Monday, January 23, 2012

Monster Trucks!

This past Friday, my dad surprised us with a trip to the Monster X Show at Rabobank.  Ryan and Jack were surprised because they didn't know they were going.  I was surprised because, well, I thought just the boys would go with their grandpa.  It was a first for Jack and me, but Ryan and Phil had been before.  

I thought Jack was a little young and would be too scared.  After all, he still won't ride on a tractor at the farm because he says, "It tooooo scah-wee."  Apparently monster trucks are not too scary.  There was a lot of Tim-the-Tool-Man-Taylor type grunting and growling about all the trucks.  

 This is the monster truck that gives rides at intermission

I was also worried that Jack would be scared when the Monster trucks started their engines.  We had earplugs for everyone and protective headphones for Jack.  Again, the boys proved me wrong and they demanded to hear the engines at full power.  I was a little scared of how loud it was.

I also noticed the black tarps in front of our seats and realized that there could be some mud slinging going on.  I was not a fan of getting dirt on my outfit.  I began to be the one to get a little nervous as the start of the show grew closer.

The show began with motorcyclists doing tricks off ramps.  I wanted to cover the boys' eyes so they didn't get any ideas about riding motorcycles when they got older.  I clapped every time a cyclist landed, not because of their tricks being awesome (which they were, but in a nail biting way), but because they were still alive and didn't crash.  Their poor mothers!

Next, the monster trucks fired up their engines and took turns crushing the cars.  One of the first trucks to begin crushing ended up flipping over when it popped a wheelie.  The boys loved it.  In fact I think it was a highlight of their evening.  Jack said, “the monster sat down and the cars said, ‘ow,  ow, ow!’” 

At intermission, Phil took Ryan to get in the line for a monster truck ride.  I took Jack to the restroom line.  I was already feeling out of place but it was then that I realized that my anthro-chic outfit was not really monster truck couture.  I was surrounded by black and bling-y jeans and everyone looked a little tough or edgy.  I started to think that I would spend Saturday painting my nails and possibly crafting.  Something that would place me back into my element.

Jack and I headed back to our seats.  Phil came back carrying a deflated and sobbing Ryan.  They had sadly not made the cut for the monster truck ride. 

We started watching the second half of the show, but Ryan’s spirits did not improve.  It was an hour after his bedtime and he was a little too tired to cheer up. 

About 5 minutes into our drive home, I turned around and saw Ryan asleep in the car.  Ryan very rarely falls asleep in the car, even when it is late at night.  Good thing we headed home.

The boys have been playing with their monster trucks ever since.  Every time Jack does something he likes with his trucks he yells, “Take a pickure, take a pickure!” 

And then Ryan wants in on the action.  What can I say?  The boys love their cars and trucks.

Thanks dad for a great night!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Zig Zag Quilt Finished

I finished my quilt!  

I really do love it, but unlike the Amish, I did not have to piece something wrong to show that only God is perfect.  There are many imperfections in this quilt, mostly just in the quilting.  

I tried spray basting my quilt this time.  I had read how it is such a time saver and how much easier it is to quilt with and how there are no puckers in the back when its finished.  I thought it deserved a try.  I had a hard time getting it smooth and had to pull it apart and try again three times until it was right.  I think it had a lot to do with the method that I was using.  On my third try, I did it the way that made sense to me and got it smooth.  At that point, I didn't trust that the spray baste would hold since I had already pulled it apart so I also pinned basted.  All of that work did result in a pucker free quilt back.  I should also mention that the backing fabric is from Joann's from the Denyse Schmidt line, which I LOVE!  The line was on sale and there were a lot of new prints I hadn't seen before.  It's worth checking out.

The method that I had used to make the half square triangles also resulted in each square having a bias edge all the way around.  I had a lot of stretching in the pieced panel because of this.  The spray baste really helped me to get that area square and straight.  Even though this method made piecing fast and easy, I don't know if I would use it again because of the bias edge of each square.  I might use this method or this method next time.

Lastly, my sewing machine has sat on top of my Singer sewing machine cabinet since I got it since the hole in the table was cut to fit the Singer inside.  I quilted half of my quilt this way and was experiencing terrible drag and had uneven stitches because of it.  Finally, I called Phil and said it was time to retrofit my table.  He cut a hole to fit my machine and I put a board inside so that my machine would sit at the proper depth.

It's not pretty and looks a little "rustic", but my quilting went much better afterward.  I think a little paint might spruce the table up a bit , but it surely functions better now.

I really did love making this quilt and would recommend making a zig zag quilt as it was really fun.  I think finishing a quilt is like finishing a good book.  I'm always so excited to see how it turns out, but sad when its over.  The only cure is a new project.