Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Swoon block #10?

Yes, I know there are only 9 blocks in the quilt. Are you getting tired of my Swoon blocks yet? I am. Here is my last block, the one I made to replace that block that just didn't work for me. I'm very happy I took the time to replace it. I think this one looks much better in the quilt.
Whew... now to add the sashing. Thanks for letting me share these with you, it helped me stay on task, knowing you were just dying to see the next one ;) I actually really enjoyed making them. It took awhile and there were a few bumps in the road, but each one felt like making a different mini quilt. It was a lot of fun seeing how each one turned out in the end.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Saturday, February 25, 2012

My Button {make your own!}

My Cotton Creations

I've got a new cute little blog button. Feel free to grab one :) Do you need a button for your blog? It was actually super easy to make once I found this "Grab My Button" Code Generator. I started with a search for "how to make a blog button" and ran into some crazy complicated directions. Then I found this site. I think it is pretty self explanitory but my tip is, when it asks for your image URL (yeah, I didn't know what that meant either) you need to have the picture you want to use for your blog button saved on a photo sharing site, like photobucket, which is what I used and it worked perfect. If you don't have a photobucket account, it's free and as easy as picking a user name and password.

Once you have you picture uploaded onto photobucket, drag your mouse over your picture and you'll see it gives you a bunch of codes to share your picture with. Click the code labled "direct link" and it will copy it for you. That is your "image URL"!

Once you've added in that information to the code generator click on preview and then "get code". You'll see it will give you a big long code to copy and add to the side bar on your blog (add it as a HTML/JavaScript).

Ok, maybe that was a little complicated. But if you have your own blog you've been playing around with it, I think you'll understand what I'm talking about for the most part. Trust me, using this code generator was a lot easier than trying to write my own code, which is what all my other search results were telling me to do.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Favorite Fabrics

One of the little perks I got to experience while working for a quilt shop was the occasional glimpse at upcoming fabric. I quickly discovered who my favorite designers were, and which ones weren't for me. It was a lot of fun anticipating all the beautiful fabric, and it was especially fun watching the UPS man pull up outside the shop and hoping "today's the day!"

One of the ways I got to check out upcoming fabric was through the Moda fabric catalogs that would come back from market. I'd look through them and tell myself I was trying to memorize the fabric lines in case a customer had a question or wanted to know what lines were due out soon, but really I just LOVED looking at all the fabric. Since I quit my job I've missed feeling like I had my little toe in the door, like I was an "insider". The other day while I was shopping I seriously considered asking my old co-workers if I could have a peek at the new catalogs.

So... imagine my suprise today as I was browsing around unitednotions.com and came across their latest fabric catalogs! Maybe they have been up for awhile and I've just missed it (usually the case) but I was super excited. You can look through pages and pages of little fabric swatches that will be coming out throughout the year. If you have the next hour or so to devote to pouring over beautiful fabrics, go check them out HERE. My favorite lines were...

Hello Luscious by Basicgrey (all those beautiful blues) Feb. 2012
Summersville by Lucie Summers (super fun and different) April 2012
Blitzen by Basicgrey (cute big headed snowmen and gorgeous colors) June 2012
Joy by Kate Spain (love the panel) June 2012
Cherry Christmas by Aneela Hoey (little winter clothes on a line) July 2012
Monster Bash by Sandy Gervais (the kids will LOVE it) May 2012
Serenade by Kate Spain (the owl and woodgrain prints)
Lucy's Crab Shack by Sweetwater (favorite!) June 2012
and of course...
Vintage Modern by Bonnie and Camille (I'll be buying lots!) May 2012

I'm fully aware that perhaps these catalogs have been available to the public all along and I wasn't so special after all, but I'm pretty excited to have found them again. And in case you were unaware that they exsisted... enjoy!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Blocks 7, 8 and 9!

My final 3 swoon blocks...

OK, so I'm thinking I need to redo that one...
I'm really wishing that it was opposite, so that the red was in the middle. How it is now it looks like a completely different block than the rest. So, apparently in the end I'll have 10 swoon blocks to show you. I better head to my favorite quilt shop right away and cross my fingers they still have this fabric.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Bathroom Mirror Inspiration

My mom always keeps reminders on her bathroom mirror. She's been doing it all my life. I've walked into her bathroom before and seen whole lists of groceries, errands, reminders for my Dad, as well as quotes and inspiration. It's a great place to put a reminder because it's the first place you look in the morning (well, maybe the second place, the first place I look is into the big eyes of my 5 year old staring at me while I sleep). I know a lot of people now a days keep their calendars, lists and reminders on their phones, laptops, etc. ... but I am still a sticky note on the bathroom mirror kind of girl.

I've decided to share with you my bathroom mirror inspirations for the weeks ahead. These little quotes strike a cord with me in some way. I'm not going to offer a "printable" for these quotes, but you can still feel free to save them and print them out for your own bathroom mirror if you'd like.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Printing on fabric

*Don't use your printed fabric on anything washable, unless you use a colorfast ink in your printer, the ink will bleed. *

Using my cheap ink jet printer I printed these sweet little labels to use as gift tags. The first time I tried it I backed my fabric with freezer paper, but the fabric didn't adhere well and it slipped off, causing a bunchy mess of fabric jammed inside my printer (shh... don't tell the husband). I don't recommend that method. The second time I used Heat n Bond Ultrahold and they turned out great. Of course now my fabric is fusible, which could be a plus I guess, depending on the project.
All you have to do is cut a piece of Heat n Bond the size of a piece of paper ( 8.5 X 11). If you have an extra fancy printer I suppose you can do it larger. Whatever size your printer will hold. You then iron that to piece of fabric roughly the same size. I like to cut my fabric just a little larger than the Heat n Bond and then trim the extra. It's easier than trying to get it perfect and you don't gunk up your iron if you are off a little bit.
After that you just run it through your printer like a regular piece of paper.
A sheet of cute little labels...
Cut them out...
And iron on (after the ink has dried completely)...
*Please excuse the Christmas stocking pictures, I know Christmas is the very LAST thing we are all thinking of right now. Personally I am dreaming of the hot hot sunshine on my shoulders and flip flops. Trust me, I'm not being extra prepared by getting my Christmas already done for next year... these were supposed to be finished last Christmas. *

To be honest I tried this method because I didn't want to bother with embroidering everyone's name onto their stocking. In the end I think it turned out cute, and much quicker.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Monday, February 6, 2012

Swoon Block #4

Well, shoot! I didn't finish two blocks last week. Due to a nasty root canal and getting caught up on some Downton Abbey episodes, I only got one block done. It's a pretty one, though. That red looks very bold compared to my other blocks, but I repeat it again in a couple blocks to come, so I think it will work out in the end. This is a new kind of quilt for me actually. Usually my quilts are very matching and most often I stick to just one line of fabric. Though the style of my prints all seem to be the same, they aren't as prefectly matched as I'm used to. It's making me a bit nervous, but it's good to try new things.

I also finish a Pinterest project last week that turned out great! Have you seen the pin of the t-shirt turned cardigan? I'm not comfortable unless I'm wearing a cardigan. My husband teases me that I even own "sleeping cardigans" (which is more true than I like to admit) I picked up this t-shirt at Target a few weeks ago for 3$. It was an XXL so I had to take it in in the arms and sides alot, but it gave it that great long length. Doesn't it feel good to use Pinterest for real motivation, instead of just an incredible time waister? Love Pinterest!

Valentines Day Craft {Heart Pockets}

We do a lot of little crafts at our house. My kids love them and it's my way of interacting with the kids without having to come up with conversations between a Barbie and a stuffed dog (which I notice the older I get the harder it is to imagine things for Barbie to say. How was it I could play with my dolls for hours as a little girl?) The key to kids crafts is simple, simple, simple. I didn't always follow that rule. I used to get overly excited and create projects that were way to complicated and expensive. It finally occured to me that even though I may have spent my childhood glueing cottonballs to construction paper and find it incredibly boring now a days, my kids haven't grown tired of it yet. They love to be able to do projects themselves...the simpler the better.

So even though this project is an oldie, it's a goodie. My girls were excited to see it laid out for them when they got home from school, they enjoyed putting it together and from start to finish we spent about 15 minutes, which was 15 minutes of one on one time with a mom who was relaxed, happy and not overly concerned with the constuction of our project.
I gathered all my supplies from good ol' Walmart. Red paper plates, a bit of ribbon, a stapler is nice and some stickers, paper hearts, and glue.
To make the heart pocket, fold 2 paper plates in half and slide one inside the other. Staple the bottom of your heart together and the top, one staple on each side so your heart pocket can open up to store Valentines inside.
Then we stapled some ribbon to each side so it can hang on a door knob or a little shoulder. Decorate your heart with stickers, glitter, dollie hearts, or markers.
Fill it up with Valentines and treats for your friends and you're all set! Simple.