Thursday, September 29, 2011

Too much fabric

Did you ever think you would hear a quilter or sewist say those words? I am trying to reorganize my fabric and realized I have some really ugly fabric from the early days of my quilting life. So here's the question...what do you do with fabric that your tastes have outgrown?
This is my first time using the blogger app on my iPhone.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Travel Handmade

I have finally finished a bag to take to the Sewing Summit. I wanted to make something that I could use for a purse, but still look unique. After finding the Sewing Party store last week that I wrote about  and bought the fabrics that I showed you here, I decided to make a red, black and white bag. I just started cutting and sewing and didn't have a pattern or idea in mind. I knew I wanted an interior zipper pocket,

and pockets on the outside for keys and my iphone. 

I knew I wanted it to be semi-secure, so it needed some sort of closure on top.

 I also bought these red leather handles to make it look more like a purse. Here's what I ended up with.

The handles were a little harder to sew on than I anticipated because you can't pin them to hold them in place. The outside pockets are too small for my phone. So, I guess I will make a little zipper pouch and attach it to the handle to hold my phone and some other small items. This bag is a little big for carrying around everyday and I don't like all my things just dumped in one big bag, but overall I am pleased with the way it came out. I think after I make a smaller zip pouch to match I will be very happy with this bag.
Thanks for stopping by,


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Goodie, Goodie, Who Likes Olives?

I know, that's an odd title for today's post, but it does describe what I am writing about.
I just returned from the post office where I sent my Mug Rug/Goodie Swap gifts off to their new homes.
These photos don't show everything I am sending because I tried to tune into my partners likes and wishes and sent a few little bits of things that they really like. Showing those would be a dead giveaway, so you will have to wait to see who gets them in the mail in the next week or so.
This one is for partner #1 who lives in _________________.

And this package will be winging it's way to _____________. 

And I will be patiently waiting to see what I receive and if I guessed correctly when I was stalking all the lovely creations on Flickr!

On Sunday, Mr. Romance and I picked 8 pounds of olives from this little, spindly tree in our backyard. It started out as one of those trees you order from a catalog and was a Christmas gift for Mr. R a few years ago.

Eight pounds of olives looks like this...

and this...

We decided to do the cracked method this year. So each olive had to be whacked with a mallet. Needless to say, there was olive oil and juice everywhere. Note to self, do this outside next year. After the olives are cracked open then they must be soaked in water to remove all the bitterness. This takes about 10 days, changing the water every day. 
This is the cloudy mess the first day...

And this is how they look today, after two days of soaking and changing the water.

After the bitterness is leached out I will be flavoring these babies with herbs and salt and preserving them to eat all year long. Mr. Romance likes olives a lot and it is fun to make something just for him.

Thanks for stopping by,


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Stubby gets married

My nephew, Chris, got married this weekend. Although it has been a long time since he was called by his nickname from high school, Stubby, it does make a cute title for this post. It was a beautiful, emotional and prayerful marriage ceremony. That's our youngest son, second from the right, serving as a groomsman. Jessa's dress was a beautiful confection of soft layered tulle and a beautiful beaded bodice to accentuate her super tiny waist and beautiful figure. Chris was a happy groom, often caught looking lovingly on his beautiful new wife. My sister was caught up in the emotions of the day, going between smiles and tears...all resulting from the joy and pride she has for her son. That sweet flower girl is my sis' granddaughter. She did an excellent job of spreading the pedals as she walked down the aisle.

 My mom was able to attend both the wedding and the reception and she made it through the entire night. We were all so happy to have her there, but no one was happier than she. She just smiled all night long and enjoyed watching her family having a great time. She was even able to stand for a few minutes to take the three generations photo with Chris and Geri. Chris' brother, Nick, gave a very nice speech in his role as best man.
Ok, so how do you know you had a good time at a wedding? The next morning you can barely walk because your knee hurts so much from dancing all night. But, after icing it several times and popping Motrin like crazy I wouldn't trade a minute of last night. The only thing that would have made it better was if Brent's  (#1 son) wife could have made the trip from Arizona with him and my brother could have been here from Ohio. But other than that I'm going to chalk this one up as a great start to a long and happy life for Chris and Jessa!

Congratulations to the new Mr. and Mrs. Nowak

Thanks for stopping by,


Saturday, September 24, 2011

Sold Out!

It seems I am too late to the game. I found out about Kaffe Fasset's lecture and guest appearance too late, it's sold out.

Oh well, now I know from all of you that I should have gone.
I'm thinking of joining Lily's Quilts Dead Simple Quilt along. What do you think of this palette?
Thanks for stopping by,


Friday, September 23, 2011

So honored and new fabric, too!

A while ago I posted about 100 Quilts for Kids and said I probably would not be participating due to my mom's hip fracture. One of my lovely followers, Amorette, said she would make two and donate one in honor of my mom and me. She followed through and today she posted about her quilts. What a sweet gesture by Amorette. I love my followers, they are the most generous and kindest people I have NEVER met! Pop over to Amorette's blog and see what she has made and is donating to a children's cancer ward.
Also of news worthy status, but not nearly as special as Amorette's gesture, is that I was perusing FLICKR and came across a conversation thread about Suzuko Koseki fabrics. I saw a comment by birdylegs and after searching her photos and finding her blog I found out she lives near me and has a great LQS near her home. I contacted her and she told me about  The Sewing Place  in Laguna Niguel, CA, and I just have one word to say...DANGEROUS! There were so many wonderful fabrics so I bought a bunch of FQ to take to the Sewing Summit next month.

Japanese Imports
just because they were pretty

Kaffe Fassets and AMH voile

I also bought these fabrics to make a bag to take to the summit. They also had these great leather handles, so my bag will look really professional.

And speaking of Kaffe Fasset, he is going to be speaking in Los Angeles on Monday evening. Would you drive 90 minutes each way to hear him speak? I can't decide what to do, but I am leaning toward no, just because I think it is a little too far and I am up to my ears in things to do before the Summit. But I know if I went I would learn so much and be so inspired by his talent and creativity.

So now this is really my last post until next week. Have a wonderful weekend.
Thanks for stopping by,


Thursday, September 22, 2011

She did it!

Annabella surpassed her goal of 100 followers (112 to date) and you helped! Thank you for helping my friend make it to 100+ followers. Now pop over there and check out her beautiful giveaway. As promised, Julie from the Intrepid Thread, is sponsoring this giveaway with a special name, Moroccan Mirage in the Marrakech colorway. It's perfect for Annabella's celebration of reaching 100+ followers!

The world of quilting bloggers is  great place to make friends.
Thanks for stopping by,


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

My BFF needs some bloggy love

My BFF, Annabella in Morocco, needs some bloggy love. She's trying to make it to 100 followers and then she is going to have a great giveaway sponsored by the lovely Julie of the Intrepid Thread. Please head over to her blog to see her fantastic photos, quilts and thoughts about life in Marrakech. Reading her blog makes me want to fly to Morocco in the near future, if anything, just to meet Annabella in person. If you like what you see, and I know you will, just tap that little button that says "follow".
I'm up to my ears in baking tins, flour and sugar today preparing the desserts for our gathering Friday night to offer our blessings to the bride to be.
photo courtesy of
Here's Jessa showing us all her fancy ping pong skills. 

And just to make you smile here's a photo, an old one from 2003. That's me surrounded by my four handsome sons and my eldest nephew in the Cayman Islands.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

It's been a good couple of weeks

If you measure a good week by the things you receive in your mailbox, then I have had a great week. Things I have ordered have arrived and swappy kinds of things have started pouring in, nice notes and even emails all wishing my mom a speedy recovery.
A quick update on my mom. She saw the surgeon today and he says she is healing well, bone is forming around the screws that have been inserted into the rod used to stabilize her femur. She's strong and able to do her exercises and has been moved up to weight bearing on her injured leg. This is huge progress and I am so happy and proud of her hard work and perseverance. Just look at the rod going in her leg. WOW! She'll be dancing in record time. We are all so grateful that she will be able to attend my nephew's wedding this weekend.

I belong to hive 9 of the 3x6 Flickr bee and I have received three of the six blocks for this quarter. I'll save a photo until I receive all 6 blocks.
But I do have photos of other fun things.
First up is the twill tape labels I ordered from mommie made it on Etsy. There are 3 yards of my cute little custom labels with my blog name on them. I will use them for swap gifts.

I also ordered this book and received it from a wonderful Etsy seller in Japan. She hunted it down for me after I sent her an email about one she had already sold on Etsy. Once I practice my paper piecing maybe I can hang out with really cool people like Kerry and Ayumi and Leila. Patchwork Patterns 318 is a wonderful book, but written in Japanese and the paper pieced patterns are not numbered so it will take me some time to practice. But, I so want to be able to do work like these very talented ladies all do.

I also ordered this book by the Kaffe Fassetts people. There are some really beautiful ideas inside and I have yet to buy some Kaffe Fassett's fabric, so this is on the to-do list!

And on a fun and playful note I got this book, too. It will be fun to practice piecing words to play with on some children's quilts I have planned. Baby Carrot still needs the back of her quilt finished and I just might put a word or two on her quilt.

I also received 112 different Color Wheel Charm Squares from the swap organized by Kati of From the Blue Chair blog. We'll be swapping again at the Sewing Summit next month, so I will have plenty of Rainbow charm squares to make a great project or two or three!

The last thing I have to show you is this boxy zippered bag I made yesterday.

Do you think I should offer this as a goodie to one of my Goodie swap partners in place of this 

or this?

The figs have been ripening faster than we can eat them so when I have too many figs I make fig jam. Yesterday I made 13 jars. I tried a new method, making it in the crockpot. It turned out delicious and I didn't have to worry about it burning. So I think the canning is now finished for the summer.
Here's our stash of fig jam and Tomato jam behind it.

Isn't that a cute label? And yes, we keep  our wine stash in this closet, too.

I just love the color of this jam
The rest of the week will be busy with wedding stuff. I am hosting the blessing circle for the bride on Friday so I have some baking to do. I'll be back next week with wedding photos and hopefully some sewing finishes. I still want to make a bag and a camera strap before I leave for the Sewing Summit.
Wish me luck.

Thanks for stopping by,


Monday, September 19, 2011

New Bee on the Block

September is Lina's month to be queen in my New Bee on the Block quilting bee. Lina is a librarian in Germany and requested book blocks. She sent some wonderful fabrics and lots of it and she also said we could add our own fabrics, too. Here is what I made for her. I had so much fun making these blocks that I made her two blocks, using some selvages for titles on the books.

notice my new twill tape label used as a title on the book

I received some wonderful things in the mail today. Hopefully, I will have time to post about it tomorrow. My mom will have her first follow-up visit with the surgeon who did her hip surgery, so please keep her in your prayers that she is mending and building bone so she can be upgraded to weight bearing on that leg! Thanks in advance for all your kind thoughts!

Thanks for stopping by,