I was so excited to see a round 2 for the Schnitzel and Boo mini quilt swap (Flickr group here) only 6 months after the first! I had such a great time creating my last mini that I didn’t hesitate to sign up again. You can see the mini I made back in Nov 2013 HERE.

The partner I was assigned didn’t have too much to say and wasn’t too present on social media… but I got enough of an idea on what might be good for her by stalking the little bit she did have on IG. She said her favorite colors were Aqua and yellow and I noticed how outdoorsy she was. Her IG feed was full of sunrises while on a jog… I wish I had her drive for exercise :P.

It didn’t take long for me to decide on a wonky log cabin design. And in thinking about nature and her colors, I decided to try and depict a bright sunny center with a bramble of foliage surrounding it! I immediately fell in love with the idea. Here is my concept piece I whipped up in Photoshop.

Hi partner! Decided on a wonky log cabin for you! It would match your taste most and can be unique. This is a digital mock up/inspiration I did. Hope you love it as much as I do!

I pulled from my stash mostly but still had to order a few beauties.

Fabric pulls from my stash. I need to order a few things but I'm happy with what I had to start with too! What do you think, partner!?

Fabric for my partners quilt arrived today! Excited but can't get started for another week or 2. Whatcha think, partner? #schnitzelandboominiquiltswap #makeaquiltmakeafriend

I loved the wonky approach because I didn’t have to spend a lot of time measuring and cutting… its all about haphazard piecing!

I only had about 30 mins to sew last night so I got my #schnitzelandboominiquiltswap quilt started! #wonkylogcabin #makeaquiltmakeafriend

I got this far (photo below) and realized I was taking too long transitioning to the blue and this piece was already almost the max size allowed! I had to decide to either take it apart, or start over. Decided to keep this one (oh darn) and start over.

I didn't transition to the blue fast enough and now it's almost max size. I can either fix this (unstitching some layers) or keep and start over... Hmm. I do love it, but not what I wanted  #schnitzelandboominiquiltswap #makeaquiltmakeafriend

This is what the 2nd attempt looks like! Exactly what I wanted!

Top all done! I hope you are excited, partner! This is a new one. Guess I will just have to keep the first one. #ohdarn #schnitzelandboominiquiltswap #makeaquiltmakeafriend

I spray basted, since it was so small, and did free-motion quilting (FMQ) in the middle using the darning foot on my vintage Singer. I’m not amazing with FMQ yet so I had thread breakage a few times, but I was happy with the result. The design in the middle is supposed to look like bee-flying lines all in swirls using yellow tread. On the transition and the blue’s, I used my walking foot and created a twiggy design. Super love the way it turned out!

My quilting so far. Bee swirls in the middle, twigs all around. Hope u like what u see partner!

My quilting on the back. You can see it really well!

I trimmed, labeled, and bound the quilt, using the darkest blues for the binding. Then, I noticed my mini wasn’t lying flat… it had like a volcano effect. The center was raising outward when it was laying down or on the wall. I googled, and asked other quilters, why this would happen. There were a variety of possibilities including the fact that I had denser quilting on the edges of the quilt and less in the middle. In the end, everyone recommended blocking the quilt. I had done some blocking in the past with crochet so I knew what to do. I am so happy to say it cured the problem right up!

Quilted and trimmed to 22". Wow, partner, I'm going to have a very hard time letting this go. I hope you love it. Now to put it aside for a few days and finish something else pressing. #schnitzelandboominiquiltswap #makeaquiltmakeafriend

Hey #schnitzelandboominiquiltswap partner! Your mini is all done & labeled. Still collecting goodies. Photo of all of it later! Mailing out tomorrow! #makeaquiltmakeafriend

I got all my extra goodies, and made a little embroidery hoop art, and packaged up my mini! Here are the final photos.

My handmade goodie for my partner. Just gotta glue the slack down in the back. :)

Finished images of my mini and stuff

Finished images of my mini and stuff

Finished images of my mini and stuff

Finished images of my mini and stuff

Finished images of my mini and stuff

Finished images of my mini and stuff

Finished images of my mini and stuff

Finished images of my mini and stuff

Finished images of my mini and stuff

Sorry for the sorta dark, sorta blue tinted photos… also I think I took these before I blocked it. You can see the issue.. though it was more obvious in person. Anyway, my partner loved it and it just made my day!

Lastly, take a look at what was sent to ME from Sally over at Sally’s Angel Works!

The mini I received!

The mini I received!

The mini I received!

Isn’t it fabulous!? Not only did I get that lovely mini, but she sent a mug rug, coffee, chocolate… AND she was so thoughtful and sent Levi a hot wheels truck and his own mug rug! He was so excited! I can’t thank her enough :)

Here are both my minis, hung in my sewing corner! (And do you spot the new serger? Its my new love… more on that later)

Mini's hung!

 

So… what’s up next, you ask? Well, I offered to be an Angel for this swap (make a mini for a 2nd partner who’s original partner had to bail) and I got started pulling fabric and a pattern for the new partner. I should be able to whip it up pretty quickly!

Fabric and pattern for my angel mini. Hope my new partner likes it!

And …. I signed up for a pillow swap called The Great Pillow Fight! Always wanted to do a pillow cover! I know what you’re thinking… so you don’t need to say it :P

 

Cheers!

Leasa

I had been eying this pattern for a long time… swooning over it really. I love how versatile it could be- juvenile, mature, boy, girl, clean and modern, or rustic depending on your fabric choices. I was considering it for Levi’s quilt (that I hope to get working on later this year). Well, an opportunity presented itself when a twitter mama commissioned a quilt for her little guy’s birthday. She wanted a Aeronautical type of theme. It was just perfect for this quilt.

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Usually, I don’t use patterns… especially for commissions. I tend to just make them up or keep them basic. Making complicated blocks only lengthens the time and therefore the cost, so I keep it simple to keep cost low. So, this was my first quilt pattern. The instructions were very clear and well written and I had an easy time following. It just took a loooooong time. But I think that’s because I have only been doing simple ones. I happened to be on hiatus during the majority of it and I am so glad I was! I don’t think I would’ve finished within the deadline and I was a week over (thanks to Levi breaking his leg :P).

 

Most of my fabrics were designer quilting fabrics from various Etsy shops as well as my LQS (local quilt shop). Its a mix of Robert Kaufman, Waterfront Park, Botanics, Lotta Jansdotter and more. You can see my entire fabric selection HERE on Etsy as a saved project. I followed the instructions for the twin size quilt and sewed everything (including the quilting) on my home vintage 1950′s singer. The quilting is in the pattern of the arrows, bordering them on the inside and out side, and varies how many times around on different arrows. Anyway, enjoy the photos of the in-progress and the finished. PS- I made chain piecing my bi-otch.

 

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bringing-up-bebe-2 Sooo… a few months ago, I spent a week listening to a book called Bringing Up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman on Audible. While listening, I took notes in a blog post, intending to clean the notes up and write a clear and concise review. Truth-be-told… with all my projects.. when will I get to that? LOL. So, I decided to just publish the post with all my raw notes that I took while listening. Though there are fragmented sentences and misspellings, I thought it would still be more interesting to read exactly my impressions and direct quotes from the audio book.

Overall, I liked it! The way they feel about breastfeeding doesn’t match my personal values.. and the way they go about infancy is slightly more hands-off than I practiced… but there definitely a few great kernels of advice in there that I will probably try next time. As to their ideas and practices toward toddlers, I love it! On the surface, it could seem cold (for lack of a better word) but actually they are trying to raise their little ones exactly the way today’s American parents are! Anyway, you read the notes and decide for yourself… or even read or listen to the book!

 

  • doing her nights (sleeping through the night)- not answer right away. evaluate the fuss between sleep cycles. know if baby is in need of feeding or is just between cycles. “the pause”. until 4 months old. Wait. watch, listen. teaches them patience. consistent. confident. making informed decisions. gently teaching. sleep researchers agree- parents fight it. talk to baby. explain to baby. cant wake 10x per night bc mama needs to work. author did CIO for 2 nights. worked for her

 

  • women should care for themselves while baby is sleeping. make herself feel good.

 

  • french kids dont tantrum they cope with frustration. they dont expect to get what they want all the time. In a study, children were asked not to eat marshmallows on table until interviewer returned. bad delayers focused on the marshmallow. the good delayers easily distracted themselves. techniques that make waiting less frustrating. self distract. autonomy- look up definition. baking- a perfect exercise in patience. French children know to wait for the “goute” (afternoon snack time) until eating snack.. even if its a treat. french children eat in courses, together with their parents. model patience. polite and firm. confident. promote playing by themselves. busy playing? leave them alone. follow their lead. worst case: child is busy, happy and mama comes along. dont need mama. but then mama not there when child need them. crucial for mama to be sensitive- aware of childs needs. tune into child.

 

  • limits- americans do what they want when they want. french have limits but freedom within the limits. americans are whiny. structure is more smooth. not rigid. teach your child frustration. demanding a toy? remain calm.. not on todays plan to buy the toy. distract by telling a story. mother needs to stay close, look in the eye, embrace.. but that he cant have anything he wants. kind but firm. explain cant pick up during cooking. explain she cant. let him be upset. teaches patience and they can cope with fustration. distract? expecting they can be patient is respecting them. rushing to do what they want treats them like an addict.

 

  • angering a child isnt bad parenting. if parent cant stand the thought of being hated, then the child wont be frustrated. then the child will be the object of his own tyranny. he has to deal with his own greed and need for things. if the parent isnt there to stop him, he will have to stop himself, or not stop himself which is more anxiety provoking. kids need daily opportunity for dealing with frustration- make children wait a little bit…. back to “the pause”. waiting is a cornerstone of raising kids.

 

  • awakening- let the children discover. dont push to meet milestones and measure. let them be a child. enroll in things, but simply for the discovery. self assurance, tolerance of difference. exposing them to things gives pleasure. its the reason to live. Rousseau. a freedom should be bound by firm limits and strong parental authority. freedom within the limits. the surest way to make your child miserable is to let him be accustomed to getting anything. at some point you will have to refuse something. and the refusal will torment him much more than what he is being refused. a childs argument, no matter how well, doesnt match your own. dont dispute between you 2 on who will be the master.

 

  • children are intelligent. you can explain to them. they understand. thats why they can teach their children to participate properly in a restaurant. listen to children. irrational reactions have a reason/motive. they tell children what they are doing to them.. sounds familiar.

 

  • french are for daycare. breastfeeding isnt encouraged by the french. its above and beyond the call of duty. I dont care for how they care for their infants. but I like the toddler/young child. calls the BFing torture… feels bad for asking for help. french loose baby weight by around 3 months. they are women first. they should make time for themselves. food: pay attention… not “be good”. no bread during the week. on the weekend they eat what they want. in general, french moms regain their pre-baby selves. they dont play on the playground w their kids and whatnot. toys dont engulf the common spaces. mothers shouldnt be enslaved to their children. a balance. when with the children, you should engage with them! But that you should also have your own hobbies/time for yourself. the mom and women roles are fused. children can see both mom and woman.

 

  • Americans and their narrated play- flaunting and constant stimulant. there should be active times and contemplative times. they see the children as a project. trying to help development along through organized activities, supervising experiences in school “concerted cultivation”.  french playdate means drop the child off and go do your thing. bday parties too. french are whatever about extra curriculars. the french feel guilt as we do too. that kids watching too much tv, working, not living up to their own standards of parents or workers too. difference is, they dont valorize the guilt like we do. we admit guilt and feel bad to make it ok that we are doing these things. they banish the guilt. they remind each other the perfect mother doesnt exist.

 

  • they really insist on politeness. preschool is for socializing and helping them with language and organized thought. they learn to say hello, goodbye, thank you, please. its the proper way of acknowledging them as a person. children are not allowed to hide under the shadow of their parents. author notices that american children and even teenagers wont talk to adults without prying. hello and goodbye puts kids on the same level as adults, at least for the time being. its civility. they are capable. the greeting means the child is important to the adult.

 

  • american kids books have a structure: problem, struggle, resolution. everything “gets better”. the sun will come out tomorrow. every problem seems to have a solution and prosperity is just around the corner. French- there is a problem and struggle. but usually ends with the same problem. message is endings dont have to be tidy to be happy- cliche of europeans. life is ambiguous and complicated. no bad guys/good guys.

 

  • they teach children when things are appropriate and when not. they dont say they cant. Example: “caca boudin” is childs curse word meaning poop sausage. they tell children its ok when they are alone, or in the bathroom, or with their little friends. But not when at school, at the table, in public, with their parents. Freedom within the limitations.

 

  • french insurance pays for up to 6 rounds of IVF for anyone under 43! holy shit!! public hospital is not so great.

 

  • couples have less stress on their marriage over financials like health care, child care, and college. the are quite aware of how having children puts strain on a marriage and thats why they really make sure to focus on pleasing each other. you chose your husband, you didnt choose your children (in personality and such). americans feel guilty, cant really enjoy time away. the children learn they are not the center of the world and that their parents enjoy pleasures too. “date night” sounds contrived to them. they dont live in sweat pants with the occasional dress up in stilettos. date is like a job interview and not romantic. they have issue with the idea that real life is unsexy and exhausting and that they should schedule romance.

 

  • date night movie: they are horrified when the children come and pounce on their parents in bed in the morning.

 

  • french children eat whatever. american kids are picky. and we cater to it. americans solve problems with food- snacks. use food to distract from whatever crisis. they are insistent on whatever they feed. they dont accept that they dont like it. they keep trying. even if its one bite. never offer a different food in place. act neutral if they refuse. cultivating their palette. no smells or tastes are innately repulsive. keep trying things- you will like them eventually. they have to taste everything. the children eat what the parents eat. the children help prepare the meal. helping makes them invested in the meal. keep the meal brief. shouldnt be longer than 30 mins. they eat at the table, and enjoy. french children arent denied sweets. they rather learn that it has its place: parties, unique situations, here and there. they dont gorge on it. at these occasions, they are allowed to eat all the want. let them enjoy the party and let them be free.

 

  • courses. bfast: fruit while she gets cereal or toast. lunch/dinner: veggies first when hungriest. must taste everything. no moving on. they eat because they are not allowed to snack except goute. Dont cave. They treat chocolate like no big deal but they dont eat lots of it. only at bfast or goute. not at lunch or dinner. offer some bites while cooking dinner. protein heavy lunches. carb/veggie dinners. they chocolate isnt coveted like its their last.

 

  • authority. be more confident in your no’s. not loud. as if you know he will obey. americans: we believe kids need boundaries and limits. but in practice we are often unsure where these limits should be or are uncomfortable enforcing them. more guilt for getting angry than I feel angry in the first place. worried too strict will break our kids spirit. we are in a purgatory of dictator and muse.. the result is constant negotiating. too many choices and they dont feel reassured. you have to show them. sometimes we have to do things we dont like because we have to do them. cant always do what we want. sometimes find experiences unpleasant is part of the lesson. a confident parent is reassuring. french see that in america when you have children your time is not your own. they need to understand the world doesnt revolve around them. how do they build up this “cadre”? they talk about it all the time. they use it. language of rights “dont hit” vs “you dont have the right to hit”. makes it clear that the child does have a right to do other things. and that everyone has to abide by these rights. “I dont agree” instead of no. said in serious tone. more than no. estabs the adult as another mind which the child must consider. and credits the child with having their own view about the peas. even if the view is being over ruled. the child chose to spill the peas and can choose not to. its actually very respectful which is exactly the style american parents are striving for. they would love that concept. they listen and talk to their kids all the time. they are not raising obedient robots. the ones that have the most authority dont speak to their kids as master and servant but as one equal to another. explain the reason for things that are forbidden. they want their children to feel comfy in their skin and find their own path in the world. own tastes and opinions. they dont want docile kids. believe kids can only achieve this if they have boundaries and self control. with character, there has to be cadre. let them have some liberty. authority comes from within the relationship, not from above it. balance complicity and authority. you need to listen to the child but its up to you to fix the limits. they dont shout except for serious offense. but they are sharp in their tone. they are about the education of children. not discipline, punishment. its gradual learning and teaching. gives you more patience. keeps you from feeling disobeyed and angry and you dont create tension. strict for us means an all encompassing authority- like negativity. for french it means strict about a few things, but relaxed about everything else.

 

  • this is the cadre model: a firm frame surrounding a lot of freedom. dont impose useless rules. leave him only the cadre of rules that are there for his security. and he will understand when he tries to transgress why they are essential and that we are not trying to annoy him. “batise”- little naughties. zero tolerance areas: respect for others (polite). speaking respectfully. physical aggression. bed time- must stay in room, but do what she wants. say yes most of the time. point is to authorize, not to block them. submission demeans but obedience allows a child room to grow up. without limits, a child will be consumed by their own desires. a tantrum happens when a child is overwhelmed by their own desires and doesnt know how to stop themselves. the french kids are used to hearing no and accept it. awakened = blossoming. they can blossom within the cadre. they use 1-2-3. respectful and gives the child time to think and respond. active participant. child obeys, parent thanks but not overly. running over and snatching doesnt teach anything. French parents on spanking. 19% sometimes. 46% rarely. 2% often. 33% never. autonomy. we avoid it. too much praise will make them need someones approval to feel good about themselves. also, they wont need to try very hard because they will get praised anyway. participation trophies. excessive praise distorts childrens motivations. they begin doing things mostly to hear the praise losing sight of the enjoyment. research- heavily praised students get to college lack autonomy. they commonly drop out of classes rather than suffer mediocre grades and have difficulty choosing a major. they are afraid to commit because they are afraid of not succeeding. when kids fail at something parents tend to cushion the blow with positive feedback rather than talking about what went wrong. gently. giving them confidence and the tools to improve. some praise is good.. but too much doesnt allow them to live their lives. being autonomous makes them feel good. trust, respect children. they will do the same back. they are not projects for parents to perfect.

 

Thats all she wrote! … she being ME!

Leasa

 

 

 

 

 

A few weeks ago, Blogger Erin from Two More Seconds had the brilliant idea of doing an Instagram wide fabric destash sale! How does it work? Using the hashtag #thegreatfabricdestash! If you are not really familiar with hashtags, the basic idea is that it’s a way to filter. Posters use hastags to categorize their content and people can click or touch (from their mobile devices) on the link and see all posts from anyone who included the hashtag. With that in mind, users posted photos on Instagram of the fabric they want to sell, and include the hashtag, filtering all the fabric for sale for users to browse! You simply leave your email address connected to your Paypal account to claim the fabric and the seller sends you an invoice via Paypal. Days later, you are snuggling your purchases!

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Here is a good sampling of what it looks like when you go to the hashtag:

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I sold a few things myself on the destash and was able to use it to get some hard to find and out of print fabric from favorite designers like Heather Ross and Aneela Hoey. You have to be quick, though! People were snatching things up in a blink! Here are the few I purchased!

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Looooooove those little puppies!!

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And I was sooooo excited to score these Heather Ross Horses on green! I was really fast with the typing! LOL

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Don’t I look happy??

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The best thing is…. its STILL GOING! Yeah! Erin decided to keep it as a permanent place where people can keep selling and buying destashed fabric! So head on over and get something on a great deal!

Leasa

 

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Levi’s apt with the rheumatologist was yesterday here at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Even though we recently went to see the 2 doc team in San Diego, I wanted to keep this apt (made 3 months ago) to make sure Levi doesn’t have any issues with arthritis or things with his joints. We are nearing the end of our Physical Therapy services and, though he is all caught up, the PT and I were still concerned about his lack of energy, enthusiasm, and his often downright refusal to walk. He is active at times, when it’s on his time and pace, but even then, not a lot of activity.

The apt started the way they always do- I spend 20 mins reciting Levi’s entire life history, health, services, behaviors, and my pregnancy. I also showed them the documents from other doctors and fever calendar. The rheumatologist, Dr. Reiff, comes in and we talk all about PFAPA for a while (my long post about PFAPA is HERE). I tell him about my concerns with his complaints of joint pain, and after he examines him and we talk, he says there is nothing going on with Levi’s joints other than the inflammation. What a relief!!! He did say some other interesting things:

The Doc said he is not surprised to hear that Levi has struggles with developmental delay. With Periodic Fever Syndromes, the child’s body is in a constant state of inflammation. He explained that all of our bodies have a protein called Amyloid, in small amounts, and our bodies dispose of it easily. But in all Periodic Fever Syndromes, this protein is being constantly made because of the constant inflammation and it’s stored in areas like the kidneys. When the fever syndrome is untreated, the “bucket is full and overflowing with Amyloid” is the analogy he used. Treating the fevers with Prednisone gives the body a chance to dump the Amyloid.

What does Amyloid have to do with developmental delay? Is causes fatigue and inactivity! This issue is highest in the hereditary forms of PfAPA like FMF. Those children, he said, look kinda sickly in general and are on the bottom of growth charts. The good news is that classic PFAPA has the least issue with Amyloid. The rheumatologist mentioned that as it’s treated with prednisone more and more, they notice the children improving in tone, energy, and activity as well as weight gain. He said it’s not solely PFAPA’s fault for Levi’s developmental delay, but that I should start to see more improvement along with PT since using the prednisone.

Lastly, he mentioned that the mouth ulcers are still to come. They don’t show this young, but he was pretty certain they will come but that the prednisone should help them some. He also made it clear that he was against the tonsillectomy. In all of their cases of various PFAPAs, they have NO patients who got the tonsils removed and was cured of PFAPA. He said he cannot understand how the current studies are getting 80% success rate. But, I will say, that this hospital is located in Little Armenia and so he sees many FMF cases which cannot be cured or outgrown, ever. I don’t know what to think yet. But we have decided Levi is too young right now and hopefully there will be more info about it in a few years.

Obviously, seeing this rheumatologist is closer, but both doc teams have a lot of info to offer. And seeing the San Diego docs allows Levi to be part of the research. So we might see both, alternating visits. We only have to go every 6 months. All we can do now is maintenance.

Thanks for following along, and I hope it gives info to other parents seeking answers!
Leasa

Honesty. I don’t really remember what my goals for 2013 were, except I know it included eating healthier. I am really happy that most of the year I made a lot of conscious choices about my eating and exercise habits, with some success! I feel much better when I am on top of it, I started taking Metformin again, and I participated in the “Game On” diet challenge with coworkers 3 times! I lost about 12 lbs total last year… and I hope I didn’t eat it back on from Halloween to the end of 2013, LOL.

I decided pretty quickly on what I wanted to try and accomplish this year. I’m mostly going to partake in a “Finish It 2014″ type of goal. Finish It goals are exactly what they sound like. Things that are partway along and perhaps forgotten about or take up valuable shelf space (all of the above for me). It also includes those nagging projects you just keep meaning to do! I hope I didn’t over-do my Finish It goals. here they are!

1. The Mid-Century Modern Quilt! -this is for a client and I intend to finish it around the end of January. Its impromptu piecing project and its really intimidating me. But, I think I just really need to START piecing, and then it will roll right along. Keep an eye on my Instagram feed to see my progress over the next 4-ish weeks!

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2. The Sheep Short Quilts!- sooooo last summer I joined a project my former animation professor is doing and I don’t think I mentioned it before now. Its a short film, mostly traditionally animated, but a portion of it is stop motion. They needed a quilter for set dressing… and guess who volunteered! Yours truly. This is a VERY ambitious project and he nor I really realized how long it would take. But, I have been letting it sit on the back burner and it needs some attention. I don’t want to hold them up on production. If you are interested in reading about the film and project, check out the blog HERE. Below are some photos of the progress.

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As you can see, these quilts will not be created straightforward. They need to follow a specific shape and design.. and they need to indicate perspective. Yeah.

3. Levi’s Quilt! – I am giving myself all year for this one. I want to do a quilt, that’s not too juvenile, using the Pow-Wow pattern from “Cluck-cluck Sew”, for a quilt for Levi of some of his (current) favorite things! I have been collecting a few fabrics here and there. This is all I have and I really like it so far!

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4. Tree Skirt! -I was too busy making our stockings to also make a tree skirt, so I really want to accomplish that this year using the Cherry Christmas line by Aneela Hoey, just like our stockings. I also saved my wedding veil and want to incorporate it like a trim. This excites me! I plan to use this free Amy Butler pattern.

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5. Zipper Rosettes! – I use to make these and I loved them! I made them before they were kinda popular about 2 years ago. I have SOOOOO many zippers left that I would like to make them all and sell them and give them away!

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6. The 5 & 1/2 Hour Afgan! – More like 5 & 1/2 YEAR afgan! OMG! I just rediscovered this in my craft cubbies. Time to finish it!

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7. Front Entryway! -I am feeling a little nesty for 2014 and I really want to start with this entryway. I want it gray, not yellow, and I want to take down all the shelves. I really like the collage type of walls I have been seeing on Pinterest lately and I have some artwork that is too amazing not to hang. I also love these frames I saw at Pier 1 Imports for Instagram-type photo prints. I miss prints! (of course, there will be no Christmas decor either)

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8. Photo Books! – I am so totally behind on yearly photo books! I have made them for specific events or photo shoots, but I want to make yearly ones. I am going to start with 2011 (the year Levi was born) because it included pretty much all of my pregnancy, our babymoon to Hawaii, and Levi’s birth. So I need to do 2011, 2012, and 2013! Now I just have to decide which company. I tend to go with Mixbook because I like that I can work on it at work (shhh.. dont tell). But others have told me how much they love My Publisher. Which do you use and why?

9. Potty Time! – My only goal for Levi is to attempt to sit on the potty… because he wont LOL. And we will work on him learning to pull his pants up and down, in preparation for potty learning. He will be 3 in Aug. I’m in no hurry, but he should be working on it by the end of the year.

Lastly…. I think I’m going to challenge myself further to not buy ANY fabric that isn’t for a project I am physically/literally sewing right that moment! (like I ran out of something). My cabinet is bursting with fabric! Just LOOK! Plus, its really fun to make what you have work for a project. Ive been lazy and just been buying pre-cut bundles and things that already coordinate.

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Do YOU have any goals to share!?

Happy New Year everyone!

Leasa

I had so much fun making stockings for our family of 3 that I wanted to share it with you… now that Christmas has passed, lol. Better late than never!

Mostly I used this tutorial from the Moda Bake Shop site and this photo I saw on Flickr. I’m really only going to share what I did differently and any tips I think would be useful.

First I used our existing stockings to make a pattern piece out of a paper grocery bag instead of the template they provide. I traced it with some space all the way around. I didn’t fuss to make it perfect.

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Then I cut my strips from the Cherry Christmas collection by Aneela Hoey along with some coordinating fabrics. I didn’t fuss about what thickness. The tutorial didn’t really explain the best approach to get the diagonal strips, so I thought I would share how I decided to do it:

I laid them all out straight at first to get my pattern down. Once decided, I laid them on top of each other into diagonals, alternating, so they become wedges. For ease, I used my water fabric pen and traced the edges of each strip onto the strip below it (this tells me what angle to cut that wedge in order to match up with the ones next to it). Using that drawn line, I trimmed the strips to a 1/4″ seam allowance. So now, they are wedge shaped. Make sure that the fabric always overlaps the strip below it by at least 1/4″ because of your seam allowance. Line up the raw edges and sew them all together. Press it all out beautifully.

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I continued to follow the tutorial, with the exception that I made my stocking quilt top only big enough for 1 stocking because I wanted each one to be different. I did 1/4″ straight line quilting on both sides of ea seam. *note that you are quilting without a back piece. The photos below are close up of my scraps showing the quilting because I didn’t take a photo of the quilt top before I cut out the pattern. Whoops

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IMG_2586(I forgot to take a photo of the paper bag template on top of the quilted stocking piece. Sorry!)

Next I cut out my inside lining pieces as described in the tutorial. The only thing I did different was that I wanted half of my lining to be the same as the cuff so that it flowed together. I sewed some of the cuff fabric to the top of my lining piece and then used the paper bag template to cut the shape out. I hope that made sense.

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For the cuff, I cut the same height the tutorial says, but for the length I measured my own stocking piece and added about an inch so it wasn’t going to be too snug against the stocking. My stockings were kinda bog so my cuff measurement was about 7″x 21″ to go all the way around. For the remainder of the project, I just followed the tutorial! Enjoy the photos below of my finished stockings, including Levi’s which I did as a 9 patch instead of diagonals.

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I hope you enjoyed the linked tutorial with my additional tips! Good luck with your stockings!

Leasa

Lately, I have been enjoying finding other quilters on Instagram using quilting hashtags. It has been so inspiring and fun! As a bonus, I noticed many people were making mini quilts (and so many other things I want to sew LOL). But they were not just minis for themselves… they were participating in swaps. In a swap, you make a mini quilt for someone, and someone else makes on for you. Its usually done secretly and based on a questionnaire you all fill out in the beginning. Its free and looked like loads of fun! But I didn’t know how to join one. One of the awesome quilters I started following was Kristi over at Schnitzel and Boo (here). She started one and welcomed everyone, so I jumped in!

My swap partner was Leona (see her blog here). She is already a very good quilter herself and participates in loads of swaps! I was a little intimidated at first. I wanted to do something familiar to me, but still in a challenging way. The fact that it was mini was already a challenge, but I wanted to push myself. I decided to do half square triangles, which are familiar to me, but using small squares and in a rainbow gradation which I have not done before. I decided on a design pretty quickly thanks to an inspiration I found on Pinterest (here). I used Briar Rose collection by Heather Ross since my partner mentioned her in the questionnaire.

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Photo Oct 12, 6 45 11 PM

 

Strip tube ruler cutting my HST's! And swooooning over briar rose

 

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All pieced together! Now to contemplate how to quilt it. #schnitzelandboominiquiltswap #makeaquiltmakeafriend

I quilted using a wonky straight line technique.

Oh my cute. This is going to be hard to give away. #schnitzelandboominiquiltswap #makeaquiltmakeafriend

I added triangle snuggle areas so she can hang it using a dowel if she wants :)

Some details! I added 2 triangles to the back upper corners so it can be hung on a dowel if she wants. #schnitzelandboominiquiltswap #makeaquiltmakeafriend

Also, along with your mini, its common to send another small handmade good and some little trinkets. My partner loves hedgehogs so I purchased THIS pattern off of Etsy and adapted it into coasters for her! They came out super cute!

4 little critters! #schnitzelandboominiquiltswap #makeaquiltmakeafriend #crochet

Here is the finished swap package! I sent adorable buttons that made me think of Orla Keily (a designer I love and own one of her diaper bags) as well as a little magnetic tin for notions. I can confidently say it was a success and Leona seemed to really love it!

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And here I am… awkwardly.. with the mini LOL

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Happy Quilting!!

~Leasa

Welcome, old and new followers, to Project Leasa! All my content from the other blog got moved to here so you can still find anything you have seen before! Check the side bar for featured or favorites posts.. you might find what you’re looking for easily there!

Thats all for now! Have a look around and don’t forget to follow via the social media buttons!

Leasa
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I haven’t written about our latest adventure in Levi’s health on my blog yet, but recently we finally have a lot of answers and so I am ready to share. Here is a quick back story…

Around spring of 2013 I realized Levi was getting sick. A lot. And always with a high fever lasting 4-6 days. When I would take him to the Pediatrician, they would check all the usual and sometimes even a UTI but everything was always negative and concluded he had some form of “virus”. This was really weird to me because he was never a very sick infant. Hardly at all! After having a particularly bad episode of fever in July, including x-rays, ER, blood draws, catheter, antibiotics, possible Kawasaki’s disease, and just about ready for hospital admission…. I knew something wasn’t right. But on the 7th day, the fever went away and he woke up like he was never sick at all. Umm… ok… I guess. Then 3 wks later it was back and I asked to see the specialist.

Since then I have been thrust into the world of  PFAPA (Periodic Fever, Aphthous Stomatitis, Pharyngitis, Adenitis Syndrome). I recommend you read the information from this site about PFAPA before continuing, if you are not already familiar. I think does the best job of giving a quick run-down.

In Aug, we began seeing the Infectious Disease (ID) doctor, which is commonly the first step with “fever of unknown origin”. With her, he has had multiple blood tests, exams, as well as reviewing the fever calendar I composed showing all his “sick” times. From the picture below, you can see how cyclical it is.

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He has been mostly diagnosed with PFAPA up to this point. I know “mostly” is somewhat vague but this syndrome is newly on the books. Added only in 1987. That doesn’t mean there are not cases prior to then, only that they were not recorded as PFAPA because PFAPA classification didn’t exist before that. Up to this point, Levi’s pediatrician and the OD doc were helpful and supportive as much as possible… but that could only go so far seeing as they have only a handful of other cases.. maybe less. I joined a few PFAPA support groups on Facebook and they proved to be quite a blessing to hear from other families and what they go through with this very exhausting syndrome. One of them told me of a Dr. Lori Broderick and Dr. Hal Hoffman who, together, are the leading team of clinical research and studies into Periodic Fever Syndromes. I sent her an email and she responded right away, inviting Levi and I to visit them in San Diego 2 days later. Here is how that went:

  • I gave Levi’s entire history and brought copies of his labs and fever calendar. He gets fever ranging from 103-105 for 4-6 days straight. No other symptoms accompany this fever. About 5 days before, he seems to eat more than usual. The day before, he is incredibly tantrumy and unmanageable. The morning of, he gets clingy and whiny and opts to be held a lot and not use his familiar words. By lunch/nap time the fever has usually started. We have been treating with tylenol and motrin to keep the fever down but it only drops to about 102 typically. He is lethargic and doesn’t eat much. He will drink milk and water, though sometimes we really have to encourage him, and he will eat fruit. The last 2 episodes Levi complained of joint pain by telling us “ouch” and “hurt” in areas that have no business hurting. And crying of course. I have only seen 2 mouth sores on his tongue.. but he may have bit it. The episode on Oct 25th we used the steroid Prednisone for the 1st time. It worked within a few hours. We had to give a 2nd does on the 3rd day, but the fever stayed gone. The other behaviors that come with the episode hung around for the full 4-5 days. We noticed some slightly more enthusiastic behavior as well as more aggressive behavior for a good week after. Then, the next episode arrived only 2 weeks later. We gave a single does and it worked only 1 hr later and stayed gone. We are unsure if it was an actual episode because a runny nose came too, but also could’ve been because of allergies. We will have to see if it keeps coming sooner, meaning it would be the result of the steroid.
  • I gave my history which includes getting my own tonsils removed at 7 years old for recurrent tonsillitis. I also suffered horrible mouth sores for a good portion of my childhood, only to have them disappear some time around middle school.
  • Dr. Broderick diagnosed Levi as classic PFAPA. They have also, via their research, created a subcategory called SURFS (Syndrome of Undifferentiated Recurrent Fevers). This category is for all the a-typical PFAPA-like cases they see. Things like fevers not being predictable enough (stopping for 3 months, then restarting, changing frequency) or fever not high enough. Anything outside the definite PFAPA criteria. These patients suffer most closely to what PFAPA and other types of Periodic Fever Syndromes, but are not at this time believed to be full PFAPA diagnosis. Again, this is so new, they don’t have all the data and classifications for Periodic Fevers.
  • We talked about various treatments including the tonsillectomy. I told her the ID doc said his were small and don’t seem to pose a problem. She said often they cant see all the tonsil until they remove it, but even then Levi is kind of young and little for it. Majority of patients have them out as the kiddos approach school age. We agreed to keep trying the steroid and she gave me alternatives and various scenarios to adjusting the dose and frequency to find the right balance for Levi.
  • We will follow up with them every 6 months and to keep recording in our fever journal. Especially as Levi becomes more aware of what he is feeling and can actually communicate them, like the recent joint pain. We don’t know if he was having it before and couldn’t tell us until now.
  • They want to double check him for the HIDS form of Periodic fevers. It typically has more joint pain issues. They can check for a specific marker in urine collected during a fever episode.

The coolest bit? Learning that in their current studies, they are trying to find the marker in the gene for actual PFAPA, which would allow testing for that marker in diagnosing future patients. AND Levi will be adding to that research, just by seeing them :). As it is right now, there is no way to test specifically for the PFAPA form of Periodic fever syndromes (there are hereditary types that are really rare that do have a genetic marker to test for. His were negative, but as mentioned they want to double check the HIDS one).

That’s all she wrote… for now. Ask away and I will do my best to answer. Also, enjoy the mini gallery of some photos I took during our half day in San Diego :). The other girl pictured is my sister, Shannon.

Leasa

PS. If you would like to read more about PFAPA from other moms experiences, pop over to this lovely lady Sarah Bendel, who was the first PFAPA mom to befriend me, answer questions, and give amazing support. A few months ago she wrote a great post answering common questions people have about PFAPA. Read it HERE.

*note: this information is from my recollection from our visit and consult with these doctors and my personal experience. This should not replace info from your child’s own doctors nor used to self-diagnose.*