Wednesday, May 25, 2011

[My House is a] Wildlife Preserve

Things can get a little insane when you're a parent - especially when you're a parent to five year old boy. Like most little boys, mine has a boundless curiosity. Which is why, when we went to the local Bug Fair, we came home with a box of silkworm larvae. Oh, how Bean loves his silkworms. He spends hours letting them crawl all over him and his toys (they 'drive' his toy trucks, crawl along his railroad set, and get put into LEGO boxes). And though we have a few of them left, most have already spun cocoons.

I've explained the life cycle of these little critters to my son and he's none too pleased by it all. Once the silk moths emerge in a week or two, they will mate and die a few days later. The whole "exist to mate" thing is a hard sell for my boy who loves these critters so much that he just wants to name them George and hug them and pet them and squeeze them.

In related wildlife news, I noticed a bird nest in my eaves this past week. I checked to see that there weren't any eggs in it and planned to take it down in another day or so. Today, just before I aimed the hose at it, I decided to check one more time for eggs. And as is my luck, there were eggs there. Poor little eggs. I'm sorry you're not ever going to hatch. I'm sorry I had to pull you and your nest off of my portico. But your mama chose a lousy place to nest. Plus, you make for a lovely day of discovery for my boy.

(eager little fingers can't wait to touch these gems)

If it's possible, Bean might love these eggs more than he loves his silkworm larvae. All he wanted to do was hold them. He kissed one. He asked to hold them in the warm sunlight to hatch them.

When I told him that he couldn't hatch them (in his hand or otherwise), he asked if we could eat the eggs. After considering it, I told him that we couldn't do that, either. He was bummed, but settled on giving the eggs additional kisses.

While my husband might not be totally on board with our transition from suburban home to wildlife preserve, Bean (and even Sprout) is totally digging it. And in all honesty, so am I.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Swaps Recieved

I must have been a saint or a magical unicorn or something else divine and lovely in a former life, because Karma is really shining on me this week.

Earlier this week, I received my ALFALC (A Little Fabric, A Little Chocolate) package from Lesley. She is such a thoughtful swapper - lots of amazing goodies that were inspired by or lifted from my wish list.

Look at these amazing goodies - a stack of fabric that includes the Sweetwater that I've had my eyes on. A whole lotta OOP Heather Ross. Her handmade enclosure cards. A sweet little pouch edged with selvage (swoon - she really knows how to make my crafting heart sing). All of that PLUS a cute mushroom clippie, a little notebook, and the requisite chocolates. A huge thanks for such a thoughtful and generous package.

Meanwhile, my pouch for the Pretty {Little} Pouch swap arrived today from Amber. Oh, I am simply speechless. Let me preface the photo of the pouch by saying the rules of this swap indicate that you need to send a pouch. One pouch. That is all.

I got three pouches. Three amazing, perfect pouches. And two FQs. And buttons. And Post-Its and vintage postcards from Hawaii. All wrapped up in a Chocolate Lollipop selvage. Fantastical.

Each pouch features a lovely wonky star with a Japanese print for the [teeny tiny] center. The two larger blocks feature square-in-square frames and straight line quilting. The little little pouch has a variety of quilting - straight lines, concentric squares, and random graphic quilting. Oh, these are fun little gems.

Another thanks to Lesley and Amber and also to the universe for pairing me up with such great women.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Bloggers’ Quilt Festival :: Spring 2011

Happy nearly-Friday. I'm squeaking in under the wire to submit my Selvage Quilt to Amy's Spring Quilt Festival.

I can barely even remember how I got the idea in my head to do a selvage quilt. I must have stumbled onto one of the selvage groups on Flickr and the next thing I knew, I was up to my eyeballs in selvage.

They say that it takes a village, and in this case, it truly did. One of my favorite things about this quilt is that the majority of the more than 1,100 selvages came from other people. I accumulated lots of selvage by trading my yardage for them, but there were many other bits that were just donated to me. People who were following my progress or hearing my pleas on Flickr for selvages would tuck some into a parcel they were already sending me. Occasionally, I'd receive an envelope with a few selvages from a quilty friend - no note, no request for reciprocation. Accumulating selvages for this quilt really showed me what a wonderful community Flickr is.

When I started this quilt, I had planned to make a lap-sized quilt, but I was urged to consider making it bed-sized. I was told that a project like this is a once-in-a-lifetime piece and to go big or go home. The finished quilt is 68"x85" and looks lovely on a twin bed, even though I use in on the couch as an extra large throw.

As much as I love looking at the quilt as a whole, I can get lost in it looking at each individual strip of selvage. While I don't know where or from whom each strip came from, I know which are from my stash - each piece has a memory associated with it. As I glance at the quilt now as I type, I see the print I used to make Sprout a dress. And there's the skeleton print I used to make Bean some Halloween pajama bottoms.

A huge thank you to Amy for hosting such a wonderful quilt festival. I'm honored to have my quilt among so many other gorgeous works of art. Do spend some time going through them all here - there is some amazing eye candy that will certainly get your creative juices flowing.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Blogging Haitus - Over

I was on such a roll - rolling out lots of new quilts and posting about them all. Then I realized that the post on my Flying Geese Quilt happened to be my 100th post and I realized how much sewing I'd done this month and I dunno. I got tired.

It seemed silly to call attention to my 101st blog post. I was too burnt out to start any of the new quilts that I've been prepping. So I've kind of been hiding under a rock and posting the odd photo on my Flickr stream.

Meanwhile, I have gotten some crafting done in the past few weeks. I finished my Pretty {Little} Pouch Swap pouch for Meg. She loves patchwork, linen, and Zakka and had indicated that a cosmetic bag lined with some laminated cotton might be nice. I didn't think to take a photo of the inside (a laminated Modern Workshop print), but here's the exterior.

I like this one a lot and found that today's laminated cotton is much thinner and easier to work with than the stuff I bought 3 years ago. I see a lot more of these little bags in my future. It was especially rewarding sewing for Meg - we had been partnered last summer for round one of the Scrappy Mug Rug Swap and she made me this lovely rug. It was fun to return the crafting favor.

I also made a set of place mats for Melissa for the LAMQG Home Goods Swap. She has been loving Orla Kiley prints and while this Max and Whiskers for Moda isn't exactly Orla, it does kinda have the same vibe.

Photo courtesy of Melissa
Her photo of them was much better than mine - she even got Explored with this shot!

And now, with these little projects completed, I'm feeling rejuvenated. I just ordered the sashing for this quilt (oh, I love you so) and I expect to start piecing it soon. Keep your eyes peeled!


The lovely ladies at Quilt Story have featured my Selvage Quilt today! Thanks so much to Heather and Megan for the recognition. They have a great blog full of lovely tutorials, inspiring creations, and yummy tidbits - you should totally have a lookie-see.