Wednesday, November 25, 2015

an epic thrift store day

I had a bunch of errands to run today (along with everyone else in the country!) and one of the fun stops was the thrift store. Man, I cleaned up today!!!
First up, this funky, but super fun rug. I paid 79 cents for it! It is so fabulously homemade! I thought I would put it in my kitchen, but it's a little small for that, so it will either end up in one of my bathrooms or else by the side of my bed.
I love, love, LOVE the color scheme. I think I need to build a quilt around this color palette! It's so good!
This shelf was obviously homemade in someone's garage.....and I love that it's not quite symmetrical. :) I've been on the lookout for something tall and skinny with storage for my sewing room. This is just the ticket!
I found a board in my garage (already cut to the perfect size) and I covered it to use as an ironing board. I only paid $11.99 for the shelf and the rest of the materials were things that I had on hand. The best part? I got the project done within a few hours after I got home. Hurray! Oh, and my husband approves of it, so THAT'S good, too! Ha!
I covered the top with the tomato red cross stitch print from my good neighbors fabric line. I kind of love it! I purposely chose a darker color to cover it with so hopefully it will wear well and last for a long time.
And the last deal of the day....this quilt is hand made, tied and it is in really good condition. I paid $7.99 for it. I certainly don't NEED another quilt, (are you laughing with me yet?) but for that price I just couldn't leave it there!!! I love it so much!

When you add it all up, I spent less than $23 total! I'm thrilled!

This is my favorite week of the year...and thanksgiving is definitely my favorite holiday. For those of you in the States, Happy Thanksgiving! Hope you have a wonderful, blessed day! xo

Monday, November 23, 2015

pincushions galore

I thought it would be fun to show my entire pincushion collection with you today! Some were made by me and several were made by my friends. I love them all! I could barely fit them all in one frame (hahaha!) surprise there!
These two are my favorite ones to least this week! :) I love that they have a firm base (a repurposed tuna can) and that they sit up higher than most pincushions. There is a tutorial here, from a long time ago, if you care to make one of your own.
 My pincushion "candy bowl" is full! This makes me super happy!
And one more...I made this little one on retreat this weekend. I found a scrap with my birth year on it and it was centered on the piece of fabric, so I just HAD to make a pincushion out of it. Isn't that the cutest? It's scrap project # 116!
If you are curious to know how I make my pincushions, I basically follow the directions in this tutorial...I just change up the patchwork on the top panel. I like to fill my smaller pincushions with crushed walnut shells, which I purchase in large quantities from the pet store. (They are sold as lizard litter). If the pincushions are over 5" or 6" I fill them with poly fiberfill, so they don't get too heavy. I hope that helps to answer any questions you may have!
Happy Monday to you!

Friday, November 20, 2015

catch-all fabric baskets

Welcome to finish it up Friday!

Well, it feels like winter here, so it was time to crack out the butterfly fabric! :) I actually used fabric from my stash this week--a noteworthy event to be sure. Ha!
Last summer my friend Michelle gave me a little fabric basket/tray as a gift, and I have found it so useful for corralling fabric scraps on my sewing table while I work. I have a lot of scraps, (ahem!) so I thought I would sew up a few more baskets. These were a fun, quick project to make that could be used for organizing so many different things! I was able to use up some scraps of weird stabilizer stuff (I think it was Pel-Tex) that I had leftover from making some bags years ago, so that was a bonus!
Let me mention the bamboo turner, pictured above. It's one of my new favorite tools! I usually use a knitting needle or something similar to poke out the corners of my little projects (like pincushions) but that bamboo turner is amazing! It's by Merchant & Mills and I bought it at Modern Textiles. It's a nifty little tool that I would recommend if you like sewing gadgets! Or if you make hundreds of pincushions, like I do. :)
You can use this video tutorial by Crafty Gemini to make the catch all baskets, if you care to make some of your own. Thanks, Vanessa!

Speaking of tools...I picked up this Clover needle threader at the free table last month at my guild meeting. (Don't you love that?) I haven't been successful in getting the needle threader to work, (although my son did) but I love the little cutter on the top! I use it for cutting apart blocks after chain piecing. It's so fun that I can even get my kids to do that task for me once in awhile. :) It ALL helps!
And just to keep things real....this was the project I was hoping to finish for today. I pulled out my scraps from this quilt and I was hoping to turn them into a throw pillow. The color balance wasn't quite right, but I didn't have the motivation or energy to push that will be saved for another day. It's close, but not quite there yet! It's ok...I have plenty of other projects to keep me busy. Ha!

Now it's your turn! Please link up your finishes. Thanks, as always, for joining me for finish it up Friday!

Monday, November 16, 2015

dot your i's...making progress

After a bit of a break from this quilt, I'm back at it and it feels good! This one is all about the process. I mean, I'm sure I'll like and use the quilt when it's done....but having a hand stitching project at the ready is essential for my sanity these days! (I can use all the sanity I can get! Ha!)
I started off with scraps from Denyse Schmidt's first two lines of fabric...flea market fancy and Katie Jump Rope, which dictated the color scheme. It's an interesting color mix and it's somewhat brighter than I expected it to be, but that's ok! I've been adding in a few other random prints for variety, but slowly as to not upset the current balance. It's funky and fun and I really like it!
For more specifics about the quilt, you can read this post.
Happy Monday to you!

Friday, November 13, 2015

starry pincushions and wool acorns

Welcome to finish it up Friday!
I was sick most of this week and when I actually started to feel better, I overdid it. (You would think I would know better by now!!!) Despite that fact, I managed to sew up a few pincushions. I certainly don't NEED another pincushion (or 6 more, for that matter!), but need has nothing to do with it! I did empty a scrap bag, so only 556 scrap bags left to go. (Hahaha!) I love these pincushions so much, and it will be hard to break up the set, but most of them will end up as gifts. They were a fun project to work on when I didn't have energy to work on anything else! I considered turning the blocks into a mini quilt, but pincushions won out in the end. Shocker, right? They are scrap project #115!
Fall is still hanging on around these parts, which is delightful! I assembled some wool acorns this week...while it's still fall. Another win! This bowl of wool acorns makes me giddy. (It's the little things!) I plan to make more and keep slowly adding to this bowl of goodness. I used this video tutorial for making the wool balls, but I used 100% wool yarn instead of roving. They were a fun project!

Now it's your turn! Please link up your finishes for the week. Thanks, as always, for joining me for finish it up Friday!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


I know I said it before, but I'll say it again. Thank you all for the sweet comments and links from my 9 year blog birthday post. The winners are Debbie and Southern Gal. Please email me so I can get some prizes to you! Thanks to everyone who played along. It's much appreciated! :)

Friday, November 06, 2015

mini coffee cups

Welcome to finish it up Friday!

First off, thank you so very much for all your kind comments on my 9 year blog birthday post. I appreciate each and every one! xo
Today I've got a few mini quilts to share. I came up with this design to go with my good neighbors fabric line. I had to test out the pattern on other fabric first, so I have two versions to share. One with a scrappy background and one without. I love seeing different versions of a single pattern anyway, so it all works out! :)

I went through some trial and error before landing on the right proportions.
block 1--the corner cut outs are a little too big...the mug looks tippy.
block 2--the corner cut outs are a little too small--you can barely see them.
block 3-just right! (This is, of course, after I made several coffee cups that were huge and some resembled beer steins. True story...they were hideous! Haha!)
And here is the good neighbors version! It has a single background rather than a scrappy one.
For this version, I quilted it with wavy lines (stitch #19 on my Janome Horizon) which kind of looks like steam rising. Isn't that fun? I love how different the two versions are! SO many possibilities.

The pattern can be purchased here and there are kits of the good neighbors version available here.
This one hangs in my kitchen/dining room and I smile every time I see it! I love it so much!

I have plans to make a whole quilt (lap size or larger!) out of these mini coffee mugs....some. day.

Now it's your turn! Please link up your finishes for the week. Thanks for joining me for finish it up Friday!

Monday, November 02, 2015

crazy mom quilts turns 9!

9 years ago today I started writing this blog. That is a whole lot of time sitting under a lap top and even more time sitting behind the sewing machine. I can only imagine how many miles of thread I've used! Needless to say, I had no idea what it would lead has been quite a ride!

I've decided that this should be an interactive celebration! So, if you've been inspired by something you've seen here, I'd love it if you would share a link. It could be a link to something you've made based on one of my tutorials, patterns, my craftsy class, something from Sunday Morning Quilts, or even something you've sewn up with my fabric. I'd love to see what you've made! You can be certain that there will be prizes!

Thank you so much for being a part of this journey. It certainly wouldn't be the same without you. xoxoxox

Happy Monday to you!

Friday, October 30, 2015

be positive hoop art

Welcome to finish it up Friday!
I've had two empty embroidery hoops (found and purchased at a local thrift store) hanging on my sewing room wall for months. Yesterday, I finally filled one and I love it so! I'm guessing that hoop art is on it's way out, because if I've made one, that is a sure sign. Ha! But, to quote my daughter, "it don't matter!" I love the low volume scrappy patchwork paired with hand quilting and dense machine quilting. Since I am lacking in the embroidery skills department, (it's true!) I free-motion quilted the words instead. It was so much faster and I had better results. I love this project so much!!! It's hanging on my sewing room wall and it is scrap project #114.

It was so fun to try something new! That being said, I have a feeling that next week I'll be back to pincushions! :)

Now it's your turn! Please link up your finishes for the week. Thanks for joining me for finish it up Friday!

Monday, October 26, 2015

simple patchwork dish towel tutorial

Well, hello! Today I will share a simple (and fun) little tutorial on how to make a patchwork dish towel. The strip of patchwork is a perfect opportunity to customize for any holiday....or make one out of your favorite color scheme, as I did here. This is a great way to use up those mini charm packs that you may collect, but aren't quite certain what to do with. Scraps from the scrap bins are a great option, too. Always!
What you will need:
one flour sack dish towel (mine is about 30" square)
15  2.5" squares (number of squares may vary depending on the width of your dishtowel)
white thread
working sewing machine

All seam allowances are 1/4" unless otherwise noted.
Sew the 2.5" squares end to end to make a patchwork strip. Press seams to the side. Make sure that the strip is at least 1/2" longer than the width of your towel.
Align the patchwork with the edge of the towel. Pin in place.
Find the starting point for your seam. Start 1/4" seam from the top of the towel and 1/4" in from the right hand side. You may want to mark this point with a pencil or water soluble pen. (See photo for starting point.) Sew along the right side of the patchwork.
Stop sewing 1/4" from the bottom edge of the towel.
 Press the patchwork strip away from the edge of the towel.
Trim ends of patchwork so they extend about 1/4" on each end. (My dish towel is a little wonky, so I'm just following the edges as they are.)
Fold the patchwork down and finger press the raw edges up about 1/4". Press seam with a hot iron.
Fold the patchwork strip back up. Tuck in all raw edges and pin in place.
Use a scant seam allowance to top stitch around the entire patchwork strip. I didn't sew on each seam within the patchwork strip, but you could if you wanted to! Back stitch a few stitches at the beginning/end of your seam.
The back looks nice and tidy because I used white thread....
and the front is pretty cute, too!
Here's a close up of the top stitching.
I would recommend making a bunch....some to keep and some for gifts! I can't guarantee that this will make doing dishes more fun, but it should make your kitchen a bit more cheery. :) I hope you have fun with this tutorial!

Oh, and this is scrap project #113. Yay!!

Happy Monday to you!

Friday, October 23, 2015

the frugal gal mini quilt

Welcome to finish it up Friday!

Thank you all so much for your kind comments about my crazy little half square triangle project last week! And thank you to those of you who weighed in on whether I should turn it into a pillow or mini quilt. In the end, I decided on a mini...for practicality reasons. I couldn't imagine letting anyone lay down on this! I'm happy to report that it is already hanging on my sewing room wall.
This piece is heavily quilted with a 1/2'' diamond pattern, which creates a beautiful texture. Since it only measures 20 1/4" x 20 1/2", it didn't take that long to quilt it. I love that about smaller quilts! Last evening my silly middle child was joking that he wanted to snuggle under it, so he tried, but it only covered one arm and part of his chest. Of course then he commented on how warm he was. I think he might be crazier than I am! :) For a split second I thought about how cool a LARGE scale quilt like this would be, but then I came back to reality. We have plenty of other large quilts to snuggle under. Plenty!
I used a subtle binding to finish it off, as to not detract from the tiny triangles. I'm quite pleased with how it turned out! This is scrap project #112.

The best part is...with this finish I am down to only (ha!) 20 works in progress. This past summer I had 25 WIPs, so that's pretty exciting!

Now it's your turn! Please link up your finishes for the week. Thank you for joining me for finish it up Friday!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

just four fun

This is a simple little quilt made up of 4 patch blocks, but sometimes simple is good! This quilt can be made from fat eighths, scraps, a charm pack, a few mini charm packs OR a combination of all 4. Plus, you only need 1 1/2 yards of background fabric! For the quilt shown, I used good neighbors fabric and white background fabric, both from Connecting Threads. It is quilted with an all over loop pattern. The quilt finishes at 42" x 48", so it's a nice baby size.
For the backing I used this lovely orange dear stella print that was aging nicely in my stash. I like it a lot! I finished things off with a sunny yellow striped binding.
Mary tested the pattern for me and she used 4 April Showers mini charm packs to make her quilt. She added wide borders (cut at 4 3/4") to make it into a lap size quilt. I thought that was a great idea! Thanks, Mary, for testing my pattern and for letting me share your beautiful quilt!

I have a free pattern here, if you'd like to make one of your own--without having to do the math! :)