Monday, July 30, 2012

Change Of Plans....

Machine Blanket Stitch
So a light bulb went off above my head the other started as a dull flicker....a little glowing shimmer in the distance.....and when it came on full blast I said to myself "Holy Shih Tzu......I don't HAVE to hand quilt all the beaks and feet onto my Hooterville Quilt!"  It was like I had forgotten there were any other options.  My original plan had been to do the whole quilt by hand so my mind completely forgot about the fact that I have this thing called a sewing machine and it does this thing called the Blanket Stitch.  

I normally do my applique by hand so a few test beaks and feet were a must.  But after about 10 minutes I had figured out how to navigate all those silly little curves and points and I feel like I'm flying through these at warp's warp speed when you compare it to the speed of hand quilting.  Now I understand why so many people do their applique by machine instead of by hand!

And of course my beaks and feet fall under my "It's Kind Of Like A Monet" quilting style.  It looks great from far away....but up close it's a big ol' mess.  When I take this in to be quilted and they see my blanket stitching they're probably going to say "you know.....we do offer classes on how to do this!"  But I'm happy with it and that's all that matters, right?!

And then this lead me to another thought....I'm drooling over the Baltimore Autumn Quilt Pattern.....And I really, really, REALLY want to make one.....but I've got to admit I was a little intimidated by this quilt at first.  (Should the quilt shop owner admit that she was intimidated by a quilt pattern?).  But hmmmm.....if I do this quilt by the good ol' fusible web and machine applique method it's not nearly as intimidating as trying to do this whole thing by a turned edge method.  And I might actually get it done this decade if I do it by machine!  Soooo.....I'm thinking this really needs to go on my "Must Make" list....
Autumn Quilt by P3 Designs Pearl Pereira
Don't I owe it to the autumn loving Ohio girl in me who now lives in Florida to bring a little bit of real autumn flavor to the south?  I think I do!

It's time to get back to my warp speed sewing machine now.  Poor Betsy has no idea what's she's in for once Baltimore Autumn heads her way!

Happy Sewing,

P.S.  My sewing machine is named Betsy.  Doesn't everyone name their sewing machine? 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Work In Progress Wednesday - Like You Mean It Pink

Happy Wednesday!  I am now so revved up to finish my current UFOs because I made a decision last weekend.  Once I finish Hooterville and the Living Room Quilt and the Granny Square Quilt and the teeny, tiny Hexie project I'm going to start Vintage Valentine......
This pattern came out years and years ago.....before I even opened my shop....and it's what sucked me back into the quilting world after a long hiatus.  This is one of the quilts from the 13 quilts on my Ready To Go List.  Those are the quilts where I have the pattern and all the fabric and everything is neatly arranged in a labeled box just waiting for me to get started.  And before you get all impressed with my organizational skills please know that the only things in my house that can be honestly referred to as neat and organized are my quilt projects.  I obviously have my priorities straight, don't I?!

But as I looked at the fabrics that I had gathered for this quilt over 5 years ago I just didn't like them anymore.  The pinks and greens I'd selected were too muted and muddied and I prefer my colors to be more true and clear.  If I'm going to make something pink it's going to be PINK.....not faded pink or subtle pink or subdued's going to be a shade of pink that I call "Like You Mean It Pink".....because I really, really mean for it to be pink.  I'm not pretending that it's sort of's PINK!  I know that makes no sense but just go with it, o.k.? 

Sooooo.....I did one of my favorite things and I started raiding my stash and the shop and pulling a bunch of new pink and green fabrics together for this quilt.  And of course I did this while I was supposed to be doing a bunch of boring bookkeeping but once I got the idea in my head I just couldn't stop myself.  I was completely obsessed.  And this is the oh so pretty pile of PINK that I've created so far......
Isn't it heavenly?  Totally drool worthy?  Pink Paradise?  I think this will be just the motivation I need to get all of my other projects finished ASAP!

I did make a wee little bit of progress on some of my other projects during the last week.  The Teeny, Tiny Hexie Project is almost done and I cut out all of the beaks and feet for Hooterville.  Oh.....and I did decide to make a new plaid tree for Hooterville.  The more I looked at it the more the plaid grew on my so it just HAD to be done.  

And if you're wondering....we don't have any Vintage Valentine patterns in the shop right now but they're on the way and should be here soon.  Just let me know if you want one!

And now that I'm done rambling here are my current stats:

Finished Projects:  ZERO!  But the Teeny, Tiny Granny Square Project is almost done!
Active WIPs:  4

-Living Room Quilt:  No Progress

-Granny Square Quilt:  No Progress

-Hooterville:  Cut out all of the Beaks and Feet!  Yay!

-Dollhouse:  No Progress

-Teeny, Tiny Hexie Project:  Almost Done!
Next In Line:  Vintage Valentine!
Back Burner WIPs:  4
Ready To Go:  12
Must Make:  6
New Projects:  0
Forgotten/Abandoned Projects:  ???

Happy Sewing,


P.S.  Thanks to everyone who left comments giving me advice about the Hooterville trees!  I really appreciate your help!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Beaks and Feet and Owls, Oh My!

It's a miracle!  I've FINALLY finished cutting and fusing all of the wool beaks and feet for Hooterville.  What should have taken a couple hours for a normal person took me about a year to accomplish.  Better late than never, right?
Owl Quilt by Brandywine Designs
And now I have a dilemma and I need some advice.  These are the original Hooterville Trees.....and as I started looking at them I started realizing that the tree in the upper left is a lot darker than the other trees and kind of looks out of place.......
Pink and Green Owl Quilt by Brandwine Designs
And then I grabbed this Pam Kitty Morning Green Plaid fabric to see how it would look in place of the dark green dots......
Pink and Green Owl Quilt
And wow!  It looks a lot better, doesn't it?  I even showed it to Mr. Sew Fab who said " totally balances it out."  Don't you just love it when a man can make a comment that's a little more thoughtful than "it's nice."  I was VERY impressed.  Anyway....what do you think?  Do I need to make a new plaid tree?  I do, don't I?

I'm off to go practice my wool applique blanket stitch....

Happy Sewing,

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Work In Progress Wednesday and Waterspouts

Aaaaaah.....Work In Progress Wednesday has arrived's motivation and embarrassment all wrapped up into one neat, little blog post!  I was determined to not arrive at Wednesday with my tail between my legs again and I am proud to say:  Mission Accomplished.  I have actually finished hand quilting 8 of the 20 blocks on the Granny Square Quilt which Emma is dutifully guarding.....
Granny Square Hand Quilting
And I started a teeny, tiny hexie project which should hopefully be done by next week.  Actually.....for a normal person this project would be done by this evening.....but this is me so it will probably take a few months....
Red and White Hexies
And I realized I forgot to tell you what happened two Wednesdays ago on the 4th of July!  I was sick that week (which is why I skipped WIP Wednesday) and around 8:30 in the morning while I was in my pajamas, Mr. Sew Fab's boss (who is also our neighbor) started pounding on our door and told us we had to come quickly.  Well, of course we go running out the back door with the dogs in hot pursuit to see what he wanted to show us......
Wild Weather
Yup.....that was the view from our backyard on the morning of the 4th of July!  Pretty wild, huh?  The water spout lasted for at least 10 minutes which seemed like a really long time to me.  And of course we all just stood there in the backyard staring at it and taking pictures as the tornado sirens were blaring in the background.  And then Sammy, our Golden Retriever, realized that the neighbors have pet chickens and decided to start chasing one of them.  Yes.....our dog tried to kill Mr. Sew Fab's boss's chicken.  Don't you just hate it when your "kids" misbehave?  I ran after Sammy screaming like a crazy my pajamas....and Mr. Sew Fab dragged her home and then......they invited us to stay for breakfast!  I kept trying to make an excuse to get back home to change clothes but they kept stopping me! summary....our dog tried to kill our neighbor/Mr. Sew Fab's boss's chicken and then we had breakfast at their house while I was wearing pink pajamas covered in owls with unbrushed teeth and wild bed head.  I'm soooooo elegant!

And now for this week's stats:

Finished Projects:  ZERO!  But I've finished hand quilting 8 of the 20 Granny Square Blocks!
Active WIPs:  4
-No progress on Living Room quilt because I ran out of the Perle Cotton I was using
-8 of 20 Granny Square Blocks are quilted
-No progress on Hooterville
-No progress on the dollhouse
Back Burner WIPs:  4
Ready To Go:  13
Must Make:  6
New Projects:  One but it's really, really small!
Forgotten/Abandoned Projects:  ???

Wish me luck getting something....anything finished by next Wednesday!

Happy Sewing,


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Recipe Of The Month - Bacon & Blue Macaroni (And The Staycation That Wasn't)

Soooo.....right about now I'm supposed to be telling you what an awesome time that I had over my 4 day Staycation last weekend and showing you pictures of all the projects I worked on and telling you about all the wonderful food I ate.  The plan was to celebrate my half birthday on the 14th (doesn't everybody celebrate their half birthday?) and just do my usual Staycation stuff - sit in the hot tub, sew, watch t.v. and eat tons of unhealthy food.  But this, that and the other popped up followed by an endless stream of mini-catastrophes (for example -  the AC got blocked and totally flooded that part of the house) so my fun Staycation was starting to feel a heck of a lot more like a bad Monday.  It was the Staycation That Wasn't.  Fortunately, I've rescheduled it to happen during Mr. Sew Fab's next work trip in two weeks.  No offense to Mr. Sew Fab.....but a Staycation is a solitary event and has to be done while he's gone.  Maybe we'll do a Staycation together one day but we'll have to come up with a new name for it......

Since I have no exciting Staycation to tell you about I'll just share my recipe of the month.  Which I meant to do on the 15th of every month.  But if you read my last post you know all about my list of lame excuses for all of my delays.....I got a rock in my shoe and a thorn in my paw and a knot in my hair, etc.  Anyway, I made this for Mr. Sew Fab's birthday last month because it is one of his all time favorite dishes.  It's Bacon and Blue Macaroni and Cheese.  What's not to love?  Bacon?  Cheese?  Pasta?  It's heavenly! And easy!!!  (Full recipe at bottom of post).

Obviously you start with bacon.....
And chop some onions up while the bacon cooks.....
Then you drool over your bacon as it cooks.....
And after the bacon is cooked you cook the onions in the bacon grease.  Clearly this is a very healthy recipe!
Then you add a generous helping of mozzarella and blue cheese and half n half to a dish full of pasta (Yup, as I said before, this is a VERY healthy recipe).....
Mix it all up......
And bake until you have a wonderful, warm, ooey, gooey, cheesy dish of heaven.....
And then sit back and enjoy.  Yum!
I know it's not the prettiest dish in the world.....but trust's one of the yummiest!



P.S.  Thanks for all your comments on the Giveaway Post.  It sounds like most of you don't really have a specific quilting style which I think is kind of cool. would probably get pretty boring if you did the same type of quilt all the time!

P.P.S.S.  The casserole dish is a gift from my BFF.  I think they sell them in those gift catalogs that always show up in the mail.

Bacon and Blue Macaroni and Cheese
-5 strips bacon
-1/2 large sweet onion chopped
-6 oz dry elbow macaroni
-8 oz shredded mozzarella
-4 oz crumbled blue cheese
-1 cup half & half
-1/8 tsp pepper

Preaheat oven to 350.  

Cook bacon until crisp, drain on paper towel and crumble.

Cook onion in bacon grease until tender (about 6-8 minutes).

Cook macaroni, drain, and place in 1 1/2 quart dish.  Add crumbled bacon, onion, 1 1/2 cups mozzarella, all the blue cheese, half & half and pepper.  Mix gently.

Back uncovered for 20 minutes, stir and then put remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella on top.  Bake for 10 more minutes.  Let stand 10 minutes before serving if you can wait that long!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

July Giveaway - Lush Running Stitch Bundle

 We Have A Winner!
The winner is Mom2RyandSis who said "Cute Fabric!  Thanks for the chance to win!!"  Thanks to everyone who entered!
Lush by Patty Young for Michael Miller Fabrics
Happy July!  I know I'm a little late with this but better late than never, right?  This month we're giving away a Lush Running Stitch 1/2 yard Bundle (3 yards total) by Patty Young for Michael Miller.  These fabrics sold out so fast the first time they were in the shop and after a very long wait we finally have lots and lots of each color back in the shop.  Apparently they are very popular with the modern quilters who are buying yards and yards of every color to have in their stash.  And they look a little bit like Rainbow Sherbet to me so it seems like the perfect thing to give away during the heat of July!

Just leave a comment to be entered to win.  I'd love to know if you like making modern quilts?  What's your quilting style?  Personally, I like cutesy or shabby chic/romantic or traditional style quilts.  I haven't really ventured into really, really modern quilting yet.

And if you're wondering if you missed the June didn't miss it.  I just never got around to posting it!  Between 18 year old Cassi Cat getting sick and Mr. Sew Fab's Birthday and then I got just kind of slipped my mind!  Oops!

Anyway, leave your comment by midnight on Monday, July 16.  I'll pick a winner on Tuesday, July 17.....assuming I don't get a rock in my shoe or a thorn in my paw or a knot in my hair or some other random, lame excuse for always running late on things!

Good Luck and Happy Sewing,

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

You Gotta Be Kidding Me!

Hey there!  The last few days have been.....well....interesting......and this post may be a bit random and discombobulated....but just hang on and enjoy the ride!

The silliness all started on Friday when I received a very nice e-mail from Moda saying that we're no longer allowed to call this fabric by the original name they gave it which is Hershey.....
The Hershey company didn't like the fact that there was a fabric named Hershey so it is now named Chocolate.  Seriously?!  Seriously???!!!  That's tooooo funny!  I know companies have to protect their name and trademark and logo and all that stuff......but Seriously?!  I don't think anyone is going to confuse a brown fabric with a chocolate bar.  And apparently the Hershey Company is watching me to make sure I no longer use their name.  LOL!  Don't they have better things to do?!  I feel all big and fancy and important because Hershey is watching me! 

Anyway.....I've started my own chocolate protest and I'd love for you to join me.  All you have to do is eat ANY other brand of chocolate as often as you want.....Nestle, Ghiradelli, Godiva, etc.  Isn't that a fabulous protest?

Then....on Saturday morning I woke up feeling like I'd been hit by a ton of bricks and I still feel sick and I think it's now four days later.  I don't really know for mind is a little foggy.  Anyway, I decided I needed a little chocolate therapy and I desperately wanted a Reese's Peanut Butter cup.  Do you know where this is going?  Guess who make Reese's???!!!   Noooooooo!!!!!  Oh the horror!!!!  So now I need to head over to my Pinterest board for "Sweet Treats" and hunt down all those homemade Reese's recipes I've been hoarding and make my own version of Peanut Butter and Chocolate Heavenly-ness.

But weekend gets better.....our AC AND our internet weren't working for most of the weekend.  And when I finally felt strong enough to pull myself out of bed on Sunday afternoon to do some sewing, I spilled tea all over my beloved Granny Square Quilt.  Nooooooo!!!  But the good news is I think it survived it's time in the Emergency Room.....also known as the kitchen sink.  Here it is in Recovery.....also known as a drying rack......
And I've just gotta say.....if you're ever feeling sick and need someone to take care of you....Mr. Sew Fab is not the man for the job - LOL!  No offense to guys but if I said "he's such a guy" would you know what I mean?  Here's a conversation between me and Mr. Sew Fab...

Me:  You're a terrible caregiver.
Mr. Sew Fab:  I know.
Me:  What would happen if I ever got really, seriously, long term sick?
Mr. Sew Fab:  We'd hire someone to take care of you.

And another conversation:

Me:  I still feel really crummy.  I can barely move.
Mr. Sew Fab:  Hmmmmm......anyway.....can you make some of that Southwestern Orzo Salad for lunch?

And my favorite:

Mr. Sew Fab:  We all can't be good at everything.  We all have our skills.  And you're gonna be really glad you're with me if there's ever a Zombie Apocalypse.

I guess he does have a valid point with that one.

And he is being a good hunter-gatherer and making sure I have food while I don't feel well enough to cook.....
And I do have some awesome news to share!  Emma had a growth removed from her leg last week and I got the call yesterday that it was benign and harmless!  Yay!!!!!  Go Emma, go!
Right now I'm going to go curl up in a ball like Emma, eat some chocolate and take a little nap.  And my plan for tomorrow is to avoid flaming and exploding objects, work on my Granny Square Quilt and get lots of rest.....Hope you all have a wonderful 4th of July!

Happy Sewing,

P.S.  I'll be back with the July Giveaway soon!

P.P.S.S.  Just for the record....Mr. Sew Fab is a great guy and he's doing his best!  Our conversations were more joking around and not so serious!!!