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1  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Spoooooooky Mini Quilt! on: October 15, 2019 06:14:37 AM
I try to decorate our mantle for each season/holiday and that includes changing the mini quilt above it. For my Halloween mantle I decided I didn't have an appropriate mini quilt so whipped this one up! The free 12 inch block pattern is from Center Street Quilts and I added 3.5 inch borders of some OG Cotton + Steel to get it to around 18 inches.  

I wanted to get it up on the wall fast so just did a simple outline/echo (or "ghost" if you will. Haha, I'll show myself out!) line of stitching around the ghost with my walking foot for the quilting. A quick stitched binding and it was up on my wall!

My mantle all together!

This designer has a lot of great patterns,  (many free ones included) and I am definitely making the pumpkin and cat block for my Thanksgiving mini!
2  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Strawberries & Linen Chunky Wee Bag on: October 15, 2019 06:04:14 AM
So I work for a quilt pattern designer but up until now I'd never made her super cute messenger bag pattern, The Chunky Wee Bag. I finally made my own on Sunday with a group of friends and I love it! This is the middle size,  the pattern has 3 sizes.

I used these adorable strawberries from Heather Ross's Trixie line, Essex Linen, a cute floral print from Violet Craft, and two different dot prints on the inside--Michael Miller Ta Dots and one from Bonnie and Camille.

I love the outside back pocket! If you make this,  that isn't included in the original pattern but is a free add-on bonus on the designer's website.

The insides:

I already have plans and supplies for 2 more, bwahaha!
3  COOKING / Vegetarian / Vegan / Crispy Chickpeas with Potatoes and Over Easy Eggs on: October 17, 2018 12:59:29 PM
This is a yummy little meal I whipped up after reading a Bon Appetit article on crispy chickpeas. I'm gonna mix this up in so many ways--roasted veggies, sweet potatoes, different seasonings. It really needs some spinach or arugula too, but my boyfriend and I failed twice at getting any from the store, ha!


Salt and pepper
Granulated garlic
1 can chickpeas, drained, rinsed, and dried
Red potatoes, thinly sliced
1/2 cup Italian parsley, chopped
Trader Joe's 21 Seasoning Salute
2 eggs
Cayenne Pepper

In a large pan, saute the potatoes in a little oil with plenty of salt and pepper until cooked through and lightly browned. (You can add a bit of water to help them steam cook if needed).

In a medium pan, saute the chickpeas with a little oil with salt, pepper, and granulated garlic over medium heat. Stir often until nice and crispy. Add parsley and stir.

Move potatoes to plate and cook eggs in same pam, seasoning with 21 Seasoning Salute. Plate a serving of potatoes and about half the chickpeas, top with eggs and sprinkle with cayenne.

4  Halloween / Halloween Decor and Parties / Halloween Felt Stuffies/Ornaments on: September 19, 2018 03:27:35 PM
I had so much fun making these little spooky-cute guys! I'm not great at drawing but was proud of myself for creating my own patterns. These were easy to make, just felt, embroidery floss, stuffing, and safety eyes. These are a great project for in front of the tv!

5  Halloween / Halloween Decor and Parties / Easy No-Sew Halloween Bunting/Garland Tutorial on: September 19, 2018 02:51:55 PM
I've been on a kick making these super easy,no-sew garlands!

Now, you can definitely make fancier versions that are sewn and each flag is double sided, etc etc. But this is a quick and dirty version, and I've actually found them to hold up really well!

Here's what you need:

--Assorted fabrics (quilting cottons work fine, linen, canvas, and home dec fabrics are even better!)
--Template plastic or cardboard
--Pen, ruler, paper scissors
--Glue gun with plenty of glue for it
--Pinking shears or crinkle cutter blade for rotary cutter

First you need to make a template. I used some comic book boards but any cardboard or template plastic will work. Decide on how large you want your triangles. I started with a 6.5 inch base and cut off the excess to make it easier (so I had a 6.5 x 10 piece).  Draw a line down the exact middle from top to bottom. Draw a mark how far down you want, I did 8.5 inches (this will be the height). Now from this mark draw a line up to the right corner and a line up to the left corner.

Cut a strip of fabric as big as the height of your template. In my case this was 8.5 inches. If your fabric is directional, pay attention to that! (I recommend using the shears/crinkle cutter for the top and bottom of this strip to save time later!)

Using the template you just made and a ruler, go ahead and either:

A.) Trace your template onto fabric with a pen or pencil and cut out with your pinking shears
B.) Using the ruler (so you don't cut into your template), carefully cut out with a pinking/crinkle blade in your rotary cutter. If you're making very many of these, I'd recommend this method!

Now, still using the shears or crinkle cutter, cut a tiny triangle about a half inch out of the top left and right of each fabric piece. If you don't do this you'll have weird looking dog ears sticking out later on after we fold the top over the twine. Now your triangles should be kind of diamond shape.

Now it's glue time!  Put a flag down on your work space, right side down. We will be putting our glue on the wrong side of the fabric. Unravel some twine, about 12-15 inches. Put a thin line of glue across the top of the flag from point to point (about a half inch down, right where you cut the edge of the notches/triangles). Press the twine onto the line of glue (carefully, try not to burn your fingers too much.)

Now run another thin line of glue right underneath where you've glued the twine. Immediately fold the top of the fabric over and press into the glue, again trying not to burn your fingers.

For the size I made, I decided 3 inches of twine looked nice in between each flag. I kept a small ruler above where I was working so I could measure easily. Stretch out the twine 3 inches and get your next flag ready. Repeat until you have as many flags as you like. Leave another 12-15 inches of and twine cut the end.

If you're not sure how long you'd like it to be, before cutting the twine take it to the space you'd like to hang it in and see how it looks. My mantle is about 62 inches across and I decided 7 flags is a good amount when I make them 6.5 x 8.5 inches. @kittykill's mantle is a whopping 76 inches so I made hers with 10 flags.  If you make a different size of flags, have a different size mantle, change the size of spacing between flags, or want it to hang higher or lower you'll want to adjust.

Here's an Autumn one I made last year!

6  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Mini Personalized Felt Stockings on: January 16, 2018 11:49:37 PM
I hadn't made these stockings in years but decided to bring them back! At one point I made one for each of my 30 something coworkers, but I machine stitched the stockings and used glitter glue for the names. They were fun work decorations that we used many years in a row!

I made these for my partner's kids in the 12 Days swap and had fun embroidering their names.

7  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Alice in Wonderland Fat Quarter Quilt on: January 16, 2018 11:05:29 PM
I made this quilt for the 2017 12 Days of Christmas Swap. It took me probably 10 hours total, which amuses me because the cross stitch I also did for that swap took approximately 1 billion hours, but somehow the quilt seems more impressive to most people, but I'd rather whip a quilt out than do most other crafts lol!

This is my favorite easy but interesting looking pattern I came up with a few years ago. Get 6-12 fat quarters (18 x21 inches), and cut them into 3 strips each, 6 x 21 inches. From there you'll make a few more cuts. As you cut, make piles of each size: 6 inch square, 6 x 11.5, 6 x 17. Make log cabin blocks until they are 17 inches square. 4 Squares would make a good newborn quilt at 33ish inches square, and 9 blocks makes a good lap quilt at 50 inches square or 12 blocks to make 50 inches by 66ish.

To add a scrappy border onto any of these, merely sew your random leftover pieces together to make borders. It makes the whole quilt very scrappy looking and it can be hard to even tell how it was constructed with a casual glance! Here's another quilt I've made with this method, including a scrappy border as described above:
Sultry Lap Quilt for Me!

I used fabrics from the Cotton + Steel/Rifle Paper Co Collaboration of Wonderland fabrics as well as the Blend Wonderland fabrics and a print each from Allison Glass, Heather Ross, and the Riley Blake Little Red Riding Hood line from a few years ago. The backing fabric is one of my favorite fabrics for backing because it's such a fun, colorful large print. It's from Anna Maria Horner. I really wanted to bind it in a black and white stripe but I couldn't find the fabric I was looking for in my stash (I KNOW I have it!) so settled on a cute black and white word print.

8  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Labor of Love--Re-making a Baby Quilt on: January 16, 2018 09:56:49 PM
A few years ago, my brother's then-girlfriend gave me her tattered, falling apart baby quilt. It had been tied and there were holes where the ties were, most of the batting was gone but for a few bunched up bits, and both the front and back fabrics were paper thin with tons of holes. I pulled it apart, saving the fabric but without a clear idea of how to repair it in a way that would retain the originality of the quilt.

The sad pieces sat in a drawer until a few months ago when I re-discovered them and decided to finally tackle this for my now-sister in law for Christmas.  I contacted my friend who sells vintage fabrics and asked her for a small yellow gingham and/or a tiny pink floral. Happily, she was able to supply me with a yard of pink floral and a 9 inch piece of gingham that was very long (like the length of a queen sized quilt).  I hemmed and hawed for several days with lots of sketches, but together with some Kona Snow I finally decided on a layout. I was able to retain most of the original yellow gingham by just cutting off about a 6 inch strip that had the biggest holes.

Using basting spray, I fused the paper thin old yellow gingham to a piece of Kona Snow. You can see some of the smaller holes from the original yarn ties below where the white fabric peaks through. I think it will be find with how densely I quilted it, and of course the basting spray washed out.

 I created the backside of the quilt with the new (vintage) pink flowers and Kona Snow in a simple checkerboard with the new (vintage) yellow gingham as a border to give it a bit more size. I had saved enough of the pink floral to use as binding.  

My sister in law was completely thrilled and I totally made her cry. This was a nerve wracking project to take on, and I'm so happy she loves it. She was very,very attached to her baby blanket, as she calls it, and she cried quite a bit upon seeing it. I'm just glad I didn't bung it up!

tl;dr I re-made my sister-in-law's 30-something year old baby quilt. It was really nerve wracking and difficult but she loved it.

Original fabrics: (I don't have pics from a few years ago when I first got the quilt), only the pieces I had ripped apart when I re-descovered the bits a couple months ago)

My sil sent me this pic a few days ago with the quilt in the background. I was absolutely shocked that there used to be blue in the backing fabric! By the time I got it, as you can see above, it was paper thin white fabric with a hint of pink on it.

9  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Alice in Wonderland Cross Stitch on: January 16, 2018 09:38:40 PM
Whew-eee! This project took me about 4 months of working on fairly regularly. Let's be honest, I probably never would have finished without a swap due date! The pattern is from LadyBeta on Etsy. After working on it for a while, I realized my math was not ideal and I hadn't cut my Aida big enough. D'oh! I did some surgery on the pattern, making Alice and the hat smaller by cutting out some lines, and I also omitted the row of hearts/diamonds/clubs/spades. An Ikea frame fit perfectly!

Progress Pics!

10  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Christmas Weiner Dogs in Sweaters Table Topper on: January 16, 2018 09:31:35 PM
I had this table topper pattern hanging around in my pattern collection and finally got a chance to make it! I looooove this weiner dog fabric and think it worked out pretty well in this little table topper! Who doesn't love a good weiner in a Christmas sweater? Cheesy

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