Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I May Be Gnomed Out

Just another gnome. With a mushroom this time. I think I'm done with paper piecing for a while. I always find it challenging. It still makes my brain hurt. I always need some mindless piecing (and a new seam ripper) after a round of paper piecing.

I was going to make potholders out of these string blocks, but I sewed them all together instead. Not sure where I'm going with this. Maybe a table topper?

I bound the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle mini I sewed at Sew Day. Our Orlando Modern Quilt Guild has some really fun things planned for summer and fall. After hearing so many horror stories about guilds, I thought I'd never join one. I'm so glad I did. We have a fun and talented group.

Never been a fan of chocolate. I know, weird, right? Just the tip of the iceberg actually! I'm more of a salty food lover. Give me olives, capers, Triscuits, cheese, nuts, pickles, real butter, etc. and I'm a happy camper. I saw this dark chocolate with French sea salt at the store and it intrigued me. Oh my, it's really good! Rich and not very sweet dark chocolate that melts in your mouth. As you chew, you crush small pieces of fluffy fleur del sel. It intensifies the taste of the chocolate like good food does with wine. I still can't eat but one square, but I think I may have figured out a way to consume chocolate. It's good for you, you know. Unfortunately, everyone in the family likes it too. I may have to start hiding chocolate like normal people do. ;)

And if you want to kick it up a notch, how about these salted caramel brownies? Okay, I've done enough damage. My work here is done. I need pickled okra.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Fun Weekend!

More butterflies...

Quilting and sewing makes me happy. Love to buy beautiful fabric. This fabric sort of sums it up doesn't it?

Or how about these? Love those Norman Rockwell kids. Someone tell to quit sending me coupons. Boogers.

 Polka love. I really like the rough polka dots.

Tufted Tweets. My mom had a sofa like this in orange. Actually it was orange and green woven floral brocade. Scary, huh? Or groovy maybe?

I saw a darling paper pieced hedgehog in the doll quilt swap photos. That led me to the pattern site and I had time to whip out the little gnome. You can find the fun and patterns here. I have to try that hedgehog next.

Back to Monday tomorrow. More sewing hopefully! Hope everyone is having fun and being good.

Friday, July 23, 2010


Fishy Mola
A Pair of Hares with Their Babies
I stopped by a church tag sale yesterday and scored these three Molas and a stack of mostly vintage cotton fabrics for $1. Don't you love deals like that? I've always been intrigued by the reverse applique process used to make the molas. The Kuna Indian women of the San Blas Islands in Panama construct these by hand and use them to decorate their clothing. They are beautiful pieces of art and have become quite collectible. One day I'll shoot pictures of the others I've collected over the years.

The vintage prints are in the front.

My kaleidoscope of butterflies is growing. I was hoping for rainstorms all weekend so I would have an excuse to stay inside and sew, but I don't think that's going to happen. Silly weather.

The talented Tonya over at Lazy Gal Quilting has a book coming out in December. All those wonderful liberated letters are calling my name. I can't wait to see it! How about you?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I Drank the Kool-Aid

Butterfly Blocks (is that caption thing new?!)
It was bound to happen. I couldn't resist all the darling butterfly blocks floating around in blogland. They're just too cute! I know I'll probably miss someone, but I first saw them saw on Brown Dirt Cottage who saw them on Cactus Needles who saw them on Mrs. Schmenkman Quilts . The Mrs. saw them on Choccy Bangles' blog . Phew! How's that for a blogland project family tree?! Mrs. Schmenkman's blog has a wonderful tutorial. Thank you for the inspiration ladies!

I only have six blocks made, but I'm getting into a better rhythm with them. Each block has seven pieces, and needs to be trimmed 12 times (gulp), but thankfully the backgrounds can be wonky. I like wonky.

Antique Butterfly Quilt
This is one of my cherished antique quilts I've had for years and years. I got it somewhere in my travels. There's probably a good story behind it, but dang if I can remember. It's in excellent condition and beautifully made. Note the little butterfly blocks. I tried to figure out this pattern when I first started quilting and could never get it right. Now I laugh that I couldn't figure it out. Duh! I mean, wow, I've learned a lot in three years. That math stuff still makes me sweat, but it has become easier.

Here's a shot of the entire quilt. Aren't the fabrics fun? Anyone know a circa? I use this one on the bed when it gets cold in Florida, so it's not used very often. I'll have to drag it out and study it some more. It's funny how much I notice and admire now that I quilt.

And just to stay out of trouble, I cut some wedges from a Chocolate Lollipop jelly roll. I'll slow you where I'm going with these soon. I fell in love with this fabric collection during the pink and brown craze. What can I say, I'm easily influenced.

I hope you are finding time to create and have some fun. Be good.

Monday, July 19, 2010

A Little Scrappy Sewing

It was a weekend to play with scraps. I love my scraps, so it was a perfect weekend! I've often been tempted to chop up all my fabric so I could have more scraps. The Orlando Modern Quilt Guild had a Sew Day Saturday. We had lots of fun making Ticker Tape quilts and working on other projects. It's so much fun to see everyone's projects in person. I'll bring my camera next time so you can see too. Our little guild is growing and we have such a talented and fun bunch. I am always so inspired after seeing everyone's beautiful quilts. Sew Day always adds projects to my to-do list. I want to make one of everything everyone else is making!

I made a potholder and mini quilt to give away. Bumble Beans is encouraging us to play with our scraps 15 minutes a day. Check out some of the creations. Lots of fun playing going around in blogland!

I added the sashing to my batik coins during Sew Day. This is one bright quilt. I might try quilting it myself since it's only 50" x 54". I'm hoping to get some sewing time in this week. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Busy, busy, busy

Dusted off the ice cream maker and made some coffee ice cream for the kiddos. Bad Grammy used to feed my babies coffee ice cream when she babysat them on date nights. I think she "dosed" them right before we picked them up! I kid about the dosing, but my kids have always loved coffee ice cream. Kind of odd for kids. I used Starbucks coffee beans. Intense. I'm not a fan of ice cream, but I tried a spoonful and it was pretty good. I want to make a Coke Zero Slurpee for me next.

I received two pretty doll quilts from my swap partners. It's so fun to see what everyone creates for these swaps. If you want to see more, I have a gallery here.

Not a lot of quilting going on, but I did find these batik strips when I was organizing. I'm sewing them together for a little coin quilt. Lots of wild color and fun prints in my beloved batiks. I'm itching to take a sip of the Butterfly Block Kool-aid, but I haven't found the time yet. Once again, distracted by blogs. But all the cool kids are doing these blocks. Maybe I'll find some time this weekend.

Uh oh, look who hooked up her scanner! Beware friends and family! I am 12+ years behind in putting photos in albums. Bad, bad me. I think it might be easier to scan them all now. But then what about the 20 photo albums I have? Ok, never mind. I'll never find time to scan all those photos. I couldn't resist this one though. My little kidlets circa 1996 I think. We were in a photo studio and my daughter was posing as the waif for some ads I was doing to beg money for a charity. I'll have to find the photos for those ads. I made her look pitiful! Aw, the tricks of advertising. It might be fun to set up this shot present day. I'll never get them to hold hands, but I'll see what I can do.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Dinner for the Working Man

We've always eaten dinner as a family. It wasn't really planned or anything, just something that I grew up with and didn't know anything better. This summer, the oldest child has a job at one of the theme parks. He's cheap frugal like his mom and doesn't want to part with any part of his minimum wage salary for a meal. So he takes a snack. Pop-tarts, usually. I know, great mother, buying those things. Don't judge, they have six whole vitamins and minerals in them. Cardboard, salt, marshmallow, aluminum, thiamine and riboflavin. Whatever. They're also high in carbs and sugar, but the kid is 7 feet tall and weighs 80 lbs. He needs that crap. I digress.

Anyhoo, said child will not eat leftovers. He calls it "old food." As if our leftovers are dug up from the lawn like kimchi or something. I make a full, nutritious meal six days out of the week, so there is always "old food" neatly packaged in the fridge. This kid won't touch it. It could be steak and lobster and he would pass on it. And me being guilty mama, will make him fresh food when he arrives home from work at 11 pm. No one should go to bed hungry. Even if it is a spoiled, junk food-loving 18-year-old. I blame his father. ;)

So now that I've ranted about my spoiled kid, let me show you my new toy. It's really, really neato. Looks like a normal cutting mat, right?

But it spins around! Makes trimming blocks easy peasy. Jo-Ann's had cutting supplies 50% off and I've been eye-balling one these for a while. I cut fabric (and paper) at an old wood drafting table that is still set on a slant, but the slant doesn't affect the rotating mat.

Doris and Evelyn figured out what this vintage cover was. Tada! Now I won't have to dust off my winter coat. Check out Doris' blog for some quilting eye candy. Her studio is so lovely. And Evelyn has a wonderful blog too. I hope these gals don't mind me sharing their blogs. As I've said before, I'm a blog-taught and blog-inspired quilter. And I like to share!

Speaking of sharing, if you have some extra quilt blocks lying around or you'd like a quick project, these two organizations are requesting blocks for charity. Rainbow Around The Block benefits families in Tennessee who lost their homes to flooding this past Spring. is working to provide safe, clean water and sanitation to people living in extreme poverty throughout the world.

This little hourglass quilt is heading out. Hopefully I'm not spoiling the surprise. This is for the doll quilt swap I host on the Quilting Board. I finished the binding on the fourth of July, so I was feeling quite patriotic that day.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Block Party

Did everyone in the US have a nice holiday? It was rainy and overcast here, but we still ate our way through the weekend and managed to find some fun activities. The kids went downtown to see the fireworks display and the rain held out long enough for the big show. Our neighborhood had its own show. They were shooting stuff off all around me and on the lake.

One of our dinner guests decided to take a swim. He completely ignored the "No Diving" signs. Kidding, our pool is deep and perfect for diving. Besides, labrador puppies don't read. They do love water though. And tossing 8 pound dachshunds into the air. Bones was not impressed.
Meet Hades, my daughter's friend's monster puppy. He spent the night. I hope he goes home soon. Bones hopes so too. He's five months old and weighs 50 lbs. Very energetic. Very. He likes me best because I'm the cook.

Stumbled upon these criss-cross blocks, thanks to I'm a Ginger Monkey. You can find the block pattern right here., but it's basically half-square triangles cleverly put together. I always have a hard time seeing additional designs in quilt patterns, but I did spot the star in the center when I downloaded the photo. I wonder why I can't see those alternate designs? I don't think I'm color blind, but I may be design blind. Not a good thing for a designer!

The Selvage Blog is another one of my favorite inspirational blogs. These asterisk blocks they're doing as a quilt along. They're kind of tedious, but very easy. They only finish at 6", so it would take a gob of these to make a quilt. With my attention span, I'm thinking doll quilt.

What in the world is this? I found it at an estate sale and the cotton fabric intrigued me. I think it's an old feedsack. I have the thing over the back of my desk chair. It has an odd shape and there is a small (3.25") circular opening at the top. Is it a cover of some sort? Lamp shade? Funky toaster? Hot water bottle?

Friday, July 2, 2010

I think I'm done.

What do you think? I hope my partner likes it. I'm a little intimidated by this "big" doll quilt swap. That's probably why I'm done six weeks early. It does need a name and label though. I think I can get that done by the mailing deadline.

Here I was auditioning binding. Somewhere along the line I acquired these strips of striped fabric. I had to cut them down, but they matched pretty well. Would have been a cool border, huh? Too bad it was already quilted.

The quilt measures approximately 17" x 15". I tried to get it to finish a little wonkier on the left edge. You can see it more in person. Photographs usually skew square quilts so it makes sense it would make my wonky quilt look square.

The house and birdhouse blocks were made a while ago. I hoarded them with my other house blocks but it was time to share. Same with the Malaysian batiks. I haven't been able to chop into those until now. The Kaffe Fassett floral top inner border was in my scrap bucket from making the Phoebe purse. That print is one of my all-time favorites. I kept the quilting simple as my ability to do anything fancy is severely limited. I really like how everything turned out and I think it represents my style if I have a style!

If you have any name ideas, let me know. I hope everyone has a wonderful Independence Day celebration. I need to get cooking! My daughter is begging for this stuff. You'd think she was raised in the casserole era or something. At least I bought whole wheat tortilla chips. Have fun!

Thursday, July 1, 2010


I finally got around to reading these. They're okay, but I wasn't hooked. Maybe the hype did it. I do want to see the movies now. The eye candy alone will probably be worth it! ; ) I did see Kristen Stewart on Regis and Kelly this week. What is her deal? She seemed a Maybe she stayed up too late for the premiere of Eclipse. Grandpa Munster is still my favorite vampire!

This has been my quilting pace this week. Work hasn't been that busy, but I find other ways to stay in trouble. Mostly feeding teenagers. Can I claim these kids on my taxes? I'm kidding. I'd rather they all hang out here, but it does get loud and they kill me in Scrabble. Little smarties. I did start quilting on my DQS9 quilt and I hope to start another mini today.

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