Monday, March 30, 2009

Another dress finished!

Thanks to Amandajean at Crazy Mom Quilts I have found the easiest sundress pattern in the world. I whipped this one out during a Tivoed episode of NCIS this afternoon. As always, The Princess hated it but Andrew helped me force it on her and distract her. This is a moment of her intense loathing in the backyard. If you look closely enough you can see the steam coming from her ears and the fire shooting forth from her eyeballs. Cover your ears though because the NO-AH is at top volume. Don't you love the kitty-cat fabric? The dress is a little big but it should fit better in the hot part of the summer.
Go on over to Crazy Mom Quilts to find out how to make this and many other wonderful things!


I always think I'll remember the funny things my kids say but then I quickly forget. Right now The Princess is into her emphatic "NO!". The funny thing is that in order to emphasize it properly she has added an "AH" at the end. NO-AH! She goes around the house yelling at us for the slightest infractions. "NO-AH!" "NOOOO-WAH!"

So we have started calling her Noah and now Andrew asks her about the ark all the time.

The other funny thing that came out of the mouth of a babe this week was Ryan (6) asking me to put Jello in his hair. He came home Friday from the school bus crying about wanting to go to the faculty fundraiser basketball game. For the first time in his life he insisted on taking a shower ("I stink of sweat!") and then asked me to put Jello in his hair. I told him that I didn't have any Jello and ohbytheway I don't have any hair gel either. Where is he getting this from in Kindergarten? He's gotten hair gel once in his life at Fantastic Sams. Is there a cool kid manual at school that he read telling him to shower and gel himself into presentableness for the big Friday night game? Was there some cute six year old girl there waiting behind the bleachers I'm unaware of? Geesh.

Flash forward with these two kids and you'll see me in ten years. Ryan is shaving, dabbing on cologne and taking the car to pick up his girlfriend on a Friday night (excuse me, I just threw up a little in my mouth). Audrey is throwing a fit at not being able to go to the mall to meet her friends because we had a little mother/daughter run-in like this: "I told you to clean your room." and she says "NO-AH!" and flounces off. Meanwhile the Middle Child Jamie just sits and laughs at it all. He is my beloved Go Along, Get Along child. Happy, obedient, funny and sweet. One out of three ain't bad.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Kate's Wedding Napkins

No, I don't know Kate. But she shares my love of the quilter's blogging community and I would love to help her tackle her 80 napkin goal before her summer wedding. Go on over to Kate's blog and check out her project. It's a nice, easy way to pay it forward!

This is a prime example of what is so magical about blogging. Bringing together strangers who share a passion and giving us a way to learn from each other and help each other. One other example of that this week is Oh Fransson's quilt-along tutorial.

Elizabeth at Oh Fransson has been sharing a greatly detailed Quilt-Along which is more like How To Quilt From Beginning To End. This tutorial is fantastic! Not only are her pictures and descriptions nicely done, she has also showed us how choosing a different fabric palette makes such a difference in your finished project. My favorite part is the most recent part, the Free-Motion Quilting tutorial. I crave more detailed tutorials of free-motion quilting in hopes that after reading enough of how everyone does it I might one day have the guts to tackle it. Seriously, I know I just need to make my quilt sandwich practice pieces but I'm terrified I might be awful at it.

Oh Fransson, Crazy Mom Quilts, and Handmade by Alissa are some of my favorite places to go and drool over free-motion quilts. One day I hope I grow up to be any of these quilters!

I am sorry to say I missed the Atlanta area Shop Hop this weekend. I had big plans to drive around visiting as many quilt shops as possible but in the end my too-tight budget kept me home. I knew that if I stepped foot into any of those luscious places, my money would have taken wing and flocked en mass from the depths of my purse and stimulated too much of our economy. My apologies to the Atlanta area quilt shops for my lack of patronage. I hope to be there next year with bells on and a fat wallet. Surely I can find a Sugar Daddy (sorry Andrew...)or win the lottery by then :-)

I am an IDIOT.

Ok, so, remember that lovie I was making for that baby shower? Uh, yeah. I showed up yesterday at 1pm at the home of the hostess. That's funny, there are no cars here. Wait, check the address, yes, this is the right house...

Knock on the door, see the kids come to the door in their pjs. Why would they be wearing their pjs when they are helping host their aunt's baby shower today? Then the hostess (did I mention she is a complete stranger?) answers the door in her tennis tshirt. Hi, I'm here for Marianne's shower? Well, the shower is APRIL 25. What month are we in now? March.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I am so on top of things that I showed up for the baby shower A MONTH EARLY. You read that right, an ENTIRE MONTH EARLY. Impressive, huh?

So let's add that to the little tidbit I didn't share last week about forgetting to get my friend's son off the bus for her. He walked home to a locked empty house IN THE RAIN. And he's 6 years old. Luckily my friend called 10 min later to make sure I had him. Andrew ran to get him and all turned out fine. My friend didn't disown me but I would have understood if she had.

What is the deal? I joke about my Diet Coke addiction causing serious chronic bad memory but this is ridiculous. Anyone out there have any suggestions about improving memory function? Please for the love of God, don't suggest I give up my diet coke...

Friday, March 27, 2009

Scrap Giveaway at Film In The Fridge!

Go on over to Ashley's site for a great scrap giveaway! She is organizing her stash and ready to purge her castoffs.

Her giveaway started two thoughts in my head. The first is wondering if we ever get around to using all of those scraps we save. That is something I wonder about EVERY SINGLE TIME I chuck a scrap in my scrap box! I wonder. I wonder if I'll ever use it. What would I use it for? What pattern is it big enough for? Will I have the confidence to pair it with other scrap choices to come up with a selection of fabrics that work together?

That brings up my second thought. I thought about how little confidence I have in using scraps for the sole reason that they weren't picked out to go together. What if they don't look good together in the finished quilt? What if I put all of this work into a scrap quilt and when I'm done there is a whole patch of disgusting choices that nags at me every time I look at it?

I have certain colors that are very scarce in my stash. I am not drawn to oranges or purples for example. In Ashley's recent post about her improv blocks, she mentioned adding just a splash of a third color to make the rest of the block really pop. I would never have thought of it but just look what a difference it makes!

So my thoughts this week are turned to scraps, color coordination, and stepping out of your color comfort zone.

I am off to make a baby lovie/minkee for a baby shower tomorrow!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Black Sheep

Am I the only person in America who doesn't watch American Idol? I have never been interested in it despite even my mother telling me how fabulous it is. People can't believe I don't watch it. I feel left out in conversations and I don't recognize "famous" names that I should anymore because they got their start on American Idol.

This morning while driving carpool I was radio surfing and I kid you not, EVERY SINGLE STATION was talking about American Idol. Every one. I was clueless. Here I am wondering if the names being repeated on every station are part of Obama's administration or bonus-carrying executives from AIG. Oh no, they are "stars" on American Idol, didn't you know?

So I'm outing myself. I am not an American Idol watcher. There, I said it. Now don't I feel old...

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Wish List - TO DO

There are so many quilts I want to make.

Colorful family tree applique.
Candy Bar Road with Charisma Fabric (bought and ready to start).
Schnibbles pattern with Mary Englebright fabric (bought and ready to start).
Sawtooth Stars quilt with Flag Day Farm fabric (bought and ready to start).
Are we seeing a pattern here?...
Oh, I guess I'd better stop typing and get to work quilting!

BTW, I am teaching a beginner quilting series on Thursday mornings for fun to some friends. They will be here in an hour and we're tackling measuring and rotary cutting today. I can't wait to see the fabrics everyone chose!

Baby Girl

Baby Girl
Originally uploaded by Frecklemama

When big brothers are off to schoo she knows I'm all hers...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Honeycomb Smocking - DEELISH!

I have been drooling over many talented quilters' work for a while now and would like to start sharing some of my favorites. My alterior motive is to collect them all into one place so that I can strive to tackle making them one day.

One skill that has been lingering in my head for a while is the honeycomb smocking I first saw here. Unreal. I found a tutorial for it here. I don't know what the proper "rules" are for using other people's pictures so I won't. But I will use a "public" picture just to show you what honeycomb smocking is:

I know, right? How fabulous is this in terms of adding texture to a quilt block or anything for that matter. I found the honeycomb smocked quilt block by following one of my favorite quilt bloggers: Amandajean at CrazyMomQuilts. Amandajean herself made this block for the texture challenge. Seeing this creativity jump into 3D opens up my mind to start considering incorporating more artistic elements into my quilting.

Right now I have several projects in my queue to do before venturing out like this but I just wanted to let you know that these ideas are piling up and I am loving witnessing the quilting inspiration on the blogs! Thank you so much to all of you who take the time to share your work and especially your tutorials with us. I have a ton of them bookmarked and can't tell you how excited I am to try them soon. Keep blogging!

WIP - Baby Quilt

I am helping host a baby shower this weekend for a dear old high school friend. She is expecting her first baby (a girl!) and I keep changing my mind about what to make for her. I finally settled on a lap quilt to use while she's rocking the baby in the nursery. I had purchased a kit from Quilt Taffy a while back and discovered it had the same April Cornell Poetry fabrics in it that I chose for Carrie's quilt. Instead of using the delicious pattern that came with it, I wanted to do something super-quick like a coin quilt in order to get it ready for this weekend!

Once I put it together last night I realized two things: 1) it was too long and skinny and 2) the white sashing needed a little pizazz. I added some fat borders to the sides to try and fatten it up and then cut some hearts out of the scraps to applique to the sashing. So much for quick, huh?
Any suggestions on the top/bottom border (if any) or other applique ideas? I haven't done the applique yet, only pinned it on.

Completed Projects Update - Crazy Log Cabinz!

I am happy to report that after buying the fabric and pattern for this quilt EIGHT YEARS AGO, the crazy log cabinz quilt from Jan Mullen's book is finished! I experimented with some decorative stitches on my machine for the quilting using veriagated thread. Loved it!
These brights are so not me but isn't it fun to step out of your comfort zone sometimes?
FYI - please choose wisely when using a black background. I love it with these colors but it is a magnet for lint, batting fuzz, dog hair, etc. You name it, it's stuck to this quilt!

Completed Project Updates - Class Quilt

Here is my completed class quilt that is on it's way to my Dad to live in harmony with his blue leather sofa. That room is the only place on the face of the earth where the color combo in this quilt make sense!

This is my first attempt at machine quilting and boy can you tell! The only part that turned out ok was the shadow quilting in the pinwheels. I still would like advice on quilting designs for pinwheel blocks because this is kind of plain. Once I quilted in the ditch and my stitch length was awful (tension problems most likely since it was my old machine), I just wanted to be done.

I truly hate the blue border but was thrilled to see it make perfect sense in my dad's house!

Here is a close-up of the shadow quilting:

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Hurry, visit for a MASSIVE 50% OFF SALE! It is amazing! Fabric, books, software, patterns, everything is 50% off today. Enjoy stimulating the economy ;-)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Completed Projects

I have completed a couple of quilts since my last post. I completed the quilt I started in the class series at Little Quilts in Marietta. I am taking it to my dad's house next weekend as it happens to match his living room colors perfectly!

I also finished the crazy bright quilt for my boys. I used some fancy stitches on my machine to quilt it. Then I used scraps of the brights to do the binding.

Pictures coming soon on both of those. My camera memory card is not with my camera right now and I'm being lazy about getting it put back together and taking photos!

I am thrilled to be completing projects at a good pace. I also whipped up a small lovie blanket for a baby shower for the family of a kid at my son's school. I used white polkadot minkie on one side and a Joann's remnant blue with whilte polkadot flannel for the other. I sewed a small piece of white grossgrain ribbon into it as a "taggie". It's already wrapped up but I may need to unwrap it to photograph it. I want to keep pictures of all of my completed projects.

Lastly but most importantly, Carrie's book is out! I have spread the word to anyone who will listen and I have had a few friends buy it and read it already. CONGRATULATIONS CARRIE!!!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Quilt designs for Pinwheel Blocks?

I am trying to finish machine quilting a quilt that has three large pinwheel blocks down the center. I shadow-quilted inside of the feature fabric in the pinwheel but now it looks incomplete. Should I go ahead and shadow quilt all of the triangles in the pinwheel blocks? What is a good quilting design for pinwheel blocks for people like me who are using their walking foot? Too chicken to free-motion yet. One day!