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.