Saturday, November 5, 2011

Here come the holidays

The holidays are barreling towards us and I am in happy happy crafty land right now.  I just LOVE this time of year and have too many ideas swirling in my head from so much amazing internet inspiration. I’ve been a complete blog junkie lately and my bookmark list has gotten totally out of hand.  Speaking of which… if you aren’t a frequent visitor to the Sew Mama Sew blog, you will be now.  They are in the midst of their annual Handmade Holidays series that happens every November.  There are lots of contests, tutorials, patterns and handmade gift ideas galore so you may want to check them out.


Also speaking of holidays, my mug rug has made it’s long trek to Oregon and been received. My partner’s chosen holiday was Thanksgiving so I went with this pieced pumpkin pie.  I really wanted to do something paper pieced since I’m just starting to get comfortable with the process, and I wanted to think a little out of the box. 


So, I did a little searching on the internet and found this pieced pattern here at 365 Paper Pieced Quilt Blocks. I was really happy with it when I was finished and hope my partner was too. 

My next project is to finish my October $6 block for the local quilt shop meeting in 2 weeks, finish the pieced borders on the flurry quilt (quilt top almost done!!) and finish the quilting on the 2 year old crazy 9 patch quilt.  We’re having our first truly cold, windy, damp day of the season here in Florida today so maybe this is my golden opportunity to get some projects finished.  Happy November!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Fall Inspiration

About a month ago, we here in Florida had a cold front swing through dropping our normal 80 degree days into the 60’s and 70’s.  That first run of cooler temps was finally the first true sign of fall and when crafty floodgates opened.  I don’t tend to make all that many homemade gifts, mostly because some of my family members are struggling right now and fun gifts tend to make way for more practical, needed items.  Plus, as I’m sure you know, not everyone appreciates homemade gifts like us crafty peeps do.  Nonetheless, something about the cool weather and impending holidays really got my crafty mojo revved up. 

I’ve completed all of the Flurry quilt blocks, and now need to arrange them and start adding the sashing.  Last month I went to the local annual Quiltfest and picked up a yard of Amy Butler fabric along with a cute mini quilt kit. The blocks in the kit were all paper pieced, and were SO addicting!  Not to mention it’s just the best thing to have a fun project that you can whip up so quickly.


The little kimonos are so cute!  I have another kit like this one waiting in the wings that is all birds and birdhouses. It’s actually one my mom picked up, but I talked her into letting me put it together for her. 

A couple of weeks ago I started seeing those yarn wreaths popping up all over the place again, and decided to jump on the bandwagon. Voila, an easy little fall wreath for the front door.


I was pretty happy with how it came out except I wish I wouldn’t have been quite so clumpy with the flowers. Still, it does look nice from the road.

Finally, one of my friends is having her baby shower this weekend and she asked me a few months ago to make her a diaper bag.  I figured that since she knew I’d be making her one, I might as well let her pick out the fabric. So I sat her at the computer one afternoon, let her peruse the online fabric store, Hawthorne Threads (one of my faves!), and she chose this gorgeous Joel Dewberry fabric from his Aviary 2 line.  I used the Hip Mama Diaper Bag tutorial and this is what I came up with:


It’s difficult to tell from this picture, but this is a really large bag. I think it will be perfect for filling with diapers, bottles, pacifiers and all those baby things that need to travel.  The bag also has a huge zipper pocket on the back, velcro pockets on each side, 2 large pockets in the front under the flap and 2 large elastic pockets on the inside.  A word about the was really well-written and so easy! I really sailed through this project without much difficulty.  The only issue I had was in the amount of fabric. I ordered the 1 yard called for in the lining, and ended up just shy of what I needed to do the additional 2 elastic pockets on the inside of the bag.  The recipient will never know they were supposed to be there, but she may miss the added storage.  I think it was probably my own error, but for the newbie trying this pattern (like me), I might suggest adding just another quarter yard to the lining requirements. 

That’s a pretty good recap of what I’ve been working on. Coming up are the 2nd mini quilt, finally completing (after 2 years!) my wonky 9 patch quilt, a mug rug for a swap I’m in, and the cutest little cupcake potholders ever! 

Saturday, September 3, 2011

What’s a girl to do?

What’s a girl to do when she has more started projects than finished ones, and too many WIP’s to count? Easy answer…start another one!

This week in our Friday night sewing session, Samantha and I decided to get started on our Christmas project, the Flurry quilt (free pattern!).  My mom happened to be with me when I went to the local quilt store to pick up fabric and decided she wanted to make one too. So, last night she joined us in our weekly session.  I have to say, having not sewn a stitch in maybe 35ish years, my mother did great.  She completed three blocks of her own, though I unfortunately did not take a picture of them before she took them home.  I must admit that I’m completely smitten with this quilt. It’s SO easy and the Christmas colors and patterns are so festive, just working on it makes me happy happy happy.  I can prove it too!  I went nuts on these blocks completing 9!


Please excuse the not so great picture! I’ll try to post some close-ups this evening. I didn’t actually use any Flurry fabrics because I haven’t been able to locate them in either of my local quilt shops.   Instead there’s lots of Robert Kaufman mixed in with a little Joanns.  7 blocks to go and I can start the sashing and border..I can’t wait!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Friday Night Sewing

Most every Friday night, my friend Samantha and I have our weekly speakerphone sewing session. Sadly, she and her family moved to New York from here in Florida a few months ago. Some weeks we work on our Farmers Wife Blocks, and when it’s about to come due, we work on our monthly $6 block.  This week we decided to do something new and make a little bag.


The pattern is the Buttercup Bag from the Made by Rae blog. The pattern was free (bonus!) and was pretty easy to follow. It has a magnetic snap enclosure and the lining is a solid pink that matches the flowers on the outside of the bag. The only modification I made was to sew the handle into the bag versus adding it at the end.  The bag is pretty small, but would be fine to stuff into my file drawer at work. There is a pattern available to make the bag larger that you can purchase.   I would definitely make this bag again, but would probably enlarge it and add some interfacing to make it a little less flimsy. Of course, heavier outside fabric would do that too.  Overall, I’m quite pleased with how it turned out.  You can check out Samantha’s bag over at her blog, Sweet Tea & Grits, it’s super cute!

In other news, I joined the Mug Rug Adventure 3 swap on Flickr.  It’s a holiday themed swap where you choose the holiday you would like your rug to reflect.  There’s still time to sign up so if you want to join in the fun, head on over to the Flickr group and sign up!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A Quick Little Project

We were quite busy this weekend between a trip to IKEA and our regular errands, but I did manage to whip up a little bag.


I wanted something small that I could take with me to my evening exercise class. I needed something that would hold my keys and my class membership card, and that I could shove in the little cubby in the changing room without worrying about it.  I think this little pouch will do the trick!  The main part of the bag came from a Heather Ross fat quarter and the band, handle and lining are from Denise Schmidt’s line at Joann’s.  The bag came together really quickly and was quite easy.  The free tutorial can be found here.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

New Friends

I received the friendship bracelets today as part of the Friendship Bracelet Swap, and boy did I luck out!  I received three and I love every one of them! 

friendship bracelets

Thanks so much Nikki and Cassie! Nikki even has a tutorial for making a super cute bracelet here.  

Sunday, August 7, 2011

One More…

Block #47  Homemaker
This block was quite a challenge because for starters, I followed the pictures in the book and did not actually follow the instructions.  Once I realized that the block wasn’t going to go together as planned, I ripped it out and tried by following the written instructions.  The second try went much smoother but you can see I have two little puckers in the fabric, not to mention when it gets sewn into the quilt I’m going to lose some of those points. 
On a side note, today I took on another side project and created a DIY light box in the hope that I will be able to take some better photos for the blog.  I think the photo of the block above is an improvement but I still have some tweaking to do.  Anyone have any suggestions or tips on how I can get it brighter?  I’ve been toying with the exposure control but haven’t quite found the right balance yet.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

More Farmer’s Wife Love

I finally got around to adding a few more to my FW block collection.  I’ve  been chipping away at the blocks along with my friend Samantha and  here are the newest additions:




While I fully realize that none of these fabrics particularly go together right now, I’m hoping that mixed into 110 blocks there will be some sort of cohesion.  I must admit that I’m quite jealous of all of the beautiful blocks people are making with brighter, modern fabrics.  Unfortunately I don’t have much of a stash and a lot of the fabrics I have were given to me.  I decided to make this quilt completely scrappy and since I’ve discovered that my local quilt shop has a huge scrap bin where you buy by the ounce, I’m going to continue along with mostly traditional fabrics and own it.  I’m a little nervous about that postage stamp block fitting in but I’m going with it.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Swapping Bracelets

I don’t know why they’ve suddenly popped up, but it seems like I’m seeing friendship bracelets and tutorials for them all over the internet lately.  I got nostalgic reading about them because I remember making them when I was in school (about a million years ago). When I came across a friendship bracelet swap, I decided to wax nostalgic and sign up!  I received my 3 swapping partners in my email box today, made a quick trip to Joanns for the floss, and spent the afternoon poking around tutorials. Now I’m excited to get started!


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Pattern Review: Beach Robe

I'd been looking for something fun to make for my niece ‘s birthday in a couple of weeks. When I came across a pattern for a beach robe on the Made blog I knew it would be the perfect gift for this Florida pool baby.  I’ve read Made for a long time and Dana’s tutorials were always well written so I decided to give the Beach Robe pattern a try. Not to mention, $8 for the pattern, $5 for a towel at target and a coordinating fat quarter from my stash was a bargain for a gift. One thing I want to mention is that I really appreciate being able to download the pattern as soon as I click on “pay”.  I know this is a little thing but it’s always tough to wait for the pattern to come in my email who know how many hours after I’ve made my purchase.  I was excited to be able to see the pattern instantly.


In regards to the pattern itself, it was super easy to follow.  I’m definitely what I would consider a pretty newbie sewist, and I had no problems whatsoever.  The pattern is 29 pages long, 12 of which are pattern pieces which were really easy to tape together after printing them. The only part I thought was even slightly challenging was deciding how to attach the hood.  I knew I wanted it to be lined, so I elected to lay the lining and hood right sides together and sew them leaving enough room to flip it right side out when I was done.  Then I just attached it to the top of the already constructed robe. The seam it created wasn’t too unsightly and I it was a bit easier than trying to sandwich the top of the robe between the 2 layers of the hood. I was able to make the whole robe in the course of an afternoon and am super pleased with the results.  The pictures aren’t the greatest, but I’m going to replace them with pictures of my niece in the robe once she receives it. 


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A little sparkle

I hope you had a great 4th.  Mine was low key, at home with sparklers.  Couldn’t have been better…


Sunday, June 26, 2011


One of my many current works in progress includes the Swoon quilt. The pattern is by Camille Roskelly, author of the blog and book Simplify, which I also happen to own. I just love the quilt pattern and it’s really easy, perfect for a newbie like me.  So far I’ve completed the first of nine blocks and while easy, each block is a bit of an undertaking just because it’s huge!

IMG_3577 Yep, see..huge!  The great thing about it is that 9 blocks and some sashing equals a queen sized quilt! I can’t wait til it’s done..especially since today I successfully convinced my husband that we need to paint the bedroom. With some new paint and a new quilt I’ll feel like I got a whole new room!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Call Me a Farmer’s Wife

I’m sure you’ve probably seen the Farmer’s Wife Quilt-Along fever sweeping across blog land recently. It was started by Angela of Fussy Cut and Amanda of msmcporkchopquilts and can be found here on Flickr.  The QAL is based on the book The Farmer’s Wife Sampler Quilt and is super addicting! I came into the FWQAL a bit late so I’m currently 2 blocks behind, but here’s what I’ve got so far:


I would really have loved to have made it with more modern fabrics because  I must be honest, I’m totally jealous of some of the gorgeous blocks in the Flickr group. But, I’m determined to keep it scrappy, I’m a new sewist and my stash is very small, and I’ve enjoyed using bits of fabric that were mostly all scraps given to me by other people. 

FW_W1                   Week 1 blocks


Week 2 blocks


Week 3 blocks

I decided not to go in order with the blocks and so far they have all come together really quickly.  This is going to be a fun, long term project.


After many months I'm finally back to blogging.  My old blog went by the wayside when I went back to college for my bachelor's degree in nursing.  I've been a pediatric oncology nurse since 1999 when I finished nursing school, though I now work in the area of clinical research (still peds hem/onc).  You fellow nurses out there can attest, if you want to expand and advance in the field of nursing these days you just have to have that four-year degree.  Anyway, once school started, blogging slowed then came to a halt as I no longer had time for anything but the books. 

Thankfully, I finished about a year ago and am now finally back to where I can dedicate time to blogging again.  This particular blog is still in it's growing stages so you might see some frequent rearranging.  I hope you'll make it a frequent stop in your blog travels.