Double Sized Bargello – FINISHED!

This beauty has been mostly done for a little while now, but since it was a gift I just had to wait to post about it. I absolutely love giving a homemade gift!!

I followed the Bargello pattern in the book ‘Stash-Buster Quilts’ by Lynne Edwards, but did some adjusting. I doubled the width and length of each piece/row in the quilt, so ended up with less blocks and a different final dimension. For my first bargello, I quite like it!

This book is pretty cool, I originally bought it just for the Japanese Folded Patchwork Bag pattern, it’s an amazing looking bag (still need to make one).

The top for this was put together when I was on the retreat back in September. It was done in 2 days! A new record! And who doesn’t love a good scrappy stripe through the back??

Also, I did the quilting with both red and grey thread, doing the red on the prints with red and the grey on the prints with white/black. I really really like how it turned out, I’m definitely doing it again!

Welcoming Warmer Weather

Ahh, this wonderful weather has been pulling everyone outside, and away from their bogs.

We have been weeding and preparing our gardens for planting. My youngest daughter (who is 2 1/2) just loves to help in the dirt, and I am ever thankful for it. I’m hoping to get some peas, beets, and sugar snap peas planted tomorrow. The tomatoes need to get started inside this week too.

My brother came to visit three weeks ago and we planted some herb seeds while he was here. They are sprouting up quite nicely! I haven’t had an herb ‘garden’ before (we planted about 3 or 4 together in one large pot) and am very excited to have my very own fresh herbs on hand! I had been thinking about making a cute shelf to hold mason jars with herbs in them, but had been pushing to project off. When I told my brother this he said something like – just put one together now, if you haven’t done the other one yet you’re not going to. Thanks for the push bro.

In other news, I’m a ripe 38 weeks pregnant. As of today it’s only 10 days till my due date. I am getting so impatient. My first 2 kids were born at 36 weeks and because of that I think sometimes that the last month of pregnancy should be optional… I am happy to be healthily pregnant though!

A wonderful package also came this week, which has been making it much much easier to wait for this little baby. A wonderful package with the word Amazon on the side of box (I love those ones… and the ones with fabric.com on the side).

I’ve wanted an iPad forever, but just couldn’t spend that much money on something just for me. A new sewing machine sure, but a ‘toy’, not so much. I absolutely LOVE my Kindle Fire.

I also got some new books, because of course you need new books when you get a Kindle right??

I’ve had my eye on these 3 books for quite some time now. I entered just about every website/blog giveaway to try to win the two quilting books when they were ‘blog-touring’. Looking forward to making stuff from all these books!

What are you doing with the warmer weather lately?

Lucky to Receive

When I was visiting my grandparents last week, I was lucky enough to be the receiver of some very wonderful things from my grandmother.

She gave me some homemade herbal tea, seasoning mix, and jam. The BEST in the world, by the way.

 She gave me quite a few books.

I think these 2 are the coolest. The Victorian Crochet is a compilation of small newspaper type booklets that were published around beginning of the 19th century. And, the Star Wars is just self explanatory coolness.

She gave me quite a bit of yarn.

And, best of all, she gave me 40 squares that she crocheted. She told me that she couldn’t remember the last time she worked on them, and had plenty of yarn to finish the project. I was so happy that she wanted to give them to me!

I think they are beautiful, and I can imagine the finished afghan in my living room.

My grandmother is a left-handed lady, so she crochets left handed. Growing up I was not able to ‘read’ her work and make a pattern from it because I wasn’t able to grasp how it looked being produced by a left-hander. Since then, I have taught my daughter to crochet, and funnily enough she is left handed. So, in teacher her I had to teach myself to crochet left handed to better teach her (it was very hard to show her mirror image, facing each other).

Long story short, now I can read the pattern from a left-handed crocheter. It’s still kinda tricky, but do-able.

I am planning to post the pattern, with photos, soon!

From The Library This Week

I go to the Library all the time, so much so that I have a place on my bookshelves just for library books.

Lately I have been reading the Elm Creek Quilts book series. I need to go get book 4 this morning (from the library of course), and I only started about 3 weeks ago. One book a week feel nice, not too much reading that I feel like I’m sacrificing other things. I love it.

Some of the other books I picked up are:

Bake!: Essential Techniques for Perfect Baking

This book is really great because between all the recipes it actually reads, with stories about the author or experiences they had to develop the recipes. There are tons of recipes, tips, and beautiful pictures of instructions as well as final products. It gives me the desire to stay home all week and bake to my heart’s content! Oh, the smell of fresh bread… mmm. This one needs to be in my personal library for sure!

Put 'em Up!: A Comprehensive Home Preserving Guide for the Creative Cook, from Drying and Freezing to Canning and Pickling

Put ’em Up! is a great home canning/preserving book. The recipes aren’t just plain boring, like a lot of home canning books I find that are a bit older. There are ‘new’ twists on recipes, and some of them seem just daring to me like pickled zucchini, oohhhh. There are plenty of photos, and even some basics info for new canners. Pretty awesome.

Root Cellaring: The Simple No-Processing Way to Store Fruits and Vegetables

Another book I picked up (more food stuff…) is Root Cellaring : the simple no-processing way to store fruits and vegetables. This book appealed to me on so many levels! Not only does this book advise you on how/where to build a root cellar, but it shows you exactly how to pack the foods to optimize their shelf life. Simply AMAZING!! To top it off, this whole thing is encouraging a way to store foods without having to process them, no canning/freezing. Now I want to buy a farm more than ever before, it’s funny that a root cellar may now be one of the first projects completed once that happens… more planning.

Of course I had to get some quilting books, nothing like some awesome eye candy!

Kaffe Fassett's Simple Shapes Spectacular Quilts: 23 Original Quilt Designs

This book is simply inspirational! Amazing, beautiful, wish I had that kind of time book. Check it out for sure.

City Quilts: 12 Dramatic Projects Inspired By Urban Views

Last, but definitely no least, is City Quilts. Can you tell I love quilts with a simple repeat? There are a couple of quilts that I absolutely need to make from this book. The simple lines, the straight line quilting, the choice of colors, breathtaking. The quilt I love the most from this one is the last one it the book. I can’t remember the name of it, but it’s the one with every color of the rainbow. Just awesome.

So, if you’re not the library kind of person, I highly recommend each of these books to you! It was quite amazing that I managed to like all but one of the books I got from the library the last time I went, I usually don’t have such good luck.

I Can Read

I can read, I can read (sang with my best impression of Wilbur singing ‘I Can Talk’ in Charlotte’s Web).

Hahaha, I know, Mom and Dad must be awful proud right??

What I mean to say really is, I have time to read again. And oh is it wonderful.

My kids and I go to the library weekly, and sometimes more than once. I love books, and I love reading. The only dilemma I had for uhh years was that I didn’t feel like I could fit in anymore time to leisurely read. Whenever I actually had time to read I tried to read my scriptures, but it usually ended up being a cookbook, how-to book, or crafty/pattern book.

This week at the library when we walked in to pay our late fees I saw it on the top of a small bookcase and I knew I had to read it, now.

So, I picked up:

The Friday Night Knitting Club (Friday Night Knitting Club Novels)

I love it, on Chapter 3 already and only had it since Tuesday. I find myself thinking about the characters and what may be coming next while I clean or fold laundry. It makes the takes go by must faster. I have also been thinking about what I want to read next, probably a John Grisham novel (loved ready his pre-babies).

Even though it’s been at least 5 years since the last time I read a novel, I am falling in love with reading all over again and it’s awesome!! The amazing part is that I’m not even having to find time to read, it’s fitting in all over the place. So, if you’re a mommy with lots of little ones, don’t hesitate to grab a good book, as this book encourages, just cast on.

I’ve also put together a little “Bookstore” of sorts through Amazon. It features some books that I love and the kids love too, check it out.

On a side note, here’s what for breakfast this morning:

Paula Dean’s Gorilla Bread

We do really yummy for Conference Weekend, can’t wait!

I’ve Decided a Few Things

I think I am just not liking the blue varigated thread on my king sized quilt I’m making for my friend’s wedding. Err. Time to take it out and start over with the quilting… fun times.

Right now I am working on a charity quilt for Anna Maria Horner’s Rainbow Around the Block project. It’s quite cute I think. A couple months ago I ordered a 3 pound cotton remnant assortment from Fabric.com, and I managed to get about 7 or 8 fat quarters that were various shades of brown. Now, I’m not too crazy about brown, but I decided to run with it. I actually bought a few more fat quarters to go along with these, and now I’m making them into a Brick Wall quilt. I’ll put up the pattern once I’ve completed it, very simple though.

I also decided this week that I want to start making my own patterns. All too often I buy a pattern for something, spend lots of time cutting it all out and (mostly) following it’s instructions (I’ve been sewing for about 20 years now, so I am pretty familiar with how most things are made). I guess the only reason I do it is because I’ve been somewhat lazy, or busy/overloaded… who knows. Then the article of clothing doesn’t really fit right, and then the person it’s made for just complains (no names, you know who you are, wink wink).

So, I ordered a few books this week from Amazon (love love that website). 
Here’s what I’m getting:

I got Sew U because sometimes I just have issues with sewing finer knits, lets just stick with “issues”. And, I noticed that Dana over at Made had it as one of her favorite books right now, and she’s just a genius with knits!!

I promise I’ve been productive lately, I even did a project with knits that turned out pretty good. I’m just tired of my horrible photos all taken between 3 and 5 am with even more horrible lighting. I’m hoping to take a naptime this week and head outside to take some pics. Wish me luck…

Pick Your Own Friuts/Veggies

It is coming up on the time of year for FRESH LOCAL PRODUCE!!! YEAAA!

The best website I have found for information on local pick your own farms is: www.pickyourown.org. So, go out there and support your local farmers (call first, some places may have gone out of business).

My family very much so enjoys going a picking fruits and veggies. The little ones don’t quite get it yet, but we all have lots of fun! And, we get to come home and can or freeze everything we won’t eat that week or so. Honestly, this is the most rewarding part of our adventures. We end up with things like: homemade jams, sauces, drink mixes, and much more!

My book that I live by as far as canning goes is:

Boys Knitted Argyle Vest

I haven’t made too many knitted items that weren’t hats, scarves, blankets, or square items. And, it always seems to take me longer than I would like to finish these projects. My love for the relaxing nature of knitting always wins out!!

Since I try to make at least 3 holiday-specific items/outfits for my kids throughout the year (Easter, Halloween, and Christmas), what better to try out than a sweater vest for one of my boys? (I went with the older one, just incase I didn’t finish it soon enough the younger could always grow into it 🙂

I SUCCEED in making this vest, and IN TIME!! YEA!! I just love how it turned out! Even though this is a little advanced (with the color-changing to create the argyle), I could have easily made it with just a solid color or stripe. (lots of options included in pattern, I did create my own argyle pattern).

I think next time I will change a few things, for example, I would do a deeper v-neck since kids have bigger heads proporionately. And, I would do all the argyle diamonds the same size so that the diagonal stripes go through the middle of all of them without having to be broken. But, all in all, I consider this project a success!!

So, I started with a book I have had for quite a while, but never made anything from. I love books that give you a basic, basic pattern and advise you to make it your own. The book is called “Style Your Own Kids Knits” by Kate Buller: image. This book gives patterns for kids sweaters, hats, bags, and motifs from size baby up to about 8 years! SO MANY OPTIONS!!!!

Here are my photos along the way: