Monthly Archives: March 2012

A finish that makes me a little sad

My older son, was really into trains. When he was itty-bitty, he had amazing fine motor skills. He couldn’t walk yet, but he would pick up the smallest things from the floor. It was no surprise when he started playing with wooden trains when he was about 18 months old. He had the wooden train tracks and would create the most amazing layouts with them. They always connected and zigged and zagged and loop-de-looped. I was surprised when other kids his age would come over and just put track parts in long lines. The layouts his friends made did not connect let alone do anything but go on forever.

At some point, when he was little, I picked up this yard of fabric to make into a play mat for him. I was going through my fabric and found it recently. It is a cheater quilt, but I know my nephew will love it. I just fmq’d around some of the shapes and then straight line quilted to get it done. I put in a few details like “Stephen Aire” on the plane, and our last names on the houses.

My son loved trains for years and years. We moved to Maryland over a year ago. At that time, he and I weren’t ready to get rid of them. I thought my other son would play with them still. But he never really did. So along with the cheater quilt, I boxed up all the wooden trains and tracks to go with them.

And a couple of new cars to use on the play mat.

I am so surprised at how sad I am. My son spent hours playing with his wooden trains. We spent our Saturdays hunting down specific track pieces or trains.

The catalogs that came with each train, were read and reread over and over. We knew all the names of the Thomas trains. My son knew who each train came from or for what event he got them. We went on the Thomas train rides with my brother and his two boys and wife twice.

We watched all the Thomas movies and probably own every train kids book there ever was.

The designs got more and more intricate and his knowledge still impresses me. He can tell you every kind of trestle or train track and train parts and anything train there is. He was going to be an engineer when he grew up.

But now, those trains have been replaced with things of a 9 year old. And we have to say goodbye to all the trains and tracks.


And I am reminded of the little boy that loved them for so many years. And I hope the new little boy they are going to…well, I hope that new little boy enjoys them half as much as my little boy did.

Silly, that a cheater quilt can make me so sentimental.

A new Hopscotch

Katy is doing it again. After the Swoon Along, the group is now going to do two more patterns from Camille, Hopscotch and On a Whim. I decided I wanted to just do Hopscotch. I chose it because it is triangles, not squares and not HST. I figured it would be more of a challenge for me. Although, after seeing some of the progress on On a Whim, I am kinda wishing I picked up that pattern too when Camille had them for $5 each.

hopscotch 3

Hopscotch is made with a Jelly Roll and some yardage. I didn’t have a specific reason for the Hopscotch aside from the challenge, so I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on a Jelly Roll. I found someone who cut their own strips of this Tina Givens Anabella in Mink fabric. It is an older line, but the yellow poppies really called to me, as did my pocketbook;)  I do prefer real Jelly Rolls that are pinked. This is messy in the making because the fabric likes to unravel. But I can totally deal with it for what I spent.

hopscotch 1

At first, I hated this pattern! I mean HATED with capital HATED. I was starting to think of it as “The Frog Quilt” because of all the frogging I was doing. I could not get the corners to match up at all. I didn’t think my technical sewing was that bad. But each seam I made, I had to frog at least once. So I went back to the drawing board and checked all my pieces. They were off about 1/4 of an inch in many cases. I had stacked my fabric to make cutting quicker. But it was not a good idea. Once I fixed all my pieces, my corners matched up much better. They still aren’t perfect all the way around, but I can live with them! Yay!


I am pressing my seams open as I go. I’m not usually a fan of pressing that way, usually I like to press to one side and let them nestle together. But they just make the points nicer if they are pressed open. I only actually cut out enough fabric to make 6 triangles. I had to sneak some time in. I didn’t want to sit down forever and cut and then end up not liking the pattern. I really like it a lot now.

hopscotch 2

When I get some more triangles done, the star in the center will be yellow and off white. But I just put them together to get an idea of how they were looking so I could decide if I hate it or love it.


I fell so much better now. I was thinking there was really something wrong with me for not being able to get the points to match up at all. I guess cutting isn’t my strong point. I can deal with that;)

Now just to sneak in some more time to cut up some more fabric and make more triangles.  

Matchy Matchy bathroom with a TP cover.


Have you seen the commercials from Cottonelle about their toilet paper covers? My husband and I giggle when we see them. Do people really NEED a toilet paper cover? Doesn’t everyone know what toilet paper looks like? Do we need to hide them? Would the covers they are selling actually be something you would want? When I looked online to see what company was making the toilet paper covers, I found out that they are designed by a real designer. Which reminded me about how Betz White designed the Kleenex boxes. That makes them cool, right? BTW, I did think they were cute. But we honestly just grab a handful of toilet paper for our noses. Is that wrong? When they make tissues as soft as my beloved Charmin, I may buy them. But in the meanwhile, I’ll use my soft Charmin.


Since I’m rambling, I have to tell you that the one thing I will never cut costs on is toilet paper. If my butt isn’t happy, quite frankly, I’m not happy. I’ve birthed two children and I need some loving down there! My grandma always had the hardest and thinnest toilet paper. I think it rivaled thin magazine paper. It hurt and made my butt unhappy. I loved so many things about her house. But I HATED using her bathroom! Ouch! I am pretty sure that because I was scarred like that as a child, I developed toilet paper snobbery.


And for some more rambling, the toilet paper should go over the roll and not come out from the bottom. K? There is just no debating in this house. Got it?!

So a while ago, I was doing my regular blog hopping and found the Dress up your Roll Challenge for making a toilet paper cover. I didn’t think much of it. Later, when I was making my Swoon block for my teeny powder room, it did cross my mind. I mean, if a quilt can go in the bathroom, why not give it a friend? 

I put a picture of my block in progress on Flickr and Quilt Jane commented that I should make a cover to match my Swoon, I figured it was Serendipity, right? Ok, maybe I’m being a little dramatic. It isn’t like Kismet or Serendipity. Though, it did sound like a good reason to make something. I don’t typically need a reason to make things. So when I came up with a reason, I figured I must. (I also made it ‘cause I thought it was funny.)


 The idea still makes me giggle. I even giggled when I was making this. I made a friendship braid and it called for diagonal quilting. As I was quilting it, I kept repeating “quilted Northern” in my mind. I think the quilting is perfect for a toilet paper cover. I do so love my quilted toilet paper, even though it isn’t Northern.

I used the same fabric that was used for my Swoon block. It is a simple project, but no less fun. My star on the top is to pay homage to the Swoon block.


Thanks for peeking. Do you plan to buy a toilet paper cover? Is it wrong to mock them and then make one yourself?


Quilt in the Crapper



Can you see it? Right there in the mirror? 



I finished my Swoon. Ok, so it is just one block, but it is a big block. I love it. It is in the crapper. I love my bathroom quilt.

I played with some pebble quilting. It was a nice size quilt to do that. Who-eee. That takes a little bit of time to do. I did have a lot of fun doing it though. I did larger pebble quilting on the outside white areas.


Added a couple of pocket tabs to hang it.

The back.

More playing with it, this time on the back of my couch.

How often do you take pictures of your bathroom? I can’t say I have done it much. It is actually the powder room on the main level. It is so small in there, that it is hard to get a decent picture. I love my yellow walls, but it makes for a crazy picture.


My kids love the quilt in the crapper. My husband likes it too. And I adore it!

Adding a little crochet bling to a onesie

10 crochet trim on onesie

In my last post, I shared a quilt I made for my Math-y sister. I also sent her a couple of onesies that I added some crochet trim to. It is super easy and just adorable.


9 crochet ric rac

I found a tutorial for crocheting ric-rac from foxslane. If you can crochet, this whips up in no time! I just crochet a piece of ric-rac long enough to go over the front neck line of the onesies. With a needle and thread, I tacked it down to the top of the onesie! Super easy.

  11 crochet trim on socks

I thought the onesies needed some socks too. These socks are teeny. I forgot how small baby stuff is. I used the pattern from foxslane and just did half of it to add the trim to the socks. You need to remember when crocheting trim around socks, that the socks need to be able to stretch. I only stitched into each 4th rib in the socks for the pattern. These took a few minutes each. Super dooper easy. And the cute factor is so high.


Two onsies with matching socks! My mom did this when my baby sister Erika came along (14 years after me, 12 years after my younger sister Rebecca). I can still remember Mom stitching onto onesies with a blanket stitch around the necklines and then adding crochet trim to it. My way is a little quicker than that. But I’ve also done it Mom’s way, crocheting the trim directly to the neckline.

12 baby girl gifts

A quilt for my Math-y sister

There is that McD commercial out now where they ad “Y” to the end of everything to make it sound yummy. “Tomato-Y” My kids think it is hilarious and now add the extra y to everything to make it sound better. So here is a quilt for my Math-Y sister!

1 a quilt for my math-y sister

It all started when I saw this graph-ic post from a squared w. I had to pin it for my sister Erika. She is a Math geek and I thought it would be fun to have some kind of meaning to the quilt I would make for her baby to be. My sweet Erika even worked at a place named “Mathnasium” where she tutored kids in math. Perfect quilt for her.

I had ordered this fabric from Sandi Henderson’s Secret Garden line before I had decided on the quilt pattern. (I did add the pink floral, the red and the backing fabric from the LQS to make it more girlie.)  Another reason I liked this specific pattern was because it was a good choice for large prints like this line. Secretly, I only used about half the intended selections from this line for my sister’s quilt. I took out the grey and blues to keep for myself ‘cause I love them so.


I haven’t paper pieced a whole quilt like this before. And I can’t believe I did this, but I was trimming away two of the blocks and I used my rotary cutter to slice through the paper. I had just put a new blade on too. Oy. I have a rotary blade just for paper. Sometimes, I guess I get caught up in what I’m doing and don’t think about these things.


Anyway, this went fairly quickly. The hardest part was trying to figure out the layout for it.

  2 math quilt done

And the finished quilt! I think it is lovely!

 3 math quilt

My neighbor was outside on her back patio when I was having my little photo shoot with the quilt. I’m sure she thought I was nutty being out in the cold snapping pictures of a quilt. Ha. Kind of made my day imagining what she was thinking of me.


I used the fabrics from the center of the quilt to bind it.


My favorite quilting is to sort of follow the lines of the image. I traced part of the flower in the corner here. Maybe you can tell.


One of my secret messages. Do you do that? Do you add secret messages and shapes into your quilting? I don’t know why I started it, but I think I’ve always done this. This one says “Love Tante Anjeanette”. Tante is Danish for Aunt.


The back I added some of the fabric from the front. I had enough of the floral red for the back, but I think it is more fun with a little color.

8 back of the quilt

I also decorated a couple of onesies and teeny socks to go with the quilt.

  12 baby girl gifts

I hope my sister and her coming baby will love it.