AmandaCarlisleDesign - Widget
Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!!

My hub is working today.. people still fly on Thanksgiving.. :/ and I've been sick all week with bronchitis or some other horrible respiratory thing, for which I now have three prescriptions for,  so we are at home today.. but planning a fun evening of watching a Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and popping some popcorn tonight with the seven year old mister in my life. :D

But in the meantime, I have been sewing some quick holiday things over the last couple of weeks.

A quilted pyramid zip pouch from some Taking Names triangle blocks that I received in a block testing swap.. it was..challenging.. and I kind of messed up the zipper at the top. And I wish I had used stiffer batting.

Not really neat enough to gift, so keeping it.. and it turns out it is the perfect size to keep the tiny vacuum attachment set for my sewing machine, that is also perfect to use on the computer!! Everything gets so dusty here in the valley.  Ugh! I had no idea such a thing existed, and it was really inexpensive too!

The reason I found out about the tiny vacuum attachment set is b/c I broke a needle the other day on my machine, and part of it went down inside.  Ugh! 

I also made another zip pouch like the sock monkey one, but this one out of a different Kickin' Stash block made of Mary Engelbreit fabrics.  It turned out much neater than the pyramid one. I used a polyester zipper for the monkey pouch, and a metal for the pyramid, but for this one I used a sport zipper, and I really like it the best.

These are quick, small gifts to make and so fun!  I don't know what took me so long to try making them.

(have been playing with free photo editing software, PhotoScape.. it's great.. and FREE!)

And, several months ago, my friend Rebecca at Making Rebecca Lynne sent me her infinity scarf pattern to try out.  Well, a shameful amount of time has passed, but I finally tried it out and I love it!!  It has three sizes, including one that can be pulled up as a hood or used for a nursing cover, etc.  It's beginner friendly, and you can purchase it on her Etsy shop here.

The pattern can be made of four coordinating FQ's of any fabric weight really, but I used just one fabric for the ones I made, and used heavier wintery fabric.



I will definitely be using the pattern again!  I highly recommend it for a quick and easy, chic and practical gift. :D

I also finished my nephew's patchwork punctuation quilt top this week and got it basted.

But when I started trying to quilt it, my machine started skipping stitches and catching a little, and nothing I did would fix it so it's getting a service right now and will be gone for TWO weeks! Ack!  So little Betsy came out of hiding.

But now I'm not sure I will even get my nephew's quilt done by Christmas.  Fingers crossed, but here it sits. :(

Thanks for visiting! Happy Thanksgiving, and Congrats to Tami C. for winning the FQS gc in the Blog Hop Party giveaway!


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Blog Hop Party with Giveaways!

It's that time of year again for the Blog Hop Party with Giveaways over at the Quilting Gallery.  :)

It's always fun to participate and make new blog friends, giveaway something, and enter lots of giveaways.  I've made some of my best blog friends through these giveaway parties. So fun!

If you're new here, it's nice to *meet* you and I hope you'll have a look around, and come back to visit in the future. :)

For this giveaway, (open internationally) I'm giving away a $25 gift certificate generously donated by the Fat Quarter Shop. I love their huge selection! The FQS is the first online fabric shop I ever happened upon.  Maybe it's their fault that I started hoarding fabric. ha!

They also just came out with their Layer Cake Lemonade pattern.  It is a free downloadable pattern available here. And you can read about it and see different versions of it on their blog here. And to celebrate, all of their Layer Cakes are 20% off until November 25th!

Would you like to win a $25 gift certificate to spend on some Layer Cake goodness? Or some other quilty things?

All you have to do is be a follower of this blog, and leave a comment letting me know how you follow and what's your favorite color. That is the only required entry.  No hoops to jump through.

However, if you'd like additional (completely optional) entries, you can:

1. Like on facebook, and leave a comment letting me know.
2. Follow on twitter and leave comment letting me know.
3. Follow on instagram and leave comment letting me know.

Thanks for stopping by and Happy Hopping!!!  Good luck in the giveaways!


Blog Hop Party with Give-Aways
Tuesday, November 19, 2013

My Quilting Ancestors

I've been two-timing my blog and spending lots of time over on lately.  It's so fascinating to see how far you can trace the family roots back. I'm guessing quilting goes way back, too, since my grandmothers quilted, and were taught by their moms, who were taught by their moms, etc.

my great great grandparents with their wagon team

So far, I know this:  I am American.  ;)  As in.. 'came over on the boat way before America was ever America-American'.  The tree traces back to lots of places.. France, England, Scotland, Germany, etc. 

great grandmother

But eventually ends up in Missouri where a few ancestors fought on opposing sides of the Civil War. I can't imagine what it would be like to have the men in your family fighting each other. 

great great grandmother

A couple of ancestors even fought in the American Revolution.  I wonder how these ladies dealt with all of the hardships that came their way while at home during that time.

one of my 3rd great grandmothers
One of the most interesting things about the process, though, has been finding old family photos, some mine that I've dug up to post, and some from other people's trees.  So strange to find old black and white pics of some of your relatives that you never knew on someone's tree that you don't even know.

another 3rd great grandmother
I wonder how many nights they sat by a fire sewing.  Or what the clothes that they made for their families looked like.
my grandpa is in this photo.  i think there are 4 generations in this one.  the one on the right in the cool hat is still living.  she is 98 1/2
I wonder if any of them pieced any "fancy" quilts, or if they just sewed out of necessity. 
great great grandmother

I wonder which one of these women that I am most like, or which characteristics I get from them..
4th great grandmother
I find myself wishing I could interview them. 
Digging through has also gotten me interested again in these quilting books I bought before I even started quilting very much.  I love them!

**bonus pic of my grandpa and the school bus he drove for a while just b/c I think it's the cutest picture ever** ;)
Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Quilted Sock Monkey Zip Pouch

Since making my son a sock monkey quilt when he was two, I've been in love with sock monkeys.

Am I too old to love sock monkeys? Oh well.  I do. :) I still have some of the leftover fabric from his quilt, and when I tested some blocks for my friend Beth's Kickin' Stash pattern, I made this sock monkey block.

Fast forward almost two years, I think?  (that's how long this little block has been waiting for its forever home) And I find out via Facebook that my cousin's daughter is an avid lover of sock monkeys. :)  A girl after my own heart. ;) With her mom's permission, I give you proof:

Here she is with her soccer teammates watching the US soccer team play.  Love the hat!

Her Halloween costume this year. So cute!

When I saw her costume, I knew that this block needed to go to her somehow.  So I first thought of making a pillow, but the ball fringe incident may or may not have ruined that idea. ;) You don't want to know, and I won't be using ball fringe again any time soon. So I trimmed the fringe off, and decided I still had a big enough block to make a zip pouch. I'm soo glad the ball fringe pillow idea ended up being an epic fail b/c now I can't imagine this block as anything other than the zip pouch that it was clearly destined to be. :)

A quick study of this noodlehead tutorial, since this is the first zip pouch I've ever attempted, and away I went. I also wanted to try some FMQ (also a first) on it.  I found a scrap of batting, and a square of muslin, and did simple loops after practicing on a scrap. It went.. okay.  I was pretty happy with it, except for this spot in the middle that I missed. But you can't tell at all on the finished pouch.

I washed and dried the quilted block before going any further so it would be crinkly.  Then I cut it in half.

And used each half as a template to cut the lining halves.

Then I needed a zipper.. and while out getting the zipper, I found a little felt sock monkey doodad to put on the zipper pull.

I hadn't ever used the zipper foot on my machine either!  It all went smoothly, though, after some manual reading.. ;)

Then I decided to box the corners, another never-before-tried thing, and it worked!  I am really happy with how the whole thing turned out!!  It turned out to be the perfect size for pencils or make-up, etc.  

And for the end of the zipper, I made a little tab to cover it out of the sock monkey banana fabric by fussy cutting this sweet banana bunch.

I think she will like the lining, too.. it all turned out way better than I expected it to.  There may just be more zip pouch making in my future.

When I set out to make this I had no idea that her birthday was this weekend!  So.. I found some little felt sock monkey stickers, and a couple of other goodies to put inside and here it is, all ready to go to its new home in Austin, TX.  Happy Birthday to Kylie! :D (I'm sure she doesn't know my blog exists, so there's no way this will ruin her surprise.)

If you made it all the way to the end, thanks for reading the saga of the quilted sock monkey zip pouch. :)

Sunday, November 10, 2013


Well, not much sewing has been happening lately.. Seems like we all got attacked with horrible allergies with a cold thrown in for good measure, and then it was my week to work in my son's classroom, and there was also another field trip.  But, at the end of this past week, my girlfriend invited over myself, and two other moms--our kids all went to preschool together--for a catch-up and some fun.

She had been cruising Pinterest, and found a Christmas craft and had it all set up for us. We had a great time visiting, and came home with a snowman candy jar.  I like how they each kind of have their own personality and all turned out a little bit different.  Can you guess which one is mine?

They are made with a small terra cotta pot, a small glass bowl, and a wooden knob.  A little paint, glue, ribbon and glitter.. Super simple, and I even think it'd be a great craft to do with your kids.

Thanks, Angela! :D

Yep, mine was the one with the funky hat..

That was the creative highlight of the week, since the rest of it was spent largely on "Operation Clean the House" (our house is in dire need of a good deep clean!) and volunteering at the school.

The field trip that my son's class went on was a walking field trip this time (it was their second field trip in two weeks).  The first field trip they went on was on Halloween Day, and it was to see a play/musical called Henry and Mudge (based on the children's books) at our local Jr. College.  About a boy and his giant dog.  I think Mr. Sonny related to it quite well. :)  hehe

Then, this past Thursday, they went on their second field trip.  They walked to In-n-Out Burger.  

A west coast family owned burger chain that started out in Southern Cal in the 1940's. Which was about a mile away from school.  A few of us parents walked along to help chapperone them/herd them (30 of them!) across a couple of busy streets.  They had so much fun.  Such an adventure for them.

I'm not gonna lie.. my first thought was.. Why would they take a bunch of first graders to a fast food place for a field trip?

BUT.. it was such a great learning experience for them!  (And for the grown-ups, too)  They took them all through the back of the restaurant, walked them through the food prep, and then let them order at the counter all by themselves.  We learned that nothing there is ever frozen.. everything is delivered and prepped fresh every day.  There's not even a freezer on site.  Now, it's still not the healthiest food ever, BUT.. at least if you want to have an occasional treat, and who doesn't.. you know that it's fresh. 

Here's a pic of my fry boy about to take his turn at pushing a freshly peeled potato through the potato slicer. Those employees get a workout!

Life just seems so fresh and simple in the first grade doesn't it?  It's going by so fast, I wish he would stay little.. not forever.. but just for a little bit longer. Such a fun time.

Thanks for dropping by!  Hopefully I'll have a little sewing of my own to share soon.  I will also have another Tools, Baby!! quilt to share sometime soon. :)  Kelie at CraftNurseQuilt is giving my pattern a test/go and is almost done. Thanks, Kelie!  Here's a little tiny sneak peak of her tools.

Have a great week!

Links: Anything Goes Monday, A Round Tuit
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