Texas Flag Quilt

My first grandson who just turned seven is a born and bred Texan.  Besides his two bicycles and legos, he loves his cowboy boots, goes to the Rodeo each year and has even participated in a mutton busting event.  Several months ago Levi told me his baby blanket that I made for him was too small and he needed a bigger quilt.  You can see the first quilt I made him here.  He also requested red since that is his favorite color. After thinking about designs for awhile I decided to make him a Texas Flag replica.  As quilts go, this is a pretty easy design, three large blocks of a solid color and a star.

The star is where the challenge came in.  I needed a big star and could not find a pattern that worked well.  I ended up making my own pattern using pieced together wrapping paper.  For my first attempt at the star I  cut out one large piece and machine appliqued it to the navy background.  I was not at all happy with the way it turned out.  There was too much puckering and the points on the star did not come out well.  For the second attempt I tried to piece the star together along with a few sections of navy material to get one large square block.  This was better but I still was not happy with how the star tips turned out.  On my third and final attempt, I just recreated the pieced square block but really worked on getting the points corrected.  It certainly is not perfect but it works.

I did the machine quilting in three sections using one inch masking tape to create sewing lines.  This quilt is large, a little bigger than queen size.  Even quilting in sections was challenging on my home sewing machine since the quilt was so large and bulky.  It sure made me dream of a long arm quilting machine…….maybe someday!

When it came time to bind the quilt I debated if I should use the navy, red or white fabric as binding.  I decided to try and use binding that matched each section of the quilt.  I had never done this before so was not sure how it would work but I really like the results.

 

I already have at least four more quilts lined up to make…….plus I just found out I am having a new grandbaby so make that 5!

 

The Easiest Bread You Will Ever Make

My mom loved to bake bread.  Every Sunday we would have either a loaf of homemade bread, cloverleaf rolls, cinnamon rolls or my favorite, cinnamon bread.

She never used a recipe, just magically produced those delightful treats off the top of her head.  When I became an adult I made her come to my house and make her basic bread dough while I wrote down each and every step.  The problem was she did not measure anything , she could tell what she needed by how it looked or felt.  I am definitely not that kind of baker.  Over the years I have attempted to make her rolls and cinnamon rolls several times and although we ate most of my creations, it never seemed to measure up to what I remember as a child.

During this quarantine period I have been sewing almost every day of the 19 days we have been sheltering in place.  I have made Easter bunnies for my ETSY shop. (Now sold out)

Most recently have been making masks for family and friends.

Yesterday I decided I needed to step out of my sewing cave and do something else.  Lately I have seen several recipes for NO KNEAD DUTCH OVEN BREAD and decided it was the day to try it.  I looked at several recipes and decided this one from Feast and Farm looked like the easiest.  It only calls for four ingredients and just seemed super simple.  What I liked most about this recipe was that it is mixed up one day and then baked the next.  Seems like most bread recipes you need to mix, let rise, knead, let rise again, then bake and it takes up most of your day.  This recipe could not have been any easier.

In general, you mix the four ingredients together, cover with plastic wrap and then put in a warm place for 18-24 hours.  When you are ready to bake, you gently knead it one time, put it in a large dutch oven to bake covered for thirty minutes and uncovered for ten minutes.  Besides having your house smell wonderful, you are rewarded with an incredible loaf of goodness.

 

The outside is crusty and chewy while the inside is soft and moist.  It is amazing!  Slather a little butter on a warm slice and I am sure you will agree!

 

Let me know if you give it a try.  Stay Safe!

Theresa

New Fall Items

Many of you know that I have an Etsy shop, Sweet Pie Studio, where I sell personalized monogrammed items such as burp cloths.  Here are a couple of my best sellers:

 

Although I have a few dish towels in the shop already, this fall I decided to add some seasonal dish towels, or tea towels as my momma would say.  I really like this flower vase and flowers, so may colors and textures going on here.

 

I really love monograms and hope to do more with them in the future but for this fall I decided on a monogram in a fall wreath that can be framed and added to your fall home decor.  It really works best to frame it and leave out the glass so you can see and touch the texture of the embroidery.  It will fit nicely into an 8″x8″ frame.  I think this is my favorite fall item in the shop.

 

And just for fun I decided to add a couple of pillow covers.  I really debated on selling these with or without the pillow insert and decided for shipping purposes to go without the pillow insert.  If anyone really wants a pillow insert included just let me know and I will supply one.  I have so many ideas for pillow covers so will probably be adding more of these in the future.

If you have not visited my Etsy shop yet, I would love for you to stop by and look around.  Keep in mind that I love custom orders…..if you think of something and do not see it, let me know and maybe we can create it!

Buffalo Check Quilt

I have been a fan of buffalo check for many years, long before it became a popular modern farmhouse staple.  At least two master bedroom decors ago, I had a black and white buffalo check duvet made.  That was long before we took pictures of everything we made, or ate or every place we visited so unfortunately I do not have a picture of that duvet.  Over the years I have re-purposed the fabric from that duvet to create several items including a window seat cushion, upholstery for a rocking chair, a few pillows and I still have some of that fabric left over.

Several months ago I ran across a buffalo quilt picture on Pinterest and I decided right then and there I needed to make one.  I bought black, gray and white fabric and begin the process of measuring, cutting and piecing the quilt.  The quilt top went together quickly and for about a minute I considered quilting it myself.  I have machine quilted several crib size quilts and one full size quilt on my sewing machine.  I immediately remembered how cumbersome quilting the large quilt was on the small sewing machine so I decided to send it out for machine quilting.

I have used Missouri Star Quilt Company to do quilting before and also a local quilter who has since retired.  This time I came across an Etsy vendor Nancy’sQuiltingCoShop who mentioned she had a fast turn around time and was less expensive than other quilters I had used.  I worked with Nancy to pick a quilting pattern, mailed her my quilt top and about a week later I received my quilted top back.  That was FAST!!!  I am very happy with her work and will send quilts to her again in the future!

I love this new quilt and cannot wait for a cool evening so I can snuggle under it while watching tv!

I also recently made a baby quilt for a friend’s new grandchild and embroidered the baby statistics into the quilt.  It turned out really cute.  You can see it on my Instagram profile page @swtpiestudio.

An Obsession and a New Adventure!

Last fall when I was facing surgery and knew I would be laying low for about 12 weeks to recover, I decided to purchase a new sewing/embroidery machine.  Since I already own two sewing machines I really purchased it more for the embroidery capabilities than anything else……..except for that self-threading needle!!!!  Pretty sure I decided to buy it the minute the sales clerk showed me that feature.

Isn’t she beautiful!?!?!?

To say I have been sewing frequently is a bit of an understatement.  If I am not helping with those adorable grandbabies of mine, I am at my sewing machine trying a new design or making a gift for someone.  I have sewn/embroidered bath towels, flannel scarves, scarves for furry friends;

baby blankets and kitchen towels;

napkins and baby bibs;

doll diapers and doll carriers,

and I even embroidered on a jeans jacket.

About five years ago when my first grandchild was born, my nephew’s wife embroidered a few cloth diapers to use as a burp cloth and gave them to my daughter as a gift.  I have been a little obsessed by them ever since and currently they are my favorite thing to make.  They are definitely a practical baby gift since all new mother’s can use a few extra burp cloths,  but they are also adorable, especially with the baby’s name embroidered on them.  The design possibilities are endless and can be tailored to the family who is receiving it.  Here is the latest set I made for a family friend’s new baby.

I love these burp cloths so much that I have decided to open an Etsy store and make them available to anyone else who needs a baby shower, welcome home baby gift or just something for your favorite baby!!

I have several examples of items in the shop but since they are made to order, I can probably accommodate any design you have in mind.  I love trying new designs!  In addition to the burp cloths I have added a few kitchen towels to the shop.  I am just getting started so will be adding new items frequently.

Please come stop by the shop and if you know anyone who is looking for a unique personalized gift please pass this information along!

Here is where you can find me https://www.etsy.com/shop/SweetPieStudio.

Quilts for the Triplets

As many of you know I have been blessed to be a grandmother to six adorable children, three of which are seventeen-month old triplets.

christmas-2018

They are so darn cute and so fun now that they are toddling around but I might be a little biased.  I have made all my grandchildren handmade quilts when they were born and I finally finished the quilts for these three in time to give them for Christmas.

I started with Nora’s quilt and selected pink and gray fabrics.

nora2

I really like the floral fabric that I used on the back and to bind the quilt. If you look in the lower left corner you can see that I added her name to the quilt.  As I was finishing this quilt I bought a new sewing/embroidery machine and was just learning to use it.  I was actually at the point where I was getting ready to start the quilting so I only pulled apart this little square to get her name on it.

nora3

nora1

The fabric for the boy’s quilts is from Missouri Star Quilt company in Hamilton, Missouri, my favorite place to shop for quilt fabric.  They have the best selection of fabric of any quilt store I have visited in person.  Actually the company is made up of twelve different store fronts on Main street with each having their own fabric theme.  I bought the fabric for the boy’s quilts in the kids shop and I sure had a hard time making a selection, so many cute choices.

asher1  asher2

asher3

As you can see, I had become a little more knowledgeable on my embroidery machine by the time I was making this quilt so was able to add a name block along with the year it was made to both Asher and Bentley’s quilts.

bentley1

bentley2

In the past I have always hand-quilted or had my quilts machine quilted by someone else.  Since I had a new sewing machine I thought I would try my hand at machine quilting these quilts for the boys.  It was easier than I thought it would be and it went very quickly since I only used straight line quilting for my first attempt.  Not sure I would be brave enough to do it on a full size quilt yet but it worked great for these crib size quilts.

bentley3

I have been thinking about what my next quilt will be and am thinking about making one for Dave and I, it has been a long time since I have done that.  Now to pick a pattern and maybe make another trip to Missouri Start Quilt Company  (yea!!!!).

Strip Quilt

Before my grand daughter Aria was born I made her a gender neutral quilt because her parents chose not to find out if they were having a boy or girl.  My daughter Kayla decorated the nursery with a cute mint/gray color scheme that I matched for Aria’s quilt.

Finished1

You can read about that quilt here.  Infants do not use bulky quilts much so that quilt still seems almost brand new.  Since one of Aria’s new baby brothers (yes, she will soon have three new siblings!) will be using that original mint/gray bedding, Kayla is going to pass that crib quilt down to him.

Aria recently moved into a new room with a new toddler bed and I had been thinking about making her a new quilt to match.  A few weeks ago I made three mini quilts for her triplet dolls.

triplets

Kayla told me that night Aria insisted her mom and dad lay those three mini quilts over her for bedtime even though they probably did not even cover her legs.    I knew I needed to get her new quilt made quickly.

I had been wanting to try a “quilt as you go” quilt because it was suppose to be fast so I went to the fabric store with a strip quilt in mind and selected five different fabrics.

Fabric

I cut the fabric into strips the width of the material and into random 1 1/2″ to 5 1/2″ pieces that when pieced together would measure approximately 48″ long.  I think I cut 19 strips in total.

Cut-Strips

I also cut a piece of fabric the size of the quilt backing and strips of fabric for the binding.  I laid out the strips randomly to see how it would look as a finished quilt then sewed them directly onto the batting and quilt backing.  There are several good tutorials on-line that shows exactly how to do this, including the one I used here.

Quilt-1

After purchasing and washing the fabric, it took about eight hours to cut, sew and bind the quilt.

quilt2

Quilt-3-

It was a fun,  fast quilt to make.  I hope she likes it as much as she did the doll quilts!

The Grandkids Room

A couple of months ago I shared with you a set of sheets I found that inspired me to make a star quilt for the room where my grandkids stay when they come to visit.  You can read that post here.  Those sheets and that quilt were the focal point for decorating the rest of the room that I finally finished this past weekend.  Here is the overall look.

Facing-windows

Here is another view that shows the 11″x14″ prints of the kiddos I printed on my new Canon Pro-100 series printer.  I am having so much fun with that printer…but that is a story for another post!

Bed-and-Crib

Now before you start yelling at me about the 34 year old Basset crib I am using let me state for the record that my husband thoroughly researched the problems with old cribs and ensured they were not an issue with ours.  The problems typically relate to how close the spindles are together and how well the mattress fits in the crib.

Crib-with-Pillow

Our spindles are close enough so a little head can not get through and the new mattress fits tightly up against the sides.  I also checked with both sets of parents to make sure they were ok with me using this bed.  I am so happy that the crib we used for all three of our girls now holds their little ones.

I also added some new curtains and made a window seat cushion.

window-seat

Check out this adorable little retro table and chairs that we pulled from the basement of my mother-in-law’s home.  When I saw the gray top and the red chairs I knew it needed to be in this room!

table-and-chairs

My favorite part of the room is the new gallery wall.

Gallery-wall-2

It took me a lot longer to pull that together than I thought it would.  I really wanted  to include items that the grandkids would enjoy, like pictures of all the granddogs and our kitty cleo.  Pinterest was a great source for inspiration.

Gallery-Wall

I made the ABC and Twinkle Little Star posters using Photoshop Elements but I have seen both for sale on Etsy.  I bought the map for $4.00 when I was at the Magnolia Market in Waco last month and I specifically wanted to mount it on something where I could use push pins for the cities where our family lives.  I had not originally planned on putting up a board for holding artwork but when I walked through the garage a week or so ago I noticed some old baseboard trim Dave had stacked in the corner.  I picked up a piece of it was the perfect size for the space.  All we did was fill a couple of nail holes, give it a few coats of paint and add twine for hanging the pictures.

Overall, I am pretty happy with how the room turned out and I did not finish too soon because my youngest granddaughter and her mom and dad are moving in with us on memorial day weekend for a few weeks while their new house is being finished!  I hope she likes it!

Sneak Peak

Six weeks ago I sent a quilt top I had made to The Missouri Star Quilting Company for machine quilting services.  You can read the story behind this particular quilt here. Today it came back to me and I am soooooo excited.  I love how it turned out…..here is a sneak peak.

quilted-but-no-binding

This weekend I will be making my binding and completing the quilt.  It is funny but binding a quilt is one of the task of making a quilt that I really enjoy.  I am not sure why, maybe because it signifies that the quilt is complete.  The original vision and all the detail work are finally coming together.

quilted-but-no-binding-2

Now that the quilt will soon be done I need to get into high gear and finish up the grandkids room that I have been working on including making some window treatments.  There never seems to be enough hours in the day to work on all these fun projects!

Hope to share the finished room and quilt soon.

 

It started with a set of sheets…..

I had been thinking about updating one of the bedrooms in our home where the grandkids usually stay when they come to visit. It was still decorated in high-school-girl turquoise and lavender from several years ago when I still had a high school girl living here. I had seen a set of sheets at Target that I liked and had considered buying them but just was not ready to commit to a color scheme.  Then one day I walked by and saw this…..

sheets

 

A 40% clearance sticker! Decision made.  I picked out a soft grey paint  ( Essential Grey by Sherwin Williams) and had the Mr. start painting the room.  I also  knew I wanted to make a quilt for the room and since I had never made a star quilt before thought this might be something to try.  As usual, I started with my graph paper and dimensions and came up with a design.  Someday I will wise up and just use a pattern but I actually like doing it myself.

Design-on-Paper

 

Then, just to be sure my design and dimensions would transfer appropriately to fabric, I made one of the quilt squares.

finished-block

 

Satisfied that the design would work, I determined the size of all the pieces I would need and started cutting out the fabric. Cutting fabric is my least favorite part of making a quilt, but I love having it all done at one time.

Cut-pieces

 

Dave was getting ready to go out of town for a few days so I set up my sewing machine in front of the tv and each night after work I sat down to sew and literally watched 14 back episodes of Fixer Upper. My kind of fun!  In this picture I had sewn all the squares and attached the inner borders to make rows.

rows

I then sewed the rows together and attached the outer borders. I knew when I started this quilt that I was going to have it machine-quilted but at the time I was not sure where I would take it.  The last time I asked the person who had machine-quilted three other quilts for me,  she had a six month long waiting list.  Then I remembered that the Missouri Star Quilting Company, a place I visited last year (see that post here), will do machine quilting for a very reasonable price.  On their website all you do is enter the dimensions of the quilt, pick out a quilting pattern, batting and a backing fabric if needed.  You can also have them bind the quilt although in this case I want to bind the quilt myself.  Then you just pack the quilt up and send it to them.

I have to admit that I was a little apprehensive about sending the quilt top through the mail, however within just a couple of days I received the nicest email from Sarah at the Missouri Star Quilting Company;

Dear Theresa,

Your quilt top arrived safe and sound. We have delicately hung it up and it will soon be mingling with the other wonderful quilts. The final step in the journey to becoming a masterpiece is getting closer every day! Your quilt displays wonderful craftsmanship and precision. You should be proud! Thank you for letting us be a part of this beautiful quilt! We will handle it with great care and treasure it as if it were our own!

I am sure this is probably a canned response they send to all their customers but just knowing they had received it and would be handling it with care set my mind at ease. Now I cannot wait to get it back…..they say it will take 4-6 weeks but I am sure hoping it will be sooner. In the meantime I need to make about 24 feet of binding so I will be ready when it is returned!  Pictures coming soon of both the room and the finished quilt.