Sunday, July 20, 2014

Summer of Organizing, Reading, Researching and Dresdens!

Its been so long since I've blogged on here - i'm not sure where to start to catch up!  I decided this summer, I will focus on organizing my home, reading 12 books, catching up on family history and spending more time in my sewing room. Three outa 4 isn't bad....reading, researching and sewing Dresdens!!!

Have sewn quite a bit, but thought I'd share my Dresden's today...the first one here, I made for my sis for her birthday, just made up my own pattern.

Just plain scrap fabric here, so used my dresden ruler and thought this looked cute on my painted milk stool.

A lone dresden, with no home yet...but think this one would be adorable on a the colors!

This used to be a piece of scrap fabric that covered an ugly printer and its cords in my sewing room. I repurposed it into a cute apron and added a signuature dresden to the linen flap. I will have to add an upcycle/repurpose section, as there are several projects I'd like to share.

This is probably my favorite Dresden....not fancy quilt fabric, saw this at Joanns and bought several different varieties and it was waiting to be used. I sat outside and decided to hand quilt the top. This one is a true hotpad with the insul-bright sandwiched in!

Adding a side link to follow my 12 Books of Summer, but also excited about starting a monthly book club for our DAR Chapter! Some of my favorite summer readings so far...the Amish series by Linda Castillo...these are great and even listened to a few on audio as a travelled to my folks this summer...and I never figured out the ending once! Audiobooks make a great stress reliever as your driving home from work. Currently reading JLBs 'Wayfayering Stranger'...this is the Holland series..and of course its amazing. Picked up a Nelson Demille book 'Night Fall' about the TWA flight 800 tragedy back in 1996, and the conspiracy theory that it was downed by an STA missile. Really enjoyed this book too, except for the ending...hated it. Interesting that a book almost 20 years old makes you think 'how could that ever happen?', and it just did last week in the Ukraine. One last amazing author to mention, great summer reading series...Karen White and her Tradd Street Novels, set in Charleston...became obsessed with those too! I'm counting my twelve as from Memorial Day to Labor Day...12 books should be a breeze, I think I'm almost there!

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 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 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 Monday night 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. 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 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 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 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 cute!

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