22 May 2015

Purple(ish) Quilt

Calista informed me a little while back that her blanket (crib-sized) was too small for her. Since she is in a twin bed, I figured I'd humor her and so the idea of a new blanket for her was born.
Actually, a few days before this conversation, I saw this raw-edge rag quilt on facebook. I thought it looked fun but had no real reason to make a quilt... until Calista's told me she was too big for her britches, so to speak. So, project time!
A sneak peak at the finished quilt!
First up, I did some figuring, and decided on 165 squares - 11x15. The squares end up being 6x6", but are initially cut to 7x7" to allow for trimming and seam allowance. The makes the the total size of the quilt 66x90".

So, next up, cutting up all the squares. Because there is no "backing," the front and back is all cut into squares like this.
A lot of them.
330 of them, to be precise.
Plus, not pictured, 165 squares of batting. The batting was cut 6.5x6.5", although it probably should've been just 6x6". Oh well!

After they were all cut, it was time to assemble and quilt each square, individually.
I just randomly grabbed two of my cut squares, put some batting between them, and sewed away.
So, for Calista's purple(ish) quilt, there is no rhyme or reason. For this square, this is the front,
and this is the back. A nice big X through the center.
And repeat...
165 times.
No big deal.

Around this point, I started to doubt the blogger who posted my inspiration. She said she did it all, except the cutting, in a single (long) night. I don't think I could've done that...

Now that all the squares are quilted, it's time to make them pretty and perfect. Trimming!
 I splurged a little a bought a 6.5" square to use as my guide, and I'm happy I did.
I trimmed away, having Veronica Mars playing in the background and... making a mistake or two. I am not perfect, and neither is this quilt. But that is okay.
Just a small sample of the ends that got trimmed off.

Once all the squares were trimmed, it was finally time to start sewing them together!

I sewed the squares in the rows first, using 1/4" seams. Because this quilt is supposed to show the raw edges, I had to sew each square with the back sides together. It was a little counter-intuitive to what I've been used to, but I got the hang of it.
Sewing (with the "right" side up)
The top after the seam was done, with the raw edge visible
If you're "lucky," like me, you might have some assistance with your sewing. 
She had the foot pedal, and would depress it with her hand when I told her to and stop when I told her to... most of the time.

This part of the project went pretty fast, and in no time, I had all of my squares turned into strips.
The mess of strips!

I did the 11-square strips, and then after all (15) of those were sewed together, I started sewing the strips together, one by one.

Finally, I "finished" the edge of the quilt by straight sewing 1/4" in from the edge, so that the outside edge has the raw finish, too.

And so, after all that, it was done and ready to surprise Calista.
Do you think she liked it?
Enough to want to jump on it!
And that is high praise indeed.

So, finished stats: one HUGE 66x90" blanket - maybe a little too big, haha, 165 squares of goodness.
Materials used: Lots of scrap fabric, a decent handful of fat quarters and a few small cuttings (0.4m/little less than 0.5 yards), TWO whole spools of thread, lots o' batting, a decent chunk of time, a little bit of blood, but no real tears!
And it's a quilt that should be able to grow up with her for many years to come.

21 May 2015

Victor/Victoria Day

Victoria Day in Canada was this last Monday, and we made sure to make the best of the long weekend.
Side note: I really do think Canadians have a little bit of an "overlooked, usually-the-good-kid, younger sibling" complex, and that magnifies itself in their need to have holidays just before the US (their older sibling who rebels more and gets all the attention). Victoria Day is the Monday right before Memorial Day; Canada Day is 3 days prior to US Independence Day. So, congratulations, Canada. You can wear white, claim the beginning of "summer" (when it might still snow), and have your fireworks first. 

We started out with a visit from Kyler's mom, Maria, sister-in-law, Rachel, and her four kiddos. Which meant cousins for Calista, and let's face it, cousins are among her favorite things in the whole world. It also meant going to The Spark Science Centre, something Calista has been wanting to do for a while now, since it is right next to the zoo.
Calista was especially excited to see the dinosaur exhibit, so we went there first. They had metal dinosaur skeletons you could move and control with levers and stuff. Fun fun.
Dancing/jumping, because they can. And because it was charging a battery with our energy!
Jump, jump, jump!
Craig loved being allowed to run around almost to his heart's content...
Being silly in the corner
though it did mean he accidentally stepped off a stair at the water exhibit and fall face first. Ouch. Once he calmed down, he climbed right back up the stairs, though. He's tough.
Running around also meant the inevitable crash.

The best picture I had of all the kiddos together. Craig did not want to sit still for it. Maybe we should have tried after he fell asleep!
One of the thoughts that struck me as I was watching Calista sitting in a row with her cousins, is still how little she is. She is getting more and more grown-up, and able to do so many things, I am constantly amazed at how big she is, and she totally is getting big... but she is still small. She still has a lot of growing up still to do. And, of course, she will always be my baby girl, not matter what.

We went through and played at lots of exhibits, saw some awesome presentations, had lots of fun, and completely exhausted everyone. Then we went to dinner. Yum!

Saturday began with rain, and the fun that it brings: jumping in puddles!
Craig was a little hesitant at first,
but he soon got the hang of it, and decided he loved it. 
He would actually stay in one puddle, even after Kyler and Calista would move on, until I would pick him up and walk down the way, with him kicking and crying... until I put him down and he realized there was a puddle here, too! Then he'd happily play in that puddle until the next time we moved on.
Craig's jacket is also a bit too big for him, so most of the pictures you can't see his face!
Sadly, I am the only member of the family without rain boots, and as such was unable to jump in the puddles, too...
Regardless, it was a lot of fun watching Calista and Craig play and get completely soaked - in spite of the Columbia jackets and rain boots... Calista had about a centimeter of water in the bottom of each boot when we were done!

After a change of clothes, we broke in our new camping equipment by setting up the tent in the basement and watching movies in our sleeping bags.
I like this camping!
Just lounging.
 Because who doesn't watch Kung Fu Panda while "camping"?
Craig loved it, clearly. (Also, a good-ish view of his scrape under his eye. Poor kiddo).
We were considering sleeping in the tent, but decided to just put the kids to bed after a while. Hopefully when we actually go camping later in the summer, they will be so exhausted from playing outside that they calm down and go to sleep...

Then on Monday, actual Victoria Day, we decided a picnic in the mountains was on our agenda. We got every one and everything in the car and drove west, to the Rockies.
We spent the day in Canmore, just outside of Banff National Park.
We wandered the town a bit, buying the obligatory fudge and stopping in at an art gallery (have $1,500 to $15,000 to spare? I would have loved to have bought some stuff there).
Next up was a stop at the river bank to throw rocks,
and make a dandelion float.
Because of course we did.
Then we headed out on a walk/hike by the river. Calista and Craig enjoyed the bridge most of all, I think.
Finally, we headed to a picnic in a little park, complete with mountain views, as basically everything is.
Also included: the run back into town to find a bathroom for the preschooler (successful!).

All in all, not a bad weekend.., or five days. Whatever. And we got it done a whole week before my American friends and family!
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