Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Our Christmas Tree

Every year I make a goal to be finished with all the Christmas shopping and decorating by December 1, so I can enjoy the season.  By mid December I just sigh because it was a nice goal and maybe I’ll do better next year.  There are just too many things going on.  Oh well, at least we got our tree up! 

I’ve decided to slowly create a vintage looking Christmas tree.  Each year I pick out a few tree decorations that have an old look to them, so as the years go by, my tree will start looking more and more vintage.  Plus, it will mean more to us because we will remember the fun time we had picking out just the right ornaments to buy and how fun it was to find the perfect spot to hang each one.

Vintage style Christmas Tree

I hope everyone gets a few  moments here and there to slow down and enjoy the Christmas Season!


Friday, November 15, 2013

Great Aunt Katie’s Granola

Even though I have been doing lots and lots of sewing, I can’t really show anything now because all my projects are gifts.  But, I’m taking  lots of pictures so I can show off a little after Christmas.  Meanwhile, I thought I’d share one of my favorite recipes.

My Great Aunt Katie made the most fabulous granola.  I stayed with my sister once for a couple of nights (who lived at Aunt Katie’s house) while she was attending college.  For breakfast, Aunt Katie served granola and fruit.  I had never had anything like it, but I LOVED it. The only comparable granola I have ever had since, was in a little French bistro in New York.  I had granola served with yogurt, a chocolate croissant, and steamed hot chocolate.  YUM!

So now, when I feel like spoiling myself (and my family), I make a big batch of homemade granola. 

Homemade Granola


10c Oats                                                         1/2 c Molasses

1c Wheat Germ                                             1c Honey

1/2 lb Coconut                                              1 1/2 t Salt

2c Raw Sunflower Seeds                             2t Cinnamon

1c Sesame Seeds                                          3t Vanilla

3c Almonds (whole, slivered, sliced…)   

1 1/2c Brown Sugar

1 1/2c Water

1 1/2c Vegetable Oil

Dried fruit (optional)  I like to add fresh fruit to mine right before eating.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. 

In a large bowl, mix together dry ingredients.  Stir in wet ingredients.  Mix very well (otherwise you might get spots of strong molasses in a bite of your granola).  Spread on jelly roll pan.  Cook 20-30 minutes.  If you like it a little more crunchy, cook an additional 15 minutes. 

I like to eat mine with milk and fresh berries mixed in.  My husband eats his with yogurt.  My daughter eats hers plain .  Anyway you like it, it’s super yummy.




Friday, October 18, 2013

It’s crochet season!

It’s finally starting to cool down here in Texas (mid 70’s is cool right?) and I’m so excited because that means it’s the beginning of ‘cuddling with quilts and afghans’ season.  It doesn’t last long, so I try to make the most of it.  This year I’ve decided to try something new and zig zag!

zig zags afghan closeup

As I stood in front of the yarn section at the craft store, I waited for the colors to call out to me.  These three colors called the loudest….

zig zag afghan

It has taken me about 7 hours to crochet a foot.  I had grand plans and thought I’d go big.  So, it may take me awhile to finish this one, but it’ll be worth it!

In case you are wondering, I got the pattern here at hand crafting with love.


Monday, October 14, 2013

Nancy Drew birthday quilt

My oldest daughter turned sixteen yesterday! Gasp! I’m still in shock.  Sixteen. Wow.  I wanted to do something special for her big birthday, so we had an awesome night party that included s’mores, a water fountain full of bubbles, lots of glow sticks (for games), a fire pit, and Christmas lights strung all over the backyard.  It was awesome.  I also wanted to give her an extra special gift. 

Last year, I bought a “Get a Clue with Nancy Drew” layer cake because my daughter LOVES all kinds of mystery like  Sherlock Holmes, Judy Bolton, The Shadow, and of course Nancy Drew.  And, I also happened to find a super cute Nancy Drew quilt pattern here at Moda Bake Shop.  Of course I left it all until the last two weeks, but I finished it on Friday (yeah!) and it was her favorite present.

irish chain quilt

9 patch irish chain

I think the appliqued book covers totally made the quilt.  Such a cute idea.  I liked the books spread out a little more than the original pattern, so I changed it just a bit.

Nancy Drew quilt binding

I’m so in love with the black and white striped binding too. I really struggled picking it out, because I was once told never to put black with dark blue, but I went with it anyway and I’m so glad I did. 

Nancy Drew quilt 3

I quilted big loopy swirls to go with the fun feel of the quilt (and to get it done a little faster).  It’s a simple pattern but, I think it turned out pretty cute.

Now, on to another baby blanket…..


Saturday, September 28, 2013

A quilt for my nephew

Last Sunday my new nephew was born!  I’m so very excited!  I live over 800 miles away from my family, so when a new baby is born I have to wait until our Christmas or summer vacation to see the new addition.  But, a few years ago we were lucky enough to have my husband’s brother and his family move in to our neighborhood.  And since then, we have welcomed two new nephews! 

The newest addition surprised us all by coming a month early, which meant I had to do some speedy sewing to get his little quilt finished.

charm pack baby quilt

I used two charm packs from the ‘Ten Little Things” line.  The fabric is so bright and colorful, I decided to keep the pattern simple and just sew the squares together. 

Loopy quilting on charm pack quilt

I thought big loopy quilting went best with the fabrics.   It’s fun and playful.

Ten Little Things Quilt

And of course, I had to go with the striped binding…..

Ten Little Things Finished Baby Quilt

Since we are a household of many girls, my only son is thrilled to welcome another boy cousin into the family!


Monday, September 9, 2013

My own Minky blanket

After making all these baby blankets, I decided I wanted a soft cuddly blanket of my own.  I found a fabric I loved, added minky for the back and a polka dot binding.  The result – my very own cuddle blanket.  Well almost, my kids tend to steal it from me when I’m not looking.

hexagon minky blanket

It’s super simple and only took two days.  One day to quilt it, one day to trim and bind it.

hexagon minky blanket 2

Because I live where it is very warm, I wanted to keep it lightweight.  So, I didn’t use any batting, just the cotton top and minky back.

hexagon minky blanket 3

I use it everyday.  Everyone should have one.   Hmmm. I’m thinking Christmas??


Monday, August 26, 2013

School time!

I can’t believe summer is already over!  We have done so much during the summer, the time just flew by…….  The older kids are gone and my youngest is on a play date. So, here I sit all alone.  Wow.  It’s been awhile. 

My two teenagers.   It makes me sad to see how much they have grown up from this time last year.  It’s amazing how day by day can pass so slowly, but the years fly on by.

Sabrina and Levi first day of school

This is the last year my third daughter will be in elementary school.  Sigh.  Next year little brother becomes big brother when my youngest starts kindergarten.  What am I going to do with myself?

Probably sew.  A lot.


Friday, August 9, 2013

A few summer projects

I haven’t been doing much, but my sewing machine has seen a little bit of action in the last few weeks.  My oldest daughter wanted a new purse, so while we were in Utah I picked up some fabric she loved.  (It had to be purple with writing.)  I couldn’t find exactly what she wanted, but I came close.

Nan's Bag pattern

I used the pattern “Nan’s Bag” as requested by my daughter because she loves the tie at the top, the magnetic closure, and all the pockets inside.  (Three on one side and one on the other.)

purse inside pocket

It’s pretty simple, but she loves it.  Yeah! (Picking out something for a picky teenage girl that she actually likes is a little hard to accomplish.)

Next up is yet another self binding baby blanket.  I know, this is my third one in as many months, but they are so easy to make and turn out soooo very cute and cuddly.

Nursery rhyme minky blanket

I didn’t take a whole blanket picture, just a close up of the cute nursery rhyme toile fabric.  I bought it years and years ago for my youngest daughter and never used it.  Oh well. It’ll make the perfect present for another beautiful, baby girl.

Now, I’m off to start on my next two projects.  A jelly bean print skirt and a big minky blanket just for me! 


Thursday, July 25, 2013

The coolest lightning storm…

Here in Texas, most of our rain comes during monsoon season in July and August.  This year has been an especially cool season with lots and lots of rain and thunderstorms. (Almost every night!)  I took this picture two nights ago from the balcony on the back of my house. 

July Lightning Storm

I LOVE summer thunderstorms so very much…..


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Another baptism quilt

We have been gone/going (crazy) for awhile.  It took us a week to get ready to go on vacation.  Then two and a half fun filled, busy, crazy weeks in Utah. Then another week and a half to come home and get adjusted to real life again. Hence, the really long sewing break. 

But, yesterday I got in my sewing groove again and quilted an entire quilt, added binding and cut another half of a quilt out.  Yeah!  My little boy (not so little anymore) was baptized with his cousin while we were in Utah.  And, I make each of my kids a quilt as a present to help them celebrate their wonderful decision.  Since, I just finished making him a pirate quilt a few months ago, I wanted to go with fabrics that were a little more grown up, but an eight year old would love.  Hence the skateboarding and mountain biking fabric…..

skateboarding mountain biking quilt

I used a simple “Turning Twenty” pattern to show off the bigger print fabrics.  The piecing took one afternoon.  Super easy.

Turning twenty quilt

The backing fabric is every bit as exciting as the front and as an added bonus, I quilted fun words that describe my little monkey into the quilt.  Like: awesome, hiking, football, crazy, cool, fishing….. you get the idea.

I think he likes it!


Friday, June 14, 2013

Summer Purse

Every year I think I’m going to get lots of sewing done in the summer because the older kids are around to help with the younger kids.  Hah!  One day I’ll learn….  Anyway, while my oldest two girls were away at camp this week, I did get a little bit of sewing done during ‘movie time’.

Pick a Pocket Purse

I made a couple of these cute little purses using the Pick a Pocket Purse pattern (say that 10 times fast) found over at They were super easy to make and turned out pretty cute.  The only change I made was to add some thick interfacing to the straps to make them a little more stiff. 

I’m just loving these one day projects!


Monday, June 3, 2013

Charlie Brown baby blanket

It’s the end of the school year and everything is crazy!  There are awards assemblies, graduations, concerts, parties, activities, finals…… The list goes on.  It’s extra nice for the teachers because they get a break for awhile AND all the end of year teacher presents that come piling in.

Daughter 3 is graduating from 4th grade this year and she had an awesome teacher.  She was also daughter 2’s 4th grade teacher.  Anyway, this teacher is having her second baby next month and we are so excited for her!  As a ‘thank you so much’ and ‘welcome new baby’ present, I decided to make her a self binding baby blanket.  I found the cutest ‘Peanuts’ fabric because this teacher happens to love the Charlie Brown characters and has posters of them hanging all over her classroom.   I chose Minky in Linus colored blue, so her little boy can have his very own blanket.

This is the second self binding baby blanket I have made recently.  The first is posted here, along with all the instructions needed to make your own.

Charlie Brown baby blanket

It’s so bright, cheery and super cuddly. 

self binding baby blanket Peanuts

I normally don’t use character prints, but this one is so cute.  Can’t you just see a little baby boy all cuddled up in it?

Baby Blanket Peanuts

I didn’t use any quilt batting, so it’s light weight, which makes it much more usable in these hot Texas summers.

Now, I can’t wait to give it to her!


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Hexis and Stars Quilt Tutorial

The last quilt I made I used the half hexi ruler.  I loved how easily the quilt came together and it got me thinking.  So, I started doodling and came up with this simple quilt.  I love star quilts and hexagon quilts.  This is a great combination of both.

60 degree triangle quilt

Before starting, you will need a 60 degree triangle ruler that can cut 6 inch triangles. I bought mine online, because I don’t live near a quilt store…sad. But, you should be able to pick one up from any quilt shop or fabric/craft store. (My ruler can be used to cut triangles from 3 inches to 9 inches.)

FABRIC NEEDED:  I used the fabric Odds and Ends from Cosmo Cricket

8 – 1/3 yd cuts of varying fabrics

1 1/3 yd solid colored fabric

1/2 yd for binding

4 yds for backing


Cut your 8 various fabrics into (2) 6in. x WOF strips.

Cut your solid fabric into (7) 6in. x WOF strips.


Cutting 60 degree triangles

As shown, use your triangle ruler to cut the 6 inch patterned, fabric strips into  60 degree triangles.  (You will get 9 triangles from each strip and 18 triangles from each fabric.)

Hexis and Stars step 1b

There will be a total of 144 patterned triangles.

Hexis and Stars triangles

Follow the same method and cut 56 triangles form your solid strips.

Hexis and Stars solid triangles


Hexis and Stars layout lines

Lay out your triangles to form the hexagons and stars.  Move your fabrics around to get a pleasing color arrangement.  Now, start sewing the rows together.


Hexis and Stars triangle stacks

I stacked all the triangles from one row together.  The top triangle from the left and the bottom triangle, the right.

Hexis and Stars step 3

Sew your first set of triangles together making sure to not stretch the fabric, since they are cut on the bias.  Once sewn, finger press and go on to the next triangle.

Hexis and Stars step 3b

Keep sewing until you finish the entire row.  Press.  Continue sewing until all the rows are sewn together.  Press alternating rows in opposite directions.


Hexis and Stars step 4

Matching seams, sew all the rows together.  Press seams.


Hexis and Stars step 5

Trim off the points on the sides of your quilt top, making sure to leave a 1/4 in. seam allowance along the edges.

And, your quilt top is finished!  Here are a few more pictures of my finished quilt.

Odds and Ends fabric

I tried a new quilting pattern this time and I think it turned out really cute.  Swirls are my new favorite!

Cuddling with Hexis and Stars

Hexis and Stars striped binding

(I love it when the fabric designers print a bias stripe so I don’t have to make bias binding!)

Hexis and Stars Quilt


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A history quilt

My second daughter loves her crafts. Yeah!  So, for one of her school projects, she chose to make a historical quilt.  She designed, drew, and stitched five squares representing the different aspects of her research project.  Then, she picked out fabric representing the time period and we created a quilt!  She sat in my sewing room and worked on other parts of her project while I helped her with the layout and some of the pressing and sewing.  And, we chatted….. It was fun spending time together doing something we are both interested in.  We finished about 11:30 last night and I got about 20 hugs out of it.  Good times!

Sierra school quilt

School quilt garden stitchery

The garden square and train square are her favorite.

Train embroidery

She even made a label for the back and a pocket to put her ‘brochure’ in.

Sierra school quilt back


Monday, April 29, 2013

My finished Hexagon Quilt

A while back, I saw the coolest hexagon quilt.  The hexagons were 8 1/2 inches across!  I had never seen a quilt like that before, but I loved it.  I decided to make one, ‘Y’ seams and all…  But, as I read further along the blog, I found out the hexagons were made from layer cake squares and were cut out using a ‘Half-Hexagon’ ruler.  Each layer cake square is folded in half, then you lay the ruler on top and cut out two half-hexagons.  Once they are all cut out, you lay out the quilt row by row so the top and bottom hexagon pieces match each other.  Then, sew each row together and you get a hexagon quilt! It looked like fun. So, I ordered the layer cake ruler and the charm pack ruler.  (Yes, you can make smaller 4 inch hexagons too!)

I thought I would start with my recently acquired ‘PB & J’ layer cake. 

PB&J Half Hexagon Quilt

I found the smaller prints work much better when using this method because the seam across the center is not as noticeable.  I ran into a bit of a problem when I had to chop the alphabet squares in half…

Half Hexagon Quilt

I thought it would be fun to leave the zig-zag along the edges instead of trimming off the points.  They turned out cute, but it took as long to bind the quilt as it did to sew the entire top together.  More if you include all the videos I watched to learn how to bind odd angles.

PB & J angled binding

I still need a bit of practice.  The corners are definitely not perfect, but I’m happy with my finished product.  And, I learned two more quilting techniques!