Good news: yesterday I did accomplish at least half of my list -- two junk drawers cleaned (that's been on my list for a couple of years now), and three loads of laundry done. Not bad, not bad at all. Today I hope to finish off the laundry, and tackle underneath the kitchen island. Surely I can accomplish this...
Although I have not blogged as often these past few weeks, I have been a busy little bee and have a few pictures to show for myself.
First off, I finally forced myself to finish the quilt top made out of the layer cake* I won from the Quilter's Buzz blog:
(Yipes -- I should have ironed this before taking a picture!)
*layer cake: 10" squares of fabric from one collection, usually sold in sets of 40
I will probably try and find a backing fabric this weekend, but I am stumped as how I should attempt to quilt this. Usually I send my quilts off to someone with a long-arm machine, but surely there should be some easy way for me to quilt it myself on my little ol' sewing machine, right? But that is where I am stumped. Pattern? Straight lines? And how in the heck do you machine quilt? (In asking this question, I am admitting to the world that I normally just sew away like normal with my zipper foot and don't exactly know the proper way to quilt on my machine. And since I've only done this on doll quilts, it hasn't really been a big deal that I've been going about it probably the wrong way.) Am I supposed to use a certain foot? Lower the feed dogs? Adjust the tension to something else? Any tips or advice you want to throw my way are always appreciated. I don't have the patience to hand-quilt this one, so that's not even an option.
I also made my son a king-size pillowcase for his preschool, to cover his napmat. I happened upon this super-cute fabric panel at JoAnn's. It reminds me of something you might find from one of my favorite kid stores, The Land of Nod. I just added a folded strip of fabric across the bottom, appliqued on some letters to spell out his name, and sewed up the side seams and across the top. Voila!
(the front -- my son's name is appliqued across the bottom, but it is cut off in the picture)
I was pretty excited about it. If he doesn't nap at school (which I don't think he does), at least he has something interesting and educational to stare at while he lays there quietly.
I also stitched up a new quilt top (it's just needing the borders added). You already know that I am a hopeless fabric addict, and I am trying to at least makes some steps in the right direction to start using up more of my stash (since I am constantly adding to it). I have had this Heather Ross West Hill fabric for about a year now (confessions, confessions) and decided it is high time to make something out of it, so I took a cue from Amber and am using this pattern. I've got so much fabric to work my way through, it's ridiculous.
(I should be ashamed of myself, not ironing it before I took a picture, but I was in a hurry.)
It may not be the most beautiful combo of fabrics, but it screams fall to me, from the muddy browns to the dark olive greens and the brown gingham I searched high and low for. And it will serve its purpose well in our household, as a lap quilt to be used by the three of us in the living room watching TV (and occasionally by the greyhounds for nesting, I'm sure).
I forgot to mention this earlier -- we now have a winner in the Halloween costume department -- mailman. My boy will be going trick-or-treating, proudly dressed as one of the official United States Postal Service workers. What can I say? He is in a phase of loving everything mail-related -- from checking our mail slot next to the front door, searching with his Mama for packages on the front steps (grrrr, still waiting on two more packages), going to the post office and chatting with his favorite postal workers (not to mention usually providing entertainment for everyone in line), and watching for the mailman to come down the street every day. And let's face it -- he's probably not ever going to be the age again that he actually gets excited about dressing up as a mailman instead of a superhero or TV character. Although I love love love the dragon slayer costume, I have a feeling that it could be a popular choice for years to come, so it can hold off for another year or two.
And I think I'm going to make myself an apron. I had won three yards of fabric from Jennifer Paganelli over a year ago (see, I told you I am terrible at hoarding fabric and taking forever to use it) -- it is a light yellow background with large brown flowers all over it. I also found a bunch of brown on brown polka dots, and between the two, I should have enough fabric to make an apron without having to spend a dime! (Well, maybe spend a little on two cute buttons, but that's it.) I liked the pattern I used for my Fall Sassy Apron Swap, so I think I'm just going to try and sew one up to keep.
Speaking of aprons, I received Fall Sassy Apron Swap apron in the mail from Kaiya! It is very cute with all the fall colors I love, and it will definitely fit the bill for all of the cooking I have planned this fall.
She made me a potholder that can double as an oven mitt, too, which will definitely come in handy. And she was also thoughtful to include some Colonial At Home pumpkin pie scented tealight candles as well. Thanks, Kaiya!
And speaking of good mail, yesterday I received my Doll Quilt Swap 4 quilt. Nichole sent a note along with the quilt saying that this was her first quilt to make ever, and I am very impressed! It also makes it just that more special to know that the first quilt she made was made for me.
I love the pattern of the hearts and the colors and fabrics she chose. She also included two tea bags in the package -- Guayaki Yerba Mate Organic Mate Chocolatte. I'd never heard of this before, but I made up a cup last night, and that stuff is so good! I made my husband try it as well, and he loved it. I've never had a tea before that was sweet enough for my liking (before me having to add in honey), but this stuff is perfect, straight from the teabag. I'm such a new fan that I'm going to go to my local Whole Foods and see if they have it there. If not, I'll be searching the Internet to see if I can find it. Thanks, Nichole, not only for the beautiful quilt, but for also introducing me to a drink that will be a new favorite for our family!