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Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy Holidays!

Well a Merry Belated Christmas to you all and Happy New Year!

It's been busy in this house with all the gift making and giving and cookie baking and eating.  I did manage to finish our stockings in time for Christmas.  The boys loved theirs.  I haven't managed to get a good picture of them yet so I'll post pictures of them later.

We went up to my best friends house a week before Christmas and the kids all got to make a Gingerbread House or a Train.  A picked a house and O picked a train.

This is a picture of all the kids houses.  They all did such a wonderful job!

O's train.  Looks more like an old Chevy truck than anything, but he loved it.

A's house in progress.

Then we actually got some snow a few days before Christmas.  Of course it only stayed a day or two.  That's a decent time for us here.  The boys made sure to enjoy every last bit of it.  There were snowmen with Grampa, snowball fights, mini snow-people all over the yard and then just laying in it when they were too tired to do anything else.

An excited little guy.  First chance to get out in the snow. 
And an excited big guy.

 We also got a bit of snow on Christmas Day, which is the first time that's happened since we moved here 3 years ago.  It was a wonderful Christmas surprise for all of us.

Hope your Holidays were filled with love, peace and family.  Wishing you all a blessed and wonderful New Year.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Potholders & Trivets & Quilts, oh my!

So as promised, here are some pics of what I have been finishing up lately.  I'm almost done with all my Christmas-y projects and am excited about that fact.  I don't usually finish everything I've decided to make.

This set of potholders is being shipped out to a family member.  

These are probably one of my favorites so far.  I really love the colors.  These are a set of potholders (the yellow) and a grey chevron stripe trivet (hot pad).  Also a gift.

This set of potholders is being shipped out today to another family member.  I just finished this one and the following one yesterday afternoon.

And this one is reversible.  Again, another gift to be shipped out today.  Surprised?

And here's the other side.  This is my favorite side.  I do love a good stripe though.

And lastly, another potholder set gift for some very dear family members.  

Phew... I'm a pro at potholders now, just sayin'.  I have a few more sets to make before this week is over then I'm going to try tackling some stockings.  I've never made stockings for us in all these years.  Seems wrong.  I spend so much time making things for other people and for my shop and have very few things that I've made for my family.  So, this year, I'm attempting to make us some.  I'm not sure I'll finish them (at least not all) but dang it I'm going to try!

And lastly, here's some photos of the boys with their Christmas quilts I made for them.  I think I posted about this already, but really, can you blame me for doing it again? I mean, look how cute they are!

I loved making these quilts for them.  They loved receiving them too.  Warm from the drier and ready to snuggle into and watch a Christmas movie.  They fit on the beds very nicely too.  A's is mostly red since he just loves red and O's is mostly blues since he loves blue.  I have to find the pics I took of the backs and then I'll post those.  A's back is all red and O's is all blue.  They were quite excited about the backs.

Anyway, I'm off to have a cup of tea and get ready for another marathon day of sewing!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

A Quilt for My Bed

Well, I have been working on this quilt as I collected the fabrics for it and have finally finished the top!

Isn't she lovely? You see the one bottom corner on the left here where there is just a solid rectangle of grey? I used up every single little scrap of my fabric for this quilt and rather than buying what would end up being more than I needed for one block, I decided to just put a solid block in there.  I think it looks nice, and you don't really even notice it when the quilt is all laid out.  

These are all fabrics collected from Anna Maria Horner's fabric collections.  There is quite a lot of LouLouThi in here, as well as Innocent Crush and a smattering of scraps from her older lines. 

I just love how alive this quilt is! There's so much color and texture in the fabrics and the grey gives your eyes a quiet place to rest.
This was originally going to be a large lap quilt for me to snuggle under, then I realized it was more of a twin size and before I knew what had happened it turned into a Queen size.  I think I better get it quilted before I pull it out and it's morphed into a King size.  Yikes!

Sorry that the pictures aren't the best.  I had been waiting for a sunny day (I know, a sunny day in the middle of a WA winter?) and then finally decided one night to just take the pictures.  I really wanted to share it.  
So... normally I do my own quilting on my mother-in-law's long-arm machine.  It's not set up to handle a Queen size quilt though, so I'm debating whether or not to rent a machine at our local quilt shop and do it myself, or send it out to my sister-in-law and have her do it.  While I do enjoy the quilting process, it sounds kind of fun to have someone else do it for me.  It's been a long time since I've had anyone do my quilting.  I suppose it will all boil down to money.  This will be waiting until after Christmas I'm sure.

Check back tomorrow as I have several more goodies to share with you all.  Happy crafting!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

An Advent Calendar, a Tree and a Baby

I apologize in advance for a short post.  I've got many things being quilted, sewn, pieced together, bound, washed, etc currently.  The problem is... I can't really share a number of them because the recipients read this blog! I've been doing a lot of "elfin" as my boys call it.

I can show you this though! This is our advent calendar.  I made it in a long afternoon in between real life.  I love it.  So does my family.

One of my favorite things about it? I used scraps I had on hand.  No fabric was purchased to make this.  

And the binding.  I LOVE the scrappy binding! And as a bonus, I found the scrappy binding already sewn together and ready to be used.  It was leftover from a previous Christmas quilt I made for my parents several years ago.  Score! I love using things up.  It also makes me happy because every time I look at the binding it reminds me of the quilt I made my parents.  Happy times!

 And just because I think it's beautiful, here's a picture of our tree.

I love all the handmade decorations on it.  There is nothing better (in my opinion) than a Christmas tree filled with memories.  The boys and I are planning on making a few more tree decorations this year.  I'll be sure to post them!

Oh yes.  And that last thing I mentioned in the title? It's true, we are having another baby! Come June the boys will get to meet their new sibling.  It's all smiles and happiness in this house lately.  And I love it.  

Hope you and all your loved ones are well this holiday season.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Just stopping in real quick to wish everyone a wonderfully Happy Thanksgiving and to let you know about a shop sale! Sale will go through 11/29 and new items will be added to the shop throughout the next week so keep checking back.  There's no need to enter any coupon codes.  Sale will start automatically at 8am PST and you will receive 15% off your order total!.  Also, check back on the blog after Thanksgiving for a giveaway and some exciting news!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope your holiday is filled with the love of family and good friends (and great food)!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A New Home

Remember me talking about this guy last week?

About how I wanted to use him with the other Fall decor I'd made? And how I didn't know where to put him? Well, I found a home for him today.

This is a really quick and simple table Jake made up for us one afternoon (I'm pretty sure it had something to do with all my complaining that there was nowhere to put my drink).  I was wiping it down today and thought how nicely this runner would work here.  It will fit in with perfectly with all the other runners since it has the same fabrics, but won't stick out like a sore thumb since it has squares instead of triangles.

Aiden told me he really likes it and he's glad I put it there so he has something nice to put his cup on now.  He was quite sad at the removal of the Halloween mug rugs, so I was glad this cheered him up so nicely.  Now, to get moving on a Christmas runner for this table...

I also managed to get all these 4.5" squares cut out for one of the boys Christmas quilts.  The other one's quilt  top is finished (I'll have to get some pictures of that soon!) and waiting to be quilted.  I decided to use a different style block for this quilt.  The fabrics for both the quilts are all scraps and little pieces I've saved and collected over the years.  Some of them were even found at garage sales or given to me by friends/family that no longer had use for them.  

I can't wait to get started on this one.  If I finish this one soon and manage to get them both quilted and bound before the holidays, I will be quite impressed with myself.  Just sayin'.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Thanksgiving Table Runners Finished and a New One Found

Well, yesterday was our weekly sewing day at my house and I wanted to start a new project (no surprise there).  I discovered quite by accident that I had a few little bundles of different brown colored bindings all made up and leftover from some other project.  So, in the interest of keeping my promise to myself to finish the things I make, I decided to use up all that binding on the Gobble Gobble table runners I started on last week and quilted earlier this week.

This piece of binding was just long enough to do with runner with a few inches leftover.  Not bad.

I love the colors in this fabric collection.  The dots and the swirly circle-like print (kinda looks like eyeballs almost) are my favorites I think.
I was glad to use up this binding instead of having it sitting around, but it was a little bittersweet.  It was the last of my brown modern circles from the Tranquility fabric line.  The fabric collection has been out of print for a few years but this one remains one of my favorite brown fabrics.

I tell you what, it must have been my day to finish things up because this (literally) fell on me while I was reaching to grab some brown thread.  I must have pieced and quilted it last year.  My guess is I finished it after the Thanksgiving holiday and then put it aside to start working on Christmas things.

I'm glad I found it.  It's the same Gobble Gobble fabric I used in my other runners for the house, so I figure I'll keep it and use it somewhere.  Now to figure out where...
What have you all been doing lately? Working on any special projects for the holidays?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Gobble Gobble

Well, I didn't get as much sewing finished as I'd hoped for with the boys gone today, but I did get a lot of knitting accomplished.  The sewing I did finish I remembered to take photos of but they are not the best quality.  My house does not have very good lighting or many windows so it's hard to get many decent photos.  The sun was also not cooperating (read it was pouring rain and hail most of the day).

This long skinny runner is destined for my Thanksgiving table in a few weeks.

Most of the other ones will cover the serving tables or the counter tops. 

The fabric used for all these is Gobble Gobble.  I had a number of these charm packs leftover from back when I sold fabric.  I decided to use them up and decorate the house with them.  I have lots of Halloween and Christmas handmade decorations, but no autumn ones to speak of.  How is that possible? Autumn is my favorite season!

Sorry.  This picture is a little blurry.  Didn't even realize that until it was too dark to get any better ones.  Anyway, isn't the fabric great? I saw this at Jo Ann Fabrics a few weeks ago and could not resist buying some.  I don't remember how much I got - at least a few yards - but I should have bought more! I just love it!
These potholders are destined for my etsy shop just as soon as I can find the time to list them.  It has been crazy busy in my house lately.

These pot holders are going to be a Christmas gift.  Can't say to who as I'm not sure if they read this blog or not!  I have no idea how long I've had these two floral fat quarters.  I found them in a bin while I was searching for something else.  (Does this tell you how much fabric I have? It's terrible).  As soon as I saw them I immediately knew what I was making them into and who it would be for.  I can't wait for them to be opened on Christmas!
Well, that's everything.  I can't wait to get back to my machine.  I get grumpy when I don't have at least a little bit of creative time every day.

Hope everyone's day is going wonderfully! I'll be back soon with some more goodies to share.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Making Wall Art

Tomorrow I will be without the kids and will be sewing most of the day, so be prepared for lots of pretty quilt pictures.  Today however, I spent the day with the boys crafting and building Lego creations and block towers and following "pretend instructions" for lots of stuff.  It's only a little easier than it sounds.

Here's what we did this afternoon before lunch.

I taped each boys name to the artist canvas and let them paint away.

They had a lot of fun with this since they LOVE to paint.

I had purchased a 10 pack of painters canvas (these are approx. 8x11) from Michaels Craft Store during last years after Christmas sale.  I simply used masking tape to make the letters and then let the kids paint away.  After we had lunch and they played outside for awhile we checked the paint to see if it was dry.  It was, so we carefully peeled the tape off.

Kinda self-explanatory who's is who's.  They each picked a spot in their room where they wanted it to go.  Forgive the pictures.  The lighting is horrible in their room and the sun had disappeared behind rain clouds.
This one lives in the craft/school room.  Seemed to be a fitting place for it.  ;)

Here's the one I did.  It's above one of the bookcases in my room.
I think we'll definitely be doing more of these soon.  We all had fun painting and watching the letters appear as we peeled the tape off.

Now we're off to IHOP for dinner since the kids eat free and I don't feel like cooking something tonite.  Stay tuned tomorrow for some sewing and fabric pictures.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

New Table Runners in the Shop

So I haven't been able to do much sewing at all the last week since Jake's been home.  I did notice I had finished a few table runners that never got blogged or listed on etsy.  They can all be found in my shop here.

I used Flurry charm packs by Kate Spain for all of them.  The fabric placement varies for each one but it's all the same.  I think I have about 3 or 4 of them listed right now.  I'll be making more of this style of table runner in the next few weeks.
Here's a close-up of the quilting.  I decided to use a small stipple to keep it simple and quick.

And the back.  I love this fabric! I can't remember where I got it or who makes it.  I've had a few yards laying around for awhile and used most of it up as the backing for these runners.  It's such a nice red isn't it?  The binding for these runners is also from Kate Spain but it's from her previous collection called 12 Days of Christmas.  

I've been trying hard to use up fabric I already have.  There are soooo many wonderful, beautiful, exciting and drool-worthy fabrics out there, with more being released constantly, but I just can't do it.  I have so much fabric there is seriously no room anywhere to hold anymore of it.  I just have to use it and appreciate it and quit hanging on to it because I can't bare to part with it.  

Do you ever do that? What are your favorite fabrics that you just can't part with?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Fall is in the Air

It started raining here in WA a few days ago.  Finally.  Not that the summer wasn't gorgeous and rare and appreciated, but we really really need the rain.  It's been so dry and hot.  Besides, for me, the rain and the crisp air and the leaves swirling around my feet all signify that the autumn season is officially here.

This morning, Jake and I went outside with the boys so they could have a Halloween Egg Hunt (they've been begging for a week to do it) and I was so excited to see that virtually overnight fall had arrived.  The leaves were covering the ground in all their beautiful fall colors, the wind was blowing a wonderfully crisp breeze and the sun was shining for all it was worth.  It seemed to be saying, "I'm still here! I haven't been pushed aside yet!"  

The best part, the part that completed the morning for me, was looking at the apple tree and seeing so many beautiful bright red apples laying on the ground and falling with a soft thump onto the crunchy leaves.  The boys went inside with Jake after awhile and I stayed out in the quiet of the morning and picked apples for quite some time.

This was just a part of the apples I picked this morning.  Doesn't it look lovely? The boys helped fill up a few buckets and Jake taped together a wide flexible drain hose and rake to create a make-shift apple picker.  It worked wonderfully! Sorry to say I didn't get any pictures of that, but maybe I'll try to later.  We're going back out this afternoon to pick the rest.  

What does all this mean for me? Lots of applesauce, apple butter, apple pie filling and dried apples in my very near future.  Maybe I'll make an apple crumble for desert tonite.  And there's always apple breads, apple cake, baked apples, glazed apples... aaaahhhh... I love fall.

What about you? What's your favorite time of the year? Do any of you can and preserve? Do you have any favorite apple recipes to share?