Thursday, July 30, 2009

News.

Photo courtesy of Freefoto.com

So. RJ got a job. I can't believe it! I think I'm kind of in shock still from the news. I can't believe we just went through 8 months of unemployment. It all seems like a blur. I remember the moment I got the phone call from him at work telling me that he just got laid off. I was kind of shocked at first. Neither of us saw it coming, but after a few seconds I felt like everything was going to be o.k. and then I just said, "Well, this is going to be an adventure." It was. And it's been an interesting 8 months to say the least. I learned a lot and I know that I was able to grow a lot as a person. I gotta say that my husband rocks though. "Why?" you may ask. Well for two reasons - #1: he made sure we were prepared. He's a saver and I know we couldn't have done it without having the emergency fund that we had (which I have to give him most of the credit for in the first place. I'm kind of the free spirit in the relationship. :)) #2 - I never saw him freak, stress or cry about it. And, if I ever started to have a moment of anxiety, he immediately calmed me down and told me that everything was gonna be o.k. and that I just needed to have faith. He is awesome and I'm so thankful for him. I'm also so grateful for those of you who had been praying for our family and for those random acts of kindness that you did in our behalf. I just want to say thank you so much to those of you who cared and helped us out in your own ways. We know we were very blessed along the way.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Southern Hospitality

Don't mind me...
I know I've posted about this quilt before...
But, I just added a list on my sidebar of finished quilts and realized that I never posted pictures of the finished product.
So here it is:
The pattern is called Southern Hospitality from American Patchwork & Quilting (sorry, can't find my magazine, therefore, I can't tell you which issue it is). There are a few more words on the history of this quilt (if you're interested :) if you click here.

Anyways, the gist of this quilt is that it was made completely from scraps. Yay!

Nest

OK. So this one is finally bound! Some of you may have seen it before during my sewing frenzy week, but here it is all finished. The pattern is called Nest and you can find it for free, here. I made a smaller version of the pattern since it is for a baby.

I LOVE striped bindings on the bias. I think this stripe goes perfectly with the other fabrics.

The quilter added more circles and now I am very happy with it!


Friday, July 24, 2009

Heart to Heart - Block One

Ryan's mom, sister, and I decided we needed a fun little project to do together, so this is what we picked:

The pattern is called Heart to Heart and it is from American Patchwork and Quilting Magazine, the February 2008 issue. Cute huh? The designer uses a method called Appliquilt to stitch all three layers of fabric together at one time. However, we decided to do a more traditional method of applique, especially since we all plan to have them professionally machine quilted at the end.

It took me a long time to get this first block done, partly because I was working on my watermelon quilt (which is at the quilters right now) and partly because all of the applique had me a little scared. I started doing it with the needle turn method like the pattern suggested, but could quickly tell that was not my forte. So - back to the freezer paper method I went. I like Jill Finley's method of freezer paper applique. She is a local pattern designer and her company is called Jillily Studio. Click on the link to watch a wonderful demonstration video. She explains exactly how to do everything and makes it look so easy! (At the beginning of the video she talks about her product called Appli-Glue but then it gets into how to prepare the actual applique pieces.) Anyways, I actually ended up really enjoying the appliqueing after I got all of the pieces prepared. Here's my first block:


If you want to join in on this fun project, get your pattern and get appliqueing! Check back with me periodically - I would love to see pictures of your blocks.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

This is starting to get funny now...

You'll have to read the last post (from, like 2 hours ago) to see why this is starting to get funny. After screwing up a long piece of fabric for the border on my watermelon quilt yesterday, I started to press more fabric just now to start a NEW border . Well, I couldn't find my water bottle. My little girl had been playing with it and all I could find was the nozzle/spray part of it, so being the clever person that I am ;), I grabbed a cup out of the kids bathtub, put some water in it and stuck the nozzle in that. Not a smart idea. After the second spray I put the nozzle back in the cup while I pressed. It was top heavy. It tipped over. Water went all over my wall and carpet. I rushed to get a towel and wipe it up, not realizing that I had left the iron metal side down on my fabric. Oh, stupid me... I am really having problems today...somebody help me! P.S. I have never done this in the 10 years that I have been quilting. Geez...

A little pick me up

I need a little pick me up, I think. Do you ever have a day or two when things just seem to go wrong? You make stupid little mistakes, things don't work the way they should. Well, I am having one of those days. Mind if I share? I'll try to keep it short.

So it all started yesterday while at a friends house where we were working on our Watermelon Quilts.


Here's a little sneak peak of mine.
I'm really excited about my red and pink polka dot backing
that I got from Lanie Jane's liquidation sale last week for only $5.50/yd!

After I had spent about an hour figuring out the placement for all of the words and applique that are going to go on my border, I went to iron them on and as I pressed down on the first three letters, a big burn mark appeared where I had just pressed. Oh stupid me! I should have known better than to have the heat up to it's highest! So of course frustration ensues and I am wondering what to do, what to do. Do I start over, try to cover it up or just ignore it? Because I am such a perfectionist I just knew I wouldn't be happy every time I looked at that quilt, so I decided it was worth it to cut another long piece of fabric, make a few new letters and start over. I decided to pack up my things and head home, where I would start again after a short break. Well after getting home, I realize that not only had I left my cutting mat and ruler (which was no big deal because I have two sets) but I left my whole bag of fabric! So I couldn't work on it even if I had wanted to. Well, I knew I couldn't go more than a day or two without my stuff, so back to Shelby's I went to get my stuff.

That was Day 1.

Then today, I got up nice and early. Did my run, got showered really fast, and was out the door to go to Tai Pan Trading by 8 a.m. I needed a few things, but most importantly, I needed to find a glass dome lid for my sister-in-law's cake stand (that my daughter broke a few weeks ago as she was climbing on her entry way table and it fell over on top of her, breaking about 3 glass things.) Anyways, I found a beautiful dome, the size was right, the price was right and so I bought it. Well, I get home, head up the stairs in my garage and suddenly I hear a crunching sound and glass breaking. The bag slipped out of my hand and landed with a big thump on my stairs. Of course, it was not salvageable. Didn't even make it in my house before it broke. Guess I need another trip to Tai Pan and another dome lid. Nice. Don't you hate that?

So here's my pick-me-up: these cute little cupcakes (well, actually just a photo of them. We made these two weeks ago.)


They're easy to make. Just make your favorite cupcakes and frost with your favorite white frosting. Then, using a pair of scissors that are slightly wet, cut large marshmallows into 4 or 5 slices. Arrange 5 slices on top of the cupcake in a flower shape, overlapping each "petal" in the center. Sprinkle immediately with your choice of colored sugar granules.

Here is one from me to you:

Thanks for listening! Hope you have a great day!

~ Amber

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

My First Quilt

Camille (from the blog I check practically every day, Simplify) is hosting a "Parade of Quilts" (and possibly doing a fun giveaway) so I had to join in. I can't believe I have never posted about this before! But, here it is: my first quilt I ever made. I call it "4 Corners" - kind of a lame name, but each block had red squares in each corner so when they all got together there were even bigger red squares. Anyways. This quilt is special to me because my grandma helped me with it (starting in '98/'99) and taught me the basics of quilting as we worked. I've been addicted ever since, although it actually took me a few years to complete it.

Only stripes, checks and plaids were allowed in this quilt.


So, this is the most recent quilt that I've finished:

I don't love it (I was just trying to use up scraps.) Anyways, we're suppose to say what we have learned along the way... Well, I have learned so much! Fun, time saving tricks, lessons about color and machine quilting, formulas for triangles...the list could go on and on. But, probably the most important thing I've learned is to be accurate when cutting and with my seam allowances. That would have saved me from so many headaches on my first quilt, if I would have been more accurate.

I'm excited for the Parade of Quilts. Great idea Camille and Carrie for coming up with it! For anyone who is interested in quilting, check out Camille or Carrie's blog on Monday for the list of links for all those who participated in the parade.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Scout Camp + Mom in Survival Mode = Sewing Frenzie (Day 7)

This last project for my "Sewing Frenzie Week" is a baby quilt that an old friend from high school asked me to make. She gave me free reign on the pattern and fabrics. Her only requests were "Blue and modern." So I grabbed up some of my favorite blue, green, and brown prints at Just Sew and whipped this up. The pattern I used is "Nest" from United Notions/Moda. They have a lot of free patterns, so you should check out their site! I had the quilter do an all-over circle design, but my heart is yearning for more of them so I am going to see if she'll add a few more...

So this will have to wait a little while longer to become a striped binding on the bias:

Isn't it a great stripe? It's called Daisy Chain by Amy Butler.

Well, thanks for checking out my projects from last week. I've got more projects and pictures to share, so check back soon. Bye!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Scout Camp + Mom in Survival Mode = Sewing Frenzie (Day 6)

I know you're all out celebrating for the fourth, but I have been working hard to organize my laundry/sewing room. I need to go get ready for our cul-de-sac party, but wanted to post pics for Sewing Frenzie Day 6. I finally got a skirt made to go under my counter, to hide all of the ugly things I need to store under there. This is a very small space, so I am so happy this project is finally done. Here are a few pics of the room. I am still working on organizing and putting some of the finishing touches on, but this will do for now...



Some of my stash:






Have a great 4th of July ya'll!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Scout Camp + Mom in Survival Mode = Sewing Frenzie (Day 5)

Sorry this picture isn't that great, but the quilt top is done and we've got the backing fabric (orange and white polka dots). The Davis girls each made 9 blocks for this scrappy throw, which made a total of 54 blocks. And, we had a blast doing it (right girls?) It was a fun group project and now it is off to the quilter's to get machine quilted. It's still a mystery for who we are going to give it to, but we'll let the cat out of the bag soon enough! All of the fabrics for the top of the quilt are by American Jane. We got the backing for a steal at one of Lanie Jane's liquidation sales, (which by the way was heaven on earth.)


(click here to see who this quilt was for.)
(click here to see more pictures and read about how we worked out how to do this fun family project together.)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Scout Camp + Mom in Survival Mode = Sewing Frezie (Day 4)

What?!?! Christmas in July! Yes, I finally have a tree skirt after 11 years of marriage. This pattern is from Buggy Barn. I have never done a pattern by Buggy Barn so it was fun to see what it is all about. It wasn't too hard. I got the skirt done in one day. The fabrics are a mix of Figgy Pudding and Frosted Memories by Moda.

Lucy's Longarm Quilting whipped it out for me within a few days so that it would be ready for our "Christmas in July" sale at Just Sew. The quilting design is "Wonderland". I love the way it turned out.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Scout Camp + Mom in Survival Mode = Sewing Frenzie (Day 3)

This project has been on the "to-do" list for a little while now. These are the ruffle pants from Portabellopixie. The red floral fabric is by Marcus Fabrics from the collection of Edelen Wille.

I've been saving this outfit so that M could wear it on the Fourth of July, but she asks me every day if she can wear now.

She needed a matching shirt so I got a white tee from Target for $5.99. I just appliqued a little swatch of the red fabric using the same technique as the onesies below and bam - done!

She loves them and it was fun making some pants (my first time). I figure, I work at a fabric store, the least I could do is make my only daughter some cute clothes.