we decided to mix a little business with pleasure and have a little family get-away.

Leith and I have been out exploring a bit today; walked around quite a bit, took a bus ride up to a favorite area of town, and had a 'top dog' for lunch....all this while John's in various seminars/talks/panel discussions.

It is absolutely gorgeous out here. Mountains. Palm (and other) trees. Perfect weather. The hotel is pretty cool, too, and really just a couple blocks from one of the most beautiful college campuses. *sigh*

We'll be heading to San Francisco on Thursday morning, and staying there for a few days of actual vacation for all of us.


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Warning: This post may make you uncomfortable...

Today is the second Sunday in May. Here in the US, that means it's Mother's Day. Meant to be a day to celebrate television's/movies'/media's perfect, loving "Mother" figure. Why so much pressure? If you aren't, or don't have, the perfect mother, you're forced on this one day to essentially give your mother a pass.

Don't get me wrong. I don't have a bad mother. She's pretty good as far as mothers go. But I'd like to do sweet gestures and phone calls throughout the year, and not be made to feel bad if I don't send flowers or buy a card on the Second Sunday of May.

That's why I think it's time to do away with Mother's Day. (Father's Day, too, for many of the same reasons.) Or at the very least how about we re-work it? Not sure how, but I'm taking suggestions!
Think about it. There are actually a lot of women who hate mother's day. Those who are Infertile. Multiple Miscarriages. Otherwise Childless (not by choice). Those who've had toxic mothers and survived. Those who've lost wonderful mothers. Women who've given child/ren for adoption. Women who've *lost children*! My gawd, how do they stand the day?!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

UFO sighting!

It *was* a UFO, but now it's a quilt! The top of this quilt was pieced over a year ago. It started life as an alphabet panel. I cut apart all the letters and the stars, added sashing and some tiny little novelty prints. It's a super cute Alphabet I Spy quilt now!

The colors are loads of fun. That bright green and the black? Very much like Leith's bedroom (bright green walls, white trim, black dresser and crib/toddler bed). The quilt has so many fun, bright colors that it's going to be a wall hanging in said toddler's room!

front - Alphabet I Spy

There's a stash game going on over at Sewing Mamas, so it was the perfect time to pull out a UFO and get to work! I've been admiring the pieced backings on so many lovely quilts that I decided to try it out for myself. Must say, I was wavering there after it was pieced. Too much somehow? Too *something* anyway. But I know that lots of things 'quilt out' so decided to go with it. I am so glad I did!

detail of back (3) - Alphabet I Spy

I *love* the backing. Love it. It's got almost a rainbow effect, which I hadn't anticipated. The binding, orange with tiny white dots, really sets it off.

It's quilted in a grid...approximately 1/4" inside each letter block, both north/south and east/west, to the inside of the orange border, then one line through the middle of the larger, outer border. Used black thread on both sides. That was a hard choice. I knew it would show in the pieced back, and initially it looked a little harsh. But it was definitely the best choice.

So. What do you think? Is it a keeper?


Sunday, May 3, 2009

Couple of new things and a question

Actually, the question first: have you (or has anyone you know) made a coin quilt using some woven and some knit fabrics? I've been thinking about making memory quilts with tyke's baby clothes, and I *think* the coin quilt is my choice....but since some of the fabrics would be knit, I'm not sure how it'll work. Mostly wondering if I need to use some stabilizer on the knit pieces, but thinking maybe not since the pieces will be pretty small (essentially 2.5x5 or so).

It's likely I'll make at least three of them, one for tyke, one for us and one for my parents.

Now for the new things: there has been sewing! I've made a couple of AB swing bag style tote bags and an apron!

large tote - yellow birdseed

large tote - pinks


I'll definitely be making more of these things...especially that bag! It's really easy, looks great, has a terrific feel (there's a canvas lining, so a wonderful weight), and can be modified very easily.

One modification I'm planning is to bind the bag's curve. This picture gave me the idea -- what you're seeing is actually the lining fabric, but it looks like it's bound.

large tote - pinks - detail