Friday, December 31, 2010

Inspiration in Purples and Greens

A while back I visited the quilt shop in my favorite historic village and found inspiration. This shop sells the ready made quilts as opposed to the fabric to make them.

I've long had a love affair with purple and green and finding this just reiterated that love.

After gushing profusely to my boyfriend he gave me his "permission" to redecorate our bedroom with these colors.

Aren't these pillows beautiful? So now all I need is to find the "perfect" pattern for the quilt since I think I've found the perfect fabric in Moda's Lilac Hill and Dragonfly Summer which I'll probably round out with some other purple and green fabric.

Perhaps accomplishing my purple and green quilt would make a good goal for 2011.

In other news I have a job interview on Monday at my *gasp* local quilt store. This time the one where you get the supplies to make your quilt. Fabric heaven! I'm not even daring to hope, but if my fingers get any more crossed they may stick that way!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

A New Scarf

I've been making a new scarf for Alayssa, sort of a belated Christmas gift at this point. I found the pattern on Ravelry and it's called Invictus by Emily Ringelman.
I'm using a lovely yarn, Lion Brand Tweed Stripes on US size 13 needles and we both (yes she knows about it) love the soft variegation of colors as the pattern is worked. I'm just going to keep knitting until the skein is gone. I think it's coming along rather well.
What do you think?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

How's a Person Supposed to Get Any Sewing Done?

I wanted to play with my new fabric, especially my Sunkissed Charm Pack since that's the one Alayssa wants a quilt out of. I had everything set out on my bed then went to get a cuppa tea.
When I came back...

Darwin: "But mom, you fabric makes such a nice bed."

"Are you sure you wouldn't rather cuddle with me?"

After cuddles I was able to open Sunkissed. The colors are so bright and pretty, I just love them!
Someone else was interested too, see that little pink nose coming to check it out.

Toulouse: "Hrmmm, what do we have here?"

"Awww Mom, a new bed for me? You really shouldn't have!"

Finally, all alone and here it is.

I'm particularly loving the greens.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Holiday Hot Pads

Lewis' Dad and Step-mom are wonderful people who have an honest appreciation of hand
made gifts. So, since money was a little, ok non-existant as far as gifts were concerned for extended family and they were more more than generous to us I thought it would be nice to put a gift basket together to take to them when we go for dinner later this week.

Since I know they love gingerbread cookies (how serendipitous) I'm putting in my chocolate chip gingerbread cookie recipe in a mix form and these...
They were fun to make and relatively simple. I used the Duck & Ducklings block and Churn Dash block from Leisure Arts Teach Yourself Blocks from the Past.

On the lighter hot pad of the two the foundation block is made from some of the fabric from my Fruitcake charm pack, the border I'm not sure of was from free gift with purchase, the darker of the two is made from my stash.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Vintage Baby Quilt by Yo Yo Mama Designs

No, I don't have a baby on the way, but my LQS had a sample of this quilt on display and it is just too adorable so I had to get the pattern in hopes of making me a lap quilt version.
See, too cute!

Friday, December 24, 2010

My Holiday Wish for You

Happy Christmas Eve Day, may this and the day following it be merry and bright, may peace by in your heart and may you be surrounded by the love of family and friends.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Braving the Last Minute Shopping Frenzy

We had to make a run to Walmart, not even for holiday stuff, just stuff in general... It was a mad house!

The fabric department was nice and quiet though and I found myself asking for yard cuts of some pretty fabric.
No idea what I'm going to do with these but aren't they pretty? I think I just needed a little breath of spring to cheer me up and this was just the ticket.

Having been inspired by the Quilts of Valor I've seen recently in real life and blog life I am inspired to start collecting fabrics for a patriotic test quilt . If it turns out well I hope to begin making QoV for my fellow service men & women.

I now return you to you regularly scheduled holiday chaos.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Holiday Retail Therapy

Soon into my first marriage I learned that if you want to get gifts that you really want, you have to buy it yourself.
I have gotten the most wonderful gifts ever since and it's great. So even now when I have the most wonderful man in my life that is thoughtful and generous to a fault I still indulge myself.

Yesterday I took Alayssa out to spend part of her birthday money (she's sweet sixteen today) that she got during her family birthday dinner Sunday. She wanted to go to her favorite shop in Gardner Village to get jewelry. Well how serendipitous that my favorite quilt shop happens to be right across the way from said shop. They had some pretty fat quarters on sale for $1.25 and *gasp* as part of their holiday sale the Moda Bake Shop charm packs were buy one get one half off!! Wheeeee!!! (The holiday charm packs were a straight across %50 off).

So, I indulged in a wee bit of retail therapy to combat the birthday/holiday that an oxymoron?

I loved the Fresh Cotton pack and Alayssa requested the Sunkissed pack and at half price I couldn't resist the Fruitcake.

I've cleared it with Lewis and I get to redecorate out room with purples and greens. I think I've found my fabric in Lilac Hill and Dragonfly Summer. Now to get the 10" layer cakes.

Some pretty browns and blues to add to my fat quarter collection

And finally some pretty florals...and too cute to pass up elephants.

So what am I going to do with my pretty fabric? I was thinking this to give to Lewis' god daughter , and this just because I love it... and maybe this too, oh, and this, and...well, you get the idea.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

12" Black & White Block

Remember these?

They became this.
I used a puff stitch pattern from Leisure Arts leaflet 2330 Quilt Afghans 2 and my hand had a cramp by the time I was done since it's worked in a tight space. Each block measured 3 inches square.

Now I just need to brave the masses and go to the post office to send it to Northern Utah.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

This morning we had a wee bit of sun which was nice. It shines through my bedroom window and hits right on the very spot of my bed that I sit on while I'm on my laptop.
I promised pictures of my last project yesterday...and I lied. So you get it today instead.
This is the pattern I used
Photo courtesy of Google

I fell in love with the fabric mostly because I love the colors but even more when I saw that it was 60% off at JoAnn's. Love the fall leaves.

The pretty green has gold glitter flecks shot through the fabric, the kind that doesn't shed. Those are the yellow spots you're seeing. It's just so pretty, I love it!
It's got a spot for crochet hooks and you can fit a LOT of crochet hooks in there.
And it fits up to a 14" long knitting needle and it's roomy enough to fit big needles, those two blue sets are US size 13 and you can see they both fit in the same pocket.

What would I do differently? I think it would benefit from two sets of ties at the ends rather than one center tie but other than that I think it's great.

In crochet news...
I'm remembering how much I don't like joining a bunch of little blocks... Pretty though aren't they.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Random Bits

I think I may have angered the fiber fairies. They don't seem terribly happy with me at the moment. I went to start a project that called for a size 6 knitting needle... usually I'd have three or four pair laying about but no, this time I could only find one pair with a project already on it.
Not a big deal, I'll just move on to a different project. This one I wanted to find my Leisure Arts 99 crocheted blocks (I don't know the exact title and I haven't yet found it so I can't check) book for. Is it anywhere to be found? All my other crochet and knitting books are where they usually are...not that one.
*Sigh* Ok, plan C. I found another crochet block pattern to use then went to get the recommended hook, US size H. I have three each of G, I, J & K. Do I have a single H? Nope, not a one. Arrrrgggh!! Luckily I managed to get gauge with an I so I'm ok there but still... Just crazy.
In happier news I took a "Getting to Know Your Serger" class tonight. Best $15 I've ever spent. My serger is over 6 years old and I've never really used it because I couldn't get it to work. After enough failed attempts it got set aside and after three moves, forgotten. Until now, I've got my new sewing machine, my dressmakers form and a desire to do more fashion sewing (as well as a daughter requesting items. ) I figured one last try.
After tonight I'm looking around for projects to make! It turns out that the manual instructs you to thread the machine wrong. ?!?!? Wrong you say? Yes, wrong. My instructor tonight chalked it up as being written by engineers that don't really know anything about serging. At this point I could care less, I'm just thrilled to be the proud owner of a functional serger at last! Now to figure out where to put it.
I have a little project I will have finished up and ready to show you tomorrow. I'm pretty pleased with how it came out. Until then take care!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Project Satchel

The other night I made my first ever, off the top of my head, project satchel. I know they're usually project bags, but this is most certainly a satchel as far as I am concerned. I made it I get to decide right?

I have plans to make one as a gift now that the initial flubs are worked out. Overall I'm pretty pleased as punch with how this turned out and I think it will work up pretty quickly too. I heart quick and easy projects don't you?
Side A

Being the first of it's kind I certainly made some blunders. I'm going to list my good's and need to remember to's so I don't forget to learn from this.
Side B

It actually turned into a, satchel!!
All my corners matched up on the patchwork.
The lining fit perfectly the first try.
All the fabric but three 5" blocks and the muslin lining are from my stash

Need to remember to...
Layer in some batting and do some quilting on the patchwork
Measure better for the straps
Interface the straps
Plan better for the inside pocket.
Make two inside pockets
Start and put it away at a decent hour...I stayed up working on this until 2am.
Lining with the pocket facing in with the body inside out (right sides facing) slipped inside, leave a space to turn and sew around perimeter to connect the two.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Look What the Boyfriend Bought Me!

Isn't he a wonderful boyfriend?! I'm so lucky to have a guy that not only puts up with my space taking, clutter causing hobbies but actually contributes to them as well.

But seriously, With a title like that how could I resist?!? It was screaming at me from the book shelf.

I adore anything with a retro feel and these jackets have it in spades! My Darling Daughter saw them and said "That's so Lucy!" (as in I Love Lucy)

And these skirts... *le sigh* Totally love that she's used quilting cotton, they just scream spring-y/summer to me.
The book comes with full sized patterns in the back but right up front Kay Whitt gives a very detailed intro to custom fitting, sewing accessories and notions as well as providing valuable techniques and tips for personal touches to "make it your own". I also love her diagrams for construction. The whole book is just put together in an excellent way.

Kay Whitt has a blog as well, it's titled...Sew Serendipity of course. I'm very excited to peruse it at my leisure. I'm almost a little star struck. Forget the seven steps to Kevin Bacon, I'm one blog from Kay Whitt! :D

**photo's from google images

Friday, December 3, 2010

My Bobble-less Tea Cozy

Oh dear, my Ravelry project list says that I started this little beauty back in May! QoP (Queen of Procrastination) didn't get around to weaving in the ends and sewing on the buttons until Nov 29th.

This is my first tea cozy and I'm not sure how in the world I ever managed without one. As we speak I am enjoying a hot cuppa from the pot I made almost an hour ago! No more cold tea for me!

This was so simple to work up and I loved how quickly it came together (except for the end weaving/button part) and lets face it, you can't beat a free pattern, many thanks and gratitudes to Amy at Lollipop Knits!
Check out these adorable buttons by Favorite Findings, aren't they just perfect?

What I really love is how perfectly it fits my elephant tea pot that Dear Heart Boyfriend bought for me.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Fall Apron

I adore aprons. It doesn't matter whether they're old or new, half or bib, I love them. I'd like to say I have a huge collection of them but I don't. I have one purchased, a couple inherited and three or so that I've made myself. I thought it was time to add to the collection so I decided to make another.

I wish I could say that I whipped this up in the course of an evening, but I'd be lying. I am after all, the Queen of Procrastination. I managed to drag this lovely out for almost two months, don't ask me how.

I used this pattern pattern. I made view A minus the trim because I was trying to just use things I had in my stash. I plan on getting a little bit of lace and using it to put the pocket on though. They must have used some pretty awesome starch or tulle to boof those babies out back in the 50's mine looks a bit limp by comparison (and we won't even get into those itty bitty waists).
Photo courtesy of Google

Weather says I need to make a winter apron now.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Alayassa announced the other day that I should make her a skirt. So yesterday we went to Hancock Fabric to "just" look at patterns.
Fifty dollars later we walk out with a pattern, fabric and notions for her skirt, some adorable fabric destined for greatness as an apron and a project bag, some new sewing scissors that were on sale for dirt cheap, other random bits as well as a scheduled night to attend a "Get to Know Your Serger" class. This is for a serger I've owned for maybe 8 years and haven't been able to figure it out (hangs head in shame).
She selected several other patterns that she'd like as well and I told her that I'm determined she learn to sew, so I'm going to make her help me. I've tried to teach her off and on over the years but it's not something my little artist has been interested in. This probably won't change anything but I think it's a useful skill to at least have the basics on.

Today I'm starting off the day making turkey stock to use in making Butternut Squash Chowder. We had it for Thanksgiving at Lewis's moms and fell in love with it. It was soooo good. Then I'm making a raspberry cherry pie and packing up the lot to take to grandma's for dinner.
If I have time I'm going to make her a card too. She was in a car accident Thanksgiving Day and while she's "fine" by Dr. standards, she's bruised and sore and more than a little down at the moment.

So I'm off, wish me luck in all my endeavors and have a grand day.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Wilfred the Snowman Block

I'm in a block swap on Ravelry and our December theme is...wait for it...Christmas. Big surprise on that one eh? Yeah, not so much.
The heart stopping surprise here is that for once I'm ahead of the game and have my block done *gasp* early! We haven't even had partners assigned yet.
I fudged a little though, rather than a blatant Christmas theme such as a tree or ornament or whatnot I decided to do a snowman dressed in his holiday best.

I named him Wilfred and he's very happy to make your acquaintance

Materials used:
Lion Brand Hometown USA in New York White for basic block
Red Heart Holiday Red/Silver for scarf & pom pom
Deborah Norville Everyday in Snow White for pom pom
Crystal Palace Yarns Panda Silk in color 4005 for the hat
I found the stinkinest cutest carrot button by JHB for his nose and the eyes and mouth are cut from felt then glued on with Aileens Ok to Wash It before I blanket stitched around them with black thread.
I think he turned out pretty durn cute and I hope my swap partner enjoys him.

As the Seasons Change so Does My Blog

Tonight I treated myself to my first "just because" bath in a long while. While I was fighting a nasty head and chest cold they became more of a necessity for breathing than a relaxing interlude. For those I would put Vicks rub under my nose and add a heady dose of oil of Eucalyptus, pine needle, lavender and rosemary to my bath water and do my best to inhale deeply.

Tonight I brewed a pot of perfect British tea (decaf since it is after midnight, and yes it was perfect, I'll never go back to a bag in a mug again.) Drew my bath, added some drops of oil of lemon and rosemary and let myself sink into bliss for about half an hour. Now I'm deliciously warm to my cockles and oh so relaxed.

I've been thinking about this blog as of late, it's slipped to the wayside while my nail blog and food blog have seen fairly regular use. It's settling into cold weather though and that has always been my time to hole up and entertain myself with my crafts. I have several knitting UFO's (unfinished objects) and at least as many sewing projects needing to be finished. There's also my paper crafts and beading, spinning and dying and other fiber crafts... Yes, I am rather chronic but I know myself too well to limit myself to just one or two. Variety is the spice of life right?

In the coming months I think this may turn into a log of my different crafts and musings of things in general...more of a journal than anything I suppose and perhaps if I'm feeling particularly creative I'll create tutorials to remind me how to do things.

I want this blog to be about me, for me. There will be no apologies for not posting and no excuses. I don't want this to turn into a "how many followers can I get?" or "give away every other day". I would love to have followers but I want them to be here because of a shared :) I'm only halfway teasing, that's pretty much what blogging is isn't it? Sharing yourself with others? Now I don't think my life is terribly fascinating and I'm not nearly as creative as some of the other women who's blogs I follow but I should be able to entertain on occasion.

So if you like, join me in another cup of tea grab a comfy seat and lets sit back and watch this phase of my blogs evolution take place.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Weather here has turned to fall. Temperatures have dropped and last night the clouds rolled in with flashes of lightning and claps of thunder. It's still really cloudy, not very warm and pretty breezy. All too soon it will be time to retreat inside for the winter. Good thing I get kitties in my lap for warmth.

Love me some kitty whiskers

I am feeling motivated to cook now that my kitchen won't spontaneously ignite from the heat, I made a couple of quiches yesterday with our fresh eggs and today I'm making fresh tomato soup. You can read more on them here once I update.

We here are enjoying the remainder of any nice weather while we can, I leave the back door open and the animals all wander out as they please.

Baby and Duncan enjoying some rays

The little top on the down low

This weekend there is a folk fest going on in our back yard sponsored by the church on the corner. They set up tents and booths and for three days it's food, music and fun. Thankfully they have a curfew and don't keep us up all hours. I rather like the big central tent they set up, it's rather like a colorful circus tent.

As far as my ickyness mentioned in my last post, it became a hideous cold and another massive tooth infection in two new teeth. However, I'm human again, thank the stars. Another round of antibiotics has taken care of the newest tooth infection and allowed my immune system to focus on clearing up the cold. I much prefer being healthy since I am one of the most pathetic people you will encounter when I'm sick. Tomorrow I go in for a root canal on one of the troublesome teeth, then I just have to figure out how to fund two more...*sigh* never a dull moment.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Goings on for September 3, 2010

Would you like a cup of tea? It's my favorite, Lemon Zinger. At the moment it's my ''comfort food" since I'm feeling less than stellar. Something nasty has decided to settle in my chest and while I'm not find of illness at any time, I'm less so when the sun is shinning.

I'm keeping myself busy though, I've a few things that I've been working on. As I said I picked up my knitting again. I'm keeping it simple with the blocks for the swaps that I participate in. The blue and white check is a summer block (checkered tablecloth) and the other is an animal print.

I've also been working on my spinning a bit. Here is a lovely Blue Faced Leichester wool I got from Ms. Babs. I love the colorway, it's called Daylilly and it describes the color to a 'T'. I'm using my first lace weight bobbin that I picked up at Three Wishes, I'm pretty excited about finally being able to spin super fine, it's taking some practice though.

And finally, my stitch markers that I've been working on. I send them out with the blocks I knit for my swaps. One set went to England, another to Australia. The photo was taken on my new favorite knitting book Vogue Knitting Stitchonairy 3 which covers color work. It's where I got the patterns for the two blocks above.

While I was out running errands I picked up a book that had been on hold at the Library. Storm Front by Jim Bucher. It's the first in the Dresden Files series. I fell in love with the TV series which only lasted one season, lets see if the book has more to offer.

Photo Courtesy of