Thursday, February 28, 2013

Snow Day

Yesterday the kids and I had a snow day.  The snow fell all day and I went to bed last night with 8 inches of fresh snow on the ground and a renewed appreciation for the joy that is a snow day...

10 Blissful Things About a Snow Day

10.  The Christmas morning expressions on the kids faces when they learn that school has been canceled.

9.  Lingering over that first cup of coffee.  

8.  Snowflakes falling among birch trees.

Our yard at 6:30 this morning
7.  Dinner bubbling away in the crock pot (Mexican steak and beans -- the recipe I used is from the BHG's Biggest Book of Slow Cooker Recipes, but I found the same exact recipe on-line).

6.  Listening to the kids laughing and Casey barking while they play outside.

5.  No homework.

4.  Warm, freshly baked oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.  Yummy!, (but I would reduce the flour to 1 1/4 cups next time).

3.  Watching my youngest make a snowman for me.

2.  Staying in pajamas until 4:00 pm.

1.  Spending the entire day in my sewing room.  Bliss...

Ahhh, New Hampshire...

Friday, February 8, 2013

Valentine's Day Pattern

I'm home with the three kids and Casey waiting for Nemo to arrive.  With an almost certain power loss in my future, I thought this would be an opportune time to share a pattern for my Valentine's Day doorknob quilt.  What is a doorknob quilt?  Why, it's a little quilt that you hang on a doorknob!  A brilliant idea that I devised because I firmly believe that you can never, ever have enough quilts out.

Here's what it looks like:

Isn't it cute!  I used scraps of fabric from my stash for the quilt and some beads and wire for the hanger.

But it's not just a little quilt.  I added a pocket to the back to hold valentines and other goodies.  I'm thinking of making one for each of the kids for their bedroom doors.  And after the kids empty out their loot, I've got decorations ready-made for next year!

Here's what you'll need:

Pink fabric: 

4 - 2 1/4" x 2 1/4" squares
6 - 1 3/4" x 1 3/4" squares
1 - 7" x 7" square for backing
1 - 5 1/2" x 8" rectangle for pocket
enough for binding (I used two 2 1/4" x 18" strips sewn together)

Cream fabric:

4 - 2 1/4" x 2 1/4" squares
2 - 1 3/4" x 1 3/4" squares

You'll also need a 7" x 7" square of batting, a scrap of interfacing, a 10" - 11" length of floral wire, beads and two buttons.

Here's the pattern:

To make the pink/cream half square triangles, place a cream 2 1/4" square on a pink 2 1/4" square with right sides together and edges lined up.  Draw a diagonal line from corner to corner on the wrong side of the cream square.  Stitch a scant 1/4" on either side of diagonal line.  Press seams.  Cut on diagonal line and press open towards pink side.  Trim half square triangle to 1 3/4" x 1 3/4".  Makes 2 half square triangles.  Repeat for remaining 3 sets of 2 1/4" squares.

Referring to the photo, lay out the 8 half square triangle units, 6 pink 1 3/4" squares and 2 cream 1 3/4" squares in a heart shape.  Join together half square triangles and squares to form rows.  Join together rows.  Press.  The heart top should measure 5 1/2" x 5 1/2".

At this point I made a mini quilt sandwich by laying the 7" x 7" backing square right side down on my table and taping it down with masking tape.  I layered the 7" x 7" square of batting on top of the backing (also taping it down) and finished by smoothing the heart top over the batting and pinning through all three layers.

I machine quilted (using my walking foot) in the ditch around the heart with cream thread and a slightly lengthened stitch.  I also stitched around the edge of the heart top to hold the layers together.  After removing the pins, I trimmed the quilt to 5 1/2" x 5 1/2".

For the pocket, I took the 5 1/2" x 8" rectangle of fabric, folded it in half to measure 5 1/2" x 4" and pressed the fold.  I slipped a 1" x 5 1/2" strip of interfacing in between the layers near the fold and sewed a decorative stitch 1/4" from the fold.  Then I placed the folded unit on the back of the quilt lining up the raw edges at the bottom and sides of the quilt.  I pinned it in place and sewed the binding on the quilt.

For the beaded hanger, I strung beads on the length of floral wire and wrapped the ends of the wire around two buttons that I sewed to the top two corners on the back of the quilt.  And that's it!  Easy, sweet, and fun!

Now I'm off to bake some chocolate chip cookies while I can still use my oven!  Have a great weekend!