Friday, December 30, 2011

2011 Wrap Up and Resolutions

Did you make any resolutions for 2011? I only made one. I wanted to make at least one quilt per month of the year. I actually met it too! From what I can tell, I made 14. This is "completed" quilts only. There were a lot of other crafts along the way as well.
Here are a few of the things I made this year.

Quilts and bags, pillows and more bags! It has been a productive year of crafting and blogging!

I've been thinking about what my resolutions are for the next year. I'd love to maintain the "1 a month" goal. I know I have at least two twin quilts due by March already. I also have several UFO's barking at my ankles. So...

1. Make one quilt per month
2. Complete at least 3 UFO's in the year.
3. Practice more FMQ
4. Participate in at least one bee, swap, etc.
5. Participate in at least one quilt along

Some of the things I accomplished this year were:

1. I started quilting!
2. I learned to paper piece.
3. I learned some basic straight line quilting and started using some FMQ.

Some things I'd like to learn next year are:

1. To use a long arm quilter
2. To be more precise with my quilting
3. To write my own pattern

Well, that's it! See you guys in the new year! I'm linking up to Craft Buds and A little Gray.

Craft Buds

The Year in Sewing

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Just Because You Make it Out of Boy Fabric...

I was on a roll with ideas on how to organize my children with fabric bags and baskets until hubby finally gave me the look. You know the one; where they look like, "I'm going to tell you this because you obviously don't appear to be grasping this point." His 'point' was, "Just because you stick some racecars or some tools on it doesn't mean it's not still a purse!" I was only asking if I could make a drawstring bag for Little Man's BeyBlades! I guess it does kind of look like a purse, huh?
I made this one out of some fabric the kids gave me for Christmas. They gave me two fat quarter packs. This one...
and this one.
They also got me some other sewing goodies.
And hubby got me a new sewing machine.
I had a very basic Kenmore and we're keeping that one for my daughter to learn on. This brand was recommended by someone in the AMQG when Mitzi and I attended one of their meetings.

Speaking of Mitzi and those wonderful drawstring bags, have you seen these she made? She did a couple of sets for Christmas gifts (I think) where they are in graduating sizes. I want measurements Mitzi!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Quokka Quilts/FQS Contest!

Quokka Quilts is holding a great contest. Follow the link to all the details. They are encouraging bloggers and others to pick 12 prints and 3 solids from Fat Quarter Shop to create your own version of a "Blogger's Bundle." Hereis the mosaic of the fabrics I chose. Initially I tried to just look for fabrics to which I was drawn. Then, as the color scheme started coming together, I started to get a bit more specific. It's funny; the three solids I chose come from three completely different lines but play well together!

Now, you knew I was going to choose some green!

From left to right starting at the top:
Row 1
1. Bella Solids 30's Yellow Yardage   SKU# 9900-23
2. Riley Blake Designs Sweet Carrot Solid Yardage    SKU# C100-75
3, Michael Miller Meadow Cotton Couture Solid Yardage   SKU# SC5333-MEAD-D

4. Hall of Fame Yellow Game Turf Yardage   SKU# DC5367-YELL-D
5. Hall of Fame Mustard Game Turf Yardage  SKU# DC5367-MUST-D

6. Ooh La La Citrus Fleurs Du Soleil Yardage  SKU# DC5200-CITR-D
7. Ooh La La Yellow Cercle De Fleurs Yardage   SKU# DC5203-YELL-D
8. Sunny Happy Skies Green Tonal Florals Yardage   SKU# C2732-GREEN
9. Alphabet Soup Green Circle Up Yardage  SKU# C2586-GREEN
10. Decadence Orange Skinny Stripe Yardage   SKU# C2635-ORANGE

Row 3
11. Whimsy Yellow Leaves Yardage   SKU# 5606-44
12. Royal Peacocks Olive Metallic Vines Yardage    SKU# 9216-96G
13. Royal Peacocks Fawn Crackled Words Yardage  SKU# 9215-164G
14. Flower Power Batiks Firecracker Yellow Tiny Daisies Yardage   SKU# HO1-3000
15. Decadence Green Petal Dots Yardage   SKU# C2636-GREEN

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas to You and Yours!

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Christmas holiday! I am with my family so I sneakily pre-posted this but I wanted to tell you all that I hope you have a wonderful holiday season and that your hearts are full of joy and love.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Home for the Holidays

We will be spending the holidays with my parents this year for the first time ever. Hubby's new job restricted when we could be where for Thanksgiving and Christmas so it ended up being better to switch this year. We went to his mom's for Thanksgiving and are going to mine for Christmas. My sister and her family will be there as well. There is always the possiblity that my grandmother will come too, so it will definitely be a house full!

I finished my niece's quilt this morning...finally!
Sorry for the inside pic but it's been raining all day here.
I did the back in a stripe. It's hard to tell in these pics but I just did a diamond crosshatch type quilting on this one.
Here's a close-up of the back.

I also picked up my goodies I won from the LQS. I won three charm packs of Jovial by Moda.
I'm excited to have something to make another Christmas quilt for next year! This one will be bigger.

I guess that's it. OH! Except for the elves. Yeah, they've been on high silly alert.
They got into the Operation game yesterday. Then my son was not paying attention (walking backward) and bumped Elphie with his foot. I warned him that she would not move the next day but I don't think he believed me. Jingles even looked a little concerned about her this morning.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

All I Want for Christmas...

Is to finish this quilt! I finally finished the top. I have posted pictures of this quilt before but it was never big enough. It is now an odd 45x55 but that's as big as it's going to get. I'm done! Now I have to get it quilted and bound by Friday. Ach!!!

I also found out this morning that I won another pattern through the Blog Hop Party! This is the Floating Stars pattern over at Heather Spence Designs. Isn't this pretty?

And the elves. Oh my, the elves! They have been up to more mischief.  They were so pooped out the other night from their shenanigans that they had to take a rest.
They were found with a tiny note that read:
too busy
needed rest
see you

This morning they were back to their regular chaos having raided the kids' toys.

They were racing a truck with a  remote control dinosaur. Looks like prehistoric skill outweighs modern day know-how, huh?

I also wanted to end with picture of our tree. I have never been able to get a good picture of our tree while it was lit until I came across this recent tutorial. I can't say that I have a fabulous comprehension of shutter speed and aperture yet but I at least got a fairly decent picture of the tree (though not as great as Emilie's!).

I'll have to let you know tomorrow what I won at the LQS. I'm going to run by and pick it up today!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Tunic and a Word

I won a tunic pattern from April at Kool Beenz for the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day!

I'm excited because you can make a size 0 to a size 3X with this! So I could pretty much make one for anybody! I'll have to look at it and figure out some pretty fabric to make it out of. Maybe by the time I get around to it, it'll be spring time and I can wear it!

I was also at my LQS yesterday where she was having an Open House. They were drawing names for prizes while I was there. When I left I jokingly said, "Just call me to let me know what I won!" She laughed. Then she called about 2 hours later! I don't know what I won but I won something! I have to wait until Tuesday to pick it up because she's not open on Mondays.
Also I noticed while checking out blogs that Sharon from Dancing Thru Threads came up with a word for herself for 2012. Hers is FOCUS. I thought this was such a cool idea so I came up with my own word for 2012. I tend to throw all my energies toward one thing and neglect others, so I thought my word for the year should be BALANCE. We'll see how that works out for me.

I made some more progress on the string quilt but I still don't think it's big enough. I also worked on drawstring bags for teachers last night. I gave away the four I had so now I need more. Two down (still need drawstrings), many to go before Wednesday!

As far as the elves go, they were playing hide and seek last night. There was a suggestion that they take baths after the skunk stink but I couldn't figure out how to do that and still allow us to shower in the morning, so ...
Jingles was counting with his eyes closed while on the counter above the sink.
Elphie was later found hiding in the pantry. Hmmm, I sure hope elves don't need air holes. Maybe I should pop the top a bit...

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Fiesta Ware Dishes Are On the Shelf!

I'm so excited! Last night I finished my wall hanging for the MIL and it turned out so cute. I definitely need to do something like this for my kitchen!

I took the general advice and did a stitch just inside the edge of each dish in the color depicted. Then I stippled the walls in white. Let me just say, this is only my 3rd FMQ attempt and the first time ever I would actually call what I did stippling. The other time I tried to stipple and pretty quickly crossed a line. Then I would give up and just say I was doing loops. Did I cross over a line this time? You betcha! But not NEARLY as much as before and it looks more like stippling. I still need LOADS of practice but I am pleased with the effect.
Yeah, yeah, not perfect I know, but much better  than before. And those cup handles? Those were a pain and none are exactly the same, but they're done.
I also added some littel swirls in the brown to make it look like knots in the wood, sort of a wood grain effect.
It may just be because this was a smaller piece to work on but I felt like I did a little better keeping stitch length the same during FMQ. Not a lot, but a little.

As far as the elves go this morning, well, they had a little unwelcome guest. It seems they came across the doghouse for one of Thing 1's American Girl pets and decided to play in it (I would say "play house" but I don't want to start any unseemly elfin thoughts in your heads!). Unfortunately another of Thing 1's little friends decided he had a way to quickly vacate the premises.
Gosh, I hope Santa knows how to get skunk stink out of elves...

Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas is Coming, Christmas is Coming!

I'm really trying to get on the ball since Christmas is right around the corner. I baked cookies last night (Mexican wedding cookies) and I finished the top of my Fiesta dishes wall hanging!
I think it's going to be so cute! Here's what I'm putting on the back.

Now I have a dire in the world do I quilt this thing?  Usually I can stand back and look at my projects and get an idea of what to do, but not this time. I originally thought of using a colored thread and pretending I was creating a wallpaper design on the white, but the dishes are going to have to be quilted as well. I'm just not sure how I want to do it.

I received a correction from my daughter regarding the elves rapelling yesterday. She told her dad that they had accidentally gotten locked out and were attempting to get back inside the house. I had said they were escaping. I stand corrected!
This morning they ventured farther out and were found in my car. It took the kids forever to find them and I think they were getting a bit concerned.
Of course, I don't think the elves thought this out. The one on the steering wheel brushes the top of my legs when I turn, so we made an executive decision that it was okay to touch clothing, just not skin.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Video from Santa and more Elphie News

My MIL sent me the link to this website, portable north pole. You can go there and plug in information about your little one (nothing too revealing). You can also add pictures of them. They have Santa create a video to your child discussing whether they have been nice or naughty, and he will even mention a specific item from your child's wish list. Kind of cool. I did one for my son under the pretext that he had been nice. We let him watch it last night and it was unreal watching his face. He spoke to Santa through the computer and had this wicked grin on his face the whole time!  When it was done, Santa is waving goodbye and my little man was just waving and saying "Bye Santa!" So cute! Of course, Thing 1 kept cutting her eyes at me about it. I was telling another commenter yesterday that she sneaked up to me the other night wanting to stay up late and help move the elves. Excuse me? I just told her I didn't know what she was talking about and sent her to bed.

As far s those elves go, did I tell you the kids named them? Yes, ours are Elphie (short for Elpheba; we like Wicked around here) and Jingles. This morning the kids had a much harder time locating them because it was dark outside. Why should that matter, you say?

They got outside and were rapelling down the door to the deck!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Calgon, Take me Away!

I am so tired! I feel like I have spent the last week on the computer! And I sort of have. First I entered about 180-200 contests on Quilting Gallery's Giveaway Day list. Then I started entering contests on Sew Mama Sew's Giveaway Day Monday. I am officially done with the ones I'm entering and I'm pooped! I sure hope I win something to make all this typing worthwhile! But I will say, it has been great fun finding new blogs I didn't know about. And I like when blogs ask you to answer specific questions in their comments. Now, most blogs are asking Christmas type questions (favorite movie, favorite Christmas song or treat) but I have come across some different ones. "Given the chance would you become a vampire?" That was definitely different. I also came across a game someone did in their comments which I thought was very cute. I'll have to remember that one next time I do a giveaway!

Well, even though I've spent most of my time typing, I have tried to work on some things. My MIL's stack of fiesta ware dishes is getting closer to done. I kind of got a kick in the pants today when I looked at my dashboard and noticed that M-R over at Quilt Matters made a comment about how there are only 10 days left until Christmas. Holy bells and whistles Batman! How did that happen? I've been working through a bit of a sluggish period but now is the time to get it in gear! So here's where the dishes stand right now:
I'm working on getting each row done before I sew them together but I think it's looking cute. The colors are a bit brighter than I intended to use but I checked the fiesta ware website before doing it!

Oh, and if you're wondering about those silly elves...
one day we caught them coloring pictures of Rudolph and Santa...

and yesterday they took pictures with my camera which we found next to them (hard to take a picture of a camera on the shelf when you're using it to take the picture). They had their hands over their mouths giggling. When I showed the kids the pictures, I accidentally knocked one of the elves off the shelf. Too bad! They don't move the next day if you tough them (a break for me!).  All the pictures they took were low to the ground, though one was of an elf hanging from the shower curtain rod (though it looked to be taken from the floor!).

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Check out Today only Sale at FQS!!!!

***Update: here is the direct link to dots and spots!
Fat Quarter Shop sale, today only! 50% off spots and dots. I got this off Fabric Donkey but thought you guys might be interested! I just did a search for dots and bunches of them are around $5 a yard! Excellent! I'm getting some for my boy quilt and some for my stash!

A Quilty Ethics Question

Okay, so I'm not entirely sure that it would fall under ethics but I still would love to know your opinions! If you hang around here any you may have seen the Sunbonnet Sue quilt I cut up for a friend. She asked me to make pillows for her family members and a couple of bags for her daughters and niece. Well, while I was working on it, I did a fabric run and ended up getting into a conversation with one of the ladies who worked at the store about refurbishing quilts (undoubtedly something she has done). She was just horrified that I cut up this quilt. Hello? Not my quilt, not my decision. I asked my friend 40 times before I did it if she was sure! Anyway! She started telling me this long list of things I could have done to have refurbished this quilt. Again, not my decision, but it got me thinking.

My hubby has several quilts that his great grandmother made. His favorite, of course, is the one that's in the worse condition. And, get ready to laugh, it's a Sue quilt. He asked me to look at it to see if I could salvage it. Let me just say, there are some nasty holes in this thing and they're not in good spots. It might be best to remove the Sues and reattach them to another piece of fabric. This whole situation goes along with what I was thinking before...

At what point is it no longer the original quilt? Say Great Grandma LuluBell made a quilt that has been handed down in your family but it is in horrible condition. You put hours of work into refurbishing it and end up having to replace a myriad of fabrics. At what point do you say this is just a quilty marriage of yours and GG LuluBell's techniques? At what point is it no longer GG LuluBell's quilt?
I don't know. And the lady at the store insisting that it stay a quilt; isn't it still the work of my friend's grandmother? And wouldn't she have wanted everyone to have a piece of something she made rather than having everyone in the family angry at one person because they got to it first?
I know this will all be personal opinions but I was just curious what you guys thought...

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Busy, Busy, Busy!

Christmas time is always so busy. I still have to find stocking stuffers for hubby and I need to finish the two quilty gifts for MIL and my niece. Things to do and not enough time to do them!
And when you get busy, you tend to make mistakes. Lindsay, don't worry about the dress. I messed up one of the bags. You know, the Sunbonnet Sue bags? Yeah, I put a pocket in upside down! That was interesting to fix. I couldn't turn the liner upside down because I'd already cut where I boxed the corners and there were holes where the magnetic clasps went. But I did it!
The elves have been busy as well; getting into silliness!
They got into the kid's Halloween candy...
were found snuggled in a Santa hat reading "The Grinch"...
and this morning seemed to be taking a marshmallow bubble bath! They know not to touch the elves (they won't move anymore if you touch them) but I think some kiddos sneaked some marshmallow snackage this a.m.! Hope your family is loving getting ready for Christmas!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Q is for Quilt!

My youngest is in kindergarten and this week was "Q" week. Okay, now get ready to laugh. It didn't even occur to me. He asked me what he could take for show and tell. I can honestly say it didn't even cross my mind. I was thinking "quarter" I sat in my sewing room...sewing. Uh, yeah. He was thinking and looking around. Then he looks at me and says, "Mom, how about I take a quilt for Q?" DUH! Ya think? I felt so stupid. I told hubby and he said, "You don't think it was subliminal, seeing as how he was surrounded by them at the time?" Well, yeah, but I was too and it didn't even click for me!
So today I made a little field trip to his class with some quilts. Just a few. Maybe 5. But the kids ended up enjoying it.
But my big old bag came in handy for taking them all. I actually took a couple of blocks including my improv house from the Skill Builder so I could show them how you use shapes to create something new.

I also finally got my friend's Sunbonnet Sue bags done.
I used more traditional fabric on the outside...
then I used pink gingham on the inside of the brown ones...
and red gingham on the inside of the purple one.
I know they both look the same but there really is a color difference in real life! I gave them to her last night but then I took them back so I could take pictures! Aren't I awful? Well, gottat go check on the elves...something tells me they're going to be silly tonight!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Giveaways and Mischief!

First off, check out Giveaway Day over at Sew Mama Sew. This is going to be December 12 and will only involve giveaways on blogs. I'm still trying to decide whether or not I'm participating with a giveaway. I just had a few and I'm not sure I have anything to send out! We'll see.
Finally, the elves are getting into a bit more mischief.
This is how they were found this morning. One found my daughter's DS, and the other couldn't find my son's so he got a Buzz Lightyear game to play with. Something tells me they're going to get into more stuff as it gets closer to Christmas! And this is how they will be found tomorrow.
Looks like they think they're King Kong in the Christmas village!