Thursday, May 29, 2008

Happy Village Complete!

As most of you probably figured out, the project I was working on was a Happy Villages Wallhanging, from the book by Karen Eckmeier.
Today, I completed the little quilt. I am very pleased! :-)
Yesterday I mentioned a few things that I would remember when I do the next one. I have a few more things to remember for next time based on todays work:
1. Use a regular binding and backing rather than the felt. Mine was nice and flat and square until the moment I started zig-zagging around the edges. At that point the edges went all wavy on me. Tight zig zags gathered it up, I suppose. I was tempted to wet it and steam it into submission, but of course with the tulle on there, I didn't dare.
2. After I triple check to make sure all the roofs, doors and windows are where I want, I will triple check again. After I had about half of the project quilted, I noticed that a little red building RIGHT IN THE DEAD CENTER of the quilt has neither a door nor a window. Argh! Oh well.
3. Next time, I will will use all batiks. I had trouble with a bunch of the edges of the pieces fraying when I quilted them. I imagine the tighter weave of batiks would minimize this problem.
4. More overlap and don't do the quilting so close to the edges of the pieces. See above fraying issue.

Overall, the piece looks great. I'm not so thrilled about the quilting when I look at it up close, but next time I think that will improve. Besides, its supposed to be abstract, right? :-)

Anyone who is on the fence about trying this technique: GO FOR IT. Its not a huge time consuming project, and it doesn't use very much fabric. Sit down, play with it for a couple of hours and try it out. It is fun!!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Today I took Thing One and Thing Two to a favorite summer destination of theirs,
The Friendly Farm in Dublin, New Hampshire. Dublin is also home to the fabulous Yankee Magazine
While we were there, they helped collect eggs, they fed bottles of milk to the baby goats, they fed the goats and chickens, held the baby chicks and watched some chicks hatching, watched the peacock open his beautiful tail, and they chased the sheep (and were chased by sheep in pursuit of food) around the sheep pen. We had a real was great because last year Thing Two was too afraid to interact with the animals very much, but this year he was right there feeding them and playing with them (well, not the baby chicks, but all the rest). Such fun! :-)
Along the way, we stopped at Joann Fabrics and I got the supplies I needed for my happy villages: vareigated thread, tulle (6 different colors, just in case!), black felt. I also bought a few extra DMC floss colors (65!) and a zipper for an upcoming project on my list.
After we got home and the Things were all chilled out, I got my Happy Village layered and basted. I started quilting it and completed maybe 1/4 of the quilting. So far so good. I can actually see a bunch of mistakes in the project, but for a first try, I'm quite happy. Things that I know to watch for next time: make sure things are overlapped enough when layering so that the quilting doesn't shift it and show the underlayer. Also, watch the quilting (maybe I should use the walking foot instead of doind it free motion. The other big thing I will watch for next time: frayed edges and little thread pieces stuck under the tulle, which will forever haunt me. Oh well, you can't see those things from across the room when it is hanging on the wall :-)
Thing One has announced that SHE is going to make one of these herself. Oh Boy. I'm going to need a BIG chill pill to be able to supervise that. I think I'm too much of a control freak to manage that.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Sneak peek at a project

I know that I said I would load the Pineapple blosson on my frame and quilt it yesterday, but I got distracted and did something completely different (shocking, isn't it? LOL).
I spent all afternoon playing with fabric and had SO MUCH FUN! I need to go to Keene to buy some supplies to finish this project, and I can't go there until tomorrow, so you'll have to wait a couple of days to see my finished project. In the meantime, here is a sneak peek of it in the very early stages. The colors in this project are definitley not the colors that I normally use. I used them only because they were in a pile on the table (I think I intended to get rid of them!) but they were about the right size for what I needed, so I figured what the heck. Who knew I'd love the result so much even though it has brown in it?! :-)

Monday, May 26, 2008

Pillowcase Tote

Since I've managed to get two posts posted today, I'm going to go for broke and try for the third. Photo uploads on dialup are painfully slow (up to a half an hour per photo), but I can do my night time clean up while I wait.

Yesterday, I made my pillowcase tote bag from one of the thrifted pillowcases I found at the Goodwill last week. I used the pattern from here. Honestly, it was very similar to the bag I posted previously that was a community service project from my guild (that pattern was on the Lazy Girl blog). The pillowcase one is quite a bit smaller, and the handles are longer but the basic construction was about the same. I am very pleased with this bag...the fabric is very sweet and girly.

Stitchery BOM's caught up!

I've been stitching away, and finally have both of my stitchery block of the month projects up to date, at least until the next blocks are posted next week!.

First up, the Noah's Ark cow block from Lynette Anderson:

And the March, April and May blocks from Bea at Capricorn Quilts:

Greetings from the Green Mountain State! Yes, I am in Vermont. We are innundated with black flies this week (ouch!) The weather has been beautiful but chilly (I needed to run the heat all weekend!)

One of our Memorial Day weekend traditions here is the Duck Race! This is a big fundraiser for the Make a Wish Foundation. They sell tickets with numbers that correspond to the number on a rubber duckie, then the ducks race down the river. There are prizes for the winning ducks (136 prizes in all this year). One of my ducks came in 20th, and I won a Warner Brothers Gift bag. Inside: 2 movie promotion t-shirts, a little clock shaped like a guitar and some notecards! The kids always love going to see the duck race each year, and there are lots of other activiites at the same time: the Rotary club sells snacks, there is a bake sale, face painting, carnival type games with a duck theme (ring toss, fishing, etc.) for the little kids, dancers performing. We had a great time.

I saw this little girl playing on the lawn near the duck race. As soon as I saw her dress, I imagined her mom as a blogger, going to the thrift store and finding a retro garment of some sorth, then going home and refashioning it into this cute little outfit. Maybe not, but one never knows!

I have been working on some quilty projects. Hoping to finish up some UFOs...will post as I can, but with slooooow dialup, I don't know how well it will work. I'm about to load my Pineapple Blossom quilt onto the frame. I have another quilt waiting for binding. I'm almost caught up with my stitchery projects, and then onto the laundry basket full of flimsys. Thank goodness I bought batting last week. I am hoping for rain all week so I can stay in and quilt!! LOL.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Charm Party Tote

I finally finished my Charm Party Tote a couple of days ago. You might remember that I showed the one I made for Thing One a couple of weeks ago. Mine is made with a packet of Allspice Tapestry charms. I definitely see more of this tote in my future. I do think that the next time I will add a magnetic snap closure and perhaps I will make it one row of squares longer. A Halloween one might be on the to do list soon if I can find a set of cute charm squares I like.

And, YIKES. I had to fill my gas tank yesterday. For the first time ever, I paid over $4. per gallon. I guess I should take the hint and just stay home and play with my stash.
I do have a lot of things to post about, but I'm short on time today. Hopefully I'll be able to check in a couple more times to share before the weekend (busy busy) gets here.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Just testing this signature doohickey. If it works, THANKS TANYA! (yahoo! It worked!)

Monday, May 19, 2008

And the winner is.....

Today I did the drawing for my 2nd bloggiversary giveaway. Thank you to everyone who has left me a is nice to know that someone out there is reading my ramblings and looking at my pictures. I got quite a lot of comments, it is funny how much a giveaway brings out the lurkers!! I'll never get 14,000 comments like Ree recently had on one of her giveways, but then again, I don't have almost 2000 bloglines subscribers, the interesting life and talent for photography that she has!

Onto the results. I picked one winner, who will recieve the goodies I have been collecting and a little something that I am making. To see what she gets, you'll have to come back in a few days so I have time to finish making and get a photo.

Are you wondering who I am sending to???

Is the suspense getting to you yet???

LOL. The winner is:

This is a new blog that I haven't seen before, but you should check it outhere Don't blink though, because you might miss her...she seems to be a very very busy woman!! She is way ahead of me on the Orange Crush Quilt, she is making a beautiful throw rug from some retro fabric and she is running for town clerk!


And to those of you that didn't win...stay tuned. I'm in the middle of making lots of goodies and might be randomly sending things out in the mail!!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

How to irritate the cashier at Joann Fabrics

I really didn't MEAN to irritate the clerk and the customers behind me in the line today, but I did. And for that I'm sorry, not very sorry, but a little bit.

How did I irritate all those people? I waited in line for my turn, then I placed this on the counter to be rung up.

I never really thought about the fact that the cashier can't just rung up 80 X 29 cents. No, each individual skein of floss needs to be scanned separately because they inventory the colors based on what gets scanned. Sigh. So I was there for quite a long time waiting for it all the be scanned. By the time all the stuff printed out, I had a receipt that was 42 inches long!

I also bought these fabrics. I always seem to be so low on the number of lights in my stash, so I decided to buy a few more while I happened to be in the store. So that is 7 more yards added to the stash. The black I need for a kit I'm cutting myself.

Thursday, my favorite day of the week.

Ah....Thursday. It is my favorite day of the week! I look forward to Thursdays all week long. Why Thursday? Well because Thursday is my day off! Even us busy Mom's who don't have a job outside the home deserve a day off, and I make sure I get one!

On most every Thursday, my wonderful mother comes to my house and spends the day with Thing One and Thing Two. She plays with them, makes them lunch, reads to them, acts sillier than you would believe (how many Grama's cartwheel across the yard?), etc. Mostly, she makes sure I get little space and peace and quiet from the kids.

Some days I just run errands because I can do them a lot faster without the children in tow. Other days, I just take a nap and then go out to lunch alone. I do try to get into the sewing room for at least a while on Thursday, but usually I prefer t get out of the house.

Today, I went to the new Goodwill shop which recently opened here in town. I like going to the thrift shops, but I rarely find things that I think are in good condition at a reasonable price. We certainly don't get those 99cent per pound deals like Bonnie always talks about in her area. This trip, I did have some luck finding a few good things to bring home.

Firstly, I bought an iron. I am SO happy about this. As I have mentioned before, I am tough on irons and I hate the ones that have the auto shut off. For $2.99 I got this OLD heavy iron. I just tried it out, and it gets very hot and doesn't leak. YAY!!! I am thrilled!

I found 4 pillowcases, 2 for 99 cents each, 2 for 50 cents each. Those are going to eventually become tote bags for the grocery store. I also bought 7 men's shirts. Today the white tag items were 50% off, so the shirts I bought cost only $2.00 each. I can live with that price, and the ones I bought are nice 100% cotton light color plaids. I have to start stockpiling some for when Bonnie's book gets published in the fall!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Contemplating another project

A couple of weeks ago, Thing One and DH went to the local quilt shop and picked out a gift for me...two yards of Lucky Cat fabric and a set of 9 little batik squares with Lucky Cat on them. Ever since then, they've been asking me almost every day what am I goin to do with them, and have I started yet? Geesh, don't they understand that these things have to marinate for a while?

So I've been thinking and thinking about what to do. Last night, while I was sleeping an idea came to me. Obviously, I'm not the only quilter that has these dreams about how to solve a problem in a project or who dreams up quilt designs. Just today, Nines mentioned the same thing!

Anyway, last night, I dreamed of the batik panels as the larger square in a Warm Wishes Quilt. That could work with the all over pattern in the other large part of the alternate block and maybe a cream and a green in the other places.

But then I was looking at some pictures I took on my recent retreat, and I saw this idea, which could also work

So great, I had no ideas, now I've got two. But wait! Then I saw
this post on Norma's blog today. Now I am in a quandry...I don't know which of these ideas I like the best. I guess I need to go back to sleep and think about it some more. And then tomorrow I'll ask Thing One for her opinion, which I always trust when it comes to design decisions.

I wonder how long it will be before I start this project? Did you notice that I'm starting lots but not actually finishing things? Grrr................

Mother's Day

I just realized that I never posted about Mother's Day. First, let me state that I'm not a huge fan of the "Hallmark Holidays", but whatever. I'll take a day of the Things and the DH treating me nicely. Mostly on Mother's Day, I'd like some peace and quiet. LOL.

This year, Mother's Day was very interesting and different. Thing One has never been all that affectionate with me. She's definitely Daddy's girl and just tolerates me. She's never been big on the Mother's Day gig and thats okay with me.
However, Thing Two is just getting to that point where he likes to cut and paste, draw with markers, spell his name, etc. And he DOES love Mommy like you'd never believe. So he spend almost two weeks working on making things with his pile of construction paper and every time I asked what he was doing, I was not allowed to find out. LOL.

Well, on Mother's Day he told me had "lotsa presents and cards" for me. Ya think?
He brought them into me in this wheelbarrow! Most of them said WOW MOM an hi name on them.
He also made me this hat, which I had to bobby pin to my head and wear all day. Apparently, I'm supposed to save it and wear it again on Valentines Day. Isn't that sweet?

He also made me a magic trick. Its an empty soda bottle with tape over the top. Apparently, I'm supposed to try to fill it with water and get tricked because the tape makes filling it impossible!

Thing One made a coupon book. There are coupons for "I'll bring you a glass of water", "I'll watch brother for one hour for free", "Good for feeding the cat dry food" "I will feed the cat one can of wet food" and "I will massage your feet". Not bad. Too bad there was no coupne for her cleaning her room.

I also got a nice refrigerator magnet, a gift certificate for the LQS, and they took me out to Olive Garden on Saturday afternoon. Oh, and they made me breakfast in bed on Mother's Day....English muffins and Coffee. Unfortunately, them cleaning the mess in the kitchen was not part of the gift.

Overall, a nice day, in spite of me needing to wear the hat.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Oh my, I almost forgot!!!

On May 17th, I will be celebrating my 2nd anniversary as a blogger!!! When I started out, I had absolutely NO idea what I was doing. Now, I still have almost no idea what I am doing, but I can manage to post pictures, share what I am working on, link to other blogs, etc. I have to say this whole blog thing is SO MUCH FUN!!! The biggest problem is that you all give me too many ideas and I want to try them all and somehow never manage to finish half of what I start!

So, to celebrate, I'm going to have a giveaway. I'm not exactly sure what I'm giving yet, but I do have a few things gathered, and I'll make a little something to go along with them. The things I've gathered have a Mary Englebreit theme going on.

To be entered in the drawing, leave a comment on any post between NOW (11am Tuesday 5/13/08) and next Monday night. I'll pick a name on Monday night.

Thanks for commenting, and thanks for reading my blog!!!


After admiring the stitcheries made by many of our Australian and European bloggers, I've jumped on the bandwagon! I've always loved red work and done a bit of it in the past, but it never turned into finished projects. All that red was a little to much for me perhaps. I especially like the multi-color stitcheries that I've been seeing around blog land and in some of the newer books I've purchased or received as gifts. Besides that, I spend a lot of time sitting at the dance studio with nothing to do. A little stitching would cure that!

I've recently dug out my beautiful box of embroidery flosses, leftover from my pre-quilting life as a cross stitcher. Thing One is fascinated by this box full of color. I know she is thinking about friendship bracelets, but I'm not sharing!

I started working on Bea's Block of the Month in Blue. So far I've finished the first two blocks, and I'm trying to catch up with the rest.

I also recently made the needle book from Cinderberry Stitches, which I posted on my blog last week. Making this piece was my first try with using multiple colors, and also my first try using back stitch instead of stem stitch. I think I actually like the back stitch better.

Then I started making the Noah's Ark Block of the Month stitchery from Lynette Anderson. So far I've got two blocks finished. Boy are they tiny!! But so cute! Hmmm...I see I missed a cross stich in the grass, I need to go back and fix that!

And now, I've signed up to participate in a Cyber Stitch-Along sponsored by
Mrs. Martin's Quilt Shop in Australia. It sounds like it will be so much fun, who else is playing???

Of course working on these stitcheries, I've been using my box of floss, and I would have thought that I had enough to stitch up just about anything, but guess what? I needed to buy MORE colors! LOL. So now I'm a little bit obsessed (or possessed, perhaps?) and I'm on a mission...I've decided that to make stitching easier, I need ALL the DMC colors! LOL. I've got a list in my purse of the colors I have and I'm going to go thru the craft stores and buy more, more, more until I have all the colors. Then I'll be able to stitch anything I want! Well, as far as obsessions go, at least this one won't break the bank! 29 or 39 cents per skein isn't so bad. Much cheaper than those fat quarters, books, patterns and rulers that I'm usually obsessed with!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Tote Bag

I recently made 3 tote bags like this. Two were passed along to the quilt guild, which is donating them to an area hospital for chemotherapy patients. Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures of those bags before they left my house. This one I am keeping for myself, it will serve nicely as a grocery bag, IF I can ever remember to actually bring it to the store.

This was a free pattern from Lazy Girl Designs.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008


Last night I went to the meeting of the other guild I belong to. One of the members of my regular guild and my non-guild was the speaker, and I am SO glad that I managed to get to this meeting. Joann is a former Latin and Greek Teacher and now she is a scrap quilter extraordinaire! I have not been able to take one of her classes yet, but now I know that I have to make an extra effort. Her presentation was about 7 basic shapes you can easily cut from 2 1/2" strips to make fabulous quilts. Those shapes are: Squares, rectangles, half rectangle triangles (with tri-recs), quarter square triangles(with companion angle), rhombus (60 degree angles and equal length sides), rhomboid (45 degree angles), and of course half square triangles. She showed at least one or two quilts made from each shape. Now my head is absolutely swimming with ideas. I'm not going to show all the quilts to you today, but if I make one of them I'll show hers and mine. I will show you one of them right now....This quilt is called Zig Zag Zorum Scraps Galorum. It might inspire me to dig out my tri-Recs ruler and give it a whirl.

Remember when I mentioned Bonnie's Pineapple Blossom Quilt that I pieced over the weeend? I got a picture of it this morning. It still needs borders, but I've got the fabric ready to go for will have a 5" border of black with dragonflies on it. Hopefully I can get the border on and the quilting done in the next few days. This is a quilt that will be FOR ME. I had cut out enough strips and squares to make 35 blocks, but as you can see, the quilt is 20 blocks and plenty big enough for on the couch. I guess maybe I'll make another one, or see if those strips will work in another of Bonnie's projects . We'll have to wait and see what happens!

The oaks are really blooming like crazy here in CT, and my yard is full of huge oak trees. Thing Two is suffering tremendously as a result. See how puffy and bloodshot his eyes are? This is with allergy medications. Great, huh?

Monday, May 05, 2008

Retreat Results

As I mentioned, this past weekend was an annual retreat that my non-guild does. This is the second year that I have been fortunte enough to attend. Basically, we go to Vermont and stay in a lovely inn and have a class at the quilt shop next door. Our class is from 9-4 on Saturday and 9-12 on Sunday, but we arrive on Friday and get to stay at the shop sewing as late as we want and again on Saturday we can stay as long as we want too. Sunday we leave sometime mid-afternoon. This year we did a woven type crib quilt class on Saturday and a reversible table runner class on Sunday (more about those later, or tomorrow). I chose not to participate in the class -- instead I just sewed on my own projects. I made a top from Bonne'swebsite, Pineapple Blossom. I'll share that later because I don't have a picture of the completed top yet. I also finished several other projects that I have been working on here for a while.

First, the needlecase from Cinderberry Stitches:

The Charm Party Tote for Thing One. She picked these fabrics when we were in Minnesota last summer. I need to finish my bag from this pattern. I'm using Allspice Tapestry for mine. Maybe later this week.

This bag pattern is from the book A Passion For Patchwork. I'm definitely going to make more of these!

Another pillow for my niece. I make her a new one nearly every month.

I also worked on my Pay It Forward Gifts. At least two of them will be in the mail in the next few days. The third on by next week! Yay!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Doll Quilt Swap

Well I found my husbands camera (which is really lousy compared to my camera), so I can share a picture of my doll quilt. It will be on its way to its ne home this afernoon. It isn't going very far, so I imagine that its new owner will have it by Saturday.