It's A Girl!

I would like to introduce you all to my sister's newest bundle of joy.  ......

Cora Lynn.
At 8 lbs. she was my sisters tiniest!
  We welcomed her into the world Tuesday Morning. 

Big Brother and Big Sister couldn't be more enamored. 



I purchased this lovely Amy Butler Fabric to use in the Patchwork Prism Quilt.

 Since I purchased the fabric online the color ended up being different than I needed, always a downside to buying fabric online. I think the fabric is beautiful.  I knew I needed to find a special place for using it.

  The design is too beautiful to chop into little patchwork pieces.  Once I received an e-reader for my Birthday I knew I wanted to have  a handmade case, the Amy Butler Fabric was just the thing.

 To tie in with my up coming Hand Stitched Class I decided to do a little hand stitching on this case.

I worked most of the weekend on this little piece.   If I must say, it is turning out quite stunning.  There is one slight problem.

I failed to measure correctly.  The darn thing is big enough to fit my son's iPad!  As much as I know he would LOVE a new case, this probably isn't what he had in mind.


One fish, Two fish

Red fish, Blue fish...
Over the weekend I sewed up these little fishes.

I used "love from Beth X's" tutorial  from Moda's Bake Shop for these 2 cuties. They both are made with various brightly colored scraps, ribbons, lace and Minky. Lots of textures and shapes to grab and stuff in their mouths!

 The most ingenious part of this pattern is the use of cellophane.  Beth's pattern calls for sewing cellophane into fins and scales of the pattern so they crinkle. Brilliant!  I used scraps from the Middle School's laminating machine  and they worked perfectly.

The fish are stuffed with normal fiber fill but have an added bonus of a bell, a cat toy to be precise.  How Great is that?  A regular sensory buffet. I have a new niece who is going to love this in 2 or 3 months!  And a nephew I know will enjoy it!

Speaking of little fish.

  Mine had a blast out on the Lake this weekend!  Hope your Memorial Day was enjoyable.


Organized..Well,sort of

Those who know me well, know that I have my own method for organizing. My husband who has known me for over 25 years is still not quite sure what that is exactly.  He and my daughter are the Organizers.  I try.  Really.  I do.  I just get swept up in the creative processes and WHAM!  I have a mess.

 I vowed this year to set up some new types of organization in my sewing space.  It is organized, in a way, which might or might not change daily.  In an attempt to hold up my end of the organizing deal I searched High and Low for ideas for craft room storage. One of the things I decided I needed was a shelf.  My work surface is small and I am constantly accumulating items, creating piles and moving them around.  A shelf nearby would give me more space, close at hand. This Week I found what I was looking for and got my shelf.

 I found an article in a quilting magazine that suggested using penny candy jars to sort small fabric scraps. I found these three at Target. Cute.  I don't plan on saving anything smaller than 2"X2" squares, but one never knows. Current the jars are divided into, Prints, Solids and White/Cream.

I found a dowel rod at Home Depot for all of 0.88 cents and now it has a place between the brackets.  I have the ribbon organized by size.  I need to paint the dowel black to match the brackets, but all things in time. The cute sign was a download I printed from freshlemonsquilts.com and you can find that here.
She also has 2 other printable signs you can find here. (I think one says clip, stitch, press create and I am not remembering what the other says. Hop over and check it out.) I am thinking I should paint this frame black as well. Hmm?

I now have my Moment in Time Quilt Hanging, after only a year, to help remind me to live in the present and not worry about what's to come.  I am thinking about either hanging another small quilt in the empty space or getting some large letters that spell, QUILT or TCQ, and cover them with fabric.  I found a cute how-to over at mmcrafts. see here.

I am so pleased with how nicely this turned out.  I cannot wait to see if it helps me stay organized. Optimism at it's finest. 


A rainbow of fabric.

After pressing and starching my rainbow assortment of fabrics, it was time to Cut out Triangles!  I am not a huge fan of templates but it had to be done.  I cut, and I cut and I cut, which seemed like it took forever.  Even after I cut and counted all of my pattern pieces I still came up short?  I am not sure how that happened. I cut some more and filled in the missed pieces.

I laid out all of the beautiful triangles and played with their orientation until I found a layout I liked. To arrive at said layout I had to cut MORE fabric, which came as no surprise.   I stuck with mostly tone on tone, batik or solids but I did throw in a couple of patterns to mix ti up a bit.  I am completely loving how cheery this quilt is becoming.  It makes me smile every time I look at it!

With the quilt laid out on the floor I didn't have the luxury of admiring it there for long.  3 kids and a dog made sure I pieced it together quickly.  And it was quick.  It took me about 1/2 the time to piece this quilt as it did to cut it out.  Don't let that stop you it is still totally worth making. Now the rows are hanging on my quilting table waiting for me to sew them together.


Feeling a little blue...and green...and...

This spring has certainly been crazy.  In February it was 80 degrees, In April the temp barely got higher than 70.  Now it has rained most of May.  While the weather has kept me guessing mother nature apparently has it all under control.  The flowers around my house are blooming and full of fragrance.

All of this color has gotten me in the mood for bright cheery colors to use in my quilts. Check out these fabulous blues and turquoises!  Aren't they just dreamy?
 All of these, along with some yellows, oranges, reds, pinks and purples, are just waiting to be cut into triangles for the Patchwork Prism Quilt -a-long.  If you are interested in a little more color check it out over at sweet diesel designs.



Some of you may have noticed a strange little white tag on the side of the teacher tote I showed you last week.  Maybe you even wondered what it was.  Then again maybe you missed it all together.  Take another look.

Do you see it now? How about a closer look?
There!  Right there!  Do you see it?  My new tags arrived.  I have been dragging my feet, trying to decide just what I wanted to do about labels.  I didn't know what I should put on the label.  I couldn't decide if I wanted a graphic design or just writing.  I just held off, delaying the decision, and truth be told the expense.  I made my own for a while.  I decided that they just didn't look professional.  Then a friend embroidered a few and that became just a little too much to ask of even a friend.  I finally just broke down and ordered the darn things.  They are not fancy.  They do not have snazzy graphic designs or pretty colors. They are a simple white ribbon tag with a black font.  They say The Crafty Quilter on one side and have washing instructions and my web address on the other.  They are the simplest of simple but they are mine.  Yea Me!


Beaver Block -- A tutorial

Okay!  For all of you Beaver Fans out there here is the tutorial for making my version of a Beaver Block.

This block finishes 12.5"X12.5".  All seams are .25 inches.

Fabric Choices::
I chose fabrics scraps from my stash this is what you will need:
Solid brown for Beaver Body & ears
Brown print for Tail
Light brown for belly
Black for nose/space between teeth
white for teeth
background fabric in color of your choice
You will need either small beads or buttons for eyes.

Out of Your Fabric Choices Cut:

1- 2.5"x 4.5"
2- 3"x3" (Cut in half/diagonally)

2- 2.5"x6.5"
2- 2.5"X4.5"
4- 3"x3" (cut in half diagonally)
1- 1.5"X2,5"
2 - 2"x2" --ears

2- 3"x3" (cut in half diagonally)
2- 2.5"x 2.5"
1- 2.5"X 6.5"

2- 3"x3" (Cut in half diagonally)
1- 2.5"x4.5"
1- 2.5X10.5

1- 1.5"x2.5"

2- 2.25X1.5"
1- .75"X 2.5"

For assembly:
Match 2 triangle pieces from background matching right sides together with 2 body triangles.  Sew forming 2 half Square triangles units. Press. Trim to 2.5"x2.5" squares.
Match 4 Body triangles right sides together with 4 belly triangles.  Sew forming 4 half square triangles units. Press. Trim to 2.5"x2.5" squares.
Match 2 body triangles right sides together with 2 tail triangles.  Sew forming 2 half square triangle units. Press. Trim to 2.5"x2.5" squares.
Match 1 tail triangle to 1 background triangle right sides together. Sew forming 1 half square triangle unit. Press. Trim to 2.5"x2.5" square

(Note: You will have 1 tail and 1 background triangle leftover).

Using 2"x2" body squares fold into prairie points.  Fold in half diagonally. Press. Fold in half diagonally again.  Press.

Take 2 half square triangles units with body and background and using seam ripper carefully pick stitches from center of seam.  Create an opening large enough to insert 1 prairie point in between the two triangles.  Pin, matching prairie point raw edges with raw edge of half square triangles.  Sew. Press open.  Creating ears.

For Teeth:
Sew 1 white rectangle to .75 black strip along long edge.  Press seam toward black.  Sew other white rectangle to opposite side of black.  Press seam toward black.  Trim unit to 2.5"x 2.5"

Sew teeth unit to nose and body 1.5'x2.5" pieces as shown above.  press. Completed unit should measure 2.5"X4.5"

Complete Beaver block by laying out all pieces and sewing into columns.  Then sew columns together.

For the bag I added a border around the block before quilting.

Quilt as desired.  Sew eyes on after quilting has been completed.  I quilted the tail slightly denser than the body. Feel free to add or embellish your block to your hearts content.  Some Ideas:  You could add yarn or embroidery as whiskers; use trapunto to make parts of the beaver puff out; or put  your beaver in front of a pond!  Have fun and play!



This year, as in year's past, Emma's teacher has labeled her student's her Beavers.  An odd choice for class mascot, I thought.  We have had other labels in year's past but none as interesting as this.  As her teacher explained on the first day of class, Beavers became her choice after watching a young man give a speech about the animal.  Some interesting facts about beavers.

-beavers live and work cooperatively together.
-beavers lodges are specifically constructed with a floor above the water level, a domed roof and at least 2 entrances.
-one beaver family can build a dam 35 feet in length in just one week.
-One gigantic beverdam can be seen from space and has been under construction since 1970.
-The beavers front teeth never stop growing.  They must continually chew to keep them filed down.
-The demand for beaver fur is one of the driving forces for exploration across this continent. Cities such as Albany, St. Louis and Mackinac were founded by the trade.
-In Britain during  the 1600's all beavers were considered property of the King.  Their pelts were highly valuable and worth 20x more than any other animal pelt.
-They were almost hunted to extinction
-they use their large flat tail to slap the water, alerting others to dangers.  This slap can be heard 1 mile away.

As you can see the beaver is a hard working animal.  It is no wonder why Emma's fourth grade teacher chose this mascot for her class.

 I wanted to come up with a Beaver inspired design, in honor of their class mascot, for an End of the Year Teacher Gift.  When my internet searching provided few results I decided to make up my own design.  I drew up a few stitches on graph paper, had it approved by Emma and ended up with decidedly perfect End of the Year gift.

This Beaver Bag comes complete with interior pockets, padded handles and a very cute beaver with green beads for eyes.

The back of the bag has an embroidered patch with the teacher's name and year.  The embroidery is bordered by Kona Snow, giving lots of room for the children to sign their names.  At least that was my intention.  Emma decided some of the boys in her class have ugly handwriting.  She would rather leave the bag blank than have the boys mess it up. LOL.


Young at heart-- slightly older in other places

As I mentioned yesterday, tomorrow is my birthday.  In honor of this I am posting a few musing regarding getting older.

You know you are getting older when:

--All of my favorite movies are back in theaters, only now in 3D.
--All I want for my birthday is a quite day to quilt and not to be reminded of my age.
--My children ask me not to tell that story, Again!
--I tend to repeat myself.
--I found myself humming to an 80's tune in the doctors office.
--My kids sleep through the night, and I have to get up at least once.
--I am the only one who knows how to work the VCR.
--I can no long think clearly with the music turned up.
--I am constantly trying to remember....something
--I can never find my shoes, or my keys, or my coffee.
--My first response to "How are you?" is 'tired'
--Coffee is no longer just for all nighters.
--My favorite time of day is nap time.
--I'd rather buy fabric than new shoes.

Have a Great Mother's Day! and A great Weekend!


Bag, You're It!

This weekend along with Mother's Day, it will be my birthday. Yesterday, I received this beautiful tote bag from a friend.  It is cheery and bright, and full of all of my favorite colors.

 Best of all it has my name embroidered onto the front! (This way it cannot find it's way into my daughters closet.) It's beautiful and the pictured do not do it justice.  I cannot wait to use it to hold all of my on the go projects for the summer.  Thanks Mary!


More than a Handful

I saw this done years ago for Mother's Day.  I tucked the idea away waiting for the perfect time to pull it out and use it.  This year for our Teacher Appreciation Week project I thought it would be just the thing for a "hands-on" teacher. (pardon the pun.)  Keeping this Top Secret was a bit tricky, fourth graders aren't typically know for their secrecy.  I got to 'hand' it to them, this time they might just pull it off.  Together with the room mom and the art teacher we pooled our resources and have this wonderful apron to gift.

 I had the kids use fabric markers to trace their hands and then write their names inside their hand prints. I'll admit I was a bit skeptical that we would get 23 hands to fit over the apron surface, but once we overlapped them we had just enough space.  I cannot wait to see her face when the kids, "hand" it over to her. :)


curvy composition

Once again I have finished up another teacher journal.  This journal is a bit different than the rest.  For this next journal I wanted to create my own design.  Since it is to be given to Jack and Emma's Piano teacher, I decided A Grand Piano was in order. After looking at pictures of Grand Pianos I drew the basic shape I wanted.  I started with the basic curve shape from Rachel's Mod Bud Journal pattern. The next section of the piano had yet another curve learned from my Curves Class, an improv curve.  I added this section to the first.  Next I added a basic rectangle to finish out the piano body.  Having purchased musical fabric back in February, I fussy cut off a key board and added this to the piano body. After finishing off the back with some additional musical fabric, I added the journal (aka. composition notebook)  and TA-DA!

What a masterpiece!  LOL.  Yes, my points are a bit off and perhaps the keys are exactly the way they should be,but the piano is pretty cool.  I am so happy that I was able to take my new skills and blend them harmoniously into a new curvy composition of my own.


Teacher Appreciation Vase

This Week is Teacher Appreciation Week.  Our Homeroom Mother has a week full of gifts and activities to help Emma's teachers feel appreciated. In preparation for this weeks, 'Thanks for helping me Bloom" Day, Emma and I made up a couple of teacher vases to hold the flowers the kids will be bringing in.  Both were easily 20 minute projects and Thanks to the Dollar Store cost no more than 4$ each.

This vase used 4 packages of #2 pencils, a glass vase and some ribbon.

This vase used almost 4 packages of colored pencils, a empty powdered coffee creamer container and some ribbon.

With both vases we used hot glue to adhere the pencils to the jar.  The glass proved more difficult only because the pencils had a tendency to come unglued.  We wrapped the pencils with a rubber band and then hot glued the ribbon in place over the rubber band.  This does a great job of holding the pencils in place! We didn't follow a specific tutorial but mixed up a few tutorials and ideas together that we found floating on the internet (look here, here and here).  We also added, (not pictured) a printable  to each vase that says, "Thank You Teacher for a Great Year, that you can find here, at TipJunkie.

With all of these cute projects floating around on the web this year's teachers should feel very lucky!  Thank you to all the teachers who are out there!



For once in my life I am speechless.  I am completely and utterly speechless.  I received an comment from a blogger Handmade by FarahLin stating that she had nominated me for a Liebster Award.  Me.  Little old me.  Here I thought I just poured my heart out into cyberspace for my own enjoyment.  Well, it turns out someone other than my mom reads my blog. WoW.  Not only that but, get this, they like it enough to nominate me for an award. Crazy weird.  I know, my mom likes it but she has to, she my mom. Right?

So what is a Liebster Award.  (Don't feel stupid. I didn't know what it was either) In FarahLin's own words the award is...

The Liebster ( German for favourite ) award is for bloggers with 200 followers or less.  As a recipient of the award, you have the chance to thank and link back to the blogger who gave it to you as well as pass it along to five other deserving blogs.

Ok.  So here are my picks for the Liebster Blog Award.

Amy and Clair at Planting A Seed

Michelle, Lindsay and Katherine of 3 Stitches

Torirot of  Torirot's Stitches

Penny of So take a hike

and lastly, and I am sort of bending the rules ever so slightly because they have just a few more that 200 followers.

Julie and Bree of Distant Pickles

Their acceptance conditions are as follows:

1. Thank your award presenter on your blog and link back to him/her
2. Copy and paste the award to your blog
3. Present the Liebster Award to 5 blogs that you think deserve to be recognised.
4. Let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
5. Have faith that your followers will spread the love too!

Congratulations to all the recipients and I hope they accept and appreciate their uniqueness and become part of the Family of Recipients.

I enjoy reading each of these blogs you should take a look.  There is a chance you will enjoy them too.