Category Archives: Kids

Tardis Top Time

This weekend I tackled the 3 spots on the Tardis quilt that were NOT 2.5″ squares. Math, ugh. I much prefer the liberal arts to the sciences…

The windows on the left, the roof-top light on the right. Annie was adamant that we use a very dark fabric for the window panes rather than a lighter one. She wanted it to look like space. So I dug out this lovely Lizzy House Natural History constellation fabric that I bought specifically with my girl in mind, and I made window panes.

IMG_3215TERRIBLE photo. Fun fabric. I personally prefer the look of the Tardis with lighter window panes, but this is Annie’s quilt, and her fabric choices. I did realize later that I had some much older, awesome Lizzy House Constellation fabric left that I might have been able to convince her to use…

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But, I didn’t think of it until AFTER the entire top was pieced. Oh, did I mention? That the ENTIRE top is pieced?

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I just did the math. 34×22. 748 squares. Of course, there are those very few spots that aren’t simply one square. But still, 748 is close enough. Oi vey. I am NOT doing the math on the number of seams I sewed. All of them. All the seams in the world.

And I LOVE it! I can’t wait to get started on the back. We have a giant pile of licensed Doctor Who fabrics that we have been slowly buying up from JoAnns…

SO much fun. There are actually 2 more, but Annie rejected the Weeping Angels as too scary for a bed quilt. (Seems fair- if you’re not familiar- they look like statues of angels BUT when you take your eyes off of them- they attack. Not so great for sleepy time,) And there was another Dalek fabric that was deemed “too red”. I have multiple different ideas about how I’m going to piece the back- but I know for certain that I want to feature that very large scale comic panel print.  And that Tardis print with words up near the top? That’s for pillowcases. The colors are just right…

Linking up with Sew Cute Tuesday, Fabric Tuesday, and Let’s Be Social.

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Filed under Annie, General Geekery, Quilts, WIP Wednesday

Darn near bigger on the inside…

I tried to spend all day Sunday sewing, but somehow my charming kiddos managed to flood the bathroom and my afternoon was spent on damage control. Sigh. That’s right- while everyone else was partying at Quilt Con, I was home mopping up toilet water. But before the water started dripping through the ceiling, for real, Annie and I got this far.

We have continued with our system: she does the layout and I do the piecing*. I am so proud of myself- I have barely rearranged any of her squares. It’s kind of liberating to just not worry about what print is next to what, and are there too many polka dots here or too many dark purples there. The blank spots are where the few non 2.5″ squares go. I have to do some- gasp- math to get those bits right, so they’re waiting till I piece the rest.

*so much piecing. I have refrained from actually doing the math the would tell me exactly how many 2.5″ squares are in this thing- but- it’s a LOT.

This is what my sewing life has looked like for the last few weeks. 9 patch after 9 patch after 9 patch. But truly, I find them SO satisfying to work on. I have a system, and it’s been working.

I stole a little extra time tonight and got some more done- SO close now!

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I’m having the worst time getting decent photos at night in my sewing room. The purple squares are really NOT this pink.I can’t wait to get this sucker together and get it into daylight for some decent photos…

Meanwhile, I thought you’d like to see my other helper. I was going through my stash of licensed Doctor Who fabrics (from the oh-so-glamorous JoAnns) to see what we might use for the back… And George wanted to offer his opinion. This was AFTER we busted him on the dining room table- he waited until we finished eating and were clearing the table, and climbed up to devour the ranch dressing. I’ve never had a cat as obsessed with people food as this guy…

But, but, look at that face. He’s innocent, he swears.

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I’m linking up at Sew Cute Tuesday, Fabric Story Tuesday, and Let’s Bee Social. Here’s hoping YOUR helpers were more useful to you than mine were to me this week!

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Filed under Annie, General Geekery, Gratuitous Cat Photos, Quilts, WIP Wednesday

Still not quite bigger on the inside…but closer!

The Tardis is growing! Perhaps not as quickly as I would like, but still… My assistants (pictured below) and I took advantage of the day off from work/school (Presidents Day) and got some more done.

The very helpful assistant at work doing the layout:

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The not-quite-as-helpful assistant picking out squares:

Speaking of  the squares- look at how pretty my kid makes them look while she’s working!

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Of course, we can’t leave them there because of that other assistant, the one who thinks I spent hours cutting them out just so he can nap on them… They get picked up and put away between layout sessions.

So Annie worked on adding more rows to her layout, and I sewed. And sewed. And sewed.

Look how far we got! It’s really starting to look like a Tardis…

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And here’s a closeup so you can see just how much fun we’re having with out fabric choices. Look for tentacles, unicorns, skulls, bunnies, butterflies, dolphins, and more. (Possibly not all in the shot below…) Because, truly, it wouldn’t be a quilt of mine without some silliness!

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Whee! Linking up with Sew Cute Tuesday, Fabric Story TuesdayLet’s Bee Social, and Needle and Thread Thursday.

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Filed under Annie, Gratuitous Cat Photos, Quilts, WIP Wednesday

Not bigger on the inside…yet

For what seems like FOREVER, I’ve been saying I’m going to make a Tardis quilt for my daughter Annie, inspired by this original design by piecedgoods. I love the simple elegance of the design, and the possibilities of so many different tiny pieces of fabric…

I put out a call for some blue scraps, and several of you were so generous!  Annie and I also had an awesome girls’ day out, where we hit several LQSs in our quest for the perfect blues. And our background is going to be purple, not yellow/orange- to look more like a space nebula. In fact, the color palette of the quilt coordinates very well with Annie’s new hair color…IMG_2388

Her hair is ALSO inspired by nebulae- sense a theme?

This quilt is a team project. So I started cutting the approximately 10 billion 2.5″ squares, and when I had enough ready to go, Annie started playing with layouts. (Pardon the lousy cell phone photos to come…)

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I think she’s got a pretty decent eye!

We’ve got a very sophisticated system going, with piles of tiny squares on the ottoman.

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It was working well enough- until we started finding squares scattered throughout the house. Seems George the cat has been dragging them around- oops! Now they’re in a safer place…

I was overwhelmed by the sheer number of seams in my future, so I decided to approach it as a series of 6 patch blocks. And when I had three rows of 6 patch blocks, I sewed 6 patch blocks made from 6 patch blocks. Except the numbers don’t quite work, so the final section is 4×3 patch blocks…

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Once I got a full section sewed together, I started really being able to see where we’re going!

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It’s working! I can see the Tardis starting to emerge from all those squares. Soon, Annie will have to finish the layout… but meanwhile, the 132 squares that are ready to go should keep me busy, right?

Linking up with Sew Cute Tuesday and Let’s Bee Social.

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Filed under Annie, Quilts, WIP Wednesday

I’m dog-tired!

I’m ba-ack!

Since last I posted, I’ve watched my daughter kill it as Lancelot in Monty Python’s Spamalot,

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watched my son play innumerable little league games,

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gotten promoted at work, and also been to California and back…

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Zoinks. What I have not done is had time to sew, or to post on the blog.

Last week I tried to finish the rainbow baby quilt for my new little cousin (due today, but SHE arrived early, while we were still in CA…) And the screw for my walking foot had somehow vanished (never fear, I got a new screw earlier this week.) But because I actually had some time to sew, I decided to start on the next 2 baby quilts on my list.

I have two friends, work friends (but not at my actual place of work) who are due 2 weeks apart. Both are having boys. Both are in a professional development group with me. So, they know one another. I decided that I would make semi-matching quilts for them, from the same batik roll that inspired my rainbow star quilt.

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When I cleaned up scraps and stash earlier this year, I found an old piece of batik that I’ve always loved. And it’s PERFECT for these 2 moms-to-be: both of them are serious dog lovers. In fact, I just found out today that one of them actually had a dog-themed shower.

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I went through my pinterest boards and found some inspiration, and settled on a great tutorial by Amy at Stitchery Dickery Dock. I love projects that can be completed from stash! So I cut strips from my batik roll, and matched them up, and then sewed them into HSTs. Now comes the fun part- so many layout possibilities!

Here’s what I’m playing with for the first one:

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It’s just an idea at the moment. I should have enough squares to actually set them each 6×7, but this one is currently 6×6. The blocks finish at 6″ square, so it will be 36×42.  A decent size for a baby quilt… But should I use the dogs on the front as a border for a little more size, or just as the backing? I do love border-free quilts, but sometimes they are fab for adding size.

I ran out of time to try more ideas, but rest assured I’ll be playing more, hopefully this weekend. After the end-of-season little league tournament and party, that is!

Linking up with WIP Wednesday and Let’s Bee Social.

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Filed under Baby quilts, Gift, Kids, Quilts, Travel, WIP Wednesday

Not Really Wordless Wednesday

(I’m not dead- yet- and I haven’t abandoned blogging- yet- but with the advent of nicer weather it seems I haven’t sat down for more than a few minutes at a time. I have a nearly-done shawl that I will hopefully be binding off tonight, and I DID finish sewing all 100 buttons onto my modern cross quilt, but we’ve have over 3 weeks straight of rainy days, and I have no idea how to photograph the king sized monstrosity to show it to you… That said, I thought I’d give you a peek at what kept me away from my sewing machine this past weekend.)

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Denver is home to the 3rd biggest Comic Con in the nation, and the only one that focuses on kids and families. For xmas, we gave our nerdy little people 3-day passes. Below is just a sampling of our Memorial Day weekend…

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I won the Iron Throne– but how long will I keep it?

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The entire family took a trip to Tatooine.

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We listened to Alan Tudyk interact with the audience in amazing ways, and splurged on a photo op with him. Browncoats unite!

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Captain Annie-merica met her nemesis…

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We attended a panel with nearly all of season 3 of the King of the Nerds cast- including host Curtis Armstrong, who just happened to star in a show written by some of my high school friends!!

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And we ended the night with another photo op, with Sean Astin of Goonies and LoTR fame. “It’s our time down here!” “Goonies never say die!” Note our specially selected Ts (2 LoTR, 1 goonie…)

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3 of us came back for another day, all done up as Daleks and Doctors.

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We even went to space…

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We saw amazing cosplay- this is only the tip of the iceberg.

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We went to a panel with Sean Astin, where at the end, he swore us all in as official Goonies!

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And then it was time for Day 3.

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Annie had a quick check up/

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Henry checked out some career options.

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And we all got our silly on.

And then we slept.

Then end.

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Filed under General Geekery, Kids

All of Time and Space

You ever have one of those super quick knits that is oh-so-satisfying, and also makes the recipient very very happy? Today I’m going to show you one of those… because even though I knit as much as I quilt- and sometimes even more- you’d never know it by looking at this blog! So let’s look at yarn. And then stay tuned, because boy do I have a proud mom moment to share.

You may know that I am part of a family of geeky nerds. In fact, hard as it may be to believe, I may be the most mainstream of us all.

Chew on that for a few.

You still there?

This is Annie. My sometimes enchanting, other times maddening 13 year old daughter (is there any other kind?)

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Astute readers might notice the Tardis hat on her head. No, that’s not my handiwork- but it is a good example of her daily wardrobe. If it relates to a time lord or a Marvel character (especially Captain America), she’s probably wearing it.

In late 2014, I learned that KnitPicks had temporarily re-released some of their Felici self striping yarns in some very particular and sought after color ways, including this one.

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It’s called “Time Traveler”, and it references the 4th Doctor‘s trademark scarf. I immediately ordered 8 skeins- enough to make a pair of socks for each member of the family. So glad I did; it sold out very quickly! When it arrived, I remembered that my kids don’t like socks.

D’oh. But Annie DOES like arm warmers. So, with this easy and free pattern by Susan B. Anderson, I whipped her up a pair, in just about a week. They were done and being worn everywhere even before xmas. And they actually only took one skein plus a few yards, so I think I have enough left to make her a matching hat!

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Super cool, eh? She loves em. I love that I made her so happy. And that they are machine washable.

And she was even happier this week- last Friday, we went to see Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson. Don’t know who he is? Even if you don’t, you probably know one of his most famous moments- he was instrumental in the demotion of Pluto from full planet status.

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The next slide said, “GET OVER IT.” Maybe you had to be there, but it brought the house down.

Last week, he gave 2 sold out lectures here in Denver (2,900 seats in the venue!). My mom bought us the tickets last August- the kids didn’t know until xmas- this was their big gift. (As an aside, can I tell you how happy it makes me that my kids were thrilled to receive tickets to a lecture on astrophysics for xmas??) The man was even more awesome in person than you would think, and after talking for 3 hours with no break, he took questions from the audience.

My Annie wants to be an astronomer. And she really wanted to ask him a question- but she ended up fairly far back in the line. I was worried she’d be so let down if she didn’t get to talk to him- but I needn’t have been. When he announced he could only take a few more questions, the audience and the people ahead of my girl asked them to let the kids go! (There were 2 behind her.) And they did! So, thanks to generous and kind strangers, Annie was able to ask her mentor a question.

I totally broke all the rules, which, if you know me, is a huge deal, and used my phone to record her Q&A. But here’s the thing- how often do you get a chance to ask your living idol a question, in person? (Her dead idol is Alan Turing…) So the video quality is crap as I was dodging and weaving to avoid the very, very conscientious usher who was bent on busting every single camera wielding rule breaker in the room. Want to relive the moment? You can, if so inclined… It is pretty darn awesome if I do say so myself. (And if you saw the video on my FB, this is actually the full version with 45 extra seconds…)

PS Linking up with Sew Cute Tuesday

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Filed under Annie, Brushes with Greatness, General Geekery, Gift, Kids, Knitting

Tula Tuesday: Blocks 59 and 60

While it might feel like my entire life has been consumed by watching my kids participate in youth theater

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(Annie in a goth version of Romeo and Juliet) or play baseball

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(Henry’s team took 3rd place in their end of season division tournament), I’ve managed to get a tiny bit of sewing. Thank goodness I don’t have any major deadlines!

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Even with a vacation, 2 rounds of theater camp for Annie, and little league baseball including a major tournament for Henry, I finished blocks 59 and 60! Which means I’m still on track with my goal of 10 blocks/month for 10 months. I didn’t sew anything else this month, at all, but that’s okay.

Block 59. I used the original fabric scheme, and adapted the colors to make them my own.

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That Parisville dotty print os one of my faves, and I’ve found it hard to work into these blocks, so I was happy to find a spot for it.

Block #60- I used that same Amy Butler Love print that I, yes, love, so much… and this time I mixed it up with a very bright blue.

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My photos of both blocks are lousy, but the blocks really are straighter than they look… Part of being so busy this month was running out of time to take even crappy cell phone photos of the blocks, and also being too tired to care. Did I mention that Henry played 4 baseball games in 50 hours over the weekend- and in the middle of all that we had to drive to the mountains and back to pick Annie up from sleep away camp? And the baseball was so intense that I couldn’t even manage to knit while they played?!

I need a week off.

Meanwhile, here’s 7 months of Tula Pink City Sampler blocks for your enjoyment:

tula blocks 1 thru 25 city sampler blocks 26-50 city sampler blocks 51-60

Do you have ay Tula progress to share? Link up below.

 

I’m linking up with Sew Cute Tuesday and Let’s Bee Social.  And maybe next week, I’ll have some more sewing to show you, Maybe. (Don’t hold your breath- the Denver County Fair is this weekend, and that promises to be so much fun!)

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Filed under Annie, Henry, Kids, Quilts, Tula Pink QAL

Colorful Colorado is Coloradical

I thought I’d share some highlights from our mini break last week…

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Filed under Annie, Henry, Kids, Travel

Sunday Stash: the Fancy Tiger Party edition

I’ve been trying very diligently to NOT buy fabric or yarn. Primarily for budgetary reasons, but also because after moving everything to the new sewing room, and refolding it, and being able to see it ALL, I truly know I don’t need any more. Perhaps ever, but at least for the foreseeable future…

And yet. Designers keep making pretty new fabrics. Amazing new shades of yarn show up on the shelves. And I lose my resolve. Especially when Fancy Tiger is having their annual Anniversary Party. For the first time in years, I was NOT camped out in front of the store hours before opening to score one of the famous swag bags- we made a decision as a family to go to the Renaissance Festival- and I didn’t realize the date confusion- and I wasn’t about to tell the kids “oh, sorry, mom needs to go shopping…” And it was a good choice, and we had a blast!

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It was a cub-ray-zee day- after spending all day at the festival, we had to get Annie back to theater camp for her final performance of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum… we dropped her off, and had time to sneak over to Fancy Tiger before the show! So, no swag bag, but I did do a bit of shopping…

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With every purchase of $20 or more, you got your pick of a custom knitting or sewing kit. After examining the contents, I went with knitting. I later realized that had I made Rich buy part of my haul, I could have had one of each. Ah, well…

I came away with the knitting kit and a wonderful new FT t-shirt. Their shirts are always adorable, and super duper soft. There was also a new skein of yarn:

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The Manos Del Uruguay Alegria is some of the softest yarn ever- even softer than Malabrigo. And the neon of this skein makes me smile so much. I think it might become a Westknits Spectra, with black as the solid. Cheerful for gloomy winter days…

And of course, there was also fabric. You’ve seen two pieces of it already, in my last batch of Tula blocks.

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Michael Miller Neo Dots in grey w hot pink (I want it in a lllll the color ways now) and also Lizzy House Pearl

Bracelets in tonal purple… Another one I’d love to have in a llllll the colors.

And the last piece of fabric? Henry actually found it for me!

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Isn’t it hysterical? It’s part of this collection by Windham. I never make bags, but this is screaming to become one, don’t you think?

Then we just had enough time to race back to the theater to watch Annie as Vibrata, the courtesan.

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(She’s the one with the yellow sash…)

What a day!

Linking up with Sunday Stash to see what you’ve all been buying…

 

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Filed under Kids, Stash Enhancement, Sunday Stash