Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 year in review

When the end of the year rolls around, it's fun to look back and see how productive I have been. I am always surprised by how many things I have completed throughout the year! Here are some of my highlights for 2013....

 Mini quilts (lots of English paper piecing this year!)...
 this & that (camera straps, ornaments, pillows, nametag, etc)...
 And just some of the big quilts I completed...
I can't wait to see everyone else's review of projects completed, and journey with you to see what 2014 brings! Happy New Year friends!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas treats

I hope you all had a Merry Christmas! Mine was full of wonderful treats. The best treat of all was having all three of my kids home for a few days!
 There was a fabulous bundle under my tree from Maria, my blogging buddy in Australia. I was such a good girl not peaking until Christmas day! When I did finally open it, I found a beautiful bag, darling ornament, an angel fabric panel and yummy candy...
 Look at this guy! Tell me he doesn't make you smile!
 And the woven pieced panel on my tote bag is fantastic! I would like to learn how to do this technique. Even if it means hopping a plane to West Australia (I WISH!).
I hope you all received everything you asked for from Santa this year.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Texas Suburbs quilt

Way back in June I showed you some swap blocks I was making. Five of us made house blocks for Suburbs quilts and swapped them in September. Well my neighborhood is complete! I love how nicely all of our different houses play together....
 The very best part of this quilt is the quilting that Diann did. I'll share a few of the details with you. Clouds in the sky....
 And kites....
 a boy in the rain with and umbrella (and a duck!)...
 houses with hearts, and some chimneys....
I do believe this is one of my favorite quilts I've ever made! It will hang on the wall of my sewing space eventually. It is also my last big finish for the year.

Merry Christmas to all of you!

Friday, December 20, 2013

ellyn's place stitchalong - all the links!

Here you have it! All of the links to my stitchalong posts in one handy place. Enjoy!

January block mittens

February block sewing machine

March block balloon

April block cross

May block boot

June block bumble bee

July block baseball

August block bunting/bird

October block leaves

November block pumpkin

December block reindeer

flickr group - please add your photos anytime!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

stitchery - finish it up!

Let's put those stitcheries together shall we? Lay out your 12 stitcheries and 13 charm squares in a 5x5 grid. Top row will have 2 stitcheries, next row 3, then 2 then 3 then 2. Make sense? Sew them  together in rows, then sew your rows together. This will give you a 23 inch square.

Now here's the deal. Sometimes you (ok, maybe not you. but me for sure) picture something in your head and when you put it together it's something else altogether. Here are my blocks all sewn together:

Holy cow, that's really BUSY! Let's just say, if I had it to do over again I think I would use solids in between instead of prints! HOWEVER.... this is what I pictured for a whole year and I am going with it. So there.

I decided to add solid pink borders all the way around mine. It did control the madness some! It also made it quite large (about 28 inches square with 3 1/2 inch borders). I have it all pinned and ready to quilt in the next few days but I thought I would give you an idea for your own stitcheries.

A few tips:

I put my stitcheries in order (January, then February, then March... and so on). Feel free to put yours in whatever order is pleasing to you. There are no rules!

Press all of your seams toward the charm squares to avoid bulk.

Please post your pictures in our flickr group.

If you haven't joined us in the stitchalong or you are missing some patterns, I will post all of the links to the stitchery blog posts in one post in a couple of days. That way you don't have to go searching! I can't wait to see what you come up with!

Saturday, December 14, 2013


The lucky winner of my Sew Mama Sew giveaway is #58 (chosen by Random.org). It's Amy! Amy said: " would love a new walking foot for my machine! Thanks for the giveaway!" You're welcome Amy! And I do hope Santa brings your walking foot. Thanks everyone for playing along.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Stitchalong blocks

I hope you've finished stitching your 12 monthly ellyn's place stitchalong blocks! If not, no worries, you can always come back to this tutorial when you are ready. Today I'm going to show you how to make 5 inch wonky blocks from your little stitcheries. Ready? First off, you need a sashing fabric. If you want to use this same fabric later on for borders and binding, you'll need about a yard total. I've used solid bright pink here. Cut some 3 inch strips, width of fabric. I used 8 strips total. 

Remember that your stitchery blocks should already be cut to 4 1/2 inches square.

Sew strips to both sides of your stitcheries. I chain pieced the blocks to the strips and cut in between them after. Press the seam allowances (1/4") toward your strips.
Now even up your edges....
And add strips to the top and bottom the same way....
 Do this to all 12 of your blocks....
 Now we're going to cut these blocks down to 5 inches. I hope you have a 5 inch square ruler. That will make this process so much simpler! You could also cut a five inch square from template plastic or cardboard and trace around it onto your blocks. I used a five inch ruler. Tilt your ruler to make a wonky block. Make sure you leave at least 1/4 inch of the border fabric all the way around after cutting.
 see how cute it is all wonky?
Do this to all 12 blocks. I did all of mine tilted the same way. If you want your quilt really wonky you could tilt your ruler in different directions on each block. It's up to you!

Ok, that's enough for today! Once you have all of your blocks cut wonky, gather 13 coordinating charm squares and I'll show you how I joined mine in a few days.

Don't forget to add your blocks to our Flickr pool. 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Texas freeze and giveaway day!

In case you haven't heard, we've had a giant ice storm here in Texas all weekend. Our poor tree branches are laying on the ground. As far as we can tell, none are broken and we are hoping they will bounce back as the ice thaws.
 The ice did make for some interesting photo opportunities....
We've been stuck in the house since Thursday (ok, we snuck out to Target yesterday afternoon in hubby's big truck with brand new tires. It probably wasn't our brightest move, but we were all suffering from severe cabin fever! We're home now safe and warm, no worries). Honestly, we could use a little excitement here at ellyn's place. How about a giveaway? What? It's Sew Mama Sew Giveaway day you say? How convenient!
With all of this nasty weather coast to coast I imagine there's lots of hot beverage drinking going on. Whatever your drink of choice, (tea? hot chocolate? coffee?) wouldn't it taste better on a snazzy Christmas mug rug? Yes? I thought so (what? you're reading this on the other side of the equator and are currently drinking lemonade on the beach? Fine. Christmas is still coming up, right?)
 Look how cute it looks! No, I'm not going to mail you my mug. But I promise to include some extra goodies in your package (you want the candy canes? Ok, I can part with those!)
No hoops to jump through at ellyn's place.... just leave me a comment (maybe you can share one thing that's on your list for Santa this year). I will choose a winner on Friday evening, December 13. Oh, and you might want to hop on over to Sew Mama Sew after you're done here. There are lots more goodies up for grabs. Good luck!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

finally I can show you this!

Have any of you been watching all of the "ladies" Carol has been making this year? Fabulous quilted portraits, many of them of quilters themselves. Well I decided several months ago that I wanted to have one made for my beautiful mom. Here's the picture I sent to Carol....

And this is what she made....
 I've had it for a while now, saving it for when Mom & Dad came to visit at Christmastime. It's a birthday present for Mom (her birthday is next week). Well, a few weeks ago Mom had a bad fall and broke her femur. She's such a good sport, working hard to get back to her normal, busy self, but there will be no long distance travel for them this Christmas. So I popped her lady in the mail and she opened her up yesterday....

This makes me so happy! Love you Mom, Happy Birthday! And thank you Carol for this awesome gift!

Friday, December 6, 2013

stitchalong! our last month

We made it! Today I am giving you your twelfth and final stitchery pattern for the ellyn's place stitch along. And what could be better than a happy red nosed reindeer? I hope you like him.
 If you've been stitching along with me, you will have 12 completed stitcheries when your reindeer is finished....
You can get your December stitchery pattern here.

I'll give you a week or so to stitch him up, then we'll start putting them all together! Are you as excited as I am to see the finished project? Stay tuned! Oh, and don't forget to add your finished stitcheries to our flickr group. Happy Stitching!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Impromptu quilt

Remember back in October I told you about attending the Original Sewing & Quilt Expo? I mentioned a class Trae & I took with Rachel Griffith. It was fun to make her Impormptu quilt. Such a great pattern! I decided to make mine a Christmas quilt using the Jangle fabric line. Well, it's finally finished!
 It took three of my crafty Tuesday buddies standing on chairs to hold up this giant quilt! They are a silly bunch...

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Merry Crafty Tuesday Christmas!

Today the Crafty Tuesday girls gathered to celebrate Christmas together. My little gift bags were ready and waiting before they arrived....
Trae brought her presents all wrapped pretty in beautiful fabrics with ornaments tied on....

 She made each of us our initial in our favorite colors! We thought we were so funny (incorrectly) spelling out a word....
 My present for the girls was necklaces from Jennifer Jangles.... Joellen, Raquel and Trae got sewing machines and Melissa got a camera. It's possible that I accidentally (HA!) bought one for myself too!
 Melissa made us all beautiful napkin rings
 Check out these giant bags from Joellen! They zip up too. I carried 2 big quilts in mine to guild tonight for show 'n tell.
 And from Raquel, adorable snowman gift bags with lotion, hand sanitizer, tissues, socks, peppermint candy bars and adorable ornaments....
I feel very spoiled... not just by the goodies but by the wonderful friendships I share with these ladies.