Sunday, January 31, 2010

Another crafter in the family

I am not the only crafty one in the family. Actually, my son is an avid crafter and we recently pulled my husband into the crafting realm also. Max attends a local public Waldorf School where we have an incredibly talented Handwork Teacher. Of all subjects Handwork is one of his favourites and with Ms. Ahart, he has blossomed into an amazing self-directed crafter. I am not a knitter or crocheter (yet) so when he crafts at home, he is on his own. Any mistakes that he makes, he has to figure out on his own. I am constantly amazed by the wonderful projects that he work on at home. Wouldn't you rather your son crochet on a four hour long car trip than play on a handheld video game?

Max made this knitted doll named Oscar at school, isn't he great?
He made the hat for Oscar at home.

This little drawstring bag was crocheted by Max yesterday. Amazing right? He tells me that it's a fishnet bag. A girl at school was making one for a project, he watched what she was doing, came home and made one all by himself.

Cruising around Joann Fabrics before Christmas I saw these looms called Knifty Knitters. They seemed interesting so I bought a set for Max. He opened the set on Christmas Day and lo and behold the first person to make a hat was - my HUSBAND! He slaved over that Knifty Knitter for hours and this (below) is his first hat. Then he made another and another. He wears the hat that he made for himself all of the time. I know that technically it's cheating but hey, they come out great and they're handmade. I even made one for a friend's daughter in Tahoe. My husband is constantly busy, it was great for him to just sit quietly for a while and work with is hands. I think that after hat #3 he realized how crafting can be a bit addicting for me! :)
Here's a pic of my husbands first hat and the knift knitter loom.

In awe of my family,

Saturday, January 30, 2010


Having only made three small quilts so far and then quilting them simply by hand, last night I decided to try my hand at machine quilting. I purchased my Bernina 1020 for a steal on Craigslist last year and it came with several feet. One as it turns out was a Bernina Walking foot! Initially I found the walking foot and the act of machine quilting very intimidating but by the end, I began to get the hang of it.

I wanted to start simply, here is my first try

For a first try I think that it came out quite well. How long should the stitch length be? I have looked online and not found a solid answer. I suppose that stitch length may just be a personal preference. I recently finished the top for my DQS8 and will need to consider quilting the top soon. Hopefully after a lot more practice I'll be ready to machine quilt it!

Friday, January 29, 2010

fun and more fun

Last week we took a much needed trip to Tahoe. With over four feet of fresh snow at lake level, we had an amazing time and fun was had by all. Here are some pics of our family fun! We can't wait to go back, I've already made plans to go up for ski week :)

I had hoped to get my doll quilt for the DQS8 to the point where I could hand quilt it while we were in Tahoe but it was not to be. I get the feeling that my quilt needs to be more exciting.......

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


It is snowing like crazy so we're heading to Tahoe early tomorrow morning! I feel like a kid - I am soooo excited. I can't wait to spend some time relaxing with the family.

This is a pic from our last trip to Tahoe, I hope we have as much fine this time!

Have a great weekend..............

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

DQS8 Progressing

Yay! I have finally made progress on the mini quilt that I am working on for the Doll Quilt Swap 8. Here's what I have so far. We're going to Tahoe on Friday, if I can put the quilt together by then, maybe I can do some hand quilting while relaxing in the snow!
I made this wonky log cabin block thinking that I would add it to the back of the quilt, not sure....................

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Project Doll Quilt

I have checked out my partners blog and so far these are the fabrics that I have come up with.

While trawling her blog I saw that she had recently used the orange and white checked fabric in a project so that seems a good place to start. The mushrooms definitely add some whimsy and fun and the bee fabrics are a favourite of mine. The flickr group for the Doll Quilt Swap is a wonderful way to find inspiration and receive some excellent advice/support. Being new to this swap I can use all of the help that I can get. I posted this pic of my fabric choices and possible quilt sketch - the feedback was great so I think that this may be it!

The back would just be a simple off white Kona Cotton -but a wonky log cabin square (tutorial found here) added in may be a fun surprise ..................

Friday, January 15, 2010

Doll Quilt Swap 8

I was looking through SwapDex the other day and saw the announcement for Doll Quilt Swap 8. Quilt making is still pretty new to me but I decided to go for it. As luck would have it they managed to squeeze me in so now the work/fun begins! Typically I just make what I like but now that I have been assigned a recipient I have to do my best to make quilt that fits her style and aesthetic too! I have already looked at her blog and seen a few of the doll quilts that she has made. I am really excited to get movin' and have even started a few sketches and picked out some fabric possibilities.

So I suppose that since I have been given a recipient, I myself have been assigned to someone as well. What do I like? I enjoy simple quilts in bold colours, japanese fabrics, kokka fabrics, mushrooms, not a big fan of 'traditional' quilting prints.

Here are some kokka fabrics at Purl Soho that I like.....

also loving these quilts over at Mr. Monkeysuit..............

Have a wonderful weekend!
In Gratitude,

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

What next?

I finally sat down to catch up on all of my favourite blogs and was totally inspired by this quilt over at Mr. Monkeysuit. Voila! I have found my first big project for 2010!

I have amassed quite a fabric stash but I think that some new fat quarters are called for. A trip to Peapod Fabrics in SF should do the trick. I found Peapod a few months back and it is such a gem. Located on 18th Avenue near Golden Gate Park,parking can be a pain but it is well worth the effort. A trip to the fabric shop can be really inspiring. Admiring the beautifully organised bolts of fabric and thumbing through the colourful fat quarter selection really gets my colour wheel spinning!

This should be an exciting project as it will be my first time trying my hand at free motion quilting - maybe I should start with a large doll quilt first :)

Wish me Luck!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

A Tasty Treat......................

Every year my mother-in-law in Texas sends us a 5lb box of the biggest most delicious pecans. One of our favourites recipes using the pecans is Pecan Butter Cookies. For obvious reasons (the sheer amount of butter per cookie) I try not to make them too often. My husband has asked me to make these tomorrow and I have included the recipe below so that maybe you can too.

Butter Pecan Cookies


3/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temp.
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup all purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1. Toast your pecans on a baking sheet, about 5 mins until fragrant. Allow them to cool, then chop.

2. Cream butter with an electric mixer, then add sugar. Continue to mix until light. Beat in vanilla, salt and flour until dough forms. Gently fold the pecans into the dough.

3. Separate dough in half, then continue to separate into 12 pieces. Shape the dough into balls, then roll them in sugar and then place them on a baking sheet.

4. Flatten each ball with a glass then sprinkle with sugar.

5. Bake until golden brown, approximately 12-15 mins. Usually I check the cookies about half way through and rotate so that they brown evenly.

6. Brew a hot cup of tea, grab a book and enjoy!

Friday, January 8, 2010

A New Year!

2009 started slowly and then ended in a flash. I aplogize for pretty much abandoning my blog but I will do my very best to be more present in 2010. During the next week I'll get you up to speed with my most recent pics, projects and endeavours!

Newsworthy Items:

#1: I actually worked up the courage to sell my handmade crafts! In the past few years I have done a LOT of sewing and general crafting - all of it has been for myself, my son or just as gifts. I have often received compliments and the suggestion to sell my items at faires. The thought of putting my items out there was terrifying for me, akin to making a dish for a potluck..... will they like it? does it look appetizing? will it be the only unto.uched dish?

Well, I put all of those fears aside and went for it. I had really no idea how to price my items and probably ended up pricing too low, oh well. I found two local Holiday Faires to sell at. Without going into tons of detail I can happily say that all went well, even better than I had hoped! Given my small success I have decided that I will try to sell again in the Spring, maybe at a local Spring Faire.......................only time will tell :)

#2: We have a new dog! His name is Chip. He came to us as a "change of career" dog from Guide Dogs for the Blind in San Rafael, CA. He is an amazing dog and a welcome addition to our family. So yes, we now have three dogs and two cats. Considering our high pet count I have decided to put off plans for our chicken coop. This saddens me but for now I just can't imagine feeding more animals :)
As you can see in the pic, Chip and Max are best buddies. Max finally got his very own dog.

PS. I am happy to report now that Max has his "own" dog it is now required that he helps to clean up after him outside. :)