Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ready for quilting

I finally sat down and pin basted Justin's king size quilt. I had been avoiding it because I don't have any floor space big enough to lay it all out.

I have a twin size kitchen so I could only lay out 2/3 of the quilt at first. That's my fridge over on the left. I just rolled and smushed the last 2 rows over there. It took me a half hour just to get it all smoothed out and ready to pin. I'm sure it's not perfectly smoothed and pinned but it will work out OK when I get to the quilting part.

I thought I would show you my little pin holder. My son Robbie made this for me at one of those Home Depot workshops. It has hearts around the outside and the lid has a wooden heart on the top. It was a Valentine's Day project. WOrks great for holding my pins plus it reminds me of Robbie each time I use it :)

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Holly Jolly Christmas Block Swap

I joined Aunt Pitty Pat's Holly Jolly Christmas Block Swap a couple months ago. I made my 9 patches on Christmas Day since I was looking for something easy to sew.

I'm in the non-traditional color group. When I went shopping for fabric I found these fun fabrics. The pink is nice and bright but not shocking bright. I thought the circles looked a bit like ornaments. Then I saw the black with the same circles and it was a done deal.

For my theme I chose Snowmen. I knew I wanted to do melting Snowmen. I'm doing some hand embroidered buttonhole stitches to outline the pieces. I thought these guys would be appropriate since I live in Florida and most of the ladies in my group are from Australia. I found the pattern over at FatCat. There's lots of fun applique patterns over there. These blocks will be squared up to 12.5" once I finish the embroidery. I like to cut my squares larger in case they shrink a bit when I do the embroidery.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

How time flies

This morning I showed you my December Schnibbles top. Now I am showing you the completed quilt. Time sure does fly doesn't it? lol I actually made that post a couple days ago and set it up to post today. Since I finished hand sewing  the binding this morning, I thought I would go ahead and get the quilt posted.

Just in case you just popped in and missed the story behind the quilt...I decided that since I do not use pincushions, I would go ahead and use the blocks to make a quilt. I just super sized it a bit. The quilt measures 36" square. I made the blocks 18.5" unfinished.

How did you Schnibblers do this month? Did you get your tuffets done in time? Looking forward to next months pattern :)

December Schnibble top

I finished my December Schnibble top on Christmas Day. While the kids where playing with there new gadgets, I played with my old sewing machine. A perfect way to spend the afternoon. Instead of making the pin cushion tuffets, I decided to just go ahead and make a baby quilt with the squares that were used in the tuffet pattern. After I had half of them done I realized I could have made potholders! These squares would have made nice holiday potholders.

It's been a bit windy here and it took two kids to hold this top so I could get a picture. Robbie is standing on the bench holding the top and you can just see Mandy in the bottom right corner holding it steady.

Monday, December 28, 2009

The tree is down - time to move on

Well, we all survived another Christmas rush. Did you get all your handmade gifts finished in time? I made it just under the wire. I was finishing the hems on two pairs of lounge pants the morning of the 24th. Not too bad since I made 8 quilts as gifts this year.

One of my sister's is a Grover collector. She was given a stuffed Grover when she was born (many, many years ago lol) and has been collecting Grover items ever since. I had big plans for an elaborate appliqued and embroidered quilt but that went out the window when it got closer to Christmas and I hadn't even started it yet.


She also informed me that she is now a Pink Panther fan.I found these Pink Panther novelty squares on Ebay.

I also found some fabric Grover ornaments on Ebay. I'm guessing you are supposed to sew two of these triangles together and stuff to make an ornament. Or, you can raw edge applique them onto the blank squares in a quilt :)

My Grover fanatic sister actually found a Sesame Street sheet at a garage sale not realizing what I was going to do with it. There were 2 Grover areas so I cut them into  12.5" squares and added them in too. The blue is from a sheet I bought.

The back is a fabric that was given to me by my neighbor. The color was perfect for this quilt.

This hunting style quilt is for my sister's hubby. He loves to hunt and fish so when I saw this panel on Ebay, I grabbed it. Another sheet for the borders and it's good to go.

The back was a bit plain so I raw edge appliqued some fish fabric circles here and there. Kind of like a school of fish.

Lounge pants for my niece Christine...

...and her brother Bryant.

I have a couple projects to finish up this year and then it is on to something new!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

With a little help from my friends

On Christmas Eve we let the kids each open one present...of my choosing. I managed to keep them away from the presents until 3:30. A record for them I think.

This year Mandy had a little helper. Suzi is all nose. She loves to sniff everything new just in case it might be edible. Right after this picture Mandy got her to start ripping the paper off her present for her. She was having a good time ripping the paper off bit by bit with her teeth. Of course I didn't get that pic.  She knows what the camera is and stops all cute activity once I bring it out. Rotten dog lol.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas

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I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!!!

I hope Santa has been good to y'all. I also hope everyone was able to get all their handmade gifts done in time to enjoy themselves. I'll be back in a couple days to show you what I made. 'Til then.......

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Our new library

All of us like to go to the library and find new books to read. For the last 25+ years, our local library has been 15 or so miles from our house. It's not very far but once you add in all the traffic lights and stop takes a bit of time to get there. Plus the frustration of the traffic. We would only make it there a couple times a year.

For the past year or so  they have been building a new library in the NW section of town. Our section of town. This new library opened a week ago and is only 2.5 miles from our house. WOOHOO!! We've been there twice already. I thought our other library was big but this one is huge and gorgeous. They have something for everyone. Plus, all the books are brand spankin' new. I've always loved being the first to open a new book. I'm so gentle with them that they stay that way for the next person too.

This library has a movie  section that is bigger than some of our movie rental places. It looks like they have something for everyone. Lots of TV series from what I saw. There is also a little coffee center over in the teen section. The teen section also has 2 Guitar Hero spots. They will be having tournaments for the teens later on. This library also has twice the computers that the other one has. That is a big improvement since the computers are always occupied at the old library. You would have to book an appointment to go on the computer at the old branch.

They also have this machine that you can hook your iPod to and download books to listen too. You get the book for a couple weeks and then it automatically deletes. When I have some time I will browse their selection and find something good to listen to while I am at work. 

Anywho...I brought home a big stack of craft books of course. Plus, a couple to read.

I have been wanting to hand piece a quilt for a bit now. This book has been an interesting read. It takes you step by step through the process starting with the very basics. This is the first time I have actually erad a craft book. I usually just look at the pictures.

My daughter has been trying to get me to read the Maximum Ride series by James Patterson for awhile now. I finally gave in and grabbed the first two of the series. They are about this group of kids who were experimented on when they were babies. The scientists added some bird DNA to them and now they have wings and can fly. The kids escaped from their laboratory "school" and are running from their captors.

These books are very easy to read. James Patterson has a nice smooth way of writing. That's why I was able to read both books in less than a week. I had to put the next two books on hold. I will be picking them up tomorrow. I have to keep them put up until after Christmas though otherwise I won't finish the last of the gifts.

I also read book 3 of the 39 Clues series. This is geared towards the preteen crowd but I enjoy it as an easy read too. It is about an extended family that has to find and follow the 39 clues to become a powerful person in history. The author wrote it to help kids get more interested in learning history. Each book takes you to a different country where you learn bits of history. It is actually an interesting read. any good books lately?  I'm always looking for something new to read.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Still Here

Lately I haven't been crafting much. That leads to not blogging much either. Not many people want to hear how I sat on my butt and played on Facebook or that I read a couple books. With Christmas so close now, I thought I better get off my duff and get sewing!

These 8 four patch blocks (12.5") are for a swap. These aren't due until January 4th so of course I just had to make them now.

I bought bunches of Santa hats last year after Christmas to make these purses. My big plan was to have them in my shop right after Thanksgiving. So I just got around to making the first one this week. Maybe next year lol.

Now, for the projects that need to be done before Christmas (this year). This is the start of a quilt. I managed to get the top pieced. Not too difficult since it is a panel and I just added the tan border to bring it up to size.

I also pieced this quilt top. This one I actually had to make. I did use some precut squares I picked up on Ebay last month. Both these quilts WILL be done before Christmas!!

My son and his girlfriend like to lay in his big king size bed and watch movies. The problem with this is that she likes to steal his pillow lol. Poor Justin just isn't used to sharing his pillows or blankets  yet.

Every year I buy the whole family new pillows (and towels). I picked up an extra for Sheyla and then made her this pillowcase today. She loves Winnie the Pooh and all his friends so I grabbed some of this fabric when I was at JoAnn's last week. Justin has a pillowcase with his name on it so I made one with Sheyla's name for her. Now maybe he won't have to share his pillow...maybe :)

**The pillowcase pics were done at night so the colors aren't all that clear in these pics. The blue is a nice deep navy blue. Compliments the Pooh fabric nicely.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


It's Bingo time over at In Stitches....


My daughter took this pic of Suzi in my bed one night while I was at work. I found it when I was uploading pics the other day. I don't know why but I like this pic. Kind of describes Suzi since she is all nose most of the time. Suzi is part terrier so her nose is always sniffing around looking for something .

Suzi has also recently decided that she needs to be right up my butt when I'm on the couch. She has started to squeeze in between me and the end of the couch. I think she likes the security. She gets very jealous whenever anyone sits next to me. She will whine and climb over them to get right next to Momma. Silly girl!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Moda Bake Shop Sampler

I'm sure most (if not all) of you have seen the Moda  Sampler box. I've been tempted to buy one since I first saw them popping up all over the internet. Well, I just gave in and ordered one. I couldn't come up with a good reason to spend the $40 until today. While I was playing around on Facebook I saw a post by Piece N Quilt. They are having a one day sale on the Moda Sampler box. For today only it is $20 ! I just couldn't let that kind of deal pass by now could I?

This is a little description I found for this sampler box:

Moda Bake Shop Sampler

This box includes twelve packs of 40 - 2.5" x 2.5" assorted fabric squares. Each box contains a pack of the following collections: Bar Harbor, Butterfly Garden, Collection for a Cause: Charity, Eden, Frolic, Garden Party, Lakeside Resort, Looking Back, Martinique, Spring Fever, Verna and Whimsy. Also included are charm pack projects and a history of charm quilts.

It also comes with a history of charm quilts and charm pack projects! All that for just $20! Come on, if you have been on the fence like me now might be the right time to grab it.

(I haven't been compensated for this blog entry. I was just a bit excited to be able to grab this fabric and thought someone else might like the same deal)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Not much happening around here

I haven't accomplished much lately. I made this pillow awhile ago but never got around to stuffing it. Now it is stuffed and waiting to be listed in the shop. I picked this kit up earlier this year at A.C. Moore on sale.

It's a very soft fleece. Nice and snuggly.

I also added the labels to the 6 quilts going up north to the grandkids/kids. Those are all wrapped and packaged waiting for some big boy undies to be purchased and tossed in. Jake has finally decided to use the big boy potty. I guess he is just too busy playing to take the time out for those mundane things.

I went to the doctor on Tuesday. I have some bulging discs in my neck. Plus some arthritis and soft tissue/muscle issues. Lots of inflammation too. This is all causing me lots of pain and stiffness in my neck, head, shoulders and back. Not a good thing when I still have a couple quilts to finish and a couple more presents to get done. It seems to take me so much longer to get any little thing done lately. That's what I get for waiting to the last minute to finish up my Christmas present making! I'm waiting for physical therapy to call to set up my first appointment with them.  Hey, at least I will be getting a massage 2-3 times a week :)

No work today. I'm hoping to get all my Christmas shopping done today. Plus, we need groceries in the house. The kids are starting to complain that there is nothing to eat...and they are actually right this time lol.

I hope everyone has a nice weekend. We have a nice little cool front's supposed to go all the way done to 70 degrees. Wow, I don't know if I can handle it lol. We are actually breaking records for the highest low temperatures in December. Crazy isn't it?

Monday, December 7, 2009

Sunday's accomplishments

After Saturdays accomplishments, I thought I would see what I could finish on Sunday.

I had the pieces cut out for this tree table centerpiece for about a month now. I was just trying to get my head around how it was sewn together. The directions left it looking more confusing than it really was. I decided to just go for it. It worked out OK in the end.

It measures 17" tall and is stuffed firmly. I learned that it would be better to stuff all 6 sections at the same time instead of each section individually (which is what I did). The 2 sections towards the bottom left were the last ones I stuffed. Since I stuffed the first 4 so full, that left less room to stuff the last 2 sections. If I make another, I will make it shorter and stuff it in a different order.  I think it might need some red ribbon bows tied to the points. Plus, it needs a star on top. Right now it is too tall to put on the coffee table because it blocks the TV a bit.

Robbie was bored so I put him to work.

Didn't last long though lol. Robbie has always loved playing with my fluff. It's never safe around him.

December's Schnibble pattern is Truffles. I have to say that I don't really care for pincushions. I don't use them. I have made them but they just get tossed around by the kids and dog.

That being said, what am I going to do? I made the commitment to make a Schnibble each and every month. I plan on sticking to that commitment.

So, Once again I am going against the norm and making a quilt. I am using all the same patterns that are used in the pattern. They will all be 18" blocks. The first was the shoofly. I have always enjoyed this pattern.


Then I did the courthouse steps. I plan on making them all in Christmas colors. Not sure what the final quilt will measure but it will be an adventure.

Back to work today so I'm not sure what I will finish...

Sunday, December 6, 2009

How I spent my Saturday

I decided to spend my Saturday doing some light sewing. I was hoping to make a good size dent in my need to get done list. Last month I saw a wonderful Christmas stocking tutorial over at Park City Girl's blog and knew that they would be perfect for the stockings I needed to make. I bought my fabric last month and was all ready to go when I had the time.

The pattern is actually listed on two blogs because the top of the stocking is made from Victoria's wonky star tutorial. I had two tabs open on the laptop and was flipping back and forth ready the steps from both patterns. Maybe I should have paid more attention to the actual stocking pattern because this is what I made:

Four 12.5" wonky star blocks. These are supposed to be the top of the stockings. Not bad if you wanted GIANT stockings but I was going for something half that size. Maybe if I read where Park City Girl said she used 2.5" squares instead of 4.5" squares like in the larger block I might have been OK. It's OK because now I  have 4 nice blocks to make a baby quilt with.


Here I are my four finished stockings. I'm hoping to be able to make some more before Christmas actually gets here. Not much time left though. If I was smart I would just make them throughout the year and then I would have plenty when the Christmas season rolled around again. Doubt that will happen though lol.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Decorating the tree

Each year around this time I go out and pick up one of those gingerbread house kits. Sometimes it's a house, sometimes it's a train. Last year it was gingerbread men. The kids (of all ages) love to decorate them but nobody really likes to eat them.

Fast forward to this year. My oldest Justin (21) works at Bob Evan's restaurant. Each year during December they have their annual holiday party. Any employee that wishes can bring in something to eat. They have a contest to see who has the best prepared dish. They actually do this throughout the year for different holidays. Justin always asks for my input about what to make. I've noticed that the winners have usually made something that looks fun. The best tasting isn't always a sure fire winner. Over the years we have made stuffed peppers (requested many times since), red velvet skull cake, and other desserts. Justin's first idea was cheesecake. Then he realized that we didn't have a springform pan plus the work involved. Since there isn't much wow factor involved he decided to change his dish. Then he thought about mac and cheese but the one he liked had 7 cheeses and wasn't in his budget. I try to stay out of the decision making until he has tossed around a few ideas first. Then I do an online search. Justin gets sidetracked online and doesn't look at all the blogs that I do. Anywho....we decided on a Christmas tree cupcake cake. I saw some fun pumpkin ones during Halloween and figured we could do a tree easily.

Here is the prototype that me and the other two kids worked up last night. I have several food allergies so I needed to make everything from scratch if I wanted to eat any of it. When Justin makes his, we will use a cake mix and canned frosting. They just make a better appearance. We will also use a variety of candies to decorate the tree with. I'm thinking peppermints, holiday M&Ms, rope licorice, etc.


I used mini cupcakes for our version. I used a simple white cake recipe I found online. I swirled some neon pink food coloring in just for fun. I laid them out to resemble a Christmas tree shape plus a trunk.


I can't eat butter, shortening, or milk products so I had to search out a good frosting recipe. I found this one over at Recipezaar.  It reminds me of a fluffy marshmallow. Not too sweet and nice and creamy. I colored some yellow for the star and some more brown for the trunk. The brown didn't get dark enough because I was worried that the liquid food coloring would thin out the frosting too much. The rest was colored green.


We used some non-periels for the ornaments. Then the kids outlined the ornaments with gel food writing tubes.


Then they used the gel writers to make the garland. It was fun and kept the kids busy for a few minutes last night.

Once Justin makes his, I will post a pic so you can see how his looks.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Squishy Balls

I like to keep some hand sewing in a little soft case for those times that I have to sit and wait. I also take it with me to work so I have something to do during break times. I was making lots of hexagons but then I got bored. The only surprise there is that it took much longer than I expected. Still loving the hand work, I decided to switch to pentagons instead. This way I can make a bunch of balls instead of quilts, purses, placemats, etc.


I joined 2 different I spy Swaps recently. One was for 4" squares and the other was for 5" squares.  I  took the 4" squares and turned them into pentagons using freezer paper. This is the same way I do my hexagons. You stitch 5 around a center pentagon. You do that twice. Then stitch the two halves together (inside out). I leave 1.5 sides unsewn, turn and stuff very well. Sew the opening closed. They make fun little balls for the little ones. My big kids (and the dog) have been having fun with them too. I think they would make great additions to a baby shower basket.