our garden

July 29, 2011


***please be warned that this post is very picture heavy!  :)***

Besides being an unbelievably talented carpenter, awesome husband and amazing dad, my husband, Doug, also has a phenomenal green thumb!  He is one of those people who can stick a plant in the ground and it thrives!!  Me, I kill every plant I have ever bought in record time!!

One of the reasons that we moved out of Boston is because Doug really wanted enough land to be able to grow all of our own produce in the summer.  He would love a greenhouse so that we could grow in the winter too, a few goats, a cow and a couple of pigs too but I had to draw the line somewhere.  I knew I had to say no when he suggested that if we got some goats, I could milk them twice a day so that we could make cheese!!  HA!!!!  Yeah, that's gonna happen!!!  :)

Anyway, he does plant and maintain our veggie garden every summer!!  It's awesome!!!

beets (we have 4 types)
green beans
peppers (this one is just starting to turn purple)


yellow cherry tomatoes (we have 7 types of tomatoes)
our haul from one night, yum!!!  yes we have blue eggs too!
He also grows me beautiful flowers!  The sunflowers will be blooming soon!  :)

He's going to kill me for this but I love this photo!  He let's the girls put his shaving creme on his face.  :) Check out how hard Penelope is concentrating!!  

Hope everyone has a great weekend!!

1001 peeps quilt

July 28, 2011


Yea!!!  I actually finished the top about 2 weeks ago.  It was so unbelievably hot here for over a week, we are talking 100 degrees and no ac, that there was no way I could bring myself to quilt it!  Just the thought of sitting at my machine with a quilt on my lap was enough to drive me insane.  So, I put it aside for a little while.

On Monday it was finally not sweltering so I got this baby out.  I basted and quilted it all in one afternoon!!!  Crazy!!!!  Once I start on something it drives me nuts until it's finished, so having this sucker sit there untouched for 2 weeks was grating on me!  :)  The girls were playing so nicely so I just kept going.  I sewed the binding on yesterday.

The characters are so fun!!  Adelaide calls it the "princess blanklet"!  I don't have the heart to correct the blanket part, I just love all of the words they say just a little off when they are little!  :)

I quilted two lines in the inside of the little frame that surrounds the fussy cut center and then stippled the rest of the quilt.  It's so nice and crinkly.  I didn't want to obstruct the fussy cut characters so I left those unquilted.

I have already started another quilt, I had to do something while I put this one aside.  :)  I have no idea why the quilts are appealing to me so much lately but I know we will be super snuggly here this winter!!!

Again the fabric used in this quilt is 1001 peeps by Lizzy House.
I used kona ash and PFD for the sashing.
The pattern is fussy fairytales by Kate Conklin.

a bed for baby

July 20, 2011


As I was going through my reader yesterday morning, I came across an adorable new pattern!  It is by the oh, so fabulous Florence from Flossie Teacakes.  If you haven't visited Florence's blog, you MUST!!!  It is so beautiful and her sewing skills are astonishing!

Anyway, I immediately bought the pattern and got started!  Adelaide has been begging me to make her something with the "yellow Snow White favric."  I still plan on making her some article of clothing with it as well but this little project was calling for some special fabric too!

You see that scary, kind of pitiful baby doll in the sleeping bag?  That's "baby!"  Baby is VERY important in our family!!!  She was hand sewn, with love, by my grandmother, Nana, almost 70 years ago.  She was made for my mother.  My mom found her right after Adelaide was born and brought her to us.  Addie was just an infant but just clung on to baby, so, baby became Adelaide's.  She goes everywhere!!!  I mean, EVERYWHERE with Addie!  So it only seemed fitting that baby should have a very special bed!  :)

The three bears' sleeping bag pattern, as it is called, comes in three sizes.  I made the mummy bear size.  It has a little pillow so that baby can be comfy when she is napping.

The top of the sleeping bag is quilted.  I couldn't bear to quilt though that beautiful snow white and so I carefully quilted around the outline of the images of the characters and the trees.  It really is a great print, so much detail!!

The little men are working on the back!  :)  I used the floral from the line for the bias binding and the clothesline for the pillow.  I hope baby, and Adelaide, will really enjoy sleeping in her sleeping bag!!  :)

booster seat

July 18, 2011


Over the weekend I made this little seat cushion for my sewing chair.  When Doug built my desk, I wanted usable drawers for each machine.  It is really nice to be able to store the accessories for each machine right in a special drawer.  But, since my machine can't be sunk into the desktop I needed my chair to be a little taller so that my shoulders don't cramp up.

This pattern was just what I needed!!  It uses foam wrapped in batting and therefore isn't as squishy as a pillow.  It holds it's shape and effectively raises the height of my chair.

the other side  :)
on my chair
It came together really quickly and easily!  I sewed the whole thing on Saturday with the girls running around, that shows you how easy it was!  :)  Honestly, the hardest and most time consuming part was tufting the cushion with the covered buttons.  I only stabbed myself once though with the 5"needle, so that wasn't bad.

It would be a great thing to take to a game or soccer practices too.  The handle would be super convenient if you planned on using it on outings!

I know it isn't my usual color palette but I have been really drawn to the shabby florals lately (I used fig tree's strawberry fields for my cushion).  I think it's mostly due to the fabulousness of this blog!!!  It works in my old country farm house too!  :)  I haven't let go of my love for bright colors though, don't worry!

baby gift

July 15, 2011


A really great friend from college is expecting her first baby, a little girl.  So, naturally, she needed a bubbie (what my girls call their lovie, blakie, whatever you want to call it)!  She had told me that they were painting the room a soft grey and decorating with bright pops of color.

I've been loving all of the chevron that has been popping up everywhere lately!  I thought this would be a great project for some chevron of my own!  :)

Mind you, this is not a quilt, it's tiny!!  Something for her to carry around for comfort.  :)  The entire thing measures approximately 11" x 9".  I backed it in pale pink chenille so that it would be super soft and snuggly.

I made 42 HST (half square triangles) that measured 1 1/2" finished.  I used kona ash for the grey and various scraps for the colored zig zags.  I was so glad to be able to fit that little girl's face in there from sherbet pips, I just love her!  I quilted it about 1/16" away from each seam in off white thread.  I figured she can use it as a mini quilt to hang on the wall until the baby is big enough or if she isn't a blankie kid.  My friend got it yesterday and loved it!  I'm so glad!! :)

I wanted to mention to anyone that may want to make something similar, or really anything that is a little thicker but still needs to be bound, is that it really makes it easier if you serge or zig zag the edges before you sew on the binding.  I also do this with potholders since they require a layer of batting as well as a layer of insulbrite.  It really makes it easier to hand sew the binding onto the back as it reduces the bulk at the edge.

I also cut my binding at 2 1/4" instead of 2 1/2" for small items (anything smaller than a baby/lap quilt), so the added step of zig zagging the edge is extra helpful since besides the added bulk of the chenille, I am also using smaller binding.

I hope everyone has a great weekend!!!

the fabulousness of the precut

July 11, 2011

Ruby and Little Apples charm packs and a Ruby layer cake 

I have a lovely friend, Lisa, who I met a while ago when I ordered my first pre cuts from her shop.  We were emailing back and forth one night about the different types and advantages of precuts.  I had just done this post about using some charm square scraps to make my new potholders. The next morning I got another email from my adorable friend Heidi (who makes the cutest cards ever!!) asking me what precuts were.

I know that quite a few of my followers are new sewers.  Maybe some of you just aren't that familiar with all of the awesome options there are out there!  Here is a brief explanation of my 3 favorite pre cuts.

charm squares: 42 - 5"x5" squares
layer cake: 42 - 10"x10" squares
jelly roll: 42 - 2 1/2"xWOF (width of fabric being 44" or 45")

There are others but these are my favorites and what most patterns that call for precuts use.

What can you do with a simple charm pack?  I'm so glad you asked!!!  :)  I made all of these projects with ONE charm pack and I still have several squares left over!

two linen tea towels for a flickr swap

my little table topper

the bottom two snack mats

A charm pack is perfect for small patchwork!!  You get all the prints in a line for $9, or under, you can't beat that!!

I made this quilt with a jelly roll.   I get most of my precuts from Lisa's shop.  She has, by far, the best prices!  She ships quickly and she is a sweetheart!!  I always find it so much nicer to buy from a shop where the people are kind, makes me happier to give them my money!  :)  She still has some of the new Ruby and Little Apples precuts that are in my first photo.

My favorite quilt patterns use precuts as well, Camille makes a fabulous quilt!  I have made one of her patterns using yardage as well, it was a little more work but I really love it.  :)

***Disclaimer - I have not been paid in any way by any of the shops that I linked to in this post!!!  I simply think they have great products at great prices and just wanted to share them with you!!  ***

flea market find

July 7, 2011


We have a pretty cool, very large, flea market a couple of towns over every Sunday in the summer.  Trust me, there are not many bargains but it is always fun to go and walk around.  You have to go early, like super early!

We took the girls this past week and I found this vintage sewing chest!  I think it's pretty cool!!

This side, as you can see, has all of these pockets with elastic around the top to keep in all of the notions.  There is also a little shelf up at the top that you can flip down when the cabinet is open and then flips up when you want to close it away.

This is what really sold me on the little chest though, all of the spool holders!  I am thinking that I will place it on top of my desk behind my machines instead of the plain thread holder I have there now.  It is in pretty good shape and was filled with a bunch of vintage notions (none of them great but still cool).

I took these pictures right after we got home.  I had to put it out on the porch to air out as it smelled a little musty, as most old things do.  :)  I sprayed it with some febreze and now its not musty any more.  It needs a good cleaning but that's about it!

snow white, 7 little men, lots of laundry and other goodies

July 6, 2011


Some fabulous things arrived today via the UPS man!!!  Heather Ross is finally here and man, is she sweet!!  This installment of her far far away series includes Snow White and her companions, all of their laundry hung on the line, some fabulous wildflowers and a few little girls playing with horses.

I have to say that I really love all of her lines, they always have just the right amount of whimsy!  All of the prints are printed on a linen cotton blend (85% cotton and 15% linen) that is perfect for bags and other accessories but still light enough for clothing.  They are not as heavy as the last line, they are more like a traditional quilting cotton weight.  The girls playing with horses are the same heavier weight as her last line.

Here are some things I made with her last collection.

The cotton/linen blend is the perfect weight for this skirt pattern!  It has just enough body to allow the skirt to stand away from the body slightly.  It spins wonderfully too!  :)

I also used it for the adorable bento lunch boxes that the girls got for easter baskets.  Ayumi's pattern calls for interfacing but with this fabric it wasn't necessary.  It's so nice when you can omit a whole step! Since some of the prints are lighter, it will depend on which one you choose as to whether you need interfacing or not.

So, there are a few reasons why I LOVE this line!  I would love to hear what you would like to see made with it or what print is your favorite!

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