Friday, December 20, 2013

Churn Dash Quilt

Oh, Friends. It seems the weather is out to thwart any decent photos I might get of this quilt, so I leave you with the one.

Here is my churn dash quilt. The end.

No, I'm just kidding. There is so much more to say about this quilt! Five people other than myself made the 16 blocks for the front of this quilt. Three other people pitched in to purchase the batting and backing material. I pulled the binding from stash, and that is how this quilt came to be. I'll be popping it in the mail next week to Washington, IL for an individual or a family affected by the November tornadoes.

To be able to make this quilt was a huge honor, and I am extremely thankful to all of the lovely people (Anna, Sarah, Francesca, Karen, Barbara, Deirdre, Jenny, Renee) who helped me with this endeavor. I included a label on the back of the quilt with everyone's first name and the city they are from so that the recipient knows that people all over the country are thinking about them. (I think the label is my favorite part of the quilt!)

I'm linking up with TGIFF hosted by Gingersnaps Quilts and Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

All the Baby Stuff.

One of my Q4 2013 FAL goals was to sew up a bunch of stuff for my niece. (Other than her rockin' quilt, of course.)

I did not get as much sewn for my niece as I had wanted. I had big plans to sew her a stuffed turtle and some of those amazing knick knack knickers that Anna Maria Horner designed, and none of that came to be. The turtle pattern printed off a half an inch too small, and I haven't had a chance to reprint it. And I haven't even tried to print off the AMH pattern. I just don't have any time.

I did sew up some baby stuff this fall though, and while it wasn't all for my niece, it was all well-received, and if I can get through 2013 alive--seriously, I'm a little worried!--then I can pick up more sewing for her in the new year.

I made bibs using this pattern by Heather Bailey and ModKid's Rendezvouz fabric line for Joann Fabrics. One used the fun print above, and the other used the blue-green textured solid print from the line. (I've really enjoyed these fabrics, and I'm a little bummed I only have a bit left.)

A color book based on a picture I saw from Angela from Cut to Pieces. I also made a small book using 4" fussy cut novelty charms, which apparently I do not have a photo of.

Crayon roll-up. These are a bit of a pain to sew, but I really enjoy the look of them when they're all done.

Baby Toms. Pattern here. I'm halfway through a second pair, but this pair broke two needles and the final step was brutal since they are SO tiny, so I've been holding off. Maybe I'll get the nerve to finish the second pair sometime next year? I hope so! I selected the cutest heart print! With a hot pink lining!

I also finished the large Noodlehead pouch for my sister. It's a great size to carry a couple of diapers and wipes, and I used the Geekly Chic glasses fabric I backed my niece's quilt with, but apparently, I didn't take a photo of that either. LAME. I have the fabric cut and the interfacing fused onto another identical pouch, so if I can get that finished up soon, I'll snap a photo, and we'll call it good, right? Right.

You can see my original FAL Q4 2013 list here. I'm really excited because I only have one item left on my list! But it's a big one, so I'm really not sure I'm going to get it done. I'm going to try though!

Are you FAL-ing it?

Friday, December 13, 2013

FF: Stocking Love.

Hi Friends! It's Friday. (Eep! I'm so excited! The weekend is almost here!) Today, I'll be sharing the Christmas stockings I recently made. I wasn't planning to make them this year, but when I pulled out our sad, sad stockings--mine had a hole in the bottom--I knew something had to be done. And voila!

I'm so happy I decided to make them, even if they were a gigantic pain to make. But can we talk about how big of a pain they were? Thanks. This is why I love you all. First, I couldn't find a tutorial I liked, so I figured I would find one that sort of worked and modify it. Do you know how many stocking tutorials there are? Kajillions. Then, I couldn't make the one I did find seem to work. I finally just scrapped the idea of using someone else's awesome and drafted my own pattern, figuring it out as I went along. (I measured one of our existing stockings and went from there.)

Bet you can't guess which one is mine. :) My oldest son helped me pick out fabrics for his stocking, even accompanying me to the fabric store to select the cuff fabric. He wanted a blue stocking, and his brother wanted a green, and Mr. Audrey said he'd go for red, so that made picking my color of stocking oh-so difficult. I know. Hot pink is such an out there choice for me. You were probably expecting brown, right?

And while they were super annoying to piece, and it took me much longer than it should have to finish them, I'm so happy now that they're done. My oldest is so excited about his blue stocking, even though this is really the first year he'll have a stocking. Between these and my advent calendar, I'm done sewing holiday decor for the year, but next year I'm hoping to get a tree skirt under my belt.

I'm linking up with TGIFF at Quilt Matters and Finish It Up Fridays at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Churn Dashes!

Hi Friends!

As you may know, I'm putting together a churn dash quilt to send off to victims of the recent tornadoes that hit the midwest. And I had several lovely ladies mail me blocks so that I wouldn't have to do this all by my lonesome!

Blocks from Anna.

Blocks from Francesca.

Blocks from my quilting sensei K and her mama.

Blocks from Sarah.

And these are five of the six that I've made. Today, I'll be piecing the blocks together, and I hope to have this basted and quilted really really soon! Isn't this going to be a fabulous quilt? I'm so excited to see it come together, and I'm so thankful to everyone who sent me blocks. (Thank you!!!)

I should also mention that I had a handful of lovely friends (Jenny, Deirdre, Renee) send me financial donations via paypal, which almost entirely covered the cost of batting and backing. So thank you to them too! I'm always amazed by the generosity of others. I know the world can be a really ugly place, but sometimes, it's not. Sometimes, people are just nice and kind and unselfish. And I'm really really glad to see that.

I'll post more updates as I get this lovely put together. I'm so excited to get it done and in the mail. I'd like to have it ready by Christmas. Fingers crossed!

Friday, December 6, 2013

FF: Sisters' 10 BOM Top

I really should be posting pictures of my finished Sisters' 10 quilt, but today, I've only got the top for you. I'm making this quilt for my husband for Christmas, but two tornado relief quilts have nudged their way into the queue, and my husband has graciously told me that any time the quilt is done is fine. (Which is really very sweet since he's been excited about getting his own quilt since January when I started the BOM.)

The quilt is a big one. 78" square, peeps. 78". And I am somehow going to feed this puppy through Agatha's throat space. I'll get it done, but I am fully aware that the largest quilt I've quilted to date is 60" x 80", so this one will be special.

The blocks were all very different, requiring a number of different components (HSTs, QSTs, and a few other tricks I hadn't gotten around to trying yet). The only problem I ran into is that I didn't purchase all of my gray solid when I first started piecing the top, and by the time I got to piecing the negative space, I realized that I didn't remember what kind of solid it was. I was pretty sure it was kona, so I tried kona coal. Nope. I thought it might be kona steel because I'd purchased some for a bee block, but I didn't want to order 2 yards and realize that wasn't it either. So I finally ordered a swatch of kona steel, which thankfully matched. Some people may have been okay with a close gray, but it would have given my husband heart problems. (He's an engineer.) The rest of the fabric is Center City by Jay McCarroll and a handful of unidentified solids.

I've yet to decide on how to quilt this one, especially the negative space, but I have a few ideas, and I'm excited to see this one done. (Eventually. Probably next year if I'm being entirely honest. Sorry, Husband.)

I really enjoyed participating in this BOM from Gen X Quilters, and I really appreciate AnneMarie for making it available to us. Thanks, AnneMarie! At this point, I won't be participating in a BOM for 2014 because I'll be in two, maybe three bees, and I don't want to kill myself. And that's really unfortunate because AnneMarie's Vice Versa BOM looks totally amazing, and I love the finished layout. (We'll see if I cave and do it anyway.)

Thanks for stopping by, Friends! I'm linking up with TGIFF at Quokka Quilts and Finish it Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts! (Also, can I just say, Happy 200th post to me?)

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Finished Advent Calendar.

I know I showed you an almost identical picture a week or so ago, but I've since painted my clothespins and added numbers. Those numbers, man. It was impossible to find something locally that I liked that was in the right colors that wasn't going to break my wallet. So I bought those kraft tags for $3 and wrote numbers on them. It's not the awesomest, but you know what? I'm happy with them. I first painted the pins with hot pink spray paint, let them dry, then sprayed them with silver glitter spray. (And they look awesome.)

I purchased a new ornament for everyone in the family, and we started off advent by hanging them on our tree. I had a bear of a time deciding on twenty-four activities that were relatively inexpensive yet still relevant for two toddlers that taught them service and kindness but also allowed them to have fun and didn't require being outside in the cold too often. But the list is made, and we'll see how this year goes. (If you have a really awesome idea up your sleeve, please leave me a comment and share it with me!)

Happy December 1st!

Edit: Barbara asked me to share my list, and why didn't I think of that? Here is my list of activities for Advent. We are also reading a portion of the Nativity story each morning. This is in no particular order, and we will be recycling a few throughout advent. I should also mention that we aren't doing Santa with our kidlets, so that rules out a number of choices or makes them more difficult than I'd like.
  • Hang up a new ornament
  • Make red and green play dough
  • Ride the carousel at the mall
  • Read Christmas books
  • Watch a Charlie Brown Christmas
  • Sing and dance to Christmas carols
  • Draw/Color Pictures for our friends and family
  • Make Christmas cookies
  • Decorate Christmas cookies
  • Deliver Christmas cookies (yes, three days of cookies)
  • Participate in a toy drive
  • Have a visit with a special friend
  • Visit Daddy at work and take a coffee break
  • Drink hot cocoa
  • Wrap brother's Christmas gift
  • Go look at Christmas lights
  • Fingerpainting
  • Make a gingerbread house
  • Ride the Christmas train at the mall
  • Help Daddy make a fire
  • Spend special time with Daddy
  • Take a bike ride with Daddy (depends on the weather--will be replaced by snow activities if it snows)
  • Write a thankful letter
  • Take canned food and other non-perishables to the food pantry
So that's our list. I'm assuming it will snow at least twice, providing extra snow activities. I'm sure we'll read Christmas books more than just once. Ditto Christmas carols. I wrote down all of my ideas, and then used this list from Adriel Booker when I got stuck and couldn't think of anything else. When the kids get older (my oldest isn't yet four) we'll venture into new territory, but for now, watching the boys get all giggly about hanging their new car ornaments made me smile.


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