Saturday, December 31, 2011

Just in the nick of time...

This year I tackled my very first block of the month! I have always resisted these because I was afraid I wouldn't finish.... but when I saw the first Birdie Stitches block in January, over at Little Miss Shabby, I was instantly hooked! If you have been following along here on my blog this year, you'll know that I was determined to get each block done in the month it was released. A couple of times I even got the block done on the very first day of the month! And then November came along. And went. Oops!

So, this final week of the year I am back in the lounge chair recovering from another knee surgery (no pity party needed, it forced me into some much needed down time!). I had my Birdie Stitches box ready next to the chair & as soon as the anesthesia haze lifted I set to work! November block done...
And.... December too! I did it! Hooray for me. Now I know, technically this is still a work in progress, but it will be high on the list of 2012 finishes as soon as I get fabric for the sashing, border, back & binding.

I have more WIPs this year than I have EVER had! I don't know if this is good or bad, but here are the projects I have started that WILL be finished up early in 2012:

1) Birdie Stitches (blocks done!)
2) Cross quilt (at the quilter)
3) Ticker Tape quilt (bring 'n brag block of the month, continues until August)
4) Christmas jelly roll race quilt (topper done, I need to share that with you!)
5) Wall hanging (topper done, a Christmas gift from Joellen, I need to share that too!)
6) Wool felt Christmas table topper (oops, this was supposed to get done last year)
7) Another table runner (topper done, birthday gift from Annie, oops, that should be done by now too!)
8) Tunic for me (just needs buttons)
9) Holiday Stitchalong (no rush!)

So there you have it.... I will try to update you on a regular basis how these are finishing up. Looking forward to seeing what all of you will work on in 2012! Happy New Year my bloggy friends.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Year in review - other stuff!

Here are some of my other favorite things I made this year. Lots of little clothes, many for Mackie and some for new babies that arrived this year... 1) Mackie's elephant dress 2) baby outfit for Carlie

I really enjoyed doing the swaps at The Quilt Asylum this year. Here are some of the things I made for swaps:

And, I made quite a few "kitcheny" things this year!

1) placemats for Jordan 2) apron for Joellen

3) apron for Mackie 4) apron for Mom

Most of these were not blogged because they were gifts. Whew! I got a lot done this year (and there was more I didn't share the last few days). I hope 2012 is equally productive. Fingers crossed!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Year in Review... Bags and wool felt

As usual, my crafting was heavy in the bags department this year! Here are a few of my bag finishes: 1) Ipad bag 2) diaper bag

3) Hexie bag 4) polka dot bag

I self published my third bag pattern this year too! You can get the Town Square bag pattern in my etsy shop.

I have also developed quite a fondness for wool felt! Here are some of my favorite felt projects this year.1) Hamster 2) sunshine clip (pattern available here)

3) pin cushion 4) cookies

My first pattern published in a magazine was this year too! My watermelon clip was published in the summer issue of Craftsanity. What a thrill for me! I have several more pattern ideas brewing for 2012. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Year in review... quilts

I like to go back over my accomplishments at the end of each year! TodayI will review my completed quilts for 2011. Here are the biggies..... 1) Busytown quilt 2) Denyse Schmidt snuggle quilt

7) Storybook quilt 8) prayer quilt

I had a lot of fun with quilt backs this year! Big splashy fabrics and pieced backs.
I also experimented with scrappy bindings. Fun! I will be doing more of those. My cross quilt will be my first finish of 2012. It is at the quilter now! I also plan to finish up my Birdie Stitches quilt and my Ticker Tape quilt next year. It's great to have several projects already in the somewhat-finished stage!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Sewing Machine Cover tutorial

Thanks for all the positive feedback on my new sewing machine cover! Would you like to make one too? Let me share how I made mine.

Basically what you are going to do first is make a mini quilt to cover your machine.

You'll want to measure your machine to get the right size. First, measure across, the widest part of your machine. Mine measured 16 inches. I decided to add an inch and a half to allow for a generous cover. It worked out well for me. So the finished width of my cover will be 17 1/2 inches.Now take your tape measure up and over your machine. My measurement is 27 inches, table to table. So now we make a mini quilt.... mine will be 17 1/2 inches X 27 inches but you make yours to fit your measurements! I did mine using the "stitch and flip" method. Lay your backing fabric face down on a flat surface (your backing should be a couple inches bigger than your finished quilt in all directions) and lay a piece of low loft batting on top. Now find the center and lay your center strip face up there. This piece will be on the top of your machine...

I chose to add some solid strips on each side of the center. Mine are 1 1/2 inches wide (finish to 1 inch). Lay one along each edge of your center strip, right sides together. Stitch a 1/4 inch seam, flip your strips open and press.Now add your next strip the same way (I flipped one back so you can see how they are laying on top of each other before sewing).Keep adding your strips until your quilt is the right size. Be careful if you have directional prints like I did. You want the bottom of those strips to be toward the bottoms of your quilt (yes! Your quilt has 2 bottoms!)When you get it all stitched and pressed the way you like it, trim it even and add your binding, just like you would to any quilt (I have a binding tutorial here if you need some tips).Now we're going to sew on some buttons! Come on, I got all those beautiful buttons for Christmas, you knew I was going to add some, right? I chose buttons in two sizes. You will need five larger ones and five smaller ones...when you add a button, sew a small button on first then stack a big button on top of it and stitch. This gives your buttons depth and creates hooks.Here is where your stacks of buttons should go (see the arrows?). Four sets go at the edges, 6 inches up from the bottom. One set is off center, about an inch down from your center strip. Wondering what that button stack is for?It's to hang things on, of course! See, I hung my little scissors there yesterday so they don't get lost...Now we're going to create 2 elastic "scrunchies" for the sides. You need 2 strips of fabric, 4 inches x 8 inches. Fold these in half lengthwise and stitch to make tubes. Flip these right side out. Now tuck both ends in 1/4 inch and press.

Now take 2 pieces of elastic, 1 inch wide X 3 1/2 inches long and sew loops on each end. I made my loops out of 4 inch strips o fabric, but cording would work well too. now, using a safety pin, thread your elastic pieces into the tube. and stitch everything securely inside on both ends.Aren't these cute hooked over the buttons on both ends of your machine? Let me know if you make one for yourself! I have a flickr group where you can share your pictures. If you want to make it in the same fabric I used, I got mine here. I'm sure the nice ladies at The Quilt Asylum would love to help you out.

Monday, December 26, 2011

My new project

Click here for the tutorial that goes with this post!

Right after we moved to Texas nine years ago, I bought myself a new sewing machine. I had been sewing for years on a machine I bought when we were first married for $100. And, it came with a $50 gift card to Joann's! So I sewed for 15 years on a $50 machine. Not bad huh?

So, when the time came, I looked at all kinds of machines and ended up with this awesome Janome. It's a mechanical machine, no computer, with minimal fancy stitches, but it does everything I need it to do. It even has a needle down feature, which you don't find on too many mechanical machines! When I bought the machine, it came with a hard plastic cover, which is great for hauling it places, but not so great for everyday use. In order to put the cover on, you have to remove all the cords for the electrical connection, the foot pedal, etc. It's kind of a pain so I never use it at home. I know, I know, I really should cover my machine. But I use my machine just about every day & I'm not willing to go through all that hassle. Sorry.

I've been wanting to make a cover for my machine for a long time. I've pinned a bunch of pictures on a pinterest board for ideas. Then, when I found this fabric (called Sweet on NYC by Pixie Pops) the wheels started turning in my head & I knew what I wanted to make!

I'm really happy with how it turned out! I even added some of the buttons that Ally put in my Christmas stocking. It took a few tries, but I finally got the sides the way I wanted them too... do you like it?

I'm putting together a tutorial for you, so you can make one for your machine too. I hope to have it for you later this week....

Update... the tutorial is here!

What are you sewing lately?

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas! Ours started last night with a beautiful Christmas Eve candlelight service.

The first thing we do at our house is open our stocking gifts. Santa filled my stocking at Hobby Lobby this year! I may have shared with you before, now that all of our children are older we exchange names and fill each others stockings. It's lots of fun! Ally had me this year. Does she know me or what??? Steve was feeling under the weather today. But he was a good sport anyways! I think he took the "Where's Waldo" shirt a little too literally!

Check out Ally's favorite gift.... an anatomy coloring book! Ok, maybe it's not her favorite but she sure did like it a lot!

And hubby loved his new cordless drill.

It was a fun day, very laid back since some were not feeling 100%. And we all missed Leigh Anne, but she got to spend the day with Grandma & Grandpa in Arizona so it's all good! I hope you all got to celebrate the birth of our saviour with people you love too!

Coming up this week, a review of some of my favorite projects from 2011! And a fun tutorial that I worked on today... thanks for being a part of my bloggy world!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

time out for a cake...

It's been a while since Ally decorated a cake! Her good friend Chloe's birthday is coming up, and the girls are celebrating tomorrow. Check out this masterpiece... Look closer at the top! Ally did this with a stencil. Chloe is a horseback rider.

I think she will be very pleased with her cake!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Busytown Quilt

You probably remember my story about the busy town quilt. Well, the baby who will belong to this quilt is due to arrive any day! I picked it up from Connie the super quilter while I was in Arizona and spent the last day or so stitching on the binding. It's done! Just in time. The Auntie to be just came by to pick it up.Oh yes, Steve is home! Do you like his new shoes? Here's the back of the quilt, pieced with some of the fat quarters I didn't use on the front.

I hope baby arrives soon & loves her new quilt.

Monday, December 19, 2011

did you miss me?

Sorry I have been missing in action. We had a little bit of celebrating to do last week. Leigh Anne graduated from Arizona State University on Thursday! As if graduating wasn't enough, she received the Moeur award, ASUs highest academic honor! This was on the big screen at the arena: She (and her best friend Jordan) wore very high, very fancy, very sparkly shoes for the events

Leigh Anne also gave the student address at the Cronkite School of Journalism Convocation on Friday! Of course all of this required much celebrating, a party thrown by Jordan's awesome parents. And cake.

We had a wonderful time! So proud of you miss Leigh Anne! YOU DID IT!

Now, on to Christmas!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Dinner is served

On Saturday night, hubby and I hosted a group from our church for dinner. I love getting out my Christmas dishes, gold chargers and all, and setting a pretty table for special friends! It was a progressive dinner, so there were several groups of people dining at several different homes. The fellowship committee had suggested we all serve soup.... which did sound delicious. But, alas, hubby would have none of that! We love to cook together.... so we made our stuffed flank steak again, with roasted asparagus and rice.

and yes, it was as delicious as it looks!

Sunday, December 11, 2011


When the todo list gets so long I don't know where to begin, my head gets stuffy and I can't seem to get off the merry-go-round of life, it's time for a break. Even though I have gifts to wrap, suitcases to pack and yes, even some shopping left to do, tonight I am crocheting granny squares and drinking lemon tea.... There is no plan for the grannys. And I had absolutely no intention of beginning another granny blanket. But, the other night at our sewing group, several gals were crocheting and sharing tips, and yes, teaching grannys. And I couldn't get them out of my head. And so it begins....

And how can anyone be anxious with a view like this in the next room....

Oh wait, we must pull back on that shot! Lexi has a new favorite resting place...

Peace on earth. Or at least at ellyn's place. I hope you are finding some peace this Christmas too.

pincushion fruitbowl

Remember when I made the little pear pincushions? I said I was going to make some pineapples too. Well.... They were just as fun and easy to make. Maybe easier because the leaves are felt, just cut and stitch in, no finishing edges, etc.

I wonder what other funky fruit pincushions I could make?