Quilt tops in progress

Here are three of the tops that are in my quilting queue. I’ll write more about each individually once they’re a little further along.  I finally finished quilting my free-motion monster this weekend, so I’m thinking some nice straight line quilting will be coming this way. The ironing board is put away too, so I can’t make any more patchwork that needs to go into yet another top before I get these basted and quilted.  But patchwork is so much fun, and while I have the ideas in my mind…I also bought a whole bunch of batting that was on sale at purl soho (plus free shipping for their new website), so I don’t have to be afraid of using up my supply by quilting the wrong project. I’d like to get them ready so I have a nice stack ready for whatever gifts I need. Obviously, Trigger would rather we keep them all so he can have the best choice of beds wherever he chooses to make his nest.

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My song of the summer

You should know that  in posting this, I don’t watch videos online as a rule. Of course, I also don’t like to repeat the songs I listen to very often, either, but I’m pretty sure I could listen to this song once a day.

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Now that I’m back working in cubicle-land, I make little lists of what I want to accomplish that evening. If I was realistic, my lists would read: 1. eat dinner, 2. read a book in the yard while Trigger runs around.

(those contraptions in the picture? they may look kind of silly, but since our honeydew & watermelons are growing through the chicken-wire fence around our garden, Carl made little slings out of cheesecloth on Saturday to support the weight and keep them from breaking off of the vines. let’s hope it works!)

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Butterick 5363

I’ve been tracking my pregnancy clothes and belly size over on my other blog (why am I keeping them separate again? oh well), but for things that I make it seems like I should keep them here, on the “crafty” blog. I would have no idea how much my belly is growing if I wasn’t taking these pictures- when I look at myself from the front or look down at the belly the growth isn’t this obvious!

This dress isn’t a maternity pattern, per se, but I bought it on a 99 cent sale because it looked easy and I liked the kind-of-racerback that it had. Plus, my sister would say that I have a thing for jumpers, which I deny, but it does have the potential for layering in a multitude of ways which I love. That and finding a couple of yards at Hancock on the same day that matched the style of the pattern (even though I have plenty in my stash to make it over and over) and I was sold.

My secret for making this big enough for the growing belly was from Anna Maria Horner’s book Handmade Beginnings – if you read the Mariposa tunic/dress pattern, the only thing that’s different from the maternity version to the non-maternity version is a bigger square for the bottom of the front. So I made my normal size for the top and back, and then extended out to the biggest size that I could fit on the fabric for the front skirt portion. It didn’t work entirely smoothly for the way the pattern was constructed- the gathering is only supposed to happen from the tie, but I had to gather the larger skirt before I attached it to the bodice and so the casing for the tie isn’t completely smooth, but it worked well enough and produced a functional garment that I’m not ashamed to wear. Technically I made the tunic length – I just made it as long as I could on the length of fabric I had, so I think the dress would have been an awkward below knee kind of thing. I feel like the color washes me out, but it was far too hot on Saturday to think about putting a pair of capris on underneath the dress.

Every time I decide to improvise with a clothing pattern it takes a little longer than I think it will, but at least in this case it worked out well enough in the end.

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MN Vacation



MN Vacation

Originally uploaded by megrje

We had a good time in Minnesota with family in June. I always love a trip back to my homeland, and it was Carl’s first time to see where I grew up, meet some friends who couldn’t make it to our wedding, and spend some time with my extended family. A little Paul Bunyan excitement is fun, too! We stayed at a Christian college outside of Bemidji, which means we were close to the headwaters of the Mississippi. It makes for quite a trip (and a quick weekend) when you fly across the country and then drive 5 hours each way, but the weather was a perfect break from the Southern heat. This is why people have summer homes! I was out of my first trimester so I wasn’t as ill as I had been, but not too much of a baby bump was showing yet. I went back for a family visit in July, though, so some of my family could observe the progress and growth.

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Trigger time

I was thinking I’d write this whole post about how much fun it is to watch Trigger hunting in the yard (never mind the fact that I’m out there because he has separation anxiety and thinks that if he’s outside alone I’ll leave him there forever)- chasing birds, stalking butterflies and bumblebees, putting those instincts to good use…

…but there’s also this reality that I can’t ignore! He’s so friendly and so cute, but he’ll work every last ounce of patience and keeps us on our toes all the time! His favorite time to chew shoes, of course, is those during those precious morning minutes of sleep, when you just want to stay in bed and he just wants to get up and play before you go to work. We call him our “practice child”- but it’s going to be fun trying to balance a baby and him together!

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Garden update

Turns out our garden is a little bit of a jungle. There are tomato plants that are taller than me (that’s over five and a half feet tall). There are areas we can’t get to except by climbing in.

There’s a vine climbing all over everything and through the fence (which is there to keep the dog out of the garden). And speaking of that vine – first we thought it was a green squash, then we thought it was butternut (since we picked a couple from that vicinity) but now we’re pretty sure it’s cantaloupe.

It’s all still a mystery though to know what we’ll be able to nurture to the point of harvesting, but it’s pretty fun to go out everyday and see what’s grown up where. We still haven’t gotten any blueberries before the birds have plucked them away – that’ll probably get better in future years as the bushes fill out more and we’ll cover them with netting then too. I was reading in July’s Martha Stewart the feature about planting containers – the gardener who planted the NC example said that in July it takes watering three times a day! Hopefully we get some rain soon because I can make it out there each evening, but I don’t think our water bill could handle three times a day.

Other years I’ve had the attitude that anything in my landscaping that needed watering wasn’t hardy enough for this environment, but it’s been funny to see what a little water can do in bringing “dead” gardenia bushes back to life since I’m out there watering the new growth anyway.

In other news, we found out we’re having a boy!

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