Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Mail time!

Oh how I love when the mail man shows up with a box for me!

Some fabrics came today for a quilt for my nephew's big boy bed. He doesn't have it yet, but soon!  Those are Modern Meadow and Hope Valley fabrics. Thanks to Heather over at {House} of A La Mode for turning me on to Hope Valley. I can't wait to get started on this one.

And since I was paying for shipping, I had to get something to support my purple habit. YUM!

And this is what I've currently be working on. This is the quilt for my mother in law for Christmas. Check out those seams! ha ha!  This one is way traditional, but fun still. I've got about half of the 36 of this block completed. Best get back to it.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A taste of fall

Even though it's been in the 90s around here and so not like fall, the trees still know that it's autumn. So I took Samantha for her first apple picking adventure. She loved every bit of it, but especially the chickens and roosters walking around the farm. She kept trying to follow them yelling 'bock, bock, bock".

We wound up with Golden Delicious, Red Delicious and Gala. Not my favorites for applesauce, but still good. So I thought I'd share my easy applesauce recipe because seriously, home made applesauce is one of my favorite things. There are about a billion ways to make applesauce, this is just what I do.

Core and cut about 3 lbs of apples and put them in a large pot. Add to it 1 cup of water and 1/2 cup brown sugar (you could use white sugar too, I just luv brown sugar) and 1 tsp cinnamon. I also throw in a cinnamon stick.

Bring it to a boil stirring occasionally and then let simmer for 20 mins. You can stir about every 5/10 minutes. The test to see if they are ready is just to push them on the skins with a fork. If it mushes, they are ready. In the meantime, your house will smell amazing from the cinnamon.

When I was younger we used to make this at my grandmothers. She used to use the old conical sieve with a pestle to push through the apples. She also used to hand quilt. I prefer modern conveniences - aka sewing machines and food processors. So at this point, transfer the apples and some juices to the food processor and blend it up to whatever thickness/lumpiness you like.

Voila! Homemade applesauce.  It freezes really well too.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Finished just in time

Just last night I finished binding my wedding present for Saturday.

It's my circle quilt from Julie's pattern.  I changed mine to make two small quilts. I love this quilt! I wouldn't be able to give this one up if I wasn't making two.

The fabrics are Fandango by Kate Spain. I did the quilting myself. I was initially going to leave the quilting as just the big "X's" but my batting required quilting every 2-4 inches so I did the straight lines along the seams too.

I puffy heart the back too! I think that was my favorite print from the line. I love using a big crazy print on the back. 
I hand wrote my label instead of using one of my printed labels because I wanted to use a quote about marriage. It says, "Marriage joins two people in the circle of it's love".  Then it has the couples names and wedding dates.

I hope they like it or I'll have to steal it back!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Sewing and fabric and quilts, oh my!

I finished my first dress for Kids Clothing Week Challenge! My model wasn't really happy to comply. Here she is waiting to go back inside. I think her face says it all.

Here's the front detail. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.  No, the model isn't examining her manicure. She's upset because her long sleeves are going over on her hands. Models are very fussy you know.

I realized I don't have brown shoes for her. I'd rather not buy any if I can. What do you think? Yea or Nay on the blue shoes with this dress? Normally I will put white tights on her, but since it's going up to 90 today and that's a corduroy dress I didn't want to torture her anymore.

This doesn't count as sewing, but I added some embellishments on some of her clothing with some patches I've had for a while.
I added some cupcakes to these jeans. They have a sparkly shine to them so they were really hard to photograph since they reflect the light.

And of course a sparkly princess shirt.

I'm not sure if I'm going to do any more clothing this week.  I have a stretch knit I would like to work with, but I don't have a good pattern for it. I have to search some more. If you have a recommendation, I'd love to hear it.

Also, the quilting keeps calling me back. I have a quilt to finish for a wedding on Saturday which I will photograph as soon as it's done. And this beauty showed up in my mail the other day!

That is a fat quarter stack (27 fabrics!) of Free Spirit by Lila Tueller.  The best part about this stack - it was FREE!!  I won the give away from Pam at Del Ray Fabrics! Squeee!   She's got some great stuff so if you want to shop, go check her out and if nothing else, sign up for her newsletter (that's where she does the giveaway).

And last night was my first meeting of the Philly Modern Quilt Guild. So much fun! It was so great to meet so many awesome, creative people. Part of the night was a show and tell and it was wonderful to get to see so many projects first hand. 

We also showed off our Project Pure quilts. It was a lot of fun to see what people came up with from the same line of fabrics. If you want to see them, they are here.  Mine is the green one. I'm already looking forward to the next meeting!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Kids Clothing Week Challenge begins

You can still join us for the Kids Clothing Week Challenge. I won't be uploading any photos to the Flickr pool today though.

Day 1 served to remind me why I don't like sewing clothing patterns!  I'm not a fan of figuring out patterns and cutting them and dealing with the noisy tissue paper. Yesterday was a nice day and I had the window open. I had tissue paper and pattern pieces blowing around.

For me sewing clothing requires a lot of thought. So I can't chill out and listen to a podcast or tv show while I'm doing it. This pattern that I'm dealing with isn't written very well. There were things shown on the illustrations that were not mentioned in the directions.  But I did okay considering.  Maybe I should be doing the nice designer patterns I keep seeing, or maybe I'm even ready to do the adorable Japanese patterns like this one at Wee Wonderfuls blog. I seem to only be reading the illustrations for this one anyway!

Either way, I do love having a cute, unique item of clothing for my daughter when I'm done.

I always seem to learn something new on each pattern I do. This time it was pleats. I'm proud to say my pleats were beautiful the first time I did them.

What's that you say? That's the wrong size of the fabric!?  Hmm... the directions say to gather the pleats on the "inside" of the fabric. Oh well, they were beautiful and correct the second time.

I didn't finish the dress yesterday and I don't have photos of where I ended since sewing time ended with naptime and my daughter doesn't usually wake up happy. I should have it finished and have photos tomorrow.

I will leave you with one more photo though. Sewing clothing always makes me think of my mother. She always made matching dresses for my sister and I when we were small. Here is one example of our stylin' Christmas dresses (and seriously, I'm in trouble if I ever have a 2nd girl - I will do this to them). In case you are curious, I'm the little one with the curls.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

jelly roll and layer cakes

Now that I'm back at my sewing machine, here's a little peek at what I've been working on. 
 I'm doing my first jelly roll quilt with Park Avenue by 3 Sisters.  This is actually also my first Christmas gift and it will be for my mother in law. When I saw this line, I knew it was perfect. It matches all the colors she has going on in her family room so I'm making her a little lap quilt for the couch.
I mentioned that I was pinning last week and this was what I was working on. The circle around quilt by Julie. I'm doing mine in Fandango by Kate Spain. And I got totally lazy and bought layer cakes for the white background as well as the patterns. I'm making mine a little smaller so I'll get 2 lap quilts out of it and I can really mix up the prints. It's a fun and quick pattern I'm enjoying putting together.

I also had a bit of a scare and thought I was going to have to take my machine in for service. After not using it for a week it was squeaking like a hamster wheel in the middle of the night. I cleaned it, changed needles and nothing was working. Then I realized it was my walking foot (using it for the circles). Did you know you can/should oil it? It's not in the owners manual, but it's all over the web. Dropped a little sewing machine oil in it and she's quiet as can be again!  Glad I don't have to part wiht my machine.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

I survived a week without sewing

Okay, maybe it wasn't a full week, but it was 5 days. Monday through Friday.  I decided to take a self imposed break from quilting because I was becoming fixated on when I could find time to do it. Plus I had a large stack of photos that really needed my attention.

It wound up being a very productive week. I got a dozen scrapbook pages done, 3 cards and put away a lot of photos in albums.

I won't lie though. I did do some quilt planning. And some pinning in the evenings while hubby flipped channels. I also did some sewing on my scrapbook pages.

Here's a close up so you can see what I'm talking about.

I tried to keep most of my pages super simple.
And I made sure to use up lots of scraps and did absolutely no new shopping.   I tried to use my Silhouette a little more since it's been abandoned for quilting. I think I managed to use it on every layout. I also used the sketch pens a little. This one was fun. I made the little journaling block with the pens (this is the 2nd page of a 2 pager).

It was fun to work with paper again and definitely a relief to organize most of my photos. But I've already hopped on the sewing machine. In honor of taking the process pledge I'll blog about what's in progress tomorrow!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Kids Clothing Week Challenge

Is anyone else participating in The Kids Clothing Week Challenge over on I just discovered this and plan to join in.

On Elsie's post she asks why people do so much sewing in the spring but not the fall. As I started searching for patterns I realized why. It's so dang easy to make spring/summer clothing! And there aren't a lot of patterns for the fall. The other issue I have is that I don't put a lot of dresses on Samantha. They aren't very practical for day to day playing. And of course most of the patterns are dresses.

The first thing I will be making is pattern "A" from this NewLook pattern. Yup, it's a dress, but so cute I couldn't resist. Note that this pattern is "easy". Those are the only ones that I will do!

I found this corduroy fabric to make it with (yes, I'm still obsessed with brown and pink).

I also found this adorable stretch knit covered with owls. I think I have a top pattern already that would work with it. But I'm nervous because I've never worked with stretch knit before!

Either way, it should be fun. Join in if you can!

On a separate note, as I was offloading these pictures from the camera I found that my husband took this photo this morning while I was in the shower.
Melted my heart to see my little one snuggled in her quilt!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Samantha's Quilt

Last night I finally finished the binding on my quilt for my daughter. This is an Alex Anderson pattern called "Petit Fleur". I decided to tackle a scallop border. Here's the full quilt.

I'm curious to see how the scallops hold up over time. There wasn't anything  providing extra stability for them, so I hope they don't warp or fold over.

Here's a peek at the backing.

This was also the first time I attempted quilting a border that wasn't continuous.  I did half flowers around the sides and the corner has the whole flower. It mimics the yellow flower on the fabric.
I made a newbie mistake that I will share. Maybe there is a way to solve this problem?  I made the back too different of a color than the front. As a result, I started getting some "connect the dot" action with my quilting. Meaning - the thread from one side was coming through the other side.

I played with the tension on scraps to try and fix this, but no luck. So I decided to have it show on the back. Fortunately, you really have to be up close to see it.

The best thing about this quilt for me was Samantha's reaction. I haven't really "given" it to her yet (i need to label it). But when I was done the binding, I stood up and held it up to take a look at it and she was mesmerized. She kept saying "Wow" and asking me to turn it around and show her more. It was so adorable. And I was blown away by it because she's two... I fully expected her to not have any interest. Maybe I have a future quilter on my hands!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A challenge project

I finished my quilt for the Project Pure Challenge for the Philly Modern Quilt Guild. This is the first challenge I've done and I can't wait to see what everyone else has come up with.

Our challenge was to use 1 charm pack of Pure from Moda and then 1/2 a yard of something else. That's it!  I've never done a disappearing 9 patch so I thought I'd give that a try. Here are my results.

I love this line and it think it would make the cutest baby boy quilt.  Here's a snap of my backing. I wanted to use up the extra squares I had left so I incorporate them there along with my label.

The other thing I did which I've never tried was to do a completely machine sewn binding.

I'm pretty happy with how it came out and especially with how fast it went on!! Next time, I'll take photos and post a how to.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

My first doll

As Samantha is about to turn two, I was trying to think of some good ideas for gifts for her. It made me remember my Dressy Bessy from when I was little. You know - the doll that had zippers and buttons and such to help you learn how to dress?

My next trip to the toy store I started to look for her. I found nothing! I couldn't believe it. After searching the internet I learned that they updated her and she's now a Playskool toy. They also sell a Teach Me Elmo and Abby Caddabby version.

I don't know why, but I was underwhelmed by all of them. Then I got the brilliant idea that I could make one of my own. Never mind that I've never made a doll before! I started searching for doll patterns and came up with one from the fabulous Melly & Me. If you don't know about them, definitely check out their blog. They have the cutest softies and an adorable line of fabric coming out.

So I got their pattern and made my first doll. The instructions were well written and pretty easy to follow. But, I quickly learned that the accessories I had bought, namely overall clips, were way too big for her. So I decided she would just be a doll for now. Maybe in the future I'll adapt her to be a Teach Me doll?

Here is my first doll, yet to be named. I think I'll let Samantha name her. For now she's chillin' at her log cabin.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

About me

Hi, my name is Becky and I'm a fabric addict. Okay, well, it's a new thing for me, but quickly addicting. I was previously a paper addict. I've been a scrapbooker for a few years and I still do some scrapping, but not a lot.

I'm a stay at home mom of a two year old.
Between taking tons of photos of her for myself and for scrap booking, I've also become very interested in photography.

About a year ago I decided to take a quilting class to get out of the house and have some time with other adults. I've quickly become hooked! This is the first quilt that I made in that class. It still needs to be quilted, hopefully soon.I've started this blog so I can keep track of all the work I've done and hopefully be able to share some things on the way. Hope you enjoy!


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