Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from our house to yours! We hope you're having a wonderful holiday season full of health, happiness and love!

Big Hugs,
Jenny, John, Cassi, Daisy, Bailey, Emma and Sammy

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Flower Sugar

Everyone....this is Flower Sugar. Flower Sugar.....I'd like to introduce you to everyone!

Huge boxes from Japan arrived last week full of these gorgeous fabrics by Lecien. Unfortunately, at the time I was still too sick to open them so they just sat there....and sat there.....and sat there. I was staring at them and they were staring right back at me. Finally I couldn't take it anymore and dragged myself off the sofa to dig into those boxes full of fabric that were calling my name! It was love at first sight!!! Oh Flower Sugar.....where have you been my whole life???
Each bolt I pulled out seemed to be prettier than the last. But I'm really, really, reallllllyyyyy fond of the Polka Dot Roses in Green.....
And Polka Dot Roses in Pink. You know I love anything pink!!!
And as I was cutting the Fat Quarter Bundles my mind kept wandering away.....In my mind this is the story of these fabrics.....I've just walked into a beautiful seaside cottage that I'm renting for the summer and it has white beadboard walls, wood floors and French doors opening out onto a huge porch overlooking the ocean. There's a pitcher of pink lemonade and seashells on the table and a beautiful vintage quilt made with these fabrics is draped over the sofa. And I think I should be wearing a sundress made with one of the Polka Dot Rose fabrics that I love so much, right? Are you still with me? Or has my mind wandered too far yet again???
Anyway.....back to reality now. The most important point I'm trying to make here is that we now have the entire Flower Sugar Collection in the shop! I hope you love it! And I hope it makes your mind wander to a happy place too!

Happy Sewing,

Monday, December 19, 2011

Cocoa, Canines and Cookies

So how's your Christmas prep coming along? I'm so happy to say that I'm pretty much done with Christmas shopping, Christmas cards and all that other anxiety inducing prep work! And because I'm really trying to simplify my life this year I decided I was going to cut back on the massive amounts of homemade Christmas cookies that I normally make to give as gifts and try to do something a little different: Hot cocoa mixes in pretty jars.
After much taste-testing (it was a rough job but somebodies gotta do it) and recipe tweaking I finally found what I consider to be the perfect cocoa mix. Here it is:

-1 cup granulated sugar
-1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
-1 cup powdered milk
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips
-1/2 cup miniature marshmallows

You layer all of the ingredients in a pretty jar, tie it with a bow and attach a tag with the directions.
This recipe was supposed to fit in a 1 quart jar but for some reason it wouldn't fit in the 1 quart jars that I bought. I'm reallllyyyyy glad I did a test jar before I started my assembly line of cocoa jars! I would have had a major cocoa-tastrophe if I hadn't tested things first! So, for the remaining jars I just reduced the amount of each ingredient a little bit but kept the proportions the same. For my jars, I had to remove 1 tablespoon for each 1/2 cup of ingredient in the mix.

I downloaded some cute, free tags here, printed them on cardstock and wrote "Classic Hot Cocoa Mix" on the front and the directions on the back:
-Mix contents together in large bowl
-For each serving place 1/4 cup of mix and 1 cup water in saucepan and whisk together
-Heat over med-high heat for 3-5 minutes stirring occasionally
-Store remaining mix in jar
You can also make this in the microwave. You just have to stir 1/4 cup mix and 1 cup water together in a mug. Microwave on high for 30 seconds, stir well, microwave for an additional 30 seconds. Stir for another minute after microwaving. It takes a while for all those mini chocolate chips to melt!

I DO NOT recommend placing the mix in a mug and pouring hot water into the mug. It turned out pretty gross and chunky when I tried it that way. It's definitely better when the mix and water are combined before heating.
And voila! I now have a bunch of adorable, semi-homemade gifts to give out. But a few warnings if you're going to attempt to do will most likely get COVERED in cocoa powder as you make these! That stuff was not agreeable about going into the jars and I had to "funnel" it in using a baggie with a corner snipped off. And if you have a Golden Retriever, please lock him/her up while you make this. Otherwise you will be pulling marshmallows out of their fur for DAYS!

And now it's time to start making some sugar cookies. I said I was cutting back on the cookie making.....not eliminating it. I haven't gone completely mad! A girls gotta have some homemade Christmas cookies every year!

Happy Sewing,

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Staycation, Sinuses and Sewing

Hey there! How've you been? I've been up, down and all around......First, I had my Staycation which was AMAZING! It was absolutely heavenly to take a few days to relax, recharge my brain and just veg-out. The only rule was to do whatever I felt like doing at that moment. And eat lots of wonderful food. On my first night of Staycation I made a new dish which I'll call "Lobster a la Jenny." It was lobster tail on sushi rice with spinach and beurre blanc sauce. Mmmmm.....
And then my afternoon snack on most days of the Staycation looked like this......
Fancy cheeses with a drizzle of honey and a glass of champagne. And while we're on the subject of champagne, I want to thank whoever started putting wine and champagne in those little single serving bottles. It's pure genius!

And I had to make one of my all time favorite dinners for my last night of Staycation.....The Cowboy Roll. It's a sushi roll made with Filet Mignon (which I cooked first of course!), avocado and that slightly spicy Japanese sauce that you make by mixing mayo with sriracha until it tastes right to you....
And I actually finished piecing the quilt top for the Living Room Quilt....
If you've been following along you know I started making this very simple quilt about 6 months ago....and it's still not done! I'm great at starting projects.....but finishing them is another matter entirely!

And after a few days of "catch up" work after the Staycation I came down with a wicked, evil, mean and nasty sinus infection/flu type thing. It's now 10 days later and I'm just starting to feel normal again. Whew. Being sick is no fun! I'm actually looking forward to doing laundry, ironing and dishes simply because I feel good enough to get off the sofa!

I hope you're having a healthy and happy holiday season so far! Be back soon....

Happy Sewing,

P.S. I have a confession to make.....I may have started watching The Vampire Diaries on NetFlix while I was sick. I may have spent a few days watching it I may be having strange dreams involving vampires these days. Do you think less of me now? If you do, just pretend I didn't say that. I actually meant to say that I was watching a Masterpiece Theater marathon, o.k.?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

December Giveaway - Pam Kitty Morning

We Have A Winner!
The winner is Digital Michelle who said "My mother won a sewing contest when I was 8ish. The White Mini Roses reminds me so much of the fabric she used to make the matching dresses for my younger sister and I. The Blue Floral makes me drool. Thanks for this giveaway! :)" Congratulations Michelle. Please send me an e-mail so I can send your Fat Quarter Bundle to you!
Happy December! This month we're giving away a super, duper adorable Pam Kitty Morning Fat Quarter Bundle. I'm absolutely in love with this collection and can't wait to grab some for myself and start sewing. Just leave a comment and you'll be entered to win. I'd love to hear what you'd like to make with it or which one is your favorite print from the collection. Please leave your comment by December 31, 2011. We'll pick a winner on January 1, 2012.....well.....let's just say I'll pick the winner on January 2 to be safe!

And if you're wondering.....I have two favorite prints from this collection. I can't get enough of the Pink Bouquets.....
And the Blue Big Dots make me smile....
And I think I'd like to make either a Bitsy Button & Friends Quilt....
Or a State Fair Quilt.....
Or how cute would this fabric be in the Hooterville Quilt. I haven't even finished the Hooterville Quilt I'm working on right now and I already want to make another. But Pam Kitty Morning + Hooterville = Too Cute For Words!!!
And if you're wondering about last months Love It or Leave It here are the collections that came out on top.....
-Apple Of My Eye by The Quilted Fish for Riley Blake Fabrics
-Salt Air by Cosmo Cricket for Moda Fabrics
-California Girl by Fig Tree Quilts for Moda Fabrics
-Sweet Lush by Patty Young for Michael Miller Fabrics
-Sunny Lush by Patty Young for Michael Miller Fabrics

Thanks to everyone who left a vote/comment on the Love It or Leave It and good luck to everyone who's entering this month's Giveaway!

Happy Sewing,

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Sit. Stay.

If you need to find me, this is where I'll be for the next four days. On the big, cushy chair in the Living Room. Enjoying a much needed Staycation. Do you ever just feel like you really, really, REALLY need to take a break and do nothing for just a little while? Of course you do. So, about 6 weeks ago I decided I was going to do it and steal a few days just for me. Weekends and vacations are great....but I still always feel like I'm rushing around and doing stuff and not really relaxing. So for the next four days here's my plan....

No work. No chores. No errands. Nothing. Well.....except for walking the dogs and cleaning the cat box. It might get ugly around here if I don't continue doing those chores!

Live in my pajamas.

Eat whatever I want whenever I want and not feel guilty about it. If I want chocolate cake for breakfast I'm going to eat it. And maybe I'll have some champagne with it too! And maybe I'll have a glass of wine with lunch.

Sleep in as late as I want and not feel guilty about it.

Sit in front of the t.v. and do lots of sewing. And magazine reading. And lots of baking too.

And snuggle with the pets.

Any maybe....just maybe.....I'll make more progress on the Living Room Quilt....
And on the Hooterville Quilt....
As for now....I have to go finish up a few chores so I'm ready for my Staycation tomorrow! I can't wait to tell you all about it in a few days!

Happy Sewing,

P.S. I will be back tomorrow to post the December Giveaway!

Friday, November 18, 2011

A Very Ruby Christmas

Hey there! Remember me? Wow - it's been chaotic around here the last few weeks. If you've been to the website lately you'll know why! We're in the middle of giving the shop a major "facelift." We're still working on redoing the Home Page and tweaking a few other things but it's almost done! I'm so excited about the fresh new look that "she" has. And as you can imagine everything else came in 2nd to getting the new website up and running. Stuff like the blog, my own sewing projects, feeding myself and putting on clothes that aren't pajamas are all projects that were temporarily pushed aside!

But in the midst of all this website chaos an adorable new pattern arrived at the shop called Merry, Merry Snowmen by Bunny Hill Designs.
After this pattern arrived I started looking through all the fabrics in the shop to see what would work with this pattern and then it hit me. RUBY!
I hadn't noticed before how Ruby is so very, very perfect for Christmas projects. Just look at all that red and green! And the silvery grey and icy aqua are perfect for Christmas too!
I have sooooo many quilts on my list of things to make but I really want to add this one to the list. I'd love to grab a Layer Cake, a Fat Quarter Bundle and some extra red, grey and white/cream yardage and dive in. And Ruby Quirky would be the perfect border for my quilt, don't you think? It' so sweet!
I've been working really hard on the new website and I think I deserve a reward! So, I might just tiptoe off to the shop and gather up some fabric before I get back to working on the website. Don't you think that's the perfect plan?

Happy Sewing,

P.S. Ruby is by Bonnie & Camille for Moda Fabrics.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

October Love It or Leave It Fabric Vote Results

We have a winner! And we have the results of October's Love It or Leave It fabric vote. First of all the winner is Free Indeed who said "Loved several of these lines! Esp. Good Fortune, Modernology and Fly A Kite. Did not care for the two clickable link ones......aren't we all so over red and aqua yet????? No one hit me o.k.?" LOL! Congratulations Free Indeed. And thanks to everyone who left a comment! They were so incredibly helpful!!!

And now for the results! I gave each collection one point for each positive comment and took away a point for each negative comment. So, let me show you what you guys loved.....

Good Fortune by Kate Spain for Moda Fabrics came in first place. I'm not the least bit surprised! Everyone seems to LOVE Kate Spain. It should be arriving in the shop in January.
Next up, Flea Market Fancy by Denyse Schmidt for Free Spirit Fabrics came in second place. It should be arriving in March or April.
Third place goes to Verona by Emily Taylor for Riley Blake Designs.
In fourth place is Flower Sugar by Lecien. I'm working on creating a better image for this one as quick as I can! It should be arriving in November or December.
Fifth place goes to Fly A Kite by October Afternoon for Riley Blake Designs. It should be arriving in January or February.
And finally, sixth place goes to Folk Heart by Rosalie Quinlan for Lecien. And again, I'm working on creating a better image to show you more of the Folk Heart collection. This one should be arriving in December.
What do you think? Do you like the winners? And have you voted in November's Post Quilt Market Love It or Leave It yet?

Thanks for all the fabric shopping help! I can't wait to get these new collections in the shop!

Happy Sewing,

Monday, October 31, 2011

November 2011 Giveaway - Love It Or Leave It

We Have A Winner!
The winner is Melissa who said "I especially love Salt Air and Apple of my Eye. But I'd probably buy some of all of it- I have no self control!" Congratulations Melissa! Please send me an e-mail so I can give your Gift Certificate info.

Happy November! This may seem a little bit like deja vu but this month we're doing another Love It or Leave It and another giveaway for a $50 Gift Certificate. There were so many amazing new collections that were just shown at Quilt Market and I just had to show them to you and get your opinion. And yet again, I've put together little "samplings" of my favorite soon to be released collections that I'm considering adding to the shop.

Please tell me what you think. Which ones do you love? Which ones would you buy? Which ones would you pass on? Please be honest. I won't be offended if you don't like them! And don't feel obligated to talk about every single collection. You can if you want to....or you can just talk about the ones that you have strong feelings about. Just leave a comment and you'll be entered to win. Oh, and only vote for or comment on the fabric collections shown BELOW. The images in the sidebar on the right are all the new stuff that's already in the shop! Please leave your comment by November 30, 2011 to be entered to win.

Apple of My Eye by The Quilted Fish for Riley Blake Designs

California Girl by Fig Tree Quilts for Moda

Dress Up Days by Doohikey Designs for Riley Blake Designs

Hello Luscious by Basic Grey for Moda

Sweet Lush by Patty Young for Michael Miller Fabrics

Sunny Lush by Patty Young for Michael Miller Fabrics

Poetica by Art Gallery

Rhapsodia by Art Gallery

Salt Air by Cosmo Cricket for Moda

Seaside by October Afternoon for Riley Blake Designs

Summer Love by Art Gallery

Tradewinds by Lily Ashbury for Moda
Thanks for giving me your opinion on these fabrics! I can't wait to read your comments!

Happy Sewing,

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Long Time, No Talk

Hey there! I know, I know - long time, no talk. But I have a very good excuse! There hasn't been much to talk about because there hasn't been much sewing going on around here. And there hasn't been much sewing going on around here because there has been a lot of running going on around here. Which tends to cause a lot of running related injuries. I've been doing a lot of power walking lately.....which turned into jogging/running.....which turned into an over-ambitious, overzealous, insane decision to run 7 miles in one day. And do you know what happens to an in-experienced runner who runs 7 miles all at once? You will strain every muscle in your chest and abs. Who knew? You'd think I would have pulled a muscle in my leg or back or something normal like that. But nooooo......I just have to be different!

Anyway, as I've been running I've obviously been noticing the weather getting cooler and cooler. Which obviously makes me realize I have absolutely nothing to wear in cooler weather. Which obviously makes me go raid the shop and see what I could whip up for myself that has long sleeves. And I definitely think I need some more Funked Out Peasant Blouses since the first one I made turned out so great, if I do say so myself. And yes, I realize it's more of a 3/4 sleeve length.....but it's still longer sleeves than most of my Florida summertime shirts!
Here's one possible color combo that I came up with. I'd use the Wrenly Cerulean Rosette for the sleeves, the Wrenly Gypsy Wrenly for the top part, the Wrenly Cobalt Bloom for the bottom part and the Bella Solids Robin's Egg Blue for the empire waistband and the hemband.....
Or here's another possible combination I came up with using some warm, autumny browns. I'd use the Midwest Modern Brown Martini for the top, the Soul Blossoms Honeydew Buttercups for the sleeves, the waistband and the hemband and then I'd use the Midwest Modern Brown Park Fountains for the bottom part. And then I'd have to call this my Martini Shirt....
And my final finalist for my soon to be next Peasant Blouse would have Meadowsweet Celery Paper Snowflake for the sleeves, Farmer's Market Autumn Dahlia for the top, Bella Solids Goldenrod for the waistband and hemband and Meadowsweet Celery Grand Foliage for the bottom part.
What do you think? Do you have any big plans for creating some new autumn/winter clothes? Do you have any ridiculous sports injury stories to share with everyone? I'm gonna go stretch and drink lots of water now. See you soon!

Happy Sewing,

P.S. Thanks for all your comments about the new Ruby Collection! I love all of your brilliant ideas. Someone even suggested a Peasant Blouse made out of Ruby - I obviously think that's a fabulous, genius, perfect idea!

P.P.S.S. Only a few more days to vote in the Love It Or Leave It blog post!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Hello Ruby!

Everyone.....I'd like you to meet Ruby. Ruby....this is everyone.....
This gorgeous collection by Bonnie & Camille for Moda Fabrics arrived last night. I was so excited that I dragged John into the fabric room to show him the fabrics and point out which ones were my favorites. And then I asked him which ones he liked the best.....and he actually gave me an answer! But shhhh.....don't tell the other fighter pilots that he did this. It might get him in trouble! Anyway, these are John's favorites....
He liked the Aqua Sublime and the Ruby Swoon because he thought they looked very Hawaiian. And he liked the Grey Dots because they're very classy.

And here are my favorites.....
I plan on using the Grey Sublime, Grey Quirky and Ruby Sundae to make this Short & Sassy Handbag (grey floral on the bottom, grey swirl will be the band at the top and the red scallop stripe will be the ruffle, button and straps).....
How cute will that be???!!! The pattern for that bag should be arriving in the shop very soon along with some of her pattern friends. I'll obviously let you know when she arrives.
Sooooo.....which ones are your favorites and what masterpieces are you planning on making with Ruby???

Happy Sewing,