Monday, December 29, 2014

Modern Wonky Log Cabin Quilt

This quilt was an exercise in trying something new and different--mainly, using more negative space than I have before.  And I didn't want it to be white space.  I have plenty of white sashed quilts.  So I actually bought some Kona light grey solid for this quilt.

I wasn't quite sure how it was going to turn out, but now that it is all completed I think that it might be one of my favorites.  I love the wonky blocks, I love the wonky layout, and I love the backing fabric.


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas 2014

From our house to yours
We wish you a Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Quilt for #1 Son

I made this quilt for my oldest son (for his new bed in the non-existent new house).
He picked this pattern because it looked like Ninja throwing stars.
Now that's a teenage boy for you.

I tried to get him to help me sew it, but he wasn't all that thrilled.
Once I got my sewing system down with these blocks they went rather quickly.

I finished this back in September and sent it out to Lynn for quilting because my parents were going to be in Utah in October.  They brought this quilt and 2 others back for me and then I just got them over Thanksgiving when my parents came to visit.  I hadn't planned on giving this to my son for Christmas, but at this point, with it being so close, it is going to get wrapped up.  He does know what it looks like--at least in theory.  He hasn't seen it all quilted and bound.

Lynn's quilting really did add to the quilt.  Now I have to get busy on boy #2's quilt.

  • Pattern called "Shuriken" from 25 Ways to Sew Jelly Rolls, Layer Cakes, & Charm Packs by Brioni Greenberg, pg. 58-61.
  • Original pattern called for 80 blocks.  I did 99 and assembled them 9 across and 11 down.  My son is 13 and already 6 foot so I wanted to make sure it would fit him for a long time.
  • Kona Charcoal for the background and then assorted Kona colors for the stars.
  • Quilted by Lynn
  • Finished size 78 inches by 95 inches.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Speedo Fridays

This post scares me ever so slightly.
I've made Speedos a joke....for a baby shower gift.
I never thought I would actually be making them for real....for my teenage son.

Let's just start this by saying that swim team boys are C.R.A.Z.Y.
Maybe it is from holding their breath so much or breathing chlorine fumes, not sure.
But one of the team traditions is "Speedo Friday".
And it is exactly what it says: anyone who wants to wears a Speedo to Friday's practice.
My son wanted to participate so badly last year, because that is the "cool" thing to do, but I never got around to making any for him.
I didn't want to buy one, because let's face it, I knew I could make one.
Hello! I've been making tankini bottoms for girls for years.
The only real difference here is adding a drawstring.

So this year will be different.
He can participate in style on Speedo Fridays.

Wow, that is not much fabric.
He modeled for us and his older sisters about DIED of embarrassment.  Let's just say that gold piece looks an awful lot like your skin color.

Here's a hint for drawstrings--when you thread it through, pull the right side drawstring through the left side hole and vice versa.  The drawstring will be crossed underneath inside the casing.  This will help eliminate your kid pulling too hard and ripping the buttonholes.  Just saying....from very recent experience.

  • Kwik Sew pattern 2881 (which is out of print).  I can't remember where I found the pattern, but it was brand new unopened.  Score!!  
K2881, Shirt, Shorts & Trunks
  • Swim fabric from the stash--gold was bought at Jo-Ann's I know for sure, the rest were thrift store finds.
  • Drawstring from 3/8 inch polyester ribbon.  We tried 100% cotton, but once it is wet it is dang near impossible to untie.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

4 Pack of Snowballs for Fall

I started these blocks a year ago last September (2013) and found them this past summer (2014) as I was going through some of the things in my sewing room.  I had sort of forgotten that I had them.  I decided that I just needed buckle down and put them together in a quilt top and so this Fall I did it.

I didn't have the "correct" amount of blocks once I was done to do a traditional 4 by 6 block layout.  I was just ONE block shy.  Arghhh!!  But in the end I like this layout better.  I put 3 rows of 5 blocks interspersed with 2 rows of 4 blocks.  I actually think it gives it more interest.

Hubby doesn't ever comment much on my projects unless I flat out ask him, but he told me he really likes this quilt.  So that means it will probably stay at our house once it is all completed.

Just need to get it sent off to Lynn for some quilting.

The 2 fabrics I used for the backing.

Monday, December 8, 2014

"Reindeer" Pillows

While rummaging around at SR Harris a few weeks ago looking for something else, which at the moment I can't remember what, I found this fun deer fabric.

It was a total impulse buy, I admit it.  However, I knew I could have fun with it.

I wanted to change it up and make some pillows for Fall.
Hubby and kids hunt quite a bit, so why not have some deer pillows.

They didn't get done in time for that season, so instead they are now "reindeer" pillows.
Technically they are Mule deer--per hubby--and he would know.
But for my purposes it will work for the season.

I added a red button on one "reindeer" and voila! we have Rudolph and the gang.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Swim Jammers

Boys swim team season started this week.
What our boys swim team members usually wear for practice and competition are what they call "jammers".
They look like bicycle shorts.
I'm sure they are super comfortable to swim in.

I "had" to make a couple pairs for my son this year since he outgrew last years.
I say "had" only because I have tons of fabric and it is just sitting there.  So why spend the money on new suits when I can make a couple pairs for much less.
Last year he was 5'7" or so and wore a size 9 shoe.
This year he is 5'11" pushing 6' as a 13 yr. old and wears an 11.
He eats a ton and takes up a lot of space in our house and his voice it getting deeper and he can lean down on the shoulder of one of his older sisters and he loves it.
She does not.

But back to the jammers.
I had lots of fun swim fabrics to choose from and he did.

Here's how I lined these.

  • Kwik Sew pattern 2881 (out of print).
  • Swim fabric from the stash.
  • Bought polyester 3/8" black ribbon for the drawstrings.  

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Celtic Cable Scarf

This beautiful scarf is only the second cable project that my oldest daughter has tackled.
And usually she prefers crochet over knitting.
She may just have a gift for yarn arts.

I LOVE the braided side edge.

I was having problems getting the color right because this is what you would think of as traditional kelly green.  It sure doesn't appear that way in any of these photos.

She really did a great job.
There were a couple times she and I had to unravel and fix a couple spots.
Fortunately that only happened about 3 times, which is pretty good considering how complicated this cable scarf was.

Side note: She happily wore this to the Celtic Thunder concert last Friday in keeping with the theme of the night.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Zebra Beanbag

I hope you all enjoyed your Thanksgiving break here this past week.  Ours was eventful starting out with a slight concussion (daughter #2), snow delay for my parents coming to visit, chocolate birthday cupcakes on Thanksgiving along with vegan and gluten-free pumpkin pie which was actually quite good.  Can't vouch for the cupcakes because I didn't get one.  We also saw the Celtic Thunder Christmas concert, took our house off the market and went and looked at the house we still want to buy and inexplicably it is still empty and still for sale.  That pains me a lot.  We'll take a break for a couple months and then put our house back on the market and hope to high heaven it sells this next round.  Because really I'm not sure that we can take much more in that department.

Anyway, enough of all of that business.
There are times as a mother I feel I am constantly telling my children "no".
This is not one of them.

My youngest son wanted a zebra beanbag for his birthday (Thanksgiving Day last week) or Christmas.
Kinda random, but O.K.

I found 2 pieces of zebra print fleece (about a yard each for less than $2 apiece) at the thrift store along with a beat up beanbag ($3) that I cut up and used for a pattern as well as the inside "beans".

Here is the end result.

He was super happy with it and won't really let anyone else use it.
That's fine.
As the youngest he should be able to tell his siblings all "no" at times.

Here he is enjoying a treat and a good movie.

This was probably one of my better thrift store/recycle projects to date, if only for the mere fact that this boy is happy.

  • I first made a muslin beanbag and filled it with the beans and sewed it shut.
  • The outer fleece panels are lined with a thrifted sheet so that it wouldn't stretch out too much.  I made this so I could pull it off and wash it if need be and not have the beans going every where.
  • Zipper opening on the side panels.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Names of Christ Ornaments

Last year I made ornaments for my Mom's "Christ"-mas tree which she loved.  I made a couple for me too, but I still need some more before I do a complete Christ centered theme tree.

I had also made some wooden plaque ornaments of Christ's names that apparently I never posted about. Just recently I made another set (28 total) that will eventually be gifted out.

I "distressed" the edges a bit just by using some brown ink and a cottonball to smudge on the edges of the papers before I did the Mod Podge.  I really am happy with the wood grain paper I found in the scrapbook section at Michael's.

In the meantime I've also added some ornaments for my own Christ themed tree.
Besides the Names of Christ plaques I made this year attributes of Christ wooden plaque ornaments.

I added them to our tree this year.
I don't really have a theme going on this year, but felt that I could use the reminders myself of trying to be more Christ-like.

Here's my crafting helper re-drilling out the holes after the Mod Podge.

  • Original idea from HERE. Scroll way to the bottom of the link for the Names of Christ pdf.
  • Used 5/64 drill bit for the holes in the wood.
  • Darice Black Aluminum 14 gauge wire (or could use 16 gauge).  I bought mine at Jo-Ann's and one roll of  3 yds. allowed me to cut 14 - 9" lengths.  If you didn't want black wire you can find cheaper wire at any home improvement store.
  • I bought my 5 gallon paint sticks at Wal-Mart $.37/ea.  The freebie ones at Home Deport were too narrow for the printout.  You can get 4 plaques from each stick.
  • Matte finish Mod Podge--2 coats on the front only
  • Scrapbook paper in whatever color and style to you prefer.  I did copy some onto a bit more busy looking paper and I felt it distracted from the words and names.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Getting into the Holiday spirit

We put up our tree last week.
We needed it.
It was feeling drab and down in our house.

The theme of our tree this year is "hodge podge".
Whatever boxes of Christmas items we could easily find in the POD and whatever I could find at the Thrift store or dollar store is what we used to decorate.  The kids even made some cookie cutter ornaments to hang on the tree.

I want to go buy some more of those cute snowy owls to have for the future.

This tree was my great Friday Find of last week.
Since our tree is waaaaayy in the back of our POD I decided to find another one to avoid the couple hours of unloading, finding, and then reloading in order to get it.  No thank you.  We already did that one Saturday looking for Winter coats.

As luck would have it, I found this tree at the thrift store.  Brand new, still had the assembly tags on it and no price.  The store priced it for me at $12.99 and with it being their 25% off day it came to $9.74.  Woohoo!!  My kids were kind of hoping for a real tree this year, but honestly we do not have much space in our current living room and live trees are wide at the base.  And turns out they are more expensive than this tree.

The other change I made was to add this:

My lighted JOY marquee I made last week at a Home Depot Do-it-Herself Workshop. It is an Ana White design plan and we completed it all that night.  The kids thought it was TOTALLY  COOL when I brought it home, especially when I showed them that the lights have 3 different lighting modes.  I am so glad that I went--invited a couple friends to go with me too.  Home Depot does this the 3rd Tuesday of every month so check your local store for their projects.

The garland swag above the sign is made from the weeds I picked a number of weeks ago that had been sitting on the piano in a vase.  I just split them in half and then duct taped them in the middle and wrapped a pretty burlap ribbon around them.  It hangs from a little 3M hook placed above the marquee.  It gives the sign something a little extra.  Without it the marquee seemed a bit boring.

Once Thanksgiving is over I will adjust the vignette on the piano and add some nativities.  At least I hope that I can find some easily in my packed up life.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Quilts in Progress

I have started a "Solids" quilt.  I'm not sure I am going to have enough scraps to complete an entire quilt.  At least one large enough to cover a grown person.  We'll have to see.  I am working an a quilt for my youngest son and once that is complete I will have some more scraps to add to it.  I have an idea what route this quilt might take, but it won't be for awhile.

The other quilt I have started is the "Up, Up and Away" quilt from Sunday Morning Quilts, pg. 132-137. This is the one that uses all your triangle ends.

I am using 3" squares instead of 2 1/2" squares so my quilt should end up a little larger than Amanda Jean's.  We'll see how many scraps I really have.  I have 54 blocks assembled above in the pic and you need 589.  That means I'm about a tenth of the way there.  Right now I am cutting out white squares and sewing more triangles to them before I do any more assembly.

This will be the 4th quilt pattern that I've made from this book.  And I have one more in mind in the blues category that I haven't yet started. Most of the fabric for this idea is packed away.  So I'll just have to let it mull over and keep working on my other projects.

Sunday Morning Quilts that I've done.
#1 Splash Pattern
#2 Candy Coated Pattern
#3 Checkerboard Pattern

Friday, November 14, 2014

Friday Finds

Found this gem at my thrift store.  I'm sure it is a corner piece for a sectional couch, but I like it just as a chair. ($11)  It is super comfy and other than smelling a bit like cigarettes, it'll work great.

I had it sitting out all day the day I got it and sprayed it with Febreeze to see if that would help.  It may need another time or two of airing out as well as Febreezing.  The plan is to make a slipcover for it and redo the 2 cushions.

When the middle school kids came home from school they were happy to try it out and use it as a homework space.  They also told me that they would happily have it in their room.

Nice try.
This will either go in the LR or in the master BR when we get a new house.

Our lovely neighbors Carol and Doug gave us a meat slicer, still with the box, that they've probably used twice--for both HS graduations of their children.  At least one of their kids is now a grandfather.  It has been a long time.

I think they figured Hubby could use it for the next time he gets a deer.  We do already have a meat grinder, we make our own venison hamburger, but we didn't have a slicer.  We'll just add this to our other food storage equipment.

Found this spiky-ish Fall wreath at the Thrift Store that I decided I liked.  Took off the gold ribbon/bow and have hung it by my front door.  (My other Fall wreaths are packed somewhere).

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Braided Cable Scarf

Winter has come to Minnesota.
We received 6 inches of snow on Monday and we are in the 20's for the next 2 weeks for sure.
That means we need to break out all the winter gear, including the scarves, or maybe especially the scarves.

I like knitting with chunky yarns.
Your project comes together so much quicker.
And as one of my teenage daughters said, "Chunky is in."
Thank you, I'll take that as a compliment.

CO 28 stitches with size US 13 needles.
RS: K1, p1, K1, p2 then follow the 18 stitches on the chart as row number indicates (even rows 1-12), p2, k1, p1, k1.
On every WS (odd row) pattern is as follows: K1, p1, k3, p18, k3, p1, k1.

  • Finished dimensions: 6 1/2 inches wide by 68 inches long. (Don't forget to block the scarf)
  • 2 skeins Lion Brand Wool-Ease Chunky in Pumpkin (bought on clearance somewhere).
  • Pattern inspiration found here.  The pattern is in Russian but there is a chart to use also.
  • Knitted 20 repeats for the infinity scarf.
  • Size 13 needles

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Weed decor

As I've said before my children have complained about the lack of holiday decor at our house.
I don't necessarily go all out anyway during Halloween, but I do like some Fall flavor in the house.

Near my house is a frontage road to the highway.  Over the past number of weeks as I drove that direction I wanted to see these weeds (the dark ones in the pic below) up close and personal because I thought they might work for a cool vase display.

These white ones would probably make an interesting display too, but I was after the dark ones.

Finally one day my oldest son and I just hopped in the car with a pair of scissors and cut some down.

I gathered them all up in a vase and set them on our piano.
I like it.
The kids have since added some red leaves from our Maple tree out back.

Here are what those weed things look like up close--those little pods dropped like crazy when we were arranging them.  But if we leave it alone they stay put just fine.

A couple other weed options I've noticed around my neighborhood.

And this feather grass something......

I am going to retrieve some of this.

While taking pictures I noticed that I will need something to cut it.  Those stems are thick.
And the feather ends are bigger than my hand.
They were awesome blowing in the wind when I took these pics.
I need to plant some of this at my house too.

Hopefully you can find some interesting weeds around your home to use.....for free.
Enjoy your weekend.
Happy Halloween!


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