July 31, 2010

Unintentional Giveaway Winner

I feel much better than this morning. I cut the 40ish 2 1/2 inch squares I needed during naptime and finished this batch. Note to self: I need to make color wheel out of these. My 30s stash probably has all the color variations I need. Derr...never thought of that. These 9 patches will go into my Dresden quilt. Six more patchtastic blocks  to go.

I am so happy you played along with me. It's also amazing you would trust me and send you my coffee accident fabric, so I will send a couple fat quarters too. I laid all the comments on the floor without names and picked one. You all had some fabulous ideas! Thanks my friends!

The winner is
12. P. said... Is it too late already? I'd make a doll quilt or mini wall quilt. They're such happy fabrics. 

Yes, they are such happy fabrics! Go visit her great blog! It's called The Way I Sew It and it's always full of great quilts and vintage fun. By coincidence, (honest- I didn't look at the names), it's her birthday. How cool is that! Send her some special birthday greetings!

Christmas in July Winner And an Unintentional Giveaway?

Thanks all for staying with me even though I took some nonbloggy time. You're awesome! The winner of the quarter yard of Cosmo Cricket, the 12 Days of Christmas charm pack, and the pin cushion is Jan from Another Hatchett Job... . You have all been to amazing places this summer, we mapped it with the kids, and apparently you love owls and bicycles! Jan loves strawberries and I will be sending that off next week! Burgundy Buttons is having an incredible Christmas sale so do not miss out if you didn't win!

I had a wonderful vacation and a week or two to just be. We visited Maine and Cape Cod. It cracks me up, that by coincidence, the bicycle pincushion is from Erin McMorris's Cape Cod colorway of her Weekends collection. That is so going to a certain someone... We saw the beaches and the family. I got to visit some great quilt stores and I even got to meet Melissa of Yummy Goods. The unicorn girl as my daughter calls her! I will blog soon about each. Most excursions were an excuse to get the three kids a nap in the car and it worked! We crashed at a hotel in Manchester since the next day we had to get on a plane which was very early in the morning. Traveling will do this to the best of us...

Next month I'll have some fun tutorials that are overdue and some finished projects. I have even figured out how to sew hexagons by machine! By machine!

In other news, I have a unintentional giveaway today. I got up early and made some ice coffee to sew. (Danger....danger....) I have been making four patches for my 30s Dresden plate quilt. I cut out fifty 2 1/2  squares last night and was planning to zip them up into ten 9 patches today. I dumped the coffee everywhere! My Bernina had coffee splatter as did all my fabric. I washed the floor, machine, table, and the fabric which all came out looking great. However, I do not preshrink my fabric and I can't use any of it in the quilt.  I really want that antique look when it is finished. Plus, if I use the squares, I will be reminded of 'The Incident'.

So, let me know what you will do with these prewashed 2 and 1/2 squares, 9 patch included, and I will pick the new owner of these scraps tonight.

July 22, 2010

Home Sweet Home

Whew, I am home! I did all the laundry in 24 hours and emptied the suitcases too. Usually they sit around for days. You know what I mean. We had a super special trip visiting with family. I was all motivated to blog on the trip, but you know how that went. I will share some pictures soon. Promise. This morning Zoe woke up a 3am ready to go thinking that it was 6 in the morning. Whoohoo! I wanted to eat lunch for breakfast. I had leftover pasta and cheesecake at 9 am. Whoops! Yummy.

A pvc pipe in our sprinkler system broke while we were away. The neighbor who lives across the street, (a plumber too), saw a flood from our backyard. He could see the water seeping into the street behind our backyard brick wall. Yikes! He turned off the pressurized sprinkler main. This is good and bad. Good, because our water bill wouldn't be huge and bad, because we had a 3 day stretch of 110F + days of heat before the garden got watered. See yah vegetable garden... Sigh. I did whine and swear a bit. On a good note, I do have some melon plants left and found a few cherry tomatoes. A friend watered the garden Monday and saved our fruit trees, olive trees and bushes. I am thankful it wasn't worse. I am so glad we had someone watching the house.

We also found out our small carry-on that we checked in, we bring too much other kid stuff to actually carry it on, was inspected and opened by security before it was placed on the plane.  A little paper note was placed on top of our junk. Why right? Note to self and others- Do NOT jam pack carry-on suitcase with nothing but books from Nana, special rocks that the kids found at the beach, every charger and adapter you own, a hairdryer and a laptop. Dense square blobs, the Disney books, and wires probably turned heads a bit on the x-ray machine. I bet you they relaxed when they saw a stuffie and some sewing junk too!  At least I can feel safer that someone did their job well!

Talk to you soon. I am going to have the rest of that cheesecake with my lunch/dinner and take a nap!

July 15, 2010

Just playing at the beach...













fun with auntie,


and children who get sand everywhere! No...everywhere!

July 14, 2010

How to Make an Inspiration / Bulletin Board out of Homasote

The Christmas in July giveaway is still going on here in this post.

I, Kristen's husband, was enlisted to assist with putting this board together.  I did not realize a guest posting would be an additional component, but here goes...

This is a really neat way to make a custom inspiration/ bulletin board for your studio/office with fabric that matches the style of your space.  After completing this project, I still have a little board left that I may use for a second application in my own office.

OK, so here are the details so that people with the inclination and technical expertise to take on such a project can complete it.  Here are the materials you will need, all of which are readily available at your nearest orange or blue home improvement store:

1 Homasote board (usually comes in a 4' x 8 sheet)
Hand saw
10-12 Wood screws (1 1/2" is a good length)
10-12 Finishing washers
Staple gun w/staples
Fabric and batting for covering the board

If you really want to make sure the board stays put when you are done, you have to make sure to locate the 2'x4' studs in your wall using a stud finder so you know where to place the wood screws.

Putting the whole thing together is really not too tricky, even if you have never worked with wood before.  First, figure out the size of the space you want to put the board in and how large a piece you want to cut out of the homasote board.  I recommend using a regular hand saw for wood rather than a circular saw.  This  material is easy to cut since it is a compressed fiber board.  You want to make as few cuts as possible (two max)  so that there are as many clean edges as possible. You can use some sandpaper to smooth the edges if you need too. It is dusty so try to do it outside or in your garage.

Lay batting and fabric on the board. The batting sticks very well to the board and you can use multiple leftover scraps without any irregularities showing. Leave 4-6" of extra fabric and batting to wrap around to the back.


I personally didn't iron the material, but Kristen did. She ironed the batting and the linen when it was laid out on the board. I did get suckered into using her rotary cutter to trim the extra material.


Use your staple gun like a ninja every 6" or so around the edges, pulling tight. You might also want to trim the batting on the back of the corners a bit so there isn't excessive material to cause them to look frumpy and not lay flat. 


Use books, chairs, or anti-gravity devices to lift your board into the position you want it in.  Our board, at 3 by 5 feet, was heavy and needed the support.  Make sure it is level and centered, otherwise you'll be annoyed at yourself later.


Using the marked locations of your 2'x4' studs behind the wall, HAND screw in your screws and finishing washers.  I found using a drill started pulling and twisting the fabric, which was definitely bad.  The studs are usually every 16" or so, which is a good distance for holding the board up. We had studs in odd places here so we didn't have too much of a choice in the placement of the screws.


Enjoy your finished board and start tacking away! We will link this to Amy's Sew and Tell this week. Next project is painting the rest of the sewing room...

July 8, 2010

So yummy!

"Hey batta batta batta hey batta batta batta SWING batta!"

If you have zucchini in the garden and you need to figure out what to do with them here is THE recipe. I've tried others but the in-law's is the best. My pictures of food never come out very good so I'll hope you've enjoyed the silly picture of Andrew last year with the zucchini goodness.

Yeah, zucchini are a dollar at the farm, but, being that big, they not good for anything but bread.

In-Law's Zucchini Bread

4 cups coarsely shredded zucchini
3 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
4 eggs beaten
1 Tbl plus 1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbl ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Heat oven to 325. Grease bottom of pan of 2 loaf pans and coat with flour. 9 by 5 by 3 inches. Blend all ingredients. You can use a wooden spoon or a blender on medium for 1 minute. Pour into pans. Bake until top starts to brown or bake until tooth pick inserted into center comes out clean, 50 minutes to 1 hour. Cool for 10 minutes and remove from pan.

You can reduce the sugar a bit and add more zucchini. The taste is about the same. "Cupcakes" work too!  I tell the kids they are cupcakes and they love them! It's magic! Dessert! It might be the amount of sugar in them too or the fact you have them in cupcake wrapper. I also love recipes where you dump the ingredients into bowl, mix and put it into a pan.

So easy! Enjoy your summer crop in something other than stir-fry! :)

July 6, 2010

Week 10: Dresden Plate and Scrappy Happy Summer Challenge

If you are looking for the giveaway post it is here.

I am throwing around more layout for the red and aqua quilt. I am thinking about a different idea entirely, but you will see something at the end of the month. I am not going to blog weekly about my plates until August. I might have something to share then. But Michelle posted this picture of her Great-grandmother's quilt here. I love that look! The plates and ice cream cones look great together.  So I am definitely going to do that border for the thirties version of the Dresden plate quilt. The quilt will have 5 plates and some scrappy patchwork. The 6" nine patches will each be of one color, but 5 different 2 1/2 inch squares of fabric. It will take a while to cut, but I think the look will be perfect. Here is my fantastic sketch.

Yup. You see why I quilt instead.

When cutting the these Dresden plate wedges from fat quarters, you get all those seemingly worthless scraps. Waste not want not. See the extra bit below the ruler.

First cut

They are seriously small, but I saved them. I started to sew them together the last couple of weeks. I alternated thin and wide ends when piecing. From each "stack" of sewn pieces, a strip was cut as wide as possible. They aren't the same widths, but who cares. It became a wonky coin quilt.

wonky coins

I will be getting playing around the edges with some perle cotton in red 321 and a blue 747.  At least it isn't too big to make me hot and irritable in the summer heat. It measures 15" by 22". Each strip is 2.25 inches, give or take a quarter or two.

wonky coin quilt

I also made some progress on my 1 inch hexagons. I hand appliqued them on linen and added some DMC 321 embroidery thread.

hexagon pincushion

Denyse Schmidt hexagons

One will be staying and the color wheelish one will be going, as a pin cushion, to a sweet owner of my LQS that is retiring and the store will be no more. :( She is the friendliest nice lady with an amazing staff. I will miss her. I learned how to really quilt there so it makes me super sad thinking about it.

World Cup Fever anyone? Go Spain! I leave you with the mental image of my five year old daughter yelling GOALLLLLLLLL! Zoe at 14 months has learned to do it too! It is too funny when all three of them start yelling it at the same time.

July 5, 2010

Christmas in July

Last week, I had a group of books for my Summer Reading Giveaway. Yup, this is my second post of the day. The random number generator gave #10 as a winner! This was Carla from Sew It Up.

Carla said...

This is an amazing giveaway! I sure need some summer reading and projects to make for Christmas too. Thanks!!
July 1, 2010 7:54 AM

But don't be sad since there is another giveaway today. The trick with this is you'll have to do some work and then wait. I can't announce the winner next Monday. I am going to take some family time the last few weeks of July. I'll might schedule a post or two after this weekend and you might not think I am gone from my blog!

I won a giveaway from Rachel at psiquilt a few weeks back that had some super cute holiday fabric, 12 Days of Christmas, from Moda. I was 1 out of 1200 or more. I couldn't believe I was that lucky!  Burgundy Buttons was her sponsor and Leah let me graciously let me order some more goodies to stuff the box. She does have some amazing prices and lots of great fabric. (Burgundy Buttons and ps i quilt are not sponsoring my giveaway. It just my way of saying thanks  for winning a giveaway from these super people and for having awesome readers like yourself.) So now you can win a charm pack that I ordered just for fun.

To make the wait sweeter, I am also giving away a long quarter yard, along the selvage, of Greet the Day in Aqua and Red of the Early Bird collection from Cosmo Cricket. This gives you a more than a couple repeats of each design. I can't believe my local quilt store has it! I love the little toasters. Talk about super cute.

Plus, you get to pick which pincushion you want made by me! You can see the original post here.

I have been making scrap happy things for em's scrappy summer challenge and having too much fun with it.

To earn a total of 5 entries leave 5 separate comments ( I can't keep track of it any other way):
1: leave me a comment about where you are going and what you are doing for summer vacation. It would be fun to have a geography lesson with the kids. (Stay-cations count too.)
2: Tell me which raw edged pin cushion you like the best.
3: Follow my blog or remind me you do.
4: Follow Leah's blog at Burgundy Buttons or tell me what your favorite item is in her shop.
5: Write about the giveaway via twitter, facebook or your blog.
Winner announced the last week of July.

Happy Christmas in July!

The 4th

Blogging had to wait until naptime. Tired noodles all around. We were up late as family for the 4th of July celebrations and this new neighborhood is way more into fireworks than the last.

It was non-stop until 11:30 pm. When I did finally fall asleep, I woke up to the sound of birds chirping. At 12:44 am! I think the noises definitely bothered them more!

We enjoyed the BBQ and parade. It was cool this weekend relative to other years.

Zoe figured out the concept of ice-pops quickly.

Maybe this is just strange... but has the heat made the boy lose his mind...? No matter what we told him this was his preferred method of having his.

July 2, 2010

Hot and Spicy

I went on a cleaning rampage this week. Two ants in the kitchen and I mopped that floor like a crazy mom.  I also cleaned my sewing room and saw I had a table underneath all those bits of fabric and junk! Within 15 minutes that night, I couldn't see it again. It's a regenerative fabric mess! It was cleaned to put up a fabric bulletin board that I will share with you next week. I actually got my husband to use a rotary cutter!! I so took pictures!

These potholders have been popping up here and here, and I wanted to make some manly ones for Father's Day. I also don't want to feel guilty about using them. Black potholders hide the yucky gunk that can accumulate over time. Plus, you can free motion them without perfectionism guilt. Yes, I have been practicing!


Ok, these are a little late for Father's Day, but I waited on the binding until last weekend. Can't blame me, right? Hand quilting was added to the wonky letters.


They are about 9 inch square, but I thought bigger is better and I got carried away with the wonky lettering. It took more fabric and time than I thought to make them. I left grommets off since we just stick these in a kitchen draw anyway.

How do you get around the problem with the Insul-Bright pilling when quilting them? A lot of white fuzz showed on the black backing. I used a smaller needle, but that only helped a little bit. Plus, I think the mylar lining really dulls the needles. I kept hearing a punching noise as I free motioned.

I practiced zig-zags and opened seams. 

Potholder Unfinished Back

I want to make this beauty. I think the points came out better too.

Make sure to visit  Sew and Tell. There are more talented and crafty people than me out there.  I also have a giveaway here if you would like some summer reading. Winner announced Monday.