Monday, December 14, 2009

Quilted Crayon Roll...

I found this pattern in a Better Homes and Gardens Quilting Ideas magazine. (Page 108) It is a quilted crayon roll.
It holds 12 favorite crayons. I made this one for my niece for her 3rd birthday. I paired it with a Princess coloring book for a sweet little gift.
This is the back of the crayon roll: Here it is all rolled up and tied! It was quite a simple project only taking me an hour or so to cut the fabric and batting, assemble, and sew!

Friday, December 4, 2009

In the Meadow We Can Build a Snowman...

Sleigh bells ring....are you listening...
I've been busy with family, home, work, and crafting...that is why the big blog break.

These are a sampling of some projects I have in the works. I am spending the rest of my free time snuggling with my kids and hubby so blogging continues to be sporadic (at best)!

I wish you a happy, healthy, and above all joyful season!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Praying for Jaymun's Family...

He lost his fight on Earth this morning....Please pray for Jaymun's family.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Fall Simple Little Table Runner...

I was inspired by finishing the Halloween table runner last night with the machine binding so I got up this morning and finished hand sewing the binding for my Fall table runner! I am participating in Show and Tell Friday's at Cindy's today and thought this the perfect thing to share! We had a great crisp October morn. here in North Texas just perfect for an outside photo op of the newly finished table runner.

The fabric used is Gobble, Gobble by Sandy Gervais for Moda.

The pattern is for the Simple Little Table Runner by Camille Roskelley and came from the Moda Bake Shop. She has a great tutorial on the site for it!
The back of the runner is shown above.

The table runner was quilted in pumpkins and vines using burnt orange thread. Quilting was done by Becky at Old Town Quilts in Keller. I hope you enjoyed seeing my newly completed table runner! Go visit Cindy and see more fun items shared!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Halloween Table Runner...made from the Moda Bake Shop Pattern...

Today I finished the Simple Little Table Runner by Camille Roskelley from the Moda Bakeshop !!! How fitting for October 1st! The fabric is Spooktacular by Sanae for Moda.
Here is a picture of the back: The quilting was done in designs of bats, witches, ghosts, the moon, black cats, etc...all Halloween-y things!
Below is a close up of the quilting:
It was such a fun little project. I highly recommend it. I did the binding on this one all with my sewing machine. I started a table runner with this same pattern using Gobble, Gobble fabric by Sandy Gervais for Moda, but I still lack like a foot on the binding where I am hand sewing it around to the back....I just need to get on it! I will post pictures of it when I have it completed.

Friday, September 11, 2009

I Remember...

*Photo courtesy of Seth Hollady Flickr page

This morning I had the most in depth explanation thus far of what September 11, 2001 means with my 8-year-old daughter. I have always talked about it with her on this date, but this morning the conversation was more understood by her so she had plenty of appropriate well asked questions. I admit that I shed more than a few tears by the time we had ended our talk. It is not that it was laden with crying and blubbering but I find it impossible to talk about those planes that crashed into the buildings and the other that our brave 'everyday' brothers and sisters crashed into the field in order to spare other innocent lives on the ground without my emotions bubbling to the surface.

I remember exactly what I was doing on that morning. I was living the 'American Dream'. I was a first time mother, fortunate to be a stay at home mom; my 6 month old baby daughter was playing on the living room floor and I was sitting with her. We had just come in from a walk outside, me pushing her in the stroller enjoying a 'peaceful' morning. My husband had left for work. I had not even turned the TV or radio on that morning...and then my husband called. He asked if I had seen the news and that I needed to turn it on immediately and keep up with what was going on...Our Country forever changed...

We live very near a major airport so the sound of planes flying over is an hourly occurrence and a sound you really get used just fades into the background, so that day, as planes around the country were grounded, the silence was truly deafening.

For some reason I have been more cognisant of this day this year. Perhaps because my innocent 6-month-old baby girl is now an 8-year-old little girl who is gaining more and more insight on the realities of life and what it is to be human and what it is to realize loss and fear and that things like 09/11 chip away at the idea that mommy and daddy can fix every single problem. Perhaps because as we spoke of 09/11 this morning before school, she asked some very adult questions and honestly, after 8 years, I still don't have the answers to give as I too ask those same questions.

We prayed for the families that were immediately affected, we prayed for our troops that are still fighting the fight, we prayed for our leaders, and we thanked God too that we live in such a great Country and that by living here we have the right to speak our minds, our fears, our thoughts, and our prayers....

We will never forget....
*Photo courtesy of The Road Here Flickr page.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

First Day of Third Grade...

This week The Princess started Third Grade! I cannot believe how fast times flies...feels like a moment ago I was walking her to Kindergarten and now we are already 4 years in! I made her favorite 'special breakfast' of homemade Monkey Bread! I did all the prep work the night before and then popped it in the oven in the morning first thing. She was so excited!

Of course I had to take all the obligatory 'first day of school' pictures. She did not want me taking the camera to school so I snapped all the pictures out in front of our house. And my how things have she is in front of our house on her first day of Kindergarten:

And here she is this week on her first day of Third Grade!!!:

She came up with her own unique hairstyle for me to fix for the first day. It was a little braid to keep her hair out of her eyes and then pulled back into a pony with the rest:
My little sweetheart is growing so fast! She did want me to walk her in the first day and I was more than happy to do so. I love living so close that we can walk around the corner to school!

I have some things in the work for fall and winter quilting/needlepoint projects and hope to post some of those this week! We have just been so busy with first week of school and back to dance classes, etc., etc.!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Autumn Quilted Table Runner...

I picked up a charm pack of Autumn fabric the last time I visited our local quilt shop. It is Gobble Gobble by Sandy Gervais for Moda. It was so cute sitting there on the shelf that I could not resist!

I have been wanting to use the tutorial Camille posted at the Moda Bake Shop for quite some time now and this afternoon I thought, why not use the Gobble Gobble charm pack! I will have to go shopping for some fabric for the backing now but that should not be too hard ;-)

I pieced this together in a little over 1 hour this afternoon while my little boy talked to me and played around me in the dining room/sewing room. Now that I know how quick it goes together I think I will have to make a runner with fabric that matches my decor for every day to keep out on the table in the breakfast nook or on the island in the kitchen. I am going to practice my stippling quilting on this since it is not too big a piece.

What a fun project for a quiet Sunday afternoon. Go visit the tutorial and make your own!

Sunday Stash #1...

I was giddy with excitement last week when I FINALLY found some of the fabric Lush by Erin Michael for Moda, more specifically the paint by number deer fabric!!!! I am still awaiting the arrival of the deer in blues and greens - it should be at my doorstep no later than Tuesday. However, the other fabrics I ordered in the line arrived on Friday. I LOVE them! I am planning a special quilt with these.

Tamara over at 1/4 of an Inch hosts a 'Sunday Stash' each week. It gives peeps like me who love fabric to see what others have in their stash and to explore different color combos and projects that are planned with the fabrics. She also has a Flickr group with the pictures as well.

I thought I would play along this week since I am so excited about the newest addition to my stash!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Neapolitan Bouquet Quilt Complete!

*Photo courtesy of Corbis Stock Photos

Remember the Neapolitan Bouquet Quilt I was working on for my daughter? I blogged about it here and here. The pattern is from All Washed Up called Five and Dime. Well IT IS FINISHED! While the Princess was at her Grandmother's last week, I finally finished sewing the binding on her quilt! I am very pleased with it...and especially since it is my second quilt completed!

The back of the quilt is shown first as it illustrates why the name of the quilt:
Here is the top of the quilt:
I had it quilted in various flower patterns with dark pink thread:
Here is another shot of the backing...I just LOVE the texture the quilting gives to it:
And here is my sweetheart after I gave her the quilt all rolled up and tied with a ribbon! Now she and the Prince both have a special quilt from mommy to snuggle with while reading or watching T.V.:

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Fall Quilts Sneak Peek

I am too busy having summer fun with my kiddos to blog! However, I am on today to give a sneak peek of two quilts I am making for fall. I have most of the pieces cut, enough now to get started as I am adding borders to a pattern so don't want to cut into the other fabric until I have the patterned pieces already sewn together.

And here is what my little guy was doing as I was cutting. He was finding a place for all the fabric scraps beneath the table and chairs...lil cutie!

So what do you think? I got the inspiration from Cami and the quilt she blogged about in January.

I'll let you know how it is coming along! Now back to our summer fun!!!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Gotta Listen...

This is an amazing arrangement that I just came across. It is Jon Schmidt. I love his reason for doing this arrangement...for his 7-year-old daughter. My 8-year-old daughter LOVES the song Love Story and so do I. I also love Viva La Vida by Coldplay and he meshes the two beautifully! It just gave me goosebumps listening to this arrangement. Definitely going to get the download for my iPod.

I just wanted to share!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

New Moon....Can't Wait!!!

Winner list of 2009 MTV Movie Awards:

Best Movie: "Twilight"
Best Female Performance: Kristen Stewart, "Twilight"
Breakthrough Performance Male: Robert Pattinson, "Twilight"
Best Fight: Robert Pattinson vs. Cam Gigandet, "Twilight"
Best Kiss: Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson, "Twilight"

The movie New Moon is being filmed now. It will be filmed in Vancouver and Italy. It is due to open in U.S. November 20, 2009. The confirmed cast so far is:
Kristen Stewart … Bella Swan
Robert Pattinson … Edward Cullen
Taylor Lautner … Jacob Black
Ashley Greene … Alice Cullen
Peter Facinelli … Dr. Carlisle Cullen
Elizabeth Reaser … Esme Cullen
Kellan Lutz … Emmett Cullen
Nikki Reed … Rosalie Hale
Jackson Rathbone … Jasper Hale
Chaske Spencer … Wolf Pack Member
Tyson Houseman … Wolf Pack Member
Kiowa Gordon … Wolf Pack Member
Bronson Pelletier … Wolf Pack Member
Alex Meraz … Wolf Pack Member
Billy Burke … Charlie Swan
Edi Gathegi … Laurent
Rachelle Lefevre … Victoria
Dakota Fanning … Jane
Jamie Campbell Bower … Caius
Michael Welch … Mike Newton
Noot Seear … Heidi

If you are a fan and want to find more information on the movie, visit the official movie page here.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Tap, tap, tap...Is this thing on?

Okay, I am not sure beyond family who (if anyone) actually reads anything I sporadically write here, but if you do, I need some fun advice.

I am in need of a few good books to read this summer. I have my copy of Persuasion by Jane Austen and a copy of the Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman but those two are a bit deeply written and will take some wading through to read. What I am looking for is a good read that is not smut or cheap romance but that is fun yet with some substance. You can view my Good Reads on the side bar to see some of the more recent books I have read.

Anyway, any suggestions are appreciated!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Chocolate Chip and Butterscotch Cookies...

I just finished making some rockin' cookies and had to share the recipe! I was trolling some fave blogs early this morning and came across yet another great blog to add to my bookmarks...Twice Remembered...don't visit it unless you have a few minutes or hours because it WILL suck you in! Her style is positively engaging and inspiring.

She had a recipe on her site for Best Ever Chocolate Chip cookies and since I am not one to pass up trying a 'best ever' anything let alone cookie, I just had to make these! The Little Prince and I mixed up the batter and decided we would stray a bit from the Chocolate Chip only part and instead we added 1 cup of chocolate chips and 1 cup of butterscotch morsels for variety ;-)

The recipe claims to make a cookie that will stay gooey moist and chewy even after they have cooled and since that is my fave kind of cookie I was glad to try out the here they are and guess what? They are WONDERFUL!!!! Definitely a recipe that will go in my recipe binder. Just see how good they look and they smell even better:

Best Chocolate Chip Cookies
* 1 cup butter, softened (I used butter flavor Crisco sticks)
* 1 cup white sugar
* 1 cup packed brown sugar
* 2 eggs
* 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 3 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 2 teaspoons hot water
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (I used 1 c semisweet chocolate chips and 1 c butterscotch morsels)
* 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional) (I left these out)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
2. Cream together the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until smooth.
Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla.
Dissolve baking soda in hot water. Add to batter along with salt.
Stir in flour, chocolate chips, and nuts.
Drop by large spoonfuls onto ungreased pans.
3. Bake for about 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are nicely browned.

I did what she suggested and used two level tablespoons worth of batter and rolled them up in a ball and baked 9 per large cookie sheet. I use Silpat or parchment paper to line my baking sheets for perfect nonstick cookies. I baked my cookies for 12 minutes and they were perfect. She suggested trying a test cookie for 10 minutes first and let cool, and see if you might like it even better. After removing them from the oven, I too let my cookies stand for just a few minutes until they were firm enough to transfer to a wire cooling rack.

They are delish and if you don't take my word for it, just look at the little Prince enjoying his cookie!

Camille is at it again!

Camille over at Simplify has a great post up that you just have to read! She just got back from the quilt market and has some great links to the designers. That way you can get to know the designers that come up with all the wonderful patterns and designs we all love and use in our crafts!

Oh yeah, AND she is doing a GIVEAWAY!!! Go check it can thank me later! ;-)

Monday, May 11, 2009

What's Making Me Happy Today...

The year's at the spring
And day's at the morn;
Morning's at seven;
The hillside's dew-pearled;
The lark's on the wing;
The snail's on the thorn;
God's in His heaven
-All's right with the world!
~Robert Browning

These things are making my Monday a happy one:

Rain falling softly outside...

A pretty pot of plants on the patio table:
"The world's favorite season is the spring.
All things seem possible in May."
~Edwin Way Teale

The soft colors of the petunias in the hanging baskets...we always pot a few of these around my daughter's birthday in March:
"Spring - an experience in immortality."
~Henry D. Thoreau

The hostas with the rain drops shining like jewels upon their leaves in our flower bed:
"When April steps aside for May,
Like diamonds all the rain-drops glisten;
Fresh violets open every day:
To some new bird each hour we listen."
~Lucy Larcom

The roses abloom standing tall and proud as the rain ever gently kisses them:
"Be like a flower and turn your face to the sun."
~ Kahlil Gibran

My newly potted 'fairy plant' (fuschia) by my wicker settee under the patio...sitting there watching the rain today with a cup of coffee is so pleasant:

"Sweet May hath come to love us,

Flowers, trees, their blossoms don;

And through the blue heavens above us

The very clouds move on."

~ Heinrich Heine, Book of Songs

Pink and white petunias in an original terra cotta pot from Italy...a pot my grandmother used in her garden and now I use in mine:
"Sweet April showers
Do spring May flowers."
~ Thomas Tusser, A Hundred Good Points of Husbandry, 1557

Oh, and inside, my new ironing board cover is making me happy:
And of course the smile from this guy...he is making me happiest today:

Monday, May 4, 2009

Neapolitan Bouquet Quilt

*Photo courtesy of Corbis Stock Photos

The ice cream above is what came to mind while piecing the top of the quilt for my daughter! The quilt top is in strawberry pinks, creamy vanillas, and chocolates with floral, stripes, and as my previous post stated, the name I thought of was 'Neapolitan Bouquet' for the quilt. With that in mind, I rethought how I wanted to piece the back of the quilt. What do you think?

Here is the quilt top all completed:
And here is the back of the quilt, all completed:
Viola! My daughter's 'Neapolitan Bouquet' quilt is ready to go to the long-arm quilters this week! I think we will quilt it with a flower quilting technique. Then I will bind it using the same floral focus fabric from the vertical strips on the quilt top. I can't wait to give this to my daughter for snuggling up under while watching a movie together. I made it wider than my last quilt so that two can snuggle easily under this one!

Oh, and my ever so lovely handmade bag/tote came today!!! I am so excited. It was made with beautiful Amy Butler fabrics from the ever talented Janie from Clutterbags on Etsy. I ordered the bag a few weeks ago and she did an excellent job! She even made me a custom diaper/wipes case to go with it that has a zipper closure and a removable wrist strap, making this little gem very versatile and perfect for growing with us and for carrying other things once we are out of diapers around here (which will hopefully be within the next few months!) Go visit her site and see her wonderful work!!! The pictures below do not do it justice and the bag is so much more beautiful in person!!!! I could not be happier with it!
Here is the bag/tote alone:Here is the bag along with the diaper/wipe case:

Also to note, our whole school district is closed this week due to the H1, N1 virus or Swine Flu. I am fortunate enough that this thrills me to have an unexpected week with both my kiddos home to just play and enjoy each others company, but I realize for many parents this is a hardship if they both have jobs outside of the home. I pray that the sick are healed and that the parents facing hardship due to school closures are comforted and that relief for all of this comes soon. Please keep our community and especially the sick in your prayers.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Just Bliss...

*Photo courtesy of Flickr law_kevin

Contentment, bliss, harmony, ease, delight,

What a surprise this afternoon. I have had a terrible pressure headache most of the day and it is grey and raining here but I am feeling complete contentment right now. I picked up my daughter after school and a neighbor friend came home with us. My son and the girls had a snack and then sat at the kitchen table with the girls each painting a masterpiece and my son happily playing with Play-Doh. I put some kid tunes on the iPod and fixed a pot of coffee (with yummy sugar free vanilla caramel creamer) and was able to forget about my headache and tidy up the kitchen while listening to the delightful conversation of the children.

We are so blessed to live in the community that we do and especially in the neighborhood that we do. We have the best neighbors that have become dear friends and it feels like family around here, truly it does.

I just wanted to savor and remember this feeling this grateful.

"The more we express our gratitude to God for our blessings,the more he will bring to our mind other blessings. The more we are aware of to be grateful for, the happier we become."
- Ezra Taft Benson

"The fruit of the spirit is love, joy and peace."
- Galatians 5:22

"I came that you may have and enjoy life and have it in abundance, until it overflows."
- John 10:10

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Latest WIP Quilt...

I started on a quilt for the Princess. It is a 'stack and whack' quilt so it should not take me too long to complete the top and backing. I chose an All Washed Up Pattern called 5&Dime. And look, I learned today that they have a blog! It uses a menagerie of fat quarters that you just stack and um...whack! You cut them up into a few varying sized squares and rectangles then you use a focus fabric for sashing in the middle and voila! I am adding a few borders to this one though to make it a bit bigger for my daughter to snuggle under and I am doing something a bit different than what the pattern calls for on the backing. So it is mostly this pattern with my own design and inspiration thrown in!

These are the fabrics I chose: Back Porch Bouquet for Maywood Studios. (The pink and chocolate damask on the right is from Joann's but I decided I did not like it with the other fabrics so I nixed it.)
Here is my layout for the quilt top without the borders:
The strip laid out on the left is part of what I have planned for the back:
I already have the top just about pieced. I had to order a bit more fabric for the borders I want to add and hope to have that fabric by the end of the week so I am crossing my fingers that I will have the top and the back complete over the weekend and have it ready to quilt early next week!

While sewing and ironing the pieces together last night I decided what I had to name this quilt: Neapolitan Bouquet! The colors remind me of the Neapolitan ice cream we would have as a kid. You know, the kind that came in the box with chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry lined up in rectangles...and in our house where the chocolate was always gone first ;-)

I'll update as I move along with this latest project!