Monday, October 10, 2011

Apple and Pumpkin time!

This past weekend a couple of our newlywed friends, Kirk and Danielle, took Scott and I to an apple and pumpkin orchard south of Milwaukee. It was the Elegant Farmer in Mukwanago, WI. I loved picking the courtland apples. They're one of my very favorites! Although I think my favorite part was getting to climb around in the trees....I haven't done that in years!

There were wooden crates all over the place where people could put the leftovers from their "samples" or just bruised apples that they didn't want.

Then we got a couple of pumpkins from the pumpkin patch and I found a grasshopper that loved being in the spotlight! I was able to get at least a dozen photos of him! It was a ton of fun! Thanks to Kirk and Danielle for taking us there!!! :)

Friday, October 7, 2011

In the 'wives' club!

We're finally married! I feel like I've been planning it for so long, and now it's over. Now what do I do with my free time? Quilt? Maybe. This week I got my big Nikon D7000!!!

So for the few days left of fall I plan on taking as many photos as I can. Tomorrow is a trip to a local apple orchard with a couple that lives in the same apartment complex as Scott and I. We're really looking forward to it! I can't wait for BBQ pork sandwiches, apple donuts, pumpkin bars, cider, and of course making applesauce! :)

Thank you to everyone for all of your advice about wedding stuff! I was calm as a cucumber! Scott however was nervous and had butterflies in his stomach. Although, that could be because our priest told us during the rehearsal that he was going to quiz us about his sermon the next day, and if we passed we could be married, but if we failed - no more wedding. ;) Well he told us a story of whirly-gigs and photo voltaic cells and high tech stuff like that compared to the low tech whirly-gigs. The moral of the story is to recharge your faith with your religion like the photo voltaic cells recharge with the sun. Well, at the end of his sermon he said a whirly-gig is a high tech device.....true or false? I turn to Scott to see if he wanted me to answer, and the words that came out of his mouth were, "What did he say?". He was ready for a really intense question and had the dates memorized and all that jazz, and then he completely whiffed the easy question. Good thing I was there. I guess that's why he married me - to bail him out of those situations! :) The groomsmen couldn't believe it. But as it turns out, my dad didn't hear the priest either! He turned and asked my mom, "What did he say?" :D I heard somewhere that every girl looks for a guy like her father. I had no idea I hit a home run.

But I couldn't have done it without the support of our wedding party! There's no way. My maid of honor Chrysa and Scott's best man Jim are worth their weight in gold. And the rest of the bridesmaids and groomsmen have been there for us through thick and thin and we wouldn't trade them for anything!!! Thank you everyone for everything! You have no idea how much we appreciate you guys!!!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tick tock!

The clock is ticking down to the wedding! Everything is coming together and I cannot wait to have all of our family and friends in one place!

Until then there's lots to do, and I apologize for not blogging as usual. Once the leaves begin to change and winter sets in I'm sure I'll be back in the stuido and crafting as usual! :)

And after our wedding I'm going to be getting a fancy dancy camera (a Nikon D7000), so I'll be sharing more photos too! :)

Thanks for being patient and hanging in there with me!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Say 'Yes!' to the Dress!

I'm so sorry I haven't posted more frequently! The clock is running down on time until the wedding and there are too many things to do! Just keeping up with the photographer, cake person, organist, the church, reception site, the rehearsal site, hair appointments.....the list goes on and on. I just haven't had much time to quilt lately.

However, I have had time this morning to sit myself down on the couch and watch Say Yes to the Dress for an hour. Which is ironic because my wedding gown is hanging in my quilting studio! :) I'll post some photos after the wedding, just in case Scott ever looks at my blog! :) Man! Some of the women on the show are spending waaayyy too much on a dress that they could go somewhere else, a small town boutique, and get the same thing for half the price! The place that I found mine at would match any price with any other shop across the country! And they had a deal that the bridesmaid dresses were $25 off each if I bought my dress there. So four of my five bridesmaids were able to come a weekend last October and we had a whole weekend of hanging out and looking at dresses! It was fantastic!

The big day is October 1st, so in less than two months there's lots for me to do! I'll try and post a few odds and ends I've been working on, but please don't feel like I'm neglecting you if I don't! :)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

New family members!

I'd like to introduce you to the two newest family members!

This is my Singer 99K. She was made in 1954 in Clydebank, Scotland. And she's one of 45,000 that were made in that serial number "lot". There are a few scratches on her, but after 57 years you can't expect anything to stay the same, can you?

I just love this photo!!!

This is my Singer 15K that was made in Clydebank, Scotland in 1937. There were 100,000 made and this one for some reason has a bird decal on it. I haven't been able to figure out why Singer did that, or how many others there are like it. But I have a treadle table that this machine will be put into and tuned up, and restored to it's original working condition. She turns like a dream though! I just have to figure out how to put the leather cord on the treadle itself and it should be running smoothly! :) Have any of you "threaded" up a treadle machine? I'll be sure and post how I should be comical if not successful!

If anyone knows anything about this bird, please let me know! I'm very curious to find out everything I can!

Monday, June 13, 2011

3 legitimate excuses.....

Hello blog readers. I'm terribly sorry I've been gone for so long! The three legitimate excuses I'm using are (1) my schedule, (2) the weather, and (3) traveling.

I'm a stem cell research technologist and that requires LOTS of extra time in the lab, not just your normal 9-5er. Don't worry, we're not using the stem cells from embryos that all the hub-ub was about a few years ago. We use induced pluripotent stem cells. Basically, we can take a small sample of skin cells from a mature person, re-program them into stem cells by using different techniques, and then we can use those stem cells and turn them into virtually any cell type. Pretty neat stuff. But bottom line, the cells that we culture don't recognize weekends and holidays, so someone from the lab has to come in and change their cell media daily.....

And the weather here in Wisconsin has been NUTS! Honestly, one day the temperature is 96 in the shade, there's heat warnings and UV warnings all over the place, and the next day it's a high of 62 degrees with rain! What's going on? I love sewing and quilting, but when it's 95 degrees in our apartment, I cannot justify turning on my lamps, sewing machine and's just too hot.

In the last month I've also been all over Wisconsin, as well as out to Montana. I took the Amtrak from Milwaukee to NE Montana at the beginning of all the flooding and made it back before they closed the rails down from Spokane to St. Paul. Although for that trip I found that you can have 2 carry on bags, besides your purse. So....I made myself a really big new purse! Photos are forthcoming.

The LQS (local quilt shop) I work at just received ALL of the Kona Cotton Solids!!!!! All 221 of them! I'm so stinkin' excited!!!!!

I rushed out last week and bought all the solids needed to make the Van Gogh Starry Night quilt by Carolina Patchworks. I have no idea when I'll be able to get around to it, but it's going to be a great rainy day project!!! It looks really fun! I love all the pixellated patterns by Carolina Patchworks!!! If you love solids, check them out! You won't regret it! :)

I've been busy planning quilts too....a few of my family members have also contacted me about making t-shirt quilts for them. I'm excited and honored that everyone likes my work so much that they would approach me for these special tasks!!! :)

Monday, May 2, 2011

I'm so excited!!!

I received a quote for our wedding flowers today. I cannot wait for this wedding! It's going to be so much fun!!! This is a photo of a hocus pocus rose, which I'm having in my bouquet.

But they're going to be gorgeous! I really love the lady that's putting them all together! She has tastes that mirror my own, so if there's something that needs to be filled in, I completely trust her judgement! If you don't believe me, check out her website! It's fantastic!!! I love her work!

I can't wait for our wedding!!!

If you have ever been married, what was your favorite part? What do you remember the most? And in the long run, does it really matter how much you spend on flowers, cake, or decorations?

Sunday, May 1, 2011

A cold spring.

Here in Southern Wisconsin it's been a coll spring. We had one day where it was 85 degrees, and I was in Washington D.C. then, and the rest of the days here it's barely been in the upper 40's! Needless to say I'm itching for tennis weather.

A week ago was my Grandma's 80th surprise birthday party. And boy was she surprised!!! Here's a couple of photos of the table runner I whipped up for her.

I didn't use a pattern, I just drew up what I wanted on graph paper. Never underestimate the power of graph paper and a pen!

Now on to a bigger project that I've been commissioned for! :) I won't be posting those photos out of fairness for the person I'm making it for. Once they receive the finished product, I'll be sure and put them up!

Thanks for taking time out of your day to read my blog, I know I've been slacking lately, and now that summer's hopefully around the corner, there's no promises that I'll be posting more often.

If it's beautiful where you are go out in your garden, take a walk, play some tennis, or just sit out on your favorite park bench. Until next time, happy quilting!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

In the mean time.....

Washington D.C. was spectacular!!! If you haven't been there, you need to! It's fantastic! The monuments are gorgeous and open 24/7, and the museums are really interesting, as well as completely free! At least the Smithsonian Museums are on the National Mall.

Scott and I at the Lincoln Memorial.

The flowers were spectacular! The cherry trees were in bloom, as well as the magnolia trees, dafodils, tulips and violets!!!

One of my friends asked me to take a photo of me in front of somewhere famous, doing something goofy. This is what Scott came up with... :)

Lately I've been preoccupied by cleaning the apartment and haven't quilted at all. Nothing! I haven't turned my machine on in a week and a half!

This weekend my family is celebrating my Grandmother's 80th birthday! In order to add to decorate the tables, I made some cards with a little poem, and then attached some Forget-Me-Not seeds to the back. My Grandma loves all sorts of flowers! :)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Possible government shutdown....great.....

I found this fabric online, and on sale for $3 a yard! Guess where I'm headed tomorrow?

There's an Experimental Biology (EB) conference in Washington D.C. this weekend, and the government standoff is threatening to close the museums and national monuments across the country. I used to be a park ranger....I know how much this must hurt them. Hopefully everything will be resolved and the governmental won't even need to "furlough" anyone. Fingers crossed.....

Sunday, April 3, 2011

It's still on!

Click on the photo to be taken to my shop and check out the SALE!

Head on over to my etsy shop to see the new fabric I've been adding!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Another week passes.....

It's been another week, and I have no idea where the time has gone! Last weekend Scott and I went up North to get some of our wedding details sorted out. And then of course our apartment was a mess, so it took a little while to get that back to the status quo.
This week we've been preparing for next week's work. Scott is going out to Washington D.C. for a conference and we have a work dinner out there, and so I'll get to sight see a bit.

I haven't done much in the way of sewing/quilting this week, except for a notebook cover. I had some scraps of Sunkissed fabric (1 inch by 3 inches) left over from my Single Girl quilt (that I still haven't been able to completely assemble). I always liked the dandelion silhouette, and thought it'd be cute to put on a notebook cover. A sentiment of spring. Nothing says spring like the first weeds popping out in the lawn! :)

Would you like a tutorial on the notebook cover? If you're interested, leave a comment and let me know! I've been using the notebook cover Jen gave me for Christmas as a template to make this one, and so I'd strike up a conversation with her if there's interest in a tutorial! It's pretty easy and it makes your notebook fun and interesting to carry around with you.

Here it is all folded up with a notebook snuggled inside...

This is it stretched out...

I raw edge appliqued the little dandelion "poofs" and I LOVE them!

It's a medium sized notebook, but it holds post-it's and your pens and everything you need for a meeting!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Odds and ends....

My maid of honor informed me that I need to get's been a week and she's had nothing new to read! :) This week I did more reading than quilting. Okay, I'll blog about that too!

In the last seven days I've read 4 books, yes, FOUR! And each one was fantastic! If you get the chance you should read them! They are:
1. The Hunger Games
2. Catching Fire
3. Mockingjay
4. Red Riding Hood

The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay are a trilogy of books by Suzanne Collins. They. Are. Awesome. End of story. And to top it off the Hunger Games movie is coming out in 2012.

Red Riding Hood is the book to the movie that's coming out soon. It's a great book, except that the last chapter is online. Don't start reading the book, unless you have access to the internet. You'll need it.

Here's what I've been up to in the last week....I made a little pacifier clippy. There's velcro on the left end, and a suspender clip on the right side so you can put the pacifier on the velcro, and then clip the whole thing to baby's shirt so if his pacifier falls out of his/her mouth, it won't get dirty!

And this thing I just whipped up with dimensions that I thought would work.... It's a changing pad for baby with a pocket for wipeys and diapers!!! I even have a lion that matches the quilt I made for Xander! This is it folded up....

And this is it unfolded. It's a little bit big to put in a diaper bag, but it'd be perfect for out in the living room or for going to Grandpa and Grandma's house! :)

The New Wave quilt I finished finally was bound and labeled. I used my labels that I made on! They match my blog header! :) I love it!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Just One Star - A selfless act

Two questions:
1. Do you know anyone that has served or is serving overseas?
2. Do you know how to follow directions for a quilt block?

How long does it take to make one quilt block? Just one. An eight pointed star to be exact. Maybe 20 minutes? 30 minutes at most? How many times in a week do I waste 20-30 minutes surfing the internet, watching TV, or running silly errands? Too many. This week I'm going to do something different with my free time.

I'm going to help the Marines. Well, maybe not by ending the war, or by anything dramatic like that, but by making a quilt block. Just one, but probably more. A star. My grandpa was/is in the Marines (once a Marine, always a Marine) and I think he would be proud that people serving overseas are going to be shipped some good old "Made in the USA" quilts!

Moda created this project so that quilters from across the country (and even the world) are making and mailing star blocks back to the good people at Moda made from a particular pattern. Click here to get it. All the blocks they receive will be put together into quilts and then mailed overseas to Marines in the line of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.

This is a great project to use up some of your red, blue and cream scraps!!! It won't take you long, and it will mean the world to someone else. If you know someone that served overseas you know that any comfort to remind them of home means alot. Dig through your scraps and donate a little time to help remind Americans serving overseas of home.

The stars will then be put together in to this quilt.....

The deadline for star blocks is May 1, 2011 so that they can meet their quilt deadline
by Flag Day, June 14, 2011.

They need 1800 star blocks to reach their goal.
Please take a few minutes to piece Just One Star block (click here for block pattern) using a medium red or blue and a cream background. Better yet, invite your small group or even your entire guild to make Just One Star block. Sign each block with your name and state.
Then we can truly say....the hands of a grateful nation comfort our soldiers!
We will coordinate the donation of the 100 quilts thru the Semper Fi Fund, a cause
that is near and dear to designers, Polly Minick and Laurie Simpson.

Thank you for your help!
Send untrimmed blocks to:

United Notions/Moda Fabrics
Attn: Just One Star Project
13800 Hutton
Dallas, TX 75234

Sunday, March 13, 2011

It was GREEN!

Being a quilter means knowing different colors and shades, hues and intensity. Is it a chartreuse, a plum, or shamrock green? I think I know these things, and then something happens that rocks my color pallette.

Yesterday my cousin and I went to Chicago and it's the Saturday before St. Patty's Day, so they dye the Chicago River green! There was a boat with 3 guys sprinkling this rust colored powder into the river and it looked like highlighter yellow in the wake, but then it spread and turned the whole river green...

Happy early St. Patty's Day everyone! :) Enjoy the different shades of green!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Giveaway time!!!

It's giveaway time! There's a sponsored giveaway over at Jaybird Quilts!!! Head on over there to check it out and enter for your chance to win a kit (including a Modern Workshop jelly roll) for Julie's new quilt pattern Hugs and Kisses!!!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

It's SALE time!!!

Hi Everyone,
If you haven't had time to check out my etsy store, now's the time. I'm having a 10% off sale on your order! Just enter "takeoff" when you check out! I've uploaded some patterns, and there's lots of fabric to come!!! So check back in the next couple of days!

Friday, March 4, 2011

In about 24 hours, this is what I did....

I worked at my LQS Wednesday night, and then ended up getting home and began to cut from the blue/gray fabric that I had recently received. I started quilting at about 10:00 and then I finally finished the top last night at 11:30. I also squeezed in sleeping and working at my day job in there!

Scott was a huge help in picking out border colors, the strip and he's even helping me pick out a flange to put just inside the binding. He actually has really good color taste! :)

I used the New Wave quilt tutorial by Oh, Fransson! If you want to use the pattern, check out her .pdf file for the quilt!

What are your thoughts? I have the medium gray (on the bottom of this last photo) and then I was going to bind it in the same color. I'd like to use the denim blue or the light ash gray (the two that I used as solid strips) as the flange. The light ash would make it stand out, but is the quilt too busy? Should I use the blue and calm it down a little?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

What I've been up to lately.

The last few days I've done more sewing than blogging. I think that's a good thing. This past weekend one of my friends came down from Northern Wisconsin and brought some fabric to make cloth napkins! I think they turned out really well! And I pulled some red out of my stash and we used it for the backing of one set. Those are my favorite! We used the "French Seam" method. You first put wrong sides together, yes, wrong sides together, sew around the outer edge with your 1/4" seam, leaving about a 4-5" section un-sewn so that you can turn it right sides out. Then turn, poke your corners, and iron. Iron the edge with the hole so that the raw edges are folded inward and match the rest of the napkin. Then adjust your machine to a 1/8" seam and sew around the entire napkin. Voila!

I've also put some of my finished photos on facebook, and my sister commented on the purse I I had to make her one too! Even the purses look like sisters! :) The bottom one is the original, and the one on the top is her "copy"! I just inverted the colors. She's a purple fiend!

The other day I thought about summer up North and laying on the lawn after swimming in our lake....and how good it would feel to lay on a quilt! Since I'm making ('s on stand-by at the moment) the Single Girl quilt with the solid gray, I realized that I like gray! And I thought a darker color would soak up the sun so the quilt would be nice and warm by the time I laid on it. I found the fat quarter bundle on the Fabric Quarter website and I had to buy them! The only thing is, I got a half yard bundle of 7 different prints, and when I measured them out they were 18" exactly at the fold, and about 17 3/4" at the selvage edges. So if you were planning on cutting two 9" squares out of the width, that wouldn't work. The solids I pulled from my stash.

The pattern I'm going to use for the gray quilt is from Oh, Fransson! You can find the tutorial and pattern here if you'd like to try it! I'm also going to try her mosaic floor pillow one of these days also! I'm just waiting to get the right amount of scraps....

Head on over to this Oh, Frannson! webpage for more great free downloadable quilt patterns! Enjoy!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

A new conversational piece for a future bag!

The other day I was looking on (I always find something I NEED on there) for some large buttons for a bag I want to make, and I stumbled across this....

photos courtesy of Lynnaddison

It's a fantastic vintage Victorian button from the Ellsworth & Thayer Manufacturing Company that manufactured leather driving with no seam where the thumb connects to the palm, welding gloves and railroad gloves from 1890 to 1920! I am left to assume the first world war took it's toll on the company and forced it to shut it's doors. They employed 67 men, 67 women, and one person under the age of 16. Their office building was one building that was more than 3 stories high on Wells Street in Milwaukee. It's a black composite advertising button that's pre-Bakelite material.

If only this button could talk! I especially love the way that the thread over the years has worn between the holes! This button originated from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, somehow over the years found it's way down to Arizona, and now it's back in Milwaukee about 100 years after it was made!

The etsy shop owner, Lynn, took these photos and has graciously allowed me to use them for this blog! Thank you Lynn! :) Check out her etsy shop for more neat buttons, buckles and vintage items!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Perfect old shoes.

Have you ever had a pair of shoes that fit like a second skin? The arch support was perfect, the laces tied up just right, and they fit like an old glove! After loving these shoes and wearing them everywhere, they might get a hole in them, or the sole will start to peel, or the tongue rips out. Then you can just go back to the same store where you found the first pair and get another, right? WRONG!

It's the same way with sewing machines. A Singer isn't just any Singer. A Bernina isn't compared to a Pfaff. And one make and model is completely different from the next! With this in mind about a year ago I searched online for a twin of my machine. When I first got my machine, it was just whatever was $150 from Target at the time, but it's a metal beast that does everything I need it to. I'm used to the buttons, the levers and the hooks for the feed dogs, the reverse button....everything. I. Love. It. Target no longer carried my same machine, a Singer 5050C. Ok, so I'll just search google and see what I find. Well, there's one down in North Carolina and it's $150 without shipping (which is another good $40). Or there's one over in Colorado that's $169, also without shipping. I finally found one just by searching Craig's List and garage sale-ing around Milwaukee! :)

Recently I took them both in and had them serviced. My original is VERY broken in and loose, and the new one still needs some breaking in, but I'm sure I'll put it to good use eventually!

Don't forget to get a second pair of your favorite shoes, before they're nowhere to be found!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Jaybird Quilts is having another sponsored giveaway!
Head on over to the Fabric Quarter and use the code "jaybird10" to save 10% on your order!

You could have a chance to win some fat quarters from Laura Gunn's new Magnolia Lane fabric line!!! She's one of my favorite fabric designers! Head on over and enter (up to 4 different ways) for your chance to win!

Good luck!

Monday, February 21, 2011

It had to happen eventually....

Well it had to happen eventually, and I'd better do it before a part breaks or I'm forced to take it to the repair shop. I'm telling myself that not quilting for two days is a good thing. Today I took my sewing machine in to have it serviced for the first time ever in 4 years. It should be done by Wednesday, but without a sewing machine in my studio, it looks pretty empty despite all the half quilt projects and scraps strewn about! I could iron and cut fabric for another quilt....but I think 4 projects going on at once is enough for now....especially with all the wedding stuff going on lately! :)

Scott ordered my wedding ring today, his is safe at home, we sent our save the dates out last week, we have a meeting with the church ladies later next month, my dress is in the alteration stage and everything is coming together! All this planning though, and it's over in about 8 hours. Maybe afterwards I'll just wear my dress around the house....every once in a while! :)

Friday, February 18, 2011


Thank goodness quilts are forgiving.

I had to wing a few seams and trim my blocks a bit, but the final block looks pretty good!

The curved seams weren't as bad as I thought they'd be! But no mom, I'm not finishing your apple core quilt... When I was in high school and just starting to learn how to quilt my mom gave me some cut apple cores to put together.....definitely frustrating for a beginner quilter!

My center seam matched up pretty well I thought!

I guess the four blocks that make up the bigger block each count as one, but the ring block is much bigger than I thought it'd be!