Saturday, February 28, 2009

free motion quilting

There are so many great posts on free motion quilting, but I've never had the nerve to try. One of my favorite online discussions is found here on flicker. However, the idea of ruining a quilt top that I've invested so much time in making will get my stomach turning fast.

Here's my story. My 11 year old daughter has a book report she's been working on that involved making a quilt out of fabrics that coordinate with portions of the book she read, Cracker. The problem? I didn't have the time to send this crib sized quilt to my "pro" quilter. So I went back online and reread all the blogs I could find. Then, I decided to have my daughter go at it. (Kids will try anything.....they have nerves of steel)

She's a natural! Lesson learned....this can be done. It's just a matter of jumping in. My daughter finished the quilt in 1 hour. It looks great. I'm so inspired by my girl that I feel silly that I didn't try sooner.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

freesias and citrus

I had to take a day off from life yesterday, so I found myself in the garden. It needed some weeding, thinning and loving. It's been a while since my last visit and I was pleased to see my freesias in full bloom....ready to come in and fill a vase. The lemons are huge, waiting to be passed out to friends, and the kumquats smell fabulous! Overall, the garden is full of smells....just a reminder that Spring is heading our way.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

extraordinary portraits

My family portraits were beautiful this year.....and so much fun to do. I've received enough compliments that I wanted to give a "shout out" to my talented photographer.

Melanie Smith is located in Southern California and is willing to take your family to unique and wonderful locations. For my appointment I told her I was looking for something "barn-like" and soccer fields. She nailed it. We drove around town to locations she had previously visited in preparation for my family's photo shoot. Our family will cherish the memory of that day.

If you're not able to visit her in California you can check out her website at

Saturday, February 21, 2009

felt fortune cookies

My daughters and I made 100 of these for Valentine's Day. However, I would make these for any occasion......birthday parties, bridal and baby showers, new year's party etc. The girls cut out 5 in. circles from felt and I used a fabric glue to adhere matching pipe cleaners down the center. They were left out to dry overnight. In the morning I folded them to the proper shape and placed 2 herseys kisses and a fortune inside. Total cost....under $15 for 100 and I still have supplies to make more.

Project compliments of Martha Stewart.

Friday, February 20, 2009

burp rags for gifts

These were finished last night. It seems that all my friends are having boys this year. I used organic cloth diapers and sewed on strips on flannel in the center. The ends have a decorative stitch, just for fun. I know, I know.....not a very exciting gift, but they are practical and so easy to make. I was thinking of including a note with them, "roses are red, violets are blue, your baby will spit up, all over you." Tacky or funny?

soccer shirt quilt guilt

I began this quilt years ago. The idea came from a quilting magazine that I no longer have. With soccer players in the family I have many, many shirts that are near and dear to our hearts. This idea was a great way to treasure these memories without holding on to outgrown shirts.

The shirts are backed with fusible interfacing, so they can be sewn. The remainder of the quilt is keep that snuggly feeling. The quilting is stippling, which was done by an expert with a long-arm machine.

This quilt was such a hit with the family that I have just finished another one that needs to be quilted by my "expert". I am working on my third and have piles of other shirts that will soon become sideline blankets. I've decided to group them by the years. (ex. 2006/07, 2008/09) Ironically, the colors group well this way. Lucky me!

autumn, like the season

So, I love my name, but have constantly had to remind people what it is.  I've discovered that giving someone something to link it to has helped.  It started when I was a server at a local restaurant and greeted my tables with "Hi, my name is Autumn, like the Season, and I will be your server tonight."  It seemed to work and I was no longer getting the "Amber"s and "April"s.  I didn't have to correct people with an embarrassed giggle.  It just worked and still does.