Tuesday, August 26, 2014

placemats again

So, you all remember the placemat project, right? And the five, beautiful placemats I received from instagram friends? Well I have always thought it would be nice to have eight placemats, since my table seats eight, and I had every intention of making three more to complete my set. I just didn't intend to do them quickly!

Hubby has some folks in town for work this week and we decided that we would host them at our home for dinner tomorrow night. Perfect opportunity to use my placemats! He informed me there would be six, including us for dinner. No problem! This past weekend I made placemat #6....

 I have a big zipper pouch full of half square triangle units left over from my Pow Wow quilt. I pulled out the ones with red and aqua in them and came up with this layout. And since I loved the idea Trae had of putting Christmas fabric on the back of the two placemats she made me, I decided I would do that too. As luck would have it, the night before (literally, at night. the mailtruck came at 9:30 PM on a Saturday night.... weird!) I received happy mail from Hannah, who had sent me my first placemat. Inside was a moda candy pack of Winter Wonderland, which was perfect for the back of my placemat!

I was pretty darned proud of myself! Now everyone at our dinner party would have a handmade placemat. Except.....

Hubby informed me that he had invited two more guests for dinner. Which is great, but once again, I was short on placemats. Darn.

I set to work, using all fabric from my stash and a few orphan blocks I had hanging around. Soon there was placemat number seven....

with snowmen (from Trae) on the back. And today, placemat number eight....

Which got a very simple pieced backing (Christmas fabrics but simple) because by this time I was pretty burned out on placemats! But I must say, they do look lovely as a set.
I'm quite sure all of hubby's business associates will be mighty impressed! don't you think?

Monday, August 25, 2014

monkeying around with a paint chip challenge

At our August meeting of the McKinney Modern Quilt Guild I issued a paint chip challenge. I had gone to Walmart and helped myself to a large selection of free paint color sample cards. Even though they are free, I kept expecting some pimply faced employee to yell at me! I'm sure I looked so guilty glancing around the hardware department in total fear of getting caught! I took the samples home, cut the colors apart, put them in a paper bag, and shook them up. At the meeting each gal chose 3 random colors from the bag. These ladies love a challenge! Every single one of them played along with very little shaming and coercing. Some of them got lovely color selections. Some, not so much. I was less than thrilled with my colors....
 Not my usual palette for sure! But alas, I had issued the challenge and I would come up with SOMETHING, right? I stewed about if for a while. Came up with a couple of ideas but wasn't thrilled with them. Spent an evening pouring through some of my quilt books and came up with this idea (from the Love to Sew Mug Rugs book).....

kind of silly but I like him! my first go at straight stitch raw applique (done on the machine). Not perfect but ok. kind of sketchy like a kid drew it with a pencil....

I can't wait to see what everyone else does. Some of these gals are so clever, I know there will be some full sized quilts and many ORIGINAL designs (not pathetically copied from a book. sigh). And, undoubtedly, most will be a much larger size than my silly little monkey, but hey, he's done!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

never say never

although I've never written it out, I have a list in my head of things I'll never do. 

I'll never go skydiving.
I'll never be a runner.
I'll never go back to college.
I'll never sew curves.


you know the saying.... never say never? I had no intention of ever sewing curves. Everyone (ok, mostly my friend Sarah) has been raving about the quick curve ruler, and all of the wonderful patterns by Sew Kind of Wonderful. I like them. They are all very cool patterns. They look awesome and other people are welcome to sew them. I'm not interested.

And then all of my buddies signed up for a class to make the Metro Hoops quilt. And I said... "good for you guys! I can't wait to see what you make". And they bugged me and bugged me until I finally called to sign up.

And the class was full (whew!)

But alas, my friend, Sarah was the teacher and knowing us to be a pretty low maintenance group she said "oh, come on Ellyn, we can squeeze you in". umm thanks?

So I picked out a jelly roll (which was harder than I expected! But I finally settled on Figures which is a really awesome line. I selected my solids (2 shades of gray for the background and navy for the cornerstones) and I went. And I sewed my first curve. And it was easy!
 The pattern is so awesome with lots of fudge room and trimming up! And before I knew it, I had finished one whole block and the pieces to a second (the block on the right is all sewn together.)
so, yeah, I guess I have to take sewing curves off my "I'll never" list. But skydiving is staying on there. forever.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

a quilty finish

I have always loved polka dots. So when I found (ok, truth be told, Ally pointed it out to me!) a layer cake of Dottie in all it's polka dotted goodness, I had to whip up a quick quilt.
All I did was chop the blocks & scramble them a bit... I understand there is a written pattern like this (although I just did it... no pattern) so I won't give you a detailed tutorial. I don't want to step on any toes! My quilt is about 50x60 inches, perfect lap quilt size.

My pal Diann did some awesome longarm bubble quilting to add to the dotty goodness...
And my pal Joy helped me choose a snazzy black/white/gray stripe for a perfect binding...
and this beauty is ready for a snuggle on the couch. Too bad it's been 100 degrees here every day lately. I'm off to fiddle with the thermostat again (much to hubby's dismay!)

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

crafty tuesday recap

Yesterday was crafty Tuesday at ellyn's place. I can't believe next month we will celebrate 2 years of crafty Tuesdays! We had lots of fun activities happening.... scrapbook supply sorting/tag making, appliqué, crochet, hexie making....
 We also took some time to celebrate 2 summer birthdays in our crafty group. Now that they've received them, I can share the mini quilts I made for my two pals for their birthdays!

First for Melissa, my sunshine yellow loving, happy friend! A mini dwell by Thimbleblossoms in her favorite colors....
 my favorite part is this silly chick poking through the door....
 And for Joellen, my awesome quilting buddy, my variation on the mini stitch by figtree & co....
Love these gals so much & it was fun to make them each something to hang in their crafty spaces!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014


Today I am 53 1/2 years old! but enough about me. Every year on my half birthday, I get to celebrate a real birthday with my sweet Ally. Today we celebrate 18 years of Ally!
That's right, as of today all of my "children" are adults! How did that happen? Just yesterday I was dropping her off for her first day of preschool and next Saturday we will move her into her dorm room at Texas State University for her freshman year of college. The years have flown by, and she has grown into a beautiful, wise, strong and funny young woman. She has blessed our family with her witty sarcasm, her strong sense of justice and her sparkling smile. 

I love you miss Ally! Now go and conquer the world. I'll be right here cheering you on!

Monday, August 4, 2014


Thanks to all of you for your sweet comments on my 6 year/700 posts giveaway post! It still amazes me that so many of you follow and read along. I let Mr Random.org choose a winner....
Number 22 is Barbara from Georgia! I'm off to email her right away. Congrats Barbara!

Friday, August 1, 2014

6 years and 700 posts later.... and a giveaway!

Six years ago today I wrote my first post at ellyn's place, never dreaming anyone other than my mom & a few close friends would ever read it! At that time I was making pillows for Leigh Anne, daughter #1, to take to college! If you read my last post, you know that now I am doing the same thing for Ally. In between, we got Steve off to college (one more semester and he is done!) Round three of college freshman year is about to happen here. On Tuesday, I will have three adult children (when Ally turns 18) Amazing how far we have come in six years.

Along the way I have gathered more than 500 followers... thanks to all of you for reading along! I've met lots of fellow bloggers (and by "met" I mean gotten to know online.), participated in blog hops and giveaways and learned oh so much!

As luck would have it, this is also post number 700!  What are the odds? 6 years and 700 posts on the same day. Calls for a giveaway I think. I just made up this sweet sew uptown wallet....

It was a fun little wallet to make! The pleats on the front make for a surprisingly roomy inside. Also there's a zipper pocket for your cash... and the zipper was easy to put in! Really, it was.

 Would you like to be the owner of this little bag? Leave me a comment on this post and I'll choose a winner on Monday, August 4th. Are you a blog follower? Leave a second comment for a second chance to win! And thanks so much for following. If you are a "no-reply blogger" please leave your email address in the comments.
Happy August everyone!