Thursday, July 9, 2015

Creative Eye Thursday-Learn to Quilt as You Go by Gudrun Erla

Martingale, 2015; used by permission. Photos by Brent Kane. All rights reserved
I had heard of quilt as you go, using a serger, but I hadn't seen it done this way.  This book goes into great detail on how to make quilts...as you go.  I love how she showed how to make the illusions of curved piecing.    

There have been many times that we, as quilters, and homemakers, friends, and sisters, have wanted to make a quilt in a hurry,  to show the deep love, concern, and caring we have for someone.  I know there are times I have mourned a little because I didn't have the time to make something special for a loved one.  
Martingale, 2015; used by permission. Photos by Brent Kane. All rights reserved

Now, with this method, I could whip something up, quite honestly, in a day.  I love that.  I love that the hardest part for me, the quilting, is done at the same time as my favorite part, the piecing.  You should definitely pick up this book, enjoy it, and then be able to quilt quickly when you have a need. Check out Martingale to buy the book.

Martingale, 2015; used by permission. Photos by Brent Kane. All rights reserved

 Martingale, 2015; used by permission. Photos by Brent Kane. All rights reserved

Martingale, 2015; used by permission. Photos by Brent Kane. All rights reserved




Thursday, July 2, 2015

Creative Eye Thursday- Handmade Christmas Cheer by Pat Wys

Martingale, 2015; used by permission. Photos by Brent Kane. All rights reserved
Christmas In July!  

Now is the perfect time to start those Christmas projects you want to give to loved ones, or the ones you want to display in your home.  Strange as it seems to have christmas projects following you on family vacations, and sitting on your lap as you watch "So You Think You Can Dance." it is actually the perfect thing to do in the summer.  Now is the time to sit back, relax a little, and take some time to make something perfect, for those we love so much.  It's also the perfect time to perfect a skill you need to improve.
Martingale, 2015; used by permission. Photos by Brent Kane. All rights reserved


In comes the book Handmade Christmas Cheer.... You will love all the fun projects she has for you.  Big ones, small ones, projects for beloved family members, and little gifts for coworkers and neighbors.  She makes simple projects, into amazing gifts by spending a little extra time on the hand stitching.  There are ample instructions on how to do each stitch, and how to make a project you will love.
Martingale, 2015; used by permission. Photos by Brent Kane. All rights reserved

Check out the book, you will love it.  Go here or here to buy the book, and get ready for a fun Christmas (in just a few short months).
Martingale, 2015; used by permission. Photos by Brent Kane. All rights reserved

 Martingale, 2015; used by permission. Photos by Brent Kane. All rights reserved

 Martingale, 2015; used by permission. Photos by Brent Kane. All rights reserved

 Martingale, 2015; used by permission. Photos by Brent Kane. All rights reserved

Martingale, 2015; used by permission. Photos by Brent Kane. All rights reserved



Thursday, June 25, 2015

Creative Eye Thursday-Quiltmaking Essentials 2 by Donna Lynn Thomas

Have you ever wanted more in depth instructions for quilting? Have you ever felt like you needed a guide book to help you with patterns you have previously purchased?  Would you like to know, not just how to make a quilt a certain way, but why that's a good way to make it?  What's the best way to bind a quilt, how do you make a binding look amazing?  How can I set my blocks in a way that makes the quilt absolutely shine?  If you have ever wanted more in depth answers to your basic quilting questions, this book is perfect for you.
Martingale, 2015; used by permission. Photos by Brent Kane. All rights reserved

I remember when I started quilting, I needed information.  And lots of it.  I got every book I could, I and read it from front to back.  I loved the information  I learned from those quilters.  And I LOVE books like this, that not only teach how...but WHY?  When a quilter knows the why, they know if they can tweak the method.  They know when to be creative, and test the limits, and they know when to play it safe, and have a quilt that can stand up to the test of time.

Buy this book, your library will be better for it.  Buy it here or  here.  Enjoy!
 Martingale, 2015; used by permission. Photos by Brent Kane. All rights reserved

 Martingale, 2015; used by permission. Photos by Brent Kane. All rights reserved

 Martingale, 2015; used by permission. Photos by Brent Kane. All rights reserved

 Martingale, 2015; used by permission. Photos by Brent Kane. All rights reserved


Thursday, June 18, 2015

Creative Eye Thursday-Quick Change compiled by Karen Burns

Have you ever wanted to change the look of your bedroom without wanting to make a WHOLE quilt.  Maybe just a small quilt, a small change?   I love how each of these little quick bed runners has a different look.  Just think of the possibilities, a new bed runner for each month, maybe each season, maybe even a birthday banner?  Possibilities are endless, and pretty darn fun (if I say so myself). 

Martingale, 2015; used by permission. Photos by Brent Kane. All rights reserved

If any of this sounds like a fun plan for you, then this is the perfect book of patterns for you.  Check out some of the fun bed jewelry below.  And since I know you'll want to make one yourself, you can go here or here to purchase the book.  Don't forget, you can get the ebook too!
 Martingale, 2015; used by permission. Photos by Brent Kane. All rights reserved
 Martingale, 2015; used by permission. Photos by Brent Kane. All rights reserved
 Martingale, 2015; used by permission. Photos by Brent Kane. All rights reserved
 Martingale, 2015; used by permission. Photos by Brent Kane. All rights reserved
 Martingale, 2015; used by permission. Photos by Brent Kane. All rights reserved
 Martingale, 2015; used by permission. Photos by Brent Kane. All rights reserved
 Martingale, 2015; used by permission. Photos by Brent Kane. All rights reserved
 Martingale, 2015; used by permission. Photos by Brent Kane. All rights reserved
 Martingale, 2015; used by permission. Photos by Brent Kane. All rights reserved
Martingale, 2015; used by permission. Photos by Brent Kane. All rights reserved


Thursday, June 11, 2015

Creative Eye Thursday-Style and Swing by Susan Dunlop



Martingale, 2015; used by permission. Photos by Brent Kane. All rights reserved

As I thumbed through this fun book of big bags, little bags, purses, and wallets I was delighted at the possibilities in store.   No matter what kind of purse or bag you may need, there's a pattern for "that" in this book.

I love that when we make our own bags, purses, and wallets, we get to use th
e fabrics that speak to us, that represent us.  When we go out in public, we want our bags to show a little of our personality.  With these patterns, you can totally make any bag, your own.

Check out some of the goodies below, and go here or here to pick up a copy for yourself.

Martingale, 2015; used by permission. Photos by Brent Kane. All rights reserved

 Martingale, 2014; used by permission. Photos by Brent Kane. All rights reserved

 Martingale, 2014; used by permission. Photos by Brent Kane. All rights reserved

Martingale, 2014; used by permission. Photos by Brent Kane. All rights reserved






Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Creative Eye Thursday- Seems Like Scrappy by Rebecca Silbaugh



Sometimes you just want to make a scrappy quilt.  And sometimes you want to make a scrappy quilt without having to have all the scraps.  Enter this book.  If you have ever wanted to make a scrappy quilt without the hassle or ability to have a huge fabric stash, here's the book for you.  Simply pick up your favorite precuts, and now you get to make some scrappy goodness without all the work.

This book has lots of fun designs to choose from.  And you will love every minute of it.  For the pattern I chose to work with...it's this little number. Let's get to work.


Oh my goodness.  I started this little number last week, thought since it was small I could finish it quickly.  Hmmm.  Not so much. Now, I am almost a whole week late in writing this blog post.  I knew that it might take a little while to do, but I forgot how much time kids take. I love having summer break, but holy cow, kids want your attention..like all the time.  I actually love it.  I really do.  But instead of working, I get to take the kids swimming, and to the movies, and play card games with them.  life is hard here.

Anyway, when I had a chance to work.  There was a lot of chain stitching.  A lot of trimming, cutting, and pressing.  I really enjoyed the idea of making this little cute quilt.  The actually making of it made me remember these things:
1) as much as I love precuts, they are not as accurate as self cut squares
2) small blocks are tricky
3) following all the directions is a super good idea.  

So...I didn't follow the instructions to press the seams open.  I kinda thought that was her preference, and not a requirement.  And, I prefer to press them to one side.  Well, that was fine for awhile.


Until this...

Yeah, so by the time you get to the 1" squares, there are a ton of layers there.  A TON.  That's not an exaggeration in any way.  So, maybe it's a good idea to follow the instructions.  Even when you think you know better, you might save yourself from breaking a needle.

I do have to say.  There was some frustration with the precuts.  I do love precuts, but they have that zig zag edge, which can fray a bit, which means not all of your blocks will be exactly the same size.  I'm sorry, but when you're doing something so small, even a little bit off matters.  I could have measured each and every block, to see where to take a little more, and to see when to skimp.  But, that's quite a bit of work.  So, I just went for it.  Later, some of my blocks were less than perfect.  However, I know how to fudge a little here and there to make it work. There was a fair amount of fudging.

I did like the design of this pattern.  Rebecca did such a great job with making this pattern.  Sewing together, and then cutting, sewing, cutting, etc.. Was pretty fun. I like finding new ways to make classic blocks.

Here's my finished product.  Mine, a little blue, with browns and pinks.  If you were making it, what colors would you choose?



 Here are a bunch of her other patterns. All of them are fun, and easy to make.   Check out the book, you can buy it here or here.





Thursday, May 28, 2015

How to Get Your Family to do Dishes, And Be HAPPY About It


The other day, the man and I sat in bed discussing life.  You know DISHES.  How to do them?  He felt like the kids should do the dishes, and he and I should go for a walk together.  That sounded really nice to me, but it also sounded like a recipe for contention.  I contended that we should work together, and do the dishes as we had been.  But, truth be told, I was mostly doing the dishes, and the kids were lending a hand (here and there), while the man was looking at me, like...you shouldn't be doing all the dishes.

That wasn't really working either.  After much discussion and brainstorming, and some prayer, we found the answer.

The answer is this:  Are you excited?  Too excited?  You should be.

Okay, each night, a different person is in charge of coordinating the dishes for that evening.  What does that mean?  It means, they are the boss.  Usually, the boss is the one scrubbing dishes, but it can vary.  Anyway, the boss of the night hands out the assignments.  Clearing the table, sweeping the floor, wiping the table, putting away the leftovers, etc....  

Strangely, this method works like a charm.  No one complains, we all pitch in, we all work together, and I kid you not, it gets done in about 5 minutes.  And since we all have a turn to be the boss, no one feels picked on.  And, if someone feels like one person has it easy, on their day to be boss, they can remedy that.  But honestly, this has pretty much cured anyone of feeling like things are unfair.  We all work together, until it's complete.

Maybe the way you do dishes needs an overhaul?  Try this out, I'm pretty sure all your dreams will come true.