Sunday, February 27, 2011

She's Here!

Lydia with my daughter Lily in the background.

Even though I managed a post on Thursday time is tricky and I feel like it was a week ago. My sister had her baby, Lydia Anne was born Friday at 2:33 AM, 7lbs 3oz and 19.5" long. The labor was short and my sister was amazing.The whole family went home on Saturday and Lydia's big sister Cecilia (22 months) was VERY happy to be home with everyone.

At our house we had a big change at least for my son.

I think I like the longer hair better. He is tall for his age so the short hair actually makes him look more like the 10 year old that he is.

Pétra (Creative Mom)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

My Creative Space...

It's a snow day in Portland translation an inch of wet snow which melts off by noon and the kids are home all day.We have also had my very pregnant sister and her family staying at the house for the past two days so she can get to the hospital when labor starts. They live at a higher elevation and can get iced in very easily. So needless to say I have not made it down to the studio today but I am hoping to soon. I have been having so much fun with my new quilt that I am always jonesing to sneak away for a few minutes but haven't been able to.
 So to be fare to Portland Public Schools it did just start snowing again although the kids would have been home from school by now. Hopefully they will have a play date and I can squeeze in a little sewing time. 

Sorry it's not a very Creative Space today but I am trying!
 Pétra (Creative Mom)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Mug Rug for Holly

 I'll be taking these to the winner soon. I love how they turned out. I toned down my colors a little because I have been in Holly's house and it's not all pink and green, go figure. I hope you like it Holly. 
All done and ready to go

This is the mug rug I received in the swap. It's a nice little burst of warmth for the winter made by Heather Lott. I love the mermaid surfboard and fabric patterns. I had missed last month's meeting and realized as all the beautiful mug rugs were being passed around that mine was one of the larger ones. I am not sure of the official mug rug guidelines, the ones I made are still smaller then a placemat but about twice the size as most of the ones at the meeting.I do know they are so fun to make and Holly's wont be my last.

For all of you quilters out there we had a great binding tutorial at the meeting and I used some of the techniques on Holly's mug rug. I am excited to share soon. I love how much faster it was and how smooth and tidy it turned out.

Pétra (Creative Mom)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The WInner Is....

Holly! Congratulations and thank you all for entering. I'll be whipping up your mug rug this weekend as long as my sister isn't having her baby. 

Speaking of winning I have won a few things lately and I never win anything. At the guild meeting I won this wonderful fat quarter pack of Kona solids courtesy of Pink Chalk Fabrics, a great online fabric store. I actually don't have a lot of solids so this is just what I needed. I think a little might work it's way into the mug rug.

Also last week I won this fat quarter pack from Trillium blog. The giveaway was to celebrate 3 years of her blog and it's a nice selection of fat quarters from Patty Young's Mezzanine line. I have a feeling my winning streak might be over but it was a fun one and I can't wait to get down to the studio and make something with all of these. 

It's such a sunny day here in Portland I am torn between sewing and getting outside. I want to do it all!
Pétra (Creative Mom)

Friday, February 18, 2011

February Book Club

This month our book was Just Kids by Patti Smith.The book is a memoir about Patti Smith's relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe. They met in New York at 19 and quickly developed a bond that few people are lucky enough to have. Through their physical relationship to deep friendship they had a passion for art that drove them to create art and support each other. What I loved about the book is it took me back to my art school days where your whole life revolves around your creativity. Not that my art school years can really compare to the Hotel Chelsea New York art scene but I loved reading about it. They lived in the world where Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, and Andy Warhol were new influences changing the cultural tide. Patti Smith was an artist and a poet before she became a musician and her writing is beautiful with the ability to transport you to the world she shared with Robert.
 We had 10 out of the 11 members at book club this month and all but 1 read the book (you know who you are). We all loved the book, that isn't always the case, which usually leads to a shorter discussion of the book as we talk about our favorite parts. The rest of the evening was catching up on Valentines day, family, the show Portlandia ("put a bird on it"), and of course wine and food. I think I stated this before but I am so happy to be a part of such a wonderful group of women!
  Our book for next month is another memoir, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chau.
From what I know of the book this will lead to a much more heated discussion read along if you'd like.

Pétra (Creative Mom)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

My Creative Space...

Today besides my little coffee brake I am in my space until 3 yay! I have finally started working on my next quilt which I have been looking forward to. I started figuring it out a while ago with a drawing and putting fabric up on the design wall.

An early version

 The current layout

I am excited to make more progress today. All of the printed fabrics with the exception of one that snuck in are scraps from Lotta Jansdotter. I have always loved her work and have been hoarding these and waiting to use them in something special. The trial run was this pillow. The field fabric will be the neutral 100% linen you see. I am definitely approaching this the way I have always done my drawing and painting which has had the feel of abstract landscapes and a lot of balance to the space.This is something I have been wanting to incorporate into my quilting for a while and I can't wait to see where it leads me.

You'll notice the huge difference in the photographs. The newer, which is definitely truer to color, was taken with the addition of the white balance adjusted to the fluorescent setting. I am slowly getting my SLR camera figured out to have better photos on the blog.

Don't forget to check out what's going on in other Creative Spaces.

Pétra (Creative Mom)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

PMQG Swap and Giveaway!

Our monthly Portland Modern Quilters Guild meeting is tomorrow night! I am so excited because I had to miss last month and I am such a geek for hanging out with other amazing quilters. This months swap is a mug rug and while I have made little baby quilts before this was my first mug rug. "What is a mug rug?" my husband asked, it's bigger then a coaster and smaller then a place mat perfect for a cup of coffee and cookies. I think I like the term snack mat better actually. I now know why people can get so into making these because it's a little instant gratification and a great way to test run fabric combination's and quilt ideas.

The mug rug is made mostly of scraps from the Birds and Bugs quilt I just finished and I added the Michael Miller Spice Cubes print which I really love. I might have gone a little overboard with the quilting but I had a lot of fun trying out some patterns I have been wanting to use. For the binding I went ahead and tried this Single Binding Tutorial from verrykerryberry which works very well as a less bulky binding for smaller items. 

Now for the giveaway. I have been trying to think of something to giveaway in honor of my 100th post last week so I thought I would make another mug rug for the lucky winner. I'll make one just for you so be sure to leave some color ideas in your comment in you are not interested in the pink and green. I'll also throw in a coffee cup cozy for when you are out and about with your coffee. 

Cozies in progress
Just leave me a comment and you'll be entered. Don't forget to leave your email address if I don't have access through blogger or facebook. I'll randomly choose a winner Friday the 18th after the kids get to bed. 

2-18-11 The giveaway is closed and I have a winner. I will announce tomorrow! It looks like my sister might be having her baby tonight so I need to get some sleep while I can. YAY

Good Luck!
Pétra (Creative Mom)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I have a confession to make...

 We have another swap coming up through Portland Modern Quilters Guild and it will be the third I have contributed to. My first was the pincushion, then there was the Give and Get swap, and I just finished my first mug rug (photo coming soon) for this months swap. My confession is I am an online swap/bee virgin. I see all of these great mug rug, pillow, kitchen swaps, and bees online and want to join in but can't seem to take the leap.I have loved making something for the guild swaps so I know I would be a good participant in the online version, why can't I seem to make the leap?! I feel a little better now that I have gotten this off my chest. One of these days I'll work up the nerve to join one!

 For anyone that saw my book club post earlier this month book club is tomorrow night so I'll have a book review soon.

Pétra (Creative Mom)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentines Day

Lily and I have been working on her Valentines all weekend and I learned my daughter is a little poet..

Hedgehogs fall in love every day or two.
Around the bend a new thing happens.
Deers run lonely in the forest and a frog hops in the pond 
like a mouse sleeping in it's den softly. 

I still have a few little valentines to work on for my family and I think I might whip up something with that valentine fabric for the kids. Here is a little bit of sunshine for you for Valentines day, a flower from my garden last summer. Have a Happy Day!

Pétra (Creative Mom)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

My Creative Space...

Today I made my first pillow! I have been planning my next quilt which will be made from linen and thought it might be a good idea to work with linen a little first. I am glad I did because I know now it's going to be a little tricky. With just a few little hiccups I made a great pillow. I have decided to enter it in the Sew, Mama, Sew pillow contest if you haven't checked it out there are some great tutorials.

The fabric is scraps I have been saving from Lotta Jansdotter and I will be using them for the quilt as well. I can't wait to get working on it as soon as I do a little more linen research. Any tips are welcome.... or I should say help please send tips!

Pétra ( Creative Mom )

I almost forgot don't forget to go on over to kootoyoo and see who else is playing this week.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Baby Quilt Done

Not a very inspiring title but I have never come up with a name for this quilt. How about the Birds and Bugs Quilt! Originally it's from Quilts Baby, the Lemongrass Quilt. This is the third time I have made this pattern so I thought it would be fun to see them all together.

First up the latest Birds and Bugs for my sisters second baby.

The second version for my sisters first baby

The first and the first real quilt I made The Ducky Quilt

I love seeing them all together and how the different fabrics work. I wish the middle photo was better but the whole quilt was softer with cream sashing instead of white. I know I will make this again but I am ready to start branching out into some of my own ideas for quilts and see where they take me. 

Pétra ( Creative Mom)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Binding is Boring

My least favorite part of quilting is the binding. I know some people hate the cutting but I find that part really fun I guess I am a cutting geek. If I am machine sewing binding on it's no big deal but with my last three quilts I have hand finished the binding because I know it looks better. It seems to take me about 4 hours and I am going to finish today watching the Super Bowl! I thought I would share my handy tool for binding.I've never purchased the binding clips instead I use clothes pins and find it so easy to just move them along one handed.

If you have any good binding tips I'd love to hear them.

Pétra (Creative Mom)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

My Creative Space...

Today I had a fun trip to Ikea. It's somewhere we all love to go and I haven't been in awhile. My sister had to return a shelf and I have been wanting to look at fabric. They have some very cool home dec. fabrics that I have been eyeing to reupholster a chair with. You know in all my free time I'll just learn to reupholster and do it, that project has been on the back burner for awhile. This trip I was looking with quilting in mind. I found a nice duvet cover I could use as backing for a future quilt so I am mulling that over. 
 I have been wanting to work more on my photography so I spent the morning online. I found a great tutorial by Christina on The Sometimes Crafter. Considering I learned how to develop film and prints in elementary school, then took classes in high school,and then was required to take photography again in art school I have retained very little. I can attribute it to the wild times at art school but I think it's just my Mommy brain and age catching up with me. Using my husbands DSLR camera has been the biggest challenge too because it's so different from the old school film cameras I had always used. The tutorial that Christina put together is just what I needed to jog my memory so I can fix my lighting issues. I work in our finished basement with minimal natural light and environmentally friendly fluorescent lighting yuck! 
Here are two photos the second I took after adjusting the white balance on my camera for fluorescent lighting.

Taken with all auto settings. 

Taken with some settings auto, some manual, and white balance on. 

Still needs a little work. After editing in iphoto it looks much better but I would love to do less editing. Which photo looks best on your monitor? 

The scrappy pile of binding will hopefully be on the quilt tonight and I will be moving onto the Sisters quilt!

Don't forget to check out more Creative spaces at kootoyoo.

Pétra (Creative Mom)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


I can't believe this is my 100th post.I started this blog in August of 2009 and while there have been some slow months I have loved posting and sharing my quilts and more with you. Tune in soon for a celebratory giveaway.

At this very moment I am sitting at the dining room table and both my children (6.5 and 10) are on the couch reading! My son has been a avid reader for awhile now and my daughter has known how to read but the chapter books just clicked for her this week.Now I know when my husband comes up from work they will go down to the basement  and have their computer time but this is wonderful.They share my love of books and that makes me so happy.

Now on to a baby quilt update.I finished the quilting today and will get to the binding tonight.My free-motion quilting is very rusty so this was a wake up call to work on my technique.The quilting involves lots of overlapping targets and I like how the design works with the straight edges of the blocks. 

 The original pattern was created by Laura Ducommun.

I love it that the whole quilt just sticks to the design wall.

 I am planning a scrappy binding and can't wait to see the finished quilt.

Pétra (Creative Mom)