Thursday, August 30, 2012


thanks for the sweet comments about charm crossing.  it really made my day!

one thing that kind of bugged me about that project was the leftover charms.  since a moda charm pack comes with 42 charms (and removing the off-white made it 40), and i needed at least 50, the only solution was to require 2 charm packs.  some company's charm packs have less charms, example, chicopee  for free spirit only has 30 (gorgeous) 5 inch squares.  riley blake usually has 21-25 charms in a pack.  something to keep in mind if you are making charm crossing, or if you win the giveaway.

so i've been kind of obsessed with finding uses for all of the extra charms.  of course, you could save them for another project, like my chopped up charms table runner

anyways, here's another idea using hourglass blocks.  you can make an ohio star block! 

it uses 4 hourglass blocks, and five 4" charms. this makes a slightly smaller block, measuring 11" unfinished.  you could do a whole quilt from these, which is what i'm working on right now.  i'm using sugar pop by moda.  but i have to decide on a layout first. 

because if you set them on point they make a pretty star block.  hmm...

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Charm Crossing

i can't believe it - my quilt is on moda bakeshop today!  yep, it's official.  i'm a moda bake shop chef! i am so pleased to share the tutorial over there.  here she is, charm crossing!

there's so much i want to tell you about this quilt pattern.  and there's a great giveaway at the end, as a reward for listening to me blather on!!

i made the original forevah ago.  i used a bunch of floral charm squares i had collected doing swaps online, and some white tone on tone leftover from a project.  at the time, i just wanted to make a quilt, to get over my fear of making a quilt.  hourglass blocks seemed just hard enough, so that's what i made.  100 of them.

but i forgot to pay attention to the orientation of the squares when i stitched four of them to make a block.  so i ended up with some that had horizontal hourglasses in the top corner, and others that had vertical.  so i played around with them on the floor and thought, huh, if i leave a space i can make this work. so i added in the white rectangles, and then a wide border.

i quilted it on my little machine.  it's still the largest thing i've quilted myself, because honestly, it sucked.  i just did straight lines, following the stitching, which looks cool on the back.  but i didn't know what to do in the centers of the white rectangles, and in the border, so they just stayed blank. i bound & backed it in thrifted fabrics. 

i posted pics of it in my flickr, & i still get new comments and favorites on it.  i tossed around the idea of making a pattern, but don't know pdfs.  one day this summer, i took the plunge & submitted it to Moda.  i was so thrilled when they said they liked it!

OK, fast forward.  here's the back of charm crossing.  i had a swatch watch in these exact colors back in jr. high!  hahaha!  working with moda's bella solids was a nice change.  i love the variety in the bella 2012 colors, they all play well with each other.  the indigo is really pretty.  bella white is creamier than kona, and the fabrics feel a little softer than kona.  but just as nice to work with.

i couldn't get it basted without wrinkles, & then i tried three times to quilt it.  for whatever reason, my machine & i could not work together.  frustrated with ripping out stitches, i turned to the KCMQG facebook page & asked for help.

Ariane of Callie Grace Quilts donned her cape and came to my rescue!  she has a new longarm business, and she did an amazing job on this quilt!  i gave her free reign, so she chose the design.  she did a dense paisley design in all the white, outlined the hourglasses, and it looks wonderful.  so be sure to check out her website, and get some of those tops finished!

and to celebrate, i have a fabulous giveaway today!  how about a $50 gift certificate for quilting services from Callie Grace Quilts?  AND a set of charm packs to start your own charm crossing?  Fat Quarter Shop is giving one winner their choice of two charm packs!  i'm using rafflecopter to run the giveaway:

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

mandatory entry:
head over to fat quarter shop, choose what charm packs you'd want to get, and leave me a comment here.  then click the correct rafflecopter button to enter.

personally?  i'd choose mama said sew.

or maybe a little christmas joy:

giveaway ends next tuesday the 4th at midnight , and winner will be drawn and notified on wednesday.   the winner will be responsible for shipping their quilt to and from Callie Grace Quilts.

thanks so much to Moda Bakeshop and Ariane for helping me with this project!   it was a lot of fun and i'm sure we'll do it again soon!  :)

Saturday, August 25, 2012



i bought a huge container of feta intending to make some sort of dip for a potluck this weekend.  after checking out a few recipes, i decided upon this one from MyRecipes, but made a few changes.

feta spread

12 oz. feta crumbles
3 Tbsp. lemon grapeseed oil (i get mine from wildtree)
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. diced pepperoncini pepper rings (i doubled that)
1 tsp. minced garlic ( i used 3 garlic cloves)
1 tsp. oregano
fresh cracked black pepper
1 Tbsp. red pepper flakes

blend together in a food processor - i used my oster immersion blender, like this one:

and wowza it's good.  like, there might not be anything left for the fish fry if i don't get a little self control.

i'm serving it up with pita chips and sweet red peppers.  right into my mouth.  yum.

UPDATE - troy took this to the party for me (sawyer was sick) and the next day my MIL was telling me about this nasty stinky cheese dip someone brought!!  she thought it was awful!  i said, umm, that was my dip, lol.  so, i guess it's a matter of taste, huh?  :)

quilter's blog hop party!

GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED!  thanks to all who entered! the winner is Farm Quilter!

over at the quilting gallery, they are hosting a blog hop party of giveaways to celebrate back to school.  and i am so celebrating that!!  i love hearing all about what they did at school, and who said what, and i am enjoying my new "free" time too.  so be sure to check out the list of participants and visit them, maybe you'll win some cool prizes!

Hop Party with Give-Aways

here's what i have up for grabs:

a fat quarter bundle of vintage sheet fabric!  i recently added a few pretties to my collection.  love this little flower basket print.

and this yellow lattice print is sweet too.

i'll add in three other prints so you have a nice surprise in your mailbox!

contest runs through september 3rd, and i will select one winner.

all you have to do to enter is leave me a comment.  i'd love to know what your bedding looked like when you were a kid in school.  i'll go first.  i had a canopy bed with the blue holly hobbie gingham bedroom set, straight out of the montgomery ward's catalog.

i've searched and can't find any pictures of it - but i bet some of you guys remember it!
for more entries,  you can follow me using GFC, facebook, or on twitter - you don't want to miss anything, right?  just leave me a comment telling me each thing you do.  if you are already a follower, thanks!!  just tell me that in a comment.

thanks for stopping by my blog today.  i've got some giveaways and events coming up this fall, so i hope to see you again!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

buzz buzz

i've been a busy bee block maker today.  first up, bee vintage blocks for august. 

bow ties.  i really like this one!  can't wait to see the whole quilt.

scrappy dresden plate.  (i still need to applique the center)

and then for do. good stitches. inspire i made a few more butterflies.

i patched a pair of zach's pants, i stitched up a pillowcase for the boys' room,

lion approved!
and i mended one of emma's stuffed animals that has had a hole for months.  ahhhh, that feels good.   i have to say, i'm enjoying this "me" time with three in school and one napping!  it's been years since i had this much time to myself every day.  hope you're having a good week!

Saturday, August 18, 2012


look at this pretty clutch that caitlin made me! 

she's the cool owner of i don't do dishes, who i featured last month during sew full of summer.   

love the birdie lining!!  and the pleats.  and the outer fabric.  pretty much every little stitch. check out her other etsy shop, McIntyre Girl and a huge thank you to caitlin!

i also received a jelly roll of coquette from sew can she.  they have a cool site, a new free sewing tutorial every day, delivered to your email if you want!  they have weekly giveaways, so be sure to sign up for their emails so you don't miss out!  this jelly roll is sitting pretty in my nook right now, but i can't wait to play with it.  the colors are just yummy.

here's the bag of strips i got from pat sloan!  it's from her latest fabric line at moda, eat your fruits and veggies.  i'm trying to think up a good project for these.  maybe a new sink mat, my mom wanted the last one i made, so i should make myself one.

i especially love these three fabrics.

sawyer had a good birthday, despite not feeling the best.  eye infection, cutting a molar, and he still manages to be happy.  love that kid so much!  i made him a lumpy globe pillow from a panel print.

i'm pretty certain it's not supposed to be lumpy but it's sort of fitting, since that's been his nickname since he was born! 

the older ones started school yesterday.  they were excited and ready to go, and troy was home from work so the whole family got to see them on the bus!  even the cats and dog were there.

i feel like i'm finally getting caught up.  i'm picking up a quilt tomorrow - super excited, i get to see my quilt all beautifully quilted, have lunch with ariane, and go to sarah's fabrics!!  happy girl right here!  you may not get to see it right away though, but hopefully it will debut this week!  enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

let's go fly a kite!

or at least make one to look at while we sew!

for my fab guests from sew full of summer, i decided to stitch up summery pincushions.  i saw these over at riley blake!  i followed their tutorial, with a couple changes, and they turned out super cute. so i thought i'd share how i made them.  best of all, mine are made from two 5 inch charms!

first, i made a template of a kite shape.  here's a quick way to do it.  i save all the paper sheets and cardboard from charm packs - i reuse them for templates and patterns.  so i grabbed a paper slip and drew a line, corner to corner.  this is the spine of the kite.  next, i drew a line about 3 1/2 inches on each side from the top corner, for the cross piece.

then, i drew a line from that point to the opposite corner, completing the diamond shape.  trimmed off the paper along that line.  and now i have a kite template.  make sense?  if not, just draw a kite of your own design and use that :)  or they have a printable template on their tutorial - my printer won't play nicely with our new wireless router, so i can't print right now...

so i chose two charms and cut out my kites.   i wanted to hand stitch the lines on it.  i ironed it in half to give me a guideline.

then i stitched.  and i have a question - wouldn't it be nice to have some kind of marks on the end of your needle, something to gauge how big of a stitch you've made?  do you follow what i'm saying?  maybe they make these already, i don't do much handwork.  but it seems like a good idea to me.

anyways, after you've embellished your kite, stitch, right sides together, leaving an opening for turning.  i added a kite tail of perle cotton, tucking a length inside prior to stitching together.

stuff with whatever you'd like.  i used polyfill, but put some batting scraps in the center, to give it more weight.  once i stuffed it and sewed up the opening, i took little lengths of grosgrain, tied them into a knot, and stitched my tail through them, knotting beneath the bow before adding the next.  to prevent the bows from fraying, you can either heat seal the edges or use fray check, or clear nail polish.

anyways, a cute quick project, fun to make and look at!

as always, if this inspires you to make one, i'd love to see it!  just add it to the flickr pool or email me a pic - you just might see it featured here!  tell me, what do you use to stuff your pincushions?

Sunday, August 12, 2012

tons o' fun

i wasn't planning such a long time between posts, we've just had so much going on!  the kids are enrolled in school and start next friday.  while doing a little BTS shopping, look what we found at target.  squee is the only appropriate word, i think! 

 how stinking cute is that?!  it even has bolts of fabric, a wrist pincushion...

i've been working on pincushions:


my quilt con block - nothing prize worthy but since the extras go for charity i wanted to submit at least one.  we had a little show and tell at guild last thursday, loved seeing all the different blocks!  there will be group pics on the blog soon, i'm sure.

ariane, a friend from guild, is quilting my bakeshop project for me - i am super excited to see what she comes up with!  and i got a call yesterday - my wee woodlands quilt is ready!  i'm picking it up tomorrow, hooray!  i will actually have something to show and tell next month at guild!

sawyer turns two on thursday, so we had party #1 yesterday for him and two of our nieces.  i made a little dolly dress for Ava as part of her present.  these are fun to make, they go so fast!

we'll have another on his actual birthday, complete with more presents and more frosting. 

yes, these are girly cupcakes.  sawyer doesn't care.

but we had a great time with the inlaws yesterday.  swimming in their new pool,

a BBQ rib contest between my husband and his brothers, tons of sides like jalepeno corn, homemade bread, three desserts, and golf cart rides.

even the dog rode along!  so proud of our nephews, they saved up their money to buy this golf cart - and they are very excited owners.  also, that is my son riding in the bag rack.  we're all about safety here. 

lots of fun things happening.  and we finally got rain!  hope everyone has a great week!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

wee woodlands, revisited

i'm dropping a quilt off to be quilted this morning!  this is only the 2nd time i've done that, i am always so convinced i can do it all myself.  my "to be quilted" pile was completely full!  it's my wee woodlands quilt from last year, and since i'm ready for fall, i thought it would be nice to have an appropriate quilt!  so i had to quickly piece a back for it, and i like how it came out.

i used three extra blocks left from the front.  can't wait to see this all quilted up!  i'm thinking i'll go with an allover meander - some kind of stipple or something.  the front is so busy, and i can't afford any custom, angela walters style quilting ;)  plus, i can't for the life of me figure out how to stipple, so i don't mind paying someone to do it for me.   i still have some of the dot left, to use as the binding. 

speaking of quilting, i'm trying to talk my husband into a longarm.  so far, he's not real open to the idea.  which is curious, because awhile back, he was ready to build me a barn to house a quilting business.  i think the problem is that i explained that the type of longarm quilting i'd want to do would be more custom - meaning i'd be steering the machine.  and his idea was that i'd load a quilt onto it, press a button and voila!  finished quilt.

what can i say?  i married an engineer, who loves automation.  and i prefer handmade, one of a kind items.  i guess we have to agree to disagree.  i'd be happy to do a little of both!  i told him last weekend, it's funny that he wants me to have my own business, one that never requires me to actually work!

have any tips on how to convince him to buy it for me?!  it would take a couple of years to recoup the cost, for sure, but in another year i'll have all my kids in school part of the time.  plus i have a whole stack of quilt tops waiting for some practice time.   someday...


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