Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Tiny Blocks!!

Hello! Is anyone there? It's been forever since I've blogged!  The last half of our summer seemed to drop several things on us at once.  (More on that later..)  I've still been trying to get in some sewing time, though.  It's been great therapy actually for these trying few weeks.  When so many heavy things are on my heart and mind, it feels good to just sit and listen to the hum of the machine.  So out of it all, has come this quilt project. 

It's going to be epic for me, b/c I'm not a matchy points type of person, so it's great practice. The 4" blocks are also the smallest I've ever made. And surprisingly addictive and cute. 

I've been having lots of fun making them, and could not be doing all of the HSTs without my trusty Triangles on a Roll

And chain piecing. I love to chain piece.

It's going to be all Oval Elements. The happiest dot fabric ever. :) I need lots of colorful happiness right now.

OH!  And I just realized I forgot to blog about this. A few weeks ago, my MIL gifted me with the most special treasure.

It's an antique, cast iron toy Singer.  With its original clamp that clamped it to a table.  She played with it as a girl, and her mother played with it as a girl. And she told me that when she was little, she remembers her granny borrowing it back sometimes b/c it makes a pretty chain stitch underneath since there is no bobbin.

I would love it regardless, but the fact that my MIL, and her mother both played with it as children is the coolest thing ever.  We were able to research online a little bit, and from the number of spokes in the hand crank, it has to have been made between 1916 and 1922.  So the fact that my hub's great grandmother bought it new for his grandmother when she was a little girl kind of blows my mind. :)

In other news.. someone started second grade!  I can't believe it! And he lost one of his top front teeth.  So that's it.. he's officially a big boy. So bittersweet. :/  I just love him.

And there he went, out into the wide world.

OH, and something very exciting on the horizon.. be sure to check out the Nov/Dec of GenQ Magazine. You may or may not see this project in there.  I couldn't show you or blog about it for sooo long, but it's coming soon. 

I had more to blog about but .. no words right now.  Someday, I'm sure the experiences of the last few weeks (what I now jokingly but not really refer to as "the flock of bean eating pigeons flying directly over our heads for the last half of summer") will pour out onto the page, but right now, I need to just say a prayer and go sew, as I am prone to dissolving into tears at any given moment these days.

Hug your loved ones tight, cling to your faith, and sew on.


Tuesday, July 29, 2014


I am currently sitting in the airport in KC waiting to fly home. After a two week vacation in which my side of the family all met at a lake house in the Ozark Mountains. We spent a week there, although we've been gone for two weeks.  A few days before and after were spent at my parents' house.

It's been a wonderful, weird, and slightly devastating vacation. All at once. 

The house was so perfect for nine people to share.  Lots of beds and rooms and a pool and a pool table in the basement, decks, patio furniture and a wonderful view!!

This is the back of the house.

This is the view out the back from the upper deck.  That is the pool down the hill on the right.  It was so isolated and relaxing!

My son went fishing with my hub and dad on this trip and caught his first fish.  Here he is with his grandpa on the front porch.

He literally just broke into tears when we kissed them goodbye at the curb a little while ago. :( He had so much fun this trip.  Family memories are the BEST. But I know he'll be excited to get home and play with his toys, see our dog, and visit his friends, too.  But we had such a good visit.  I wish we lived closer so he could see them all the time.

Saw some wildlife at the lake house too.  Lots of deer, with their babies.

Cardinals, and lots of other birds, including a random Road Runner that kept hanging around. ??

My favorite spot to watch the birds and the view.

Meep Meep!

And the squirrels were out of control! :) The thunderstorm didn't even deter them.  It was nice to see it pour one afternoon, as most of CA bursts into flames every summer, and we haven't seen actual rain for a really long time!

But while the trip was super fun and relaxing, it was kind of an emotional week.  I learned, the day that we flew out here, that there was a terrible bank robbery in my hometown.  In which three suspects who were heavily armed took three hostages and proceeded to drive around for an hour, on highways and down on the city streets while shooting at police. In the middle of the day.  Bullets flying into random houses, hitting cars on the streets, etc.  Gunfire struck police vehicles 14 times or something like that.  One of the hostages ended up being shot when one of the gunman used her as a human shield in his shootout with police, and she died.   She was around my age, her 12 year old daughter saw her being taken hostage.. just all kinds of awful. AND-I found out the next day that the woman who died.. was the receptionist at my dentist's office.  Misty.  Who I always loved visiting with when I go in for checkups.  I'm devastated for her family and for my dentist office.. they are like a family there.  She was one of the team.

So although I had a great time on vacation, I have also randomly felt like crying. (I actually did a few times) And while I'm anxious to get home, and pick up Buster from the kennel (the bullet flying police chase went right by his kennel, too) and resume daily life (and spend some QT with my sewing machine trying to process this tragic event), I kind of don't want to go back. Ever. :(  So sad.

Here she is in a photo that I borrowed from my dentist's facebook page. If you wouldn't mind.. please say a prayer for Misty's family, and for my town.

And hug your loved ones tight. :( Gotta get ready to board now.. hopefully next time I'll have a finished quilt top to show.  I just have to sew the borders onto one when I get home.  I've really missed my machine this last week. When I get sad or stressed, I turn to my sewing machine, my dog, shopping, or chocolate.  I may have overshopped and eaten a lot of chocolate after seeing my home town in the news all the way from the beautiful Ozark Mountains, for a tragedy that hit so close to home. Sniff. :(


Friday, July 4, 2014

A Happy 4th of July Apron

Earlier this week, with the 4th of July coming up, I thought I'd try to make a little apron out of this dish towel that I found, to send with my girlfriend to decorate her baked goods booth (pies mostly) at the local farmers market.  The USA fabric was donated to me in a box of fabric quite a while ago.  

Last time I made a little girl apron from a dish towel, I winged it, and ended up not liking a couple of things about it, so I did this one a little different. And this is how it turned out. 

(After my son very reluctantly modeled the first one I made, I didn't think I could get him to do it again, so I had to find something to hang it on. So I drug this out the front door from our entry way and tied it around. :) It's a pretty good makeshift dress form!)

The cute dish towel already did half of the work for me with its embellishments. ;) So I just had to figure out the neck, the ties, and the pocket.

I decided to make a halter neck, with polka dot ribbon.  

So I took the top edge of the towel, and folded the corners down at a 45 deg. angle, using a three inch square area on my cutting mat as a rough guide and stitched the edges down on both of the top corners.

After stitching both top corners down, I folded the top edge down, to meet the folded-down corners of the towel.

Then continuing on where the corner stitching stopped, I stitched all the way across to meet the other corner's stitching. 

Then I folded each side edge in to meet the same corner, like this, and stitched.

That created a mitered slit to thread the ribbon through. In one side and out the other.

I like how the neck on this one turned out better than the way that I did the neck on the first one that I made.

Then I decided it needed a pocket on the front.  So with the USA fabric, I cut two 8x11-ish rectangles, and sewed them up right sides together, leaving about three inches open to turn it.

Then I gathered some smaller polka dot ribbon and stitched it along the top edge of the pocket. Which I'd never done before.. so that was kind of trial on error..

..my stitching wasn't too straight. :/

And then I used the center of the star and the apron border to figure out the center placement of the pocket, top-stitched it on, and then stitched a line just right of center to divide the pocket into two sides.

Then I just had to figure out the ties.  So I made basic ties by sewing two tubes of fabric, with one end closed and the other open, and folded the open end in and stitched.

And to attach, I placed it on the backside of the apron edge. right side up and stitched.

Then I flipped it over over itself to the outside and, from the top side, stitched it in place along the very edge. That left a nice finished edge on the back.

And then it was done. The one thing I wish I'd done differently is place the ties up a couple of inches higher.  Live (sew) and learn. ;)  But overall, I'm happy with how it turned out.  

My "dress form" back in the entry way where it goes. ;)

This is the first thing I've really sewn in a while.  Summer is keeping us busy this year.  Mr. Sonny was previously non-sporty but this summer has taken an interest in golf and tennis, so we are keeping busy with tennis camp and golf camp and lots of summer fun at the pool. 

We've never pushed him into sports and he has basically shown no interest in them..  Which made our lives so much simpler than my friends whose kids are constantly going to sports practices and games all over the place.  But now that he's taken an interest in a couple of them, I cannot tell you how happy I am that he has chosen the two sports with the least amount of crushing head injuries. haha :D  At least for now anyway, his interests will probably change in the future, but selfishly, as a mom, I hope they don't. ;)

Happy 4th of July and Happy Weekend!! :)  Thanks for stopping by!


Monday, June 9, 2014

My Favorite Quilt

Have you heard about the "My Favorite Quilt" link up being curated by Jessica from Quilty Habit over at Sew Mama Sew?  I thought I'd play along.  There are even prizes up for grabs if you'd like to link up. :) And you'll find a list of questions to answer, too, if you do decide to play.

Tell us about your favorite quilt. When did you make it?  What pattern did you use?  What fabrics?

My favorite quilt that I've made, at the moment is Mod GeoCruiser. I made it a little over a year ago. It's my own design, made originally out of Textures and Pure Elements solids.

Have you shown it at any quilt shows or entered it in any contests?

I designed it for the 2013 Art Gallery Fabrics Make it Right Challenge.  Then, when I made it into a pattern, I made it again, out of Riley Blake fabrics, and that quilt traveled to Riley Blake's Fabric Fest, and to Quilt Market in Houston last fall.

(at Quilt Market)
(at Fabric Fest)

What memories or people does the quilt make you think of?

I have fabulous memories with the making of this quilt, b/c it makes me think of my friend Lisa who is the one who told me about the Make it Right Challenge and encouraged me to enter, which led to meeting Nedra and some other fun things, which led to meeting (well, not really..but kind of..through cyberspace) Jina. Plus, the quilt got to go to some cool places that I personally didn't get to go to, so I feel like I lived vicariously through it a tiny bit. :)

What do you like best about the quilt?

I love that it's so happy. Cruisers are such happy, colorful bikes. That and the opportunities that it presented me with.  

How did you grow as a quilter while making it?

It's the first design that I actually sketched out and sewed up all on my own.  So I learned a lot of mathy things.  And when turning it into a pattern, I learned sooo much about how time consuming and difficult it can be to write something into a pattern.

If you could make this quilt again, what (if anything) would you do differently?

I would definitely make it out of different fabrics again.  I can picture it in so many different colors.  I definitely want to try it someday with more polka dots involved, and with a linen background.

Where is the quilt now?

The original quilt is hanging on a quilt ladder in our family room. The pink/pattern cover one, unfortunately, didn't make it back from Quilt Market.  Not sure if it was lost in transit, borrowed, or stolen.. I'm beginning to think that it might have just been stolen, since it hasn't turned up anywhere.  :(  Riley Blake has been sooo fabulous through it all though. Jina is tooo nice!  She has offered to make a replacement quilt exactly like the one that went missing.

Once in a while I google it just to see if a pic of it turns up somewhere, and imagine my surprise the other night when I googled it and this pic popped up!  Someone has sewn up a very similar shop sample, and has kitted it!  I was so excited!  It's at My Girlfriend's Quilt Shop in Utah.

(thanks for listening to me drone on about this quilt again!) ha! Head over here to read about more "Favorite Quilts". :)

Happy Tuesday!