How is it exactly that now that the kids are out of school, I’m feeling busier??  First some family updates.

Julianna had her Jazz Performance on Father’s Day weekend.  She did a great job – it was the most confident I’ve seen her on stage (and she’s be doing this for six years now).  She is in all black with the blue tie, in the back row, second from the left – and the shortest one in her class!  They did a wonderful job.

YouTube Preview Image

Last Sunday was Julianna’s Gymnastics Expo.  She started taking classes in May (three of her friends go to the same gym) and she is totally hooked!  She’s even taking summer classes and going to camp there too.  Thankfully she’s built just like her Daddy – all leg!

And on Monday, we celebrated Owen’s 11th birthday.  I honestly have no idea when the years have gone!  We bought him a Nook and he’s delighted with it.  The first book he purchased was The Hobbit!  I took the day off and Owen decided to head to Canobie Lake Park (a local amusement park) for the day.

This weekend we are heading to CT to celebrate his birthday with my niece and nephew who will be 9 on 7/2.  And the BEST part of this trip, is that I come home without children!  Yup, my SIL is taking my kids for a week (she’s done it for the past three years) – the kids love spending the week with their cousins and their “cool” Uncle Tracy!  And it’s like a mini-vacation for us.  Have I mentioned that I have the BEST SIL in the world???

OK, enough family stuff – on to crafty stuff!

Since I’ve been so busy with other things and I don’t have any particularly urgent deadlines (which I’m convinced I work better with) I have not been in my sewing room much – I’ve been knitting the world’s largest sock for my hubby (who has HUGE feet!) – but more about that later.  But I did finish my latest mug rug for the Mug Rug Adventure 2 Swap.  I love doing these little guys because you can play with techniques you might other wise not ever do.  This time up was a disappearing 9-patch.

I used mostly Riley Blake fabrics and looking at it now it feels like a watermelon to me – nice and summery.

The stitching was very simple and the backing is the dark green.  I also made a zipper pouch to fill with some fabric goodies to send along.  I hope my partner likes it!

Hopefully with the kiddos out of the house next week I’ll get a lot more stuff done!

Posted in Kids, Swaps | 2 Comments


(Friday Night Sew In)

Sadly my lousy day started at 4am with the cat crying outside to come back in (mind you she’s an indoor cat who should not be going outside!), continued at work (I won’t even go into that) and further continued at home with my delightful daughter telling me that I loved her brother more than her (because we bought him a Nook for his birthday – which he’s been begging for).  Yup might as well pile it all up on one day and get it over with!!

I’ve never participated in a FNSI (follow the link on my side bar) and it sounded like fun (many of the blogs I follow participate) so I signed up for tonight’s sew in.  I needed to make a bag/pouch/clutch for Julianna’s Jazz teacher (her year end performance is tomorrow – nothing like waiting until the last minute).  Here is the bag as it was this morning:

I love these Riley Blake fabrics – and I had everything in my stash expect for the zipper – not bad!

After dinner I headed down to my sewing room (which is in our finished basement) to hide out and get to work (the Vodka, Cherry Lime drink in hand!).

I used the Emmy Clutch pattern that I have seen so many people use on Flickr and I love the final look of it.  I’ve made pouches/clutches with covered zipper ends, but I’ve never installed a zipper as in this pattern – but it worked out beautifully.

I don’t think this clutch needed a zipper pull like the ones with the inset zippers, but I thought I would make one anyway.  I had three colors of Swarovski Crystals that matched nicely with the colors in the fabric.

Another project off my to do list!  Now I’m ready for the QAL to start next week.  And I’ve finally decided on a project for my DS Collection fabric – maybe I’ll get going on that too!

Just a quick update on my KAL.  I finished the first day of directions on BOTH socks (I am very proud of myself!). I’m hoping that if I work each day on both socks, I’ll finish them quickly!

I love the detail of this finished picot edging!  I have finished day two on one sock.  Last night was I nearly finished the heel when I realized that I had somehow along the line dropped some stitches.  I also wasn’t following the pattern correctly at the beginning so I pulled it all out and started again.  But now I’ve done the heel, turned the heel and picked up the gusset stitches, which was the end of day two.  Day three is up so hopefully I’ll finish day two on the other sock over the weekend.

Posted in KAL, Pouches/Clutches etc. | 2 Comments

Goodie Bag Swap RECEIVED!

Today was a great mail day as I received my Goodie Bag Swap from Karen (Feistyeily on Flickr).

I received not one great bag, but two!  The first one was her “mock-up” bag made out of linen.  It is perfect for transporting of my KAL!!!  Just this morning, as I was putting my sock back into the ziploc bag I was using to tote it around, I thought that I really should make myself a pouch to carry it in (the whole cobbler and the shoe problem).  Now I don’t need to!  The bag has a wonderful full size interior zipper pocket so I can put my extra DPN and small scissors in and not worry about loosing them!

The second bag (on the right of the photo) is made with this wonderful large floral print that feels like yellow/orange (aka SUMMER!) and a small green cross weave pattern.  They are perfect together!  This bag too has a interior zipper pocket and a magnet closure.  And the strap length fits me perfectly!

And look at all the wonderful scrap goodies that she mailed to me!  I’m not really a fan of the novelty fabrics – but I adore this sushi fabric in front!  I’m making myself a coin purse out of that one tonight!!

I’m so delighted with my swap items – I big huge thank you to Karen for taking such good care of me.  Wonder when Round 2 is starting!!!  :-)

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

My First KAL!

Yesterday, completely by accident, I stumbled upon Michelle’s AWESOME website The Knit Purl Hunter.    I was on YouTube looking for videos on toe up sock knitting (which I still don’t get by the way) and I found one of her videos.

So I spent some time poking around her website and she regularly host KALs (Knit-A-Longs).  I’ve never done one so what the heck – right???  The sock is an ankle sock so it should go quickly.  Week three (of four) is up today, but I’m about 1/2 way done with week one (OK, really only 1/4 of the way done since I do have to make two socks). The absolute BEST part of Michelle’s KALs – she links the “How-to” YouTube videos right next to each technique – so if you don’t know how to do it – it’s right there for you to watch!  Given the fact that I’m NOT a knitter by any means and I’ve only completed one pair of very basic socks, this is so helpful to me!!  I made sure that I subscribed to her YouTube Channel too so I can quickly access her videos from my iPhone (ain’t technology grand???) and know when she posts a new video.

You can’t really tell from the photo, but there is a row of holes in the middle which will be turned into a picot edging – that is the next step so we’ll see how it goes.  There are a few completed KALs on Michelle’s site so do check them out – and join the fun!  I’ve added a button to my sidebar too.


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Pink Pips Quilt

To continue on my teacher gift theme, here is the quilt I made for Owen’s teacher, Mrs. Brewitt.  First let me say that I typically don’t make quilts for the kids teachers, but Mrs. Brewitt really went above and beyond the call of duty this year for Owen and we greatly appreciated it.

I call it “Pink Pips” and it’s made with the Sherbet Pips Line from Aneela Hoey.  Honestly this really isn’t my favorite line and I actually bought the layer cake by accident (long story!).  But after working with it, it’s growing on me.

The pattern is from the Moda Bake Shop (which is a great resource if you have a pre-cut set and have no idea what to make with it!), Blueberry Chocolate Squares.  The pattern was very straight forward, but the seams didn’t nestle together so the row piecing took some extra time, but well worth it.

(sure would have been nice if we had any sun over the past three days so I could get some nice photos – oh well!)

I went with the dark pink dot for the outside border, I would have picked the gray dot (since that is my new favorite quilt color lately), but I wanted something I figured Mrs. Brewitt would like.

I did my standard label, prisma pen on white muslin.  I type out what I want to say in Word and then trace over it – my handwriting is NOT that nice!

Owen will bring it in tomorrow, I’ll be anxious to talk to Owen when he gets home!

Posted in Kids, Quilts | 2 Comments

Teacher’s Gifts

It’s that time of the year again, when I rack my brain to come with something creative and appropriate for the kid’s teachers.  This year was even harder given the fact that Owen has FOUR teachers!  They start changing classes in the 5th grade at our school so he has is Homeroom/Math teacher (Mrs. Brewitt who we love ~ I’ll post about her gift tomorrow), Science, English and History.  I wanted to make them all a little something to thank them for their hard work this year.  So I went with these…

These are from Keyka Lou’s Inset Zipper Clutch Pattern (which I love making – what a breeze!)  These are the full size clutch which was easier to make than my mini one I posted about last week.

The fabric is some Amy Butler and Riley Blake.  I tried to make them to match the specific teacher’s style – hope they like them!

I really felt with the inset zipper that these needed zipper pulls.  So I got tiny lobster clasps from Michaels and these “faith and trust” charms.  The rest of the beads and supplies I had in my stash so that was great!

I finished Julianna’s teacher’s gift too – but that will have to wait for another post!

Posted in Kids | Tagged | 2 Comments

Wordless Wednesday

‘Nuf said!

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Kaleidoscope Quilt Along

Have you heard?  Elizabeth over at Don’t Call Me Betsy is doing a QAL (Quilt Along)!  A beautiful Kaleidoscope – I’ve always wanted to do one of these, they look so great. Click on the button on my sidebar for all the information.  And don’t forget about the Flickr Group too!

This will be the first QAL that I’ve participated in, I’ve done some after the fact, but never worked along with one.  I’m very excited to begin!  You have until 6/23 to sign up on her blog for a great giveaway too!

Here is the fabric I’m going to be using.  It’s Woodland Bloom from Moda.  I bought the whole FQ pack last year and have never used it – til now!

Now the only question is what color should I use for the background?  I’m thinking white (but that is BORING!) or maybe tan or light green – since all the fabrics have those colors in them.  I really want to do my favorite color now – gray, but I don’t think it will work with these!  What do you suggest??



Posted in QAL | 1 Comment

Flickr Fun!

I’ve done three great swaps through Flickr this past month.

The first was Pretty {Little} Pouch Swap.  You could make any type of pouch you wanted for your partner.  My partner wanted something large with pockets.  I had a heck of a time finding a pattern so when I did find it, I just ended up adding the pockets she needed.

Exterior is Kate Spain – Fandango.  The pattern looks hard but was super easy! I think I need to make one for myself and add a small strap for the summer.  I used the Flores Clutch pattern from Ithinksew (if you haven’t seen her patterns you really must!).

I also made a matching key fob to send along to my partner.  I only thing I would have changed with this was I would have used a sewn in magnet – but the ones I ordered didn’t arrive in time so she got just a regular old magnet!

And here is the wonderful pouch I received from my partner Terrie Sandelin:

I love the colors and the patchwork is just perfect!  She even has a tutorial on her blog so check it out if you want to make one for yourself.  I’ve been using this lovely to hold a tatting project – it’s just perfect for me.

Next up was the Scrappy Mug Rug Swap 4.

I knew exactly the mug rug I wanted to make after I saw the Hoo-Ha tutorial online!  I love to do hand work and I thought that it would make a beautiful mug rug.

I liked doing this so much that I might make the pouch for the next Pretty {little} pouch swap!!  I wasn’t sure if this mug rug was too simple so I made another one for my partner.

The red and white was left over from my parents DWR quilt and I just love making the hexagons.  My partner has not posted that she has received them yet, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that she does!

And lookie what I received from my partner Stacey!!

The mug rug is PERFECT for me!  The colors are wonderful I just love it – it looks so nice on my desk at work and it makes me smile everytime I look at it.  She sent along some goodies too, a lovely fabric covered notepad with matching binder clip, some awesome chocolate (although I have not been brave enough to try it yet!) and some great note cards.  Funny thing, I would have never bought them for myself, that is the great thing about swaps – you get things that you’d never expect you’d like!  I was thrilled with my package of goodies – thanks so much Stacey!

My final Flickr swap for May was the Goodie Bag Swap.  For some reason I knew exactly what I wanted to make for this as soon as I got my partner.  I made it so quickly I had to wait almost a month to mail it (which is unheard of for me – last minute Sally here).

I had this wonderful Joel Dewberry Modern Meadow fabric that I wanted to use, but I thought all of it might make the bag too busy so my solution was HEXIS!!!  I use them to create the front pocket of the Bucket Bag by Keyka Lou (whose patterns I just adore!).  The only other changes I made was to add pockets on the inside (I’m still not brave enough to try an interior zipper pocket yet) and instead of making the handle all the exterior fabric (which was beige linen) I used the lining fabric for the underside of the handle – I love the final product!

I wanted to make a zipper pouch to go along with the bag so I again went with a Keyka Lou pattern, the inset zipper pouch.

If you have never done an inset zipper – do try this pattern – it was a BREEZE!!!  I did make the pattern 25% smaller than the pouch size so that it would go nicely in the bag.  I also added the clutch handle to it.

I think I’m going to make myself the clutch size of this pattern soon – I would be perfect to just grab and go in the summer!

I heard from my partner just this morning and she was thrilled with her package – SHEW!!!  I have not yet received mine but I know it will be coming soon and I can’t wait.

Well that is all from Flickr for now.  I’m in some other swaps coming up soon, more about them later.

Posted in Swaps | 1 Comment

WOW – where have I been???

I can’t believe it has been over two months since I’ve posted on my blog!  I’ll try to give you the highlights!

I’ll start with the family related stuff.  We just got back from our vacation at Old Orchard Beach, ME.  We’ve been going for three years now and we just love it.  The kids never get tired of the beach!

O&J OOB 2009

The week before we went to OOB, the kids spent the week in Vermont with my sister-in-law and her family.  The kids loved every mintue of it and given the fact they’ve never been away from home for that long, they did very well.  I wonder if Elizabeth has recovered yet!!

Owen celebrated his 9th birthday in June – where did the nine years go???


And Julianna had her tap performance.  This year she was a NYC street performer in the studio’s performance of Disney’s Enchanted.  This was the first year is practiced really hard at home to get it just right and all her hard work paid off – it was great – take a look…

YouTube Preview Image

I’ve gotten a lot of craft related things done over the past two months too.  First I did some centerpiece goodies for the final teacher appreciation lunch of the year.  I made fabric baskets (I followed a pattern that I found on a blog – I don’t remember who it belongs to, so if you do, please let me know and I’ll post it) and filled them with some desk goodies for the teachers.  This time around Julianna’s assistant teacher, Mrs. K, won one!

pictures 931pictures 932

I also made a book thong for each one of the kid’s teachers, they were very fun and easy.

pictures 934book thong 6_09

I’ve been working on mini quilts too.  Here are two that I made for swaps that I was in.  The first is a modified log cabin that I designed.  I’m sure that somebody else has come up with this layout too – heck it’s just log cabin, but I do have the 8 pages of sketches that I did to reach this design.

Coffeeteame mini July 2009

And this mini was part of a challenge where your partner sent you charms and you had a do a mini quilt.  I started playing with the math and figured out that I could adapt the Bento Box pattern to perfectly fit a charm!!  I was so excited – I’m very pleased with how this one came out – I’m going to have to make more of these guys.

bento box mini 7_09

I also received a wonderful mini quilt from my good friend Elaine.  She sent me this “just because” and it came at a time when I really needed to be cheered up – I will charish it forever!! I love oriental fabrics and this little wallhanging is just perfect.

pictures 942

I tried my hand a selvage project.  I made these loyality card wallets for a swap that I was in.  They went together very quickly and it had me cutting all the selvages off my stash!  I found the pattern and inspiration from Karen’s Selvage Blog.

pictures 924pictures 921

I finished two crazy quilt project.  The first I had posted about on May 19th, a friend gave us dance outfits from her daughter and we had to use only those fabrics to create a crazy quilt  block.  First here is the naked block and then the finished product:

costume-block-barecostume block finished

This next project was the annual HGTV Crazy Quilt One Block Swap.  The theme that I got from my partner was “Ocean”.  I received so much help with this block, from donations of materials to embellishment recommentions and lessons!  I’m so very grateful to everybody who helped out.  Here are the naked and finished blocks:

Shey naked blockShey finish block 7_09

I did two pieces of tatting for this block.  First was the seahorse, he’s the first animal I have tried – I was pleased that he looked like a seahorse when I was done!!  I used Debbie Arnold’s very easy to follow pattern.  The second piece is the star fish on the bottom left.  When I went to attach the star fish to the block I noticed he had six points and not five (that is what I get for tatting and talking at midnight – I wasn’t paying very good attention!!), so off came one point and he looked so much better!  Here is the link to the pattern. (I’ll have to get the thread colors/sizes at home I don’t remember them off the top of my head – I know it was HDT).

And finally, I did some lap quilts for Julianna’s teacher and assistant teacher for the end of the year.  They were both great all year and I really wanted to thank them for their hard work.  I used the Strip This Quilt pattern from Green Fairy Quilts.  If you have a jelly roll and need a really quick gift, BUY THIS PATTERN!!!  It was one of the easiest patterns I’ve ever done and I just love the results!! (Sorry the pictures are so ‘soft’, I did realize until later that there was a finger print on my camera lens!)

pictures 950

pictures 947pictures 948

See, I may have been gone, but I’ve been keeping busy!  Tonight and tomorrow I have to work on a table topper for my parents as an Anniversary gift – I’m giving it to them on Saturday and have not started yet – no pressure!!

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment