P.S. I have one yard, my son is 4, and it needs to be something that my pregnant butt can actually get done before Christmas! Thank you guys!
I just wanted to share some of my recent fabric purchases, and ask for some help from you guys, so if you just want to look at pretty fabric pictures, you can skip all my lengthy rambling and just read the last paragraph, if you don't mind helping a girl out!
My brother-in-law and sister-in-law were nice enough to give me a gift card to Joann Fabrics for my birthday, and since our store is closing I went to see what deals I could score at discount prices. Pictured above are my goodies. Yes, the alphabet print looks the same, but the one on the left is vinyl like, though I don't think it is oilcloth, but I figured it would make adorable waterproof pouches. The store was pretty darn picked over, but I was happy with my purchases.
I find that once you start buying fabric, you can't stop. Does this happen to anyone else, or just me? I ordered a major haul from Hawthorne Threads. Pictured above from left to right is some Peacock Lane, the herringbone print is from Botanica by Paula Prass, then some lovely Heath (which I think is my new favorite,) then two prints from the Studio E Restoration Collection, and lastly a print from Alexander Henry, Rivoli. I LOVE these fabrics and have no real plan for them as of yet, just a tad bit of insane hoarding.
I also bought one of the colorways from Joel Dewberry's Heirloom Collection, which I wasn't crazy about at first, but this is one of those collections that you just have to see in person, it is beautiful! Next up are my two chunks of yardage from Anna Maria Horner's latest Needlework Collection. I ordered both of these with the intention of making tablecloths, Honestly, the one on the left is a little too pink for my table and kitchen, so I think it is destined for something else, though I have no idea what. The one on the right will eventually make it to my table, though I think I won't be embroidering it unless I just get downright crazy, which usually happens once or twice a year!
Last but not least, I ordered several boy prints to make burp cloths, and maybe some pants or shorts for one of my boys, not quite sure yet. And here is where I need your help....see the pirate print all the way to the right? My son is OBSESSED with anything pirate and when I showed him this yard of fabric, he went absolutely crazy and laid it on the floor and practically rolled around on it until I ripped it out of his little hands. I want to make something out of it for Christmas, but I'm stumped on what to make. I am undecided about turning it into a quilt, but if you have a fabulous idea, please share. I do not want to make clothes out of it, and already have a plan to make a backpack out of other fabric. So what else is there? Help a girl out and leave me your suggestions. I know there is some great item out there that I am forgetting and you guys will know exactly what I should do with it!
P.S. I have one yard, my son is 4, and it needs to be something that my pregnant butt can actually get done before Christmas! Thank you guys!
I am proud to announce that I actually finished a Halloween project before Halloween! I think this is a new record for me, it seems anytime I start a holiday project, I finish it after the holiday is over with! Actually, to tell the truth, I had finished this one a little over two weeks ago, but my lack of energy and ambition kept me from taking photos of it. So last night I gathered my last bit of energy and took photos. I looked at them this morning and was so disappointed, I redid the photo shot this morning. To be perfectly honest, I'm not in love with the photos, but since I have reached that "I no longer care" phase, this is it baby!
I bought this Halloween bundle of fabrics from Venezie Designs and is the lovely
"Boo To You" collection by Riley Blake Designs. I had no plans for the fabric, I just knew I wanted to make something for my home. After receiving the fabrics and taking note of just how large the characters really are, I just started cutting. The center fussy cut character squares range from 4" to 6" and then I just started cutting strips of all the rest. No real plan, I just started sewing. I added in some Michael Miller "Ta Dot" and a Kona Solid Orange left over from my Bottled Rainbows quilt. I had two blocks done when I realized that they both ironically measured the same size, so then I aimed for the other two to match that same size. Once I had the four, and I realized that the length and width would work perfect for a table runner, so that is what I decided to do!
I am happy to say that this is the largest item I have machine quilted, to date, and I was quite pleased with the results, even though I just used my walking foot and straight lines. I am really happy with the quilting detail shown above, that I refer to as "the spiderweb look." I kept the quilting simple to really showcase the fabrics, and I quilted each block differently, so each one is completely unique. I am also happy to say that this table runner has no puckers front or back! Yippie! I kept the back simple, and then machine stitched on the binding using a zig-zag stitch, this was also the first time that I did the binding completely by machine. I think that the zig-zag stitching really added an extra element to the table runner, and I am excited to use this for many years to come!
I had a few extra fussy cut centers left over, and some extra strips, so I decided to whip up two matching pot holders. I used two layers of Insul-Bright with batting sandwiched in between. They have that nice puffy look! I also machine quilted these two, but did the binding by hand this time (I need something to work on while watching TV at night!)
I am linking up to Celebrate Color over at Stitched in Color because what could be more fall like than Halloween!
I honestly haven't been doing much cooking lately, just ask my husband! By the end of the day, I'm usually too tired, and too sick feeling to cook, and not really having any sort of appetite has led me to detest eating. I have had the random odd food craving, which usually my sweet husband does oblige. So today, I decided to share some links to great recipes of some food items that I have been seriously craving.
Caramel apples are one of my favorite items come this time of year, pregnant or not. I made a batch a few weeks ago, and have all the ingredients to make another round soon. I love that this version uses twigs as the "handle" and since I am currently out of Popsicle sticks, I might just have to try this one out! Click on the image to see the recipe. My mouth is watering!
Technically, I have been craving plain old pumpkin pie, and most probably will make one tonight, but as I was checking out at Walmart, Sunday night, the cashier noticed my ingredients and suggested I try the cake version instead. She then proceeded to list all the ingredients and how to make it, which I promptly forgot. Once I got home, I went ahead and looked it up, and decided to share the recipe with you guys. Like I said, I have not tried this one, but it sure does seem yummy, and a good new take on a classic Thanksgiving item.
Last but not least, as I was sorta watching TV on Monday, more specifically the new show on ABC called The Chew (which I really enjoy, by the way.) I tuned in toward the end of this dish being prepared. The picture does nothing for it, and on a whole, it is an unattractive dish, but boy did it sound tasty. Good comfort food. It is called, Cast Iron Pork Pie, and includes ground pork, bacon, kale (plus other stuff) all topped with mashed potatoes and cheese. I haven't made this one yet (only because I don't have all the ingredients) but plan to make it real soon!
I am linking up to Tuesday at the Table over at A Quilter's Table. Head on over to check out everyone's delicious recipes and stories associated with them!
I decided to treat myself. I had a $50 gift card for Amazon, so I added 39 cents to it and purchased these three books, all of which have been sitting in my cart for quite some time! Have I ever mentioned that I am a complete book NUT! I love books, but I especially love craft/sewing/quilting books, it truly is a weakness for me, I am rapidly running out of space to store them all! I really lucked out with this bunch of books, because I will honestly say that all three are fabulous!
The first, Sew Serendipity Bags by Kay Whitt is a book filled with 12 different bag patterns. I love her style of books and patterns, she hand draws all of the instructional pictures, and this creates such a nice effect in the book, and such clear instructions. Not only do I want to make this bag shown on the cover, there is a diaper bag pattern that makes me want to make another, even though I totally don't need it! At the beginning of the book she goes over all the basics of handbag making and supplies needed, and I really think this is such a great resource of information, and so clearly written and illustrated! If you make handbags, this one is a must!
As soon as I learned that I was having another little boy, I knew that I NEEDED to get this book. This book, Sewing For Boys is one of the first, solely devoted to sewing for boys, which is a much needed thing in the book/pattern market. If you only have boys, then you know that the boy clothing world is seriously lacking in patterns and cute ideas for little boys. Everyone thinks about sewing for girls, but the poor little boys of the world get overlooked. Not anymore, thankfully! I love the classic designs in this book that will withstand the test of time and aren't "trendy." I really think this one will be just as relevant 10 years from now, as it is today, which is really nice since this book ranges from infant sizing to size 7. I want to make almost everything in this book, and hope to at some point, I really love all the pants patterns in this book, and do hope to make them sooner than later. My only complaint, is that there are really only 2-3 infant patterns, and I do wish they had a few more for that size range. On a whole, that really is a small complaint, and once again all the instructional pictures are very clear to understand and read. If you want to sew for your little boy, then grab this book!
My last book purchase, Modern Blocks is definitely my favorite of the three. I have already mapped out all the blocks that I want to eventually make, and that list is really long! Each two page spread contains instructions on how to make the block, a 6" image of the block (exactly 50% scale, because all of the blocks are 12" finished blocks,) and basic information about the block. The simplicity of this book makes it that much more appealing, and since there are 99 blocks, you are bound to find something you just "have to make!" Since the blocks are submitted by different designers, there is quite the variety ranging from applique, embroidery, paper piecing and traditional piecing. I really hope they keep this series of books going, because I would love to have volume 2, 3... and so on! This would be the perfect Christmas gift for that special quilter in your life!
This month I only ended up having to make one bee block (not quite true, I made one really early back in September.) This block is for Megan (hehehe922) in the Quilting newBEES group and is a modified Carpenter's Wheel, free pattern can be found HERE. This is a 24" block and if it looks familiar to you, it is laid out just like the Swoon pattern by Camille Roskelley, though it looks the same, the construction is completely different. This block is constructed purely of half square triangles and squares and that is it! It honestly went together way quicker than I imagined it would, and is quite the stunning block! Megan is going to have a fantastic quilt!
While photographing this block, my husband caught sight of it and said "Wow, that is an awesome block. Do we get to keep it?" I explained to him, that no, it wasn't for us, and was shipping off to one of my bee members, but I can honestly say this is the first time he has expressed that reaction. I might just have to make some blocks for us!
On a random side note, the other night we were traveling home from the in-laws and upon seeing this glowing sight, I made my husband pull over to take pictures. Yes, these people have their yard decked out in nothing but Halloween decorations. I have to admit, my son and I were in awe! That is a lot of work for Halloween, but it was really neat looking! Can you imagine trick or treating in a neighborhood decked out like this? I think that would be pretty cool.
My favorite beverage has to be sweet tea, I grew up loving it, make pitchers of it all the time, and now my son even loves it. But, let me clarify, I don't really like hot tea that much, and unsweetened iced tea is a joke. I can remember visiting my grandmother every year, and going next door to visit my great-grandmother, and her letting me spoon in as much sugar as I wanted into my tea. I was spooning sugar into already cold tea, so it never dissolved, sat at the bottom and I usually added somewhere around 6 tablespoons! Great memories! So I thought I would share my perfected sweet tea recipe with you guys, so you can experience true Southern sweet tea, made just the way I like it, cold and oh so sweet!
Once again, I am linking up to Tuesday at the Table over at A Quilter's Table, make sure to jump over there and visit everyone's great recipes and blogs! For an extra treat, click on the photo below, which will take you to the Southern Living website, where you will learn how to deep fry sweet tea! It actually seems like it would taste pretty darn good!
Marci's Southern Sweet Iced Tea
This recipe is for a full two quart pitcher. Easily 8-12 servings.
4 single serve black tea bags (decaf or regular)
1 cup sugar
In a medium sauce pan boil around 4-6 cups of water. The amount of water does not need to be an exact amount. Once the water comes to a roiling boil, drop in the four tea bags, stir, and remove from heat. Let the tea bags steep for 10-12 minutes and no longer. Remove tea bags and discard. In a two quart pitcher, add 1 cup of sugar, and carefully pour the tea into the pitcher. Stir until the sugar is well dissolved into the tea. Add cold water to fill the pitcher. Stir well. Serve over ice.
If you have access to fresh mint leaves, add a few to the glass and crush slightly. Enjoy!
Miss me folks? It has been quite a while since I have participated in WIP Wednesday, I guess it has been because I am working on my own personal WIP...my bun in the oven! Don't get me wrong, I've been working on projects, just nothing on my WIP list, all new things, and most of those I recently finished up! So, this WIP Wednesday is really selfishly for me to take inventory of how many unfinished things I really have laying around, and what I need to just finish up! Like those projects that are 80% and 98% finished - just do it, for goodness sake!
Speaking of my bun in the oven, for those of you whom I haven't shared our news with yet, we found out a few weeks ago that we are having a little boy! We are excited that our son will have a baby brother to pick on and someone to play "cars" with. The photo below was taken while we were on vacation in Destin, Florida a few weeks ago, so please excuse the frizzy hair and lack of make-up! I just wanted to show you guys my growing baby bump, and even in the two weeks since this photo was taken, I swear it seems to have doubled! Anyways.... on to my WIP rundown....
Amy Butler's Style Stitches Fringed Hobo Bag - See Post HERE
Organizing my OUT OF CONTROL Fabric Stash (98% complete)
Bottled Rainbows Ticker Tape Quilt-Along (5 of 16 blocks complete)
Lily's Quilts Quilt-Along (Using Sherbet Pips)
Making a Light Box & Photographing 150+ Items (Supplies bought, partly assembled)
Sewing (for myself) a few tops/shirts. (2 down, several more to go!)
Sock Skeletons (80% complete)
Amy Butler's Style Stitches Blossom Shoulder Bag - NEW
2 Uber Large Handbags (cut out)
Quilt Bee Blocks
Christmas Scrapbuster Swap - NEW
Christmas Table Runner - NEW
Stockings for Kids Donation Project - NEW
Baby Boy Quilt for my Nephew - NEW
This Week's Stats:
New Projects - 5
Completed Projects - 1
Currently in Progress - 15
Dream Projects On Hold For Now:
Amy Butler's Style Stitches Everything Wristlet
A Stack of Burp Cloths
Baby Boy Quilt using Fox Trails (recently purchased)
Sock Monkey Quilt
Denyse Schmidt Home Dec Fabric Wall Hanging Quilt
Making a bunch of clutches.
Head over to Freshly Pieced to have a look at what everyone else is working on!
Another week inspired by Debbie over at A Quilter's Table, and this week she added a linky thingy (what do you call that thing?) so you can join in the fun too! I love that every week Debbie shares stories, memories and a great recipe! So here goes my story and recipe this week....
A long, long time ago....before the days of Starbucks on every corner, there was this fabulous place called Orange Julius located in a mall near you. Apparently Orange Julius does still exist, it has just been 10+ years since I have personally seen one! Anyways.... back to the point. Back in the day, I thought this "Orange Julius" drink was possibly the best thing ever invented, and it was a major treat to get one. I'm talking about once a year if I was lucky. I can remember going to the mall and begging to get one, I think this drink may have been the only reason I liked the mall! Who cares about shopping when you can drink something so heavenly. You can see where my priorities are....
When my husband and I started dating about 12 years ago, there was still a location at our local mall, and being that my then "new boyfriend" had never had one, I suggested we go and try it out and have a "date" at the mall. So we are sitting in the food court sharing our Orange Julius, I have a mouthful, and my "then boyfriend, now husband" says something that I find to be hilarious. So you can just about imagine where this goes. Yes, I couldn't contain myself and literally spit the lovely drink all in his face. He sat mortified, and alas I just laughed it off, wiped down his face and apologized profusely. I mean seriously, what else can you do? What is the moral to this story? Ladies if you find a man that lets you spit a drink in his face on the second or third date, and he doesn't promptly leave you, he might just be a keeper. In my case, he was. But every now and then he says "Do you remember that time you spit Orange Julius in my face?" Yes dear, who could forget.
P.S. Sadly, that was the last time I experienced an actual Orange Julius, and not because of that incident, but rather our local location closed, and I have yet to find another. At least I can make one at home...
Orange Julius (At Home) Recipe
3 oz. or 1/3 cup Frozen Orange Juice Concentrate
1/2 cup Milk
1/4 - 1/2 cup Sugar (Depending upon how sweet you like it!)
1/2 cup Water
3/4 tsp. Vanilla
6 Ice Cubes
Add all ingredients in a blender, cover and blend until smooth. Enjoy!
Inspired by Debbie over at A Quilter's Table, I decided to do my own version of Tuesday at the Table, today. Lately my days revolve around food, and alas, I wish I could say this was a good thing, but in my 23rd week of pregnancy, it is not. Most days are spent trying to decide what is appealing, won't make me sick, or simply what food doesn't disgust me today. I really do look forward to enjoying the eating process again. Usually my day does consist of...I am craving "this or that" and must have it now, which is not very practical for a girl who doesn't want to drag her three year old to the store every single day in search of that odd item like "Cajun Krab Dip." And yes, that has been a recent crazy craving.
Back to the point...this weekend I started craving Muffulettas (a traditional New Orleans sandwich) and just couldn't stop thinking about them. After enough talk, I convinced my husband that I "had to have it or else" and he immediately drove me to the store in search of all the ingredients. Thankfully, this is an item that he also really enjoys, so there wasn't much convincing needed on his part! So, what is a Muffuletta you ask? Basically a sandwich consisting of 2 meats, 2 cheeses, a crusty roll and Italian Olive Salad. Our favorite brand of Italian Olive Salad is shown below, and basically is a mixture of pickled vegetables, olives, capers, olive oil and spices. If you have never eaten this product, it is something to try for sure, and I'm sure you will never taste anything else quite like it.
Three days later, I have now eaten Muffulettas every single day since, and probably will eat another for lunch today. So good! Oh and on a side note, my husband has also eaten them every day since, it just seems we can't get enough! Do you now have the hankering for this delicious sandwich? See my recipe below! The hardest part is collecting the ingredients, I promise!