Sunday, October 30, 2011

Trial by Fire!!

I started my advent calendar a couple of nights ago and it has to be embroidered. This is my first time embroidering and I'm excited to get cracking at it. Well, after getting all 25 little pictures traced, I then had to color each one in. It was only after finishing all of them that I started to wonder, "How am I going to embroider something that small?" I really don't know what I was thinking (obviously all logic went right out the window) and I was very tired.  I had cut out each piece and they were all 2.5" X 2.5"
Hours of work gone, I either had to find a teeny weeny hoop or start over. I chose to start over and color the pictures how I wanted them to look instead of going by their coloring directions. I like them much better the second time around!! Hopefully I can start my embroidering tomorrow night.

 Take two!

Sorry for the poor lighting.

I also feel like I hit the jackpot, because I got 12 home dec fat quarters for $15 including shipping!!
 Look at all the pretty fabric.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Color Color everywhere!
I have been noticing on blog after blog people doing color wheel quilts, rainbow quilts and Kona cotton challenges. I love the subway quilts and the mega pixel quilts as well. I have never really thought about hanging a quilt in my house (I always thought that was a little grandma - no offense), but this is truly art... worthy to be hung on any wall! So I was on From the blue chair and Kati was hosting a color wheel swap. I thought how fun is that, but sadly it filled up in like 20 minutes. She talked about her flikr group (I had never been on flikr before - gasp - I just thought it was to upload pictures) and I was whisked over there and found a whole slew of swaps just waiting for me to join. 
I joined ALFALC and was partnered up with a fun girl with great taste. I had so much fun shopping for her. She needed some Kona Cottons in pink, so I picked up a couple of different shades and a couple of fun small prints. I added some cute flower pins, her thread of choice, some floss,  a little note book and some delicious chocolates. 

A few days after sending my package to her, I received mine. It was like Christmas..., it came all wrapped up in a pretty light blue and white print fabric. My boys gathered around me to see what goodies were inside and my youngest kept saying, "That's for me right?"  I knew I would have to get the chocolate out of there ASAP or there might be an incident :)
I was thrilled with what I got! She helped build my stash of Kona Solids as well. I got a deep purple, blue and this gorgeous green. It is so funny because the day before, I was at the quilt shop and I almost picked up the exact same green for the track suit block.
She also put in some of my favorite thread, floss, binding clips, sticky notes and goodies!! She was so thoughtful the way she put in a treat for my boys as well. They each got two Lollys. There is something special and caring about quilters and crafters that I just love! 
I'm sure this is no surprise to those reading here,
 but I am loving swaps!!
I have also joined the charming Christmas fabric swap and will be getting my fabric soon. I have a few ideas about what to use the fabric for. More on that to come!

Another project I started today is this advent calendar. I tea dyed the fabric today and will begin this week. Stay tuned.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

I'm so ready for soup weather!!!

The weather is finally starting to cool down, praise the Lord!! It was the worst summer ever... unbelievably hot and I just don't like eating soup when it's that hot. Something about sweating and eating just doesn't do it for me. So we actually got to eat soup for the first time in forever the other day. 

Soup of the day would be Chicken Tortilla Soup. 
This is the basic recipe. Just guidelines really... if you like more of something add extra or if you don't like something omit it.

1 Onion diced
2 Cups of frozen corn
1 Lemon
1 Avocado
1 Can of diced tomatoes
1 Can of black beans
1 Can of kidney beans
1 Small can diced green chiles
30oz can chicken stock
1 Full breast of boneless skinless chicken 
Garnish with:
Grated cheese - I used a blend of Monterey Jack & Cheddar
Sliced green onions - scallions
Tortilla Chips
Sour Cream (optional)

Sorry the bowls with the beans are a little dark
In a pot add some oil, onions and some salt. Sweat the onions until they are translucent, then add the corn, green chiles, tomatoes and beans, then stir in chicken stock. I fill the the stock container (another 30oz) with water and add that to the mix. Now in go the avocados and some spices. I do it to taste, but it's approx.

1 Tblsp granulated garlic
1 Tblsp chili powder
A dash of cumin
Salt/Pepper to taste 
-Stir and bring to a simmer-

Meanwhile I get my chicken into a hot cast-iron skillet with just enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan. I season my chicken with the same spices above. I just lightly dust the chicken on both sides with the spices. Cook chicken until done about 5-10 min depending on the size. 

Once chicken is cooked, cut into bite sized pieces and add to the soup. Also, to the bits leftover in the skillet add a ladle full of soup to it and stir up any stuck on goodness. Add all that flavor to the soup as well.

Finally it's time to garnish and eat!! 
Add cheese, cilantro, green onion, chips, sour cream and even more lemon or lime and enjoy!

The Track Suit Block

Yay!!! The new Modern Block of the month is out on Sew Mama Sew and it is one of my favorites.  So while I was hanging out with my girl Molly the other day at the quilt shop (shopping for fabric for this particular block), I showed it to her and she said it looked like a track suit from the 70's. It kinda does, especially with the colors I picked out (I copied the colors from the tutorial).  Imitation is the best form of flattery, right?  It is so striking to me, but i'm definitely going to make this block again with some different colors.  
Love me some Kona Solids

It was a breeze to cut out and I sewed it up in no time.  I think maybe an hour tops!!  Sorry some of the pictures turned out a little dark.

My little felt polar bear was watching me sew. 

 Just keep adding strips 

Then when you add the last two pieces it looks like a mistake and you think how do I get a block out of that? It's like magic!

 So line up your ruler and make sure there is fabric under the whole ruler before you start cutting. It took me a minute to get it all lined up.

Here it is... the finished block.
I have to say I love it!!  

I really can't wait until next month to see what the next one is going to be like. Have you done an outside of box block before? I would love to see it!

I'm linking up with Sew Modern Monday 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Mommy needs a time out!!

My kids are hummers...they walk, run and play while humming.  I never thought I would get tired of iconic music, such as Superman or Star Wars.  I stand corrected, because I hear it in humming form all day long.  I am in no way a hummer and it drives me a little crazy (that's an understatement).  So yesterday was kind of one of those days where the boys were just not feeling like being super sweet and wanted to complain about pretty much everything.  About 2:00 I was sitting at the dinning table and all of a sudden I found myself humming the Star Wars theme song.  My husband and I noticed it at the exact same moment.  He looked at me and said, "Get out of the house, I've got the boys. Go to the fabric store and do something for yourself."  Is that awesome or what!  So my girlfriend Molly and her little sweetie pie met me at the quilt shop and we did some shopping.  Look at all the cool stuff I got on sale!

I love the funky patterns here
I'm trying to add more solids to my stash

For dinner we thought we would do something fun and completely different. We had banana splits with all the trimmings. My youngest son, who is almost three, ate a few bites and said, "Where's my other meal?"  He wasn't buying this as an actual meal.  He loves to eat!  My other son, who is five, licked his plate and was perfectly happy having this alternative dinner. 

Mommy took a time out and loved it! 

Friday, October 21, 2011

So many projects and not enough time!

 Man, it is so easy to get consumed with a million and one projects and get nothing done!  I have yet to make a finished quilt.  I have the top done, but I didn't have a pattern to follow and since I have never had a class or anything, it looks a bit wonky.  People are doing wonky quilts on purpose so no one will ever know, right?  My goal is to complete said quilt and a few other projects before the end of the year, but at the rate the months are flying by i'll be happy with one finished quilt!  I found a really cool quilt block on Sew Mama Sew 
(Modern Block of the Month) and made a few of them.  I really had a blast putting this block together. I really think a whole quilt out of this block would be so fun.

Same colors as the tutorial
I really like the contrast on this one

I'm also doing the Rose of Sharon block of the month.  A very pretty appliqué quilt and pretty advanced. 

I thought, "Oh sure, one block a month, no problem!!"  Thinking and doing are two different things with my two little rugrats tearing up jake on a daily basis.  But, I am going to do it.  It may take me many months to finish one block, but I'm going to finish.  Has anyone finished this quilt or currently working one like it? 

The love of making bags

 I love making bags... they are so fun and some can be sewn in just a few hours.  I love being able to sit down and finish a project in a day, especially if you've been working on a project for a long time.  I was watching Martha Stewart (she needs more segments on sewing by the way) and they made this cute little reversible bag that was so easy!!  I love how creative the people that work with her are.  I had to draft the pattern from my iPad because our printer was down.  So it ended up being a lot bigger then the one on her show, but I love it. 

I made two tiny ones for my sweet little second cousins' birthdays.  I think they are so cute!  They were horrible to sew around the short little arm.  I wondered what I was thinking at one point, but I got them done.  Yay me!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

How I fell in love... with sewing

When I was about 16, my mom signed us up for a sewing class a girl at our church was teaching. I was not into sewing in the least, but wanted to spend time with my mom. I was a little punk rock chick that went to a small town country church. The whole class went to Joanns to get a pattern to work on and the one they picked was a JUMPER!

It was something very similar to the picture above and I was horrified!  Needless to say I was done with sewing for quite a few years. Fast forward ten years and I'm reintroduced to sewing by a friend who came over to my house with a beautiful bag in tow. Where did she get that awesome bag? She said SHE sewed it and told me it was Amy Butler. "Amy Butler has really cool fabric," she said.  So I made my first trip to my local quilt shop and I was hooked!  My mom gave me one of her old machines (a Necchi) and I got started right away.

I had no idea what I was doing, but I was determined to figure it out.  I took a few classes at my quilt shop, but needed a portable machine since the Necchi was in a sewing cabinet.  I got a brother for $99 and used that for several months. Then my wonderful husband told me he was going to buy me a Bernina and I have been in love ever since (with the machine... I have always been in love with my husband :).  I have been reading tons of sewing blogs and I am so amazed at the talented people I've come across!!  They bring so much inspiration to me and I hope to do the same for anyone reading my blog.  Stay tuned as I begin my public sewing adventure.

Have a Blessed Day!