Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday Fun Facts: What's on your nightstand?

Here's what we're reading...


Honestly, I haven't read a book since Eat, Pray, Love which I thought was super snooze-ville. (Tried to finish it, but just couldn't get interested in her meltdown). I blame my lack of reading on my current life phase of new babies because I used to be an avid reader.

But here is what I want to read and is actually sitting on my nightstand:

The Intentional Family given to me by one of my favorite peeps
Crucial Conversations
It Takes A Mother to Raise A Village borrowed from my sister
Parenting with Love and Logic
The Maker's Diet from my sister in law


My husband bought me a Jane Austen collection for Christmas. I am one to start at the beginning of a book and never skip ahead, so since Sense and Sensibility was the first book, that's what I'm reading. But I am anxiously awaiting the finish so I can start Pride and Prejudice ~ One of my favorite movies!

I'm also reading Ella Enchanted with my eight year old.


I just finished reading Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins.

This is book #2 in The Hunger Games trilogy. This had been sitting by my bed for a week before starting it. I had checked it out from the library and since the request list was a long one for this book I had to hustle up and finish it. I waited a VERY long time to get this book, so I didn't want to drop back down to the bottom of the list. I think I read this in about 3 days time. Now I have to wait until later this summer for the final book to arrive. ARGH!!!

Next I am moving onto The Scarlet Pimpernel--recommended by Annette at her Book Barn Blog.

(Leslie, I just have to add that until maybe a year ago I hadn't read anything fun for myself in I don't know how many years. Seriously, for just the very reason you stated--the raising babies phase of my life.)

Now that you know what we're reading, we want to know what's on your nightstand! Do tell...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Bubble Dress {Oliver and S}

I've recently given myself some limits...can't cut out anything new until I finish current pile. It's been working because I'm slowly making progress on a huge stack of unfinished projects. Yay for limits!

I cut this out over a year ago, started sewing it 6 months ago and finally finished last week. Luckily, it happens to be my two year old's current size.

Back view

Detail view of finishing on sleeve.

Detail view of fabric (Yellow Birds, Taxi Collection for Timeless Treasures)

Pattern pros:

Super Easy.
It's fully lined!
Did I mention how Easy? Yes, very, very easy.
Only uses one yard (not including lining). I'm a huge fan of one yard projects, patterns.

Pattern cons:

I'm undecided on that sleeve topstitching.

P.S. I can't stop thinking about pairing the dress with this beauty from JCrew.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Orange Mango Tango Quilt

...for lack of a better name that is what I am going with for this quilt I made in January. The fabric I have had for at least a year...but I am thinking most likely longer than that.

This is just a basic Disappearing 9 Patch design but I arranged it so that it appears to have a bit of a border to it. Besides the fact that this quilt is LOUD and CRAZY I am extremely happy with the quilting option that I tried on this one. I wasn't sure about it at first, but now I am loving it.

I used my newly acquired machine and quilted using one of the embroidery stitches available on it. I had seen this type of quilting done in some book from the library (that I can't remember now which book), but it added a different element to the quilt's look.

I just have to say that doing this type of quilting will take MUCH more thread that you think. I had originally bought 2 spools of G├╝termann (110 yds. each) thinking that would be plenty. WRONG!! I ended up having to use 7 spools! (that would be 4 regular Coats & Clarks 250 yd. spools). When I went back to get more they were all out--and although they had some ordered they didn't know when exactly it would arrive in stock. Who knew that khaki/avocado green would be THE popular color of the week? I ended up hunting down more spools at another store. They held every spool they had in stock and then I drove more miles than I probably should have to get them so I could finish this project.


Finished Size: 60" W x 78" L

Cut 6" blocks

Cut 3" sashing strips

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Sweet Dreams Pillowcase

M. wanted to make a pillowcase for her older sister for Christmas this past year and so we made one in a collaborative effort. She mostly sewed it all. I did the embroidery and the serging of the edges. We think it turned out great. And L. was very pleased too.

Heidi Grace--Ice Cream Sodas--main color

Heidi Grace--Dots--Contrasting band (plus a little pink we had in the stash)

Click HERE for basic directions and measurements. Personalized and/or customized pillowcases are one of the quickest and easiest gifts you can make.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

On My Mind Today

I am LOVING the sneak peak of this book! Must. Pre. Order. Now!

Wanted to share a couple of really good posts I found on motivation. My favorite is "more."
More Motivation

Thanks to Tracy I might have found the Suns Fabric I need for my nephew's quilt. Thank you Fabric Depot.

And, why oh why have I not made this bag yet?! It's been on my to do list for over a year.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Seasonal Fat Quarters Giveaway

EDITED: Kirsten and Tracy are the winners!

I've been doing more purging. So today we're giving away this stack of fat quarters. It's full of novelty prints for all seasons. Hope you like it!

It includes fabrics for Winter, Valentines, St. Patty's, 4th of July, Summer, School, Fall and Christmas.
Add Image

For a chance to win just leave us a comment. We'll pick a winner on Wednesday. Today we want to know one thing you want to do before you die and one thing you will NEVER do! I'll go first. I want to visit Europe before I die but I will never go skydiving--I'm afraid of heights.

I have three more fat quarter sets available here. I am always willing to trade if you are interested. Right now I need a fat quarter of Phoenix Suns cotton fabric (anyone in AZ what to help me out?), some small vintage-looking floral prints for this quilt (preferably in pinks), and men's cotton plaid shirts for this quilt. Email me!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Plain Spoken Quilt {Finished}

Showing off my finished quilt is feeling a bit anti-climactic to me right now. Not sure why...

Maybe because it's been 12 years in the making, or maybe it's because I've been staring at it on my banister for the past 7 weeks, or maybe it's because it took me 2 complete spools of thread (and 9 bobbins) worth of quilting to get it finished.

Whatever the case, I can't tell you how happy I am to have this one DONE!! I'm doing the happy dance as I type! (And the husband is pretty happy, too!)

I think the quilting turned out nice. I almost had it professionally done, but the cheapskate it me just couldn't spend the money! In the end, I'm happy I did it myself.

Technically I don't have a quilting machine, so I'd say my basic machine worked like a champ! I was skeptical, though...

I did my first scrap binding using 3 of the blues from the quilt. Love it!

The polka dot fabric is the backing. I was going for manly and geometric on the back.

The finished quilt measures 60" (1.52 m) by 80" (2.03 m). Huge for me! But my husband is tall and wanted it to tuck under his chin and still cover his feet. It's also big enough for the both of us to share.

(As if I haven't told you enough, you can read about the evolution of this quilt here.)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Valentine's Cookies

Gotta get prepared for the Valentine's Day weekend coming up. Last night we decorated some sugar cookies, ate some, and delivered some to our neighbors. We tried a new sugar cookie recipe from my friend Carrie. We like them rolled out a bit thick--so delicious.

Alecia's Famous Sugar Cookies
2 c. margarine (DO NOT use butter) softened
2 c. sugar
6 XL eggs
6 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla
7 c. flour

Cream together margarine & sugar.

Add baking powder, eggs & vanilla, mix thoroughly.

Add flour, chill overnight. (Must chill overnight!)

You might need to knead in a little more flour to make it a nice pliable dough once you get ready to roll them out. (I definitely had to do this with my dough)

Bake at 350 degrees until they rise up then barely start to fall...they will be a tiny bit gold on bottom (between 10 and 12 minutes).

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 cube butter
2 pkg. cream cheese
powdered sugar (1/4-1/2 pkg. ...depending on taste)
1 tsp. vanilla
(**I did not make this frosting recipe as my kids don't really like cream cheese frosting. Too bad, because I sure do.)

Friday, February 5, 2010

The Quilt Hanger

This is where my quilts live while they are in progress.
The quilts change, but the scene remains the same.
Sometimes I feel like they take up permanent residency.

Where do your projects live?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Now you see it.... you don't.

This little half wall was located between our kitchen and dining room. It used to have wooden slats attached to it going up to the ceiling to make it feel more like a "wall" without actually being one. Those slats got removed a couple of years ago and since then we've been talking about removing the half wall--and then ultimately the remainder of the wall as we do some remodeling in the kitchen.
Mr. C and I had a fun time taking it all down. He told me more than once, "This is so cool!" Every 4 yr. old boy should get the opportunity to do some demolition. He loved pounding with his little hammer and playing with the hole that was revealed once we got things off.
I hadn't told Hubby that I was going to do this on this particular day. I just decided in the afternoon and started. His reaction was what I thought it would be...exact words, "Oh Crap!" Good thing he does love me.

But he was great, really wasn't upset, and completed the section when he got home and filled in the hole that gave us "access" down to the laundry room. And then later that night admitted, "We should have done this a long time ago." (Don't you just love those "I told you so moments"? Savor those when they happen.)
I can't tell you how happy removing just this much has made me feel. This little bit has made the kitchen feel so much bigger (and it didn't hurt that the dog kennel for our chocolate lab got moved outta there too.)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Mini Quilt Monday

The mini version of the big version.

It measures only 12" by 15".
I'll be hanging it on my quilt wall when my sewing room gets finished.

I can't wait to show you the big one! It will be done soon. I hope.
Finished Big One HERE


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