More Little Things . . . and Carter’s 18 Month Pictures

I love December.  Maybe not all things about December (like the fact that we have been having frigid January/February type temperatures) – but I usually don’t work as much and take a little more time off.  That means lots of extra time with Carter and time for fun little projects.  I am getting absolutely no quilting done, but that will have to be okay.

And can I just say that I loved doing my shopping online this year?  I struggle a bit with the fact that much of the business isn’t local, but in a short two hours all 14 kid gifts (and some of Carter’s gifts) are purchased.  Two days later they arrive at my door and I didn’t have to drive anywhere or wait in line.  Again, more time to be here with Carter or Joel.  We drink coffee and play Farkle (Carter has his own cup and dice so he thinks he is playing too).  We read Dr. Suess and play puzzles.  We practice our letters and try to color and paint without eating the art supplies.  And just to keep it real – there are LOTS of Nos.  He still likes to sneak his hand into the toilet, turn on the tub water, and other exploring he shouldn’t be doing….. and he is pretty strong-willed about it.  He goes from being totally adorable to throwing a fit, all within 5 seconds.  Such is life with an 18 month old.

Yes, 18 months already!  Today I thought I would share some 18 month pics, along with two little projects I finished for Carter.

First up, I made him a little animal hat to go with his winter coat.  I had a hard time coming up with an animal that would match his coat, but settled on this polar bear.


At least, it is supposed to be a polar bear.  I thought mine turned out looking more like a wolf.  You can find the pattern here.  It is written for an adult size, so in the process of downsizing it and adding the facial features, it turned out a little differently than I intended.


Carter is enjoying his first taste of snow – quite literally.


The ear flaps and the ties are nice – considering our cold winters here in MN and Carter’s tendency to take off his hat if it isn’t well secured (and his mittens for that matter).


You can find my Ravelry link here.

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The second little project I did for him is one I found on Pinterest.  I pin and pin, but rarely do I ever do anything with it.  (anyone else  in that boat too?)   This pin was too cute to pass up.


You turn a pair of pants with a hole in the knee into a monster face!


It only took about 10 minutes, so it is quick and easy to do.  My concern is that I know it will not hold up to washings.  It is done with felt and the edges are not finished, so I know I will have to hand wash these jeans.  I guess if I have to redo it periodically, it will only take a few minutes.

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You have no idea how hard it was to get him to sit still and in a position where you could see the monster face!  Thank goodness, he loves light switches and riding.  I should have photographed them before I put them on!  Here is the link to the original pin.


Now, onto a few favorite pictures from the last couple months – sorry for the overload!







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Just a few more things for me to come back and read someday . . .  when I am trying to remember what Carter was like at this age:

His favorite things to eat are:   fruits and veggies, mac and cheese, cookies, juice, chocolate and raisins.  He still doesn’t care much for meat.

His favorite toys/things to do are:  watch the washi (washing machine), play with Dad’s drill and tape measure, read books, play with magnets, phones, things with flaps or doors to look behind, and emptying cupboards, purses, wallets, etc,  watching videos of himself on the phone and playing ipad (once in a while.  We have to hide it).   He still loves to do anything Daddy is doing, especially if it involves some sort of noise or equipment.  He likes to push buttons in my sewing machine and do things in the kitchen (thus the picture with the beaters).  His favorite letters are U, Z, E, and O.  His favorite number is 2.   His favorite book is the Dr. Seuss ABC book.

He talks constantly and is starting to say some two-word phrases – I sit, snow flake, Hi Daddy and Hi Papa being the most popular.   At his 18 month check up, he was still in the 98 percentile for head size (as you cans see from his pictures).  He was in the 90s for weight and in the 80s for height.  He is still drooling and chewing a lot, as we are waiting on those eye teeth.


Posted in Family, Knitting, Quilting | Tagged , , , | 28 Comments

Little Things . . . .

I have been busy finishing up a lot of little projects – like the runner and topper I am going to share today.  They were both made for our master bedroom.


We have this long white dresser that needed some color.  It also needed some protection from all the things Joel likes to throw – I mean set – on the dresser.  White furniture seems to mark up so easy and runners are they perfect way to protect the finish.


I have trouble photographing in our house.  It always looks so much darker in the photos than it does in person.  This outside shot shows the colors a bit better:


The pattern can be found in my Angles with Ease book.  I have to admit that I like the original better (shown below).

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I think if I would have totally mixed up my pieces, rather than laying two of the same print next to each other, it would have helped with the fact that I don’t have enough navy prints in my stash!  One more would have balanced it out a bit better.  Must add that to my shopping list . . .


My second project for today is this topper:


It’s from my Summer Stars pattern.  I actually prefer this one to the original topper shown below.  For me, scrappier is always better.

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I always find it so interesting how different things look done up in different fabrics!

Please ignore my arm in this shot.  I am trying to hold the topper up to the window so you can see the quilting better.


I used an echo design in the star points.  I think it has a modern look that goes well with this modern color combination.  I love the little pebble quilting – though I do not like doing it.  This topper is quite small, so it’s the perfect thing for these small cream spaces.


I made the topper to go on this little table, though again my photo is so bad you can hardly see it!  (if anyone has any suggestions for shooting photos in a north facing room, please leave them in the comments!)


As you can see, the fabrics are the same as the ones I used in my  “Refresh” bed quilt (blog post here).  I am just loving this color combination!  More to come on that in a later post.


One more little thing – We had our family pictures done yesterday.  The photographer sent us a little sneak peak of this shot from our bedroom.  I would never have thought to pose us with a quilt for a family photo.  What fun!


Thanks for stopping in today!


Posted in Decorating, Fabric Trends, Machine Quilting, Pattern of the Week, Quilting | Tagged , , , | 15 Comments

Cyber Monday Sale

I usually skip all of the Black Friday shopping madness.  In fact, I much prefer staying home to waiting in long lines to get a deal.  How boring am I?  Now Cyber Monday is something I can get behind.  Shopping at home in my pjs?  Sounds like fun!

I don’t usually sell finished quilts, but a while back I decided to list some in our online store.  To my surprise, they were all sold out within about 36 hours!  I always like to keep the original designs from my book and pattern covers, but I have made many of my designs 2, 3, and even 4 times.  With space for quilts becoming an issue around here, I thought I would join in on the Cyber Monday fun and list a few more.  Some of you out there just might be looking for some Christmas gifts.  Here are just a couple of photos to tempt you . . . .

Sweet Dreams:



The Kitchen Collection Runner



Meadow Lane


Café Au’laite

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Oh Baby

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Candy Apple Blossoms


Tiddly Winks


Scraps and Stripes


Waiting for Spring


Double Takes 3



Diamond Diva


Here is the link to these quilts and the others listed on our site.

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Hanging Quilts

It feels like it has been a while since I have done a quilting post.  I have two small quilts that I am finishing the stitching on the binding, so I will share those in my next post.  In the meantime, I want to talk about how I hang my quilts.  I have had several people ask about it, so I will share a few ideas.


The method that I typically use involves sewing a rod pocket to the back side of the quilt and using a flat stick to attach it to the wall.  The quilt then hangs nice and flat to the wall as shown below.


Harvest Time


I start by cutting a 5″ wide strip of fabric and pressing it in half with wrong sides together.  Hem the ends so that they are about 1/2″ in from the edge of the quilt as shown below.  I attach the rod pocket to the quilt after I sew my binding to the front side, but before I hand stitch the binding to the back side of the quilt.   I sew it to the back side of the quilt with a 1/4″ seam allowance, or something slightly less than the binding seam line that is already there.




The rod pocket will then look something like this – with a loose fold that needs to be hand stitched down.


BTW – This method will also work if you are stitching your binding down by machine as shown below.



The top edge of the rod pocket will be concealed when you stitch the binding to the back side of the quilt.  You will also need to hand stitch the fold of the rod pocket down.






You are now ready slide the rod through the pocket and hang the quilt.  I use a flat piece of wood that is about 1/4″ thick by 2″ tall.  This is pretty easy to find at the lumber yard.  It needs to be cut to length  – about 1/2″ less than the width of the quilt so that the stick can hide behind the quilt.  Drill a hole in the end of the stick and hang it on a small nail.  Slide the quilt into place so the stick is hidden.



You can also use a rod pocket to hang quilts with scoped edges.  You just need to turn the 5″ strip into a tube and hand stitch down both folds as shown below.




Curtain rods also make good hanging devices.  They are slightly more costly than the stick from the lumber yard, but you don’t need to cut to length or drill any holes.  They are easily adjustable to any size, so that makes it really easy.



I prefer curtain rods that are flat to the wall – with no round finials.  I especially like rods with several different scrolls because this allows you to hang it from different places without moving the nails.  This is handy if you rotate different size quilts in the same location, like I do.



If you don’t have a rod pocket on the back side of you quilt, you can also use curtain clips with the rod.  Like this:


Simple Gifts


Or this:

Center of Attention


There are lots of other places to hang quilts around the house – besides walls - such as over chairs, couches, doors, etc – that require no rod pockets.

Gypsy Girl


In my studio, Joel made me a quilt rack that is really fun to use.  It’s quite large, so it can hold lots of quilts.  Right now, I only have 5 quilts on it, but you can fold them smaller to fit more on display.



Here’s a close-up of the set-up.  He made a box and there are closet pole holders hidden within the box.  The closet poles hide behind the quilts.


Summer Stars

That’s all for now.  If anyone else has any ideas, feel free to tell us in the comments or share link!


Posted in Decorating, Quilting | Tagged , | 13 Comments

Knitting Update

We are enjoying the last little bits of fall here in Minnesota.


The only leaves left with some color are the ones on my table.  The rest have all fallen and we are awaiting snow this week.  It seems early to me, but then again, the Christmas decorations will probably  come out next weekend.  Can you believe that?

There is something about the change in seasons and the cold weather that makes me even more obsessed with knitting.  I love picking out all the projects I plan to make over the winter months – though I may not get them all done!

I have two finished projects to share today.  It started with me wanting to make this pattern – the Flyaway Hoodie by Joji Locatelli.

I ordered the yarn – one of my favorites – Madelinetosh DK.  It’s a hand-dyed yarn, so there is always some variation.  But when the yarn came, I wasn’t happy with the variations between the skeins.  3 were brighter blue and 3 were a duller blue.   I ordered 3 more skeins, telling the company to match the picture on the website.  They came and were a good enough match to 3 of the skeins to move forward with my sweater.  I started the hoodie, but in the end, didn’t have enough yarn for long sleeves or the hood.


I was disappointed that it’s not a hoodie, but it is soft and comfortable.  On the positive side, without the hood you see the cables on the back much better.


There is even a little cable on the sleeve.


My leftover yarn became this project for Carter.  You can see the difference in the yarn colors -

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The pattern is called “A Little Spare Time” by Terri Kruse.

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I have to say that I like his sweater better than mine!


It’s a very simple design, but I love the raglan sleeves, the collar and the giant button.

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And what could be better than this blue-eyed boy in a cuddly blue sweater.


It was really hard getting him to sit still for pictures.  Most of them look more like this.  Cute, but they don’t show off the sweater!


Here’s the flat (and still) shot, so you can see the details.


I would recommend both the pattern and yarn.  I should have made the sleeves a little longer, otherwise I didn’t change a thing.  You can find my Ravelry links here and here.

I am working on a couple of quilting posts, so I’ll be back with those soon!

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Halloween 2013

I know I’m a bit late with this, but I am just getting to load a few pictures onto my computer.  My pictures didn’t turn out that great, as it was getting dark,  but we had a great Halloween with Carter.

I snapped a few pictures before we left for town.  Carter loves to play in the garage and ride his toys.  “I ride”, “I ride”, he says over and over again.


He also loves to go bye-bye, so as soon as you mention we are leaving, he heads for the stairs.  I did get him to stop and pose.  He now says “Cheese” when he sees the iphone.


After dressing him in many layers, it was time to head out.  It was his first Halloween where he was old enough to dress up and go trick-or-treating.  He isn’t even old enough to say Trick or Treat yet, but his “Pease” and “Day Do”  were pretty cute.


It didn’t take him long to figure out that if he said please, someone would put something in his new bucket.  He was quite protective of that bucket, let me tell you.  He wouldn’t let anyone else hold it, even though he didn’t really understand what was being put into it.  He has now learned what M & Ms and suckers are, so there is no going back.


We met my siblings at my Mom’s house before trick-or-treating so we could get a picture of all the kids together.  Carter was deathly afraid of the minion, so all of my pictures look like this:


By the end of the evening, he had figured out that it was his cousin Bella inside that costume so he got over the crying, not that he didn’t watch her at all times.

I’m not sure who had more fun, me or Carter.  What a great night!


I am busy packing for a couple of retreats this weekend and next week.  I will be teaching my Angles with Ease class at Lake Beauty Bible Camp and at a guild in the Brainerd/Crosby/Aitkin area, if anyone wants to join us!  Just contact me at if you have any questions.


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Knitting Update

It’s such a relief to have all the quilt market deadlines behind me.  And while many other designers are packing or arriving at quilt market, doing schoolhouse sessions, or preparing for Sample Spree tonight, I am home, breathing a sigh of relief.  All the deadlines are over for a little while and I am leisurely making a table runner for my bedroom.  I don’t remember the last time I did that!  Carter is just finishing up his nap, so I won’t get it finished today, but that’s okay.  He is switching himself from taking two long naps a day to one shorter one.  He seems to be adjusting to it just fine – it’s me that is having issues!  I really got a lot done during those naps.  He isn’t crabby about it at all, just as busy and happy as ever.  It’s not like I don’t want to be with him more, I just like to give him lots of attention while he is up and not have to sit at the computer, sewing machine, etc.  I love his timing though – he waited until I was done with my deadlines to switch up my schedule!

Over the last few months or so, I have been trying to finish up a bunch of unfinished projects.  Several are knitting projects that have been on the needles for quite a while.  I think this first project has been going for about a year.  I am so glad to finally have it finished!  (that goofy expression on my face might have something to do with my annoyance over how long this took me).


The yarn is something I have used twice before and I liked it in this project as well.  It’s called Dream in Color Smooshy.  The color is Lipstick Lava.


It’s hand-dyed which makes for a nice depth of color, with slight variations.  I much prefer the weight of the Smooshy to the DIC Classy.  In my experience, it blocks much better and isn’t quite as stiff.


The pattern is called  Chambourcin - designed by Ruth Garcia-Alcantud of Rock and Purl.  I think the only mod I did was to make the hood a bit smaller.  (To keep the pattern symmetrical, it ended up a bit smaller than I would like, but that is still better than a giant hood. )  I do love a nice hooded pullover!


You can find my Ravelry link to the project here.



My next project went a little quicker.  I started with this yarn -


Madeline Tosh DK, in the color Bloomsbury.  It’s a beautiful soft blue.  The pattern is White Russian by Thea Colman of Baby Cocktails.  The pattern is top down, in the round, which makes finishing it so much easier.


After getting this far, I decided that I got it a little too long so I pulled the hem out and redid it.

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That also gave me a chance to add a little detail that I forgot the first time around – the buttons at the bottom hem.


I wanted to talk a little bit about the in-the-round concept.  It has its pros and cons, but I have to say the biggest con is that the patterns are usually written so that the front and back are the same size.  In other words, you usually end up with a lower neck in the back, or a higher neck in the front.  This one has the higher neck in the front.  That results in a little bunch of excess fabric gathering at the front of the neck.  You can see it a bit in the picture below, but also in the first two pictures.  In the future, I want to remember to adapt the patterns to include some short-row shaping so that there are a few extra rows to the back.  Has anyone else tried this?  I don’t see why it wouldn’t work.


My favorite thing about patterns that are in the round, is that they usually have Raglan sleeves.  I just love the lines – it makes for a much prettier sleeve.


You can find my Ravelry link for this project here.

That’s all for now.   More knitting soon . . . . . hopefully!

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