Powerscourt, Ireland.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Flag Quilt

Max loves flags.  For as long as I remember, this has been a favorite item for Max.  When I bought my sewing machine in November 2010, I started sewing to fix Max's pants, so it came as a big surprise to me that in February I would be starting a flag quilt for my boy!

The inspiration for this quilt was, of course, Max!  The catalyst was a flag bandanna he received as a party favor at a Fourth of July party long past.

I started by making a red border out of a worn sheet around the bandanna.  I then added another in the red & white star fabric.   I had the red dot and white dot fabrics, but I was stumped!  This is the second quilt I ever started, but third I've finished.  My other projects had been based on step by step tutorials.  I made 4 inch squares of both the red with white dots and the white with red dots.  I kept thinking that the quilt needed something extra.  I tried several different blue and patriotic fabrics, but none looked right. 

Because Max has anxious to use it, I went ahead and finished with what I had.  I backed it in a bright red flannel and used cotton batting.

Max calls this his "Flanket" which I guess is a flag blanket. 

I tried my first ever applique on this project too...MAX!

I learned it's much easier to start with an end in mind, but I also learned that the journey of making the see what it wanted to become...was also a rewarding experience.  The best is how much Max loves the flanket.  When I saw that Amy's Creative Side was hosting a Spring Blogger's Quilt Festival, I knew I needed to share this one! 

Click to see the other entries in the Bloggers Quilt Festival

Hope you enjoy!


Amy's Creative Side | Bloggers' Quilt Festival

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Teachable Moments--Blast From the Past

As the day approaches, I've been thinking about Mother's Day and what it means to be a mother.  This morning I was outside watering in the top gardens.  Max was out there with me, and walked up to me and said, "My turn."   He wanted to use the hose.  I quickly finished up and handed him the hose.  It reminded me of a story I wrote in the Spring of 2008 and what a difference three years can make.  Here is your blast from the past.....3 year old Max and my teachable "mom"ment.  Happy Mother's Day!

Max, age 3, watering the Square Foot garden beds.  Notice the door ajar in the background.

Teachable Moments by Marti Lindsey

Teachable have got to love them!  My son Max and I have had many teachable moments in his three short years with me.  The first one I can recall is, “Don’t throw chicken at the policeman.”  This occurred shortly after he  turned one and we were eating at Pick Up Stix.  He simply wanted their attention.

Because it's never come up before, we've never had a dialogue about not bringing the hose into the house.  One day in May I was working in my terraced beds and Max was watering the square foot boxes.  These boxes are located near our back door,   He was doing such a great job...a little water in each square...I was so proud.  The thing with kids is that when they become quiet, some thing's up.  Alerted by the quiet, I looked over to where Max was only to see him my BEDROOM! 

I shouted., “NO, MAX, NO!  NO HOSE IN THE HOUSE!”  I don't raise my voice often, so Max was frozen with the hose...WATERING MY BED!

I had to weave through my squash and pumpkins, past my tomatoes to get to the stairs to get across the patio to get into the house to take the hose out of his hand and say again, “NO HOSE IN THE HOUSE! “   My neighbor, Cheryl Kelly, was in her backyard laughing at our predicament.  Her nephew, Erik, has Down syndrome and she is a special friend to Max and our family.

The carpet was soaked!  You know, that WHOCK WHOCK sound when you're squishing through the room.  The brunt of the watering seemed to be taken by the box springs.  I was toweling off the carpet only to find a Cole Hahn loafer...full of water.  All things considered, the damage wasn’t too bad...a laundry basket, the floor and part of the bed.  I got the fans out and the windows open.  As most wet things do, the bedroom dried out.

As only our children can remind us, teachable moments are around every corner.  Until the situation comes up, they don’t know about no hoses in the house!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Max's Award

Max won an award at school today!!! 

I realize that those of you who know our family personally are used to my Max stories, but I've come to realize that some folks might not know how awesome he I'll give a little background.  Max was born in December of 2004 with a severe heart condition and Down syndrome, both of which were diagnosed before he was born.  The difference between that medically fragile (and blue hued) little baby and the jokster that lives with us today are tremendous!

Pretty much every day Max has us laughing in stitches!  Max attends a regular Kindergarten class in our neighborhood school.  Today Larry and I attended their morning assembly to see Max receive his award for Academic Achievement and Citizenship.

It was hard to get  picture of Max with the award, because he had had a long day at school.  He was just home from school, it was HOT (89 degrees) and he had stuff to do!!
Here is part of what the award says: 

Max has a smile that is contagious and brings smiles to all of our faces.  Our class has learned sign language and we use it every day in our classroom.  Max's hard work has caused our class to become more unified and has created a very supportive environment.  Thank you Max, you are our best friend.  We appreciate your loving heart and personality.

Wow...this is amazing!  When you have a child with special needs, you really question their placement.  Will he fit in?  Will he disrupt the class?  Will he fall behind?  Will he like school?  Will the other kids be adversely affected by having our child in the class?  Seeing this award and reading the words really verify that we made the right decision.  This is the right placement for Max...and for the other kids in his class.  Contrary to my fears that Max would hold the class back, it seems that Max is pulling the class together and enriching their experience.

It's not just Max's class, it's the whole school.  Max is known by all of the kids.  They all say hello and good-bye to Max....the older kids give him high fives and the younger kids give him a hug!  Max has a special relationship with the principal, the lunch staff, the librarian, the office staff and the school nurse (even though he doesn't visit for health reasons...he just likes Mr. King!). 

Max is different from the other kids at Cabrillo, and it's embraced.  When he was waiting to get his award this morning, he was sitting on the stage with the other award winners and his aide, Ms. Alma.  All seemed to be going well until we started saying the Pledge of Allegiance.  Max bolted from the stage, so Ms. Alma bolted after him.  He didn't go far....he was looking for his teacher, Mr. C.  You see, Max always says the Pledge of Allegiance with Mr. C!  Why would today be any different?

Another thing about Max is he really doesn't like to wear clothing unless it's absolutely necessary.  We have one main rule:  We need to wear clothes in public and in the front yard.  Our back yard is pretty secluded and we don't have close neighbors, so it's ok to be naked back there and in the house, unless we have guests.

So one of the first things Max did when he got home from school was strip down and blow some bubbles.  Max LOVES bubbles.....and being naked.  What a perfect way to spend a hot San Diego afternoon!

I hope you enjoyed this little slice of Max's life.  Every day I feel lucky to be part of it!


Sunday, May 1, 2011

Streak of Sunshine Quilt

So this week, I wanted to try something  a little different.  I came across a quilting tutorial for a Streak of Sunshine quilt at Qulitville.  I really liked the idea of getting a finished product quickly, but I am sold on the quilt as you go method demonstrated by Jenny at the Missouri Star Quilt Company.  I will try my best to document my process and my efforts at combining the two.

Here is the almost finished product :-)

  • I selected my fabrics.  I chose pinks and tans as I have never made a "girly" quilt before.  I wanted a quilt a bit larger than the tutorial, so I made my strips a little larger. 
  • Here are 8 strips of fabric that are 5 inches to the width of the fabric, so about 44 inches long. 
  • I then sewed all of the strips together, rights sides together. 
  • I sewed the first piece to the last piece, right sides together to make a tube (you can see a full demo on the Streak of Sunshine link in the intro).
  • Then I cut the tube into 5 inch strips giving me 9 strips with 8 squares each.
  • Since these were still in a tube, I took my seam ripper and removed one seam, each row one square over from the previous.

  • Now I laid out my squares with the darkest pink square in the top left hand corner "streaking" down to the bottom right hand corner.
  • I decided that I wanted a solid pink border, so I cut out a 3 inch border for all 4 sides. 
  • Here's where my real adaptations begin.  Since I'm using the quilt as you go method, I need each strip, including the borders, to be complete.  I needed to cut the 3 inch side borders into 5 inch pieces.
  • I attached a pink 3 inch by 5 inch piece to both sides of each strip. 
  • Now I'm ready to put this quilt together!!!

  • Start with you quilt back right side facing the table (or floor, where ever you lay out) then put your batting on top. 
  • Now you're ready for your first strip!

  • Sew your top border on the quilt right side facing up.

  • Now pin your first row of squares to the border, rights sides together and sew.

  • Press open and you have your first row of your quilt!
  • Continue to pin, sew and press until you are out of strips, ending with bottom border

  • And here is the almost finished product.  I just need to trim and add a binding.

This came together really quickly.  The strip piecing method is quick.  Add the the tube piecing and quilt as you go method and you make it super quick.  The entire process took a few hours!  I actually think it's taking me almost as long to write this post...haha!

If you're interested in either the quilt as you go method or streak of sunshine pattern-tutorial, the links are in the into section of this post.  As a beginning sewer and quilter, I am amazed that I can make almost an entire quilt in a few hours.  I think this can be used by someone at any level of sewing, beginner to expert!

I hope you enjoyed this and feel free to ask if you have any questions!


The Girl CreativeDittle Dattle