Monthly Archives: February 2011

Homemade Thank You

When my son’s elementary school began collecting items to include in care packages for service men and women overseas, we knew right away that we wanted to contribute. In addition, we wanted to give something homemade. My son chose to make tangrams. He cut colorful paper into different shapes that fit together to make a square. We put the puzzles in individual sandwich bags and included answer keys with each package. Then we chose some red, white and blue fabric adorned with stars and made sticky note covers. On the top inside flaps above the yellow sticky notes, my son shared some of his favorite jokes, drawings and puzzles. On the bottom flaps, he shared the answers to his riddles or simply wrote, “Thank you.” Here are some of his messages to enjoy:

  • Top flap question: What did the cat say when he was hurt? Bottom flap answer: Me- OW!
  • Top flap message: My son drew a picture of the American flag with the word “Thank” underneath the drawing. Bottom flap message: He wrote, “You.”
  • Top flap riddle: Who am I? I am greater than 40. I am less than 48. I am a multiple of 3. Bottom flap answer: 45
  • Top flap joke: Knock. Knock. Who’s there? Boo hoo. Boo hoo who? Don’t cry. It’s just a joke. Bottom flap: Blank space.
  • Top flap riddle: What is that ancient invention that lets you see through walls? Bottom flap answer: The window
  • Top flap: Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Bottom flap: Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

    These homemade sticky note covers combine fabric and paper.

Pie and ‘The Help’

Chocolate pie caused quite a stir in "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett.

My work continues on the ChatterboxBeach Book Club quilt I’m hoping to finish before July. The ChatterboxBeach Book Club is a book club my mom, sisters and I started in October 1999. We each take turns selecting a book to read. Once we’ve all read the book, we discuss the characters, plot and themes via emails or get-togethers, depending on the time of year.

For fun, I’m making a 10-inch by 10-inch quilt square for each book we finished reading in 2010.

My first square features a postcard on London-themed fabric and a corner map of Guernsey Island. The square represents “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. We all enjoyed reading that book.

I just finished my second square, which features an appliqued chocolate pie on telephone-themed fabric, for “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett. We all enjoyed reading this book, too.

Here’s a clue for my next book club square. I’m making a stained-glass window with fire. The book, although fiction, is based on the life of a real person and has a tragic ending. I’ll reveal the title as soon as I finish the square. We had to discuss this book without SisterB. She was busy when we read that book and never got to the end. Maybe she’ll be inspired by my square to finish reading!

Perfect Purse for a Little Girl

I just had to share this little purse MamaA made. It’s made of animal print fabric and so cute and stylish

The animal print fabric adds style to this little girl purse.

for a little girl. At 6-inches by 6 ½ inches, it makes a nice gift as is or filled with fun stuff for your little one. It’s just adorable!

Fishing for a New Idea

Bubbles add a bit of whimsy to this pocketbook.

I dug into my box of UFPs (unfinished projects) and came across a fish square that was once destined to be a pillow. I like the simplicity of the design and the colors of the fabrics in the square. A while back, I took two of these squares and made fish pillows for SisterB, who put them in her bedroom. My son liked the fish pillows, too, so I made him a one-square mini-quilt to display over an acrylic frame on his bookshelf. MamaA incorporated the fish on an adorable pocketbook and added bubbles. Now, I’m wondering what to make with this leftover square. I’m leaning toward a set of kitchen placemats. SisterM made fish placemats in a different fabric that turned out really cute. New placemats could add a little pizzazz to our table each Friday, which is traditionally seafood night at our house. The improved look might even make the food taste better!

Fish placemats add a special touch to Seafood Fridays.

Fish pillows look great in the bedroom.

Turning Books into Quilt Squares

Post cards and letters were an important theme in "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society" by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.

Now that Valentine’s Day has passed, I’m ready to spend some time working on a project just for me. A while back, a friend and I attended a quilt show at a nearby library that featured works by quilters who made wall hangings based on books.

Many quilts were built upon the works of children’s authors and Dr. Seuss. Others were made on themes of popular novels. One focused on the Boy Scout Handbook.

We enjoyed them so much. On the drive home, I was thinking of ways that I, too, could combine my love of reading with my quilting. I’m in a book club with my mom and sisters, which provided a perfect place to start. We call ourselves the ChatterboxBeach Book Club.

We read and discussed our first book, “The Hunger Moon” by Suzanne Matson, on Oct. 1, 1999. Since then, we have read more than 40 books together, each taking a turn to select what to read. We discuss the books via emails or get-togethers, depending on the time of year.

After attending the library quilt show, I started making 10-inch by 10-inch quilt squares each time we finished a book. I plan to make a quilt each year combining the squares to record our progress. The first book we read in 2010 was “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. I’ve finished that square. But we read six books last year, so I’ve got five more squares to finish. My goal is to complete the quilt by July.

Top 14 Valentine Gift Ideas for 2011

This beautiful bracelet is a great Valentine gift for a special someone or yourself.

SisterM has done it again. This time she has created a fashionable bracelet, just in time for Valentine’s Day. The light weight bracelet is hand knitted with pima cotton yarn and is embellished with glass beads and a heart charm. The jewelry is a perfect accessory to wear to celebrate Valentine’s Day or to give to someone special. The bracelet features a lobster claw clasp for an easy, yet secure, fastener. The length of the bracelet is about 7 1/2 inches. It tops our list of 14 great valentines for 2011! Here is the complete list:

  1. Valentine Mini-Quilt;
  2. Wine Bottle Cozy With a Valentine Pocket;
  3. Knitted Necklace for a special Valentine;
  4. Doll Chef Hat and Apron with Valentine Hearts;
  5. Valentine’s Day Trinket Box;
  6. Fingerless Gloves with a Valentine Pink Stripe;
  7. Valentine Accordion Book;
  8. A Child’s Chef Hat with a Valentine Red Confetti Band;
  9. Scrabble Tile Valentines;
  10. Valentine Mini-Notebook;
  11. Flouncy Valentine Apron;
  12. Special Valentine Patchwork Doll Quilts;
  13. Decorative Terra Cotta Pot in Valentine Red and White;
  14. Knitted Bracelet Embellished With Glass Beads and Valentine Heart

Check out the ChatterboxBeach website on Etsy.com to find more handmade gifts. Happy Valentine’s Day!!

Pots for Pencils or Petals

This decorative pot would make almost any Valentine happy.

Valentines can’t go wrong with flowers. Why not put a flowering plant in a nice red and white pot for your special someone this year? MotherA  decorates four-inch terra cotta pots to create beautiful valentine gifts. She adds glass gems that reflect light when votives are placed in the pots. Consider setting potted flowers inside, pretty votives, or even your pencils! The pots are especially nice gifts if you choose one in your Valentine’s school colors. We are counting down 14 great gift ideas for Valentine’s Day. The Terra Cotta Pots come in at No. 13. The list includes: 1. Valentine Mini-Quilt; 2. Wine Bottle Cozy With a Valentine Pocket; 3. Knitted Necklace for a special Valentine; 4. Doll Chef Hat and Apron with Valentine Hearts; and No. 5, Valentine’s Day Trinket Box; No. 6, Fingerless Gloves with a Valentine Pink Stripe; No. 7, Valentine Accordion Book; and No. 8 a Child’s Chef Hat with a Valentine Red Confetti Band; and No. 9, Scrabble Tile Valentines; No. 10, Valentine Mini-Notebook; No. 11, Flouncy Valentine Apron; and No. 12, Special Valentine Patchwork Doll Quilts. Check out the ChatterboxBeach website on Etsy.com to find more handmade gifts.

Squares Instead of Hearts on Valentine’s Day

A doll blanket makes a special valentine for a child.

Colorful squares make a beautiful patchwork quilt for a doll.

A doll quilt is something to enjoy year-round, not just on Valentine's Day.

Valentines don’t always have to be red and covered in hearts. When I was a kid, my mom would give my sisters and I each a little something special on Valentine’s Day. Some years it was traditional, such as a card or chocolate candy. Other years, she would bake us a special cupcake or treat. Why not give something your child can enjoy year-round, such as a quilt for a favorite baby doll. Patchwork doll quilts ranks No. 12 on our top 14 valentine list countdown. Here is the list: 1. Valentine Mini-Quilt; 2. Wine Bottle Cozy With a Valentine Pocket; 3. Knitted Necklace for a special Valentine; 4. Doll Chef Hat and Apron with Valentine Hearts; and No. 5, Valentine’s Day Trinket Box; No. 6, Fingerless Gloves with a Valentine Pink Stripe; No. 7, Valentine Accordion Book; and No. 8 a Child’s Chef Hat with a Valentine Red Confetti Band; and No. 9, Scrabble Tile Valentines; No. 10, Valentine Mini-Notebook; No. 11, Flouncy Valentine Apron; and No. 12, Special Valentine Patchwork Doll Quilts. Check out the ChatterboxBeach website on Etsy.com to find more handmade gifts.

Gallery

Flouncy in the Kitchen

This gallery contains 1 photos.

When I’m cooking, I want to look my best. A hamburger in a fancy restaurant tastes better than a hamburger from the drive-through window, right? I figure if I look good, my food will taste even better. This red, white … Continue reading

Jotting Things Down

This mini-notebook is a perfect place to jot things down, such as "Happy Valentine's Day."

Blank pages leave lots of room for notes.

This adorable orange and pink notebook adorned with a bright flower button fits nicely in a pocketbook or on a desk. It’s perfect for jotting down notes and reminders, such as “Happy Valentine’s Day.” It makes the 14-valentine countdown list at No. 10. Here’s the list of gift ideas: 1. Valentine Mini-Quilt; 2. Wine Bottle Cozy With a Valentine Pocket; 3. Knitted Necklace for a special Valentine; 4. Doll Chef Hat and Apron with Valentine Hearts; and No. 5, Valentine’s Day Trinket Box; No. 6, Fingerless Gloves with a Valentine Pink Stripe; No. 7, Valentine Accordion Book; and No. 8 a Child’s Chef Hat with a Valentine Red Confetti Band; and No. 9, Scrabble Tile Valentines; and No. 10, Valentine Mini-Notebook. Check out the ChatterboxBeach website on Etsy.com to find more handmade gifts.