Friday, December 27, 2013

End of 2013

I can't believe that this year is almost over. I've been having such a great time. I have definitely gotten a little slack lately in writing my blog, but that's just the holidays, man. I've actually completed quite a few projects. I have two quilts finished in the last month and two embroidery projects (I love my new sewing machine) and I've started a bag and another two quilts. I'm busy, busy, busy - apparently, too busy to blog about anything.

Also, my daughter is turning four years old on Monday. I can't believe it. She's getting so big. Where have these four years gone?

I will post again for an end of the year wrap up along with my goals for next year. I'm gonna tear it up this coming year. I can't wait. This is gonna be  my year - I just have that feeling. So, stay tuned for greatness, folks. It's gonna happen.


Wednesday, December 11, 2013


I'm frantically trying to finish up some XMas gifts to ship out. I have completed the quilting on my butterfly garden quilt. I just need to bind it and make a label and then wash and ship to my MIL in Illinois.

Each section has it's own quilting design, so it took a little while to finish this one up. Plus, I was originally making this for myself and decided to give it to my MIL a while ago, so I thought I had infinite time to finish.

I used two layers of cotton batting in this quilt and I love the trapunto effect that it gives, especially when the quilting is close together - it really stands out. I also tried to do some new fmq designs that I was not used to doing.

My new machine is great at fmq, but today I was having a problem with the bobbin thread. It would get caught and then I would have to stop and cut the threads. I looked and there wasn't anything caught in the bobbin case. I dunno. I guess I'll figure it out later, seeing as I finished quilting. I can't wait to bind it and actually finish this one, tomorrow.

I'm also working on becoming a blonde, again. It is a process, seeing as my hair is very dark brown. I'm at the yellow stage right now after bleaching twice. I might have to bleach again, I just hope not for a few days to give my hair a rest.

Linking up to Freshly Pieced.

Make some Christmas.


Friday, November 22, 2013


What is Craftsy?
Craftsy is a worldwide craft community offering online classes. It also has a patterns marketplace where independent designers can sell their patterns; a supplies shop with great deals on yarn, fabric, and class kits; and a projects section where members share pictures of their latest craft successes. With over two million members and counting, Craftsy has something for just about everyone, in categories ranging from quilting, sewing, knitting, painting, photography, cooking, and more.

Craftsy Logo

Behind the Scenes: The Making of a Craftsy Class
Before filming even begins, hours and hours are spent determining what content will be covered in each class, and how to best teach specific techniques to the camera. Instructors work with an instructional designer to create an in-depth outline of each lesson, and decide how to best prepare props or “step-outs” that show what your project should like at different steps. Instead of a scripted class, instructors follow their outlines on camera to create an authentic and engaging teaching experience.

Most Craftsy classes are filmed in one of five Craftsy studios in Denver, CO, assuring that every part of the production process goes off without a hitch. They fly in instructors from all over the world to spend several days filming, then spend several weeks turning hours of footage into a two to three hour class experience that has been watched, rewatched, and reviewed by industry experts. The final result is an HD-quality video that takes you in-depth into specific topics in any given craft category- from cooking and fine art to sewing and knitting.

What IS the Craftsy experience?
Craftsy classes are designed to have all the benefits of an in-person class, with none of the drawbacks. Available online and on-demand, you always have world-class instructors at the tip of your fingers. You can retake the class as many times as you want, and the 30-second repeat feature allows you to watch the same section over and over again until you get every technique just right.

Watching a Craftsy class is like having a first-row seat with some of the best instructors in the world. Even better, classes have a 100% money-back guarantee.

Try online learning today with a free mini-class from Craftsy! Choose from 23 Free Craftsy Classes ranging from drawing and painting to sewing and quilting, from knitting to cake decorating and more.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

So wotcha workin on?

WIP Wednesday in da house!!!

finishing up (backing/quilting/binding) this plus baby quilt.

finishing putting together my frugal girl top.  I have all the ring strips finished. Just need to cut the white and sew the circles together. Here's hoping that goes well.

Linking up with Freshly Pieced.

Make things.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Two weeks off - OVER. New leaf turned.

I recently took some time off from sewing and blogging. I just needed to clear my head (I think I actually came up with more things to do) and get away from things for a little while.

Today, I come to sewing with a new attitude and a new quilt.
My new attitude is: I need to sew/knit/stitch/create something everyday. If something is bogging me down that I don't want to work on - work on something else. The worst thing that can happen is that I make more quilts. I'm also trying to come up with ways to have my daughter help me. She is at an age now where she wants to help with everything and I get so down on myself when I just want to do my work (laundry, dishes, sewing, cooking) alone. I want her to do all of these things later on, so I need to encourage her eagerness to help and learn - it's just hard, sometimes.

Today I worked on two projects that my daughter helped me with. We are making a Single Girl quilt using our own template. I'm calling it our Frugal Girl quilt. It's made with scraps from all the other quilts that I've made and a few bits from bees and stuff along with a few charms that I've been hoarding. Penelope helps me by choosing the order of the scraps for the rings. It's looking pretty good, so far. I'm not usually a fan of scrap quilts, but I like seeing all of the small pieces of other quilts that I've made and remembering those quilts, etc... It's really like a scrapbook for me.

scraps in a heap

two quarter rings.

four quarter rings stacked and the rest of the scrap heap
We have had so much fun making this today. Just 12 more quarter rings to go and I'll have an 48-ish" x 48-ish" quilt. I'm hoping to have this one finished next week. We will probably start another top before this one is done. I'm planning a girl baby quilt for a friend of mine. I think I know what I want to make, but I'm not sure - I've been pinning like crazy the last few weeks.

Oh, I've also been using my new Brother machine and it is a dream. It basically sews by itself. I just have to line up the fabric. I'm so not used to this. Penelope likes to push the button to make it sew and she likes to cut the thread.

Another project that we finished is a blanket for Camp Snowball/Project Linus. Since I learned to knit 12 years ago, I've wanted to make blankets for Project Linus. It just takes me a while to knit a  blanket, but sewing a fleece blanket takes no time at all. I made my blanket in about an hour and I will drop it in the mail tomorrow. I sure hope a kid gets it and likes it. I'll have photos tomorrow (it's in the dryer right now).

Linking up with Needle and Thread Thursday @ My Quilt Infatuation (Hi, Kelly!)

Make some stuff with a good attitude.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Finish Friday - I Fixed My Sewing Machine

I wanted to post about fixing my sewing machine. It was a labor of love that I did out of frugality. I have never been afraid of looking inside of machines and figuring out how they work - I'm a bit of a grokker. I like to understand the "why" and the "how" of things. Once I opened up the sewing machine I was a little surprised - it is such a simple machine.

I thought I needed to open the whole case, but I just needed to open the bottom.

This was such a learning experience for me - and I forgot how accomplished I feel when I can understand something that many others do not.

I learned that when you think your machine is broken, it probably just needs cleaning and oiling. It is unlikely that a part is broken, but it can happen. The part that would break most often is the belt, or a plastic gear.
I learned about the timing of the machine and that is a simple adjustment of a screw lining up the needle and the hook, so that the hook is grabbing the thread after the needle is leaving the race. In fact, most new machines have a timing notch or lines marking the timing on the needle bar so that you can see the position the needle should be in as it's leaving the race.

My problem wasn't the timing, but I had a gear that needed cleaning near the race - there was a lot of cotton fluff that I blew out with a can of air. Then I removed the old grease with WD-40 and cleaned the gear really well and then I reoiled the gears and the race and it's working great, now.

If you ever need help with your machine, just let me know, I may be able to troubleshoot with you. Linking up with crazy mom quilts.

Now, make something - but clean your machine first!

Monday, October 28, 2013

My hat

So... I fixed my sewing machine!!!!! But that is not the point of this post - that will be the point of my next post, but right now, I want to enter my "Everyday Dishes" quilt in the Blogger's Quilt Festival.

Everyday Dishes

Nice collage

Back detail

I made this quilt for my three-year-old daughter. I have only made five quilts - this is the fifth. Everytime I was working on a quilt, Penelope would ask if it was for her. I finally started working on this quilt in October 2012. It didn't take very long to make the blocks and piece the top, but it seemed to take forever to finish a complete quilt. After making three more tops in the time that it took to baste, quilt and bind Penn's quilt, she stated thinking that I had forgotten to make her quilt. I finally finished it over the summer and she loves, loves, loves it. It is also nice to get to have a quilt in the house that I made.

I'm entering this quilt in the Throw category and I'm curled up under it as I type this post. Be sure to visit all the other lovely quilts in the festival. You'll be super inspired to create something for the next festival or finish up and enter in this one.

Keep on making stuff!!!

Friday, October 25, 2013

New sewing machine and Rainbow Sprinkle Cookies!

I'm dying to work on a sewing project and my machine is still broken. I did order my new machine and it should arrive in a few days - I'm very excited.
This will look lovely on my workspace.

I'm thinking about taking a class on sewing machine repair so that this will never happen to me again. It may also be a way for me to fix other machines and get some income going that way, too.

Last night, my husband and I went to see They Might Be Giants. I loved it. I have loved that band since I was about 10 years old. Very cool experience. We got right up to the front of the stage and I sang right along with the Johns. So awesome.

It's a cold, rainy day. We hardly ever get these in the desert. I think we will make some rainbow sprinkle cookies and spend the day in our pajamas. I just need to make a quick trip to Wal-Mart to pay for my sewing machine. YIPPEEE!
Once I figure out how to make these gluten free, we are having them.

Make something - if you can.


Tuesday, October 22, 2013


My lovely sewing machine that I do all of my projects on has died. I have been trying to resuscitate her for the last week to no avail. My biggest problem is that I am cheap frugal cheap and I only paid $80 for the machine. If I take it into the shop, they will probably charge me that just to open the case.

I'm pretty handy and I've taken most of the machine apart several times, but I can't see any problems, there isn't any thread stuck anywhere that I can see and the timing doesn't seem to be off. I can't turn the hand wheel without using an incredible amount of force. The motor is working, but the machine is just stuck somewhere. I will continue to look for the problem, and I'm also ordering a new machine. That new Brother machine won't be here for about five days.

UGH! I have so many things I need to work on and want to work on. I guess I'm just on hold until I fix my Singer or get my new Brother machine.

If anyone has any ideas on how to fix my current machine, I would greatly appreciate any tips.


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Wednesday stuff

Hola! I have been trying to get to the sewing machine all day to no avail. I cut some strips last night:

because I wanted to make this, or something like it.

But I just can't get to the machine.

The quilting on my butterfly garden quilt is stalled. I did four blocks and couldn't do anymore.

I helped a friend make her Halloween costume over the weekend. I sewed up a hood thing for her Ezio Auditore costume. When I get photos of her in it, I will post.

I've got a bag of tulle and satiney material for a fairy princess costume to be worked on as well. When am I going to do any of this? Tonight. I promise. Tonight I will work on... something.

I saw this cool black widow spider yesterday. It caught a grasshopper. It's not there today, I don't know if my husband killed it or not. But it was quite Halloweeny

a good shot of the red on it's belly

she kept lifting the grasshopper up - amazingly strong creature

scary spider, beautiful, but scary

Linking up with Lee@Freshly Pieced.


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

WIP Wednesday 10/2/13

I've got lots of projects in the works:
I pin basted this bad boy on Sunday and I'm ready to start quilting.

I found the inspiration for my next quilt start - gonna work on this today - very excited.

I've got four of these tablet covers ready to be put together so that I have some to put on my etsy site. I will have these finished by Friday.

So, I've got lots to do - lots to start and finish. So excited. I feel like I'm finally out of my funk. Gonna go and paint with my girl before I get started on the machine. linking up with Freshly Pieced.

Make something!

Friday, September 27, 2013

A late entry

Last week, I pulled my Star Trek fabric for a bag that I wanted to make for my mom, the Trekker, for her birthday. I made it. Here's what the finish looks like:

Going boldly... somewhere.
I had a great time making this bag. It was my first time using interfacing. My first time adding hardware. And my third, fourth and fifth zippers (I'm a pro at zippers without a zipper foot, now). I'm really pleased that I cut my fabrics so straight and got the text graphic in a line. I didn't try to do that, it just worked out (if I had thought about it it would've been completely wonky).

My mom loves it. She did say to her sister that, "you can't tell it's Star Trek until you get right up on it..." What? Sorry, mom, but that is very OBVIOUSLY Star Trek fabric making your Star Trek trizip tote (trizip like tricorder). I love that it looks like a tricorder. My sister wants a bag - not Trek, but a bag - like this one and Mom wants another one a little larger. So, I plan to make more of these bags.

Linking up to Needle and Thread Thursday and Crazy Mom Quilts.

go make something today!


Wednesday, September 25, 2013


I can't leave well enough alone. I got the back for my butterfly garden fence quilt finished last night:

butterfly garden quilt back
I'm really happy with it and I can't wait to finish the quilt. But - instead of working on sandwiching and pinning this quilt today, I decided to cut a star surround 48" block. Why? Why did I do that? AND, to add insult to injury, I cut the pieces wrong. I didn't really pay attention to the fabric requirements and cut the fabrics wrong. DUH!

So... I'm putting the star surround away - just for a little while, until I can get the fabrics together for it, properly, and cut it right, paying close attention...

I'm gonna go out to the apartment and get the batting out and sit down on the floor and pin baste my quilt so that I can start quilting it tonight (which is what I should've done hours ago...)

Linking up to Lee @ Freshly Pieced's WIP Wednesday.


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Tuesday - Working day

I got some sewing done. Finally. I finished up this month's bee blocks (Simply Solids and Bee(ful) of Paper. Here they are in all their finished and ready to be mailed off glory:

star for paper piecing bee

window pane block for Simply Solids

I didn't have trouble with the paper pieced block this month, but I did struggle with the solids block. I didn't think about making my pieces large enough the first day I worked on it, so I did some rethinking and this is what the result is. I actually have a ton of pieces that are cut off, slabs as it were, of this block hanging out in my scrap box. Basically, 90% of this block is new work. I sure hope Queenie likes it. I also hope that no one else in my group wants this kind of block because it wasn't fun for me at all.

I'm ready to finish up my garden fence quilt. I'm going to be piecing the back and making the sandwich tonight and it should be ready for quilting and a big finish on Friday - that's the plan, anyway.

I got to go and make the dinner. It's meatloaf, smashed potatoes and broccoli tonight. YUM!

Take care of yourself and make some stuff.


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

WIP Wednesday - not quite in progress

I have to think. I usually have to have the project completed in my head before I can start. I have been stalled on this bag for my mother for a little while now. I want to make her a cross-body bag that she can carry with her to the flea market and other shopping trips. My mom loves Star Trek so I got some neat Star Trek fabric last week to make this bag.
Camelot Cottons Star Trek bundle
She has complained when I make her Star Trek things that are not "In Your Face" Star Trek.

Now for the design. I wanted to make a cross-body bag with a zipper. Then I remembered those cute, little, three-zip pouches that Debbie at A Quilter's Table did a tutorial for. I love those, but I would like something larger and cross-body. Then I saw this and that's what I wanted to make. Now, there's no tutorial for it, so I'll just have to figure out the measurements, but at least I can visualize it, now. I have to run some errands before I start on it later this afternoon, but I'm very excited. Linking up to Freshly Pieced.


Friday, September 13, 2013

Yes! I made a roly poly!

I actually made a wearable garment - and it didn't turn out half bad.

I loved this pattern. It was so easy for a noob like myself.  I was confused at first because I didn't quite understand how to take the pattern that was printed on nine sheets of paper and make it into one template for cutting. I figured out how to tape it together and then I  traced the size pattern onto freezer paper so I could use that to cut my fabric. That worked very well (I love, love, love freezer paper!). I also had to learn how to make a button hole. My machine came with a button hole foot, but I didn't understand the 4-step buttonhole process. After I watched a few YouTube videos, I was ready to finish up. I did mess up a little because I planned to add pockets to this on both sides, but then I decided not to add pockets and I didn't cut the fabric in one piece, so there are side seams on my tunic that shouldn't be there. No big.

The fabric is a lightweight corduroy with a sweet bird pattern from Joann's. I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it and knew I wanted to use this fabric for the Roly Poly. The inner fabric is a solid purple, seersucker-ish lightweight cotton. The garment is reversible but the corduroy side is definitely cuter.

I'm linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts and Kelly at Needle and Thread Thursday.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Nothing is working.

I sewed and sewed today and I didn't do it right. I wanted to make some houndstooth blocks and I just didn't do them right so I ended up with these:

I was so proud... do you see the mistake?

Then, I got clever and cut the strip sets the right way just a smaller size ... there's still something wrong.

all the wasted fabric wahhhh! :( 

okay... I can make some of these blocks or something else with these little squares.
So I realize what I did now - I needed five strips in my set instead of only four. I will try again and make it happen.

Then, my daughter had her first sleep over tonight and I just miss her. She couldn't wait to get rid of me, either. And she didn't call. She's three-and-a-half and ready to leave home.

I did get to Kinko's to print out my paper piecing bee pattern for September and one that I'm considering for my month to try out. I also printed out my Roly Poly pattern, but I'm unsure how to use it. I bought the fabric and I'm ready to make it, but it was expensive to print out and I don't want to mess it up. I suppose I should make some tissue paper pattern pieces, but I don't know if I have enough tissue - I'm a mess and nothing is working right. I should've picked up a six pack at the store this afternoon.

I guess I'll go make something! Linking up to Freshly Pieced.

Friday, September 6, 2013


I'm obsessed with Barbies. My daughter and I went to Joann's yesterday and my mother's house and picked up a whole mess of fabrics and trims to make Barbie clothes. I have been studying up on YouTube and think I have figured out how to make most things. I'm firing up the sewing machine right now.

I was thinking about having a Barbie clothes blog hop. If ya'll are interested, I'll set it up and get some prizes and we'll have a rockin' Barbie kinda time.

Happy Friday! Make some stuff.


Thursday, September 5, 2013

A winner, a finish and a new direction

First off, I forgot to draw a winner for my hand warmer/sachet yesterday. Here it is now:

The winner is Gwendellyn who loves eucalyptus (the King of all fragrances). I will get that to you in the mail as soon as possible. Congratulations!

I got some work done yesterday. I finally finished up the three  tablet covers that I had been working on for the last few weeks. The first two that I made worked up pretty fast and these three were hanging around for a little while - assembly line doesn't work well for me. Eh! You live and you learn. I have four more that I need to work on - a project for another day.
Three pretty tablet covers all in a row.

Simply Style and Road 15 (I love my little labels, too)

Geekly Chic tablet cover - MINE!!!

New direction refers to Barbie clothes. We are having a bit of a Barbie obsession in my house these days. I talked about my Barbie roll idea in my last post and I have since moved on to think about Barbie clothes. My mother bought my daughter five  Barbies at our flea market but they didn't come with any clothes. I started a teeny sweater last night with some sock yarn and thought I could make some black leggings out of an old t-shirt but I think a trip to the fabric store is in order. Now, I have never made a wearable garment. I have bought a few patterns, but I haven't been ambitious enough to try to make them yet (I'm thinking about it, though). I think constructing a Barbie outfit is the same as making person sized outfit... hmm... I'll have to keep you updated.
Barbies waiting for a carrier and some new clothes - I worked on their hair last night :)
Linking up to Needle and Thread Thursday. Go make something!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

My name is Green and I'm a slacker

Or, I'm just lazy - I don't know. When the Autumn crispness starts to hit the air, I get, like, Fall fever. Fall is my favorite time of the year and I love the contrast in the weather that we get around in New Mexico. The sun is out and shining and hot, but the air is fresh and cool. It is really the very best season here. Also, the smell of roasting Hatch chile everywhere is intoxicating. I always carry a jacket with me and I start to want to knit. And knit. And knit.

I love sewing, don't get me wrong. I just am not the best at it yet and so knitting is so comforting and zen for me that I just start looking for yarn and new projects to knit. I love to wear hats - so do my husband and daughter - so I knit a lot of hats. While searching for yarn in my backyard apartment this morning, I found two completed hats and one that was just about finished and then abandoned (I think the head part was too short to fit). I'm always so surprised when I find these knitted pieces that I started and cannot remember a thing about starting them. Why did I put them aside? Why didn't I finish it? If it's finished, why is it in a bag in the closet of the outside apartment? Crazy. Anyway...

I found this houndstooth mitt pattern and am going to start working on a set of these today. I still have to finish up some other sewing projects and have a few starts in my head - I'm a little bit obsessed with houndstooth today. Also, I need to make something for Barbie storage/carrying. My daughter got five Barbie dolls over the weekend. My mom got them for her from the flea market. She already had two, but Lulu has been trying to eat them since they have become a favorite (always out in the open) the last few weeks. Doctor Barbie's left hand underwent a finger amputation to which my daughter told me, "Mom, that was Barbie's favorite hand." I'm thinking about making a Barbie-roll. I think it could be cute and look like a multi-doll sleeping bag. The only Barbie that won't fit is the snow princess (a.k.a. Queen Barbie) because her dress is too big. She may have to have her own, special carrier. She is the Queen, so it should be okay.

Make some stuff today!


Friday, August 30, 2013

Aromatherapy. Seamus Heaney. Friday giveaway.

Something that you don't know about me is that I love fragrance. I love perfume and candles and aromatherapy. I used to work at Pier 1 Imports. I would start my shift by putting a few votives in my pocket that I liked the smell of. When customers would walk in, I would greet them and ask them to smell the candles. I used to sell so many candles that way. I think we forget about fragrance and how important the sense of smell is to us. Did you know that in your brain, the place that registers memories is in the closest proximity to the place where we process our sense of smell. That is why smells are so powerful to us. Marcel Proust tastes (I'm going to use smell and taste interchangeably here, because to me, they are the same) the petite Madeline and is taken back to a time when he was a young man and we get Swann's Way (the first book in Remembrances of Things Past, anyone?)... I'm feeling a little bit literary today.

I mentioned that my mother-in-law is going to have hip replacement surgery next week. I wanted to make her some aromatherapy bags that could be used as hot/cold packs for her hip. Once I started, I couldn't stop:

aromatherapy hot/cold bags and pocket sachets

The large bag is for my MIL. The small, purple bag is for my daughter because she loved it. The small bags are something that I love - pocket sachets. They are a little pick-me-up that you can also use as a hand warmer - just pop it in the microwave for 30 sec. They also work well in your drawers or in your purse.

A few years ago, I was obsessed with the scent of eucalyptus. I used to put drops of eucalyptus oil onto a tissue and walk around smelling it. The scent was uplifting and relaxing and just wonderful. I'm going to be making up a whole mess of these pocket sachets in different scents. But before I do, I'm giving away a larger hand warmer/sachet in your choice of: peppermint, spearmint, lavender or eucalyptus (eucalyptus mint is also nice). Just leave a comment on this post and you will be entered to win. I'll choose a winner with help from Mr. Random next Wednesday, September 3. May the odds be ever in your favor.

In other news, Seamus Heaney died. He was an Irish poet - the poet of Soil and Strife. Some girl in my post-grad Chaucer class would just use his name to answer questions. I hadn't thought of him in a long time. I remember coming home and asking my husband if he knew the name since I had never heard of him before that and it was pre-google - I actually had to go to the library to find out who Seamus Haney was. Crazy. I'm old. Anyway. Happy Friday. Linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...