"...for we put the thought of all that we love into all that we make" ~ J.R.R. Tolkien

Sunday, January 31, 2010

I Can't Think Of A Title :)

Just wanted to show you all a couple of things :)

First up- I finished all my Modern Siggy Swap blocks! I signed all 101 of them today, and only messed up one of them :) I whipped up an extra one and signed it, and they'll be going in the mail tomorrow- a whole month before they're due!!

Modern Siggy Swap Blocks
I used three different fabrics from the "Farmer's Market" collection by Sandi Henderson. They were really easy and really fast to make, even if there were 101 of them. I sewed 1/2" from each of the lines to save the corners, so now I have 202 1.5" half-square triangles to play with too!

Ryan at I'm Just A Guy Who Quilts has started crocheting, and asked me to show what I do with the ends when I change colors.

Crochet Demo
First I bring them both (the old color and the tie-on from the new color) around so they are in front of the working yarn.

Crochet Demo
And then I start crocheting the new row, making sure the ends are caught within the stitch!

I hope this makes sense, Ryan!

I'm extremely left-handed, so if it looks like my crochet is backwards that's why :)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Fabric = Love :)

I spent the last of my Christmas/birthday money a few days ago, and my lovely new fabrics from Hawthorne Threads came today! I love, love, LOVE Hawthorne Threads! They have amazing fabric, amazing prices, and amazing customer service! It's such a great shopping experience- there aren't any crowds :) And they get the WHOLE collection when they order fabric! My local shops usually only get bits and pieces.

More Orange :)
I found some great oranges to add to my orange fabric stash! L-R: "Mendocino" by Heather Ross, "Hope Valley" by Denyse Schmidt, "Lotus" by Amy Butler and "Meadowsweet" by Sandi Henderson. I think I'm going to send these out for one of my bees- I send fabric in April for The Block Swap 2.

I also got some "Meadowsweet" fat quarters in the peach colorway. I'm thinking of making a flying geese quilt with these and some solid white.

And lastly I picked up some "Woodland Delight" by Paula Prass in the gray colorway. I don't know what I'm going to do with these yet. I just liked them :)

Now I'm just waiting for the new Joel Dewberry fabrics, "Modern Meadow", to get in over at Hawthorne Threads. They are AMAZING!! I really think I'm going to need all of the "Berry" and "Pond" colorways. And the oranges from the "Sunglow" colorway :)

It's terribly cold today, but the sun is shining for the first time in over a week! I have no reason to go outside, so I've been sitting in the sun working on some hand embroidery for the Hoop Up! Stitch and Send swap. I feel a bit like a cat! :)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

January Bee Blocks

Well, I finished up the last of my January bee blocks today! I have so much fun with these bees, even if it is a little hard to keep up with them sometimes.

For Jenna in the Scraptastic Bee:
January Scraptastic Block
Jenna sent the bird fabric in the center, and I used my own fabrics to make the rest.

For Hope in The Block Swap 2:
January Block For TBS2
Hope sent the linen in the center and a bunch of scraps. I used those, along with some of my own scraps to make the block.

For Andrea in the Sweet Dreams Quilting Bee:
January Block- SDQB
Andrea sent a large variety of Japanese import taupes. This was the hardest block for me to make! I tend to make very high contrast things so working with blendy stuff was very difficult for me.

For Lish in the Buzz Cuts Bee:
Buzz Cuts- January
Lish sent these lovely Moda fabrics and said she likes stars and "spinning things" :)

And for Kyra in the A Piece Of Work B Bee:
APOWB January Block
Kyra sent batiks and a white background and asked for Dutchman's Puzzle blocks.

I have one packet of fabric so far for February, and I am going to go make it up right now, so I don't end up procrastinating and then rushing at the last second. I do that all the time, and it's really bad. That tendency is actually the subject of my one and only New Year's resolution: stop procrastinating!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Bright And Happy!

I've been going through one of those phases when I just really don't feel like sewing. Fortunately I have another hobby or 12 to tide me over until the urge to sit at the sewing machine strikes again :)

I was reading some of the blogs of people in a new swap group I'm in and came across the Badskirt blog! She has been making crocheted squares and they just looked so cute and like they were so much fun to make! I hadn't crocheted in years and years and years, but I wanted to make some.

So, I hopped in the car and went to The Fold, the amazingly wonderfully fabulous knitting/spinning/weaving shop in my town and bought some yarn and a crochet hook! A quick stop at Barnes and Noble and I had a copy of the book Amy at Badskirt was using- "200 Crochet Blocks for blankets, throws and afghans" by Jan Eaton.

  More Crochet Fun
Here's what I have so far! I stuck to a color palette of tangerine, turquoise and white, using Cascade 100% wool yarn. It's fun working with these colors in the dark and gloomy weather we're having :)

I have another one almost done. These are totally addicting. And they are instant gratification, too- it takes an hour or less to whip one of these up!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Knitting: Relaxation Or Vexation?

In January 2009, I began knitting a scarf for my mother-in-law's birthday present . But very soon I HATED it! Just the thought of working on that scarf for even one stitch was ick. So, I put it away. But it stared at me every time I sat down to do something else. I felt like I couldn't knit anything else, either! So yesterday I bit the bullet and sat down and spent the WHOLE day working on this scarf, and I finished it- YAY!
Cabled Scarf

About a year ago I purchased yarn to make myself a shawl or stole. And it sat. And sat. I poured over books and patterns on Ravelry. I changed my mind every day- sometimes every hour! Knitting is a big commitment, you know? Each little stitch has to be done by hand. So if you don't like it, you are seriously screwed (see above!). Did I want a triangle or a rectangle? Did I want it solid or lacy? Did I want a simple or complicated lace pattern if I went with lacy? Oh, yeah. I really made this decision a LOT harder than it needed to be!

The Start Of Something!
I finally decided!! It's going to be a rectangle stole, made with a very simple lace stitch called "Irish Net". I am LOVING it so far, and it's going super fast, even though I cast on 180 stitches. I started it yesterday evening and it's already this big :) The yarn is a lightweight 100% superwash wool sock yarn from Blue Moon Fiber Arts called "Bella Coola".

I've also been plugging away at January bee blocks, and I'm getting started on my DQS8 mini :) And I joined another swap (yes, I am insane, thank you for noticing) called the Pillow Talk Swap. In this swap we make a throw pillow for our partner. And partners are secret, like DQS8, so I won't know who is making a pillow for me until I get it :)

Lastly: Pepsi has brought back the Pepsi Throwback, made with real sugar! This stuff is like 57,000 times better tasting than the stuff made with high fructose corn syrup. I've been stocking up since it's only out for a limited time. Normally I'm a Coke girl. If only they'd do a real sugar version!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I Love Happy Endings :)

With the assistance of many people, my sister arrived safely home on Monday evening! A missions group with airplanes was able to fly to Les Cayes, Haiti and pick her and her team up (over the course of 2 days) and bring them all to Nassau, Bahamas. From there they flew to Miami, and then to Chicago! Some of them were able to fly on to La Crosse, but I picked my sister and another member of the team at O'Hare and drove them to Wisconsin. I arrived home late this afternoon, SO happy that they are all safely home! They have some pretty amazing stories to tell.

Since I was in La Crosse anyway, I decided to treat myself to a visit to Olive Juice Quilts in Onalaska, WI! I have blogged about this shop before, because it's completely amazing and a modern quilter's dream shop! I still wish I could have this shop close to me, preferably at my house :)

I also stopped at Quilt Basket and Creations in Viroqua, WI (no website). This shop is also nice. They carry more of the darker stuff, and lots of flannels, but I always stop in, and I never leave empty handed! This shop had recently had a sale on jelly rolls (buy one get one free!) The owner forgot to take the sign down when the sale was over, but she was kind enough to honor the sale for me, which I thought was very nice of her! She also took the signs down immediately :)

Hopping Home :)
So here's what I bought! Everything except for the blue and red chicken fabrics. I already had those, but I bought the coordinates at Olive Juice. And the Rounneries twill stripe is for Vicki :)

Tonight I am just relaxing, but tomorrow I really need to get caught up on some swap stuff! I'm a "swap boss" for the Hoop Up! Stitch and Send swap, and my fabrics are going out late :( But everyone has been so understanding.

Thank you to everyone for the well wishes you sent for my sister! It's so good to know she's safely back in the USA. Please keep praying for Haiti!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Waiting And Helping

As almost everyone in the world must know by now, there was a terrible earthquake in Haiti on Tuesday. As I read the stories and see the images and watch the videos online, my heart just keeps breaking. Sitting here in my nice, sturdily built home with my state-of-the-art computer, my electric lights, clean water and indoor plumbing, I cannot even begin to imagine what it is like to be there, living it.

My sister went to Haiti last weekend as part of a medical mission group. They were going to be working in the little coastal town of St. Martin, near Les Cayes, for a week and then they would come home- tomorrow. That was the plan on paper anyway! Now they are working in a hospital in Les Cayes, treating earthquake victims. At this point in time they have no idea how or when they will be able to get home. It most certainly won't be tomorrow!

As I was sitting here, worrying about my sister and continually checking the news, and for updates from her, I saw someone on Twitter post about CraftHope. They were going to set up an Etsy shop to sell items donated by crafters, with all the proceeds to be given to Doctors Without Borders.

So, I jumped up and started pulling fabic and sewing, excited that here was something I could actually DO!!

CraftHope For Haiti Donation
I made a set of oven mitts and donated them. They were just listed, and you can find them here!

**EDITED: these oven mitts sold within 10 minutes of being listed! YAY!

So go over to the Etsy shop and buy stuff! The button on my sidebar will take you there! And if you could keep my sister and the medical team she is with in your thoughts and prayers, that would be good too :)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Crafters- A Way To help Haiti!

CraftHope is setting up an Etsy shop to sell donated items- all proceeds from this shop will go to Doctors Without Borders (my personal favorite aid organization).

Go here to find out how to donate items.

Once the shop is set up, get on there and SHOP!! You'll get quality hand-made items for your home or to give as gifts AND be helping the people of Haiti... how awesome is that?

I have a pattern to make oven mitts and will be cranking some out tomorrow to list on CraftHope's shop.

Monday, January 11, 2010


Swapping is so much fun. It's addiction, really. But it keeps me off the streets, right? :)

For the Swap Till U Drop (STUD) group on Flickr I had 2 December partners.

This is what I sent to Sara (sames5):

December STUD sent to Sames5

And this is what she sent to me!

December STUD Recieved!
I just love this- it looks like a sunflower that's just starting to open! I don't know if you guessed, but I like sunflowers- a lot :) So this is a perfect mini for me!

I recieved this today from Sardana in Austria... international shipping takes a long time!

December STUD Rec'd
It's so cheerful!

Sardana has not recieved the mini I sent her yet, so I'll post about that later- I don't want to spoil the surprise!

And lastly, we got our DQS8 partners yesterday!! Here are the fabrics I've picked out for my secret partner:

Fabrics For DQS8
I'm still designing the quilt, I have a couple ideas in mind!

I spent yesterday at Paige's house, sewing with her and learning to use her Gammill (long-arm machine). I cannot WAIT to quilt a quilt on it sometime next month!!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Instant Gratification

I've been *trying* to work on a couple different quilt projects this week. I say trying because nothing has been going right! It's been really aggravating. So I decided to set them both aside and do something quick, easy and fun!

A while ago I saw a book by Susan Breier called "It's A Wrap". The book is about making baskets and purses from clothesline wrapped with fabric! I've since seen it all over the internet, and I was intrigued.

So, I pulled out some ingredients...
Raw Ingredients
Fabrics are from the "Flutterby" collection by Tula Pink. They were on clearance at my favorite LQS!

And got to work!! About 6 hours later, I had this! All done- doesn't need quilting or binding or anything.. it's a completely done project!

Finished Basket

Hubby decided it looked like a hat.

Silly Jennie!

It does look surprisingly good :)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Quilting Heaven!

Yesterday Vicki and I went up to Janesville, WI to check out a place to have the quilting retreat Vicki hosts. We've been going to a church camp, which has been OK. The main problem, though, is having to bring EVERYTHING! Ironing tables, irons, lights, cutting mats, dishes, extension cords, chairs, bedding... the list is endless, and the last time I went I felt like I was moving out of my house!

Well, this place is called Evergreen Retreat- and it is fabulous!! I absolutely cannot WAIT to go on a retreat there!

Evergreen Retreat Kitchen

Evergreen Retreat Kitchen
First up- the kitchen is amazing! Everything we'll need to cook is right there- pots, pans, dishes, utensils... it even has a dishwasher! And the best feature is the washer and dryer- perfect for pre-washing that kit from the quilt shop (there are two close by) that you just HAVE to get started on!

Evergreen Retreat Sewing Room
The sewing room is set up so perfectly... there are wonderful ergonomic chairs, a 4-foot table per person, and each table has it's own full spectrum lamp! There is also enough electricity that each person could have their own iron if they wanted. I'm excited about this, because I always want to work on a paper-piecing project at retreats and I can't because at the church camp, we can only have 2 irons total. There are also little design walls by each table!

Evergreen Retreat Cutting/Ironing Station
The adjoining room has two ironing tables and two cutting stations... perfect!

Evergreen Retreat Bedroom

Evergreen Retreat Bedroom

Evergreen Retreat Bedroom
Each bed has a quilt on it, and a bucket with towels, too! There is a "Dick and Jane" room, a 1930's repro room and a Civil War repro room. They are all just lovely. There are a total of 8 beds.

This place is so well thought out! I didn't get a picture of it, but there's even a room for sewing machine cases and extra stuff like that, so you don't have to clutter up the work room. Every little detail was thought of so carefully. All we will need to bring is our sewing machine and projects!

I can't wait to retreat!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


It's that time again!!! Time for the Doll Quilt Swap! I'm so excited... this will be my 3rd one.

Sign ups are now closed, so it's just a matter of time before my "mama" sends me a partner! I can't wait- it's SO much fun to stalk your partner's blog and Flickr account and then make a mini quilt for them.

I made a little mosaic as an ispiration for the person who will be making a mini for me...

DQS8 Inspiration
1. DQS7 Finished Quilt, 2. STUD September 2009, 3. DQS6, 4. HMQS, 5. cupcake whole, 6. 3 Little Owls Sitting In A Tree..., 7. jan09 swap 1, 8. Mushroom Tote, 9. Dec's 6"-12" mini quilt swap, 10. dqs7, 11. Arcadia front, 12. DQS 7 Sept 15,2009

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Upcoming Project

Upcoming Project
I've had this picked out for AGES! And now that it's 2010 and I finally finished all my Christmas projects (erm... yeah. I just finished today, actually) I can get to work on some exciting stuff!

The pattern is in the book "Let The Good Times Roll" by Heather Mulder Peterson. The fabric is "Swanky" by Chez Moi for Moda. I'll be using a Moda Bella solid white for the background.

Tomorrow we are going to Madison to finally have Christmas with my parents and my sister. My sister makes the most AMAZING pecan pie, and I was just informed that one is in the oven now for tomorrow... YAY!

Friday, January 1, 2010

A Brand New Year!

YAY!!! It's 2010! A brand new year!

We started off the brand new year under the light of a "blue moon"... it was extremely bright, and was casting shadows. It was so beautiful! Hubby and I tried and tried to get some great pictures, but out of 50 shots (!) this is the only one that turned out good...

The Shadow Of The Blue Moon
I think we both resolved to work on our photography skills in 2010 :)

I also decided to start a picture a day for 2010, just random pictures of interesting things I see. I won't be posting the pictures here every day, but I do have a set going on Flickr! This was today's picture:

1/365: Icicles

And I finished my very first project for 2010!! My sister is leaving for a medical missions trip to Haiti next week. She asked me to make her a couple of simple skirts to take with, since women wearing pants is somewhat abnormal in the area she'll be in. So I whipped these out this morning:

First 2010 Finish!

We just got back from a wonderful New Year's dinner at my mother-in-law's house... that woman can cook! On Sunday we are finally going to Madison to see my family for our Christmas celebration! I am glad we finally got some good weather to travel in.