Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 Reflections + 2011 Predictions

It has been a great year! I thought I would reflect a bit by filling out the survey from Sew Mama Sew. I also added a couple collages of my favorite things I made this year at the end of this post!

Looking back on the sewing scene of 2010, what trends stand out in your mind?
I noticed lots of the red/aqua combo, hexies, munki munki, mug rugs, and traditional patterns paired with modern fabrics.

What were some of your favorite things? (Trends, fabric collections, patterns, blogs? Whatever you really loved.)

- love the red/aqua combo, linen, hand quilting and stripey bindings!
Fabric collections- I loved Nicey Jane, Modern Meadow, Bliss, and I adore anything my Anna Maria Horner, so much so that I have not yet cut up my huge stash of her stuff because I don't want to "waste" it on the wrong design! I am also quite smitten with Heather Ross and her many whimsical prints.
Patterns- I usually work from inside my own head! Inspiration is everywhere.
Blogs- many listed on my side bar, more under my profile, and even more yet to be discovered! So many talented people!
What was your very favorite fabric collection or print? (If not listed above.)
If I HAD to pick a favorite, I would say.....all things AMH.

What was the best thing you made in 2010?
Whatever I am currently working on tends to be my favorite! In general sewing, I would have to say my favorites were my messenger bags or my ballerina bags.
In quilting, I put my heart into each of those babies, but my favorite would probably be the Nicey Jane quilt I made for my best friend Samantha.
What is one of the best things you saw that was made by someone else?
Soooo many great things! But here is the quilt that kicked off my obsession with quilting (and my AMH hoarding spree) this spring, by Ashley at Film in the Fridge:

What do you think 2011 has in store? (Again, trends, fabric, patterns, etc.)
I predict....I will spend way too much money on fabric again in 2011!! I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of my Sherbet Pips! And I am sure my favorite designers will not disappoint. Just when I say "NO MORE FABRIC!" something comes out that is too awesome to resist.
I also think there will be more and more "art" in quilts. But I know I will never lose my love affair with the basic square :-)

Anything you’re ready for the sewing world to get over?
I think as an individual, if you love it, go with it, even if the rest of the world doesn't! Everyone needs to find the inspiration that stirs up that excitement within! Sometimes the simplest patterns are most striking, and, unfortunately, some of the most intricate and difficult things are kinda ugly ;)

What’s on your sewing agenda for 2011? What are you excited about? What would you like to learn more about?
I am still new to the sewing world, and can't wait to learn more! Each project I try to incorporate something new, to keep learning and exploring techniques, and to push my limits. I definitely want to get more in depth with my quilting, and have about 10 different quilts in my head right now (and the corresponding fabric already bought!). I also would like to make some more clothes for my daughters, while they will still let me. I am looking forward to the Sewing Summit in October in Salt Lake City, and hope to meet many other bloggers there! I am also gearing up to learn more about knitting in 2011, and am looking forward to branching out. I love all the yarns out there, and am sure I can develop a yarn fetish with very little coaxing :-)

Here is a review of some of my favorite things I made in 2010!

My quilts of 2010 (12 in total):

1/2. Twin quilts set 2 3/4/5. Twin quilts (+1) set 1 6. Nicey Jane quilt 7. Feminist boy quilt 8.The Ugly Quilt 9. McKinley quilt and pattern 10. Disappearing 9 patch 11. Wheels strip quilt 12. My first quilt

Favorite sewing projects of 2010:
1. rainbow spool pouch 2. best tree ever 3. Scottie dogs 4. wedding hoop 5. pillowcase dresses 6. mail organizer 7. Mini-Monet ornaments 8. Messenger bag 9. Camera case 10. Artist bag 11. adventures in knitting 12. ruffle neck dress

Here's to a great 2011! I also want to thank each of you who have been following along on my journey, and for all the support and encouragement you have given me! This blog has truly been a place for me to relax, have fun, share my passion, and get some wonderful positive energy in an often negative and draining world. You guys fuel me up! Thanks so much :-)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Gifts revealed: More Christmas Hoop-lah!

I know what you are thinking- enough with the hoops already! I promise this is the last you will see of them for a bit. I have to get my quilting mojo back to finish (I mean START) my son's quilt in time for his birthday in, umm, 2 weeks! But here are a few hoops that I gave over the holidays that I thought I would share with you.
First up, a 10 inch wall hanging hoop with a scrappy Christmas tree. I cut the strips on the bias, adhered them to linen with Heat and Bond Lite, then top stitched them by machine with black thread. I added red felt circles topped with green buttons as ornaments, and a sparkly gold button on the top of the tree.
I made a few, and hand stitched a different word on each one- "merry" or "believe."
I ended up having to make one to keep- it looks so cute up there on the wall with my best tree ever hoop!

Made a couple more styles of Christmas tree ornaments in addition to the Mini-Monet ornaments and the stitched snowflakes.

A little tree on a snowy slope, under a snowy sky with the North Star shining in the night. Inspired by this ornament. Used some crystal beads to add some shimmer. All done with hand stitching.

Some pretty presents tied up with bows. This version was done by machine, including the script (need some practice with that).

Love the twine bow best!
I made a few copies of these to give to some of my girlfriends for the holidays :-)

Using the same basic premise, I made a 6" hoop for my partner in the Holiday Traditions Exchange at Sweet Bug Farms this year (one of 2 Christmas swaps, second one to follow once it is received!). It is a simple, lovely exchange where you share a handmade Christmas ornament, a recipe, and one of your holiday traditions with your partner. Lauren has 2 sweet children, so I appliqued 2 gifts onto linen, tied them with bows as on the ornaments, but added a tag to each with their first initials. Then, I hand stitched "love is the greatest gift."

I think I made over 20 hoops over the Christmas was fun! But time to move on...we will see what 2011 brings in crafting inspiration!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Gifts revealed: Russian Doll makeup bags

I was perusing Noodlehead for something else altogether when I got distracted. You see, I have a touch of ADD to go along with my OCD. I stumbled across Anna's tutorial for her patchwork makeup bags, and decided on the spot to make a couple for a couple of my favorite people for Christmas.
I love how they turned out! I used some Kokka material I had picked up with these sweet Russian Matryoshka dolls, which are a favorite of my friend Samantha. I paired it with some scraps containing mostly reds, then added one Hunky Dory print in aqua to add a splash of color.
The inside is some Amy Butler Love Spots that matches the outer aqua perfectly! It feels so fresh. I love that red/aqua/linen combo!
One the reverse side, I appliqued a little doll :-)
Ummm, ignore the wrinkles!

My only regret is that most of the red Amy Butler Love spots at the bottom of the patchwork strip became hidden under the bag when I squared off the corners. But otherwise, a pretty nice finish for a job on the fly! Now, what was it I SUPPOSED to be doing??.........

Monday, December 27, 2010

Gifts revealed: Christmas Wreaths- a second version

I hope you all have had a fantastic Christmas! The merry merry is still continuing for us this week, but I thought I would start to reveal a few things I gifted over the holidays. More to come!

Last month I showed you my yarn wreaths made using the tutorial at Take Heart. I have a second version of wreath for you today! I gave it to my most loyal and supportive followers, my parents, and since I know they rarely miss a blog post (hi Mom and Dad!!), I wanted to save this post until they had received it.

These Christmas wreathes are made from a tutorial in a magazine (which I have since misplaced....sorry can't remember which one it was!). It uses cable knit sweaters bought thrifting (see, I told you I would not use them as sweaters!), where you cut off the arms and use them to cover a foam/straw wreath and pin in place.

About a million felt poinsettia-type flowers are then cut out by hand (or, if you have a nice friend like Kathy who will lend you her Big Shot, that saves a ton of time!), and pinned all over the front of the wreath. Hang it with a bow, and voila! Christmas Wreaths, Version 2.
My favorite detail is the turned cuff at the top.

The magazine had instructions for ball ornaments using the remainder of the sweater, but I tried those and they did not work for me at all. Can't win 'em all!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Happy holidays!

Happy Holidays from our family to yours!


1. Our family does not look like this 99.9% of the time. More chocolate milk moustaches. Less fancy shirts.

2. Just before this smiley photo, there were at least 12 fights concerning who got to stand where and beside whom.
3. The tree in the background has been up for 3 weeks and is still only half decorated. Not sure there is a point to finishing it now.

4. Despite all of the craziness....Life is good. I wouldn't have it any other way.
Here's hoping 2011 is just as great!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Birth announcement hoop

Since the wedding announcement hoop I made for Kelli turned out so well, I decided to give the concept another go! This time, it is for a sweet baby girl of old friends of ours. As they live out of town, I hadn't had the chance to meet Julianna yet, but will be seeing her over the holidays so I wanted to make a little something special.

I was inspired by this mini quilt on Flickr. I used some scraps for the clothes on the line and for the little birdy, then outlined them all by machine in black thread to make them pop. I included a red polka dot dress on the clothesline, as I also bought Julianna one of those from the Gap!

I did some hand stitching as well, for the clothes pins, the bird's beak, and for the sunshine.

Used 2 layers of fabric for the sun, and my pinking shears were perfect edging! Added some orange along with yellow for some contrast.

All stitched onto some crisp white linen, the stuff that I picked up at the thrift store for under a dollar for a yard (just had to brag about that again). I ink stamped Julianna's name and birth date onto the linen with black ink, though this linen didn't absorb it quite as well as the natural linen had, and therefore is a bit lighter than I would like, but I still like the fun informal look of this addition! A little blue bow to finish it off, as opposed to the typical pink, and voila! A sweet little keepsake to hang on the wall. Almost makes me want another baby.......HA!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Winner!

Wow. I just want to give a big THANK YOU to all of you who participated in this giveaway. I wanted to respond to each of your comments, but due to the sheer volume, had to abandon that hope. But I wanted to let you know I read each and every one, and took some time to follow links to many of the awesome charities you had suggested! I must admit, when the first person suggested Heifer International I thought they were pulling my leg....what was it, a charity for cows??? Thanks for enlightening me! Just awesome! And so many other very worthy and honorable charities. I wish I could help them all.

I also want to sincerely recognize the touching stories that were shared by many of you, of sick or deceased parents, grandparents, spouses and children; of soldiers and firefighters lost in duty; of babies lost too soon; of children fighting for their lives in hospital; of abuse suffered by people and animals. I shed many tears reading your stories, and I thank you for sharing a piece of your heart with me.

With that said, I think the winner chose a really great charity. Karen, congratulations! I will be sending you an email to send off your fabric and arrange for the donation to The PKU Foundation. Karen wrote:

"I'd choose (the PKU Foundation). It's a genetic disorder that children are born with (the heel prick test they do an all babies tests for it) and its not a common thing. However, my nephew has it and its financially crippling. Any help to families with this disorder is a god send. These children cannot eat protein and they have to consume a very $$$ formula as their source of "milk" for the rest of their lives. I could go on and on but it's just really important and close to home for me."

Thanks, everyone!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Rainbow Spool Pouch

Anyways, after all the hard-core Christmas crafting I have been doing, it was time to make a little something for ME :-) I always drool over the awesome rainbow creations in Flickr, and thought I could use a little color in my life this winter. Enter the Rainbow Spool Pouch!

The spool portion was inspired by this mini quilt by Jolene at Blue Elephant Stitches. I decided to make a set of them in rainbow tones and applique the finished product onto linen to make a pouch. My longtime best friend and I have recently instigated a weekly craft night- it will be good to get out and not be such a crafting hermit! She knits and I sew, so we are going to teach each other some new tricks :-) I thought a large pouch would be useful for stashing an assortment of scissors, thread, yarn and notions when on the go.
Just used a bunch of scraps from my bin for the spools. Hand stitched on some stray "threads."

On the reverse side, I did some colorful machine stitched rows and hand sewed on the word "stitch" know, in case I forgot what I was supposed to be doing. Don't you hate when that happens??
Lined the inside with one of my favorite Erin McMorris Wildwood prints that I have been hoarding and used a bright orange zipper.
This baby measures in at 13" by 10", so lots of goodies fit. I can envision a series of pouches in this theme....

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Lucky me = lucky you (a giveaway with Sew Mama Sew)

I think I need to buy a ticket to Vegas. My luck has been fantastic lately! I often enter giveaways and had never won anything. Then, these past few weeks...I have won FOUR (4!!!!) times! I am going to take a minute here to brag a bit......envy alert! (edit- just found out today I won AGAIN! Whoo hooo! Number 5! I need to get a lotto ticket!)

Prize #1- this gorgeous vintage fabric rainbow dress that made The Middle Child squeal with delight, from The Modern Marigold on Etsy, which was a giveaway from Jess at Craftiness is Not Optional:

Prize #2- the fun and festive Oh Christmas Tree pattern by Fresh Poppy Design, which I won when I linked up at Amylouwho for the 100 Quilts for Christmas charity drive.
Prize #3- this may come in handy for the above quilt...a charm pack of Figgy Pudding from Kelli at Kelli's Pieces in celebration of her big wedding day!

Prize #4- some beautiful brown and pink ribbon from Amy at Diary of a Quilter! And today I just found out I won some gorgeous scraps from Elizabeth at Giddy For Paisley. How fun are these little birdies? You can check out the cool bag she made with them here.

So, when I heard that Sew Mama Sew was hosting a Giveaway Day, I thought that would be the perfect way to give back to the Giveaway Karma Gods!!

Here is the giveaway:

1. I have a stack of soft, fuzzy, gorgeous Anna Maria Horner Folksy flannels for ya. Includes 1/3 yard cuts of the 8 prints shown, for a total of almost 3 yards of fabric. Perfect for cuddling over the cold winter! 2. The second part of this giveaway is a charitable donation. I think during this holiday season we all are feeling pretty fortunate about how we live, and all that we have. So, for the winner, I will make a $50(CAN) donation to the charity of your choice. Must be a charity where I am able to donate online, please, to avoid the potential hassle of international cheques.

To enter:

Leave a comment saying what charity you would choose if you won and why- I would love to learn more about the causes that are meaningful to you! Or, tell me something that you are thankful for this holiday season. No need to be a follower, but since I am thankful for my faithful friends, if you are a follower, leave a second comment saying so and you get a second entry.

Giveaway closes at 9 p.m. central standard time on Friday, December 17 and is open to local and international friends. Good luck everyone!