Saturday, October 27, 2012

blogger's quilt festival

every year, amy's creative side hosts the blogger's quilt festival, timing it to coincide with quilt market.  i consider it a consolation prize for those of us who can't attend market!  there's still time to enter your quilt, get all the details here. (now closed!)  but nominations and voting are open, so go vote for your favorite!  (or mine, #296, if the choices overwhelm you, lol!)

i decided to share my charm crossing quilt this time around.  if you're a follower, i hope you won't mind seeing it again!  after several months of living with this quilt, i'm happy to say i love it even more now than when it was first finished!  the colors are so vibrant, and the quilting is just amazing.  another huge thanks to ariane of callie grace quilts for knocking it out in record time for me!

i finally decided to let the kids use the quilt, and it now resides in our living room.  i know i will probably regret that decision, as the toddler is sure to take a marker to it at some point.  but i've always held the belief that quilts are meant to be used, so i made myself get over it.

i'm ridiculously proud of this quilt!  my first "published" pattern, it appeared on moda bakeshop and you can go there to get the directions to make your own!  i've had emails from people who are making it, which just made my day.  i can't wait to see other versions of it!  if you're making one, be sure to send me a link so i can share it!

all of the fabrics used in this throw quilt are moda bella solids, from their 2012 colors.  i'm a huge moda fan, and making this quilt was a pleasure.  it started with 4 charm packs and some yardage, and makes a fun scrappy quilt as well!  if you collect charms like i do, you can easily make this from your stash!

thanks for reading!  be sure to check out all the other quilts over at the blogger's quilt festival!  and thanks to amy for hosting this fun event!

quilt stats for festival:
finished quilt measures: 42" x 60"
pieced by craftytammie
quilted by callie grace quilts
best category:  throw quilt, professionally quilted quilt, quilt photographer

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

emma's 8!

hard to believe, but our darling little gal turned eight yesterday.  she is amazing.  we love that sweet girl so much!  she wanted me to make this kitkat cake.  you've seen it, right?  and i was all for it, sounded super easy.  but when i figured up how much candy i'd need, i decided it was a bit much.  that's a lot of kit kats, people.  so we compromised.  i made rainbow colored cupcakes, which is always fun, and swirled some chocolate buttercream on top.  emma stuck the candy on all of them for me. 

we celebrated last night after awesome parent teacher conferences by going to eat at the new mexican place.  which is in the same place as the old mexican place.  which led to confusion for alex, who missed the pictures the old one had on the wall and was complaining loudly about it.  and sawyer was randomly yelling too, i'm sure they were glad when we left!

the school halloween carnival was last weekend, and a huge success!  we raised more money than last year for PTO and the kids had a great time.

we're the Avengers the year - i still need to figure out a captain america outfit before saturday.  probably making these masks.  troy's being the hulk, and sawyer is iron man.  he was napping when we took this picture, so i'm hoping for a good group shot this weekend!

i'm working on a few projects, nothing to show at this point though.  i'm testing quilt blocks for quiltmaker magazine, so i can't share those anyways until it comes out!  hope you're having a productive week!

Monday, October 22, 2012

sew full of thanks!

anyone else feeling thankful this year?  let's have a week of fun to celebrate it!

i'm looking for a few guest bloggers and giveaway sponsors!  it's a great way to promote your etsy shop or small business!  interested?  drop me a line at craftytammie AT yahoo DOT com and we'll talk!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

the power of we

today is blog action day- #BAD12 -and this year's topic is "the power of we".  their website states that they chose this year's theme as "a celebration of people working together to make a positive difference in the world, either for their own communities or for people they will never meet half way around the world." 

i heard once that giving a person a quilt is like giving them a hug they can carry around.  :)

quilters are, as a rule, super generous.  they may not start out that way - but as their pile of quilts and fabrics grow, they start looking for new ways to enjoy their hobby and share their creations.  and so, many of us turn to charity quilting.  the growing online community of quilters has made it easier than ever to join in and help those in need.

i used to think "who would put all the time and money into making a quilt, just to give it away?!"  but the answer is, a ton of people!  to date, i've donated one completed baby quilt, one quilt top, and numerous blocks, as well as small quilted items for charity raffles. 

if you belong to a quilt guild, they usually have an ongoing charity project.  in our guild (the KCMQG) we make fetal demise pouches to donate to hospitals.  the beautiful fabrics are donated by anna maria horner.  making these pouches is an emotional experience.  most of us know someone who's lost a baby during their pregnancy, or have experienced it themselves.  i teared up, thinking of family and friends who could have used one of these to help ease their pain. 

before i joined, they had made blankets for the NICU.  and the Modern Quilt Guild recently collected blocks for a quilt con challenge, and quilts will be made with them, and donated to the austin's children shelter.  i keep thinking what a cheerful environment that will be, with 46 beds covered in colorful modern quilts!

blocks for a charity quilt
i'm also a member of an online charity quilting bee.  created by rachel at stitched in color, the flickr group do. good stitches creates all kinds of modern charity quilts.  the finished quilts go to lots of different organizations, but they are all made by small circles of quilters who donate their time and fabric.  if you'd like to see some of the finished quilts, here's a link.  there are more than 200 members worldwide!  i belong to the inspire circle, & each month i make 2-3 blocks for another bee member, who then puts them together into a quilt. if you are interested in joining a circle, check out the flickr group for more information.

another way people can help is through quilts for kids.  you can request a free kit from their website, and they will send you the fabric and pattern to make a quilt. you create the quilt and supply the batting, and then return the completed quilt to them.  robert kaufman fabrics is a supporter, with a special line of fabric called "animal party" (designed by amy schimler) and portions of the proceeds from the sale of that fabric go back to the charity.  the patterns are simple, and i think this would be a great way to teach a beginner's sewing group. 

and it would be remiss to not mention quilts of valor. they create quilts for servicemen and women.  i've not worked with them much, but i have several friends who make lots of quilts for the project! 

or if you're a beginning stitcher, and nervous about quilting, maybe you could start with a simple pillowcase. has a one million pillowcase challenge going on, and trust me, once you make a pillowcase you'll want to make another!  they are so easy, and fun to customize.

hey tammie, none of those projects seem like something i'd want to get involved in

don't worry, there's help!  the book Quilting for Peace: Make the World a Better Place One Stitch at a Time has tons of great ideas and contact information for other organizations who can use your support.  after reading this book, i was inspired to make bedding for the local animal shelter.  i never would have thought of it on my own!  call your shelter, see what they need.

or maybe you want to be like the green bag lady, and give away cloth shopping bags to help reduce the number of plastic bags used worldwide.   all of the bags are made from donated fabric by volunteers called bagettes.  here's a link to the free pattern, in case you want to make your own bag.  as of this week, they have given out 22, 241 bags! wow!  i have two of them myself, one is made of gorgeous amy butler fabric. 

this is just a small list of charity projects.  there are so many ways to make a difference in your community with your handmade skills.  find your passion and use it to help better the world!  even if it's just with a quilty hug for someone in need. :)

almond joy's got nuts,

mounds don't.  ♫♪♫♪
i've had that song stuck in my head all weekend.
probably because of these:

made from cheap felt, these costumes were super easy.  wish i could give credit for them, but it's another "as seen on pinterest" project with no original source..  i was hoping nobody at the party would recognize it, but the first thing my sis-in-law said was "oh, i saw that on pinterest!" lol

felt by the yard at joann's is 72" wide, and was on sale for $2.99/yard.  i ended up getting 2 yards of red and blue, which was a bit short of what i actually needed for length.  luckily, it's so wide that i had plenty left over.

i just cut a rectangle, sewed another strip on to make it longer(the only sewing part of the whole project!), and cut a small neck hole - felt has some give, so we were able to pull them on without trouble.   if you didn't want to sew anything on this project, get more yardage so you can cut the length from it.  but you will have tons left over.

then i glued all the felt details on with my hot glue gun. and i only burned myself once!  that's a personal record.  you could totally sew these on too, if you're an overachiever, but we wore them all night and they held up just fine.  i freehanded the bigger letters, because my printer doesn't work and the library wouldn't let me print bigger than the letters on the back.

i didn't even sew the sides up, we just used a safety pin on each side to hold them closed. 

i definitely will be using felt again for costumes.  it was fun, fast, and cheap.  troy's brother and his wife had homemade costumes too.  he made the magnet from a piece of foam, and she spray painted her dress! they were awesome! 

also on the guest list were christian grey and ana, beavis and butthead, and my favorite - the guy from the hangover and the baby.

now the hunt for next year's costume begins!  got any ideas for me?

Saturday, October 13, 2012


a peek at what i'm sewing today:

jelly roll stars with a twist!

when jenny doan of missouri star quilt co. spoke at our guild meeting in september, she shared a quick & easy method to make these jelly roll stars.

Source: via tammie on Pinterest

her quilt was stunning, all solids against a black background.  well, i've had this jelly roll of moda's hello betty sitting around here for a long time.  her block had been lingering in my mind, so i dusted off betty and some moda bella ivory and got to work!

first, i made a star.  ok.  kind of blah.  kind of boring.

so then i switched out the long strips with another print.  tada!  i decided i liked keeping the rectangle better than finishing the star point, so that's what i'm doing. 

you can see on the right, that one has the long strips with a point.  another variation you could try.  and without snowballing the corners, you get a plus sign.  that one could be fun in two prints as well.

have you tried any of jenny's tutorials?  they have a lot of video tutorials for really fun and fast quilts.  be sure to check them out if you haven't!

there's lots of stitchy things happening today, the sewing expo in kc, sewing summit, and a guild road trip to visit missouri start quilt co.!  too bad i have to miss all of it.  we have the annual adult costume party tonight, and i still need to finish up our costumes.  i'm sure i'll have lots of funny pics to share tomorrow!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

last minute

october is my month for the kc scrappy bee!  super excited, but i had a hard time choosing what i'd like everyone to make.  i sort of realized this morning i needed to have them ready by tonight!  we're all going to be at denyse schmidt's program, so what better time to bust out my chicopee charm packs?  and look, won't it be awesome! 

4 blocks together
i decided on a variation of the mosaic block from the summer sampler series.  i still want to make the whole quilt someday!  i have 2 charm packs of chicopee, so that's what we're using, along with white. 

the chicopee charms are 6 inch squares, which means they make 5 1/2" hst.  the pinked edges are a bit shy of 6", so i centered them on the white.  draw a line corner to corner, then stitch along each side.

cut apart, and square them up to 5 1/2".  you won't have much to cut off, if any.

when you stitch them four of them together like this, you get a 10.5" block. (note, the white is in top left, same print side by side)

This is the block you're making!

i'm asking each member to make one block, each using 2 different chicopee charms paired with white.  i'll decide the actual layout once i get them all back.  i also like the idea of this:

the fun part for me is playing with the blocks!   i also thought about doing grey stitch and flip triangles in the center diamond, like this:

and you get a 2nd pattern of pinwheels in the other white areas.  so many choices!  tune in next month...

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

caramel marshmallow popcorn

pinterest strikes again! 

i know i'm not supposed to say "i found this on pinterest", but i did.  and i tried to find the original post, googled it and came up with three or four different sites.  so, i found it on pinterest.  and it is seriously the easiest treat ever.  like, i've made it four times in less than a week, easy.  (i took 2 batches to a potluck last sat!)

here we go:
pop 12 c. (2 bags) of popcorn.  (make sure to remove the unpopped kernels) melt 1 stick of butter & 1/2 c. brown sugar in the microwave for 2 minutes.  stir until you get a yummy caramel sauce.  add 12 large marshmallows.  nuke it for another minute or two, until you can stir the marshmallow goo into the sauce.  it will take a little stirring to get it completely mixed in.  FYI, this last batch i melted it together all at once and they don't seem to be setting up as well as the first three batches.  they seem a bit soggy.

but when it tastes this good, it doesn't stick around long enough to be a problem.

what have you made lately that you "found on pinterest"?

another "pinterest" project i'm doing is these braided headbands.  i cut up an old tee of troy's into 1 and 2 inch strips, and have been practicing my 5 strand braid.  it's getting better!  these could be fun for bracelets too. 

i'm going to see denyse schmidt speak tomorrow night, and i am super excited!  i'm taking my book to have her sign, and am looking forward to a fun night out!  talk to you soon!

Monday, October 8, 2012


i saw this pin the other day.  and the next day we were at joanns, and i came across the perler beads.  so of course we had to get them! 

we made a set to give to cousin lyla for her birthday.  the gummy bears smell like candy ;)  i found them at the 'mart.

they are pretty easy to do.  not easy enough for the kids, unfortunately.  unless you like beads spilled all over the floor, lol!  find a pair of scissors small enough to slide in the tip, make a slit, and then i used the scissors to help hold the space open while i slipped it on the cord. 

i bought a kit that had a variety of beads, but you can buy bags of individual colors. 

i had a coupon, the kit was about $5.  i'm sure the beads will fall off eventually, and i'm a little concerned they may tangle with her long hair.  but they're fun to make and look at! 

Perler Beads Glitter Mix Bead Bag (1000 Count)

Friday, October 5, 2012

let's talk dinnertime.

we almost always eat dinner at home.  when we moved in, we put in a kitchen island with five stools, so for years that's where we've eaten our meals.  usually with me standing, always ready to mop up spills or get more milk.  (excuse me while i take off my supermom cape.)

we had a dining table, given to us by my parents.  i had painted it black, and refinished the top, and it was nice looking.  but it was built for four, and it was used mostly for coloring and lego building.  eventually, most of the chairs had broken spindles, and had been re-glued (several times).  and one day, after a friend left, i realized just how awful it looked. 

enter craigslist.  troy and i scoured it daily.  well, i should say, first we went shopping at nebraska furniture mart.  we found a set we loved, but the table alone was over $2000.  and i know our kids, eventually they will get their grubby fingers on a sharpie.  so we resigned ourselves to a used set.  i knew i wanted it to seat at least 6, and have a center pedestal.  i also wanted spindle back chairs.  troy wanted solid wood, sturdy stuff that would hold up to three boys.

well, after weeks of looking and missing out on sets, i found one that had perfect chairs.  but we didn't like the table so much.  at $150, we went ahead and got it.  my mom and dad loved the table, and so we gave it to them.  and less than a week later, mom called.  she was at a yard sale, and there was an oak table, just like i wanted, for $50.  sweet!  so we got our "new" set after all.

eventually i want to refinish or paint the set, but frankly i don't have time or energy right now to do it.  i love being able to sit the entire family around it, and finally be able to use my pretty table runners and napkins!

this is my entry into sewmamasew's table stitch, table set, table scape contest!   down the center is my "recipe for friendship" table runner, which i made from a charm pack and bound with gingham from granny's stash.  the handmade red gingham napkins i received in a fun online swap.  and then there's my favorite animal mugs.  they're from when i was a kid, and i am always on the lookout for more when thrifting.  i have a monkey, giraffe, alligator, ostrich, and lion.  the plates were a hand me down set of dishes - they have crackly marks in the finish, crazing i think it's called, but i really like it.  plus, if a piece gets broken, it doesn't bother me.  and the kids get a thrill out of using "glass" instead of their normal plastic ware.

i put some roses from my mom's garden in canning jars, aren't they gorgeous?  she's got such a green thumb.

i also just love the sunlight that streams in through our french doors.  it makes the whole room feel cozy and warm.  it does make taking photos difficult though! since our kitchen, dining, and family room are all one long room, the comfy, non-fussy feel spills over into those areas with handmade quilts on the back of the couches, lots of pillows, and fun kitchen towels.  maybe someday i will have a fancy, magazine kind of home, but for now, our family lives here.  :)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


it's a quilt challenge throwdown, and it's going on this month! 

here's what to do, straight from the ORBC QAL flickr group

Choose a color palette from any of the several color palette generators or websites with preselected color palettes meant for inspiration and then make a quilt that interprets that color palette. ALSO, provide a 40 - 60 word explanation as to how the quilt embodies that color palette.

if you want to browse pretty palettes, check out design seeds or colour lovers.  i found this one called flora tones, so pretty!

or make your own using a favorite picture and the chip it tool at sherwin-williams.  and then you'd have the paint names to match your room to your quilt!  :)   i personally pull out the pages of my home magazines when they have paint colors on them i like. i have a stack of them for future quilt inspiration. 

i'm going to try to join in on this one.  i have a few things to wrap up first, but i'm hoping to choose a palette and some fabrics later this week.  want to join me?  head over to the old red barn co. quiltalong flickr group and get started!

Monday, October 1, 2012

stormy skies

i finished my beginner's quilt-along top!  i stalled out about block 9.  and then got stuck again on what to use for sashing and cornerstones.  but i'm glad i waited, because i love how it turned out. 

i changed my original idea, and used gray - even thought there is NO gray anywhere in the blocks!  i just really like the way it looks with the other colors.  i had planned on cream, but it was way too much contrast with the brown.  what do you think?  this is a mix of mostly amy butler, with AMH and tula pink thrown in for good measure.

indie, AKA indiana jones, decided this was his photo shoot, and he was in the way for every picture.  silly cat.  these pics were taken in my front yard - i'm a lucky girl!

this mystery quilt top was a challenge for me every step of the way.  not knowing what the quilt would look like made it hard for me to pick my fabrics.  so i just had to cross my fingers and hope for the best.  i was trying to use up some stash fabric, so i didn't let myself buy anything for it!  that was tough.  i think i do that too often - instead of challenging myself to make it work. 

so anyways.  here it is.  i think i'll call it stormy skies.  i really want to join another QAL but i have a few unfinished WIPs to tackle first.  and a laundry room to finish.  what about you - are you "quilting along" with anyone right now?


my most favorite month!  for good reason, we have three birthdays (zach, emma, and me) and halloween.  lots of celebrations and parties to look forward to this year!

chubby bubby!
today our zach dylan turns five.  he's such a silly, sweet boy.  he loves to sing, and can be heard making up songs while he rides his bike or takes a bath.  he's always been our kid with the most rhythm, bouncing his head in time with the music while just a babe in his car seat.  i love how fearless he is, even if it means skinned knees and heart attacks. 

zach loves camouflage.  if he has a choice, that's what he picks out to wear.  in every picture his teachers took at preschool last year, he was wearing a camouflage shirt, or pants, or - sigh - both at once.  so for his birthday cake, i made something i saw on pinterest - yes, it finally happened!  i actually made something from one of my pins!  here's the original:

and my version. 

i made a 6 inch cake for his birthday dinner last night, and cupcakes to take to school.  mine aren't nearly as pretty because the last time i used my large star tip, it ended up in the disposal and got crunched.  i need to remember to buy a new one!  the pre-k teachers aren't crazy about tons of frosting, so this is hopefully a little less messy. 

the tutorial used pastry bags to pipe the batter into the cupcake tins - i used a spoon instead.  and i think i still got a nice camo effect, don't you?  the frosting is my usual mix of 1 stick crisco and 1 stick butter with a dash of salt, 1/4 tsp. almond, and 1 tsp. vanilla.  add powdered sugar and splashes of milk until desired consistency.  (add 2 tsp. cocoa to make light brown icing).  i did color white, green, and brown icing, intending to swirl it on top, but then i remembered my tip's demise and just slathered it on.   they are pretty delish, we just had them again, for breakfast - shhhh, don't tell.  and happy birthday zach!  we love you so much!!


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