Friday, December 19, 2014

Finish it up Friday: Christmas Sewing

I am amazed at the talent and generosity of Julianna of Sewing Under the Rainbow for creating the Last Minute Christmas Sampler series.  The paper pieced designs she has created are simply lovely.  I waited patiently for her to share the 16" version of the Dala Horse.  The Dala Horse is closely connected to Sweden, where my husband served an LDS mission for two years.  I am trying to make something for him for Christmas.  I am not sure if I want to turn this guy into a mini wall hanging or a large pillow cover.....

While I have been thinking about this, I took a break from that project and made a simple wall hanging for my sister.  This picture makes it look SO wonky but I promise it's not that bad.  It's a Harry Potter thing.  I used the alphabet on my sewing machine to embroider, "Expecto Patronum."

I decided to go the extra mile for teacher gifts at my son's preschool.  These nativity ornaments are just too perfect for the Catholic program Gregory attends.  I can't emphasize enough how much those teachers and that school have eased our cross-country move within the last year.

Here's a cute picture taken after the Christmas program we attended at the school.  I am so looking forward to Christmas and seeing them enjoy their presents- they are at the perfect ages to really enjoy it all.

Linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it up Friday.

P.S.  I did have to draw a new name for the Tula Pink fat quarters for the SMS Giveaway and lucky Sarah from Canada was the winner.  They'll be in the mail shortly.  Thanks to all who entered.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Two Winners and More Christmas Present Sewing

The winner of the Tula Pink fat quarters is #150, Michelle, of the blog AQuilter212. There were 314 comments!  The winner of the quilted pillow is #162, Mary Smith of Louisiana.  (I haven't heard back from Michelle- if I don't hear from her by the end of the week, I will draw a different winner- so please contact me if you are Michelle!)

It cracks me up that there were many more entries for the fat quarters and the pillow cover was definitely less popular.  I stand by my assertion that Tula Pink fans are extremely loyal!

On Christmas, my family is going to be hosting two young women "sister" missionaries for the day.  They are really sweet girls who are giving up 18 months of their young lives to help people in our city.  Christmas will be a more relaxed day for them and I plan to spoil them rotten.  I've started my preparations by making the largest size of the open wide pouch from Noodlehead:

I am also finally making one for my sister who has had a thing for hippos.  I bought this fabric ages ago and I am actually glad I waited so long to cut into it because I barely became comfortable with zippers!  The other floral one just may stay with me.

Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Marker Folio: Le Challenge: Ink

 Thank you to everyone's kind well-wishes on my pregnancy.  Also, welcome to so many new followers!  As promised, two winners will be chosen tonight, via the random number generator.

I made the mistake of taking a very late in the day snooze on Saturday afternoon.  The consequence was that I could not sleep that night and ended up staying up till 4:30 a.m. on Sunday morning, working on this "marker folio" for my daughter:

She loves this princess fabric.  I only had a half yard and it had been cut into for her quilt that I've been working on- but she's brought it to bed with her and used it as a "blankie" for her dolls.  

I looked and looked for a crayon roll type of pattern that would accommodate markers and a large sketch pad.  I wasn't interested in a tote bag type of pattern.  I finally decided I would have to make my own pattern, which was admittedly tough for me.  The left side obviously holds markers and the right side is a pocket that can hold a coloring book and a sketch pad.

Overall, I am not super thrilled with the results but I know my two year old won't care.  The thing that bothers me is how warped the left side has become with all of the markers in there.  I knew that would happen but I didn't know how to prevent it and I didn't think it would be this obvious.

I have the supplies to make my five year old son one as well and I am leaning towards chickening out and maybe just putting the art supplies in his stocking.  Is that horrible?  I am wondering if he might enjoy a pillow with a Star Wars paper pieced lego character instead......

I am linking up with Le Challenge this month, as their theme is "ink."  I don't know if this is really common with other kids, but I've found that my kids definitely prefer markers to crayons.

Thanks for reading!

Le Challenge

Friday, December 12, 2014

Ornaments and News

Welcome to so many new followers!  I feel a little overwhelmed with how many comments I have received on my two SMS Giveaways.  I hope you will enjoy visiting my blog and seeing what I have been creating.

My time to sew seems to be rapidly disappearing.  Even though I have been in denial, I am finally coming to terms with my two year old's change in schedule: she is done taking afternoon naps.  I am squeezing in what I can, but I really do better with a solid chunk of time rather than a few minutes here and there.  So I've realized with any of my holiday sewing, I need to keep things simple and try not to overdo it.  I recently participated in an ornament swap and I found this adorable and simple tutorial on Wild Olive to make a nativity ornament:

I also have been churning out these cute stocking ornaments to be small gifts for various people like MOPS (Mother's of Preschoolers) members and school and church teachers.  Last year I made lots of zip bags for people, but these are much quicker and still cute.  Tutorial is at Stumbles and Stitches.

On a personal note, I would like to share that I am expecting our third child on May 23!  We are excited and my other children are thrilled.  I won't be finding out the gender ahead of time, I love having the surprise at the end.  I feel like this explains my lack of productivity for the last several months although many people have been telling me that I have been accomplishing plenty.  I will make some things for the baby soon and I probably should get going on that before my energy really disappears!

Thanks for reading.  Linking up to Finish it up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Mini Mueller State Park Retreat

Last weekend, several people from the Front Range Modern Quilt Guild got together for a retreat in the mountains.  It was a one hour drive from my home in Mueller State Park.  I had no idea what to expect and I'll admit I was a little nervous.  But how could anything go wrong when this was the view from the back of the cabin we rented?

I think I was nervous about the retreat because I thought it would be a very primitive setting.  I was so wrong!  The accommodations were easily some of the nicest I've ever stayed in.

It was such a busy weekend, I didn't take a lot of pictures while I was there.  But here's a quick shot of the main living area where we spent the majority of our time sewing and talking. There wasn't a ton of sleeping, and I will admit that it was tiring!

I spent the whole week beforehand cutting and preparing my projects. Quilting retreats tend to be a little crowded and cramped in my experience and I didn't want to monopolize a "cutting station."  I also just wanted the cutting to be done, so that I could just concentrate on sewing.  I came prepared with three projects.  One I cannot share yet because it is a Christmas present for a loyal blog reader and friend.

I finally made myself a Sew Together bag and I am in love with it!  This was my third stab at the pattern and I think it came out the best so far.  I used a few adorable prints from the Sew Yummy fabric line, a collection that I've been drooling over for months.  I love that it's rainbow without looking super juvenile.

I also worked intensely on my daughters quilt.  I plowed through 15 of the 30 blocks at the retreat, here are a few of my favorites:

I know it's going to sound a little cheesy, but I really don't care that much about all that I was able to accomplish. Spending time with like-minded, down to earth ladies was so refreshing.  I will admit that I have really struggled with homesickness lately and this was just the boost I needed.  A huge thanks to Melissa for organizing this fabulous weekend.

(I'm the one in the red hoodie on the left).

If you have a chance to attend a retreat, do it!  It's so hard to get to know guild members if you only attend meetings.  Linking up to WIP Wednesday.

Monday, December 08, 2014

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day: Four Tula Pink Fat Quarters

Welcome to my blog!  Please leave a comment, telling me what your favorite sewing book or novel is to receive a chance to receive these four brand new Saltwater fat quarters, designed by Tula Pink.  There is something about the "tulatroops" that just amazes me, avid fans of her fabrics are dedicated and put other designer groupies to shame.  When I saw these at an LQS a few months ago, I knew they'd make someone very happy.  I used bits and pieces of her Prince Charming and Saltwater collections to make the City Sampler recently:

International entries are welcome.  Followers of my blog, old and new, are welcome to leave a second comment for a new entry.  To give you an idea of what kinds of projects I share here, here's a small sampling:

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Good luck!  Comments will be allowed for this giveaway from now through December 15 until 6 pm MST.  A winner will be chosen randomly that evening and will be notified via email.  Please make sure you are not a "no reply blogger" so that I can contact you.

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day: Quilted Pillow

For Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day, I am sending one lucky commenter this quilted pillow cover.  It is made from leftovers from a quilt I have been working on this year.  It is a very traditional Jacob's Ladder block and the the color scheme and pattern are borrowed from this tutorial at Blue Elephant Stitches.  It measures 18" square and I've used a 20" Ikea pillow form.  (To save on shipping, the winner will only receive the quilted pillow cover, not a form as well).  It is a whopping 212 pieces, which were aided by strip piecing and Thangles.

I quilted this with some simple straight line quilting, echoing the pattern. It has a dotted fabric on the back with a zippered flap closure.


Here's what the quilt top looks like, made of all of these blocks.  I am in the slow process of hand quilting it with perle cotton.

To enter my giveaway, please leave a comment. To make it interesting for me to read, please tell me what your favorite TV show or movie is (decent Netflix recommendations are especially welcome).  It is not a requirement to follow me to enter this giveaway but I will allow a second entry for current and new followers, simply leave a second comment telling me you are a follower.  To give you an idea of what my blog features, here are some projects I've made within the last year:

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Good luck!  Comments will be allowed for this giveaway from now through December 15 until 6 pm MST.  A winner will be chosen randomly that evening and will be notified via email.  Please make sure you are not a "no reply blogger" so that I can contact you.  International entries are welcome.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

When Hoarding Pays Off

We hosted Thanksgiving with my sister, Nick's brother Ben,  his wife Melanie, and their four year-old son Rivers.  For my little family, it was our first time being away from any parents for the holiday.  We dove in head first, making everything from scratch.  Luckily Ben was excited to do the turkey- I will admit that was a very intimidating task and I was happy to let him do it.  The whole meal was delicious and we had lots of fun together.

Just before they came from Denver, I told Melanie to bring a pillow she'd bought on Etsy ages ago.  I wanted to make her another pillow to coordinate with it.  This is her pillow:

And this is the pillow I made to go with it:

On Thursday morning, most everyone went on a little hike nearby.  I opted to stay home and make the pillow, finishing it just as they got home.  I really had a good laugh that I had everything I needed on hand: the out of print, very hard to find fabrics, a coordinating zipper at just the right length, and even some random (yard sale find) textured fabric that helped break up all of the busy prints.  It was an easy project and Melanie was pretty happy with it.  She helped me out by taking nice pictures of what I had made, the photo below is a quick iPhone picture, showing them stacked together.

Over the holiday weekend, I made another pillow for the upcoming Sew Mama Sew Giveaway day.  I will share it on December 8 along with hundreds of other bloggers giving away goodies.

Linking up to Finish it up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.