Tuesday, March 30, 2010

check that one off the list!

Today I put the final stitches into our Presbyterian Women's quilt! I even got the sleeve sewn on the back so we are ready to hang in on the wall of the church for Easter. So many stories in this quilt! So many different ladies, all ages and stages of life. It's amazing what you can learn about another lady while you are gathered around a table coloring!
It took us more than a year to complete (ok, my fault mostly) but now it can hang in the church forever, spreading our stories with future generations.

During a recent workday at the church, 2 more quilts were discovered. One is from the ladies Biblestudy group but has no date on it... I don't remember it being made so it must be at least 8 years old. The other was made by some of the churches first preschool groups & is dated 1987! So amazing to think that the little hands that drew the pictures on that quilt are now adults, possibly with little people of their own!

I have put hanging sleeves on both of those quilts too, so they can all hang together! Now on to finish some more projects...

Friday, March 26, 2010

Another cake! Must be friday!

Ally made her course 2 finale cake tonight! I think it's pretty darned amazing. My mom is surely holding her breath wondering if I will tell this story, so here goes....

When I was a little girl my mom took the Wilton cake decorating classes too! Yes, they had those classes even in the dark ages! Mom made us beautiful cakes.... I remember one year I had the Barbie cake where the dome shaped cake becomes Barbie's beautiful dress.... I also remember a golf cake she made for my dad. The putting green icing was hard as a rock & we couldn't cut into it! Oops sorry mom, this is supposed to be about my issues, not yours!

So, when I was about Ally's age, mom made this same basket weave cake full of flowers for my birthday. It was a gorgeous cake! So pretty that I wanted to show it to everyone. Someone came over that day (sorry, I can't remember who it was! Maybe mom knows?) & I went to get the cake off the kitchen counter. Mom had it setting on the counter with the cake carrier lid just setting over it. I thought the cake carrier base was underneath. So I slid the lid off the edge of the counter... and.... I hear you gasping. You know what's coming, don't you?

You guessed it. The fabulous cake Mom had made me crashed to the floor! What a huge mess. I was not a happy camper that day.

When I told Mom on the phone yesterday what cake Ally would be making tonight she said "Ellyn, isn't that the cake you...." yes Mom. It is. & let me tell you, I was totally paranoid carrying Ally's cake to the car tonight! But as you can see, we made it just fine. Oh, & yes, it did take me two tries to bake the cakes for it again today. Let's not even discuss that. I can't wait until summer break when Ally can bake her own cakes. She's much better at it! I guess it's one of those things that skips a generation!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

finally finished!

Almost a year ago in this post I shared that I had learned to crochet hexagons. For a while I made one hexagon a day & added it to my afghan. Sometimes I got bored with it (or the days were too hot to work on it!) & I set it aside for a while. But I loved its bright cheerful colors & always picked it up again. Last night I finished adding the white border around the edges..... Sixty-four hexagons.... no two alike as far as I can tell.... and now I am toasty warm while I watch American Idol....

Any other Idol fans out there? Who are you voting for? I was a huge Lily fan, & she didn't even make the top 12. Shows how much I know! Ah well, my favorite may not win, but I'll be toasty warm watching!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Happy Spring

When I saw these lovely daffodils at the grocery store, I knew it was spring! I brought home three (yes, three!) bundles of them! I know that they never last very long, so when I find them I tend to buy bundles! They just make me smile! We woke up on Sunday morning, the first full day of spring, to 8 inches of snow! Seriously? I thought I was in Texas! Silly Texas. Of course, it has warmed up nicely now & the sun is shining....

So here is my question for you. What is it that makes you think SPRING!???

You already know one of my answers. Daffodils! I also love to buy a cheerful springy tablecloth like the one above, for my kitchen table. You know the ones I mean, the ones you can get at Walmart for less than $5! Ok, it's confession time, I actually bought TWO this year! So when this one gets worn out, I have another, different, one tucked away.

My crafting tends to change in the spring too. I am just finishing up my granny-a-day afghan (yes, the one I started nearly a year ago! it took a while) & I will be happy to have that heavy yarn off my lap for the warmer weather! I am also finishing up a big quilt that the ladies at church have been working on. No more big heavy projects! Spring means bright colored fabric (oh wait, I pretty much sew with those year round, don't I?), summer clothes (Ally has requested some ruffly spring skirts this year) and small projects.

Welcome spring! I hope you stick around for a good long time. I'm not that fond of Texas summers after all.

Friday, March 19, 2010

what kept me from crafting....

this is the reason you have not heard from me in a few days:My beautiful niece, Mackenzie Lin is 6 months old now & I finally got to meet her! She's a delight... pretty much smiled like this the whole time we were there! I took Ally with me & she got a big kick out of the wheelchairs at the airport (& they sure made everything easier!)

We spent quite a bit of time decorating (& eating, but not me) cupcakes. Ally taught everyone how.... here's my awesome sister, Diane, eyeing them up & choosing her favorite....

We loved staying with my brother Todd & his wife Aimee, finally getting to know her better! Then we spent a couple of days with friends. The sunshine followed us to Cleveland after a couple days of rain & it was really hard to leave. But, alas, we are home now. And missing this little face more than anything:

Spring break is coming to an end & it will be life (& crafting) as usual next week..... stay tuned!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Not much crafting going on at ellyn's place these days. Somehow a nasty stomach bug slipped in the back door when nobody was looking. It left me flat out in bed for three days and now that I am finally on the mend, both kids (the ones residing in this house!) have it. Ick! Thank goodness the sun came out today & it was warm enough to open up the windows & let the breeze flow through the house!

So what a treat it was to go to the mailbox today & find a package for me! Look at this.....

Now isn't that the sweetest thing you've ever seen??? It's my winter mini quilt from Kate in Wisconsin. I just love the hand applique & the pretty swirly machine quilting. Oh & the snow on the rooftops! That's the perfect snow to remind me of my "home" back in Ohio. Who needs the icky, cold, wet stuff when you can have pretty fabric snow instead! This quilt will make me smiles for years to come. Thanks Kate!

My quilt went off to Michelle in Ohio a couple of weeks ago. I hope she is enjoying it! I thought it was cool that my quilt went back to the state where I grew up.

That's all from here for now. Just trying to get my travel buddy back to good health so we can hit the road on Saturday. Hope you are all enjoying some crafty days!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Pattern Review - Liverpool tunic

I finally finished my Amy Butler Liverpool Tunic. As I told you before, I was having trouble with my buttonhole attachment on my machine. What I finally did was get back to the basics! I made machine button holes the old fashioned way, adjusting my zigzag & doing a four step buttonhole.... practiced it a couple of times on scraps then did them on the tunic... & they came out great! Yay me! Sometimes it pays to go back to the way you were taught to do things in Home Ec. Anyways, here is the finished tunic on me....
It fits really well! This is the pattern I used. My local quilt store had one made up & on display, they ordered the pattern for me.... I will say that Amy Butler's patterns are expensive, I think I paid $16 for this one? I know, part of it is that we are paying for the name. But this pattern is very well done, very detailed. I found the instructions easy to follow. However, I will say that this is NOT a beginner pattern. There are a lot of details in this tunic. Front and back darts, set in sleeves, back ties, a collar with a separate stand.... just to name a few. Oh, and the infamous buttonholes, which should not have been tricky but they were!

The pattern comes with all of the sizes & several different lengths from a blouse to dress length (I made the tunic length). The sleeve length can also be changed (I went with the elbow length sleeve & I really like it. Whenever I do 3/4 sleeves, they seem like they are too long for 3/4 & too short to be long! Does that make sense?). The version I made took 4 yards of fabric. I decided to make it from a less expensive fabric that I found at Joanns (with a 50% off coupon no less!) to be sure it fit before I made it with designer fabric. And I LOVE the fabric I used! I think I might make another in a springier print.... still deciding if I will spring for actual Amy Butler fabric.... it is lovely but so expensive!
So I thought you'd enjoy seeing the final product. I expect to wear it a lot, with jeans or dress pants... I do recommend this pattern to advanced-beginner seamstresses. You won't be disappointed!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

ABC's of me...

Jodi, over at Pleasant Home, posted her ABC's of me (she did hers in the middle of the night. I was blissfully sleeping then.... so mine is a daytime version!). I thought it might be fun to do mine too... here goes...

A - Age: 49. There WILL be a party next year. I refuse to turn 50 quietly!

B - Bed size: Queen. Big enough I think. Hubby might disagree

C - Chore you hate: most of them. Cleaning bathrooms is a biggie

D - Dog's name: Lexi. I am not a dog person, she belongs to the kids, but we get along.

E - Essential food/item: rice. I am gluten free (celiac disease) & eat a lot of rice

F - Favorite color: Red

G - Gold or silver: I like both but lean toward silver

H - Height: short. 5'4"

I - I am: thankful. for many many things

J - Job: housewife, chauffeur, cook, cheerleader, tutor.... I also sew & design patterns...

K - Kids: 3 awesome teens... Leigh Anne (19) my intellect & writer, Steve (17) charming athlete/broadcaster, & Allyson (13) the creative mini-me

L - Living arrangements: Lovely house in the suburbs which is quickly becoming too big!

M - Mom's name: Natalie, Mom, Gma, Aunt, Sister, Friend

N - Nickname: I was Lyn, or Lynnie growing up, now my hubby calls me El

O - Overnight hospital stay: None since my surgery three years ago

P - Pet Peeve: people who are late

Q - Quote from a movie: seriously? I have enough to remember without filling my head with quotes

R - Right or left handed: Left

S - Siblings: I am oldest of four. Sister (2 1/2 years younger), & 2 brothers, 8 & 10 years younger than me

T - Time you wake up: usually around 6:30

U - Unique thing about your car: nothing really.

V - Vegetable you hate: eggplant. I really like vegetables for the most part

W - Ways you run late: I rarely run late. I'm always early (see "P" above)

X - X-rays you've had: not as many as Allyson

Y - Yummy food you make: I'm not much of a chef but I have been told my banana bread is good. I don't know, I can't eat it!

Z - Zoo favorite: hmm I'm not an animal person really. Giraffes are pretty...

So there you have it. You learned some things you never really wanted to know!

Tag: All of you! Who's next?