Thursday, September 29, 2011

Swap tote finished

You might remember I showed you the tote bag I made a couple of weeks ago. It was supposed to be my tote for the upcoming swap at The Quilt Asylum, but I wasn't happy with it. The straps were too long, the bag was too tall & too skinny.... blah blah blah. So I started over! I fell in love with the new Farmyard fabric line & decided to go with that...

Ah, much better! This one is perfectly proportioned. It has tons of pockets on the inside, and a hook for keys. I hope my swap partner likes it!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

It's time to make Mums!

I went back & counted. This is the seventh year we have made Homecoming Mums. We started doing it when Leigh Anne was a sophomore & now here we are, Ally is a sophomore! She actually did her whole mum herself this year. No help from mom. Well, except for the checkbook... Isn't it awesome? Homecoming is next weekend (wait until you see her dress for the dance! Adorable). This is our last year for red too. No HS junior would be caught dead with a speck of red in their mum. See, I know the rules!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I have chickens!

Now, if you know me AT ALL, you know that they are not real chickens. I admire my farmer type friends who raise chickens, eat fresh eggs in the morning, etc. I am not one of those people. BUT.... check out these fabulous chickens that arrived today in the mail from Jen! I had admired the chickens Jen was making a while back, so we decided to do a little swap. Aren't they fabulous??? I love them all. The blue one in my favorite Denyse Schmidt fabrics (oh my, he matches my new quilt!), the snazzy red & yellow one (my 2 favorite colors!) and the sweet baby pink one, which Ally will try to steal when she sees it. I will NOT allow that to happen! I'm pretty sure they are supposed to be pin cushions, but no way will I ever be able to stick a pin in any of them! That just seems wrong, doesn't it? And now a picture of my chickens (who are momentarily unnamed) in their new home.

Don't they look happy? I just finished the stitched tree behind them and it seems like the perfect backdrop for my chickens. They are sitting right above my sewing machine where I will see them and smile every single day! Thank you Jen, I love them!

And yes, I have been sewing. However, many of the items I've been working on are for Christmas gifts so I can't share them with you here. Happens every year. I did make this snazzy polka dotted tote....

It was supposed to be for our upcoming tote swap at The Quilt Asylum, but I'm not terribly happy with the proportions of it and a couple other things. So, today I am making another tote! I promise to share that one with you as well. What is everyone else working on these days?

Saturday, September 17, 2011

ticker tape progress

I'm moving along on my ticker tape quilt. Four blocks done!

I am trying to imagine what 24 colors we will use for our quilt. So far, just primaries. Next month is brown and purple....

Friday, September 16, 2011

A new snuggle quilt

I just finished stitching the binding on my latest quilt! It's a snuggle quilt for the couch. I made it because I was poked fun at for having our Christmas quilt out in June. I like the Christmas quilt (Mom made it for us) because it's big & snuggly. So I decided to make a big & snuggly quilt to take it's place when it's not Christmastime!

The fabrics are all Denyse Schmidt fabrics from Joanns, the first line that came out this summer. The white and the lime green are Kona solids. I just love the way it turned out! I even love the back....

Now if it would just cool down so we can use it! Earlier this week we had our 70th day this year over 100 degrees.... breaking the all time record of 69 days set in 1980. Honestly? It's September people! Time for a cooldown. Hope it's much more comfortable where you are.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

shop update

Finally! I have put lots of new items in my shop. Lots and lots of buttons... you can go look at all the buttons yourself, I won't bore you with them here. But I must say, the cherry buttons are my favorite! Which one is your favorite?

Another fun thing I have added to the shop is some tote bag kits! They include a copy of my Town Square Bag pattern and Halloween fabric and buttons so you can make a bag of your own.

If the kits are popular, I'll add some more for all of my patterns. So hop on over to the shop & let me know what you think!

Pattern review, dress for Mackie

I gave you a sneak peak last week of the elephants I was sewing for Mackenzie's second birthday. Here's the finished product: This is McCalls pattern 6062 in a size 3T. There is another view in the pattern that is capris & a top....

I really liked this pattern! It went together very simply. I was able to use fabrics from my stash for the bodice, sleeves and sash at the waist. Only bought the elephant fabric and the green underneath. You can't really tell from this photo, but the green is an entire underskirt, not just the ruffle. It does make the dress a little bit heavy, but I would have had to line the elephant fabric anyways, so it's just fine. I will probably make this pattern again for her, next time maybe the other view? All in all, a very good pattern!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

swap buddy

Now that she has received her swap, I can share what I sent to Jen! I had fun making her this little hoop with her name on it. and a little Halloween mug rug! I stitch & flipped the strips just like I do when I make placemats.

Check out Jen's blog here. She makes some adorable things!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I took a little trip...

Sorry I've been missing. I took a little trip... To Houston! My good friend Leigh Ann (yes my oldest is named for her!) lives there. I hadn't seen her in a long time and it was so good to visit, do some shopping, some singing (more on that in a minute), some eating....

Leigh Ann & I met 30+ years ago when we sang together in Up With People. Do any of you remember them? It was an incredible year. Leigh Ann & I were two of the babies in our cast, both just out of High School, 18 years old. Another member of our Up With People cast lives near Houston too. Charlotte and her husband came to have dinner with us on Friday. I hadn't seen her since we travelled years ago! What a wonderful visit we had.

Here's how Leigh Ann finally got me down there! Every year for the last few years she has invited me to come sing with her church choir. Each year they invite a different composer to come and direct a special concert of his songs. I always thought it sounded like great fun, but was never able to get away for the weekend. Until now!

A couple of months ago, Leigh Ann invited me to come this year. And then she told me who the guest composer was going to be. Ken Medema! Well... I had met Ken & sung with him and a local youth choir (in Ohio) in the 1970s! I just couldn't pass this opportunity up! So I went down and sang with nearly 100 others for the weekend. Check out this awesome choir:

That's Ken at the Piano. He did a concert for us on Saturday too. It was wonderful! So that's where I've been, but I'm home now & preparing some more crafty posts for you... stay tuned!

Monday, September 5, 2011

tshirt quilt

I really enjoy making tshirt quilts! This one I just finished up for a customer... I made 2 of the borders a little wider and put in a cornerstone with her initial. I always like to do something to make them a little "wonky" if you will! And check out this beautiful fabric I found for the back...

Usually I do some patchwork with the backs of the tshirts on the quilt back, but I thought this fabric stood better on it's own. I hope she likes it too!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Lemon Cupcakes

First off, a disclaimer. I am not, by any means, known for my baking skills! I could link back to some posts a year or more ago, when I was baking cakes for Ally to decorate for classes. You might remember that often I baked those cakes 2 or 3 times before I got them right. I will spare you the opportunity to reread them. Trust me, it was bad.

But when I saw these cupcakes on Pinterest, I had to try them! Gluten-free Lemon Meringue Cupcakes! Seriously? How could I not. Just so you know that all ends well with this story, here is proof: This recipe is not for the faint hearted baker! Honestly, someone like me has no business making these. None. However..... I decided to give it a go. First you bake the cupcakes. Simple, right? Umm no. Batch #1 overflowed the pan and turned into a giant cupcake blobby mess. Lovely. Cupcakes take 2. I cleaned it all up & made them again, adding less baking powder and baking soda (I had not realized that the gluten free flour mix I had used already had some of these in it!). These cupcakes came out great!

Next you make lemon curd with fresh lemon juice in the microwave. This step was surprisingly easy! After it cools, you cut out a well in each cupcake & fill it with lemon curd. I have to tell you, I was half tempted to gobble them up right then & there! But I didn't.

Next step, meringue frosting. I decided to bring in the big guns for this one. Ally actually made the meringue & piped it on top of the cupcakes. Then I took a kitchen torch (ok, it was one of those lighters you use to light you grill! but it worked) and browned the tops of the cupcakes. Look how pretty they are!

Ally said I needed a picture of the "ugly" cupcake! I would rather refer to it as the "lumpy bumpy cupcake" LOL!

I have tried them and they are delicious! So there you have it. I doubt I will put myself through this process again, but it was fun and worth it! I will be enjoying lemon cupcakes for a few days. Yum!