Tuesday, January 25, 2011

My envelope system

I saw a picture of the coupon holder on Jaybird Quilts's blog, I wanted to make it.  I don't really use coupons, but I wanted to make something like this to hold receipts and cash for our budget.  The tutorial is on Moda Bake shop's site.  They have other great projects too.  I'm probably going to make Jaybird's giant pincushion soon.
Jaybird Quilts Coupon Clutch Tutorial
Jaybird Quilts Giant Pincushion Tutorial
 I used half of a charm pack of Awesome by Sandy Gervais.  I used the included PDF card stock dividers, but I flipped them over and wrote my own categories that match our budget categories.


I haven't posted in a while, so here's what I've been doing.  Apologies up front-for some reason I can't import pictures.  So you'll have to use your imagination.  Yay, my camera is working now, so I've added in pictures!

I made chunky clay buttons for my Log Cabin Stockings.  This was my first time using clay, and it was pretty easy.  I used this tutorial.  I used green, white, and red clay to make the buttons.  I'm pleased with how they turned out, except they may be a little soft/plyable.  The red bled all over my hands, so I wonder if it will bleed anymore.  Right now they have a matte finish, and I might go back and put on some varnish to make them shiny.  I'm sort of waiting to see if they harden up a bit more.  I may have to remake them with Fimo, which I understand to be firmer when baked.

Now for a little rant.  The embellishments I want for my log cabin stockings are: a chunky button, Christmas-themed fabric ribbon (not nylon), and a name tag.  Before the new year started, I bought 4 different Christmas ribbons from a seller on Etsy.  I like using Etsy and this is the first time something went wrong.  I didn't hear anything from the seller for 3 weeks.  Not a peep.  I ended up leaving negative comments at this point.  I should have waited.  I finally get a note from the seller, apologizing and offering the option of a refund or shipping me the items.  I say, "Send me the ribbons!  I still want them!"  She gives me a refund.  Not the ribbons.  That I still want. 
I found a couple rolls on sale at CVS, but I still need some more.  I may have to improvise.  I'm not really happy about how that went down.

I caught up on my Designer Block of the Month from the Fat Quarter Shop!  This month's block was a stocking with a Christmas tree on it.  The designer information is not with me at present, either.  This block was designed by Barbara Groves & Mary Jacobson.  I also got some matching fabric to finish the quilt and I've put together two rows.  Next month, I'll make my ninth block and have 3 rows!

Also, I've finished all the Castle Peeps pieced blocks!  I did 4 more block patterns and 8 more blocks for a total of 12 patterns and 24 blocks.  I'm setting the blocks on point and mixing them with a red and off white solid from Kona Cotton as well as bigger pieces of the Castle Peeps fabric.  I've got three rows together and I want to finish putting that together today.  I like it, but I think it would be more successful if I used a smaller scale print, or fabrics that read more solid than the ones in this line.  I still like it.  My husband says that we'll watch Merlin while snuggled under it and he'll call me "milady."  I'm silly, but I'm totally okay with that.

Blogger's Block-a-palooza started yesterday!  The first block from Quilt Dad (John Adams) looks great!  I have to start this quilt-along in February and catch up, because, well, I spent all my fun money for January by the 14th.  But I'm sticking to the budget, since it's a New Year's Resolution for me and hubby.  I've already picked out my fabric though.  I'm going to use some stash fabric and a yellow scrap bag from Pink Chalk Fabrics with some coordinating solids.  It'll be a big scrappy looking, I expect, but oh well!  The total needed yardage is almost 15 yards and with retail price of fabric being about $10/yard, I'll used the scrap bag, thank you very much.

Over the weekend I also watched some (okay, a lot) of my current favorite television shows.  My husband and I watched all the Eureka episodes from Netflix, so we moved on to Merlin.  For some reason, I love Destination Truth.  (I think it's the snarky comments from host Josh Gates.  By the way, he grew up around Boston!!)  I've watched all of the current season (four), so I'm watching seasons 1, 2, and 3 on Netflix.  I'm all caught up on Sanctuary, so I just have to wait for episodes to start again in the spring.  Apparently I totally missed the awesomeness of Battlestar Galactica.  So (you guessed it) I'm watching it on Netflix.  It's odd, because I really want to talk to someone about the show ("OMG, did you see what just happened?!?!), and then I remember that everyone besides me saw that a long time ago.

Yes, I am a Syfy junkie.

(Sorry for the long post sans pictures!)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Mug Rugs

I've seen these little quilts popping up everywhere, and I decided that my sister really needed one!  (Nevermind the fact that since I chose the Bento Box pattern, I'd end up with two.)  I used fabric in my stash: a red rose print, a yellow rose print, and a print with a bird on a branch with colored leaves.  Mug rugs I've seen are usually rectangular, but mine are square because I couldn't cut up these blocks!

Here's the block finished:

(I'm so happy the corners all lined up!)

Here's pictures of the two mug mats finished.  You can see a little of the quilting in the close ups.

I sent these to my sister.  She finally got them yesterday and put them right to use!  Here's an action shot:

In the upper right is a picture of me and Ann when I graduated from Basic Military Training.  In the upper left is a cross-stitch piece that Ann did for this Valentine's Day.  AND...on the mug rug is fresh scones that she baked herself!! And coffee.  Of course.

The Hunger Games

I recently finished reading The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.  I was initially intrigued by this book and series because my friend Amanda Gignac constantly raved about these books on her blog and on Twitter.  The free sample I got on my nook didn't get me hooked, but I thought I'd try again since I got some Barnes and Noble gift cards for Christmas.

It was great.  I didn't think I'd care as much about the characters as I did at the end.  I think my favorite thing is that the main character Katniss had character "flaws," but that just made her more real.  I liked Peeta too.  I want to know more about him.  I'll definitely read the rest of the trilogy (Catching Fire and Mockingjay), but I have some other books and series that I want to read. 

I've made a new goal for myself this year:  to read one non-fiction book a month.  I think Linchpin by Seth Godin is going to be January's non-fiction selection.  This book was recommended on the Dave Ramsey Show, and it sounded interesting.  And I love Dave Ramsey, so I take his recommendations seriously.

Right now though, I'm reading one of my favorite authors and favorite series:  Steve Berry's Cotton Malone series.  I'm at book six, The Emporer's Tomb

(So, this is my first book review.  How did I do?)

Monday, January 17, 2011

More Castle Peeps

I have three new Castle Peep blocks to share!

Grandma's Star:

Joseph's Coat:

Rolling Stone:

I have 5 more block patterns to complete, then I can start laying out the whole quilt top.  I want to finish the blocks by the end of the month so I can start on this:

Quilt Dad

Blogger's Block-a-palooza is being hosted by John Adams, aka Quilt Dad.  Head over to his blog or to the flickr group for more information.

More Stockings!

Over the weekend I finished the front of the sixth and final stocking.  I also assembled the stockings and put cuffs and loops on all of them.   Here they are:

I still have the embellishments to do, and I spent all my January crafting budget, so these won't get done until at least next month, possibly later.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sunday Stash #2

New fabric this week:  from the Fat Quarter Shop, Remembrance by Brannock and Patel for Moda Fabrics.  I got a half yard each of Olive Buds, Red Aged Solid, Tan Aged Solid, , and Teal Stars.

I also was pleasantly surprised that I got a $10 gift certificate to Tomorrow's Heirlooms in Corpus Christi, TX, from participating in the October Fab Shop Hop.  There's another going on right now, so hop on over and hop the shops!  There are a lot of prizes up for grabs!  Well, here's what I got:  from Patti Paisley Watermelon Stripe (top) and Watermelon (middle), purple fabric with multicolor dots (I don't have the manufacturer information), and from Michael Miller Fairy Frost in Snow and Aqua.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

More Block of the Month Blocks

I've finished two more Fat Quarter Shop 2010 Designer Mystery Block of the Month blocks.

Block Five: "Peppermint Pinwheels" designed by Carrie Nelson

Block Seven: "Warm Woolen Mitten" designed by Pam Buda

I got a little out of order, but now I'm just one month behind!  Woot! I've also ordered material to finish this quilt, so hopefully I can get some bigger pieces together in the near future.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

My 2010 Designer Block of the Month

I'm in a Block-of-the-Month club sponsored by the Fat Quarter Shop.  The fabric is 12 Days of Christmas by Kate Spain.  I'm sort of...well...behind.  I finished the first block in a sort of timely fashion:

During block two, I had equipment gremlins.  That was in November, or so.  I finally pulled it out and finished block two,...and three and four!  These were three of my seven completed blocks when we had a huge snow storm.

Block One: "Gifts Under the Tree" designed by Gudrun Erla. (I made this previously.)

Block Two:  "Santa's Lucky Hat" designed by Bonnie Olaveson and Camille Roskelley. (I started this before Thanksgiving and finished it today.)

Block Three:  "Wreath Over Our Door" designed by Sandy Gervais.

Block Four:  "Oh Christmas Tree" designed by Heather Mulder Peterson.

At least I'm less behind now.  I should be getting block eight soon.  Sigh.

More Castle Peeps

Did I mention I love this fabric by Lizzy House?  And today I just found this!  I really don't like embroidery, but I might like it for that.

Well, on my snow day, I made four more blocks for my Castle Peeps quilt.

Here is London Roads:

And here is Ornate Star:

I also made three new blocks for the block of the month I'm in right now, coming up next!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Log Cabin Stockings 4 and 5

These stockings have the same contrast fabric (I call it Peppermint stripe), but I put the stripe in a different place so hopefully they will look a little different from each other when they're done.

Stocking number four has Riley Blake's Colorful Christmas fabric with mittens and mugs, with the green stripe as the contrast.  The little blue squares are from my stash.  I love how the steam from the mugs make hearts!

Stocking number 5 has tossed trees and the peppermint stripe.

Just one more front, then I can start assembling the stockings!

Paisley Checkbook Cover

I loved the fabric from my new wallet so much, I used the leftovers to make a new checkbook cover.  I took a glance at the selvage and the fabric line is Make Life by Sweetwater, Colorful in Ocean and Shine in Apple.  I don't have the designer information for the pink marble.

It's hard to see, but where the register goes, there are page holders. 

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Paisley Wallet-My First!

Yesterday I made my first wallet!  I had two fabrics in my stash (the paisley and the stars) that I was saving for a wallet, so I finally sat down and made it.  I got some measurements from a purchased pattern, some from a similar (leather) wallet I purchased on sale, and the rest I just measured and eyeballed and cut as I went.  My wallet has an applique embellishment, quilting on the outer fabric, 16 card slots, 4 money slots, and a zippered coin purse.  Here are the pictures:

I've loosely typed up what I did, so hopefully if (when?) I make another one I can go back to it.  A couple of things I'll definitely change: a different interfacing, and 1/4 wider overall.  I used Steam-a-Seam because I had it on hand, and I generally like how stiff it made the card and money slots, but it didn't really work to interface the base and outer pieces.  Also, I need to cut the interfacing so it isn't included in the outside seam allowance.  I need to make it 1/4 wider overall and possibly taller so I can topstitch around the whole thing.  I just like how it looks.  I may or may not quilt the next one.  I needed it for structure, but I think I would rather just find a different interfacing or other product.

Here's my Craftster post for this wallet:  http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=369533.0

Stocking No. 3

Here is my third Log Cabin Stocking:

And here's the close up.  (I love the little faces peeking out!)

Sunday Stash the First!

I stole the "Sunday Stash" idea from a couple of other bloggers, but it's a great idea!  Here is new fabric I got this week:

First up is more Castle Peeps fabric for my Castle Peeps quilt.  Then a fat quarter bundle of Enchanted Garden by Samatha Walker for Riley Blake Designs.  It comes in an orange colorway and a pink one, but I liked this one the best.  These came from Hawthorne Threads.

From the Fat Quarter Shop, I got some Kona Solids to finish my Castle Peeps quilt and the Log Cabin Stockings.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Inspiration at Biltmore

Over the Christmas holidays, my husband and I took a trip to Asheville, NC, home of the Biltmore estate.  It was a great trip.  My favorite room at Biltmore was Mrs. Vanderbilt's room.  In yellow, gold, black, and deep purple with trim of white and lilac, it is feminine and decadent all at the same time.

We had a couple meals on the estate, and at the Deerpark Restaurant, there was a display of quilts.  Here's a few of my favorites:

Unfortunately, I didn't write down the names of the quilts or the quilters.