Friday, March 30, 2012

Free Cupcake Applique Pattern

Last week, I showed you the fabric that daughter and I picked up at the quilt show a couple of weeks ago. While mine got put away for "some day," daughter got right to work and finished the birthday gift she wanted to make for her friend. (As you can see from the above photo- her friend is very tiny!)

She made a simple pocket, embellished with ric rac:

And added a simple cupcake applique:

Daughter has a really good intuitive sense of color- she put fabrics together that I never would have thought of, but they totally work- chambray blue, turquoise, coral, red, and pink. I think the reason they work together is because they all have a vintage 1930's feel to them. What do you think?

I am providing a pattern for the cupcake. Click here for the Free Cupcake Applique pattern. What kind of project will you use your cupcake pattern for- an apron? a potholder? a kitchen towel?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

My Cat, My Pantone Color Bridge, and Other Random Thoughts.....

We have had a cat named Maddie for about 4 years. She was supposed to be my daughter's cat. You know, daughter would take care of her and then someday when she moved out- take cat with her. But, you can guess what happened: since I am the one who is here all day, and I am the one who usually feeds her, she has become my cat, whether I like it or not....  When I walk into the kitchen, cat cries for treats. When I stop moving for more than 5 seconds, cat plops herself on my feet- and then I feel guilty for moving! I will actually stand somewhere longer than I need to be there so I don't disturb her... Same thing goes for the chair in my office- I will find myself standing to work for a couple of hours because she is sleeping there, and then it finally dawns on me- Hey! that's MY chair! And she will be dismissed.... but not before I have an aching back from all of the standing and bending over my desk. Sometimes she is naughty and gets into the papers and files on my desk, wrinkling them and putting claw marks in them. How in the world did this 11 pound furry thing take over the house??? (In the photo above, she is making herself comfortable in my studio, her favorite bed is a couple of quilts I have completed for my next book.... I can't fight her so I just fold them wrong-side-out and let her have her way...) But for all of my grumbling and complaining and saying that she is NOT my cat- I kind of like her now. I guess she IS my cat. sigh.

I am working on the computer most of today. My work falls into several categories: drawing and painting artwork for fabric lines, books, and other projects (a NEW one which I am really excited about and I will be showing you this summer!); sewing samples and projects for patterns; and working on the computer, either writing patterns, books, blog posts etc. or using Photoshop to lay out fabric/surface designs and other fun stuff. 

It seems that when I am working on the computer for several days in a row, I can't wait to start drawing and painting again. Today I would like to be sewing, but I'm not. In a couple of weeks when I am busy sewing up samples for Quilt Market in May, I will probably wish I was just sitting at my computer! I guess I'm lucky to have a "job" that doesn't feel like a job at all (until it's time for paperwork- that's another story) and that allows me to do a lot of different things. Sometimes, though, it makes it really hard to focus. I have so many things going on, often times I'm really not sure what to work on next- and that is a real time killer!

Focus, focus, focus! It is definitely something I need to focus more on! Ha! But seriously, it's so easy to be distracted.... I start painting and then think of something else I have to do, a block I wanted to design or a blog post I wanted to write.... or I get an email or 2 or 3 that I feel I have to attend to immediately.... or I decide to throw in a load of laundry....  Lists help me, but I feel like I need much more, like someone standing over me with a whip forcing me to just do one thing at a time.... my brain oftentimes feels like a ping pong ball just going back and forth and everywhere. Can anyone else relate?? I'm sure many of you can. Any suggestions? Sometimes (oftentimes) I actually feel guilty because I think that if I were more focused I'd make better use of my time and get lots more done. (Is the guilt just a female thing? I have a hard time imagining my husband feeling guilty about something like that....)

So anyhow.... where was I? Oh yeah. Working on the computer today, and playing with colors. I am importing some recent artwork into Photoshop, and I am "playing" with my Pantone Color Bridge. Oooooh- it's kind of like paint chips on steroids. The best thing about using a Pantone Color System is that it is standardized so I can tell a manufacturer EXACTLY the green or orange or pink I want. I just say "Pantone 376U, please!" and that's (hopefully) what I get. (You may remember I started working on this artwork a few weeks ago. Also note that in that post, I talked about feeling scattered. Obviously, things have not changed.)

I am loving the hot oranges and pinks in this art. So spring-y/summer-y. My favorite colors seem to change a little bit with the seasons, how about you? What are your favorite colors right now?

And don't forget, I need advice on how to focus and not get distra...... oooh look: a bird!!

OK so I feel like my train of thought for this post totally derailed.... so you see what I mean.... OK I need to go do something now.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Sweater Make-Over

Here is a photo of a sweater that oldest daughter has had forever. It had shrunk and become too short, but she still liked the color:

We marked the center of the sweater, then carefully cut up the center of the sweater front.

We cut 2 pieces of fusible hem tape the length of the sweater front.

We fused the hem tape to the wrong side of the cut edges of the sweater, then turned them under and fused the hem down.

We sewed ribbon down the front of the fused edges, and added buttons. Voila- new spring cardigan! Won't this be cute with a pair of jeans or a summer skirt....

I wish I had taken a photo of daughter wearing this with her plain navy summer dress- it looked really adorable! This project took less than an hour, and cost just a few dollars for the ribbon and buttons. Maybe this weekend would be a good time for you to go through your closets, or some thrift shops, and find a waiting treasure?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Quilt Show Finds and Giveaway Winner

Congratulations to Martina the winner of my giveaway! (Martina lives in Switzerland- someplace I'd love to visit some day!) To enter, contestants had to provide a caption for the photo below. There were lots of cute captions, and I had a hard time choosing one. Martina's winning caption:
"No place like mom!"

Thanks to everyone who played!

Daughter and I took a trip to a quilt show last week- here are some of our finds:

Some really pretty fabrics and jumbo ric rac in lovely colors. Daughter is going to use the blue fabric in the back to make a birthday gift for her friend.

Wool and a pattern to make a headband and neck collar scarf (you know, in my spare time.)

We also stopped at the Lancaster Central Market (a farmer's market in the middle of the city) for lunch. As usually happens, we forgot to take a photo of our lunch, because we couldn't wait to eat it! But we did find a stand with these cute cookies, made especially for the quilt show in town:

We stopped at one of my favorite shops, The Old Mill House Shoppe.

I had a coupon, which means I had to buy something. I got these prints for the kitchen. Hubby hung them up this weekend. I really like the burlap mat.

I have a very cute project to show you on Friday- how to recycle an old sweater into a fabulous addition to your spring wardrobe. Stay tuned....

Monday, March 19, 2012

Our Quilt Show Visit

Youngest daughter and I took a trip to the AQS show in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. We had so much fun! She had a day off from school and it was nice to get away and have a little mother-daughter time.

Some of our favorite quilts:
 Digger's Dream Date by V'Lou Oliveira

First Place Winner Mother's Garden by Barbara Vedder

Radiant Star Quilt by Jennifer Emry

To Everything There is a Season Quilt by Pat Delaney

Hawaiian Punch Quilt by Cheryl Czaplinski

Birds In Hand Quilt by Mandie Burrell

 Another first place winner, and our favorite at the show, Tea with Miss D by Sandra Leichner. Unbelievable applique, embroidery and quilting. Incredibly Fabulous!

There were vendor booths, and although I don't NEED a thing.... I had to buy a few goodies. Like wool...
 (Why didn't I do something with my hair that day?)

I found some fat quarters from my Joy, Love, Peace, Noel fabric line in one of the booths.

One of my favorite quilt shops (Zook's) in the area is carrying my Apple Blossom Acres fabric line. (I repeat- why didn't I do something with my hair???)

On Wednesday, more photos....

Friday, March 16, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Ideas

I am not Irish- but I do love the color green, so St. Patrick's day is OK by me.  And any excuse to FEAST is OK too. Recipes courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens (dessert first, of course! I have my priorities straight):

Shamrock Milkshake Cupcakes (this is just really pretty, I'm sure it tastes good too...)

Irish Stew (this is a really simple recipe- I am going to try this for sure)

Have a great weekend!

P.S. there's still time for a couple of giveaways. Click here for details.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Something Old, Something New

When you are a sewer/crafter/any-sort-of-hobbiest, people tend to give you stuff that they (kindly but mistakenly) think you can use. People are always trying to give me scraps of fabric- like polyester and upholstery fabric. Many many years ago my grandmother gave me a box of scraps from her sewing room. And I mean scraps. Little bits and odds and ends of every imaginable kind of fabric.  It was kind of her, but at the time I remember thinking that I would just keep it around for a while and then get rid of it.

One day I was in my local quilt shop and saw some really cute flannels that I wanted to buy to make quilts for my kids. Then I remembered the box of scraps. My grandmother used to make her own clothes, as well as clothes for us kids. One of our favorite things that she made for us were cozy comfy flannel night gowns (when we wore them, we looked like the girls on Little House on the Prairie- which I loved.) There were flannel scraps in that box. I bought some of the new flannels, and added in the scraps from the box, and they went together perfectly.

I made 2 scrappy quilts, one for each of my daughters. They are snuggly and comfy cozy.

The paisley and little blue and pink calicos were from the scrap box. The quilting is just a big running stitch done with perle cotton.

I was so glad that I had that box of scraps! Every time I look at the quilts I made, I remember not just making them for my kids, but also the flannel night gowns that my grandmother so lovingly made for her granddaughters. That is something to cherish!

One more thing- remember to label your quilts. I always preach this, but often times I am so busy I tell myself that I will do it later and then I don't. I am really glad that I labelled these quilts because I could not remember when I had made them....

P.S. There are 2 giveaways going on this week- one here on my blog, and one at Lily Pad Quilting. Click Here for details.

Monday, March 12, 2012

A Really Great Giveaway (or two....)

Stop by Lily Pad Quilting this week- "Snoodles" did a really nice write up about me and she's giving away tons of my note cards, patterns and fabric. I think you will enjoy her blog immensely! There are also lots of tutorials.

Also check out the Henry Glass Fabrics blog. Henry Glass has recently updated their website and it looks wonderful. You will want to stop by the blog often for the latest news, designer interviews, and of course, more giveaways!

And now for my own Giveaway- just because it's Monday and we need a little fun...
The prize is a package of note cards and an assortment of patterns:

To enter, comment on this post with a caption for this photo:
(For more adorable baby animal photos, visit this site.)

Best caption wins. Comment by Monday March 19 at noon (EDT). In order to win, I MUST be able to contact you via email. Please be sure that I can contact you through your Google/Blogger account or include your address in your comment. (If you don't want to include your address in the comment, email me and let me know that you have commented).
Happy Monday!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Downton Abbey Fans- You NEED This!

Downton Abbey season 2 ended 2 weeks ago- are you going through withdrawal yet? If so, you NEED to get your hands on these paper dolls, available for free by clicking here.

Perhaps you'd like to watch Maggie Smith's (aka The Dowager Countess) Top 10 moments:

(My favorite: the swivel chair.)

You could check out the Desperate for Downton Blog.

Or perhaps you would like a chance to win a trip for 2 from the U.S. to Britain to visit Highclere Castle (the real Downton Abbey.) (And I do realize that by sharing this with all of you, I am decreasing my own odds of winning.... you're welcome.)

Time for a cup of tea.......


Related Posts with Thumbnails