Thursday, February 23, 2012

Dear Sewing/Blogging Mojo,

I find it incredibly rude of you to just up and leave me with no note, no phone call, and no notice of when you might be returning.  You left me here with so many projects in motion and so many deadlines approaching with no thought of how I would deal without you...

It's been over a week now and I've made some progress in my sewing room, but it's been so slow and without the joy that usually surrounds the experience.  There's been a lot of ripping seams, LOTS of cutting, and many rainy/cloudy days that don't encourage me to photograph the little proof I have that I can sew without you.

As angry as I may be that you left so suddenly, I would gladly welcome you home with no reproach.  PLEASE come home.  You will find new stacks of fabric and old projects waiting on your return.  I will also download some new tunes and even clean my sewing room as enticements for you.  Just, please, come home.

Maybe this is where you are...I wish I could be there too.

I miss you.

Waiting on you is lonely...


P.S.  Does this ever happen to anyone else?  I'd blame a busy life, but that doesn't seem to be changing any time soon, so, I don't think I can use that excuse any more!  ;)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

WIP Wednesday

It's a rainy day here.  Perfect for curling up with a good book under the covers, but instead, I'm making progress in my WAY TOO LONG to-do list.  Up this week are my bee commitment blocks so I can send those off and concentrate on the baby/gift quilts that need to leave my sewing room.  :)

So, with no further ado, let's get started so I can get back to sewing!

Completed Projects:
My one and only finish this week is my Modern Bee Blocks for Della.  She's the queen bee of the entire thing and this month and she requested "Modern Crosses."  As this is the first month and I'm still getting my feet wet, I just used the fabric she sent to make the blocks.  Block one came out perfect!  She only asked for one, but with all of that fabric left over, I felt compelled to make more.  I mean, I'd love it if I asked for one and I got back two, so...

But improv is SOOO not my style and apparently me and improv modern cross blocks do not jive.  I couldn't get what I had in my head to work, so I ended up scrapping my plan and just making her a bunch of smaller blocks she can put together to make a block, use as cornerstones, or do something with on the back.  Or she can chunk them, and that's okay too.  I tried...  What do you think??

Works in Progress:
I don't know if I mentioned it here or not, but I signed up for the NuBees Block Swap again for February.  I've got 5 other great ladies in my bee with me and they're almost all done before I'd even decided on what block to make!!!  At any rate, I've got my block decided and my fabrics chosen and my goal is to have these done and mailed by Friday.  Yes, that means I'll be mailing these 5 blocks, Della's block and ALL of the fabric I gave away last week.  Whew, that's a lot of postage!

So, here's block number one.  It's for Vicki who is making a quilt for her daughter.  This is just a prototype though, because I just made it up as I went along and it's a little short on 2 sides.  Oh well, I'll just rip off the strings and try again...  At least two of the girls didn't really want background fabric this time, so I thought this block was a good choice for limiting that.

Man, this block needs some work...nothing is matching up, one seam isn't laying flat AND it's too small!  Good thing it was just a trial!

Other WIPs are a little stalled right sewing mojo got lost again...

Kirsten's wonky stars quilt--I've got all of the stars pieced and just need to put it together and quilt it...

Carrie's Christmas gift--Does anyone hear the crickets chirping near this project?  I have some strips to cut and then it's smooth sailing if I can ever get re-started on this one.

do. Good Stitches--I've yet to cut the sashing strips for my hearts quilt OR start on my February block for Michonne and I don't know why because both of these projects are very exciting to me.  Please come back sewing mojo!

Knitted Cowl--I frogged it (I ripped it all out!!).  I noticed that it was somehow twisted and one of my little helpers around here had been pretending to knit it and I thought they'd dropped some stitches and I somehow managed to add 10 extra ones so, in a fit of un-thought-out anger I undid it all!  Yep, like 6 inches worth of knitting frogged.  Oh well, we've got 2 or 3 episodes of Downton Abbey left to watch, so maybe I can make some headway on it.  Plus, I don't know how much more cold weather we have left this winter, so  it's not like I'm in a hurry to wear it...  (But it did get down to like 22 here this weekend.  80s one day, 22 the next night, that's Florida winter!)

On Hold (for now...)
Summer Sampler Quilt (I will have this finished before summer starts again)
Postage Stamp Quilt (I thought about this one over the Christmas break and have some ideas to mix it up a little, just waiting on time to get to it...)
Mosaic Swap Quilt (The top is halfway pieced)

I'm linking up with Lee again today, make sure to head over there to see what everyone else is up to as well!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Sweet Valentine Gift

Happy Valentines Everyone!  I mentioned yesterday that Valentines Day isn't too big of a deal around here.  Honestly, other than for the kids' it's just another day.  I didn't even go to the kids' parties at school today.  Both were strictly-speaking kids-only (meaning their teachers wanted it to be a low-key affair), although volunteers don't usually have quite as strict standards...and I usually volunteer on Tuesday in Oren's class, but if other parents weren't coming, I didn't feel right about being there.  PLUS I have a TON of things to do here at the house, so I sent lots of goodies and heart-felt store-bought valentines and stayed home.  ;)

Yes, these are the pics from last year.  Imagine it looking exactly the same except in white heart-shaped bowls instead...

 BUT, that doesn't mean that we didn't get their teachers something a little special.  Last year I made the most delicious flavored popcorn around this date, and I haven't made it since, so I remedied that by making a double batch yesterday.  I then packaged up a bag for each of the kids' teachers along with a bag for some friends that came to play yesterday afternoon and a bag for a friend whose birthday is today.  That left about a bag's worth for us, but after everyone had had a bite or two, I may or may not have scarfed it all down myself and then regretted it later...

It's both delicious and deliciously easy to make, so give it a shot.  You'll be glad you did!

Cinnamon Sugar Popcorn
  Based on MACCO's recipe from  My changes and additions are in pink.

1 cup unpopped popcorn

  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ( I added a handful of pecan halves and maybe 1/2 to 3/4 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips.  Sorry, I didn't measure.  I also doubled the butter/cinnamon sugar ingredients for more oomph this time.  That's up to you!)

  • Directions
  1. Preheat an oven to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C). Pop the popcorn using an air popper according to manufacturer's directions. Place into a large mixing bowl, and set aside.  I popped my corn on the stove top in a pan and I also added the pecan halves to the bowl of popcorn when done.
  2. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the sugar, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla, and cook until thick and bubbly. (Last year I misread the recipe and poured it all in the pan together and melted it down. This year I did it right...I don't think it made two bits of difference.)  Pour over the popcorn, and stir until the popcorn is evenly coated. Spread the popcorn into a large roasting pan.  (I actually spread it onto 2 parchment paper-lined cookie sheets.)
  3. Bake in the preheated oven 10 minutes, then turn the heat off, and allow the popcorn to stay in the oven 20 minutes longer. Remove from oven, and cool completely before serving.
  4. When it had cooled some, I melted a BIG handful of chocolate chips in the microwave and then drizzled it over the popcorn on the cookie sheets.  When the chocolate had cooled and hardened, I poured the mixture into cellophane bags and tied them up with cute LOVE ribbon!

P.S.  I'm linking up with Debbie today.  She hosts a linky party every Tuesday specifically about food!  Well, it is like one of my most favorite things in the whole has it taken me so long to get a food post up on Tuesdays??  Head over and see what else is cooking over there.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Fabric Winners and one Fun Weekend!

I have to start this post off by saying I have one of the best brothers on the entire planet.  He is such a great brother, son, and uncle.  My brother, Jay, is also an awesome choral teacher.   Yep, I've got about 2 notes I can sing and my brother went to college on a scholarship based on his voice.  Now he teaches chorus and music in Orlando.

His students performed in December a few times at Disney and as their instructor, he got free tickets for each performance.  And what did my sweet baby brother do with those free tickets?  He took my entire family to Disney for the day!  That's right, he used his annual pass for himself and spread the other six tickets he received plus two more he got from a friend to take my Mom, Dad, sister, brother-in-law and Chris and me and the kids to the Magic Kingdom on Saturday.  His girlfriend went with us as well (she has an annual pass too or I'm sure he would have got her a ticket.  :))

I think Chris and Oren may have not yet realized we were at the Happiest Place on Earth... haha!

How awesome is he??

Oren tried REALLY hard to pull that sword from the stone!

The PhilHarMagic Show is AWESOME!

We had a great day.  We didnt' rush to see it all, but just enjoyed ourselves and pretty much saw all that we wanted to.  We were beat by the end of the night, but happy and content with a day spent with our favorite people doing some pretty fun stuff.

THANKS AGAIN UNCLE JAY!!!!!! the winners of my fugly fabric giveaway.  I used, but I don't know how to do that cool screen capture thingie, so take my word for it, okay...

And here are the winners.  I will be contacting each of you through email unless you are a no-reply blogger and you didn't leave me an email address.  If that is the case and you see your name here, email me or leave a comment here with your email address.  If I don't hear back from you by next Monday (2/20) I will redraw a new winner.  And without further ado, here are the lucky fabric winners!
1.  Chiska
2. MommyMadeIt
3. CreativeInstincts
4.  Maxine
5.  JustPam
6.  Richard
7.  Strawberry Patch
8.  Margaret
9.  Steffi

THANKS AGAIN to everyone who commented and became a new follower!  I can't believe how many of you wanted to stick around and read about what I have to say!  

I wish each and everyone of you a very Happy Valentine's Day tomorrow.  We're pretty low-key about it around here.  Other than class parties and a little chocolate for the kids, we don't do much and I'm totally okay with that.  BUT, I made something special for the kids' teachers and I'll be back with that tomorrow...

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Another check on the to-do list

**Don't forget to enter my fugly fabric giveaway here.  It's open til Monday 2/13, so go try and win yourself some!!  And THANKS to all of the new followers who have stayed to hang out!  It means so much to me.  I hope you like what you find!***

If you haven't figured it out yet, I'm a procrastinator...I just don't get worked up about getting stuff done ahead of time, because really, why the rush?  Sometimes, that can be a good thing, like when I wait till the last minute to clean my kitchen before someone comes waiting I only had to do it once, because it didn't have time to get messed up again.  Sometimes, that can be a bad thing, like when friends have a baby in October and you give them their baby gift in February....

So, this is one of those bad thing procrastinations.  Not that it makes it better, but it is their third baby and the third boy as well, so they were well stocked with essentials.  AND, I was looking specifically for colored onesies that were plain and COULD NOT find them anywhere.  Where do you get those?  I know I could dye the white ones, but I hate it when the color doesn't turn out like I wanted or how sometimes the threads don't dye too.  Sometimes I like that look, but sometimes I just want everything matchy-matchy, you know?  So I just kept waiting and waiting.

But when you deliver a really-super-cute dress to a little girl born 2 days before Christmas and your October-baby-Mama friend is sitting right there and wants to know where her little boy's "dress" is, you can't procrastinate anymore.

So, I made these up yesterday afternoon.  I just sat down and whipped them up.  Not going for perfection, but a hurry up and get these bad boys done "whimsical" look.  I made my standard baby boy gift of onesies in 3 sizes (3-6 mo., 6-9 mo., and 12 mo.)

And here they are:

This one's my go-to onesie.  Everyone (that's not on pinterest/reads craft blogs) thinks it's the best idea ever and that I'm entirely too clever to come up with it!  haha!

This is the 6-9 month size...perfect for this summer!  I used heat-transfer material and my Silhouette for this one.  I wanted the aviator sunglasses look I've got pinned, but was in a rush and already had this shape.  I tried to draw my own...yeah, not so much.  I'm not done with this idea just yet...

This is the 12-month size, perfect for this fall.  I made the laces out of white felt that I just stitched down.  Yes, they're crooked and I really considered ripping them off, but that would have been a big pain, so I'm hoping when he wears it you don't notice so much!  I left it generic so he can wear it to hometown, high school football games on Friday nights or on Saturdays for either of the teams his parents' pull for.  You know how these divided football families are down here in the gets heated on Saturdays!

I delivered them this afternoon and my friend was very happy with them.  She said she still wanted the "dress" but with three boys at home, she'd happily take this bunch of onesies for now.  ;)

So, now I've got 2 of the 4 baby gifts for January (yes, I know we're in February now) checked off.  I've got the wonky stars quilt halfway done (pics coming when there's some real progress) and baby gift #4, well, I have a plan and that's a start, right?

Hope you are having a great Thursday!  Thanks for stopping in.  :)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Fugly Fabric Party Time

Hi all!  It's that time...Lucy's ready with the Fugly Fabric Party!  I don't really think that (most of) the fabric I'm offering up is ugly (since I did pay for it originally...), it's just that my tastes have changed or I know I just won't get around to using it anytime soon.

Charm About You

So, here's what I've got to offer:

Does anyone else know why a picture looks perfect until you upload it to blogger and then it become s a little fuzzy and darker?  I promise, this pic was perfect beforehand!

Yes, it's quite a hodge podge of styles.  Included are:

1.  Almost a yard (33 inches x 44 inches) of a Robert Kaufman print featuring classic and vintage cars.  It's black with cars in browns, blues and greens.

2.  2 Licensed Disney fabric pieces perfect for fussy cut or I-spy projects.  The purple Tinkerbell piece is roughly 16 x 5 inches with a larger rectangle on one end and features the Never Land Fairies from the new Tinkerbell stories.  The second fabric features Lightning McQueen and Mater from the movie Cars.  The largest piece is roughly 18 x 13 inches and there are several smaller pieces too.

3.  This Moda Turnover from 3 Sisters is the Aviary line featuring soft pastels of roses, paisleys and other romantic prints.  (I could write fabric descriptions for a living, right???)  There are 80 triangles to make 40 5" half-square triangle blocks.

4.  This is most of a fat-quarter bundle from JoAnn Fabrics.  I'd say at least half of each fat quarter is still usable, although they're not exactly perfectly rectangular anymore.  I've taken a square or rectangle from them for other projects.  There are some small scraps included from this bundle as well.

5.  A purple blender fabric from JoAnn (I think...I've had this one a LONG time).  It's a medium purple color, great for mixing with both light and dark colors.  There's nearly an entire yard of this one.

6. I LOVE this beautiful fabric featuring roses.  There's about a yard and a half here and, honestly, I went back and forth on giving this one away, but I've had it for nearly 2 years to make a skirt or something out of and still haven't, so I'm sharing.  The selvage only says "Jane" so I don't have a manufacturer on this one.

7.  These 3 fat quarters are from JoAnn as well.  They came in a bundle with some of the fabrics I'm using in my wonky stars quilt.  You're welcome to them, they just don't do it for me.

8.  This group of 2 fat quarters are reproduction fabrics I received in a giveaway.  I LOVE them, but with only the 2, they've just sat in my stash looking sad.  Please take them and make something lovely with them.

9.  This group is a set of 9 vintage fabrics.  I believe they're all fat quarters or close to it, but I've honestly never even really looked at them after I bought them on ebay.  Impulse buy...  I saw that clock ticking down and had to have them...  Oh well, now they can be yours.  ;)

BUT, you might not want all of that, right... I understand. Honestly, I'm not sure why I have all of it either....  So, here's what we're going to do:  Let me know what you want, just give me the number along with a way to contact you, and I'll do a drawing for each one.  If you're the only one who wants that number, then that's simple enough.  You can enter to win as many as you want.  Hey, maybe you really like my offerings and you want them all...I won't judge!  ;)

And...I'm going to throw in an extra option.  You can get another entry for each of the numbers you want by being a follower.  Just leave a second comment telling me and I'll add your name a second time to each of the groups of fabric you like.

Sound good?  Confused?  Ready to take some of this off my hands???  Start commenting and let's see what happens.  Giveaway will stay open until 8 p.m. on Monday, February 13 EST.  And I'm open to mailing this off anywhere.  It's my good deed for the spread the happiness of fabric.  ;)

And don't forget to head over to Lucy's to see who else has lovely (or fugly) fabric to give away this week!!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Here goes...

I had a few things I wanted to share, but not enough to devote a separate post to each so, I'm going to lay a bunch of random things on you all in one post.  Here goes...

1.  Lucy at Charm About You is hosting a Fugly Fabric Party next week and I'm in!  It will be a link-up party where people are giving fabrics they no longer love away.  There will be giveaways, offers to trade, etc.  I'll be linking up with some vintage fabrics I bought on ebay that I'll never use along with some newer fabrics, including a Moda turnover.  Make sure to check in next week to see what I'm and everyone else is offering.

Charm About You

2.  I signed up for another round of the NuBees Block Swap on Flickr.  It's a lot of fun.  6 of us are grouped together and we each make 5 of the same block, but one in each of the requested colors of our other "hive" members.  Then we send them off and wait for ours to show up.  Last time I randomly selected red, blue and yellow as my block colors and then regretted it because while I love those colors, they don't go with ANYTHING I have.  But, I decided to stick with them and make a quilt for Oren's teacher this year.  She was my mentor teacher when I was just starting out and more like my school Mom than anything else.  My Mom lives 2 hours away, and I could always count on Mrs. K for a hug or stern advice in a pinch.  Now, she is Oren's kg teacher and I couldn't be happier.  She loved him before he was ever born and now she gets to help set his foundation for the rest of his school career.  Here's my inspiration mosaic:

NuBees Inspiration Mosaic Feb 2012
Click through to my flickr photstream for the links to each of these photos.

3.  I also signed up for a "traditional" bee featuring modern blocks, based on the Modern Blocks book that's out right now.  I don't know anyone else in the group, but I took a chance and signed up.  My month is not till November, so I've got lots of time to plan and figure out what I want.  The group moderator sent out her fabrics and block choice first.  She chose a modern cross block using red as the background.  She sent a great turquoise and lime green polka dot, but said we're welcome to mix up the fabric for the crosses if we choose.  

4.  This month for do. Good Stitches, Michonne chose the block for our Empower Group and she chose Lee's ribbon star in these adorable colors.  My favorites!  

Yellow & Aqua Inspiration

Freshly Pieced Ribbon Star Block by Watch Meesh Run

I can't wait to get started on these!  Actually, I'd LOVE a whole quilt for me of this.  Hmm....  Maybe I just solved what I'll be asking for in my bee after all...

5.  Jennifer (who is such a doll) from Knotted Thread is hosting her first ever Swap.  It's a polka dot charm swap.  If you're interested, hurry over, because she's just taking the first 28 volunteers!  I'm in.  Anybody else interested?

Okay, I'm off to run.  I got 4 miles in on Monday and I'm shooting for that again today.  I am slow and clunky-looking for sure, but I'm not an accomplished runner.  I'm me, growing and working towards what I would like to become.  And that's what we're all doing in everything, isn't it?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

WIP Wednesday

I will get this published today...I will get this published today...I will...  Tuesday and Wednesday are the two days I volunteer at the kids' school this year and it makes it hard to get a WIP post written and published in time lately.  Especially because Thursday is my day to sew usually.  ;)

But, I've got an hour today and I'm using it to get this post written and put out there so I can once again link up to Lee's awesome WIP Wednesday linky party.

So, here goes!

Completed Projects:
 I posted last Friday about my finishes for the week, including Emma's fairy dress for Character Dress-Up Day, the shrug I made for myself from Jenny's awesome pattern and the baby dress I made for a friend.

January finishes

In progress:
Kirsten's quilt--I've got all 9 blocks ready to put together and then I'll just need to quickly piece up a back.  I think I'm going to with stripes of the colors from the front, but we'll see.  I'm already planning some free-motion quilting for this one too...something circular to break up all of the angles.  I'm considering hearts, but we'll see... 

 do. good quilt--So my black fabric came in for the sashing on this quilt and I was all ready to move forward with it and then Ronit showed us how she finished up our October dgs quilt for our Empower Group.  And that is VERY similar to how I was going to set mine.  So much for being creative, huh?  Back to the drawing board...and I thought about a "tilted block" layout might look cool, especially with the black setting it all off.  So, I'm going with that now instead.  Here's a pic of what I'm hoping to achieve.  This is very new for me.  I'm usually a "lay them straight and sew them up" kind of girl!

tilted block design
This is an idea of what I'm thinking of...I'll actually cut it out and sew it next...  ;)

Carrie's Christmas Gift--No actual progress has been made on this one, BUT I'm keeping it here because Christmas is now a month past and I HAVE to get this gift done.  So, it'll be moving up the priority list...

Free Motion Quilting Project--I'm participating in SewCalGal's FMQ project.  I haven't actually done January yet, but now I'll just have 2 months to do instead.  Oh well.  Getting better is the goal, when I do it doesn't matter quite as much...  ;)

And my latest project is on the knitting needles.  Circular needles to be exact.  After giving away the scarf I'd made, I needed something new to work on, so I'm using this super-soft Lion Brand Homespun yarn to knit up the Gap-tastic Cowl by Jen Geigley I found on Ravelry.  I've still got the honey cowl in my queue, but I didn't think this yarn was right for it.  I don't know if we'll have much more cold weather or not (it was in the 30s Monday night, but warmed right back up to the 70s during the day), but I'll have this baby on if we do.  I'm about a quarter of the way through it.

cowl progress

On Hold (for now...)
Summer Sampler Quilt (I will have this finished before summer starts again)
Postage Stamp Quilt (I thought about this one over the Christmas break and have some ideas to mix it up a little, just waiting on time to get to it...)
Mosaic Swap Quilt (The top is halfway pieced)

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

As always, go over and visit Lee and see what amazing things she's been up to as well as all of the great bloggers that link up each week.  I promise you won't be sorry!