Made with Moxie: February 2012

February 28, 2012

Hand quilting with an infant

I'm happy to say that I am almost done hand quilting my Modern Mini quilt entry. It is not unpleasant to do and I rather like the look of it. The only challange is to keep at it while my kiddos are awake. (And to not be exhausted after they've gone to bed.) Jimmy is teething what seems to be multiple teeth. He also is a professional at ejecting any medicine I give him to help. It makes him a bear of a quilting companion.

Hopefully, this time tomorrow I am making my binding. Hopefully, I have enough of the fabric I want to use.

Jimmy seems to think my quilt looks delicious. Silly boy.

Back to stitching! What are you working on today?

Don't forget about this week's giveaway!

February 26, 2012


This giveaway is closed. :)

I'm doing a give away this week! Woo hoo! Who doesn't love free things?

The bag is 4" tall and 6 1/2" wide. It is the perfect size for carrying your phone, cash and chapstick to run out the door. Tampons fit in it perfectly too, so it's a great bag for that. The one I made myself is going to be my first aid kit for my sewing room. Plenty of baidaids, Neosporin, medical tape. I'm so accident prone I shouldn't be allowed to use sharp or hot things. Ever. The fabric is made by Amy at During Quiet Time. She screen prints her designs on a linen/cotton fabric. If you like her fabric you can buy some from her shop here.

If you're new to my blog, you can learn more about me here, or check out my latest Ask Me Anything post.

In order to enter to win, all you need to do is post a comment here. How hard is that? You don't have to say much, but please make sure you leave your email address in your comment. Otherwise I can't tell you that you've won. And that would be sad because then I'd have to pick someone else. :( The drawing will end Sunday March 4th at midnight. For another chance to win, you can post this giveaway on your blog, Facebook or Twitter account then make sure you post an additional comment here telling me you did so.

Thanks for stopping by!

AMA: Ask Me Anything

Last night I ask my followers on Facebook if they could ask me anything, what would they ask?

What inspires you?
Colors and patterns are my main inspirations. My instincts lead me to bright colors and bold patterns. I love Indian and Mediterranean influences. And Mexican. Yeah, I love Mexico. Especially Dia de los Muertos things; skeletons, zinnias, bright colors. Often the inspiration to make comes from either a need (i.e. I need an apron because I keep spilling flour all over my jeans), or seeing something I think I can make better/cheaper. When I am out shopping I see things all the time that I love, but always think that I can make it better, prettier, more my style, or just plain cheaper. I hate to pay $50 for something I can make for $15.

What did you play with when you were a little girl? What games did you play? What were your favorite childhood books?
When I was a little girl I loved to color, play dress up/house, and Barbies. My parents tell the story of one of my first Christmases when the first stocking gift I opened was a box of Crayons and I did not want to open another thing. I loved coloring books and wanted my mom to color with me. She was the master at staying in the lines and shading. I find a need in my drawings and paintings to put a black outline around everything.

My favorite book was Hailstones and Halibut Bones. It was poems about each color that described the personalities of each one. I still own it. And highly recommend it. However, if you do buy it, buy the version illustrated by Leonard Weisgard.

What time of day/night are you most productive? Creative?
I read a quote somewhere that said the maker's mind never rests. It's rare that the creative gears in my head aren't turning. My To Do list in infinite. I find ideas shopping, looking in catalogs and the internet is both the angel and devil on my shoulder. The blogs I read are constant inspiration and motivation and don't even get my started on Pinterest. I am most creative in the morning, first thing, with a cup of coffee. And I am currently most productive during naptime. :p

What is the first thing you ever knitted/crafted that you sold?
The first things I ever sold were covered diaper clutches, and headbands. The very first thing that was 100% made on my own was my Yoda hat. When I found out my second child was a boy I wanted to crochet him a hat but didn't want anything too dorky. My husband and I are big nerds so I knew he would approve a Star Wars design. I developed the pattern myself, first for infant size, then eventually for toddlers, kids and adults. It is one of the things I am most proud of.

What's your favorite design tip?
Nothing is perfect. If you strive for perfection you will never be done. It is better to do your best and finish something so that you can move on and improve upon it. Just jump in and start making. Mess it up. Learn from it. Make it better. It's only yarn/fabric/paper/wood.

February 22, 2012

I've finished the top of my quilt for the Modern Mini Quilt competition.

Can you tell it is gorgeous out today? Yep, 60 degrees. While I was outside I also took a better picture of the pillow I made a few weeks ago.

All of the books are unpacked and on their shelves. The fabric I used to back them I found in the red tag section at JoAnn's. It was made for Crate and Barrel.

When the kiddos are awake and I can't sew I'm slowly setting up the studio.
Is that a 10" Dobsonian telescope or are you just happy to see me?

I'm off to find a thimble. I've decided the best way to quilt my Modern Mini is by hand and I can't find a thimble if my life depended on it. It may just have to wait for tomorrow as tonight is poker night! I hope I win. Then I have more money saved for this!

February 20, 2012

Modern Mini blocks are done!

Wow. I'm so glad my Modern Mini quilt contest blocks are done. They were more of a challange than I anticipated. Not as challanging as the diamond blocks I made for my brother and SIL's wedding quilt, but harder than I thought.

Now I just need to build the rest of the quilt front, figure out the backing, make the binding, actually quilt it. Just. Lol No worries. 14 more days left. Ha!

Happy we don't get mail today holiday!

February 16, 2012

Tutorial: coffee can organizer

I have this thing for tins. I don't know where it came from and I've just realized it as a thing within the past year or so. What does that say about me that I like small metal containers? Apparently it is genetic. I mentioned it to my mother once and she said how she loves little tins too. Odd.

In addition to an inkling for tins, I hate to throw things away that could one day prove useful. I have never seen an episode of Horders because we don't have a tv, but I don't think I'm THAT bad. Or at least I hope so. Good thing upcycling/recycling is a trend.

Here is a nifty organizer you can make from recycled coffee cans. I've been saving them up to make one and today seemed like a good rainy day for it. Plus I needed a break from sewing. (But did you see this? Love it!)

What you will need:
5 coffee cans (metal or cardboard)
scrapbooking paper
craft glue
hot glue
foam brush
Use a can opener to remove any lip on the opening of your cans. (Unless you want it there for some reason. It would just annoy me.)
Measure the height of each can in between the small rim at top and bottom. Measure the circumference of the can. Cut a rectangle from each of your scrapbooking papers that is your can height x your can circumference. You will most likely find that your can circumference is longer than your paper since scrapbooking paper is a standard 12" square. Fret not; I have a plan.
Apply craft glue to 1/3 of your coffee can. Spread the glue as thin as possible with your foam brush to avoid bubbles, Make sure the glue covers the surface top to bottom.
Place your paper carefully on the can and smooth it over the section of glue. Continue to apply craft glue and paper around the can. Your paper edges will not meet. It will be ok. I promise. Repeat for your 4 other coffee cans.
I'm a sucker for putting things in color order.
Before you hot glue anything, hold two cans up together side by side. See how the little rim on the top and bottom prevent the sides from touching? When you hot glue your cans together you are going to off set them ever so slightly so they will lay flat.
Use a big ole fat line of hot glue to glue two cans together. Place the hot glue down the strips where the paper doesn't meet. See? I told you it would be ok. Hot glue the remaining three together. You should now have 2 sets of cans that look like this:
Nest the set of two cans on the set of three. Use a pencil and mark where the cans meet so you can apply your hot glue quickly and accurately. Hold the sets together until the glue cools. And you're done!
I'm going to use this set in my studio to hold thread and sewing tools. You can also drive nails through the backs of the cans to mount them on a board or wall. I'd love to see pictures if you make a set. You can post them in my Flickr pool here.

February 14, 2012

Did you know...

My favorite sound is my kids laughing at each other.

I get so psyched for spring and a garden every year that I usually start my seeds way too early.

My daughter has an awesome imagination. I love to watch her when she is playing by herself.

I'm looking forward to cooking an awesome steak dinner with my husband after the kids go to bed.

My first job out of college was managing a flower shop. You'll get better quality roses not on Valentine's Day.

Getting married on Valentine's Day is dumb because you'll never get a reservation on your anniversary.

I got married on New Year's Eve. Ha! (At least there are fireworks!)

I saw the cheddar jalapeno bagels at Wegman's last weekend and want one so badly. Too bad our local Wegman's doesn't open until June 12th.

My toddler loves coffee. She tells me she wants a cup all the time now. We've switched to decaf.

I have a massive headache today so Jimmy sleeping and Jane playing puzzles right now is lovely.

I don't own a scale so as I work at losing weight I have to wait for my clothes to fit differently. It makes for a less neurotic weight loss; not fretting over every little pound.

My daughter says "How are you?" like Ursula the Sea Witch. I love it.

My coffee cup is empty. Time for a refill.

Happy Valentine's Day!

February 13, 2012

Mobile blogging

I'm doing this as a test post from my Droid. Nine times out of ten I use the internet on my phone these days because it is easier to carry around with an infant. So we'll see how this formats.

My 2 year old daughter has a shoe obesssion. I don't know where it started. Can a shoe problem be genetic? What gene is that on? She loves ruby glittery slippers the most and wears them everywhere if allowed. Now that a lot of my shoes are unpacked she loves to play with them in my closet. Like a good daughter, she likes to make sure I have super cute shoes to wear everyday too. These are the ones she selected for me yesterday.

My husband hopes she ends up wearing the same size shoe as me so that we'll buy less. I'm thinking I might lose all my cute shoes if that happens.

This weekend was great. We did a whole lot of nothing. No plans, no parties, no play dates. We lived in jammies until lunch. We took family naps. ;) We cooked delicous foods together. It makes Monday morning even worse. Not that I have anything to complain about this morning. I just relish those kind of weekends. The ones where you suck the marrow of life.

I am blessed.

February 9, 2012

Do what you do best

I spent yesterday afternoon trying to customize the ole blog here. As you can see that did not happen. My husband taught me some html but it is like trying riding a bike with just one leg. Ok, I'm being dramatic. I really just don't have the time or patience to learn it. I even found a good template generator, but I am not sure how many pixels wide to make the outline around the footer and is it black, white, transparent, pink, green....and what the heck is the footer? I get bogged down in the options. Instead Hubby agreed to do the grunt work for me. And I decided that I will make my header. By hand. With fabric and a needle and thread. Why dabble in a media I don't know when I can do what I am best at?

Being a stay at home parent isn't easy. It does, however, allow me a front row seat to their development. For that I am grateful. These two are so in love with each other. They're each so awesome on their own, but put them together and KAPOW, awesome sauce!
If I had kids, I always wanted more than one. Siblings are the best playmates, but I didn't know my kids would have such a love affair.
Don't you just want to eat these toes?
Hope ya'll have a great weekend! I'm looking forward to doing a whole lot of nothing at home. :)

February 8, 2012

What have I been doing?

I've been staring at this blank page for the longest time thinking of how to start, or a catchy title or some sort of unifying theme. But I have no unifying theme. I'm all over the place. It's how I work. So I'm just diving in.

I finished my two Heart Superhero embroidery patterns that I was testing for Rachael over at Imagine Gnats. She's super creative and I read her blog often. (Well, I subscribe to it. I love Google Reader on my Droid so I can read my crafty blogs while feeding Jimmy in the middle of the night.) In any case. Theses two are super cute! You can purchase the pattern from her Etsy shop. I'm thinking of making these two into something, but I can't decide. Tote bags or pillows? What do you think? I am also totally psyched that they were featured over at Feeling Stitchy!

My MIL was here visiting last week. She's quite crafty too so of course we went fabric shopping. In addition to some Kona solids for the Modern Mini quilt I'm making for the contest over at Ellison Lane Quilts, I picked up a handful of rainbow fat eighths. This in the cushion I made from them. Please excuse the photo quality. I took it late at night when I finished it because it is the only time lately to do any meaningful sewing with two sick kiddos. I don't know where it will live yet or if I'll sell it. I'm just a sucker for rainbow colors though.

I think I may make another coordinating something with the remainder of the fat eighths. It is my unofficial resolution to use up a good amount of fabric this year that I already own.

My FIL has been sporting the tie I made for him this holiday from Alexander Henry's Contigo fabric and has placed an order with me for another one. So that is going onto my To Do list. I'm thinking of making a few Father/Son tie sets for Father's Day. You know, when I find a few spare free hours. After I finish the other 49 things on my to do list. Here are some pictures of FIL's tie. I never posted them when I finished it because it was a gift.

In other news, I did manage to put the penultimate coat of paint on the bookshelves. It's my goal to finish that up so this weekend they can finally be assembled in the sunroom. Which also means all of our hundreds of books can be unpacked and their boxes removed from my sewing studio. Which means I can finally set my studio up in a more functional manner. Which makes me very happy. I hope this weekend has nice weather in store. That way I can bring the kiddos our side to play while I get some sanding done on Jane's big girl bed and prep another load of nightlights. I shouldn't complain about good business, but I really expected January and February's business to slow down so I could get more projects done. It is what it is. Don't forget that this month I'm donating half of all sales to Mended Little Hearts as well as all the sales from my two heart design nightlights. This one and this one.

Modern Mini Challenge