Saturday, September 29, 2007

Fall Doll Quilt DONE!

I am so happy to say that this is done!

I was so excited at first. Then I was overwhelmed with coming up with an idea. Then I had a hard time choosing from all the ideas I found. Next I was seriously concerned about my ability. Scary. I saw what the other quilter's were doing and realized I just might be out of my league.
Finally I was pressed for time with all the demands of a busy household and multiple, self-inflicted deadlines.
All in all though, I have to say that I loved doing it and am so happy that I am done!
I can't wait until the next one is announced.

Here is the back.
My dear friend, Vea quilted it for me while I visited with her. She did a really great job.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Hen Day - Laundry Closet

This weeks Prairie Hen Day was held at my house. After a lot of thought I decided to tackle my laundry closet. Jill was the only hen able to come so the two of us, and our trusty helpers, set out to tackle the closet.
Closet 1
I need storage!
Soooo..... We decided to build shelf for my closet. We learned some very important lessons along the way.

Lesson #1. Make a plan and assemble your tools.
Closet 2
We drew our plan; you need a top, bottom, sides, and shelves. Easy enough. With two brains there we made less mistakes with the math.
Can you see our "woman tool" we used ...... the rotary cutting ruler??!! Hee Hee. We couldn't find the proper tool and knew that one would work too. (we also learned that a table saw would have been a better tool for us to use than the circular saw, our cuts weren't exactly strait.)

Lesson #2. Make sure you have Good Help.
Closet 3
Jeddie was a big help. He used up all the battery power in the cordless drill so we were able to use our muscles and drive the screws in my hand. He did a good job of distressing the wood for us.

Lesson #3. Make sure you Good Help doesn't Bail on you.
Closet 4
Jeddie found some water and a bucket and "worked" very hard at "bailing out" his dad's wagon.

Lesson #4. Done is better than perfect!
Closet 5
The corners aren't square, the shelves might need a little support, but it is done, and most likely won't fall down.
Biggest Bonus, I didn't have to wait for someone to have the time to do it for me. We also had a lot of fun and nearly died laughing.

Lesson #5. Make sure everyone has a good time.
Closet 6
What could be more fun than power tools and fresh mud puddles?

I still need to add some casters to the shelf so I can roll it in and out of my closet. When I am done, I will post the finished project.

We also ate good food! Jill brought the fixings for some delicious chicken wraps, very tasty, and very carb friendly.
Chicken Wrap
I will post the recipe as soon as I get it from her.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Sexy Apron Day is Open for Business


Sexy Apron Day is finally up and functional as my new Etsy Store.
My new Banner was made by the very talented Deanna at Domestic Chicky Designs.
What is Sexy Apron Day?
Have you ever had one of those days when you just needed something extra to get up and do what had to be done? or one of those days when you are feeling spicy and sassy and need something to express it?

Sexy Apron Day aprons are short and sweet and sassy. Some are also are soft and sweet and sugary. They express your mood and give you a lift when doing the things you have to get done around your house.
Your apron is your uniform you wear when you serve and protect your family (what ever size that is from 1 to 20). Why not make a statement about your personality with it.

Our apron right now is my own design based on antique aprons I have had in the past. This apron is double sided. This offers you two sides of expression and and emergency clean apron. My friend also pointed out that they often off a flour side and a tomato paste side for the messy cook. :o)
All the aprons right now also come with a ruffle. This is just a necessity for a Sexy Apron Day apron. A bit of frill always makes me happy. :o) I find myself grinning to myself and I go around my house wearing mine. An instant pick-me-up.

I just bought several new fabrics and as I have time will be posting the new aprons.
Go check them out!
Sexy Apron 3-CSexy Apron 3-B

Sexy Apron 2-CSexy Apron 2-A

Shadow Applique With Silk Flowers - Quilting Tutorial

My Fabulous sister Jeanne came for the weekend. She was our program at our quilt guild.

She taught us some really great quilting tips that I just might blog later.

One thing she showed us was Shadow Applique with silk flowers. It was gorgeous.

Here is a quick tutorial for how to do it.


silk flowers

backing fabric

batting (something dense like cotton)

background fabric

rainbow organza

safety pins

daring foot on your sewing machine

Getting started:

Layer quilt 1

1. Layer your quilt back, batting, and background fabric. Make sure that the backing and batting are slightly larger than the background piece.

Layer quilt 2

2. Tear your silk flowers apart removing all plastic parts. Audition the flowers on your background. You can use leaves and fern bits, but be sure to remove and peel off any plastic.

Layer Quilt 3

(here is a larger one I did)

Sleeping Babe

3. Now take a short break and rock your baby to sleep.

(I quilt in the real world which requires MANY interruptions from little ones and requires an occasional snuggle. You must be forgiving of my quilting later as my little prince charming was sitting on my lap as I quilting and we got a bit wobbly with the stitching.)

Layer quilt 4

4. Now audition your organza and find the exact color pattern you want.

Layer quilt 5

5. Now pin the layers in place, through the flower centers. Use safety pins. (the curved quilting pins are great).

Layer quilt 6

6. Now you need to machine quilt your piece. Some tips here are to match the thread to the flower part you are quilting. Use a matching bobbin thread. This prevents any pop-ups from showing. Use a nondescript thread color for the background. I use a mossy green. Also, start in the center of your flower and work your way out. Do the centers of all your flowers first to help anchor your piece.

Layer quilt 7

7. When machine quilting, you need a darning foot and you need to drop your feed dogs. To get started with a color, take one stitch and draw the thread to the top. This way you can be sure not to bunch up or bobbin thread on the back. When you are done you can neatly clip the threads. Remember to secure your stitching before ending too.

Layer quilt 8

8. Free motion quilt around your flowers to add detail.

layer quilt 9

Layer quilt 10

Here is the front and back of the small block. I don't' think it need more quilting as it is so small.

Layer quilt 11

9. Fill in the background as you see fit. This adds great detail and texture to your piece. A safe way is to echo stitch around your flowers. This isn't too hard not too creative and it is easy to pull off without looking too bad.

Layer Quilt 12

I am going to have to practice more quilting. That was so much more fun then I though it would be. Hard but fun.

Fall Doll Quilt Begins

Fall Quilt Begins
Here is the beginning of my fall doll quilt for the four seasons quilt swap.
I used the perfect circles applique technique from Stitch Rip Repeat.
I was time consuming but really easy. I am cooking up other ways I can apply this cool technique. Go check out her blog. It is fabulous!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Hen Day - Recovered Couch Cushions

Jill's Pillow 2Jill's Pillow 1

Today for Prairie Hen Day, we went to Jill's house. As usual she did a great job of coming up with a project and it was pretty cool. She has a very deep sofa and love seat. She also has 4 little kids and her cushions were in need of recovering. So we too to fabulous upholstery fabrics and made 2 sided pillows for her. I think they look fabulous. I might have to make a tutorial for them some time soon but didn't want to sandwich that into this post. They were so easy to make and look so fantastic. They gave me some really great idea for my living room.

We also ate good food (of course). Rebecca made us her famous Chiles Reyenos. They were to die for. Here is the recipe.

Chile Reyenos

Rebecca’s Chiles Rellenos
8 Poblano Chiles
8 eggs
2 Tbsp water
¼ cup flour
½ tsp salt
8 thick slices of cheese (pepper jack is good but so is mozzarella)
Roast the peppers under the broiler for about 15 minutes. Make use you turn them often so they get nice and blistered. Place them right into a plastic bag and let them sweat for 10 minutes. Then peel and seed them.
Separate the eggs.
Mix the yolks, water, flour and salt. Beat them for 6 minutes until they are lemon colored and smooth.
Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold them into the yolk mixture.
Fry 1/3 cup batter in an oiled frying pan. As it begins to set, add a chile and some cheese (wrap the chile around the stick of cheese). Top this with another 1/3 cup of the batter. Turn after it is browned and cook through.
Keep them warm in a 300 deg. F oven.
Serve plain or with sauce.
1 can of cream of chicken soup.
Some sour cream
Heat the soup up in a pan. Thin with some sour cream. (I don’t know how much just some, till it tastes good).
You can also serve these with some fresh salsa.

We also got to work with the Sexy Apron Day funness.

Rebecca tried one on for me to see how they look on a skinny body.
Sexy Rebecca in an Apron
I think she looks pretty hot.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

quilting with buck

Warning! Go pee fefore you watch this. It is too funny.

Fall Palette

Fall Pallet
This is the pallet of colors I am choosing to use for my Fall themed quilt for the Four Seasons Quilt Swap.
Today I will be madly piecing away on this project. I will post more when I have more. :o)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Hen Day - Sexy Apron Day

Today's Prairie Hen day was help at Rebecca's house. We were going to make Roman Shades for her great room. However, she wasn't able to get the fabric for that sooooo. We had a Sexy Apron Day instead.
What? You don't know what a Sexy Apron Day is? That is a day when you basically feel like crap and have a mount of things you still have to do. Soooooo...... you put on your Sexy Apron and you start to feel better. You still have to do the dishes, laundry, diapers, what ever, but you are doing it all with style. Every time you look down and see that Smoking Hot, frilly apron, you smile and know that you ARE having a Sexy Apron Day, hee hee, and pretty soon you realize you don't really feel like crap anymore. This apron is all for you!
Well for us to have a Sexy Apron Day, Rebecca and I had to make ourselves one. I was a total idiot and didn't think to help Rebecca finish hers and made my own instead and had to run. She called me later and said she was finishing up. I can't wait to see it! We really missed the other hens who were unavoidibly detained with other things today.
For mine, I took an antique. home job, apron and re-worked it into my own pattern. I rather love it!
What do you think?
Sexy Little Apron side A Sexy Little Apron side B
Since it was an experiment, I made it out of inexpensive, yet sassy fabric. I decided to line the apron and figured if I am going to go to all that work, then both sides had better be worth seeing.
I love it. I have worn it all day and boy did I have a Sexy Apron Day. My fridge died this past weekend. Today we got a substitute fridge and I had to clean both of them out. (my fingers and still wrinkled) I had fun anyway because I had my sexy little apron on and it made me smile every time I looked at it. It is short and sweet and sassy.
*****Update ******
Here is Rebecca's Sexy Apron Day creation.
Rebecca's Apron
Very Cute and Sassy.

Rucksack Tutorial

This year I have 4 kids heading off to school. I decided the make them backpacks and they all think that idea is cool. Here is a quick tutorial to show you how it is done. I am trying not to bog it down with too much description and too many detailed measurements to you can take the idea and make it your own.

material list
heavy fabric for the pack
coordinating fabric for the pocket and strap casings
about 3yds of heavy cord
grommets (optional)

Rucksack 1
1. Cut out your pack. You need 2 pieces the size you want your pack plus seam allowances. This one is 14x19. I found though that I didn't leave enough room for the bag to close without squashing her folder. I would add another 3 inches to the height to accommodate that. You can test that with what you need to put in yours and measure that way.

Rucksack 2
2. Make a pocket. Take a scrap of the bag material and line it with a bright fabric you want to use. Sew around the edges. Turn and press. Leave your opening where you turned on the bottom. My pocket is about 9"x9"
Rucksack 3

Rucksack 4
3. Stitch the pocket onto the outside of your rucksack near the bottom end. Stitch along the sides and the bottom. Re-enforce at the top to make it sturdy.

Rucksack 5
4. You can make a flap for your pocket. Just be sure it is a little wider than the pocket. I lined this flap as well. Stitched around it. Turned and pressed it. I then top stitched the edges to keep them neat. You can add a button, snap, or Velcro if you want.

Rucksack 6
5. Now you need to add a casing at the top for the straps. I cut a strip of fabric 3" by the width of my bag. I then folded under the sides and top stitched them to make a clean edge. I folded the casing strips in half right side out and stitched them to the top of my bag. The edges of the casing them came right where my seam allowance for the bag will be. (they are stitched to the right side of the bag fabric.

6. Now put the front and back pieces right sides together and stitch the sides and bottom. Be sure to re-enforce the top seam. Turn and press your bag. Your casing edges should now meet.
Rucksack 7

Rucksack 8
7. Add the grommets to the bottom corners of your bag. You can use a press, or the kits you can get at the store. You can also leave the bottom of the bag open, string the straps through the casing then stick the ends into the bottom of the bag and sew them in with the bottom seam. You could even add loops to the side to attache them with.

8. Now string your straps. You need 2 straps long enough to go from the corner of the bag, up through the casings and back down to the same corner on each side of the bag. For a little back back the was about 1 yd each. It is easier to make it a little long and cut it down if you need to.
Secure the ties through the grommet hole with a sturdy knot.
Rucksack 10
Now you are done!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Touched My Soul

I remember the first time I heard his voice. I was transfixed. His music touched my soul.
I think I mark times in my life with music. His is associated with some of my very happiest memories. I remember staying up all night in 1990 so I could hear the 3 Tenors' first concert at the World Cup. I was so thrilled.
I just wanted to honor his memory here with a couple of my favorite clips of his performances.
The one with his father really touched me. I loved the look on Luciano's face as he watches his father sing.
Ave Maria has always been one of my favorites.

Luciano e Fernando Pavarotti in

RIP Luciano Pavarotti - Ave Maria - Schubert

Friday, September 07, 2007

September Apron Tutorial - Jeans Apron #2

I actually had a dream about this apron the other day (must have seen one somewhere) and decided it was just the thing for September.

This one is almost too simple to tutorial but I will at least let you know what I did.

Pant leg
bias tape binding
1" twill tape

Here Goes:
1. Cut the leg off an old pair of jeans. Cut up the inside seam and open the pant leg out flat.


2. Cut the top of the apron the width you want for your chest. I used 12".
Then I tapered that down to the width at the waist.

3. Fold the pant leg in half now and trim up all the edges evenly. You will also want to clean up the bottom of the apron with a nice curve.

4. Now trim out all the edges of the sides and bottom with the Bias tape. I used wide double fold bias binding. I used the 3 stitch zig-zag just for fun.


5. Now add your straps. I used a grommet press because there was one on my counter top, just begging me to use it. I then added the twill tape. You can use ribbon or fabric or what ever you want. Just make sure you make them long enough to tie at the neck and waist.

Jeans Apron #2
Now you are done! Too cute and too fun!
I have a couple extra for sale at My Little Byrd Nest
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