the daddy weekend

Hope everyone had a wonderful Father’s Day weekend.

liam and daddy
i love my daddy

Ours was chock full of fun (and grilled meat). Not very restful for daddy, I’m afraid. But I think he enjoyed it nonetheless.

Liam (with mommy’s help) made daddy a fancy card and key chain. Mommy found these very helpful instructions at Helping Little Hands.

daddy card and keyring  stamped washer keyring

Liam also helped daddy build his new grill. Daddy has the patience of a saint. Mommy just sat around and complained about the heat.

daddy and liam
hard at work
liam gregor
a hammer is a boy’s best friend

liam gregor
i made daddy a grill.
liam gregor

Good times all around.

29 weeks

Here are a couple of images from our 3-d ultrasound last week. The new baby is really filling out. Just look at those cheeks! Alas (s)he once again spent the bulk of the hour hiding. Hands are in front of the face in all of the videos, unfortunately.

new baby new baby

Since these ultrasounds are part of a study, we don’t really get much info. The baby’s heart rate was 140 bpm and we were able to see the baby swallowing and hiccupping and yawning and opening his/her eyes. If you look very closely at the lower image you can see the open eye. Very, very cool. I start visiting the Dr. every 2 weeks now and have another 3-d scheduled in July. We’ll keep you posted.

school daze

My big boy’s first full day of “school” is today. I’m a wreck. According to the lady at daycare, whom I just called for reassurance, he’s doing fine. Still a little shy, but calmly working on his art project for the day.

We did a few hour test run on Friday and I had to watch him cry when I left. The most horrible 5 minutes of my life, thank you very much. But he was happily eating his snack with the other kids when I returned to pick him up. It actually took us 30 minutes to leave. He saw me come in, waved, and turned back to finish his snack. No grand reunion. No running into my arms. No drama whatsoever. Just a little wave, then back to the cookies and crackers.

Thankfully, I will rarely have to handle the drop off. Poor B, he’s got that job. I get to be the rescuer.

Anyway, Liam only needs a few supplies to keep at school: diapers, wipes, sippy cup, extra change of clothes (just in case), and a blanket and pillow for naptime. Gasp! I sent my sweet love monkey to school without a pillow on Friday. The horror. Fortunately Children’s Services was not called in. This time.

Three guesses what I did this weekend.

Using fabric scraps left over from Liam’s quilt and an adorable orange fat quarter from Walmart, I whipped up this 14″ square pillow in about 5 hours. I’m slow, normal people would likely have finished something this simple in 3.

liam's pillow

The one piece envelope pillowcase is removable and made similarly to this.

Liam's pillow  Liam's pillow

Basically, I made a 32″x15″ rectagle quilt then folded it and sewed the side seams. The process was as follows. First layer the quilt sandwich batting, pieced top face up, and quilt back face down. Sew the 15″ seams and turn the quilt right sides out, so that the 15″ edges are finished. Next do your quilting. I did simple straight lines at 1/2″ spacing. I did a single line of straight stretch stitch 1/2″ from the finished edges and regular straight stitch for the rest. I really like the heavy look of the straight stretch, but it seemed like a crazy waste of thread and time (took at least twice as long as the regular).

Liam's pillow  Liam's pillow

I also took the opportunity to play with the alphabet stitches on my Curvy.

Liam's pillow

Hope the cuteness of the pillow makes up for my negligence last week. Cheers!


liam gregor
hey! the camera's pointing the wrong way.
liam gregor
isn't this a much better shot?
liam gregor
how 'bout an action shot?
liam gregor
union mandated cartoon break

Poor kid… Can you tell I don’t get my camera out very often these days?

PS. Look at that gorgeous hair. It’s mostly gone now. I, Delilah, lopped it off on Monday night. Bad mommy. Bad.

belated project quilting pillow

So, there’s this cool quilt blog contest going on, it’s Project Quilting at Kim’s Crafty Apple. The gist is that every other week a new challenge is posted. You have one week to complete a project and post photos of the finished work. Judges and the general public then vote for their favorite.

I tried to enter for Challenge 1, but it took me three weeks to complete. So, obviously, I missed the deadline. I’m pleased with the finished pillow though and really enjoyed using the challenge constraints to kick-start some creative thinking.

project quilting season 1 challenge 1

The project requirements were to use 50 3″x5″ rectangles and a maximum of two 1/2-yard cuts of fabric to make the entire quilt.

The rectangles were all cut from stash scraps, two of 24 fabrics and two singles, and the quilt back 1/2-yard was some stash muslin. I bought the white background fabric at Walmart.

project quilting season 1 challenge 1

The pillow top pattern was inspired by the Joseph’s Coat Quilt Along at Don’t look now! Seriously, how amazing is that quilt? Even I know that I could never tackle a full-sized quilt right now, so I made a single block. Actually, I guess that’s two blocks with two extra connecting pieces,but all of the pieces are directly sewn to one 18″x18″ square of fabric. My rings are also smaller than those in the tutorial, I set my compass to a 4″ radius. When was the last time you used a compass?

project quilting season 1 challenge 1

Rather than sewing the applique by hand, I machine zigzagged 1/8″ from the edge, to allow for fraying. This technique was chosen out of fear. Fear that the points wouldn’t meet and fear that hand work would “take too long”. The rag edge definitely hides the mismatched points and gives a softer look to the finished top.

The front was quilted with the hand-quilting stitch on my sewing machine. Of course, I didn’t have my manual handy and totally guessed at settings. Used the wrong foot for most and struggled upping and upping the tensions and making a general mess of the back.  When I finally changed to a normal foot and reset the tension, the stitching was great. Finally found the manual, long after completing the pillow top and it turns out that I should have used transparent thread in the needle to make it really look hand quilting. Live and learn.

project quilting season 1 challenge 1

The back used the tiny scraps leftover from the oval pattern pieces and 1-1/2″x5″ strips. The strips were quilted in the ditch and the scraps were stitched down with random lines of quilting in normal straight stitch.

project quilting season 1 challenge 1

The seam line between the stripes and scraps was emphasized with a narrow machine stem stitch. I love the look and probably would have appliqued with it had I found it sooner.

project quilting season 1 challenge 1

The back is in two pieces, so the pillow form is removable. I suspect a white throw pillow will need a few washes… Um, please ignore the nasty, chipped polish.

project quilting season 1 project 1

Finally, the binding is double fold using most of the remaining rectangles, halved into 2-1/2″ squares and sewed into a long strip. I originally meant to round the corners of the pillow, but forgot about that idea until after I had already turned the first corner. No going back at that point. This was my first mitered binding and I even hand sewed the back, which is really surprising.

This is the first crafty thing I’ve finished in a while. Hopefully there will be more FOs appearing on the blog soon…

new baby, old baby

Can you believe that the old baby is 18 months old? He’s so big. And cute. And independant. And stubborn. And energetic. And I’m tired just thinking about keeping up with him this afternoon. 

liam gregor
don't believe anything she writes...

We had our well check last week. According to the Dr., Liam is doing great. I forget the exact numbers but he grew around an inch and put on about 3 pounds in the past three months. So, he’s still in the 75th for height and head and 50th for weight. He’s healthy and on par with the developmental milestones – stacking blocks, identifying body parts, using a fork, saying “no” to everything mommy suggests, etc. 

This weekend our big boy found baseball. I’ll try for pics with his new tee-ball set this week. He’s also very into “art”. The next Jackson Pollock (without the hooch issues, I hope) is my guess. He drags his crayons out daily and loves sidewalk chalk. 

liam gregor  liam gregor  liam gregor  liam gregor 

Liam is also a huuuuge fan of the baby pool. It’s already so hot down here, we have to keep him watered down while outside. He has started showing some interest in his potty recently too. Not actually using it, but signing potty and saying “pee-pee” (emphasis on the “p” sound, outrageously cute) and sitting on it after his bath in the evenings. I love the idea of letting him run about outside naked, but am afraid of sunburn and injuries to his “special purpose“. 

Well, that’s the deal with #1 and now onto #2. 

Fresh off the glucola, here’s a brief update. New baby’s heart rate is about 155 bpm and we’re measuring 28.5 cm. That’s a little big for 27 weeks, but within normal. NB has moved up alieviating some of the pressure on my pelvis and bladder (yay!) and squishing my lungs and stomach even more (boo!). (S)he has started lounging in Liam’s preferred spot, along the right side of my belly, head (I’m guessing) in front of my ribs. I’m huge and sore and tired and whiney.  The Flyers are not helping my mood. NB should have quite a vocabulary after last night’s game. 

There you have it. We’ll keep you posted.