free motion fun

A few more hand-made Christmas gift done! On to the next one!

well i finally finished a WIP for the Joy in the New Year Challenge and here it is - not only is it my first completed WIP for this project, but my first time at free motion quilting - or quilting in general. I have made many quilts, but always handed them off and paid to have them actually quilted. I'm so excited and inspired by this - the possibilities are really endless and i really enjoyed doing it myself. I thought starting with a smaller project and christmas gift were the way to go. The tutorial for this 20x20 pillow can be found here - it was a super fast and fun project with excellent details on the tutorial. Mine came together in about 2-3 days including the quilting. The back is an envelope closing and I just chose a light pink Kona Cotton versus a pattern since the front was so busy - this will help for easy washing also.

Here is an up-close shot of the quilting - i did the 'pebbles' style like the one in the tutorial, but the next one I do I think I'll try the square in square for a more modern feel. I did use a light yellow thread and I think it added the appropriate 'charm' i was looking for. I am very happy with it!

Here are also the pictures from this years Christmas jammies for the boys. I went with flannel pants and an appliqued shirt. I left the edges raw on the shirt as I wanted them to fray after washing!

Austin's jammies (top) Tyler (bottom)


santa is so close...

At the beach Dec. 15th!

I Love the beach!!!!
It's hard to believe that Christmas is just 7 days away when you have 86 degree days at the beach : ) It's been quite the adjustment after living in the midwest with seasons for over 30 years! Your body really gets used to the season changes and my body is saying it's October! But, we love being at the beach in December and being active outside daily and this really is the best time of year here!
I have a lot of handmade xmas gifts 'in-process' including my 2nd annual making of the Christmas jammies for the boys - the pants are almost done and i found the shirts today - i should have a pic up by tomorrow - I think they are going to be awesome! A few other things are done - mum's the word - and the other's should be completed by the end of the weekend.
Next week the baking shall begin....cookies, cheese balls, meatballs, pies, and we got our ham for xmas day yesterday! I'm getting excited! Family rolls in on the 27th for a couple weeks and we can't wait!!!
Tyler's favorite 'surrogate' dog - they have really bonded!

what to eat??


another grand give-away!

i've snuck in a little time to take my 56 sailboat blocks to the next step....i'm trimming and prepping to sew the left sky piece on all the blocks via chain-piecing...i've come upon a block in the road though - austin has a full-size bed which has been the plan for this quilt all along...now we are contemplating getting 2 twin beds for the boys room....i of course have several weeks if not months to make up my mind - but do i forge ahead with the full size quilt or do 2 matching twin sizes?? ah - decisions!
If you are a fan of Denyse Schmidt and her style or fabric and haven't found this site yet you must check it out. It is titled 'Flea Market Fancy Freaks' those of us addicted to this so versatile fabric that seems to be the perfect addition to any project. They have a petition going to bring in another run of the Flea Market Fancy line. Check it out for a free chance to win some goodies!


wanna be a winner???

want a chance to win one of these???

Go to donna downey's blog and leave a comment at a chance to win...but hurry - comments end at 10:00 pm tonight....if i don't win - dear santa, can you leave one under my tree??

Good luck!


I'm so excited!

Yeah!!! I finally got the courage to join my first virtual quilting bee! I haven't done it before because of the monthly committment and then the thought of having to plan my own blocks the month i host and get the material to the group on time, etc. I can barely get anywhere on time so how could I manage this, right?

But, i found the perfect virtual group today and took the plunge! It is called Cancer is Sew Done and they send you the fabric every month give you a specific block to make and a self-addressed envelope to send it back in! How easy, right? The blocks come together to form a quilt that is then auctioned off to benefit a cancer charity. How cool. There is time for you to join to, even if you are a beginner this is the perfect way to get your feet wet and help a great cause at the same time.

This is a picture of the block we are doing for the first month, i'm just waiting on my fabrics to arrive to get going. This is also the block for the first quarter of the Block Party Quilt Along I have some other fabrics at home that i've been waiting for the perfect quilt idea and i think i might try them on this! Should have something to show you soon!


Quilt Along

I've been terribly addicted to quilting blogs lately, the more modern the better. i'm loving all the ideas and inspiration i get from them.

I stumbled across this blog the other day http://www.blockpartyquilting.com/ and found that they are doing a year-long quarterly quilt along to prepare for their new book! How exciting....they will be offering tutorials on a block a quarter and then quilters are asked to post pics on their flickr account and some will be used for the book - the book is a look at the modern quilting community online and how the virtual quilting bee has come back with a vengeance and the community that modern quilters are finding online through online quilting bees and quilt alongs. Fantastic, I say!

In case you aren't aware of how a virtual quilting bee works - there are a ton to choose from online - each member hosts a month - sends fabric to the other members and boundaries for what size blocks she/he wants, style, etc. You have a few weeks to make the block(s) and send it back, so essentially once a year you get the blocks to make a quilt made by others and so forth!

Block Party is doing a giveaway here for all that want to check it out! I'm in!


halloween 2009

i think this is really fast for me to get halloween pics up! i don't have many good ones this year..tyler decided to totally not cooperate and up until we started walking down the street I didn't think he'd actually wear a costume. he was going to go as his poor little grouchy self! But, amazingly enough he put it on and away he went. Fleece costumes were not a good idea for the exceptionally warm weather we had here...high 80's for sure. Our therapist told us in her 14 years in Estero this was absolutely the hottest halloween ever.....why does that not surprise me? i think i've been hot since June 1st this year....can't wait for that next cold front here --- maybe december - should be in the 70's !!!

this is how i feel most days!

anyway we did capture a few good pics and i'll post those for all to see! lots of loot which always makes one happy mama!

Joy in the New Year Challenge

If you notice to the left I added a new picture / link. Tallgrass Prairie Studio is a blog that I read daily and gain a ton of inspiration from. If I had to sum up the type of quilter I think of myself as - I could send you to Jacquie's blog and say "just like her!" She has a very modern quilting style and most of her stuff is simple and easy, but really makes you look once then again and again and think....wow, I really like that!

She posted a challenge yesterday to count your UFO's or WIP's in quilt's or quilt tops that you would like to finish before the new year....like a before the new year resolution! I thought about it and then said, why not and joined in on the fun...I decided 4 was a completely unreasonable amount for me to finish, but I'd be ecstatic if I came close. I'm in the midst of finishing the top of the sailboat quilt for Austin's bed. The blocks are probably about 1/2 done then they need to be sewn together. The other 3 quilts in my head are much, much simpler, although I'm hoping for a huge statement. So, I'm thinking that 1 quilt is extremely realistic!

If you want to join in the fun, click on the picture and leave a comment and post about your thoughts! Come on, it'll be fun!


some new creations....

Well, we finally got Austin settled in school....naps rescheduled earlier so we are awake and ready to go pick him up by 2:30 and earlier bedtimes for all. I still think it is hardest for me to wake up before everyone else in the morning, even though it is peaceful when we do. I still hate the chaos school brings of 'having' to get up and trying to get everyone ready and out the door. I just can't seem to adhere to structure...probably a major fault in a lot of eyes....can't say i'm a list-maker - more free-spirited - do as i please when i feel like it - that is what life's about, right?

With Austin going off to school we are trying to spend more time with Tyler to encourage his speech along - this is our day at the park.. he was cracking up at this!

on the other side of the teeter-totter!

me goofing around

so sweet, hmmm......mr. blue eyes

in the fort....could they be more different?

Labor Day visit with my parent's - we had so much fun!

Austin at his new desk at school - first day!

His new 'big' backpack - should last for a few years!

All ready for school - uniform and all - no worries on what to wear.
Now on to some craft things i've been doing. This is a sneak peek at the quilt i'm working on. I've wanted to do this for about 4 years now (ha) but plenty of things kept getting in my way. Now, I seem to have more time and finally got up the nerve to start it. I swear i've read the pattern about 100 times and it seemed rather confusing, but I decided to just jump in and figure it out. While, it is different, it has turned out to come together nicely. I did a few semi-complete blocks at first and now i'm chain piecing the parts together to be more efficient. The blocks will measure 12 x 12" when they are complete and I need 42" of them for a full-size quilt. Each block (like below) will be a different size depending on how it goes together so I'm going to add white around each boat until it reaches 12.5 x 12.5" (with seam allowance) and then create the rows. I ran out of sails and sky fabric yesterday and had to get some more - so i'm back at it today!

the block below is the very first one i did about 4 years ago - i realized now that i had several of the pieces going the wrong way...i was going to throw it out, but decided to add it in - i think it makes the boat look like it is in the high seas moving around. I also like to have one 'non-anticipated' mistake in every quilt - i don't think it has anything to do with being a perfectionist or not - the sewing is perfect - just the pattern is a bit off. It gives you something to find each time you use the quilt. I remember doing this as a little girl with my grandma - we would look at the quilts her mother made (my great-grandma) and find the mistakes - it was always so much fun for me and I'll remember it forever -something i'd like to pass along in my quilts!

A couple of the remaining cards I made that went into that last batch. Some of these stamps are new for the 2009-2010 Stampin Up! Catalog...I really like the robots - they make me smile!

I am getting in some supplies to start making Christmas cards tomorrow. I am hoping to put the quilting aside and do a few samples for my customers to pick from and have them up by tuesday or Wednesday! Have a great Sunday!


hot summer days...

summer feet - gotta love em'

i know many munchkins went back to school this past week...Austin starts a little later here - aug. 24th is his first day. so we have one more week of 'official' summer break. it's so hard to believe...kindergarten - full day, every day, whether you feel like it or not, scheduled breaks, homework, packed lunches...and oh yeah - uniforms. how does this happen...so fast? i know he is more than ready for this daily activity, entertainment, socializing and learning but it just feels like the beginning of the end...succumbing to school schedules, organized breaks, vacationing only when everyone else in the world is able to, the end of spontaneous mid-week trips and late nights....oh so hard....but a neccessary evil. he is ready - and somedays i'm more than ready!

we have been trying to soak up our last pool days but have had some rain the last couple days. we managed to hit the beach on thursday - one of doug's days off - an early morning ocean swim and then i did a hot 4-miler in the heat. i'm learning it takes about 2 days to recover from the hot runs. i'm going to have to start going by 7am or forget it - urgh...
hanging poolside......

i'm almost finished with my last run of cards...tomorrow i should have 2-3 more samples to upload and show you - then i'm shipping them off to their new homes. i have had a lot of fun making them and remembered what a nice quick project they each are - it is like getting quick satisfaction in just 20-30 minutes or less (or more)!

i was also able to finish some pajama pants for austin and another few alterations that were piling up. i'm still sketching the quilt for the boys and can't wait to dice into the rocketship fabric i have. i've been reading up alot about quilting and researching other modern quilters and their designs - i'm feeling very inspired and ready to get a quilt top or two started.

hot days in the water!

more project pics tomorrow!


Projects, projects

i have, for the first time, made a list (unfortunately it's only in my head!) I can never bring myself to write my lists on paper with the sole exception of the grocery store...then I *usually* have such an inept sense of detail that once i've actually written it out i remember it and don't refer to it once in the store....occassionally this system fails me. but, i had to come up with a mental list of project to-do's, yep had to prioritize them into importance or else i would have been doing the one's i fancied most first....so i thought this was a great way of tricking myself into get the 'must-do' stuff done first so that i could do the 'really-fun' stuff later - and in reality i enjoy it all!

this is probably one of my favorites ever, but it took a long time to cut all the pieces - there is a tutorial on the website above! this paper is retired SU! by the way!

I played around quite a bit with this one - it was fun and easy to make, so i switched up the designer (patterned) paper and ribbon a bit on each one. Also, a great way to get rid of some of the million flower embellishments i have hanging around!

I have been making a lot of cards lately for an order I recently got, here are some of the one's i've made...i'll be the first to admit the more difficult ones I snagged the ideas from here, a fabulous site for fresh ideas! Of course, they have my own style and spin put into them!

the inside pulls out for the sentiment and i thought it'd make a lovely bookmark as well!

I spend way too much time hand cutting each image and designing the card itself, but i can't resist the outcome - hopefully they each go to people that appreciate the hand-made card!!

here is a really bad picture *but i was in a hurry to do the post* of the re-usable quart size ziploc bag i designed. Hopefully you can see the very cool pirate print that i'm hoping makes it too cool for austin to resist taking in his lunch this year! It has a fold down flap with velcro securing it and a waterproof liner. This one is great for chips or larger snacks...i'm going to make a *sandwich* size for sandwiches and maybe a couple snack sizes for apples, grapes, etc. I figure that at $2.00 + / box of plastic sandwich bags I should be saving about $80 a year by using these : ) I finally talked doug into 'testing' it with his lunch yesterday....the chips were gone, and he *did* bring it back home to me, but i wonder if he ate lunch by himself in a dark closet so no-one could see what his nerdy wife sent his lunch in....hee hee! it's all part of saving the earth and recession-proofing our lives!

Last, but not least, are these precious babies....they are on the top of my priority list, although I enjoy sewing them as much as anything else. So, I had to get to a certain step in the diapers in order to work on other project. If you haven't checked them out yet, you must do so at OBB diapers - click on hyena cart to check the in-stock diapers, all hand-sewn by yours truly....

**Then of course lots of pool time in this really warm weather - today the pool water was 96-98 degrees - so warm! **

Tyler wearing the finished cloth diaper - i tried to get him to stand up but he wasn't cooperating! aren't they adorable?

Austin practicing moves on his new boogie board!

That is it for now...I'm excited to start on a new quilt design hopefully the end of this week or beginning of next...i'm feeling more motivated to quilt than i have for a long time - better soak it up!