Thursday, March 04, 2010

Midnight musings

OK, it's not midnight yet, but I'm sure it will be once I finish. My days have taken on the strangest patterns. Now that the kids are getting older they are much better able to fend for themselves in the morning (get up, get a fruit & cereal bar, get a glass of juice, turn on tv, veg), I'm able to sleep in a bit. This means that I'm able to stay up a bit. Sometimes a big bit. It's not uncommon for me to stay up until 1:00 am lately which I haven't done on a regular basis since college. Mid-life crisis? Perhaps, but I'm guessing I still have a few more years before that one hits. One thing that it does stem from though is that I quit "having" to watch certain shows on tv. I still like tv - I'm not like many of my insane friends who only get cable tv when the Olympics is on and then cancel it right after (swear to god, I know at least three people who did that) but I've become less chained to it. I've found that I can let DH watch a show and go do something else. I can even enjoy a show just about as much by only hearing it from the next room. It's liberating. It really is.

So what am I doing? Sewing! Or at least trying to. Here is a tooth pillow that I made for Cameron:

Cassia has a matching pink one.

And here are some quilted potholders that I made:

It's been a really rewarding pastime for me. I've always pegged myself as a "can't sew" person, but the truth was I never really tried. Well, I tried to make a dress once in junior high Home Ec but the pattern I picked out was much too hard and I got quickly frustrated and quit. Ended up failing that portion of the class, actually. That pretty much set the tone. I made a pillow in 1999 and turned some old flannels into napkins in 2004. I tried to make an outfit for Cassia around that same time, but again, it was hard and I got frustrated. I didn't entirely quit that time though. I finished the capris but never got around to the shirt. I don't think she ever wore them. There was just something wonky about them... not sure what.

But for the last two years, Cassia has been involved in a beginning machine sewing project at 4-H.
Last year she made an apron and this year she's make doll bedding - pillow & blanket for the doll and a coordinating pillow for herself. Well I figured, if a six-year-old can do it, so can I. So for Christmas I recycled some of her old clothes into little drawstring bags to hold handmade Easy Bake Oven mixes. (Which are really good! SOOOO much better than the icky chemically ones you buy.) It was such a fun and EASY project that it inspired me to do more.

DH's aunt makes these gorgeous quilts and she makes that look so fun and easy that I thought I might give that a try too. So far, I've made 5 quilt squares. Three with a Roman Tile pattern (pictured above) and two with a tulip pattern.

The first squares were super easy and fun. The actual quilting and binding of them was a bit more difficult, but overall I'm happy with the effect and I learned a ton. The tulip pattern was a lot more complicated. I learned, as I progressed, that a little measuring and marking goes a long way and the extra time spent there saves a lot of time ripping out bad seams. They eventually came out looking quite nice. The quilting of them has been more challenging. First I was going to attempt to hand quilt them but soon realized that the batting I'm using in these potholders is much too thick for me to learn such a fussy new skill. So then I tried machine quilting them, like I did the first set, but the tension is all off and it's been a nightmare of knotted thread and skipped stitches. I think I've finally got that down but the pretty little pattern that I had planned on is not looking very pretty with my less than perfect sewing. I think that I may rip it all out again and go back to trying to hand quilt it anyway.

As you can imagine, this isn't really stuff that I can work on with little ones around so I can't get too crafty until after they go to bed. Which means I've been up until at least midnight every night for the last couple weeks. *Yawn* But, I'm feeling pretty self-satisfied. I'm not giving up. I know I can do this if I just keep practicing and that's actually a great feeling. I'm really enjoying that this IS hard. And somehow potholders and tooth pillows don't seem as intimidating as clothing and such. If I screw up a potholder, who cares? It's probably going to get stained and burned anyway, right? If I screw up clothing it's wasted time and money because no one is going to wear it. At least that's what I'm thinking. The bottom line is just that making clothing wasn't satisfying to me but this is.

Oh, and I just realized that we have a play to go to in the morning so I'm going to have to get up early. Blah. OK, enough about me. ;) Maybe tomorrow I'll actually blog about the kids and this school thing.


Vanessa said...

I think your sewing looks great!

And I'm even more insane than your friends - I don't watch TV at all. :) I read about the Olympics on Yahoo News, but never saw a single event. We do have cable for the rare occasions when G (who doesn't watch much TV either) feels like watching something on Nick, but we could probably go without and never miss it.

jmommymom said...

Your blog was featured today on the yahoo homeschooler blogger's group. I noticed that your blog hasn't been updated for a while, but thought I'd leave a comment. I love your quilting squares. My daughter is really into quilting. Are you still homeschooling? Here's a link to my blog - It contains lots of activities to do with kids, so I hope you take a look. - Julie