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Kids and Sewing – School holidays

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Kids and Sewing.

Well it is school holidays here for two weeks.  It is when I try desperately to balance Sewing and the kids needs and desires !!  Do I achieve this balance ??  I guess the answer to this fabulous question depends on the day, hour, and minute.  When it all goes pear shaped – do I reassess – yes;  do I have the solution – No; and do I try to achieve too much – always.

Kids and Sewing

For years now, I have been a list person.  There is a LONG LONG to do list, a weekly to do list and a daily to do list.  There are many days, even when the older three are at school, when I look at my daily to do list and think – well that was ambitious to even think I was going to achieve ALL that !!  So I have tried a different tact these holidays – to make the kids feel like they are the centre of my universe – which of course they are (always) 😉  and so that I feel like I’m not getting behind in my orders and quilting, and therefore getting VERY stressed, snappy and those those “wonderful” characteristics of a frazzled Mum.

I have forced myself to choose 3 things that I want to do,  so – whether it be, making that binding, making dinner early or cleaning the bathrooms – only three of my jobs come off my daily list, to my essential list.  The kids also get to choose one thing from their school holiday wish list each day (within reason – my three year old, has visiting a police station and going to the moon on his wish list !)

So far we have been able to complete their wishes, and most days I have been able to do some work, and the older three know they haven’t been forgotten – or Mum hasn’t disappeared into the “land of quilting” (as my 8 year old calls it!).

I don’t know what it is like in your home, but the first few days of the school holidays seem to be the most challenging for my crew – each one getting used to the fact they have three siblings in their face 24 hours a day without the structure and constant stimulation of school!!  The lounge room couch seems to shrink as they all want to sit in the same space !!  What the ??????  After a couple of days, they have found their own little niche, their own games to play together – these holidays it seems to be  – the tickling war !!

Now after Week One I see that we have accomplished quite a bit !

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Fairy Gardens have been created……..  with many thanks to Kylie from Little Moo Designs.  I purchased these adorable fairies in November and have stored them away for a quiet time – and little Miss found them.  She spent hours in the garden playing and was very excited to hear a fairy or too chatting to them !! Ahhh !  It is great to see her imagination explode with delight !

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We have taken a couple of walks down by the river to see the ducks, and the enormous rapids (Hmm The Yarra doesn’t have rapids – but in my children’s eyes the ripples were rapids!  They will get a shock one day if they ever want to go White Water Rafting in Tully, Qld!).

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Master O even wrote his own name for the first time !!  Yay !!

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Playgrounds have been found along the way !!

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Cousins have come to play!!  While the boys were outside playing, Miss H and I created this foxy Cushion.  It is a promise I made her last holidays, and we and so much fun creating it.  Thank you Elizabeth Hartman for your gorgeous foxy pattern !

And what have I created you ask – hmm title kids and sewing – well I was so excited when one of the members of the Quilt Club Australia FB group posted “the Umbrella lady” from JMZ Blond on Craftsy, that I just had to try it.  I have developed a real love for paper pieced quilting, finding it allows you to work with small pieces with ease.

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I really love this pattern – and find it has so much scope to imprint your own personality into it !!  This little one is going to a very special lady !!

Although the shortened and child involved lists have worked for one week, there is no guarantee it will work for another – but here’s hoping (fingers crossed!).

There are many other projects and quilts on the go, but I haven’t been able to photograph outside for a couple of days due to Melbourne’s inclement weather !!  Stay tuned as when the Sun comes out – there will be loads of pictures for me to Show and Tell !

I hope holidays are going well for everyone !!

Leanne

 

 

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Owls and Paper piecing

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Paper piecing is a new skill I wanted to work on this year……..  and although it is not my favourite way to quilt, it certainly allows you to work with those very little pieces of fabric easily.  Or should I say easier than without the paper backing, rather than easy !!

My swap partner in the #quiltblockbootcamp One hour Basket swap – is a lover of Owls.  So over the weekend I sat on pinterest – which isn’t that rare 😉 – and made a secret board of Owls…..  Quilted, Appliqued and FMQ.   WOW !  Owls are popular little animals….  So this morning I started practising on some techniques, colours and arrangements…….  have to be careful what I say and show, as I’m sure she will read this post !  Maybe just read between the lines a little.

Anyway while I was searching and the minutes on Pinterest turned into hours (as usual!) ,  I found a technique of turning regular patterns into paper piecing when you want smaller blocks !!  I have to say I like!!

One of my favourite Quilt Pattern Designers – Elizabeth Hartman – has an Owl Pattern I purchased a while ago – and has been on my LONG to do list.  However the Owl block is 16″x28″ – this is a BIG block……

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Using my photocopier tis morning I reduced the pattern by 60%, and decided to paper piece it – as you can imagine how small 2 1/2″ blocks become when reduced by 60%.  I tried the Owl’s eye first to see if I was going to pull this off – and guess what – it looks like an Owl’s eye !! Yay !!  Im not sure whether the navy Cotton and Steel Tanagrams works for her eyebrows – looks a bit fierce, but I was just sooooo excited that it looked like an eye !!

So I decided to continue !!  What do you think ??

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There are a few things I would do differently next time round !!  Here are my tips !

1.  Have all your pieces/ chosen first before you start, as the little pieces I was using started to get lost amongst the pile of scraps and fabric piling up !

2.  Cut your seams as you go, as the seams can get bulky when working with little pieces – you can see the stitches pulling a little bit at the nose.  it is because I wasn’t careful enough at snipping my seams with each fabric addition.  So there were a lot of layers to sew through when joining the nose 🙁

3.  Make sure you have a small stitch length so the paper rips easily, without destroying your work! I used the 1.8 setting on my Janome.  (I only remembered this half way through creating my Owl).

4.  Have fun !!

My Allie isn’t perfect but I think she looks rather good – frowning – but the cotton and steel aqua and gray border, almost gives the impression She is looking through the window !

My advice – just give it a go – it works sometimes !! <3

Enjoy your week!

Leanne

 

 

 

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