Saturday, September 20, 2008

Christmas Swap

I signed up for this Christmas Swap recently. It involves sending your swap partner:
> Yarn, needles and a pattern
> Something warm to drink
> A Christmas story from your country
> Christmas candy
> And a personal gift.

Around $20 to spend. Should be doable, and, of course, fun to get a package in the mail...

Quilts that inspire me

Alicia Paulson's Lemoncello quilt, as seen on her Posie Gets Cozy blog. This is the top...

...and this is it finished. I love how the red/orange finishing touches change the whole feel of the quilt. Read more, and see more lovely photos, here.

Moonstitches' incredibly detailed quilt, comprised of crocheted hexagons (and a billion ends to sew in!).

Ezra's quilt by Soulemama.

This XOXO quilt, so textured, simple colours.

The simplicity of Syko's art quilts, like this one: Somewhere Over The Rainbow.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Piper's first softie!

Today Piper and I met Sharon and her kids at the fabric shop - Sharon wants to make a quilt and was there to choose fabric. I enjoyed watching the process, laying a heap of bolts on the bench and whittling down the choices. On the way home, Piper commented that she is learning to sew, and what she meant was, she has a cardboard shape with holes around the edge that she threads a shoelace through, for practice. I asked her if she wanted to do some sewing with me, and she said, "YEAH! On the sewing machine!" This wasn't quite what I had in mind - I was thinking hand-sewing - but I ran with it anyway!

We had to wait til Jasper went to bed in the afternoon, so in the meantime, after she'd crossed some days off, Piper wrote SEWING MACHINE DAY on the calendar. I was excited for her, for one, that she wanted to mark the occasion, and two, that she knew most of the letters and was able to write all of them without getting burnt out halfway through. The other day she wanted to learn how to spell my name, but gave up halfway through (and we were only writing BEC!). Just depends on the day, hey...

So, Jasper went to sleep. Piper had decided she wanted to make a horse, a girl horse. So we printed off a colouring page of a horse off the internet and cut it out to use as a pattern. I kept the legs simple, not four, but two pairs. She chose some ballerina fabric and traced around the horse.

Then we used the sewing machine! She sat on my lap, I pushed the pedal and together we guided the fabric towards the needle along the line she had traced. She got the hang of raising and lowering the presser foot - that became her job, although I kept reaching for it out of habit!

Then I cut around our sewing line, and turned it inside out. Piper helped stuff it, although I did most of it, cos getting cotton balls into the corners was pretty tricky. And next time I'd make a bigger creature, then stuffing would have been easier for her too.

Jasper woke up then, and they had fun pretending the cotton balls were snow. Piper was pretty hyper, not in a bad way, but as if the experience of creating, bringing something into being, was revving her up. That was my take, anyway... I was glad for her.

Once the horse was stuffed, we took her upstairs to sew up her belly.

We took turns putting in the stitches. Piper was pretty good at it - I really should do more sewing with her!

Belly all closed! Then I sewed on two buttons for eyes, and wala! A ballerina horse! Perhaps next we'll make a tutu! A soft toy in less than two hours. Not a bad effort!