Monday, January 12, 2009

Holiday Wrap Up Day 5

This weekend was another nice and relaxing time. Dan left his work at the office, and we spent the time trying to get over this cold that we both seem to not be able to kick. We played games of scrabble and tried to get our DVR below 50% full. It never seems to break that point since we got it. We also forayed into the realm of canoli making. They tasted good, but I needed to roll the dough out more so they would be less doughy and more crunchy out of the oil. We also made the filling out of mascarpone instead of ricotta, and it turned out just fine. The weather this weekend was gorgeous, but it is never fun to go out into the nice sunny weather when you feel miserable, so we just hid inside.

The parts for the serger came in on Friday, so I was able to get that all put back together. I am going to string it back up and test it out on fabric today. I am pretty excited about that and can't wait to have it back on the team. I promised myself that I will work on some sewing machine covers as soon as the new tutorial is finished. I want to protect them from dust now that I have just cleaned them out again and want to keep as much dust and lint out of them as possible. Well at least the lint and dust that I don't create when using them at least will not get into the machines.

For the review of the holidays today, I am going to show you what I made for Jozef. He is the newest member of the extended family. Jozef is the first child for my brother Kurt and his lovely and talented wife Kathy. I made a playtime quilt for him to use while he is still a stomach baby that is a non-rolley polley. I made one of these last Christmas for Craig when he was almost too old for it, but Beth said at the time that he seemed to really enjoy it. The quilt consists of nine squares, each having a new activity to explore on it. The outside is lines with black and white visually stimulating fabric. Here are all the pieces as I am getting ready to sew:

I assembled all the squares first, doing whatever appliqué or sewing was needed on that particular square. The directions for the quilt originally called for using fusible web for holding all the applique designs on when you sew. I found this to be not only unnecessary last time, but it also made me go through needles quickly. They would get dulled very quickly sewing through the web. Another change I made with this quilt was one of the heart blocks. It originally was supposed to have a musical button in it, but I decided to use bells instead. Not only are they less annoying in the long term, but they also do not run out of batteries. Another significant challenge to this project is always finding squeakers for the car block. I cannot seem to ever find them in craft or fabric stores. I have even struck out at hobby supply stores. I have resorted to trying to find them in other items in dollar stores and scrapping the item for the parts. Last time, I found a children's toy that squeaked in the head, but was a blanket at the bottom. I used the blanket's material for the duckies on both quilts and even have some left over for another quilt or two. There was only one squeaker in this one, so I had to find a new one for this year. I found it in a pair of dollar store mittens for a baby. This time I had two squeakers; one for this quilt and one for the next I have to make. I worked on this project from the Friday morning before Christmas through the night. I finally went to bed at 5 am and slept for a few hours before heading out to lunch with some friends from college. On the way to the lunch, I hand sewed the quilt binding to the backing fabric. Here is the fabric I chose this time:

In the original design, you used plain white fabric as a backing and appliqué the designs down so their colored outlines show on the backside. My machine is not the best at doing this technique to begin with let alone through all the layers of a quilt. I did not like the plain back so much last time, so I chose this colorful one this time. Here is the front of the final product:

I really enjoyed making this even though it was a late night doing it. Kathy has told me that Jozef is enjoying exploring it and finding new things each time he is on it.

On the plate for today is more knitting on Da's gift as a break when I am not working on the tutorial that will be coming up on the blog soon. I really wished I had the muscles in my arms and hands built up for knitting. I just am not there yet for long sustained knitting with out breaks, so I just knit during my breaks. ;)

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