Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Shelly's Pillows

Here are the pillows I finished for my trade with my friend Shelly.
These will go into her 15 year old daughter's bedroom.

I was happy that she sort of just let me do what I wanted.
Although the Dresden plate is a little more putzing around than I normally like to do,
I LOVE how it turned out for this pillow project.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Leslie's {Belated} Birthday Pillow

All I needed was an excuse to learn how to knit cables, on something less intimidating than a sweater, for my first time project.

Leslie found the inspiration here and then posted it on her wish list.
I found the pattern HERE that I actually ended up using.

Here's how it looked at my house.

Details: (mostly just for my memory)
For 14" square pillow

Lion Brand® Jiffy in Dark Grey Heather--3 balls
Size 10 1/2 US needles
Cast on 60--adjusting beginning and ending stitches from 6 to 9: i.e.  P6 to P9
Repeated pattern 3 1/2 times--70 rows

Made 2 pieces for back to overlap and be able to insert pillow like envelope.
I might just be hooked on cables now.  They really are EASY once you know how to read the instructions.
I'm now thinking about this pattern as a possibility to make for my LR couch--maybe in green.

I'm linking to Fabric Tuesday at Quilt Story today.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Nancy's Easter Bags

These cute Easter bags were made by our cake decorating cousin, Nancy, for her 2 little ones. Aren't they darling!

Here's what she said about them:
These were so easy. I just used a large piece of wool felt and a few different colors of ric rac and bias tape. Then I made the handle out of ribbon and sewed a button onto my son's bag. Added a bow to my daughter's bag and there you go! I hope they are fun for the kids and get used for a few years.

Originally I found these bags at Purl Bee; however, I made my bags bigger than they did. They measure 8.5" (plus 1" for the top hem) x 12.5" (plus the 1/2" seam allowance on the sides) and the handle is about 16" long. After sewing on the bias tape and ric rac, and sewing up the sides of the bag, I squared the bottom of the bag so the eggs fit more easily.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Bee Vintage Block for January {Dresden Plate}

Somehow I got way behind on my bee blocks.  I'm playing catch up this week... 
This lovely is for Joyzelle.


I've been a bit intimidated by the Dresden Plate.  I'm sure it had a lot to do with applique, but this would be the reason I joined a bee, so I would be forced to do things out of my comfort zone.

My initial attempt had my circle laying flat along the outside (pointed) edge but not on the inside.  Curses!!  After some thought I figured out that all I needed to do was take in the seams thismuch and all was well.

I am very happy with how it turned out.  It will make a beautiful quilt, don't you think?!  I can definitely see more Dresden's in my future.  A whole quilt? maybe not...but a pillow? Certainly!

Dresden Plate Block Directions Here.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


After a long and indecisive search I finally found the perfect backing for my string quilt.  Check it out!

I'm not usually one to waffle back and forth for long periods of time but the wide variety of colors and patterns in this quilt was stumping me!

I like this print because it has lots of colors without appearing too rainbow-ish to me.

I originally came across it at my LQS in their color wall section of fabrics for $9.00/yd.  But when I went back to the $5.00/yd section I found it again, only slightly different.

The $9.00/yd bolt had navy blue circles while the $5.00/yd bolt had purple ones.  For nearly half the price I can live with the purple.  Besides, from two feet away can you really tell the difference?  So, 4.5 yards later and I'm ready for quilting!  Yay!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Bartering is SOOOOO Underrated

I don't know if you've ever exchanged with anyone, but I really think that bartering is underrated.  We should all try it more often if we're able to.  One of my oldest daughter's friends babysits every other weekend for a couple with 2 little boys in exchange for weekly piano lessons.  One of my daughters would like to do the same thing, only with guitar lessons.  We're working on that.  I've certainly trading babysitting services with friends over the years myself. 

Once I made living room curtains for a friend of mine in exchange for a crib.  She was done with it, I needed one, and she didn't know how to sew.  We were both thrilled with the exchange and both felt that we were taking advantage of each other.  In my opinion that is a sign of a good barter. 

More recently I've been doing some sewing for my friend Shelly.  In exchange she lets me come make cards at her house for free (Actually she will even make them for me if I want--which I have done on occasion; however, I like the social aspect of going to her home with a group of ladies for a couple hours).  About 5 or 6 times a year she does a Saturday morning card making session--and she provides EVERYTHING!!!  You go home with about 15 beautiful handmade cards of various styles and varieties, without having to buy all the stamps, punches, paper, etc.  She already has it, which makes my hubby happy that I don't have additional stamping stuff in my already too cramped sewing room.

This past weekend she had a card day and here are the cute cards we made.

I recently made a LR pillow for her, and am now moving on to some pillows for her youngest daughter's bedroom.

So if you haven't bartered for goods or services I encourage you to find someone you'd like to trade with.  I'm sure you'll both be pleased with the end result.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Swimsuit Frenzy

Although Spring is chronologically here in less than a week, it sure doesn't appear Spring-like at all at my home right now.  However, hope is in sight as we are forecasted in the 40's and 50's this week.  Hallelujah!!!

I've been working on swimsuits this past week pretty steady.  Besides the suits in the above pics, I've already sent out 3 for an order and I have another 3 in various stages of completion.  I just love making swimsuits--you probably couldn't tell that though.  I tell my girls that they only get 3 suits a year (in my opinion every girl needs at least 2 to choose from--the mood of the day determines the suit you wear.)  But really I think that limit is just as much for me as it is for them.

This suit I sent to our giveaway winner, Shannon. 
However, I have more of this fabric if you're interested in purchasing a custom,
made to order suit for one of the girls in your life.

This suit is also available for sale here. 
Ready to ship immediately in size 6.

I plan on posting a tutorial here this week, or next,
on how to make and attach contrasting binding and straps--mainly for tankinis. 
My #2 daughter has put her very specific order in to me
and we'll use her suit to show you how it's done.
I've also got a metallic gold swimsuit in the works for daughter #3. Think mermaid diva!

Bring on the sunshine!!  Good-bye snowpiles!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Star Wars Solids Quilt

Welcome to the unveiling of the Star Wars Quilt!

If it looks familiar, you are right, I made the exact same design for my FIL last year.  
This quilt is for my son who will be turning 12 in April. 

Check out the sa-weet sheet I used for the back!
...from the original Star Wars, circa 1977 
As a side note, one of the memories I have as a child was of our brother's bedroom.  It must've been sometime in the late 70's or early 80's. Our mom had wallpapered his room in black Star Wars wallpaper.  It looked like space, black background with little tiny stars all over it, along with x-wing fighters and such.  It was pretty awesome!  I'm sure my son would love to have that wallpaper in his room today.  

Here is a close up of the quilting.  
Along with all the great texture my long arm quilter also added my son's name in the quilting and the phrase "May the force be with you."  I think he'll get a kick out of that little touch.

For the binding I chose red. 
I think it makes the small bits of red in the quilt really pop. 

 I'll be showing it off at quilt club next week before wrapping it up for my son's birthday.  
I just hope he'll be as excited about it as I am!

Finished quilt measures 60" by 72". 
Pattern details/instructions HERE

I'm linking up to Fabric Tuesday at Quilt Story.

Don't forget to check out the start of Carin's quilt with this same design.  Stop in and say hi!  Maybe while you're there you could look over her list for the Wrapped in Hope Program and pick a child to help.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

WIP Wednesday

I've been making significant progress on my pile of unfinished projects thanks to my long arm quilter.  It's amazing how fast a quilt comes together when someone else does the dirty work. :)  So far she's helped me finish 5 quilts!!  My stress level is dropping with each project.

My pile is still too big, so I'll continue to plow through.


This Vintage Sheet top was started and almost finished over the weekend.  It's turning out just as I had hoped! It's for someone special and a huge milestone they will be experiencing. I'll tell you who the lucky recipient is after it's gifted.

Also started the jumbo task of cutting up my BIL's 50 Harley T-shirts for two twin size quilts.  It's going to be a big project that will take some time to finish.


--Working on the binding to a Sherbet Pips baby quilt.
--Found a vintage sheet for $2.65 to back my star quilt. I'm not sure I love it, but it will work.

Here is a little something on the design wall by my 9yr old.  She pulled out my 2.5 inch stash over the weekend so she could make a doll quilt for a friend.  I don't know if she'll actually sew it up, but I find it fascinating to see design thru the eyes of children. 

No Progress:
String Quilt--Can't decide on a backing and it's making me a little crazy.
Grandma's Shirts

Star Wars Solid--I couldn't get any good photos this week so it will be revealed soon!

And finally, our parents are coming out in less than 3 weeks for a visit!  In my opinion it's been way too long since they've been here!  Can't wait...

Happy  Sewing!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Chicken Pot Pie Soup

Every couple weeks or so I get together with a couple friends and we do lunch.  Sometimes we go out, but most times we do a potluck at one of our homes (some of us still have little people at home).  Last time we got together Natalie made us this delicious soup--based on one we love from a local restaurant, Eddingtons. (We actually know the founder/owner.)  She found a number of different recipes online, but this is the one (or the compilation of several) that she used.  It was great!  I made it the other night for my family.  A couple children proclaimed it "yucky" just by looking at it, but everyone ate it and only one didn't want to eat anymore after their initial serving.

Chicken Pot Pie Soup

2 cups cubed, cooked chicken
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 cups frozen mixed veggies, thawed
2 cups cubed, cooked potatoes
6-8 TBSP butter or margarine
1/3 cup flour (or slightly more if you like it thicker)
2 TBSP chicken bouillon granules
4 cups milk
1/4 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp poultry seasoning

Melt butter in pot; cook onions until tender.
(**Note from Natalie: I actually left my butter on too long, and it browned, but I think this actually improved the flavor. I love browned butter, and I make it often and serve it over broccoli, a la The Spaghetti Factory)

Blend in flour, chicken bouillon, garlic, pepper and poultry seasoning.
Cook until mixture is smooth and bubbly; gradually add milk.
Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture boils.
Simmer one minute, stirring constantly.
Add chicken and vegetables slowly, stirring constantly.

Lower heat and cook until chicken and veggies are warmed through, about 5 to 10 minutes. 

Optional:  Top with pie crust crumbs.
My Notes:
  • I doubled the recipe for my family of 7 so we could have a little bit leftover for 2 lunches.
  • That meant I used 1 whole chicken, cooked earlier in the day in the crockpot--it was a little more than 4 cups worth of chicken.  I used it all.
  • I made it slightly thicker as suggested.  I think I was the only one who thought it would be better not so thick.
  • I did make a 1/2 recipe of pie crust and rolled it out on a cookie sheet to bake and then crumbled that on top of the soup.  AWESOME!  The kids would've used more on their soup had their been more.  Next time for us I'll make the entire recipe--double crust worth of the recipe.
  • I didn't have any poultry seasoning so I just sprinkled in some of the spices that are usually found in a poultry seasoning spice mix.
  • When Natalie made it for us she said she used an herbed whole chicken that she bought at the store and felt that gave it some of its good flavor too.
  • And sorry I didn't take pics--forgot until it was too late.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Sew Your Own Swimsuit--Tips & Tutorials

The Complete List of Swimsuit Sewing Tips and Tutorials. 
  Click on the pictures to be taken to detailed posts.

***If you ask a question in the comments section please make sure to include your email so we can answer you back.***

Swimsuit Sewing Tips #1
Including patterns, needles, elastic, lining
Swimsuit Sewing Tips #2
Topstitching and some decorative stitches

Swimsuit Sewing Tips #3

One Shoulder Tank Tutorial

Color Blocking

Color blocked Empire Band inset

Leg Opening Elastic

One Piece Tankini Bottoms

Separate Strap Tutorial

Adding Contrasting Binding

Continuous  Binding and Straps

Kwik Sew 3606
Fabric Sources:
I have a number of swimsuit remnants for sale at my Etsy Shop

(Those listed below appear to have decent prices and good selection if you are not able to find a good source for swimsuit fabric in your area. I have not ever  bought from any of them to give any first hand account.)

When doing online searches you can also type in activewear as well as swimwear to see what you can find.

Spandex World--lots of cool prints
The Fabric Fairy
Denver Fabrics--decent prices, lots of solids

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Would that qualify as right side up or upside down?

I am loving half square triangles lately!  Right now I am staring at my Sheets and Shirts Quilt and dreaming of the next quilt I can make with half squares.  

But it got me thinking...

How do you see HST's?  

I see them this way -- with the pattern in the bottom left corner.

While others see them the opposite way as me, with the printed fabric in the top right corner.

Now I'm not suggesting that there is a right or a wrong way of doing things, just a curious observation on my part.

1. Half Square Triangle Quilt, 2. seeing red quilt front, 3. My first queen size quilt ..., 4. Modern Swappers_Quilt, 5. Citrus HST Quilt, 6. Sheets and Shirts HST Quilt, 7. HST-3, 8. I Dream of Triangles

 So, in the interest of scientific discovery -- How do you see HST's? 
a). Bottom Left corner or  b). Top Right corner
Just wondering...


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