February 28, 2010

...Rayce's Wheels...

Remember this quilt that I loved?

I saw it on a website, contacted the quilter who did not have a pattern for it, but gave me the basic measurements of the blocks.
I borrowed some graph paper from the calculus teacher at CHS and after a few tries,
came up with this:
I worked on it at the Craft Retreat - it came together very easily after Melissa Kelly suggested I sew them in 9-patches rather than strips. Genius!

I am in love with the finished product. In Love. Seriously. I'm totally making another one. It's definitely a boy quilt pattern though, don't you think?
It was hard for me to send it away.

But, I love Lyndsay too much to be selfish, so I packaged it up, tied it with a bow, and sent it to Anchorage, Alaska.

This is for Rayce Jones - he's the newborn baby of my dear friend Lyndsay. Lyndsay and I met at Twinlow when we were in elementary school and attended church camp there together until high school. In my opinion, we have one of those relationships where we know that we're always there for one another and we'll always be friends even if we don't talk on the phone ever or see each other often. It's just a connection that's unexplainable. I respect her so much and am so happy for the addition of Rayce into her life and their family.

Here's a picture Lyndsay sent me of Rayce on his quilt. He's so tiny!

Fabric: Wheels by My Minds Eye for Riley Blake Designs
Pattern: Marcie sorta-original
Quilted by: Marcie (stitch in the ditch)

...crafty cuteness...

I spent some much needed time in the craft room last night working on some projects. As usual, I have a lot of ideas in my head, but never enough time to get them done.

Last week when Kate was here, we were talking about hair bows for Baby J. I found a tutorial online and got to work last night. I think they turned out so cute.
They were perfect for her baby shower today!

I got a little out of control....
They were so fun! I realized I forgot to make a Cougar Crimson one, so I'll have to do that. So many options - and only so many days of the week to wear them! :)

I also spent some time last night making this super hero cape for a little friend of mine that is turning 4 this week! I've had this idea for a while and even bought the fabric a while ago. I've been scared to start it, but I finally buckled down and went for it. I had a pattern that I kinda-sorta used, but used some skills that I've learned doing other projects (bags and self-binding receiving blankets) to make it my own.
It turned out more rectangled than A-lined, which kinda stinks. Now I know. :)

February 23, 2010

...deer valley...

I am finally posting the finished project of my Deer Valley Disappearing Nine Patch quilt! I quilted it (in the ditch) at the Crafters Getaway a few weeks ago and hand sewed the binding on once I got home. I've been snuggling under it while watching the Olympics. :)

The border and backing fabric I bought in Chelan when we were there over New Years. Fun memory.
I love this quilt. I decided to make one for myself after I made this one for the Heider Family Christmas Exchange. I used that one so much, I definitely needed one of my own!

Fabric: Deer Valley by Joel Dewberry
Pattern: Disappearing Nine Patch by Marcie & Jessica
Quilted by: Marcie (Stitch in the Ditch)

...celebrating birthdays...

It was fun to help celebrate Kate's birthday today, first with lunch with David, Karen, and Gavin, then with Beta tonight! Kate & I had the program for Beta, which we've had the plans for what to do for almost a year! We were excited to get to sign up for Kate's birthday and decided to throw a birhday party!

We decorated the living room
{This picture is hard to see - but it's a table cloth with confetti on it and a basket with party favors.}

We had frost-your-own cupcakes for dessert...with sprinkles!!
We made my Grandma's delicious favorite!
Here's the birthday girl!
and her birthday buddy, Martha.
Kate and I researched online today about birthdays. She had some interesting information about the origination of birthday celebrations and how birthdays are celebrated around the world. I found print outs of each Beta member's "On the Day You Were Born" and had a little quiz and shared everyone's information.
I think everyone had fun - Kate & I sure did!!

February 22, 2010

...happy birthday to Kate...

I made this table runner for Kate's birthday present. It caused me some heartache when I couldn't get the free-motion quilting thing figured out, but when I oh wow. It was so fun! I can't wait to try it again!

So, this is my first quilting project that uses free-motion quilting done by me! And, I machine sewed the binding on. I don't love the binding machine sewed on, but I was in a hurry to get it done for Kate's birthday tomorrow. I probably will not machine sew binding on a quilt, but I would probably do a table runner again.

I also figured out a good way to hang my small projects on the doors of a cabinet in the craft room with big binder clips. Works pretty good....

I'm only showing you the back so that I can hopefully show my improvement over time. :) Otherwise, it's embarrassing!
Happy Birthday Kate! I value your friendship and am so thankful to have you in my life. I can't wait to meet Baby J/Madiso! Keep her safe in there for a little longer though!

Pattern: On the Dot by Pieces from My Heart (Sandy Gervais)
Fabric: Verna by Kate Spain
Quilted by: MARCIE!!

...three cheese baked pasta....

I made dinner tonight. Mark it on your calendars - it happens only a few times a year. :)
I've been hungry for some baked macaroni and cheese type of a thing, so I found this recipe on and wha la! It was delicious and didn't take too long to make.

1 pound uncooked pasta
1 pound ground beef
1 onion, chopped
6 1/2 cups tomato pasta sauce
6 ounces provolone cheese, thinly sliced (I used sharp cheddar since I couldn't get provolone at the store)
1 1/2 cups sour cream
6 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese


1.Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook pasta in boiling water until al dente. Drain.

2.Meanwhile, cook ground meat and onion in a skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until meat is browned. Stir in pasta sauce, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes. (I added some thawed spinach here because it sounded good.)

3.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish. Layer the ingredients in the prepared baking dish as follows: half of the cooked pasta, all the provolone cheese, all the sour cream, half of the sauce mixture, remaining pasta, mozzarella cheese, and remaining sauce mixture. Top with grated Parmesan cheese.

4.Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until bubbly.

February 21, 2010

...a whole lotta nothing....

I can't believe the weekend is over already - the days and weeks seem to be flying by!
I have been doing a lot of sewing and creating gifts for new babies, baby showers, and birthdays. There isn't enough time in the day to get everything done that I want to!

We've been watching a lot of Olympics - even the boring stuff like cross country skiing and curling. :)
I've really been enjoying the moguls, aerials, snowboarding, and alpine skiing! So fun!

Kate came over yesterday to play in the craft room. She got a blanket completed for her baby - and I forgot to take a picture of it! (It was close to midnight when we turned the light off in the craft room!) We researched online how to make cute hair bows for Baby Girl Johnson and picked out some purple and gold flowers so she'll be stylin' for CHS Volleyball!

Samson has survived this week - he's still taking amoxicillan, which he does not enjoy AT ALL. I have to wrestle him down to give it to him. One morning he spit it back in my face. Yuck. Only 5 more days of it. :) Trying to be positive!

Here's some fun pictures of the dogs that I had on my phone.
Samson and I were watching the Olympics together the other day...
Samson showing me his clean (and nice smelling) teeth...
Coco protecting her toy...

Back to the Olympics!

February 16, 2010

...tooth fairy...

Well, the tooth fairy should be coming to our house tonight to leave Samson a little something.
He got his teeth cleaned today at the Vet's office and ended up having to have one of his molars extracted.
He was kinda groggy when I picked him up this afternoon (he was sedated for the teeth cleaning) and wasn't supposed to be around other dogs for a while, so he got to come to Jr Miss practice and see the girls in their beautiful dresses!
I had to wait in the waiting room for a long time for the doctor to finish up with another patient and I could hear him crying the entire time. So sad...He's a trooper. We had a good snuggle this evening and I think he's going to be just fine.

February 15, 2010

...bye bye...

Today, I said goodbye to my first sewing machine.
I'm a little sentimental, so I'm a little sad about letting go of this machine - dumb, huh?
Well, I learned to sew on this machine - heck, I learned to use a sewing machine with this guy.
We went through a lot together - from time outs and cursing to joy and success!

I know it's going to be very happy at it's new home and that Leah will take great care of it. I'm happy to pass on the love to her.

I'll miss my first little machine and I'll always remember where I started! :)

February 12, 2010

...vancouver 2010...

Its so fun watching the Opening Cermonies for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics!
I love the parade of nations and seeing the outfits, hearing the stories, and seeing the countries that send just 1, 2, or 3 athletes. It's incredible!

I remember when it was announced that Vancouver would host in 2010 - I just looked it up, it was July 2, 2003. We went to Vancouver BC just a week or so after that to celebrate my Dad's birthday and go to a Dixie Chicks concert. I remember the whole city being alive with excitement. I said then that I was going to go to the Vancouver Olympics. It would never be any closer.
How easy it seemed. I have since learned that it is nearly impossible for the average person to attend the Olympics.
I'm ok with it now. I'd rather watch on TV and hear the stories of the athletes and the area. I would love to go to Vancouver the near future, however, to see what they've built and prepared for the world for these 16 days.
One of the things I'm real excited to watch during these Olympics is the Ski Jumping. After getting to watch the ski jumping training in Park City, Utah, it will be fun to watch it on the snow, for real. It was amazing on dry land jumping into the water - I can't wait for the real thing!
I think it's so sad the way the Olympics began this year with the loss of the Georgian luger. It's so tragic.
I thought it was very neat that his teammates honored him by marching in the parade of nations.
According to this article, the IOC President and top Vancouver organized encouraged the athletes with these words:
"May you carry his Olympic dream on your shoulders and compete with his spirit in your heart."
Let the games begin!

February 10, 2010 machine...

Look at what arrived on my doorstep yesterday?!
I love it! It has a lot of great features that I've been having fun playing with.
It's the same brand as my #1 machine, so a lot of things are the same and easy to transition to the newbie.

I'd been thinking about getting a new machine for a while, researching & reading reviews. The thing that convinced me to break down and get a new one was that I could not machine quilt with it - I don't know what the problem was, but when I tried on Saturday, it looked like thread vomit on the back of my quilt sandwhich.
Lookie lookie...
yep, I spelled my name!
(with two hearts at the end - one sad looking and one pretty!)
This is going to be so {sew} fun!

...w.i.p. wednesday...

I saw this over on The Quilt Shoppe blog and had to join in. Heaven knows I have plenty of W.I.P.s (work in progress) to go around!!
So - it's nice to see that others have a bunch of irons in the fire too.
Check it out and send in your W.I.P. to be featured next month!

February 8, 2010

...something new...

I learned something new this weekend at the retreat.
In November, I organized a craft day at church for anyone that was interested - I had seen a tutorial online for a self-binding receiving blanket and *loved* the look of it, so of course I had to try it, right!?!
Yeah, not so easy. I wrestled with it for a while that day and finally gave up.
Fast forward two months. Jessica tried again and was successful!
At the retreat this weekend, she helped me make one and I figured it out....
check out the finished product:

I took myself right over to JoAnn's on Sunday after the retreat and bought flannel to make three more blankets (flannel is on sale for $2.95 a yard right now!). I am happy to report that I successfully made another one tonight all by myself!

I'm pretty proud of myself - they make such a cute (and cheap) baby gift.
This blue one already has a bow tied around it with a tag for a new baby that was born on Saturday!
I will say I noticed a big difference between the two blankets and the quality of flannel. The pink fabrics were from Craft Warehouse and are very very soft and thick. The blue fabrics are from JoAnn's and are thinner and not very soft. Just an observation.

February 7, 2010

...crafters getaway...

I'm exhausted...48 hours of staying up late, getting up early, laugh until my sides were going to explode, being frustrated, getting lots accomplished, discovering new projects, and enjoying time with friends.
It was a successful weekend!!

We gathered on Friday afternoon. Load after load after load came into our little home away from home to set up everything we'd possibly need for the next two days.
Thirty-two ladies. Endless amounts of everything you'd ever want from a scrapbook, quilt, bead, or general craft store. Ah-may-ZING!
Friday was also the American Heart Association's Go Red for Women day, which encouraged everyone to wear red in support of women's heart health.

Melissa emailed lots of people on Thursday to get the word out and it was great to see so many people support the cause. We had an added interest this year - thanks Mom. :)

This was funny...I got this...thing...last year. It's a gripper that suctions to the acrylic ruler and then you hold onto it for added support so your ruler doesn't move around.
Kate loved it and so I got her one for her birthday.

We laugh because they look like telephones - silly joke - "Hello?! Hello?!" It made for good laughs!

And - this is the only picture I got of Ronda this weekend! My good good friend Ronda was visiting this weekend from Minnesota. It was SOO good to see her and catch up a little. We used to spend practically every day together and this time, I hadn't seen her since June!

I took lots and lots of projects - I knew I wouldn't complete them all, but I wanted to have options! :) There were a few things I definitely wanted to finish - this was one of them!

I've been sewing these blocks for a good month, so I was excited to get them arranged and sewn together. Kate & Jessica helped me arrange them - thank you so much. Good friends. :)

I was real excited to take this Machine Quilting class from Melissa Kelly. Look at her beautiful work displayed on the wall! I think I can do it - but my machine wasn't cooperating.

{Right now, the other windows open on my computer are and - looking for something new!!}

I've been wanting to learn this skill for a while, but was scared to - but it's not scary at all!
It was fun to spend some time with Melissa too!

She let me try out her Bernina - my first time sewing on a Bernina!! Looks good, right?!

Kara and Martha taught Make & Take classes - Kara's was a mini-accordian brag book and Martha had a cute elastic bracelet. So talented!

Here are some fun ladies and their projects:

Bonnie learned to bead and bead she did! She was a beading maniac!

Eileen made this super cute bag for Sharon. It was adorable!

Kate & Beth were on their apron kick again this year and put together these 8 aprons for a retreat next weekend. So cute too!

So - summary of projects worked on this weekend:

1. Quilted my Deer Valley Disappearing Nine Patch
2. Sewed together blocks of the Wild Thing quilt
3. Tried to learn machine quilting
4. Started my Cross quilt
5. Helped Kate with her flannel quilt
6. Learned how to make a Self-Binding Receiving Blanket - finally! and completed one! plus a burp rag!

Already looking forward to next year!