Saturday, November 29, 2014

BOM #2 for Sew Sweet Simplicity

Earlier this week, Jacquelynne Steves sent out her super-easy-to-follow instructions for Block #2 in the Sew Sweet Simplicity Block of the Month.

Of course, I wanted to sit down immediately and start putting it together. But, life was not scheduled that way!

I was subbing in Art class (of all places) on Monday. (Yes, it went very well!)
Tuesday was Clean The House Day for Thanksgiving and
Wednesday, was food prep for the feast on Thursday.
So, finally on Friday, I was able to meet up with my sewing machine and put this baby together!

Please remember that I'm still pretty green with this piecing thing and making HST's and Flying Geese and aligning corners and seams. Jacquelynne really spells it out clearly with pictures and easy steps to follow in her tutorial. I would highly recommend anyone who is new to quilting to follow along!

I hope this gets better with practice. OK, so don't go scrutinizing those areas!


I do like it and am pleased with my color choices and fabrics. I'm already looking forward to Block #3!

A close up for pinterest...



Wednesday, November 12, 2014

BOM #1 for Sew Sweet Simplicity

Hi friends!

Gosh, it's been a while. As I sit here uploading photos, I think back 3 days ago when the temperature was 60 degrees, I look out the window now and see snow floating in the air.
 It's been a crazy week weather-wise. Ol' Man Winter is on his merry way.

About a week ago, I took on a personal challenge to sew up a quilt block from Jacquelynne Steves  who writes an e-magazine called Art of Home. I can't even remember how I found her or her

Block of the Month project, but I'm so glad I did!
She's also on facebook. (you should be proud of me learning to add a link here!)
 Why was this a challenge for me? Because I've done very little in the way of formal quilting. I've done several quilt-as-you-go projects (see below) and a few more crazy quilting things, but as far as cutting fabric in dimensions and ironing open seams and cutting at angles, I was scared!
 But I took it on none the less.

So here's my first block from the Sew Sweet Simplicity Block of the Month:

I think it turned out really well, at least for a beginner! No enlarging allowed here to peek at imperfect seam matches. I was so excited to make this and Jacquelynne's tutorial was so easy to follow. I am really looking forward to the next block!
I chose the colors based on my home's d├ęcor. We have lots of deep reds, beiges, olive green and black accents. This block will be among 5 more blocks that will be made into a lap quilt for the family room.

Here are a few more of the projects I've made using many of the same fabrics:

These are coasters (or mug rugs) that I made In-The-Hoop on my embroidery machine.
 There are 4 in the set, but one of them is MIA.

This is a square (duh) table topper that sits on an end table. Once again, it ain't perfect!
Above is a table runner that I have on a larger end table.
My mind is really wanting to learn more about quilting. While I wait for the second block to come out, I'm working on a Christmas tree skirt for my son.
That's another post.

I hope it won't take me 6 months to get it here.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Tell Me What You Want. What you really, really want!

Hi friends! I know it's been waaaay too long since I updated this blog. It's been on my mind more than I'd like to admit. I've thought so many times of writing a post, then I'd get busy...or lazy...or lack the confidence...or didn't take pictures...or just felt like no one would care.

Since my blog's beginning, my life has changed dramatically from being an unhappy, stressed-out middle school teacher. I am now a happy-go-lucky substitute teacher who works when I want, where I want and enjoys hobbies for the first time in many, many years! I know, I know... I'm a lucky one. I now enjoy sewing, time in the kitchen, books, traveling, gardening, being a Morkie mommy, long walks.

So here I am and want to know from you:

Should I continue this blog? What would you like to see and read here? If I don't hear from anyone (feel the pressure?), I'll get the message. I won't feel bad, I promise. Well, maybe for a day...but I'll recover.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Work In Progress

I suppose most people have at least one unfinished project that haunts them. This is mine. It sits tucked away at the bottom of my sewing room closet, all rolled up in a laundry basket. Poor thing. It was started with such verve and anticipation and innocence...thinking that a few squares could be sewn together in a weekend to make a lovely quilt.

It didn't take long to prove myself wrong. I got it out again this past week while I'm on spring break. I reconnected with some of that verve. I made 2 more squares. Each square takes me about 90 minutes to sew. That does not include the time it takes to cut the strips.

I really didn't follow a pattern for this baby. I looked at some quilts online and had some ideas. It's definitely in the category of "quilt-as-you-go", meaning it's sewn and quilted onto the batting all at once. When all the squares are made ("when" is an open-ended term here), they are sewn together, attached to a backing and then sewn to a binding. I'm thinking I'd like a white sashing between the squares. Any thoughts on that? 

I like to lay it out and just let my eyes settle here and there. I try to imagine it covering our guest room bed. It'll get there someday. Someday when that verve beckons me back to the corner of my closet. For now, it's tucked away and collecting dustballs energy.

And just because today is the LAST freaking day of this never-ending winter, I'm posting my view out of my sewing room. Welcome, Spring, and all of the lusciousness you have to offer!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

She Wears Her Heart on Her Sleeve

Over the weekend, I was wearing one of my "go-to" shirts that I often wear under a sweater or vest. I have several of various colors, but this one is probably the one I wear most often. It's off-white and goes with just about everything. So I was feeling pretty comfortable and was in a I've-got-my-crap-together kind of mood when I looked down at my left sleeve and saw a hole! How'd that get there?

A mouse? A bug? A flirty bra hook in the washing machine? An extra sharp arm hair?
To remedy this, I did what any handy girl would do and fixed 'er up.
I embroidered a heart on my sleeve.

Which lead me to the meaning of this idiom:
"She wears her heart on her sleeve."
The ever-popular Urban Dictionary defines it as:
to express emotions freely and openly, for all to see.
That's me all over. I could never play poker, that's for sure! I've never understood people who keep their emotions all bottled up. Let those babies out and deal with them, I say! Of course, expressing those feelings may sometimes get reactions from people that you don't expect. It also opens you up to getting your feelings hurt easily. Been there, done that.

I like to wear my heart on my sleeve, both literally and figuratively.
It's who I am.


Monday, February 10, 2014

Sweet Pouch Swap exchange!

My Sweet Pouch from Trina!
Back in early January, a sweet blogger, Ros at SewDelicious,  was offering her third swap for anyone interested in making a pouch and sending it to a selected friend. I got my name in the pool (a bit late, but she took me anyway) and I was paired up with Trina from Winnipeg, Canada! Not only do we both live in frigidly cold winter climates, but we both looove purple! We exchanged a few emails and what we liked and then the sewing happened.
Last week, I got my package in the mail and I was (and still am) so tickled with my bag! It's perfect for me with the sewing words in the fabric, the owl which represents the teacher in my, and of course---the purple! We were to fill the bag with sweets from our area and somehow (ooops!), the treats disappeared once my package was opened. Chocolate doesn't last long in this house. :)

Bottom of the bag: notice the word "PURPLEST"??? How cute is that?

 This is the back side (how did she know I loved chevron?) and the inside which is a lovely floral lavender.

In exchange, I made a bag for Trina and mailed it off to far-away Canada...actually only an 11 hour drive, but still...

Trina loves to knit and sew, so I thought this might help her tote her supplies around. It's got 6 outside pockets, plus strong straps to throw over her shoulder.
Those skeins of yarn can get heavy! I embroidered a { T } near the top to personalize it. That way no one named Wanda would steal it.  


Pictures of the back and the inside. I love the way it turned out and so does Trina!
This was such a fun swap. I hope to get involved in another one soon.
It's a great way to make a new friend!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Super Bowl Bibs!

Super Bowl Bibs

I am not a football fan. I am not a baseball, hockey, tennis, basketball, soccer, or even a ping pong fan. I am a mean tether ball least I was in 6th grade. I do enjoy watching figure skating on TV, too. I guess you could say I am not a sports fan. I am a minority, I know. That's the way it is.

Anyway, yesterday while the Big Game was broadcast all over the world, I was up in my sewing room making a few bibs for a friend of mine. Nancy became a first-time grandma a few months ago and I decided I'd better hop to the bib-making before this little lady was eating with chopsticks on her own! I was in pure bliss as the TV roared below me. Give me a little Pandora and my fabrics and I'm a happy girl. Well, throw in a sewing machine too.

The hardest part for me...also the most choosing coordinating fabrics. I have quite the stash. Ahem. Let's leave it at that.

Then there's the part where I need to choose a design. Yes, I have quite a collection of those too.

 I tried 3 different bird designs til I found one that worked for me. I really like how this one matches the birdies in the fabric.
Notice the yellow ends on the neck edge? Well, those weren't part of the original plan. One of the ends got sewn to the applique, so I had to cut it out and sew on some patches. Does it look like it's supposed to be there?
The coordinated backs. These bibs are reversible!
The final step...sewing on snaps. I used to put a Velcro closing on the bibs, but a few moms said their little stinkers learned quickly how to pull the bib off. So, it's snaps from now on, unless someone requests otherwise.
These pretty bibs will go in the mail today to my good friend, Nancy.
I hope she is blessed with many more grandbabies!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Balance: My Word of the Year!
Hey friends! Welcome to 2014!
Have you ever assigned yourself a Word of the Year? I'm not sure where I read about it first, but 2 years ago was my first WOTY. I thought this was such an intriguing idea. Choosing a word was something I wanted to embrace and make it my mantra as I embarked on a new year. 2012 was a pinnacle year for me and I knew some big things were going to change in my life. I was miserable and I had to take charge.
My word for 2012: CHANGE
I quit my teaching job. HUGE change after 28 years in education!
My youngest daughter moved out into her own place after college graduation and finding a job in her career path. We were then empty nesters...first time in 24 years!
My word for 2013: BELIEVE
I needed to strengthen my beliefs in myself and in God who I depended on deeply. I was so lost after quitting my teaching job, and didn't know where I was supposed to be. I did a lot of reading, thinking, searching, and praying. I came out of 2013 a much stronger woman with very strong beliefs!
My word for 2014: BALANCE
This year I am going to find better ways to spend my free time; make wiser food choices; require myself to exercise at least 5 days per week; participate more in volunteer work; and show loved ones how much I care for them rather than take it for granted that they know...they don't!
So balance is the way I will attempt to conquer this year. Life can get so lop-sided.
Hey, I've already exercised today! AND I made healthy food choices too!
We're off to a good start, my word and me.
What would you choose for your Word of the Year?