Tuesday, August 23, 2011

For the Love of Sewing (the super secret surprise unveiling)

My grandmother taught me how to sew with old pillowcases and barbie dress patterns. Ever since then I have had a love affair with needle and thread. One of the reasons I sew is because I get to make things for the people that I love. I made this quilt for a dear friend of mine, just because she likes butterflies, and just because she is the best friend a gal could ever have. I had this quilt idea in my head for years but could not find the right vintage butterfly quilt blocks. One day the perfect vintage quilt top magically appeared on ebay and I made her butterfly quilt dream a reality.

The butterflies are vintage hand appliqued quilt blocks and the border fabric is also vintage. The striped squares are reproduction prints that replaced plain muslin squares on the original quilt top. The sewing was not so great and the plain muslin squares were stained so I took the whole top apart, washed it and put it back together again with some new fabric.

Here is a shot of the back where I pieced together some Kona cotton and leftover fabric from the front. I think my measurements were off or I was working on this late night because how I originally planned it and how it turned out are totally different. I was sweating there for a minute wondering if I had enough fabric to finish the back but it all worked out in the end.
I love these labels. I ordered then from Fancyweaver. I know it's not a USA based company but the price was right, they were easy to work with and the labels look great. They are end fold labels but just long enough I can unfold them and tuck it into a corner of a quilt.

Here is another one of my hand embroidered quilt labels.

On a side note these pictures were taken in my grandmothers back yard, the backyard of the same house I learned to sew in. She has two perfect trees that I stretched a piece of rope between to take quilt pictures. I say I but you would not catch my butt climbing a ladder up that tree. Its my husband that does all the heavy lifting while I stand safely on the ground directing.

So tell me, why do you sew?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Presto Pesto

I made pesto this weekend. A ton of it. Well maybe not a ton, but 7 half pint jars of it, and considering how many basil leaves that took I am calling it a ton. Just look at all that lovely green goodness. I planted 4 basil plants this year and had no idea just how much they would grow. Since I am trying to make a more concerted effort to know where my food comes from and eat less processed I decided to make pesto and freeze it for use all winter. I already have another huge batch which I froze in ice cube trays then popped out into a freezer bag. This batch went into wide mouth canning jars. I am trying really hard to reduce my dependence on plastic baggies. I feel horrible every time I throw one of those little buggers in the trash or recycling bin. Hopefully it will turn out well and the jars will not crack. They are freezer safe, so says Ball, and I did not fill them all the way to the top, so we shall see.

I could eat buckets of this stuff, on pizza or just plain ole whole wheat pasta. Maybe next year I will try my hand at real canning. I would love to can some big juicy Maryland summer tomatoes to use year round. Each step I take to eat better and reduce what we throw away just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Corners of my Home

I always see on blogs where people post beautiful images of the lovely little corners of their homes...big comfy reading chairs...children's art centers...pretty kitchen jars...you get the drift. I was feeling a little sarcastic when I took this picture yesterday and thought I would share with you a corner of my home. Behold my kitchen table corner. Isn't it lovely. Let me break it down for you. Thats a purse I never use anymore way in the back because all I carry around with me these days is a diaper bag, breast pump and work laptop. There is a really ugly rug under the table. I cant remember why I even bought that. I mean who puts a rug under a kitchen table. Its just kinda gross. Throw in a stroller, car seat, bumbo and miscellanious toys and you have one hot mess. Cut me a little slack. Its only my second week back to work from maternity leave and my husband is out of town. All excuses aside it generally always looks like this.
Now here is another corner. An empty one at that. Waiting for the perfect crap catcher/storage device to house all the junk on my kitchen table. Im looking for something like this but am too scared to even enquire how many dollar bills it will set me back. Maybe something will present itself if I ever get the time for a much needed day of thrifting.

What do the corners of your home look like? Are they anywhere near as bad as this?