Monday, September 30, 2013

Fall,Strawberry Pin Cushion Swap and Other Fun Stuff

{Warning: loooooog post. If you want to see the strawberry pin cushion swap scroll to the bottom :)}September weather here is usually very hot but this year we have had warm, mixed with moderate, and even some rainfall. At the first rain drop these two grabbed their boots and umbrellas and strolled around the yard.

Autumn light is amazing. This shot was taken in my backyard but every where I go I want my camera to capture the light it is so warm and golden. I need to take the kids out to take some portraits.

Of course, light + rain = rainbows and we were treated to a double rainbow last week.

It seems more common to only see half of the rainbow but on this day we could see the whole thing. Unfortunately I do not have a lens capable of that capture so I got the 2 ends of the rainbow and the arc. Somewhere over the rainbow........... :)

I am completely spoiled; it's true!! Last week I received the beautiful package from  Jola and this week I won the vintage pattern lottery from Amy. I had seen a cute pattern on Pinterest but couldn't find the size I wanted . I knew Amy had quite a few patterns so I asked her if she happened to have the pattern I wanted. She didn't have the exact pattern but one close enough that I can easily alter it to suit my needs. Score!!! Then she said she was going to destash some patterns to her Etsy store and did I want to look at them to see if I wanted any. Amy spent a couple of days emailing me pictures of the patterns and judging from the pile of patterns up there I have no self control. Besides the patterns she sent a vintage quilting book (I hope that doesn't mean your quilting day is over Amy!!), some awesome sewing magazines, fabric bracelets and a necklace, Oklahoma City Thunder  (an NBA team) fabric because she knows I love them and one of her famous bows (she blogs at Sews N Bows!) AND can you see what is up in the top left hand corner under the OKC fabric?! why yes, I did nearly pass out when I saw it. It is the most amazing vintage strawberry fabric. Cute little berries with that small scale that is hard to find! She also send some Halloween favors that the girls must have run off with as I don't see them in the picture. And a maxi skirt for the twins which is also not in the photo because Coley Girl grabbed it and put it on and has only parted with it long enough for it to be washed and dried and then she's wearing it again. Cole thinks Amy is the nicest person and an expert! and was as tickled as I was with all the goodies :) I am very blessed! with wonderful friends!!

Can you see all that cuteness!! Thank you so much Amy, you're awesome! I need to finish some quilts so I can sew up some kid's clothes!

Some more fall shots.... fall garden,

raindrops on clover.

If you are still here , Thank you! as I am really excited about the Strawberry Pin Cushion Swap. The swap is hosted by Erin who blogs at Why Not Sew and if there was ever a swap perfect for me, this is it.

The swap is for 1 strawberry pin cushion but I was unable to make just 1. I made 5 but here are 3 of them. They are a fun make!!

I need to make a card and I have a couple more strawberry items to gather and then I will be mailing it off. (you know I have been wanting to make another one of those 3" paper pieced strawberries!!)

I received my swap today (i told you i was spoiled!). It came all the way across the U.S. from Susie. I knew I was going to love it when I took it out of the box and saw that cute alphabet ribbon! I love a type font.

When I read the note it was from someone I already was familiar with on Flickr. Susie is doing Kristy's block of the month so I have "seen" her in the Quiet Play flickr group and I had seen what she had made in the pin cushion group. I have been wanting some fabric nesting baskets and now I have 1 less to make! She also sent some pins and a key fob.

The strawberry pin cushion is beautiful! The photos do not do it justice and it is hard to see the pretty beads she stitched on there. Thank you so much Susie I really appreciate the beautiful things you sent!!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Flashback Friday: My First Official Scrapbook Page

I have always been a scrap booker. I consider the diary from my childhood a scrap book of sorts. After high school I organized all my class photos and report cards and a few little doo dads in one of those old magnetic albums. There were not scrap book companies then like there are today so when I went to England to visit my sister and brother in law i made a scrap book using paper paraphernalia that i gathered on the trip or wrapping paper as a background. When Creative Memories started up when my oldest was a toddler I jumped right on that band wagon. I thought it was so fun to have templates to cut photos into shapes (although that took a while to get used to. At first I did not want to cut any of the picture out, even when it wasn't a good picture). Die cuts and stickers that were theme or holiday specific were a dream come true. A few things have changed since I started keeping scrap books! I used film at first but now we are all digital. I concentrated on documenting "events" and getting as many photos as I could on a page. Now we have so many more options than just a 4x6 so quite often i will scrap one large photo and I do more every day life stuff than events, Actually it has been ions since I have made a scrap page but I have all kinds of journals and paper keepsakes like game tickets and programs of all those every day moments I would like to get documented. With all that has changed one thing has stayed the same... I ( and my family) love flipping through the scrap books and remembering moments we have forgotten. Have a good weekend!!!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Giving, Receiving, and Swapping (Not Necessarily in that Order)

I have a very sweet friend in the Czech Republic, Jola. I love to see her part of the world in pictures on her blog and in lovely things she shares with me. She and her family recently had a fun weekend trip to a part of her country where there is a paper mill that makes paper by hand. I love pretty paper as much as i love fabric and she sent me some paper from the mill she visited. That was such a fun surprise for me!! The paper has such a lovely texture and some pretty embossing too. I may use some of these to create some cards but i like to use them as is to jot a note to someone. Yes, Jola is very thoughtful  :) 

That is not all she sent. She also sent some beautiful strawberry fabric and some ribbon tapes. The larger strawberries and dots is a Czech fabric and the teeny tiny strawberries are Japanese. I can't wait to use them in a project and know their scale will work well in paper piecing projects. Jola uses pretty tapes to give a special finish to her projects so these will be fun to use!!. It was a little like Christmas opening this package!Don't you love the fun stamps she puts on the envelope too? I always keep the postmarks and stamps that come from foreign countries; it's almost as fun as getting a stamp in my passport...almost :). Thank you so much dear Jola!!

I participated in a fussy square block swap and these are the blocks I got back. One day they will turn into a cushion but that is a ways down on the to do list. I don't do a lot of swaps but I definitely enjoy doing one every now and then.

This pretty Mermaid block came from Jane. I think this Mermaid is so pretty (the block was designed by Kristy) and Jane chose perfect fabrics. I have received all the blocks from the Wombat Stew girls so the rest is up to me. I have a goal to have my fairy tale quilt top together next week. There, I said it out loud so now I am committed!! I love this quilt and have loved working on it but I am wanting to start some other projects but won't allow myself to until this one is wrapped up.

I found these fun dish towels at Target over the weekend. I have seen some beautiful ones in this style on Etsy and love them so when I saw these they were hard to resist. I can't decide if I am going to use them or cut them up into a project. I will probably use them since I don't often make seasonal projects  although the apple can be used throughout the year. I think it would be fun to make towels using these as inspiration.

Lastly, I am to the giving part of this post. Turns out September is a busy birthday month for my friends! Kristy's birthday was early in the month, then my best friend's birthday was on the 11th (i never forget her birthday since it is such a memorable day in our history), and Jola celebrated a birthday last week. I am behind on getting Lisa and Jola''s gifts made but I will be seeing Lisa this weekend which is good incentive to get things done.

I saw a trivet similar to this on Pinterest and had to make one right away. Hexies are a fun little addition to any project. I backed this with the same DS fabric as the tea towel and bias cut gingham is always a favorite for binding.

Two presents down, one to go. Do you have a go to gift you like to make?

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Ladybug, Ladybug Fly Away Home

Pre-empting Flashback Friday this week to link up with Kristy's Paper Piecing Party. I finished out the week finishing up this block. Kristy is the Queen this month and her theme is Garden Party picnic quilt. She drew up this most excellent pattern which was fun to put together. It may have been my fastest finish yet as I did in in 2 nap times. Have I mentioned I have a 2 year old who thinks she doesn't want to sleep? I spend part of nap time putting her back in her crib. Just when I think she is asleep I will once again hear her singing or clanking some toys. Silly girl always says she won't be cranky so when she gets cranky late in the day I remind her she should have rested during quiet time. Her reply is, "I'm happy mom!" So, even with non napping toddlers this pattern can be finished up in a reasonable amount of time. Kristy loves text prints so there is a bit in there. I like to think Miss Ladybug is sitting on an iris since that is one of Kristy's favorites too. Happy Friday and enjoy your weekend :)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

WIP Wednesday: Building Blocks

I am making headway on the fairy tale quilt thanks to my bee mates! Gemma designed, made, and sent me this darling  Princess and the Pea block. I love the colorful stacked mattresses and my girls' favorite part was the pea hidden at the bottom of the mattresses.

Fiona made and sent me a handsome Frog Prince. Kristy designed this pattern and it is one of my favorites; I love how he is peeking up over the rock and Fiona's fabric choices really brings him to life.

Our Wombat Stew group also did an artist trading card (ATC) swap but instead of an ATC Fiona made each of us a zip pouch. The one she made me is perfect and I have been using it to hold some sewing notions and keep it by my sewing machine.

The back is as cute as the front with a selvedge and cute little lone strawberry :)

I have to show you the inside because it is awesome too!

Being in a bee has been a very fun experience and I am so thankful to all the girls for their help in bringing my fairy tale quilt to life. I thought I was close to the finish this past weekend. I needed to feel like I was accomplishing something so I chained pieced some of the sashing on. I tried a couple different layouts and realized I needed a couple more fairy tale blocks. Kristy to the rescue and she  kindly made 2 more for me. Now I will be able to fill out the bottom row with the 2 new blocks. The castle is not quite as tall or wide as 2 blocks so I am still thinking about how I will fill in that space.

When I started this quilt I did not have a clear picture of how it would turn out. I started out with a list of my top 10 fairy tales and then it became 12 and now 15. Back at the beginning Kristy had designed an open book block (which I am using at the beginning and the end) as well as a book stack block to use as fillers. I made a couple of the book stack blocks this week. My plan is to have each of the fairy tales used in the quilt also be represented by a book. Here I have The Three Pigs, after some applique the blue one will be Cinderella, The Little Mermaid, and then Princess and the Pea.

This next book block has Hansel and Gretel, a little girl reading,  the brown one will become Goldilocks and the 3 Bears after some applique, and the last one will become Thumbelina.
Lastly, this is one of the 2 new patterns Kristy made for me this weekCan you guess who it is? Yes, it is Puss in Boots. I thought Kristy was pretty clever the way she chose to design this block with the kitty looking up at his boots and think he is a pretty cute cat. It was a fun block to put together!! That's what is going on in my world this week. I can't wait to see what everyone else has been doing over at Freshly Pieced!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Paper Piecing Paper Pieced Pieces aka September Blocks

The Queen for this month in Wombat Stew is Kristy and she has chosen a fun Garden theme.  I asked her for a turtle pattern and I had it stuck in my head that his shell should be made of hexagons. She came up with a cute pattern (she always does!!)!! To make the hexies I printed out a hexagon template onto freezer paper (if i remember correctly these were 7/8"). I ironed the freezer paper onto the fabric then pressed the sides of the fabric around the template. Once the shape was made i gave it a good press and starch. I thought this would be a bit faster than hand basting and i think it was. 

Next I laid out my hexies to cover the shell area on the pattern and then stitched them together. The shell is the first piece to go down in that section of the pattern so it is surrounded by other fabric. That makes for a few options when doing the shell. You could keep it simple and use a solid piece of fabric or do embroidery, etc. I embroidered his eyes and mouth. Since her theme is garden and she had suggested having a strawberry in her garden he is strolling through the berry patch :)

Next up are my do.Good Stitches blocks. The pattern is out of the book 99 Modern Blocks and is called Free Wheeling by Natasha Bruecher. Thankfully it is paper pieced so I was right at home making this block.

The quilter requested scrappy with lime green, purple, and orange surrounded by low volume prints.

She wanted the 2 blocks to have the low volume/color placement  reversed.  Scrappy- check. colorful-check. Low volume- check. I will be popping these in the mail this week.

Lastly, I made the last block in Kristy's block of the month And Sew On group. I debated about putting a night owl and stars in the window since i typically sew at night but i would much rather see blue skies, a happy sun, and some puffy white clouds. This was such a fun group to sew along with and each block had so many fun details!! I haven't quite decided what to do with these blocks. I need to give it some thought but I think I am leaning towards a mini for my sewing room. Happy Monday!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Flashback Friday: Back to School (a very long time ago)

Everyone has been in back to school mode so when I found this little gem of a photo I thought it would fit in. Go ahead and laugh. You know you want to!! My mom gave me (in the blue) some pretty funny hair dos. This was the first day of 2nd grade for me and 1st grade for my sister. My sis and I are 363 days apart. My mom would dress us the same and everyone always asked if we were twins. This was probably the last time I was my sisters height as she ended up about 4" taller than me. I am happy to have this photo as I think it may be the only first day of school picture my mom ever took :)

I hope you have a fun weekend!!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Flashback Friday: Summer Summary 2013

The days are still hot here but it cools down in the evening. I can tell that the sun is further away from us the way the sunlight filters through during the day and the days are definitely getting shorter. So I thought a summary of summer in photos was in order for this week. These are from my DSLR and if i can figure out how to get the pictures off my phone I might have them in this spot next week. This was a hard summer due to the kids ages. They were all busy but the youngest 2 still on a nap schedule. their Dennis the Menace-get-into mischief-antics kept me on my toes! 

Big Bento lunches were my mainstay; they kept the kids and I all happy. They were fast food, healthy style...well, mostly healthy :). Root beer floats and popsicles were the cool treats of choice.

Sometimes all it takes is a little bucket to provide an hour of entertainment.

Sam spent most of the summer up all night and sleep all day since he required a solid 12 hours of sleep. Except during basketball. Then he got up early and then would come home and face plant fall asleep on the couch or fall asleep in the chair like this. That kid could fall asleep any where.

Father's Day, this shot was just before the antics broke out. If only I could see Ellie better and Cole's eyes were open. % out of 7 looking o.k. is pretty good in my book.

I love blue skies and fluffy clouds kind of days. We were fortunate to not have any bad fires this year.

The garden did pretty good this year. The plants got so big that water wasn't getting down to the roots towards the end of summer so some of the plants have died. We have a big pumpkin that is still growing  and will be ready for Halloween.

Fashion shows and dress up were popular activities with the purple blanket acting as their runway.

These two are always ready to put on a show with their synchronized cartwheels and practicing standing on their heads.

Swing so high, touch the sky.

It was a summer of epic dunk wars on the trampoline,

Erik's All Star football game.

Cousin Will stayed for a week and we had a lot of family movie nights.

Lake time with family and friends was the best. Except for the time on my brother's birthday when my nephew split his forehead open and ended up with 14 stitches. His head hit Erik's head when they were leaving the dock. No injury to Erik. He apparently has a really hard head.

Then there was Erik's going away party and a trip to Oklahoma. School started and that to me is the unofficial end of summer. Summer you went by so quickly but we will enjoy you again next year.
Have a fun weekend!!