Thursday, February 26, 2015

The New Hexagon

My sweet friend Chantal has been leading a sew-along at Stitched With Love the last few months. The ladies are all making the hexagon blocks in Katja Marek's awesome book, The New Hexagon...
 Last week I got news that Chantal is moving away (boo...) and I was asked to step in and lead the sew-along beginning in April. Yes! I was thrilled and honored to be asked. I got my hands on the book and some fabric (thanks Joy!) and started working on blocks right away. I have some catching up to do!

I chose the Sun Prints line by Alison Glass for my fabric. Three blocks are done so far....
 I love how each block uses different shapes to make up a three inch hexagon. Here's block one, made up of hexies and diamonds....
Block two from triangles...
and block three, a hex, kites and triangles. This one was tricky!
Block four is ready to stitch today. These are so much fun! If you're local to the shop, I hope you'll consider joining us in this fun stitch-along!

Monday, February 16, 2015

a bee block

Before I left home 2 weeks ago, I packed up what I would need to make a bee block for my sweet friend Joy. I knew it would need to be done while I was away. Joy gave us a square of grunge for the center of her block and asked us to do something with it that would remind her of us. I decided to embroider my block since I love to embroider and it gave me some hand work to do while I am away.
 Some of my favorite things! Sewing, hot tea, baseball and cherries. I also brought some scraps from home to piece the rest of her block....
It was fun to put it all together today. I hope Joy likes what I've done. And I can't wait to see what the other bee members come up with!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

crafting on the road

What do you do when you're away from home for an extended period of time and have lots of down time on your hands as you wait on answers (and hide from the snow?). Well, if you're me, you find some crafty projects and get busy. And you take all of your pictures with your iPhone because, well, your camera is back at home! 

Two more hats have been crocheted for the hat collection at home (actually three. hmmm that third hat didn't make the photo shoot I guess!)
And then my sis requested a hat for a special baby friend of hers. In Ohio State colors of course! After I made the first one (lower) I thought it might be too small, so I made another. Maybe he will get to wear both! I hope so. The free pattern for this hat is here. It's a great pattern in sizes from newborn to adult! There will be more of these.

 I mentioned that I ordered a sewing machine for my sister (ok, it's for me to use now & her to use later!) Well it arrived on Tuesday and despite it's reasonable price it sews just beautifully!
 First up was a pillowcase for Ally in fabrics she had chosen....

What have you been making lately?

Tuesday, February 10, 2015


While Ally & I are in Cleveland, we are so lucky to be staying at my sisters house. So nice to have a home to relax in and be able to cook meals (not that I'm a great cook or anything. just saying.). It appears we're going to be in town for quite a while. Since my sister has been making noise about learning to sew (WHO IS THIS WOMAN??? certainly not the anti-crafty little girl I grew up with! but I digress.) I got on Amazon and ordered us a basic Brother machine which will be delivered today (thank you Amazon Prime!). I figured I can work on some little projects during the day and teach her the basics before I leave town.

When her husband got word of this, he disappeared into the basement & returned lugging this (he's a strong man! But this baby weighs a TON!).....
 Immediately I was ten years old again, learning to sew on Mom's original machine.....
 There was even a needle & a bobbin in the machine and Dave was quick to plug her in (all sewing machines are "hers" right? Well except for Ally's brother machine, which is named Steve, but that's another story for another day) and I'll be darned if she didn't run! Granted the motor sounds like a truck & the whole table vibrated but she ran! And..... she's aqua. sigh.

So many happy memories, most of Mom, working away at her making us scooter skirts, bell bottom pants, halter tops, flannel night gowns, Easter dresses, Raggedy Anne costumes.... the list goes on and on! She even sewed matching leisure suits for my Dad and brothers. If I'm not mistaken, they were mint green polyester. Very fashionable!

Do you remember the machine you learned to sew on? Do you still have it? Do share.

Monday, February 9, 2015

bee blocks and a mug rug finish

Before I left home, I finished up a couple of things for the McKinney Modern Quilt Guild February meeting. First up, bee blocks for Chris.....

These were fun! She asked for cool colors in the center and warm on the outside corners. Here's a picture taken at the guild meeting of all of her blocks together. This is going to be a beautiful quilt!

At the same meeting we had a Valentines Mug Rug swap. Here's the mug rug I sent.....

Ally says it's a Halloween/Valentines mash up! oops. I thought it was fun. Since I missed out on the meeting, I have no idea who received it. Nor do I know what I received! No one will tell me. From what I saw, all of the ones swapped were adorable! Guess I'll just have to wait & see what mine is....

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Snacking with a mug swap

After I swore off internet swaps for a bit (who was I kidding???) I signed up for the Instagram #snackingwithamug swap. I just couldn't resist! The challenge was to make your partner a mug rug and send it with a mug & a book in the genre of their choice. Now that my partner, Linda, has received her package I can share it with you....

I had fun putting together goodies for Linda, including coffee & chocolate & the only Sci-fi book I have ever read and enjoyed, The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell. I am not a Sci-fi person like Linda is, but this book had a huge impact on me, so when I saw that it was her requested genre I knew that was the book I wanted to send.

A little detail about the mug rug I made her. Following the lead of Mollie, over at Wild Olive, I tucked tiny pompoms under the edge of the binding. Such a sweet little detail! I will do that again sometime for sure.
A hexie flower and gingham bias binding completed the mug rug.
 Then, because I'm so in love with Svetlana's Lola pouch, I had to make another. This time I added Linda's name, foundation paper pieced using the Quilt Talk book, shrinking the letters to 55%.
I had so much fun putting this together & Linda seems to enjoy it. I don't expect to get my package for a few more weeks. I mailed Linda's off early because of our trip. Can't wait to find out who my sending partner is!

Friday, February 6, 2015

a very frozen birthday

I mentioned the other day that Ally & I were going on an adventure. Tuesday morning we flew to Cleveland, Ohio. This is what we wimpy Texas girls saw out the window of the plane as we approached the frozen land of Ohio....
 Lake Erie was beautiful but brrrrrr......
 This is a homecoming of sorts, as we were all born here, but left 16 years ago when Ally was 2. She doesn't really remember winters like this!
 Some of you are aware that Ally struggles with a chronic nerve pain disease called CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome). If you're one of those medical people who enjoys reading these things, you can read more about CRPS or RSD here. I don't tend to dwell on these things here on my blog, but in recent months Ally has had a difficult relapse and struggles with pain and mobility. The best doctors in the field are here, at The Cleveland Clinic, so we hopped on a plane and came to get her answers and treatment.

It just so happens, I had a birthday yesterday.  Such a treat to spend my birthday with my sister and Ally. They took me to dinner at PF Changs and my dear friend Annie joined us there as a surprise! They spoiled me with lovely gifts and wonderful conversation. Check out this fabulous collage my sister, Diane, made for me to hang in my studio....
Come on, admit it, your mom made you some of those clothes in the 1960s too! What a wonderful flashback!

I'm so thankful to have my sister here, welcoming us into her warm home and loving us! Here's the view out her front window.....
 Have a wonderful, warm day friends!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

birthday treats

A wonderful package arrived on my doorstep this week from fellow blogger and friend Maria. Check out all of the beautiful goodies she sent for my birthday!
 We agreed to make each other some kind of tote or pouch this year. This amazing tote is all hand embroidered (Maria does beautiful embroidery!). Also included is a bright & happy birthday towel with cupcakes appliqued on (Maria assures me they are gluten free! Perfect!), an awesome ruler with the name of her stitching group on it and 2 awesome fat quarters both with shades of aqua.... does she know me or what???

I thought you'd like to see that bag close up...
I've put some projects inside and tucked it inside my suitcase. Ally and I are heading north (brrrrrrr) for a big adventure. I'll tell you more about that soon!

Thanks so much Maria! Your package made me smile and will be well used and loved!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

January Calendar Journal

Almost a year ago, for my birthday, Ally gave me a beautiful spiral bound sketchbook which I decided to make into a calendar journal. I had fun doodling my days, documenting fun things that happened. Until September came. Suddenly my journal came to a halt, for no reason at all! Well, with the start of the new year, I decided to remedy that. My January calendar journal is full!
 What a busy and fun month it was! Now, moving on to February! I'm ready with a blank journal. I can't wait to fill it up with fun memories...