Thursday, March 29, 2007

Blue Chair

Still avoiding the log cabin quilt...

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Make an Easter card today


This is what I'm doing for Easter cards this year. Since I've had a lot of interest from people about my little flower card, I decided to post some easy instructions for an Easter card.

Supplies:
scraps of fabric for bunny and “grass”
1 card blank
white card stock
colored or patterned paper for mat
glue
1 button for bunny tail
sewing machine
very sharp scissors
needle and thread

1. Cut a 3 ½” x 4 ¾” rectangle out of white card stock.
2. Cut a 4” x 5 ¼” rectangle out of colored paper.
3. Click on the bunny template to show it full size, print it (I recommend that you use card stock for durability and ease of tracing), and cut it out.

4. Trace bunny shape onto back of fabric and cut out using sharp scissors.
5. Cut a 2” x 4 ½” rectangle out of grass fabric. Use scissors to cut waves along one long edge.
You should now have this:

6. Position bunny on white card stock rectangle using photo of card as a guide. Temporarily adhere it to the card stock using a non-tacky glue to avoid slipping while sewing. I like Zig 2-way glue or a glue stick.
7. Set sewing machine so that needle will stay in the fabric when you stop sewing. Carefully sew bunny to card stock about 1/8” from the fabric edge, raising pressure foot and turning fabric when needed. Pull thread ends to back, knot together and clip.

8. Position “grass” on card stock using photo as a guide and temporarily adhere it (see 6.). Don’t worry about the edges sticking over the ends – they will be trimmed later. Sew 1/8” from the top edge of fabric, following the wavy edge.
9. Using a rotary cutter and ruler (or scissors if you don’t have one), trim the fabric level with the edges of the card stock.

10. Position and sew button on bunny.
11. Center bunny card on colored paper rectangle and temporarily glue together. Wait a couple of minutes for glue to dry before proceeding or paper might move while you stitch.
12. Sew along edge of white card stock a scant ¼ “ from edge through both layers of paper. Pull threads to the back, knot, and clip.

13. Adhere completed bunny sheet to front of card using strong glue or double sided tape.
14. Write a message inside and mail it to someone special. (I preprinted my cards with the message “Wishing you a “Hoppy” Easter”).

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Nautical Nuances

Since I'm still in full avoidance mode on working away the thread tails on the log cabin quilt, and busy working on a little tutorial for an Easter card, I thought I'd share a little corner of my home. This is Josh's bathroom, which was one of the very first projects I tackled when we moved into this house almost 4 years ago. The walls were covered in a very bad sponging effort and I just could not stand to look at them one more day.

The photos were taken on a visit to Jackson Hole, Wyoming a couple of years ago. It was Josh's first river rafting experience and he had a blast! He's the little figure in the front of the boat. A brave soul, that little man.


I bought three little sailors during a visit to Kuaui in 1997 and knew that some day I'd be able to use them somewhere...

No special story here - just a lucky find at Ross or Marshall's - can't remember which.

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Monday, March 26, 2007

Amateur Hour


I thought I'd try my hand at something "arty" last night, but I clearly need that drawing class I'm taking soon...

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Saturday, March 24, 2007

Coincidence

Yesterday I blogged about the little scarf I was knitting from Joelle Hoverson's book "Last Minute Knitted Gifts". The reason I got this book from the library was really because I was looking for a knitted hat pattern and this happened to have a really cute one in it.

I went to the yarn store yesterday and purchased some yarn to knit a hat, which I finished this morning, by the way (did I mention I have a tendency towards OCD?).

Last night in bed I'm reading the book - yes I read pattern books - and something struck me as familiar. The book was written by the owner of Purl in New York City. Where had I heard that name before?

Lo and behold, it's the same Purl and Purl Bee that has a blog and photos on Flickr!

Too strange!

Anyway, here's the hat. Very, very cute!


Knitted with Manos del Uruguay pure wool yarn in color #113.

The beautiful model is Viola, Gavin's photographic model "girlfriend".

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Friday, March 23, 2007

Yum!


I made my latest favorite for dinner last night. Everyone loves it. Well, maybe not the little ones - a lot of onion!

Tomato & Onion Quiche

1 tbs olive oil
1 onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tomatoes, peeled and sliced
1 link Italian sausage, casings removed (or any other meat you have around)
2 tbs all-purpose flour
1/2 c fresh basil leaves, chopped
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 c milk
salt and pepper to taste
1 9" unbaked deep dish pie crust
1 1/2 c shredded Colby-Monterey Jack or Mexican style cheese, divided

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Bake pie shell in preheated oven for 8 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Brown sausage and remove from skillet.
Saute onion until soft; remove from skillet.
Sprinkle tomato slices with flour, then saute 1 minute on each side.
In a small bowl, whisk together eggs and milk. Season with salt and pepper.
Spread 1 cup shredded cheese in the bottom of the pie crust. Layer onions, sausage, and basil over cheese and top with tomatoes. Cover with egg mixture. Sprinkle top with remaining 1/2 cup shredded cheese.
Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C), and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until filling is puffed and golden brown.
Serve warm.

Enjoy!


This is my latest "in front of the TV" project. I got the book from the library, looking for a hat pattern, and found this little scarf, knitted with wool I already had in my "stash". It's light and airy and soft.

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Something new

Two posts in one day! A little much?

I was very fed up with the log cabin and decided to take a little break and try something I saw in the card store yesterday. I'm quite pleased. I might make little stacks to give as gifts...

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Old fabric for a good cause


For a couple of months now I've been trying to figure out what to do with my "old" fabric. I really want to buy some of the new, modern quilt fabrics, but feel too guilty since I have an entire closet full of fabric already.

My first solution was to make quilts, hence the little log cabin quilt. I quickly realized, however, that there is not enough time in the universe for me to use up all that fabric in this lifetime. Then, through my way too frequent surfing of Flickr, I learnt about Quilts for Broken Heroes (see some Flickr photos here), a group in Maryland that makes quilts for soldiers coming back injured, in more ways than one, from the war.

So, today, a whole bunch of my fabric stash is off to Maryland to be used in quilts for a wonderful cause.

Have a safe trip, little fabrics!

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

A little obsessive compulsive?

I thought I was just about done quilting the log cabin...


and a nice job it was too...


but then I decided that every little center square needed this...


so it'll be a while.

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Monday, March 19, 2007

Rain and bandannas

This is pretty much the story of the weekend, although things are apparently looking up for this week.


With St. Patrick's Day over, I had to make Sydney a Spring bandanna to replace the cute green one. I, once again, used Penny's wonderful pattern .


The log cabin quilt is in the process of being quilted. My goodness, I'm out of practice with this quilting thing though! It truly feels like I did more unpicking than sewing yesterday. Bar any more disasters, I should finish the quilting today, which means I can sew away the loose threads at our quilt group meeting tonight.

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Saturday, March 17, 2007

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Erin inspired me to find something green to wear.



I quickly made Syd a new little bandanna this morning using Penny's great pattern. Thank you Penny!



Happy St. Patrick's Day!

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Friday, March 16, 2007

Spring!


I bought these daffs at the grocery store on Wednesday. They were still complete buds. This morning they're beautiful flowers. Amazing what a little central heating can do.

After finishing the log cabin quilt top yesterday, I felt the need for a break from log cabins. I'd been wanting to make one of Anna's - little zippered pouches - even bought fabric and zippers. Here's my first attempt. I made some mistakes, but, overall, I'm quite happy. I think it'll be perfect for carrying thread, needles and scissors on the go.



It's supposed to be in the 50's around here today. Hopefully I'll have time to go play outside...

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Thursday, March 15, 2007

Yay, it's done!

The log cabin quilt top is done. Making it was a breeze compared to the nightmare it was to get halfway decent photos of a quilt top with that much contrast. Contrast: great for quilts, bad for cameras. It's kind of like taking photos in the glaring sunlight. Hard.

Now just some sandwiching, quilting, and binding and I'll have a new treasure for my collection.





I tried making a heart yo-yo from this wonderful tutorial yesterday with less success. I think my basting stitches were a little small and my choice of fabric questionable. Better luck next time, I suppose.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

A solution

I cut the borders for my little log cabin quilt last night and thought the little pile of scraps on the coffee table looked kind of cute. They're now in my new header. A little grainy, but, I think, better than the standard text header.

Today I have a solution to a problem some of you might have in your decorating efforts: the ugly laundry room sink.

I love my house, but the laundry room is not the best part of it. Linoleum floors, stock white laminate cabinets, and, worst of all, the plastic, beige, UGLY sink!

So, here's what I did:



1. Measure the width, as well as height from the floor on both the front and sides of the sink.
2. Purchase both self-stick and sew-on hook and loop fastener (Velcro) to run wall to wall around the front and sides of the sink.
3. Make a panel for each of the two sides, as well as the front according to your measurements, i.e. 3 panels.
4. Also make two panels, 7" wide by the height of the sink for the corners. These are the floral ones in the photos.
5. Lay the 3 big panels face down on the floor side by side, touching each other.

6. Lay the 2 smaller panels on top, face down as well.

7. Pin the soft layer of the sew-on Velcro across the top of this and sew it on. REMEMBER: this is all on the "wrong" side of the fabric.

8. Stick the hard part of the self-stick Velcro to the top of the sink, along the rim.
9. Affix your fabric panel to the sink, and Voila!, the sink is covered, looks much better, and, bonus!, you can store stuff under it unseen.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

What is that blinding light?



What is that blinding light coming through my window? It stirs a vague memory in the recesses of my brain. Could it be the sun?

It feels like spring! I'm about to go play outside but wanted to give everyone an update on the log cabin quilt.

The blocks have been assembled. I'm in the auditioning process for borders. Seeing that I'm only using stash fabric, this is proving quite challenging. And getting a good photo is even worse. Any suggestions on photography?

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Monday, March 12, 2007

Woohoo! Monday!


I love Mondays. Peace and quiet and time to do my thing. Lovely!

This morning the milk was sour and I had to dump my tea (it's a British thing - milk in tea). What a great thing: I replaced it with a mug of Tazo Passion tea, which doesn't need milk, and it's the perfect thing for a Monday morning.

I finished all the blocks for the log cabin yesterday. They're in a neat little pile, all marked in rows and ready to assemble. Maybe today?

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Sunday, March 11, 2007

Christmas in March

Santa (aka the mail man) came early this year and brought my new Mendhi Spice Market Quilt kit from Funquilts.



Of course, being who I am, I won't let myself start on this one until I'm done with my current project, the log cabin quilt. But I certainly am motivated to do that now!

My little cross stitch project has been completed. It was fun to do. I might have to look into completing my other unfinished ones.

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Friday, March 9, 2007

I love Staples!

Yes, Staples, the office supply store.

Today's writing was going to be about the wonderful quiche I made for dinner last night and my partial envy of 19th century Chinese wives, but it is not to be...

Long story short, I'm making a scrapbook as an end-of-season gift for Josh's soccer coach. It's an 8x8 album (at the time I thought it was a "cute" size). Each player wrote the coach a thank you note and I created a digital page for each one.



Today was printing time. I called around - cheapest place that can print 8x10's instantly: Walgreens: 2 for $5. Off I go. Big problem! Walgreens' computer enlarges my 8x8 pages to fit on the page, which means that large bits get cropped off the sides. This won't work. Off to Kinko's. They charge $5 per sheet. I had 20 pages. For that, I figured, I could buy a photo printer and print them myself.

So, off to Staples I go. I explain my predicament to the salesperson and ask for advice on the best printer for the job at the cheapest price. "Why don't you see if our copy center can do this for you?", he asks. Voila! Lovely prints on archival photo paper for $1.09 each!

I LOVE Staples!

The scrapbook turned out great! I even made a little envelope for the original letters from the boys.


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Thursday, March 8, 2007

Off to the city...

Today we were off to the city to go have a look at the Contemporary Quilt Art Association's exhibit at the Convention Center. Two of my very talented friends from quilt group are exhibiting. The quilts were beautiful and very inspirational. Check them out here, here, and here.

After filling our souls we headed down to Pike Place Market for some awesome salmon sandwiches to fill our empty tummies. Yummy!

It was cold down by the water. I'm SO ready for summer.

I'm also working on a little cross stitch project. The plan was to have something to do in front of the TV other than eating, but it's REALLY hard to count stitches and watch TV at the same time... Well, only a couple of backstitches to do and it'll be finished. I think I might hang it in my studio - the only pink place in my house. (no girls in this house, unless you count the kittycats and my baby Syd)

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Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Well, here goes...

I'm not sure what will end up here, but I'm sure it'll take on shape as I go along.

This is a block from my current quilting project. I'm making a blue (and red) log cabin quilt using only fabrics from my stash. The plan is to use up all my stash fabrics so that I can go buy new fabrics without feeling so guilty about all the unused fabric in the closet.

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