Saturday, October 29, 2011


Happy Birthday Son! photo taken last summer on our great baseball trip

Hard for me to believe that it's been 19 years since this awesome boy arrived in our lives! Who knew that that little, blond haired boy would grow into such a handsome, wise, and fun young man! Ok, I knew he would... but I'm his mom! I'm supposed to think that, right? It's so hard being far away from your kids on their special day.... glad he has his sister nearby and a football game to enjoy this afternoon! Happy Birthday Steve!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Busy Town Quilt

When my kids were little (we're talking 15+ years ago) and we had our very first PC, they had a game with the Busy Town characters on it. I'm pretty sure the graphics and the animation were very primitive, but at the time it was quite extraordinary! They all loved that game, Steve would play for hours building roads.... I think Leigh Anne liked the bakery best. They sorted recyclables, collected trash... and all the while this crazy little song played in the background... I can hear it in my head even now. Yikes!

Anyways, I have a photo somewhere of friends of ours who came to visit often. Their daughter was our primo Ohio babysitter (she lives near us in Texas now!) and their son was probably about 14 at the time? Anyways, in the photo, he is sitting at our computer playing the Busy Town game and my kids are standing nearby, begging for a turn. I remember it like it was yesterday!

Well guess what? That teenage boy, now a grown man, and his wife are having their first baby in a couple of months! And when I heard there was new Busy Town fabric coming out, I pretty much stalked the Fat Quarter Shop until it was available. Seriously, I had ordered the fat quarter bundle within minutes of their adding it to the shop!

But here.s the deal. Busy Town fabric is pretty boyish. Lots of blues & greens. Lots of trucks & bulldozers. And, you guessed it, the baby is a girl. Well I pulled some oranges, purples & pinks out of the fabric, left out the most boyish vehicles and this is what I came up with...
I really love the layout, inspired by a couple quilts I spotted on Pinterest (much bigger & more elegant quilts! But I loved the layout). Here's a closer shot.... don't you remember the little Apple Car with Lowly worm inside?
So the top is done! I just need to put together a backing and ship it off to be quilted. What did you make today?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

More Ticker Tape Blocks

Lately I feel like all I ever show you is blocks for incomplete projects! I have several "block of the month" type projects that I am doing right now and very few complete finishes. The good news is that these will all wrap up at different times so I won't be trying to finish up many quilts at once. I hope.

That said, here is ticker tape block number 5, purple.... and number six, brown....

I do love the way these are turning out. Putting them together is kind of therapeutic in a way, like a jigsaw puzzle! I have no idea what I am going to do with the finished quilt but I have plenty of time to think about that! So, we are 1/4 of the way done, six blocks completed....

Next month is orange and black. I need to go dig up some scraps to contribute to the pile!

Go Rangers! (sorry had to slip that in there!)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Cross quilt block tutorial

In my last post, I told you that I was making a cross quilt and I shared these blocks... I thought I would tell you more about the reason for this quilt. Every year the youth of our church hold a silent auction to raise money for their mission trips and other activities. The kids and I have had fun coming up with items to donate each year. Last year I made some doll clothes, Steve auctioned off three of his framed photos and Ally donated a certificate for a custom decorated cake. Every year, when donation time rolls around, I think, "darn, why didn't I make a quilt to auction off?" And it's always too late by then.... so this year I decided to start early so I will be ready!

I have been eyeing up some of the cross quilts popping up around blogland. Some are wonky crosses, some not, some print, some solid. I decided to use this block pattern that I found on Pinterest (have you discovered Pinterest yet? So much inspiration there!). I have been using more and more solids in my quilts and decided that this would be an all solids quilt. Well, kind of. Some of my colors are "reads solids" not true solids, but close enough! This is a huge stretch for me, the girl who LOVES prints!

I thought I would take you through the making of one cross block so you can make some of your own! Ready? Here we go....

First off, you take a square and surround it with a border. My squares are all 6" and all Stone Kona Solid. My borders (different colors for each block) are 1 1/2" wide. I played with different dimensions, and this is what worked best for me. After you get the borders on (top and bottom, then the sides) square it up (mine are 8 inch squares).

Now comes the fun! Using a ruler and rotary cutter, cut your block exactly into quarters...

Now you rearrange your blocks. Switch your left and right blocks (both top and bottom). Now move the bottom blocks to the top. Gosh that's wordy... play with it. Your final layout should look like this....

Stitch your top blocks together, and your bottom blocks together. Press your seams in opposite directions so they will nest in the next step.

Now sew the top and bottom together and square up your block! Mine all end up being 7 1/2" blocks. Now wasn't that easy?

Twenty blocks done here... more to go! I have a layout planned but it may end up changing so I won't share it yet!

For those who are following my knee saga (and thanks for your well wishes!) I am healing fine and getting around (slowly!) without crutches. There are some things I need at the store and my Hubby reluctantly gave me permission to go to the drugstore at the corner, no farther! So that is my big outing for the day. I hope you all are doing something fun today!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Here I am!

Sorry I have been away from my blog for a while. I've been a bit foggy headed! Last Friday I had knee surgery. I've been having trouble with my knees for a while & it was time to get it taken care of! So I wrapped up in my quilt for a few days and learned how to use crutches (not very well, I might add!) During my more lucid moments, I worked on a stitchery project. The Sew Happy Me blog has been publishing a Christmas Sewalong block every week and I had printed out the first three before my surgery and got them ready to stitch. I have finished 2, started the third and printed the fourth....

And I drew up plans for a quilt for a new baby coming soon. Don't you love these Busytown fabrics? I got them from The Fat Quarter Shop last week. There's a story I want to tell you about this baby coming and busytown, but that will wait for another post....

Meanwhile, I have so many projects waiting to be finished. Like this tunic, which just needs buttons....

And a cross quilt that I want to tell you about! I have these 12 blocks done...

And strips cut for several more blocks....

It's time for me to get moving again! I have ditched the crutches (honestly they are more dangerous for me than helpful!) and will begin physical therapy this afternoon...

Oh, and one more thing....


ok, that's all now. I promise!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Tote Bag Swap

Tonight was our Tote Bag Swap at The Quilt Asylum..... There were so many beautiful bags! I would have been thrilled to receive any one of them. But I was really really thrilled to receive Trae's bag....

That's Trae next to me, and she made the gorgeous brown bag I am holding.... it's such a big, sturdy bag, in addition to being absolutely beautiful. The patchwork on both sides is so snazzy and it will easily hold all of my projects, even finished quilts. I love it! Thanks Trae!

Next up, ornament swap. I already have some ideas brewing....

Friday, October 7, 2011

another Birdie done!

Ok, I have redeemed myself! Yes, the September birdie block got finished late.... but October is now done too! Whew. I feel better. I love the pumpkins! But the moon looks lonely up there... I didn't care for the stars around it so I left them off. I think maybe it needs a witch on a broom or something? Anyways, 10 blocks done! Two more to go.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A Hamster???

Have any of you discovered the new craft magazine out of the UK, Mollie Makes? The sixth issue just came out in England, not here in the US yet, but I am watching for it! The first five issues have the most adorable projects in them! Mostly little projects that can be whipped up in an afternoon..... sewing & quilting projects, little felt projects, crochet... So the other day Ally saw a picture online of a little felt hamster & said "oooh I want one!" LOL really? A Hamster? Well, this is the only kind of hamster she'll ever have in my house, I can tell you that! Then I realized that the pattern was in the most recent issue of Mollie Makes. So yesterday I pulled out my felt scraps and made Ally a hamster....

Ally named it Jorge. Really? I pointed out that it is definitely a girl hamster (note the flower) but she insists on calling it Jorge the Hamster Whatever! Oh, and by the way, this hamster is less than 2 inches tall! Talk about a tiny hamster... it was fun to make & took me less than an hour.

Keep your eyes open for this cool magazine. I found it at Barnes & Noble....

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Better Late Than Never! September Birdie Stitches

Well, I finally finished my September Birdie Block last night! This is the first one I have not finished in the month it was intended for, but I'm only a couple of days late, right? I really love this block, I have no excuses for being late! It's lovely & it was fun to do once I got rolling. Wow, there are only three blocks left to finish! I have the October block all traced and ready to go. Now I am debating what color sashing to use to put the blocks together. I think I want to use one of the bright colors to tie it all together.... maybe a teal blue or the lime green (which seems to be appearing in everything I do these days! What's up with that???).

Ok, back to my sewing room I go. Hope you are all having a beautiful October like we are here in Texas!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Homecoming 2011

Ally is off to the Homecoming dance. Where did this beautiful girl come from?