Monday, December 31, 2012

A Year in Review

Tonight I took a bath - I don't think I've taken a bath this year.  Its amazing what a long soak in the tub can do for the soul. 

While I was soaking with a nice face mask on - it was almost silent (except for the faint sound of Jake humming the Darth Vader antheim).  I had time to reflect on my year.  Here are a few highlights.

- Jake started skiing
- Sam potty trained
- Feel in love with Pinterest
- Family Ski Trips
- Disneyland and Newport
- Sewing Retreat
- Baby Wren
- Family Movie @ a theater!
- First camping trip
- Lost a few pounds
- My picture wall (I've even added pictures!)
- Remembering what is important in life
- Lego palooza hit the Latimer household
- A leap of faith
- Quilting and more quilting
- Gained back a few pounds - plus a few more
- Friday Night Lights
- Birthdays and parties and moments with family. 
- Quilts, quilts, and more quilts

It has been a good year - and I'm looking forward to what 2013 has to offer! 

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday and a Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Patriotic Star Cake

I was hired to make a quilt for Christmas by my cousin Marta.  She wanted something simple and patriotic for her parents.  This quilt pattern Star Cakes is a perfect pattern.  It is quick and easy, yet has a feel of a pattern vs just squares.

We decided on Prairie Paisley, one of my all time favorite lines.  I think the colors fit her parents perfectly. 
Quilted using a tanish Latte color which blended nicely with the fabrics, and popped a little on the cream.  Used a quilted pattern called Frisky Feathers.  I made it a bit larger.

Framed the whole quilt with a red tonal print, used a floral for the backing and a baby strip with stars for the binding.  The combination came together well - and I had ever ounce of the fabric on hand.  I love when that happens!
Here are my aunt and uncle enjoying their new quilt - hope it gets lots of use and love!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Bubble Play

This was a fun quilt I got to quilt this last month.  We decided on the pattern Bubble Play which I think fit this quilt perfectly.

I have always wanted to quilt circle, but was always afraid I couldn't keep them round - so this was so much fun to watch the machine work! 

I love how the background print had little bubbles in it also.

The back fabric is like a quilt all on its own!  

Even though this pattern is vintage Dick and Jane prints - I love that this pattern works with it and could be thrown on a modern quilt now.  Maybe next time I'll make the bubbles even bigger and give that a try!

Linking up to Whoop Whoop

Friday, December 28, 2012

Chicken Pesto Salad

Sadly I didn't take a picture this year of the salad - this picture is stolen from this post back in 2009

But this year I perfected this salad - and it is now my new go to party salad.  I made it multiple times over the month of December and am still eating the leftovers.  I could eat them everyday for every meal.  I have had countless requests for the recipe.

I saw this recipe made on an Oprah episode long ago and cannot remember the name of the chef.  But I have simplified this a bit to fit my life style.

What you need:

Bow tie pasta
Pomegranate seeds
Parmesan cheese

I buy most of the ingredients at Costco - a big bag of spinach, a rotisserie chicken, the basil pesto, and the pomegranate seeds (you can buy containers of just the seeds!)

Pull the chicken off the bone (I usually only use the breasts) toss in a few spoonfuls of pesto and stir.
Repeat with the cooked pasta

Mix the pasta and the chicken in a bowl, add spinach and toss until spinach is coated with pesto - add more pesto if needed.  Squeeze a little lemon juice on.  Sprinkle top liberally with pomegranate seeds and parmesan cheese - enjoy!

I served this salad with orange rolls on Christmas day - it was delicious!  I'm sure we'll be seeing a lot more of this salad at parties, showers, brunches around my house this year.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Layer Cake Quick Quilt

My sister needed a Christmas quilt for a very special gift.  She wanted something simple and scrappy.  She loved the fabric line she bought, so instead of going with regular old squares - I found this tutorial from Missouri Star Quilt Co (if you haven't found their youtube channel find it!  They have the best tutorials)

Using that tutorial - this was born.

The line is called Dear Mr Claus by Cosmo Crickets for Moda.  

The line has kind of an old fashion retro feel to it.  

The quilt pattern used is call Glacee  by Beany Girl Quilts - so far this is my most requested quilt pattern.  I love how it looks - I've done it on 2 of my own quilts!

The backing was a minky with lines down it - so it makes it harder to see the snowflakes - but I have to say I again, think I love the back even more than the front!  Turned out so good.  

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Custom Quilting

I have been quilting for 7 years, and have done a few custom quilts over the years.  I am always nervous and have never been excited about doing these custom quilts.  I was worried about how they looked and if the clients would like them.  Didn't like how long they took.  Felt like I didn't have enough ideas - or maybe had the ideas, but didn't have the talent or was too scared to go with the ideas in my head.

Enter my new machine -  the ideas swirling in my head can now be put down and completed by the machine.  So they look great!  I can see it on the screen before it is quilted, and I feel like it actually looks great!

The week before Christmas I got a call from one of my longtime clients asking if I would be willing to do a couple of quilts for her friend.  One of which was a custom quilt.  I said yes to one and no to the other.  I hadn't had enough practice doing custom on this machine.  So little time before Christmas, I can't guarantee I can get it done.

A few days later she brought this quilt to my door....

I started with her first one, and did an all over edge to edge. When it was time to get going on this quilt I was nervous.  But once I got started I fell in love.  I love the fabrics she chose, I love this pattern, and I loved every minute of decided what to do in the blocks.  It was like each block was a its little own quilt.

Big double cross hatch in the grey and white polka dot and put a little snowflake in the tea cup.  I echoed the car and textured the ground a little below it.

I used a line fill around this snowman, freehanded the small squares and threw in some snowflakes and stars in the bigger blocks.

These 3 snowman were fun - outlines them, snowflaked one of them with a little crosshatch thrown in on the top.  (I could never make my lines that straight when doing them by hand, even with a ruler!)

The house was outlined and swirls through the block.

Crosshatch on the side border and som stippling around the blocks.  Outlined and echoed in the snowman.

This block was fun to do - the cake stand looked so cute!  I did baby loops in the background.

This house was fun with some swirls, crosshatch for the roof and lines on the door.  I thew in a few stars on the snowman to make him a little whimsical.

A close up of the feather border and corner squares.  I did a snowflake at each corner.  I also tried an orange peel border on this block and love how it turned out!

This quilt was so much fun to do.  A lot of time - and I need to get better at estimating time and cost.... she got a great deal - but it was such a fun learning experience for me.  I've never appliqu├ęd before, but if I take it up, this quilt will be on my list!

This quilt was a fun challenge and I can't wait to do another one soon!  I have a small fall one, that I may have to pull out next to give this a try again.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

The house is clean, quilts are all done and delivered, the boys are finally asleep - I love the nervous anxiety Jake is feeling.  It took him forever to fall asleep - and he is planning on waking up at the crack of dawn!  I can hear Sam's little voice now saying "I wonder what it could be" over and over again as we open up gifts.  When its something he has been asking for he'll say "this is just what I wanted - ohhhh thank you so much."  I should record it and post it here so you all can hear his cute little voice.

I have a feeling this year is going to be a blast with my two guys.  They are so excited for Santa to come.  Tomorrow morning should be a fun time in our household.

I am excited for some downtime and getting caught up on some missed sleep in the coming days.  I hope you all have a wonderful holiday!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

WIP Wednesday - Baseball Scraps

Earlier this year I made a couple of turning twenty baseball quilts - seen here and here - in an attempt to clear out my scraps I used the last few pieces to make this baby quilt. 
I love the fun baseball prints and plaids thrown in. 

I even used scraps I had for the back - 3 big pieces.  and bound the quilt in a chambray color for the binding.  The great all American quilt!  I finally got it bound on my business trip a few weeks ago.

I've also been quilting for a few new clients.  This quilt was civil war prints.  Her friend she is gifting it to loves to sew, so she picked the spools of thread pattern.

She had a minky back
Isn't this a fun pattern? 

I'm currently working on a custom quilt and I'm really enjoying the process.  I'll be back soon with some pictures to share.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Can't Sleep

There hasn't been much sleep going on for me this week.  Tonight I had a little friend who decided sleep wasn't for him either....

After an hour or two of trying to get him back to sleep, I decided I needed to get downstairs to finish a quilt so he wanted to come.  "Mom, I'm a weally good helper" he told me as we came downstairs.  He then found his toys and played with them.  I love listening to him have his little toys talk to each other.  Isn't their imagination fun at this age?  He then had to call Grama to see if she knew where Woody's hat was.  I didn't hear her end of the conversation on the phone, but he hung up to tell me they will go on a mission in the morning to find his hat.  After an hour or so of "helping" and playing he decided he was tired and headed upstairs. 

I have no idea why this little guy thinks he doesn't need sleep.  I on the other hand have PLENTY of reasons I am not sleeping..... quilts, Christmas, work, Pinterest, blogging, sewing, more quilting, thoughts of cleaning and workouts (yes I considered jumping on the treadmill last night at about 1am), and maybe the Red Bull - do you think that is my problem too much Red Bull these days? 

Whatever it is - I'm learning to function on about 4 hours of sleep a night.  Just like Martha Stewart - maybe I'll become as successful as her if I keep this up!  I wonder if she wants to take a nap around 3pm each afternoon like I do....

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

WIP Wednesdays -

This quilt has been one of my all time favorite patterns from the Moda Bake Shop.  The pattern is great, the fabric selection was great, it was fun to sew - recipe for a perfect quilt.

I completed the top of this quilt at our first girls Weekend Getaway .  My sister had called this quilt hers, but I had never gotten around to quilting it.  I decided this would be such a fun quilt to have in my home, I took it back.  This line is just too cute, and sadly I only bought fabric to make this one quilt.  (that is so unlike me!)  So I'm keeping it for myself.

I love the star blocks (I'm a sucker for stars) and love the scrappy squares.

I thought Glacee would make a perfect quilt pattern and put this on my list of quilts to get done this year.

The backing fabric I love - almost as much as the top.  

Have yourself a merry little Christmas in black.

Joy Hope and Peace written in big red letters.

And now the snowflakes can be seen so easily on the back of the fabric.  I love how this quilt turned out!  I've got the binding on it (the black polka dot) and hope to have it completed this week.  I love this quilt and I'm so glad I decided to keep it for myself!

Linking up to WIP Wednesdays!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Blush - I Remember it Well

It was February 2010.  I had just given birth to my second son, and life as I knew it was over.  At my 6 week appointment the dr asked me if I was depressed.  I replied "is it depression or just realization that your life will never be the same?  And somehow I have to get use to this new life and just move forward?"

After I had Sam I was a little more emotional then I had been with Jake (and overall I'm not an overly emotional person).  I was worried about how Jake would adapt to this new little guy.  I was worried about how I was going to feel about a new little guy and there was no sleep going on in our house. I had had a c-section and wasn't recovering as quickly as I did with Jake.  It was not the most fun month of our lives.

I hadn't been in my sewing room in ages and was feeling like life was never going to give me any "me time again".  But there was light at the end of this dark tunnel.  There was  sales going on.  Fabric was 40 - 70% off in some cases.  Could this really be the answer to all my prayers?

After telling Mike this would lift my spirits he sent me off to the store - and I found Blush - and it was love.  It was different from my normal tones.  It had pinks, and maroons, and aqua.  I bought some - 40% off and all.  The next day - it was discounted to 70% off - so I bought some more.  Life was starting to look up.  I was sewing again.  Finishing quilts.

This is what I created way back 3 years ago.....This fabric may have saved my sanity.

Three years later - this is the first quilt we threw on the Gammill.  It was late and Mike wanted to see a completed quilt, so we picked a stipple, and then he made it BIG!

I finally got around to binding this baby on my business trip a few weeks ago.  The line is Blush by Basic Grey for Moda and the pattern is a Crazy Old Ladies - Stack of Three.  This is a fun quick pattern.  Just takes a layer cake and some border fabric.  Great pattern if you need to get a quilt done quickly and doesn't break the banks.

The brown floral leaf print was my favorite.  Has some words in the background and is modern and fun.  I think I have a half dozen charm packs hidden away somewhere.

I'm glad nearly 3 years later I have this quilt totally completed!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Menu Mondays

I have been HORRIBLE at cooking recently.  But I've got food in the house, and no big plans this week, so I'm going to get back on my efforts of some home cooked meals.

Monday - Chicken Pesto w/ sweet potatoes
Tuesday - Chicken and Rice Casserole
Wednesday - Creamy Garlic Pasta  w/cesar salad
Thursday - Enchilada Casserole
Friday - Leftovers from the week
Saturday - Girls night out and I'm making this YUMMY pesto chicken salad with pomegranates.  It is so good and I can't wait to share the recipe with you all!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

A Perfect Pair

Sadly - I don't even remember when I made this quilt.  I have no memory of sewing it.  I remember seeing my friend Sue's completed quilt and knew I had to make one for myself, but other then that its all a big blur.  I do think it was made pre children era of my life (also a big blur).

The line is Maison De Noel by 3 Sisters and one of my all time favorite lines.  ALL TIME.  I can't get enough of this line and still have a bin full that I'm unwilling to part with.  The pattern used was 5 and Dime by All Washed Up.  This is quick and easy quilt to whip up.  I use it when there are focal fabrics I can't bare to cut up.  

I have heard about this quilt pattern Denali by Ann Bright and have been wanting to get it and try it out.  This was the perfect pair.  I love the big swirls in this pattern.  It worked perfectly with the leafy and paisley fabrics in the quilt.  I used a King Tut variegated redish thread which turned out well.  I'm sometimes weary of using darker threads, but like how this turned out.  

Here is a closer view of the design.  

I am loving my quilting machine - and have never had so many quilts to bind in all my life!  I currently have 4 with the bindings on, waiting for me to hand sewn down, and about 5 more to get bindings on!  Less than a month ago I had a closet full of quilts to be completed, now I'm down to about 3 or 4 only.  So fun to get them all completed!  

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Baby Zig Zag

On my trip last week I spent the plane ride watching the 5 Year Engagement while binding this. 

It was a very nice break from work, and kids, and was a nice relaxing 3 hour plane ride.  What I love about this quilt is I can't decide which way I like it more - vertically or horizontal. 

I used the Riley Blake orange on orange chevron fabric for the binding and love how it pulled it all together.  The bright colors make me smile!  I wanted to try this method to get a zig zag vs the half square triangle method I did on my past zig zag attempts - and suprisingly enough I like the half square triangle version better. 

I'm sure there will be more zig zags in my future.  I can't get enough of this look!  I'm so happy to be adding a few quilts to my Completed 2012 list before the end of the year.  Goal is to get all the quilted ones bound so I can share them all before the end of the year.  Wish me luck!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

WIP Wednesday

Do you feel like the weeks are flying by lately?  I have all these big plans and have lists of things to get done - and a week goes by and I haven't quilted or sewn. 

I had to travel for business last week - and then came home to 2 full days of Statler classes.  I learned so much and was so excited to come home and practice.... instead I spent some quality time with the kids and we even had a little weekend getaway.  Celebrated Sam's birthday - twice - and now almost 2 weeks later I'm finally down here quilting again! 

My goals were to get a quilt quilted (I'm quilting snowflakes and can't wait to show you all!) and get a couple of bindings on some quilts.  On my trip I got 3 quilts bound!  YEAAAA finished quilts!  Just got to take some pictures. 

But - I did want to share the last few quilts I quilted before leaving on my trip.  I am LOVING this pattern.  It is called Spiral Squares and is a great pattern especially for the men in your life.  This was such a fun quilt and fabrics!

This other one was a sweet little baby quilt and the quilt pattern fit the fabric perfectly.  I love how the quilting looks on the minky back.

I'm having fun with this machine and each quilt is teaching me something new. 

If you have some last minute Christmas quilts and your quilter is full - please remember I am offering all my edge to edge patterns for $.01 an inch and currently have a 72 hour turn around time.  So get your quilts in now before the time increases!

Linking up to WIP Wednesdays!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Happy Birthday Sam

This little guys has me wrapped around his finger.  He is my heart and soul.  He is wild and crazy and always on the go. 

He is happy and playful.  Likes to tease people and thinks he's funny.

He loves to cuddle - and every night has to have a arm under his head and the other over his body - so we are in full spoon mode as he goes to sleep each night. 

He is stubborn and sometimes difficult.  It is his way or now way - and there is no talking him about of that.  (I'm sure one day I will be glad he holds this trait)

Sammy was born with a big personality.  He is passionate about everything he does.  He is funny and animated.  He loves to play, and loves to have people around him.  He is smart and determined.  He loves to play with Jake and I love to hear Jake make him laugh.  He wants to do everything Jake does, and he wants to do everything "by myself". 

Happy Birthday Sam!  I can't wait to see what year 3 has in store for you!  Love you buddy.