Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Ottoman recover

Hubby found this ottoman and a little loveseat sitting out at the curb in our neighborhood with a FREE sign on them and thought I would like them both.

On the ottoman I was going to remove the old leather/vinyl cover and redo it with denim or muslin before making the removable/washable slipcover, but once I got into it I realized that there was straw or something like that under it all and so I ultimately had to leave the wrecked vinyl and just make the slipcover to put over top of that.
Sometimes the fabric dictates what you will do with your project. I bought this remant piece and probably would have thought about making a slightly longer skirt, but there wasn't enough of it and I wanted this piece. Also, had I had more fabric I would've FOR SURE done the piping fabric on the bias (it looks and lays so much nicer), but alas, I couldn't do it with limited amount of fabric.

Our cousin, Tiffany, suggested doing a monogram on the ottoman and I really like it. Gotta love it when I can put my embroidery machine to good use.

This picture above shows more the true color of this fabric--very lime green, but I love it. Hubby's comment about the ottoman--since he is the one who found it--"That looks nice, although that's an interesting color fabric". Leave it to the men in our lives to either keep it real, or not get it at all.

Stay tuned for the loveseat transformation hopefully within the next couple of weeks (O.K. let's realistically say, before Christmas). The weather has turned cool here and I am motivated to finish the living room projects, 1 hide-a-bed, a loveseat, paint, and some different accessories.

Monday, September 28, 2009


This quilt has been hiding in my sewing room since January. (Does anyone else have unfinished projects tucked away somewhere?) I decided to rescue it over the weekend. All it was lacking was the sad.

(back side)

It's now finished and in my quilt closet, ready to be enjoyed by the rascals.

Quilt details are here.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

What I've been up to

I managed to get two blankets made before baby #2 came. We used the pink one to bring her home from the hospital.

this stitch on the border is my favorite. Using embroidery thread.

Original swaddling blanket how to HERE

*****The instructions say to use a 45" square piece of fabric, but since I wanted to use what I had in my stash these blankets are 36" x 45". Plenty big for a newborn. The 45" square blankets would be even bigger. I'd say you could use them for toddlers.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Basketweave Knitted Hat

We got the inspiration for this hat from the book, "Let's Knit", by Monette Satterfield, which we checked out at the library. Miss M. loves the color ORANGE and she already had some fun yarn (discontinued JoAnn's Belleza Collection Stellina--which is a wool blend) and asked me if I would knit this hat for her.

Here is the basic pattern:

Cast on 108 stitches on size 5 US 16" circular needles.

Tie ends together and place marker.


Work 8 rows of ribbing in *K2 P2*, repeated until end.
For basketweave:

*K6 P6* repeated until end of row.
Repeat for 6 rows.

Then *P6 K6* repeated until end of row.
Repeat for 6 rows.

You will end up with "weaves" of 6 stitches by 6 rows each.

Do above pattern 4 more times so that you end up with 10 total "weaves". (approx. 7 inches long)
Bind off all edges.

Then sew top opening closed.

Make and attach tassles (or pom poms if you prefer) at each corner.Wear and be warm and fashionable.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Soup Starter

I don't know if you are like me, but there are days (some days more than others) that I really don't want to cook dinner. However, I do like food, and I love soups during the winter months. This recipe is a pressure canned soup starter. I believe I got this from either our Grandma J. or Aunt Gayle--either way, same side of the family.

Soup Starter

Layer in 1 qt. jar

1/2 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Beef bouillon (or 1 cube)
2 Tbs. Pearled barley **See note below
Handful of chopped celery
Handful of peeled, diced carrots (I just cut mine into 1/4" thick disks)Peeled, cubed potatoes (fill to w/in 1 inch of rim of jar)

Pour hot water over top of all ingredients to w/in 1" of rim of jar.
Remove air bubbles.
Clean lip of jar.
Adjust 2 piece lid and canning ring.
Pressure can (not hot water bath!) for 75 minutes at 11# pressure.
THIS IS AN UPDATED time from the latest info at the National Center for Home Preservation: Originally this recipe was for 40 minutes at 10# pressure.

You can get 7 quart jars in a pressure canner at once. I usually do 2 batches of soup starter (14 total quarts) and this is what I buy for the veggies.
  • 10# of potatoes (it all gets used up)
  • 5# bag of carrots (mostly use all the bag)
  • 2 bunches of celery (I use about 1 1/2)
Once canned and sitting pretty in your pantry, the only thing you need to do to eat it is warm it up. We usually add chunked stew meat (also pressure canned so I just dump that in too), but you could brown a pound of hamburger and add to it, or some cooked chicken chunks. If you like, add some diced tomatoes to it. My family loves this soup and it is great to eat with yummy homemade bread. It tastes like I've been slaving away all day long....just genius! That then leaves me more time to play in my sewing room!

UPDATE:  Barley is not a recommended item to be canned.  Eliminate this and just add already cooked when opening the soup to reheat.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Family Reunion Quilt {Finished}

Finished up the reunion quilt.
All the details and dimensions can be found here.

My mom is coming out the first part of October, so I'll give it to her then.
I did simple quilting around each block. You can see it on the back side if you look closely.

(Close up of the backing fabric and the binding.)

The binding and the back border fabric are the same. I like how it makes the binding disappear on the back side.

I have been very happy with my last couple of bindings. I am getting pretty comfortable at hand sewing. Mom will be proud!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Heirloom Quilts

I had a fantastic weekend. We took a trip to visit my in laws in the southern part of our state. While I was there my mother-in-law pulled out the "family quilts." I thought I was going to die when I saw the stuff she was pulling out! There were a LOT! These were all made by my husband's Grandma and Great-Aunt. They were beautifully hand quited and very OLD! Some are in better shape than others, but it was pretty cool to see them all!

I thought some of you might also like to see them. I'm sure you can appreciate beautiful old quilts as I can. I learned that Grandma cut up her old dresses to make the pink scrap quilt in the bottom left corner. She was a great recycler. Plus, she loved bright colors (check out her spider web quilt!). She also made a quilt for each of her grand kids. Ours was the last one she made before she died.

My MIL also gave me this applique' quilt made by the Great-Aunt. I am supposed to save it for my oldest daughter's wedding. I'm not sure if I can hide it away for that long. But, isn't it pretty? All hand quilted and appliqued. These women have got some TALENT!! I am lucky to be the recipient of such beautiful work.

Hourglass Winner picked


who said...

"Ohh, I love it. I'd probably add a border to make it a bit bigger and then it would have a lovely home in my guest bedroom that is those exact colors! Thanks for the chance to win!"

I can't wait to see it when it's done!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Hourglass Quilt Top Giveaway (300th Post!!)

This is an hourglass quilt I started awhile back.
It's made from scraps, odds and ends, and a few shirts I cut up.

It measures 39" by 49"
(And, yes, I know there are 3 squares that are turned wrong. I'll fix them...)

I had full intentions of making it a regular sized quilt top

...until I spotted this quilt in one of my magazines. I guess you could say I've moved on. I am now trying to figure out a way to sneak some plaid shirts out of my husbands closet without him knowing.

So, in honor of our 300th post I'm giving away my hourglass top to some lucky person who is willing to finish it and give it a nice home.

To enter, leave a comment telling us what you'd do with the quilt if you won. Oh, the possibilities: a table runner, the lining of a bag, pillows, a play mat for kids, or even a wall hanging. Do tell! Make sure you leave your email if we can't contact you through blogger. And if you feel the need to send a plaid shirt my way, I'd be happy to accept it! (Though it won't help you win :)

Winner will be posted on Monday!

As always, flickr provides hours of inspiration. I really like this one with white as the border.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Painting Decisions

I am in the process of trying to paint my living room a color--I say that because since we've lived in this house (11 yrs.) the walls have been white. I'm tired of them. And since I've ripped up every stitch of carpet in my upstairs to expose the nice hardwood underneath I need a change.

My cousin Tiffany has been nice enough to help me out--long distance via e-mail pics and conversations on the phone. She has been to my house so she knows the layout and lighting, etc. So it isn't like she is helping me blindly. (She was the one who helped me yank out all the carpet) We are getting close to the "right" color, but it isn't quite perfect yet, if there is such a thing.

This picture shows the latest 3 choices.
Left swatch = "Sandhurst" from Pittsburgh Paints the Nature Collection. It is also on the overhang section.

Middle swatch = "Crepe" from Behr Paints

Right swatch = "Warm Welcome" from Dutch Boy

The middle swatch is still my preferred choice although with the awful lighting in my house at times it looks a bit orange. The other challenge I have is that based on the layout of my home I will most likely have to paint my dining room, living room, and hallway to the bedrooms all the same color as there is no natural stop/start point. However, after trying out the other 2 colors (on each side of the crepe swatch) my husband and I both agree--no way, no how! Not the look we are trying to achieve. Crepe is still the front runner at this point.

Our daughter, L., however, liked the "warm welcome" yellow and so today while she was at school I went and used up the remainder of that little quart and painted a section of her room to change it up a bit. She was happy and I'm glad that I haven't wasted all the paint I keep trying out. (nice $5 change of scenery in her room)We need to move her bed back, but I think it looks pretty on her walls.

So the search for the right shade continues....Wish me luck! I guess I have all Winter to figure it out.

Friday, September 4, 2009

September Winner!!

The winner is Nancy!!
(Who happens to make very beautiful cakes!)

She said: "Those letters are so cute! You guys always do the cutest things though. My sewing dream would be to have my own room for sewing that wasn't shared with guns or toys. Maybe someday Ill be there."

So, Congrats to Nancy! Good Luck with your dreams...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

September Giveaway: Dream a little Dream

Giveaway is now closed
September is National Sewing Month (anyone know who decides these things). Leave a comment and share with us your sewing dream. Maybe it's your own private space, or just sprucing up that space, finishing what you started. Or learning a new technique.

My dream: Making my sewing room ultra girly. And a place I want to be (I'm thinking new paint. and lots of pink) Oh and I also want to make a zigzag quilt for my living room.

Dream letters. 9" tall.

Winner will be announced Friday, September 4th.


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