I am no longer actively blogging here but I’d love if you could join me at my new creative lifestyle blog A Girl in Paradise.
I hope to see you soon.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Bloggers Quilt Festival 2010

Amy's Creative Side invited bloggers to share one quilt, and it's story.  This is my quilt, my first quilt.

Do you remember your first quilt and why you made it?  So many of my early quilts were given away as gifts.  Not even a picture to record its existence.  This is the only one that remains.

About 15 years ago, a newlywed stepped into the new quilt shop in town, looking to buy a sewing machine.  See sewing has always been a part of my life.  My mother thought me to sew at a very young age, and by the time I was in high school I was making most of my own clothes.  So when I got married, and moved out, I no longer had regular use of my mother's machine.  It was time.  I needed my own.  I had a cute little apartment that need things like curtains and such.  I don't think I ever made those curtains, because when I entered that quilt shop and saw all those beautiful quilts hanging on the walls....I was hooked!  I signed up for my first class, that day, and made this quilt.   

It is riddled with mistakes and as you can see there is really very little "quilting" to it.  All the same, I love it anyways.  It was meant to be for my first child, still years away, and when that time came I couldn't part with it.  Silly I know, but there was something about my first quilt.  I did end up hanging it up on the wall in his nursery.  It was the inspiration, a room filled with blue and yellow, and of course teddy bears. 

Amy's Creative Side - Blogger's Quilt Festival

Be sure to check out the other quilts at Amy's Creative Side.  Talk about inspiration.  Some of these quilts are amazing!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Machine Embroidery - A T-Shirt For Halloween

So can you guess what my little guy is going to be for Halloween?  That's right Cookie Monster!

I had to modify the traditional Cookie Monster costume to fit the climate here in Florida.  It is ironic, I remember my mom doing the same to make our costumes warmer for those chilly New England nights.  Now I have the opposite problem...it is just too HOT!  Today was around 85 degrees, if that gives you any indications. 

Anyways, I thought I would add a little embroidery to his shirt, and I wanted to share.

T-shirts are generally easy to embroider, as long as you have the right supplies.  Of course, you will need a t-shirt, a soft, cut-away stabilizer, temporary spray adhesive, and a water soluble stabilizer such as Solvy. 

My two cents:  I know that, I don't have to use a product like Solvy on knits because there is no nap to the fabric, but since I am using a soft stabilizer, I find it is a good way to strengthen the design.

Now lets prepare your t-shirt...

Using your temporary spray adhesive to adhere the soft cut-away stabilizer to the wrong side of your shirt.

Then on the right side of your shirt use the temporary spray adhesive to adhere the water soluble stabilizer to your shirt.

Hoop your shirt to the desired placement, and your ready to go.

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sew Scrap Along

Here is a quick sneak peak of what I have been working on for Jodi's Sew Scrap Along over at Pleasant Home.  I have to admit sometimes I go to the beat of a different drummer.  This isn't exactly the quilt she is doing in her quilt along....I got a little head of myself....so this will be the quilt I will be working on.  I did plan on doing her quilt too, but least face it, with 3 kids, and Halloween less than a week away, there are only so many hours in the day.

Anyways, we left off with a pile of these...

....then they turned into these.  They almost stayed as these, but then I had to go and...

...add corners.  Nice Huh?

Now they (once I trim them up) will be a 9" block.  I am not quite sure what my next step will be.  I think I will either, piece the blocks together as they are, so there will be a white square in between the pinwheels or sashing them with the white.  Once the kiddos are all snug in there beds I will lay them all out and try and make a decision.  

Any suggestions? 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Sew Scrap Along

So, I joined the Sew Scrap Along over at Pleasant Home, and it got me to thinking about my own fabric stash.  Like most quilters I have quite the stash, but it is not organized.  I have piles everywhere.  This makes it hard to know what I have and even harder to start, or complete a project.  I must confess...I have a serious case of ADD when it some to sorting my fabrics.  My mind wanders and little gets accomplished.  That ends today!  Or I should say it ended last night. 

See this beautiful draw of fat quarters?  This is what I did last night.  I organized my fabric that had been either leftovers from past projects or fabric that had been given to me.  A quilter never turns down free fabric, but it tends to sit a round it it is not your style.  So, I cut the large pieces into fat quarters, folded them neatly, and arranged them into this draw.  Pretty huh?  Since, I am a visual person this should help remember what I have on hand.

After I finished cutting my fat quarters, I just couldn't control myself.  I still had more scraps.  So, I just keep cutting.  I cut strips 4 3/4" wide.  Then I cut those strips into triangles and started sewing. 

Those triangles turned into this....

.....and before I knew it I had a pile of these.

Of course, I have another pile of black, white, and red fabrics that are waiting to be part of Jodi's Sew Scrap Along.  I can't wait to get started.

Friday, October 15, 2010

A Memory Quilt in Progress - Part 3

If you have been following along, you know that I have been working on a memory quilt for my youngest son.  If you are new here in Paradise, click here and here to follow along.

 All the clothes used in this quilt were the clothes that he wore during his first year, and on the back I have pieced together some of the larger scraps with his receiving blankets.  Now I am at the point where I can start machine quilting, but I must first baste my quilt.  I am lucky enough to have tile floors in my front room.  The grid makes it easy for me to line all my layers and the tape doesn't leave any marks on my floor. 

First, I use a low tack tape, to tape my backing to the floor. 

Painters tape is my friend.  :)

Then I will lay my batting on top of my backing. 

This is one of the few times I will use a polyester batting.  I know ewww, but when I make Memory Quilts or T-shirts Quilts I have found it works best.  Here are the reasons why:  One, these quilts are heavier than your average quilt.  Two, I don't machine quilt it as tight as I would a regular quilt.  If you are completely opposed to polyester, try using flannel.   

Next, I will lay down my top....

.....and put as many safety pins in it as I can.

Now I am ready to start quilting. 
Can anyone guess what I will be up to all weekend?

Happy Quilting!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Peanut Butter Banana Bread

It is feeling a little bit like fall around here.  Well not outside, I think the high is going to be somewhere around 80-85 degrees today and the only fall foliage we have is the grass that has turned brown from lack of rain.  Inside though, the house is all decorated for Halloween and the warm smell of Peanut Butter Banana Bread is coming from the oven.  So, today I thought I would share a family favorite. 

Peanut Butter Banana Bread 
1/2 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup peanut butter
2 eggs
1 cup mashed bananas

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a loaf pan. 
In a small bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In a large bowl, with a mixer at medium speed beat, peanut butter, eggs, and banana until smooth.
Then with mixer at a low speed beat in flour mixture.
Bake 50-60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

My Dad likes to have his banana bread still warm, with a layer of peanut butter smothered on top.  Mmmm, the memories.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Bouncing Spider Halloween Decorations

Do you like my cute little bouncing spiders?  Do you want to make one for yourself?  Follow along it's super easy! 

You will need:
  • a scrap of cardboard and a compass
  • 3 - 2" strips of black tulle
  • 4 black pipe cleaners
  • a length of 1/4" black elastic (length is determined on how and where it will be hung)

First you will need to cut your cardboard into circles to make your tulle pom poms.  I set my compass to about 3" to make the outer circle and then I set it to about 1 1/2" to make the inside circle. 

Place the 2 cardboard circles together and wrap the tulle strips around and around till you have used up all 3 of them.  (If you use the tulle with glitter like I did you might want to do this part outside.  When you are wrapping it around the your pom pom maker it will sprinkle glitter everywhere.)  Once you have that done take your scissors, placing the blade in between the 2 cardboard rings, and cut all the way around.

Before removing the cardboard from your tulle, slip your 4 pipe cleaners through the center of your pom pom maker.  Then take your 1/4" elastic and wrap that all the way around your tulle in between your 2 cardboard rings, and tie tight.  At this point it should look like the picture above.  Next you are going to fluff out your tulle to make a full pom pom and bend the pipe cleaners to make them look like spider legs.  

That's it, your done.  Now you have one cute little bouncing spider you can hang from just about anywhere around the house.  Happy Halloween! 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

We Have A Winner!

And the winner of my I Spy Giveaway is #27.

Congratulations Paula! 

I will be contacting you soon. Enjoy your I spy squares. I can't wait to see what you do with them.

A special Thanks to everybody who entered!


Monday, October 11, 2010

Sneak Peak!

So I have been busy all weekend working on J's quilt and now I have the front completely pieced and as of an hour ago the back.  Tomorrow I can finally put it together and start quilting.  Yeah!

....and stay tuned for my upcoming tutorial using this embroidered cloth napkin. 

Friday, October 8, 2010

Hooded Toddler Towel - A Tutorial

With the holiday just around the corner, I thought I would start posting some of the gifts I have made.  Today it is a Hooded Toddler Towel.  You know for when your little bundle of joy out grows those cute little baby hooded towels, but still needs to use one.  Here is a tutorial that uses a full size bath towel that is big enough to wrap up your baby and absorbent enough to dry him off.  I should know my little monster tipped the scales at 35lbs on his 2nd birthday. 

To make one of your own you will need:
  • 1 quality bath towel
  • 1 quality hand towel
  • 1 spool of ribbon

Take your hand towel and cut it in half, and if you want to add ribbon or any other embellishments this is the time to do it.  I choose to add my ribbon along the edge and embroidered her name. 

Note: Don't throw away the other half you can make a nifty little hand mitt or finish all 4 sides for a wash towel.  Just a suggestion, no need to throw away a perfectly good half.  :)

Fold in half minus 1 inch, next measure  2 1/2" from the top and 2 1/2" from the side, then with a ruler connect the 2 measurements at an angle.  Then cut off the corner.

Sew around the edge with a zig-zag stitch, and turn right side out.

Find the center of your bath towel, and then mark the next 6 inches on either of your center.  Then pin 3 pleats going in opposite directions from center.  Next sew your hood onto your bath towel with the same zig-zag stitch you used earlier. 

Finally, sew your ribbon along both sides of your bath towel.  Then your done, super cute huh?  Pair it with your nifty little hand mitt and some Mr.Bubble and you got yourself a great little gift.

Happy Sewing!

Monday, October 4, 2010

I Spy a Givaway

It's Another Giveaway!

This time I am giving away 26 different, pre-cut 7" squares of fabric.

Here is how to enter:

- just leave a comment, and remember to include your email address.
- if you are a follower, leave a comment saying so for an extra entry.

This Giveaway will end Monday, October 11th, at midnight. (est)

Good Luck!

Saturday, October 2, 2010


This morning I went yard saleing with my oldest son.  He is 9 and into Lego's.  He is constantly asking for Lego's, basically he wants all the sets they sell.  So to teach him the value of a dollar we set off to a community yard sales to find Lego's.  Just the 2 of us on the hunt for Lego's.  Of course we didn't find the buckets of Lego's he had imagined but we did find 2 of the sets that were on his wish list.  Brand new in the box for a $1 each I might add.  First score.

Our second score was for Momma.  All these goodies for a $2!  That's right $2!  I love when you find things you need but weren't looking for.  So what if it took us over 2 hours to spend $4.  The best part is now he wants to do it again next weekend.