Monday, March 31, 2014

Mining Monday: Living Room Curtains - Sprucing up the house

We've had the same curtains in the living room since time eternal.  It's just never been one of the things I've changed.  You'd think I would since so much else has changed in the room, but perhaps that's been the constant.... that and the carpet... Maybe we just stop seeing them?  They are pretty - lacy ones I made.  But it's time.  Time for a change.  Changing them may change the whole room!

So... I'm doing some looking today on Mining Monday.  If you too, are thinking of a change, maybe these ideas will spur you to action, as well.

Initially, I was thinking just about the fabric that makes curtains, but this idea from Olive and Love made me think twice.  Head over and see how she did it!!

Now, I was already thinking about using sheets to accomplish this, so here's another thought, from My Life and Kids.  She gives great directions about how to do this without sewing!  This might be a game changer for some of you.

Oh fun... how about Roman Shades?  These look great AND are pretty easy.  What she does with Stitch Witch and glue, I'd just sew.

Stenciling is an option, albeit not perhaps the most easy, but could be a fun project.  Over at Southern Hospitality, she does a very detailed "how to" that is worth a look.

One of the things I noticed is that many of these ideas are about doing it quick and easy, sans little to no sewing.  BUT, I am all about sewing, so.....  though, I will admit that I like what these folks did as far as color.  I can see the "easy" part, too.  Might need to snag some ribbon and try this!  It's a shower curtain!

Whoa.... wait... here's another idea that never crossed my mind!  Ann at Hello Newman's uses a table cloth - gorgeous!!  Take a peek.  Great idea!

Here's an important thought: how much?  Stop by here and see how to calculate how much you need!
I have 1 large window, 2 regular size ones and a slider to consider, myself.

I ran across these, which I think might work for the side windows... but not so sure about the larger ones.  This is a good tutorial.

This looks pretty easy and might be what I go with.  It's a full size sheet with fabric accents.  Hmmm... we know I have some fabric...

What do you think?  Recommendations of these that you think might look good or be fun to do?  Have you made your own?  How did you do it?  Inquiring minds want to know!

Have a wonderful day!
PS DON'T forget to enter to win one of 3 prizes (Facebook Fans) - You've got till midnight, 3/31/14!!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Strippy Quilt: Another Scrappy Idea!

Good evening, All!

I found another strip quilting idea, a wee bit different than the Jelly Roll Race, but of the same concept: 2 1/2" strips sewn together.

This one literally uses any scraps that are at least 2 1/2" square and works them together.  I KNOW I'd have enough for this one and I bet you do, too!

BTW, I think I REALLY need one of those gloves as I did get multiple stitches a while back after running the rotary cutter across my thumb!  Maybe the quilting fairy will get me some!  

Take a look:

Happy creating,

Saturday, March 29, 2014

We did it! We did it! 1,000 fans on Facebook! As a "thank you..."

Holy guacamole!
1,000 folks decided stopping by our Facebook page is a fun thing to do!  How cool is that?  If you haven't yet, come on over!   It's oodles of fun!

I promised to do some nice things when it happened, soooo..... I am!
#1. From now through midnight, March 31st, it's March Madness in my Etsy shop!  Head over to the Facebook page and you can get the special code for a discount off any purchases!  You'll find the code in the NOTES tab OR in the timeline.  GO FOR IT!! USE IT!!

#2. Okay... I just love sharing!  I'm also having lots of fun making quilts, so, I'm putting the two together for another giveaway!  Oh yah... lovin' life!  You get these two patterns, Scrappy Squares and Rickety Rails.  Both are by Pacific Patchwork.

#3. YOU need spring too, sooooo, I'll send YOU a lovely "SPRING" banner, made on my Silhouette!  YEAH!!

#4.  Lastly, how about a quilt book?  I've got an extra copy of Debbie Mumm's Best Loved Quilting Themes.

How cool is that?  So EVERYONE can take advantage of the discount at the Etsy shop and 3 of you will get a cool gift - just because your fans!  I LOVE THIS!

To enter all you need to do is leave a comment below telling me which of the 3 gifts you'd like!  Easy peasy!  We'll draw out 3 names on Tuesday morning, April first - NO jokes there!

Good luck!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Bring on the Spring... banner that is...

We keep hoping and Mother Nature keeps tricking us...but here's my latest ploy to bring on spring: a fun Silhouette banner for the door!

This project was the FREE shape of the week last week... perfect!

I started with 3 different scrapbook papers that coordinated nicely.  I cut multiples of each one as well as the circles in the middle.  That way, I could mix and match.

Here's an OOPSIE!  New mat = super sticky = stuck paper

No worries - I just cut a circle out of it!  My children's art teach would have told me it was a "happy accident" - miss you, Chris!

Next, cut a few more out (peeling a bit more carefully) and the bodies were done.

All I had to do was glue the pennant and the circles together... oh and lay HEAVY books on top as the edges curled up like CRAZY!

I made the letters out of a solid purple and the flowers out of the same purple and a green and glued them on, wove a piece of the lovely batiks from my nieces quilt through the top to hold them and viola!

Spring may be avoiding us, but I'm trying!!

Happy creating!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Etsy Spring-like Treasury... We keep trying!

Good morning, friends!

So...we all know the groundhog is a big LIAR!  I feel like we are in the movie "Groundhog Day" - you know, the Bill Murray film that days keep repeating themselves?  That's what this winter is like.  Just when you think it's a new day, BAM!  Winter AGAIN!

In an effort to think warm, pleasant thoughts, I curated an Etsy Treasury to make me THINK it was spring!  YAY!

Take a gander at all the lovely items... maybe we can bring on spring???  We can dream, right?

Go on... zip in and take a peek!

Let's think so many warm thoughts that it just HAS to get nicer!!

Quilty hugs,

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Multi-tasking = baking bread... Oh my... dill/onion loaf!

We were out of bread yesterday, it was pretty cold and I was in the mood... so I whipped up several loaves of pretty tasty yumminess while working on other projects.

**Before I start, I would like to make it clear, Lois, that I DO SLEEP!  And when I do, the next thing I know, it's morning!  :)

Okay... back to the yumminess.

I made plain white bread, of which one became cinnamon, and I experimented with a loaf of dill bread.  I L.O.V.E dill - this bread?  Folks, you need to try this!

It was crispy on the outside and probably the moistest inside I've ever tried.  I would say it was the sour cream.

It didn't rise up immensely, so I was a little afraid of "hockey puck syndrome" - but I was pleasantly surprised and so was hubby.

Here they are, rising on the back of the pellet stove.  Love the smell of rising bread.

Ready for second rising.
Whoa... perfect!
Topped off my veggie/ravioli soup!
There were a couple ingredients I'd never tried in bread, one being sour cream and the other?  Minced onion!  The smell when I was whipping it up was beyond amazing!

Here's how to make it:

Sour Cream Dill Bread
Makes 2 small loaves

1 pkg active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1/2 tsp salt
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup dairy sour cream
1/3 cup minced onion (1 small)
2 tsp dill weed
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 egg, slightly beaten
2 3/4 - 3 cups flour

Add yeast, sugar and warm water to large mixing bowl and let it "work".
Stir in salt, butter, sour cream minced onion, dillweed, baking soda and egg.
Add half the flour and mix well.  Add enough of remaining flour to make a stiff dough.
Turn out on a floured board and knead 5-10 turns.  (**Unless, you, like me, has a wonderful bread hook on your mixer... so you can just let it do it's magic!)
Return to the bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place for about 50 minutes, or until doubled in bulk.
Once it has risen, separate into two small loves and put in greased loaf pan (or round ones, like I did!)  and let rise a second time for 30-40 minutes.
Bake in a pre-heated 350 oven for 40 minutes, or until browned.

This goes VERY well with soup, which was my dinner last night and hubby's and mine's lunch today.


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

I finished the race... the Jelly Roll one, that is!

Over the weekend many of you stopped by here and visited the Facebook page and saw I was working on my first Jelly Roll Race quilt.  I am going to say it was a blast!  I made  quilt, start to finish in just over a day.  If I'd had a pre-made jelly roll to start with (vs the time I spent ironing and trimming 2 1/2" strips) it would have been even faster!

I am going to say that it was probably the fastest "go together quilt" I've ever done.  As you saw the other day, you literally just keep sewing strips, over and over.  I did find that my 1/4" seam creeped a bit and I am going to see about investing in a 1/4" seam foot for my machine. I found one over at Amazon Distinctive 1-4 (Quarter Inch) Quilting Sewing Machine Presser Foot with Edge Guide - Fits All Low Shank Snap-On Singer*, Brother, Babylock, Euro-Pro, Janome, Kenmore, White, Juki, New Home, Simplicity, Elna and More! (kind of a long title, but that's how they do it!) that I will probably send for.

You saw the quilt top over the weekend, but not the finished project. The reason being, it was a gift for my niece and she's on Facebook, soooo I didn't want HER to see it till Sunday night!  Needless to say, she loved it.  Yay!

People asked me to show the rest of the process, so here we go!

Let's start with an "oops" just to get it out of the way, shall we?  My first fabric heartbreak challenge was connecting the border strips diagonally, vs just flat together.  It looked EASY on Jenny's videos for Missouri Quilt Co.  This picture with a pile of batiks?  That's my "oops" pile - I THOUGHT I was sewing them together so they all went right side out... not so much.  Made the strip, held it up and saw that several were backwards.  Tried again. Backwards again.  ARGH!!

I did ultimately get it right and when I got to the binding, you can see my method below the gorgeous batik... phew!  All set!  Make a "T" - pin where I need to sew - sew and viola!

First one below shows the successful seam.  Second one how you cut it.  Third one = YAY!  I did it right! Best part is I NOW know how to do this and can show others!

 Back to the border.  I selected my absolute favorite batik (you can find it in both my eBay and Etsy shops) by Hoffman.  It REALLY pops!  I thought it would accent the Tonga Treats and the black/whites and it did.

I cut multiple 3" strips, but ended up trimming off about 3/4" of an inch, so I would go 2 1/2" next time.  I sewed the two sides on first, then the top and bottom.  Next: lots of pressing.

Let me say that I was at this juncture on Sunday morning: in need of batting and backing.  OF COURSE, I didn't have enough batting... what to do.. what to do... oh, wait, I have some extra flannel!  

Sometimes, when I go down to buy my fabric, I end up with some that's imperfect - can't sell it, but it's still good quality.  I took a big piece, sewed it together and made a lovely batting of flannel!

The backing was another challenge - what would go with this?  How about navy Handspray flannel?  PERFECT!

I cut it, sewed two pieces together and snuggled them right up with the batting and pinned those two layers to the quilt.  Lots of pins.... oodles of pins...

Time to hand tie since this was for TONIGHT!  No time to machine quilt!  Ah... a longarm someday?

Once I got to this point, I knew I could bring my niece the quilt, sans pins, whether or not I got the binding done.  But I had a bit of time left so...
To make the binding, I once again, went back to what I'd seen Jenny from Missouri Quilt Co do and pressed the 2 1/2" strip in half, wrong sides together.  I rolled it up to keep it neat and tidy and grabbed the quilt to have a go at this.

All you do is sew along, 1/4" (you can see why I'd like a foot with a guide) with the seams together: right side of the quilt and right side of the binding.  And sew... and sew... and sew...

Once that was done I breathed a little easier.  I could now bring it along and it wouldn't fall apart as the edges were sewed.  BUT... I did have 50 minutes till party time.  So, I grabbed my needle and got started!

I was able to do about 1/3 of the binding before having to head out.  I tucked it in the bag and zipped off.  After we finished, I grabbed it BACK and went home to finish! 

And finish I did!  YAY!

Here's the completed quilt - I love the pink batiks from the Tonga Treats and LOVE LOVE the batik border!  

What fun that was and she enjoyed it, as well.

Have a wonderful, creative day!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Monday Mining: Let's think spring.. I BEG of YOU!!

I'm back to scouring the Internet for cool ideas for you all... and I thought thinking spring would be a GREAT way to jump in!

We are BEGGING for spring here in NH... we all love the change of seasons, but the 6 months of winter thing this year?  Done... I am sooo done!  Bring on the sunshine, flowers and warmer weather!

So... in honor of the idea I will sacrifice some time to bring you spring... or at least things that make me THINK of it!

If you have any others, add them to the Linky tool below - we'd ALL love to see them!

One of the plants that always makes me think of spring is the pussy willow.  Sometimes you can find them out and about, I also found them available on-line, at Nature Hills Nursery.
They are one of those plants who are able to peek their way out through what the weather here in NH brings!
*Image from Nature Hills Nursery
Anyone else have a bit of mud... and lots of it?  Over at Our Neck of the Woods they came up with a GREAT way to deal with it!  Take a stroll over there and see how they made this!
*Image from Our Neck of the Woods

How about these adorable snacks (and LOADS more ideas!!) over at Spoonful?
*Image from Spoonful

Are you a list checking sort of person?  Have some kiddos you need to entertain?  Zip over to Real Simple for 50 Fun Spring Activities!
*Image from Real Simple
I found another great list of ideas over at - yup... I'm a memere, so I'll be checking THAT list!
*Image from

Here's a sweet (as in adorable) idea for a table runner from Country Living.  I need to find some hankies!
*From Country

Doing some scrapbooking?  Head over to for some creative ideas to get you rolling.
*From Debbie

Butterflies certainly speak of spring.  I never thought of tying together one of these paper globe shades and some colorful butterflies!  Well done, Martha!
*from Martha

Spring means planting.  My friend Amy had an idea like this a few weeks ago on her blog, but she used just newspaper (see here): These are done with paper and TP tubes for starting seeds!
I hope this gets you started thinking warm thoughts!

Speaking of warm thoughts... do you have an idea you'd like to share?  Add it to our Linky Tool below!

I'll share a paper banner I made for the front door tomorrow!  It's springy - I promise!

Happy creating,