Monday, July 27, 2009

The Spinster Returns

da da da dum.....she returns from her long absence, drawn out of her silence by Doll Quilt Swap 7. How could she possibly resist? Check out those beauties! Now that my friends is what I call inspiration.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Playing Catch Up

In between all the school events, soccer games, PTA meetings (what was I thinking?) I've gotten way behind on posting some of the great swaps I've received. Prepare for a post full of quilty photo goodness.

These two fantastic quilts and the book I was too cheap to buy for myself came from Denise. We were paired for two different swaps in the same month and I could not have asked for a better partner. Just when I thought it couldn't get any better....

Check out the flip side of Denise's little quilt! That's right people, its reversible! Not to worry...both sides are on rotation because we wouldn't want to miss out on the cuteness of it all.
You can look here and here to see what I made for Denise.

How do you like my new (seriously it matches my kitchen/dining room) tablerunner from Kelly? Kelly made this for me in the Mini Quilt in a Bag Swap in record time with an imminent moving date scheduled for way sooner than she had anticipated.

The obligatory action shot of the tablerunner. Did I mention that people are no longer allowed to eat at this table. Yes, we all just stand around admiring the beauty. :0)

And lastly, this sweet little Gee's Bend inspired mini from Susan. Along with it came some fantastic treats. Amelia has already claimed the white sprinkle fabric for a princess skirt and I'm pretty sure the embroidery kit is spoken for (by her sister) as well.

The plans for the week are to play a little catch up on some of my swappy commitments. I haven't missed a due date yet and I don't intend to.
In the line up are:
Finish the Mini quilt in a bag swap
6-12" block swap
Alphabet Mania Mini Quilt Swap --I have the letter V to work with...any ideas?
Oh, and I'm told my quilt for Doll Quilt Swap 6 is on its way so check back for some action shots of work in progress and if the post office cooperates, some doll quilt pics. Its going to be another busy week!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Busy Work for Busy Days

Perfect for taking along to the soccer practice playground,

or sitting on the deck overseeing after school play,

or even after they're all in bed and the house is quiet,

but mostly to keep me occupied while they excavate the yard. (Please note the very fashionable purse, a must have for all digging expeditions.) The plan, as I've heard is to dig to the earth's core by mid summer '09. Theories are running rampant regarding whether or not lava will emerge from the crater.

And much like the tree house spirit that was last summer's guardian, I just have to smile and hang around.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Just Hanging Around

One last finish for the Spring to Finish Challenge over at Tall Grass Prairie Studio. Just under the wire with this cute little mini that I'm calling 'Just Hanging Around'. Clever huh.

This poor thing has been taking up space in a drawer since last summer. I had intended to make a little bag out of it but.....yea... that didn't happen. Earlier this week I saw Jacquie's cute clothesline minis and decided my clothesline was destined to be a little quilt too.

The dresses and embroidery were already done. I just added some really fun (you should try it) sketchy stitching, some batting, backing, binding and a tiny bit more embroidery and look at that! Another finish! Thanks for the inspiration Jacquie!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Spring to Finish

Well, since my pile of half done, to do and wip seems to grow each week from all those fantastic ideas floating around on all your blogs, I've joined in on the Spring to Finish project by Tallgrass Prairie Studio(yes, this is one of the fantastic idea inducing blogs). I love the idea of actually finishing all these little projects that seem to linger on my cutting mat.

Oh, and the added bonus to the finishing is that on April 30th I'll be able to leave a comment on Jacquie's post and be entered to win some fun prizes. Yep that's one entry per project. Alright, so here's my list of wip's that are on the table or completed since I signed up for this little adventure:

First up---Doll Quilt Swap 6~Done!! Labeled and everything, ready to go! :)

One Spring Garden Listmaker for a swap for some super cool woolsocks~
Done and done!

One lavender linen skirt with embellishments for Miss A(who has been
pestering me forever). Done!

One embroidered appliqued tea towel. Done!

One recycled overall ruffle dress (again for Miss A).

One clothesline mini quilt.

One snail tote.

One really late birthday gift for a friend. Oy.

One more embroidered tea towel.

So by my count that's four finishes and five more to go. You can laugh at me now. I know there's no way to finish the last five before Thursday but at least its a start at some finishes! :)
What's in your pile?

Friday, April 10, 2009


Holiday weekend plans,
company coming, nest cookies being made, family dinner with marshmallow peep smores made over a bonfire, bits of green reappearing, all the littles singing at Sunday morning service (some who may be afraid of embarrassing themselves), baskets filled, eggs dyed. Time to hang around and play together.
Happy Easter, happy Spring!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Seasonal Allergy Sufferers Look Away!

Ragweed is in the house!
That's what I call her quilt for Denise for the Mini Quilt in a Bag Swap. You'll see why in a minute, really, I promise.

Denise sent me a Moda charm pack ( I think it was Fig and Plum?) to use for her quilt and I sent her one to use for mine. Which by the way, I'd love to show you because I know its going to be really amazing. Unfortunately the mailman is not cooperating this week and my package hasn't arrived yet. Darn it!

So Denise sent me this charm pack which of course was really pretty but, not colors I usually work with. Yep, that is why I do these swaps, to try things I wouldn't normally come up with on my own. And then, there was the oh holy cow, what am I going to do with this? Hey friend in Virginia, these are your kind of colors...what would you do?

Ideas were suggested, considered, chewed on and dare I say dreamed about. As my pal will not hesitate to tell you, every time I start one of these little projects there's a sketch, an inkling, a fair idea of where it will all end up. And for each of these projects, there is the moment when my friend will check out the pics she's finally pestered me into uploading to flickr and say, "I like it, but that looks nothing like what I thought you were going to do."

Yep, that's what friends are for.

And so, finally after all those inklings and dreams about colors and fabrics, we have ourselves a little Ragweed. Nowhere in the original plan was the sketch stitching that I tried for the first time, or the free motion quilting that I've finally figured out, or even that patchy border.

So, yeah, I think the whole swapping thing is working for me. Stretching what I'm comfortable making, leading me to try new techniques, meeting some really cool and talented people, and giving my friend something to make fun of me for. Because really without throwing her a bone like this once in a while, there really is nothing to pick on me about. Nothing. :)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Down the Bunny Trail

This started out as just one bunny, really it did. Just a simple little Easter decoration, just for fun. As is the case with bunnies though, they seem to be multiplying rapidly...I could make a couple for my favorite kids in Virginia and surprise them. No big deal, right?

Before the first bunny was finished, he was named and claimed by one of my own. The others rapidly followed his lead, and so I had requests for four bunnies just from my own peeps, including one with vampire fangs cause you know, that would make him cool enough for the twelve year old to want one.

Sitting on the porch finishing up bunny number three and the neighbor kids arrive...whatcha makin Jill? Can ya make one for me? and me? and me? Umm sure, why not?
Add to the list the two more requests from some little friends at church and we are up to eleven. Eleven little bunnies, yes little, and yes each of mine has lost their bunny at least three hundred times in the last two days. Each time, a tragedy that makes us all stop what we are doing and go on a bunny hunt.
So far all the runaway bunnies have been recovered and returned safely to their owner. If your feeling the need to make some tiny runaway bunnies of your own, you can get your free pattern here from My Little Mochi. Just a word of advice though, you may want to add a little ribbon hanger or pet id chip as my husband has suggested. Just in case the inevitable happens. :)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Want to know who won?

Hey everyone! Thanks for playing my silly, spur of the moment, I'm really bored today giveaway!
I'm hoping that Jill will have received her little quilt either yesterday or today so I'm going to do the big (drumroll please) reveal and show you guys what you've been guessing about. Jill if you haven't gotten that package yet and would like to be surprised DO NOT SCROLL DOWN! :)

Alright, and away we go!

I know this was a tough one to guess...and the answer is...Eric Carle 'Draw Me a Star'.
I love his illustrations and the way he creates his own papers and then illustrations from all those tiny bits. Kind of like a paper quilt in a way. :)

So enough babbling, the winner of the Spur of the Moment Tiny Giveaway is lucky number 9!
(I used a random number generator to come up with that lucky bit but unfortunately my computer doesn't seem to want to post the graphic.)
By my extremely complex computing method number 9 appears to belong to Jen! Congrat on your tiny win Jen! Please contact me with your info and I'll get the following super cool but tiny prize out to you asap! :-)

--One sweet little drawstring pouch, just big enough for your sunglasses, phone and some fun money...

--and one tiny scrappy little hex pin (not this one but very close ) made with some cool designer fabric scraps, ribbon and some vintage lace!

Thanks so much for playing everyone and I hope you'll check in from time to time and say hello!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

When Leprachaun's Attack (and a little giveaway)

Well, there really is nothing better on old St. Patrick's Day to wake up at the crack of dawn to a little Leprechaun mischief. I don't know how the little bugger gets in but he seems to manage every year. His name is Lep by the way and yes we are on a first name basis.

So the house was turned upside down, toilet paper strewn about, fruit was found in children's shoes, coins and candy were scattered about. Just another ordinary St. Pat's day, umm...and no we are not Irish. We're just extremely lucky to have been adopted by our very own Leprechaun. Yea lucky...Ahh...I almost forgot the classic Leprechaun signature graffiti on every writable surface. Yes that's right, mirrors, windows, the garage door and oh yes, even the minivan. I'm now the proud driver of the St Patrick's mobile. Woohoo!
So thank you Lep for all you do. St. Patrick's Day wouldn't be the same without you.

And on we go adding a new character to the walls of our lovely tp'd home. Sam I Am recently arrived bearing what else but green eggs and ham. This fantastic mini was my February Children's Literature Swap with Jill. This cute little guy and his accompanying ham were not in the house an hour before one of the kids ran by and claimed it for his own. Well, he really loves it so, how I'll get it back I'll never know. I think he can have it, I think he can, he really loves that Sam I am.

Alright, your safe, the rhyming is over.
Back to business as usual....This little quilt is currently winging its way (probably stuck in Canadian customs) to Jill as I type. So of course its only a sneak peak but I'll give you a hint, its based on a children's book and its not the Three Little Pigs.....anyone want to take a guess? C'mon you know you want to.

Alright, how about this? The first one to guess correctly (by oh let's say 10AM Sunday March 22) gets a little surprise in the mail. Go on, it'll be good, little but good. Thinking caps on...children's literature...good luck! :)
edited to add: Alright I think this is a tough one so, one more clue...the author uses bits of torn papers to create their illustrations. And just in case your not up on your kiddie literature these days, leave me a comment telling me about your latest project and if no one guesses the correct title I'll draw a random number by the usual super secret method. Good luck!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

How To Make a Mobile 57 simple steps

Step 1 Stalk your partner's blog/flickr. (Excellent practice for the doll quilt swap stalking that I'm currently participating in.)

Step 2 Sleep on all those ideas running around your brain, hoping all the while that your subconscious mind will pare them down and spit out the best and brightest.

Step 3 Be severely disappointed in your subconcious for slacking off last night.

Step 4 Begin feverishly doodling, something...anything.

Step 5 Find a super cool preschool craft on line and immediately know what to make.

Step 6 Produce varying degrees and large quantities of successful cloud elements for your mobile.

Step 7 Realize that they are all too heavy to suspend in mid air and run to the craft store for the perfect weight ribbon.

Step 8 Be told by your all knowing ten year old that there's no way that ribbon will work.

Step 9 Be stubborn.

Step 10 Let ribbon dry over night and wave successful ribbon like cloud in ten year old's face. Ha!

Step 11 Totally change the original idea and actually use a few of the original cloud elements along with the new and improved ones.

Step 12 Gather branches from the yard in sub zero temperatures.

Step 13 Spend way to much time balancing all the new elements and last minute whims.
Step 14 Make all family members acknowledge that not only is this thing actually balanced, but the ribbon clouds worked and look, look at the super cute birds. Aren't they fun?!

Step 15 Figure out how you could possibly send this through the postal system without it becoming one giant ball of ribbon and string.

Step 16 Family members breathe collective sigh of relief that super cool mobile has left the premises and mommy no longer wanders around covered in yarn and glue.

If you still need a little mobile inspiration for that subconscious mind of yours, you can check out all the other really cool mobiles at Elsie Marley's Mobile Swap 2009.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Doll Quilt Swap 6

An open letter to my super secret Doll Quilt Swap6 partner.

Hello o super secret one! If you have found my blog in a effort to snoop out things I love to use for doll quilt inspiration, you've come to the right place. Have a look around, make yourself at home, check out the blog ramblings and flickr faves. I'm hoping to make this round easy for you! :)

So let's see, let's talk about color. Love color, lots of,yellow, green, as of late, black and white checks are an all time fav. I'm more of a pure color girl too, in case you were wondering just how red we're talking about. I've never been a big fan of the darker more muted country colors (burgundy, slate blue, dusty pink etc.) or the crazy neons either.

Alright, assuming you haven't left yet, let's talk fabric. I think I have some pretty eclectic taste in fabric, love everything from the designer stuff, to Japanese prints, to one of my favorites 30's and 40's repro prints. If you get far enough in reading this blog you will undoubtedly come across several mentions of my favorite craft/thrift store where I spend way too much time stalking vintage fabrics, lace and linens. See? Eclectic, vintage, lace, linen, modern and repro fabrics, love it all.

Still here? Alright then, as far as style goes, I'll leave that up to you. That is after all the point of all this secrecy isn't it? .... a really cool surprise in the mail when all is said and done.

Well, o secret one, I can't wait to see what you come up with (the suspense is killing me) and to find out who you are. For now, thank you for reading this far and I'll leave you to your snooping.

Love, me :)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

More Handmade Goodness

Well, in addition to wandering off from the blog for a while, looks like I've neglected to post the swaps I've sent and received. Grab your coffee and get comfy...this could be a long one.

While we were out wandering the country, the Birds of Change Exchange flew into town. I love this idea for a swap organized by Creative Kismet. So perfect for this time of year. At least around these parts we could certainly use a little bit of spring and a lot less snow. Even if those bits of spring happen to arrive in my mailbox, I'll take it. Look at all the sweet little birds that have already found spots to nest in their new home. Good stuff!

Speaking of good stuff, I recieved my super cute little mini quilt in a bag swap from Heather.
Heather and I exchanged bags of fabric months ago and made each other quilt from them. Seems like this swap went on forever ( it had an extended due date because of the holidays) but it was worth the wait. Believe it or not this was Heather's first quilt and I think she did a great job! I know its hard to see in this pic but it really is adorable and already hanging on my wall. Thanks Heather!
Now, I know you've already seen bits of this one, but this is the final shot of the mini I made for Heather. This one was really fun to make and was inspired by some vintage dress patterns and the graphic on the box my new (vintage look) phone came in.

Inspiration really is everywhere. You just have to be willing to see it. :)

And finally for today anyway, here is a sweet paper pieced log cabin I received from Suzee for the February Swap Till You Drop group.
...oh and a sneaky peek at the paper pieced mini I sent to Suzee, winging its way to her as I type.
So tell me, what's inspiring you today?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Seems I've Wandered Off

Alright, so who's tired of looking at that flickr mosaic? Seems I've wandered off in the last few weeks and abandoned this little space. The kids have been home on winter break, Valentine crafting has been finished, a trip to Virginia to visit some of our favorite people(who let all six of us stay in their brand new beautiful home. Thank you Neenee!) and lots of other good stuff in between has all left me without much time to spare.

Unfortunately, all that laundry from Virginia had to come before blogging (people need their clothes you know). We're nearing the end of the mountain of clothes, the family car is finally cleaned out, groceries were bought and school starts up again tomorrow. Almost back to what we call normal in this house.

Ooo! I almost forgot, on the way home we made our first ever trip to IKEA. The kids got bored fairly quickly and went to the playplace for a bit (not something we usually do) and while I was a little worried....they were a little disappointed to see me come to sign them out! Woohoo IKEA!
Great design, low prices and super cool playplace for the kids!

Also, if your wondering why there are no pics of our fun trip, the IKEA haul or my friend's pretty new house....yea, about that....I had the camera with me (new batteries too) and never touched it the entire time. Duh. So sorry...I'll be back tomorrow with an actual picture filled post full of crafty goodness from the "Wandering Days".

Monday, February 2, 2009

Feel the Flickr Love

1. "Keep My Heart Close" Double Sided Collage Pendant, 2. sewing, 3. handmade zakka for baby, 4. Tulipas..., 5. pincushions, 6. Needlework (C365, days 332-5), 7. valentine bird, 8. happy fairies, 9. Pink placemat
Created with fd's Flickr Toys.

The temperature has risen above 15 degrees (at least for a moment). The calendar says its almost Valentine's Day and most definitely Groundhog Day. Spring is in the air, feel the warmth of some Flickr love. :)

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Why I Love My Mailman

I walk to the mailbox and find, buried beneath the snow all around, a happy package just for me.

This arrived yesterday from Sara, my January Swap Till You Drop. This was Sara's first time participating in a quilt swap although you would never know it. The theme was Sing it, Read it or Watch it, and Sara made me a quilt based on To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. She did a beautiful job on this and I love that she included quotes from the book.
Sara also sent a fantastic pile of treats for me including some really fun polka dot fabric. Thank you so much Sara! I really love it! :)

And, here's the final reveal on the Patsy Cline "Crazy" inspired mini I made for Sara. Some vintage lace, repro fabric, a little coffee dying courtesy of Starbuck's, pearl buttons and a vintage gold concho for a very 1950's country western, lipstick and high heels kind of quilt. Just for fun, I made Sara this scrappy little LOVE heart to make her mailbox happy too.

I hope your having a day filled with the things that make you happy too! :)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Pay it Forward

Thanks to my wonderful January swap partner Sara, I'm now in on her Pay it Forward event.
Sara has agreed to send a little handmade goodness within the next 365 days, to the first three people who signed up for this round. I of course, am one of the lucky three!

In turn, I have agreed to Pay it Forward and send a little handmade something to the first three people who sign up right here. The only catch of course, is that to be one of my three lucky ducks, you must agree to continue this lovely chain of handmade happiness to three people of your own. C'mon, I know you want can fit three more handmade little gifts into the next 365 days. I know you can. :) Come out, come out wherever you are.....who will my three be?

Monday, January 26, 2009

Winter Weekend or How Snow Can Make You a Crazy Person

A recap of our still freezing cold, not a green blade of grass in sight weekend at home.

Pink Marble Marshmallows. Thank you Martha Stewart. This was Momo's idea but, of course she decided she'd rather go to the library half way through the recipe. Guess who finished making those.

Finishing up all those swaps I've signed up for. Seems I am unable to control myself with the whole swapping thing. Note new mobile swap on my sidebar. From left to right: Five birds for the Bird's of Change Exchange, a Gee's Bend inspired Mini, the January Swap Till You Drop inspired by Patsy Cline's "Crazy", and also destined to be in the mail this week, the Mini Quilt in a Bag Swap for Heather. Whew. Mini raspberry pie made by me. Totally my idea, unlike the marshmallows. I even stole the little skillet from the kids. The Monkey man spent more time pretending to cook that little thing than he did eating it.
A new do for me, oh and a little color too. That stripe down the center that I had working was not cute. This one's for you Neenee. You know how much I love having my picture taken. :0!
And to round out the weekend, a night of crafting mania by several of the kids and and adult or two. How was your weekend?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Spare Change Anyone?

Don't be nervous, I'm not asking for money. :)
This is the pieced top made with the 5inch squares I received from the Spare Change Swap. Yes those are the very orange legs over there of one of my lovely assistants. They were the only two tall enough to hold that thing up so I could get some kind of picture of it. They were of course more than happy to help out . Yep, hardly any arguing at all.

I must have drawn twenty different designs for this one to make sure it would show off all that really cool fabric I received. I finally settled on this altered disappearing nine patch. Honestly, after the top was pieced and the red border was on I was not in love. Its funny what adding just a little more to a project can do. One eight inch white border later and LOVE.

I think this one might be the perfect little back of the couch snuggle quilt for the coldest room in the house. Clyde the dog has already tested for size and seemed happy, until I found him. It is all about Clyde you know.