Friday, December 31, 2010

Goodbye 2010!

Well I must say, 2010 turned out to be a very productive year for me! I finished at least 10 quilts that I can think of, everything from doll quilts to bed sized quilts. Here are four of my favorites: Clockwise from top left: Steve's college quilt, autumn wall quilt, Life as it Should be quilt and Welcome Little Lamb quilt.

As usual there were lots of bags made this year. Here are just some of those:Hexagon project bag, Christmas charm square bag for swap, My charm square bag and GREAT BIG bag for our quilt guild raffle quilt.

The charm square bag will be available as a pattern in my shop in the next couple of weeks! I really wanted to get it done before Christmas, but, well... you know how those things go! So that will be my first completion of 2011.

This year I also really enjoyed hand sewing with wool felt. Lots and lots of ornaments for Christmas gifts and some other fun things.....
felt flower pins, penguin tree ornament, more ornaments, felt coasters
Add to this, embroidery & crochet projects, wow. I've been really busy.
What a fun year I had! And productive now that I think about it. I enjoyed looking at what everyone else was working on this year too. Your blogs have inspired and motivated me. I have checked lots of projects off my todo list.... and added many more! But that will wait for another post. For now, I say, goodbye 2010, you've been good to me.
Happy New Year bloggy friends!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas day at ellyn's place

Today was our family Christmas day for this year. We were waiting for this girl to come home from Arizona..... We had a great day! I even cooked my first prime rib roast & it was DELICIOUS! Now I can show you what I made for Leigh Anne. I only promised it to her three years ago. Her t-shirt quilt!
Oh, & I crocheted Steve's fancy hat too. He hasn't taken it off since this morning! Here's a block that I embroidered for Leigh Anne's quilt....

Many of her t-shirts are from dance companies & competitions she attended growing up. She was surprised & happy to get her quilt today!
AND..... she wasn't the only one who was surprised! My hubby shocked me when he gave me an Ipad! Wow. I totally didn't see that one coming! So guess what I've been playing with all day? Merry Christmas friends. Now we get to spend the next three days with Leigh Anne before we send her back to school & work in the desert.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Monday, December 20, 2010


Last night the owners of all of these shoes (& a few more pair!) celebrated Christmas at our house. Everything from dainty small shoes to big boat tennis shoes..... we had the Junior and Senior high kids from church for dessert & a white elephant gift exchange at the end of their progressive dinner. What great kids they all are!
The gift exchange was hilarious.... a day old taco, Justin Beiber poster, Mrs Potato Head, to name a few of the gifts. Everyone was laughing & went home happy. Oh, & they took their shoes with them! But the bright pink ones stayed. They live here. And the black Nikes too... So glad my kids get to be part of such an awesome group!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

special mail!

Today this beautiful ornament came in the mail from my friend, Lynne. So special with our name on it & everything! Thank you Lynne! We do an ornament swap every year with the gals in an email loop I am in. I have all of the ornaments I have received from these gals over the years hanging above my sewing machine. I just can't bring myself to put them away. So that's where this one will go after Christmas too!

I've been quiet here lately because I'm working on some last minute Christmas gifts that I can't share just yet. I will tell you there was one project in my head that involved paint & modpodge & well, let's just say it didn't pan out the way I had hoped! I have never been good with a paintbrush, I don't know what made me think it would be different this time? Not so much. So, into the trash it went... & no, I didn't take any pictures. You'll just have to believe me, it was BAD!

Is everyone else still sewing madly? Please tell me I am not the only one???

Saturday, December 11, 2010

doll bed pattern review

The other day, my friend Kelly & I made a dollbed for her daughter's American Girl doll for Christmas. We had been searching for an unfinished wood bed for ages, but there were none to be found. Then I found Butterick 4538, a pattern for a bed and bedding & we decided to make it ourselves. The bed is made from foam core board! genius. Kelly said it was a bear to cut. I let her handle that job! Nice, huh?

We followed the pattern "loosely" & the bed came out terrific, very sturdy & good looking.
Kelly is working on a dust ruffle & mattress & I chose to do the quilt & pillow. The pattern has several quilt patterns in it, but you know me, I did my own thing.....

Also, the pattern had a pillow with a sham on it. Nah. We need a pillow for SLEEPING ON! Silly pattern designers. So I made a pillow and a pillowcase. I made the case the way I make big ones, using the "hot dog" method (have you done that? So easy & all finished edges!) I just scaled it down. It was tricky to flip that tiny pillowcase right side out, but I am so happy with the finished product!

It was fun to help play Santa this year! Since all my little believers have grown up (boohoo!).
All in all, a good pattern! I recommend it. Happy Saturday friends!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

welcome December!

I'm so thankful that November is over. Have you heard of "No Shave November"? Well apparently the High School boys in our town embraced it this year. Including my handsome son. He was starting to look a little bushy by the end of the month! Here's a before & after yesterday morning when he finally shaved. Ah much better! Thanks Steve.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

ornament factory....

I've been busy.
What have you been making?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

thanks Melissa!

My friend Melissa gave me this Stylish blogger Award today! Melissa has a great blog, Daily Life - Bits & Pieces, where she shares her very creative scrapbooking ideas & lots of other interesting tidbits. Check it out, I know you'll enjoy it! Thanks Melissa!
Here are the rules that come along with this award:
1)thank & link back to the person who awarded it to you (done!)
2)share 8 things about yourself
3)pay it forward to 8 bloggers you have recently discovered
4)contact those bloggers & tell them about the award.

Ok, here goes.....

8 things about me......
1) I have a college degree in accounting which came in handy for a while! But I enjoy my creative pursuits so much more.
2) I'm left handed
3) I originally thought I would be a music teacher, or a music therapist. I love to sing in the church choir.
4) I learned to sew when I was about 8 or 9 years old (that was just a few years ago!)
5) I love to do handwork, embroidery, hand sewing, handstitching binding on quilts
6) I hate peanut butter, always have.
7) I'm a city girl, love to visit big cities & always like to live near a major city
8) I have the greatest husband & 3 kids a girl could ever ask for. They make me happy every day.

So now you know more about me than you ever really cared for, right?

Here are 8 bloggers that I have been especially enjoying lately! I know, it says discovered lately, but I'm cheating! Some of these blogs I have been loving for quite a while. I award them the Stylish Blogger Award.....

Jen - Miss Punkie Pie
Gnee - Singing with Birds
Maria - Life on the Block
Jeanette - Sweet Jeanette
Lisa - The Princess and the Monkey
Jodi - Pleasant Home
Shauna - Gluten free girl and the chef
Jane - Sew Create It

Gosh I could give you a much longer list than this one! But, alas the rules say 8, so 8 it is. Thanks again Melissa!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Christmas Quilts

They took this picture of Ally & I when we dropped our quilts off at Happiness is Quilting last week..... Today the voting and bidding begins! If you are in downtown McKinney in the next few weeks, take a look around in all the shops for quilts that were entered. Ours are hanging somewhere, but I have no idea where! I'm going to need to go poke around and find them soon! I really enjoyed this project.

We are decking the halls today..... tis the season! I love unpacking the Christmas decorations every year & finding treasures that I had forgotten about. It's always fun to add new things too. This year I get to add the pretty swap quilts that Maria made for me! And the pretty winter swap quilt I got from Kate last year. Oh how I love swapping with other bloggers!

Looking forward to sharing some holiday posts with you soon! Now, back to the decorating!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Guest Blogger - Ally Z!

Today my daughter Ally has agreed to tell you about her Christmas Challenge quilt! You've all heard me talk about Ally before. I'll let her introduce herself to you....

Hello! It's Ally! my quilt is the one in the picture, It is called Gifts of Love because people give gifts when they love people. The hearts are made from the fabric we had to use and the presents are different fabrics, but some are the same. Also the presents have real ribbon on them o make them look wrapped up. The back of my quilt is the green polka dots and it has a label that I made with green and red markers. We turned them in today and they took a picture of me and mom to put in the newspaper i think.

Thanks Ally! I really love her quilt, don't you?

Now, back to the sewing room to reevaluate my list & make a plan for the coming week. I think I will continue my finish a day plan, as that really helped me accomplish a lot last week! Guessing there won't be a finish today though. Unless we count Ally's quilt! Yes! Let's do that.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wednesday finish

An early finish today as my buddies will be here for Bible study in just a few minutes & I have a busy day planned! Still plan to finish up a couple other little projects later, but they are gifts & cannot be shared here. I knew you would want to see Kelsey's quilt all done..... Kelsey is the 7 year old daughter of my friend Kelly & one of Ally's favorite little people to babysit. She was here with us on Saturday evening & was interested in what I was working on. I gave her a bag of 5 inch square scraps & she & Ally sat on the floor & laid out a quilt top which I quickly stitched up for her (while they sorted buttons!). I promised to put her name on it this week & put a "blue backing" on it, as she requested.

I had this sweet blue polka dot flannel on hand, so I used that, both to applique her name across the top squares and to back the quilt. I wanted it to be a lightweight, soft snuggle blanket for her, so I didn't put in any batting. Just a second layer of flannel (solid white). I laid the backing flannel & quilt top right sides together, with the white flannel on top, stitched all the way around leaving an opening for turning. Flipped the whole blanket right side out, pressed it & ran a row of stitching around the edge. Simple & sweet.... I think she'll be happy with her creation!
Ok, off I go. Have a happy Wednesday my friends!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Today's finish...

A finish a day continues. Today's finish, this lovely pillow... My friend Pat did this beautiful cross stitch and wanted it made into a pillow to give as a Christmas gift. She provided the red velvet for the back, gold piping and the stuffing. I made a pillow form from white broadcloth so the stuffing wouldn't poke through the finished pillow. I think it turned out very nice! I hope she is pleased.

Also working on handwork this afternoon so I can finish up another project tomorrow. My 7 year old friend Kelsey designed herself a little quilt while she was at my house the other night & I am stitching it up for her. Adding her name on top.... can't wait to show you!

Monday, November 15, 2010

a finish a day.....

There are so many projects in various stages of completion in my sewing room right now! Ihad to do something to get it all under control. So I made a list of current projects (this list does not include assorted UFOs! There will be another time to deal with those), prioritized the list & set myself a goal. I will complete one project a day for the next week at least.

So, here is Saturday's completion. My Christmas Challenge quilt, titled "Welcome Little Lamb" which will be delivered to the quilt store this week..... The striped fabric is the challenge fabric which we were required to include. I am very happy with the way this turned out! I even machine quilted it myself (difficult to see in the photo but it's not bad!).

Next up, Sunday's finish. A sweet baby afghan to be mailed to Colorado this week:
And today, the purple and black purse to go with this purse that I made last week.

And it's only lunchtime! So I actually have time to move on to my next project & maybe complete two today! That would be wonderful. Up next, a pillow from a beautiful cross stitch that a friend of mine did, for her to give as a Christmas gift. I'll be back!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

still here...

Wow, bad blogger here. Sorry I've been missing.... I actually find it hard to blog this time of year because so much of what I am working on is for Christmas gifts! & I don't want my family & friends to see what they are receiving, know what I mean? Are you working on Christmas gifts too? Won't it be fun to share them all with each other after the big day is over? I think so too.

Anyways, one thing I am sewing this week is purses for 2 sweet little girls who belong to a friend of mine. I'm pretty sure those girls won't find their way here! So here is one purse done in blue & green as requested!
The other purse will be purple & black... you'll see it soon!

I am also hard at work on a challenge quilt for my local quilt store! I'm not sure I'm allowed to show you the whole thing, as they will be hanging around the square in downtown McKinney for voting & bidding. But here's a sneak peak.... 
Do you recognize this little lamb? I borrowed him from this quilt by Annie Downs, which I made earlier in the year. He just fit the theme of my Christmas quilt, which is "Welcome Little Lamb". Here's a look at the main section of the quilt. 
I promise to show you the whole thing at some point! Meanwhile, if you're in the area, you can go looking for it in McKinney next month & maybe even vote for me? My friend Jill says she's going to bid on the quilt & win it back for me. She's a silly one, that Jill! Oh, & all of the auction money goes to a local charity. Ally is working on a challenge quilt too.

So that's what's happening at ellyn's place these days. I promise to report in more frequently! Have a happy day friends.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A new skill

It's always a good day when I learn something new! Today I took a handquilting class at my local quilt store. What fun! I didn't take any pictures at class (I was too busy!) but here are a couple of pictures of my very first try at hand quilting...

My stitches were far from perfect, but they got more & more even as the day went on:

We learned two different techniques. I will have to practice my rocking motion (and find a thimble that I like!) but I know it will get easier & faster with more practice.

I really enjoyed learning this! I have always loved handwork, since I was a little girl. I do lots of embroidery, blanket stitch applique & love hand stitching my bindings on quilts. Oh! and hand stitching wool felt:

So sad our Rangers didn't win the World Series, but they had a heck of a season! Way to go Rangers! I made this in honor of you....

Friday, October 29, 2010


Eighteen years ago today, my son Steve was born & changed my world forever. Each of my children has had a special place in our family. From day one, Steve's job has been to make us all laugh. He has big blue eyes that just sparkle when he tells a funny story.... which is just about every day!

Don't you just love this fabulous picture? My friend, Stephanie, took Steve's senior pictures a couple months ago & they reflect his personality so well! If you are a local friend, I highly recommend her as a photographer. Here's her website, so you can check out more of her wonderful work.

Happy Birthday to my awesome son. I'm so proud of everything you have accomplished already! And I can't wait to hear your next funny story!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

in my mailbox...

Yesterday, when I went to the mailbox I found a wonderful package from Australia, filled with Christmas goodies! My blogging buddy, Maria, and I had decided to do a Christmas swap. We just mailed our packages, less than two weeks ago... and guess what? They arrived at their destinations on the same day! You can read about Maria's package here.
Inside my package were wonderful goodies! A handmade card from Maria with a lovely note. A beautiful 2011 calendar with Australia Wildflowers on each page. Some chocolate bars with sweet little Aussie animals on the wrappers. A gorgeous machine embroidery bookmark and a postcard from her guild's hanging.

And this sweet angel who will hang in my sewing room all year long & remind me of Maria.....

 Isn't she pretty? I love the redwork embroidery! Oh, & last but certainly not least, this table runner which is too pretty to even describe! What beautiful work you do Maria!
It was all wrapped up in darling Santa fabric that I will use for something special... not sure what yet!
Isn't it fun when Christmas comes early! Thank you Maria! I will treasure all of my goodies for a long time (ok, not the chocolate! it will NOT last forever!)

Saturday, October 23, 2010


We interrupt your regularly scheduled craft blogging to bring you this important message.

The Texas Rangers have won the American League Championship and are going to the World Series!
This particular craft blogger is a huge baseball fan.
Sorry if I have disrupted your day, but I really thought this was important!

Monday, October 18, 2010

A new bag

I've been working on a new bag pattern! What do you think?   
It takes a charm pack (not even a whole one! In fact, one charm pack would yield enough squares for at least 2 bags), a fat quarter and 3/4 yard for the lining. The straps are long to hang on your shoulder.
 I am hoping to have the pattern ready to send to my testers by November 1 so I can have the pattern ready for all of you before Christmas! Yay! Stay tuned!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Fall Bounty

This morning, hubby & I got up early & headed downtown to the Dallas Farmers Market! We had never been before. It was a beautiful morning, a little chilly, perfect with a sweatshirt, plenty of sunshine! I wanted to take pictures down at the Market but hubby was embarassed. He didn't want to look like tourists (honestly, I didn't care! But I honored his wishes).

So I took a picture of my loot on the kitchen table after we got home!
 Look at those colors! The whole farmers market was like that, gorgeous colored fruits & veggies beautifully displayed. I can't wait to cook up some of these goodies!
 And the fall oranges & golds & greens! We had to get a pumpkin (for the kids. or at least that's the story we tell. Hubby LOVES to carve pumpkins!) and some beautiful small pumpkins & gourds for fall decorating.
There was a craft barn, huge disappointment! Most of the booths were empty or closed. And we were amazed at how few people were there shopping! I had always heard that to get the best produce, you needed to be there when the market opens. Well. There was hardly anybody there shopping! When we were leaving about an hour after we arrived, there were more cars in the lot & a few more people wandering in but not a crowd. I am wondering if it is because today is the last day of the Texas fair? Maybe.

Now that I know how to get there (not too hard) I look forward to going often!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Mailed today

This little quilt went into a box today along with the little hats I showed you earlier and some other little treasures. It was all mailed off to Colorado for a baby shower later this month. The quilt is made to fit into baby's bassinet. I hope she likes it!
Also in the mail today is a little holiday swap for a fellow blogger, which I cannot show you here... because she will see it! Have you ever visited Maria's blog Life on the Block? You really must! Especially today, as she is sharing pictures from her guild's recent quilt hanging. I wish I had been there! Looks like so much fun. Anyways, when I know she has gotten her swap box I will share some pictures with you!

Next up, another prototype for my next pattern! I think you'll like it.... I'm having fun developing it.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Homecoming dance

Ally went to her first homecoming dance tonight!
 The freshmen have their own dance & they kept telling all of them that it was "casual". When we dropped her off, we noticed that most of the boys did indeed do the casual thing.... jeans, tshirts. But the girls? Not so much! Ally fit right in in her beautiful new dress (thanks Aunt Aimee!). She had a wonderful time.

Steve took a friend to the High School dance (which was NOT casual!). He & his friends came to our house before they headed out to dinner so we could do a photo shoot. Great kids!
He has not arrived home just yet but I am sure they had a wonderful time.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Homecoming Mum

It's homecoming week here in Allen, Texas! And that means that Ally got to make her first High School mum! Freshmen at Allen wear Red White & Blue mums....
Here she is this morning, all ready for the Freshman pep rally today! Great job Ally!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Gluten free feast!

I have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of this cookbook! Last week I found it at Barnes & Noble.
You may remember that I have a great love for Shauna James Ahern's blog. Her writing style is so great. & she gets me. Just sayin. If you want to know more about my personal gluten free journey, you can read this post here. I'm not going to go on & on about that again. But the cookbook..... wow. It reads like a good love story! And the food! Yummmm

Earlier in the week I headed to Sprouts to get the ingredients for a couple of recipes. Hubby & I had decided we would make the potato puree & the pan-seared beef tenderloin with port sauce & balsamic onions. I also got the ingredients to try the bread recipe, but have not tackled that one yet.

I tried to follow the ingredient lists to a tea, but had to make a few adjustments. First off, the beef! Sprouts had some lovely beef tenderloin medallions, but to get 8 of them, which is what the recipe called for for 4 people (and we would have eaten!) would have been nearly $50! Not in the food budget. So I bought some lovely sirloins instead. Also, I bought chicken stock instead of veal.

I am not a huge fan of onions, but let me tell you, these balsamic onions were so sweet & delicious!

 Another switch. We decided to grill the steaks instead of pan searing them. They tasted as good as they look here!
 Check out these potatoes! The best mashed potatoes I have ever had in my life. Let me tell you, always before making mashed potatoes meant buying some basic Idaho potatoes, boiling them up, dumping in some (cold) mild & mashing. Never again. The Yukon Gold potatoes are so much more flavourful. Warming the milk (whole milk) and cream made all the difference & using real butter (instead of the fake stuff in the plastic tub!), and fresh chives on top. HOLY COW! I could have just eaten mashed potatoes all night.....
 Let's just say the teens in the house were happy with this dinner too. Here's my plate all served up.....
and yes, I did have a second serving of the potatoes. This cookbook is not going to help my waistline or my pocketbook but man was this food GOOD!

This next week I promise to make a loaf of bread to share with you.... and find another yummy recipe to try on my family!