March 30, 2009

Tess Blanket on Etsy






I have added this lovely "Tess" blanket to my Etsy shop. Oh, Folks, this is a yummy blanket. It is super soft and made from both vintage and new fabrics, including a lovely pink chenille. All three of my kiddos have blankets like this and have been using them for years. At 60" x 90", this blanket it plenty big for lounging on the couch, fort-building, and throwing across a twin-sized bed. It will certainly grow with your child.


The details:

The Tess blanket has Warm & Natural cotton batting inside, and is hand-tied with wool yarn ties. This adorable blanket was machine pieced and sewn, and then tied by hand. It was then washed in homemade earth-friendly detergent to give it a soft, vintage look and feel. The Tess blanket also includes a pink satin pocket on the back for hanging (which you may remove very easily).This blanket can be machine washed in cold water and dried on low or medium heat in the dryer. The wool knots are made to soften and felt as the blanket is loved-on and washed. Made in a smoke free environment. The finished size for Tess is 60" x 90".


Find more details on the Tess blanket here.

They're Off


On Saturday, I mailed these to K at the Christian Appalachian Project, on behalf of Mountain Baby Blankets. The kids went with me and were so excited that the quilts they'd seen me sewing were finally on their way to the babies. They were proud! How cool is that?!


As promised, pictures of the finished stacked coin quilt:




And, if you're interested, the CAP published an article about our blanket project here. I'm humbled beyond belief. Hero? Not sure about that one. I think all of us deserve that title. And all praise and glory goes to God.

A Favor, Please?


My poster is finally framed and mounted. Isn't it lovely?



Not to be outdone, Marchal Kitty Cat has also been mounted in the family room.



Jane Quilt Added to Etsy


Meet Jane.



Jane is up in my Etsy shop and needs some loving.
I really, really want to keep this quilt. It is so lovely - and the first quilt I made from beginning to end with my two hands.



Ric rac detail on both front and back.




Handstitched binding and beautiful fabrics - some vintage, some new (Amy Butler, Heather Bailey, Anna Maria Horner).




And that pink polka dot makes me swoon every time I see it. It's big, too - 54" x 46"!
Oh. My.

Please visit my Etsy shop to buy this up for your little one.
The details:
Various quality quilters cottons used, including Heather Bailey and Amy Butler. Warm & Natural cotton batting, with ric rac detail on front and back. This quilt was machine pieced and top quilted, with handstitched binding. It was then washed in homemade earth-friendly detergent to give it a soft, vintage look and feel. This quilt can be machine washed in cold water and dried on low or medium heat in the dryer. Made in a smoke free environment.The finished size is 54" x 46".
Find it HERE.

Oh, The Ponytails






March 23, 2009

The Elusive Cathedral Window Quilt Tutorial

Oh, Heaven help me.







Help, help me, Rhonda.


This is biting off more than I can chew. No doubt about it. But I kinda have to. It's in the fiber of my being (to bite off more than I can chew). My Aunt Mary made a king-sized cathedral window quilt for my parents when I was young. It was stunning. When my father died the quilt went to one of my step-brothers, whom I hope is sleeping under it to this very day. The quilt was absolutely stunning. I miss it.

This pattern is breath-taking. Tantamount. An accomplishment, like climbing Mount Everest (or I always thought of it as this difficult).


Folks, I have found a tutorial that seems - dare I say it - a bit easy. Tedious, certainly, but not as hard as I'd imagined. I can't promise it will be soon, but I definitely gotta make me one of these!


Enjoy!


Thank you, Hyena In Petticoats!

All Encompassing, Simple Chicken Soup Recipe

I want to share with you the beauty of this simple soup. This soup has powers.



This soup is so simple and delicious that my children eat it. If you have young children and try to feed them grown-up soup, you know exactly what I mean. My kids are strictly opposed to anything green floating in soup (i.e. - herbs, flavor). They will also turn it away if they detect even the slightest hint of an onion lurking in there.



When we all passed around the funk a couple of weeks ago, I wanted to throw something together to heal their little bodies (and mine). I didn't use a recipe; I've made this out of my head plenty of times before. After eating this soup, both T and A swear that they were healed (Lazarus-style). They both begged me to make it after church on Sunday. Seriously, begged me. Folks, it must be kid-yummy because them asking me to make anything short of cookies is WEIRD.



Without further explanation, here is my "recipe" for simple chicken soup. Feel free to enhance the beauty of it in your own way.


Ingredients
1 storebought rotisserie chicken with the skin (oh yes, I did just say that) OR 8 cooked chicken breast tenderloins that have been slightly browned in butter and garlic and chopped
6-8 C water (I totally eyeball this)
6 chicken bullion cubes (have more handy, but start with 6)
1 bay leaf
pinch of sage
dash of marjoram*
dash of parsley*
fresh ground pepper & kosher salt to taste
6-7 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
8 baby carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, deribbed and chopped
2 C ditalini pasta


I use one of these to get started:

Put the water on to boil. While you're waiting, grind up (i.e. bang with a blunt object) the bullion cubes and whisk them into the pot. Add the bayleaf, salt, pepper & herbs. Chop and add in the potatoes and carrots. Boiling them in the soup itself will allow them to absorb the flavor of the stock, as well as thicken it just slightly. While they are boiling, take the rotisserie chicken off of the bone. (I choose traditional rotisserie chicken and not lemon, garlic, or BBQ - be careful; that rotisserie display at the Walmarts gets crazy and you have to pay attention!). Chop it up pretty roughly, selecting an even amount of light and dark meat - and I include a bit of crispy skin, too. That's where the extra flavor is going to come in for this soup. Once it's chopped (I use just over 1/2 of the chicken), it goes into the soup. The celery, too. Reduce the heat to medium and add the pasta. It's important to keep stirring while the pasta cooks because the pieces in this soup are heavy and will hold the pasta down. Continually taste and season accordingly.



That's it. It'll take you 30 minutes to put it together and it will feed your family for at least 2 days. Ohhhhhh..... yum.




It's so, so good. Go make it!



* I know, I know... I told you that T and A won't touch soup with green floaties... but this soup has surpassed this rule! I've watched them slurp down the above-mentioned floaties and ask for more soup!

Also, I meant to take a picture but forgot until it was devoured from its bowls - and then it wasn't all pretty in the stock pot anymore. I hope you'll forgive me and just go make the soup.

Two More For The Babies

I am so happy to be a part of Mountain Baby Blankets. I'm so touched that all of you are equally inspired. You are all making a difference!



We have shipped 117 amazing blankets so far to the CAP for distribution to the young children in Eastern Appalachian Kentucky. Again, THANK YOU.



When I began this project, I knew I wanted to use my stash to make up some cuties for the babies. Here I had all of this fabric to spare, and there they were - cold and needing. *I digress. * Anyway, I decided to make 3 quilts for the babies.



The first was a stacked coin quilt (finished pictures of that to come, as I finished the handsewn binding on that one last night).



I also made two disappearing 9 block quilts using 9 fat quarters each (plus backing). Talk about easy! For these I measured all of the fat quarters I was using and trimmed them to a uniform size. Then I laid them out on the floor in a pattern I liked. I sewed them together like this - so easy! Once I had one enormous block, I cut it in half in both directions to make four big squares. I flipped those four squares around and sewed them together to make the top. It literally took me less than an hour to do both of the quilt tops. I sandwiched my batting and backing fabric and top quilted both of them using a random criss-cross pattern and purple thread. I will admit that I was afraid I'd run short on time, so I machine-sewed the binding on both of these quilts. In hindsight, I wish I'd handsewn them, but I know they were made with love.





I really am quite happy with the way they came out.

I was also able to get the binding on a quilt for my Etsy shop, so I hope to have that up soon!

Billy Bob and Grandma Mooses

I bet you didn't know that Billy Bob and Grandma Moses were related.


I'm here to tell you, they are.


Don't believe me? Check it out for yourself.








He was so proud after that tooth finally came out. His very first.










And, I present to you...









Moo + a (clean) kitchen towel + the rocking chair that was old when I used it as a toddler = GRANDMA MOO-SES






We had a lovely weekend.

It was 60 degrees for most of the weekend, which was GLORIOUS, let me tell you. I got home from work on Friday and opened all of the windows! I had them open again on Saturday and it was so nice to have a fresh breeze blow the germies out. I don't know about any of you, but I hate the stale air inside a home that's been nailed shut all winter long!


After church on Sunday, the boys begged for me to make them soup. I seriously considered having them fingerprinted because, surely, they were not my children. My children never ask for soup. But there they both were, asking for warm, homemade chicken & vegetable soup. I knew they would eat around the carrots and potatoes, but that didn't matter to me; I had to make them some goodness. So, Sunday was spent making (and eating!) soup and watching movies. Oh, and sewing. But that's another post!

March 16, 2009

Her First Thong




Admit it. You've never seen cuter.






Moo is ready for Spring in her new yellow patent leather thongs. She is ready for market, as you can see by her pink and yellow shopping basket below. She's loaded it full of her favorite things: two maracas, the suckle sow, a variety of vehicles, one Cabbage Patch shoe, and barnyard animals - all of which say, "moo" or "ROAR!"





While Mabel went to Market (For God's sake, look at that piggy right up there! Could you not eat it up?), I figured out how to attach my walking foot to my sewing machine. Then -

GLORY.

"Topquilting" may have just bumped "handstitching-the-binding" down a peg on my list of favorite quilting steps. GLORY. It. is. FUN.

Want to take a guess at how many I topquilted?

FOUR!

Here are two, both for Mountain Baby Blankets:





(Do you see Roo's toes poking out? It was all he could do to hold still. Tee hee.)

Random crisss-cross quilting with purple thread (the likes of which my machine had never seen, by the way). LOVE.




I swear I almost went to get my first two quilts just to topquilt them! It was so. much. fun. Totally solidifies my want of a new machine that will allow me to free motion quilt as well.

I also did some embroidery this weekend while keeping watch over one in my nest who was feeling under the (55 degree) weather. I have appliqued 3 sparrows onto my newest quilt. I can't wait to see it finished!



All in all,




a great weekend.

March 11, 2009

Free Quilting Patterns and Tutorials, 2

I found several more free patterns & tutorials online for you.


Check out the lists and lists of free patterns at With Heart & Hands. These are a bit more traditional.

Free Spirit Free Patterns - there are so many, I didn't repost them all here, but if you like a more modern, colorful look - check these out; they are amazing!

And now these, from the generous Amy Butler:






Amy's Mid Mod






Enjoy!
Nana, a post of Mabel proportions is next, I promise!