Courthouse Steps and Tool Belts

This week, I’ve been trying to get into our school routine.  We’ll officially start Timo’s kindergarten in a couple of weeks, but I’ve been wanting to ease him into working for longer periods of time so we’ve been doing some reading and math workbooks for up to an hour a day.  I can tell his brain gets fatigued after about 15 minutes of reading, but he loves doing math since there is so much more coloring involved in his math workbook. 

All that is to say that the crafting has been minimal this week.  October’s American Patchwork & Quilting featured a quilt that is just beautiful.  It is made out of courthouse step blocks in April Cornell’s Poetry fabric.  A picture of the quilt can be seen here (click on Rooms with Blooms Kit), but I thought I’d try a smaller version with just 2 fabrics.  The first block looked great, I thought:

                            courthouse-steps-x1.JPG

 but when I made the second block, they looked kind of blah together:

         courthouse-steps-x2.JPG

So what now?  Stop?  Or keep going and hold my breath?

Another little project:  I always have a hard time coming up with boyish things to make but Artsmith made the cutest little tool belt last month, so I was inspired.  Yesterday I took the boys to Home Depot (or Home Deep, as we call it) and for $1.29 each, the boys got some nail aprons that will double as tool belts.  They picked some fabric and I sewed it on the front of the pockets.  Larry the Cucumber on the left is sporting the before apron.  They love dressing up and walking around in these stuffed with all the tools that can fit.  This was such a quick project with only a minute or two of seam ripping required at the top of the pocket so that I could sew the fabric across the top.

                           nail-aprons-s.JPG

16 Responses to “Courthouse Steps and Tool Belts”


  1. 1 sueb August 18, 2006 at 12:01 pm

    those tool belts are too cute (and the boys are too) ! I like the new blog layout, it looks great. I think you need more contrast in the colors on the quilt blocks. You could try some sashing between the blocks too.

  2. 2 Shelly August 18, 2006 at 1:37 pm

    What a great idea! I might try this for my 2 year old daddy’s helper.

    Maybe if you rotated the quilt block 45 degrees, so that the pink and blue bordered it would look better!

    How exciting to be starting another one in homeschool!

    Shelly

  3. 3 meg August 18, 2006 at 2:41 pm

    Love the tool belts! I have a little guy, too, and it makes me feel awful that I have so little inspiration when it comes to projects for him. Thanks for the spark!

    Awfully cute models, by the way. :0)

  4. 4 Kirsten August 18, 2006 at 3:10 pm

    I can’t look at a partial something and tell whether it works or not. I always have to photoshop my way into a visual. I hope you don’t mind, (please don’t mind!!!) but I quickly copied those squares into a nine square and I think it will look wonderful in the end! I agree that the two side by side don’t work, but I think when there are more, the whole picture comes together… (I hope you don’t mind about the photoshop thing! I deleted it when I was done!

    Kirsten

  5. 5 Cathy August 18, 2006 at 6:39 pm

    The boys are incredibly cute as always and now because of those cool tool belts!

    I think the reason the original quilt looks good is that all the fabrics are different. So the blocks lining up always contrast. As mentioned before, try rotating your blocks so that the matching sides don’t line up… you might like it better.

  6. 6 rebecca August 18, 2006 at 7:30 pm

    Hey, love the new header and new look! Simple and sophisticated! Very nice.

    Oh and your boys are so sweet, and boyish and healthy and happy! Love the tool belts. What a great idea, and at $1.29, well, The Depot didn’t Disappoint.(and Deplete the wallet)

    I love the quilt block. I dunno if it really is going to be blah when it is more blocks. You’ll figure something out. But I really like just using 2 different fabrics. It is a busy pattern that different colors can be too much. Still it is sweet fabrics, and PINK (right!?!)

  7. 7 kathy August 18, 2006 at 7:43 pm

    It was love at first sight when I saw that quilt in the magazine. I have no where near the fabrics needed to do the scrappy version they featured in the magazine. I still like your two-color version. Once the pattern emerges it may have more zing.

  8. 8 Cindi August 18, 2006 at 10:28 pm

    I think the quilt is going to come out beautiful. Are you planning to put a border between? If so maybe you could put a third color in to give it some pop.

    Those are the handsomest boys.

    Yes, crafting time seems to become precious doing school weeks. After you get into the swing of things you will see where you can work in a little here and a little there. Don’t let it go by the wayside though. You need it for your sanity. As mothers we often let our wants and needs be the first thing out the door. This will lead to burnout. Build in some time each day to do something you enjoy that is a stress reliever. When you homeschool you spend lots and lots of time with your children. 1/2 hour to yourself a day isn’t really a lot to ask.

  9. 9 Kimberly August 19, 2006 at 2:09 am

    I love the tool belt idea! Too cool. Those boys are just so huggable!!!
    As far as the quilt goes, keep going and see what happens. Maybe you can have strips seperating the blocks. Keep going-I like the fabrics together.
    Oh and when did you change your blog? I love the new look.

  10. 10 capello August 19, 2006 at 11:22 am

    Hmmm… maybe you should reverse the pink and blue in the next block and put it between those two. I agree, the design gets kind of “lost”.

    The boys look quite proud of thier tool aprons. That sounds like a great project! (Like my project list isn’t long enough already, thanks a lot.)

    Oh — and pretty site redesign!

  11. 11 lizzie August 19, 2006 at 2:08 pm

    I agree with several of the ladies about rotating the square 45 degrees so that the pink and blue contrast with each other. The fabrics are very dainty and sweet. I think the finished product will be fabulous.

    The tool holders are very neat! What fun for the boys!! Let’s hope they are better with tools some day than Mr. O! (not a difficult goal, though)

    Thanks for checking in yesterday. It was a highlight of the day to sit and visit with you! BTW, I did get the vacuuming done after our chat, so we’re able to enjoy a relaxing Saturday! ahh….so nice!!

  12. 12 Megan August 20, 2006 at 2:48 pm

    I think the finished quilt will look very sweet, and agree with your clever advisors that a 45 degree will turn will add a little magic.

  13. 14 TERESA August 21, 2006 at 9:18 am

    that quilt got a sticky tab on it immediately as I went through the magazine. I have been looking for a pattern I could complete for a male and this might just be the one.

    have a beautiful day.

  14. 15 Sandy September 3, 2006 at 7:36 pm

    If you keep going with just the light fabrics you will have a very pale quilt but pretty quilting can make it stunning. If you have more of April’s fabrics with some brighter prints giving it more contrast it will be more exciting like the one in the picture. Sometimes I’ve not liked where my quilt was going & just kept going & it turned out great. Other times it ends up unfinished in the UFO pile. Good luck with whatever you decide.


  1. 1 New and Improved Tool Belts/Aprons; First Day of Kindergarten; and 1,000th Commenter! « Craft Apple Trackback on August 28, 2006 at 7:02 pm

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Craft Apple

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, right? Well, crafting is my apple. It's what I do to maintain my sanity while taking care of my family. I homeschool my three boys, ages 12, 13, and 14), am a quilter, a bagaholic, and a pattern designer.
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