Sunday, August 28, 2011

Birthday Cakes

It's hard to believe that these little babies . . . 

 . . . . are now these 6 year old girls! 

We had lots of fun together last week, getting ready for the big day.
I wanted to make a new birthday cake quilt (I made a smaller one last year, before I learned to FMQ).  The girls helped me pick colors, and arrange the cake's layers.  They thought it was fun to tape it to the kitchen floor for pinning, too.

I did a some tiny FMQing around the cake,
and then embellished the layers with rick rack and pom pom trim--very girly!
 I hung the quilt above our fireplace,
along with the Happy Birthday pennant that I made last year.
On the mantle are pictures of the girls on each birthday -- 
from their actual "birth day" up to age five.
  It was a really fun trip down memory lane for all of us!
This year's quilt is on the left, and the quilt I made last year is on the right.
This was such a fun birthday project!
Linking up to:

Fresh Poppy Design

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Paper Piecing Saves this Farmer's Wife

I had almost given up on the Farmer's Wife Quilt Along.
I had 8 blocks done, and wasn't enjoying it.
But I really wanted to finish this quilt,
because I had planned to make 90 blocks for a quilt
for my Grandma's 90th Birthday.
Then I started reading on various blogs about how some people had started paper piecing their blocks . . . . so I joined the Yahoo group (to have access to the paper piecing templates) . . . and made 3 blocks in one morning . . . and it was fun again!
And the blocks turned out perfectly . . . hooray!

My first 3 paper pieced blocks
It's definitely more fun to choose blocks randomly, so this is what I'll be doing for the remainder of the quilt along.  There is a printable list of blocks with checkboxes on Yahoo groups, too, so this is how I'm keeping track of which ones I've made. 
Block #109, Windows

Block #77, Seasons
Block #66, Periwinkle
Block #108, Windmill

I'm completely in love with this quilt along (again)!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

WIP Wednesday 8.17.11

 I am so in love with this Summer Sampler Quilt!
It was such fun to make,
and I loved matching solids with my stash of DS Quilts fabrics.
Read more about it here.
I finished up two quilt tops this week!
Neither of them were very large, so once I actually sat down to sew,
it didn't take very long.  Now, it's onto the quilting!
For the Kaleidoscope quilt below, I plan to do an all over meander,
but I'm debating the thread color -- cream? green? brown?

Bee blocks for the 4 x 5 Modern Bee

This is my not-very-successful-gardening-work-in-progress.
I'm guessing that these blueberries didn't like being buried in weeds all summer.
Since our crop isn't the best,
we're heading off on a blueberry picking adventure today!
Linking up to:
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Friday, August 12, 2011

Summer Sampler Quilt Top

My Summer Sampler quilt top is finished!
I love, love, love this quilt.

KateFaith, and Lee did such a terrific job hosting this quilt along!
Thanks to these lovely ladies,
I am now totally comfortable with (and probably addicted to!) paper piecing.
I enjoyed this quilt along so much!

As I was posting these photos,
my husband looked over my shoulder and said "wow, that's pretty."
I couldn't agree more!

The fabrics are all from the DS Quilts collection,
with coordinating Kona solids in red, navy, and chartreuse.

Any thoughts on how to quilt it?
Linking up to:{Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations

Happy Friday!

I'm being featured today on GenX Quilters . . . . thanks AnneMarie!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Works in Progress 8.10.11

I am loving these lazy days of summer,
and treasure each day that I get to spend at home with my girls.
Too soon, they'll be in school all day -- yikes!
 I deliberately planned to work less than usual in August,
to get to soak up the last of the summer fun.
Luckily in Minnesota,
school never starts until after Labor Day,
so I have a few more weeks of summer adventures with my lovely little ladies!

I probably should have titled this post "Summer Sampler Quilt Along" in progress,
as this is the only thing I'm really working on right now.

I have had so much fun with this quilt along!
I especially love all of the paper pieced blocks--I just loved seeing these come together!

Since my blocks did not all end up exactly 12.5 inches square (bummer!),
I'm planning on doing some sashing or borders prior to sewing them together.
I can't wait to see all these gorgeous blocks together!

Linking up to:WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Pretty Little Pouch Swap 2

Can you believe this?

I'm so lucky!
Nikki sent me this AMAZING package!
I can't believe she sent 2 pouches, a cute little pincushion,
and all these yummy Heather Ross scraps!

I LOVE the fabrics she chose -- all AMH, with beautiful embroidery around the hexagons.

Isn't the back just lovely, too?
I love the narrow quilting, and the embroidery is such a nice addition!

Sign me up for the Pretty Little Pouch Swap 3 -- this is fun!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Summer Fair - Quilt and Recipe

Gen X Quilters Summer Fair
What a fun idea, AnneMarie!

Here in Minnesota, we LOVE the State Fair!
I live only a few blocks from the State Fairgrounds,
 which makes State Fair time even more crazy and fun!
We celebrate the opening of the Minnesota State Fair
 by walking up the street to a mini donut stand --
 every year they park it just outside the gates,
so you don't even have to pay to get in to eat bags and bags of these!

I haven't entered anything into a fair in years --
since my 4-H days when I sewed a bright pink floral top and shorts set, 
and modeled it in the 4-H fashion show.  Yikes!
But if I was going to really enter a quilt in the Fair, it would be this one:
I just love this quilt!
You can read more about it in the original post here.

And in keeping with AnneMarie's Fair theme, here is one of my favorite recipes:
Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins
1 egg
1/4 cup canola oil (or can substitute applesauce)
1/2 c brown sugar
one can pumpkin
1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup oats
1 1/2 cups flour
mini chocolate chips
Mix above ingredients together by hand, then fill muffin tins.  Top with a mixture of oats and brown sugar, then sprinkle a few more mini choc chips on top.  Bake at 400F for 20 minutes.  Makes 12 muffins.  I usually double the recipe, as these keep well in the freezer.  I often eat these for breakfast--from freezer to microwave,
I have a warm muffin ready by the time I get my coffee made!

Pretty Little Pouch Swap - Sent!

I have returned from a long, wonderful vacation --
 just in time to finish up this pouch before the swap deadline!

My swap partner said that she loved free motion quilting & machine applique, and she had a pouch similar to this in her mosaic.  This turned out a little "scrappier" than I had intended.  I think next time I'll fuse the smaller pieces to the linen prior to doing the outlining, so hopefully they won't fray so much.

the back

I also included a little pincushion and fat quarter as an extra surprise (along with some chocolates!)-- last time I did this type of swap I was amazed at all of the "extra" things that my partner sent to me.
Linking up to:

Fresh Poppy Design