Thursday, April 29, 2010


Just popping in to say that I am here and I am OK...
I will be back here soon, I hope... couple more months possibly..

Right now, my life is changing in almost every possible aspect and I need to deal with that at the moment...

See you soon friends.. :)

Saturday, February 27, 2010


I had quite a hectic week, but busy is good right now.
Here is an update on my vintage sheet quilt. It is waiting for me to finish it, but will need to be patient one more week.

In a mean time, I am taking photos of birds around the house. There is inspiration for a quilt coming up, but for now I am just playing with camera.

Oh, and a new hair cut...

I am ready for spring...

Thursday, February 18, 2010

New bag...

This bag was cooking in my head for a long time, but it wasn't until last week that I was able to sit down and make the idea come to life.

In fact, lots of ideas are cooking here lately and I hope soon I will find enough time to bring them to this world.. :)

Back to the bag - I won Ashley's wonderful giveaway sometime last year and was in love with all those tiny scraps, well I still am. This bag is the first of the many love affairs planned.

Simple and shorter messenger style bag to fit my love of big handbags. The brown is a random purchase from Jo-Ann's clearance sale last year, the inside is polka dot re-purposed bed sheet and batting leftovers from quilts.

Nothing new was purchased for this bag, therefore it fits in my challenge of this year.

Thanks Ashley! I love my new bag..

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Some more mindless sewing...

I had another one of those nights last week when I just wanted to sit down and sew. I pulled my bag of small strip scraps and these are what I came up with.

Now, what do I do with them? I had some ideas, but so far they have been coming and going.
Add some solid and do quilt? Tote bags with scrappy appliqué? Apron with scrappy pockets? Pillows?
Who knows...
I might just wait and sleep a little more on this one...

... and maybe they could become a nice houses for a great cause...

check out Bumble Beans Inc to see how to help.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Simple red and white

This is the quilt that has been sitting for about two years. I found all of the red squares already cut in the local thrift store and just couldn't leave them there. Later I found a fabric that inspired me for mixing them with florals. I have made a couple of pillows in this style already.
Here is archive post about this one. I can't believe it took me so long to make this top.

It still needs borders since I ran out of red squares and quilt is too small just like that, but that shouldn't take another two years to finish. Right?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

My weekend experiments...

I am so happy to be back here with a good news.
My new batch of yogurt turned out amazing! It's thick and oh so yummyyy!

I have to thank Jennie for suggesting to let it set much longer because that is exactly what I did. I place it on closed heating vent and covered with blankets for most of the day (about 6-7 hours) When I went to check on it later it was still runny, I realized that since I am baking a lot in the kitchen, our heating stopped running, so I moved the yogurt on the top of the stove while the oven was cooling and left. An hour or so later, the yogurt was thick to the point that when I turned the jar sideways, the yogurt stayed in its place.
( Another friend suggested to place it on the top of the fridge towards the back, where it's nice and toasty. )

This morning I had the best yogurt ever.

So how about the bread?
I used the same recipe from Hanna for no-rise bread and made these buns. This time I used only white flour. They turned out great!

For the loaf of bread, I tried my mom's recipe or bread she made when I was little. I have so many memories of this bread baked in our house and me laying my head on the towel covered bread feeling how nice and warm it is.

Mom's bread

1 kg (6 cups) all-purpose flour
1 spoon of salt
3 tsp dry yeast
2 spoons of vinegar
6 dcl (2.5 cups) warm water
1 spoon of sugar
3 medium size boiled potatoes, shredded (I cooked them and used larger cheese shredder)

Add water, yeast and sugar, mix well, let sit for couple of minutes. Add flour, salt, potatoes, vinegar. Knead the dough (it will be light) and let it rise on the warm spot. (about an hour, or until it doubled in size) Spill out from bowl on the flour covered surface and knead some more, roll out a bit and fold, let rise again for about 20 minutes, repeat once more.
Create a oval shaped loaf and place on the flour covered baking sheet.
Bake on 200 C (390 F) for 15 minutes, then on 150 C (300 F) for 45 minutes
I used brush and brushed the loaf several times with water as it was baking, makes nice crust.

- now, I was lazy (I know I wish I didn't do this, but I wanted to be done faster) and only let the dough rise once (just to see if it would work anyway). It turned out OK, but it took much longer to bake. After 45 minutes, I had to raise the temp. on 200 C again and give it another half an hour or so. Also, I remember mom's bread being bigger. I learned my lesson... :(

Friday, February 5, 2010

Sewing Spring...

A whole lot is going on these days, but since I have been kicked by a creative/ sewing muse, I am spending every minute possible at my little sewing corner or in the kitchen.
So what did I do?

( I need to catch up with picture taking.)

- more mindless sewing
- baby quilt almost finished
- quilt top that was planned for a long time
- and another quilt top in progress

It still snows here and even more snow is expected, but I have been longing for spring for some time now. That is how this project started.

Can you find a dog in this picture?

I told you, I was busy...

I have found some new for me inspiring blogs that I would like to share. One of them (and the one I browsed all yesterday and this early morning) is Craftykin I found her through Mary Beth's post.
Hanna inspired me to bake my own bread and make my own yogurt yesterday.

For the bread, I used Hanna's no-rise recipe (look for it on her sidebar). I opted for 4 cups of white flour and 2 cups of whole wheat. Next time, I will try either much less wholewheat flour or none since it made a bread quite heavy.
For the yogurt, I am going to try it again. I know it is supposed to be runny compared to store bought yogurt, but how do I know if mine is too runny or not (reminds me consistency of a banana milk shake). Any thoughts?
Also, I read that sour taste of yogurt depends on how many hours it sits (3.5 hours less sour, 5 hours more sour). I am going to try this again and let it sit less hours to compare the taste.
I can't wait to try both o them again and find ways to make these regulars.

I have been nominated by my sister for a blog award.

I should pick another five blogs to pass this on. How can I do that? There is way too many gorgeous blogs in my reader.
maybe I can pick some that I was inspired by recently.
1. Craftykin, I don't think this one needs more explanation.
2. Salt and Chocolate, for making me hungry whenever I learn about another yummy recipe she tried.
3. Quilted Simple, for joining me in eliminating buying new fabric, so we can be using what we have
4. Bumble Beans, for inspiring me to play with color.
5. Sunflower Quilts, for reminding me that quilting/sewing with friends is much better.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Mindless sewing...

Two nights ago, I was a bit frustrated with life and so I sat down to my sewing machine, emptied the box with random little bits of fabric and did some mindless sewing.
I have not done this for a long long time and needed it so badly. My mood changed instantly as I just pieced and pieced.

It was maybe midnight when I looked at what I had and started thinking to myself, "OK, so what will this be?"

a quilt?

a bag?

The next morning I knew...
Last nigh I sat down and finished quilting..

... and now I have my own and very first, much needed sewing machine cover to replace the ugly white plastic one that came with it...

And it is reversible... I chose one of my favorite vintage fabrics... "Screen printed... Militaire"

I am having a feeling that there would be much more mindless sewing in my near future.

Monday, January 25, 2010

First quilt in 2010...

I am so glad this one is finished. This was again one of those quilts that I would never do on my own. I mean the colors. I love when I am pushed to create out of my ordinary and then realize, "Hey, this works.."
I really like the end result, but I was worried while sewing the strips together. As you may remember this is the post about the inspiration for the color-way of this quilt. I think it worked out great to match the curtains. Let's hope that the recipient of this one will like it as well.

It took me forever to quilt it, just because the school started and more important (right now) work came into play. For quilting, I chose just the simple wavy lines throughout the quilt, which was super easy and fun. I can't wait to see it after the wash (in the washer as I am writing...). It might need an extra photo then. I love this pattern and will definitely use it again.

The most important? Everything I used for this quilt, I already had, which means I was able to manage my first challenge.

I am already working on the next project, but that one can't be shown for awhile since I don't want to spoil a surprise.
Next? ...challenge #2...

Monday, January 11, 2010

First Day....

I finished the top and pieced the back for Challenge #1 quilt, but no show until its completely done, that's how I decided. My weekend plans changed a bit, so the amount of sewing I thought I would get done was limited. Also, I've had something with my right arm, knot in the muscle that would only go away after several hours with heating pad and gentle massage. This has been going on for more then a year every time I get too busy with my hands in the kitchen or around the house. It is very frustrating because it means I can only wash so many dishes at the time, or only clean the house part by part, which does not get me far. I know it sounds like a great excuse, but believe me, it's not. :)
Sewing doesn't hurt though..I am not sure about quilting a large quilt :(

Today was my first day at school as a graduate student. I am really excited to see what all this would bring. I know I need to get ready for a lot of reading, writing, and more reading..

And so tonight, instead of tackling the quilt, I will rather sit in my favorite spot on the sofa with my heating pad, articles to read and yummy mandarins.

I am going to leave you a link with a pretty cool video that explain just a bit what I do..

I use tools like they present in the video to study plants and tree's spatial distribution and how factors such as climate change affect their growth, spread, and regeneration.. and such...:)

I guess, I just wanted you to know...

Thursday, January 7, 2010


I am moving along with my first 2010 quilt. I hoping to start quilting this weekend or possibly tomorrow. I was a bit concerned since these are not the usual colors I like to work with and not all of them together, but I am liking what I see so far. Don't you love it when you discover new combinations of color?

I am enjoying to be back in the rhythm of cut, pin, sew and iron, cut, pin, sew and....

Thanks to Emily, I have joined the group Cancer is Sew Done. More sewing for a great cause and checking out new blogs. I have already found some great new ones.

Visit Cancer is Sew Done

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Challenge #1

- to make a quilt

- the quilt is a past due Christmas present; it should match this Ikea fabric that is used for window treatments in the room where the quilt will reside

- after searching on line, I have decided for Denyse Schmidt's Hop, Skip and a Jump like this one

- as my challenge this year requests, no buying of a material allowed, so I searched my stash and found these

- my initial thought was to use only solids, which I think would look great, but I am not allowed, so what else to do?
- the recipient of this quilt loves bright colors and crazy patterns, so she should like these

I can't wait to see how this turns out, but first - the laundry.

PS: Oh, and that cute sleepy ace on the sofa? Our new addition - Zora.

Monday, January 4, 2010

One last finish of 2009...

I had this quilt top done for almost two years , well without the appliqué on it. It all started when I decided it's time to learn how to quilt my own finished tops and was looking for some inspirational quilting patterns. This way before I even tried free motion quilting, so an interesting straight lines, that was all I was looking for. I flipped through a book in Borders (I don't remember exactly, but it could be Last-Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts) where I found the inspiration for this one. There is not much of a pattern, but I loved the quilting of the one in the book, which was a simple square spiral starting in the middle going to the sides of the quilt.

Unfortunately, you can't see it on the pictures for two reasons mainly. One, the pictures were taken with my phone and two, the fabric in the middle is re-purposed window treatment and therefore was washed many times already, which explains the lack of crinkles. However, I loved the way this turned out, but for whatever reason this quilt sat unfinished for two years. It was sometimes in September when I realized that it would be a perfect fit for my future mother-in-law's living room. I made these two pillows for her last year for Christmas.

So the only thing I had to do was somehow marry the quilt to the pillows. I decided for yo-yo flowers appliqué. The stem is a simple vintage ric-rac which I bought about a year ago in the thrift shop and the leaves are from left over fleece that I used two winters ago for our dog's coat. Backing fabric is one of many given to me by friends and family of some past quilters and binding was another thrift store find from about two years ago.

I love when my thrifted purchases wait and find their perfect place one day.
So, I guess this quilt could count in for my challenge except it was done in 2009.
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, January 2, 2010


Hello 2010!

As I said, I have a lots of ideas in mind for crafting this year. I was inspired by one of my Christmas presents. Many of you probably already seen the movie Julie & Julia or read either one of the books that are out there. Well, until this holidays, I did not. And so, as I watched my copy of the movie while my own blog have been abandoned for couple of months, I decided to change something.
I finished watching the movie on Christmas Eve, well it was 4 am so technically it was the Christmas Day, my head swelled up with ideas and questions of how could I inspire myself to keep blogging and sewing even though time and money are going to be tight in 2010?
It didn't take me too long..., but I kept it simple.. Now, I have no desire to write a book or making a movie, oh no. All I am in for is an inspiration, something that will keep me going when another crazy semester starts and my free time shrinks to almost nothing as well as my energy level.

So here is my challenge:

Use up as much as possible and only the existing fabric and material, meaning what is home, here, ready for me to use.
And yes, there is plenty for me to do for a whole year, believe me.

I am working on my "to do" list that I can hang somewhere near.
Also, this challenge of not buying any new material can't affect the quality of the projects/ quilts crafted, rather should make them unique and more interesting.
I feel that my challenge is not going to be the fact of not buying anything new, since as I mentioned, I will have to use my grad student resources for survival only. However, the challenging part should be the one of creating with what I have. How will I do when I will miss that perfect shade of green or need more of the color/ pattern I already have. I do understand that certain sewing supplies will be needed as my current stash will dwindle down, such as, thread and batting, but maybe I will try to focus on the quilt tops then and wait with quilting as resources will allow.
So, wish me luck!