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!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

And coal wins.

It was always going to be this way. Today I unlocked a deep dark need in my soul to have a predominantly gray quilt. I now realize that it's always been there, I just needed to discover it. And now that I have it within reach, I'm really, really, REALLY excited about it! I'm not really a pink person, and blue just didn't seem to go with Sunkissed, green or the orange/yellow would have been good and I like those colors, but I couldn't handle a king sized quilt of them. Gray has always been the right choice for me and this quilt.

Here's 1/4 of one of the Single Girl rings on the gray. I think I like it because it makes the colors pop, and won't show dirt like white would have. And since it'll be on my bed eventually I didn't want the sheet fuzzies and lint to show up on something even darker, like a black. I've been excited about other quilting projects before, but nothing like this! It's perfect!

Working Wednesdays!

It's Wednesday again. That means that after my day job I get to go and work at the quilt shop!!! :) I love it there. The two ladies that I work with (Jen & Kate) are fantastic!!! One of them is leading the Sylvia's Bridal Sampler and is hosting her own quilt along with squares from the sides of barns found here in Wisconsin in her block of the week!

Both Jen and Kate love to quilt and we always have a great time working together.

I've been working on a Single Girl quilt the last few days and if it wasn't for being in the quilt along, I'd be losing steam rapidly. Now that the cutting of the ring fabrics is finished hopefully it'll go more quickly. I'm using Sweetwater's Sunkissed for the ring fabrics and thought about putting a kona solid gray as the background fabric. What are your thoughts? If you were using Sunkissed, what Kona cotton solid would you use for the background?

Option 1: Ash

Option 2: Medium Gray

Option 3: Slate

Option 4: Coal

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Christmas is finished early!

It's finished! And it's quite possibly the quickest start-to-finish project I've done in a while, except for a few smaller wall hangings. It's time to get out those seasonal projects and get them jump-started while I have the gumption!

I used "Dear Santa" by Diane Knott for Clothworks on the back and for the hanging sleeve. I don't necessarily need the backs of my wall hangings to match, but if I fold it up I want to be able to tell that it's a Christmas-y something or other before I sha-nangle it out of the closet and unfold it only to find that it's a spring wall hanging! :)

A free pattern and a giveaway!

Lily's Quilts is having a giveaway!!!

Head on over to her blog to get the details!

Also check out her new pattern featured on Moda Bake Shop called Hexagon Park!

Good luck and happy quilting!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A 5 minute recipe for a delicious home made pie!

If you're not a baker, TRY this recipe. You heard me! It's the easiest, cheapest, tastiest, and easiest pie I've EVER made. Yes I put easiest in there twice on purpose.

One thing not too many people know about me, is I'm terrible with dough. Pie crust dough, bread dough, cookie dough, virtually all dough. So having a graham cracker crust gives this pie brownie points with me right off the bat!

You should really try it. You dirty one bowl and a whisk, and maybe a rubber scraper. It takes 5 minutes to mix the ingredients and 15 minutes to bake! It doesn't get any easier than this with only 3 ingredients plus a crust!

5 egg yolks - beaten
one 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
1/2 Cup of key lime juice
one 9 inch pre-made graham cracker crust (or you can also make your own)

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees (Ferenheit).

Mix your egg yolks and sweetened condensed milk. Add the lime juice and mix some more. Mix until there are no lumps of any kind and everything is melded together. When your oven is pre-heated, pour the filling into the crust and put your pie in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes. Allow to cool. Serve with whipped cream! Be sure and refrigerate your left-overs! :)


Friday, February 11, 2011

Getting ready for Christmas!

I have a few yards of fabric that I've decided it's time to do something with! I have some plans of what I'd like to make with them....including the Reversible Shoulder Bag by Lula Louise. But who knows what I'll actually make.

The top two fabrics are designed by Tina Givens and the bottom blue one is by Anna Marie Horner.

I'm part Czech, and I have to have poppies! :)

I've had this kit for a while. Scott bought it for me and I was just waiting until the right time to pull it out and work on it! :)

You can find the Joy pattern and others here.

I've never attempted flying geese before, and I think they turned out pretty well! At first my favorite part of the pattern was the applique, but now I think it may be the blocks above and below the center, or the flying geese.

Monday, February 7, 2011


Jaybird Quilts is having another sponsored (by Pink Chalk Fabrics) giveaway!!! :)

Click here to go to her site and get the details and enter!

Good luck!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Super Bowl Sunday

Today is a sacred day in the state of Wisconsin. Our Green Bay Packers are playing in the Super Bowl. Tomorrow over 7 million people will call in sick to work. There will be more cheese consumed today in this state than in any other state in the United States.

It's time to bring home the Lombardi trophy.

Needless to say, there won't be much quilting going on today! :)

Usually if the Packers aren't in the Super Bowl I just wait around and watch the commercials.

Do you have any special Super Bowl traditions? Comment and let me know! Who are you hoping wins today? If you pick the Steelers, you have to put your reason in the comment! ;)

This is Scott and I at Lambeau a couple years ago at a pre-season game!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Neptune hoarder.

I'm a little bit proud and ashamed of myself. I am in LOVE with Neptune by Tula Pink. It's harder than heck to come across and is basically extinct. Just an FYI, this is NOT for sale, but if you had some of your favorite fabric, whatever it may be, what would you do with it? I was thinking of making the Diamond Chain quilt in Kimberly Einmo's book Jelly Roll Quilts & More. I loved the colors a year ago when I started becoming a "serious" quilter and I had no idea how hard this fabric would be to find a year later. I think all quilters are serious, who would undertake such a project without being serious about it?!?! Thank goodness for fabric stashing!!! What are you stashing away for the perfect project?

Sorry about the photo. The pages are glossy and my camera's flash doesn't want to cooperate!

A small clutch and more wall deco

I've been busy today. Milwaukee is in a blizzard warning and today I was able to stay home today (and still be paid! Bonus!) So right away after breakfast I finished quilting my wall hanging that I bought fabric for yesterday. I worked as a park ranger from 2007 to 2008 while I was in college, and it was one of the best jobs a person could ask for! Especially in college! I talked to people all day! It was excellent!!! This is my way of reminding myself of that time!

Last night (before the worst of the blizzard hit and our internet went out) I purchased a purse pattern from Pink Chalk fabrics! I love purchasing patterns from them. A, they have a TON of them! B, they offer free shipping 365 days a year on patterns to anywhere in the U.S.! What could be better? And some of their patterns are even PDF downloads that are sent to you within seconds of your purchase!

This is the Keyka Lou Zip Clutch pattern that I used, and then I adjusted it slightly and added a "D" ring on the side and created a clip on handle. There are three sizes that you can make, this is the largest of the three. This will hold my camera, my small wallett and my car keys perfectly!

I can also take the handle off and just use it as a clutch! I love this little thing!

I love the batiks I found for this little guy! The lining is the same purple that I used to make the sash on the outside. And the outside fabric is a bit more golden-orange than the photos show.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Engagement announcement

The other day my mom picked up a couple of local newspapers from my hometown and mailed them to me...and on the top of page 6, there we are! :)