Wednesday, December 16, 2009

My awesome $1 find

I haven't been doing much sewing lately...unfortunately! We got a lot of snow here last week and school was closed for 2 days then the last night of my daughter's "snow day" she came down with the stomach bug.... then me, then my other daughter, then my husband. So everyone was sick and home, so therefore, no sewing time! Once we were all better, we made it out to Reno (our closest major town 1 hour away) for a dinner out and a few errands. I had bought my 17 month old some snow boots online at Old Navy and they didn't fit, so I had to return them. I ran in real quick just to do the return while the family waited in the car. On the counter was a bin with a $1 sign on it. I dug through it a little and found a couple cute stockings for my girls.

See, I used to work at Pottery Barn prior to kids. I had bought some fancy, gorgeous velvet stockings from there but only bought 3. Now they don't carry them anymore, so I'm always a stocking short. I figured these Old Navy ones were so cute and cheery.

After I got home I decided to cut some felt letters for their name and hand applique them on the stockings.

I LOVE THEM! They are so cute and of course I'm KICKING myself for not buying more!

I think I even like these better than my super nice, fancy Pottery Barn stockings!

I'm going into Reno again in a few days but I'm sure they are gone or not on sale for $1 anymore. I'll stop in to check...keeping my fingers crossed! Can't beat $1!!!!!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Handmade Christmas Cards

Prior to kids, I use to make all my Christmas cards to send out. This was before I started sewing, in fact. It was the only "crafty" thing I did at the time. Once I had my first child I stopped. I may have made them one year after I had her, but time. So this year, I thought, "hey, I think I'll make my own cards this year!" I got some ideas on Paper Crafts magazine website and found this totally cute sentiment. Then I got all my stuff together and went at it. Three hours later, I had 14 cards done. I was done for the night and figured I'd work on the rest over the next few days. Next morning decided to go through my Christmas Card log book to see how many cards I needed to make. 80....WHAT!!!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!! 8-0!!!??? And that's not even counting the 10 new people at this duty station I need to include! My Christmas card list keeps growing and growing every year! The Navy will do that to you! With each new duty station is another bunch of wonderful new friends you meet. My husband's been in for 8 at this rate, with and minimum of 12 more years to Christmas Card list is going be be over 200!!! So needless to say, I scratched the "Handmade Christmas Card" idea! I got 14 done and those will go out to the most special people in my life. The rest will have to settle for some store bought cards!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Modify Tradition's quilt along progress

I haven't posted any of my latest blocks lately. I've been having a rather hard time with this! I love doing the quilt along but I'm using fabrics that I normally wouldn't use. They are rather vivid and bright and not typically my color choice, but I wanted to incorporate the whole line. I've got 1/8 yard cuts and that is why this has been hard. Sometimes I have to piece fabric just to get a 6" piece, so it's been challenging..but fun none the less!
#5 : Starflower Block

#6 : Churn Dash (I did a "floating" version)

#7 : Amish Diamond

#8 : Maverick Star (an Ohio Star is called for this block, but I don't care for the Ohio Star)
I made 2 because the 1st one doesn't show up that well,  but the 2nd is the 1st block I've used white. I plan on sashing the quilt w/ white so the block w/ the white may end up on the back of the quilt.

The most exciting part is that I just received an email that Anna Maria Horner's "Folksy Flannels" are now out SOOOO, I think I'm going to use one of those for the backing fabric! I never used flannel for the backing before but it looks so warm and cozy! Ever since seeing Crystal's quilt that she backed in flannel, that's what sold me! Since I'm not sure how I will like this "sampler" type quilt, I have a feeling I'll LOVE it with flannel on the back!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

fabric wreaths

i finished a couple fabric wreaths that Rachel of p.s.i quilt did a tutorial for. I made these w/ an 8" frame vs. the 12" that the tutorial calls for. I wanted some small ones to hang on the bedroom doors down our hallways. I also am going to make some larger ones on the 12" frame. These are so fun to make!

So I have some great sites for the supplies! I live an hour away from Reno, NV which is where I have to do all shopping for pretty much everything. It's kinda a pain in the rear, so I do a lot of shopping online. I found these wreath frames so cheap here! AND some excellent prices on Honey Buns here! I have a bunch more frames and honey buns to make lots of these adorable wreaths! The first two that I have done are going to my mom and grandma as a thank you for my birthday gifts.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

"Giddy Up"

"Giddy Up" crib quilt is done and ready to be delivered to the baby shower today. Made with "Udder Cowboy" by Sew Treasured for Moda Fabrics. Measures 44" x 50" and is Carly's "Toddle Time" quilt pattern (a bit modified for size). I love this quilt and hope the recipient will love it just as much! She's from Texas, and as with most wives I've discovered that are from there, misses Texas a lot! So she's doing her son's room in a western theme.

Some pictures were taken last night after the sun had already gone down. I just snapped a couple pictures out front w/the sun out. That's why the colors are a bit different in some of the photos. I think my favorite part of the quilt is the label and the scrappy binding. I love the rustic look of the raw edges of the label!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Advent Calendar is DONE!

I am SO EXCITED about this! I love it so much! It was labor intensive, as always the first time I make something,  but so worth it! I'm going to make a couple more. But for the next one I got felt for the numbers. That way I don't have to applique them. I'll probably still stitch through the numbers but maybe just do a straight stitch through the middle or something. The appliques was so hard and cutting the numbers out of the fabric even with the heat and bond was difficult. So maybe the felt will be ok. I got it in various colors that match the fabric.

The fabric I used was Be Merry by Mind's Eye for Riley Blake Designs. You can find the tutorial to make this lovely Advent Calendar here. Measures 23 1/2"W x 34"H.

Here's the back 

And if you look one pretty big mistake on this thing! On the number 23, I forgot to applique it! I didn't even realize it until I had the whole top sewn together. There is no way to fix it now, but it's ok. This one is for our family, so no one will mind! Now I know to double check all my numbers before I make the pockets!

Well...tomorrow is my birthday. I'm going to a baby shower in the morning and then my dad and his wife and meeting my girls and I for lunch. They live a few hours away and we haven't seen them in a while. We'll do lunch and then they'll come to our place and visit and play w/ the girls for a while. My hubby is gone due to work yet again for another birthday. But it's ok, I pretty much stopped celebrating birthdays at 29! (in case you are wondering...I'm turning 38) Birthdays just aren't the same as when you were a little kid! He did give me a great gift before he left though! I got a Kindle!

And from my girls, my hubby always gets me a couple of these gorgeous Willow Tree figurines that I collect. Aren't they lovely??


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Hand Quilting

Have you ever done it? I just got this book from my mom. It's a gorgeous book and has some great quilts in it. Just about every single one of them is hand quilted. I'm finding myself drawn to it! It looks so good! The book has tips on thread to use etc. I've heard people say it takes so long.

I'm wondering if I should give hand quilting a try. My favorite part of the whole quilting process is sitting on the couch and hand sewing the binding to the back of the quilt. I'm one of those people that like to sit and do stuff w/ my hands. I like to knit and crochet for the same reason. I love the TV. I'm pretty much addicted to it. So I find that if I'm knitting, crocheting or doing the binding while watching the TV, it's not so bad that I sit in front of it for hours!

It seems that most of my quilts are always gifts for people so I'm always rushed to get them done by a deadline. But I'm thinking that maybe one day I'll actually make a quilt for myself and possibly hand quilt it.I love the look of them. I did try browsing around Flickr to find some great photos of some hand quilting that I like but wasn't too successful at finding anything to post. At one point I saw someone's blog that had an absolutely gorgeous hand quilted quilt that they did; and now I can't find it! I think I saw it on a blog during the Sew Mama Sews May give-away month. I should have saved the link b/c it was amazing!

What are your thoughts on hand quilting?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Block #4 for Modify Tradition's quilt along

First time I've ever made one of these. Again, I had to piece each block to get to the right size. I matched the blue fabric pretty good, but didn't even attempt the light green and white fabric. But I think it will look fine in the grand scheme of things! (I find myself saying that a lot!)

The 5 year old was home from school today sick. She's got a bad cold. But even with that, I was able to quilt the baby quilt that is needed by Saturday! I've attached the binding and now have to hand stitch it to the back. Good TV night for me..Biggest Loser and Sons of Anarchy. So now I can do my favorite part of making a quilt while watching a couple of my favorite shows! Husband is gone for 2 weeks, so it'll be a nice quiet evening for me, as well.

Monday, November 9, 2009

What a pain in the rear!

I had such a hard time w/ this block! I really wanted to make it, so skipping it wasn't an option. The dilemma I had is that my cuts of fabric are 4 1/2" x WOF. This block need more inches of fabric than I had. I wanted to stick w/ the Good Folks by Anna Maria I pieced each triangle to get the size I needed. Such a pain...and I didn't really try to match pattern or anything. So i finish that, sew them all together and then discover my points in the middle don't totally match up. oh well. I can't rip out and redo anymore! It took me 3 hours to get to this, so I'm done!

And to top it all off, I have to sandwich, baste, quilt, bind, wash & dry a baby quilt for a shower this Saturday!! Husband left yesterday for 2 weeks (so no help from him w/ the kids); I do recess duty at my daughter's school Mondays and Wednesdays for a 1/2 hour (plus 20 minutes travel time); then pick her up at 3pm everyday....when am I going to get this done! My 15 month old decided to make my life a little more difficult by only taking one nap a day and that's in the a.m. where I did the above block (instead, of course doing something that needs to be done in 5 DAYS!) Ahhhh!!!! I need more time in a day!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Skinny 9-patch

Figured I'd try one of these as well. Super easy! So this will be block #2 for Modified Tradition's quilt along.

These are typically SO NOT my colors! But since I have that sample pack and I love Anna Maria Horner's fabrics, we'll see. I'm thinking I'll love it when it's all done. Plus I need to do something other than my usual colors!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Modify Tradition's Quilt Along

So I'm doing my very first quilt along! Modify Tradition is hosting. First tutorial is found here. I like modern quilts and want to learn how to do different things, so I figure this is just the thing for me! They are starting simple and will progress from there. Should be lots of fun! Here's my first block.

I'm going to make the sampler quilt out of the 1/8 yard cuts of Anna Maria Horner's Good Folks line that I got a while back. I had no idea what to do with it and this will be perfect!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Giveaway Winner!

Congratulations Rachel! You won! I put the numbers in a hat and randomly drew a number from that (hey...that rhymes!) And the lucky # was #3. I'll send you an email to get your address! Thanks for participating everyone!

Friday, October 23, 2009

"Sail Away"

Finished my "Sail Away" quilt. I'm heading to a baby shower tomorrow to give this to a dear friend from the UK that is stationed here with us right now. She's having a little boy and she's doing the baby's room in a nautical theme. This baby quilt measures 36"x51". The pattern is a modified version of "Toddle Time" by Carly of Quiltville. (I just omitted a row or 2 and didn't add the border) I didn't want it too big since I wanted it as a crib quilt. This pattern was SO FUN to make! I loved every bit of the piecing which  is usually a part of quilt making that I get rather tired of! It was so fun and easy. I've got several other of Carly's patterns and I can't wait to get started on another one! I'm actually making another one of these in a western themed print next for another baby shower in November. The fabric is "Sail Away" by Debbie Taylor-Kerman for Henry Glass Fabrics. I'm also giving away all the scraps and leftovers from this quilt here, so please enter the giveaway, if you're interested, that is!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

How about a giveaway?

I'm just about done with a quilt for a friend that's having a baby. Just have to do the binding. She's doing the baby's room in a nautical theme. As usual, I overestimated the amount of fabric needed. So I have extras that I know I probably won't use for anythings else. I LOVE the fabric though! Figured, why not pass it on to someone who may want it! It's from the line "Sail Away" by Debbie Taylor-Kerman for Henry Glass Fabrics.

  • the light blue background with the anchors is just shy of  1 1/2 yards
  • the cream background with the large sail boats is 7 1/2 inches x wof
  • there are 7 of the 4-patch blocks
  • some strip scraps
  • and quite a bunch of pieces I strip sewed together and then cut (I was going to use them as a border around the whole quilt but after attaching one side realized it would make the quilt too big for what I wanted.
All the pieces that are sewn together could easily be taken apart to use for whatever you need!

All you have to do to win this is leave me a comment! And if you have any great tips or tricks on squaring up a quilt; basting a quilt, how to keep stitches even when free motion quilting, or any other tips/tricks in general that you think are time (and insanity) savers, I'd love to hear them! I've only been quilting about a year now and I'm completely self taught (or blog taught!) so I need all the help I can get! I'll draw for a winner Monday October 26th. Good Luck!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Halloween Trick or Treat Bag

I couple weeks ago I won a Moda Spooktacular Jelly Roll from a blog giveaway that Carly had. Well I wasn't sure what to do with it, then realized I could make one of Rachel's Friendship Bags but on a larger scale and use it as a trick-or-treat bag for my 5 year old. So 3 hours later, it's done! The pics aren't the greatest because I'm still trying to figure out how to take good pictures for the blog and it's kinda dark in my house right now, so I had to use the flash etc. etc. (one of these days, maybe I'll get good pics!) But you get the idea. The measurements are approximately 13" high x 12" wide x 4 inches deep. I did my handles different than the tutorial because I wanted something wider and shorter. I even have enough fabric to make several more! I'll make another one for my 15 month old, but no rush since she really doesn't need to fill it with candy at her age right now! But I'd like to make more and give them to some of my friend's kids. I have so many projects going on right now, I'm a little overwhelmed; so those will have to wait!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Overseas friends are the best!

Look what I got today! I have a friend who is also a Navy wife and they are stationed in Germany. Well she requested some of my crocheted scarves that I use to  make. So I sent her several to have this winter. In return, I got a bunch of goodies from Germany! Yummy chocolates, sweets, cookies, and coffee! So far, all that I've tried is fabulous! I love getting packages in the mail!

How do you baste your quilts?

I'm you spray or pin?

I've only ever sprayed. Never had much of a problem until this last quilt, the one for my mom. This is how I spray baste my quilts. I taped down the backing, sprayed from the top moving down with the batting rolled up and moved it down as I went. Smoothed it all out...perfect. Then did the top. Picked it up and checked the back and there were puckers, gathers and just a plain ol' hot mess! So then I tried the best I could to lift and smooth it out, really to no avail. I was so frustrated. The absolute worst part of quilting for me is the basting part. I think my problem with this last one was that I didn't use enough tape to really pull and stretch and lay out the backing. I quilted it anyway...yep I got some puckers. Not too noticeable after the quilt is washed and all. But of course, I could see them and it really bugged me. My mom probably won't even notice; but I'll tell you, if this was going to anyone else, I wouldn't have given it to them.

Now I'm considering pinning to baste my quilts. BUT I REALLY DON'T WANT TO! (said in a super whiny voice!) I like spray basting because then my quilt is all together, I usually get no puckers, I can start anywhere I want to on it to quilt it, and when I'm quilting...I can just go go go. I don't have to stop every few inches to remove pins. I don't have a large quilting surface so I'm super worried that I'll get even more puckers and gathers if I pin baste because when I'm quilting I don't have that nice big flat surface to smooth it out and move the quilt around.

Ahhhh... what to do, what to do?? Honestly, I don't think I could ever pin....guess I'll just have to master the spraying!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Mom's quilt

I hope it's safe to post this! I'm mailing it today for my mom who's birthday is the 18th. I hope she likes it!


Monday, October 12, 2009

back from camping

We had a wonderful time camping in beautiful Bridgeport, CA. Finally saw some fall colors. Not much, but more than I get here in the desert in Nevada!


and my little baby girl taking a walk.....

and the big girl climbing on a rock....