Comfort and joy

August 29, 2006 at 11:37 pm | Posted in Cards, Quilting, Sewing/Crafts, swaps | 7 Comments

Big outgoing mail day for me today! I sent out the books from last week’s quilt book giveaway (they’ll be there before too long, ladies!), and a swap package for the Snuggle Swap on And, of course, a run to DHL for a wedding map shipment. I love that my DHL center is open until 9:00 p.m.!

The theme for the Snuggle Swap was comfort: a throw, blanket, or softie to cuddle with. I received a wonderful, colorful throw from Crystal. Oh! It just this moment occurred to me that I don’t have pictures yet, but I’ll post some tomorrow. And sweet thing, she included a vintage crafty magazine from the fifties! The ads and articles are a sight for these 21st century eyes. The tone in which they’re written seems..innocent? Naïve? I’ll have to re-read to nail down my thoughts and post more about this along with the pics, which I’ll probably take tomorrow. It will be in the 50s (Fahrenheit) over the next few nights, so I’ll be happy to have that baby corduroy throw, which is perfect with our red sofa and love seat. So soft!

My recipient for the swap was a thirteen year old self-proclaimed sweet-a-holic! Hm. What to give her? I considered plush candy pillows, but decided on a quilted throw. No piecing, just whole cloth, but what cloth it is! I love the candy pattern from Lakehouse Dry Goods. Of course I couldn’t just tease the poor girl with images of candy, so I included some Jelly Bellies and Goobers. Yum.

Candy quilt for swap

And check out the little card I made to go with it. I love a good theme :0)

Gumball card


Quilt book giveaway

August 22, 2006 at 1:15 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments

Update: They have all been claimed. Thank you for reading my blog!

 Hello, faithful readers! Today could be your lucky day: I’m cleaning out my quilt library, and I’d like to give away some titles that I don’t use much. They’re all in great shape, all paperback, and all in English. I just have others on my shelf that I tend to refer to more, so why not share the love?

The ground rules:

  • Please leave a comment with the NUMBER (1 through 5) of the book you would like. If you are the first person to comment for that book, I’ll e-mail you to get your mailing address.
  • One title per person, please! Let’s play nice, now :0)
  • If you are a winner, I will put the book in the mail to you this weekend.
  • I will ship internationally, but I can probably only afford to send economy class, so it may be several weeks before you receive your book.

I’m a new blogger, and don’t have many regular readers, so odds are very, very good that if you’re quick on the draw, you’ll get your book.

#1: 501 Quilt Blocks; 320 pages; BHG; Publisher: Better Homes and Gardens (August 15, 1994); ISBN: 0696204800

#2: Show Me How to Create Quilting Designs; K. Sandbach; 64 pages; Publisher: C&T Publishing (July 2004); ISBN: 1571202730

Show Me How To Create Quilting Designs

#3: Magic Stack-n-Whack Quilts; B. Reynolds; 111 pages; Publisher: American Quilter’s Society (June 1998); ISBN: 1574327046

#4: Quilting by Machine; Singer; 128 p.; Publisher: Creative Pub Intl (February 1999); ISBN: 086573335X

#5: From Blocks to Quilt; E. Burns; 16 p.; Publisher: Quilt in a Day; ISBN: 0922705836

Duck completed

August 21, 2006 at 11:49 am | Posted in Sewing/Crafts, swaps | 8 Comments

This is the little ducky from Friday’s work-in-progress post. I’m in love with the necktie. I’m off to pick up a few more items for the package, then he’s off to Portugal with the blue button flower bouquet to cheer up someone who never received a Color-iffic Swap-o-rama in July. Bon voyage, little fella!

All dressed up

More button flowers

August 19, 2006 at 8:33 pm | Posted in Sewing/Crafts | 5 Comments

I might be addicted! These are so easy, fun, and fast to make. Please see my post from earlier today for links to instructions.

I’m keeping this batch! I made the leaves a little smaller this time, but I think I prefer the bigger ones.

more button flowers

Button mums? Bachelor buttons?

August 19, 2006 at 1:46 pm | Posted in Sewing/Crafts, swaps | 3 Comments

Nope, these are are button flowers. I’d seen the idea on Kiddley,a while back. Maria’s great One hour crafts site provided a much-appreciated reminder about these little cuties. I followed the instructions on the ZOOM page at PBS.

button flowers

They were looking a little sad, so I modified them a bit by adding fabric leaves. I sandwiched floral wire in between two rectangles of fabric using Steam-A-Seam fusible interfacing, then cut out the leaves. I thought they were too big at first, but now I like the extra color and texture that they add.

WIP Friday

August 18, 2006 at 2:10 pm | Posted in Family, Quilting, Sewing/Crafts, swaps | Leave a comment

Yet another duck from my favorite Japanese craft book.


The disembodied eyes on top of the stack of pieces look a little like Cookie Monster to me. I’m using some wool felt and more of the fabric my sister-in-law Kathleen gave me. It’s all hand-sewn, and I’m especially proud of the stitching that’s gone into this piece so far. My stitches usually look pretty haphazard :0)

This little fella will go into a “fairy package” for the Color-iffic Swap-o-rama, bound for Portugal. (swap: exchange of items around a theme, arranged online; fairy: someone who assembles an extra package for a poor soul who never received her original swap). I’m almost done with it, and then I can ship it and her other goodies off this weekend.


And here’s another WIP: a little quilt block for Sara’s baby quilt. Alas, she’s already nearly six months old! I used still more of the Kathleen fabric. The pattern’s here, but I made mine a lot smaller than the specified 10″. It’s a fun, fun block to make, but you gotta be organized! I borrowed the compass pin tip from Denyse Schmidt and put a pin pointing north in the center piece so you always know which way is up when you’re attaching pieces aroundandaroundandaround. Here’s what I hope the final product will look like:

sara quilt

Speaking of quilts, I need to make some headway on another quilt, a birthday one for this little guy, our nephew Garrett. He turns six in September. Hard to believe. He started Kindergarten this week, so it must be true!

1st day 2

The Trifecta

August 14, 2006 at 8:33 pm | Posted in Sewing/Crafts, swaps | 5 Comments

Cooking, crafting, and swapping: some of my favorite activities! This month, the Use What You Have group on flickr combined all three in the Dinner Time swap. Participants used materials on hand to create items related to serving or making dinner. We were able to post information about our decor, likes/dislikes, and cooking and eating preferences to help our senders determine what to send.

I just received my swap items from Tanja in Germany. She is a very skilled crocheter!


She included two turtle magnets, handy for holding my recipes on the fridge. Love their fuzzy heads! There are also recipes, potholders, and my favorite, an egg warmer. Here it is with one of my prized chickie egg cups.

Egg warmer

The package I sent (several days late; I’m very sorry, swap buddy!) went to someone in the States. I made some potholders based on the Too Hot to Handle pattern in Denyse Schmidt’s book. I included recipes, too. She’s a vegetarian, so I tried to find delicious, nutritious dishes that she’d enjoy.


I enjoy swapping: connecting with people you have never met and offering them items that you’ve found or made, that you hope they will find useful or enjoyable. When I have to make something for a swap, I can look at my own materials and fabrics with new eyes, seeing what fits both the swap theme and my receiver’s interests. Then, when I receive stuff, I’m so thankful and happy to see the sender’s “take” on my personality and likes. 

If you haven’t tried it before, I highly recommend it!

Too long between posts

August 8, 2006 at 3:34 pm | Posted in Blog, Cards, Family, Papercrafts, Sewing/Crafts, swaps | 23 Comments

Yikes! I know it’s summer and all, but I feel bad about neglecting my little blog! I’ve been drowning in work and homework, and there’s always something beckoning on a summer weekend, but now I have lots to write about!

I’ve sent and received my August Color-iffic Swap-o-rama packages: to and from Portugal this time. Lovin‘ that country. The theme colors? Rainbow! Here’s what I sent to Filipa, a lover of all things felt and feline. I also included a quilted purse with kitties, but that didn’t make the photos. The Sharpies and Juicy Fruit were from Chicago-area companies, and I went a-hunting for other little trinkets to fill in the other colors. I thought the folding ruler was nifty, and the felt-embellished cards were a last-minute addition that turned out great.

Rainbow kitties August color-iffic swap-o-rama sent

And here’s what Sofia sent to me! This was her first swap, so I’m honored and impressed. She did a good job with her research, as I adored everything she gave me. Of course, I LOVED the map of Portugal, and the kit (center bottom of pic) to make my own greeting cards. The candy’s long gone, and the fabric’s days are numbered!

August Color-iffic Swap-o-rama Received!

We babysat our Chicago niece and nephew a few weekends ago while their folks (Ryan’s sis and husband) dashed out of town for their anniversary. The kiddies are 1 and 4, and I’m happy to say we survived! They were actually great, and we had help from the nanny on Friday and Grandma on Saturday, and  more grandparents on Sunday. Babysitting should always be like that. The highlights were dancing in the kitchen Saturday night to Paul Simon’s Graceland (of which I took a funny video) and a trip to the Nature Museum and its butterfly exhibit.


august 012

still <- this is a still from the kitchen-dancing movie. It’s too big to post.

I don’t know whether anyone remembers that post I made a while back about not wanting to go into a fabric shop again because I can’t control myself, but my sis-in-law has made it so that I probably won’t have to for years! She sent me ALL her fabric! How generous! She and my baby bro have a one year old, and she despairs of ever having time to craft or sew again, so she’s sent her goods to lucky ME (the word “me” is very high-pitched and squeaky!) to love and use. Folks, I think she’s doubled my stash. There’s some seriously cute stuff in there, and I’m tickled to see that she and I had several of the same fabrics. We must be sisters :)

Here’s my first project with her fabric. It’s a little owl from a pattern for traditional Japanese juggling balls. The term escapes me! But the pattern’s on if you want it.


I think I’ll end here so I have something to post about later in the week, and so you don’t burn out on my blahblahblah-ing! It’s good to be back, baby!

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