Wednesday, December 30, 2009

crochet bag

I finished my crochet project! As usual, my scale is off. I must crochet too loosely or something, my projects always end up bigger than they are supposed to! This was supposed to be a little sling bag, about 6 1/2 inches square. Not. It's about 12X10 inches, so I put a more substantial handle on it than the pattern called for.... I also added a fabric lining with pockets & a little snap.
I'm rather pleased with my little bag, even though it's different than it was supposed to be!

Happy New Year everyone. Here's to lots of fun finished projects in 2010!

the yarn store

Monday morning, my pal Joellen wanted to take me to a big sale at the yarn store. I didn't really have any yarn projects in mind, but I agreed to go along. I had never been to a real yarn shop, I always just bought yarn at the craft or fabric stores. Why not? We went early.... she picked me up at 8 AM, & when we got there the parking lot was jammed!

As soon as we went inside, I felt like a little lost sheep (sheep! Get it? Yarn? wool? sheep?). First of all, almost all of the books & patterns were for knitting. Now, as you know, I don't knit. Oh, you didn't know that? There's a story about it here. Second, all of the ladies in the shop obviously knew what they were doing! They were all lugging big shopping bags, loaded to the brim with lovely yarns! Sigh.

Never fear! I finally found an adorable crochet pattern book with lots of do-able projects! I picked up three skeins of wool yarn to start on one of the projects. Yes, I felt a tiny bit foolish standing in line with my feeble purchases! But now my little crochet bag is almost finished! Hope to have a picture of it for you soon. & no, I wasn't the least bit tempted to try knitting again after my visit to the yarn shop! It was a lovely shop & a fun day.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Today my friend, Joellen, & I had a craft day with 2 of our girls. I had been wanting to learn to make English paper pieced hexagon flowers, so that is what we did. Joellen had gotten a head start on me... Ally caught on to the hexagons right away. Taylor was busy creating things with duct tape! By the end of the morning I had a whole hexagon flower put together! Yay!

Joellen said "let's go to Hobby Lobby. My new years resolution is to not go to the stores, so we have to go now!" Ummm, sure Joellen. Then I reminded her that we have to go to the quilt store next week to pick up our pincushion of the month! Oops. But I am always happy to go to Hobby Lobby anyways! & the girls didn't argue. Of course, they got lunch out of the deal!

What are you working on?

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas surprises

Lexi got a new tshirt for Christmas! Little did Ally know, when she bought it, how appropriate it would be...
Yes, we woke up to snow this morning! No pictures of that because, well, frankly I am not a huge fan of the white stuff. I know, I know, it's Christmas. So, the kids were happy, then the sun came out & melted it all & now I'm happy! There you go.

Oh, you want to see Lexi's face.... here you go. Doesn't she look thrilled? My big surprise this Christmas was a new camera! I can't promise that the photography will improve, though I will certainly try. Can't wait to figure out all the settings (and the software that comes with it!)
Everyone seemed happy with their Christmas goodies at the Z house. Look... they are ALL smiling! Now that's a Christmas miracle if I ever saw one.
The turkey is in the oven. May you all have a blessed Christmas day!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas!

The stockings are hung by the chimney with care..... Last year my family started a new tradition. We draw names & each fill one other person's stocking. It's great fun seeing what everyone comes up with!

I'm so thankful this year for all of the friends I have made here in blogland. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas. The Zs will be hanging out at home, just the five of us. We might not even get out of our pjs all day! We'll see. I hear rumors that we may even see a snowflake or two here in the Dallas area.

Since all of my Christmas stitching is done, wrapped & mailed, I've had time to work on some fun projects for myself. First off, a sweet stitchery project that I bought at Quilt Festival back in October....
This has always been a favorite Bible verse of mine, since I love to sing, especially in church. In fact, tomorrow night I will be singing Breath of Heaven at the Christmas Eve service! I can't wait to frame this little project.

I've also been working on heart blocks for a swap at Happiness is Quilting in February. I need to finish 28 blocks & since I like to do hand applique, I thought I better get an early start.

Ok, back to the sewing room I go. My house is strangely quiet this evening. Ally is making a gingerbread house with the little girls who live behind us & Hubby took the other two to the movies..... I am enjoying the quiet for now.

I hope Santa is good to all of you!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Look what I saw...

Even though I knew it was there (I DID sell it to them after all!) it still gave me a little thrill (ok, a BIG THRILL!) to see my pattern hanging with all the others at the quilt shop.... And the sample I made them hanging too....
I wonder if I will ever get used to it? I hope not!

Today is my mom's birthday! Happy Birthday Mom. I credit my mom with all of my craftiness. She's the one who taught me to sew when I was just a little girl. She's the one who let me use her fancy machine, encouraged me to use my imagination & nudged me on. I hope she knows how much I appreciate her patience & encouragement! She does now!

I love you Mom!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

online angels

I have met some of the most wonderful people online. Today I want to tell you about a very special group of ladies who I am proud to call my friends. Many years ago, when our 13 year olds were just little tykes, the five of us met on a Parent Soup Message Board for moms of 1996 babies. After AOL disbanded those boards, we formed our own little email loop, and we have been emailing each other every day ever since!

Amy, Jen, Lynne & Lorie have become my daily correspondents on everything from "What's for dinner?" to "What am I going to do with this kid?" Our children have grown from crazy preschoolers to crazy adolescents! Without this group of ladies, I know I would never have survived it all!

Several years ago we started an ornament exchange at Christmas. We draw names & send an ornament off..... today I received this beautiful angel from Amy!
I will be hanging her in my sewing room, over my machine with all of my past ornaments! I can't bear to put them away with the Christmas decorations. They are a constant reminder to me of the dear friends I have all across the country!

Thank you Amy! It's so beautiful!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

sewing spots

Ally & I have been trying to think of something cute to give to her friends for Christmas. Yesterday I found this sweet pattern at the Quilt Shop (by Bunny Hill Designs).
I bought some fat quarters of polka dots, ran home & whipped one up before I picked Ally up from school. She loved it! So we've been sewing spots.... stuffing puppies.... & here's what we came up with....

Nine sweet puppies for her to give to her friends for Christmas. We tied a little charm to the ribbons with each girl's initial...

Isn't that the sweetest thing? What are you making?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

fun in the kitchen

Yesterday I decided to try something new (always a good idea!). I had pulled a recipe for homemade marshmallows out of a magazine a long time ago & it was time to make them! Here's a similar recipe to the one I used. I put a little drop of red food coloring in mine... look at the yummy pink color! Here's a shot of the whole pan, setting overnight. They were a little sticky to cut this morning, but after some experimenting (sharp knife worked best, not serrated) I got the job done.

I put a dozen cubed marshmallows in each ziploc bag then boxed them up in pretty Christmas boxes & gave them to my Biblestudy friends at our brunch this morning. Hopefully they will enjoy them! Of course I had to taste test a couple myself. Yummy!

Just thought I would share with you, my favorite Christmas Tree ornament. This little caroller has hung on my tree since I was a little girl. A couple years ago my mom gave it to me! I don't know if she knew how much I loved it, but I will cherish it forever!
Do you have a favorite ornament or decoration? Why not tell me about it in the comments? Better yet, post a picture on your blog so we can all see!

Monday, December 7, 2009

sample bags

I've been so busy printing patterns & making sample bags. Two of my favorite local quilt shops have purchased my patterns & asked me to make them bags to display! It was so fun to see what they chose for me to make!

First of all, at Happiness is Quilting, in McKinney, TX, owner Laura Kay asked me to make a Nantucket Market bag for the shop. Her choice of fabric? Moda's new polka dotted oilcloth! I had not sewn with this before, but I just bought some sewing machine needles for leather & I had no problem at all! we accented it with some pretty red & blue reproductions. I just love this color combination!

The other shop that has my patterns now is Quilt Asylum, also in McKinney. Susan, the owner there, asked me to make one of my NYC bags. She chose Heather Bailey's Nicey Jane fabric. I just love this fabric! So sweet & pretty...

ok, so that picture is sideways. Oh well! You get the idea.... here's the back of the bag...

I've had fun putting these together. Now my printer is madly printing more patterns!

By the way, if you entered my giveaway but were not the lucky winner, I would be happy to sell you either one of my patterns. My normal retail price is $8 but until December 15 I will sell you one for $6. Just email me at and tell me which pattern you'd like, where to send it & to please give you the giveaway discount!

happy sewing everyone!

Giveaway winner!

Thank you to everyone who took the time to enter my giveaway & leave me such nice comments! You really gave me lots of warm fuzzies over the last few days. Thanks! I hope you will all check back here often. I also looked at many of your blogs & had so much fun finding new crafty blogs to read! Always fun. Now, for the reason you really came here.....

We have a winner!

The winning comment is #269 (yes, I did use a random number generator! It would not let me capture the image & copy it here...) & #269 is Jocelyn at Happy Cottage Quilter. Congratulations Jocelyn! I will have it in the mail to you in the next couple of days!

Thanks for participating! I promise to be back here shortly to share some new bags with you. I am making sample bags for 2 local quilt shops who have purchased my patterns for sale! Yay!
Have a wonderful Monday!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Sew Mama Sew giveaway day!

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway day is here! I'm so excited to be a part of it this year. Here's what you can win at ellyn's place: A small version of my Nantucket Bag! This bag is the perfect size to take to book club, pack your lunch for work, or tuck a handwork project inside for the road. It has pockets inside too, for your cell phone & your cash.

Of course it won't come empty! You can choose one of my two patterns, the Nantucket Market Bag or the NYC Hipster Bag, and I will include that pattern so you can make your own. Other surprises will be tucked inside too.

All you have to do is leave a comment on this post by December 6.... tell me which of my two patterns you like best... and make sure I have a way to contact you! I will pick a random comment on December 7 and announce the winner here.

If you are a new visitor to ellyn's place, WELCOME! I hope you'll come back often.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Giveaway day

Sew Mama Sew is having another Giveaway Day! It's December 2nd & I have decided to join in the fun! Check back here on Dec 2 to enter my giveaway! & be sure to check out Sew Mama Sew that day too for lots more giveaways to enter.

Friday, November 20, 2009

prayer quilt finished...

I finished the prayer quilt & delivered it to Pastor Kelly this week! I really like the way it turned out. I mentioned before that each block is a disappearing nine patch. There are four blocks. All I did was make a nine patch using 8 inch squares (I like to put a dark one in the center). Cut the nine patch through the middle horizontally and vertically. Twist & turn your blocks. There are so many different patterns you can create, I like this one with the pinwheel effect in the middle. Then sew the four patches back together into a new block! So simple, yet looks so complicated.
Here is the back of the quilt, with some extra 8 inch blocks used to make the fabric wide enough And the label, which I printed directly onto fabric from my computer!
I've been busy getting Christmas gifts sewn & wrapped. This bag is going to some special relatives filled with gifts
Happy weekend everyone!

Monday, November 16, 2009

First Prayer Quilt

I've been working on my first prayer quilt for my pastor, Kelly's, mom, Kay. Kay is going through some difficult chemo treatments for cancer right now. She will be the first, hopefully of many, to receive a prayer quilt from our congregation.

Kelly said her favorite color is blue. I did most of this with blues from my stash, plus a couple of extra fat quarters. It's my own variation of a disappearing nine patch.....Yesterday I took the quilt to church & everyone had an opportunity to tie it. When each person took their turn tying, they offered up a prayer for Kay.
Even the little girls got in on the act...
You can see that the men tied too. Here are Pastor Kelly and her daughter Kelsey (hidden, you can see her pink sleeve!) signing their names after they tied...

And my son Steve....
I think everyone really felt good about participating. Several women offered me fabric and a couple offered to help sew! So a new ministry is born. Today I am finishing up the quilt with binding. I will show you how it turns out later in the week.

Monday, November 9, 2009

New Pattern!

My printer is churning away today, printing out my new pattern! It's called the NYC Hipster bag. A great little bag to sling across your chest to keep you cash & odds & ends close to you while shopping in the city (or anyplace else for that matter!) The best thing about this bag is that you can make it out of three coordinating fat quarters! The finished bag is 9 1/2 inches square & about 1/2 inch deep. There are pockets on the inside for your phone & cash, a big pocket on the outside, a magnetic snap & a cool little hook for your keys....

a fancy patchwork back and straps....
you're going to want to make a bunch of these! I use mine (this one!) just about every day. I need to make one that's a bit more fallish I guess! Email me at to order the pattern. I'm selling them for $8 plus shipping.

ok, I'm off to Walmart to buy more paper for the printer.... Happy Monday!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

a treat...

By now you may have guessed what my favorite color is! I love RED! & for those of you who have been getting dizzy lately because every time you check my blog, it looks different, I promise this is how it's going to stay. For now. Ok, for a long time!

We've been in our house in Texas more than seven years now. Wow. That went really fast! All this time I have been adding touches (ok, more like big splashes!) of red to the kitchen. Let's take a little tour, shall we? Here is my wonderful IKEA cabinet (with a tiny bit of my IKEA light fixture poking into the photo). Isn't it pretty? When I saw it, I knew it needed to hang out on this wall & house all of my teapots! There are lots of little red things all over my kitchen.....
And cherries.... I adore Mary Engelbreit's cherries! Here's her wallpaper border, and a pieced valance I made a long time ago....

The only problem was that the dishes we brought with us from Colorado were not red. Not a speck. They were pretty.... pastel greens & yellows with Debbie Mumm watering cans & flowers on them. They did not go in my Texas kitchen at all! Oh, & they had no serving pieces either. I had a mish mash of different bowls & platters.

Those of you who know me well know that I am also quite clumsy. I, ummmm, how shall we say this gently? I tend to break things. A lot. Well, less now than when I was a kid, but still a lot! So we were down to 6 plates (2 of them chipped) & 4 bowls.... fine when it was just the four of us for dinner. No. Not really fine.

So, today, the UPS man came!
And I had the best time unpacking boxes!

Twelve place settings of beautiful red dishes! They were on sale in the JC Penney catalogue & I was so tempted by them. & then I got a coupon in my email for free shipping. And well.... I couldn't help myself!

And get this! There was a completer set of serving pieces too! Two platters & three bowls! YAY!

I guess now I need to go empty out my kitchen cupboards & wipe them clean so I can put these pretty dishes away! Or maybe I will just leave them out & look at them for a few days? I'll bet our dinners will taste so much better now!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Like my new look?

A big THANK YOU! to Lisa who has been working on giving my blog a new, snazzy look. Pretty awesome I think! Don't you? I told her, no fluffy, pretty, feminine stuff, I'm more a colorful, whimsy, contemporary kind of gal. Now don't get bent out of shape if you are one of those fluffy gals, I totally enjoy you (and your blogs!), it's just not ME! I think it's kind of cool how we're all unique. Makes for a much more interesting world, don't you think?

So, I am working away at lots of Christmas gifts, which I don't dare put pictures of on here! You never know who might be reading along. Surely there are ways to track that? Hmmm another question for poor Lisa, who is way smarter than I am about these things! I am also polishing off my NYC Hipster bag pattern & will debut it here very very soon. There were some recent computer issues at our house. In a house with only four people and five computers, you wouldn't think I'd have a problem! Apparently only 2 of those computers have publisher on them, which is what I use for pattern writing. One is my laptop which has recently become turtley (is that a word?) slow. The other is Ally's laptop, which, until this weekend, was not attached to a printer! This problem has now been fixed! Yay! On with the pattern writing!

So, while I am chatting away with no lovely photos to share, I will direct you to the new blog of my darling daughter, Leigh Anne. If you are/ever were/wish you were a dancer, or if you just enjoy watching dance (that's me), check it out. She is reviewing Fox TVs So You Think You Can Dance every week, giving her viewpoint on the dances/outfits/judges. Her writing style is, like her, quite bold & sarcastic & I for one am enjoying it.

I promise pictures (of something?) soon!

Friday, October 30, 2009

as promised....

Ok, honesty time here. How many of you imagined a sweet three year old princess to wear all of the tulle, glitter & feathers? Because that would have been darling! However....

My princess/superhero is not three. She's thirteen! & very tall (much taller than her mommy!) Here she is all dolled up for a party tonight. Oh, she made the applique for her shirt, it says "Super Pinky!") And by the way, her lovely pink cast is off. Too bad, it would have matched her outfit perfectly! She's back in her boot for now...
You can't really see it but there is silver glitter in her hair... a bit of fairy dust I suppose. Interesting get-up, don't you think?