March 31, 2010

Candy For The Eyes

Check out these Walmart jelly beans. Can I say I love it! I am so happy that this hedgehog became a Easter creature! And it's a flip flop!

Hedgie flip-flop jellybeans 

Plus, BRB Co is having a huge Mettler thread giveaway. What a set of eye candy! I love this thread. Go check it out!

March 29, 2010

Monday Meanderings (Red Rock Canyon- First Creek)

We took a hike a few minutes outside the city,
Red Rock Canyon- First Creek, Las Vegas, Nevada

Red Rock Canyon- First Creek, Las Vegas, Nevada

Red Rock Canyon- First Creek, Las Vegas, Nevada

Red Rock Canyon- First Creek, Las Vegas, Nevada

Red Rock Canyon- First Creek, Las Vegas, Nevada

Red Rock Canyon- First Creek, Las Vegas, Nevada

Red Rock Canyon- First Creek, Las Vegas, Nevada

Red Rock Canyon- First Creek, Las Vegas, Nevada

Red Rock Canyon- First Creek, Las Vegas, Nevada

Red Rock Canyon- First Creek, Las Vegas, Nevada
then had lunch at Atlanta Bread Co.

Lunch after hiking

March 28, 2010

Las Vegas Family Staycation- Part 1

Here is one of my finishes squeezed into this weekend. Anna has decided this Heather Bailey pincushion is a perfect princess pillow for Sleeping Beauty. How could I refuse? I have plenty of biscornu around the house.
Heather Bailey Pincushion
I also have a secret project that I can hopefully share in a couple of weeks. I'm bursting. Anna wanted to take pictures of the fabric when it came and Andrew helped lay out the pieces on the floor. Then he wanted his picture taken with it! What a bunch of little blogger babies I've created.

We set up the tent in the backyard and had a camp out. Anna said, "I want to say something, in your ear." She whispered in her Daddy's ear, "I'm having fun, although I'm not sure Andrew is."
Camp Out!

We had a barbecue, tent, fire pit and plenty of these.

Anna said, "Let's go all Man vs Food on those!" She then said, "I want to eat those mushrooms." She has been mixing up mushrooms and marshmallows. Now Andrew calls them that too! Andrew kept saying, "I want some more." I understand now! I also learned that Jesse never had one before. How old is he?

Zoe and I stayed inside. I think it was a bit too cold for the little princess and I. They made it through the night with Dad.
Little One

March 26, 2010

Linen Sewing Basket Tutorial

Linen Zakka Inspired Basket

I love these little baskets. They're multiplying around the house like bunnies. There is one for each  project I have going. I think I need more!! They hold embroidery thread, rotary cutters, or pincushions perfectly. Let me know if you make one and I'll link to it.

First, you will need a 10 in by 12 in piece of thin cotton batting, your choice of fabric and a medium weight piece of linen. To get the stiffness you need, use 100% linen, not a blend. Cut two 8 in by 1 1/4 in pieces from your linen and fabric you have chosen.  Medium rick rack and floss is needed to create the decorative trim. (I used Amy Butler Love Sun Spots in Olive.)
Cut out 3 inch squares from the corners of all of the 10 by 12 in pieces.Cut Fabric
Sew the linen together along the edges made by the square cuts. Lay the batting and the fabric, facing right side up, on top of each other. Sew the lining together with fabric inside the fold. Back stitch the beginning and end of each seam.
You should have two inside out baskets.  Finger press the linen right side out.

Make a line, with marking pencil one inch from bottom to guide the placement of the rick rack. I like the look of hand stitching, but you could attach this by machine. Carefully open one of the seams to insert the rick rack and sew shut when finished. Trim rick rack.
Next up, is the handles. Sew right sides together with a quarter inch seam. Sew one of the ends close.
Get out your number two pencil, open your test booklets, just kidding, and push the handle right side out.
Cut off the closed end. Finger press along the grain and press these with steam like crazy. They will be very wrinkly at first!
Baste your the handles to the basket. My finished handles were 5 inches long, and 1.5 inches within the basket, for the handles to stay upright.
Handles basted
Next, cut your interfacing. I've found that Pellon heavy weight interfacing works the best. Cut one piece 11 1/2 by 3 1/2 and the other piece 9 1/2 in by 5 1/2. Yes, these are shorter for the 1/4 seam allowances.
Center them and sew together.
Interfacing Sewn
Next place the linen basket into the lining inside out. Tuck the handles inside.
Getting ready to pin
Pin together. Leave one of the longer sides open. Sew together making sure the seams alternate and are not on top of each other. Leave about a 5 inch opening. I cut all the batting close to the seams to remove bulk. This is especially helpful for crisp corners.
Pinned Basket
Turn inside out through this opening. Fold the interfacing flat and insert through this opening. You will have to wiggle and play with it a while until it sits right.  I sometimes cut the interfacing more so it fits. It depends how accurate the seams are.

Stitch the lining to the linen with a blind stitch and you have your basket.
Linen Zakka Inspired Basket
Decorate as desired. (Can I say that I loved saying that!!) Mine needs something but I will update this picture tomorrow with some flowers and the cool beads I am getting in the mail this Saturday.

Here's the final project! I used some leaf beads and some rough edged fabric flowers.
Linen Zakka Inspired Basket
 (Hint: If you carefully cut the linen square parallel to the grain, you can easily finger press every seam.)

Make one to store all that sewing stuff or some Easter goodies. I bet this would work with some heavy weight fabric instead of the linen too!

OK! Go!  Go! It can't be as hard as making this happen! *grin*

 I'm linking this to Sew and Tell.

March 22, 2010

Stash of a Gamer's Wife

Couldn't help sharing a new fabric buy. I bought them at a local store that had some quilt store specials. Jess would be rolling his eyes, but I guess that's how he gets away with all that time playing video games. We all need our hobbies!

Blue and Aqua Fabrics

A little bit of Prints Charming in aqua and red. I'm planning to make a fun Christmas quilt with these. The lace was $1.00 and it was only one of two things I bought at the quilt show. Such restraint, right?

Some random fabric stash

I couldn't help the peppers. They'll be made into potholders and pot handle cozies. I thought the green Amy Butler would look great with linen. The pink Wildwood trees goes great with Heather Ross's Far Far and Away. And the dots, well..., they match some other fabric I have, but it is American Jane in red polka dots. I can't resist that.

Spring Magic Pillowcase

On Sunday, I dug into the yard of Spring Magic I bought at the show, made it into a pillowcase and readied it for crochet edging last night. Hmm. I have no idea how to do it, but You Go Girl has a tutorial, and I am going to check out YouTube. Let me know if you know of any beginning crocheting sites! It just looks so sweet!

Speaking of sweet...

a gratuitous baby walking picture! (And, yes that is Mario on the wall!)

March 20, 2010

So Tired or Busy Friday Sew In

Pheew! Ok, for the Friday Night Sew In, I worked on a couple of things.

I worked on these pinwheels.

I quickly tired of the points. I always have to be sooo particular. Funny thing is, when I woke up in the morning to take pictures of them, they looked fine to me. I think I just need to work on this project during the day!

I also worked on some never ending curvy quilting on Zoe's quilt.
Spring Magic Coin Quilt

The curves are slowly morphing  into totally different curves at the ends of the quilt. Whatever. I'm concentrating on making the curves smooth instead of jerky. I hope to balance out all the straight lines with something more soothing. If I do this again, I will make the spacing very irregular between each quilting line and closer to hide the imperfections better. I can't wait to wash it! Eeek, the crinkly goodness is tantalizing.

I have wonderful pictures of the quilt show today. No, not really. * super sad face here*  i forgot my camera :( Shameful, isn't it! I took a couple pictures on my camera phone, but then I realized with only 8 maybe 10 feet between quilt rows I couldn't take a picture of a whole quilt anyway. I enjoyed looking at all of them.

It was neat to see Anna notice the quilts from her point of view. "Ooo Mommy! Look at that bird. Look at the snowman. Look at those flowers." She definitely pointed out the concrete animals and things. She asked why there were pieces of papers with hands on them on the corner of each quilt. When I explained it was so you could look at the back of the quilt without touching the quilt, she wanted to look at every quilt back. I let her for no good reason. I think she thought she would see more there.

The winners today had a lot of hand quilting and McTavishing. Something to think about.

Ok, I did buy some fun fabric at the local quilt store. You'll see it Monday. I also picked up some lace at the show to work into a bag idea. I'm kicking myself that I didn't pick up more!

Well, I am going to to sleep! Hope you are having a good weekend too!

March 19, 2010

Simple Linen Gingham Bag

Simple Linen Gingham Bag

I made this simple bag this week, since I wanted one to just carry my cell phone and wallet. I have been using my diaper bag as my purse for the longest time, so change is needed!
Simple Linen Gingham Bag
It is 100% linen, 8 by 10 inches when closed, and I like the simple stitching to keep the gingham from peeking out.
Simple Linen Gingham Bag
The button is special, since it is from a stash of buttons I have from my grandmother.

I based this bag on this bag at kirsten*can .

I will be participating the the Friday Night Sew In tonight. Yesterday, I ironed all of my half square triangles, 256 of them, for my pinwheel quilt. Does that count as a finish? And in the process, I think I killed my iron. No, I'm serious. I need to buy a new one quick. Any suggestions? I'm thinking of buying the cheapest one from Walmart to hold me over.

This week will be busy. I will get on that tutorial for that basket from last week. I'm so wowwed you all like it! I'm experimenting with the best interfacing now. Jess' going to home for vacation soon, so I can finally get some babysitting to finish quilting my Spring Magic Coin Quilt for Zoe. Anna and I will be going to Desert Quilters of Nevada Quilt Show on Saturday. I'll be sure to share some pictures next week. I'll get some girly time with her, and I am sure to be inspired. Although, this week my little man was spreading out his lovey baby blanket out on the floor and declared himself to be quilting. :)

Thanks so much for the heartfelt advice last week. You're awesome. I am using all of it.

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

March 13, 2010

Saturday Morning Tennis Sew-In

Jess took everyone to Anna's tennis lesson and I got to work in the sewing room. Thank you so much for all the comments in the last post. I love everyone's advice about when they sew, except Dee's advice on what to do, part d.  ;)   It did made me laugh.  I'm getting excited about the Friday Night Sew-in for March. I am going to work on my pinwheel quilt. It's a bit bright, but I think it will look good once all the pinwheels get finished. I laid down the pairs and folded the light down so I can see the color pairing. (Some pairs are sewn together already using this method.)

I can see why most pinwheel quilts have a white solid as their background. White would be sooo much easier than trying to eyeball and squint to see if one fabric read dark or light! Some fabrics read light AND dark depending on the fabric they were placed with, so I'm not sure if this will cause problems later. Can you see the two pinwheels that will be the same? Hopefully there is only pair so let me know if there is more than one. (Oops! I found three!) Any critique is welcome!

I did actually finish one pinwheel!!

I hope you are all having a good weekend!

As you can see, this weekend, Zoe has been weaned from the bottle to the cup.
Don't you love that smile?!

March 12, 2010

Zakka Sewing Basket

Zakka means a Japanese style of miscellaneous home items that mean to improve your home, life and attitude. To me it means beautiful items that make me so happy!
Japanese zakka sewing basket

This basket was made with 100% linen and some Japanese hedgehog fabric. I hand stitched the rick rack with DMC 304. It measures 4 by 6 by 3 inches. These little baskets live around the house so they can beautifully collect the sewing junk that expands around the house on a daily basis.

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

ps If you have kids or have had them around the house when do you create? I need all the advice you can give me! Naps are shrinking and I am at a loss of creative time. Kids come first, so what do you do?

March 8, 2010

Rainy Monday

This weekend was good and bad.

We had a lot of rain which I love. The backyard is done so we didn't have mud puddles for once.  Most of the tourists on the strip hate it. It's what they are probably trying to get away from- weather. If we ever move, I want to have a metal roof with a bedroom on the upper floor to hear the rain. I actual miss weather of all kinds!

We planted a few seeds of melons and some lettuce so it made me feel good they were rained in. Anna helped with that and Andrew helped Dad with the last raised bed. Zoe enjoyed  her walker. She loves the turf, but like to off-road on the rocks. She walked a few steps last night.

I finished cutting up the squares for the ORBC quilt along. It's weird thinking this little pile is 24 fat quarters! I'll add the picture later if I can get my camera to work!!
I am waiting for the Kona Cotton to come in at the local quilt store. I think I may have to buy some online. It's a lot cheaper, but there are at least three types of white. What are the differences with white bleached, white and snow? I am frustrated. I don't know which one I have been using.

I got my hair cut, Friday afternoon, which felt good, but I actually had two 20s stolen from my wallet. They actually left two tens and a twenty thinking it wouldn't be noticed until I got home. I counted and separated the ones from the other bills in the car so I could just hand it to her. I was sure. So much for hiding it under my fleece jacket. It was taken when I was getting the highlights dried under the blower and chatting with the stylist. Nice scam if you asked me. It had to be someone working there. Watching. I told my stylist to check her money too. Her bag was on the counter, but God help me if it was her. It makes you so paranoid and unhappy about the world. Well, I hope they needed it more than me and didn't spend it on happy hour. Sad, huh?

Maybe this week will be better.

(Monday 4:00)
p.s. It is.

March 4, 2010

Anna, look what Mom made!

After a bit of quilty acupuncture
Quilt Acupuncture

and a spa treatment,
just kidding, Anna's quilt top is done.

Woodland Bloom Nine Patch
Woodland Bloom Nine Patch

I am still thinking about how to do the back since I found out I have a lot less backing fabric than I thought.  I did buy half yards of  Lila Tuellar's Woodland Bloom so I should have enough to do the piece the back. However, it will be more piecing then I thought.

I have been cutting up a storm the last few days to make a pinwheel quilt. The Old Red Barn Quilt Along pinwheel edition started this week and I need to make a quilt for our bed. The question is do I use a background of white or mix everything up together? I can't decide. What do you think? I used the colors here.

I finished up the redwork cherries and I am thinking of this design for the next towel. Hello Kitty is the best!

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