Sunday, July 31, 2011

Atlanta Modern Quilt Guild, Some Progress, and Hormones!

It's fun meeting people in real life that you only know from the blogging world! My friend Mitzi and I attended the meeting of the Atlanta Modern Quilting Guild today. During the course of the meeting, one of the members mentioned her email address and I immediately looked over at Mitzi and said, "I've been to her blog!" Her name is Chris from I was so jealous to hear she's going to get to attend the Sewing Summit in Salt Lake City. This will be October 7-9th. What a cool weekend that would be! But I'll have to find something like that a little closer to home.
And as far as my progress goes, I finished my bowtie block for the Skill Builder Series.

Okay, about the hormones. I'm sure Thing 1 would die if she knew I was writing this so I will tread lightly. I don't know if I'm going to live through her ascent into puberty. It's bad; really, really bad. She is only 9 and the hormones are already just wreaking havoc with her judgment and her ability to make decisions. It is like PMS on crack. Twice now she's been at slumber parties and one small trigger sent her into an emotional crying wreck. She hides within the house and avoids interaction with her friends, cannot see reason, and has a lot of trouble bringing herself 'down' from emotional hysteria. I love her dearly and I truly hate that she is having to go through this so early. I did too, so I knew the possibility was very high.
It's just so hard to get her to understand that her hormones are what is clouding her ability to see the truth. She insisted that her friend's mother hated her which is so untrue. I'm just sort of at a loss right as to how to help her work through it. Luckily all we are really dealing with at this precise moment is hormones and how they make her feel. Sigh...., I try not to argue things that are divinely decided, but I find it difficult to understand why a 9 year old should even have to be exposed to this yet. I did do some reading and some science points to our children being exposed too early to large amounts of hormones (such as estrogen) in milk, foods, and hair products.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Christmas Quilt in July; In Progress, That Is

I've been working on a Christmas quilt in Riley Blake fabric as one of my many ongoing projects. I really love the fabrics but for some really dumb reason, I bought two green fabrics that were the same base color. Probably because they were on sale. Anyhoo! I've been playing with putting it together, basically just making it up as I go along. I liked where it was going but something was bugging my about the colors. The red was basically supposed to serve as an anchor color. That's what I thought originally. However, I was using it the same way I was using the other two fabrics so instead of giving any weight to the piece, it was just adding to the sort of chaotic look of it. What to do, what to do!
Well, what do you do when something just isn't working in a project? Buy more fabric, of course! Now that sounds bad. I didn't buy much. Just a little. And I wanted to pull in one of the colors from the polka dot fabric so I came up with Kona in Jade. I really balked at this initially because I only had the polka dot fabric with me at the time and I didn't want the piece to be overwhelmed by green, but then I realized that the green I already had was more of a lime green, so the jade almost comes across as more of a blue based color which is what I wanted. Then I got home and the same color occurs in both of the limey green fabrics as well. So, go me!
So let's see what we've got going on. Vertical strips of the fabric...

small blocks with white strips on either side...

some 9 patch blocks...

some mittens and mugs fabric and the Kona Jade.

I do not plan on using a lot of jade in the design itself. I just needed something to tie it all together and so I'm just going to use thin lines of it in different places. Now to get downstairs and get it done!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Back to School Goodies!

If you're like me school is right around the corner for your kids. I was looking back through the tutorials I have saved in my favorites to see if there was anything I could make to help give me a head start on the return to school. I found several things I thought I'd share just in case anyone was interested!

Chloe's Backpack (quilted)

Toddler backpack

Slouchy Bookbag 

Stylish Book Bag   

School bags  IMG_5993

Backpack in Oilcloth (can be made in other fabrics and can be enlarged) Photo

Preschool backpack 

Two backpacks two ways   

Laptop Cases/Bags

Zippered version (Sew Crafty Jess did a lovely version of this one here)

Oh Fransson's laptop sleeve at Sew Mama Sew EFF525094.jpg (I've modified this one a couple of times to close from the long end, to have a back pocket and to have straps; one of mine can be seen here and here)

The Cottage Home buttoned laptop sleeve 

Pencil Cases

Pencil Pouch by Noodle-head

Pencil Pouch with Zipper IMGP2516

Fabric tube cases  Fabric Tube Cases By

Lunch Bags

Oilcloth lunch bag by Martha Stewart

Pink Penguin lunch bag (I want to make one of these!)   Lunch Bag Tutorial
Skip to My Lou's lunch bag 

Reusable Snack Bags DSC01299

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

GenX Recipe and Quilt Show! Quilt Edition

Gen X Quilters Summer Fair
I already posted my recipe for the Fair over at gen X quilters so I wanted to get my quilt posted as well.  This was my most recent finish and also the first quilt that I designed by myself.
I call this one X Marks the Spot. Here are the specifics on this quilt.

Quilting: straight stitch blocks around each square in graduated sizes, X quilted in center of each square, blocks quilted in extra spaces, outline quilting done on borders, by me on home machine
Size: Lap Quilt, 44"x 45"
Let's just say there are a heck of a lot of HST's in this quilt!

The quilt back...

and a close-up.
Hope you like it! I hope to one day have a pattern whenever I can sit down and make myself write it up!

GenX Recipe and Quilt Show! Recipe Edition

Gen X Quilters Summer Fair
When I saw GenX was doing this Quilt and Recipe show, I knew exactly what recipe I wanted to enter. My mom used to make these cookies called Ranger Cookies. These are so yummy, and even though I am not a coconut fan, I love these. It really just makes the cookies chewy.
Here goes the recipe:

Ranger Cookies


1 c. Crisco shortening
1 c. sugar
1 c. packed brown sugar
1 1/2  t. vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 c. coconut
2 c. sifted all purpose flour
1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
2 c. uncooked oats
3/4 c. crisp rice cereal

Preheat oven to 376 degrees. Cream Crisco, sugars, and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl (don't forget to add vanilla like I did!).

Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Add flour mixture gradually to creamed mixture, mixing well until blended.

Stir in oats, coconut, and rice cereal.

Drop batter by teaspoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes.
I like mine to be a little brown on top.
Let them cool and then chow down! Yum!
As a side note, I remember my mom giving me the recipe for these cookies a long time ago. It was before they had those air bake cookie sheets and before I had any better brand sheets. These were very easy to burn back then, but I had no problem whatsoever making these batches on my airbake and my Pampered Chef pans. Well, except for the one pan where I forgot to turn on the timer!

WiP Wednesday!

Darn, Wednesdays sure seem to come on fast and furious sometimes! I know this time it has a lot to do with being on vacation last week but still!
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
Well, I got more done than I thought I would considering I was at the beach last week.
My biggies for the week were Block #3 for Embroidery 101...
Block #5 (not counting the challenge block) for Skill Builder Sampler...

and my center design for my red and white hexie quilt.

I've started on some secondary designs for this one.
I also did some work on my Riley Blake Christmas quilt...

I kind of wish I just had a little blue or different shade of green to go with it. We'll see what I can find. I think I'm just going to make a crib size for a wall hanging or small throw for the sofa. That fabric in the middle with the cocoa and mittens hasn't been used yet. I can't decide whether to incorporate a block into the front or only use it on the back.

As far as UFO's go, I played around with my Charm Pack quilt from way back. I contemplated working on my string quilt which I desperately need to do but didn't get around to it. However, it is placed in a prominent position on my ironing board to make sure I get it done though!
Check out all the other weekly progress over at Lee's at Freshly Pieced!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Ever Elusive Finish...

My friend Mitzi and I were talking last night about having multiple projects going on at once. She made the comment that she usually doesn't do that because she never feels like she finishes anything. I know what she means. I have several things going on right now and most are ongoing projects like the Skill Builder Sampler, and the Embroidery 101 quilt. I decided that, as soon as I finish enough blocks for SBS, I will create a quilt for it before continuing. As far as Embroidery 101 goes, I have to wait until they're all done. I just finished block 3 yesterday and block 4 is supposed to come out tomorrow. Here's block 3.
I can't say I was crazy about that stem stitch. I FINALLY kind of got it right at the end but by then I didn't want to pull it back out. I'm okay with how it turned out.
I hope to whip up my Riley Blake Christmas quilt today. We'll see how far I can get.
Are you having any finishes?

Monday, July 25, 2011

Be It Ever So Humble...

Ahh... to be home! I love a good vacation but it's always nice to be home. My favorite thing is coming back to my own bed. I was amazed at how much I could feel hubbie moving around on that hotel bed. It kept waking me up all night. I love my Tempur-pedic! I think hubbie could do calisthenics on his side and I wouldn't notice. No, I don't sell them or anything. I just missed it while I was gone.
My least favorite part of vacation is the clean up of everything when you get home, and that's where I am right now. Oh joy. Though I did get my Embroidery 101 block almost completed in the car on the way home. I got a ton of red hexies done and started working on white so I can just throw together some secondary designs for my red and white quilt.
I also came up with something else to make. Sigh... it's never ending! My kids were uncomfortable in the car on the way home (6 hour drive; who's not uncomfortable!). So I was thinking it would be nice for them to have one of those pillow/blanket things. Well, after researching online, they are called a quillow and several instructions exist. Like these, or even several youtube video versions I found. I'll let you know how that one works out.
I got to do a little sewing last night and finished the Arizona block for the Skill Builder Sampler.  Here's my version.

Not perfect, but I was tired and wanted to get SOMETHING done on a sewing machine this week! I finally got to use that fabric I originally picked up as part of my scrap version of this Sampler (but ended up buying fabric specifically for it). I wanted something sort of fussy cut for the center and this is what I had. I was a little worried it wouldn't match the other fabric but I think it ended up blending well.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Red, White, and Done (well, almost!)

Okay, so I finally finished that center design for my red and white hexie quilt. Yes, at the beach; I'm weird, okay? Anyway, I've already started coming up with some secondary designs to go with it. What do you think?
Yes, we're still at the hotel; that is SO NOT my carpet. Anyway, I am really proud of it. I placed it on the hotel bed to give you an idea of the size of it. This is a full sized bed.
I'm excited to see where this goes. I'm glad I cut out enough red and white fabric to keep going. Woohoo!

I also wanted to let you guys know about another quilt show. Check it out! GenXQuilters is having a quilt and recipe show.
Gen X Quilters Summer Fair
I have no idea what I'll enter. Hopefully I can finish something up. If not, I'll peruse what I've done so far. We'll see! And recipes! I'm excited about that one. I'm always looking for new recipes! Yum!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

WiP Wednesday...From the Beach!

A room with a view...
We're on the top floor of our hotel (only 6 floors) and this was the view we got when we finally arrived Monday. Sigh... I'm in heaven!
And my hubbie thinks I'm insane that I took the time to post my WiP's but, Hey! I'm crazy like that!
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
So far this week we have...
A Skill Builder block,

Two DS carrying cases,

A new Christmas quilt project...

And some hexie action from the trip down here.  Red and white is taking shape...

And Grandma's Garden got a few more flowers!
I hope everyone else is staying busy! Check everyone out over at Lee's!