Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Remember when I went to the Sewing Summit and we were given all that great swag? 
Well it came in this plain, boring, canvas bag.

Little did I know there was a method to their madness.
The organizers, Erin and Amy, wanted us to use this plain bag and refashion it into something that would show our creativity.

So I cut off the handles and the top of the bag,
opened up the side seams
and then thought what shall I do to make this fabulous?

I saw this pillow on Pinterest and thought I might use it as inspiration

I thought this pillow was really pretty, too.

But when you leave it to the last minute and you have a birthday dinner with friends the same night the bag is due to be posted to Flickr, you go with what ever pops into your brain when you open your fabric closet.
This is what was staring me in the face. My box of selvages.

So I just started randomly grabbing selvages and sewing them in rows across the canvas.

At this point I didn't know if I was going to sew it back together as a market bag or try to make a different style bag. Then I remembered Jeni's Lined Drawstring Bag tutorial and BINGO! I knew what I was making.
I used the Sewing Summit tag to make a pocket on the inside.
 My Lapel Stick came in handy to keep it in place before sewing it down on three sides.

 It even has a place to hang my keys.

I added the Kei Honeycomb dots in black to the top of the bag.

Covered the handles with Red Honeycomb dots

and voila! My bag is done.

This bag is huge and will hold a lot. I don't know what I will use it for yet, but it is very sturdy since it is made on a canvas bag foundation.
Hop on over to the Flickr site to see some of the other refashioned bags.

Thanks for stopping by,


Monday, November 28, 2011

A new quilt bee on Flickr...join me?

I have been in love with the Japanese + and X block ever since I saw Leila's quilt. I can't put my finger on what has me so crazy for this quilt, but I knew when I saw it I had to make one. I want mine to be huge...for our king sized bed, so I decided a long time ago that when it was my turn to be queen bee in the New Bee on the Block that I would send out fabric for this block to be made by my group. It is a super scrappy quilt, so you almost can't make a mistake with fabric choices.  January is my month, so I have been getting a jump on things and cutting fabric all weekend. Because it is so scrappy, there is a lot of pulling fabrics and cutting just one strip or one square, so it is very time consuming.
+ & X blocks Quilt
made by Leila Where Orchids Grow
This quilt was inspired by Setsuko Inawaga's submission to the Tokyo Quilt Festival, 2011.
** Colorful
isn't this fabulous? photo from Flickr

Yesterday I discovered that another  bee group is being formed to make these blocks.  Since I am making 8" unfinished blocks, I think I will need about 120 of them to make this quilt. I need help, so what better way than to join another bee that is making them?
This is where you come in. Hop on over to the Flickr group and join us. This is a super easy block that uses 7 different fabrics for each block, so see how being in a bee can help to make this such a fun and interesting quilt to make?
Check out some of my favorites from other blogs and flickr members.

Japanese x and + quilt tutorial
by Amy Badskirt
Amy has a tutorial on her blog of how to make this block.

Japanese + and X Block for my Husband
Heidi Gone Aussie Quilting
Heidi has made some really cute blocks with a lot of fussy cutting. Hop on over to her blog and see all the beautiful blocks she has put together for this quilt.
For more inspiration check out this Flickr site.
I have fabric for 24 blocks ready to go out to my bee mates. 
I will start working on more blocks after Christmas...wait Christmas is in 26 days...I better get busy. I have so many things I want to make and I have not bought one single gift. HHHHEEEELLLLPPPP!!!

Thanks for stopping by,


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thanksgiving in a Nutshell

This year Thanksgiving was a relaxing day with family and friends. We prepped for three days so that on the actual day Mr. R and I could enjoy our family and friends.
These photos show a brief recap of our day.

We were so glad our friends, the Werlins,  were able to stop by for appetizers (thanks Evan and Kyle for making the appetizers). We wish they could have stayed for dinner, too. Everyone helped in making the day a breeze. Thanks to Jenny for making the jell-o and to Jan, Jenny and Mr. R for your help with the mound of dishes. We even got to play a game of Balderdash.  The grandkids are finally old enough to be able to participate in the games and that made it a lot of fun.
Our Menu
Stuffed Boneless Turkey Breast Roll
Sausage and Bread Stuffing Muffins
Baked Mashed Potatoes
Creamed Corn
Peas and Mushrooms
Make Ahead Gravy
Home Cured Olives
Cranberry Orange Relish
Homemade Applesauce
Granny's Jello
Pumpkin Pie*
Three Apple Pie*

*I used the Pioneer Woman's recipe for the Turkey legs (disappointing), her recipe for the rolls was delicious. I added a note in each roll (wrapped in tin foil) asking "what are you thankful for, say something nice about someone at the table, etc.). I also used her pie crust recipe and it was so flaky and delicious. I will make it my go-to pie crust recipe from now on.
I hope you had an enjoyable Thanksgiving. Now the Christmas rush is on...ready, set, sew....

Thanks for stopping by,


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Last year during the month of November, I posted something I was thankful for each day, for all 30 days. This year I am posting 30 things I am thankful for all on one day.
In no particular order, here goes:
1. My wonderful husband
2. My four sons, who make me proud to be their mom
3. 8 precious grandchildren
4. a TV with DVR
5. The internet quilting community
6. My mom's wonderful recovery from  a hip fracture
7. Costco rotisserie chicken
8. The beautiful colors of Fall leaves
9. My friends who support and encourage me
10. Growing up with parents who taught family values and morality through example
11. Neighbors who seem more like family than friends
12. Cozy slippers
13. A morning cup of coffee
14. A lifestyle that allows me to enjoy my love of travel
15. a glass of wine with dinner
16. All my friends on 5 different continents
17. Michael Buble', love his music
18. My Kitchen Aid mixer
19. time spent in my garden
20. my iphone
21. rainy days
22. my Bernina sewing machine
23. my faith
24. cousins
25. ice packs and heating pads
26. being a stay at home mom and wife
27. flowers, especially peonies
28. family gatherings
29. 2 daughters-in-law who are wonderful wives and mothers
30. free speech
I hope you all have a Blessed Thanksgiving. I am thankful for your loyalty and all your comments.
I'll be back to give you an update, hopefully with photos, of our family's Thanksgiving celebration.

Thanks for stopping by,


Wednesday, November 23, 2011


I cleaned up the mess
and changed the sewing room

back into the dining room.
Two tables set for 15 family members.

My mom's beautiful Croatian crystal water goblets.
Mini pumpkins and artichokes used as votive candle holders.

Flowers arranged.

Let's eat!
The pies are baked (apple and pumpkin), 
the pudding is made, the turkey legs are in the brining mixture. 
The stuffing is prepared, the creamed corn casserole is ready to be baked,
the dough is rising for the rolls.
I have planned and prepared well and hope I can pull off tomorrow 
without any problems,
I'll try to post a recap of our Thanksgiving with a complete menu and photos
in a few days, after the turkey coma has worn off!
Have a blessed holiday and enjoy your family!

Thanks for stopping by,


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Pinwheels for Baby Carrot

I am so happy to say that I have finished the Baby Carrot quilt. If you are new here and are wondering what a baby carrot quilt is you can read my posts here, here and here.
The original idea came to me when I participated in my first bee block for the New Bee on the Block in July. The cute pinwheel block was fun to make

and I had lot of cute little girl fabrics left over from making birthday skirts, embellished t-shirts and bags for my granddaughters.

I added a few more bright and colorful fabrics to make a total of 16 pinwheel blocks.
I am pretty excited about this quilt. It is my first time to try free motion quilting. It was just like jumping off the diving board for the first time.

That little voice in my head was saying "jump, jump". My knees were shaking and I was so scared, but I just took a chance and did it.
I hand quilted around each pinwheel and did three rows of straight line machine quilting in each strip of sashing.
 Inside each pinwheel I did some swirly squiggles and a spiral. The stitches are not even but I didn't get one pucker on the back and for that I am very proud.
 My free motion quilting can only improve from here because I started at the very bottom. But, unless you are looking real close it looks great and I am so glad I took that leap and dove into this new chapter of quilt making. Just think, I saved at least $100 by doing this myself. I am pretty excited about that.
 I backed the quilt with the cute Who's in the Forest in yellow. The final quilt measures 60" square. It's a perfect playmat size for the baby and hopefully will keep her warm during walks in her stroller in chilly Pennsylvania.
The paper pieced carrot and personalized label were a special touch just for baby carrot.

I added her name after she was born using Staz On ink and rubber stamps. 

Welcome to the world Harper! I can't wait to meet you!
love, Aunt di

Thanks for stopping by,


Fresh Poppy Design

Monday, November 21, 2011

Shhh! It's a surprise

I actually got some sewing done this weekend. 
I finished Baby Carrot's quilt and will post a photo later today. 
The fog is just lifting now so I will take a photo later today and do a final post.
Also, I started a quilt for my favorite fireman.
Shhhh!!! It's a secret.
But, not for long, because he reads my blog.
This is all I will  show until it is finished, but let me just say this,
all the blocks are pieced and I should have the quilt top all sewn together today.
Hopefully, now that I am a daring free motion quilter, I will finish it next week.
Can we delay Christmas another month, please?

Thanks for stopping by,


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Stash Building

The last few weeks I have been catching up on projects and starting new ones...but that is a post for another day. 
I have also been tempted by a lot of talk about fabric on the various blogs I read, so have been hitting the online fabric shops.
Here are my recent purchases...
I belong to the solids club with Pink Chalk Fabrics
November was FIGGY PUDDING month.
A beautiful assortment of Kona Cottons and Free Spirit Designer Solids

Then Sew Fresh Fabrics was having a special on their bundle of 
Denyse Schmidt Hope Valley .
I couldn't resist and they are even more beautiful in person.

Then I decided I really like the 
Pearl Bracelets by Lizzy House
so I tracked down a few different colors on Etsy.
Thanks Intrepid Thread and Sew Fresh Fabrcs.

I am a sucker for Japanese prints. Ayumi was offering these in her Etsy shop.
The little cherries are so darn cute.
Kumiko Fujita with an extra Japanese print.
and a few more Japanese prints from Sew Fresh Fabrics.
an alphabet panel by Kumiko Fujita

Live LIfe Clothing by Yuwa of Japan and Live LIfe Kitchen by Yuwa of Japan

and I bought a few yards of this stripe.
 I thought it would make a nice binding on a future quilt.

I almost forgot to show you what my lovely friend Julie, from the Intrepid Thread sent me.
This adorable tiny collection of 2 1/2 inch charms of Malka Dubrawsky's new fabric,
A Stitch in Color.
You can't even buy these fabrics yet. 
I love Malka's hand dyed fabrics and use of color and this is just such a fun collection.
It really mimics a hand dyed look.
It comes out in January, 
and I can't wait to load up on this entire line 
of lovely, colorful fabrics.

Now if my life would just settle down so I can actually sew
I will have something fun to show you soon.
But for now the eye candy of these gorgeous fabrics will have to do.

Thanks for stopping by,