December 30, 2011

UFO Challenge 2012 preview

Welcome!  As promised here is my UFO of choice for the month of January!

This would be my dresden plate quilt in Bliss.  I did some work on this yesterday and am excited beyond all get out to get this baby done!  My inspiration was a quilt posted on the Moda Bake Shop, I've decided to make it bigger, using 2 charm packs instead of the 1 the recipe calls for.  I might even toss in some Ruby on this one too! 

Link up if you're going to play along!!!  Remember, the official start date is January 6th!

December 29, 2011

UFO challenge

I have a new challenge for everyone out there in blog land.  The 2012 UFO challenge.  I came up with this after pondering my accountability post and working on some UFOs yesterday.  So, here's how I'm thinking it's gonna work, every month you pick one project you will work on, preferably working it to total completion, if not, a completed top will work too, I say that because I'm running super low on batting so a complete finish for me might not happen, this way it's fair for everyone.  Each week on Friday I'll post a link up for everyone to post their progress, the final Friday of the month will be the 'showcase' to show off your finished project!  

Each month there will be a giveaway for all those who submit a finished quilt and/or quilt top!  To be included in the giveaway you MUST have your link posted no later than 11:59pm the Sunday immediately following the final Friday of the month.  For example, the final Friday in January is the 27th, entries must be submitted by the 29th at 11:59pm.  

So, the requirements in list form:
-completed quilt or quilt top (this includes any borders!!)
-linked up no later than the Sunday after the last Friday of the month

Not a requirement but could be fun, make it a project that has been collecting dust in your closet for longer than you'd like.  I'll unveil the UFO of my choice tomorrow, along with a Mr. Linky widget so we can start collecting participants.  UFO Challenge officially begins January 6th!!!

Yes, it's that simple!!  If there is enough interest I'll start a flickr group to post finishes in as well, if I do that you must link here to be entered in the giveaway.  Then, come next December at the close of this UFO challenge 

This is an attempt for me to get crafty again and to get back into quilty blogging :D 

If you'd like to sponsor a giveaway use the contact me button at the top of the page to let me know :)  Giveaway item must be quilting related and not exceed a value of $20.  

Feel free to grab the graphic at the top of this post for your blog!

December 24, 2011

tis the season!

Hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas and that Santa brings you all that you want and more :)

November 15, 2011


Bloggy and technology freedom that is.

I've enjoyed being away.  I missed all the market posts and the ones I did see I wasn't wowed by.  Maybe some Etchings will work it's way to my stash, maybe not.  I can't say there's too much I saw that I had to have. My wallet is thankful :)

I got my phone all figured out.  Apparently you have to dig to find the 'sync picasa' part then uncheck it and yay! no more picasa pics.

I didn't feel guilty for clearing 160 unread items out of my reader without looking at them.

I actually have made some progress on a couple quilts I want to get done sooner rather than later.

I unsubscribed from some blogs that weren't worth my time (read overly popular crafty recap style blogs).

I had my computer away for a week, didn't open it for anything, the last time I opened it was for my previous post.  

I kinda like it.

I'll go be creative on my own, I've got plenty of fabric to keep me company :)

And my kids, my kitty, my family, and my boyfriend.  

November 4, 2011


Really sometimes just sucks!  Everything these days is linked.  Use your facebook to sign in here, link your yahoo to your google.  Does is ever end?!  Now my biggest beef is that I got a new cell phone, ALL of my blog photos are now in my phone AND I DON'T WANT THAT!!!!  I can't figure out how the heck to get them off there because of course, it won't let me delete them.  My old phone and my new are both android, my old phone didn't do this.  I'm beyond frustrated right now.  I want my blog photos deleted off my phone.  I want to delete my yahoo account but can't because it'll delete my flickr account so I'll lose ALL my contacts, photos, favorites, groups, etc.  Yahoo is the devil, now I'm stuck with it because starting over would just suck. WHY WHY WHY must everything be linked these days?!

October 26, 2011

ISO of mini charm packs

First off, holy cow!  Has it really been almost two months?!  Sheesh.  Well, obviously not much sewing or quilting going on.  I did make some leg warmers once I got my serger back.  Needed a tune up and now works flawlessly!  Still a major PITA getting tension right and such but I think I got it figured out.  

Here is where I need your help.  I'm looking for mini charm packs, the 2.5" squares, of LITTLE APPLES and RUBY.  I'd just like one of each and am willing to pay $5 each plus reasonable shipping.  If you can help me I'd be SOOOOOO appreciative!  I'm wanting them for my hexagon quilt.  You can find my email in the 'contact' box above or if you're reading this in a reader my email is audreyj84 (at) gmail .

In some personal news, I have a new nephew!!!  Oliver Matthew was born 9/11/11 at 11:11am, weighed 6lbs 11ozs, and was 20 inches long.  I think someones lucky number is gonna be 11!  I finally got to meet him this past weekend and he's just as sweet as can be.  And he's got the tiniest little hands, reminds me of my daughter when she was a baby.  Here he is with my son and my daughter.  They finally have cousins!

My boyfriend and I are doing very well.  We met each other just over a year ago, never thought I'd find someone so awesome so quickly after leaving my knucklehead ex husband.  I can't say enough about how awesome he is.  Such a huge difference in how a relationship works when both people involved work at it.

And I will definitely be back with some Halloween pictures!  My daughter is going to be a bumblebee(or bunglebee if you ask my son) and my son is going to be a horse.  

September 4, 2011

accountability...aka WIPs

I'm sure I'm not the only one with a bucket load of WIPs, or UFOs, or dust catchers, or space eaters.  So, in my quest to be a little bit more frugal with my craft budget I've decided to face the projects that are WIPs.

So here goes!

This one I've grown to hate.  I love the Plume by Tula Pink but have grown to hate the pattern, the squaring up of the edges is just tedious.  I pull it out to work on it and get so bored/disgusted with it that it just goes back into it's box. 

This one I still love but assembled the first block wrong and just put it away.  I'd love to get working on it again.  It was supposed to be last years Christmas quilt but didn't quite make it.  Maybe this year? 

Oh, the Dresden!!  I used my 3 stashed Bliss charm packs for this one.  I love it!  I really need to get a Kona color card because choosing the solid backing is what has thwarted progress on this one, plus pressing all the itty bitty petals!  I bought some Kona Celadon to audition, not sure if I want to do green or aqua or red or pink or white or...well, yea you get it, I'm indecisive!

Farmer's Wife, I've abandoned.  I'm wanting to try Lori's  rotary cutting tutorials and maybe that'll kick start my desire to finish it.

Tumbler quilt.  I used Hideaway for it and my son has told me he loves it and wants it to be his.  I smell a Christmas present!

Then there is this one.  It's a double hourglass that I started really just to try out the pattern and I have to say I kinda like it even though I only have 2 blocks done.  I used a honey bun for this so they squares are on the smallish side.  This really has no priority just a fun one.

All the photos are projects in their present day state.  It's embarrassing!  Although, being that I have no a/c in the majority of my apartment and Chicago has been nearing the 9th circle of hell heat wise all summer sewing has been the last thing on my mind!

And please ignore my ironing board cover, I know it's just wretched!

I also tried my hands at paper piecing and these are the results. 

The top is obviously the circle of geese and the bottom are mini paper pieces from Artisania.  I'm going to do the gnome and mushroom again but have the gnome on the right side and make a pillow or something.

August 30, 2011

Oy vey!

No blog posts because not much has been going on!  I finished a quilt but it's been repossessed by my daughter so no pics just yet.  I had to replace a brake caliper on my car because it seized up and started smoking.  Yeah, wonderful.  Just thankful it's something the boyfriend and I could do so it cost me a whopping $60 for the part.  Not complaining here! 

School started and my sweet daughter is now in 3rd grade!!  Seems like just yesterday I was sending her to preschool :( 

I have plans to do the Saltwater Taffy pattern from Fig Tree in Curio by Basic Grey for Moda.  I had planned on doing it in Fandango but it just doesn't seems like the right fit.  Lots of HSTs and pinwheels to start so should be relatively easy. 

And I realized I don't have a Halloween quilt!  I have a bunch of Halloween FQs so I'm going to do a 2x2 layout of the Swoon blocks and make a throw.  Just waiting for the Kona Charcoal I ordered for the background. 

My boyfriend is going to Mexico for his sisters wedding in October so I need something to do.  Wish I could've gone with I just couldn't afford it :( It'll keep my occupied so that's a good thing!

I also have a little nephew on the way that can make his appearance any day now!  My sister is due 9/10/11 (how awesome would that birthday be?!) and wanted me to crochet some things for her so that's the number one project on my list.  Baby stuff whips up quickly so they're almost done :D

Going to finish the baby stuff up tonite so hopefully I can ship it by the end of the week.  That would be absolutely awesome!


Totally forgot to draw a winner!  So sorry!!! has chosen #3 which belongs to Deborah in Atlanta!!

Deborah was my partner in the H2H charity challenge and I couldn't think of a sweeter person to win!  Congrats Deborah!

August 14, 2011


The wonderful people over at My Memories have graciously offered to give away a copy of their My Memories Suite v2 of digital scrapbooking software!  I've loved scrapbooking for a while I just don't have the drive to do paper scrapping anymore so honestly it's been pushed by the wayside and with a couple hard drive failures, a nasty divorce, a couple moves my digi stuff just hasn't made it's way to my new awesome computer.  I love my adobe CS4 don't get me wrong but there are times when you just want to quickly make a page and it photoshop is over kill.

I've had the luxury of playing with the My Memories software and I must say, it's awesome! Since I like lists when it comes to new things I'll just do it that way :p

-Tells you areas of your page that might be cut off when bound into books
-FULLY customizable pre loaded templates
-drag and drop photo additions
-Customizable embellishments
-LOTS of preloaded goodies
-Ridiculously easy to navigate
-Previews of all changes
-COLOR PICKER!!!!  I don't know about y'all but that's one of my very favorite tools in photoshop, it's not as sophisticated but it works very well for matching elements on your pages.
-You can design your own page from start to finish using all your own elements.
-'Album Check' feature checks your pages for errors, including spelling!
-You name your album from the start, no naming it at the end.
-Loads all the fonts you have in your computer to the software for use
-Has a share option, you can print, export to jpeg, print professionally, or share on a variety of multimedia devices. 

-Some of the elements are cartoonish
-You must still use a photo editing program to edit your photos before hand, this only gives you a red eye fix, any other issues such as brightness, contrast, b&w, must all be done in a photo editing program
-Can't change the sizes of photos to a specific dimension, it's a transform style box where you drag the corners and sides.
-I'm not finding a way to change the sizes, the only options are square, portrait, and landscape, for the create your own page.
-I'm not a fan of the export to .jpeg feature.  Way too many steps and it saves a duplicate in it's own folder.  
-Not really a con but you have to make sure your photos are rotated before you add them to your layout.  You can rotate it on your work 'surface' but when you drop it into a a picture template it'll flip back to the original angle.

Overall this is great digital scrapbooking software and I'm happy I've been able to give it a try.  This would also be a great way to get kids into scrapbooking, so super simple for them to create albums of their very own!

My Memories has a bunch of awesome stuff too.  They have guestbooks, quick pages, dollar stuff, calendar elements, and not to mention FREEBIES! The page above was created using all pre loaded stuff and took me about 7 mins to do.  The only thing I did was drag and drop my photos. 

I realize this is mainly a quilting blog but this is a great way to showcase your completed projects.  Create a page with all the details add a few photos and print!  It can be as simple or as complex as you want.

Now for the awesome part!

You can enter to win a copy of My Memories Suite scrapbook software!  You may enter up to 3 times, you must leave a comment telling me you have done each step, one comment = one entry so don't leave one comment telling me you've done all 3 things because then you'll only have one shot at entering!

So, to enter:
1) go to the kits page at My Memories and tell me your favorite kit!
2) blog about this giveaway and be sure to leave me a link!
3) tell me one hobby you have that you have neglected!

It's that simple!  And, if you don't win, or don't want to wait around to win, or would just like the software they have a coupon code for all of you as well.  It will save you $10 off the cost of My Memories Suite AND you will get $10 in store credit!  Add the software to your cart and at checkout enter the coupon code STMMMS43707.

I will use the wonderful to pick a winner on Wednesday night 8/17/2011, all comments *MUST* be received by NOON CST on 8/17/2011 to be eligible to win.

NOW OPEN UNTIL 8/24/2011 11:59pm CST

July 31, 2011

Special Thanks

I have to give a very special thanks to Sharon at Vroomans Quilts for being my angel in the H2H charity quilt swap.  Things got real busy real quick, with a move smack in the middle of it didn't help matters much either.  When I started I just did a real simple strip quilt hoping to make it quick yet interesting.  I used strips in varying widths from 1 1/2" to 6" got the main part done then life got in my way and I wasn't going to have enough time to get it all done.  Sharon stepped up to be my angel.  I sent her what I had done and she turned it into this beauty:

The middle part is what I sent her and she added the brown and teal prints.  It turned out so beautiful and the teal just makes it really pop.  I can't thank Sharon enough for bailing me out!  Head on over to her blog and check out all of her beautiful quilts! 

*disclaimer* I can't be held responsible if you try that amazing looking funnel cake recipe that's posted on her blog either :p

July 20, 2011


9 different quilts I want to attempt.  MUST finish all UFOs though before I start making any headway on any of these desired quilts!!

1. Double Wedding Ring quilt, 2. st on park bench 2, 3. Baby desden plates!, 4. Postage Stamp Quilt Top, 5. Not available, 6. spiderweb selvedge quilt close up, 7. Swoon- one block baby quilt, 8. Figgy Pudding log cabin quilt, 9. Single Girl quilt top

To be completely fair, I've already started on the dresden plate quilt, I have all the petals made they just remain as petals though.  I also printed templates for the double wedding ring as there is a quilt along going on at the plaid scottie, HOWEVER, I have only printed them, nothing else further has been done.  And I also have the Swoon pattern, nothing even remotely set aside for that.  And the snail trail has already been paired with my DS fabrics from Joanns.   Good ideas can remain in a book :)

Oh and yes there is a Dear Jane in there, lets just say that will remain a pipe dream until the FWQAL is over!!

July 17, 2011

sheets for backings?

I've seen this time and time again on quilting blogs, using bed sheets for backing.  I need almost 9 yards for a quilt backing, it's about a queen size so I'd probably get a king sized flat sheet.  Now I have a few questions, what thread count?  All the fabric in my quilt is high quality quilting fabric, not too concerned about price because whatever thread count it'll be cheaper than spending close to $100 on backing fabric.  Prewash the sheet or not?  None of the fabrics in the quilt top are prewashed so I'm gonna guess that's a no. 

I have a bunch of joann coupons I'd love to use and gotta get the batting (buying packaged for this monster!) so I'd love to get the sheet too and get crackin on quilting this beast!

July 13, 2011

Final Wishes

It's been quiet on the blog only because I've been incredibly busy with work, losing power with a massive storm, and life.  But I wanted to pop in for a minute to reflect on something that happened at work. 

Most of our business is nursing homes.  Patients that are too sick to stay at the nursing home but not emergent enough to require a 911 response.  We had been busy all day, very little down time to be had.  We took the break in action as a clue to get dinner because chances are we wouldn't be eating that day if we delayed it any longer.  After eating dinner we just sat in the mall parking lot to relax and take a breather, something we hadn't been able to do all day.  Just as we got comfortable enough to relax a little more our pagers went off.  It was about 930pm, end of shift was midnite. 

We take a look at the information our dispatch gave us, only a chief complaint, abbreviated at that.  SOB, shortness of breath.  No vitals.  That can mean one of two things, the patient is REALLY bad, or the nursing home is lazy and didn't take any for us.  Even worse was the dispatch info was abbreviated, normally that only happens when our dispatch runs out of characters to send the page because of other information. 

It was a lights & sirens response, we get there my partner goes to the room and I stop at the nurses station to get the paperwork.  Nurse hands me a DNR, Do Not Resuscitate order in all of our paperwork.  From listening to the nurse I'm thinking nebulizer en route, then my partner, king of cool, shouts down the hallway.  "We gotta go!"  Crap.  I know it's bad when he's telling me to hurry up.  I get my signatures and sprint down the hallway to our patients room, he looks bad.  He sounds bad.  I catch a glimpse of our patients roommate.  He looks absolutely frightened.  We load up our patient and head for the ambulance.  Shortly after we get there, he stops breathing. 

After respiratory arrest occurs, cardiac arrest isn't far behind.  That held true for our patient.  I flip through my paperwork to find the DNR.  Quick glance at it, it's not valid.  I knew what this patients wishes were, but because the DNR wasn't valid I couldn't honor those wishes.  I was able to get a pulse back rather quickly, but not for long.

Our patients final wishes went out the window all because the DNR wasn't valid.  All it takes is one missing signature or one box not checked to make the DNR invalid.  EMS is authorized to honor a DNR, and trust me, with what we see on the private side, we're more than willing to oblige, not because we don't want to work, but because we know what they will face if in fact they are successfully resuscitated, and it's not a good life.

If someone you love is in a nursing home or is dealing with a terminal illness and wishes to have a DNR status, please please please, make sure their DNR order is valid.  Their final wishes will be honored and they won't face the indignity resuscitation efforts bring. 

(events have been changed so as not to identify anyone in this post)

July 6, 2011

FWQAL update

Week 2 blocks:
The one on the left still needs it's handle, these are blocks 3 & 4 in the book.

Week 3 Blocks:
These are blocks 5 & 6 in the book.

Week 4 Blocks:
Blocks 7 & 8 in the book, the one on the right needs more contrast I think.  I may redo it.

Week 5 Blocks:
Blocks 9 & 10, the one on the right is completely hand pieced!  The one on the left is partially hand pieced.

Week 6 Blocks:
Blocks 11 & 12, fussy cut the monkeys in the one on the right, the one on the left has more contrast in person. 

I bit the bullet and got internet for my apartment.  I thought I could get by without but alas, I couldn't.  And of course I couldn't do the self install because that would be too easy right?!  So I had to wait for Comcast to show up and figure it all out.  Turns out they gave me a modem that they had screwed up in their system so the cable guy replaced it with a top of the line one.  He is also a fellow paramedic I found out so he gave me the hook up.  We like to take care of our own!

July 1, 2011

Freebie! Quilting Subway Art

I was putzing around in photoshop and made this: 

There are two colors, two sizes.  The above in 8.5x11 and 5.5x8.5 as well as both sizes in black and white. 

Here are the download links:
5.5x8.5 Black & White subway art
8.5x11 Black & White subway art
5.5x8.5 Bright subway art
8.5x11 Bright subway art

Enjoy!  All are pdf format so they're ready to go!

June 27, 2011

a sigh of relief

My car is becoming VERY unreliable.  It took me 6 hrs to get it started yesterday and 1 hr to get it started today.  It *HATES* starting in the hot weather, winter it LOVES.  Once I get it started I can't turn it off because it might not start again for a long time.  Errands have to be short and I have to park the car close to the bldg so I can peek on it.  Not cool (said in my best Gru voice). 

I knew I'd have a hard time getting financed because my ex didn't like to pay bills and of course ALL the bills were in my name.  His drinking habit started about the time he took over the finances, he took them over because I was paying them.  Imagine that!

So I knew I'd have a hard time getting financed.  I thought he'd screwed me for life.  I went to my bank first and got declined.  Went to a buy here pay here place, declined.  Frustrated I called my mom to vent.  She suggested I go to a local Chevy dealer that boasts no one turned down.  What did I have to lose?  I got APPROVED!!!!!!  Holy hell I thought I'd jump up and kiss the finance guy and the salesman.  The salesman explained that I need to have a $1500 down payment and my max loan is $5000.  BUT I got approved!!!!!  Turns out I keep getting declined because I have insufficient history, not because of bad trade lines.  You have NO idea what a relief that was to hear.  It's not as good as having established credit, but definitely better than bad credit.  They're even giving me $500 for my hunk of junk!!!  And I do have the rest for the down payment.  Oh, I'm so excited!!!!  Now I'll no longer have to deal with this:
  • No working windows beside drivers side and sunroof
  • No working a/c
  • No working speedometer or odometer
  • Using a small hole my dad drilled to spray starter fluid in to get it to start
  • Only drivers side wiper working
  • No working washer fluid sprayers
  • No more tiny (1 bottle/yr) power steering fluid leak
Such a sigh of relief.  Also don't have to replace the tail light that got busted because someone smashed into me in front of my apartment building while I was getting my mail the other day.  How's that for a run on sentence???  Yea that's a post for another day.  I'm still seething from that. 

Life is starting to look up.  I'll gladly sacrifice fabric for some wheels.  I just gotta get me a bolt of Kona white and I'll be set!  ;)

June 19, 2011

Farmers Wife Quilt Along Week #1

I'm a little behind due to my book just getting here on Friday but last nite I whipped up the first two blocks:

#1 Attic Windows
#2 Autumn Tints

I'm going to wait to square these up til all the blocks are done.  These go SO quickly it'll be easy to play catch up while working on other projects too!

June 18, 2011

the "dumbing down of quilting"

I saw this post about the "dumbing down of quilting".  First off, I don't particularly agree with everything that was said but in fueled enough fire within me to say something.

Please read the above linked post before reading my response.  This was posted in March so I'm sure a few of you have seen it.  Also I'm not really addressing anything in order.

I like simple quilts because I love the thrill of a completed project.  Trust me I have PLENTY of my own UFOs that are considered simple.  Traditional blocks made with traditional fabrics don't strike my fancy very much, but once put with modern fabrics it opens my eyes.  Hence my desire to do a dresden plate or a snail trail.  NOT patterns I'd typically choose because they're generally traditional but with the right fabrics they appeal to me.  I love trendy fabrics, I love decorating trends.  I'm not going to put quilts with Holly Hobby style fabrics in my home because it's not my style. 

She also states that a quilter is a beginner because she "can't perfect a 1/4" seam" or because "she can't work with triangles" or because "she only makes wonky blocks because that's all she can do".  I have to HIGHLY disagree with everything above.  I'm not a stickler about the 1/4" seam for my own projects.  I usually end up a threads width shy of it, so scant, which is ok because it gives me room to square up my blocks.  As long as my blocks align and the project works out in the general size I'm happy.  I don't much like triangles because I don't care for bias edges.  I end up using starch to keep the stretching down to a minimum which gunks up my ironing board (and usually my cat b/c she likes to 'help' me press & she doesn't like it :p).  Plus, I haven't really found a pattern that I've wanted to try that involves triangles.  Julie @ Jaybird Quilts did a GREAT tutorial using jelly rolls to make hexagon blocks out of 60* triangles without Y seams and the results are very awesome, however, I'm not a triangle kinda gal!  I'll probably end up making a small doll quilt sized one with scraps just to try it but it's not a project I'd love to take on, just because triangles aren't my thing.  To each her/his own.  As for the wonky thing.  Yea I'm in the camp that that ship has sailed but some people like it and THAT'S OK!!!  My brain doesn't do the whole wonky quilting thing, tried it, failed. 

I used to hate making HSTs because I didn't have a good way to make them.  It's MUCH easier to make them from 2 squares than to make them from 2 triangles.  Beginners might not know that which is why they may have trouble with it.  We were all beginners at one point, we all learn new techniques.  There is NOTHING wrong with screwing it up royally then learning a much easier way.  It's a  LEARNING process as is everything that is new to us.  For some it may click quicker than others but that's ok too, we're individuals, no two people do the same thing at the same pace. 

The writer also dogs a bit on modern fabrics.  I'm not one for Civil War repros.  I can get on board with the 30s sugar sack prints that are bright and vibrant but I love the 'modern' prints that are out today.  It's what appeals to ME.  I use what makes ME happy.  If something is not your style that's ok too.  I absolutely love how classic patterns look with modern fabrics, makes it look like a whole new pattern. I for one never would've considered doing the Farmer's Wife Quilt Along until I started seeing it in modern fabrics.  The quilt just ain't my cup of tea as the book shows it, but I'm excited to see it finished with fabrics that *I* like.  Cutesy florals aren't for everyone, modern fabrics aren't for everyone.   

Sure there are patterns being sold out there that are remakes of classic patterns.  Parasols by Fig Tree comes to mind but the pattern uses no triangles and is layer cake friendly, every snail trail pattern I've come across boasts neither one of those.  So yes, while it may be a remake of a classic, it show us how to make something using new techniques.  How many times has Hollywood remade a classic?  Sometimes it's better, sometimes it's worse, but either way, classic or remake will appeal to different people.  Quilts are no different.

She also kinda dogs on precuts too.  Sure they have cute names and I'm sure that's a reason they're huge sellers, but they also take a LOT of prep work out of a project, which for me, I don't mind one bit.  The quicker I get through the boring cutting part and onto sewing, the happier I am.  Again, they appeal to some and not others and that too is ok! 

The writer does try 'soften' the blow by saying that you should get out of your element and try new things, and I completely agree.  Just because people don't post about it doesn't mean they don't try.  I don't have an unlimited quilting budget, I'm not going to take on an entire project and waste fabric for something that I may not like.  I buy mostly Moda fabrics and we all know that it's not cheap.  

No one is reinventing the wheel, I like to think of it as making improvements to the wheel, or adding more spokes. 

So, moral of the story, do what makes YOU happy.  If the quilt is a gift, do what will make the recipient happy.  As the saying goes, you can only please one person per day and today isn't your day, well that's EVERYDAY in the internet.  Personally, I don't think quilting is being "dumbed down" at all.  This whole modern quilting craze has inspired many people to quilt that may not have before.  Isn't that what this is all about?  People coming together to enjoy a hobby?  If you don't like the modern quilting craze, turn your head the other way, it really is just that simple.  No need to knock others just because it's not your cup of tea.  You do have the choice to not read the blog, buy the pattern, look at the pictures, join the flickr group, etc.  Exercise that option.

June 13, 2011

Update on my weekend of sewing!

So, I managed to get a LOT done in the past few days.  I'm really missing the boyfriend, didn't think I'd miss him as much as I do.  I didn't do a lick on Friday b/c his company was dismissed for a few hours in the evening and we went to dinner then went for a walk in the park.


Friday 6/10
-Cut pieces for 2 tops, should go quickly as I'm cutting both from jelly rolls  DONE!
-Finish piecing my bee top, only 3 rows left to piece!  DONE!
-Get caught up on bee blocks DONE!
-Start piecing my H2H quilt DONE! (still have to finish piecing it, but I'm 75 % done)

Saturday 6/11 (after work)
-Work on piecing my 12 days of Christmas quilt from last year.  Using KarrieLyne's charm pack quilt along. DIDN'T HAPPEN :(

Sunday 6/12
-Finish piecing at least 2 UFOs DIDN'T HAPPEN :(

Monday 6/13
-Start cutting my DS fat quarters for a snail trail quilt DIDN'T HAPPEN :(  but I realized that I don't have any solid to pair with it so it was pointless cutting the FQs

And I lied about not buying any fabric.  I went to a LQS while waiting for the boyfriend to meet me in the area for dinner and got a 1/2 yard of Monaluna blenders on red (have a few other pieces from this line to make potholders) and a 1/4 yard of a fabric to match a little kit I bought for the binding.

The bee quilt flimsy done!  It's not the best photo but you get the general idea.  This was a beast to finish!  Blocks are 15 1/2" unfinished and there are 36 blocks, so yea, HUGE!  Now to just have enough money for the backing.  (Ignore the mess on my bedside tables, apparently I use a lot of cups for water)

This was what I had to buy binding for.  My daughter and I worked on this together and she wanted the binding to match the backing so I really lucked out when I found some randomly sitting on the shelf at a different LQS than I originally purchased the kit at. It's only about 12" finished, my daughter is thrilled with it! 

And I bought these two patterns.  The one on the left is Swoon from Thimble Blossoms and I had to buy it after seeing all the awesome blocks made with this!  Best part is it's all made from HSTs and Flying Geese, blocks are 24" too so super huge quilt (I apparently didn't learn my lesson :p ).  The one on the left is Saltwater Taffy from Fig Tree Quilts.  I've been loving it ever since twin fibers had been posting about it.  What I really loved about it was it said no templates or specialty rulers.  It kinda lies, there *IS* a template you have to trace and cut from the pattern to trim the corners, but no expensive ruler to buy. 

I also decided I wanted to make the boyfriend a quilt.  He has been VERY indulgent in going to the LQS lately and the shop has a sample of the Moda Quilt of Valor hanging and he loved the pattern, the fabrics not so much so we came up with a plan to alter it.  There will be no rows of pieced stars, instead one of the rows is going to be replaced with an Army print from Robert Kaufman, one will be replaced with a Marine (he was active duty Marines for 4 years) print from Robert Kaufman, and one will be replaced with a strip of all the ribbons he's earned in his military career.  I'm going to see if I can get his Class A from his dad while he's gone so I can match all the solids to the colors in the ribbons.  Even though he knows about it I want to make it as much of a surprise as I can.  Hoping to make it a Christmas gift.  Also, we're going to do a red star print where the red floral stripes are in the quilt.  I drew up the ribbons on graph paper and showed them to him and he was in love with how great they looked.  

Enough babbling, I gotta get up at 330am for work and it's 1035pm right now. 

June 9, 2011

time to use up the stash!

I'm putting myself on a self imposed stash use only restriction.  The boyfriend is leaving for his 2 week commitment to the National Guard this weekend so I have all that time to sew!  Good thing because I *REALLY* need to use up my stash!  I can't wait to get started on all the projects I have in mind. 

So, who's with me?! 

My Goals:
Friday 6/10
-Cut pieces for 2 tops, should go quickly as I'm cutting both from jelly rolls
-Finish piecing my bee top, only 3 rows left to piece!
-Get caught up on bee blocks
-Start piecing my H2H quilt

Saturday 6/11 (after work)
-Work on piecing my 12 days of Christmas quilt from last year.  Using KarrieLyne's charm pack quilt along. 

Sunday 6/12
-Finish piecing at least 2 UFOs

Monday 6/13
-Start cutting my DS fat quarters for a snail trail quilt

I'll update my progress Monday night.

June 3, 2011

happy birthday to me!

I decided to spoil myself this year for my birthday.  It's my first birthday free from the wrath of my ex-husband so I thought I deserved some goodies :)

So this is what I bought for myself:
2 charm packs of jovial and 2 charm packs of moda bella solid in snow.  Even though I'm still working on last years Christmas quilt I bought stuff to make this years.  I'm going to do HSTs with these, SO much that you can do with these blocks.

I also added to my central park collection.  I don't want to reveal exactly what I'm planning on doing with this one but it is something you have seen before.  I had the charm pack for a while and added a jelly roll, half yard of the flowers, and 3 yards of the zoo print on white.

I also got a jelly roll of modern workshop.  I need to get a jelly roll of moda bella solid in white for my project in mind on this one.  Revamping a project I've already showed y'all once before. 
The prints in this one are definitely something I'm going to have to get used to.  The colors aren't something I'd typically put together so this will be fun to work with.  Also ordered a yard of one of the prints for a binding, going to attempt a bias binding on this project, who knows, maybe I'll like it!

Overall it was a good day!  The boyfriend treated me to not only lunch, but dinner and ice cream too!  Very sweet of him since money is tight for him.  Tomorrow my daughter and I are going to work on a cute little rainbow 12" quilt.  I'll show finished pics when it's done, I'm so excited to do this with her!

May 20, 2011

17 days?!

Can't believe it's been that long! 

I've been SUPER busy moving and getting my apartment all set up, work has been crazy, kids have been wonderful, and the boyfriend, yea, I'll admit he's pretty awesome too! 

I've finished painting my dining/sewing room and as soon as all the boxes are out of it I'll post pics, it looks so awesome.  Next up is the kids room, so I'm going to hit up Lowe's and see if I can find a nice neutral color for their room.  I do have a bit of a paint review, Behr's all in one paint and primer SUCKS.  Waste of money truly.  Definitely doesn't cover as well as some other brands I've used.  My top two favorites being Valspar by Lowe's and Glidden.  I've never been a real fan of Behr so I'm not shocked I hate it. 

Work?  Oh, you mean the job I love that just sucks all my energy out of me?  Yea.  I'm FINALLY cleared on the ventilator so I get to run vent calls now which is awesome.  Bit more into the quilting budget.  I was also asked recently if I was interested in becoming a preceptor for my EMS system.  In our system you have to work with a preceptor for a minimum of 7 days to show your competency with skills and standing orders before you're given the OK to function with others already in the system.  I feel completely blown away by this!  I'll most likely accept because it's not often they come to you asking to become a preceptor.  And I've also been busy doing paramedic students practicals, evaluating them and basically making sure they know there stuff.  I have to say I kinda like the teaching aspect!  Never will you pull me off the streets to teach full time but I'm loving it as a side gig!

My kids are just awesome.  There isn't much more to say other than they're 2 of the best kids ever (I'm totally biased tho!).  They're so sweet and SO incredibly helpful.  They helped me unpack their toys and stuff without even arguing with me and were so eager to help.  I'm pretty sure they love the new apartment.  My daughter is in softball now and isn't liking it very much.  She says it's boring.  Such is being 7 I guess!  My son is a total chatter box!  All he does is talk, and he's getting so good at it too.  I love holding conversations with him, nothing like a 3 year old mind!  He loves trains, and trucks, and puzzles, and cars.  But he hates the potty!  I may just have to scream if this child isn't out of diapers soon.  And him being with his dad most of the time is an absolute disaster.  I had him *thisclose* to being potty trained when the judge gave him custody (all because I have a job). 

The boyfriend is great!  He has some good news on the job front so keep your fingers crossed for him.  He's been unemployed for almost 18 mos and he's starting to get down in the dumps so I'm hoping and praying that everything works out.  Right now he's about 6 hrs away playing Army boy, can't wait to see him when he gets back :)  We have season 3 of Army Wives to get crackin' on!

So that's my update, Sunday is going to be dedicated to sewing.  GOTTA get bee blocks done!  I'm slackin!

May 3, 2011

Hands 2 Help Charity Quilt

Didn't get around to updating on Easter weekend so here goes!  My partner and I decided to just pick out fabrics and make a quilt with them to save $$ on postage and she arranged for a wonderful woman to long arm quilt our quilts!  I'm so stoked!  All of this came from my stash and is such a random group of fabrics that work surprisingly well together. 

Check out Hands 2 Help!

This is what I picked out:
So partner what do you think???? 

Oh and don't mind my kitty, Petunia, she's recovering from getting spayed, she was rather ticked at me for a while but is now stuck at my side.  Love that girl!

May 2, 2011

wait, what's that I see there?!

 Yep!  I got my own digs!  Now, it's not spectacular, needs a bunch of paint, carpets are blue, but guess what, it's mine, all mine!  No more tip toeing around my mother not knowing if she'll blow up at me for breathing wrong, no more being stuck in my room, and I *finally* have a permanent spot for my sewing machine!  Oh I'm so stoked you have no idea!

This is the first apartment I've had on my own.  I've never lived alone, I moved straight in with my ex husband at 18 from my parents house.  It scares me to death but guess what, I have NO one to answer to, no one to consult about decorating issues, and no one to share with.  I also don't have to worry about my food being eaten.  I can't wait to get all my stuff in and show y'all pictures!

Oh and things I've learned so far:
-People are lazy morons to not take outlet covers and switch plates off when they paint.
-People are lazy morons who don't remove old caulk before putting down new stuff.
-People are cheap lazy morons who use flat paint in the kitchen.  Behind the stove.
-People are lazy slobs when they don't clean the carpets.
-People are lazy slobs when they don't vacuum said carpets.

I started painting the dining/sewing room today, it's a gorgeous color!  It's taking more than I expected but that's because the paint that was on the walls was flat and is sucking up the paint.  I cleaned the walls VERY well but that's whatcha get for putting eggshell over a flat I suppose. 

April 27, 2011

fabric shopping is wonderful!

It's a REAL good thing I'm not doing the stash report!

I tried getting all the Denyse Schmidt prints from Joann's but was only successful in getting 3 yards of the pink dots and a yard and a half of one of the blues so I bought a FQ bundle on Etsy:

It was only $55 for all 21 prints which works out to $2.62 per FQ, which was worth it for me, I didn't have to hunt down Joann's to go find it all, I checked 3 stores and only found 3 bolts of the stuff total.

Next, I got some cute fabric to make potholders and such from my LQS, I've been eying it for a while so I went ahead and 3 FQs and a 1/2 yard of the toasters:

Fabric is from Robert Kaufmann and is from the Metro Cafe line.  It's all super cute!  I plan on pairing it with some red and aqua solids from my stash.

This little gem came straight from the Basic Grey website itself.  I want to think it was mis-priced because it was only $6.80 and most of the honey buns on their site are around $16.

This is a Sultry honey bun and this line is no longer available.  Thinking of doing Mini Jelly Filled from Thimbleblossoms.  We shall see!

And I got a yard of Bliss tulips in the red colorway for my bee quilt.  My LQS still has some yardage available so I pounced before it's gone forever, it seems to be nowhere online.
This will be the binding.  I was going to go lighter on the binding but it seemed to need something strong to box it all in.

So if my math is right just over 13.5 yards in!  Stash busting time MUST begin yesterday!  The only thing I'm going to allow myself to buy is backing for my bee quilt.  I don't have large enough quantities to do the back for that.  

changes are good, right??

I've decided to change things up round these parts just a teensy smidge.  It's a little name change, not for the blog, but for patterns.  I realize I only have one created thus far so maybe I'm putting the cart before the horse but I have a bunch more in progress, part of the reason I'm not around much.  So, now I'm introducing:

It's just got a more professional feel than pickles & bacon and seems more timeless.  Why seventeen-ten?  It's the date of each of my kiddos births.  My daughter being born on the 17th of the month and my son the 10th.  Not sure if I'm going to do a separate website or blog just yet, I'm going to hold off on that until I get more out there.

April 23, 2011

Its hard...

To hate your job when this is the view from your 'office'. Just sayin!
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April 17, 2011

such a klutz!

Wish I could've been doing more sewing.  I REALLY need to get my March bee blocks out and haven't had much time to work on it.  Now I have April bee blocks to do too! 

Sadly, I won't get much sewing time in.  Why?  My dingleberry klutzy self managed to sprain my ankle closing a door.  I was standing at the back of my ambulance, just loaded the stretcher into the back went to step to the left to grab the door to close it, stepped wrong and twisted my ankle and felt a bunch of popping.  I hobbled back to the passenger seat (it was my partners turn to drive) and I could already feel my ankle swelling in my boot.  I had my partner grab me an ice pack and when I went to take off my boot it was just intense pain over the top of my ankle.  I hemmed and hawed over going to the ER, yanno, because us medical field types HATE being the patient, we really suck at it.  After about 15 mins my partner told me we were going so we called up our supervisor and went out of service.  Three hours in the ER later, no breaks just a sprain. 

My ankle didn't turn any pretty colors or swell too awful much later on and I think that has a lot to do with the fact I put ice on it right away, plus, I'm not an easy bruiser, it takes a LOT to get me to bruise.  Apparently the new treatment for sprains is to resume normal activity ASAP so I got sent back to work, didn't run any calls after it happened but I did yesterday and it was challenging, my ankle is still a little tender and even with the air cast they gave me.  I have two days off lets hope I can recuperate some more before having to go back!

April 8, 2011

10 quilting habits

As I've evolved as a quilter I've noticed things about my 'style'.  How I choose fabrics, how I do my backs, how I shop, etc.  So, here is what I've learned about my creative process:

1. I love pre-cuts, hands down these are my go to items.  Charm packs, jelly rolls, honey buns, layer cakes, Oh My!  They make things SO much easier in the cutting department.

2. I prefer Kona solids over Bella solids.  I find Kona tends to be softer and sturdier than Bella solids.  I still adore Moda print fabrics though. 

3. I tend to stick to fabrics from all one line.  I love that it's all matched and color coordinated for me.  Takes a lot of the matchy matchy work out of it.

4. I'm not a fan of traditional blocks or all over repeat patterns.  Basket blocks?  No thanks.  Some blocks, however, can be made with modern fabrics and look AMAZING!

5. Applique is beginning to intrigue me but only because I'd love to make a Dear Jane quilt, not too sure that it's something I'd like to tackle had I not seen that quilt.

6. Most of the time I piece my backs.  Usually by the time I get around to using a certain fabric line yardage is becoming scarce for backing options.  Typically I won't piece a back if I can easily fit a quilt on a single piece of yardage.  Or I buy it all at one time and miscalculate how much yardage I'll need especially if I make up the pattern as I go along. 

7. I make my binding strips at 2 1/4" wide.  I love how tightly it hugs the edges of the quilt.  I also tend to do my bindings on the straight grain, me and bias edges are NOT good friends.

8. I hate cutting, see #1.

9. I buy yardage because I like it.  That stuff doesn't get used readily. 

10. I have a quilt I've been working on for almost a year now.  I love the fabric, hate the process of making this quilt.  It's tedious and I hate the technique. 

What are some of your habits??

April 2, 2011

March 31, 2011

origins finish

So I finally got another quilt finished!  This is A Ritzy Cracker Quilt from the moda bake shop.  I used Origins from Basic Grey, this pattern calls for 2 charm packs.  I'm so addicted to that company's stuff it's not even funny.  I absolutely LOVE it, both fabric and paper.  I've made quilts using Figgy Pudding and Blush already.  I have ONE tiny charm pack of Fruitcake I'm saving for something.  But on to pics!

This is the front, I quilted it in a dark brown and left the white parts untouched except for the triangles around the edges, I quilted those just for stability while binding. 

Here you can see the back and binding better.  I was able to find just enough yardage for the back at Burgundy Buttons.  The binding I bought at a LQS and managed to freak out the staff there when I went in to buy it, story is after the last picture :p

And who doesn't love a rolled up quilt??  My daughter LOVED this quilt and was so happy to work on it with me yesterday, she stayed awake until it came out of the dryer so she could sleep with it.  None of my quilts get used until their washed :)

So about the LQS, I was working one day and got a call to a nursing home that ended up being canceled as we were arriving so when we got told to go post at a different hospital I decided to hit up this shop on the way there to see what they had left of Origins since they had a bunch of yardage a few months back.  You would NEVER know this quilt shop exists unless you pay close attention, it's a non-descript house with a small sign that says Quilters Heaven.  My partner and I pull up, in the ambulance of course, walk inside and all the ladies inside started asking if everything was ok!  It sure was, just doing some shopping on shift :)  It was on the way to where we were going to we just popped in.  They quickly recovered from their scare.  **disclaimer: we're allowed to shop on shift, as long as we answer our calls and do what we gotta do they're ok with it.  all they ask is we conduct ourselves in a way that shows the company in a positive way, which we do**

I also entered this quilt in the MBS contest of the month.  Got in in just the nick of time, finished it yesterday, photographed it this morning, uploaded the pics in between calls today and got it posted to flickr.  Talk about waiting til the last minute!

March 23, 2011

Winner :) chose lucky number 3!!! 

That comment belongs to:
Sarah Craig!!

March 16, 2011


Ok, not anything huge but something interesting.

Last summer I made 2 quilts from Hushabye and ended up with a bunch of HST pieces from that a kona bone.

Now theyre gonna go to a lucky winner! Just leave a comment saying what you would make with them! There are 2 sandwich sized bags, one print and one solid. Ill draw a winner Monday!
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March 15, 2011

Playing with this...

When this line came out I wasn't wowed to be honest but a couple chopped up charm packs into tumbler shapes and I am really liking this line! My LQS has yardage of some prints and thats what sold me.

Picture is crappy bc I have poor lighting and it wad taken with my cell phone :)

Ill have the giveaway posted tomorrow!
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March 7, 2011

Giveaway coming soon

I was hoping to have a giveaway posted today but seeing as I'm being KO'd by an end of winter cold its being postponed until later this week. Stay tuned!
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March 2, 2011

html hell

I'm slowly trying to get my poor blog back the way I want and like. Luckily I had an old blog and a test blog with templates I can fiddle with. The new template designer on blogger plain sucks.

When I get my blog back to normal I will post a basic watered down easily customizeable version for others to use if I can.
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February 25, 2011

a question and a sneak peek

First off, who else is having problems updating their blogger template?  I finally have the time and energy to put into fixing it and it's causing more problems than you can imagine.  I can't upload templates nor can I change any HTML.  I'm getting perdy ticked...a switch to wordpress may be in order...

Anyways!  Here's a sneak peek of something I'm working on!

The top picture is pretty much all of the awesomeness contained in the picture above.

That's all for now!

February 23, 2011

Show & Tell

So, I decided to do KarrieLyne's Charm Pack Quilt Along even though it's been LONG over :p  I had a layer cake of 12 days of Christmas by the awesome Kate Spain so I sliced that up and used it.  I have to get more of white, I'm seriously considering just buying a bolt of Kona White, it's my go to solid and I buy anywhere from 3-5 yards at a time and it's gone just as soon as I buy it.  I did a version of these blocks in the Bee Splendid quilt along she is hosting so I'm excited to see how this turns out!

 These are all the blocks in their container.  I made the decision long ago to not make start any quilts that don't have a container.  I bought more containers.

 This is the pile left after trimming about half the HSTs to 4 1/2" square.

And lastly, two spiderweb blocks for this months Bee Splendid gal!  LOVED doing these blocks. 
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