Easing back into the Business

Hello All!27200594310_5a0974d315

I guess it’s been a while, and I thank you all for your patience as I’ve been easing back into the business.

First, a couple of business notes: if you’ve contacted me about finishing or repair work in the last while, you were put on a waiting list.  I’ll be contacting people in the order they were put on the list starting next week.  If you haven’t heard from me by the end of the month, please reach out, as something may have happened.

I’m trying to get back to all the emails by the end of next week, too.  If you haven’t heard from me by then, reach out again, please!

And now onto what everyone really wants to know about: Little Turtle.

Rebecca Belle Raymond was born in our home on June 1st.  We had a smooth, if long labor.  In the following weeks we had family descend upon the household, acting as pinch-hitters so Mr. Turtle and I could catch up on sleep.  God bless 27821484376_3bab44c23dgrandparents!

Now, five weeks later Little Turtle is two pounds heavier.  She’s gone from swimming in our newborn outfits and diapers to busting at the seams.  On a good night we’ll get a four hour stretch of sleep – pure bliss.

When home more often than not she hangs out in one of the many cloth diapers my mother has made for her. I’m so fortunate that I have a seamstress that wants to sew for my child!  I’m beginning to have fun playing with her outfits as she grows out of the few newborn pieces we have and into the plethora of 3-month clothes we have.

As Mr. Turtle will note, right now she’s just beginning to ease out of the boring-potato stage.  Now she’s beginning to smile in response to things around her, and beginning to stay awake for longer periods of time during the day.  She pees like a racehorse, though!

As for the projects I’m working on… I’ve been taking a step to the side to make progress on a number of sewing things.  I have a surprise quilt for someone I can’t talk about yet, and a number of scrappy quilts that I’m hoping to make for beds in the house.  I haven’t touched my yarn in just over a month, and it seems like it was a much-needed break.  Part of it was because Rebecca seemed to suck up all the energy I had for really thinking.  Sewing, especially sewing straight seems like I was doing, was so much more straightforward!

Still, I’ve got a few projects coming up in the next few months, so stay tuned!

Quilting Update

It’s been a while since I last talked about Michael’s Train Quilt, aside from an odd mention here or there.  I’ve been in the process of machine quilting it, which turned out to be more of a project than I anticipated.  I thought I was going to freeform quilt it, but it became very clear very early on that it wasn’t going to work well.  So then, after much deliberation, I ended up basting it with spray-on basting, pinning it in places, and just running random lines across the quilt.  It looked really bad when I first started.  The more lines I get going across it, the better it is starting to look.  I’m hoping I might get the quilting done this weekend.

By Lucy Knisley

Then I can think about doing the binding, god help me.

The point is, I’m close.  Very close.

And it got me thinking.  While I don’t think I really like sewing or quilting as a hobby, and while there is a lot to learn from sewing a garment that can apply to knitting – I’m thinking about doing another quilt.

Bear with me.  I’ve always really liked apple posters that show all the different varieties of apples.  Like this, this or this.  Then, earlier this week I saw a picture by Lucy Knisley, pictured at right.

Now let me say – I think the best art inspires you yourself.  It might mean it creates some strong emotion in you, but it also might just mean that it speaks to you and inspires you yourself.  This is what happened to me.

And I thought to myself, “That’s nice.”  Then, “She got the Red Delicious wrong.  And I prefer calling a Crispin and Mutzu.  I can’t believe she didn’t include Pink Lady or Winesap or Johnathan.”

Which just shows you how much of an apple snob I am.  But then I thought – I wish I could paint like that.  I’d make a better poster.  And then I realized that it’d make the perfect little/not so little quilt.  I could take white or cream squares, draw out the apples.  Color them with crayon, iron them, and then embroider on them.  It’d be so cool.  And then I could make it into a quilt.

So I’m thinking I gotta get my apple mojo going.

What apples would you have to include on an apple quilt?

Adventures in Quilting (because all my hobbies eventually turn into careers)

Most of you who have been reading for a while know about my fiancé,
Michael, who loves trains. 
Seriously.  When we first started
talking about the wedding, we entertained (for about oh, ten minutes) the idea
of getting married on a train.
Whenever we get the opportunity, we take the train instead
of flying.  We have two different train
board games (TWO!) that Michael loves playing. 
When we went to his parents house for Christmas, he spent a lot of time
in the garage with his father playing with their train layout.
Now, I might not be as excited about trains as Michael, but
I appreciate them for other reasons.  You
can access the internet when on the train instead of on a plane or a car.  If you are on a train, you don’t have to
drive.  Trains are far more comfortable
than cars anyway.  Plus, it appeals to
the part of me that loves old-timey things, that likes the steampunk stuff
(before it was popular) and that loves how people used to get dressed up for
train rides.  We have even been known to
get dressed up for train rides (summer 381).
So a while back I decided to make Michael a train quilt, but
I wanted to make something that was… well, not childish.  That might be able to carry into
adulthood.  I had come across some
vintage train fabric, and it gave me the idea. 
Just to note:  There are
remarkably FEW train fabrics that are not Tomas the Tank Engine/Dinosaur Train themed.  This makes me sad.  But after much perseverance, I made a train
Like the story of my very first quilt (which I’ll share with
you sometime), this one had a lot of help. 
I also learned a rotary cutter is my friend.  Really good friend.

This last weekend, I mitered the edges of my quilt.  I had this really great train track fabric,
and I wanted it to run around the edge of my quilt like a border.  But I couldn’t just have the train tracks
running into the distance, I NEEDED to have them line up.
So I did the edge, and was VERY proud of myself.  I showed Michael.  Michael looks at it, and says, I kid you not,
“That’s really cool, but I wish they also made a switches fabric, so I could
run my train around the edges and have it switch tracks.”
So, anyone want to take on not only designing a train track
fabric, but also one that has switches that go between the two?