Monday, February 18, 2013


There's a little bit of history with these pillows. In our previous residence, a friend from home moved into the basement apartment for a year or two, then moved away and left some of their furniture. One of the items was a Papasan Chair. I've always wanted one of those, so I yoinked it before the new tenants could claim it. In it were some 16 or 18" pillows from IKEA. They were red, green, yellow, and black. The first three were just linen cases that could be removed. 
Ok, moving on...
I am part of a craft group that meets once/month to do a fun craft together. It is usually something that doesn't cost more than $10 per person and has a good use. One of the times we were scheduled to make envelope-style pillow covers for square pillows. The pricey part was going to be the pillow. Perfect! I already had 4 that didn't match my brown, green, blue, and gold living room decor. I finished one of the covers at the craft night, and two more in the following week. 
That was in September...
On Tuesday, my niece accidentally spilled about a tablespoon of milk on the black pillow...the only one left not covered. Knowing what milk does if left in a pillow, I threw it in the wash yesterday. It came out all poofy! I decided to bite the bullet and finish the last pillow cover. They're super simple. It took maybe an hour including interruptions. 
Then I had to wash the rest of the pillows so they'd be poofy, too. 
Here's how they turned out:
Don't you love our new leather couch!? Has anyone else had problems with leather dye coming off onto wet surfaces? Eg: a toddler slobbers on the couch and walks away with a brownish purple face. That can't be healthy.

Sunday, February 17, 2013


We just bought a house about 6 months ago, and moved in about 3 months ago. One thing we love about this house is that there are a ton of HUGE windows (which we just had replaced with nice, new low-e windows this week! *squeel!*). With many large windows comes a need for many large window treatments for privacy and decoration. For the last few months I just threw up what was available, starting with sheets, moving up to hand-me-down curtains, and what I could find on sale. Now I'm starting to get new curtains made for the windows to somewhat match the decor, much to my husband's dismay sometimes. (We'll get to that story...)
I have found that a lot of times you can find curtains on sale for cheaper than what the fabric would cost to make them. This was true with some curtains for our front door window. I thought I had taken a before picture, but I can't find it now. My camera probably mal-functioned when I took it and it didn't save. Man, I really need to get a new camera. (But we just bought 30 windows, so it will have to wait...)
The curtains were longer than the door was, so we had to tie a knot in each of them so they wouldn't drag under the door and get ruined.
Valentine's Day I decided to get going on some sewing projects which I had been avoiding by doing my quilting and puffs. This was one of the most obvious and a fairly easy project to start with. I just measured, chopped, ironed, sewed, and done! Here's how they turned out (sorry about the weird lighting/colors. it just isn't an ideal place for pictures):
 Two layers, one more opaque that the other. Tied back with the original tasseled ropes with a button attached to one of the loops. This was taken at dusk so you can see that the light is still able to come in some, but there is still some privacy. 
 Here's what it looks like when it's dark so you can see the detailing on the curtains. 
Remove the tassels and there's more privacy for night!
I'm quite excited about how they turned out and their very cheap price tag (hint: clearance at walmart!). 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Little House on the {insert clever place here}

Right, I was going to go all clever in that title to tie into the first block I'm going to post, but I just ran out of...whatever.
Block #16: Calico Puzzle. Here's where I was going with that: I loved reading the Little House on the Prairie books growing up. I especially loved the These Happy Golden Years one because that's where they kiss and get engaged. Aww. In those books, they always talked about going to buy calico at the store to make their new dresses. I had no clue what calico was. Honestly I'm still a little confused. I should probably look it up... Anyway, I like to think that the purple paisley I chose is a good example of what a "calico" print is, but I doubt Laura had any paisley dresses. Pity.
Block #17: Cats & Mice. I can totally see how this one is cats and mice. The big triangles are cats, the little triangles are mice. I think. These are some of the fabrics that started my collection for this quilt. I saw these at the store while shopping and I couldn't stop thinking about how much I loved them. I love paisleys, can you tell? The subtlety of the white on white and white on off white just tickles my fancy. For some reason my template 13 triangles seem to be smaller than necessary so I had to do a little stretching of the pieces in the X to fit the bigger triangles. I hope that doesn't come back to bite me. I chose the white and off white for this one because I realized I hadn't been using my LARGE stash of whites much, and that's one of the main focuses of this quilt is.
 Block #18: Century of Progress. It was refreshing to use different-shaped triangles for this one. It makes me think of windmills, and I love windmills. I take pictures of windmills all the time. See below the block for some examples. (Just kidding! I just realized I'm on the desktop and all my pictures of windmills are on the laptop, which my husband has at work...I'll try to remember to come back and post some...)

Friday, February 15, 2013

Buzzards stalking Butterflies sitting on Buckwheat at the Crossroads

Block #13: Buckwheat: I was running out of creative juice when I was choosing fabric for this set of blocks, so I just tried to stay similar to the colors in the diagrams. I just looked up buckwheat, and I have no clue how this block is supposed to look like it. Nor do I know why she picked red fabrics for it. Good thing my fabric choices for this quilt have lots of reds. 
 Block #14: Butterfly at the Crossroads: I don't have pink, so I picked the lightest purple I have. There was discussion from Chelsea at whether this is 4 butterflies meeting at the middle or whether it is one butterfly. I think it's one butterfly. A purple butterfly.
 Block #15: Buzzard's Roost: I have vivid memories of singing the Crooked Necked Buzzards song in Kindergarten. It's what I think of every time I hear the word Buzzards. "3! crooked necked buzzards sitting on a deeeeaaaad tree..." That and the Bowling for Buzzards on the Lion King. With this one it was hard for my brain to keep track of which gray was the darker gray because one had the lighter swirls on it, and the other had the dark swirls on it, so my brain thought of them both as about the same color.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Oh THERE you are, Peter!*

Alright, here we go again. Looks like I've forgotten to post more blocks than I had thought. I posted these on instagram weeks ago. (Follow me: SarahFranz13)
#10 - Bowtie: I picked these fabrics based on the name of the block this time. I think the white fabric with the stripes looks like it'd be a dress shirt. The anchors also remind me of a dress shirt or dress pants. And of course the polka dots definitely scream, "bowtie!"
#11 - Broken Dishes: Man oh man this was a lot of triangles to cut out. I kind of wish that I knew what size of squares would work to just be cut in half to simplify this a lot. I'm not a huge fan of cutting out all the little pieces. It's my least favorite part of this quilt. That being said, I do like how this turned out with the dusty green and light purple. 
#12 - Broken Sugar Bowl: I feel like I need to go break some dishes and my sugar bowl (wait, I don't have one...who has a sugar bowl? I don't even have a butter dish. I need to get a butter dish.) just to see if they look anything like block #11 and #12. I really like how this one turned out. I love my Frog Prince in Olive fabric, even though it has some pink, which I wasn't planning on using in this quilt. Love love love this block!

*Title reference from the movie Hook

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A few days early and a few days late

After taking pictures, it sometimes takes me a while to upload them onto my computer. And by the time I'd gotten around to it this week, next week's blocks have already been done. So I took a quick pic, and ta-dah! two in one!
#16 Calico puzzle
I love this title, calico puzzle. I've always liked doing puzzles, how it gives you time to think, ponder, and notice the tiny details on a picture that you might not otherwise see just glancing at it. And I love the quiet time that sewing and quilting gives me. I also love seeing the pieces come together to make something beautiful in the end.
#17 Cats and mice
I had a hard time motivating myself to do this block. I couldn't visualize anything good about it, but in the end, it was my favorite of the three.

#18 Century of Progress
I kind of wish this one was symmetrical in more than one direction, more of a repeating pattern. I guess it's supposed to look like a windmill or a propeller? This is the block that I tried to match at night and wound up redoing two of the three colors. And it's still iffy.
#19 Checkerboard
I think you could really play checkers on this one. I'm happy with how it turned out.
#20 Churn dash
The orange and green print I purchased online at the same time I ordered some sewing machine needles. I always figure that if I have to pay shipping, I might as well make it worth the trouble. The problem is that the package arrived, and I promptly lost the needles. I may have left them in the packaging when it got thrown out, or I may have put them a million other places. Either way, I now have to go buy more needles, and I may wind up just getting more fabric while I'm at it! I really love the orange and green fabric-- more in real life even than when I saw it online!
#21 Contrary Wife
I think I got all these fabrics at the same time, which was probably back in 2008. I used the red and black to make a little outfit for Penny, which she wore once before outgrowing. I've never used the white design until today. I was going to use red instead of the white, but when I laid it all out it was a little too RED. This felt better to me.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Note to self:

Don't try to match fabrics at night with dim, artificial light. They won't match in the morning.
That's all.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Best yet

I love all the blocks this week! They turned out nicely, and I like the patterns. Maybe I'll put them under my pillow when I sleep tonight. But probably not. I still like them, though.
#13 Buckwheat
I really like this one. I love my new green fabrics, and for some reason the name reminded me of walking with Grandma in one of her fields. She picked some timothy and told me she had always liked it the best. I'd never taken notice of the grass enough to have a favorite or even to notice the differences.  
But isn't that how it goes? Wherever we live or whatever our circumstances, we have to focus on the small things that make us happy, and the little beauties in our lives.

This is timothy-- with a bug,
also probably named Timothy.

#14 Buzzard's Roost
This one is actually much darker navy blue than it shows in this picture. I played around with the pieces before sewing it all together, and I like it better turned around-- basically inside-out-- made into a star. But I guess there are enough stars on quilts, it's nice to have an inside-out one for a change.
#15 Butterflies at the crossroads
So is this supposed to be four butterflies meeting at a square in the middle? Or is the square in the middle the butterfly's body and the four parts the wings? Either way, I really like this square. It's cute.