Friday, April 30, 2010

A Bad Breakup!!

About 4 years ago.. my now 6yr old got this little dolly and fell in love. He named her Shirley. Him and Shirley had alot of adventures.. I even found her in the freezer once. When I asked "Why is Shirley in the freezer?" His reply was "Because she likes it."  Well, after living in the desert, I can't really argue with that. I've wanted to crawl in the freezer a few times myself.

Here is a picture of him and Shirley in happier times...

Cute dress she has on too - not sure where that dress went, but it's long been gone.

Now - before you think I let my 6yr old son carry a 'doll' around.. let me just say that she spends most her time in a toy box. But occasionally she gets pampered, wrapped in a blanky and rocked... like any good Daddy would do.

Fast forward to about a week ago.. He informed me "Mom, I don't like Shirley anymore - can you put her in the donation box?"

I quickly responded "NOOOO... we can't give Shirley away.. she's a part of the family."

He walked away and I assumed that him and Shirley would "make up" and things would be back to normal. Boy was I WRONG!!!!

I was driving home the other day and spotted something in the road on the side of our house (we live on a corner lot) and there was Shirley... laying in the road.

I quickly scooped her up and realized that my son had tossed her over the backyard fence.

But this was after he played tug-o-war with her, tossed her in the dirt and took all her stuffing out of her middle. Poor poor Shirley!! She looked horrible.. breakups can do that to a girl!

So, I cleaned her up.. restuffed her.. and stitched her closed.

Doesn't she look sweet and happy again?

Here she is after I told her that she's going in my closet - into a keepsake box - and probably won't see the light of day again until his Groom's Dinner in about 20 yrs. Sorry Shirley... but it's for your own good! Pin It

Thursday, April 29, 2010

To Do List Item #1324 - DONE!

**SPOILER ALERT**  Katherine.. if you don't want a preview.. Stop Reading!!

Sorry - I know my friend Katherine reads the RSS feed for my blog and this is a gift for her little bun still in the oven. Little baby Josephine.

Thank you all for your advice and kind words after the frustrating day Tuesday trying to get this quilted. I was able to get it finished after dinner that night and machine stitched the binding on the front. Then Wednesday morning.. while my house was quiet.. I was able to do the hand sewing.

I had plans to have lunch with the Katherine yesterday - and my plan was to bring it to her. But I couldn't get it dry in time. For some reason my washer didn't spin it enough.. and it was too wet and was taking forever to dry.

I sent Katherine a message telling her I'd be a few minutes late... but let's face it - when a pregnant women is hungry, she needs to EAT!!! Never ever anger a pregnant women.. and never ever leave a hungry pregnant women waiting!!!

So I couldn't make her wait any longer.. I decided to just give it to her another day. There is still time.. she has 8 weeks (or so) to go until delivery.

The backing is super soft flannel also from the Woodland Bloom line by Lila Tueller. Moda really knows how to do flannel!

All frustration aside.. I so love this quilt. I couldn't be happier with how it turned out.

I also made a matching Brainy Baby Ball. It was fun to make and it's hard to put it down. It's soft.. and fits in your hand perfectly. I love this thing!! After it was done though.. I wished I had sewn some bells inside.

So, Katherine, if you are still reading.. I hope you love it as much as I enjoyed making it LOVE IT! Pin It

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Arrrggghhhh - Frustration overload

I've been stippling the baby quilt and my thread keeps breaking. I've changed the needle more than once and I've also changed my upper thread (the one that keeps breaking). I've used two different brands of thread.. both rayon. (which I've had success with before).. I had to walk away from it even though I'm almost done!

Don't you hate those moments!!

Maybe I need to use a stronger needle? I'm going to get back at it after dinner tonight because I just can't bring myself to go back in there at the moment! Pin It

Monday, April 26, 2010

Magic 8 ball

I have been participating in the Pinwheel Sampler quilt along like many of you. When I was on block (week) 5, I decided to do two quilts. So I needed to do some major catch up.

As you probably already know, I'm doing one with Natures Notebook - very soft blues, yellows and greens. And also one with a line from last year called Fresh - which is very bright and vibrant. I'm so glad I decided to use Fresh as well because it's become my favorite of the two.

When Rachel over at psiquilt announced that block 8 was on our own.. I have to admit I said "WHAT.. that's a cop-out." But honestly - I am now very happy that she did!

So I went to my Magic 8 Ball.. but it wasn't any help. So I turned to my handy little Block Tool and it gave me many choices. Here are the blocks that I chose to do...

It's called Air Castle (not sure why.. just is).

I still have a few blocks to do - hopefully I will get them finished this week.

I can't decide how to finish the quilt because I want both of them to be large enough for a bed. I may do setting blocks - or larger sashing with mini pinwheels scattered.

The Natures Notebook quilt is a gift for my Mom's b'day - which is only in 4 weeks so I'd better get cracking on that one!!!
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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Baby Bloomers

Ok, not actual baby bloomers - but a baby girl quilt top made with Woodland Bloom. I worked on it last night and finished this morning. I'm in love with it.... I love making girl things..

I made all this by just using 15 jelly roll strips (and white of course). I sewed them in groups of 3 strips. Then cut them into 5 1/2 inch blocks. Then stacked em.

I think this is my favorite line from Lila Tueller.. so far anyway.

Tonight I plan to sandwich and quilt it. My backing fabric is a flannel print from Woodland Bloom. I love flannel backings! I'm not sure how I should quilt it - I really love the look of all over stippling... what do you think? Should I go all over? Or should I opt for a more subtle in the ditch?
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Friday, April 23, 2010

Sun Damage - the cure!

I really wish this post was me telling you that I found the cure for those wrinkles around our eyes.

And if you don't think you have any.. look again - there they are! Darn wrinkles!! If I had the cure - I wouldn't be sitting in front of the computer.. I'd be on a plane heading to some fantastic destination!

But here I am - and this is my last post about my home projects (I promise). My front door faces west - so it has taken a beating from the Arizona Sun since it was built nearly 20 years ago. And I've watched enough HGTV to know that my tired front door would not make a good impression when people start lining up to buy it. (lol.. that's my positive attitude coming through)

Here is the before...

And after....

Big improvement!!

Now before you think I'm never going to post another handmade item - don't fret! I'm sewing tonight!!

I'm just waiting for the mailman - he's going to deliver a sweet little box from my Sewing Buddy - Bobbi. I was in search of some "Woodland Bloom" by Lila Tueller from last year - and Bobbi saved me. I even offered to make a trade but she wouldn't have it. So I'm going to have to think of something nice to do for her in return. (especially since she has a milestone b'day coming up the end of May.. but don't tell her I told you)

UPDATE - Shortly after I posted - the mailman arrived. I'm a lucky girl today!! Here are all the fabrics she put in the mail to me..

Look at all these goodies - charm pack.. jelly roll scraps and a huge pile of fat quarters. I think I almost pee'd my pants fainted when I opened the box!

And she made me this adorable little booklet for my needles.

So tonight I will be locked in my sewing room - relaxing with my music on.. sewing my heart out! I can't wait!!!

Happy Friday!!!!
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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

There once was a man from..


He fell in love with a girl from North Dakota.

They packed their bags.. and moved to Arizona.

Sorry.. I couldn't resist the dry cracked desert picture. I'm joking.. the desert can be a very pretty place. Here is a better one.. lol

Anyway – Here’s the scoop. After 13 years of living in the desert southwest, we are moving across country. This has been in the works for quite some time. We started the application process last Oct/November and will be moving to Duluth Minnesota.

Even though I grew up in Fargo, ND – I’ve only been to Duluth one time in my life. It’s cold but probably one of the prettiest cities in Minnesota.

Why are we doing this? Well, we never wanted to raise our kids here in such a large city. The pollution is out of control – the crime is crazy.. and even though the winter weather is nice, it’s just not worth it to us. We want to raise our kids closer to their Grandparents and cousins. With clean air.. green trees and so much more.

And remember back in early February when I was laid off from my job? Now you know another reason why I wasn’t upset at all. It was truly a blessing. I’ve had the time to get things ready to put our house on the market. Cleaning out cluttered closets – making home repairs, etc.

But one sad thing about this whole process – I need to pack up my sewing room and make it a spare bedroom. But – don’t worry. I have a plan to keep my sewing machine at the ready – I will just have to take it out and put it away all the time. So I will still have projects to share with all of you. I have a baby quilt I'm working on that I'll share within the week.

Now a favor – could you all say a few prayers for us? Our house will be going on the market in 2-3 weeks and we are praying for a quick sale so we can join the husband and begin this new adventure!

Here is one last picture of Duluth..

So pretty!!! (Notice I didn't share any winter pictures.. That's cuz I need to ease into that one. I'm still in a bit of denial on the COLD aspect)
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Monday, April 19, 2010

One Good Reason!

If you've been a follower of my blog for a while you have probably noticed that I haven't posted quite as many sewing projects as I once was. I'm trying.. I promise.

I have a good reason for that though - really, I do. I have been working (and hard) on some home improvement projects. And I'm up against a deadline.. only 3 weeks left to finish it all. (I'll tell you why very soon)

Today I will share my Master Bathroom redo - even though I still need to decorate it.. and call the "Handy Ma'am" to come install new faucets. And yes, you read that right.. I said "Handy Ma'am"... her name is Julia and she is awesome. More on her later..

But first.. pictures..
Before.. yuck! I've hated that light fixture since before we even moved it. And.. now.. 5 years later

Can you beleive it's the same spot? Amazing I tell you.

We painted the walls. Sanded and stained the cabinet. Replaced the light fixture and mirrors. All for around $200, 1 arguement.. and some elbow grease. Not bad huh?

Of course, I would have much rather purchased new cabinets and countertop - but it just wasn't in the budget.

Now I just need the Handy Ma'am to come and replace the faucet on the right. Funny kid story - the first time we ever met Julia - the Handy Ma'am - my then 4 yr old was taken back by her manly sounding voice. He says "Mom, that's not a lady".. thank goodness she didn't hear him.

My husband isn't the 'handy-est" when it comes to home improvements projects. He comes from a family that hired contractors for everything. Unlike me - my Dad is a jack of all trades. He can do it all. About 10 yrs ago he even built his own 4 car garage with heated floors.

I always want to tackle the big projects.. while my husband won't budge. And since my Dad lives 1,800 miles away.. they usually don't get done.

So ladies - if you are married to a man who can do all those things, go give him a hug!
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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Giveaway Winner(s)!

Sorry so late on posting the winners today - been very very busy today.

The lucky winner over here on my blog is # 94 - Dawn over at "The Straw Needle".

Congratulations Dawn!! Send me your mailing information and I will get these treats in the mail to you!

Now head on over to Bobbi's blog for the other winner (if you haven't already been there). Pin It

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Friday Night Results

Another successful Friday Night Sew-In!! So many of us were hard at "work" last night doing what we love to do.. and we were doing it together. I love that part!

I didn't know where to begin last night because I have way too many projects going on. I'm sure you can relate. So I just jumped in. I need to catch up on my Pinwheel Sampler blocks... so I worked on those. I'm not caught up yet though. But I'm doing two quilts - and here they are.

I still have a lot of work to do on these pinwheel quilts. But I'm really loving them both.

Then I made a baby bib - it was a last minute idea.. and I think it turned out pretty cute.

It has flannel front and terry cloth back.

And before I let you go - I want to share the butterflys again.. we have 4 of them now.

It was REALLY hard to get a picture of one with it's wings open. Especially since the bottom of the 'cage' is decorated with butterflys. Anyway - I put the arrow at the one that is open - isn't it beautiful?! and the other 3 have circles on them. We have one cocoon that hasn't opened.. and it may not since it hasn't by now.

UPDATED to add - shortly after posting this, our 5th cocoon emerged. We now have 5 Butterflies!!!

We will be letting them go in a few days. They will live in our backyard for a few days before leaving I guess (that's what the instructions say anyway) - let's just hope my dog doesn't get em. She's been after em already. We had to hang the cage up high so she can't reach it. Every time they flutter around she perks up. Silly dog!

Don't forget to come back tomorrow for the Giveaway winners from me and Bobbi.

Happy Saturday!
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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Are you ready for Friday night?

Don't forget that tomorrow night is the Friday Night Sewin!! I am excited - I have a lot on my to do list and can't wait to get some of them behind me.

If you haven't signed up yet - what are you waiting for?? Click here! You know what I love about the Friday Night Sew-In? I love that I get to sew with all of you.. and I don't have to pack up my machine and supplies to do it.

And since it really isn't a post without a picture.. I'll share a picture of my super cute lunch today.. So cute I took a picture of it. lol
I had to go way on the other side of Phoenix to go to Ikea (as part of my home project that I'll be sharing soon) SO, since I was way out there.. I met a friend at The Farm at South Mountain.. the conversation was fun, the cupcake was awesome! And the sandwich was a BLTDA.. as in Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato, Dates and Apples.. with chicken and basil mayo... all served in this sweet little basket. I want it again for dinner tonight!

See you tomorrow!! 
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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Corn Bag Tutorial

Have you ever seen or owned one of these corn filled bags? They are so nice in many ways.
*Comfort sore muscles
*put under the covers before getting into bed to warm your feet
*keep in the freezer to use as an ice pack
*keep in your lap at work to warm your hands
*a friend of mine uses them for her 90yr old mother - she needs to check her blood often and the warmth helps to make her veins more visable to get this done.
And many other ways I'm sure.

1 fat quarter
3/8 yard muslin
4 - 6 cups Feed Corn
You can find Feed Corn at a Stock Shop - where you buy horse food etc. I've heard some people find it at Walmart - but I've never seen it there.

First you need to freeze your Feed Corn over night before using - that way it will kill any Critters (or eggs) that might be living in there. I've never seen any - but you just never know.

Cut from Fabric (fat quarter)
Cut fat quarter in half.

You will have two pieces that are 9 x 22 inches (approx)
From that cut the following
1 piece 13 x 9 inches
2 pieces 8 x 9 inches
Set these aside for now

From Muslin
Cut two pieces 13 x 10 inches

Lay together and sew around 3 sides with 1/4 inch seam.

Then - to strengthen these seams - fold and press 2 times. Using your 1/4 stitch line as a guide.
Sew these pressed sides down. Do this on the two sides first - then do the bottom.
It will look something like this.
Now fill this Muslin bag with 4 - 6 cups of Feed Corn. Depends on how full you want it.
Now you will need to close the bag - it can be difficult getting it under the needle since it's full of corn. Here is a little trick. 
I stand it up and put a few pins across to help hold the corn away from opening so I can stitch closed.
When stitching, you will do the same thing you did for the other 3 sides.

Stitch one row - then double fold - press - and stitch. It will look something like this...

Now set this aside and grab your 8 x 9 inch fabric pieces.

On one 9 inch end of both 8 x 9 inch pieces, fold and press approx 1/4 inch under.
Now stitch these ends to finish them.
Grab the 13 x 9 inch piece and lay right side up.
Now place your 8 x 9 inch pieces and lay them on top of 13 x 9 inch piece with right sides together.
The finished ends will overlap by approx 1 inch or so. This is intentional.

Next stitch all the way around all 4 sides using 1/4 inch seam. Back stitch as you go over the over lapped section. This will add strength.

(pretend the one in the picture is actually stitched - sorry)

Next - I like to finish the edges to prevent fraying. You can do this by using a zig zag stitch or something similar.  
Now turn right side out - and put your corn bag inside.

Heating Instructions
Microwave for 2 - 3 minutes depending on how warm you want it.

You can start with 2 minutes and work up from there. Do NOT over heat because you can scorch the corn and then it's ruined. And you know what burnt corn smells like.. Yuck!

Also, keep in mind that the corn initially has moisture in it. So the first 5 or so times that you use it - it will feel slightly damp when it comes out of the microwave and it will have a slight smell. But trust me - both the smell and the moisture go away after a few uses.

And I know a few people who really like the smell - I'm not a fan. But my love for the warm corn bag out weighs my dislike for the smell.

If you have questions - please let me know. And - as always - if you make one, I'd love to hear what you think.
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Friday, April 9, 2010

I got a feelin..

That tonights gonna be a good good night... whoooo hoooo...

So today was very productive (in the all about me kind of way). I had lunch with a super fun friend... and hit 2 quilt stores. This is what I came home with..

You see that package in the back.. with the roses on it?? That will be part of the giveaway for next Friday Night's Sew-In. All the Love U fabric is for a project I'm starting for my son's teacher (she has taught both my boys and we love her sooo much). Can't wait to show you the finished product... but that will be a month or so from now (and she's helping too).

I have been very busy doing house stuff.. I'll be telling you why very soon. But between all that, I've been trying to catch up on my Pinwheel Sampler blocks. I'm doing two quilts - one with Natures Notebook and the other with Fresh. Both from Moda. Here are some of them...

I'll be working on more of these tonight! I love sewing on Friday's for some reason.

And finally, a butterfly update. Let me first say that when I was explaining the process to my husband - I used the word Chrysalis and he looked at me like I had two heads. "What?? Isn't that the same as a Cocoon?" He knows I'm a simple girl.. and calling it a Chrysalis wasn't quite me. lol

So.. here are the Cocoons!

We transfered them to the 'garden'

And now we have to wait approx 1 week for butterflies to emerge. Hopefully we will be lucky enough to witness one or more of them break free. So exciting.

So - I'm off to listen for the doorbell - dinner should be here any minute. lol - then I'll be sewing my little heart out.

Happy Friday!!!
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