Friday, April 29, 2011

azalea crowns

I made azalea crowns today and then we had a wedding in the garden by the apple tree.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

city weekend quilt top

I really love how this quilt looks like summer.

The colors and prints are just gorgeous and play off each other so nicely. It reminds me of sunny days, ocean waves, ripe berries, cotton candy ( my parents never bought me cotton candy), flowers and dotted dresses. It's the kind of quilt you might want to take a nap with amongst wildflowers or bring to the beach.

When I started this quilt I really had no idea about the proper way to put it together but, after doing several blocks the hard way I started piecing it together properly and after that it was easy. Plus, I met my goal by finishing two quilt tops this month. What can I say, I like setting goals for myself.

I still have a lot to learn about quilting but, for someone who three years ago was seriously intimidated by them I'd like to think I've come far. Really though there is a lot more to learn.

The quilt top measures 58" x 96." There are 108 blocks. Really? I just counted.... couldn't believe it myself.
I wanted something that made the colors pop so I chose natural white to offset the plus shapes. I'm not sure what I will put on the back yet. Maybe dots and white?

Now to iron it, trim a million threads and finish it. Sigh. I think I need to work on some clothes and smaller things first. I'll shoot for June 15th for completion.

It's just so hard to photograph quilts, isn't it?

Unrelated but very exciting: My boy lost his first tooth last night! I was thrilled to be the tooth fairy and also happy that I had a little felt toothpouch made up already. We are celebrating today with popcorn. He loves popcorn.

Monday, April 25, 2011


A very Happy Easter we had.
I painted some papier-mache eggs and decorated them with die cut scrap pictures.
Eggs were hard boiled and blown out and dyed.
Egg hunts.
Baskets full of goodies, books, handmade bunnies & bubbles.
S learned to blow her own bubbles and had the best time blowing them in my Mom's garden.
A walk on the beach on a gorgeous sunny day.
A delicious dinner and so much dessert and that's not counting the beans and the chocolate bunnies.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

a walk through branchbrook park

I used to go to see the cherry blossoms at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden for many years but, the past three years we have been seeing them closer to where we live now at Branch Brook Park in New Jersey which has a nice amount of cherry trees.

This year was the coldest Spring I can remember and I don't think it is the best year for blossoms but, still very pretty. Maybe this will make them stick around longer?

Trees in bloom are really one of the most wonderful things in the whole world and each time it's like the first time.

I was looking back through my photos from last year in April and realized that there was so much more in bloom- bleeding hearts and my lilac tree are two that come to mind. So, that only means there is more to look forward to.

I feel lucky that behind my house is a gorgeous huge magnolia tree and that I have fruit tress in my front yard.

Okay, I'm off to make some tea since i've managed to catch a cold which will mean I will be sitting in bed tonight with my stitching.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

my birthday

It was rainy. I ate an english muffin and a cappuccino for breakfast in bed.
I noticed Mick had bought me peach roses. I put on my Nadinoo dress, a friendly ghost and a sweater I knit with tights and oxfords.
We played with a giant red balloon and 3 red balloons with white polka dots.
Matthew drew my portrait.
My parents came to visit. They brought flowers, soap and a journal. They took us to lunch. I had a mocha and a brie, tomato and avocado on 8 grain bread.
I did some laundry
I went to the post office, the bank and then the nail salon to get my nails painted. I chose Passion by Opi. The manicurist complained about my nails. I explained I am very very busy with them and haven't been taking care of them properly.
I bought a dress.
I played dollies and ate a petit four. I had Matthew take photos of me. They were not bad photos.
I worried about my age. I am way too hung up about my age.
I vacuumed.
I went outside to look at my peach, cherry and apple blossoms while it was drizzling.
I ate hummus and pita chips from Trader Joe's. I cooked the kids dinner and encouraged them to eat it. A bowl was broken by a fork.
Mick came home. I opened more presents. Very nice ones. Maison Bouche chocolate, a gift card to Purl, a necklace from Tiffany and Co. and a candle. I never got a blue box before and laughed about it.
Mick and the kids sang happy birthday. The cake was homemade by Mick. It's apple spice with a goat cheese frosting. I never had goat cheese frosting before. It was good.
I read stories. I played dollies and bunnies some more. My eyebrow was rubbed by her little fingers.
I did some knitting.
It was my birthday.

Monday, April 18, 2011

blue mood

I acquired these bits of feed sack and other antique fabrics recently and I just finished the most gorgeous little boatneck baby sweater in machine washable merino wool in a hand dyed royal blue shade.

I've added the sweater to the shop.
Still dreaming up ideas for the fabric.

Another blue knit piece was cast on yesterday. A really sweet summery piece for my little girl.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

first drawing

I've never felt very confident about drawing but, always wanted to become more skilled at it. So, as with anything else it takes practice and I've decided to spend some time drawing this spring and summer and see where it takes me.

I really love botanicals so when this new book: Drawing Nature A Journal by Jill Bliss was released (which I read about through Design Sponge) it didn't take me long to click and buy it.

This is exactly what I was looking for. A drawing class I can do on my own. Or, in the case of my first drawing with the children.

Yesterday afternoon you would have found the three of us sitting on the front steps drawing nature.
The children enjoyed it and Matthew's rendition of the neighbor's tree was really interesting. I hope to do quite a bit more of drawing with him. The way children see and draws are unlike the way an adult would and I think five is a great time to start this.

The instructions for the first drawing were to draw a simple leaf or flower but, after drawing the daffodil I couldn't help drawing the dwarf peach tree and strawberry leaves below it that were next to me.

I'm really looking forward to the next exercise. I need an hour alone to draw a flower without looking at the paper. I'm planning to buy some flowers soon and get started on it. I could already tell after the first drawing that I didn't spend nearly enough time observing.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

stacking the odds top

I finished piecing one of my quilts the other night. It is called Stacking the Odds by Denyse Schmidt. I used the Hope Valley fabrics and Kona Cotton. The Hope Valley collection was inspired by homesteading, fresh starts, and pioneering. I really love the colors and prints she used in it especially the florals. I chose to work with the color palette pink, brown, blue, grey, chartreuse, orange and green. I had purchased a fat quarter bundle about a year or so ago whenever it first came out. There is still fabric to spare.

I was brave and decided to go for the queen size. This is my largest quilt to date and it was a good choice. The pattern is not too complicated and as far as quilts go it can be done pretty quickly. Of course since I work on many things all at once it took me about a month to do.

As far as the quilting I've decided to send it off to someone to quilt and I'm pretty excited about that. Though I do like quilting I want a design that I just can't do on my domestic sewing machine. So, we will see this again sometime when it's really all completed - quilted and bound and hopefully in time for summer. It does looks summery... doesn't it?

I feel like I have a lot to catch up on here but, it's in the 60's today and sunny and a little boy is waiting for me to watch him ride his bike to the purple house and back.

Until later....


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

hansel and gretel skirt

A storybook skirt. Sometimes you hold onto fabric for a really long time thinking of all the different applications. And, then one days you stop fussing about it and just make something with it. So, a Hansel and Gretel skirt from the very popular free lazy days skirt pattern which I've made so many times before for Ms. S.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

little flowers headband

I don't know why I so often forget to share the little things I make along the way but here is a recent one.
A sweet knitted headband with a felt bouquet and tiny millinery flowers. It's just a garter stitch piece and was one of those mindless projects we all need once in a while and it really keeps the hair out of her face.

-There has also been some more making of pins, hats and onesies which I plan to drop by Hoboken this Saturday morning at Mackey Blue along with the necklaces and some other goodies. Stop in if you are local. There's always a treasure to be found there.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

a river runs through it

Though we travel the world to find
beauty, we must carry it with us, or we
find it not

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Red Cobweb, Habu Merino
and Alcehemy Yarns of Transformation Juniper in Pewter
To drape and wrap
To wear loose or tight
Deep and light
A bit of drama
both in my words and in the look.

Something a bit old fashioned yet modern. Old and young. Past and present.

Pattern: Blackcurrant shawl.

Can you tell I am a little in love with it?

Friday, April 1, 2011

stitching by the light of the moon

I have been spending my nights this week working away on my quilts.

I hope to finish piecing both my quilt tops this month but haven't yet made any decisions about the quilting design. I'm thinking about sending Stacking the Odds (above) off to someone who can do more advanced quilting with a long arm because I have only done straight lines and it is queen size. This quilt seems to call out for an interesting stitch pattern. Any ideas for me quilters? The plus quilt is coming along slowly and surely. I have some decisions to make about how much more I can do without running out of fabric. It' too hard to photograph in the attic but I have about 40 blocks give or take done.

I've been teaching the kids little rhymes this week and I am not at all getting bored of hearing them recite again and again.

Roses are Red
Violets are Blue
Sugar is sweet
and so are you

Happy April and Happy Weekend to you.
Can it warm up now? Pretty please.