Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!


As we celebrate Christmas this year, I am so grateful for our Savior Jesus Christ.  Christmas Eve is especially dear to my heart, its the day we reenact the nativity, we talk of Christ, we read from the bible.  We quiet our hearts, and enjoy the peace that comes from thinking about the ETERNAL gift we've been given from above.  

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas.  Filled with fun, family, and most importantly the love of our SAVIOR.   

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Pin Boards



This year for Christmas we decided to give our kids a room makeover.  They will receive paints, rollers, etc.  And, these little numbers.  Pin Boards.  I searched the internet for some fun (CHEAP) ideas.  What I came up with was Insulation Board and fabric.  Perfect.

I went to Lowes and got 1 board ($6).  I also bought spray adhesive ($3), and then I used fabric from my stash ($0).   I thought about doing one big board, or doing a 9 by 9 of squares, and came up with this plan instead.  I still get the variation of fabrics, without all the cutting and work of smaller squares.


You can cut the board at Lowes, or you can cut it yourself.  I didn't know the dimensions I wanted until later, so we had to cut it ourselves, and to be honest, it was a little less straight than the Lowes cuts (sorry hubby).  I cut 12" sections, so they ended up being 12 x 32 (ish).  For the fabric, I cut them 15" and ironed them so they looked nice and crisp.


Next, spray the adhesive on the board and smooth it out.  This part is pretty easy and fun, but it is STICKY!  Make sure you don't overspray.  Also, you may want to wear gloves (I failed to do this, and then had to wear gloves to finish making my bread because I didn't want glue bits in my dough).


Glue and wrap the edges.   Just do this like you would gift wrapping.  Pretty easy.  

Then you are done. For all these boards, from start to finish it probably took 1 1/2 hours.  For just the glueing it took me about 45 minutes.  Fast work, and I think the girls will love them.  Great fabric brightens any room, and when it is actually useful, it is even better!

  
We are planning on using Command strips to adhere them to the wall.  But, you could staple a ribbon on the back to hang it from, or use any other form of picture hangers.


MERRY CHRISTMAS!


Sunday, November 11, 2012

WINNER WINNER WINNER

The winner of this fun 100 BLOCKS magazine and FQS $10 gift certificate is

drumroll please

(chosen by traveling Eddie...of course)

jrt14:  
I would like a traveling Eddie in blues. Your pink and red quilt makes me think of x's used to say I love you.


Email me with your address and email address and we'll get your goodies out to you pronto!  Congratulations!

Friday, November 9, 2012

100 Blocks Traveling Eddie

This is the original Traveling Eddie.
for 

 I love quilt blocks that create other "hidden" blocks when put together in a group.  I also enjoy it if you change the color, value, etc... around and then the quilt takes on a whole new different look.  That is what I tried to accomplish here.  

The joy of this quilt block is that it is simple.  It is full of half square triangles and 2" squares.  This is easy to piece together, easy to work with, and brings a little joy when it all comes together.

When I was making the original block, I had a more masculine look in mind.  I picked fabrics and colors that could work for men and women alike.  But as time passed, my girly side wanted to make a showing.



So....Here's my girly traveling Eddie  (maybe Edith?).  Changing the colors up a bit, and switching things around brings a different look to the quilt, and provides a different feel.  Honestly, this little quilt brings me a some joy.



What colors do you want in your Traveling Eddie?

Leave a Comment for a chance to win a copy of the 100 Blocks magazine, and a $10 gift certificate to my favorite online quilt shop, the Fat Quarter Shop.  The Fat Quarter Shop has always been so good to me.  Their customer service is beyond lovely. I have loved working with them in the past on HUGE orders, and they have impressed me so much.  You should definitely check them out.

Good Luck!





Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Blog Tour Begins....Yesterday


The Blog Tour has begun.


Stay Tuned for the introduction of my block....On FRIDAY!  And Yes....there will be give aways.

Now, go check out these fun blogs!

Today’s Featured Designers

  1. Erin Cox whynotsew.blogspot.com
  2. Elizabeth Dackson dontcallmebetsy.com
  3. Pat Harrison oceanwavesquilting.blogspot.com
  4. Kimberly Jolly & Jocelyn Ueng fatquartershop.blogspot.com
  5. Judy Laquidara patchworktimes.com
  6. Kay Mackenzie allaboutapplique.net
  7. Nancy Mahoney nancymahoney.com/blog/
  8. Jennifer Ofenstein sewhooked.com
  9. Denise Russart justquiltin.wordpress.com
  10. Pam Vieira-McGinnis pamkittymorning.blogspot.com
  11. Susan Geddes quiltersnewsletter.com/blogs/insideqn
  12. Susan Marth suznquilts.wordpress.com/
  13. Laura Nownes seehowwesew.wordpress.com/

Day 2 Designers

  1. Diane Bohn fromblankpages.blogspot.com
  2. Mary Lane Brown tulip-patch.blogspot.com
  3. Sonja Callaghan artisania.wordpress.com
  4. Jennifer Chiaverini elmcreek.net/blog
  5. Karen Combs KarenCombs.Wordpress.com
  6. Julie Comstock cosmocricket.typepad.com
  7. Melissa Corry happyquiltingmelissa.blogspot.com
  8. Sandy Fitzpatrick sandyfitzpatrick.wordpress.com
  9. Gina Gempesaw gemhillquilts.blogspot.com
  10. Bonnie Hunter quiltville.blogspot.com
  11. Debby Kratovil debbykratovilquilts.blogspot.com
  12. Sue Marsh wpcreek.blogspot.com
  13. Ann Weber ginghamgirls.biz/blog


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

It's just a few short days away.  The blog tour for Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks (Nov. 5-9).  I am pretty excited to be part of this amazing group of quilters. 

Yesterday I got a little present at my door..... a package of advanced copy magazines!  I love this part. I got to look through all the pages of blocks, and now I have a growing amount of "quilts to make" to add to my list.  

What's the best thing about all this?  If you keep coming back and touring all the awesome blogs, there is a pretty good chance you are going to win something.    Do you like winning things?  I know I do!  

My day for the fun is November 9.  I will be featuring my block...Traveling Eddie...and I'll show you how it can look a little different.  Come back....if for nothing other than the chance to win some goodies.

Happy Halloween!  Death by CHOCOLATE tonight!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Playing along......

Here I am in my sewing room, and luckily I have the cutest little companion right next to me. I love that he plays happily while I sew. I love that he wants to be near me, because I want to be near him. I love him, fully dressed in a teenage mutant ninja turtle outfit. Be still my heart!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Blocks, Fun, and Other Stuff

Months ago I got a request to enter a quilt block into Quiltmakers 100 blocks magazine. I pulled it together and sent it off and completely forgot about it until a month ago when they let me know it was coming out in November.

I am excited its coming out, and fun things are happening. Its a little invigorating and we all know I need that because my quilting has been slow lately. Yep, that's life.

Now, there is a blog tour coming my way,during the first week of November. Well, lets be completely honest, I only made one block back then, and I don't have it. So here goes the mad dash to
put something cutish together before next Friday.

Here's the effort for today. Pulling fabrics together to make the goodies. I had hoped to use precuts, but that only worked for some of it. Luckily I have a great stash to pull from. Yea me. And now after searching through all my fabric, I remember all these great fabrics, I got to get to work. Times a wasting!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Get to work.

Lately I've been feeling sad that I haven't been able to sew like I want.  Instead of letting my sweet toddler control my life today, I took control and spent it sewing.  I love looking at this long chain of bright beautiful cotton.  I love that on the other side of me, there are even more matching chains. 

I need to keep this going, maybe, just maybe I can accomplish my new years goals.


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Getting it Done


School has started, the kids are busy, this is life.  Eventually, I will get back to the sewing room (today maybe?).   As I have settled into my new routine, I have waxed nostalgic about the good ole' days when my kids were littler.  Magically, I had more time when they were not in school.  How in the world does that work?  

Now, I am up at 5:20, and I don't even get to get a shower until 8 or 9 a.m.  I spend my mornings driving kids to different schools.  And I spend the rest of the day recovering from when they are home (laundry, laundry, dishes, laundry,grocery shopping, errands, picking up, laundry, dishes,etc)....oh, and taking care of the cutest 2 year old ever.  

When 2 p.m. rolls around, and I've just finished cleaning up, the kids start shuffling through the door. The homework rush is about to begin, my time is going to evaporate quickly. And I realize, that really awesome crock pot meal I had planned, well...it's still frozen in the  freezer.  uh oh.  the day isn't going as I planned.  This is when I am grateful for the pressure cooker.

I love this baby.  Roasts, are done in an hour. Frozen chicken....20-30 minutes.  Truth be told, I love this baby.  It has saved me more times than I would like to admit.  Need the super tender meat, and need it in few minutes, here you go.  So, now, I can pretend that I have been thoughtful about dinner, I have been planning all day, and now it is all prepared.

 HA HA HA, I have everyone fooled.

Go ahead, grab one, and you can fool everyone too.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Hello again!

Since my day looks a little dark and rainy, I can find some time to become one with my fabric.

I'm spending my time with Joel Dewberry today....so beautiful!  And even though pressing isn't bad, I can't wait to get beck to the machine, to get moving!



Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Check it out

When my friend contacted me to spread the word about her friends new book, I had to jump on board.  As a new author myself, I feel the love for someone who is trying to get the word out!  Believe me....an author makes very little money. The joy of having someone enjoy your book far exceeds any monetary benefit received!

So, hopefully we can share the love, and let this new author of this cute children's book know that his work is enjoyed.  Check it out!



Monday, May 28, 2012

Work in Progress


Yep, it's been a long time since I posted.

To be honest.  Our family has been in emergency mode for a little over a month.  Luckily, everyone is well.  But, priorities have changed.  Keeping my family happy, well taken care of, and keeping me sane has been the major work that has been happening here.

I had lots of goals for this year.  They were worthy goals.  But, things happen.  And, when things happen, I get to adjust my expectations.  

Now, its summer, the kids are out of school, and there will be little down time.  So, expect more of the same.  

I will be going to the homeland while leaving my husband alone in the heat.  Hopefully, I can come back rejuvenated, ready to share ideas, recipes, and quilty things.  I also hope, I can get back to finishing a book I promised myself to have finished this year.  

I'm excited to get back to "normal."  To sew the things I have been longing to sew.  To feel fed by the touch of fabric.  To bathe in the fabric that fills my shelves! 

 I'll get there!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter!



Yesterday we spent the day searching for Easter Eggs, coloring Easter eggs, and doing all sorts of Easter preparations. The kids thoroughly enjoyed their Easter activities and celebrations, we enjoyed spending time with friends and each other, and we especially loved the reminder of our Savior and Redeemer of all mankind, Jesus Christ.


To help us all remember our Savior this Easter, our church produced this video about the Atonement of Christ.  I hope you enjoy it this special Easter Day.




And, what would Easter be without some amazing food to share with our beloved families? 


 To help, here is one of our new favorites (courtesy of allrecipes.com)...

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 1/2 cup warm milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened


Directions


  1. Place water, milk, egg, 1/3 cup butter, sugar, salt, flour and yeast in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select Dough/Knead and First Rise Cycle; press Start.
  2. When cycle finishes, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough in half. Roll each half into a 12 inch circle, spread 1/4 cup softened butter over entire round. Cut each circle into 8 wedges. Roll wedges starting at wide end; roll gently but tightly. Place point side down on ungreased cookie sheet. Cover with clean kitchen towel and put in a warm place, let rise 1 hour. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden.


Happy Easter from our Home to YOURS!



Tuesday, April 3, 2012

What is Quilting?


Someone asked me the other day about Quilting....like what is it? So, I will give you all the terms of quilting, so you can seem like a quilting genious... 

To answer...the picture above is a quilt. It has a front and a back, and in the middle is batting (the batting can be cotton, poly, wool, bamboo, etc......), and it is finished off by the binding (around the edges).

Below is a picture of the actual....QUILTING...these are the stitches.  You can quilt in whatever pattern you can draw.  Scrolls, butterflies, spaceships, planets, flowers, lines, etc....  You can do anything.  But, it is better if you can pick a pattern where the lines are continuous.

Now....if you want more info...keep reading.  If you are satisfied...STOP!    
Some people think that if you have a machine that quilts, that the machine just quilts for you.  THIS IS NOT TRUE!  I do all my own quilting, it is a challenge for me.  As much as I love quilting, this is the part where I stress out a little.  So, no...I don't push a button, and then out comes a quilt.  
AS IF....I WISH! 
 I have to roll this baby up, make it fit in the machine, and then I have to move it all around to achieve the desired result (and sometimes the result is not as I imagined).

Hopefully, you feel like you know a quilt a little better.....


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Keep it Organized!



When you are sewing a quilt together, there are blocks and blocks, rows and rows.  In a quilt like I made the other weekend, where there is definitely a right and wrong order, being organized is essential.

In the past, I have used post-its to mark the blocks.  This time, I just used a pencil, and marked directly on the fabric.  I kept my rows in order, the blocks going the right way, everything turned out perfect.  THE FIRST TIME.  No unpicking necessary.  That is nice.  I am not immune to making mistakes. This time though...thinking ahead, and being organized totally payed off.


Don't fear, organize yourself, write directly on the fabric.  Then, you can stack up all your sewing at once, and get to work, and get that quilt done.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

March Madness


What do you do during March Madness?  

Yesterday I spent the day in my PJ's working on this little number, while watching my bracket take a few hits.

As soon as I set foot into my sewing room (which is looking a little crazy right now...), my kiddos all promptly came in to work on their own crafts.  Noah started pulling all the pillow stuffing into small little balls, Lizzy wanted me to show her how to make her own purse, and Maddie started making doll clothes.  Then, Mitchell came in...he's too much of a boy to really want to sew something, but he wanted to be my cutter...and cut all the thread that tied my sewing together.
It's fun that my kids are with me, ALL THE TIME! 
I am blessed.

And I don't get much accomplished,(you might be able to relate).

That is...until Bj took them to fly kites.
 

Then I could pull this together for a sweet friend.  Shhhhhh....don't tell.


Monday, March 5, 2012

Sold a Bill of Goods....?

A few weeks ago when I was on Mark Lipinski's show, Creative Mojo, I was asked if we had been sellling a bill of goods to quilters.  Meaning, are we (those who write patterns) simplifying things too much, are we not providing enough opportunities for challenges and growth?  I have been pondering this question for awhile.  I totally understand his point of view, there are a lot of patterns and books out there advertising their ease and ability to finish in a timely manner (mine included).  Is that all quilting has become, a quick and fast blanket factory (you should gasp with shock and horror now...I said BLANKET and not QUILT)?

All these quick and easy quilt making books are for one purpose...to give those who might be overwhelmed by quilting, a comfortable introduction to this art.  I know when I wrote my book, many of my friends and family members wanted to learn how to quilt, but were too intimidated by it all.  The fast and easy description, is truly to let people know that they CAN DO IT.  As the quilting population dwindles, I think it is important we embrace new quilters, and arm them with the confidence they need to make more than one quilt.

Another plug for Fast and EASY quilts is, THEY GET DONE.   If you are an expectant mother, and you know you want your baby to have something you made for them, you will want this baby to love and USE this quilt,  and you will choose a pattern that you can finish in a few months.  Also, you will want to choose a pattern that will allow frequent washings, and will last.  The simple act of choosing fabric for your baby, and the pattern used, will show this child a little bit of your personality.  Little parts of YOU will shine through, and become part of the quilt you give away.  This part of quilting is HERITAGE!  No ones cares if the points match, or if the quilting is perfect.  What matters is that the quilt was made with a special purpose.  LOVE!
from my home....


But, then there is another kind of quilt.  The kind that stretches your abilities, that makes you think harder, do more math, take a long time, maybe read a book, or sew many trials blocks.  With this kind of quilt you are growing, and stretching, and increasing your ability.  This kind of quilt shows you want to learn, improve, and master the art of quilting.  As you grow in this way, the quilt becomes ART.  An artful expression of you.  And, at this point....the world gives the quilt and quilter VALUE.  These quilts are amazing!  They inspire others to work hard, to reach farther, to go out on a limb and experiment with different ideas.

from the Feb. 2012 Tucson Quilt Show


It's my hope that we stop comparing these two kinds of quilts.  They are not in competition with each other, they are not made with the same purpose.  Each kind of quilt holds immense value for the person or purpose for which it was made.   I don't think we should belittle either kind or purpose.

Each quilt can be inspirational, touching, and amazing.  Simply, make one!



Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Shhhh, don't tell!

So, because I am slightly a private person, I didn't tell you ahead of time....but I was on 
Creative Mojo with Mark Lipinski last Wednesday.  Okay, it's possible I might have told you if my week last week wasn't so flippin' busy.  We all have those weeks, and last week was one of them for me, it was busy and full of many wonderful things, but full nonetheless.






I still haven't listened to it.  I am pretty sure I might have made a fool of myself, but at least I had fun doing it.  It was WAY more fun to do the radio show than to be on TV....  I didn't have to dress up, or worry about my hair, or travel.  I just sat at home, waited for my turn to spout my crazy ideas, and then I was done.  


Of course, it was all during the time I was supposed to pick up the kids, and take care of the baby...but that is what friends are for, RIGHT?  I am blessed to have friends that pick up my slack when I have crazy things to do.


One funny thing, for those of you who really aren't going to listen to the show, I laughed a little when they introduced me.  They introduced everyone who was going to be on the show, and there was some interesting accomplishment to go along with their name.  Then they introduced me...."and then we will have Sarah Bisel" (pause.... Mark is now thinking....who in the heck is Sarah Bisel), pause again, and then they introduced the next guest.  I laughed, because really, I am a nobody in the quilt world.  But, every now and then, I do something that makes people wonder, who the heck is Sarah Bisel.


I wonder that all the time!


Happy Tuesday.


If you want to listen go to: http://toginet.com/shows/creativemojo
I am like the 20th guest on the show (okay, possibly the third or fourth) and I come in after about 1 hour.  



Saturday, February 11, 2012

Fast and Easy Valentines Treats


You may have seen cute valentines cards like these (taken from Summertimedesigns.blogspot.com).  They are totally cute, and perfect for the holiday. 



But, if you are like me, and you want to just buy the box of treats and cards, you may have bought one of these boxes.    See, it looks like this box includes the cards along with the tootsie pops.  Don't be fooled!  The box just came with candy, NO CARDS.  

So, I know how to be cute, I could totally take some good pics of my kids.  But, that would take more effort than I currently want to use.  So, I came up with a way that I think is cute, and EASY.  Yes, emphasis on easy for this mom.  No making my kids look cute and happy for a picture.  No extra trip to costco to pick up the pics.  5 minutes on Pages, print, cut, and staple.


Here's what you get.



How do you achieve this super easy awesome valentines "flag"?

The steps are easy. 
1. Create 2 columns in your document.  
2. Next make sure there is a lot of room on the left side of the happyVALENTINESday.  Adjust your margines to get the space you need. (Oh, you need this space so you can wrap the paper around the stick).
3.  I used Gill Sans font (BOLD for the word "VALENTINES" and no spaces), the line spacing was .7 between the top and bottom lines
4.  Fill up both columns with your greeting, making sure there is enough space between the lines
5. Cut them out.
6.  Wrap flag around tootsie pop and staple in place. (the best way to make this work is to staple it to the wrapper as well).

You are done.  That took about 10 minutes, and it is cute enough.  It gets the job done with minimal effort.  And that is my kind of "craft."  

Happy Valentines Day!





Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Tucson Quilt Show

A few weekends ago our family went to the quilt show.  Yes, I wrote that correctly, the whole family went.  I hoped it would be joyful, and inspiring.  Instead, I found myself dragging my feet to leave the convention center just to punish my children for their consistent and enduring whine fest.  

Yes, I am one of the best mothers in the world.  

One of stops I made in the convention center was at a long arm quilting booth.  I tried out a gammill...one that would only be $9K.  I know, I said only and $9K in one sentence, but that is cheap.  Anyway, I tried it out, and I fell in love.  Mostly, because I really think I could do a lot more with my quilting if I wasn't always dreading the quilting part.  You know the question, will this be too big to quilt with my machine?  Will my shoulders fall off if I quilt this myself?  Or, will my aunt Becky hate me if I come take over her long arm again this summer?

I quilt most of my own quilts.  I have only had my aunt quilt one of my quilts, and it was the best experience ever.  I love not having the stress of quilting my quilts.    Contrary to popular belief, my machine does not just quilt the quilt for me, it is work.  I long for the day when I can have a long arm machine.  It will still be work, but it will be different, and much less taxing on my shoulders.

Or, should I start saving for the $40K long arm that quilts for you?  Yep, you have to do some work, but it quilts from a computer design.  That sounds like heaven.  

Until then, I will go ahead working on my now ancient Bernina (it is 10 years old), and I will be happy the whole time (maybe just most of the time, until my shoulders start cramping up).

Okay, back to the quilt show, the quilts were fun and some were amazing.  It was inspiring to me, I kept hoping I could go home and get some time to work on my sewing machine.  

We saw a number of skeleton themed quilts.  They totally made me laugh, not every quilt has to be serious.

I really liked this yellow and blue quilt.  If you can't tell from the photo, this is all pieced, and then appliqued.  A lot of work went into this to make the color variation.  I love it.

Now, here is a quilt I can appreciate because it is one I would NEVER do.  Not because it is too hard, but because it would take me forever.  I don't have forever.   But, I totally appreciate the work that went into it. 

And, then I saw this quilt, which is the show winner.  I was amazed at the quilting.  Super intricate work here, everything was perfect.  So fun to see people work really hard, and accomplish their goal.  I love that the colors are bright and cheerful, and I love how the quilt is just perfect.


Thursday, February 2, 2012

I had a number of goals at the start of the new year.  Some goals will hopefully make me a better person, and some goals...will just help me get something done.  One of the goals was to blog at least once a week.  It is nice to know I have already failed that goal...less pressure for the future.  Oh wait, I mean I will work harder in the future.

Well, another one of those goals was organizing my sewing room.  At the end of last year, it seriously looked like a tornado was trapped in that room.  Christmas didn't help, I was constantly trying to make new gifts, but without the time to clean up what I was working on.  

So, after the new year I went to work.  I started with buying more shelves.  I hope that getting more shelves, means that I can be more organized, and have a place for the things I am working on.  You can BARELY see the shelves I bought in the second picture, on the right hand side.  They are just the little cube shelving you build yourself, and the blue baskets/boxes...they are from the 99cent store.

After two...yep, it took me two full days, the task was done.  No, I didn't make it look pretty, but it is functional, again.  

This is the view from the doorway....a  lot less cluttered.  I know a before shot would be nice, but I just couldn't take pictures of what it looked like (the horror).  Just imagine bins full of fabric, quilts, and batting.  I am not proud of this.




I look at this picture, and I am not impressed, it really doesn't look clean, but it is.  I promise.  The only thing I didn't do was clean up those shelves full of fabric.  And, just because I want to brag....that quilt hanging over the chair is done...DONE.  It only took a year. I know, I am awesome.



Oh, the closet.  If you only knew what a mess it was before.  This is amazing now.  The shelves line one wall, the bins above hold finished quilts, and there is room to walk in it.  Ahhh, the joy of clean living.

Okay, so the clean up effort didn't result in magazine worthy organization, or beautiful containers, or any inspiration worthy of "Where Women Create,"  but this is my actual workplace, where I create.

And, today.... I actually quilted, for 2 hours.  
Small victories.