Monday, December 29, 2008

Show Some Sewing Love Swap- Sign Up Today

Hey bloggers! Thanks to those of you who expressed interest in a potential Valentine's Swap. I have decided to go ahead and organize the swap due to interest.

"Show Some Sewing Love Swap" Specifics:
1. Any level of sewer/quilter/embroiderer may participate!
2. Item sent to your partner must be homemade.
3. Sew/Quilt/Embroider a project in a Valentine's theme. It does not necessarily have to have hearts or cupids on it; you may use some creativity and choose colors that would be fitting in the season. Some ideas to get your mind racing: wall hangings, aprons, table runners, mini-quilts, coasters, placemats, embellished towels, pillow cases, bags, etc. Anything goes.
4. You may include other little gifties in your package along with your homemade item, that is up to you.
5. The deadline for mailing your package is Friday, February 6th. Please be prompt as it is dissappointing for someone not to receive their package prior to the holiday.
6. Sign up is today through January 6th. I will organize the names and have the contact information out to you shortly after that. Recipients names will be a secret. Feel free to start your projects prior to that date though. You may also post the badge above on your sidebar or in a post, should you choose.
7. Both bloggers and nonbloggers may participate.
8. To sign up: please send me an email- superstarkb(at) with the following information.
Full Name:
Mailing Address:
Email Address:
Blog Address (if applicable):
Would you be willing to mail internationally? Yes/No
9. Any participant that has their package mailed out on time will be entered in a drawing for an extra giftie from me. Please send me a follow up email when you have sent your gift out.

I hope to hear from you soon!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

I love how this turned out

This pattern is called 5 & Dime. If ever you are in the need of making a fun, easy quilt, in a short amount of time . . . you ought to try this one. It comes in a lap and a twin size. This is the lap and I thought it a generous size. I think Vickie E. may have used this pattern before. My friend Judy (No Blog) made this in an Amy Butler color way and I just loved it. I think this is a good pattern to use a collection of fabric with. I needed 1 7/8 y of the larger print and 6 fats. This is Lakehouse fabric and I love the girlyness of it. Seriously, it took me less than 10 minutes to cut fabrics because you stack the fats and give them a whack. I love that. Does anyone else know any other patterns that call for that kind of cutting? I'd love to hear about them.

Sorry that this is such a gloomy picture. It has been raining here for 2 days straight and has melted the 12 inches of snow we had. We have a moat surrounding our house. It has been a gloomy week here as I had a collegue and friend pass away on Christmas day. She was one of those wonderful, loyal, committed people who the whole world seems to notice. I wonder how it will survive without her? I feel badly for her family and her closest friends. There seems to be such saddness this holiday season.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Our House Is Now a Finished House

My "Our House" quilt top is finally finished! Yes, I thought of my own name for this quilt from that song that rings through my head while stitching these cottages together. This pattern is from Fig Tree Quilts' Houses Book. I love the cottages. I loved them in the book. However, they were quite frustrating and over my ability level. I had trouble with them, specifically the row with all the windows was always about a 1/2 inch too short. In the end though, I do like the quilt top....just don't zoom in, PLEASE! I am feeling quite accomplished this holiday break! Pincushion, bag, this quilt top, and another one almost done. Look out, I seem to be on a roll!

A big thanks to Dawn, for this nice package I received with this beautiful ornament!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A New Purse for me- Merry Christmas to me!

I have actually had this fabric and pattern since fall. I bought it at my favorite shop, Mabelena's. The pattern is called An Everyday Bag by Favorite Things pattern designs. While I know you don't live near Mabelena's, you can find this pattern company on the web.

It is a cute bag, I think. It is quite roomy...a must for a mama. Yesterday on the way to a doctor's appointment, I was able to put someone's army helmet, walkietalkie, and compass in it. Sometimes mamas have to be able to do things like that and I as quite pleased my new bag would hold all of that plus my mittens, wallet, cell phone, and everything else I normally have crammed in my bag. I really like the side pockets for my cell phone, which typically seems to get lost inside my purse. While the purse pattern had 2 options for closures (one: loop and button; two: 2 straps and velcro), I skipped both and added a magnetic snap. The inside, as I previously mentioned, is roomy and has nice pockets. I used batting (and quilted it diagonally on the outside layer) and I used Pelon Heavy Weight Craft fuse on the inside). I am pleased to say it stands up on its own when you set it down and I am really pleased with my choices there.

Pattern Review:
Nice heavy weight paper for the pattern.
Good sewing directions.
Two different handle options offer variety.
Tells you the finished bag dimensions.
Overall, this was a very easy bag to sew even a beginner would enjoy it, I think.


I found it very weird that the designer didn't show you a cutting diagram for laying out the bag on the material.
I wish the designer would have separated the fabric requirement amounts for people who may have wished to do the handles and pockets in separate colors from the outside material. I particularly find it odd because on the front of the pattern, they show a bag with different colored handles.

Moving on. . .

Thanks to everyone who has expressed interest in a Valentine's Swap. I will be announcing one right after the New Year, so keep checking back for that! I hope we get a lot of eager swappers.

Also, some of you may have seen The Fat Quarter Shop's Good Cheer Giveaway contest. I was tickled pink that my essay about my mom, was one of 5 winners! So, if you subscribe to their Jolly Jabber blog, be watching for the essay about Mary later in the week. . .you'll recognize buddy in the photo. The Fat Quarter Shop is my favorite online quilt shop and I enjoy keeping up with their blog normally. Mom won a 50 dollar gift certificate and I won a jelly roll! A special thanks to the Fat Quarter Shop for sharing their own Christmas cheer.

Now, you girls watch out for that spiked Egg Nogg at your family holidays!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

A last minute gift all wrapped up

When mom and I were sewing over Thanksgiving,it came to my attention that she didn't have a pin cushion. When I was cleaning up the sewing room (also known as the wrapping room), I came across some spare charms (thrown on the floor). So, I whipped up this cute little cushion, with husband's help tufting. (We broke a needle with the pliers trying to pull the ribbon through.)

The day before Christmas vacation started, they were forecasting MAJOR snow hitting our area. Hit it did. We probably have at least 12 inches. Today, it is windy and nasty out and the snow is drifting. In this picture, you can see how high the snow is on buddy's little legs, and even my MIL's. A child's paradise. At least the road crews have been out on most roads.

Here's a picture of our trip to see Santa. Although buddy mentioned that he wasn't going to sit on Santa's lap, you can see he had a change of heart. However, he did whisper everything to Santa. This is the world's best Santa found at Bronner's Winter Wonderland, well worth the trip. We timed it just right and we didn't have to wait in ANY lines.

And, here is our picture with Baby Jesus. . .the real reason for the season.

I am thinking about perhaps organizing and hosting a Valentine's Day Swap (something homemade, of course), I am wondering if I would have anyone interested in participating??

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Cookie Swap

Cute Stuff Inside is hosting a virtual cookie swap. I happened to make some of my favorite cookies to take to work tomorrow and I wanted to share. These may not be fancy cookies, but they are delicious. Your cookie jar will empty out quite quickly!

Pecan Pie Bars

Crust ingredients:
1 Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix
1 egg
1 stick of softened butter

Topping Ingredients:
1 1/2 c chopped pecans
1 c brown sugar
2 TBSP flour
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 13 X 9 baking pan. Mix crust ingredients and press into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 20 minutes. Mix topping ingredients. When the crust come out of the oven, immediately spread the topping over the top and return to the oven for another 15 minutes. Cool. Cut into squares and serve.

Kid's Favorite Jumbo 3 Chip cookies (yields 3 dozen)

Dry Ingredients:
4 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 c butter
1 1 /4 c sugar
1 1/4 c brown sugar
2 eggs
1 TBSP vanilla

1 c milk chocolate chips
1 c semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 c white chocolate
1/2 c chopped walnuts (optional)

Mix the 3 dry ingredients and set aside. Beat the butter, sugars, eggs, and vanilla in mixer. Slowly add in the dry ingredients. Fold in the chocolate chips. Make large balls of cookie dough. Bake 10 - 12 minutes on ungreased cookie sheets at 350.

Candy Bar Jumbles

1 1/4 c brown sugar
3/4 c margarine
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 1/2 c oats
1 1 /2 c flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Chocolate mixture:
1/2 c semisweet chocolate chips
14 ounces sweetened condensed milk

5 chopped snicker's bars

In a large mixing bowl beat brown sugar and maragarine. Add in vanilla and the egg. On low speed beat in oats, flour, and soda, and salt. Reserve 3/4 a cup for topping crumbles. Press remaining batter in a 13 X 9 ungreased pan.

In a 2 quart saucepan, melt chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk until smooth. Poor over crust. Sprinkle with chopped snickers and remaining batter.

Bake 32-37 minutes. Cool for 2 hours.

Holly Jolly Snack Mix

9 cups Rice Chex

9 cups Corn Chex

12 ounce bag of holiday M& Ms

4 cups of pretzels

2 c brown sugar

1/2 c light caro syrup

2 sticks of butter

1/2 tsp of baking soda


Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Spray a large roasting pan and dump Chex into it. In a heavy sauce pan, melt and mix butter, sugar, and syrup over medium heat on the stovetop until it boils. Remove from heat, stir in the soda. Pour over the Chex and stir with a rubber spatula (scraping the extra liquid from the bottom of the pan. Bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 15. Cool for 5 minutes. Dump the contents onto wax paper. Break apart large clumps. Stir in M& M's and pretzels. Allow to finish cooling. Bag.

From our kitchen to yours, Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

We now resume normal blog posts.

Here are my bags for buddy's teachers. I used charm packs and quilted the squares diagonally. On two of the bags, I used the lining to look a bit more like binding around the top. I personalized the bags, so his teachers wouldn't get them confused.

Here's a buddy update! He sure is a busy kid.

Reading, well kind-of. . .

Decorating the tree, he was a great helper this year.

Playing in the snow. Check out those cute cheeks!
I will be back tomorrow folks with some cookie recipes! Be sure to check back in!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Okay People, What is wrong with this picture?

I should start this post with a bit of a warning. Around our house, when I throw out the 'Okay People' it usually means mama here is in a bit of a mood. It means things are not as they should be. For example, father and child are horseplaying instead of getting around to leave or someone has moved something important. I think you get it.

We all know I have been in a bit of a rut as far as the sewing goes. So, I finally get around to doing MAJOR sewing yesterday and I am already to report only to discover that my husband took the camera on his week long hunting trip. OKAY PEOPLE, how am I supposed to take a picture of my 3 bags I quilted and sewed yesterday? I guess you will have to use your imagination until next weekend, sorry to say.

Did I mention that sewing yesterday felt AWESOME? It really did.

Before I close, a few announcements for the good of the order. . .

1st- Sheri a new blogger and quilt designer, is hosting her first giveaway. She is giving away a darling bag, if you must know, and you won't want to miss out.

2nd- I was tagged by Mary, probably the sweetest blogger out there, and some snowy day I am going to tag some of look out. :) I am thinking about who I am going to tag, in the meantime.

3rd- Just to update you on the Christmas maddness around here, we have made progress. My sewing projects are all done. My presents are all purchased and wrapped. My cookie mix jars are all filled. My tree is up and decorated (which is a long prelit nightmare story, which includes buying a new one in a mad dash to finish it before husband left). We will see what else gets done, but I feel good thus far.

4th- Don't forget to keep checking in over at The Fat Quartershop for their daily Christmas Countdown Markdowns.

Keep it real, people!