Sunday, April 29, 2012


The next swap at The Quilt Asylum is needle books. I've been pinning tons of pictures from the internet for weeks here. This weekend I made one up, not sure if it is the one I will swap or not but I sure am happy with it! Here's the front...
 and the back....
 I used the tutorial from Nana Company. Have you visited this blog? You really must! So many lovely things there. The whole needle book was made from my stash. It was a great opportunity to use up little scraps of fabric, ribbon, felt, etc. I even decorated the inside pages a bit. And added a little pocket inside the front cover.
 ribbon, rickrack, buttons and scraps of felt here and there...
I think I'll make several more of these. It was a fun little weekend project & would make a fun gift for my crafty/sewey friends. (is that a word? sewey? if it isn't it should be.). I hope you had a fun weekend too!

Friday, April 27, 2012

another Lissette top for me

 You may remember the yellow Lissette blouse I made myself about a month ago. I had purchased some London Calling fabric that I really loved to make another one and today was the day! I used Lissette pattern 0353, but I made lots of revisions. Here's the finished top... front....
and the back....
I added the patchwork on the front just to add some interest, and solid pink bands on the sleeves. I also added a little bit of length to the front and a shirttail to the back. I love the way this one turned out & can't wait to wear it (hubby's comment was "yeah, that looks like you!" LOL I guess that's good).

It feels good to be back in my sewing room.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

time out for a little home dec

A funny thing happens when you get pretty new floors in your house. Everything else starts to look old. Take these tables, for example. They have been the end tables in our family room for, oh, say 18 years. 
If you look closely you can see how worn they are. See all those spots where people put their drinks down NEXT TO the coaster instead of on it??? We won't name any names here, but seriously, all those sweaty glasses caused the "fake wood" to bubble & wear away. Lovely.

 We have looked for new tables, but haven't found what we want. So, yesterday, I decided I had nothing to lose by trying to save the old tables. It was a gorgeous day in Texas, low 70s, no real wind. Perfect for a little backyard spraypaint party! I spread some old sheets out on the grass & set to work.
 It took a few coats of paint (I used satin finish black spraypaint from Lowes, the Valspar brand). I did what the can said, put the paint on in several light coats & left plenty of time in between coats for it to dry. Those of you who know me well know how hard the waiting time was for me!
 But the end result was so worth it! I feel like I have brand new tables!
You might notice that my sofa is suspiciously missing! Check back later in the week to see what is being delivered on Thursday.....

Sunday, April 22, 2012


Today we are revealing our Secret Sisters at church. I have so much fun doing this! This year my secret sister has been Lori, who is also a dear friend. She chose a word of the year this year, can you guess what it is?
 Do you recognize the mini quilt where I appliqu├ęd her word? That's right! It's my little shadow quilt. I put her word on it in wool felt and gave it to her at our luncheon today. I hope she likes it!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

the countdown begins

Yesterday, Ally and I were watching The Today Show and they were talking about the olympics being 100 days away. The summer olympics, in London, that is. And it occurred to me that if the olympics are 100 days away, our trip to London is less than 100 days away! Yes! My hubby and I are going to London this summer to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. I am so excited, I've never been to Europe so this is a very big deal for me.

So when I said this to Ally, she sarcastically said "gee Mom, maybe you should make a paper chain to count down the days". And so I did.....

 About a month ago, Jenny from Allsorts, posted her free printable to make paper chains! Of course I jumped on that one, not knowing what I would do with it. And now I had my answer. I got out my paper chain making supplies and set to work.....
Now I can tear off one link every day and when the chain is gone I'll be on a plane with my sweetie heading to London! Brilliant! In case you are wondering, it is 82 days from today that we leave. Oh, and the chain is hanging from little command hooks in the hallway. I contemplated hanging it in the dining room or somewhere else more visible but I thought my hubby might draw the line at that! Surely he won't object to this?

Any advice for places I need to see in London? Great restaurants with gluten free menus? Tourist attractions? Quilt stores? teehee...

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

ticker tape blocks seventeen and eighteen

I can't believe we only have three more months of ticker tape blocks  to make! I have quite a collection already, eighteen completed blocks so far! Here are my April blocks finally completed (I had them together before my trip but had to get a peach colored border fabric)

First, Lime Green....

Owls, apples, Halloween candy.... this is becoming quite the I Spy quilt! And peach....
I love those ducks. So glad I found a scrap of them in my stash.

I've also been cruising along on my lime and gray swap blocks. I think I have 47 done, so 18 more to make. What have you been working on?

Monday, April 16, 2012

back in the crafty groove

I had a wonderful time in Ohio, but it's great to be home. My last load of laundry is almost done and I am ready to get back to my sewing/quilting/crafting. While I was gone, they had the mug rug swap at The Quilt Asylum & I was anxious to see what I had received. I zoomed up there today to pick up my mug rug. Lucky me! I got this adorable mug rug that Susan made! I just love it.

Also, while I was away, my hubby hung his quilt in his office. He is so happy with it, and I think it really warms up his office space.

Off I go to sort out my projects and put things in order. What will I tackle next? Stay tuned...

Friday, April 13, 2012

Miss me?

Have you been missing me? (no? Fine.) I am spending a few days in Ohio with family. My brother made me my very own house to stay in. You like? Last night Mackie and I read stories in there. I wonder if they will let me bring it home on the airplane? I wish I could sneak her into my carry on bag too!

See you again soon with more crafty goodness.

Monday, April 9, 2012

heading to the airport...

I'm off to Ohio today. I haven't been there in two years (it's where I am from) and I am anxious to spend some time with my family and friends.

From what I hear, Miss Mackenzie is talking up a storm and has turned into a "real girl" since I saw her last (on her first birthday!). My sister is recovering from surgery. I left the heavy duty, post surgery nursing to her daughter and our mom. Now that she is ready for a manicure and some lunches out, I'm going for the fun part! I'm so sneaky....

Have a good week!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


I don't know about you, but I keep a running list of projects I want/need to work on next. This year, so far, I've been really good about checking things off of my to-do list. But then, every now and then, an idea sneaks into my brain and I have to do it right away. Like yesterday. I flopped down on the couch in the afternoon to watch Nate (one of my guilty pleasures!) and I started thinking about those shadow quilts that I was so enamored with at the Dallas Quilt Show.  And I thought to myself "Ellyn, you really don't need to start another big quilt" And I knew I was right... but still.... I wanted to try it! And then I remembered that they had given us free little bundles of 2 1/2 inch squares at the Moda Bakeshop booth. I could make a mini version! So I ran back to my sewing room (don't worry, I have a tv in there, I still got to watch Nate!) And this is the quilt top that I finished up....

 Fun! It wasn't on my list, but so what? It was fun to make and I'm happy with it.

Today I started working on my next set of swap blocks. This time we are doing 9 1/2 inch lime green and gray blocks. I got 12 blocks done today (2 of each) and I must say, I think I'm going to love this quilt when it's done!
We had some crazy weather in Dallas today. Lots of nasty storms and several tornadoes touched down in the area. We are fine here.... Ally was stuck in lockdown at the high school for a long time this afternoon and I spent most of the afternoon sitting in the hallway with the dog.... but we are all fine and so is our house. My prayers go out to those who lost their homes and belongings. Miraculously, they are saying there were no fatalities and I am so grateful for that.

Let's hope the rest of our spring is much calmer, weather wise!

Monday, April 2, 2012

a new spring top... pattern review

As much as I love making quilts and crafty things, my first love was sewing clothing. When I was a little girl, my mom made most of my clothes. As soon as I could convince her to let me touch her machine, I started making my own! Ironically, the first thing I remember making to wear was a yellow top (a halter top to be specific. We're talking late 60s, early 70s here! You get the picture). Well today I took time out to make myself a new yellow top.

I had looked at this pattern several times & finally bought it recently. It's a Simplicity Lisette pattern, #0353. It has a dress, skirt and top in the pattern, but it was the top that grabbed my attention. I have my eye on some London Calling fabric at The Quilt Asylum to make one of these tops, but I thought perhaps I should make one out of some 50% off fabric from Joann's first! I wanted to be sure it fit right before I spent more money on great fabric.

 The top went together very quickly! It would have been even faster if my machine had been cooperating. For some reason, it was skipping stitches when I topstitched. I tried everything I could think of to fix it. I took my machine apart and cleaned it really well, made a new bobbin, changed the needle, etc etc. I just think it wasn't happy with the feel of the fabric. I don't really know! Anyways, I got it done.

Here's a shot of the front.....
 I took a picture of it on me, in the mirror, but I will spare you that image. Let's just say I looked really dorky! The shirt, however, looks and fits great. I shortened the sleeves (we're really out of long sleeve weather here in Texas already!) and I probably should have shortened them even more. I will on the next one I make. I would shorten these, but, well, I really don't feel like fighting with the skipped stitches again. Nuff said.

What I really loved about this pattern is the back!
I love the detailing and the pretty gathers. Almost makes the front look boring I guess. I'll just have to wear a pretty necklace to snazzy it up!

All in all, I would recommend this pattern. It was easy to follow and true to size. A win!