Sunday, February 27, 2011

new quilt and musings

This weekend has been surprisingly productive! I thought for sure I was just going to be a slug all weekend, especially since Friday I slept in till 10:30 without even trying. But, then I did get up and over the course of the last two days this is what I've done:
vintage sheet bar quilt
I know I mentioned previously that I was thinking of another quilt where I would randomly pick from a stack of vintage sheets. Well, let's face it, I'm pretty much only random when I'm talking! LOL! I sort of made it random but I can't handle if like row 1 has the same color in the same spot as row 2. So, in that regard I had to make sure they didn't match up. Otherwise though I just tried to make sure each row had a good mix of each color in it, but not in a certain order! Whew! That was rough for me.....seriously.
Here's the side view:
vintage sheet bar quilt
I'm thinking about bordering the whole thing in a solid? I'm working from my stash, though so we'll see what really ends up - like if I have enough of any certain color to make a whole border? I am going to back it with another vintage sheet, not sure what size I'll end up using that will determine which print I use. I have like 4 or 5 sheets that I've kept whole specifically for that purpose, as a backing.
Yesterday I made a roast in the crock pot, and while I was cutting up the veggies I was starting to get sad about June because she used to sit and wait for me to cut the ends off carrots and she'd eat them. But, Joey was sitting there watching me so I thought, hmmmm let's see if Joey likes carrots? And he does! Rocky had to get in on it too, but he didn't really like them he just toted them into the living room and came back for more to keep Joey from getting all of them! Goofy boys.
I took some shredded zucchini out of the freezer and I think I'll make some zucchini bread this afternoon while I work on sewing the rows of the quilt together. I hope I don't burn it!
This morning I went church, I hadn't been in probably a month. I was working on my bible study homework and realized that while, yes, I am learning about Paul and his life I am not really absorbing it and applying it to me. I realized I was doing my homework to get it done for bible study so I don't have to say I didn't do my homework to anyone, which is really not the right reason at all. I fought the idea of going to church, I thought I don't really need to go, it doesn't really matter. But, I felt that familiar nudge that I really did need to go. and durn, I'm glad I did! It was a good message and one that really hit me straight in the heart! We're in Mark 3:7-19 where Jesus picks apostles. And Pastor Russ said that God loves us just as we are, not if we were better or different or anything. It reminded me of in Bridget Jones' diary when Mark Darcy tell Bridget that he likes her, just as she is - and she is stunned, and so are her friends. That is exactly how I felt hearing that sentence from Russ, stunned. I always think (as I'm sure lots of ppl do) that things will be better when.....I'm thinner, I make more money, my skin clears up, it's summertime, when I buckle down and really study the bible, not just play around. the list could go on and on. But God loves me and wants me just as I am. It was exactly what I needed to hear. And then we had communion which I always love to do, it was awesome.
So anyways, thanks for listening to me ramble on like I tend to do.

Friday, February 25, 2011

mermaid dreams

I had the most stressful dream this morning!  I dreamt that I was on a show kinda like Project Runway where I was competing with a room full of other people to design a skirt.  The thing is that all the skirts had to be a mermaid tail!  We were going to be judged on creativity and also the drape of the skirt and how flattering it would look.  The catch was that we had to wear the skirt ourselves.  Everyone else was super thin and making their skirts really low at the waistline, and I am very much not thin so I was like maybe I'll stand out because mine won't be the same as the others?  I had decided on a side zipper but then was fretting about it because I really have never made an invisible zipper before.  The fun part was picking out the fabrics (of course!) which we got to go to a humongous room full of fabulous beautiful fabrics.  I was picking glittery and all different shades of green and shimmery.  The base fabric I picked a cotton and was going to layer circles of the fabulous fabric to make it look like scales.  I was overhearing one lady next to me who had for some reason picked a graphic print for her base fabric and was asking someone else if the lines showed through and the person wasn't answering her so I butted in and said it did.  The end (I guess I woke up after this part) was figuring out how I wanted the bottom to be because I had to walk in it and was worried about my shoes showing and that taking away from the whole mermaid effect.  Also, I wanted it to be longer in the back with the fins.......
It is 2:46pm and I am still trying to think of how I would finish this skirt!  A make believe, dream skirt!  I guess there are worse things to be worrying about, right? lol.  I was trying to think of where in the world I came up with this dream?!?  I realized after I finished the book I was reading "Peter and the Starcatchers" which has mermaids in it that that must be where the mermaid thing came from.  And I was sewing last night, a new quilt though so not sure where the skirt came from?  Who knows!
Okay, so I was waiting to show this pic until the recipient received it!  I participated in a Spring potholder swap on Swap-bot.  This is what I sent out:
spring quilted potholder
Back view:
spring quilted potholder back view
I like the way it turned out, the gal that received said she likes it too, and that's what counts!  I did hand stitch the binding on the back, and I know I am nit-picky but I don't really love the way it sort of looks twisty.  Eh.  And, I think on future potholders I might make them a smidge smaller.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


I have hesitated writing this post, I'll admit.  My sweet angel dog June passed away Sunday night a little before 8:30 pm.  She was the best dog in the world, and made my life better for the past 10 years.  I don't know if I've ever shared here how we came to have June.  When hubs was in the Army he came across a group of dogs that had obviously been abandoned in the desert and had packed together.  In this group was a mama dog with a few puppies.  He took a couple of the puppies home with him.  When I came home from work there were two potbellied puppies on the couch.  Their little bellies were distended from eating real food and water instead of grass and whatever they could find in the desert.  We named them June and Spike and they were such a handful!  Originally we were going to keep both but they were such turds together that it was not a good idea.  So, we found a home for Spike and kept June.  She was a turkey for the first 6 months of her life, she ate every single navy shoe I had!  But, she was really smart and observant and when she was around other dogs she picked up the good behavior they had and modeled after them.  We would often tease her if she was bad that we were going to take her back to the desert if she didn't behave.  Not that she could understand......
She was our girl and we loved her so very much.  Our hearts are broken, and I still just can't believe she's gone.  I knew it was going to happen, she had been sick for quite awhile and it had been getting progressively worse.  I'd like to believe she is in heaven now with Samuel and a giant pile of meaty bones and squeaky toys.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

silly bunnies

Alright then, here it is:
quilted bunnies
My first actual project with stippling/free motion quilting. It is so far from perfect!!!! Here's an up close so you can see the herky jerkyness:
up close of stitching
I forgot to take a pic of the magazine that I got the pattern from so you could see the inspiration.  I changed the faces on the bunnies to make it more "me".  So, I know that I mentioned that my tension was off. I don't know if you can tell from the photos but the topstitching was very much looser than the bottom. I have to say though that I've learned a lot from this project! 

1. Always start in the middle. I've done that with the other projects I've quilted and I don't know why I felt like this one should be any different, but I started on the edge and worked over - not a good idea! The bunnies are very poufy now and have excess fabric in spots so there are puckers.
2. Yes, good idea to always use cotton machine quilting thread. I had read that on numerous tutorials and I have to say I wholeheartedly agree.
3. When stitching gets wonky try a new needle.
4. Dish gloves do not suffice for grabbines. I don't know how else to describe that? On yet another tutorial it was mentioned that someone wears dish gloves (you know like the yellow rubber ones? only mine are pink) to keep a good grip on the quilt sandwich to maneuver around. Nuh-uh. nope. But, I did buy some gloves at Joann's, the Fons and Porter ones and those seemed to be a little better. Grippier.
5. Keep track of excess fabric! I wasn't paying attention and quilted an edge into the middle of the back side! Ugh. Good thing it was just a little bit to take the stitches out, not a ton. I have to say that the stitching is kind of mesmerizing once you get going so it's easy to stop paying attention - for me.
6. Don't go as fast as possible. Another tip from a tutorial that I did not particularly find helpful. My stitching got super duper close together when I tried that, and seemed like I was out of control.
7. Plan ahead how stitching should go.
8. Oh man keep some full bobbins close at hand!!! Dude, this little thing took 3.5 bobbins!
9. Don't get so nervous.  The quilting part for me is the most nerve-wracking and my stomach is in knots and yes arm pits a little sweaty.  Gross.  I know.  Try to remember that a hobby is supposed to be fun and enjoy all aspects.
and finally:
10.  DON'T start dinner and then say "I'll just work on a little teensy bit" which will result in burnt dinner!  I mean, really who can burn pasta?  Me, that's who!

Okay, so I could go on with all the mistakes made and what to do differently next time!  But, I will say that all in all it was a success!  I think it turned out cute, and really some project has to be the first one with all the mistakes, right? 

Friday, February 18, 2011


Yeah, that's probably not a real word, but describes the following fabric perfectly!
So, finally took pics of the box of fabric my Mom sent me. Here's the first peek:
And a couple of my faves:
So much fabulous fabric and so far no real ideas on what I want to do.....I mean I have a couple ideas but mostly I know that these are all going to mesh so well with what I have! Love.
Okay, I'm not sure if I mentioned that I FINALLY ordered the darning foot for my sewing machine. I had gone into the quilt store like a year ago and asked the lady there to order me one and no response. I called a couple times, no response. I wasn't really sure what type of Singer I have, and since I bought it at Walmart they don't have it anymore or anything similar. Hmphf. Fast forward at least 9 or 10 months. I was looking for something in my manual and noticed that next to the parts there were numbers - ding, ding, ding! A quick googles search later et voila! There it was! But me being as cheap frugal as I am I didn't order it. Lucky for me last week or so I checked amazon again and there was an offer with free shipping! Yessss! So, it arrived Tuesday and I gave it a go.
This is super duper cringe-worthy but maybe it will make someone else feel better about themselves after first trying stippling? grin
first stab at stippling
It's pretty rough, yes. I didn't take a pic of my 12 inch square, but it turned out much, much better and I am in the process right this minute of stippling a table runner. I've kind of gotten the movement and twirlyness worked out. The only problem now is the tension on my upper thread. I don't know what's going on. It's looking like it does when the tension is too high but I put it on zero and same thing. Then put it on like 5-6 and same thing. Eh. I'll keep working on it, you know I will :) I can't wait to finish this runner because it's dang cute! It's a pattern I found in a quilting mag and it might just be my new favorite!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I hope everyone had a nice Valentine's Day!  Personally, I don't get too excited about it.  I never really have actually.  But, I've found that kind of makes the day that much better when someone goes out of their way to do something nice for me!  Kind of like a bonus when I wasn't expecting anything.  When I expect too much I am often disappointed.  I'm happy to report that yesterday was v. nice!  The hubs called midday just to say he loved me, awww ♥.  A ton of our patients wished me a happy valentines day all day long!  Then, I stopped home before bible study to pick up my workbook and there was a package from my Mom (more on that one later).  She was told that it was meant to get here on Saturday, but I think it was a happy coincidence that it arrived yesterday!  Then, at bible study my bf Jan gave me a cute little glittery holder thing (sorry I can't think of a proper description!) and inside there were swankie hankies with hearts all over for my purse, and candy.mmm.  All in all, v, v, nice!
Okay - so the package........... all I can say is SWOON!  We've already established that my Mom has a fabulous fabric stash and that she loves to give me fabulous fabric from said stash.  So, I know that whatever I receive will be fun.  Sometimes we might have a clash of tastes, but not often.  That didn't happen in this package, for sure.  I don't have pics, but let me tell you - a great mix of modern and vintage.  And batiks.  And precut squares.  I so want to make something with them, but on the other hand I have no idea what yet!  Eeek, I just know it will fun :)

So, since it's the 15th it's scripture memory time.  Here's my verse:

John 10:10 NIV
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

For me, this verse has significance in so many areas in my life!  Joyce Meyers said it best: the devil gives bad things and God gives good things.  So easy broken down like that, huh?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

random randomness

Avo with ears
Avo now has ears! Super cute! For the ears, I actually used a different pattern than the Bernat one and I found it on Ravelry. Here's a link.  I did end up modifying it, I doubled the amound of cast-on stitches to 12 and after the first increase did 3 rows instead of 1.  I found that this made the "knobbles" as she calls them bigger to fit my monsters size better.  I do intend to make arms and legs but am giving my hands a little break.  I don't want to sound like a crybaby but my right hand really cramps up trying to manuever the smaller needles and pull the yarn nice and tight.
So, I'm thinking I might do something totally color random.  I don't know if I can actually do it or not though.  I really liked the look and feel of the last runner I made with the vintage sheets and thought it would be nice to have a quilt in that style.  I started cutting out rectangles 12" x 3.5" and I was thinking maybe I might just pull from the stack and sew them together without laying it out first.  I am just cutting one rectangle from every fat quarter and sheet that I have in my stash so there will be a great variety of colors and patterns.  Well, let's face it, mostly floral :)  I have a little bit of a color order issue though, so it might not happen.  I like to have my colors either in color order or a certain repetetive pattern.  I mean, geez I have to put my skittles in color order to eat them.  My closet is in color order.  The pins on my pin cushion, my fabric stacks.  I just can't help it, my eye automatically starts to rearrange things into a pattern.  Does anyone else do that???

In a completely unrelated thought I was thinking that I might try fasting.  I honestly don't think I can fast from food and water for any large amount of time - I'm a hungry kind of person!  But you know how people give something up for lent for like what 40 days or something like that???  I wonder if I could do it?  And make it something I really want, like candy, so every time I wanted it I'd need to ask God for the strength to say no.  Maybe at the end of the 40 days I wouldn't even want it anymore???   I don't know if that's even possible because I have a horrible sweet tooth.  What do you think?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

wordy windy day

Well, I will say that my little stinkers sure do keep me on my toes! Well, one in particular - Rocky. So, this morning was absolutely gorgeous, and warm! I left the back door open so the dogettes could roam as they pleased between house and yard. I noticed that Rocky kept going to this one spot in the fence, so I went out to investigate. Sure enough there was a broken piece of wood. I trucked back into the house and got the hammer to see if I could tighten it up a bit so he couldn't keep making a bigger hole. He watched me the entire time, sizing the situation up. Fast forward about a half hour. I'm sitting there knitting my monster with June and in comes Joey, crying. First off, Joey is never the first one in because Rocky is the alpha. So I knew that something was wrong! Yep, Mr. Stinkypants Turkey Dog himself had broken through the fence and was running amok in the neighborhood! Luckily he's a fairly good dog and will come when called so within 5 or so minutes he was safely back in the house! Sweet relief. I had to laugh though that Joey totally ratted him out!
So, I fixed the hole in the fence and let him out of his kennel and he ran straight for his spot, and wasn't even shy about it! I was so happy that he noticed right away that the fence was fixed and he could not pull any more shenanigans today anyways. We've hung out all day in the back yard, me sitting in a chair knitting, and them alternately sleeping in the sun and trotting around the perimeter of the fence. Only downside is that I woke up with a headache that has been making it's way towards migraine. I had to go inside because the wind kicked up and the windchimes felt like they were vibrating sound inside my head. yuck.
knitted monster body
So, here is the monster so far! I've decided to name her Avo. A gal that I work with, Linde is from South Africa and she calls avocado "avo" and the color of this monster reminds me of an avocado. She's sooooo close to being finished! I am going to make some arms and legs and ears. I have to admit that the pattern sort of lost me a teensy bit. If I had never done amigurumi before with crochet I would have had no idea what they were talking about. Like at one point, when you are increasing they say to just continue until there are 114 stitches. But, they don't tell you exactly how many stitches each row and stuff to increase. Same thing in the decrease dept. Luckily though I have done amigurumi before and could improvise. So, my monster is quite a bit shorter that the intended outcome from the pattern. That's okay though because frankly, she came out waaay bigger than I thought! I was so glad to be able to use some safety eyes that I picked up last year at goodwill for .39 cents! They're really big so I think they are supposed to be for teddy bears but I bought them anyways thinking maybe some day I'll make something rally big. And, look at that, I did :)

vintage sheet table runner
Okay, so this table runner I really made last weekend but needed to wash it first before taking a picture. I was on a vintage sheet runner roll last weekend! This one is so stinkin soft! The back I used another sheet, one of those kind that there's a ton of white but the pattern is still cute. I think it's 100% cotton so it sewed really easily, that was nice. Only issue with vintage sheets sometimes there are stains. I try to be super careful about cutting around those and not using. Guess who wasn't paying attention until everything was completely done and bound? Hmmm, who could it be? So, I've washed it a couple of times, the stain has not come out, but I'm positive it's safe to use since I've washed the heck out of it. And it's on the back so no one except me might ever notice.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Monster update and quiltyness

Okay, so I'm really not going for bathroom humor here, and my disclaimer is that I hope what I'm about to share doesn't gross anyone out!  LOL it sounds terrible doesn't it?  So, I realized that I needed some quiltyness in my bathroom.  I don't know why really.  So, I also wanted some pretty springy colors and naturally thought of my vintage sheet stash.  This is what I came up with:
quilted mini runner
So the toity now has some color :)  It turned out cute, huh?  This was the first one, made last night:
quilted mini runner first try
It is too long, the commode in the craft house is wider than the one in the main house. I put it on the shelf in the kitchen. Please ignore the dust!
It's a teensy bit too wide for the shelf too, but oh well! So, there you go, another use for vintage sheets :)
Here's the progress on my monster!
I'm diggin the way it's turning out, I'm about 50% done I think. I just have the rest of the body, legs and ears. Also need to think about exactly how I want the face to look, not too scary because I have a feeling this is a nice monster.
I'm happy to report that it is super nice, sunny, warmish (55 degrees) and beee-yoo-tee-full today! I'm not watching the Superbowl, but am showing my Steelers love with my wreath on the door :)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Friday pillow love

Can I please tell you how much I love muslin?  I just do.  It's so stinkin easy to sew with!  Love.  And I love the way stitching looks on it, like this:
back side of quilted hearts
I mean really, it's just so neat looking. Please ignore the little snarl of red over there, ummm, what can I say?
So, I regularly check out One Pretty Thing, there are TONS of ideas every single day and I am constantly inspired but everyone out there's creativity.  So last week, who knows what day? I was checking it out and saw this super cute table runner for Valentine's day.  I thought, I'd love to make that!  But, well then it morphed into a pillow case!  I've had this cute tapestry Thanksgiving pillow that I drag out every Fall and yesterday I suddenly realized that I could just cover it and use it every season if I'd like!  Der. 
Yes, I had errands to run but frankly I could. not. stop. sewing!  Eh.  Errands can wait.  So, here it is prior to stuffing the pillow inside:
quilted heart pillow
And here we go with the pillow:
quilted heart pillow
I had to take a close up of this little heart here because I love this fabric but only have like a scrap 3 inches wide X 20 or so inches. It was in the scrap bin at the quilt shop and I snapped it up but could not find yardage anywhere at all.
Super cute, right?
Okay, so during the week I had the urge to try out the dresden quilt pattern in my Material Obsession book (thanks Mom!).  So, rememeber the fairy tale table runner?  Originally I was thinking of making all pretty pinks and rosy prints and such, but I really think projects have a mind of their own!  Because this is what turned out:
dresden plate pillow
I have to say that it was really quite easy.  I was not expecting easy.  The only thing I didn't do correctly was the center circle, I cut it out too small so I really didn't have any wiggle mistake room there.  Can I please tell you how incredibly hard it was to cut out that much of that fabric!!!!!  Seriously, I am so stingy with it since I have less than a fat quarter left and really the point is to fussy cut with it because who cares about the plain colored part, right?  So, it hurt a little to cut that much knowing I've now limited the rest of the piece.  Anyways, my neurosis aside, it turned out cute, huh?  All fabrics from my stash, all fabrics I love.
In other news, I broke down and bought some size 3 metal double pointed needles!  I mentioned before that I'm knitting a monster, and I do have plastic needles picked up at the thrift for like .50 cents, but dang!  They were like pulling teeth to knit with, for crying in a bucket!  The yarn really sticks to the plastic and with such a tight gauge they would practically squeak!  I'm happy to say that the metal needles are much better!  I have to admit that I feel a little guilty buying them when I have the others, like I'm being disloyal to the vintage needles or something.  I know that's a little crazy.
Oh, my gosh!  I just entered a pillow contest @ Stitched in Color!  Eeeek.  Not that I think I'm going to win or anything, but there is a fabulous prize (of fabric!) if you do, so why not enter?!  Oh man, why did I do that?
Blogger's Pillow Party

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

behind my back

Okay, so I thought I'd share what goes on behind my back in the craft house while I sew.  Here's Rocky annihilating a skein of yarn.  I was actually going to throw this yarn out because I bought it at a rummage sale in and it turned out to be really stinky so I was going to toss it.  Rocky got to it first, and I figured it keeps him occupied and out of the things I would be really angry about him killing. 
 I love this picture, you can see in the backround bits of bag and the wrapper the yarn had and also the path of his destruction.  But, boy he just loves getting that yarn!
 And, then there's my mellow Jo-Jo (Joey).  This is his portrait pose :)
And, this is what I was working on:

Single ringIt's been killing me that I haven't been able to really conquer the double wedding ring pattern with all those curved pieces!  I initially made this for myself for a Valentines's decoration but once I finished it I really felt that it needed to be a gift to someone.  I will send it off this weekend probably and hopefully she will like it.  I can't give any details yet, not that I think she even reads my blog, but you never know.  I really like the way it turned out and I am going to make a duplicate for myself.  There are tons of vintage fabrics in there, courtesy of my Mom :)  I wish I could put little notes on each one to point them out.  One is a feed sack (still had the stitching!), there's prints from the 40's and 50's.  Also there are two prints that were a shirt my Mom used to wear when I was a kid and I have a sleeve of that shirt.  Just special little prints and they meshed so prettily!