Friday, April 26, 2013

Amish Buggy Block Quilt

Sometimes I just need to sit down and sew.
That would be most of the last 2 weeks, though it didn't actually happen that way.

It had been ugly weather outside thanks to our lovely "Spring" storms.
Nothing Spring about it.
We are still in the throes of Winter here.
I actually saw a sign outside the vet's office that read, "We're having a lovely Winter this Spring".
That about sums it up.
One morning my kids hit the bus stop with thundersnow happening.
It was a little freaky to say the least---seeing flashes of lightning while it was snowing.
The record snow fall in April is a bit ridiculous.
We don't care about the records.
We all just want it gone.
Seriously, it is killing us.
You know it is bad when even the Minnesotans are complaining.
We're so done with Winter!

Enough complaining.......unless we get even more snow down the road......
Thankfully today we are going to hit 70.  The Hallelujah chorus sings in the background.  We can't hardly believe.  I'll be eating lunch outside today....just because I can.

I finished both the top and the back for the Amish Buggy block swap that Emily started last Fall.

Top pre border attached.

With borders

Blue border cut 2" strips to finish at 1 1/2 inches.
Brown border cut 3" strips
I plan on binding it with the same brown.

The back.

The yellow piece is brighter than it is showing up in this picture.

Now to decide whether to quilt it myself or send it to Lynn.
I'm leaning towards Lynn out of pure laziness.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Working on the Kitchen

If you have followed our blog for awhile you know that we've slowly done some work on our kitchen.

Removing the half wall.
Removed the rest of the wall between dining and kitchen.
New flooring

Figuring out what to do with the remaining wall--double oven mock-up.

In the meantime it has looked like this.

An open utility shelf that was/is a disaster to say the least.
Please don't judge.
Older homes just don't come with enough storage.
And least of all when you have 7 people living in it.

Finally, since hubby has a new job, he commutes more and doesn't have as much time and we might move down the road, I decided we have to do something different.  We still might build in a double oven and cupboards, but until then I bought this.

Bought it on Craigslist for $100.
It was ready to use immediately, unlike some other entertainment units I had looked at that would've needed some shelves built in first. And when and if we do build something in this spot permanently I plan on moving this to my sewing room for fabric storage. (I will need to stain the bottom knobs to match them up.)

And for the moment here is sort of what I am doing with it.

Small appliances
Markers and crafty supplies
Big bowls in the drawers
In the bottom drawer I put in baskets and fruit

Anything to get stuff off the counters and out of sight.
Still a work in progress, but much improved.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Prom Dress--Part II

Yesterday the girls came to our house after school to work on their dresses.

Next step was the lay-out and cutting.

I had to give a few instructions to BFF on how to read the pattern pieces and then made sure it was all pinned properly before I let her cut it out.  My daughter had to lengthen all her bodice pieces by 2 inches.

Both got everything pinned and cut in about 1 1/2 hrs--that's both the fabric and lining pieces.  According to my daughter it is slightly nerve-wracking cutting fancy fabric.  She didn't want to screw anything up.

Daughter #1 with the ruched turquoise for the bodice that made her so nervous.
It is $30/yd. fabric (before using a coupon) and so that is why she was freaking out a little.

BFF with her deep purple satin.
It is a gorgeous color that you can't really tell from this pic and the lighting.

Next time we start some sewing.
Fun times!
I think that I might be more excited for them than they actually are.

  • Both are using the same patterns with some subtle changes.  The most humorous to me is that they are cutting out the skirt pieces the same length but they will fall at different lengths because my daughter is 6' and her BFF is about 5'5".  BFF wants hers to hit right at the ankles and my daughter wants hers a little higher, more tea length.
  • Using Simplicity 1797 for the bodice and raising the back neckline a bit.
  • Using Simplicity 3878 for the skirt.

Note:  Both girls decided to use this dress project as their Integrity value project for Young Woman Personal Progress--make and wear an item of clothing that conforms to modesty standards as outlined in the For the Strength of Youth Pamphlet.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Floral Circle Skirt in Blue & Brown

Here's a fun warm weather skirt that I just made for Spring if it ever shows up here in MN.  Found this fabric by accident as I was browsing for something else.  Loved it and decided to keep it for myself even though daughter #1 was eyeballing it rather seriously once I brought it home.  Sorry kiddo, this one is for me.

Already have a cute brown tee to wear with it.
Could also use this cream t-shirt if I wanted.
I wore it on Sunday to Church with a black sweater because we still have snow and it was cold.

  • Simplicity 4236--this is also a good basic skirt pattern for a straight skirt--not quite pencil, but very close. 
  • View C is not quite full circle skirt.  This pattern does have a full circle version to make.
  • 2 yds. of 60" cotton fabric (I bought the last of this piece or I would've bought a little more)
  • Added 2 inches to the overall length, only because that is as much as the fabric would allow.  I would have preferred about 4 inches added to the length.
  • Used 1 pkg. of 1/4" double fold bias tape to finish off the hem.  I couldn't afford to lose any length at all when hemming..
  • Finished length--25 inches.

Friday, April 19, 2013

My New Normal

My sewing life has changed over the course of the past couple months.
I've had to start wearing reading glasses in order to thread the needles on my machines.
It makes me feel like I am older than I actually am.
Well....maybe I am actually getting older.

Anyway, I'm not particularly happy about it as now I have to make sure I have a pair of "cheaters" by my serger, another pair in my purse so if I need to read something at the store, and another pair by my bed so I can read.  I find that especially at night I need them if I want to read.

But on the flip side, it sure is nice to be able to see clearly where that thread is going and what I am sewing.  My kids also think I look "distinguished" when I wear them.  I'm trying not to feel slightly put out by that comment because when I think of "distinguished" I think of a handsome gentleman with gray or graying hair (like my hubby).  I know they were giving me a compliment, so I guess that I'll just have to accept my new normal.

At least I'm blonde so you can't see all the gray that is coming in too.

Enjoy your weekend!
We are so praying for NO more SNOW!!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Prom Dress-Part I

Shopping for fabric....this time around it is for my daughter's first Prom dress and for her BFF's dress.

In February I set her up on my Pinterest account and made a secret board for her so that she could peruse all the modest dresses she wanted and pin what she liked so we could get an idea of what we were going to do.  She and daughter #2 spent a couple of hours looking at pretty dresses and pinning WAY too many.  But they had great sister bonding time over it.

This was probably the top dress overall that she liked.
Latter Day Bride--Shanessa
Color, style, everything.
Not the price, however.
Choke, choke at $475.

After all her pinning we then hit Jo-Ann's and checked out fabric.  Because I knew we could duplicate this dress for way less than that price--even if we spent $100 on materials it would be better.

We found this awesome piece first and decided this is what we were going to work around because it was such cool fabric.

Ruched turquoise taffeta/satin with sequins.

Bought some coordinating taffeta/satin fabric for the skirt and some tulle also.

Her BFF emailed me this picture of what she wanted.

Purple with some black tulle overlay.

Over the weekend she and her mom, along with me and daugther #1, went shopping.
Supplies are all bought.
Now onto the actual cutting, fitting and sewing.
Gotta get these girls to work so that we have plenty of time to put them together.

Monday, April 15, 2013

What about Orange?

I think that we all have a favorite color....or two.
Sometimes that changes with time and age, sometimes not.
I have to say that as much as I love bold colors, I never thought that I would have much interaction with the color orange.

As a teen, orange was one of our rival high school's school colors.
Therefore, not cool to wear it.
I was also told I was a summer (remember the seasonal color thing that was so "in" during the 80's) and so orange was not in my color range.  It also proved to be wrong--about the summer thing for my skin color.

Much later I grow up, get married to a hunter (think blaze orange) and have some kids.
Who funny enough all love the color orange.
Our local HS colors are orange and navy.
I now own an orange t-shirt that I wear to our daughters' swim meets.

How did this happen to me?
I've sewn more things made out of orange fabric than I can think about.  And just recently I bought a lovely piece of orange rayon fabric that I am going to use for MYSELF to make a new skirt--out of ORANGE.  It's just crazy!

I need an orange skirt!
from Pinterest

Who knew that orange would become such a part of my life?

Anyone else using colors that they never thought they'd have in their life?

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Green Splash Quilt FINALLY Finished

I've been trying to get this quilt finished for some time.  The top has been done since November of last year.  I worked on some of the quilting in February when we all had our little retreat to St. George.  I just had the white border around the orange block to quilt and then it could be done.

With all the nasty snow we received this past week (and more forecasted for tonight--UGH!) It was a good week to stay home and get some things accomplished.  Happy day I got this one out of the sewing room and into the living room to be used.

Used a little wavy line quilting stitch on Emily's new machine to do the majority of the quilting.
Straight line quilting across the orange block
Pebble quilting within the white border around the orange block.

Finished dimensions:
53" by 67"

Pattern from Sunday Morning Quilts pg. 72-75.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Tomato Soup for food allergies

As Emily wrote about earlier last month, we all are having some changes occurring in our respective lives.

A couple things for us includes:

  • Two new vehicles this year, unplanned on both accounts.
  • Hubby's new job which after working from home since last August has greatly increased his work commute.
  • This change of job may also include a move down the road....but not right away.
  • Oldest daughter getting her driver's license--both great and scary all at the same time.
However, the most stressful for me has to do with our #2 daughter.  She has a wheat intolerance that we've known about for at least a year now.  Removing wheat from her diet improved her lifestyle for awhile and then last Fall sometime she started complaining again.  Recently I took her to a naturopath (because the pediatrician wasn't as helpful as I'd like) where we had some blood work done and the results came back that she also has a dairy, egg, and peanut issue too.

I have to say that after dropping her back off at school after that appointment and then browsing through the grocery store to see what kind of options she'll have, I went back out to my vehicle and cried...and called my mother.  I felt like dealing with the wheat issue was a piece of cake (yeah, punny) compared to this new diagnosis.

It was a temporary meltdown on my part, but right now I have a love/hate relationship with food because of all of this going on with my daughter.  I think that is normal.  I'm pretty sure I'll get over it, because we sort of went thru this when we discovered the wheat issue--denial, anger, acceptance, etc. all those grieving steps.

Anyway, the saddest part about all this for me, thinking of my daughter, is that she will eat anything, and likes about everything, and here she can't have all these things.  That is probably a huge blessing too, because I'm not sure any of my other kids would have as many options as she has because of their food "pickiness".  We're working through it and she is being a good sport as we try new recipes and I figure out a new way of cooking for my entire family, because I am not making a couple different things every night just to make everyone happy.

She and I have a shared love of tomato soup.  Regular canned soup, i.e. Campbell's, has wheat in it--if you didn't already know that.  Gluten-free canned soup is expensive, and really neither one is as good as homemade.

I found this tomato soup recipe from The Chew--one of my favorite shows to watch.  I made it the other night night and it was delicious.  #2 ate hers with some Glutino pretzels and was super happy with it.  I've been eating the leftovers for lunch.

Cream Tomato Soup Clinton Kelly
pic from The Chew

Recipe changes/details:
  • I used 4 pints of my own canned tomatoes
  • Substituted rice milk for the cream.
  • And didn't use as much garlic as the recipe called for.
Down the road I'll probably be sharing some things here and there with what we are doing to make her life better and some things that I've learned or I am doing to switch up the diet.  There are certainly lots of websites and books out there to help us out.

Here are a couple helpful books I found at our local library.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Lace Dresses

My 2 oldest girls have been obsessed with lace dresses.  There are some really pretty ones out there as well as ones none of us here would be caught dead in (too revealing and sexy for teenagers AND mothers of 5 children too.)

They picked out the colors and slightly fought over who would wear which one.  The lady who helped us cut fabric at Jo-Ann's convinced them which color looked best on each.  Heaven forbid they should listen to their mother's opinion.  Just glad it worked out and they were both happy.

These were their Easter dresses, and they wore them even though the temps were in the 30's (you can't tell from these pics) and the wind was super cold.

I really like this with the bow.

Daughter #1 with my oldest son and his "new" suit from his cousin.

3/4 sleeve hem.

And here is how the invisible zipper looks with the lace/satin combo.

They received quite a few compliments at church.  Lots loved the colors and others loved the "retro" feel of the dresses.  I didn't think we were doing anything all that retro, but I'm just happy that they are pleased with how their dresses turned out.


  • Used pattern Butterick 5706
  • We had to take the dress in quite a bit on the sides at the waist so that it would look more fitted.  And this was after the back darts too.  I don't know if it was just the pattern or because my girls swim and they have broader shoulders and need a different size there than in the waist.
  • Made a bow for each but daughter #1 didn't wear hers this time. 
  • Invisible zipper
  • Blind hem stitch on the satin layer.
  • Added a facing to the neckline instead of how the instructions indicated.  


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