Wednesday, February 29, 2012

mmm, pie - and a mini-tute!

well, i've been absent but still crafty!

i've been baking.  blueberry jam thumbprints for a CASA auction,  and chocolate peanut butter ritz cookies (is there a shorter name for those?) for troy to take to work.  being a ninny i didn't take pics of either batch of cookies, even though they were purty.

it reminds me though, of showing my uncle bill a picture of a cake i decorated (hoping to impress him with my mad skilz) and having him say "well, i take pictures of the fish i catch, and you take pictures of your cakes."  touche, uncle billy.  there are times when i feel like - why do i document all this stuff?  but i enjoy it and you all put up with me!  :)

i did get a pic of the two apple pies i made for troy to take to work.   seems crazy, but i had never made a regular old double crust apple pie before! 

i also wanted to share a quick how-to.  when i was making my mug rug for the valentine's swap, i was playing around and came up with something i thought was fun.  now - i haven't checked, i'm sure this has been done before.  so just smile and let me think i'm terribly original, ok?

so i started with eight 5 inch charms. i'm using moda punctuation fabrics.  i made 2 four patches.  then i cut each four patch on the diagonal both ways.  this gave me 8 patchwork triangles.  then i put two triangles together to make a center square.  and i forgot to take pics of all of that, doh!

 added the other triangles along the outside edges.

this means that on two sides, they will overlap.  after stitching my first 2 triangles onto opposite sides, i cut them even with the center square block.  then i stitched on the last 2 triangles.

square up and you're done!  you can back and quilt this to make a square mug rug if you want.  i'm making something fun with mine, can't wait to share! 

have you tried this before?  is there a name for this type of block?  do share!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday, February 17, 2012

here, birdie birdie!

as we start into a four day weekend with the kids, i'm glad for the sunshine!  it means we will be able to go for a woods walk this afternoon to do our great backyard bird count.  the boys have already filled the bird feeders with sunflower seed. we are going to pick up some thistle seed when we run to town later, hopefully we can get a good variety of birds this weekend!  i already saw about 20 geese on the lake, so we'll definitely make a stop down there.  if you're interested, go check out their site and you can print a checklist of birds that you find in your area.  it'll be so nice to get outside and breathe some fresh air. i'm going to take my camera too, and try to get some good shots of the kiddos in their mudboots!

i'm close to done piecing my 2nd swoon, and have been playing with fabric combos for the other 7 blocks.   i loved sara's idea about cutting the pieces and putting them in a bag - so i did that and i feel so organized!  some days you feel like cutting, other days you feel like sewing!  (some days you feel like laying on the couch all day eating junk food, but don't tell anyone.)  i decided to put my other swoon quilt on hold so that i can join in the granny square quilt along at old red barn co. flickr group.  and i have a bunch of new charms from swaps to dream about, and a challenge project for kcmqg to complete, and i'm sure i'm forgetting ten other things.  maybe, just maybe, i can knock something out this weekend? 

i started a new diet program too - visalus?  heard of them?  i want to drop a few pounds from my waist, but mostly i need to break my awful eating habits.  and i'm on day three, so far so good.  i haven't even had any coffee yet, but i feel pretty awake.  yesterday the urge to snack was so strong - even though i wasn't hungry!  i made a healthy meal for dinner last night.  baked lemon herb chicken, roasted veggies and wild rice.  the kids ate it ok - only because they wanted a cookie for dessert, not because they loved it. 

i'll try not to bore you with my diet, but if i'm having good results from the shakes i'll let you know!  they taste pretty yummy, but they do use splenda.  i was worried i might get headaches (i am sensitive to other artificial sweeteners) but that hasn't been an issue yet.  i also stopped at sonic and bought a bag of ice to use in my shakes, which blends up so much better than regular ice cubes!  anyways, BORING.  sorry.  back with crafty news tomorrow!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

winners and some blocks

winners winners!

fat quarter shop was #211 - mary
peek a boo patterns was #37 - melinda
vintage sheets was #6 - kelsey sews
chalkboard appliques was #13 - stephanie
silver ribbon buttons - #2, #8, #10  nancy, nikki, and catskill quilter

thanks so much to everyone who stopped by and entered! 

and i never shared my january string blocks for do. good stitches!  there they are.  a crazy mish mosh of scraps from my cutting table. 

and i'm happy to share this post - the different do. good stitches circles all made a secret block to make a quilt for rachel (the founder of the group)  and it made me squeal a little because i could see my block in one of the pics!  it's a fabulous quilt.  anna maria horner even signed it for her!  :)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

my valentine

i signed up for the generation q stitchy valentine swap, and it was fun to do!  it's been awhile since i did a swap where i had to make something!  my partner christine sent me a package last week but told me i couldn't open it until today.  i debated leaving it on the counter where one of the kids would surely "accidentally" open it!  but i tucked it away in my gift closet and didn't remember it until we were walking in the door from school parties!

it was a calgon moment for sure.  (also, if you don't know what a calgon moment is, then i am old.)  the kids were busy inhaling all their valentine candy, and i took a moment for myself, and opened it to find this cheery tote bag! 

it's awesome and already holding my library books.  sorry for the dark pics, but it's a fun print and a good size. 

see?!  the little pocket is perfect for my library card.  thanks a bunch valentine!  i love it!

happy heart day!

a huge thank you to all of my guests and sponsors this week!  it's been a blast for me, i hope you've all enjoyed it too. 

if you haven't had a chance to enter the giveaways, today is the last day.
here's a quick recap(click on the links to get to the giveaway posts):

$50 gift cert to fat quarter shop
fat quarter bundle of vintage sheet fabric
chalkboard applique set from
any three patterns from peek-a-boo pattern shop
silver ribbon buttons

and here's a project i'm working on.  my mom and i found this brand new latch hook kit at the thrift store - 99 cents!  i had hoped my daughter would be able to do it, but it was a little too challenging for her yet.  so i finished it and am planning to make a pillow out of it!

we did discover a hobby she's awesome at - scrapbooking!  she got a scrapbook kit for christmas and we just broke it out last weekend.  some of my favorite pages:

and this is the only page i helped with - cutting the stenciled part (it was prepunched but too big for the page!)
she cut the faces out though!  i am so proud of her.  she went a little crazy with her black pen and it got kind of messy - i have the same problem of not knowing when to stop!  i can't wait to get her another book to fill!

well that's all i've got for today.  lots of valentine's parties to attend, and my own valentine will be getting home any minute, so i need to run.  happy valentine's day!!

Monday, February 13, 2012

things i love, day 7

i think it's pretty fair to say i love these swoon blocks.  i know, i know - we've already seen them this week!  i was a little surprised by how big they are - i hadn't paid any attention but it's a 24" block!  i think one block would make a fab wall hanging, or floor cushion.

here's my first one, made from some ds quilts fabric.  

but i've already started cutting out some different fabrics. 

pale blue with gray greens and pink.  i think it's so pretty!  should i add in more fabrics? maybe some solids? i bought the fabric from hobby lobby, a few years ago.  i still love it, and i am determined that it will be a quilt for our bedroom.  and if i stay focused, it can be done in time to celebrate our 10 year anniversary in april!

i'm sure my husband will be so excited.  ha.  ha.  :)  

True Love Love

Hi everyone! I’m Jenifer of 42 Quilts and I’m so excited to be with you today. I met Tammie at the KCMQG and we hit it off instantly. Then I found out she was the author of this amazing blog. Isn't this a comfortable place to talk quilts (and so much more)!? I’m so honored she asked me to be a part of her Sew Full of Love week!

5 things I love (it’s hard to narrow them down to just 5!):
1. Morning coffee before everyone else is awake.
2. Eating dinner on the deck with a table cloth and white dishes.
3. Cooking dinner with DH while drinking a nice glass of wine.
4. Watching my kids play soccer. (Soccer moms rule!)
5. Thinking about quilts, reading about quilts, talking about quilts, making quilts – everything about quilts!

Just in time for the big day tomorrow, I want to share with you something else I love - this cute little quilted Valentine wall hanging you can make for your sweetheart (well, maybe next year)!

Paper-pieced heart block.
I'm going through a "wonky" phase right now so it seems like I want all my quilt blocks "off" just a bit. That was the inspiration for this 6" heart block. I first tried improv piecing, but it was just too much getting them just so. That's when I went to EQ to draw it out and make the paper-piecing templates. 
EQ is a drawing program especially for quilters.
If you're interested in creating your own designs, it's a great tool!
To make your own True Love wall hanging, you'll need to make 12 - 6" heart blocks. I chose the obvious - red and white for mine! You might choose something else. I made them all red on white except for one, which I made white on red. On that one, I embroidered the words True Love to imitate a candy conversation heart. You can put what ever message you like on yours!

I drew 3 different patterns so the blocks so there would be some variety from block to block. I printed each out 4 times and some I made in reverse to add further variety. If you are new to paper-piecing, here's some links to really good tutorials: 

Fresh Lemons This is a nice tutorial. You'll be able to pick it up pretty fast or as a refresher if you just need a reminder.
The Crafty Gemini. This is a 10-minute video - which is a commitment - but she paper-pieces exactly like I do. I highly recommend watching if you've never paper-pieced before.

Next, I added 3" sashing and 3" borders to finish up the 30" x 39" quilt. It's very simple, but so sweet! I did my own quilting, which I have to confess is very limiting. I only can echo quilt really well, so that's what I did. I like to use quilting as part of the quilt design rather than as just a means to get the quilt finished. I thought the straight quilting lines around the hearts would make a neat visual. I bound it in red.

I played around with a bunch of setting ideas for my 12 blocks and I came up with these. You decide how you want your quilt to look!

True Love in Reverse
Striped Love
True Love in Color
True Love on the Edge
If you would like to make your own True Love wall hanging, click here for a downloadable pattern.

a HUGE thank you to jenifer for sharing this with us!  i adore it.  i am truly in love with it!  jenifer is a great teacher, i am so excited to be taking her applique class next month!  be sure to check out her blog, 42 quilts, and her modern monday/traditional tuesday blocks! 

and if you haven't entered all the giveaways yet, don't forget they all end tomorrow!  go win some fabric, or more fabric, or patterns, or chalkboard appliques, or silver ribbon buttons!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

things i love, day six & giveaway!

there's a gal who i stalk daily.  her name's jenny lawson, and she's also known as the bloggess. 

my brother-in-law chance introduced me to her writing a few years ago.  i think the conversation went something like this:

c: hey, you gotta check out this blog.  this chick is freaking hilarious.

t: oh yeah?

c: yeah, she kind of talks like she might be on drugs.

and that, my friends, pretty much sums it up.  but in a good way.  she's not for everyone, so if you're easily offended, don't say i didn't warn you!

she is so funny and real and crazy and approachable and just, awesome.  she is unapologetically honest and furiously happy.  she makes me laugh every time i read her.  she's the partner in crime i never had, which i'm sure is a good thing.  whether she's wearing a wolf or pajama jeans to a premiere, dressing up taxidermied animals for photo shoots, or posing for amazing portraits in a traveling red dress, she manages to do it all with humor and style.  a few weeks ago she wrote something that hit close to my heart.  she wrote about her struggle with depression.  and she started an unofficial silver ribbon movement in blogland. and i love her.

i've dealt with depression for most of my adult life.  i've had bad spells before, but the worst was after the birth of our 2nd.  and thankfully, i got some help.  but it wasn't easy to do.  i felt so guilty - why couldn't i just be happy?  i had these two wonderful babies, an amazing life, so what was wrong with me?

sweet pea on tumblr
when i finally started seeking help,  i had already tried remedies like st. john's wort, 5 HTP, and vitamin b.  i went back to our regular doctor (who had recommended the vit b and 5 HTP initially) who sighed, told me to get a babysitter, and acted as if i was wasting his time while i cried.  i'm still amazed at that.  (we have a new doctor now) i understand that he was suggesting i take time for me.  but there was nobody to help.  we lived hours from family, out in the country, and with a colicky baby and a toddler, going anywhere was too overwhelming to handle.

this wasn't too long after tom cruise had his outburst against antidepressants, and i have to admit, my husband agreed with him.  when i finally started taking something, i didn't even tell him right away.  i couldn't handle being judged when i was already so fragile.  it was so hard for him to comprehend what i was dealing with.

but we were in trouble.  i was in trouble.  and thankfully, my ob/gyn was someone i felt comfortable enough with to broach the subject.  (emma & alex are only 14 months apart, i'd practically been living at his office!)  i made an appt, and he talked with me as i bawled, & tried to sort out if anything else was going on.  he convinced me that even thought there was no such thing as a "happy" pill, what was the harm in trying medication?  what if it actually did help?   i'm happy to say it does help.  a lot.  and my husband realized that it helped too.  and we made it through.  i still take 100 mg a day of sertraline.  and i continue to struggle against it, and accept the fact that there will be days when i can't handle life, when all i can do is cry, when things will feel worse before they get better.  but they will get better.

so in honor of the silent struggle so many of us face, and the families that watch, bewildered and helpless, i bought a couple silver ribbon buttons from the bloggess' shop and i am giving them away.  just leave me a comment if you'd like to win one.  i'll draw 3 names randomly and contact you for your address.

she's right.  never give up.  depression IS a lying bastard.  and thank you jenny, for being so awesome!!

giveaway is now closed

CaraQuilts Guest Post

i'm excited to introduce my next guest!  i *met* cara on twitter, where she does an amazing job hosting talkin' tuesdays.  if you've never joined in the #talknt fun, you should check it out this tuesday night!  she also has quilt patterns for sale at fat quarter shop - avalanche is my favorite!  welcome cara!!

Hi everyone! I'm very pleased that Tammie asked me to come and be a guest blogger during her Valentine's week of fun! Come and join me over at CaraQuilts, and make sure to check out the Basics Charity Challenge which is going on RIGHT NOW! You can win some great prizes and help out your own community!
I also host Talkin Tuesday, #talknt on twitter, a weekly quilting chat from 9-11pm EST>

Valentine's Day can be a lot of fun, especially with kids. Any excuse to decorate and play with different materials is good in my book!

My love story isn't particularly exciting or romantic, in fact I'm not sure my husband knows the meaning of the word, but it's ours.
 Over 8 years ago Shane and I met online. We talked for months before meeting. After back and forth visits, in which both our mothers were assured that neither of us was an axe murderer, we got engaged and Shane moved from the mountains of North Carolina to the Thames Valley of southwestern Ontario in Canada. You want exciting try doing immigration forms! That will take the romance out of any relationship!

But that doesn't change the fact that I like the kids version of Valentine's Day, making cards and decorations, wearing pink, red and white. And getting some sugar from my Valentine.

Last year I made this quilt using Giddy, the pattern is available at Moda Bake Shop. One of the reasons I love this quilt is because even though it's a heart etc its not sugary sweet, and the green "ribbon" reminds me of all the things that hold my heart together and that I wrap in love.

This year I wanted my daughter to be able to help so we made fabric heart garlands!
Super easy, all you do is fuse two layers of fabric wrong sides together and cut out shapes. We made hearts. The front and back can be the same or different fabric. Whatever floats your boat.
Because I wanted to make it so Little Bit could do it with her friends we used the glue gun and glued the hearts onto a piece of ric rac. One made a vertical and another did a horizantal. If you make them smaller they'd be great hung from a chandelier or light fixture above the table.

Using a clover heart yo-yo maker I made one yo-yo, grabbed one of the fused hearts, buttons and some ribbon, and made up a cute little hair clip for Little Bit to wear this week. With a braid that measures 45cm (about 17"), she could probably go with more then one!

Holiday decorating or crafts with kids don't have to be expensive or complicated. With your basic glue gun, some buttons, ribbon and fabric you can make just about anything! Grab some fabric and have fun!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

things i love, day five

every day it seems there are new fun (free!) printables available at various websites.  or if you're crafty, you can make your own using picnik (and yes, i know it's shutting down - so sad)

and if you're like me, every year you plan on making some creative valentines for your kids to hand out, but then end up with the boxed ones from the store.  not that there's anything wrong with that, and my kids already picked theirs out (angry birds, ninja legos, and scratch art) but there are so many fun ideas floating around out there!  here's a few i found:

mooo has great free printables!   and a sweet ecard too!

a wonderful round up list of valentines at dandelion farm girl

fun for older kids:

paper airplanes to print from country living

paper fortune cookies!  from design. wash. rinse. repeat.

a fun mp3 player made from candy!  from family fun

good for the boys in your life:

blast off candy rocket from family fun

glow stick light sabers from brassy apple

great for girls:

friendship bracelet valentines from dandee

sweet pirate valentines at family shopping bag

and so many more!  are you making valentine's for your kids?

Something to Swoon About

please welcome my next guest poster, sara!

Valentines Day is upon us,what better way to celebrate then join up with Tammie on here at her blog for some good times!!  She has a carefree blog that always makes me wonder what she is up to next;) Love is kind and that is Tammie:)  Love ya girl!

Speaking of LOVE, what do you love in this world right at this very moment?

These are my top 5:
1. my Savior “He loves each one of us like there is only one of us to love
(when God whispers your name)”
Max Lucado
2. hubby and son Ayden they fill up my days with goodness
3. quilting my passion
4. knitting while cuddling on couch
5. cooking delicious

I could list many more,but those are the ones that come to mind instantly.  

Today I am going to focus on one love and that is the love of quilting.  What better way to show off this love than with a Swoon quilt block for ya'll!

How about some lovely Ruby and striking Bliss fabric to go with this block?!  I love me some Ruby again and again. This is a line that will never tire me or make me want to hide it in the back of one of my storage bins hoping it goes away.  OR even slowly throwing it in my little trash bin until it is all out of sight.  

I didn't just say that did I?  Sorry truth be hold I am bad.  Yes bad as I wanna be. 

After my confession,who would like to see some pretty fabric all cut up and put back together into a smile worthy block of beauty.  

First I cut up all the pieces,hoping I can get through ALL the squares and rectangles, measurements here and there.  Then after smiling at all the hard work I did, I like to put each block's pieces into Ziploc baggies because I am an organizing geek.  Hey it works!

Now you get to see my very stylish pencil in action (insert a sarcastic mood here)  I make my HST's with a ruler because  I cannot ever do a straight line without it!

Cut my pencil line after I sew a stitched line on each side of the pencil line with my once again stylish scissors:)

Press them cuties and it will yield a block I love.  Now go make a lot more of those babies and you will be on your way---trust me!

Only 2 blocks are needed for the Swoon block.  Lovin' it<3  This is the 2nd block ya'll get to create.  More of those pencil lines on the diagonal.
A pass over that sewing machine and you have an ear flap or maybe a triangle to keep it clear-hehehehe

Repeat that ear flap (clearing throat) triangle and there you have it....a flying geese block.  This is one of my faves to make too.  Go see here.

Once you have all your little blocks ready to go.  I have been doing one of the Ziploc bags a day.  Then I will go back and fit them all together to produce the Swoon look!


This quilt is actually going to be a commission quilt for my Aunt living in WI once it is all prettied up.  I just have a feeling she will love the design!

Happy Valentines Day to ya'll!!!

thanks for sharing your gorgeous swoon block!  my favorite part are the aqua points made from bliss.  that pattern is on my *to-make* list, maybe using some of that ds fabric i shared yesterday?!  and if you're new to the swoon sensation, go check out the swoon-along at flickr and get inspired to make your own!

Friday, February 10, 2012

things i love - day four

quick - someone asks you your favorite fabric designer.  who's it gonna be?
the flavor of the week or your old flame?

my list of fave designers gets added to all the time.

and my list of favorite denyse schmidt's fabrics does too!  i picked up a few aunt edna prints from joann's a few days ago.  love the gray and orange dots! and i used a bit of picnics and fairgrounds in this little mug rug i made.

i keep collecting her fabrics, including a few little scraps of flea market fancy i've been saving (which now seems pretty silly, since they are re-releasing it) to make some quilts for the living room.  but i can't make my mind up on patterns!  today i'm leaning towards the granny squares tutorial i keep seeing pop up.

the other fabrics in this are just random bits i had in my scraps.  night all, see you tomorrow for another giveaway!! :)  and don't forget to enter the previous days giveaways, they all end feb 14th at midnight!


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