Friday, September 30, 2011

From My Dear Friend, Nicke

When I first started blogging, I knew that I would come across some really talented, inspiring, beautiful and intelligent women. What I didn't expect was to meet REAL people and make REAL connections. There is more than just a computer screen with words and pictures in front of me. There are genuine women with enormous hearts who have proven to be amazing friends.

Case in point- Nicke, from Kiss Kiss Quilt. When I first met Nicke, I was overwhelming her with emails and questions about quilting. At first, I thought she was just tolerating me and practicing patience in answering all my questions haha. But now I realize that she was really interested in helping me grow. She could've simply answered yes or no, but instead she sent me long explanations about measurements, patterns, quilting techniques, etc. Our friendship started evolving from there and now she is one of my bestest friends! Go check out her blog, you won't be sorry!

So anyway, Nicke and I arranged a private swap a couple of months ago. After having a pretty rough week, you can imagine how elated I was when I received her package in the mail! She is such a sweetheart! She even sent my 2 year old son his own little package to open with a darling note attached! Here are all the goodies together.

These made my heart super happy! I realize I just sounded like Kai-Lan right there but it's true. I've been wanting mug rugs for quite some time now. She surprised me with these beauties!

I can't decide which is my favorite. I just adore this little home with the couple dancing at the door.

It reminds me of my favorite song "Why Don't We Just Dance" by Josh Turner. Totally describes how I feel about Adrian and I just love it. If you haven't heard this song, go look up the lyrics. I'll wait...

This mug rug is awesome! I had told Nicke that I wanted to sew something with selvedges lately but I'm just not brave enough yet. I've been pinning stuff on Pinterest like crazy though.

She pulled it off perfectly. Isn't the back cute? Either side would make me smile as I enjoy my coffee in the morning.

This bag was also on my to-do list and now I don't have to make one because now I have one! The strap is super long so it can be used as a cross body bag. Love! Wish I would've taken a close up picture of the selvedges though...

Hello, sweet floral lining! This print is cute enough to use all year round.

I got a little teary eyed when I saw that she included this little puzzle for AJ. How incredibly thoughtful of her! AJ played with it all day yesterday. Isn't this a super cute idea for Christmas?

As if all this weren't enough, she also threw in some DS Quilts prints! I can't say this enough... I have the most amazing friends!

Thank you so much, Nicke! I appreciate all your generosity and creativity! I love all my goodies <3

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Pretty In Pink

My sister-in-law, Jessica, really wanted the grey 241 tote that I made a couple of weeks ago. That bag sold instantly and is now on it's way to Greece to live with Eleni. So I promised I would make Jessica a custom bag in her favorite color combo, lime green and hot pink.

I love the way this bag came out. I used an out of print hot pink Echino fabric that I'd been hoarding. It was so hard to cut into but so worth it in the end because it totally suits her!

I think the inner pocket is my favorite. I fussy cut a pair of glasses and did a little patchwork with the coordinating lime green dots. I used a sand colored canvas for the interior.

The Echino fabric is a really heavy linen blend with a natural look that I just adore. I think I will be using linen and canvas for all my bags now because I like the heaviness it gives them. We'll see how long I stick to that. I just love the variety of prints that quilting fabrics have to offer!

I've been getting alot of questions about my labels. I make them myself using either grosgrain or twill ribbon and some fabric paint. I have a tutorial for them here.

My Halloween Giveaway is almost closing! You have until Thursday night to enter so go check it out! Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Two Down, One More To Go

I made another crocheted stash basket for my yarn!

Now I have one in teal and one in fuchsia.

I just need to make a purple one and I'll be done with that!

Have a Happy Sunday!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

I Need Your Opinion

Ok, so I got a FOSSIL gift card in the mail (courtesy of Wells Fargo Reward Points-- yay for free stuff!) and I think I have decided to get a Mini Stella Aluminum Dial Watch. If you recall, I've been wanting one since May, before they were released. Now, the problem is I can't decide what color I want! Look at all these amazing choices.

So I need your help. Which color do you like best for fall? Red, Champagne, Blush, Teal, Blue or Purple? Decisions, decisions!

I'm so excited! I can't wait to order it! Well, I'm off to my mom's house now for a small BBQ. What are you up to today? Don't forget to enter my Halloween Giveaway. It ends next friday. Enjoy your weekend!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Fall/Halloween Swap Sign Up

It's time for another handmade swap!!

This time around, we will be having a themed swap for my favorite time of the year (aside from Christmas ofcourse!). You have a choice between Fall or Halloween-- or you could do something for both! Other than that there are really no restrictions except that at least one of the items you send must be handmade BY YOU. I will be sending out more details once I assign partners.

Please leave a comment if you would like to participate. I am leaving the sign up open until next Monday, September 19th. Don't forget to leave your email address in your comments!! Last time there were a few of you who signed up but I could not get ahold of you. I really apologize if you were one of those people, but here is your chance to sign up again!

We had so much fun with last month's swap! Some of you sent me pictures and links of the things you made for your partners. I loved seeing all your handmade goodies and wonderful ideas! I will post a few features soon.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

OMG I finished my quilt!

I started this quilt for my bed back in... July! I was making excuses left and right on why I hadn't finished it yet (I needed fabric for the backing, I was scared to quilt it, I didn't know how to make my own bias tape, blah blah blah). Finally, I just went for it and finished it last week. Here's my hubby standing on top of a chair outside trying to hold it up for me.

The final dimensions are about 95" by 85" with the grey border. I made HSTs with Denyse Schmidt's "Hope Valley" collection and used a pale yellow flat sheet for the back. With my left over fabric, I made a pieced binding and a matching pillow.

I used straight line quilting on either side of each block seam. I stayed away from the border because I didn't want the yellow thread to show on the dark grey.

We have been using it in our bed for about a week now and I finally decided to pull it outside and snap some pictures for you guys. It's so soft and comfy! And it looks so happy in our room.

Please excuse the poor lighting. We only have one window in our bedroom and my husband tinted it REALLY dark awhile ago. I had been coveting those yellow flower pillows at Target for so long but they were too expensive. When I saw them for 50% off, I snatched up the last two!

It's far from perfect and I love it with all its imperfections! I am SO proud of myself!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Easy Danishes

**If you have used this tutorial or any others by Pink Stitches, please post your pictures on the Pink Stitches Flickr Group! I'd love to see your beautiful creations and feature some of my favorite projects!**

Remember these delicious danishes my sister and I made last month for our business?

Well, can you imagine how hard it was for me to be surrounded by delicious treats, engulfed in sweet aroma, and not being able to stuff my face?! Each danish was counted for so Viv and I were only able to share one! I had been craving them ever since. So my wonderful sister came over last week to show me how to make a "cheater's version" of these yummy pastries. That's right! You don't have to make them from scratch!!

You will need:
- A box of puff pastry sheets*
- A can of your favorite pie filling
- Flour
- One egg
- Parchment Paper (of foil paper if you don't have any on hand)

*You can find this box of puff pastry sheets in the freezer section of your grocery store. Not where the biscuits are, they are kept with the frozen desserts and pie crusts.

Before you begin, thaw out your pastry puff sheets and preheat your oven to 425 degrees.

Sprinkle some flour onto your counter top and roll out one pastry puff sheet, just enough to smooth out the creases.

Cut the sheet evenly into four squares.

Open your can of pie filling and divide generously onto the four squares diagonally.

Feel free to sprinkle some cinnamon on top of the apples.

Fold one flap over your filling. Dampen your fingers in some warm water and apply to the flap before folding over the other side. This will hold both flaps in place while it bakes.

Repeat for all danishes. I only used one sheet to make four. You can use both sheets and try different fillings if you'd like.

Now make your egg wash by mixing one egg with one tablespoon of water in a small cup. Apply to the top of each danish with a brush or napkin. This will give your danishes a nice golden color when they bake.

Place parchment paper onto your baking sheet. If you're using foil like me, spray some cooking oil before you place the danishes on it.

Bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes. And you're all set to go!

Yeah they're not as pretty as the ones made from scratch but it works for me!

My family will be enjoying them over and over this fall. There are sooo many fillings I want to try. I think next time, I'll make my own strawberry filling. Yum!

**You can check out more recipes at my sister's blog, vivre.**

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Long Live Vintage

I have become obsessed with Anna's 241 Tote pattern. I wanted to see how it would look paired with Adornit's "Long Live Vintage" collection and the final result is absolutely lovely!

I used osnaburg for the outer pockets and lining. I love the natural look it offers.

I think this bag is perfect for those of you who don't love loud colors with tons of patterns (guilty!). Both 241 Totes are now in my shop. Start gearing up for Christmas!

Hope you have a wonderful Tuesday! Linking up here.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Swap Received

I received my surprise swap package from Katie earlier this week. Katie and I have been bloggy friends for awhile now and we totally have the same taste. Her specialty is upcycling furniture and she has inspired me to paint a few small pieces around my house. I am blown away by her creativity. This package was no exception. She totally surprised me by sending me some things she sewed! Let me just let you in on a little secret here... Katie doesn't have a sewing machine. She sews everything by hand!! Can you believe that?! Amazing! Here is what she sent me.

Right when I opened the box, I was pleased with her color choices! She sent me some fabric FQ's (um, yes please!!), some adorable coffee huggers (I love me some coffee!) and the prettiest pincushion I have ever seen in my life!!

Aren't you so jealous of me!? Lol This little beauty is going to look fantastic on my sewing table. And would you look at these coffee cozies?! How thoughtful is she? She handstitched "Pink Stitches" onto some beautiful linen! I especially love the little needle and thread. The pleats and elephants on the other two are super cute too!

Thank you Katie!! Oh and I forgot to mention that she included some Rainbow Twizzlers (not pictured). AJ devoured them before I had a chance to snap these photos. I was able to convince him to share ONE with me haha. This swap was so much fun! I have been receiving some beautiful pictures and some blog links from other participants and I will be doing a feature on them soon. I will also be hosting another swap for Halloween/Fall so keep your eye out for that one!

Have a wonderful Labor Day! Hope you're enjoying it with your families. xoxo