April 30, 2010

First, I'll make a quick trick brick stack.

My sister-in-law had a baby this Easter. Inspiration to make something came from her awesome handmade  wall art.

Andrew, helped me by handing me the bricks to lay on the floor in the dining room. He seems pleased. I loved the help as I am not the random type, unless I have lots of fabric choices.

Andrew placing blocks

This was easy to make and Zoe likes it. She noticed the soft minkee like her blanket and kept grabbing at it.

Finished Minkee baby quilt

Each brick is 4.5" by 9.5". I stitched in the ditch and used no batting. Easy peasy, unless Zoe plays with the foot pedal!

Up Close Finished Minkee baby quilt

The owl was made up as I went along. I coveted the recent Pottery Barn owls, but decided to make my own. The felt eyes were the most difficult. Anna said that the first pair looked liked the eggs I ate for breakfast, sunny side over, so I tried another idea. One pair looked mean and I finally went with these. A pinking blade was used to cut out the eyes that were stitched around the edges. I love that owl fabric.

I used the block idea from the Fresh Poppy Sisters. The Minkee was added for texture. The letters were cut from a computer font paper template and raw edged appliqued with Misty Fuse. I messy-edged the letters, since I knew I would mess up at least twice, and so it would last in the wash. (It is suppose to fray and look cool Becky!) A lightweight interfacing/Pellon from Joanne's was used so the polyester stuffing won't work it's way out of the block.

Baby Blocks and Owl Stuffie

All this fabric was bought online, at the same time and from the same source. I was really nervous about it since the site had a color coordination system that allows you to pick coordinating fabrics. Go to Hawthorne's and check it out. I experimented with fabric I had in my stash already and the computer "knew" what matched. Awesome! They even shipped it the same day and it got here fast!! My favorite is the Lecien My Folklore fabric.

(The Minkee however took two weeks and held up the process. So, I won't mention that online store!)

Thank you for all of your weekly comments of encouragement! I think I may be kicking the procrasination bug. I have a giveaway here in this post, if any of you might be interested in aqua and red! You don't have to come to the party, but you can still crash it! ;)

April 27, 2010

Week 1: Invite your friends to the Dresden Plate Party Sew Along!

Piles of 30s Goodness

This week we will be picking our fabric, peeking around for inspiration, buying a template and inviting our friends to this Dresden Plate Party Sew Along. I want this group to help provide support to finish these great blocks!

I am committed to finish all of my blocks by this summer. I plan to sew and applique one block a week until I am finished. Don't you love how scrappy this block can be? I am making one quilt in modern fabrics and one in traditional 30s fabrics! Both make me so happy!

I have been busy cutting fabric and making messes this weekend. For each block you'll need some fabric scraps, size depends on template measurement used, and a background fabric about 20 inches by 20 inches to square up later. Find your fabric this week and share in our flickr group and next week's link up.

There are many different tutorials out there. I will have a full tutorial, on methods I use, next week. If you anything like me, you've searched for some already! You've probably peeked and got lost in Flickr too.  Moda has a tutorial by bitty bits and pieces that is wonderful. Oh, Fransson! has just finished a monthly sew along block and Bloom has an idea that works great with charm squares. Another way for you to complete the block is to paper piece it by hand. There are so many possibilities. Pick out which method is best for you!  There is a paper version here, but I personally love using the plastic template as it gives the precision necessary in this block. 

The template I use is a Stack-and-Whack 18 degree fan ruler. It makes all the sizes you'll see. Ask your quilter friends. They may have one from this type of quilt. You can find it here. It's on sale too! How great is that?

18 degree fan ruler

To start off this party, we need to let our friends know they are invited too. Blog about this party and grab the button to spread the word. To get one lucky person started, I will be giving away a fabric pack of enough red and aqua fabrics to make a aqua and red Dresden Plate block.

Red and Aqua 5 by 10 inch cuts

There are twenty 5 in by 10 in pieces of fabric and a center polka dot fabric included. You pick your own favorite background from your stash. I will announce a winner next Tuesday. Isn't this fun!

These are the ways you can enter.

1.) Leave a comment below and tell us something interesting about yourself. (1 entry)

2.) Be a follower. Comment that you did this. (1 entry)

3.) Blog about this giveaway and new group. Then link back to this page. Add two more comments below. (2 entries)

Don't worry if the last two comments look silly duplicated. I will be choosing the winner by a random number generator only based on these numbered comments.

You can join the flickr group The Dresden Pate Party Sew Along or if you have completed blocks you may join the Dresden Plates in Quilting flickr group.

Join the Party! (If you are not a blogger yet, you can still join. Enter your Flickr photostream's web address.)

April 23, 2010

A Dresden Plate Party Sew Along

Anna and I had fun picking out pinks this week. I am enamored with this block.There are some reproduction fabrics and some new ones that are inspired by those vintage feedsacks from the 30s.

Dresden Plate 2

I made an aqua and red one last week and this week I came up with this.

Dresden Plate 2

I've got piles of these and I have a wonderful feeling I am going to make quite a  beautiful mess in my sewing corner this weekend.

Piles of Red and Aqua Goodness

Now soak in all these beautiful Dresden plate blocks.

1. Dresden Plate Quilt - 2007, 2. Wedges!, 3. Dresden Plate, 4. dresden plates ready for applique!, 5. and.......??, 6. Dresden Plate Pillow, 7. dresden plate, 8. DQS8 Preview, 9. Stacked plates, 10. DQS8 finished., 11. Color Wheel Mini Quilt, 12. Dresden Plate Candy Apple, 13. Ferris Wheel Quilt- WIP, 14. Now for the border..., 15. dresden mini detail, 16. Doll Quilt Swap 7

I love how all of these look! Flickr is completely responsible for my latest obsession.  Can you understand how I am utterly obsessed with them? There are so many possibilites: pastels, brights, nuetrals, modern, traditional, and artistic impressions... I just made a modern aqua and red block and now I  realize, I have found the perfect block for my fabrics in my header. I am so excited. And, thank you Amy, for letting me use this forum to share!

So, do you want to make one?

Will you come to this Dresden Plate Party? I'll be sharing ideas on how to make this easy. There are so many ways to go about making one! There will food, friends, fabric giveaways, and weekly encouragement of the virtual kind. Did I hear fabric giveaways!?

Maybe you have an UFO  hidden away to share with us? A family heirloom? Maybe a heirloom UFO?
This is an outline of what we will do. 

Guest List- Sign up by leaving a comment that you will come and play. Grab my button for your website. We'll link up once a week on Tuesdays to share our progress and encourage.

Dresden Plate Party

Shopping for Goodies- The first week we will come up with our supplies.  Let's go check out what's in our stashes. This can be scraps, charm packs, or that lovely bunch of fabric you have been wondering what to do with. The good news is one block does not need much.  I recommend a template, since it makes the block easy. 

Set the table- During this week we will cut, press and sew our plates using our template.

Enjoy the Party- During the last few weeks, we will choose what applique method that fits our projects the best and finish our block.

Somewhere in here, we'll have a giveaway or two. The best part about this is you can decide to do only one or however many you choose. These would make a fun mini art quilt for a wall and would make a great gift!

Will you come to the party?! Will you spread the word? Let me know if you want to play along!

Have a great weekend!


And remember to go visit Sew and Tell. There are more talented and crafty people than me out there.

April 16, 2010

Dresden Plate Love

Someone asked me where I learned all this stuff and I realized I am mostly self taught. I read books, blogs and constantly are on Flickr to get inspiration.

The last few weeks on Sew and Tell I have seen a few interpretations of a Dresden plate block and knew I had to make one. You all come up with great stuff! I want to make it all. 

Amy had one as well as Tara and someone else had beautiful 4 block wallhanging (sorry let me know who this was- the linky expired).

So impulsively, I bought a random book of applique, just love the poinsetta and lazy susans, and an 18 degree ruler from the same place.

First, does anyone know what the traditional rules are for this block? My block is 18 inches and my "petals" are 7 inches. I like the center circle to be small, 3 1/2 inches, but then some are large. All of them are beautiful. Flickr has wonderful examples of this stuff. I want to add some of my usual two and half inch squares as sashing to it.

Dresden plate

Second, Moda Bake Shop also has a "to die for" tut. I pretty much followed the directions except for some basting with my sewing machine set to the largest stitch setting.

Dresden plate

I also used freezer paper halfway through hand appliqueing the center. The circle didn't hold its shape after being ironed around the template.

Maybe I should have starched it? Used more stitches?

Dresden plate

Then, I hand appliqued everything down with 50 wt thread. I used white. Wrong choice? Anyway, it doesn't show up on the blue. As for the red, I had to be careful. It took me two afternoons, and not including the crazy afternoon in my last post. I am definitely, going to dig into my 30s repros to try some more. I am in love!

Well, I'm in love, except for the hand pain that is now giving me Atari thumb deja vu. LOL

So go visit Sew and Tell. There are more talented and crafty people than me out there.

April 14, 2010

Mom, The Fix It Lady

Ever have one of those days...

I went to a well check at the pediatrician's office last week and this week all the kids are sick and crabby. So am I. One is teething and doesn't want to let go of you. I put her down and "Wahhaaa!" I have kids whining over which Cheerios bowl is "bigger" and I have to play a shell game in front of my three year old and five year to give out the cereal. Then it's, "No, I don't want that cup." Tears... Then "No, he had a pretzel on his head. No, he had a macaroni on his head! Macaroni! Pretzel! Macaroni! Pretzel!" Wahhaaa! I want my bottle! Yes, yes, your milk is warm. "No, it was a Macaroni!" (Cloudy With Chance of Meatballs movie if you are wondering.) Crap, my coffee is cold and my eggs are made with burnt butter.

Then the "fixed" dryer starts doing its scraping thing again. And the wash was dirty because I put the large load in with the small water setting. I now have to redo the load and lay out all the clothes to dry. I really want clean undies. They make a mess on your bed, the ironing board and wherever you can put wet clothes on hangers. This is where I cursed the fact that Las Vegas doesn't believe in basements and I don't own a drying rack. Must deal with dryer later, baby is whining for a nap and the kids are yelling at each other.

I then wonder if the dishes that don't go in the washer have been there since Sunday...

BTW, they are exhausted from the movie and being sick, but don't take naps and get even grumpier and don't eat dinner.

Later that night, when my husband is out supervising 5th grade orientation night, I realize he has no collared shirts ironed! I decide to look up schematics and realize, when I tried to fix the dryer with hubby that weekend, the stupid piece was put on backwards. It goes on the bottom, not the top. Plus, the replacement part of felt that we paid $20 for, isn't returnable and is the wrong part. Then, while the top and front of the dryer are in pieces, and I am holding the front of the dryer from ripping off the wires, I get a major nose bleed. That shirt needs to be washed. At least I'm in the right room. I'm thinking Tim "The Tool Man" Taylor, but I won't let this dryer win! The last sewing machine I took apart, I made worse. I put the silly piece of grey felt in the right way this time.

Now the dryer is working and I have this.

And dry clothes.

Ahhh... Here's to all those days....

April 12, 2010

Happy Birthday Zoe!

We have a family tradition of making outrageously themed birthday cakes. Andrew and Anna already have their order in with the baker, me.

I started pretty normal like everyone else with the chocolate layer cake. Anna fell in love with Blues Clues and the chaos began.  I usually spend weeks, with them, deciding which cake they love on flickr the most. Depending on their particular toy fetish, I go from there. These are the results.

My homemade birthday cakes
For the faux fondant and buttercream recipe I used Peggy's Baking Corner. I regularly use her fondant made of marshmallow. Very easy to work with, and tastes good. I think I'll graduate and use the real stuff next time. What I really would like to do is take some Wilton classes at Joanne fabrics.

I made her a birthday shirt. A very simple cut and paste with whatever fusible adhesive I found in my sewing cabinet.
Applique first birthday shirt

Zoe had a Hello Kitty ballerina cake for Birthday number one. I used the fondant for all the features.
Hello Kitty cake

"Cute!", was the children's reactions and so that is good enough for me. Zoe decided to begin teething with all four molars so she snugged and slept throught most of it.
Anna opening Zoe's gifts

Trying on Nana's gift!
Zoe asleep at party

On Sunday, we gave her the baby mini cake to munch on. She just wanted to stand in her chair and turn around as usual, but this time it was with gooey hands. Gotta love it! Yes, I use the safety harness, but she can actually wiggle out of it! Little Houdini!
Zoe eating birthday cake

I always get a laugh out of these cakes. They make me feel better when the vanilla flavored icing overdose from decorating is at its worst, three hours later.... Your cakes can't be as bad as these from professionals. What disasters! It loaded a bit slow, but there some very funny pictures of cakes and some amazing ones too!

April 9, 2010

Jungle Pointy Kitty

At least she has the heart of a jungle kitty. Too bad that's just oregano.
Zoe Pointy Kitty

She was sewn together and left in a box years ago. She was waiting for to be stuffed and given a face.  It is based on a Wee Wonderful design. It will be Zoe's birthday party on Saturday and I wanted to finish this for her. Anna is so into dogs, I thought we might need the other faction!

The theme will be Hello Kitty. I just thought about the cake seriously yesterday, but I'm sure it will look fine. I'll share pics of the last few cakes that I have made in a later post.  They take forever the day before, but are so worth it!

Inspired by this sugary haiku book of the ever narcissistic Kitty, but so divinely cute, I give you this Haiku: 
Zoe Pointy Kitty

I hear you saying,
“Time to feed pointy kitty.”
Truly happy words.

April 7, 2010

While we cannot fully divulge the nature of this secret project.... Eek Owls!!

Can't help not blogging about something. I've been waiting since last week for the backing. Jenny and Mom just need to keep the new mom away from the internet!!
In other news...

So Zoe says to Jess and I, pointing to the newspaper, " What's this?"

Jesse: "The newspaper."

Zoe: " What this say?"

No joke. She recognizes what words are. She turns 1 this week! I don't think this is normal! Watch, I'll have her reading by two!

April 5, 2010

Oh Happy Day!

Oh Happy Day

Oh Happy Day

Oh Happy Day

Oh Happy Day

Oh Happy Day

Oh Happy Day

Oh Happy Day
Just had to add this! A new cousin and new nephew! What a special birthday!
Benjamin John Turek
21 in

April 2, 2010

Get Your S'Bucks And Sew

This weekend was a slow finish week. I made a Heather Bailey pin cushion that became a princess pillow and this super easy coffee cozy. The rest of the week we spent doing lots of family activities, as you can tell from the last few blog posts.

I made this for my husband to do his studying at the S'Bucks. The cardboard was too boring. I traced the corrugated cardboard and sewed on the line. Trimmed it and turned it right side out. I edgestitched it for simplicity. Easy or what? Like the manly fabric?

I will admit, I tested it out to see if one layer of cotton batting was going to work. It did.  But remember people, coffee is hot, OK?

So go visit Sew and Tell. There are more talented and crafty people than me out there.

April 1, 2010

Shark Bait, Muhaha...

We didn't see Nemo, but we saw lots of sharks, turtles and jellyfish at the Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay. We used our school district discount for educators,  it cost us only ten dollars! Whoohoo! We also went all Vegas and went to the Spice Market Buffet at Planet Hollywood. It rocked as usual! We couponed that too. Why is it I love a deal?

Here are some pics of our sea adventure.
Shark Reef
Shark ReefShark Reef
Shrak Reef
The Fam
"I shall call him Squishy and he shall be mine and he shall be my Squishy. Come on, Squishy. Come on, little Squishy."
Has anyone see the Luxor? Oh, it's behind the pine trees? Ah, the things you see in Las Vegas.
The Luxor
Here is a fabulous worksheet set for the kids. We're going to do some major coloring tomorrow.