Thursday, March 26, 2009

Birthday Berry Pie

Last Saturday my son turned 12. He has never been a big cake fan so he asked that I make him a triple berry birthday pie instead. Sure! I had plenty of pie crust dough leftover so I made these little cinnamon crisp cookies. They were yummy too. As you can see, I like a rustic casual style with my baked goods.

We allowed our son to buy his own Xbox last year. It took him ages to save up the money but he finally got his dream gaming system and is just like most boys this age.. he is always wanting to play his video games. I understand this complusion as I have been addicted to Mario and Zelda games on our Nintendo.

Before we opened gifts, I took some pictures. Sam was really nervous that he wouldn't get his dream game and the tension is all over his face here when he is trying to smile. He also has trouble holding his pose and holding his eye contact with the camera. Maybe you can't see it, but this face is saying, "I hope this birthday goes exactly as I have imagined it.":

But dreams do come true! He got his dream game and all is well!

It is wonderfully rewarding to see our children grow up! I am so proud to have such a hardworking, smart, and funny young man in my life. Only one more year until he is a teenager! Happy Birthday, Sam!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Vintage Printed Linens

I love winter, but this was a really bad one. It was frigid cold for a long long time. At least we had some snow here to brighten things up. The weather here has turned beautiful, at least for the last few days. My lawn is starting to green up a little and I see some very small buds on the trees.

Vintage Linens

With all this bright sunshine, I feel like I want to put away my old stuff and make way for some new things in my house and my life. My mom has been doing just that. She cleaned out her vintage linen collection and gave me some of her treasures. We think some of these printed linens may have been my grandma's but at this point, we can't remember and we aren't sure that it matters. Mom has collected vintage kitchen linens at antique stores for years and years. She has always favored red.

This one may be my favorite:
Vintage Linens

Vintage Linens

This one is a beautiful soft linen. It must have been used and loved, but it has no stains at all:
Vintage Linens

Vintage Linens

I think this one is new. A long table runner was cut in half to make two shorter runners. Mom used these out in her back garden for summer picnics and luncheons:
Vintage Linens

This is a vintage tea towel. It is a soft, thick cotton.
Vintage Linens

For awhile, the style was to collect these vintage things and sew them up into kitchen curtains and throw pillows. I think that may still be in fashion, but I don't have the heart to cut vintage things up unless they are stained and worn out. I'm so happy to have these lovely things for my kitchen and my summertime patio.

Thanks, Mom!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Craft Talk

I've seen this from Leslie Hall several times today and I can't stop listening to it. Thanks Sarah, Zakka Life, Craftzine, and Craftastrophe.

My recollection is that gem and bedazzled sweaters were an early 90's phenomenon although they do look 80's. I was a crafty elementary school teacher, so I also was familiar with the iron-on applique puffy paint t-shirt thing of the same time period. In fact in 1993, I received a fully sequined t-shirt as a going away gift from my teacher friends back in Texas. Sadly, she used the wrong adhesive for the sparkles and they very quickly fell off. I don't usually wear sparkley things, but it was a quintessentially Texas sort of gift.

I love the way she says, "You sure looking happy, cause you make it snappy.. and not very crappy."

I also think "Do you want to paste together something we can use forever... I'm thinking Key Chains" could be the motto of our Chicagoland Craft Collective.

Enjoy! And "work through the pain" my craftastic friends.

Craft Critique Giveaway

My friends at Craft Critique have a HUGE giveaway going on.

Pop on over there for a chance to win a large collection of papercrafting supplies, stickers, stamps, and all kinds of other cool stuff.

You can follow Craft Critique over at Facebook too.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Green Fundraiser Quilt

This is the second of the two quilts I made for a school fundraiser. My participation in this project was assembling them into blankets. I wish I knew what products they used to color the blocks.

Fundraiser Quilt Green

This one is themed "Make the world Shine... Like a Star!" But I messed up and stitched the blocks backwards so it says "Like a Star! ... Make the World Shine". I have since fixed this mistake.

Fundraiser Quilt Green
Fundraiser Quilt Green
Fundraiser Quilt Green

Fundraiser Quilt Green

Friday, March 6, 2009

Red Fundraiser Quilt

Someone at my daughter's elementary school organized a quilt making project. The children in the 3rd and 4th grades (I think) each colored a fabric square according to a theme determined in each classroom. They solicited fabric and batting donations from parents and they sent out a note for sewing volunteers. My participation in this endeavor was the sew-it-into-a-quilt part.

Here is the first of the two quilts I assembled:

School Fundraiser Quilt - Red

This one is themed "The Hands of Friendship". It measures about 55x42 or a lap quilt size.

School Fundraiser Quilt - Red

School Fundraiser Quilt - Red

School Fundraiser Quilt - Red

School Fundraiser Quilt - Red

It turned out cute! I decided against a complicated setting because I didn't want to distract from the children's darling work. Well.. that and I wanted to keep it simple for my own reasons. I get bogged down with design decisions and I didn't give myself enough time with these to do any bogging down..

I think what happens is that all the classroom quilts will be bid on in a silent auction at our annual Family Dance on Saturday. They'd been doing teacher themed gift baskets and decided on this project to change it up a little. I hope this project generates a lot of money!

Thursday, March 5, 2009


I'm one day late with my school fundraiser quilts, but thankfully, the deadline was flexible.. I'm doing the bindings today and turning them in this afternoon.

Meanwhile, I still haven't quite sent my last baby package. We got a message that sweet baby is already 4 months old and there were gorgeous pictures attached. As I recall, we started introducing solid foods around 4 months (or was it 6?). I decided to try my hand at bib making to add to the package:

Bib set

These are infant sized bibs from a pattern I found on the internet, but I forgot to bookmark it for you. They went together pretty easily. I used two layers of flannel on the back. I am also happy that I went ahead and ordered a big supply of size 16 snaps on the internet so I no longer feel that they are too precious to use up.

Baby Bib

Today is feeling a little bit more like spring around here! Time to get out the springy decorations.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Baby Quilts

These are two long overdue baby quilts I made for some friends and their new baby girls. The block is the churn dash which was a favorite of my grandmother. I used a beautiful fabric set that my mom gave me as a gift for my birthday.

Churn Dash Baby Quilt 2

I was happy to have the fabric pack because shopping for novelty children's fabrics is always a big challenge. I matched up the fabrics in contrasting colors and made two complimentary versions of each block. I delivered the above quilt to my friends and their gorgeous baby girl this weekend. I still need to send out the quilt below to the equally beautiful baby girl who lives out of town. I'm pretty sure the out-of-town parents don't read my blog, so the surprise is safe.

Churn Dash Baby Quilt

I beat myself up a little bit for not using sashing and border on these, but they were already big enough and I didn't want to worry about shopping for the longish yardage needed for borders. I used packaged double fold bias tape for the binding so that step went really quickly and easily. I like how they turned out although I took longer than I liked to get them ready to give.

Right now I'm stitching up some quilts for a school fundraiser. The school children each colored a muslin square which will be assembled into quilts for each classroom. I only have to do two of the quilts and I procrastinated as usual so it's a mad rush to get them done by Wednesday. Unfortunately, the fabric used for the kids drawing is really inferior and it is fraying and falling apart even though I am being really gentle with it. Alas...