Monday, December 30, 2013

2013 Round-up

Once again its time to look back over the year and {hopefully} surprise myself a little.  It has been another growing year for me in many ways.  Enjoy the pictures and a little reflection and introspection ...

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Tipsy Tutorials--Random Bamboo

My Samantha re-named this tutorial as I was finalizing the posts, and I liked it, so I'm going with it ... (drum roll please) ... Random Bamboo!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Sarah & The Primary Bee (#1)

A few weeks back, my youngest, Sarah, decided she wanted to learn to sew.  About that same time, Michele announced her Primary Bee.  Seemed like a perfect fit :)  So here we are at the end of December and her first blocks are ready to go.  I'll let her introduce herself and tell about the blocks ...

Lesson Learned

Before Christmas I had two projects that I was rushing to get done.  One was for hubby and the other for one of Sarah's friends.  Both involved FMQ, and thank goodness they were pillows, because I just couldn't get the tension right.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Have a very merry Christmas filled with family and friends and the true Spirit of Christ!  May we all carry this giving spirit into the new year and bless the lives of everyone we meet.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Winner, Winner!

Thanks so much to everyone who stopped by for SMS Giveaway Day.  What a fun week of exploring new-to-me blogs and tons of inspiration!  I truly appreciate all my followers--new and old--and all who took a minute to leave comments.

Monday I promised to give away two sets of rice bag hand warmers.  I'm loving this simple project that is so useful, and I hope ... does too.  Congratulations to Allison!  She was lucky #27.

  1. candy and lip gloss!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A Quick Reality Check

Thanks to everyone stopping by the last couple of days for the SMS Giveaway day.  If you're looking for that post, it is here.  The giveaway closes Friday, December 13 at 5pm.

When I woke up this morning, I had a lot on my to-do list.  Mail Christmas packages, wrap the kids' gifts, finish Rhett's ...

Anyway, here is what my sewing area looks like.  I guess its time for a little housekeeping here.

1.  My Stash Bee blocks from my month (June).  All trimmed up and in the middle of adding the sashing.  You can just see those strips peeking out from under #3.  I'm excited to get this top done, but it keeps getting pushed back.

2.  The stripes here are the backing fabric for Samantha's trek quilt.  It's been basted and marked for over a year now.  I thought that rolling it up and putting it on my sewing table might motivate me to actually work on it :)

3.  There are 3 blocks here that I made for my tutorial for my next Stash Bee block.  I get to be a Hive Mama next year (yippee!) so I need to have my tutorial post ready to go for January.  Finished the sewing this morning ... just need to put the finishing touches on  the blog post.

4.  These are my charm squares from the Kate Spain Swap.  I think I know basically what I'm going to do with them now that I've been staring at them for a couple of weeks.

5.  I stopped by my LQS this week to pick up the Kona Snow I need for #4.  While there I also bought some black quilter's linen and fat quarters for my stash :)

6. This is part of my order from the Fat Quarter Shop.  I'm going to be using some variation of these solids for the Kona Solids Hop (I'll be posting my project for that on January 16!)

7.  Under the rulers are the fabrics and half-finished square that Sarah is working on for her second bee block.

8.  This is the other half of my FQS order.  It includes yardage for my Salt Air Diamonds quilt that I dream of making someday.  There is also some beautiful Bake Shop fabric that I ordered for fun.

9.  Finally is my Christmas project for hubby.  He has asked me to make a quilt for him (not necessarily for Christmas, thank goodness.)  I'm working on that (the yardage for that is just outside the picture by the surge protector.)  In the meantime, I'm making him something to hold him over until I get that done.  I have some machine applique and quilting left for that project.  Here's a link to the free pattern if anyone is interested.

Hope you are all enjoying December.  My kids certainly are--they've missed the last 4 days of school due to snow.  Well, I'm off to spend some unexpected extra time with them!

Monday, December 9, 2013

It's a Giveaway Kind of Day

Welcome visitors!  This is my first time participating in Sew Mama Sew's bi-annual Giveaway Day.  I'm so glad that you decided to stop by today and visit.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!!  I hope everyone is enjoying a blessed day and feels the warmth and gratitude of the holiday.

Monday, November 11, 2013

A Working Vacation

Here is part 2 of Helping-My-Parents-Move.  The house was put on the market the first weekend in August, and only took about 8 seconds to sell.

Friday, November 8, 2013

New Year of Stash Bee!

This week I officially signed up for the 2014 Stash Bee.  This online quilting bee is a group of modern quilters who use our stash to make beautiful blocks for our hive mates.  Here is the link to the sign-ups for this next year.  We will be assigned to groups of 11 and only go for 11 months (December off!)  Danny, our Bee Mama, is awesome!  She has a clear vision of how things should work and is so organized.  Even though she will not be sewing along with us this round, she has agreed to stay on and be our fearless leader.  Thanks, Danny!!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

9607 Gardens

I've been meaning to do this post for about 8 weeks now.  There are a lot of pictures ... but mostly for my own benefit.  I guess you could consider this part 1 of Helping-My-Parents-Move.  My dad is an expert gardener.  Since I was in about 6th grade he discovered gardening and began transforming our suburban home into an oasis.  Everyone always knew our house because of the amazing plant displays.

I couldn't leave that home without documenting this year's garden.  It has come so far in almost 30 years and Dad collected some amazing plants.  I don't know what all of them are. I also know he'll start reacquiring in his new home, but I wanted to remember it this way.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Some Halloween Spirit!

I've been meaning to get back into the swing of things for several weeks now ... I'm still working on it, but I had the perfect inspiration in the CSI challenge this week:  Pinterest-Inspired Projects.  I'm not really good about decorating for holidays, but I was reminded by my kids how much they enjoy it--at least a little.  Usually I'm lucky if I remember to change my bear's clothes:

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

It's a Sister Thing!

Today is all about the swap I participated in this summer.  I got back from my cross-country trip last Monday and am finally getting my bearings.  The first thing I grabbed from my stack of mail waiting on my sewing table was a squishy package that had some really cool treats!

Quilts From My Crayon Box

Despite my lack of posting, I think she figured me out.  Right now red/aqua is a favorite combo and I absolutely LOVE the plus mug rug.  Of course, since I got a mug rug, she also included some goodies to go IN that mug.  Yummy!

She also included two little pincushions that look like chickens.  Aren't they the cutest!  Thanks so much to Laurel at Drowning in Fabric.  You hit a home-run--Thanks!

Before I left for MD, I also sent off my goodie bag to my secret sister.  I haven't received word that she got it yet, but I'll post it anyway.  I got to stalk Janet at Caribou Crossings.  She posted even less than I did this summer, so I went way back on her blog; its a good thing she's been posting for more years than I have :)  I also had the great fortune to have worked with her round robin quilt in the few months previous, so I had an idea to work with.

I learned that Janet loves hexies and the great outdoors, so I went with many of the same blues and greens I used in my round robin border and added pops of yellow and orange to add some sunshine.  I used the pattern in Sherri McConnell's A Quilting Life (book.)

Janet also does a lot of handwork, so I included some cute labels, some amazing Clover Clips, and some sticky thimbles.  Hope you enjoy, Janet!

Thanks again to Michele at Quilts from My Crayon Box.  I'm so glad I stumbled on your sweet blog last year!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Some August Sewing

I really can't believe it's half-way through August!  Maybe its because I bought plane tickets this week and I know I'm leaving that I suddenly don't feel like I have enough time to get anything done ...

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Summer Top 10 Progress

Thanks so much to everyone who stopped by in the last couple of days for the HO-HO-HO blog hop!  I always love seeing everyone else's projects and sharing the positive creative energy.  I try to respond to all the comments, but there are always a few no-reply ones that I can't.  So THANKS again!

That blog hop was on my Top 10 list for the summer, so I though I'd give a quick update:

1.  Lindsay's Baby Quilt. Done and received.  I love the way it turned out.
 2.  HoHoHo Blog Hop.  I posted for this earlier this week--YAY!!
3.  It's A Sister Thing Swap.  I have figured out what to make and am working on it ... almost finished :)

4.  Summmer Breeze Topper.  Almost done with the quilting, only the outside border left, then binding.
 5.  Tetris Quilt.  This is still waiting ...
6.  Flower Patch Quilt Along.  I've gotten a bit more done--4 squares now.
7.  Formal Gardens String Quilt.  Haven't touched this one, either ...
8.  Design Wall.  Still in the dreaming phase.

9.  Work in my yard ...  I've cut down several awful bushes and done quite a bit of basic maintenance--YAY!
10.  Help my parents move.  They have a tentative closing date now and I'm just making final arrangements!!

After spending a few days last weekend back at work helping out, I'm excited to have this weekend free to do some planning for back-to-school and get some sewing done :)  What are YOUR plans?

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Ho Ho Ho: Not-Quite-Christmas-in-July

Welcome, hoppers!  I have been loving the outpouring of Christmas Spirit these past few days!

I really struggled over what to create for this blog hop--I had several ideas that just didn't feel right.  Then one evening as I was straightening my sewing area, I unearthed the advent calendar that I started last fall.  Woohoo--perfect project!  Pieces are already made and mostly cut out, a fabric line I truly love (Blitzen by BasicGrey) and still time to actually finish it.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Monogrammed Water Bottle Holders

Every year my oldest goes to Girl's Camp for one week with the Young Women's program at our church.  Our stake has a mail program where we can send gifts and notes up to the girls.  This is very popular and I try to do a little something every day.  She also takes her best friend from school with her, so I have double the trouble to be creative for.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

MMMRR Reveal

At the last minute, back in January, I decided to join in the Modern Mini Mystery Round Robin hosted by the amazing Michele at Quilts From my Crayon Box.  I was going to pass, but couldn't quite do it :)

Here is my original center block.
I love the Joel Dewberry florals and the Courtyard Garden block.  I was super excited when I mailed it out and I was NOT disappointed!  While I waited for this beauty to come home, here are some pics of what I worked on to keep my mind distracted:

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

July Stash Bee

Today I decided to focus on my bee blocks this month.  Sandra asked for these super cute bird blocks (tutorial here.)  There were quite a few pieces to cut, but it came together quickly.  I like the color combos--hope she does, too.  If you try it, the beaks are a bit tricky--make sure to make it deeper than you think you need to--I didn't register that I'd lose that much in the seam allowance.

Friday, July 12, 2013

My 10 Things This Summer

My First Block for the Flower Patch QA
Formal Gardens String Block
One of my gardens
Tetris Quilt
One of Dad's Gardens
I'm going to jump on this bandwagon and perhaps have a more productive summer as a result.  I love this idea, but I can't limit it to just my sewing ...  There is always so much to do and it seems like the struggle to stay balanced is never ending.  My HS history teacher always said she wanted us to be well-rounded people and she threw little extras into her lessons that I will always remember.  I chose my college major--Humanities--thanks to her.  ANYWAY, here are my top ten things to work on this summer (in no particular order) :

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

It's a Sister Thing!

Heath Girls--Circa 1980??
Last month I signed up for my first swap and today I got my new sister.  SSssshhhh!  I was stoked to try this because I grew up in a family of all girls--there were five of us.  I love all my sisters and always look forward to spending time with them and their kids.  Even though we're spread all across the country, we're still close and try to keep up with each other.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Dear Anonymous

Dear Anonymous,

You're ruining the fun for everyone.  I love comments as much as the next blogger

Friday, May 31, 2013

A Little MMMRR Catch-up ...

These days, if it weren't for MMMRR and my Stash Bee commitments, I don't think I'd get ANY sewing done.  I have several projects in various states of progress, but these two ongoing groups are my only "finishes"--and I'm sure that's just because it's just one block or a row at a time. 

I realized as I was finishing up my MMMRR for May that I never posted April's previews, so here they are.   I tried to pull the colors out from the original block.  My green/blue stash is looking much better these days, thank you :)  I believe this month I had Janet's block.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

April Showers: A Mug Rug Hop

Coming to you bright and early on Day 3.  Let me start by saying, "Thank you!" to Madame Samm and Erin for organizing and cheering us all through April Showers.

I've been so excited for this hop!  My little valley in Oregon is quite rainy throughout the year, so I'm definitely feeling the spirit of April Showers :)  I immediately knew what I wanted to do this time around, and I didn't wait 'till the last minute, either--I'm SO proud of myself.  Mug rugs are almost-instant gratification for me.  Plus, their size gives me the freedom to experiment without worrying about messing up.

This first mug rug is made from left-over squares from Samantha's memory quilt.  The greens remind me of a beautiful day in the woods.  I love that the rain bring such lush greens year-round to my little corner of Oregon.  I wanted to practice some orange peel FMQ and the 2" squares seemed like just the right size to do that on on my machine.  I'm quickly learning that the smaller scale designs work much better on my little machine.  Even with gloves, I have control issues moving the fabric in larger patterns.  I'm really pleased with the way it turned out.

The second one I totally love!  I had a picture in my head that evolved as I looked at pictures online.  I knew I wanted to do a plumeria bloom, but had no idea how.

Then, one day while skipping around on various blogs, I saw some gorgeous raw-edge applique--not flowers, but when I saw the effect, I knew that's what I wanted to try. (I wish I could find it again, but I have no idea how I got there ...)  I found a plumeria sketch online that I liked and adapted it.  Wonder-under held the pieces in place while I stitched.  After quite a bit of experimenting, I decided I liked the regular old sewing machine foot and straight stitch much better than the darning foot for the applique work.

I wasn't sure how to quilt it until I saw this trapunto tutorial.  I've never tried trapunto before, but I LOVE the effect.  It was surprisingly easy--time consuming--but easy.  I used some of Leah Day's suggestions for FMQ and did micro-stippling around the background.  I totally love this!  Don't know how practical it is to have the trapunto in the middle of a mug rug, but it makes me smile every time I see it and touch it.

Hope you enjoyed a little eye candy ... I certainly had fun playing with my new mug rugs and my camera :)
Be sure to stop by and share the love with the rest of these talented ladies today:

Hayley @ Mrs. Pickles
Heather @ A Reformed Heath'n (YAY, you're here!)
Marica @ ~Englating~

Thanks so much for stopping by!  Hope to see you back soon :) Linking up to the CSI project.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Another day, another ...

These last couple of weeks were pretty busy.  I had all three kids home on multiple, different days.  Mercifully they didn't share it with me :)  All that time did give me a chance to work on a project I've had in mind for a few weeks now.  This is one of the blocks I'm doing for a strip quilt ... if all goes well, I should be able to share a finished product in a coupla weeks.

Last Saturday I got to be the coach for the Battle of the Books team from Guy Lee Elementary that went to the regional competition.  I was asked by their real coach to fill in because of other responsibilities and I was thrilled to do it!  I love those kids!  They are awesome readers and super nice kids to boot.  No pics, since none of mine were there, but they did a super-fantastic job!  They had a really strong team and did their school (and me, and their families) proud!

These are the Churn Dash blocks that I did for the Stash bee this month.  They were fast to put together and I LOVE how they turned out.  I used some of my own favorite recently-used combos.

Finally, last but not least ... here is the sneak peak for my March additions to the MMMRR.  This person wanted rows that were holiday or season related.  With spring coming on in march, I found inspiration here.

I've got a couple of other things in the works, but the weather here is beautiful, so I think I will be shifting my emphasis to out-of-doors projects.  I'll only be sewing on my evenings when I'm not working and playing catch-up on inside chores ...

Friday, March 8, 2013

A Quick Update

Things are moving along at the Karr home.  The hard drive on the computer that I use died quite suddenly the day before Valentine's day.  In fact, I was adding the final pics to my round robin post when it went belly-up.  Needless to say, I freaked.  Thankfully I'm married to an awesome computer dude who regularly backs things up and he restored everything to one of the kids' computers which I have now taken over ...

While in transition, I finished my bee block and round robin addition for February...

Isn't Pippi cute?  I Think of Sarah every time I see it now--she's into braids and bandannas right now.  I've been teasing her that she looks more like a pirate, though :)

Here is my sneak peak for the MMMRR block from Feb.  I just finished the one for March, I'll post that soon.