Friday, August 31, 2012

Utility Aprons

Didn't I promise you that I would tell you about these aprons I made last Friday and only gave you a sneak peak?

I picture you sitting at your computer, phone, or iPad....tap, tap, tapping your fingers...holding your breathe....then puffing it out.   You yell at the computer....WHERE IS THE POST SHE PROMISED!  I am totally kidding....I know you aren't. You have so much more on your mind than that. 

 At least you better!

But I do want to share with you how they came about and what tutorial I used!  If you recall, I used to work at my sons' school as the clinic nurse.  I already was friends with many of my co-workers, even before that, but my friendship with one particular person blossomed even more while I worked with her.  She runs the desk at what we sometimes called the "little campus" where the pre-K 4 year olds and Kindergarteners were.  The main clinic where I was parked at is at the "main campus". Because of that distance, she manages the wee ones bumps, bruises, and fevers.  I was only called over for things that we needed to consult on more serious issues or the "uhhhh, we got creepy crawlies over here....time to check a whole class worth of heads" get what I mean, right?

 The two campuses are only separated by a driveway, but when there is an emergency?  It can feel like two miles!! How do we know if there is an emergency?  We used a walkie talkie.  You have to carry yours around you all day long.  I made this little bag when I first arrived so that I could stash not only the walkie talkie, but my cell phone, and keys to open the exterior doors of the buildings.  

November 2010

I also made her a version with the school plaid material.  Unfortunately, she has a heart the size of the entire Earth (remember Meemah's quilts?) and gave her little bag to a sweet little girl who thought she could have it!  Since she gave me the quilts earlier this year,  I have been meaning to make some gifts for her.  She mentioned different things here and there and as the new school year approached I thought I would focus on getting the things done before the school year ended, right?

Recently, I pulled out this little bundle from my stash for her that I have been hoarding.  

It was bought on a whim from the basket of clearance goodies at Joann's fabrics and I sorta coveted it because I liked the vintage feel.  I was short a few fabrics for other projects, but I was able to squeak out a utiltity apron for her.  She can slip her pen, walkie talkie, and paper for writing down her lunch order numbers and any other goodies she would like to have on her!

I found this great utility apron tutorial via UCreate at Rosey Corner Creations.  Trust me, I am saving you hours of searching!   It was a perfect size and I liked that her tie straps were substantial and long enough to wrap around a normal sized woman...not a skinny child! And the ability to have more than a few mixes of fabric really appealed to me.

As luck would have it, I had just enough scraps for the outside of a mini-tote....found a coordinating fat quarter for the inside...and she could use it to carry her walkie talkie if she didn't want to wear an apron that day.

I, then, had some tiny scraps left over and made her this quilted camera strap like the one she has been coveting since I made mine here.

But, of course I couldn't stop there.  I had to make an apron for the school years theme which involves  Cowboy boots.  So I grabbed some scraps of the school plaid and added some denim and bandanna material.

Since Halloween would be around the corner, I found some orange and yellow Moda swirl in my stash and coordinated it with some black gingham and a leftover strip of Moda Trick or Treat from my Spiders and Webs quilt.

Still not done.....

Christmas!   Moda Dots and scraps from my Figgy Pudding Quilt I am working on!!!

I started preparing and cutting last Thursday, and completed them Friday afternoon.  Not long at all.  I delivered it Monday, and she loved them.  She put one on right away.  The only problem?  I am vastly worried that I will arrive at our scrapbook retreat in a few weeks and she will have something for me.  She always is giving and I can't keep up! 

Do you have any friends like that?


Don't forget about the Thank You {Giveaway}. 
If you haven't had a chance to enter...go HERE now!!!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

WIP: More "In Progress" than "No Progress"

I am excited today because not only is it WIP Wednesday, I actually don't have a lot of No Progress items this week!!  I feel bad because so much was accomplished this week and I know how frustrating it is when I see others make a lot of progress and I have made none, but I am happy that it is MY turn!!!  I can totally give credit to the Virtual Sew In I participated on Saturday!  I have a lot of great in progress photos on that post...I just grabbed a few for this post here to share!


Utility Aprons

I finished these aprons up on Friday!!!
I wanted them done before the Virtual Sew In, but ready to go for Monday.  This is just a sneak peek:

These were a gift for a good friend of mine!  I will elaborate on another post later this week and tell you all the details because the reason for the gift, the tutorial and fabrics deserve their own spotlight!!

In Progress:

Spiders and Webs, part deaux

Last week, I was having camera downloading problems and this is a picture of the pieced rectangles from last week. 

I was able to cut all of my triangles on Saturday.

Cutting black and white triangles for another Spider and Webs quilt!

And I have it in a sort of layout on my portable design wall waiting to be pieced.

 I have decided to do a black background and found this cute fabric for the backing.

Figgy Pudding Christmas Quilt

I finally pulled out my pieced background for the top of the quilt.  

Cut out trees and trunks.  I am rapidly realizing that I have not even touched my machine during this SEW in. Off to rectify this situation!

I was able to cut out all of my trees and all that is keeping me from a finished top is to get them appliqued and piece the large piece you see above to the lower half of the quilt!

Baby Girl Quilt

Remember how this baby girl kit has been sitting and waiting for me.  I think I have changed the recipeint in my head about a million times now?

I have a new recipient and cut out the pieces!!!!

Craftsy Quilt &  August do. Good Stitches block

My fabric arrived!  Thanks to my Kona color card, I think I chose my colors well.  When I showed the backing fabric to the boys and asked them if they were the right colors for the recipients family room, they responded with a resounding..."Ooooh, yeah mom".  Phew!

All those oranges and purples are some additions to help beef up my stash.  The do. Good Stitches block this month made me realize I need more orange and pinks to be able to pull from!

I consider fabric purchase as progress...don't you?

No Progress: 

Retro Flower Quilt
Thank You Quilt
Merry, Merry Snowman Quilt

I am tickled pink to see only 3 things on this list!!!!

New Projects:

A Secret Quilt 

I can only show you a snippet because I can't reveal all.

  I was able to complete the full top and pieces for the backing.  I hope to get this bad boy on Ole Betsy this week.  I have given myself a deadline of Friday!  You will see more of it soon!  I promise!!!

****Note:  I have A GIVEAWAY running this week until next Tuesday, September 4, 2012.  It is a thank you to all of my followers...old and new! 

Don't miss your chance to enter and win one of these fat quarter bundles of yummy Amy Butler and Kumari Garden. 

Off to link up with Freshly Pieced.  Today's guest poster is  Michelle from CityHouseStudio

I am in love with her library tote.....Go check it out!!!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Thank You {Giveaway}

I realized the other day that I wanted to say

to my family, friends, and followers!


This blog means more to me than many could ever know!
These days, I am blogging regularly about my quilts, crafts, and home decoration forays.  
This blog has been a therapy of sorts.  I intended it to be a place for me to connect.  I had just joined the online community world in the summer of 2009 (specifically the BabyCenter Community) when I was frantically searching for information about Thanataphoric Dysplasia, the fatal diagnosis our daughter, Jamie Lynn, was given.  When I worked up the nerve to introduce myself to a group of ladies in similar circumstances, the spark that occured was tremendous.

I was not alone.

Then quilting and sewing became my therapy after my grief.  It allowed me to blow steam.  I wanted needed to have someone to share my passion.  I have scrap booking friends that I go on regular retreats with.  The occasions are extremely lovely.  I wanted that for my quilting.   The response of my friends when I would mention that I loved to sew or quilt were always, "Oh, I have a machine...I just don't know where it is?"  "Oh, my husband bought me a machine for Christmas two years is still in the box".  As luck would have it, I found an online sewing group in that same online community.  Connections were made.  I loved the interaction.  I had learned to sew from books and tv shows, but I quickly learned the words tutorial, blogs, bookmarking, and giveaways.  I learned that blogs could be a place for me to journal my projects and my progress.  A place where I could share any knowledge I had gained in the previous 15 years with others. A place where I could learn from other too!

I was not alone.

In October 2010, Buttons and Butterflies was created.

Thank you for not leaving me all alone.  The friendships I have made are tremendous both with my loss followers/friends and my quilt/crafting friends.  I love the banter with you.  I love the interaction.  I love the feedback on a project.  I love the motivation.  I love that I was inspired to begin my charity Butterfly Kisses by connecting with others.  And I love that you all GET it!   I cannot wait to run into a few of you at a quilt show. 

So in order to have a proper thank you post, I am providing a giveaway.

Amy Butler Midwest Modern Garden Maze, Midwest Modern Park Fountains, and Kumari Garden Chandra

These two sweet little fat quarter bundles made by yours truly!

These aren't just ANY ordinary bundles.  No siree!  These bundles are special in so many ways. 
  • They are a portion of the first online order of fabrics I ever made.
  • The were the first fabrics that I actually paid attention to the designer of the quilt fabric (Amy Butler and Kumari Gardens).
  • The fabrics were chosen by a customer for a custom Butterfly Kisses quilt...Hartley's quilt
  • The fabrics are quite coveted by me and have only been cut out for Hartley's quilt and a bee block here or there.   This was a momentous occasion for me to cut it for you. 

In short? They embody so much of who I am as a quilter right now.  An online quilt/craft blogger.  A growing fabric snob.  A recovering from grief mother sharing the only thing she has to offer...herself.  And a growing fabric hoarder.  

Big stuff people!

The business end of things....

TWO winners will receive one fat quarter bundle each.  The drawing will in one week,  Tuesday, September 3rd.  Any comments after 11:59PM CT will not be valid for the drawing, but still be appreciated!  The only "hoop" I am going to have you jump is this...... 

Recently, Rachel at Stitched in Color, has been gearing up for a craft show and she discussed her aesthetic or "look".  It made me think about all the other blogs I follow and know and love.   How I always associate dark wood, bright colors, and intriguing patterns with Rachel.  I associate the dichotomy of the complex with the simple with Tracey at Traceyjay quilts...not to mention her gorgeous children, her farm and the fields in the background that her quilts hang in the wind?  Makes me want to run barefoot wrapped up in a quilt to go have a picnic in the field!  I could go on and on about other bloggers...but you get the picture, right?

How to enter?  One comment.  Answer one or all questions.
(make sure you are not a No-Reply Blogger.  If you are a non-blogger, be sure to leave me your email....I can't get your information if I can't contact you back!)

What do you associate with my blog?  What makes you think of me?  What is my "look"?  Or if I have more than one look...which one should I cultivate? Do you think I should focus more on something and less on others? Do you tire of my personal posts?

Oh...and if you are a fairly new follower?  Feel free to tell me what made you click "FOLLOW ME"!

There is a KEY point I want to make.

I am a big girl.  I can take it.  I made sure I wore my big girl pants today! I really want to hear what you have to say!

I am, admittedly, taking complete advantage of you. 
You are at my mercy and I am not wasting that precious fabric just for a measly "lovely" comment! 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Virtual Sew In

Ever done one?

I tried to find a definition or some cute image, and I couldn't find I made my own!

Photo via Instagram

An online friend did a shout out a few weeks ago on Facebook.  I had a ton to do and needed some dedicated time to do it all in. How could I not say "Me! Me! Me!"

Admittedly....Mr. Boss laughed at me when I told him my plans.  He finds these online interactions odd, but I explained to him that all I was basically asking for was 6 hours of uninterrupted sewing time. The gals and I would just be posting our progress, questions, and encouraging each other!  Baby and kid duty would be his.  
He being the wonderful man he is?  He agreed!

 I thought I would share with you how the day here goes!

Saturday, 9:42 am

Slept in.  I was up late Friday night getting things planned. I popped onto Facebook and said "Hello".  A few of the ladies were just getting started. 
However, I needed my coffee and my shower ASAP!

Saturday, 11:30 am

  Mr. Boss left with Button to go grocery shopping.  I turned on my iron and pulled out my first projects (scrap fabric, tools, etc) for the day.

Saturday, 11:42 am

Showed off my plans to the group.  Then commenced cutting fabric.

Saturday, 11:54 am

An inquiry was made about where we were working. Photos of our spaces were requested...and they had to be current..messes and all.  
Question mark= secret project (taken with my iphone)
 I have to admit, it made me feel like we were sewing together on a retreat!

Saturday, 2:00 pm

All my coins (2.5 inch x 5 inch) were cut out.  88 rectangles cut from all my scrap bins.
 I also cut my 7 pieces for the sashing and borders (Kona Snow).

Virtual sew in with some online friends. Quilt top pieces cut!
via Instagram

I have to admit. I was really wishing that I had bought a charm pack at this point.  I could have cut it in half!  Two hours is too long to cut fabric!

Saturday, 2:30 pm

 Coins and sashing completely laid out on my design wall.
(can't show you the picture...secret project...don't you hate that?!?!?)

Saturday, 3:05 pm

It was time to switch gears and not think about the quilt top.  I completed the cutting of 8 black and white pieced strips (4 jelly roll strips sewn into a rectangle) into 56 triangles for a second Spiders and Webs quilt.

Cutting black and white triangles for another Spider and Webs quilt!
via Instagram

Saturday, 3:17 pm

Finished getting the triangles on my design wall.
 By luck, I had the other quilt top laid out on the lighter side, and flipped it to the back (remember I made a black side for my portable wall design) just to get them up. 

As luck would have it?  I liked the black!  I have now made the decision to do black triangles instead white like I originally intended.

Saturday, 4:18 pm

I pulled out my Christmas top I had started here.
  I spent an hour cutting various sizes of my scraps to make the trees and trunks. 

Cut out trees and trunks.  I am rapidly realizing that I have not even touched my machine during this SEW in. Off to rectify this situation!
via Instagram

However, it was at this point that I realized that I was really doing a "cut-in" day instead of a "sew-in"

Saturday, 4:30pm

I immediately went to work piecing all the coins and sashing. Mr. Boss even commented that I REALLY meant business when I took the cover off my Symphony. He also could not believe how much I had accomplished since I started.  

 Of course, around this time is when there were a lot of up from his nap, which meant me sewing with him on my lap or making sure he wasn't turning the machine on when he started feeding fabric to the machine.  Not to mention dinner, clean-up, driving a teenager to the school dance...and so on!

Saturday, 10:57 pm

  And I had a finished top...44x54!  Just in time to pick up the teenager up from the dance!

I can't show you all of it, so it is just a sneak peek because it is a surprise quilt, and I don't want a certain someone to get the drift...even though she is pretty smart and will! 

Sunday, 12:02 am

I returned home and had a MAJOR second wind.  I have horrible insomnia and driving around and listening to the radio station playing club music had me pumped!

I decided to get to work on a paper piece project.

Sunday, 2:53 am

Called it a night!  
I had finished piecing three letters out of four.  I was very distracted at this point because a few of us were burning the midnight oil and getting pretty silly online chatting!

I was making friends with Jack the seam ripper again. Sometimes, you have to stop when you are just not making good decisions!

Sunday, 3:10 pm

Finished the last letter.  Had to squeeze it in during laundry, football fantasy draft (I am Team "Yo Momma"), school/sports calendar planning for the week, and homework round-up.

So...not too shabby, hunh?  I feel really satisfied today!

The bonus?  Because I knew that I was sewing on Saturday, I wanted to get some unfininished gifts out of the way Friday!  I can't share those yet, but I am so excited to have made significant progress this weekend!!!  I would just like the momentum to keep moving!

My point of this whole post?  

If you can't make it out of the house to go on a retreat far, far away.  Here is what you do:
  • Do a shout out to your fellow online sewing friends
  • Set up a private group on FB
  • Pick a day on a weekend that everyone can do
  • Plan specific projects for that day
  •  Get sewing ladies!!!!

P.S.  I am actually going to do a GIVEAWAY. for you, my loyal followers.   
I will announce it on Tuesday, August 28, 2011
Stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

WIP: School Blues

I feel like a broken record, but man....I am so sad that school started....

So are they?
The Middle J's are now in Middle School and the oldest is a SOPHMORE.  A SOPHMORE?!?!?!?

Button and I are pretty lonely and I think yesterday, I may or may not have gotten mad at him like a three year old child.  We were yelling at each other because I was trying to clean the kitchen and he was being counterproductive and emptying out all the cabinets.  I think I may have even stomped my foot?

Ever have one of those days?

And to further the grandmother (who is 82 now) sent me this email yesterday evening:

"So Summer is over.  I can remember that first day of school was always filled with conflicting emotions for me.  Glad for the few hours of peace and quiet, and structure in the days, but regretting having used up another year of childhood.  How can such important years of our lives, parents and children, evaporate so quickly?  Even now, if I let myself dwell on the subject I get a little pang!"
 Yeah....get the tissue out.   But hey..isn't she the coolest grandmother EVER?  My kid's great grandmother not only emails regularly, designs and prints her own cards on the computer, but she also Skypes now....wooooah!!


Sibling Sets

Non-quilting, but I made these cute applique sets on Saturday! 

 One for a friend/client (aren't most of our clients friends?) 


And since I was in the mood, I made another set as a gift.

In Progress:

Black and White Spiders and Webs Quilt

I am I have successfully pieced my eight rectangles. 
(No pictures at the iPhoto is misbehaving...just picture 4 jelly roll strips sewn together in black and white, okay?)

 I have more rectangles this time so I am not sure how big or how many "webs" I will get.  When I did the the first Spiders and Webs for the Moda Bake Shop, I had eliminated about 5-6 strips for the binding.  I think because Halloween is approaching I was contacted about how many rectangles I did.  I had reconstructed my tutorial AFTER I had completed the quilt, and I am now wondering if I finagled a shorter rectangle with two strips by cutting them in half because I recall doing so....we shall see how it plays out.  
You will be the FIRST to know Whitney!!!!!!

Teenager's Room

I hung up the curtains...but no pictures yet because it has been dreary, dreary, oh...and dreary! 
I have the pile of fabric out 

and all of my magazine/catalog clippings to stir up some throw pillow ideas.

Craftsy Class

The class asks us to make a quilt using her free pattern that is included in the class or purchase a fabric panel from her Spoonflower sets.  I, of course, have to make a quilt. 

 I decided Friday that I would make the solid quilt for someone in particular. just informed me yesterday afternoon that the solids and striped backing I ordered are on their way!

No Progress:

Retro Flower Quilt
Button's Nursery Twin Bed Quilt.   
A Figgy Christmas Quilt 
Baby Girl Quilt.
Thank you quilt 
Merry, Merry Snowman BOM quilt
August do.Good Stitches Block


New Projects:

 I may or may not have said I would do a quilt pattern test.  Yup, shoot me.


Off to check on WIP.  I am so excited....since Mr. Boss was gone for four nights, I caught up with my WIP blogs and made a special category in my Google Reader just for my WIP friends.  That way I can just scroll down and read theirs today FIRST!!!  And then go back to Freshly Piece and read any new quilters!

Rebecca from Pieces and Cream is guest posting over there.  I used to live in the Milwaukee area and went to Marquette University with Mr. Boss.  I wonder if she will think I am stalking her if I follow her?

Sorry for the long may be because my only conversation lately is with an 18 month old.


Monday, August 20, 2012


I found this picture today on my Facebook and had to share! 
 Bunny and I were messing around with some effects last spring.  
I think we played with it for almost an hour.

Go play with your photo booth if you have an iMac or MacBook with a camera.

We think that our third child just might be an alien in disguise.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Solid Quilts

I am finally going to dive into my first all solids quilt.

Photo from class

If you recall, I am taking this class

It is time for me to take all of this sketching 

and it to practice on Ole Betsy!
 I am so excited!!!!!

The only problem?  I had to order the fabric today and progress will have to wait until it arrives!!

My design wall on

I really wanted this quilt to go to someone that, no matter how she slices, she likes some pretty contemporary things. I am chose all the colors based on my memory of her family room colors and I tried to look at old photos and looking at all the swatches on my Kona Cotton Solids Color Card.

 And for those who don't know, once you start buying fabrics online, you learn very quickly that not everything is what it seems on the images.  Color cards can SAVE YOUR life.  Okay, maybe not your life, but certainly your wallet!!

 I am not cool and don't have the new card with the new 28 colors yet. I didn't want to get it yet because I need to get started sooner than later.  However, I just love the names of the colors above:  Cloud, Raffia, Palm, Seafoam, Green Tea, Celadon, and Ash.   Sound like cool and calm colors to me!  I have to admit that I was a little jittery with a palette with all solids, so I chose the stripe for the backing. Settled my nerves a bit.  I just hope it is complimentary to the colors I chose.  I couldn't find any images online.

If I wasn't doing the Craftsy class project, I would be VERY tempted to do Rachel's over at Stitched in Color.  She is did a Bottled Rainbow Picnic Blanket!  One day, someday, I will do her Bottled Rainbows Ticker Tape Quilt along.  But that has to be SOMEDAY!

Anyone else have any great solids quilts they love?  Feel free to post links in your comments!!!
  I'd love to see them!

On a side-note...It has been at least 9 weeks since I have bought fabric online.
  Amazing, no?  
We won't talk about local purchases, okay?


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