Thursday, November 3, 2011

New Project, and My Favorite Room

I mentioned several weeks ago that I wanted to make a quilt to surprise someone. Well, I didn't keep the surprise and told my oldest daughter that I am making a quilt for my new grandbaby.. the one she's expecting at the end of January.
My friend Carla took me to a quilting shop and we picked out a kit that had fabrics in it and the pattern all set out. All you have to do is cut the fabric into the appropriate sizes and piece it together. Piece of cake.. right??  Not so much.  I seemed to struggle with the whole cutting part. Even with a straight edge ruler and a rotary cutting instrument, I struggled. My measurements were off once and I had to buy more fabric. Oy!
Now that the fabric is cut, I've been sewing together the squares and I'm having a blast. I know why people love this. It's so rewarding to throw a few pieces of fabric together, sew a straight line and see something start to take shape.
My fabric theme is the Sock Monkey. Remember those?  I want to make a sock monkey to go along with the quilt. That's assuming I get the quilt finished before the child starts kindergarten.
There are 36 squares in this quilt and so far, I have 24 of them sewn together. I'm on the downhill side. Of that portion, at least.
Here are a few photos of the work in progress:

How cute is that?  The little blue pieces of paper on each square are numbers. There are four different squares and they each are put together differently. Numbering them keeps me straight on the order and where I am in piecing them together. My mom taught me that trick when she was here. She actually sewed the first four squares together. Now that little boy will have a quilt that both his great grandmother and his grandmother had a part in making.

Here is a shot of the last 12 squares I've done. I have them setting on the back of the love seat in my upstairs sewing room/office so I can see how it looks. I have a feeling I'll need to move those when Nick gets home and wants to sit up here to watch a movie.
The "My Favorite Room" part of this post is the office/sewing room.  It's in the sun porch area attached to my bedroom. I absolutely love this room. It has windows on three sides and stretches the width of the house. Our home office is there as is my sewing area. We also have the aforementioned love seat with ottomon and a large TV for movie watching. Once the TV is hooked to cable, I may never leave this room.

Here is a shot of the sewing area. I started to straighten it up before the photograph, but I figured you should all see it in its natural state. This room is lived in. It faces the desk which is on the opposite wall. The love seat and TV are in the middle of the room.

This is the view from behind my sewing table. See? TV on the right?  Big screen monitor on the desk provides entertainment while I'm sewing if I don't have a movie on. I can sign into netflix and watch something as I sit there and work on the quilt, or Halloween costume, etc. I have absolutely LOVED getting into sewing. I can't wait to make more things!
I have to credit Jen over at Jen's Fun Little Things  for inspiring me to get started sewing and quilting. After reading about baby quilts she was making, I decided to make one for my grandbaby. I emailed Jen and she gave me a great shopping list to get me started and then my neighbor Carla was here in person to push me along. It was also wonderful that my mom visited and helped me start on the sewing part. What fabulous women I have in my life!! 
I will keep you posted on the progress of the quilt. I really need to spend a few more hours piecing so I can move on to the next step.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween Recovery

When I posted yesterday that I'd heard there would be lots of kids and I needed more candy, I was so naive.
On my way to the commissary, I stopped by the PX to get more candy. Lucky for me, it was on sale (slightly) and I grabbed several very large bags to fill my bowl.
Trick-or-Treating here on an Army post is, like other things the Army does, very regulated. Hours are from 6:00 to 8:00 PM and the MPs (Military Police) are in full force keeping our neighborhoods safe.
At 6:00 I had my station out front. Jack-O-Lanterns were lit, porch light on, chair outside for me to sit in as I greeted every goblin and gave them a treat. My neighbor warned me to give out only one piece to every child. I'm glad she did!
I have NEVER seen so many kids in my life. They were in herds.

 Parents were dressed up, dogs were in costume and I swear I had a blast. I would have to time my trips back to the kitchen for more candy very carefully. A break in the crowd found me rushing back inside, ripping large bags of candy open with my teeth and dumping into the bowl. Four refills and less than an hour later, I realized, I'm not going to make it. No way is my candy going to last until 8:00.
At 7:12 PM I threw in the towel.  I found a break, ran back inside and turned off my light. I felt awful about it! 
I realized as I'm sitting outside that these kids don't live in my neighborhood.  These are the children of young Soldiers who live in neighborhoods where parents are out with their own children and not handing out candy so much. My neighborhood is more senior and parents aren't out with kids anymore. Every house is lit up. Every resident is outside with a large bowl of candy. The decorations were amazing and it was a true party atmosphere.
It made me feel good to know I could give something to these young Soldiers' families when they give so much to us every day.
I'm so blessed to live where I do and to call America's heroes my neighbors.

This was the fall out. These bags don't include the first three or four when I was calm and threw the trash out.