Monday, November 23, 2015

Rio's Kitty Quilt

I've only made Rio one quilt before - the first one I ever made!  It was high time that I made another for her and I finally was able to mark it off the list.
When I finished up my first paper-piecing project, I knew I wanted my next to be a cat pattern, naturally.  After some quality time with Google, I came across this 'Whiskers' pattern which looked like something I could manage and was cute so I printed it off! The pattern for the cats was quite simple once I was able to understand the pattern.  There were a few discrepancies and not enough explanation for a novice like myself but after much head scratching and seam ripping, I figured things out.
The cats are cute, yes, but my favorite part of this quilt is the fabric the cats are made of, without a doubt.  A while back I played around with printing some of my mom's paintings onto fabric through Spoonflower.  A bit after that, I decided to start scanning some of Rio's paintings and had one of them printed up.  (I will be doing that again and again and again in the future!) The center kitty is made from Rio's fabric and the two outer kitties are made from scraps of my mom's fabrics.  LOVE!
The striped purple fabric (it's the backing, too) is an old bed sheet that Brent and I used camping a million times.  It's super soft and I thought it worked purrfectly with everything else that was going on.  Plus, it has history for us which makes it that much more special.  I realize giving a toddler a white quilt is just asking for trouble but I'm ok with that.  I just want it to be used, loved, and cherished for many, many years.

I made the binding from scraps of the painting fabrics and I looooooove the way it turned out.  In the past, I've always machine sewn on all of my bindings but for my last few, I've been hand finishing them and I don't think I'll ever go back to the machine for that step! 
The best part of this quilt though was sharing its process with Rio.  I would often work on it at night while she slept so she'd always ask about the progress each morning.  Then when we hit the quilting stage, she would periodically sit on my lap and help me guide the fabric through the machine which she thought was the coolest thing ever.  It was.

What does she think of it?  I think she approves!


I've been super, crazy busy lately and have so much to share with you, including the most insane thing I think I've ever made!  I'd also love to personally invite you to join us at Alliday this year which is only a few weeks away!  Please join us December 11th or 12th and invite your whole squad!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

The Halloween Unicorn!

For the past month when asked what she wanted to be for Halloween, Rio had one answer - a unicorn.  I had to figure out a way to make it happen.  It's not the most uncommon of costumes but I had to make it a bit different from the rest of the crowd, because that's how I roll.  A week before the holiday, I started cutting, sewing, and sticking my tongue out just right to finish on time.  It paid off because the kid loved it and it even won a costume contest prize!
During the construction of this costume, I almost scrapped it more times than I care to admit.  In the end though, I ended up loving it and am super proud of it!  If I can toot my own horn for a moment, it's really well made, easy to wear, and should last for quite some time!  All in all though, it's basically just a hoodie without the jacket.  And with a horn.  :)
She wanted to be a pink unicorn so I pulled out some light green poly fabric with a sweet pink design and built it off of that.  I based the hood shape off of a jacket pattern I made for Rio when she was 6 months old.  I cut some gauze-y fabric strips for the hair which have already started to fray wonderfully - it's unicorn hair, ya know!  The only thing I bought for this costume was the felt for the horn.  Rio picked out that color and while I was skeptical at the time, I think it looks perfect with it!  I hand sewed that on and made it super duper secure.  The ears are probably a bit large but really, who knows what unicorn ears really look like anyway?  I positioned some pipe cleaners inside of them to give them a little structure and hand sewed them on.  
It is double interfaced - on the exterior fabric and the lining - to give it good shape and to keep her little head warm!  I finished it up by making a casing for a drawstring and quickly making a little tail to pin to her jacket!
I made it just a smidge too large but that means she'll be able to play with it for quite some time or someone else can use it to transform into a unicorn!  We partnered it with a pair of some pink striped pjs and a cute little jacket she loves to wear that just happened to match everything!  Score!

A few days prior to Halloween, we visited a nearby Community Center for a carnival they host.  We knew nothing about a costume contest but arrived right before it kicked off.  We happened to be right by the stage when they called the kids up so Rio joined them.  Even with her hood halfway off at that point, she won the 'Funnest Costume' award!  Whatever 'funnest' means.  ;)  She won a gigantic cookie which made her night.  
On Halloween night, Rio and I strolled around the block for a short while to do a little trick or treating.  It's amazing what a difference a year makes in kid years!  She totally got Halloween this year which made it that much more spectacular for me.
I missed dressing up last year so I made a point to at least throw something on to take Rio out!  I did the classic 'look in the closet and see what I had' costume and ended up with a three minute Mrs. Roper....when I then realized that I was just myself in the future.  So that's what I went as - myself in 50 years!  Ha!  Wearing those sunglasses at night without my prescription was pretty challenging and entertaining!
Halloween is my all time favorite and once a year always seems so far away!  I'm already scheming for next year....

Thursday, October 22, 2015

All In One Picture

I've forever been a picture person.  I can't remember a time that I wasn't taking photos.  A few years ago, I even scanned every single negative and photo in my family's and my in-law's possession.  I can (and sometimes do) just stare at an image, new or old, for a ridiculous amount of time soaking it all in, letting memories flood over me, emotions take hold, and gratefulness grow.  I love photos.

I'd like to take some time here and there to focus on one photo and document what passes through my mind.  New and old.  For my first, one from last weekend of the kid and me.
The night before I'd gone out with my best friend to sing some karaoke (we're obsessed) and awoke in the most grand mood, singing, dancing, and reliving the night before.  We'd run a few errands as a family and returned home in great spirits.  Happiness filled our little house as we tidied up, made each other laugh, and enjoyed a gorgeous day with nothing planned.  Unusual for us, we decided to make our lunch the big meal of the day.  Rio wasn't down with our meal so I made her the classic PB&J, her absolute favorite at the moment.  She deconstructs her sandwiches as she eats them.  I spy that sandwich in this shot.  Brent was wiring a light out of frame and I was grilling our lunch.  I would walk back and forth making faces at the kid while our lunch cooked and during one of those trips, we aligned perfectly.  We both stood for a minute, long enough for me to fall in love with that moment.  She looked proud, grown, strong.  I felt proud, grown, and strong.  It was symbolic to me, and beautifully so.  We are one, yet our own beings.  She is such a piece of me, and I will always be a piece of her.  It's overwhelming in a peaceful, amazing way.

All in one picture.

Friday, October 16, 2015

TMQG Fall Retreat!

Last weekend I took a trip back to my childhood.  At the beginning of the year, I decided to join the Tulsa Modern Quilting Guild.  It's been a good experience and I've certainly learned a lot through my involvement.  When I heard that they would be hosting a fall retreat, I was all about it.  I've attended a few crafting retreats over the past few years and I absolutely love them.  There's always great camaraderie that occurs, I'm always able to bust out several projects, and since becoming a mother, they're always a nice break from my every day norm. 
So what does this have to do with my childhood?  The retreat was held at Camp Egan, the church camp that I spent many summers at growing up!  While I don't subscribe to organized religion as an adult, I look back on my summers spent at that camp as peaceful, trans-formative, positive experiences.  It had been 18 years since I had been there!  So much had changed and so much was the same.  Immediately after I unloaded stuff, I took off to walk around the grounds and process my return there.  It was wonderful taking it all in again. 

After I had reacquainted myself with the camp, I finally got to sewing!  I shared space with my Owl & Drum ladies and sewed all things cats.  I started a large cat pillow but lost steam on that after a while and switched over to my paper pieced cats!  One of these days they'll be in a finished quilt for Rio.  :)
Watching everyone's projects come together was a treat in itself.  I love watching creativity unfold and be executed!
Oh yes, we ate in the cafeteria! Not the cafeteria I grew up eating in but a cafeteria nonetheless!
I was super stoked about our retreat swap - a mug rug swap!  If we wanted to participate, we could make a mug rug which is more or less a tiny quilt.  We were asked to also include a covered drink holder of some sort as well.  I didn't know if I'd participate or not but I ended up finding a spare moment to whip one up!  I just grabbed some scraps and used heat-resistant batting on the inside for the first time.  I'm considering mine a double-mug-rug/trivet/pot holder.  Mini quilts are fun!  Below is mine in action, taken by its recipient.
We exchanged mug rugs through some Dirty Santa playing and I ended up with quite the work of art! 
Unfortunately, I was double booked that weekend so I was only able to stay at the retreat for one night before needing to head back into town for a wedding of one of my favorite crafty ladies!
Once I got back home, I quickly got dudded up, grabbed my hunky husband, and headed to Cains for some nuptials!  We actually ended up getting a room and had a date with our own town.  It was fantastic and much needed. 
This weekend I have absolutely nothing planned and I'm soooooo looking forward to it!  The past few weeks have been whirlwinds so I'm ready for a little break.  ¡Hasta luego!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

¡Tres AƱos!

The kid turned three.  I have no idea where all that time went but somehow, time progressed and our baby turned into a little person who articulates thoughts, has strong opinions, and makes us laugh constantly.  Her wonderful existence required that we celebrate with our family and friends!
Just like with her second birthday, we kept things mega simple.  No theme, no fancy anythings, just quality time with good folks.  It was perfect.

I updated her birthday banner with a huge 3, we made some burgers and sausages for our guests, and we set up the backyard to host a gaggle of kiddos.  Neighbors stopped in, the sun shone bright, and gleeful screams filled the air.  The huge bruise Rio acquired the night before from couch hopping slowed her down not a bit, thankfully.  Her dollhouse was well received which thrilled me, of course.  This was the first year that she understood that a birthday was a special day; her special day.
Three.  Just doesn't seem possible.  Can't imagine life without my little sidekick. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

A Day Trip Dream Trip

While it feels like my birthday was forever ago, it was just three weeks ago!  To celebrate, I really wanted to hit the road and go somewhere.  We only had a big enough window for a day trip so we chose to visit the uh-mazing Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, Arkansas.  I had been once before but only had literally 45 minutes to see as much as I could.  If you've been to CB before, you know that that short amount of time is not nearly long enough to take in all the museum has to offer. 

We loaded up my new car for its first big-ish road trip and off we went!  I drove there and back and serenaded my lucky passengers the entire way.  During our drive, I realized that this was Rio's first time out of the state!  Unreal!  I also had a moment where I realized how cool it will be to have many birthday adventures with her in the future since our birthdays are exactly one week apart. :)

We had a wonderful time and it was great to slip away from the norm, even if it was for just a day.  The weather was ideal, the installations were amazing (hello, Warhol!), and the company was superb.  I was a little saddened that the Frank Lloyd Wright house wasn't yet open to the public but that gives me one more reason to return in the near future.

Upon our return home, we were invited to a friend's house for dinner which we happily accepted.  It was the icing on the cake. 

And now, some photographic evidence.
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