Monday, April 28, 2014

Shiver me Timbers

Ahoy me hearties!

Avast ye, weigh anchor, and hoist the mizzens.

Yo-ho-yo-ho a pirates life fer...

There is more, trust me.  Just type how to talk like a pirate and more info and pirate phrases than you ever wanted to know is at your finger tips.  I will try and restrain myself as much as possible.

But blow me down, this is my oldest's pirate quilt and I'm pleased as punch with it.  The colors are girly but the prints are not overly so.   Mostly just geometric or batiks.  The fabric is joyful and striking and I love the old timey atlas panels.  Plus, how fun are narwhals, mermaids and girl pirates?

This is one of the most balanced quilts I have made.  See, I am learning as I go and getting better (I hope) with every quilt I make.  There's quite a lot of white space to guide the eyes from image to image and an equal amount of prints to solids.  Every square on square block has a print and a solid, but the solids are always on the bottom to keep the eye moving in the right direction.  I used 3 different shades of solid purple to border the ship prints.  It makes it a little more interesting.  And, just look how cute it looks in her room with the lavender walls and wrought iron bed.  Gasp.  Love.

I designed this to have the three atlas panels going straight down the middle with fun blocks surrounding them.  The atlas panels are my favorite part of this quilt and it's perfect because My Oldest loves maps.  She will play with Google map and go all over the world, exploring.  We even tried the African Sahara....didn't work so well.

I was able to use a bunch of my gorgeous scraps for the half square triangles in the square in square blocks which I found to be tons of fun and a ginormous mess because I had to practically rip all my fabric off the shelves to look at it and then leave it in a heap while I sewed.  No time to tidy,  I'm crafting here.  The Mister practically died every time he looked in my room.

Then just don't look in when you're down here.

But, I have to walk past your dang blasted, pig sty of a craft room to get to my office.

Pshaw!  You can work at the kitchen table.  Let's be reasonable,  I cannot work like this!!!  I need to be free to create in chaos.  You have to love me for who I am.  Messy craft rooms/sweat pants and all.

Sigh.  Can you at least close the door?


I loved mixing and matching my scrap prints to the solids I was using: pink, light blue and purple.  The dimensions for this quilt were actually designed around the square in square blocks.  Once I got the dimensions worked out for those, I figured everything else out from there.

This quilt took quite a long time to make.  1- Because the square in square blocks were quite time consuming because of all the bitty half square triangles and lots of cutting was involved.  2- I took my sweet time about it.  I had other things going on and so would get back to this one WHEN I GET TO IT!  (I may have gotten pestered a time or two about getting a move on)  3-  It's BIG with a lot of blocks.  Things like this take time.  4-  I hand quilted it, which I really enjoyed.  The fabric is so soft and pretty that I was glad I really got to play with it a lot.

I used the fabric collection: Out to Sea by Michael Miller

It's still available and if you are interested in how to make this quilt, shoot me a comment and I'll get back to you with destructions.

Thanks for stopping by ye bilge rats.  Sorry.  I don't really think you're bilge rats.  Love ya.


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Thanks, Chickens.

There is a lot of good that comes with having chickens.

I get gorgeous, high-quality eggs every single day in a rainbow of colors.  I know my chickens roam around, peck the ground and eat all kinds of creepy crawlies that strengthen the healthful qualities of their eggs.  I get the pleasure of watching them wander around, pecking and babbling to each other.  Watch them as they race across the yard at full speed, wings splayed, to chest butt anyone in their way.

Buuuttttt....there are some drawbacks.

If you have chickens, they will dig and scratch and make a complete disaster of your yard.  This is just part of the mess they have made.  Rocks and ground cover all over the lawn instead of where they should be, in the flower beds and borders. Thanks, chickens.

Side rant.  Do you see all the raspberries that are deciding my grass is the perfect place to spread? Yeah....not awesome.  Couldn't they spread in the flower beds where I would appreciate them?  Guess once we put all the rocks and bark back, we'll mow them down and see what happens.  Thanks, raspberries.

Back to original rant...


My gooseberry bush.  Pecked to bare branches.  Only bits of green left. If you'll notice I am trying (unsuccessfully, I might add) to keep the chickens away.  The tomato cage, T-Ball stand and one of Ginger's bowls haven't exactly turned out to be the super good gooseberry bush protectors I was hoping for.  At least they've stopped them from digging and exposing the roots.  Thanks, Chickens.

This is my hope of harvest, this bit of green.  Think I'll get a handful of berries?  Luckily the thorns are growing and maybe that will deter them.

To try and change their taste buds, I ripped off a handful of tarragon and tossed it in.  

Yay!  Snacks!!  

Wait....what the hell is this?

Come on chickens, eat the tarragon!!  You can eat all of it!  I grow it for you.

Whatever, we're totes out of here!  Come back when you've brought us some bits of ham and cucumber shavings.

Thanks, Heather!

Oh yeah, well, right back at you, thanks, Chickens!


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Deers are Very Versatile

My house is being over-run by deers.  And yes, I know deer is the plural, but I like calling them deers.  More fun.

Pretty pillow.

On my Deer Quilt I used multiple strips of fabric for the deer head.  I love the look.

But, sometimes simple is preferred.  I can get this pillow sewn up in an hour, lickity split, using just one fabric for the deer.  Perfect to give as a gift.

I love deer for two least.  I am sure I love them for more, but here's two reasons why I love them.

1.  My sister and I have a game called the Dead Deer Game...Don't judge.  I am from the foothills in deer country and if you don't hit a deer in the twilight, sometime in your life, you can't call yourself a Utahn.  So the game is this:  You watch for any sign of a dead deer on the side of the road or in the brush.  You call it by hollering: "Dead Deer!!!"  And you keep track of how many dead deer you see in a season.  Dead deer season goes from about November to March.

The kicker is, if you call, oh, let's say a piece of carpet, then you have to deduct two dead deer points from your tally.  You've got to keep an eagle eye.  It's tricky because you'd be surprised how many bushes look like dead deer.   How many discarded chairs look like dead deer.  How many mounds of just dirt look like dead deer.  And if, say, you accidentally call a dead coyote thinking it's a dead deer....minus two points. And, you can only call a deer once.  So, you have to keep careful track of which dead deer you have called and make sure to inform your sister that she CANNOT call the dead deer on the off ramp to Mom's house because, well, you already did. 

Oh yes, one more thing....stray dogs count as a dead deer.  But it has to be an actual stray dog and not a dog simply walking a few steps in front of its owner.  Again, if you call a stray dog and isn't a stray....minus two...well I think you get the idea.

2.  I grew up in deer country.   It is not unusual for a gazillion deer to be where you are.  I can remember one frosty, moon-lit night I was driving home at an unmentionably late hour and there was a herd of at least a couple hundred deer on the road and in the fields I was driving through.  It was so magical, I stopped and simply enjoyed the beauty of nature...until some jack-A honked at me to move.  

My children will have memories of being at Grandma's house, somebody shouting DEER, running to the windows and watching several deer, including fawns, wander through the yard on their way to greener pastures.  Oh and of having to watch where you step because of the pellets they leave behind.  Thanks, deer.

3.  I figured out a third reason why I like deer...sort of.  In the town I grew up in, they actually made it legal to hunt deer inside the city limits with bow and arrow.  Oh yeah!!  I can just envision the hunters now, tracking bucks between the picket fences and swing sets all decked out in their camo.  Good times.

Thanks for reading!


Friday, April 11, 2014

Promises, Promises....The Deer Quilt

I might just post pictures as this is my favorite quilt to date.  HA!  As if I wouldn't have words.

Each quilt I make is always my favorite as soon as I've made them, but this one....well, be still, my heart.

It is a Beating Hearth, original design and I couldn't be happier.  The bold colors and pattern really grab your attention.  I also like that I made it asymmetrical, but it certainly could be personalized any other way just by changing around the blocks to your liking.  I made a queen, but any quilt size can be made, including wall hangings of just the deer head.

This quilt is a mixture of piecing and machine applique and because the blocks are all 24.5 x 24.5 inches it is a fairly quick quilt to make, but still has serious impact!

The fabric I used is the gorgeous Innocent Crust by Anna Maria Horner.  I am so happy I saved myself...errr...this fabric for this quilt.  The Mister has declared it the first Man Quilt I have ever made. Shhhh....don't tell him I used such girly fabric.  The deer have obviously tricked him into thinking it's macho.

On my half square triangles, I wanted the pattern to be a point.  If you'll notice I've got Innocent Crush fabric on the top triangles and a coordinating solid on the bottom triangles.  I also have them all pointing the same direction.  Random is good, but too random is bad as it confuses the eyes.  Having the pieces arranged precisely keeps the eyes moving, but not freaking out.

If you have never machine appliqued, this is a fun way to learn.  If you have never pieced a quilt, this is a fun way to learn.  The techniques are simple, but wow!

I am guessing by Monday I'll have this pattern up on Etsy.  So if you're interested, stop back and I'll have all the info you need so you can make this yourself.  I can just imagine it super manly with deep colors, all in solids or even girlier than this in pretty pastels. 

Thanks for stopping by deer readers!

Follow the Hearth on Facebook

See what else you can do with this pattern...

Deer Head Pillow

Monday, April 7, 2014

Easter Pilllows

I have been teasing about my Deer Quilt.  It's coming.  Soon.  This week.  I promise.  I did give a small glimpse when I was cursing out the internet for existing.

But first, it's almost Easter, so the only thing to do....make pillows.  Easter pillows.

I spent all weekend basically, mitering corners.  If you look at the borders around each Easter critter...that's a mitered corner.  They're more involved than your standard border.  They look classier, but they're a pain in the tuckus.  I love them.  But I hate them.  But I love them.  I have a complicated relationship with my sewing.

Mitered corners.  So pretty, so mean.

I'm particularly happy with how they turned out because while they are pure Easter, baby chick cute, they've got a little edge to them.

And when I say my baby lamb pillow is edgy, just nod your head and go with it. 

I also think how freaking awesome these would be as a baby blanket.  Minus the choke-hazard tail.

My favorite part, speaking of choke hazards....has to be their tails.  Ugggh.  Cuteness overload!  Fabric rosettes, it cannot be helped.  I am getting my Etsy store up and running, so if anybody is interested, shoot me a line.  I'll let you know when things are ready to go....aka when the husband gets it figured out for me.

Happy tails to you
Until we meet again.

Happy tails to you
Keep Smiling until then...

Thanks for reading!


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Back that thang up much do you remember of the late 90's?  Maybe my sister will be the only one to appreciate the title of today's post....watching our free music channel, The Box...NOT MTV, because we didn't have cable in our apartment when we were going to "college", and rocking out to censored rap music.    We never called in to request anything, probably due to the fact that $0.99 at the time was a pretty significant chunk of change and we could go to the dollar show instead and watch "10 Things I Hate About You" with our homies.

...yeah...I just said I had homies.  Sorry.  Sometimes this Utah girl thinks she's really legit...too legit to quit.  Oh gosh...I think the fact that I just quoted MC Hammer makes me super not legit.  Do you know when I was in Elementary school, the boy I had a crush on wore hammer pants sigh (do you think I can convince The Mister to wear some?).  I also performed a rap in 6th grade.  I can probably sing it for you right now.

"We're in the 6th grade and we're really cool because we go to Highland Elementary School.
something something something
We go to lunch and we all get sick because the food tastes like a grated brick"

Ummmmmm....Yeah.  There's a reason I am not in the music biz.  In my defense, there were at least four other girls making this rap up with me.

Sad I can't remember the entire rap anymore.  Oh well, maybe it'll come to me.

I am working on the back for my AWESOME deer quilt that will be revealed....probably next week.  You know, it's probably rude of me to call something I made my own self, awesome, but I really, really like it. Almost as much as I like bad booty rap.

Don't look too closely at it, though.  See, I just started sewing and thought I had plenty of fabric, but I didn't. This is what happens when you just start sewing for fun and don't have an actual plan.  I started with the orchid fabric (which happens to be the color of the year, yay me), then had to switch to the darker purple to finish the blocks.  Then I thought I needed to put the corner squares in....but didn't as those made it too big.  So I started unpicking and then got tired of it.

So I just cut the excess fabric off on some of my blocks leaving the previous seam intact.  Urrgghhh...this is terrible sewing.  Don't do it.  But, it is what it is.  If I am sewing I have to enjoy it and I HATE un-picking.  I figured it's going on the back so nobody'll really see it anyway.  Seam remains and I don't give a fig.  I also left some of the corner pieces on some and on some...not.  Sorry for how wrinkly it is.  No time to iron, apparently.

Then I ran out of my green fabric for the outer triangles....Oh well.  I am perfectly happy with it.  I think the trees are cute.

Thanks for reading!


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Blast you internet!!!

Do you ever get mad at the internet for existing?  For introducing us to these amazing people that we will probably NEVER GET TO MEET IN PERSON?  If not for the internet, I would be perfectly happy with my existence as is.  Cool, you know?

But, no.  I have to go and make these friends that I cherish and only hope that someday I'll actually get to have dinner across from them and enjoy a lady craft day together.

Karen from The Feral Turtle is one of these friends.  She has a tutorial on how to make your own pysankies...hope that's the plural... which are Ukrainian Easter Eggs and they are gorgeous and I am desperate to make them.  Of course, I have no supplies to make a pysanky and so want to go to her house and have a lady craft day together making them.  With her supplying the supplies and refreshments.  I'll bring the eggs.

This cool spider is something she sent me the other day.  I had done a post on a few of my beaded Christmas spiders, and crafty thing that she is went and figured out how to make them and has made them non-stop since.  Isn't the skull bead kind of rad?

No only that, but she also sent a homemade shampoo bar.  I had never heard of shampoo bars, but The Mister insists that I have to learn how to make them so my hair will always smell as heavenly as it has been since I started using it.

Karen is kind of like the woman I long to be.  Living in the country, making homemade soap, shampoo and wine and wielding power tools like a vixen.

My spider, who is named Bridezilla, has been hanging with me as I work on my latest project.

Go check her out, she's just crazy EVERYTHING!

Thanks for reading.


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