Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I'm new to something else old too :)

Besides quilting, I am new to another something that's pretty old: collecting Pyrex, and loving every minute of it! A dear blogger I follow, Jeni, kept sharing her amazing Pyrex collection. At first, I just thought, "oh, those are some neat pieces, but it's just Pyrex". Oh, was I wrong- after a few more posts, I thought, "Oh, those are some REALLY neat pieces, and they are Pyrex!" giggle, giggle! Thus, I began my quest... I love crafting and handmade, and living simply, so Pyrex fits right in!

I grew up in the deep South and how I wish I could still be there, hitting the flea markets every week! But alas, I am across the country, raising my sweet family, so I had to find some other options. Thrift stores were my first thought. (The area I live in has no Goodwill or SA - sad, huh?) But I have started visiting the local thrift stores (chains) each week, just in case. My first visit brought some luck--- my first Pyrex finds, a lovely butter dish (which I enjoy using every day at breakfast :) ) and a large Homestead fridgie. They had a few other things, but in horrid condition, so I was smart enough to pass.

Then I found a set of gold bowls and more homestead rounds at an, um, let's say unique/scary, thrift store (very local- nowhere close to a chain store- HA). The gold bowls each have a tiny scratch or two and the two smaller gold bowls have faded some, but I loved the color they faded to, so I had to snag them. The larger Homestead had a lid, the smaller did not, but since I'm just beginning, that was ok with me. (I have found out that the smaller bowls are not faded, the set is actually 2 lighter and 2 darker yellows- I am just missing a darker yellow inbetween the two smaller bowls- yah-hoo!)!

My last find in two weeks, was my favorite. Driving down the street, I saw an estate sale. Turns out that a company does an estate sale every other weekend, and the man said, "There is ALWAYS Pyrex"- my new best Pyrex buddy! hehe! He took my email so he could get in touch- I'm crossing my fingers to find some things in good condition at decent prices! Anyway, at this sale, I found a milky white loaf dish, and I only paid $1!! Woo-hoo!

So this is where I begin- with hopefully, lots more to come :) I'm dreaming of pinks, blues, reds, yellows, and greens :) And I love a good treasure hunt! If you ever see or hear of any Pyrex, drop me a line, and I'd love to add to my little collection!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Hoops, not the hula kind...

No matter how much I wiggled growing up, I could never get those hula hoops to work :), but these I can do- and no wiggling required :) All the better-

I have been wanting to make some hoop art for the shop (and for my house) for a while now. It seemed like everytime I got ready to sit down and work on them, something else would blow up in my face (or another deadline would hit). Finally after many weeks, I have been able to get two pieces finished and into the shop- hip, hip, hooray!

It's been fun trying out different techniques on each hoop. The first one (My Sunshine), I appliqued and then machine freehanded the wording and embellishments. The second (There's no place like...), I appliqued then hand-embroidered the wording and embellishments. I like that they are different. I know some people love fancy, shamnsy, over the top hoop art, but I prefer simple and with meaning. So that is what I went for :) I may have to make duplicates for some of my rooms. I have quite a few more ideas and hope to have more time to work on them in coming days- we'll see what hits in the next little while :) It's been so wonderful to have a few minutes of down time to work on these- I really needed it! hehe!

Hope everyone's week is going well- I can hardly believe that it will be April this week- for real??!! Oh my, every year gets faster and faster- it makes me want to hurry, I don't know why, but then I realize that I need to sit back, take it all in, breathe deep, and just enjoy the moment. I have this saying hanging in my living room and try to live by it- The Joy is in the Journey. That sums it up for me- yup, just try to cherish every moment and be grateful! So April or not, I am just going to sit back and take it all in, enjoying the little things, especially!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Beginnings of a Rainbow and Kaelin's Rockin' Giveaway!!

I'll start with a fabulous giveaway that my friend, Kaelin, is having over on her blog... The girl is incredibly talented- I've told her I wanna be like her when I "grow up"! I better hurry up cause I'm older than she is already ;)! She has had the best giveaways this month, part of her Blogiversary celebrations, and this week leaves nothing to be desired. Fabric, doll quilt, happiness, and fun- you will not be disappointed! Head on over and see what a sweetheart she is!

Dut, dut, dut, da!!!! I FINALLY have my Kona solids for my Bottled Rainbow quilt! I'd been flustered at how much it was gonna cost to order them all, since I only have "flesh" kona in my stash. So I was absolutely thrilled when Joann's decided to put them on sale AND have a 25% off your entire purchase coupon, both at the same time. Problem was that they do not carry all the colors. That was ok with me- I like being creative! So I went to 3 different Joann's to get colors that were close enough to me, and still made me smile happy inside like a rainbow would do! The blue-green in the stack is not Kona- just an off brand because, stinker, they didn't carry the color I needed ;). I love how the colors turned out and am so excited to start! I know some very kind friends who are sharing some scraps with me to help my variety not be pitiful ;) You know who you are- thank you more than I can say!!!!!! So here is my pile- I got enough of each color to be able to bind it in strips too- I thought a rainbow binding would also be fun! Have a wonderful day, and look for rainbows!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Spring Fever Pillow

I have had a severe case of Spring Fever this year, and I knew what my March pillow needed to be! Last week, we all went outside, on a particularly windy day, and had an absolute blast flying kites, of all shapes and sizes! It was so much fun to tire ourselves silly, running up and down the street!! Our faces were red from the wind, and our cheeks hurt from grinning so much- it was truly a fabulous afternoon... So that lead me to this pillow...

A reflection of our first kite flying of the year, and there needed to be some sunshine. Although, the day was not sunny; inside, we felt the warmth of being together and having a joyous time, thus the "sunshine"! I pieced some wonky "sun" blocks as a border for the kite adventures, and then just HAD to add a "sunbeam" ruffle that would further emphasize the joy we had! This pillow now sits on the chair in our living room - it's the first thing you can see as you walk in the house. And I like it that way!

I am entering this pillow in the Pillow Party over at Stitched in Color! Wish me the best of luck- it's my first offical entry. Either way, I am in love with my Spring Fever pillow and the memories it already holds :) Here's the link to follow along---
Have a fantastic day, and may it be filled with Spring Sunshine!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

My first attempt, months ago...

My dear mother-in-law had invited me to visit a friend who is an AMAZING quilter. This lady is incredible, Louise is her name- she has the "studio" I dream of- bolts and bolts and BOLTS of fabric- not just a few tiny pieces, like my current "stash", a huge permenant cutting table, ironing boards (all wider than normal), sewing machines (yes, plural- ahhhh!), her quilts hanging all over, and the list just goes on... She can pretty much do anything, in my eyes, and I just was in awe at our "lesson"- my hands shook and I was scared to death I was gonna hurt her machine! ha! She told me to go home and practice piecing and that everytime I did it, I would get more and more comfortable.

Well, she is right, it does get easier each time. This was my practice- I love log cabin quilts (especially the wonky ones), and even though I was trying to square mine off perfectly, it's still a bit wonky, but I love it beacuse it reminds me of trying something that I had always been scared to do! I am now scared of "paper piecing" and am anxious to have her impart info on that subject next time :)!

This little 17" square doll quilt sat for a year after I pieced it- because I didn't know how to make a "quilt sandwich" and machine quilt it. So after making my huge first "real" quilt (that'll be another post) and loving it, I figured a tiny doll quilt would be a cinch! I stippled my first quilt (on a small-ish Bernina- let me tell you, that was a trick! lol- now I'm dreaming of the 820, or at least a 440QE!) but wanted to try something different. So loops it was- and I adore them! It is ME! Now to figure out the binding- any brilliant suggestions? I was thinking maybe a patchwork of the fabrics I used for the cabin blocks, but I'm still pondering... That's nice about quilting too- it gives you lots of time to ponder :)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Bottled Rainbows- a start to my blog :)

I have been making things as long as I can remember. I never thought I would know (or be learning) how to quilt. My Grandma made me clothes as I grew up, and my mom taught me how to sew a receiving blanket (aka- a STRAIGHT line!). But I didn't sew for years, and years! Then I saw some adorable stuffed animal patterns I wanted to make, but it took sewing. So I pulled out the machine and got to work! I was mortified of CURVED lines- oh my!! However, I quickly learned that it is really a straight line that you turn! So my rationale was, not really a "curved" line, afterall; I could do this! It went from there- making Waldorf dolls, and then the big jump- I decided to try a Queen size quilt- yes, I am crazy (but that's a good thing)! I saw I Dance in Cirlces from Tracey Jay and knew I had to make one. I did- stippled it on my little Bernina and all (oh how I dream of an 820!) ;). It turned perfectly, to me, so the obsession began... My aunt warned me to never start quilting or I'd never be the same again. I'm glad I didn't listen- I like the "new" me :)! hehe! I had seen tons of quilts and patterns I love since Cirlces, but none that I had to do right then. Well, that changed when I saw a post by Angela about the Bottled Rainbows Quilt along. I didn't know how I'd get enough scraps, but I knew I HAD to make one :)!

Rachel, at her lovely blog (here: brilliantly began this quilt along, and it is wonderful! I am still waiting on my Kona solids, but I am giddy to begin! I dream about what this quilt will look like- do you ever do that? Dream about stuff you are making? Happens to me ALL.THE.TIME. :) If not, I guess consider yourself normal! It's cool though- so dreaming I go, and quilting I will be soon!

I am loving learning about quilting and all things sewing! It is quite a challenge with no one close by that I can learn "hands-on" from (that's how I like to learn- if you can show me, I know it forever). But it gives me good practice, and I am a perfectionist through and through, so I make it til it's perfect! This road is just beginning for me, and I am so excited to hold on and enjoy the RIDE!!!! WEEEEEEE!