English Paper Piecing Flag Project

Well I am just back from a quilt retreat for 4 days and boy did I have fun. 43 women just quilting away, laughing and eating. It was wonderful! I made some real headway on my flag, so I thought I would share. This photo is prior to leaving for quilt camp.

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DSC_0013When I got home I stamped my white hexies with mustard fabric paint so the stars would pop.

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I am really happy with the color I chose. More later.

Here is the progress in the past few days.

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Some English Paper Piecing

I am back into a little English Paper Piecing at the moment along with my other quilting. If you haven’t tried it…you must. It is addictive. English paper piecing is such a great take-a-long project. It requires minimal equipment and is completely portable. It can have an  old fashioned vibe or go with the new modern quilting rage. I had a flag on my mind and remembered seeing one in a book called Hex A Go Go. So that is my inspiration. You will need the paper pieces to make these quilts. Some people make them, but I just get them from a company called Paper Pieces. This is their website. http://www.paperpieces.com/. They have so many sizes and shapes. Check Pinterest out for English Paper Piece quilts for some ideas if you are not sure what these quilts look like.

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English paper piecing is created by basting fabric around these sturdy paper shapes. Then they are pressed so they have nice crisp edges. You simply sew them together by hand with tiny stitches. I have never been much of a hand piece person , but this really is addictive. It’s relaxing and something nice to do while watching TV with the hubs…like weeks of March Madness! You can use scraps or buy more fabric. Oh boy :).

My mother has turned into an English Paper Piece quilter almost exclusively lately. She is the one that taught me the secret of the squeeze clips. They are worth the purchase. The nice thing about this method is that you  can switch off between cutting fabric, to clipping the  fabric to the paper, to basting or sewing together. So you never get bored and you can give your hands a rest.

DSC_0013 I am in the process of getting enough pieces basted so I can start the blue area of the quilt first.

I will keep you informed on the progress of this American Flag inspiration.

Winter From *&#@ In Tennessee

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Is everyone enjoying this wonderful winter. I know I am….not. I had cabin fever really bad and had to leave the cabin. I told Roger that I would be a changed woman when I came home. So I bought some nice blonde hair color and gave my winter mousey hair a lift. It worked. I feel better and my hair feels more full and springy. I’m growing it out for the last time before I turn 60 in July. It  is not easy growing your hair long anymore. But so far I am sticking to it. Oh…I also did some therapeutic shopping with my friend Caroline and brought home some springy- summer colored tops. It has started to snow again and I hid the razor blades. Just kidding.

I have been sewing like a crazy woman. Making blocks from scraps and piling them up for a future quilt. I have started a collage quilt that will be a garden trellis of Morning Glories. It is one that I use tiny scraps of batiks to create the fabric painting. When I’m done, it will be thread painted in detail and listed in my new Etsy Shop… Pam George Quilts. I still have my jewelry in the shop with greatly reduced prices. I will still carry fabric cuff jewelry and anything that has to do with fibers. Check out my shop at the same site for a month or so or click here https://www.etsy.com/shop/PamGeorgeQuilts?ref=hdr_shop_menu

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Happy Winter to you all. We are supposed to be 61 by Tues. ;)

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  When I woke up this morning and before I posted the above, we got even more snow. And Mother Nature reminded me of how beautiful she is…even in the South. And I do appreciate her beauty. And I hold in my heart that it will be 61 by Tues.

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DSC_0007Now Melt!

New Year, New Nursery

Yay! Project posting time! This year’s posts will be less text, less edited and more photos… or else they will never get done :-) Our first bedroom priority in this house was Oliver’s room so we could seal out any residual smokey fumes from the walls and other surfaces and get him moved in for good. Here’s his room the day we moved in. Day 1 we removed the fan fixtures and all window treatments and hardware.

O rm before

And the paint jobs in the bedrooms are slightly more tedious as we’re using an odor-sealing primer and, atleast in O’s room, doing the ceilings while we’re at it. So, first step we repaired all the dry walls holes from window stuff, as well as some phone wires and cables we ditched, and whited out this room with our super primer and started with a clean slate.

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There’s only so many hours in the day, so much of this project happened at night, and where necessary, with O perched outside in the hallway in his highchair while we tossed him Cheerios between paint strokes. =super parents.

O paint chair

Ta da! Here’s the first peak at the paint job. We did a bright white ceiling that dropped down the wall one-fifth of the way and used the same grey we’re doing throughout the house (Benjamin Moore Moonshine) on the lower majority of the walls. Finally ready for decorating!

paint done

Don’t have them up yet, but our window treatments from West Elm just arrived! Clearance- $19.99 per panel! Couldn’t make curtains for less than that. Sad to be losing the curtains I so painstakingly made for his original nursery (while very pregnant), but this room has two windows so I would either be duplicating what I made already for the second window (which would take me another month or more to get done), or starting fresh. I opted for fresh and I’ll see how I can re-purpose the original one.

Can’t wait to get these up and start pulling the room together some more. Yay!

December to Remember

The past month has been an exciting whirlwind! I’m not organized enough yet to put together a nice cohesive post about anything, but here’s a nice mish mash!

We closed on the house Dec 5th, did some initial cleaning, some painting, and worked on some initial key projects to make it livable (the prior owners smoked in the house so there were key issues to deal with up front for our health).  Chad also got right to trimming the very overgrown shrubs.

front of house

We moved in somehow on Dec 14th, took off to Minneapolis for family Christmas on Dec 19th, then returned for Christmas here with my family on the 23rd. I have become so behind in taking pictures, keeping track of projects… there is just so much going on around here! But here’s some before shots and some Christmas pics to give you a flavor of what’s been going on this past month. Basement family room below … the right door goes to a storage space, and the other doorways lead to upstairs, or stay left and go into the unfinished area and access to the garage.

basement before

No time for a Christmas tree, but this poinsettia brought over by a new neighbor worked just fine! Oliver got to enjoy Christmas trees and the grandparents’ houses. Here you get a sneak peak of the new carpet in the family room as well!

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View from the front door Day 1. It’s a split level, with a dropped front living room. Bottom steps go to the walk-out basement, and at the top of the steps there are the kitchen/dining area and hall goes down to three bedrooms. Lots of peachy beige and brass going on.

entry before

Kitchen…

kitchen before

One thing we had to tackle was painting these high areas while the house was empty and we could fit scaffolding and ladders everywhere. Definitely the highest wall I’ve painted!

high up edges

Since we have so much painting to do in this house (ultimately the entire house) we tried out a new gadget- a power roller system. Eliminates having a paint tray, pumps it straight into your roller. So far, a pretty nice trick for large projects, getting used to the clean out process. Will do a better ‘review’ some time later.

power roller

While the parents were in town, we hosted our first dinner party with Tania, Robert & Bear. Fancy, right?

first dinner party

tania boys

gma bear

gpa O

All for now, just wanted to get some pics out there so we don’t get too behind! Hope everyone had a great Christmas with family and we wish you a happy, healthy 2015!!

 

Over The River And Through The Woods To Grandmother’s House They Come!

I am so excited to have Mom and Pat and both kids and their spouses and baby O for Thanksgiving. We all won’t be together for Christmas due to Lindsey and Chad moving over the Christmas holiday. So I am doing a Christmas decorated Thanksgiving for the first time in my life. Rog and I can’t wait to have that little grandson of ours in our arms again. Although Lindsey indicated that he doesn’t have much time for cuddling anymore due to his crawling and standing schedule. He is a very busy guy. So when I started to think about what will be needed to meet little O’s demands, I went to the store to investigate grandma toys for him to play with. I had stuff in the cart but actually came home with nothing thinking I should run it buy Lindsey. Out of the blue, a friend in the community called me and said she was busy unpacking and wondered if I needed any baby things. Her youngest grandchild is now 5 and she didn’t want to store them any longer. WHAT?…………I’ll be right over. I scored big time. My studio has been taken over with baby things.

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Like I said…baby lottery. I have promised Judy a quilt of her beautiful Labrador Retriever, Toby, in return. She has been wanting one for awhile and I am happy to do it. So come January I will do a post on the quilt.

I was wise when it came to the Christmas decos, due to a busy baby boy crawling around. But I had to do it because Lindsey and Chad probably will not do the decorating this year due to moving. It will not affect his 8 month memories in the future.

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DSC_0197I will admit…Christmas decorations look kind of ugly in broad daylight.  Anyway…I did most of my decor up high. The tree will be his target and there will be great grandma and grandpa, aunt and uncle and of course the grandparents to watch him. Lindsey and Chad can rest a bit. It’s Grandma time!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

Something New

After 8 months of only growing baby posts coming from me, time to get back to something new… but still baby-related because that’s our life now! :-)  Oliver started experimenting with complementary foods this fall and we’re utilizing the baby-led weaning approach. Basically, it just means you’re letting your baby explore feeding themselves as opposed to doing the traditional spooned cereal, pureed veggies, etc. We’re kind of taking a hybrid approach I guess, which the purists would say isn’t baby-led at all. But whatever. Everyone’s gotta do what works for them! Anyway, one goal with early feeding is to make sure baby is getting enough iron and protein. So I was interested in getting O eating quinoa. Was messy by itself, sticking all over him and everywhere. But I found this recipe for some Sweet Potato Quinoa Balls and put my baby spin on them. They are the best!! Convenient to make and freeze, baby hand sized, and O usually scarfs ’em down. The original blogger’s pics are nice and pretty.

Here’s mine baking in the oven. Not quite as nice of photography.

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Her site has the adult recipe on it- basically, I just leave out salt and use baby cereal (basically fortified flour) with bread crumbs as the binder instead of panko. This way, they are whole-food-healthy, with the added benefit of the vitamins/minerals added to baby cereal… which O has eaten by itself about 4 times ever. That stuff is so gross!

o eating balls

Also, I’ve made them with roasted butternut squash, acorn squash and just today did the sweet potatoes. Just mash together equal parts of cooked quinoa (easy), mushed up squash/sweet pots, an egg (more healthy stuff), and enough bread crumbs/baby cereal to bind it up. I make the quinoa and roast the squash one day, then mix it up and use a cookie scoop to pop ’em out on a baking sheet the next day. They only bake about 15 min, until they get a baked skin on them. E-A-S-Y. We’ve been calling them nuggets. Pull a couple out of the fridge, nuke for 5-10 seconds. Yum. Perhaps if you have a toddler who only eats chicken nuggets, they could be lured into eating these instead??

 

Recipe: Quinoa Balls for Baby (adapted from Dash of East recipe)

1 roasted squash (butternut, acorn) or 1 large sweet potato

Equal amount of cooked quinoa (eyeball it and freeze the rest for next time)

1 egg

Approx 1/2 to 3/4 cup baby cereal and bread crumbs (I use about 50/50 organic oatmeal baby cereal, and homemade wheat bread crumbs)

Plus seasoning, like garlic powder, nutmeg, cumin, whatever new flavors you’re getting baby into :-) Just don’t add salt or spicy stuff for young babies.

 

Note: keep in mind regular guidelines for introducing new foods to babies- and obviously this contains egg and wheat if you use breadcrumbs!

 

Updates!

Somehow November has arrived and I’m way overdue for some important updates!

First, O turned 7 months… and then 8 months actually but haven’t gotten those pictures done yet!

7mo brz

Second, we bought a house! Woo hoo! So excited. We finally took the plunge in our new state. Started out doing our homework, doing some more serious house hunting and came upon one that was just too good a fit to pass up. So suddenly we were under contract and we are exactly one month from closing on House #2. So excited to get to work on making this home our own and growing our family there. It’s a great little dead end street with a very cute neighborhood. Plenty of projects brewing in our heads… already bought a new foyer light on Craiglist to rehab- couldn’t help myself.

New house

So, looking forward to more on that front as we plan and we actually get IN to our new house. Somewhere online today I saw this ‘Countdown to Black Friday’ ticker up and my brain just stalled out for a minute. Black Friday? Isn’t that for, like, Christmas? I just know I’ll blink and it will be 2015. Our baby routine makes the days fly by even faster than before.

And, even though Mom already announced it, hello? My brother just got married! A whole wedding in just weeks of planning. So cool. Very excited for them because they are a really great couple and we’re so glad they found each other.

JK dance

The wedding was super fun and Oliver got to bust out the sweater vest- I’m biased, but he’s stinkin’ adorable.

O sweater vest

 

All for now, lots of exciting things on the horizon… so many more updates to come. And maybe I’ll even get those 8 months pictures done before O turns 1. :-)