Monday, December 28, 2009

Oops, this is a little excessive.


Well, I was completely surprised when I found a gift certificate in my Christmas stocking to the fabric store that I work at!  I had fantasy's during the few weeks prior, of how great that would be to be able to stock up on some of the fun fabrics we have in right now, but I thought for sure that he would think there was no need for that since I am well taken care of in the fabric department these days.   I guess it's a tradition though [his words, not mine] and needless to say I could hardly wait till Just Sew opened back up again today after our Christmas break.   I had to buy a few more fabrics so that I could finish up this project that I started about a month ago.

Here's what I came home with:

I was so tempted to splurge on fabrics to start new things, but I was good.  And boy am I sure glad that I didn't buy those South Hampton fabrics that have been calling to me because this is what I realized after doing a little inventory...


Count that - 8 [yes 8!!!] piles of fabric to start EIGHT new quilts this next year!?!   Oh my gosh.  I feel a little bit bad.  O.K.  Let me just say that I got a lot of it at some really good sales or with my discount at work sooo...O.K.,  there is really no way to justify it all.

Well, I better get busy and not start ANY new projects this year!  Hmmm, maybe that should be my New Years Resolution (isn't it something like 80% of all New Years Resolutions are broken?)

Anyways.  Here's a closer look at my upcoming projects:

1. Sweet Sugar Swirls by Fig Tree



2.  Hot Cross (a Schnibbles pattern) 



3.  Wild Thing by Thimble Blossoms



4. Center of Attention (cover quilt) by Heather Mulder Peterson.
(I really need more 2 1/2" strips of Heather Bailey's Fresh Cut/Pop Garden line.  I don't need alot and it's a little hard to find these days, so if anyone out there has some that they don't need anymore and you want to do a trade, then leave me a comment below.)


5.  I had an idea for a sampler I was going to design, but don't know if that is going to happen so I might use these to do this project that my local quilt guild is doing in 2010.


6.  A scrappy Dresden Plate Quilt


7.  This honey bun I got for $2.50 from Lanie Jane's Liquidation Sale this past summer!  I think I'll do this Cameo pattern by Fig Tree:


  
and last but not least, this project:

in spiderweb form.

So, the problem with all of these projects is that they are in piles on my shelves, in bags behind my curtain and basically just strewn about.  I am now on the hunt for clear, stackable boxes with lids to store these in.  I am wondering if you have any suggestions on where to find the perfect (inexpensive) boxes? 

So what are your projects for this new year?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A lost tooth and a lost thimble.

Have you seen this new candy to the Halloween market?



Gross huh?  Well, Sunday night while we [as in the husband and two kidlets and I] were all sitting around watching America's Funniest Home Videos [like we always do], Blake [my 7-year old] was munching on some Halloween candy.  While he was enjoying this delicious treat of gummy bandaids that look like they have blood on them [nice huh?] he held his half eaten piece of candy out to RJ and said, "Dad, I think this has real blood on it."  RJ laughed and then with a little inspection he realized that B had lost his FIRST tooth.  Yeah.  FIRST.  So I am all caught up in the "Oh my baby lost his first tooth [with my hand over my heart]" moment and not a minute goes by before we start to wonder where the heck the tooth is?!? After a lot of searching we came up empty handed.  So what's a boy gonna do?  Well, write a note of course!



Cute huh?  Well the Tooth Fairy left him a nice $1.50 in quarters [which by the way, B told me the next day that he knows it was me because he saw me go into his room.  But I will tell you right now that it was NOT me.]  Anyways.  My baby lost his first tooth and I mean REALLY lost his first tooth.


  
Oh, and I am really sad because my kids lost my thimble.  They were playing "Hide the Thimble" [which I told them to find something else to play that with] and I haven't seen it since.  I have searched high and low.  I am so sad.


Hopefully it will turn up one of these days.  I can't be too mad though.  I mean come on, look at this face!

(Note: Little Missy found my thimble on Christmas Eve in the kids cup and plate drawer.  We were both ecstatic!  Yay!)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Buttercup Quilt

I've been binding my little heart away this weekend. 


This quilt pattern is called Buttercup from my favorite book these days called Stop, Drop & Roll by Heather Mulder Peterson.  I am a big fan of hers.  This was my second project (my Baby Bloomer wall hanging was the first) from that book.  



Both were fun, fast and whimsical little projects that are brightening up my quilt collection.  Most of the fabrics are from Riley Blake's Sublime line. The oranges are from their Bloom & Grow line and the polka dots are Mary Englebreit's (love those!)



All of the applique was fast.  I used a few different methods.  There's a little hand applique and a little machine applique (using Heat n' Bond and a couple different stitches).  Heather's directions make it easy and fast! 


This is my backing.  Do you see the little knots on there?  You don't notice them from the front but they are all over the back.  This happened another time that this quilter quilted something for me.  Last time she said she wouldn't charge me, but when I went to pick it up I told her it wasn't that noticeable so I paid her full price.  I probably shouldn't have done that, but I did.  So when it happened this time, I called her and talked with her about it.  She will be giving me some credit on my next quilt (or doing it for free?) so that will be nice.  Not sure what happened here, but it is kind of a bummer.  I get so frustrated sometimes, because it seems like there is always something wrong with the quilts that I get back.  Not sure if I expect too much (?) or what...  Anyways.  I love it from the front and she really did do a great job - she free handed all of the quilting.  She did tight quilting and the design was beautiful.  She said she checked to see if it looked o.k. on the back and just didn't notice the knots. 




Do you have any advice on how to get the most out of a quilt job?  I've been getting things quilted by professional longarm quilters for probably about 10 years now and I just can't believe how often I get one back that has problems.  A lot of times it is a scale issue.  A couple of times it's been this knot issue.  Then there was my raw-edge fiasco...   Sorry.  I don't mean to complain, but I'm just wondering what I can do to help avoid these situations in the future?  I'm really sick of not being completely happy when I get a quilt back.  You spend a lot of money and time on these things and it's really sad when they come back with problems...


I just need to focus on the postive.  I love the quilt and those knots can be fixed, they just take a lot of time to work out.  Anyways, this quilt is off to Just Sew tomorrow for display so it's good-bye for now.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Mystery Quilt

Well, I just finished another one just in time for Christmas.  This one is going to the In-laws.  It was a "Mystery Quilt" that I did in a quilt guild a couple of years ago.  We didn't know what the finished product was going to look like when we started.  I probably won't do another "Mystery Quilt" again because I think if I'm going to spend the money and time on a quilt, I would want more control of the final outcome.  I did change a few things up when we got to the end though.  It was suppose to have beige strips in between each vertical row, but I kind of liked all of the secondary patterns I found when there wasn't any sashing inbetween.  I also added the tiny red borders on both sides of the pieced outer border, as well as the final outside border.  The quilt measures about 84"x56".






I'm glad to have this one checked off the list.  It's another project done that I can count in Jacquie's Joy In The New Year Challenge.   I think I've only gotten 2 out of my 6 projects done so far.  I did just get a new quilt back from the quilter though!  I just need to bind it and then I can post pictures.  My quilter told me she would have my Fig Tree quilt done by the end of the year (I'm crossing my fingers!) and I'm hoping one more of my projects will get done miraculously.  I'm going for 4 out of 6 projects done for this challenge.  I've got a few other tops in the works and fabrics to start a few more.  I'm really hoping to finish up a lot of these in the next few months and then start fresh from there!  

Here's to getting projects done and tying up all the loose ends for Christmas!  Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Winner


O.K.  It's not letting me copy and paste the info from RANDOM.ORG [I guess I accidently didn't allow access from the website to my clipboard and now it really doesn't want to give it up!] so just trust me when I tell you who the winner is [and know that I did this honestly and without bias :)]  Really.  There were only 53 entries and I knew most of you personally, so the chances that I would know the winner were high...So.  Without further ado.  The winner is #39 - my dear Sister-In-Law, Melanie Johnson.  She lives in New York, but will be coming out here to Utah for the holidays, so Melanie, we'll hook up soon and I'll get that table runner to ya.  Can't wait to see you guys!  Anyways, thanks everyone for playing.  I love doing these giveaways and hope to do more soon (possibly with some of my patterns...:) and please, don't ask.  It's a long yada, yada kind of story.)  I really am working on them.  The patterns are done, it's just the covers that have been giving me fits.  


Anyways, Melanie, this one is for you!  Hope the rest of you have a wonderful Christmas season!

Friday, December 11, 2009

In the spirit of giving...

We'll, it's kind of a special occasion around here.  It's my 150th blog post AND it's Christmas time, so I thought it was definitely time for a giveaway!  I've been thinking about all of you and the kindness you've shown me over the past year and a half since I've started blogging.  I wanted to make you a little something so I came up with this scrappy runner.  It's a little Christmas-y (lots of different greens, whites, & beiges) but you might be able to get away with using it other times of the year too.  I love having lots of table toppers this time of year.  It just finishes things off sometimes. 


The runner measures 31" x 12.5" and it's REALLY scrappy (even the back and binding are pieced) so, if you like it... or you don't like it, but think maybe someone you know might like it...then leave me some comment love below. 


The giveaway closes at NOON on Tuesday, December 15th.  Don't be shy to enter.  Anyone can enter and you don't have do any work for this one!  Leaving a friendly comment wouldn't hurt though:)  I'll ship to wherever and TRY to get it there by Christmas.  




Plus, a cute little snowflake, from me to you!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!


Well, it was a two week process, but I'm finally done getting my Christmas decorations up.  I thought I would post a few more pictures since some of you had asked to see the Christmas banner that I made last week with some crafty friends of mine. 

This banner was inspired by this picture.




It was a fun little project that we were able to get done in one evening.  We just used a Cricut machine to cut out the cardstock letters and then applied black glitter with a gluestick.  I'm thinking maybe Mod Podge would work better next time though!?!

I love my little hand and foot ornaments that my friend, Shelby, made for me when both of my children were babies.  I think they're my favorite ornaments and my kids LOVE finding them each year as we decorate the tree.  Aren't they the sweetest things!?!  I think it's nice (and possible) to combine beautiful ornaments with some sentimental as well.  Why not have both, right? 



My scrappy Peppermint Fancy quilt from a few years ago... 


The next few photos are of some more of my favorite ornaments (edited on Picnik.com).  We made these star ornaments with our church's Activity Day program a couple years ago.  The idea came from this book I have.


Here's the poem that goes with it:

Here's a magical Christmas star
With a tradition old and true
May it bring you warmth and love
From our home to you.

Now everyday 'til Christmas
Find someone in your home
And secretly do a deed of love
So your identity won't be known.

And when the secret act is done
Place the star upon their bed.
They in turn do a secret deed
For another, it is said.

And like the star so long ago
Lit the sky for all to see
May this star bring light & joy
To your sweet family.
- Author Unknown 





I read a story the other day that talked about what all of the decorations of Christmas symbolize.  It made me feel better about putting so much time and effort into the decorating part of Christmas.  Sometimes the meaning of the holiday can get lost, but each little decoration we put up probably has some kind of reference to our Savior and how we should be doing goodwill to our brothers and sista's!  It's actually a good thing that we have all of those reminders surrounding us so much this time of year.  I plan to pay attention a little more to the meanings behind my decorations.

Well, the snow has fallen and we've broken out the Stephen's Vanilla Hot Chocolate (is it really "hot chocolate" if it's vanilla?) around here.  Mmm, that sounds good right now.  Time to get me some!  Hope you have a warm and festive day!  
~It's the perfect day to snuggle up with a cozy quilt and a loved one (or two)! :)  Bye!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Something New

You can always tell that my hubby is gone when I'm getting lots of quilting done. 

This is fabric for my newest project.  


It's going to be for a quilt for the store (that I'll get to keep after we sell out of all the fabric.  Which I think will be soon if this turns out to be as cute as I think it will be!)  I just can't get enough of this new line of fabric by Riley Blake!  It's called Sublime.  I love it!  And I think it will be just daring in the pattern I'm doing.  I'll let that be a surprise.  Just think bird and flowers and a favorite book I have.  Any guesses which pattern it is now?

I've said it before & I'll say it again, to me, this is lovliness! 


I love the whole process of quilting.  I love playing with color and pattern. I love cutting. I love piecing. I love binding.  Can't say I love the actual hand or machine quilting, because I don't usually do my own.  But I love it all.  Today was cutting day and it was so fun to see how this project is starting to take shape.  Tonight I might get some piecing done.  We'll see.  This is going to be a really fun pattern so I can't wait to get it put together!


Aren't my heart pins fun?  My cute Sister-N-Law, Brittany gave me those one day out of the goodness of her heart.  They make pinning such a cheery activity.  Thanks Britt.  I love them! 

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Picnik

Check out this fun website I learned about from a friend.  One of the coolest thing I found on there is the collage making program.  You can make your own Christmas cards or Birthday invitations.  It's so fun playing around on Picnik.com.  You should check it out!



This Christmas card took me about 5 minutes to make.  It was so fun and the best part, it's free!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Lights at Temple Square


To help us get in the mood for the Christmas season, we decided to go see the lights at The Salt Lake Temple this last Friday.  We don't usually go to this as it's very cold in December in Utah and I'm kind of a baby.   But we called up some friends who said they were game for an evening of good food and a wholesome family activity.  Apparently I have been missing out on this Utah Christmas tradition over the last few years.  Hundreds of thousands of lights are hung to help people know that we are here for the purpose of celebrating the birth of Christ.  Millions of people visit Temple Square every year, many of those during the Christmas Season.  It was beautiful!  And, I especially enjoyed the narriated nativity.  The kids were in awe and because we were front and center for this show, we got this fabulous picture:



After the nativity, we decided to go indoors to the Visitor's Center.  I was so excited to show my children the Christus and talk about the Resurrection with them.  It's a beautiful and amazing statue reminding us of His redeeming love for us.





I love this shot of the temple I got after several tries with my camera.



I hope this year that we all might remember the true meaning behind Christmas - a celebration of the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ.  What a wonderful gift his life, example and sacrifice are to us. 

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Baby Bloomer Wall Hanging

Geez, it's been a while since I've actually finished one of my projects.  I'm constantly working on things, but the waiting game is the part I hate.  Waiting to get something back from the quilter and/or saving up the money for it just kills me!  All of you out there that have your own quilting machines, you are so lucky.  My husband said, "Maybe in a few years".  Until then - we quilt slowly but surely.  I don't think my little home machine is quite cut out to do big projects.  It's so basic.  I got it 11 years ago when I first started quilting.  All I cared about at the time was having a straight stitch.  I am SOOO ready for somthing bigger and better!  But I have been trying to do a few little projects with straight lines.  THAT I can handle.  Like this little project:



I just used up some of my neutral scraps to make a little somthing for my nativity to sit on, until I get the rest of the pieces of it (it needed a little umph).  It was fun to quilt the straight lines and the neutral colors will be good for lots of purposes throughout my house.  Like this:



Anyways, my point was, that I finally got my Baby Bloomer wall hanging back from my quilter.  It took a week or two longer than she said it would take (She's backed up with quilts for Christmas now so I am so sad to say that my Fig Tree quilt is getting pushed out until after the 25th) but at least she got this one done.  
 


The pattern can be found in the book Stop, Drop & Roll by Heather Mulder Peterson.  The fabric is Camille's Simple Abundance.


I'm teaching a class on this in January at Just Sew.  It's a fun little project that you can get done in an afternoon.  It's great for beginners.  Now I can check one off the list!  I gotta go take it to the store for display now.  Good-bye for a while Baby Bloomer!