~Morning Work~

Hey do you hear about this? Katie from  I’m a Ginger Monkey will be hosting this Spinning Stars Quilt Along. Here is the flickr group. I love, love, love this pattern from one of my very favorite fabric designer’s Anna Maria Horner. Big SQUEAL! Love.

It’s so funny because the bug bite me awhile ago to make this quilt. I love the look of hand quilting on this quilt . I plan to do hand-quilting on my baby quilt as well. Here is a really good tutorial on hand quilting.

So fun, and for once a quilt along I can really get with. Yes!

~Finishing up the small things~

 

I began this project long ago. I have worked in spurts around a full-time job, the holidays and some major stress at work. Not to mention my sewing machine had a melt down (after returning from the repair shop). Some nights I am so tired it’s all I can do to fall into bed. That being said, I have loved working on this little doll.   It will be hard to say goodbye, but it’s time for her to be on her way.  I just have a few more small things to finish up. Like binding her quilt, stitching up her little pillow. Make a nightie and she could use one more dress.  **Happy to say all of that is done**  Although, I keep thinking she needs one more pair of shoes and a going away bag to hold her clothes.  Hmm, no, I think it’s time to go.

She is ready to roll. I am ready to move on to my next doll. She will have green eyes and red hair (so I’ve been told).

 

I can’t wait to see what her name will be. She is going far away to live in Washington State with a special little girl. I told her she must be very sweet and a best friend to her new mommy. I think she listened.

I will miss you little friend but I know your going home to right where you belong, so I want you to be good and be sweet!

~Fall Quilt Festival 09~

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It is Fall Quilt Fest over at Amy’s Park City Girl blog
I was excited to join. 

This is not my best quilt, not at all, but it is extremely important to me, and it has taught me many things..

I believe that as we do, we become better. Especially with quilting, I seem to learn with every project.

The quilt I am choosing to show is one that I made about 1 year ago… Do you remember Nie Nie? Stephanie Neilson? She was in a horrible plane crash with her husband Mr. Neilson, and his flight instructor/friend Doug. The Neilson’s are well on their way to recovery but unfortunately Doug passed during that first night…
There was a huge outpouring of support and many benefits held in their honor to help with the medical expenses and all of the costs associated with such a tragic event. I felt that I needed to do something to help, no matter how small or insignificant it might be.

Hence this lovely little quilt. This one I am really happy with, it is completely randomly pieced~ improvisational style, I loved the colors, which I chose based on the thought of Arizona or the west, the sky, the sun, the desert, the mountains.  Sunset colors bold and simple.. the purple color, I don’t know, I think I thought it just needed that. Maybe it was a symbol of a desert flower…. I can’t quite  remember but anyway…

 

 

 

I think it all worked  out just fine.

Even though I did not pre-wash my dark colors, oops!! The color ran and I thought all was lost, however I spent so much time making that quilt, I just washed and washed it.  The stains mostly came out and I debated whether or not to send it… basically people were so sweet they said send it. They also reminded me that because it was handmade, the imperfections only make it sweeter and give a reminder that we are not perfect and never will be. It is simply impossible.

So, off it went..

 

 

And guess what? It sold immediately! Of course all items did, but still, it did sell!

Mission accomplished.  I felt great. This one act really changed my thinking, yes I love to create, but I don’t need all of the things that I make. You can only give so much as gifts, etc. So, now I craft with a little more purpose and I like to incorporate giving into my life. Great projects exist out there… Craft Hope, Mountain Baby Blankets, Iraqi Bundle of Love, Mama to Mama these are just a few..

  ~the back..

 

 ~ you can see my free motion quilting is kind of all over the place…

  ~ my corners appear a mess!

But, my point is, just do what you do, you never know where your journey will lead you, nor will you know how it will affect you.

I believe we came full circle this very week, as I watched Mr. and Mrs. Neilson on the Oprah Show !! Wow, she looks amazing, her husband looks wonderful as well.  Her spirit is as strong and lovely as ever, and I am truly touched by that!  I am so inspired to not only be a better mom, wife, but also to keep doing what I love because it is important, it really is..

~What’s for dinner?

Coming up with new ideas for dinner can be challenging.  Thankfully we are in the best time of the year for nutritious and delicious options!

 

I like to go to our neighborhood veggie store to pick up fresh items for dinner.
Today yielded some kale, snap beans, new potatoes, and summer squash. I have been wanting to try this recipe I have seen other recipes around, but I do not care for vinegar. However I LOVE olive oil and this version really worked for me.
The funny thing is these kale chips taste just like real chips.  I am not kidding.  If you took a bite without looking at it you would not know. I know it sounds crazy but it is so true!


I really had a taste for roasted vegetables so I tossed a bit of summer squash, snap beans, and vidalia onion with some olive oil.  I roasted this little medley at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes.  Tossed with orzo it was fantastic! It was light and very satisfying.  I used Ina’s recipe for the new potatoes~ of course they were fabulous!! That goes without saying…

Every time I see cherries I just feel so happy.  They are one of my very favorite fruit.  Especially these oh gosh they are good!  I know these are not a local  product and honestly there is nothing that can be done about that fact.  I will have them~ they are that good.   I know how important it is to eat local etc, and I really do try to do just that.  I have to rationalize it this way, I lived in Portland, OR for a short time and my uncle lives in Seattle.  So, it is for old times sake?!  That is the best I can do.  I have some Memphis peaches, and Ripley tomatos waiting their turn for tomorrow’s meal…

  

~So my 6 year old “made”  us desert! Isn’t it pretty?? 

 My new thing to do with  apples is to spread this on them ~ oh it is heavenly!

This is where I am right now.  I always seems to be thinking of food!

 I need to to start another batch of  this bread  and I am going to try it without preheating the oven ~ because it is too hot here to have that oven preheating~ sounds like it might just work.

I am gearing up to get back to work on my  little project~  

but first I am trying to finish another Shalom 


ughh.. to many projects with not near enough time..

~Whirligig Quilt~

I was lucky enough to be commissioned for another baby quilt… I really enjoyed making this one.
I was not quite sure which direction to go in at first. I felt that I wanted to work with yellow and blue… after seeing this, thisthis, and all of these examples here, I just new I had to make a whirligig quilt. The tutorial I used is this one. I am not exactly sure why but my blocks were slightly off kilter. I just trimmed them up so it worked out just fine in the end.
I used an eclectic mix of fabrics, my favorite being the new Anna Marie Horner Good Folk Fabric. I actually was planning on using that fabric for a quilt for my youngest daughter, but  I  had to use just a bit.
I love,love, love that fabric, a little drop of Heather Bailey, and then bits of my favorite blue fabrics from my stash.  Here is the front~

a few blocks close up…

some of the fabrics are home dec fabrics, but it all works for me..

I really love the back, it is very simple, very plain. It reminds me the matlessaie quilts that I love so much~it is a solid sunshine yellow with an embroidered design. I new when I saw this fabric exactly what I wanted to use it for.

I also love the gingham binding

I like the border with the binding right next to it, I have not done that before, and I like the look of it.  I love this quilt, it feels fresh and fun to me.

I hope new mama and baby will as well.

~Craft Hope and other goodwill projects~

Craft Hope This seems like such a good cause. I am a wee bit late getting my size 12 shirt for Lindsey sent off. I have been told I have until the 5th … it is on it’s way.

I like feeling that my projects have a purpose and a point. Another wonderful project I have my eye on is  Mountain Baby Blankets this is a project  started by Rachel. You should check out her  blog and if you have the time watch this report by Dianne Sawyer on the Children of the Mountains. It really touched my heart.
I have 2 quilts just sitting here in my house not keeping anyone warm..  So it would seem a perfect choice.  I also would like to add a few baby blankets in as well.  I am in search of the perfect baby/receiving blanket project.   All tips/links ideas welcome!

Do you ever feel called to give?

Holiday Tradition Swap done ..

Talking about traditions new and old…
I have just started quilting this year. I love the history and reading of the stories of the traditions of quilting. I am happy that I have learned a new craft that I can hopefully use to create a new tradition for my friends and family. I have always wanted to learn how to quilt, and it just goes to show the power of online blogging. I would not have been able to reach this goal without all the inspiration from fellow bloggers!

This is a lap quilt made for my swap partner in OR, based on her description of Christmas colors. It is made from linen and thicker home dec fabrics. I love the colors. I love the heavier weight of the fabric and when I washed the quilt with the cotton batting it crinkled up perfectly! It felt really good to me. I just hope Norma likes it.

I included just for fun just for fun~ a thrifted find of 2 Italian pottery plates that went perfectly with this vintage tablecloth. If post holiday blues try to settle in, just take a warm cup of tea and cake and gaze upon this little bit of sunshine
My swap buddy and I both have a love of finding thrifted goodies. So, for good measure I thought I would put this little find in. It was fun getting to know Norma, it seems we have a lot of similarities.

What would Christmas be without a new Christmas CD?

Here is a wonderful recipe for butter cookies (my dough is in the refrigerator even as i type):

1 c (2 sticks) unsalted butter room temperature
1/2 c sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg yolk
2 1/4 c all -purpose flour

Directions:

In a large bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter with the sugar, salt, and egg yolk until smooth. Blend in the flour until the mixture blends into a smooth dough. Wrap the dough in a plastic bag and refrigerate 1/2 hour or up to two days.

Preheat the over to 350 degrees. Roll out the dough onto a slightly floured surface to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes using the cookie cutters. Place on a lightly greased sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes.

Enjoy! (Norma, sorry I forgot to put this recipe in the swap package!)

I hope my swap partner enjoys a little piece of my holiday traditions.. :)

Package should be arriving very shortly! Happy Holidays!

~The quilt is off to LA~

   ~After many hours of deliberation and some very sweet comments I decided to go ahead and send in the quilt to the Nie Nie Benefit Etsy Auction set for Sept 23-24th. I included a handwritten  thank you note explaining my rationale and feelings regarding the quilt as to why I went ahead and sent in a less than perfect auction item.

My  heart was moved  to create this quilt,  I then had the washing/bleeding mishap and I was devastated. But in actuality I was  reminded of how human we all are. Seriously, we are human beings and we are not perfect. Therefore all that we are, all that we touch is really imperfect…. I tend to forget things like that.

I feel like even though I do not know Stephanie and Mr. Nelson, their children or any of their family, I really do know them on some level. I know they are in a family in crisis and they need support. So, this is my little tiny way of helping a family that is so far away, it is not much but my heart told me to do it and I listened.  So, to whomever (if anyone) purchases this quilt, just think of the little spots as a reminder that we are all human and try as we might, we will never be perfect….

Quilt is done, but small problem….

  ~ see the spot there?

I loved it when it was done.  I took some quick pictures, it was late.  I should have stopped there, butI went ahead and washed it, because a quilt is not done until it is crinkled up. My opinion of course, but that is how I feel. Then came my little problem when I opened up the machine. Bleeding… I almost cried.

Ok I did a little. I prayed a lot. I washed, shouted a lot (stain remover), not out loud.

Soaked overnight, rewashed, etc. etc. Most came out, but… it is not perfect. My dilema is what to do. I was supposed to send this in for the auction, but I feel like it is not quite right….. obviously.

Here are my after pictures, the before are in my flickr.

   ~front  (light is weird)

  ~back,  small spots here and there, but not too bad overall..

I love the bottom row… I don’t know why, but I really liked that row.. the bedrail is in the way..

I did not use any pattern.. I just used my inspiration from  Denise Schmidt and also The Quilt’s of Gee’s Bend I just checked that book out from the library. It is great. Very inspiring.

  ~here it is before the disaster..

oh me.. I learned my lesson, no cheating, no shortcuts.. always prewash. Funny thing is I usually always do prewash. I just was in a hurry. I am so disappointed. I just don’t think I send this in.   I guess I will go see what I have on hand. Bummer. Plus I am late on top of it all. :(