26 December 2009

Merry Christmas!

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!

Tracking snow into the house is so much more fun when my boots make cool snowflake shapes!

We definitely had a white Christmas this year, thanks to a blizzard and over 13 inches of new snow. Because of the wind, the snow drifted in huge piles. When those piles are in the road, it makes for some crazy driving.

Thankfully, we were able to safely make it to see all our family.


Now that Christmas is over I'm in full baby nesting mode – I can't believe I'm just a few days away from starting the third trimester! Yikes!
Stay tuned for projects and photos.

06 December 2009

Plaid things to keep your neck warm

Today I made three scarves loosely based on this tutorial from Cluck Cluck Sew (yet another one of my favorite bloggers).

A few differences:
- I bought plaid suiting fabric (clearance at Joann's) rather than homespun fabric. Suiting is much thicker and softer.
- I doubled up the scarf fabric to both hide the lengthening seam and double the warmth since it's already very cold here in North Dakota (lows dipping down to zero!)
- I only had frayed all lengths of the scarf on one of the three scarves, the other two just have frayed ends. I found that although fraying give it a super cool look, it also makes quite a mess.
- My scarves are slightly shorted, measuring about 70 inches long (still plenty long enough to double up and wrap around my neck)

I bought two yards of suiting fabric and was able to make three scarves, thanks to it being wider than traditional quilt (or in this case, homespun) fabric. Awesome.

I machine washed and dried all three - they survived, frayed a bit, and softened up very nicely.


03 December 2009

21 days. Are you ready?

Only 21 days remain until Christmas. Well actually 20 for us since we start celebrating on Christmas Eve.

Yikes. As you can clearly see, our gift gathering is seriously lacking. I have lots of shopping to do. But on the positive side, the Christmas tree is decorated and we have a new Christmas quilt to enjoy.

Are you ready?

30 November 2009

A Christmas Quilt

It started in April as a one-a-day nine-patch quilt-along project. I chose to do all red and green - a Christmas quilt!

It was finished and washed over Thanksgiving weekend. I'm very happy to report that my slacker method of not pre-washing was again a no-bleed success (even with all those saturated reds!), thanks to Shout Color Catchers.

I paid to have the quilt professionally long-arm quilted.

It's plenty big enough for a twin-size bed. I think I might have to make another one of these some day soon - a quilt with this style but different colors would sure look cute on the twin bed in the baby's room.

05 November 2009

Recent reading: pregnancy book review


This is my pregnancy book library. I think I got lucky in that I very much enjoy all my books - some more than others but I'm glad I have each one for specific reasons.

I'll start from the right.

I could write a whole blog about this single book. It is definitely my favorite pregnancy book. It's not one for specific "how big is baby this week" or "this month's symptoms" ... rather it's about the history and culture of child birth. One of my favorite historical tales is the one about why it's the norm for a woman to labor on her back. If you have any interest in child birth, this is a must read. As an added bonus, the author was my childhood pediatrician.

Of all the books, this one I could probably have done without. I have definitely enjoyed reading it but it didn't add a whole lot, other than enjoyment. It's a humorous "I've so been there" look at pregnancy and the many symptoms involved. A fun read, but not super informative.

These two books are quite similar so I decided to lump them together. If you had to buy only one, I'd go with the Mayo Clinic Guide. But having said that, I'm very glad I have both. Both of the books have the nitty gritty pregnancy and baby details, what to watch for red flags, and dos and don'ts. The Mayo Guide has a very helpful chart for each month that details symptoms, when to contact a doctor, and when not to worry about it. I love these charts - so far they've been very helpful with putting my concerns to rest (especially in the first few months or when I'm ill). The Your Pregnancy book has become my weekly go-to when I want to read about pregnancy but am all caught up with my other books. Since there are a few pages dedicated to each week, I always have something new to read (very helpful and reassuring the first few months). It also has very detailed photos of the baby each week - priceless!


happy reading :)

31 October 2009

The leaves have fallen.


Happy Autumn!
Happy Halloween!

25 October 2009

I made a ribbon blankie

I had some minky fabric leftover from the playmat so I put it to good use in a ribbon blankie. The finished size of the yellow square area is about 8x8 inches - just big enough for little hands to cuddle, but not bulky enough to fill up a diaper bag. Both sides are yellow minky fabric, and the "ribbons" are ribbon pieces, ric-rac pieces, and scrap binding.

17 October 2009

Construction zone

Today I made these three scrap log cabin squares. Yes, it's a Christmas project. I'm not sure what they will become (maybe a table runner or card holder thingamajig) but they coordinate perfectly with the tree skirt I made last year.

These are so fun to make - and they're super fast. A great use for scraps.

This quilt has been a work in progress for a long time. When we found out that we have a baby on the way I changed it into a nursery project. I still need to add red blocks but I think I might wait with those until I know if I can add pink or not. I'll sash the blocks in white (the black shown is just my felt board).

I'd like to hang the finished quilt above the crib. (the lighting was horrible - I swear the blocks look better in real life).

Thankfully, these are not a work in progress! Two more bibs - finished today.

06 October 2009

The book fairy was kind to me

Twice a year, our local library holds a used book sale fundraiser for their library foundation. The sale was last week. I shopped. And scored a few treasures. Big time.

First, I must explain that they sell all the books by the pound: $1 for paperbacks, 50¢ for hardcovers. How can you not like that!?!

For me, this shopping trip was dedicated to kid books.

I got this whole stack for a grand total of $1.75.

In case you are wondering if our library only has books published before 1970, the answer is no. They had a whole room of kid's books but my favorites are the old ones (with fabulous illustrations).

I'll share three of my top finds.

Petunia's Christmas by Roger Duvoisin, 1952

It's a charming tale about Petunia the goose, attempting to save her boyfriend goose from ending up as Christmas dinner. Here she is dressed up as a dragon, frightening the farmer's wife. Who doesn't like a good story about a crazy goose?!

The Contests at Cowlick by Richard Kennedy, 1975

It's about Wally, the little boy who took on the angry wild west gang. The illustrations are worth it in themselves. I think that if we have a little boy, this one will get lots of use.

My favorite from the stack! Big Red Bus by Ethel and Leonard Kessler, 1957

The entire book is printed with black, red, and green ink. There are lots of stripes and polka dots. A beauty. It makes my heart sing.

Look at those buildings! The darlings. And the red bus! Love it. The story is super simple and the book is very fast to read so I don't want to spoil anything other than saying it's about a little boy and his mom's ride on the bus.

I have a feeling the library and I will become very good friends in the next few years.

In other news - new recipe! California chicken tortilla soup

05 October 2009

Baby playmat

This weekend my project was a baby fleur playmat. I honestly don't know much about these other than thinking I could probably make one. With the help of this pattern, I set to work.

I made a few adjustments - I left off the face design, used a super super soft yellow center (instead of felt), and I added crinkle sounds to some of the petals. I added the crinkle by cutting up an old/clean potato chip bag in the shape of the petals and sewing it between the petal layers (leaving out the batting). It makes a great crackle/crunch sound - and it should wash up without a problem. I hear that babies love crinkle sounds?!

I specifically love the ribbon loops that allow for toys to be attached around the border (look for the green ribbons).

Anyway, here is the finished playmat with its new buddy, the nursery pillow:


I'm making a major attempt to keep things "gender neutral" but it's so hard! Everything seems to have a bit too much "baby boy" or "baby girl" in it. Any tips besides sticking with green and yellow?

The pattern is the creation of "onegirl designwrks" check out her blog.

20 September 2009

A pillow for the nursery

I made the first piece of nursery paraphernalia this weekend.

A pillow made from my favorite fabric selvages. I've been saving these selvages for a long time and I'm so excited to finally use them.

Since we don't know if the baby is a boy or girl, yet, it's a gender-neutral pillow.

You can barely see them, but that yellow fabric has white bunnies on it - definitely one of my favorites!

I quilted the front and back of the pillow cover by attaching an extra layer of white fabric behind each piece of pillow cover, and quilting the layers together. The back of the pillow is has the "pocket" to access the pillow and is solid white. The pillow os 14x14 inches.


Also this weekend, I finished the back to the nine-patch quilt. It's cute but nothing to write home about, so I'll just keep up the suspense until I have a "totally done" photo. I've decided to send the quilt to the long-arm quilter since I am super duper intimidated about quilting it myself.

13 September 2009

Keepin' it clean

I made four more bibs this weekend.

Two with camping/bugs. I cut the fabric wrong, so one ended up with an orange stripe through the camping fabric. I kinda like it with the extra flair.

And I made two with caterpillars and green with polka dots.

This baby is going to be clean!

09 September 2009

oooh baby!

Wondering why I've been a slacker blogger lately?

The short story: I've been sick and tired.
The whole story: I'm pregnant!
We're due April 1, 2010. I'm 11 weeks along, as of today. Corey and I are so excited!

We recently visited friends and family in Montana ...

and while there I did a bit of fabric shopping ... these are from in Kalispell and Whitefish, MT.

These two are from Big Fork, MT ... I'm thinking they'd make a nice backing for this quilt.

I couldn't pass this up. Also from Big Fork, MT.

For the first time in my life, I shopped for baby fabric - for myself! It was such a neat experience. I had a plan for these flannel fat quarters. From Kalispell, MT.

Baby bibs!
Thanks to our friends Marty and Kelly for letting me trace their baby's bib for a pattern. These are so fun to make and they're super soft. Made of 100 percent cotton flannel, reversible, and secured with soft velcro, they are just too cute for words. I added a little ric-rac/ribbon tag on the side, just for fun.

23 August 2009

Christmas in August

This weekend I finished the nine-patch (one-a-day quilt-along) top. If you recall from a while back, I chose mine to be red and green - a Christmas quilt.


It's much larger than I imagined it would be ... 66x90 inches ... about twin-size. It's also much more appealing than I imagined - I really do like the red/green combination - and all the white!


I'm still deciding what to do about the back and quilting. To send to a long-arm quilter or attempt this myself?


Sorry for the crummy photos - today I learned the hard way that hanging a quilt top on a clothesline, in the wind, is a sure way to severely fay the quilt's edges. All while not get any decent photos. Darn.

19 August 2009

The life of a plum

June 8

July 9

July 29

August 19

I wouldn't have picked this little plum quite yet, as it's still rather hard, but today's storm knocked it off of the tree. I found it laying the the grass. In a few days it'll be just right. There are still about three plums holding on, in the tree, for a later harvest.

I can't wait for the first bite.

17 August 2009

Turning a skirt into a clothespin bag

This summer we installed a retractable clothes line in our backyard. With every clothes line comes a need for clothespins and a laundry basket. I quickly discovered that loose clothespins in a laundry basket equals lost clothes pins (they fell out of the holes in the laundry basket and hid in the laundry).

I was in dire need of a container or bag to hold my clothespins.
I also happened to have a too small and mustard-stained skirt to dispose of.

Combine the two and viola.

Clothespin bag from old skirt!

I cut the skirt at the back seam so it was one long rectangular piece of fabric. I cut a rectangular shape along the bottom hem, keeping the hem intact (the turquoise and green ribbon). I sewed (right sides together) along the bottom and right side of bag. Then ironed flat. Done. Super fast and easy.

Now my clothes pins are tidy and happy (and very cute).

10 August 2009

The bison roll

Last week Corey's family visited and we took a trip to Medora, ND. While there we drove through the Theodore Roosevelt National Park. My favorite part of the park are the bison. There are many many bison in the park.

They sure roam wherever they please, that's for sure.

A particularly large male bison wandered away form the herd.

Then he sat down ... it was really an awkward motion. But he sure was pretty.

Then he rolled over ...

... and over, and over ...

He got so dusty and dirty. It was quite a sight.

Then he composed himself.

And got up ...

And walked away.

What a funny fellow.

29 July 2009

Summer colors

pretty pink hydrangeas

white hydrangeas

green grapes

purple lavender

green plums

and red tomatoes.

The first two tomatoes of the year! No worries, the remaining tomatoes are much less tattered. Must have been all those storms this spring?

so pretty.