Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

My three favorite goofballs and I wish you a very Happy Halloween!

I made Bailey's costume. Her request: to be an orange princess. I think I got that one covered. In her big shimmery pouf of a dress, complete with sparkling tiara, she is one happy camper.

Owen had the skeleton shirt already and then we found the gloves in a $1 bin at the craft store. After purchasing some black sweatpants, I decided to make a stencil of the leg bones and just use some acrylic craft paint I already had to complete his costume. He LOVES it!

We've already been trick-or-treating at Daddy's office (an annual tradition) and are looking forward to heading out tonight for a little while. They've already collected their body weight in sugar so I know we're in for a crash later tonight and probably tomorrow, too. Thank goodness it's only once a year!

Friday, October 28, 2011


I am in constant amazement. Really.

Every. Single. Day.

Here's one of the current reasons:

A dry field trip to the farm and pumpkin patch with Miss B's preschool class. Good times! Huge difference from last year (when we did NOT wear our boots) and the fields were nothing but a big ole mud slick.

Another reason I'm feeling the love:

I recently grabbed up some sweet fabric from Ashley's destash and asked about any FMF scrap packs she might have. I'm trying to put together a small and simple quilt using some of the coveted fabric as a fundraiser for the Arthritis Foundation. She was so gracious and kind and she sent me these gorgeous pieces. I never cease to be amazed at the kindness within the sewing/quilting/crafting community.

And the crazy amazing cherry on top of everything?

I am now the grateful and awestruck owner of this amazing book.

After posting about my search for Patchwork Patterns 318, I was sent a few leads on getting a copy. None of them panned out. The book was either already sold or waaaaay out of my price range. I kept looking but must admit that my search became somewhat half-hearted.

About two months later, I got an email from Stephanie, who read my blog post and was about to list her copy on etsy. I was headed out to Camp JAM and asked if she could wait to list it until I got back from camp because if I could afford, I would take it!

Well, imagine my surprise when I returned from camp to find an email from Stephanie, telling me about her grandmother's lifelong love of sewing and how she'd had to stop when her arthritis became too painful. Stephanie wanted to give me this book. And I promptly burst into tears.

I mean, really? We hear all the time from so many places what a messed up world we live in. I'm telling you - this world is great! People are amazing! There is goodness all around.

So I sit here. Filled with gratitude for family and friends and strangers who have become special people in my life. Life is wonder-full.

And yes, I know I used the word "amazing" a lot in this post. What can I say? It is what it is.

Monday, October 24, 2011

A Snow Globe is Born

Thanks goodness for the PMQG all day sew this past weekend. I actually completed a quilt top and worked on my latest paper pieced block. A snow globe for Melinda!

Melinda is one of my new friends over in the Cocorico bee on flickr. Her theme was "Vintage Christmas". I remember collecting snow globes as a child. I just loved shaking them up and watching the sparkley snow fall down over the scene!

This block was lots of fun to work on, though in the interest of full disclosure I have to admit to spending a bit of quality time with my seam ripper. There are a couple of places that I wish I had done a little differently but overall, I think it turned out okay.

Here's a picture with a ruler in it to give you an idea of the scale. Tiny! Curved piecing still makes me very nervous, so I made the snow globe and will applique that onto the background fabric.

And that quilt top I finished? Hopefully, I can get that basted and quilted up in the next week or so. It all depends on the kids and schedules and life.

Speaking of which.... this past weekend the whole family went to the Jingle Bell Run/Walk kick-off party and it was a blast. We got to speak about our family's experience with Owen and his juvenile arthritis. And Owen even got up in front of about 350 people and told a joke. I'm so proud of him! If you'd like to help him reach his goal, just follow the link on the top right of the blog.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Cocorico ~ Krista's Block

November is Krista's month over in the Cocorico paper piecing bee on flickr. She chose "Hit the Slopes" as her theme because her whole family enjoys winter sports and skiing. One of her inspiration photos was a ski boot, so I tried to tackle that.

I really enjoyed designing this block and figuring out how to get that typical ski boot look with the leg portion leaning forward. I'm a little worried that the fabric choices have made the boot a little busier than I would have preferred, but Krista likes it and that's what's most important!

If you are interested in trying paper piecing or want a cute winter pattern to sew up, check out Kerry's very first PDF pattern for sale! Kerry's work is impeccable and I just know that the same amount of thought and care that she puts into her sewing has been put into this pattern. I just purchased mine and can't wait to stitch a few up. And she promises more patterns to come.

Looking forward to beginning a new quilt this weekend at our guild's all day sew. What are you working on?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Guild Love

The Portland Modern Quilt Guild and the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild are doing a little swap!

Recently, the uber-talented Susan Beal visited KCMQG to do a presentation on modern log cabins. The notion of a swap was brought up and next thing we all knew - the two guilds each had stacks of cards with people's names/blogs/flickr names - all the proper tools for stalking a secret partner to make them a potholder!

I can't tell you who I made this little potholder for because my partner hasn't received it yet. But I hope she likes it! It was really fun to use the "Kansas Girl" flour sack fabric as the center of this log cabin block.

I decided to go with curved corners and bias binding for a couple of reasons. One, I really like the look. And two, I wanted more practice using bias binding since I usually finish my quilts with the binding cut on the straight grain.

I really like this print that I used on the back. For some reason, I've been really drawn to reproduction fabrics lately. They seem so fun and lively and the colors are great. The hanging loop is some printed ribbon I had on hand.

The quilting on potholders almost always seems really poofy to me. I think it's the fact that I use two layers of warm and natural plus a layer of insulbrite. There's nothing worse than a cute potholder that burns your hands.

Can't wait til this little gift lands with it's recipient. And thanks KCMQG for swapping with us!

Monday, October 17, 2011

We interrupt our regularly scheduled blogging...

Hi everyone!

That's my awesome superhero all decked out for last year's Jingle Bell Run. And this year? He's an honoree! That means our family will provide a "face" for juvenile arthritis and help to promote the event as well as the mission of the Arthritis Foundation.

Odds are someone you know has arthritis. Despite popular misconception, arthritis can affect anybody. 300,000 children in the US have doctor diagnosed arthritis, and 3 out of every 5 people with arthritis are under the age of 65.

Researchers in the field don't talk about "if" they will find a cure; they talk about "when". By raising money, we hope to make a difference and bring us all closer to a cure.

That's why we have organized a team, Owen's Superheroes, to participate in and raise money for the Jingle Bell Run/Walk. Our goal is to raise $3,000 for arthritis research.

I'm asking for your help.

There's a link to Owen's donation page over at the top right of the blog sidebar. PLEASE feel free to repost or link to this post on your own blog so that we can all be superheroes for Owen. Tweet about it or mention it on your facebook page. Even if you can't donate, spreading the word raises awareness.

Thank you so much for taking the time to consider supporting this cause that is so important to our family! Now back to our regularly scheduled crafting.....

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Halloween Snack Mats!

Unable to attend Sewing Summit last weekend, I consoled myself by making some Halloween snack mats and placemats.

Here are the six snack mats.

These were super fun to make and I absolutely LOVE the Cosmo Cricket Halloween fabric (purchased at the Fabric Depot outdoor sale for you locals).

And can I just say that I am officially hooked on straight line quilting. The texture is so great and it's a perfect no-brainer for small projects like this when I can just zone out at the machine.

These are destined for my two kids and four of their bestest friends to celebrate the holiday season.

Once I get the binding done on the placemats, I'll show them to you. Have you started any fall crafting?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Angel swap revealed

Remember way back when ... I was an angel in the Spicing Up the Kitchen Swap over on flickr.

Well, my partner received her package so I can finally reveal the full contents!

I made a table runner, hotpad, and potholder.

I was able to use one of my favorite Suzuko Koseki prints and the wonderful seed catalog print from Annie's Farm Stand by Lakehouse.

The potholder was really fun to quilt with all those diagonals making little diamonds.

And the hotpad was made of tiny patchwork of some beloved scraps. I've really enjoyed making hotpads like this to use on our dining table. I make them a bit larger than a potholder and don't include a hanging loop so it lies perfectly flat on the table.

So, some simple and fun projects. I'm happy to say that my partner likes them!

There are a lot more projects in the to-do pile but I'm lacking the time to tackle them at the moment. Hopefully, an upcoming all-day sew with the Portland Modern Quilt Guild will give me the chance to get a few things completed.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


We've been a little preoccupied with turning four.

It's kind of awesome, as you can see.

Happiest Birthday Miss B.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Stylish sandwiches

In an effort to be a little more green when it comes to lunches I've been making some stylin' sandwich wraps!

They have the kid seal of approval (especially since I let them choose some of their own exterior fabrics) and the mom seal of approval because they can be machine washed and dried.

And they're cute. Always a plus for me.

Some of them have little twill pull tabs at the opening flap but they weren't really necessary so I didn't put them on all of them.

The lining is nylon (no vinyl!). And I love that the whole thing can open up flat to make a nice little placemat/eating area.

People have been asking so I thought I'd let you know that these are available in the shop!