Thursday, October 9, 2014

Embroidered Baby Quilt

 I found this quilt top in Grandma O's sewing room, all hand-embroidered, pieced, and prairie-pointed.  I thought it deserved to be finished.
So I added some batting and navy flannel backing, and quilted it three ways.  First, I used the walking foot to stitch straight lines along the edges of the blue blocks.  Then I used the embroidery function to apply quilting motifs.  Finally, I used that odd little clear echo quilting foot to outline the embroidered animals.  This was my first free-motion project, and I thought it went rather well.
Speaking of the animals, weeping bears are not my style.  It seems to me that babies learn from day one that there is plenty to cry about in this life.  Why remind them on a blanket?  I do like this lamb, though.  It even looks sort of  familiar.  Does anyone recognize these patterns?

I've sent this collaboration off to Project Linus.  Hopefully a distressed child will find comfort and warmth with these little animals.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Musical Monday

When everyone gets ready to go back to school and work after the weekend, they often have a hard time finding some important things.  For some, it becomes a manic Monday; others get the blues.

Here's the one and only B.B. King, with Sandra Boynton's "One Shoe Blues."

Sunday, September 28, 2014

It's Great to be Eight

D2 had a birthday.  His eighth birthday.  He says, "It was fun, I had a Lord of the Rings party."  See the ring on the table?  It is precious to him.
He shared precious rings with his friends, too, during a game he made up and I didn't understand.  I'm not sure it was such a good idea.  Look at the gleam in their eyes.
Lest you worry about the adequacy of the above candle-studded cookie to feed that many boys, know that the main dessert was mini-banana splits.  All D2's idea, and very tasty.  It was a good day for D2.
The next day was even more important.  So important that D2's grandparents came for the occasion.  That day, D2 was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  We are so pleased that D2 chose to make this commitment.
We're also pleased that the Caterpillar was worthy and able to baptize his little brother, and that D2 asked him to do so.  And Dandelionslayer provided an inspired confirmation.
So there we are.  The whole family has been baptized.  Wow.  I guess we're doing pretty well so far.
It seems like not so long ago that Rollo turned eight and was baptized.
And Scoot.
And the Caterpillar himself.  They're all growing into such wonderful young men.  But they'll always be my little boys, too.  Forever.


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Dictionary Moment: Rhopalic

Words beginning with "rh" occupy six pages in the SOED.  There are more than I expected, and some of them are rather fascinating.  They mostly come from Greek words, of course.  The Greek rhopalos was a club or tapered cudgel.  This primitive weapon has lent its name to the "marginal sensory structures in various jellyfish," and an Indian aphid.  Not to mention a literary device.

Literarily, rhophalic describes a passage "in which each word contains one syllable more than the word immediately preceding it." 

I recently attempted a poem based on the Fibonacci sequence, where the number of syllables per line increase quickly.  (Interestingly, the number sequence itself has poetic origins.)  Five-syllable lines are easy for me, but eight and thirteen were tough.  Increasing syllables in each word, though, that's pretty challenging. 

  • I'm writing sentences multiplying syllabically.
  • Walk softly, carrying knuckle-dusters empoweringly.
  • Peach apple banana chirimoya marionberry macadamia-nut
Three or four syllables are plenty for most words in English, even the interesting ones.  Sure, " supercalifragilisticexpialidocious*" would be a wonderful climax, but what thirteen-syllable word could precede it?  I find myself relying on hyphenated terms and tenuous adverbs.  (Good thing I'm not a member of Writers Against Adding Any Adverbs.)  Perhaps rhophalicism is easier in agglutinative tongues like German.  And prosody does not always require complete sentences.

Can you wax rhophalic?  Give me your best shot.

*In the OED since 1986!  Look here for origin and meaning.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Stash to Treasure: Pillowcases

I'm not sure when Saturday became a sewing day for me.  You'd think we'd have other things to do on Saturdays.  And we did, today.  But, in between events, I had an itch to create.  So I whipped up some pillowcases. 

One of our church service projects this year is to give pillowcases to a children's hospital.  A couple of Grandma O's fabrics seemed perfect for the job. Here we have some dinosaurs, along with a bright yellow, and a piece of binding left over from the Creamsicle Baby Quilts.  It was just the right color and length.
I used the popular Burrito Method to sew these up quickly.  I'd observed the method before, but not tried it.  In case I'm not the last seamstress on the planet to learn, here are links to the printout and tutorial I used.  The rest of the dinosaur material was just right for the cuff of another pillowcase. 
This fabric should be fun for a child to explore.  It's a jungle full of African savannah animals, with some nice eastern North American birds thrown in.  Maybe it was modeled on the National Zoo.  I like it.

So, despite the heat of the sewing room, I had a good time this Saturday.  How about you?

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Summer Sewing

The Caterpillar wanted to sew some shorts.  But not just easy, elastic-waist beginner shorts.  He picked out Simplicity 5581, which features a fly and interesting pockets.  The envelope includes sizes for boys and men.  The Caterpillar seemed to be between those, so I carefully interpolated, and drew custom pattern pieces just for him.  He cut the pieces from bright red fabric, his favorite color.  Under my careful, anxious guidance, he sewed the fly, a buttonhole, and the front pockets.  Then he ran out of time and interest, and set the project aside.

That was four years ago.

At the same time, Dandelionslayer had decided to sew some easy, elastic-waist beginner shorts.  He picked out some material, but never got started.  A couple of weeks ago, he decided he needed some new shorts for soccer-coaching, so I found the bag with his black rip-stop nylon and the easy pattern, and the red half-shorts were there, too.  While Dandelionslayer cut his pieces, I decided to finish up the red shorts.  I was sure they would fit someone.

Before hemming, I had Rollo try on the shorts.  They were too big.  So I had Scoot try.  They were too long, but the circumference was all right.  Since Scoot and the Caterpillar have about the same circumference, I half-jokingly suggested the Caterpillar try them, too. 

And they were just right.

So the Caterpillar sewed the hems, and finally finished his summer sewing project.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Summer Book Trek 2014

I'm hopping on the handcart a little late this year, but it's time again for the Summer Book Trek.  It's a fun time to read fiction by LDS authors, and win more fiction from LDS authors.  I picked out two such books at the library the other day:
I read the first one yesterday, and it was fun.  You can play, too.  Check out the challenge, pick out some books, and win!

Update:  Enna Burning was pretty good, too.  Now I'm on to Wednesdays in the Tower, by Jessica Day George.  It will probably go too quickly.  After that, I guess I could start on The Way of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson, but I definitely wouldn't finish by the end of July.  Maybe it will be time for Josi Kilpack's Banana Split.  Mmmmm...