Friday, February 26, 2010

Allrighty then!

We got hit with this storm...18 inches of snow from yesterday until this morning. School's been cancelled the past two days so I've been in kid-mode since then! The guy who plows our driveway didn't bother to show up until 8:30 am today, even after a few nagging curious phone calls, so Dave and I got stuck shoveling out a path for him to get to work. The town plow had just come by so there was a WALL of snow at the foot of the driveway. I think my arms will hurt until June 1st. Anyway, later the kids and I went to the store and then played in the snow. We got inside a little while ago, and while the kids are winding down with Spongebob, I thought I'd check in.
I do have some fun news...I won PamKittyMorning's giveaway! Alex Anderson had given her a few goodies to give away on her blog, and randomly I won. I never EVER win blog contests! I was so excited (still am)! My loot came in the mail yesterday...

I love this pattern, isn't it so cute? And the 4-in-1 sewing tool is awesome. One of those things that I wouldn't buy for myself but will really come in handy. Thanks Pam! You're a peach!
I hope everyone has a fun weekend! I am so tired right now that I can't even think of it yet. Hopefully I'll get a second wind! Take care!

♥ Jen

Monday, February 22, 2010

Happy goodies

It's back to "normal" is back on! It was a fun time with the kids but I always like getting back into a routine. I took the cats to the vet for shots and checkups and they're doing great. Holly is 8.7 lbs. and Willow is 8.2 lbs. They're sleeping it off now. Of course they sleep a lot anyway so who knows.
I hope Donna doesn't mind that I stole her idea! Donna has a really sweet blog and she has lovely taste in decorating. After she posted about her find at Hobby Lobby I had to find it for myself. And I did!

I've never decorated with cloches before but I think they're a great way to display a few goodies. I put in the apples I made awhile ago...doesn't it look cheerful?

I also bought this which I loooooove...

It was in the gardening section...why, I'm not sure? Maybe it's a silverware caddy for the patio? Well I made it into a sewing tool holder...voila!

Hobby Lobby had so many cute things in this black and white pattern...I just fell in love with the bird and the organization of this box. Yippee! Thank you Donna for the inspiration! ♥
I finished the March block for my coffee cup quilt. I'll hold onto pics of that until March 1st to keep myself on track. I gotta say, rick rack is much easier to sew than the trim I used in February's block!
Oh, guess what? I got a letter from Gooseberry Patch that a memory I sent in is going to appear in a new cookbook! So I'll be a twice-published GP'er! The best part of that is that I get the cookbook for free! It's going to be called "Homemade Harvest"....doesn't that sound so inviting?

Off to fold laundry and get a snackie!

♥ Jen

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Little bit of sewing

Hello people! Well, we're in the midst of the kids' winter's been fun so far. We went to the Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester on Monday. We've been there a few times before and it's lots of fun...but MAN! Was it crowded! Even Mason got a headache at the end of the day! But the best part this time was the butterfly garden, which we'd never been to before. There were so many cool butterflies in a rainforest-like environment. Fun!
In-between kid-related activities, I've been doing a little sewing. Or sewing little things, take your pick. I made my first two tuffets!

I made the one on the right first...that one's for me. Lots of teeny tiny little pieces...the nine-patch block in the center is only 2" x 2"! I used Legacy (Collection for a Cause) fabrics for the top and burgundy felt for the back. I wanted to try walnut shells for the filling, but didn't feel like making a trip to the pet store to get them, so I used plastic pellets instead. They fill it out nicely and give it a good heft.

If you're thinking of making tuffets too, I have a bit of every little scrap! For some reason, I guess a cutting error (gasp! Me?!), I didn't have enough of the light dot fabric for the checkerboard I had to piece two one-inch squares (see the lower-right square). Good times!
Mason liked it so he wanted me to make him one too. He picked out the fabrics...these are from Love U. To make it a little pillow, I filled it with regular poly filling. It's very light and soft. ♥

Notice no nine-patch in the center. To feature that fabric I had to cut a whole two-inch square. Made it a bit easier anyway!
In the meantime, I'm still stitching this cutie while relaxing...

I loooove doing embroidery. The pattern suggests using stem stitch but I'm using favorite. Plus I think it works better for the little teeny turns and such. I love getting stitches perfectly straight (on occasion)...I love hearing the pop of the needle through the fabric....I love seeing it take shape...I just love everything about it!

Have a wonderful cozy day if you can!

♥ Jen

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

Enjoy it with your loved ones! I'm home with my family, having a nice cozy day! Lasagna and chocolate-covered strawberries later...can't wait!

The kiddos are home next week so I won't have much time to post, but I will try!

♥ Jen

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Starting a stitchery

Hello and Happy Wednesday! I'm in NY but far enough north that we're just getting a taste of this winter storm. We're expecting about 2-4 inches today. A good day to stay inside and stitch!
I started Kathy Schmitz' Harvest Home stitchery. I bought this pattern last year and I just love it. I have a thing for acorns and leaves so this is perfect.

The only problem is getting the pattern onto the darn fabric. It comes in four sections, on double-sided paper. The suggested method is scanning each quarter onto freezer paper and then tracing the four sections onto the fabric. My scanner is...ahem..."vintage," so it doesn't work with my new laptop. SO, I taped the two bottom halves onto a window and traced them onto freezer paper, then reversed them and traced the top halves. Meanwhile, since the pattern is double-sided you see two sections at once. Good times! Since my arm was screaming at me, I made a makeshift lightbox out of a pane of glass and a table lamp...that helped combat arm fatigue.

Once I had it on the freezer paper (see first photo), I had to trace the whole thing again onto my fabric with water-soluble ink. It took forever! I wish the pattern had been printed on transfer paper, like Aunt Martha's Iron-on Transfers or Lynette Anderson's patterns. Anyway I'm doing the whole thing in DMC's #3857, Dirty Red. It really is super cute. If you have a scanner it will be MUCH easier!
Oh, I did want to show you this pretty print I got at Christmas Tree Shops last week. It was just $16.99 (framed). I hung it in the dining room...

Love me some impressionism!

Off to do some to you later!

♥ Jen

Monday, February 8, 2010

Finished 'em both!

I did, I did! I finished both Madeline and "A Tisket, A Tasket!" Oh, it feels great to have them both done. Which one do you want to see first? Madeline? OK, here it is...

Doesn't it look cute on the table? And almost a whole week to spare! Oh happy day! I quilted it with a new style for me...a general-overall-swirly-dealie...

I liked not having the pressure of making sure the lines didn't cross, like in meandering. It felt more nautral to me. Of course it's nowhere near perfect but it came out pretty good.

What's that? Oh noticed the outer border is not pieced? No, I took the easy way out and just used one fabric. I figured, well, I used so many prints for the blocks that a single fabric border would balance that out. I was just about finished quilting the center when I ran out of my variegated pink thread. So i just subbed in some Gutterman 1105 and you can't even tell. Really...
OK! Onto "A Tisket, A Tasket!" I hung it in our bedroom, on an empty wall between the bathroom and the closet...

And I used Command clips (you know, those kind that come off without damaging the wall) to hold it.

Oh how I love this quilt! It makes me so happy to see it there, DONE no less! Some more photos? Why sure! Glad to oblige!

I forgot to take a picture of the label I made, but it's not very exciting anyway. Just a charm square with embroidered lettering. Anyway, that should be it for the photos of these two quilts! I hope you like them!

Have a great day!

♥ Jen

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Random topics

Hello my friends! How are you? Mason's cold is slowly working its way to me. I don't know what it is, but whenever I'm getting a cold, I have a sore throat and I feel generally lousy for about 4-5 days before it turns into a full-fledged cold. Does that happen to anyone else? I wish I'd just get it already so I could get over it! Ugh. So anyway I'm in the sore-throat-feeling-icky stage. *sniffle*
pink divider
Enough of that! I spent a lot of yesterday finishing up two projects...for the TAT quilt, I have all the butterflies quilted. Now I just have to label it and get it on the wall, somehow. Once I get it COMPLETELY completed I'll take some more pictures. So you'll be thoroughly tired of it, you know.

Madeline's rows are all sewn together, and the inner borders are on. I ended up just using a pink FQ for the inner border. Next step, outer border! Will this be done before Valentine's day? Your guess is as good as mine!
pink divider
Here's some slightly alarming news...

Yes, my K-cup supply is running dangerously low. Never fear, I sped up my auto-shipment from amazon, Relief is on the way. I know you were worried!
pink divider
Hey, for those of you who are good at these sort of things...a question if I may! I'm a room mother in Mason's first-grade class, and I'm in charge of favors for their Valentine's party next week. Any ideas of what to bring? Keep in mind we have a low budget and there are 23 kids. I'm trying to avoid candy. My mind is blank, help!! I'm not avoiding candy for ME though...maybe these will make me feel better..

OK, off to work on Maddy...and if you have any advice I'd love to hear it!

♥ Jen

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Puttering along

I've been working on my Madeline Schnibbles...I think I work realllllly slowly. I read on other blogs that this is such a quick quilt, fast and easy, etc. It takes me at least an hour to make each block. Granted, I cut each one out separately. But if I were to make this in one weekend, including quilting and binding, I'd have to pull a couple of all-nighters! Anyway I really don't care how slow I am, it is  fun to make! Here's my progress so far...

All nine blocks are done. Something I learned? Mixing whites and creams as your neutral doesn't really work. The creams--like you see on the lower right block--look "dirty" next to the bright whites of the block above it. I'll just call this one a learning experience! ☺ And I thought I'd have to buy more reds for the blocks, but instead I just used two fabrics that I had a lot of for the triangles, and found enough in my stash for the rest. That white heart fabric at the bottom may be the inner border...I don't know, it looks a little too large-scale though, now that I'm looking at it. Hmmm. Well, I did get this Lakehouse FQ  bundle this morning...

So maybe I'll just use one of these pinks. Swoon! Oh I love Lakehouse! ♥ I was so happy that my LQS had these. I've really been cutting into my Lakehouse supply lately...need to restock!
For the outer border, I am going to try to mix a bunch of reds like the pattern I did have to get a little extra for that...

This is a really pretty line, unfortunately they were out of FQ bundles. But I just needed some red anyway, I guess it's just as well. I also got some hand-quilting needles and a pretty variegated pink thread for the quilting.
Since it's a new month, I made my February block for my Coffee it is...

More pinks! I used Fig Tree (of course) for the cups and Kona Snow for the background. The handles were a bit tricky...I could NOT find rick-rack to match so I used some trim. It took some tension adjusting and such to get them sewed on but I think they turned out ok.

Happy Groundhog Day, by the way...six more weeks of winter! Do you love the movie Groundhog Day, with Bill Murray? That is one of my all-time favorites. I think I'll try to find it on tv today! Have a good one!

♥ Jen