Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Friday Night Sew-In for March.. and a Giveaway!

Bobbi and I are hosting the Friday Night Sew-In for March and a Giveaway!!

Joining the Friday Night Sew-in is a way of setting some time aside to work on those projects on your to do list. And remember - it doesn't have to be a sewing project.. maybe you have a knitting project.. or some scrapbooking.. it could be anything.

So join Bobbi and I, Friday March 19th, for our monthly Sew-In.

Here are the "rules".

1. Enter your blog info below. (If you don't have a blog, you can enter the link for the Friday Night Sew-in Flickr group)

2. Tell all your friends.. make a post on your blog - letting all your readers know about the sew-in. Spread the word.. we could all use the virtual sewing support and encouragement.

3. On Friday – 03/19/10 - Get your house settled, put on your comfy jammies.. maybe make a cup of tea.. and sit down to work on some of those projects (or anything else that you want to work on).

4. Then, sometime on Saturday - Make a post about what you worked on.. show us a picture or two. Post pictures on the Flickr group page if you would like.

5. Optional.. grab the "Friday Night Sew-In" Button on the right for your own blog!

And finally - on Sunday 3/21, we will enter all participants into a GIVEAWAY for something fun! Maybe some fabric.. or a sewing gadget or two.

Friday Night Sew-in Participants
1. Valerie
2. Bren
3. Kat from NH
4. Rene
5. Jamie
6. Polly
7. Sue M
8. Cara Quilts
9. Jacque.
10. Rachel @ Not-so-Plain Jane
11. Susan
12. Balinda
13. Crystal
14. Judy C
15. WonkyGirl (Deb in AZ)
16. Marta
17. Bobbi
18. Patty
19. Pam in Texas
20. Jandi
21. deborah
22. Bev C
23. Kristen M.
24. Frummie
25. SheilaC
26. Holly Days
27. Gran
28. Kim P.
29. Kerry
30. wishes, true and kind
31. Jane
32. Grethe
33. Cornelia
34. Libby
35. Maranda
36. kimland
37. Carol L
38. Jane
39. Lochside quilter
40. Sara
41. Sue H.
42. Wendy
43. Jessica Christensen
44. Manuela Branco
45. Madelyn
46. Barb aka omashee
47. Ellen
48. Edna @ Needling Things
49. Alice Grace
50. Karin
51. Marybeth
52. Maria
53. Celine
54. Bonnie
55. Kristen- So Happy
56. LInda
57. Diane @ Life Scraps
58. Mary K.
59. Narelle
60. Dorothy
61. Joy P
62. terry's new thread
63. Eileen
64. Katinka Brusselsprouts
65. Amy
66. Jill in Ohio
67. Joanne
68. Geniene
69. Jan Q
70. Annie
71. Kim
72. Erin
73. Vikki
74. Jen - Miss Punkie Pie
75. Kim Pi.
76. Shiree
77. Jean
78. Linda-Texas
79. Cindy
80. Sandy K
81. Sunny
82. Cheryl
83. Neroli
84. aussie jo
85. Tracy
86. Kimberley
87. Vicki
88. jilly
89. Notjustnat
90. Karol
91. abi @ lighter side
92. Susan @ Blackberry Creek
93. amy c.
94. dawn
95. Lei Brown
96. Katie in CT
97. cath Ü
98. Lisa@A Stitch of Faith
99. Susan
100. Meghan
101. Ros
102. Annette - Jindi's Cottage
103. Molly
104. Karen
105. Cindy B.
106. Shelly
107. Satu
108. melinda cornish
109. beth
110. Dora
111. lisa
112. Debbie S.
113. Mikol
114. Sandra
115. Ashley
116. Oddbjørg
117. SarahB
118. Tracey
119. Kris
120. dianne
121. Melissa
122. Lis
123. Tammy
124. Mrs Moen
125. FlyingGma
126. Mary on Lake Pulaski
127. Lyn
128. Kay Lynne
129. Dresden Quilter
130. Gael Tino
131. Anne Lise
132. Lissa
133. Mary Anne Drury
134. Sandra L
135. Megan@Crooked Seams
136. Kristin
137. Donna Owen
138. Suzan, Reluctant Quilter
139. Helen
140. Cynthia Welch
141. Lydia@ Layne James
142. Sølvi
143. Becky
144. Kristine
145. Katie
146. Kim in Pokeytown

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Get organized already!!

Some of you who know me outside of blogland already know that I was recently laid off my job. don't feel bad for me. I'm pretty happy about it. Blessings sometimes come in strange ways. I wasn't working for a very nice person. Even though it's a big hit to our finances - I know another MUCH BETTER job is on the horizon for me.

So for now - I'm home.. 100% Mom.. and I have an urge to get organized. I'm hoping to cross some bigs tasks off the to-do list. Some simple.. others - not so much. I'm going deep into the depths of dark corners and closets.. and I promise to share pictures of my progress and some organizational inspiration along the way.

Today I want to share a simple one.. I am lucky to have a sewing room to spread out my mess. And I wanted a simple way to keep all my in-progress projects organized (say that 5 times).

I found these containers at Target for only 3.99.
Ignore the mess on bottom of picture - that's a basket of scrapbooking stuff. Need to work on that too.

Anyway - the plan is to keep all things related to ongoing projects in their own bin. Hopefully this will work as smoothly as it sounds.

And now for a prettier picture...

These are my Pinwheel Sampler blocks that I finished this morning. I'm using "Natures Notebook" from Moda for this quilt.

Now I'm off to re-arrange some bedrooms. Our boys currently share a room and I am going to move them into their own rooms. They've been asking for awhile and have said they are ready to give up their playroom to make it happen.

Oh.. and if you know of any good Systems Analyst jobs.. let me know. lol.
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Monday, February 22, 2010

Potholders Received!

My swap partner for the Potholder Pass was Illene - and she lives in Australia. I received an email from her today letting me know she received them and loves them.

These are the potholders that I made for her.

I also included a Starbucks coffee mug from Arizona - I forgot to take a picture of that though.

I'm signed up already for round 2 of the potholder pass... can't wait to get going on it.
After doing potholders - I have the urge to make some placemats now.

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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Postage Stamp Quilt-along Tutorial #1

Finally the first tutorial for the Postage Stamp Quilt-along! Yey!

And technically, there is only one true 'tutorial' for this quilt-along. Since the technique is the same throughout the entire process. But I will still be posting weekly to give you all that little push if you need it.

One correction from my original calculations - I originally said that this first tutorial would make 2 'sections' - but you could actually make 3 sections. But more on that later.

It is very important to make sure you use a 1/4 inch seam allowance. I cannot stress accuracy enough. If you are unsure - measure from your needle and mark it. Accuracy in your seam allowance makes for less frustration when matching seams later.

So let's begin.

You will start with 34 strips of light (or white/cream) and
34 strips of dark.
Each strip is 1.5 inches wide and 21 inches long.
Sort your strips into groups. You will have 4 groups total.
Group 1 / 3 = 9 strips of light & 8 strips of dark
Group 2 / 4 = 8 strips of light & 9 strips of dark

You will sew one group at a time.

Group 1 - start with a 'light' strip and sew all strips in group together. Alternating between light and dark. You will also end on a light strip.

Group 2 - start with a 'dark' strip and sew all strips in group together. Alternating between dark and light. You will also end on a dark strip.

You will end up with with two 'blocks' that look something like this.

See how Group 1 on left starts and ends on a 'light' strip. And how Group 2 on right starts and ends with a 'dark' strip?

Press all seams towards the dark strip as shown.

I also press from the front to make sure that they are pressed flat.

Now you will cut these into 1.5 inch strips. First trim the edge to make it straight...

Then start cutting into 1.5 inch strips. You will end up with 4 groups again that look something like this.

Now you will begin to sew them together. You can do them in any order as long as you alternate between a strip that starts with dark then one that starts with light.. and so on.

Sew 17 of them together.. pressing the seams all in one direction this time.
I like to press as I go for this step. I think it's easier to match my seams when the piece I'm working with is flat.

It will slowly start to grow..

And grow.. until you have one big block that is 17 'stamps' across and 17 'stamps' down

This block is what I have previously called a "section". You should have enough strips from this initial set to make 2 sections and possibly 3.

If you only make 2 - save all the remaining cut strips to use in later "sections". This will help to mix up the squares a little bit.

A Twin size quilt will need 20 sections (4 across x 5 down)
     approx 5.25 yards light and 5.25 yards dark
Queen will need 30 sections (5 across x 6 down)
     approx 7.5 yards light and 7.5 yards dark
King will need 42 sections (7 across x 6 down)
    approx 10.5 yards light and 10.5 yards
I hope all this makes sense - Please don't hesitate to ask for clarification - I will make sure to answer all of your questions! 

So.. go get sewing!
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February Sew-in Winner!

What a turnout we had on Friday night! It is absolutely amazing that we had nearly 200 of us sewing and making progress on our projects. I wonder how many feet of thread we collectively used? That would be a fun statistic.

Anyway.. on to the fun part... the Giveaway Winner is #102 Kat over at

Kat, send me your address and I will get these awesome prizes in the mail to you.

Once again, we drew 2 winners.. Go on over to Bobbi's blog and see who won over there.

Based on a few suggestions - Bobbi and I have decided to make the Friday Night Sew-in's on the 3rd Friday of every month. We will post the sign-up for March in a few days. Having them on the 3rd Friday each month will make for some easier planning for all of you - instead of wondering what magical date we will chose.

And - lastly, for those of you wondering.. the Postage Stamp tutorial is coming later today. I'm working on finishing it today.. between all the family interruptions of course. Pin It

Saturday, February 20, 2010

February Friday Night Results

I hope everyone made some progress on projects last night. I was able to get quite a bit done.

We had an event at the school last night and after sitting outside in the cool air - I really wanted to come home and snuggle on the couch. But, as intended, the Friday Night Sew-in commitment gave me the little umph I needed to get in there and sew. Once I started.. I was on a roll!

I have been working on some long overdue home improvement projects. Some big - some small. I will be sharing them with you as they get done. One of them is a re-do of my disorganized laundry room. I'm actually going to decorate it (maybe that will make laundry more fun?.. no?) So, I'm working on a wall hanging quilt that will go above my washer and dryer.

The top is almost done. This was totally, 100% inspired by this post from Jacquie. I fell in love the minute I saw hers. I will show you more detailed pictures once it's complete. I still need to paint the laundry room too.. getting behind the washer and dryer will be a trick for sure.

I also worked on my Postage Stamp quilt-along tutorial that I will be posting for you all tomorrow afternoon (so excited).

What did you work on? Did you make some progress on your WIP's? And since sharing and encouragement to get things done is what the Friday Night Sew-in's are all about - don't forget to share what you worked on last night. You can share on your blog - or on the Flickr group page.. or both.

The giveaway winners will be selected tomorrow from all those who participated and shared. This is what I will be sending one lucky winner..

Bobbi will select a winner over on her blog tomorrow too.. can't wait to see who wins! Pin It

Friday, February 19, 2010

Elton John called.. he wants his outfit back!

We have a crossing guard at school that is a retired women and she makes my morning -!

She always wears a baseball cap that is full of bling.. lots of jewels and sparkles that shine in the morning sun. And her clothes are always sporty. Every morning when I see her - I get a little smile and I think "I bet she's a hoot to hang out with."

Well, this morning - she took it too far. You can't tell from the picture (darn cell phone camera) but her baseball hat is totally covered in gold rinestones - and her outfit... ZOWIE!!! It's leopard print.. GRRRRR...

My oldest son said "HOLY WILDCAT!". Her shoes are purple sequin sneakers. Whew.. I love this women!

I had to be covert with the camera - because I didn't want her to see me take the picture. I really like her and didn't want to make her feel bad. But I'm guessing she has something really fun going on today!

I wonder if she sew's?? I should invite her over for the FRIDAY NIGHT SEW-IN tonight!!!!! She may not sew.. but I'd bet some good money that she owns a Bedazzler! Pin It

Monday, February 15, 2010

Drunk Love

Back in my 20's, a post title like that one would have a pretty juicy story attached to it.. followed by a "what have I done??".. then you would say "It's not as bad as that one time Heidi". LOL

Thankfully.. those days are over and you don't come here to read stories about my single girl adventures... although that could be fun.

Anyway, I finished another block for my fellow Quilter Bee Buddy, Sharon. The pattern name is "Drunk Love" and it was fun to make. I haven't done very many 'wonky' projects but it was pretty easy. 

Now to get this packaged up and ready for the post office tomorrow! I have a busy day planned. I have an errand to run close to downtown Phx - so while I'm in that area, I plan on hitting The Quilted Apple.

It's not one of my favorite stores - they rarely seem to get any new fabrics. BUT.. back in September, I won a $100 gift certificate during our annual Shop Hop. I posted about it here. So my plan is to stock up on solids if they don't have any other fabrics that catch my eye.

Besides - there is no such thing as a 'bad' quilt store.. just different levels of heavenly. Pin It

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Quilter Bee Block for Theresa

I'm a little behind on my quilting bee blocks. I finished these Jewel blocks for Theresa.

I get nervous when I'm given creative freedom. I'm a people pleaser.. so I'm always worried about them liking it. But I'm pretty happy with how they turned out. Her quilt is going to be so pretty.

Now I just have some for Sharon to work on. Then I'll be caught up until the next package shows up. If you have never been in a quilting bee - you should try it. It's a great way to challenge yourself and step out of your comfort zone!
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Happy Valentines Day!!

I remember when I was a kid that my Mom used to always give us a little something on Valentines Day. Sometimes it was heart shaped box of chocolates or other candy.. but one year she crocheted a heart pillow for me. That was my favorite.

So I have always tried to give my kids a little something too. Not a new toy.. or Wii game.. but something small and thoughtful. Sometimes just candy and a hug.

I had planned on making them each some heart boxers - but when I was looking for fabric at JoAnns, I couldn't find anything that I liked with hearts on it. So... on to Plan B.

Then I found these cool coupons to give kids on a website called Activities for Kids. (they also have coupons for adults too)
Above is the front and back of your booklet.
And you can't see very well from my picture - but I sewed a stitch along the left side. This is so when all together in a booklet - they can be pulled out easier (perforated).
And if the preprinted coupons don't work - they have some that are blank so you can put in whatever you want.
Then I cut all my coupons and stapled them together into a little booklet.

I made these little goodie bags and filled with some chocolate.. and a coupon book.
When I gave my oldest his little bag this morning.. he saw the coupon for "A big hug and kiss" and he said "Yep.. I'm gonna cash that one in today"

Here's hoping you have a Happy Valentines Day surrounded by people you love!
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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Granny's Quilt

Have you ever heard about Granny? She's 96 years old and she is a busy quilter. She usually makes 2 quilts a week and she is amazing. You can read about her here on her Granddaughter Val's blog.

Late last year I bought my first quilt from Granny - my family loves it. It's quickly become a family favorite for snuggling on the couch. So - in January I decided to buy another one and here it is..

This is a scrappy quilt she made and it's so cozy... I can feel a 3rd quilt from Granny in my future. Pin It

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Til' Death

What a day we had today. If you have ever read my "50 things" post - #46. You will know that my nephew is an actor on a sitcom. The show is "Til' Death" on Fox Sunday nights.

His parents flew to L.A. yesterday from Fargo (our home town) and me and my family drove in from Phoenix. We spent the day today at the studio watching them film the season finale. We laughed so hard and had such a great time. And our kids were allowed in studio even though the age limit is 18 and over.. and boy were they good! We were so proud of them for being quiet when they had to be.

Here is my family with the cast of the show. Brad Garrett and Joely Fisher are husband and wife and our nephew plays their son in law, Doug.

Here is my sister and brother in law with the cast.

When we broke for lunch - Joely Fisher had got the Shaved Ice truck there for the entire crew - and she made sure my kids both got one too.. they loved it. It had ice cream on the bottom of a snow cone. Heaven in a bowl according to my kids.

And here is my oldest with his cousins 'chair'

And here are both my kids sitting on the couch on the living room set.

And finally - my sister in law, Mary, with her son's chair.. Is that a proud Momma or what?! That's her "Hollywood" pose.

Sorry about the picture.. her husband decided to walk across just as I was taking it.. with his shaved ice of course. lol.

We are so proud of Timm - he's worked so hard to get this far. He has been living in L.A. for over 10 yrs now and has been lucky enough with work that he's never had to get any other job to support himself. That says a lot about his acting skills.

We are getting ready to join them all for dinner next.. and then tomorrow.. THE BEACH!!!
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Monday, February 8, 2010

Teacher teacher...

As you know, I have two boys. Well let me say that they are 250% BOY.. each of them. I always feel for their teachers because I know both of my boys talk a lot (very social like their mother).. they usually have ants in their pants.. and just the mention of words like poop, boogers or fart can send them over the edge in giggles.

So - every year, I have been known to treat their teachers well. Not with lavish gifts.. but rather thoughtful things.. usually homemade.. like this from last year... or this from this past Christmas.

I found this great kit from Sweetwater to make these personalized coffee cozy's.  I have one more to make for a teacher.. and then one for me of course.

Isn't it cute!?
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Surprise package!

I knew I should have checked the mail on Saturday!!! After I dropped the boys off this morning for school I decided to walk down to the mailbox.

And I'm so glad I did!! There was a surprise package from Rita from the potholder swap. I love these!

And because I'm a traditional girl.. I love that they are traditional quilt blocks.

Here is the back.. I'm torn whether I should actually use them in my kitchen.  

Thank you Rita!
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Saturday, February 6, 2010

You may think I'm crazy..

About 8am this morning, we loaded up the car... left our 60 degree day and started up through the mountains

Drove up and down steep mountain passes.. (do you like my noodle necklace hanging from mirror? lol)

Until we saw this...

Just so we could do this...

A lot of laughs.. a lot of smiles! And tomorrow.. a lot of sore muscles on Mommy.
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Friday, February 5, 2010

Postage Stamp Flickr group

I was originally going to wait to start a flickr group for the Postage Stamp quilt-along until I posted the first tutorial. However, I started it now so you can ask questions in an open forum and share tips with each other and also fabrics if you would like.

The link for the Flickr group is

We will be working on our quilts in "sections". As I stated in my last post, the first tutorial is posted on February 21st - and it will give instructions to make 2 sections. The fabric needs for those 2 sections are listed in this post.

Each 'section' will be 17 1/2 inches square and will contain 289 "postage stamps".

A Twin size quilt will need 20 sections (4 across x 5 down).
Queen will need 30 sections (5 across x 6 down).
King will need 42 sections (7 across x 6 down).

This may sound like alot - but trust me, this will go together quickly. And it will put a huge dent in your scrap bin!
Joining the Flickr group is totally optional. All tutorials will be posted here on my blog - with the first on February 21st. Pin It

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Postage Stamp Fabric needs

For the first stage of the Postage Stamp quilt along, we will be making two sections for the quilt.

For my colored squares, I will be using scraps and some fat quarters from my stash. And, because I want my quilt to look similar to the LLBean version, I will be using a solid cream color as an accent.

The fabric needs for the first stage will be as follows:

34 strips 1 1/2 x 21 inches of cream or white (3/4 yard total)
34 strips 1 1/2 x 21 inches of various colors (aka scraps or fat quarters)

If you are not planning to use white/cream as your accent. Then you will want to have 34 strips of a lighter value and 34 strips of a darker value.

You can cut these at any time. I will post the first tutorial on February 21st.

And finally - on a totally different topic. I stopped in my local Barnes and Noble bookstore this morning and found this book on the bargain table. It's actually pretty good. It has quite a few quilt blocks inside along with some good tips. And a bargain at $9.98

My store had quite a few copies.. you should check yours and see if they have it. I may go get another copy for the Friday Night Sew-in giveaway. Pin It

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Six short years ago today...

On 02/03/04 @ 2:34 - our youngest was born. What a cool birthdate huh! And time! 2..3...4

They didn't have school today (teacher development) so he was lucky to have his b'day off to spend with his family.

Here are a few pictures of him along the way.. I only went back to 2 yrs old because I didn't want to transfer from our other computer. (I'm lazy like that).

Here he is when he was 2...

Here are some from when he was 3.. that top right was from a Mom's club field trip to our local Firestation.. a special treat for him and ME. The one in the tub is from Grandma's house.. they love taking baths in that tub.

Below are some from when he was 4yrs old.. The pic on the bottom right is one of my all time favorites. We were in Flagstaff playing in the snow and he was getting on his older brothers nerves. Classic big brother/little brother picture.

And below are some when he was 5.. he learned to ride bike without training wheels this year. The pic in the upper left is when he decided to color on his face with markers.

And below was taken this morning. After breakfast I took the boys for a nice morning hike. The temp was perfect.. we had a nice breeze.. it was a gorgeous morning. And the scenery was pretty.

And my favorite picture from this morning is below. He told us "Wow.. we are so close to God up here" and then he waved his hand and said "Hi God".. I almost didn't get the picture in time. So cute.

As I type this post - he is eating his second piece of cake and it's 15 minutes before bedtime. But it is his birthday after all. How often do you get cake for a bedtime snack?
Happy Birthday to my little Monkey!
p.s. I will be posting some fabric needs tomorrow for the Postage Stamp quilt along. I'm still trying to do all the math and I've almost got it.
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