Thursday, April 7, 2011

Company in the Sewing Garage

Nothing like a new toy to get all inspired again.  First class in the mastery class was great.  Mostly it helped me realize how much I have to learn.  But that's okay, I'm okay with that.  I'm not so prideful to think that I'm going into a mastery class already at the mastery level!

On Tuesday afternoon when I got home from my class, and after the kids got home from school, Ruby had been invited over to a friend's house for a playdate.  My girls are in different classes at school, so they have different friends too.  I think it's good for them to venture out on solo adventures every now and again.  But we have a long ways to go, in terms of how the twin left at home often feels.  Jane was feeling a bit blue.  She told me she wanted to learn how to sew.  I should love that!  But it's really hard to be the teacher in the mother-daughter relationship.  I'm sure the teachee thinks it's really hard to have to listen to their mother so much.  We are all very independent women in this house!  But I decided if I could just reach deep down and pull up an extra measure of patience we might actually survive day one of Sewing 101, taught by Mom.

Here is the finish product:

"The Fish Bag"
Original design by Jane Dorothy Earnest

I tried my very best to let her design the whole thing.  She learned some really important skills like PATIENCES, sewing on buttons, how to sew a straight line, how to back-tack at the beginning and ending of a line.  Not too shabby for day one.  We both survived, and hopefully we even thrived a bit.  I know it won't be long before they are too independent to let me help them at all.  I guess I really just need to give them the sewing machine basics, and then just step back and let them go.  They can figure it out on their own, just like I did.  It might just be the best way for these sewing lessons to go.  Another compelling reason for a mom to have two sewing machines.  One for herself, and one for sharing :)

Of course, when Ruby got home from the playdate, Jane was quick to tell her how much fun sewing lessons were, and how she got to sew all. by. herself.  Ruby was instantly jealous, but before I had to go out for my second session of Sewing 101, she started throwing up!  Not that that's great news, but I knew I didn't have it in me for round two!  So Ruby got sick for the rest of the day and all through the night.  She didn't make it to school today either.  As a result, I got to have the whole day alone with the "other" twin.  As you can imagine there was some sewing involved (because as soon as she woke up at 10am, she was better)!

More buttons.  Little ladies must learn how to sew on buttons.  If they don't learn that, I have failed as a teacher.  

"The Ladybug and the Flower"
Original bag design by Ruby Lark Earnest

(But her bag doesn't get to get finished until she does something nice for her sister.  She was stubborn during one too many of their fights today!)

Friends, if I am making it look really cute to have twin daughters, then something is being lost in translation.  I mean, they are darn cute, but will it ever feel "easy" to be a mom?!  

In the midst of all the bag making, and daughter shaping, I had to have a little something going on the side, or else I might have lost my mind.  I was recently inspired by Rachel over at Stitched in Color with all of her talk about Value Quilts.  I was really intrigued by the idea that the fabric design doesn't matter, as much as the color value of the fabric.  I have so, so, so much fabric!  But the patterns can get overwhelming at times.  I wanted to try this method out for myself to see if it was true, that you could really ignore the pattern, and just focus on the color value.  

My friends, it's true.  Look what Ruby and I came up with today while she was home sick:

After cutting 6" squares in either dark values or light values, I started paring them up, one dark with one light.  Then you do what you like to do when making half square triangles, and after doing that over and over and over again, you have tons of square that you get to start playing with...

Variation #1:  Concentric squares

Variation #2:  Matching up the dark values according to color.  Ruby called this the "sorting" method.

Variation #3:  Random groupings, with the small square pattern repeated and the dark values in the center

My little partner:

I would say she got some really important lessons in emerging patterns, color values, and hanging out with your mother.  Homeschooling at it's finest :)

Now here comes the hardest part, which variation do you like best?  #1, 2 or 3???


Anonymous said...

Your daughters are quite the designers! Good for you for teaching them to sew. I totally get the mother-daughter teacher sewing mom was an amazing sewist but I was too much of a moody teenager to learn from loss, believe me! Anyway, love the value quilting and I'm loving #1. Great job!

k. davis said...

variation #1 is my favorite! :)

Spontaneous Threads said...

Number 1. But I'm impressed you took all that time to do two more!

Liz said...

Wow. I'm glad your patiences held out long enough to teach both of your girls to sew. I do love too that Ruby has to do something nice for Jane before she gets her finished bag.

And I'm loving the value quilt. Will it be a quilt when it's finished?? My favorite pattern is #1, but they are all beautiful.

Brooke and Eric said...

apparently #1 is your winner but I like #3 (for what it's worth)

Rachel's Roost said...

#1 for me!

Annee said...

I think I will go with the majority, but I myself was leaning towards #2 as I wrote the post. Funny what a day can do to your opinion :) Thanks for playing along!

Candice said...

I love #1!!

Lisa and Mike Marion said...


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