Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Let everyone know you have the "bug"!

What a fun little sign to hang at the doorway of your quilt room. Or perhaps a prank to play on some friends at a guild meeting by sticking to the back of their chairs... or stick on the door of friend's hotel rooms during a retreat, or how about sticking to the inside of the back window of your car while driving to a quilt show or any other quilting venue you may attend!

I saw it recently posted on Homemade Coffee Break's Blog and thought it was so cute! They shared the link that will let you download and print it out to use. How fun! I know just the place for one of my own in my sewing room... but I want to frame it before hanging so I'll have to put that on the shopping list. ;)

CLICK HERE to download a copy of the Quilt Pox Advisory and QUARANTINE Sign.

*TIP* --You can READ THE WORDS MUCH BETTER when you click the link to see the pdf file.

Love from Texas!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Design Wall 3/28/11

Are my blocks starting to resemble Bonnie Hunter's "Hand Me Downs" from her first book Scraps & Shirttails?? I have 21 stars sewn and if I choose to go with similar borders, it looks like I have about that many more to go. It's been so fun playing with colors in each block.

Shhh, don't tell - but one of the blocks is made up of one of my hubby's shirts! Yep, I pulled from the laundry a red striped shirt that David has loved for several years.... it was a Christmas gift to him from my brother back when Nora was a baby... and well... although he loves wearing it, he's no longer fitting inside the shirt. He's outgrew size Large a long time ago and this was one of the only size Large shirts left in the closet. Well not anymore...

Notice I said "FIRST of his shirts and cut up"... yep, I've had my eye on a few others but I have to go about this in a slow process or he may flip out! LOL

Here's another photo for ya - Over the weekend I sewed 8 more "fun badges" onto the back of Nora's Daisy Girl Scout uniform. Now the back side is as bright and cheerful as the front :) Her meeting is tonight and I'm sure she will be happy to see the new patches sewn on.

Well it's time to run! I'm off to take Nora to the doctor for a follow up on a bladder infection she had over Spring Break :( she is still having some pain even though she finished her medicine last week. Then it's scouts and then softball tonight.

Would someone please call and remind me to stick a Stoufers Lasagna into the oven around 4pm so I won't have to think about what to fix for supper tonight? OK?? ;)

Love from Texas!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Design Wall Monday

It was about this time last week I was looking on JudyL's Mr. Linky of everyone's "Design Wall Monday" posts and saw that Jo over at Jo's Country Junction was working on her Hand Me Downs, from Bonnie Hunter’s first Scraps and Shirttails book.

The weekend before I was culling out the dining room and taking things upstairs to the sewing room and I found my “Hand Me Down” blocks which made me smile. I la,la,love playing with all the shirting colors and throwin an occasional solid into the mix as it really brings the blocks to life ;)

After I brought them upstairs I removed the blocks that were up there, and decided to start sewing them together at random and now have my Hand Me Downs up on the design wall. Don't you just love how each block is unique!! It's been fun playing with colors and putting blocks together while the kids are in the bathtub next door at night. Those 8 blocks at the bottom are ready to sew together.

Here's one more photo to share with ya... I started on squaring up my latest mini quilt for binding but messed up on one side... I was wanting to leave the backing 1.5" larger so I could use a new tool and fold it over but sliced one side too short - so it looks like I'll have to do it the old fashioned way.... so until I get around to it - I hung it up so I don't misplace it. :) and for fun I hung it up by one corner. :P

Oh and remember my 1st "Sausage Pillowcase" I made last week... Here it is on Nora's bed. I took this photo of her this morning before walking her up for school. Yep she's her mother's daughter - queen sized bed and sleeping right in the smack dab CENTER of the bed! :P

Be sure and head over to JudyL's page and check out her Design Wall Monday post and see what others are workin on. I love her new picture thumbnails added to it!! That is what encouraged me to post this week... and hopefully a whole lot more often too! :)

Love from Texas!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Opening Day for T-Ball

Today was opening day for T-Ball. My two did an outstanding job of entertaining the parents and grandparents for the hour that it lasted. I zoomed, and took lots of photos but none of them do the event justice. It was the most fun I've had in a long time.

I so wish we had the money to buy a video camera!

Love from Texas!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Know what? No. What?

The title above was the opening of one of Nora's recent books and she thinks it's so clever that now she begins e-v-e-r-y conversation with me like that.
Nora - "Mom, Know what?"
Me - "No.... What?"
Well here I am asking you.... Know what? :)

In celebration of National Quilting Day, Such A Sew and Sew is giving away an awesome loot ----> that you see in the photo on the right!

Around 10.5 yards AND a book - yep, it's all that and a bag of chips! :P

Hurry and Check it out b/c the entry deadline is tonight!!!

PS - Wanna know how I found out about this??? I'll share a little clever tip with you that I just discovered. I read/look at my blog list using GOOGLE READER (which I highly recommend!! No more worries about computer crashing and loosing your bookmarks... you can log into to Google Reader from any computer anytime and pick up where you left off)

BUT the reason I mention it is - yesterday for the first time ever - I notice the Google Reader SEARCH bar at the top and I simply entered in giveaway and hit enter..... and you know what - every blog hosting a giveaway that I subscribe/follow popped up!!!!!!! So go see for yourself and then hop blog to blog to see what's up for grabs and get signed up to win! :P I wonder if I'm like the last person to figure this out?? But it's cool.

Love from Texas!

3rd Thursday

Last month was the first guild meeting that I've missed since joining last summer. Nora started softball last month and that has really eaten up a lot of our time. Not only do they have practice each week - their regular games are played DURING the week... yep, some school nights our game doesn't even begin until 7:30..... but that's not the worst of it.

Every weekend between now and early May, they participate in TOURNAMENTS! Which are all OUT of town! and are on BOTH Saturday AND Sunday :/ urgh.
Anyway enough about that.

Each month I have the 3rd week off from teaching preschool so that I can attend the local MOPS group. (Mother's of Preschoolers) Tuesday this week I went to the grocery ALONE! Whooo hooo :) and today's highlight of my off day was going to MOPS. This year we've had fun with secret sisters. ;) While the gift budget is only $5/month, it's not required to do something every month... you can hold off and do something a little more $ in other months.

Well my sister has been holding off a couple of months and guess what she gave me today!! My gift bag had 3 bubble blowing tube/wands - one for each of my kidos and also 3 chocolate candy bars that the ball teams have been selling (which may or may not be a clue to who she is) and.... a tiny little pink gift bag inside with these goodies...

Can you guess?

I you guessed a gift card, you'd be correct!!! $15 to Hobby Lobby and my thrifty secret sister also included a 40% off one item coupon! ♥ Love ♥ it!

Thank you Secret Sister!!!

Also today was the twin's picture day for T-ball.... CLICK HERE to see photos on the family blog. David met us there after work and it was a mad dash to get them changed into their new uniforms... but following photo taking we left separately - this time David in the van with the kids to take home and me driving his truck to the QUILT GUILD Meeting! :)

Have you heard of BOLD OVER BATIKS?

They're sold in 2.5 yard pieces and are unlike no other batik I've ever seen before. So pretty! After the presentation I quickly left so I could make it to Joanns before they closed... since I don't know when I'll be back in town next.

Yesterday Nora brought home 2 more birthday party invitations. Both classmates. Both for girls. Both parties on the SAME day :/ I have no idea how we're gonna work them into the softball schedule??? But on Mary Catherine's it mentioned that both she and her sister had recently adopted kittens from the Humane Society and instead of gifts they'd like a small bag of puppy food or kitty food to donate in honor of their new friends Tippy & Tiny. :)

So I went in search of some cute cat fabric and I think I succeeded in finding the most girly girl fabric don't you think? There were several bolts with black background and while cute they just didn't have that fun factor I was looking for. This does I think :)

I bought enough to make two pillowcases. One for Mary Catherine and also her younger sister Madeleine, who's also born the same week and sharing in the party with friends her age.

I wanted to buy fun fabrics for the other Birthday party girl Sara... but didn't see any colorful critters - I've been told she has a bearded dragon at home! yikes! I have until the 26th so maybe I'll get to make a trip to the LQS soon in search of something perfect for Sara....

I'm thinking for these two kitty pillowcases I'll get them cut, layered and pinned and let NORA do the sewing.... :) This will be her first time at the sewing machine and I think she will be proud to make her gifts for her friends. I just don't know when we'll have time to work it in... *sigh* I just got a phone call from David that instead of playing Sat and Sun this weekend... we're playing TONIGHT and Sat. Tonight as in be there (out of town) by 7:15 and game doesn't begin until 7:45. We won't be home until after 9:30. :( Booo!

Just this morning she was asking me - "Mom you know what is better than T.G.I.F.??? ---What's that Nora? Today is my FREE day and I don't have to go anywhere day and can finally play my new Leapster Explorer after I get home from school."

Someone please tell me why Texan's start out at 3 years old training their kids for sports??? Why does it have to be over the top crazy competitive? Why can't they just stick to one practice a week and one game on the weekends? Why didn't anyone tell us this before we paid to sign up??? :(

Have I mentioned that hubby bought and ordered a treadmill in February... as a matter of fact it was delivered on our 14th anniversary (2/21) and is STILL sitting in the box in the same spot the UPS man put it.... and so would have my Olivia boxes be still sitting if Heather from their home office hadn't called asking for a photo to share with their facebook fans...to prove that they really are giving things away. David got to it that weekend but has had NO time for putting together the treadmill yet :(

on an upbeat - guess what my favorite part of Guild night was tonight??? At the cutting table in Joann's I met Lisa, a girl around my age that had also been to the guild meeting as a first time guest :) I noticed her cut fabrics and how feminine, soft and pretty they were and made a compliment and we striked up a little conversation. :)

At the checkout we continued talking a bit and come to find out she's like me - the mom of twins! Her twin boys are 16 months and she has a 2.5 year old. I really hope she remembers me and will email me... and even more I hope that she can join the guild and come every month and start to cherish 3rd Thursdays :) like I do!

Love from Texas!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

My first sausage pillowcase!

Remember that youTube "sausage pillow" search I sent you on yesterday... well take a look at what I worked on last night (after midnight I might add...)

Seriously.... despite what you're about to read below - this was THE. easiest. project. ever! The only part that takes some time is lining up all the edges and pinning and pinning... and .... you get the idea - but that's not hard... :)

And off I go - on my NEW "Olivia" Arrow Sewing Cabinet which I la,la,LOVE!!! Weee....slow for a pin, Weee...slow for a pin.... all the way to the end. Then time to pull the "sausage" out of the tube. Easy Peasy!

All was going great. Just as I had remembered from watching the video. Pull, pull, pull... and then I noticed something.

I have to be honest - I shouted, "CRAP!" (but not too loud the kids are sleepin next door) When I noticed that I had pulled out of my tube and discovered the wrong side of the pink fabric attached to the right side of the stripe fabric. :(

I immediately stopped pulling and stuffed it back then began frog stitchin - rip it, rip it... that whole 44" seam. :( What did I do wrong? So I went back downstairs to rewatch the youTube video again... in hindsight, I should have went and rewatched BEFORE using the seam ripper.... b/c can you guess what...

I had actually sewn it CORRECTLY!!!!!!! :/ Yep, all that rippin just to put it back exactly how I had before and RESEW. Remind me to not sew anything after midnight again please!

Good thing all those thready, ravely edges will be completely hidden when I finish! :)

Yep - it's suppose to look like this - cuff right side showing and the body of the pillow (my pink) wrong side showing... b/c what you're actually looking at is the what will be the INSIDE of the pillow! :P

What matters is the other side - the side with your accent trim strip. If all the fabrics on this side are right side up then you're GOOD TO GO JOE! ;)

Just two more seams to sew.... pretty side up sew .25" seam down the long side and pivot and sew across the bottom.... then press and then trim with your rotary cutter and ruler 1/8th" off the seam you just sewed... then turn inside out and resew another .25" seam (French Seam) and turn again and your DONE BABY! :P

For me it was goin on 2:30am... yeah I know. I know. and trust me I paid for it today. But oh what a great feeling to take it and put it on the pillow beside Nora sleeping in her Queen sized bed..... and this morning when she woke up and saw it! :) "OH THANK YOU MOMMA!!!!!!!!" as she squeezed my neck good morning!

Yep, totally worth it :) My only regret? Not having the camera with me this morning to get a photo of her with it. Well maybe 2 regrets... I regret ripping that 44" seam...

So don't make the mistake I did. OK? :) OK!

Love from Texas!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Do you keep Batting Scraps?

I have 4 or 5 small paper bags at the top of the sewing room closet full of folded pieces of scrap batting pieces. You know when you're trimming a quilt after the quilting is done and you're getting ready to apply the binding... I just. can. not. throw out those scraps. What about you?

I typically overlap two pieces just slightly and do a wavy cut with my rotary blade then remove the cuttings and but the fresh edges up against each other and feed thru my machine with a wide zig-zag stitch..... I learned the hard way once that I should always use WHITE thread or cream to match the batting b/c you never know where that area will appear in the quilt and backing areas and you certainly don't want red zig-zag thread showing thru a white patch. :/

But no worries about thread color - or zig-zaging anymore!!!!!!!!!! Have you heard of HEAT Press Batting Together?? Click over to to see a youTube on it - looks awesome doesn't it?

Maybe you have already heard of it, b/c recently Jo's Country Junction posted a review of the product and also Sponsored a Giveaway......and yesterday in my inbox I found an email from Jo announcing I was one of her winners! Weee! :)

Thanks so much Jo's Country Junction!!!!! ;) I can't wait to get it and give it a try!

Love from Texas!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Meet my new "Olivia"

Sorry to have kept everyone waiting - but I was wanting to get things cleared out of the floor a bit before taking a photo of my new "Olivia" Arrow Sewing Cabinet that I won from their facebook fan page.
The sewing room makeover is still in progress but here's a sneak peak.
Those open spots are designed to fit a second machine or serger - neither of which I own. I did buy some stackable baskets that fit in there. However at the time I took the photo, they were downstairs in the dining room binging loaded up of stuff to carry up to the Happy Room.
I couldn't "BEAR" the cabinet looking so empty so I grabbed these guys... Quilt Cut Up Bears that my "Momma Newt" made for me when I was 18. The twin quilt bears have their own special story to tell - but I'll save that for another day.
Take a closer look - my Bernina (aka Bernie) all nestled into his new home.
I even got David to change the light bulb in my machine. I have to confess that I bought it back in August last year when I took Bonnie Hunter's workshop at our guild but had no luck removing the old bulb from fear that it would break off in my hands b/c it was in there so tight... and b/c my machine was cramped up in the bay window of the dining room, I just lived with it rather than have to take a lecture of the husband's complaining of the messy dining room if I asked him to go in there to help.
Thanks to my new "Olivia" things are looking great and I can tell it's gonna help me be more productive in my projects and also bring a lot of peace to our home with everything out of the dining room once and for all!
You wanna know one thing that I really like... the drawers may be too tight for other's liking but for me they're just fine. I have two 3 year olds who I know are gonna be quite nosy once they see the new table with stuff on it. David offered to take them back out and readjust them, but I told him to leave them as is for now :)
The drawer on the left isn't as tight so I didn't put any pins in there. Instead my DMC floss collection and machine quilting gloves. I'm sure it's a lot like a new kitchen - things will get organized and REORGANIZED until I figure out where I best like everything to be. :)
As for photos of the rest of the "Happy Room" you'll just have to wait for now. I still have several more things to carry up from the dining room downstairs but as you can tell from the photo there's no more cutting mat, ruler, or machine or iron in there - so my sewing days in there are OVER. ;)
Nora has several classmates with March and April Birthdays coming up and it's about to break the budget taking her to shop for them. We ran out of wooden dolls that she usually loves to gift so a trip to Joann's was in order to pick up some more. While there I also picked up these fabrics to use for pillow case making.
I'm sure if you've flipped through any quilt magazine in the past few months, you've seen the ads for APQ's 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge. "Make a pillowcase. Make a difference."
Have you seen the Missouri Star Tutorial Video on the "Sausage Pillow Case" yet? I watched it for the first time a few weeks ago and thought - I COULD DO THAT! So we're gonna find out soon! :P and if all goes well, we'll be making each of the girls in her class a new COOL "Peace Sign" and flowers pillowcase to wrap up the wooden dolls in and tie with pretty curly ribbons.
I also watched this tutorial youTube video too.

Making a Sausage Pillowcase with Judy

Although her measurements are slightly different, the overall total is the same.... and since I don't have a serger, I love that she shows how to make a french seam! I love the ending where she sighs a big relief when her friends clap for her :P
Stay Tuned...
Love from Texas!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Shirts - what sizes do I need?

Recently I read where Jo was making a list of all the sizes needed for Bonnie's Scraps & Shirttails patterns. (CLICK HERE to her post that has a link to her list of sizes.)

I thought - hey what a good idea. As I cut for my Hand Me Down blocks, I can also cut up odd sizes to set aside for other patterns with the leftovers. So I got out my Dry-Erase Board to wipe off to make a quick list of what I needed.... only it would not wipe off. :(

I guess I took too long to complete my to-do list ea? I'm guessing I can Windex it off - or if that doesn't work use one of those Mr. Clean Magic Erase Sponges... Until then I guess I'll have to keep my size reminders with post-it's.

Love from Texas!