Friday, August 30, 2013

so we went back home and traumatized a few of our kids

the husband and i are from california. i think you know that. since moving here to the midwest, we've not gone "home". and even before that we had the deployment and other things that got in the way from our visiting. so we made the trek, BY CAR, this summer. we drove all 30 hours straight through. he took the first overnight shift, i took the all day shift, and then he took the late night shift till the early morning. we left late thursday (10pm ish central time) and got to san diego saturday morning (1 am ish pacific time)
we had to stop for the kids and us to walk around a little and have breakfast lunch and dinner and bathroom breaks. BUT we did excellent on time non the less! during the week we spent most of our time at the beach/pool. my kids love water.
after 15 and a half years of marriage we are still feeling super blessed and lucky that we made that commitment to each other. it was pretty special going back together to where we got hitched and to show our kids that this is where mom totally tricked dad that she wasn't really that crazy before he knew any better and got married for time and all eternity.

we did a total of 4,000 + miles round trip throwing in disneyland in-between seeing all my family and all of his family. 
this was the kid's first time at disneyland they enjoyed it very much...i may have made the mistake of starting off with space mountain as our first ride of the day. the two younger ones were a little on the frazzled side. oops lessons learned. they eased into the swing of things after a couple more slower rides. hands down everyones favorite ride was the Matterhorn. with splash mountain a close second. (minus the girl she didn't go on matterhorn, she liked splash mountain the best)
all in all the girl got mickey ears, the boys ate junk, mom and dad fulfilled their duty of getting them to disneyland.
 while i was in los angeles i was able to go back to close to where i grew up (and very close to where i went to elementary school and art school) to the uber cute fabric shop called sew modern.
 i was able to teach the kaleidoscope quilt class. and i had a blast getting to know all the wonderful women in that store. what a wonderful place to be. if you are in the area check it out, it's right off the 405 freeway.
we ended up not going straight through back to iowa. we went to utah for a total of seriously less than 24 hours but we did make sure we got to see his family, and of course get cafe rio.
and i'm pretty sure the only thing that tastes better than cafe rio, is cafe rio after you haven't had it for so long. iowa you need a cafe rio. just sayin. oh and you need to learn that your version of "mexican food" is totally wrong okay fine...different from the costal mexican food. we did make sure we had what jake and i call "real mexican" food. and of course seafood. (just me everyone else could care less about the seafood)

but i must also mention that during our time we ended up going to the san diego zoo.
and of course it wouldn't be a V and Co. vacation with out some sort of traumatizing experience.
all went well till we got to the chimps. 
would you like to hear a story? 

it was a pretty nice day we had taken the bus around the whole zoo right off the bat because well, why not, and this way we could see the "hot spots" we wanted to hit up. my kids all have their special animals they obsess about but because they mainly spent their impressionable years by the monterey aquarium, we were out of luck on the REALLY obsessed over animals, like penguins, dolphins, sharks, and otters. but the two younger ones were happy with the second tier of loved animals like turtles, bunnies, and bears. aaaaaand monkeys. the monkeys were cute i must admit. the way they look at you like grumpy old men and then they scratch their bum, or pick their nose and eat it? that's like prepubescent and teen humor all rolled into one. add the cool factor that they can totally swing around and dangle from one branch to another = awesome. so my kids were totally loving the monkeys. the husband was a little more like "oh look another monkey, this one slightly larger by say a couple of pounds, and with white hair sticking out from his ears. can please move onto the panda bear i heard there's a baby."
wikipedia stock picture

okay so perhaps the husband was a little right. there were a lot of monkeys, and orangutans, and different kinds of apes, and then there were the chimps.

when we got to the chimps my kids were finally thinking "okay we can go see other kinds of animals now." so we checked them out for a little bit they were cute and funny. most of them were just like "what are you looking at" but two where "playing around."

i started laughing cause the two reminded of me and jake when he pokes at me to try to get my ticklish spots. and me swatting his hands away.
seriously the boy chimp was like "i'm going to get your ticklish spot." and the girl one was like "seriously stop, im trying to not be tickled right now."  i went to move and tell jake. i turned to him and  right when i do i hear our third noise maker say really loud "look they are tickle fighting!!!!"

now, keep in mind, i'm not looking at them any more but i am facing my family. slowly the faces of my family members and the people around them go from smiley or nonchalant faces to:

i immediately knew something was up just by the looks of everyone's mouth's starting to hang open like in mid thought of "what the hel......"

my 11 year old noisemaker speaks first "UH that's not tickling." the 13 year old looks at me and says "yeah that's NOT tickling anymore."
the 9 year old and 6 year old don't believe them and are pretty sure they are still tickle fighting. people around us are snickering at our conversation. in the corner of my eye i see other parents are quickly moving and ushering their children away in crowds.
mind you this all happened in like 30 seconds or like a minute or something like that but it literally felt like i was in slow motion...
i turned around and sure enough the turn of events went from subtle advances of tickling to full on "brown chicken brown cow..." cue in porn music.

my mouth is gaping wide open.

my husband says " well it looks like the one on top is winning."

we quickly usher the kids away and the husband then finishes by saying

"tickling got us 4 kids."

true story.

we're glad to be home.
and well now i don't have to have the talk about how babies are made.

Friday, August 23, 2013

V and Co: how to make: ombre dutchman free quilt pattern

 welcome welcome!
i'm so excited to finally have the time to share this with you! it's been sitting here since last may when i made this quilt for quilt market.
but as you all know the kiddos are in school now and i did my "go and do everything i've not been able to do since june 1st without children" all in two days.
i went to get my car detailed, went grocery shopping, to fabric stores, went to hang out with friends, went to eat with-friends-went-to-target-went-and-walked-around-places-just-because-i-could-AND-THEN-I-WENT-AND-ATE-CHOCOLATE-IN-THE-MIDDLE-OF-THE-DAY-IN-THE-KITCHEN!!!!!!!!!!!
so i got it all out of my system and now i am able to get back to work.
it's basically a mom's version of the first weekend of college for freshman when they realize there's parties and no parents around. not that i would know anything about that...i've just heard about that kind of stuff.
anyways. what were we talking about. OH yes, here's my project i've been wanting to show you.
this quilt is a lovely quilt 48" x 48" and perfect for babies or for a wall.

it looks like i used different shades of fabric, but in actuality i used my ombre fabric. 
i used the gray, navy, teal, and lime green for this particular project. 
lets get started
what you will need: 
-1/2 yard fabric of green, blue, teal, and gray.
-1 1/2 yards of fabric of white or background fabric.
-rotary cutter
-erasable pen/pencil
-ruler to cut strips and to trim down HST (half square triangles) 

 from each color (gray, teal, navy, green) of fabric:
cut 4- 4" x WOF (width of fabric) strips
  -sub cut from strips 20- 4" squares
from white fabric:
cut 4- 12 1/2" x WOF strips
  -sub cut from strips 16- 12 1/2" squares

-put aside 16- 4" from each color (you'll trim these down a little bit later but lets leave all the trimming to the same time)

-next pair up lights and darks and mediums to create contrasting HSTs (half square triangles)
and please don't freak out that it's pink, i totally missed taking pictures the first time around of a quite a few steps so i made some of the steps using pink. 
-with your erasable pen/pencil draw a line from corner to corner on the wrong side of one the squares in the paired up squares.

 -sew a 1/4" seam from the drawn line on both sides of the line
-cut on the drawn line
 -when you open up each side you will have a HST square.
-do this to all your paired up squares
 - trim down each to 3 1/2" square (and even the squares you put aside)

 use 1/4" seam unless otherwise instructed
-place first row and sew as follow: 2 squares
-second row 2 HST then sew it to the first two squares to create a 6 1/2" square
-sew the two 3 1/2" squares on either side of the second row.
-third row you are going to sew 4 HSTs and sew it to the above sewn block

 -sew two more squares on either side of the third row
 -fourth know the drill... but this time sew 6 HST squares
 -and again sew two more squares at either side

 -take one of your 12 1/2"white square and place it on one side of your "step up triangle"
-i like to draw a line so that i can have a guide to follow.

(hint: make sure you dont sew over your points of the squares already sewn)
-pin in place
-sew on the line
 -cut off excess
 -repeat on the other side!

 - and there here's your first one done!!!
now do it again for all the other ones
 -place your blocks the way you see them in the picture above.
-sew your blocks
 i quilted my quilt by using my walking foot  and quilted straight lines just like i did in my reverse hopscotch.
i am going to enjoy this little bit of time to work again. and then i'm sure once we get close to summer vacation again i'll be ready to take a break and hit the pool again. but i'm getting ahead of myself, right now i'm just relishing in the blissful 6 full hours of the only noise being made by me and my talking to the animals and my working on the sewing machine.
:) school rocks.
we'll talk soon.

Monday, August 19, 2013

V and Co: first quilt over at Gen X

today is the first day of school.
but i also just got back from a vacation that our family drove 4, 438.8 miles to california (and to utah and Disneyland and so forth) and back.
we are still toasted.
i am totally celebrating with having my car detailed to get rid of all gooey/stickiness/sand and basically scrape all the"kid" off from the inside of my car.
they asked for 5 hours.
apparently that's how much time they need for people with gross children like mine. :)

i have a new free quilt pattern (the quilt at the bottom of this post) coming your way (i'm hoping this week) i have to tell you about my trip back to my beautiful san diego...and i have to let you in on a lot of fun projects that have been brewing in my head all summer long! yay for kids going back to school, and yay for a wonderful summer to look back on!
but because i am still fried from my family trip i have none of that prepared. sooooo i thought it would be fun to share a post i did for Gen X blog earlier on this month.
at the beginning of this month i was asked by the lovely ann marie of Gen X quilters about my very first quilt.
here's what i wrote:

i'm so excited that i was asked to share with all of you my very first quilt. 
i made this "rag quilt" with a wonderful group of seasoned quilter friends. i along with one other were the only ones in the group that had never made a quilt before. so as a group we went and picked out fabric enough to make (i think) 6 throws and the idea would be that we would all walk away with the same "friendship quilt".
as the years would pass we could look at it and think of our group of friends. 
i am proud to say that it still hangs out prominently in my home. (in our basement but still prominently!) and yes, i still think fondly of those wonderful women that held my hand and said "you can cut the fabric, there's no need to cry. seriously...its just fabric." 

looking at the colors you can probably guess when it was made! early 2000 when the reds and the greens and the tans and the yellows were very popular is a dead giveaway.

i remember going to the store and picking out the flannel with a couple of the friends. it was exciting and fun and i absolutely loved the picking out of fabric process.

i did have a hard time cutting into the fabric. and yes i did cry. i was scared that i was going to ruin the fabric make a mistake or something. 
they told me "it's just fabric."
i yelled back "ITS FABRIC!!"
 i did end up putting on my big girl panties and i cut the squares and didn't line up all my seams that great, but darn it i had made a quilt!

and i will forever love it. because it started the journey of what i create now:
reverse hopscotch
 see i still love mixing and matching colors and prints. and i no longer cry because i'm afraid of making a mistake. mistakes help you learn. understand how not to do something, and sometimes mistakes come out with pretty cool outcome.
i heart you quilt pattern V and Co.
 one thing is for sure, i still love color. sometimes i focus on just one color like in my i heart you quilt  here we have all the shades of pink (ombre fabric by V and Co.)

houndstooth quilt pattern V and Co.
and sometimes a quilt like my houndstooth quilt just needs to be simple and two toned.
bubbles (baby version) V and Co.
i struggle to label myself as modern or
kaleidoscope quilt pattern  V and Co.
 traditional in the quilting world.
i feel like i am a little bit of both every single time.

confetti quilt pattern (baby version) V and Co.

but what ever kind of quilter i am, i'm glad i am one.

bloom quilt pattern V and Co.

the dutchman quilt (free pattern coming soon)

it's very much a part of who i am and what i love to do.
i am forever grateful for that first quilt because it has led me to keep trying new things and finding a passion in something that i hope to instill in anyone who wants to listen.
quilting is the best.
thank you ann marie for making me talk about my journey in quilting!
we'll talk soon! 
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