29 April 2011

Quilts for Smithville and a Giveaway

**EDIT: I've decided to extend the giveaway until May 31st to give people more time to get quilts and other donations together. Also, with the flooding in Tennessee & expected all along the lower Mississippi River please help our friends in the South. Anything big or small will be greatly appreciated. Thank you!**

Yesterday I mentioned that my friend Rachel is collecting donations for the victims of a tornado that ran through Smithville, Mississippi on Wednesday. Smithville is a small town of 1000 in Eastern Mississippi; with 14 lives lost from the tornado that is a huge impact on this tiny community. The high school was also destroyed and you can see the path the tornado took straight through the middle of town.

As you know tornadoes have been ravaging much of the south lately. North Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi. Seeing pictures of the devastation has been difficult. Many people have lost their homes and their livelihood and over 300 have lost their lives.

To help, I've decided to send a couple of boxes of clothes and other goodies that the people of Smithville need much more than I do. After chatting with some friends on Twitter I thought it would be nice to ask all of you if you'd be able to help too. A handmade quilt made with love for our fellow human beings would be fabulous, but if you don't quilt then anything you can donate will be greatly appreciated.

The lovely Shawna from 1 Choice 4 Quilting has been nice enough to donate a jelly roll of your choice to one lucky winner who helps out with our Quilts for Smithville request. I will also be giving away a custom piece of jewelry for a second winner. More prizes will be announced soon.

If you would like to send a donation and be entered into our giveaway just leave a comment and I will email you the address of where to ship your donation. If you are a no-reply blogger please leave your email address with your comment. Otherwise I won't be able to send you the shipping address. You can also be entered if you have donated to one of the other communities that has been affected by these storms, just tell me where you sent your donation. Monetary donations to a tornado relief fund will also count for an entry.

This giveaway will last until May 31th, when our random winners will be drawn. But donations will always be accepted.

For a second entry tweet or blog about this post, then come back and let me know you did so. Please spread the word to help our friends in the south.

Thank you so much for your help! :)

28 April 2011

Sewing Room is Done! And a Call For Donations

Well, the embarrassment of showing off my sewing room yesterday and the impending visit of my father-in-law this weekend really helped me to get things set up and ready for some real sewing. Of course, I've been sewing since we moved in, but I hate working in a cluttered work area. And boy was it cluttered!

I'd been saving old and thrifted clothes to cut up and make into other things, but since we have such limited storage space here I decided instead to donate most of it to the victims of the terrible storms that have been ravaging the south lately.

My friend and Sewing Summit roomie, Rachel, is collecting donations for people whose homes were destroyed by tornadoes. If you have anything that you'd like to donate (quilts, clothes, unused toiletries, anything) let me know or contact Rachel directly on Twitter.

Back to my sewing room... You can click here to see how it looked yesterday. And here's how it looks today.

My sewing/cutting/ironing station stayed virtually the same, just neater. And now you can see my fabric bin too.

I decided that the big TV took up too much room so I put it in Jake's leather room and replaced it with a cozy chair for my hand sewing corner.

Then I took the little TV that Jake had and put it in the corner by the closet. Now I can only watch VHS, but if I really need to watch a DVD while sewing I can set up the computer and watch on that. :)

I even got the closet organized.

Now I'm ready to do some serious sewing!

27 April 2011

WIP Wednesday

It's Wednesday again! I finished a couple projects this week that I'm looking forward to sharing, but they're a secret until my swap partner receives them. Here's a little sneak peak picture in the meantime.

My WIP for the week is my sewing room. I'm a little embarrassed sharing it with you, but I figure if I share my mess maybe it will help motivate me finish getting the room set up. After all, we have been here for two month already.

My sewing station. The fabrics in the blue bin behind the chair are (mostly) organized and folded neatly. But I keep finding more as I unpack boxes.

This will, hopefully, eventually be my cozy hand sewing corner. I want lots of fluffy pillows and blankets. I wish there was room for a chair, but the closet door is in an awkward spot that makes that corner mostly unusable.

My sad little fish tank that's only still half set up.

But there are some parts of the room that I'm happy with.

My fat quarter shelf with the beginnings of a hoop wall.

These awesome mini quilts are from Perkl8r on SwapBot.

And these lovelies are from PixieFirefly on Craftster.

Thanks again ladies!

Visit Freshly Pieced to see everyone else's WIPs for the week. Thanks Lee for hosting this great linky party! :)

26 April 2011

Pincushion Tutorial for Fabric Tuesday

I am new to the virtual swapping world. I have only participated in a few so far, but I'm having a lot of fun creating for others and seeing what they come up with for me. What I've discovered is that my fellow swappers are very generous people. Not only do they send gorgeous items like this and this. But often times I'll find extra goodies in the package as well.

I've started sending handmade needlebooks along with the swap, but the other night I got a brilliant idea to make fun little candy shaped pincushions made from charm squares. I designed it all in my head while we were driving home from our roller skating adventure and the next morning I tried it out. Success!

So's here's a quick and easy tutorial for my Wrapped Candy Pincushion.

Choose your charm square. If you cut your own (5" x 5") be sure to pink two opposing sides for the candy wrapper look.

Turn square over so wrong side is up. Fold and press two sides approximately 1/4". I cut the pinking off those two sides because it's less messy and easier for me to work with, but it is not necessary.

Measure and mark a line across the width 1" from each pinked (non-folded) edge.

Cut a piece of embroidery floss so it is slightly longer than the width. Split the floss into two sets of 3 strands and sew and running stitch along both marked lines.

Make sure that one end of your running stitch comes out the bottom and the other end comes out the top so that the strings match up when you pull them tight to tie closed. Also, be sure that the top and bottom are stitched the same.

Pull one end tight and tie closed with a square knot. Clip excess thread. Cut another piece of embroidery floss and split this into two sets of 3 strands as well. Put one set aside for your next Wrapped Candy Pincushion.
Thread the other set through your needle and tie a knot in the end of this piece. From the inside of the "wrapper" bring your needle up where you tied your knot. Continue to overlap your pressed edges and stitch a running stitch until you have reached the other (width-wise) thread.

Stuff the middle with your favorite fiberfill.

Pull the other end of the "wrapper" tight and tie. Be sure to tie the other end of the lengthwise running stitch in when you tie off the "wrapper."

Make several and throw them in a small bowl for a colorful display.

*This pincushion is an original idea and creation of Sharon Tuckey. Please use for personal use only. Do not use any photos from my blog without permission.*

Go over Fabric Tuesday @ Quilt Story to see what other people have been working on this week.

25 April 2011

Roller Skating Adventure

As I mentioned yesterday, Jake & I went roller skating over the weekend. Jake was a tween the last time he went skating and I can't remember the last time I had a pair of skates on. I do know that I was still a gymnast at the time, so skating was fun, not exercise!

Roller City, Cheyenne

Entrance hallway.

Roller rinks have NOT changed a bit! It's pretty amazing (and kinda gross) to think of how many people have had these boots on their feet over the years.

Funky party ceiling.

The game room. Check out the amazing paint job! You can't tell, but on the left behind the air hockey is a Baywatch pinball machine. Too funny!

This is what Jake looked like most of the evening. The tongue sticking out helps keep his balance better. :)

After a while we got the hang of it.

This is Jake's boss. I could have played with the exposure a bit, but this picture cracks me up because all you can really see are his wheels and his day-glo wild rag.

After the roller skating adventure Jake & I drove around Cheyenne a bit. We drove through downtown and stopped by the old train depot. The buildings in that part of town are just AMAZING!

Then we went to mall side of town and ate dinner at the Olive Garden before making the 2 hour trek back home. It was definitely a fabulous date night with my cowboy!

24 April 2011

Sunday Brunch

Earlier this week I realized that I haven't posted a Sunday Brunch in several weeks. I'm starting to think I should have named these posts Sunday Dinner since I tend to cook more dinners than breakfasts, but that's neither here nor there. :)

Lately, I've been cooking with a lot of Mediterranean-style ingredients. More specifically olives and whatever else I have in the cupboard at the time.

Today I've got a Creamy Pesto Chicken Pasta to share with you. Enjoy!

Gather your ingredients.

As I've mentioned before, I don't measure or time my cooking (unless I'm baking or following someone else's recipe). For the sauce I use about a glass of milk and a couple spoonfuls of pesto. It varies depending on how pesto-y or creamy I want the sauce. You could also use cream or buttermilk for added creamy-ness.

Reduce milk & pesto to desired consistency. The sauce will continue to reduce a little after you have turned off the heat. I prefer a thicker sauce so I simmer it for about 30 minutes or so.

Chop onions and garlic.

Saute your main ingredients. I use a first press evoo for a more flavorful experience. (I refuse to use Canola oil anymore, someday I'll tell you my issues with that unnatural oil.)

Cook your chicken first, until it's mostly cooked through. Add onion and garlic and continue to saute until chicken is done. Add mushrooms and olives and whatever other ingredients you choose to use. A couple ideas would be artichoke hearts and roasted red peppers.

Add sauce to chicken mixture.

Stir sauce in and let simmer for a couple minutes longer.

Serve over noodles. Yum! Yum!

In other news, Jake & I drove down to Cheyenne and went roller skating yesterday. What an adventure that was! More on that tomorrow. :)

22 April 2011

Sis Boom Jaime Dress Sew Along

A few weeks ago the lovely Sara of Sew Sweetness decided to host a sew along with Sis Boom's Jaime Dress. I haven't made any clothes for myself in a few months and I decided I needed a new dress for Easter and my sister's graduation next month so I signed up to play along.

I was a little worried since I waited until this week to start it and with Easter being on Sunday I wasn't sure if I'd get it finished or not. Well, I sat down late Wednesday afternoon to start cutting all the pieces and by midnight that same night the dress was complete except for the hem! I had cut the skirt pieces a little long "just in case," but when I tried it on with the hem pinned I realized that it needed to be a bit shorter.

Because of the angle of the photos the dress looks longer than it actually is. With the right hem it hits right at the knee and is perfect where it is. (I'll have Jake take better pictures this weekend.)

I didn't change a thing with from the pattern. I went with the size I measured for, since my bust was on the small end of the scale for that size. I thought about adding a back to the waistband, but since I have kind of a big booty I didn't want to add any extra bulk to the back. I know many other participants didn't like the gathers on the skirt, but I like them because they help hide my tummy a bit.

This was my first zipper (besides the terrible one I struggled through on Jake's insulated bibs, don't ask). I'm not usually a fan of glue and sewing, but I think it did help keep the zipper on straighter as I sewed.

I loved the construction of this dress and the ease of the directions. All the pictures really helped too. I will definitely be making this dress again. You can never have too many summer dresses. :)

And since you can kind of see our bed in the background I thought I'd share the most fabulous quilt ever. Made by Jake's Aunt Leigh, who is the one who taught me how to quilt, as a wedding gift. Thanks a million, Leigh!

13 April 2011

WIP Wednesday

I've just got a couple of sneak peaks for WIP Wednesday today.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

A couple shots of a hoop swap

My partner likes Alice in Wonderland and Harry Potter so I hope she likes the fantasy/magical feel of this fabric and the embroidery enhancements I'm adding. Lots of french knots and beads so far. :)

A fun project with some beautiful fabric

I can't share any more than this because it's not yet my project to share. It's for someone else and if it's a success you'll be hearing more about it down the line.

That's what I have to share today, now head on over to Freshly Pieced and see what everyone else has been working on this week.

11 April 2011

{Sew} Modern Monday

I can't believe it's be TWO WEEKS since I last posted! Where does the time go? Really? I haven't a clue.

I've followed {Sew} Modern Monday over at Canoe Ridge Creations for several weeks now and I thought it would be fun to join in this week.

{Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations

This week I finished two bee blocks...

House block for Rebecca- Fat Stash Bee

I had never made a house block before, but I skimmed over several house block tutorials and watched the group photo stream to see what my fellow hivers were posting. They came up with some amazing blocks so I knew I had some work to do. I started by finding a house that had nice simple shapes. Obviously, my house looks nothing like the one I chose, but it inspired some of my design. I love how you can see the reflections of the neighborhood trees in the windows. I thought the woman's silhouette would make the house a home.

While searching through my stash trying to find the right fabrics I decided that instead of a daytime block she needed a sunrise/sunset scene. I also found the leaf fabric and thought it would look fun to have the vines crawling up the outside of the house. And of course, a house isn't a home without flower beds a green lawn and a stone walkway to the front door. I originally didn't have the walkway, but something was missing so I some unstitching, cutting, and restitching and Voila! Much better. :)

Mod Mosaic block for Pam - MSQB

My first attempt at this block wasn't a complete failure, but I cut the pieces WAY too small and it took me as long to 6"x6" block as it did to make the full-size (12 1/2" square) above. Many of my fellow MSQBee'rs suggested planning the block out before sewing it up, but I decided to improv it. I wish the colors and the patterns were mixed a little differently, but I think it's a pretty good first (second?) try.

Back of mug rug for Jessica - Mug Rug Swap Adventure

This mug rug is headed to Australia! The rest of it is a surprise until Jessica receives it. One of her likes listed was fabrics from Sweetwater. Since I had just won 4 yards of the gorgeous Sunkissed I decided to use some for this swap. That's all I sharing on this for now. :)

And on a family note...
Here's my happy puppies after our walk to the mailbox today.

Look! There's a little bit of green grass!