Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Dissertation Vacation

[Blueberries from Appleberry Farm]

I am at the last stage of working on my dissertation.

I have my data, I have my analysis strategy and I have set up a couple uninterrupted blocks of time to write.

Postings will likely cease for awhile - I'm trying to quiet any and all distractions over the next six weeks - but I'm sure that I will still find time here and there to craft, knit and sew.

And I will let you know all about it when I'm ready to return to this space. Until then...cheers.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Baby Shower

I come from a big, BIG family. So when I say that I am going to a shower for "my cousin" it could mean one of 19 first cousins (11 boys and 8 girls), many of whom are starting to get married and have kids of their own. That makes for lots of showers, both for weddings and babies. And lots of shower gifts to give. Tonight is a baby shower for one of my younger girl cousins. Well...I'm the oldest girl in the group so they are all younger.

For the past few baby showers I decided to make gifts - something little, special, and practical for the new parents. Last week, with my own not-so-little-baby underfoot, I made this taggie blanket.

Each of my girls loved tags. Of all sorts, mostly the ones on stuffed animals, but the twins were also strangely drawn to drooling over shoe laces. I'm not kidding - laces were hypnotic. Place a shoe in front of them and they were entranced for at least 30 minutes. Give them a shoe lace and they were happy for 45.

[I've always felt a little strange about the fact that my kids played with shoe laces for so many months during their early development. So aside from the obvious safety (choking!) issue, I couldn't ever bring myself to create a 'shoelacie' plaything.]

But, it wasn't until my youngest arrived that I realized the utility of a plaything made entirely of tags. And now I will pass along that seasoned-parent wisdom to my younger cousin. It's a bit wonky - as sewing with a toddler ensures - but it's fun and funky. And most of all its covered in tags.

I started with one 14"x14" square of flannel, and one of polar fleece. I basted the ribbons (raw edges facing out) on two sides of the flannel and then sewed the right sides of the fabric squares together, leaving a gap for turning. Once it was turned, I topstitched all around: to close the gap, for added tag security, and to keep the fabric from shifting around too much.

I'm pretty happy with the result. The plaything is small enough to tuck into a car seat or stroller without being cumbersome, but just big enough to cuddle with and provide entertainment/comfort.

I'm also going to gift one or two of the fabulous bibs from Melissa, but I can't decide which one(s) just yet. They are all so cool it's impossible to choose!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

4th of July

[4th of July no sew tutu]

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Not sure I like it, but I made it.

It was a small experiment - well, that's a generous word for it I suppose. I had pent up energy, and the kids were running wild, and instead of taking them to the park (like I should have) I told them to play downstairs while I hid in my space upstairs cutting, threading and sewing.

The result is probably an accurate reflection of my excited and rushed process. No measuring, no sketching beforehand. And the fact that I wasn't settled or quiet or peaceful when making this shines through to me. I don't know if I like it. But I made it. And it will hang around somewhere. If only as a reminder that I can still be myself, even in the middle of the sometimes-tornado that raising kids creates.

I like the graduation in color from ground, to grass, to horizon to sky. I like the silver thread I used to quilt the design. The background fabric is soft and has a beautiful weight to it and the backing is a light grey - I even added a hanging pocket. But when I put it all together and hang it on the wall it just doesn't quite work. Can't put my finger on why. I'm not sure I like it. But I made it.