Wednesday, December 30, 2009
They are pretty good sized. Probably about 10" long, a fun size to play with. I make them with an extra layer of batting for padding and poly pellets. I love poly pellets because it makes bean bags that are childproof -- washable and suckable. Don't know about other people's children, but my children like to put the corners of beanbags (and other such toys) in their mouths and suck on them. You obviously don't want them eating poly pellets, but it allows the beanbags to be able to get wet without worry.
Also, they are sitting on a big tv pillow that I covered with super soft fuzzy fabric for another nephew.
Monday, December 28, 2009
This year I tried:
Caramels. First batch (licorice caramels) were a little too hard, good flavor though. It gets extra points for taking out my daughters loose tooth. Second batch (the sweetened condensed milk and cream type) were -- you guessed it -- too soft. They also had good flavor so I wrapped them in parchment paper so they wouldn't stick to the wrapper. Third batch (the evaporated milk and cream type) did turn out just about right, but by now I was done wrapping (and the first batch just got cracked not wrapped) so they just got cut. Why did I keep trying? Because if the three bears could get it right on the third try, then so could I!
Rice Crispy Treats. These have become a standby because I have figured them out now. Before you laugh too much, I make them with half regular Rice Crispies, half Cocoa Pebbles, and some M&Ms so they are pretty good.
Cake Balls. My youngest sister tries to keep me up to speed on what is "cool." She told me about cake balls. In my Christmas zeal, I decided to give them a try. They turned out to be a hit. I never have a "hit" in cooking so I was very excited. I got the recipe from Bakerella. Here is a picture from her website:
Mine didn't look too much like that. Mine were mostly round, but they were edible and that's the main part. Also I could only find a lemon cake mix and since I made these at the last minute, that's what I went with. So I used a lemon cake mix, cream cheese frosting, and half were covered in white almond bark and the other half with melted Hershey's milk chocolate chips. (I only recently discovered the secret to working with dipping chocolates is using 50% power on my microwave.)
If I can make them, you can make them. AND they are really good so people actually think you can cook. Bakerella had some good tips on her website that helped a lot. I may even try them again this week because I only got to eat a couple of them, and now they sound really good. I bought a chocolate cake mix this time because it's hard to go wrong with chocolate.
Good luck! I hope your Holiday baking was as successful as mine! Merry Christmas!
Thursday, December 17, 2009
I wrote up this tutorial for a fun star runner table runner. Flag Day Farms by Minick and Simpson is one of my all time favorite fabric lines so I had to make my runner with it. It would make fun Christmas or Winter Stars as well.
It is similar to other off kilter stars blocks online with a couple exceptions. First I, of course, used a charm pack to make mine. Second, I make my stars just a little differently because, well, just because I'm funny like that.
I love how the narrow red border sets off the blocks. The finished size is 27" x 53-1/2." It is a 13-1/2" finished block.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Attitude Girls by Mary Engelbreit
Eden by Lila Tueller
and Spring Fever by Me and My Sister.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
This has come about in collaboration with Northcott Fabrics. My first pattern, Sweet Baby Kate, is designed using their fabric collection called Little Darlings Flannel by Ro Gregg.
This fabric will be in stores in February. I think it is a really sweet collection -- hence the name of the pattern. I just sent the pattern to the printer so I should have it in a week or so.
Check back next week. I will give away a couple patterns when I get them from the printer in celebration!
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
This quilt was inspired by Kim Komando. She has a computer talk show on Saturdays that we love to listen to. She is doing a big giveaway on her show for the holidays. I am offering this quilt to her as a giveaway. So call in to her show with a digital question and maybe you could win this quilt or some other cool giveaway.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Today I finally escaped into my sewing room. It has been 10 days, but who's counting? Last week my kids said they wanted Halloween pillowcases. Monday I made a quick trip to the quilt shop and found this bat print on clearance! Today I managed to make Halloween pillowcases. Good thing there will be another Halloween. I'm pretty prepared for next year!
Thursday, October 22, 2009
There's still time for you to enter the challenge if you want. Your original wall hanging doesn't have to be done and picture posted until Nov 10th. It does have to have to 1) use the Gobble Gobble fabric line, 2) use Pat's pumpkin applique shape, and 3) use the hourglass block in it. The details are all over at Moda Bakeshop. There will be Moda prizes for five winners. I hope they are just choosing winners randomly. It didn't say.
Thank goodness for quilt projects. They may not be cheaper than a therapist, but they are so much more satisfying!
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
In this tutorial, I show how to make this hourglass block, and I use it as an alternate block with just a plain square. The finished size of this block is 6", but I explain how to make this same quilt with any size block. It's easy. It is also easy to vary the size of the quilt by increasing or decreasing the number of blocks in the quilt.
Here is a link to the tutorial:
P.S. It really bugs me that the quilt isn't quilted. My quilt machine is broken. (Ughh!) I will take a new picture when the quilt is quilted and bound and washed.
And now. . . . off to make more quilts!
Monday, October 19, 2009
Here is a link to their blog and the information about this specific project. Their deadline is Nov 15th. They call this project Hope Squared because they are suggesting you just sew squares together because that makes a fast and easy quilt. They will take other patterns and they will finish it for you! Being a long arm quilter, I despise the thought of just sending a top, but my machine is out of order so I will just be sending a top (and backing and binding and batting if it fits in my box).
I am continually amazed at what a giving group of people that quilter's are. Helping children really brings out the best in us.
I had some leftover material from my bulls eye quilt "Kaffe Fassett Meets the 30s" (see previous post) so I sewed them together with a few skinny white strips for fun and ended up with this cheery quilt.
Friday, October 16, 2009
First there was this great quilt from Simply Charming Fun. It is actually a bonus pattern, a variation of Charming Stars. I love it made up in this Riley Blake fabric line, All Star Cottons. Blue and brown are great boy colors! Of course, I love them as well.
Then there was this quilt from Simply Charming Circles. I actually made this quilt. I wasn't able to get it quilted because my machine is having trouble right now (Ugh!) This is the Bull's Eye pattern. I can't wait to get it quilted and washed! I am going to call it "Kaffe Fassett meets the 30s" just as an inside joke to make me laugh. The prints are 30s prints, but the solids are Kaffe Fassett fabrics.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Then I folded the back around from the front and top stitched it. (I still do that occasionally, but not too often.)
Then I discovered making a separate continuous binding. Corners were still a problem, but at least they were raw edge. Where the beginning and ending of the binding overlapped, I just showed one end underneath, turned the other end under and slip stitched it closed.
After someone showed me the corners, my bindings started looking MUCH better, but there was still the beginning and end. Another kind quilting soul (fortunately there are many kind quilting souls in the world) showed me how to take the quilt out from under the sewing machine and cut the binding just enough longer to finish off the binding with a straight seam. THEN my bindings finally looked good. You couldn't tell where I stopped and started because it looked like every other seam.
That was really a good method, but using a diagonal seam works even better. The problem was I had trouble figuring out how long the binding tail at the end should be. I used the Fons & Porter method successfully, but I always had to refer to their "cheat sheet" to remember how to do it. Enter another kind quilting soul -- she showed me this method. . . .
I have seen it in a few places now. It is my all time favorite way to bind a quilt. That was the long way to say "Here is a free tutorial on Machine Binding. Enjoy!"
Give it a try and let me know what you think!
Monday, October 5, 2009
She is always doing one fun challenge or another. I am usually not inclined to sign up because I worry that I will get half way through and not finish.
Then I read about her "Pumpkin Challenge" at the Moda Bakeshop with "Gobble Gobble" fabric. I was intrigued initially because Pat Sloan of P&B Textiles is working with Moda fabric! Isn't the quilting community great! Then she was working with pre-cuts so now I'm thinking about it.
That "thinking about it" stage didn't last very long. I love the folk art pumpkin, and it just has to be wall hanging size. I signed up Saturday night, dreamt about my wallhanging Saturday night, and drew it out and figured out yardage Sunday morning. Now it is Monday morning, and I am off right now to buy the fabric.
Don't I have anything better to do? Of course! I recently decided that I do some of my best work when I have something better to do!
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Judy used the charm pack "Recipe for Friendship" charm pack by Mary Engelbreit for Moda. I absolutely love it! It is great to see how different fabric changes the tone of a quilt. The green background fabric really sets off all those bright colors.
Thanks for sharing Judy!
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
and all that she and others were making with selvages. (I have always spelled it selvedge, and I have since learned that both spellings are correct.)
I ordered her book on Amazon,
First I tried making a half log cabin with the square in one corner instead of the center. I had a bright center and was putting selvages on two sides of the square. Two blocks later, and I wasn't loving it. It was going too slow. Often when I experiment with something I want quick-ish results.
Many of you know me and my love of precuts. Well I grabbed a layer cake. (This one happens to be 9 by Sanae.) and started sewing. Two blocks later, and I was loving it this time. It was fun. Something that made it more fun was responses I got from other quilters. I had a few blocks done and showed them around and my friends started giving me their selvages. So now not only is the quilt a selvage quilt, but it also like a signature quilt -- my friend's "signatures" are there in their selvages. TOO FUN!
Here's the picture:
One of these days I think I will have to make a selvage bag, but that project is definitely for another day.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
The winner of the book is Indywriter!
Email me (email@example.com) your address, and I will get that right out to you.
Thanks for playing everyone.
Friday, September 18, 2009
Simply Charming FUN has arrived!
Here are the rest of the projects in the book~
Here is Charming Stars and a Bonus Star Throw:
Thursday, September 17, 2009
The star quilt, Autumn Nights is made from the Moda fabric line Essence by Sandy Gervais. I love the way these two blocks complement each other. This fabric made the perfect autumn quilt.
The lower quilt, Charming Rick Rack, is made from another Moda fabric line Mill House Inn by Fig Tree Quilts. It is surprising how easy this quilt goes together. The renewed interest in rick rack inspired this book. Rick rack is so fun and interesting. It has a playful nature that makes me smile.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Of course, if you have reds and pink fabrics in your stash, then by all means, use those! And who says hearts have to be red? This would be fun in other colors too; just make the nine patch lighter than the hearts so your hearts pop.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
This would also be a great scrap quilt. I wonder what it would look like in some of the oceanic prints like Odyssea or Neptune. What about brighter ocean prints like Snorkel by Cosmo Cricket for Andover Fabrics? Or what about a realistic ocean print? Lots of fun ideas.
Michelle had several requests for this quilt as she was making it. The little fish just fly (or swim) together.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Signing the proof is the scariest part of the process for me. That means I get to spend lots of money, and if there is a mistake it is all my fault. EEK! By this point I have had the patterns tested and had checked and rechecked a gazillion times. Mostly I pray that if there is a mistake, it isn't a big one. It's like going on a trip, I know I am going to forget something, I just hope it isn't something important.
Just for fun I will give one of my books away when I get them.
Stay tuned towards the end of September -- should be around the 21st -- for the freebie!
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
I first heard about this project at Sew, Mama, Sew! a week or two ago. There is an army major stationed in Iraq, Major Art LaFlamme, whose wife is a quilter. He has asked any quilter who wants to help, to send him quilt supplies (or knitting supplies) that he will take to Iraqi ladies. Wanted to help then, but didn't.
I got an email about it today from Karey Bresenhad, the director of the International Quilt Festival in Houston, forwarded through my local quilt guild. They have formed The Festival Brigade to help with this service opportunity. They say the deadline to mail the packages is Sept 7, but that's Labor Day, so I guess the deadline is THIS SATURDAY!
There are instructions on how to package these boxes and suggestions on what to put in them at the official website. Here is the link to the main page. The address is not on the website as the deadline is soon and Major LaFlamme doesn't want packages delivered when he isn't there to see that they get to their destination. You can email me (firstname.lastname@example.org), and I will email you the address, or you can leave a comment on the official website and Major LaFlamme will send you the address.
Here is a quote about the distribution from Major LaFlamme:
"Some would be delivered by US forces, to local individuals and to local groups and small businesses who have had micro grants or loans from either the US or the Iraqi government. I see this as reinforcing good with more good. Some would also go out with US forces, to places like rural villages, camps for displaced persons, orphanages (which often means single moms who are without tribal men to provide for them), and the like. And some would go to our partners in the Iraqi security forces or police.
They would work with their subordinate units and local tribal leaders to then get the stuff out to those who can use it. This is important, as it does things that range from letting them engage the locals in ways other than questioning or arrests, to showing the locals that the Iraqi government, by proxy, understands and is working to meet their needs. It's not the same as electricity 24 hours a day, but it shows that the government understands and is trying."
I am setting a goal to walk downstairs and bundle up some fabric that I haven't used for years and don't plan on using anymore and send it on. I can send at least one box. Can you?
Monday, August 31, 2009
I had been planning on making some quilted covers for composition notebooks having seen this Quarterly Challenge from American Patchwork and Quilting to make a journal cover. I had even suggested to my daughter that we make some journal covers for some of her friends for their birthdays.
So when I saw the fabric covered moleskines tutorial, I instantly decided to try it (even though I don't like to iron). I didn't know what a moleskine was (I do now after seeing the link from the tutorial), but it looked like a composition notebook so I used the same idea with my composition notebooks. I knew it would be a lot faster than making a cover so next thing I knew --
I had six made. I made them in sets of two because I found that 1/3 yard of fabric would make two. Also the double-sided fusible webbing I had was Steam-a-Seam lite. It just happened to be 12" wide. I cut that about 18" long which was enough to go around the composition notebook with an inch or two to spare so I didn't have to line everything up exactly.
Then I ran down to the store to pick up more composition notebooks while they are on the "Back to School" sale for fifty cents. I bought 19 of them. It filled up a box that was there. With a project this easy, I really can do it with my kids for friend birthday presents.
When I got home, I let my oldest pick out some fabric since one of her friends had a birthday last week and another in a couple weeks. This is what we ended up with:
The purple ones are for her friends, the crocodiles are for her and her brother. (There's one brother and lots of little sisters who would like the flowers and polka dots that I had already made. The tan and blue "Halfway Cafe" fabric by Cosmo Cricket is mine. It is my lastest favorite fabric.) Oh--the light blue notebook with flowers was light enough that the notebook showed through a little. My little girl just said that was where she could put her name. So I took a Sharpie and wrote her name on it, and she was happy.
Is this project as easy as it sounds? YES!!!
To make the composition notebook version of the fabric covered moleskines here's what you need (for two notebooks):
- 1/3 yard of fun fabric
- 2 composition notebooks
- 1 yard of double-sided fusible webbing that is 12" wide (maybe less if your webbing is a different width)
- Scissors and an iron
- Read the fabric covered moleskines tutorial.
- Cut fusible webbing into two rectangles each 12" x 18" wide (this is generous so if you are a little smaller it's okay).
- Fuse both rectangles of webbing onto the wrong side of your fabric. Cut fabric a little bigger than the webbing rectangles. Peel paper backing off the fusible webbing.
- Lay fabric down with webbing up. Place composition notebook on the fabric. Smooth fabric over the notebook. The nice thing about the Steam-a-Seam webbing is that it was tacky. Other webbings may be like this as well, I don't know. Because it was tacky, I pressed it onto the notebook, reposition, smooth, so the fabric looked just right.
- Because the fabric was tacky, I trimmed the fabric at this point. That is different than the tutorial.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
I had a four year old home for a week while her three older siblings were at Grandpa and Grandma's house. She liked these scraps so we made them into a doll quilt for her. Had just enough to make a little pocket. Four year olds can't stand to have one of their favorites not included. As you can see, it isn't just for dolls. It is also for bears or puppies or ponies.
Because of it's size, I actually made a second attempt at hand quilting. This time I tried outlining each block. Except that got boring so on one of the rectangles, I followed the dots diagonally and on another one I followed the swirls of the flowers.
I tell you, that is enough hand quilting for me for a while. Binding is enough to fill my quota of hand work for a while. I think it will grow on me, but now school has started and soccer, gymnastics, etc so busy off and running instead of sitting and fiddling.
Friday, August 28, 2009
Here is what I came up with:
I used the strips between 9" squares, rotated every other row since they weren't going to line up anyway and trimmed the rows to the same length. The striped fabric separating the rows was the binding for the quilt the leftovers were from that I decided not to use.
These quilts are going to one of my aunts who is made 5 quilts for a silent auction to raise money for two of her grandson's football team. Her quilts were all bed size so I told her I would send her some smaller quilts to add to her silent auction. The school colors are blue and gold.
My sister said she wanted to make a quilt for them as well so we got together yesterday and each made a row quilt. These are quick quilts to make that get quilted as you sew them together so you don't need to send it off to the long arm quilter. We made these two in about three hours which included checking on kids, making lunch for kids, etc. That includes the binding.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
I dipped the thin cinnamon rolls in whipped eggs and fried them like french toast. Then I took the cream cheese frosting and put it on top of the french toast cinnamon rolls and topped them with cut up fresh strawberries. Yummy!!!
Did I mention that I am pregnant. I will worry about calories in a few months after the baby comes. Until then, I think I have another package of cinnamon rolls in the fridge. Better go get some more fresh strawberries. . . .
With all of that I have a cover for the new book, Simply Charming FUN!
I am pleased with how the cover turned out. This book has some fun patterns in it -- fish (obviously), hearts, rick rack, stars, stripes, etc. Yes, I haven't tired of charm packs yet. They are so much fun to work with!
While the exterior is ready for market, the interior isn't yet. I didn't realize how much having market a week or so earlier would sneek up on me. Deadlines for everything are earlier. Ahhh! Now to take pictures and of course, editing, editing, editing. Always editing.
I should have the book in hand by the end of September. I have a great printer.
Just for fun I will give one of my books away when I get them.
Stay tuned towards the end of September -- should be around the 21st -- for the freebie!
Saturday, July 25, 2009
The monkeys from P&B Textiles collection called Safari So Good coming out this fall,
and the Farm Toile from the Benartex collection called Farmyard Toile.
So I will have to add my vote to break the tie. Actually I liked the sewing machines. I thought that one would have been a fun challenge, but that doesn't break the tie. I will see which one is easier to get my hands on.
Now for the winner of the drawing . . .
I went to random.org to generate a random number. I think random numbers are fascinating. They rarely seem truely random. So the winner is number 1. How can the number 1 be random? And yet it is.
The first post was made by Jana. Yeah for Jana! Thanks for being the first post! Jana, email me your address at email@example.com, and I will send you out some of our challenge fabric when I get it. (That may be a month or two, but I will send it.)
Thanks for playing! Happy 25th of July!
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
That being said, I have often thought that I would like to learn to hand quilt. I knew I would start on a baby quilt because that size of project would be managable. I have seen many hand quilted quilts. I have seen people hand quilting in guild meeting. BUT last month I went to a hand quilting demonstration at our local Peteetneet Quilt Show by Dawnalyn Hall who has won several viewer's choice awards for her hand quilting in our quilt show. That inspired me to want to try hand quilting sooner than later.
I fell in love with these doll quilts from the Temecula Quilt Company that were on the Moda Bake Shop. I finished one of my projects on Saturday and whipped up my doll quilt from my scraps. Here it is marked and basted ready to quilt! It was little enough that I didn't really get nervous starting.
I had planned on quilting it with echo quilting or stitch in the ditch. However, I was inspired by this post from Minick and Simpson "Fuss Free Hand Quilting." I love the baptist fan pattern. I love how Laurie Simpson pointed out the "randomness" of her arcs, and that she had made them that way on purpose -- to make it look more antique.
TA DA! I am so pleased with how my first hand quilting experience with. I loved the doll quilt size. It was perfect. I was able to quilt it in two days.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Yeah!! I am sending them my first shipment today.
Books are also still available with my current distributors -- Checker and Brewer.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
I am already picking out fabric for the challenge next year. I am having too much fun. I can't decide!!!!
I need your help! Let me know which fabric you think would be a fun challenge fabric. I will take suggestions until the 24th of July, and on July 25th I will randomly pick out of those who have given their opinion. Then I will send a fat quarter of our fabric to whoever is randomly chosen.
Here's what I have narrowed it down to:
3) Farm Toile
4) Happy Birthday
See what I mean! They are all so fun. I think any of them would be great.
Let me know what you think by July 24th!