Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Hoping you all had a fabulous holiday!

Monday, December 10, 2012

What's cookin'?

It's time for Christmas goodies at my house!

So far, I've made cookie dough for the Neiman Marcus $250 Cookies and the third batch of S'Mores Bites are in the oven.

Do you think the Elves will clean up my kitchen if I go to bed now?

No, probably not.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A finish. Kind of.

Well, I thought I'd posted about this little quilt quite a while ago.

A while ago as in, last October. When I thought I finished it.

This is the quilt I made for the Habitat Challenge in October 2011.

I was never happy with the quilting. That's obviously why it's been stuffed in the closet under a pile of fabric for over a year. My plan was to rip out the quilting and try it again. At our guild Sew In last Saturday, I mentioned this plan to a couple of friends and they thought I was crazy. They reminded me that someone out there would love this quilt, no matter how wonky the quilting is.

So, I pulled it out of the closet with the intention of simply adding a label and shipping it to New Jersey where it would be given to someone in need. To my surprise, I hadn't actually finished my quilt! Yes, it looked finished, but my binding was held on with a really long, loose running stitch.

Easy enough to fix.

It's now properly bound and labeled. And tomorrow it'll be headed back east. To a new home where someone will hopefully be warmed and comforted by it

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

It doesn't seem right.....

It's November 21st.

The day before Thanksgiving.

 The thermometer on my back porch says it's about 77*. 
(Accuweather says 68*)

And I'm steaming Christmas Puddings.

In a roaster oven.

On the bar.

In our backyard.

In my flip flops!

Doesn't seem right, but I'm definitely enjoying this lovely day!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Scrappy Stash Quilt-Along: Finished Rainbow Quilt

Ellison Lane Quilts

Wow, I wasn't sure I was going to make today's deadline with this quilt! Who knew you could baste, quilt, and bind a quilt in a day? Well, not technically a day. I basted and started the quilting last night.

This morning, someone was already trying to take posession of the quilt, before I'd even finished the quilting!
 My cat George. She's got that "What do you mean I have to move?" look to her.

 Ta da! A lovely Rainbow Quilt. (It's not really that wonky. Just the fence making it look that way!)

I was going to quilt it with straight lines following the diagonal of the blocks, but I really see the diagonal along the purple blocks when I looked at it. So, I did (kind of wonky) straight lines on each side of the block seams and in the middle of each block. I wish the stripey binding stood out a bit more. It's a great stripe from Prints Charming that I've had for a while.

 The back is pieced from some of the fabric I used for the binding and a cute print I had in my stash. I think it was originally curtain panels.

Here's a close up of the backing fabric and a peek at the binding.

This really was a stash buster for me. The only thing I bought was a little Kona White for the borders. Everything else, including the batting, was from my stash.
Oh, and I can actually put the lids on all my scrap bins now! Whoo hoo!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

My little techie

I just realized that I haven't posted any Halloween pictures yet.

Nathan, being 10, is very into technology these days. He has quite a few techie gadgets of his own and "borrows" one of our smartphones or iPad once in a while.

So, I wasn't really surprised when he said he wanted to be an iPod for Halloween.

Not the he wanted an iPod, but that he wanted to be an iPod.

The idea was Nathan's. The making of the costume was very much a family effort.

I found instructions for making an iPod costume using a black tee shirt and iron on transfers to make the app icons, but that wasn't authentic enough for this kid. It had to really look like an iPod. So we included as much detail as we could.....real app icons copied and printed from the internet, a "home button" and a hot bar at the bottom.

We even managed to make an Apple for the back!

He was a huge hit where ever he went. Lots of people stopped him to "try an app" or comment on what a great costume it was. He stretched out the use of this costume by wearing it to the school carnival, trick or treating and during Red Ribbon week for superhero day. We added a black cape for the last one.

His superhero?

He was iPod Man, of course!

The power of Apple!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Seeing Stripes

When making quilt binding, I'm always amazed at how much binding is needed for what seems like a relatively small quilt.

For instance, my Scrappy Stash Quilt-Along quilt.....

I've worked on it a little more now and it measures about 53" by 61". Doesn't sound so big.

Until you start figuring out how much binding to make.......
 (53 + 61) x 2 + a little extra = WHAT??????

That means I need to make about 20 feet of quilt binding. 

Press again...

Some time later.....

I now have approximately 24 feet of pretty, stripey quilt binding.

Time to figure out the backing and get this baby put together.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Scrappy Stash Quilt-Along: Almost done!

I've been plugging away at my blocks for the Scrappy Stash Quilt-Along.

I meant to take photos of each set of blocks along the way, but every time I actually thought about taking the photos, it was too dark!

Here are my 30 blocks, all put together:

I didn't realize until I took this photo how much of a dividing line appears on my diagonal from top left to bottom right. Oh well, it's all sewn together and I'm not about to rip out all those seams!

Now, I just need to decide how to finish it.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Things That Go "BUMP" In The Night

For the last several weeks, we've had something bumping along under our house at all hours of the night.

This morning, I think we found it/her/them.....

Meet Mama Possum.....

and her three babies!

When my husband first spotted this little family in the yard this morning, Mama was carrying all the babies on her back. It was amazing to see that in real life. Unfortunately, I was too busy trying to keep Harry away from the Mama's sharp teeth to think about grabbing my camera.

Mama and babies were gently and safely relocated to a more appropriate area for possums.

And hopefully, there will be no more things under the house going bump in the night!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Scrappy Stash Quilt Along

Ellison Lane Quilts

I'm joining in on Jennifer's Quilt Along because:
  1. It sounds like fun!
  2. My scrap bins are about to bust.
  3. And heck, it's not like I have anything else going on. (HA!)
Care to join us?

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Cheeky Little Monkey Quilt

I finished another kids quilt today. When I was squaring up the blocks, my friend Nicci commented on the "cheeky little monkeys". So that's what I'm calling it!

The center of the blocks is Grow With Me - Monkeys in creamy white, by Moda. The blue (actually more of a tuquoise color) and the sashing (light green with white dot) are both from my stash.

This is my favorite block on this quilt:

I love the little monkey that's popping up in the corner!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Picture Perfect Polaroid Blocks

Back in July, we had a great demo at our quilt guild meeting. Pam showed us how to make the Picture Perfect Polaroid Blocks. These little guys are fast, easy, and addictive!

We followed the demo with a swap and a challenge. Everyone who wanted to participate in the swap made blocks to swap at the August meeting and then were challenged to complete a project using the Polaroid Blocks.

I used several of the blocks that I received in the swap and added a few from my stash to make this little kids quilt.

I really like the look of the blue and the white together. To continue the "clean" look of this quilt, I did simple straight line quilting along the sashing.

A couple of my favorite blocks:

This happy cat reclining in his inner tube with an umbrella drink just cracks me up!

And I love this little mouse who found his way to the bottom corner of the quilt. He kind of looks like he's trying to scurry off.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Fifth Grade!

Phew! We made it through the first week of Fifth Grade!
I still find it hard to believe that my baby is this big now.
Where does the time go?

First day of Fifth Grade

Nathan's favorite new shirt

So, five days down....175 to go!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

A Finish!

Quilt for Aunt Lois by Mama Said Sew - Christy

Late last year, I found out that my Uncle wanted me to make a quilt for my Aunt. Of course I said I would do it!
 I didn't have much help in deciding which colors to use, or what size to make it. I hoped that whatever I chose, she would like it.
 So, I pulled all my quilting books off the shelf and started thumbing through them. I finally decided on Modern Maze from Amy Ellis's book Modern Basics.  I chose fabrics similar to those that Amy used in the original. I used the cream colored fabric with the green Dogwoods for the backing. The finished size is approximately 60"x84".
I finished this quilt and gave it to my Aunt last month. She loved it! And I really enjoyed making it for her. It was truly a labor of love.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Where has the time gone? I haven't posted for three months.

I started working again last winter, after being a stay at home mom for 9 1/2 years. When things got busy, something had to give and apparently it was my blog. (Also, I haven't quite figured out how to post to blogger from my iPad.)

And now I can't figure out how to navigate the new Blogger page. Hmmm......

Monday, March 26, 2012

A Scrappy Finish

A while ago, actually several years ago, I made this scrappy quilt top. It was one of those sewing days where the scrap basket was overflowing and I had to do something with all those little pieces! So, I did a little improv sewing, making wonky, scrappy, log cabin blocks.

I finally finished it last week. It is the first thing I've completed from my 2012 Goal Board. I gifted this little lap quilt to my MIL on Mothering Sunday (Mother's Day in England), while she was here visiting. I hope she will enjoy it!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Bragging. Again.

Back in December, Nathan participated in his school Science Fair. He decided on an engineering type project using Legos. We built a small shake table and he tested to see if a tower's stability would be affected by it's height and displacement. It was really a fun project.

Oh, and he won First Place in his class!

And then, the school selected his project to go on to the County Science Fair, which took place last week.

His project was included in the Fourth Grade Engineering, Mathematics and Gaming category. And I'm very proud to say that he took First Place!!

Congratulations Nathan!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Pokemon + Quilt Block = PokeBlock

In case you didn't know, my son is obsessed with Pokemon.

The kid has well over 1,000 Pokemon trading cards.


This is Torchic. He's one of the cuter Pokemon and one of my son's favorites. (Or at least he was a favorite last week.)

Of all the quilts I've made, I have never made one for my own dear son. Yes, that means my 9 year old is still using his Thomas the Tank Engine blanket. Which has definitely been well loved and is in need of replacement. I knew I wanted to make him a Pokemon quilt, but couldn't quite figure out how to do it. Some of those characters are very detailed and way beyond my ability for applique. And my embroidery skills don't even rank as deplorable.

Inspiration struck at our last quilt guild meeting when we learned about making Crayon Quilts. I printed out a Torchic coloring page, grabbed my fine line black Sharpie, some Crayons, and my fabric and got to work. The photo was taken after doing two layers of crayon. It looked good in real life, but I can see a few light spots in the photo. Easy enough to fix. And best of all, Nathan loved it! Now I just have to decide how many different Pokemon I want to color.

This is the other thing I made tonight.

Mug Brownie Sundae......mmmmmm! I wanted to try microwave brownies and found a recipe on Instructables for Mug Brownies. It was super, super easy. I added a scoop of Vanilla Bean ice cream and some chocolate sauce while the brownie was still warm. It was delicious.
(And it was prettier right after I made it. It melted a bit while I was searching for the camera.)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Still here. Still sewing.

I finally finished and delivered the last of my handmade Christmas presents this weekend. Yes, I know it's the middle of January, but there's been a lot going on around here.

I took a Color Play class with Nancy Rink to learn more about the color wheel and how to use it when choosing fabrics.

I made these cute little pumpkin pincushions for a pin cushion swap.

We celebrated the holidays in style. (Harry is a very tolerant dog!)

We launched model rockets.

I made a quilt for my Grandpa. I pulled out all of the blue-green fabrics from my stash and used Amanda Jean's Easy As Pie quilt pattern. This quilt is a queen size.....one of the largest quilts I've ever made.

And I made a quilt for my Mom to use out on her porch swing.
(Pattern is Square One from Simplify by Camille Roskelley.)

Phew! That just about catches us up on everything.

Oh wait, one more thing..........after more than 9 years as a full time stay-at-home mom, I've gone back to work! I was hired at a local middle school as a Special Ed Instructional Aide. I started last week and they threw me in with the kids right away. Kind of sink or swim. The kids and staff have been very accepting and helpful. I've gotten some good feedback and I think I'm going to like this job!