Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Clothing vs. Quilting

The beauty of sewing clothing rather than quilts is that the gratification comes MUCH sooner. Less cussing under ones breath, less last minute scrambles to the fabric store, less late nights at the sewing machine, less aches in the neck from bending over the sewing machine. And yet... I'm afraid that I still love those dang quilts more. So much pride goes into a finished one because of the time and effort that it consumed (and plus, my hubby massages out the kinks in my neck :). Susan has been working on a cathedral for FOUR YEARS! And it's beautiful! (Susan, I can't seem to find the picture, would you help me out?).

I'm leaving on Thursday and won't be home until Monday night and I am plotting about how I could get my sewing machine on the plane as a carry on... if I took the needle out of it, what's left to be used as a weapon? A friend of mine just got back from Ethiopia and they let her take her bamboo knitting needles as a carry on...

If I were to get into a fight with someone, I would much rather they wield a sewing machine rather than some knitting needles! Did you know that bamboo is stronger than steel? All the better to stab you with as far as I'm concerned. Let's really think about this. Would you rather have a 30 lb. sewing machine thrown at you or your eye poked out by a knitting needle? Again, I choose the slow moving sewing machine. I could see it coming and steathfully jump out of the way. Maybe I'll just debate the security guys about it when I get to the airport. I'll bring in a ton of data that proves my point and they'll go for it. My hubby thinks that calling would be a better idea. He's so sensible.

Well, now that I've blabbed for the morning, here's some photos of Miss B in the dress that I made her last night. Isn't she the cutest!?!And I got a birthday present in the mail from my mother-in-law. How cool is that!?! I honestly believe that we're blessed with the best family. But there is a part of me that wonders if I should take the titles as a hint? Hmmmm...

Monday, July 30, 2007


Let's start off with the skirt, finally completed. I cropped my upper half off (presently I have no make-up on) and the embroidery is difficult to see (Miss Z took the photo) but just let your imagination soar!

Here's another with the skirt taking a nap on the couch:

You can see the embroidery better and yet it lacks... body (pun intended). I talked Miss B out of me making her a quilt... Here's how: Offer the most feminine girl on the planet the choice of either A.a quilt made by mommy or B.a summer dress made by mommy. She of course chose option B which leaves me more time to make MY quilt. I am naughty, I admit it. But she's happy and I'm happy so who's going to tell on me?

Yesterday was my 29th birthday and I received THE BEST birthday present ever. If you know me well, then you know that one of my fantasies is to have a mariachi band singing to me as I lean over my veranda (don't have one of those). Well, yesterday this came as close as it ever will when a band by the name of Gertrude's Hearse sang to me (while on the ferry) a song about QUILTING and LOVING the man who carries the same last name as I (that would be my husband). Man they pegged me well... Here's a link to one of their songs Don't be jealous!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Back from Vacation...

I'll bore you with a few photos and blab more tomorrow...
We went to the San Juan Islands, Friday Harbor... ahhhh ... This one is from when we went whale watching (and only saw some otters)

And this was the lavender farm that we went to (partook in some lavender lemonade, lavender ice cream, lavender body glitter, lavender after shave, lavender essential oils, amongst other yummy-ness. Okay, more tomorrow!

P.S. I finished the skirt and wore the new tank top!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Oh yeah!!!

Don't you wish that it was your pretend birthday? Here's what I received today while the kids sang "Happy Pretend Birthday" to me. Want to know how to cook this lovely delight?


  1. Start with two cups (literally) of hose water.
  2. Pour into a toy container that someone snuck outside.
  3. Add 4 or 5 unripened apples that have been mortared (take a rock from the driveway and smash the apples into chunks).
  4. Stir.
  5. Using fresh flowers that are okay to pick from the yard (whatever you prefer but they used dandelions), pull the stems off, and discard. Rip off petals, then using home-made mortar, mash these. Throw them in too.
  6. In a separate container, put some dirt (dug from the base of the slide) in and slowly add small amounts of water while constantly stirring. Once the stir-ers arms get tired, add to the toy container.
  7. Wala! Fast and colorful!

I also have really good news that relates to sewing. The apron is complete! I googled for WAY too long both last night and this morning, searching for legible directions on gathering. Finally figured out the problem: McCall's asked for X amount of fabric for the ruffle but that wasn't enough to actually give the fabric room to ruffle! I had to double the length that was called for. Also, because my sewing machine really didn't want to baste, I tried the zig zag stitch method and it worked wonderfully! I'm very impressed with the results and oh-so-happy that the freakin' thing is done... well, it's mostly done. Notice the teensy pocket? I used some Heat and Bond

to keep the seams together, but I'm not quite sure what else to do with it. Haven't sewed it on yet to leave myself some options. I heart brick brack or however that's spelled and projects like 1950's aprons just scream for some! We shall see ..sigh.. I'm just soooo glad that it's done! Mission complete.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Quilt for my mom

I finally took a picture of the quilt that I made for my mom a couple of weeks ago. Here's what I had to go on

And here's the finished result! Man quilting is WAY easier than apron making! It also takes substantially longer but whatever...

(from l to r: Miss Z, Mom, Miss F, Miss B)

Oh wait, can you lift up your side just a tad bit more, Miss F?

Just a little more??

...good enough...

The Blecky Weekend that Wasn't

I won't even bother telling you about Saturday other than I took all of the kids to Pike Place Market while my husband was at work. Bad idea. Not going there.

.. moving on ..

I wrestled with two different projects this weekend, one with a pattern, and one without. Here's my first shot at a new throw pillow cover:

You'll notice that the pillow isn't actually closed all of the way in back... this would be without a pattern. I REALLY wanted ties and sewed all six of them to the inside with invisible thread. Because I'm lazy, I didn't want to redo (or take apart) the whole thing again so I sewed a slab of hot pink inside the opening. Here's the back of the pillow at present:Still not good enough as far as I'm concerned, but I'm going to shelf it for the moment and probably try again later today... I'll just have to start from scratch and learn from my mistakes. And here's the apron that I'm working on. HAH! What in the world happened? I REALLY want to throw it away, just to prove my absolute disgust with McCalls (#M5284) and with my own lack of skills. To excuse my end of the miserable outcome, I just started sewing in early January of this year and this is the first time that I've ever attempted to "gather" anything. Obviously I suck at it. Hmf. I guess that my seam ripper and I will have some time to get better acquainted today. "So seam ripper, it just occurred to me that I don't know you're favorite color... or where you were born!" The seam ripper might respond, "Favorite color? Well, my handle is pink but there's so much more to me that that! And China is my homeland. But please don't let that lead you to believe that I am comfortable with communism." And then we will have a pleasant political debate concerning the Chinese government and no one's feelings will get hurt.

Yesterday we went out with my mom and got the girls clothes for this school year. Here's what the boys and I did while they tried on clothes...

hand puppets.

hand shadows (oops, I used a flash but pretend you can see shadows).

Acting like trees.

Or bushes.

Then getting me involved. We're supposed to be thoughtful shrubs.

And here, I am the tree
and Mr. P is the fruit. That
makes perfect sense, right?

I often wonder what others think about our strange tribe. Multi cultural, multi ethnic, taking photos in the dressing room while behaving like metaphytes. What an oddity that we are. But in a good way... I mean, I wouldn't trade my life in for any other. I really am proud of what we're becoming and looking forward to where God will take us next!

Now I'm off to braid some hair.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Part Duex (or however you spell it in French)

This is the latest quilt that I made for my dearest friend who is shiny and pink and all about the glitter. Love her. The applique on this one drove me CRAZY. I'm taking a break from applique... A long, long break. We need a breather from one another as I may have hurt the quilts feelings by cussing so much.

My favorite part of this bad boy is the Russian doll fabric that I used for the binding. I love it sooooo much and it tied the whole thing together perfectly. Here's a closer up of it:Isn't it the cutest?!?

Oh My Embroidery!

Last night I was working working working on embroidery-ing (is that a word? try to say it... it's weird) a lemon yellow linen skirt that I sewed together last week. I originally was going to put designs on with ... aqua ... but I got talked out of it once I was at Joann's (thanks Z) and went with a chocolate brown. Here she is this morning and 2/3 of the way done. I'm thinking one more circle above the rest... The skirt falls about mid calf and it makes me look like I have a booty. She's a keeper.
If only I could turn that dang picture once to the right. And yes, I am well aware that I need to iron the skirt. First I'm gonna finish the brown floss and then I'm all over it. This is the first time that I've used floss on anything other than a friendship bracelet. As I walked down that aisle last night, I was on high of elementary school memories. Ahhh yes... I often made them fatty and rainbow colored... so creative... pinning the knot to my jeans (or holding it in a book if I couldn't find one around the house) and then the floss would go back into the large purple marbled Caboodle. ..sigh..

Did you notice that I haven't touched the apron? Soon. I will soon.

All three of my girls want for me to make them a quilt of their choice and I agreed. First will be the ever shiny Miss B. Her and I picked out a pattern but I'm positive that she just likes the fabrics and isn't separating them from the quilt. What on earth am I expecting out of a six year old? Here's the pouting puppy after a long day in the sun:
And yes, I was mad that she got her hair wet. Summer isn't cool when it comes to braiding. And she was mad that I was mad. It made for a quiet few moments since it was just her and I on the grass. But let's move on to Superman in my bed this morning. I woke up and thought that today was Saturday so I felt around on my husbands side of the bed and all that I came up with was a warm, little skinny leg. I rolled over and to my surprise, it was Superman (aka Mr O)!
Doesn't he look like he's really sleeping? We actually took the photo after he'd already woken up. I asked him what he was thinking while I took this picture below.

He goes, "Hmmmm... I'm
tinking about... dinosaurs!"

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Kept me busy

And you thought that I was too lazy to follow up on the 24 hour notice... HAHA! This honestly gained my curiosity as to where my property begins and the "cities right of way" ends. So I called the police # on the bright orange warning notice and, while the operator commiserated with me, she didn't know the ordinances as far as parking, ect. is concerned. However, she did give me the number for the ordinance guy. So I called him, left a message, and he promptly returned my call.
The ordinance guy seems jaded and may need to reconcile with his past about something because he was rather bitter and kept telling me how he "knew that I was just angry about this". This felt rather like projection as I was going out of my way to be polite and sound curious. (that's him on the left). But, driven by the desire to know if I was truly in the wrong, I continued on my plight. (that's me on the right - don't I look distressed?). Well, after he lectured me for a while on how not mowing the city's property would devalue our home, and the homes of those near
us, he proceeded to tell me that he didn't have the exact measurements of the "city's right of way" for our roadin front of him (aka he doesn't want to bother with piddly old me).
Hmf. Still I persisted! Curiosity shall prevail! So I asked him what most of the regulations were within our city's limits. To this his reply was 40 feet. His suggestion was that I find a light pole or fire hydrant and that will tell me that the city owns that property. Either of these have to be infront/beside our property. Well, we don't have any. So after this, he asked me if we had moved the vehicle to which I replied that we had. "Where is it!?" he demanded. "Well, it's in our driveway now..." I tried answering without a hint of smugness in my voice. I thought for sure that I had at least won that battle. As usual, I was wrong. "Now you're in my jurisdiction! You have 10 days to prove that you're car can move ten feet and if you don't then we'll charge you for abandoning your vehicle." he said with superiority. "On my property?" I asked, defeated this time. "Yep. City ordinance."
So now I officially have two arch enemies. One is the neighbor that called in the first place and the other is the city. Pooh heads.

Now don't be jealous when you find out that I will soon be the owner of this GORGEOUS charm pack mix of Amy Butler's lines Lotus and Belle. I went slightly psycho while bidding for it on ebay. NO ONE was going to come between me and that pack! 88 4" squares of loveliness. I paid (or will pay, rather) far too much for them but I couldn't help it... I love them. As soon as I saw them, the most elegant of designs popped into my head and this quilt is going to be all mine! My hands are getting sweaty with excitement. What a sad person that that makes me...
I know that everyone has their favorite color but I tend to go through fazes. Not too long ago, I went through a burnt orange faze but a lovely Mexican teal faze is bursting forth. I want to paint the hallway that color, sew pillow covers for the couches in that color, and possibly even tie it all together with curtains for the living room in that color. Again, what a sad person that this makes me. I wonder if I will ever follow through. I'm still thinking about finishing the crown molding that is two steps from being completely installed. I think that I started that project... umm... about a year and a half ago. The problem is that the ideas are much funner than the work. Maybe I should go the Martha Stewart way and just hire other people to do it for me...
Oh wait.
I'm poor.
For now I will just think thoughts...

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Introduction ~ why ghetto?

Hola and welcome to the very first blog by the very first official Ghetto Quilter. I often find myself perusing crafty blogs and they are oh-so-Better-Homes-and-Garden and I am oh-so-not. This is not to say that I don't appreciate the aesthetic beauty that people like that contribute to the world - because, it fact, I am slightly envious of their determination. I on the other hand merely think lovely thoughts that rarely ever take shape. There are a variety of reasons for this. Let's number them because that will be fun and rather blogger-like!

1. I am lazy.
2. I almost always prefer to think and chat about things (far too much) rather than taking any action. Alas, this is one of my biggest of flaws.
3. A lack of fundage. My ideas often cost much more than someone such as myself can afford. Example: I heart Nordstroms. Not because I can afford it but because the shoes and the teenager department (mind you, I'm 28 and too old to be shopping there) make my heart flutter. But I'm quite sure that we all have expensive taste. Who wouldn't?
4. Having a number four would make sense, as it comes after number three. And yet I don't have a number four, as of yet.

And so let's take a looksey around my humble abode
... Here's my "studio"
. Alright, alright. It's actually a kitchen table. And such a pleasant one at that. The old Singer is actually coming with me to Liberia for a drop off and so it'll sit on the kitchen table until October or November, awaiting it's new home. Then there's the iron. Nice, one, eh? That's from Walmart. I'm not a proud Walmart shopper, nor an obsessive one. But I thought that I should be upfront. Then there's some papers on top of my current project (funky 50's apron) that belong to my husband. Here's another shot of my studio from a different angle:

I even opened the Ikea curtains to shed some light. You'll notice the Glad storage throw away tupperware thingies that I put all my nessecities in. Just a few weeks ago, Miss Z asked me when we would ever eat at the kitchen table again. Not sure why she's tired of eating on the floor. Everyone else is doing it...

Moving on to the out doors, check out the lovely, and ever so creative, clothes line that I have set up in the yard. Yes, it is raining in Seattle in the dead center of July. It is what it is, my friends. Are you really all that surprised? As I was taking these fabulous shots of the home, I noticed a bright orange note attached to the window of our Mazda. Not a good sign. Upon closer inspection, I saw that a police officer had left his mark. He thinks that I ought to move my car from our property near the street to our property further from the street. Hmf. Too bad that the transmission is toast. I suppose that I ought to give some background. Well we have five kids, three of which are Liberian. We are presently in the process of child #6 and I was planning on trying to fix this car and sell it for a profit, helping to fund the adoption (you don't even want to know how much that costs!). But it appears as if a neighbor of ours ~ I have a fairly good idea whom ~ doesn't approve of the present parking space that we had alotted for this particular purpose. Here's a wider shot of the car in regards to our house. We own about 100 ft to the right of the car as well. Not a micro-inch of one of the wheels is touching the asphalt that the city owns. Not sure if they can do this or not. On the other hand, I'm not sure that I actually care enough to argue with the police department about it. Well, now you can see what makes me the ghetto quilter. Can't think of better timing that this for a 24 hour notice! My husband thinks that a quality such as a broken down vehicle in your yard is more of a white trash trait but I just am not going to go there. First, it makes for a ridiculous blog title (The White Trash Quilter - lame) and second, I am quite sure that my style of dress covers up too much skin in order for someone to categorize me in such a manner. For now, I'll do the categorizing, thank you very much!

My only fear with this blogging thing is that I'll get wrapped up in the insanity that is around me, partake in it, and never blog again. We shall see...