Friday, May 27, 2011

Receiving Blanket Quilt

Katie's Receiving Blanket Quilt is a project I started about a year and a half ago. I wanted to make something useful with her blankets that she could still use even though she has outgrown them. My project got waylaid by packing/moving/broken sewing machine/etc... A few months ago I got around to finishing cutting the fabric. 

We have here large squares and small squares.

The small squares we sewn together in sets of two...

Sets of two became sets of four...

Sets of four were attached to the large squares...

These became rows and the rows became the top and bottom of the quilt. Due to the amount of blankets Katie had the front and back of the quilt are the same pattern. I have a set of three blankets with a slightly different color scheme of pink and brown which I cut and was going to use as a border but ultimately did not. I did use a few of the pieces in this quilt to get even numbers.

Now, Katie knew this blanket was being made for her and she wanted nothing more than for me to put it on the floor so she could use it. 

Here she is showing us her flexibility.

I think she likes it.

After Katie went to sleep I laid the quilt out. Instead of doing the binding method I went back to my old method of sewing it inside out and flipping it.

Here it is flipped and ready to be sewn up. I sewed around the border (which also closed it) and then sewed lines half and inch on each side of the seams of the large blocks. I then tacked, using the bottom of a button hole stitch in the center of each large square. This should hold it together better, I hope. 

This blanket is super soft and warm, I really like how it turned out.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Underwood Family Farm

Last weekend was my Saturday off for the month so I decided we should take advantage of the day and head out to the Underwood Family Farm in Moorpark. I have been wanting to take Katie there for awhile and now I am sure we will go back.

One of the first things we saw once we went in was the goat pens. Grandma got Katie some feed so she could feed the goats.

Uncle helped her reach the feed chutes. The goat was more than willing to eat it.

There were a lot of animals to look at. This pen had pigeons, a peacock and I am sure some others birds.

Katie was fascinated by the turkey. He kept puffing up his feathers and strutting around.

The mini mules were cute and the white one had devised a method to get food. It would loudly kick the pipe when people walked near it and keep kicking till he got some food.

There were alpacas.

These are some Scottish Highland Cows, crazy looking ones for sure.

Next Katie and I climbed the hay bales.

Then we came back down. Katie discovered she could sit on each bale, slide forward then get to the next one. She was very proud of herself.

There were several tunnels. At first she was hesitant so I went through with her. Lets just say that was the only tunnel mommy went through, they are more Katie's size than mommy's. 

They also have a large wood train that Katie really liked.

We also saw chicken and baby chicks.

And of course we had to go back to the train.

Finally we headed out to the crops. The first thing we stopped for was beets, one of Katie's favorite vegetables. 

We got red beets, golden beets and candy cane beets. Katie liked to pull them out of the ground and yell "beets!"

The strawberry fields were at the back so Katie hitched a ride on the wagon. As Uncle pulled her away she kept yelling "bye bye mommy" and waving.

Eventually we arrived at the strawberries. I tried to stress to Katie to get the red ones, however once I let her eat one she was done. She would come and ask me for a strawberry then run proudly to Grandma telling her she found one and eat it. Katie would proceed to repeat the process, completely giving up on filling out container with strawberries to take home.

She was very happy in the strawberry fields. This is her smiling while eating a strawberry, notice the strawberry all over her cheeks. 

On the way back she decided to run, she ran for quite awhile.

One of the great things about this place is it has a lot of space and is very kid friendly. The have grass areas to have picnics and their produce in the fields is very reasonable priced.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Tomato Cages

With the garden under way (and fighting attacks from pests) my brother has begun making tomato cages. We bought a huge roll of wire fencing which he is cutting and making into cages. Here is one he made and Katie behind it for scale.

Another look.

And finally the cage on a tomato plant. He is still waiting for some stakes to hold the stakes to the ground but I think they are going to work great.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Ceiling Fan!

When I had the Gas Company come out to fix the leaks in the house we discussed my high gas bills and what could help. He mentioned ceiling fans. This was something I had been thinking I wanted to get for the living room and he added another reason to put one in. A few months ago my brother and I did some research on what size was needed for the square footage of the room and at what height it should be. I picked out a fan and a drop pole. It took awhile but on a recent Wednesday I had off I convinced my brother to climb up into the roof to see what we could do about installing the fan. Here you can see what the light fixture looked like.

First my brother checked out the current set up in the ceiling. The existing support was not enough to hold the weight of a fan so he had to put in a support bracket that fit between the rafters. It took some work but the old light came down.

This left some wires hanging out of the ceiling.

Olive completely freaked out when Kevin's hand came through the hole.

While Kevin worked on that I unpacked and sorted the contents of the box. Who knew there would be so many little pieces.

I did not get pictures of the rest of the progress but eventually I had a ceiling fan! Of course the weather then got cooler so I have not used it much, but the air circulation has been great and the light is much improved.

Now the other light fixture in the room will be next, eventually.