Monday, February 28, 2011

No-Snow Days

Well unlike Brenda, our weekend was filled with sunshine and no snow. We didn't even have foothill snow.. well very little, it mostly looked like leftover snow from a previous storm. I would have been disappointed except Mother Nature gave me a couple of gifts that made up for it.

This ugly little glob on the ugly little bundle of cords and plugs outside my sewing room is a hummingbird's nest.

You can see through the water spots on my window, the hummingbird in residence. I'm not sure the bird is convinced it's a great spot though, he/she would fly off every time I went in there, and you know, I spend a lot of time in there whether I'm sewing or not. Still it made for a fun afternoon.

We also had an amazing sunset Saturday night. Doesn't that shot look like something blew up on the other side of those hills? Crazy.

It was a fun weekend. Sunday we celebrated my mom's birthday and had a great time. What did you guys do?

Friday, February 25, 2011

End of the Week

Yesterday I completed my little project.. I know, hard to believe right? I love the size and I think I'm going to try more small quilts like this.. super cute but a not super commitment.

I followed Monica's lead on the quilting, although I did mine on the machine using some heavier weight cotton thread, Auriful on the gray spool. I like this thread a lot for machine quilting, it has a nice sheen. I'm running out of this white color. I would give you the number, but I can't tell which is the color number on the spool. I don't think it's white, but maybe a step down. I should ask my friend Pat, she's got her own collection.

Yeah, I know, the binding isn't really finished, you can see the pins, but this was the last chance for a picture before it became too gloomy for the final ironing board finish. Did you see this news? Yes, that is snow on Saturday!!! SHOCKER.

So people, have a warm safe weekend! If there's any snow you'll see a photo of it come Monday morning! xo

Thursday, February 24, 2011


I think at this point every knows I'm a serial copy catter. I just see stuff and I want to make it. Especially some super cute Happy-Zombie-Stuff. When she pours the kool-aid I just drink up and ask for more. (and have you seen her strike-offs.. O.M.G.)

She left me with no choice but to cut into some of my beloved Dolly Dresses and get stitching. It's my mom's birthday coming up and I wanted to make her a little something to set her tea on while she reads the book we picked up for her.
Not that she'll do it. Set her tea on it I mean. She might set something cute on it though,something that won't stain it or ruin it in any way!

The hardest thing about this little quilt is laying out the blocks. It probably takes longer to do that than cut them out and stitch them up. Tomorrow I should have this done.

I love the zig zag pattern, have you seen Elizabeth's Zig Zag inspired by a vintage quilt? Her version is Jelly roll friendly. I love her print backgrounds and how it changes the look. As much as I love the fresh crisp look of Monica's solid background, I can't help but want to mix it up with a print. The solid makes it look so modern but the zig zag has been around since 1775-1800 according to my Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns. Barbara Brackman's book is a great and I highly recommend it. There are no cutting instructions though, fyi.

On a side note, have you seen this? It looks awfully handy!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Continuing Saga

Ok, so yes indeed, I did finish my Martha Stewart Potholder. I made a few changes, not that I thought Martha's potholder needed it. I just don't like to leave well enough alone.

One thing I knew right off I wanted to change was the little half heart pockets.. one layer didn't seem adequate, so I cut a lining for them, and sandwiched some rick rack in between for a little style. Super cute here against Debbie's white ironing board cover. How does she keep it so clean?

As you can see I didn't think far enough ahead, the red rick rack really doesn't show up that well. No turning back though.

I basted the rick rack to the pot holder base, but I think rick rack veterans will notice my error right off.. too much rick rack in the seam allowance. This is a classic PKM problem. knowing exactly where to put the rick rack to get good results. I'll make a note.

I used two layers of the Insul-Bright which I trimmed out of the seam allowance. didn't precut it into the heart shape, but laid my pieces on top and sewed around it. I didn't want to use bias tape, and I was reluctant to use bias binding because of that inside corner...laziness on my part. Of course it was such a pain to turn I didn't go back and trim out the rick rack, so it didn't press out as nice as it could.

Still it's pretty cute. I top stitched around the bottom half to close the opening. I don't have as much rick rack showing as I intended but in future potholders I would remedy that. When I first cut out the pattern I thought it seemed a little large, but it's perfect for sliding your fingers in. It might however be too cute to get yucked up with food. I've seen my old pot holders.

So that's it around here for today. What's up with you guys?

P.S. you can find Deb's delicious lunch recipe
P.S. did you see Elizabeth has listed some new kits on her website?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tuesday is the new Monday

Good morning peoples, how are you after the long weekend? Here are some scenes from my Saturday sew day with Deb, Debbie and Deanna!

Deb's project

My personal nemesis.

Debbie made Deb a echidna pin cushion, super cute.

coming soon!

Deanna's brother is at it again! Bret and I checked this out Friday Night!
I'll be back tomorrow, and hopefully that pot holder will be completed.

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Very Best of Intentions

I was on a roll this week, but then I had a weak finish. I intended on making this fabulous Martha Stewart Potholder today, but the day got away from me. I had all the cute cherry stuff out but got sidetracked with technical issues. I don't even want to tell you how many tries it took on my stinken printer to get that pdf to print enlarged. Way more than I am willing to admit.

The fabric is some stashed cherries I found. They make a perfect match for the extremely cute cherry measuring spoons and cups from Kathy. Maybe at sewing day I can whip it out. That's right, I have sewing day tomorrow... and I'm super excited about it.

Anyway, that's the news. I'm going to link to some very cool stuff now. Go forth and be motivated. xo

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Twittery Inspiration

Yesterday I spent a good part of the morning in my pjs yakking it up on Twitter. It was super fun. I know to some people Twitter seems weird ... like why would I talk to Elizabeth on Twitter when she's just about 15 minutes from my house. Well I wouldn't go there in my pjs for one thing. Anyway, when she started tweeting about her hail I was pretty jealous..I think you know how much I like weather and blathering on about it. Pretty soon Deanna started talking about hail and she's farther east, so I figured no chance of hail for poor me. Later I was rewarded with a nice batch of hail. (Squeaky wheel my friends, just saying.)

At the same time I was tweeting my very creative friend Roseann. She's pretty much a genius and if you live local to her in store I'm pea green. Anyway we got into a big discussion about the hexagons from yesterday's post and all the cool things you could do with them.

So I drafted up a giant hexagon by simply adding 1 inch to my ruler for the inside and 2 inches for the outside.
I cut myself some fabric for a large hexagon block, and cut a piece of Insul-Bright batting the size of the smaller piece to sandwich in there and I made myself a potholder.

Roseann had just gotten a big shipment of rick rack, and we discussed putting rick rack in the seam allowance.

I like the larger size, and I bet even jumbo rick rack would be awesome, if you made the outside hexagon more than just 1 inch bigger, maybe 1 1/2 inches?

I didn't have enough of the larger rick rack to go around mine.. but you get the idea. Pretty cute right? Of course we didn't just stop with that. We thought about adding other embellishments, like appliques and monograms with the Slice Fabrique and buttons made with the i-top and charms and ribbons. It was like a creative firestorm.

So I whipped out a plain pot holder. But what I really want to do is have you all to go over and bug Roseann to make a fancy one. She's the embellishment genius and she's got all the cool tools to do it. You can catch her on her blog, or on Facebook. Tell her I sent you!!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Killing time

Do you ever just wander from project to project? I'm having a hard time focusing on doing much of anything. My applecores are untouched since I blogged them. My Dream On project is stalled, haven't done a thing on it in ages. Thank goodness I have a sew day coming up this Saturday, I might actually accomplish something. Something besides chatting and eating even.

So most of you probably already know Doe.. She used to blog at That Silly 'Lil Doe and I would just lose my mind over her projects and pictures. Now days she's on Flickr and still just as inspiring. Like her hexagon project shown here.

I just loved how her hexagons looked so I looked into the tutorial she mentions in the comment section (tutorial here.) I didn't use the special templates, just my Darlene Zimmerman hexagon ruler, which I love.

If I was cool, I'd have lined up that little bunch of cherries up right in the center. But, I'm not. Cool that is.

Above is how the corners should all look, very nice and all matched up, unlike the corner below, that I messed up on purpose (ha) so you could see what a not good corner looks like.

When going back and re-reading the tutorial, I can see that I didn't follow the folding order quite as I should have, so I will make a note of that.

I used my blind hem stitch for sewing down the border and I think the results on top look great. I used white here so you can see how it looks on the back.

I think with matching thread you wouldn't see it. I also didn't use batting, as shown in the tutorial. It wasn't necessary for my little test, and I think even if I did it as a project I would leave it out. Seeing my Doll Dresses fabric again makes me want to get busy on some kind of project, you know? It's so cheerful.

Ok, that's all the news here. Let me know if you make some of these cool hexagons, and be sure and say hi to Doe for me if you go check out her photos.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

Good morning my very special Valentines! How are you today? I hope you had a wonderful, fun and productive weekend!

What's on your Valentine's Day agenda? Bret has the day off so we're working around the house a bit, maybe go out for lunch. Looks like wintry weather is due our way, so I'm glad I got those roses pruned. I'm not complaining though, it beats shoveling snow I'm sure!

Have a lovely day my little heart throbs.. xop

Friday, February 11, 2011

Spring fever

Thanks for all the great comments and helpful hints yesterday. I know they'll make all the difference in piecing those curves.

For the most part, I spent the day out back pruning roses and pulling weeds, with some sewing and internet thrown in. That dose of sunshine was just what I needed for sure. I'm sorry I can't bottle it up for all you people who need it. I know we'll be back to gloom soon but for now I have to live it up.

Plans for the weekend?? Tell all!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Pucker up

So, in spite of all the gallivanting around, I've been doing some sewing. Just a little. I have all those apple core blocks cut out and I was thinking of a quilt. But then after a few I was thinking of a table runner. But I'm having some problems.

PUCKERS. I don't recall which side goes up, convex or concave, when stitching a curved seam. And for some reason, in spite of all the great tutorials out there.. I didn't find the answer to my question. Everything matches up, those Accuquilt apple core blocks are wonderful with their notches, but 9 times out of 10 I get a little bit of a pucker. I have a few rows done, maybe it will turn into a pillow?

Anyway, regardless, it's good clean fun, right? So what's up with you?

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

That kind of good

Yesterday had to make a quick trip over to Ikea, which turned into an awesome excuse for an outing to all the fun places in Berkeley.

Had lunch at the very famous Betty's Diner. Of course the company was good!

The window shopping was fun!

The weather sunny but windy and cool.

The flowers so colorful they hurt your eyes, almost.

The fresh air divine.

So clear you can see San Francisco from the freeway across the bay.

The nice weather won't last, but we have to enjoy it while we can, right? And it beats weeding hands down.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Lucky Me!

One of the things I never anticipated when I started my blog was that a wonderful new world would open up for me. One that would hold so many fabulous opportunities, like getting a chance to make something in Kathy's new book, Strip-Smart Quilts. You can read about it here on her blog, and see the cool ruler you use to make these quilts.

This is the quilt I made for the book. Isn't it cheerful? I love the Bliss fabric and of course who doesn't love Bonnie and Camille?

The book is due out this May!!! I think you're going to love it!!

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