Thursday, November 27, 2014

thankful

Gratitude is something I've always embraced. In fact, it was my word of the year back in 2012, but it's something I practice every day. Thanksgiving seems to be a good day to reflect on all that I have to be thankful for. Here goes!

Family I'm so so thankful for my awesome hubby of more than 27 years, for his constant support, kindness and love. Thankful for our three amazing kiddos, and the fact that they all care so much for each other. For my parents who have always been so good to us and for extended family as well.

Friends Near and far! For my friends here in Texas who I craft with, eat with, laugh and cry with! For friends far away who always stay connected. For internet friends, some of whom I will never meet in real life but who impact me every day!

Work this year I am thankful for the opportunity to work with happy, kind, creative people, allowing me to be in my happy place!

Church I'm also thankful for First Presbyterian Church of Allen, TX where I learn and grow and connect with Christian friends and find opportunities to serve. I am thankful for my pastor/friend who is so good at changing hats whenever I need her to!

Little things like fabric, and diet pepsi, music, quilt guilds, buttons and rick rack, polka dots, all things aqua, oh, and pumpkin pie (the gluten free kind).

Mostly, I'm so thankful for a God who provides for me and my family and always loves me.

Happy Thanksgiving friends!


Sunday, November 16, 2014

here I am! and I made some headbands

Oh, Hi! Sorry about that, I really didn't mean to go missing on you. I've been off wandering the country again. Currently in Phoenix where my son had his wisdom teeth removed on Friday. I won't bless you with a picture, he probably wouldn't appreciate that! Just a little puffy, but all went well and he is recovering without a hitch. He just needed his mom here for moral support (and scrambled eggs.)

Before I left I tried out this tutorial that Ally had sent me. She loves soft, stretchy headbands and it looked easy enough so I decided to make a few......

They were super easy and super fun to make! I even tried one on and it didn't look horrible. Ally even said I looked "cute". Highest form of flattery coming from an 18 year old to her mom! Of course I really have no need for a headband with my super short hair that never threatens to fall in my eyes, but I just might wear one of these as a fashion statement someday. What do you think?

I quickly mailed some off to my girls and Miss Ally sent me this adorable selfie...
 Looks much cuter on her and actually serves a purpose! These would make quick and fun Christmas gifts I think! Are you making any gifts this year?


Thursday, November 6, 2014

scrap basket swap

I wanted to share something fun we did at our McKinney Modern Quilt guild meeting. Last month, members brought a gallon sized ziploc bag filled with their favorite scraps from their stash. As you can imagine, my bag was stuffed full of red & aqua with some gray tossed in for good measure. We swapped our bags, and the recipient of the bag had a month to create a fabric basket and fill it with goodies. Then, this past Tuesday, we presented the baskets back to their original owners. You should have seen all of the beautiful baskets! Everyone had a great time with this.

Here's the basket I made for Allyson from her scraps:
I filled it up with some chocolate, boxes of tea, fat quarters from The City Quilter in NYC and a little scrabble tile sign I made for her quilting space....
 She seemed to really like it! I received this beauty from Leigh Ann:

I had been hoarding that cute chair fabric forever & had no idea what to do with it! Isn't it perfect in this basket? Leigh Ann filled my basket with treats, a cute stiletto ribbon and lotion. Thank you Leigh Ann! It's wonderful.

It's also not lost on me that I gave to Allyson (which is my youngest daughter's name! Even spelled the same) and received from Leigh Ann (my oldest daughter's name!). So cool!

Has your guild done any neat swaps that I need to know about? We're always looking for new ideas!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

two toned binding tutorial

Today is my friend Maria's birthday. Maria and I have grown to be wonderful friends over the years thanks to blogland, even though she lives halfway around the world and we have never met in person. She has always sent me lovely gifts for my birthdays and Christmases, always has kind things to say at the end of my blog posts and often reaches out to me in email just to check on me and my family. I love you Maria! Happy Birthday!

This year for our birthdays, Maria and I decided to swap tablerunners. Way back in February, she sent me my beautiful runner which I love to keep out on my table. I had fun creating a tablerunner to send off to Maria for her birthday.....













The arrows were fun to make. I used this tutorial . The thing I really had fun with is the two toned binding. I thought I'd give you a quick tutorial so you can do it too! Ready?

First, you need to cut strips of your two colors, and stitch them together lengthwise just like you would do to make regular binding. Your main color (gray here) should be 1 3/8 inches wide x the distance around your project + 10-12 inches. The accent color (bright pink here) should be 1 5/8 inches wide x the distance around your project = 10-12 inches. Now sew your two strips together along the length like this....


fold it in half and press.

see how that little bit of pink peaks around on the gray side? cool huh? Now you want to machine stitch your binding onto the BACK of your tablerunner (or quilt, or whatever you are binding!). Make sure you have it wrong side up, with only the accent color showing. I won't give you all of the steps for this part, there are tons of great binding tutorials online, but sew it on just like you would any other binding, joining your ends the way you normally would.

now bring your binding around do the front. I love to use wonder clips for this part and then hand stitch it down neatly on the front. You might want to machine stitch in in the ditch between the two colors on the binding.... it's really up to you!
I just love the way this finishes up, looking like piping around the edge but so much easier to do! Let me know if you try it out!


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

fall

I've got to tell you, one thing I miss living in Dallas is fall. Typically, sometime before Thanksgiving, the leaves on the trees turn brown and drift to the ground. Just like that, BAM, fall has come and gone. One day it's 80 and the next day it's 45. What happened to fall??? I was so happy to experience true fall while I was in Asheville last week.



this is the quilt garden at the Asheville arboretum. Do you see the flying geese?
 Of course, that nasty season that follows fall? You know, the one that starts with a W? I don't miss that one at all!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Kathie's studio

Wow, I really disappeared on you, didn't I? A little unintentional blog break I'm afraid! I did have a great excuse last week. I went to visit my friend Kathie in Asheville, NC. We hadn't seen each other in years but it felt like no time had passed at all. She was a gracious hostess and we had a wonderful time. Today I thought I'd give you a peek into Kathie's awesome home studio. 
This first corner would be a spot where I could function well, the sewing/ironing station. 
But after that, I'm lost! Kathie is a weaver. She has been a weaver for as long as I've known her (much longer really!) and I have always admired her beautiful work. Here are two of her gorgeous looms....

 While I was there, Kathie had her looms set to weave some of her fabulous "towel towels" as she was being filmed for a video for the website This Land, which will be featuring some of her towels soon. I'm so happy to have one of her towel towels in my kitchen!

 Look at all of those beautiful colors of yarn waiting to be made into wonderful things!
 Kathie has threatened to put me to work if (WHEN!) I visit again. I'd be perfectly willing! Thanks for the great visit my friend!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Sew Sweetness embroidery pattern

I'm excited to share a project I got to work on this summer for Sara Lawson of Sew Sweetness. Sara put a call out on Instagram for testers for her new embroidery pattern, Fantasia. Since I love to do embroidery I jumped on the opportunity. I ended up making this mini quilt using one of her floral motifs....


It was such a fun project for m and I just loved the floral motif that was included in her pattern. I also tried out two tone binding on this project which was new to me. I've used it again & will write up a tutorial for it when I am able to share the project I perfected it on (more secrets. I know, I know).

Thanks for the opportunity to test for you Sara! I enjoyed it.