Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Lucky Me!!

Have I mentioned that I have the best BFF ever?? No?? Well, I do. For example: A few months ago I joined a block party. Basically 12 quilters form a group and each month the group collectively makes a quilt for one of the members. The online version means that on your month, you send everyone in the group fabric and they make you quilt blocks. For the other eleven months you simply wait for fun packages of fabric to arrive, make quilt blocks, and send them back. (there is a button in my sidebar that links you to our block party blog if you want to follow along. I have also been posting pics in flickr) Well, November was my month. It was also the month that I got to go visit Janelle and her family and quilt my little heart out. While I was there, Janelle asked if she could make the quilt blocks for my block party quilt. I am so glad I said yes! Look at these gorgeous blocks!

My Block 2
My Block 1

Aren't they great??? And then to top it off, she made me what is possibily the cutest pear pincushion on the planet.

Cutest pin cushion EVER!

I am a lucky girl! Thanks Janelle. My pins would still be homeless without you (and since I don't seem to keep quilts I make, I would be cold too) oh, and I guess the quilt blocks are pretty nice too. :)

Monday, November 02, 2009

Where did October go??

I blinked and October was gone. Now we are heading full speed into November. Time really does fly, but before I move on to Quilting retreats, Birthdays, Thanksgiving and Christmas, I wanted to show off a little October crafting.

Jelly roll skirts are becoming a bit of an obsession. I know I must look like a one trick pony, but really, how cute are these (the previously mentioned, my children refuse to model clothing)

Did you notice the sock skeletons they are holding?? That was a major distraction this month. The tutorial, by Robert Mahar was on Martha Stewart (plus, Robert Marhar actually tweeted my skeleton family. Yup, I am THAT cool). They are so fun and easy, we made almost an entire family of them. A mommy is still on the request list, and there has been talk of Santa hats to keep them relevant for a few more months! :)

I also decided to tackle costumes this year. I always say I will, then run out of time, but this year I also promised to make one for my neice, so there was no opt out. I am glad. They really weren't hard to sew, and the girls looked so cute!

I like to think about dressing up for Halloween, but by the time I get things done for the girls I am over it. This year, the girls asked if I would dress up......I didn't go all out, up here is my "nod" to Halloween.

Jeremy on the other hand, prepares for months (oh yeah, that is a real mustache! LOL)

 And, despite my mother's encouragement for it to stay, the "stache" is now gone. 

How was that for picture overload??

Now on to Novemeber. I have a few swap assignments to get done, and I signed up for a PIF exchange too. (um, yeah, I know am a bit behind on the last one I did, but I swear, it is not forgotten, and you will get a package VERY soon! LOL) Add to that a trip to Ontario in 9 days (ONLY NINE DAYS!!!!!) Aurora's birthday and Thanksgiving, and I have a full month ahead of me. Let's see if we can go for a record and get 4 posts this month! ;)

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Pillow of the Month- October

I like giving gifts. More than that I love making gifts. There is something so satisfying about creating something with someone in mind. My only problem is time. There is never enough time. My mom had a birthday in July. She was out of town, and I was out of time. Then I had a stroke of brilliance. Pillow of the Month Club! My mom is a retired school teacher. Since she no longer has a classroom to decorate for holidays and seasons she decorates her house. My kids ADORE this. There is always something new, fun, and relevant to the season to look at. So I thought, why not help out. I bought two 14 in pillow forms and decided to make a set of pillows each month. Now, I was going to do this early and start with patriotic pillows in July. That didn't happen. I had grand plans for some sunflower theme for August, and had some fun ideas for a apple or back to school theme September. Those have all been filed away for the coming year. I could jump on it early, but who are we kidding?? The first installment of the Pillow of the Month Club is October.

These pillows were so much fun. I used a Spook Takular charm pack and 4 strips from a jelly roll, but you could also just use a jelly roll. The back is an adorable spiderweb taffeta I bought for Aurora's costume. I had considered making this a tutorial.....and I could still do that, but really, it isn't rocket science. If anyone wants some direction let me know.

The remainder of the jelly roll is becoming skirts today......after I shower. I might show off the results (I will need a willing model or two). I also have another long term project I want to share. The hexagon bug bit me, and I have been neglecting all knitting in favor of english paper piecing. I am thinking if I work hard I should have a quilt in about 20 years. Stay tuned. ;)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Happy Birthday Natalie

That beautiful woman there is my "baby" sister Natalie, and her sweet little girl Juliana. Today is Natalie's 30th birthday. I thought of all the cool posts I could do (like the the one she did for my 30th bday) but I knew I would come up I just copied her! (not the actual list, just the idea)

Here is my list of 30 things I love about Natalie:

1- She is my very best friend and has been since they brought her home 30 years ago
2- She is an amazing artist
3- Hands down the best person to play in the ocean with (hee hee hee I consider posting those pics, but
4- She talks to me pretty much EVERY day
5- Even though we talk every day, we never get tired of it
6- She works out 5 days a week. AWESOME!
7- She can make me laugh....even without trying
8- We love the same things...really, she has introduced me to some of my favorite things, and if I find something I love, I know that even if everyone else thinks I am crazy, Nat will like it too!
9- She is gorgeous
10- She was a really fun roomie
11- She has always been there to pick me up when I am down
12- We are so much alike. It is nice to have someone who understands all the crazy in this head of mine!
13- She is my biggest fan. If I am down, Natalie is right there to perk me up. Best personal cheerleader ever!
14- Dedicated mommy (Juliana is one lucky little girl)
15- If I haven't told Natalie about something it is like it hasn't happened. Sometimes I think we should have been twins :)
16- She is a very loyal friend.
17- My inspiration! Really, when I grow up, I'd like to be like Natalie
18- She will watch movie trailers, movies, etc, with me over the phone....Yes, we get our computers all synced up even if it takes a hilariously long time. I love it!
19- She loves my kids!
20- She is the best counselor I could ask for....and she is free!
21- She keeps my secrets. (and really, I have been confiding in her for 30 years so there are lots!)
22- She can finish my sentences.
23- She is easy to make laugh....really look at #22 and it applies to jokes too. If I am laughing she is too!
24- I joke that she stole my thunder since I was supposed to be the youngest....but really I would be lost without her!
25- She is a thoughtful friend and helps out whenever she can
26- She moved FAR away, but is still part of my everyday life
27- She is a very supportive wife
28- She is one of the few people I know I can always count on
29- She keeps me motivated (really this is a full time job seriously if last months cell phone bill is to be believed we talked for over 800 minutes last month!)
30- She is the best little sister a girl could ask for!

I love you so much Natalie!! I hope you have a really great day.

(and BTW I was just made aware of a very cool giveaway over at p.s. i quilt. It ends today though, so run on over now!)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Tomorrow.......or in a few days

I should never say I will show something tomorrow. Ignore me if I do. IT.NEVER.HAPPENS. Excuses?? Um....I have been busy the last few days.....I am not sure what I was busy with, I have very little to show for it, but I am tired and really swollen. (What is with that?) My bed is calling, but first I got another set of blocks from my swap so I thought I'd pop in and show them off today. Today is a promise that is easier to keep. I should write that down somewhere. Anyway, thank you so much Leisel and Jan (Thanks for setting me straight Jeanette! I look forward to getting yours, they look adorable!)

The Swap also needed to put together another group, so I volunteered. I had already wanted to make some additional ones for my Christmas quilt, and getting things in the mail is fun, so I started these today:

I am excited to put a quilt together. One question though, should I just piece them together as is or add sashing? Decisions, decisions......but first, I am behind on a few gifts for my sweet sis. Priorities! Natalie has a (BIG!) birthday tomorrow, and her gift(s) are still in progress. Love you Nat....and a package is coming (eventually) I swear! I would say that I will say a bit more about Natalie tomorrow, but you all know how that goes.......

Oh, and one last thing *eyes drooping* Heather over at Trends and Traditions is having a giveaway. You should check it out! Capri's quilt is a smaller version of one of her patterns (the Sunday Picnic quilt). She is giving away TWO (one mini and one regular size) of HER quilts and some charm packs with a pattern. I know! So go check it out!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Back so soon??

Two posts in less than a week?!? I know, right? Don't get used to it, but somehow order has had an effect on me. I am getting WAY more done. A clean house opens up the time to do things you never get around to. Who knew??

Over the last few months (and years really) all the crafty peeps on the internet have been showing off their gorgeous studios. I have poured over these pictures, turning a little more green with every click. I love to sew, A LOT. Having my own space to create would be a dream come true. For now, I am stuck in the reality of a 1100 square foot home (that I really do love most days) that doesn't even have room for my clothes, let alone my "studio". What is a girl to do?? I took over the dining room. This was not ideal for so many reasons, but mainly because the dining room is the room you walk into when you enter my home. You walk in, and see the table covered with 4 days worth of mail and stacks of fabric. You can't step without getting thread and fabric scraps stuck to your foot, and there are cords EVERYWHERE! My poor, sweet husband said very little and just lived with it. I know. Well, recently we did some rearranging (which prompted the cleaning I mentioned last time) and I finally got everything organized. I don't have a dedicated space, but I have one that works. Maybe someday I will have that gorgeous light filled studio, but for now, my dining room nook, works.

Here we are when everything is nicely tucked away:

And here is my "studio" in use:

Having a workable space has been great. I have been so productive. Yesterday, I finished up the second set of blocks for my Christmas swap:

They needed to add one more group, so I will do 6 more blocks. I love how they look together so much, that I think I will end up making a quilt for myself. The blocks I get in the swap will be used for a few pillows and a table runner......or maybe I will love the randomness of the whole thing and just go for a really scrappy Christmas quilt. We'll see. I did receive one set in the mail last week, and they are amazing. Perhaps I will share them tomorrow.....

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Hello Internet

Long time no see eh? I had totally intended to post pics of my adventures (crafty and otherwise) while Janelle was here to visit, but in the middle of it all (on my birthday!) my camera was lost/stolen.......and stolen with it was my blogging mojo. But, I have a new camera and stuff to share. We will start small. Ok?? First up, recent cute pics of my adorable children taken with my fabulous new camera:

While blog hopping recently, I came across a quilt block exchange. I have ALWAYS wanted to join a block exchange. Sounds great right?? Well, this was for scrappy Christmas blocks. I have strong feelings about Christmas quilts.....They seem so silly, why go to all the work for a quilt that is only out for 6 weeks a year max?? Right??? Wrong! I have been loving the Christmas stuff I have seen, and I like that many are more winter than Christmas. So I signed myself up. I am making 12 blocks for the exchange, and and additional four, two for me, two for a charity quilt. I tackled 1/2 the blocks last night. When I finished (at 4:30 am) I was unsure how I felt about them. Today I adore them. So you will too! :)

One last thing, I think I should mention that during my absence, I have cleaned my house. Really cleaned it. It looks amazing. Yeah, yeah yeah, your house always looks nice, but mine??? A mess. Always. All the time. EXCEPT NOW!!! So if you want to come visit me now is the time. Really, come on over. I won't even pretend not to be home. :) But hurry, we are going on week 2 of cleanliness and order, and I am not sure I can keep it up much longer. ;)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Capri's Quilt

Capri Andalucia Quilt- Front
Originally uploaded by LHBC Nicole.
Sorry this is a bit later than I promised.....I also think I said I would show 2 quilts, but only one is finished. More to come, I have a HUGE stack of WIPs. Anyway, here is the big reveal!

My sister didn't find out ahead of time if her baby was a boy or a girl. With 3 boys I took a chance (and trusted her husband who promised a girl), and planned for a girl. I started this at my Toronto quilting weekend in April and finished about a month ago. Capri was born during the quilting weekend. I had started this quilt, but did have plan B boy quilt materials waiting just in case. I would have completed it faster, but my machine was being ridiculous. I swear I quilted this quilt 3 times, and ripped it out twice. I was frustrated enough, that I went and got a new machine less than a week later. (and I am in love. Seriously!) Anyway, back to the quilt, if I hadn't specifically picked out the fabric with Jenny (my sister) in mind, it would have been harder to give away. As it was, I was so excited to give it to her, that I held onto it for a month so I could see her reaction in person. :) (if you want to see the back etc, clicking on the picture will take you to my flickr photostream. There are more pics there)

I should have lots to share soon. Not only do I have 3 quilt tops just waiting to be quilted, but Janelle is coming from Toronto. I also want to show off my new

Thursday, June 18, 2009

No cute pics here

I made the girls some really cute dresses last week. Aurora was "graduating" from kindergarten, so I thought I'd make her a special dress.....and of course then Eve would need one too. They turned out SO cute, but then I tried to get a picture. It was sunny out, Aurora had allergies and Eve......well, Eve just likes to look goofy in pictures. So this is the best of what I got:

Cute dresses.....goofy kids! (click on the pic to really appreciate facial expressions) This is why I will never be a great crafty blog. That, and the fact that I only blog about once a month. :) This dress pattern is from The Handmade Dress The Miss Madeline. It was really easy. I taught my SIL to sew yesterday using this pattern. I have also had requests for at least 3 more of these for Aurora and "one for all the holidays". Love that girl!

I did make one more thing in honor of school ending. Aurora's teacher, Katie, was such an amazing teacher. I knew there was no way to really thank her properly, but here is my stab at it:

This is the Market Bag by Sandi Henderson. I am in the process of making myself the gathered bag from this same pattern. I see a few more coming out of the stash as well.

I have been out of town for the last week, so no recent projects. I might start taking my machine with me. I miss it when I am away! So after a short and joyful 12 hour car ride with the kids tomorrow, I get get back to the sewing. Sadly, it also means that I have to leave my sweet niece Gabi, and her parents. They used to live 30 min away...I miss that! I did manage to teach my SIL to sew this week though. She is a natural, and I am sure my BIL will be thanking me for years. :) You're welcome Jeff!!

Look for pics of some new quilts in a few days. I will be gifting two on Sunday and will post pics soon after.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Class Trip to KUTV

I know I need to do an update, but life is far too busy to allow for that right now....besides I am SO far behind! Sorry! I have a quilt I am dying to show off, but I want it to be a surprise for my sister, so you will have to wait another month. BUT, here is something fun. Aurora's class did a field trip to Jeremy's station and they were on TV. A lot of parents in the class missed the segment, so I am showing it off here. Enjoy!

(there are 3 more quilts in the works, so I will be back soon I promise.....oh and did I tell you about the new sewing machine??)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I sewed!!

I have no idea why, but lately, I have just lost my sewing mojo. I need to find it POST HASTE because there are 12 quilts in various stages of completion that need attention. Soon......preferably before Easter. AHHH!!! Anyway, as a way to try to get my mojo back I signed up for a class at the beautiful quilt shop by my house. Want to see the results??

I think this might be my new go to baby girl gift!! They are quick and so fun to make. I think if I finish the 4 whole cloth quilts for Aurora's class I will reward myself with a baby dress break. FUN!! (there is also another class next week....I think I will do it too!)

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

My new kitchen!!

Today I spent half the money we set aside to remodel the kitchen!!! Want to see a picture??

What?? That isn't isn't your dream kitchen either?? Home ownership bites sometimes...more often when your house is 100+ years old. So instead of the beautiful kitchen of my dreams, I got a brand new 55 foot water line....complete with new shut off valve, pressure regulator, and 50 year warranty. Somehow that isn't helping. Maybe the 1/2 eaten package of Oreos will do the trick. (the other half didn't help)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Awesome Giveaway

Seriously. You should check it out. This is the cutest little girls play/never want to take off ever (why don't they have these in my size LOL) skirt. PLUS, she links you to instructions for how to sew one yourself, where to get the materials, and gives tips. AWESOME!!! So check it out.....or don't.....just gives me a better chance of winning! :)

Blushing Buttercream Pettiskirt GIVEAWAY!!!!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Off the air

Well, that was an abrupt absence! One minute I am telling you about birthday craftiness, and then I disappear for 3 months. *sigh* I have this personality "flaw". If I feel like I HAVE to do something, I just don't. Not the important stuff. My kids are fed, we have clean things to wear, but when I make myself feel obligated I kind of shut down. So there you are. On the bright side you all got to gaze at my ridiculously handsome husband for 3 months. That's like a giveaway in and of itself!

Anyway, many of you (read:KAREN) have been wanting an update, so here goes.


I have a six year old!! I saw this idea on House on Hill Road, and knew it was perfect! I even appliqued a pair of her jeans to match. All the fabric used came from the scrap pile left after I finished piecing her birthday quilt (still not quilted, but coming soon)


I had these outfits planned in my mind for months, but never had the time to do them. The night before Thanksgiving it was do or die. I was up until 7 am, but man! My kids were ADORABLE!!! And they still wear those shirts at least once a week. (it is good to be thankful year round)

That is when my sewing mojo wore out, and when work got really demanding. The upside is that I am knitting again. I forgot how much I love to knit. Here are a few of my most recent quick knits.

Gnome hat

This is an adaptation of Hello Yarn's Gnomey Hat. I made one of these for a friend's baby and Eve fell in love. How could I say no. The pattern is sized for a newborn, but it was pretty easy to size up. Aurora has ordered one in red. Awesome!

Something for me

I bought this great hand painted alpaca yarn in Florida, and really wanted it to be a hat. Earlier this week I used it to knit up this hat. I love it! (oh and if you look closely you can even get a tiny glimpse of my pink eye. Good times)

So there you are. I don't want to give up this space just yet, but I can't make any promises. (to the entire audience of one that I serve) I do HAVE to get some quilting done, so I will update when I make some progress.