Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year and New Quilt Sneak Peek!

Hi All! Happy New Year! I'm hard at work on my new quilt commission. These wonky squares blocks are soooo addictive, I can't stop making them! Lots of Japanese fabrics, with a few organic cottons thrown in.

I can only show you a sneak peek though, I don't want to ruin the surprise for Amber! Enjoy.

One thing's for sure, when you see it, you'll say:

I hope! Happy New Year.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Hi All,
Such a busy Christmas season this year! I've been a real crafting workhorse (a crafthorse?) lately. Hmmm...I think I like that - crafthorse. I'm going to call myself that from now on. But that's not why I'm writing today. Check out the freakin' cute owl ornaments I made with another tutorial from juicybits!!!
I made this little guy first. Cute!
I made him a little guy friend next and then my 25 year old daughter got caught up in the frenzy and made a girl owl! See how the boys are both looking over at the girl and she's peeking back?
Whooooo do you think she'll choose?

My daughter gave the girl owl and the purple boy owl to her new boyfriend's parents for Xmas, so I guess owl girl chose purple!

It should have stopped there, but me being a crafthorse and all, I had to keep going! I made a boy and girl owl to represent my husband and I.

And hung them right up on the tree. Awwwww! It's love.

Edited to say: I later made an owl softie with the same pattern! Worked great.
In other news, on Gigi's party day Sunday we took the kids out to the Nature and Science Center. Absolutely gorgeous weather here in Austin, 68 degrees and sunny. Hot in the sun, cold in the shade. Gigi loves leaves.

I call this photo "the essence of boyhood". Playing so hard he stepped in the water and got his socks and shoes wet. Took them off and found special rocks to line up and sort through. Very busy. Very boy.

And Gigi loved her party! Rare to catch her smiling, notice it wasn't when she could see me taking the photo.

Hope your holidays are filled with joy and love and crafthorsiness. (Look, I just made up another word! You can use it - go ahead!)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Crown for a Prince

I just can't stop!  I enjoyed making a princess crown for Gigi, and then my sister wanted one for my nephew Ty so 24 hours later, here it is!  I used the same tutorial from juicybits.

I like it!  That's supposed to be a snowflake so his crown is seasonal.  Not such a great snowflake, I'm afraid. I tried three different times, but this is the best I got! I bought new crystal beads for ice and a robot (?) for the middle.

He'll be four in January.  Happy almost birthday Ty!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Advent Calendar Gets a New Ornament

Merry Christmas (almost) everyone!  My sewing room
has been turned into the Christmas room, but that's okay, I'm only in there once in a while anyway, being a hand sewer.  The stockings are hung on my design wall with care!  (No, really, they are!)

Today I'd like to share our ancestral Advent calendar.  I'm pretty sure it was made by my Aunt, Sister Mary Alice in the 70's.

It just says home to me.  Everytime I see it I'm transported back to my childhood.  The little ornaments live in the pockets (see that fish in #22?) and every day a child gets to hang one on the tree.  The angel goes second last at the top of the tree and the nativity scene goes last.

Well I've been missing one of the precious ornaments for years now and every year I think I'm going to make another one and I never do.  So this year I finally did it!  Here's a cute snowman I made out of 100% wool felt with no stabilizer.

Funny story about that snowman.  I put it on the tree to take the photo and left it there.  Apparently I put it right at two year old height.  When I came back five minutes later, she had grabbed the wool snowman and stretched it downward with all her might.  Having no stabilizers, it stretched like crazy and looked, well, crazy.  Sigh.  I had such a cute ornament for five minutes.  I managed to recompose it a bit so it looks more normal. Don't have a photo of that, didn't want to show you!

Here is my favorite ornament, the nativity scene:

Feliz navidad, ya'll!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Look What I Made!

Hmmm...what could it be?  Sparkly, felty, flowery....


Starts with a G?

Someone's turning two today!

And of course she needed a birthday crown!  I've never made a crown before so I was very proud of how it turned out!  I even used fusible interfacing for the first time.  It said in the tutorial from juicybits that the colors and decorations should be seasonal to her birthday, so the crown is red, white and green and has chunks of ice with snow.  I love it! Even if I ironed the fusible to the wrong piece and had to go back to Joanne's twice.  I'm going to keep it and every year take the number off and make a new one to go on it.  It fit my six year old so I'm good for a while.  Oh! And a birthday tutu and shirt combo from etsy finishes the look.

Happy Birthday my little angel!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I'm in Fabric Heaven!

I'm in fabric heaven!  I went to the mailbox last night and retrieved 10 small squishy packages.  Ten!  It was Christmas in Ju..well ok, Christmas right before Christmas!  First I unwrapped that small bag I won in the SMS giveaways from adelaidelemonade.  Don't forget to hop on over to her site to get the tutorial for the bag so you can make one too!  The bag was sooooo much cuter in person. And even more gorgeous when I stuffed it with fabric.

See that pink and red yard of Folksy flannel from Anna Maria Horner sticking up out of the bag above?  You should get some, the pattern is so subtle and the colors are wonderful. I want to get a ton of it and make this baby quilt, from Anna Maria's website - soooo soft and pretty.

Next I opened a bunch of fabric from a quilt I'm being commissioned to make.  What's not to love about a quilt commission???  You get a bunch of gorgeous fabric sent to you for free, you get to play with it until you're sick of it, you get to keep the scraps, and then you give it away.  Sounds like normal to me.  Except you get free fabric to play with, free scraps and money to boot!  What's not to love?  And all I have to do is put in about 100 hours of hand sewing labor.  Big deal, i'd be doing that anyway.  And having said that, let me also say I love all the trust there is in the quilting world.  She trusts me to send me the fabric, then I trust her to pay at the end.  I love our quilting community, don't you?

Lovely Amber sent these fabrics to coordinate into a copy of Finn's quilt.  She chose some Kokka Japan as her focus fabric:

Then she pulled all the colors out of the focus fabric with these:

So cute!  The organic cloud fabric she sent even came with two tiny swatches to intice you to buy the whole collection, and guess what, it worked.  Now I want the mushrooms and orange dots too.


Monday, December 14, 2009

A Cat Finish

A kitty cat finish!  This is the comissioned cat quilt for a friend to use as a gift.  It features the actual five cats of the intended recipient, complete with nametags and correct coloring.  You can see the cats more closely here and here and here and here.

I really enjoyed making it, it was lots of fun!

I chose a gorgeous soft flannel for the backing that perfectly matched the green/blue batik.  It has blue stars around the edges and green stars in the middles.

Like this, see?  Merry Xmas everyone!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sashay Shantay

Here is my grumpy little dress model showing off her winnings!  Thanks again to brownpaperpackages for the gorgeous dress!  She saw me open it and demanded to put it on right away. After which, she immediately got grumpy.  Almost two year olds are always frustrated about one thing or another!

Maybe petting a kitty will cheer her up!  Nah, probably not.

I also got fabric in the mail!  Yay!  My first batch of Red Letter Day, plus birds.  Annie got it for me as a thank you for fixing her resume.  I do that on the side if you need me to look at yours too.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Another Giveaway

Here's another chance for you to become a winner, winner chicken dinner like me! Hop on over to grosgrainfabulous and enter for a chance to win a $50 gift certificate to Firststepphoto!

They have the coolest vinyl wall art, you just put it up and when you want to change it, it just comes right off. I've been eyeing some for the wall above our couch for a while now!

Fish in a win!

Monday, December 7, 2009

What Did You Win?

Did you win anything in the Sew Mama Sew giveaways??? I won three things! I'm so happy. I entered almost every single one they had, like 200 giveaways!

The first is this gorgeous dress for Gigi from brownpaperpackages! I love the pieced star detail at the waist. I'm going to put it in the drawer and she will love it next year!

The second is this super cute rag softie named "Flakie" (as in snowflake) from Eerika at ragpets! Check out the sweet description of him on her blog. She describes how he can't wait for Christmas and then shows him tucked in bed and says, "Since going to bed early makes Santa come quicker, Flakey has donned his PJs and is going to sleep now in order to make the presents come faster." So cute!!! And now he's all mine - well, my two year old's anyway. He's flying in all the way from Finland to Texas. I should buy him a cowboy hat!

The third thing I won is this sweet little lunch bag from adelaidelemonade! I love that Farmer's Market flower and of course the Mendocino kelp stripe and seahorses. It's about 7"X8" so the perfect size to take my lunch in every day. If you want to make one for yourself, she has a tutorial here. You can make one too and we can be twins!

Edited to say: Wow, I was calling it an "easy" tutorial before but I just really looked at it and I can't believe the amount of work that went into this bag! I take it back, it wasn't easy! I appreciate it more now.

Thank you all and thank you too Sew Mama Sew!

And if you'd like to win some stuff, you still have a chance! Hop on over to Sew-Fantastic! She's only on the seventh day of Christmas, and besides, you can enter the first six right now if you want. Check it out!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I Finally Understand Embroidery Stitches!

Thanks to the blanket stitch tutorial and the whip stitch tutorial offered by the amazing Alice at her futuregirl blog! As a self-taught quilter, i've never quite understood how to make the embroidery stitches. My friend Sarah tried to teach me the split stitch and I just kind of use that all the time. The futuregirl tutorials are very clear, you should check them out!

Futuregirl also offers these free downloads with detailed pdfs instructions on how to make felt sea creatures including octopi, seahorses and starfish using those stitches.

As if that weren't enough, she also offers this tutorial describing how to make a hilarious clean/dirty dish indicator for the dishwasher. Love it! That would be a fun Xmas present for a friend with a good sense of humor!