Thursday, November 29, 2012

a prayer quilt finish

I've been working on a prayer quilt for a beautiful lady at church who is battling that demon cancer. I had one more batch of my green and grey swap blocks left and I thought they would make a cheerful quilt for her as she goes through her treatments. Yesterday, I recruited some helpers to tie the quilt and pray for their friend...
 The ladies in the Mary Circle at our church are the dearest women I have ever known. They laugh a lot, pray for our church and for each other and support each other. They are a wonderful example of what Christian women should be. I always enjoy being in their company and learning from their example.
 Today I finished sewing on the binding and the label so the quilt can be delivered.
 A beautiful fall day here in Texas (look at that blue sky!)
I pray our quilt brings her comfort and healing.

Monday, November 26, 2012

learning to quilt

My friend Lori came over to sew today. She wanted to make 2 baby quilts for a friend. Lori sews but has never made a quilt. We had such a good time! She had brought some cute baby prints she bought and we cut them into 6 1/2 inch squares (a size that worked well with one of the prints that was divided into squares). Then we dove into y stash and found some solids and polka dots that played nicely with her prints. She laid the patchwork out in a cute scrappy style and we sewed them together as a team. I must say, we're a pretty fine team! Here's Lori's very first quilt top....
She's coming back on Friday so we can sew the second one together. I think she did a terrific job, don't you?

Friday, November 23, 2012

decking the halls....

I love when my house is decorated for Christmas. I guess that's why we always do it the day after Thanksgiving! And this year, with Thanksgiving so early, I have even more time to enjoy it! Today I got home from shopping (just the quilt stores for me on Black Friday! I'm not crazy. Ok, maybe I am.) and my sweet hubby had the tree up and decorated! He's a keeper. Ally even posed for me...
 One of my favorite Christmas decorations is this adorable gingerbread family that my friend Tracey made for me years ago. They hang in my dining room, underneath our family photo wall. I have little tiny 3m hooks tucked under the bottom shelf that I just leave up from year to year because nobody can see them! How did we ever decorate before those hooks? And no, they aren't paying me to say that. I'm just a fan.
 When Mom & Dad came to visit this year, she brought me this adorable Santa quilt she had made for us! It's hanging in the hallway where we'll see it all the time.... but it's hard to get a good straight on shot there! Thanks Mom, I love it!
Over the years I have gradually been trading in some of my "cutesy" decorations for more formal ones. This year it was the mantel's turn to get spruced up. Ally & I went to Hobby Lobby and bought lots of sparkly things, garland, candles, ornaments, bells even "funky gold twigs" for my vase. If you look really close you'll see that I even have gold stars dangling from clear thread. Ally declared our theme "gaudy not cheesy" and I do think we pulled it off!
 We had a few red ornaments left over and decided to show them off in a pretty crystal bowl.

If you need me, I'll be curled up on the couch listening to Christmas music and enjoying all of the sparkle!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


I haven't stitched up one of my own patterns in ages! But I had a request for a Nantucket bag, so I stitched it up today...
 Believe it or not, I had to dig out a copy of my own pattern so I would do it right! The Nantucket Market Bag was my first self published pattern. It makes a terrific grocery bag, or just a big tote when you have lots to carry. I also have an over the shoulder sling bag (the NYC Hipster Bag) and a cute small tote that works as a purse (the Town Square Bag).  I've restocked all three of my patterns in my shop if you'd like to make one too...
On to the next project! What are you making today?

Saturday, November 17, 2012

miss me?

Sorry there haven't been any crafty updates this week. I'm spending some quality time with my two oldest kiddos in Phoenix.....
And some time with my parents too. It would have been great if I had gotten a picture of them, wouldn't it? Oops. Anyways, I have made a few quilt shop visits and will share my goodies with you when I get home (or pictures of my goodies. I'm not sharing the actual goodies. No way.)

Hope your week has been happy!

Friday, November 9, 2012

row quilt-a-long

Row quilts seem to be all the rage in blogland these days. Well, our bring 'n brag group is doing a row-a-long too. I like it because we have lots of freedom to do our own thing. We were given 1/8 yards of 10 gray prints and must use at least some of it in each row we make. We have 6 months to make 10 rows (at least one row per month), they have to be between 4 and 8 inches high and at least 36 inches wide, and our finished quilt has to be no bigger than 60x72". Whew!  I guess there are more rules than I realized! Other than that, the choices are ours.

I have decided to use a different bright color (solid or reads solid) in each row. This is the row I showed in October (it's really more purple than it looks here):
 And my November row:
 On Tuesday (Crafty Tuesday #3!) I made my row for December. I had been wanting to try this bow tie block and had a lot of fun putting it together:
 I am using solid gray around each row, lots of negative space to show off my staggered rows. Here are the first three, all sewn together....
I'm liking it so far and have lots of ideas for my future rows. It's fun to see everyone else's too, so many different ideas. The finished quilts will be so varied. Can't wait to show them to you (but I'll have to!)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

a gratitude mosaic

Every year I choose a word for the year.... a word that I explore, read about, think about, ponder.... this year my word is gratitude. I have had a wonderful time exploring gratitude throughout the year. This past summer I read the book One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp. In this beautifully written book, Ann challenges herself to write down 1000 things that she is thankful for. 

Well, this got me thinking. I am the chair of the Stewardship committee at our little church this year. I wondered if our congregation (usually less than 100 each Sunday) could write down 1000 things that they are thankful for? Then the idea began to snowball. I created a mosaic on graph paper with 100 squares. Then my sweet husband built us a board, 8 feet high by 12 feet wide. My friend Cheryl and I covered it in black paper and created a grid with yarn. Then we challenged the congregation to begin writing down what they are thankful for on 3 inch pieces of colored paper. 

Each week we would put the papers up on the mosaic. We had so much fun reading each one as we worked. One child was thankful for her frog every single week! At first it was hard to tell what the picture was going to be (and I honestly wondered if we would be able to fill it!)
 The second week it still looked pretty obscure.
 but then the picture began to come together and letters to emerge.
 Ah! Now you can tell what it says!
 And today I put up the last squares in the picture. We did it!
What are you most thankful for today?

Sunday, November 4, 2012

learning to sew - lesson three

Two of my three young friends returned for a third lesson yesterday. They decided they wanted to make pillowcases. They have become quite comfortable in my sewing space. Ironing...
 And sewing of course. Today's lesson included a group trip to Hobby Lobby to pick out their own fabric. They made wonderful choices...
 Sometimes things get a little silly...
 We found ourselves with plenty of time left over, so the girls rummaged in my Christmas stash and each made a Christmas pillowcase too!

 Nice work girls!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

fun swap!

Sally and I have been reading and commenting on each other's blogs for a long long time. A few weeks back, we decided to do a little swap. I had so much fun putting together a bundle of goodies for Sally! You can read more about it here on her blog .
And yesterday this happy jumble of goodness arrived in my mailbox...

 This beauty is actually a pillow cover, but Sally said I could hang it as a mini quilt if I want to. Oh such a big decision!!!! But I do think it will look awesome on my wall of minis. Planning to get the ladder out this weekend and add it to my collection.
 These awesome crocheted hot pads will be so useful and pretty too. And the little fabric basket is going to hold my earrings I think.
 I have been eyeing up these cathedral window pin cushions online for a long time but have not attempted to make one. Isn't this one fabulous? I love it very much.
Thanks Sally! That was so much fun.