Saturday, March 29, 2014

A hungry giraffe and my sewing machine




I have never been this close to a giraffe!







We just returned from a quick Spring Break trip.

This week began with a soccer game in Jekyll Island Georgia, where I was fortunate enough to see a dolphin in the water right behind the soccer field. 

Luckily, the bugs weren't too bad this time.  They only got us a few times.

I don't have any pictures of that. 

It's so nice to visit that area of Georgia, but bug spray is a must.  I'm not kidding.




This is the actual Atlantis Shuttle that was in space.  If you zoom in, you can see quilting on the shuttle.




Later in the week, we took a fun trip to the Kennedy Space Center and the Brevard Zoo.

We spent a few days in the Merritt Island, Florida area, seeing the sights and eating some great food.  








At the Brevard Zoo, we were able to feed the giraffes!

It was unbelievable.

They come right up to you and eat, what we think was a sweet potato, right out of your hand.







It was amazing to see these sweet and gentle creatures so close up!

You can see my pink jacket and my pink iphone in this picture.

The other hand is my son's, who fed the giraffe too.








We had been thinking about going to the zoo on our second day there, then we saw the posts by my friend Lois about her recent trip to the Brevard Zoo and we decided we had to go.

I took a picture of the same Giant Anteater that Lois wrote about.

My teenaged son loved the Anteater and he also enjoyed kayaking through the zoo!

We all got in kayaks and took a trip through the zoo!

That was pretty cool!








 The Kennedy Space Center was probably the highlight of the trip for my "math - science boys" and I enjoyed it too.

The new Atlantis Space Shuttle Exhibit was really interesting and also we took an extra tour out to Launch Complex 39A.

It was originally built for the Apollo program and later it was used for Space Shuttle launches.

Ours was one of the last tours to Launch Complex 39A, as it will soon be leased out for commercial use.

There is so much going on at the Kennedy Space Center!



What does my sewing machine have to do with any of this?

Well, I dropped one of mine off for a cleaning on our way to Merritt Island.

 When I picked it, up they told me that some of the issues I had been having with the case for a few years, light hanging down slightly and the buttons sticking, were warranty issues that were easily fixed with a new front cover. WooHoo!

 That's not what I had been told at a different shop a few years ago.  I was told that those things were going to be pricy fixes and I was better off waiting for the light to burn out before I got it fixed.

I'm so glad I took it to this sewing machine dealer for a cleaning this time.  It is usually out of the way for me, but I decided to take it there since were passing by on our trip.

Because of the change in the front cover, this issue leads to a new slide on table under warranty if I bring in my old one.

While looking for my old slide on table in my closet last night, I noticed it smelled a little musty in there.

......insert big sigh here......

So, on this rainy day you will find me cleaning out my closet and getting rid of some things.  I'm thinking I've just got too much in there, most of which I don't even wear anymore, and just not enough air circulation in that closet.

Cleaning out closets is not my favorite thing to do, but I'll be making a run to Goodwill later in the week to give some of those things away.

Maybe I'll take a break later and look at some quilt books that I've been meaning to read!

Not a bad thing to be doing with a sewing machine at the shop!




Saturday, March 22, 2014

This one is mine









While I'm waiting for this pizza to bake, I'll fill you in on my latest project.









I've made a few of these Lollipop Bags by Atkinson Designs as thank yous for friends and for swaps and that kind of thing, but as much as I like them I've never made one of my own.









They've been on my list for a few years.


 There's even a pile of fabrics here, some of them cut and ready to go, that I've been meaning to use for a few of these bags for myself.









I'm happy to tell you that in between multiple track meets, soccer games, and the laundry that follows I've gotten one done!


This bag expands at the bottom which is one of the reasons I like this pattern so much.


The swivel clip is fun too.








I love making quilts, but a quick bag project is a wonderful thing!








Also, next week is our Spring Break!  Who knows what kind of sewing trouble I'll get into!

We've got a few things planned. I'll keep you updated.

By the way, wasn't it just Christmas?  Now it's Spring Break?  What happened?





Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Totally finished Tuesday








I'm so happy about this one!

The pattern was created by Carrie Nelson and it's called Gentle Art.

You can see it before quilting HERE.

It took me awhile to get from to start to finish, but now it's totally done.









I used a mix of at least three Bonnie and Camille fabric lines and it made this quilt so bright and cheerful I just didn't want to finish it.

It's one of my favorite quilts ever.  

I wouldn't have thought that when I got started.  Don't I say that a lot?









When I found this binding fabric at my LQS I knew it had to be on this quilt. 

Of course, once I got home I did have my doubts.

I started wondering if a busy quilt like this could handle the stripes, but I went with it anyway and I'm so glad I did!








Did you notice that the stripes aren't really stripes?  You can see them HERE.

They are kind of ovalish.  Is that even a word?

I spent lots of time.......way too much time in fact........trying to cut the fabric so that you could only see stripes with no evidence of ovals, and it didn't work.

It freaked me out a bit.

The stripes on my binding were uneven.  The horror!








I put it down for a bit.......okay, maybe longer than a bit........and then went back to it.

Lo and behold I decided I like the stripes, or ovals I guess, uneven all the way around the quilt.

I certainly didn't plan it that way, in fact I took great pains so it wouldn't happen, but it did and now I'm glad.

That's something else I've been saying a lot lately.  I need to remember that when things are going "wrong".









For the quilting I used that wavy stitch that you've been seeing around.

I think it was perfect for this quilt.  You can read more about it HERE if you're interested.









That wavy stitch is fun to do and there isn't a whole lot of thinking involved when you are quilting with it.

I kind of like that. 








This quilt is bright, fun and cheerful! 

Just what I needed for the beginning of Spring.








Oh, last, but not least the label!

I label every quilt and this one is no exception.  

A sweet blog friend of mine just sent me tons of labels she found while attending a quilt show!

I was thrilled!

Labels can be difficult to find.

 On this quilt I went with an extra block that didn't make it on the front, but it made the perfect label.

Now it's is totally finished just in time for Spring!

WooHoo!




Friday, February 28, 2014

Hook




As soon as I saw this new Schnibbles pattern by Carrie Nelson I was definitely hooked!

It was one that I had to make.

The blocks remind me of pinwheels spinning in the wind.  Perfect for Spring!


  






When Sherri and Sinta announced that for this month's parade we could choose whichever Schnibbles pattern we wanted, there was never a doubt in my mind that I was choosing Hook.

My new Botanics charm packs by Carol Friedlander and some bright white screen yardage from the same line had just arrived in the mail.

It was a perfect fit!

Don't you love it when things just work out like that!  











Although I love it and I'm glad I used it, that really light tone on tone crosshatch that I used for the background was a bit tricky.

  It can be difficult to tell which side of the fabric is the "right side" depending on the light.

Even thought I was aware of this, I still sewed one of the inside borders on the wrong way and I had to go back and redo it.

Of course, I didn't do this with any of the small pieces, it had to be one of the longest pieces of the quilt.

 That. Was. Frustrating.

I wish I could say that I'm sure it will never happen again, but I've done that before with a really light border fabric, so there's no telling!

It's all fixed and finished now and I'm so happy with how it turned out.










This orange and blue pinwheel.....that's what I'm calling them......is probably my favorite!

I do have a least favorite too.

It's been banished to the back of the quilt, probably for use as a label.

I made up an extra one in the beginning, just in case, and I'm glad I did.

The color combination on that one just wasn't doing anything for me. 










This quilt was a joy to put together!

I absolutely love 60 degree triangles, so since this quilt was full of them, I was thrilled!

I just love how they go together.

It's fun that it was a little different than what I usually do.

I use Fon's and Porter's 60 Degree Pyramid Ruler that I had gotten for a previous project.

  A piece of blue painter's tape that I placed on the ruler at the correct measurement was really helpful to keep my triangles the correct size. 

My youngest son is taking Geometry right now, so he was really interested in how this one was cut out and put together.










This month's parade on Sherri's blog and on Sinta's blog too will be great!

Since anything goes, as far as Schnibbles pattern choices, it should be a spectacular parade!

Be sure to take a look this weekend and see what everyone chose to make.


This month was a slow blogging month for me.

That includes commenting too.

I just really didn't feel much like writing posts.  No particular reason why.

I was fairly busy, but I was still quilting.  I just needed a break from it I guess.

Since the posts weren't popping in my head, I decided not to worry about it much and I just considered it a little vacation from blogging.

Have you ever felt like that?

It's supposed to be fun, right?  No pressure?

So, I'm hoping to get more posts done next month and write more comments too.

I was still reading your posts, I was just being quieter about it than I normally am.

Thanks so much for coming back to visit and hopefully I'll be back soon!    



Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Red Velvet Valentine cookies and unfortunately the word "things"



Hey, everyone!

Not, surprisingly hearts and flowers don't go over really well at my house. 

With two teenage boys, I'm always on the lookout for fun, little Valentine's things that aren't too Valentiney, if you know what I mean.......okay, I keep telling my eighth grader not to use "things" in his writing and here it is in mine!  And I can't think of anything to replace it, ugh!.......

  I was thrilled when I ran across this cookie recipe last month.

  I think I saw it first on Pinterest, but I can't be sure.








........Somehow they look even better in real life, maybe I should stick to photographing quilts!....... 

Jenny has some great pictures on her blog.

Anyway, these Red Velvet Cake Milky Way Cookies are delicious and so easy too! 

There isn't much more to it than a Red Velvet Cake Mix and Dark Milky Way bars.

I love the regular Milky Ways and I was tempted to put them in this recipe instead of the dark ones, but I'm glad I didn't.









These cookies are so good!

You can find the recipe at Picky Palate if you're interested in giving them a try this week!

I've made these twice recently. 

One batch to test them out, and another to mail to my son in college........We should test the cookies before we ship them don't you think ;-)







The Red Velvet cake mix size I used was 16.5 ounces.

I had read in the comments on Jenny's blog that the cake mix size seems to matter.


My tip is - don't chop the candy bars up too much and don't mix too much after you add them to the batter. 

The larger the pieces, the more you can see them and taste them in the cookie!

Yum!!  


  

Friday, January 31, 2014

Certainly scrappy - my Jersey Girl quilt




Well, I'm glad its done!

I love this pattern and I had high hopes for my fabric choices for this quilt.

About halfway through the process, I started wondering what I had been thinking.








I was thrilled when I read that Carrie's pattern for Jersey Girl called for light charms along with dark ones.

I had been saving a Road 15 charm pack and a Reunion charm pack for a quilt that needed a light scrappy background because I liked the lighter fabrics in these lines so much.

I think the text fabrics in these lines are really fun, so I was determined to use them in something and then along came the Jersey Girl pattern.








Once I started sewing together the two inch squares I had cut, I started thinking that there wasn't enough contrast between the light and the dark fabrics and that my light fabrics were just too busy for a quilt with such small pieces.

I hadn't thought about that before.

I don't know why.  It seemed pretty obvious at that moment.

.........Insert big sigh here.......

I was wishing I hadn't used these fabrics in this quilt.

I put it down for a few days.








Then I decided I might as well finish it up. 

All that fabric cut up and some of it sewn together.  Why not just finish it?

As I got farther into the pattern and the blocks were coming together, I started liking it more and more.  

The pattern wasn't standing out as much as I had imagined it would, but my fabric choices for this quilt weren't as bad as I had originally thought either.









 The more I sewed the better it was looking to me and by the time I got the borders on, I was pretty happy with it!

The darker parts of the blocks don't stand out as much as I as expecting and it doesn't have the same look as some of the other amazing finished Jersey Girl quilts I've seen so far, but I do like the look of it.

It was definitely one of those quilts that didn't turn out like I expected it to, but I guess that's part of the fun of it!

It's growing on me.









In a few days Sherri and Sinta will host the next Schnibbles parade.

As always, I'm looking forward to seeing the wonderful variety of quilts that can come out of a single pattern.

It's so inspiring to see the differences in what everyone chooses!


This weekend you can find me at the soccer fields every day for my son's regional tournament.

Luckily, this one is close to home.  Maybe I can even sneak in a little sewing in between games!

At home of course, not on the field!

    


Monday, January 27, 2014

Pressing on




I've been busy with school soccer games the last few weeks and not much sewing has been happening, so not much blogging has been happening here either.

I thought I'd just show a quick picture of what I have been working on the past few days.

 Surprise, surprise........ it's this month's Schnibbles project, Jersey Girl!  







This picture is a few days old.  I've made more progress on it by now.

All I have left to put on are the borders!

I went to do a post a few days ago with these pictures and all I got were error messages, but so far, so good today.








The day I was planning on originally posting this, we had some yummy chicken noodle soup.

This picture was taken before the noodles and chicken were added during the last hour of cooking.

It was soooo good I wanted to share the recipe with you.

You can find it here if you'd like to have some on a chilly day!

What are your favorite winter comfort foods?