Friday, May 8, 2009

Ice Cream Cones and Sydney's Special Day

Today was Sydney's special day. Not because it marked an event or anything like that, I just delcared today Sydney's special day last night when Steve was putting her to bed. It had been a long day and I had not paid much attention to her throughout it. She was with me at work and it was a very busy day. We came home and I left about fifteen minutes later for a guild meeting. Then I came home just as she was getting ready for bed. I could see how dissapointed she was that I passed the story reading and bedtime routine off to Daddy so I could go check my email. The look was enough to put me over the edge with Mommy guilt. So......I said, "tomorrow after school we're going to go do something fun, because tomorrow is your special day!" Her face lit up like our house at Christmas '07. (Do you all remember how crazy my husband went with the lights that year?) Anyway, she was ecsatic. Success.

So when I picked her up from school today, she asked what we were going to do. I told her we could do whatever she wanted. I can say that because we don't have a Chucky Cheese in this town. When I lived in a town with a CC, I learned very quickly to end that sentence with, "except Chucky Cheese." That place is headache central for me. Well, what did she say? "Ice Cream!" Yelled is more like it. So, off to Fresh Freeze for a little ice cream on a perfect ice cream day.

We had fun at Fresh Freeze, I think a lot of people had the same idea, because we had to wait for a parking space. I don't think I've ever had to wait there before.

We walked down through Henderson Center to the Toy Box and I told Sydney she could pick out a small toy. Like she needs anymore, right? But she's such a good girl most of the time and I really wanted to give her a special day, all about her. After about an hour at the the Toy Box, and lots of suggestions from Michelle, Sydney settled on a toy hair dryer like the one her friends Hannah and Kayla have. She has wanted one for a couple of years now, and had it curled up next to her in her bed while she took a nap today.

Is she not just the cutest thing? I know I'm biased, but I just love her to pieces. It was a special day!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Those suh-weet 1930's!

What is it about the 1930's? Why am I so drawn to this time period? I think I would have liked living in the 1930's. There were enough modern conveniences like cars, electricity, radios, even blenders to make life more than a primitive existence, but still a simple time. For fun, all you needed was a few instruments, a lot of friends and a big flat open space and you had a dance! It was a simple time and despite some of the hardships, families worked hard together and made the best of things.
For absolutely sure, I am in love with the quilts of the 1930's. One of the quilts I have been working on for quite some time now, is a reproduction of a 1930's Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt. I really love the look and decided to undertake a Queen size version. It has been slow going. Sometimes I don't work on it for quite a while, and then I pull it out again. I usually take it when I go out of town for a non-working trip. It's fun to sit around lazily and work on it. Many of the fabrics used in the blocks, I have picked up on shopping trips all over the country. It's fun to remember where the fabric came from when looking at the blocks.

This is what the final version will look like. I have been working on it for about 4 years, and only have about a third of the blocks done. I'm going to have to step it up if I'm going to enjoy this quilt anytime soon. But no matter what, I just enjoy the process. I am using the English Paper Piecing method. It is all hand sewn, basting each piece of fabric to a little card stock hexagon and then sewing each of those individual pieces together.

There seems to be a huge interest in English Paper Piecing suddenly at the store. We can hardly keep the pieces in stock. We have been flying through the 2" hexagons. There are so many neat projects you can make with the papers which come in all different sizes. I seem to have caught the bug along with everyone else and am dreaming of TONS of new paper pieced quilts. The best part is that these projects can be taken anywhere to work on because they store so compactly. My friend Molly tried this for the first time on Saturday and I looked over an hour later and she had a whole stack of pieces! She sews fast. All this renewed interest has me pulling out my quilt to work on more often. I love seeing it progress.

I find myself asking why this sudden interest? Paper piecing has been around forever. Trends in quilting come and go, but why now? There is just something cool about looking at a beautiful item and saying, "I made that with my very own hands. I didn't use any electricity, I powered that needle with my own fingers." Now don't get me wrong, I would never give up my machine. Love the machine. Especially since my favorite machine is a 1937 featherweight! But I also love the idea that we can still make quilts as they did in simpler times. And apparently others feel the same way. It's nice to be reminded that modern conveniences are convenient, but we can still do it the old fashioned way too.