Friday, July 6, 2012

Garden Gate Cafe Window

It's pretty pinks and fabric kites for the cafe window this month.  I spent the morning trying to get everything arranged just so.

The vintage cooler and thermos belong to the cafe owner, Nancy. The garland says "in the good old summertime".  The drinking glasses are from my collection as well as the crinoline dishes.  The cupcakes were knit by me.

I was able to use the bear I made a couple of years ago, bits and pieces of Tanya Whelan fabric. Maddie's pinwheels turned out so cute and my son, Taylor, came to help string the kites from the ceiling.  I put wire in the tails so that I could bend them to look like they are blowing in the wind.

To make the kites, I bought very inexpensive dime store kites.  I used the plastic kite as a pattern to cut out the fabric and then used the sticks and assembled as you would any other kite.  Seven kites in all.  It's so much fun doing the window.  I have no idea what I will be making until about a week before hand.  Stay out of the heat today.  My car read 108 degrees this morning!

With joy,

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Pretty Pinwheels

I hope you had a fun fourth.  It was so hot here that my husband and I went to the movies and then came back to our air conditioning.  We are so exciting over here.  I kept waiting for the sound of sirens as the grass is so dry that any touch of flame would surely burn the town down.  I haven't checked the news this morning, I'm not sure I want to.  Today I'm finishing up the items for the window display at the cafe.  This month's theme is vintage picnic.  Maddie made the pinwheels for me as I plugged away on fabric kites.  I can hardly wait to show you!  It will go up tomorrow.  The hardest part about decorating the window at the cafe is knowing when to stop!


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July!

Wishing you a blessed and safe fourth of July!


Monday, July 2, 2012

Peace Like A River

My daughter came home from school a couple of months ago and handed my husband this book.  Our friend, who teaches English at the high school, told her to give this to her Dad.   I've been feeling a bit out of sorts for the past week or so, trying to knock out quilt orders while dealing with annoying household repairs.  Trying not to fret about my upcoming surgery while still picking shards of glass up in the kitchen from a stack of bowls I dropped the other day.  Trying to shake the overall disjointedness (is that a word?) I feel.  Anyway, I kept walking by this book sitting on the side table.  I picked it up on Saturday thinking to myself that I could use some peace like a river.  Oh my goodness. My last two days have been eat, sleep, read, repeat.  If I had just read the description on the back I probably would never have read it.  I was hooked during the first fifteen pages.  If you need a good summer read, this is it.  You will not be disappointed.


Saturday, June 30, 2012


A pretty image of summer to share with you today ~ sweet blessings!


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

In Love

It's time to make a confession.  I have a huge china obsession.   I received an email from one of my very favorite shops and hopped in my car to make the 40 minute drive to see these dishes in person. Made by Pip Studio, they had long been on my wish list.  I couldn't find them in the States and wasn't about to pay international shipping.  I caved.  I feel guilty.  Given a do-over, I know I would cave again!

With joy,

Monday, June 25, 2012

I'm Glad You Asked

Today I'm going to answer a few questions from you wonderful ladies.  First, Renee, asked me if I have a favorite project.  Two things popped in my mind.  First is this "Junk" bag.  It was a fun pattern and incorporated one of my favorite things - vintage hankies.  The pattern is called "The Junk Bag" by Jackie Clark.

The second favorite is this quilt.  I love vintage kitchen embroidery and Lecien fabric.  The marriage of the two makes for one happy quilter.  I did not have a pattern for this quilt.  I used embroidery transfer patterns I had.  I have always loved the cake stand block and enjoyed putting those together.

My current hand quilting project is the quilt I made using Trish's tutorial.  I pieced the top over the weekend.  In answer to the hand quilting questions, I really don't like using a hoop but find it necessary for large quilts in maneuvering the fabric or small quilts if I'm using cotton thread. For example, this is a crib size quilt.  I am using hand quilting cotton thread which disappears into the fabric.  For me to see my stitches I need to use the hoop.  When I'm using size 8 perle cotton to stitch, the thread is much thicker and easier to see.  For some reason it's harder for me to use a hoop with perle cotton so I don't. Either way, I have to make sure that I have a lot of pins to keep the back from puckering.  The use of the hoop keeps the fabric smoother. 

When making my t-shirt quilts, I use Pellon fusible featherweight interfacing.  The lighter the better so if you ladies know of anything lighter than featherweight, please let me know.  T-shirt quilts can be heavy enough so you don't want to use a thick and weighty interfacing.  I'm testing out a new rotary cutter (new to me).  It's made by Dritz and I will let you know what I think.  I would also love to know from you if your rulers ever wear out?  I think I might have a nick in mine as I feel a catch when I cut strips.  Any thoughts?  Happy Monday!


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Friday, June 22, 2012

Covered in Memories

This is my daughter's best buddy, Hannah, with the t-shirt quilt I made her for graduation.  So many of you have inquired about the custom t-shirt quilts that I make that I want to provide you with some information if you want to make your own.  The book that I use is out of print but I ordered one from the Shabby Fabrics website that looks fabulous.  The key is to back the t-shirts with a very light weight fusible interfacing so that they don't stretch when you cut them.  Interfacing allows you to use a very well worn and loved t-shirt as well because it gives the extra strength.  The quilt normally has 20-25 12" squares but I used around 35 t-shirts for my son's quilt by cutting and piecing more than one shirt per block.  The possibilities are endless.

I have been asked other sewing questions recently and would like to do a question and answer post.  If you have a question for me, any type of question (sewing or otherwise), leave me a comment today and I will answer all questions in one post next week.  Happy Friday!


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Pretty Distractions

There are times, even when you are doing something you love, that the task at hand can be a bit tedious.  This is usually how I feel during graduation season when I'm making custom t-shirt quilts.  It's not that I'm not thankful for the work.  It's just that sometimes, it's work.  But then something comes along to throw some sunshine into the routine and the result is a pleasing, pretty pile of Grannies. Thank you, Trish, for the fun distraction!  Just a few more to make…


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

How to be Happy

I think we should keep this list going…
What would you add?
I'll start ~

Read a Psalm
Pick strawberries

Tag, you're it!

image Susan Branch

Monday, June 18, 2012

Coming Home Quilt

Yesterday I put the last stitch into this quilt.  I used a variegated green perle cotton thread.  The colors in the thread went from a barely there soft green to a dark emerald green.  The stitching added some dimension to the quilt and an extra pop of color.

I am really enjoying hand quilting.  I am surprised by how quickly a quilt can be completed when you work on it a little bit every night.  There is something about the "pop" of hiding the knot that is so satisfying.  I wouldn't trade my quilter/friend, Mary, for her creativity and beauty that she brings to my big quilts.  But for the throw to crib size, I don't mind hand quilting them at all.

I am still keeping good on my promise to myself that for every quilt I take to Mary for machine quilting, I have to hand quilt one myself.  I have one more customer t-shirt quilt to complete and then I am back to working on completing the unfinished projects, block of the month and kits that I have accumulated.  It will be quite the summer for sewing and I'm looking forward to many hours of happy stitching as well as sharing more fun giveaways with you in the last six months of my monthly giveaway.  


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Sunday Scripture

"But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation,
a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of
him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light."

1 Peter 2:9


Friday, June 15, 2012

More Sweetness

It appears that Granny Squares are my new obsession.
I certainly don't need a new one unless it replaces an old one (tee hee)
but I can't seem to stop myself.  I'm trying really hard not to 
fuss over fabric choices, just making sure I have a light
and a dark.  I'd like it to look like it came from another time.
The time when ladies used what they had and made do.

All the fabric is from my stash.  Bits and pieces of various fabric lines
I love as well as cute vintagey novelty prints that I've had tucked 
away for years.  Time to use it up!  I'm still on my self-imposed 
fabric and pattern lock down.  I can't believe that I haven't made
a major dent in my stash yet.  It really takes so little to make a quilt,
I don't know why I think I have to buy yards of it.  

Have a blessed Friday, Friends!

With love,

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

More Grannies

While I was waiting for dinner to finish cooking last night, I made another block.

Today, I made another one.

And then another one.

It's so addictive!  Check out Trish's tutorial here.


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Notes of Sincerity ~ Granny Square Tutorial

My sweet friend, Trish, from Notes of Sincerity posted a tutorial for the Granny Square block the other day.  I knew right away I had to try it.  I love little quilt squares and this one measures 6 1/2" unfinished.  The first one I made using my stash of Lecien's Flower Sugar.  I was even able to incorporate the selvedge edge into the block, an idea I just saw on Kristyne's blog Pretty by Hand.

The blocks came together quickly and easily.  Trish's directions were very detailed and I really appreciated the tip on how to measure and square off the block, something I struggle with at times.  I hope to make a couple of blocks every time I sit down to sew and before long I'll have a pile of pretties to stitch together.  Be sure to stop by Notes of Sincerity for other inspiring creations.  Trish also has a good list of bloggers as well.  She has become such a dear friend to me and it's so fun thatl she is venturing into block tutorials.


Monday, June 11, 2012

Mitten Love

At the beginning of the year, my friend, Taryn posted a fun thing on facebook.  For the first five people who responded to her status, she would make them a handmade gift.  In return, we had to do the same on our facebook page.  Recently she presented me with the most amazing hand knit mittens that she made herself.   This year I will be ready for our cold Michigan winter.  Aren't they amazing?


Sunday, June 10, 2012

Sunday Scripture

"Know, therefore, that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments. "  Deut. 7:9


Friday, June 8, 2012

June Giveaway Winner

The winner of the June Patriotic Quilt Kit is
Lisa Marie
She left this comment ~

"My Dad's younger sister usually has a big July 4th picnic
which is like a mini family reunion.  This year, though,
with the 4th falling on a Wednesday, it's not happening
since many people have to travel long distances and
can't do it with just one day off.  Bummer.  Since I'll be
staying home, I'd love to sew this quilt to celebrate!"

I have sent you an email, Lisa Marie.
I wish you a very happy 4th of July sewing celebration!