November 23, 2010

Something Low in Calories But Still Yummy!

Soul Blossoms is shipping as we speak at Quilt Home. I want all of them, but that is not going to happen anytime soon.

Or this... a design named after my blog...

Sew Happy by Kaufman Fabrics

Just kidding. How did I miss these and I'm not sure how long they have been out.  I don't usually like novelty prints, but I like these aqua and red fabrics with pins and sewing machines.

Are you dreaming of any lovelies after the Fall Market?

November 22, 2010

Wonkiness and Sweetness

Just discovered wonky stars... I played around last night and came up with this. Oh my! These are fun to make when you don't want to worry about pins! I used this tutorial from The Silly BooDilly.

I made some cranberry sauces this morning and ate way too much of it already! I sweetened them a little more for the kids. Zoe saw it and immediately repeated in her cute voice, "Try? Try? Try? Pleazzze?" How's your Monday?

November 21, 2010

Turkey Day Dinner Plans

I usually get asked if I am going to a buffet, Vegas style, every year. I did it once with friends and enjoyed the company, but it wasn't the same. So I have complied a list of recipes that I look forward to every year. My taste buds have a yummy homemade dinner to look forward to. While they are decadent, the holiday comes once a year. Here is my Food and Wine menu.

Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce

image from the gracious bowl
I think this is why we planted that Pomegranate tree in the back yard!

Ginger Orange Cranberry Sauce

I make two different kinds. Yes, they are that good! If you can stick the ingredients in a pot and simmer them, then you can make this!! No cran in a can here in this family!

Broiled Ricotta With Olives And Sun Dried Tomato Relish

Rose Sangria with Cranberries and Apples

Angel Biscuits

image from the bakewells

Creamed Spinach and Parsnips Potatoes
I omit Parsnips and use potatoes. I've never been able to eat the former.

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Pecan Praline Topping

 Double-Crust Apple Pie

Don't forget the turkey and cranberry stuffing with gravy! What's on your holiday menu this season? Do you want to come over?

November 20, 2010

Wake up. Eat a nut. Look at a view. Eat a nut...

Same old Saturday that slipped away with the same old Saturday stuff. Busy and so no FNSI pictures until 8ish o'clock.

The quilt back was finished Friday night.

I used all the scraps leftover from the top to make the backing since it measures 47" wide. I needed about 5 inches more for the width so I have a happy strip just like Amanda Jean did! It is starched, ironed and ready to become a quilty sandwich.

As you can see no squirrels were harmed in the making of this quilt back. I am sure Scaredy will be relieved! I love this Scaredy Squirrel inspired quilt.

Meet Scaredy here

November 19, 2010

"Same old place. Same old nuts."

My zig-zag quilt top was completed in record time.

Last weekend, while Mr. Happy was away in Washington DC on a school trip, I spent long nights occupying myself by starting and finishing a quilt top. My kids are fans of the neurotic squirrel Scaredy.

Meet Scaredy here
The idea was to make a quilt to read books under this quilt during those cold winter nights. The kids call it the Scaredy Squirrel quilt. By the way, if you get one book for them this December, buy this book. Hilarious. Besides that he is the only squirrel I know that crafts and knits. Uh... and he came up with the title. Clever little creature.

The zig zag pattern is absolutely perfect for a beginning, no triangles just rectangles, and free at crazy mom quilts. I felt like a crazy mom finishing this top so quick! Wendy Slotboom Frolic line was used and PJs are going to be made with the leftover fabric for Christmas.

I recommend a spot where you can lay it out until it is done. I used the seam ripper more than once! She uses a solid in between rows so that will make it easier if you can't.

I also took a board dude cork board and covered it for Anna. Pottery Barn carries them for much more and this board at Walmart was $8. She picked the fabric and ribbon out of the stash. I added ribbon and sewed it down. Pictures or tickets can be slid behind it and little Zo-Zo won't get push pins in her mouth.  To make a plain one, without the ribbon, pick your favorite fat quarter and staple gun it behind the board.  Easy and useful fabric art.

As of September 4, I have finished 726 hexagons and counting. I hope putting them together is as fast! The Kona Colors for the background will be a off-white called Bone and I'll be using solids for the flower centers.  Does anyone have 2.5 inch squares of the the solid Pez? I need two or three of each for the border.

I finally finished quilting these coasters from last Christmas.

Umm... yeah... I need to get started on that. Any good ideas?

I would love to hear from you. Make sure to visit Amy's Sew and Tell this week and be inspired.

November 18, 2010

Project In Process and Random Stuff

Don't you love this cute fabric?  The kids immediately called it the Scaredy Squirrel fabric. It's part of my current zig-zag quilt project.

It must get finished during the Friday Night Sew-In. What are you working on?

I am also currently drooling over this hexagon quilt.

Hexagon Quilt by Isabelle Etienne-Bugnot

Is it as amazing as I think it is? The hexagons are appliqued on a border of linen.

This came in the mail too! I am going to make an Irish chain with it in the spring!! :) Thanks Patty!

It just a generic picture, and not mine, but I hide the camera's memory card from the kids. Apparently I can't remember that special hiding place either! Don't you love that! It's why I have two of everything like my seam rippers.

November 14, 2010

Advice For New Quilters

Have you read the advice on Rossie's blog post for Newbie quilters? Looove it! I spent some time peeking through it. I think everyone, 665 of you,  entered her giveaway for Elizabeth's book tour except for me.  :(  It's been a busy three weeks...

Rossie's question was the following: what is one thing every new quilter needs to know?

My advice? Breathe. They will love it anyway. Perfectionism is highly overrated. Trust me. I tell myself this a lot.

This line of thinking brought me to my question: What is the worst mistake or mishap you have made while making a quilt?

Mine? Well shucks... I don't make any! I make lots of them. All the time. Err. I think you all remember the coffee incident? Coffee all over scraps, my Bernina and the fabric cushions. I hope the tech didn't find any when they cleaned it last week!

Or... Recently I been finding holes in my casual knit shirts and have been wondering why. I kept blaming inferior knit from Target, but realized I have been using some super sharp Gingher scissors that literally slice everything they touch!! Look what happened when they fell from the kitchen table. Lovely evil handles of slicing power. Poor poor linoleum... It was only on shirt number five I realized this fact. Please forgive me Target for blaming you!

Or... How about running out of binding so you have to search online for that beloved fabric only to find out it is OOP. A couple inches of Kona will do fine. It looks modern.

Or...  How about sewing, for who knows how long, with ratty tension on the bottom.

Or... My favorite story, not mine, has been a basting pin left inside a completely quilted, bound and washed quilt!

So... Inquiring minds want to know. Got any good ones!? Ones you do all the time and don't care if the quilt police will come after you. Any evil cover ups? The juicier the better! You can leave anonymous comments, but that won't be any fun! Or leave comments about your friends... You have the right to remain silent, but I'd love a laugh. I also have an idea- I'll explain later... Help me out.

November 12, 2010

Autumn Pinwheel Quilt / Zion National Park

I actually finished my pinwheel quilt top. It was more traditional fabric that had been kept around way too long. I didn't like them and had to use them. I flipped back on forth on whether I was going to like the result. Now I realized why lots of these quilts have solid blocks in between. Lining up the points on those rows between pinwheels is too much fun! I had tell myself to stop worrying about cutting off corners.  Finished is definitely better. Mr. Happy loves it and so it will have a dark blue solid mixed in with yellow and chocolate brown for the backing. It originally was part of a quilt along, but I decided I can't ever quilt along. It usually becomes a lag along... so no more. I will quilt at my own pace and love it.  This was started this in January.  My five year old took this picture! So any bets on how long it will take to quilt and bind?? I am so not a one project girl!!


I am adding this to Amy's Sew and Tell this week. Be sure to stop by and enjoy the creativity. Now... why the autumn quilt?

This was finished the weekend before we went on a family vacation.


We go for a weekend at Zion National Park every fall. The weather makes the park different each time. We usually hike Weeping Rock, the Emerald Pools and the Riverside Walk. Anna and Andrew both walked all of these and were amazing- little gazelles. On the day we left, Andrew said we should stay and hike some more. Yes! Instill love of nature and hiking into the little ones. Done.

I love all that color. Surprisingly, the yellow color of the quilt top was the dominant color of the trees. Mixed with that sky and rock... Now I love that quilt too because it reminds me of our annual autumn trip. These pictures pale in comparison to the vibrant colors we saw.








November 1, 2010

Halloween Costume Making

We went shopping for costumes last weekend and were disappointed at the offerings at the store. I really thought I could get out of costume making this year, but no luck. We immediately went a fabric store and bought supplies to make some goodies. I think I looked at the pile of fabric and freaked out. I made these without a pattern, couldn't find any, but in Halloween costumes, unlike real clothes, accuracy really isn't that much of an issue. So....

here is the Hello Kitty picture I worked from.
I saw the skirt and thought of a tulle tutu and lots of Dresden plate wedges. I made some wedges wider, by winging the measurements. Satin is fine to work with only if you have a walking foot and I had to glue down the wedges with fusible web since the wedges didn't iron well. This was the most time consuming part of the project. There is a certain point on the iron setting where satin will melt! This was forgotten about at first since I am always working with cotton. A see through fabric (?) with glitter was added to hide any imperfections on the satin wedges. A very thin zig-zag  finished the edge of those petals. A wide ribbon was folded over to finish the raw edges and use as a bow. There is a button in there to hold it together, because the satin would slip loose.

Now the tutu... I use the generic no-sew tutu for underneath. This was so much fun to do, once the pieces are cut. You can sit in front of the TV and mindlessly slip knot all the tulle. I variegated the tulle and used 2/3 yard of each.

You can add all sort of ribbon and, in my case, a Hello Kitty tail! It has wire braided inside of the chenille to make it curl. (This type of wire is used for landscaping vines on trellis and is the texture of bread twist ties so it won't pinch. I also used duct tape on the possible pinchy part so it won't work its way out of the chenille.)

The costume was finished with a headband I covered in the white chenille. I traced an enlarged picture of the bow and ears from coloring pages. I love how the bubble gum Kona looks. It's the perfect Hello Kitty pink.

At this point it was Wednesday? Forget the Jedi costume, do not.  Hmmmmmm.

I was sooo glad I made a cape for Andrew the day I got the fabric. It's a very cool velvety fabric that was on sale! I ruffled the hood and sewed the top and bottom. The bottom was finished with a blind hem and the hood with a french seam. I ran out of fabric and did not make sleeves, but have you noticed Anakin doesn't have sleeves on his? I did not realize the top was so complicated and ran out of fabric again. The tabards are sew at the top to the outer tunic. There is no obi. Oh well. The belt didn't include a clasp or those food pellets. He isn't going to join the Legion.  Research these items, I did!  Herh herh herh.

I got some great ideas a the Padawan's Guide and I am contemplating a family getup one year!

Even with all the imperfections, they love their costumes.  I am sure they will bounce around the house in them on a regular basis. Zoe didn't have a preference so she became a fairy princess. Thanks for the costume Nana! It certainly was hard enough making two. Here are some favorite pictures of my little man and his sisters. They make my heart so happy!



I'll leave you with a fierce all knowing Jedi look.