Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Living on Geesey Street

And yes I really do.  Here in Rochester we have been over run by the Canadian Geese.  But I am specifically talking about Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville's Quips and Snips new mystery quilt, Geesey Street Easy Street.
 I am having a lot of fun despite my whining.  I have never done a mystery quilt and it has been an adventure.  Sharing the adventure with a few of my quilting peeps makes it that much mroe fun.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Part 3 of Geesey Street, I mean Easy Street

Yes, Part 3 is not Geese but Part 4 is.  These blocks above are part of Part 3.  These weren't too bad.  Fairly easy to put together.  Since I had done about fifty larger ones a few months ago I am familiar with them.  I will share that story another time.

I am so looking forward to seeing how this all goes together.  What the master plan I wonder.  Must stay tuned to find out.  For more information or if you want to join in on the fun, go to Quiltville's Quips and Snips.  

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Felt Ornaments

Recently some members of the quilting club I belong to put together some felt ornaments for our holiday gathering. 
 Lots of beautiful ribbon that the ladies shared.
 Patterns cut from Christmas cutouts.
 Lots of neat ideas.
 Lots of colors.  A beautiful creative mess.

Lots of hand sewing.  With six people we cranked out quite a few ornaments.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Mystery Quilt Part II

Okay Part II is done.  Must admit I did a lot of whining on this one.  Why?  Because every time I have made flying geese ( yes, only one or two times) they have come out wonky, misshapen, ugly, silly. These came out.  Now, I have some new confidence about these winged pieces.  But 128... good gats!

It's done, its done, its done.  Celebrate!

To see everyone else's click here to go to Quiltvilles Quips and Snips

Monday, November 26, 2012

Bonnie Hunter Easy Street Part I

Oh my gorsch!  It has been a LONG long long time since I have posted.  Nearly a month!  Where does the flippin' time go?

Now, besides the ten thousand projects I have going, the ladies from my quilt group have talked me into yet another.  Bonnie Hunter's Mystery Quilt- Easy Street.  She promises this to be a bit easier than Orca Bay.  Which I have to say was absolutely gorgeous, at least the one that one of the ladies did from my group.

Who is Bonnie Hunter- a quilter and author.  You can learn more about her here at Quiltville, Quips and Snips.  You can learn more about Easy Street, here

She said, no whining.  In the best voice I can muster... We had to make 192 four patches.  Yowser!  But you know what I kind of enjoyed the mindlessness of it all.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Pumpkins for Halloween and Thanksgiving

Happy Halloween!

I made these for Thanksgiving and Halloween.  They were so easy to sew up.  They are stuffed with 90 percent scraps and 10 percent stuffing from the store.  They have some nice weight to them but they are also cushy. They are a great way to use up scraps- one because they are made out of them but also because they are stuffed with them.

Have fun tonight and be safe.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Mason Jar Drinking Cups

Isn't this the best?  Glass jars for a quick drink, can be carried in the car and out and about.  I found the idea here.  A really nice blog, go check it out.

For the outside decorations, I used sheets of duct tape and punched designs from my paper punches.  Worked pretty well, some stubborn parts but overall everything came out all right. And the letters are just vinyl letters already precut. 

I always rather drink out of glass than plastic or even metal. 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

A Stash Sale

A funny thing happened in the homeschool.  I decided not to do it.  Completely overwhelmed and utterly cranky, I felt it best not to continue.  I just looked at my daughter who was spinning circles in her seat while I was trying to talk about summarizing a book.  I looked at her and said, You know what?  I cant do this.   It was an epiphany.  She said is it me and I told her well, not really.  I said you are the little tiny straw that broke the camels back.  I said, me as the camel was weighted down by huge crates of stuff and you twirling in the seat was just the littlest thing.  I assured her it was really all my doing. 

And off she went to school.  Last week.  Or was it two weeks.  It was heart wrenching really because I was so torn over the whole matter.  So completely self punitive, seond guessing everything I was doing.

Then it happened.  She started to excitedly talk about school.  New friends, new projects, new teacher.  All that chat with a big old smile on her face.  Then I realized she is fine.  Happy in fact, to be back at school.  All is well.

Now that I have had a bit of time.  I tackled the mounds, MOUNDS and mounds of laundry that had been piling up.  Started dusting, mopping, cleaning because I just couldn't seem to get it all done before. 

To all the families out there that homeschool.  I salute you!

With a little more time on my hands I was able to go to a Stash Sale.  The woman's Mom had been placed in an assisted living facility.  Her daughter is selling her stash.  I cam home with 5 grocery bags full.  Knits in one bag for pajamas for me and the girls.  One bag of upholstery type material for projects around the house.  And a 1/2 bag of buttons.  yes, a half bag of just buttons.  All still on the cards - hand painted, cutie patootie type buttons.  The rest of the bags had quilting material.  Yeah.  Here is a few pics of the loot.

Cant wait to dig in and have piles of quilts rather than piles of fabric.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Little Stuffed Pumpkin

Take a 12 x 6 inch piece of fabric.  Do a basting stich along top and bottom.  Pull to gather and sew one end to secure it.  Stuff with stuffing.  Pull top and then rn ribbon or yarn in and through pumpkin, up and over to top again and secure.

I did not stuff with stuffing but put my scraps into a muslin ball and placed it in the pumpkin.  So I could not exactly do that up and over, through, etc.  So my ribbon doesn't give the pumpkin enough definition.  But that's okay, I like it nonetheless.

For the stem, I cut a piece of felt, in a sloped fashion, then rolled it, ending with the littler end.  I like the affect. 

I had a few scraps so I made a little mat out of a log cabin blocks.  Lots of fun.  I am sewing the binding on it now.

Sunday, October 7, 2012


If you have a windy day, you might go sailing.  You might piece together a little sailboat to take you on an imaginative journey.  Maybe to an island, where you can sip some juice and hear the seagulls.  Dip your toes in the water and make a sand castle.  Just a little getaway on your little sailboat.
I did a few sailboats.  This one was sort of patterned after a block by Sandy Gervais.  I found it when I was researching quilting and sailboats.  I thought it was a pieced sailboat so I started piecing it together myself.  Then when I was almost finished I realized it was a panel. Ha ha ha. 

Don't you love the painterly water here?  I do.  I had to make some sail boats to go with it.  Found it at a stash sale, more on that later.
Maybe with some wind you could fly a kite.  My daughter did and I remembered how much fun flying a kite is!  Thanks chicky.  It was a lot of fun watching you enjoy your little adventure.  Ms. Penguin seemed to be enjoying it too!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Wonky Quilted Pillows

I use to have this word that I kind of made up for huge- wonga.  That would be a great name for these Wonga Wonky Pillows. Wouldn't that be fun to say! You said just then, didn't you? I know I did.

This started off as a doll blanket.  But I just had to have it.  I remembered I had two pillows that needed to be recovered.  The covers that were on them were pretty out of date. Besides these were just too fun.  So I added a little bit of a border just to size them up and a zipper so I could wash them and voila.  Fun exciting pillows for the play room!  (Notice they do not go in the room they are pictured in.)
If you want to recreate something like this.  Just cut 8 - nine inch squares.  If you want the center square to be the same as the outside, then do 9. Then just cut 9 inch squares of the other colors you want and then cut them into triangles and sew them onto the blue (or whatever color you are using) 9 inch squares wonky style.  (I really have to get used to taking pictures of my creative process so that you can see what I am talking about).

Friday, September 21, 2012

Apple Coasters

Love these things.  Very fun to make- fast and easy.  Fun to look at.  My favorite is the one with the bite taken out of it.  I need to make some more.
A paper cut out.  Looking at mine compared to Purl Bee, I see mine look more like peppers- ha!  I need to tweek mine a little.  I like mine with five seeds rather than the four they show one their website.

Brown, yellow, red, green (two shades), white.

Embroidery floss in the same shades as the felt.  I machine sewed the white part on.  It makes it even quicker.  But certainly if you hand sewed it on then  you should have white floss as well.

And of course, your big bad needle that penetrates felt easily.  Some needles do this better than others, so try a couple.
Voila.  Instant apple coaster.

Click here to the Purl Bee's pattern and pictures.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

SWOON... Galliantly Streaming

I love to take "photo shoots" with my new quilts.  It is so much fun.  I have only done it two times but I need to do some more!  This time because I had my daughter with me, I felt braver.  I always kind of feel dorky and out of place to go somewhere by myself and just start taking pictures.  I feel like I am this big, red, sore thumb sticking out.  Isn't that kind of silly?  Yet, with my daughter, who is nine... I feel safer.  What is up with that?  Really it could be anyone with me and I would feel more normal.

In this first picture here you can see I quilted it with shooting red stars.  It was my first time on a long arm and I had a blast.  I think the lady at the shop thought I was nuts coming in with red thread on a white background.  Frankly, I was a little nervous about it but it turned out fine.  And they really look shooting.  That is why I named the quilt, "Galliantly Streaming".
We live near the Erie Canal, which if you do not know was a major waterway that brought goods to and from places across the ocean.  The major lakes were connected- Lake Ontario, Erie and then the St. Lawrence Seaway.  Rochester, NY is called the flour city as we were once major producers of flour.  It traveled down the Erie Canal.  I could really go on about it but you can check out all kinds of information on the internet and through books.  So here is a link or two to get you started.
My daughter had to get in on the picture taking action.  So here it is.  I think it is a great shot I just wish it was turned to the right a little. If you just look at the quilt and not the scenery than it looks like it is on point.  When I look at the scenery, I get a little dizzy.
If you don't already know about the Swoon quilts and would like to give it a go then check out this pattern or here and there is also a Swoon group on Flickr!  Lots of fun!  This quilt was super easy and super fun!

Honestly, I am not really a pattern girl, not so much anyhow, so I kind of just did the size etc. on my own. Mine ended up being a little bigger than the pattern.

Monday, September 17, 2012

To Homeschool or Not To Homeschool

This is how our dining room table always looks!

I took the plunge.  I sat on the fence for a while and now I have finally taken the plunge and started to homeschool.  I am only working with one daughter for now because I want to really get into the swing of things before I take on the both of them at the same time.  It has been an interesting rode to this decision and I want to share with you what brought me here.

Many moons ago I thought homeschooling was a poor choice.  It always seemed to me that homeschoolers seemed socially clumsy.  I thought it was a bad idea just based on that standpoint.  I would like to apologize fo rmy lack of vision for all the homeschoolers out there.  Now I see things differently.  And isnt that so often the case where you have to be in the shoes before you can judge it.  Well, I am in the shoes now.

I see that homeschooling has come along way since I was a child.  There are many homeschooling groups out there and many resources available.  Families can get aas much socialization as they want.  It is totally up to them.  There are choices now.

Homeschool is growing... rapidly.  Many people who can choose this option, are!  Why?  Well, that is as varied of an answer as there are homeschoolers.  I think you can group them into large headings though.  I will attempt to do that.  Bear in mind that I am not exactly an expert here so I am not trying to act like one, I just want to share what I know.

General Reasons for Homeschooling

1.  Safety.  There are many people who choose this option based on the bullying and violence that can go on in schools.  Not to mention the availability of drugs.

2.  Religious Reasons.  Many people want the opportunity to instill their own religious and moral values into their children.  Rather than the morals and values of the teacher/school/education system. I think this is predominantly why many people chose homeschooling from the beginning.

3.  Education.  With such a wide resource base out there; the library, the internet, programs in the community, parents find that their child can better learn outside of the classroom.  At home, the focus is only on your child.  Whereas school curriculum is not exactly geared to the individual.  Some students are rushing to keep up and some students are bored because they have to wait for everyone to catch up with them.  Home learning is specifically tailored to the individual.  You can go as fast as the student is ready to go. 

4.  Family.  Having children in the home makes for a great opportunity for the bonds between the family to grow.
The library in our area has homeschooling packets.  Very handy!

I am sure there are more but these are just the major ones I can think of at the moment.  I chose homeschooling almost totally based on education.  Last year, my daughter was singled out as a role model and often put with children who needed a role model.  While I understand this from a teaching perspective, as a Mom I don't like it.  I want my daughters focus to be on her education not waiting for behaviors in class to play out.  The amount of kids having behaviors that are disruptive to class is increasing.  Its unfortunate.

At home less time has to be devoted to studies because it isn't about the whole class, it is about the child.  The rest of the day can be given to things like language or field trips to museums, experiential learning and such.  Again, with such a wide variety of learning styles, parents can choose from an array of options.  Frankly, it is overwhelming.  Gleaning what your values are and what your child's learning style is one of the most important steps in the process.
homeschool organization central

Since my child has been home, things are different.  Over the summer I seen a dramatic decline in night wakings and nightmares. After she has been home, she tells me that she is excited that she doesn't have to hear the scary conversations she heard on the bus.

Actually, Halloween has always been a hard time for Bella, even the simple scary stores that the teacher reads bothered her.  Not to mention the talk of ghosts and things around this time of year especially.  I never liked that time of year for her really.

So all this to tell you that you will be seeing a lot mroe art projects and such and I will share some of my journey with you in hopes of clearing up any notions you might have about homeschooling or at least direct you where you can learn more about it.
Everything we need so I dont have to say - wait- lets find that.  Its portable too.  We can take it along on outings.

Friday, September 7, 2012

A Quick and Easy Skirt To Make

I just recently downloaded a pattern from fabric.com.  They were offering this free pattern for a kids skirt.  It's an easy-peasy pattern and a true joy to make.  I did make some changes to it.  One of the things that sometimes drives me nuts about home made stuff is the raw edges inside of a garment.  The threads get all messy and tickly and it just does not look professional to me.  I do not have a serger.  So, what I did was enclose all the seams on the inside which was pretty easy. 

When I sewed the bottom panel on, I only sewed the outside part to the skirt.  Then on the inside, I folded down a quarter inch and pinned it up to the seam.  Then top stitched two rows.  I did the same thing with the waist band.  When I get a few pictures I will share it with you.

I also added a yo you with one of my Moms crocheted flowers.  Making it a little more personal.

If you make the pattern, be forewarned, it's big.  I made two skirts that were too big.  They went to my older daughter.  My daughter takes a size 7 or 8 and I made the 5T and it fit her perfectly.  Keepi n mind that my daughter is at the 100 percentile for height.  I recommend going down two three sizes to make this.  Take measurements and plan accordingly.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Some Beautiful Pics for Inspiration

I love the colors in this print. They are exactly the colors I have been wanting to use in my 'create- catchall-reading room'.

I wrote this sentence over a year ago on my other blog and never published it.  I found it in my drafts.  Funny enough, that is pretty much the color of my walls in my sewing room.  I really must show you the transformation.  One of these days...

I spend a lot of time on Design Seed just looking at those amazing color combinations.  I want to make quilt after quilt because I am so inspired by all the color!
I am really tempted to purchase one of her prints. I love the creamy, nostalgic quality of these prints. So beautiful. You can find this artists Etsy shop here. And her blog is here: Eye Poetry.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Spring Lattice

I made this sweet little quilt for my daughter's friend.  She is a sweet little girl and has been a good friend to my daughter. 

I just realized I forgot to put a name on it.  I did put a label on it- in the shape of an elephant because she loves elephants.  The name of the quilt is "Spring Lattice".

I found the pattern on You Tube in a Missouri Star Quilt Company video.  You can find it here.  They got the pattern from 3 Dudes Quilting. You can find their site here.  Its a store in AZ but they have a nice online shop with free patterns.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Table Runner

Wow! It has been a long time since I posted.  Jut returned from a vacation that was immediately followed by Ricky Tims seminar.  More on that to come.

I won this table topper in a giveaway.  It was only a top at the time.  I love that it has so many pretty swirling colors in it and can sit well in a lot of color schemes.  I decided it was high time to back it and quilt it.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

A New Flower in the Garden

This is the first crib sized quilt I have made for someone as a gift.  I was a bit nervous about it.  I hope they like it.  It was made with much affection and meaning.

A couple we know just recently had a baby.  The man works with my husband and we have come to know him and his wife a little.  They had a baby girl last month.  I couldn't be more happy for him.  They invited us to their Hindu celebration of the birth of the baby and her welcome to the world.
There are certain things I put in the quilt for meaning.  This symbol, although it is not the exact symbol is for the swastika which is actually Sanskrit.  Forget Hitler and other bad feelings that are attached to this symbol here in the Western world.  In the Eastern world this symbol is adored.  It means all that is good and auspiciousness.  See the history here on Wikipedia
I made the card to go along with the quilt and it says Welcome to the World Little One.  I wrote this because as my daughter was being born my OB/GYN said Welcome to the World Little One" and I found it to be particularly moving.
I chose the colors because of the many colors of India and I chose to quilt it with flowers as she is a new flower in the garden of life.

So see it is packed with symbols.  I wish them the very best for their new little family!  Congratulations V and T! If you would like to find out more about the celebration, I will post some pics of it on my next post.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Summer Dreams

I have a thing for these kind of stars.  Last week before leaving for retreat, I found this pattern in a magazine I had.  I was looking for something to do with my 30's material.  At the last minute I found the pattern I wanted. 

I love so many different kinds of quilts but I have a specail fondness for something like this because it makes me think of a quilt I had seen at my Grandmothers house when I was a child.  I am not sure where the quilt came from but it was double wedding ring and it was mostly white, with colors int he rings. 
The pattern is from Darlene Zimmerman and it is called Summer Dreams (McCalls 1999).  There was a lot of cutting at that is what I spent most of my retreat doing, cutting.  I finished about 15 blocks before the weekend was over.  I think our retreats need to be a day longer.