Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas PJ's

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! I know we did. It was of the nice, quiet, stay at home variety - my favorite kind.
Every year the kids get new pajamas on Christmas Eve. Last year was the first time I made pj's for my daughter. After making these pajamas, I realized I DO NOT like making pajama tops. Even though these lavender flannel pj's are among my favorites, pj tops take too long and she grows too fast!

So this year (and several pair of PJ's before this) I made pants and appliqued a t-shirt. I think the applique is so much more fun, to make and to look at. It wasn't until this morning that I realized the gingerbread man has no mouth, and my daughter wants him to have a bow around his neck. I will have to fix that ASAP.
The fabric for the pants is from Northcott and may be a year or two old. I don't know for sure as it came from my mom's stash. I don't remember the name of the line. The t-shirt is from Target and the gingerbread man applique is a scrap from a friend's stash.

As my other kiddos outgrow the need for pajamas with feet, they will start getting the really cute stuff, too.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Holly Jolly Snowmen Quilt

I just finished this quilt top tonight, and I love it! I love the fabric, Holly Jolly Snowmen by Kathy Schmitz for Moda. The colors are absolutely beautiful and the designs are so fun and happy. This photo doesn't do justice to the beautiful fabric. If you don't already have some of this fabric in your stash, get it while you can!
The quilt pattern is Done in a Jiff by Heartspun Quilts. It wasn't too difficult, and I love the results. I made some mistakes in making this quilt, but I learned some new things that would have made the final result much better. Just new knowledge for the next quilt.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Rag Quilt

No, there's nothing wrong with your computer screen. The blue flannel bled all over everything else. I used color catchers and Retayne. I bought this fabric 8+ years ago at a quilt shop and just never got the blanket finished. Because I bought the fabric at a good quilt shop, I thought everything would be just great when I washed it. Well, I was wrong. Oh well. I'm sure my little guy will use and love it just the same.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Molasses-Ginger Cookies

Kim over at NewlyWoodwards is having a Dare to DIY blog party/cookie recipe swap. I love baking cookies, thus making this an ideal bloggy event. Go check it out!

Dare to DIY

Molasses-Ginger Cookies...Mmmmmm. These are the kind of cookies that even if you don't eat a single one, you will thoroughly enjoy the smell of these while they are baking. They fill your house with the most wonderful smell, the kind that makes you want to breathe deeply and say, "Ahhhhhh, yeah. This is home."

I got this recipe from this blog. She uses only 2 cups of flour, but I couldn't get it to work with 2 cups of flour.

Molasses-Ginger Cookies
3 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cloves
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup finely chopped *crystallized ginger
1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar (preferably muscovado)
1/2 cup vegetable shortening, room temperature
1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg
1/3 cup molasses
demerrara sugar for rolling

1. Combine the flour, spices, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl; whisk to blend. Mix in crystallized ginger. In a large bowl using an electric mixer beat shortening and butter to combine, add brown sugar and beat until well-combined and fluffy. Add egg and molasses and beat until blended. Add flour mixture and mix just until blended. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour.

2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease/line 2 baking sheets. Spoon sugar in thick layer onto small plate. Using wet hands, form dough into 2-inch balls; roll in sugar to coat completely. Place balls on prepared sheets, spacing 2 inches apart, flatten slightly.

3. Bake cookies until cracked on top but still soft to touch and moist inside, about 10-12 minutes (do not overbake). Cool on sheets 1 minute. Carefully transfer to racks and cool.

*It is much cheaper to make crystallized ginger in your own kitchen. It is also very simple. Just make it at least a day before you want to make the cookies.

Christmas Table Topper

Have I ever told you how much I love finishing a project? I love finishing a project, even if it is small.
I made this table topper for my sister and brother-in-law who just bought their first house. I really like the way the top came out. The quilting is OK. I just need to practice more.
I made it from a charm pack that a local quilt shop put together from the different Christmas fabrics they had in their store this year.
The outer border was a bit of a trial. This was the third or fourth border I tried. I just couldn't seem to get it right, but I finally got it right with the red pieced border.
Sorry the picture is a little blurry, but this is no longer in my possession so I can't take a better picture.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Gratitude Book

I finally finished the Gratitude Book. I am really happy with the way it came out. My mom and I decided this book would be fun to have and look back on what was written over the years. We decided this was the year to start it, since this was the first time our entire family has been together in something like 8 years. This book will live at my mom's house as long as the big family Thanksgiving is held at her house. Everyone who goes to her house for Thanksgiving is required to write in the book what they are thankful for. It doesn't have to be long or detailed. Just something.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

My First Foray Into Free Motion Quilting

This was my first foray into free motion quilting. The best thing I can say about it is IT'S DONE! I practiced A LOT before doing it, and I was terrified of doing it. So terrified that I came up with an alternate plan. I was going to quilt a grid pattern, and I did. But I didn't like it. So, I unpicked it and practiced free motion a bit more. I finally got brave enough to just do it. And now it's done. It's not great, but it's not horrible either considering how bad I was when I started practicing.
This is another Moda Bake Shop project. The braid fabric is Gobble Gobble by Sandy Gervais for Moda and the main fabric is Harvest by Timeless Treasures (I previously posted the main fabric was by Northcott. Sorry for the confusion.)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Fall Topiary

It's finished! Don't you just love finishing a project?

It didn't actually take that long, but it felt like it did. I bought three craft pumpkins and the largest one was not even close to the same color as the two smaller, so I spray painted them all, and didn't like the flatness of the color. So I had to antique them. Then I had to put a sealer on them. Then there was the cutting the holes to put the dowel through. I broke a knife trying to cut the holes! But it's finally finished and I love it!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Machine Quilting

My friend Kathy is amazingly talented and I admire so much about her (not just her crafting style, but today's post is about quilting). She is a great decorator, and has the cutest house. She is so creative and is always making the cutest stuff. Just today she showed me the most ADORABLE tote bag she made. The last week has been a real eye opener as to how talented she really is.
This last week I have been trying to teach myself to machine quilt. It is not easy! I ended up buying THIS BOOK and it has been very helpful. It's still not easy. I am making progress, but not as quickly as I would like. It is an understatement to say that I am not patient, but this learning process has highlighted how truly impatient I am.
Kathy on the other hand is so good at machine quilting! I wish I had some pictures of stuff she has quilted so you could see it. I will see if I can get some pictures of her quilting next time I see her.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Quilt Festival - Fall 2009

I am participating in Park City Girl's Fall 2009 Quilt Festival. I love looking at all the beautiful quilts. It's fun to see all the different ways people express their creativity.

I know I already posted about this quilt, but I love it. This is only the second quilt I have made, and I made it for a wedding. I'm still a little sad that I gave it away, but my sister-in-law loves it. And that makes me happy, because she has done something for me that I won't ever be able to repay. She is the one who took care of my only child when I had to return to work after my daughter was born. Not only did she care for her, she loved her. This quilt was beyond my skill level and could not have been completed without the guidance my mother provided. It was quilted by my friend, Kathy.

The quilt pattern is Making History from the magazine Quilt Sampler. The fabric is Gallery in Red by Marcus Brothers.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Candy Corn Wreath

I saw this:

HERE, and decided to make one of my own. It turned out just great, except it clashes with the walls in my living room, and the landlord won't let us repaint. So, to remedy this problem, it's hanging in the laundry room. At least the laundry room is festive...better luck next year.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Gift Bags

I had planned to make these gift bags from Christmas fabric, but an opportunity presented itself which requires the use of a cute gift bag. These were so fun to make! I can't wait to make the Christmas gift bags. I think I may try different sizes. They turned out cuter than I thought possible. I think it would be really hard to ruin these. You can find the tutorial HERE on Moda Bakeshop.

The fabric is from the Zippity Doo Dah line by Sandy Gervais for Moda. I had some scraps left so I covered some little notebooks to match that I will give with whatever else ends up in the bag.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Halloween PJ's

My daughter loves fun pajamas, and I'm such a pushover that I make them for her. Also, she is so grateful whenever I make anything for her, it makes it even harder to say no. I intended to have these done before the start of October, but considering I was only in town for 6 days in September, I think I'm excused. I don't like sewing clothing with stripes, but this fabric was so much fun and the pants pattern so simple that it didn't bother me at all.

The t-shirt is from Target, and I machine appliqued the jack-o-lantern. All the fabrics on the t-shirt are from scraps, so I can't tell you what they are. The face on the jack-o-lantern turned out scary instead of happy when I tried to sketch it by myself, so I got out a quilt pattern with a cute jack-o-lantern, Halloween Fun by Angie Stevenson. The fabric for the pants is from Scary Night by Laurie Godin for Northcott.

I made a list of all the projects I need to complete, and there are 20 that need to be completed before Christmas. There will be more to come in the days ahead.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Fabric & Retail

I was catching up on one of my favorite blogs and reading a debate via the comments about whether or not you should buy only fabric from local quilt shops or if it's OK to buy fabric from Walmart or Joann's.
I definitely think you should buy from your local quilt shop whenever you can. It's not because I'm a fabric snob. I firmly believe in supporting local independent retailers. One of my biggest complaints/disappointments when I travel the country is how everywhere looks the same. The local Macy's is just the same as the one in Manhattan. There is nothing special about going to the Macy's in Manhattan anymore. I think it's sad that America has become so homogenized. I like to support local fabric shops, bead shops, bakeries, restaurants, etc. whenever possible. Plus, do the large corporate chains really need more money?

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Finished Quilt

I love this quilt! I am a little sad to be giving it away, but at least it's for someone I adore. I wanted to make a queen size version of this quilt for my bedroom, but after this experience, I'm glad I didn't. It was a lot of hard work and way beyond my skill level (this is only my 2nd quilt). I learned a ton and am grateful for the experience and the help. I couldn't have finished it without my mom, who was instrumental in piecing the top (I did all the cutting and sewing and Mom did all the pinning), and Kathy, who quilted it for me.

The quilt pattern is called Making History and is from the magazine Quilt Sampler Fall/Winter 2008. The fabric is Gallery in Red by Marcus Brothers.


And it only took 45 days start to finish.