Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Reclaimed Fabric Collection

I have spent the last two days sorting through all of my reclaimed fabric (aka clothes no one wants) and will post pictures in a few days after I finish cleaning off the table tops of misc items.

I'm going to post a few of my patterns as well as sewing hints/tricks.  I love to quilt but sewing and mending is what really pays my bills.

Cooking an entire meal on the grill

IMG00558-20110601-1716.jpg by quiltedpecan
Yep I really do cook the entire meal for 7 people on the grill! Tonight its italian herbed chicken (durkee marinate pack), home canned green beans & home grown italian herbed potatoes.  Bryces dad cooked broccolli and cauliflower from the garden in the steamer, I added cheese at the picnic table so technically thats not cooked inside my house *big grins*

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Tomorrow & SBS postcards

Last scheduled surgery this year is tomorrow (#4 for the year). Girly work tomorrow, please keep me in your thoughts. I've already packed my sketchbook where I've been working on a new sunbonnet sue & sam postcard series, seasons is my thing for now ;).

Hugs girls
Crystal in IL

Monday, April 25, 2011

Homemade Chocolate Cupcake Soap

These are definitely on my Christmas to make list!  Easy enough that I may let the teen daughters make them for friends too!  Directions are from, check out their blog for more cool ideas!

Homemade Chocolate Cupcake Soap 
Have you ever wondered what to do with leftover bar soap?  Try rebatching it!  There are alot of recipes available out there.  Although I can make my own soap with lye I think working with premade bar soap (like ivory since its white) would be easier with the kids.

Especially like the microwave friendly recipe that happyheartsathome has shared! Commercial soap drys our family's skin out very quickly in the winter, rebatching soap lets you add moisture back, and it's fun to add your own ingredients and shapes.

Chocolate Cupcake Soap:
Three bars of Ivory Soap              3/4 Cup water
5 Tablespoons olive oil                     3 Tablespoons glycerin
3 Tablespoon cocoa powder            3 Tablespoon honey
1/2 cup powdered milk                    3 Tablespoon cinnamon
Thrift store purchased older tins and other items should be used for this project as you shouldn't cook in them again.

Cut soap up into smaller pieces, place in a glass Pyrex measuring bowl, add water and cook in microwave for about 2 minutes at a time, watch closely for puffing up, stop when it does this and stir, repeat until it is creamy. Add more water and a little of the oil if too dry*. Once it's nice and creamy, add oil and remaining ingredients, stir well, adding more water and oil if too dry. Heat it up more if it's still chunky, and stir.  Grease cupcake tins with olive oil, fill and allow to dry overnight. If they don't pop out, try to push them out by hand, or freeze them for a little bit. 

Add the frosting after drying the bottoms for a few days.

For Icing:
Cook one bar of cut up Ivory soap in a clean glass bowl in the microwave with about 1/4 cup water and 1 tablespoon of glycerin. Repeat muffin cooking instructions above. When it gets nice and creamy it's ready to frost. The frosting dries pretty quickly.

*If the soap is too dry, add more water, oil or glycerin than is stated in the recipe.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Morel mushrooms

Well I haven't gotten much computer time but Bryce surprised me and took me mushroom hunting.  This is what we got, looked like someone had already been picking in that spot and just left us a few.

Chicken or parrot?

Bryce playing with one of the roosters... This one likes to play pretend parrot!  The little guy follows him like a puppy until Bryce will stop and pick him up and talk for a while.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Will be back soon

Just want to let everyone know that the next dollhouse block will be back soon, I have been ill and recouperating wasn't happening when I spent hours at the computer.


Saturday, April 2, 2011

Dollhouse Quilt - Living Room Block

My Adobe Illustrator skills are getting better and I'm learning lots of tricks that allow the pattern making go much faster.  I started sewing together all of the room background blocks today including the sashings.  I hope yours goes together better than mine, I'd cut a few blocks too big and ended up trimming an inch off the nursery and sewing room instead of ripping everything out.  I'd have the entire top together if I had already made my final door block (I plan on working on that tomorrow).  

Download the pdf Living Room block HERE.  Don't forget to scroll halfway down and click on the blue download now button.  

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Dollhouse Quilt - Nursery Block

Had surgery Tuesday morning and was home by 4pm and feeling pretty good except for the pain in my hip if it twists even a little.  Its getting better day by day but doc still says no lifting more than five pounds for six weeks.  That means lots of sewing time and lots of computer time right?  This dollhouse project came to me at a much needed time.  Bryce put a ham in the oven about 11am and it smells so good right now and I keep getting sidetracked.  My chocolate is all gone too.

Has anyone finished the door or picked out fabrics for your rooms?  I started pulling fabrics from my stash on Monday night when I couldn't sleep and will try to post a photo later in the week.  I'd love to see a picture of what you have chosen.

Its Sunday and time for the next block in the dollhouse.  Download the nursery HERE (click on the "Download Now" link below the dollhouse file information halfway down the page). 

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Super cute cupcake pincushions!

Surfing the net tonight making sure I have all of my March BOM's saved and came across the cutest cup cake pincushion that repurposes things most of us already have in our sewing stash.  These will definitely be on my to-do list!

How's everyone?

How is everyone coming along with the door block?  I would love to see pictures of what you've done.  After a few bumps I think we've got the download problem fixed and the mac users can open the pdf file too.

The nursery block will be released tomorrow afternoon, here is a sneak peek for you!  Now I want to see some PICTURES!


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Dollhouse Quilt - Door Pattern

As promised HERE is the download for the dollhouse door.  I'm looking forward to seeing pictures of fabric selections and finished blocks!  Please leave a comment with your picture information or email them directly to me.

If you have any problems downloading please let me know.  This is a free service and you don't need to sign up for anything, just scroll halfway down the page (below the file information) and click on the blue download button.

Fabric Requirements and Layout Guide

I've decided to go ahead and post my Dollhouse Quilt patterns as a block a week.  This pattern is being designed in honor of Chloe in Africa (click to follow the link to her information).  Piecing Hope volunteers make quilts for AIDS orphans.  Each quilt is made for a particular child and is personal and unique.  These quilts signify the value of each child in the world. 

Please make sure to sign up for my blog updates.  Fabric requirements and layouts can be downloaded HERE I would love to see pictures of everyone's blocks and hopefully be able to use a few of the photos on the patterns and on my blog as embellishment examples.  I know I plan on making this one for a future granddaughter.  My girls are only 14 & 16 so I have time to gather all of the fun embellishments!

Now for the details...
You are welcome to make quilts from this pattern for yourself, family, friends, fundraisers and raffles, and most of all, charities! You may even make quilts or gifts from these patterns to sell for a profit (No mass production).

What I ask you NOT to do please; no direct linking to the files, no photocopying, no reproducing to package and market the patterns with the intent to sell them and no emailing the patterns between friends. When in doubt, email me and ask.   Be friendly and keep the creative spirit of quilting alive and give credit where credit is due.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Dollhouse quilt pattern layout

I started drafting a dollhouse quilt pattern last night for another quilter, Ann, to make and send to a little girl in Africa.  Here's a sneak peek for you.  The group she sews for is, check out the website, they are doing great things!  Ann has made other quilts for specific children in Africa, each one in a theme corresponding to the childs favorite things.  You can see pictures of her latest work on her blog 

I plan on offering this pattern as a Block of the Month in the future and would love to see pictures of your finished work as well as ideas for future projects. 

You are welcome to make quilts from this pattern for yourself, family, friends, fundraisers and raffles, and most of all, charities! You may even make quilts or gifts from these patterns to sell for a profit (No mass production).What I ask you NOT to do please; no direct linking to the files, no photocopying, no reproducing to package and market the patterns with the intent to sell them and no emailing the patterns between friends.. When in doubt, email me and ask. Be friendly and keep the creative spirit of quilting alive and give credit where credit is due.*

*text borrowed from Sindy at

Monday, March 14, 2011

Life as a farm wife

I'm always amazed at how fast everyones quilt tops go together. I usually have to steal quilty sewing time and still have interruptions of a farm wife constantly. Today was a perfect example.

"MOM the chicken is running away. Mom replies WHAT? Why did you have the chicken out? Daughter replies because it looked lonely".

Well I'm not sure HOW it can be lonely with 100 brothers & sisters to play with (total of 225 in 2 chicken houses). Daughter is still mad at the dog for chasing the chicken. Dog is mad at me for scolding it & chicken looks like its ready to have a stroke! It was a broiler chicken to they are super fat, it was funny to watch it try to run lol. We will be butchering the 50 broilers in about 2 weeks, didn't want him dead just yet & definitely NOT dogfood.

On a brighter note, Bryce & Katelyn (DD16) had dinner ready & waiting when I got home from the neuro today. That is a big treat for me. Brittany(DD14) is trying to avoid dishes as we speak.

Looks like I'm headed to a MS (multiple sclerosis) clinic in springfield IL, have any favorite fabric stores that I should visit there or south of there? I had a bad flare up about 5 months ago but am feeling ok now so I argued with the neuro about why I didn't think it was needed. The Dr & Bryce won out, now to wait for the referral process & an appointment date.

On a brighter note the vitamin d supplement (50,000mg/wk) is making me feel a lot better & I'm getting a lot of decluttering & sewing done!

Off to play with the vintage sheets (cough cough...fabric for summer dresses) I found in the closet. 


The question was asked on the scratchingpost* today...what is your favorite iron and I thought I'd share my reply here too. 

My favorite is the like new iron found for $1 on a yard sale. I'm hard on irons, even new ones, and it was getting expensive. I bought my first yard sale iron nearly 10 years ago. I usually have a few spares alas DD14 dropped mine last week and it split in half. 

Always wondered what the innards of an iron looked like so now I know. I'm back to using old faithful, my 1960s iron that weighs 5 pounds and gets hot enough to melt poly thread if you don't move fast enough! Nothing worse than watching 20 minutes of work melt away.

I'm ready for spring yard sales...

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Stashbuster Decluttering

I have alot of quilt books that i bought "just because" they aren't something that I will ever use and they are taking up valuable space! Even found duplicates...ugh. I don't have a huge stash to bust but has helped me to curb a lot of unneeded "just because" spending.

A friend suggested that I checkout (my I'd is quiltedpecan)

You post 10 books and get 2 free credits. Each book equals 1 credit and you pay for outgoing postage for the books you are sending to other people and you get one credit when they receive the book. You then can use those credits to get other books and have free incoming postage. Pretty good idea and I've got 8 books ready to mail and I only posted them yesterday. Quilting crotchet and sewing books are in high demand I guess.

Now the true stashbusting part....use the credits that you've received to order books for gifts etc. My daughters both read like crazy and this is a way for them to have the new book everyone is reading without mom having to pay $20 for it, kinda like getting some of the money back from my past "just because" spending.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Happy Birthday report

Happy Birthday report by quiltedpecan
I turned 35 yesterday. DH took me into St Louis friday night (came home sunday @ noon) for mardi gras and I had a blast! Friends, parade, beads, homemade wine, music, food, did I mention homemade wine? While listening to a band & dancing on an outdoor brick patio I managed to find the uneven section and rolled my right ankle. Its purple and swollen larger than a softball and I'm hobbling on crutches, my toes look like little sausages lol! Was it worth it? Without a doubt the best birthday I've had in a very very long time. DH and I have been together 2 1/2yrs and I am truely blessed to have him in my life.

Sewing machine operation isn't an option right now. I can't push the pedal down (stomping the other foot). I already tried the left foot, doesn't work LOL been sewing for 25+ years without sewing my finger & I think I want to keep it that way.

Now what?? I dug the ever present applique block bag out of my purse, Sindy from baltimore blues pattern, and started working on it. I had a needle with contrasting thread & started basting the pieces (I normally pin & iron) because I'm obviously not going to hobble 20 minutes to the iron out in my studio. I really like how quick & easy basting makes applique, it was almost an epiphany! I know everyone said to baste but I just kept thinking ugh hand sewing that gets pulled out! DD16 printed months 2-5 for me and I'm going to start cutting fabric and basting onto the background blocks while sitting at the kitchen table with my foot propped up. I'm very glad I bought the feb cd special from Sindy...I would be going crazy about now without something to keep me busy! The rate this block is getting finished compared to before I may even end up doing Fiesta  (her free block of the month) this year! 

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Spring is Coming

Well it's almost the first of March and the guys are working around the farm installing a new wood stove.  Our old one was second hand and was originally purchased in 1978, it only sat unused for 8 years so it really had a long hard life.  They also plan on working on the new chicken brooder so we will be ready when the next 50 roasters are ready to go.

I'm working on setting my blog up and making sure I have saved all of my February block of the month patterns before they disappear!