Friday, April 25, 2014

Stroke of Genius - Quilting Style

First ever sewing Project

I have been sewing since October of 2013. Not a very long time. And I am all self-taught. My very first project was sewing Bubba's and my fiancé's Halloween costumes. Bubba is obsessed (and I mean obsessed) with Mario Brothers. I’ve sewn a few skirts, hemmed some pants, fixed holes in pants, made a seat-belt pillow, and even preformed surgery on a few well-loved stuffed animals. One of the things I wanted to learn was quilting. So far I am on my third quilt where a reoccurring problem has presented itself to me on all accounts. I haven’t seen anything about it on Pinterest and for some reason that brightened up my day. So with a little experimentation, I have developed a way that combats this problem quite effectively and I wanted to share it with my readers and see if you have come across the same travesty and if this process works for you.

Now, a lot of people tell me how much they hate quilting and what a long process it is or how boring they find it. I find it quite relaxing and enjoyable. Yes, it is tedious, but there is something about it that makes me feel good. It is probably the same reason why I love sewing. I love the feeling I get after I completed a project. It is as if I am filled with euphoria. I feel quite under-appreciated most of the time so when I do finish a project and it is recognized that makes me feel good. And I get really proud of my completed projects as it should be. We should all be PROUD of what we have accomplished.
Centimeter gap - Eww
After cutting out all the little squares and sewing them all together while leaving a 4th of an inch seam allowance and ironing each strip with the seams going left then the next strip going right is when we finally get to the step where we sew our strips together. The problem I have been facing is that while my strips are not yet sewn together, the squares line up perfectly. However, when I started to sew the strips together my squares would be off (sometimes by an entire centimeter) no matter how perfect they were when I pinned them together. I don’t know about you, but this makes me beyond frustrated where I just want to scream and throw in the towel.

But there has to be a way to fix this, right? There are quilters who have been quilting for years and have such beautifully perfect looking quilts. Is there some kind of secret for this? Are they robots? Is there some rule in the Quilters Secret Society where they teach you this secret, but make you swear upon penalty of death not to divulge said secret? There’s got to be and if so I might be up on the chopping block tomorrow.

My findings are this: Pinning down your strips is in fact working against you. I have seen many tutorials online i.e. Pinterest, where they show how they pin in this manner. And it was the same mistake (yes, mistake) that I was making. When you pin your strips this way it gives your fabric space to move away from where you lined up the seams. “But I used a thousand pins!” Doesn’t matter. The fabric will still move along the pins as the fabric goes through the sewing machine. The number of pins you use will not stop this from happening.

However, there is a bright side to all of this blasphemy. I have noticed that this mistake can be easily rectified by this So-Easy-I-Cant-Believe-It-Is-Not-Already-On-Pinterest solution. Whew, that is a long name. I’m going to have to come up with something simpler. 

Seams all lined up
So are you ready to know what the solution to this huge problem is? It’s really quite easy. Just pin down the seam of each square. “Are you serious? All that build-up for just one easy little step?” Yep, that one easy little step. But of course, you have to make sure your seams are lined up properly. And be sure to leave room to sew from the pin to the edge of the fabric. I get an almost perfect line up each time from this one little step. This is a far cry from a whole centimeter, don’t you think? Go ahead try it yourself, see if it works for you or if your secret method is better. If it is better let me know. I want to try your way out too. I promise I won’t tell anyone about it. *wink*

This mommy can come up against any problem and with a little brain power can do it all!
~See, Perfect~

Monday, April 7, 2014

Captain Bubba Turns 5

It hit me that my baby boy isn’t a baby anymore. He is officially five years old and for some reason that makes him a big boy. Maybe it is because he’s going to be starting school this year. Or perhaps it is because he keeps telling me that “I’m a big boy, Mommy!”

Mommy and Bubba
Either way, I don’t like it. I remember the first time he crawled, his first steps, his first words, holding him in my arms with him sound asleep. And now a new chapter in his life has opened and I am afraid that I won’t be his best friend anymore or he won’t get upset when Daddy kisses Mommy before kissing Bubba when Daddy comes home from work. Or what if he doesn’t want me to tuck him in at bed time? But as the tears roll down my cheeks, I recall what I have always said: Even when you are forty years old, Bubba, you will still be my sweet baby boy. Hopefully, for the time being this will placate me until his next step in life.

Bubba’s Pirate Party was a huge success. I was so happy that it was a lovely, sunny day. We had been having some crazy weather lately, so the sun was a welcome guest to this Shindig.

This Mommy managed to pull through the tears, frustration, and eventual excitement. For there were tears, well, almost tears. I thought for sure that the Pirate Ships were not going to happen and I was half right. The original plan was to have two pirate ships and a cannon ball fight. But I completely failed at making just one pirate ship. I called my fiancé at work almost in tears because I couldn’t get the stupid thing to stand right. I suggest to any mommy who wants a pirate ship at their child’s party to just acquire the cardboard boxes and let your man figure it out. I should have done that from the beginning, it would have saved me time and I wouldn’t have stuffed my face with chocolate afterwards. But all in all, Daddy did a fantastic job, he even figured out how to make a mast for the ship. I had bought spray paint at Wal-mart for ninety-six cents a bottle and we went to town. I also sponge painted on the skull and crossbones. The Jolly Roger (flag) I’ve had since I was a teen, had finally found a purpose. Not many Jolly Rogers get to be hoisted up on a mast anymore. We also had a Walk The Plank set up next to the ship.
 We also have a fifteen foot trampoline in our back yard and it didn’t take long for the kids to find that. They were all running back and forth to the ship then back to the trampoline. They even had sword fights on the trampoline.
Great Grampa

The hats went over great with the guests, kids and adults alike. Most of the hats left with the guests too, which was awesome! What am I supposed to do with twenty-five pirate hats after this? It was quite funny to see Daddy’s grampa with a pirate hat on which he wore the entire day.


We had a potluck for lunch. My mum made chili, nachos, and homemade meatballs. My fiancé made homemade turkey burgers, which were delicious. And the rest of the family brought tons of more food which has currently taken up residence in both of our fridges. We won’t need to go grocery shopping for a while.

The cake turned out pretty amazing. My future-mother-in-law even said it was Pinterest worthy which was a huge compliment for me, big Pinterest fanatic that I am. Although, I did have some issues when making the cake. My cake was so moist that it crumbled as I was building and frosting it. My best friend’s mum told me to freeze it before building and then it won’t crumble; Just a heads up for anyone else who might try it. I got the lay out of the cake here. Mine did not turn out like hers because of my mishaps. But it worked out all the same.

 We closed up the day with presents. A big THANKS to everyone. It was like Christmas for our little boy. Be expecting our thank you cards soon. We had such a wonderful day among family and friends. I was overjoyed at how many people came to show their love for Bubba and for helping us celebrate him turning five. And thank you to my friends who came by early to help me set up, you really saved my skin and made it possible for this Mommy to do it all.

Kati, Mommy, Cherae