Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

ticker tape celebration for the New Year!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Fabric Binge

I hope everybody has been enjoying their Christmas fun! Things have been crazy here with all the boys' new things being played with simultaneously in all corners of the house!

one FQ of each Hope Valley print they had

I have started playing with my favorite new things, too. While visiting my inlaws, I was able to make a trip to the Fabric Shack. They have so much online, but actually carting around bolts is much more fun!

random fun from their $2.98/yd scrap pile

It was funny, a mother and daughter arrived at the same time I did. They usually order online, too. Between the three of us, I think we tore the whole place apart, pulling huge piles of bolts from nearly every shelf. Oh, and a young girl was with her mother - they had a Figgy Pudding layer cake and Amanda Jean's latest Moda Bake Shop pattern in hand, choosing Kona solids. Love it!

FQs from their bins are only $1.98 each!

I actually had a fairly good plan going in. I have committed myself to making FOUR auction donation quilts due mid February through mid March. I sketched and quilty mathed them all so I had fabric amounts ready to select. I'll share more about their plans and construction as I go nuts trying to get them all done in time.

This group will be kind of a ticker tape that 83 fifth graders will create. Luckily the place was pretty much empty, so the nice woman cutting my stuff didn't seem to mind my big piles. She was kind enough to humor me and put each pile into separate bags so I could keep them all straight!

Two quilts will be made for a local church preschool. The teacher had the children paint on muslin squares. Both will be kind of scrappy, using a good amount of Nicey Jane, Moda's 1974 and some Park Slope(they had a big pile of both in their clearance loft!), and a few other cool prints.

I picked up some Joel Dewberry HomeDec weight I had preordered for the back of the finial quilt, which will be like the picnic whirlygiggle I made earlier this year.

Finally, I picked out a big pile for my first Bee quilt. My month isn't until March, but thought it would be fun to shop ahead! I was going to do aqua/tangerine but could only find two good oranges. Then I looked over that Nicey Jande and 1974 I had gathered earlier, and decided I loved those blue, green and grays (is it 'grey' or 'gray'? I can never remember!) Toss in a few Kona solids, and I think it'll be awesome!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Bookmark Tutorial and One More Project

These are the last of the gift sewing I did for teachers. They really are Perfect Box Pouches - made with that great tutorial. Becket filled his teachers' with chocolates.

Kenton's teacher got some bookmarks. (LOVE LOVE how the box came out with that Mendocino)

I figured out a few tips when making the bookmarks, so thought I would share a little tutorial. First you need to get the cover button kit - I used size #14. You can also buy refills if you want to make more than four. The kit comes with that blue and white thing that you use in assembly.

I found jumbo paper clips at Target. I liked these because they have a vinyl coating on them. No poky ends.

Use the template from the button packaging to cut fabric circles. I made a circle from freezer paper - iron it on and it says still while you cut.

Next, you just layer the fabric, button front, tuck the fabric, and finally the button back into the white tool. Use the blue thing to squash them all together. There's a little diagram on the button package. It's quite easy.

Now you need to heat up your glue gun until it has dripped a glue ball sculpture. That way it's flow-y enough to fill nicely.

Bend down the button eye with your finger, then put a blob of glue just below the center of the back. Lay the paper clip onto the blob and have something to prop it up a bit. I found that if you don't, the clip end will drop and the top will pop out of your glue. Do not push the paperclip into the glue with your finger. That just hurts.

Before it has hardened, I then go back and fill up the entire back and over the paperclip. If your glue is nice and hot, it makes a smooth solid back. Let them sit for a while to cool.

Watch out, it's addictive!

Well, school is out for Christmas break. So it's time for all those fun holiday activities (and then counting down the days until they return to school). Have a very Merry Christmas, may you enjoy all that you create!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Last minute sewing?

These were all made for a friend's birthday celebration today, but they would make nice, quick gifts if you still need something for teachers or friends.

Kellie of Don't Look Now has a great tissue cozy tutorial. I did mine with Amy Butler lined in linen. This was the first one I made and it was the perfect size - the new tissue pack fit exactly. That's a good tutorial that works exactly on your first try!

My friend specifically asked for a water bottle holder this summer when she saw the others I made. Pink Chalk Studio has a really great, free pattern - and I was super happy with the fabrics I finally chose! I stood in front of my cabinet for quite a while trying to pick out what I thought she would like.

I made this one a tad larger again, so it will fit Gatorade bottles or big waters. The main body is 1" longer side-to-side and the bottom circle is only 1/4" bigger in diameter. The height is the same.
Finally, a group of cute little covered button book marks. She liked all her little gifts!
Now I just have to finish the four teachers gifts for preschool and the 5th grader. I'm loving making them and will share the tutorial link and photos when they're done tomorrow.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Dear Santa.....

Dear Santa,
I have been a very busy elf.

Pretty treasures sewn

stuffed and glued

pieced (with boarders - hate that!)

and even new things tried.

Now I'm running out of supplies (or maybe not) and would like some more sent. Please send the following post haste (the Fat Quarter Shop has it all in stock).

Ginger Blossom (I even linked it for you!)

I need a new project.... so send this Authentic tote kit

and I was dreaming of Spring table runners with this.

That may keep my busy for a little while longer. I'll send word when I need more.

Best Regards,

Your very Favorite Elf

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

My first quilting

We were sorting photos from the last year. I came across this one that Mark took - he was amused at how hard I was concentrating on my new craft.

My first attempt at free motion quilting in February 2009.

I can't believe it has only been 10 months - I've learned and had so much fun over the year!

I entered my Advent Table quilt and the Figgy Friends mini in this little contest. There are lots of fun holiday quilts - large and small. Click on the icon to go visit and vote!

Some Progress

Before the Advent Tea, I obviously didn't have enough to do. So I made a Buttercup Bag for myself. It's a wonderful free pattern that I had saved to my 'sew in the future' file.

I used Anna Maria Horner's Good Folks and lined it with linen. To give it a bit more structure, since I didn't use a decor weight fabric, I lightly interfaced my outer fabric. It was super fast - decided to make it at about noon and was done by 5:30, including making dinner and getting ready for a mom's night out in between! I've used it a bunch and love it.

I'm also moving along with my Aviary stars. Only messed up one more set (doh!). I have learned that I should pause my iPod book when making critical cuts. I hope to have the whole thing ready to bind for my long drive before Christmas. Would be great car work!

Sunday, December 06, 2009

I was Painting

When I dropped Kenton off at his Cub Scout meeting Thursday night, I noticed my friend's newly finished bathroom. I've been hating our powder room ever since we moved in 6 years ago and was motivated to GET IT DONE NOW! (I know, it's really bad isn't it. I can't believe I left it so long.)

Amy recently posted about painting wood with the new Behr paint & primer in one stuff. And I remembered that Camille had some wonderful paint colors and kindly put the chip names in her FAQ, so I gathered a list and Becket and I went shopping Friday morning.

By Friday afternoon I had broken the top of the toilet back and sliced my hand open on the super sharp porcelain. I put steri-strips on my hand, (I have a mini ER in my bathroom closet. Have to with three boys) But everything was nearly done!

I hadn't even mentioned any of this to my husband, so he was a bit surprised when he got home. Being a tiny powder room, I just couldn't get a good picture. So these will have to do to give a hint of the before and after. I totally love it.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Not on the List

But totally NEEDED these PJ tops

And I almost died when I saw this one. Speedy Hedgehog! Love it!

Some days it's hard to stay with the list when you're at Target.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Grumble, Grumble

I was working on something a little springy. I should not have started when I was so full I could hardly move. Plus, this is major-accuracy-needed piecing. Unlike the improv minis I've been doing for the last couple of months!

Luckily, I bought an Aviary honey bun for no real reason a few months ago. I totally screwed up EVERY set of three I originally sewed together and had to start over. At least they're pretty once done!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

4 is Fun!

I had big plans for a new table Thanksgiving table runner. But it won't make it any further than strips.

We're too busy having fun being four today!

Happy Birthday little buddy

Monday, November 23, 2009

Mini eleven: Figgy Wreath

The last one! My sister in law decided she wanted to keep the snow man mini , so I only needed to make one for my Mom (to make up for the extra mini I kept!)

I've had this paper piece pattern (I've bought several of her patterns - love them!) in my quilts-to-do file for quite a while. Now they're popping up everywhere and I thought it would make a pretty Figgy Pudding wreath.

Since I didn't need to keep with the vertical and fits-the-chair thing like all the others, I was able to make this guy a bit bigger at 18" x 15". My mom really liked the brown Christmas tree one, so I went with the dark background for the paper pieced geese.

Knowing I was making it for Mom, I used two of her favorite prints. The poinsettia and that wonderful red damask pattern.

I had to sneak in just a few more Munki Munki snowmen. They look at home with the strips on the back.

Mark finished up all the pictures of the Advent Tea. Here's a link to his SmugMug page if you're curious what all the tables were like.

Now, go look at the cool pattern Julie just put up with my beloved Figgy Pudding. I have plenty for extra fabric to make my own. And I was just thinking that this would make a great charger for the settings for next year!

Friday, November 20, 2009

OK deep breath

I head out for the morning run to the grocery store. My route takes me past the 5th grader's school.

There are 2 ambulances, 4 huge fire trucks, and firemen on the roof. Little bit of a freak out there! I, along with all the other moms that saw this as they ran their morning, pulled over and decided if we needed to have a major panic attack or not.

It turns out - not. My son's class was partying it up in the grass - doing the macarena dance. There was a fire in the boy's bathroom, put out and contained. But now there's smoke and water damage. The kids were all loaded onto buses and sent to my 7th grader's school where they will hang out in the gym and be fed some kind of lunch. A dream come true adventure day I'm sure!

I went over to enter for some Flea Market Fancy goodness. You should, too. I feel better now.