Saturday, January 31, 2009

A New Quilting Project!

Remember this? My favorite quilt pattern of the quilting calendar giveaway? Well, I have started shopping for fabrics to make this quilt. The "hunt" is very much fun because I am looking for specific kinds of fabric that have pictures of recognizable objects, people, things that a child can play "I Spy" by finding these on the quilt. I originally wanted to make the quilt which is a finished size of 48 x 48 inches. Now I have decided to either make an "I Spy" big floor pillow or a doll quilt because I have only made about a half dozen or so quilts and they have all been baby quilts. I've never finished a big quilt although 48 x 48 is not really that big. My purpose in doing this is to practice all the skills of quilting but especially the machine quilting.

Here are some of the fabrics I found this week. I found out that some stores will cut as little as 1/16 yd. for you so some of these pieces are 1/16 yd, some 1/8, and some 1/4 yd. I will still have fabric leftover so I can save those for a bigger quilt. I think this quilt would be a great birthday gift for a child. This is not intended to be a "pretty" quilt and you don't have to worry about color coordinating and all that "stuff". You just need certain size squares and sort your fabrics by light, medium, and dark. I guess you really don't need to do that if you didn't want and could just put it together in a random manner. But I am going to try to make my center square with lights and my outer border with mediums and darks. Can you see the possibilities in the top photo? A spider, butterfly, dragonfly, ladybug, the Sesame Street characters of Baby Big Bird, Elmo, Oscar the Grouch, a frog, carrots, you get my drift! These colors will fall into my darks.

Here is an example of my mediums with the Pooh characters. The designer of the quilt calls for cutting 3 1/2 x 3 1/2 inch squares sewn to a 3 inch square but says you can use any size square or rectangle as long as it's divisible by 3. With these I could cut a 6 1/2 x 6 1/2 inch rectangle or a 9 1/2 x 9 1/2 inch square since I would need more room to get the entire design in.

Here is one for my lights group with all kinds of animals and other things - giraffes, zebras, lions, a moon, palm tree on a polka dot border. But I will use each fabric character or object only once in the quilt.

Here are some possibilities to put either in the medium or light category. I love the little Hello Kitty, heart, baby block, duck, Care Bears and a little dog that looks a lot like Snoopy. Paige helped me choose these so that will make the little doll quilt or TV pillow special to her. She will remember helping me "buy" these. I think I only spent between $4 to $5 on all this fabric. I only bought fabric on sale racks. My next step is to look through all my fabrics I have here at home (including my charm packs), then plan how big I want the pillow or doll quilt to be and begin making my measurements and the plan before I start cutting. I don't have to use 3 inch blocks. I could use 2 inch block but make all my rectangles or bigger squares divisible by 2. So I have some planning to do first. After I finish the first one, I can group all these fabrics in one container for future quilts and go right to it. But I have to admit, the fabric shopping is the most fun!!!

Thursday, January 29, 2009


One night this week, Paige's daddy came to pick her up while she was eating pizza and watching The Backyardigans. A few minutes after he'd been here, her Paw Paw changed the channel on TV to watch the local news. She looked at me and said that she wanted to watch a movie. I told her that we would watch one later but right now her Paw Paw, Daddy, and I wanted to watch the news. She said, "but that's for boys!" ha!
I can remember when I was a child wondering what my parents thought was so fascinating about the news and how boring it was to me. Oh, to have the "not a care in the world" feelings of a child again. . . *sigh*

Monday, January 26, 2009

Finally, a Post Here!

You may say, ok, you silly woman - why are you going to so much trouble to do this? I am going to show you how I make a double matt in a picture frame just using stock card. Yes, it is easy. Maybe I just wanted to do something besides read, lie in the bed or on the couch, watch TV, read other blogs, check email - get the picture? I had fun just playing with paper and my camera, and, yes, I used a rotary cutter on paper. So the photo above shows all my supplies. (Did I mention this is good practice for doing a tutorial later? A friend wants me to do one on making a pillowcase dress but I just wasn't in the mood to sew today.)

Also, I can't believe I haven't posted anything here in almost a week! So first of all, I looked through my 12 x 12 papers and narrowed it down to these four - a blue pattern, a green with huge polka dot pattern, and two solids, a hot pink and a blue.

I eliminated the green immediately for two reasons - the walls in her playroom (where I am going to hang these photos) are green and that's just too much green and the polka dots were so big they just wouldn't show up in the inside "matt". Now I've got the patterned blue, the solid blue and the solid hot pink. The photos were taken of little "pooh bear" last year at a new shopping mall in the northern part of our state where I went with her and her mommy to meet her aunt for a weekend of shopping, eating out and just being together - just a girls' weekend. She was about 18 months old.

This is really a "back burner" project so I feel good that I got it done today. I printed these 4 x 6 photos with the purpose of hanging them in a frame such as this. So I place the frame over the three different papers to try to help me decide which paper to use.

I decide to use the hot pink because it makes the photos "pop". There's already so much blue in her dress in the photos and the blue mod print just doesn't show up that much. So now I measure and decide how I'm going to cut the pink because I only have one 12 x 12 sheet. The openings are for 5 x 7 photos and I have 4 x 6 photos so I am going to cute three 5 x 7 pieces of the hot pink cardstock.

Here I am drawing the pieces to cut.

I heard that scrapbooking enthusiasts are using rotary cutters now so I got out my quilting rotary cutter and tried it for the first time on paper. It works great. I have seen different blades in the stores for this purpose in wavy patterns, etc. I always wondered why you would get a wavy blade and now I know that you can use them on paper as well as fabric. So here I have cut my three 5 x 7 pieces out of the 12 x 12 sheet.

Then I use the photo stickers and place them on the back side of the three pieces of hot pink cardstock. Another reason to post this was for the purpose of practicing using my camera in a manual mode. I changed my F stop and shutter speed in almost every photo because in some, I wanted shallow depth of field and some I wanted deep depth of field. This was good practice.

Here I just turned them over and placed them directly on the paper with photos that came in the frame.

Now I place the triple 5 x 7 matt on top of my pink cardstock to make sure all areas are covered and only pink paper is showing - just checking :)

Now I am just directly placing (temporarily) the photos on top of the pink cardstock to see what arrangement of the photos I like the best before I permanent affix them. I like this arrangement the best. I really would have liked the photo on the left for the middle but she is looking to the right and I would have needed to place a photo in the left hand side looking to the left which would mean it would look off-balance with her looking left picking the flowers or looking left standing. So I chose the outside photos to be looking toward the center and put the "picking flowers" (which is a really different photo) in the middle. I hope all this makes sense. It just all felt right to me and I liked it.

Now I permanently affix the photos in the arrangement I like directly on top of the cardstock, place that part into the frame and place the white matt on top. I also cleaned and dusted everything and made sure the Windex was dry ( I sprayed the Windex on the cloth, not on the glass ).

With everything in the frame, now it is turned over to the back ready for the chipboard back to be put in place.

The chipboard backing is put back in place and locked.

Now I turn it over to make sure everything looks even and see if any adjustments need to be made.

Then I go hang it on the wall. I just "eyeballed" it, used a medium-sized nail with a big head and could not find the hammer so used a shoe! I like it. The green color of the wall is a little brighter than the photo, there are ice pink sheers over plantation shutters in the room, and the area rug in the middle is the same color as the hot pink cardstock. Furniture is white. I'll take a photo of the entire room when it's cleaned up! This is the same room that had the beanie baby Christmas tree with pink fabric and pink tulle for the Christmas tree skirt.

I'm happy to have finished something on the "back burner" for almost a year and felt like at least part of my day was useful and a little crafty! (The frame, including the matt, I think I got at CVS. I watch when they put their frames on sale - buy one regular price and get the second 50% off.) I think they have cute frames. NOTE: I think the reason I got such cute little poses from her is because I used a telephoto lens, sat on a bench and she thought I was just watching her play. She didn't know I was photographing her. The telephoto lens is supposedly good for portraits, less distortion.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Thirteen Quilts

Here are the thirteen quilts. One is out of order but that really doesn't matter. This one is called Holiday House Wall Quilt - is quick and easy. The book it came from also has tree skirts, table runners and more.

A Path Less Traveled is made with fat quarters.
Harlequin Carnival Quilt uses fat quarters and this particular one uses Mardis Gras colors.
A log cabin that says the designer shows her freehand, no-mark and no-stress techniques.
This one was my favorite, I Spy Squares Quilt, which the designer says you can never appreciate an I Spy quilt until you've seen a child play with one. Over 100 different fabrics were used for this one. Children discover and rediscover hidden pictures.
Sunflowers of Provence is an interpretation by the designer.
A Scrappy Nine Patch Quilt shows quilters basic skills needed to succeed at machine quilting and uses vintage fabrics.
I Spy Hearts Quilt - another I Spy quilt for children using heart shapes.
Butterfly Garden Quilt uses hand-dyed fabrics for the background and features decorative stitching and beads.
This was my second favorite, the Floral Fiesta Quilt, simply because it is easy to piece and is a good quilt to ease into machine quilting.
Bloomin' Hearts Quilt uses fusible applique.
Solar Twist Quilt supposedly teaches you to learn to hear what your quilt top is saying as far as how you quilt it.
This was the "extra" quilt pattern on the inside of the cover called Frosty Friends quilt. It is another fusible applique and uses a lot of buttons for details.
Remember you can click on the photo for a close-up look. Hope you enjoyed this tour of the thirteen quilts. And you might want to get your own calendar.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Would Love to Hear From You

This is me. I've seen this done on a few blogs (in different ways) and I thought it would be fun to do this. I am going to list 16 facts about myself that I think others may not know but the purpose in doing this is NOT to tell you things about me as it is to read about you, dear blogger! So after reading, please comment and give me your list of 16 facts about YOU that I might be interested in learning. Also, you might be interested in doing this on your blog.
1. I play the piano.
2. I used to teach elementary school.
3. When I was in high school, one of my biggest dreams was to be a cheerleader and it never came true.
4. I wanted to become either a professional baseball player or a concert pianist when I was a child.
5. I used to hate having animals in the house. Now I have 1 dog and 3 cats.
6. My husband and I announced to our parents early in our marriage that we did not want to have children. I have two wonderful daughters that I would not trade for the world!
7. When I was in college, I desperately wanted to sing in a band.
8. I can get lost anywhere. I have no sense of direction.
9. I hate to cook.
10. I hate to do housework.
11. I have never read the entire Bible and I want to do that before I die.
12. I am an "underdog" kind of person.
13. I dearly love to be alone.
14. I truly believe I have a keener sense of "tension in the air" than others. (I don't really know another way of stating this. It is really difficult to describe. I hope you understand what I mean.)
15. I am a mother of two "girls" and have one granddaughter so I truly do not understand boys or men.
16. I hate to exercise and go on diets. The only exercise I enjoy is riding my bike.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Quilt Calendar

MamaB got her calendar and loved it :) She suggested I put photos of each quilt from the calendar on my blog so I will photograph tomorrow outside (they look so much better photographed outside in natural light ( I'm becoming a BIG fan of natural light!) and will post them tomorrow. I think the quilt lovers WILL enjoy seeing the different quilts. You might want to make a trip to BAM (or wherever) and get you a copy of the calendar. I think it's a great deal.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

And the WINNER IS . . .

Today was the deadline on the quilt calendar giveaway. It was a little strange what happened. I checked and double-checked and I had 6 people guessing and told everyone they could have as many as 3 guesses. Not everybody took 3 guesses. We had 13 quilts to guess from and three people guessed the same quilt so there were still two quilts left that had not been guessed. They were Frosty Friends and I Spy Squares. (Someone DID guess I Spy Hearts) My favorite was I Spy Squares because the notes inside the calendar describing this quilt (it's the month of September, by the way) say that you can't truly appreciate an "I Spy" quilt until you've seen a child play with one. A child discovers and rediscovers the hidden pictures. This version is supposed to be fast and fun to make, with scraps from over 100 different fabrics!
Anyway - since no one guessed it, my husband drew a name out of my cupped hand :) and the winner is: MamaB!!!!! Congratulations! I will get the calendar to you pronto! I think you will really enjoy it! Thanks everybody. This was more fun for me, I think, than for anyone.


I know. I know. I'm addicted to blogging. It's ridiculous but I have yet another blog. If you're interested or curious or both, go here and check it out!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Better Photos, Better Explanation

I had a beautiful day of sunshine today and was able to photograph outside without freezing to death! I think these photos are much better. This is the cute vintage-style pattern.

This is the fabric I'm using to make the dress for a little girl who lives near Chicago.
I love the kitties!

Here's the fabric with the little snails that I want to do for Paige and I've begun to cut it out with the rotary cutter!

I hope these two photos show how you cut out a child's dress with the rotary cutter. It's really different. You fold the fabric and use a quilter's ruler to angle the fold on the right side. Then you use the pattern at the top to just cut off the un-needed fabric and also there's a little pattern piece to cut off un-needed fabric at the bottom (not shown) to curve the bottom of the skirt. So instead of placing a tissue pattern on top of a fold of fabric, you just have one pattern piece to use and cut away unwanted fabric to shape your front and back. I hope I have explained this so you understand.

Here is the front of the dress done the same way. The other pattern pieces for the top and bottom trim I'll do with the chocolate brown solid cotton and will just be cut out as you would a regular pattern.

Another Paige-ism

I hope I get this one right as far as the details go because this one her mommy told me over the phone. But if I don't, the basic premise is right. Mommy said that she was at home with Paige on an off-day. Mommy is a nurse and Daddy is a cattle farmer. Paige got two tutus for Christmas. She put on her tutu and her boots (I think). She has some cute little green frog boots. I don't think she put on any other clothing. Then she said, "OK mommy, I'm ready to go to work. I'm ready to feed the cows". ha! Can't you see her feeding the cows in a tutu and green frog boots?!?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Thinking About Spring Sewing

Isn't this the cutest little dress pattern for spring and summer? I ordered it from that *darn* kat on Etsy and have already chosen fabrics to sew up two dresses.

It's late and I tried my best to get a close-up of the fabric on this one because the little snails are SO cute! This will be the main body of the dress and the top and bottom trims will be in a chocolate brown.

Here are the two fabrics together but as I said, it's late, and I didn't get a very good shot of them but I have started cutting it out. It's cut out with a rotary cutter. I've never cut a little girl's dress with a rotary cutter but I like it. It's different. I'll keep you posted on the progress although I'm trying to plan a SECRET 60th birthday party for my hubby this weekend and will probably not get to the sewing machine until that is done! I'll post a photo of the fabric for the second dress I'm making from this pattern tomorrow. I'm making it as a gift for a little girl who lives close to Chicago.
(I'm sorry but I think these are the worst photos I've ever taken! ha!)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Keep Guessing!

I've decided to set a deadline for guesses on this quilt pattern because I really want someone to receive this before the month is over! lol Please forgive me - I've never done a giveaway before and it may seem haphazard to everyone. If those of you who have either never guessed at all would like to make your guesses (up to 3 guesses) and the others who haven't guessed 3 times would like to finish yours all by Wednesday, the 14th of this month, then if no one has guessed, I will just draw a name out the hat and announce the winner and send it on. Does all this make sense? I hope so! Just keep guessing!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Second Guesses

No one has guessed my favorite quilt on the first guess yet. audreypawdrey asked about second guesses. If you would like to give it a second try, give me a second guess, and even a third one. I'd like to mail it out to someone early next week so I'll wait until I get second and third guesses and if no one has hit it yet, I'll just draw a name out of the hat! I do think a quilter would enjoy this calendar and it's a shame to have two sitting around here when I can only use one and someone else would enjoy the second one.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Making Organizing Fun!


is my goal in my sewing room. During the Christmas season, I looked in all the dollar stores, Wal-Mart, Big Lots, Target for these wonderful acrylic containers and I finally came across them in Michael's and they were 40% off! I was so excited! Paige and I played in ribbon today while her mommy monogrammed and we had so much fun. Now I hope to organize my ribbon, trims and buttons for the New Year. I think it will make my sewing go much faster to be better organized. I seem to spend half my time looking for things. Does anyone else have this problem?!?

Thursday, January 8, 2009


Do any of you buy yourself something when you're Christmas shopping? I seem to do that every year and this Quilts calendar is the item I bought myself this year. I needed a new calendar and when I was looking in BAM, I came across this one that has instructions and patterns for 13 quilts so I thought it was quite a bargain. Well, guess what? My oldest, Erin, also gave me this same calendar as one of my Christmas gifts from her! I see all these bloggers having "giveaways" so I thought that's what I would do with my extra calendar. This is how it works for all you quilt lovers out there. I will list the name of each of the 13 quilts and if you can guess which is my favorite, the calendar is yours! If there's a tie, I will just draw names. How about that? So here is the list of the 13 quilt instructions and patterns:
1. Frosty Friends Quilt
2. Solar Twist Quilt
3. Bloomin Hearts Quilt
4. A Path Less Traveled Quilt
5. Floral Fiesta Quilt
6. Butterfly Garden Quilt
7. I Spy Hearts Quilt
8. Scrappy Nine Patch Quilt
9. Sunflowers of Provence Quilt
10. I Spy Squares Quilt
11. Tahoe Retreat Quilt
12. Harlequin Carnival Quilt
13. Holiday House Wall Quilt


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A New Paige-ism

"Paw Paw" thought it would be cute to teach Paige a new term, "No Way Jose" and lately, she's been using it a lot. When she's in a joking mood and you ask her if she wants something or wants to do something, she'll say "No Way Who-Say"! ha!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Second New Blog

For those interested, please go to to follow my second new blog. I think this blogging thing is an addiction! But hopefully, it will be my motivator, too, for this new year to accomplish some things I've always wanted to accomplish. Time is getting short!