Sunday, June 28, 2009


I did it! I did it! I did it!

I finished my nine patches for the quilt along! Plus 4 squares!

I am so excited! I really did it!

I went ahead and made extras so that if I had any real clunkers in the group, when I lay out the whole 70, then I have some extras. If I like all of them I may make three more and add an extra row OR make a doll quilt/mini quilt with the leftovers.

My next step is to lay them all out on some white fabric and see how they look.

I am so sorry

Sorry for the disgustingly large number of photos of Andrew, the greatest T-ball boy in the world - well, at least the cutest. You have to click on each photo. He REALLY DOES run from base to base with this huge smile on his face! He loves it!

I just don't think I ever realized how darned cute T-ball could be!

Andrew and his best buddy (#4) playing the infield!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Growing Obsession

Can you tell that my quilting obsession is getting worse year by year? I added a couple of link lists to my sidebar. Too funny!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Sweet Soiree

I absolutely adore this quilt! It is so bright and so white. I made this quilt based on this quilt at the Moda Bake Shop. I already had the two charm packs of Soiree and I was just trying to decide what to do with them, when this came along. I used white muslin for all the sashing and the back. I didn't like how it stretched and probably won't use it again for a while. I think I would have preferred a different cotton. Even so, I turned out wonderfully and it washed up beautifully. It is so soft and crinkly. It is on proud display.

Well, I think this is the end of projects for me for a bit, aside from my nine patch quilt along. I am moving on to some projects to be gifted. As long as I am quilting, I am happy and I so enjoy giving my creations away.

Blessings to your day.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A trip to the quilt shop

On Saturday I met a friend at a local quilt shop where I had not been in ages. It is a little bit further than my normal stomping grounds, but always worth the trip!

One of my purposes for going was to purchase some bits of fabric to make a baby quilt. I had already purchased online the three fabrics you see below to the left. They came from a Robert Kaufman fabric line I loved. I am making a Simply Modern Baby Quilt using this pattern I bought online. She wrote a beautiful pattern! It was fun to choose fabrics and I am looking forward to starting!

Below are a few fat quarters I could not pass up. I have no idea what the first two are. I believe the second is a Kaffe Fasset and the last is my favorite fabric from the Lily Pond line. Love these! I am not sure if these will make it to my final batch of nine patches or not.

And one of my other big reasons for going was to raid their fun scrap bin. I got a half pound of scraps for $2.50. There were some good pieces and a lot of a couple of them. What fun!

Happy quilting!

Nine Patch Quilt Along - Week 8 and Week 9

I am now up to 63 squares and I am pretty sure it is day 58. So, yeah! I am ahead. I am so enjoying this and can't believe that I'm almost done. I may make more than 70 just in case when I lay it all out I have some that I don't like. But I am going for a scrappy look and so maybe I will just take it as is. We'll see. Check out the flickr group!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Quilting Updates

Last night some of my wonderful friends (who also happen to be fantastic quilters and crafters) gathered at my house for a quilting night. We love these nights so much. I think Robin had hosted the last monthly night and I was ready for a turn at my house. It is such a fun time whether you get lots done or just come and talk. We laugh a lot.

Last night we seemed to be rather productive. One dear sweet friend made lovely progress on some cross-stitch she has been working on. Maybe after she has her baby we can give her the quilting bug as well. :)) Another friend brought her sweet baby girl along and because she was such a good girl, her mama got lots of progress made on a St. Patrick's day quilt. She and I also managed to make plans for a quick Saturday trip to a local quilt shop. The newest quilter in the bunch finished a precious baby quilt (with a companion doll quilt for big sister) just in time for a Baptism today AND made a vacation bag for her daughter! And last but not least another friend made some great progress on a quilt for her daughter.

And me? Well, I talked way too much, but what's new?

I did complete another mini quilt.

I had bought the blue polka dot and the orange fabric fat quarters at a local shop the other day and I brought in some other fabrics from my stash to make this little summer mini. So bright and cheerful. It reminds me of the great big smile of the person I am going to give it to!

Another pieced back on a mini quilt what fun! I also didn't have enought orange to finish out the binding so I added in a little yellow! I think I like it! Character, right?

In other quilting news:

I finished this quilt during the past week. I have had the top and the back finished for a while. I was waiting for a coupon so I could go buy more batting. I quilted and finished it this week. It is lovely. I quilted it with the most beautiful purple variegated thread from Connecting Threads. Perfect! This quilt was a gift to a dear friend for her birthday. In July. I gave her the choice to either wait till July or receive her gift last night while she was over to quilt. She so wisely chose NOT to wait! :)) I think she liked it. It is the perfect colors for her!

I love the back. I am really enjoying pieced backings when they happen. I don't think I was planning to piece this one. I had the charm packs to make the pinwheels. Since it was an older Moda fabric I had to order extra yardage off ebay. I didn't quite order enough for the border, backing and binding. So the result? Some creative piecing.

The following quilt I finished back in January, but in all my moving frenzy, I forgot to photograph it before giving it away at a baby shower. Luckily my friend brought it with her last night so I could take a photo. This one is so bright and cheery and girly! I hope the sweet baby girl receiving this quilt will enjoy it for years to come.

Well, my friend and I did make it to the quilt shop this morning and we made some wonderful purchases. I haven't had a chance to pull them out of the bag, but when I feel rested and relaxed tomorrow, I will pull them out and take a few pics!

Have a blessed Sunday and a Happy Father's Day!

Little Little Leaguer

Last night was Andrew's first game of T-ball. He has wanted to play for a long time and recently we signed him up with a city league for 3 to 5 year olds. His friend had played before and had a great experience and his friend's dad was going to be the coach. So far....fantastic! He is loving it!
The Gator's first game went great and he had loads of fun. Go Andrew!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Keep on keepin' on

Week 7 of the Nine Patch a day quilt along and still loving it. I am up to 49 squares. Yeah!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Just one more

Just one more quick post and then I promise I'll quit. While looking for a photo I had taken last year of my sewing machine, I happened upon the prettiest photo of Nicole in front of our other house. What a sweetie.

Mini Quilt Friday?

I hope they don't throw me out of the Flickr pool. My mini quilts don't seem to be happening on Mondays. Monday is just not the best day to make a quilt most weeks. I hope that it's the spirit of it all that counts.

Anyway, here is a mini quilt I started a couple of days ago. I had this one fat quarter of fabric I loved! I wasn't crazy about the other fabrics in the Proud line, but this one kept catching my eye at a local quilt shop. I really wanted to showcase this fabric in a lovely way and, of course, save a few squares for some nine patches. I was drawn to this grayish blue mini quilt in this post and wanted to do something equally as simple, yet not a complete copy.

I bought some green fabric at JoAnn's last Thursday and some matching green thread. Perfect. I think I drew out the design on paper and made measurements on Monday (at least that part was on the right day). Then I cut it out and pieced the front and most of the back while a friend was here on Wednesday. Then I finished piecing the back, pinned, quilted and finished it today. I love it!

The back to my quilt ended up being more pieced than I originally intended. I had made the back and then realized I was short on my green binding by about 25" due to a cutting mistake. I really wanted to do the green binding and I didn't want to go back and buy more fabric. So I kept cutting into the back and adding rows until I squeezed out enough green to make the biding long enough. In the end, I think it turned out pretty fun.

My Machine

Sew, Mama, Sew! blog has been hosting a Sewing Machine Meme and I am finally getting around to answering it! Hooray for me. Hope its helpful to someone.

What brand and model do you have?

I have a Kenmore Computerized sewing machine that says it has 110 stitch functions. I am not too sure about that number since I really haven't used many yet. That's not the reason I got it.

How long have you had it?

I bought this machine the day after Thanksgiving in 2008!

How much does that machine cost (approximately)?

It's regular price is $299, but I got it on sale for $249. Not terribly expensive, but more than the $99 I spent on my first Kenmore machine. I loved my first basic Kenmore machine that I bought back in 2001.

What types of things do you sew (i.e. quilting, clothing, handbags, home dec projects, etc.)?

Mostly quilts, but I occasionally branch out to a skirt or a bag.

How much do you sew? How much wear and tear does the machine get?

I sew just about everyday, even if it's just a bit. Yes, there are days that go buy when I don't sew. I would say my machine gets a good bit of use and does lots of quilting.

Do you like/love/hate your machine? Are you ambivalent? Passionate? Does she have a name?

I absolutely love my machine! I loved my old Kenmore and it served me well for seven years without any troubles - ever. It was so basic and I was ready to be able to do more. The reviews were great for my model and so I got another Kenmore. I am still thrilled!

What features does your machine have that work well for you?

They are pretty silly things, but I sure like the feel of the starting and stopping on my computerized machine versus my old one. I also love being able to control the speed. My other machine would not handle free motion quilting, but this one does beautifully!

Is there anything that drives you nuts about your machine?


Do you have a great story to share about your machine (i.e., Found it under the Christmas tree? Dropped it on the kitchen floor? Sewed your fingernail to your zipper?, Got it from your Great Grandma?, etc.!)? We want to hear it!

Not really.

Would you recommend the machine to others? Why?

I certainly would. I can't say I wouldn't love to have an even better machine someday that has other features that would be great for quilting (longer arm!). But it is a great machine for a really reasonable price. I pray I will get many years of joy from it.

What factors do you think are important to consider when looking for a new machine?

Think about what you want to use it for and how often you think you might use it. Then try to match the features and the price to real life. After doing so much with such a basic machine for so many years, I think it is not a great idea to buy more than you may need. You can always replace it later, with a different model. I had 10 people who wanted to buy my seven year old machine that I spent $99 on for $50! Now that's resale value!

Do you have a dream machine?

To others, maybe not. To me, YES!

And after the preformance

Well, the Informal Demonstration (as it is properly called) was fantastic! Nicole did beautifully on both her tap and her ballet and not a misstep at all on her ballet. She was quite the ballerina. The boys were good as gold even though 8 1/2 year old Jacob was less interested than he might have been in younger years (ugh, all that girly stuff!).

It was a treat to see all the different levels of performers, from youngest to oldest, as well as the different styles - ballet, jazz, tap. As I sat and watched all the other dances, especially the older girls, I couldn't help think what it would be like if Nicole continues dancing and was like one of the older girls. Their dances were impressive! Such talent and grace. I love the fact that this type of dance requires so much commitment and discipline and hard work. There are a lot of great lessons to be learned in that. We are blessed to belong to an organization that, while not Christian, has quite a number Christian and Catholic and home school dancers. Nicole is really looking forward to next fall. We could have done a class over the summer, but with the busy year we had, we needed the summer to rest a bit.

Here she is (makeup and all) holding her beautiful pink carnations from her daddy!

The Princess

And here she is looking very pleased that I removed her fake eyelashes before the drive home!

We love you, Nicole. You have worked hard all year. You have grown and changed and learned so much! Congratulations on a beautiful performance!


I will post photos and the oh, so highly awaited ballet performance discussion soon.

BUT for now, I am thinking.

Go read and read.

And then think.

And then pray.

Then have a happy, happy, blessed day.

I am off to love!

Thank you Kristen and Suzanne!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Ballerina Nicole

Last night Nicole had her Dress Rehearsal before her Informal Demonstration this Thursday night. She looked so lovely, like a real ballerina, despite all the stage makeup they wear. She looked so different than the little girl I see everyday, but she was proud to look like the other girls. She didn't like the false eyelashes though!

She did her tap and her ballet and danced beautifully. This was our opportunity to photograph and videotape. I got a few good ones.

We are looking forward to the performance night. I saw all the dances last night and they are fantastic quality! I think Brian and the kids will enjoy it too.

Little Reader

Andrew is really loving books more. Yesterday he was fetching BIG chapter books and "reading" in the chair like his big brother. He kept coming over to show me how many chapters he'd read! What a cutie!

Nine Patch Quilt Along - Week 6

I wasn't sure if I'd tire of this quilt along. I haven't! I am still enjoying it so much!!!! 42 squares later, I'm loving it!

Monday, June 08, 2009

A Few Favorites

My children, of course. Actually, this photo was taken right before we left for Galveston Schlitterbahn on Saturday morning. Brian's work does a company picnic there. They offer greatly discounted tickets and a wonderful lunch. The kids LOVE Schlitterbahn. They were so excited to go!

We had a wonderful time! At some point during our seven hours at the water park, I told Brian. "You know, we have absolutely fantastic kids!" I told him what I was feeling on my heart. I was having such a wonderful time. It was all pure joy and fun and pleasure. The kids were so great. They seemed to enjoy every little thing and they were so good. So often it seems at home that all I do is put out fires. That day, God brought it once more to my heart and mind, what wonderful kids they are and how incredibly blessed I am. Not because they can hack a super long hot day at a water park and not complain - many kids can do that. I think I just saw so clearly what little gems they are. So, hands down, they are top on my list of favorite things. And that's even after a rough, cranky day after a long weekend. Praise God!

Generations! Mikey's hand and my dad's hand! Love it. Love it.

A beautiful new vase given to us by my sister as a housewarming gift. And it's filled with beautiful hydrangeas!

My children's relationship with books. The summer reading program began today at our city library. It makes me laugh because Jacob and Nicole were all pumped to start reading and earn their prizes, but they never need incentive to read. They just do. It's like eating for them. Jacob is a voracious reader. He exclaimed to me late in the day, "Wow! I've read five hours today!" I told him that's about how much he reads every day! Nicole has spent this Kindergarten year learning to read and now with 7 or 8 weeks left to go, she is reading beautifully, sounding out difficult words right and left. She too has a love affair with books. Even Andrew now never wants to miss the stories. I loved this photo because it just captures our feelings towards the written word.

And to close with...the words to my favorite Christian song as of late. I love so many of them, but this one says a lot to me right now. It is the first song on my playlist. Blessings and good night!

Why are you striving these days
Why are you trying to earn grace
Why are you crying
Let me lift up your face
Just don't turn away

Why are you looking for love
Why are you still searching as if I'm not enough
To where will you go child
Tell me where will you run
To where will you run

And I'll be by your side
Wherever you fall
In the dead of night
Whenever you call
And please don't fight
These hands that are holding you
My hands are holding you

Look at these hands and my side
They swallowed the grave on that night
When I drank the world's sin
So I could carry you in
And give you life
I want to give you life

Cause I, I love you
I want you to know
That I, I love you
I'll never let you go

Friday, June 05, 2009

Mini Quilt Monday, Started on Tuesday Night, Finished on Thursday

I noticed that Crazy Mom Quilts (aka amandajean) was joining in another quilting pool on Flickr called Mini Quilt Monday. I love the idea of mini quilts. Small and so cute. Quick and easy to complete. Perfect way to showcase a little bit of fabric you love or a technique.

I had three fat quarters of Michael Miller fabrics that I picked up at a local quilt shop. They are such happy fabrics. I had been wanting to cut into them to make some nine patches for my quilt along, but couldn't! I knew if I cut into them then someday when I wanted to do something "official" with the fat quarters, I wouldn't have enough. So I decided that this was an excellent time to make a mini quilt with the fabrics. First I sewed three long 1 1/2" strips together and then cut those into 3 1/2" blocks. Then I cut some solid 3 1/2" blocks. The quilt kept on evolving. The I decided I would cut out 1 1/2" squares and surround them with some pink I had in my stash. I didn't like one of the four. Then I cut four of my 3 1/2" solid squares into fourths and sewed the little squares onto the corners of other 3 1/2" blocks to make sort of snowballs. Then I threw in some brown and aqua polka dot squares from my stash and then a Woodland Bloom border. The quilt was completely dreamed up as I went along until I had 20 squares and a design I liked. What fun! And the result.......

I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!

It is a wonderful size to top an end table, hang on a wall or use as a doll quilt - 14 x 17.

Here is the pieced back. Almost like two quilts in one!

Maybe you can try your hand at a mini creation. They take so little time and are so much fun. I am not sure I will do one for every Monday, but what fun! I do have one in the works for next Monday to showcase a fat quarter of another fabric line I love.

Take a look at the Flickr group and don't forget to check in on the nine patch quilt along!

Blessings to you all!