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. :)