• Finished Quilts in 2010

    Click pictures for full details! Julia's Field of Blessings See Mom, I *Can* Make Snowmen in Texas! All Shook Up Pansies & Primroses Vintage Spring Vintage Baby A Bad Copy
  • Finished Quilts in 2009

    Click pictures for full details! Sunshine & Swimming Pools Loving Hands Boy Woogies Carina's Quilt Front Charity Quilt 1 Charity Quilt 2
  • Finished Quilts: Previous Years

    My sister's quilt Elena's Signature Quilt Cosmic Spiral Simona's Flower Garden ...And Everything Nice The Wool Quilt The Original Woogie
  • Finished Craft Projects

    Traveling Car Playmat Brown Bear Matching Cards
  • Finished Girls’ Dresses & Costumes

  • Quilt To Do List

    *Julia's "Baby" Quilt
    *Bethlehem Quilt
    *Kaffe Fassett String Quilt
    *Star Happy Batik Quilt
    *Red & Tan Single Wedding Ring Quilt (blocks made)
    *Batik Charm Square Quilt
    *Lingerie Quilt
    *Purple & Gold Mystery Quilt (just needs quilting!)
    *Eagle paper-pieced Quilt (@ half pieced)
  • Other Craft Project To Do List

    *Alphabet Matching Card Game
    *Apple/Pear Dress for Elena
    *Pillow Case Dress for Julia
    *Knit Dress for Elena (need to do post!)
    *Knit Shorts for Me

View from the Sewing Room

I’ve been *very* busy in the sewing room lately as I try to finish up using all of my vintage sheets.  I just want them OUT of my sewing room — I’m tired of their half-polyester ways!  I’m going to offer my scraps when I’m done to some local friends, and if that doesn’t work they’ll go on the guild’s free table- that’s how much I want them gone!

And so, lined up in my closet I have 4 vintage sheet quilts all ready for pin-basting and then quilting, as well as 2 alien-fabric baby quilt tops I also put together this past month:

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2 of these tops were just pieced this past weekend – one on Saturday and one on Sunday.  I felt so accomplished!
And, on my sewing room floor I have a gazillion (yup, I counted) scraps of batting that I’ve been piecing together to form the properly-sized battings for each of those 6 tops.

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Many many many pieces of batting, thankfully labeled with their sizes to help figure out the piecing.

Yikes!  I only have one more batting that I have to piece and then these can go back to hiding in boxes.  It’s been a bit of a chore admittedly trying to puzzle together similar pieces of batting – there are so many different kinds and sizes here!

I can thank my Mom for all those lovely scraps of batting.  She often has pieces at the end of the bolt that she can’t use because they’re just too small, and she of course does not piece customers’ battings.  However, piecing a batting is perfectly acceptable and will last as long as you piece/fuse it well and then quilt well.  Nobody will know once these quilts are done that the middles were pieced.

And then I get to baste all of these tops. Can’t say I’m looking forward to that, but I hope to do some tonight — the kitchen floor is mopped and ready!  I definitely don’t have enough pins for all of them, though, so I’ll have to prioritize. I have one baby waiting for an alien quilt, so that’ll definitely be basted first.

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Warm and Cozy

More than anything, I love snuggling under flannel quilts.  Flannel just adds so much extra warm and cozy.  This flannel quilt in particular has been well used this fall and winter.  Yup, well-used despite the 80-degree temperatures this February day.

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It’s so tiny!  Well, not really, but on this big red barn it sure looks tiny!  The quilt measures 48″ x 60″.

Some of you may remember this quilt, and especially remember helping me choose the layout for the blocks!  I made this quilt top, yikes!, 2 years ago this week!  You can find all my previous posts while making the top here, here, here and here.

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I made it as part of a sewing challenge to make a project during the span of the Winter Olympics.  I in particular wanted to make my first string quilt with scraps as practice for making a string quilt with my fave Kaffe Fassett fabrics.  The method really is simple and I am unfortunately still just planning on making the one with my beloved Fassett fabrics.  Methinks I need to make a list! Or just look at the twenty lists that I already have around here…

The top was finished during the challenge in 2010, but the quilt wasn’t bound and finished until 2011, and now I’m finally blogging it in 2012!  My mom did the fabulous quilting in a timely manner and returned the quilt to me promptly, as always.
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Fabulous quilting, as promised!

However, I decided it needed a flannel binding to complement its flannel front and back.  And of course I took my sweet time getting to the store to buy up some red flannel to make the binding!  And so this quilt sat and waited for my attention, as all my quilts seem to do.

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I am definitely very happy to be snuggling under this quilt.

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And I’m also definitely happy to see this bright green lush grass above!  I feared we’d never see green again around here after last summer’s drought!  Of course, let’s not talk about how most of the green we see is all weeds now since most grass died out everywhere, and that we’re really still in a drought despite the rains we’ve luckily received of late….

A Recommendation

If you aren’t already, I totally recommend following any blogs from your favorite fabric company.  I have a few on my blog reader and I really like them because it is fun to see what fabric designs are coming out or being re-released, AND because the fabric companies often also put out patterns.  I think most quilters on blog land know all about the Moda Bakeshop, but other fabric company blogs I follow are from Michael Miller fabrics and Free Spirit.

What is also admittedly quite fun is that some of them host fabric giveaways, and we all love getting free fabric, right?

Back in August I entered such a giveaway on the Michael Miller site and my goodness, I won the Retro Color Story giveaway!  Due to some difficulties with getting the fabrics from the warehouse and probably just some general busy-ness and/or forgetfulness, I didn’t get the fabrics right away.  But, when I did get the fabrics this January, Kathy Miller herself wrote me and made sure my package had some extra goodies to make up for the delays.  So in my box, not only did I receive the 11 yards of fabric in the Retro color story,
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I also received 10 yards from the Once Upon a Time fabric line, several fat quarters from the Fairy Frost collection, several fat quarters of their new Cotton Couture solids, and a charm pack of all their solids!
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!!!
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SO very exciting to open up that box! By the way, the Michael Miller regular fabrics have a great heavy weight that I’ve always loved about their fabrics — makes them super easy to quilt with.  What I found surprising was how silky soft their cotton couture line was — a totally different weight!  I’m sure they’ll be great for quilts as well, but I’m looking at getting one of the colors  for a  planned summer dress for one of my girls – the weight should be perfect.

Now I’m sure you’re wondering what I’m going to do with all of this fabric, and to be honest I’m not sure.  I have finished washing and folding it all and for now I’m admiring it.  I think the pink fabrics will be turned into some dresses or skirts for my girls — that’s at least what Julia is requesting.  And I’m sure the original retro fabrics will be turned into a cute baby quilt or 2 or 3 — I know at least one baby boy about to arrive that needs a quilt!

So, go out and have some fun with some Internet contests as well, although I definitely won’t promise you’ll hit the same jackpot I did!

Craft Your Own Christmas Cards

(Since I’ve skipped blogging for so long, my posts might be skipping all over the place too!)

My personal philosophy with Christmas cards is that I like to send something with a religious message because, well, I am celebrating a religious holiday and wishing people all the good and promise that that religious holiday entails.  So, to this point, I’ve always bought Christmas cards – generally Hallmark – and enclose within a picture of my girls.  Two birds with one stone!  It would certainly be easier to make a simple picture card, and I’ve definitely considered doing just that, but have still done my store-bought cards to this point.
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The picture of my girls enclosed in the cards this year — obviously I cut it in 2!

This year, though, it had reached mid-December and I had yet to buy the Christmas cards, and the store cards I really loved tended to be on the pricier side.  And while I’m not a paper-crafter at all, paper-crafting came to the rescue!

My girls were already off school for Christmas break, so I set them down at the kitchen table with a bunch of paper and crayons and instructed them to draw something Christmasy!  The results were…not blog-worthy.

I regrouped and instead pulled out a bunch of construction paper, scissors, markers and glue and this time instructed them to make Nativity scenes.  I had to exert some control!  And my goodness, the results could not have been better.

Elena went after this project with no instruction from me at all.  Well, I did mention to her that Mary often wore a head-covering.  But that was it!  I LOVE what she did:

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Elena is especially proud of her manger made with the hole in the middle.  I think it must be a new trick she just learned.

Julia also did fabulous work although she needed a little more help.  I gave her pieces of construction paper in the general size that she needed and she’d finish cutting them into shape.  She also looked to her sister’s artwork for guidance.  I also LOVE hers:

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Now, there’s no way were were sending Christmas cards out the size of construction paper, nor were we going to craft up 70 of these!  So, we then took their Nativity scenes to the copy store, shrunk them, and printed 2-to-a-page.  I had intended on printing them at the proper location on cardstock so I’d just have to fold them, sign them and mail them, but the copy-worker and I were having some communication issues.  At any rate, we then headed to a friend’s house and used her paper cutters and tape rollers and fashioned up our cards.  They were in the mail a few days later in time for Christmas!

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The finished cards — the color copies were awesome!

I must admit here that at least one of our recipients didn’t quite understand Julia’s picture and what I thought was a nice religious Christmas card.  He brought it with him to visit us and was asking Julia all about the kitty she made and pointing to the kitty’s eyes and mouth?  I don’t quite see it, but art is in the eye of the beholder?

Those on our Christmas card list can definitely expect to see more hand-crafted cards like this in the future.  I mean, doesn’t everybody want my childrens’ artwork for eternity?  I know *I’m* holding onto it forever!