Thursday, June 30, 2011

One a Day

Being an avid photographer and album maker, it pains me when I cannot find a few minutes to work on my album pages. Late last year I had come across the concept of scrapping one photo for each day of the year. So, even if I cannot get to my family and special albums, I still have a record and at least one photo of what happened during the year. One week is a double page layout so at the end of the year, I’ll have a complete album (that is if I can keep up!) I am a wee bit behind, but I am finding that catching up is pretty quick. I am making my album digitally, but you can do this with paper scrapping, too.

Last night I worked on the last week of April 2011. The top photo is the left page and the bottom one is the right page…

 2011 Project Life Album - Page 034

2011 Project Life Album - Page 035

Feels good to be working on these pages…every once in a while when I have a bigger chunk of time I pick up my paper scrapbooking and work in my daughter’s dance album, or my son’s baby book (which I just finished the other day – woo hoo!) I have an ongoing series of family albums, but I am super behind in them, like I’m working back in June 2008 STILL!

And as you can see, I take pictures of EVERYTHING and scrap all of it!

So you know, I made these pages in Creative Memories Storybook Creator Plus 3.0 software using my own layout and the Fabulous Digital Power Palette.clip_image001

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Row Robin ~ my row is up!

I posted previously that I’d be designing row #3 for Becky’s Patchwork Posse’s Row Robin quilt along…well, it went live yesterday! (Yup, I’m a wee bit behind this week!)

Every quilt needs a resting place, so I made up a super simple row so the eye could rest, and then wander around. Here it is:

Patchwork Posse Row Robin Row #3

And the best part about this row robin is you sew up your OWN rows and keep them! Perfect for reducing your stash and having fun, too. Becky is thinking about doing my row with a scrappy fabric look – cool idea. That will look great!

Sew, head on over to Patchwork Posse and join the fun.

And remember, I designed a border (mine is the crazy patch butterfly one) and sewed up the last round robin Patchwork Posse had? Here is my quilt top right now:

Patchwork Posse Final Borders

ALL of it was done with scraps and stash fabric. I didn’t buy one piece of new fabric. How cool is that? It’s going to be my daughter’s bed covering when finished. Becky’s got great ideas that are super doable!

clip_image001See you again soon!

Friday, June 17, 2011


I have a 7 year old daughter.

And she is the single most compassionate person I know.

She saw a news report right after the tornados struck Joplin, Missouri, and immediately wanted to help them. Like, that minute, she wanted to send the children there toys, books and clothes right out of her own room.


After some thought, she came up with the idea of a bottle drive to raise money to send to the American Red Cross to help rebuild their community. She has redeemed 1,852 as of last night with more to go in our garage.

Returnables for Rebuilding

And tomorrow we have a Bottle Drop-Off Day at her school, organized by she and I.

Returnables for Rebuilding on Genet sign

My girlie was recently given a Certificate of Recognition by the county legislature for her efforts…

Returnables for Rebuilding 

…she asked my why they sent her an award when all she was doing was trying to help send Joplin the money they needed. “Isn’t everyone doing the same thing?”

No words can express how my heart fills just thinking about her efforts and how she aches for these victims. She is troubled this morning with the news that more storms and mini tornados will hit that area today. “Why is Mother Nature doing this to them?” she asks.

Wish I had the answer.clip_image001

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Seven is Super

For the past few years I’ve made 8x8 digital scrapbook pages for my daughter showcasing the highlights of her birthday party. Five was Fabulous, Six was Stupendous, and this year, SEVEN IS SUPER!

8x8 Seven is Super - Page 004

Her Girl’s Rock Dance party will live on forever.


Page made using Creative Memories Storybook Creator 3.0 software, Decorative Click and Fill 12x12 Pages and the Fabulous Digital Power Palette.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Tips & Tricks ~ June 2011 BONUS block!

Ready for another fun bonus block? This is our 3rd 6” finished bonus block to use in our quilt top. I have a plan for them, but it keeps changing {grin} so as soon as it’s set, I’ll do a big reveal!

Since this is a bonus block, the tutorial will be here, without so many tips along the way. This is meant to be fast and fun!

This 6” block is the Greek Cross. This design uses the HSTs and strip piecing we’ve done in previously 12” blocks. Easy peasey.

Please read thru the directions to the end first, and then start your block. (Getting sick of me saying that yet?)

Pick out your fabrics  from your stash – I stuck to one light and one medium, but you could mix it up.

· Lights – cut 2 each 3” squares  AND cut 1 each 1 1/2” x 11” strip

· Medium or Dark – cut 2 each 3” squares  AND cut 1 each 1 1/2” x 11” strip AND 1 each 2 1/2” square

Tips & Tricks June 2011 BONUS

NOTE: I neglected to include the 2 1/2” medium square in the photo – oops!

At the start of this month we learned how to make a half-square triangle HST. See the March T&T post for that information. I’ve written a fast tute below for you:

Make 4 HSTs using the 3” squares of light and med/dark fabrics. I drew a quick line on the back of the light square from corner to corner…

Tips & Tricks June 2011 BONUS

placed the squares right sides together and sewed a 1/4” away from the drawn line on both sides…

Tips & Tricks June 2011 BONUS  

Cut apart on the drawn line…

Tips & Tricks June 2011 BONUS

…and pressed open with seams toward the dark fabric.

Tips & Tricks June 2011 BONUS

Square up each HST to 2 1/2” – you should have 4.

Tips & Tricks June 2011 BONUS  

Now, sew your light and med/dark strips together…and press the seam allowance to the darker fabric.

Tips & Tricks June 2011 BONUS

Segment into four 2 1/2” pieces…

Tips & Tricks June 2011 BONUS

  Layout your block….sew rows first…

Tips & Tricks June 2011 BONUS

And then each row to one another… 

Tips & Tricks June 2011 BONUS

Press and square to 6 1/2” and….

…you’re done! You’ve completed a Greek Cross block!

AND now we are halfway done with our quilt along blocks – how cool is that????  Please post a photo of your completed block for all to see and cheer you on!

See you again soon!clip_image012

©2011, Carrie Graziano, crickets studio

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


So proud of my girlie – she performed in her 3rd dance recital at a historical theater in our city. Where I danced, ah-hem, 25+ years ago! She danced in three routines, tap, jazz and hip hop. And, she has come a long way this dance year! I am so impressed with my 7-year old!

Here are some highlights:

 Dance Recital 2011Outside the theater before the show

 Dance Recital 2011

Dance Recital 2011 Tap routine to “Trickle Trickle”

Dance Recital 2011

 Dance Recital 2011

Dance Recital 2011

 Dance Recital 2011Super fun hip hop routine to “Somebody to Love” The girls brought the house down with this one! 

Dance Recital 2011

 Dance Recital 2011

 Dance Recital 2011 Dance Recital 2011Jazz dance to “Funkytown” – another fab performance!

 Dance Recital 2011With her congratulatory flowers afterward. We celebrated with dinner at McDonald’s (dancer’s choice).

I look at these photos and still cannot believe this is my baby girl. So stinkin’ proud of what’s she’s accomplished!


Thursday, June 2, 2011

I’m a designer…

…for a new Row Robin over at Patchwork Posse!

I am designing Row #3 in this new fun row robin (we provide the directions for the row every other Monday and you work on YOUR OWN quilt top! The row robin just started on Monday and Becky at Patchwork Posse did a fan-tab-u-lous job on the first row – butterflies!

I am working on my row RIGHT NOW, well, I will get back to it after I am done typing this post {grin}.

Let me know if you’re joining us!


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Tips & Tricks ~ June 2011

Our 6th Tips & Tricks block - yahoo! As I type this, we’re just now having some nice warm almost dry weather here, just in time for Memorial Day. While the kids play outside, let’s sew up a fun block!

I had a completely different plan for this month, and then I came across this block on Bonnie Hunter’s Quiltville website. It’s called Pineapple Blossom and it’s wonderful! Here is the link to her instructions: Click here. Please note we are making a 12” finished block, Bonnie’s main directions are for a 9” block. Read carefully! The cutting directions are written in her directions in RED. Because this block is Bonnie’s original design, I cannot do a step-by-step tute like I’ve done these past several months (ya know, copyright laws and that stuff)…but I can list my tips & tricks for you!

If you haven’t yet checked out Bonnie Hunter and Quiltville, do so soon. She rocks with her use of scraps and found materials. Her books are very cool, as are her mystery quilts.

You can so do this block from Bonne’s instructions, there are excellent. I’ll list how I did my block and some tips along the way that I found useful, okay?

I am still using my stash for these blocks. Here is what I picked out…. 

Tips & Tricks June 2011

TIP #1: When using a variety of lights for a scrappy background, I like to stick to all same-color family fabrics within one block. For instance, all white-based for one block and then cream-based for another. The quilt will still sparkle once all the blocks are laid out for the quilt top, and each block will be able to stand alone, too).

What I like about this block is that it takes a simple log cabin style block and steps it up a bit.  Looks like the beginnings of a Courthouse Steps block, doesn’t it? Here is mine in that stage…

Tips & Tricks June 2011


TIP #2: when adding the corner squares, remember to sew that extra seam about 3/8” (or a presser’s foot width) away from the first seam so you can save fabric and gain an extra half-square triangle (HST) to use later in our quilt top.  Bonnie notes this in her directions (and I’ve been doing this for as long as I can remember). You can also use the 5/8” sewing guide line marked on your sewing machine’s presser foot plate. Simply line up seam #1 with the 5/8” sewing guide and sew along. Remember we did this already in a few of our quilt along blocks?

Tips & Tricks June 2011

When you get to the cutting off the corner part here’s another tip! TIP #3: Press these seams BEFORE cutting. This will help the block lay flat and the resulting cutting will be straighter – yay!

Tips & Tricks June 2011

TIP #4: At the step where you’ve just added the last 4 strips to your block it should measure 12-1/2” square. Go ahead and make sure it is. Doing this now will help it end up being the right size after the last two corners are added. 

Here is my finished June Pineapple Blossom Block! Yippee!!!!!

Tips & Tricks June 2011

My block really is square – the photo makes it look a bit wonky {oopsie}.

Many thanks to Bonnie Hunter for allowing us to feature her block this month. And huge thanks to all of you for sewing with me ~ sew cannot wait to see your block! Be sure to post it in our cricketsstudio quilt alongs flickr group.


This post: ©2011, Carrie Graziano, crickets studio

Pineapple Blossom block pattern: ©2005 Quiltville Custom Quilting

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