We've been busy, but in a good way. We've taken our time getting our house and our hearts ready for Christmas. It's hard to believe it's already Christmas Eve. We're spending the day cozied up inside playing games and making more ornaments. Some are for our tree, some are for loved aunties and uncles. Here's just a few pictures of our December so far...
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
This is my first Christmas with a sewing machine! I have really enjoyed learning on my little machine this year and I wanted to bring a little handmade to the holidays this year. Here's what is under the tree so far.
Chef hat for Matthew to go with his kid's cookbook
Chef hat for Joey to go with the his Star Wars pancake molds and cookie cutters
Tutu for Abbie to play dress up (or wear everyday, which is probably what will happen!)
Diapers and diaper wipes to go with this quilt and pillow for Abbie and her dolls
These covered notepads are for Charlie's teacher, principal, and school secretary. I feel blessed that Charlie is in such a wonderful school that I just wanted to make them a little something. I tucked a note into the inside pocket and Charlie signed his name on the notepad. I hope they enjoy them!
I have a few more gifts to finish...hopefully I can finish them up before Santa comes!
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
My tree skirt is finished! Actually, I have been told that these are tree pants, which I think is hilarious! I have never heard the term before, but it makes sense and is quite cute. I think I'll go with it...
The tree pants finished up quite nicely. After a few quilts under my belt, the quilting went very smoothly and quickly. I definitely would like to try free motion quilting next. There just wasn't enough time to try it out and get this beauty done in time for the holidays. There's always next time...
I hadn't planned on adding the flange, but I thought that since I was using a red binding, I should add it in order for the red border to stand out. Plus I had strips of my backing left over and I didn't want to waste a single bit of that fabric. A while back, I asked my dad if I could take some of our old sheets from the linen closet. I planned on using them to back a quilt I am making for my sister's birthday in March. Once my Flurry charm pack arrived and I saw how perfectly the blues and greens matched, I knew I had to use some of mom's old sheets for the tree pants, too. It looks great, and most importantly, it's a little bit of Mom at Christmas time. Always a good thing:)
Thank goodness for this QAL! I never would have gotten this project done this year otherwise. The tree pants are under the tree...
...and my little man has the first two presents waiting patiently for Christmas morning.
Monday, December 5, 2011
Well, I fell behind in week 4 of the Charmed Prints QAL, but I caught up this weekend. I finished the two blocks I was supposed to do during Thanksgiving week and I pieced together my quilt top.
I am very pleased with how the two remaining feature blocks turned out, but while piecing the top together, I realized all four of my feature blocks were a bit too small! I just made some strips of the green and blue circle fabric I used in each feature block and added a border to each of them. I think it looks okay.
Here's the finished quilt top. It was easy to piece together, once I fixed my feature blocks, but somehow I got some of my strips mixed up. I meant to have the two green, blue, and red charm squares together on the bottom half in the middle. This is where I am going to cut up to the center to create the tree skirt. However, those blue squares, three rows up, not sure how they ended up together! This is definitely not how I laid out my squares! Not sure how this happened. Too much time in the sewing room, perhaps?!?! I wish I could blame it on Abbie, but she was no where near my sewing space this weekend. After ripping seams to fix my feature blocks, I was not going to undo anymore of my quilt top. I have decided to embrace the imperfections! Here's to hoping Santa will leave us plenty of presents to cover up Mama's mistakes!
Thursday, December 1, 2011
I signed up for the Holiday 2011 Handmade Gift Exchange hosted by Craftaholics Anonymous a few weeks ago. I was very excited to receive my partner (Hi Janice!) and enjoyed swapping emails these past few weeks. From the information Janice shared, I chose to sew her some goodies for her kitchen using colors and patterns I thought she might like.
I had been wanting to make a coffee cozy for a while now and thought this was the perfect time to try. I made her a matching mug rug to go with the cozy.
I hadn't planned on making any coasters to go with the mug rug, but when I saw this houndstooth at Jo-Ann's during their Thanksgiving sale, I had to nab some! Janice said she loves houndstooth!
And because she said she was a girly girl, I also tried my hand at this felt brooch in pink. I received one in the Be Embellished! brooch exchange last winter and decided that I wanted to try my hand at it. I think I definitely will be making more of these in the very near future!
The whole shebang...well, almost. I sent this out on Tuesday, but I had really wanted to make something for her little ones. Back in May, I made a bunch of crayon wallets for Abigail's birthday party and wanted to make some more. I knew I wouldn't get it done before the deadline so I sent Janice's things out first. Her youngest girls will have a colorful package in a few days time:)
Monday, November 28, 2011
The long holiday weekend provided me with much needed sewing time, although I was left still wishing for more! I finished up my potholder for a swap I did with the gals from the Madison Modern Quilt Guild. I wanted to get two or three done, but with all the other projects that needed to be done this weekend, it just wasn't going to happen. So instead I just used some scraps to mod podge a few clothespins. I think they turned out quite cute.
That butterfly was just asking to be fussy cut!
All wrapped up for the swap!
I received this potholder made by the talented Andria. I laughed because I was this close to using some of my Amy Butler scraps on my potholder.
It's just too pretty to use in the kitchen where chubby little hands can get at it. So for now it sits on my sewing table. Looks pretty good there, if you ask me.
Finished off the Baby Safari quilt, as well. FINALLY! I whipped up a cute little giraffe to match, too. Now if only that sweet little thing would hurry up and get here already! I know Mama is waiting not so patiently...
I used a higher loft batting for the first time and had some issues with puckering. I'm still pretty happy with the back, though I doubt I will buy that batting again. Speaking of batting, I scored a great deal at Jo-Ann's on Saturday so I am all stocked up for three new quilts in the works!
And since it was in the mid 50s on Friday and Benji had to go to Tennessee this week, the kids helped put up the Christmas lights. The house is ready for Christmas...well, the outside is anyways. Inside...not so much!
I also finished up my gifts for the Craftaholics Gift Exchange, but I will share that in the next post!
Friday, November 18, 2011
Yesterday I got some sewing done during the girl's nap time. Woo hoo! This is the third week of the Charmed Prints Quilt Along. I stayed up late on Wednesday cutting my sashing, borders, and the pieces for the first two feature blocks. I'm glad I did because once the girl was down for her nap, I got to jump right in and piece these two blocks!
The first block was the star block. I am very happy with how it turned out, especially since this is the first time I have done flying geese. I was probably way too proud when I finished this block up!
The second block was the Greek cross. It turned out a bit wonky, but I'm still happy with it. Because after all, this QAL is all about learning new blocks for me and I think the charm of that cardinal more than makes up for any wonkiness! I'm excited to see how these blocks all come together in the end.
The other project I've been working on all week is the Baby Safari quilt for a dear friend. My aunt asked me to make it for her niece. Sarah is actually not related to me, but she has been part of our lives forever that she just fits in as one of the family. She is due with baby number three at the beginning of December, but the pregnancy has not been easy. She has been in early labor for a good month now and I just hope I can get this quilt finished in time. I have the top pieced and I WILL get it quilted this weekend. My Christmas gift list is growing everyday. Once this quilt, which is priority number one, is finished, I am excited to start sewing for the holidays!
Thursday, November 3, 2011
Yes, I may be crazy. I am adding another project to my ever growing pile. I bought a charm pack of Kate Spain's Flurry a while back because I simply fell in love with it. I love me some lime green for the holidays! And that blue? I shocked myself by liking it so much. I usually don't like that "Carolina blue". But with all the greens and reds, it seems perfect for winter. I bought the charm pack with the intention of getting a tree skirt made for our Christmas tree this year. I have a lot of handmade gifts planned and in the back of my mind I honestly didn't think I'd get to the tree skirt in time...
Gen X Quilters to the rescue!I came across this blog yesterday and something just clicked. The first thing I noticed was her block library. So many blocks all with tutorials. Perfect for a beginning quilter like myself. Then I noticed...
I have never done a quilt along but I already had a charm pack to use and I could easily turn the baby size quilt into a tree skirt. How can I not do this?!?!
So, here is a stack of some of my charm squares and the fabric I pulled for sashing, borders, and some feature squares. I plan on using something special for the backing...I'll keep you posted!
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
I'm excited to take part in my first Blogger's Quilt Festival! Amy's blog is one of the first I started reading when teaching myself to quilt way back in March. Even though I did have two quilts under my belt by time the spring quilt festival rolled around in May, I wasn't quite ready to share any of my work. Sheesh. I think I only had one blog post at that time! This time around, I am thrilled to take part and I have a very special quilt to share for a very special girl.
As part of the Madison Modern Quilt Guild, I created this little doll quilt for the Kona Challenge. We were each given a charm pack of solids to create...something. We could make a quilt, pillow, pouch...you get the idea. As long it was using solids, it was a go!
I had been wanting to try my hand at something using a chevron pattern. I also knew that I wanted to make a doll quilt for Abbie's dolls as part of her Christmas present. What a perfect opportunity to try the chevron! A small, manageable project!
I used some purples, pinks, and blues from the charm pack and, in the spirit of using things I already had on hand, a gray that I had in my stash. I was very pleased with how the chevron turned out, but I LOVED the back. I decided just to piece together some of the scraps I had from squaring off my chevron squares. I really had no idea how it would look, especially once I quilted it, but I love, love, love it! And in the spirit of using every little bit of fabric, I ended up making a little pillow for her baby doll, too. I put a little bit of purple fleece on the back. One, because the girl loves her some purple. And, two, because I will be using that purple fleece to make some diapers for her baby dolls. The quilt, pillow, diapers, and some more baby items will be put in this cute bag I found at Michael's for $3 for her very own diaper bag come Christmas. How fun! I'll blog more on her diaper bag later...
So, there she is! My first Blogger's Quilt Festival entry. Thanks, Amy, for hosting and always providing great inspiration!
Sunday, September 25, 2011
I've had the top of this quilt pieced for well over a month now, but for one reason or another, I never made a point to sit down and finish it. I realized the other day that Mama Mac is due in October so I better get crackin! It is made with Alexander Henry's Pocket Pixies, some Michael Miller Dumb Dots, and others from my (ever growing...) stash.
I simply cannot stop looking at these cute little pixies. The middle one is my fave!
I backed the quilt with a very simple floral cream. I would have loved to do the same dandelion fabric as the border, but I really wanted to use what I had on hand. Seeing as though the backing was really simple, I decided to add a fun little detail. I sewed on some chocolate brown ruffle trim before I added the binding. It took me a bit longer to do, but it was totally worth it.
I think it looks just darling. It may be my favorite thing about the quilt, mostly because I picture Baby Mac playing with those ruffles while she's laying on her quilt. Can't wait to meet her...