Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Playing in EQ6 & Tooting 'round with Toys

I managed to find a little time to play with my new toy. It took me some time to learn how to wind a bobbin on it. If you remember this fabric then you must be a good friend of mine - because I posted about this project a very long time ago. I discovered something crucial when working with jellyrolls...don't pre-wash them. That's my recommendation anyhow. The 2 1/2 inch strips lose about 1/4 an inch with washing...and there aren't many patterns that call for 2 1/4 inch strips!!! I have plans for these, what are at the moment four patches. But you can bet it will be something very simple because the math is going to be horrendous. I don't like math when it's easy!

Also I want to thank Arlene, for the very nice package that arrived here the day before yesterday. I am constantly amazed at the generosity of quilters. I had asked her some time ago where I might be able to get my hands on a pattern she had. Not only did she copy and mail me the pattern (all the way to the States from the UK), but she sent me two delicious quilting magazines and a beautiful hand made ornament. I adore everything you gave me Arlene, and will never part with any of it! :) Thank you!

I also am going to be tracking a few things in the sidebar for 2009. I've attempted this before, but am going to try and really keep myself motivated this year. I thought it'd be fun to track how much fabric I buy and use during the year. A lot of you have done this in an effort to stashbust, but I just thought it'd be fun.

I've also drawn up a few quilts in EQ that I will keep track of on the sidebar. This is to help motivate me to actually MAKE them! I gave a lot of thought over the past year to starting up a little pattern business, and I have finally come to the decision that, with hoping to have more children in the next few years, I just don't have the time right now to give such an endeavor the attention it deserves. I still have a lot of learning to do on the quilting front, and maybe something will be in my charts for the future. For now, I'd love to share my little quilt ideas with you, and as I go I'll share instructions. Be prepared that some of these draw ups may change if I get too frustrated with them! LOL* If you'd like to make any of them with me, please let me know, it'll make my day. :) The only thing I ask is that you don't steal the idea, change the colors, then try to sell the pattern for profit. Here are two favorites that I will be working on first...

Oh and last but not least I'll be tracking the the ever popular "completed projects" list that I usually only finish one or two items from. Now, if I were smart, I'd keep a UFO list, because then I'd look like I am a much busier quilter than I am! :)
I hope everyone has a Happy New Year! :)

Monday, December 29, 2008

Cathedral Windows and Some Goodies

Remember the cathedral window experiment? I continued on to make a few more windows. I think this may possibly become a pillow, if I ever get motivated to complete it. Now I'm just itching to make a full sized quilt! :) I have found I really enjoy handwork.

Also, a few weeks before Christmas my Husband went to an auction and picked me up this beautiful sewing table, for only $2! The Kenmore that originally came with it on pins was beyond repair, so we scrapped it and my Dad put in a shelf so that I could put a new machine in the table. I have set it up so that it is always ready for free-motion quilting, and when I'm not using it I us the table to display some of my projects. I'm so excited with it!

The day before yesterday my Mom and I took a trip to a nearby town to visit their much larger Jo Ann Fabrics store. I recieved a few gift cards that were burning a hole in my pocket! So here are some of what I picked up...

Friday, December 26, 2008

A little shameless bragging...

If I haven't mentioned it lately, I need to share, that I have the most wonderful Husband ever! Not only did he give me a new digital camera for Christmas, but he also gave me this...

Isn't it just beautiful? I have been drooling over featherweights since I first learned of them several years ago. Husband and I have been looking at yard and estate sales for as good of a bargain as we could find on a featherweight or the next object of my affection - a treadle. A few treadles have come and gone before us, either more than we had to spend, or more work than we could undertake, but these featherweights seem to be even harder to come by. When the weather is warm we go to sales nearly every Friday and Saturday, and I may have seen one in 5 years. He paid a little more than the bargain we'd hoped to find, but I'm so glad that he did. It came from our local sewing center, which makes me feel confident that it has been given a once over inside and out, and it is guaranteed to be in good working order. It's clean and shiny, and I was so excited to find that the decals show little to no wear at all. The owner, who I adore and is just the epitomy of a charming small town shop owner, shared with my Husband that years ago he sold these when the store was located on Main Avenue, for $100. He said they couldn't keep them on the shelves way back then, and it's becoming that way again today. Seems that some good things do last! I can't wait to get sewing on my beautiful little piece of history. :)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Lots of Things :)

Please forgive me for being a lousy blogger lately. Many things have been contributing to my absence.

My Mother has been battling with her health. Thursday she had a very mild stroke, and My Father and I spent the night in the hospital with her, to make sure she'd be ok. She woke up Thursday morning, and her speech was garbled and she had difficulty walking. She is now home and though her speech is a bit slower than it used to be, they say with some therapy it should become much better, if not very close to what was normal for her. This was not her first stroke, so her speech was a bit slower to begin with. Walking is still a little bit difficult, she says she can get around well with a cart at the store, so I imagine her cane will be much more necessary than it once was for her. We are all so greatful that she is ok, and that it wasn't a more severe stroke.

On a less serious note, a good bloggy friend of mine Holly @ Fabric Mom nominated me for the Kreativ Blogger award. Thank you! That was so sweet! We met through a sewing group on Myspace, when we both decided to start blogs and have been keeping up with each other ever since. Holly (a.k.a. Fabric Mom) is a very inspiring quilter, and if you haven't yet you have to stop by her blog!

By accepting the award I am asked to nominate 5 other bloggers, and since I read, literally, hundreds of blogs, I'll choose a few of my favorites, and a few of my friends. :)

Stitched with Love - Leah is who inspred me to start blogging! We met through an Yahoo! quilting group that I used to be a part of. Unfortunately the group became more than I could keep up with, but I've been following her blog, and inspired by her quilts for years now! :)

The Country Cellar - I love Angela's blog. She just inspires the heck out of me. Everytime she posts, it makes me want to go sew! :)

Zannah and Zippy - A very inspiring and generous blogger. I love the neat little wallhangings she's been making. :)

Bluebird Quilts - Lynn has fabulous style and is just the kindest blogger. You have to visit her blog. :)

Quilt in Me - Takako is the kindest quilter, also with great primitive style. She is a fellow Ohioan and a favorite of my bloggy reads. :)

I know some of you may not have time to play along, but if you do then I'll be anxious to see your choices. :) I love meeting and being inspired by bloggers, and I have learned so much from all of you!

My digital camera is on the fritz, so I hope to have pictures for you soon. I've been sewing, and I want to share! :)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Gift Quilt Finished ; Playing with Cathedral Windows

Finished Sandy's Christmas quilt the day before yesterday. Yay! I'm so happy with how it turned out. :)

A woman at one of my quilt guilds brought in a bunch of fabric for us to go through Tuesday, and I found a 1/2 yard of pre-printed quilt labels. How amazing that this label matched the quilt perfectly?

A lady at that same guild inspired me to get a move on trying cathedral windows. Tooted around this afternoon and made this single unit to see if I could do it...

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving! :)

Oh yeah, I've been a lousy blogger I know it. Lol* Life has recently become very hectic! I've been doing a lot of baking for the holidays - part of how I make a little extra money for Christmas each year, in addition to the little boy I babysit. I've also been redecorating my oldest daughter's room in a garden theme...right now I'm working on painting a fence on all of the walls, but being so busy I can only paint a little every night! Oh my. Thank goodness we're not hosting Thansgiving this year because it's just a cluttery mess. Our folded laundry has taken up what seems to be a permanent residence on the front living room couch, as I can't get into my oldest's room while I'm working on painting, and I just run out of time to put the rest away! Lol* I do a little each day but it just doesn't seem to disappear! Lol* One of the downfalls of having two living rooms - one is functional while the other just seems to accumulate things until I can't stand it anymore. Lol*

I've done a lot of Christmas sewing, but not much I can show here because they are a secret! Lol* Here's a little peak of the lap quilt I'm making for my Husband's Grandmother...she doesn't read my blog so I'm pretty safe to share...but only a peak just in case!

I also purchased some books...the one on cathedral windows by Lynne Edwards I'm most excited about. I can't wait until I get some free time to try it!!! I was also really happy about Spotlight on Scraps by Cyndi Walker. While I don't know how many quilts I might actually make from it, I'm a fan and excited to add the book to my collection. I was hoping for designs more like the she has for sale on her website (, but, I'm happy with the book none the less. If anything now I feel like I need to hoard up the ones on her website! Lol* This tote pattern in particular is so flippin' cute! Oh I love it! :)
Well, I made a pumpkin roll that's cooling and a flourless chocolate cake (a fabulous recipe from Taste of Home) that needs to be pulled out of the oven so I'm off...hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving and full bellies. :)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Scissor Caddy

Something I made up from scraps from the 'Tossed Nine-Patch' top...a scissor caddy! I suppose things like this are more for decoration and fun than actual use, but, I thought it turned out really cute! I know it's difficult to see from this picture - that's a yo-yo there in the center with a button, and I quilted the caddy itself in a pale green thread with a loopy meandering stitch.
Finally feeling as if I've recovered from our little vacation. On the down side, recovery also means exhaustion, as the girls have me running to and fro without much break. But, boy, have all those quilters motivated to sew. I've got a good start on Christmas presents...I can't believe I'm saying that already! The day after tomorrow is Halloween, and today it even snowed! Wow...the seasons change while I'm busy with chores, and time goes by so fast. :) Enjoy the rest of your October! :)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Tossed Nine Patch and a WIP

Yay! My Mother & I returned yesterday afternoon from our very first quilt reatreat...what fun! The retreat was organized by a woman from the guild I attend (Hi Holly! *winks*) and she just thought of everything. It was a group of just the nicest ladies, and we had the best time. Mom and I now can't wait for next year! :) Here's my mom hard at work...note the coffee cups and diet coke!!! Bye Saturday evening we were running on fumes!

In between eating (the food and snacks were fabulous!), playing games, and lots of fun gabbing, I managed to complete this top using Eleanor Burns 'Tossed Nine-Patch' pattern...which I was told is also called 'split nine-patch' and if you'd like the pattern it can be found online for free.

It was a nice quick easy pattern and if I find time today I'm going to try and gather up fabric to make a few for Christmas gifts.

I also spent a mini-fortune - well, no, it was definitely a full sized fortune! - on Christmas prints to go with a few panels I bought, and some Christmas fabric I already have in my stash...this is as far as I made it on one of the panels.

I added the second black border and the two strip borders on each side. Hope to get the rest of the borders on before Christmas at least!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Nuthin' Fancy

Yay! Finally a free day! No where to go, no place to be, just me, the girls, and some laundry. Can you believe I finally got to play with the sewing machine in between folding? Not too much, but enough to get me motivated for more!

We are doing a block of the month at the local quilt guild and after seeing a few of the other ladies beautiful blocks I wasn't too thrilled with my own anymore! A few ladies have done black & white and I just love the look so I thought I'd try my own black & white version. I think the blue makes it look kind of Parisian!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Winding Pieces

It's been a real struggle to steal away time, but I did begin cutting a new quilt top. I suppose I should finish old projects before starting a new one, but, well, you know how that goes...

I'm using the Winding Ways template pattern from Fat Quarter Friendly Quilts by Fons & Porter...hope it turns out half as nice as the one in the photo. :)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Less sewing, more shopping. :)

Well, no, I haven't been doing a lot of sewing.
Duh, right?
No photos = no fun.
Well, I've had a little fun. :) I'm just about done with my fourth redwork block (pitiful, I know) and of course I'm thinking ahead to what I'd like to work on next. I got a little carried away on what was supposed to be just a very little shopping trip to pick up a few things...instead I didn't get a thing on my list but ended up purchasing 8 yards of this...
It's soooooooo Thimbleberries-ish isn't it??? I love it. I tend to buy 1/2 yards or 1 yard at a time, but I know that this will be a border and a backing. It's some of that premium quilters cotton from JoAnn Fabrics, (Stone Hill Collection/Prarie Home/Floral). Now I'm on the hunt for a quilt to make with it. I'm hoping I can use some things that I already have and not go buy more - but I suppose it wouldn't be all that terrible if I had to go shopping again! :)

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Here I am. :)

Wheeeeeewwww! Have you noticed, it's fall? Where did the summer go? Lol*
Well school has begun, and I have been busy with a capital B. Both of my daughters are in gymnastics this year, and it's looking as though my oldest will be in dance as well. Aside from toting them from school, and place to place, I have been trying to get my house organized, and remove the junk that has cluttered up my sewing room. I can barely walk in there! I'm not brave enough to show a picture of it though!!! Lol* I have been doing a lot of thinking about sewing. Lol* Things are just starting to get back into a routine, so maybe I'll have some time for crafting very soon. :)

Just wanted to let you all in blogland know I didn't forget you. :)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Seeds and Rain

Here's a picture of my gardening experiment for 2008...all of this except for the cannas were grown from seed this year. In mid May I labeled popsickle sticks with the name of each flower, and basically, tossed all the seeds around in different spots. Part of me didn't think they'd actually grow!

I really don't know what to do with this area right now. It's more congested than I like, and next year I will space the plants out a bit more if I can. For now I may just leave it as it until next spring, then do an overhaul.

I've also been saving milk jugs like mad.

These are for my 2009 garden experiment! I thought I'd try winter sowing, where you use milk jugs or other household things to make mini-greenhouses. You put your seeds in these containers and leave them outside during the winter and, hopefully, you get plants a little earlier than you might if you'd waited until after frost to sow directly into the ground. I've already started collecting seeds from some of the plants I already have too. Can't wait to see what happens! If all goes well, I can envision dozens of milk jugs lining up along the back of the house next spring!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Fat Quarter Shop Shopping

Alright, I just can't resist sharing this purchase...Fat Quarter Shop is seriously my favorite of all online quilt shops. I have been oogling the fabric and price shopping for items they carry for years...but I have yet to find anyone who's as on top of new lines as Fat Quarter Shop with as reasonable shipping. I finally put in a purchase for some things I couldn't live without...and now I'm really in love. Shipping was only $5 (it would have cost me more in gas to go the shop nearest me). I placed my order Wednesday and it was here (from Texas to Ohio) by Saturday. Isn't that awesome? I even emailed the famous Kimberly from the FQS to tell her how happy and pleased I was and within a day she'd replied back with the nicest little note.
From the line Cottage Romance by Willowberry Lane, I picked up 1/2 yard each of this scallop/stripe print and the floral. If this doesn't make your mouth water then there's got to be something wrong with you! Lol***

Not as great a picture, from the Winter line by Minick & Simpson I purchased a charm pack and 1/2 yard of red with adorable little candy canes on it. TOO cute. I think this will be a table topper or something for the mantle.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Redwork & Shopping

I wanted to share a few more of my redwork blocks with you. I know these get a little boring after a while so I'll try to refrain from blogging about this project until it's at the very least together in a top. :)

Lily of the valley... of my favorite flowers...too bad they are a favorite of the bunnies that live nearby too. :)

Also did some shopping yesterday at Jo-Ann's. I had been eyeing this line of Debbie Mum fabric for a while, and decided, finally, to pick up a few yards. Not normally my taste, but, maybe a Christmas gift?

I am really excited about this thrift purchase...a set of six cotton napkins I found made from reproduction vintage fabric. Washed a few times and very soft...I think it will look so pretty in something mixed with real vintage.

Last but not least, just a little note regarding Mary Ellen's Best Press. I mentioned a few posts ago that I bought some to try, and wanted to share, that I love it! It's way better than starch, and I love working with fabric that I've used it on. It seems to make a real difference with sewing bias pieces also. I now use it on all of my fabric after prewashing. My only complaint is they don't give you enough in that little bottle! Maybe I get carried away with it, but I think I used just shy of 1/4 of the bottle on that buzz saw quilt alone! :) Sure looks good though. Lol*

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Redwork & The Plant Inspector

:) I needed to start another project like I need a hole in my head. But what fun I'm having...

Redwork has been popping up all around me. I've always wanted to try it, so I did. :) Both of my daughters love the, ahem, "biiiiirrrrddddeeeee!", so I know this block's a keeper.

In other news, I recently hired an assistant to help inspect the garden for pests. She has requested I pay her promptly at the end of each work day in yellow m&m's.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

New Bloomers

The beetles have already begun munching my brand new coneflower...

Monday is spray day. :) I'm not a violent person, but I do get some pleasure knowing I've wiped those buggers out. I suppose there is a purpose for every creature...but I refuse to let destroying my plants be that purpose.

I brought this gorgeous Monk's Hood home the same beetles yet.
I thought this was Love in a Mist, but my Dad says he doesn't think so. I started them from seed and I think an anmial took off with the marker. Whatever it is, it's so pretty, and has been blooming steadily for almost two weeks.

A plant-loving-lady at Walmart talked me into purchasing two of these russian sage plants. Very pretty, and a good replacement for the hosta that once resided here.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

PIF Pumpkin & a Thank You

Libby has been patiently waiting for me to get my rear in gear and send her the Pumpkin quilt she won. :) I do try to keep my promises, however procrastination and I are close friends. The quilting is finally finished, and I don't think it will take me more than a day or so to get it bound and a label put on. Then off goes my pumpkin to his new home. :)

An anonymous commenter asked if I do all hand quilting on my quilts...first, thank you for commenting! If you return and find time, I'd love if you left a name or way to reply to your comments! :) To answer, no, I don't hand quilt everything, although I do just adore hand quilting. I really love to both hand and machine quilt, but I'm rather impatient and haven't yet attempted to quilt anything by hand on a large scale. :)

In other news, I'm a lucky blogger, because not long ago I won on Takako's blog. She visited her family in Japan recently, and gave five commenters some goodies from her trip. I am in constant amazement at how generous quilting bloggers are. :) Here's a photo of the cute little bundle I recieved...

Thank you Takako! I love everything!!! :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Garden Photos

I've only just started to toot around with gardening. Here's a "before" picture of the plants I hoarded all in one spot...

I really packed 'em in. This picture was taken I think in early June. Those gorgeous yellow petunias you see there came from my parents, and it breaks my heart to say, they didn't survive. They are one of the only things I have killed from moving I think next year I will pot 'em and leave 'em. Even a renegade rose branch that I chopped with a shovel thinking it was a seperate bush...I planted lived and even flowered this year.

I moved quite a bit around...

All that I haven't moved are the gladiolus, just blooming, wild and a bit out of control. I need to make or buy some stakes. At the moment, a dollar store shephard's hook is making do.

Can't wait to watch these new plants grow...


I bought Pink & Purple's the purple...

Here are my balloon flowers from last year, ready to bloom any day...

Bachelor buttons I grew from seed this year...

Last year's phlox. It's had to have tripled in size from when I purchased it...he's even beautiful after a few weed whackings from the Husband...

The best for last...this is the view from my front steps...