About Me

South Louisiana
I have been married for 20 years to a great husband and we have 8 children ranging in age from 1 to 18 years. I am a homeschooling mom, which can be very challenging. I love sewing, knitting, reading, gardening and have recently started oil painting. I love to create. I really want to have a blog to show off some of the stuff I create, but I also want to share about my life and family. email me at ctrich8@bellsouth.net

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Pin Basting

I finally did the pin basting for my quilt. I was very nervous about this step. I mean, if I don't get everything straight, my quilt is gonna look wonky. I should have researched a little more about how to do this the right way. I am not sure if I got the back straight or not. Oh well, it is my first effort, and it will still be functional lol

I had gone to Joanns Saturday to get everything I needed for the quilt. I bought my cotton batting ( which was 50% off, YAY! ) Size 1 basting pins (thank you Vanessa for recommending the smaller pins : D ) cotton quilting thread and machine quilting needles. I was all set when I started yesterday afternoon. I had an hour and a half to get this done before I had to leave and bring Sydney and Isabella to ballet class. Plenty of time to finish since I was doing this in the middle of the living room and definitely didn't want to leave my quilt there for very long where my family and animals would just walk on it. I had Oprah on the tv, a glass of water (this involved a lot of bending and stretching, you get thristy when you work this hard ; ) LOL) Everything was going right on schedule when about halfway through pinning, I ran out of pins!!!!! I had bought a pack of a hundred, I thought for sure that would be plenty, I was wrong lol This meant that I had to leave my precious quilt on the floor while I left to bring the girls to class. I left with a strict warning that if anyone walked on my quilt, there would be serious consequences. I needed a few things from the grocery store, so figured I could stop by Walmart on my way home, get my groceries, my quilting pins and gas ($2.53 a gallon!!!!!) and be home within an hour. I really hate Walmart, for many reasons, but it is close to my house and I have always gone there for basic sewing notions when needed since Joanns and Hancocks are a good 20 minute drive from my house. Well, don't you know that Walmart was out of basting pins, as a matter of fact, their whole wall of sewing notions was pretty much empty! I guess they are phasing out their sewing section : ( Just another reason for me to hate that stupid store.

All that to say that I had to drive to Joanns, I mean I couldn't leave the quilt on the floor all night, no telling what the cats would have done to it. And I know if I would have tried to pick it up and put it back down the next day, I would have messed it all up. So, when I got back home (at 8 o'clock!) I finished basting. The kids were pretty good, it was still on the floor and taped down and there were no foot prints on it when I got home. And thank God none of the cats peed on it! They have a tendency to do that if something is left on the floor. I may have killed a cat if that had happened lol I wasn't in the best mood after all of this. Sydney took the pictures in the afternoon before I realized I didn't have enough pins. BTW, I bought a pack of 300 pins, I won't be making that mistake again : )

Here I am getting my stretching in for the day ; )

I used a knitting needle to close the pins, I need to get one of those kwik sew tools for this, but am waiting until Joanns has a 50% off sale on quilting notions. I hate paying full price for my sewing tools. It was bad enough I had to pay full price for my pins. I couldn't find my 40% off mail flyer for the life of me.

Oh and another part of my exciting day, Ava looks like she got in a boxing match. My poor baby, her big sister Sydney thought it would be fun to drag her around in a blanket across the floor really fast. Well, she lost control and sent Ava flying into the pantry door! Ava wanted us to take pictures of it, after she finished screaming for half an hour! LOL She even showed the camera where it was : ) I tell ya, it is hard being the baby in a family with 7 kids! This isn't the first time and I am sure it won't be the last time something like this happens. Oy!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

English Paper Piecing

The quilting bug has definitely bitten and while looking through a Craft Stylish email I came across this tutorial for English Paper Piecing. I have always loved these hexagon blocks and was admiring Tine's work in a recent post. I didn't realize they were sewn by hand. Well, I decided to try making a few and was immediately addicted! LOL Whenever I have a few moments I whip up a couple more hexagons. I find it so relaxing, and doing a few here and there, they really start adding up. I obviously havn't really planned anything, I really just enjoyed playing with different leftover fabrics. I did decide yesterday to make some with my quilt fabric. I think I am going to use them for some pillows. Here is a great website with tips for sewing the different shapes used in English paper piecing. I was having a little trouble with the diamond shapes, I couldn't figure out how to do the sharp points. This website shows you step by step. Also, this is mentioned in the tutorial, but I thought I would mention it here too. This website is great for generating your shapes for printing. It also prints graph paper, which I find very useful when planning out my quilts. You can determine what size you want, it's great!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Quilt Top!!!!

Lookie lookie what I finished! I know, it took me long enough! LOL It took me awhile to figure out how I wanted to piece the outer border. I am still not sure I am completely happy with it, but it will have to do. Overall, I really love it : ) I am very happy with the fabric I chose and it will fit perfectly on the end of my bed. I thoroughly enjoyed the process of making the top. I have several ideas swirling around in my head for the next one. I think it is safe to say, the quilt bug has bitten.

So, now on to the quilting. Any recommendations on batting? I was thinking a low loft, all cotton batting. I am still trying to decide how I am going to quilt it. I need to go to the sewing machine store and buy my walking foot. Should I pin baste or thread baste? Also, is the floor the best place to lay it all out? I am really nervous about this step, I don't want to mess up all my work.

It helps to have a tall son to hold the quilt up for photographing : ) I won't tell you that he was just in his boxer shorts while holding it up, because that might embarrass him ; O

Ava likes it too, she was helping Austin hold it up : )

Monday, October 20, 2008

Monday morning

Chad, Austin and Parker were gone all weekend at a Golf Tournament in Mandeville, so he took today off to spend some time with me : ) We woke up this morning and it was beautiful outside. He built a campfire for us to sit outside on the swing and drink our coffee. Like I have said before, I don't much like camping. However, the one thing I always did enjoy was the cool mornings, sitting by the campfire while drinking my morning coffee. It was such a nice, relaxing way to wake up, and Samuel and Ava enjoyed it too. The other children were all still asleep. It's funny how they are up at the crack of dawn when they are little, but once they get to about 10 or 11, they can sleep until noon!

Samuel and Ava took a little trip to get more firewood from in back of the fence. Ava decided she wanted a ride back : )

I hope the rest of my day is as pleasant as this morning : )

Monday, October 13, 2008

Happy Birthday Isabella!!!!

:::this was mostly written yesterday on Bella's actual birthday. I only had a few things to finish it, when the day went downhill. I never got back to it, which is why I am sending it today, a day late : ( Poor Bella, her birth day wasn't so great, I was in a horrible mood. You know, one of those days when nothing goes right. I will have to make this up to her!:::::

My Bella turns 11 years old today! She has the honor of being my biggest baby at birth. She weighed in at a hefty 10lbs 1oz. She was HUGE! Needless to say, I was extremely uncomfortable during her pregnancy, and was VERY happy when she finally showed up 10 days overdue. She did bless me with a quick labor though, she was born 3 hours after my first contraction and only about 30 minutes after we got to the hospital. I needed that quick labor to be able to get through the pain of pushing her fat self out. Aiyiyiiiiii that hurt! She has been a true blessing ever since. She was my fourth child and was born only 15 months after her sister Sydney. I was very nervous about having 4 children 5 and under and especially with the youngest two so close in age. She was such a calm and sweet baby however, that it made the transition much easier than I could have dreamed.

Even now, she is my kindest and most obedient child. She always helps out even before I ask her to. She has a very sweet spirit, the kindness comes from her heart. However, even though she would never purposefully hurt someone, she won't let people walk all over her either. She will *kindly* put you in your place if you try lol I am so glad that she isn't a pushover, sometimes these sweeter personalities get taken advantage of. I might hurt someone if they tried to take advantage of my Bella. I have always said I could have 10 children if they were all as sweet as her : )

Isabella has the most gorgeous blue eyes. I have almost black eyes, so I never expected to have a child with sapphire blue eyes. Her Daddy's are pale green. She is a beautiful girl, if I do say so myself, and she looks nothing like me : D She is also my clumsy child. She broke her leg when she was about 4 just by jumping on the trampoline. She didn't fall off or anything, she just jumped wrong and fractured her shin, right below her knee. But even though she is clumsy, she is a very talented dancer, when she isn't falling lol I can't begin to say how much I love this child, I know that she will be my friend long after she is grown and leaves the house.

Happy Birthday Isabella, Momma loves you very much!

Here is Bella with her best friend Katy in their tap costumes from dance recital in May

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Catching up

The weather in South Louisiana has been beautiful lately. We have had several cool fronts move through. This cools our temps into the 50's and 60's for lows and the low 80's for the highs. It is actually pleasant to be outside. My whole family, with the exception of moi, love to camp. With our schedule lately, there is no time for any camping trips, so the kids have been setting the tent up on the deck and sleeping out there at night. They enjoy playing in it during the day as well. My children are hardly roughing it, they have electricity run to the tent to power the tv and the fan lol Plus, the bathroom is conveniently a short walk into the house. Even with all of these comforts, I would much rather sleep in my cozy bed ; ) Poor dh thought he could convert me into a lover of tent camping, however he is slowly realizing that will never happen. I really hate to get dirty and not be able to get clean before going to bed. And taking a shower in a communal campground bathroom fails to leave me feeling very clean *shudder*. I do love the outdoors, but only if I know I can go to a nice clean place to clean up and sleep. We talk of one day buying a rv, but right now that just doesn't make sense financially. We would probably only have time to use it 3 or 4 times a year. Knowing my dh, we will probably be one of those old couples who travel all over the United States in their camper. Just so I have my own bed and bathroom, I'm great with that ; )

Here is Samuel watching an old Barney tape in the tent : )

Ooops, he discovered me taking his picture, so he had to come pose : )

Things are still crazy busy, but I have managed to get a little sewing in. I finished piecing the top of my quilt. Now, I just need to add my side strips and piece the back. I am still deciding how I want to quilt it. I sorta want to do circles inside of the squares, but realize I should probably stick with straight lines for my first attempt. I need to buy a walking foot this week. I would like it to be fairly heavily quilted, any ideas, something using straight lines? I know I should just stick with stitching in the ditch or something easy like that, but I really love lots of heavy quilting on quilts.

I am getting the itch to start sewing some fall clothes for me and the kids. I love the new Oliver + S patterns for fall. So cute! Football will be over in 2 weeks, my free time should increase when that is over. Our homeschooling is falling into a good routine, so that should help too. The start of the school year is always a little crazy.

Oh, and I got to get together with Marie, AGAIN! When I went to Houston last weekend on my girl's trip, we met on Saturday night for dinner. I really enjoyed getting to see and visit with her again. The girl's getaway was so much fun! We shopped, ate out, talked and rented Sex and the City one night. Great girlfriend's movie. I got very little sleep, but was still rested. It was nice to only have myself to take care of for a couple of days.