Friday, June 27, 2008

Pay it Forward

I was reading blogs and found that chickenfoot had signed up to Pay it Forward and I thought it looked so fun that I would do it too! Here are the rules: I will send something of my choosing to you if you are one of the first three commenters on this post. By signing on as one of the three, you will then do the same thing. Post on your blog and send three more commenters something. What do you say? Are you going to be one of the three? If you are one of the first three don't forget to specify if you are a knitter or a quilter so that I can send the right kind of goodies to you! Good luck!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Shop Hop

Last week the kids and I did the Western Washington Shop Hop. We only went to six shops becasue of the price of gasoline and my back wouldn't hold up that well for much more driving. The kids each got a passport just like me to get stamped at each store. While I was picking up my shop hop block the kids got a square of fabric. They came in all sizes and some shops had squares of the same fabric cut out and some had a bunch of different prints and the kids got to pick. I told the kids I would make them a small quilt or pillow or whatever they would like using their squares. My daughter picked a small doll sized quilt for her blocks. She picked white for the background, blue for the binding, and picked the big block for the back and she wanted it fussy cut. Other than that I picked the arrangement of the blocks and had fun with the free motion quilting. Here is the front...

here is the back...

My son was pretty funny. He knew exactly what he wanted and told me in detail. He wanted a small pillow and a small quilt. He showed me which fabrics for the pillow and which for the quilt. I asked him about decorative stitches for the quilting part and he picked out two that he liked. Here is the front of the pillow and quilt...

As you can see while at one of the shops he wanted them to stamp his fabric with the stamp they were using on the passports.

The back of the pillow and quilt...

I am glad I did their projects right away. If I hadn't I don't know when I would have ever done them. I also wanted them to get the benefit of the shop hop right away. They were so good and really enjoyed going from quilt shop to quilt shop, I wanted to reward them for it. Now they have a keepsake of shop hopping with me!

At the last shop they had these little coin purses...

My son wanted one so bad. He loves little containers and holders. They also sold the pattern and I told him that for the same price of buying them each one, I could buy the pattern and make lots of them. He did not like that idea. I think he realized that buying the pattern didn't guarentee that he would get one of them because who knows when mommy will actually make them. He did have a point, so I went ahead and let them each pick one out. It was not easy to find a "boy" one but he thought because it was black and had cool scrolls that it was masculine enough. My daughter picked the cheetah one because she loves that print and I won't let her wear it because most of the cheetah print clothes are tacky. So she gets her hands on it any way that she can.

I am not crazy about the block patterns that I got at the shops, so I will probably just make something with the fabric they gave me. I did try to buy a little something at each shop to show my appreciation for their participation in the hop. And I can't say enough how awesome it was for them to do something that included the kids. We had fun and I am glad we did it!

Where is the tape measure?

How is it that I can never find a tape measure? I have bought so many over the years that I should have about a hundred by now. Ok, so the kids have broken a few because it is so fun to pull them out and then push the button and watch it zip back in. But that only accounts for about ten of them. Where are all the others? I have had one that I have been working with for the last week or so. Every time I have been working on a project I think I lost it but it is just hiding under some fabric or sitting on the ironing board. So about a half an hour ago I started looking for it again. "Haha little tape measure I know you're around here somewhere. I just used you ten minutes ago. Come out, come out wherever you are." Nothing. Yep I looked everywhere and I can't find it. Are you kidding me!!

Monday, June 23, 2008


Last month we had a guest speaker at my quilt guild. Her name is Becky Scellato and she is the owner of a local quilt shop that specializes in Oriental print fabrics and Sashiko. It was a wonderful lecture all about Sashiko, a traditional Japanese form of stitching. Before the lecture started we could buy a kit for $5 and work on it while she talked. It was a pincushion that had a pattern printed on it so we could try Sashiko. As we stitched she showed us vintage Japanese garments that had Sashiko stitching and gorgeous quilts with Sashiko done in some of the blocks. While the kids worked in their summer workbooks today, I finished my Sashiko pin cushion.

I enjoyed working on that pin cushion so much that I signed up for the Sashiko Block of the Month quilt. I picked up my first block last week all geared up to do some more hand stitching. I found out that not every block will be Sashiko and my first block is just a square in a square out of beautiful Oriental printed fabric. Easy enough! I can't wait until I get a block where I get to do the Sashiko again!

I made the kids lunch today (they usually make their own).

I just love these trays that we got from Target a while ago. The kids love eating from them and they have so much fun filling each section with healthy food. They were really excited to get their "surprise" lunch and even more when they saw what I put together for them!

Sunday, June 22, 2008


At about 7pm tonight we started a game of Monopoly (Seattle Edition) as a family. We figured we could play for just an hour until it was time for the kids to go to bed. An hour later the game was going well and no one wanted to stop so we kept playing. My daughter didn't land on a lot of properties so she was the first to be out of the game. I got her few properties because she owed me more money than she had. So that left my son, my husband, and me. That's when I started taking pictures because I knew I was doing good.

I was surprised at how well my husband was doing because he had the "railroads" and that was about it. But we all were landing on him so many times that he was raking in the dough. My son had great properties and had built lots of houses and hotels and lasted a long time but eventually he landed on my hotels too many times. I ended up with all he owned. And then there were two...

My husband held on for quite a while because he had a lot of cash. I kept on building as much as I could. We even ran out of hotels. He wanted to just be done but stuck it out and let me finish him off because I NEVER do this good and really wanted to play to the end. Eventually I cleaned him out and I won the game!

It was so fun and I love that my kids are old enough to play with us. It is great practice with money and math. My daughter was banker most of the game. My kids amaze me with their quick in their head math skills. They obviously got that from their Dad.

Finally at 10pm (this would have never happened if it wasn't summer) the kids were ready for bed and we were saying goodnight. My son just bought this toy this week...

...and we started playing with it. He bought it with some money he earned. It was at Target right next to the cash registers. It is so cool! You can record what you say and play it back. Then you can warp the voices by making them high or low. It is so funny! We stood their recording our voices like a barber shop quartet and then playing them back and making them really high or really low for about 15 minutes. Finally they went to bed.

I just love those times where we all have a great time together making memories. It is fun that the kids are getting older and we can do things and play games that as adults we like to play. Even though I sometimes miss when they were really little, I don't miss the endless, mindless games like Candyland!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Bird Feeders

We made bird feeders today to hang in our backyard so we could watch the birds this summer. We made these a couple years ago and we saw lots of different birds coming to visit our bird feeder. They are easy to make. You just need some birdseed (we got some in the bulk section of our grocery store), creamy peanut butter, yarn (or something else to hang your bird feeder), and pine cones (here in the northwest they are everywhere, hopefully you can find some too).

First tie the yarn to your pine cones.

Spread the pine cones with peanut butter.

Roll them in the birdseed.

Hang them outside on a tree branch. We like to hang ours on a hook right outside the slider to our backyard. It is a primo spot to spy on the birds while they feast.

We watched for about an hour for the birds to flock to our bird feeder. We were all ready to get a great picture but no birds showed up. In the meantime the kids wandered off to play and I fell asleep. Oh well, there's always tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Happy Birthday!

I wanted to take a minute to honor my husband, who is having a birthday today! He is the greatest guy and so supportive of my quilting. If it were up to him our house would be covered in my quilts. (and it would be if I would stop starting and start finishing projects) He built me this quilting center a couple years ago that we designed together. It sits in the dining room right next to the dining room table (my favorite place to sew). I didn't want to be tucked away in a room when I quilted. I wanted to be where I could work and keep an eye on my kids. So he helped me figure out a way to quilt at the table and not have to haul all my stuff up and down the stairs. I love the twelve drawers that I use to hold my tools and my WIPs. The cabinets below are nice and big. Big enough to hold my sewing machine (not that I ever put it away). And it doubles as a buffet table when we have parties!

Last week he finished this quilt ladder for me. I had wanted a quilt ladder to display my bigger quilts. We worked together on the size and design. (that quilt is my sister, Tina, and my first Sister Quilt)

When I started knitting, he was a little unsure of this new craft that seemed to be taking over. I think he was worried that I wouldn't want to quilt anymore. But soon he saw that I could happily do both and when I asked him to make me a swift to wind yarn he got right to work on it for me.
He is my best friend, a very attentive dad, and the love of my life! BTW, did I mention that he is smokin' hot!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

They picked me!!

I could not be more thrilled that I was picked as one of the quilters that will have my Sylvia's Bridal Sampler Swap quilt in Jennifer Chiaverini's new pattern book. I just sent it off in the mail (yikes!) yesterday. It was crazy trying to get it done in time. My good friend Lou did the quilting on it. She really got it done in record time and did the most amazing job on it. She had the idea to quilt it with a McTavishing design. It turned out to be perfect for this quilt. Her quilting really made this quilt stunning. Thanks Lou, you rock!!

When I get it back, this will be the quilts permanent home.

This quilt is so big, I could barely find enough floor to lay the whole thing out! I just wanted to show you the back of the quilt.

This is the biggest quilt I have ever made in the shortest amount of time!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

And the winner is...

We Six Nasons!!! Congratulations! I used the very high tech papers in a hat to determine the winner.

Thank you everyone for entering my giveaway! We Six Nasons, just leave a comment on this post with your address (I will NOT publish it) and I will get this right off to you!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Many Thanks!

Thanks for all the well wishes for me and my back. I went and got a cortisone shot yesterday and it seems to be helping. Today is the last day to comment on my last post and be entered in the drawing for...

I decided to mix dots and plaids. I think it makes quite a fashion statement, don't you?

To my delight, I received a package in the mail yesterday from my sister. She made me a pin cushion. Isn't it so cute! She used some of the fabric from one of our sister quilts in the pin cushion. I love it! Isn't that a cute card too? Thanks, Tina!

I got a lot of knitting done while I was laying in my chair. I worked on my Embossed Leaf socks. I have decided to name them Eve's Socks, since I think they are what would have graced her feet if she would have worn hand knit socks. I love this pattern and I really enjoy working from a chart. I enlarged the chart and put it on a magnetic board and I am using magnets to hold it and mark the row I am on. It makes it easy to keep track of where I am. I am enjoying the pattern too much to get Second Sock Syndrome.

See you tomorrow to announce a winner!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Sometimes when you plan to do something, your body tells you that it isn't going to happen. I was thinking I was going to get another good week of sewing in but my back decided that wasn't going to happen. So I am laying here in my back chair reading blogs on my husband's work laptop. I spent the day chair-ridden watching Cranford and knitting the Embossed Leaves socks. You think I would learn to limit my activity since any time I do too much I end up in so much pain and can't do anything. But it is frustrating because my "too much" isn't that much. And I am only thirty-two! So to cheer myself up and help make this post not such a downer, I am going to do a give away. Fun, huh? What am I going to give away? I don't know probably some fat quarters, but I can't get up to go see what I have so you are just going to have to hope it's good. So leave me a post by Friday if you would like to be entered in the drawing for some fat quarters and anything else I decide to throw in. This should be fun!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Baby Bedding

The baby bedding is done! Whew! We made the whole thing in one week. It was exhausting but when the new mommy (for the second time) opened it, she loved it. So it was all worth it. Here are some pictures of the finished bedding. (she already had a pink sheet on the crib)

So, in one week we made a quilt, bumper, crib skirt, baby sleeping pillow, receiving blanket, curtains, and a wall hanging with her name on it. It is amazing how much you can get done when there are two people working on it. My friend was getting sick and we had one day left to finish the set so I surprised her by doing the crib skirt by myself. We were also going to do a diaper stacker but we gave up on that as we ran out of time.

I was thinking that I would get a little bit of a sewing break this week, hoping to spend more time on my Embossed Leaf socks. I have to get my applique block of the month done by Saturday morning but that's all. Then my daughter said she wanted to make quilts for her two activity day leaders from church. I thought, ok well we have some time, a few weeks at least. Then I got a baby shower invite in the mail for one of them and it is this Saturday afternoon! So I guess we will be making a baby quilt this week.

I am so excited that this is the last week of school for my kids. I can't wait to have them home with me. We bought some workbooks to keep up their learning throughout the summer and they are really excited about them. We got an extra one about animals for my son (almost 8 yrs old), and one about presidents and states for my daughter (will be 10 years old by the end of summer). They are excited and so am I. I also love that I can take them to the zoo, the pool, the beach, the movies, and anywhere and everywhere our hearts desire.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Quilt Swap

I was reading a blog and saw a reference for a quilt swap. Huh...that sounds like it might be the link. Next thing I know I signed up! I can make a small quilt and send it off by September 1st. I decided to pick Quilter's Choice (for whoever makes one for me) since I think it would be fun to be surprised. So if this sounds like a fun thing to you, go check it out here!

I'm helping my friend make a crib set for her sis-in-law who is having a baby girl. She picked the colors pink, brown, and cream for the bedding. We are having fun designing, sewing, laughing, seam ripping, crying and all the other things that come with making a crib set. I used to have an online custom crib and toddler bedding business years ago. After about four years I closed up shop because I was starting to hate quilting (gasp!) and my back was getting worse and worse. Anyways, I haven't made a crib set in a long time and I am really enjoying it. The best part is my friend is making one of the pieces I don't enjoy *cough* bumper pad *cough*. I will get pictures of the whole thing when we are finished but for now here is a peek at one of the items I made today...

And this is a sneak peek of what I hope I will finish by tomorrow...

Now go sign up for that quilt swap!

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