December 30, 2010

Christmas has come and gone, presents opened and played with, the new year almost upon us.

So much has been happening lately, time seems to whirl right by.

The holidays went great, good food, good company, lots of fun. I finished my (one) sewing project for a gift just in time, which is why I don't have photos of it, I was practically sewing on binding in the car...next time I get to my mom's I'll snap a photo or two. I made a 40x40 inch table topper, with one large Dresden plate in the center.

Sounds easy, right?

Hah. Because I have a pathological need to complicate things, I decided to echo quilt the sucker. With lines about 1/4 inch apart.

I am still peeling away from the sewing machine...

Anyways, I believe I have hinted at big changes coming to us this year, and while still not final, I feel the need to share.

One of the hotels the husband works for is getting sold, and he was offered a job at a different set of hotels. In Washington DC.

At this point, there is a 95% chance we are going. (The hubs is trying to negotiate a little more money so we can afford our current house while its on the market as well as a place over there.)

He really wants to go.

I think we are going.

I feel like this:

IMG_0012

December 3, 2010

Sorry about the blog abscense again! Its been very busy around here lately...

There isnt much for me to blog about though - sewing machine is still broken (which is driving me insane, but I'm going to bring it in tommorrow)

This might be it for the blog for the year though, big changes are possibly coming, and I think I might not be able to write too often.

Look for post 100 after the new year!

November 24, 2010

Oh dear.

I received my replacement screw for my sewing machine. Popped it in. Fiddled a little.

Something else is wrong. Has to be. No amount of tightening/loosening the(brand new, $4.50) tension screw changes anything.

Any Minneapolis-locals have any suggestions on good, relatively inexpensive(I'll pay for quality, to an extent.) repair shops that service/specialize in vintage singer machines?

November 22, 2010

Its amazing how one teeny tiny little thing can throw your sewing machine so far off.

I was sewing along the other night, put my project away and came back the next morning. But alas! My tension was wobbly at best, thread nests galore.

Changed the needle. No change.

Re-threaded top and bottom threads. No change.

Fiddled with the upper tension knob. Got a little better when tension was tightened as tight as it goes.

Pulled bobbin case out again, showed it to the hubby, and he noticed a screw missing from the bobbin case - I looked up in the manual and low and behold...that single teeny screw controls the entire bobbin tension.

sigh.

I managed to find a website that will sell me the single tiny screw though - beats buying a new bobbin case...those little things are spendy! But I guess no sewing until next week now.

Maybe this is just a sign that I need to stop procrastinating on designing this years christmas cards.

November 19, 2010

My spoonflower swatch arrived the other day! I am so impressed with the print quality. Its available for sale on spoonflower, if I get enough orders through them, I may begin selling it through etsy as well.


IMG_3882

expect more fabrics in the future!

Also, I've been watching my visitor count increase in the last few weeks, so welcome to all my new readers! And stick around, because I am fast approaching my 100th blog post...and I may have a little giveaway to celebrate!

November 15, 2010

You know you are in trouble when your boys are quiet.

IMG_3875
I've been working on a christmas project lately. Its a bit more traditional than I normally make. It is driving me insane.

I have now put it away for the time being.

I think its about time to begin something simple.

Also, I just recived Elizabeth Hartman's new book today - flipping through it, it looks really great. I'll get a chance tonight to really read it tonight, but I think it would be the kind of book I'd pass along to someone wanting to learn to quilt. Plus, the photography and layout design is beautiful! Most of the quilt patterns aren't completly my style, but I think I can modify one or two to suit me.

November 9, 2010

Yesterday, I put a design up on spoonflower and ordered a swatch.

I'm kind of nervous.

What if it prints wrong?

What if I put it up for sale and no one buys it?

I guess I'll have to figure those out when the swatch arrives.

(I'm not posting the design because I'm still unsure about it..plus its part of the logo I made for the Minneapolis modern quilt guild and not everyone has seen it yet)

If it turns out nice, I'll put it for sale on spoonflower to see if there is any interest before I plunge in and order a couple yards for sale on etsy. I'm also playing around with some color variations and coordinating patterns so it isnt lonely.

November 4, 2010

In light of Christmas sewing - I've begun a new project. I'm not really sure what these little stars will become, but they are addicting, though a little fussy and time consuming.

IMG_3857

I'm making these true scrap bin style, I just pulled handfuls of fabric from the scrap bin - even the whites don't match! (that may just drive me nuts..but for now its kinda charming)

This one is tiny. the center square is only 1 inch finished.

I'm envisioning a baby quilt or wall hanging with scattered stars of various sizes.

October 29, 2010

I finished this quilt some time ago - but have had the hardest time ever photographing it!  it still isnt well photographed, but I needed to get it in the shop, so here is the best I could get!

IMG_3846

(check out the link on the right to get to my etsy shop)

This quilt has been a little bit of a journey to create, it started up as a completely different project (I blogged about it here and there a while back) but I think this one is going to be hard to let go of.  I love how calm it is despite the numerous different prints, and the fussy cut Heather Ross goldfish make it super cute.

This particular quilt has begun my recent love of Kona Coal (seen as binding here)  I just want to use Coal in everything!

I've also now got two (maybe 3!) stacks of fabric ready to be cut into quilts...just need to decide which patterns to use!  And christmas sewing is in full swing, but thats gotta be kept under wraps (hah! wraps...) for awhile.

October 28, 2010

A little sneak peak at a project in process:

IMG_3835

October 25, 2010

My current mood via fabric choices:

IMG_3819

im really digging the faded blues and browns with pops of brighter blue and a little pink and green here and there...its the closest i've come to actually cutting a new quilt in a while.  perhaps its the weather - fall is in full swing here with the cold and rain drowning out any beauty in the changing leaves.

October 22, 2010

My apologies for another post without photos, but I have to give a shout out to fabricworm.  I placed an order for a handful of red & green prints (for Christmas sewing, naturally :D)  and received my fabric in 3 days from the order date!  I cant believe how fast that is!  I don't think I've ever received an online order that fast.

I highly recommend them for their selection (very modern, very cool!) and their extremely quick shipping times.

The only negative I can see is that it seems there is a half-yard minimum, it would be nice to be able to buy fat quarters.  But really, half-yards are just fine too, theres nothing wrong with having extra fabric around, right?

(I may or may not post photos of the stack - I wouldn't want to spoil surprises for anyone!)

October 19, 2010

I'm considering getting back into work.

But, I have to wonder something...indulge me please...

Why is there a large concentration of creative/surface design/craft type companies in Utah?  Not that there is anything wrong with Utah, I just have no desire to be there.  Plus, there would be no work for the husband.  But really, everytime I research places to send artwork to, they are located in Utah.  And very few dont have in-house designers.

*sigh*  I've got a few ideas though, I'm toying with ideas for a line of fabric, but for anyone who visits this blog, and sews/quilts, what do you think is missing from fabric designs these days?  Is the market getting too saturated, especially with modern designs?

(sorry theres no photos today, I havent been doing much sewing.  I've discovered that the library system here is fantastic for craft books, and have been reading like mad.)

October 7, 2010

I try and think of myself as a person who is open to all color combinations.  I love all colors equally, they all have their place.

However. I've been looking at previous quilts I've made (and even artwork I did way back in college) and I very much tend to use blues and greens.  occasionally orange, and maybe a magenta here and there.  Forget purple.  Yellow is on the fringe. And saturated reds and bright pinks? They dont even cross my mind.

This has mostly come up because I have some cousins having babies soon.  girl-babies.  And these cousins are very traditional in the girl=pink boy=blue color schemes.

I spent over an hour in my local quilt shop forcing myself to pick out pink fabric.  I could only bring myself to actually buy two - a cute animal print and an Amy Butler martini print in pink and orange.  Still haven't found any purple fabric I could bring myself to buy, but to be fair, the shop I was at had a shocking lack of purple that wasn't super spendy Japanese imports.

But back to my original post, I've been trying to force myself to put together some non green/blue fabric stacks - perhaps they will make it to a quilt, perhaps not.

IMG_3783


IMG_3784

August 20, 2010

Wow, its been quite some time since I posted last!

Less of a downer today though.

Most of what I posted about last month has been resolved.  Whew.  Of course, with the resolution of one problem comes another.

But enough about my problems, time to turn this blog back around to quilting!

Kristie's Mini Quilt

 The first challenge that the Minneapolis modern quilt guild had went really well!  Everyone made some really cool things, from pillows to placemats and even a couple large lap-sized quilts!  Check out our flickr group to see them all.

that was two meetings ago already!  At our most recent meeting, I demo'd english paper piecing for hexagon quilts.  I still dont feel I am terribly qualified to do this...but evidently I got the methods across.  Fun was still had, and lots of talking about this and that, including a disscussion on charity sewing.  Perhaps a charity project is next for our little guild?

Anyways, that is about it for now, soon I will have photos of a long-time coming baby quilt that will go up in my shop, as well as a photo of a soon-to-be-finished hexagon quilt top.  

July 13, 2010

Sorry about the blog absence!  Its been a crazy couple weeks around here.  I'll summarize in list format because my brain is not functioning in paragraph form today...

1. Big Boy (3 year old) was bitten by my dog.  not terribly serious, but enough to warrant a hospital trip.

2. Little Man (1 year old) was also bitten.  bad.  10 stitches over 3 punctures. we are frankly, very, very lucky that the dog missed his eye.

3. Two bites now means our dog must be re-homed.  She is really a very sweet dog, but has some issues that I am not capable of handling.

4. Rehoming her is going to be tricky.  I'm in contact with a rescue right now, we will see how that goes.

5.  I've been sewing like crazy, mostly things that I cant post about right now.  some will eventually go up in my etsy shop.

6.  We are trying to figure out how we can afford to move.  I hate where we live, for various reasons. Its time to leave this house.

ugh.  this post is too serious.  sorry about the downer!  after thursday I'll post photos from our quilt guild's polka-dot challenge reveal!

June 25, 2010

IMG_3585

I started these blocks the other day...and I cant seem to decide where they'll end u[!

I started them with the intention of making some new pillows for my couch.
Then realized they were about the right size for a sewing machine cozy.
Then when I threw them up on my "design wall" I thought they looked just as awesome together.  except that darker teal is a little out of place..but they would be a fantastic little boy quilt.

*sigh*

I wish they would just tell me already what they want to be.

June 7, 2010

I cant really decide on a post for today, so here are a bunch of random things:

1. I *LOVE* my sewing machine.  I blogged a little about it when I got it (I think...) but I havent really said much else.  Its a Singer 301A, also known as the "big sister" to the 221 featherweight.  My particular machine is from somewhere around 1951-1955, and is a fantastic machine to sew on.  It doesnt do anything fancy, just a straight stitch, plus I have the zig-zag and buttonhole attachments (which I havent got the hang of either yet).  The 301 is easy to maintain, a couple drops of oil here and there, and has sewn through everything I've thrown at it so far.  Including 6 layers of cotton duck.  This baby is hardcore.  puts my old machine in its place. (a crappy newer plastic singer that has been relegated to the corner.)

If you are looking for a new machine, and dont need anything fancy, I highly recommend the Singer 301.  Its also great for beginners.

2.  The last post I posted for wordless wednesday was a photo of a doll I made using the Poppet pattern.  To obtain this pattern, please go to craftster.org and search for it. (its free, but you need to pm the creator of the pattern for it.)  And consider becoming a Friend of Craftster.  It is really a great resource for all things crafty! *gets down from soapbox*

My doll is named Fen, she is around 12-13 inches tall and has hair made from my handspun yarn.  I'm already making a second one for a friend.  they are rather quick and easy to get together!

3.  I made another pizza today from scratch, again using the Pioneer Woman's Favorite Pizza recipe.  This time though, I substituted mushrooms for tomatoes, and white cheddar cheese for the mozzerela.  fan.frigging.tastic.  I think, this would have to be my last meal, if the situation would arise.  This pizza + 1919 root beer (only apparently available in the midwest...sorry everyone else!) is life-changing.

4. I've also been baking bread like a madwoman.  I've even now got fancy whole-wheat flour instead of all-purpose....but I have to finish up the bread I have made up currently.

thats it for now, folks, I hope my ramblings have inspired someone.

May 27, 2010

So posting every day in May didnt work so well.

I have an excuse though....

My computer broke last week.

I am just getting my computer re-set up today, and am now using Windows 7.  Which, so far, I *love*.  I am currently using the "Snap" feature, so I can easily have two browser windows open (one for blogger, one for flickr, I have some photos to post!)

Anyways, on to the actual post!

I haven't posted about my quilting projects in awhile, mostly because I've been going through a little dry spell inspiration-wise.  But hopefully, I will get out of it soon, our chapter of the Modern Quilt Guild (link on the right) is doing a little challenge...we all swapped 2.5 inch strips of "dot" fabric (some dots are a little bit looser interpretations of a dot..), and are challenged to create something out of the pack of strips.  there's quite a variety of colors/patterns, so I don't really know what I'm going to do with them.  And we agreed to keep the process secret..so I cant really post any more that that about the project!

I do have a top to share today though.  Made out of Tula Pink's Hushabye line, I attempted a pieced circle quilt, ala this tutorial at this and that.

IMG_3525

I did veer from the tutorial a little, I didn't want to sew from the middle out, my blocks were about half the size of the tutorial, so doing it that way would create a lot of unnecessary starting and stopping.  I pinned my pieces, starting from the center going out, and sewed from one end to the other.  I also had the square piece on top so that I could ease in the piece without puckering.  Which still occurred occasionally.  I'm hoping you wont notice the few puckers once its quilted.

I'm not sure what to do with it now, its a bit small at 15in square, I cant decide whether to border it, or bind it as a small doll quilt/wall hanging/table topper...any opinions?

May 17, 2010

giveaway day on sewmamasew  is probably one of the best birthday presents ever. (from random people anyways)

I wish I had gotten my act together and made up a giveaway too.

May 13, 2010

Day 13

Blogging has been spotty lately, I know...and just a drive-by-posting right now.

Still feeling a bit ill, though getting better.

I won a little fabric pack from Jaquie of Tallgrass Prarie Studio, which surprised me tons, since I never win anything!  Thanks Jaquie!

Dinner tonight: sweet and sour chicken.

May 11, 2010

Day 11

Quickie today because I'm not feeling well...

I promised photos of the coasters I made - here they are:

IMG_3459 copy

pardon the bad photos, the weather has been not very nice around here lately.

May 10, 2010

Day 10 in May

Yeah, I know I missed a few days.  In my defense, I have been really busy.  Mother's day seems to have been elongated into a weekend this year...

Anyways, Mother's day was really great, I got to sleep in (only till 830...) and was promptly greeted by big smiles and hugs from some little boys.  We (barely) made it to church, had delicious lunch out, and was treated to a day of whatever I wanted to do. (which mostly consisted of staying in, and having the husband take care of the kids!)

I had made my mom some quilted coasters for her new table (cant have condensation rings on brand new table!)  which I have taken photos of, but cant post them because I am not at home.

We taught our 3 year old to play Wii bowling this weekend.  It is endlessly amusing to watch him figure out the button/throwing combination to get it to work, and he gets so proud of himself when the ball rolls and hits the pins!  He tells everyone that he can bowl, and says "I use a white ball and knock down 3 pins and sometimes... sometimes all of them!"

May 7, 2010

Day 7th of May

So I blogged a few days ago about making pizza crust with yeast.  I finally cooked it up yesterday, and hoo boy!




best. damn. pizza. ever.

I am so in love with this pizza. I don't think I'll be able to eat frozen ones again.  maybe not even delivery pizza! (though I probably will due to convenience factor.)

The crust was chewy...yet crunchy at the same time.  Cheese was perfectly melted..and the garlic went so well with the eggplant.

It was actually super easy, but a little time-consuming (well..compared to throwing a frozen pizza in the oven) Its best to make the crust dough in advance (I made mine 2 days prior), it needs time to rise and settle.

Changes I made (does anyone ever cook recipes exactly?):  I only made half the crust recipe (it makes two crusts anyways.  plus, I didn't have enough flour for the whole thing)  and instead of tomatoes, I used red peppers, and also added mushrooms.  I didn't have any fresh mozzarella, but I used the prepackaged stuff...whatever the difference is, I really don't know.  also, the broiler on my oven doesn't really work, so I don't know how it tastes if the eggplant and etc. is broiled rather than baked a little. also, I may have gone a little overboard on the olive oil..so watch out.

Just delicious.  If you must have pizza, eat this one!!

I'm off to eat the leftovers for lunch now..

Dinner tonight: who the heck knows.  probably leftovers.

May 6, 2010

Day 6th of May

I dont really have much to blog about today.  Its a little yucky outside, so not much new photo-wise.

I'll try and ninja in some mixtape quilt photos later, although they wont be nice beacuse of the weather...

Dinner last night: Chicken Marsala.  one word: yum.  I use a recipe from some magazine or other, so no link to it.  Its my favorite marsala recipe though, so I may post it one of these days.

Dinner tonight: something with hamburger.  maybe a pizza bubble bread.

May 4, 2010

4th day in May

hm, I think I need more interesting titles....

Sorry about not getting photos up today! Wordless Wednesday is tommorrwo, so there definatly will be a photo then!

Had to take the kids to the doctor today for annual checkups, both boys got shots, but handled it really nice for a 3 year old and a 9 month old.  just one cry out of each!  For some reason though, Elliot was *terrified* of getting his height measured, we ended up with the nurse holding his heels down while I quickly pushed the lever thing to his head.  This year's height is a "close enough" thats for sure.

Dinner tonight: Omelettes.

May 3, 2010

Day 3 of May!

Whew!  I am attemping something I've never tried before with cooking - I'm making a pizza crust! using yeast!

Those poor little packets of dry yeast have been sitting in my cupboard for a while, and when the husband came home from the grocery store with some eggplant last night, I thought it was about time to try PW's Favorite Pizza.  I dont have any fresh tomatoes though, but tomatoes arent my favorite anyways.  maybe some peppers...or chicken...I'm not sure yet.

But yeast! rising! oh my, I don't know what I'm getting into, do I.

dinner tonight: not sure.  I'm saving the pizza for tomorrow, its not the kind of thing the husband likes, although he'd try it.

May 2, 2010

Second day in May

Oh, man, I was so busy yesterday, I forgot to prepare today's post!

We had our second meeting of the Minneapolis Modern Quilt Guild a couple nights ago at Sewtropolis (a cute little sewing haven in south Minneapolis.)

It was a great meeting! We all brought in quilts that we thought were "modern" and a couple brought some "traditional" quilts for comparison.  I *loved* Karen's first quilt she ever made (a twin size!)

I cant wait for the next meeting!  We are going to start a swap project - everyone is bringing 20 or so 2.5 inch strips, and we will trade them around so everyone gets one of each, and then make something out of the strips.  it will be so exciting to see what everyone comes up with!

May 1, 2010

First day of May!

Oh, my, is it May already?  Almost half the year gone already.

My little world has been crazy busy lately, with the potty training, teething, exercising, sewing...

Speaking of sewing, mixtape quilt photos Monday. (or Tuesday.)

But for today, I leave you with a photo of some parsley I've started indoors. Probably wont move it outside, but we'll see.

IMG_3425

April 29, 2010

What helps you...

I was sewing along last night on my mix-tape quilt, and was thinking about what helps us concentrate.

For me, its music.  I cant sew (or create anything for that matter) without some sort of background noise.  But the best noise, for whatever reason is music.  Almost any type will do, but I have preference for musicals and soundtracks.  Glee is high on my list right now, along with most anything Andrew Lloyd Webber.

This leads to the husband laughing at me with my headphones on, singing along to whatever I happen to be listening to.

But I get work done this way!  (photos of mix-tape quilt coming, I have to cut a few more sashing strips, and the top is almost done! Plus, its crappy light today, so no photos today.)

What helps you concentrate?

April 28, 2010

mmm..

I just tried this recipe for baked cheese snacks, and boy, is it delicious.

note: I did not have parchment paper around, so I used tinfoil sprayed with cooking spray.  My cheese crackers lifted off just fine, but I was a little impatient and didn't let them cook quite long enough.  A few were still a little chewy, so if you make this, make sure to bake until they start to turn brown on the edges!

In other news, the second meeting of the Minneapolis Modern Quilt Guild is tomorrow night! Click the icon on the right for more information!

Dinner tonight: I don't know, maybe leftover Mexican lasagna? or probably pancakes/waffles since I've been eating little besides Mexican lasagna.

April 25, 2010

Sunday

Last night's dinner: Pastor Ryan's Delicious Mexican Lasagna, courtesy of the Pioneer Woman.

Verdict: Interesting, but not a dish we're going to add into rotation.  I had a few issues with this recipe, first, it makes TONS.  I cut it in half, as the instructions say to do if you are going to use a normal casserole dish.  But I still had twice as much rice mixture than I needed! (perhaps the "unprepared" comment in the ingredient list refers to cooked, but not mixed rather than dry?) Or maybe, I just dont like as much rice.  Which is very possible.

Also, Salsa Verde is not really my thing, I'm not a fan of jalapenos in general. (spiciness doesnt bother me as much as the flavor isnt my cup of tea.) 

The whole thing seemed rather spicy as well, but I realized as I type that I forgot to add both my black olives and sour cream, which may have brought the spiciness down a bit.  But I'm a wuss on spiciness..I much prefer mild.

Dinner tonight: leftover lasagna, like I said, it makes a ton, and all the rice fills you up quick, so there are lots of leftovers.

April 24, 2010

urgh.

I've had two children.

Therefore, due to a penchant for weight gain, I'm a rather heavy girl. 

I carry my weight all over, as well as posses an ability to dress myself to look thinner, so I dont really look it. (I've always won guess-your-weight midway games)

But I'm increasingly (over years, that is,) becoming less able to dress myself to hide it.

Thus, this year is the year of the weight loss.  (what better time for new year resolutions than april?) 

I know it'll be hard, and I'm focusing on the long-term goal of being healthy.  I'm meeting resistance in the food catergory though...being the only girl in the house doesnt lend itself well to a more vegetarian diet. (I dont want to go all veg...but certainly would like to incorporate more into our meals...) But the main thing I am attempting is to get rid of a majority of processed foods.  which means..I have to grocery shop because the husband always brings home things like frozen pizza and hotdogs..

Hardest personal thing: snacking.  I live for snacking on anything.  I can add excersicing (courtesy of the Wii and awesomely nice weather), but oh, how I miss snacking.

Anyways, my goal, weight-wise, is to be around 180 lbs by the end of the year.  Thats a little less than 2lbs a week. Overall, my ideal weight is 165lbs.

But really, it's all about health. 

The wonder that is....

...potty training!

Potty training is probably the most difficult, and yet rewarding things a young family can do.

And its so exciting when it happens!

Storytime:

We have been struggling with training our older son (just recently turned 3) with varying degrees of success.  He seemed to want nothing to do with the toilet at home, but at Grandma's, it was fun.  We tried bribery (which..to some extent, I am not a fan of.)  We tried the butt-naked method. That didnt fly.  Our boy is the strangest kid, he hates to be dirty (but hates baths, and doesnt mind poopy diapers.  go fig.) and hates to be nekkid.

We finally heard about a different method, which is working fantastically with us.  Take a weekend, and have nothing planned.  Get about...a hundred (kidding..but it seems like it) pairs of big-boy (or girl) underwear.  (I have mixed feelings about pull-ups)  When the kiddo wakes up, set them on the toilet.  if they go, awesome, reward as you see fit.  if not, tell them thats ok, next time, we'll go potty.  put on the underwear and eat breakfast.

Here's the key.  after the first attempt at going potty, (we had to throw elliot on kicking and screaming.) set the oven timer (or any other loud buzzing timer) and tell the kiddo that when the buzzer buzzes, its potty time again.  keep setting the timer for 30-40 minute intervals, and eventually he/she will go potty on the toilet.  Do this all weekend.  (we have been using this all week as well, to keep reminding him to go potty..and to try to catch a poo on the toilet, but no luck.  He has, however mostly been staying dry! and a few times, going to the potty without being asked!)

using real underwear helps a lot, I think pull-ups still soak in way too much liquid to be really effective the way they are supposed to.  Plus, Elliot likes wearing his race car under wears!

April 23, 2010

Every Day in May

So, last year's Every Day in May event didnt really happen.  Maybe I was too ambitious.  Maybe I was rather pregnant and hormone-y.  Maybe I was lazy.

Whatever the reason, I'm going to try again this year, but modified a little.  I'm going to try and sit down and blog once a day.

What about you ask?

Whatever I darn well feel like at that moment.

Topic options:
Food.  Kids.  Kids eating food.  Potty Training. (I should post about this soon...) My tendancy towards hermit-ness.  Moving.  Life.

(month of blogging inspired by NaBloPoMo)

I might even try and sneak in a photo or two most posts.

April 22, 2010

not much new here...

Since its been so nice outside lately, we decided..to buy a Wii.  Makes complete sense, doesnt it.  So my days have been filled up to the brim perfecting my Wii Sports Resort Wakebording techniques.

A little sewing thrown in here and there though!

Awesome news: the 3-year-old is finally getting the hang of the potty thing!  I am so excited to be down to one box of diapers a month, its not even funny.

Tonights Dinner: Mac & Cheese, from the Pioneer Woman Cookbook.  (yes...I use a recipe for mac&cheese...)

April 19, 2010

Recently....

Dinner last night: chicken fajitas. verdict: nothing special, pan fried some chicken strips with some cumin, cayenne and chili powder.  threw it on some tortilla shells with some cheese and red peppers.

Sorry about the lack of serious (ha?) blogging lately, I've been busy.  Here's a little picture recap of the past few weeks:

First this arrived:

IMG_3209

But didnt get to play with it because of this:

IMG_3214




But magically this happened:

IMG_3360




Dinner tonight:  Havent decided yet.  something light, my stomach is goofy today from eating too much junk food over the weekend.

April 15, 2010

dye! dye! dye!

man, i need to get some photos up on this blog soon.

in other news, fabric dying adventure today!

Tip 1: brown rit dye + cotton-poly blend sheet = purple sheet. (im pretty sure the sheet was and 80/20 blend, i threw the packaging away though, so i could be wrong.)

Tip 2: make sure not to splash dye water on undyed sheets before placing in dyebath.  especially before you realize brown dye=purple sheet. (put a test piece in the dyebath, and got drips on my undyed pieces that i forgot were in the bathtub when i took the test piece out.)

Tip 3: when you decided that purple sheets are not what you are going for, and decide to use tea instead, make sure you have enough tea.

Tip 4: if it is nice outside (albeit windy) do not forget to clip your sheet to something.  it is light.  it will blow away.

That concludes my fabric dying tip day.  back to you regularily scheduled blog.

So really, I did get what i needed to get dyed dyed.  I bought some clearance sheets at target a while back (less than 10 bucks for king size! score!) and wanted to get them away from oh my lord, thats white white. just a little tinting to age them a little..make them a little less...eye searing.

1 box of weird brown rit dye and a bunch of tea later, i have nicely "aged"  sheets.  i think i may have to re-dye the fitted sheet (tea dye-bath got too weak), but i should have enough for sashing and bordering my mixtape quilt!

the brown dye is dying the pillowcases a nice deep brown right now. i dont know what i'll use it for, but it looks nice.

April 13, 2010

three-year-olds and thunderstorms

Today is my 3-year-old's first thunderstorm.

Well, its his first thunderstorm where he is aware of whats going on.  Sort of.

He hears the thunder, and thinks its upstairs!  He also claims he can see it, (its in the tree, apparently) which is rather funny.

The funniest thing, however is how he listens to any sound, really.  He sort of crouches down, puts his hand near his ear and whispers..can I hear it?

Dinner tonight: either leftover soup or Homity Pie (via TastyKitchen.  can you tell i love that site?)

April 7, 2010

wow!

omg, i so want to try this someday, but in a larger scale, these are tiny quilts!

http://www.aghines.com/
(click on the Winter Lights book.  and be amazed.)

Dinner recap

Dinner last night: Better than takeout Orange Chicken via TastyKitchen

verdict: awesome.  one of the best things I've made in awhile.  definitely one for the books.  however, there seems to have been some errors in the recipe, though your mileage may vary.  I needed twice as much eggs and breadcrumbs, and seemed to have quite a bit of seasoned cornstarch left.

dinner tonight: either chicken tortilla soup or cheater pot pie.  both awesome recipes can be found at allrecipes.com.

April 5, 2010

soup. again.

Soup verdict:

really tasty.

about my "modifications"...eh.  I didn't have any onions on hand, so i omitted those.  that was probably not a good idea.  it needs onion.  i don't like asparagus, so i left that out too.  i added way more dill and garlic than called for, and possibly could have added more.  i added waaaaay too much spinach, and am not really a fan of it in this anyways.  i kind of liked the flavors before i added the half & half, so i don't think i'll use that again if i re-make the soup. (which my stomach will thank me for.)

i also probably should have reduced it some more, the broth is delicious, but a little weak for my taste.  maybe i'll put it back on the stove for awhile.

*edit*
after simmering for another half-hour or so, i decided to try and see if puree-ing the soup would make it better..and its fantastic!  i thought it might be weird with so much spinach..but its delicious.  even though its a weird greenish color, it sure is tasty!

Soup

I am currently making a French Spring Soup, recipe courtesy of the Pioneer Woman's TastyKitchen. (just search for French spring soup...I'm too lazy to look it up now.)

My kitchen, therefore, currently smells delicious.

In completely unrelated news...no sewing machine yet.

Dinner tonight: probably something lame like spaghetti, because the boys wont like my fancy pants soup.

(also, i made a few..ahem...adjustments to the soup recipe..so we will see how it turns out...)

April 2, 2010

to-dos, always to-dos

To do list, once I get my new sewing machine:

1. Make canvas bins for toys.
2. Get a move on with the mix tape quilt.
3. keep working on hexagon quilt.
4. work out details on fancy-pants circle quilt i have in my head
5. make cork quilt
6. make another quilt similar to Kelsey's for sale.
7.  make a few more quilts for sale.
8. enter a craft show to sell quilts at.
9. decide if I want to make some fabric designs via spoonflower.

Ok, so some of these I dont need the machine to do.  but that is the order i want things to go this year.  I'm hoping to attempt no-coast this year.  i'll probably bring a couple lap-size and doll quilts, take commissions and if i get my butt in gear, get some fabrics out there.

March 30, 2010

Baby #2

My almost-9-month-old boy is learning to pull himself up on furniture.  Soon, he'll figure out how to cruise around the furniture...and then comes walking, running and independence.

He needs to stop growing up.

March 29, 2010

Have I mentioned that my sewing machine is broken?

18 times you say?

Well, I've been on the search for an awesome vintage machine (I just don't trust newer ones in the price range I can afford) and my search has ended!

In a day or two, a like-new vintage Singer 301a with a crapload of accessories will be on its way here!  I am so excited, its ridiculous.

Be prepared for a slew of sewing-related posts in the near future as I get to know my new baby.

Bet you cant wait :)

March 26, 2010

I hope you all like the new layout of my little blog here...the new design features blogspot has are great!  Next up will be to design a header for the top, I am still not a fan of the font choices they provide.

March 24, 2010

The first meeting of the Minneapolis Modern Quilt Guild was last night.  It certainly seems like there is a great group of ladies raring to go!

We started off with introductions (I arrived a little late, so unfortunately I missed most of these)  and a little bit of how we started quilting.  Which made me think about my start.  (I told the short version...)  I wasn't really a sewer growing up, I did the pair of boxer-type shorts in middle school that everyone made, dabbled with my mom's sewing machine a little, but never really made anything.  Fast forward to senior year at college, I took a screen printing class, and learned about pulling a drawing apart for printing, and putting it back together.  This fueled my art at the time, and became rather enamored with paper collage, and manipulating the paper itself to create my illustrations rather than drawing.  At the same time, I took a class in product design and learned to create repeating patterns for paper/fabric/surface design, which led to a huge fascination with fabric!

Putting a love of paper collage + a love of fabric meant I *had* to learn to sew.  My mom gave me my own sewing machine while I was pregnant with boy #1....my first quilt was born and history was made.

The rest of the guild meeting I wont really dive into, it was a lot of dissussing what the group would be *doing*  but later I'll post about another interesting topic that came up.
IMG_3141

March 23, 2010

Just a quickie post, though it may turn into a bit of a rant...

What is it with this neighborhood and dogs.  I love dogs, I really do.  So it boggles my mind when I see the dogs in my neighborhood.  Untrained, unrestrained, unloved.  A couple houses down from me has had, in the past 3 years I've lived here, a basset hound, a yellow lab, a yellow lab puppy, and now two pugs.  Every single one of those dogs were/are kept mostly outdoors only, they brought them in at night, mostly and when they got too barky.  When I let my dog out, I always stay out with her, then bring her in when she's done her business. (we play outside too, so dont worry that she doesnt get outside time for fun) Although, I like to stay outside with her because of her issues..but thats another story I think.

The people across the street had a cute little yorkie, and I havent seen it in awhile.  Another house across the street has a cute little black puppy now, I can only hope the best for it.  at least they had it leashed, and looked like they were working on housebreaking it.

not to mention the several roaming dogs..oh..how i love/hate them.  they are sweet, mostly, but i feel bad that they are left out all the time. (i know who two of them belong to) and their owner(s) are not nice to them.

/end rant

Wordless Wednesday tomorrow!
Dinner tonight: Whatever the boys come up with, I'm going be at the first meeting of the Minneapolis Modern Quilt Guild.

At least, I will be if the husband gets home on time.

March 22, 2010

My sewing machine is broken.

It was raining for a really long time. (thankfully it has stopped, but its been cold.)

Therefore, I've been doing a lot of experimenting lately.

Project 1: since my sewing machine is broken, I've been making headway on my giant hexagon quilt.  Still not anywhere close to being done, but it sure is cathartic.

Project 2: Cooking.  Now, my parents never really taught me to cook.  My mom was always more of a hamburger helper/boxed dinner kind of person, easy, quick and (relatively) healthy.  My dad, however, when he got in the mood to cook..watch out.  You never knew what you were going to get! I recall him just throwing stuff into pots...food all over the kitchen..(oh, how my mom *loved* it when dad cooked....insert eyeroll...) Dinner was certainly an adventure.  But, when I went off to college/was on my own, I took after my mom cooking-wise.  There was much instant rice, mac and cheese and ramen consumed.  And not neccessarily because I was poor. (though that was a factor!)

To make a long story short(ish) I have tired of eating the same old thing over and over...so lately, I have been trying out new (to me) methods of cooking, new flavors, (can you believe I had never had fresh garlic in anything before recently!) and in general, have tried to stay away from pre-packaged, bland (i have to add something to everything i make now!) and rather unhealty meals.

My family, however, is not always amused.

Dinner Tonight: Pot Roast, cooked according to Alton Brown's instructions via Good Eats.
Lunch Tommorrow: Leftovers.

February 24, 2010

So, I was trying the other night to figure out how big my hexagon quilt will end up if i use every hex i currently have, without adding any more. (which i dont plan to.)

If I did math correctly, which is very possible that I did not, this sucker is going to be somewhere around 8 ft square.

Maybe this is a lesson in how I should plan things out before I start cutting and assembling.

January 20, 2010

Up until recently, my 2 year old's intrest in drawing has been only to color on walls, floors and windows. for exactly one minute.

He is now "drawing" on paper! and not only that, he is drawing specific things! Or at least, thats what he tells me. His favorite thing to "draw"? Monkeys. And snow. I think its hilarious that he will prented to color on a sheet of white paper and then tell me its snow.

That kid is hilarious.

January 19, 2010

So for my sister's 21st birthday, I told her I would make her a quilt from fabric of her choosing. After a failed trip to Joann's and a few hours surfing the internet, she settled on Alexander Henry's Granville line. All she told me as to the design of the quilt was that she didnt want anything *too* traditional and she liked a lot of quilting texture.

So I came up with this.

IMG_2696

Semi-inspired by a quilt I saw on Flickr, this is an elongated wonky log cabin, backed with a solid aqua and quilted with *way* to many horizontal wavy lines. I think I figured out somewhere around 150 lines, spaced about 1/4 - 1/2 inch apart. It's a little stiff with that much quilting, but it will soften beautifully.

Its a smallish lap-size quilt, around 40x50 inches. (I prefer larger couch quilts..I like to snuggle.)

January 16, 2010

Finished Project Linus Quilt 1

IMG_2949

I had a heck of a time trying to photograph this quilt...it was the first time I tried out a nifty feature of my tripod..the horizontal arm. but lighting was not cooperating. (it is rather nice outside. but cold. and wet. and all our windows face the wrong way to let enough light in to be useful.)

Note to self: next photography goals are to a) get a decent flash and b)figure out indoor lighting. or not be lazy and take things outside to photograph in natural light. oh, also, c) practice more with new tripod so I can take pictures of a flat object so they look flat. may need a *wider* angle lens. d) stop coveting lenses I cant afford.

anyways.

I've been working on a couple of posts about my photography equipment. I have no idea if there even is anybody interested (mostly because nobody reads this thing), but I think it will be interesting to look back on them in a year or so to see what was awesome to me in the past.

Of course..little may actually change. but we will see!

January 15, 2010

So last night, I was surfing around the ole' innernets, and somehow landed upon a bunch of photoshop actions by a wonderful lady by the name of Nelly Nero.

And it was love. They are such beautiful actions, especially the skin cream actions. I love how they work so well to smooth skin, without ending up blurry!

you can find them by searching for "Nelly Nero" on flickr. trust me, they are worth every non-penny! (they are unbelievably free!)

I'm still playing with them, but be assured that soon I'll have a few photos using them!

January 14, 2010

Here is the zig zag quilt finished, but not washed yet.

IMG_2898

I backed it with an aqua sheet and quilted following the zig zags. There is one large pucker in the back, but I'm hoping that whatever child receives this through Project Linus will love it anyways!

Its so soft, I almost wanted to keep it for myself, but then I remembered that its baby sized, and we have enough baby sized blankets laying around!

I'm going to wash it tonight, and hopefully, the sun will be out tomorrow so I can take some better photos of it!

January 9, 2010

So, one of my goals for the year (I hate the word resolution. Its so...restricting.) is to use up some of my stash creating quilts for Project Linus. In a nutshell, Project Linus is an organization that collects handmade blankets and quilts for needy children.

With that said, here is the beginning of the first of several.

IMG_2848

zig-zag pattern from here but I didnt use a solid fabric. Just takes a little more planning.

Fabrics are from all over the place, some are from Joann's, there's some Moda, Heather Ross, some designer I cant recall and a bit from a crib bumper I never used for my boys.

January 8, 2010

First Quilt Ever!


DSCN1554
Originally uploaded by littlebluebirdie
I have been blogging off and on for quite some time, although at the time this quilt was made, I'm pretty sure I was off blogging.

This quilt was my first ever quilt., really my first ever sewing project outside of the shorts we made in 8th grade home ec...

this one was made almost three years ago when i was pregnant with that sweet sleeping baby. (who isnt so sweet anymore. just kidding!)

I was surprised at how easy a quilt like this came together, I was prepared for a whole lot more work! (although, if I remember correctly, I think I *did* put the two halves together backwards...the dark blue diagonal was supposed to be two shorter ones...or something.)

I handquilted this one, and have only hand quilted one since. handquilting is a heck of a lot easier when you dont have babies running around!

January 7, 2010

Snowy days equals lots of sewing!

IMG_2840

IMG_2842

These are for my ever-present, slowly growing hexagon quilt. It started out as a reproduction 30/40's fat quarter pack that I cut to be a simple patchwork quilt for a quick project. But I underestimated my cutting skills at the time, and ended up with non-squares and super wonky seams that even *I* couldn't overlook. And I'm fairly flexible when it comes to corners meeting.

Anyways, I printed out a bunch of hexagons, started piecing, added in fabrics here and there (since my hexes are smaller than the original squares, I figured I would need more hexes)

What started out as a simple patchwork quilt with 15 or so different fabrics has turned into a 3 year project...that now has nearly 100 different fabrics. (estimated, I dont know how many at the moment. I'll count when its finished.) most are scraps, leftovers from some of my quilts from the past couple years. For the most part, the only yardage I cut was the original fat quarter pack!

So far, 650 hexes are joined together, with 300 or so left to be pieced in. I am putting my foot down on adding any more fabrics though! it currently measures around a small twin size...so this sucker is gonna be huge!