Wednesday, November 30, 2011

WIP Wednesday, vol 15

I might actually have a little progress to show today! 
I haven't had a whole lot of time to sew this week with the holidays and traveling, but I got a tiny bit done. 

And look at the progress being made since last week...

It may not look like much, but I like it. Our friendly workers were only able to come back one day to work since they started, but I'm amazed at how much they can get done. They blew insulation into our attic, took out the old flooring, replaced all the studs and are nearly done hanging the drywall. It is a bit of a pain trying to keep the kids out of their way and out of the mess, but will be so worth it to have our second bathroom functional again.

Enough of that, back to the sewing...

Ok, so not a lot of actual sewing was done, but I did decide on a pattern for my Hometown quilt and got the fabric cut. I'm going to make a "Road to Tennessee" quilt, which I thought was fitting since my hometown is in fact in Tennessee. I don't think this quilt is going to be for me, though, so I guess that part doesn't matter. 

I also got my charms cut for the I-Spy Spoonflower swap. I love browsing Spoonflower and seeing all the fun designs though this is the first time that I have actually ordered anything from them. Honestly, I don't foresee me purchasing anything else. There isn't really anything wrong with it, but I almost didn't even like touching the fabric. Is that weird? 

I keep thinking of all these things that I would like to get done before Christmas, but have not even gotten started yet, so there isn't any way I could get them done with out being majorly stressed and sleep-deprived. And that isn't really what the holidays should be about, is it? 

So this morning as I was driving Wyatt to school I decided to just focus on making a few fun things to decorate the house and relax. I usually take the 2 hours or so that I'm home between trips to preschool to straighten up the house and put clothes away. This morning, I decided to sew instead. I've been wanting to make some fun pillow covers and decided to make one using Debbie's Mini "X" Quilt tutorial.  It was great to just let myself sit and sew and not worry about the clothes I should have been washing or the gifts that weren't getting made. I would much rather make someone a gift when I have time to really give it the attention it deserves, not just throw something together just because I need it by a certain day. And, I know the people who will be getting them don't mind to wait either.

Since I finally have a little progress to show, I think it's time to link back up with Lee at Freshly Pieced for W.I.P. Wednesday!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Pretzel Bread

 The scent of bread baking has to be one of my favorite smells. I used to bake all of our bread and loved having our house filled with that wonderful smell, but since Max was born I have made bread from scratch probably one time. 

I first read about Pretzel Bread on Jeni's blog and was intrigued, but lazy. Then I saw it again when Jessica of Twin Fibers mentioned it last week and after seeing her picture of it I knew I had to try it. I am also a sucker for recipes that use interesting techniques, and dropping the balls of dough in a baking soda bath sounded fun. It was fun, and the bread was delicious!

Mike’s Signature Pretzel Bread - makes 2 small loaves

2 ¼ tsp yeast
1 cup water (110-120 degrees)
2 Tbsp room temperature milk
1 Tbsp dark brown sugar
3 Tbsp butter
1 tsp kosher salt
2 ½ – 3 cups bread flour
4 quarts water
½ cup baking soda
Kosher salt to taste
2 Tbsp melted butter

Add yeast, water, milk, brown sugar and butter into a large bowl, whisking until all ingredients are combined.  Let mixture rest for 10 minutes for yeast to activate.  Mix in kosher salt.  Start by adding two cups of the flour to the bowl, combining it with other ingredients.  Add more flour as it’s needed, reserving just a bit for coating the dough mat later.

The dough should form a slightly tacky, but firm ball.  Oil the bowl, place the dough ball in the bowl, and cover with a damp towel for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes, knead the dough by hand or machine for at least 5-10 minutes until the dough is elastic and satiny.  Place dough back in the bowl and recover for 1 hour. 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and bring the 4 quarts of water to a boil.  When the water is boiling, slowly add the baking soda.

Remove the dough from the bowl and gently degas it.  Form two separate balls of dough, forming them into the shape you want.  Drop one of the smaller balls into the baking soda bath for no longer than 30 seconds, turning it once to guarantee both sides covered.  Drain the excess water from the dough and place it on an oiled baking sheet.  Repeat with second ball of dough.

Sprinkle the kosher salt over the bread to your specific tastes, and make sure to use a knife to cut a small incision on the top of the bread so the dough has somewhere to expand.

Bake the bread for 22 minutes, rotating the baking sheet once.

Once removed from the oven, immediately brush the melted butter over the loaves to guarantee a soft crust.

Recipe source:  Two Bites in Suburbia

**As a side note, last night I tried Debbie's recipe for Italian Tomato and Sausage Soup and it was delicious!

So hop on over to A Quilter's Table and see what other deliciousness people are linking up today!

Friday, November 25, 2011

FMQ Friday and other Fun

Well, looks like the official FMQ fun is coming to an end as this is the last week for the link-up with Cindy at Fluffy Sheep Quilting. I've had a great time trying these new patterns and hope that I can keep myself motivated to continue practicing. 

The design we were to attempt this week is Superstar, which looks fun and fairly easy though I attempted it on my own a few weeks ago and was a bit frustrated.

Here is this week's attempt, not great but acceptable...

Honestly, sometimes when I try these FMQ patterns I can't really see myself actually using them on a quilt. But this morning I saw Brigitte's version of the Drop Art one that she used on a customer's quilt and it looks fabulous! 

In other fun news, here are a few giveaways going on now in case you missed them...

Erin at Why Not Sew is giving away a FQ bundle of Cosmo Cricket's Circa 1934 from her new sponsor The Fat Quarter Shop. So go help her celebrate and while you're there check out her tutorial for a paper-pieced Kitchen Aid mixer block. It's incredible!

Rebecca of Our Busy Little Bunch is hosting a giveaway by the Intrepid Thread for a bundle of the newly released Pear Tree line, open until next Friday. She also has a giveaway for 9 yds of Pellon batting that closes Monday, so hop over there to enter.

Laura of Needles, Pins, and Baking Tins is giving away two charm packs of It's a Hoot by Momo to celebrate her followers so stop by and tell her a joke to enter the contest. 

Have a great weekend and good luck in the giveaways!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

WIP Wednesday, vol 14

Here is this week's only finish:

Since this is really all the sewing that has gone on in the last couple weeks it seems like I've been dragging them out every time I post! If somehow you have missed seeing all my posts about them, you can find more details about my Christmas Tree Pants here.

I had hoped to have the beginnings of a new quilt to show you today, but well, another unexpected project suddenly got started yesterday instead....
This used to be a bathroom. 
We have been needing to remodel our bathrooms since we bought this house last year but other projects and life in general kept getting in the way. But last week we finally had an Amish acquaintance come and give us an estimate for the work, though he assured us that there would be several jobs ahead of ours so it would probably be about a month before they could get to it. Well, it has been rainy here the last few days and apparently most of their other work is roofing, so they decided to stop in yesterday morning and get to work. To say I was unprepared would be an understatement

However, everything went very smoothly and efficiently so hopefully the rest of the job will follow suit and I can get back to sewing soon! 

I'm not even going to bother linking up today, but be sure to check out W.I.P. Wednesday with Lee at Freshly Pieced to see what everyone else has been working on!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tuesday at the Table

I'm just barely getting this one in on Tuesday...

This week's Tuesday at the Table is a special one for a couple of reasons. Since this week is Thanksgiving here in the States, Debbie is encouraging everyone to share a Thanksgiving dish, post about the placemats/napkins that you've made and will be using, a new ingredient you want to try, or really anything as it relates to your "table". It is also special because she is hosting a giveaway for two "Winter Solstice" bundles of solids and Kathy of Pink Chalk Fabrics is giving away two $20 gift certificates, so be sure to check it out.

This year our Thanksgiving will be pretty laid back. Roger is working Thursday and Friday so we will stay here and the kids and I will probably make a special supper Thanksgiving night. Early Saturday we're driving down to Tennessee to celebrate at my sister's house with my entire family. I can't wait! 

One dish that I'm definitely going to make for our mini-feast is Chess Pie. Ever heard of it? I was surprised that a lot of people haven't. It is a Southern dessert, similar to a custard pie or buttermilk pie, but sweeter and with the addition of a bit of cornmeal and vinegar. Sounds appetizing, no? It is actually really, really good. It has kind of become a tradition that when my mom is here helping after I have a baby that she makes one for us. My husband loves Chess Pie now that he has been introduced to them. There are also several variations that I've seen, especially chocolate or lemon chess pies. I don't think I've had the lemon, but last time I was at my parents' my mom made a chocolate chess pie and I think I could have eaten the whole thing! 

They aren't the most photogenic pies, so if you do find a recipe for one chances are there won't be a picture with it. The recipe that I'm going to use is this one from Southern Living magazine, one of my personal favorites. Not only is it a great magazine filled with all kinds of articles about the Southern US, but they have the BEST recipes. I have a cookbook that is something like 20 years of their best recipes and it is the first one I go to when I have guests coming. 

And since I have no photos to show of my pie yet, instead I'll show you a fun plate that might someday hold a slice of pie. It's the Delilah Plate in Red, designed by Kate Spain for Crate and Barrel.

Ok, that about wraps it up for today, so be sure to head over to A Quilter's Table and check out the other great dishes from around the table!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Christmas Tree Pants

Hey, it's officially a month late, but I finally finished my Christmas Tree Pants this weekend! 

I'm going to go ahead and apologize for the picture quality in this post. I forgot about taking pictures until after the kids' naps so I was trying to keep them away but hurry up and get some taken before it got any darker out. I really wanted to go outside and throw the pants under a tree, but it was cold and rainy so that didn't happen. Maybe I'll remember to take a couple when we get our Christmas tree. 

I love the stripey binding. I always cut my binding straight across the grain, but since I had that circle in the middle I decided to use bias binding instead. Really, I was just going to cut one small strip on the bias for the circle then do the rest my usual way so I could conserve a little fabric, but then I realized that wouldn't look right since the stripes would be going different ways so I made it all on the bias. 

Max was being all whiny after his nap so I was trying to hold him while I took the pictures. But he kept slapping my camera so I set him down, then he went straight for the pants and sat on them. He's so cute. And since this is the only picture that shows some of the backing I thought I would share him.

Then Wyatt was getting all excited about the pictures so I let him in on a few. His poor little arms got tired quickly though, so this is as good as they get.

Go see what everyone else has been creating at {Sew} Modern Monday by Canoe Ridge Creations. Thanks, Megan!

And check out the fabulous projects linked up with Fabric Tuesday at Quilt Story. Thanks, Heather and Megan!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Friday Night Sew-In

I have been wanting to participate in the Friday Night Sew-In since I first heard about it this summer, but I never remember until after it has already past.  Yesterday evening as I was making supper I realized that it was probably about the right time for it, so I went to Handmade by Heidi and checked just to make sure.

Friday Night Sew-In is a party hosted by Heidi and her cousin Bobbi of Crafty Vegas Mom and all you have to do is, well, sew on a Friday night. Of course you have to show-off what you work on, too.

Usually once I get the kids to bed I want nothing more than to just sit down for a bit and catch up on what everyone else has been up to. That's right, I almost never sew at night! Honestly, I'm usually so tired at the end of the day that staying up late to sew just doesn't stand a chance against a little computer time and my bed! I am not one of those people who can function well on 5 hours of sleep either. I am a much better mom when I've gotten some sleep!

Roger was working last night, so once I got the kids to bed I didn't waste any time getting my machine out and continuing to quilt my Christmas Tree Pants. I've been working on and off over the last couple days to get the quilting done. It really doesn't take that long to finish a star once I get uninterrupted time to just sit down and do it, so I got all the quilting finished last and sliced them into pants.

Now I just need to tackle the binding...

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Free Motion Friday

I had fun with this week's pattern, which was supposed to look like water molecules. I decided not to confine them to a box and I think that helped, since I couldn't get freaked out when I was getting too close to the sides. 

My only real problem with this design was having to decide where I was going to connect the molecules to each other. Sometimes I went from oxygen to oxygen, but others I jumped from hydrogen to oxygen or I got all crazy and let two molecules share a little hydrogen. I was having a hard time creating bonds where they shouldn't be!

And in the end, I've decided they look more like dancing M&M guys than water...

Can't wait to see what Cindy has planned for next week of FMQ Friday. You can visit her at Fluffy Sheep Quilting and join the fun!

Exciting Stuff!!

I am so excited and honored and humbled that my little Dead Simple quilt is being featured today at Modern Day Quilts!

And another thank-you to Heather and Megan at Quilt Story for mentioning it Tuesday on their recap feature of Fabric Tuesday!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

One Down, Six to Go...

When I started to write my WIP Wednesday post this morning I realized that I had no progress to show. I have actually finished my three Pay It Forward gifts, but since I can't show them, there really isn't much to talk about, is there?

So as I looked over and saw my Christmas tree pants still sitting untouched for the last two weeks I decided my time would be better spent actually doing something than sitting here listing excuses about why I had nothing to show. So here you go! One star is done and now that all three kids are napping I better get back to work!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Menu Planning

Are you a meal planner? I mean, do you make an organized menu for your family and cook from that for the week/month? I try to be, but have been seriously slacking lately. I have no reason why, other than sheer laziness I guess. Or the fact that I'd rather be sewing...

I love how organized I feel when I have our meals planned out. I find that I am so much more productive during the day if I know what I'll be making and can possibly prep part of the meal in the morning or while the kids are eating lunch or napping. This, as opposed to ignoring the inevitable until 5 PM when the kids are restless, the baby is needy, and I'm hungry and getting crabby when I can't figure out what the heck to make for supper...

What does this have to do with you? Not much really, but when I'm organized about our meals that means I have much more time to sew! Everyone wants more time to sew, right?

So today I thought I would share three of my favorite places to find recipes that I know my family will devour. I love trying new recipes and do not like making the same thing over and over. I have found so many delicious, reliable recipes on these sites and I appreciate that all three of these women are committed to using real ingredients, not overly-processed "convenience" ingredients. 

 Alright, enough blabbing, here you go...

Mel's Kitchen Cafe ~ This is by far where the majority of my go-to meals come from. A few of our favorites are Teriyaki Meatballs, Divine Breadsticks, and Deep, Dark Chocolate Brownies. Her Barbecue Sauce is the best I've ever made and I always make a big batch to freeze. I think tonight I'm going to make her Chicken Enchilada Pasta.

Annie's Eats ~ A fellow Hoosier, some of our favorites from Annie are: Creamy Taco Mac, Jalapeno Popper Dip, and Sugar Cookie Bars.

Baked Bree ~ I haven't tried quite as many of her recipes as the others, but the ones I have made have been fabulous. Here are a few good ones: Herbes de Provence Chicken, Chardonnay Carrots, and Cinnamon Bun Pancakes.

OK, I am officially starving now so I think I'll make a menu plan for the week while the kids are eating lunch. Hopefully. 

I'll be linking up with Debbie for Tuesdays at the Table, which is where I'm about to go to see what other yummy things people have been making this week!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Random Monday

Oh my, is it a good thing when a weekend away feels like it was a week? 
I can't decide. We went to Cincinnati for the weekend but when I walked into the house last night I felt like I had been gone much longer! The massive piles of laundry waiting for me would make it appear that way, too. Ugh.

The main purpose of our trip was to get a few things at Ikea. Oh man, is it a good thing the closest one is nearly 4 hours away! I think the majority of my time this week will involve little allen wrenches and screwdrivers...

Here is one of the fun things I got:

The incredibly clever Hadley suggested the Trofast system as a worthy fabric management tool, so I thought I would give it a shot. I have another cabinet where I store the majority of my fabric, but this is going to house my smaller cuts and scraps that were getting out of control. I am more than a little excited to start sorting!

I also found out today that I am now a member of the Imagine circle of do. Good Stitches!

I'm so excited...and more than a little nervous!! I signed up as a quilter so that means that I have to design a quilt about once every 5 months for our circle to make. I'm not nervous at all about the actual act of receiving blocks and making the quilt, but choosing a block for everyone to make has me a little antsy! There have been so many amazing quilts made in this bee. I cannot wait to get started on ours!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Mini Quilt Challenge

Ok, quilting purists, avert your eyes! 
Or you may just want to skip on over this post...

I had a lot of little triangle scraps left over after making my stars for the Christmas Tree Pants and didn't want to throw them away. Yet, I did not enjoy the thought of sewing those little bits together, either. But when I heard about AmyLouWho's Mini Quilt Challenge, I thought I would try to put them to use.

So, what to do...what to do??

 An extremely quick and simple project came to mind. Why not just arrange the little triangles on some lightweight fusible interfacing, press, and voila!?! This is definitely not the project for someone for whom precision is extremely important, but it was something fun to whip up during naptime. I would have thrown the scraps away otherwise, but now I have a festive little mini to hang above my sewing space for the holidays.

I challenged myself to not use anything but the scraps from that project, and I totally did it, even the binding. And should I get some kind of prize for using up my scraps from  a project that hasn't even been completed yet?

While I was making this I thought it would be a great project for Wyatt to make. He is always wanting to help sew, and I think he would have a lot of fun arranging scraps and seeing them transformed into a little quilt. Maybe something we can do during the long cold winter when I'm trapped in the house with three kids....

Now head over to AmyLouWho's to see what the real quilters have been whipping up this week...

FMQ Friday

I don't think I've ever been so glad to see pine needles before! 
This week's pattern was so much nicer to me than the guts we attempted last week. That's not to say I did an amazing job or anything, but I had fun again!

Here's the first attempt, feed dogs down....
Not bad, not bad...The second column looks a little rough, but I'll take it. I was trying to make the needles from the first and second columns interlock like Leah was talking about, so I was worrying more about that than I probably should have been. 

I put my feed dogs back up for the second one, but really couldn't tell much of a difference.

And the third attempt...
Somehow, I think I got worse with each attempt. I even got a mutant three-prong needle in this one...Looking back at the pictures now, they remind me more of the fish skeletons you see on cartoons instead of pine needles.


Overall, I don't think I did too bad. I do wish I would make more time for practicing during the week instead of waiting until Thursday afternoon, but that's the way it goes right now. 

A big thank-you needs to go out to Cindy of Fluffy Sheep Quilting for hosting our little party every week!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

WIP Wednesday, vol 13

Well kids, this is likely going to be a pretty boring WIP Wednesday from me. 
It seems that I can either have a (relatively) clean house, clean clothes, and well-fed family OR I can get some sewing done. We've eaten well this week and our dresser drawers are full, so it's safe to say not much has happened in the old sewing room!


My Dead Simple quilt is complete! For more details, check out Monday's post.

Hold the phone! What is this? A second finish??

Stellar photography aside, I crocheted an ear-warmer kind of thing the other day while riding around running errands with my husband and kids. Very simple pattern, yet I'm quite sure this will get more use than that larger cowl I made last month. 

In Progress:

I've been doing a little work on my Pay-it-Forward gifts, but have nothing I can show, since I would like them to be a surprise. Exciting, huh?

Frame purse....I have a pattern now, but that's about as far as I've gotten on this one, too.

No Progress:

My Christmas Tree Pants are still un-quilted, sitting in the same spot they were this time last week. I'm hoping to get to work on them Thursday, as Roger has the day off work and I may be able to get a little child-free time.

And there you have it....

Be sure to visit Freshly Pieced to see what other people have been working on this week, and
congratulations to Lee on 52 weeks of WIP Wednesdays!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Interesting Things

Just a quick note this morning to share a few fun things I've seen lately in case anyone else wants to get in on the action...
I know everyone is busy with holiday sewing and general end-of-the-year craziness, but if you are looking for a couple simple swaps, here you go:

Lindsay of Lindsay Sews and Craft Buds is organizing a Holiday Ornament Swap, and has even broken it down into categories of "Simple" and "Fancy" so you can commit to swapping the type of ornament that fits your taste/time commitment. She has some seriously cute mosaics on her site. I never buy Christmas ornaments, so I am totally in for this. And honestly, some of the "Simple" ornaments are the ones that I like the most, and she estimates 30 minutes for constructing a simple ornament. Sounds do-able, right? 

If you need some inspiration or help with your holiday crafting, check out Echinops & Aster's Holiday How-to Series. Jenelle is sharing tutorials for Holiday crafting over the next few weeks and even has a giveaway going on right now. Look at the super cute ornament pattern she shared during Week 1:

And finally, Rachael at Imagine Gnats shared this fun swap with me...The ladies of Crafterhours are hosting a second round of their Spoonflower I-Spy charm swap. I vaguely remember seeing this the first time around and being totally jealous that I hadn't been a part of it. Not anymore...Remember those I-Spy placemats I've been wanting to make? Let me refresh your memory...

So there you go...A few things to think about on this beautiful Tuesday. 
Have a great day!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Dead Simple Quilt

When Lynne of Lily's Quilts announced her Dead Simple Quilt Along, I thought it sounded like  interesting. The idea behind the QAL was to take the pressure away from choosing/piecing a complicated design for your quilt and instead pick a color palette first and go with a very simple design.

After many, many indecisive visits to Design Seeds, I opted for Neighborly Hues...

I chose Kona Cottons in the following colors to go with my chosen palette: Tangerine, Ash, Azure, Ochre, and Coal.  After that decision was made, I kind of went my own way with the rest of the QAL. I had seen a quilt by Esch House Quilts that I loved and decided that I would like one similar as a wall hanging for our house. The quilt uses the "Mosaic" block from the Summer Sampler QAL, which is made of 16 HSTs. I didn't actually use the QAL tutorial, but instead just did the math on my own once I decided how large I wanted the wall hanging to be.

For the quilting, I went with double lines 1/4" apart outlining the large and small diamond shapes in each quadrant, the one in the middle, and the half-diamonds on the middle of each side. 

Somehow, this is the only picture I took of the back. As you can see, nothing special here. I decided that since it was going to be hanging on the wall I would just go with a simple back, though it does show the quilting pretty well. Backing and binding are both Kona Coal. 

I went back and forth for quite a while on every aspect of this quilt...palette, design, quilting...but in the end I really love it and can't wait to see it hanging in our house. Now to just decide where to put it!

Happy to be linking up with {Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations and Fabric Tuesday at Quilt Story. Thanks Ladies!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Fun Mail and the E.R.

Hmm, which should we talk about first?

I had to take one of my kids to the Emergency Room for the first time Thursday evening. With three boys, I am quite certain it won't be the last time, though. He is fine, just a little sore and swollen. I did however, learn that they won't put stitches in your mouth unless the cut is all the way through your lip. Good to know for the next time it happens, I guess! 

Wyatt was running through the house pushing a dump truck when he tripped and hit his face on the floor, leaving a pretty good gash in his top lip and a small one on the bottom. If that weren't bad enough, he got stung by a wasp Wednesday afternoon on the bridge of his nose. It really didn't swell too much until he got up from his nap on Thursday, but by that evening his eye was nearly swollen closed. So imagine the fun we had explaining to every person who saw us at the hospital that we really weren't there for his eye, could you please take a look in his mouth?!? I didn't take any pictures of him, but have you seen the Goonies? Just imagine a 4-year old Sloth...Poor kid had a rough week!

Now for the fun part! Look at all the fun things that came in the mail...

The crazy-talented Natalie from Greenleaf Goods had a giveaway for a Kona Color Card that she received at the Sewing Summit, and I was the lucky winner. This thing is so fun to look at, and I'm sure will be used all the time! 

And look at the fun package from Happy Zombie, Monica Solorio-Snow! I won the Week 3 giveaway during the Christmas Tree Pants Sew-Along she did for Sew, Mama, Sew. She sent a book and magazine in which she has featured patterns and a little bundle of her Holiday Happy fabric for Lecien.

Isn't it cute?
The final package to arrive this week:
I'm so excited to look through this book and start planning! I've barely glanced through it so far, but I've seen several interesting blocks I think I'd like to try.

Hope all of you have a safe hospital-free weekend!

Friday, November 4, 2011

FMQ Friday...The Guts Edition

Back again for Cindy's FMQ Friday. Let me begin by apologizing to all my fellow FMQers out there for voting for such an annoying pattern! I thought the name "Stomach Lining" was funny but didn't really expect Cindy to agree to it! Here's how it should look:

And here's reality:

Yikes. I have a problem with fluid motions and maneuvering my fabric around in a circle while still moving it up/down to make the pattern. My stomach lining is full of ulcers. Nasty, bloody ulcers.

On my second attempt, I tried to be a little less tight with my design, and felt like it was looking a little better. I still found that I had moments of "oh crap, where do I go?" but could not just stop sewing long enough to figure it out! See over there on the left side, where I crossed over my line and got all crazy? That's what I'm talking about. I couldn't just slow down and think ahead, I just plowed on through and made a mess. 

 After that downer, I decided to try something fun and simple, like a star....

Nailed it. 
(This is about the time I'm wishing there was a special font for sarcasm...)

Ugh. A whole smorgasbord of awful.

Since I seem to be better at the more linear patterns rather than curves, I'm hoping that next week's Pine Needles are a little more forgiving!