Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy New Year!

I've been seeing a lot of year end wrap-up posts popping up in my blog reader these past few days and I must say I'm floored by what so many of you have accomplished. You ladies are incredible! You work (inside or outside the home), raise your families, cook, clean, organize and still find time to create gorgeous quilts, outfits for your kids and even purses and clothing for yourselves.

My own little sewing wrap-up may be small in comparison, but looking back I can see how my sewing skills are improving and my creativity is blossoming. Here's a quick run-down of what I accomplished in 2011:
  • Completed three baby quilts, with two donated to charity. These projects were great opportunities to experiment with straight line and organic line quilting, as well as my first foray into sashing my blocks. 
  • Made several gift sets. The first was a mug rug and matching pin cushion for my daughter's preschool teacher. The second was a dolly diaper bag, diapers, wipes and quilt for my adorable niece, Miss E. 
  • Made a preschool backpack and conquered my fear of zippers!
  • Designed a Darth Vader costume for my daughter's bear. This was quite possibly one of my proudest sewing moments in 2011.
  • Created Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny Halloween costumes for my kids.
  • Whipped up lots of goodies for my Etsy shop and even participated in a craft fair.
Not too shabby, considering I only have time to sew when the kiddos are sleeping.

As for 2012, I only have a few goals so far:
  • Complete the postage stamp quilt.
  • Complete a top-secret quilt to be gifted to a dear friend soon.
  • Try new quilting techniques. I'm slowly venturing into new territory with new techniques like flying geese, simple block pattern design and even (eep!) fabric/color selection.
  • Continue busting through my stash.
  • Buy fabric mindfully. Try not to purchase fabric without a project in mind - that's a hard one!
Happy New Year to you and your family! I'd love to hear about your accomplishments and goals for 2012 - be sure to include a link in your comment if you blogged about it.

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Thursday, December 29, 2011

T.N.T. Thursday: Flying Geese

This week I took the plunge and started a top-secret quilt that involves flying geese. Since this was my first attempt at sewing flying geese, I turned to my good friend Google for advice. I found a couple of great tutorials, but in the end I ended up using Pieceful Kwilter's no waste flying geese tutorial. There were certainly other excellent flying geese tutorials out there but I liked this one best for several reasons:
  1. No waste! Don't get me wrong, I love scraps. But I knew I wouldn't be able to find a use for all of those itty bitty triangles that would be left behind if I used most tutorials.
  2. You get four flying geese every time. This is awesome because I just so happen to need four identical flying geese for each block on this quilt.
  3. There's a handy-dandy little chart to help you out with the math. A must for any quilting newbie like myself!
It's a great tutorial if you happen to be new to flying geese. As of this afternoon, I've finished four blocks and I must say they're ADORABLE! 

I know what you're thinking... why the big secret? Why only show part of a block? The recipient of this particular quilt just so happens to be the one dear friend in my life who actually reads my blog and this post is enough of a spoiler as it is. You wouldn't want me to ruin her surprise, would you?

I promise that I'll post lots of photos as soon as it's finished and gifted!

You can find this project linked up at: 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Quokka Quilts Blogger's Choice FQ Bundle

There's a fun little contest sponsored by Fat Quarter Shop going on over at Quokka Quilts. Contestants pick their own fat quarter bundle using any 12 prints and 3 solids that can be found in Fat Quarter Shop's inventory.

I'm new at putting together prints for quilts since all of my finished quilts so far have been scrap quilts, but I couldn't resist joining in the fun. I like the idea of mixing up fabric lines when putting together a quilt. Entire collections are wonderful, but I think you really stretch your creative muscles when you force yourself to come up with your own "collection" for your quilt.

My bundle for the contest is inspired by one of my new favorite lines: Woodland by Natalie Lymer for Lecien Fabrics. It's so fun and cheerful. Wouldn't it make a delightful quilt?

  1. Woodland Red Toadstool Dots
  2. Remix Red Argyle Plaid
  3. Pimatex Basics Red Lovely Circles
  4. Weekend Clubhouse 2012 Red Petit Point
  5. Kona Cotton Rich Red
  6. Woodland Gray Toadstool Houses
  7. Remix Steel Argyle Plaid
  8. Stitch Organic Steel Tonal Patchwork
  9. Remix Steel Scatter Dots
  10. Kona Cotton Coal
  11. Woodland Olive Home Sweet Home
  12. Hall of Fame Olive Game Ticking
  13. Alphabet Soup Green Circle Up
  14. Crazy for Dots and Stripes II White Mini Dots on Green
  15. Kona Cotton Peridot

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas!

I hope you and your families enjoy a wonderful, safe and very merry Christmas. May the light of Christ shine brightly upon you and yours.

Oh, and in case you're wondering... yes, that's our tree. And no, it didn't look this disheveled the day we decorated it. I think it took my kids a grand total of three hours to destroy "redecorate" it. Now nearly all of the ornaments reside safely on the top third of the tree.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

T.N.T. Thursday: A Dolly Gift Set

Tomorrow I get to meet my precious niece, Miss E., in person for the first time. She's 16 months old, and though we've Skyped a lot since she was born I've never actually held her or squeezed her cute little cheeks since my brother and his wife live in Texas and we live in Northern California.

And since my sister-in-law is expecting their second baby this summer, I thought that perhaps Miss E. will want some goodies to use to take care of her own baby doll (made by my mom as a Christmas gift for Miss E.) after her new brother or sister arrives. Miss C. carried her diaper bag everywhere we went after Master W. was born. She loved changing her bear's diapers and bundling them up for bed whenever I did the same for Master W. I'm hoping Miss E. will want to do the same with her own babies.

This is the first quilted bag I've attempted, and I'm completely in love with it. Every one of the fabrics was chosen from my stash. The one with the little girls and dolls was something that I won in a giveaway over at JAQS Studio. I think they all go so nicely together, don't you?

Inside the bag, Miss E. will find two doll diapers, three wipes and a doll-sized blanket (made using leftover scraps that my mother-in-law gave me after she finished Master W.'s cozy quilt). I hope Miss E. loves it as much as I do!

You can find this project linked up at:

Thursday, December 15, 2011

T.N.T. Thursday: Teacher gift

Today was my daughter's last day of school before Christmas vacation. Hooray! I'm one of those people who loves having my kids at home all day long. They're crazy. They trash the house. They're often exhausting. But I'm happiest when we're all together, so I'm really looking forward to the next few weeks.

This week I made a few scrappy gifts for my daughter's preschool teacher. We ran into Ms. Tara during lunch on a non-school day a few weeks ago and she mentioned during our conversation that she loves to take long bike rides with her family. Then I learned last week that she loves to sew. After a mental review of my stash (please tell me I'm not the only crazy person out there who has her scraps mentally cataloged), I knew I had everything I needed to make a scrappy mug rug and pin cushion with a cute bicycle fabric as the centerpiece.

This project was full of firsts:

  • First-ever teacher gift. My sweet little girl is four years old and attending preschool for the first time this year. Where did the time go?
  • First log cabin block. I've been meaning to try my hand at log cabin blocks for a while now, but for some reason was a little intimidated. No need! I found a fantastic tutorial for an offset log cabin mug rug over at Stitching By Starlight (a wonderful quilty blog that I follow).
  • First time using a 1/4" binding. I still love 1/2" binding best, but it was nice finally see how it would look on one of my finished projects.
My only regret on this project was forgetting to use my walking foot when quilting up the mug rug. I don't know what I was thinking. Okay, I do. It was late. I was tired. And... well... I just wasn't thinking! Other than being slightly off kilter, I think it turned out great!

You can find me linked up at: