Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Birthday bag

One of my co-workers has hired me to make a bag for her assistant's birthday..... and here it is.  This was a new pattern that I tried, "Open City Tote" by Penny Sturges.  I made a cute zippy bag to go inside.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Catching up, and finally fall!

It has been really quiet at my house, with both children away at college.  Luckily they are closeby, so that we can see them on the weekends.  The quiet-ness has allowed me to sew a little here and there, even though it is not as much as I would like to be doing.  Made an uber-simple apron for my mother's birthday....she likes to have the skirt portion be terry cloth.  Then I am in the midst of making another tote bag for someone here at work.  Pictures of that bag when it is completed.  In the meantime, I want to make some more of these!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Preparing for semi empty nest

Well, both children are off to college this week!  I can't even believe it.  Luckily they are closeby and can easily travel home whenever necessary.  But this is certainly a big step to have both gone.  Son has been in college for 3 years already, but now my baby girl is going too.  So we have been collecting supplies for her during the summer.  Whereas my son didn't really care for any particular color scheme and went with a neutral mix of beige/tan/brown, my daughter has very definite tastes as do most girls!  So we finally decided on this, although hers won't have all the accessories that are shown here in a company photo.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Spools finished!

I just squeaked by and made the deadline of finishing by Labor Day!  Here, finally, is my variation of Camille Roskelley's pattern "Spools" that we have done as a sew-along.

Friday, August 17, 2012

More spools happening at my house

I have managed to make a few more spools to include in my next quilt top.  They're so much fun to do, I can't seem to stop.    I may end up making a few more and who knows what size the finished top will be?  Here's an updated photo - as you can see there is no design wall in my house, just the design bed LOL.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Spools sew-along progress

I have joined in the Spools pattern sew-along and have just made a few spools so far.  (Pattern by Camille of ThimbleBlossoms http://camilleroskelley.typepad.com/simplify/).   Not sure how big I'm going to make it, either 3 X 3 or 4 X 4, but it will be a square version of the quilt.  In any case, it's been great fun so far and I'm loving the scrappy look of it!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

"X-Squared" Debut

So today I finished the quilt top in time to join my quilting group at my local quilt shop.  Once a month we have a show-and-tell.  It's always lots of fun seeing what everyone has been working on.  Here is my version of Carrie Nelson's "X-Rated".  I'm renaming my version "X-Squared".

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Almost done with X-Rated

I've been working away on my version of the Schnibbles quilt X-Rated.  It all started with the trial block, and I'm making other square blocks in different colors.  Just have to get the containment border and then the wide border on!  When it is an official finished flimsy, I'll get a photo posted here.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Other parts of "X-Rated"

So my daughter actually came up with a great plan - I'm going to make 6 blocks of different colors for my variation of the "X-Rated" pattern by Carrie Nelson.  Along with the pink test block, here are the other colors and fabrics being used.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Testing out my Schnibble-ability

So..... I was so excited to receive my Schnibbles books from Carrie Nelson.  Uber-excited!  I pored over them and decided to try the one that looked easiest, X-Rated.  Had just purchased some really bright prints and figured out I could make a block with 4 of the X's.  Here's the result!  (please forgive the fold marks, had to take it to work to brag!) I couldn't be any happier with it.

Monday, July 2, 2012


Can you believe it???  One of my blog friends is a personal friend of the one and only Ms. Carrie Nelson, and she alerted her to my Schnibbles building post.  Carrie read it, got such a kick out of it, and offered to send me a Schnibbles book.  This weekend I received not one, but two beautiful Schnibbles books!  I have been excitedly studying them ever since!

Thank you Carrie!  You are a wonderfully generous and creative human being!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


On our recent vacation we rented a brand new minivan with all the bells & whistles.  We weren't used to such luxury!!  One of the greatest features was the Sirius satellite radio.  Yikes, one could get spoiled by that!

(oh brother, it's going sideways again.....)

Friday, June 22, 2012


So here I was, innocently driving through Montana on my recent family vacation..... when lo and behold!  There was a Schnibbles building!  I had to have my husband whip out his camera and get a photo for me since I was the one driving at the time.

As we passed by the storefront, I could tell it wasn't a quilt shop, so we kept on driving.  But isn't that cool?  Here's a closeup of the sign:

I really do need to order me a copy of the Schnibbles book.....  someday soon!

Thursday, June 21, 2012


Wow, the last month sure has flown by!  My lovely daughter graduated from high school, then we took a short vacation and picked up my son from college in Washington state and brought everyone and all the junk  precious belongings back home!.

Here's a shot from the grad weekend family dinner table.

And here she is with her two best friends
Then here's a shot of the whole family while vacationing!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Life can get busy!

Whew!  Life can sure get busy around here!  What with all the end of year stuff for my daughter's senior year, and all the end of school year stuff where I work, and the end of year planning for my son.  It's a wonder that I have had time for anything else.  Lots more of the little cosmetic bag sewing.... mostly for gifts and of course I forgot to take photos of them first.

Hope everyone had a good Mother's Day weekend..... we had a nice brunch with my parents.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Jr/Sr Prom and girlfriends

So, my daughter recently attended her last prom of high school.  Sniff.  Here she is, all grown up, and with her 2 best friends.  Aren't they beautiful?  Where did the time go?  My daughter is the redhead.

On a less wistful note (but still a fun note) tomorrow will be a day spent with girlfriends.  We will be shopping, eating, going to craft stores, and generally having a wonderful time.  I can hardly wait!

Monday, April 9, 2012

My teenage daughter

Aren't teenagers fun?  They are a contradiction sometimes.  My daughter can be extremely girlish, and sometimes not.  For instance, here are 2 pair of her favorite shoes.  Enough said.

Friday, March 30, 2012

A new different bag

Yes, I know!  It seems that all I've done recently are bags of one kind or another.  But they're so much fun and a different kind of feeling than working on my quilts.  I'll get back to my quilts soon enough.  But for now, I'm trying out bag patterns.  My daughter graduates in June and I have several gifts to make in my near future, so am finding the right ones to make.  The one I'm in the middle of right now is from "Noodlehead" aka Anna Graham, and it is her 241 tote bag pattern.  Here's a photo and it comes with 2 different pocket options:

The pink version is the one sitting on my sewing table....the outside pockets seemed a little easier than the set-in zipper type pockets, so that's what I decided to try.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Hubby's bag!

So when my hubby saw the little cosmetic bag from the past weekend, he wanted one too!  I wanted to try making the bag a little bigger anyway, so I made a "man bag" for my hubby last night. It's now more the size of a man's shaving kit.  Turned out pretty nice, although now that I see it, I prefer the smaller size.  Ha!  Live and learn.

Here's a peek at the lining:

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Bag # 5

I'm so proud of my sewing prodigy Shari.  Just 6 weeks ago, she saw the quilted bag I had made out of a charm pack, and decided she needed to learn how to do that.  She has lots of relatives and what a great gift for everyone.  So she started from a total beginner (sewing-wise) and has just taken off!  She has now made 5 bags out of the same pattern, with all different color fabric choices.  Here is her 5th bag, which she calls "Fiesta".
Yay for Shari!

Monday, March 19, 2012

More bags!

Yesterday afternoon I tried out a new bag pattern that I'd seen from one of my blogger friends, Nicole, who was following an online tutorial she'd found.  I kept my fingers crossed that it wouldn't tax my brain cells too much, and it wasn't too difficult.  I only had  to "unsew" one seam!  I thought the bag was going to be bigger, more like the size of a men's shaving kit, but is such a cute little small size, about 7" X 4" X 3".  Just right for a little cosmetic bag.

All in all, my friend Shari and I are turning in to quite the "Bag Ladies".  Ha!  Shari has made several different colors of the checkerboard big bag shown below, while I'm going off on these little tangents of experiments.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Bag Lady

Finally got a chance to photograph the bag I made this past weekend..... here it is.  Pretty satisfied with it for a first-time-project.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

"Beware the Ides of March"

This line was made famous by William Shakespeare in his play Julius Caesar.  According to Wikipedia, "In modern times, the term Ides of March is best known as the date on which Julius Caesar was killed in 44 B.C. Caesar was stabbed (23 times) to death in the Roman Senate by a group of conspirators led by Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus."   One of my friends has a birthday today, and I always remember it by that quote!

Also happening today -- my baby boy is coming home from college for spring break!  Here he is, not too long ago.....in all his wonderful baby chubbiness.....

Monday, March 12, 2012

A crafty purse/bag day

My friend Shari and I worked on bags this weekend.  She was making a large tote bag, and I was trying out a new handbag pattern.  We had a great time together, with just a little bit of drama.  I was actually quite anxious about the new pattern, but just "sucked it up" and carefully plodded through.  It came out great!  As soon as I get a sunny day I will photograph it properly and include here.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Nuts or no nuts?

True to the name of my blog, I love chocolate chip anything, especially cookies.  My only dilemma is that my daughter doesn't like nuts, but the rest of us do.  So I have to make 2 batches of cookie dough, one that is saved out for her before the nuts are mixed in, and then the rest.  Why can't she just like nuts and make life simple for me??  Oh well.  I make the recipe that's on the back of the Nestle Tollhouse package, with a few additions.  I use all brown sugar, add a sprinkle of cinnamon, and add in oat flour that is made by buzzing up some oats in the blender.  The next important thing is to refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours before baking.  That way the cookies don't spread very much and they stay nice and soft-chewy instead of thin-crisp.  Here's how my finished product looks like:

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Leap Year Day

At the brilliant suggestion of another quilter/blogger,  Thelma, I took the day off work yesterday and did only fun things.  That is, after the uncomfortable 2 hour dental appointment to prep a tooth for a crown.  Ugh.

My LQS owner celebrated her 4th anniversary of opening her store yesterday, and had a fabulous sale on some of her fabric.  Since it was her 4th anniversary, and it was leap year that rolls around only once every 4 years, she sold her fabric for $4 per yard!  Woo-hoo!  I carted home a nice big bag of goodies.  After returning home I sewed for about 4 hours on my current quilt-in-progress until the rest of the family came home.  So my "extra day of the year" turned out to be a fun day well spent.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Cookies are my favorite!

Have you ever noticed that you collect recipes of a certain kind more than any other kind of food?  My favorite to collect are cookie recipes. Must have almost 4 times as many cookie recipes than any other type.  Last night I tried one that I had seen on the Pioneer Woman website back in October and have been wanting to try ever since.  Mmmmmm, they are delicious!  Citrus Butter Cookies, using lemon and orange zest and juice.  Make sure you have a microplane zester, though, to make your life easier.

The whole house smelled absolutely yummy while these little beauties were baking!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

More chocolate!

Last night my daughter and her high school class sold snacks at the basketball game.  Look what we have left over!  A whole box full of chocolate!  Yay........ just wake me up out of my sugar coma in time for work tomorrow morning..... :)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Long weekend turned into Craft Weekend!

This past holiday long weekend turned into a very very craft weekend!  One of my friends who is proficient in knitting had taught us all how to knit.  (the rest of us would not be considered proficient, ha!)  Then she saw the quilted bag I had made a few weeks ago and wanted to learn to do that.  So we all gathered up our various craft projects and met up on 3 of the 4 days of the long weekend, counting Friday afternoon as one of the days.  The following photos are all from a Google search since I forgot my camera at every stage of the weekend.
This is what we all did for the past several weeks - knitting.  Now we are branching out and doing some other things too!  Before starting the "workshop" for the quilted bag, we had to go shopping for supplies, which involved looking through all the local fabric stores.
Then I taught them how to cut the fabric using the rotary cutter and self-healing mats.

Then we took turns with 2 sewing machines and worked on our various projects.

By the time last night rolled around, my one friend had finished her quilted bag (sorry no photo), another friend had made good progress on a needlepoint project, another one had finished and/or started 2 different coffee cup potholders with ideas for making mini versions as coasters, and another friend had been inspired that she, too, could be a quilter, had dug out her sewing machine, and had made 2 practice blocks!  3 cheers for a very fun and productive weekend.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy V-Day wishes

Happy Valentine's day to all..... one of the bloggers that I follow had this on her post today and it is so good, I am blatantly copying it!  It will have special appeal to those of you who are Downton Abbey fans.
Another blogger is the one who created them.  Here's his link:  http://chad-thomas.com/?p=553#more-553

Monday, February 13, 2012


Being an only child, I was truly blessed with 2 cousins that lived close by and we were able to see frequently.  These two lovely ladies are really my sisters and not only cousins.  We have been through a lot during our lives (like most everyone) and we are great friends.  Both live out of state and were here visiting this week, so we met at a favorite restaurant yesterday.  Without any prior planning, look how color-coordinated we were!!  Ha!  Long live the beautiful blue-green color family!

Monday, February 6, 2012

More progress...

This weekend I was able to work a little more on my batik chain blocks.  A friend and I worked on our sewing projects during the Super Bowl.  Here is an updated photo:

The day before, I was able to finally give my girlfriend her "grandma bag".  She loved it!  I'm so glad, since it took me longer than planned to finish it for her.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Groundhog Day

So this morning on the news Punxatawny Phil (or whatever his name is) saw his shadow, and that is supposed to mean that we have 6 more weeks of winter.  In my part of the world, Southern California, that is just fine by me!  We have mild winters - what most people would consider fall weather really - and just get light dustings of snow on our local mountains.  Occasionally we have frost, and even less occasionally we have snow.  It will last only a few hours, but it creates real excitement.  Here is a picture of the last time we had snow, I think it was 2007:

Usually our winter months look like this and are really the most attractive time of year for us.  Sorry if there is a little bit of gloating in my voice.  :)

Have a happy Groundhog Day everyone!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

January quilting projects

To start off the new year, I began 2 new quilting projects.  One of my girlfriends recently became a grandma (no, I don't feel that old!).  For her birthday I had given her a "gift certificate" for a tote bag that she could choose, and I would make.  So she chose that her bag would be baby-themed and it would become her grandma bag.  Although we shopped for the fabric a couple of months ago, I finally got it started over the New Year's weekend and now it is almost finished.   I hope she'll love it!  It is definitely large enough to hold all the toys and goodies that a grandma could want.  Here's the beginnings of it:

The next project for January is a quilt out of batik fabric that we are going to keep at home instead of giving away.  One of the ladies from my local quilt shop's group has made 3 of these (one for each son) in the same pattern and so she finally taught a class that I took a couple of weekends ago.  Here is the beginning of that quilt.  I just love these beautiful colors:

So I have my work cut out for me for the next few weeks!  And just yesterday I purchased some lovely Civil War reproduction fabric to make yet another new quilt.  2012 is going to be busy!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

New year, new post.

It is now the new year - welcome 2012.  Our Christmas was a very fulfilling time with lots of family present for Christmas dinner (at my folks' place) with 13 people in all.  My dad enjoyed his gift of a new board game "Ticket to Ride" and my mother loved her quilt!  It was a total surprise as I had managed to keep it a secret from her for all those months.

For this long weekend, I'm looking forward to a girls' day where we will be having brunch and then seeing a movie.  We have a Parisiene theme and it should be a really fun time. The next day I attend a quilt class and start on my next quilting project, which is one that I will be keeping for myself instead of giving away.  Currently I'm in the middle of making a "grandma bag" for one of my girlfriends that is turning out really cute.

Here is my mother's quilt:

And here's the new board game (photo off internet) :