Saturday, December 31, 2011

One Last Finish for 2011

I was able to squeeze in one last finish for 2011!  I just put the last stitch in the binding on Lilly's Max & Whiskers quilt.

 Now she'll be able to snuggle on the couch with it on those cold days.
On my day off last Monday, I decided I needed to start something new - and something that had nothing to do with Christmas!  I pulled out the FQ roll I got at Generations Quilt Shop during the shop hop this past fall and finished this hour glass quilt.  All in one day.  That felt good!
I was going to put it on the frame today and get it quilted but decided I didn't have the right backing fabric.  So, a couple of yards of this is on order....
 French Hat Box by Tanya Whelan for Westminster/Free Spirit.  Ooo La La!

On this last day of 2011, I'm going to quilt a little and start making the filling for my tamales (we're doing Mexican day on Monday with the kids).  Tonight, we're having a quiet celebration - going to an early dinner at our favorite local Italian BYOB, then come home to a movie and trying to stay up for champagne to ring in the new year at midnight.  I'm not taking any bets that either one of us will actually stay up until midnight (probably due to the bottle of wine we'll have at dinner - LOL).  I'm hoping we at least wake up long enough to see the ball drop!

A happy and safe New Year's Eve to everyone! And Happy New Year to my Australian friends!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

The presents are wrapped.  The tree is trimmed.  
The table is set.
And Lilly is waiting for Santa to arrive.

I wish everyone the Merriest of Christmases and peace and joy in the New Year!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas to Me!

Wow, what a Christmas I've had already and Santa hasn't even come yet! 

First, I was a winner in Kelly's (from Charming Chatter - a favorite blog) Christmas giveaway.  Kelly was giving away A LOT of of wonderful fabric.  I would have been happy to win anything in the giveaway.  The box came in the mail early this week - I swear it weighed 10 pounds.  I won this wonderful assortment of Buttercream  & Figs by Fig Tree.  This is the only Fig Tree line I had none of.  I'm still in shock at the amount of fabric Kelly sent to me...

The bag included scraps, FQs and yardage.  Believe me, it was mostly FQs and yardage.  Kelly, thanks again for this very generous gift.  I am truly grateful.  I've said it many times -- quilters are just the nicest people.

Then, on Tuesday, we had our PMQG "Holiday Quilting Angel" pollyanna.  In October, we all filled out a sheet with a few ideas of what we might like and everyone picked one.  Knowing who we were making our gifts for and having an idea of what colors/designers/items they might like really helped.  I had a ball making my gifts for my friend Monica.

On her list was a zipper pouch and a pincushion.  My blog friend Lynn from Alamosa Quilter had mentioned a pouch made from the Cash and Carry pattern by Atkinson Designs. I hopped right on over to eBay where I found a pattern with free shipping.  Score!  What intrigued me was when Lynn said the instructions for putting in zippers in this pattern is super simple.  I am almost embarrassed to say this but I've never put in a zipper before and I will admit I was scared.  Not any more!  She was right, this method is easy peasy!  I was so proud of my little pouch...

I used my Joel Dewberry  Aviary left overs.  I'll be making more of these pouches!

Then Cluck Cluck Sew had a tutorial for this cute pincushion.  I'll be making more of these too!  I cut into my Prince Charming collection for this...

I also included a few other fun items for Monica, I think she liked them!

When I opened my bag from Tamsin, well, I got a little choked up.  First, I opened this very cute thread/scrap catcher for my sewing table (with that cute little magnet inside)...

And, this looks familiar doesn't it?
I laughed when I opened it because Tamsin must have seen the same tutorial I did!  I love, love, love mine.  It coordinates with the thread catcher, and the Circa 1934 fabrics is one of my current favorite fabric lines! And, I previously had no cute pin cushions - just a couple of those standard tomatoes.  Now, I'm very fashionable!

If that wasn't enough (and it was!), I opened these three amazing hot pads....would you look at these...

These photos do not do them justice.  First of all, the Christmas tree is too cute.  And the brown hot pads, well, they are just stunning (and they include my other current favorite fabric line, Hope Valley).  I'm still trying to figure out how she made these.  Tamsin, you made my day.  I will cherish all of these beautiful gifts!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Gifts for a Set of Twins

I fell in love with Julie of Jaybird Quilts' Dot Party pattern this summer.  I took a class with her to make the quilt this past summer at The Village Quilter and I found making this quilt to be too much fun!  I've made four of them already.

I also fell in love with Ann Kelle's Urban Zoologie fabrics.  First I made a pink one...

Then, I bought the line in blue and made a "boy" version...

I used quilter's linen for the backgrounds on both, I really like the look of the QL.

The backs are so cute too.  Ladybugs for the girl...
And airplanes for the boy...

Now, what to do with these little quilts? Then, I remembered a family friend whom my Mom sees all a lot has boy and girl twins, 5 years old.  So, I offered her the quilts to give to them for Christmas.  Perfect.  I got the fun of working with these great fabrics and making the quilts and the kids will get to snuggle with them!  I hope they love them as much as I loved making them.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Countdown to Christmas!

No, I have not fallen off the face of the blogosphere!  I've had posts in my head for weeks, I just couldn't get the photos uploaded and the posts written!  Besides trying to get everything done for Christmas, which is barreling towards me like a freight train, to say work has been crazy is an understatement!

But, I can take a breath right now.  It's my husband's birthday today (Happy Birthday, Ken!), and he wanted to go to the beach for the weekend.  It just so happens that my very nice boss has a very nice beach house that he never uses - but we do o:).  All the fun, none of the hassle!  So, I left him to hold down the fort at work at took today off to come to the shore for a long weekend.  (Yes, I feel a little guilty, but I'm sure I'll get over it - I've been working early, through lunch and late for a while).  So, here we are:

Lilly is having a ball...

Funny, I couldn't get her to sit still and pose for me on the beach!  Dogs, they're funny like that.

I haven't been in my sewing room in over a week (which tends to make me cranky), and I had hoped to get my Countdown to Christmas quilt quilted before the big day.  Not happening, but here is its progress to date.

As soon as I saw this line, I bought a layer cake, knowing I wanted to use my Big Twister Ruler to make a Twister quilt.

Here are all the squares sewn together...

And here is the end result.  If I were to do it again, I wouldn't have added the additional red border and I would have made the white border wider.  But, all in all, I am very smitten with this quilt!

Oh, and we had some very exciting news in our family earlier this month.  My brother asked his girlfriend to marry him!  Now, my brother is 48 years old and has never been married (I hope he doesn't read my blog - I'm sure he'd be thrilled that I announced these facts), so this is a Really. Big. Deal.  We are all over the moon, especially the bride-to-be.  Whom we all adore.  I think I'm as excited as they are.  They announced it at my step-dad's 75th birthday dinner.  What a celebration we had that night!  Here are the happy couple.

I smell wedding quilt!!

So, next up I'll have some photos of some other Christmas sewing I finished before the big work crunch!  Stay tuned!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Stockings for Kids 2011

Lyanna over at Purple Panda Quilts is hosting Stockings for Kids - a stocking drive to benefit the foster children of Central Virginia.
Stockings for Kids
I had hoped to make more, but I did get one stocking done and off to Lyanna yesterday...
 I'll have to try to do better next year!  You can see all of the great stocking donations at Lyanna's blog

In other news, we had another Philly Modern Quilt Guild sewing night at Sew Smart in Doylestown two Friday's ago.  We had a huge turnout!  About 10 people (I'm sure the restaurant we all got takeout from loved all of us trooping over there at one time and milling about waiting for our food - LOL).  We had a great night, and I spent the whole time working on the 20 placements I'm making as Christmas gifts...

These are made with Le Poulet fabrics by Windham.  I made a set for myself and lots of folks loved guess what they're getting for Christmas!  These make up really quickly and just a little straight line quilting does the trick.

And, a product review for you...I read great things about the titanium rotary blades on someone's blog and as I love a nice sharp blade, thought I'd give them a try.  I got the 45mm and 60mm...
Wowser!  That's a sharp blade.  I love them!  But, of course I just started using them, so we'll see how long they keep their sharp, but so far, so good.  I'll give an update when I've used the blade for awhile.  I got them from Crafters Gallery.

I'm in the midst of Christmas sewing, but I made a quick Christmas quilt for myself over the long weekend - which I'll show soon!

Monday, November 28, 2011

2011 Christmas Quilt Show

It's that time again - Darlene of Insights From SewCalGal is again hosting the 2011 Christmas Quilt Show

My Mom installed a small quilt hanger in her dining room aftter I made her a wall hanging when I first started quilting.  I'm slowly adding to her collection of wall quilts.  It's a great gift idea for the woman who has everything - LOL! 

A few years ago I decided she needed a Christmas wall hanging.  I decided to use a poinsettia fabric I had to do a little broderie perse applique.
Christmas Poinsettias- My Mom's gift

I used a black satin stitch around the edges and some rich gold-flecked fabrics. All of this was from stash as I recall.

Even the "Christmas paisley" has gold in it.  I love visting this quilt every year!

Stop in at SewCalGal's site to see the rest of the Christmas Quilt Show!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Adventures in Shop Hopping

A couple of weekends ago I went with three fellow-Philly Modern Quilt Guild members on my first ever shop hop - the 2011 Fall Fabric Frenzy.  We had a blast.  We hit seven stores on Saturday.  Whew!  We left at 9:30 am and returned at 6:30 pm, with two short pit stops for food. For me, the time just flew.  Shop hopping with friends is the way to go!  Near the end, we didn't even know what town we were in.  Andrew (who was kind enough to chauffeur us three ladies around) just put all the addresses in his GPS and off we went.  We hit the last shop with just moments to spare, as all the stores closed at 5pm on Saturday.

I didn't go overboard, but did get some things I had been wanting.  There was only one store where none of us bought anything.

I have been itching to try the Fit to Be Geese ruler and found it at one of the later shops, along with some citrus Best Press that I couldn't pass up.  Since I love my Angler, which is the original plastic that you have to tape on your machine bed, I picked up the new cling version - Clearly Perfect Angles....

I had been eyeing the 60 degree Double Strip ruler to make some cool hexagon quilts for a while so picked that up...
I didn't think I'd find the new Quilts and More, since it wasn't scheduled to come out until later in the week, but I did!
In one shop, nothing much was doing it for me, but they did have a nice charm pack selection so I picked up a couple of Sugar Pop charm packs...
I picked up these Fig Tree FQs to add to my collection at another stop...

At Generations Quilt Shop (hands down my favorite of the day), there was so much I wanted I didn't know what to get, so settled for this FQ bundle and stripe for the binding.  A cute quilt made of this was on the wall and I decided I'd love to make it...
This little kit is for some pretty Christmas placements that I thought would look great on my dining room table...
That was the haul from Saturday.  I still had two more shops to hit though, so on Sunday I went to the Byrne Sewing Connection, which is near my house, and got fellow-guild member Jessica Levitt's new book Modern Mix - there are a slew of projects I want to make from this book!

Then on Monday, I hit my last stop - Granny's Sewing Den, which is near my office. I think I was shopped out by then.  I only got some snaps.  Not even worth showing a photo of - LOL.

So, my first shop hop was a success.  Will I do it again?  I'm not sure - definitely not by myself.  For me the day more about hanging out with quilting buddies all day than shopping - and that was worth every mile traveled!