Friday, October 31, 2008

Scary Enough ???

I guess, I could say that where I am come from, we don't have Halloween and so we don't celebrated it at our house here in U.S.. It doesn't help that we are living in the middle of nowhere and no trick or treaters show up by our door. I know that we probably will once we have kids. My fun would be creating new costumes every year and theirs , well I guess candy.

I came home today and felt bad about undecorated house, Friday night like any other, but I was welcomed by these.
Here are few views you would find here if you would come by trick or treating tonight.

Very scary looking giant sunflowers...

The only pumpkin around, with various bugs crawling out of it....

Open pass in th middle of the field that old grumpy farmer cut, to lead you who knows where....hmmm

Walking among all sorts of stuff...

I think I would scare you even without any decoration. Craft Farm became Haunted Farm tonight...

Oh, and here is old Jasper allias "Jasperado". He wanted to tell you all Happy Haloween, but I think I scared him off.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Black Bean Soup to warm up ....

Now that I am in the crunch to get everything done (handmade gifts, school projects, wrap up the season at work,...) I am digging in for my super easy fast recipes for meals at home. They need to be super easy and super fast and even better if I can use what I still have left from the garden.
This was the case with our dinner the other night. I had bunch of small peppers from the garden that I frantically picked all up the day before the first frost. They weren't the most beautiful little fellows, but hey, they taste great.
The Black Bean Soup is one of ours favorite anyway and perfect choice for cooler evenings.
This recipe was my starter and I've been using it for a while now, but I seem to change it every time I make the soup. My variations depend on what I have available at home. If I don't have carrots, I add corn or little bit of salsa. If I don't have cooked ham, I cut up what ever I have (sausage, hot dog, you name it...).
But the one main change to this recipe that I made is to use 2 cans of Organic Black beans as for the whole beans in the soup (We like it thick) and I add 1 can of refried black beans instead of messing with the blender.
Give me a handful of corn tortilla chips, spoon of sour cream and shredded cheese on the top and I am all set.
I forgot to take a picture of our fabulous , super easy and fast dinner. This were the left overs next day - we ran out of sour cream.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Jennifer at JC handmade has this great giveaway going on right now.
She made beautiful baby quilt and is offering another custom one for the winner.

Please, please, please be it me.

It would go to this very special baby girl that is expected to arrive before Christmas. She is going to be welcomed by four brothers and the happiest mom and dad.

Any color combo would work, but if I have to choose I would love to see red and white, maybe even some flowers.

Go on enter as well, Jennifer creates beautiful work. It would be an honor to own one of her pieces.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sneak Peak...

It's killing me that I can't show you all my latest projects in their full beauty, but I can't since they are ungiven (is this a word?) gifts still. So mainly for my sanity and impatience I have for you a very little sneak peak.
This quilt is for one of the special baby girl on its way. Yes, there is more than one.

Vintage sheet quilt top is almost finished!! Yay! I working through last border pieces and I am really liking it.
I didn't take pictures yet. Its too big to take pictures inside and outside was quite windy today.
Now just be over with that exam...(subject is Soils)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Gone Quilting....

after two unsuccessful trials to quilt all weekend long (or at least one day), I finally got my day of quilting in. Since it is going to be a Christmas gift, I can only show you so much.

I decided to use disappearing ninepatch pattern because I wanted to create that mix and match look. However, I ended up with creating somewhat pattern anyway. Which is OK, since I still like it.

I have all my blocks sewn, not together yet because I had to stop and rethink my whole quilt.
Problem - not enough fabric (blue and green ones). I really don't want to go buy more.
Solution - I will need to add borders. I have enough left over to make stripy border and add some white solid for inner border.

(Sorry, for the light on photos, it was late when I remembered to take pictures or at least the type of pictures I can post without revealing too much of the quilt.)

This was my view most of the day. We put the ottoman on our sofa to prevent him to get on it, but as you can see he'll do anything - push all the pillows down to gain more space, knock down any other kind of barrier we come up with or tries to squeeze in the space he has available like he did yesterday.

Wish me luck to possibly finish this quilt tonight.Well, I kind of have to since I have an exam on Thursday. That will give me two other evenings to study with no distraction of unfinished quilt top.

I got a phone call from my quilter lady that my two other quilts are done. Soon to come... show and tell.

Friday, October 24, 2008

I am branching out...

"Are you branching out?" That is what my friend said after I metioned I bought a book to remind me how to knit. I learned how to knit as a little girl, but never had enough patience to finish anything. I remember kniting vest back home. By the time I was almost done it was too small for me. Luckily, there was enough kniters in the family (gramma, mom, sister) who supplied everybody with warm, wooly sweaters, hats, etc.. I rather kept myself busy with sewing.
Few weeks ago I was inspired by this new kniter to maybe give it a try once more.

As soon as I read her post, I found the book and bought it. I love it. I hope that all those cute ideas and SMALL projects would inspire me to knit something actually from start to finish in timely manner.

And as you can see, I already gave in. Let's hope I can keep it going. It might need to be a little slower because of all christmas sewing I need to do, but I love that I can take it with anywhere I go (...long flight back home in December....). Do they alow knitting needles on planes?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

In the process....

There is not much to show on the crafting side. For the past two weekends, my plans were changed due to either cold or stomach bug. I want my weekends back!! I have a lot and very creative plans for this upcoming one, so wish me luck.
I feel that I am running out of time since I am leaving for Europe mid December and two weeks prior to that I will be busy with finals at school. Do you see where I am coming from?
However, time spent in bed was well spent reading others blogs and collecting ideas for my list. My long Christmas list.

One of the items on my list is "quilt to take with me to Europe".
I am going to use my collection of vintage sheets and combine it with more blue and green to match recipient's home. I can't make up my mind about the pattern.

It will be either large hour glass blocks or more larger disappearing ninepatch. Larger mainly because the quilt needs to be about queen size hen finished and as I said earlier I don't have much time left, but also because I think that print on the various vintage sheets would show better if the blocks would be bigger.
Any suggestions?

I need to pick something soon in fact maybe even start on it tonight.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Rainbow Cloud..

This was what I have seen on my way back from work before just pulling in my driveway. A rainbow cloud. It wasn't raining, the sun was just starting to set down and this was the only cloud that had rainbow through it ...

... but only for a very very short time. I am glad I had camera right with me.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Good deals...

I guess, I never mentioned what I bought and won at the quilt show. Oh, I've seen fabrics and fabrics and patterns and quilt kits and all , but....
I was drawn towards the overflowing table full of old, vintage fabrics that ladies from the local quild brought from their homes to sell (almost for nothing) and outdated quilting magazines (3 for $1). I love these stuff. I don't know what it is that pulls me right to these old things.
However, old or not I found some great fabrics - all solids. Cotton and linen in white, off-white, natural and brownish shades. All of them are bundles of 1.5 and more yards.

This was my door price win. Set of four quarters. I might need to divide those on two and two. All four of them together don't necessary work for me.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Sail with me....

Idea of the quilt with pieced sailboats was floating through my head for a few months now. I don't know why. For some reason, I am in love with blue and white combo and sailboats just fall right in there.
So I slowly started collecting blue quarter yards of fabric. (Mainly when I found something on sale. )
And then,I couldn't wait to just stop playing with the idea, but actually cut some fabrics.

One night I came up with this. I found pattern here, but change dimensions.

I have all blocks almost finished by now (sorry no picture yet), but I am not sure when I will be able to put it all together. Way too many projects on the list. Most of those are for Christmas gifts and my time is starting to run out.

Did I tell you? I am going home for Christmas! ...home, to Slovakia for almost a month... I am beside myself...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


How was your weekend? It was probably the most beautiful fall weekend we had over here in IL and I was covered up to my ears in bed with cold. All of my plans were canceled. Feeling miserably, not even able to sew. I hate that!! Oh well, but what you do.
I have few photos to share...
Couple of weeks back my friend mentioned she would like to find a smock for her little girl...
Ok, I started to search right away. I found a lot of images for inspiration, but no pattern in sight until I found this.
One trip to Jo-anns, few check measurements and couple days later little K had her first fashion show.

I love it even more now that I know she likes it!

I am glad to have a little girls like this available for modeling whenever I decide to make something for them. Thank you K.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

WIP #3

WIP - work in progress... Yes in progress. There is quite a bit of projects like this in my "studio" (corner of the living room including one table, file cabinet filled with fabric and other fabric freely laying around).
Well this is one of many. An Alphabet Quilt. I started this quilt about two years ago, didn't touch it for about a year and something, and pulled it out just recently. It took me a long time to find novelty prints that match my letters. AND this is not based on English Alphabet, so don't expect matching letter/print unless you speak Slovak. It is meant to be play quilt for four special boys back home. Hopefully, one day they will be able to play with it.

Every letter is paper-pieced. And the final quilt should look something like this.

I found pattern here. You can find a lot of free patterns there.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Where to start?

A couple of weeks ago, I stopped at the local thrift store. It wasn't the usual one I go to. This one is further away, more expensive and has weird hours, but they have cool stuff. I was mainly window shopping, due to the lack of storage in our house, but I always have space for more fabric, right?
So, here is what came home with me.

There was a bundle of precut 6"x 6" squares (a lot of them) of various reds, red and white vintage fabrics and total of maybe 2-3 yards of extra fabric (not cut). And this little log cabin block.

I pulled up some fabrics from my stash and start playing right away.

I like that little green with this as well.

Or I will just keep it two colors. Maybe something like this.

1. another view, blue and white quilt, 2. Red White and Cream Quilt, 3. red&white quilt, 4. hourglass quilt, 5. Quilt, 6. June 2008 Featured Quilt Showcase

I will wait on this one, at least until I figure out what I want to do. Hey, maybe there is enough fabric for two different quilts.
Have a nice weekend!!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

One of my own...

I never showed you picture of this quilt before and this one was around for long time.
It is the first quilt I made for myself (well for our house, as you'll see I will have probably a hard time stealing it just for me). Scrappy centers of the squares are of course scraps from Pat and sashing is mixture of fabrics (one of the first fabrics I ever bought in US) from Jo-Ann's or Wallmart.
As I said this quilt was sitting around for a while. I just finished putting on binding few nights ago. I washed it and dried it last night and have been snuggling in it ever since.
What else to say, we love it.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Quilt Show....

As I promised, I would like to share few (really just a few ) pictures from the Quilt Show I visited this Sunday.
This first couple is probably my favorite. I just admire all of the details and I just love those cherry blossom. Lately, I just idea of trees in quilts.

This one I like because of flowers. Obviously... It feels like the blooming meadow and I also love that you could use all of your flowery scraps. I have a ton especially from hand me down fabrics. I might give this one a try one day...

This quilt was my ultimate favorite. I love the story behind creating this quilt. Women, that made lost her husband Floyd in 2006, she finished this quilt in 2007. All the material she used came from his clothes and one of her skirts (so they could be connected.). She wrote up a letter about it and used it as a label. If you open that picture , you should be able to read it. It's amazing. I read the label out loud at the quilt show for few other women who could see very well and tears came to my eyes as I was reading this.
Look at the creative way she used all parts of his clothing, even tags from manufacturer and watch. From all the shirts she had left over without collars she made a huge log cabin quilt that was available to viewer right next to this one.

Few more quilts that would stay with me for awhile.

Miniquilt made by the formal graduate of NIU after February shootings.

Few more that left me with fallen jaw and examining the quilt with question in my head: "HOW in the world....????"