Sunday, March 3, 2013

A Few Projects and a new Featherweight

My folks came for a visit for the twins birthday and we had alot of fun.  Mom and I went shopping downtown Mckinney and visited two quilt shops....and bought a few things.
 I got a few fat quarters to start my Swoon Quilt if I ever finish my 'Aster' project.  Daddy changed out my lite fixture on the patio and it looks awesome. 

 While they were here - moma started her jelly roll race quilt.  Here's the unfolded roll - really pretty colors.
 Moma and I took turns sewing and chaining the roll together.  Here's all the strips before we clipped them to one long continuous strip....abt 1600" long!

 More and more sewing.....finally she finished and Jojo took a little siesta upon the quilt top.

 Here it is all finished - beautiful!!!
Daddy even helped out to show it off!  Love it!

Here's my newest possession....I've been looking at these for a while now, I found one in Ripley, but felt it was out of my price range....so I decided to look locally and checked Craigslist.  Lo and behold, a professional quilter had one for sale.  It was $125 cheaper than the one in Ripley and not only as nice, but also had all its original feet, bobbins, accessories, etc.  The case was in pretty good shape, with just a few spots on the handles.  The best part was that she was located just a about a mile up the road.  I walked in and she said - come into my Sewing Room - it was huge - she had a Gammell long arm quilt machine, where she quilts professionally for a living.  Loved it - and lots of fabric and machines and displays of her quilts around the room.  I knew right away this little FW was coming from a happy home.  I took this little Featherweight Home...AH series from 1947 and figured out how to wind the bobbin and thread the machine...then she took off like a little choo choo train.  I worked on my own JellyRoll quilt and had so much fun on this machine - that I sewed the whole thing in one night while catching up on Downton Abbey.  But more about my quilt top next time....


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Quilt Shops - my newest Obsession!

I remember when I had just learned to crochet back in 2002, I was OBSESSED with yarn and going to yarn stores, and buying yarn online.  Now 11 years later, I don't have a linen closet, I have a yarn closet....I also have 2 big bins in my sewing room full of yarn!  Love yarn.

Now that i'm learning to quilt, my new obsession is fabric.  But unlike with crochet, i'm actually using the fabric to make quilts!  I have 4 started....
  • Tumbler (Moda Winter Elegance) - top finished - working on binding
  • Apple Core (Riley Blake Sweetest Thing) - 2 charm packs cut out - waiting on more fabric
  • Fussy Cut Bird Quilt - trying to make sure I really know what i'm doing!
  • Friendship Braid - One jelly roll cut out (laundry basket) - 2nd roll just arrived!
I bought fat quarters to make the adorable Swoon Quilt - but I'm not starting until I finish at least one of the above....quilted et al.

I was in Oklahoma February 1st and on the way, I stopped in Whitesboro, TX at the Kaleidoscope QuiltShop.  This shop is adorable..its owned by two sisters.  They have a great bin in the back that has lots of sale items.  I like to shop for fat quarters in their sale bin - they are only $1.49 each!  Here's my haul...(the bobbins are for my bias tape i've been making...and from the Antique store a few doors down)


Whitesboro is a quaint little town just south of the Oklahoma border.  Adorable downtown with great little antique shops and yummy restaurants. 

Moma and I decided to go have breakfast Saturday morning at the cafe where JoHannah works, so we could see how cute she is waiting on everyone.  After breakfast, mom and I headed to Nancy's Trunk Quilt Shop in Ripley, OK.  What's great about her quilt shop - is all her quilts hanging from rafters - and she really does have trunks full of quilts to pull out and show.  Nancy is so friendly and helpful.  She and her husband run the quilt store, he works on antique sewing machines and they offer them to sell there, along with fabrics, patterns, kits, etc.  I'm saving for a featherweight as we speak!  I managed to score a Christmas jelly roll for our jellyroll race coming up next weekend.  Nancy showed us her race quilts and she added large appliques to hers...and i'm so gonna steal that idea!  




Moma looked so pretty too!  She had her Valentine's outfit on.  I snapped a pic of her in the car.

After shopping at Nancy's we went to Perkins to Sasser & Co and I found a few jars for my sewing room....love that place too!
Great blue jar (from the Liberty Church thrift shop for my crochet hooks) and the Ball jar filled with antique embroidery threads from Sasser & Co.  The rolling pin is so unique, its cut in half with slots for recipe cards or old photos.  Can't wait to hang it in my kitchen.

I started my love of quilting, after I bought my Singer 160th Anniv edition.  I started looking at You-tube quilt tutorials and discovered...the tutorials of The Missouri Star Quilt Co.... I was hooked.  I started watching the videos, shopping online.  They have great prices, awesome daily deals, reasonable shipping and best of all - great tutorials!  This month there is a quilters magazine totally devoted to the MSQC, their family and their followers.  I probably order from them a few times a month....and with every order there's a short personalized thank you!

I knew I loved the MSQC since my first package arrived from Hamilton, MO...but guess what - I just found out - they love me back! Ahhh!!





Sunday, February 3, 2013

January 28th and 73 degrees on the Patio

Hard to believe its the end of January and most of the east coast is bathed in the white stuff.  Meanwhile back at the ranch, were a comy 73 degrees.  This morning was the first time in weeks, that I was able to drink my coffee on the patio this morning and actually hear a few birds chirpin.  Sitting out here now, while Lola and Jojo stare at me through the window.  Not sure if they are jealous, i'm out here without them, or maybe they're juding my tall glass of wine i'm having.  Puzzled...they can't believe i'm not inside watching Castle...my Monday night ritual...love that show!

This last weekend was very productive, as I've been getting a little back into my crochet phase...and decided to update this little milk stool I bought for $6.00 at MTDs last year.  It was weathered and worn from the Texas summer heat, so I decided bring inside for a spot in my sewing room.

Before.....you get the idea....
Time to weave in all those ends....yuck.

The Blocking Process - only left it on one day...


And here's the after....luv.


totally in luv with this little stool.  A little Ole English and some minwax , helped to transform this stool into a little piece of artwork in my sewing room.






Sunday, September 9, 2012

Lazy Cool Sunday

This morning when I went outside to drink a cup of coffee on the patio - the air was cool and it seemed like the heat of summer has moved on out.  It was 59 degrees and nearly jacket weather.  The sun came out quickly and suddenly before you knew it, it was over 80 degrees outside.  Certainly better than the 104's of last week - but can't wait til it feels like fair weather. 

Last April at our annual Mckinney Garden Club plant and seed exchange, I picked out a little 4" pot of Texas Rose Rock....it had a few sprigs and was about 6" tall.  I decided to plant it next my lamppost near other little bits of pink plants...JFK rosebush and also, pink salvia.  Here it is just over 4 months later in full bloom and gorgeous.  I've read its very easy to propagate and transplant around the garden.  Great great filler plant. 

 A few years ago, I picked up this really cute vintage worn bench at the 'Blue Door' downtain Frisco.  It was painted light yellow and I kept it outside in my flowerbeds.  This summer, I decided to strip it, repaint and distress it.  I made my own chalk paint with plaster of paris, water and paint....the color is deep aqua (Benjamin Moore) color matched at Lowes, then distressed it with black antiquing glaze.  My antiquing skills aren't that great...then I put a good coat of clear minwax and buffed it off after drying.  Now the bench resides in my bedroom for a little spash of color against all the gold.





Thursday, September 6, 2012

A little Caramel goes along way

A few months ago, I decided to take on two of my closets...my sewing room and master closet.  First, my little boring closet in my sewing room....I was inspired by the beautiful craft closet redos on pinterest and across the web....especially this one...Pam Garrison's and this one...Everything Etsy! love her use of wire baskets.  I opted for the scrapbook paper instead of paint, stair risers and iron shelf brackets from Hobby Lobby.

 The paper I bought at Hobby Lobby too, its 12 x 12 sheets in a packet - of vintage reproduction papers.
 After lots of paint and sticky fingers from the spray adhesive - here's she is all finished.  I cut the sheets in various sizes and layered them on top of eachother.  I also added pics of my ancestors, because I love old pics and my family - always inspiring!  I accessorized with baskets, wicker and wire and finds from antique stores and of course Hobby Lobby.  I love how it turned out.  I've had to respray a couple sheets at tbe top.  But for the most part, its held up well - a lite layer of modge podge over the top helped too!

 This is my favorite feature.....a 1/4" dowel rod running through 4 shelf brackets, is a great way to store ribbon...can be a pain to add new rolls, but easy to cut strips and re-roll in place!
 Over Labor Day, I decided to take on my closet in my master bedroom.  As you can see - its a hot mess, from ugly plastic hangers, bins and lots of crap. 
 It was really bursting at the seams, I finally remembered to take a photo - after I had taken most of the clothes out.  Below, Jojo liked to lay on top of my jeans and capris!
 Decided to purge and donate lots of luggage, I had acquired through various sample sales at work to charity....wasn't sad to see this ugly red set go!
 Here's a big mess that in the bottom, an old TV (donated), lots of cables, old computer and more luggage!
 Found a gallon of paint that matched my bedroom, 'caramel' in the entry closet and still good after 3 years.  It took 2 coats and also used stair risers from Lowes cut to size and more shelf brackets from Hobby Lobby.  Bought storage boxes from the container store and also Hobby Lobby.  It took forever to paint - two coats! But really happy with how it turned out - below are a few pics!
 A small dress form holds earrings and a birdcage holds necklaces. 

 This rack is perfect for flip flops!
Still have two more shelves to add here, but will wait until the brackets go onsale at HL.  Love how this turned out!  It looks like Caramel overload in the pics, but looks good in person!



Monday, February 13, 2012

A Little Fall of Snow.....

Last night we had our first little snow here in Mckinney.  Big flakes fell for a couple of hours starting around 9pm and when I woke up on Monday morning, all that was left was this little dusting.  I took a couple shots, since its mid-February and this could possibly be our only snowfall of the year!
Yep, that's it.

This weekend, I wanted to try this heart potholder, from MarthaStewart.com. I'm a bit of a novice when it comes to 'bias tape' and it wasn't perfect.  I made two, the first one a trial run and then got the second mailed off to moma for Valentines Day.  Fabric from Hobby Lobby and I used 'insul-brite' for the lining....and I think baby rick rack is just adorable on anything!
 Basting layers together
 Adding bias tape to the top layer
 Bias tape around the heart and a zillion pins later
The inspector is checking the quality of my work...
All done - two down and these were so cute, but i'm just not great at base or at the 'V' up top.  Check out these adorable potholders too from Big A Little a..... I love these, she really makes it look easy! The next one I make, i'm totally using the scalloped stitches...so cute!

I've also been working on organizing my fabric...and my sewing room..update coming soon!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Let' Catch Up!

Hard to believe its been 4 months since I posted my last update.....but after the holiday rush things are finally slowing down a bit.  I'm going to make a commitment to blog more in the New Year!

Dad and I went to DC in October.  He had never been and I love DC, so we got him a plane ticket for his 70th birthday back in April and he had to wait 6 months to cash it in.  We had alot of fun, did tons of walking and saw some amazing sites.  Below are some of my favs!
 A view of the monument at dusk....beautiful!
 Dad in the 1930s infamous lunch line at FDR's memorial!
 The Korean War Memorial....one of my favs!
 The WWII Memorial, probably one of the most beautiful War Memorials in DC!
 We hopped off in Chinatown and had some brews and egg rolls at 'Wok n Roll' formerly known as Mary Surratt's boarding house circa 1865.  (the infamous 'nest' that hatched the 'egg' to kill our beloved 16th President)
 Arlington National Cemetery.  I really had no idea of the magnitude of this cemetery.  Watched the changing of the guard, saw Custis Mansion (poor condition, ugh) and the famous gravesites.  Probably my favorite of all our stops. 
 Dad's having a little fun and decided to 'Fight the Power' with the other Occupy DC lunatics.

 This was our beautiful hotel, the historic Mayflower Renaissance just off the Farragut West and North stops, sure made riding the Metro easy.  I wish I had a pic of 'Potbellys'...that became one of our nightly staples...I think we ate there about 5 times - yum!  Daddy and I had a great time, we both got Library of Congress library cards and that was one of the highlights of the trip.  We also ate at Old Ebbits Grill and that was well worth the wait. 
 Here's my Halloween decor..haha - had a ton of Trick or Treaters and it was alot of fun!

I had Thanksgiving at my house, went and picked up Mom the day before and we cooked all day.  The turkey was so good!  We followed Barefoot Contessa's recipe and it wasn't pretty, but it was delish!  The Zerbos joined us too.  Becky and her family couldn't make it, and daddy had to work - but ther was 7 of us and we had a great time!  Here's Joey in front of the sign that Ben drew...so talented.  Mom got to stay a whole week and we had lots of fun.  We even made pepper jelly one day...except I don't know what we did, my jars never congealed!

 The dessert table....unfortunately, our chocolate pie - the one with the pretty meringue in front didn't set up - so it was just a puddle of pudding!  But the pecan was yummy and the pumpkin cheesecake was super rich!
 All the fixins - right before we said 'grace'.
 Right after Thanksgiving, I decided to put my trees up and this was a super cheapo one from Walmart that my mom picked up for me after Christmas last year for $20....it was really cute....and a great deal for the price.
 Ben was kind enough to draw a new sign for my entryway!
 Big tree is up and fire going - this was early December.  I miss Christmas already - already have it on my calendar for end of November to put up early and especially to get my lights on the house earlier.

Spent a few days in Oklahoma for Christmas, it was alot of fun, came home the Monday after and by Wednesday I was sick....hacking cough and congestion - no fun for the new year.