Weekend Plans



I'm looking forward to this weekend. I don't have anything giant planned but there is something about a Friday that makes me super excited. My only plan so far is to visit Kittle's & look at shot guns. I heard a rumor of an early birthday gift. Not something that I normally do on a weekends but it'll be fun. My dream right now is to own this. ;)

I got something fun in the mail, new sock yarn and new knitting needles. I saw this review of carbon needles, I wanted to give them a try in the future. I ordered the needles and the yarn from Jimmy Beans Wool on Wednesday with my JBWBucks and I was super excited that they came this morning. That's speedy! The yarn is called Colinette Jitterbug in Paintbox, doesn't it remind you of one of those sprinkle birthday cakes with all the bits of colored sugar inside? I sort of want to make one now! (ps: this cookbook has my favorite sprinkle cake recipe: Milk)

Isn't that donkey knitting bag incredible? I received the most amazing pink themed package from the sweetest blog reader (Beth) who sent me things so perfect that I almost died. It was like she was in my brain. I only got a cell phone photo of the treats but I think I need to do a blog post of all the presents I've received lately because I have incredibly kind and generous friends. I need to figure out some things I can sew as thank you gifts. Any ideas?!

I've been cross stitching non stop but I'm still not any neater or faster, haha! I've been listening to The Discovery of Witches for the zillionth time and working on Woodland Sampler! That's a pretty big sneak peek for April. I've also been working on Springtime Sampler for a few hours each morning. I'm thankful for the library's selection of audiobooks for sure!

Actually, has anyone read Iced? I've recently been re-reading the Faefever series from start to finish and I'd purchased Iced when it first came out but I forgot how annoying I found Dani and only got a chapter in. Now I'm not sure if I should give it a second chance?! What did you think of it?

I found a new little storage bin at Target for my cross stitch supplies. Every Wednesday Ashleigh & I take a small business class, then afterwards sit at a local coffee shop & cross stitch. I'd been using a little gingerbread man tin I got from JoAnns but it kept exploding open in my bag. This plastic one has a lid that clamps in place. Not too shabby for $2.99! I right now carry floss for Springtime Sampler and Woodland Sampler, plus needles, scissors, highlighter tape, yada yada yada. It's thinner than my gingerbread man tin too! If you cross stitch or craft on the go, check out Target for these. They came in gray, aqua and green. But they aren't on Target.com :( I'd love to finish stitching week 2 of Springtime Sampler this weekend and April's Woodland sampler this weekend!

I sadly lost my Smashbook this fall. I have no idea where it went. In February I got a new one, I went with hot pink this time. I'm hoping to add some things I've been collecting to it soon. Agnes sent me some Studio Calico wood veneer stars that are quite possibly the cutest things ever. Also: I love glue.

Do you notice anything pretty in these photos? A new quilt! Now I have my finished Farmer's Wife, a scrap quilt (who's name I can't decide. Shoofly? Churn Dash? IDK) and now this quilt to show you! It's not bound yet and I probably won't bind it for a little bit, I managed to make the fun of binding a scrap quilt last over a week so I'm hoping to do the same with this one. Lindsay quilted for it and omggg. I took it out of the box and seriously almost died. I posted a photo on instagram but it doesn't do her quilting job justice. She basically took a boring quilt and made it SING. It has this shiny pink thread that I can't stop looking at. The wool batting is making it look extra sweet. I know, I know, all my quilts are starting to look the same. Lots of pink and neutrals. I don't even care. As soon as I pulled it out of the box my second thought was...I WANT ANOTHER PINK QUILT FOR HER TO QUILT FOR ME. It's an obsession.

Soooo what are you doing this weekend? Hanging out at home? Wearing leggings as pants? Eating candy? Cross stitching a new Ireland pattern? Drinking green beer? Reading a book? Gardening?!

Scarlet's Quilt

I have a very sweet friend named Tracey. She's the first person I ever knew, in real life, through a complete duration of a pregnancy with lots of hang out time during it. I'll never forget the anxiety I felt driving around Chico & Paradise with her when she was like, 3 months pregnant. I kept being terrified each bump would kill her. I have little (read that as zero) experience with pregnant women, babies, children, etc. If you look up "least maternal person" in an encyclopedia, you'll see my face. For example when she told me she was pregnant at Costco one weekend, I gave her a high 5 and told her that was rad. Walking away I asked Chop if that was the appropriate response...turns out she didn't mind and I'm thankful for that.

 Tracey was SO CUTE as a pregnant person (and obviously today she is just as cute!) she's short and was very tan and always looked so healthy and happy. She told me all about pregnancy, her hopes for Scarlet's birth & such. I'd touch her stomach when she'd kick and it was pretty neat. I got to hold Scarlet while she napped on me. She was very soft and incredibly warm. I was both incredibly excited to hang out with her but also terrified. I made sure Tracey tucked her into my arm and I didn't.move.a.single.inch.

I knew I wanted to make her a baby quilt. If you look up in the same encyclopedia "most selfish crafter ever", you'll also see my face. I'm bad at making gifts for others, I worry that the person won't like it or won't appreciate it. Very, very, very few people in my life have things I've actually made them. I'm mean, I know. But Tracey I knew would USE a quilt and I thought it would be neat giving a quilting friend a quilt! And I wanted something special for the only baby I met!!!

So I dug through my fabrics and picked the most girly things I could ever find and went to town...a week after she was born. And Lindsay did a BEAUTIFUL job quilting it for me!

And then...it just sat. Waiting for me to sew the binding on. Which I did!!! In January. And Scarlet is one. Dictionary:Worst.Friend.EVERRRRR.

But now the quilt is at it's new home, with an extremely adorable little girl, a cute older brother and Tracey & Jay! <3<3<3 Thanks for being patient with me!!!

Books I read in February + A new Kindle case

February was a good reading month. I'm taking a knitting break and I'm too blind to cross stitch in the evenings so I spent quite a few nights tucked into a quilt on the couch reading.

I made a new case earlier in February, I had a little pile of scraps just begging to be made into SOMETHING.

The block is a 4 inch Sister's Choice block. My previous case was super cute but too big for this kindle. The lining is a super pretty cursive fabric that Windham makes, I bought a half yard which is rare for me, I usually just buy fat quarters and I've used up every last bit of this print. I think when that happens I need to take note and buy a yard. The backing is this bizarre glitter wool that JoAnn's had in their red tag section. It's sturdy which I love. I had a few little bits of glitter floss laying around so I added a few french knots. I'm not sure why but lately I add a few hand stitches to everything I make, regardless if it needs it or not.

A few people asked which kindle I have and about the sticker. Chop got me a GelaSkin for it for Christmas, mine is called Enamored Owl! I really wanted a Lizzy House one because...um constellations on a kindle? YES PLEASE but they don't offer her. Lame. But the quality of the skin is nice and it wasn't hard to apply.

The kindle I have is called a Paperwhite. And it is the greatest thing on earth. This is the 4th kindle I've owned and I wholeheartedly love them. It drives me bonkers when people say "kindles are killing books"!!! No way! I have the bank statements to prove that I'm doing my part to keep the publishing industry in business. ;) I have the plain paperwhite, without 3G and with ads.  I actually like the ads, a lot of times I'll find a new book that way. They are only on the screen saver and the bottom of the home screen, nothing while you are reading. The paperwhite has a built in light that I adore and you can adjust the brightness. I've also found the touchscreen on this is more responsive than my previous one.

OK. Let's talk about books!

  • Golden Lily & The Indigo Spell. Oh how I wanted to *love* these but I ended up hating them. I was a huge fan of Vampire Academy but these..oi. There can't possibly be a character I like less than Sydney. She's made out to be perfect but she just comes across as neurotic. And dull. And practically with an eating disorder. And a martyr. Did I mention dull? By the end of Indigo Spell I was just ready to be DONE with it. I'm not going to bother with the next one.
  • The Covenant Series. I raced through these and enjoyed them. I know a lot of people call this a Vampire Academy rip off and I can partly understand, although it seems like it's becoming a sub genre now, teens in mystical schools. The first one took me a little bit to get into but by the last book I was in love. Alex is similar in personality to Rose so reading this after Bloodlines was refreshing, I like girls with personality. ;)
  • House Rules. I love this series. I think of all vampire series, this is my very favorite. I find Merit to be awesome, I love the supporting characters and I find her relationship with Ethan to be pretty dang great. I do wish she'd held off on sharing something in this book a little longer. (I don't want to spoil it!)
  • Sweet Evil. Not that great. I thought Anna was dull. I won't read the sequel.
  • How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf & How to Seduce a Naked Werewolf. Molly Harper is one of my favorites because her books are hillllllarious. I read Naked Werewolf and I listened to How to Seduce. Both are funny and a little less dark and more sweet than her Jane Jameson series. I listened to Driving Mr. Dead last month too and enjoyed it. Amanda Ronconi is so perfect for narrating her books!  (also, I just saw Driving Mr. Dead is only $1.99 right now on kindle!) I like to listen to books while I cross stitch or sew, it's something different than music!
  • Rapture. I'm glad I finished this series, it wasn't bad or amazing, just middle of the road!
  • Cinder and Scarlet. I read Cinder on a whim. I noticed all my goodreads friends (the 6 of them I have, lol!) read this and enjoyed it so I thought I'd give it a whirl. Good characters, neat world building. I finished it and liked it. Then I started the sequel, Scarlet and I LOVED IT. I devoured it. It was like her writing and story telling got kicked up a notch. I loved the additions of the new characters, their stories and how they inter-played with Cinder's. I'm super excited for the 3rd in the series.
  • Kiss of Steel. Meh. Entertaining enough but not one of my favorites.
  • Fate Interrupted. Every once in a while I'll try something everyone seems to loooove. I got lucky with Cinder (yay!) but failed miserably with this one. The premise sounds cute, girl opens a cupcake bar and is interested in a player. It's sort of like a college girl wrote this for her creative writing class about her dream life gone wrong. Instalove (gag) but omg he's a player (ugh) and noooo his past is coming back to hunt him (oh noes!)! Her sister is vile, imagine a locker room of 16 year old boys who just had their first coors light and you'll get how the sister speaks. It's so raunchy it's completely unbelievable. And it's not even GOOD raunchy that makes you blush, it's the kind of raunchy that makes you feel gross and want a shower. I feel like this could have had potential but instead I felt like I wanted .99 back. Also: hugest pet peeve ever! Authors who turn novellas into two books. Don't be lured in by the potential of cupcakes. ;)


This month Chop & I are doing a spending fast, we are extremely frugal right now but are curious how a complete freeze on our spending can help us by the end of the month. So no new books in March! Clockwork Princess comes out on March 19th so I'm most likely going to re-read the series, I pre-ordered the book back in August and I can't WAITTTTT! I love this series a zillion times more than Mortal Instruments and I'm both excited and SAD that it's coming to an end.

Also, I started reading two Kindle Serials, which auto update with new chapters. Have you guys seen these? They are pretty neat, I got two of them last month: Gooseberry Bluff Community College of Magic & Falling for Fredrick. I'm enjoying both, since you can only read a little bit at a time it makes me want to take my time and read sloooow.

And I also requested some books from the library so I have something to look forward too!

What did you read in February?



PS: You can see what I read in January here.


February is always short.

I always forget that February is a short month, it's here one second and then gone the next.

I'm enjoying a bit of sunshine and binding today. I'm a real sucker for a quiet afternoon. Especially when there is sunshine involved.


PS: 1. I can't stop making quilts, I learned you can fit 15 quilts in two jumbo space bags. 2. I can't stop reading books. Thank you for your suggestions! 3. I'm obsessed with a new pattern we are working on called Springtime Sampler. 4. I'm also learning garment sewing and I sewed sleeves. For real. I'm not quite sure where all this new found sewing confidence is coming from but I'm rolling with it. 5. If I wasn't taking a knitting break, I'd cast on for this right away. I still might, even if it takes me a million years to make it. Size 6 needles are giant compared to 0's & 1's right?!  6. If you are a small business, I can't stress enough how amazing it is to sit down with a small business counselor. Ashleigh & I did and it was eye opening. Check your area. We went here. 7.  I have enough here for like, a million blog posts. Maybe since March is long I'll talk about all this stuff. ;)

February Socks: Pigeonroof Studios

February socks!!!

I highly doubt I'll be able to finish these this month but that's ok! I'm totally smitten with them. I had a few false starts, I've knit the toes up to the increases on two other pairs before I frogged them. I'm the *worst* at being indecisive! Also, I've had to cut back my knitting time so I want to only work on a pair that I *love xten*!

Do you like my pig timer? I'm using him to keep track of knitting time. He cracks me up!!!! I got him at our local hardware store, I was using my phone but I sort of like the sound of the kitchen timer more. Plus it stops me from checking my phone every few minutes!

Pattern: Hermoine's Everyday Socks + Gussett Heel Toe Up Socks + two at a time

Yarn: Pigeonroof Studios in Blossom

Needles: Signature Needle Arts- Size 1

Stitch Marker: Bacon & Eggs from Sweet & Savory Trinkets

Yarn Bowl: Heartstrings Yarn Studio

Also, today I put my Farmer's Wife quilt on our bed, that's it in the background of these photos. I'm pretty keen on how it looks, at first I'd planned on just putting it in my hope chest and not using it at all but it matches my duvet nicely. I'm so in love with how traditional it looks, because it obviously is a traditional quilt! I'm hoping to finish up a Civil War quilt I'm working on soon-ish to add to my traditional quilt collection.


Finished in 2013: Donut Quilt

Can I share with you my very favorite new project?

Donut Quilt!!!!

I don't really sew very many quilts so when I do, I want to love them like CRAZY and have the process make me incredibly happy.

This project? It fit the bill.

The pattern is by Johanna Masko. I've long admired the quilts that she designs and people at the workroom sew up. I think the main reason why I was able to sew this up so smoothly was because the pattern is written so.incredibly.well. For real. Very, very, very little waste which I *love*. Nothing drives me crazier than half way through cutting a pattern realizing I could have cut wayyy less because the cutting instructions are wonky. This was spot on without a bunch of extra scraps floating around. A total quilting newbie could make this and have a blast.

For me, this is the perfect sized quilt. I made the throw which measures 51" x 63". I can have it on my lap when I'm sewing, I like it as an additional layer on my side of the bed and it fits nice when I'm in the car. I'm pretty sure everyone is so sick of seeing this quilt in photos but I'm really using it a lot! And loving every second of it!

I try really hard to only use precious fabrics from my stash in my quilts and there are some real gems in this quilt. I want my personal quilts to be truly special and important to me, nothing is off limits. I guess I feel like it's pointless to buy special fabrics, only to never use them. Dorky but true!

I used Lizzy House's Constellations for the background because seriously, how great are these little stars? And then her pearl bracelets in cotton candy for the borders. I used some special batiks, some liberty of london, a few Japanese prints, etc. Lots of gifts from friends, I think I have a little bit of Karyn's stash in all my sewing. I backed it with Japanese donut fabric because...how could I not?! ;)

I free motion quilted all the circles on this. I started by tracing a canner lid absolutely perfectly on top of a donut. But after doing the first bit of quilting, it looked too stiff & contrived. So I traced 8 more circles at random intervals and free motion quilted around each of them, branching off to create more rings around those. It was so hard to get photos of the quilting and I hope you don't judge the close up photos too harshly, free motioning circles is HARD! My walking foot & I don't get along so free motioning is where it was at. I used the oval closed toe free motion foot for Bernina, #15 if you are curious! I had the stitch length set to 3 and it seemed to work fine. I used a mix of King Tut & Aurifil in the needle & Bottom Line in the bobbin. Sadly it's become *really* hard for me to find nice thread locally so I had to use the cream threads I had on hand and now I'm completely out! >:(

After machine quilting the circles, I went in with Cosmo Sparkle Floss in White and hand quilted little squares inside some of the donuts. I was a teeny bit nervous using a metallic thread for hand quilting but it went through the washing machine & dryer absolutely beautifully. I used a red work needle for this rather than a traditional hand quilting needle because the floss is too thick for the eye.

I used Pellon's Nature's Touch batting. I almost exclusively use Quilter's Dream but my local quilt shop was out & I saw JoAnn's had batting for 50% off. I have mixed feelings about it. I loved the weight & loft, how it washed up, how little lint it left in my machine. I didn't love that you can almost peel the scrim away from it. At one point when I was pinning it Chop was like "is this stuff fusible? What is this?" It's not ideal for hand quilting at all. BUT the price is decent and if you are in a pinch, it's fine. I'd use it again if I couldn't get Quilter's Dream or if I had a limited budget. Which I almost always do. ;)

I raided my scrap bin for the binding. You all are so kind on saying how nice my binding looks in my previous post! I've been trying really hard to bind the proper way, it turns out this whole time I hadn't been folding my corners correctly! eek! But now I think I'm on the right track :)

You can read my previous posts about the donut quilt here! & here! Phew!

My next quilt? THIS ONE! That border slays me!


 ps: thanks chorp for holding my quilt so patiently. ;)

Binding Love

Ok, don't laugh but I'm pretty sure 80% of the reason why I quilt is so I can spend evenings on the couch with Chop hand sewing the binding down. I seriously *love* binding quilts. I know machine binding is way faster but I totally look forward to lazy couch time. We've been watching Luther & Inspector Lewis, my two favorites.

This weekend I bound a baby quilt and my Farmer's Wife quilt. Two night of laying around being lazy? My idea of a good time!


PS: That super pretty star quilting? It's a baby quilt Lindsay did for me and it's one of my favorite things EVER. She's so good! I just sent her another quilt, I've started to refer to it as my quilts getting a spa beauty treatment. Thanks Lindsay for being the BEST! <3

Long Weekend Projects

I started a little embroidery yesterday for a friend who's having a baby. I'm super slow at embroidering so I figured I'd get a head start! I'm using this pattern, because mama-to-be is a Kurt Hasley fan. I don't know if it's going to be a boy or girl yet so I picked some constellation scraps for the background. Stars are gender neutral right?! ;) I super love iron on patterns, I'm the absolute worst at tracing and for some reason the whole "iron it and it's magically on your fabric" is really magical to me. I'm a nerd. ;)

Porkchop made me a little scrap thread holder! It's a piece of 4" x 6" wood that he wrapped fabric around and stapled down. Then he hammered a few nails in it and we sprayed it with a bit of glitter spray. I love it so much, I tend to just leave little piles of floss everywhere and now I have them all together with me!

I finished my Donut Quilt on Sunday night, it was the best weekend of sewing, relaxing and watching t.v. Those are the best kinds of weekends to me.

Also! Voting ended in our poll for the next patterns! We'll be doing Japan, Australia and Ireland! Ashleigh is already designing and I've ordered new linen/evenweave for us this morning. I can't wait to start stitching them and sharing sneak peeks! I was begging everyone I knew to vote for Japan, Ireland and Russia, but sadly Russia didn't win! But once these patterns are done, we'll have another round of voting! :):)

I hope you had a nice long weekend :)

Weekend Plans: Frosted Pumpkin Shop Update & Donut Quilt


Today was the best mail day, all the fabrics I needed to complete my donut quilt arrived! Woo! That never happens! Usually one or two will meander in at a time but today, BAM! all at once! Although sadly the fabric I'd planned to bind the quilt with I bought in the wrong color! oops!

I spent the afternoon listening to Driving Mr. Dead & cutting this quilt out. I never listened to audiobooks until last year when Amber got me into them. Now I can't imagine an afternoon without them! Molly Harper's books are read by Amanda Ronconi and she takes the book up a notch. Truly *hilarious*.

This quilt is the most sweet and girly thing I've ever sewn. I used Lizzy's little constellation stars for the background, a bunch of favorite pinks (and two rebel black fabrics) for the donuts and then the border I went with pearl bracelets in cotton candy. And then! I found donut fabric for the backing. That totally cracks me up!

Ashleigh & I are asking for your help! We are having a poll to decide the next countries in our Around the World Series! You can vote between now and Sunday! Full confession: I voted for Japan with my other hopes being Ireland & Russia!

We've also updated our shop with all the new Valentine's Day patterns, included one we kept secret, Elements of Love! ooOOOooo!

What are you going to do this weekend? I'm cross stitching and working on this quilt. I heard a rumor someone is going to take me out for yogurt tonight. ;)

Straight Stitch Society: Have It All Wallet

I made a wallet last night!!!!

And it was sooooo much fun!

I saw the pattern earlier this week on pinterest and knew I had to make one. I'm trying to be more organized in 2013 and my previous "wallet" was really a pony pouch that Karyn made me. Super cute & one of my most treasured things but every few months it would be jam packed with receipts, movie ticket stubs and pens. Because you know, it's a pouch! Not a wallet! And I just cram everything in it without thinking!

I've tried to make wallets before, 4 years ago I attempted to make my mom & I "A Safe Place". Let's just say that she has a wonky looking wallet and I didn't bother making one for myself. Half way through I abandoned the directions because I didn't understand them and I winged it. I've tried various tutorials online but always ended up with something kind of sloppy.

The pattern I used for my wallet is called "Have It All Wallet". And it was super well written and FAST. I generally don't sew in the evenings but I made this in a few hours after supper.

Here are some thoughts:

  • Easy! Really clearly written, totally beginner friendly. I loved the tone of the pattern, encouraging & cute!
  • I used two Echino home decor weight fabrics. Instead of using heavy weight sew in interfacing I used Pellon 809 Decor Bond on both the outer pink fabric, plus the inner deer fabric. This is iron on and my very favorite interfacing for bags. It is really sturdy and crisp. The rest of the wallet I interfaced using their directions using the Pellon 809.
  • The only time I got confused was inserting the zippered pocket into the accordion pocket. Chop sat down and read it to me and it clicked. Sometimes I think I need to hear things aloud in order for them to make sense.
  • I purchased the pdf version and you do have to tape things together but they have a background grid that helps you line up the pieces. In total the pdf is 16 pages.
  • The pattern has little drawn illustrations with the steps which I loved because...
  • I learned a new way to install a zipper! I *think* this is the same method Anna Maria Horner uses in her Art Student Tote but I never could figure it out! The directions in the Have It All pattern made it SUPER CLEAR. I read it twice. Then a third time to make sure I was interpreting it correctly. I followed it EXACTLY as written and BAM! Cute zip pouch!
  • I love how big and sturdy this is, tons of great details that make this look posh. Accordion pockets, strip interfaced card holders and that little attached inner zippered pouch is adorable.
  • You can tell I don't have a ton of things, I carry a license, two debit cards, frequent yarn & yogurt buying cards and a library card. But this thing has LOTS of room! Behind the cards you can put cash or receipts. The zippered pocket right now has my lip balm, lip gloss, a ton of change and hair ties. In front of the zip and behind the zip are more pockets that expand, I'm holding a book of stamps and a few grocery coupons. Best part? If you have a smart phone, it fits *perfectly* in front of the zippered pouch! So you can totally carry just your wallet and keys if you have to run a quick errand. I love that!
  • I used Echino for the outside and inside, the card holder is a Marcus Brother's repro print, the zip pouch is Jay McCarroll's Habitat and the accordion pocket is Joel Dewberry! The tea cup & deer ribbon is Rosa Pomar! All from my stash. I used my snap press to apply a plain black snap. I decided against top stitching around the whole wallet and instead I slip stitched the bottom closed by hand.

I'm pretty sure this is going to be my go-to pattern for birthday & Christmas gifts. The hardest part of the pattern was picking the fabric. Isn't it always like that?! ;)

Have a good Sunday! :):)

Pink Projects EVERYWHERE.

A few weeks ago I woke up and decided pink was my new favorite color.

My previous favorite color was gray...it's been gray for years. Porkchop teases me because of the frightening amount of gray tank tops and teeshirts I own. I just love gray.

But now I love pink too.

So the most logical thing for me to do was start a Valentine's Day quilt!

I have a bunch of cute Japanese and older Moda fabrics that I've been hiding for a sweet project like this. I picked a gray/cream background fabric that you can see on a few of the blocks but it was leaning a little too sickeningly sweet. I wanted tough sweet. Like the grouchy country boy who hunts all day and gets muddy but then comes home and peels your oranges all cute because you can't. Or squishes and cuts your sandwiches in 1/4's because that's how you like them. Tough Sweet!.So I'm making it a little different by adding black essex yarn dyed linen as the background of all these pinks. And then I'm backing the quilt with velveteen which is luxurious. xten.

Camille, who is adorable and clever designed this pattern and it's super easy & fun. The pattern is called Double Take and it's two patterns in one, I love that! I'm making the checkerboard one. I think it's for jelly rolls but I don't own any (I just lost my key card to the cool quilter club house by admitting that) so I'm just using scraps and favorite little bits from my stash.

And then this gloriousness came in the mail! PKM sent me these fat quarters because she's AMAZING! I'm working on a bear paw quilt (pink! are you surprised?!) and she sent me the hot pink dots for that but then included the extras! What a gem she is! After she sent them I decided I need to get more of those dots, they work so well in everything! And I think I need a Valentine's Day knitting bag...

For these new socks!!!! As I mentioned in my previous post, I'm trying to knit a pair of socks each month in 2013. My January socks are HOT PINK! So hot pink that my camera has issues capturing it. And don't get my started on how my phone pretty much falls over and dies when I try to take photos of them. The color is called POP ROCKS! and it's by Madelinetosh.

AND THENNNN! I was buying tapestry needles and a cat needle minder (a needle minder is a little cute magnetic thing that you put on your hoop to keep track of your needles) from the workroom when I spotted this pattern for a DONUT QUILT. Um what? A donut quilt?? Yes please. I pulled fabrics for it last night. Big shock...pinks.

The background fabric will be Lizzy's constellation stars because they are adorable. And then it has bottom and top borders...I can't decide if I should hunt down more of these cream metallic dots that Lindsay sent me a scrap of?! Or maybe use one of Lizzy's new pearl bracelet colors? I don't know! Either way I have to save up to buy the background, border and backing fabric so I have some time to mull it over.

Also, today is the veryyyyy last day of the Woodland Sampler sale!!! Tonight at midnight it goes up to $16.95! I hope you'll join us this year stitching it up!


Harvest Quilt

August is both my favorite and least favorite month of the year.

Favorite because it's my birthday (yay!), pumpkin spice lattes make their appearance (yay!) and least favorite because it's a zillion degrees (boo!) and the very worst part, I'm home alone for the entire month (boo!).

Porkchop works for Sunsweet...yup...PRUNES! He's basically gone the entire month of August. I know what you are thinking, "oh he's late for dinner". Or "oh, he's home on the weekends".

Double wrong!

He works 15 hour days, 7 days a week. He comes home to eat, shower and sleep. Ships passing in the night! There is no such thing as a day off. There is no such thing as coming home early. When fresh fruit comes in, the clock is ticking and it's pure madness. For a straight month.

I spend my days by myself, which I don't mind but I'll also tell you that in addition to Chop being my husband, he's also my best friend and the person who I want to spend ALL my time with. It's true, we joke sometimes that we will have surgery and have magnets implanted in our hips because we are attached at them. So generally after the first week of prune season, I get restless and if I'm being honest, incredibly lonely. I will sometimes go two days without speaking a single word out loud. Crazy right?


This prune season I decided I needed a TREAT. A present. For myself. To keep my mind busy and to create something cute.

I decided to make a simple cross quilt, plus quilt, improv quilt. Whatever you want to call this block, it's FUN.

I grabbed all my favorite fabrics in my very favorite colors, put on my favorite music and went to town. It kept me completely entertained for a few days. It's very much an instant gratification quilt!

The fabrics I used are mostly Heather Ross, Denyse Schmidt and Lizzy House. I really gravitate towards these colors and having them all together really makes me happy.


I pieced in a pumpkin spice latte, using Sew-Ichigo's Latte to Go pattern. Can we talk for a second about how flipping cute their patterns are? Seriously adorable. And perfect for anyone who wants to learn paper piecing. I personally *love* paper piecing, it's pretty much the only way I sew blocks!


Lindsay, who I absolutely adore, did the quilting for me. She's back from maternity leave & I'm happy as a clam with the job she did for me! She used Quilter's Dream Wool batting and stitched some crazy cute pumpkins on it for me. Adorable right?

The backing is a Freespirit Solid that I wish I knew the name of because it's quite pretty, it's like a dark cranberry. yum. I bound the quilt using an older Joel Dewberry woodgrain in a pale yellow. Raise your hand if you want re-prints of all his woodgrains?! ME!!!


Happy Tuesday!

Weekender Bag Chat: Part One


This week on instagram folks have been asking questions about my weekender bag, I thought it might be a fun blog post to share my thoughts and experiences. So far I've made two and I'm currently working on a third patchwork version. As soon as I publish this post, I'll post a Part Two which will be about my current WIP, the patchwork version. Sound good??!


This is the second Weekender Bag I've made, if you aren't familiar with the pattern, it's by Amy Butler and a pretty neat bag! It's sort of a crowning achievement bag, it says HEY I MADE THIS PROFESSIONAL LOOKING BAG. And it is rumored to be one of the hardest bags to make (it's not. I pinkie swear!)

I wanted to make a second one because I didn't really *love love* my first one, I made lots of mistakes, I substituted a fusible batting for the pellon, inserted the lining by machine, etc. I guess I shouldn't say mistakes, I should say, tried something new that didn't work. ;) So this time I was determined to follow the pattern properly from start to finish. I don't know about you but that is HARD. Sometimes I want to read ahead and ignore things.

But this time I didn't. I used the suggested interfacings. I used the correct zipper. I slip stitched the lining in. And I have a bag I crazy love. Like, love love love!!!

Here are my changes to the pattern:

  • I didn't use the end pockets. I felt like they made an already busy bag way busier looking. This fabric is LOUD and it was super noticeable where I wasn't able to line up the pattern correctly. I added the pockets and felt like the bag looked sloppy, I kind of wanted to cry. I let it marinate overnight and looked again in the morning with fresh eyes. I took them off (I hated doing that!) and voila! Much better. Sometimes less is more.
  • I bought piping! Yup! Two packages at JoAnns. I couldn't find a size cording that I liked, the piping foot for the Bernina I have is $70 (omg! >:() and this way if I didn't like the piping, I wasn't out a ton of time. Sometimes you can luck out and find a perfect match!
  • I was creative with my fabric cutting. Sometimes I think Amy Butler's Bag patterns have a lot of waste, like fabric can be laid differently to save fabric. I can't remember exactly what I had but I know my lining/handles are two 1/2 yard cuts. I had one blue and brown dots and then one the reversal. I shopped in my stash and used what I had. No one would know and I love how it looks.
  • I suggest cutting out the pattern pieces and play around with your fabric, do you have a bit that you want to display? In my case I knew I had to have that deer on the front, so I unfolded, refolded, pinned, unpinned my pattern pieces around until I could cut the required amounts from the fabric I had. I don't have a giant fabric budget so I truly believe in shopping your stash, making do with what you have and triple checking before you cut! You might find you need a lot less fabric. I didn't follow the lay out guide and I'm ok with that. Try other options before cutting.
  • Make friends with your walking foot. Truly. This bag is not HARD but there are layers of fabric and interfacing that make it stiff which creates an AMAZING finished bag but can be tricky to sew. I used a combination of Clover Wonder Clips and binder clips. Don't bother with pins. Seriously. You'll bend them and feel frustrated, especially if you are using the yellow & blue Clover Glass Head pins.
  • Mark on your sewing machine with washi tape (for cuteness!) or regular tape your 1/2 inch mark. My mind is constantly stuck in 1/4 inch zone and I struggle using any other seam. I need the visual reminder and the tape to butt my fabric up against when I sew.
  • Use a heavy duty needle, I used leather because I didn't have any denim. The needle will go through the fabric much smoother.
  • Don't try to do this bag in one day. No seriously. My biggest tip is to break it up into parts. I spent one evening cutting, another evening cutting interfacing, one afternoon making the pieces, an afternoon assembling it and an hour hand stitching the lining on. I know, it seems intimidating and you are thinking "BUT I DON'T HAVE TIME", trust me on this, set your phones alarm for ONE HOUR and just sit down and break it up into chunks. There are a lot of small details in the pattern that deserve your uninterrupted attention. For example one mistake I made was sewing all four sides of the bottom, you only sew 3 in order to place in the Peltex. Dumb move. Why did I do it? Because I was trying to rush before Chop got home. It's so worth it to read the instructions multiple times and just sit and FOCUS.
  • I think some people call this bag HARD because of the steps required and the amount of cutting/time. It's true, some parts are tedious (3 layers of interfacing on the zipper area about did me in. snooze fest 2012!!) BUT it's worth it for the end result. I'd say an intermediate beginner could make this bag, no problem, as long as they broke it up into chunks and took their time!
  • Do you have a 1/4 inch foot with a guide? If so, I suggest using it for the zipper installation. I basted the zipper into place, then put the guide of my foot in the zipper slit, this made my top stitching nice and neat!
  • Shop for interfacing with the JoAnn's app! Use coupons! The cost of interfacing, zipper and piping can add up fast!
  • This is a deluxe bag. In all my photos you can see, it is FIRM. It stands up on it's own. When I brought it to my knitting class & Starbucks, no one could believe it was handmade. I believe 100% that this is because how it's interfaced. I did use Echino fabric for both the outer and lining which is a home decor linen. I do believe it's worth using the suggested Peltex #70.

(contrasting lining! normally the handle fabric is the lining...not here, being thrifty with what I had in the ol' stash!)

Things I found challenging:

  • The number one thing I found challenging was slip stitching the lining in. Not because it's hard but because I had a hard time pushing my needle through the fabric and the zipper. I ended up stitching my lining in right next to the zipper. It's not super glamourous but it's ok!
  • I struggled with one corner when I assembled the bag, I kept being too far away from the piping. In the end I hand sewed that 2 inch spot. You can't tell the difference!
  • Getting the pattern on the fabric to line up perfectly with the pockets. It's not amazing, but I got it to work!


Things I'd do differently:

  • My next bag is going to have feet!
  • No outer pockets again!
  • But lots of inner pockets!
  • Adding magnetic snaps to the outer pockets!

I hope this helps! It's seriously not a hard bag & I totally believe you can do it. It's well worth the end result, I've found it's the perfect knitting bag!

Weekender Bag Chat: Part Two: Patchwork Version


Hey! Welcome to Part Two of Weekender Chat! Part One can be found HERE.

Let me start this post by saying two things:

  • This is my current WIP and it's not finished yet, so I can only provide thoughts on the project thus far.
  • This is NOT my original idea. I was inspired by Elizabeth Hartman's patchwork weekender bag and then my two friends, Amber & Laura. Watching their bags progress on instagram was RAD.

Here is what I'm doing:

  • Scraps xten. I filled a laundry basket with all my neutrals, blues and pinks. Lots of fabrics I swapped for & presents from pals. Best!
  • Two lining fabrics: Tula Pink Nightshade left over from some sleep pants and then Denyse Schmidt Hope Valley.
  • I'm unsure on which fabric to choose for straps, I have two. A glitter tweed wool (uhhh $5 a yard at JoAnns on red tag clearance, it's hard to show the glitter but I promise, it's there!) and then a navy blue star print.
  • My "theme" is Frosty Woodland. Why a theme? IDK but I seem to like sewing projects better when I give them a theme and story!
  • I'm using the method Elizabeth explains, patchwork over a layer of thin batting with a piece of cotton duck but I'm not doing quilt as you go:

So in this photo I have a FINISHED POCKET laid over the MAIN BODY PANEL. I pulled the layers of the POCKET apart to show you how it looks, top layer is PATCHWORK, middle layer is COTTON DUCK and the bottom layer is the POCKET LINING. You can't see the batting because its cut 1/2 inch smaller than the patchwork and duck. The blue trees aren't attached, as that's my main body panel and it hasn't been piped yet.

Thoughts so far:

  • I can't seem to get a good grasp on Quilt As You Go! It's just not my thing I guess. What I've been doing is just patchwork, cutting it down to the shape of the canvas and quilting it all together. Don't forget to cut the batting a 1/2 inch smaller than the patchwork and canvas, it's essentially pretending to the Peltex piece in the original version.
  • I'm not sure I like how it feels! I might add interfacing to the lining. I'm not quilting it a whole bunch which might be why it isn't as stiff. But I also love the feeling of a super sturdy bag so this might just be me! I'll report back on this when I finish the bag!
  • My bag will not look even remotely as posh as the bags I've linked too. I'm very much not precise, instead using up strange odds and ends. It's not professional looking as theirs and as of right now, I'm ok with it. Although part of me wishes I was as nice and neat of a sew-er as those girls! (ok, a very big part! But I'm trying to accept who I am ;))
  • I love tiny patchwork and I added in a little star at 2.5 inches and some ribbon 1.5 inch hsts. It's hard not to fussy cut everything to death and I've noticed a real lack of blenders in my stash in blues!



I bought feet and metal magnetic snaps for this bag, I'm planning on using the snaps in the body pocket. As I used my other Weekender, I noticed the pocket would gap. Plus, I just like these! I got these at JoAnn's too!



Here are my strap choices so far! I wish my camera would pick up the glitter in the tweed! SO fun! One thing I'm going to do differently in this bag is make longer straps and most likely wider. I may add either cotton duck or Peltex to them so they are very sturdy, I tend to over pack on trips!



My biggest tip this far: mark where the pocket will sit on your main panel! How sad would it be to put your favorite scrap at the bottom where it would be covered up by a pocket?! I'd cry. I have that blue line as a reminder that nothing fancy should be pieced below there, unless I want it to be a secret hidden surprise. So far I've used larger scraps in that bottom half.

Ok! Those are my thoughts on both bags so far, once I finish the patchwork version I'll report back if anyone is curious!



September: an instagram wrap up


It's October 1st today. Amazing! October is my very favorite month and I just want to relish every single second of it.

Something I'm bad at is blogging all the things I create in a month. I'm not sure why, I guess I just finish a project and start another, by the time I'm ready to blog about it, I've forgotten about the previous project or something?! IDK! Also, I realized I don't even have a blog banner! Clearly I am NOT a professional blogger. And half of the time I can't even find my camera or cord or my computer is being grouchy (which more often than not this is the case!)

Can I share with you guys some highlights of September?!


  • I did a lot of sewing! I finished up two quilts and started two more!
  • I made another weekender! And I have cut out a third but this time patchwork ala Oh Fransson & One Shabby Chick! Do I travel enough to warrant three weekenders? Nope, but they make AMAZING knitting bags! Here is mine in the car!
  • I got my Harvest Quilt back from Lindsay, who quilted the most beautiful pumpkins on my quilt! I'm going to do a photo shoot of this gem soon for SURE.
  • Prune season finally ended and I get to have Porkchop back! I'll write about this more when I blog the Harvest Quilt!
  • I knit myself a pair of bunny slippers! I'm so obsessed with these cuties!!!
  • I finished knitting Marin. I haven't had a chance to add this to ravelry because I took actual photos of it that need to be edited. Man, this was a FUN knit. Like, I want another one BADLY. I ended up having to buy a second skein of tosh sock but only because I accidentally used a size 6 needle. I think if I didn't go up a size I wouldn't have had to buy a second skein. Either way, this is definitely a FAVORITE and very FUN knit. Even just typing this I'm thinking I might want one in this skein of Plucky Oatmeal I got ;)
  • It wasn't ALL finishes though. This month I cast on for 4 projects and frogged them ALL! So now on my needles I currently have a pair of leaf socks which I tried on last night and they are not fitting well BUT I'm 3/4 of an inch above the ankle and I'm not sure I could bear to frog them this far in. And! I'm test knitting some color work for a friend! So two projects. I'd love a hat and a pair of fingerless gloves this month!

Speaking of frogging, I took apart my sweater! I just wasn't enjoying knitting it. As a result I have 5 skeins of well matched Tosh Sock in Firewood for sale! $120 which includes flat rate shipping in the US! If your interested, shoot me an email: frenchtoastcake AT gmail DOT com. (I'm keeping the 6th skein which is the one I'd knit with for a shawl, maybe Brandywine again?, so the skeins I'm selling are hanked and brand new!)

  • I did a lot of reading this month, my favorites were The Diviners, Lux Series and The Raven Boys!
  • I spent a TON of time in the kitchen. I refilled my pantry with staples like tomato sauce, salsa and sausages. I've become slightly obsessed with coming up with the perfect breakfast sausage recipe. I did two types this weekend, patties and sausages in casings. Today I smell like maple syrup. I love when breakfast sausage is maple-y, slightly sweet and has a nice texture. I even made curry for the first time using Shutterbean's amazingly simple recipe! DELISH!
  • I also participated in a project called 30 Days of Lists which I finished and now have a crazy cute little book! I think I might scan it and share it with you? If you'd be interested that is! ;)
  • I saw two movies, ParaNorman & Hotel Transylvania both I LOVED. And we went and saw Jason Aldean & Luke Bryan last Thursday. OMG. Great concert but I might be biased because Jason is my very, very, very, very FAVORITE! Total babe ;)


I guess I had a lot more to say than I thought! My goal for October is definitely to share more and use my camera a ton. And I'll have an embroidery pattern available from Aurifil Threads that I'm excited to show you! And The Pumpkin's are releasing a new sewing pattern and KAWAII WINTER SAMPLER CLUB! Yup! AMAZING right?!


Single Girl Quilt Block

Full Disclosure: I'm in the middle of a passionate love affair.

With my sewing machine.

Now all the snarky comments can stop, yes, I *am* quilting again. Although I'm not really sure why it's an "again", I only paused for a few months to catch my breath & gather my thoughts!

The past few weeks I've been finding old quilts & finishing them, I finished a new lap quilt & sent it off to be quilted by Lindsay, I've made 2 new Farmers Wife blocks and then I decided I needed a new pillow.

But now a pillow has turned into "wouldn't this be a cute little lap quilt for when I'm sitting outside this fall?" I'm going with it. I'm going to make 4 Single Girl blocks, kind of like how Tracey made 4 Swoon blocks & just have a cute lap quilt. And I'll ask Lindsay if she'll quilt something rad on it for me. And maybe...just MAYBE I'll hand stitch a little bit with some Cosmo glitter floss in it. Because that would be shiny & pretty.

I have lots of stuff to share with you as a result of this productivity but sadly, my MacBook needs a new power cord & it's the 5th one I've bought so I've been dragging my feet because I'm not super excited about that. A new one will be ordered tonight & I'll stop blogging from the Wordpress app on my phone, which is awkward.

Here is a Single Girl block :)


Farmer's Wife Quilt Planning

The background fabric I ordered arrived this morning! Last week I laid my blocks out on the bed similar to the book & I'm not going to lie, I hated it. I felt like the blocks were squished & awkward & muddy looking. Then I laid them on point with a blank space in between them & it looked SO much better!

Trying to figure out what went in the blank space was tricky but I went with a Sweetwater print from their line, Reunion. I had a heck of a time finding a lot (I got 5 yds) but Tracey saved the day & voila! Background fabric. Karyn originally sent me a fq of it & I fell in love, it's graphic & fun but not too modern that it could overwhelm the traditional blocks.

I played around in EQ7 this morning, putting the blocks on point (I learned how! I never knew until today!) but then I realized when I fussy cut all my blocks...I did it thinking they weren't on point. Ugh. So I redid the quilt & came up with a layout I'm super in love with.

I need 11 more blocks, Angela & I had talked about trading a block & this afternoon I'm going to mark in the book the rest of the blocks I want to add to it.

I'd love to have it finished this fall, that would be really neat! Woo woo!






Cherry Christmas Giant Pillow!

Cherry Christmas! Woooo!!!!

Aneela very sweetly sent me some fabric this summer to make something with her new line, Cherry Christmas!

I made the block a few months ago but a certain giant online fabric retailer (who shall remain nameless) keeps sending me the wrong size form! I broke down & purchased one in Chico last weekend because I felt bad that I hadn't finished it yet! I'm officially placing a bet that by Christmas it'll arrive. I guess that means I can have TWO Cherry Christmas pillows!?

and oh what a pillow is it! GIANT! HUGE even! 30x30! OMG!

I'm not going to lie, it was hilarious to be outside when it was 105 degrees taking Christmas photos! My neighbors must think I'm slightly crazy but I don't care! This fabric was so fun to sew with and I love that it's not "traditional" Christmas, it's fresh & very cute without being saccharine. I mixed it with linen I had in my stash, I'm mediumly confident its Sand but don't hold me too it. ;)

My new favorite thing is to lay on it and knit. Like a complete lazy bones. Something about pillows makes me want to take a nap and then sew a zillion more!

Thanks Aneela for sending me some Cherry Christmas!!!! xo

How I spent my birthday morning & afternoon:

Since my birthday fell on a Wednesday and Chop had to work, I really wanted to relax & spend the morning/afternoon doing fun things.

I sewed a farm block called hovering birds (new name: hey chickadee!) out of some favorite fabrics.

I listened to The King is Dead & worked on my autumn socks. Isn't this yarn dreamy? Plucky Feet in Sticky Toffee!

I wrote in my Smash Book about who I am at 30. This was kind of tricky! I realized this winter that my goals and dreams weren't really lining up with how I was living my life and the past 6 months I've been working my butt off trying to change that. So far so good! I made notes of my favorite books, foods, fabric & yarn, states and then general things like music I'm obsessed with and personality traits. Plus about a zillion inside jokes that I share with Chop.

My favorite part was spending the morning in the kitchen. I absolutely LOVE cream pies but I also LOVE salty & sweet together. I used King Arthur Flours chocolate cream pie filling recipe which was easy peasy. The only substitution I made was heavy cream and vanilla coconut milk instead of heavy cream and dairy milk.

Instead of a normal pie crust, I crushed some Newman O's and some pretzels together with a 1/4 cup of melted butter (no calories on birthdays ;)) and pressed it into a shell, then par baked it and then tossed it in the freezer until it was ready to fill. It was PERFECT. The whipped cream was soft and sweet, the filling with rich chocolate and smooth and then the pie crust was salty, sweet and crunchy! I could only eat a 1/4 of a piece, it's VERY rich.

I even wore a cat tshirt and had bed head all day! Perfect!

Thanks so much for all your birthday wishes! <3<3<3