Friday, December 31, 2010

Finally some quilty sewing!

After Christmas, I was so excited to get started on some new projects. You might say I was a little impatient. I felt a little scatterbrained at first trying to decide what new project to start, so I ended up starting three.

One of my quilt plans for 2011 is to make a new quilt for my bed. The mister and I decided to go with the All Star 2 line. My plan is to make square-in-square blocks. Here are the first two.

Block 1 for All Star 2 Bed Quilt

Block 2 for All Star 2 Bed Quilt

I'm not sure what the final size blocks will be. These are about 12 inches, but I'm just kind of winging this one. The finished quilt needs to fit our queen-sized bed so I might finish the blocks at around 16 inches. We'll see how they turn out.

I got a baby shower invite in the mail yesterday, so after working on the two blocks last night, I started a quilt top for the baby-to-be. I tried out Oh Fransson's Mixtape pattern, but made a few modifications to speed up the process. I'll talk about this more later as I work on the quilt (it's due by next Friday), but I left out the sashing and I think it came together nicely.

Monopoly Mixtape Quilt Top

Finally, I decided to start on a Kitchen Windows quilt from Elizabeth Hartman's book, The Practical Guide to Patchwork, using two of the colorways from Far Far Away 2. I wasn't quite sure what fabric to use as the "windows." I initially went with Kona Green Grass to create a lot of contrast between the windows and the background. But, the more I looked at the fabric, I didn't like how the color changed depending on the light. In natural light, the fabric matched the colors in FFA2 nicely, but in florescent light, it totally clashed.

Auditioning "window" fabric - Kona Green Grass

The problem with going with a neutral, though, is that I'm worried the quilt will just get muddled.

Auditioning "window" fabric - Kona Ivory

Then I had the thought that if I go with the green window sashing, the green might overpower the FFA2 fabrics and stand out more than anything else. I kind of want the FFA2 fabric to be the star of the quilt, so I'm torn.

Any suggestions?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas Gift Sewing Part 2: Bags and Other Sundries

Thanks for all the cathedral windows love, ladies. I'm hopefully getting some good practice for when I start my quilt in 2011.


Here are the rest of the items I made for my family and friends for Christmas.

This is my second try at Oh, Fransson!'s Margaret bag. I like the fabric for this one much better than the other one I made. One of my besties sent me this fabric back in May and I finally got around to making it for her.

Margaret bag

My niece loved the fabric on the first Margaret bag, so I used what I had left to make her a messenger bag. It's from One Yard Wonders and is the perfect size for her to carry around a book or two (as a 12-year-old, she's quite the avid reader - the fabric even looks a bit like stacks of books).

Messenger bag

Messenger bag

Another One Yard Wonders project (in fact, all the rest of these projects are from that book) were these little elephants. I made one for my daughter (pictured at right) and one for another niece (on the left). I made a few modifications to the one for baby Clara, like omitting the button eyes and increasing the size of the trunk. It took me 45 minutes just to turn the teeny tiny trunk on the first one I made (on the right). What a pain.

Stuffed elephants

I received this Coca Cola polar bear fabric from one of the gals in my Ho-Ho Holiday swap group. I used it to make a warming rice bag for my brother-in-law for Christmas.

Obi style warming rice bag wrap

I made another rice bag for my dad and added a wrap. He can warm up the rice bag, slip it into the holder, and wrap it around him so it stays put on his back if he's lying on his side or something.

Obi style warming rice bag wrap

We have bad backs in our family (I had back surgery last year - and I was only 27), so I'm planning on making one of these rice bag wraps for me soon.

Obi style warming rice bag wrap

For my nephew, I made this little tool belt. He and his brother like to dress up so I thought this would be fun for him to play with.

Child's tool belt apron

Child's tool belt apron

I'm glad I'm done with Christmas sewing. I need to start planning sooner for this next Christmas so I can enjoy more of the holiday season without being so stressed.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Gift Sewing Part 1: Pillows

I'm pretty much done with pillows for a while. I've made a lot in the last two months and I've had my fill.

I made two more cathedral windows pillows for my sister-in-law and brother-in-law's living room for Christmas. I had a harder time with these two pillows than my first foray into cathedral windows because the colors are not me. This is a good example of when sewing is hard to do when you don't love the fabrics or colors you're working with.

Cathedral windows pillow with buttons

Cathedral windows pillow with buttons

Cathedral windows pillow with buttons detail

I bought some photo fabric to make a quilt for my sister. When I was 12 and she was 16, she got a black lab mix puppy. She named him Tucker and he quickly became part of the family. He was the most mellow dog and so affectionate. Three years ago, he got cancer. About six months later, my sister had to put him down. I was 25. We had had Tucker for 13 years. He was my sister's best friend and I really wanted to make her a quilt with photos of Tucker on it. Unfortunately, while I was making the blocks for the quilt, the ink got distorted when I sprayed water on it. So I had to scrap the quilt idea and go with a pillow instead.

Photo pillow

Wasn't he a good-looking dog?

Photo pillow

On the back, I included a photo of my sister and Tucker. I love this picture of them together and I thought it would be a good memory to have on the pillow.

Photo pillow

Back in October, I saw Christina's owl and apple blocks that she hand-stamped (you can check them out here, here, here, here, and here). I grabbed a couple up and went to work making pillows. This apple pillow was for my mom's friend, who spoils my kids rotten on their birthdays and at Christmas.

Apple pillow

I bought two of the owl prints, knowing that I wanted to keep one for myself (which I'll make into a pillow one day) and one for my sister (who LOVES owls). I added some hand-stitching around the owl for her pillow.

Owl detail



And here are all the pillows nicely stacked.

Stack o' pillows

I made one other pillow that I didn't get photographed before giving it to the mister's aunt for Christmas, but it was a simple pillow made entirely out of this green spring print by Jessica Jones (shown at the bottom).

*Update: I found a photo.

Green Leaflet Pillow

Sewing all these pillows was good practice. I think I've got envelope backs down pat. But, like I said, I need a little bit of a break from making pillows, although I am working on one more this week. It will be nice to be able to start quilting again. I've missed that.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Inspiration Mosaic for Spicing Up the Kitchen Swap

There are so many things I want to tell you about - the gifts I made this year, the fabric (ACK!) and embroidery supplies I got for Christmas - but for today, this inspiration mosaic for the Spicing Up the Kitchen Modern Swap will have to suffice until I can get the photos of the other projects off my computer.

I'm so excited for this swap. It's a new one headed up by Erin and Darci. I've been in MAJOR need of some new goodies for my kitchen so I was super happy to see the invite to join the swap in my inbox. Signups close January 7th and we'll receive our partners by the 14th or so.

I don't think there is much rhyme or reason to this mosaic. I just like each of these items. I know that doesn't help my partner much, but maybe s/he can get a feel for my likes/dislikes by looking through my favorites on Flickr. I'll also try to figure out what my tastes are and get them jotted down someplace.

Spicing up the kitchen swap mosaic

Anyway, I'll be back later for some Christmas-y updates. I hope you all enjoyed a nice holiday.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas

It's finally the day before all the festivities begin for our family. I finished my sewing projects Sunday night, got presents wrapped on Tuesday, and still had a lengthy to-do list today. With last minute errands and gifts for my siblings, I'll be glad when I can call it a night.

Here's to wishing you a very merry Christmas! I'll be back next week as I'll finally be able to show you all the Christmas sewing that has eaten up my spare time for the last two months. I'm off to enjoy this little one and her brother.

Peace [on earth] out.

Monday, December 20, 2010

What projects will 2011 bring?

Elizabeth over at Don't Call Me Betsy has put together a list of projects she wants to work on in 2011. She's a list girl, you see, just like me. (I love it!) I thought it would be fun to put together a list of my own. Here goes.

1. A little while back I made my first cathedral windows pillow. I got this crazy idea that I should make an entire quilt using this method. So, 2011 will officially be my year of the cathedral quilt. I say 2011 because I don't want to put a due date on it, rather just have it be something I work on throughout the entire year, with a finished quilt come December.

cathedral 1

2. I'm participating in my first bee this year, the Sew Beautiful Bee. Elizabeth is the bee mama for this and I'm really excited for it. I've been tossing around ideas for the quilt I want to make and I'm actually really excited for what I've got planned. More on that as my month gets closer.


3. After I received my Pillow Talk Swap pillow, I decided that I wanted to make a quilt out of the goldfish fabric Mari sent me. My plan is to fussy cut each of those fishies, sash them in white, and then use blue and orange square in square blocks to make up the quilt. There will be 12 blocks on the front and three on the back. Ooh, I'm so excited!

Pillow Talk Swap 4 Received

4. The very fist quilt I finished was a quilt for my bed. I was so proud of myself, but now I'm rather embarrassed to say that I made it. I didn't know what I was doing and just quilted it by stitching in the ditch. The fabrics are so not me anymore. Another project for 2011 is to make a new quilt for my bed.

5 & 6. As combination birthday and Christmas gifts, I'm making quilts for two of my sisters (I have four of them). I've started on one (a zig zag quilt) and have the fabric for the other.

7. When I was six, we had a Japanese exchange student over the summer. His name was Hideyuki and I loved him! He brought us a bunch of fun things from Japan, including a few framed origami art of people (they're hard to describe). My mom and dad have them hanging in their bedroom. I told my mom I would make her a new quilt for her bed that has a more oriental feel than her current quilt does. This will be an interesting challenge for me as I've never made anything with a theme like that.

8. Also on the list is Rachel's Colorbrick quilt. I think hers is so pretty.

9. My son loves cars and trucks and pretty much anything with wheels. I want to make him a cars quilt out of some Wheels fabric by Riley Blake. I think I'll fussy cut the large print cars and make something similar to Allison's Orange Quilt.

10. Over the past year, I bought lots and lots of Figgy Pudding fabric whenever I could find it. I'm going to make myself a Christmas quilt so it will be all ready to use next year.

11. I have three quilt tops that need to be basted and quilted. I'm sure these will be lumped in with other unfinished projects that I've started this year.

12. Finally (since this list is getting pretty long), I plan on participating in more swaps this year. I've been in three swaps in the last couple months and have really enjoyed them.

PHEW! There you have it - my list for 2011. What projects will you be working on next year?

Friday, December 17, 2010

Lizzy House's Studio Sale

I went to Lizzy House's studio sale tonight, and when I was leaving I kept thinking how I wish I had a camera so I could get a picture with her. Here I am, talking to this famous fabric designer, buying fabric from her, and she's talking to me and my sisters! It was awesome!

Lizzy is so down to earth and friendly and so ready and willing to give tips and advice to all of our questions. It was fun to meet her sister too and see all the amazing prints and hand-made goodies she had for sale.

I picked up a fat quarter bundle of Castle Peeps along with a cute little embroidery pattern of the bard that I want to make soon after Christmas.

Photo from Lizzy's blog.

If you're in the Salt Lake area, you should stop by Lizzy's for her studio sale tomorrow (Saturday, Dec 18) from 10 to 5.

I'm being featured today.

Hi all, I'm being featured today on GenXQuilters for her Follower Friday series. Stop on over and say hi.

Gen X Quilters

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

My Christmas Wish List

Coming up with a Christmas wish list to give my family has always been difficult in the past. It was much easier when I was little and living at home. But as an adult, I think it's hard because if I want/need something, I just buy it. I usually don't wait until Christmas or my birthday and ask for whatever it is. This year, however, has been different.

I decided to ask for fabric that I really want, but maybe am not willing to buy myself for whatever reason. Here's what made my list this year.

A fat quarter bundle of All Star 2 in green from Hawthorne Threads.

Some linen in The Morning Dew from

A fat quarter bundle of Innocent Crush in Potpourri from Hawthorne Threads. I want to make the Colorbrick quilt from Stitched In Color with this Innocent Crush fabric (hers looks amazing!), but I want to use the gray linen as the sashing instead of a tan neutral.

A fat quarter bundle of Far Far Away II in Meadow from Hawthorne Threads. I really want the aqua colorway too, but all the FQ bundles were out of stock when I made my list.

And lastly, some paper hexagon pieces. I love looking through the Bee Hexed In Flickr group and seeing all the variations people have made of the pillow from Fat Quarterly. Kati brought hers to our Modern Quilt Guild meeting a few months ago and I loved it. Now that I'm getting braver in trying new techniques, I'm finally ready to try hexagons.

So, there you have it. What are you hoping to get for Christmas this year?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas Cards from Shutterfly

I think I've mentioned before that the mister is really into photography. It's just his hobby, but he occasionally shoots weddings, bridals, engagements, and family photos. We've used Shutterfly a lot to print pictures of our family. In the past, we've printed photo books of each of our kids as well as a photo book of some of our favorite dishes we've made. The mister even got me an early Christmas present (this sweet mug of his mug from Shutterfly).

Pillow Talk Swap 4 Sneak Peeks

At around this time each year, I start thinking of Christmas cards. I was browsing on Shutterfly today and found some really cute products, like these calendars...

and these super cute cookie exchange party invitations...

and these adorable birth announcements.

(Oh how I wish we had sent something out like this when my daughter was born.)

I spent a lot of time looking at their Christmas cards. There really are so many cute cards that it will be hard to narrow them down and pick a winner. But, I'm really excited to send out cards and our family update this year. It's always a nice way to remember what we accomplished and experienced throughout the year.

So, if you haven't already, head on over to Shutterfly and order some Christmas (or New Year's) cards for your family.


Related Posts with Thumbnails