Friday, February 19, 2010

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Pinwheel Quilt
So, do you remember my pinwheel quilt I started last spring? I got it back from the quilter a few weeks ago and I am sooo happy with how it turned out, so I thought I'd share some pictures with you (it still needs to be bound). This longarm quilting gal that I used is absolutely amazing. She did a wonderful job and totally exceeded my expectations!

When I look at this quilt I feel like I'm looking at something out of a magazine. I'm not bragging when I say that because really it's the quilting that makes it so gorgeous. I told her the design I wanted that I had seen on her website, but I still couldn't picture exactly what it would look like.

She has a long waiting list, so it took a while, but it was totally worth the wait. It was very exciting pulling this quilt out of the box! Here are some photos where you can see some of the quilting detail:

So, in case you're interested in making a quilt like this, here's some info:
I made the quilt top using this pinwheel block tutorial on Vanessa Christenson's blog. Using charm packs (pre-cut 5" squares) saves a lot of time when making this block. My quilt is made using 4 charm packs (two for all the pinwheels and two- with some leftover-for the border), and a few yards of plain cream fabric. I used Allspice Tapestry by Figtree for Moda. There is one pinwheel block for each of the 40 or so fabrics in the line. You could use any fabric though, and
just cut your own squares. Here is another tutorial for a smaller pinwheel quilt for a baby that is really cute. Love the prarie points border on that one.

This is what the quilting looks like on the back:

I was thinking about just having this quilt out and about in my living room, but now I think I'll probably get one of those quilt hanging shelf things and put it up on the wall instead.
Here's why:


See what I mean about photo shoots around here?!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Portland, Maine


So I mentioned earlier that I had gone antiquing in Maine a few weeks ago. My friend Ellen and I went off to Portland on a cold Saturday and had a great day! We've been trying to work out a time to go for a few years now, so I'm glad it finally worked out! We met another friend at the Miss Portland Diner and had lunch, went to see the Portland Head lighthouse, and went to an architechtural salvage place, and the tiniest fabric store I've ever seen.

It was freezing, and really windy, but we still got out of the car to get a few pictures!

I thought Portland was so pretty, I'd love to go back someday.

There were cute houses all over the place, here's one I happened to take a picture of when we stopped for a minute. I didn't take too many photos since I was driving, but here is Ellen's post about our day with a few more, and some info on the Miss Portland Diner. It has an interesting story, and the food was really good! Oh, and here's her photo of a really cute little post office we saw on Cape Elizabeth.


After we left Portland, we headed down to a couple of antique places in Ogonquit, and Wells. It was fun to browse through all of the stuff in those stores! I didn't buy too much (my husband couldn't believe I didn't come home dragging any furniture behind me!), but I got a few things. I think my favorite thing I bought that day is this brown transferware platter. I think it's so pretty, and right now it's displayed in my living room (which is also our family room, toy room, tv room, and sometimes ball-playing room) Hopefully none of the crazies will knock it over and break it.

I really like transferware, my favorites are the browns and reds. I don't think I'll ever get a whole set or anything, but it would be fun to collect a few pieces around the house for decor and to mix in with my regular dishes.

Here is a post on a blog I really like- A Country Farmhouse- about a collection of transferware.
I also bought this old coal bucket. I don't know why, I just thought it was really cool looking! It would look really great holding logs on a hearth, or pinecones at Christmas time like in this photo.


I also bought a few blue Mason jars with old metal lids, and a really cute little stuffed cat made out of an old quilt for the little gal. The prices at the places we went were pretty reasonable, so I really didn't spend very much at all. A couple of other things I wanted to buy but didn't: the Fisher Price doctor kit I had as a kid (in an antique store- does that make me old?!), and a really cool old yo-yo blanket. Some day I'm going to make one of those for myself out of all of my scraps. I think they're so cool.
I'll definitely be going back for more antiquing in Maine!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Vacation Snow

So right now my kids are on a break from school for the week. February vacation is not my favorite thing. I just don't really see the point of a break when it's this cold outside. Of course, lots of people are off to Florida or ski trips, so I guess they think Feb. vacation is a great idea!
So anyway, the nice thing about the snow yesterday is that it was also relatively warm outside, so the kids could go out and have some fun. They built a snowman,

made a snowbaby,


and snow angels. This little gal absolutely loves the snow. She doesn't mind the cold at all.


*A couple of things to notice in these pictures- new glasses for the 10-year-old, and missing two front teeth on the 6-year-old!

Snowy Morning

This is what we woke up to this morning:

A beautiful, snow-encrusted world!

It snowed almost all afternoon yesterday. It's really only a few inches, but it is the kind that clings to all of the tree branches. Our backyard is really woodsy so that, combined with the sunny blue sky made a pretty spectacular sight.

I'm glad I went out and took these photos early, because by late morning, the snow started coming down off the trees, first all powdery and sparkly, then in big clumps. By early afternoon the sky was gray again and most of the snow was gone off the trees.


Click on my collage to see more snowy photos. And yes, that is my outdoor Christmas tree still up. I just couldn't bring myself to get rid of it! I'm glad I didn't because I think it looks so pretty all snow-covered. What a glorious day!

Trash to Treasure Finds

I was pretty excited about this find. I was on my way to the pediatrician (yet again!) one morning a few weeks ago and saw this out in front of a neighbor's house with their trash. It looked like they had tried to sell it at a yard sale- it had a piece of masking tape on it which had $6 written on it and crossed out, and then $4. I would totally have paid $4 for it! Even though I had a poor little sick with a horrible ear infection gal in the car, I had to make a quick stop and rescue this from the garbage truck!

I remember us having one of these as a kid and sledding on it. Too bad I don't have my original one anymore, but this is a good substitute. I've seen so many cute blog photos using old wooden sleds for Christmas Decorations out on porches (like this one from Pleasant Home) and I thought it would be a fun addition to my festive porch decor for next year. A couple of days later I went antiquing in Maine (I am about to do a post about that as well) and saw two wooden sleds in comparable shape- one for $45, and a bigger one for $75!! Then I really felt good about my thrifting prowess (and better about spending some money at the antique stores!)

My husband found this table (in all it's hideous 70's orange glory) forlornly sitting out on the curb early last Saturday morning. Despite it's current ugly color, I can see potential in it with it's planked top and chunky turned legs. I wish it were bigger because someday I want to get myself a big old farmhouse table that will actually fit our whole family without having to cram in elbow to elbow at the dinner table! May have to actually buy that one!

I think this could make a cute little nightstand for one of the kids- or me- to stack all my books and magazines in. A new coat of paint and some hardware and she'll be good to go. Of course, it's too cold to work on stuff right now. Another reason to look forward to spring. You may be saying- well, it's already second half of February, it's coming soon! Uh, not really. Here in MA, I have learned not to get excited about Spring until at least April. Unfortunate, but true!




9-Patch Blocks

A month or so ago I started sewing 9-patch quilt blocks. I've been wanting to make one for a while, especially after seeing this quilt (by Vanessa), and re-reading the Little House on the Prarie series this past fall (Laura starts sewing 9-patch blocks as a young child, and they are mentioned throughout the books. At some point she finishes her quilt and takes it with her when she gets married). Those books are some of my all time favorites, and I liked them just as much- if not more, as an adult!

Anyhoo, I am using all of my reproduction fabric I've been collecting for a while. This was a really common pattern in the 30's and 40's so I want it to be vintage-inspired looking. I think I made about 65 blocks, and then cut the same number of white blocks. When the blocks are sewn together with every other one being white and colored, it will make an Irish Chain pattern. Here are my stacks of blocks to make my 13 rows. Here is Vanessa's tutorial to make 9-patch blocks. They are really easy, just sewing strips together. I'll post some more pictures when the top is finished.

Happy Valentine's Day

We Had a Happy Valentine's Day

It was nice that it was on Sunday and church is in the afternoon so we could take our time having our Chocolate Gravy and Biscuits. I made these for our RS "Valentine Treat" recipe swap night and I think I liked them even more as a dessert. It's not too late, you can still make them just because!

We went out the night before and saw the movie Valentine's Day which I thought was cute, and ate out. Not takeout, not Burker King or pizza- a real live restaurant!

On Friday morning these arrived- in the mail and everything! It was a nice surprise and these flowers are so gorgeous. I love tulips, and it is nice to have something springy looking. At this point, Winter is getting a little old.
Hope you had a good one too.

Tough Break!


A few Saturdays ago, my kids went sledding. Two of them ended up with a broken bone- same day, same hill and two breaks! I really couldn't believe it.

This one had a broken wrist:
(he was extremely excited about his red cast, and letting his friends sign it!)


This one broke his thumb:

We thought they were just sprained at first, so we waited until Monday morning to take the little guy to the dr. We went to the pediatrician, then xray place, then to the orthopedist at the hospital to get the cast. That night I started suspecting the other one had a break too, so Tuesday we did the whole thing over again! It was quite the week. Luckily, they were not serious and they didn't have to have casts for very long, one for 2 weeks and one for 3. Kids heal quickly!
Now, I am not a doctor so I am not giving medical advice, but I will tell you what I have learned as a mom about kids and broken bones.
- Just because they can still move it doesn't mean it's not broken.
-Just because they aren't complaining about a lot of pain, doesn't mean it's not broken.
Luckily, my kids have only ever had a more minor type of fracture, and the recurring signs of that for us have been: swelling that won't go down, bruising, and they quit using it. Even if they say it doesn't hurt a lot, they'll let it hang at their side. Just FYI. I think we are off sledding for the rest of this winter!


In this house, photo shoots have to be quick, because they will quickly deteriorate into this:
And this: