Friday, October 26, 2012

Jill's Quilt

I have been trying to get around to sharing this quilt with you guys for what, almost 3 months now? I remember sewing on the binding in the days right before I had Jill. But obviously life with a new baby means things don't necessarily happen in a timely manner. But once again, Blogger's Quilt Festival lit the proverbial fire and I got to it. Pictures are less than stellar, but here it is, the quilt I made my sweet little Jill...
jill's quilt
Zigzag quilts have always been one of my favorite designs, but I was hesitant to make one.  I know there are a few different ways to achieve the look, but for some reason mine needed to be made with HSTs. I hate trimming HSTs, but was willing to put up with it since this was for such a special person. 

I'm generally not a fan of overly girly color schemes, so Jill's room and quilt are built around yellow, pink, coral, and orange. I had so much fun choosing fabrics for this project! 
Getting the top finished actually didn't take long at all. Making big HSTs is a lot more fun than small ones! Once I had the top done, I pieced the back out of two Anna Maria Horner Folksy Flannels, but then it sat for probably a month. By that time my belly was getting pretty big and I had no desire to crawl around and baste this thing! Mom to the rescue once again. She came to stay with us a few days before I had Jill so she could help me finish a few projects. Once she got it basted, I just straight line quilted about 1/4" from the seams. 
I almost always machine-bind my quilts now, but I just had to bind this one by hand. It was nice to just relax in my chair and think about my sweet girl while I stitched. 

The Details:
Finished quilt measures 48"x64"
Pieced and Quilted by me
Fabrics: various Lizzy House Pearl Bracelets and Jewels, Cosmo Cricket Salt Air, Bonnie & Camille's Ruby, Heather Bailey Swirly Buds, Khristian Howell Woodlands, RK Modern Whimsy
Backing: AMH Folksy Flannels
Binding: Apple of My Eye Herringbone in Yellow
Best Category: Baby Quilts

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Current Obsessions

It's getting bad around here. 
All I want to make is soups and scones. Seriously. Maybe I should move to Scotland? 
I suppose there could be worse things to be obsessed with...(If I had any knowledge of current pop culture I'd list a few examples here, but I'm woefully out of touch.)

Instead, I'll share a few of the recipes that have been made around here lately:

Bacon-Cheddar Cauliflower Chowder It's touted as a low-carb alternative to potato soup, but I'm not really into trying to make substitutions like that. It's cauliflower, people, not potatoes. But it was good! 
Weekend Beef Barley Stew Again with the barley...I didn't follow this one exactly but it was delicious and just what we needed on a yucky, drizzly Friday night. 
Best Cream of Broccoli Soup That about sums it up.
My mom actually made those first three scone recipes when she was here after I had Jill. She just mixed them up, shaped them, and put them in the freezer unbaked. Then when we needed a breakfast treat I just baked them as the recipe said but added a few minutes. Worked perfectly!

Oatmeal Raspberry Scones Not the best pic, but it will do. I also added white chocolate chips, just because.

I've also got at least a dozen other scone recipes on my Pinterest board that I'm dying to try.
What are your current obsessions??

**Linking up to Tuesdays at the Table**

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Gift From a Dear Friend


Jill and I received the best package in the mail a few weeks ago. My super-sweet friend Kelli made Jill this beautiful quilt. I love everything about it...the colors, design, quilting. It is so perfect! She even quilted Jill's name into it, though I forgot to get a good picture of that.

Jill's Kelli quilt up close
I know it has been said thousands of times, but this quilting and blogging community really is amazing and generous! Really, I am at a complete loss for words to convey how special this quilt and the friendship behind it is to me. I am so not someone to talk about my feelings or get all mushy, but I seriously got a little misty-eyed reading Kelli's post about this quilt. She is far more eloquent than I am, so be sure to go read it. And she got better pictures, too! 
You can see I never did finish that hoop or get anything else hung behind Jill's crib...
I think my favorite thing about this quilt is that Kelli used many scraps from projects that were personal to her  and her own kids. The orange solid is even from her son's crib bedding. How fun that our kids, so many miles apart, have that connection! I've gotten to know Kelli through our blogs and emails over the last year and it is like we really are long-lost twins sometimes. We have so much in common and I cannot wait for the day when we get to meet in person! 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

19 Yards

Since I just taped up the boxes that I packed my stash fabric in, 
it just makes sense to buy more, doesn't it?

But at $3.25/yd, how can I refuse?  My plans: quilt backs and kid pajamas. 

Sunday, October 14, 2012


Cranking out the Y seams since I'm still #notgoingtosewingsummit

Since I'm obviously not in SLC right now, I thought I would tackle this month's block for 
Always Bee Learning. Like I said the other day, this bee is supposed to challenge us to try new techniques and Marci has us sewing Y-seams. 

I think I've used this technique once before, though it was on something three-dimensional, maybe the Bike Bucket? Who knows. What I do know, is that I like Y-seams. Seriously, there isn't anything really tricky about them and knowing how to do them opens up quite a few new possibilities for block construction. 

Marci's block

This block is from Malka Dubrawsky's book, "Fresh Quilting: Fearless Color, Design, and Inspiration" and I believe it is used in the "Modern Baby Quilt" project. Marci sent us all the flower pieces already cut from Kate Spain's new Cuzco line and the background pieces are Laura Gunn's Painter's Canvas. My color is a little off in this picture, but the Painter's Canvas is actually just a bit more green, an interesting shade.  

So what are you working on this weekend? I hope to be back later with at least one finished costume to share!

***Linking up with the party at amylouwho***

Friday, October 12, 2012

Using My Powers for Good

I would be willing to bet that the sewing community as a whole is one of the most charitable groups of people  in the world. I don't know too many sewists who don't enjoy sewing for other people, especially for anyone less fortunate than ourselves. 

There are many outstanding sewing organizations that benefit charity. We're probably all familiar with ones like Project Linus, Margaret's Hope Chest, Do Good Stitches, and Craft Hope. One that I've recently become acquainted with is Hopeful Threads

Each month, Kristy of Hopeful Threads organizes a sewing service project to benefit a particular group. This month the focus of our sewing is to support and encourage the mothers and babies of the Pine Ridge and Rosebud Reservations in South Dakota in cooperation with Sew for Kids. I know that for myself, a lot of times when I think of under privileged kids, I often think of children in other countries so it was a little eye-opening reading about the needs on these reservations. I'm well-aware that poverty is everywhere, but for some reason this project really it home with me, perhaps because I have babies at home that have so much more than they really need. 


Since I have been cleaning out and organizing my sewing room to prepare for this move, I realized that I have quite a bit of remnant flannel and other fabrics that I've previously used for baby gifts. So when I came upon this month's project I knew that I would be diving in! Sewing for babies is fun, and most of the necessities are really easy and quick to sew. Plus, I get to reduce the amount of stuff I have to pack up and move. I call that a win-win situation. And since our plans for the weekend fell through, I had some free time to devote to the project.

I made a few flannel receiving blankets and thought it would be fun to finally use some of my machine's decorative stitches to do the top-stitching. It was neat, but takes about 10 times as long.
I didn't really use a specific pattern or tutorial for the blankets, washcloths, or burp cloths since they are so simple. I did use this Sushi Roll tutorial from Sew, Mama, Sew for the changing pads.
I actually made these bibs last year as a gift, but for some reason I never finished them. All I needed to do was add the velcro and they were done. Unfortunately, I have no idea what pattern I used for these, but a quick google search turns up loads of patterns if you need one. Personally, I love this bapron pattern from Jessica at Craftiness Is Not Optional.

There was a slight casualty this weekend while I was working on these. Apparently sergers don't appreciate it if little boys come in and turn the knob the opposite direction while their mamas are sewing. My poor serger came to a grinding halt and I had to finish the rest of the washcloths on my regular machine. I'm hoping to be able to make the trip to my not-so local LQS next week and evaluate the damage.

If you are interested in helping Hopeful Threads, there is a Pinterest page devoted to patterns and tutorials for this month's project, and here is a master list of pattern links from Sew for Kids. If you know of any other charitable sewing groups, feel free to leave a link for them in the comments!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Random Thursday

You guys really surprised me in the comments on that last post about bees. I thought I was probably weird for wanting to use my own fabrics in bee blocks, but many of you agreed! Sounds like we may need to start planning a stash bee! Who's in?

On to the random...

I started sewing Halloween costumes this week. This is part of Carson's. He decided on an orange caterpillar after changing his mind from a butterfly, worm, superman, and a Suburban. Wyatt has settled on being a scary tree and requested that Jill be a Black Swallowtail butterfly. I'm hoping Max will wear Carson's chicken costume from a few years ago.

Remember how I said we were going to the zoo this weekend? Well, that didn't happen. This did:

Roger determined that we had a water leak so he spent Sunday afternoon on the backhoe digging trenches between the house and his shop trying to find it. He eventually found it and capped it off, believing it would hold until he could go to the hardware store after work on Monday. Spoiler alert: It didn't.
Around 9 Monday morning I noticed that we no longer had any water at the house, so I went outside and saw this trench filling with the water that should have been flowing to my house. I got the main water line turned off and then spent the rest of the day at home with no water and 3 kids that couldn't go outside to play because of the massive holes in the yard. Fun times.

Do you read How About Orange, the blog of designer Jessica Jones? She always has the most fun links to share. This week she had a link to download a free font that looks like cross-stitching, and another that links to a custom box template generator. Make your own little gift boxes, so fun!

We are closing on our new house next week, so I decided it was about time to start packing. 
It was a little sad packing up my stash cabinet, but it was fun looking at all the prints and getting a few ideas. Of course now that it is packed away all I really want to do is sew! I've already filled up all the boxes I've been able to get and all I've packed are my cookbooks, other books, and a small portion of my fabric. This is going to take a while!

And here is the latest installment of Jill sitting in a chair screaming...
2 months!
I promise she doesn't cry all the time. Just most of it.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Thoughts on Bees

Let's chat, shall we?

I spent some time a few days ago getting ready for my month in the Modern Blocks bee. It's not until November, but I'm not sure when this move is happening and didn't want my fabric all boxed up before I got this done! This will be my first time to be the "Queen" of a bee and have to decide on my block and fabrics to send out to my bee mates. It was fairly easy to narrow down which block to ask everyone to make, since this bee is based off the Modern Blocks book. I only had 99 to choose from, and maybe 10 that I would want. I didn't want to ask for a block that we had already made for someone else and I wanted it to be challenging enough that I couldn't easily make enough of them for a quilt all by myself. But at the same time not be so annoying that everyone was cursing me as they sewed. The hardest part was choosing which fabrics to send, so I ended up making packs of scrappy blues, greens, and a bit of yellow along with some Kona Snow. Which brings me to my first question...

Do you prefer bees where you use your own stash to make blocks, or where the person of the month sends their own?
I'm probably in the minority on this one, but I like using my own fabrics. While I do like getting to use new-to-me prints that I may not otherwise ever see in person, for some reason I just like using mine better. I think mostly it is because if I screw up I know that I can just get more, or come up with another print to try. I live in fear of the day I mess up a block using someone else's fabric and have to get them to send more. Maybe it is also that I'm a little impatient? I like to get started as soon as possible and not wait around for the mail. Weird, I know. But in all honesty, I think it is also because I'm lazy and don't want to make all those packets!

How many bees are you in currently, and what do you like about them?
Right now I'm in three bees: Modern Blocks, Always Bee Learning, and the Imagine Circle of do.Good Stitches. Like I said, in Modern Blocks we each choose a block from the book for our month. Always Bee Learning is a new-to-me bee where we are trying to challenge ourselves to learn new techniques such as curves, paper piecing, and y-seams. My month is coming up in January and I have absolutely no idea what to choose! I'll probably end up going with something lame that we've all done before. The first two bees are the type where we are sent fabrics from that month's person, while dGS is a use-your-stash bee that sews for charity. 

Do you ever have bee envy? 
You know, where you keep seeing awesome blocks from a certain bee and wish that you could join them? I love seeing the blocks that come from the some of the paper-piecing bees like Ringo Pie and Cocorico but that kind of thing is way out of my league right now! Care to guess which bee I would join? Stash Trad! (The group is private, so I'm linking to Felicity's mosaic of her blocks.) I nearly always completely adore the blocks I see from that bee.  I love the idea of taking traditional blocks and jazzing them up with modern fabric and colors. And you know I love the "stash" part! 

So tell me, what is your ideal bee? 

Not in a bee and looking to join the fun? Try this flickr group and look in the first discussion thread...

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Wyatt's Halloween Pillow

 I have resisted getting out the fall/Halloween decor this year since we are trying to de-clutter and start packing up for our impending move. I feel kind of bad though, because I know the kids have fun decorating for holidays. So I thought I could just decorate their room a little and call it good. The other day I really felt the need to do some festive sewing, so I made Wyatt a pillow.

Halloween pillow for Wyatt

I had the bright idea to mimic candy corn in the fabric colors and was so pleased with myself as I sewed this up.  Then I actually saw some candy corn and realized my color order was a little mixed up. But I had already started the quilting and wasn't about to redo it. 


For the quilting, I just made random slightly waved lines. I really like this kind of quilting, not just because it is seriously easy, but I love the look of it, too. Especially in a denser style, like this mini by Megan at Canoe Ridge Creations. See that top print? It is Haybale in Cream by October Afternoon for Riley Blake and I love it. It makes a great neutral and also comes in a pretty yellow that I used for a few of the things I made Jill. 

Wyatt's pillow, close

After the quilting I fused these letters onto the pillow and just sewed around the edges, nothing fancy. 

Boo pillow, back

To finish the pillow I just made my usual simple envelope closure. I really want to try making a zippered back, but keep forgetting to buy zippers that are long enough. I've had this orange dotty fabric for a while and haven't found a good use for it until now. I like to pretend its pumpkins to really carry out the theme. Next step...make one for Carson.

Hope you all have a fun and relaxing weekend! Today I'm hoping to get some pictures taken of a couple quilts I need to share and tomorrow we are headed to the zoo. See you soon! 

**Linking up with Megan for {Sew}Modern Monday and Quilt story for Fabric Tuesday**

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Random Thursday

I have absolutely no short-term memory right now!
 I think the sleep deprivation is getting to me. So many times I have been in the middle of a conversation with Roger or a friend and realize that I have no idea what I am talking about or what the point was of me starting my story. Anyone else ever get like this?

Anyway, in order to refresh my memory on what has been going on in our lives lately I scroll through the pictures on my phone, so that is basically what you are getting today. Those few of you who follow me on Instagram have already seen most of these...

I love this girl. Those cheeks and double chin get me every time. It cracks me up to have to pick up her chins to wash her neck at bath time.

Carson and I sorted my scraps the other day just for fun. I saw a tutorial on The Girl Who Quilts for scrappy foundation-pieced blocks that made me want to sort mine. As you can see, I really don't have many "scraps", or at least what I consider to be scraps. If I can fold it up into a neat square/rectangle to fit in my drawer, it isn't a scrap. We did this on Sunday and the next day I read about Jennifer's Scrappy Stash QAL. It sounds fun and I would love to play along, but I know I don't have time to keep up. And by the looks of it, if I kept it to only scraps I might be able to make a doll quilt. So maybe I could do it...

Max is still completely obsessed with farming, as indicated by the Kix in his combine I found the other day. Luckily for him, Roger was shelling corn right behind our house this morning so he got to go for a quick ride in the real combine. 

 Have you seen those pins on Pinterest for the recipe for an "instant" mug of mac and cheese? We don't buy the boxed macaroni and cheese and especially not "Easy Mac" but I kept seeing those pins popping up and thought I'd try it. This is one recipe I can say that I don't recommend. It wasn't pleasant.  

Every day for the past month or so I have been asking the kids what they want to be for Halloween, and every day Wyatt has said that he wants to be a tree. Really? I was surprised, but it didn't seem too hard so the other day I bought a bunch of brown felt and some leaves. Yesterday as we were walking home from the bus stop, I asked again what he wanted to be. His answer? A monster. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

An Autumn Feast

We had such a great meal last night to welcome October.
 I know autumn officially starts in September, but October 1st just seems to really signal that it is time for fall. 
Sit-down meals with our whole family have been a little scarce lately with farming, basketball, and Roger's "real" job taking us in different directions at meal time, but not tonight. 

I tried a few new recipes yesterday and thought I would share. I would say that a good 95% of the new-to-me recipes I use come from my "Recipes to Try" Pinterest board. That really is just so handy for keeping up with things I want to make. Our main dish was just roast beef in the crockpot, but we tried a couple of new side dishes and a dessert. 

Honey and Herb Roasted Root Vegetables from MyRecipes
I'm not really sure why, but I love chopping vegetables, so I went a little crazy on this dish. We'll be eating roasted veggies for a few days. But the fun thing is that tonight my kids gladly ate butternut squash, fennel, parsnip, beets and potatoes. They really aren't too picky most of the time, but they were a bit skeptical watching me chop a few of the veggies they hadn't tried before, namely the fennel and beets.

Since there were so many vegetables in that first dish, I was having a hard time trying to figure out what else to make. Growing up we always had at least two side dishes for every meal so it just feels wrong not to do that, especially when this was kind of a special night. So when I saw this recipe for Simple Barley Pilaf from Mel's Kitchen Cafe I knew I would try it. I have quite a bit of barley in my pantry for some reason and have been looking for new ways to use it. (This salad is another excellent use for it.) I was sure I would enjoy it, but a little worried about everyone else. My kids love rice, but Roger isn't really a fan of most grain-type dishes. When Wyatt took his first bite, he thanked me and said it tasted like cheesy rice. There's no cheese in it, but both he and Carson really liked it. 

And for dessert...Pumpkin Blondies! Pumpkin and chocolate chips just go together, don't they? This recipe was really good, but I would consider it more of a cake than blondies. Definitely recommend! 

What are your favorite "fall" foods?

***Excited to finally be linking up with Debbie for Tuesdays at the Table again!****

Monday, October 1, 2012

Fresh Sewing Day

Well, not too much time was spent in front of the sewing machine in September, 
but I do have a few things to show...

A finished quilt for my cousin using Jeni's tutorial, and a few bee blocks...

NY Beauty Blocks for Michonne in Always Bee Learning
Jumble Blocks for Andy in the Imagine Circle of dGS
Stonehenge block for Leanne in Modern Blocks Bee 
and a flock of geese for my month of October in the Imagine Circle.

Lily's Quilts