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

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Something New :)

I have always liked the Amy Butler "Birdie Sling" pattern. My biggest trouble was deciding what fabrics I wanted to make it from! Then the Poppies from Laura Gunn came out :)

New Birdie Sling!
I made this last night at a lock-in. It took me about 4 1/2 hours total, start to finish. Somehow I had the impression it would take longer and be harder, but it really wasn't hard to make at all :)

I'm really happy to have a new bag! I still love my black, white and red purse...

Purse 1
But it's a little small. I like having a nice big bag...

Retreat Projects
That I can put my grocery bags in when I go out!

The super cute background stuff you can see in the Birdie Sling bag picture is at Tammy Tadd Designs in Sycamore, IL, where the lock-in was held :)

Friday, February 26, 2010

Busy Little Bee(s)!

Keeping up with five online bees is no small task! Add in Hubby's unexpected surgery and recovery... well, it wasn't hard to fall behind in February. I've been catching up, though :)

APOWB: February
This is for Julie in the A Piece Of Work B bee. She's making a quilt for her son using these fun blocks!

Scraptastic Bee: February
These are for Heidi in the Scraptastic Bee.

SDQB: February
This is for Adrienne in the Sweet Dreams Quilting Bee. I had a lot of fun making this totally wonky and free-pieced block!

Buzz Cuts: February
This is for Rachel in the Buzz Cuts bee.

Buzz Cuts: February
A second block for Rachel in the Buzz Cuts bee.

I'm still working on a block for The Block Swap 2 block. I plan to mail that on Monday :)

And lastly:

March is my month in the Buzz Cuts bee!! I agonized for WEEKS about what to send, and finally decided on...
Buzz Cuts- March Fabrics
My favorite hen fabrics!! I'm asking for fun, whimsical blocks... do the hens eat mushrooms? Have a gnome farmer? Gaze at the stars? Live in a log cabin? I am really looking forward to seeing what the wonderfully creative people in the Buzz Cuts bee come up with :)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

I Like Normal!!

Normal is good... just the plain old everyday stuff that needs to be done. That's what yesterday and today have been... just plain normal! Hubby has resumed all normal activities. He's still a bit sore, but everything is healing so nicely! Thank you so much to all my blogland and Twitter friends for all your kind wishes for a speedy recovery!

I actually made something today!!! I finally got some inspiration for my DQS8 quilt. My first idea totally bombed. I scrapped it completely. But I LOVE the simplicity of this new design- it really calls attention to the fabrics!

 DQS8 Quilt Top
It's about 20" square. I am so glad I finally got some inspiration!!

I also was inpired for the Pillow Talk swap :) That's tomorrow's project.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

No Sewing Here!

On Sunday night Hubby began to have some pain in his abdomen. Yesterday he had an emergency appendectomy. Fortunately it was caught before the appendix ruptured!

He's home now, a little tired and in some pain but overall doing well. I hope to get started on some sewing projects again on Friday.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Latest Finish

Back in October we were visiting friends in Rochester, NY. Can I just say that I LOVE the Finger Lakes region of NY? SO gorgeous!

Anyhoo... while visiting I was at a quilt shop with some friends, one of them came across a pattern for a backpack. It's called "My Favorite Backpack" and it's by Turkey Track Designs. This friend doesn't sew, but she really wanted this backpack, so I offered to make it for her. We picked out some fabrics, I came home to Illinois... and there the fabric and pattern sat. And sat. And sat...

I decided the other day that October to February was a ridiculous timeframe for what really should only be a one day project. So, I pulled everything out and made the backpack!!

Lovely Texture!
I made the large piece of patchwork for the main backpack and quilted it in my new favorite way- I *love* the texture this quilting has!

Finished Backpack
And here is the finished backpack!! I'm pretty happy with it... if I ever make another one I will figure out how to line it, though. The pattern has you zig-zag finish the raw seams but I really, really don't like how it turned out inside.

We did feel the earthquake that hit Northern Illinois yesterday morning. We both thought there had been an explosion at first. It was only when the windows kept rattling that I realized it was an earthquake! The cat totally freaked out. It cracked the grout between the kitchen sink and the backsplash. But our foundation is fine and no other damage was done. It was a bit freaky though!!

The only other "news" is that I deactivated my Facebook account today. If you were my friend there, I'm really sorry, but I spend WAY too much time on the Internet, and on Facebook in particular. I've thought about doing it for a long time, and when they changed it... again... to a format I really didn't like I knew it was time :)

Friday, February 5, 2010

A Lovely Award!

My friend Michaela over at Craft Farm has honored me by choosing me for a "Gorgeous Blog" award! She gave it to me "for reminding me that quilting/sewing with friends is much better". Isn't that sweet? Michaela lives fairly close to me and is one of the few blogging friends I have met in person, too :)

I am supposed to pick 5 people that I would like to give this award to. This is going to be so hard!

1. AccioFabric: Vicki is the one who badgered pushed me into made me encouraged me to start a blog and get on Flickr in the first place :)
2. PaigeAlaine: Paige does the most beautiful long-arm machine quilting I have ever seen, and it is always so inspiring to watch her ideas in action!
3. Summer At Grandma's House: Kris is one of the other bloggy friends I have met in person, and her work is always so bright and fun and inspired!
4. QuiltDad: John always has amazingly modern look blocks. It is fun to have a man's perspective on what is usually considered to be a woman's tradition, and I have learned a lot from John :)
5. I'm Just A Guy Who Quilts: I seriously would love to have the opportunity to go fabric shopping with Ryan sometime! His posts about the things he finds are great... I realize that I might not have even looked at some of the fabrics he chose. As with John, I learn a lot from having the male perspective through Ryan as well!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Keeping It Real { Inspired by Heather and Ryan}

Recently two of my favorite bloggers have posted "keep it real" posts, telling a bit about their lives and the things they like. So, inspired by Heather and Ryan, here goes!
Some things about me:

I LOVE old movies, especially musicals! If I could dance with Fred Astaire or Gene Kelly, or be sung to by Frank Sinatra or Bing Crosby... oh, how wonderful that would be!

I am terrified of spiders. The day I acutally killed a spider all by myself is still the proudest moment of my life :)

I cannot imagine life without music. I always, always have music playing! I have never played an instrument, but I LOVE music. All kinds of music, too. My i-Pod has everything from classical to country to rock. My favorite bands show my different musical tastes: Alison Kraus and Union Station, Enya, Runaway Dorothy, Simon and Garfunkel, Fergie, Evanescence and Within Temptation are my top favorites. Currently I am listening to a mix of music from when I was a teen- Bush, Vertical Horizon, Pearl Jam, etc.

I have lived in 2 states- Illinois and New York. I lived in the Champaign area until I was 15, then we moved to near Rochester, NY. I moved back to Illinois, this time near Chicago, when I was 22.

I've known my husband since I was 15- more than half my life!

We got married on New Year's Eve.

My husband and I never officially "dated"... we just kind of got together :) In all our lives we have never been to a movie theatre together!

I would love to spend my birthday in Kitty Hawk, NC. I was born on the 75th anniversary of flight.

I am a homemaker, and I feel so blessed to be able to care for my home and cook and have my own schedule. I had several jobs over the years, mostly in the medical field, and hated all of them. The day Hubby and I decided it would be good for me to quit my job and stay home remains as one of the happiest in my life!

We have no children yet. We both want them, but I am overweight and we both feel it would be healthier to wait until I am slimmer. I've been working on it, but sometimes it seems so slow.

I love driving! I will sometimes take off on long, long drives through the country, just because I can!

I love, love, LOVE to garden and cook from scratch and make jam and bread and yogurt.

Hubby and I both love to read. Our living room looks like a library that's run out of space- most of the shelves have 2 layers of books on them. I also like audiobooks. They are great for quilting!

Quilting and knitting make me happy :)

I love writing my blog, and I would write it even if I knew that no one read it!

I am so happy to have found this online quilting community! It's so very inspiring, and so diverse!

Hubby and I decided to turn our TV out for a week back in September 2005 because we thought we watched it too much. It hasn't been watched since! I do not have any idea what shows are on, what shows are good, or what shows are popular (except "Lost"). We enjoy our evenings together reading, knitting (me) or playing games like Yahtzee and Mastermind, and haven't missed the TV in the least!

I have an extremely sarcastic sense of humor and sometimes I unintentionally offend or hurt people because of it.

I try my very best to find something to be thankful for in every situation, even in times of pain or hardship. Sometimes I don't succeed, but I do try and usually I can find something to be thankful for! There wasn't much good, for example, when I badly hurt my shoulder a couple summers ago. But I was SO thankful to have my mom come and help me cook meals to freeze, and for my neighbor to help me keep up with the garden, and for my Hubby to not complain about doing the housework after he'd already spent a long day at work!

And lastly, I love God with all my heart. I do not go to church, I have been burned too many times by "Christians" who really only care that I give my offering money every week. I do not believe I need to attend a church to love God, though. He is everywhere!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Going Places!

I go to a lot of quilting retreats and lock-ins. My friend Vicki hosts a really fun lock-in down at Tammy Tadd Designs 2 Saturdays a month. We have SO much fun!

What isn't fun, though, is running around my sewing room, gathering the things I think I'll need to take! I always grab things I don't need... and usually forget to grab things I do need :)

So I decided to make a travel kit! Everything in the kit would be always there and ready to go, and not used at any other time.

New Quilting Travel Bag
So I grabbed some of my very favoritest fabrics EVER, from the "Wild Thyme" collection from P&B Fabrics. And I made a nice big zippered bag.

Inside Travel Bag
This bag can hold a lot of stuff, including some smaller rulers!

Side A- Travel Bag
And each side is fixed up with some elastic bands to hold things! This one also has a pocket to hold bobbins, sewing machine needles and the seam ripper that I need more than I'd like to admit :)

Side B- Travel Bag
This side has more elastic bands, and a detachable pincushion with pins!

Now instead of spending part of the day packing to go to a lock-in, I can just grab this gab and go :)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Making Fabric

For DQS8 I am planning a cherry-themed mini quilt. And I thought it would be cute to applique some cherries in the center, and put some borders on it.

And then I thought, "wouldn't it be super cute if the cherries and stems and leaves were wool"? And then I thought "wouldn't it be extra super cute if I MADE the wool fabric"?

At this point I realized I was crazy, but the idea just wouldn't go away. So I headed to my local fiber shop and got some lovely wool yarn, and spent about 10 hours knitting some cloth. I washed it 3 times in hot water, and viola! I have knitted wool fullcloth, ready to be made into appliques!

DQS8 So Far...
It needs to dry overnight, then tomorrow I can really get going on the minis. Yeah, I said "minis"... I just KNOW I'm going to love this so much I won't want to give it away. So I am making 2 at once... one for me, one for my DQS8 partner :)