Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Finally! A PVC free stroller cover

Thank you to the makers of Jolly Jumper for finally coming to their senses and making a breathable waterproof stroller cover out of nylon rather than PVC. I was super excited when I found this today. 

Granted, there are likely a few chemicals lurking in there that I'm not a huge fan of, but at least I'm not expected to wrap my child in nasty vinyl to protect her from the rain. Nylon is a huge step up from PVC. Heck, this product could likely even be sold in California without this warning:

"WARNING: This product may contain chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm."

It also offers UVA and UVB protection. Definitely an improvement to the only options I was able to find in the spring made of clear vinyl. Although, I still wish we had purchased a baby planet stroller (link to company page here). Any strollers from the Tim and Leslie line comes with a PVC-free stroller cover.

I didn't find out about them until after we purchased our stroller. It would be awesome to have a stroller that's a little bit more compact in our car, but I guess it just wasn't meant to be. It's a good reminder every time I go to purchase something to REALLY make sure it isn't going to be something I'll regret later.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Somewhere safe

Okay, I've done it again! And I'm really not sure how I managed to do it this time. I just moved and reorganized my sewing space, I should have found the already fused and cut out letters for the Brown Bear quilt in the process. My husband helped me look too. Akk where can they be!

Of course I'm searching desperately for them because we're planning on seeing the recipients of the quilt on Saturday and I really need to get the letters appliqued on, the quilt sandwiched and quilted, and then a binding sewn on! Crap I forgot about the binding, I will need more than two hours for this one. Come on letters, I really need to find you. I don't want to cut all the words out again!

Where oh where did I figure was a really safe spot to put them so I wouldn't lose them?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Can you admit it? "I don't like to clean, but I love a clean house."

I was reading a post on The Path to Frugality and saw the line, "I don't like to clean but I love a clean house." That truly spoke to me. It's the truth around here!

Martha also says:

A better use of your time would be to sit down with a tablet of paper and ask yourself these questions.
a.  How much time do you have to spend on cleaning?
b.  Are you a “clean a little bit at a time each day person” or are you a “deep clean once a week kind of person.” 
c.  Can you delegate some of the tasks to other family members and do you want to do that OR would you prefer to do it yourself to your standards?
From these questions I could see what was realistic for me and what was unrealistic for me.  My goal was to have an uncluttered home and relatively clean home that I could maintain. Yes, that is right, that I could maintain and what was realistic for me.
Spending some time writing down a plan that was tailored to my personality and my needs was the best use of my time. 
Hmmm. A plan. There's an idea. What I currently do is just randomly clean things as I realize, "Oh no, Munchkin might get into that." Since she's started crawling, vacuuming has become a regular activity. As well as cleaning surfaces in her reach and laundry. But I have to admit, things like cleaning windows, the freezer, etc. have all fallen to the wayside after I got pregnant. Maybe having a wash a couple window days isn't such a bad plan? After all, we can all spare at least 10 minutes a day can't we? I'm sure it will probably help with my husbands and my sanity after all. Maybe sewing for sanity isn't the only solution. . . 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Exciting Weekend!

Yeap, it's that time again. Mom-2-Mom sale today. I love all the thrifty goodness. Kids grow so fast they tend to not wear out their clothing, so why not get some of what other kids have grown out of? I've been really lucky in the past and found some awesome outfits for my little one for super cheap! That puts a smile on my face (and my husband's too!) 

Adding to the weekend goodness, we have a small road trip planned. We're off for an overnight visit with Aunt Brenda and Uncle Paul (YAY), and then heading over to the fair in the morning. We might even get there in time for the lawn mower races! I see pulled taffy and a mini quilt show in my future.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

WIP Wednesday, a quilt show, and my new love--the Horizon 7700

Guess what? I can free-motion quilt! And not only can I do it, but I'm actually pretty good. Now this might sound like bragging, and it probably is, but. . . I've been really, really intimidated about trying to do this. And yet at the same time, I've been annoyed with myself for not trying outside of one REALLY BAD try on my current machine. I'm been feeling like my creativity has been limited. I have all these great ideas about quilting for my quilts, and I want to be the one to do it. Anyway, back to the point. . . 

Friday, my husband took the day off work and after taking care of some administrative things, the rest of the day was a Tammy day. After lunch at Ikea, we headed to Triangle Sewing Centre in Guelph and I tested out the Janome Horizon 7700. Wowzer, this machine is not only beautiful, but is very talented and intelligent too! Sorry honey, I think I'm in love.  :oP  Just check out these stitches!

I definitely put the machine through it's paces. I brought some difficult fabrics with me. One of which was a really gauzy and stretchy knit fabric and I didn't bring any stabilizer. On the first pass it wasn't too happy, but with a couple adjustments on settings and with a different foot (that comes standard with the machine) it totally did it (happily too) and with only two layers of fabric! I tried out a couple pieces of the four-way stretch fabric I made a couple infinity dresses out of this summer on auto tension and there was zero waving of the fabric. And to boot, the machine has a stitch for stretch fabrics that is very close to a straight stitch, but has the stretch and strength of a zig-zag. I knew I'd be happier sewing on a machine where I would have things like the ability to change the stitch width and length, needle down, a bigger harp, and the ability to use a walking foot. But WOW, WOW, WOW. It was hard walking out of the store without the machine, but alas I must complete my comparison shopping and save a bit more money first.

But that wasn't it for Friday. . . we just had enough time to pop over to the next city and see the Grand National Quilt Show 2011. The pictures on the site don't do the quilts justice. They were truly works of art. I wish I had of had more than 30 minutes to view them, but I am just happy I had a chance to go. Definitely I plan on returning to see next year's show. I really enjoyed seeing Anna Hergert's piece called Global Warming - Benefit or Peril. I loved how the quilt could be adjusted and have a totally different look.
Image belongs to Anna Hergert

Image belongs to Anna Hergert

Now it's time to talk about what I'm working on. I haven't accomplished a ton of sewing, but I did get some 3D pin wheels pieced. I'm making a pillow cover for my niece, now I just have to put the back on.

I started out with some more of the HSTs my Mom gave me and sewed them together to make the tradition square you'd start with for 3D pin wheels. 

I then needed to square them up, so I cheated and used my AccuQuilt Studio and a 3 1/2" strip die to square them.

They just look so much nicer after they get the nice clean "I've just been cut" edges.

From there, I cut out some charm squares in Kona Turquoise and pieced them together.

I've also started to piece a stacked coin quilt in red and white with some lovely fat quarters I got back in April. I had a few minutes this morning and managed to get all the strips cut before my daughter woke up. I love it when she sleeps in until 9am! I didn't get a chance to grab any photos though. Next week.

I'm also planning on finishing the Brown Bear quilt I started a while ago. It won't be long until that baby makes it's way into the world. I better get cracking. Now where did I put those letters I've already cut that need to be appliqued. Hmmmm....

Check out what everyone else is working on here:
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

WIP Wednesday

Did you miss me? Probably not ;o)

On top of my husband working insane hours, we all got sick. We also started to move my sewing space. I've now upgraded from a 4' x 2' closet to a 4' x 11' space in the bedroom. I still managed to fit some sewing in, but just wasn't up to blogging. After all, I sew for sanity.

I finished my Asian bargello quilt top! I plan on quilting this by machine once I have a machine that can handle it. I still plan on quilting a really big koi fish so it may be a while before this gets quilted. I haven't tried free motion quilting before. . . so it may be a little bit until I'm good enough to quilt this. I looked into having someone else long-arm quilt it for me and they wanted over $200 +shipping! Ouch! I think it can wait for me.

I also made my daughter a cloth book this week. After my daughter was found sticking a library book in her mouth, I decided it's time to increase her library with some books that can be chewed on. 

Now most would go to the store and buy some, but they are ALL polyester! Ewww. I'm sorry, I know some think I'm going overboard on this, but I really don't want her putting polyester in her mouth. That stuff has nasty chemicals that you can't wash out and end up in her little body. I just can't do it. So, we're making them. My Mom sent a really cute one that she embroidered for her. And I'm working on a couple designs that I'll get printed by spoonflower.com. 

What has everyone else been working on? Check it out here:
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced