Saturday, July 31, 2010

Trace, Toby and Lime Green Toes!

My oh my!

The Hot Rockin' Hubby took me to see Trace Adkins and Toby Keith
in concert for my birthday.

We sat in the 8th row!!!!

In the spirit of "music appreciation",
I must tell you all that Trace Adkins is a might fine specimen!
Oh man!

I mean, he has NOTHING on my Hot Rockin' Hubby,
but he was very, very fine to look at!

And yes, I cried, like I always do, 
when he sang "You're gonna miss this."
I love that song!

And then when it was Toby's turn, he showed up on stage in a 
sawed-in-half Ford F-150! 
It was crazy!
Now, I am a bigger Trace fan than I am a Toby fan, 
Toby was incredible!!

And Don, being the audio geek that he is, 
had to take pictures of the monstrously huge sound board. 

We had a wonderful wonderful wonderful time!

Thank you Hubby!

Earlier in the day, we met my parents up in Truckee, 
for lunch, cake and to get my mom's sewing machine.
And they gave me a yummy chocolate cake!
It was sooooo good!

And we got some cute pics of the grands and their girls. 
After that, we drove home to get Ahnalin to her swimming lessons on time.
And then Don and I headed out to the concert!

And then yesterday, I treated myself to 
the most luxurious and blissful pedicure at Bon Bon Salon.

Oh wow!

It was aromatherapy, leg massage, and pedicure all in one!

Pure heaven!

I know it is goofy, but I had to have lime green polish.
I LOVE lime green and I love my pretty toes.

When I got home,
Ahnalin begged to have matching lime green toes.
I just happened to have lime green polish in my purse,
so I dolled her up as well.

I asked India if she wanted her toes green too and she said she is
waiting for her own pedicure.......
Hmmmmmm her birthday is in September. 
Maybe I should treat us to mother/daughter pedicures. 
Whatcha think?

I had better get back to sewing.
I have to turn in my fair entries this week
and I am running behind due to the broken machine.

Thank you all for the birthday wishes.
I tried to send "thank you" replies but many of you do not 
have your email address listed on your profiles, so the 
replies did not go through.
So, if you did not get a "thank you" from me, that is the reason.
So Thank YOU from me.

Off to sew I go!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Happy Birthday TO ME!!

Today is my very own Happy Birthday!

I am 43 years old today.

I am not lying, fibbing or embellishing the truth in any way.
I have earned every one of those years and I am grateful for them.

Oh, this photo is from last year, when I was 42!

So, how will I celebrate?

Well, we are going to meet my parents in Truckee at the Panda Express 
for lunch again, just like last year.

And, just like last year, my mom will lend me her 
Janome, because mine broke AGAIN!!
We will have a yummy lunch together and then
we will scoot back home to get Ahnalin to her swimming lesson.

(Notice her new swimsuit? Yeah, I made it. But my machine broke while I was
in the middle of sewing it. So I had to finish it on Ahnalin's Hello Kitty machine. It was so funny!)
And then India will watch her little sister
so that Don, the Hot Rockin' Hubby, can take me out on a


Oh, wait, did you notice that India dyed her hair really really red? 

OH, back to the DATE!

Yeah, he is taking me to hear TOBY KEITH!!!


I am just a whole lot excited!!!!



And then, the fun will continue because

starts a new season tonight!!

AND that will be followed by a really neato new show!

I am so excited by this show!!!
Austin Scarlett and Santino Rice
are designers from previous seasons of Project Runway and
they will be traveling across America.
They will stop at small towns along 
the way and design for local people, 
highlighting shops at each of their stops. 
And my little town is one of their stops!!!
I do not know when my town will be featured, 
but as soon as I know,  I will let you all know!

I just got this amazing package in the mail from

I won her giveaway!!

I am over-the-moon excited about these amazing fabrics from Heather Ross's
Far Far Away line!! This is gorgeous double gauze and I have never
felt anything like it. I can't wait to sew on it!
Thank you Yvonne! It came today! 

Ok, it is 2:00AM on my birthday. 
I had better get my beauty sleep so I don't look
one second older than my 43 years.

Love to you all!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Polka Dots, Gnomes and Quilting Too!

Can I tell you how much I love this little girl?

Can I tell you how much I love this dress?

The pattern is Simplicity 2711 and I have had it in my stash
for a while. I keep picking it up, and then moving on 
to patterns with a twirlier skirt.
But this time, I finally made it!

I love it!
I love the little straight sleeve with the ruffle.

 I love the pintucks and the ruffles on the yoke.

The fabric is Michael Miller's Gnomeville and I am crazy about it!

And look at this little button!
I got it several years ago in a lot of vintage buttons from Ebay and 
have been saving it for exactly the perfect project!

I cut a size 5 in width and a size 6 in length. 
It fits her with lots of room for growth.

She does not get to wear it again until after it comes home from the Fair.
I am busy making school clothes for her and will be entering many of those
items in the fair. Last year I won 19 ribbons and the Sweepstakes award 
for the most entries! Heehee!
This year, I am hoping to get 22 items entered, 
but we will see how many get finished.
And on the quilting front...

Thank you all for your amazing tips everyone!!

Because I truly don't know what I am doing, 
so I told her the wrong thing,
I had Ahnalin put her binding on before
I had her do the actual quilting. 
So, it was too late for perfection!


But according to Amber, I should
have her "safety pin like crazy!"
So, off we went to the dollar store to buy a huge pack of safety pins.
We need more already.
Then, based on advice from Roseiq, 
using my disappearing marker,
I drew stitch lines for her to sew on. 

She is doing great! 
She asked my why she had to hand stitch this when her
sewing machine goes so much faster, 
and I told her that we don't have a walking foot so I was
afraid it would get all puckery. 
And she need to build her confidence in 
her hand stitching anyway. 

Thank you all for your great tips, links and videos!!!!
You have helped me and encouraged us so much!

India is a bit behind in her quilt because she was
really sick all week. 
Her doctor said it was just another virus. 
Well, these viruses just wipe my girl out!
We appreciate your prayers so much.

As to the raincoat I am working on.....


Why on earth did I let my 5 year old pick out a fabric with such a HUGE
pattern repeat????
It is taking me forever to cut it out just right.
I am tempted to just cut it willy-nilly,
pattern matching-be-darned!
But I spent way more than usual on that fabric and want it to be......


Thank you all again for your incredible help and encouragment.

Happy Sewing. 

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A Question For Real Quilters ( as in, anyone who is not me...)

So, my girls are doing amazingly well with their mini quilts.

And remember, I am NOT a quilter. 

Well, in my heart, I WANT to be a quilter.
But other than a few basic quilt tops, and some really simple
almost-quilts where I either tied, or embroidered them,
I have never completed an entire quilt.

I have never taken a quilt class, even though I want to do so.

All of which would probably, and rightfully, beg the question,
"Why, pray tell, my dear Goosegirl, did you choose to have your daughters
make charm pack quilts as one of their summer projects?  Hmmmm?"

Well, like I have told one of my quilting crushes, Monica Solorio-Snow,
aka The Happy Zombie, I really, really want to learn
to quilt.  So maybe by having my girls work on these, I can kind 
of problem solve and get some ideas before I try my own.

So, I guess that makes them guinea pigs, and me the evil scientist....


I am probably telling them everything wrong. 
And anyone who is a REAL QUILTER is probably rolling on the floor at the thought
of the gross misinformation I am feeding my happy guinea pigs, er.....daughters.

Now, you make think to yourself, 
"Sivje, why don't you just take a class, or even read a book
on quilting?"  

Well, I have no good answer for that one!

But Ahnalin has DEFINITELY caught the quilting bug, and bad!

She has raced through her quilt and now the only thing left to do is 
the actual "quilting".  India has a few more steps for hers, but 
she is not far behind.

And Ahnalin wants to know what to do to finish her quilt.

Um.... well...... I have NO CLUE what to tell her!

So, please, I beg of you....
what do we do next?????

I got the kind of cotton batting that must be quilted because my local store did not
have the cheapy polyester batting that you can just tie.

So, please. Help a crazy mama out.

What should we do next?

Thank you!!!!!

Sivje (the evil scientist)

Friday, July 16, 2010

She Is Obsessed!!

I did mention that I have a daughter who is a perfectionist, right?

Well, she is so obsessed with this little quilt that she is almost done with it!

After she had sewn her strips together, she laid
them out in rows on the counter.
Yes, she is sitting on the kitchen counter.
I am a rotten mom.

(I did the ironing, ok?)

She must have changed the order of those strips about 50 times!

At last, she finally decided she liked the order.

She pinned them together and sewed the strips together 
and then when she was clipping the threads,
she accidentally cut too close and cut a HOLE in
one of the seams! 

Yes, a half inch HOLE!

She fell on the floor crying and it took a few minutes before she calmed down enough 
to show me what had happened.
She started screaming, so I told her it was time for bed.
No more sewing when kiddos scream!
But I also told her that since we planned on her "signing" the quilt,
she could embroider her name on some fabric and 
applique it onto the quilt and it would cover the hole.
As the sweet ladies on Sewing Mamas would say, it was a 
"Design Option", not a mistake!
I like that!

So yesterday, as soon as she got up, she started back to work on her quilt.
Here she is pinning some side panels onto the patchwork.
Those are her very own pincushion and pins. 

She adores them!

After she sewed the side panels on,  I gave her my 
disappearing ink pen to write her name on a piece of 
fabric, so she could embroider over it.
She got very frustrated because the ink faded several times before 
she finished embroidering her name.
The embroidery is NOT perfect, and she is ok with that!!!!

No fits about the embroidery!!! 

We had to take a little break from sewing because she wanted me to make a video of her
and her quilt so Grandma and Nana could see it.

Then she told me that she wanted me to enter her things in the Fair.
I had not yet submitted our entries and TODAY 
was the deadline so I dropped everything to get on the computer and
submit our entries.
The drop off date is August 5 so we have time to finish everything.

India is entering her quilt and hopes to make a skirt and nightgown 
to enter as well.

After that, I took the girls to go see "Toy Story" and 
then I got smacked with another migraine, 
so no more sewing happened yesterday.
(Yeah, I cried during Toy Story, alright?)

Today, we had to drive to Sacramento to some hospital appointments for India.

Ahnalin had already laid out her quilt top on the batting 
and basted it on. 
She insisted on bringing the quilt top with us in the car so she could
hand sew on her name applique. 
Sewing in the car........wonder where she learned that one......

Did I mention that she was obsessed????
We just got home and she is dying to finish her quilt tonight.
I said, "NO!" as it is after 9:00 PM and she needs to go to bed!

Can you see her name on the heart applique? 
She insisted on using lime green embroidery floss, even though it blends in too much to the fabric.
But again, she is happy with the embroidery and NOT having a fit about it, so I am thrilled.

She is hoping to finish her quilt tomorrow. 
Who knows?
She just may do it!

This is India's patchwork top.
She is going to add some side panels and she has
chosen a yummy brown Minkee fabric for the back.
She wants to get working on it now, 
so I had better get back to her.

Oh, her hospital appointments went really well and 
she is feeling good! 

As for me, this is my current project! 
I am IN LOVE with this Amy Butler vinyl coated fabric
and have been dying to make the Oliver & S  School Days jacket
since it came out. 

And about my previous post.....
Thank you all!!!
I LOVED every response!! 
I walk a very fine line with teaching my girls. 
Ahnalin's perfectionism and anxiety sometimes interfere
with her passion for sewing. It is hard!
And so I often struggle with my own perfectionist tendencies and 
want to help her just relax and enjoy creating.
(She is supposed to be in bed, but just yelled down the stairs that she wants to
finish her quilt TONIGHT!! NO WAY!!)

India is really enjoying the quilt top and seems to want it to be really nice
but is not freaking out. She is doing a really great job and is excited to finish as well.

Thank you again everyone. 
Now, if you could all just pray that I could figure out a way 
to encourage Ahnalin, so that we can hopefully NOT have
tantrums when she makes a mistake. 
I wish she would not take it all so seriously, 
but then, she does have me for a mama so my poor habits
regarding my own perfectionism are rubbing off on her.

Happy Sewing. 
I may show you more pics tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Creativity VS Perfectionism -A Poll

I have a question for you all. 

What do you think is more important in teaching young sewists how to sew?

I put up a poll on the right hand side of the blog and I would love to hear your thoughts.

Here is the deal....

When it comes to sewing, I am a perfectionist.

The insides of my creations have to be just as perfect and beautiful as the outsides.

Well, that is how I am now.

When I first learned to sew, I was NOT this way.

Look at those NASTY unfinished, improperly pressed seams!!!!

Yeah, this was the inside of the first dress I ever sewed for myself.
I was 14 years old and chose the hardest pattern I could think of.

But that is me. 
That is how I think.

But I want to foster a love of
creativity AND excellence in my children.....
in everything they do.
But I REALLY want them to enjoy sewing 
and be confident AND competent.

So, for this summer, I decided that each of my girls
was going to learn some basic skills in sewing. 

India is 18 and had her own sewing machine for 3 years.
She has rarely touched it and has NO IDEA where the power
cable or presser foot are. She has never really been interested
in sewing for herself because she knew that I would gladly 
recreate anything she wanted. 

Yeah, I have spoiled her with my sewing, but in essence I have handicapped
her because I have not made her do it for herself.

Ahnalin LOVES to sew.

She sews whenever she can, but she has some perfectionist struggles 
herself, so when I try to correct some of her sewing mistakes,
she freaks out and bemoans that she will never be good at it. 

She does not take instruction well, or like to go slow.

So, I struggle. 

How much should I emphasize correct sewing techniques?

Should I make them rip out their mistakes or just let them 
keep going so they can complete something, even if it is imperfect?

God is the only perfect creator.

None of us can ever compete with His perfection,
but I know I try pretty hard!

India is sewing on my machine while we wait for a new power cord
to arrive for her Brother SE 270D.

So,  because I want them both to learn, and have some 
simple sewing successes, we are working on some projects together.

The first project, and don't laugh all you REAL quilters out there,
is a simple mini quilt made from Moda Charm packs.

Each girl picked out a Charm pack and is sewing together her 
squares to make a little quilt.

India is blazing through hers and seems to actually be enjoying her enforced sewing.

Ahnalin, on the other hand, has broken 4 needles on her sewing machine from pulling 
her fabric too hard (yes, she is THAT strong!) and has
had a few screaming fits over her crooked stitches. 

A few times, I have helped her to use the seam ripper to rip out
crooked seams. And a few times, yes, I admit it(!!!), I have 
ripped out some seams and corrected them.

This is the charm pack all sewn together, and she is pointing out
to me where there are some puckers in the green piece. 
I am tempted to take them out myself to avoid her freaking out again.

But I remember seeing an Amish quilt exhibit at the DeYoung Museum and
the docent told us that the Amish women sew an intentional flaw into every quilt
they make. This flaw serves as a reminder that "Only God is perfect."

I hope the girls will enjoy sewing their quilts and I think we will
have some finished quilts to show off in a day or so.

But really, 
I would love to hear your thoughts on creativity vs. perfectionism.
How do you think children should be taught to sew? 
Please share your thoughts with me.
Even if you have never commented before, I would love to hear from you.
Oh, and if you want me to respond, please include your email in the post.

Love to you all!!!!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Great Giveaway at Marie Madeline!

I want to win this!!

The Lovely Long Ladies over at Marie Madeline Studio are
giving away a fat quarter pack of Flower Sugar 2 and I 
want to win it soooooo bad!!!

Oh the pretties I could sew with this!!

So go check it out.

Happy Tuesday. 
I am working with my girls today.
They are making mini quilts from Moda Charm Packs.
I will post pics later.
I had better get back to them, because Ahnalin is freaking out over
rethreading her machine yet again.