Friday, January 20, 2012

Paper Pieced Stars

And Other Things I've Been Up To....

This is a post about all the things that have been going on in my sewing room this week.   It's a mess in there! 

First, two finished projects this week.  It is so gratifying to have a project that's all sewn up...done...
and even better if its started and finished in one day!

I made this Lil' Girl Springtime Tote from a tutorial on
Just Another Hang-up.  (love that blog)  

I made this baby in an hour and a half.  Not bad, especially with two kids crawling all over me! 

I love how it turned out...and it's just the right size for a little girl.  I think I'm going to applique a flower on the linen side, but I didn't have time yesterday.

I also finished this little Shabby Owl Pillow yesterday. 

Both the bag and the owl are for a cute little girl that turned five yesterday. 

I made the Orange Owl in honor of her "O" preschool day on her birthday.

We're not going to talk much about the owl, because I think it looks a little scary!  She named her Lucia.
I'm glad she likes it!

Again, I made this from a tutorial found on Just Another Hang-Up
(Her owl is way cuter than mine!)

And a few new projects:

Okay, this one's not new...but I haven't blogged about it yet, either!

I have been working on this project for about four months now, and I'm loving every minute of it. 

I always try to have a hand sewing project around all the time.  Handwork relaxes me and soothes my spirit.  I can't think of any other way to say that.  When I'm sitting down in the evening, watching TV or a movie with my family, I like keeping my hands busy.  Makes me feel a little less lazy for just sitting there.

I was inspired to start this quilt through this post, and this post.

I ordered my paper pieces from, which I felt was very reasonably priced.

I think I'm going to stick with light and dark values of red for this quilt.  I had planned to do a multi-colored quilt, but I can't bear to put other colors into it.  I love the reds and pinks.

I still have quite a few to go, but I think I have a good start, don't you?

Another little fun project I've been doing this week:

My mom's birthday is tomorrow, and I thought I'd make her a cute little pinwheel table runner in her favorite colors.  

The five pinwheels are pieced from carefully selected charm squares of Buttercup by Fig Tree & Co, and Kona Snow, my favorite white-ish fabric.


My very first Sparklepunch block! 

Don't you love all the marker doodles on my cutting mat? 
 (courtesy of my children!)

Have a great weekend in your sewing room!  I know I will!

(linking to Sew and Tell Friday and Finish it Up Friday)

(edit:  also linking to Sew Darn Crafty!)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Pure Ruffled Love

I wanted to show off an older quilt that I made for my daughter, Rachel, last year.  I started it early in the year, but I didn't finish it until August. 

I originally planned it to be a quilt for her 18th birthday, but I didn't get it finished in time. 

I decided instead that I would make it for her as a going-away-to-college gift. 

At any rate, that's what I had planned it for anyway, so that she would have a piece of me down at college. 

A token to always remind her how much her momma loves her.

Pure by Moda, Ruffles Quilt Pattern,

I used Sweetwater's Pure fabric line.  When I first saw the line, I knew that it was perfect for her. 

 She's kind of a french country, but classic vintage kind of girl. 

I used a layer cake, two charm packs, and three yards of the neutral background for the quilt top.

The pattern is called Ruffles by The Pattern Basket.  You can find it here.

I fell in love with the pattern because of the adorable ruffles on the edge.  They're hard to see in the pictures.

I quilted it in an all-over loopy pattern. 

I pieced the back from extra fabric from the layer cake and the charm packs.  It's my first pieced back, and although it was extra work, I have to say I love it!  I love the cute little tanned legs in the picture, too. 
(Not mine!)

I also had enough fabric to make two big comfy pillows to match.  One with ruffles.  I even added a zipper to the brown one, but didn't have enough patience to do it again for the beige one.  I can't decide which one I like better.

I altered the pattern a little bit, because the original measurements were too small for a bed quilt.

I added two extra rows of blocks down the side and at the bottom.  I think that the end measurements of my quilt were about 74 x 83", perfect for a cozy bed quilt.

All in all, I think this quilt is one of my very favorites!  It turned out really nice, and my daughter loves it.

That's all that matters, in the end.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

New Fabric...a Gift

Remember in my last post I said that I asked for more fabric this last Christmas? 

Well, I did get more fabric, however much my family was offended that I didn't use my Bliss up right away.

My husband had been asking me what I wanted for Christmas this past year, and I was quick to tell him what I wanted...

{A Fat Quarter Bundle of Ruby.}

I even combed the internet to find the best price for him.

I found it at Green Fairy Quilts for the best price, which I love for her great prices on Moda Pre-cuts; and I also love her blog.  I L.O.V.E. to look at the pictures of her amazing quilting.  She is so talented.

So the next time my husband asked me what I wanted for Christmas, I told him. 

{Fat Quarter Bundle of Ruby, please.  At Green Fairy Quilts. That's}

I even told him what link to click once he was on the site.

As the month went on, and my husband continued to ask me what I wanted for Christmas, I started getting a little nervous.  I went so far as to look on Green Fairy Quilts to make sure there still was some Ruby, and about two weeks before Christmas, it was all GONE. 

I  felt panicky.  But, I still had faith in my husband, hoping that he acted quickly and got me exactly what I asked for!

Christmas morning came and of course, my husband didn't let me down!  I was so excited to see the bundle of Ruby that I had wanted so badly.  Yes, my husband IS good to me.

I put it up on the piano through Christmas vacation so I could admire it whenever I wanted to.  Here it is next to the corner of my daughter's Pink DS that she wanted so badly for Christmas.

Isn't it beautiful?  It looks soOoOo lovely all stacked up and tied with the cute moda ribbon!   I don't want to even take them apart.  I've been tempted...but I can't yet!  Once you take it apart, it's forever changed.

I love the addition of grey into their colorway this time.  I love the reds, the pinks, the blues, and the greens, also.  I love them all!

Of course, as I opened my gift, and every time since that I even look at it, my kids and my husband say something about how they hope it won't take me a year to use this fabric!

I already have plans for these babies.

Isn't it natural to do a SWOON quilt?  I think so!

(I don't know who's original photo, but I found it on this etsy site)
I can't wait to get started on it.

A girl can never have too many Works in Progress, right??

**Edit...I just came upon a SWOON Quilt-A-Long this morning at i'm a ginger I'm joining in to have some company!  I can't wait!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

New Projects...

I've got a new project in the works!  Okay, I ALWAYS have projects in the works. 

This is a NEW project.

I'm mighty excited about it. 

I have lots of projects that just swim around in my head.  If I think to, I write them down onto my project list, so they don't swim away permanently.

This one has been up in my head swimming around for an entire YEAR.  It's been on my project list, too, for that matter.  Number 1.

My kids and my husband gave me these beauties for Christmas.  Last year.  Meaning, 2010.

I love this fabric.  It's called Bliss by Bonnie and Camille for Moda.

When it first came out, I immediately fell in love.

I'm usually not attracted to colors like this.  I usually tend to lean to deep reds, browns, oranges; earth tones.  I think I surprised myself a little when I just couldn't get enough of this fabric.  Maybe it was the red that first caught my eye, because after all, RED is my favorite.  I still, even after a year, love this fabric.

I have wanted this stuff for a long time, but I was determined to not buy it. 

I don't buy a ton of stuff for myself, especially with my husband back in school, but I feel like I DO buy too much fabric.

So, with the holidays coming up, I was determined to NOT buy any more fabric.  Even if it meant I couldn't have BLISS.

I just made a shameless plug to my husband, and my kids, at any time that I knew they were listening.

I made a quilt with Bliss for my mother-in-law in November 2010, so they all knew what I was talking about.

Christmas morning last year, I was well rewarded for my patience.  Not only did I get t.h.r.e.e. charm packs of my beautiful Bliss, but I got two yards of the Bliss white dots, 3/4 of a yard of Bliss red on red flowers (technical, I know), and four yards of wonderful, soft, luxurious Bliss flannel in red dots.  I was so excited!

Because of the craziness of my year last year, all that I could do with them is place them in my fabric closet, close it up, and peek in once in a while to drool over them.  I had lots of projects and just craziness that I couldn't find the time to spend with them. 

So they sat.  And I drooled.  And my husband and kids were supremely offended because I didn't use it. 

I asked for more fabric this Christmas.  Their response to me was: 

{Mom, we bought you fabric for Christmas last year, and you never used it.} 

I simply told them that a girl can never have enough fabric! 

It will get used.

I'm making a stacked coins quilt with these babies.

I made the same thing for my mother-in-law in November 2010, because she was going into the hospital for back surgery, and was feeling very depressed and apprehensive about it.  I thought I would make her a quilt, because I felt very powerless to help her.  But I could make her a quilt, and maybe it would cheer her up a little through her recovery.

While I was making it for her, I totally fell in love with it. 

Honestly, I had a REALLY hard time giving it to her.

Do any of you ever feel like that?  You make something for a loved one, but in the end it's hard to give away because you love it so much?  I guess that's the definition of a gift made with love.

So, because of the generosity of my wonderful husband and kids, I get to make myself one this year!

I can't wait. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Going to College...

                      This Christmas holiday, our daughter Rachel has been home from college. 

This is Rachel with her roommate, Lucia

 She's down at BYU in Provo, Utah, and she loves it there. 

Provo is four hours away from us, so needless to say, it's not like she just pops in whenever she wants a warm meal or needs to do laundry.  When she does come home, which I think was a total of three times last semester, it's a BIG deal. 

We LOVE having Rachel home.  It's like Christmas when she's here...even if it's in October!

She's a freshman this year, so this last semester was her first down there.  Our family has had a hard time getting used to her being gone these last few months.  Especially our little ones. 

They just don't understand where she's going.  We tell them that Rachel is going to college, but I think it's just some big, grey cloudy abyss in their minds.  They just don't get it. 

This last fall, my husband Doug took the kids down to visit her, and while he was down there, took our oldest son, Rayce to a football game  (I don't know if it was Rachel or the football game that was the real reason!)  while all the girls hung out together.


While the kids were down there, they were able to finally have a place that they could picture Rachel in.  They saw her dorm room.  They met her roommates.  They walked around campus.  They ate at J Dawgs.

When we talk about Rachel being in college, they can now relate the place that they saw to where she is at college.

Megan, Ari, Rachel, Rayce, and Kelly sitting outside Rachel's dorm.

Except for Ryker.  Ryker stayed home with me that weekend. 

Ryker is only two, so if he would have gone down, he still probably wouldn't really understand or even remember the experience of seeing Rachel in her element, so it probably wouldn't matter.  I don't know.

So we sent Rachel off yesterday, driving back to college with a friend to get ready for her next semester.
The scene that she leaves at home is the same every time.

Our little ones cry and cry when she leaves.  They feel really sad about her being gone, and it's hard to understand when she'll come home again.

Rayce and Ari probably have some understanding of where she's going, and that she's going far away when she leaves for college.

Yesterday, when Rachel left, Ryker got it into his head somehow that he wanted to go to college, too.  He loves to go places.  Usually, when he's going places, he's just going bye-bye.  This was different.  He wanted to go to college.

So Doug had gotten him all ready to go run errands with him, while the rest of us took our Christmas decorations down and put them away.

Gotta love the Lightning McQueen galoshes!

After Doug had him ready, we realized that he didn't need to leave after all.  So as Doug stood at the garage door fixing a light switch, he decided to let Ryker go outside and ride his tricycle, since it was so warm outside.

yes, the tricycle is pink.  and purple.  the result of him having a big sister.  don't hate me.

I went outside a couple of minutes after he got out there, and he was out in the field, just past our driveway (to the left in the picture above).  I told him to bring his bike back onto the driveway, and he told me he was going to college.  I told him no, that he wasn't going to college, and made sure he got his tricycle back onto the driveway.  I didn't think much of it.

Until Doug looked out there a couple of minutes later, and Ryker was gone.  G.O.N.E.   We live in a pretty small subdivision, as far as the number of houses.  There are only about 19 houses in here, and 10 lots that haven't been built on yet.  The lots are about 1 acre each, so things are a little spread out, but nonetheless, a small, quiet neighborhood in a small, quiet country town.  We feel comfortable letting our kids go outside and play while we're within earshot and can see them, even if we're inside the house.  My husband was standing right inside the house at the door by the garage, and could just turn his head and look at Ryker while he played.

Somehow, in the space of just a couple of minutes while Doug had his head turned, Ryker had disappeared. 

Doug jumped onto the 4-wheeler and drove through the neighborhood.  Ryker was nowhere.  He went out to the main road, which is three houses and three more empty lots down from ours.  Couldn't see him on the main road.

As Doug looked, I sent my big girls to the neighbors' houses to ask if they'd seen him.  I called 911.  Fear spread through me, but somehow I knew that he'd be okay. 

After what seemed forever, but was actually only two or three minutes, Doug called me.  I could hear him talking to Ryker, asking him where he was going. 

The relief flooded through my entire body to know that Doug was with him, and he knew that our little boy was safe.

I could hear him over Doug's phone, a little distanced, saying, 'I'm going to college...'

Ryker had ridden his little tricycle down our driveway, past the houses in our subdivision, across the country road that our subdivision is built on, and down a little lane that dead ends at the end of the runway of our little local airport.  Doug takes him down there sometimes to watch the planes take off.

He was determined.

He was going to college.

Thank goodness he was safe.

At this point in his life, he needs to understand that college is a bad thing to do.