Postage Stamp Quilt-Along Update

I’m a little behind on my post this week. I was stressed out about it because I thought I’d solved all my technology problems from the past few weeks. I was wrong. I think technology hates my blog. I was so mad the other day that I almost swore off blogging. But my husband helped put things into perspective: “No one is wailing and smashing their computer because you haven’t posted in time. They’ll see it when they see it.” Oh, Alex, you keep me grounded in reality. My response was, “Well, they *should* be.”
But, I’m still here, and (dare I say it??) think most of my tech problems are solved.

I’m excited to say I have already completed my February Postage Stamp Challenge! I solemnly vowed to sew all of quadrant 1 into sets of 4.

Sewing is done.

And ironing is done.

It was pretty awesome to iron these out. I started getting a feel for how things are going to look!

There were some sad ones. Several are like the one below, where the seams just don’t quite match. I didn’t have any tragically off-kilter ones, but I’m a little concerned about how it might throw things off. Of course, I’m worrying too much about it..

And I found a fabric I sewed on backwards. It’s the orange in the upper right. I *almost* took it apart to flip it, but I realized that it just doesnt matter and that I may like the backside better anyway.
And then there’s this bad boy… He’s more than a little snaggle-toothed. I am going to see if this block can be salvaged, but I suspect I will have to take it apart and maybe replace a couple of the squares. It might be for the best, all those lines going in different directions make me a little nauseated and anxious lol.

But overall, I was really pleased with how they look. I definitely have some favorites! The one below just makes me really happy for some reason.

A few produced some color combos I’d never really considered. In the future, I may look to these for inspiration:

I really liked this one with the frog.

I definitely have a weakness for aqua, red, and black together. All my favorite blocks turned out to contain green/aqua, red/orange, and black and white!

Now I’m going through and squaring up all my blocks. Does using a rotary cutter make everyone’s elbows burn, or am I doing something wrong??

Bring on March’s challenge, Mary!! I’m ready!

 

The Chronology of Croup Week

Last week is just a blur. This was the sickest Dexter has ever been, and it was pretty rough. My husband and I talked about how it was like doing the newborn stage all over again, because Dexter would wake up every half hour or so, coughing and panicking until I could comfort him and give him a drink of water. He slept all night with us for the first time ever, because it was easier to just hold him and a sippy cup of water than to fumble around like a zombie in the dark.

I have mental snapshots of events, but not a great recollection of what really happened. As I was going through my phone, I realized I had actual snapshots of events, mostly the nice parts (I don’t need pictures to remember the hard parts, those memories are pretty clear!!), and I was surprised by how much occurred in just a week. (Spoiler: A lot of these pictures involve food.)

Day 1

We had a wonderful family day at the aquarium, followed by supper at Jet’s Pizza. Super yummy pizza, as evidenced in the 3rd picture: Dex was dismayed, nay, horrified that Alex was putting the pizza away.

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Playing with action figures at Jet’s has become a family ritual. In the middle picture you can see Dexter’s guy performing pirouettes on some pizza crust.

At some point Dexty asked for some cupcakes. And so Alex decided to surprise us by taking us to Gigi’s Cupcakes. I seriously am not a fan of cake, but this was amaaaazing. Mine was Wedding Cake. The only reason I took a break from inhaling it is because I had to send a picture to my poor sister, who loves cupcakes. Sorry, Deb!!

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Little did we know, in a few hours Dex would wake up barking with croup.

Day 2

This not-too-bad day included making some no bake cookies. They look deceptively good. Trust me, they were weird.

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I started some soft pants for Dex using the basic pants pattern from Made. Poor Dex got worse soon after I started these, so they still aren’t finished. (Oh, and also because I start more projects later…)

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Day 3

The week included lots of lots of blankets, lots of snuggling, and  LOTS of tv. Poor Dex didn’t even feel like sitting up most of the time. Without pictures, my timeline is a little fuzzy. This may be the same night we took him to an urgent care clinic and were there for 4.5 hours. It was awful, he was feverish and crying to go home almost the entire time.

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Day 4

I tried out my Grandma Ona’s tuna fish patty recipe. They were so good, and one of the few things, besides croutons and dried berries, that I could get Dexter to eat. Of course, it was during a rare period of playfulness, so he had to be a sting ray and I had to feed him pieces of tuna fish patty like raw shrimp. (This is not completely random, we get to do this at the aquarium.)

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Day 5

By this point, Dexter and I were pretty much joined at the hip. We slept together, we ate together (or I ate and begged him to try), and we watched Scared Shrekless 30 times together.

We were settling down for a nap and he asked me to take a picture of us napping together.

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Day 6

The child still felt awful. Here he is with his bowl of croutons and 2 of his 5 or more cups. I offered him all sorts of drinks out of different types of cups to see what would entice him. He really appreciated getting to drink from mugs from my collection.

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A little while later, he was feeling ok, and asked for some play-doh. And I absolutely made him some play-doh.  I was so exhausted I just looked online for a no-cook recipe, and I actually really like the one we made. I’ll link that another day, because I made some changes. It was so easy that this is probably the play-doh I’ll make from now on!

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I stayed awake during one of his naps to get just a little bit of time to myself, where I could do something enjoyable and watch something besides Scared Shrekless. So I worked on matching up some squares for my postage stamp quilt.

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Day 7

I didn’t take any pictures on Friday, and I honestly could not account for anything that happened. Like I said, everything is a blur. I’m sure it involved a lot of blankets, a lot of snuggling, and A LOT of tv.

Day 8

Alex was finally off work. Through the week, Alex had to work, while I took care of Dex. Then Alex would get a short break, and then usually had to go back for conference calls. Then we were both up all night with Dex. But this wonderful Saturday, he took over completely, and he gave me the ENTIRE day to craft.

I worked on  a dress for myself until I realized I didn’t have all the fabric I needed. Boo. After that I started a quilt. There is a reason I decided to push all my other projects to the side and work on this. I’ll write about that another time.

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I thought it was kind of neat that I used up a bunch of nearly empty spools of thread. But that’s probably only neat to me. 

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Day 9

Dex was finally acting like himself!! He ate, he played!! I am one of those people who loses perspective and starts to believe that whatever is happening at the time is what my life will be like forever. So, I was certain that the cloud of sickness would never lift. But it did!

At this point, Alex and I looked around, and realized that our entire house was trashed. I’m not kidding, it looked like a family of hoarders invited a punk rock band to come and destroy their home.

So this was Get-It-Together day. Not just basic cleaning, we went all out and started decluttering as well.

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 Day 10

Today is pretty great. Dexter is playing and eating and drinking. He lost over 5lbs, which I obsessed over for days. But he is doing quite well now. Our biggest problem is that he is kind of a punk right now from getting his way for days. He definitely milked it, telling us, “I have a sickness!!”

He’s still enjoying that play-doh. And while he was working with it, he told me, in his stuffy little voice, “It’s impordant to make sings!!” I couldn’t agree more, baby :).

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Postage Stamp Quilt – 2012 Charm Swap!

This lame photo does not express how excited I am about The Curious Quilter’s Postage Stamp Quilt Charm Swap! But you can see that I am digging out my scraps and gearing up to participate!
 
If you have been tiptoeing around the idea of creating a postage stamp quilt, now is the time. Mary is hosting multiple swaps all throughout 2012. This will give you access to lots of different fabrics without having to go a huntin’ for them. And this is a real blessing, because these quilts have THOUSANDS (well, like 1-5 thousand, depending on your size.) of teeny tiny squares. I’ve been using a lot of duplicates, and that’s making it quite a bit harder on me than if I’d been patient and collected unique squares!
 
And I’ve discovered through Mary’s swap that I am not even in the craziest group of us crazies! Some of the folks out there are making these quilts out of ONE INCH SQUARES. I know, I’m astonished too!! But I decided to help them out and I’m using my teentiest, most tossable scraps to make them some squares. 
 
So head on over to The Curious Quilter, get a little info, and sign up to join the swap!! You might even get some of that fancy schmancy strawberry fabric* for your project! 
 
*Fancy schmancy strawberry fabric is pictured above, in all its glory.

Postage Stamp Quilt Progress

We’ve been having a crazy couple of weeks! In order to de-stress, I finally started working on my postage stamp quilt. I finished cutting all my pieces… 3584 to be exact. Here they are all sorted and bagged into quadrants.
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I’m sewing duos right now, keeping them all strung together until I’m ready to iron them. IMG_8681

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Pairing my little squares has been a lot of fun! I know Mary at The Curious Quilter keeps hers pretty random. Unfortunately, had A LOT of duplicates, so I was a little picky about how to pair them. My goal is to keep duplicates from touching, and hopefully to keep fabrics that are very similar from touching. Plus, as I was pairing them up, I really liked the idea that each fabric would have a coordinating buddy in the all the chaos!

Because of all the duplicates and my vow to keep them apart, I’m having to go about the whole thing a little differently. I’m going to use Mary’s Classic Squares Tutorial as my piecing guide. but I’m doing all my duos in a quadrant first, then I’ll probably lay them all out and sort them into individual 64 square blocks, to try to spread out the duplicates. Tip: Take it from someone who now knows better- duplicates in a postage stamp quilt cause problems!! I now believe it’s better to have as many unique squares as possible, unless you are striving for a controlled pattern in your quilt.

Sorting Little Squares

With all the things I *should* be doing this week, my mind is continually pulled to my postage stamp quilt. Maybe I just want what I can’t have, because I know I technically can’t start working on it right now. But those fabrics are soooo pretty!!! I keep help wanting to play with them.

Remember how my stash looked like this?

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I thought I was doing the smart and right thing by keeping them all mixed up so that when I started sewing, everything would be all random and scrappy. That makes sense, right?

Well, not technically. If you truly want a random quilt, then sure, go all willy nilly. But Mary at The Curious Quilter  pointed out that doing things this way could result in all of one type of fabric ending up in one area, despite your best intentions.

And that bugs me a lot. A lot.

So I’m going to go for a controlled-random look!

A few weeks ago, after reading Mary’s advice, I sorted, painstakingly, through all my squares. So far I have just created stacks of like fabrics.

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One thing excluded from this shot is my stack of unique squares. I’m going to have to sort them in a different way, and make sure they are distributed around the quilt.

It was nice getting them all stacked like this because I was able to get a feel for what fabrics were going to be most present in the quilt.

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I think it’s really a tie between some of my reds and a fabric I dyed orange. (One day I’ll do a post about my dyeing escapades!)

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What I plan to do next is to make 4 groupings of fabrics, one for each quadrant of the quilt. And I’ll divide my color stacks amongst those. I still may go as far as to halve each quadrant.

I’ll let you guys know how that goes!

Still Here!!!

I’m sorry for the lack of posting recently! Sickness has been ravaging our home!

I have barely been able to craft, although my mom and I cut out about 2000 2 inch squares while she was staying with me through my sickness. These squares will go toward my mom’s quilt… whenever that might be started…

Browsing through my pictures today, in search of something crafty to share, I came across pictures of Tiny Dexter, The Chunky Baby. He has grown and changed so much over the past year! And sometimes I feel like he is trying to outgrow being my baby. But today he gave me the sweetest, unsolicited hug, and it was wonderful 🙂

So feeling nostalgic, and longing for the time when my family is healthy and back to normal and snuggly and not cranky, I’ll leave you with a sweet picture of a then 7.5-month-old Dex and his sleeping daddy. And, to this day, he still loves to go wake his daddy up 🙂

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