Friday, December 31, 2010

As 2010 comes to and end….

….be sure to pop back here tomorrow as 2011 begins!

Our Tips & Tricks Quilt Along starts tomorrow – yay!

tips & tricks button

Once a month you’ll make a 12” finished block with me using your fabric stash! It’s simple and at the end of the year you’ll have 12 wonderful blocks to set into a sampler quilt top!

Low cost.

Low commitment.

Beautiful Blocks.

Sew Easy.

Be sure to join our flickr group photo album, too.

Toast and ring in 2011 tonight and sew with me tomorrow!

Happiest New Year,

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Happiest of Holidays

May today bring you all the wishes and hopes of this magical season.


Happiest of Holidays to you, your family and your friends.


Friday, December 24, 2010

Paper chains

Christmas Tree Paper Chain 2010
When I was a little girl, Mom and I made ribbon chains for our Christmas tree. It was so much fun picking out different ribbons each year, and trying to find the mini staplers (really, we KNEW they were in a place we’d never forget). I tried to do this when my daughter was born, but really, a baby simply cannot cut and staple ribbons together. She ended up trying to eat the ribbon pieces, and well, it just wasn’t a good idea!
So, the next year I handed my daughter a crayon and she “colored” on strips of construction paper.  My husband and I also wrote wishes for our family on these small pieces of paper. I dated them and stapled them into a paper chain. We do this each year as part of our holiday traditions.
Christmas Tree Paper Chain 2010
Now we have two kids – 6-1/2 and 2-1/2 – and they love our paper chain.
Christmas Tree Paper Chain 2010
Christmas Tree Paper Chain 2010My little girl is printing so well now, and can write her own notes. Mine from her this year=>
Christmas Tree Paper Chain 2010<=Daddy’s

Christmas Tree Paper Chain 2010<=Little brother’s

Christmas Tree Paper Chain 2010And one for herself =>
(isn’t she a scream?)

Christmas Tree Paper Chain 2010She even made one for a classmate as she is LD’s secret elf. She wrote all sorts of things to him, “You are a good friend.” “Happy New Year”  “You tell good jokes”. Maybe this will start a new tradition in his family.
What are your holiday traditions?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Quilt Alongs for 2011!

Guess what?

I am jumping right onto the fun quilt along bandwagon!

When? 2011. January 1st to be exact.

Why? Because they are a bunch of fun!

How many? I have TWO planned right now – yay! One will be a monthly sampler quilt along, and the other will be a bit more frequent, maybe weekly, maybe bi-weekly??? Haven’t figured out that part yet. It’s a fun one (aren’t they all?) and will finish up super fast.

How can you join in? EASY!

  • Follow my blog so you get all the news.
  • Grab a button (when available) to spread the news
  • And get ready to sew, sew, SEW!
  • Then post your progress on our brand new crickets studio flickr group photo album! Go there now to join our group so you’re all ready.


What? I can tell you that the monthly quilt along is a stash buster….anything goes on this one. The other quilt along uses three charm packs of the same line. I’ll figure out the backing and binding soon…

AND, don’t forget, I am the last designer for the Patchwork Posse Round Robin. My borders come out January 24th and I am jumping-up-and-down excited. There is time to catch up on the round robin if you haven’t yet started.

Okay, who is joining me?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Heartfelt gift

I so wanted to make a heartfelt gift for my good friend Robin.
My kids and her kids are the bestest of friends. Really. I babysit her little guy a few mornings a week, and he is just the cutest.
What to do?
Oh, and really, it is 4 days before Christmas. I am just a wee bit late in thinking about this.
I know, I am in the scrapbooking, photos, quilting business….that seems almost too predictable. I did make her little guy his own playmat for Christmas. I blogged about that here. What to do for his mom?
Then I found this in my daughter’s craft supplies:
Handprint ornaments
And then I found this in my own stuff:
Handprint ornaments
All I needed was these…
Handprint ornaments
And viola! The perfect memory gift for my friend. (And of course I had to make one for me, too!) My son’s hands will grow all too quickly…and now I have his little handprint preserved forever {sniff}.
Handprint ornaments
I used a simple toothpick to engrave their names. I also put “2010” on the back side. Altho’ they aren’t yet dry (it takes 24 to 48 hours for Model Magic to air-dry), I carefully put the ribbon in. One less thing to do this busy holiday week.
Added bonuses? Model Magic is available at any craft store. I’ve even seen it in my local grocery store. It is super lightweight, so it won’t weigh down the Christmas tree branches. It also has a better chance of longevity as it won’t crack or break like plastic will. AND, the boys LOVED doing it! Note – have extra Model Magic on hand for them to play with after the handprints are done. Kept them busy for a LONG time!!!!
Hope you’re enjoying today – the 1st day of winter!

UPDATE: Robin received her precious handprint yesterday, and yes, it was the perfect gift. She smiled from ear to ear! And guess what? My mom did the exact same thing for me with my children, and just today gave me two wonderful impressions of their little hands. I am one lucky gal {big toothy grin}.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Did you hear the NEWS?

1/1/11 UPDATE: Congrats to “gill” who won the free subscription! I have your email address, and you’ll need to confirm with the magazine by 1/31/11 to claim your prize.Woo-hoo – bet there are going to be some awesome projects coming your way!

Wow - this is so neat.

An online magazine just for us. It is devoted to quilt patterns and to us quilters.

And to launch this awesome magazine, the publishers are having a blog tour countdown! Every day in December you can visit a blog and have a chance to win a free subscription - that's a month full of chances! Plus, you find some really great blogs, some new to you!

Today is my day - yippee! Thx for stopping by {smile}.

So, what's it all about? I'll tell ya!

  • For your one year subscription, you get one issue each month, plus an extra. Who doesn't like an extra? Simply put, freebies rock.
  • With each issue, published in an easy-to-use PDF format, you get at least 5 new patterns, interesting articles & very few ads.
  • And think of this - it is the GREEN way to go! All those trees that WON'T be cut down. And with this format, you only print out the patterns & articles that you want to, when you want to, even if you're in your jammies {wink}. It is in your hands!
I plan to send in my own patterns and articles for publication, and you can, too.  Not sure what to submit? There is a list of suggestions right on the magazine website, along with all the info you need to know.

Here are some details right from their webiste:

Why totally online?
  • Print and file portions of the magazine you wish to keep
  • Easily organize all the articles and patterns in a binder
  • More patterns for your money
  • Instant access to the magazine, no waiting for the mail to arrive.
You totally have to check this out.  Less than a dollar an issue! You read right - it's more than a bargain.

Don't forget, YOU have a chance to win a year’s subscription free.

How, you ask?

Here's what you have to do to enter:

Check out The Quilt Pattern Magazine site now, surf it a bit, look at the preview of issue #1....and then come back here and tell me what you think about it in a comment.

See, easy?

If you think you might want to follow my blog, too, well, I'd think that was cool, too.

Good luck!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Check out this giveaway!

Rachel over at p.s. i quilt announced this very cool giveaway on her blog today. You simply must check it out here.

Her sponsor is Canton Village Quilt Works and here is the amazingly generous prize…


A fat quarter bundle of Kona Solids! I know, I’m drooling, too.

Check it out now, you don’t have too long to enter. Good luck!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Holiday baking…

…is one of my very favorite things to do. I give away batches of cookies to everyone, family, friends, teachers, my mail lady, my UPS delivery guy, neighbors…just about everyone. And of course I keep a batch just for me {yum}. Here are some pics of us over the years making our fun cookies. From right to left is 2006, 2007, and then 2008 and 2009…yes, my 1 year old at the time is ever so delicately adding sprinkles to the spritz cookies in the last picture!

Making Christmas Cookies 2006 Making Christmas Cookies Making Reindeer Cookies Making Christmas Cookies

And silly me, I always try a new recipe. Luckily, they almost always taste good.

What’s luck got to do with it? Well, if you don’t know already, I’m just not a very good baker.

I either over bake, under bake, forget an ingredient, add too much of one…and forget about meringue. Those egg white are the bane of my existence.

But I love to bake holiday cookies. So I do.

And guess what?

People eat them. Not because they have to, but because they turn out pretty tasty.

Holiday magic at it’s best.

Here is a favorite, this is year 2 of making it. It’s gluten-free, so my best buddy can enjoy it, too!

 Recipe Cards Fudge - Page 007

(I am hopeful that you can click the picture above to go to a pdf file for the recipe…trying it for the 1st time)

Jodi over at Pleasant Home has been doing a very fun Christmas Cookie exchange. The button is on my right sidebar, or you can link up here. She’s had some awesome guest bloggers post some scrumptious recipes!

Have any favorites to share? Leave me a comment and Let me know. There is still plenty of time for more cookies!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Here he is

and isn't he simply beautiful?

My brother and his family are so blessed.

He has a little growing yet to do.

Mommie and Daddy tell me he's a strong boy.

Rest up, baby nephew.

Love you much

Saturday, December 11, 2010


Stayed in last night for Friday Night Sew-In and success! Finished a project, or two or three or FOUR!

Here is what is done:

Play quilt for my son's best buddy...designed by LeAnne over at Everyday Celebrations...fabric is Punctuation by Moda. Fun, isn't it?

and two purses one for my daughter and and one for her BFF....pattern is by Terry Atkinson in the December 2010 issue of BH&G Quilts &More. Fabrics are Bliss by Moda and a couple of other fat quarters from my stash.

and an apron for my niece...pattern by me! Kinda cool don'tcha think? Fabric is also Bliss.

Woo hoo - I am also sewing today. Have two tops basted and am working on piecing the binding for one of them. AND of course I found the coolest tute on making a toy car caddy and just HAVE to make one now for my son. You can too - click above. Looks like a breeze to put together.

AND the BIG NEWS is that I have a new nephew - my FIRST nephew! Little baby David was born in the wee early hours this morning in Toronto. He came about a month early, so I need to hurry a bit to get his baby quilt and matching stocking started and finished!!! No pics yet - can't wait to see the little guy {this is me, busting with happiness and love}.

What projects are you working on today?

To blog re-design or not blog re-design?

that is THE least right now...

Came across a site that talked about "blog ware" and such last night.

Is it the look of the blog that keeps you coming back, or is the content that inspires you to seek out my little corner of the web?

I'm interested to know.

Mmmm - I'm going to concentrate on the sharing right now, not the looking.


Thursday, December 9, 2010

What are we making?

Ever since ever since, I've been making gifts for giving. Especially at holiday time.

Recently, my daughter and I attended the best girl scout event. Older scouts organized a talent show where admission were items to send to our troops oversees. While there, girl scouts of all ages made cards for our servicemen and women and painted flour/salt ornaments for them.

A lightbulb went off.

I painted these kind of ornaments as a child, why not my kids?

Loving Google Search, search I did. Found a zillion links for recipes, one that sounded very good and I tweaked it a bit to work for me.

And Joann's had these on sale for $6.99 down from $24.99 AND I had a coupon for 20% off!

One fun Saturday mornin' we made ornaments! Here's the recipe I came up with:

Carrie's Tweaked Salt Dough Recipe
4 cups flour, and some in reserve
1 cup salt
1-1/2 cups warm water

Mix flour and salt together in a large bowl.

Add warm water gradually.

Knead dough and add more flour if dough is sticky, more water is dough is dry....believe it or not, you'll know it's right when it's right.


Now is when the fun starts!

Roll out your dough in small batches. I like to roll my dough out between sheets of waxed paper, flouring under the dough and on top to reduce sticking.

Roll it out no thinner than 1/4". If it's too thin, forget about getting them off the waxed paper in one piece. Use your fave cookie cutter shapes and go to town. If my 2 year old can do it, so can you!!!!!

Use a straw to poke a hole for hanging and now it's time to bake 'em. Okay, don't go crazy with the straw like my little guy did, 'kay?

I sprayed unlined cookie sheets with non-stick spray. I experimented a bit and really, the slower you bake them at a low temp is best for me. If you bake them too fast and too high, they puff up and then are too fragile to handle. So, what did I do? I used a 250 degree temperature and baked all 60 for 1-1/2 hours. Checked them and ended up baking them for another 30 minutes. They just need to set a bit more. I did them in batches, not all 60 at once (I just knew you were thinking I must have a huge oven!)

Cool these completely and then it's time to paint.

Now, looks at how much fun-ness we had...

More on our painting fun later - betcha can't wait! Just remember, my wonderful silly kids are 2 and 6, and there were 60 ornaments to paint!

Okay, your turn - bake off some today {grin}.

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