Saturday, December 24, 2011

In a Jam - Tutorial

My husband and I worked together to pull together these affordable last-minute gifts of blackberry jam wrapped with seasonally-colored kitchen towels to give as hostess gifts and small gestures of Christmas greetings to extended family members.
On a shoe-string budget, we bought the blackberries when they were on sale and froze them until ready to make the jam. Then, we bought several packs of towels for only a couple dollars each and split them up to use as wrapping. In total, we probably spent less than $2 per gift, and I think they turned out pretty cute! Here is a tutorial for how to wrap jam in a kitchen towel making a merry, merry food gift.
Supplies: -Kitchen towel -Small jar of jam -Bakers twine or ribbon -Gift tag
Fold towel in half lengthwise. Then, place jam jar in the center.
Bring opposite corners together.
Repeat, bringing the other two corners together. All corners should be held together.
Cut a piece of bakers twine or ribbon to desired length. I find it better to cut a little longer than what you may need as it's easier to trim later than try to tie a piece that's too short.
Cinch the twine or ribbon around the towel just above the jar lid. Double knot.
Feed the gift tag onto one side of the twine or ribbon until it touches the double knot.
Tie a single knot against the gift tag. Then tie a bow. Trim ends to desired length.
Voila! You're ready to gift your lovely gift.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Future Distractions

We all need a distraction, right? Writing this blog post is a distraction from the mountain of presents to wrap, emails to answer, and gifts to finish sewing. Well, let me help distract you for a few minutes in the midst of your holiday chaos to bring you some future distractions. :-)
These new patterns in the shop by Pattern Patti are perfect beginner projects in a range of styles.
From cute messenger bags and initial applique purses for the little ones in your life to more utilitarian tote bags for going to the market or yoga, these patterns offer quick weekend (or even evening!) projects that give you that feeling of instant gratification.
Cindy, the creative force behind Pattern Patti, is as sweet as can be, and I'm pleased to partner with her to bring her lovely creations to you through my shop! Please take a few minutes to peruse the offering and treat yourself to a future project for post-holiday sewing.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

All is Loud, All is Bright

The whole "calm" thing isn't happening so much around here these days! I feel like I've been running for about six weeks straight. Sun up (sometimes earlier) to sun down (and must definitely later), there is work to be done.
This picture (taken of my Christmas tree with a slow shutter speed) is a little symbolic of the madness! But it's also a beautiful time of year. I'm taking this weekend to slow down - just a little - to soak up the joy and wonder as seen through my daughter's eyes.
Doing some merry making, these Spool Birds made a fine pair of ornaments for the Cincinnati Modern Guild December swap.
And this felt garland tutorial from Purl Bee was a perfect mother-daughter project to adorn our fireplace. I cut out all the circle and put them in a bag.
Then, Olivia sat by me at the sewing machine and got to pick out of the bag and hand the circles to me. One after the other. She liked being "in charge," and the project only took about 1 hour start to finish! What about you? What are you making to decorate your homes for the holidays?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Never Too Many

One of the things you can never have too many of when there's a baby around is bibs. The amount we go through on an average day is really quite remarkable. Having cute bibs around makes the never-ending mountain of laundry a little more tolerable.
Using fat quarters, I was able to make up a matching bib and burp cloth using the patterns in the links.
I backed them in minky, which was really quite slippery and difficult to work with, as I've blogged about before. But, the effect is nice and worth the trouble.
I bought these lovely Amy Butler fabrics from my friend, Amy of Lots of Pink Here. The prints are classics, and I've saved every scrap to use for future projects. Who knows where they may show up next!?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Picture Perfect

Last night, I whipped up a little camera accessory - a strap cover. After looking at several online tutorials, I decided to use this one from Skip to My Lou (who has a wonderful tutorial repertoire, by the way). The fabric is Amy Butler's Lark. I'm looking forward to using it today at our family Thanksgiving gathering.

To my American friends, I hope your Thanksgiving is picture perfect!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Sewing Wish List

Well... I just took a bunch of pics to show you what I've been up to, and, of course, I'm having technical issues getting my computer and camera to sync. Why me? Instead, I'll point you toward a fab giveaway sponsored by CMQG friend Andie Johnson. Hop on over to her blog as she has quite a giveaway party going on over there. Also, in the spirit of the holiday season, I do every now and then think about my sewing wish list. Come on. Admit it. You do to. ;-) What's on my list this year? Thread. I'd like a beautiful box of thread. Doesn't have to be anything crazy expensive and fancy. I just need some more color selection. This one might do...
Embroidery patterns. I have lusted over this one and this one for so long now. Maybe I should just break down... no. must. have. self. control.
Last but not least - Yarn! I am knitting up a storm these days and need a little boost to my stash is much needed. Yarns that are soft to my little girls' skin is lacking. Debbie Bliss' Cashermino would be a welcomed add.
This is by no means a "hint, hint" to anyone in particular. Should I run into so extra cash this holiday season, these are the things I'd like to treat myself to. What about you? What's on your list? Finally, on a totally unrelated note, I am LOVING the Fluffy Fibers podcast. Isabelle is a fantastic hostess - so regal and elegant. And, well, I think she has a pretty fabulous name too.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Something Blue

Oh, there is SO much pink in my house. So much. I joked with another mom of two girls that our laundry piles are dark, light, white, and pink. Given that, it was incredibly refreshing to sew with blue to make a bib and burp cloth set for a friend due in a couple weeks with her first baby - a son.
The fabric is Sweetwater's Hometown Cross Town in Sky. The backing is a minky given to me by my mom. What a bugger that is to work with! So slippery.
The burp cloth pattern is from Cloud 9 - Contoured Burp Cloth.
The bib is from Chickpea Studios - Infant Bib Pattern. I used velcro as the closure. Hope everyone is having a great weekend! I'm off to check on the progress of my master bedroom - it's being painted! Doing a grey and yellow palette. Can't wait to show you pics! :-)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Like a Lark and Little Apples Giveaway Winner

Once again, Amy Butler pulled together an amazing fabric collection. Something about her palettes and patterns hit the mark for me every single time. Lark is no exception.
There is not one print in this line I don't like, but, if I had to choose a favorite, I'd pick Chinese Lantern in Grass. My eye is drawn to this preppy navy and kelly green linear design like a mother gazes on a newborn. It's just so RIGHT. Everything about it. Okay, enough swooning.
Anyway, Lark is new in the shop if you care to peruse. :-) Now, on to the winner of the Little Apples 8 Fat Quarter bundle. According to the all knowing and powerful Random Number Generator, the winner is... Jennifer Gail who said she prefers apples with caramel. Jennifer, I'll email you to arrange shipping your prize. Congratulations! Thanks to everyone who entered. Your comments and recipes were such fun to read!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Radio Silence

Many of you have commented that the last posting of the Stash Resolution podcast has no sound. Yeah... A massive technical glitch happened only made worse by a computer failure that caused the raw data to disappear.

This last frustrating experience has led me to make the decision to put the podcast on hold indefinitely. I have to throw up the white flag and admit defeat; time is not on my side these days. When I do get a rare hour to do something I want to do, honestly, I'd rather sew. I'm sure you can understand!

Don't get me wrong - I so enjoy the interaction it has afforded me over the last year and a half. I've made many wonderful virtual acquaintances as a result and hope to continue those in the blog forum. When I can get back to podcasting with regularity and when it feels like something I want to do - not another thing I HAVE to do - then you'll hear from me again. I promise! :-) Thank you to everyone who has been so kind and supportive of that little venture.

Enough of that. On to some Flickr eye candy! Though the color combo may be peaking, I love yellow and grey together.

1. All three yellow and grey nesting chairs pillows, 2. Grey and yellow linen clutch, 3. Gray Grey and Yellow Crochet Rug, 4. Mustard & Grey Quilt, 5. Miss Jenny with grey skies (front), 6. Grey Yellow Hair Clips , 7. Cuffed, 8. Kitschicagoan Yellow & Grey Mood Board, 9. sculpted skirt in light gray and yellow

I also created a Pinterest board for Yellow and Grey as my inspiration for my master bedroom re-do. What's your favorite color combo these days?

Be back in a few to announce the fat quarter bundle winner!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Happy Market Weekend!

Oh, what I wouldn't give to be in Houston this weekend. You?

For those of us watching from the side lines, there is the Bloggers' Quilt Festival hosted by Amy at Amy's Creative Side. If you have a blog, I encourage you to read the entry requirements and participate. I'm pleased to sponsor the festival with a give away. Check out Amy's blog for details.

In other online news, AnneMarie of Gen X Quilters is hosting the Charmed Prints Quilt Along with the goal of encouraging each other to make (and finish!) a quilt for a holiday gift. She came up with an adorable pattern with different blocks. All you need are one or two charm packs, depending on what size quilt you want to make. The fun kicks off on November 1!

Hope you all have a great Halloween/Market weekend!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


A couple of weeks ago, Isabelle was baptized. She wore the same gown her sister, Olivia wore. This was also the gown I was dressed in for my christening.

My Grandma Judy painstakingly sewed the dress. The details are incredible.

Eyelet trim, satin ribbon, and tiny button embellishments.

Pleats and lace.

The back as pretty as the front with the tiniest, most dainty snap closures you've ever seen.

Inside the dress on the lining, my name and christening date was embroidered.

I'm now adding my daughters' names and baptism dates and will take the gown to a cleaners to be washed and preserved in an acid-free box. Maybe someday my girls will want their girls to wear the gown. And, if not, that's okay - they can keep this family treasure tucked somewhere safe as a reminder of the many generations of blessings upon them.

Here is Isabelle's baptism shot with (left to right) her godmother, big-sister Olivia, Bill me, and her godfather. I couldn't get to Olivia's baptism shots, which are archived on a separate hard drive, and of course my photos are in an album in my mom's basement somewhere!? But you get the picture.

And here is Isabelle with Grandma Judy, the seamstress who made the gown nearly 30 years ago! I wonder if she is thinking about how time flies...

Friday, October 21, 2011

Little Apples Give Away

In the spirit of the fall season, I'd like to give away some Little Apples! Who's in?

To enter to win this fun red and aqua collection of 8 Fat Quarters, please leave a comment with your favorite way to eat apples. Apple pie? Carmel apples? Apples sauce? Plain 'ole raw apples? Feel free to link to recipes too so we can all get inspired to do some baking! :-)

Want an extra entry? Follow my blog and let me know you did in a comment.

Deadline to enter is Thursday, October 27 midnight EST. Good luck!

Hope your weekend is full of wonderful fall goodness!

Sunday, October 16, 2011


Welcome to the new home for my blog - the blog formerly known as Stash Resolution. Ha! Thank you to those of you who hopped on over here and started following again.

The blog layout is a work-in-progress. Please bear with me as I make updates and changes, especially to the content in the new tabs.

To kick things off, here's a look at what I've been up to lately in the sewing room.

Can't be explained but suddenly I HAD to make a flying geese quilt. After a year still neatly tucked in it's package, I finally broke out the Eleanor Burn's Quilt in a Day Flying Geese ruler. Though slightly complex in the set up, the ruler gives amazing results, especially to those of us less-than-perfect sewers. :-)

Here are a few rows sewn together. I am using this lovely as my inspiration to play with the direction the geese are flying.

In more personal news, my family and I spent a lovely afternoon this Saturday at Young's Dairy near Yellow Springs, Ohio. Beware the sound effect if you dare to click on the link.

We're so lucky to live near several wonderful farms that put on amazing fall festivities for the kids to enjoy - tractor rides, games, pumpkin picking, hay slides, and animal petting. (How sweet is this cows face?!)

Isabelle (8 weeks old already!) slept through most of it.

Olivia had a ball feeding the goats - their whiskers really do tickle!

And won an ice cream cone as big as her head playing one of the games they had set up. What a silly family I have - but I think I'll keep them. :-)

What fall traditions does your family have?