June 30, 2011

how to build a better burger

Start with a soft, golden, sesame see bun...

Next comes the thick, juicy, flame-grilled burger...

Don't forget the cheese! Here's a big slice of sharp cheddar...

I love a slice of red onion for a little bite...

You can't beat a fresh-from-the-garden slice of tomato...

Add some kosher dill slices for a tangy crunch...

How about a bit of buttery smooth bibb lettuce...

Now that's a better burger! Are you hungry yet?

This has been a really fun project and I sure hope my swap partner likes it. The theme is summer/barbeque. I thought rather than make a boring potholder from a novelty print, I would build a burger out of potholders. I'll wrap this up and send it on it's way to a new home tomorrow.

June 29, 2011

summer splash

I looked to the season for inspiration for the tea towels for my swap. It was fun digging through my fabric stash and selecting some of my favorites to create the beach ball and flip flops.

Since I design my applique patterns in Illustrator anyway, one of my favorite tricks is to then cut the fabric with my Cricut. Anytime I can let a machine do the work for me, I'm in. After a a few minutes of cutting, these were a cinch to iron on. I love the look of blanket stitching on applique and it is quick and easy, too.

These will be on the way to their new home tomorrow. I'm kind of sad about that. Guess I may have to make some for myself. That will have to wait... as I have a giant cheeseburger to make. I'll be back in a few days to tell you all about it.

sneaky peeky

I'm participating in the Potholder Pass Swap at the moment. I signed up to swap tea towels and potholders. I finally settled on the design for the tea towels and my fabrics are ready to cut for the applique. Here's a little sneak peek. I'll be back later with another look.

Have a fun day!

June 24, 2011

taste of summer

Although I'm not a fan of super-hot, humid weather, there are many things I love about Summer.

Tomatoes from the garden.
Fresh corn on the cob.
Steaks and veggies on the grill.
Lazy days in the pool.
Cooling off with a cold beer or lemonade, iced tea, margaritas or mojitos.
Blackberry cobbler with vanilla ice cream.

Yesterday, this lucky girl got to enjoy all of those except the pool. Speaking of which, the month of June is almost gone and I've not been in the pool once. I must remedy that situation immediately.

As I was coming home from running a few errands, I noticed a truck by the road selling freshly picked blackberries. I do love blackberries so I stopped for a gallon and quickly ran home to whip up some cobbler. It was divine! Today, I plan to make some blackberry jam with the leftover berries.

**What do you love about Summer?**

June 23, 2011

week four - farmer's wife quilt-along

I am now caught up with the rest of the group on this project. I have to say, these blocks are a bit addictive. After working feverishly for a few days to catch up, it was a bit of a let down to not keep working at that same pace. I will have to keep reminding myself that this quilt will be a marathon, not a sprint. With 103 more blocks to complete, it will be this time next year before I am reaching the finish line.

Block 7 - Birds in the Air

I am still not pleased with this block, but after multiple attempts, I finished with what I had in the interest of checking it off my list. I'm sure I will go back and re-do this one, but I simply could not spend one. more. minute. on this block the other day. 1" finished half-square triangles are no fun - just sayin'!

Block 8 - Bouquet

I probably should have put this block off until another day after all the frustrations I had with block seven. But, I didn't. Therefore, I spent a considerable amount of time unsewing for this block. This is not a fun task when you are paper piecing. Anywhoo, despite the trials and tribulations, I am pleased with how this one turned out. There is one point that doesn't match, but guess what... I. don't. care. I'm calling this one done and checking it off my list!

I'm thankful that blocks 9 & 10 look to be fairly simple and straightforward. Come back next Thursday to see whether that theory holds true.

June 21, 2011

week three - farmer's wife quilt-along

Block 5 - Bat Wing
Although this looks pretty simple, I opted to paper piece this block as well. I love that my points are always perfect and the blocks always finish out at exactly the right size. It makes the perfectionist in me oh so happy!

Block 6 - Big Dipper
This block was quick and fun. I utilized the technique where you put two squares together, draw a line diagonally, stitch 1/4" on either side, then cut them apart on the drawn line. You have to do that twice to get each quadrant to work out. It wastes a bit more fabric, but it is so much more accurate than trying to piece individual triangles together.

week two - farmer's wife quilt-along

Block Three - Basket
I opted to paper piece this block and I'm so glad I did. I got it right in one try.

Block Four - Basket Weave
Another quick and easy block. I opted to strip piece this block, which made it quick and easy.

All in all, I was pleased with how quickly my Week 2 blocks went together. I have chosen to my my blocks in the order they are numbered, rather than jumping around. This way I should be able to keep track of my progress a little easier.

week one - farmer's wife quilt-along

There has been quite alot of buzz in online quilting circles lately for The Farmer's Wife Quilt-Along. I have seen the book many times at bookstores and fabric stores. It has called to me, but I had never purchased it. Last week I started hearing about a quilt-along that was being held online through Flicker.com. I went on the hunt for the book and I was lucky enough to it at my local JoAnn's for 40% off. I was instantly hooked and decided this would be a fun project.

I typically don't piece complicated blocks. I'm all about simplicity, but I do love the look of blocks with lots of pieces. This quiltalong is a great way for me to practice those skills without feeling rushed. At only two blocks per week, this is totally doable for me. I've chosen Sunkissed by Sweetwater for this project. As long as I keep my mistakes to a minimum, I should have enough fabric for all 111 blocks.

I'll be blogging about my progess every week. But, since I got started at the end of week three, I will have four posts this week to catch up.

Block One - Attic Windows
The book includes PDF templates on CD. I started out cutting fabric according to the templates and piecing together. My first block was pretty good, but still not quite right. So, I thought paper piecing would be a good idea. I opened the PDF in Illustrator and created the template. I finished the block only to realize that it was actually a mirror image of the correct layout. I had forgotten to flip the printout. Thankfully, the third time was a charm!

Block Two - Autumn Tints
After Block One, I needed a block like this! Nice and easy. I do have some minor inconsistencies, but fortunately, they are minor enough that I can still use this block. Once thing I've learned about working with such small blocks, even 1/16" variance can make a big difference in the final size of the block.

June 19, 2011

proud to be daddy's girl

I have been blessed all my life to have a loving father. He was my first best friend and as time goes by, I become more grateful for each day I have with him. While I don't love him anymore on this day than any other, I do appreciate having a special day to celebrate all he means to me... and it is far more than words can say.

June 18, 2011

gift for dad

Father's Day is tomorrow, so I spent some time today putting the finishing touches on a quick, easy and inexpensive gift for my Dad. He enjoys having his cocktail every afternoon at 5, so I thought some custom-etched bar glasses would be perfect.

I love the square shape of these glasses. I found them here and after two shipments, I finally got them just in time. My first shipment was apparently so damaged that UPS wouldn't leave them at my door. I would love to know how messed up it really was because I have seen some sorry looking packages at my door!

To make some for yourself, pick up some Armor Etch at your local craft store and just follow the directions on the bottle. I made my letter 'stencils' buy cutting the adhesive vinyl with my Cricut, applied the stencil to each glass, brushed on the etching cream and five minutes later they were perfectly (and permanently) etched.

Armor Etch works on any kind of glass, so you can use it on windows and mirrors too. I bought the larger bottle at Hobby Lobby for less than $10 and this project barely used any of it.

These would also make awesome wedding gifts and with all the super inexpesive glassware at stores like Walmart and Target, you can give a classy and practical gift for less than $10!

June 14, 2011

we have a winner!

Thanks to everyone who entered my giveaway. I'm excited to announce the winner of the ultra-fabulous prize...

Congratulations, Catilin! I'll be emailing you shortly for all your info.

June 04, 2011

de-stashing, re-installing and a giveaway

**Giveaway info at the end of this post**

It's been a busy week for this craftaholic... and not a good kind of busy, either. Lots of work getting done, which has put my crafty time on hiatus. I am hoping I can get back to the fun stuff in another week or so.

In an effort to gain control of my rapidly growing stash, I have identified lots of fabric that has to go. It is all first quality from Moda, but it's holding me back, man! I have listed several great things in my etsy shop... all significantly less than I paid originally. Please go check it out - and tell your friends! I really need to free up some space for all the great new stuff that's releasing in the next few months.

Last weekend I finally bit the bullet and bought a new computer. I am really hard on computer resources and my old laptop was really showing it's age. I "think" I'm am finally completely finished with transferring files and re-installing critical software. I'm thankful that this isn't a task I will have to endure again for quite some time.

One of the last fun projects I completed was making another fun Emmy Clutch. You may remember her sister from the pretty {little} pouch swap. Here she is again, but looking cool in aqua and lavender (loving this Central Park fabric I picked up on sale at my LQS). What do you think?

To keep me company while I'm so busy with icky work stuff, I thought it would be fun to have a little giveaway. So, if you wanna win this pretty little bag (and some other super-secret fun stuff from my little stationery business) here's all you've gotta do...
  • Leave a comment on this blog post (if your profile is set to no-reply, please leave your email address - or better yet, update your profile)
  • Double your chances to win, by following my blog, just be sure to leave a separate comment letting me know
  • Triple your chances to win, by favoriting my etsy shop, just be sure to leave a separate comment letting me know.
I'll keep the contest open through June 11, 2011. Then, I'll let the awesome bots over at RNG pick a weiner!! How fun is that? Hope the rest of your weekend is wonderfully restful!