Saturday, January 31, 2009

Cute Stuff and Disappearing Stuff

Which do you want first, cute stuff or disappearing stuff? Well, I think I'll give you the cute stuff first!

Wednesday night was my first of six classes for Kaye England's Progressive Patchwork quilt. Remember the quilt I showed you? The one I spent all my earnings from my first teaching gig on? Yeah, that's the one! So the way this works is that we make a 12-1/2" block in class each month and then we go home and make a 6-1/2" block using the same pattern--just smaller. Here's me in class:

You're right--you can't see me because I'm taking the photo! But there's my block and the always necessary and greatly appreciated iced latte. You know what's really cute though? The suitcase the fabric comes in!

Even Hubby thought it was pretty neat! Here's a look at the inside, filled with fat quarters of all the fabrics in the Back Home Again line:

Tonight I did my "homework" and made the 6-1/2" block. Here they are, side by side. The 6-1/2" blocks will have stuff added onto them to bring them up to 12-1/2" blocks, but they (the teaching staff) suggested we should wait until we've made all our blocks to decide what fabrics we want to add.

Then there's THIS cute thing:

I ordered this panel from Olde America Antiques and am anxiously awaiting its arrival! I ordered the 12" x 18" size. They have tons of old postcards and artwork reproduced onto cotton--this one is from the quilting and sewing category. I think I'll add a border of blue basket blocks and maybe some applique--I believe it will make a great summer wallhanging!

And, in the categories of both cute and disappearing stuff: My winter and Valentine decorations! Over the past week or so, it seems that all of my lights are burning out. Hubby killed my snowman when he knocked it down off the table. Poor guy is all dark and gloomy now--the snowman, not Hubby. The five ceramic houses in my little village? Only two remain lit--three have burned out. The lights on my Valentine Tree? Half the strand died about a week and a half ago and the rest died this week. Tonight I spent a bit of time taking everything off the tree, restringing lights, and putting everything back on. Why couldn't it have waited a few more weeks to die?! I took a photo in all it's newly-lit glory:

Also this week, a couple photos in my sidebar disappeared, including my nude self-portrait, but I re-uploaded them and they're back. I've noticed, though, that many of you out in Blogland have had your photos "stolen"--quite often from your profiles. Take a look and see if you're still there. If not, you might want to take a little time this weekend to find yourself.

Something else has disappeared that saddens me. Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion magazine. Did you know it's not being published anymore? I'm not sure why, but someone suggested the economy has led to decreased advertising revenue for some magazines. I don't know if that's what's happened with Home Companion, but whatever the reason, it will be missed!

One more thing. You know how I said that with that Kaye England quilt we're supposed to wait until we've done the rest of the blocks before we add onto the 6-1/2" blocks to make them 12-1/2" blocks? Well, I'm a rebel--I added mine anyway! If I decide I want something different later, I'll just take the plaid corners off and add something else. Not a huge deal.

I don't know if it was getting to bed early last night or the prospect of the weekend arriving that did the trick, but I'm feeling a bit better today and there's a renewed spring in my step. Which is a very good thing, because if the stomach bug hits again, I may need that spring to get me to the bathroom in time!

Happy weekend, and happy quilting!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Blogging Sick Day

I'm taking one. Understand, though, that I'm not SICK sick. It's just that I've had this low grade stomach bug thing since last Saturday--Saturday was the WORST, but since then, I've been more or less okay, kinda. But here it is, nearing the end of the work week, and today was a nine hour day with no break of more than a few minutes, really, and I'm just tired and still a little--queasy isn't the word, but maybe "unsettled" describes it.

AND last night, Spike--our goofy cat--decided to run across me and get into stuff on my desk in the middle of the night. Of course it woke me up, and I thought for a minute that maybe she was doing some Lassie thing--alerting me to someone breaking in, the house burning down--something! So I listened for a few minutes and I sniffed for smoke, but there was nothing. Just a playful cat, delighted that a human being had woken up in the middle of the night. The performance was repeated around 6 a.m., and when I tried to pull the covers over my head, she managed to get under them and give my nose a good licking before I pushed her away. So, yeah, not a real restful night.

So tonight I'm going to bed with my book, a chai latte and maybe some Tylenol PM. I'm also considering cat repellant. I'll be back tomorrow night to talk about something more interesting than my health and my cat. Good Lord, I think I might be turning into one of those cat ladies! ARGH!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Just a Tad Chilly

Here in Northern California, winters don't usually get too cold--at least not by the standards set by the rest of the country. Of course, here, when temperatures finally dip below 70 degrees in the fall, we hurry to put on our sweatshirts and start making hot chocolate. It's all relative, I suppose, since our summertime highs routinely hit something like 110 degrees. And it HAS been cold here lately--cold for us anyway, which means our high temperatures are somewhere in the 50s and our lows dip into the 30s at night.

Yes, I can hear you in the midwest, the east coast, Canada, and other parts of the world laughing. If your high temperatures hit the 50s, you'd probably put on your shorts and tank tops and go outside and play! YOUR kind of cold--the kind of cold that's hit much of the rest of the country in the last week or so--is nearly unimaginable here.

So, in order to appreciate the cold weather some of you are experiencing, I had to venture out into the chilly climes of Blogland, and one of my first stops was a visit with Jace in Missouri. Apparently, Jace is cold. So cold, in fact, that he's "Ded. D. E. D. Ded." Of course, Jace can make even freezing cold temperatures funny. Go on over and pay him a visit--I hear tell there may even be a raffle involved once the thaw sets in! You'll find him HERE. You might want to put your coat on first though!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Because I'm Just Too Lazy--

--to have come home from work and done anything worth blogging about. Yes, even I have those days!

--to have thought up any good stories to tell you tonight.

--to have plucked a few stray chin hairs, which would--of course--have launched a nice Day of Beauty post. And, perhaps it goes without saying, ditto for the whole leg shaving business. Didn't happen tonight.

--to have brought my camera to work with me today to take photos of goofy, dumb, or marginally interesting things to share.

So, because I don't want you to have made the long journey over here to visit me a complete and total waste of your precious Blogland time, I'll share with you a couple cartoons my friend Sharon (no blog) sent to me. Sharon fell down the stairs to her basement a week or two ago--her basement where she not only has all her quilting stuff but her computer too. Battered, broken, and bruised, as soon as Sharon WAS able to find a way to get back down to her basement, one of the first things she did was to send these cartoons on to me--what a true friend!

This one reminds me of my other friend Sharon--Ms. Red Geranium. I've mentioned before, but in case you've forgotten, she and I share this cow "thing," and whenever I see cows, I think of her.

I think that came out wrong. You know what I mean, right? Now don't go running over there and tell her I was calling her a cow, okay?! LOL!

I liked this one too. Don't you think the funniest things always contain a certain element of truth?!

And just in case there are any men reading this--or if you want to share a chuckle with your male counterpart, here's one for the other side. Yep, this is an equal opportunity blog!

Okay, now that you've hopefully had at least a little chuckle, go forth and greet the day. And while you do that, I think I'll just sit here and do nothing, okay?!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I Hope You're Not Tired of Hearts . . .

because I wanted to show you that you don't NEED a lacy, white, crocheted sweater to make a cute heart pillow.

You just need a thrift store and a little imagination! I found this sweater at Goodwill's recent 50% off day. Construction was the same as I demonstrated before (click on "heart pillow" above to go to the post where I showed the steps). I embellished it with a bit of leftover lace and an old brooch from my jewelry box.

They're multiplying! Speaking of which,

Ah, romance! Ain't love grand?! Valentine's Day will be here before you know it!

Monday, January 26, 2009

It's All About the Hearts!

I thought I'd show you how the quilt for the giveaway--won by Paula of A Latte Quilts--turned out now that it's quilted.

I kind of hate to send it off, but I know--I promised! I have one I pieced to keep as a tabletopper that's made using five hearts, but I haven't quilted that one yet. Since I knew I didn't have time to get that one all quilted up today, I went with a bit of almost-instant gratification.

This one, with the single heart, will come to work with me to decorate my cubicle. I made it using the quilt-as-you-go method I demonstrated with the mini Santa project, adding wool hearts in the corners. (See the Santa Wallhanging tutorial in my sidebar.) I started with the center block already made, but from that point until I put the final stitch in the binding, it took less than three hours to make, so you can see what I mean by almost-instant gratification.

Linda of Lavender Ridge (and welcome to a new blogger here in Blogland, by the way!) asked whether I'd be selling the pattern for the mini Santa. Unfortunately, the center block isn't my design--it's a block from a quilt called Christmas Sampler from Country Faces--I've added the link in my sidebar under Pattern Sources. I AM planning to design something along similar lines as the mini Santa for Easter, though, so stay tuned!

* * * * *

For those of you who have ordered the Valentine pattern--thanks so much! I wanted to mention that if you want to make a small heart quilt with just four hearts like the giveaway one above, when you come to the section of the pattern about tilting the hearts, you'll want to cut all your pieces so they all tilt in the same direction--you'll see what I'm talking about when your patterns arrive, I think, but if you have any questions, just email me.

Happy quilting!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Okay, So Here's the Deal . . .

I had an email from someone who wanted to buy the Valentine Hearts pattern, and since I don't have everything set up yet to sell patterns in anything like a "professional" manner, I told her if she wanted a copy of what I gave my class, I'd be happy to sell that to her. I know a few of you were also interested in the pattern--and weren't lucky enough to win it (sorry about that, but you'll have to blame Hubby's winner-selection skills!) or take my class, so I'll extend the same offer to anyone else who is interested.

Here's what you'd get--a computer printed copy of a picture of the quilt and all the directions--fabric requirements, cutting directions, and piecing directions. All packaged nicely in a zip top bag--because I have a BIG box of them now!

The price would be $5 plus postage, which I think would probably run around 76 cents in the United States, but I haven't put these together and weighed them yet so I may be off a little. Also, if you're in California, you'd need to include tax (39 cents). If you'd like a copy of the pattern, privately email me your mailing address and I'll let you know payment details.

Happy Quilting!


We had 101 entries in the drawing for the Valentine quilt! Woo-hoo! I had Hubby draw, and he picked Paula from A Latte Quilts--how appropriate since I have to agree that lattes and quilts are both wonderful things! Paula, please email me privately with your mailing information and I'll get your prize in the mail to you early this week! Congratulations!

We also have three "second" place winners, all of whom will get a copy of the pattern and a little bit of Johnny Depp/Orlando Bloom Valentine goodness. Those winners are: Julie T. (no blog/no reply), Judy (Quilting With Ragdolls), and Pat (Bell Creek Quilts). Please also send me your mailing addresses, ladies, and I'll get your consolation prizes in the mail to you!

Thank you all so much for entering!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Kid Stuff

A friend sent this to me--I have no idea where it came from, but I thought you'd get a chuckle!

When students in a second grade class were given a homework assignment to draw a picture of what they wanted to be when they grew up, "Sarah" turned in the lovely drawing below. Needless to say, the teacher was a bit surprised--Sarah's mom, Mrs. Smith, had always seemed like such a conservative woman. So she sent a note home to the girl's mother asking for clarification as to the picture's meaning.

Dear Mrs. Jones,

I wish to clarify that I am not now, nor have I ever been, an exotic dancer. I work at Home Depot and I told my daughter, Sarah, how hectic it was last week before the blizzard hit. I told her we sold out every single shovel we had, and then I found one more in the back room, and that several people were fighting over who would get it. Her picture does NOT show me dancing around a pole. It's supposed to depict me selling the last snow shovel we had at Home Depot. From now on I will remember to check her homework more thoroughly before she turns it in.

Sincerely, Mrs. Smith

Friday, January 23, 2009

Happy Pie Day!

If you've read my blog for any length of time, you know I'm all about the celebrations in life, and National Pie Day is no exception! Yes, January 23rd is Pie Day, although we celebrated a day early at my office with a pie contest. Here's my entry:

I made a mint Oreo cookie crust, then a layer of a cream cheese filling, topped with a layer of chocolate mousse, and finished off with a generous layer of fresh whipped cream. Oh, and then there are those Oreo cookies and crumbs you see on top. Yum!

And I won! Well, to tell the truth, we all did! I think there were about six of us who entered, and our judges all found something about each of our pies worthy of a prize. My award was for something like "most original." Yep, that's me! And what was the prize? A Starbucks gift card--because really, what goes better with pie than a nice cuppa Joe?

So celebrate Pie Day by making a pie of your own! Or, if that's too much work, at least make sure you go out and eat some pie--because, really, diets don't count on holidays, right?!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Well, Since You Asked . . .

First, I wanted to thank everyone for the wonderful comments you left on yesterday's post. I know you're out there reading what I write day after day, but I guess it sometimes feels a little like I'm talking to myself, so hearing from so many of you with such kind things to say is very uplifting. We have quite a few entries and comments, and with a busy work day and after-work activities as well, I wasn't able to write back to everyone--besides the fact that so many are "no reply"--but I wanted to let you all know that I truly appreciate the comments you leave, and of course I've entered all of you in the drawing!

Speaking of comments, I thought I'd answer a few questions tonight.

A couple days ago, Julia left a somewhat cryptic comment that said, "Thanks for the tip on Sunday about nude quilting." The ever-curious Amanda said, "Nude quilting? You'll have to tell us about that one!" Okay, so here's the story. One of the other quilting Kim bloggers told me that if you search on Google for Kim Quilts Nude, you get me. No telling why she was searching those particular terms and I'm not really sure I want to speculate, but there you go. My claim to fame. And you know it's because of my self-portrait, right? 'Cause I'm not really sitting around quilting in the nude. Although I call my sewing room the Sweat Shop, it's really NOT that hot! And seriously, there are just too many saggy bits and pieces to make it safe--it's painful to even imagine what might get accidentally sewn into a seam as I bent forward to peer closer at my stitches! Still, accidentally cutting a bit off with the rotary cutter might be a quick way to lose a little weight!

When I came home from the Hey Ghoul Friend class last night, I found this sitting on the living room floor.

At first I couldn't figure out what it was, but then I saw the printing on the side.

A few of you have asked me about the Valentine hearts pattern, whether I might possibly sell my patterns, and a few other questions along those lines. Well, since you asked, the answer is yes, that's just what I'm thinking about. That box? Much larger than I envisioned, but it contains the plastic zip bags that patterns come in.

Quite frankly, I'm not sure what steps I need to take to set up a business from a legal and financial standpoint, and I need to look into that--any tips? But since I'm teaching classes with my original patterns and I need to actually write the patterns anyway for my students--well, I might as well start doing what I've thought I wanted to do for some time now.

So, yes, if everything works out, at some point I will sell my patterns; I'm just not certain when, what, or how. But you can bet I'll keep you all posted about this new path in Kim's Big Quilting Adventure!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Kim's Big Teaching Adventure

Last night, I pulled out some of my Halloween decorations and put on my fall sweater today. Am I suffering seasonal confusion? No, I just had my first Hey Ghoul Friend quilt class at Bearpaws & Hollyhocks, and I wanted to set the mood. I have six "students" in this one, and I think we all had a fun time--at least I know I enjoyed myself!

Old Archie came out of the closet and made an appearance. Remember him? I gave everyone an Archie pattern, although a few gals in the class are experienced doll makers, so Archie was probably pretty simple compared to what they're able to make! In fact, I'm hoping they'll bring some of their dolls in for show and tell in the next few months. That's something I've always been interested in but haven't fit into my schedule yet.

For those of you who follow my thrifting exploits, yesterday was 50% off day at Goodwill (I went to two stores--one during my lunch hour and one after work), so some of the things in the photo were bargain finds. The orange and white checked table cloth was $1; the orange wagon (filled with Trick or Treat goodies) was $1; and the wooden "Welcome Fall" sign was 50 cents. I think I'm going to do something between now and next fall to spruce up the sign a bit, but it served its purpose for tonight.

And see that yummy treat on the table? My friend Shirley works at Bearpaws, and not only did she graciously offer to stay and help with things like working the register, cutting fabric, and closing up the shop, but she also made us a cranberry loaf so we didn't starve to death. Isn't she great?! I also enlisted Shirley's assistance in drawing a winning entry for the Valentine heart mini I made for the shop's open house last Sunday.

Wilma S. won the quilt as well as a goodie bag from the class filled with a copy of the heart quilt pattern, treats, and--maybe best of all--a Johnny Depp/Pirates Valentine (with tattoo). Woo-hoo Wilma!

Now I'm sure some of you are thinking, "That's all very nice, but HEY! What about ME?!!" Okay, I know--you want a chance to win something too, right? Well, here it is--drum roll, please!

I think a slight majority of you who commented liked the pink one best, so I've saved it for you. It's not quilted yet, but I should be able to get that done in the next few days. So, do you want to win it? Just leave me a comment telling me you want in on the drawing and I'll put your name in for a chance. AND like Wilma, if you win you'll not only get the quilt, but you'll get the pattern and the goodie bag too (including a Pirates Valentine and TATTOO)! Sweet deal, eh?! I have a little something for a couple runners up too--nothing too exciting but probably better than nothing, right? I'm going to keep that a surprise for now though. I'll close the drawing Saturday night and draw a winner then, so make sure to check in on Sunday to see who won! Good luck!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Shhhhhh! Don't Tell!

I thought I'd share a couple secrets with you tonight, but you have to promise not to tell, okay?

First, I wanted to let you in on my baking secret.

Yep, that's what it says: Wonder Flavor! And it never fails to amuse me when I see the word "imitation" on that label! McNess describes wonder flavor as "a delicious blend that includes lemon oil, orange oil, and vanillin beans." Good stuff, and it smells heavenly!

I first discovered McNess when we went to Apple Hill about a year and a half ago and I purchased a tin of their Soup Pot Seasoning.

I love, LOVE, love that stuff! All I need to do is shake some into whatever soup I'm making and it gives it all the right spices and flavors.

Here's another little secret: I bought it because I liked the way the tin looked. Yes, very shallow of me, I know, but the story has a happy ending because the stuff inside was even better than the stuff outside.

This year when we went to Apple Hill, I looked for more and didn't find it, so I went online and ordered--something like three or four tins of it! And that wasn't all. I ordered a few flavorings, including Wonder Flavor. And I ordered this stuff:

I haven't made this yet but I will soon. Hubby LOVES coconut, so next time I need to confess one of my secrets to him, I'll probably make him a pie first. Like when I tell him I spent all the money I made from the first quilt class I taught to sign up for this class and kit:

Shhhhhhh! Don't tell! Give me time to make the pie first!

Monday, January 19, 2009

In the Interests of Full Disclosure . . .

A blog post I read awhile back pondered the question of what we reveal--or choose not to reveal--about our lives to those who read our blogs. As bloggers, should we just talk about the good stuff? Or should we let some of the not-so-good stuff creep in occasionally?

Most of the time, I focus on writing about good and creative stuff because I'm pretty sure you don't read my blog to hear about an argument I had with Hubby, how someone at the office annoyed me, or the road rage I felt driving home from work. Every now and then, I share with you some of the less perfect occasions--like the rubber chicken dinner the other night. And that's not because I figure you're dying to read about rubber chicken but because that's really all I have for you at the time. Let's face it: sometimes nothing really happens to blog about.

But really, you should know that I'm not living a Martha Stewart (when she's not in jail) kind of life, although it may seem like it at times. And yes, as a matter of fact, I DO share with you some of the wonderful meals I cook. But it occurred to me tonight that perhaps I should set the record straight, lest you think I'm better than I really am. So, without further ado, here's a little tour of the culinary highlights of the weekend:

Friday night's dinner (and Saturday's lunch, eaten cold).

From Round Table Pizza, Saturday night's dinner (and Sunday morning's breakfast, eaten cold).

Sunday night's dinner (but probably not repeated for breakfast OR lunch on Monday, although it's too soon to tell). As you can see, more effort was put into Sunday night's dinner because, hey, Sunday nights are special. And in my defense, I also tossed a salad to go with.

Just keepin' it real.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Come to the Open House!

It's been a very, very busy day here. Among the many things I've accomplished today, I've gotten a bunch of stuff ready for the big Bearpaws & Hollyhocks Open House/Meet the Teachers Extravaganza.

I talked to the Big Quilt Shop Boss today and she okayed my idea for a drawing for one of my heart quilts, so if you live anywhere in or around Sacramento, please come down and say hi and enter the drawing! Noon to 4 p.m. today (Sunday). I'll even give you a cookie! Two if you sign up for one of my classes!


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Thrifty Treasures

I thought I'd show you a few finds I've come across at the thrift stores lately. I've been trying to walk through with blinders on when I'm near the housewares aisles--I just have nowhere to put more "stuff" right now since some of the "winter" decorations are still up, but that hasn't stopped me from finding a couple fun books and--of course--textile goodness!

I can never pass up a Susan Branch book, and Lindy over at Bearpaws & Hollyhocks sometimes reads little snippets from this book to her classes. It's not one I had in my Susan Branch collection, so I was tickled to come across it.

This cookbook, Margaret Rudkin's Pepperidge Farm Cookbook, was published in 1963, and illustrated by children's book illustrator Erik Blegvad. It's not rare by any means, but the illustrations are charming. I hope to have a chance to look through it a little more closely this weekend.

Now for the textiles. A week or so ago, I checked the aisle of women's jackets and blazers and found these lovely colored wool blazers. The hot pink one already found its way into the flower on the heart pillow!

I also found a women's wool suit in a pretty teal and black weave--the color's a bit washed out in this photo.

All together, they make a very satisfactory pile of wool once they're cut apart, washed, dried, and stacked! (The teal and black wool is there on the bottom of the pile.)

After giving you the heart pillow assignment the other day, I couldn't resist a return visit to the thrift store where I found another lacy white button up sweater and a red knit sweater. More pillows are in my future as soon as I have time to make them--luckily, they don't take very long!

And last of all, I came across this handwoven vest. The background or foundation is a brown that looks much like burlap (it isn't!), but the watercolor blues, purples, and pinks woven into it--well, thoughts of Easter and hopping bunnies are running (or hopping?!) though my mind. I'm not sure what it will become, but I'm confident it will "tell" me what it wants to be before too long!

Have you visited your local thrift store lately? There may be some treasures waiting for you! Happy hunting!

Friday, January 16, 2009

A Wild Night With the Legal Secretaries . . .

Well, no, not exactly. It was our annual meeting with our local court representatives/rubber chicken banquet. Looking around at our group before they let us into the banquet/meeting hall, it occurred to me that we're an aging bunch, and there aren't a lot of young legal secretaries coming into the profession. In another ten years, we'll still be coming to this thing, but some of us will probably be using walkers and ordering Ensure instead of wine. No, I guess we aren't very wild anymore.

And the food? Not so great. Last year, in an attempt to avoid over-cooked chicken, I ordered beef. Couldn't cut through it. So this year, it was chicken again, and wouldn't you know? The beef looked half way decent! Somewhat optimistically, they even called it "steak."

My chicken, on the other hand--that's it in the photo--well, I don't know. I have no idea what kind of sauce they put on it, and it took me awhile to figure out whether it may still have the skin on it because it looked kind of bumpy and textured. Nope. No skin. Maybe the chicken died a natural death from chicken psoriasis. Or do chickens get leprosy?

The salad and rolls were okay, so no one starved. But really, we don't go for the food. Mainly we go so we can listen to representatives from several semi-local courts talk to us about the new rules their courts have put into effect on January 1st.

There they are up there at the head table, all the court representatives, waiting to talk. And this year for some reason, they came in pairs, two from each court. Normally there are one or two men mixed in but not this year--not a single one! Hummmmm. Maybe THAT's why they came in pairs--so they could go to the ladies' room.

About this time, I was wishing I had that margarita the woman on the right had. I thought I might sneak it from her when she wasn't looking, but she sucked it down pretty quickly before I had a chance. There's a reason for the no-host bar at these events.

Mostly, the court clerks like to tell us about stuff like budget cuts, judicial openings, staff shortages, building plans, and more budget cuts. We really don't care. What we want to know is what we have to do differently each year in order to keep them happy and keep everything running smoothly.

I've been going to these things for at least 15 years--probably closer to 20. I used to really enjoy them, but tonight I was mostly thinking about missing CSI and quilting. Funny how priorities change.

I was kinda looking forward to this tiramisu. I was kinda disappointed. That little white thing on the top? It says "Tiramisu." Otherwise, we wouldn't have known. Pretty though.

At 8:30, the court ladies stopped talking and I slipped away. I might have sped a bit going home. Because sometimes it's fun to feel the power of a car when you press the gas pedal down. And down some more. And sometimes it's fun to feel the car holding onto the curves. Because you're free. Because all the legal secretaries and court clerks are somewhere about ten miles behind you. And you know you don't have to eat rubber chicken for another 365 days. Because really, you'd just rather quilt.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Your Assignment . . .

should you choose to accept it, is--

1. Go to the thrift store and find a lacy looking sweater, preferrably one that buttons in the front. The one I found has a crocheted "lacy" layer over a regular knitted layer, but just an open crocheted or lacy knitted sweater or vest will do.

2. Take it home and wash and dry it.

3. Cut a piece of freezer paper in the shape of a heart, making sure not to make it larger than the sweater. If you don't have freezer paper, cut regular paper and use pins.

4. First you'll want to make an inner pillow to hold the stuffing. This will fit into the sweater. If your sweater is very lacy and see-through, you may want to use a pretty colored fabric that will show through; if not, muslin would be great. Iron the freezer paper (or pin regular paper) onto two layers of fabric, right sides together. Sew around the heart, leaving an opening. Turn heart right side out.

5. Stuff pillow with fiberfil or other pillow stuffing and sew opening closed.

6. Turn the sweater inside out so the "good" sides are together. Iron the heart pattern onto one side and pin around it to secure the layers together. Sew around the paper. If you have a sweater that buttons in the front, sew all the way around; if not, leave an opening so you can insert the stuffed pillow. Trim around the heart, leaving a 1/2" seam allowance.

7. Turn sweater right side out and insert inner pillow. Button closed. Jump up and down with excitement. Squeal with delight.

8. Cut some wool pieces so they kinda resemble flower petals. Layer a few flower petal pieces and sew around edges to hold all the layers together. Very cleverly sew lines in the petals to look somewhat like veins. Sew a button in the center to hold it all together. Add a couple wool leaves. Again, cleverly sew veins in the leaves. Pin the flower on from underneath so you can remove it later to wash the sweater part. Or change the decoration from a flower to something else. Or make some yo-yos, arrange them to resemble a bouquet and sew buttons in the centers. Use wool for stems or make little green bias tubes and tack them down. Tie a ribbon in a bow and sew it onto the stems so it appears to be tied around your yo-yo bouquet. Or use your imagination to think up some other fun embellishment!

9. Take photos. Post them on your blog. Leave me a comment so I can come over and admire your heart pillow!