Friday, December 27, 2013

With extreme sadness

It is with extreme sadness that I'm posting this. My beloved Mother In law passed away on Christmas Eve. 

I love you Mum. I always will. Thank you for being so accepting of me, for teaching me to crochet,  for loving me as a daughter and for giving me so many fantastic memories.   I'll be missing you for the rest of my life.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Best Birthday Gift Ever

So what if it's not really my birthday till February?  My husband is awesome. :)

I've loved the San Fransisco 49ers since forever, and he took me to see one of their last home games at Candlestick!!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Show day!

Here's the best photo of Pieces of Me hanging in the quilt show. I have a few others but they're slightly blurry. 

Each Dresden Plate is hand appliqued and then I machine quilted it. The top left area above the Dresdens has a quilted feathered heart, and the other corners have feathered curls.  In the skinny area between all the Dresdens has microstippling.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Show Quilt - Final Reveal

It's out there.  At the Philadelphia National Quilt Extravaganza. :)

Now, without further delay, I present to you - Pieces of Me.

This one is hanging on my design wall - before it was appliqued to anything.

And here it is in the show:


And another view. 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Cracked Pots - Fabric Received

I finally decided on what fabrics I'll be using for the Cracked Pots mystery quilt. It starts September 1st.

Top Row:
Black Numerals - the dark
Grey with Black and Yellow - the blender
The Black - binding

Bottom Row:
Yellow Flowers - the medium
Grey Scroll - the light
Black and White - the border

Ohh I'm excited. I had hubby take the test too and he's also an INFJ. Maybe as a surprise I'll make one for him. (Just because you know I need another project!)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Trying Something New for Dinner

The dear hubby has gotten tired of "same old, same old chicken". I took to Pinterest and found a recipe that sounded awesome.

It's Hawaiian Chicken in a Crock Pot.  In the summer I refuse to turn the oven on since it heats up the house too much.  Actually, from about April to October I don't use the oven at all, just stove top, crockpot or grill.  It works for us.

So here's my Hawaiian Chicken all just in the pot and beginning to cook.   After I had made the exact recipe, my husband told me that we were having company, so I doubled the recipe.

I served it over Basmati rice, and with a side of organic broccoli. 

Overall, it was great.  It was a bit watery, but I had a small helper and may have, perhaps, just maybe, entrusted that helper to pour the pineapple juice in. (Whoops)   But, the extra liquid was awesome poured over the rice, and I had enough left to marinate the chicken breasts I had leftover!  So good grillin' tonight. :)

If you'd like, you can follow me on Pinterest.  I pin a lot of different quilt related things, food (Health Conscious as well as calorie laden deliciousness), cross stitch goodies and fun things to do with kids and fun school things.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Hello Kitty LoneStar

One of my friends has an adorable little girl named Juliet. Juliet loves Hello Kitty.

This one will be for Juliet.  I'm waiting on a fabric order for a border for this one.  The first border is going to be a thin red border and then Hello Kitty for a wider border.

It's up on the design "wall" and I'm just not tall enough to get it wide enough or high enough on the wall for it to lay smooth.  But, rest assured that it is smooth.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Show Quilt Sneak Peek part 2

So I know I said I wouldn't post the final quilt, and I won't, but I will post a small sneak peek of the quilting in the fan blades. :)

Shades of Blue

Ok.. y'all know it. Blue is my favorite color.  I love it, there's just something about the color blue, it's so calming to me, like a nice summer sky.

These are going to be going into a "Shades of Blue" Carpenters Star quilt.  The bottom row is going to be the front of the quilt, and the back one is a blue-grey that will be the backing and the binding. Oh is this one going to be so much fun.


 And this one is another Shade of Blue top.  I've got to think about the border on it, and then how to quilt it.  I'm thinking that I'll be quilting loops in each diamond, and then maybe some curved cross hatching in the triangles.. not sure on the squares yet.  And I'm not sure on what border or borders I'm going to do just yet.

"Cracked" Pot - Focus Picked

So, guess what.  Based on my INFJ nature, I thought I might have a directional print stuffed somewhere in my stash, and went looking.  I did have something awesome.  :) 

Now I just have to pick coordinating fabrics. :)  This is going to be very fun.

I'll be able to use up my oranges and yellows.  Who knew that orange was going to be considered a "dark"?!?

Monday, July 22, 2013

Circle of Life

I've always wondered if there is such a thing as fate. Why some things happen at different times.  Makes me question things, and it makes me believe that all things are interconnected.

Today was a happy and a sad day all in one.

First, the sad news, one of my favorite actors Dennis Farina passed away today.  I absolutely loved him in Law & Order (one of my absolute favorite shows).

And the good news Prince William and Duchess Kate had their little boy, a new prince.  Congratulations to the new parents.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Scrappy Owl Log Cabins

I got sidetracked last night, must have hit save and not publish.   Anyway,  here are some of my log cabin blocks from scraps. The only thing that is the same with them is that the centers are all owl fabric.

When I get 20 or 25 blocks I'll be putting sashing between the blocks and then doing a piano key border.  Haven't decided on the color of the sashing yet.

Crumb time

Played with some more bits and pieces of fabric.  I just can't part with it.

Friday, July 19, 2013

I'm an official Cracked Pot

Starting in September I'm participating in a Mystery quilt a long run by Prarie Quilt Mercantile (PQM). The name of the mystery quilt is Cracked Pots.   All participants take a short personality test and do the mystery quilt steps based on their personality.  

It did cost a small fee, but at the end if I save all the instructions for all the different personalities I'll be able to make 16 different quilts! (Like I need that many more projects!!)

Based on my personality test I'm an INFJ. (More on that later)  and as such my quilt will measure 81x92 when done. 

And the suggested fabrics for me to use are bold directionals and geometrics. 

Of all the things in my fabric stash guess what I *don't* have. LOL. looks like some shopping is in my future. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Show Quilt - Top done

My quilt Pieces of Me is going to be shown with Stretching Art and Tradition exhibit at the Philadelphia National Quilt Extravaganza XX held September 19-22, 2013.  I'm so excited to be participating in it.  My quilt won't be judged, just exhibited.

The theme is Hi, it's Me!  so I've been working on Dresden Plates because of the circular nature of life.   I wanted to start out with larger ones and work towards smaller ones, all with things that represent who I am.

My husband helped me come up with the center idea of putting my silhouette in the center and as the Dresdens go from larger to smaller have a piece of the silhouette covered up.

So, let me share a bit of what each Dresden represents.

Pink and Purple - my DD's favorite colors and represents me as a woman.
Blue and Anchors - my Dad used to be a commercial fisherman, I grew up at the NJ shore and had a boat before I had a car.
England and Red Paisley - my love of travel, DH is from England originally and I was in Puerto Rico studying Spanish.
Coffee Beans and Blues and Browns - One of the things I love, coffee.  The blues and browns represent my love of Mother Earth and Nature.
Pencils and Cream Crosses - My profession as a teacher and my faith.
American Patriotic - I'm American, part Native American, and where a lot of my roots are.

I'm not showing off the final outcome with the quilting.. but I will share that it's bound in dark green. :)

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Coffee Top Completed

I stayed up, hubby made dinner and watched kiddo and the top is completed.

I added a thin red border and then added the other swap blocks.  I have more of these square in the square swap blocks, but the colors really didn't compliment the rest of the top quilt.  So I'll be using them as a stripe on the backing.

The last border is really wide, 8 inches, but I'm happy with it.

So much for a nice small cuddle quilt.  It's a BIG cuddle quilt.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Coffee Swap Blocks - Started

Oh dear.  I participated in 2 different swaps in 2007 and 2010? maybe 2011..  I sent out the same fabric in both swaps and never did anything with the blocks I received back.  They spent the last few years in a block case.

Here are the blocks from 2010/2011 that are up on the design wall.  I think this is going to be my final layout of these blocks. 

They are each 12.5 unfinished, so it's a good size already.

I'm planning on adding a thinner border around these, then adding the other blocks, which are a square in a square.


Flashback Saturday

I'm so excited that I have to share. I have my Atari from ages ago (Darth Vader edition) and hubby went on eBay and got me a game of my absolute favorite TV show. M*A*S*H. I'll be playing the video game today.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

It came! My Thread Came!

My thread came!!  I love a great sale at Connecting Threads.  They have the absolute best clearance prices and their sales are fantastic.  This past sale is $1.95 per spool of thread (1500 yards!)

They've got tons of colors and the price can't be beat.  

Ok.. so I also treated myself to a little of their fabric too. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Progress Update Baby Quilt

Here's the baby quilt for the cutie in Ireland up on my design wall.

It has been sandwiched and it getting quilted tomorrow night.

For anyone interested, my design wall isn't really a design wall.  It's a dollar store flannel backed tablecloth that I've push pinned to the wall. Super cheap and easy.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Retirement Quilt DONE

The Retirement Quilt is DONE.  And it's been delivered. And he likes it. 

See, and a lot of you were thinking that I wouldn't actually finish something.  Hahaha.  I got it done. (Before Friday too I might add!!)

Sorry about the horrible picture - it was taken without binding on it, but it has been bound in the dark blue which I think frames it nicely. 

For the backing I used grey flannel and Legacy 100% cotton batting.  It's so soft and cuddly.  It'll be amazing to cuddle up with and I hope that the recipient enjoys it as much as I enjoyed making it for him.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

The UFOs are getting finished..

Three more UFOs are done and off the list! :)  I'm so happy.  

First up in a miniature Panda quilt.  Quilted on a really crappy machine mostly by me (in 2011 - thank goodness that I've improved!!) and partially by my hubby who was trying to fix my tension issues.  It's cute, but I'm not in love with it (hence why it was a UFO for so long). Started it in 2011, finished on June 16, 2013.  *Jumping for joy* it's done.


Next up is another fairy quilt.  It's my own pattern, quilted mainly by my 4 year old.  She wanted to help me, so I let her.  This one was going to be my sample quilt for my Craftsy shop, but I'll probably be making another one for the display picture.  Kiddo wants to use it as a doll quilt (and it's already in use)

No more cutting Hexagons!

So I'm a lucky lucky girl. 
It might be Fathers Day, but my hubby got *me* a present. He bought it on EBay - it's a Creative Memories punch. Makes 1 1/4 and 1 1/2 inch hexagons. And he also got me the smaller one 3/4 inch and 1 inch. :)
Yahoo!!  No more hand cutting for me. Just slide the paper in and punch.  I have a ton of file folders that are too big, and I had to trim them up so there's a ton of extra manila around.  :) 

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Added 2 More UFOs.. whoops

Well, at least they won't be UFOs for long.

Seriously - don't laugh.  I have DEADLINES for these!!

This one is going to a friend who is retiring on Friday the 21st.  Yes, you read that right.  This coming Friday.  I've made 4 of these blocks - thank you to Missouri Star Quilt Co for the amazing and easy tutorial.  When it's done (no later than Friday!!)  It'll be 52x52.  This picture was taken before I added sashing - so it's bigger now.

And this one is for a good friend of mine who just had a little girl.  Since I took the picture, I've evened up each side and added a 3 inch light green border.  Now all I need to do is quilt it.  It's all sandwiched.  My idea is to quilt the babys name in the purple tumblers and loose stipple in the bunny.  Once it's done the quilt is getting shipped off to the adorable girl in Ireland.

Friday, June 14, 2013

FabShopHop Win

I won!  I participate in the FabShopHop all the time.  I won something.  Not a grand prize or anything like that, but a pack of 10" squares!

Look at my pretties!!

Excuse my old cutting mat, it's about 15 years old. :)

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Berenstain Bears - UFO Done!

Beam another one up! 
Another UFO is now able to be snuggled under.

Here's a picture of the Berenstain Bears quilt hot off the machine.  It's not the best quilting job ever, but the kiddo wanted this quilt ASAP. Once I got the tension issues fixed up which took about an hour or so I was good to go!


I'll have to get a good picture of it after the kiddo wakes up tomorrow.  Rarely do I do a total machine binding (usually I hand stitch on the back) but kiddo wanted this quilt so much I got it done as fast as I could by doing the entire binding by machine.  It went really quickly and it's not perfect but it's done and kiddo loves it, so that means it's ok with me.

Monday, April 22, 2013

First attempt at Ripple Crochet

My Mother In Law taught me to crochet earlier this year, and I like it.  I don't know any fancy stitches yet, but hopefully soon I'll start learning more advanced things.

One of the girls in my quilting group showed us a photo of a crochet afghan she's making and it's a ripple crochet.  Then she posted a link to the awesome tutorial she followed. The tutorial can be found here at The Lazy Hobbyhopper.  It's a great tutorial full of photos that detail each step.

Without further ado, here is my first attempt at ripple crochet. Despite the crappy photo the yarn is really a honeydew green.


And further progress:  

4 rows of honeydew green and soon to be 4 rows of camouflage.  After that, I'll do another 4 rows of the honeydew green. 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Moving beyond Stippling (part 1)

Part 1

Disclaimer: By no means am I an expert at free motion quilting. This is ONE method of doing free motion quilting and there are hundreds of different ways. No way is more "right" or "wrong" than others.  You have to find the way or ways that work for you.  Depending on the size of the throat of your machine, you might have to blend a few ways into something that you can work with.

What you need:

A Quilt Top
Here's the top I'll be using.


Tracing Paper; a Pen; Stencil; Quilting Pattern


What you do:

Do a rough layout on your quilt as to where you want the quilting pattern to go.  Test it out - see if it fits.  Play around, you may need to use a photocopier to shrink a quilting pattern. 


Play with the stencil/s. See if it fits your quilt.  It's a process of trial and error. Sometimes they fit, sometimes they don't.  If you're very new to free motion quilting, stick with stencils that are "continuous line" to quilt.  That just means you're not going to start and stop. The whole design will be quilted with ONE huge line. 


Once you've settled on a design, trace the design on tissue paper.

I'd suggest cutting a square, but I forgot to take a picture. Sorry!  So, cut a piece of tissue paper, and trace the stencil onto the tissue paper. If your fabric is dark, pick an ink color that you can see (doesn't matter what color, you'll be quilting over it. Yes, you're actually going to be quilting ON the tissue paper.

Here's a (kinda bad) picture of the traced stencil.


Once you've settled on a design for the border, trace the design on tissue paper. Make as many as you need. Since my quilt is square, I need 4 corner pieces.


If it's a pattern that I'll need more than once (as in the case with the corners) I'll trace one and then check to make sure it fits. It does, so I'll trace 3 more.

Then, continue to trace the rest of the pattern.  The one that I chose to use for this quilt had the corner pieces as well as the border pieces. I got the free pattern at Forest Quilting


When you're done tracing the borders, lay out the tissue paper on the quilt top and see what you think of it.


If you notice, I didn't do the zig zag part yet, or the outer border. I ran out of time tonight, and to be honest, I'm still thinking on how I want to quilt those parts. For right now, I'm thinking that the inner tan part will have small feathers, and maybe pebbling in the zig zag - I'm not quite sure. :)

Real life is going to be kinda crazy the next few days, but I promise that I'll get back to the tutorial next week after I have some time to think on how I want to quilt this one! :)

As another side note:
There are some amazing quilting motifs out there, and a lot are free.  If you like one, don't hesitate to download it/print it/buy it. It is important to note the name of the designer of the motif, especially if you want to put the quilt in a show.

The site that I got the free pattern for the border from is Forest Quilting. Stop by her site, she has a ton of free Quilting Motifs and a bunch of free paper piecing patterns.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

And BINGO was her Game-o

In my quilt group, UFOQueen, there's a BINGO game going around.  We get to print out a Bingo board and fill it in with our UFOs.  Then two numbers are called each month and it's our challenge to get those UFOs finished.

Other rules state that we can work on other UFOs in the meantime.  If we complete those UFOs before that number is called, then we can treat that as a wild and work on finishing another UFO.

Here's hoping this gets 24 UFOs off of my plate.

My BINGO board:

Sunday, March 31, 2013

A little Halloween.. on Easter?

Happy Easter!!

Since it's Easter, I only had a tiny little time to sew today - and it was all hand stitching. While putting some things away before company I found a teeny tiny miniature block that I think I might have been planning on using for a center of something, or for a crumb block. But yea, I didn't.

So I put some stitches into this one and then added the keychain piece.

Scrappy Grandmothers Flower Garden - WIP

It's been in the works for about 2 years now. I've cut over 3,000 squares, each measuring 2.5" and basted about 1800 or so (probably more) into hexagons.

This is my progress so far:

I'm not counting it as a UFO because it's constantly being worked on. this one goes everywhere with me. I just love it.  The goal was to make it a true charm quilt.  A charm quilt, for those of you who don't know, has all different fabrics with no two fabrics being the same.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Big Reveal: Rainbow Carpenters Star

Here's the finished Carpenters Star.

Add borders if you want, then quilt and bind.

There you go - a Carpenters Star quilt without any Y seams. :-)

All previous parts to the tutorial/sew along:

All that's left is for me to decide if I'm adding borders, or not and the quilting.  I've got a few ideas on how to quilt it, just need some time.

Picking the thread to quilt it.  A friend taught me to NOT lay the spools of thread on the quilt top like this:

And why not you ask?  Good question.  Thank you Jess for helping me out. :)  If the thread is all coiled up on the spool you won't get a good idea of how it would look laid out over the different colors of the quilt.  What should be done is to pull some of the thread off the spool and lay it over the quilt top more or less what it would look like if it was quilted.   Try it on the different colors and see what works for your particular quilt top.  It also depends on if you want the thread to blend in or stand out highlighting the quilting.

For me, I picked the rainbow thread.  See how pretty it looks?  Now all I have to do is decide on the quilting motifs.  If you've got any suggestions - I'm open to them! :)

Friday, March 29, 2013

Sew Along - Stitching the Rows Together

A more detailed explanation of how to sew each row together is coming along shortly. I need to get my husband to help with the computer aspect of labeling things. 

Two rows together:

Halfway point:
Using 8.5" *unfinished) squares, it currently is 32.5"x64.5" (unfinished)


Ok.. I really need to get a design wall. The floor thing isn't working out to well. LOL.

Previous Parts to this Sew Along: