AmandaCarlisleDesign - Widget
Saturday, January 28, 2012

New Swoon-y Project

Well, I started out the year with good intentions.  Finish my WIP's. No new fabric, no new projects, and all that.  And now, I must confess, I'm getting ready to abandon those goals. (I guess I already partially did, since I made the EPQD blocks, but those were scrap blocks at least.)  

I've been fighting the urge for a while, and the other night, while innocently browsing the fat quarter shop page.. (like an alcoholic innocently hanging out in a bar) I tripped all over my good intentions and fell flat on my face!

I bought a *SWOON* pattern!  *sigh*  It's winging it's way to me right now, and should be here by Monday.  (I also choked and bought some fabric for something different--but that's another post for another day.)

I just kept seeing all of these cool swoon blocks, and they just kept sucking me in further and further, and then I realized that the pattern calls for 18 fat quarters. ACK--I have a fat quarter pack with 18 fat quarters that I've been hoarding for a LONG time, and I think it will make a really sweet SWOON quilt.  

It is Mary Englebreit's Friends and Flowers line .. Love all of the colors..

And it has this panel..I could incorporate it into the backing..?

And, just on coincidence, I happened into the quilt shop across the street from my son's school (my car just veered there) and out in the bin on the sidewalk.. the 50% off bin, I see three prints and think hmm.. those look like ME F&F prints.. and they were!  So I stocked up on backing yardage.. I haven't seen that yardage around in ages, and there it was for $5 a yd.  Another sign that I should make the Swoon quilt with this fabric!

So, at least I can feel good that I didn't buy new fabric for the project. (except the backing that was WAY cheap.)  Even though I didn't make it out of the FQS website w/o getting some other fabric for something else.  Ugh. I'm soo weak! I need help.  It wouldn't help to take my credit card away either.  I have the # memorized.  Security code and all.  Yep, I really need help!

I'm always the last person to jump on any bandwagon, and I never know what the current "it" fabrics are, either, but even though I'm late to the party, I will be swooning along with everyone else.  Oh well.. What else can I say.  Good bye NY resolutions.  

OH! Except for the No Drama in 2012 one.  That one is going great. :o)  In fact, stay tuned b/c there will be a giveaway soon in celebration.  A tandem giveaway with Rebecca Lynne.  Woo-Hoo!

Happy Weekend!
Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Felt Hair Brush Pin Cushion

A hair brush pin cushion.. Yes. :o)  Remember my previous post where I was daydreaming about pin cushions? Well, ever since I pinned this one on Pinterest, it has had me hooked.  So this afternoon-- armed with two sheets of felt, some torn up batting scraps, a couple of small pieces of card stock (taped together) and some embroidery floss-- I set out to make one.  And it turned out like this:

It maybe took an hour, and I just love it.  Thank you Pinterest!

Here are some pics of the process:

And now my little tomato is not so all alone. :o) 

Cross that off my list of 2012 things to try.  It was so much fun, though, I will probably be trying some more.

This was my inspiration:

It is from, and there is also a tutorial there.

With pin cushions on the brain, I'm going to go and link up @ MRL's Thursday Think Tank.  Can't believe I made something *Pinterest-inspired*. It might just become a habit. ;)

Happy Thursday!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Friday Night Sew-In Results!

I did it!!  I can't believe I finished all four of my EvaPaige Quilt Design SNY blocks for FNSI!  

It actually turned out to be a "Friday Sew-In" for me, since it took me the better part of the afternoon to decide on which scraps to use/pair together and cut all of the little pieces.  Once I got the hang of it, it went much faster but since it was a new pattern, and for a group quilt/swap I wanted to be extra careful to get it right.

Here is the first block..Ta-Da!

(I kind of LOVE it!)

Then there is #2:

(I had to incorporate some sock monkey scraps.)

And then there is #3:

(Now can you tell that I love dots-they are everywhere.)

And then for #4, oranges:

(the very lightest fabric came to me from Kathy in Australia.  That will be a well traveled fabric. From Australia to California and now winging its way to Massachusetts.)

No pin cushion making went on last night, just block sewing, but I am so glad I got to spend some QT with my sewing machine and make these fantastic blocks.  I just love the pattern.  

Thanks Beth for finding me in blog land.  If you're interested in making some of these, visit Beth's page, EvaPaige Quilt Designs.  It helped me to keep plugging along last night knowing that there were others out there sewing away, too. :o)  I'm looking forward to having some free time later to surf through the FNSI links and also the Pin Cushion Parade links at Love Laugh Quilt.

Hope you're all having a great weekend!

**Update** I just found out Beth is no longer taking volunteers to make the Scrappy New Year blocks.. also, she is planning on publishing this pattern in a few months, and so I whited out my little measurements that I had written on some of my pieces.  So as not to give away someone's copyrighted material. Woops! My real blocks don't have little white blobs all over them. :o)
Friday, January 20, 2012

FNSI & Pin Cushion Parade

Tonight is....
...sign-ups are over at Crafty Vegas Mom.

I plan to tackle these blocks..
for EvaPaige Quilt Design's Scrappy New Year group quilt project.

I'm also jumping into a Pin Cushion Parade at Love Laugh Quilt because I love a cute pin cushion! Not that I have any cute ones to show..  Here is the sad extent of my pin cushion collection:
She's old and she's faithful. :o)
I do have one other one, that mostly just sits on our computer's a cute little chair.

But though I only have two at this time, I have been finding lots of pin cushion inspiration online and in books, and have been hoping to get a couple, at least, made this year.  This really simple one I saw on Pinterest and I just LOVE it.

I actually downloaded a free pattern for this one a few months ago, and then saw this version on Pinterest from

Here are some photo inspirations of cute pin cushions I've found in books and on Pinterest.  

Maybe if I finish my scrappy blocks for tonight's Sew-In, I can start on a pin cushion.  Looking forward to sewing with you all, and if you love pin cushions, too, head over to Love Laugh Quilt to see them all. :o)
Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sewing Peace by Cutting Clutter

I have been having withdrawals from my sewing machine.. I have so much I want to do.. Fun just waiting to be had, but I can't bring myself to concentrate on anything like that.  Why? Clutter!  Aaaaccckkk!

Clutter can be just as much of an "energy vampire" (thanks Rebecca Lynne for that genius term)as any person or situation or drama.  

Today, I hit my tipping point where the clutter in this house was driving me insane!! So armed with an idea of how to declutter our coat closet, for starters, I set out to buy some cheap (and I mean CHEAP) plastic shelving and whip this mess into shape!
I feel kind of naked posting a pic of my big mess!  Sadly, this isn't the half of it.  I don't know how it all fit in there!  Stuff just kept coming.

You see, our coat closet in the hallway has generally been the catch all, place for the vacuum (when it fits in there), random coats that are so old they haven't been worn in years, plastic bin of gift wrapping stuff, my wedding dress box, and.. the kicker.. ALL of my sons games and puzzles.  

Recently the games and puzzles have taken over.  I frequently stack them and restack them, trying to make room for the other things, but every time he gets one out, here come all the games and puzzles tumbling out into the hall floor like an avalanche.  And there they stay until I muster up the courage to restack everything, knowing that the next time he goes to get a game out, it will all tumble down again. So frustrating. *sigh*  It is probably draining your energy to just read about it! (stick with me though, the after pic is worth it!)

It took the better part of the afternoon to sift through, reorganize, and whip this closet into shape, but I did it!! A few trips to the trash can and recycle bin, and a pile to donate later, here is my now organized coat closet.

I actually can breathe easier now, and I think I'll be able to sleep better tonight!  Now he can go and get a game or a puzzle, he can see what's there, and they will be easily manageable. Ahhhh.  I should have done this a LONG time ago!
And there was room to sit a small lamp in there, since there's no light in the closet.
The right side of the closet is fairly empty, leaving plenty of room for the vacuum (yeah!), and room to walk in and get things off of the shelves.  A few things were relocated to the garage, which led to more cleaning out there, and overall, I feel 20 pounds lighter.  Just from losing some clutter! *whew*

Excuse me while I go and sit in the floor of the closet and soak up the organized serenity... ;)

Really.. I should've done it a long time ago!  What things make you feel less stressed and more peaceful?
Gonna head on over to and link up with my Drama Free 2012 partner in crime and her Thursday Think Tank.

Happy Thursday! xo
Saturday, January 14, 2012

Sew Peaceful Saturday

I have been needing a weekend like this for a long time! Just a relaxing lazy weekend.  It helps that my hub is on vacation, too.  He usually works weekends.  It's really great to have him here with us, and throw all of our "need to do's" out the window and just have a fun family day.  Ahhhh.  

And on top of the wonderful day we were already having, look what came into my inbox today!
Beth Helfter of EvaPaige Quilt Designs (visit her blog here) was asking for some volunteers to make blocks for her.  Each volunteer has to make four blocks.. out of scraps.. one for her group quilt project, and then each of us will get three blocks swapped back to us.

I haven't signed up for any QAL's, although it's been tempting, b/c of the time involved, but I figured four scrappy blocks could be something I could commit to. Very doable. :o) And might even help me (force me) to get out of my rut.  

You can read about the project over at her blog.  She is a funny, talented, mom of three, quilt designer.  Who claims that we may have been separated at birth.. the DNA will prove otherwise, but a solid circumstantial case could be made from the brief exchanges we've had over the web.  Although she is a talented quilt designer and got to be in the Brownies, and I'm not and didn't. lol  I am looking forward to working on these blocks. :)

Some other high points to our relaxing day have been:

Dusting off the cruiser for a ride around the neighborhood with my son.. the weather can't be beat right now!  Very spring-like.. although we need rain and the mountains need snow really bad right now!  Might as well enjoy it though. 

Went to Lowe's (a home improvement store/center) for their free Saturday project for kids.. which included the cute apron and mini goggles. :o)

his tongue is always out when he's concentrating!

Here is the finished project:

And we couldn't leave the store until he collected paint chips.. his favorite pastime at Lowe's. :o) And today he had an apron with pockets to keep them in!

Buster went for a walk, took a dip in a pond, and then hung out by the tree enjoying his collection of toys that Austin dumped out for him on the lawn.
He is a big furry beast but he sure has my heart!
I am hopelessly in love!

Hope you're all having a fabulous weekend! I'm looking forward to the four blocks I have to make, and picking out the scraps. :o) Off I go!
Friday, January 13, 2012

Crafty Friday

Today, I'm going to do something a little different and link up with Vanessa @ The Crafty Nest for Do Something Crafty Friday.

I have thought about blogging about this project before, but I don't think I ever did.  So with the kids back in school, and making all those art projects and papers that they come home with, now seems like a good time to share it.

I had a box to keep some of the things in that Austin brought home from preschool, and now preK, but it was quickly filling up.  At the same time, his room was being turned from a Toddler room into his big boy room.  His room already had a partial wall covered in cork (you can buy it by the roll in JoAnn's or other craft stores), but I hated to just thumb tack everything to the wall and have a wall of jumbled papers and projects.  So I came up with a simple solution that works for us.

What you need:

  • length of small rope (found a bit of green rope at Lowe's for a couple of bucks)
  • various craft shapes for boys or girls (50 cents each at JoAnn's)
  • household clothespins
  • hot glue/gun
  • push pins to hang/support rope

And if you're careful with the hot glue, the kid(s) can help.  Austin loved this project.

Helping me with the rope/You can see where it is stretched across the top of the wall. You wouldn't even need cork on the wall for was just there when we moved here.

various (boy) craft shapes, glue to the clothespins.

 His room had a car/transportation theme..he picked out the dogs, too. :o)

We hung the rope with simple push pins at both ends, and one in the middle for support, and Voila!

He loves to help me pick which pictures to hang and change out, and it looks much less messy and chaotic than having papers just tacked all over his wall. AND the whole project was under $10.  And made for a fun afternoon where he could help me and take some ownership in his new room. :o)

If anyone has any other ideas of how to manage the paper influx that comes our way when kids start school, please let me know!  I will be needing all the help I can get!!
Have a great weekend!!

P.S. Still shamelessly pushing casually mentioning the drama free blog buttons up there in the side bar.  Thanks to all of you who have grabbed one!  Feel free to grab one if you haven't, if it's not your cup of tea, that's okay too.  :o)  It's going to be a peaceful, crafty, quilty 2012!

P.P.S. I was also asked to link up with  Toy's In the Dryer and their Fun Stuff Fridays by Lindsi.  Thanks Lindsi! :o)  If you have kids, head over to their site and check it out.  Looks like some fun things going on!

Fun Stuff Fridays
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