That's it I'm Done!  Finished.  The End.  Seven Key Chains, 2 Lanyards and 7 pouches later, Teacher gifts for this year are completed.  All of them.  I struggled a little bit with what to get the 2 male teachers in the group, and in the end I decided one cannot go wrong with Gift Cards.


I really should know better....

I have Loads and Loads on my plate right now.  With a husband who travels, three kids (the end of school fast approaching)  and a long list of things on my "to do" list I really do have plenty to keep me busy.  Yet, that didn't stop me from wandering into the quilt section of the local library and checking out this book.  It is Amy Butler's Style Stitches. It has such cute patterns and I love Amy's vibrant colors and bold patterned fabric.  They really make the bags in the book POP!

I dug through my stash and came up with this scrap.  I just happen to have enough of this print to make a couple of other items in the book, just sayin'. 

I paired it with this light color aquamarine for the lining.  I really think light colors make the best linings.  It makes it much easier to see those tiny little things hiding in the bottom of your bag.

And here is my finished version of the Key Keeper Coin Purse. Isn't she adorable.

It really is a tiny thing measuring only about 5.5 in X 5.5-ish inches.  Just big enough for coins, or jewelry or a few Lego people.  It has a cute little loop where a key ring would fit nicely.

This zipper was not the easiest to install.  The entire time I kept thinking, there has to be a better way!  Perhaps reading through the directions first would have been wise.  Ya Think? I guess I was just too excited!  The inside of the pouch also has a pocket, a cute design option but I feel it is an unnecessary extra for such a tiny little thing. 

Amy's book includes a matching purse pattern, in two sizes.  I might have to make one up.  Later.


Duck Tape

It must be a 5th grade thing.  It certainly is a girl thing. For my girl and many of her friends making things out of duck tape is the new "in" thing.  After a recent slumber party where they did fun and crafty things my 5th grader came home ready to duck tape any and everything.  Thankfully there is YouTube.  There are lots, I mean LOTS of YouTube videos for making things out of duck tape. Duck Tape in hand Emma set out to make a few things.  First we have duck tape flowers.

You have probably seen at least one of these adorning a pen at your local Doctors office.  I know I have.  If you know us, rest assured you will have your own soon. I am talking to you Grandparents.  Next, Emma decided to make a few hair bows for her younger cousins.  Adorable.  These she made up herself.  I am sure there is a tutorial out there if you really, really want your own.

Lastly, she made this...

What is this you ask?  Funny I asked the same thing.  I said, "Hm.  This is an interesting..a...Bookmark?"  (notice the hesitancy) To which she replied, "Mom, It's not a bookmark.  It's a churro."  Well, duh.  I knew that.  A churro (the same cinnamon-y, sugar-y fried pastry popular in Mexico?  One in the same.)   No tutorial for this one folks.  This one is all Emma.


Quilting for Butterflies.

We knew it wouldn't be long until I was back on my Long-arm. That day proved to be sooner than later when my Aunt Toni sent me this ....

She made this modern monstrosity (it's King Size) for my cousin, well first cousin once removed if we are getting technical. This quilt is the absolute BIGGEST quilt I can fit on my machine.  Seriously, one inch more and it would have been too big. It took all 12 feet of my machine to handle this big boy.

 I love the pattern. I have not seen this pattern before, every time I look at it I see something new.  The corner triangles remind me of butterflies and isn't spring just the perfect time for them.

This all over flower and leaf combo is one I use pretty regularly.  It is so rhythmic I tend to loose myself in it.  It has soft curves and sharp points, yet it flows just the same.  The curves and flow of the quilting complement the angles in the quilt top.

Initially I was just going to meander this quilt, because of it's size.  The more I looked at it the more the butterflies called to me.  They said, "we need flowers and leaves to rest on.  Won't you quilt us some?" So I did.  I am a sucker and I think I may be hearing things.


Loving Homemade

This past weekend along with Mother's day was also my Birthday.  It was a glorious weekend with breakfast made for me, a lunch and shopping date with my hubby and lots of homemade gifts and cards. Let me just say, "I felt Loved."   I love receiving homemade gifts.  It puts life into perspective.  Reminds me of what is truly important.

I did some sewing on Friday before the weekend.  Still working on the end of the year teacher gifts.  I know! sew many!  But really, I do stop making gifts once the kids are in High School, my time is running short. (sniff)

Recently I have stumbled upon several key fob and lanyard patterns.  They are a wonderful idea for busy moms (or dads) on the go.  Who doesn't need an extra hand?  There are days when I could you several.  Thinking that the key fobs and lanyard paired nicely with the pouches I have been making I set out to try my hand at making a few.

First the lanyard.  I used this tutorial by Gen X Quilters.  A very simple and straight forward tutorial that took me all of 15 minutes. It is a fairly good length for me, but I am of a smallish stature.

I then moved on to the key fob.  There are literally hundreds of patterns and tutorials for lanyards and key chains.  I chose this pattern at The Idea Room simply because I had all of the materials on hand.

I used these sweet planters the kids filled for me as my mother's day gifts as my background for the photos.  How, I ask, could a mom not love that?


A 'Hand'-y surprise

Yesterday they did it!  Secretly Emma's class during art to cover the apron in their hand-prints and all without her teacher knowing!  Great Job Class!  I know she is going to love it!

Armed with Fabric markers and creativity the kids drew their hand prints all over the apron.    I love that the kids took it upon themselves to decorate their hands. The overlapping hand prints are a great touch.  To me they look like they are supporting one another or giving a round of applause.  Either way it makes a great statement.

Before she left for school we wrote Let us give you a Hand! across the top. This will surely be a treasured Teacher's gift.


Teacher Gifts Galore

I tried to catch up on my sleep last week.  I really did.  Sadly, I don't think it is possible.  I feel like sleep is all I want to do.  I lay down for a nap and POOF it is suddenly 3 hours later.  I am up with a start realizing that now I have to pick up Emma, Jack or Mark and my day is now 1/2 over.  Well, you can imagine that didn't last long.  Before long I realized that if Mama didn't go to the grocery, do laundry and vacuum soon I would be in jeopardy of loosing my Mother of the Year Award. heehee.  While I may have been able to pull all nighters 20 years ago in college (really? has it been that long?) I can no longer.  A pot of coffee, or three is no match for my lack of sleep.  I realized I had to dig deep and just push through the day, as painful as it may be.  By the end of the week I back to my "old"self.  Seriously ready for some crafting!

When we left for Disney I realized I had not gotten as much accomplished as I would have liked. The story of my life.  I still had yet to complete 2 teacher signs.  The teacher apron I so eagerly volunteer myself to sew was still a pile of fabric. Time to get down to business.

I set to work on 2 more teacher signs.  The first Emma decided needed to be for her English teacher.  She liked idea of having a large apple on the front.  Since I did not have a templet large enough for my 11X14 inch canvas I had to free hand the apple design.  Not to bad.  I was seriously worried it would look like a large green tomato. ( Nothing says "teacher" like fried green tomatoes. LOL.)

 Emma assured me it does indeed look like an apple.  I wanted to make the polk-a-dots yellow since the school colors are green and yellow, Emma had other ideas.  She did not really care for the green apple and fought hard for a red apple.  Worried the black would not show up as well on the red we compromised, with red dots.

The second teacher sign was for Jack and Emma's piano teacher.  Emma and I came up with several possible designs, all music themed.  In the end we chose this simple piano design, which proved to be anything but simple. Measuring and painting straight black lines that look straight even if they are not, is a lot harder than one would think.  The results were totally worth the effort.  I am still annoyed that the piano keys ended up askew but no one will notice. Right?

I finished out the week with the teacher apron.  Here is a picture of the apron after I finished.  

The next step is to have the kids trace their hand prints on the apron.  The apron is off to school with Emma tomorrow.  The class will use fabric markers to trace their hands and write their names.  I can't wait to see the finished product!  More pictures to follow.


Disney Days

I am just about recovered from my trip to Disney with the middle school honor band. A weekend filled with 80 teens, 14 adults, 2 nine hour bus rides and only about 15 hours of sleep total just about drove me over the edge.  But isn't that the stuff that memories are made of?

  While there the band participated in Disney's Magical Performing Arts.  A 4 hour extravaganza where the kids learned the music, performed the music and then watched as their music was put to animation.  How cool is that?!  Although their ideas of fun may have differed, kids and adults all had a wonderful time!

It was weird to walk around without the rest of my family.  I was amazed at how much the kids have grown since our last Disney trip.  I looked around and realized how many of the rides they have outgrown.  Wasn't it only yesterday I waited in line with Emma for Dumbo?  Now there is no way she would be caught dead riding it with her 'Mom'!  Looks like we may have to schedule one more Disney trip with the kids while they still want to ride with us.