#EatatHomeChallenge

About a month ago, I decided that our family eats out too much.  We would eat out at least twice a week and sometimes more depending on how stressed out I was.  If you don’t know, I work full time and then I run a business at night, on top of “maintaining” a house, kids, and being a wife.  So yes, it gets pretty damn stressful and cooking dinner was one of the last things I wanted to do every day.  Seriously!

On August 24th, I threw this out on my facebook:

Realization

I wanted accountability – posting it publically to my FB friends would help motivate me to stay on track.  After I posted it, I told the hubby and kids we’re doing this!  They were reluctant at first . . . and kind of annoyed about the whole thing.  Add this to another one of mom’s crazy ideas but at least they humored me and said they would try.

We planned our meals for one week.  Tuesday and Thursday were leftover night, meaning everyone feds for themselves and the rule was anything in the fridge can be eaten.  That also gave me a break from cooking.

Monday | Wednesday | Friday I would make easy recipes because typically I work 10 hour days so I didn’t want to set myself up for failure.  Meals that take 1hr or less to prep and make were on the menu.  Time yourself!  Next time you’re thinking, “Hey we’re going to go out to eat” watch the clock – how long does it take you to load the family into the car, get to the place, order, and get your grub.  Most of the time it took us 30mins from beginning to end to get to the place and then get our grub, unless it was a sit down kind of joint, then it would take us longer.  There are plenty of meals and recipes out there that would take you 30mins or less to make.

week1

I started posting pictures of my meals on Instagram more because again accountability! On the weekends, I would make more complicated meals, because I had the time!

week2

Driving around hurt big time!  Damn drive-thru!  So to combat that urge to drive through, I put snacks in the car like a small jar of cashews or almonds.  If I can munch on that while running errands then I didn’t get the urge to do pick something up.  And really, I shouldn’t be grocery shopping on an empty stomach anyway!  The 2nd week, my teenage even got into it and suggested we make Mapo Tofu.

week3reward

Going out for Gelato was great!  It was a reward and a milestone you know?  I think that if you don’t keep yourself motivate then you’ll fail.  Sure there are hiccups in the road but try not to beat yourself up too much and always be aware of hiccups compared to excuses.  If you’re going to fall back into the eating out routine then maybe you’re just not ready but once you’re ready – COMMITT!

week3

That was a crazy bonus. . . we both lost weight!  I lost like 7lbs and I can’t remember what the hubby lost.  Now remember, we’re not eating out and that means at work too.  Work is stressful and stress leads to comfort eating (based on my experience and excuse).  “Oh honey, had a shitty day – lets go grab something.” Plus since we’re packing lunches, our portions are more accurate, therefore the weight loss.

week4

Finally, week 4 is upon the family and we decided at the end we’d get sushi dinner out!  But we’re still continuing the challenge and will only eat out once a month.  We did still go get the occasionally Starbucks drinks, but we’re working on that too!  We also shop locally more . . . every weekend or other weekend, we make it a point to go to the farmers market for produce.  Overall, I think we have save $400 to $600 in the month.  That number hits you like a sock full of rocks right?!?!  Ditto.  I think overall, we’re eating healthier and saving money.

Remember when you were a kid and eating out was a rare occasion?  Well I wanted to bring that back and give my kids more than just junk food.  I hope I inspired you because if I can do it you can too.   I’m a wife and mother of 2 kids.  I work 10 hours days and depending on the week . . . I could work in the 60 -70 hr range.  I issue the challenge to you and your family.  Think about your meals for the week; take it one week at a time!  Don’t over complicate it.  Post your results in the comments!  If you’re on social media use #eatathomechallenge.  Remember at the end of the month, come together as a family and decide how to reward yourselves for all the hard work!

Title (1)

The Color Run & ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Color-Run-Logo-black-with-color

 

The Color Run is “the happiest 5k on the planet” and I loved doing it a couple years ago and thought I would participate again this year.  Actually, last year I signed up but was a lame ass and stayed out way too last the night before the race and couldn’t get up. I made sure I dressed up for the race – here’s my before and after :

But the best part was that I was #alsicebucketchallenge last night by my good buddy Rachel of Creative Quilt Girl.

I answered the challenge and I issue the challenge to:  John Q. Adams aka Quilt Dad, Elizabeth Hartman of Oh, Fransson, and Amber Carrillo Quesada of One Shabby Chick!  If you’re reading this and want to be challenged, I throw it out to you too!!!!

Lets spread awareness about  Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease.”  The neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.

Thanks Rachel for the Challenge!  Thanks to the folks at The Color Run for helping me coordinate with the Runicorn for dumping water on me!  And thanks to my running mates for filming it!

Aurifil Love – Nuff Said

Sewtopia_withtext
Sewtopia_withtext

Echino Layer Cake Swap! #JapaneseCharmSwap Round 3

It’s time for the next round of Japanese Charm swapping and this was is a little different.  I want Echino!  And since it’s a larger print, I thought a layer cake would be great for swapping.

Rules:

If you haven’t been in a charm swap before – PLEASE READ over the rules!!!

If you have been in a charm swap before – PLEASE READ over the rules!!!!

  1. There will be only 28 slots available aka openings since it’s a layer cake and not a traditional charm swap.
  2. You must be on Flickr (you don’t have to be super active, just have an account).
  3. Join the Flickr Group – it’s there that you can post your fabric selection and ensure that we won’t have doubles.
  4. Quilt shop quality fabric only.  Now I’ve arranged a great shop for you to buy at with a great discount (more info below!)
  5. Purchase 2 yard of Japanese fabric and cut them into (28) charms.  Oh Fransson! has a great tutorial on cutting charms, just remember instead of doing 5×5 you’re doing 10×10. When in doubt post to the group for confirmation.
  6. You will send 28 charms – addy will be provided in a confirmation email.
  7. Postage is $6.00 for US and $20.00 for international (this could change depending on location)
  8. US Swappers must ship by

    7.31.14

Don’t worry about shopping around – you should hit up Bunny Designs on Etsy.  She’s got a great selection of Japanese fabric and is also providing a 20% off discount code for shoppers.  She’s also has a dedicated section to Echino. Please use code: SUKIEDONTYAKNOW expires 7.23.14 at midnight.

 

BunnysDesignsLogo

Ang will ship your fabric to my house – she and the crew will even cut it into charms for you.  If you are ordering more – PLEASE separate it into 2 orders and put in the notes that Sukie’s Japanese Charm swap for the yard that needs to ship to my addy.

****The discount will not apply to “CLEARANCE” fabric**** You can purchase it for yourself but not for the swap.*****

You still have to paypal me the postage.

To sign up – please click on the live form below:

{Swap is FULL}

What Shade are You?

Today, it’s my turn on the RJR Blog hop for, “What Share Are You?”

RJR blog hop 300x250

This blog hop is all about working with RJR Cotton Supreme solids and showcasing how awesome the are to work with.   I’ve been meaning to use Carolyn Friedlander’s Shirts pattern for something special and this was it:

RJR Project

The colors I used was (all the colors can be found here:

  • Pink Orchid 331
  • Bougainvillea 333
  • Cloud 9 281
  • Bora Bora 328
  • Cove 294
  • Peridot 342
  • Golden Topaz 285
  • On the Rock 283
  • Gale Force 282

Amy Newbold B small

 

The pattern was really easy, especially if you have done foundation paper piecing.  If you haven’t Carolyn’s instructions guide you through each step!

1112-shirts-cover_front_413px

 

I made this into a mini and made sure that it could support a dowel in the back. And I’m really happy on how it turned out.  Generally, I don’t just use all solids in my projects but with RJR Cotton Supremes – I think I will more!

If you would like to see other projects that were that were made with them, please visit RJR’s Facebook page!  Also Pink Castle Fabrics has a great selection too (I hear she’s having a moving sale so hop on it!!!)  

 

If you liked my bundle – RJR Fabrics is giving away a FQS – please leave a comment with what your favorite RJR solid is – and I’ll pick a winner next Monday (US and CAN only sorry).

Amy Newbold small

 

 

Quick Quilting Tips: Making Bias Binding

Confession: I have never done straight grain binding.

quick-quilting-tricks-and-tips

What’s the difference??  There’s really two types of binding: straight on the grain or cross grain binding and bias binding.  

Straight on the grain binding and cross grain is cut along with the selvage.  It’s easier to make. Strips are pieced on the diagonal.  When you piece on the diagonal, you’ll lose almost 3 inches of each strip due to the seam and trimming off the waste.

Bias Binding is more traditional.  It’s said that it last longer. . . because there’s more thread coverage at the outside edge of the binding.  It’s stretchy for the curved quilts.

There’s pros and cons to each binding.

Today, I will show you how to making Bias Binding my way.

First, I always premake my binding.  I like just reaching in the drawer and picking one. Slapping it on the quilt and then sitting in front of the t.v hand stitching it to the quilt.

Materials:
1yds of fabric = 720 inches of binding
1/2yd of fabric = 360 inches of binding
fat quarter of fabric = 126 inches of binding
24inch ruler
Rotary cutter

Steps: Below, I made a nifty video on how I cut the binding.  Enjoy!

  1. Cut the selvages off
  2. Iron the fabric
  3. Fold into a square into a triangle
  4. Fold the right point into the center
  5. Fold the left point into the center
  6. Make sure it measures to 24inches or less
  7. Use the ruler as T-square and trim of the edge
  8. Start cutting your 2.5inch strips. . . or less whatever floats your boat.

If you’re looking for more Quick Quilting tips and great quilts to put together you should really check out Amy’s new book Fabulously Fast Quilts

FabulouslyFastQuilts_COVER

I’ve known Amy for a long time and was really excited to find out that she finally wrote a book.  She’s got traditional style with a slash of modern mix.  In general the most down to earth quilter I know.

fabulously-fast-quilts-amy-smart-002

Pattern Review: Patchwork Napkins by Mrs. Gen X Quilter

The latest pattern that Mrs. Gen X Quilter (aka Anne Marie)  released is super easy and fun to make.  The pattern is called: Patchwork Napkins.

Patchwork_Cloth_Napkins_Cover

The pattern is really easy to follow and fast to make – I busted out my two napkins in the matter of a couple hours.  I decided to use my kawaii fabric that I purchased from Bunny Designs – I didn’t fuss cut the squares because there’s tiny!  But I love how they ended up:

For the background I used essex linen and for the other side, I used a sketch fabric by Timeless Treasures.

 

Would you like to win yourself a copy of the pattern? Well Mrs. Gen X is giving one of my readers a pdf copy and Ang from Bunny Designs is also throwing in a Candy Charm set from her shop! Just go visit Mrs. Gen X quilters pattern shop and tell me which one pattern you love and leave a comment below.

il_570xN.590171352_gwxr

For a 2nd entry, visit Bunny Designs shop and tell me which Japanese fabric catches your fancy!!!

BunnysDesignsLogo

collage_of_patchwork_napkins

Patchwork Napkins Blog Hop Schedule

Mon. Apr. 28  Diane / From Blank Pages
Tues. Apr. 29  Lee / Freshly Pieced
Wed. Apr. 30  Adrianne / Little Bluebell and Amy / Sukie
Thurs. May 1  Kati / From the Blue Chair
Fri. May 2  Debbie / A Quilter’s Table

#vintagequiltrevival Wrap Up!!!

 

Vintage Quilt Revival Block Along

 

I’ve been working feverishly to finish the top and the back of the quilt and I’m really happy with it. I followed the general guidelines on finishing the top from the book:

Instead of solid corner stone blocks, I did 3.5 x 3.5 (unfinished) hour glasses using Mrs Red Pepper’s tutorial. I just made it a randon hour glass:

I sashed each block in RK Quilters Linen.

It’s at the longarm quilter and I can’t wait to see what she does with it:

Wrapping Up:

  • Week One - Tea Leaf Block pg 50 / Double Z pg 18
  • Week Two - PATTERN ERRATA!!! Classic Mosaic no.19 pg 76 / Diamond Panes pg 80
  • Week Three - Dove at the Window pg 126 /  Art Square pg 134
  • Week Four - Riveria pg 24 / Dakota Star pg 24
  • Week Five - Rolling Squares pg 30/ Red Cross pg 38
  • Week Six - Mayflower pg 44 / Crosspatch pg 56
  • Week Seven - Wheel of Fortune pg 86 / Tilted Star pg 92
  • Week Eight - PATTERN ERRATA!!! Double Windmill pg 118 / Cross and Crown pg 98
  • Week Nine - Mosaic no 8 pg 140 / Star and Pinwheel pg 62
  • Week Ten - Exploding Star pg 104 / Geometric Star pg 112

Flickr Page

Please post your pictures of blocks here and finish work.  We all love seeing everyone progress!!!

Instagram

If you’re just on instagram – please #vintagequiltrevival . The group is current over 600 pictures and growing!!!!

*********

Thanks again for following along. . . . I hope this was a challenge for you and kept you motivate to make a sampler quilt.  I want to thank the sponsors for all the wonderful bundles of fabric they’ve given out!!!  Way to keep us motivated!  Please link up your tops at the bottom!!!

*********

 


Week 10 #vintagequiltrevival Block Along

(cue the Final Countdown song) 

We are in the final week of the #vintagequiltrevival Block along!!!!

 


I’ve been working feverishly on finishing the top and the backing. I’m sending it to the quilter this week with another quilt.  Not a lot of link ups last week. . . are ya’ll okay?  Was it the lack of foundation paper piecing?  Don’t worry ~ we’re tackling that for the last week of the block along.  Also – there’s going to be a wrap up week too for everyone to post their quilt tops and hopefully y’all can see everyone’s tops.

I also redid the Dakota Star too. . . . I’ll update the blog post with my tips.

For the final week we’re working on two really great looking stars.

The first one is the Exploding Star on page 104 of the book. I know I’ve done a handful of blocks with blue and yellow but not one that’s just pink and blue. So I thought I’d make this one in those colors. I really should buy more of the center fabric, it’s by Bonnie & Camille Scrumptious Bias Stripe Cream.

The last block is the Geometric Star on page 112. Again, I choose blue and yellow. . . I don’t know what I have against pink. But I still love how this one turned out too!!!

The winner of last week’s prize is Mrs. Annacousin – she’s been doing her blocks in one of my favorite lines, Chicopee.

GIVEAWAY DETAILS!!!

Rules:

  1. Link up your block(s) (this means you have either blog about it or uploaded to the flickr group). Put your link below!
  2. You can only share once – if you’ve made both blocks, THAT’S GREAT!!!! If you have only made one block, that’s okay. The goal is to keep us motivate – this isn’t a race!
  3. A winner will be drawn on the Monday before Tuesday’s post.
  4. The winner will be rewarded with an awesome fabric bundle from the sponsor that week.
  5. The winner has a Pay It Forward prize as well!! That’s right, I want you to share the wealth if you win – meaning that you have a chance to give the book away to a friend or family member!!! Just get me the addy and I’ll ship them a book.
  6. No multiple winners – if you’ve won once then that’s that.

This week’s sponsors are: Me! That’s right. . . I’ll pull a bundle of fat quarters depending on what you need in your stash and mail it over. If you want something made like a pillow or a mini quilt I can do that too! It’s the last week. . . .I’ll see about prize pack for quilt tops and see what I can pull together for that too.

Interweave is a successful and growing enthusiast-media company based in Loveland, CO, with offices in New York, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania. Interweave delivers best-in-market content to enthusiasts when, where, and how they want.

interweave-logo


12.5″ Origami Star Tutorial

If you don’t remember, back in 2013 I was apart of the Diary of A Quilter’s Virtual Quilting Bee and did a great tutorial on a 8.5″ Origami Star Tutorial. I did mention in that post I would be posting the math for a 12.5″ block (well never did!) So here’s the math for a 12.5 x 12.5 block:

12.5 Origami Star Block

Fabric Requirements:

  • (4) 2.00 x 6.5 inches strips in fabric choice 1 (Strip#1)
  • (4) 2.00 x 6.5 inches strips in fabric choice 2 (Strip#2)
  • (4) 3.50 x 6.5 inches strips in fabric choice 3 (Strip#3)
  • (12) 3.5 x 3.5 inches squares in background fabric (with a pencil or Pilot FriXion pen mark a diagonal line on each small square)

Block Construction steps:

*If you do “chain piecing” you should have this block done in less time it takes you to make dinner.  Chain piecing is sewing your units in an assembly line.

Step 1:  Sew strips together – you want the large strip in the middle.

  • Sew Strip#1 to Strip#3
  • Press seams open
  • Sew Strip#2 to the other side of Strip#3
  • When you’re all done you should have a block that measures 6.5 x 6.5 (square it up)

Step #1 Step 2: Sew background fabric to 6.5 x 6.5 block ***W A R N I N G***  Make sure if you’re chain piecing to have each block positioned the same so you don’t mess up on background fabric placement and have to unpick

  • Take (1) 3.5 x 3.5 background square block (right sides together) and line it with the top of your 6.5 x 6.5 square and sew on the line that you’ve marked.
  • Trim off the corner leaving a 1/4 inch seam allowance
  • Press the seam allowance open
  • Place another background square on the opposite side of the square and repeat the instructions above
  • Place the last background square on and repeat

Step #2 Step 3: Sewing the Units together

  • With a 1/4 seam allowance sew the corner units together.
  • Press seams open

Step #3
Origami Star Tutorial

 

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: