Thursday, March 26, 2009

i'm here...

Sorry I've been gone for awhile. The effects of the struggling economy hit close to home as my father was laid off from his job after 25 years of service. He is doing well (probably took it better than the rest of us) and is planning on going full time with his sewing machine repair service. I wish him the best of luck and am glad that he will be able to spend his last working years as his "own boss"!
My featured tool for today is my ipod karaoke system. It's by Griffin, and I LOVE it. I had read some not so great reviews, but found it on Amazon.com for a whopping 9.99 so I had to go for it. I love to sing in the privacy of my own home, and this allows me that freedom!!

Click here for a video about one of my favorite tools!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

march, the month of birthdays...

Since there are a lot of birthdays in the month of may in my family, I am always working on some sort of gift. I made this wall hanging for my mother-in-law, as well as a sweet treat bag. I forgot to take a picture of the bag I made before I wrapped it, so check out my sister's. I did mine in the same fabric. The pattern is super cool and you can whip up a bag in minutes!

Since my MIL's beauty shop is attached to their house, I figured she needed something just for her shop...voila, an instant business sign!!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

more...

If I can make at least 19 blocks a month, I will have my Dear Jane quilt "top" done in one year...I'm thinking I am going to try my best at it. Flipping through the book I find quite a few challenging, I will take advantage of group night when dealing with those blocks!! Here are a few I made yesterday and a couple I did this morning.





Tuesday, March 10, 2009

well on my way...

Last night was Dear Jane group at The Pin Cushion and this is what I did:

I am trying to keep my blocks as organized as I can. I color copied each block on paper with the block name, number, and date made. It will be nice to have all the information in a binder once the quilt is completed!

B-4 was paper pieced. This was my first experience with paper piecing. I can't quite say I love the technique, but it sure did come out as perfect as it could. I will have to try more to see if I change my mind.

As you can see I have chose a wild combination of fabrics. Most of the ladies in the group are either doing 30's reproductions or civil war prints, so I'm hoping to bring some contrast to the group.


And I leave you with 2 pictures of Maxton. One is him sporting a "tie" shirt I made him. I think he looks adorable in it...I think I will make a few more of these! The other picture is him sitting in a toy basket. Yesterday he sat in his strawberry toy box for an hour and a half..today we are going on 45 minutes with the basket...he just digs through it and plays away. I think he is doing very well as an only child!!!! Hopefully he can keep that up for another year or so!!!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

taking it to the next level...

I have decided to step up my quilting a bit and try a "challenge". Enter Dear Jane Quilt....



This quilt was made by Jane Stickle during the American Civil War. She signed her quilt "In War Time 1863." Jane created a masterpiece consisting of 169 4.5" (approx.) square blocks surrounded by fifty-two 8"x5" triangles and four corner triangles. She pieced and appliqu├ęd her blocks giving a variety for the viewer to behold.

I am going to be using a variety of different fabrics. Most people will use the civil war prints, but I am going to use bright colors to add variety.

I am starting my journey not knowing how long it will actually take to complete, but am very much looking forward to learning a lot along the way!!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

i count this as a tool...


Not sure if most of you would consider this a tool, but being a mother that has dealt with diaper rash, I consider this a GREAT tool!

Since Maxton has been teething again he gets those nasty little rashes that are hard to clear up. This is a miracle cream!!
I purchased this from Tractor Supply Company. I know it says it's for animals, but it works a wonder on those little tushes too!!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

another tool...

My next tool to share is my Quilt Design Wizard. I purchased the program for a steal of $20. I like to use this when changing a block around by either rotating or by using different fabric combos. I'm a very visual person and sometimes before I start chopping into fabric I do a little playing around. I rarely use the patterns that you can print out, but it gives me a good idea on what about to get into. The program comes with preloaded blocks, fabric, and an array or ideas. Each month you can download a project (for free) that comes with new fabric choices and new blocks.






Look, Heather Bailey's fabric ended up in a monthly project!!






Here is a little quilt I designed. I am going to use this very soon!!

The possibilities are endless with this program! It is so fun that it reminds me of coloring!!

March of the tools...

Heather Bailey started her March of the Tools again this year, and guess who is on her list of participants!?! How fun this will be. I will try to put a tool on everyday....I promise!!!

My favorite tool for today is the Bi-Level foot I have for my sewing machine! My machine is named "Mr. Pfaffy Pfaff"...(real original, I know). I have a Pfaff 2027... I love my machine as I received it the Christmas I got engaged. The funny thing about that is I never cried when my husband presented me with my ring, but the tears were flowing when I opened up my machine...It wasn't like my machine was more important than getting engaged, but I knew a ring was coming..but not so sure about a new machine.


So now on to the tool: Here she is----

You might wonder what this foot does-- well, she can't bake a pie....but, she takes the handstitching out of quilt binding. It lines up your binding in such a way that you can completely bind your quilt by machine without having to dig out your thimble (and it looks fabulous too)! I'm still getting used to it, but it's nice to speed up the final step of quilt assembly.
Unfortunetly I have given away all the quilts I've used my foot on, but I will make sure and point out in future posts what this looks like!
If you are interested in where you can find this little "helper" check with my favorite quilt store The Pin Cushion or your nearest Pfaff Dealer.