Friday, December 31, 2010

A day at the beach....

This year for Christmas, my wonderfully sweet husband bought me a fancy DSLR camera. For those of you who don't speak photoease ( and I didn't till a few weeks ago!), thats what they call those seriously high tech digital cameras that you can change the lenses and add flashes to and what not. I had been researching them for a while and had thought to wait till after the holiday to purchase one. I just figured I could wait and maybe get a better deal. But, I ended up having family arrive for the holiday and so I wanted to take advantage of being able to take pictures of our time together.
Today we took my family to the Seal Beach pier. My two nephews had never seen the ocean. It was a great day. My younger nephew, Bradley and my son Jackson have become fast friends. I was grateful for that because Bradley is 8 and Jackson only 4. The age gap can sometimes be an issue. But, luckily, they have taken to referring to each other as "best friends". Its absolutely adorable. Bradley and Charlotte however....ha! thats another story. For those who know my fiesty 2 year old beauty, this will not come as any great shock. She makes sure to remind Bradley that this is her world, and he is merely here to visit.

We had a good day. The kids played in the playground just off the pier. Pictured below is my nephew Bradley.


Here is a shot of my two beautiful babies playing nicely together. Ok, yes....it's a rare photo!

Here is a picture of my niece Danielle. For those of you who remember her as a little girl, can you believe it??!!??! She prefers to be called "Dani" now. She'll be 15 in just a few days. She is still the same sweet, quirky little red head though. She's just taller :)

My family returned to Missouri this morning. I am hopeful that Dani will be back soon. Tonight is going to be spent with my family in Whitter. I wanted to wish all of my fellow bloggers Happy New Year!
I hope you all have a great night.
See you next year!
Rob

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Oink :)


Oink :), originally uploaded by rkkilmer.

Look at my new bag! I am so proud. I actually created this bag with no pattern. I have a leather purse some what like it and wondered if I couldn't recreate it in a fabric version? I knew I would need something with good drape. Echino's linen cotton blend with a lining of taupe linen proved to be just the thing. I found the D rings at Lowes. It's actually got several inside pockets. I can't wait to use it tomorrow. Oh, and yes- there are pigs on the fabric. And yes- I bought the fabric and made the purse because of him. I can't help it. I collect pigs:)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Big Muffin Pillow


Big Muffin Pillow, originally uploaded by rkkilmer.

So, yesterday I was able to swing by The Sewing Party in Laguna Hills with my friend Robin. I love this quilt shop! It is filled with the types of fabrics and projects that completely inspire me and make me want to rush home and just sew in to the wee hours of the morning. I purchased an original pillow pattern designed by the shops owner. It is a 18" little pillow with a really interesting shape. It can be made with just 2 fat quarters and a spare 15 minutes. The pillow pictured here is 36" and I quilted the top piece, although I don't think you can see that detail in the photo. There is supposed to be a button centered on each side. I made the buttons, but when I tried to attach them I lost the doll needle in the stuffing!!! It's already 1:00 in the morning, so I am going to have to fix it in the morning. I can't wait for Charlotte to see it. She wanted a Hello Kitty pillow and I think she is going to love this one.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

My New Apron


My New Apron, originally uploaded by rkkilmer.

Now that I am finally settled in my new home, I have created a make shift sewing space and have resumed crafting! My space definitely needs more work, but for now- at least I am able to function. Yesterday's creation was this pretty little pleated apron. I found a tutorial here : http://www.themotherhuddle.com/tutorial-pleated-apron-with-built-in-hot-pads/
The author of this pattern actually put hot pads down in to the corners of the apron, so that you were never without them. Also, her apron used one yard of fabric and was not lined. I chose to nix the hot pads and use 2 coordinating fabrics so that I my apron would be finished and reversible. It worked beautifully. I wanted to French seam the waistband, but am unsure if this will make the apron lay funny. I am gonna give it a try though, because it's not reversible if I don't.
I am pleased with the finished look. I actually went to bed last night imagining 4 more aprons and how I can adapt the pattern with my own personal embellishments. I am contemplating one where I hand embroider the phrase "I Hate Housework" very fancily across the bottom.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Malabrigo Cowl


Malabrigo Cowl, originally uploaded by rkkilmer.

Well, hello all :) Sorry to have been so silent lately. Life has been rough. Since I last posted, I moved. My sewing room is still packed up so I have been knitting. I love the yarn by Malabrigo. I recently completed this cozy neckwarmer with a skein of happy green that I had laying around.
I am determined to organize my space tomorrow and sew something. Even if it's just a single block!
Stay tuned. I'll post whatever I accomplish tomorrow.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Thanksgiving Day Pillow


Thanksgiving Day Pillow, originally uploaded by rkkilmer.

I am hoping to write a pattern for this pillow sham and then teach it in a class. I am also going to do up a Christmas sample tomorrow. Or rather, seeing as how I am writing this post at 1:42 AM, later today :)

Monday, September 20, 2010

My Halloween Bolster Pillow


My Halloween Bolster Pillow, originally uploaded by rkkilmer.

So, I was in Sacramento recently and I was fortunate enough to visit several very nice shops in the area. In one such shop, I found a Halloween quilt pattern that I had to have. It consisted of various nine patches arranged in the center on point. Surrounding the middle patchwork was an elaborate pieced border of solid cream fabric. Embroidered onto each piece of cream fabric was some portion of the "Haunted Village". I have been scouring fabric stores in search of just the right fabrics to use. Of course, this search has lead me to purchase quite a few Halloween themed fabrics that I have no intention of using for my quilt, but still could not bear to leave in the store. So, at about 11 PM last night, as I was busy "petting" the newest members of my stash - I was also reviewing some of the blogs I follow on a regular basis. One in particular is www.quiltdad.com There is a button on his blog that is for a pillow swap that he is a part of. I find myself reviewing the flickr photos of these finished beauties and before I know it, my Halloween bolster pillow was born. Mind you, it was now 2 in the morning. That happened befire I knew it too. My friend Robin has ablg that I follow as well. You can see her over there on the right hand side of my page, "Robin's Quilts" Every Monday she posts whats she's got on her design wall. SInce I completed this in the wee morning hours of Monday, I am calling this my contribution to Design Wall Monday :)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Halloween softie 2


Halloween softie 2, originally uploaded by rkkilmer.

Behold my new fascination! Does this ever happen to you? I was in my local Hancock Fabrics for sewing needles. That was all I needed. I had actually finished a quilt this past weekend, so I felt like I was on a roll. I had never machine quilted before. So, after the success of my last project I thought I would tackle an even bigger quilt. However, a funny thing happened to me while I was shopping for needles. The store had a display of all of their Halloween fabric right smack in the middle of the shop. Someone had taken a McCalls sewing pattern for "wacky creatures" and had a dozen little Halloween softies on display. I was hooked! I had to have them for my babies. I went home and made 4 by the end of that night. I ran out of stuffing, or I probably would have made more. The pattern was great. It came with 2 different body styles, 6 different arm shapes, 5 different ear choices, and 6 different leg choices. It was formatted in a mix and match sort of way. I simply chose what I wanted and I used my handy dandy pattern ease to create my little one of a kind creatures to use over and over again. I plan to embellish the next ones, but just went with a simple bow on this one. I knew my daughter was going to immeditely take it to sleep with her, which she did. Didnt want any buttons or what not coming off.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Bee Imaginatve Give Away


I was surfing thru blog land and came across a give away I would love to win. One of the qualifications was to link back a blog post of my own back to this person's site.

So, here you go. Please go check her out and sign up for yourselves. She is giving away an accu cutter and the dies that go with it.
Happy Blogging,
Rob

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Finished Block


Finished Block, originally uploaded by rkkilmer.

Well, here it is. My first attempt at a "string quilt" block. This block took me almost no time at all. Fortunately, I had recently begun cutting up my scraps into useable strips and squares as soon as I finish working with the material. I usually just place them all in a bin and go thru them periodically. Using absolutely no system of organization whatsoever. However, I recently downloaded my copy of "Fat Quarterly". In it was a great article about cutting up your scraps into useable pieces and how to store them neatly. Also, shortening my stitch length to 1.5 and using a brand new needle made tearing away the paper after the fact quick and easy. I was able to get this block together before Jackson was done drinking his nightly cup of chocolate milk! I am looking forward to heading home tonight and spending some serious time in my work space. I hope to have some real progress to show for myself by tomorrow.

Back of v


Back of v, originally uploaded by rkkilmer.

String Quilt Block


String Quilt Block, originally uploaded by rkkilmer.

Monday, August 23, 2010

English Paper Piecing


English Paper Piecing, originally uploaded by rkkilmer.
I have been reading blog after blog it seems about "string quilts". I actually have no clue why they are called this. However, I am fascinated by them. I've read at least 3 different tutorials on how to do them. 2 separate methods really have me curious. There is a gal who made a spiderweb quilt without paper piecing it at all. I immediately ran out and acquired 8 yards of white kona cotton to begin. Then, there was another gal who made string quilt squares, but starting with a single piece of plain white fabric down the center of each block meant that you would then wind up with a white frame around each block after you assembled them. Kind of like sashing, but without the hassle. I am here at work today and I happened to have on hand a large bit of copy paper that was destined to be recycled. Someone made an error with the copy machine and these ruined sheets were the result. Instead of tossing them, I utilized the paper cutter and cut the whole stack down to 8.5" squared sheets. Now, with my new found knowledge of english paper piecing and string quilts, I am ready to start sewing. My only problem being that today's Monday. So, I must wade thru soccer practice, making dinner, bath time and some laundry before the opportunity to attempt this will present itself. By my calculations, I should get to sit down to my machine at about 9:30 PM tonight. I will post a picture of what I manage to achieve later tonight. Wish me luck! Also, if any of you have any helpful info. about this process, please feel free to tell me!! :)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Aunt A's Birthday Bag


Aunt A's Birthday Bag, originally uploaded by rkkilmer.

I recently attended my Aunt Alice's 70th birthday bash. My Aunt A is very much unlike any of my other 5 aunts. She's the wild red-headed one. For as long as I can remember, that's how I've seen her. Now that I am older, I don't know that I would describe her as wild, so much as I would call her free. This particular aunt is one of those free spirit's that lives life to the fullest, each and every day. It's quite hard to imagine her actually being 70. She's not what one would call "typical". I racked my brains for weeks for just the right gift for her. She has everything and needs nothing. The theme for her birthday party was flowers and peace signs. She's crazy for peace signs! Also, her all time favorite color is purple. Everything in her life is purple. It's her "signature color"!
So, when I came across these fabric's at M&L, I knew immediately that it was destiny. I crafted this bag using the "Birdie Sling" pattern by Amy Butler. This is the second time I have used this pattern, so it went fairly quickly. When I was done, I seriously contemplated placing cash in my aunt's birthday card and keeping the bag for myself. :) However, I knew that I would feel forever guilty and would not be able to properly enjoy the bag from then on if I did that. So, I gifted the bag to my aunt and was rewarded with such a stream of enthusiasm and gratefulness, that I felt really bad for almost keeping the thing. My aunt was over the moon for this thing. You would have to know my aunt to appreciate this, but she spent the night showing off the bag. She was asked by several of her friends to ask me to make them a bag also and that they were willing to pay upwards of $50.00 a piece for them. My aunt, of course, emphatically declined for me! My aunt is the 4th of 10 children. When they all got ice cream, she would put her's in the freezer for later. She would only eat the ice cream after everyone else had finished their's. My aunt is very much, "this is mine, and you can't have one". I was not at all surprised by this. My aunt likes her things to be one of a kind. Maybe because she is?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Nicely Nestled Netbook


Nicely Nestled Netbook, originally uploaded by rkkilmer.

Yet another quick little project created from my Moda charm packs. I was inspired by my friend Robin. Robin created a nifty little case for her regular sized laptop. She then posted the results to her blog. I actually talked to her that day. She explained how she did it, so I went home and did exactly what she said to do. This is the result. The only change I made was that I used fusible fleece interfacing and actual fleece for the inner lining. I found the combination of the two made for a seriously sturdy case. I sometimes don't appreciate quilted totes or cases because they don't seem to have any real firmness to them. May not be the best word to describe what I mean, but it's all I can come up with. At any rate, the added bulk really made a difference. I feel like I could drop the thing and my case would provide a nice bit of protection. For the tutorial to create your own, head over to my friend Robins blog. It's listed on my blog list.
Happy sewing!
Rob

Monday, July 5, 2010

Flower watch


Flower watch, originally uploaded by rkkilmer.

In my previous post I told you about receiving my much coveted Tula Pink fabric. Well, if you'll recall, I had no clue what I was going to do with my findings. Over the holiday weekend I found myself wanting to sew since I had a 4 day weekend. I was also perusing www.modabakeshop.com. I thought maybe I could come up with some original way in which to use my charm packs and see about submitting a tutorial for mod a bakeshop. Behold, the "Fabric Flower Cuff Watch"! I used a 10" inch strip of each of my 2 coordinating fabrics to create the cuff. I created binding with the 3rd. Next, I choose my favorite charm squares. Using a template I created with vinyl plastic, I made my flower petals. I found a pretty face watch at Joann's. I assembled it all and voilĂ ! I used heavy duty silver snaps for a professional looking finish. That was fun because I had never actually applied snaps before. I will definitely be incorporating them in future projects no that I know how simple they are.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Tula Pink


Tula Pink, originally uploaded by rkkilmer.
Today's post hailed another anxiously awaited package! I just recently discovered Tula Pink. I am taken with just about all of her fabric. But, I am most especially in love with "Plume" at the moment. It was not easy to find. But I located 3 charm packs and 3 yards of coordinating prints. Not sure yet what I will make with it, but I can't wait to make it! I found the fabric on quilt sandwich.etsy.com check out their etsy store if you get a moment. She has some very bright, fun fabrics listed. Their customer service and shipping times were excellent!
Off I go to quilt :)
Rob

Monday, June 28, 2010

Another 5 10 20


Another 5 10 20, originally uploaded by rkkilmer.
So, this is what I did with my evening. Actually, not my entire evening. More like the last 2 hours. With my little ones, finding time to quilt is a challenge. Ok, honest truth? Finding time to think is a challenge!! However, with potty training so close that I can see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel, I have taken to spending some time each evening in my quilt studio to work. My friend Robin suggested that I try just utilizing snippets of time here and there to sew. She was right. As long as I have a way to keep the munchkins away from my work area, I can leave everything out and ready to go so that it's all available to me whenever I find a spare moment. This has been a revelation. I have sincerely gotten more done in the last 2 months than I have in the last 2 years. My quilting really got a jump start when I spent a weekend in Laguna Woods on a Two Wacky Woman retreat. I think I have blogged about it before. I am lucky enough to belong to the most amazing friendship group. 2 of our founding members started a quilt retreat business a few years ago. They do such a great job that the retreats fill up more than 6 months in advance! They have a website. www.twowackywoman.com Check them out if you get a Moment they are also both very talented designers and sell their original quilt patterns as well. This quilt top is one of them. I am so excited to get this one put together. Now, when the Tula Pink fabric I ordered online over the weekend arrives, I will be able to get started immediately on the next project! Ha, I think I may be hooked :)))))

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Joel Dewberry Fabric


Joel Dewberry Fabric, originally uploaded by rkkilmer.

This is the fabric I mentioned purchasing from Sewdeerlyloved in a previous post. I love it! I have no idea what I am going to do with it though! Any suggestions? There is a pattern called "Victory Gardens" that I saw on Heather Bailey's blog. I am thinking that this may be a possibility. I still have my 5, 10, 20 quilt top working, so I have a little time. Also, I started another Birdie Sling from some cute peace sign fabric for my sister in law's birthday next week. Any recommendations anyone has would be greatly appreciated.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Homemade Peach Pie


Homemade Peach Pie, originally uploaded by rkkilmer.

I have always wanted to bake a peach pie from scratch. Last night, I did just that. I didn't start the process until after 8 PM, so it wasn't cooled enough to eat until 11 o'clock. Needless to say, I had to wait until this morning to taste it. I didnt have time to eat my pie at home before leaving for work, so instead I packed a piece to take with me. I sent one with my husband to work, and took one for myself. As I settled in to my desk to read my morning e-mail - I opened my pie to enjoy along with my coffee. There is no really adequate way of describing just how radiantly good this pie was! I sincerely thought for a moment that I would feign a sudden illness so that I could go home and spend the rest of the day on my couch with just a fork and the rest of that pie!!! To further affirm just how good of a pie this was, my husband text me just after 8:30 from his office. I guess, he too was eating his pie at his desk with his coffee. He told me it was so good, that he ate the spoon! He also told me that he was going to be going home for lunch to eat the rest of the pie :)
Moral of the story, if you've never made a homemade peach pie before, do it. it truly is worth the time and effort.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Design Wall Monday


5 10 20, originally uploaded by rkkilmer.

Ok, so here is my very first "Design Wall Monday" post. My friend Robin Gall is a part of a group that posts every Monday about what's on their design wall. I thought joining in would be a good way to keep me moving through my projects. Maybe if I knew I had to post every Monday, it will be more of an incentive to keep me on track. I don't have an actual design wall. So, I just laid everything out on my cutting table. I am working on another 5, 10, 20 quilt top. This pattern was actually designed by my friend Robin. I posted a pic of my first top in an earlier blog. You can either use 5 yards, 10 half yards, or 20 fat quarters. The more variety of fabric, the scappier the outcome. For this top I have 20 different fat quarters that I purchased at The Sewing Party in Laguna Woods, CA. It was the first time I had ever been in there. If you are a fan of Amy Butler, Kaffe Fasset, Hailey Bailey and the like, then this is the shop for you. It's a bit of a drive for me, but I will definitely be back. Also, I think this quilt pattern is becoming my favorite. You can find that for purchase thru Robin's site. Her blog is listed in my fav blog section. I just ordered 10 completely different yards of Joel Dewberry's Modern Meadow today from Sew Deerly Loved at www.etsy.com. I found Joel Dewberry while perusing www.quiltdad.com. Come to think of it, that's how I heard of Sew Deerly Loved! Check out her Etsy shop. She has some great stuff for sale. Ok, enough from me. I have 4 more blocks to sew then it's off to fold laundry and lay out the babies clothes for the morning.
Night all!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

My fabric haul


My fabric haul, originally uploaded by rkkilmer.

Today was perfect day. I drove to Los Alamitos with my hubby to meet up with my son and favorite nephew for breakfast at Hof's Hut. I used to work as a manager at Hof's, so it was a nostalgic visit. I still knew some of the servers and I also knew the General Manager. It was fun playing "remember when" with them. I enjoyed showing off my son and nephew. They were about 5 and 6 when these folks has last seen or heard from me. They couldn't believe those small boys were the handsome young men in front of them.
After breakfast my hubby and I got to spend a few hours kicking around Belmont Shores. This too was a stroll down memory lane. DH and I spent the first year of our marriage in the cutest 2 bedroom house located in the shore. After that, DH was kind enough to take me to M&L fabrics. It has been so long since I had been in there. I honestly could not remember when was the last time. I was able to find backing for 3 quilt tops, fabric for 2 toddler dresses and another birdie sling purse from Amy Butler. I can't wait to get started.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Nutty Orange Coffee Cake


Nutty Orange Coffee Cake, originally uploaded by rkkilmer.

So, I decided to celebrate the south today. Although I was born and raised in California, I love everything about the south. Mind you, I've never been there, but that hasn't stopped me from being completely enamored of all things southern. So, I made sweet tea and nutty orange coffee cake. The recipe for the coffee cake came from my Paula Deen cookbook. You fill buttermilk biscuits with cream cheese, dredge them through melted butter and a mixture of sugar and chopped pecans. You place them in a bundt pan and poor the rest of the butter and the sugar mixture over the biscuits. You then bake till gold and bubbly! You immediately turn the cake over onto a plate. Then you mix some orange juice and some powdered sugar to make a glaze. Let me tell you, this is a recipe I will be making again and again! Major YUM!

5 10 20 quilt top


5 10 20 quilt top, originally uploaded by rkkilmer.

This is a recent finished quilt top of mine. My friend Robin Gallagher designed this new pattern. The material list calls for 5 one yard cuts, or 10 half yard cuts, or 20 fat quarters. The more fabrics you use, the scrappier the finished product. The top you see here is comprised of 10 half yards. I actually ordered the fabric, sight unseen, from a seller on www.etsy.com. I messaged the seller and requested 10 different Amy Butler fabrics and this is what I got. I rather do like the combo. I would have seriously obsessed about what to use and where if I had stood in a shop and picked them myself. I love scrappy quilts, but can never manage to just pick and sew. I always fuss and fuss over the layout. Putting the top together this way really helped me over come that problem. I actually have another top in the works using this same pattern, but with 20 different fat quarters. I will post that one just as soon as I get it put together.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Blog photo


Blog photo, originally uploaded by rkkilmer.

Having been the lucky receipient of a new ipad this part Friday, I decided to make my new gadget a kitchy little carrying case. I found this patten on www.modabakeshop.com
I used scraps from a recent quilt top that I had just completed. I really do love it. I lined it with soft felt, so it acts as a little claening cloth each time I pull my toy out to play.