Thursday, October 31, 2013

Recents >>

Happy Halloween!! Here's a new batch of what's been happening over here!

Ever since I learned English Paper Piecing, I have been wanting to make some hexagons.  After I purchased the 1" hexagon punch (on sale!), I didn't waste any time in punching out some templates and basting some hexagons out of a little pack of Kona solids!  I'm not sure on the layout or even what I'm going to do with them, but they are sure cute!!

EPP Hexagons

While my sis has been in town, I wanted to take the opportunity to teach her how to sew a bit.  She claimed that she had never touched a sewing machine, so I wanted to change that.  She also wanted some pouches for pens and stickers.  We started with Anna's Open Wide Zippered Pouch and I think she did a great job!  Then we started on another little pouch for her stickers.  I adapted a pattern from something else to meet the specifications my sister had for her stickers.  I think she did a great job on both little pouches!

Adarsh and her bags

After finishing up her bags, we decided to do a bit of thrifting!  I picked up all of these adorable embroidery hoops and this irresistible tin!  I plan on hanging the pink hoops in baby girl's room and using the tin for my English paper piecing things!

Thrifting Finds

We had a bit of an impromptu dinner party on Sunday and while my sister was making dinner, I knew I needed to make something easy for dessert... Enter: Pinterest.  I found this recipe I pinned on one of my boards for an Oreo icebox cake.  It was incredibly easy and way more delicious than I anticipated.  It was also way more rich than I thought it would be, too!

Oreo Icebox Cake

One of the very best things about this time of the year is the imminent arrival of the Starbucks holiday red cups.  To my sister and I, this signals the beginning of the holidays.  We were hoping that she would still be in town when the red cups were released so that we could enjoy our first cups together, but we didn't know when they'd come out!  So, I googled it just for fun and found the Countdown to Red Cups website.  Amazing!  We're so glad that we're not the only ones that look forward to this time of year!!

We have also purchased the paint and the crib for baby girl's room!! We're not setting the crib up until the room is all painted, but we had to open the box to see how adorable it was!

Baby Girl's Crib

Also, baby girl is now 23 weeks along and when we had an ultrasound on Monday, they said that she weighs 1 lb. 3 oz!  She's getting big! (and so am I!)

23 Weeks!

More Recents >>
sewing > Holiday Frost!
loving > my new thrifted items!
excited about > the crib!
writing > endless lists
craving > Starbucks!
eating > Halloween candy!
current temperature > 49°

Currently Listening to: Do You Hear What I Hear? by Sufjan Stevens

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

WIP Wednesday

It's been a long time since I've done a WIP Wednesday post!  I thought that since I've been working on the Holiday Frost quilt, I should snap a photo or two of where I'm at.

Holiday Frost in Progress

This quilt is made up mostly of borders, with some sashing between the panel pieces.  So I decided to piece together all the pieces to the borders before laying out the quilt top and all that.  Obviously, I haven't yet pressed any of the borders or sashing, but it is all sewn together!

Holiday Frost in Progress

I'm hoping it won't take me too long to find time to press all those seams and sew the quilt top together!

Currently Listening to: Angels We Have Heard on High by Sufjan Stevens

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Fall Favorites: Hot Cocoa

I promised a few weeks ago that I would share my favorite hot cocoa recipe... so here it is!

This cocoa is so ridiculously easy and so exponentially better than anything that comes in a packet or a canister that it seems so silly to bother with anything else.  It is also very customizable.  Prefer a real dark chocolate cocoa?  Add less sugar.  Fancy a lip smackingly sweet drink?  Cut back on the cocoa powder.  Easy!

First, ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp. Hershey's unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla
  • dash of salt
Favorite Hot Cocoa

First, pour your milk into your mug and microwave for 1 1/2 - 2 minutes, depending on how hot you want your cocoa.

While that is heating, mix together the cocoa powder, sugar, and dash of salt in a little bowl.

Favorite Hot Cocoa

Once your milk is heated and your mix is well mixed, pour it in your mug and stir!

Favorite Hot Cocoa

When that is well mixed, add the vanilla and stir.

Favorite Hot Cocoa

Ta-da! You now have a super amazing mug of hot cocoa!

Favorite Hot Cocoa

Currently Listening to: Silent Night by Sufjan Stevens

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Halloween Plus Quilt: Finished!

This quilt is finished, just in time for Halloween!  I am so THRILLED to finally have a holiday quilt for myself!  It is so exciting to me that I don't have to rush to wash and pack it up for a new owner!  How exciting!

Halloween Plus Quilt

I am loving the way that this quilt turned out.  The pattern is from Jeni Baker's Modern Plus Quilt Tutorial.  After all the cutting was done and the layout was finalized, it was a quick quilt to sew together.  It was kind of an instant gratification sort of thing.

Halloween Plus Quilt

The fabric for the top of the quilt is all Boo Crew by Sweetwater.  I really like this line because it's not so in-your-face with Halloween colors, but it still gets the message and mood of Halloween across.

Halloween Plus Quilt

I pieced the back.  That was new for me.  I spent a whole day just putting this back together and making sure it was big enough for quilting.  I can't say that I über enjoyed the process of piecing the back, but I can say that I love the results.  So, I'll probably do it again!  The back consists of leftover squares from the top, Moda black, Kona Iron, and a bit of Pure Elements Cabernet.  I basically used what I had and it did feel like quite an accomplishment at the end of the day!

Halloween Plus Quilt

I also did something else new for me - I machine bound this quilt.  I'm one of those people that really loves to sit on the couch and bind, so I never really had a desire to machine bind, but with Halloween being less than a week away, I decided that I could at least give it a try!  I'm not super thrilled with the result, so I'm not going to link to the tutorial that I used, but I think I'll leave it.  I'll try it again with a different tutorial in the future.

Halloween Plus Quilt

All in all, I'm happy with the finished quilt!  It also fulfills a twelfth of my 99 in 999 goal #33: Make a quilt for each month of the year!!  I can now check off October!

Currently Listening to: The Peace Carol by John Denver (yes, yes... Christmas music!)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Holiday Frost: The Beginning

I decided, just this morning, that I have been super good at working on my WIPs.  The Halloween Plus quilt just needs binding and I'm almost halfway through binding my Fireworks Quilt - I have been diligent!  So, as a reward I am cutting up some fabric today to start a new quilt!

I'm going to bust out the Muppet's Christmas Carols with John Denver and start on Holiday Frost!  This is a free pattern from Henry Glass, which includes two quilts.  I am making the one with the stars.

Holiday Frost Quilt

This quilt will be easier than it looks because it requires a printed panel and that actually makes up most of it.  There's a bit of piecing with the stars, but it should all come together pretty quickly... which is the reason I agreed to make this quilt for my mum!  It seems as though I am always sewing something for her!  Ah well, I love her... and she is always generous with me...

Holiday Frost Quilt

Anyways!  She purchased all of the fabric to make this pretty thing, so all I need to do is get to work!

Currently Listening to: Numb by The Airborne Toxic Event

Monday, October 21, 2013

Recents >>

One of my biggest goals currently is to organize and fix up the whole basement, which includes my sewing/crafting space and the laundry room.  It's been a big job because when we first moved into this house last November we stacked all our miscellaneous boxes in the basement and we only went down there to do laundry.  I think it's for the best that we get this cleaned up and organized before we've been in this house for a year!

Basement Progress

I have been supremely enjoying stitching the October Woodland Sampler this month.  I am starting to get antsy for the announcement and presale for the 2014 sampler!!  I've read on Amanda's blog that the next sampler is going to be incredible!

October Woodland Sampler

My adventures have, of course, taken me to my LQS.  I am pleased about the modest amount of fabric I brought home...

Oh So Jolly and Dear Stella

I have been really focusing on my Halloween Plus quilt this week.  Halloween is just around the corner and I would really love to have this quilt finished before then!  I'm hoping to finish quilting today!

Halloween Plus Quilt

Also, my sister is in town!  We have been having a ton of fun shopping and annoying our mum.  I even plan on teaching her how to sew!

more recents >>
craving > Totino's Party Pizza (if you've never tried this über cheap pizza, it really is worth it!)
feeling > baby girl kick and roll around all the time!
wishing > I was going to quilt market!
loving > my basement sewing space
enjoying > hot cocoa!
current temperature > 46°

Currently Listening to: Buzzcut Season by Lorde

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Virtual Quilting Bee: Last Two Blocks

I am so, so pleased that I have finished the last two blocks for the Virtual Quilting Bee!  I feel like it's been a bit of a battle these last few weeks as I've tried to catch up on all the blocks I didn't sew together when I was sick.  However, I'm glad to have all my blocks together before the finishing instructions are posted on Friday.

I really procrastinated sewing together block 15.  It was actually the last block I sewed together and it took me three hours.  This block is paper pieced and it was my first time paper piecing.  I didn't make a practice block - mostly out of laziness, but I think my first try is tolerable!

VQB Block 15

I had much more fun sewing block 16!  This is actually a block that I am tempted to make an entire quilt out of... It was fun to choose fabric and it was fun to sew!  It didn't cause any trouble and it came together quickly.

VQB Block 16

I'm hoping to get this quilt finished up in a timely manner, so that I can "keep up" with everyone else in the bee!

Current Listening to:  Stay Gold by the Big Pink

Friday, October 11, 2013

Ruffle Pillows

My mom and I took a class to make these pillows back in June, I think.  We finished the pillow tops during one of the open sews at Sewing Summit.  I brought them home after the event and I decided that I was tired of these pillows being unfinished, so I finished them without my mum!

Ruffle Pillows

Both of these pillows are for my mum, even though I sewed up one of them.  She wanted a matching pair for her formal living room couch.  However, now that I've made one, I really want one for myself!  I have enough fabric scraps from the Boo Crew line by Sweetwater, so I'll make a pillow to match my Halloween Plus quilt!

Ruffle Pillows

These pillows were relatively easy to make.  The pattern is found in this Adornit pattern book.

Ruffle Pillows

My mum doesn't know that I have finished these pillows yet, but I hope that she'll be excited!

Ruffle Pillows

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts today!  Check out some other finished projects!

Currently Listening to: Bandages by Hot Hot Heat

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Works in Progress

There's something about the middle of October that just seems like the right time to evaluate that long work in progress list... I woke up thinking about my own list and I've seen several posts by my friends with theirs, so it just seems right to share my list!

My oldest WIP is my Pow Wow quilt top.  I can't hardly believe that I finished the quilt top back in February!  It has mostly been waiting around for a backing, but I'm fairly certain that I have that now, so I should really just buckle down and get it finished so that I can throw it on my guest bed!

Pow Wow Quilt Top

The next oldest unfinished quilt I have is my Fireworks quilt.  Gratefully, I've made progress on this quilt since I finished the top in March!  It is now quilted, with binding attached and I just need to hand stitch it down!

Fireworks Quilt

Also back in March I started working on the Virtual Quilting Bee.  It's understandable that this is still in the works since the last block was only posted last Friday and the finishing instructions aren't going to be posted until next week, but it's still unfinished, so it goes on the list.

Virtual Quilting Bee Blocks

Just before Sewing Summit, I decided I needed a Halloween quilt.  So I started one.  This quilt top is my most recently finished, as I only posted photos of it last Friday.  I have been kind of working on the back for this quilt... I need a bit more fabric to finish up the backing, but that is definitely on my to-do list this week.  This quilt is the priority because Halloween is so close!

Halloween Plus Quilt Top

Then at Sewing Summit, I started a Half Square Triangle quilt with Amy Smart.  This quilt is not a priority, and I don't have any plans with the finished quilt, but it needs to get done nonetheless.

HST Quilt

These quilts are just my quilts, but I have a quilt to quilt for a friend and I have a commissioned quilt that is currently just a stack of fabric.  I had hopes of making a Modern Maples quilt this fall, and I have fabric picked out and everything, but in looking at this list... I don't think I should cut for another quilt just yet! I started this year with two works in progress, and I'm really hoping to start the next year with no more than that!

Currently Listening to:  Zombie by Miser

Monday, October 7, 2013

Catching Up

I have still been trying to catch up on the Virtual Quilting Bee.  It's been surprisingly difficult for me to squeeze in time to sew up these little blocks amongst all the other things that I've been trying to get finished, organized, or purchased.  I did manage to whip up two blocks, though!

Here is block 13!

VQB Block 13

I've been wanting an all purple block for awhile now... I'm glad I finally got around to it!

And... block 14!!

VQB Block 14

I really like this block in all its simplicity.  It was a quick sew!  I think it took longer for me to decide on fabric!

Mixed in with all my quilty ambitions, I have found myself in nesting mode!  I'm now at 20 weeks today, which is halfway and we have a lot to get done before our baby girl arrives!

Happy Monday, my friends!

Currently Listening to: Next Year by the Foo Fighters

Friday, October 4, 2013

Halloween Plus Quilt Top Finished

This quilt top was pretty much an impulse creation.  Some of the impulse was made up from the frustration of having the entire Boo Crew fat quarter bundle sitting on my desk for months and some of it was made up of the simple desire of wanting a holiday quilt for my own.  So, I settled on Jeni Baker's Plus Quilt fairly quickly and I started cutting squares.  With a few interruptions, I finally finished the quilt top.

Halloween Plus Quilt Top

This quilt is pretty quick to sew up and I'm pleased with the results.  I really enjoyed the time I spent arranging and rearranging the pluses, which did take a chunk of time because I'm so indecisive!

Halloween Plus Quilt Top

I also really enjoy the fabric a lot more than I did when it was a stack of fat quarters.  It will be a nice Halloween decoration without being too over the top with orange and black.

Halloween Plus Quilt Top

Out of all the prints, I really enjoy the little monsters!  They are so adorable and I just love their cute little expressions!

Halloween Plus Quilt Top

I'm hoping to whip up a backing and quilt this baby really quick so that I can enjoy it before Halloween!

Halloween Plus Quilt Top

Currently Listening to: Tennis Court by Lorde

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Recents >>

I feel like I've had this post in the works all week and I haven't really been able to think of a cohesive thread of recents, so today will be a bit more random than perhaps most of these posts are...

First of all, it's going to be an Instagram kinda day!  I have that great thing going on in my brain where I'm like, oh yeah... I have a real camera...

1.  While I was at Sewing Summit, Jake framed and insulated our basement as a surprise!  We had chatted about putting the sewing room in the basement so that the we could still have a guest room upstairs, along with the nursery, but I had told him that I really want to be able to hang shelves.  In order to hang shelves, we just needed the framing!

Basement Framed

2.  This caused an almost immediate upheaval in my sewing room.  There became an undeniable urgency to get everything moved downstairs so that I could a) start working again, b) clear out the newly designated guest room, and c) clear out the nursery.  So, the old sewing room became a disaster real fast.

Moving Sewing Room

3. I crave cookie dough.  Obviously, in my pregnant state, regular cookie dough is out.  Pinterest to the rescue!  I found this recipe for eggless edible cookie dough!  It's not meant to be cooked, it's just meant to be eaten.  It does not have the same taste as regular cookie dough, but it really is close enough and it is delicious!

Edible Cookie Dough

4.  Although Baby Girl's room isn't all cleared out, I cleaned up her closet pretty much the day I found out I was pregnant.  So, naturally, we've been working on her little wardrobe!

Baby Girl's Wardrobe

5.  Once the basement sewing room was in working order, I didn't waste time.  I'm still not finished organizing it and putting things away, but I can sit down and get to work.  The first thing I did was set my mind to finishing the quilting on the Fireworks quilt with the aid of the Night Circus audiobook!  I had heard great things about this book on Instagram, and I'm so glad I checked it out! It's a good book.  I recommend it!

The Night Circus and Quilting

6.  It's getting cold here!  I frequently whip up double batches of my favorite cocoa.  I'll make a point to share that recipe in the future!

Hot Cocoa

7.  I also finished the September Woodland Sampler!  The last few stitches went into this block just a day before October!  I was cutting it close!

September Woodland Sampler

8.  Last but not least, the latest belly photo!

19 Weeks

I became 19 weeks last Monday and everything is looking great!  We are certainly excited for our newest little girl!

More recents >>
feeling > a bit overwhelmed with all my works in progress
craving > wild rice chicken soup
wanting > to start a quilt for baby girl (I need to get a bunch of other things finished first!!)
sewing > the 13th and 14th blocks for the Virtual Quilting Bee
current temperature > 51°

Currently Listening to: Glory and Gore by Lorde