Sunday, May 10, 2009

Look How Cute My Cat Is


That's all I wanted to say. James is the sweetest little kitty and this picture taken by the husband shows off his adorable little fangs. He has a bit of an overbite and I am trying to get a pic of how cute it is. The problem is that he likes extreme closeups.

Laying Out Your Quilt

Now let's all pretend we have finished all of our 36 blocks and are ready to move on to our next step. We need to lay our blocks out just like they will appear in our finished quilt and figure out what goes where.

If you used just one or two fabrics, this part is a breeze. They will either be all the same or will alternate. Any more fabrics and you will need to manipulate and move the blocks until you find a pleasing arrangment. I aim to not have two of the same color blocks touching, but will allow for them to touch diagonally since sometimes there is no way around it.

My process is to find a large, empty patch of floor and lay them out. Then once I think I have it right, I take a few steps back and get a good visual from that distance. Once I am pretty sure, I make the Husband take a look. He will usually make a few suggestions, many of which I will ignore and then I will say it's good enough and call it a day.

Once I am satisfied with the layout, I need to get the quilt blocks back off the floor before the cat makes a running dive into them and scatters them. This has happened a few times.

My process it to always start in the top left corner and pick them up in order across the row. You could go down. Do what makes you happy. Once you have a complete row, take a bit of paper and write row 1 and pin that to the stack, pinning through the entire stack to keep it in order. Repeat for each row. This way the are organized for when you are ready to sew them together.

If you are super organized you could make a diagram that is 6 blocks by 6 blocks and mark down your block positions in each block. I used to do this, but found it easy enough to keep track of using the pinning by row method.

You will want to sew each block together row by row, pinning at the seams just as before. Once you have a completely assembled row, you can pin your row number to the far left block and press of the seams you just created to one side.

Once all your rows are completed you can start joining the rows, using your papers marked with the row numbers as your guide. Take it block by block and match up your seams, pinning as you go. Again, press to one side and your quilt top is done.

Spread it back out and admire your hard work. Then take a picture and let me see it.

Everyone should check out Emma's progress. Her colors are beautiful and she is cranking out blocks like a pro.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Warning..There Will Be Cursing

WTF!?!?!?!!?

Read this


Seriously, what sort of pathetic fucktard would have a blog with the sole mission of bashing people they don't agree with? Someone needs to make some real life friends. I contemplated posting a comment, but I really don't think the friendless reject would allow my comment to stay.

You know what Jasper, I am willing to bet you have or will have plenty of children. Because worthless twats like you are always able to breed. The world is full of dull eyed, slack jawed morons who should have been taken care of by natural selection. Only we, as a planet, have become so consumed with being politically correct that we are no longer allowed to just let nature takes it course and let dumbfucks like you die the horrible death you are due. People like you are the reason we have to put warning labels on everything to be sure that some inbred doesn't drink the bleach or stick his head under the running lawn mower. Well Jasper, drink up.

I am guessing by your name that you are what would pass for a man, no matter how pathetic the actual organ really is (and just guessing based on the fact that you are a contributor for the Takedown, it must be really tiny). So how would you know the longing to be a mother? You can't. Just like I can't know the longing of having a dick big enough to use on a real live woman. That must be really hard on you, you tiny peckered little bitch. You should be grateful for ART so that you can reproduce.

And now I am done. I have sunk to your level and got it off my chest. With the exception of the losers who actually read the takedown, I feel safe that the rest of the world can sort out bitter people like yourself who bash those suffering from real issues to make yourself feel better about your lack of a sex life.

Well, it seems that fucktard is not in blogger's dictionary, but twat is. Weird huh?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Anyone Out There?

I have been slowly cranking out the blocks and was wondering how everyone else is doing. Do I still have any quilt along friends out there? I should be able to post the next steps soon and then we will be wrapping up the piecing part of our quilts.

If anyone is stuck or has questions, please feel free to email me or leave your question in the comments section.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Time to Start Sewing

Sorry for the disappearing act, but overtime at work has been plentiful and I am taking full advantage. Gotta add to the adoption fund.

Okay, so we should all have our fabrics cut out and our supplies assembled and it's time to start sewing the blocks.

Each block is made up of 4 main fabric pieces and 4 background fabric pieces. We will be sewing each main fabric piece to a background piece to form 4 small squares. We will then join those squares together to form the complete square. The techniques will be different for machine and hand so here is where we split up.

Hand Sewing:
Lay out one of each piece right side up like this. You should have one wide end on the top and one on the bottom so that is will form a square when the seam is sewn.


Take the pieces and put them right sides together, keeping them in the same position they were layed out in. Notice that they do not perfectly line up. This is correct and will for the square shape once the seam is sewn.


Take a pin and insert it at the top left corner at the intersection of the seam lines you marked with your pencil. Make sure it goes through the same top left intersection on the back piece also. Now take your threaded needle (I like to use a double strand of thread for added durability) and make a knot in the top right corner, making sure you are going exactly through the intersection on both pieces of fabric. Then take another pin and put it through the center (you can just eyeball it, no need to measure it exactly) right on the seam line through both pieces of fabric. See the below pic for clarification. This will help keep your seams lined up as you sew.


Now sew across this line using a running stitch. Here is a really basic sample of running stitch in case you are not familiar. I usually stack 4 or 5 stitches on my needle before pulling it all the way through the fabric. This will increase your sewing speed a lot.

Once you have sewn all the way to the other end of the line, make another tight knot (I usually knot twice for added security) and clip your threat leaving about a 1/2" tail. Do this for all four sets of pieces. Once they are all sewn, you can press them with the seam going towards the darker colored fabric. It honestly won't matter too much which way you press, just be consistent and always press to either the main or the background fabric. This will make your final seams lay nicer in the end.

Once they are neatly pressed, lay them out in the block formation like this.


Now you are going to flip the top 2 blocks, right sides together and sew the joining seam. Repeat for the bottom 2 blocks.


Now you will have this.


Now piece the top and bottom blocks together, pinning like this. Be sure to pin right on the intersection of both side when you get to that center seam.



Once you are done, iron your new seams, again towards the same fabric you chose before and when it's done, flip it right side up and give it a good press, straight up and down to really flatten those seams.


Repeat for a total of 36 blocks.

Machine Sewing:

You will be using a 1/4" seam for this quilt. You may have a 1/4" line on your machine that you can use as a guide, but if not, then you can make one with permanent marker or you can tape a piece of paper to act as a guide. Practice on scrap material until you are sure you can sew a consistent 1/4" line. Once you find the 1/4" mark, go slowly and it will work and you will build up your speed with practice.

Lay out one of each piece right side up like this. You should have one wide end on the top and one on the bottom so that is will form a square when the seam is sewn.


Take the pieces and put them right sides together, keeping them in the same position they were layed out in. Notice that they do not perfectly line up. This is correct and will for the square shape once the seam is sewn. Make sure your edges on the side you are about to sew match perfectly


Take a pin and insert it at the top left corner at the intersection of the seam lines you marked with your pencil. Make sure it goes through the same top left intersection on the back piece also. Now do the same for the other end (pretend that is a pin and not a needle in the pic below) Then take another pin and put it through the center (you can just eyeball it, no need to measure it exactly) right on the seam line through both pieces of fabric. See the below pic for clarification. This will help keep your seams lined up as you sew. Once you get comfortable, you may not need to pin for this step.


Now sew across this line. You may want to use your machine's back stitch at the beginning and end of the seam to lock it in.

Do this for all four sets of pieces. Once they are all sewn, you can press them with the seam going towards the darker colored fabric. It honestly won't matter too much which way you press, just be consistent and always press to either the main or the background fabric. This will make your final seams lay nicer in the end.

Once they are neatly pressed, lay them out in the block formation like this.


Now you are going to flip the top 2 blocks, right sides together and sew the joining seam. Repeat for the bottom 2 blocks.


Now you will have this.


Now piece the top and bottom blocks together, pinning like this. Again, pretend that needle in the picture is just another pin. Be sure to pin right on the intersection of both side when you get to that center seam.


Once you are done, iron your new seams, again towards the same fabric you chose before and when it's done, flip it right side up and give it a good press, straight up and down to really flatten those seams.


Repeat for a total of 36 blocks

Tip for everyone:

You may want to make a bunch of the first step squares and then iron so you are not jumping up and running to your ironing board every few minutes.

If anyone is confused, gets stuck or just has questions, please feel free to email me or post your question in the comment section.

I will give us a few days to get started on our blocks and then I will post the next step. Don't feel rushed, because I can assure you that I will not be ready for the next step, but a really industrious machine sewer might be and I would hate to keep them waiting any more than I already have.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Cutting our Fabric

Time to cut our fabric. We will be cutting the same shape from our background and our main fabrics. The way you will cut will be different depending on if you are hand sewing or machine sewing.

Hand Sewing :

Lay out your nicely pressed fabric with the wrong side up. If your fabric is light you will be using your mechanical pencil. If your fabric is dark, you will be using your chalk marking tool.

If you have a problem with the fabric moving around while you are marking, you can clip a sheet of fine grit sandpaper to a clipboard and lay your fabric on this as you mark. Just be careful not to move the fabric around on the sandpaper too much or you could damage your fabric.

Keep in mind that our goal is to trace out the actual lines we will be sewing on. This means we need to leave about ¼” around the outside of each shape (so about ½” between shapes).

Make sure your template is right side up (really there is no wrong side up, but you will have to keep your template consistently the same side up or you will not have pieces that fit together.) The way I had you mark your templates in the last post will result in whirlygigs that spin the way I think is the cutest. It just works for my head, but both ways are fine.

Flip flopping your template upside down and then right side up (but never flipping it over) will allow you to get the most pieces with the least waste from your fabric (See my paper example below for clarification). Just start in a corner and place the straight side against the straight edge of the fabric and trace around the shape. Flip and trace until you run out of fabric and then start a new row. Don’t forget to leave your seam allowance between each piece and each row.



The line just needs to be dark enough to be visible when you sew. I trace a bunch of pieces of each color and then start sewing because I am undisciplined and can’t be bothered with doing the logical thing and preparing all my pieces at one time. Do whatever makes you happy.

You will need to cut the following number of pieces for this pattern

Background - 144 (Everyone will need this amount)
1 Color Main - 144
2 Color Main - 72 each color
3 Color Main - 48 each color
4 Color Main - 36 each color
6 Color Main - 24 each color

Once your pieces are traced you will use your scissors to carefully cut each one out, leaving the ¼” border. I cut the rows out and then cut off the pieces from each row.

Machine Sewing:


If you have never used a rotary cutter, please read this quick tutorial.

Lay your pressed fabric out and neatly fold it in half selvage to selvage. Use your quilting ruler and rotary cutter to square up the edge of the fabric that was hand cut at the fabric store. Just take off enough to get a straight edge. This will give you a good clean start. Once you have a nice, straight edge, cut the fabric into 4” strips. You will need the following number of strips:

Background - 8 strips
1 Color Main - 8 strips
2 Color Main - 4 Strips each color
3 Color Main - 3 strips each color
4 Color Main - 2 strips each color
6 Color Main - 2 strips each color

Take the 4” strips and unfold. You can stack 2 or 3 strips as long as you make sure they are perfectly placed on top of each other. Place the strips face down.

Make sure your template is right side up (really there is no wrong side up, but you will have to keep your template consistently the same side up or you will not have pieces that fit together.) The way I had you mark your templates in the last post will result in whirlygigs that spin the way I think is the cutest. It just works for my head, but both ways are fine.

Start at the end of the strip(s) and using your template only as a guide for placing your quilting ruler, start cutting out the pieces. You will flip flop the template from top to bottom, but never flip it over. See the paper diagram below for clarification.



You will need to cut the following amount of pieces from each fabric:

Background - 144 (Everyone will need this amount)
1 Color Main - 144
2 Color Main - 72 each color
3 Color Main - 48 each color
4 Color Main - 36 each color
6 Color Main - 24 each color

Use this method to cut out the main fabrics and the background fabrics, but be sure not to cut your backing or binding fabrics. Once you have your pieces cut you will be ready to start sewing them into the blocks.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Template Cutting Time

Okay, so we are ready to make our template and start cutting our fabric. You will need to know if you are hand sewing or machine sewing at this point, because your templates will be different sizes (for the machine sewing template you will have ¼” seam allowances already added to the template)



Instructions for Hand Sewing template:




Cut a 3.5” square from your template plastic or stiff cardboard ( a cereal box would work great). Take your time and make sure you get a perfect square, because a wonky square will only cause you heartache in the end.




Once you have your square, take your ruler and measure over 2” from the left side on the top and make a mark right at the very edge of the top.

Now make a mark 1.5” from the left on the bottom.




Now take your straight edge and connect your dots until you have this .




Carefully cut along the line and take one of your shapes (you only need one) and lay it out so that it looks just like this.




Now write “ 7" Whirlygig template”, or “this end up” or something on it in permanent ink so that you will know at a glance if you have your template right side up.



Instructions for Machine Sewing template:



Cut a 4” x 4.5" rectangle from your template plastic or stiff cardboard ( a cereal box would work great). Take your time and make sure you get a perfectly squared off rectangle, because wonky corners will only cause you heartache in the end.

Once you have your rectangle,lay it out with the 4.5" part at the top and bottom and the 4" on the sides.

Take your ruler and measure over 2 1/2” from the left side on the top and make a mark right at the very edge of the top.

Now make a mark 2” from the left on the bottom. Sorry for the blurry pic.




Now take your straight edge and connect your dots until you have this .




Carefully cut along the line and take one of your shapes (you only need one) and lay it out so that it looks just like this.




Now write “7” Whirlygig template”, or “this end up” or something on it in permanent ink so that you will know at a glance if you have your template right side up.



Next up is cutting into our fabric.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Quilt Along Ingredients

This is for anyone who decides to do the quilt-along with Danielle and I. We have decided to do the whirlygig quilt. This is the first one I did and it was quick and fun to sew by hand.


I have broken the list down for those who will hand sew and those who will use a machine. The fabric requirements are the same for both, but the tools are a little different.

Fabric: You will need at least one main color and one background color. You can do multiple main colors and alternate them like in the quilt pictured above. The quilt will be made of 36 7" blocks and will be about 42" x 42" when we are done. The number 36 is very versatile and can easily be divided by 2,3,4 and 6 different fabrics.

Background fabric - 1 yard. This would be the white in the above photo.

Whirlygig fabrics:

1 fabric - 1 yard
2 fabrics - 5/8 yard of each
3 fabrics - 1/2 yard of each
4 fabrics - 1/3 yard of each
6 fabrics - 1/3 yard of each (you will have a bit left over)

Batting - 45"x45" piece. I use warm and natural or warm and white. This is available at most fabric stores, such as Joanne's and comes either on the roll (you will need to buy 1 1/4 yards and will have enough for another quilt), or you can buy it prepackaged in the 45" x 60" size and can just cut it down to size.

Backing - can be any cotton fabric. I usually use solids or scraps left over from the front of the quilt. You will need 1 1/4 yards.

Binding - again, any cotton fabric that coordinates with your chosen fabrics. You will need 1/3 yard.

Tools:

Hand sewing -
Pins

Needles (I like quilting sharps)

Thread (Unless working with a really dark fabric, I usually just use off white. Don't get the cheap walmart stuff or any off brand. Coats and Clark is inexpensive and works well. I usually use all purpose or machine quilting.

Thimble (for the quilting)

Mechanical pencil (or chalk pencil for darker fabrics)

Decent scissors

Template plastic or thin, sturdy cardboard

Ruler

Safety pins

Machine Sewing -

Sewing Machine

Pins


Thread (Unless working with a really dark fabric, I usually just use off white. Don't get the cheap walmart stuff or any off brand. Coats and Clark is inexpensive and works well. I usually use all purpose or machine quilting.

Decent scissors

Quilter's Ruler- The 6" x 24" size is a great size for most quilting projects.

Rotary Cutter

Self Healing Cutting Mat - doesn't need to be too huge, but a decent size to work with your fabric

Safety Pins

Once you have gathered your supplies and fabric you can wash and iron your fabric or just iron. Either way is fine, but be consistent. Don't wash some and not the rest or you may have shrinking issues once the quilt is done. I personally wash my fabrics but not my batting. This way I get the old fashioned crinkly look when I wash the finished quilt.

Next up is cutting your fabrics and getting started.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Mountain Baby Blankets

A few weeks (months ago) Diane Sawyer did a special on Appalachia. I did not watch this as knocked up 13 year olds and meth heads popping out kids they can't/won't raise properly is just not going to improve my mood, but I do feel for the innocent children born into this life. The ones too young to make a choice and get the hell out of this community.

Apparently among the many other concerns, lack of blankets make staying warm a challenge. That breaks my heart. Cold, hungry babies make me sad. And Rachel of Rachel Cox Designs is doing something about it. Actually, she is enlisting lots of people to do something about it.

This post is her discussing the show and brainstorming about her idea. This post is her decision based on her responses and some info for getting started.


I have been planning to make several simple quilts for the project. When she announced there is no time limit I planned even more. Then I started thinking about people who may not read craft blogs. That is unless they are tricked into it by it being cleverly disguised as an adoption/infertility blog. These are people who will probably have the same conflicted emotions as me (but maybe not so judgy, because I tent to get a bit judgy about the whole thing). I bet a bunch of those people know how to sew. I bet a few more would like to learn or would be willing to in an effort to help with such a great project.

I am reaching out to those people. I was thinking a really simple quilt along. We would do it together. I could have instructions for people who want to use a machine or those who don't have a sewing machine and would like to try it by hand (it's really not that bad and it's a relaxing thing to do while watching TV).

They would not be huge quilts. They won't be expensive. They won't be hard and I will be available to help anyone who gets stuck or has questions. If anyone is interested I will post some pics of easy quilts and we can decide on what we would like to do. Then I will post a list of supplies (many you will already have on hand, even if you are not a quilter) and we can get started.

Any takers?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Show and Tell

This is my first ever show and tell so be gentle. Also go and check out all the other cool things people are showing and telling about.





These are the kids purses I have been making. They are actually just mini versions of my diaper bags, without all the fancy pockets. They are almost as much trouble as the big bags, but soooo cute and little girls love them.

The purple flowers and the pink jacks were actually used by a co-worker as mini diaper bags for 2 soon to be big sisters. She didn't want them to feel left out during the baby shower festivities. She stuffed them with a few newborn diapers, a bib and a few other odds and ends. They can be used as purses once the new baby obsession wears off. The cherry purse if for my partner's little girl, M. I needed something to balance out the tooth fairy pillow for her little brother.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Tooth Fairy Pillows


Here are the tooth fairy pillows I have been making. So far all the kids have loved them. I am giving a custom pillow away in my first ever drawing.

Here's how it works. You can earn one entry for each of the following things;

Leave me a comment on this post
Blog about this drawing
Twitter about this drawing

Just let me know what you did to enter (except for the comments on this post, because I can see those) by dropping me an email at timetoadopt@hotmail.com.

Entry deadline is 10 PM ET on Friday, March 13, 2009.

Once the winner is selected, they will be contacted regarding desired name and fabric choices.

Friday, March 6, 2009

I Did It

I had to. I bought the Shark Steam Mop.

Is anyone familiar with Kohls? They have been around a while, but the Husband and I had never been in one until about 6 months ago. Now we are addicted. They are a mid-range department store that has crazy good sales, and if you have a Kohls charge card (we normally don't do store charge cards, but the special discounts were too good to pass up)you get special coupons and discounts if you use your Kohl's card.

The discounts are a scratch off kinda deal and you usually have the chance of getting either 15%, 20% or 30% off. I rarely get about 15% and never thought I would see a 30%, but there it was in the mail the other day.

So yesterday I head to the store with my coupon in my hot little hand and scored some major deals. The best was the Steam Mop. Normally $99.99. On sale for $79.99. With my coupon it was $56. Way better than the $80 it was at Walmart.

I also scored a bathroom rug for like $4 and a pair of sterling silver earrings for about $5 (they were 60% off and then my coupon).

So I used it last night and it's pretty cool. I am ashamed at how nasty the pads were when I was done.

The reviews said the cord was in the way and that the handle was flimsy. I thought the handle seemed very sturdy and the handle has 2 cord holder things that you use to get the cord up and out of the way. Maybe they have made improvements, or maybe the people writing the reviews are morons, but either way, no complaints here.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Felt Food Obsession

This is my current obsession during the down time at work. I have been making them for my co-worker J's kids and also for my friend M's son. I am having so much fun that I might have to put some on my Esty site. I really need to put something on there.

Here are the breakfast items I have so far. Pancakes with removable syrup and butter pats and an omelet are also in the works.



Here is the sushi roll and a few random strawberries. Just some odds and ends that will have coordinating items soon. You can't really tell in this photo, but there is a pink blob above the green and orange blobs.



This is a selection of cookies. Lots of sweet ideas floating in my head right now.



Here is a set of chicken nuggets complete with ketchup and BBQ sauce for dipping. There will be crinkle fries and apple slices coming soon to complete this set.



Now I am off to finish my pasta sauce to go with the ravioli and bow tie pasta set.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Why the Husband Doesn't Let Me Watch Infomercials

I'm a sucker. Not for every single thing sold on infomercials, but occasionally I see something that I just have to have.

The most dismal failures have been the pet hair roller thing (several years ago) which was covered in cat fur after the first rotation and had to constantly be rinsed in hot water and dried to get the job done.

The most recent was the Peticure. I was fully prepared to slowly work James up to it, but he apparently had watched the commercial and freaked out and ran as soon as the Husband pulled it out of the box. It didn't even have the batteries in it and he had decided that it was the enemy. I worked for a week trying to get him to let me near him with the thing. I actually had him eating treats right next to it while it was on, but the minute we picked it up he lost his mind and became a boneless feline who could wiggle out of any grasp. It is now sitting on the bottom shelf of our coffee table, taunting me with the possibility of blunt cat claws that lie just out of my grasp.

So the Husband doesn't even allow the temptation in our house. If an infomercial comes on he distracts me or changes the channel. I still want the Shamwow, but I fully realize that they will probably suck, so I just don't think about it when I walk past them at Walmart.

Well, despite the Husband's best efforts, he can't control my infomercial viewing at work. I didn't mean to watch it, but my Partner had the remote and had left the room and I was too lazy to get up and change the channel so I got sucked into the Shark Steam Mop commercial.

At first I was skeptical as always. It always starts that way, but then they tell you about how it's only water, no chemicals. And the pads are washable. Well, that's environmentally friendly isn't it? I love environmentally friendly. And it would mean really clean floors for when our baby starts to crawl (see, I managed to work the baby into a mop purchase). But I hate to pay shipping, so never mind. But I bet they sell it at Walmart. Maybe I should just check the Walmart website. Hey, it's only $79.88. And no cleaner to buy. And it has 2 pads, so when one is in the wash, I have a back up. It has 4 out of 5 stars, not too shabby I rationalized. Let's read the reviews, bad ones first. Flimsy and cord gets in the way. I can work with that. I have a Swiffer and it's not the most sturdy thing, but no problems so far.

So should I do it? Does anyone have one and love it? Or hate it? Will it really make me want to mop? Will it break the first time I use it? Enable or stop me people.


Look what I found while looking up the link. It's just getting worse and worse.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Doll Quilt Update

The quilts went over even better than I expected. P, the little boy, is a major blankie lover and was very excited. He kept running around showing everyone and spreading it out on the ground to look at it. My partner said he has carried it constantly since he got it. I am going to call this project a success.

Next up is the tooth fairy pillow project I have had on my mind for a while. I gave M hers the other night since she is already in the tooth loosing stage, but I ran out of white fabric and could not finish P's yet. I didn't think it would be a big deal until he looked at me with those big eyes and said "where's my piwo." So sad. I am working on his now. I also have orders for 4 more from another co-worker. I may end up putting them up in my Etsy site.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Killing Time

So the Husband and I have made the decision to wait a few months until we start to see a little improvement in the economy before we proceed with the next step in the adoption process, which is forking over a large chunk of cash.

This is more his desire to wait than mine, but I see where he is coming from and I know that we both need to be on board completely for this major life decision. We have discussed that it will just be a few more months at most (unless something horrible happens that we don't foresee) and then we will proceed. I guess that in the grand scheme of things, a few more months is really nothing compared to how long we have been trying.

So, in the mean time, I am keeping myself busy, but not in a way that totally avoids the thought of adoption like I see so many others who are at various stages of the waiting game trying to do. For me this has meant working as much overtime as I can and crafting.

Due to the fact that my thoughts are still very much on being a mother, most of my crafting has centered on this fact. It's a little hard for me to make too much in the way of our own child since we have no idea when this child will arrive or what sex he/she will be, so I have been testing my ideas on co-workers and friends.

These are some of the results. These are doll quilts. They are the perfect size for a small child to wrap their dolls in and are very cute if I do say so myself. These two in particular are for my work partner's 4 yo daughter and 2 yo son. They are a perfect way to see if I enjoy piecing a pattern before committing to a full sized quilt and it turns out that I really enjoyed both of these.


This 9 patch is for M, the 4 (almost 5)yo girl. Like most human females her age, pink is her favorite color. This quilt was made completely from scraps, right down to the batting (pieced from previous project scraps) to the pieced backing. My machine quilting was not the best on this piece, but in my defense it was late and I just wanted it done. Actually, that's not really a defense. More of a pathetic excuse.


This whirlygig is for P, the 2 (almost 3) yo boy. I was anxious to try this pattern and it turns out I do love it as much as I though I would. In fact, I have about 5 more quilts in this pattern planned out in my head and one in the works (baby sized).

I am giving them to the kids tonight, so I hope they love them and enjoy them.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

GO STEELERS!

It's Super Bowl Sunday and the Husband is firmly planted on the couch, wearing his new Roethlisberger jersey and periodically yelling at the TV. I am about to join him to do a bit of hand quilting and watch the commercials. I think it is safe now, since they just scored a pretty amazing touchdown.

I had big plans for the game day menu, but I am just getting over a stomach bug and the Husband's stomach is not feeling too hot either, so I just tried a few different recipes I have been wanting to make and we munched on and off throughout the day.


First up was this salsa. I love All Recipes for recipes because they have reviews and people always give great tips for changing it up too. The Husband didn't think it had enough heat, but I really liked it (total wimp about spice here). I need to figure out a way to up the heat because the roasted green chili peppers in a can that I bought seem very mild. I even added a bit of fresh jalapeno (very finely minced) and it didn't do much. I did it in my food processor and it is not chunky at all, but more smooth like the stuff you get in Mexican restaurants. I could have made it chunkier by processing it less, but we like it like this.

Next I tried these bacon wrapped little smokies, also from All Recipes. They were quite yummy, but learn from my experience and cut the bacon into thirds like they say. I cut it in half and had a hard time getting it crispy enough because it was wrapped around the smokie more than once. I also recommend saving part of your brown sugar back and once the tops look good, flip them over and sprinkle the rest of the brown sugar on the back sides and let them get nice and brown too.

The final recipe is one we have had many, many times. Spicy Orange Garlic Shrimp are amazing. We have also done it with chicken and steak, but into bit size bits. Very yummy. As I mentioned before, I am wimpy when it comes to spicy so I decrease the cayenne and the Old Bay when I make the shrimp. The chicken and steak don't seem to absorb the heat like the shrimp do, so I use the normal amount for them.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Adoption Tax Credit Due to Expire in 2010

I had no idea that the adoption tax credit was not a permanent thing. I have a feeling this may be a shock to many adoptive families. The tax credit is often the only way a family is able to adopt due to the expense. I am personally scared that the credit will expire before we are able to take advantage of it. We are really counting on this credit to help absorb some of the huge financial burden our adoption will be.

I am in a bit of a freak out but found this site that explains the situation and links to listings for your Congressional Reps and Senators. I have a list of people who will be receiving letters from me very soon. I am also asking my family and friends to take the time to write or email on behalf of anyone who has ever or will ever adopt.

I am also asking that anyone who reads this, even if you are not personally involved in an adoption situation, would take just a minute to help those of us who really need this.

There are even sample letters that you can change to fit your situation.

Thank you to anyone who takes the time to write.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Anemic Again

I can't remember if I have mentioned it, but I have been having problems with my asthma. After the adoption physical I made an appointment to talk to my new Doctor about the asthma and to review the new patient blood work she ordered.

Of course, in my usual style of procrastination, I didn't' get my blood work done until yesterday, just in time for my two week follow up appointment for my asthma.

At the last appointment, she had put me on Symbicort to treat my asthma. I was diagnosed with mild asthma about 8 years ago, but suspect I have probably had it all my life. Until recently it has been controlled by the occasional (couple times a month) use of a rescue inhaler. For the last four months I have been using my inhaler at least once a day and often more than that.

It started after our new cat, James, was diagnosed with a skin condition and had to be dipped in a mixture of lime and sulfur once a week for about 5 weeks. The stench of the dip felt like it was burning my lungs and likely irritated them to the point that they are having a hard time healing themselves. It was getting better since the dips stopped, but it was taking so long and was starting to really worry me. The Symbicort is a long lasting medication that will reduce inflammation and allow my lungs to heal. The point of this part of the story is that I am now on Symbicort for the next six months and we will decide what to do from there.

Now back to the actual point of this post. My blood work somehow managed to get back in time for today's appointment. My cholesterol and all associated things are very good. My thyroid is actually being over medicated still, so that level is being dropped again. The only real problem is that I am anemic again.

I was first diagnosed with anemia about 2 years ago, shortly after we moved back to Florida. It was kind of a shock because I had never been told I was anemic before and anyone who has been through infertility testing knows that they check for everything. The nurse practitioner who gave me the results sent me for a colonoscopy (that was fun) which came back normal. My follow up appointment was with another nurse practitioner who announced in a cheerful voice that the colonoscopy was unnecessary since she could tell from the blood work that the anemia was not from blood loss, but because my red blood cells were small and pale. I really wish someone had caught that before I had a giant tube shoved up you know where.

I took prenatals to correct the condition since we were trying to get knocked up anyway and never thought much more about it until now. Now I am mildly anemic again and the Doctor has ordered more blood work to confirm it is an iron deficiency. Hopefully with will be the problem and a simple pill will fix me right up.

All in all, it was a pretty good appointment and I am still relatively healthy and in no immediate danger of keeling over from anything that we know of.

Wow, that was long and boring. Sorry to anyone read to the end of this one.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Finally Finished

I promise this won't become a craft blog, but I have realized that if I only blog about adoption and babies that this is going to become a very slow blog. Crafting is a huge part of my life and since this blog is about adoption and our life, then crafts will naturally be a part of it.




This is the quilt I made for my Mother-in-law for Christmas. We are going over tonight to give it to her. It has actually been done for about a week now, but still way past the Christmas deadline. I have a habit of doing that. Assuming that I can get something done by a certain day and failing to take into account the rest of my life needing attention. That is the reason my Mom's quilt will also be late. Luckily, close family and friends know me and kind of expect it. The best of intentions and all.




This is the back of the quilt. I have always wanted to try a pieced back but never did. This time I realized that my back piece would be bigger than the width of the fabric I used on the front. If I was smart I would have bought the extra wide quilt backing material they sell and use it for the front parts too, but I always forget. Luckily I had extra bits of the fabric used to make the stars and was able to piece this together in a pretty cool fashion. I really like it and hopefully she will too.


The fabric used for the stars is from a jelly roll type thing they recently started carrying at Jo-Anns. It had 18 strips, with two strips of each of nine different fabrics that all coordinated. The strips were 2.5" x 44". I had to buy extra from the bolt (they had some of the fabrics from the collection on the bolt and they also had fat quarters and charm packs from the same collection)for the binding.

They had 2 different fabric collections and they seem to have sold well, so I am hoping they will continue to carry this type of packaging option.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Visit with my Grandparents

On Thursday I had a visit with my Grandparents. I haven't had a chance to really sit down and discuss the adoption with them. They knew that it was an option we were considering for quite some time so I know they were not shocked, but I really wanted to have a chance to explain everything and get their opinions and answer any questions.

Our family is not new to the whole adoption thing. My grandmother's older sister, Aunt D could not have children. I have no idea why. This was back in the 40's and 50's and testing was very limited I am sure. All I know is that she and Uncle B really wanted a baby. So Uncle B went and found one. A young girl who was pregnant and looking to place the baby for adoption. It was a private adoption and as was the way for most adoptions back then, it was kept secretive and no one talked about it.

My cousin F found out when he was 13 years old. They felt it was time to tell him. Let's just say that the conversation did not go so well. He had a bit of a melt down and I am honestly not sure that his relationship with his parents was the same after that. Apparently my Grandparents saw it coming and had tried to convince them to be honest with him about it from an early age.

This was the first bit of advice they gave me when I talked about adoption several years ago. They brought it up again today and I assured them that no matter the type of adoption we end up in (we are looking for semi, but will accept closed. Not really sure we want to go the open route), our child will know from day one that they were adopted.

The rest of the conversation was just about what we were looking for in a baby (sounds like buying a car huh?) and how long we might have to wait and what we had to do. They were so supportive, not that that I expected anything less from them. I am very close to my Grandparents and I could have sat there and told them I was planning on catching a feral cat and raising it as our child and they would have volunteered to baby sit.

They are so excited to have great grandchildren and I am sad when I think about how much less time our child will have to know them now that this process has taken us so long.

It seems so unfair that this is so hard for us. We are good people. We are financially responsible and are honest and hardworking and so ready to be parents.

I sometimes find myself wondering what the hell we did for God to keep this from us. Then I look around and see that obviously God is not handing out children based on a merit system. If that was the case then 13 year olds and crack heads wouldn't be popping them out faster than the WIC office can sign them up. But still, in the back of my mind, I wonder why. Is this some huge lesson? Is it so that we will appreciate our child and the experience of being parents more? Because, honestly,it's been 9 years. I think we get the point now.

Youdata Update

A few weeks ago I mentioned Youdata. I just wanted to update anyone who might have been interested. Since I started it about 2 weeks ago I have made about $7.00. Not much, but it is growing and potentially could be the source of a nice bit of pocket change in the near future.

10 Honest Things


Danielle from Life induces thoughts, mostly random tagged me for a meme. I'm not sure if I should thank her or track her down and torture her.

I am supposed to list 10 honest things about myself. I saw her comment alerting me to the fact several days ago, but this is the first real chance I have had to sit down and type out. I have been thinking about it though, and here is what I have come up with....

1. I am scared to be a parent. I am a 35 year old woman who has been trying to have a baby for over 9 years now and I am still scared. Not really scared of the day to day care like diapering and feeding and stuff, but more the financial aspects of it. I don't want to raise a spoiled child, but I do want to raise a child who has everything they need and a lot of what they want. I was raised in a household with both parents and while we never went hungry, I didn't have the cool cloths or toys. It was hard for me. I went to school in a very affluent area and people were very concerned about what you wore and where you lived and what your parents drove. The Husband was raised by his mother and stepfather as one of five kids living at home. They were not well off and probably would have qualified for some kind of financial assistance if his mother had not been to proud to ask. He shares my fear. That is one of the reasons we waited so long to start trying. He wanted to be financially stable and to have a house for our child to grow up in. We are in that position and have been for over 10 years now, but this adoption is going to put a big dent in our nest egg. Our security for our future. His and mine and our child's.

2. Sometimes I compare my new cat (James - 10 months old) with my previous cat (Sam - 14 years old when he died last July) and it's not favorable for James. I have to remind myself that he and Sam are very different and that he is still a baby and will mature and that it's okay that he is not just like Sam, because he an amazing and sweet personality all his own.

3. I like Sci-Fi. I was so sad when I watched the last Stargate Atlantis that I actually put off watching it for 3 days. I would have put it off longer, but I was worried it would somehow get erased from the DVR. I am a geek and proud of it, but damn, have you seen Ronon?

4. I have crafting ADD. I get so obsessed with a project and will get like 90% done and then walk away. I have no idea why. I enjoy the feeling of completing a project, but so often I don't or it takes years to finally get around to finishing it. It's sad really. I made dealing with that a goal for 2009. Of course it was also a goal for 2007 and 2008.

5. My partner at work has forced me to watch reality tv and now I find myself actually sucked into it and curious about what happens. And not mainstream reality tv that you can feel good about either. The really crappy stuff like "Real Chance at Love", "Rock of Love" and "Tool Academy". I'm ashamed.

6. I put off losing weight because I figured I was just going to get pregnant and get fat and why go to all that trouble until after the baby was born. I rationalized it with things like,"Oh, well I always eat really healthy when I'm pregnant" and "I'm going to nurse so that will help me drop the weight". Now, with our decision to adopt, I am forced to get off my butt and actually do something to lose the weight.

7. My Wii hurts my feelings. It's really mean. I know that little "Oh" comment happens to everyone, even my skinny little niece, but it still hurts. And I was really offended when we set up the Wii Fit and it made my little Mii get bigger.

8. I am pissed that our adoption is going to cost so much. I am pissed that out of about $28,000 that we will pay, only about $6,000 will go to the birth mother. I am pissed that she is even getting that much. I don't mind paying for meds related to the pregnancy, or even ones she needs to stay healthy during the pregnancy. I don't mind paying medical bills not covered under insurance or medicaid. I don't mind paying for maternity clothing within reasonable amounts. I don't even mind paying rent if she is truly homeless, but not just because she wants to get her own apartment at our expense. I really don't mind paying for healthy food to ensure the baby gets the nutrition it needs. But I don't think we should be paying her cell phone bill and utilities and car payment. Crap like this being available to them is what causes expectant mothers to scam. A free ride for the entire pregnancy in the state of Florida. Our agency only allows expenses after 20 weeks, but still. Of course, there are circumstances where I would change my opinion, but in most cases she can get a job. Pregnancy is not incapacitating in most cases. It's not an excuse to live off of others. I am pissed that this will be our only child because of how much it is going to cost. It would take years to be able to afford another adoption and we don't want to be that old and have a newborn.

9. I really want The Husband to dye his hair. He is getting a touch of grey around the temples and I don't want people to ask us if we are the grandparents when we go somewhere with the baby. He doesn't look old at all, but that grey bothers me. I mentioned it once and he was very adamant about not dying his hair. I guess I will just deal with it.

10. I am so inexperienced and ignorant about blogging that I have not really ventured out too much into the blogging world and I don't even have 7 people to tag for this meme. I read a lot of blogs, both about infertility/adoption/parenting and about crafts, but I don't comment a lot and I doubt any of them even know I exist. It's another goal for 2009. To reach out to others and make blogging friends and to get my blog out in the open more.

So that being said, I tag Karen from Clio. I know that she is out of town right now and dealing with a sore wrist and a non-napping baby, but if she wants to and finds the time, the offer is on the table.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Tired

Yesterday was my first day off in 8 days. Not a big deal, except my days are 12 hour days. I am feeling run down and lazy. My house is a mess and the Husband is wanting attention and all I feel like doing is sleeping.

At least football is on and he is distracted, so I am off to Jo-Anne's for more fabric for my Mom's quilt and then a lazy afternoon of quilting and napping, with a little house cleaning tossed in.

I haven't had a lot of free time to post, but not much is going on. The Husband got his physical done and the paperwork signed. We should be turning the paperwork in along with the check and starting our home study soon.

And I bought a bottle brush. I haven't made much progress on list, but I have some time and I still want to go to Babies R' Us with M before I buy much more.

I have also found an interesting diapering option. I don't have the link on this computer, but I will get it from work and post about it. I really need to research it more, but it sounds like a pretty good cross between disposables and cloth.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Work, Work, Work

That is all I am doing and all I will be doing for the next week or so. I work 12 hour shifts so this is going to be a long week for me since I signed up for a ton of overtime. Great money but not too much down time and what little I have will be taken up with sleeping and eating.

I will try to pop in and post about the Husband's physical and any new and exciting news, but not too much is going on right now anyway.

Friday, January 9, 2009

The Things People Google

I was checking out my blog stats today and I was looking at the different ways people are finding my blog. I always enjoy seeing what Google search led someone to my little blog and today was the best.

First, some poor soul did a search for "dishwasher basket" and stumbled upon my crazed ranting and pictures of the first adoption purchase. I hope that they took time to read the comments and see the helpful tip about my choice being a little on the small side.

The second one I found was the best ever for me. It will probably not get any better. I still can't figure out how my blog came up for this, but here is what was typed in the Google search bar. "can u get pregnant if the guy already came 2 times and came in me the third time."

Now, I can only assume that it's because of the mention of third time, but I was the fifth choice on the results page. Really, that was the best Google could do for this poor girl? The worst is that the post they show a bit of is about the fabric for my diaper bag and includes descriptions of quilting items at the end. She must have been really confused and disappointed when she clicked that link.

Well, that was my laugh for the day.

Something Cool

The other day while reading Karen's blog, I came across a post about YouData. I was intrigued and checked it out. Basically, they pay you to view ads. Right now all I have had are text ads and they are not very profitable, but they only require a click and you can check out the site further if it interests you. It seemed like a quick way to make a few extra bucks to support my Etsy habit, so I signed up. Since I already had an established Paypal account it only took a few minutes to get started.

I have made a little over $4.00 in the last few days for approximately 3 minutes of my time total. It's not a lot, but as the site grows and more people become members and more advertisers sign on it will grow and there will be more ads available, allowing me to earn more.

The best part if that the ads are targeted to me. I answered a few questions and based on my answers, they select ads that are likely to appeal to me and my family. And it seems to be working. I have already found several great stores and a very cool review blog full of cool items I never knew existed. Like this handy little gadget. Oddly, I have seen this same item 3 times in the last few days. I can't remember the first place, but it was online and probably a blog. Later that day I was flipping through a parenting magazine and the Doctor's office while waiting for my TB test (By the way, I am TB free officially) and came across it in a little collection of hot new items. I made a mental note to check out the website, but forgot until tonight when I clicked on an ad at YouData and this was an item reviewed on the site. I think I am destined to buy these once we get our baby. Very cool idea too. Someone is making a killing off this little band.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A Nice Surprise

Last night at work my co-worker, J, announced she had some baby stuff for me. When we walked out to her car this morning after our shift was over, she handed me 2 huge bags stuffed full of baby stuff that she was giving me.

In addition to about 20 blankets in mostly neutral colors, she also gave me a brand new, still in the box, grocery cart cover that also works as an interactive play mat. Very cute and probably expensive. I also have a brand new delicates bag for washing tiny baby clothing, a bath seat for when the baby gets older and can sit up, a cute little ducky bath mitt (also brand new) and a sweet photo album with ducks on it, still wrapped in the plastic it came in.

Very nice and I am extremely grateful. It's so nice to have wonderful friends who are supporting us with our adoption process.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Why do the Baby Furniture Making People Hate Me?

As discussed in my previous post, adoption is expensive. That will be a recurring theme on this blog. Just thought you should know.

Due to the fact that it is so friggen expensive, we have been looking at ways of making our money count when it comes to baby stuff. We have to buy a crib. I am sure the Social Worker would be a bit hesitant to sign off on us if she thought we had plans to make the child sleep in a drawer. Cribs can be cheap, but they can also be a bit less cheap (but still not expensive) and be multi-taskers. I like the ones that convert from crib to toddler bed to day bed to full size bed, because frankly, I doubt a 13 year old boy would be too happy if forced to sleep in a pretty day bed.

We like the look of dark wood and would like to go with either black or espresso. We feel that those colors would grow with the child and would work for either a boy or girl.

So I researched. I found this crib in either ebony or espresso. Not a bad price and they have coordinating dressers that are the right height to serve as changing tables with the addition of a changing pad. But the reviews showed the dressers were kind of small (not so good when they get older and the clothes get bigger) and they were kind of pricey for the quality.

So then I looked at this crib and was impressed by the price and reviews. Then I tried to find a matching dresser. This is the only dresser that Graco makes in espresso. It's kind of froofy. Does it look like something a boy would want once he gets out of diapers? Too girly? It also looks kind of small in that picture. Of course they don't have one in the store to see in real life.

We have a great dresser in natural pine that could easily be stained or painted to match, but I doubt we could get the color right. Who knows. That may be the way we go. We could always paint some sample pine and take it to the store to check it against the Graco version of espresso. If we can get close enough it might have to do. I really don't want to get rid of that dresser and there is no where else to store it once the room becomes the nursery.

So I guess my only complaint is that they suck you in with cute, affordable, magically transforming cribs and sock it to you with the dressers.

Why I Love My Friend M

There are lots of reasons really to love my friend M, but the most recent reason is a big one.

You see, this whole adoption thing is pricey. I have always dreamed of buying everything brand new and in the perfect color to coordinate with everything else. Adoption has thrown a wrench into that plan in a few ways.

One way is that we don't have a due date like we would with a pregnancy of our own. No time frame to be ready by. It could be a week after we sign, it could be a year. This also means no season to judge clothing needs by. And while knowing the sex of they baby is not a guarantee ever, odds were high that we would have had some advance notice. I am high risk for pregnancy due to our history so that usually means more scans and we were also planning on the fancy 3D/4D scan just because it is amazing and cool and not really that expensive for such a clear first look at the baby.

The other reason is that this is very expensive. We are not super rich. We are normal and there has been a big change of lifestyle happening here lately to help save extra so that we can afford to send this kid to college one day. We have to make some concessions and M has been a huge help in this.

M's son just turned two and has long outgrown all his baby stuff. In her garage, neatly packed away, are a car seat/stroller combo, play yard, gym mat, high chair, bouncy seat, swing, walker, bumbo seat and a ton of other items that are pretty pricey and only get used for a few months. She has offered everything to us to use. I can't even begin to express how wonderful this is. I think I am going to go through my lists and based on the price of the selections I made, see how much this will save us. It's going to be a big amount.

The only thing out of the list of items she is loaning us that I intend to buy myself is our own car seat/stroller combo. This gets a lot of wear and tear and I would hate to hand it back to her in less than perfect condition. This is also something that gets a lot of use and for quite a while, so not a waste of money just for a few months of use. I do intend to have her car seat on hand though, in case of a quick placement. I have a set picked out, but don't want to order now because not only do I not want to stare at a stroller if the wait turns out to be long (talk about depressing), but I am fickle and have been known to fall out of love with a pattern as quick as I fell in love.

All of M's stuff is neutral, even though little M is a boy. I would have picked it all out myself to be honest. Lots of green which is our favorite color. I just want to hug her every time I think about what she is doing for us.

I love lists

I really love lists. I love making lists and I especially love crossing things off my lists. I have been known to make lists of things that I want to make lists of. Sad huh?

This whole adoption thing has been a list making bonanza for me. Lists of things to do for the home study. Lists of people to bug for pictures. Lists of people to ask for referrals. And best of all, lists of baby stuff.

You might notice that I have added a list to the right hand side bar (I feel obligated to note that there are copies of this list in several other strategic places though out my home, car and purse.) It's a list of baby stuff we would need should we get a surprise placement. The thought had never occurred to me until we met a couple at our orientation who had it happen to them. One hour to decide and get there. They had to stop at Babies R Us to get the basics on the way in.

As soon as I heard there story the mental list started. I have now put it to paper about a thousand times over. Revising and rewriting. My ever patient co-worker, J, has been very helpful as the mother of a 4 year old and a 2 year old. So has M of course, who has loaned me the use of almost all of her baby gear (a whole nother post devoted to each item I am sure).

I bought my first item the other day, not counting stuff purchased over the years during out pregnancies and the trying. I mentioned it before and now, in my effort to make this blog a little less boring, I have taken a picture of it. Actually, I took two, because the first one was blurry when I went to crop it, so I had to set it up and take another. That's devotion I tell you.

Without further ado, here is the dishwasher basket............




And now that you have all been awed by the sight of my brand new dishwasher basket, let me explain the list on my sidebar (which is not complete and I welcome any suggestions). I intend for this to be a list of items I would need to get through the first day. Additional items that are necessary to function for the short term can be picked up the next day, and after the shower(s) we will buy anything else we feel is necessary that we do not own. Items with a * are items that I have already obtained. I will adjust the list as I purchase. I am sure I will also take more pictures and discuss each item at length, so please keep my blog in mind should you ever find yourself experiencing insomnia.

The goal is to buy only the necessary amount of each item so we don't end up with a bunch of generic green and yellow. Not that we hate green and yellow, we would just like a little pink or blue tossed in once we know for sure.

I feel a list of crafty projects for the baby coming on. I wonder how much my sidebar can handle?

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Fabric for my Diaper Bag?


This is the jelly roll that M gave me for christmas. She knows how much I love this collection. It is the Recess by American Jane collection from Moda. Oh, how I love Moda.

In my excitement of receiving this beautiful gift, I did not even have a plan for what it would become. It was still a few days before Christmas and I was up to my eyeballs in projects that had to be finished by the big day.

It was the day after while in the shower that the answer came to me. I was washing my hair and thinking about what pattern to use for the diaper bag. The plan was always to make my own, since M and I actually have a little business doing just that. I just had no idea what fabric to use.

I didn't want to plan for either boy or girl, because even if we do have a match with a determined sex, you never know if it will succeed. I hate to sound negative or pessimistic, but I am trying to prepare myself for the possibility this could happen. The other reason was that I am sure the Husband does not want to carry a pretty pink bag, no matter how trendy and beautiful the fabric.

I spent hours at work searching through my favorite sites for the perfect fabric. No single fabric struck me as "the one". That's the thing about this jelly roll. Individually, the fabrics are fine. Very cute and retro, but nothing spectacular. But when you add them together, they are adorable and perfect.

The bag will be strips of 15 different fabrics stacked horizontally. This will leave enough fabric to make several bibs, burps cloths, lovie blankets and assorted pouches and binkie keepers. The purchase of a few charm packs (see below for explanation of jelly rolls and charm packs and all this other quilty stuff if you care) will give me a perfectly sized car seat quilt and a handy quilted changing mat that will roll up and stay that way with a cute scrunchy type elastic band at one end.

I have not started it yet because I have yet to order the charm packs and possible yardage of other fabric. I still need to do some planning to see what I need.

I will do the ordering soon, but the bag will have to wait until I finish the christmas quilt that is 85% complete for my MIL. That would get done a lot faster if I wasn't here on the computer and planning and prepping for a doll quilt for my co-worker's 4 year old daughter (in my defense, that is a good hand project for work. The big quilt is way to big and would only get dirty from dragging on the floor. I swear.)

Quilty stuff explanations:

Jelly rolls are 2.5" strips of fabric that are approximately 45" long (the width of the bolt of fabric). Depending on the fabric line and how many different designs are in that particular line, you will get one or two of each print, usually about 40 strips total. It is a great way to get a good selection of prints for a project without spending a fortune on big pieces.

Charm packs are 5" square pieces of fabric from a collection. Unlike most jelly rolls that I have seen that are always 40 pieces of fabric, charm packs vary depending on how many different designs are in the line. They vary from 25 to 40 different pieces and I have never seen a pack with more than one of each design. They are great for making simple but cute quilts with lots of color and variety.

Layer Cakes are just like charm packs except the squares are 10".

Introducing Pictures

I have realized for a while that this blog must be very boring to look at. Not a picture on the thing. Of course, when you are trying to get pregnant, there are not too many pictures of the process you will feel comfortable posting for the WWW to see. Fertility treatment doesn't add too much in the way of options. Oh, I could always post pics of the negative preg tests or the vials of drugs sitting in the fridge, but those are not exciting now are they?

Well, the era of adoption offers a whole new outlook. There is baby stuff to be bought and cute baby items to be made (did I ever mention I am excessively crafty? I mean dangerously so, but I digress). Pictures of actual things that won't make you cringe or feel sorry for me.

The only problem is that until now, I couldn't figure out how to put a picture anywhere but at the beginning of a post. I know it can be done because I have seen others do it on the same blog host I use. I guess I could have asked one of them and I may well have to if my theory doesn't pan out, but I think I figured out the secret today while poking around my layout.

Here is a test run. I was trying to take a picture of one of my Christmas gifts from my friend M. James decided it was photo shoot time for him, but apparently didn't really care for the flash. If my theory is right you will soon be seeing a picture of my willing model. If not, you have already seen it at the top of this post and I am off to hunt down someone who can help me figure this stupid thing out.






Friday, January 2, 2009

Mother Daughter Day

I spent a part of they day with my Mom today. First we went to Target to check out the color of the crib I have been eyeing online. Of course that led to a tour through the entire baby department, with me pointing out my current selections of things I plan on using. Granted, her last experience with raising a newborn was over 30 years ago, but some advice still holds true to this day.

Next it was over to Joann Fabrics to pick out fabric for a quilt I am making her for her birthday. We also spent a few minutes looking at baby patterns and I checked out the terry cloth. It is thicker than I thought and it should be easy and cheap to make a selection of hooded baby towels to solve my earlier dilemma.

Finally, we spent time going through pictures, looking for ones that would work for our profile. I came home with way more than we need and I have not even gone through what I have on hand or the Husband's childhood pics. My plan is to pick what I like and then have friends help me narrow it down.

On the way home I called the Husband's sister, K, and asked her to email me some recent pics of her hubby and my niece on a recent trip. I also asked her about doing a referral letter for us. She of course agreed and I will email her the instructions so she can get started.

Not too shabby on the accomplishment front considering I have only been awake for 7 hours so far today.