Monday, August 16, 2010

Etsy Goodness

When I spent a week in Louisiana this summer catching up with my family,  I was quite taken with my SIL's lovely utilitarian gadgets, some vintage, some used in a slightly eccentric way.   Jadeite juicers and beautiful bottles to dispense fabric softener for the laundry, lots of enamel pots and scoops.   I kinda wanted to squeeze lots of citrus fruits and wash loads of dirty clothes. 

 Maybe that was the Tom Sawyer psychology behind it.  Worked on me.
  I sat down at her kitchen table to find my own juicer, by gum.  And Etsy delivered.  This metal stand juicer was from atticfinder on etsy.  I liked the red color, the scratchy paint (which doesn't contact the food )  and the "DeLuxe" promise inscribed.  It works like a vise, clamping down on that lemon and yielding every bit of juice it has to offer.  I've actually had a lot worse results with modern gadgets. 
It's a keeper.

Whilst I was looking for interesting vintage kitchen things, I got completely distracted by sparkly shiny things, of course.  
This beauty is an enamel floral brooch from AllieEtCie.  Allie is a lovely shopowner, also at etsy, who carries all sorts of vintage goodies, including mirrors, porcelain, pottery, and a very retro bar set I have my eye on.  Allie was a great help from start to follow up.  Give her a visit this week.

I'm also collecting old Ball jars with the zinc lids with some idea of putting a pump dispenser in them so that pumping out some dish detergent to tackle a sink full of  bowls and glasses will be a real Martha moment for me.

Vintage, it's a good thing.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Sunny with a chance of Pajamas

Well, here we are, at the end of a long summer holiday.  Next week we officially start school and all the things that go along with it:  making lunches, car pooling, signing long legal agreements so that the kids might play-sports-go-on-field-trips-march-in-band- not-take-drugs-or-wear-spaghetti-straps and other very important things.  I always think I should proffer my own document for the ones-in-charge.
I could just sit here and think of all the things that could go horribly wrong and make some one else entirely responsible.  Such as," If said child does not want pinto beans as a side she may be offered another helping of rice, and we shall presume we understand that NO FOOD SHOULD BE TOUCHING ON SAID CHILD'S PLATE."
or..."if said child's phone loses charge and she does not remember aforementioned guardian's number, ones-in-charge shall unfurl the document that said guardian signed previously with her cell and home phone number, place of work, and six emergency contacts and offer it to said child to call for a ride home after day long field trip of orchestra competition which ended much later than school hours or bus schedules.
and so forth.

Oh, I got on a tangent there, didn't I.
Anyway, although we could have never fathomed it the first week in June, I think we're all about ready for the school season to begin.  There's a certain rhythm to getting up early, having a chaotic whirlwind leave the house and then...the quiet...before scooping them all up again and taking them here and there throughout the evening.  

It's that little slice of quiet I'm looking forward to.  I may stay in my pajamas for a while longer and just have that second cuppa ...alone.

Hope you all are finding some extra time to wear pjs where ever you are.  And if you'd like to make some like these, get 20% off Heather Bailey and Amy Butler's Love fabrics at my shop with the code
pajamadays in message to buyer.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Running, jumping, swinging.
In ancient party dresses.How do they come up with these ideas?

Here's to girlish adventures in party dresses. 

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A pop of red

Black and grey and red.
These colors have been swimming around in my head since I saw a quilt on flickr.  And it wasn't so much the same color palette, you can see for yourself, here.  It was this formula for 25% red and everything else reads as a neutral.  Not too much red.  Not overwhelming.  Just the pop.

First I did a single improv block...thinking maybe it's a pot holder.

Then I did some string blocks...then some more...and I've bought more gray and red fabric...for more blocks...maybe more quilts, actually.

I'm almost done with this quilt.  So of course I have lots of strips leftover.  I could do this, or this next.
Or more koozies.  Never enough of those when you're having people over.

Imagine my surprise when I saw a sneak peak of the next issue of Fat Quarterly.

Are you thinking what I'm thinking?

Someone's been peeping in my window!

And they have excellent taste.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

LQS on Kauai

Local quilt shop....

no, not really local to me.  Not this week, anyway. 

If only I did live in this little round island of tropical paradise.  I was really getting into the batiks.  The swirly purples and greens and aquas, tonal prints with dolphins almost hidden in pools of turquoise.  The lovely Hawaiian ladies showcased their beautiful hand appliqued quilts.  To be recognized as a traditional Hawaiian Quilt, these guidelines are used: 

1) the design is primarily appliqué work
2)the design is a circular repetition of 4 or 8
3) the design uses one or two fabrics (there are exceptions)

Although I hear there are some break out modern Hawaiian Quilters blending some new ideas with the wonderful island traditions.  That's me and my S-I-L with one of the quilters (below).  Looks like we all learned to manage our island hair with the same pony tail style, huh?  My hair would have taken up considerable airspace in that room had it been unleashed.   And in my defense, we were about to go zip lining in a tropical jungle...after I got my fabric fix.
I'm such a tourist.

 This was such a charming store,  loaded with the batiks, japanese novelty prints, and a small selection of exquisite kimono silk fabric from Japan, as well as some cotton kimonos and custom made Hawaiian shirts.  It's been in business for some thirty plus years and I read countless positive reviews from TripAdvisor submitted by tourists awestruck at the local island flavor's offerings...tourists who admitted they did not sew or quilt or plan to do either.
It is a must see if you go to Kauai.  

Friday, June 4, 2010


Let me brush the cobwebs away and get myself acquainted with this blog again.  I disappeared for a while there, didn't I?    Nothing major keeping me away.  Kids' rehearsals and concerts and "graduations" (myself baking 20 pizzas for that one), family gatherings for a birthday...Life.  Good things.

But I was sewing as well.  I've had my fat geese project going since I first spied Katy's in Fat Quarterly.  I knew I wanted to use MeadowSweet with the reds and browns and pastel pinks, celery greens.  I made this for my mother.  She has geese.  And that other broderie perse thing?  It's never going to be finished.
There's no beginning-middle-end to embellishing is there?  I'll work on it some more when the weather is cold.  I promise.
I am thrilled with this quilt.  I want one for myself.  Enthralled with the whole idea of half square triangles.  I free motion quilted some little flowers in there as well.  Don't see a close up of it?  Well, I'm still a beginner, so let's just call it ambitious and leave it at that.  I self-imposed a deadline of this morning, 7 a.m. to finish this one.  That's the time my nephew leaves for work.  And since he's going to see Nanaw this weekend, I thought I'd save on postage.

My daughter wanted a quilt for pajama day at school. (top) She wanted it to match her pajamas (an earlier effort), so I pulled out the Mendocino stash and made her a quick little blanket.  In a day. Because that's how much notice I got. 

And finally, my last deadline is June 8th for this little guy here.I'm officially early!  La la la.
This goes to the local Project Linus Charity.  They pass blankets out at local  hospitals on children's wards.  The theme for this session was "puzzles" so I looked up some  puzzle quilts on flickr and drew it up on graph paper.
That was fun.  I didn't work out all the seam allowances in the beginning, because there was a line of steam coming out of my ears just from manipulating the pattern to be symetrical.  So I worked that out later. 
la la la.

Just ticking things off the list this week.
It's Friday, and I think I'm done!
Here's to a lazy weekend!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

And we have a winner...

The winner is number 256,  Miss Prickly.

Congratulations, you and thanks so much to everyone who commented.

Miss Prickly, I've sent you an email.  Contact me and let me know your address so I can send you some dots!

Thanks to my husband for excel spread sheet calculations I can't begin to understand.
Beats pulling a number out of a hat!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sew Mama Sew Give Away!! I'll Play!

So here's the deal.  Give away day starts officially Monday, May 17th.  It is open til the 20th.  That button over there about Sew Mama Sew takes you to a link where Lots and Lots of people are giving away lots and lots of fabulous stuff!!! My contribution are Two not one, TWO!! Dots on a roll.  One is a TaDot variety with some blues, reds, pinks and yellow, the other is a Love Sunspots variety with all of the colors, two of each precut into 2 and a half inch strips.Let's see...where are those rules...Okay--Yes!  I will ship internationally!  You must leave a comment and a good email address for me.  
Comments!  What to comment about??
Tell me the last give away you entered, what was up for grabs and from whom.  That way maybe I'll get some virtual window shopping done myself.
I'll choose a winner by random number selection on the 20th that evening, 10:00 p.m. central time.

Oh sweet Sara, I hope that's everything.
Ready, set, go!

Comments are closed now!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Charmed, I'm sure

Summer Circles quilt for my little hometown quilt challenge.  Theme is hometown summer, size is less than 24 inches.  Must use some amount of mystery fabric--which was the red gingham.  All together, very fun, tried my skills out at hand applique (that blanket stitch again), and hand quilting.  Do you ever have those fantasy conversations in your head where for whatever reason, you're on Oprah, declaring, "oh really, Oprah, it was nothing.  I just think of fabulous things like this while I'm stirring up the pancake mix for the children in the morning.  I mean granola...I make my own, you know.  I'm just a multi-tasking whiz like that, I suppose.  Yup.  I guess you're right.  I'm really something."

You don't do that?  That's just me?
Okay.  Fair enough.

I can't even take credit for the original design.  I saw it here:  and I was floored, and inspired, and whipped up my own.

Went to drop it off yesterday, and they were so sweet, really.  And supportive.  Which prompted me to quickly qualify my offerings--
"I'm a beginner!!"
I spied the stack of mini quilts from my competitors and asked if I may....
Oh.  They were gorgeous, inspired, perfections of points and embroidery and applique and whatever you call it when you make your own fabric by painting it?  And I will post them here later when I can snag pictures of them hanging in shop windows.

So my little Oprah bubble smacked up against the hard unforgiving wall of reality and I wandered back home more than a little awestruck at the talent in my little hometown.  And inspired and what's that feeling you get when you feel like you need to tackle about a kazillion blocks and techniques and tutorials...

I think my beginner quilts can be called "charming."
I like that.
Charming.  Suits me for now.

And last night while carefully parsing out my time between Pointy Beaks on Flying Geese, and piecing a humongous back for my Hexy Love quilt, I scheduled a little what the heck time for something small and cute and spontaneous.  Instant gratification.  We all need a little of that sometimes.

Just a little potholder, I think.  

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Is it wistful in here or is it just me?

I've been at the 99% completion range for my latest quilt for ---well, some time now.  It's a very sweet wonky star block made up of Anna Maria Horner's voiles in the deer print and the four square print.  So soft.  The baby arrived and the quilt just sat there looking at me accusingly, day after day.  Finally, an unplanned trip from the new grandmother,  my aunt, spurred me into action again.  It really only took five quick minutes.  Funny how that works.

Anyway, as I was putting the finishing touches on it, I thought about all the baby quilts my grandmother made in her lifetime.   She had seven children who each had several children and we have since had our families.  She made each of us a quilt for graduation, and then made each of our children a quilt upon their birth.  All hand done.  That's quite a legacy of quilts.   And now I was  happily filling her shoes, some eight years later.  My last child, Ro was just an infant when we last visited her.  She had at this point, lost the ability to retain information from her short term memory.  About every five minutes, she would realize anew that we were with her.  "Oh what a pretty baby!"
I was sad to see her this way, but thought that it is not such a bad thing to be  profoundly happy each time she discovered us there again.

I remembered my aunts had thoughtfully set aside the last quilt she had worked on, for my daughter, and made sure I got it.  I had tucked it away without the slightest clue of how I might go about finishing it, but knowing it was a treasure.  So today, as I was sewing in my label and snipping wayward threads on my cousin's baby quilt, I remembered it.  I thought, "wow, if that quilt is still in blocks, I could somehow work a grandma block into each quilt I do for the cousins."  I know I would love to have a grandma block.  I was surprised to find--I hadn't remembered at all what stage it was in---that it is already pieced,
quilt sandwiched to backing and pinned.   And furthermore, I had been inspired to do this very pattern after seeing Katy's version here.  I was going to use Heather Bailey's Nicey Jane with the huge roses.
You know what kept me from doing it?  Vanity.  Knowing I was going to give it away and realizing those curved pieces would give me fits, I put that quilt on the back burner for a time when I would feel less pressure.

Wouldn't that have been a great story?  To finish up cousin Tash's quilt and get a wild urge to pull out Grandma's last quilt?   And, people, those are big roses in that print up there.

Needless to say, I cannot undo the quilt for the sake of having blocks.  I may be able to quilt it, though, and bind it.  If I can just bring myself to remove those pins she put there.

Then I'll start on my own.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


RaisinCookies!!!! who said, "Okay, the jewel box quilt is PERFECT. I bought a bunch of rainbow fabrics off eBay recently, and I think this is the project for it."


I will shoot you an email, RaisinCookies to get a mailing address from you and so forth!

The winner's number was randomly generated using Excel and a highly complex formula I won't begin to try to understand by the very highly esteemed and degreed and all around number know-it-all, my husband, Cabe 
and here are his credentials:

Senior Vice President & Principal
xxx xxx, Inc.


APRIL 27th at 7:00 a.m.,

Stay tuned for the drawing....

Thursday, April 22, 2010

It's a give-away!!

How about this:

Go check out the Fat Quarterly blog  and leave a comment here about your favorite quilt inspiration.
There's Brionni's Jewel Box, Katy's Fat Geese, Aneela's Bedtime Story Quilt, and oh! I spy a hexy quilt by Tacha.  And more sneak peaks are added every day!

On the launch day, I'll chose a winner by some random process as of yet not pondered, and said winner will receive...

        Your very own subcription to Fat Quarterly!!   AND---a Fat Quarter Stack of my Hope Valley range!!  I think I have 10 different prints.

Let me humbly add that I usually don't have a bunch of comments to sift thru (ahem) so if you're reading're chances are pretty awesome!

Oh!  The Launch Date is April 27th!

(this added later)
Wow!  Keep 'em coming!
Loving the FQ love!

Remember that I'll need to be able to contact you should you be the winner of a year's subscription to Fat Quarterly
and your fat quarter stack of Hope Valley.  So if you're blogger name isn't linked to your profile info with email, please contact me here or at

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

All things hexy

My latest projects have had a common theme.
that cute little six sided block, called the hexagon.

It started innocently enough...I spied a cute button on Katy's website and had to have it for mine. see that  button over there on the right?  About three buttons down.  I love grabbing people's buttons.  Yes!
I'll quilt-along!  I'll join your club!  I'll read Bronte and --well maybe not the Bronte group.  Sorry.  You gotta start saying no sometimes.
Anyway, Texas Freckles has a great little motivating group to encourage us all to do english paper pieced hexes.  I had started, before the quilt along, my own hex project.  Then I  stopped, then I lost my hex project all together, and even started a half-hex as I thought that would be quicker and easier---but it wasn't.  And that's all I'm going to say about half-hexes.  I bravely posted that quilt on flickr and I'm glad I finished it.  And that's all I'm going to say about that.

So since I was trying all sorts of hexagon piecing, I thought it would be cheeky to try the Amy Butler Sexy Hexy as well.    I read Nichole's blog about a very bad experience with the pattern (free on Amy's website).  And the directions are daunting and entirely off-putting.  So my advice--in my humble, novice opinion, I must add, is this:

Disregard the 11 pages of instructions almost entirely.  

there.  I said it.  I hope I don't get struck down by lightening now.

  But I can't make since of cutting 4 of this and 10 of this and so on if I can't see how it's coming together.  So I took the C band, the D band and the middle hex pattern piece, cut out one block at a time and looked thru the sewing instructions.
You sew C to D then all those pieces together--it should look like a hexagon at this point, and applique the middle hexagon.

I had to cut out one block at a time so I could understand the color ranges within the block and with each other.
I laid it out in a flower shape when I had finished 7 blocks and filled in 4 half hexes at the edges.  I thought I could cut the hexagon pattern in half for this job, but it needs extra for a seam allowance.  So note that.
I think I'm going to leave the zig zag edge on one side.  I like it.
So then I sewed the hexagons together and that was my first experience with Y seams.  See the puckers.
I had to rip it out and I learned that if you sew from the center, after the quarter of an inch seam allowance, it lies flat.  
Now I have to figure out my backing and quilt it and I think I'll have that little block out  of my wheel house for a while.  Except, of course, for the hex charm quilt along.  I want one of those cute progress bars like Texas Freckles has on the margin, too...

And speaking of cute buttons you gotta have on your blog, check out the Fat Quarterly button!
Hmmm, I think I stole that one from Katy, Imagingermonkey as well.  

You know Fat Quarterly is an eZine chock full of quilty goodness and inspiration and it's very first issue is Tuesday!  April 27th!!

I hope there's a question/answer section.  I got a lot of questions for those experts.  I cannot wait.  And maybe, just maybe--I'll listen to their advice.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Feelin' Stitchy

Well I've gone and done it.  Reached for a few new projects with no hope of finishing all the other works in progress anytime this month   this spring....   soon.  How did I manage to get so sidetracked by this little blanket stitch?It started innocently enough.  I could manage that stitch much better than a hidden applique stitch for the center of my giant hexy quilt.   I've done seven centers now (still have whatever half-hexes are left to fill it out), 

then I found a pair of holey  jeans (intentionally fashionable holey, but I decided I'm a little long in the tooth to pull that off), made a patch, decorated my $4.00 target pants all hippy-dippy and I'm making slow and steady progress on a broderie-perse applique throw for my mother.

I picked up the blanket stitch from a great little book, Sublime Stitching, which is not only eye candy, but loaded with great tutorials and patterns.    I look at this book and I think  "I WANT!"

Oh and that nifty tool box with "EMB. thread" scrawled across the side of it, complete with embroidery floss wound around toilet paper holders, circa 1974?  I found that in this old house we bought.  It's such a treasure, I haven't had to buy my own embroidery supplies yet.   That's one of my favorite things about  that old house, come to think of it.

You know, the cutest fabric roll came in the mail today.  They called it a "cupcake" because it was smaller than a jellyroll.  Strips of Freshcut from Heather Bailey.  Think I'm going to abandon this hand sewing thing for a while and maybe start a new quilt top...
or maybe I'll just make cupcakes...that sounds good too.

Friday, April 9, 2010

A little more of Canton....

Waiting room for dollsTreasures in a Ball jarOh boy, we almost brought this guy home..."the Judge" was his nameThese old quilts, embroidery, needle point, tatted lace, old tablecloths were loaded to the brim in these bins.
Hop over to my flickr page to see what I couldn't live without.  Actually, now I'm wishing I'd snagged that log cabin on the wall....

Monday, April 5, 2010

Shopping the Canton Flea Market

Ro has a list for a scavenger hunt: 3 commemorative state plates, a vase made out of an animal, a pop gun....
kept her busy.

Iron beds. They just need a little love...and sanding....
Ms. C tried a fried Snickers bar---I think she regretted it soon afterwards.A collection of microphones

Our Louisiana friends at the traditional Thursday night Mexican Dinner Get Together. There's a bunch of us, huh?
Oh, and I found vintage quilts and linens and embroidered pieces....bins and bins of them!
Some found their way home with me. More on that later.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Quilty Cottage Progress

It's shaping up nicely now, isn't it? An island in the kitchen for baking hundreds and hundreds of sugar cookies shaped like the state of Texas or a wedding cake or a flower or a snowman and chocolate covered pretzels and loaves of banana you smell cinnamon?---oh forgive me, I was carried away.

You see my friend is a very talented baker and I'm hoping she'll make herself at home over here and keep me company in my little cottage, perhaps save some batter for me. Although it looks like I'm eyeing up all that workspace for myself...


See, this is why I'm quite content with my side of the room. An industrial-sized cutting table!
Seven yards of that Anna Maria Horner Little Folks you say? No problem! How much oilcloth is on the bolt? I'll just roll it out right here. Quilting projects and sewing? Fully loaded with outlets! And! Okay, now I'm just gloating. I'll stop. I'm done. Enough.

Here's my latest love, no not Boudreaux, he's an old love. It's a half hexagon quilt from magikquilter and aneela's tutorials. It began with a comment to Rosie on the Fabric Shopper Online. I admired the hexi quilt and moaned something about getting enough english paper piecing hexes done to cover a journal after laboring days and weeks and months and seasons. Well, she wasn't used to such pessimism ... must not have known I have the outlook of Eeyore and the attention span of Tigger. But I so want to be Pooh. Anyway, that got me thinking about a half hexagon cheat. More on that as it progresses...I'm finding that I can't get away from my slack ways with meticulous cutting and seam allowances, cheat or no.

And lastly, I'm planning on going to the First Monday Trade Days at Canton, TX this weekend.
I know my way around the place pretty well, but if anybody has some great vintage fabric sellers they'd like to point me to, I'm listening!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Whadja get? Whadja get?

Last week seemed a bit like a bust--all the anticipation and then a lack luster launch at Target for the Liberty line. I found a bit of stationery, some candles and a piggy bank. But that was about it. No clothing, no rain hat or boots or gloves. No housewares, no teapot (!).

After trawling thru the net, I found similar stories. Some folks saw the early birds overloading their carts with all those little casters could bear, surely ebay $$ gleaming in their eyes. And yes, over to the auction site, there was the cushion marked up to three times the Target price. The online store was sold out of about half the inventory as of the following Monday.

So I ordered a bit of the picked over stuff online, and tried to console myself with my stationery.

But I got a little text from my sis in Louisiana yesterday chirping about the Liberty Loot she was finding at her local Target. Seems the folks have just been a little relaxed about putting it all out. Launch - schmaunch, they said to themselves.

On my second trip to scout out the Liberty booty, I scored! I could choose between the Sixty print or the Dunclare. Got some ties, some prep bowls and cereal bowls and a swimsuit, a scarf, a maxidress...forgot the gardening gloves entirely! But maybe since it's snowing here (again) on the first day of spring, those will not have been picked over...forgot entirely, oh my.

So, whadja get?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The British are Coming!

Is that a wolf whistle I hear?

Why the photo of a sassy little nightie?

What kind of a blog is this, anyhow?

Well, since I got your attention, I'll tell you why I'm posting my intimates these days...

it's a bit of the Liberty of London by Target line!

Yes, I went wandering 'round the local Target, wondering if they were slowly filling up the shelves with the lovely florals, or if they were truly going to make us wait til the launch date (march14!).

And I scored! This little nightie, some matching intimates, also in pink, and some swimsuits.
That's all so far as I could tell. I passed on the swimsuits...because that's just my policy. I have one from 1998 that works very well, thanks so much, and I'm not going back into that dressing room for another couple of decades. Maybe when I need that ensemble with the skirt attached, I'll consider it.

But, just a quickie to let you know! Better get there before I do if you want some of those gardening gloves!