Wednesday, February 27, 2013


Have you heard of Sew-vivor going on over at Family Ever After?  Oh, it's stinkin' fun and has plenty of sewing eye candy.  And if you've been around here long enough you've seen my entry; the impractical baby quilt, of course.
I have an aversion to patterns or making things like someone else has made.  Even at Church craft nights I tweak the project to be more me or whatever.  I also like to try things.  Calvin (and Hobbes) calls it "great ideas in action,"  I think of mine as "bad ideas in action."  Sometimes the seam ripper gets involved but mostly I make it work and have fun experimenting and finding a way to accomplish what I set out to do. 
When I found out my nephew's nursery was going to be jungle theme I ran with it.  I had wanted to do something with texture and more interactive than just a baby quilt.  I think I pretty much nailed that, but you can't wrap a kid in it so I call it impractical.  Now, on to the pictures! (the initial post is here if you want more details and pictures)
I think there are eight animals hidden in here.  Wait, no, it's nine.  I forgot the plover that cleans the crocodile's teeth.  (who knew it was a plover?  I sure didn't until I googled it.)
 I made a bunch of movable parts.  The croc's mouth opens so you can see his teeth and the plover.  The elephant's trunks move.  The toucan's tail hangs loose.  The gibbon swings on his vines. Baby Elephant's tail is loose too. 
 The leaves and grass were really fun.  The leaves are double sided so there's no ugly back and I pinking sheared the edges for even more texture.  The grass is batik and flannel in a huge crazy field.  Can you see the tiger?  The grass also ended up covering my gorgeous curved piecing on the shore line, which was kinda lame.  You can uncover the tiger, but that beautiful shore line exists only in my memory.  Sigh.
 I added a bunch of little details with embroidery.  I am a detail person and loving giving things the extra attention to really bring them to life.
 I used texture in my fabrics as well.  The corduroy for the tree trunks is one of my favorite parts.  The wale going opposite directions added an extra bit of depth to my jungle.  I kept the flannel of the elephants kinda loosey goosey so they'd be wrinkly.
 I rolled up some batik strips for my vines.  They criss cross in the tree tops beneath the leaves.
Aside from the tiger, I also hid a leopard and the toucan.  I think I learned at least two new embrodiery stitches for that toucan.
 Just look at all that texture!  The hand quilting has made it extra soft after being washed.  I saw this quilt at Christmas and it is texturing just as I had hoped.  And I so took the opportunity to run my hands through the grass again.  I could do that all. day. long.
 And here's the full quilt.  It's about a 45 inch square.  (Oh, that's a snake on the tree.)  I consider the texture part of my goal accomplished and my nephew has clocked plenty of time being busy with the interactive parts, so I'm satisfied with that too. 
I especially enjoyed making this as I just kinda went at it.  I didn't measure, I didn't use rulers, I just did it and had fun.  It was way fun.  And makes me want to do an ocean texture quilt sometime.  Can't you just imagine the sea weed?  

Don't Tell My Mom

Despite spending the last month with sick children (anyone else in the States led to believe this is courtesy of Australia?), I did manage some sewing.  Not much, seeing as the oldest was camped out in the sewing room to keep him and the other sick boy from waking each other all night long, but some sewing was managed.  I made something for the madchen that I won't tell you about until after her birthday; I'll give you a hint though, it rhymes with Lincess Peia and I made it from this pattern.  I also got the latest planet quilt basted and ready for some handquilting. 
But, my mom knows all of that. What she doesn't know is what I've made for her latest hip problem. Yep, it dislocated again. That makes three. Seeing as she already has the walker bag, and the ridiculous blanket, we went a completely different route.  Meet Dr. Parker.
 However it started, in my family my husband is often referred to as Dr. Parker.  No, he's not a doctor; but he will dispense medical advice and is yet to be wrong.  Perhaps the classic Dr. Parker story is diagnosing one of my brothers at my sister's wedding reception and finding the solution that months of tests from actual doctors hadn't.  He's become my mom's go-to for a second opinion on just about anything medical. 
During one of the hip episodes (a surgery maybe?), the box of goodies we sent involved some Dr. Parker Miracle Pills.  They were a success.  They were also sugar babies.  We made them a cute jar with directions.
Right now, Dr. Parker and a sizable stash of Miracle Pills are UPSing their way to my mom.  And we're brainstorming what to give her for the next hip event.