Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Quilt for My Baby Boy

When I found out in March 2010 that I was pregnant with a baby boy, I immediately started shopping for "boyish" fabric to make a quilt for him.  When I discovered this great blue puppy print fabric at my local Hancock Fabrics I knew it would be perfect!  I hit the jackpot by finding a coordinating paw print fabric and fat quarters of a tiny polka dot print in just the right shade of blue.  It's like these fabrics were made for each other!

The quilt top is machine pieced using a Disappearing 9-patch design.  It is backed with the paw print fabric and quilted with straight lines in a grid pattern to accent the piecing.  The chocolate brown binding is hand stitched on the back.

I'm not 100% sold on the brown binding.  It does match the brown puppies in the print, but it just doesn't look right to me.  Maybe one of these days I'll rip it out and replace it with something blue, but for now I'll let it be.

Oh, did I mention that Jake is 10 months old now and I only just finished this quilt this past weekend?  Um, yeah.  I guess it'll make a great gift for his 1st birthday that is right around the corner!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Just One Star

When I read this post over at The Happy Zombie, I knew I wanted to be involved in the Just One Star program.  The idea behind Just One Star was for a quilter to make exactly that...just one star...and drop it in the mail to Moda Fabrics.  From there, the fabulous people at Moda would trim your star block and include it in one of 100 quilts being assembled and donated to wounded soldiers as part of the Quilts of Valor Under Our Wings program.

This was my block...

I had enough fabric to make two red star blocks.  Both are signed with my name and state where I live.  I feel good knowing that some of my work will be included in a quilt that will bring comfort to one of America's heroes.

Have a happy and safe Memorial Day weekend!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Keeping My Fingers Crossed...

...that this fabric magically transforms into a skirt for my daughter today.

Ok, let's be realistic. I would settle for finishing it sometime this week...or even this month!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Let's Play Ball Y'all!

Last summer Bailey played soccer (I use the term "played" very loosely, she had only just turned three at the time).  Much to the dismay of my husband, she was just not that into it.  So this year we decided to give t-ball a whirl.

The game face...

She squints one eye closed so she can keep "the eye" on the ball...

My little southpaw...


Check out that excellent form...

She's having a blast playing t-ball!  Her Paw Paw, a former softball coach, couldn't be more thrilled.  Do I smell a college scholarship in her future?

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Noah's Ark Quilt

Well, it only took 7 months, but the Noah's Ark quilt is finally finished and is listed in my Etsy shop!  Hooray!

I found this colorful printed panel at my local Hancock Fabrics store back in November.  I had never quilted anything other than straight lines before, but I thought the picture was basic enough that I could manage to outline the shapes using my walking foot on my machine.

Over the next two weeks I spent every spare minute of my time quilting around every shape in the picture.  I was determined to get it finished before Christmas.  Ha!

What I thought would be a simple, quick project turned out to be anything but (this seems to happen to me quite a bit now that I think about it, hmm).  There are a lot of lines, curves, twists and turns in this picture.  Which meant a whole lot of starting and stopping, moving the quilt around for a better angle, clipping threads, etc.

Believe it or not, I did finish the actual quilting before the holiday.  The only thing between me and finishing this quilt was sewing the binding onto the back of the quilt, but for some reason it got pushed aside in favor of other projects.  This weekend, just a mere 6 months later, I decided to finally sew on the binding and call it finished.  The Noah's Ark quilt is officially marked off my to-do list.  

It was definitely a challenge, but knowing that a child will play on it, snuggle under it, and (hopefully) love it to pieces makes the blood, sweat, and tears I put into it totally worth it.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Charming Collection

Image courtesy of Twiddletails

I love vintage-esque fabrics that remind me of the quilts my grandma makes.  Anina over at Twiddletails now stocks 100 different 1930's reproduction fabrics and is hosting a fantastic giveaway in celebration!  Click here to enter to win one of four charm packs featuring fabulous 1930's reproduction fabrics.  I could easily see this collection turned into a Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt or maybe a Dresden Plate pillow.  Vintage at it's best!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Hair Bows

Yesterday's ribbon rainbow was cut, stitched, and hot glued into hair bows this week.  A teacher at my daughter's school asked me to make five matching sets of hair bows to match five outfits for her soon-to-be adopted daughter.

This is what I came up with...

Now, I've only seen the outfits in photos, but I think these hair bows will match perfectly and look great.  I hope the little girl loves them!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Ribbon Rainbow

Rainbows are great...rainbows of ribbon are even better!  I'll reveal the results of this project in a few days.  Stay tuned!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Canister Update

Sometimes a simple, inexpensive change makes a big difference.  I'm in the process of redecorating my Tuscan/wine/grapes-on-everything kitchen.  I don't even drink wine, so I'm not really sure why I chose that particular theme for my kitchen when I was registering for wedding gifts 7 years ago, but at the time I loved it.  It's a gradual process, a little change here and there as I have the time and money.  The first thing to go were my canisters.  They were big, bulky and covered with grapes of course.  They were also opaque, which resulted in more than a few instances where I began to bake cookies or make pizza dough only to discover upon opening the canister that the flour was nearly gone or that I was out of sugar. 

Pretty, but I'm in the mood for a change.

So I replaced them with these...

Nothing fancy, just clear glass jars with metal lids.  Now I can see exactly how much sugar, flour, and wheat flour I have on hand before I start baking.  They take up much less space and make the countertop seem a lot less cluttered.  But I felt that they were a bit too plain and needed some personality, so I added custom vinyl labels in celadon green purchased from singlestory on Etsy.

Now they look like this...

Perfect!  The vinyl was very easy to apply and in the future will be easily removable (though not reusable).  The only downside to this project is now I may be addicted to vinyl labels!  They were so inexpensive and easy to use (not to mention cute and customized)...I might start labeling anything and everything in my house!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Many Thanks to the Pioneer Woman

Sour Cream Noodle Bake...it's what's for dinner y'all.

Photo and recipe courtesy of The Pioneer Woman

Sour Cream Noodle Bake


  • 1-¼ pound Ground Chuck
  • 1 can 15-ounces Tomato Sauce
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 8 ounces, weight Egg Noodles
  • ½ cups Sour Cream
  • 1-¼ cup Small Curd Cottage Cheese
  • ½ cups Sliced Green Onions (less To Taste)
  • 1 cup Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese


Preparation Instructions  

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Brown ground chuck in a large skillet. Drain fat, then add tomato sauce. 1/2 teaspoon salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Stir, then simmer while you prepare the other ingredients.  Cook egg noodles until al dente. Drain and set aside.  In a medium bowl, combine sour cream and cottage cheese. Add plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Add to noodles and stir. Add green onions and stir.  To assemble, add half of the noodles to a baking dish. Top with half the meat mixture, then sprinkle on half the grated cheddar. Repeat with noodles, meat, then a final layer of cheese. Bake for 20 minutes, or until all cheese is melted.  Serve with crusty French bread.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A Work in Progress

Just a little glimpse of one of the many things I'm juggling working on this week...

Monday, May 9, 2011

Bulletin Board Update

This is my sewing space...

It's a mess and could really use some organization and personality.  Over the next few weeks I hope to give this area a little extra TLC.  I have lofty ambitions for a shiny new (hopefully sturdier) sewing table, clear bins for fabric that I can organize by color, and a shelf with a rod underneath for ribbon storage.  And maybe even a few cute decorations on the walls.  But for right now I'll settle for a a new bulletin board for the wall behind the sewing machine.  I am a notorious note-taker and list-maker, so I need a place to organize all of my random post-its, coupons, and any other very important miscellaneous stuff that needs a home, like my pug puppet.  Do I need a pug puppet?  Probably not, but it's one of my favorite things I've ever made and it makes me smile.  :)

Now on to the crafting!  I started out with this plain old bulletin board that I purchased from Target for around $10.  Boring!

I gave it two coats of aqua spray paint that I had leftover from a previous project.  The I used my handy dandy hot glue gun to attach a piece of cute pink fabric to the cork board.

Much better indeed!  Bright and cheery to match the rest of the room, my kids' playroom.  I think pug puppet likes his new home! 

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go make a few more lists to add to my new bulletin board.  :)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

How It All Began...

This is the first quilt I ever made...

I grew up watching my mother sew clothing and my grandmother quilt.  I bought my first sewing machine about 4 years ago and have been chugging away at it ever since!  I may be a little crazy, but I think there's nothing better than cutting up fabric just to sew it back together again!

My first project was a baby quilt for my newborn daughter.  I spent many hours in Hancock Fabrics searching for just the right fabric (decision-making has never been my strong suit.)  I finally settled on a puppy print along with coordinating lavender, aqua, and seafoam green prints.  I chose a lavender solid fabric for the backing and binding.

After some trial and error with a rotary cutter, far too long trying to thread my machine, reading and re-reading and re-re-reading my machine's user manual, some helpful hints from my mom, and some time well spent with internet tutorials, I had finally produced my first quilt.  It was nothing fancy, a simple patchwork of 6 inch squares tied with embroidery thread, but I was very proud of it and my daughter loved it.

After four years, my taste in fabrics have changed, my machine has been upgraded, and my methods have improved, but my first quilt will always hold a special place in my heart.  I hope my daughter will love and treasure it for a very long time.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Welcome to Two Tiny Birds!

Hi and welcome to the Two Tiny Birds blog!  My name is Ricki.  I'm a former teacher, wife to a guy who loves bikes, and stay-at-home mommy to a 3 year old daughter, Bailey, and a 9 month old son, Jake.  We all live in a yellow submarine...just kidding, we're native Texans who live in the Dallas area. 

These are my manly men...

And my supergirl...

We also have a 12 year old pug named Pugsley.  He tolerates us as long as we don't disturb his naptime and keep a steady supply of Milkbones coming his way.

There isn't an over-abundance of pictures of me, since I'm usually the one working the magic behind the camera, but this is me at the zoo with my daughter three years ago...

I enjoy cooking, reading, sewing, and crafting in my spare time.  I decided to start this blog as a journal of my crafty endeavors, mostly quilting and sewing, but also hot gluing and spray painting and everything in between.  From time to time it will also feature posts about my kiddos and the crazy happenings within this zoo I call a home.  What can I say...my kiddos are adorable and hilarious and I love showing them off every chance I get.  I may toss in an occasional recipe or book review just for kicks.  And rest assured there will be a healthy dose of my random ramblings.

Let's get the party started!  :)