Friday, July 31, 2009

Pixiedust Block

You know how you're not supposed to try out a brand new recipe for guests, just in case it's horrible? Perhaps you're not supposed to try out a brand new set of quilt blocks when you're sending things out to others...

Victoria sent out three great 12" pieces of these fabrics, and we just had to make and return one 10" block. No problem!

Well, I chose my block and started cutting, only to realize that I was going to be about 1" short on the final set of green bits I had to cut. Ack! A bit of panic set in, I changed and then changed back my plan. I finally went with the original block, but made it one size smaller and added that white sashing. I liked how it turned out like a little framed picture.

My finished block for Victoria's Pixiedust Gather. It is called Me & My Shadow, by Judy Martin.

I also got myself a new toy! We went into The Chalkboard for a couple Boy Scout books, and all of us came out with a new little Playmobile treat. (The Chalkboard is a very dangerous teacher supply store for any girl who used to play school) They boys love Playmobile, but this is the first time I claimed one just for me. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

my studio

Amandajean showed us around her studio today, and asked us if we would share, too.

I am set up in what should be a formal dining room. I have just converted all the normal dining room stuff into something much more fun! I took a picture in all it's ADDcrafting glory. I have four projects out right now.

The good and bad side of being set up on a big dining room table. Lots of room to piece, cut and iron (and for piles to gather).

When I'm quilting, the table is nice to hold all that extra weight.

I'm enjoying the ease of finding what I want to use next in my china cabinet.

All the most-used tools are in a thing I found at Target that was made to hold your silverware for parties. You can pull out each ceramic pot, so I have pins and binding clips in two. They travel to what ever part of the house has the most clean-ish floor space when I baste and bind.

It's great being in the dining room, since it is at the front of our south-west facing house. A ton of natural light fills my space. I'm also right inside the front door, so am forced to try to keep the mess down to a smallish mountain.

I look forward to seeing everybody's spaces!

Nine Patch Progress!


I trimmed all the blocks down to 6 3/8" to try to square them up just right. Every edge on 70 squares! But it made a pretty pile, and I got thru a bunch of an audio book while doing it.


I had to push all the playmobile to the side to make room for the layout. I've swapped a couple blocks after this photo and the squint test. Now to join them all!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Pink and Orange

The first block for my pink and orange quilt

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Summer Angst (and a Mini Quilt)

A quote that Amy put on her blog today - I swiped it....

“The biggest mistake I made [as a parent] is the one that most of us make. . . . I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of [my three children] sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages six, four, and one. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less.”
--Anna Quindlen (Loud and Clear [2004], 10–11)

I love that reminder - I always need to keep in mind that it is the journey, not the destination. And we can create memories as well as beautiful things....

So I didn't go too crazy when my destination was a tad late for mini quilt Monday - we went to the pool and playground yesterday.

This little quilt has a very important job.
The boys' games live here in the family room. I hated the doors when we moved in and removed them. But now I have to look at this mess all the time.

So I covered it! They just have to lift up from the bottom to pull out a game.

I tried to finish the binding on the back by machine instead of hand. It was a bit of a disaster, so only the top was machine done. But it did help get the velcro on securely. The picky side of the velcro was attached to the top edge of the game cabinet area.

I added a wonderful iron on label from Sweetwater. I won them a bit ago - they are so pretty! (so pretty that your eyes will never wander over to that nasty little fold on the back)

Ahhh, so much better!

In case you want to make one yourself, I modified a pattern from the book "Livin' Large" by Heather Mulder Peterson. I love her patterns!

A quick, funny Kenton story if you care to continue....

A letter arrived yesterday from his last year's teacher. He was the best teacher ever! I thought Kenton would be excited, but he looked worried.

Am I being held back?

What? Of course not! (he got all A's, the silly kid)

still not opening... You're sure - they wold have told me by now - right?

Kenton was quite relieved to find the nice thank you note inside. Such are the worries of a 5th grade boy!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Family Fun

The mini quilt didn't make it by Monday....but I think I'm finally ready to start my pink and orange wonky star quilt. My yummy pile!

We were at Lacrosse

And loading Caleb up like a pack mule for his week at summer camp.
It is his second year going, and he had a great time last year, but I have already checked about 10 times - with no phones, it is the only hint I have as to what things are like for him!

Friday, July 24, 2009


We had a great time in Michigan. The boys caught frogs and ate wild raspberries behind my Gram's apartment. Caleb begged and begged to bring this one home. He eventually went back to the marsh.

Becket waited for pancakes - he's been talking about how she makes the best pancakes for the last month, and told everybody we came across that "Great Gramma is awesome and she makes the best pancakes".

Went to Binder Park Zoo - a wonderful little zoo.

And fed the giraffes in Africa.

I took a picture of the large piece my Mom did for Gram in 1981 - it was in trade for something knit I believe. I always loved trying to find the snail.

And this piece of artwork she bought long ago in Europe. I love it so. Realized I don't have a single picture of my Gram or my pillow - I was busy trying to get them on video. At least I have that! Gram doesn't like taking pictures, so you have to be sneaky.

We played a lot of cards, so just a bit of binding was sewn. And today our hands were busy with blueberries. I'm off to wash and pack up the 16 pounds we picked.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Ready to Go

The binding is on, ready to work on at my Gram's.

I put the final join at the bottom left, as you really won't see it where this quilt is going to hang because I didn't want to see an awkward break in the pattern. Of course, it somehow worked out perfectly! I certainly couldn't plan it that well.

I'm bringing a few of my quilts to show her. And while I'm there I'll try to take a picture of the first weaving I did in grade school. I made it into a pillow and Gram still has it on her couch.

Finally, be sure to go over to the Moda Bake Shop - Julie has a super cute pincushion tutorial up. I thought they would make cute bowl fillers or baby gifts, too (without the pins of course!). Visit her blog while you're at it for a fun giveaway.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Mini Quilt Progress

Two months ago I tossed this project to the side after I had to pick out and re-do one of the blocks.

I finally decided to pull it back out and try some straight line quilting. But I didn't like it - it looked too empty with these large blocks.
So I decided to stipple the rest of the quilt. I even did a little echo on the bird in the top right. I love it now! I'll be going blueberry picking with my Gram in Michigan for a couple of days, so I should have the binding done when I get back.
I have also been spending a crazy amount of time ripping up very nice and well made PJs. If you actually want PJs (not just the fabric) I think Munki Munki would be totally worth the price. As it is, I was planning on swapping some of these cute Heather Ross Christmas tree hunters...but I don't know if I can give them up after spending so much time with them!

We've done some hiking with our new water bottle holders - but didn't need them too much. We had to pull beach towels from the van to keep warm. In the middle. of. July.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Quilting experiment

I used my crafty project to try out some free hand pebble quilting. I thought it was a perfect match for this fabric that looks a little like fireworks. Plus, the whole thing is only about 8"x11" so I knew I wasn't going to be doing it for days.

That texture is perfect for my water bottle holder - I love it! I made these two as I sat up late waiting for the airline to release my Hawaii return flights for booking. As I held them up in triumph, admiring them last night, my husband asked if I wanted him to applaud. Yes. Yes I do.

Low 70's and sunny today - a perfect day for another local hike with my cool new carriers!

Monday, July 13, 2009

New Friends!

We went to a huge wedding this weekend, and I'm exhausted. But some new friends showed up at my door while I was gone.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Neptune winner!

Well now I have to plan several other island trips after those fun guesses! But for this one we are going to Kauai and Maui. I can't wait!
Mr. Random chose Chen as my winner! Hurray for more fun mail.
One more Hawaii picture - I still can't believe that an ocean can be so clear and blue.

Thursday, July 09, 2009


Poor picnic quilt kept getting put to the side! Now the top is done.

I love these whirlygiggles. I used the dimensions AmandaJean gave on her blog. I really liked the proportions of her pieces as well as the large size.

I knew the blocks would not be square - even with the seam, one edge is longer than the other.

You end up with extra on all four sides. Which is perfect for me! I lined my ruler up on the mid lines and trimmed 5 3/8" out from the center all around. Happy, square blocks!

I tried to outsmart myself, though and cut a couple of long, folded strips to piece. That works great for the white that doesn't have a right side. But all the prints ended up 'whirling' the wrong way.

I have a nice bag of these for another time now. I was careful not to flip my template upside down, but forgot about the fabric! So beware.

I also finished up my nine patch blocks with a super random group. Now it is onto the dreaded sashing - my least favorite thing.

Keep guessing on my trip! I'll pick the Neptune winner tomorrow.