February 29, 2012

Before and After

Something about this label just didn't sit right with me. It just looked a little...well...second grade. I love hand stamping my labels and I had the idea to bump it up a bit, add some flare, and (most importantly) indulge my inner obsessive perfectionist.

So I removed this label and threw it in the trash.

After which, I attached this label:

There. Much better.

February 28, 2012

Amazing Tuesday top 10

 ~Ten things that remind me of all of the amazingness that surrounds me ~

A spa date
A wonderful massage
a chance to cry and express myself and feel heard
a good friend, worth her weight in gold
remembering the past is in the past
forgiving yourself, it's okay to move on and make the future your own
a brilliant sunny day on Monday - sunny and 40 degrees, that is
no school last week and a week of being sick adding to Mama's exasperation, hoping this week (with health and school) will be better
a date with a lender and pre-approval for (hopefully) a bank-load of cash
20 tea parties a day, everyday

February 27, 2012

Sneak Peek

So, I have stumbled upon these great blogs that let you post finished projects. What a great thing, eh?


I have a finished project (which I plan on posting on said blogs) and I want to offer you a sneak peek, a teaser:

...and then later this week, I'll post a bunch of photos for your viewing enjoyment.

 Man, I love quilts. They are, dare I say, the greatest thing ever. Completing a quilt is the next greatest thing.

February 24, 2012


 You just have to love the Table Runner. It takes no time to cut and piece the fabrics and even less time to get it sewn  together and ready for quilting. Table runners use little batting and even less thread. But, they look awesome and are laid in such a significant place - the dining table. I have a hunch they are seen more than a bed quilt, since we walk by the table and/or through the dining room, many times each day. I made a table runner for Thanksgiving last year and it was such a nice addition to the "feel" of the dining table at mealtime.

I had such a good time with this one, although it might look a little dramatic, I like the natural elements. I think it has a 1970's feel to it, like it should be laid on a table beside a macrame plant hanger, you know? I had a great learning experience using the quarter circle, and, oh, I love the circles in the finished look. This design will be revisited, oh yes.

February 21, 2012

piecing circles

Oh the intimidation of the circle....

I have actually thought, "Can this be done? Can I really sew a smooth circle?" - or quarter circle, as the case may be. Well the answer is yes, with a whole lot of pins. Repeat, a whole lot of pins. I tried to pre-stitch the curve using long hand stitches with basic needle and thread but after playing around a bit, I found that a series of pins, placed about 1/4 inch a part resulted in the cleanest curve. No puckers.





(the back)
I have to admit, I am inspired by the possible designs that a circle can make. I have all of that good fortune laying around - it would make a beautiful quilt with a circular pattern, Mmmmm. So many ideas, so little time....

Amazing Tuesday top 10

~Ten things that remind me of all of the amazingness that surrounds me ~

A festive birthday brunch with my mom, thank you.
A beautiful hand baked birthday cake and ice cream and the birthday song sung for me by my family
36, yeeps, over the half way point
Lots of gray hair, nose hair, chin hair and wild neck hairs
Reconnecting and bridging the gap
Still dreaming and wishing, hoping and praying
Ceramic knives, oh so nice
Rice and beans, beans and rice
Smoked salmon
looking forward to a spa date with a good friend

February 20, 2012


Well today is my birthday (happy birthday, me) and today is the planned day to open my little Esty shop. Needless to say, I didn't make my goal because there is a lot left to do - more stitching, more photos to take, more figuring out the site and its nooks and crannies. I loved having this goal to work towards. I worked on some project or another during every spare minute, and I will continue to work until I'm ready to launch. I have challenged myself, learned new techniques, and - if I do say so myself - I'm making some beautiful quilts that are so well made, my obsessive perfectionism is paying off.

I am not thinking about this as a goal not met. Sometimes we fall short. The possibility of not making a goal coincides with the making of the goal in the first place. I think the best thing to do is focus on all of the progress that has been made, all of the learning that has taken place, and the experience of it all. So stay tuned, the shop will open soon, which will a very exciting day, and until then it's one joyful stitch at a time.

February 19, 2012


I am planning a table runner with the pebble landscape fabric and batiks....

I love to "see" a preview of my quilts, so I make a sketch on graph paper before I start cutting and piecing. It's a helpful way to plan the placement of colors because sometimes too much of one color ends up in one corner, you know? A preview is nice...and saves time in the long run.

February 17, 2012

Love Letter

 Dear Acquaintance,

We met briefly during the binding-making step of my last quilt and, very recently, we met again. Each time we come together, your abilities inspire me and save me time. Where did you come from, Dear Friend? Who invented you? I swoon at the sight of you. Where ever your past has led you, I am so very grateful that we are together now and I dream of a long and fruitful future together.

You preform your task so effortlessly. Your sleek shape and ability to fold fabric from a wide 2 inch strip into a 1 inch binding (with 1/2 inch fold) is amazing. I never thought I would meet anyone like you. Among all of the gadgets in this crazy quilting world, you are my favorite and I am convinced we are meant for each other.  I will always hold a place for you in my heart (and beside my iron).

I can't help look forward to the next time we meet. Let's make beautiful binding together.

Yours always,


February 16, 2012

Valentine's revisited

 I'm not much of a fan of Valentine's day. There have been years where I have celebrated it alone, years where I forgot the holiday was going on at all, and - then on the other hand - years with Cutie where we celebrate our love with a steak dinner, nice wine, and loving gazes. I have always felt that everyday is a good day to celebrate those we love, not just one day designated for the emotion.

Valentine's day was on Tuesday and with our budget being so tight, I felt like there was little I could do in the way of fancy celebration dinners etc, except say with heartfelt sincerity, "I love you." I have also been in quite a funk lately with holdups like that broken foot pedal and some surprise debt (don't ask).

Then something happened...Cutie came home early this Valentine's day with a red rose, some lovely wine, and a big bar of chocolate (oh be still my heart!). And then he fixed my foot pedal!!!

And then he fixed my foot pedal!!! 

This is absolutely one of the things I love about Cutie. He can fix anything. Anything. I have seen him take the vacuum apart, computer, espresso machine, kids' toys, on and on, fixing each one as he goes. And not just dusting inside said appliances, he's messing with the mother board and such. He has done numerous car repairs - replacing starters, bleeding breaks, tune ups, heaters, oil, diagnostic...It's truly amazing. I am in awe.

I stayed up until 1am this Valentine's free motion quilting, thanks to Cutie and his handy gift. I finished the quilting on the Game Board quilt, just the binding is left to do. But, more importantly, my enthusiasm and excitement are back and I'm ready to go!

So, in summary, this Valentines' day was a mix. A mix of funk, gratefulness, awe and appreciation for my partner, who knows what the perfect gift is - using his natural talent to fix something necessary. Thank you.

February 15, 2012


I have a tendency to get going on something and then something happens and throws a wrench into my process (sorry for the ambiguity). Here's an example: I have plans to make a few quilts and list them on Etsy. I have been working really hard and plan on listing all I have made on 2/20, my birthday. Then something happens...the foot pedal on my sewing machine breaks (the wrench) and my process slams to a halt. The smart and positive thing to do would be to order a new pedal (and this what I plan on doing). It's also a money issue - there is no money for a new pedal. But I have to pull myself out of old dysfunctional patterns of letting the wrench shut down my entire exciting process. I am convinced the wrench is a symbol of defeating self-talk. I almost have to go out-of-body and pull myself up by the shoulder and say, "Hey, stop wallowing...go order a new pedal."

It's hard. That wrench really gets me down. I do believe this is the first post in which I don't have anything bright to say, or project progress to report. Just a damn wrench thrown into the creative machine. Creativity has ups, and downs, that's for sure.

February 14, 2012

Amazing Tuesday top 10

~Ten things that remind me of all of the amazingness that surrounds me ~

A first time home buyers class, 5 hours long
A very sweet and generous Grandma who watched two crazy kids for 5 hours
The Gammys
Getting geared up for Valentine's day at preschool
A production line of valentines and cookies
Frogs with lips
Involving my kids in kitchen baking - letting them crack eggs, stir, and sit on the counter.
Coming to grips with the fact I need to order a new foot pedal...so I can resume sewing
Wishing and hoping
Dreaming and praying

February 11, 2012

Now it's gone

I have been using a disappearing ink pen to mark the straight lines on my Game Board quilt. I wanted to post the brand but I threw away the packaging...and the pen doesn't even have the brand printed on it, alas. It's a very nifty gadget though and it has been helpful to pre-mark the lines before stitching, very helpful.

I have found that the marked lines begin to fade very quickly, minutes in fact, after marking them. So I have been working with a great sense of haste once the lines are marked. When I am sewing, I often have to re-mark the lines - they fade that fast. And then there's the strange sensation I get from placing bright purple ink lines on a quilt top which took weeks to assemble, yeeps. But they fade, they do, and what's left are nice straight stitched lines and one quilter's satisfaction from a brilliant gadget pen.

February 10, 2012


I read once - and I don't recall the source (perhaps literature from the 1950s) - that by the year 2000 we should have flying cars and personal flying devices, like jet-packs.

I see neither of these in everyday use, even in 2012...however, right now, I am sitting outside on a sunny day, blogging, reaching billions of people (potentially), showing off my craft, sharing my thoughts, and feeling fulfilled. I am able to work and watch my kids run and play in the sun. I can upload pictures of the quilts I make and share them, visually, with many. In turn, I can see others' crafts from blogs all around the world.

If this is considered the future, I'm pretty satisfied. I'll take a global exchange of ideas over jet-packs anyday.

February 8, 2012

Mixing it up

I have started quilting this quilt recently. This new project is a game-board design and I decided to use straight stitching and free motion meandering. I am falling in love with straight stitch quilting. I love the way it looks...or perhaps because that free motion quilting is rather stressful. The fabrics in this quilt are: Children At Play by Michael Miller, a solid Kona tangerine, and unbleached cotton.

I was up before sunrise this morning with a big cup coffee, getting everything ready for a free motion marathon. When the smoke cleared, I free motion quilted for approximately 2 hours. (I regretted cancelling my chiropractic appointment.) ...But I am one tier closer to completion.

February 7, 2012

Amazing Tuesday top 10

 ~Ten things that remind me of all of the amazingness that surrounds me ~

Hanging laundry on the line, not using the dryer, for the first time this year, in February.
Free motion quilting and how amazing it was I had the guts to try it in the first place.
Getting to celebrate two of my favorite people this weekend and their birthdays.
Cutie's new hair-do
Blogging in the sun, outside. WiFi, I love you.
A big bowl of popcorn made for 2 kids at 3:30 in the afternoon.
Experiencing Etsy from the inside, playing and learning the format.
Bedtime for two crazy kids, peace for Mama
A big glass of red wine.

February 5, 2012

Good Fortune, Baby.

I was perusing the upcoming Moda fabric lines one night, this was back in October, and I stumbled upon Good Fortune by Kate Spain. The release date was January 2012. I waited...and then recently I saw it listed for sale as yardage. That's when my credit card caught on fire! Yes, I ordered some...and I have never felt more fortunate!

This is the orange/blue/green color scheme:

Oh, be still my heart, this is the blue/violet/purple color scheme:

And this is the green/blue/violet/gray color scheme (notice the zen garden with rake marks):

I can't rave enough about how absolutely soft and sturdy and delicious this fabric is. It has a fabulous "weight" to it. My head is spinning with quilt designs and with any luck you will see a couple of quilts made from this fabric, very soon.

February 3, 2012


One Cassette Tape, Atari, 80's theme quilt with black, white and lime green elecrtic-ness, COMPLETE!