Friday, January 28, 2011

Urban home goods swap

Going to make a market bag out of these...


I'm making 2 of these for my vintage sheet bee.

Still need to appliqué it down & add the center.

This is a new block for me. I like it!

Friday night cartoons

And quilts

It's Friday!

Tollhouse chocolate chip cookies for breakfast.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Note to My Urban Home Goods Swap Partner

You're probably stalking me right now.  That's my favorite part!

Firstly, thanks in advance for the fun we're about to have with this swap.  It's my favorite one.  I just got back from the fabric shop and bought some nice orange fabrics for my partner.  Getting ready to try making something I've never done before.

I want to get some pictures of the room (the kids' "office") that I'm trying to spruce up, but I need to tidy it up a bit first...  To tide you over, here are a couple pictures of my sweet sons doing their "work" in their "office"...

Wyatt will be 4 in April.

Owen will be 3 in May

A little background about me:  I was a 1st grade teacher for several years before becoming a stay at home mom.  I have LOTS of educational toys and activities that the boys could be playing with, but our house is filled with toys that I'm constantly tripping over.  I hate to add more toys to the pile.  My solution is this:  Educational toys will stay in their office.  Other toys can be scattered throughout the house.  The educational toys we have to play with will (mostly) stay up out of reach.  I can take down a toy or two at a time to work with and then I'll put these toys back up when we've finished working on them.  Maybe this way, we'll have less mess, more guided activities, more learning and less gray hair for mom.

Keep an eye on my blog.  I'll write you again soon, partner!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sorting scraps

I have 3 laundry baskets full of scraps of all sizes. Today is the day to get serious & get organized because my scrap heap isn't getting any smaller...

Before (boxes labeled by color):



I still have 1/2 laundry basket of very small pieces. Might just sew those together improvisationally.

We will see. For now, I'm going to focus on purples & cut them into strips. I want to make a couple stripped pieced quilts. Am toying with the idea of making 15" blocks using one color per block. Could be really colorful, don't you think?

I was pretty surprised to realize that I had a lot of purple and green.  By far, the color I have the most of is blue (my favorite color) and pink is a close second.  I'm pretty rich with yellow and the orange pile was not too shabby, either.  Guess I should get busy making some scrappy quilts.

Don't worry, I still have a big stash. :)

Future Dresden Plates

Batiks for me & vintage sheets for my bee

I haven't tried these before. Thought I'd better practice on my own block first...

Friday, January 21, 2011

Another picnic quilt

Why not?

That Girl, That Quilt Along

That girl, that quilt along, originally uploaded by nkiblueeyes.
This one's for Owen. His big boy bed. He turns 3 in late May, so I think I'll try to finish it in time for the festivities. Currently, he's in a toddler bed. His bed converts. It's a black bed and I think this quilt will look really nice with it. I ordered a red print from this line that's FLANNEL for the backing. It gets so cold here in Kansas. The backing was even on sale (SCORE!) so I am tickled. Sent Angela an email last night about quilting it. Now I must assemble the top!  I'm way behind on this quilt along.  Go check out That Girl, That Quilt's blog!

I brought my sewing machine down to the living room and I'm getting lots done!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Kate's Shower

My littlest sister, Katie at her baby shower.  She is due to have a little girl in May.  Her name will be Iris. Since everyone was back home for Christmas, we threw her a baby shower.  Was great to see family and friends that I don't see often.

Here are a couple pictures of me and my two sisters.  Laura's on the left, Katie in the middle and I'm on the right.

Baby Natasha

Here's a picture of one of my latest quilts in action:

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Batik Picnic Quilt

This quilt is almost finished.  It just needs to be bound, now.  I finished tying it tonight.  Just a couple sessions of sitting and focusing provided me with some serious progress!  I'm trying very hard to finish up projects that have been hanging over my head and this is one of them.  Will post a picture after it's bound and washed.  Since I have two sons, I've decided to make another one of these quilts and I've even started it already.  Just sewing squares together here and there.  I have quite a few strips now...

No picnics for us anytime soon.  8 inches of snow should arrive tomorrow.

I think I want to focus on sandwiching a couple small quilts in the next couple days.

Also need to finish cutting the outer border for some square in a square blocks for That Girl, That Quilt Along.  I'm very behind, but it's coming along.  I'm probably two sewing sessions away from being ready to sew the blocks to each other to assemble the top.  Not going to quilt this one myself.  It'll be too big.  It's going to be a big boy quilt for Owen's bed.  Right now he is using a toddler bed (his crib is a conversion type bed).  For his 3rd birthday in May, I'm thinking of getting him a full sized box spring and mattress.  It'd be very nice to have a couple quilts finished for him.  Stay tuned, people.

Monday, January 17, 2011

2 finishes!

Today I made so much progress on my to do list.

I finished cutting 200 red 4" squares for a swap.

ALSO, I finished my kcmqg no solids allowed Kaufman challenge. It's one of those times where it looks like I'd pictured. It's all I can do to not post it, but I want it to be a surprise at the march meeting.

But if you come to my house, you can see it... I'm planning on using it right away.

So excited.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Color wheel charm square exchange

I chose red.  I wish I hadn't signed up for this swap because they require you to pre-wash fabric.  I hate that.  Unless it's a batik, I never pre-wash.  But against my better judgement, I did today.  So frustrinting to deal with all the tangles and string, not to mention how you lose part of what you bought when it unravels.

Enough complaining.

I've got three 1/4 yards cut... Seven more to go.  I'll end up with 200 different 4 inch squares when I get back my swapped fabric.

This is why

I don't pre-wash fabrics...

A tangled & unravelled mess.

Kc scrappy bee blocks for Angela

These fabrics were SO nice to work with!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Urban home goods swap, etc.

I'm so wishy washy. I couldn't pass up some new swaps.

The 3rd round of the urban home goods swap is starting up on flickr. I couldn't pass it up.

Also, there are 2 charm square swaps I'm doing. Both are 4 inch squares. I prefer 5 inch, but I'll get 200 different prints! And it only takes 1/4 yards to cut up 20 squares... Will do ispy & a color wheel one. I think these may be good for ticker tape quilts...

And I signed up for a soggy swap.

Plus I need to finish my solids challenge item for kcmqg.

I decided to pass on the monochromatic challenge for the modern qg challenge. I already have a red monochomatic king sized quilt going.

So I need to get busy!

But I've been busy doing this...

And this...

And this:

Friday, January 14, 2011

Angela Walters, My Favorite Quilter

HERE is her blog.

She was our program last night at kcmqg...

She gave us advice on tops we brought in...

And she showed us other quilts she's quilted, explaining her thought process.

HERE is a link to her post about this quilt...

and HERE is a link to the Flickr gallery that shows all the other entries (including mine).

For Jessica in the kc scrappy

Jessica requested Christmas blocks.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


When I was an ESL teacher, Debbie was my aide. She & I have kept in touch over the years. She is fairly new to quilting and was having issues with a quilt she is making for her daughter. Turns out she wasn't pinning when sewing her rows together. I taught her how to pin, press & fudge when things want to pucker.

So excited to see her feeling successful about quilting. I'm sure her daughter will be tickled, too!


Help me understand these quilters who keep track of how much fabric is in their stash... How much they use up, etc.

When did it become a sin to have a great stash of fabric?  If you have the space for it & if you use it to sew with, then what's the problem?

I keep seeing many of my fellow quilters obsessing about their stash.  Making sure more is going out than is coming in...  Guilt-ridden when they see something they want and have to have it...

Life is short!  I'm all for living within your means and all that, but let's nix the guilt tips.  Let's spend the time we would've been using calculating how much fabric is waiting to be used up actually sewing, instead!

Anybody with me?

Second butterfly baby quilt top completed!

I've found that if I'm planning on making one quilt, it's not much more trouble to cut out enough fabric to make two. I got most of the fabric for the butterfly wings from my stash. I've made two of these quilts, now. Love this block! It's from Mrs. Schmenkman's blog. You can find a tutorial there. It's even got a little wiggle room built in, just in case you need to fudge a bit.

For Baby Charlie

For baby Charlie, originally uploaded by nkiblueeyes.
Chuckie Eason kissed me under the fort on the playground in kindergarten when we were 5 years old. His big sister, Christy told on us. We got in trouble. He was my boyfriend. He was also my grandmother's next door neighbor.

Our romance didn't last, but our friendship did. I spent the majority of my time at my grandparents' house, riding horses, playing with chickens, pretending in my playhouse or in the barn.... riding 4 wheelers... climbing on rocks... getting into seed ticks... picking all the wild violets on the 10 acre hillside...

And through it all, most of the time Chuckie Eason was by my side. We were partners in crime.

Nowadays, Chuckie Eason is a policeman and he has a beautiful pharmacist wife. They have a shiny new baby boy named Charlie. I kept meaning to make him a quilt, but I have this problem of overcommitting. *sigh* So right before Christmas, I whipped this one together. The print has a bunch of cowboy boots on it. Very Chuck.

It's not fancy, but maybe I can make it more special with my quilting. I didn't get it quilted in time to take it to them at Christmas time, but it turns out they were out of state when I visited.

I'm needing to get this puppy quilted! Must cut backing and batting... Maybe tomorrow?

Bee vintage wonky log cabin

Bee vintage wonky log cabin, originally uploaded by nkiblueeyes.

November was my month. Should've known better than to plan my month around the holidays... Lucky for everyone else, I've been busy making stuff for other people, too... so I didn't get too bent out of shape that they hadn't all arrived yet.

But... Now I'm itching to get busy on this puppy. I still need to make a few extra blocks myself for this one, too. With the ones I make and a few that I'm expecting (hopefully soon) in the mail, this one will be ready to quilt!

Dare I quilt it myself???

I think I just might!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Getting That Itch Again

4 inches of snow and it's still coming down in BIG flakes... Might end up with 8 inches by tomorrow morning.  I love it.  Took the boys out to play a couple times this morning.  They were shocked at how wet and cold snow actually is!  Now they're down for naps (but not necessarily asleep)...

It's been a week or more since I ventured up to the attic to sew.  Hubs is gone for a couple days...  Letting the housework fall to the wayside til tomorrow or Wednesday.  Sounds prudent, right?

Much to do in the sewing room!

I have two blocks made for Jessica for the KC Scrappy Bee, but they're not super thrilling and one needs more embroidery before I can give it to her.  She's requested Christmas blocks.  Much of what she loves is paper pieced.  Not my forte. :(  And before Christmas, I was sewing up a storm making gifts... Then I got kinda Christmas'd out.  KCMQG is this Thursday and my blocks are due (technically, I only have to make one block, but I like to make more.  Jessica gave me the most fantabulous block when it was my turn.  Must return the favor)...

And I got my fabric packet in the mail for the new bee I'm joining.  It's the Lovely Linen Bee and this month, Jodi is requesting butterfly blocks.  Fine with me because that's one of my very favorites.  I've been making a LOT of these blocks lately... Two baby quilts and a table runner...

And I noticed today that the second challenge for the Modern Quilt Guild is up on their website.  Monocromatic Challenge.  Hmm...  Would like to do this one...  Will see...

Plus I must finish piecing / basting / quilting / binding my cousin's butterfly baby quilt.

And I am a little behind on my KCMQG Kaufman solids challenge.  A little wishy washy on exactly what I want to do...  I've started but need to fully commit to my idea and finish it up.

Enough typing!  Time for action!  Will post pictures soon.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Snowy day? Try cinnamon rolls!

When I was growing up, my mom sometimes made these cinnamon rolls from scratch on Saturday mornings.  The smell would fill the house.  You should make them, too!  Allow yourself about 4 hours to get this done (you don't have to spend the entire 4 hours fooling with this.  You just have to allow time for it to rise a couple of times).

Here's mom's recipe:

2 packages of active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
1/2 cup lukewarm milk (scalded and then cooled)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup shortening or butter or margarine, softened
4 1/2 to 5 cups of all-purpose flour
2 tsp cinnamon

Dissolve yeast in warm water.  This makes the yeast active.  If the water is too hot, it'll kill the yeast.  Add some sugar or honey to the yeast and water.  If you add honey, it will make the yeast foam after a few minutes.  This indicates that the yeast is active.  Stir in the cooled milk, sugar, salt, eggs, shortening/butter and 2 1/2 cups of the flour.  Beat until smooth.  Mix enough of the remaining flour in to make the dough easy to handle.  Turn the dough onto lightly floured board or counter.  Kneed until smooth and elastic (about 5 minutes).  Place in greased bowl, turn greased side up (at this point, the dough can be refrigerated 3 to 4 days).  Cover and let rise in a warm place until it doubles its' size (about 1- 1 1/2 hours.  Dough is ready if impression remains when touched.

Punch down dough.  Roll dough into a rectangle about 15 x 9 inches on the counter.  Spread melted butter on the rolled dough.  Mix about a cup of sugar with 2 tsp of cinnamon.  Sprinkle over the butter.  You can add raisins if you'd like at this point.  Then roll up the beginning at the wide side.  Pinch the edge of the dough into a roll to seal it well.  Stretch the roll to make it even.  Cut the roll into 15 slices.  Place slightly apart in a greased baking pan 13 x 9 inches or in greased muffin cups.  Let it rise until doubled.  Then bake 25-39 minutes in a 375 degree oven.

Mix 1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar, 1 Tbls milk and 1/2 tsp vanilla until smooth.  Pour over hot rolls.

rolled out

ready to rise for the second time

Pictures of the finished product to come... Stay tuned!