Sunday, April 29

Another Sunday afternoon, another work-in-progress

I just love Sunday afternoons! The only thing that could make it a better day is if my husband could be home instead of working.

After I finish picking up the huge mess I made while piecing this little quilt, I'll be doing that Sunday thing I like to do. I've got two movies (The Pursuit of Happyness and Blood Diamonds), a cozy bed to sit upon, and lots of embroidery to do on that quilt.

I'm making this to hang on the wall in my soon-to-be sewing/crafting/tea-partying room/studio/whatever. I just bubble over with excitement whenever I think about my room being finished. I'm planning one heck of a tea party to christen the room. I have two little groups of friends that have never mixed. Well, both groups will be invited for the little party. And if curiosity over the "other" group of friends isn't enough to drag them here, the goodie bags will. I've already started collecting the goodies. They're going to be the best goodie bags ever!

The quilt is a Bare Roots pattern, it's the first one on this page (#57). I absolutely adore all of their patterns. They're totally my style and are really close to what comes out when I draw my own patterns.

I got really lucky when it came to the fabric and cutting. I purchased this charm pack for this quilt. And I got to be totally lazy because the fabric came to me cut into 5" squares. Well the pattern called for 2.5" squares. All I had to do was cut the squares in half one way, then the other way. Easy Peasy. I love easy peasy.

I think I may have mentioned some of this before. Please excuse my redundancy. Really it's just a ploy to keep me busy at the computer so I can ignore the dishes a few minutes longer.

Well, I'd best get to the housework so I can play. Have a wonderful Sunday!!

Saturday, April 28

Ya know that embroidery tutorial I've been promising?

It's here. And it's linked in my sidebar with all the other free patterns and tutorials.

It's a whole (small) project from start to finish. And it includes step-by-step instructions for beginners as well as details on why I make some of my wacky reccomendations for those that would wonder what the heck I'm thinking. :-) You'll see what I mean, I'm a bit of a rule breaker.

If you've ever wished you knew how to embroidery, TRY! It's really easy, I promise. The project I chose used three of the most basic stitches. With just those three you can embroider most things.

Embroidery is such a fun and (even better!) inexpensive hobby. Seriously, you can get started for around $12. And you can make more than one project with that $12 investment.

So go on, get brave! And have fun!

Friday, April 27


Miss Vicki at Turkey Feathers has tagged me to list my 5 favorite blogs. Like her, I definitely have more than 5! I love reading every blog I have listed over there in my sidebar (and a few that I haven't even gotten around to adding!).

If you've ever plodded through my lengthy list you've probably noticed I read a mix of of crafty/sewing/ect. blogs and Christian/homemaking blogs. Since the focus of my posts here is on my projects, I'll go that route with this list of favorites. My list will also lean toward some blogs I have become enamoured with recently. Some of my faves are blogs that everyone knows about. There isn't much benefit to me pointing out what everyone already knows, ya know?

Let's see...

1. Norththreads

2. The Misadventures of Mama and Jack

3. Folded Gingham

4. Little Jenny Wren

5. Bird Brain

I won't go into detail on why I love each of these ladies and their blogs. When you visit them you'll see that they each have the ability to see the beauty in every day things. They are also all wonderfully creative!

Now it's my turn to do the tagging!! Clarice, Autum, Kristin, Selena, and MiMi....consider yourselves tagged!!

I'm feeling all sly at the moment. Like I just got to sneak in 5 more favorites with the tagging. :-)

Thursday, April 26

"Cottage Charm" Giveaway!!

**It's 5:22 CDT and I'm getting ready to do the drawing!!! Thank you for your responses!!

So, I was browsing blogs and came across Kim's marvelous idea of for a Cottage Charm Giveaway. Fun!! It's about time for a giveaway here anyway. Thank you, Kim, for the inspiration!

I made this tea cozy for the giveaway and will be including this (new) little tea set with it. The pot holds 36 oz-a good amount for a tea party. :-) I've been tweaking my tea cozy pattern and I am very pleased with the shape of it now. It's been hand-quilted and has 2 layers of cotton batting to keep your tea nice and warm.

This giveaway has a long sign-up time. I'll draw the recipient's name on May 26th. You know the drill...just reply to this post and you're signed up! Don't be shy if you're not in the US. I'll mail wherever.

And be sure to check Kim's blog for an ever-growing list of blogs with giveaways!

Good Luck!!

If you have the time, please read this post about how to be sure I can contact you should you win. Filling out the line with your email address when leaving a comment does NOT get it to me. That post will explain more. :)

Tuesday, April 24

Another finish! Well, almost...

This is my "welcome to the world" gift for baby Oak. And I'm really happy because, although far from expert, my quilting skills are coming along. Most of my points meet or are "close enough". And thanks to Heather and her tutorial I now feel like Queen of the continuous quilt binding! My corners are all perfectly mitered. This makes me very happy!

Scattered around the quilt are bits of embroidery. You know I couldn't leave that out! I am loving this squirrel!! I added some quilting stitches throughout his tail so once the quilt is washed he should look fluffy.

And, of course, his name and birth date had to be on there somewhere.

I also felt an oak leaf was needed. How could I not include one? It had to be done.

And who can resist a sweet little bunny? Not me, that's for sure. I think I even prefer little brown woodland rabbits to white rabbits.

I'm also very pleased that the more I practice hand quilting, the better I get. I know, it seems like a logical conclusion. But the very first time I tried quilting by hand I was not thrilled. Sure, I labelled my uneven three stitches-per-inch as primitive and rustic and tried to pretend it was intentional. But, truth be told, I wasn't pleased. I know what looks nice and what my hands were producing had tons of room for improvement.

I'm not ready to sit around an Amish woman's quilting frame (ack! the very thought! LOL!) but my smaller-than-before, relatively even, five stitches-per-inch are a huge improvement. I do think they actually look pretty ok. I think I might even be able to eek out six stitches per inch next time around.

All that's left is to stitch down the back side of the binding. And since American Idol and House are on tonight (the only shows I make an effort to watch...well, Medium too), I don't think it will be a problem.

I promised someone I'd post an embroidery tutorial. It's coming. Soon...very soon. I've had several people mention that they wish they could embroider so my goal with this tutorial will be focussed on starting at the absolute beginning. And really, you'd be amazed at how much you can accomplish with very limited embroidery skills.

Friday, April 20

My little sewing spot

Or, more accurately, my living room sewing spot. I have another sewing spot in my bedroom but I don't use it all that often. I like this machine more and our only tv is in my bedroom (tv viewers tend to become irritated by sewing noise). This spot is not usually this organized. But I have to clean every once in a while.

The sewing chair is on loan from the kitchen table. The poor table never has all of its chairs. Right now one is at the sewing machine and another is under my bum, in the kitchen, at the computer. It's ok though. The dining table is covered in my cutting mat, a bolt of muslin, and a small pile of fabric. If all the chairs were at the table, people might think it was an acceptable place for eating. And then my fabric would be in danger. Hmmmm....sounds like some more cleaning might be on the agenda.

Yesterday I began work on a quilt. One that I plan to finish in record time. It's my gift for little baby Oak. I'm going to visit today (soon!) and I hoped to have it finished. But last night, at 1am, I realized I didn't have anything with which to bind the quilt. So I gave myself permission to sleep.

On another note, have you ever seen someone's crafty work and been completely awestruck? Oh my goodness! I was perusing Flickr and came across this This amazing teensy-tiny knitting blows my mind! And even though I'm only have basic knitting skills, it makes me want to try some mini knitting. Can't you just see bendy dolls in teensy knitwear?!

Wednesday, April 18


I cannot wait until Friday when I get to give this to little Miss Zella. When she likes something she puckers her mouth into an "o" and gets big eyes. And never makes a sound. I'll have to bring my camera so I can snap a picture of that expression. It's so stinkin' adorable.

Close-up pictures of each panel here

No time for big posting today though. I've got some big time housework to do (still spring cleaning...making the floors shiny today). My treat when I finish is that I get to start on a gift for Zella's newborn baby brother. He was born last Sunday. His name is Oak. My head is swirling with ideas inspired by his name!

Tuesday, April 17

Am I too old for this look?

Are nursery rhymes too juvenile for 36 year olds? Because I'm loving this skirt. Miss Zella is lucky it's not my size. And luckily, nursery rhymes are very "in" for 2 year olds.

(click the picture to make it's better bigger, I promise.)

If you're seeing a strange blueness beneath the embroidery, it's just water soluble marker. I haven't erased it yet. And I'm waiting until the embroidery is finished to add the elastic to the waist. But it's definitely coming along.

The spring cleaning is also coming along. Yesterday was the hideous day. You know. The one where you do something insane like empty the entire contents of your closet onto the bed. About 3 hours into it I was really questioning myself. But it was far too late at that point. I had to push ever onward to at least find the bed.

Right now the closet is pristine. Completely organized. My bed is no longer cluttered with all. that. stuff. But there are still some stray piles on the floor that need attention. I stared at them all morning hoping that by some miracle they'd disappear. Or at least someone else would see them and take pity on me. Neither has happened and I've come to terms with the reality that it's all on me. Blah.

Friday, April 13

I've apparently lost all track of time!

Lots of pictures so they're all little. Just click on them for a larger version.

I had no idea it had been so long since I've posted. This past week has blown by-an absolute flurry of friends, crafting, American Idol watching, spring cleaning, and sick children. The sick children part has only been since yesterday so we're in the thick of it now. So far I'm not sick. We'll see how long that lasts.

I finished up the order I had been working on and it's on its way to its new home.

As for the spring cleaning... I started with the children's rooms because as Simmy would say (gotta love those Brit's and their adorable expressions!) they were "a tip".

Their rooms are now spic-and-span and squeaky clean. Mason's bedroom closet went through the biggest transformation. After a whole day spent cleaning/decluttering/organizing his room I had to take a picture of that closet. Silly, I know. But it had to be done.

And since I mentioned American Idol, I hope y'all are voting for Blake!!

Mere moments ago I finished sewing this skirt for me. It *was* a bed sheet...Ralph Lauren, too, so super-duper soft. I bought the sheet from an online-mama-friend. She's probably kicking herself for selling it now ::snicker::gloat::snicker::.

There's a wee little skirt I'm making for a friend's daughter. I'm going to try to use the same sheet-fabric for the non-embroidered panels. The skirt will have eight panels...four floral and four embroidered. This sweet lil' girlie LOVES the itsy-bitsy spider. So I drew four drawings-one for each line of the nursery rhyme-to be embroidered around the skirt. I plan to start this project tommorrow.

Then I have a couple baby gifts to put together. ASAP. One baby is due today!

Have you been over to visit Little Jenny Wren? Well you should. Jenny is just the sweetest ever! I complimented a little quilt in the backround of one of her pictures and she offered to send me the pattern! Yet another project I can't wait to start!!

I just received the fabrics I ordered for it from the Fat Quarter Shop. Aren't they pretty!!

I just noticed... Between those fabrics and the sheet-skirt, I seem to have a certain look on the brain these days. hmmm...

Friday, April 6

I made these little girlies for an order. If you hadn't noticed, I've been on my own, personal crafting tangent for a while now. And I've sorely neglected my business. Well, the good news is that once I got going, it felt good. Inspiration and motivation have returned. It's entirely possible that once I've finished up the items for this order, I may just continue and make a few things for Natural Playthings. It feels so good to be excited about it again.

On another note, Miss Priss (although she most definitely prefers just plain "Priscilla") now has shoes and socks. Luckily the cream shoes fit perfectly as the brown boots were cancelled from my order due to a lack of stock. Her socks are also a perfect fit and a perfect match.

I intend for her to eventually live in my bedroom. But she became friends with the quilty-eared rabbit, who told her all about Easter, and she doesn't want to miss out on any of the festivities. So, for now, she's perched atop the hutch where she has an excellent view of things (including the fresh flowers which are no longer all that fresh). The girl is positively giddy over the fact that egg dyeing will be taking place very soon!