Tuesday, January 28, 2014

mini swoon

Another finish for January! This is the mini version of the Swoon Quilt by Thimble Blossoms.

The individual blocks are 8 inches finished. There were lots of points to avoid chopping off and lots of seams to match.... it really challenged me! A good exercise in precise cutting and perfect 1/4 inch seams (if you look closely you'll see I still have a ways to go! I did my best). It was fun to make totally out of my scrap bin. Do you enjoy making minis too?

Saturday, January 25, 2014


Yesterday, I went with my pals, Joellen and Marie, to a quilt show in Jefferson, TX. The drive was about 3 hours from Dallas, but it went by fast with these two. Lots of laughing and storytelling. We forgot to get a picture of the three of us until we were almost home and it was very dark, but here are Joellen and I taking a selfie at lunchtime...
 The quilt show was wonderful! There were so many beautiful quilts to look at and the few vendors that were there were all very good. I bought more than I probably should have. They also had the Hoffman Challenge quilts there to view. So beautiful! Here's a sampling of what we saw...
Marie had a booksigning and a talk to give. Have you read Marie's books? You really must! You can see them all on her website but I will say, her most recent novel, Between Heaven & Texas is my favorite. Marie's characters make you want to crawl inside the book and be their friend. And I'm not just saying that because Marie is MY friend! I can't wait for her new book to come out each spring (is it spring yet???)

While Marie was busy, Joellen and I had some time to wander into nearby shops and spend even more money. Jefferson is a quaint town with sweet antique stores, gift shops and even a general store. It was a lovely day which ended with Joellen and I watching a meteor shoot through the sky as we neared home. You just can't beat a good roadtrip now & then!

Friday, January 24, 2014

another new top - Liberty Shirt pattern review

I'm really excited to share this finish with you today. First a little story. Back in October, when I attended the Original Sewing and Quilt Expo, one of my workshops was a fashion show/ talk by Linda Lee of the Sewing Workshop. I absolutely fell in love with Linda's clothing patterns and bought the Liberty Shirt pattern that day. Linda was in the booth when I bought it and even went through the instructions with me, to share how she did some of her variations on the pattern! She was so kind and taught me a lot that day.

Fast forward three months. The pattern is laying on my sewing table where it's been since October. For some reason I got it in my head that it was going to be too hard. Now, I think of myself as a fairly experienced garment sewer, so I don't know where this insecurity came from. Finally, earlier this week, I decided to dive in. I had 3 yards of Patty Young's gray fabric for Joanns (I wonder what I bought three yards of this for? Hmmmm oh well!) I completed this top in two days, start to finish....
 I LOVE this pattern! First of all, each step is carefully explained and the attention to detail is incredible! All of the seams are finished, the facings stitched down. Look at this - where the facings come together at the bottom the seam is even mitered!
 I followed the directions carefully (something I rarely do with commercial patterns anymore. Usually my way is better than theirs! HA). I LOVE how the back wraps around to the front (hard to see here but it's a great, slimming detail) and how the back hangs longer than the front. The fit is perfect (I matched my measurements to those on the pattern).
I can see myself wearing this all the time! Buttoned up to the top, a couple of buttons undone with a bright tshirt underneath, open as a jacket. I also plan to play around with some variations of the pattern so you may see it again.

The Sewing Workshop gets a big thumbs up from this girl!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

a new top for me (and a sweet treat!)

I'm on a roll in the sewing room! Yesterday I finished TWO tops for me! I'll save one to share tomorrow. First off, here is my Olivia top....
 I have a confession to make. I made this blouse a long time ago. Maybe three years ago? When I realized it was going to be too small for me, I hung it inside the closet door & never put the button holes/buttons on it. Yesterday I finished it up and, with my recent weight loss, IT FITS! I'm so excited to have something new to wear.
 Here's the pattern cover, for inquiring minds. The top is beautifully constructed with finished facings and seams. I think I may have to make a couple more!

And here's a sweet treat you might want to try....
I found this recipe online and had to try it. Does anybody else remember 1-2-3 jello? I know I'm dating myself here... anyways, this is very similar. I used sugar free jello and fat free coolwhip and it went over really well at the dinner table. Ally even instagrammed it before she ate it... high praise from a 17 year old, don't you think? Oh, and nevermind the holiday glasses, haha! they were the right size... don't judge me!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Fun sewing for a friend

My friend's daughter is a student at the University of Maryland. A while ago she asked if I would make her daughter some pajama pants if she sent me the fabric. Of course I would! She sent me three yards and gave me the freedom to make whatever I wanted with the extra. Ooooh fun! In addition to a pair of pj pants and 2 fabric headbands (not pictured) I sent her....
 A 16 inch pillow cover for a throw pillow for the dorm...
 Some fun UMD bunting to decorate the dorm....
 two zippy bags (one for Mom to keep!)....
and a hair scrunchie....
the goodies have been received and her daughter loved them all (whew!). I had such a great time preparing them all for her.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

this and that...

My friend Diann and I went to Hobby Lobby looking for Valentine fabric and I came home with this....

An adorable little cabinet with four drawers to hold treasures. I just fell in love with it, and it was 50% off YAY! so it followed me home. I have no idea what I will keep in those little drawers? still thinking about that. Oh, by the way, the Valentine fabric at Hobby Lobby was, shall we say, unattractive? We didn't buy any. Luckily, on my recent trip to Phoenix Mom and I spent some time at Arizona Quilts and I found ADORABLE Valentine fabric. Which soon turned into a mug rug to swap at our next Modern Guild meeting. You'll have to wait to see that I'm afraid. But I can show you my painted letters!

My word of the year is painted and propped up in my sewing room where I will see it every day. Do you think I should paint letters for my past words? I am thinking they would be awesome hanging around the ceiling in my room? hmmmm this could happen...

Saturday, January 18, 2014

want to swap?

You might remember a few months ago I sent this zipper pouch off to Jennifer....
And received this beauty in return.....
 Well now Jennifer (aka Patchwork Mummy) is organizing a zipper pouch swap of her own! Of course I am joining in. Wouldn't you like to play along? Here's a link to the Facebook event she created for the swap. All of the details are there. Basically, anyone in the world can join. You just need to email Jennifer your details. Wouldn't it be fun to get an adorable bag from a new friend far away? Hop on over there & say you'll play! It's going to be great!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

sewing with Mom

About a week ago I packed up my bags and headed to Phoenix to visit Mom & Dad (& my kiddos who live here too!). Today Mom & I decided to hang out in her sewing room and tackle a project (ok, maybe I decided & twisted her arm a bit? It's possible). 

I had been wanting to make a Raincheck mini quilt ever since I saw the free pattern here on Camille Roskelley's blog. Gotta love a great FREE pattern, right? So Mom & I got digging in her scraps and made this sweet mini without a single trip to the store! I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing? 

Anyways, it was totally a team effort & I love the outcome. I'm leaving this one here at Mom's (in case it rains, you know, because it does that A LOT in Phoenix! Ha!) and I do think I'll make another when I get home for me. Fun! Also, I don't think I'll be able to resist buying the other Thimbleblossoms mini quilt patterns. They're just too cute.

In the meantime, I think you all should head on over there and download this pattern too. And make one up.... I'd love to see!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

crafty tuesday January

Crafty Tuesday 2014 kickoff was an intimate group today! Just Melissa and I crafting away, enjoying each other's company! Here she is, intent on her scrapbook layout....
Hoping more of our crafty buddies can join us next month. But, 2 or 20, we'll be crafting at ellyn's place!

Monday, January 6, 2014

first finish of the year!

So it all started back in November, when Jen posted her Full House quilt finish. And I had just finished putting together my Suburbs quilt top but I just had to make another house quilt (because I am strangely obsessed with houses at the moment.) And then I won a gift card to one of our fabulous local quilt shops and I figured it was destiny. 
Pattern: Schnibbles Full House
Fabric: 2 charm packs of Color Me Happy by V & Company, a couple or random solids.
Finished size: 32"x36"
What have you been making lately?

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2014 word of the year

Despite the fact that I was sound asleep at midnight last night, the new year has arrived. First order of business is to get rid of this nasty cold I've had for nearly a week. I didn't even make it 'til the ball dropped in NYC last night! Ah well, bring on 2014.

Along with a new year comes a new word of the year for me. This will be my fourth year focusing on a chosen word. I began with Trust in 2011, then Gratitude and last year, Strength. This year's word?

Hubby bought me these wood letters for Christmas which are just waiting for a bit of paint and then I will hang them in my studio where I will see them everyday. What a great idea! He's a keeper.

Anyways, why grace? Well, I have two reasons for choosing it (though, as I shared last year, often my reasons for a word and God's reasons for giving it to me don't line up. We shall see.)

1) Though I am aware of the incredible grace God gives me, I want to more fully embrace it and recognize it in my life. I want to stop beating up on myself every time I make a mistake (or at least forgive myself when I do beat myself up! There, how's that?). 

2) I want to more freely show grace to others. I don't want to be so hard on people. And for me, it's not enough to just say or do the right thing in the moment, then walk away shaking my head.... I want to truly feel grace in my heart for others. This I KNOW can only come from God working in my heart. 

So there it is. The challenge I am putting before myself this year. Do you have a word for the year?