Wednesday, March 31, 2010


so i'm scrambling around, trying to get ready to open my booth tomorrow!  i didn't have a lot of things made when she called, and a week's notice sounds great except that this week was not the week for crafting.  i managed to finish a few projects i had begun, made a couple hair bows, and a little girl's tea time apron.  and i'm damn proud of getting that much done, because i am also potty training zach!  yippee!  except, we're down to one bathroom, which is upstairs on the other end of the house.  add in that preggos pee a lot,  that's a lot of trips up and down the stairs!  luckily, the plumber will be here friday to put in the new drains, and we should have two more toilets working by the weekend!

so i'm trying to decide what else to make, and how many, and my signage, and how to decorate, you get the idea!  i am super excited though, and i  haven't been sleeping well because of it.  also - the wind here is wicked!  i have a desk i want to paint, to use as a display, but it's looking like that won't happen this week.

i made this sweet lamb pillow in the blink of an eye.   it's seriously that fast to put together.  and i even made it wrong - those round feet are actually the tops of the legs, whoops!  those kind of things happen when your computer is downstairs and your machine is upstairs.  i used black fleece from my stash and some cheapo tan felt.  i wish now that i had used a piece of cording to make a curly tail.  next year, maybe?

Friday, March 26, 2010

yes, i've been a little quiet on here.  i've been nesting, getting ready for this baby.  i am only 18 weeks, but i have started putting the nursery together.  april 16th we get to find out what we're having, so i can really dive in then, but for now, it's just moving some things around in the house.  not a lot of crafty time anyways, since troy is hard at work on the bathroom remodel in his spare time.  we're getting closer!  the plumbing will all be run this weekend, and then the sheetrock can go up, the tub installed, etc.  and i've been dreaming about paint colors...

i do have some exciting news!  i got a call yesterday that there is a booth available at aunt jenny's stitch and stuff.  i am going in today to take a look at the two booths available, and show her some examples of my work.  the fee is $25 a month, month to month, it's cheaper if you commit to six months or a year.  but i just don't know if i will sell anything, not sure how much foot traffic they actually get.  i'm definitely going to do it for april and may, just to get my feet wet and give me an excuse to make more things!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

keep the benedryl close.

hello friends.  this weekend is sure to fly by - we're expected to get 8-12 inches of snow. after two days of wearing flip flops and playing outside, i am anticipating cuddling under quilts and maybe even some knitting.

yes, i am ready to pick my needles back up.  the yarn cannot defeat me!  wendy brought me some more knitting magazines, this time the stack included several vogue knitting international.  i am so in love with most everything in these magazines.  the photography is stunning, several of the projects i can see myself making and wearing. the holiday 2009 issue includes a layout inspired by alice in wonderland!  which i got to see in 3D last weekend, and loved.

anyways.  i do have some sewing i MUST finish soon.  my friend asked me to remake her window seat cushion.  she gave me all the stuff last weekend, including the old faded blue bcover, which i tore apart to use as a pattern.

it has the longest zipper i have ever seen.  ever.  which i am also reusing.  i haven't tried to sew anything heavy on my new machine, so i am hoping it will all come together smoothly.  i also haven't used my zipper foot.  and, my last concern is that it won't look right without cording along the edges.  there isn't enough fabric to redo the cording.  she wants it back before her scentsy party this wednesday.

*update!*   i finished the cushion cover, my machine handled it beautifully, the zipper looks great.   i went to her house this afternoon and we put it on.  whew.  i never realized how nervous i get when i am making something specific for someone.  i really think i prefer to make whatever i want, and then if someone wants it, great.  but custom orders make me panic!  the only other thing i have on my must do list is patching some work jeans for my brother-in-law.  i think i will relax for a week or two.  i'm feeling a little stressed out.

also, the dating on this is weird because i wrote part of the post last week but forgot to publish it.  so the snow was last weekend, and has pretty much melted by now.  see you soon!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

tutorial - retro baby blanket

a few weeks back, i jumped at the chance to do a tutorial for ruby jane's retro fabrics and totally tutorials.  she offered up the fabric in exchange for a fun how to project!  i got my rockabye fabric the other day, and have changed my mind a bunch about what i wanted to make!  it's so adorable, and it lends itself to a number of fun projects.

my first thought was baby blocks.  the 4 inch animal squares are a great size for this, and a half yard would make several.  but that was too easy.  i kept brainstorming. 

i considered a cloth baby book.  maybe little log cabin style blocks, with some appliqued letters spelling out each animals name on the opposite page?  there are nine different squares in all.  two cats and two elephants, and also a squirrel, a chick, a bluebird, a bear, and a bunny.  then i changed my mind again.  that's ok though, because you can head to craft gossip for another sweet book idea!

i've been on a baby blanket making mission lately, so i schemed out a quilt top layout.  you could make the entire quilt with fabrics from the rockabye line,  or there are so many colors in these prints you could use something from your stash for sure.  i am adding in some dots, because i ♥ polka dots.  there is a coordinating dot fabric in the line.

ok.  i promised you guys a tutorial.  so, without further ado, may i present:

craftytammie's retro baby blanket tutorial

supplies needed:

1/2 yard Avelyn Rockabye fabric, multi squares
1/2 yard Avelyn Rockabye fabric, diaper pins
1/2 yard sashing (i'm using blue-grey dots)
1 yard backing (pink dots)
1 yard batting (warm & natural)

thread, sewing machine, pins, etc...

i also think a rotary cutter, ruler, and cutting mat are essential for this project.  heck, for any sewing project.  but if you have to, you could cut the blocks by hand with scissors.  *shudder*

depending on where in the pattern your fabric was cut - it may not layout exactly as mine does - but you should be able to get 10 8" "blocks" consisting of 4 animal squares each.  (if you start with more fabric, say, 3/4 yard or more, you could get more variety in the layout too.  or cut them larger to include the diaper pin borders)

i am using this as a cheater fabric, giving the appearance of 4 blocks sewn together into one.  cut these out, taking care to divide the border in half.

from your sashing material, cut strips 2 1/2" x WOF.  cut these into 12 strips, 8 1/2" long. stitch the sashing to the block.  i used the borders that i cut the blocks on to line up my seam allowance.  i stitched right along the edge of the borders.  look at the photo below to see what i mean.  join 3 blocks to each other, making one horizontal row.  don't forget sashing strips on the outside edges!  trim the block edges even.

repeat, making three rows total.  each row will go like this: sashing, block, sashing, block, sashing, block, sashing.

next, add strips of sashing to join the rows together.  look at that - wouldn't that make a cute crib bumper?  again, don't forget the sashing for the outside edges.

once it's all joined, i chose to trim my edges to 2" wide.  that way i knew i had nice straight edges.  i laid my ruler out, lining up against the inside edge of sashing.  look, here's a spot that isn't exact - but guess what?  it's ok!

tada!  the top is complete! 

ok, time to make a quilt sandwich.  lay out your backing, right side down.  then, your batting.  pin the top to these layers.  if you need some help with this step, here's a good tutorial.

quilt as desired.   i chose to do some (sort of) straight line quilting, using the edge of my presser foot to line up with the sashing.  i also stitched through the middle of each animal block - outlining the yellow and green borders within the design.

let's put the binding on now.  i cut 4 strips, 3" x WOF from the diaper pin fabric, stitched them together, and ironed them in half.  if you have never done binding before, this tutorial is my favorite.  i'm not going to give a detailed how-to for it, since she did such a nice job, but if you follow her directions you will be fine!  once you've made your binding, line your raw edges up with the edges of the quilt top,  and sew them (following her wonderful tutorial) around the quilt.  press.  wrap the binding around to the back side, and pin.

now, curl up with the lastest episode of LOST or whatever your guilty pleasure is (DWTS starts soon!) and hand stitch that binding down.  admire your work - you just made a quilt!  i like to wash and dry mine right away, so i can see it get all puckery.  now go make some balls, blocks, and books with your leftover fabrics!

thanks again to ruby jane's retro fabric and totally tutorials for giving me the chance to make this blanket!  hope you enjoyed it as much as i have!

Friday, March 12, 2010


ok.  i know i said i'd be gone for a few days.  but i finished two more super old projects, and that's cause for a post, right?  and i am making progress in turning the guest/sewing room into the nursery.  i plan to keep a corner for my machine and a bookshelf for my materials, but the rest needs to go away.  so, tackling the piles has a dual purpose.  and i only have 5 months to use it or lose it!

first up - a flannel baby receiving blanket, made with some dinosaur flannel that was in my grandma neppl's stash.  this is one of the first "patchwork" projects i started, probably 2 1/2 years ago.

i didn't measure it, but it's smallish, made with 5 inch blocks.  i made a little twill tape tag(in the bottom right), and stamped ct on it, you know, for craftytammie.  but i need to figure out a way to make a tag that will fit my whole name on it.  something i've been playing around with.  anyone know a place i can pick up a fabric ink pad?  hobby lobby and my local sewing/scrapbook shop didn't have any.

the second thing i finished is a tank top, which i started 4 years ago!  i was embarrassed to pull it from the pile and see that it only needed a hem.  oh, and one spot in the gathering under the chest area needed fixed.  seriously, i felt shame.  so in five minutes or less, i added a new top to my spring wardobe - and yes, i will be able to wear it, because it's a baby doll shape!  plenty of room for the growing belly.  i'm 16 weeks now!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

"what is the use of a book, without pictures or conversations?"

image via
i'm loving all the alice themed posts in blogland lately - the movie looks wonderfully bizarre, if a little scary.  the disney version is one of my all time favorites, though.   for a short time you can download the audio version of the book, unabridged, for FREEEEE! (anyone seen bedtime stories?  my kids love that line)  we like to listen to books in the van, so i'm hoping this will be a good one for our long car trip to omaha next month!

image via

read more about it and link to other free audio books at pie bird, and see some great inspiration photos for your next tea party.  for more ideas, including some links for knitting patterns and way cool paper bag hats, head over to in truer ink.  there's also some great quotes at this site, like this one:

"begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop."  the king

pretty sound advice. we're officially on spring break, and i have lots of things planned so i may not see you for a few days.  have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

back to work

well, i decided to stick with sewing for the time being.  it seems safer.  although, i suppose i could always slice off a finger with my rotary...

anyways, troy got pulled onto night shift ($$$!), so i've had a little time to myself in the evenings.  love that!  i made cinnamon rolls from scratch monday night, for the first time ever, and while they aren't as good as i wish they were, we have managed to choke a pan or two down .  i used this recipe, and, as usual, my dough refused to rise.  i have never been able to work with yeast.  i don't know what i do wrong, maybe our house is too cold, or i'm screwing something up, but i had the water temp perfect (110*) and followed the directions - nothing.  they were supposed to double in size, two separate risings, but i gave up and baked them anyways.  not too bad, but sorta dry and dense.

soup for brunch today, i tried a tuscan soup recipe, and it's quite yummy.  plus i love any recipe that lets me use up leftover items, like the 3 sausages, half carton of chicken broth, and quarter bag of cheese lurking in my crisper.  i added parmesan to the soup at the end, and i may have overpowered the other flavors.  but still pretty good.

i spent some time sewing too, finishing a baby blanket top made from the birdie line by me and my sister charm pack.  it's made just like my sweet blanket from a few weeks ago.  it uses 40 5" squares, and this time i used a kona ivory.  i think.  i bought two shades of white when they were on sale at joann's awhile back, and now i'm not sure if it was snow or ivory.  i still need to buy a yard of backing fabric, unless i can find something in my stash that works.  i didn't love this fabric as much as i thought i would - it's really cute but just not me.  i still have 20 squares left, so i may try making one of these adorable cushions, i saw on whipup yesterday.  or this one over at moda bakeshop. 

Sunday, March 7, 2010

crafting = danger

last night i was sorting through the huge box 'o yarn i told you about.  i filled a trash bag with the red heart super savers and lion brand homespun, destined for the thrift store donation bin.  and i kept some of the others - the jiffy and wool ease and comfort.  my nose started itching.

and then i sat down with a crochet book i found at the library and a skein of my new yarn, and within minutes i was a mess.  sneezing, coughing, my eye swelled up so big and was itching/stinging.  i felt wheezy and strange. 

i woke up my husband, who was irritated and wasn't very nice about it.  he told me to go to bed. 

*as if i could sleep when i'm obviously going blind.*

anyways.  then he got fully awake and asked if i wanted to go to the hospital (this was when i was coughing uncontrollably and wheezing between hacks.)  eventually it subsided, and i woke up this morning with my eye glued shut.

it's not much better now, you can see it's still swollen a bit.  so, ladies, my question is this - what happened?  am i allergic to yarn?  i could understand if this was wool - i know that i can't work with wool yarn, but i thought acrylic was hypoallergenic or something.  i googled it and of course the first entry was about a lady who knit a prayer shawl from homespun, which put the recipient in the hospital with a severe allergic reaction.  never ask dr. google questions at 10pm.  he's all doom and despair.

Friday, March 5, 2010

a second chance at love

i took apart the pinwheels!  i originally had wanted to do a value quilt, something like this one.  i know i saw one with white too, i just can't find the link now.  i really like the pattern, it's interesting without being fussy.  now that i have it laid out on the guest bed, i know where it's going to live when it's finished!  it looks so cheerful.  that means making it larger than i originally intended.  the bed up there is a double, but i will probably make it to fit a queen.

i had posted my pinwheels over on flickr, and the consensus there was to keep them.  they looked better in the photograph than in real life, but that's just my opinion.  maybe i was having a hard time imagining these colors and prints in my living room.  much better in the guest room.  i think king approves too.  i had better get started on some different pinwheels though - this might be the time to break out the katie jump rope!  maybe. 

Thursday, March 4, 2010

what to do...

since i am the self appointed rescuer of all craft supplies, great and small, i was gifted a yarn stash recently.  i have a brother-in-law named chance.  he's married to troy's sister wendy, they are both way cool, and we get along great.  his mom lorraine was a sweetheart, and a phenomenal knitter.  unfortunately, her health was poor and she passed away before christmas.  they are putting her house on the market, and brought me her knitting goodies.

so, what did i receive?  lots of needles - i really need to make myself a needle roll to organize them all.  a big stack of knitting magazines - she subscribed to several, and they are all recent.  even if some of the sweater projects in them look like they're from a 1984 mccall's magazine.  yikes.  anyways, a huge box of yarn.  nothing too upscale, but pretty colors and i can use some of it for the crocheted baby blocks i am working on.  and while going through it i found a few projects she had started.  no patterns are with them, and i doubt i could finish them anyways, but look at this!

i assume it was the beginning of a cardigan or cape (she was a large woman).  the photo shows it vertical but it was being knit side to side.  there is a garter edging on both ends.  it was on a long circular, with markers, but i bound it off so i wouldn't drop any stitches.  i don't know what to do with it.  i thought at first i could use it as a scarf, but it's too wide, and too narrow for a table runner or shawl.  it's really a cool stitch pattern though, and if anyone recognizes it and can tell me what it is, i'd appreciate it.  also any suggestions of what i could make with it!  my only idea is to stitch a wider strip of linen behind it to make a runner.   

spinning around

well, today i started on my pinwheels for the old red barn co. quilt-a-long.  i was having fun knocking them out, chain piecing and happy when my points lined up perfect.  then i laid the blocks all out together.  hmm.  i'm just not loving the fabrics.  the prints are just too large, the yellows too bright.  maybe i'd like them better with sashing.

i am probably going to take them apart and try a new layout.  i had won this heather bailey fat quarter bundle - well, a gift cert, and i chose them.  i loved a few of the prints and the idea of having a ready made palette at my finger tips.  and in a pile they worked well together, i thought.  but the yellows just aren't my shade of yellow, i guess.

i'm glad i only cut one 5 inch strip off each of my fat quarters.  it gave me 4 5" squares for the pinwheels, and left me with a nice chunk i can use for something else.  i still have two or three of the fabrics i haven't cut yet.  let me know what you think - keep the pinwheels?  or go with the diamonds?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

hi there,

how's it going?  i don't know what it's like where you are, but today, it was warm enough to play outside!  i cleaned the garage, filled all my bird feeders, took a load of donations for the church rummage sale, lots of little things that make me feel so good. 

this last weekend was a long one, with my honey gone ice fishing for 4 days and an additional two kids for saturday night.  we also ran out of propane (due to a slight miscalculation of troy's) and had to rely on the wood stove and two space heaters for the last week.  luckily, the weather has been mild and our downstairs stays pretty even all year round.  but the guest room upstairs - freeeezing.  so no sewing, but some crochet and knitting to keep me busy. 

i have some new fabrics i'm itching to cut into, and two new quilt-a-longs i'll be trying to keep up with.  both are pinwheels, check them out at ps.iquilt and oldredbarnco.  be back soon with pics and projects!


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