Monday, November 28, 2011


Well, I made a blanket.

It's my very first one (so be kind).

But it's definitely not my last. I found the whole process thoroughly enjoyable!

I didn't use a pattern - it's just one big huge granny square bordered by some double crochet and a little scalloped edge.

And it's another Christmas gift. So I've completed two gifts and it's not even December yet! That has got to be a first for me.

I love how smooshy and cozy it is. Of course, the kids each want their own blankets now.

In the meantime, I'll leave you with this picture of Bailey. Yes, she has been sleeping with her pumpkin from the pumpkin patch (usually it's tucked in under the covers with her) and yes, she's kind of flipping the bird. Precious.

Have a good one!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Wishing a very Happy Thanksgiving to all the stateside folks. Well, really everyone. We can all take a moment for gratitude!

One thing we are incredibly grateful for is the amazing support shown to this little fella.

Cute shirt, huh? Sent to us from Lolly Polly Kids to celebrate Owen and his stint as Grand Marshal for the Jingle Bell Run/Walk.

We are deep into Thanksgiving preparations at our house. Pumpkin roasting for the homemade pumpkin pies, turkey defrosting, stuffing being all mixed up with onions, herbs, and celery. Good times. Our house is the gathering place for this holiday and it's great to stay home and fill the house with the delicious smells of the day.

In addition to being grateful for our family, friends, health, and home, I am so thankful that you all stop by to spend a little time in this space.

Let the celebration begin!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Fractal quilt

Okay, so my husband and I were chilling out one evening after the kids were in bed. Time alone? No kids around? What's a couple to do?

Yeah, so we were watching a NOVA special on PBS about fractal geometry. No, seriously. We're weird like that.

Gary is kind of a math and science geek. Degrees in math, chemistry, the whole nine yards. Me? I took as little math as possible in school and although I got good at it, I used my proficiency to avoid math at the college level. You needed to get 60 points on one of the placement exams to pass out of taking any required math courses at my university, so I used every brain cell I had to score 61 points. But I digress....

So we're sitting there watching all these images of fractals and I'm thinking, "These would make totally cool quilts!" But I don't say anything out loud because I'm sure that my math geek husband will roll his eyes at me.

Then you know what he says to me? "Hey, these kind of look like quilts."


And there we were: the math geek and the quilt geek. A marriage made in heaven.

But out of all that came this:

For those of you who don't know what a fractal is (and I sure didn't until I watched the NOVA special), it's a geometric shape that can be split into smaller parts, and each of those parts is a reduced size copy of the whole.

Here's an example of a square within a square fractal that was the inspiration for this quilt:

You start out with one square-in-square (SIS), which is in turn made up of smaller SIS. Then those smaller SIS are made up of even smaller SIS. I had to stop there because I thought I might go insane piecing it any smaller. Now though, I kinda wish I had done it. Oh well....

Anyway, Gary picked out the colors and I got busy cutting and sewing. This was actually a pretty easy quilt to put together because I was able to chain piece everything.

Deciding how to quilt it took me awhile. I knew I wanted straight line quilting along the outside borders but I wasn't sure about what to do over the actual fractal image. I found a great fractal pattern but knew that it would be impossible for me to try to duplicate in on the quilt top. Finally, I settled on this simple diagonal line version. I like that it doesn't overwhelm the fractal design.

And the straight lines in the center of the quilt? Yeah, total PITA at the start because you have to turn the quilt so much, but it does look pretty cool now that it's done.

And the back:

Had to add that one orange square in there to complement the orange binding. I really like how the back turned out and I think the quilt will look fine however it lands on the sofa.

Here's a detail of the corners where the straight lines all intersect. It's one of my favorite parts about this quilt.

It's now washed and crinkled up and ready to be given to Gary for Christmas. YES! I finished a Christmas gift before Thanksgiving. High five!

Friday, November 18, 2011

On your mark....

Get set....


What could be better on a crisp Fall day?

Almost done binding the latest quilt. Can't wait to show you!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Weekend sewing

A little peek at how I spent part of my weekend.

I cannot WAIT to show this quilt once it's completed! It's a Christmas present for my hubby, the math and science geek.

A little snippet of the back.

And lots and LOTS of straight line quilting. I figure I'll need a couple more hours to finish the quilting and do the machine portion of attaching the binding.

And then I'll be able to focus on a couple of other things.

Sometimes, when I get in the groove on a project it's very hard for my brain to let it go. I obsess and obsess until I can finally get it done. Then it's like my brain breathes a big sigh of relief and makes room for other thoughts. Anyone else like that?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Boxed corners

I was playing around the other day with a new-to-me way of doing boxed corners. Want to see?

I made this little fabric basket inspired by Ayumi's wonderful tutorial over at Pink Penguin.

Usually, boxed corners are made by pinching the sides and bottom together to form a corner and then stitching and trimming the resulting triangle so that the box or bag has a flat bottom and can stand on it's own.

Instead of using that method, which is worked from the wrong side of the box or bag, I boxed the corners on the outside.

Folding the corners up in this way makes for an interesting detail on the outside of the basket. I stitched the corners to the sides and then hid the stitches under a small button.

So, if you're looking for a new or different way to finish the bottoms of your fabric boxes or bags, give this method a try!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Slowly getting back to some sort of normal around here. With a kindergartner and a preschooler in the mix, I figure sniffles and colds are going to be a part of daily life more often than not.

To ease out of my non-crafting state, I finished up these cold weather pj pants for the kids.

Owen picked out all of his fabrics. Spiderman, Lightning McQueen, and Mater. No real surprises there.

Bailey got the cute girly flannel that was on sale over the summer. Yes, that's a lot of pj pants but I did add a cuff to three of them so they should last through next winter as well. I hope.

I have a feeling this is the last time I'll be able to get away with making jammie pants for them using only one yard of fabric.

More sewing planned for later this week. And crochet. Did I mention I'm making a blanket? Yep. I'm crocheting a blanket.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Asleep at the wheel

Not really, but I am a bit under the weather. Must have picked up a little bug or something. That and my sewing machine is in the shop getting a little look-over for a weird squeak and strange tension thingy. I'm real technical. Can you tell?

Meanwhile, I took the risk of waking Miss Bailey to get this picture.

She takes her princesses very seriously. Apparently they all needed to be just so as she tucked them in to bed. Can't imagine where she gets that from (cough).

Enjoy the extra hour this weekend! I'll be back soon with some more crafty goodness.