Thursday, July 28, 2011

Spray Baste It Baby!

First, thank you for all the kind words for Portia.  She certainly wasn't running around the house and barking, but the house is strangely quite now that she is gone. 

That's saying something, as there are still three boys in the house that are getting to the end of summer vacation and will argue about ANYTHING.   Which muscle is the strongest (tongue or heart), if you put dry ice on your arm would it freeze your skin from the outside or burn you from the inside, and would you classify Black Jack as a type of poker or is it a game unto itself.  All earth shattering topics - debated endlessly - with no resolution even with internet found facts.  I think that dry ice thing has been going on for at least a week and a half now.

High Dive!

We did have some fun Tuesday watching Becket try out the high dive, though.  And finish up swim lessons.

Blue Popsicle

I have a couple quilts ready for binding as we travel, and I was super excited with trying all kinds of new stuff on them.  For the batting I actually used up some scraps by joining two pieces.  It worked so well!

Ready to bind

And I think I have ditched the pins forever.  All the cool kids are using spray baste, I had some stashed away that was bought with a JoAnn's coupon, and finally decided to give it a try.

spray basted

LOVED it.  Not a single pucker, which was my biggest worry.  And it didn't seem too messy.  

I hate the whole basting process, which is probably why I have so many tops just waiting to be quilted.  This took so much less time and I loved not having to unpin while stippling.  I also ordered some 505 that just arrived.  I'll try it next and compare!

Spray Baste

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Sweet Portia

She chose us when Kenton was only 8 months old.  She nibbled on Caleb's and Mark's ears.

Goodbye Portia

She has been the sweetest girl.  So sad to say goodbye.


Blue nails for the blue mood.


Monday, July 25, 2011

Great Way to Use Pinterest for Travel

I'm sure others do the same thing, but I was quite pleased with myself for this idea.

As I mentioned, we are going to the U.P. and well.....we plan.  A Lot.  Feel free to laugh heartily, but it often involves spread sheets, schedules, and clothing plans.

Anyway, the whole process also involves lots of web page printing for places we plan to eat, stuff to see, stuff to do.  I showed Mark how to use the little Pin It button and now he's hooked, too :)

I thought that we could make a board for each stop on the trip and pin these things we usually note or print out.  Then with the netbook in the hotel or my iphone and the free app on the road, we can access all the information we want!  So not only a nice, visual collection of where we are going to be visiting, but SUPER functional as well.

Source: via Angela on Pinterest

And look how cute the baby owls are at the bird observatory, their picture is just fun to have.  If you're planning on visiting the U.P., hop over and see what fun stuff we've found to do!

Follow Me on Pinterest

Saturday, July 23, 2011

I Drank the Kool-Aid

Joined last night....

Been pinning ever since.

And just bought a stitch/quilt pattern.

But I WILL NOT buy more fabric.  

Leigh and I made a pact!


Friday, July 22, 2011

I will not buy, I will not buy, I will not buy......

I have to keep saying that to myself.

There is crazy temptation every day.  I was lucky to get a spot in....

Rainbow Swap
I'm going to send of two yards worth of green - 56 charms each of two colors.  And get back 112 in a rainbow selection.  We're all assigned a color, which is an awesome plan.  So that way the colors will be nice and balanced.

The trouble comes in watching the flickr group as more charms are added. 

rainbow warm

I seriously need a yard of each of these!  It is very hard to keep from pushing little buttons each night.

rainbow cool

So I'm thinking of either a Lynn-Bob-Square-Pants quilt like Kati's.  Or maybe a set of placemats like Lee's.  I love making bowtie blocks....and not so much HSTs.

Any Suggestions for a rainbow pile of 112 charms?
(I think I've posted every day this week....can you tell we're inside, hiding from the heat!)


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Keurig Iced Tea and Iced Coffee

Desert Diva left a comment about the Iced Coffee with my Keurig and I couldn't reply to her.  So I thought I would just do a quick post about my Iced Tea and Coffee on the machine.

Keurig recently started making KCups for Iced Tea and Iced Coffee, which sounded like an awesome idea.  But you can use ANY of the KCups and not just the special ones.  In fact, the most fabulous Iced Tea is made using the English Black Breakfast Tea.  We're big sun tea drinkers, and both my mom and I agree that this is some of the best iced tea ever.  Plus you can get a huge box of that KCup from Costco - shipped to your door free no less.  Bonus!

For iced coffee, I've tried a bunch of different flavors.  One of my favorites is the Green Mountain french vanilla.  (although not as good as my last post's recipe)

Fill a LARGE cup to the top with ice.  I'm talking at least a 20oz size, or else you may have an overflow.  Then run a large into the ice cup and stir well.  A good amount of the ice will melt with some remaining.  Ready to drink right away!

If I have the machine on in the morning and know I'll want something in the afternoon, sometimes I'll run my tea or coffee into a cup without the ice and just put it into the fridge.  Then it's a bit stronger when you drink it later since you won't have as much melting ice.  I like my coffee and tea fairly strong, and the strength is just fine for me either way.

Oh, and my most favorite creamer is Coffee Mate's Italian Sweet Cream.  I don't use any sugar, and this has just the right amount of sweetness.  I can find the large size containers at Target - I need it since those 63 servings only last me a little more than a week :)  I like my creamer.

Heaven in 100deg Chicago Heat

Thanks Crystal for making me do it.


So glad I'm a good listener.

I actually have a Keurig that makes awesome iced coffee in 30 seconds - this is about 1 million times tastier.  Just the smell when you go to pour off the coffee from the grounds the next morning is worth it!

Seriously, go do it.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Pulling out my Tops

I have a surprising number of quilt tops waiting for their turn to be quilted.  Seriously, I wouldn't have thought I had as many as I do.  I grabbed a few of the smaller sized quilts and they cheered to be let out of their storage box.


I'm going to be riding along for many hours to the final lacrosse tournament of the season near the Michigan U.P.  (and then I'll continue through and down Wisconsin the following weekend) I should have some hand binding to take along with me!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Modern 4x5 Quilt Bee : Q3

I was lucky to get in on the awesome new 4x5 Modern Quilt Bee 

Sometimes I feel like I need another swap or quilt along like I need more fabric :)  Good thing I didn't dawdle too long deciding to do this one, as it filled up fast with quite a waiting list!

I'm in a group with five other fabulous quilters....we each make the five others a block of our choosing, with a modern flair, in the colors of their choosing.

I am having fun making mini fabric galleries with twenty 1" pieced squares framed by a large outside print. A couple are done.

Hive 8 Q3 - for locodowo

Lauree asked for blues, oranges, greys, and natural linen.  Had to add that little spotty hedgehog!  I usually press all my seams open, but alternating left/right for the tiny squares is really helping the corners meet just right.

Hive 8 Q3 - for fallingforpieces

Jill wanted robin egg blue, apple green, with touches of red and white. The colors in that photo are a tad off - too yellow.  But I could not get the camera and photoshop to work together today.  These are my favorite colors, so I had a hard time trying to pick just one block's worth of scraps for Jill's!

Off to find more treasures in my scrap bins for the others.  What a fun hunt!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Becket just cuts to It

During dinner, the conversation happened to end up at species differentiation. 

Caleb, the 14 year old, went into a big demonstration of the importance of opposable thumbs.  And then he said:

Caleb:  "So thumbs are one of the most important parts of the body."

Becket:  "No they aren't.  The soul is."

That pretty much ended it.

Trader Joe's love

I just found this in the new product section at Trader Joe's.

Seriously, how could my life not be better with this!  One ice cream, in coffee, on buttered toast like cinnamon sugar....


Not to mention that I love their typeface.

It must be awesome to work for Trader Joe's packaging design and product development.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

I worked on the last of my July bee blocks last night and made this pretty AMH block for Megan.

july bee

During the tiny amount of time I seem to be home this summer, I've been wanting to finish up some projects that have been hanging around since last fall.  Mostly I just have time to get a couple bee blocks done lately.

I basted and had this ready for quilting last NovemberI think. It has been folded up and patiently waiting...or not.  I think it was protesting a bit!


So many wrinkles - they don't look as bad in this picture as they did in real life - I pulled out the iron and did a quick touch up between pins before quilting.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Blissful Blocks

For do. Good Stitches in July we're making red, pink, and aqua string blocks.

july Comfort block

Bliss was perfect!

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

What books do you buy?

And patterns for that matter?

Being fairly crafty, as well as a math-loving engineer, there aren't many patterns I NEED to buy.  I can figure out just about anything with a bit of time and a pencil.

But I still buy books and patterns.  Not all, but some.  And for various reasons.

I'm interested in exploring my and your book/pattern buying reasons.  Just one of those random things I wonder about sometimes!

Right now I have a book that just arrived.  You've certainly seen it on the blog tour over the last couple of weeks.

block party

It was the review on Kathy's blog that sent me clicking my shopping cart at Amazon.  She said that "It’s an excellent method to teach modern quilting techniques. Each month features a description of the bee member’s selected block, construction tips and design considerations. The result is the block being interpreted 12 different ways by each member in the group. The reader can see each unique take and how choices in color, layout, and fabric make the block different."

Just 15 pages into the book has sent me running to tell you all about it, too!

In talking about her bee month, Alissa gives the kind of information that everybody who is new or not so new to bees always wants to know:

Alissa asked each bee member to make 2 blocks between 14" x 14" and 17" x 17".  Alissa planned to later frame the blocks to make them 19" x 19" when finished.  She cut 8 yards of different solid and print fabrics into 6" x 22" strips and also added some scraps of coordinating fabrics from her stash.  She sent a varied selection of 10 fabric strips to each member.  This was more than enough fabric for the bee members to make 2 blocks each.

Right!?  Exactly the kind of stuff you want to know.  And it looks like there are 12 fabulous creative quilts, each with this info.   But I'm only on page 15 and couldn't wait to share.

Are you interested in talking about what motivates us to buy a book or pattern?