Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Frugal Reality!

So--I LOVE MaryEllen's Best Press.  It smells awesome, it works great.  It does everything it says it's going to.  But I can't afford it. $50.00  a gallon translates to about 5 yards of fabric--6  or 7 if I hit a sale! (So, if you're looking for gift ideas....)

I make my  own starch!

I have a 16 oz spray bottle(yes, I use my empty MaryEllen's!)

 Fill with H2O--otherwise known as tap water!!
add 1 1/2 tsp corn starch --which is always in my kitchen anyway!
add 2-3 drops lavender essential oil--(If you're not already adding a couple of drops of this
        to your bath,  why not?)
   (do not use any citrus or other oils with any "color to them")

I  use lavender or geranium essential oils in mine, and find that the starch doesn't leave residue and the oils don't leave marks---
BUT  if you find that yours does, pour some out and add more water.  Or skip the Essential oils if you're worried about that.  I have no issues with flaking, Make sure to shake well before each use!

Makes a great and easy gift for any quilter or sewist-- add a fat quarter or two and make someone really happy!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

"Oh my Heck," that was better than last year

My sleep deprived self is finally awake enough to post about the most fantabulous weekend of quilting and laughing that I've ever had!  Amanda and 14 other quilters gathered at the Inn at City Park for our 2nd annual retreat with the un-paralleled crazy mom.  You might want to grab a cup of coffee or tea, this might be my longest post ever!

I worked my tail off to make sure it was everything that I thought it should be, which might be a little psychotic.  Here's the gift bag goodies: Scrappy name tags, fat quarter of fall-ish fabric, 2 bars of homemade soap, lavender lotion bar, lip butter, key chain, and scrappy pin cushion, a fabric magnet and the much desired cookbook with recipes fro 2009 and 2010.  Also coupons to the 3 local quilt shops  so a little shopping could be done.

And then the prizes--It's important to me that everyone win something.  And I don't like for anyone to feel like they got the boobie prize either!

So we have Amanda's awesome Blues quilt, which is even more amazing in person.  Kate said, of the retreat, "It was even better than last year."  No surprise there since she walked home with the quilt!  It's going to a good home!

We had a gift certificate to the Inn, Bag of coffee, mug and 2 charm packs, 3 yards of Word Play, Kaffe's gorgeous book, autographed at market(!), an Amy Butler Pattern and some of her  threads, some FMF fat eighths with some cards and quilting gloves, some Amy Butler fat quarters with some patterns and more cards, and an Arcadia honey bun with some Best Press and, once again, cards.

Two sets of pillows quilted at the retreat by Amanda--they both turned out so cute and went home with people to love them!  I also made this Streetcar bag by Indygo Junction out of thrifted vintage curtain panels, this little tote from some yummy Echino, and a table runner.

Whew!  I need another nap just writing that down!  So fun and so worth it.  Of course, I came home inspired to sew and finally finish some of my projects!

We had everyone bring a gallon bag of scraps to swap, and we just dumped them out on the kitchen floor.  I think I laughed until I cried.  When we were done Amanda sat down (she thought she already  had enough scraps?!)and thought we were crazy to be leaving so much behind.  So we'll split those up at our next guild meeting and make a quilt for charity.  We know better than to throw any away!

Well, I'm off to label some more soaps--I've got a trunk show at Wadoo Furniture tonight.  I'm always inspired to make stuff when I'm in this store!  I'll be opening my etsy shop with some soapy goodness--tomorrow, once I see what I've got left!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Crazy mom is coming!

Yeah!  The quilt retreat with Amanda of crazymomquilts is almost here!  It's been a year since our last one and I'm so stinking excited!

I just wanted to show you some of the fun stuff I've been working on.  We have a giveaway with a quilt made by Amanda as the grand prize and I like for everyone to be able to win a little something!  So I've been busy scrounging up donations and making everything else.

These  will be quilted by Amanda as part of our free motion quilting classes and then I will quickly sew them into pillows as one of the prizes. I made these using Penny's tutorial over at sewtakeahike.  I love her projects and I have some pretty serious fabric envy.  I just love everything she makes!  AND She's joining us for the retreat too! 

Same story with these 18" wonky log cabins with some Opal Owls.

Here I thought I was prepared and had some more pictures, but I'll have to come back later apparently!  I'll try not to let 6 months pass by this time!

Friday, May 21, 2010

What the heck do you do with a mini-quilt?

 I signed up for the mini quilt swap last month  at Modify Tradition(great blog!) and just finished. The guidelines were for a traditional quilt with modern fabric and NO wonkiness.  Let me assure you that any wonkiness was completely unintentional!   Bought some yummy fabrics and this is the result....

What I used: to die for echino,  michael miller, and amy butler( If you live in NoCO and haven't been to Mama Said Sew on E. Mountain Ave. in Old Town, Fort Collins, get there as fast as you can!  Awesome!)

What I learned:  I'm a crappy quilter!  This was my third attempt and I'm realizing, stick with what you know!   I can't even maintain an even 1/4"seam when sewing strips!  Ugh!

I've been enamored with the winding ways quilts since I read Jennifer Chiaverini's book of the same name(great series,that![I just read a British chick lit book, can you tell?]).   With fabric like the echino--rather heavy linen-like--the seams were so bulky that it didn't have a prayer of lying flat!  So that will be turned into a pin cushion.

My next try was a double wedding ring, paper peiced.  Well, I don't know how to do that!  A goodly amount of wasted(I''ll figure out something for it!) fabric later, courthouse steps fit the bill.

After I finished, I realized I had made a quilt like this before using a Wonderland honey bun, not realizing it had a name--just thinking I was tweaking a log cabin. I guess what's true for cooking is the same for quilting--there's just not much that hasn't already been done!

So after all that--I love it!  I couldn't stop looking at it last night after I got the binding sewn on! 

As to the title of my answer to that question is to give it an envelope back and give the option of a fantastic pillow.  It could still hang on a wall or sit on a table, but I'm really happy with it as a pillow-mini-quilt!  Hope my partner likes it!

There's a meeting of the Fort Collins Modern Quilt Guild on Thursday, May 27 at  Half Moon Bay Coffee Co in Fort Collins from 5:30-8.  I'm hoping to make it--I think April was it's first month.

Have a great weekend!  And we still have room for 8 more quilter's at the retreat in November with
crazy mom quilts!

Giveaway Winner!!

Who knew?  Let me tell you--I was beyond overwhelmed by  the response to this giveaway!  Thanks to all who stopped in and many thanks to the 101 new followers and the 40 original followers that make me feel like someone wants to hear about my crafty nonsense!

I read each and every of the 526 comments and kept my husband updated too.  When the comments were in the 280s I told him how excited I was and he wanted to know(again) why there was this much traffic.  And then with a look of sheer panic, wanted to know how many bags I had to make!

I wish I could make one for each of you, but all in good time!

So with out further ado.......

Congratulations to commenter # 179!!
handmadehappiness said...
purple purple purple i do love it!!! the bag is to die for!!!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day!!

Edited to add:  The giveaway will close at midnight mtn std time!!  so you've got 4 more hours!

Welcome to Tinkerfrog!  I am happy to be participating in Sew Mama Sew's May Giveaway Day!  Once you've registered for this giveaway, make sure you head over there for the literally hundereds of giveaways going on!

I'll be making someone lucky this beautiful bag in the color of their choice!  We have a big selection of Amy Butler Love at my LQS, Mama Said Sew, and I'll be happy to go pick some up for the winner!

To enter, just leave me a comment with your favorite colors.  To gain an extra entry, become a follower and leave me a separate comment.  Make sure your profile allows an e-mail address to be seen, otherwise I have no way of reaching you!  The giveaway is open until May 20th and the drawing will be random.  Some extra prizes might be thrown in, too!

Thanks for stopping by! 


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Still Kickin'

Hello, strangers!

Life is crazy and every time I plan on posting I don't get it done--I'm gonna turn over a new leaf here and make a concerted effort to post more often! 

So, firstly(love that word!), we have another amazing retreat planned at the Inn with the incredible Amanda Jean Nyberg, aka crazymomquilts.  If you were lucky enough to join us last year, you know how much fun we had--and this year shall be even better!!!  The dates are November 12-14, 2010 so think hard but not too long!.

Only 8 more spots available and only two more rooms at the inn! 

Here's a quilt that I've been working on for my 11 year old niece Becca.  She has her own blog and it always makes me smile.  I used a layer cake of Boutique by Chez Moi for moda.  It was an experiment--now I realize why you don't make a nine patch, slice it diagonally into quarters and sew it back together.  A few truncated corners and slightly odd shaped blocks later, I decided it worked anyway!  I mean, what was I going to do, throw away $35.00 worth of fabric? 

It measures about 80 x 80 and it'll go on her full size antique iron bed(the one I grew up with!). I still need to piece the back and quilt it.  I'm more than nervous about the quilting as it's over twice as large as anything I've machine quilted, and I can't say that any of those looked great.  But practice makes perfect(or at least passable) and I've got to start somewhere because I'm not paying someone else to do it as that would eat up my fabric budget for about 6 months!

I'll also be participating in the Sew Mama Sew May giveaway day next month, so be sure to come back and see what fabulous prize I will be giving away!!  I'm sure I'll come up with something good in the next few days!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Becca's mittens and a tatooed belly

I'm a huge fan of the Twilight books and not remotely ashamed of it!  So when I saw on Ravelry that someone had written up a pattern to make Bella's mittens a la the movie--I knew that my 10 year old niece Becca HAD TO HAVE THEM!!

I knit them out of Cascade Pastaza and they turned out great!!  We did a photo shoot with some felt apples--Tade wanted to hold an orange--and you get to see how I was able to finish these mittens!  He has learned to count to 30 by himself due to his penchant for tattoos.  I think they should be right side up and on his biceps, but he doesn't get a very good view that way!  I think I'll have him start counting to 50, so it continues to be a learning experience!

We also have some exciting news on the chicken front!  Tomorrow will be 4 weeks since our 5 hens began laying.  If we get three more today, then we'll have gotten 100 eggs in that short time frame.  They don't taste all that different( I expected them to taste "more" somehow!), but they're still very special!  On Valentine's I got to have our first double yolked egg for breakfast!  Made my day, I tell you!

One of my recent quilting projects has been to put together these log cabin blocks.  When I was helping Wilma's family with the estate sale, I went through lots of boxes of  fabric.  Some treasures, a lot of polyester, and some very funky prints later, I found this bag full of envelopes and inside were all of the pieces cut and ready to go!  Along with 4 blocks already sewn together, 2 by hand and 2 by machine.  They went together so fast!  The combination of fabrics is one I would never have chosen, but it really works!  I sewed them into columns using an old sheet for sashing,  It's now in my to be quilted pile, but I have to bring it down to work where I have enough space to make my sandwich--maybe next month!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Giveaway winner and February's block!!

Congratulations to HaveFaith!  She is the winner of the Wonderland honey bun and she'll be making a quilt out of it for a May baby, if her comment is to be believed!!  Please e-mail me your address as you have a no-reply e-mail and I have no way of contacting you!  I'll draw another name if I haven't heard from her in a week!  Between the comments and followers I had 54 entries!  Very cool...

I finished this block for Lizzie whose month is February in our Bee Balm online quilting bee.  She sent the brown background fabric with the only instructions being to make a 16 1/2 inch block of our choice.  She wanted it to "represent" us.  After much deliberation, I decided to do a little "thread sketching."  I've been playing around with this for a couple of months--a couple of pillows and a sketch of my in-laws house for Christmas, so thought this appropriate.  Very pleased with the results!  Here's hoping that she likes it!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

100th post giveaway!!!

So, technically it's not my 100th post, but it turns out that I blog in my head quite a lot!  I take pictures and plan on what to write, but it never seems to get typed in.  So I figure if I had posted all of the times that I planned on, it would be right about 100 posts!

I'll be giving away a Wonderland by Momo Honey Bun!  Plus some extra surprises!  I found a great sale and bought 5(!) of these and have a bit of a surplus.  I made this baby quilt for a friend expecting her first baby in April, delivered it to her this morning and she loved it!  Actually, so do I!  This was made using less than one honey bun, the scraps from this will go into another quilt!

And I've not blogged about this quilt either!!  When Amanda came in November for the quilting retreat at the inn, she brought lots of samples to show us.  This quilt was made out of the leftovers from her film strip quilt that was made to giveaway at the retreat.  Mama urchin is now the proud owner of the film strip quilt, but lucky me was given this one as a thank you for setting up the retreat!  I feel so special. Especially since Amanda isn't blogging anymore--I really feel the void in blogland!

So---to enter this giveaway, just leave a comment on this post.  All of my followers are automatically entered, if you become a follower, you will get an extra entry, and if you blog about this giveaway and leave me a separate comment, you will be entered again!  So, three chances to win!

And check back often because the info about our 2nd annual quilting retreat with Amanda will be posted soon!