Monday, February 27, 2012
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
I bought this light table, along with some other items, from a school auction. They are from a school supplier, and very well made. This light table alone sells for hundreds of dollars. It was in perfect condition.
I researched light table activities online and realized there's no right or wrong thing you can do with it. Transparent colored objects are great, but anything is fun. The light seems to keep the child focused on whatever's on the table's surface.
I went to a teacher supply store and got some things we could play with. I bought some sand, some foam letters, and some finger paints, along with an art smock. We'll try out the finger paints another time. Today we played with sand. At first, Journey just played with common kitchen items on the table. She thought that was neat. Then we added the sand.
The sand comes in various colors and is around $2.99 for a large container (about 2 cups). We only used about half of it. She poured the sand from one container to another, spooned it up, sifted it, and ran her hands through it. She had a lot of fun. It kept her attention for about 45 minutes.
Monday, February 6, 2012
I wanted to make a new table runner and found a charm pack online at Nancy's Notions called "Le Petite Ecole" which looked like blue and red and cream and when I got it, it was more gray than blue. In the dead of winter I really need something bright but since I had the fabric, I went ahead and made it up. I had bought a book a while back called "Piece In the Hoop" which contains instructions and a CD with design files for piecing quilt blocks using the embroidery machine. I thought this would be a good time to try out those designs. I watched the video (basically a "Sewing with Nancy" type format) and read, or rather flipped thru, the book and got started.
Rather than make the test block and start with the simpler projects, I thought I would jump straight to the more complicated designs (the Log Cabin Block) (mistake #1). Also, wouldn't it make sense to make ONE block first and make sure all was going as planned? (mistake #2) Instead, I made up about 10 Log Cabin Blocks, trimmed them neatly, admired them for a while, then proceeded to make the Snowball Blocks with the embroidered chicken/rooster in the center. Then I cut all the plain pieces to fill in the other squares. It was only then, when I went to sew them all together, and the blocks didn't all match up, that I realized I'd FAILED to READ and FOLLOW directions. What I thought was the CUTTING line was actually the STITCHING line. So... I'd cut off all my seam allowances on the Log Cabin blocks (ahhhh!!!!!), which meant I had to cut down all the other blocks, and it snowballed from there. Disgusted, I wanted to throw the whole mess out, but I kept going. The casual observer can't see that the outer row on each Log Cabin Block is a wee bit narrower than the rest.
These pictures are dark because my dining room is dark, that's why I need bright cheery fabrics!
This table runner did provide a lot of really good practice. It was not a quilt as you go project. I used the "stitch in the ditch" for the log cabin blocks and for some of the plain blocks I used a design on the CD which kinda looks like candlewicking. For the rest I just did plain old machine embroidery.
The other project is a lingerie bag, ordered by a woman who buys toddler dresses from us. She has a lingerie shower to go to and had an idea of what she wanted and basically sketched an envelope shape with the recipient's monogram. She provided the cotton outer fabric and a flower button. The cotton wasn't sturdy enough for a bag so I created quilted fabric by using sew in interfacing as the bottom layer, thin poly batting in the center and the cotton on top. I drew chalk lines 1" apart, in a diamond pattern and used an olive green embroidery thread on top. The quilting was easy and very fast. I loved the way it turned out.