Thursday, September 30, 2010

I Love Me Some Kaffe!

I snatched up a couple of Kaffe Fassett jelly rolls during a sale in June and finally got one roll together in this simple quilt. I haven't sewed the rows together yet, but maybe I'll have time later today. Did you know Kaffe rhymes with safe? I didn't. His fabric designs are among my very favorites. The jewel tones are so rich and the modern designs always pull me in. The pattern is from this book:

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I'm Surrounded by Clowns

I made alphabet soup for dinner last night. My kids always eat raw pasta while I'm making dinner, so while they were sneaking raw pasta letters, I told them to make sure they took out the Q's and Z's. No use for those pesky letters! So in normal form, my daughter took her Q's and Z's from her soup while we were eating.
My son had his own creative interpretation. Maybe alphabet soup isn't for teens. I guess it could have been worse. Like our Christmas cookies...

Anatomically Incorrect Cookie

Or finding this photo on your cell phone. It's just an arm/elbow folks.

I suspect this guy.
Or maybe this pretty girl? They're probably in cahoots.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


The theft of intellectual property is always disheartening, but I suppose it's been going on since the beginning of time. I've seen several examples in the crafting community recently. German Dolls discusses buying knock-off Japanese prints. Keyko Lou offers links to help spot these fakes so we don't purchase stolen designs.

Apparently this sort of theft happens in the US too. How About Orange sees her graphic designs all over the place. Jeez. And Tula Pink discovered her fabric collection being sold at Walmart, and to make matters worse, it was a poorly reproduced version. There's even a blog called "You Thought We Wouldn't Notice" devoted to outing copycats.

I knew a Creative Director that always said "Nothing is Original," and I've seen numerous examples of plagiarism in my marketing career, but you have to draw the line when these plagiarists blatantly profit off another person's intellectual property. It's not right. Luckily, in this internet age, thieves are noticed and hopefully learn their lesson. I hope everyone learns to play nice and only sell what they own.

Now that I've realized and shared the seedy side of our beloved crafting community, I'll show you what I've copied been inspired by lately. Of course I would never try to profit off tutorials and patterns so graciously shared with our community. These people taught me to sew and quilt and I owe them.

Pumpkin pincushion. This Fiskars pattern uses patchwork pieces for the pumpkin, which really looks neater, but I didn't have two normal orange fabrics that looked okay together. My orange fabrics tend to be loud. Here's where I found the original inspiration and even more adorable pumpkin tutorials.

A little selvage coaster to say thank you for another batch of selvages gifted to me. Notice my china has selvage dots too. Never met a polka dot I didn't like. And see my new little toy on the right? It has kept me entertained for days. Who knew a cell phone could be so fun? Sure wish I had bought more Apple stock back in the day.

Another little organic coaster for someone. I really want to make some of those nifty mug rugs or mug mats flying around blogland, but I haven't had a decent idea for one yet.

I've seen these notebook paper mini quilts and have wanted to make one for a long time. Great straight-line quilting practice. My hand embroidery looks a little like kindergarten writing, but my catch phrase is now in stitches. I've lost all the links for other notebook paper quilts, but they are all so darling. When I find them, I'll show you. Until then, check out this little notebook paper pouch with a doodle. So cute!

I found these recipes for my ma, so I thought I would share them with you too. Both recipes make a gob. I half them and it still makes plenty. If you're having a party, make the entire mushroom recipe. Shrinkage happens. The mushrooms cook nine hours and they are incredible.

Pioneer Woman's Cheese Grits

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Plugging Along

Look at this little nugget. This is Liam, my friend Kathy's little grandson. He's wearing the businessman onesie I made him. The necktie looks a little 1970s, eh?

There, that's better. Looks like my dad did in the 70s! I'm probably going to get in trouble for that little bit of Photoshop...

Remember the Ugly Fabric I received for the guild challenge? I actually think it's pretty fabric. Very colorful. And fishy.

Sneak peek of what I'm trying to do. Hopefully it will look as pretty as the original fabric!

BettyCrockerAss (one of my all-time favorite blog names and blogs) inspired me as usual this morning. She was whipping up pincushions, so I decided to make a few too. Hers turned out so cute and she has helpful links to patterns and techniques. Thanks so much BettyCrockerAss and all those you linked. You all provided all kinds of fun for me this morning.

Jon Stewart is on the Okra show today. He is so funny. His Rally to Restore Sanity sounds just like what I'd like to see. Nothing like a call-to-reasonableness to get people thinking.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Oh, yum.

I love my meatloaf. I fill it with oatmeal, onions, celery, eggs, fresh parsley, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, spices galore, tomato sauce, and more. Unfortunately, my family hates it. My meatloaf is even better the next day. Slice a cold slab and put it on some toasted bread with mayo, salt and pepper. Maybe some salad greens if you have them. Heaven. My family hates that sandwich too. Spoilsports!

So tonight I tried the Pioneer Woman's meatloaf. Delish! Yep, the family hated it. Boo my family! I also made her cheese grits. Oh my goodness. You must try these. You'll have to buy the cookbook, but lordy, lordy, if you want to abuse carbs, this is the way to go. Sublime! And totally worth the price of her cookbook. Add a green salad and some cholesterol meds and you have a very healthy dinner. I'm kidding about those meds, you can get out there and exercise and get away with much more! ;) Exercise is important to foodies! More cardio = more fun foods. Right?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

OMG, Shut the Front Door!

The Rachel Zoe Project is running a marathon today. It's bananas. I have it playing in the background, but I still have to break out and channel her every now and then. I can't help myself. I do Brad too. Now for my major moment, I upgraded my cell phone! It's ridiculous.

Okay, maybe my cell phone isn't quite this old, but my hubby had one of these in the late 80s.  Look how expensive those puppies were! I must have married a rich man.

I think I was the only person that didn't have an IPhone. Insane. And really, Apple and AT&T should have comped one for me ages ago since I've spent so much money with those two companies over the years. My first Mac cost more than my first car. Well, I gave up waiting for the free swag and ordered myself a shiny new phone and added a data plan. Now I can blog on the boat. Or surf the internet at the beach. Shut up! 

If you have any tips, tricks or favorite apps for the IPhone, I'd love to know about them. I promise I'll quit spouting Rachelisms.

Friday, September 17, 2010



Deja vu! Iraqi Bundles of Love (IBOL) needs our help again. And if you want to take the effortless and economical route, Sew, Mama, Sew makes it easy peasy. I know the crafting community will come through as usual. Peace and happiness comes in many forms.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Sewing Lull

Not much time to sew this week. Work has been busy and I'm in between fun projects to work on. I did find 15 minutes or so to play. I made a couple of coasters.

And some wonky house blocks. These two are only five inches square. Sewing really gives your eyes and brain a rest when you've been staring at a computer all day. Notice I didn't try anything too complicated! ; )

I'd love to try needle felting. It looks like a lot of fun and I adore the two creations that have been made for me. Is it hard? I've never been much of a sculptor, so I don't know if I could pull off something like the hedgie, but the heart might be doable. Unfortunately, I'm allergic to wool. I start itching just looking at these two cuties. I had to handle them with a cloth to take the photos and I'm still kind of itchy. Maybe I could wear gloves or take a Benadryl or something. Just what I need, another craft!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Share Some Stash?

My good blog buddy Karen at Sew Many Ways posted a shout out for her good blog buddy who makes beautiful Quilts of Valor quilts. This organization is well known in the quilting community and I can't imagine how many lives our fellow quilters have touched through their quilt donations. While we all can't make a quilt to donate, maybe you have fabric sitting around or would love to contribute a scrap or so. If you can spare some patriotic cotton (red, white, blue or gold), drop Karen a comment. In my experience quilters are such giving people. And they like to get things done!

Our armed forces always make me so proud and secure to be an American. I truly appreciate their service and dedication to keep me and my family safe. They all do such a spectacular job. And you know it can't be easy. Quilts of Valor is just one way to show our appreciation to these dedicated men and women. I hope together we find many ways to say thanks.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Creativity Abounds

The Doll Quilt Swap I host over on the Quilting Board is a lot of fun. We've been swapping each month since May of 2009. September's swap had an optional Fall theme. The artist in me hates to pigeonhole any creativity, so I told the swappers, "...remember that the themes are always optional. Who am I to mess up that neato idea you have of purple poodles riding chocolate covered donuts with sprinkles? Go for it because I'd love to see any quilt you make!"

With this bunch, ask and you shall receive! Look what Dragonfly Nana whipped up! Purple poodles riding chocolate covered donuts with sprinkles! Isn't it darling? She's going to send it to me too! I've been so lucky lately. Now off to work. Have a great day!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Color Me Happy

I finally finished the binding on this bargello. I started this quilt in March of 2008 and had only been quilting about a year, but I fell in love with batiks big time! It took a while to collect enough batiks and I tried some sort of color scheme, but ended up throwing everything together. The top sat forever and I can't even remember who quilted it. They did an excellent job though! Then the poor quilt hung in my laundry room while I procrastinated binding it. Last week I dusted it off and got it bound. Woo hoo!
Here it is in the works. Boy, my sewing area looks a lot different two-and-a-half years later.
Here it is fresh from the dryer and already in use. You know how freezing it is in Florida right now. Poor baby is worn out from cleaning the bathroom. The dog is always lounging around.

Most of my 2-inch squares were already cut.
So while the teens did all the cleaning and lawn work, I played. Oh, Fransson!'s Tokyo Subway Map quilt has always been one of my favorites. Elizabeth always makes the neatest quilts and her skills are legendary. Check out the quilt along version of this spectacular quilt. It's way above my skill level, but I'm eager to drool over everyone else's creations.

I decided I might be able to handle the smaller version, since I've tried Oh, Frannson!'s grid method of sewing squares once before. It sure makes it easy to line everything up.
Laying out the squares.
Sewing the seams.
Top all done!
And no Sunday Stash because I'm still abstaining from buying anything crafty the month of September. It's hard I tell you. I've had Material Obsession 2 on my wish list since April and it's finally available in the US now. I know what I'm ordering October 1! Until then, I'm going to go peruse the first edition and see what kind of sewing trouble I can get into today.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


The American Folk Art Museum in New York City displays this beautiful 9/11 National Tribute Quilt. The quilt was organized and assembled by the Steel Quilters in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 2002. The quilt measures an amazing 8 x 30 ft. It is the creation of the artists, Kathy S. Crawford, Amber M. Dalley, Jian X. Li, and Dorothy L. Simback, with the help of countless others in tribute to the victims of the September 11, 2001, attack on America.

For more background information and detail pictures, the Online Quilt Museum also has an exhibit. If you'd like to see progress pictures of the quilt being made, click here. There are also some very interesting facts about the quilt right here. Talk about a huge compilation quilt!

As usual, the giving spirit of quilters (and people in general) always gives me hope and puts a smile on my face. It's nice being surrounded by good folk.

Friday, September 10, 2010

More Yummy Food Blogs

Thanks to everyone who sent in links to new food blogs. They're good ones that I haven't seen. I get so hungry reading food blogs. Oh who am I kidding, I can always eat.

Our Best Bites
Parsnips Aplenty
Cook Like Your Grandmother

I found this silly one on my own. So much for sewing this afternoon! I have blogs to read!

I finished my doll quilt for the September Doll Quilt Swap. The theme was "Fall" and I think this represents Fall in Florida quite well. Practically nonexistent! Having lived here all my life I don't miss seasons, but I do appreciate the beauty of Fall colors in places that are lucky enough to have seasons. A little snow might be fun too. Maybe a little more than we received in the Blizzard of '09!

My son had to make a snowball. Silly Florida boy!

Bones is still kicking. Well, chilling I should say. Look at him trying to nap while I snap pictures. I love the paws sticking out. We don't cover him up like that; he figures it out himself. It's been over seven months since his back was first paralyzed. He's doing quite well with no lasting effects. A month under the laundry basket crate and he was raring to go. He has a bit of a swagger now, but it suits his personality!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Food Blogs

Picture-less blogs are boring, so I threw in some of my best photography work. Not!

Although I mostly read quilting blogs, I also enjoy blogs about food. Nibble Me This is a great blog for grilling recipes. Chris makes some unique foods on his Big Green Egg grill. And hopefully Big Green Egg is sending him grills and accessories because I can't be his only blog reader that has to have one of these grills!
Hubby bought these Granny Smith apples.  I made apple burritos with a few.

Closet Cooking is a food blog that offers easy-to-follow recipes with a gourmet spin. For more gourmet dishes, check out these two: Smitten Kitchen and Orangette. Molly Wizenberg at Orangette doesn't post often, but she's a little busy. Her book, A Homemade Life is wonderful. She also writes for Bon Appetit and recently opened a restaurant in Seattle called Delancey. Another fun food blog is Pots and Pins. Nan also likes to quilt!

Hubby also bought these. I can't send him to the grocery store unsupervised.  I think he actually ate the potted meat. Aren't you glad I didn't get a shot of that? Ick!

The Pioneer Woman is a great food and family blog. Ree Drummond is a hoot and she takes beautiful step-by-step photography of her recipes. Note: do not send her recipe links to your father who will attempt to print them out. All 5,460 pages! She does have handy links to printable recipes, but I guess I forgot to tell him about that feature. Now I owe him 11 reams of paper.

Another funny thing about Pioneer Woman is that I have to hide the recipes from my family. They do not like her stuff. Or at least one or two of her recipes and now she's supposedly banned. I think not; I just refuse to name my sources now. Ree also launched a satellite recipe blog called Tasty Kitchen which is also very good.

Need to do something with this tofu. Maybe tonight.
My wine cellar.
I hope if you enjoy cooking, I've linked some new sites for you. I'd love to hear about any food blogs or recipe sites that inspire you.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Having fun!

I finished off this little ladybug mini.

And this Totoro mini.

 Now I'm just being crazy.

Progress on the butterfly quilt. I'm doing well with the Stashbusting September challenge. Eight whole days of not buying crafting supplies or fabric! It's getting easier to delete the sale e-mails. Off to find some more fun.
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