Lectures and Workshops

Thursday, August 30, 2012

long awaited cake post

It's been a long time since Ally decorated a cake! Yesterday she and her friend Chloe decorated a cake for Chloe's mom's birthday. What a team!

 Chloe "helping"...
 Isn't it a beautiful cake? Those roses turned out so amazing. Ally said she wasn't sure she remembered how to make them. I guess she did!
 Nice job girls!
Happy Birthday Ana!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

back to school sewing (for me!)

Yesterday was the first day of school for Ally.... Junior year of High School! GO ALLY! Here's her first day of school photo shot...

 It's so cool, I say goodbye and she hops in her car and drives herself to school. Then she texts me the minute she's there safely because I'm neurotic and need to know. Then I go back to bed. No, not really. But I am still in my pjs! And this morning, pjs and all, I headed straight to my sewing room to make myself a shirt. This is the pattern I picked up at Joanns yesterday...
McCalls 6566.  I bought it for several reasons. 1) It looked quick and easy. 2) it didn't have any buttons, buttonholes, zippers (and you know I am capable of doing all of those things but I just didn't feel like it. So there.) and 3) I thought if I made it I would look as skinny and sexy as those babes on the cover. Ok, maybe not. And you certainly won't be seeing me in tight, zig zaggy pants like the girl on the right! But she does pull it off nicely.

I will tell you that I had the shirt entirely put together (including cutting out the TWO yes TWO pieces!) in about 30 minutes. Simple! I made the plain view (B) but left off the little pocket, just so I could see how it fit. View C has an adorable ruffly flounce on the back (because we all need a little emphasis in that area, don't you think? ) and A has a cute lace panel on the front. I will most likely make this again.

It fits very loosely. They always say that and then the finished tops end up being snug on me. I measured myself and made the correct size and it's, um, big. I will probably make it one size smaller next time. Anyways, here it is finished...

 I used a lightweight drapy cotton. The pattern says it will work in woven or knits... the woven is just fine. It does look cute on me even though it's, um, big. I tried to take a picture of myself in the mirror to show you but that didn't go so well...
and yes, that's a laundry basket behind me on the bed. My staging and photography skills need a little work I think.

What did you make today?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

a fun swap!

My bloggy friend Maria and I organized a swap this summer just between the two of us. I received word this morning that she had received her bundle from me... finally! I received hers about a week ago but was waiting to blog about it until hers arrived. Here is what I sent off to Australia for her to enjoy...

I had so much fun putting it all together.... a little zipper pouch and needle book, some homemade buttons, a fabric bundle, some sewing stickers. And this little stitchery mini that was so much fun to make...

Here is the bundle that arrived at my house....
 It's hard to see but the fabric and trim it came wrapped in is just adorable, and will, no doubt, be appearing in a future project! The pretty postcard is hanging on my inspiration board now. Inside is this beautiful sewing portfolio...
Look at all those awesome zipper compartments! And inside, bright beautiful yo-yos, gorgeous buttons made by a friend of Maria's, quilt labels, a fun schnibbles pattern, a sewing brooch for me to wear...

 Thank you Maria! I will use and enjoy all of it and will think of you every time I do.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

pictures from Ohio

My brother sent these pics with instructions that I blog them immediately! Apparently (according to Ally) he is sitting at the computer hitting refresh... so here goes....
 Two of my favorite girls in their matching Ohio State shirts. Apparently there is some brainwashing going on. They think if they buy her clothes she will choose to permanently leave her mommy and daddy and Texas. Ha!

And a picture of the sweet sleeping Mackenzie with her Dora quilt...
looks like it works!

Monday, August 20, 2012

I can finally show you this...

A while back I teased you with this quilt photo....
 I couldn't show you the quilt because it was for Mackenzie's third birthday and I knew they would see it here if I posted it! Well, Ally gave the quilt to Mackenzie, so I can show it to you now. I made it with some more of my lime and gray swap blocks....

Some of those grays look blueish.... sorry the color is off! Mackenzie's room is lime green and purple so I think this works. Oh, but as far as she's concerned this is the back of her quilt. You see, I put Dora the Explorer fabric on the other side. Mackie is a Dora freak! When she opened her quilt (I was watching via Skype) she spread it out on the floor, Dora side UP and danced around on it! So the quilt is a hit. Maybe once she outgrows Dora she will flip it over and notice all the pretty blocks on the other side? Maybe not! Doesn't matter to me, I'm just glad she likes it. Happy Early Birthday Mackenzie!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Halloween mini quilt

I had so much fun making my Lil Twister quilt that I wanted to do more. I was excited to find out that there are smaller templates. I bought the Itty Bitty Primitive Pinwheels pattern/template by Primitive Gatherings. I'm not sure how they got away with selling this, surely it breaks some copyright rules? I don't know. But I was happy to have it. The finished squares that make up the pinwheels are one inch. ONE INCH! Am I crazy? Perhaps. I spent an afternoon making up this little square...
 The whole square measured 6 1/2 inches. Yikes! It was fun to do, but lots of tiny squares. I am not always a terribly accurate quilter, but I was very careful with this and it turned out great! One tip.... I used lots of Mary Ellen's Best Press and steamed the heck out of this baby so it would lie flat.

I thought maybe it needed a solid orange border? I posted the above picture on Facebook and a friend said "it needs a piano key border". Seriously??? How tiny would those piano keys have to be? As I reached for my orange solid the guilt hit me. She was right. It was crying out for a piano key border. Sigh.
So I did it! The keys are 1/2 x1 inch finished. Maybe if you blow this picture up you can see the little spiders I fussy cut for the corners too. I suppose now I need to layer this up and quilt it..... the finished block is 12 inches square.

Friday, August 17, 2012

leaving on a jet plane....

I got myself into some trouble. You see, I didn't blog about Ally's 16th birthday which was on the fifth. You never know how teenagers are going to feel about things like this... you know what I mean? It's a fine line we moms of teens walk. Did I say too much? Not enough? Apparently I was supposed to blog about her on her birthday. She told me so. Oops!
It's been another big year for Ally! Last week she got her drivers license. I got to check "chauffeur" off my mommy to-do list. I had a little blue moment. Does anybody need me anymore? Then I got a message from my 22 year old that a button had fallen off of her dress. They do still need me. A little. I'll take it.

In 2 weeks Ally will begin her junior year of High School. She applied for the school's medical clinicals program and was accepted! This year she will work in a nursing home and the local hospitals and become a CNA (certified nursing assistant). Her long term goal is to earn her Doctorate in Physical Therapy. We have begun looking at colleges... the next 2 years will fly!

Today Ally left on her second annual Ohio trip to visit her little cousin Mackenzie (oh, and Aunts and Uncles too). Have a great time, Ally! I'll be here waiting for you when you get home. Oh, and Ally? It's ok to need me now & then...

Thursday, August 16, 2012

another mini quilt done!

One thing you may not know about me is that I teach Junior High Sunday School with my hubby. We attend a small Presbyterian church and usually have 5 or 6 kids, 6th-8th grade. Because our class is small, the junior high kids have always met in a teeny tiny room that seriously could be mistaken for a closet. In fact, people used to just throw things in there if they didn't know where else to put them. Broken audio equipment, old ripped up books, just junk. It was a mess.

So last fall we got the idea to let the kids spruce it up! We totally emptied the room (and filled the dumpster out back!) let the kids choose the paint and put them to work.
We bought them new furniture... a storage cubby for one wall, smaller tables that can fold & be put out of the way, stackable chairs. It's amazing how much bigger the room seems now. Oh, and I made them some big floor pillows for days when we just don't feel like sitting in chairs!
 Today I finished up a mini quilt to hang on the wall for them. I just love hand sewing binding....

 Remember my Lil Twister quilt? Well it's perfect with their lime green wall.
I hope they like it!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

mini quilt finish

You might remember way back in June when I pieced together this double disappearing nine patch quilt. Or maybe you don't. That's ok too, I know you've read a thousand blogs since then. Who am I kidding? Anyways... my buddy Diann did an awesome job quilting it and this afternoon I stitched on the binding....
 And it's all done! Our quilt guild is having a mini quilt auction next month and I will turn this in tomorrow from Diann and I. Because it takes two of us to make a mini quilt. So there.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

zipper pouch swap

Last night we had our zipper pouch swap at The Quilt Asylum. It was really fun, even though our numbers have dwindled (summertime maybe?). You have already seen my pouch. Here are all of them together...
 I love that they are all different, from teeny tiny pouches (perfect to store your earbuds! Or coins) to over-achiever large pouches! Here's the one I received made by Susan B...
I just love the bright pezzie fabrics and the snazzy buttons, just my style! And it's a good sized pouch which will easily hold a small handwork project on the go. Or maybe jewelry when I travel. I just love it and can't wait to put it to use.

Next swap is potholders. I've already created a Pinterest board for ideas and my creative brain is beginning to work.... stay tuned...

Thursday, August 9, 2012

more on the doors

Those doors in England have been haunting me. I thought maybe I would make a quilt. Then I thought about the wool felt that I have in my stash and have been neglecting. One day I sat down with my trusty graph paper and colored pencils and started doodling...


 Now you need to know that I do not in any way consider myself artistic. But I did a little math, recreated the proportions of the doors, windows, moldings and added in some of the details. And then I pulled out my felt and embroidery floss and set to work.



The pink one is finished. I had that brick fabric in my stash too. I really like it! And the green door is coming along nicely too.


 I had thought perhaps I would wrap them around artists canvases when they are finished and hang them, but when I played around with that idea, there were too many hard edges. I think they are crying out to be circles. I bought some wooden embroidery hoops today and with some shiny black paint they might be just the frame I need.

I just wanted you to know I haven't been totally lazy lately!