Saturday, October 3, 2015

Early Arrival

She was mad about being born early

The newest grandbaby that was due in November? She is here!
 I would love to say she is here and home but babies that come so early need extra special attention.

My daughters pregnancy seemed straight forward other than a little nausea. Then her blood pressure was creeping up, she started swelling, then wham! It was out of control. She was diagnosed with Pre eclampsia and admitted last Monday for an emergency C-section at 34 weeks gestation.

Baby Catarina is beautiful and healthy. However her early arrival means she has to learn to eat enough to grow properly. Thank goodness for caring NICU nurses.

I was not done sewing of course. Today I finally found an hour to sit down and stitch up some nursing pads for my daughter. It seems impossible to nurse a child without some leakage, so pads are helpful tucked into a bra.

I make nursing pads from scrap batting, flannel and cotton fabric. No pattern is needed. Find a cup or small plate about 3-4 inches across and use it to trace a circle on your fabric. I stack the layers with the cotton right side down, batting, then the flannel right side up and serge around the edges. That's it. Done.

I will use to the very edge of fabric if the selvedge is soft

Machine washable, reusable nursing pads. My youngest daughter has been using hers for 7 months and they are still in great shape. For zero money! My favorite price :)

Sunday, September 13, 2015

In between sewing sessions

What do you do in between sewing sessions? I admit I get crazy busy with .... life. My family. My rescue animals. Just life.

I stitched up another alphabet book and several burp cloths on Friday. My oldest daughter is expecting a baby in November and Saturday was the shower. The hostesses requested books signed by the giver, as they know how my daughter loves to read. She majored in English in college. Thankfully I already had the alphabet panel and previous experience, so this was a quick stitch.

Burp cloths are little quilted objects :) 
The burp cloths are another quick project for me. I have made so many now that they seem easy. Which means I will make a big mistake soon being so casual, LOL. Murphy's Law finds us all. I really loved the Betty Boop flannel paired with the dark gray with polka dots. They look stylish due to the 'grown up' colors.

I attended the baby shower, then joined my husband and youngest son as they hauled hay for the rescue horses winter roughage. It is always a long day but today was super long. They had to go 20 miles per  trip rather than the previous 5 miles. Plus they had to do the tractor work at both ends. Add a flat tractor tire and a nail in one of the trailer tires ... Yup, 13 hours of long day.

Thankfully I had chili in the crock pot for supper. And our University of Oklahoma Sooners pulled off the win in a double overtime against Tennessee. Go Sooners!!

The sun set before the work was done.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Surgery break

Summer is wrapping up soon. I'm eager for cooler weather, even though Oklahoma runs warm year round. It's great for outside activities but a drag if you want to snuggle under quilts. Maybe I can turn the AC way down :)

A little blue satin to add straps and cover some cleavage makes a modest difference.

I had knee surgery in August which halted all my sewing. Even my formal dress makeovers which had become almost a full time job. I love seeing the girls in their 'new' modest dresses. However I am exhausted from replacing so many zippers. Why do manufacturers put flimsy zippers in dresses that will be stuffed by excited females? Nobody wants a saggy formal so they seek the smallest size possible. Sighsss ....

We are expecting a new grandbaby this November so I'm planning more burp cloths, nursing covers, maybe a baby quilt. My knee is almost normal. The state fair is a couple of weeks away. Football season is here! I'm excited. Do you have big fall plans?

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Wildflower Park is here!

Welcome Wildflower Park!
I'm so excited to share my recent project with you. I was blessed to be allowed to test Megan Dougherty of The Bitchy Stitcher's new pattern Wildflower Park. You can buy the pattern in her shop Clever Notions

As you can see it is a perfect pattern for spring and summer with bright, rainbow colors. Wildflower Park is a sweet pattern with a lot of flexibility.  The instructions were clear and straightforward.   A beginner quilter with basic skills could accomplish this pattern. It could also be used to teach techniques as it has just enough cutting, point matching and trimming to solidify skills. I had no problems understanding or following any of the instructions. 

Honestly, I did not work to match points. I mainly pinned seams and winged it. I cut off a few points but by golly you can't see them unless you get close and look. Not to mention in Oklahoma we never, ever have perfect flowers. The wind, rain and hail beat them to death on a regular basis. Wildflower Park is written to be simple and forgiving even to lackadaisical quilters like me. 

You can be extravagant buying fabrics or keep it simple. I chose to go mainly scrappy using leftovers from other projects, combined with fabrics from my stash. I only purchased the soft green for the background to provide stillness for my other busy patterned fabrics. My quilt top is vivid and happy and most importantly inexpensive.  


I try to be really frugal and usually buy sale fabrics. Waste is a huge issue for me. The tipped rectangle units created small leftover triangles - which I stitched together - now I have a lovely pile of HST's to use on another project or maybe to border a quilt label. 

My bottom line ...
Instructions - straightforward and simple
Skill Level - all levels can accomplish this pattern
Time - depends on size chosen
Flexibility - Very easy to change colors or fabrics to suit your personal goal
Waste - Very little!
Scrappy - Yes! You can be matchy matchy or go wild and

Please pardon the boot, cell phone and toes holding the flimsy to the ground. 
You will see more of Wildflower Park as soon as I get her layered and quilted. 

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Waste Not, Want Not

I am super tight and frugal in my fabric shopping. It's going to get worse now that I made it a special category in my household bookkeeping. The reality of my addiction stares me in the face in multiple digits. Oh the stress and shame of my spending ....

Tipped rectangles and leftovers

When I am stitching any project, I try to think ahead of ways I can save fabric. I want to use every bit of fabric on one project or another. While stitching Celtic Solstice I found I had tons of 'leftovers'. The trick is to make the scraps usable for another project.

Pinwheels anyone?

 Most recently while pattern testing, I was tipping rectangles (This probably has a name but I'm a dork and don't know what it is called.) I realized I would have extra triangles when I trimmed my units. No problem. I stitched on the 'other' side of my line - usually stitch a half inch from your perfect stitching line. Trim in between for a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Use the leftover scraps for a different project. Tada!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

One Woman Chain Gang

Do you chain piece your quilts? Or units? I do! I do! I pin. Several units at a time.

Stitch one right after the other. I make a chain of stitched pieces.

I was chain piecing before I even knew what that meant. I would read the garment patterns and see what could I pin all at once, then sew one after another before being forced to stop and pin again. It seemed the most efficient way to sew. My grandmother and mother always seemed to sew patterns one step at a time. I thought I was unique (Or psycho, LOL).

I pin. Stitch. Pin more. Stitch more. 
A few years back I started exploring quilting and saw the phrase chain piecing and the lightbulb flashed wildly over my head. I had found my people :)

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Units make blocks

Don't you love the feeling when you finally get to start assembling actual blocks?

You are done prepping and now you get to do the grown up stuff  - piecing blocks!

I swear it is the greatest feeling.

Nobody, not even my mother, kids or husband can stop me now! I am happily stitching blocks!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Pieces make units.

Pale green background with a sweet black fabric covered with tiny tulips

Remember the pattern I'm testing? I'm sewing flower pieces together now. I love the idea of having flowers around all year on a lovely quilt. Though this particular quilt will be going to someone else. I am already planning to make this pattern again with a twist of fabric colors.

It's going to be a flower one day ...
It's entertaining to me to see how we sew random bits of colorful fabric together making small units. Then these units get stitched to make lovely blocks. Blocks get stitched to make a flimsy quilt top. Oh the fun and joy of stitching!

I love the blue paisley

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Petting MY fabrics

I am testing a new quilt pattern. It's super cute and colorful. I can't show you the whole shebang yet. I'm posting mainly to show I am survivng the crazy tornado weather in central Oklahoma. I actually sent the kids and dogs into the shelter last week. I however stood on the carport watching the rotations and chatting with God. I pray a lot. I pray extra when it seems my little personal world will be sucked off of Planet Earth.

At least we had a lovely rainbow after one storm.
So back to stitching stuff ...
I cut the background fabric, then had the incredible pleasure of digging thru my stash to find over 20 different fabrics to test this flower pattern. This is why we have a stash!

Oh the joy of stacking up all the pretty colors! Admiring all the patterns :)

Petting fabric right here at home! It almost felt naughty. I know I'm not alone with this silly petting fabric thing. I need to dig into my stash more often. Go dig into your stash. Aren't they pretty? Now you know why you can't pass up a good deal of fabric.

Have a great day!!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Fabric Alphabet Book

Do you remember cloth books? I made a few for my kids when they were little and wanted to make some for my first granddaughter Izzabelle. Actually I want to make one of each design I find, for each of my kids to have for their kids. Even though they don't have kids yet. Confused? Yeah, it happens.

I bombed at Hancocks. The Walmart fabric section was a bust. The local quilt store people just stared. So I went online and again hit brick walls. Enter Ebay ... I found some and realized I was probably not using the proper words to search the fabric websites. I did not expect this to be so hard.

I scored an Alphabet book panel (OK actually 5 panels - one for me and one for each of my kids). Panel being the operative word. The directions were easy enough plus I do have some memories of making these.

There is a place to put a child's name. Since I am making one per family, aka one for each of my kids to read to their future children, I decided to stitch MY child's name on the label. It wasn't a perfect solution but it works for me.

This book pleased me with its bright colors.

I'm an animal lover so all the critters are awesome.

I was super careful to match the pages in the proper order. That is what might trip people up on these projects.

I put a single layer of batting between the pages to give them body. I used batting scraps from other projects because I am psychotically frugal with some things. This might have a lot to do with the fact that I have started tagging certain debits as 'Fabric' to make it easier when doing our taxes.
Yes, FABRIC is its own expense category. I'm officially a fabric addict.

I would have chosen Unicorn for U but they stuck to actual animals. 

Thankfully I handle bookkeeping for our little homestead so my hubby is not privy to my habit. He sees my stash now and then. Its adorable because he actually encourages me to buy more fabric.
Such innocence.

There ya go! A washable, chewable, soft, fabric Alphabet book.

Back and front cover

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Camo Diaper Cover

This granddaughter pic on the pink rosebud blanket with the most precious baby girl in a pink camo diaper cover .... I stitched that. Happily stitched it in fact.

Oh I'm shameless, here is the pic again. I have several versions if you are bored ;)


I just love making wee little items. Her diaper cover was a last minute thought before she was born. I had some camo flannel left over from making her burp cloths, so of course another project was demanded.

I found the pattern on the Made blog. Dana offers the pattern for free!!

I printed it out, laid it out, cut it out. I was going for newborn and it looked big but turned out beautifully.

Her tutorial is clear and understandable. I deviated when I topstitched my seams, as I'm crazy about the idea of anything possibly chafing baby's delicate skin. I wanted my seams to be still even when she wiggled.

Topstitched seam

It went together super fast and easy - less than an hour! Add elastic and voila! Newborn diaper cover in super soft, pink camo flannel. Precious, feminine and exactly what her country girl momma craved.

What could be cuter? Maybe another Izzabelle pic? 

Ahhhh .... there's my girl. 
This grandmother gig is going to be delightful.