Wednesday, November 14, 2012

One More Collection...

I couldn't help myself - really it was just too much fun. 

Introducing Winter's Chill.  Inspiration is the snow on Monday that reminded us Minnesotans what is headed our way.

 The colors in this collection reflect the colors of winter - greens from the pines, greys from the rocks, the bright blue of the sky, and of course soft white for the snow.  Nothing beats snuggling/sharing a blanket with a loved one (especially a little loved one) on a cold winters night - and wouldn't this fabric combination make a festive quilt to take us into the new year.

Thank you Linda and Chrissy for organizing this fun contest!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Something Festive

Thank you Grandma Lily for the old chair - we miss you 

My kitchen table needed an update for the current season.

A few months ago I bookmarked this table runner pattern created by Rebecca Silbaugh from Ruby Blue Quilting Studio for Moda Bake Shop.

 Originally I thought a Christmas themed charm pack would be perfect, but when I saw Fig Tree's new line Tapestry I knew a fall table runner was in order.

I love this new line and am very tempted to purchase some fat quarters to turn into a lap sized version of the Yellow Brick Road pattern for the living room upstairs.

So here is my new table runner occupying center stage until something Christmasy is made (or perhaps unpacked).
The pumpkin faces were too cute to pack up - even though Halloween was long past...

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Tossing my hat in the ring...

While browsing some of my favorite quilt/craft related blog sites I came across this contest:


 Now I have to admit that I already am a big fan of this fabric shop and love that they offer the option of purchasing fat quarters of every print they carry.  Now the shop is offering the chance to create your own personal collection of 8 prints as part of the Guest Curator Contest.

Here is "Elephant Parade" (perhaps this is too close to my own home - elephants stampeding throughout my house in the forms of a 1, 3, 7, and 9 year-old).

Perhaps it is my four children's obsession with all things cuddly that made the Elephant print from Tim and Beck's Jungle Bungle collection seem like the perfect starting fabric.  Wouldn't this print make a fun make-up bag?  I can already envision this bag lined with either of the red prints. Also these prints would make great fabric boxes for a toy room or child's closet. Or (okay, I'll go with the obvious) these prints would make a great baby set of bibs and burp cloths for an upcoming baby shower. 

Thank you Sew Lux for the fun contest - I think a second entry is in the making...

Saturday, October 6, 2012

A Nice Field Trip Surprise

Last week we walked to the park.  When I say "we" I mean over 150 of us.  It was a bit of a crazy day, around 20 adults and 150 7th graders - but overall, it could be called a success.

Our field trip consisted of 6 stations set up around a local park - one of these stations was a photo scavenger hunt.  Who knew 7th graders had such an eye for beauty.  Check out some of my favorite photos our 7th graders took this day...

We are contemplating some fundraising ideas to help pay for field trip transportation - wouldn't these photos make some great wall prints or greeting card covers?

Friday, August 31, 2012

Garden Harvest

This summer the two oldest monkeys took over the back garden.

Originally they planted the seedlings that they started school. As luck would have it, the same night the transplanting took place, the sky's unleashed a heavy rain washing away their earliest garden attempts.

New plans took place, replacement seeds were chosen, planted, and mostly cared for. (Trust me, we went small - just some new green bean and carrot seeds.) And now the harvesting takes place.

This morning monkey one and I prepared a pile of fresh green beans for freezing. We followed directions from "green beans and more" at  and now have two bags of beans ready for a future meal.  I know it isn't much, but if you could see the size of our garden - this isn't too bad. :)

Friday, August 10, 2012

A New Toy

A package arrived in the mail this week bringing me this new toy...

  This is how far I've gotten - twenty pieces cut from Bonnie and Camile's Vintage Modern line waiting patiently for the iron and sewing machine.

I have no clue what future awaits this block - a pillow for the girl monkey's bed, the start of a full dresden block quilt for my own home, perhaps a baby quilt for a lucky little girl.

 Admittedly, the idea of tackling the dresden block terrified me (I'm great with straight lines - just not so much with curves and application).  It was this tutorial from Stitchery Dickory Dock that convinced me to add the Easy Dresden Tool to my shopping cart.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

An Irish Chain for a Baby Girl

I fell in love with Fig Tree's California Girl fabric line - the colors and prints are just beautiful in an elegant way (if that makes any sense).

This is the second quilt I have made using California Girl and am happy that I still have some more in my stash for additional projects.

I love this Single Irish Chain pattern; I think the simplicity of the pattern highlights the fabrics and adds to the beauty of the overall quilt.

Ironically, when I checked out the lastest Missouri Star Quilt Company Tutorial it was a tutorial on how to make this Irish Chain pattern using Jelly Rolls (which virtually takes away any cutting you have to do for the nine patch blocks - really speeding up the process!)

I am only a four quilts into my process of free motion quilting on my own sewing machine.  While I haven't quite figured out where my machine tension should be, I'm getting closer.  My first attempts were encouraged by the following  Missouri Star Quilt Company tutorial.  If you haven't tried free motion quilting yourself, this is a great tutorial to help you visualize the process and take away some of the initimadation factor.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

A New Favorite...

I bookmarked this gathered clutch tutorial from Noodlehead months ago and finally had a chance to try my first attempt last week (okay - I'll be honest, I was terrified and intimidated by zippers and it took me this long to finally get over this unnecessary fear - really zippers are easy).

A few clutches later... (see zippers can't be that bad if I made more than one)

I love how this pattern allows you to play with different fabric and color combinations.  The left clutch might be a favorite - who doesn't love a good polka-dot fabric?

While there is a tutorial online to create a similar clutch, I went ahead and purchased the pattern because it came with directions to add card holders and a divider inside, as well as the wrist strap and rounded bottom corners.

Already I am daydreaming about different versions - perhaps using one print fabric for the whole thing  or maybe two solid colors for a more elegant look...  I also think the tutorial version would make a great pencil pouch to take with me back to school in a few weeks. I also can see some future birthday or Christmas present possibilities with this one...

So far this clutch makes the perfect purse to carry everything I need for a quick outing around town - and the bright colors make me happy while I do it. :)

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Another Summer Show and Tell and Easy Half Square Triangles

I love the bright colors in Jenn Ski's Ten Little Things fabric line - they make a great combination for a little boy.

This quilt was made up a 80 half-square triangle blocks.  And while the quilt design was my own creation, I did find a great trick on how to make 4 half square triangles at once from a couple of online tutorials from some great blogs.

Amy Gibson at Stickery Dickory Dock has a fun blog and she has a tutorial for these easy half square triangle (and many other great tutorials you should check out).

Also, the Missouri Star Quilt Company has a video tutorial for these half square triangles too.

While my layout is one possibility for how to use these blocks in a quilt - there are some other fun layouts as well.  I might have to play some more with these blocks to see what I can come up with.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Summer Show and Tell - Gracie's Quilt

Summer has been flying by and it is hard to believe that August is almost here already.

I have been able to put together a few baby size quilts over the last few months that I thought I would share here over the next few days.

The first quilt was made for a very special little girl who was born to some friends of ours this past April.  We had the chance to hold and cuddle Gracie for the first time yesterday and she is as sweet as can be.
Monkey 3 helped with some photo shots

The pattern I loosely followed is from a Missouri Star Quilt Company YouTube video titled, "Double Slice Layer Cake Quilt" (I love Jenny's tutorials because they are full of quick tips for making some really cute quilts).

The fabric is "Indian Summer" by Zoe Pearn Designs for Riley Blake.  I was able to find a minky fabric from the same line - so the back is very cuddly.

Because I've never used minky before, I went with straight lines using my walking foot.  The end result was perfect.