twelve square

getting back into things. Step one.

I am so ready to get back into the swing of things around here!  Naps are becoming something I can depend on and I'm busy making lists already.

sewing again

First, though, I need to take care of the pile of past-due projects on my sewing table.

Like the JUNE quilt square for Sarah, who asked for "whatever." 

for Sarah

And the AUGUST square for Kate, who asked for a scrappy log cabin.


I love getting my quilt square fabric in the mail each month.  It's a little like Christmas.  Plus, I think you can see each of the quilters in their fabric choices.  Even if these came without a nice little note attached, I'm pretty sure I could guess who sent it. 

August square

September is my month, and I've got my stacks ready to go.  My plan is to get them in the mail on Friday... can you guess what kind of fabric I'm using?  :)

Okay, off to the dentist. Joy.

hodge podge monday. with flowers.

I did promise no more crab apple blossom photos.

I didn't say a thing about lilacs.

finally blooming... our first year.

Last year we planted three tiny lilac shrubs on the east side of our house, right next to our driveway.  There has never been anything planted there except our a/c unit which, as you might imagine, is way more functional than it is attractive.  The idea with these fast-growing plants is that we'll have some early spring color and then full lush landscaping the rest of the summer, camouflaging the otherwise stark and utilitarian side of the house.

Last year when we planted them they hadn't bloomed.  So imagine our surprise when we saw these tiny buds burst into rich purple blooms this weekend.

 and more... my neighbors must think I'm nuts by now, with all the gazing I do at these.

I keep running outside and staring at them and bending over to stick my head in them.  I'm pretty sure my neighbors think I'm nuts already, so this probably confirms it.  (And prepare yourself for more photos, because I'm so not done yet.)

It was a busy weekend that was kick-started with a sleepover for the 13 year old (dinner for 6 'teens' at the Cheesecake Factory, home to a movie which put them to sleep during, and back up for pancakes...) and included a zoo trip for Fidget, progress in reorganization of the sewing room, some Twelve Square sewing and another maternity skirt.  Throw in a trip to Lowe's, the park with the green slides, and Sunday Burger Night, and you've pretty much got the picture.  Busy and good.

like ramma-lamma-lamma-kadingady-dingdy-dong

Left:the azaleas are about to bloom in the front of the house.  Yay!  They should look delicious against the new gray paint. 

Right: My April Twelve Square block for Kathryn.  I loved the springy fabrics she chose.  And a simple 9-patch?  Sweet.  Easy as pie.   (more 12SQ photos at the flickr pool)

(Hat tip to Kirsten for seeing these photos at Flickr and suggesting they should be mosaic-ized.  I wish I had taken a few more photos of them both, for a 9-patch mosaic.)

Happy new week everyone... Hope your weekend was full, too.  xo

Pretty blossoms. Twelve Square.

I've been enjoying crab apple tree blooms in my kitchen this week.  They really are pretty, although they're not going to last very long.  The pink confetti has already started to drop onto my table... *sniff*

sunshine and flowers at breakfast. I'll take it.

what's left of the crabapple tree.

Fidget wanted some in a little vase, just for her.  How could I resist? 

teeny tiny. fidge insisted.

I promise, from here on out, no more talk or photos of crab apple blossoms!  Pinky swear.   Thanks for indulging me, though.  You're so sweet.  xo


So.... I wrapped up another block for Tracy's March Twelve Square quilt last week.  Tracy wanted 'mostly gray with pops of color and texture.'  I am sodigging her choices here, and all of the blocks that have been submitted thus far.  It's so fresh and modern... I cannot wait to see how she puts these all together.  It will be so beautiful.

March Block for Tracy :: TwelveSquare

(more photos from others at the flickr group). 

She's killing me with the new yellow blocks she's been working on.  Seriously.  This one?  Love.

for Tracy:: full view of square. partially out of focus.

I got some sewing done this weekend -- the 'Servant Girl' tunic from Sugar City... It pains me to say I don't love the results.  It's about 85% done and I think it's the fabric that just isn't working for me.  Or maybe the darts that seem random and haphazard.  Or the bias tape around the neckline that is not behaving.... I just left it at my machine on Saturday and haven't yet returned!

But that's ok.  I've been eyeing the elastic thread I bought last summer and think I might give that a try.... stay tuned. 

Oh!  And the painters might be done today!  It's looking so different around here.  (Especially with every window covered in plastic sheeting -- it's killing me to not open the windows and enjoy the super weather we are having this week.)  This morning I panicked a little and thought the house looked too blue, but I think at this point I'm just getting paranoid and hypersensitive to things.  That didn't keep me from emailing hubs at work and sharing my fear.  He's not, as you might expect, worried at all.

What, you say I'm pregnant?  And that might have something to do with all this indecision?  Quite possibly.  I'm almost certain that is the case.  At any rate, things are happening around here.  I'm just trying to keep up.


(Friday already)

Another week ticked by in a flurry of doctor visits (one for me, two for Fidge), hair appointments (two for the girls), house painter estimates (six so far), and projects.  We're at home today with a fever (Fidge) and pending dramatic weather (snow, 6-11 inches, tomorrow). 

Little JuneBug is in full belly assault, tumbling and punching and twitching all the time, sweet thing.  I'm at that point where people are more confident assuming I'm pregnant and asking questions.  We have less than 13 weeks to go and that really doesn't seem like enough time to get everything done...I haven't even begun to plan what to do with the umpteen boxes of baby clothes in my garage.  They need to come down and be rifled through (pulling the gender neutral stuff out first, of course) and washed.  We need to clean up all the new baby stuff that's been in storage.  And maybe get the nursery together.

So now you're all caught up.

I finished something this week that I am very eager to show, but it's a surprise.  

12 Square block :: February :: For Melissa

It's not this (late) Twelve Square quilt block for Melissa

I finished this little log cabin square (her instructions) yesterday, supplying my own polka dot fabric (from this skirt, which I still love and am hoping will get to wear again someday).  I still have a few days left in March to get caught up on the other block for Tracy sitting in my sewing room, and I am determined to make that happen soon.  (maybe this weekend?)

Have the parentheses made you dizzy yet?  Because my eyes are crossed.  Of course it could also be from our crazed weather patterns which cannot decide to be 65 & sunny or 35 & blizzard-ing.   Lotsa snow tomorrow.  On Sunday it's supposed to be back up to 46, and Monday, the 50s... Nuts!  I think I'm going to stick to a plan of chai (decaf) tea, couch snuggles and pajama pants.

Enjoy your weekend, friends. xoxox

A block. Some more Florida photos. And delivery.

I'm not doing so well with turning my Twelve Square blocks in on time.  So far they have all been about 10 days late.  However, they are getting done, so I feel pretty good about that.  This latest one is for Leslie:

Feb Block for Leslie

The fabrics she sent were all summery and fresh, and I immediately thought 'bubbles' and circle appliques... but it looks like the other squares she got were more traditional cuts of blocks and stripes and so forth, so I hope this square doesn't completely throw off the completed quilt. 

The circles are hand-turned and slip-stitched, so no stitches are visible.

Feb: Leslie :: Twelve Square

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the 1/2 grouper sandwich

This photo just cracks me up. Do I look scared?  Surprised?  Nervous?  Probably all three. It was taken on our second full day with my folks, when my mom and I went antiquing.  This is the HALF Grouper sandwich.  It was bigger than my head.  And no, I didn't eat all the bread; I ended up eating the innards with a fork.  Tasty though.  (That is an awful word, innards.  Sorry about that.)

These do count as Florida pics.  I know the seaside stuff is better, but -- really -- look at me.  I'm in a long sleeved shirt.  I also had a sweater hanging from the back of my chair. The sky had a grayish cast all but the one day we went to the beach, so this is it.  I'm pretty sure an umbrella was involved, too.

good Greek eats down by the docks

Mmmmm.  Baklava.  I love any place with outdoor seating, especially with a view.   It's so charming and casual.  I feel like I'm on a movie set or something when I eat outdoors, sipping my coffee, watching the world go by.  But we didn't, and no one else did either that day.  It was just too chilly and damp.  Better luck next year, I'm sure.

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And, delivery! 

No, I didn't go into labor.  We're only 21 weeks along now, and our sonogram looked great the other day.  Doc says momma and baby are just fine.  Whew!

But I amexpecting the delivery of some furniture today.  That 1960's and 70's-ish creamy white and gold girls bedroom set from the Sears/Montgomery Wards/JCPenney Catalogs that I stared at longingly as a girl?  I found a four-poster bedframe, dresser+mirror and desk+hutch (and secret compartment sliding door-- bonus!) the other day for a steal at a used furniture place.  It's solid; the drawers are pristine and slide smoothly.  They even knocked off 20% percent for cash and because I'm really, really nice.  *grin*  I can't wait until it's here so I can clean it up and get going on Fidget's Big Girl Room. 

{ Local girls?  This place also carries a really good inventory (usually) of mid-century stuff, too.  Dining tables, bedroom sets, hutches, side tables.  There is one Danish modern hutch that is particularly wonderful.  It's been there for a while, I bet you could get a good deal.  Let me know if you want the inside scoop. }

So yesterday we had to make way in Fidget's room for her new stuff.  This is always a huge project, and included cleaning out closets and drawers and everything.  But doesn't it feel great to have a trunkload for Goodwill?  As soon as it stops raining today I'm going to scoot out and purge the back of my wagon.

Happy Wednesday!  xoxo

December Block for Twelve Square

Kristena at Thimbly Things had December's Twelve Square block, and I was so happy to see her request for scrappy log cabin style.  By the looks of it, we all got very different scraps of fabric, so this quilt is going to be really quite cool when it's done.  I think that is awesome.  She'll have bits from all sorts of old projects when she puts it together. 

For Kristena (december)

Hopefully, this late submission will work with the rest.  I cut my scraps pretty small, but I liked the randomness of it all.  I didn't worry too much about straight cuts or perfect angles either. 

for Kristena (dec block)

You can see the other blocks sent in for Kristena over here at flickr.

We've already got January's assignment from Leslie, too, and it is a free for all with bright juicy colors.  That should be fun as well. 

Made in 2008

Thank you, each and every one of you for the sweet congratulations on our newest little Big Project.  2008 was a strange year for me -- not the least of which was a month-long emotional drama resulting in a miscarriage last summer -- so the baby news is something that I am, shall we say, cautiously excited about.  We are 16 weeks along now, and every week I feel more confident.  Last weekend I actually pulled on some maternity jeans, so I suppose it is real now.

Anyway, you just have no idea how much your sweet words meant to me.  Really.  So thanks.

Made in 2008

2008 was also the year I tried to crochet.  And slip-covered my little settee.  And did a lot of satin stitching.  And clothes-making.  Even for myself, which was something I had never done. I picked up watercolors for the first time since college and also made silly sashes for our annual Miss America Party.  Sarah set up a flickr pool called 'What I made in 2008" and this was just the little push I needed to look back and review.  

It really was a productive year.  October, November and December seemed so light on the Making, mostly due to feeling, well, tired and queasy. I was surprised how much I got done before then, though.  (And I actually forgot to shoot a couple of things.  A couple birthday number shirts and other embroidered gifties that got wrapped and given away before I could document them.  Oops)

So, here's to 2009.  I have a quilt to finish.  Some more quilt blocks for Twelve Square.  Some more sewing for the girls.  And a nursery to arrange.  That sounds like enough to keep me busy for a while.

What are your big plans for 2009?

real cookies and a virtual quilting bee

And whoosh!  It's December 9th.  How the heck is this happening?  Better start baking.

sugar cookies, year 9.

That is what the girls and I did on Saturday.  We used the original Better Homes and Gardens Sugar Cookie Cutout recipe.  My cookbook is about 35 years old, so you know it's made with the good stuff.  And we topped them with Martha's royal icing recipe

We've made these cookies from scratch for the last 9 years.  It's mess, but totally worth it.  We also make about 10 different colors of frosting.  Pink and blue trees are totally acceptable.

royal icing, per martha's instructions.

This year Fidget helped, too.  She was very protective of her cookies and her work. 


And, finally.  My late block for Jessica's November Autumn-themed Twelve Square quilt.  She sent me the green and brown fabrics, and I added the florals from my stash. 

Nov block for Jessica

There was so much green to use, so I got this crazy idea to gather long strips and sew them into the block.  Autumn for me is all about textures, so I thought this added an unexpected crinkliness.  I hope she likes it.  I really hope it doesn't mess up the quilting part.   

November Block :: Jessica :: from pinkpicketfence

For the gathered edge that hangs off (bottom left in this picture), I left a topstitched edge hanging over the quilt square, so it wouldn't lose the gather before she attached this square to others.  I can't wait to see how it all turns out.