Please excuse the broken picture links on the blog. I'm in the process of moving all of my pictures from photobucket to smugmug and it's taking a lot of time. thanks for your patience!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Update on Scary Trend

I posted a week or so back about the pincushion trend and walnut shells. Now tonight, I was browsing an Etsy store that sells fabric and they also sell pincushions with walnut shells. UGH. So now, every time I want to buy fabric online I'll have to make sure they don't sell something like this and also should probably let them know about our allergy issue so if they do make these in their spare time (because I'm sure most people who sell fabric also use it) it won't be a problem for us. This is a real drag because I have no decent fabric stores near me. The internet is it.

Another frustration that is completely non-craft-related. A while back we started going to McDonald's again because they started putting their nuts (for the sundaes) in sealed bags-presumably to avoid cross contamination for people with nut allergies (which is one of the most dangerous food allergies). A couple of weeks ago we found out that McDonald's now has Reese's Peanut Butter Cup flurries-no sealed bags and since they are chopped up, even if they're very careful there is a big chance of cross contamination-and I don't believe for a second that they will wash their hands after every time they prepare one-which is what our local McD's told us. Makes no sense. So McDonald's is out for us again for now and if they continue to serve these (which they may depending on popularity) it will be out permanently. We have very few places from which to choose as it is, and vacation is especially challenging when we have to avoid one of the most prevalent places for fast food. And yes I know fast food is terrible but I don't want to cook every single day of every single week and none of the 'good' restaurants is safe either-we only trust Outback and sadly, we don't have one nearby.

Pity party over.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Hey Chickie-you're sssss-weet!!

I mentioned a couple of posts back that my friend Joy has created a set of saying stamps for the Cricut Create a Critter cartridge. I love this cart-it is so cute and along with Joy, my friend Jin has made the most amazing things with it. Joy was nice enough to send me a few of the stamps to try out and this is what I've come up with so far. I have been so out of the mood to make cards lately that I was planning to make just one for now, but honestly, it was so fun I made another one! And tomorrow my daughter is hoping to make another one for me to share.

All paper from Stampin'Up except the white, which is Neenah. I also used retiring or retired colors apricot appeal, eggplant envy and rose romance, plus current colors tempting turquoise and basic black. The tag is from the Tags, Bags, Boxes and More cartridge. I also used an embossing folder on the tag (I thought it looked kind of like scales) and inked the edges with craft ink. I don't know who makes the ribbon but it matched perfectly.

All paper from Stampin' Up except the white, which is Neenah. I used retiring barely banana and green galore, along with current colors bashful blue, pumpkin pie, basic black, and so saffron. I used the paper doll dress up cartridge for the grass, and I used the hello kitty greetings cartridge to make a cloud stencil for the cloud-which was sponged on with white craft ink.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Scary trend

I read a lot of sewing and quilting blogs so I am pretty much up on the trends (I don't do them, I just know them). One I've been reading a lot about is making pincushions, for both sewing and non-sewing people. A lot of bloggers stuff the pincushions with crushed walnut shells. Knowing the seriousness and unpredictability of a life threatening food allergy, this scares me. If someone is sewing with pins that were in such a pincushion, all of the pins, the item being sewed, and even the sewers hands will have walnut oil or walnut protein on them. This is so easily spread to anything else in their house. This is the main reason I almost never sign up for giveaways-I would hate to win something from someone who (unbeknownst to me) uses this type of pincushion and then put my daughter at risk of a reaction. I know I can wash most things like fabric but a lot of the giveaways are for precuts, which cannot be prewashed.

I just wanted to put the heads-up out there-if you're sewing for others please be aware of any allergies or sensitivities they or their family members may have. Food allergies seem to be on the rise lately, and no one knows why, but until someone comes up with a cure, avoidance is the only defense. Since walnut is the one thing my daughter has reacted to (the rest were determined through testing) it's the one that strikes the most fear in our hearts.

Blogger's Quilt Festival

This is my first time participating in the Blogger's Quilt Festival, which is being sponsored by Amy at Amy's Creative Side-a blog I've been following for a while. Since I'm a beginner and rather slow I decided to share this large wall quilt (or maybe small lap?) that is the very first top I ever pieced. I can't believe it's been 3 yrs and sadly, I've only done 2 more quilts since this one. I'm getting faster though. :D

Making this quilt was such a learning experience. I learned how to piece 9-patch blocks and how to snug the seams so they would match up. I also learned quick-piecing methods that made it work up really quickly. It was the first time I did any amount of machine quilting (not counting stockings) and first time I used clear thread-which may not sound like a big deal but it's different using it. It's also the first time I used quilting software (at the time I only had Quilt Design Wizard but I use Electric Quilt now) which I used to figure out color placement.

I saw a quilt like this at a quilt forum and asked how I could find the pattern. It turned out that it was from an old magazine that was probably not available anymore. The lady that made it actually sent me her magazine! So I made it using some 30's prints I had been hoarding and also made a pieced backing. The back was as much work as the front! So anyway, here she is:

and the back:

At the time I swore I would never do another pieced backing like this. I still may not-it was a lot of work. And honestly, I am totally not up to the caliber of all the other quilters participating but thanks to all the great blogs, magazines and my prior experience sewing clothing and crafts, I'm learning!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Another grocery bag

I decided to start looking at (and buying, of course) some clearance fabrics for making more grocery bags. I found a few good ones at Joann's so I made another bag to use for "wrapping" a gift. Paper gift bags are ridiculously expensive! And these are cuter and more useful. I used a blue daisy print for the outside and a pink with white dots for the lining (sorry for the dark pics-I didn't realize they were dark until I uploaded them to photobucket).

this picture shows how the lining looks.

It took me about an hour and a half to make this (not including cutting out the bag-but I cut out enough for 2 bags while I talked to my sister on the phone today so since I was multitasking it doesn't count, right?) I think after this it will take much less time, maybe an hour, since I won't have to look at the instructions each time. Also if I do a few assembly-line style, it'll take even less time.

This bag contains a folded up lap quilt and that red thing is a metal utensil holder from Target.

Saturday, May 8, 2010


Happy Mother's Day to me-this is what we brought home today:

I can't open it until Sunday (but I did take the book out to read in advance) but when I do, this is what it should look like:

I'm going to have to do a LOT of sewing to justify getting this baby. I cannot wait.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Cathedral Windows pillow

I saw this on the a la mode fabric blog (shift click to open in a new window) and thought it looked so neat I just had to try it. So I decided to make one for my mom for Mother's Day. I had some trouble keeping things all lined up nicely in the intersections but otherwise thought it turned out pretty darn cool! I made a few mistakes but I hope my mom likes it anyway. I may make one for myself once I get a few other projects done. I think a pillow size is about all I can handle-it's not super hard but it's tedious. The green fabric is Tarragon Kona cotton from Robert Kaufman fabrics and the colored inserts are from the Freebird line from Moda.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Felt Flowers

I am completely out of mojo lately so I took this almost directly from the Stampin' Up demo magazine. I changed it a little. Not much. Not sure how happy I am with it but guess what-my mom is getting it anyway.

Embossing folder from Provo Craft, liquid pearls from Ranger. Everything else is from Stampin Up.

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