Sunday, February 28, 2010

something to look forward to!

Allyson & I are finally going to Ohio to meet sweet baby Mackenzie in a couple of weeks!
Look at that sweet smile! I cannot wait to see her. So today I made this little dress to take to her.... It was such fun! I had bought a fat quarter pack of cheep talk fabrics from Connecting Threads a while ago, because I thought they were so darned cute! I had no idea what I was going to do with them, but I loved them! Well today I decided they would make a perfect little dress for my baby niece. The bodice pieces fit nicely on one fat quarter. SCORE! But how to make the skirt? I ended up strip piecing my own fabric from several fat quarters & I just love the effect!

I still have the blue & green fat quarters to do something else with. Oh, & the scraps left over from the dress. All I need now is a plan.

My stack of crocheted dishcloths has gotten quite large. I think perhaps I will take a break from those for a bit.

More sewing tomorrow! Yay! Hope you all had a crafty weekend.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Another Friday cake post!

You are probably wondered if ellyn's place has gone totally to the cakes! I promise, next week there will be more crafting in this space. Meanwhile, check out the lovely roses Ally learned to make tonight at her cake decorating class! This poor cake was not without it's mishaps. Since Ally has a very busy life (what 13 year old doesn't?) I have become her designated cake baker/icing maker. While this may sound like a simple thing to you, you need to know that I am NOT a genius in the kitchen. Not even close. In fact, I am fairly terrible in the kitchen!

So, today got out my Betty Crocker cake mix (no, I am not baking cakes from scratch. Box mix! This is not rocket science!) Had cake number one in the oven by 9AM! Yes, I was fairly impressed with myself at this point, but alas, the feeling did not last.

Cake was out of the oven & cooling, the rest of the mix neatly made into cupcakes for practice. 10 minutes on the cooling rack, just like the box says to do. & then, I carefully run a knife around the edges, turn the cake onto the cooling rack and..... splat. Crumbs everywhere & a gooey mess in the center. I know, you'd love to see pictures of that wouldn't you? Sorry, no pictures (next time I have a cake disaster, I promise to document it properly!).

Cake number two (yes, I had spare cake mix in the pantry. I know myself well) was in the oven by 10:00. Thankfully, there was no disaster this time & the cake came out lovely, round and DONE! Nice job mom.

So now you know why ALLY is the cake decorator and not ME! She does nice work, doesn't she? Next week she begins level two, all flowers! & I do promise to keep you updated on her progress. But I also promise to get back to my crafty goodness. After I clean the kitchen. Again.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Hey Cupcake!

Here's a peak at where Ally's extra icing from last week's class went: She was practicing on cupcakes....
I love this one.....

she's getting really good at this I think!

she even did a few more clowns...

I just thought I'd share!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

odds and ends

I finished up my quilt for the mini quilt swap. I hope my swap partner enjoys it! I had a lot of fun adding some embellishments to it. It measures about 24 inches square. Oh, & I actually quilted it on my machine.... something I'm not very experienced at but it turned out just fine. Something else I've been doing is crocheting up lots of little dishcloths, using up all of the cotton yarn in my stash. (ok, I confess, I bought some more the other day! but the colors are so pretty...) They are just so quick to whip up & easy to transport & work on in waiting rooms, carpool lines, etc. I especially love the striped one!
My pretty Amy Butler tunic is all done.... except for the buttonholes. I can't seem to get my buttonholer working right. I know it's user error, I have something set wrong, but darned if I can figure it out! I really want to wear the tunic though, so I need to make the buttonholes somehow. I might just have to resort to the old fashioned way!

What have you been making lately?

Friday, February 19, 2010

More of Ally's creations

Remember Ally's Taco project? Well she finished it & turned it in this week. Many bottles of rubber cement & lots of yarn later..... Isn't it cool? Check out the detail... she worked so hard on this!
This week in cake class she made this adorable clown cake. She's really enjoying this class & is all signed up for the level two classes in March.

Look at this happy little guy! So glad to be sitting with his buddies on this pretty cake!

How lucky am I that God gave me such creative kids? It's so much fun to watch all of them develop their own interests & talents. This particular gift (cake decorating) she did NOT get from her mommy! But, when I was a little girl, my mom took the classes & made such beautiful cakes! I remember them well. (& no, Mom, I am not going to share the story of my beautiful basket of flowers cake! Sorry!)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Quilt Retreat

Our small sewing group, Seams Like Sisters, had a retreat this weekend. I was only able to go for part of the day Saturday, but it was fun to see what all the ladies were working on. Check out these lovely quilts!

Yes, most of the ladies got nice big quilts done. I had a kit for a small quilt block that Joellen had given me for my birthday & I decided to put it together. Here's the topper done, hope to get it quilted this week:

I love the bright colors! I also cut out a Tunic from an Amy Butler pattern for myself. Hoping to get that stitched up this week too! So I should have lots to share later in the week.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Ally has a new hobby! She has taken up cake decorating. She is taking classes at Hobby Lobby every week & practicing whenever she has the time. Look at that steady hand... And the concentration on her face!
Here's her first cake, a lovely rainbow, that she made in class on Friday! I wish it was gluten free.... I'd dig in! But then that would ruin it. I think I'll just look at it instead!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

winter in Texas

Out my front window this morning: I know it doesn't begin to compare with what my friends on the East Coast are dealing with, but still.... isn't this Texas? Yes, school is open! Tomorrow is supposed to be much colder & worse.

I've been taking advantage of the wintry weather & working on my mini quilt for the winter swap. Here are my pieces all laid out.....

and a sneak peek of the quilt going together. I can't tell you where it's going, but I will say that warm mittens would come in very handy for my swap partner where she lives! I hope she likes it.

Stay warm my friends!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

new projects

I've been having a lot of fun in my sewing room lately.... working on odds & ends. I got several new sewing books for my birthday, like One Yard Wonders, there are soooo many cute ideas in there! And Sew Liberated. Well I've already delved into this one! There is the cutest little art smock in here & I just had to make one. No, I don't have anyone here tiny enough to wear this, but isn't it darling?I used some more of my IKEA fabric. Oh, & I changed the back a bit. The pattern calls for the elastic to go all the way around the neck. The child would then pull it over their head. I added ties instead. Here's the back:I had another fun project this week. I have to tell you a little story about this one. Ten years ago, a friend of mine asked me to make her little girl, who was turning three, a dress out of her favorite fabric. She had a blankie that she loved out of fish fabric. Of course I said yes! I made her a little jumper style dress and a matching one for her doll. Well...... just a few weeks ago her mom emailed me again. Seems her daughter JUST outgrew that little dress! Apparently she was wearing it as a little swing top over leggings all these years! She's a tiny little thing. Well, I found a very similar fabric (amazing after 10 years!) and made her a pair of pj pants to replace the little dress. I hope she likes them!You might remember about a year ago, I shared with you that I had been on a retreat with the women from my church. On that retreat, all of the ladies made quilt blocks with their favorite Bible verses on them. Well, this past Saturday we retreated again! I had stitched the quilt blocks into a top & had it ready for the ladies to help with the tying.... here's a peak!

I am anxious to get started on my swap quilt for the Winter Time mini quilt swap! I think I'll do that next.... I have checked out my swap partner's blog & flickr site & we have very similar tastes! This is going to be fun.

American Idol tonight! Hollywood week! I'm excited... anybody else?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

February? Already?

Where the heck did January go? This year is flying by already. Yikes!

I thought I'd share some of the projects I've been finishing up.... you might remember the heart blocks I was working on for the quilt block swap? Well those are done, all 28 of them! They will go off to the quilt store on Saturday to be swapped. I even added a little bird to a few of them (but not all! I simply ran out of time).

Then there are the English paper pieced hexagons I was playing around with. Remember? Will I finished up this giant hexagon piece (next time I'm using smaller hex's!). I love the colors. I'm thinking of appliqueing it onto this pillow ticking & making a bag... what do you think?

I also finished up a table runner & coasters to match the placemats I was working on.

Whew! I've had fun finishing up unfinished projects! So today I pulled out my hexagon afghan. You might remember this one too? I haven't worked on it in ages. It currently stands at 60 hexagons & it needs many more. So, I packed up a bag of yarn & a crochet hook to take along to doctor's offices/physical therapy while I wait for Ally.
I'm loving this little goodie that came in the mail from my buddy Annie, back in Ohio..... look at all those pockets! I filled it up in no time, my ipod even fits in one pocket! Thanks Annie, so sweet!

Happy Crafty February friends!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

my camera came home!

Oh, my hubby came home too! Yay! He took lots of pictures, mostly of airports, hotel rooms & bright lights.... Lots of familiar places, like the Hard Rock Cafe! I guess Singapore & China are more western than I imagined.
It's a small world, isn't it?
I've been busy sewing up a storm & will have some more projects to share with you soon!