Tuesday, May 31, 2011

New Tool in the Shed--Oh How I LOVE My New Seam Ripper

Why does this blog title sound like a Veggie Tales song title??  Maybe it's just me :o)

I am in LOVE with all things Gingher...yes I am a Gingher girl!  They are just the best cutting tools ever made.  The only drawback is how stinkin' expensive they are....Sheesh!  You would think they were made out of silver or something!  Anyway, a couple years ago, a quilting class I taught gave me the scissors and rotary cutter.  You never saw a happier lady in your whole life!  I still "slum it" with my Fiskars for everyday crafts, but NOTHING beats my Ginghers  :o)

Imagine my absolute DELIGHT when I went to Joann's looking for more of Denyse Schmidt's Picnic and Fairgrounds fabric (I almost have the complete set!!) and came across this beauty on clearance!! Look at the pattern...swoon! It was 55% off and went straight into my cart.  My daughter Emma looked at it and then looked at me like I was on drugs....I tried to explain this was like getting an American Girl doll half off...she understood that one :o)  She just got her very first American Girl doll for her birthday this year...but that's another story...


Kindergarten Graduation

My younger daughter Dayna graduated from Kindergarten on Friday night.  She has been working so hard on her program part and she did an awesome job.  She was a nurse for the "play" portion and remembered all her lines.  Then they sang a song about a Mother's Gentle Love...and looked at me and smiled the whole time.  What did I do??  Cried like a baby.  Once they called her name to accept her certificate, another mother leaned over to me and said, "Well, mama, this is our last time."  What did I do again??  Cry like a baby...partly because I am SO proud of her, but mainly because she is my baby and she's growing up.  This year has been about growing pains for me, not so much for her.  I hope you enjoy the pictures :o)

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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Super Excited!!!

Up until about 8 months ago, I had NEVER broken anything in my body...which is pretty much a miracle since I am a world class clutz and always have been!!  It's ridiculous how clumsy I am sometimes! I got my broken foot from falling down my stairs at home...nothing glamorous at all about it.  Long story short, I had to have a cast on the past 6 weeks after surgery to repair a break in my heel bone (after 6 1/2 months of walking around with it broken).  I got a purple cast so at least I could match my toes...is that a girl thing or what?!?!  So, the exciting thing about today???

I'M GETTING MY CAST OFF!!!!!







After surgery they don't really wash off the orange-y looking stuff they slather on you, so my toes have been wearing this wonderful orange hue.  I have tried to baby-wipe them, but I think it has to just wear off.  Anyway, I am glad to get this thing off so I can walk again without crutches, wash my foot with SOAP AND WATER, wear cushy socks on BOTH feet, can scratch my ankle without the use of a dowel rod, and can SHAVE MY LEG again....can I get a hallelujah!!!!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Thoughts on Motherhood

Not a day goes by that I don't absolutely LOVE being a mom!  That being said, being a mom has had its challenges.  I don't really miss the diapers and bottles and baby baths as much as I used to (although I would be more than happy to go that road again!).  I have to say those challenges were a lot less life-altering than those I see now with my girls in elementary school.  Now the struggles I see my girls go thru each day are more life-altering.  I believe each day they are growing and learning, but sometimes it's the hard way.

It's amazing to me that motherhood can leave you feeling 100% rewarded and 100% inadequate and frustrated all at the same time.  My 8 year old is experiencing growing pains right now, wanting to be thought of as much older, but still acting so much younger.  She is super tall for her age and feels very awkward.  Very self-conscious, but not enough to make her not throw a fit in public.  She likes a little boy at school who is about head and shoulders shorter than she is, but she thinks he is so cute because of the way he spikes his hair....oh my, so cute!  She wrote me a note on Mother's Day that said, "Dear Mom, I like ****.  Don't tell Dad. Love, Emma" She eventually told him later that day, which I knew she would.  She is both embarrassed, but also wants to talk about it.  She truly is a walking contradiction.  Every time I think I know how to handle the challenges she throws my way, I get a huge curve ball and realize just how clueless I really am!!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Single Girl Quilt-Part 2--Cutting Fabrics and Piecing

Even though I am only making a baby-sized version of the SGQ, it still took me 2 HOURS to cut out all the pieces! My daughter Dayna helped me pick out the 31 fabrics and then handed me one after another as I cut them out.  She was so cute!  We watched 8 episodes of Phineas and Ferb while I was cutting....that show cracks me up!  I absolutely LOVE the sister Candace!

And while cartoons are not my show of choice while I work, I LOVE having my girls in the same room with me when I am working on a project. They love to drive me crazy as they get waaaayyy too close to the iron, or are playing around under the cutting table.  Eek!

So, here is what I have so far of my SGQ!  I am loving the fabrics, how random they are but seem to go together.  I am thinking that I may have sewn my pieces with too small of a seam allowance...I used a scant 1/4" but am thinking it should have been a true 1/4".  So, poo, I have to go back and sew them tighter so that my other pieces will fit nicely.

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Another first is that I am ALSO thinking about SPRAY BASTING this quilt together as I have recently heard some wonderful things about it!  It sure beats pinning for an hour on hands and knees on the hard floor of my kitchen!!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Vintage Linens

I recently purchased some vintage linen FQs from sosovintage on Etsy.  These prints SO remind me of my grandma who passed away when I was in high school and my great aunt still living in southern California.  I have so many wonderful memories of my grandma.  She was a unique lady and I loved her so much.  And my great aunt is still such an important person in my life. Anyway, I tend to be a BIT nostalgic, so I can't wait to make a quilt out of these vintage beauties!!

After I got these in the mail...I just had to order a few more...eek!  There goes my fabric diet!  I NEEDED some more variety in the colors, right??  At least that is what I told myself :o)

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I am thinking of this pattern by the Quilted Fish.  It reminds me of the quilt that Jane Austen made and I LOVE all things Jane Austen!  I don't think my border will look like hers, but I am going to be working with a whole lot of bias with those diamonds...mercy.  The only thing I really know about bias is that it can go very wrong VERY fast, so I think I will be slow sewing on this one.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Etsy Treasury--Land I Love

I love Etsy!!  I have several friends who sell their creations on Etsy but one thing I really love is that you can connect with so many great people all over the world.  One great feature is that you can create a treasury list of items in a particular theme.  It's so nice to be included in these treasuries!  One of my headbands was included today :o)

Sweet and Sassy Rolled Rosettes Headband--Red White and Blue--on Navy Skinny Elastic Headband--Newborn thru Adult Sizes Available--Perfect Photography Prop

Head on over and take a look at "Land that I Love" :o)  I am loving that Captain America purse....that's the comic geek in me!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Neptune Quilt--Blogger's Quilt Festival

So, I decided to get with the program and enter my quilt into the Bloggers' Quilt Festival.  So many beautiful quilts have been featured so far!

Amy's Creative Side

I think this is my favorite quilt I have made so far.  I used a quilt pattern called "Jewel Box" and used 4 charm packs and some yardage.  Being from California, my heart is at the ocean.  The Neptune fabric line was the ideal choice for the fabrics in this quilt.  Everything about it, the fabric design, color pallate, pattern fit so well together.  At first, I made this quilt for myself.  I find that every time I gift a quilt, it is part of me that goes with it.  I especially feel that way about this quilt.  I ended up giving this to my mom for Christmas.  My mom is dear to my heart and we have spent many years apart.  I felt that this was a way for me to still be with her, even though we're 3000 miles away.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Quilting--My Therapy

Warning:  Very personal post below :o)

I would consider myself to be a naturally happy, positive person.  I've always tried to see life for what it can be instead of what it is sometimes.  When I had my first child, I tail-spinned into depression like I've never known before.  I cried all the time, not just from hormones.  I had severe anxiety whenever my husband went to work in the morning...I cried every morning.  I had no desire to leave the house, much less get out of my pj's for the day.  I loved my little girl, but I was on the edge of disaster.  I think the only thing that kept me from drastic measures was my church, my family, and my faith.  It got better, but was so easy to lapse back.  It was in this time I taught myself how to quilt.  It was my therapy.  It kept my mind busy and off my struggle.  With each new project, I got better.  Creating something beautiful had a healing affect on me...and I couldn't get enough of it.  Most of the quilts I have made have gone to others...I think I have only kept 3 of the 50-ish I have made.  I just wanted to make them, to keep busy.

After the birth of my second child, the depression returned.  Thankfully, this baby was easier, so the depths I reached weren't as deep, but this time they never left.  Varieties of emotions swept like waves....failure, guilt, inadequacies, isolation, shame for feeling all those things when God had blessed our family so much.  I struggled just to keep myself going to work and church.  Four months later, my husband was diagnosed with a brain tumor and required surgery within 2 weeks.  He did well with the surgery, and his recovery was going well but I was tail-spinning again.  I was ashamed most of all.  I couldn't talk to anyone because I was afraid of being dismissed.  My husband was so patient, too.  But I had trouble even talking to him about the depths I was reaching.  I felt most alone in a room full of people.

It was at this point, I decided to get medical help, without shame.  I couldn't face the demons on my own anymore. My husband has had 2 more brain tumors/surgeries since then and those were some difficult days.  He is well now, but I always expect each MRI to bring bad news of another tumor, another surgery, more radiation.  Sometimes, I feel as if we're living on borrowed time, just waiting.

It's 5 years later, and I still struggle, but it's getting better.  I still have my days that every ounce of determination can't get me out of bed for reasons I cannot express.  My faith in Jesus, my church, my dear family, and wonderful friends have been so supportive through my struggles.  And quilting is still my therapy.  It is a way for me to focus my attention off my depression.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Rolled Rosettes

I LOVE making these rosette flowers!!  You can use any fabric and embellish however you like and they are just  too cute! I am personally not real big on the frayed look, so I make them a little different from those made all over the web. I made up a bunch for my niece and listed them in my etsy shop as well.

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I used Amy Bulter's Lotus fabric for this rosette. And you can order freshwater pearls in just about any color...these are baby blue.

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LOVE purple!!

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Because every girl needs PINK!

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I thought this one was cute for a birthday..the polka dots remind me of cupcake sprinkes :o)  I can't wait to send these (and a few more, lol!) to my super adorable niece!

Single Girl Quilt-Part 1--Cutting Templates

First of all, let me say one thing.  This project is not for the weak-hearted!  I am glad I decided to start with a baby quilt because if I had to cut out the pieces needed for a queen, I would have been committed.

A couple of things I'd like to share about templates.  I am not sure where I read this, but you can use clear plastic dividers from Staples, Office Max, or Wal-Mart for your template pieces.  You need 31 pieces for the rings, and I think I only used 5 sheets total.  All 31 templates for only $3.50 ish!

Second, don't trace around your template with a marker, even though it's easier.  This will make your template pieces about 1/4" TOO BIG all the way around and then your seam allowance will be all out of whack when you go to sew them together!  Use a pen and trace directly on the lines!!

I cut out the ring pieces for my niece Julia's Single Girl Quilt and was amazed by how little fabric is actually needed!  I went to my stash with a laundry basket and Dayna helped me pick out 31 different fabrics for the rings.  We FILLED the basket, but only needed 4 small pieces from each print...ugh.  Of course, if I were making a larger quilt, I would use more, but not that much more!  This is not a stash-busting quilt, that's for sure!

It took me a couple of hours to trace and hand-cut each piece, oy!  Truth be told, there is something relaxing about hand-cutting pieces...I just hope they all come together correctly!

So, now to tackle Part 2...sewing the rings together!!  For those of you who have already done this, please feel free to leave me a tip of something you learned along the way!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Homemade Hairbow Stiffener

Looking for a way to prevent your hairbows from losing their shape?  Today I am going to share with you how to make your own hairbow stiffener.

You will need 2 ingredients for this project:  Sta-Flo liquid starch and water.  Mix equal parts of each into a spray bottle.  Spray your bows generously, and use a hairdryer on the hottest setting to blow dry your bows.  The heat reacts with the starch to create a stiff bow!  If you like your bows even stiffer, increase your starch and decrease your water when mixing together, and vice versa.



This is great for ribbon that is naturally soft and saggy...some of the printed grosgrain ribbon I have bought has been this way!  Spray those puppies and they will retain their shape longer.  Another nice thing about this is that you can re-spray as needed and you will not ruin your ribbon.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I Drank the Kool-Aid...

I truly have the best husband on the planet...I know everyone says that, but I believe it!  Mother's Day is always a bit of a tough holiday for me.  I love my mom, but don't get to see her very often and I always feel a bit of a void.  This year, my husband knows I have been wanting some new fabric, so he got me a $100 gift certificate for fabric.com!!  He has been taking the best care of me since my foot surgery.  I have 2 weeks left of getting around on crutches, THANK GOD!!!  I am dying on these stupid things!  At the end of the day, I drop into my recliner and just fall asleep.  He has been doing laundry, dishes, vacuuming, etc. He has been awesome!!

So for my fabric!!!  I got my notification from fabric.com today that my fabric is on its way and I am so excited.  I ordered the Aviary 2 collection from Joel Dewberry, in addition to some other fun prints from Jennifer Paganelli.  As if that wasn't enough for Mother's Day, my husband took me to Joann's last night...the first time I have been out shopping in over a month....and I was able to buy a ton of the new Denyse Schmidt fabric Picnic and Fairgrounds!!  I got 13 of the 22 prints, but I couldn't be happier with the ones I got!  I love her fabric lines and wish with the rest of blogland that Flea Market Fancy would get reprinted  *sigh*  I only lasted about 45 minutes in the store before collapsing at the pattern tables needing to rest before paying for my goodies.  Today, I am wiped out!

ALSO, I cut out a baby sized Single Girl Quilt for my niece Julia....cannot wait to get that started!!  Maybe tonight, after my nap :o)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Tutorials--How to Make a Boutique Hairbow

Here is my first attempt at a video tutorial!  Hope it is helpful to you and easy to follow :o) 

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Saturday, May 7, 2011

Giveaway at Needles and Lemons

No mistake the newest line of fabric that is flying off the shelves is Denyse Schmidt's Picnic and Fairgrounds available at Joann's!!  Judith at Needles and Lemons is hosting an awesome giveaway for a FQ set of this beautiful fabric...head on over and enter to win!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

How to Fix Headbands that Slip

My girls LOVE headbands....they really do!  It is the first thing that goes on their heads each and every day, whether they match or not.  Headbands are great, but a lot of times they slide because of the way our hair grows. Growth patterns on the sides of the head cause the hair to fall forward.  Hence, needing a headband to hold it all back!

Unless you use a metal headband or headbands that pinch behind the ears, you likely have a problem with slippy headbands as well.  So, how do you fix this problem?  There are a couple of solutions I would like to share here!

One way to fix this is to apply the rough side of a velcro strip (cut to size) to the underside of your headband.  You need to apply a small amount of a strong adhesive such as E6000 that you can buy at any craft store, or something similar.  You can apply with a Q-tip to both the headband and the strip, and hold them together until the bond is secure.  Hot glue seems ideal, but will peel off plastic.



Another solution is something I found a few months back on Etsy and I LOVE them!  I found them at Accessory Place on Etsy and bought several sizes...they are fabulous and inexpensive.  I love this seller, too...she is super fast and has excellent products and customer service.

They have an adhesive side, but that isn't really strong enough to stick well...use the E6000 again to make sure it sticks for good!

10 pcs of 4mm X 175mm No Ouch(Soft) and No Slip Flexible Rubber Teeth Strip W/ Adhesive Backing in Black and White for Headband Making

I hope this has helped you...just a tip I thought I would share today!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Late to the Game--Single Girl Quilt Along

So, I have been on a quilting hiatus for a while...haven't completed one in about a year.  Most of the reason is due to my etsy shop keeping my free time so busy (which I am very thankful for, btw!)...but I am ready to start putting the things I REALLY love back into my life again.  There has been a revolution sweeping the quilty blogging community lately, namely the Single Girl Quilt Along.  I contemplated buying this pattern last summer, but was a little daunted by just how many pieces there were to cut out (ONE BY ONE, without a rotary cutter no less!!) and the time it would take to put the whole thing together.  I still have a Double Wedding Ring quilt all cut out and ready to piece that I literally cut out 4 years ago!!  However, seeing so many dive in and what great quilts have come about, I am ready to take the plunge myself!  So I ordered my pattern tonight from blueisbleu on etsy and cannot wait to get it started!


I already have fabric laid aside...Denyse Schmidt's Katie Jump Rope line I bought a year or so ago. Although I am still a little nervous about all the pieces and the fact that it just might take me FOREVER to finish, I am very excited about the challenge.  Plus I love the inspiration I have seen of so many other people who have take the challenge as well.  PLUS all the wonderful tips and techniques others have used and shared give me a sense of comfort if I royally screw it up :o) 

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