Sunday, January 30, 2011

I am in love...

With whimsical Heather Ross fabric.  Especially the ones that seem to be out of print.  Like these from her West Hill line.  I just bought them.  They were expensive.  It's ok though, I already have a project in mind for them.
Now I also need to pick up some of this:

Equestrian gear.  I die.  This NEEDS to be in a quilt.  I'm actually debating going really crazy and ordering a bunch of yards for the backing too...  Crazy.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Quilting is Addictive

Ok, so, I know I haven't actually quilted my first quilt, but I may have started another one...  Ok, I did start another one.  Why?  I stumbled upon this:
It's from a blog called Quilt Dad.  Seriously.  A dad who quilts.  I know, it's pretty awesome.  Anyway, when I made the white afghan for my mom, I did it by following a crochet along.  It was a good way for me to remember how to crochet (it had been a while) and learn some new skills.  I think this QAL will teach me a lot.  Each week, 2 bloggers post a block with VERY detailed instructions.  I can handle that! So without further ado, here are blocks one and two:

Block #1

Block #2

Obviously there is a lot more going on in this quilt than my last one already!  I can't wait to see what next week's blocks are!

We have progress!

The quilt top is finished!
Admittedly, this isn't the best picture, but it was night and I was excited, so...  
Now onto the scary part: quilting it.  The top has actually been done for several days, but I needed to order a walking foot for my machine.  It came yesterday, so now all I need to do is find backing fabric (I am really liking the idea of using a vintage sheet), and then I will have to face my fear of actually quilting this thing.  
Last night my husband came into my craft room, looked at it, and said, "You're going to put the stuffing in this, right?  Because it needs to be WARM!"  Haha, he thinks you "stuff" a quilt...

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Ah, if only I had a snow day...

I'd be finishing this:
Some day it will be a pillow for our bed.  Doesn't it look great with our PB Pearl Dot bedding (in the background)?  But alas, though much of the country is covered in snow right now, and we have some of the white stuff outside, it's also pouring down rain and warming quickly.  So, off to school I go!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Sensory Play Dough

When I'm not busy being crafty, I'm a teacher.  Specifically of little guys aged 2.5-6.  This year it's just Kindergarten, though.  This means that I also put my craftiness to work at my day job as well.
One of the easiest things to make, instead of buy, is play dough.  This stuff is great for kids, because it's not just fun to play with - it helps strengthen their hands (something they work on a lot at this age, to get ready for writing), and it provides a lot of sensorial input that some of these guys need.  I wanted to give the kids a little extra sensory input, and something new to spark their interest.  Enter: beaded play dough!
I assembled my supplies:
Flour, salt, oil, cream of tartar, and food coloring.  Not pictured are a pack of seed beads (I used rainbow colored ones), and water.
In a pot, on medium heat, combine: 1 cup water, 1 tbsp oil, and food coloring.  I eyeball the coloring.  This time I used a generous squirt of turquoise.
In a separate bowl, mix: 1 cup flour, 1/4 cup salt, and 2 tbsp cream of tartar (do not omit this, it is SUPER important!).  Put your dry ingredients into the pot & stir it up.
The play dough will quickly come together.  When it starts to all stick together & form a ball, take it off of the heat.  Dump it out, and knead it a little bit (be careful, it's hot) until it is the right consistency.
At this point, I added my beads.  I made a little well in the center, poured in some beads, and kneaded until they were all mixed in.  The beads feel really neat in there!
Here's the result:
A close-up of the bead action:
This has been in my classroom for a week so far, and the kids LOVE it!  It gets constant use throughout the day.  Make sure to store yours in an airtight container, and it should last for quite a while.  Want to make it an even greater sensory experience?  Add a few drops of essential oil to your wet ingredients, and it will smell great, as well as feel great!