Wednesday, September 5, 2012


Don't you just love it? I do.  It is my farm quilt.  I have wanted to make this for such a long time.  I just couldn't find the right fabric for the background.  Then one day I was staring at this blue and white striped shirt in the "drop off at Goodwill" pile.  Lightbulb!!!!  However, the shirt was just a little bit too white.  So I tea stained it.  If you are unfamiliar with this process it is when you make a large batch of hot tea ( I use Lipton) and then soak your fabric in it until you get the desired color.  I had to soak the shirt for a couple of hours.  Then I let it air dry, ironed it, and it was ready to go.  I also did this for the cow and the pig.  Just keep checking the fabric so the color doesn't get darker then you want.  This gives the fabric a little bit of an old look, sort of country style.  It turned out great.  The animals were cut out using wonder under and a stencil.  The pattern calls for hand sewing around the animals and leaving the edges unfinished.  I can't hand sew anymore so I just machine stitched them.  I hung this cutie in my office cubicle.  And way I say cubicle I literally mean I work in a cube with three walls and an open passageway for a door.  This place needs all the sprucing up it can get.  This quilt makes my work space very homey.  Happy quilting.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

My Maui Reversible Bag

I saw a pattern on Pinterest for this cute reversible bag.  I had some Hawaiian fabric that was just screaming to be made into a purse.  So now I have a super cute bag to take to Maui.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Self Binding Baby Quilt

I love it when a tutorial works out.  This adorable receiving blanket was made from a tutorial at Missouri Star Quilting Company.  It is called self binding baby quilt.  I watched it twice and I still wasn't sure it would work until it worked.  It is really cute and super easy.  I made this for one of my boy's teachers who is expecting a baby girl at the end of the summer.  I love the cupcakes print and the center is a pink polka dot.  And of course I had to make some burp cloths to match.  It is so much fun to make pink polka dot items since I have two boys.  I love it when people have girls!!!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Harry Potter Cake

My boys 7th Birthday Harry Potter Cake.

This is the first time I made a sheet cake.  The Harry Potter castle and figures were a kit.  I frosted the entire thing myself.  It was huge hit and tasted great.  

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Fun Projects

 School ends in two days and I have been in a frenzy to get some projects done.  Marshmallow treats for the school staff.  This is my go to treat that is so easy and quick to make.  And very yummy as well.

These are chalkboard trays that I saw on Pinterest.  I bought the plastic silver trays at the Dollar Tree and I already had the paint.  $1 per tray and this project was a win win for me.  Note if you if plan to do this I needed three coats of paint and the paint would not stick to the edges of the tray for some reason.  Perhaps if you sanded the tray first you might have more success.
 Door attire is another one of my favorite things.  I put this hanging basket together after a trip to Joann's.  This has been on my door all Spring but I will have to change things come summer.
 Another use for the chalkboard trays.  I think this one will have to wait for colder weather as the silver tray is a bit too formal for summer weather.
 Now this project I have been saving for a while.  This is an old rain coat that ripped.  I turned it into a wet bag for bathing suits.  My boys are going to be doing a lot of swimming this summer and I hate getting a wet backpack back at the end of the day.  So I sewed this into a bag and added a zipper.  Perfect for summer days.

It remains to be seen if I can actually get the boys to use it.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Fun Ideas

Did I tell you that I loved Pinterest.  Well I do.  And I finally decided to make some of the projects I had been pinning.  First up was a wreath made of coffee filters.  At the Dollar Tree Store I bought one fanoodle and one package of coffee filters.  I had duck tape at home and I already own a glue gun.  I used a William Sanoma ribbon from an old present.  Total cost - $2.00.

I will tell you that my wreath has since broken apart.  I would put much more duct tape on next time.  And it looks better in the photos.  Up close it is a little bit too fluffy.  Next up were these coffee mugs.  Writing on dishes is all the rage now.  There are tons of photos on Pinterest about this.  I bought a Sharpie marker and two mugs at the Dollar Tree.  Total cost - $3.00.  After I decided on my quotes and practiced a bit on scratch paper I wrote on the mugs.  Then I baked the mugs for 30 minutes at 350.  Presto.  The mugs were used this morning with no problem.  You can get colored porcelain pens at Michael's and really decorate your tableware.  I love this idea for a wedding gift.  You can do this on plates as well.  Just write on the outer rim of the plate.  

It has been a long time since I had time to craft so I really enjoyed working on these projects.  Now I need to figure out how to get my wreath back together.  Happy Crafting!!!

Monday, May 21, 2012

What have I been up to?

Lot's of projects have been completed lately but not a lot of blogging.  I completed a table runner with some of the leftover pieces I had from the memory quilt.  This went to the adult son of my friend.  He is getting married soon and I thought it would make a nice gift.  And I didn't want the leftover pieces to go to waste.  This way they can be appreciated and the memories remain strong.  I finished a Star Wars quilt for a young boy.  His sisters are getting the butterfly and the scrap quilt so he needed something for himself.  This was just a tie together quilt that Joann's sells.  It was easy to make but I know he will love it.  Between these projects I have been helping my twin boys finish first grade, working out like a mad women to Jillian Micheal's DVD's, driving kids to baseball and Sunday School, and watching Game of Thrones and Vampire Diaries.  And my new favorite pastime is reading the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon.  I am on book 2 of this 8 book series and I am in love with the main character Jaime.  What a heartthrob.  I have many more projects that I am working on so I hope to post more pictures soon.

Friday, March 30, 2012


I am addicted to Pinterest.  If you are wondering why I am not blogging it is because I am pinning.  Pinterest is like a dream come true for me.  A place to store everything I was always emailing to myself.  It is like having a virtual magazine with all my favorite things.  I have added a Pinterest button to my blog if you want to follow me.  Check it out.  Its fun.  Even my six year olds have their own Boards.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Pin Wheel Quilt

This is my friend Barbara's quilt.  I made it for her using her husband's shirts.  The pillows were also made from his shirts.  I used my Accuquilt to cut out 6 inch squares.  Actually one of my boys cut out all the squares.  I then sewed two squares together to make the triangles.  The triangles then matched up to make the pin wheels.  I think I used about 8 shirts total.  It may have been less.  One shirt can yield almost 36 squares.  There are several good blogs that show you how to cut a men's shirt to get the most use out of it.  The back and the boarder were made from one twin size sheet.  The pillows were made from one shirt each.  I used the shirt buttons as the way to put the pillow inside.  So the insert can be easily removed and the pillow case washed.  Using old shirts is a great way to preserve the memory of a loved one.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Butterfly Quilt

The butterfly quilt is finished.  I had my two little professional models demo it for me.  I have never made a quilt like this and it presented some challenges.  First off I had to get the pattern blown up by 400%.  That required a trip to the local copy store.  Then I had to sew curves which turned out fine but sewing around the angles did not go so well.  I am not sure what the secret to that is so I will have to investigate that area if I ever make this pattern again. 
The colors came out really great on this quilt.  The recipient, a seven year old girl, chose all the colors herself (I helped a little).  Her color scheme came out nice.  I putt a little extra stuffing in the body portion of the butterfly.  This is not what the pattern called for but I think it gave it an extra nice touch.  I can't wait to give this to her.  I know she is going to love it.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Homemade Spagetti Sauce

I like to cook natural when I can.  And I have been wanting to try and make my own pasta sauce.  I hate all the sugar that comes in store bought sauces.  I found a recipe in the William Sanoma catalogue which I tried the other night.  Actually Z made the sauce.  It was very easy to make and actually tasted great.  I thought everyone would hate it since they were so used to store bought sauces.  And I thought I would miss the flavor of a jar sauce.  But this was really good and healthy.  No sugar at all!!  And the best part was the kids ate it.  Even the kid who always wants the pasta plain.  I also had fun explaining that if we had eaten this meal out it would have costs about $30.00 for the dish.  But making it ourselves we spent around $4 per person (including the pasta and meatballs.)  Check out the recipe here.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Castle Stairs

This is a quilt made with a jelly roll.  Actually half of a jelly roll.  You just keep sewing around and around your center piece until the desired size.  I found the pattern at the Moda Bakeshop.  I used the same jelly roll to make the boarder.  And I was lucky enough to find a piece of matching fabric for the back.

Sorry this picture is sideways but I am still really having trouble with the new format of this blog.  Just tilt to the left and you will see it clearly. But really you can lay this quilt anyway you want since there is no top and no bottom.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Star Wars Craft Book - Oh My!!

Did you know about this book?  I can't believe I did not know about this book.  The Start Wars Craft Book was made for me and my kids.  I checked the publication date and it only came out March of last year so at least it wasn't out during our Star Wars phase.  I can't wait to check this book out.  Thank goodness my local library has it.  Update on some WIP's:  The butterfly quilt is coming along great.  The right wing is done and I have started on the left. If you want to get a sneak peak at this pattern it can be found here  - Joann's Butterfly Quilt pattern. If you plan to try this I suggest you really read all the comments because they discuss how to enlarge the pattern which was very helpful.  I will add some photos of the butterfly soon.  I have also continued working on the men's shirt quilt. I have been using my Accuquilt Go to cut out the 6 inch squares.  I can cut 6 perfect 6 inch squares at a time.  I am trying to cut one shirt a night.  I am amazed every time I see this machine in action.  And Z got a kick out of it too.  He sat with me while I cut one of the shirts delighting each time we lifted up the cutting board and looked at how perfect the cut squares looked.

Monday, January 9, 2012


No photos today.  Just some thoughts.  I have been thinking really hard about a lot of things.  One of them is that I want to take this blog to the next level.  That would mean more posts and more followers.  But on the other hand I have limited time.  And when I have free time I always want to sew more then I want to fight with google blogger to get my photos and my words on this page.  But I think I am going to try. I like to see my projects on the web.  And my kids think it is fun to see photos of things I made on the Internet.  Another thing I have been thinking about a lot lately is how am I living.  Is it just for today, tomorrow, or for the next week. I try to slow down and enjoy moments and see them for what they are.  I realize my sewing can help me with that.  My quilts make people happy and that offers me a change to make a difference.  Sometimes we have to think small to see the big picture.  So what am I working on right now: a butterfly quilt for my college roommates 8 year old daughter.  She picked out all the fabric herself.  And she keeps shyly asking her mom to ask me when it will be ready.  I love that.  It is a fun motivator.  I am also making a quilt for someone at work.  It is going to be made our of her husband's dress shirts.  She lost him sometime back and this will be a way for her to keep connected.  This quilt will be a very emotional thing for both of us.  I also have plans to make more scrap quilts.  I want to use up some of my stash and I love the idea of making more strip quilts.  They are easy and fun.  I think I can even get the boys involved somehow.  Sewing has become a quite contemplative thing I do on the weekends now.  I use to be able to sew at night during the week but first grade homework and reading lists did away with that.  At first this really bothered me.  But I have settled into a weekend sewing routine which I really enjoy.  Baseball season wills start soon and I will be driving little boys to practice and sitting on hard bleachers.  That will take time away from sewing too.  And I think this is a good thing.  Because now when I get those rare times to sew I really enjoy them more.  I just relax and let my thoughts drift.   Thinking also led me to the idea that I don't have to have a photo to post a blog entry.  I can just talk.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Teacher Gifts

Here is a quick posting of two teacher gifts I did this year.  This is a cute table topper and is very easy to make.  I made this pattern once before so making these gifts was quick.  The boys chose which quilt would go to which teacher.  I also used recycled batting that I had saved from two old ironing board covers.  I love that.  I hope they get lots of use and bring a smile or two. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

First Quilt of 2012 - String Quilt

Happy New Year and welcome to 2012.  During winter break I finally found some time to sew and I finished up this cutie.  This is a string quilt and I love it.  It is one of my favorite quilts that I have made.  It was made with scrap pieces.
These are 8 inch blocks.  I drew a one inch line down the middle of each and then wrote what color I was going to sew.  This is actually a very important step because at first I was just making blocks and when I went to match them up I didn't have enough of certain colors.  At that point I had to pull blocks apart and start over.  So I got organized and starting writing out colors and pining blocks together.  So to make this you just start sewing strips together, one after the other.  Then when you have a completed block you turn it over and cut off the excess.
 After a while you have tons of blocks and your quilt starts to take shape.  I read somewhere on the web that this was a hard quilt to make but I just found it so much fun.  I loved finishing a block and then adding it to the quilt to see how it looked.

Before I new it I had a finished quilt.  I used some left over strips to make a binding and added a backing.  Since I was using scraps to make this quilt I also used some scrap batting.  This quilt is going to a special little girl who will love spending time with this burst of color.  If you have kids then you are familiar with the Jack and Annie series.  Two sibs who find adventure in their magic tree house.  Well while reading the Winter of the Ice Wizard to my boys tonight I came across this great line,  "for wisdom is knowledge learned with the heart as well as the head."  I like that and it is a great lesson for old and young.