Thursday, December 29, 2011

Free BOM Quilt Along for 2012


Yesterday, as I was making dinner and squeezing in a batch of laundry detergent, thoughts of the upcoming year's events were whirling through my mind. You know how it is,"two eggs...what are we planning for the next quilt guild meeting...a cup of bread crumbs...when should we plan that trip to CA ."

When I mentioned that I was starting to feel overwhelmed, Diego reminded me to compartmentalize. Smart man. Sometimes the only way to get the thoughts to stop the whirling through your mind is to write them all down.

There is nothing left to do but pull up my big girl pants and dive it. So, in order to check something off of my list and to distract myself from said list, I will be posting my first ever Block of the Month Quilt Along - free.

I'm really excited about it and have been busily sewing away to finish up the samples. It is called Hello Sun. Each month, the sun will drop by to say hello to some friends. The blocks are somewhat seasonal, but not your typical holiday blocks. Each block uses a combination of techniques like hand or machine applique and embroidery. I machine appliqued my pieces using a raw edge applique technique. A blanket stitch, zig zag stitch or invisible thread would look cute too. You could even hand embroider the whole thing. My hope is that Modern Quilters, Traditional Quilters and will love it as much as I do :)

Here is a sneak peek and the General Instructions. I'll get a Flickr group up soon. Watch for the first free pattern January 1st.




Monday, December 26, 2011

Faux Ties

Bow Tie quilts are simply beautiful...but not that simple to make:) The traditional way to make them involves templates and trying to line up and sew a weird edge. Maybe it's just me, but I've always avoided them.

After playing around with the block, I figured out an easy way to make it. I give you Faux Ties - a free tutorial with my version of an easy Bow Tie Quilt Block. Doctor Who was right - Bow Ties are cool.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

No Way!

Konda: "Have you checked your email lately? You have good news to share."
Me: "Ahhhhhh!!!!!"
My quilt made the cover! Watch for it at newsstands January 10th.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Cream Puff Cake

No picture today, just a quick recipe in time for the holidays.

We made this for a church activity and everyone loved it - including me:) It feeds a crowd - 20 or more depending on the size that you cut your pieces. Great for having company over. Not so great for just your family if you have little to no self control :).

Cream Puff Cake

1 1/2 c. water
1 1/2 cubes butter
a little almond flavoring
1 1/2 c. flour
6 eggs
3 c. milk
8 oz softened cream cheese
2 pkgs vanilla instant pudding (small packs)
16 oz Cool Whip
Chocolate syrup (optional)

Crust: Boil water and butter. Remove from heat and add flour, mix until it forms a ball. Add vanilla and one egg at a time, beating well. Spread onto a jelly roll pan or large cookie sheet. Bake at 400 for 30 min. Cool completely. (When it bakes, it puffs up and looks like a mountain range. As it cools, it goes down some and you can lightly press it down a little)

Filling: Mix milk, pudding packs and softened cream cheese until smooth. Fold in Cool Whip and spread over cooled baked crust. Refrigerate. Optional - top with chocolate syrup before serving.

They are light and yummy - again, self control must be used here :)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Block of the Month

A few month's ago, on one of our early morning bike rides, Konda asked me to design a block for her Fat Quarter Stars Quilt along - what an honor! I went home right away and played around with some fabric, then in true quilter fashion...procrastinated.

After finally pulling together the instructions, I sent them over to Konda, who in turn is making her block at the last minute! Don't you love it?

Hop on over to Moose on the Porch Quilt's for the instructions to my Cathedral Star Block, and a chance to win some cool prizes.
I love the idea of switching out the center four patch in this block for a solid block featuring one of your favorite fabrics. I can't wait to see what everyone comes up with.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Call of Duty

Sometimes quilting leads us in a different direction that we ever imagined - you know what I mean? While coming up with a gift for my husband's cousin Anna, I wanted to create something unique.

The process: I did an internet search for Call of Duty MW3

The inspiration

Don't you just love the over all black and white TV feeling of the whole thing.

After printing the image out on my printer, I took it over to the local copy center and had the image blown up to the size I wanted. This is really easy and only cost 17 cents.
With a light box, I traced the figure of the man onto a fusible web, ironed it onto black fabric, then cut out the silhouette.
I found a grey static looking fabric, and used the back of the fabric as my background and the front of the fabric as the buildings.
Once all of the pieces were ironed in place, I sewed over the edges and added a little detail to the raw edge applique.
During the quilting process, I added the MW3 on his chest and more details to the smokey background.
I sent it off in the mail and now I'm just waiting on pins and needles to see what she if she likes it.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Sew Fun

After sewing up a sample for Emily, she offered to pay my way to the French Knots quilt retreat as compensation. Awesome!

As expected, we spent all of Friday and Saturday sewing. What I didn't expect was how much fun we would have and the Bosom Friends and Kindred Spirits that we would meet . We giggled, laughed and were just plain crazy.
What a great group of ladies! Of course I forgot my camera and only snapped one quick shot with my cell phone. Is it cheating if I just link to Maggie's post? She is very articulate and has said it all way better than my foggy head can at the moment. Plus, I'm still drooling over her table runner.

Off to make jello for the boy with strep throat - we are all a little foggy headed and hoping to spend a quiet Thanksgiving at home.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Change

Times are changing and I find myself somewhat at a crossroads.
A time when the seasons of my life seem to be overlapping somehow.
And yet, is that so bad?
There is a poetic beauty in it... maybe hidden... maybe just within reach.
How long ago were we the young ones growing up with our parents worrying about us? Hoping that we make it. Loving us. Letting go. In my excitement to leave home and be on my own, was I so blind to see my parents left behind, reluctant to let go?
The ending of one childhood and the beginning of another. They have no idea what lies ahead, the tough times, the struggles... the love, the joy. Grandma - I'm getting used to it.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

From the Rope Swing

It's so simple - a rope and a 2x4.
Something that every home needs.

Something that dreams are made of.

{photos by Sara}

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

Don't look her directly in the eyes or you may end up being one of the victims hanging from her necklace!
At Sara's school, rather than have a Halloween Party, they have a history fair. Each grade is assigned the era that they are studying in history that year. Boring. Sorry, but come on Halloween is all about fun and scary - not over the top gore, but fun scary. Last year when she was a civil war girl, I wanted her to be a dead civil war girl - the teacher wouldn't go for it.

This year, Sara's class was assigned Greek History. Medussa was the obvious answer :) What girl wouldn't want a head full of snakes! A few crochet snake hair extensions, some spray painted Army men and her thick teased hair did the trick. The snakes had button eyes and thread tongues. The best part - she loved it. She was dressed in normal clothes so she wasn't nervous or uncomfortable.

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 28, 2011

{this moment}

{this moment inspired by soulemama} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

edited to add one word: Grandma - lest there be any confusion:)


Thursday, October 27, 2011

BOM D-O-N-E

Done and quilted. Well, almost done, I still have to add the binding, but duty calls - you know the little things like house cleaning, sewing pads, laundry and dinner :) The blocks are all from a BOM that we did at church and the center was something that I drew up. I think the pumpkins were from a bareroots pattern. The grass on the hill was just a little crazy piecing that I then used as a large applique piece.
I had a few problems with the quilting. It may have been that I used a remnant of batting that was somewhat stretched and torn, and floated it rather than putting it on roller. Oh well lesson learned, and I don't think anyone will notice.
I went with a little bit darker of a thread too. It blended in with the blocks, but stood out a little more on the center. I was going for a blustery day. The best thing about this quilt is it was made entirely from scrapes. I didn't buy a single piece of fabric for it, not even the back :)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Thrifting Finds and a Before and After

In a fun twist of fate, I found myself at the thrift store twice in the past week. Thrift store therapy - worth every penny. There's just something about walking into a store and thinking, "I could totally afford to buy anything in here." Not to mention the whole treasure hunt feeling.

On the first trip I found this adorable haunted house for $3. Adorable? With that bright yellow and orange? It was a definitely a fixer upper :).

Before:
After:
A can of spray paint primer takes care of the ugly. Just spray right over the old paint then paint as you wish. I was going for a black and white, old movie type of feel so I only added a little paint and dry brushing.

On the second thrift store trip, I was looking for figurines that would look cute dead - you know a Christmas caroler sprayed white. I was too focused on the dead thing when I found - actually Melody found - these trick or treaters. $2.
And what better to go in the graveyard section of my little Halloween scene than these vintage, creepy looking cats. Another score at $1.50 for the set. They were originally marked $1.50 each but they were so ugly that the lady marked them down for me.
A total of $6.50 spent on Halloween decorations this year. Never underestimate the power of Thrift store therapy :)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Love of Fons and Porter

"Your quilt arrived safely and it's already in editorial"

Those are some of the most beautiful words I've ever heard. From Fons and Porter none the less!

The fabric arrived from Clothworks and I paused long enough to snap one quick - muddy - picture. The fabric really is bright and happy - you should take a look - it's Spring Umbrellas by Masha D'yans.

Then I jumped in to the process - it really is a process. First there was designing the quilt, submitting the idea, then holding my breath waiting for approval. I reworked it a few times then heard the good news. The contract arrived, then the fabric. The quilt went together easily, then the quilting - oh the quilting. It has been two years and I can stipple with the best of them, but for a magazine? The self doubt crept back in a little and I considered asking a friend, in the end a few bike rides talking with said friend helped ease my anxiety. It came out rather well if I do say so myself :)

The snag - I hadn't ordered enough fabric for the binding. I guess I was bound to make a mistake on my first quilt submission. With my tail between my legs I asked for more fabric and was graciously sent a next day package in the mail. Once it was packed up and shipped off, there was still the little matter of the instructions. Thankfully, I didn't have to send full instructions, just basic block construction. A bio and a photo. Egads! I can't share the quilt just yet, but how about that photo. Not my favorite thing to do - but since it's going to be in a magazine nation wide, what the heck!
That was a few months back...I need to buy some more hair dye :)


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Season of Giving

Because I have been given much, I too must give.

Because of thy great bounty, Lord each day I live.

I shall divide my gifts from thee with every brother that I see,

who has the need of help from me.

Because I have been sheltered, fed by thy good care…

I cannot see another’s lack and I not share-

my glowing fire, my loaf of bread-my roof’s safe shelter over head,

that he too may be comforted.

Because I have been blessed by thy great love dear Lord,

I’ll share thy love again according to thy word.

I shall give love to those in need. I’ll show that love by word and deed,

thus shall my thanks be thanks indeed.


A friend of a friend asked if I would make some pads to send along with missionaries from her church to a refugee camp in Ghana. I was so grateful for the opportunity - this had been a goal of mine for some time. While I was sewing the pads, that song kept playing over and over in my mind. It really was a beautiful experience. If you look close, you can see the pads that they are holding. (If you are interested in donating, there are several organizations that are trying to get cloth pads to women and girls in areas where there is need. Since my experience was not through any of those organizations, I can't recommend one over another, A simple google search should send you in the right direction.)

Another friend of that first friend asked if we would like her old car - free.
Speechless, grateful, humble. I've been blessed with some awesome friends.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Done

All sixteen are finished and ready to trade!

I was just reading a blog when I came across this statement...

"Well, I certainly didn't intend to take the whole summer off from sewing and this blog, I can hardly believe August is nearly over. I have lots of good excuses..."

I couldn't agree more! Is this woman writing about me?

"but the main reason is I am pregnant (again)"

Whoa...hold the phone, she is definitely not talking about me!

While many people in the blog world and some in my real life are expecting - I am going through a whole different life change right now. I would go into detail, but then I would be one of those women (you know the ones) that just go on and on about their aches and pains.

Instead, I'll offer up a couple of quotes that I came across this morning.

"When hot flashes strike at night, they can be particularly bothersome. Oddly enough, sometimes you wake up because of the chill. During the flash, you kicked off the covers, and now that it has passed, you wake up cold with your pajamas and pillow damp. Welcome to night sweats."

"Things like teenage children, children moving out, aging parents and spouse’s mid-life crisis can also influence the state of mind of menopausal women."

Aren't teenage hormones enough to go through without your Mom being a little bit nuts and being able to grow a beard about as well as you can?

"The average age of natural menopause is 51 years, but can occur much earlier or later. Menopause occurring before the age of 45 is called early menopause and before the age of 40 is premature menopause."

I always was an early bloomer - I'll be 40 by the end of the year.

The good news is, it should only last for about 10 years. Not to mention the one benefit that you always imagined would come with menopause doesn't happen until you've gone through menopause. In my daughter's maturation class they talked about girls being like flowers and blooming at different times. All I can think about is the plant in my kitchen window that, despite my greatest efforts, is shriveling up and dying.

And her class got cupcakes - where's my cupcake?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Week 2

of school and we're still getting into the swing of things. The first couple of days were exciting and now we're already at "hurry up we're going to be late."
This year they are in 6th, 10th and 12th grade. If all goes well, we should have two graduations and two new drivers by the end of the year. Wish us luck!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Wrapping it up

Our summer break is slowly coming to an end - already?

We'll be wrapping it up these last few days with a little company. Nagymama is coming for a visit. There is still a little shopping to do, that jam that I never made and some laying around in store.
Once school starts, I have a whole new list of things to procrastinate getting done. Including re-writing the instructions to my new quilt pattern. For some reason I wrote it up as only having two colors. Which I would love do to using white and a some of Emily's plaid. Maybe I'll have to include the instructions as an alternate option.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Catching Up

I've been:
Playing with a new to me laptop with wifi - and still haven't posted in what a month?
Riding my bike
Losing a little bit of weight
Sewing pads
Designing a couple of quilts
Dying to tell you that I'm going to have a quilt pattern published in Fons and Porter's Love of Quilting magazine.

What have you been up to?

Friday, July 1, 2011

Seventeen

17 years ago today he arrived at 8 lbs 15 1/2 oz and 21" long. Now he's 5' 10 1/2" and weighs about a buck 10. Happy Birthday Aaron!

Friday, June 17, 2011

This Week

quilt show entry
hanging up quilts
quality down time
fresh air
morning rides
How was your week?


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Plan C

Plan A was to visit Amber at her new place.
So I decided to go with Plan B - hang out at home and do a little work in the yard. Then, I stepped in dog doo. (I didn't stop to take a picture)

On to Plan C...
While I really missed seeing Amber and her new place, all was not lost. We rescheduled and Sara and I ended up spending a beautiful day in the park with friends. Then, even more friends when Melody and some of her kids happened by the same park at the same time.
Sometimes, you've got to just roll with the punches.



Monday, June 6, 2011

Getting our Summer Break Mojo On

What a great week! Cycling has taken on a different look for us this year. With the rainy weather, Diego having a job :), Josh being stronger and having a new rider joining the ranks... things are a little different. That's a good thing.
The week started with a short ride a couple of miles from home. Later in the week Sara and I took a hike with our church group through Provo Canyon. We were supposed to walk somewhere around 3 1/2 miles and ended up walking about 10. Don't ask!
The trail was so beautiful, that we thought we would go back and take the family - and bikes ;) We all paired off...Diego and Josh rode off first, then Sara and I and finally Aaron and his girly friend took turns walking and riding on his long board.
Thanks to all of the rain and snow this winter, the river was just bulging.
Not to mention the waterfall at Bridal Veil Falls! If you look at the top left, you can see where the water fall begins. According to Wikipedia, it's 607 feet tall.
Even with all of the breath taking views, my favorite part of the path is just north of the waterfall. The part where the trees arc over the path and the shadows sprinkle over your head offering a welcome drop in temperature.
It is magical, really. Almost fairy like. With my daughter riding next to me, it's just us and nature and the realization that we will both remember this moment for years to come.