Sunday, October 12, 2014

Sometimes It's Just...

…Not right.

I have been trying to do some stash busting this year.  I wanted more space in my closet for things like clothes, and less space taken up by things like half finished sewing projects from my high school years.  I used these drawers for most of my quilting fabrics/notions, and now that a lot of the crafting supplies I actually use aren't in the closet anymore I'm ready to get some of those 3+ year old projects gone!

Most of the projects I no longer care for and don't see a need to complete as intended.  Why bother finishing a vintage dress I will never wear?  So when one of the fashion bloggers I follow - M Loves M - posted this outfit:
...I thought "why don't I turn that bright blue dress that I don't want into a beautiful, bright colored, pleated skirt?"

I took the skirt pieces, did a little cutting and a lot of measuring, and stitched it together.  Then I held it up to me...

Yep, I just posted a mirror selfie.  Feel free to judge.  :P

Maybe the fabric is too heavy.  Maybe I'm terrible at making up patterns (yep).  Whatever the reason, I'm not planning to finish this project.  Another learning adventure!  Planning and sewing are fun, but they don't always turn out as we intend...

Friday, July 25, 2014

Hearty Good Wishes

I got a new quilting book this week - Hearty Good Wishes by Janet Clare.  I discovered Janet during Moda's blog hop "Spell It With Moda".  I liked her letter and I loved her fabric line Hearty Good Wishes.  It's nautical themed!

What really grabbed me was her England block.  Could there be anything better than a quilted British Isles?!?  I suggest there could not!   I love the version on her blog; I love the version in the book.  I really love the version I'm dreaming up to someday make as a throw pillow for my bed...  :)

The entire book is delightfully British and nautical and unlike anything else on my shelf.  I can see myself using many of the patterns in this book.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

It's Only July

I've recently been seeing some things in the store/on the internet that are...  dismaying.  Even though it is only July, fall/winter clothing has already begun to make an appearance.  And then I realized... summer is halfway over.

My solution to this discovery?  Getting out a brightly colored sewing project that was stashed in my closet (yay for continued stash busting!), and looking at summer clothes on Pinterest.  Maybe it's time to start thinking about fall fashion, but I'm not ready yet!

There's still another month and a half of summer!  Enjoy your summer fashions!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Girly Letters

After Spell-It with Moda, my sisters and I made some quilted wallhanging letters for some little friends.  It was great fun to all work on the same project together!

Basic lines filled with beauty.  And a whimsical little decoration for each...

The girls liked them (though, I'm not sure children under 4 years of age fully appreciate things like this yet) and their mother was thrilled.  One of the greatest joys of crafting is giving!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Hand Quilting

I love the whole quilting process.  The piecing, sandwiching, binding: all of it is quite enjoyable.  But probably my very favorite part of making a quilt is the actual hand quilting.

All those tiny stitches making patterns across the quilt…

Being able to work on it while I watch television or sit chatting with my friends…

My kitten pouncing on my thread or snuggling in my hoop...

The feeling of being so close to the end…

Yes, this is the good part.  :)

Friday, July 4, 2014

The Quilting Stash

When I saw Bonnie and Camille's line "Happy Go Lucky" at my favorite local quilt store, it was love at first sight.  I knew I wanted some.  It didn't take long for me to become a fan of both of their fabric collections and blogs (check them out for some great inspiration!).  And since "Happy-Go-Lucky" was my first love, I indulged in my first precuts.

Four charm packs later, I decided they were perfect for a pinwheel quilt.  It will be my first experience with precuts, and I'm very much looking forward to it!   It's next on my list after I finish my nearly pieced Marmalade Squares quilt.

I also adore Bonnie and Camille's new line, "April Showers."  Unfortunately none of the quilt stores I usually visit carry any!  I even looked along the way when my sisters and I took a 17hr road trip to visit some good friends, but it was not to be found anywhere I stopped!

I had decided to order some online (even though I prefer supporting local stores) when, on the way home from my grandma's house, my sister suggested we stop in a little store we were passing but had not previously visited.   I'm so glad we stopped, because they had an April Showers jelly roll!  (And now I know of another great quilt shop ~25min away!)

I really wanted yardage to make this cheerful quilt, but I'm happy to have found anything from the collection.  Not completely sure what this jelly roll with eventually turn into, but with two other quilts to finish, I have some time to decide.  :) And in the meantime, I get great joy from just looking at it!

Happy Independence Day!!!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Wallpaper Drawers

It's a beautiful thing to be known for something.  Because people know that my sisters and I like to craft, we are often given crafty things (from cleaning out closets, when grandmas pass away, etc).  Because people know that I love nautical things I am often given nautical gifts.  Or, in this case, old wallpaper.

Yep, a girl at my church went to visit her grandmother ~8 hrs away and when she came home she brought me a roll of wallpaper.  Her grandmother was getting rid of it and she thought I might like it.  She was right.  :)

I have come up with a few different uses for it, but my newest discovery - it is perfect for lining drawers!

Before they were just plain wood...

And now they are lined with the best wallpaper ever!

Just goes to prove that someone's junk can be someone else's treasure.  Or drawer liner, as the case may be.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Sailor Dog

My sister found this sailor dog panel at JoAnns and gave it to me for my birthday because she knew - being the lover of all things nautical that I am - that I would love it.  :)  It made such a fun and easy project.  And is completely adorable!

The cats love a good quilting project!
Because it is a printed panel this was really just a hand quilting project.  It was made even simpler because there were no bulky seams to go through.

I went really very basic with the quilting, outlining the print and going diagonally through the sky.  But I did decide on a scroll pattern that resembles waves beneath the boat.

I just love it.  What could be better than a baby quilt with a sailor dog on it?

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

21 Day Fix

Hey, all!  I know I tend to stick pretty much with crafting, but I'm currently on day10 of BeachBody's 21 Day Fix program and thought some of ya'll might be interested in hearing about it.

I first heard about this program from a friend who is a BeachBody coach.  She was doing it to help lose baby fat from her 3rd pregnancy.  I liked the idea, but it was my sister who really jumped on it and wanted to try it.  And with both my sisters doing the program, I figured why not?

This is my first time trying a strict eating plan.  I have never consistently worked out.  Well, other than this 8min ab workout I did a few years ago...   I did it every night for over 6 months.  Gotta love the 90s!  :)

We started...  and I found it much harder than I expected!

Firstly, I have to plan my meals ahead of time.  To really do clean eating I have to make sure I have a plan for tomorrow's food, and have things packed to take to work with me.  It takes some forethought to be nutritionally sound all the time!  I do like the simplicity of the colored box system.  Once you figure out the system, it's all really quite simple and easy to follow.

But the hardest thing for me is; I usually can eat whatever I want.  I'm used to picking up Starbucks on my way home from work on a whim.  Or walking in the kitchen to eat a cheese quesadilla with salsa.  Or making cookies constantly.  I LOVE COOKIES!!!  I usually bake at least 2-3 a week.

So, this has been different for me.  I think it's good for me, though, too.

On the other side of the program... The workout dvds are really great!  You really feel worked at the end, often with a lot of sweat.  There is a different video each day of the week, and each is only 30 minutes long.  Makes it pretty easy to fit into a busy schedule.  :)

If you are looking for a great health and fitness plan to try, this one is great.  I'm almost at the halfway point and (with all my complaining about not eating cookies) am really enjoying it.  And as much as I'm looking forward to eating cookies again, I'm also looking forward to having toned muscles and a healthy body!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Square Blocks

My marmalade square blocks are going together wonderfully!  At least, they were until I realized I hadn't cut out quite enough squares...  Just a little cutting and I can finish the last block!

These are really fun and easy!  Makes me want to try a postage stamp quilt.  :)

And look who my cat brought home with him the other day:

Literally, my (boy) cat walked inside our house and right behind him walked in this kitten.  He is so adorable, and very friendly.  Kittens are absolutely delightful!!!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Marie Antoinette in Wool Felt

Ever since I was little I have always enjoyed reading about the French Revolution and Marie Antoinette.  There was something fascinating about this rich queen with ornate dresses, expensive parties, and a mountain of hair that forced her to sleep on a wooden block to keep it nice.

So when I stumbled across this little doll in the Wee Wonderful book (which also contains  the Vera worm pattern), I was drawn to it.  And I knew it would be the perfect birthday gift for a good friend.

Light pastels just seemed perfect for this little Marie Antoinette-esque doll.  I chose gold thread for the french knots on her skirt and hair, then added the ribbon and beads for some outward detail.

I haven't done much embroidery in the last couple years, so I really enjoyed this different take on my crafting time.  And it was fun to do a feminine, soft, and girly project!

Friday, April 25, 2014

334 Two Inch Squares

A few days ago I began turning my lovely fabrics into squares for my Marmalade Squares baby quilt.   There are a few larger pieces, but mostly 2" squares.  334, to be exact.   

A friend teased me that cutting that many tiny squares would be really tiresome, but I found it went surprisingly fast.  Gotta love a good rotary cutter!

And now I have a stack of sqaures ready to be pieced.  Done with the rotary cutter; on to the sewing machine!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Last Minute Pioneer Sunbonnet

My mother spoke at a small homeschool conference a couple weeks ago, and she asked me to make her a prairie sunbonnet as a giveaway prize.  It was a late-night-before-the-conference/up-til-2am kinda project.  I snapped this lone photo at 3am; hence the lack of nice(ish) photos.  But hopefully some little girl will really enjoy playing with it!

I used a free pattern I found at My Cotton Creations.  It was really easy to follow; I would definitely recommend it.  Perfect for a last minute sunbonnet!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

New Fabric!

New fabric time!  Because I've nearly finished my current quilting project - and that means it's nearly time to use my adorable duckling fat quarter.  Yay!

I decided to use the free pattern/tutorial for the Marmalade Squares Quilt from Moda Bake Shop because I love bright colored fabrics on white backgrounds.  :)  So excited about this project!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Hobbit Soup

The other day I had a craving for Tobold Hornblower's Shire Soup.  A friend of mine made this for a Lord of the Rings party several years ago, and now it's definitely a favorite.  I thought ya'll might enjoy a new soup recipe during these last few cold, snowy weeks.

Be forewarned; the recipe doesn't make very much!  So here is the original recipe, followed by how I make it.  ;)

Hobbit Soup
Serves 3-6


Olive Oil
2 cloves garlic
1/2 onion
2 cans garbanzo beans - drained but save the liquid
1 cup fresh baby spinach leaves (shredded)
1/8 stick butter
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup grated cheese
Pepper/salt (to taste)
Handful of capers (if wanted)  (I've never used capers)

In deep frying pan fry up olive oil, garlic, and onion.  Add garbanzo beans (not the liquid).  Heat for an additional 5-7 minutes.

Shred up baby spinach leaves; add to pan.  Add 1/8 stick of butter.  Once butter is melted, add the 2 cans of bean liquid and 1/2 cup water.  Heat a few minutes and add cheese.  (If using capers, add now)

Bring to a boil while stirring intermittently.  Let simmer 5 minutes.

What I do:

Follow directions, but I use 4 cloves of fresh garlic and 2 medium sized onions.  3 cans of garbanzo beans, and MAKE SURE YOU SAVE THE LIQUID!  I've forgotten a couple times, and it's so much better with it.

I love spinach.  I eat it right out of the bag.  So I use a lot of it in this soup.  As they say "more is better!"  But I'm a caveman cook, so don't ask me exactly how much...  That would depend on how much I have available!

I use about 3 tablespoons of butter and 1 cup water with the 3 cans of bean juice.

The garbanzo beans, spinach, and cheese really make this soup.  So, as with the spinach, I also go a little crazy with the cheese, using at least 3 or 4 cups.

And you end up with this delightfulness;

Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!  It's pretty quick and easy, and absolutely delicious!  With a name like "Hobbit Soup" it has to taste great, right?

Friday, February 28, 2014

Ring Of Stars Quilt

My Ring Of Stars quilt is finally finished!

As I mentioned in my binding post, I was motivated by Moda's Quilt Olympics to finish so I could enter.  My sisters joined me to get it done Friday...  And we did it!  But they had already taken down the competition.  :(  Oh, well.  I'm still grateful for the inspiration, and I'm so happy that my first quilt is completed!

It is a queen sized quilt and doesn't have a single machine stitch in it!  I even hand sewed the binding pieces together!  It was fun, but I'm planning to machine piece my next quilt.  And do something a little smaller, too.  ;)

It was a super fun project, and I'm so pleased with it.  (And as you can tell, my cats love it!)  I have quilter's callous' on 4 fingers and am already starting 2 other quilting projects, so I think I'm officially addicted to quilting!

Now to repaint my pink furniture, hang stuff on the walls, and complete the redecorating!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Pencil Skirt Failure

One of my first sewing projects was a 50's circle skirt that didn't turn out.  The waistband was wonky, and it hung strangely.  I wore it around the house a few times and then threw it in my closet thinking someday I might try to use the fabric for some other project.

Well, that day finally came when I decided to try to make it into a pencil skirt.  I based the shape on a skirt I already had and set to work.  And when I finished...  I realized I would never wear this skirt.

It's not absolutely egregious, but it hangs a little funny and is kinda tight at the top.  The fabric was cheap to begin with, so I'm not sure there was anything I could have done to make this turn into a nice skirt.  But at least I tried!

As you can tell, I didn't even bother to hem it.  But I did get the fabric out of my closet, so yay for stash-busting!

Speaking of stash-busting, one of my goals this year is to try to complete at least one stash-bust project a month.  I'm hoping to have the "stash" in my closet pretty much gone by the end of the year!  Then I can fill it with new fabric/projects.  ;)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

All About the Binding

In the last post I mentioned how much I love the Olympics.  Lovely evenings filled with fun sports, USA medals, and lots of crafting.

Well, in honor of the 2014 Sochi Olympics, Moda Fabrics is having their very own quilt olympics, and I am determined to finish my quilt so that I can enter!

So Sunday afternoon I cut off the extra fabric around the quilt to make the binding...  and discovered that I didn't have enough fabric.  Oh dear.  But that was the perfect excuse to make a trip to JoAnn's on Monday!  And I went a little crazy because all their quilting notions were 50% off - even batting!

All washed and cut out, the binding is ready for sewing today!

I have to be completely done on Friday, so off to the sewing room I go.  Wish me luck!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Knit Again

The last several weeks have been filled with the adventures of a wedding.  One of my very dearest friends said her vows before God and many witnesses last Saturday, and I was very blest to be part of my first wedding!  We made programs and favors and bouquets and we painted wine bottles for every table at the reception, and...  We got our nails done, we had our hair done, and generally had a wonderful time!  Weddings are too much fun!

But the busy fun can't last forever.  Now that life is settling down, I decided to pull out some yarn and set to work giving my first pattern a final trial run.  If it goes well I'll be posting my very first original knitting pattern!  And I haven't done any knitting recently, so it's good to hear the click of my needles again.

This has been a great project to have around as the Olympics begin.  :)  I have several projects I'm hoping to get finished while I watch.  I'm really looking forward to this year's Olympic games!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Snow, Kitties and Quilts

We have several inches of snow right now and it's beautiful.  Perfect for snuggling in a blanket with an adorable kitty.

Because it's been so snowy I haven't been out as much as normal.  I kept thinking, "More time to sew!"

But somehow I kept getting distracted.  I would walk into the sewing room with big intentions but end up on a cleaning/organizing spree for the next few hours.  Our sewing/laundry room looks better, but the skirt I wanted to work on is not any closer to being done...

The only sewing I've managed is finishing the quilting part of our bed quilt.  (Little happy dance!)  :)  Only the binding left until it will be completely finished!!!

See the little stars quilted in the middle of every pieced star?  :)

With this quilt so close to completion, I've been daydreaming about my next quilting project.  I'm all about quilts right now, which may or may not be related to my recent discovery of the Moda Bake Shop.  So much fun inspiration!
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