Friday, December 31, 2010

New Beginnings


Almost 2011...a new beginning...and I have lots of projects in mind!  I set some goals this week--beginning by looking at my inspiration board.  There are lots of hexagons and dresdens on the wall...so I know I'll be making more of those in 2011.  I loved making the "zig zags" for this project, so I know I'll be making more of those, too. I have a list of things I love in my inspiration notebook and also made lists of patterns I want to make, fabrics I want to sew with, and things I want to design on my own. I want to give more quilts to charity in 2011, and I want to make more scrappy quilts.  I definitely want to make a string quilt--something I didn't get to in 2010.  But most importantly, I want to have fun with my sewing and quilting!


I also want to write more about the "process" of quilting and creativity.  There have been some great posts on this recently (I think this may have been the post that started it all). Last evening as I cut into my little "Soul Blossoms" collections I thought a lot about this.  I thought about what a joy it is to actually cut up my fabrics, thinking of projects all the time.  This time, I not only cut my usual pieces of 5" squares, 2 1/2" strips, and 1 1/2" strips...


but I also cut Dresdens for a scrappy Dresden quilt later in the year...


and hexagons--because I'm hopelessly in love with making them! Sometimes while cutting fabrics for a project I'm inspired to make something completely different with the same fabrics--a project I might not have even thought of until working with the fabrics themselves. This is part of the process of creating--a part I love!


I want to use more grey in my projects in 2011...it's such a great neutral...I love the Sunkissed greys and the greys in Sherbet Pips. I want to work on unfinished projects (I actually made a master list the other night of everything I need to get to finish my unfinished projects--I have several quilts on hangers that just need backings). I want to start organizing my scraps by color rather than by collection, and I want to start Christmas 2011 projects in January! These "quilty" goals should keep me pretty busy! What are your goals for 2011?

Finally, I can't conclude my last post of 2010 without thanking all of you who write blogs and read blogs and carry on conversations about this great art.  I'm inspired every day by your creativity and ideas, and I'm grateful to be a part of this amazing community of quilters and bloggers who share their projects and their process--the sharing is priceless.  Best wishes for 2011!


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Tradition


I can't believe there are just a few days left in 2010...this year seemed to have sped by faster than any I can remember. I actually love the last week of the year when I can take some time to think about not only the year past but also goals for the year ahead.  I always seem to be on an organizing kick at this time of year, too...and that's what has been keeping me busy today. I guess my end of the year tradition is always the same--reflection, organizing, and new lists! Just before Christmas I received some wonderful gifts. The two bundles of fabric goodness above came from Carrie via Rosie! The bundle on the left is Carrie's line, Fresh Palette--I absolutely love it! On the right is Bliss...another favorite of mine. I was completely speechless when I opened this package--I was surprised and elated and of course immediately started worrying about how to say thank you properly...thank you so very much, Carrie!



A bundle of Central Park also arrived just before Christmas from Kate--thank you Kate!  I've had a quilt in mind for this line and will be starting on it soon!  Just in case you haven't seen yet, Kate has a sneak peek on this post of her next holiday fabric line---fabric just as amazing as 12 Days of Christmas!



One of the last Christmas gifts I finished last week...my Mom wanted a bag made with reproduction 30's fabrics.  It turned out really cute...it was raining like crazy outside, so I had trouble getting a good picture.  I literally finished this, packed it up, and sped to the post office to get it out in time!



This fun card and cute fabric-covered mini notebook with a Sharpie pen came from Stephanie! The notebook and pen are already in my purse...love them, Stephanie...thank you!

Well...it's more organizing for me...although I must admit that while I'm working I'm thinking about fabric!  I have some definite goals for 2011 that I'll be sharing soon.  Hope you're enjoying this last week of 2010, too!


Monday, December 27, 2010

Be Mine Blog Tour

be mine button start copy



Coming soon...a really fun blog tour with Valentine-themed projects every day for a week!



January 9th - Vickie Eapen of Spun Sugar Quilts


January 10th- Sherri McConnell of A Quilting Life (that's me)!

January 11th - Jen W. of Miss Punkie Pie

January 12th - Kim of Kim’s Big Quilting Adventure

January 13th - Carol Lewis of Carol Craft Blog

January 14th - Stephanie Roma Little Lady Patchwork

January 15th -Natalia Bonner of Piece n Quilt

Oh, and did I mention there will be a giveaway here...and  from FatQuarterShop (and some other giveaways as well)!



Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!


                                                                       Merry Christmas!


                                          Wishing you the most joyous of holiday seasons!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Still Busy

 It's such a busy season...I have so much to do, so many places to be, and lists still to be made (just to make sure I don't forget anything)! Sometimes in the midst of all the "busy"ness we just need to slow down and think. Ponder. Reflect.  Even sew something not on the list.  I sat down the other night with a "million" things to do and instead sewed block 7 of the FatQuarterShop Designer Mystery Block of the Month (designed by Pam Buda). What a fun block...I think it's the cutest mitten I've ever seen!


Another batch of "Snap Happy" bags is finished; these are all the same size, but I boxed the corners of the one on the right thanks to Mary's suggestion. I really like the look the boxed corner gives the bag. These are the middle-sized bags--I'm definitely going to box all the corners of the larger sized ones when I make them.


I have only one gift left to make...an apron that won't take too long once I choose the fabrics...but if you still need simple gift ideas...here are my favorites from recent blog posts:  Kim's Quick and Easy Tissue Holder Tutorial, Skip to my Lou's Oven Mitt Pattern/Tutorial, and Cookie Dough Gifts from Our Best Bites.  Of course, if you have a quilty friend...it's never too late to give fabric...how about making up a kit or giving a little bundle of fat quarters or fat eighths you cut from your stash.


Make sure you do something for you this season, too!  I have a little tradition...every year I buy myself a couple of books from my wishlist to read when the busy days finally settle down. I've just glanced at these but can't wait to sit down and read them both cover to cover. Vintage Notions: An Inspirational Guide to Needlework, Cooking, Sewing, Fashion and Fun is amazing with so much history and inspiration all in one book!  And Country Inn looks like a wonderful book as well--there are pieced and applique' quilts and small projects along with a beautiful cross-stitch alphabet.  There are also lots of yummy recipes and a couple of hexagon projects!

Whether you're still busy or have arrived at the "finally able to slow down" part of your week...I wish you a wonderful day!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Weekend Sewing


One Mixed Bag to Quilt (sized down), 2 Little Glam Bags, 3 Snap Happy bags, and 1 On Pins and Needles pincushion!  I have one more gift to make this morning that has to be mailed today (along with everything in the photo)...be back soon with my final Simple Gifts post!

Happy Sewing!


Saturday, December 18, 2010

2010 Collages


It's always fun to look back over a year's worth of sewing and remember projects started and finished.  Making these collages was a lot of fun--it not only helped me to remember the year's work but also helped me set goals for 2011. (I still have a few projects that haven't been included...a few will be gifts so can't be shown quite yet).



I have some pretty clear ideas for projects I want to work on in 2011--and can't wait to start seeing some of them come to life.  But first I have a few things to finish...

And...the winner from my Sew, Mama, Sew! giveaway was Karen--congratulations!  I've sent you an e-mail, so as soon as I get your snail mail address I'll get your gift in the mail! I'll be sewing as much as possible for the next few days...just trying to finish up most of what's left on my list!  Have a great rest of the weekend!


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Simple Gifts Week 5

( If you're here for the Sew, Mama, Sew! giveaway...it's still open, and you can leave a comment here).

Nine days until Christmas--that means it's really crunch-time for those of us making gifts--time for some real simple gift ideas!  The "Pink Penguin" fabric basket was probably one of the most referred to tutorials when I first started blogging...these little fabric baskets are perfect for filling with baked goods, small sewing supplies, or even fabric.  The tutorial is wonderful and goes together quickly (found here.) Mine is pictured above with my collection of ceramic trees and Santas.


Another simple fabric basket tutorial (from Rachel) can be found here.  This is another great little basket.  I've made several in Christmas fabrics but have given them all away.  I'm hoping to make a few this year from my 12 Days of Christmas scraps.


Table runners and toppers can be simple...this one was made with just four pieced blocks--the stars with the red points are pieced, while the main focus blocks were pre-printed vintage hankie replicas.

One year I was really in a bind for some homemade gifts.  On Christmas Eve I made a few of these Joy hangers.  I used fusible web to fuse the cut-out letters to 5" background squares then did a quick buttonhole stitch around. Ten 1 1/2"  by 5" strips were used to frame the blocks (cut from scraps, of course). Eight 1 1/2" by 1 1/2" post squares were cut and also used in the body of the piece.  The only quilting I did was around the edges of each background square.  I quilted mine by hand that year, but it could also be done by machine. Binding didn't take too long since this isn't a very big project.  Finally, I added a rod pocket to the back where I inserted a small dowel.  Then I used gold cord ribbon to make a little hanger. Another simple idea just showed up this morning on the ModaBakeShop...I love these placemats! They are wonderful personalized but could be made even more quickly by using 12 charm squares per placemat and leaving out the names.

Well...it's back to the sewing room for me.  I just found out last night that my almost 90 year old grandmother really wants one of my quilted bags for Christmas--so that's my first project for today--need to get it made and in the mail!  Have a wonderful day!


Monday, December 13, 2010

Giveaway Day!


 Today is the first day of the Sew, Mama, Sew giveaway!  To find out about all of the other amazing giveaways going on, go here! I'm giving away 2 of my my handmade 12 Days of Christmas potholders--perfect to keep for yourself or to use for a gift!  To be entered in the giveaway, just leave a comment telling me your favorite last-minute gift idea!  I'll ship to the US and Canada...entries will close Friday, December 17th, and I'll ship on Monday the 20th!


Because of the giveaway, I'm delaying this week's "Simple Gifts"post until Wednesday...but I do have some weekend sewing to share.  First I finished this Authentic bag for my very patient daughter. I made a similar bag over a year ago that I ended up giving to my younger daughter--well, my older daughter also ended up wanting one! It's just been one of those projects on the "back burner" until this weekend, but she now has her bag and is very happy with it!

I also made my first "Snap Happy" bag this weekend....such a fun little pattern.  I'll definitely be making more!  The pattern comes in three sizes perfect for carrying Ipods, cell phones, or sewing supplies.  Best of all...no zipper required!

A measuring tape is the secret to making this bag work.  I'm now the proud owner of a new measuring tape that will be cut into a lot of little pieces this week so I can make more bags!  Have a great day!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

And Then There Were Two!


I finished up another stocking using this great pattern. I'm really happy with it...plus it went together so much faster than my hexagon version (don't get me wrong...I loved paper piecing the hexagons...but it did take some time)!  I'm out of the white on white background fabric from 12 Days of Christmas, but the tonal white dots from Bliss worked out perfectly for a background fabric!

 I just love this zig zag version.  I finished just in time, too...these stockings are gifts I want to give before Christmas!


I found some other fabric in my stash that worked perfectly for lining...the red and green polka dot on white is from Winter by Minick and Simpson--I think it was a line that was out about 2 years ago...but the colors went perfectly with 12 Days! Oh, and I used this tutorial to finish this stocking with no seams showing anywhere!


I think they make a nice pair--some quilted stockings might be in order for our home, too! Back to sewing...I'll be back on Monday with a giveaway!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

"Merry"


When Camille came out with her latest pattern featuring four of the most adorable Christmas stockings I'd ever seen I immediately ordered the PDF version. Of course I had to make the hexagon stocking first--and I had to use 12 Days of Christmas!


I fussy cut some of the hexagons--notice the words "peace" and "joy!" I machine quilted around the inside of each hexagon, but I think when I make the next one I will hand quilt these--with all of the starting and stopping of my machine I think it might have been just as fast to do it by hand.


I just did straight line quilting for the back of the stocking.


There are lots of clouds today, so it was kind of difficult to get good lighting for these pictures, but I had to have one picture of the stocking actually "hanging"--this one in front of the Christmas village turned out best. Okay...back to sewing.  I have to decide whether to start the zig zag stocking or the pinwheel one next.  Or I might make my next one using one of these designs!  Have a great day!


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Fabric Love...



I have loved fabric for as long as I can remember.  I still remember visiting Cloth World with my Mom when I was a kid--it was never enough to just look at the fabric--I also had to feel it!  Years later, when I worked there as a teenager I spent hours refolding fabrics to make the shop look nice.  I used to spend a good deal of my paychecks on fabric even then.

I love when you anticipate a new fabric collection--and it turns out to be just as amazing as you thought it would be.  This is definitely the case with Amy Butler's new Soul Blossoms! It seems like I've been waiting for this line forever, and now that it's here it was definitely worth the wait.  The colors, the patterns, even the texture of the fabric is just amazing.  I think I need some more! (I got mine here and here).


I was also able to pick up a charm pack of Sunkissed this week--another anticipated collection that is amazing.  This is definitely my favorite line by Sweetwater!

Some fun things are coming up soon...projects to share, and a giveaway on Monday...see you soon!