Monday, May 31, 2010

The Hike

The trail to Hankapi'ai Beach.

Two miles each way - steep, narrow, cliff-edge trails the whole way.

Caleb was in charge of keeping Becket alive. They held hands the whole way and all three were real troopers. Kenton was our scout - warning of super slippery or dangerous spots.

Two hour hike for those mere two miles. But the views up the Napali coast were worth it!

We opted not to do the whole 11 miles.

Yesterday's quote of the day Kenton: I have sand in my pants.
Today's quote Becket: I knew we should have brought a rope.

Sunday, May 30, 2010


Becket slept and played - I hexed!

Sunrise at Lydgate Park, Kauai

Floating in Paradise!

Friday, May 28, 2010

A new Friend and a rest....

Happy Summer Vacation!

Amazingly, the kids had their last day of school today. We're out so early this year. It's always crazy for the first couple of weeks and I'll be gone for a bit.

I have a bit of cuteness to hold my place while I'm gone.

One of the moms at preschool was planning a birthday party for her little girl - turning 7 I believe. She asked if I had any girly fabric scraps she could have for the party craft. I remembered this sweet daisy print and a pretty sear sucker that I had bought for a crafty project that never got made. She was so happy and loved them - then brought me one of the finished dolls as a thank you. What a wonderful surprise she was!

I think she's just beautiful and looks quite happy in her new home with the gnomes and hedgehogs in my sewing space. The mom hand painted them - the face is so sweet! The green and blue are just perfect. And the little pink barrette. I just had to share her. Hope to see you when I return.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Hexagon needle book : tutorial

{or Use some of those things, already!}
also, blogger is being strange - this posted randomly, then went away as it was scheduled for Wednesday, and now is back, let's hope it doesn't disappear again

I had some extra d-rings from the netbook project, and also needed a second needle book for summer hexagon work. I was getting ready to make a plain old rectangle then realized I should make it a cute hexagon!

It's wool felt lined and also has two pages for pins and needles. Here's how you can make one, too. Please forgive some of these grainy process shots - I made it on a whim at night.

First, select two cute prints and baste your hexagons.
I made these with 1.5" hexagons - that's the measurement along one straight edge.

Then trace your shape and cut out two wool felt pieces the same size as your hexagon.

Iron your hexagon nice and flat, remove your paper shape, and pin wrong side to the wool felt. Slowly machine stitch about an 1/8" from the edges. You want to make sure you catch all the raw edges under on your hexie, no worries on the wool. Make two like this.

Now trace your hexagon again on some more felt. This time space them about 1.25" apart. Leave 5/8" wide strip in the center and trim away the rest. This will be your hanging loop. I like having the option of attaching this to my travel sewing stuff so it doesn't get lost in the bottom of a bag.

Fold the felt in half, then roll up one hexagon and stuff it through the d-ring. Make sure you do this before you stitch it all together!

Layer a hexagon print side down, folded felt center, then hexagon print side up. Machine stitch across the whole top edge a couple of times, close to the edge, but making sure you catch all four layers.

Now you have the cutest needle book around!

Hex Quilt - the beginning

You can see my button to the right - as soon as I read r0ssie's Process Pledge last week, I knew I had to join! Being a mechanical engineer, I'm all about the process.

A couple of things have come together to lead me to a hexagon i-spy quilt over the last week. First this lovely charm pack of 3.5" vintage reproduction prints that I got from Amy's etsy shop. They're so cute, and so are hexagons. They go together perfectly!

I was just going to make them on the airplane, and figure out something to do with them later. But then Penny's pillow caught my eye and I printed it out for my inspiration board. Fabulous, huh! I thought, why not group a bunch of my new hexagons together and make them into blocks - like her pillow? I love their white frame.

So I started cutting more 3.5" squares. I used template plastic and traced a hexagon in the middle so I can see what part will show. I usually just cut the whole square, but I added the 1/4" seam allowance on in case I wanted to cut a hexagon shape to conserve some precious portion of fabric.

Now, have you seen Aneela's storybook quilt or her watercolor quilt? Of course you have, because they're fabulous. I love the effect of the scrappy, single color blocks! So out came a whole bunch of my stash - cutting 3.5" squares out of each of them. The blocks will have bits of Munki and vintage ispy mixed with my regular prints.

I cut and cut and cut. Then I laid out what I had and took pictures of each color set. Photoshop will make a nice contact sheet for you - look a quilt. I liked it while I was cutting - one I got the contact sheet I LOVED it! Also noticed that my stash is very blue/green heavy.

So I did some quilty math and figured out that I need about 16 blocks (hexagons within a block and then sashed up a bit) for my preferred lap quilt size of at least 60" square. That's 22 full and partial hexagons per block. You can see on my larger printout of each color group I noted how many more 3.5" squares I need to make a full block. Also handy to quickly see if I had already included a print! I have a couple duplicates but am mostly going for one square per print.

Out came the fabric again to try to get enough squares for the whole thing. I'm pretty short on yellow and orange. Hopefully I can find some more to add in later, but I've pretty much exhausted my stash. I seriously need to start packing now and stop cutting fabric.

It will be interesting to see how many of the 352 hexagons I can get done on the airplane!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

I'm Chuffed & Use my stash year : week 21

I had that lovely echino come in, and did just a bit of travel-crafty sewing sewing this week, so the stash report isn't too exciting. But I was excited to page up and see that I've actually used over 72 yards so far this year!

Busted: 1.029
Purchased: 5
Net YTD: (19.052)

I never use 'chuffed' in daily speech but I always love it when I hear it and I'm super happy with how my new traveling netbook sleeve came out!

I used Elizabeth's tutorial that's on Sew Mama Sew. Her tutorials are always so well written. It only took me an evening, start to finish. I used Joel Dewberry home dec weight and a soft flannel for the lining.

Oh, hello!
I had to add him as a happy little face each time I opened the flap.

Now look at this awesome zippered pocket I added under that flap. It turned out perfectly! Izzy inspired made a cover for her iPad and linked to a great tutorial that I used, too.

The only other change I made to the original pattern was to add these d-rings. I want to make a strap for it.

Happy, safe netbook!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Blogger's Quilt Festival

My followers have seen this already, but I really wanted to share this again. My friend Liesl is battling breast cancer - she's been through two rounds of chemo now and still has her wonderful smile and attitude. She told me her regular mamogram is saving her life. An important reminder for us all!

Panaceia is the greek goddess of cures and healing. It's 53" x 62" Liesl said it was wonderful to use during her chemo treatment - I think this was a good lap size. And the camper vans reminded her of when she was little - she loved them the most.

As soon as I heard she was diagnosed, I had to make a quilt. I imagine during and after chemo, feeling tired and chilled, and giving her something cheery to cover up with.

I loved Amy's 'Peas and Carrots' the first time I saw it - actually the first thing I ever faved in flickr. It looks so happy! She made her quilt as a kit for the local shop and kindly sent instructions that went with the precut pieces. I modified it a bit to eliminate the boarders and turn the panels into my own little improv creations.

I used all my favorite Heather Ross cuteness - very happy little prints for Liesl. And I experimented with skinny boarders and solids. This block uses Kona school bus and tangerine - my favorite orange combo!

This fishy block was the most improv. I pieced/cut/added/cut/moved....I was thinking about Gwen Marston's philosophy of add some if it's too small, cut some off if it's too big.

I love the light/dark thing that was going on with the Kona, so charcoal was the perfect choice for the binding!

I quilted it with invisible thread on the top so it wouldn't stand out against either the dark solids or the light prints. I loved every minute of making this quilt and giving it to Liesl was absolutely wonderful.

Thanks for reading about this special quilt. Now head back for more quilty - bloggy - fun!!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

A great list and a Winner!

Thank you so much for all your awesome ideas for in-flight kid entertainment!

Here are some of my favorite ideas that I hadn't already thought of, for future reference:
  • duct tape - to tape the kids down, no wait, it was for them to make crafts with. Either way, maybe I can get some hexagon making in :)
  • get some little toys, candies etc. and wrap each one. They have unwrapping as well as playing with what's inside!
  • a roll of painter's tape. They can go crazy and not ruin anything.
  • remember those little books with the invisible markers--do you remember those? I always liked those. Or mad libs (the kid friendly ones)
  • A quick game that I play with my young grandkids in restaurants is "Something's Missing": Line up several items (knife, spoon, sugar packet, napkin, etc) One person closes their eyes and the other removes one item. Then eyes are uncovered and the guessing begins. Young children require only 3-4 items and you can add more for older kids. It goes quickly and may fill some of your time!
  • don't forget some lollies to suck on when taking off and landing!!
  • H2O uno. the cards are waterproof so they're great by the pool or while we're waiting for food (easy to clean!). I think they even have decks with a plastic ring so you're not toting a card pack and they can be "clipped" to a backpack.
  • I kind of think the older two should be old enough to plan their own entertainment. Perhaps provide a small budget for them to buy something new or to supplement something they already have.
  • I kind of think the older two should be old enough to plan their own entertainment. Perhaps provide a small budget for them to buy something new or to supplement something they already have.
  • I like window cling stickers for a long flight- if you have a window seat, the kids can cling the tiny stickers to the window for quite a while. I also like tiny doll houses with tiny people. Sometimes they roll, so we put a small felt square of 'grass' on the tray table first.
  • You could also pack a bunch of pipe cleaners and have them make things with them.
  • my mother would print out maps of wherever we were flying over (US, etc) to color. I'd try to figure out where we were and color the states, etc, in time with our travels.
  • Silly putty. It amuses them for hours!
  • But I also love to bring new crayons, a few big buttons, and some yarn scraps, along with a glue stick, and see who can make the best barf bag puppet!
  • Post-it notes. We travel with a pencil pouch filled with a variety of sizes of post-its, blunt nosed scissors (Yes, they're allowed), and twistables. You can make all sorts of things and stick them to the plane. Also, ask for an extra cup - use it as a pencil cup (jam it between the tray and the seat in front of you) to keep the twistables from rolling away.
  • Now, I have an idea for your 4 year old. And maybe the olders, too. Take a gallon sized ziploc bag and fill it not very full with pretty tempra paint (we used blue sparkly paint). Seal securely. Lay it flat and put a piece of clear contact paper over both sides, sealing around the edges. Flatten the paint with your hands, then put it on a flat surface and you can draw on it, then smooth it down by wiping with your palm. I have very tactile seeking kids, which might be what makes this such a big hit. They draw pictures and practice letters and numbers and such. Then you just roll it up and stash it in your bag. Of course, now that I think about it, I wonder if the airport security people would confiscate it.

Now the winner from ...

...who is...

Thanks for entering everybody!

Reason #42

....that hexagons are great

When your child is in band, jazz lab, chorus, and volunteers to play with the strings for the symphonic orchestra

- and all of these things have separate concert schedules for the end of year -

and you have to be there a half hour early to have a seat for the show

You can work on your hexagons
and baffle other parents with your craft AND the photos of said craft while you wait!

{make sure you've entered for a chance at your own little hexagon kit}

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Traveling Art for Becket

I made a Traveling Art Show for Becket last night from an awesome tutorial at Bread and Buttons. It went together super fast! This is high on the list of things people suggest for in-flight entertainment.

I was going to use velcro to close it for Becket to work himself, but he actually should learn how to tie. You don't really learn that since all the shoes are velcro! So I ended up using some Hancocks Fabric twill tape I had saved.

We went to Staples this morning and he picked out a few of the things for the inside so far. We'll add some stickers and mini activity books, too.

He just saw me typing this up and ran to get it - he's opening and closing and testing it out. I may have to hide it until the trip!

I used some really yummy echino fabric with 1974 stash. I seriously want to win, but you may want to enter Penny's give can win a little shopping spree at superbuzzy and get some echino for yourself!