23 April 2009

Better Late than Never?

I haven't posted in a looooong time. This is why I was skeptical of starting yet another blog. I have great intentions but just can't follow through. But I'm going to keep trying.

First, its Spring! Finally. Today is partly sunny, I can see little buds on the giant maple tree in the back yard, the grass is green, green, green. Maybe now the Winter blahs will go away!

I've finished and sent off 2 quilts- One for my sister Jessica and one for my BFF Liz.

Jessica's is all flannel and was supposed to be a Christmas gift. She got it last weekend. I love the flannel- its so soft and comfy. I used a thicker batting than I usually do and it really gave the quilt a good loft. The quilter did a great job with a cool, kind of modish 70's leaf pattern. We decided on a green thread on both sides and it makes the back look great. You can see the quilted pattern and I think I like the back more than the front in some ways!

Liz's quilt is a wonky log cabin block quilt. I showed some pictures in a previous post. The fabrics are not ones I would usually work with, but I love the final product. I made the binding with leftover strips and its the first binding I've ever sewn where you really can't see the stitches. I am super proud of that. The quilter used a meandering pattern and I love it. It makes the quilt just bumpy enough but doesn't distract from the quilt top pattern. Another good job by the Patchwork Peddler!

I have been crocheting lately. Well, trying to crochet...I made a scarf (no pictures yet) and it took forever. I think I took it apart at least 5 times before I was feeling like I could actually follow the pattern. This new crochet adventure has made me realize how much I suck at following directions! I get distracted and just don't pay enough attention. Thank goodness for my friend Karla, she really talked me through the pattern. Thanks Karla!

I have these fabrics all piled up and am trying to decide what I want to make with them:

I am thinking maybe this or this. I have to think on it some more...hmm.

Go on out and have a sunshiney day!

23 February 2009

Its a giveaway! and dog boasting...

Good day folks! (okay, folk- is that the singular? I know there aren't that many people out there- but I digress...) Terri over at Sew-Fantastic is hosting an awesome giveaway...check it out!

And I don't really have anything else to say, here's one of my dogs:

This is Clancy. He is a border collie. And he is crazy. He has eaten the following random things (not all at the same time): a pound of fudge, a bottle of Vicks formula 44 (including the cap), 8 dozen chocolate chip cookies, 3 pounds of crab leg shells, a bag of bread flour, various contents of the trash can...it is amazing he is still alive. But I am so glad he is. This dog is the bright spot in my crappy days and I adore him.

Go out and hug the ones you love!

22 February 2009

Swap loot, stash and WIP

On Friday, I left work early to pick up a mailer for my package for this sweet swap. I got home and, viola!, my package had already arrived. Awesome Dena from Tales at Wayne Manor had already sent my package. A parade of fat quarters and some sweeeeet lip balm and a little journal notebook...excellent!

So many thanks to you Dena! And I dropped your package off at the post office Saturday morning. It should be there soon. I want to post pictures of the fabric I picked but I want it to be a surprise so I will contain myself. Which I suck at. As a kid (and even now) my sister and I could never keep gifts secret. We would be so excited to see how the receiver would react that we couldn't wait (still can't) to give gifts. It makes for a lot of early Christmas and birthday gifts!

Now, for my stash. I have been building and building lately. Lots of yard and half yard cuts have been purchased in the past month. And now they are all kind of organized and safely put away, here:

And broken down, into types, cuts and whatever:

yard cuts.

half yard cuts. I especially love these. They are some of my favorite fabrics- Sugar Snap by Melissa Averinos and lots of Amy Butler...I drool just thinking about Melissa's fabric, especially the Kimono, which may be my favorite of all time. (I wanted to put a link to Free Spirit Fabric's site, but its apparently down right now...or I am just FORBIDDEN from going to it anymore...)

I know that I should store fabric in more protected boxes but I love these Orla Kiely crates from Target. And I really like to pull out a box from the shelf and see what's in it. Once again, my sense of what is pretty wins over practical and safe. Eh, what are you gonna do? Plus the Orla Kiely crates fit perfectly into my little, cheap storage cube...

And, finally, my WIP...Its for my bestest friend, Liz. She doesn't read my blog (she doesn't really use the internet much at all...) so its safe to put pictures here. I am so excited about this quilt. It is made up of wonky log cabin blocks (tutorial here) . I used fabric that Liz gave me while I was visiting her this summer and I love this quilt top. Its a little on the small side but she can use it as a lap quilt. I still have one border to sew on and then its just cutting the batting and piecing the backing...then off to the quilter. I still haven't gotten up the courage to quilt these things myself...


I think this is one of the best pieces I've made, up to this point. Its definitely got some problems because I still can't always meet up seams like one should. But I figure that gives it its handmade quality.

Thanks for letting me share. Go out and have a lazy Sunday!

14 February 2009

V-day and fun finds...

Let's just say straight away that my huband ROCKS. He is funny, compassionate, loving, sarcastic, brilliant, a little bit evil and adorable. Everything I could want in a partner. And his taste in flowers is brilliant. Getting flowers on Valentine's day is sweet and thoughtful, but these flowers could only come from him...he picks the best flowers for me, always.

Orange roses, hot pink gerbera daisies, little teeny fuchsia primrose-looking things??? He is seriously the best! And no sappy card, here. Just this:

Simple, straight to the point. I love him. And I thank him for being so thoughtful.

Now on to the finds. Our local Society of St. Vincent dePaul (we call it Vinnie's around these parts...) has a linen sale every year. They save up all the antique and vintage linens that get donated throughout the year and then they sell them all at once, over the weekend. Its a big deal. All the fancy-pants antiques dealers line up on the first morning, chomping at the bit to get to the damn place. And then they buy up all the linen dish towels and whatnot so they can sell them on ebay or at the antique mall or whatever. So usually by the time I get there, there's not much. But yesterday I left work a little early and got some cool stuff...

Hankies! I love them. I think I want to make something out of them, just not sure what. I am thinking maybe some little curtains or incorporate them into a quilt, somehow. They are really thin, so I would need to reinforce them somehow if I want to put them in a quilt. I guess I'll have to think on that for a while.

My other find is this sweet little sampler:

I love the sentiment and I love that its old. I am hoping that my dear sweet sister can frame it for me. I will hang it up either in my sewing room or at work. Maybe work is the place for it. I need to remember that kind words are important when I am getting frustrated by people's lack of common sense...

Thanks for letting me share. Go out and have a loverly day!

06 February 2009

Its a swap! And, of course, some tangential rambling...

Darci over at Stitches and Scissors is hosting a fat quarter swap, so go on over and check it out!

I love fat quarters. You can get lots of different fabrics for a little money with fat quarters. I've found that they are a really great stash builder and I love to just look at them. They are usually under $3.00 each and I just feel like I get tons of variety from them. And the size is easy to mange, which I like in my limited and not-so-organized space. The first quilt I made was made with fat quarters. It was a pattern from this book , made with all batiks and I love it. I'm sitting with it on my lap right now.

One of the things I love about this quilt is the batting. I used a very thin batting that is a silk and cotton blend. So the quilt is super lightweight but SUPER warm. The lightness of the quilt is deceiving. And it is one of the few quilts in my living room that hasn't been taken over by the dogs, although they've tried. But I am a total fanatic about making sure they don't get it. I yell at others in my house if they leave it laying on the couch for the dogs to lay on. My husband thinks I'm crazy...

Don't forget to check out the swap and have a lovely day...

01 February 2009


Steelers, hands down.

And to eat? Stuffed mushrooms, wings, baked beans, chips, Mom's awesome and decadent bean dip creation, chips, crackers, fresh veggies, cheese.

That's it. (That's enough!) Oh, except beer. And probably some pepto at some point....

Have a pigskin-tastic day!

25 January 2009

I love it...With a little help from the blogosphere

I am a copycat. Let's just get that out there, right up front. I saw this post over at Crazy Mom Quilts (one of my favorite blogs), which led me to this post, which just inspired the hell out of me. It looks like a few people are loving this pattern right now. I guess I'm just not very original, but I don't really care. Amandajean from Crazy Mom Quilts is always such an inspiration to me! So I set to measuring and cutting and sewing and ironing...and came up with this:

which eventually became this:

and turned into this:

After repeating the cutting, sewing, ironing, sewing, ironing, sewing, trimming 36 times, I ended up with this:

And I am psyched. I managed to sew straight lines and iron well and be patient. And it turned out the way I imagined. YAY! It took me a while to figure out how to lay the squares so that they may the right pattern. I don't know what it is about my brain, but it can really screw me up sometimes when I am looking at things. Which is funny because I always think of myself as a visual learner. I think that things go one way, I do them and they are wrong, wrong, wrong. Case in point:

Notice the one on the left is backwards- the wide parts of the square are all in the center, instead of on the edges. And it seriously took me like 5 minutes to figure out what the hell I did wrong. Niiiiice.

Some of the details:
I used a charm pack of Mary Englebright Recipe for Friendship and 36 white on white 5 inch squares for the squares. I made a template using the internet (I can't for the life of me remember where I got the instructions or I'd link it here...but Amandajean over at Crazy Mom Quilts has some good info here ). I used the cardboard backing from a charm pack, drew a line down the middle then measured 1/4" inch above and 1/4" below that line. I drew a line from 1/4" mark to 1/4" mark and cut the thing in half. I then had 2 templates, one for the bottom and one for the top. I cut all those damn squares in half with the templates and ended up with 8 bajillion little wonky rectangles, which I sewed into the foundation squares. I just sewed them all at once, in a continuous chain thing (see the first picture). It was loooooong... I then matched them up with each other (same colors together) to make the windmills/whirlygigs. They definitely needed some trimming. By the time I trimmed them all up, I had squares that were about 8 inches. Some were smaller, some were bigger, but most were around 8 inches (I'm just not a perfectionist about this stuff...sorry). I pressed most of the seams open so that there wouldn't be a lot of bulk.

Anyway, now I want to quilt it, myself. I've recently secured a bolt of batting (sidenote: its fricking HUGE, 40 yards of batting is B.I.G.- I don't recommend this if you don't have the storage space. I had a brilliant idea to store it in a large plastic storage container- ahhh, NO...way too big) and I am planning on trying to machine quilt this one myself. I won't be doing any stippling or fancy stuff, just some straight lines. I am nervous because I love this top so much but I have to try sometime! I don't know when I will be brave enough to do this, but I'm sure gonna try...I'll make sure to post the results- disastrous or not!

Enjoy this lovely Sunday with someone you love!