Monday, March 17, 2014

Better Late than Never

Don't you hate when a blogger gives you a sob story about why they haven't made any new posts or how busy and complicated their life is?  Well that is me.  I won't bore you with all the details but I will say that I had my entryway quilt and table still decorated with valentine themed stuff up until this past weekend.  That is so NOT like me.  I feel like a nightmare lately.  I blame my 2 kids on missions.  I'm kind of superstitious about no good deed going unpunished.  Anyway, I'm dealing with it all but there is no end in sight.
Sweet Donna at Donna's Lavender Nest included me on her 2014 Quilt Bee and this is/was my block for February.  I had to make a new block because I botched the first one.  Can you believe I botched a simple log cabin block?  February was Clover and Violet blocks.  
The March block is Amy at A Quilting Sheep.  Mostly Amy had us do the initial of our first name using Moda's letter patterns.  I found this block lots of fun to make.  
I really like to make little treat bags.  I enjoy looking at my notions or bits of fun fabrics to choose for little goody packs.  These will go along for the person hosting the bee that month.  I found it almost therapeutic to make these. 
Oh my gosh my photos are bad today.  Sorry about that.  I got Lori's latest book  mailed to me on a day I needed something fun to browse and relax reading.
I have been itching to make a quilt using Pam's navy pindot as the background fabric.  I really like this quilt in Lori's book and it is made using navy.  Maybe someday I can make it (insert sigh, poor me).

So hi to all my friends.  I'm sorry if I don't email back or pay attention to the blog world.  Blah blah blah, you don't want to hear me whine.  :-)

-nanette

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Potholder Tutorial Rewind

"Doll House" Potholder Tutorial

 Because of lack of material I'm doing a rerun of one of my tutorials.  I'm still not able to sit at my machine for very long.  Recovery from bursitis isn't very fun.   And I'm rather sick of myself not being able to do normal stuff.  So I thought I would rewind to a time when I was my old creative self.  This is such a fun house block.  It makes me feel good to look backwards at all the fun things I've made. The block seemed like a perfect size for a pot holder but the Doll House could be applied to other crafts or quilt blocks.
It was really fun picking out fabric for each house and as with the cottages I enjoyed making each one unique.
Using the mylar batting called Insul-Bright keeps the potholder thin and light weight like regular cotton Warm and Natural batting. Just an FYI - the mylar batting is not safe in the microwave. I've never microwaved a hot pad, but you just never know. I only use one layer of the batting and I put the more shiny side facing the back. So far it works fine.
Doll House Cutting instructions:

House (1) 6" x 6" square; Roof (1) 6" x 3" strip; Background (2) 2 1/2" squares, (2) 8 1/2" x 2" strips, (1) 9" x 2" strip; Grass (1) 9" x 2" strip; Door (1) 3 1/2" x 2" rectangle; Window (1) fussy cut square approximately 2 1/2" or smaller depending on image in window and (optional) trim 7" long.

All seams are 1/4".
Round the upper corners of the door rectangle. Place the door along the bottom edge of the house and in from the right side edge of the house by 3/4". Position the fussy cut window in 3/4" from the left side edge of the house and down 1 1/4" from the top as shown above. Added note- You can fussy cut more windows and play with the placement. I sometimes put a little window in the attic. It is fun to look at your fabric and think what might be fun to fussy cut and put in the window or door.
Using black thread and your sewing machine's blanket stitch, attach the door and window to the house block.
Press a crease diagonally in the 2 1/2" squares cut from background fabric. With right sides together position the squares over the upper corners of the roof fabric.
Using the crease as a stitching guide, attach the squares to the roof stitching diagonally as above.
Trim to 1/4".
Press seam allowance outward towards the corners. You can see that I tried to center the stripe in the middle but that made the scalloped edge off center - oh well.
With right sides together stitch the roof to the house block. Press.
Trim is optional. Stitch trim just below the seam line below the roof securing both edges of the trim. Next sew the 2 strips of fabric (8 1/2" x 2") to the sides of the house. Press.
Stitch the (9" x 2") back ground strip and the green grass strip to the tops and bottom of the block. Press.
Finished Doll House blocks above. Some of the houses I made in slightly different sizes before I settled on the best size.
Cut a square of the mylar batting and the backing fabric larger than the Doll House block by at least 1" around all the edges. Place your finished Doll House block with mylar batting in between and a linen (or other fabric) backing and pin in place.
Machine quilting this block is very easy. Using a walking foot, stitch in the ditch around all seams, door, window, trim and back ground fabric edges.
Detail of machine quilting shown above in the back of the hot pad fabric.
Trim batting and backing from all sides and square up the Doll House block.
Using a rounded edge template mark a curved edge in each corner of the Doll House block. Cut on marked line as above.
Cut a bias binding and create a 4" long loop with binding fabric. Attach loop to the top of the Doll House block and bind as you would a quilt. Optionally you can sew a tiny button to the door for a door knob.
Fun, fast and easy to make, these Doll House hot pads make great gifts and are colorful additions to any kitchen. Make them by the dozens!

I haven't really been reading blogs or emailing friends.  Forgive me.  I hope this doesn't last forever.

-nanette

Monday, February 17, 2014

Belated Valentines

I'm always so behind these days.  My life continues to be kind of topsy tervy right now but I'm learning to be patient with myself.
I love red and Valentine's Day.  I love that it is just a sweet day and I take it with a no obligation point of view.  I choose to celebrate in fabric because the prints for valentines look so happy.
I have very fond memories of sending valentines to my classmates and enjoying the valentines sent to me.  I used to keep the valentines long after February ended.  
I hope you had a nice day.  We spent it at home watching a movie and eating Chinese take-out with chocolate covered strawberries for dessert.  I can't imagine a better way to celebrate.

-nanette

Friday, February 14, 2014

Sad and Happy

The time has finally come for Mason to leave to have his missionary training in Argentina.  Because of visa problems, his departure was delayed several weeks.  It was a little disconcerting to him to have that happen but he handled it well and the time passed quickly.  At least to me.  Mason takes things in his stride and I know that quality will serve him well while he is in Uruguay and away from home for 2 years.
I know every mother thinks her kids are special, and they should.   Mason is one of a kind.  As the youngest and with 7 sisters, it is a unique family placement for him.  But Mason has always had this sense about himself.  He is confident, fun and crazy, and also able to adapt and make friends wherever and whatever he is doing.  And he came that way.  No amount of mothering made him that way, he just is.  He has wanted to serve a mission for the LDS church for as long as I can remember.  This was his goal and not something I expected of him.  You can read more about him (if you want) in this post.  He is just a great kid.  In the last 6 weeks he has been my chauffeur and going with me to all my doctor appointments and physical therapy.  When things were tough he would come old my hand or tell me a story to keep my mind off the exercises.  He's been a big help with the girls, too.
In the short time his mission was delayed, our relationship and friendship grew to a new level.  I did shed the typical mom tears at the airport but I really have peace that this is perfect for Mason.  He called me when he arrived and told me how much fun it was just being with guys like him and talking to people about our church on the airplane.  Typical Mason - making friends wherever he goes.
This is the city of Montevideo Uruguay where he will be headed after his training.  It is a South American city with a strong Italian/European influence.  He will also, of course, spend time in the countryside of Uruguay. I do know missions are hard and the work is completely selfless.  But I do believe he can handle it and it will make him grow in ways that will make him a strong man.

So I have 2 children serving LDS missions now with Laurie in Washington and Mason going to Uruguay. I miss them terribly but I'm a delighted mother to have them choose to spend time serving others at their young ages.  They are doing things I could never have the courage or desire to do.  It is incredible when we see our children move into the world and contribute.

Pam Kitty Morning sent me this Mason soda bottle.  I have it in my sewing room.  It is kind of whimsical to me and represents the silly part of Mason.

I'm still not sewing much or blogging.  I miss my old routine terribly.  My recovery from the bursitis and other complications will take me more months but I'm working hard to get to a full functioning life.

-nanette

Monday, February 10, 2014

Feb Sew Sweet Block

I thought I had my Feb 2014 Sew Sweet Block finished but when I looked at my block compared to Clover and Violet's block, I realize I did something wrong.  So I will probably be making another block.
I looked at the pictures and directions on Clover and Violet.  I am not a newbie when it comes to log cabin basics.  I think I cut the strips out okay.
But mine isn't exactly like the sample.  Hmm.  Oh well.  It was fun to make with cute aqua and red fabric.  I'll make a new one and pay more attention.  I can always use this block in a new UFO sampler quilt when I get around to making a new one.  I love that Donna included me in her bee.  I had forgotten how fun a sewing bee is.  You can always sew along with us at home and keep your own blocks as we make them.  More is better.  Right?

-nanette

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Donna From Lavender's Nest Block

I'm happy to be included in the block swap at Donna's Lavender Nest.  January is Donna's month.  We know Donna loves lavender so that is the color Donna chose and she asked us to use this Jacob's Ladder pattern for a 12" block.  I had a pretty floral lavender fabric in my stash ready to make this block.  I've got to mail it off (I'm late) to Donna post-haste.  It was fun to just sew one block.  It was a nice fast and complete project for me to make in my limited sewing situation.  I hope Donna likes it.

-nanette

Monday, January 20, 2014

I"m Rusty

I haven't really sewn anything since before Thanksgiving last year.  It has been so long since I've been able to live my normal life but I'm getting better.  And I'm reclaiming my sewing machine.
I decided to ease with short spurts of sewing and with a simple project.  I made this table heart above a couple years ago.  I needed a gift for a friend and thought it was a perfect little project to remake.
I love working with 2.5" squares.  And I really think valentine fabrics are so sweet.  I used a combination of reds from my stash including some Pam Kitty fabrics.
I trimmed the heart and sandwiched the heart with a batting scrap and some valentine fabric.  Then I machine quilted the blocks in an X pattern.  Simple.  Still, even with a simple project, I had some unpicking to do.  I'm just a little rusty but I'll get it all back, soon.
All of you that are sewing along with Lori, you can put some squares together, too.   See Lori's blog and The Jolly Jabber for instructions.  Patchwork squares make me happy.

-nanette

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Quilty Fun Trees

So it is tree week in Lori's blog tour.  I really want to make some trees.  I haven't yet but I think they are perfect.  I'm still not sewing yet but I'm feeling about 35% improved.  I'm working hard to make it back to my real life.
I swiped these from the Jolly Jabber.  The tree is really well designed.  Of course!

This is Fat Quarter Shop's notion of the month.  And I want one!!  I can think of so many times I've needed something like this.  What a great idea.  It is on sale 20% off but also out of stock.  However, I'm on a waiting list.  

I'm off to physical therapy.

-nanette

Monday, January 6, 2014

Bring on 2014

At the end of the year I love to look around for fun calendars for the new year.  Sometimes it is hard to decide which ones I like best.
I have to have a quilt calendar for my sewing room, right?  This calendar is filled with photos of modern quilts.  It's something a little different to hang on the wall this year.
For my desk at work I chose this calendar called Backstreets.  It has photos of interesting streets and houses all over the world.
I love colorful houses in interesting shapes.  I'm not much of a traveler so this calendar can take me to places I'll never visit.
I also got a little calendar to keep right by the phone.  It is a vintage desktop calendar. I got it from this little Etsy shop called Writeables.  
It can sit anywhere and I can look at the pretty reproduction vintage gift wrap that is behind each month.
The designs are really cute and just darling from the 50s-60s.  
I think these months are my favorite.  I'm ready for the new year now.  Christmas is put away and 2013 is a memory of blessings and trials.  I wonder what 2014 brings....

-nanette

Sunday, December 29, 2013


How fast 2013 has gone and how quickly the holiday season is passing.  Best wishes to you all and hoping for a wonderful 2014. 

-nanette

Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas

This is me 1961 at Toyland on the top floor of Pomeroy's department store in Reading, Pennsylvania.  Santa was in the corner of the floor so you could see him as you walked around the toys and the animated Christmas figures.  I thought I was in heaven.  And by the look on my face I had a crush on Santa.  Notice the cute cat and coat combo.  I loved that coat and sure wish I had it now.  The coat and hat were in a box of clothes some "rich people" would sometimes give to my dad for his daughters.  It was like gold when he would get a box of clothes.  Christmas past was the most fun ever.  Right?

-nanette