Monday, December 22, 2008

Finally, I'm DONE!!!

My mother-in-law Marie is a very nice woman. But she's not the easiest person to buy for. She has EVERYTHING (I'm sure we all know someone like this). Every year since Ken and I have been married I've made her a small gift for Christmas. The first year I made her a quilted wall hanging of the Nativity. Last year I crocheted her an afghan. In January of this year, I decided to make her a counted cross stitch of a Thomas Kinkade painting because she loves his stuff. I used to do cross stitch a lot when I was younger. Well, I found out I don't really like to do it that much any more. After about 2 hours of working on it, I couldn't bring myself to make another stitch. Hmm. Then we got really busy with the baby and before I knew it, it was autumn. I had no clue what to make her. I was making quilted table runners for my sister gifts so I thought I'd make one for Marie. I did. Nope. I didn't like how it turned out. Then I got busy making stuff for swaps and getting ready for the holidays. And then it hit me. It was December and I still didn't have a gift for Marie! Eeek! I thought I could probably get away with not making her anything because of Madelyn and no one else makes her stuff. But that wouldn't be right! I found some really pretty patterns of scarves on ravelry so I thought I'd make one for her. But again, I didn't like it. I tried 3 different patterns only to rip them out and start again. I decided to pull out the table runner and work on it. I ended up appliqueing trees in the center square. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. Whew! And I only have 2 days to spare!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmasy Secret Pal Loot

Just when I was bogged down with everything I still need to do for Christmas, I got a second package from my secret pal the other day. It came at a perfect time, reminding me that I need to take a break and breathe! It was in just a tiny box, but there sure was a lot crammed in there!
I love this pretty purple yarn. It has a sparkly multi-colored yarn mixed in. I have two whole skeins of it! Now I'll have to spend even more time on ravelry looking for patterns to use with it! (Like I need an excuse to be on ravelry!! :o) ) The little album is made out of cd's! It's very cute and it will be perfect to remember Madelyn's first Christmas! The chocolates are very yummy and already are gone. Thanks secret pal!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Secret Pal 13 Question 2

Part A:
Are you doing any holiday knitting?
Yes, I have done a lot of knitting actually. Most of it was for various swaps that I was in, but there were a few gifts for my mom and others :o).

Part B:
Have you finished?
I was all done...and then I decided to start knitting a scarf for my mother-in-law TODAY! I only have 1 week to complete it, plus finish up all the other Christmas stuff (wrapping presents, baking cookies, etc.), plus take care of Madelyn. What am I thinking? It's a really pretty pattern that I found here, but I'm not that good with lace and I can't read charts, so I had to print the word pattern in different colors for each row because I kept mixing the rows together. Ugh! I only had to frog it 3 times now, and I think I might have figured it out enough to actually knit it! I don't think I'll have it done in time for Christmas...I guess time will tell..........

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Tis the Season

I finally got my house completely decorated for Christmas...well, almost completely. We're having a few friends over Saturday night for a party so I thought I better get cracking on some decorating and baking. Here's one batch of cookies that were good enough to win a cookie bake off. I won a beautiful cookie jar and a cookie plate. They're called chocolate peppermint cookies and I found the recipe here. They remind me a lot of thin mint girl scout cookies, only maybe better because they have peppermint crunchies on the top!

I still have one more batch of cookies to make today but they can wait until my hubby gets home from work. Madelyn needs some mommy time.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Secret Pal Loot and Question of the Week

I'm sorry that this post is so late, secret pal. I've been super busy with finishing up my Christmas presents.

I received a package from my secret pal last week. I was soooo excited! In it were 3 bars of goats milk soap from Hidden Haven Homestead. I've never tried goats milk soap but I've always wanted to. It suds up really well and I love the scents my secret pal picked out. Thanks, Secret Pal!
Here's my answer to the first question of the week:
What are you most thankful for?
I have soooo much to be thankful for that I don't even know where to begin! I'm thankful for my husband Ken and our beautiful daughter Madelyn. I'm thankful that I'm fortunate enough to be able to be a stay-at-home mom. I'm thankful for every day that I wake up. I'm also thankful to be able to do what I love...making tons and tons of crafty things!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Butterfly Hat and Handwarmers

I have been patiently waiting to do this post. I sent out my back tack package last week and my partner Emily received her package. Now I can finally write about a few of the items that I made her. I knit her this hat:
I know, I know, you really can't see the butterfly stitch in this picture, or any picture for that matter. The yarn I used made it difficult to photograph. But believe me, you can definitely see the butterfly stitch in person. I found the pattern here on ravelry. I tried to find a pattern for matching hand warmers using the same stitch. I couldn't find them anywhere! So, I had to come up with my own pattern. Here it is. It knits up really fast and the whole set only took 1 ball of yarn.

Butterfly Hand Warmers

1 skein of Patons Classic Wool Merino, dark gray mix colorway

size US 5 needles and size US 7 needles

yif = yarn in front
yib = yarn in back
s = slip (when slipping stitches, make sure to spread them out, so that your floats are even and don’t bunch up)
make butterfly = With your right needle pick up the 4 floats by inserting the needle under the floats from the bottom up, then insert the right needle into the next stitch on the left needle. Knit the stitch and the 4 floats together.

Cast on 40 stitches onto smaller needle. Work 2x2 rib (k2, p2) for 4 rows. Switch to larger sized needles. Knit in stockinette stitch for 2 inches, ending with wrong side row.

Rows 1, 3, 5, 7: [k5, yif, s5, yib] repeat to end.

Rows 2 (and all even rows for pattern sequence): purl.

Row 9: [k7, make butterfly, k2] repeat to end.

Rows 11, 13, 15, 17: [yif, s5, yib, k5] repeat to end.

Row 19: [k2, make butterfly, k7] repeat to end.

Repeat this sequence once more.

Work 2 rows of stockinette stitch (knit 1 row, purl 1 row). Switch to smaller sized needles. Work 2x2 rib (k2, p2) for 4 rows. Cast off, leaving a 8 inch tail. You will use this tail to sew up the sides. Put right sides together and sew about 2 inches down (this will be the top of the warmer). Leave about a 2-3 inch hole for your thumb. You can adjust the size of the hole to fit you. Sew up the rest of the warmer. Taa daa! All done! Now all you have to do is make another one and you are finished!

I hope you like this pattern. Let me know if I left anything out or if anything doesn't make sense. This is the first pattern that I made so I hope it works out well for you!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Gobble Gobble!

Have I mentioned how much I love Ravelry? Well, I do! I was killing time looking at the free patterns and I found this one for a turkey hat. Yep, that's right. A turkey hat! I thought it was too funny and that Madelyn needed it for her first thanksgiving. I started making it Saturday and I finished it this morning. It knitted up very quickly. I used some acrylic yarn that I had in my stash. I know, I know, acrylic yarn isn't my favorite either, but it was free so I used it. Here's how it turned out:

It's a little too big for her. Luckily, it fits me...but I'm still not going to post a picture of me in it! :o)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Baroness Beret

I have a confession to make. I have yet another addiction. I am now addicted to Ravelry. I signed up with the website a few weeks ago and I haven't looked back. There are sooooo many cool patterns and people on there! If you knit or crochet, I highly recommend checking out this website. I found this pattern for the baroness beret from I'm making it for my mother for Christmas. I am also making a few other items at the moment but the people that they are for use the computer and my mother does not. I feel safe to post my progress on her hat. Here it is so far:

I am using Bernat Alpaca Natural Blends yarn in the color sky. It's very nice to work with. This pattern calls for a tubular cast on method which I have never done before. Luckily, I found a tutorial here that really made it easy to master. I can't wait to see how it turns out!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Brittany Jumper

I love, love, love baby clothes, especially baby girl clothes (go figure, huh?). As soon as we found out that we were going to have a daughter, I went a little crazy buying knitting patterns. I bought Minnow Knits Too by Jill Eaton because my local yarn store had a sample of a jumper hanging up. I knew that I just had to make it for my daughter to wear for Christmas. I worked on it for a while, but of course I got sidetracked with other projects. Then about a week ago I realized that Christmas is coming up and if I wanted Madelyn to wear that jumper I better get back to work on it! Nothing like a little time crunch to get yourself into gear. Here it is so far:

I just need to finish up the back bodice and buy some buttons. I bet that if I got off of the computer I could probaby get the knitting done today. Hmm...

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Secret Pal 13 Questionnaire

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I love angora/mohair kinds of yarns. I'm pretty inexperienced with non-acrylic yarns (gasp!!) so I'm sure my secret pal would know better than I would about good yarns that are available. Help me learn about them!

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
Nothing. Yep. I'm probably the most unorganized person alive. I would love to change that. I never know what needles I have. I already have a crochet hook keeper that I actually use so I'd love one for my knitting needles.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
My cousin taught me how to crochet when I was 12 and I'm very advanced in crochet. Knitting is a different story. I taught myself how to knit about 4 years ago and I can pretty much figure most things out. I'd say I'm at the intermediate level in knitting.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
Yes, I have a wish list on Amazon.

5. What's your favorite scent?
I don't like the cookies, vanilla, baked-good scent candles. I like apple, cinnamon, and floral scents.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
I have a MAJOR sweet tooth. I love chocolate and caramel. I don't like any kind of nuts or peanut butter. My favorite candies are mallo cups, cadbury eggs, basically any kind of milk chocolate that doesn't have nuts or peanut butter.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
I do not spin. But I basically do any other kind of crafts. I sew, quilt, paint, and cross stitch. Lately I've been into quilting, knitting, and crochet. I also LOVE to bake.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
I like country and rock. My computer can play mp3s.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?
I like reds, pink, brown, and purple. There really isn't any color that I don't like. My winter coat is red.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I am married and have an infant daughter. We have no pets.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
I love scarves, hats, and mittens. I'm not really into ponchos.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
Lately I've been into knitting hats. But I also like to knit stuff for my daughter.

13. What are you knitting right now?
I'm making my mother a hat for Christmas.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
I love it. My 4 sisters and I exchange handmade gifts every year. They always end up being my favorite gifts that I get because I know how much work was put into them.

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
I prefer any and all needles. I don't have many needles and I'd love to add to them.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
I don't even know what those are.

17. How old is your oldest UFO?
I started a quilt top about 4 years ago that I still need to put together.

18. What is your favorite holiday? What winter holiday do you observe?
Christmas by far!

19. Is there anything that you collect?
I used to collect bumblebees but not really any more.

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
I don't have any magazine subscriptions. As for the books, yarns, etc, yes! Everything! I'm very easy to please. I like quick projects because I don't have a very good attention span.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
Right now I'm teaching myself how to make lace. So far, so good.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
I've knit myself one pair of socks. I would rather knit something else. It took too long for me! I wear size 10 shoes.

23. When is your birthday?
April 18

24. Are you on Ravelry? If so, what's your ID?
Yes! I just signed up last week! My ID is patchwrkbumblebee.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

new inspiration...

I love finding new crafty blogs. I just found another one that you should check out. Koala brains has lots of cool ideas.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

ribbon tag ball tutorial

Okay guys. I've read a lot of tutorials...apparently enough to make me think that I can now write my own. We'll see. I've had this idea of making a ribbon tag ball floating around in my head for awhile now. My daughter loves her tag blanket and loves squishy balls so I thought I'd combine the two and see how it turns out. I think it came out pretty well but we'll have to wait and see what Madelyn thinks of it because she's napping now...shhhh.....

Ribbon Tag Ball Tutorial

Use this pattern to cut out 6 pieces of fabric (I used 2 different fabrics - 3 of each).
Cut your ribbons into 3 inch pieces. I used 3 different kinds of ribbons so I could have 3 loops on each side. You could put more on if you wanted to.

Fold your ribbons in half and pin in place.
Sew the ribbons in place. Make sure you stitch inside the 1/4 inch seam allowance so it won't show through.
Lay another cutout piece of fabric on top of the piece that you just stitched the ribbons onto, keeping right sides together.

Stitch down the side that the ribbons are sewn:

It should look like this:

Repeat this for the other 4 pieces of fabric. You should now have three parts that look like this:

Now you begin to sew these pieces to each other, making sure that your corners line up. Here's four pieces:

And here's all six pieces sewn together:

Make sure you leave an opening so you can turn your ball right side out. Now it's time to stuff with fiberfill. I also added some jinglebells.

Sew up the opening by hand and you're all done. Taa daa!


I really need to quit looking at these craft blogs! I have waaaaaaaaay too many unfinished pitiful projects that need my attention. But then I found this scarf pattern. I think I'll be heading to my local yarn shop very soon to pick up the supplies. Sorry, sad little unfinished craft projects. It looks like you'll have to wait yet another day before I finish you.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

maybe I'm a little crazy...

...but I've joined a few swaps. Okay, more than a few. I've joined 4. Yep. And they are all pretty much going on at the same time. The first one I joined is:My partner is Emily. This should be pretty interesting because we are pretty different in the crafty stuff we like to do. I think it will be fun to see what we come up with. I'm almost done with making stuff for this swap.

Since that swap was going smoothly, I decided to join Secret Pal 13. This is a swap that I'm very excited about. I love secret pals! We did something similar to this in a hospital that I worked at a while ago. When I got my office job I was really hoping that we would do secret pals but we didn't. I was very disappointed. Oh well. At least now I can do one! Yay!

Then one night I found this swap. I've been trying to figure out what kind of cookies to make this year since my husband's family decided to have a cookie bake-off. I thought that this swap would be fun to see what kind of recipes other people really like.

Today I signed up for the last swap. It's:
I found this swap through homemade by jill. I'm kind of a Christmas decorating freak and I love getting new ornaments for the tree. I have a pretty good idea of what I'll make.

Whew! I have lots of crafting to get done now...not to mention the homemade sister gifts that my four sisters and I exchange every year. I better go get started........

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


When we found out we were having a baby, the only girl name we could agree upon was Amanda. I had always had my heart set on the name Madelyn, but Ken didn't really like it. I needed something to occupy my mind while we waited for the baby so bought this book and I decided to knit this panda, thinking it would be cute for our daughter Amanda. It knitted up pretty quickly and I was pretty proud of myself for actually finishing a project before starting another one (as I always seem to do!). The joke was on me because when we first saw our daughter she didn't look like an Amanda at all...she looked like a Madelyn. Even Ken thought so. Oh well. At least I finished a project!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

taa daa!

I'll admit it. I'm an amateur seamstress at best. I can do just about any kind of craft but when it comes to following a sewing pattern, I usually end up covered in threads and leaving the room with a pounding headache. But Joann's was having a sale last week and their McCall's patterns were only 99 cents. I decided to check out what they had. I found this pattern, and since Joann's was also having a big sale on their polar fleece, I decided to suffer through it in the hopes I'd come out alive. Not only did I come out alive, but Madelyn now has a way too cute winter hat! It's a little big yet but that means she should be able to wear it for awhile, and since we live in Michigan, she might need it until May. Pretty cute, huh?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Mini Pincushion

I am beginning to need more and more pincushions. It must be because of all the little sewing projects I have lying around. I found this cute idea while shopping in a little town near where I grew up. Instead of taking the easy route and just buying one, I took the harder route and came home and tried to make one. Luckily for me, it looks like it turned out pretty well. Since it uses a golf tee, it fits perfectly into a spool of thread. I think I need to make some more!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Candy Corn dress

I joined the candy corn contest a little while ago and I was inspired by one of the entries by ella bella baby. She made the most adorable candy corn dress and I just knew that Madelyn needed one too! Here is my attempt:

I think Madelyn makes a fantastic model! :o)

Monday, October 13, 2008

ribbon tag blanket

Even though my daughter Madelyn is still young (she just turned 3 months last Friday), she knows a good craft project when she sees one. Case in point: the ribbon tag blanket. She just LOVES this thing! I made it after seeing similar ones in the stores. I made it using minky-like fabric that I got at Joann's. I made a triangle patch using 3 different kinds of fabric...a white striped fabric for two of the triangles, a pink fabric with a star design for one triangle, and a pink fabric with a raised heart design for the other triangle. I found 3 different ribbons that were sold by the spool...I know I could have used a bigger variety there. Believe me, I wanted to. But I had little Madelyn with me when I was buying the supplies and she was getting fussy so I just got the three ribbons. It still turned out pretty cute. I backed it with a pink and white striped minky fabric. I also used a low loft batting, but I don't think it really needed it. It is the perfect size for her carseat. I have to be sure to tuck it in whenever we leave the house.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Pumpkin Squares

I love to bake. A few years ago, I found a recipe for pumpkin squares and I made them probably twice a week for all of my college roommates. Everyone loved them. But then I moved a few times and, of course, a few things got misplaced, including my recipe for pumpkin squares. Last week during one of Madelyn's naps I was searching online for another pumpkin square recipe. Luckily I was able to find one that was pretty much the same one that I used to use. I made them yesterday and my whole house filled with a yummy scent. When my husband Ken came home from work he made a beeline for the kitchen. Needless to say, he gobbled one up. Did I get a kiss hello first? No way! But that's okay. Here's the recipe:

Pumpkin Squares


1 (2 layer) yellow cake mix

1/2 cup butter (at room temperature)

1 egg lightly beaten


1 can (29 oz.) pumpkin

3 eggs

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2/3 cup evaporated milk

1/2 teaspoon ginger, ground

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon cinnamon


1 cup reserved cake mix

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup butter (at room temperature)

1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional...I didn't use it as I don't like anything nutty...I'm nutty enough!)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease and flour 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Remove 1 cup of the cake mix and reserve for the topping. In mixer bowl beat together the remaining cake mix, butter and egg until it is evenly mixed. Press into the bottom of a greased and floured 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Combine pumpkin, eggs, both sugars, milk, ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon; pour over crust.

To make topping, combine reserved 1 cup cake mix, sugar, nuts and butter by crumbling them together with a fork. Sprinkle over pumpkin filling.

Bake in preheated 350 degrees oven for 1 hour or until set and lightly browned.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Candy Corn Contest

I love fall. I love the crisp in the air. I love the sound of leaves crunching under my feet. I love fresh apple cider and other yummy fall goodies. So it comes as no surprise that as soon as it was cool enough to wear jeans, I started thinking about decorating my house for fall. Last year was our first year in our home. I guess you can say I went a little crazy buying fall decorations for our new house. When I got out the decorations this year, I was so excited! I forgot about some items that I purchased last year on clearance. It was so much fun putting all of my little pumpkins and acorns out! But I was missing something...something fun to put on our new coffee table. Hmmmm....then I came up with a fun applique idea. I started working on my candy corn table runner right away. But I can't work on any project for too long before I get antsy to start another project. So I put my runner away to work on other stuff. Then not too long ago, Amanda Jean from crazymomquilts posted this entry about a candy corn contest. Now I had no excuse to not finish my table runner. I just completed it last night. I love how it turned out!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Can you say excited???

I just got the mail and I found my order from I have been looking and looking for the Moda Daydreams charm pack and they had it! I was so excited! I was even more excited to get it in the mail! Woo hoo! I plan on making a quilted jumper for Madelyn that I found in this entry from crazymomquilts. I'll keep ya posted!

Friday, October 3, 2008


I haven't blogged this week because I have been working on a candy corn table runner that I actually started a month ago. I really wasn't working all that hard on it because I've been busy with Madelyn and other boring household stuff. But then I stumbled across a contest mentioned here. They are having a contest for all candy corn related items! Woo hoo! Now I have to get in gear and finish the table runner before the October 31 deadline. I should probably go work on that now while Madelyn is sleeping! I'll post pictures of it once it's all done......

Monday, September 29, 2008

family traditions

Ken's grandmother was very crafty. She made lots and lots of things...she crocheted and quilted the most though. I was able to meet her the day we got engaged. She was a very sweet lady. She was very excited to hear that I like to crochet and quilt. No one else in the family really does that. We talked about the stuff we were working on and our favorite projects. You could tell she really enjoyed making things. Her face lit up when she was able to describe her projects. Sadly, she died a few weeks later. I was very happy to get the chance to meet her.

When we were visiting Ken's parents after we found out that we were going to have a baby, Ken's mother went into the spare room and came back with this quilt. She said that Grandma made it for the next baby in the family. She got a little teary-eyed when she handed it to us. It wasn't finished...the quilt top, batting, and backing were pinned together. I quilted it and put the binding on. Now Madelyn has a very special quilt. Every time I look at it I think of her and all of the beautiful things she must have made throughout her life. I feel very lucky to have this last quilt of hers. We will miss you Grandma!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

and another hat

I just couldn't help myself. I love to make hats. Madelyn, on the other hand, isn't that big of a fan. But I'm hoping I can convince her to change her mind. Who wouldn't want to wear this?

Friday, September 26, 2008

my first baby quilt!

I found this fabric online at and I fell in love with it. It's Bella Baby by Michele d'Amore for Marcus Brothers fabrics. I wasn't thinking when I bought the fabric...I only got 1/4 yard each of 4 prints and 1/2 yard of the brown dot! I didn't know what to do with it so I just decided to make a simple patchwork quilt. It was very only took me an afternoon (but that includes taking care of little Madelyn!). I still have to hand quilt it and put the binding on...but at least I got the quilt top done! I'm pretty happy with the results. Here's the close-up of the fabrics....I just love them!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


When we found out we were having a baby and only had 7 weeks to prepare, we were lucky enough to have family give us lots of baby essentials. One of the things we got was a boppy pillow, complete with its own travel bag. I was excited to have one since I've heard great things about them. The only problem was that I didn't really like the fabric it was made out had giant letters all over it with creepy little kids. Eeew. I looked all over for a cover and I didn't like any of the ones that I found, especially when I saw the price of them...who wants to pay $20 for something that you could make for waaaaaaaaaaaay less? So I found a pattern online here. It was so easy! I had some fabric that coordinated with Madelyn's room (I love bumblebees!). Of course I had to embellish it too. :o) Here is the finished project. I like it so much more now!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

here we go...

So I found this website while I was searching for free baby craft patterns and I stumbled upon the blog "homemade by jill" and I instantly became addicted! I followed her burp cloth pattern and made 4 of them for my newly adopted daughter Madelyn. :o) I am now making about 3 different craft projects for her because I found some really cute patterns, but also because I can't seem to finish one project before starting another one. Here is a picture of my favorite thing I've made so far...a bunny hat. Pretty cute, huh? I found the pattern here. It was very easy and quick to knit up. It calls for 25 gram ball of angora, but I only used a teeny bit of it. I guess that just means that I can make more of these hats for my friends' babies!