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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Rag Quilt Crib Blanket

Sooo...I took a bit of a break from blogging, in case you noticed and missed me (I am hoping you did, but you probably less missed me and more my strange ramblings and how I somehow manage to talk to myself while writing)
I could blame my hiatus on my spring break vacation (hah!) Spring break is a crock!  Break for who? Teachers maybe.  Mine consisted of working several days, and taking off a couple to hang out with a house full of kids. Who apparently need to eat like 5 times a day..sheesh!
I could blame my non blogging on my new job, which is considerably busy this time of year.
But no, sadly, my excuse for not blogging is that I kept not finishing the project I planned to blog about. Dang procrastination and broken sewing machines. Once I got the Hubs to fix my sewing machine....again.... I was in business.  (By the way...not his fault, he actually wasn't aware it was broken, I had tried to fix it myself several times and failed.  Once I told him about it, it was only a matter of about 30 minutes and few Google searches on sewing machine jams and I was back to stitching!) Turns out you have a oil a sewing machine...pffft...I knew that....
But! I finally finished it.  And here it is in all its glory

The Rag Quilt Crib Blanket

I have been working on this quilt for the past YEAR.  I used this tutorial over at the fabulous Imperfect Homemaking.  Kelly makes the process very easy to follow.  However, she made hers in one frantic night before I took a little longer, like oh, a year.
I originally started making this quilt long before I knew of this alien growing in my belly. I had made quilts for all of my other children, and promised my husband that I would soon make him one.  Sadly for the Hubs, I discovered midway through that I was in fact knocked up, and decided this lovely quilt would make a perfect baby crib blanket.  Sorry Hubs, now ALL the children, even the unborn one have handmade blankets....I PROMISE I will make you one next........
Once I gave it some thought, I decided this rag quilt was perfect for our little man.  I made the squares for the quilt out of old fabric scraps that I had.  Some of the squares were cut from some of the Hubs' old shirts that he no longer cared for or didn't fit, and some of the squares are from my wedding dress.  (My wedding dress was a cream floral sundress)   I like the thought of our little man being wrapped up in something I made for him by hand, and that has little pieces of both of his parents in it.
Plus, I think the colors compliment my general house color scheme, and will look nice and compliment our bedding while he shares our bedroom for awhile.
My only tips to add to Kelly's wonderful tutorial on making this quilt are:
a.) when you go to fray and wash the quilt, don't put anything else in the wash with it.  If you are like me, you will try to kill two birds with one stone and chuck in a few extras. Don't do it, they will be COVERED in tiny threads.
b.) I went over my finished quilt with a sticky lint roller a few thousand times to get all the loose frayed fibers off.  Otherwise, it was covered in all the released threads from the purposefully frayed edging.
c.)  Kelly's quilt lined up just perfectly like a grid.  I could not get mine to line up that way, no matter how hard I tried.  So instead, mine is kind of a "back and forth" grid that seems pretty symmetrical, so I am ok with it.
The back of the quilt looks more like a traditional quilt, with no exposed and frayed seams:

I am so happy with it!  I had looked at baby crib bedding, and had picked some out at one of the expensive Baby Superstores.  Then, I changed my mind.  I love that I made this for my baby, and that it has little pieces of our history woven right in. If not for that wedding dress, this little man wouldn't be on his way!  I also like the idea of it being a "grown up" enough quilt that even as he gets older, it won't become too babyish for him to like and keep on his bed, even into teenage years. I also like that instead of spending $250 on commercially produced baby bedding, I spent about $ 10 on backing fabric, and about $9 on batting.  The rest of the fabric came from my scraps, and our old clothes.
Well, roughly 18 more weeks to go until this quilt gets to wrap up a sweet little man.  That number scares the CRAP out of me by the way. 18 weeks!!!?! Well, at least this is one more thing crossed off the old to-do list.
My baby shower is in a couple weeks, and I am soooo excited! My awesome Aunt and Cousin are throwing it for me, and I couldn't be more thrilled.  I promise to share all the pics and stories here.  And with my Cousin and Aunt's amazing decorating and style sense, I am sure the party will have adorable Pinterest worthy details.  (Hint: the theme is bumble bees....weee! how darling!)

{Just 18~ish more weeks to sit and patiently wait...then you will be busy little bunny and quilt :) }

Monday, March 4, 2013

Cleaning with Vinegar

This Saturday night, my wonderful Husband decided he wanted to cook me a gourmet meal. Click on over for the recipe.  He decided he wanted to create an amazing fish dish with fancy white wine reduction sauce.  He even researched what types of fish are safe for me to eat while pregnant and made sure to follow all the parameters set out by the all-knowing internet.

The meal he created was amazing.  I have never really been a salmon fan, but after eating the Hubs' pan seared salmon, well, I could eat that every single day. Except, you know, it might make my baby grow a third eye or something, so I will stick to my *fish once a week schedule.
Now, when my lovely husband cooks, he tends to do it up right.  He goes and buys fresh ingredients, and it is an all-out cooking show in that kitchen.  Pans sizzling, spices flying all over, oil spattering away in every direction.  As I have mentioned before, it is one of the things I love about the Hubs.  He makes an INCREDIBLE mess when he cooks, but the food is always fantastic.  In our house we have a rule, whoever cooks, doesn't have to clean.  So, when the meal was over, it was time for this Cinderella to roll up her sleeves and tackle this:
I didn't zoom in on the stove top. I should have.  There was a pan of olive oil used to cook the fish, and it spattered all over the entire backside of the cooktop, and had been sloshed out over onto the front and sides of the oven itself.  Please don't take this as complaining, I am SOOO not...I LOVE that my husband enjoys cooking, and creating, and making a mess.  I am just trying to set the stage for you, so you know what I was tackling, and so you can be amazed with what I clean with....


Yep, plain old Distilled White Vinegar.  It is about .72 cents at the grocery store.  I keep it in its original bottle, but remove the ugly paper label, and add my own I made from ribbon and pretty label. This way, it looks nice sitting on its tray on my dryer. How Martha Stewart of me, I know.  (I could go on and on about the power of vinegar in a load of towels, but that I will save for another day)

I try not to use harsh chemical cleaners as much as possible for a few reasons.  1.  They are just not great for us.  Sorry if I sound hippy crunchy granola, but it is true.  Anything that burns your nose or shouldn't touch your skin, should probably not touch my counters where I prepare food, and the monkey drives his cars. 2.  The monkey drives his cars.....usually while I am cleaning, and right through whatever cleaner I have on the counters.  This inevitably happens, because, as you know, when I am cleaning, I am not paying attention to him, and therefor he must come demand my attention by driving through my puddles of cleaner. 3.  I am really bad at remembering to put on gloves before I clean, and usually get whatever I am using all over my hands.  In the same spirit of not giving my unborn baby a third eye, vinegar works.

So,  after clearing away all the dishes, washing them in plain old soap and water, and putting away all of Emeril's, I mean the Hubs' spices, all I had left was a really greasy, sticky, crumb covered counter top and stove.  I started by wetting a wash cloth in plain old soap and water and gave everything a good wipe down with that, getting all the big crumbs and big puddles of grease.  Then I hit everything with a vinegar soaked paper towel.  It cuts right through the grease, and leaves everything SPARKLING!  It takes off coffee, water spots, and any residue, period. I love cleaning with vinegar.  And I promise, once it dries, the smell really does go right away.  Even though I kinda like the smell of vinegar, but I am weird, we all know this.

So here are my after shots:
See! You can like SEE yourself  in my counters and sink!
Squeaky clean, with no harsh chemicals, and no three eyed baby. 

I find that vinegar actually works where other commercial cleaners don't.  It is the only thing that I have found will get coffee out of white grout.  It removes my hard water spots on my faucet.  It removes grease without leaving any streaks or greasy film at all.  And it brightens whites in the wash. 
Is it weird to write an entire love letter, I mean post, about vinegar and how awesome you think it is?
Am I officially "nesting?" 
This post was in no way sponsored by vinegar.  Not that I would even know where to start to get an endorsement from vinegar companies...and really- at .72 cents a bottle, I think their advertising department is pretty bare bones...sigh....  Maybe Nike will endorse me when I jog off this baby weight in a few months.  I will hold my breath.
Thank you Hubs, for an amazing gourmet dinner at home, and I will clean up the kitchen after you cook anytime.  So...whatcha cooking me tonight ;)